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Posts posted by kephra

  1. Moin,

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but as I understand it the Ekdromoi's light armor doesn't guarantee that he will be able to catch a peltast, but to exit the phalanx formation when the situation requires, fight in loose formation and push the enemy skirmishers away since the peltasts are smart enough to avoid a direct melee with even the lightly armored Ekdromos.

    but currently the Ekdromoi behave like super peltasts, who are faster, have better armor and more punch than a normal peltast, while the idea of real Ekdromos had been to have light hoplites who are fast runners, fight in open or lose formation to hunt down peltast, to counter peltasts. The current Ekdromos are one of the strongest units, but they make Greek feel wrong, because they are implemented as ranged and not as melee. Make them extreme fast running, medium armor infanty, that has bonus again bows and javelins, and malus against heavy infantry.


  2. Moin,

    there are few troops I would like to be different: The first two changes would be easy, the third difficult at the current stage.

    Ekdromos had been out runners to counter Peltasts, so they should be light Hoplites, able to run fast enough to catch a Peltast, with good armor against arrows and javelins, but not enough armor to stand in the line of battle.

    The basic Persian Asabari should wield a bow and not a javelin, imho. The Persians preferred the higher range and larger ammunition of a bow, over the short range but higher punch javelin. Greeks preferred the opposite.

    The immortal Anusiya had been mounted infantry with bow, spear and shield. An intermediate solution would be to have troops who have both ranged and short weapons, and who will use the ranged weapons till contact. Unmounting cavalry and handing the horses to the supply train, would require a supply train in 0ad. I fear this is out of question for the next year. But I want both infantry and cavalry that is able to weaken down an opponent with bows, and then closing up to melee. So please, give Persian both types of immortals, and give them the flexibility of both ranged and melee combat.


  3. Moin,

    Others aspects are more strategic than psycological:

    The discussion drove away from the more important psychological aspects of a battle to small numbers. These small numbers have only a linear influence on the outcome of battles, while the sheer number of troops has a square influence and psychological aspects out weight both (*). This is perhaps because most people here do not come from a wargamers background but from computer games. So lets try to focus back on psychological aspects.

    A cavalry charge against infantry with long spears will certainly fail, if the infantry are regular soldiers, and likely succeed if they are drafted peasants. Regular soldiers will stand and block the cavalry, while peasants will fail the moral test and run. A game that does not implement those basics of ancient warfare might be still nice to play, but it does not feel right.

    Also discipline is an important point. How does a unit react, if skirmishers attack it in short hit and runs. Will they stand in formation, or try to catch them? How does a troop react that is ordered to hold position, if attacked by a smaller unit, who flees after first contact. Will they stand or pursue? Is it possible to kill the enemy by pulling his troops into traps?

    Next come to the role of a unit. Ranged infantry might be skirmishers or archers. The first prefer a hit and run, the later a stand a deliver approch. Greek momentum hoplites have distinct fighting style to Roman impact legionaries and a total different outcome of the battle(*). Currently both are only differented in ranged and close combat.

    One thing I did not mention in the first post was the fog of war and the chain of command. There should be a general on the field, and the player should only see those parts of the map directly that are in line of sight of the general. He could only order troops in line of sight directly, and must use messengers to communicate to other troops. I did not mention it, because implementing a chain of command would result in a total different game, while implementing morale, discipline and role would improve the existing game.


    (*) To be precise Hoplites fight under Lanchester's Linear Law while Legionaries fight with Lanchester's Square Law.

  4. Moin,

    as told above, GPL does not forbit earning money. A good share of my income comes for maintaining a software I've published under GPL in 1996.

    But releasing an ad-ridden 0ad, would certainly cause someone to patch it, to remove the ads. So I would go a path similar to Second Life:

    - The Game itself is free GPL'ed open source.

    - The Lobby server will generate money, by showing ads or selling vanity.

    Lets hand wave two possible business models:

    - Advertisments on the lobby server could generate a small income, at least big enough to cover the server costs.

    - A lobby server could implement a meta game as the following:

    Players join a faction by login. Each player earns influence by being idle to defend that faction. He needs this influence to attack and to buy mercenaries. So a non-greek player might hire Greek hoplites or peltasts before an attack, but he has to play influence to attack and influence for the option of hiring a mercenary. A defending player can pay influence, if he wants to boost his defense by the option of hiring mercanaries also. Both still have to build the embassy in game, and pay metal and wood (but no food) for the mercenaries, and have to pay the influence before the game starts for the option regardless if they use it or not.

    Some Numbers:

    - 1 Influence Point = 1 minute idle in defense of your faction = US$0.01

    - Attack cost = 30 points to attack someone of your own faction, 15 points to attack a different faction

    - Mercenaries = 1 point per mercenary option, 20 points per embassy, 20 points per troop type

    - Players who do not idle to defend or fight can offer their promoted troops they kept form prior combat as mercenaries to others, will earn half the influence payed.

    - Players who win a fight as attackers earn 10 influence points. Players who win a fight as defenders earn half the influence points the attacker spend.


    A Carthagian player wants to attack a Roman player, with the option to hire 20 Iberian Scrutinary. He knows that a friend offers 32 advanced and elite Scrutinary currently. A third player offers 8 advanced Scrutinary. He has to pay 55 influence: 15 influence to attack the Romans, 20 influence for the mercenary, and 20 influence for the embassy. His friend earns 16 influence, and the 3rd player 4 influence. He will earn 10 influence points, if he wins, while the Roman player can earn 22 influence, if he successfully defends.

    Nobody would be forced to pay US$ by this schema by the impatient players will do. The lobby server could become a cash cow, as long, as the majority of players prefer the official server over an obscure 3rd party hack. I'm sure people would pay for influence, if there are several ways to pay and not only paypal and credit card.


  5. Moin,

    I started wargaming in pre-computer era, tin soldier tabletops with books full of army list and rules. And I'm missing 3 aspects of ancient warfare:

    Discipline: This value tells how a unit follows commands. How fast they group into formation. If they obey stand and defend orders in seight of an enemy and the like. Typical values could be Regular, Irregular, Drafted, Barbarian, and Fanatics.

    Morale: This value tells how many casualities a group of can stand before they retreat or flee.

    Role: The role reflects how a unit will behave in combat. Typical are Skirmish (e.g. Peltast), Archers (e.g. Archemenid Bows), Block (most spear and shield troops), Shock (legionaries), or Momentum (hoblites).

    Does 0ad plan to add those 3 aspects?


  6. Moin,

    Hmmm, not sure about that. I've managed to personally pwned 3 Jubot AIs with nothing but Ekdromoi and a handful of Lithoboloi.

    But Ekdromoi had not been super Peltast, but counter Peltast, historically. They had a ligher Apsis, no leg guards, and no body armour, to leave phalanx formation and to outrun Peltast.

    My vote for the strongest faction currently is Carthago. They have a wide range of siege engines, a good combi of house troops, elephants, sacred band, mercenaries, ...


  7. Moin,

    I like the hebrews, even if there are more important armies to finish first (Persian, Rome, Germans, Indians, Mongols, Chinese, ...)

    The problem that they have lots of badly equipped, highly motivated troops. Naked fanatic men with swords.

    So once 0ad implements fanatics, who do not obey a stand order, and always attack, the hebrew would come handy as a test.

    Civ center should offer:

    Light infantry with swords.

    Benjaminites: Light infantry with stone slings.

    Light cavalry with javelin.

    Taktikum should give in addition:

    Fanatic Swordsmen

    Fanatic Javelinmen

    Hebrews have historically not been known for siege engines, if we dont count the Ark of the Covenant and the trumps of Jericho. But the Benjaminites had been hired as mercenaries in several battles, to bombard walls with stones, and even Hippodamos mentioned them, when talking about the strength of walls and towers. So the stones slings should double for sieges.

    One question is, if they had a good navy. The sea people and Hyksos had both been semitic tribes, and known for sea worthy vessels. Also Phoenician and Carthago had been semitic, but those had been total different civilsations in their own right. Palestine is close to the coast, so they should at least have fishing boats, and merchants vessels.

    So on the plus side for a hebrew army would be: Fanatics and Benjaminites, while the bad side are a lack in real siege engines, the lack of momentum troops (long spear and shield), and the lack of a real navy. Tactics would be to weaken the enemy with massive stone showers, and to crush them with fantatics in a shock of impact.


  8. Moin,

    *w00t* I've play tested the Persians. Setting SelectableInGameSetup to true in binaries/data/mods/public/civs/pers.json allows to use them on a random map.


    Several units lack an icon.

    The chariot unit display as a normal man.

    There are no siege engines for Persia yet.

    But its possible to play Persia, look at progress, and *w00t* at the new buildings and units.


  9. Moin,

    for following /trunk/ the Windows users have a binary, while Linux users prefer to compile for themself.

    The current fps bottleneck is not the graphics or IO, but somewhere in AI pathfinding/economy update, iirc. So both Windows and Linux become really slow sometimes, independent of OS.


    PS: It looks as if AI compute scripts/plan setup/economy update eats a lot of time, once an AI lost its civ center.

  10. Moin,

    I've play tested Carthago a bit more - and I even if I really like them, I fear they are overpowered currently.

    1 The civ center combination of Spear Infantry, Bow Infantry and Javelin Cavalry is super strong. Carthago was not known for good own troops, but known to prefer mercenaries.

    Solution: Make them weaker than other civ center troops

    2 The sacred band is a very strong block troop

    Solution: Make them more expensive

    3 Elephants are super strong, as they can both function to stop troops and to crush buildings

    Solution: Make them population 3 or even 4

    4 Mercenaries can be used as workers and increase rank by experience

    Solution: Mercenaries should only come in 'A'dvanced rank only, and should not accept work task

    5 They have the best fleet

    Thats ok ;-)

    I know balance playtesting might not yet on topic, as other important civilisations are missing,

    so, just my $0.02,


    PS: thanks to bruno for applying my small patch http://trac.wildfire....com/ticket/981 after irc cha

    PPS: applying all ideas might make Carthargo to weak. So I suggest 3 and 4 and playtesting again.

  11. Moin,

    One idea is to give Carthage a special build ("Embassy"?) where they are trained.

    I've updated my trunk recently and *w00t* for the Embassies !

    I like those mercenaries who do not cost food but metal. But I would prefer if they come in advanced level only, so they are better than fresh own troops, but not as good as own elite troops.


  12. Moin,

    *w00t* for the Carthago preview in svn trunk !

    I really like the buildings and troops. But I have a few questions:

    Carthago was known to prefer mercenaries instead of fighting themself. 0ad reflects this, as most units are not from north africa. But I wonder, why are those mercenaries able to gain experience/loot. It would be better, imho, if those mercenaries are treated like super units, and not gain experience. An other suggestion is that those mercenaries dont rez in civil center or barracks but in special buildings. So one should build an Iberian house to get access to Iberian slingers.

    The question is what kind of native troops should Carthago have? My army list only has Punic heavy cavalry (spear, shield) and citizen spearmen (long spear, shield) as native troops and Gallic, Iberian, and Nubian as mercenaries.

    The castle does not offer siege machines. Only Hero's and the elephant. Will Carthago get war machines?

    The heros can not garrison in any building, lack stats and gimmicks. I guess, there is a bit more work at this point missing.


  13. Moin chaosislife,

    Another idea is to have ranged units dart back to the barracks or something once they've run out of ammo in order to restock but that would mean leading the enemy straight back to your base which could be a tactical loss if they didn't already know where the base was. (assuming you're not playing against the AI which is, as we all know, sodding omniscient)

    My idea would that one can select for troops what to do when to run out of ammo - Either stand and fight with melee weapons or run back to a supply tack wagon, or in absense of a supply wagon to next castle, tower or civil center.


  14. Moin,

    currently 0ad ranged weapons are far more effective than they had been in ancient combat for two reasons:

    - Melee troops can not catch them, because they dont charge. Instead they walk at same speed as ranged troops retreat, stop short, and hack air.

    - Ranged weapons have infinite ammunition. It would be better, if javelins were limited to 3 and arrows to 30 shots.

    I think the first problem, is already on the wishlist of many players. But the second would require a new unit type for supply wagon. So ranged troops that run out of ammunition will retreat to their civil center, the next tower, barrack, fortress or supply wagon to rearm.


  15. Moin Mythos,

    Secondary attacks aren't implemented yet. The hotkey for the secondary attacks I hope will be the Alt key. (Alt-RightClick to attack with secondary weapon.)

    I would prefer if those units have one of two buildin behavoirs:

    - Skirmishers, e.g. Persian immortals, will prefer their ranged weapons and only use melee weapons to defend themself, and to finish enemies at low health.

    - Shock troops, e.g. Roman legionaries, will charge enemies and throw their ranged weapons short before impact.


  16. Moin Mythos,

    Hi. Thanvabara would not be the best word for Archer?

    *hm* Thanvabara are pure light bow men, and would restrict the units in armor and weaponry. While Pasti is the basic word for infantry, so advanced could have an armor and elite an additional spear as melee weapon. The alternate would be to keep them pure bow men, and only raise armor and to hit probability.

    My idea was to claim 'Every Persian learned to shot a bow, ride a horse and speak the truth'. So basic Pasti and Asabari start with a bow. The 3rd basic unit would then be the Sparabara, as someone has to stand in front with a spear and shield wall.

    EDIT: The basic Sparabara having no shield is a mistake, which I have just fixed. :)


  17. Moin,

    this is my first posting here, but I'm following 0ad for a while and even submitted two patches to trac. I was playing WRG and Shock of Impact, focused on Achaemenid army. So I would like to see Persians here, sooner or later. And have some thoughts how their troops might fit into 0ad.

    Civic Centre:

    - Woman

    As usual - but more beautiful than greeks ;-)

    - Sparabara

    Translation: Shield bearer

    Basic: Light infantry with Sinam (long spear) and Spara (big paravise like shield)

    Advanced: Medium armor, helmet, good combat and morale

    Elite: Heavy armor, helmet, elite combat and morale

    Notes: The Spara is giving the name for this unit providing perfect protection against archery

    - Pasti

    Translation: Citizen foot soldier

    Basic: Light infantry starting with a bow

    Advanced: Medium infantry with bow

    Elite: Medium infantry with bow and medium spear

    Notes: The bow was the most common weapon for citizen in Persia

    - Asabari

    Translation: Horse rider

    Basic: Light cavalry with a bow

    Advanced: Medium cavalry with bow

    Elite: Medium cavalry with bow and medium spear

    Notes: Every persian knows to ride, to fire a bow and to speak the truce


    - Takabara

    Translation: Taka bearer

    Notes: Same as basic greek peltast

    Fortress & Special Buildings:

    - Anusiya Asabari

    Translation: Companions

    Heavy cavalry with long spear and javelin

    Notes: Eran-Spahbed Suren-Pahlav was leading 400 Azad and 50.000 Anusiya against Mark Antony

    - Anausa Asabari

    Translation: Immortal cavalry

    Heavy cavalry with bow and long spear

    - Anausa Arstibara

    Translation: Immortal apple bearers

    Heavy mounted infantry with bow, gerrhon (8 shield) and sinam (long spear)

    Notes: Anausa fight mounted with either bow or spear and is able to unmount to fight with spear and shield or bow. I guess 0ad need two troops for this.

    Heros: (in addition to the wiki)

    - Eran-Spahbed Suren-Pahlav

    Noble (Azat) Hero with Anusiya equipment

    Those would be the basic troops.

    So Persian home army has lots of archers and cavalry. But Persian empire was know of hundreds of clients, who also served in the army. Median, Kissian, Bactrian, Parthian, Arab, Sakae, Armenian, Paphlagon, Medizen, Thessalian, Hyrkanian, Caspian, Indian, Lydian, Chaldean, Thracian, Mycian, Phoenician, Milyan, Bithynian, Lycian, Sogdian, Arian, Pisidian, Paricanian, Sarangian, Colchian, Moshian, Ethiopian, Cabalian, Egypt, Libyan, ... - some of them are interesting e.g. arab usabaris (camels), indian elephants, scytian or lybian chariots, but most normal troops often with only light armor and low morale. The idea here would be that Persian houses cost 150 wood plus 150 stone to give a population bonus of 10 and to offer one random client troop.

    Some notes to the wiki:

    - The basic Sparabara without shield as in the wiki does not make sense. Spara is a shield, a shield bearer without a shield is naked

    - The wiki mixes Anausa with Anusiya, immortals with noble heard troops.

    - Several units have both a range and a melee weapon. I fear this needs some time till 0ad can cope with them.

    ciao,Kephra (aka kraehe in irc)

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