Jump to content

Should Camel Archers be Mercenaries?


Recommended Posts

I feel like we have been bogged down in A24 TG arguments. However, A24 expires in a few weeks so we probably should be looking at A25 scenarios, not A24. 

Now, in A25 the archers are weaker, so camel archers are automatically nerfed. However, cavalry in general has benefitted from the faster turning times and better pathfinding, so camels are weaker relative to other cavalry types but still maintain their cavalry advantages over infantry archers. With that being said, camels are not significantly better than infantry archers as the experiment shows. Yes, there is a historical inconsistency for ptol camel archers but in terms of balancing in A25 I think they are acceptable and nowhere near as OP as A24.

Another experiment in the Atlas Editor shows:

  • Camel archer is no different to any other cavalry archer as of A25
  • Camel archer will lose to a spear cavalry in a 1v1 from an initial distance of 80 metres between them. The spear cavalry would still have half of its max health left. 
  • Camel archer will lose to a sword cavalry and the sword cavalry will have less than half of max health left. 
  • Camel archer will lose to a javelin cavalry and the javelin cavalry will have half of its health left. 

Even more surprisingly:

An infantry javelineer just won against a camel from 80 metres separation

 

Hopefully this will inform your decision. 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Thorfinn the Shallow Minded said:

Well, doing a cursory look at the army compositions of some of the more major battles between the successor kingdoms, I only found one for each kind of cavalry being actually used (Battle of Raphia for camel archers and Battle of Magnesia for Dahae horse archers).  These should not be the bread and butter of Ptolemaic or Seleucid army compositions.  As another minor point, Romans having good cavalry is extremely odd.  One of the key reasons behind Hannibal's success against them was the noticeably inferior cavalry the Romans used.  In fact the defeat at Zama can at large (but not only) be attributed to the loss of support of Numidian cavalry as a troop type.  

Cheap cavalry is itself strange.  All these points considered, mercenary status of camel archers or any other units aside, it seems that there are major systemic flaws regarding cavalry that make this topic reach the quagmire is at.  The primary objection people kept on coming back to was that if camel archers were mercenaries, they would cripple the early Ptolemaic economy.  Cavalry as a whole being a cornerstone of the early game economy is absurd unless we are talking about steppe peoples.  A minor supplement maybe, but even that is peculiar.  That all said, the problems as I see them are probably not problems to most others, and I don't expect them to change.  I do appreciate the fact that Yekaterina has done some work to see how this idea might work in action, but unless cavalry as a whole change, I cannot see a world in which camel archers are given a mercenary status.

Ok, since this is coming up frequently these days, I want to address the matter head on, for once. Let's leave chicken aside for a moment, since that's the least part of the problem, and let's instead consider some map full of animals, like Sahel, Ngorngoro, and others. We have a question in front of us: what should we do about factions that historically made little use of cav? Should we allow them to count on cavalry for economic sustainment, as they can now, and as "steppe people" would, or should we make those civs clearly handicapped in comparison to the others?

I think both options are legit, but I like the fact that the game as it is now allows more variety by not forcing the hand of players towards cav civs in game-rich maps. Also I don't think that this is necessarely anti-historic.

Let's take Sparta for instance, as it is probably the most exemplar "footed" faction: first of all, Spartans always had horses, it's not like they didn't know how to mount them, it's just that they used to fight on feet, but we know that some spartans did have horses, and chariots sometimes, they took part of hellenic chariot races. It is true that Sparta always negletted cavalry warfare, but that is arguably because of high cost of horse breeding and relatively low value of horses in Greece peninsula; if Sparta had a colony in the savanna around elephants and giraffes, I bet they would have used horses a lot more, and in fact a famous spartan colony in Italy was Taras, which was indeed well known for its powerful cavalry.

On the other hand, if someone chooses Sparta, it's clear that they are not going to use a lot of cav, the units roster leaves you some liberty, but each civ nudges you in the direction of some particular gameplay choices, based on historical truth. This already effectively happens, even if it's arguable how 0ad civ specific tactics make actual historical sense, but that's another matter.

In conclusion, I think that not only giving phase 1 cav to all civ is not against historical truth, but also that there is no problem in the current approach of the game, as someone that wants to go heavy on cav will surely not choose Sparta for a civ.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 minutes ago, alre said:

Ok, since this is coming up frequently these days, I want to address the matter head on, for once. Let's leave chicken aside for a moment, since that's the least part of the problem, and let's instead consider some map full of animals, like Sahel, Ngorngoro, and others. We have a question in front of us: what should we do about factions that historically made little use of cav? Should we allow them to count on cavalry for economic sustainment, as they can now, and as "steppe people" would, or should we make those civs clearly handicapped in comparison to the others?

I think both options are legit, but I like the fact that the game as it is now allows more variety by not forcing the hand of players towards cav civs in game-rich maps. Also I don't think that this is necessarely anti-historic.

Let's take Sparta for instance, as it is probably the most exemplar "footed" faction: first of all, Spartans always had horses, it's not like they didn't know how to mount them, it's just that they used to fight on feet, but we know that some spartans did have horses, and chariots sometimes, they took part of hellenic chariot races. It is true that Sparta always negletted cavalry warfare, but that is arguably because of high cost of horse breeding and relatively low value of horses in Greece peninsula; if Sparta had a colony in the savanna around elephants and giraffes, I bet they would have used horses a lot more, and in fact a famous spartan colony in Italy was Taras, which was indeed well known for its powerful cavalry.

On the other hand, if someone chooses Sparta, it's clear that they are not going to use a lot of cav, the units roster leaves you some liberty, but each civ nudges you in the direction of some particular gameplay choices, based on historical truth. This already effectively happens, even if it's arguable how 0ad civ specific tactics make actual historical sense, but that's another matter.

In conclusion, I think that not only giving phase 1 cav to all civ is not against historical truth, but also that there is no problem in the current approach of the game, as someone that wants to go heavy on cav will surely not choose Sparta for a civ.

I think this is mostly true. What we could do to further stress Spartas lack cavalry, is removing the 10% cavarly hp upgrade.

Also, if someone wants to go with cavalry and selects random civ, he could get Sparta. If I desire to use a lot of mounted archers(which I tend to desire), I go Ptolemies for the camel archers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 hours ago, alre said:

or should we make those civs clearly handicapped in comparison to the others?

You are making a false dichotomy there.  Civilisations without access to cavalry could still theoretically be powerful, but the game railroads currently.  To address your other points.

So there seem to be a few misconceptions with this idea of cavalry hunting.  If you read most Greek and Latin classics, the animal of choice for a hunt is typically a dog, not a horse, and most hunting seems to have been done on foot.  If you don’t believe me, doing a brief search for ancient Greek and Roman art represents hunting on foot primarily, not horseback.  I can’t necessarily speak for non-Greco-Roman hunting, but I would not be surprised if it was similar. 

Also the point about Sparta being in a different area doesn’t exactly work.  Yes, their colonies had different institutions, but broadly speaking the social changes that led to the exclusive use of hoplites came after the Messenian Wars, after their colonial ventures.  Cavalry use implies a disparity of wealth, which the Spartan constitution worked to prevent that.  One of the strongest proponents for a strong Spartan cavalry force Agesilaus II was able to raise an effectual troop, but with his death it more or less disbanded.  Examples of powers such as Macedonia that were able to field competent cavalry were primarily able to do so due to a powerful aristocracy.  Sparta required egalitarian laws amongst its citizenry to unite them against the disenfranchised helots; since the game represents helots, we can assume that the constitution also is in part implied, meaning that heavy use of cavalry in that context would still be ahistorical.

In summation, forcing civilisations to have cavalry in the early game because hunting is a critical part of the economy makes little to no sense when looking at how hunting was done.

15 hours ago, LetswaveaBook said:

I think this is mostly true. What we could do to further stress Spartas lack cavalry, is removing the 10% cavarly hp upgrade.

I would definitely welcome this sort of change.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

23 minutes ago, Thorfinn the Shallow Minded said:

You are making a false dichotomy there.  Civilisations without access to cavalry could still theoretically be powerful, but the game railroads currently.  To address your other points.

So there seem to be a few misconceptions with this idea of cavalry hunting.  If you read most Greek and Latin classics, the animal of choice for a hunt is typically a dog, not a horse, and most hunting seems to have been done on foot.  If you don’t believe me, doing a brief search for ancient Greek and Roman art represents hunting on foot primarily, not horseback.  I can’t necessarily speak for non-Greco-Roman hunting, but I would not be surprised if it was similar. 

Also the point about Sparta being in a different area doesn’t exactly work.  Yes, their colonies had different institutions, but broadly speaking the social changes that led to the exclusive use of hoplites came after the Messenian Wars, after their colonial ventures.  Cavalry use implies a disparity of wealth, which the Spartan constitution worked to prevent that.  One of the strongest proponents for a strong Spartan cavalry force Agesilaus II was able to raise an effectual troop, but with his death it more or less disbanded.  Examples of powers such as Macedonia that were able to field competent cavalry were primarily able to do so due to a powerful aristocracy.  Sparta required egalitarian laws amongst its citizenry to unite them against the disenfranchised helots; since the game represents helots, we can assume that the constitution also is in part implied, meaning that heavy use of cavalry in that context would still be ahistorical.

In summation, forcing civilisations to have cavalry in the early game because hunting is a critical part of the economy makes little to no sense when looking at how hunting was done.

I would definitely welcome this sort of change.

Heavy resistance to meta changes is to be expected.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I believe you, steppe people used horses more for breeding than for hunting, but this is not really the point in my mind. The point is that those map feature a different kind of economy that makes cavalry quite important in the early game, not only because of eco itself, but also because of the strategic implications of having good economic reasons to create an early cavalry force (one that has little to do with aristocracy, horses are not a luxury in grasslands).

Unless the economic role of cavalry is changed completely, my point stands. And while I would personally like to see hunting not reserved to cavalry alone, I still think that maps where cav is privileged are not a bad idea, and that "footed civs" should be able to fit in them. [clarification: by having access to mounted workers too, that's my whole point and I believe it's not against history per se]

Edited by alre
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Thorfinn the Shallow Minded said:

In summation, forcing civilisations to have cavalry in the early game because hunting is a critical part of the economy makes little to no sense when looking at how hunting was done.

We need to make it more viable for foot units to be able to hunt. For that, a simple dagger just won't do; the game needs weapon switching (which would just generally be a good feature for multiple reasons).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

23 minutes ago, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:

We need to make it more viable for foot units to be able to hunt. For that, a simple dagger just won't do; the game needs weapon switching (which would just generally be a good feature for multiple reasons).

But then those same civs would need other parameters of their roster revisited as well...

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

25 minutes ago, LetswaveaBook said:

And that is were the creator of Delenda est comes in...

To that guy, "radical changes" mean making hunting viable for foot units. lol 

 

Adding battalions, charging, trampling: all radical. Some stats changes, not radical.

Edited by wowgetoffyourcellphone
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...