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==[balancing]== Pikeman in A25


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I ran some tests. 1 on 1 a basic swordsmen defeats an advanced pikemen and has 11 HP left and it promotes.

I also tried a test with 52 advanced pikemen vs 52 basic swordsmen in the scenario editor and fairly close formation. 9 swordsmen survived though some had low HP. Their total remaining HP was 853 and they were all elite having thus 60% HP left. From this test it feels like pikemen don't really benefit from increased numbers.

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24 minutes ago, alre said:

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

The Mauryans acclaimed as über OP don't sport pikes. Isn't it great other civs have something in their favour? ;)

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For gameplay purpose we want a tank with little damage and high defence (aka. OP unit of the week). Once we settle what stats that tank should have it's time to find a representation which is historically and realistically at least somewhat plausible. If everyone thinks a pikeman is a misfit for this role, propose another skin. Not the other way around.

 

 

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4 hours ago, LetswaveaBook said:

I ran some tests. 1 on 1 a basic swordsmen defeats an advanced pikemen and has 11 HP left and it promotes.

I also tried a test with 52 advanced pikemen vs 52 basic swordsmen in the scenario editor and fairly close formation. 9 swordsmen survived though some had low HP. Their total remaining HP was 853 and they were all elite having thus 60% HP left. From this test it feels like pikemen don't really benefit from increased numbers.

Indeed. Now units all smoosh together like R2TW 1.0 before it was patched, so that the pikes' "range" benefit means nothing (except possibly they get the first stab in on the enemy in a scrum, but since part of their attack is pierce, even this "benefit" is reduced).

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@azayrahmad 

I see the point your video makes, thanks for sharing it. It is true that pikes+ skirmishers are a powerful combination. However, I am unsure what gave those pikemen such high speed? was it a charge mechanic?

Also it is worth noting that in each situation, all of the damage of the red army groups was focused on the pikes, allowing the high dps of the skirms to come into effect. Most players would recognize this problem and attempt to kill the skirmishers first, and then exploit the limited mobility of the pikes to kill them. 

For example, in Battle #1 the archers should have been told to attack the skirmishers, and then move on to the pikemen. Because the archers did not do this, the skirms were able to kill the spears, and then the pikes were able to move on to the archers.

@LetswaveaBook testing showed rank 1 swords to be able to beat rank 2 pikes, it is a good indicator of how inferior pikes are in direct engagements with other melee units, including spears.

What do you guys think about the +40% hp to pikes hero for ptol?

I think it is quite powerful and I would be in favor of reducing the range of effect to make organization with the pikes more important and less easy.

Edited by BreakfastBurrito_007
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It's actually a bug / feature where units in formations will run to attack because they get too far away from their formation and start to think they need to run to catch up with it.

Probably doesn't happen cause you set it to no formation maybe.

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6 hours ago, BreakfastBurrito_007 said:

Have these features (like charging) been added to a more recent RC? If so I would definitely want to know where to go download that to try them out.

Just use svn or git version. 

The charging feature upsets a lot of balancing because it makes ranged units quite obsolete. Archers become useless as anything can charge up to them and slaughter them easily. Javelineers become OP as they are the ranged unit with the most dps. Cavalry likes to charge into spearmen, and spearmen can charge through enemy formations so there is no longer a clearly defined frontline but a chaotic cluster of units hitting randomly. (Brownian motion)

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20 hours ago, LetswaveaBook said:

I ran some tests. 1 on 1 a basic swordsmen defeats an advanced pikemen and has 11 HP left and it promotes.

I also tried a test with 52 advanced pikemen vs 52 basic swordsmen in the scenario editor and fairly close formation. 9 swordsmen survived though some had low HP. Their total remaining HP was 853 and they were all elite having thus 60% HP left. From this test it feels like pikemen don't really benefit from increased numbers.

I decided to do some of my own testing based on your work.  The first thing I noticed is that first of all a basic swordsman versus a pikeman wins with 41 of the total hitpoints.  Personally I would say that kind of one-sidedness is a bit much.  Next, swordsmen seem to have too much range themselves.  The advantage of range should be that the unit should not have to spend time moving to select a new target, but the second rank of swordsmen somehow are able to attack pikemen as well.  Probably with that units could afford to take up a slightly larger footprint for pathing, especially when not in formation.  All of these factors seem to make the current iteration of pikemen untenable as a frontline melee unit outside of being a damage sponge.

1 hour ago, Yekaterina said:

The charging feature upsets a lot of balancing because it makes ranged units quite obsolete. Archers become useless as anything can charge up to them and slaughter them easily. Javelineers become OP as they are the ranged unit with the most dps. Cavalry likes to charge into spearmen, and spearmen can charge through enemy formations so there is no longer a clearly defined frontline but a chaotic cluster of units hitting randomly. (Brownian motion)

Battalion suggestions intensify.  

Edited by Thorfinn the Shallow Minded
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1 minute ago, Thorfinn the Shallow Minded said:

Battalion suggestions intensify.

I am not suggesting anything to do with Delenda Est, what I am talking about is keep  it like A24 or A23 where units are sane when you order them to attack. In A25 cavalry is important but horse archers love to charge into groups of spearmen instead of picking off infantry from a distance. 

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@Yekaterina I think one of the benefits that the charging feature could supply would be adding depth and skill to the battle micromanagement. Do you think the charging feature (if its problems get worked out) will make ranged units obsolete, or could they become a powerful units that usually need some protection from melee attacks?

If it eventually works well, then it could certainly make melee units mega-op given the damage/speed/attack rate/ health that they currently have. Because the melee/ranged balance has been done all this time without the inclusion of a charge mechanic for melee units, that means the addition of such a feature will require a revisit of the ranged/ melee balance. I am not sure how things will go of course, but if ranged units die become obsolete from dying too fast, then I would advocate for adding some damage across the board for ranged units. My thinking is that this will make them valuable enough to make, yet vulnerable enough to melee charges to not make up the bulk of an army.

This is probably already being considered, but perhaps heavier armored units should gain less speed from walk speed to charge speed, like pikemen. Perhaps this is also a mechanic that could help make a gameplay distinction between lancer cavalry and spear cavalry.

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21 hours ago, BreakfastBurrito_007 said:

What do you guys think about the +40% hp to pikes hero for ptol?

I think Ptolemy IV is strong, but there are other strong heroes as well. I would prefer Cleopetra over Ptolemy IV. I think Ptolemy IV is not OP based on his stats, but Ptolemies as a whole do get stuffed with lots of goodies.

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On 14/07/2021 at 10:36 PM, hyperion said:

The Mauryans acclaimed as über OP don't sport pikes. Isn't it great other civs have something in their favour? ;)

---

For gameplay purpose we want a tank with little damage and high defence (aka. OP unit of the week). Once we settle what stats that tank should have it's time to find a representation which is historically and realistically at least somewhat plausible. If everyone thinks a pikeman is a misfit for this role, propose another skin. Not the other way around.

No, I don't think it's great to have a civ that is uber OP, a couple more that are still quite OP, and a bunch of civs that are mostly crap. We can do better.

Also, since when "for gameplay purpose" we want meatshields? To me, that's basically an exploit of UnitAI, and I don't actually think  I know other games that have such units (maybe there are, but they are no way necessary to an RTS). Persian shield bearers, for example, could be a better fit for a pierce-resistant unit, but I had the impression that meatshields as a concept was quite unpopular anyway, I'm surprised you like it so much.

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36 minutes ago, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:

Basically any historical game with pikemen turns them into meat shields. This is to mimic their real-world combat role as meat shields.

 

Meat shields.

Not to necessarily outright contradict you, but that description fits for practically all heavy infantry: hoplites, legionnaires, etc,...  The question at hand is to ask which tank should be the tankiest and how.  

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6 hours ago, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:

With respect, legionaires and hoplites were the primary offensive arm of their respective military traditions. Pikemen on the other hand were designed specifically to perform what we would call the "meat shield" function in a Macedonian-style army: to soak up the enemy attack until lighter (skirmishers) and faster (cavalry) units could flank the enemy line and make the killer blow. :)

Well I was under the impression that the syntagma was developed specifically to beat the traditional greek phalanx. Even the later sucessors relied almost solely on the pikemen at the expense of their cavalry, this wouldn't have happened if the pikemen were simply a meatshield. And that's the problem with putting troops of different times in the same bag. Comparing a tradicional greek or thureos phalanx to a mac phalanx is like comparing a flintlock pistol to an LMG.

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6 hours ago, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:

With respect, legionaires and hoplites were the primary offensive arm of their respective military traditions. Pikemen on the other hand were designed specifically to perform what we would call the "meat shield" function in a Macedonian-style army: to soak up the enemy attack until lighter (skirmishers) and faster (cavalry) units could flank the enemy line and make the killer blow. :)

Name me one battle where light infantry is reported to have done more damage than the phalanx. @PyrrhicVictoryGuy is quite right about the macedonian phalanx baing designed to beat hoplite formation, at Chaeronea already it was sufficient for the victory, most probably without cavalry intervention.

Hoplites were also very little mobile (excluding reformed troups by Epaminondas) and had no advantage over the macedonian phalanx. But we may also consider that the spear did never come out of use, and saw heavy employement in late roman legions, when general weaponry and armor had changed again.

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10 minutes ago, alre said:

"the spear did never come out of use, and saw heavy employement in late roman legions, when general weaponry and armor had changed again."

True even with the development of the thorakitai shock contigents, the sarissa armies were prevalent. The truth is that the pike formation is the offensive evolution of the phalanx as the greeks at this point in time were not concerned over defending their farmlands but dreamed of empires. In game we can't have that of course. Even rome defaulted to spear and shield.

Edited by PyrrhicVictoryGuy
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9 hours ago, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:

With respect, legionaires and hoplites were the primary offensive arm of their respective military traditions. Pikemen on the other hand were designed specifically to perform what we would call the "meat shield" function in a Macedonian-style army: to soak up the enemy attack until lighter (skirmishers) and faster (cavalry) units could flank the enemy line and make the killer blow. :)

You are correct, but there is a major distinction.  Killer blows were mostly done by hoplites and armies in general once the opposing army was retreating and had their backs turned and their shields thrown away.  Macedonians using cavalry is a bit circumspect to the issue; it made their phalanx significantly more effective, but not necessarily less capable in the offence.  

2 hours ago, alre said:

Name me one battle where light infantry is reported to have done more damage than the phalanx.

This is a bit of an exception to the norm, but the Battle of Sphacteria was one in which light infantry alone practically defeated the enemy army.  A point to be made is that when enemies rout, that is when they are most vulnerable to getting killed by things like projectiles, and most casualties took place after the battle itself; light infantry excel in that role.

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I've done some test and simply increasing people clearance would help a lot to overcome the "smooshing" effect wow mentioned.

Now the value is 0.8, which makes me think it was set 1 some time before, but in fact 1 seems better to me. What do you think?

@wraitii

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6 hours ago, alre said:

I've done some test and simply increasing people clearance would help a lot to overcome the "smooshing" effect wow mentioned.

Now the value is 0.8, which makes me think it was set 1 some time before, but in fact 1 seems better to me. What do you think?

@wraitii

I'm not sure here this value is kept. Is it in the templates or elsewhere? 

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33 minutes ago, Stan` said:

Pathfinder.xml maybe ?

yes that's the one. sorry it's a bit frustrating to have to write in the forum from the phone as it doesn't work on the pc browsers.

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