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Unit abilities

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I just wanted to throw out this idea I've had for some time and hopefully see what the community thinks about it.

Basically, it is about giving abilities to certain units. Heroes could have some abilities like forced marches or temporary boosts. Another use could be to implement things like "Charging" for elephants and cavalry. There could be some other fun uses too. A unit can't do this without restrictions of course. Could make it cost resources and given a re-charging time in addition to the fact that these abilities would also be temporary. And if I recall correctly, Hyrule Conquest is planned to utilize something like this to great effect.

Something like this has already been tried in a 0AD mod (Vox Populi) during the last alpha. However, it was done by a very hacky method. Each hero had two units which could be trained. It was a unit for "Bracing" and a unit for "Intimidation". These special units were given a short lifespan (using the same method as those Iberian fire ships) and an aura. In this case, one unit gave an aura which slowed down a unit's speed and increased it's defense and the other one was also done in a similar fashion. From that point, the restrictions could be done by calling the player component's disable templates function and then re-enabling it after n seconds (an even hackier way was used back then).

For now, I'm guessing this could be implemented similiar to auras (in terms of design). A new component which can either cast auras temporarily or do something else (like a magic ability or a superhuman sword strike) for a given time or one use (Even though Auras in 0AD could pretty much do everything, they do come with a cost).

What does the community think?

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I would like to see

 - melee cavalry/elephants : charge ability when they are attacking infantry (auto cast / enable disable)

 - ability to build canal / traps to kill enemy infantry or reduce speed of ram... (Enable/disable)

 - ability to use ladder to attack walls / defense towers to kill garrisoned unit (Enable/disable)

 - Ability to build Not-mobile ram to destroy buildings , only deploy near wall or building to use it to destroy it (Enable/disable)

 - Ability to use fire (building fire mound) to protect infantry against cavalry/elephant charge (Enable/disable)

 - for archers , ability to use fire arrow (when its active reduce attack rate / increase damage to mechanical units , ram , catapult , chips , wooden buildings ...) (Enable/disable)


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I could finely create my 'tree people' civ. It makes no sense. I wanted a hero ability to turn the enemy units into trees. That way I can harvest them to death. I did get harvest-able villagers working (through upgrades). They turn to trees and then you chop chop chop. A temporary ability would work better though.

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