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[Brainstorming] the role of units and classes.


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Present Topics.

 

 

Intro

The lack of the role played by the units and technologies that support this attitude makes it difficult in 0 A.D to know how to control and use the units.

 

 

 

 

Game Vision.

Gameplay Plan

<Reserved>

 

 

 

Edited by Lion.Kanzen
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1 hour ago, Yekaterina said:

Here is a suggestion for counters:

Spear -> cav -> archer -> skirmisher -> swords + elephants -> spear 

Sword -> Pike -> ranged 

Slingers are rubbish worker units.

We need soft counters for Empires Ascendants.

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Spearmen: mainly pierce but also hack. Good shield

Swordmen: high hack. 

Roman swordsmen: medium hack and high pierce. High shield. 

Pike: a bit of everything, insane armour

Javelineers: high pierce, medium range, low shield.

Slingers: a little pierce and crush, but very very inaccurate. Spread > 5. Long range >60m, no armour

Archers: no armour, some pierce. Range around 72m

Melee cavalry: high armour, high health. 

Spear cav: high pierce and medium hack and medium crush

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4 minutes ago, Yekaterina said:

Archers: no armour, some pierce. Range around 72m

These did have armor in the advanced and elite rank and a little shield. Especially the Greeks.

 

Eastern archers like Persians and Mauryas had no shield or armor.

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I do like that we are considering unit roles. What my questions are about the game:

1-Why do pikemen have high armor (pikemen did not carry a shield as big as swordsmen did)?

2-Why do swordsmen beat spearmen in melee and why is pikemen in melee defeated by both swordsmen and spearmen?

To be historically accurate, if you have a spear you can carry a big shield and you deserve the defensive bonus, while the pikemen should win in melee against spearmen. So it seems to be in reverse.

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2 hours ago, Lion.Kanzen said:

These did have armor in the advanced and elite rank and a little shield. Especially the Greeks.

 

Eastern archers like Persians and Mauryas had no shield or armor.

Sure about that? What's your source? Persian archers are actually the only ones currently rendered with a shield in game.

I am happy that there is willingness to discuss roles, but I must say @Yekaterina's proposal confuses me. Most asked changes with historical groundings are: 

- increase importance of melee with respect to ranged

- make pikemen stronger as melee fighters, not as arrows soackers, like @LetswaveaBook said. I believe @borg- made a mod like this.

- mitigate, or straight out cancel the differences in damage types among melee units

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30 minutes ago, LetswaveaBook said:

Why do pikemen have high armor (pikemen did not carry a shield as big as swordsmen did)?

Pikemen typically formed a phalanx, in which the sarissa of the men in back rows are lifted at an angle, forming a dense matrix of spikes (like a hedgehog). The sarissa points are capable of deflecting incoming projectiles. Very few projectiles can actually pass the columns of spike and reach the soldier. Even if they do, the soldiers have helmets to protect them. At the front the Sarissa prevents enemy from reaching them, and can intercept incoming projectiles like how you would play tennis / baseball. 

 

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25 minutes ago, alre said:

make pikemen stronger as melee fighters, not as arrows soackers, like @LetswaveaBook said. I believe @borg- made a mod like this.

- mitigate, or straight out cancel the differences in damage types among melee units

If the pikemen don't absorb arrows then who will? I think only the Roman Testudo was on par with Macedonian pike phalanx.

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Your point about pikes absorbing projectiles is interesting, but you can't possibly use a 6 meters long heavy pike like a baseball bat, you may at most hopes it catches something by chance. Also, phalangites couldn't move shields with the same liberty as hoplites and legionaries (they needed both hands for moving the pike), so they couldn't make a wall shield like other heavy infantry. That was a very common tactic, it was not unique to romans (although it's understood that romans employed a perfected version sometimes, called testudo).

I did a quick reserch, and I found this interesting Q&A. It's also worth noting that phalangites wore very effective armor, that persians weren't used to confront, Alexander himself used to wear an armor of the same kind phalangintes had access to (linothorax). In a fair simulation like 0AD, if players are in pair with armor and armor-piercing technologies, archers should be pretty effective against phalangites, more so than against hoplites, I think, not less for sure.

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I don't think using anything as a baseball bat to smash arrows out of the air will work. The tale of pike formations using their long pikes to stop arrows is fairly common, I doubt how much it worked in practice. My guess would be that it won't give complete protection and won't be as protective as equipping each soldier with a big shield. For light armored units, big shields were fairly common and they provided good protection against arrows. The so called shield wall formation was also fairly common throughout history and lasted until late medieval periods.

So I think it is justified to repeat my questions without going astray:

1-Why do pikemen have high armor (pikemen did not carry a shield as big as swordsmen did)?

2-Why do swordsmen beat spearmen in melee and why is pikemen in melee defeated by both swordsmen and spearmen?

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2 minutes ago, LetswaveaBook said:

I don't think using anything as a baseball bat to smash arrows out of the air will work. The tale of pike formations using their long pikes to stop arrows is fairly common, I doubt how much it worked in practice. My guess would be that it won't give complete protection and won't be as protective as equipping each soldier with a big shield. For light armored units, big shields were fairly common and they provided good protection against arrows. The so called shield wall formation was also fairly common throughout history and lasted until late medieval periods.

I agree. I don't think the resilience of attributed to phalangites against ranged infantry had much to do with their gear. While its true that they were heavily armored, its not like heavy spearmen weren't wearing the exact same armor too, with the added advantage of a great big shield.

Something worth considering is that in ancient battles, moral and intimidation were much, much more important than they are in modern warfare. Enemies were defeated, not by killing them to the last man, but by convincing them to break and run away. It could be the tight formation of pikemen made it harder to see the casualties inflicted by projectile attack than the looser formations used by other infantry types. Or maybe they were so hemmed in that it was impossible to turn and run away as an individual even if you wanted to.

Regardless...
I agree that the point is well made. The pikemen models in the game do not look they should by 25% more resistant to ranged attack than the spearmen. This is a case of art design saying one and gameplay saying another.

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my idea for pikeman is a unit with a high hack damage absorption and strong hack / pierce attack, but slow and weak against projectiles/ranged units. Historically is more correct.

Edited by borg-
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  • 3 weeks later...

I give a perfect score of 10/10 for the flying acrobactics made the persian(archer) atheleets , truly a wonderous display of skill and sportmanship , we some beautifull rolls here today. Also you can clearly see that they stay on groung  until the video maybe for dramatic effect.

#CavSupremacy

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spear cav and sword cav are both pretty effective against archers. bolt shooters are really not, I've always seen them used only as a last stand defence in this alpha.

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Since some people have started adding to this topic, I thought that I might as well share my rambling thoughts.  First of all, there are a few key categories: melee infantry, ranged infantry, melee cavalry, ranged cavalry, elephants, and siege.  

-Starting with melee infantry, they would always be cost effective against cavalry.

Spearmen would be the most straightforward counter to cavalry provided that they can reach them.

Swordsmen would have the best pierce armour of the infantry and a slightly faster movement speed than other infantry.  They would trade favourably against spearmen and could potentially provide a threat to ranged units.  Generally speaking this would be a unit that would have no hard counters or be countered very effectively by others.

Pikemen would have as much pierce armour as spearmen at the most, and would derive the greatest advantage in fights from numbers.  One on one, they would lose to spearmen and swordsmen, but as their range becomes an important component of the fight, they would become increasingly overwhelming.  

-Ranged infantry would benefit from the highest range and generally would do well against slow units.  

Javelinists would have the highest damage output of all ranged units to compensate for their low range.  They would also benefit from the highest pierce armour as well.  They would be situationally useful against melee infantry and elephants provided that the player effectively kites with them.  Their marginal movement increase compared to their other ranged counterparts would also allow them to potentially close the gap against archers and slingers.

Archers would generally boast the longest range at the cost of a minimum range.  In general, having a pure archer army would be suicide if any melee units could close the gap.  Their damage output would be nothing incredible.  

Slingers would have an intermediate range and have minimal armour, making them the squishiest of the units.  With the lead bullets technology researched, however, their range would exceed that of archers, but that would only apply to a handful of civilisations.  

-Melee Cavalry would be best against ranged units and always trade poorly against melee infantry.

Sword Cavalry would specialise in killing ranged units.

Spear Cavalry would be a soft counter to sword cavalry and would also be a soft counter to ranged units, but their slightly lower pierce armour would leave them more vulnerable to their attacks.  They would also be one of the fastest units in the game.

-Ranged Cavalry would have lower damage output than their infantry counterparts but would also be the best unit when it comes to hit-and-run tactics.

Javelin Cavalry would be perhaps the best ranged counter to archers.  With their fast movement rate, reasonable dps, and moderate pierce armour, they could move into minimum range easily enough, let out a volley, and get back into minimum range quickly enough to repeat the cycle.  

Cavalry Archers would lack much dps and would have a minimum range, meaning that melee cavalry catching them out would be a massive hazard.  Despite that, their range, comparable to slingers, would allow them to operate at a fairly safe distance while their movement rate would make that a fairly unlikely possibility.  In fact their best counter would be ranged infantry, which would be able to effectively outperform them in a straight fight.

-Elephants seem fine the way they are to me.

-Siege are anti-building units, but the Bolt Shooter is a bit of mixed bag.  It’s speciality should be at targeting clumps of units with its area of effect.

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I broadly agree with Thorfinn's preferences. I have a few comments though.

1. If melee infantry categorically beat both ranged infantry and cavalry, there really is no gameplay reason to ever build anything except melee infantry. For the sake of gameplay diversity, ranged infantry and cavalry really need to provide some sort of value-added beyond the capabilities of the standard swordsmen, spearmen, & pikemen. In this writeup I don't see that they do, except possibly acting as a superior raiding force (which is easily countered by static defense, and so will only see a little bit of early-game play).

2. Giving cav and foot archers minimum range could be a double edged sword. It can make them automatically kite any unit substantially slower than them, which is a pretty huge advantage. My experience playing around with unit modding is that a unit with a minimum range does not always perform worse than the same unit without minimum range. Often it actually becomes MUCH better, sometimes even reversing an intended counter. (But on the other hand, I was just complaining that ranged infantry don't add any value in this schema. Maybe they could all be configured to auto-kite the melee infantry, which would in turn give the cavalry a unique role to play by chasing the pests down.)

3. While I do have any principled objection to providing units intended to counter ranged attack with high pierce resistances, that decision really ought to be reflected in their artwork. An unarmored, tunic-wearing farmer on a horse should not be made an arrow-sponge just because a balance plan dictates that sword cavalry counter ranged.

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