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Thorfinn the Shallow Minded

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Everything posted by Thorfinn the Shallow Minded

  1. There are a few minor quibbles here and there, but as a whole it seems good. Is there any reason that the Seleucids remain unchanged aside from the library?
  2. The spear/polearm being specifically designed to combat cavalry is a bit of an RTS convention; simply by virtue of much better reach spears were used by and large by all infantry regardless of whether they were facing cavalry or not. Whether a spearman would outperform a horseman one-on-one is a triviality in which matters of other equipment, training, etc,... complicate the matter. Even if the game does not embrace a battalion system, it would be nice for players to benefit from engaging in orderly formations. Even making it possible if only suboptimal would be a nice change of pace. I personally like to see my troops in proper battle lines, but the stand ground stance is annoyingly restrictive while the defensive stance goes too much in the other extreme.
  3. That is an unfortunate aspect of the current gamestate. In the past there were a few ways the original team though that they could be more useful. These included making individual target random units in the formation in such a way that ranged units and melee could never focus fire a single unit. Others included a number of buffs and debuffs. Phalanx for instance made hoplites generally tougher at the expense of being slower. Seeing just a few of these ideas in the game could perhaps make the mosh pit battles a less common occurrence.
  4. A lot of people have been throwing flak at Biden, and while I would not say the withdrawal was the best parade out of a country, I find it unfair to push all of the blame on him. Clearly he was acting on some intelligence, and the idea that the government would collapse in a number of weeks I would say blindsided much of the world, myself included. The New York Times has an interesting article on the matter that might be worth a read. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/18/us/politics/afghanistan-intelligence-agencies.html Obviously he could have delayed the pullout considering the warning signs, but that would have been political suicide. Keeping to the arranged time was arguably the best bad decision, but quite obviously mistakes were made by Biden and a large number of others.
  5. That I could generally get behind. It could even open up the divergent upgrades, one that focusses on pierce armour and the other that ups their melee attack so that in one case they could have better survivability in raids or in attacking ranged units, or in the other case being a force to be reckoned with in a pitched battle. I'm not sure if I would extend an option for champions to gain for all cases, but it could be cool to have one or two do so. To paraphrase Syndrome, if all champions gain experience, no champions gain experience. I guess that didn't really make much sense, but the point still stands.
  6. I edited the initial post to include a few suggestions I thought were good ideas along with a few additional thoughts and clarifications I thought of following the post. Skiritae are kind of weird in that they are regarded as a champion unit but don't actually fulfil that role since they are citizen soldiers. With this change Spartans would be the only faction with one champion (two if they had access to Spartan pikemen but I digress). This would be an interesting difference from others. As for Skiritae, them being super swordsmen is not really a proper approach to them; a more accurate one would be that they were one of the more mobile elements of the army that was generally higher quality than other non-citizens, and doing this would help show that in my opinion.
  7. Glad you do; giving any suggestions for changes or additions is obviously welcome. As a clarifier, Spartan Hoplites would never be able to be batch trained. That could quite obviously abuse their lack of any cost. One of the things I tried to do when writing up a list of examples was to go beyond the mere defined role. Think about Age of Empires II. A berserk was like a champion but also regenerated. Cataphracts were like knights but with a bonus versus infantry. Kataphracts having more armour could maybe work if they have a speed reduction as well. Hetairoi having more speed and a bonus versus infantry could work as viable trade off for not performing as well against cavalry. That said, I can't think of a historical justification for it, but not everything needs that.
  8. At the moment, aside from upgrades that exist for some civilisations, tests that I have made with champion units has revealed that they are for the most part completely identical. This means that in a one on one fight, an un-upgraded spartan fighting an immortal will always result in a tie. I am not criticising this vein of logic; it makes balancing easier by having identical stats for different classes, yet at the same time it seems like a lost opportunity. Champions should have defining features to them that flesh out the culture they came from. As such, I thought up a few potential changes to how some (not all) champions could be altered to better reflect this. Immortal: capable of swapping to archer mode at the cost of lower armour. Spartan Hoplite: free but extremely long training time and two population, can be trained in the Village Phase through a the Mess Hall, which has a building cap of one in the Village phase, 2 in the Town Phase, and 3 in the City Phase. They cannot be batch trained. Consular Bodyguard: buffed when by a hero. Sacred Band: buffs citizen soldiers within a small aura at the cost of taking up two population. British Chariot: incorporate transport aspect (see Geneva’s thread.). Naked Fanatic: ignores armour. Scythian Archer: buffed when fighting in friendly territory. Is trained at the Civic Centre. Marine: small movement buff to ships it is garrisoned within. Cataphract: Higher armour but slower speed. Hetairoi: Faster movement and bonus against infantry at the cost of a smaller bonus against cavalry. Skiritae: faster movement speed and starts trained at advanced rank instead of elite. These are just a few things I thought up that may not be practical to implement at the moment, but I think that a line of thinking like this would greatly help in characterising defining part of each civilisation.
  9. I would disagree with the last statement. Axes were often used by professionals throughout history. I would agree with the points about shields. Being two-handed is also not the only qualifier to being well suited against shields. The head could easily work as a means of catching weapons and shields in such a way as to displace them and create an opening. The general way I could see that reflected could be through a decent cancellation of armour when attacking.
  10. Player size is a major factor in choosing the right game for your family. Also, how competitive do they like games? How long of games are you looking for? Codenames is an excellent four player+ game, and if you wish to restrict the number to two players or have the game cooperative, I'd recommend Codenames duet. On a similar light complexity game, The Crew is an ingenious trick taking game that works well with three to four players but is functional at five. If you're looking for something a bit more meaty, there is Pandemic the board game, but I would warn that although that is a fantastic cooperative game, it can lead to a bit of a problem if one person asserts over everyone else. As a light asymmetrical wargame, I am a fan of Root, which functions best with 3-4 players, yet I would warn that it is very cutthroat and could vary in compatibility from one group to the next. Isle of Skye is phenomenally well designed and worth investigating, works well with up to 5 players, and tends to clock at around 45 minutes of play-time. RPG-wise, Gloomhaven is fantastic if you're willing to spend that much money (at this rate you might as well wait for it's sequel Frosthaven coming out next year.), yet I personally prefer Mage Knight; that game however is much more cerebral and might be for a more niche audience. If you want a heavy-weight civilisation game, I cannot recommend another game more strongly than Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilisation.
  11. I think that introducing a completely different slave mechanic simply seems to be an arbitrary way to put in more complexity than necessary. Citizens are trained in game rather than naturally spawning. Why should slaves be too different in that respect?
  12. Axes derive most of their advantage from concentrating the mass at the head, making them generally better at penetrating through armour. The issue is that that amount of weight makes them more cumbersome to use. I would suggest a unit with higher damage output but with worse melee defence capabilities.
  13. For Delenda Est I would say that is a fair argument; 0 AD I think can afford more granularity. As is the only overall change I am proposing is limiting promotions, which I would say is fairly minor. The point to be understood is why would a perioikoi hoplite fight as hard as an Athenian hoplite who is a citizen? Would they be capable of as much socio-economic mobility? In my opinion no, and this would do a decent job modelling that. Well can I assure you that I have never run for a political office and I would assume that most of my scholarly sources did not do the same; thus the system I proposed is not part of a political campaign. You warn against simplification but give no substantial objection to the proposed system, and if we look at the current game, it implicitly tells a variety of misconceptions about the societies through its labelling of almost everything 'citizen,' which I would say does not have a very different meaning today compared to then. I'm not saying that the proposal I gave that would affect gameplay is the best thing since butter and bread; in fact it's because most people here seem to care more about preserving the meta than experimentation that I said that simply removing the label citizen from descriptors would be an easier solution that deserves serious consideration.
  14. I would say for the most part that it would carry over to most cultures, but the tribal confederations of the Gauls and Iberians might require a slight bit of tweaking. Again, this is a general template. As far as it distorting the truth, it allows for a simplistic yet at least viable representation of social classes. If we compare that to the current game... Everyone is a citizen. That frankly is not how ancient world worked. Citizenship was a privilege that usually required both parents to be citizens. With an RTS simplicity is necessary. Is it over simplified? It does so no more than many other games of the genre. It would make some aspects of balancing the game a bit more rigid. Helots would be poor military units by and large, but I would point out that changes could be done to the roster to adjust. Supposing that a hypothetical mercenary camel archer was represented inaccurately as a citizen. It could be replaced by viable citizen alternative that reflects the social status of the unit and is more accurate. Honestly I think that these sorts of constraints would still generally work to diversify the somewhat homogenous rosters factions have. I would point out that distinctions between freemen and citizens at least as I mentioned above would probably not impact the game too dramatically. Changes like making them possibly worse at fighting in non-friendly territory to better reflect their general roles might affect this more though. This would make civilisations more asymmetrical and definitely complicate the game. I think that provided that there would be a decent tutorial to fluidly teach these things, that would not be an issue, yet I could be wrong. I think that there could be potential for this, but it would have to be balanced with considering how much more complexity it might introduce that would not be immediately apparent. 0 A.D. already has a fairly convoluted economic system in which units that move faster for fighting purposes also end up gathering more quickly. Complexity should not be introduced for complexity's sake.
  15. Because Fremen in the desert wearing black for camouflage makes perfect sense... That was a weird movie.
  16. I don't see the problem with it being a so-called decoration; it affects the game as I think social classes should given the abstractions RTSs allow. Adding unnecessary complexity is generally a bad idea for any game design, especially so in RTS games where there is only so much time a player can commit to doing various actions. It integrates well in my opinion with the current paradigm. That all said, the Celts would probably follow a slightly different schema. I am not much of an expert outside that area (for that matter I lack the academic qualifications to call myself even an 'expert' with Hellenic matters). For what little I do know about Celtic social structure, I could see a few key differences. First, there doesn't seem to be much of a large distinction between citizen and non-citizen to them, so citizen and freeman would probably be unnecessary designations given the slightly better social mobility they allowed. They did however clearly have a noble class, but probably the largest distinction that should be made was the important place druids had in the culture. By comparison, Greco-Romano priesthoods lacked the professionalism we might expect, and the office of Pontifex Maximus was more of a political than religious position (Julius Caesar even held it even though his Epicurean leanings would have probably clashed with the more traditional ideas behind the actions of gods with men.). Making druids appropriately capable of providing things such as gathering and combat buffs would reflect this. Slavery as well was a practice that could be represented.
  17. Allow me to summarise then. There could be four broad classes: nobles, citizens, freemen, and slaves. For our purposes champions and mercenaries are not considered in the framework. Nobles: for where this is pertinent, nobles would often be the cavalry units that would be composed of echelons of society. They would be trained at advanced rank and could have minor combat bonuses to their stats, possibly at the cost of taking up two population. Citizens: generally the same function and designation as current citizen soldiers. Examples would be hastati, Macedonian pikemen, and some lower class cavalry. Freemen: roughly the same as citizen soldiers. They would only promote to the advanced rank at most. Examples could include perioikoi, metics, and socii. Slaves: purely economic units that would have a bonus to mining and quarrying. Capture of them would be possible. Note that there would be exceptions to these rules. Skiritai would be one as well as helots in all probability. These would merely serve as a template that would adapt based on the societal norms of each faction.
  18. I would personally like to contend that I have developed a fairly good system. The only major source of dissent is the potentially insensitive treatment it might imply with slaves, but generally I haven't heard much backlash against it, and there has been plenty of time for critics to voice their objections (in fairness I posted that on the balance forum). A few people seem to have liked it in fact. That said, it is only a broad suggestion; I would not bother working any more into hassling with the specifics unless there was a fairly good assurance that it would be incorporated into the game. If you have any suggestions or a different idea, I would be glad to hear some feedback.
  19. True. I think that the first action should be to differentiate between citizen and non-citizen. Then, I think that things such as technologies could do a good job of capturing some social dynamics within civilisations. For Rome it could be maybe a technology pairing of siding with the optimates or the populares. The former side could improve champions, cavalry, principes, etc,... The latter could improve the recruitment costs of infantry. For Athens it could be a technology related to juries and could give their ships extra movement and their basic rank (citizen) units a minor buff. I will admit that a mere name change is probably a hassle, but I doubt that it would cause mass outrage. Given that maybe an overhaul would be better. Thanks for weighing in. My point is that there could be a bit of a spectrum here that could both better reflect some of the social classes and helping to allow for a system that could even improve the gameplay by introducing more depth with each civilisation.
  20. You are correct, but there is a major distinction. Killer blows were mostly done by hoplites and armies in general once the opposing army was retreating and had their backs turned and their shields thrown away. Macedonians using cavalry is a bit circumspect to the issue; it made their phalanx significantly more effective, but not necessarily less capable in the offence. This is a bit of an exception to the norm, but the Battle of Sphacteria was one in which light infantry alone practically defeated the enemy army. A point to be made is that when enemies rout, that is when they are most vulnerable to getting killed by things like projectiles, and most casualties took place after the battle itself; light infantry excel in that role.
  21. Not to necessarily outright contradict you, but that description fits for practically all heavy infantry: hoplites, legionnaires, etc,... The question at hand is to ask which tank should be the tankiest and how.
  22. I decided to do some of my own testing based on your work. The first thing I noticed is that first of all a basic swordsman versus a pikeman wins with 41 of the total hitpoints. Personally I would say that kind of one-sidedness is a bit much. Next, swordsmen seem to have too much range themselves. The advantage of range should be that the unit should not have to spend time moving to select a new target, but the second rank of swordsmen somehow are able to attack pikemen as well. Probably with that units could afford to take up a slightly larger footprint for pathing, especially when not in formation. All of these factors seem to make the current iteration of pikemen untenable as a frontline melee unit outside of being a damage sponge. Battalion suggestions intensify.
  23. I was being a bit hyperbolic there and speaking in general terms; also that's a bit of a strawman argument. The point about decreasing pierce armour as alre said would be a good way of introducing a valid Achilles heel to this unit (Which I should remind you I also said in that post). Instead of being a tank, they would turn into effective fighters is cases where numbers are high. When I said straight up fight, I was referring to melee when massed, and a still stand by that position in that specific context. Pikemen could potentially still lose in one-on-one fights against their infantry counterparts. The point I would make is that the differences should be marginal. I could see swordsmen being maybe a bit faster than spearmen and pikemen being a bit slower than them, but the point is not to turn them into human turtles. I would agree. At the moment pikemen have to basically be on standground to take advantage of the extra range, and an increase would make it become a less niche ability.
  24. I would point out that despite pikemen carrying a long pike, that weighed, if we are to believe wikipedia, 14 pounds, they compensated by wearing much less obtrusive equipment. Their shields were smaller and their armour tended to be lighter. An example of their flexibility on the field could be seen in the Battle of Guagamela in which the pike formation was able to move out of the path of Darius' scythe chariots, ensuring that the brunt of the Persian shock force died to the harassment of missile troops. Pikemen should move more or less at the same speed as other infantry, not significantly slower. They should be able to resist melee attacks fairly well yet be somewhat vulnerable to missiles. The key strength, I will reiterate, is that they should be able to make use of their range; currently the range of the pikeman is roughly half of its real-world counterpart. Thus their strength should be when massed, being able to beat virtually everything in a straight-up fight.
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