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Any thoughts and opinions on whether players should be able to target specific unit types? Players are already able to do this for their own units (i.e., double clicking on a jav cav will select all jac cav on the screen). But players are currently not able to select which enemy units they attack aside from doing it one by one. I envision somewhere where units will target the closet unit type within their vision, so basically the same thing as now, but units will ignore all enemies but the type that they've been told to fight. 

Such an option would help with the meatshield targeting issue where all archers target the closest couple of spears while ignoring all the jav inf standing behind the meatshield. It seems like it would also create better symmetry in what you can select with your units vs what you can select of your enemy units. 

Edited by chrstgtr
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2 minutes ago, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:

Question. Why would the player want their archers to ignore the enemy's meat shield? Whoever wins the meat shield fight usually wins the battle. It's something I've been meaning to ask.

Same reason why some people want some version of an 'attack ground': melee units don't deal as much damage as the ranged units. Melee units also have more non-attacking time because they have to walk up to the enemy to do damage whereas range units can just slightly change their aim and continue attacking without having to walk up to another unit. Additionally, Range units tend to 'overkill' melee untis because melee units have a tendency to walk to specific a fighting point whereas range units form a line. So what I am suggesting will pragmatically mean that more units are being shot at because two lines of range units may form where the units shoot at the unit standing directly across from them.

The reason why the meatshield winner wins is because once a player loses their meatshield then their range units, which are more susceptible to damage, will get quickly overrun.  

Basically, I am just trying to propose an alternative to the attack ground debate that occurred in another thread where no one could agree how an attack ground should function (i.e. range units shooting randomly within an area vs range units targeting specific units in an area vs. etc.). 

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6 hours ago, chrstgtr said:

I envision somewhere where units will target the closet unit type within their vision, so basically the same thing as now, but units will ignore all enemies but the type that they've been told to fight. 

I can foresee a few frustrating edge cases with this sort of thing, that could be mitigated to greater or lesser extents depending on implementation. For instance, if I designate a Persian champion lancer as the preferred target do my units only target Persian champion lancers, non-civ specific champion lancers, generic elite spear cavalry, or spear cavalry in general? Do they go on to prefer melee cavalry or cavalry in general  over infantry-type units after all the champion lancers are dead? What happens if all the champion lancers at the front of the battle are dead but there is still one stuck back in the rear? Should melee units try to wade through the enemy line to get him until the player orders them to stop? Should there be a attack-range-based preference calculus?

Paradoxically, a more predictable version of this idea might be to specify more preferred target classes for various unit types. (Which, as a bonus, is a feature that the game already supports.) E.g. spearmen and pikes might have melee as their preferred target class, swordsmen could prefer infantry. Maybe melee cavalry prefer to target ranged infantry, or spear cavalry might have other cavalry as their most favorite target. Maybe foot skirmishers target melee, slingers target ranged, and perhaps foot archers target cavalry if you want to get weird. Etc.

This would increase unit class differentiation and players would basically pre-select their units' battle tactics by way of the composition they decide to build (which is probably a little more realistic--people need training to do stuff effectively in the heat of battle). No additional micromanagement would be added to the game (which I'm sure some would appreciate and others could consider an inexcusable missed opportunity).

 

6 hours ago, chrstgtr said:

Basically, I am just trying to propose an alternative to the attack ground debate that occurred in another thread where no one could agree how an attack ground should function (i.e. range units shooting randomly within an area vs range units targeting specific units in an area vs. etc.). 

This I very much agree with. 

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2 hours ago, ChronA said:

an foresee a few frustrating edge cases with this sort of thing, that could be mitigated to greater or lesser extents depending on implementation. For instance, if I designate a Persian champion lancer as the preferred target do my units only target Persian champion lancers, non-civ specific champion lancers, generic elite spear cavalry, or spear cavalry in general? Do they go on to prefer melee cavalry or cavalry in general  over infantry-type units after all the champion lancers are dead? What happens if all the champion lancers at the front of the battle are dead but there is still one stuck back in the rear? Should melee units try to wade through the enemy line to get him until the player orders them to stop? Should there be a attack-range-based preference calculus?

I would imagine that units revert to their normal behavior if theirs orders are now longer available—so same as now. If there units are chasing one unit in the back then that is the players issue to micro. I’m not trying to automate the game. I also imagine that range units would be the ones getting ordered to target specific units types

 

2 hours ago, ChronA said:

Paradoxically, a more predictable version of this idea might be to specify more preferred target classes for various unit types. (Which, as a bonus, is a feature that the game already supports.) E.g. spearmen and pikes might have melee as their preferred target class, swordsmen could prefer infantry. Maybe melee cavalry prefer to target ranged infantry, or spear cavalry might have other cavalry as their most favorite target. Maybe foot skirmishers target melee, slingers target ranged, and perhaps foot archers target cavalry if you want to get weird. Etc.

I would see this as possible in what j suggest—you select all u it’s you want to control and tell them what to do, which is the same as now but you can tell them to target a ubit type instead of just and individual unit. Again, not trying to automate the game-just trying to give control to the player and avoid the problem where players have to click a 100 times to do this now.  

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5 hours ago, Stan` said:

I wonder if prefered classes should be configurable. @Freagarach is it even possible?

Without communicating it to peers you'd get OOS. Surly possible but not as easy as exposing it in the UI.

 

12 hours ago, chrstgtr said:

I envision somewhere where units will target the closet unit type within their vision, so basically the same thing as now, but units will ignore all enemies but the type that they've been told to fight.

So I'd have a hotkey "attack hero"?

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8 minutes ago, hyperion said:

Without communicating it to peers you'd get OOS. Surly possible but not as easy as exposing it in the UI.

Yeah I meant it working like stances. Probably performance heavy too.

 

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Where I would personally find this useful is the scenario is where you have a horde of soldiers and a few rams attacking your fortress or CC.  I would like to empty my CC of garrisoned melee units to specifically attack the rams.  In practice since the ram is not attacking them they are easily distracted by the attacks of the remaining horde.  While technically one could shift click each ram in order at the start, getting accurate clicks in a crowd of enemies is near impossible.  The melee units will surely die but at least they will attempt to fulfill their original order. 

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@chrstgtr This, or something similiar was brought up in that thread about "meatshield meta". As much as I dislike the meatshield meta, I feel that this would not be a good alternative. No matter how balanced the units are there will always be a unit to prioritize killing in battle, and I think such a system as choosing a particular unit to kill while ignoring others would be too automatic and we would lose some skill-factor to the game.

The reason I liked attack-ground was that its applications depends on the situation and there would still be ways to counter it. Also, attack-ground or area-attack would be more imprecise than selecting a particular unit and would also have its own skill factor. A true attack-ground such as the one from that youtube video would offer reduced hit-rate as a tradeoff for targeting a particular area of an enemy army.

Edited by BreakfastBurrito_007
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13 hours ago, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:

Question. Why would the player want their archers to ignore the enemy's meat shield? Whoever wins the meat shield fight usually wins the battle. It's something I've been meaning to ask.

if you kill the real source of dps first, you win. In most cases, this is the ranged units behind the meat shield. After the enemy skirmishers, for example, are gone, all your own skirmishers can safely massacre the remaining enemy melee units. Currently, you can manually task archers to snipe ranged units, which is surprisingly effective because of how confident people are in their meat shield. 

I agree with @BreakfastBurrito_007 that @chrstgtr's approach seems a little too automatic.

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1 minute ago, real_tabasco_sauce said:

After the enemy skirmishers, for example, are gone, all your own skirmishers can safely massacre the remaining enemy melee units.

Right, but their units are making mincemeat of your meat shield. And now since your meatshield is dead, their meatshield can walk right up and kill your archers.

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1 minute ago, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:

Right, but their units are making mincemeat of your meat shield.

if you still have a few melee units left, you actually win that fight. Also, once the melee units are dead, you can retreat with ranked up units. I have seen this strategy a few times in multiplayer with huge benefits. Here's an example army composition: 50/50 spear/skirm 50 spear 40 skirm, 10 mercenary archers. In this battle, your skirms and melee do the usual meatshield fighting, but your 10 archers are constantly picking off enemy skirms or slingers. 

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15 hours ago, chrstgtr said:

Such an option would help with the meatshield targeting issue where all archers target the closest couple of spears while ignoring all the jav inf standing behind the meatshield. It seems like it would also create better symmetry in what you can select with your units vs what you can select of your enemy units. 

I think such an option does not solve the problem.

If it is easy focus your attacks on melee infantry, I doubt if melee infantry would still have any use.

I don´t think we should keep a bad system because it provides challenges. I just mean to say that if we do so, we need to rethink the role of melee infantry.

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17 hours ago, Stan` said:

I wonder if prefered classes should be configurable. @Freagarach is it even possible?

Right now, it is unconfigurable and slow:

Attack.prototype.GetPreferredClasses = function(type)
{
        if (this.template[type] && this.template[type].PreferredClasses &&
            this.template[type].PreferredClasses._string)
                return this.template[type].PreferredClasses._string.split(/\s+/);

        return [];
};

 

12 hours ago, hyperion said:

Without communicating it to peers you'd get OOS. Surly possible but not as easy as exposing it in the UI.

12 hours ago, Stan` said:

Yeah I meant it working like stances. Probably performance heavy too.

It would be not trivial, albeit possible, I'd say. (You'll need to be able to add/remove tokens and reorder them.)

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  • 1 month later...
On 30/04/2022 at 6:27 AM, Stan` said:

I wonder if prefered classes should be configurable. @Freagarach is it even possible?

 

On 30/04/2022 at 8:46 AM, chrstgtr said:

I would see this as possible in what j suggest—you select all u it’s you want to control and tell them what to do, which is the same as now but you can tell them to target a ubit type instead of just and individual unit. Again, not trying to automate the game-just trying to give control to the player and avoid the problem where players have to click a 100 times to do this now.  

Does configurable mean that, similar to stances, you select your units and then click on the GUI panel to change preferred targets?  If so, given the 2 second multiplayer delay + other lag I think it should absolutely be configurable.  Let us tell our army what to do without having to try to shift+click or alt+click a bunch of tiny enemy units at < 5 fps.

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5 hours ago, Philip the Swaggerless said:

Does configurable mean that, similar to stances, you select your units and then click on the GUI panel to change preferred targets?  If so, given the 2 second multiplayer delay + other lag I think it should absolutely be configurable.  Let us tell our army what to do without having to try to shift+click or alt+click a bunch of tiny enemy units at < 5 fps.

I had imagined something like (1) select all units you want to control; (2) while the units from (1) are selected, hold some button like the letter A and simultaneously double click an enemy unit type to attack. Then the units would work within their stances to attack the units that they would be able to otherwise attack if they ignore all other enemy unit types 

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  • 4 months later...
On 30/04/2022 at 4:16 AM, chrstgtr said:

 melee units don't deal as much damage as the ranged units.

If that's true, that's completely anhistorical and should be reversed.

Ranged units have a single advantage historically over melee units, that is being ranged (ability to shoot from a distance, especially from behind protections).

Having {melee+ranged} superior to {melee only} is historical and tactically good for the game, but melee are the salt of the earth blood when it comes to destroying the enemy, and the game should reflect that.

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