Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Phalanx

State of the Ptolemies

Recommended Posts

Let me preface this with; I am aware that the team is not focused on balance right now, but I feel like this needs to be pointed out anyways.

The Ptolemies are one of the, if not THE, worst faction in the game at the moment. This is due in half to how the game has been programmed, and half how the roster has been created, and I'll cover both issues.

First, as has been discussed in the thread about revamping all the animations:

 

The Diadochi kindgoms are at a disadvantage economically compared to other civs, because pikemen move slower than all other infantry, and thus are not as efficient at gathering resources.  This is especially hurtful to the Ptolemies and Macedon. Both of their starter infantry units are pikes.  The Diadochi are also suffering due to pikes just sucking in combat (formations are not functioning atm) and again for the Ptolemies and Macedon, this is incredibly painful as they don't get access to non-pike units until later in the match. (It isn't an issue for the Seleucids, as they have easy access to the Thueros Spear from the beginning of the match).

Now to the Ptolemaic-specific issue. They start with a pike, and a mercenary skirmisher. This means to jump start their economy, or to defend against a rush, they must gather metal as well as food and wood, which in the early game can put them much farther behind than other factions, who only need food and wood until they age up.  Even with the barracks built, all the Ptolemaic infantry besides their pikes are mercenaries, which require a third resource, which then put even more strain on the Ptolemaic economy.  Stone and Iron are can become hotly contested during a match, and a player might be cut off from their supply of stone or iron. Every other faction can fall back on their starter units and still create some semblance of a balanced army, but the Ptolemaics cannot. It would be camels and pikes. Thats it.

A fix for this would be to not make their starter ranged unit a mercenary.  If I remember correctly, they used to have Nubian or Numidian bows as their starter ranged, which was scrapped due to historical inaccuracy.  And while it is true that basically all of the Ptolemaic army was mercenaries, I believe this is one of the instances where gameplay needs to be precedent to accuracy.  Possibly a Greek settler unit, or another native auxiliary.  But imho the Ptolemaics NEED to have a non-merc ranged starter unit.

 

Edited by Phalanx
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
47 minutes ago, Phalanx said:

The Ptolemies are one of the, if not THE, worst faction in the game at the moment. This is due in half to how the game has been programmed, and half how the roster has been created, and I'll cover both issues.

Many players would disagree with this statement...

Spoiler

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When it comes to Macedonia, I think their roster is currently in the works.

Here's what I read about the Ptolemy arguments:

  1. Pikemen are turtle-slow, and therefore lag Economy.
  2. Training Mercs cost resources that cost unnecessary strain for the players.
  3. From #1 & #2, you are forced to use women and are therefore vulnerable against Rushes.
  4. Pikemen are weak against combat (Rushes).

Points of Disagreements:

  1. Ptolemies are a Rush Faction; you don't defend against Rushes, you create them. (Maybe you're arguing that it's the only practical strat for them, all other strats won't work).
  2. Houses, Storehouses, and Farmstead don't cost anything (only the long build time). So when it comes to Economy, Food-gathering is your "only" problem.
  3. Pikemen are your meatshields. They assist in the attack, not really meant for defense.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, sphyrth said:

Ptolemies are a Rush Faction; you don't defend against Rushes, you create them. (Maybe you're arguing that it's the only practical strat for them, all other strats won't work)

Well, I personally don't rush, which is maybe why I'm not doing well. But correct, a faction shouldn't be limited to just one single strat.  Granted, this all could be stemming from the fact that I just might be terrible at the game :LOL:, but I've been trying to look at this from a standpoint of two equal players 

 

6 minutes ago, sphyrth said:

Houses, Storehouses, and Farmstead don't cost anything (only the long build time). So when it comes to Economy, Food-gathering is your "only" problem.

Except for the metal and wood required to build their not-extremely-slow resource gatherer.

 

8 minutes ago, sphyrth said:

Pikemen are your meatshields. They assist in the attack, not really meant for defense.

Can't argue with that :) and I'm aware that they can still be effective in early game when paired with a large amount of camel archers, but camels can't provide a ton of help to your economy compared to infantry, and other civs can have that early game attack/defense power cheaply and without making their economy suffer. Because for every resource you spend on camels, that resources you can't spend on ranged units, or pikes, or women that are arguably better for your overall economy.

Again, maybe I'm just not using them right, or am just bad, but while the Ptolemies can definitely pick up steam as the game progresses, I'm just worried that they have only 2 units that are considered "normal" citizen soldiers i.e. not merc, champions, or artillery.  Granted, Athens is also in the same boat, but they have a whole host of other issues as well.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, Phalanx said:

If I remember correctly, they used to have Nubian or Numidian bows as their starter ranged, which was scrapped due to historical inaccuracy.

Nubian bowmen don't make a lot of sense as their main starting unit, but removing them from the roster entirely was probably a mistake. From Ptolemy II onwards, the Ptolemies took turns with the Kushites ruling Lower Nubia, which is the area south of the 1st cataract (Philae, Elephantine and Aswan) and north of the 2nd cataract (between Buhen and Semna). They called it the Dodekaschoinos, and had garrisons there and undoubtedly made use of local troops to supplement their own as guard units or for their campaigns against Kush. The extent to which "Aethiopians" were used in the north of Egypt by the Ptolemies is difficult to say, but there are a number of depictions of "ethiopian" axe-men in Ptolemaic terracotta's from Alexandria.

Frank M. Snowden Jr. literally wrote the book on "Blacks in Antiquity - Ethiopians in the Greco Roman experience", which actually received an award of merit from the The Society for Classical Studies (SCS), formerly known as the American Philological Association (APA) and although it's rather old (1970), it's still one of the most cited works on the subject of blacks in the Hellenic, Hellenistic and Roman world. On the subject of Ptolemaic activity in Lower Nubia and their relations with Meroitic Kush, the following excerpt is interesting (last paragraph in particular) 

Spoiler

 

1332895097_BlacksinantiquitySnowdenPtolemiesinNubia.thumb.jpg.d0d64372da2f2fc52eed82cf1cd9a726.jpg

 

 

 

"Aethiops" in Ptolemaic Egypt (archers, spearmen (?) and axemen):

Spoiler

Lower Nubians in the Palestrina Nile Mosaic, 100 BC, Roman, including archers (hunters? in upper section) and some unspecified melee infantry (middle section). The chitons they are wearing here is probably more accurate than the archaic Kushite archer look they originally had in-game. 

Nile_Mosaic.thumb.jpg.897e39976b447f94c86d7695e15513a2.jpg

1182180899_palestrinamosaicaethiopiansethiopianLowerNubianwarriors.thumb.jpg.d38df645f2e56d48ea245201c6a31919.jpg

gettyimages-122316686-2048x2048.thumb.jpg.cf19bb7dac3d10ef7fc2e586e971fb69.jpg

122648746_Palestrinanilemosaicethiopianaethiopianlowernubianarchers.jpg.e34ecf15fc20a6f8606ed4b36607d8a8.jpg

633255077_Praeneste_-_Nile_Mosaic_-_Section_2_-_Detailarchersnubian.thumb.jpg.ee86a6cb0bca4ad6dbfd03b51cec9945.jpg

 

Alexandrian Greco Roman terracottas of Aethiopian axe-men:

1571349871_Alexandrianaxeman.thumb.jpg.d85572fa4b0b06af917b4571666aec11.jpg

2145206687_KushiteNubianaxemenmercenariesEgyptPtolemaicandRomanera.thumb.jpg.ed9fa6f47329f1de13fa8cbbe1af4e8f.jpg

 

The aethiopian axe men can probably be best interpreted by looking at similar terracottas depicting foreign fighters, like the famous little sculpture of the naked Galatian warrior (left), which is often used as a reference for Ptolemaic Galatian troops. Then why not use the Nubian one (right) as a reference as well?

AN00016325_001_l.jpg.8358f6449710eb15e9a45fc79ac068ab.jpg

 

From a book on Hellenistic units including Ptolemaic auxiliaries and mercenaries:

1999580616_KingdomofKushKushitemilitarysoldiersmercenaryinegyptNubiansarcherspearmanaxemanreconstruction.thumb.jpg.ec2fbde1ec74f5219250a33507b94875.jpg

 

Even Angus McBride depicts them between the Galatian warriors and the African elephant which is ridden by an aethiopian mahout, by the way:

419319033_PtolemiesPtolemaicEgyptwarelephantparadeinalexandriaAngusMcBride.thumb.jpg.82525bece1435cbf5bbcb2f14d0f9d0a.jpg 

 

 

Edited by Sundiata
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, Sundiata said:

Nubian bowmen don't make a lot of sense as their main starting unit, but removing them from the roster entirely was probably a mistake.

Not necessarily. Those archers were also slow-moving, so bringing them back won't address the complaint about Walking Speed.

The usual strategy for Wood-gathering is to simply use Women anyway. Their numbers make up for the difference in gathering speed.

The main thing I'm gonna agree is that the Ptolemies shouldn't be limited to a single strat... and Rushing is the only practical strat for them.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, sphyrth said:

Those archers were also slow-moving, so bringing them back won't address the complaint about Walking Speed.

Those archers were a few alpha's ago, so it would be very odd to add them back in the game with a different speed than the Kushite archers, which is a fast moving unit. 

Anyway, I'm not really arguing to put the "Nubian" archers back in the Ptolemaic roster. They already have Cretan archers now... I was just going on a bit of a tangent in reaction to the removal of that unit, like 3 alpha's ago :P The axemen would be cool though :) They don't have axe units yet and "Ethiopian" axeman was definitely a thing in Ptolemaic Egypt. 

It doesn't negate the fact that Ptolemies are actually already one of the most played civilizations, second only to the Britons, if I'm not mistaken. 

Edited by Sundiata

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

- Ptolemies are  weaker then other civs but can progress fast in early game.
- Ptolemies are / can be fast/est growing civ - so if you lucky without rushes you can be first who max pop (no u can't do this with pikemen strategy at start - skrim has to be made)
- Ptolemies are rush friendly civ (because low cost on wood for houses, farmstead, stable, storage) but not that effective as long distance shots accuracy [have to go directly to the middle of army/women to ave high accuracy and risk hits]
- Ptolemies if rushing are vulnerable to counter-attack as their base is full of women ONLY (or few start infantry)
- Ptolemies camels are effective on women, ineffective on mostly rest of units (can snipe skrim and keep distance = time consuming difficult)
- Ptolemies is annoying civ when rushing but can be quite easy protected starting and building close to CC and making towers + outposts BUT you are buying time to your team...
- Ptolemies will lack in later phase of game due to weaker units but can contribute to team-game with tons of pikemen die wall + hero or others (only if rushing scenario at start)
- Ptolemies are quite vulnerable to rams attack until they make military colony and are able to make mercenary or fort
- Ptolemies are not great are not too bad - they have advantage in maps without wood, and disadvantages in maps like Mainland with lot of wood
- Ptolemies have slingers which can turn them into powerfull civ (until opponent has lot of cav) 
- Ptolemies in fact lacks cavalry or too expensive which does not make too much sense.
- Ptolemies have @#$%ing expensive barracks coz of stone (those things should cost same every civ I guess) or make some limited barracks for early stages
- Ptolemies play-style can be easy coz you just make toons of houses and you save lots of "planning and clicks" on the other hand other civs can make only one house cut wood and then manage to build another in right time (lot of focusing)
- Ptolemies can be universal coz they have siege towers, catapults, elephants, bolts.. So in fact thay have to have some limitation and they have. 
- Ptolemies are metal sensitive (but it is  obvious)
- Ptolemies are forced to expand to get metal, if you play them think of it. If they expand they are getting very more vulnerable if discovered in building phase

I guess they are balanced quite well which is not the case of celts civs :) or some archers civs which seems to be weaker (able to hold position but not that pushy)

 

Edited by go2die
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ptolemies are the best civ. Bordering on being overpowered late game. With the merc hero, mercs are crazy cheap. Plus, there is a fixed cost tech which literally promotes your whole army to rank 2.

When I stopped playing multiplayer, the whole meta kinda revolved around them.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Sundiata said:

Nubian bowmen don't make a lot of sense as their main starting unit, but removing them from the roster entirely was probably a mistake. From Ptolemy II onwards, the Ptolemies took turns with the Kushites ruling Lower Nubia, which is the area south of the 1st cataract (Philae, Elephantine and Aswan) and north of the 2nd cataract (between Buhen and Semna). They called it the Dodekaschoinos, and had garrisons there and undoubtedly made use of local troops to supplement their own as guard units or for their campaigns against Kush. The extent to which "Aethiopians" were used in the north of Egypt by the Ptolemies is difficult to say, but there are a number of depictions of "ethiopian" axe-men in Ptolemaic terracotta's from Alexandria.

Frank M. Snowden Jr. literally wrote the book on "Blacks in Antiquity - Ethiopians in the Greco Roman experience", which actually received an award of merit from the The Society for Classical Studies (SCS), formerly known as the American Philological Association (APA) and although it's rather old (1970), it's still one of the most cited works on the subject of blacks in the Hellenic, Hellenistic and Roman world. On the subject of Ptolemaic activity in Lower Nubia and their relations with Meroitic Kush, the following excerpt is interesting (last paragraph in particular) 

  Reveal hidden contents

 

1332895097_BlacksinantiquitySnowdenPtolemiesinNubia.thumb.jpg.d0d64372da2f2fc52eed82cf1cd9a726.jpg

 

 

  Reveal hidden contents

Lower Nubians in the Palestrina Nile Mosaic, 100 BC, Roman, including archers (hunters? in upper section) and some unspecified melee infantry (middle section). The chitons they are wearing here is probably more accurate than the archaic Kushite archer look they originally had in-game. 

Nile_Mosaic.thumb.jpg.897e39976b447f94c86d7695e15513a2.jpg

1182180899_palestrinamosaicaethiopiansethiopianLowerNubianwarriors.thumb.jpg.d38df645f2e56d48ea245201c6a31919.jpg

gettyimages-122316686-2048x2048.thumb.jpg.cf19bb7dac3d10ef7fc2e586e971fb69.jpg

122648746_Palestrinanilemosaicethiopianaethiopianlowernubianarchers.jpg.e34ecf15fc20a6f8606ed4b36607d8a8.jpg

633255077_Praeneste_-_Nile_Mosaic_-_Section_2_-_Detailarchersnubian.thumb.jpg.ee86a6cb0bca4ad6dbfd03b51cec9945.jpg

 

Alexandrian Greco Roman terracottas of Aethiopian axe-men:

1571349871_Alexandrianaxeman.thumb.jpg.d85572fa4b0b06af917b4571666aec11.jpg

2145206687_KushiteNubianaxemenmercenariesEgyptPtolemaicandRomanera.thumb.jpg.ed9fa6f47329f1de13fa8cbbe1af4e8f.jpg

 

The aethiopian axe men can probably be best interpreted by looking at similar terracottas depicting foreign fighters, like the famous little sculpture of the naked Galatian warrior (left), which is often used as a reference for Ptolemaic Galatian troops. Then why not use the Nubian one (right) as a reference as well?

AN00016325_001_l.jpg.8358f6449710eb15e9a45fc79ac068ab.jpg

 

From a book on Hellenistic units including Ptolemaic auxiliaries and mercenaries:

1999580616_KingdomofKushKushitemilitarysoldiersmercenaryinegyptNubiansarcherspearmanaxemanreconstruction.thumb.jpg.ec2fbde1ec74f5219250a33507b94875.jpg

 

Even Angus McBride depicts them between the Galatian warriors and the African elephant which is ridden by an aethiopian mahout, by the way:

419319033_PtolemiesPtolemaicEgyptwarelephantparadeinalexandriaAngusMcBride.thumb.jpg.82525bece1435cbf5bbcb2f14d0f9d0a.jpg 

 

 

@Mega Mania suggested that, remove Kushite archer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...