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Hello, 

I am new in this forum and want to say a german "Hallo!" ^^ ...so please don't be too confused, because of my grammar. I really love this game and convered multible friend of mine to play it too. I come to the point, the battle and counter system is bad, worser than it has to be. Many older versions have nice elements which are delete now. Especially some siege weapons need some love in my opinion. I am no complete noob in balancing, some months ago I was part of the balancing Team of Company of Heroes 2. 

I was searching some problems and made a small fix for rams because why...

  1. ...can attack organics. I remove the ability (like in a16) In progress, I want to make it possible to attack through one line of infantry, so it isn't so easy to block them. So you have to conquer it, or destroy it.
  2. ...are fast as hell. I set speed from 0,9 to 0,6
  3. ...can't be conquerd. I made it possible (like in a16)
  4. ...are counterd best by sword cavalry. In progress, maybe more... e.g.: In my opinion cavalry should become a negative bonus versus rams and siege towers. Infantry should be the counter.

These things are more than confusing because it would be easy to bring them in line without chaaging to much. I want to discuss this small changes with you!

 

 

 

Edited by Widerstreit
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They should not attack biological units, only structures and other siege.

They weren't fragile.  Covered siege rams weighed multiple tons and were covered in armor, with dozens of men inside to move and protect them.  They would be extremely difficult to destroy outright.  You can't just chop up a massive tree trunk or its heavy wooden frame with swords in the middle of a battle.  If you've ever tried to cut down even a small tree with an axe - it takes a few minutes!  But it barely takes a second for the enemy to stab and kill you while you're doing that.  The most vulnerable thing about a covered ram would be the ropes to suspend the ram, but if you just run up and cut the ropes and run away, the ram itself is not destroyed and can be easily repaired.

A ram can be compared to a ship - both are large, mobile, wooden structures very difficult to take down during a melee.

Capturing is a different story.  Rams should be capturable.

Speed - rams in-game are already unwieldy due to their size which makes it hard to get them where they need to go, especially if units are in the way.  I don't see a need to reduce their speed further.  From a realism perspective they could be slower, but from a game balance perspective it's not necessary.

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I think for now it’s best to limit the number of rams that can be built, maybe maximum of 2. Aside from they should not attack organic units nor could be destroyed by organic units easily they should only move and attack when garrisoned at full specs using half the maximum allowable garrison. These days with no cavs game they are too OP and can’t imagine they just can destroy structures without accompaniment.

Capturing of unmanned sieges should also be made easier. 

 

 

 

Edited by Servo
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Historically speaking, battering rams were used almost exclusively to bring down gates (sometimes walls). They are now used to bring down pretty much any structure in game which makes them very unrealistic. Yes, I get it, gameplay... I'm just clarifying something about how compromises in historicity for gameplay's sake can actually negatively affect gameplay in some respects (rampaging rams).

Buildings were brought down by infantry units, not battering rams. Infantry units would set buildings on fire, or pull down supporting columns with ropes or hack through supporting walls, or even disassemble structures block by block, by hand, using only simple tools. 

Rams are actually very easy to destroy or capture outright... Any unaccompanied ram caught out in the open by enemy infantry should realistically be captured or destroyed with relative ease. Rams were never used in melee combat, and rams killing units or horses is super-awkward and annoying. Rams were not hermetically sealed from the outside world, making the people operating it invulnerable or something. Quite the opposite... You would NOT want to be one of the dudes they assign to the ram (on account of the high chance of death). Rams were normally built on the spot, and usually only 1, or just a few at the time, accompanied by a battalion, but not armies of battering rams going in solo. This is obviously not how ancient warfare worked.

7 hours ago, causative said:

You can't just chop up a massive tree trunk or its heavy wooden frame with swords in the middle of a battle.  If you've ever tried to cut down even a small tree with an axe - it takes a few minutes!

Ancient battles can easily last several hours or even days, and sieges can last weeks/months/years... If you translate those times to in-game time, where battles can last a few minutes, battering rams should go down in a matter of seconds if not properly protected.

I'm not saying that everything about battering rams in game needs to change, I'm just saying that history can't be used as a justification for current battering ram-mechanics, because it's so far off from how they were actually used. 

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A ram should take much longer to kill than infantry, because in real life, it takes just a second to stab a soldier in the face, and probably at least half an hour for a dozen men to thoroughly dismantle an undefended ram.  Rams should "feel" substantial and imposing to the player.  They were not historically glass cannons at all.  They were the ancient equivalent of tanks, serving not only to damage the gates and walls but also to render its garrison invulnerable against arrows and boulders thrown down on it as it advances.

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But what is half an hour in an engagement that can last days or even longer?

6 minutes ago, causative said:

in real life, it takes just a second to stab a soldier in the face,

Battering rams were operated by soldiers...

 

7 minutes ago, causative said:

They were the ancient equivalent of tanks

Not really though... That title would go to war-elephants. And battering rams have a much more limited use... Taking down gates, and sometimes city-walls, but not other structures or units. 

 

9 minutes ago, causative said:

to render its garrison invulnerable against arrows and boulders thrown down on it as it advances.

Yeah, but oil and fire does the trick very well. Also, this scenario depends on a ram being attacked from above from garrisoned walls. A ram in the middle of a battlefield would be abandoned by its crew faster than you could say "Ave Caesar".

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In fact, rams were used against people.  That's because the distinction between "siege ram" and "siege tower" was not always a clear one.  The Assyrian siege ram 3d model that the Persians use in 0ad, for example, is based on this historical ram.  The image shows an elevated platform, above the ram itself, whose purpose was for a few guys to stand on and shoot arrows from, while being protected against return fire.  Very much like a tank.  I recently read about how the Huns used a dozen such rams with protected archers on top to capture a town.

It's not true that oil and fire could easily destroy covered rams.  The rams would be covered in wet animal skins to prevent it from catching fire and prevent oil or boiling water from penetrating to the people inside.

Edited by causative
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I think @Sundiata and I are in league on this one. I think the presence of your battering ram near the enemy base should be an "Oh shizz!" moment for the enemy player. More specifically, I'd like to see walls really reworked extensively for next alpha and make them work better/more interestingly/more strategically. Then, you'd have a dedicated and realistic purpose for battering rams: it's the anti-wall unit, with a bonus vs. gates. Then, the discussion evolves into one about how walls work and how to counter them.

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The tower wasn't for use against foot soldiers, it was for matching the archers advantage on the walls they'd be attacking in order to prevent crew harassment

This was because, in a siege, the entrenched enemy normally had no business on the ground at all.  The safety of the walls was too great an advantage to sacrifice.  I don't think this detracts from the tank motif.  Certainly, modern-day tanks are used to provide covering fire at fortified enemies, as well as to use their main guns to break the fortifications, just as a ram can do.

The fact remains that a battering ram was an enormous structure, difficult to dismantle.  Its main weapon was a tree trunk that could be up to 30 yards long.  It should not be fragile.  Enemies countered rams by throwing boulders at them, trying (and often failing) to burn them, entangling their wheels with chains, pouring water on the ground in front of them to mire them, digging under them, trying to grab and lift them with hooks suspended from the walls.  They used this variety of tactics because simply wrecking the ram by hand was no easy task.  Running out and just hacking a ram apart with swords and axes was not a tactic I have read about.  If you think tanks should be so vulnerable to this tactic, where was it used?

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@causative, your thoughts are definitely noted. They also don't conflict necessarily with what I'm now saying regarding rams and walls and how they should be reworked together. I agree with you that rams should be strong and rare. This could coincide nicely with a wall rework too, making them stronger and more versatile, necessitating a strong counter, like a reworked Battering Ram. :)

 

Enjoy the choice. ;) 

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It would be nice if there were different varieties of rams.  From just a bare small tree trunk you can make in age II for 100 wood, to a huge armored ram with a turret.

I think that rams should be captured more often than they are destroyed.  If you have superior force in an area, you can slaughter the occupants of the ram and take it for yourself.  If you haven't done that, it's extremely difficult to destroy the ram, and if you have done it, why destroy what is now yours?

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@causative, I agree that they're not glass cannons, and destroying it isn't done with a few stabs from a sword, true. I'm just saying that they had no business in an open battlefield. Also, when defenders try to brake out and rams are overrun/caught in the open, they would simply be abandoned by their crews because they offer very little intrinsic protection from units on the ground. 

Just now, causative said:

I think that rams should be captured more often than they are destroyed. 

That's what I want to see.

Also, oil and fire will definitely stop a ram in it's tracks. Pouring oil on anything that's wet, and then setting it alight is a disaster for anyone nearby. Oily fire splatter is not a joke, and the the now burning ground around it is most unpleasant for anyone forced to push through it. The wet animal skins are mostly against flaming arrows, I believe.

Also tanks (still don't agree with the analogy :P) are often taken out by ground troop placing explosives on, or near them (IED's and sticky bombs for example). 

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siege rams shouldn't be able to attack organic units. This would give more flexibility to the current attack system specially for organic units.

If buildings would have enough attack sustain, they could incentive the attackers to garrison the rams.

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@stanislas69 Doesn't seem that hard too implement in a meh way. Ideally however we should adapt the aura code so we can have these types of bonussus (as in currently we can add and multiply, but probably we want x speed for 1 unit, 1.5x for 2 etc.) Then in the same go garrisonned arrows could be implemented like that and we would be much closer to #4000. Also the unitAI needs to take care of units with unitMotion but without speed (see how unpacked sieges templates are hacked currently).

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