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==[balancing]== Pikeman in A25


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Sources: https://military.wikia.org/wiki/Phalanx_formation

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macedonian_phalanx

All of these suggested that pikeman was used in a phalanx formation. There is no reason to remove it!

In the game, phalanx formation is one of the most effective uses of pikemen. In this formation they are not only good meatshield but also the long sarissa of the pikemen in the second row can reach the enemy melee units, causing extra damage. Phalanx pikeman + javelins or cavalry effectively mows over archers who forget to retreat. 

Edited by Yekaterina
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about pikemen, remember that it's being asked to change their role: 

 

Pikemen are currently OP*, so I think it's a good moment to change their stats completely.

*Pikemen currently lose to other melee infantry, but their durability has a great tactical value, and, as long as ranged units are present, pikemen are very effective: I've done some simulations, and 50 pikes win against 50 spears, if backed up with even just 10 archers (on each side), so in practice spears always lose to pikes.

 

 

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2 hours ago, alre said:

ikemen are currently OP*, so I think it's a good moment to change their stats completely.

*Pikemen currently lose to other melee infantry, but their durability has a great tactical value, and, as long as ranged units are present, pikemen are very effective: I've done some simulations, and 50 pikes win against 50 spears, if backed up with even just 10 archers (on each side), so in practice spears always lose to pikes.

Pikeman civs boom slowly, I suppose that is a nerf

Ptolemies: either pikes or slingers. Very frustrating

Seleucids and kushites: train them from barracks when you need

Macedonians: pikeman civ, but I tend to use pure javelineers in phase 1 and some pikes on mines in P2. 

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The point is, pikeman combined with any ranged troops is quite a good counter to archers in A24. However, they die quickly to anything sword. 

In A25, the charging mechanic makes pikes problematic. A huge cluster of pikes just sprints into enemy lines and start stabbing randomly from their centre. It is very difficult to control them, especially when javelineers run faster than horses...

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1 hour ago, Yekaterina said:

Pikeman civs boom slowly, I suppose that is a nerf

Ptolemies: either pikes or slingers. Very frustrating

Seleucids and kushites: train them from barracks when you need

Macedonians: pikeman civ, but I tend to use pure javelineers in phase 1 and some pikes on mines in P2. 

it certainly depends on the civ, but ptole boom is not bad! and they use pikes a lot. 

1 hour ago, Yekaterina said:

The point is, pikeman combined with any ranged troops is quite a good counter to archers in A24. However, they die quickly to anything sword. 

false. I've repeated the test above and it's sufficient to alter the proportions a bit in favour of archers (40 melee + 20 archers) to make pikes prevail on swords as well. and pikes are cheaper too! truth is pikes are extremely resistant to everything, and they don't have counters.

also their role in game is a mistification of their historical one. see the liked thread.

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2 hours ago, Yekaterina said:

Ptolemies: either pikes or slingers. Very frustrating

Slingers are nice early on. You want to invest all your starting resources to pay dividends. The fact that a Ptolemaic player can build a barrack and train 6 slingers and save 180 wood is useful in the starting phase. Also you seem to be only thinking about men, but there are women too ;P (don't know if you heard that earlier)

If we compare melee units, we need to remember that they are sometimes shot upon while the melee units don't attack (such as capturing). In those cases the pikemen seems to have the advantage. I also made some post on how useful pikemen are:

The second title was just to troll a little and make a point of target dummies ;P. I called on purpose it "what if..." instead of "how do you think about if..." or "what would happen if..."

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Keep in mind that pikemen are very good against archers and are very helpful in masses. In a25 it is expected that archers will be less OP and people will use slingers and skirmishers more often. Skirmishers are better than archers versus pikes, so my guess is that pikes will not seem as indestructible in a25. Perhaps adjusting the +40% ptol hero bonus is a good idea, but otherwise I don't think general pikes are mega-op. 

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7 hours ago, azayrahmad said:

As I noticed from @Yekaterina 's demonstration of Mace pikemen, I feel like pikemen are too fast. Wielding pike that long should be difficult. I suggest either slowing down their running speed, or trigger the charging order on closer range, or combination of the two. 

I would point out that despite pikemen carrying a long pike, that weighed, if we are to believe wikipedia, 14 pounds, they compensated by wearing much less obtrusive equipment.  Their shields were smaller and their armour tended to be lighter.  An example of their flexibility on the field could be seen in the Battle of Guagamela in which the pike formation was able to move out of the path of Darius' scythe chariots, ensuring that the brunt of the Persian shock force died to the harassment of missile troops.  

Pikemen should move more or less at the same speed as other infantry, not significantly slower.  They should be able to resist melee attacks fairly well yet be somewhat vulnerable to missiles.  The key strength, I will reiterate, is that they should be able to make use of their range; currently the range of the pikeman is roughly half of its real-world counterpart.  Thus their strength should be when massed, being able to beat virtually everything in a straight-up fight.

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1 hour ago, BreakfastBurrito_007 said:

@alre Don't skirmishers do more damage?

yes, more of the same kind. when I say "10 archer", count some 4 skirmishers instead, and the result is the same.

40 minutes ago, Thorfinn the Shallow Minded said:

I would point out that despite pikemen carrying a long pike, that weighed, if we are to believe wikipedia, 14 pounds, they compensated by wearing much less obtrusive equipment.  Their shields were smaller and their armour tended to be lighter.  An example of their flexibility on the field could be seen in the Battle of Guagamela in which the pike formation was able to move out of the path of Darius' scythe chariots, ensuring that the brunt of the Persian shock force died to the harassment of missile troops.  

Pikemen should move more or less at the same speed as other infantry, not significantly slower.  They should be able to resist melee attacks fairly well yet be somewhat vulnerable to missiles.  The key strength, I will reiterate, is that they should be able to make use of their range; currently the range of the pikeman is roughly half of its real-world counterpart.  Thus their strength should be when massed, being able to beat virtually everything in a straight-up fight.

wouldn't you agree that the phalanx was significantly less manouvrable than - as a typical comparison - the roman legion? speed of units in game is based more on general "manouvrability" than on actual speed of moving soldiers.

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Guys historically  pikes are comparable to a road roller but we can't have that in the game. The issue here is they are too spongy right? Is this really that bad? If so then look no further than the AOE II unit "kamayuk", lightly armoured but with a very pronounced ranged adantage.

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2 hours ago, Thorfinn the Shallow Minded said:

Pikemen should move more or less at the same speed as other infantry, not significantly slower.  

I still think they should walk at the same rate as any other melee infantry (to avoid hindering economy), I just suggest that the running multiplier should be less than spearmen.

2 hours ago, Thorfinn the Shallow Minded said:

The key strength, I will reiterate, is that they should be able to make use of their range; currently the range of the pikeman is roughly half of its real-world counterpart.  

This I agree. So this?:

I will repost the pike video here for clarity:

Also some have bring up Kamayuk, here's an example:

 

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5 hours ago, PyrrhicVictoryGuy said:

If so then look no further than the AOE II unit "kamayuk", lightly armoured but with a very pronounced ranged adantage.

One big difference between age of empires 2 and 0 ad concerning this topic is unit pathing. If you have a block of 7*7=49 kamayuks fighting against 7*7=49 champions, then you will see that a lot of the champions are looking to find a target and not actually fighting and contributing. This is an issue with age of empires 2 melee units. If you try the same with 0ad pikemen and swordsmen, you see that the swordsmen are fairly quick to all find a target.

Unless we make pathfinding worse, it will not be like AoE2 :banana:

Instead of looking at AoE2, look at 0AD and spectate some fights. The longer pikes do not make to much of a difference in 0AD.

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9 hours ago, Thorfinn the Shallow Minded said:

Thus their strength should be when massed, being able to beat virtually everything in a straight-up fight.

And the reason why historical realism should take a backseat to gameplay considerations. 

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7 hours ago, PyrrhicVictoryGuy said:

Guys historically  pikes are comparable to a road roller but we can't have that in the game. The issue here is they are too spongy right? Is this really that bad? If so then look no further than the AOE II unit "kamayuk", lightly armoured but with a very pronounced ranged adantage.

just keep their high hack armor, but decrease their pierce armor. so simple. for a reference look at AoE I 'phalanx' unit.

31 minutes ago, chrstgtr said:

And the reason why historical realism should take a backseat to gameplay considerations. 

don't agree here. we can see macedonian phalanx was not historically invincible, so making it historically accurate doesn't mean that it becomes invincible at all. just really effective in some specific circumstances.

anyway, I hope we agree pikes are op, so I'm actually proposing a nerf.

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1 minute ago, alre said:

don't agree here. we can see macedonian phalanx was not historically invincible, so making it historically accurate doesn't mean that it becomes invincible at all. just really effective in some specific circumstances.

 

Regardless of whether you agree with the particular context, there is clearly a problem when the "historian," who consistently advocates total fidelity between gameplay and history, says one unit should "beat virtually everything." If you care at all about gameplay or balance considerations then gameplay has to take the front seat because history is determinative--we already know who wins in Rome vs. Gauls, Athens vs. Sparta, etc. 0 AD is a game, not a simulation. 

 

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3 hours ago, LetswaveaBook said:

One big difference between age of empires 2 and 0 ad concerning this topic is unit pathing. If you have a block of 7*7=49 kamayuks fighting against 7*7=49 champions, then you will see that a lot of the champions are looking to find a target and not actually fighting and contributing. This is an issue with age of empires 2 melee units. If you try the same with 0ad pikemen and swordsmen, you see that the swordsmen are fairly quick to all find a target.

Unless we make pathfinding worse, it will not be like AoE2 :banana:

Instead of looking at AoE2, look at 0AD and spectate some fights. The longer pikes do not make to much of a difference in 0AD.

Well I was looking into bringing to 0Ad the concept and function of the unit really. In game if you put the pikes in defensive stance and on a syntagama then the second row of pikemen attack too. But this is just not pratical thats why proposed to give them more range but make the less of damage sponges. Of course copying the unit from aoe2 wouldn't work .

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7 hours ago, chrstgtr said:

Regardless of whether you agree with the particular context, there is clearly a problem when the "historian," who consistently advocates total fidelity between gameplay and history, says one unit should "beat virtually everything." If you care at all about gameplay or balance considerations then gameplay has to take the front seat because history is determinative--we already know who wins in Rome vs. Gauls, Athens vs. Sparta, etc. 0 AD is a game, not a simulation. 

I was being a bit hyperbolic there and speaking in general terms; also that's a bit of a strawman argument.  The point about decreasing pierce armour as alre said would be a good way of introducing a valid Achilles heel to this unit (Which I should remind you I also said in that post).  Instead of being a tank, they would turn into effective fighters is cases where numbers are high.  When I said straight up fight, I was referring to melee when massed, and a still stand by that position in that specific context.  Pikemen could potentially still lose in one-on-one fights against their infantry counterparts.

17 hours ago, alre said:

wouldn't you agree that the phalanx was significantly less manouvrable than - as a typical comparison - the roman legion? speed of units in game is based more on general "manouvrability" than on actual speed of moving soldiers.

The point I would make is that the differences should be marginal.  I could see swordsmen being maybe a bit faster than spearmen and pikemen being a bit slower than them, but the point is not to turn them into human turtles.

14 hours ago, azayrahmad said:

This I agree. So this?:

I would agree.  At the moment pikemen have to basically be on standground to take advantage of the extra range, and an increase would make it become a less niche ability.

Edited by Thorfinn the Shallow Minded
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