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Kushites are too weak


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Kushites lack sword cavalry, catapults, and rams.  This leaves them almost defenseless against enemy siege towers or bolt shooters.  The best they can do is chase the towers with elephants (or build up towers of their own - but this takes too long, and if the enemy also has catapults it is not viable).  Elephants, however, are not very effective against siege towers and can be killed easily by any massed troops.

For anti-siege, I think Kushites should be given at least one of sword cavalry, catapults, and rams.  Preferably catapults; I think every civ should at least get catapults or rams.  Elephants alone are really not a good option for killing structures since they can be killed so easily by ranged units.

 

Overall, I'd say Kushites are a weak civ, considering they also lack normal-price skirmisher infantry.  They're like Carthage in that respect.  Also, the fact they train champions from temples is like Carthage.  However, Carthage has catapults and bolt shooters.  Also Carthage has sword cavalry mercenaries.  Considering that Carthage is widely considered the weakest civ in a22, and Kushites have mostly disadvantages compared to Carthage, I think it's fair to say Kushites are the weakest current civ.

Kushites could instead be compared to Mauryans, the other civ that lacks infantry skirmishers and siege.  Mauryans have sword cavalry and a much more powerful economy boost in the form of worker elephants.  (Kushite pyramids barely even count as an economy boost, considering their expense, the fact they aren't available until age II, and the small bonus they give).  Mauryan barracks cost only wood, a significant advantage on most maps.

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Hmmm, this honestly isn't my field of expertise... I'm not really a balance guy.

Is the Nuba merc javelinist no good as skirmish infantry? I always train swords to deal with enemy siege, but I haven't had the opportunity to play MP yet, so I don't know how that would work in that scenario... I'm actually of the opinion that every civ (without exception) should have a battering ram, even if its just a glorified log carried by some men. There is no technology here, its just log meet gate, boom, caveman logic... 

Why in the world is the default still to "capture" siege, this is SOOOO annoying people. Now you have to task swordsmen to attack siege, individually, every single time... Capturing a siege engine takes waaaay longer than just killing it, and if there is massed artillery shooting at your men, this quickly becomes infuriating to see these blundering idiots try and often fail to capture the engine, while being mercilessly cut down by the rest of the massed artillery or ranged units as if they're playing in an American civil war reenactment... Please just switch the default to attack siege. That would be a lot less micro-headache when defending. 

I'm sure @Hannibal_Barca has some more insights.

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I believe default is capturing, because default attack for everything is capturing ^^

8 minutes ago, Sundiata said:

Hmmm, this honestly isn't my field of expertise... I'm not really a balance guy.


I mostly tagged you because he offered solutions, and I didn't know which one would be the most accurate :)

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27 minutes ago, stanislas69 said:

and I didn't know which one would be the most accurate

our "siege tower" is a rough translation from: "a movable construction to overcome the enemy walls", which has also been translated as battering ram by some (but I don't think that's correct). That having said, a battering ram is so basic that I think every-one should have them. Kushites also built fortresses with L-shaped entrance gates, which clearly seem designed against a battering ram. 

Piye also mentions something that has been translated as "catapults", although this isn't certain. It's something that "casts stones" at the enemy walls...

"A (counter-)wall was built to cover the (city-)wall.37
A platform was built up to raise the archers as they shot arrows
and the catapults as they cast stones,
(thus) slaying men among them daily."

25th dynasty Kushites had direct connections to the levant, where catapults seem to be first recorded

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King Uzziah, who reigned in Judah until 750 BC, is documented as having overseen the construction of machines to "shoot great stones" in 2 Chronicles 26:15.

They might have some Ptolemaic influence in this regard as well, but I have no information on that at all, and would be purely speculative.

Edited by Sundiata
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28 minutes ago, Sundiata said:

Why in the world is the default still to "capture" siege, this is SOOOO annoying people. Now you have to task swordsmen to attack siege, individually, every single time... Capturing a siege engine takes waaaay longer than just killing it, and if there is massed artillery shooting at your men, this quickly becomes infuriating to see these blundering idiots try and often fail to capture the engine, while being mercilessly cut down by the rest of the massed artillery or ranged units as if they're playing in an American civil war reenactment... Please just switch the default to attack siege. That would be a lot less micro-headache when defending.

Point. Capturing siege weapons is pretty useless, especially with siege towers that are basically uncapturable when garrisoned. Vs siege towers your units happily suicide for no good reason. Siege towers also suck (they're useless vs buildings, some siege weapon eh?) and don't really do what they would have been used for historically (capturing fortifications).

That said I don't think kush are actually particularly weak. They don't have sword cav but they do have sword infantry, merc sword infantry, and champion sword infantry trainable from temples. Their merc skirms are pretty brutal too. They also have both ranged and melee champions and a hero that gives them a massive buff.

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I just think Kushites play a little differently, so you have to feel them out a little... But as I've said, I don't know how they compare in MP yet.. We can take note of these impressions and if they keep coming up, we could still look at what can be done for the next alpha. Thanks for your observations @causative!

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Kushites have access to macemen which have mixed damage between hack and crush, they are kinda effective against buildings and sieges and kinda weak to ranged units (like the rest of melee units, by the way). Indeed an army composed by skirmishers, mostly, have a significative advantage both in economic and military aspects which make elephant even less viable when in low numbers (1-2 elephants).

Kushite Champion swordmen and macemen also are effective but, if not covered by other meat shield units, tend to be the first units targetted by skirmishers resulting in a pure waste of resources with no defensive power against sieges.

Macedonians, despite they aren't similar to carthage/mauryans/kushites, are still comparable with those civs as long as do not have any kind of sword unit.

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I'm actually of the opinion that every civ (without exception) should have a battering ram, even if its just a glorified log carried by some men.

I agree!

 

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Is the Nuba merc javelinist no good as skirmish infantry?

The skirmisher thing is actually less of an issue in a23.  It would have been more of a weakness if we were playing "no-cav" rules like in a22, but now that everybody is using cavalry again, Kushites can defend themselves with skirmisher cavalry.  I also don't think every civ needs to be able to spam skirmishers.  Archer-only civs add a little flavor :).  Especially now that archers are buffed a little in their walk speed.

So I don't think a Kushite skirmisher change is needed.  Just FYI, there are two things making the merc javelinist less desirable than a normal javelinist.  One challenge is that since they aren't available until age II and require a building that you can't build in age I, you can't spam them to form your army initially, which puts you at a disadvantage in early engagements or in an initial age III push.  Also, if you don't have extra metal mines then you don't have the metal to spare to build up a large mercenary force.

 

Chasing siege towers with clubmen or champion infantry swordsmen/axemen is a tricky proposition.  If your opponent has good micro, the towers can just retreat and usually not die, while killing everything that was chasing them.  4+ garrisoned siege towers are almost invincible if the opponent has no catapults, rams, or sword cavalry.  Once this was demonstrated a few months ago in a22, many players banned siege towers from their infantry-only a22 games.  Chasing siege towers with rams is a partial solution that often lets you take down a tower or two and chase all the towers away from the area temporarily, but the towers can kill the rams eventually as they retreat, and this doesn't work if the enemy with the siege towers also has good anti-ram such as sword cavalry.

It could be seen that this ability to run away with siege towers while slaughtering infantry chasing them, is not historically accurate.  Siege towers historically would be rolled up to city walls and used to attack the walls with rams or as a covered ladder to allow troops onto the battlements.  Siege towers were also much slower than an infantry walking pace and wouldn't have been able to run away.  So perhaps a rework of siege towers is needed.  It would be annoying to make them much slower since they're already fairly slow, like other siege.  Perhaps they could lose their ability to shoot arrows while moving.

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Kushites had catapults in DE (I think all civs have them there) but I removed them due to the kush unit roster being too vast already

 

And as for siege towers all civs have some kind of counter

Removing attack ability while moving would be a great way to set them aside for a whole alpha, allowing them to win the title of Most Useless Unit of the Year.

I'm glad someone is interested in their well-being at least.

Also if you block their path with a few units they will get slowed, unless of course you just like to order units to trail behind as an honour guard

 

Catapult spam seems a half-viable option this release so it should be ok

 

As @elexis wanted to mention in the release announcement (but later took it out), Kushites would like to prove that there is Strength in Diversity. Nevertheless they shouldn't be given all the candy or some might cry.

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23 hours ago, Sundiata said:

I'm actually of the opinion that every civ (without exception) should have a battering ram, even if its just a glorified log carried by some men. There is no technology here, its just log meet gate, boom, caveman logic... 

I like the idea. Could be like a less powerful ram, with lower pierce armor and higher moving speed. Also cheaper. Could be present in civs without proper rams.

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1 hour ago, coworotel said:

I like the idea. Could be like a less powerful ram, with lower pierce armor and higher moving speed. Also cheaper. Could be present in civs without proper rams.

Basically @Alexandermb's Xiongnu ram for all that don't have a dedicated ram yet...

image.png.c71c3a95423ddc8ef00bd5e6af34eb40.png.1407b951f2ff95e59599c3f687552255.png

 

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IMO siege weapon capturability should be removed completely. It causes units to do extremely stupid things and is basically useless since killing the siege weapons is almost always faster, by several times. Also I'm pretty sure that every civ has a ram already, and if not rams then elephants which are basically the same thing just with a different weakness. However not every civ has a catapult, which is more problematic since catapults are basically the only ranged siege weapon and the only thing that can shoot over friendly and enemy units without being blocked by meat shields. Siege towers and bolt shooters don't even qualify as siege weapons, since they barely do any crush damage and take forever to kill buildings.

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Removing attack ability while moving would be a great way to set them aside for a whole alpha, allowing them to win the title of Most Useless Unit of the Year.

Sure, but retreating with a siege tower while shooting arrows is not historically accurate.  Siege towers were never used like that.  They could do more damage to compensate, or have stronger defenses closer to an actual defense tower.

Perhaps siege towers could have a secondary battering ram attack added.  That would be closer to their real use.

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Also if you block their path with a few units they will get slowed, unless of course you just like to order units to trail behind as an honour guard

It's possible in theory for Kushites to use skirmisher cavalry to block the tower while using spearmen to kill it... if you have overwhelming numbers and the enemy has no units on the ground to stop you.  I've seen blocking the tower with troops to work sometimes, but it's usually not going to lead to an efficient trade of units.

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Siege towers were meant to take walls

They can't. Hence the fantasy stuff

They take a long time to train and aren't cheap either

Never heard of ramming attack, that sounds as novel as shooting out the back wall

Historically, catapults and bolt-shooters could be mounted on these engines to batter enemy walls and the units on them

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Many siege towers had rams, the persian ram is based off of an Assyrian stelae depiction of a siege tower, typically the further down the tower, the heavier caliber siege weapons were mounted, including rams.

However siege towers like the helepolis were made to clear and capture walls. comically slowly

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Kushites should get catapults or rams, not only to deal with siege towers, but also because it's very difficult to assault a fortified position with only elephants.  If the enemy has 50 skirmishers, the elephants will die before they manage to kill anything, and if he also has garrisoned towers and a fort, you can't send in your own citizen-soldiers to kill the skirmishers at an effective k/d.

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perhaps siege towers could just have a capture rate equal to a multiplicator multiplied by the number of soldiers garrisoned into it with the only role to capture buildings in safety and efficiently.

Actually micromanaging units to make an efficient usage of siege towers arrows limit is annoying and really slow actions down.

As it is the slowest between the other sieges makes the direction managing and the timing to perform such maneuver a matter of palyer skills.

it seems reasonable to completly make sieges unattackable from ranged distance and have some kind of special attack like the Slaughter for animals giving the possibility to any kind of units (melee or not) to attack the siege on close quarter distance only with a custom animation or perhaps with knifes (like women already do).

Edited by Grugnas
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The main problem with Bowmen starting civs is that any civ starting with skirmishers has the advantage of having strong economy and attack power.

Skirmishers high movement speed give them the title of best economy-friendly units. They grant fast expanding, fast resources delivery, fast raids.

Usually players reach 60/70 population before phasing up, and 35% of that population is made of skirmishers if available at beginning, which can choose the time and the place for a battle.

Swordsmen are effective against rams only if massed (20 sec each to train vs 30 sec each to train), as they are the first target of any ranged unit.

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Archers is another one of those units that every civ should have, without exception. Even Sparta could have Helot Archers, mentioned before by @Hannibal_Barca. Even Vercingetorix massed Celtic archers at Alesia... Some civs should just have better archers than others (perhaps only after specific town-phase upgrade for archery heavy civs), but it shouldn't make a huge difference in village phase i.m.o. I don't see the logic behind limiting historically accurate units in some civs... Yeah, I get it gameplay, but this is a good example of how its actually messing with the gameplay. Where it is historically accurate, civs should have acces to those units that can help mitigate some of their weaknesses.

 

Edited by Sundiata
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7 minutes ago, Sundiata said:

Archers is another one of those units that every civ should have, without exception. Even Sparta could have Helot Archers, mentioned before by @Hannibal_Barca. Even Vercingetorix massed Celtic archers at Alesia... Some civs should just have better archers than others (perhaps only after specific town-phase upgrade for archery heavy civs), but it shouldn't make a huge difference in village phase i.m.o. I don't see the logic behind limiting historically accurate units in some civs... Yeah, I get it gameplay, but this is a good example of how its actually messing with the gameplay. Where it is historically accurate, civs should have acces to those units that can help mitigate some of their weaknesses.

 

Rome and Sparta frequently deployed Cretan archers. At its peak Athens funded a standing corps of thousand Athenian citizens - all archers, of which two hundred had horses (the Scythian "archers" did not participate in warfare, nor did they fight with bow-and-arrow; they were state slaves who performed police duties and were equipped with ropes, sticks, and paint). It is well attested Gauls had foot archers who fought alongside (spear) cavalry. So who are left then? Britons and Iberians, although it's not impossible they deployed archers too (archery is a basic skill known by mankind for millenia).

However, I disagree with your "without exception". Not giving a specific faction archers should remain possible.

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