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Alpha 18 Balancing Branch


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Okay, some Carthage stuff? (Really auron? More Carthage stuff?! Do I never?!)
The Mercenaries.

I like the new pricing scheme. They technically cost more, but they also cost less now (in a matter of speaking), what with the resources spread out much more.

So basically what i'm saying: maybe there should be a difference between all the mercenaries? EG: Italiote swordsmen would have better armor, where gallic swordsmen would hit harder. (just a thought, for when the balance is less "every unit of the same type is the exact same" and more on a per-faction basis)

Also, are champions ever going to be buffed health-wise whenever somone ages up? Champ cavs (sacred band in this case) seem to have less health On the final age than their not champion counterparts. This is a small thing, since they last longer anyway (armor armor babay!), it just makes them feel.. inferior, to have a single digit less. XD

Did pikes change? I'm not looking at pikemen civs until someone says they aren't stupid pointless Anymore. (I mean, they could probably be a great unit when you use 50 in syntagma.. but still, seriously, macedon and the ptolmies are stupid vulnerable to phalanx's favorite Dish "testudo rush", does he still do that?)

Just some thoughts i mulled over today.


Auron, I'm still waiting for your moviecapture to prove it :yes3:
Will you stop nagging me? I'll upload it when I upload it. I'm not the only one who uses the internet and i wasn't home on Sunday (new month, new internet bill) *rage* and uploading during the week is just a pain. (rarely at home, when at home, want to spend internets playing games. Done.)

And watching the video, most of the reason why you destroyed my economy (my entire army) is because of the Formation wiggle, (half my units were in formation, other half weren't, so they kept trying to reform whenever I attack moved, thus spent 30 seconds being shot at).

Like I said, more tests are in order before we go hanging the noose on the slinger. On the other hand...
I understand keeping formations in is a key thing for balance in the game, but can we default "no formation", to every unit trained?! Please?!
Edited by auron2401
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I played as Macedon VS a very hard AI 10 times and tried very hard to rush Age2 so i can get my infantry upgrades, i seriously dislike Pikemen, but i can definitely see what scythe wants them to be.
A metal wall of pikes.

This is key, i think. I like the idea, but i however dislike that macedon has 0 infantry to rely on, they just have the Pikeman and the hypaspist/silver shield (champion). Thing is, macedon DID have a sort of have other infantry. (Mercenary Hoplites, for example) Their Infantry wasn't ONLY Pikemen. Their Agrianes also served a sort of support melee infantry when they shot off all their javelins.

My sugestion is more of a feature request: Allow skirmisher/(archer?) units to also carry on the fight in melee when pressed, or requested, (maybe they could get an HP buff to go with it, but a range nerf?)

OR: Give Macedon access to mercenary hoplites, who can function more of an actual infantry.

Edited by auron2401
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My sugestion is more of a feature request: Allow skirmisher/(archer?) units to also carry on the fight in melee when pressed, or requested, (maybe they could get an HP buff to go with it, but a range nerf?)

Skirmishers have already become OP early game in A18 imo. They are too fast (almost as fast as cav?!?) and can badly out micro any melee by hit and run. There is absolutely no point in building early spears/pikes/swords now except to protect against flanking attacks and absorb enemy arrows.

As a player it is my job to adapt to the balancing. So my previous complaint about nerfing melee is likely premature and something I should investigate more.

However, my next point I believe goes beyond a simple decision to build more of unit X or Y. I think it fundamentally makes the game less fun.

Buildings are too strong/melee are too weak vs buildings. Towers have essentially become mini-fortresses. Whoever can expand to new resources with towers first in phase II wins. It completely voids army macro strategy. For example, player 1 distracts player 2's army with smaller force . Player 1 flanks player 2's CC/infrastructure with cavalry. From here, Player 2 has two options in A17:

Option 1: Retract army to save CC/fort/females or other infrastructure

Option 2: Push into Player 1's base to also destroy Player 1's infrastructure

The single option in A18 is:

Option 1: Build 5-10 spears from CC/near by barracks to destroy flanking force or just wait because they will probably die anyway from arrows.

In A17, as a defender of said CC, I have learned to do what I can to make sure a flanking attempt will result in heavy losses for my enemy (close by spears, towers, some spears in fields). In A18 the only thing I need to care about defending is expanding my front line until phase III and then it's a race for siege engines. Flanking will sadly become a strategy of the past and in my opinion reduce the creativity of managing armies vastly.

For people complaining about CC rush with Cav. Learn to defend your CC, or at least make sure the enemy suffers heavy losses during the attack. For people complaining about infantry destroying forts/buildings too quickly, learn to position your army correctly. This is the way it should be. Buildings should fall quickly without any army to support it.

This design decision encourages turtlers (mass towers + forts). Anything that favors turtling over unit numbers and tactics is plain and simple, bad design that makes the game less dimensional.

"Historically" arrows bounce off stone and swords are dulled by it. But we are playing a game here guys!! While I understand that historical accuracy is a high priority for this game, it should not retract from the fun of playing it.

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Whoever can expand to new resources with towers first in phase II wins.

Wrong, fast phase 3 can counter this ^^ . (it is very hard to manage though) Mario can confirm :P

And also I think this makes scouting really important (if you attack him when he is adding his CC, you have larger army and you win the battle)

We did two very enjoyable 1v1 on the SVN. (r16405)

On the first game, he went for the fast expand + towers on phase 2, I went for fast phase 3 (basically I just added 4 tours on phase 2 and went to phase 3)

We had 2 spectators (supertux and ffm) who both thought Mario would win because he had CC (I think 3) but I didnt expand at all. I won because of the tech/siege advantage.

So on this game I saw that we have new strategies, fast expanding, fast phasing.instead of just massing units like in a17.

On the second game, we went for the same strategies as the previous game.

Mario expanded on phase 2 (just one CC this time), I went fast phase 3, destroyed his CC. He rebuilt it and instead of adding more CC like he did on the first game, he went for phase 3. I should have expand at this moment but didnt so he won.

He adapted and won the second game.

My point is, I think it is too easy to say "the only answer to this is this" What I felt on playing the SVN is we have much more options than a17.

In a17 cav sword were too OP (I have 100% win rate with gauls/britons with my sword cav harass strat (and it inculdes playing against butcher, wesono etc)

In SVN, I used sword cav to flank ffm's ranged infantry (in another game) doing an awesome battle and feel like this is how sword cav should be used in game. So flank is still on (just flanking a city with 35 sword cav is useless now but I don't think that's a problem)

HOWEVER, I agree buildings are a bit too strong but I need more games to have a good opinion.

The game looks much more difficult than a17 (but this is a very good point in my opinion) and feel like we'll have more options concerning strategies.

EDIT: I should have record all these awesome games...

EDIT2: Someone suggested before than the default formation should be none formation instead of Line formation...that was the best suggestion ever actually...(for both gameplay and realism)

Edited by Alekusu
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Skirmishers give me the impression of "skirmish" which would make them harass units. I guess they need a least some speed.

Archers give me the impression of soldiers which were drilled to shoot arrows at enemies while standing still.

hmm well

Edited by iNcog
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So skirmishers good for raiding, attacking small groups etc because of their high damage but lose this advantage to archers on a large scale? Because of archers low damage but high fire rate, which weakens army instead of killing a few small individuals? Seems like you would want skirmishers to do more damage to heavy armoured unity's than archers, why does this fail? BTW do skirmishers have a bonus against buildings compared to archers?

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Slingers do well against buildings, not skirmishers.

The idea I think is to have skirmisher for harass (not harassing the building), archer as an army support (but now they are actually doing a bit too much so they are not really a support but the main) and slingers for raids against towers/houses/barracks

EDIT: When I say "the idea" I speak for myself :P

Edited by Alekusu
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...just wondering, why do women have more crush armor (15) than skirmishers or archers (10)? Since they also have 1 pierce/hack, they are better armored than the citizen skirmishers/archers.

Sounds nonsense to me .. ;)

Why do any of them have such high crush armor? Are archer and javelin infantry suppose to counter siege?

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Battering rams should be bad against infantry, good against buildings. Catapults should do considerable damage to only a few troops, the reason they were never used against people was because they are much more effective against buildings. Knocking around a couple of people is a little inefficient when compared to buildings. I reckon slower reload by higher damage against buildings. Bolt shooters? I honestly have no idea how to use them. Think they need a bit of a buff (from a 17 haven't tried on 18 yet)

Edited by Giotto
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