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Packing and Unpacking Rams and Siege Towers


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As it stands, Rams and Siege towers behave like tanks on the field instead of strictly siege units, as they ought to be, I would propose a similar fix as is had with catapults and bolt shooters, a vulnerable mobile stage and a painfully slow attack stance. Moving packed siege across large swaths of territory wont be as tedious if we were to just drop unit speed to something more realistic, something we can save for its unpacked variation.

Discuss if you would, I have a long standing gripe with rams and haven't played A23 enough to get a feel for how their latest iteration is, so my  opinion is likely both biased and outdated.

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It doesn't make historical sense for a ram to have to unpack.  They were built on the site of a siege, not transported in a packed form, and once built they could roll around on their own without unpa

Maybe when workshops are fully implemented? Set it as a requirement for siege equipment construction in the field.

As it stands, Rams and Siege towers behave like tanks on the field instead of strictly siege units, as they ought to be, I would propose a similar fix as is had with catapults and bolt shooters, a vul

It doesn't make historical sense for a ram to have to unpack.  They were built on the site of a siege, not transported in a packed form, and once built they could roll around on their own without unpacking.  Same for siege towers.

Better to make rams unable to attack biological units, and do something else for siege towers.

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So maybe indeed make siege towers specialists at capturing (walls, towers, fortress), but not much more.

Build workshop and train engineers to build siege equipment in the field. Engineers have poor defense and attack, but are used/required for building siege equipment. Engineers could carry a small cart with wood, which can be converted into siege towers or battering rams. Artillery should remain as it is.

All siege moves even slower, so they can't maraud over the map.

Spearman can take out siege as well as swordsmen. Ranged units remain mostly useless against siege (except for the xiongnu ram/uncovered log carried by men, which should go down relatively easily if unprotected by your men)

Edited by Sundiata
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Construction on the field is ideal, I'm thinking of feasible short term solutions that can be easily compromised on. Also lets not let historical accuracy get in the way of gameplay, I'm beginning to learn the error of that train of thought the hard way.

If we don't move on an issue because the alternative's details are inaccurate we won't see any movement at all.

pushing machines to the siege site, probably not

building machines out of thin air on site might seem a bit hacky but ok sounds fun

pulling materials to the site to be constructed before pushing in the finished machine very slowly, more likely?

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Would be nice to have resources depend on a local deposit like the mauryan elephant. You'll send it to the cc to get resources or ask units around it to use it as a deposit and when there is enough resources you could make it create a ram.

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Things that are possible right now:

  • lower battering ram base damage and give it a bonus attack vs gates or defensive structures
  • prevent battering rams from attacking non-mechanical units by inserting 
    <RestrictedClasses datatype="tokens">Organic</RestrictedClasses>
    in their attack
  • give all factions a battering ram in town phase
  • enable siege workshops for all factions (they're already there) in town phase (and remove all siege weapons and technologies from the fortress)
  • introduce a new, vulnerable unit, a siege engineer, which can train battering rams and siege towers
  • lower battering ram and siege tower movement speed to about 50% of the slowest melee infantry
  • give all melee infantry a restricted "ranged" attack vs siege, ships, and structures (and restrict their normal melee attack against those classes), to ensure they are all equally effective
  • and probably quite a few other things I can't think of at the moment
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If a fortress falls or a player is defeated, expensive and slow siege weapons will be left stranded. I would favor buildable units instead of trained ones if they'd be spawned from units.

I like the extremely slow siege idea, and the cross-civ rams. We may need to make that a new offhand art project.

The unit siege attack idea feels awfully hacky though, and I don't believe its necessary at the moment. I'm not sure when or why pierce damage made its way back into spearman/pikeman attack values, IMO that should be reserved for ranged units

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My suggestion in other topic:

Spoiler

I think that more than a conscious decision, it's the result of the attack and armour types design. Spearmen and swordsmen share the same stats except movement velocity and attack: swordsmen have 5.5 hack damage, but spearmen have 3.5 hack + 2.5 pierce damage.

The fact that, to protect from ranged units that make only pierce damage (except slingers, that have 1 crush damage), rams have a level 50 of pierce armour, that negates the 99% of pierce damage, evading the fire from missile infantry, but also the damage of spears. Pikemen have 1 of hack damage, and 3 of pierce.

That, coupled with the the ability to target units (because pathfinding, I can understand it), makes rams too much powerful for my taste. They are not invulnerable, btw.

I suggest:

- For rams: give spearman and pikemen a bonus against rams (no need of displaying this info in the description, because that could lead the players to think that this units have an anti-ram purpouse), slightly lower than the swords, so swordmen still being better than the other melee classes. (if hack/pierce/crush isn't changed to melee/pierce/siege)

-For siege towers: as Sundiata said, siege towers shouldn't be able to be captured, of the stance of the units against them should be first destroy, not capture. Their role shouldn't be mobile tanks in the open fields, but a siege engine: would be cool that they would be able to target with the ranged attack of the missile infantry, only the garrisoned infantry in the walls.  

About siege towers. It's is possible for the engine to give to a garrisoned unit (that works with the turret component, so an archer in a wall) a token? So siege towers could have a restricted attack against them only? Capturing walls doesn't have too much sense, because later the player would delete it...

Back to rams, remember that they have a garrison capacity: that and the combination of an army should defend the ram, no the ram should defend itself. (But a garrison ram could lead to odd situations like AoEII, that are used to transport and protect infantry from ranged attacks, like Teuton knights)

BTW, it's important to tune correctly the balance with this siege unit: if it's too fragile, with the low attack of organic units against buildings, we'll playing stalemates. Remember that it's also available for almost all civs, for some of them only way to break sieges.

I'm definitively for restricting the attack to buildings only.

50 minutes ago, Nescio said:
  • give all factions a battering ram in town phase
  • enable siege workshops for all factions (they're already there) in town phase (and remove all siege weapons and technologies from the fortress)

That could be tested and experimented, because walls and turrets are introduced in the second phase, but could maybe to problems (but make 2 phase more interesting).

Siege engineers doesn't fit to all civs, and leads to imbalance more the siege capabilities to civs that already have strong sieges.

The problem of buildable siege in the moment, could lead to try to sneak some units and then build a ram in a weak spot. It doesn't sound great at all. Maybe rams needs a slight speed nerf, but be careful about that.

I don't know if changing /hack/pierce/crush into melee/ranged/siege would be better for design, but generally you want that units that are weak against melee attacks, are to all kinds of (except horses)

 

Maybe this topic should merge with the other one: https://wildfiregames.com/forum/index.php?/topic/24411-battering-ram-overpowered/&amp;tab=comments#comment-356053

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And I've just written a mod to show my suggestions: siege.zip Feel free to try it out yourself :)

1 hour ago, stanislas69 said:

/me wonders what happens if you Garrison the engineer in a fortress just after making him make a ram.

A very good question! Because I had no idea either what would happen, I play-tested how 0 A.D. would handle it. It turns out the unit training is paused as long as the trainer is garrisoned; a sensible solution.

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7 hours ago, LordGood said:

I'm not sure when or why pierce damage made its way back into spearman/pikeman attack values, IMO that should be reserved for ranged units

Crush is reserved for buildings damage. If pierce would be reserved for ranged units, where would be the difference in swordmen, speramen and pikemen? (They could only do hack damage then)

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41 minutes ago, Imarok said:

Crush is reserved for buildings damage.

Yes, and that's problematic. Historically macemen were highly effective vs armoured units and slingers vs foot archers (because they could outrange them). However, in 0 A.D. all soldiers have ridiculously high crush armour, which make crush damage units not very effective.

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4 hours ago, Imarok said:

Crush is reserved for buildings damage. If pierce would be reserved for ranged units, where would be the difference in swordmen, speramen and pikemen? (They could only do hack damage then)

attack rate/attack range/speed/armor(type effectiveness)/counter bonuses

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4 minutes ago, LordGood said:

attack rate/attack range/speed/armor(type effectiveness)/counter bonuses

Indeed. It's like folks forget that this was all thought about years ago. Reintroduce attack bonuses and a lot of concerns like this are taken care of:

4 hours ago, Nescio said:

Yes, and that's problematic. Historically macemen were highly effective vs armoured units and slingers vs foot archers (because they could outrange them). However, in 0 A.D. all soldiers have ridiculously high crush armour, which make crush damage units not very effective.

"Macemen" were rare in our timeframe.  But for units like the Mauryan Macedude, just give him an attack bonus vs. "Whatever" class and let his crush damage do its work on buildings. And your concern presupposes that slingers have to use crush attack. They don't have to. Everything is changeable. 

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We should be sparing with unit counters. Before the soft system it was all some units were good for, everything had a counter applied to it regardless of whether or not it was needed. 

Good discussions here, I like the involvement. 

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