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Role of Cavalry in the Early Game


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Age of Empires had a clear idea of what cavalry in the early game did; it scouted.  I personally enjoyed this since it allowed for something to do during the slower stages of the game.  

In 0 A.D. scouting is less important, which is okay since the pacing is different.  Due to this, cavalry primarily help bolster the economy.  Since these units are highly capable at food gathering when hunting is easy, it often encourages players to mass cavalry for an eventual early rush.  I'd personally say this feels immersion breaking.  Cavalry were the usually elite, not soldiers that one could expect for a village to field.  That said, I would like to open up discussion for possible alternatives to the current implementation.  Here are a few things I've thought of:

Have cavalry not hunt or be much more inefficient at it.  This would by far limit their use.

Make cavalry only trainable in the town phase.  One thing this does that I like is that it still allows for making cavalry a possible but situational hunting unit.  The main downside is that this would make ranged units, unless the meta was changed dramatically, be the dominant type of unit during the village phase in the game.  

Have an artificial block in place aside from the town phase such as a technology or a building requirement like the corral.  Again this would at least delay their production; I'm just not sure if it would be a meaningful enough change.  

 

Edited by Thorfinn the Shallow Minded
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Personally I think cavalry, camelry, chariotry, elephantry, etc. shouldn't be able to gather any resources; they were the elite. Yes, sometimes they would hunt from horseback and kill some animals, but the actual butchering (and carrying) was done by their footmen.

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2 hours ago, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:

Implement a scout class cavalryman for each civ (see Delenda Est, per always). No bonuses except vision range and speed. These are your trash cavalry units and are the only cav trainable in Village Phase.

Macedonians could maybe get a "Thessalian Squadron" upgrade for the scout cav (kinda like the Hussar upgrade in aoe2), where they get a lance and some armor (base scouts just get knives and no armor).

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"Cavalrymen are the elite and are therefore respected; you don't expect them going around slicing chickens."

That's the historical argument right there.
Ironically, it seems that Cavalry Hunters fits the AoE2 timeline better since Knights enjoyed hunting as a game. But as @Nescio pointed out they're still not expected to bring the meat to their families by themselves.

Gameplay-wise, it's also my complaint that they're being overused for Rushes (which should not be the case for Village Phase). I'm still going for what I've suggested:
Cavalry shouldn't be trained in the Civic Center (or at least it trains them significantly slower). Make players earn them through Barracks.

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4 hours ago, happyconcepts said:

You complain a lot, much more than I.

Would you clarify who you mean when you refer to 'you?' All of the comments prior to yours have raised valid points that should be addressed in regards to this topic (In my opinion).  If the complaints are well-founded, I see no reason why they should not be voiced as long as it is done in a respectful tone.  If you have any counter-arguments to anything stated in this thread, I would be glad to hear you out on your concerns.

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