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Anti-Spam Mechanic Suggestion

For as long as I have been playing it, 0 A.D. has been having problems with balance. In each and every of the last 6 releases (or perhaps more) there has been 1 "op" unit. That unit got spammed, it's that simple.

Some may argue that we need a perfect counter system, then we don't need such a limitation as the following proposed feature. But then again, even if a counter system is implemented, I think that it is more effective in team games for each player to specialize a certain unit, then help out accordingly. It has happened in other games with perfect counter systems. It's very good from teamwork point of view but in ancient times armies weren't composed of 2 types of units.

 

Alpha 17: Sword cavalry op, spam them and down opponent's cc with a rush

Alpha 18-19: Hazy for me, I myself spammed archer champions and downed buildings, easily outranging them.

Alpha 20-21: Champion rush and later spam.

Alpha 21: Slinger spam.

Alpha 22: Cavalry skirmisher/archer spam. No cav games: skirmisher spam + melee as fodder

 

Summary: meh

 

Proposal:

Each unit increases cost of same unit type by 0.5/1%.

This stackable "aura" would make such spams not as profitable and would incite some players to search for other, yet just as efficient army compositions featuring several unit types.

As a side effect, this feature makes larger batch trains even more attractive, since they are trained at the cost of next unit only, not all those after.

 

Example:

  • +0.5% per unit
Quote

 

                        First unit cost: 25F 50W 25M

                        91st unit cost: 39F 78W 39M

 

Screenshot_2018-05-07_19-22-41.png.2e58090235a25885b29ab79fb93897bb.png

 

  • +1% per unit
Quote

 

                        First unit cost: 25F 50W 25M

                        91st unit cost: 61F 122W 61M

 

Screenshot_2018-05-07_19-45-09.png.d6889db79622f22efb05fc731257b84a.png

 

Why did I choose 90 units? In Alpha 22 after players banned cavalry they started spamming skirmishers, it became common to see such armies marching about.

Why this kind of anti-spam mechanic?  It's easy to explain this 1%, the area is drained of possible soldiers, equipment is needed etc.

Overdemand, this is the word under which 0 A.D. takes a step towards a more balanced future.

 

 

In this post I am not siding with nor necessarily supporting other gameplay suggestions, I feel that this isn't a big overhaul. Some will say that this isn't enough, others will resent the passing of age-old strategies.

From battalions to slaves and nomads, 0 A.D. has a vast choice of future paths, each leading to something different, something unique.

The team is careful, taking steps slowly - sometimes perhaps to the detriment of progress - but they are I'm sure familiar with the problem the game faces and they wish the best for it.

I'm not saying that we should throw all the gameplay suggestions away, just that they all encompass several changes that drag a train of other modifications with them and the team might not want to introduce them at least for now.

 

 

 

Implementation:

Ah, the step where all the enthusiastic developers say "meh" and go watch dog memes.

It could be done with each unit class having a a stackable aura, but we know that global auras are problematic - especially when they come in big stacks.

I'm not familiar with code so I wont say anything else but I hope it is possible to find a way.

 

 

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I'm not sure if this actually fixes or minimizes the problem, because if a unit is OP, then it is stronger in the same numbers. So it is also already in effect before the cost become apparent.

There is the problem that some units can be in comparison much more better or economic and there is the second problem that massed units can become invincible at some point. That's mostly Lanchesters Law, no?

skirmisher spam + melee as fodder sounds good, no? Add the counters where missing and it should work out in theory. It does in sc2 and aoe2, doesn't it?

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I agree with both, the best is a counter system, and reduce combat speed in those case. Hannibal suggestion can be nice if only if reach a % of same type. and proportional with high pop setting.

Why reduce speed of damage, to make a some micro and planned better strategy. I prefer more AoE 2 or 1 attack speed dame even in counter less Moba or blizzard(competitive) and more Total war pacing. not too slow but not too faster as A15. speaking about counters.

Were need more features guys, the options to create a tactics still limited.

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10 hours ago, elexis said:

I'm not sure if this actually fixes or minimizes the problem, because if a unit is OP, then it is stronger in the same numbers. So it is also already in effect before the cost become apparent.

There is the problem that some units can be in comparison much more better or economic and there is the second problem that massed units can become invincible at some point. That's mostly Lanchesters Law, no?

skirmisher spam + melee as fodder sounds good, no? Add the counters where missing and it should work out in theory. It does in sc2 and aoe2, doesn't it?

You do not create a counter system to balance OP units, you balance them all then make sure each got their role.

 

You're right in stating that this fix merely minimizes the problem, I agree with that.

But in the end the spamming of a unit doesn't necessarily mean that it in itself is OP, just that it is the most efficient in the task designated by the player.

 

 

Why would skirmishers + fodder be good?

Why reduce the Melee class to something inferior and just trained to get as many missiles stuck into them as possible?

Sure, a counter could be invented against it, but it's already flawed at the core principle.

But this isn't connected to the proposed feature, maximum that the skirmisher spam becomes harder to acquire and replentish

 

 

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> You do not create a counter system to balance OP units, you balance them all then make sure each got their role.

There is the property that every unit has a counter which should rule out a single unit being able to become OP, such as the examples you mentioned.

Also for the OP history part, you forgot Ptolemian Camel rush until Alpha 19, Mauryan Yoddas downing buildings like sword cav did, champions having had values like 70 attack, invisible bolt shooters with massive crush damage, ships that fired up to 43 arrows. I don't really think that skirmishers + spearmen are the only choice in alpha 22, nor how the relative cost would improve it. I'm just waiting for the day where the opponent might be scared by you if you built the hard counter to his massed units that can wipe out his entire army, even if outnumbered.

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33 minutes ago, Hannibal_Barca said:

You do not create a counter system to balance OP units, you balance them all then make sure each got their role.

 

Eh, that's an opinion, not a fact. The other way is to decide roles for every unit and then balance. The problem right now is that no thought [AS FAR AS I CAN TELL] is being put into unit roles.

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12 hours ago, Hannibal_Barca said:

Each unit increases cost of same unit type by 0.5/1%.

Rise of Nations had a similar system (although more like subsequent units ramp up at 5% and structures at 10%), which worked great there, however, it also had income limits and all resources were infinite. 0 A.D. is a different game.

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Quote

if you built the hard counter to his massed units that can wipe out his entire army, even if outnumbered.

Hard counter you said it. we are finding new counter formula, actual is spam a mix of units without order or role.

Tell me how works, basically Pikemen only works to kill melee Cavs, Mêlée, then cavs don't work for nothing if they are spam, skirmishes(cav) can deal with all except defenses.

Archers doing good work and slingers too. but melee infantry aren't good almost a trash unit except by swordsmen. range cavalry dominates the battlefield, and the spam can capture easily mostly of defenses. check more YT videos topic. 

No alternative tactics in early-mid

Edited by Lion.Kanzen
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5 minutes ago, Nescio said:

Rise of Nations had a similar system (although more like subsequent units ramp up at 5% and structures at 10%), which worked great there, however, it also had income limits and all resources were infinite. 0 A.D. is a different game.

Indeed, but ripe for experimentation via modding. 

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4 minutes ago, Nescio said:

Rise of Nations had a similar system (although more like subsequent units ramp up at 5% and structures at 10%), which worked great there, however, it also had income limits and all resources were infinite. 0 A.D. is a different game.

Indeed I hate that, that ruin for me that game.

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24 minutes ago, Lion.Kanzen said:

Tell me how works, basically Pikemen only works to kill melee Cave, Mêlée cave don't work for nothing if they are spam, skirmishes can deal with all except defenses.

 

Actually you didn't manage to get even one of those right :LOL:

 

Archers beat slingers which beat slingers which beat skirmishers which beat archers for some reason

Pikemen tank it all but take ages to get anywhere, sword cavalry seem to do well vs. slingers which beat skirmisher cav

Spear cavalry down other cavalry quite efficiently, skirmisher cavalry are seemingly weak and only a meagre support

 

Problem is that there is not that big a difference between beating and getting beaten. So you just have to make up for it by spamming harder

 

 

50 minutes ago, elexis said:

I don't really think that skirmishers + spearmen are the only choice in alpha 22

You are absolutely right!!

Here are some other strategies

-siege tower stack -banned

-archer/skirm cav spam (thankfully this got all cav banned)

-skirmishers+pikes

-skirmishers only

-skirmishers+swords

-slinger spam

 

 

I speak seeing the values of A23, no point talking about the past.

Edited by Hannibal_Barca
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Historically, heavy (melee) infantry formations dominated the battlefield and decided the outcome. Light (ranged) infantry was there for harassing the enemy; although they frequently outnumbered other troops, their numbers did not always “count”. Cavalry was almost always less than 10% of an army; they were often light in function, organized in squadrons on the flanks, and served for reconnaisance, protecting against enemy cavalry, and especially for chasing down fleeing enemies. Bigae (light two-horse chariots) more or less had the same function as cavalry, unlike quadrigae (heavy four-horse chariots), which were located in front of the heavy infantry formation and served to disrupt the enemy's; they were replaced with elephantry.

An interesting characteristic of Hellenistic warfare was that, because of the rather standard army deployment: “in battles between combined arms forces, similar troop types tended to find themselves fighting one another – cavalry against cavalry, light infantry against light infantry, elephants against elephants, and so on.” (CHGRW 404)

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4 minutes ago, Hannibal_Barca said:

 

Actually you didn't manage to get even one of those right :LOL:

 

Archers beat slingers which beat slingers which beat skirmishers which beat archers for some reason

Pikemen tank it all but take ages to get anywhere, sword cavalry seem to do well vs. slingers which beat skirmisher cav

Spear cavalry down other cavalry quite efficiently, skirmisher cavalry are seemingly weak and only a meagre support.

Yeah pikemen tanks with little shield. -ranged, looks fine in mêlée. using testudo./i mean syntagma.

So the mêlée cavalry kill... women. spearman are almost trash without spamming. only good with slow cave melee. 

Heavy Lancer can deal with range archer.in a pursuit or chase where you have your anti cav plan.

Each alpha rules are a mess.

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12 minutes ago, Nescio said:

Historically, heavy (melee) infantry formations dominated the battlefield and decided the outcome. Light (ranged) infantry was there for harassing the enemy; although they frequently outnumbered other troops, their numbers did not always “count”. Cavalry was almost always less than 10% of an army; they were often light in function, organized in squadrons on the flanks, and served for reconnaisance, protecting against enemy cavalry, and especially for chasing down fleeing enemies. Bigae (light two-horse chariots) more or less had the same function as cavalry, unlike quadrigae (heavy four-horse chariots), which were located in front of the heavy infantry formation and served to disrupt the enemy's; they were replaced with elephantry.

An interesting characteristic of Hellenistic warfare was that, because of the rather standard army deployment: “in battles between combined arms forces, similar troop types tended to find themselves fighting one another – cavalry against cavalry, light infantry against light infantry, elephants against elephants, and so on.” (CHGRW 404)

That's the point  non cavalry breeders, no spam. unless  you use train mercenaries, auxiliary and foederati. but this guys need a kind of upkeep or lost their loyalty. lol.

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Increasing unit costs based on how many you already have would be bad. Artificial limits like that just encourage random unit spam and make the game worse by removing real strategic decisions. Stronger role-based balance should ensure that every unit has at least one hard counter and at least one soft counter, so that unit choice is more important without being inflexible.

One problem is that not all factions have all unit types available, ie some don't have slingers or archers or javs, some have lots of cavalry choices while others don't, which makes role based balance more difficult. If a faction doesn't have units for a given role, then balancing for it means either buffing or nerfing the entire faction or creating a situation where some factions may hard counter others. IMO the current damage/armor types are overcomplicated as well.

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3 minutes ago, aeonios said:

Increasing unit costs based on how many you already have would be bad. Artificial limits like that just encourage random unit spam and make the game worse by removing real strategic decisions. Stronger role-based balance should ensure that every unit has at least one hard counter and at least one soft counter, so that unit choice is more important without being inflexible.

One problem is that not all factions have all unit types available, ie some don't have slingers or archers or javs, some have lots of cavalry choices while others don't, which makes role based balance more difficult. If a faction doesn't have units for a given role, then balancing for it means either buffing or nerfing the entire faction or creating a situation where some factions may hard counter others. IMO the current damage/armor types are overcomplicated as well.

This.

Resultado de imagen para counters aoe

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12 minutes ago, aeonios said:

IMO the current damage/armor types are overcomplicated as well.

Yes, I fully agree. Part of the reason why swordsmen are better than spearmen is that the former inflicts hack damage, whereas the latter inflicts pierce damage, as do archers. A simpler melee/ranged/crush damage system might work better, or perhaps even only a single damage type (dead is dead). On the other hand, to have a meaningful counter system without hard bonus attacks one probably needs more than just three (effectively two) damage types. Unfortunately damage types are currently hard-coded. What is really needed is making adding, changing, or removing damage types at least as easy as modding resources is.

4 minutes ago, Lion.Kanzen said:

This.

That is a poor example: in AoK a paladin could defeat a pikeman or heavy camel, their supposed counters, in single combat; massed crossbowmen could take out skirmishers; and an early swordsman rush could destroy a player.

More importantly, 0 A.D. shouldn't aim at being merely an AoK clone.

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32 minutes ago, Nescio said:

Yes, I fully agree. Part of the reason why swordsmen are better than spearmen is that the former inflicts hack damage, whereas the latter inflicts pierce damage, as do archers. A simpler melee/ranged/crush damage system might work better, or perhaps even only a single damage type (dead is dead). On the other hand, to have a meaningful counter system without hard bonus attacks one probably needs more than just three (effectively two) damage types. Unfortunately damage types are currently hard-coded. What is really needed is making adding, changing, or removing damage types at least as easy as modding resources is.

I did not know that. It's now on my to-do list for a24.

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Spoiler
15 hours ago, Hannibal_Barca said:

 

Anti-Spam Mechanic Suggestion

For as long as I have been playing it, 0 A.D. has been having problems with balance. In each and every of the last 6 releases (or perhaps more) there has been 1 "op" unit. That unit got spammed, it's that simple.

Some may argue that we need a perfect counter system, then we don't need such a limitation as the following proposed feature. But then again, even if a counter system is implemented, I think that it is more effective in team games for each player to specialize a certain unit, then help out accordingly. It has happened in other games with perfect counter systems. It's very good from teamwork point of view but in ancient times armies weren't composed of 2 types of units.

 

Alpha 17: Sword cavalry op, spam them and down opponent's cc with a rush

Alpha 18-19: Hazy for me, I myself spammed archer champions and downed buildings, easily outranging them.

Alpha 20-21: Champion rush and later spam.

Alpha 21: Slinger spam.

Alpha 22: Cavalry skirmisher/archer spam. No cav games: skirmisher spam + melee as fodder

 

Summary: meh

 

Proposal:

Each unit increases cost of same unit type by 0.5/1%.

This stackable "aura" would make such spams not as profitable and would incite some players to search for other, yet just as efficient army compositions featuring several unit types.

As a side effect, this feature makes larger batch trains even more attractive, since they are trained at the cost of next unit only, not all those after.

 

Example:

  • +0.5% per unit

Screenshot_2018-05-07_19-22-41.png.2e58090235a25885b29ab79fb93897bb.png

 

  • +1% per unit

Screenshot_2018-05-07_19-45-09.png.d6889db79622f22efb05fc731257b84a.png

 

Why did I choose 90 units? In Alpha 22 after players banned cavalry they started spamming skirmishers, it became common to see such armies marching about.

Why this kind of anti-spam mechanic?  It's easy to explain this 1%, the area is drained of possible soldiers, equipment is needed etc.

Overdemand, this is the word under which 0 A.D. takes a step towards a more balanced future.

 

 

In this post I am not siding with nor necessarily supporting other gameplay suggestions, I feel that this isn't a big overhaul. Some will say that this isn't enough, others will resent the passing of age-old strategies.

From battalions to slaves and nomads, 0 A.D. has a vast choice of future paths, each leading to something different, something unique.

The team is careful, taking steps slowly - sometimes perhaps to the detriment of progress - but they are I'm sure familiar with the problem the game faces and they wish the best for it.

I'm not saying that we should throw all the gameplay suggestions away, just that they all encompass several changes that drag a train of other modifications with them and the team might not want to introduce them at least for now.

 

 

 

Implementation:

Ah, the step where all the enthusiastic developers say "meh" and go watch dog memes.

It could be done with each unit class having a a stackable aura, but we know that global auras are problematic - especially when they come in big stacks.

I'm not familiar with code so I wont say anything else but I hope it is possible to find a way.

 

 

If you are still unmotivated, please click here

Last one

 

 

 

 

Well, the individual unit roles have to be placed with a general design idea: we want they to be so fast created and killed? We want the buildings and defences that so resistant? We want this current citizen-soldier system that benefit turtle/booming?

But I agree, roles should be clearly stated to later tune them. The aim of both a soft or hard counter system it's that there's a diversity of choices, that there's no a leading one that invalidates all the other. Later, it comes that armies shouldn't be of 1-2 units only. Of course some units could be more situational than others..

Maybe now that we have a in-game encyclopedia, the roles could be written?

Edited by av93
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I don't necessarily disagree with the way 0 A.D. is going, I feel that in Alpha 22 the balance was only disrupted because of the last-minute accuracy patch which severely impacted skirmisher effectiveness.

While no real candidate has as yet surfaced in Alpha 23, it remains to be seen.

But one may be certain that cavalry will not be OP, archers will be more flexible, etc

Also some OP heroes were rebalanced, hopefully the rest of the hero aura revision patch will be in for A24.

This is all thanks to @temple, @Feldfeld, @(-_-), @elexis and several others who have relentlessly tested and patched.

Cavalry roles are more clear now, with spear cavalry taking the lead and decisively defeating other cavalry types. Skirmisher cavalry will be more focused on raids and support, while sword cavalry are now the fastest and will likewise carry out raids, down siege and perform well vs. slingers.

Finally fixed, bolts are now useable -  alongside with catapults that promise lethal damage against ranged spams.

Champion train time has been reduced to more palatable levels, with costs kept as they were to guard against overuse.

 

While some will undoubtedly find faults and others will name it lacking in strategy, we may hope that this release will have the qualities of its namesake and not be such a "failure" as its predecessor.

The best course is still for the team to import successful features from mods, for modders to experience, visualize and realize  - and the other mods to kick, ban and mute miscreants from the lobby.

Those lookers-on who merely type ideas on the forum but don't realize them should start showing that they can lend a helping hand in furthering the project.

In the future, it would definitely be nice to have new unique technologies for every civilization, with pair technologies where players must decide on a course. Everyone is welcome to input ideas and proposals. Grander visions and more complicated features must wait.

I agree that units should have designated roles but not necessarily that we need to jump on the hard counter system and do fast and brutal computing in-game to spam what and when.

 

 

As a closing statement, I think that this recent conversation has gone off-topic.

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3 hours ago, aeonios said:

I did not know that. It's now on my to-do list for a24.

Great; a (fantasy?) mod which would want to use a dozen damage types is not inconceivable, nor is one using only one damage; both should be possible.

Another nice-to-have feature would be resource consuming attacks, e.g. a boltshooter consumes 1 metal per shot and a stonethrower 1 stone; if you run out of the required resource, your unit won't be able to attack.

(This would also allow making siege weapons cheaper; e.g. an "onager" currently costs 400 wood + 250 stone, whereas a stone defence tower costs 100 wood + 100 stone and a long city wall section only 28 stone - but that's a different discussion :) )

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While waiting for A23 to come out I got hooked on MP games. It’s quite fun playing with fun playing people but in the end spamming of units is the only strategy. From P1 until P3 the activity is the same just gather, build (as many structures as you can) and spam units. Then in a few minutes the game is over because either you are rolling over the opponent or the other way around. 

There are so many things suggested already like one Barca is suggesting (I suggested to do something on spamming too like RoN) but I think they want to stick to AoE or AoK thing. Some even say oh limiting on anything is not possible. With these unique ranged units firing unlimited amount of projectiles and easily spamming it with infinite number of structures producing units I won’t wonder anymore on my previous game when Chrstgr was rolling over me/us with an average of 100 skirmisher and a couple of rams. 

As Nescio said it’s nice that melee battle should be the main battle. The range units role are just not real. 

Later. 

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EDIT: This and the reply to it were found in another topic, but on the advice of @Nescio has been included here as to keep the discussion in the same place. ENDEDIT

 

I would prefer if the counter system made more historical sense.  Arbitrarily giving javelin cavalry high pierce armor makes no sense; they're unarmored light cavalry.  They should have neither high pierce armor nor high hack armor.  Additionally, javelin cavalry were never a counter to infantry skirmishers.  They were apparently used against heavy (melee) infantry using their speed to avoid being caught, as described here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Javelin#Iberia

My understanding of realistic historical counters goes like this.

  • Heavy infantry:  heavily armored, with swords, spears, or pikes, and carrying a large shield.  Also may carry some javelins to throw just before engaging the enemy in melee.  The elite core of any ancient force.  Very resistant to missile attacks of any kind.  You would not see a contingent of heavy infantry fully destroyed by skirmishers; skirmishers, slingers, and archers were there only to soften up the heavy infantry a bit and disrupt their formation before the melee clash.
    • In game: high pierce armor.
    • Directional armor: the shield protects them from the front, but from the sides and back they are not as protected.
      • This naturally shows how the skirmishers can disrupt the heavy infantry formation without killing it outright.  The skirmishers attack the heavy infantry from the side, which makes them turn to face the skirmishers, which leaves them more vulnerable to the main attack from the front.
    • Very expensive.  Greek city-states could field 3x as many ranged units as hoplites (heavy infantry).
  • Light infantry javelin throwers:  unarmored, medium range, good damage due to weight of projectile, used to harass heavy infantry.  Out of the fight after throwing their three to five javelins.  Cheap; most men were able to equip themselves this way.  A force would not be composed entirely of javelin throwers.  They would be an extra to the main force of heavy infantry.
    • in game:  little armor
    • Limited ammunition that regenerates over time.
  • Slingers and archers:  historically they have about the *same range* (150 meters).  They are both just as fast-moving as the javelin throwers.
    • Served the same role of softening up heavy infantry formations as infantry javelin throwers did.
    • Carry more ammunition, but it does less damage.
  • Light ranged cavalry:  the same role of softening up heavy infantry as the other ranged infantry units.  They're just better at it because of their speed, which prevents the heavy infantry from catching them.  Also more expensive.  Not armored.
    • Cavalry are simply larger than a human on foot.  All cavalry should have a larger obstruction size.  This means that you can't pack a lot of cavalry into a small area.  This in turn means that a large group of light ranged cavalry should be countered by a large group of archers or slingers, who can pack more damage per second into a given area.
    • Ranged cavalry can also take an accuracy and damage penalty compared to ranged infantry, considering the difficulty of shooting from horseback.
  • Heavy melee cavalry:  shock troops used to flank a heavy infantry formation and break it up, so that your own heavy infantry formation can come in and kill the disorganized enemy.  Also used to wreck ranged infantry.
    • High armor
    • Countered by pikemen
    • OK against spearmen
    • Very, very expensive
  • Bolt shooters and catapults
    • Doesn't care about infantry armor at all.  It hits you, you die.
    • Vulnerable to capture and melee attacks.  (More vulnerable than current units are; I'd say as soon as the enemy reaches the bolt shooter, it should be out of action.  How is the catapult crew going to shoot the weapon while the enemy is right there slicing at them?)

The best way to ensure the historical mix of heavy and light infantry is by making the heavy melee infantry just better in almost every fight than the light ranged infantry, which is historically accurate, but giving the heavy infantry a low gather rate or no gather rate.  This makes some historical sense.  The working-class could not afford the armor of heavy infantry.  Cavalry too should not gather.

Edited by feneur
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6 minutes ago, causative said:

I would prefer if the counter system made more historical sense.  Arbitrarily giving javelin cavalry high pierce armor makes no sense; they're unarmored light cavalry.  They should have neither high pierce armor nor high hack armor.  Additionally, javelin cavalry were never a counter to infantry skirmishers.  They were apparently used against heavy (melee) infantry using their speed to avoid being caught, as described here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Javelin#Iberia

My understanding of realistic historical counters goes like this.

  • Heavy infantry:  heavily armored, with swords, spears, or pikes, and carrying a large shield.  Also may carry some javelins to throw just before engaging the enemy in melee.  The elite core of any ancient force.  Very resistant to missile attacks of any kind.  You would not see a contingent of heavy infantry fully destroyed by skirmishers; skirmishers, slingers, and archers were there only to soften up the heavy infantry a bit and disrupt their formation before the melee clash.
    • In game: high pierce armor.
    • Directional armor: the shield protects them from the front, but from the sides and back they are not as protected.
      • This naturally shows how the skirmishers can disrupt the heavy infantry formation without killing it outright.  The skirmishers attack the heavy infantry from the side, which makes them turn to face the skirmishers, which leaves them more vulnerable to the main attack from the front.
    • Very expensive.  Greek city-states could field 3x as many ranged units as hoplites (heavy infantry).
  • Light infantry javelin throwers:  unarmored, medium range, good damage due to weight of projectile, used to harass heavy infantry.  Out of the fight after throwing their three to five javelins.  Cheap; most men were able to equip themselves this way.  A force would not be composed entirely of javelin throwers.  They would be an extra to the main force of heavy infantry.
    • in game:  little armor
    • Limited ammunition that regenerates over time.
  • Slingers and archers:  historically they have about the *same range* (150 meters).  They are both just as fast-moving as the javelin throwers.
    • Served the same role of softening up heavy infantry formations as infantry javelin throwers did.
    • Carry more ammunition, but it does less damage.
  • Light ranged cavalry:  the same role of softening up heavy infantry as the other ranged infantry units.  They're just better at it because of their speed, which prevents the heavy infantry from catching them.  Also more expensive.  Not armored.
    • Cavalry are simply larger than a human on foot.  All cavalry should have a larger obstruction size.  This means that you can't pack a lot of cavalry into a small area.  This in turn means that a large group of light ranged cavalry should be countered by a large group of archers or slingers, who can pack more damage per second into a given area.
    • Ranged cavalry can also take an accuracy and damage penalty compared to ranged infantry, considering the difficulty of shooting from horseback.
  • Heavy melee cavalry:  shock troops used to flank a heavy infantry formation and break it up, so that your own heavy infantry formation can come in and kill the disorganized enemy.  Also used to wreck ranged infantry.
    • High armor
    • Countered by pikemen
    • OK against spearmen
    • Very, very expensive
  • Bolt shooters and catapults
    • Doesn't care about infantry armor at all.  It hits you, you die.
    • Vulnerable to capture and melee attacks.  (More vulnerable than current units are; I'd say as soon as the enemy reaches the bolt shooter, it should be out of action.  How is the catapult crew going to shoot the weapon while the enemy is right there slicing at them?)

The best way to ensure the historical mix of heavy and light infantry is by making the heavy melee infantry just better in almost every fight than the light ranged infantry, which is historically accurate, but giving the heavy infantry a low gather rate or no gather rate.  This makes some historical sense.  The working-class could not afford the armor of heavy infantry.  Cavalry too should not gather.

What's we are doing a brainstorm. may be a new formula.

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