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[Brainstorming] the role of units and classes.


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I too have my two cents on Thorfinn's comment ,his proposals for the melee cavalry aren't that great as the game already implements these to an extent. Instead i would see an overlap in the functions of both melee variants: all cav should specialize in dealing with ranged infantry period, then sword cav could soft counter artillery much like their foot counterpart and spear cav could keep being a softcounter to cavalry in general. My reasoning for this is that while sword cav civilizations usually also have spear cav, spear cav civs don't normally have sword cav.

Also @ChronA sword cav generally have a shield so i think them being a sponge for arrows makes sense.

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7 minutes ago, ChronA said:

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).

I never said that ranged infantry would be able to beat cavalry.  Ranged units could beat swordsmen and might be the best units to do so, but typically they would rely on a unit in front to be able to tank damage.  Perhaps swordsmen should not do any better against spearmen if traits such as improved movement speed and pierce armour were introduced.  That whole concept seems fairly ahistorical.  

11 minutes ago, ChronA said:

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.

I think that there would be some clear problems, but adjusting turning speed could make it less potent than you might think.  There would definitely need to be some fine tuning with that to ensure that the ranged versus melee dichotomy would work in that framework.  Definitely that is a liability to my writeup, but I think that it would provide some much needed differentiation.  As I had stated, javelin units in this might work best to beat archers, outperforming their damage and not getting into minimum range; the major bottleneck would be giving them the right amount of pierce armour.  

16 minutes ago, ChronA said:

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.

Fair.  That said, most of the time cavalry were equipped with some of the heaviest armour provided that they were fielded to enter melee fights.  Peasant farmers rarely rode horses to battle.

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45 minutes ago, Thorfinn the Shallow Minded said:
1 hour ago, ChronA said:

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).

I never said that ranged infantry would be able to beat cavalry.

Neither did I. However, I see I was in error because you specified that foot javelinists should be "situationally useful against melee infantry"... meaning that civs with javelin skirmishers could build them to counter foot swordsmen, spearmen, & pikemen (& elephants). Then in turn cavalry could be produced to counter them. That still leaves no clear reason to produce foot archers or slinger, but it is better than I thought.

 

58 minutes ago, PyrrhicVictoryGuy said:

Also @ChronA sword cav generally have a shield so i think them being a sponge for arrows makes sense.

Yes, I've looked at them. Those shields cover about 60% of the rider and 10% of the horse... which leaves the horse looking mighty squishy. 

1 hour ago, Thorfinn the Shallow Minded said:

Peasant farmers rarely rode horses to battle.

Agreed. And yet: the Athenian Hippeus b...:unsure:

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5 hours ago, alre said:

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.

me too, have not tried Bolt shooters.

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2 hours ago, PyrrhicVictoryGuy said:

I too have my two cents on Thorfinn's comment ,his proposals for the melee cavalry aren't that great as the game already implements these to an extent. Instead i would see an overlap in the functions of both melee variants: all cav should specialize in dealing with ranged infantry period, then sword cav could soft counter artillery much like their foot counterpart and spear cav could keep being a softcounter to cavalry in general. My reasoning for this is that while sword cav civilizations usually also have spear cav, spear cav civs don't normally have sword cav.

To clarify, I generally was stating that all melee cavalry should counter ranged units.  I was being redundant, but in my opinion, it is important to have a clear, wholistic standpoint that represents the interplay of every single unit so that people are better aware of one's vision.  I don't necessarily care for categorising spear and sword classes (See a topic I posted a while ago), but since they are an integral part of the game, I simply worked to differentiate between the two.  Spear cavalry should according to my post still counter ranged units well due to their faster speed, but their lower pierce armour makes them a bit more of a glass cannon unit than the sword counterpart.  

1 hour ago, ChronA said:

That still leaves no clear reason to produce foot archers or slinger, but it is better than I thought.

Fair.  My reasoning is that producing said units would allow for higher damage output to support heavy infantry, which should be the decisive element of most engagements.  Another part could be them acting as a screening force.

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26 minutes ago, Thorfinn the Shallow Minded said:

To clarify, I generally was stating that all melee cavalry should counter ranged units.  I was being redundant, but in my opinion, it is important to have a clear, wholistic standpoint that represents the interplay of every single unit so that people are better aware of one's vision.  I don't necessarily care for categorising spear and sword classes (See a topic I posted a while ago), but since they are an integral part of the game, I simply worked to differentiate between the two.  Spear cavalry should according to my post still counter ranged units well due to their faster speed, but their lower pierce armour makes them a bit more of a glass cannon unit than the sword counterpart.  

Fair.  My reasoning is that producing said units would allow for higher damage output to support heavy infantry, which should be the decisive element of most engagements.  Another part could be them acting as a screening force.

I see your point and that strategy for making them effective at countering ranged units would certainly work if this were a total war like game were a clean charge would disable the group of ranged units from fighting back effectively and can quickly retreat with minimal casualties. But this is a AOE type game were the cavalry will attack the first thing they see leading to collision problems when switching targets or when charging and them overkilling individual units , so what happens ? Sure you kill the guys on the front of the formation but you bet that the other 20 or so guys in the back are going to have a field day with your imobilized cav that you commited.

 

png.thumb.png.b6cc8c2cbcabdaf949208b7d70a72cb4.png

These losses are really bad , not only did you make cav which does not benefit your eco( depends on map but cav that is hunting is not battle ready) but costs a lot when compared to ranged inf and what do you have to show for it? So cav becomes more efficient in theory only.

Edited by PyrrhicVictoryGuy
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We can compare what i have drawn this situation(although it is a bit extreme) to this video below , just imagine that the janissaries were javelineers, if the lancers didn't have the stats they have like melee resist and bonus vs inf this fight would be a disaster.Even so you can clearly see the problems that i posted before too.

 

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I like the video made by Tom 0ad. However there is one major buff for the archers that went unaccounted in his video, that being their speed increase with respect to the other ranged units. The main thing is, if you are going to take out archers, it won't be the slings or skirms that do it, because in most situations they will never get close enough to do damage. In a25, as I understand, skirmishers will move a total of 1.2 m/s faster than archers. Spears and Pikes are great for pushing archers but are only effective in killing them when the archers can not afford/are unable to retreat and overcome the spears/pikes. There is a good discussion about making sword infantry faster than spears, if this is implemented, there would be a some more effective ways to outmaneuver archers rather than succumbing to the predictable behavior of zerging slow melees after them, only to retreat once the archers move back to a fort. Faster infantry options like skirms+swords would make it harder for archers to race to cover flanks of their base like they can so easily do in a24. Based upon the changelog thing, I think ranged units will be nicely balanced in a25, I look forward to trying it out.

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55 minutes ago, BreakfastBurrito_007 said:

However there is one major buff for the archers that went unaccounted in his video, that being their speed increase with respect to the other ranged units. The main thing is, if you are going to take out archers, it won't be the slings or skirms that do it, because in most situations they will never get close enough to do damage. In a25, as I understand, skirmishers will move a total of 1.2 m/s faster than archers.

I have stated before that I don´t like the speed diversion. All ranged units have the same speed and that is fine to me. I don´t understand why people only whine about skirmishers and slingers not being able to outspeed and kill archers. There are tons of other units to consider as a counter to archers. There is no reason why someone carrying several javelins and a shield should be faster than an opponent with a bow and a quiver full of arrows.

What the real issue for me is that if in reality you have a bow and there is a guy with a big shield storming at you from 70 meter distance, how likely do you think that such a situation is good for the archer? The archer first needs to ready an arrow, get a quick aim and then might in reality get a shot from 50 meter and another one from 10 meter. I guess it is not easy to hit the guys body storming at you. If you do shoot from 10 meter, you are probably unable to draw a sword in time and you are dead. If you only shoot 1 arrow, you are unlikely to win the battle either. So that is how I envision ranged combat. If we look at historical battles, people seem not to used the bow a lot on the battle field and most troops were melee. If ranged units were historically really effective, then ranged combat would be used more often. I do think that ranged infantry should be used as an annoyance to force the enemy to retreat or as an invitation to be draw the opponent to a trap.

Also I think cavalry should counter swordsmen infantry. If you have a sword and a cavalrymen storms at you, what are you gonna do? If the swordsmen infantry outnumber the cavalry by a factor 2, they might be able to resist the charge but in equal numbers they should get smashed. Currently in the game a spearman cavalry is equally matched to a  swordsman infantry. So I advocate +1 piece attack for the spear cavalry to perform the role is should perform.

I think it seems to be realistic that swords are easier to carry on foot than spears and hence the swordsmen infantry seem to deserve to be faster.

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2 hours ago, PyrrhicVictoryGuy said:

We can compare what i have drawn this situation(although it is a bit extreme) to this video below , just imagine that the janissaries were javelineers, if the lancers didn't have the stats they have like melee resist and bonus vs inf this fight would be a disaster.Even so you can clearly see the problems that i posted before too.

Your concerns are valid, but I never stated that spear cavalry would have no pierce armour, just less than their sword counterparts.  The point would be that they would be a decent counter to ranged units but not as efficient.  At the end of the day though, just because one cavalryman kills three archers does not mean that ten cavalrymen must defeat thirty.

23 minutes ago, LetswaveaBook said:

Also I think cavalry should counter swordsmen infantry. If you have a sword and a cavalrymen storms at you, what are you gonna do?

The factors you are not considering are formations and the lack of many elements that made knights the effective shock cavalry of the Middle Ages.  Provided that the infantry were disciplined enough, a frontal charge was virtually suicidal.  Swordsmen could trade efficiently against cavalry yet not incredibly well.  If aspects such as flanking were introduced however, cavalry could theoretically be counters for all melee infantry.

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subtle details
swordsmen should and slingers for the type of equipment should be the fast ones. 
the iberian (guerrilla) and athenian (marathon) champions should be somewhat faster than the rest with or without enhancement 
British champions with two-handed weapons should have crushing damage and some bonus vs. big ones in exchange for losing defense.
Viriato, who is the Iberian leader that gives bonus to speed, should be on horseback.
the elephants a small attack in 360 
to avoid the infantry tanking tactic (pikemen) and the massive artillery attack
the catapults and bolt throwers should make friendly fire. 
and as mentioned in other posts, ranged units should have a charge time, cavalry should be more resistant, have a more important use and cataphracts should be by far the most resistant cavalry. 

 

Edited by soloooy0
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4 hours ago, LetswaveaBook said:

There are tons of other units to consider as a counter to archers

Cavalry is the only thing faster than archers. Thats it, archers are the fastest.

There is no historical reason for archers to be slower than skirmishers or slingers, it only makes it less frustrating to fight them. 

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I do believe a quiver might be somewhat encumbering when running at a full sprint, but that would depend on the precise gear arrangement. If the quiver is open the arrows might bounce out. Likewise, if the quiver were loosely strapped to the wearer, it might flap around and disrupt their gait. However a closed or snuggly fitted quiver, which was well secured to the wearer or supported with the dominant hand while running, would sure be no more encumbering than a skirmisher's small shield and javelins.

So, yeah, there might be an argument for a very small speed disadvantage for archers vs slingers and skirmishers, but overall I think giving everyone the same speed is probably the more authentic choice.

5 hours ago, Thorfinn the Shallow Minded said:

The factors you are not considering are formations and the lack of many elements that made knights the effective shock cavalry of the Middle Ages.  Provided that the infantry were disciplined enough, a frontal charge was virtually suicidal.

Yes, I think discipline and training is the key consideration. Putting myself in the sandals of an ancient infantry man, I think I could easily buy the idea of "point this long stick at the charging horsey and he won't run over you because he doesn't want to die." I would be much more skeptical of the instruction "don't worry, the horsey won't run over you because if he does run over you then your friends will maybe try to chop him up with their big knives while he is tanged in your corpse (and he doesn't want to die)."

The former promises me that if the horseman decides to test the theory then he will definitely die, but I might live. The latter tells me I will definitely die if the horse decides to test it, but he will only possibly die. Both actually work equally well provided your mounted opponent is not a suicidal idiot, but the spear works out much better for the front row infantry man on those occasions when the enemy does field suicidal idiots.

The problem is that in 0 AD every unit is a suicidal idiot. That kind of ruins the whole historical concept of the cavalry charge, which was always just a weaponized game of chicken. I'm not sure there is a clean way to fudge the dynamic in the simulation without resorting to a whole aura-based morale system.

Edited by ChronA
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6 hours ago, ChronA said:

I'm not sure there is a clean way to fudge the dynamic in the simulation without resorting to a whole aura-based morale system.

I agree on many points with you. What I think should be the case is that some spear cavalry should be able to beat some infantry while other can not. So the best equipped for the job are the ones with spears and they are more likely to win, while the swordsmen are worse equipped for the job and are less likely to win the fight. I think if spear cavalry are supposed to win sometimes against infantry, in game logic it should be against sword infantry. Disciplined swordsmen might be able to hold, but a citizen soldier would be less likely and be more prone to routing.

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7 minutes ago, LetswaveaBook said:

I agree on many points with you. What I think should be the case is that some spear cavalry should be able to beat some infantry while other can not. So the best equipped for the job are the ones with spears and they are more likely to win, while the swordsmen are worse equipped for the job and are less likely to win the fight. I think if spear cavalry are supposed to win sometimes against infantry, in game logic it should be against sword infantry. Disciplined swordsmen might be able to hold, but a citizen soldier would be less likely and be more prone to routing.

I have an idea!

Battalions. We can add flanking and routing and more interesting combat while not overwhelming the player with too many entities to manage. ;) 

https://www.moddb.com/mods/0-ad-delenda-est/news/battalions-and-formations

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we can introduce flanking mechanics with single units too, it's just that we never considered the idea seriously. I think that, for melee damage in particular, it would be an improvement for how the game plays.

even if battallions were indeed introduced, for even finer sofistications like having spearmen win against swords when in closed order, and lose otherwise, how would that work with battalions? it seems to me that it could actually work better with a single units based flanking bonus.

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12 hours ago, PyrrhicVictoryGuy said:

well i think sword cav already performs better than spear cav against ranged units and i am not in favor of this.

Agree to disagree then.  

3 hours ago, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:

Battalions.

The Godwin's Law of 0 AD: the longer a forum discussion takes place, the more likely it is that wowgetoffyourcellphone will mention battalions.  But yeah, that is a fair point all the same.

Battalions or no, flank mechanics would improve the game in my mind.  

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17 minutes ago, Thorfinn the Shallow Minded said:

well i think sword cav already performs better than spear cav against ranged units and i am not in favor of this.

In the roles we must have.

Anti cavalry cavalry.

-Lancer and sword cavalry

Anti infantry melee infantry melee

-Swordman maybe

Anti ranged infantry infantry ranged.

-Slingers and skirmishers

 

The rest are just:

Anti cavalry.

Pikeman and spearman 

Anti siege

Melee cavalry

Anti infantry melee

Archers.

Anti ranged infantry.

Cavalry melee.

Anti Elephants.

Skirmishers , spears and pikes.

 

 

 

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32 minutes ago, Lion.Kanzen said:

In the roles we must have.

Anti cavalry cavalry.

-Lancer and sword cavalry

Anti infantry melee infantry melee

-Swordman maybe

Anti ranged infantry infantry ranged.

-Slingers and skirmishers

 

The rest are just:

Anti cavalry.

Pikeman and spearman 

Anti siege

Melee cavalry

Anti infantry melee

Archers.

Anti ranged infantry.

Cavalry melee.

Anti Elephants.

Skirmishers , spears and pikes.

 

 

 

Well this sounds much like AOM to me and i am not opposed

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2 hours ago, Lion.Kanzen said:

In the roles we must have.

Anti cavalry cavalry.

-Lancer and sword cavalry

Anti infantry melee infantry melee

-Swordman maybe

Anti ranged infantry infantry ranged.

-Slingers and skirmishers

 

The rest are just:

Anti cavalry.

Pikeman and spearman 

Anti siege

Melee cavalry

Anti infantry melee

Archers.

Anti ranged infantry.

Cavalry melee.

Anti Elephants.

Skirmishers , spears and pikes.

 

 

 

I assume you want 1.5x counter by default? You can have it tonight ( or morning of 3rd June in Honduras)

 

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