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KingAJ last won the day on April 4 2015

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  1. Its already difficult enough to get them though large crowds with the collisions. This might be a good idea to slow rams down. The rams would take up 0 pop, and would spawn right next to the fort unable to move. The player would need to garrison 5 soldiers inside to make it move. That might help cut back on spam, since they would take more clicks to get setup. Big, expensive and powerful units should take some time and effort to get up and running.
  2. There was a big difference between a16 and a17. Average game time in a16 was around 30-40 minutes, with some rushers winning in under 10 minutes. Some games were ended early by skirm cav rushes, while others went on for an hour and became gridlocked by forts. I really liked the balance between rushing and booming in a16. The skirm cav rush became pretty popular near the end, but I never had any problems countering it by being careful. Average game time in a17 was less than 15 minutes, with long games being 25 minutes. You could kill a CC with maybe 20-30 troops, so there was no reason to hit age 3. The popular tactic was to do a population boom until around 10-12 minutes, start age 2 upgrade, and then send your entire 110ish man army over to attack. You would hopefully hit age 2 right as your troops entered the enemy town, which gave them a 20% boost. Average game time in a18 seems well over 35 minutes, with short games being around 25 minutes. A normal game seems around 45 minutes. The CC is tough to kill, and even stronger players have to hit age 3 to get siege equipment to finish off weaker players. It could take 100 citizen troops at age 2 in a frontal assault to kill a CC even against a newer player. I did manage to defeat an experienced player once by rushing cav archers, but it still took 20+ minutes to frustrate him enough before he quit. I like the strong CC, but having the other buildings be weaker would help with rushing, and might cut down on game time. Maybe the skirm cav dynamics could be changed? I like them having low health and armor, but they should be the kind of unit that would charge in, chuck one javelin, and then run away. Maybe they could having something like 50+ pierce and 15+ crush attack, but only at one attack every 3-4 seconds? That could reward players who micromange. If you left the horses standing there, they would get killed pretty easily. Skirm cav shouldn't be able to stand on the front lines and fight like they could in a16. It would also be cool if you could use them to kill buildings like storehouses. As far as game time goes, I think a16 had the right balance. Strong players could finish weaker ones off within 10 minutes, but a game between two even opponents could last for an hour. So if you play for 3 hours one night, you spend most of your time in a fun battle against evenly matched opponents.
  3. Back on the subject of a18 feeback... Stone forts and CC's shouldn't be offensive weapons. Its a common tactic now for people to plop them down right on the border of a town, rather than attack with troops. They cost less stone than 2 catapults. I know the game is about claiming territory, but its absurd that they are best weapon for attacking towns. I know it was common for invading armies to construct wooden palisades around besieged towns, but stone forts took generations to build. -Make them well over 1000 stone and wood. -A limit of 2-3 of each or maybe 5 total between the two. So like you have to decide if you want to make more CC's, or more forts. -They should take way longer to build. Like 2-3 times as much. -Allow all civs to construct wooden defensive buildings in neutral territory to help with town attacking. Like wooden towers, palisades, and wooden forts like the roman ones or the outpost. -Allow all civs to make wooden army camps to claim territory. -Have a timer that prevents players from instantly rebuilding a CC when its lost, like 60 seconds or so. They are so cheap, that players just spam them all over the map. I just played a 50 minute game against an experienced player, and it wasn't very fun. He kept making CC's and forts all over the map, and I kept knocking them down. I tear down all his stuff on my left side, and he builds all over my right. I tear down his right side stuff, and he builds again on my left. I attack his main town, and he just lets it burn while he builds another somewhere else. He eventualy lagged out, and I had a 6 K/D ratio against him with about 2/3 of the resources he had. I won every battle and repelled every attack, but he just kept building and building. I know I could've won by doing the same thing he did by randomly building CC's and forts everywhere, but that's not fun. Chasing small groups of units who are trying to flank you with forts and CC's isn't fun. I've watched a few games between aggressive and experienced players become a complete and random mess of CC's and forts everywhere. The map looks like a modern art painting with all the colors and shapes everywhere, as players try to get CC's in every last nook in the map, rather than just fight and get the game over with. The game needs focus and a more clear objective. I like the idea of the game revolving around forts and CC's, but the spam needs to be reduced. Killing a fort or a CC should be a big objective and really swing the tide of the game. They should be big, expensive and powerful buildings, not cheap spammable cannon fodder. It should be a real accomplishment to build a CC with a few protecting forts, and losing them should be catastrophic.
  4. Supposedly the pikes themselves shielded soldiers from missile weapons. In the Philip/Alexander Macedonian formations, the guys in the front rows had large shields and short spears, while the guys in the back rows would carry the long 2 handed pikes with little or no shield. That's the main reason that the formation was vulnerable from behind. In later times, the Romans had success in cutting though the pikes by hacking them like tree branches with their swords, so that's the reason pikemen should be countered by swordsmen in the game. I read that on Wikipedia, so take it with a grain of salt. I think its fun having units with different strengths and weaknesses. A17 was a little too mosh pit like, so I like the direction things are going.
  5. I was pretty well pinned in my town by a player who was way better than me. I managed to stay alive by being careful, and slowly built up a force of around 60 upgraded champ archers. He kept sending waves of infantry and rams at me, and the archers picked them off while my citizen guys gathered. The archers were able to take cover behind buildings. I couldn't destroy the forts that he ringed by town with, but I manged to sneak my archers past them and killed a few CC's. Those 60 archers formed a pretty tight and maneuverable box, and its tough to bring enough firepower to bear to beat them. One volley would kill 2-4 bad guys, so that's 4-8 kills per second. So a force of 80 is dead within 15 seconds. He got frustrated and quit.
  6. But what If I make 100+ champ archers? They do seem balanced in test battles against units of equal cost, but there's something about the way real game battles shake out that makes them near unbeatable. I think players tend to move their troops in small waves, and those get chewed up by the champ archers. You would need 2x the number of troops, and you would need them all to engage the champ archers at the same time. And then you would need to be against an inexperienced player who doesn't foresee his champ archers impending doom and leaves them to die. And then you would need an open field with no obstacles to break up your larger army. Any experienced player will retreat until its more of a 1:1 ratio, where the champ archers can massacre the citizen troops. So you need perfect conditions to be able to beat them with units of equal resource cost. Plus if I knew you had more than 2x the number of soldiers I did, I wouldn't even come out to fight. I would stay turtled up until I built up at least 80 champs. Scythe said he would nerf archers in general for the next version, so all my posting is just in good fun. Messing around with tactics and strategies is all just part of the fun of the game for me.
  7. I always split my troops into groups, and have grown used to that by just hitting the number. The more you play, you'll start finding your own way to use the numbered groups, and it will become second nature when your in a game. 1 is usually a scout cav. I make this at the start, and use it to send my starting scout cav all over the map. If he dies, I make another and use it to search for enemy CC's being built. I keep him in stand ground mode. 2 is normally my barracks. I use it to train batches of troops. 3 is my cav. I use them for killing rams and catapults. Sometimes archers. Kept in no formation and defensive mode. I sometimes use them to protect siege equipment. 4 is my siege equipment plus guards. Normally 5-10 spearmen per catapult, ram, or elephant. I keep them in box formation with stand ground. The spearmen are there just to eat arrows and keep cav away from the siege. 5 is my main infantry. Usually a mix of ranged and melee infantry, with a few healers. I keep them in box formation and stand ground, but switch them to aggressive right before a fight. If I need horses in a battle to kill some rams or something, I just hit 3 and click on the ram. If I need to train reinforcements, I hit 2 and shift Z,X,or Y, and right click a rally point where I need them. When I need to advance my main infantry, I just hit 5, and right click. If I need to kill a fort, I hit 4 and move them within catapult firing range. The point of the numbers is that you don't have to be looking at whatever your wanting to select, and it really saves time. If someone does the sneaky ram attack on my town while I'm attacking, I can quickly send my horses back to kill them without having to scroll over the map looking for them. Pikes are the only unit that benefit from staying and fighting in formation. They can attack from 3 rows deep, and a 25 unit square in stand ground mode works well. Your probably only going to have 2-3 formations like that in a game though.
  8. Here is what spamming Athenian champ archers will get you. I made around 80 of them, protected by 35 champ hoplites. They killed everything those three sent at me, with almost no losses. Soul sent a full 150+ man army of citizen archers and sword cav against me. The archers killed them all with no losses, while i lost around 35 citizen spears. I think strong champ units are cool, but if they are going to be that powerful, they need to be way more expensive. Once Soul and yellow left, I attacked green with 80 champ archers and 35 champ spears. I probably killed over 100 troops, including a dozen elephants, and I didn't lose a single man. None of my guys were even down 25% on health. Obviously I still had him outnumbered and should won easily, but he didn't even come close to killing a single one of my champ archers.
  9. Lol, I forgot about that +25% hoplite health upgrade in my test battles. I repeated the same battles, and the hoplites just won every time with lots of losses. A few more small things I've noticed: -A fully garrisoned ship is wayyy more powerful against troops than a fort. I've seen a few people basically use them as shore forts on oasis. If their wood cutters get attacked, they just garrison them on the ship, and blast the bad guys away. If the ship gets sunk, they automatically get dropped off on shore with no damage taken. Its a good tactic, but that ship shouldn’t be more powerful than a stone fort. -The game seems more stable. I haven’t had one game crash yet. -Ranged units sometimes run away from their target. It seems to happen when they are in a large formation. The units in the back row run away until they are at max range, and then start firing. -Rams are weird. I think its great that they are armored against pierce and powerful against buildings, but they are just too darn hard to stop with civs that don’t have cheap hack dealing units like the Macedonians. Would it be possible to implement a dynamic where the ram stops moving or slows to a crawl if it comes under hand to hand attack? -The defensive pikes have the right idea, but they could use a touch more armor or more attack. I think its cool how they are at their best in tight formations since they have long attack range and can fight three deep. But they lose to almost everything but horses in equal numbers, including citizen spearmen. 10 champion Athenian archers won easily against 25 pikes with only 3 losses.
  10. I've not seen anyone use those in a game yet. The stats look the same though, unless you do the +range, -health upgrade. For kicks I just did a test battle. All units fully upgraded. 17 champ female archers w/ range upgrade + hero elphant VS. 17 sparties + Leonidas. When the hoplites attacked the elephant, I lost the elephant and two archers. When the hoplites attacked the archers, I lost 15, and the elephant had about 500 HP left. The archers won everytime though. The sparites will kill the archers hand to hand in an open field, but that doesnt happen in game. If the archers have just a slight bit of cover or fall back, the sparites are toast. So those archers are going to win like 99% of the time in a real game. I was also able to kill Leonidas with 17 archers before he even reached them to fight, while most of the hoplites died trying to kill the hero elephant. A player who micomanages with those upgraded champ archers is going to win a lot....
  11. All units fully upgraded: 25 Athenian archers + hero that gives 1+ armor vs 15 champ roman swords, 5 bolt shooters, hero sword cav that gives +5 attack. Athenian archers killed everyone with 12 losses. They killed most of the swords before they even closed in. Then they killed the hero cav, and then they picked off the bolt shooters 1 at a time. That’s like 2500K worth of metal killed while only losing 600 metals worth. 20 Athenian archers vs. 15 consular sword cav. Athenian archers won with 13 losses. The sword cav cost twice as much though. One 250 metal bolt shooter dishes out 35 pierce/sec with 100 HP fully upgraded, while 5 Athenian archers of equal cost dish outs 124 pierce per second with 600 HP. Since units have such high crush armor, the 7 crush attack/sec of the bolt shooter seems negligible. There’s no other units where 250 metal gives you nearly that much firepower. Sparties come close, but they don’t have a 72 meter range.
  12. The Athenian Champion archers are way too overpowered. I did some atlas test, and champ sword units seemed to counter them well, but it doesn’t work that way in games. I think the more cramped battles in actual games give them cover, and the sword units have a hard time getting to their targets. I lost 30 champ swords, 35 citizen swords, and 30 horse archers against maybe 15 champ spears and 40ish champ archers. I killed the spears, but only managed to kill a few archers. My horse archers melted away within a few seconds against the champ archers. So I lost 95, and he lost maybe 20. And I was using the units that were supposed to counter his. The only thing I've found you can counter them in actual games with is by more than doubling up against them with horse archers or sending an equal number of champ sword cav. And even then, I lose a hell of a lot of horsies. And those sword cav cost more than the archers. You need to lower their hack armor to give sword units a better chance against them. They don’t carry shields, so they should be vulnerable to hand to hand attack. Maybe also lower that attack rate.
  13. I've played a few more games and had some more thoughts: -I do miss the unit ranking. It was a nice incentive to keep your units alive. Was this removed to get rid of the bug where a unit became invincible while performing that short animation when they rank up? -I know it would probably be a huge undertaking, but it would be neat if infantry and cavalry would get of of the way of siege equipment automatically. Its difficult to get elephants and rams though the middle of large battles. Could the size of the elephant/ram footprint be reduced to allow them to better navigate tight spaces? -I know the spear cav attack is a band aid, but its weird. It would be nice if they could have a regular 1 second attack like all the other units until the fancy attack is implemented. Its strange to see them just standing around in the middle of battles, and its hard to tell if their even fighting. -The small roman bolt shooters are kind of useless. Any experienced player will just pick them off with cav before they even get deployed. Have you thought about getting rid of the deploy time, and just let them operate like ranged infantry or cav? -Weaker non CC and tower buildings would be great. All of the games I've played so far have reached age 3 before players started fighting. Houses, barracks, and storepost are just too tough to beat with age 1-2 units, and its not worth losing 50 guys to kill a barracks. I like long games against evenly matched players, but I also like being able to finish off weaker players early by raiding with skirmies and horsies. -Fort spamming. With games being longer, people are plopping down random forts everywhere. Maybe limit them to 3-5, and make them cost over 1000 stone? They are so cheap, its like playing wackamole. You tear one down, and they just plop another one up somewhere else. It would cut down on the spam, and force people to strategically place and defend them. -Formation on/off toggling is perfect. I can leave my pikes in a tight box, while my horsies can run around them in no formation. It seems to help when moving siege equipment too, since they dont double back to form up. -Survival of the fittest should be removed form random maps. It seems more like a starting condition, rather than a map type. -Nomad is fun. It really breaks up the starting routine, and forces players to fight early. These are only games I've played where people fought before age 3. -This probably more of a general idea, but it would be cool if gang attacks against powerful units had a multiplier effect. Like any hero should be able to kill any regular unit 1v1 without taking any damage. But if that hero gets ganged up on by 20 guys, he goes down quick. It would be a great dynamic for elephants too. They should kick @#$% against singe units or small groups, but struggle against massed infantry. I surrounded 2 elephants with 30 pikes in a recent game, and I lost 14 pikes before they brought down the elephants. Those elephants should’ve been toast, as the pikes formed a complete circle around them. I also surrounded a roman hero cav with 15 champ cav, and I lost like 5 or 6 of them before they brought him down. It could also be neat for forts. If I mange to totally surround a fort with like 30-40 guys attacking it, I should get some kind of siege bonus attack for my efforts. That could also help with age 1-2 building killing.
  14. I'm loving a18 so far! Thanks for all the work you guy did to make it happen. What I like: -Buildings are harder to kill. This means to have to actualy plan your assault on towns, and makes the game about strategy, rather than just speed. A well designed and defended town once again useful! -Formations are back, and I love the defensive pikemen. They look great in the fancy tight formations. -Spear cav are more effective against archers. Really helps balance them out. I've had success sending 10-15 champion cav against large groups of archers. -It does feel more balanced now, with spam being easier to counter. If someone spams spears, I make ranged cav and kill them all. If they spam archers, I make spear cav and mow them down. If they spam sword cav, I make pikes and kill them all. I always likes this dynamic in a16, and its great to see it somewhat back. What could be improved: -Rams and elephants are tough to kill. Maybe have them stop moving when attacked by hand to hand units? I had some luck using pikes to stop elephants from reaching buildings, since they seem to stop tier target from moving. -Archer spamming is still prevalent. Maybe make spear/sword cav even more effective against them? -Buildings are maybe too tough to kill in age 2. Maybe make CC and barracks strong, while making houses and storehouse weak? I like the idea of a tough to kill CC, but it would be nice to be able to raid and kill storehouses and the like. -I think the bolt shooters need a redo. They just don't work well in the game. They were really weak in a16, and now they are so cranked up its werid. They are just too slow and expensive with the pace of the game. Have you thought about having a much shorter deploy time and faster fire rate? They are supposed to kill units, but with the 5 second deploy and 5 second fire rate, they just cant keep up. By the time they get setup, the target is long gone. Is this why the bolt moves a million miles an hour? I've only played about 10 games so far, but I'm really enjoying this one more than a17. I know everyone seems to hate counters, but I think its great when every unit has a strength as a weakness. My idea of fun balance is not that every unit is equal in a 20 vs 20 battle, but more 10 cav killing 20 archers, and then those 10 cav getting killed by 6 pikemen. And then those 6 pikemen get killed by 20 archers. Its not always about having numbers, but having the right units as the right time. I really like the circular wheel of counters.
  15. Is there an overall idea for the balance in a18? I really liked the idea of certain types of units countering others. Like: sword infantry >> spear infantry >> cavarly >> ranged infantry Things are little mosh pit like right now in a17. Players just spam whatever unit looks cool. 100 archers here. 100 sword cav here. 100 hoplites there. There’s a big blob of a battle in the middle, and whoever has the most units wins. I really liked how in a16, spear infantry could kill cav at like a 4-1 rate, sword infantry could cut through a wall of pikes at like a 2-1 rate, and a small group of lance cav could chase off larger groups of skirms and archers. You really had to pay attention to battles, and make sure you had the right units at the right time. It was always satisfying see horses get knocked down against a dense formation of pikes, and frustrating to then watch said pikemen get cut down by swordsmen. The battles were more challenging, and there were rewards for players who managed their armies well. I don’t think this process of tweaking HP, attacks, armor, and rate of fire to make everything "balanced" is working. Things seem to be changing, but not really getting more fun. The lack of a clear counter system makes battling powerful units difficult. I love the idea of powerful units. But what are you supposed to do against fully upgraded sword cav or chariots? The sword cav can cut right though pikes and forts. The only way to counter them right now is with more of the same. Even elite sword cav should have to run away from a dense formation of pikes or forts. On another note, the game is a little more frenetic and stressful than it used to be. Pops are too high, and its difficult to move and mange such large armies. With just 10 carrying capacity to start, gathering sites are a hot mess of collisions. There are guys hitting 330 pop at like 15 minutes. I know the focus is on unit balance right now, so ill type more on that later if your interested in player feedback on that. Thanks for all the work you guys do to keep the game running. I'm just trying to offer a bit of feedback that goes a bit deeper than just "x unit is too powerful" type stuff. I know you guys have your philosophy on what makes the game fun, so I thought I would offer mine.
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