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Thorfinn the Shallow Minded

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Everything posted by Thorfinn the Shallow Minded

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Because Fremen in the desert wearing black for camouflage makes perfect sense... That was a weird movie.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. I am simply saying that turning it from visible to invisible, if possible, would probably be the easiest solution. I am no programmer and cannot comment on the difficulty of implementing specific things, but to my understanding, typically simple solutions are simple to implement. Actually representing miners as slaves is not very far from the truth. Many slaves who were given that status due to heinous crimes were sentenced to work such areas where life expectancy was quite low. Many impoverished people became slaves as a result of debt, so the idea of a beggar becoming a slave is not entirely out of the question since although they would not necessarily expect a great life, most of their daily needs would be met.
  15. As far as I seem RTS games are major abstractions, unlike city builders or grand strategy games, both of which oftentimes try to represent some of the nuances of their subject matter. The RTS game is far different with its approach, tending more towards simplicity. Examples include units and buildings taking seconds to complete. Thus, a complex system is not necessary to represent its subject matter. That is why a simple, intuitive option can be introduced that does the job even if it does not consider my hoplite Lysimachus' views on the advantages of olive production. As I more or less laid out before, slaves would be good economic units, yet they would be fragile and capable of being captured (I thought for a while about the idea of them being able to potentially run away, but as I saw, a mechanic like could be frustrating.) I would stress that slaves would in many cases be an efficient economic unit, but not necessarily that much better than other units. Freemen would be much like a typical unit yet only be able to advance to the second rank. Citizens would be able to advance to the third rank. There are exceptions to these rules: helots would behave differently, and technologies could possibly make the dynamics change. For instance Rome to my knowledge had some of the best social mobility for slaves, and a technology to represent that could be introduced. Anyways, just to reiterate the primary point of this topic, I merely think that when you look at a unit in game, it should not be called a 'citizen' if it was not historically such. The simplest option of removing that description. Worker does an adequate job of establishing their role outside of soldiering.
  16. The problem is that as already mentioned, slaves are at least mentioned in a technology anyways. Furthermore, 0 AD, like many RTSs requires players to commit virtual genocide to win, hardly an honourable course of action. I think that it is important to recognise that slavery in the ancient times could vary a good deal in how they were treated. There were clearly some people such as Cato the Elder who emphasised pragmatism when it came to the use of slaves over much more merciful practices. That all said, there were oftentimes chances for social advancement for slaves, and there could certainly be other cases of non-slavery in history in which people groups were treated significantly worse. Take for instance, the Leopold II in the Congo. The point being, just because there is the word 'slave' does not necessarily imply one of the greatest evils.
  17. I would say that it might be easier to balance than you might think with the current paradigm. Women are essentially the current dedicated labourers of the game (Which in some cultural cases is a bit odd as well, but I digress). Slaves were primarily used for mining purposes, much to the expense of the slave's quality of life. Making slaves good at quarrying and mining while competent but not exceptional at other tasks would be the best sort of approach. The disclaimer might not be a bad idea, but I think that maybe just giving a blanket statement to the effect of 'there are practices represented in game that we do not condone' might be simpler. 0 AD oftentimes is a game in which winning requires virtual genocide, just about as problematic as slavery to me.
  18. It may not be that important, but either the game should work to properly establish the social class of the units it represents or not do so at all. At the moment, I think that just removing the citizen class from units might be the simplest and and easiest option. If we want to actually represent social class in a simple but intuitive way, I did write up a potential framework that could be used, but that is obviously beyond the scope of this topic.
  19. At the moment any all non-champion, woman, or mercenary unit is called a citizen soldier, even when that is not the case. Merely assuming that non-slaves were citizens is an oversimplified approach to demographics of most ancient societies. In Athens, for instance, a good proportion of the population consisted of metics, who still paid taxes and served in the military but had few civil rights. An even more egregious example is Sparta, in which ironically all represented citizen-soldiers were not citizens. Thus, I propose that a different term be used to better reflect the social structure of these societies. Worker-Soldier or Soldier-Worker might be one valid approach, but I would be open to alternatives.
  20. Cool. That sounds good enough. Also, you were wondering about the kardakes. Essentially the role they were given was not really historically informed, making them be removed.
  21. If directional armour were in place, I would definitely agree with that, but it isn't at the moment. Considering the fact that the shield can only cover a limited amount of the body, that alone should not be factored in the equation. It doesn't matter how big your shield is if it is pointed in the wrong direction, and hoplites would clearly have the advantage. That all said, I think that Persian spearmen should be a cost effective ranged meatshield, just not necessarily much better than other on a one-to-one comparison level. On a different note I would say that I am definitely in the camp in favour of mercenary hoplites being available for Persian recruitment.
  22. I could see that argument for the basic level but scaling off as they level up (and generally do not use more armour). Hoplites wore armour that basically protected all of their vitals and probably would have had no major problem with arrows. Javelins? Maybe not. Again, if the Persians wanted to use meatshields, they hired Greeks for that purpose.
  23. The point is that compared to other heavy infantry of say the Greeks or Romans, Persian infantry did not hold up very well. There is a good reason that every major engagement against hoplites in the Persian Wars resulted in the Persians being defeated aside from Thermopylae, and we know how that went. The victory against the Lydians was in part due to Cyrus deploying camels that neutralised much of the Lydian own cavalry. This isn't to say that Persians had necessarily bad; Greeks just happened to be major outliers in how they fought. The most obvious reason behind making them a wee bit inferior is that by the end of those wars, the Persians adapted their military in one major way: they heavily recruited Greek mercenaries, something that honestly should be reflected in their tech tree.
  24. Numbers like that sound kind of insubstantial. Do you know how that marginal of a difference would translate into the game? I don't mean to sound skeptical, but incremental changes like that seem kind of pointless. My take would have been costing ten fewer resources at the cost of a 5% hitpoint reduction (Obviously the cheaper cost is a pretty massive economic boon, and I'm not sure if that specific stat nerf would be enough to compensate.).
  25. I think that for the Persians, if it is there, it should be easier to take advantage of but not necessarily as meaningful. For the most part their infantry should be cheaper but weaker, making them the anvil with cavalry acting as the hammer. I don't have much to say for the Maurya.
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