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Grugnas

[A21] Spear Cavalry

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This thread wants to get together all your considerations about spear cavalry. Personally I think that this unit is kinda tricky because actually Spear Cavalry doesn't really can't out damage Sword Cavalry despite its high mixed pierce and hack damage since the spear horseman has a 3,5 sec Attack Rate which is really slow if compared to the 0,75 Attack Rate of the Swordman resulting with an higher Damage Per Second for the Sword Cavalry. However the spear cavalry has its role even if not so morally correct :rolleyes: .. women persecution. This only role of this unit in the whole part of the game, is it early game at minute 5 or late game min 40, is killing women. 

Note: My consideration is based on an hypothetical Persian player because Persia has the privilege to choice any kind of Cavalry type (sword, spear, javelin, bow).

Weak Points:

Really slow attack rate

they can't kill any kind of cavalry

Despite spear 3x bonus on cavalry, spear cavalry doesn't benefit from that bonus at all

After a couple of tests I found on that Sword Cavalry out damage Spear cavalry indipendently from the enemy pierce / hack armor, infact Sword Cavalry isn't countered by Spear Cavalry despite the sword cavalry pierce armor which is slightly lower than spear cavalry due the out damage that sword has over its counterpart and the same number of sword cavalry can defeat enemy infantry ranged units while spear cavalry can't despite this last one higher pierce armor.

Strong Points:

Phase I unit of choice for a coupe of civs (Macedonians and Romans)

Their phase I rush is uncounterable

As I said above, the only spear cavalry role is to kill women, and it is really effective if not really uncounterable during the first phase of the game. Why that? for a couple of reasons:

Houses give more population than you can actually garrison into, resulting that women will be really vulnerable.

Since spear infantry is too slow for chasing cavalry and there is more chance in phase 2 for the enemy to cumulate an army big enough to repel spear cavalry from the wood gathering spot, at least.

The only tactic that most players do is just to cumulate an adeguate number of spear cavalry since the beginning thanks to the food boost that fruit provides and the lower amount of wood needed for training cavalry,  going to mine the food production of the enemy, totally avoiding open fights.

This tactic requires a sacrifice in Population growing since the cavalry requires much more time than infantry soldiers or women to train and it consists into slow down the enemy so much to completly erase the economy advantage that the enemy surely had in choosing women / workers for gathering resources and constantly raid his food production to force the enemy to train women only (since the houses can garrison less women than the population bonus houses give, you can imagine that the raid scene will bring the game into a loop until the enemy resigns).

In my opinion there is a too big gap between Spear Cavalry OverPower and their Worthless train delimited by their high pierce armor, high enough to facilitate raids minimizing any damage(civic center and phase 1 sentry towers are harmless against cavalry), and their low attack rate that makes them not the best melee cavalry choice in any fight.

Sper Cavalry deserves less pierce armor:

Civic Center and Sentry Towers are not much helpful against this kind of cavalry and, since their food cost is high, the result of the game is decided by the amount of animals a player has around its own base. What I mean is that considering the randomness of resources on the map, would be really nice to build/train something that can counter those cavalry raids indipendently from the amount of food aviable around allowing me to train more cavalry than the enemy.

They deserve to attack faster:

Despite the spear cavalry pierce armor, sword cavalry is much more effective due their higher DPS. It can be reasonable if spear cavalry doesn't have more damage on impact, in that way the enemy can still retreat, by the way the low attack rate of spear cavalry let them harmless while standing in a battle.

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Why not?

Handling a spear on the back of a horse is quite cumbersome. I'd expect that to result in slow attack speed.

Concerning balancing the attack speed doesn't really matter but the damage per time. If that is to low it can be raised by increasing the damage.

Armor effects a portion of damage so also no problem there.

High damage/low attack speed only makes a difference at the first blow. And spear cavalry dealing high damage in the first blow actually makes total sense to me. So (besides siege) spear units are a good choice for having a slow attack.

(I also like that we actually make use of the stats we have in a wide range)

@wowgetoffyourcellphone: I hardly find "Looks ridiculous" a very convincing statement especially as what we are used to is often influenced by videos and those are rarely focusing on realism.

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I agree with the fact that a slow attack speed and a high damage is more realistic because spear cavalry is meant to hit and run and, supposing that spear cavalry is attacking a group of enemies and those enemies are infantry units, spear cavalry should be able to hit and retreat in order to avoid the enemy fire, and attack again. However  increasing attack damage instead of attack speed will result  in being more effective in women raids, expecially if a new change is coming as I heard (units close to the buildings won't be hitted by the buildings anymore unless a specific tech research) unless they'd have have an "anti-cavalry" damage multiplier which would work only vs other cavalry types resulting that Spear Cavalry will actually counter any kind of cavalry letting Sword Cavalry still be more effective vs infantry. However tests are needed :P

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It's not what units you should use, but how you use them efficiently. This is why I think that the current game is more tactics-oriented than unit-counters-oriented.

I think I'll test this "Raiding Joustmen" out myself.

Edited by sphyrth
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1 hour ago, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:

uh, guys, it does look stupid. It's telling that you have to come up with 500 word essay to justify it not looking stupid.

When I went to school my math teacher teached me that 3,5 (spear attack rate) / 0.75 (sword attack rate) = 4,6 and that 4,6 x 6,5 (sword cavalry damage) = 30,3 (damage of the sword cavalry in 3,5 sec) which is bigger than 19 if ( total spear cavalry damage) i remember right.

Edited by Grugnas
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Hit with  a guy 5 Lancers once, then run instead of waiting for those 3.5 seconds. Then do it all over again. I think that's how it should work.

16 hours ago, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:

uh, guys, it does look stupid. It's telling that you have to come up with 500 word essay to justify it not looking stupid.

I also agree with this because hoplites don't have their attack speed just as slow. I haven't checked yet, but even the pikemen (with those heavy sticks) still have a slightly faster attack speed.

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Add also that a unit with slow Damage Per Second could make less damage if it gets killed between intervals.

Historically speaking, mounted lancers used the spear to charge and then the sword, right?

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4 hours ago, Grugnas said:

When I went to school my math teacher teached me that 3,5 (spear attack rate) / 0.75 (sword attack rate) = 4,6 and that 4,6 x 6,5 (sword cavalry damage) = 30,3 (damage of the sword cavalry in 3,5 sec) which is bigger than 19 if ( total spear cavalry damage) i remember right.

I'm pretty sure he's referring to the cavalry attacking in matrix-like slow-motion looking stupid, it's very noticeable when they attack. Nothing to do with numbers, but the visual effect of them attacking. Mix spear cav against some "high fire rate archers" and I'm pretty sure I'd report some issue with the animations if I didn't know that those attack speeds are consequence of the unit balancing.

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Speaking of broken animation: Alpha 21 seems to apply melee damage at every FIRST frame of the animations, when the swordsmen are only ABOUT TO SWING, and the hoplites are only ABOUT TO THRUST their spears

I have no idea what kind of re-constructions was done, but was this fixed in the svn?

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7 hours ago, fatherbushido said:

@Enrique: one should perhaps clean a bit some prepare time and repeat time attack of some units (iirc animation are strechted to fit the second one). But that should be done by you and @scythetwirler in cooperation.

Not sure if it's worth since balance changes are so kind to be altered frequently. But yeah, that's the only solution if we can't flag certain anims to play it's animation twice since this is prone to happen more than with one unit during balance changes.

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Some spear cavalry animations may need some changes.

1. Is throws the spear like a frisbee sometimes. It should establish position and minimum distance before it can throw a spear otherwise it should animate like a melee in below minimum distance. It must have another melee attack though should inflict very low damage like knife armed or something. 

2. When capturing buildings like a Gaia tower it just stood there but the building hit or capture points keep diminishing.  Same as some Athenian champion units range or melee. I ordered them to capture building but just stood there and the building is getting captured.

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@Servo

We have new animations with new 3D units, so for now Calvary have the old in SVN version , they will be replaced soon or later, put that facts aren't related to this topic.

 

before we don't have animation for capturing. The older animation are for very early stage of the game. So your discuss isn't related to this forum. This forum is more related about numbers than visual art.

I suggested choose carefully the topic and the forum where you discuss or get your feedback.

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16 hours ago, Dade said:

Shouldn't [Spear Cavs] have a bonus as their infantry friends?

Nah. Their running speed makes up for the advantage. They're spear-as-many-women-as-you-can-then-run kind of units.

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On 01/02/2017 at 11:00 PM, sphyrth said:

Hit with  a guy 5 Lancers once, then run instead of waiting for those 3.5 seconds. Then do it all over again. I think that's how it should work.

1

Couldn't the skirmish formation be used (when it is implemented) also for melee units? They would approach, hit and retreat automatically for a while before repeating. This would end up being effective only for the slower attacking but fast moving units (like the Spear Cavalry). Of course, there is always the choice of using other formations and do the micromanagement.

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The spear/sword cavalry distinction in a21 is backwards compared to history.  Cavalry spears and lances were very powerful against armored targets because they have the weight of the horse and rider behind a focused point.  In contrast, swords were effective against unarmored targets; you can easily slice through flesh with a sword, doing a huge amount of damage, but a cut from a sword does not penetrate armor well.  If one cavalry type should have a role of harassing peasants and unarmored targets, it should be the sword cavalry, and the spear cavalry should be more powerful in armored confrontations.

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It's a side-effect. While I agree that Sword Cavs should be the raiding party of choice, Lancers can pierce through armor if there was a momentum mechanic or something - a mechanic that might be carried over naval units.

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There is some missing features and to allow people to have a playable alpha demo, there are some workaround.

Currently for heavy spear cavalry, it's mainly a big speed which is used as a (perhaps) temporary workaround for charge. (see one sphyrth comment above).

(In the same way, currently Alexander and a seleucid hero share the same actor which is not exactly historically accurate. It's a placeholder.)

So yes there will be some different (and perhaps strange) metas in all the alpha versions, but anyway all those things change each alpha and are aimed to change when feature are (will be) added.

I hope everybody is happy to have a 'playable as soon as possible' alpha game ;-)

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5 hours ago, causative said:

The spear/sword cavalry distinction in a21 is backwards compared to history.  Cavalry spears and lances were very powerful against armored targets because they have the weight of the horse and rider behind a focused point.  In contrast, swords were effective against unarmored targets; you can easily slice through flesh with a sword, doing a huge amount of damage, but a cut from a sword does not penetrate armor well.  If one cavalry type should have a role of harassing peasants and unarmored targets, it should be the sword cavalry, and the spear cavalry should be more powerful in armored confrontations.

This is generally how I use melee cav in DE. Spear Cavalry are "line" cavalry, with smaller attack but more armor so they stand up better in a melee, while Sword Cavalry are faster and have larger attack, but are easier to kill with lower armor. This mirrors the Spear Infantry and Sword Infantry stats, proportionately.

Edited by wowgetoffyourcellphone
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I made a wrong post previously and mistaken spear cav with the Cavalry Jav. 

I don't pay attention too much on specs or history but spear cav animation (same as pikemen) should be changed. After its first attack its body should go back straight up. These units and most other melee units should also not execute an attack if their target moves out or away from its fighting range! It's just not right!

I think 3.5 seconds is too much but must still lose to a Sword cav based on attack rate. It might inflict high damage but swords are more handy than spears IMO.

It is my favorite cavalry together with the Greek companions because they look really nice and real! In addition they belong to the fastest cavalry in the game that could be easily saved when wounded. I think all heavy armored cavalry should have the same speed or close to(28 vs 40 is too much difference) except the champions. 

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Quote
 

I don't pay attention too much on specs or history but spear cav animation (same as pikemen) should be changed. After its first attack its body should go back straight up. These units and most other melee units should also not execute an attack if their target moves out or away from its fighting range! It's just not right!

Im not sure if you are in the right post.

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