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1/11 - State of Naval

Discussion in 'General Balance' started by Stalker0, Jan 27, 2020.

  1. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    So as of 1/11, how do I think naval combat is looking?

    Melee vs Ranged: In general I think melee is doing its job in naval battles once you get them to a critical mass. They are very tanky, and can soak a lot of damage from ranged units. Ultimately a powerball of melee units will crush a ranged focus group. So the melee ships are quite important. But of course, when it comes to city sieges and coast control, the ranged units hold supreme.

    Promotions: Melee wise, while I still prefer Dreadnought promotions in general, I do think boarding party is a good line for the AI. The AI is still not as good as the human at killing ships...but with boarding party they can use their numerical advantage to finish weaken ships on the follow up round, which proves to be quite scary. I generally still have my favorites when it comes to promotions, but there is enough variety in play that I don't feel any niches are missing. I actually think there are too many promotions for naval, and some aren't that useful...but I have everything I need to make melee ships the way I want...so mission accomplished as far as I am concerned.

    Ranged wise, I think bombardment is a strong promotion that I never get to use....because ship killing is so very important for the human (see further notes below), and of course the move to logistics. If I actually get to use bombardment, the damage difference is noticeable against cities...but its more of the core function of naval more than the promotion itself. That says, logistics dominates the later promotion landscape...its hands down the best thing I can pick up.

    The Coast Only Ranged Model: So we have had the ranged naval update for a while that lets ranged naval ships fire 2 away, but still only hit 1 inward on coast. Overall, I am very happy with this change in general. Ranged ships feel strong and dominate coastlines, but can't pressure further in...so it ensures a proper niche divide between naval and land. Naval ships are good against cities, but no longer invincible. I think it was a great change overall.

    The Elephant in the Room: So in general I think the naval model is looking pretty good. So what's my issue? That honestly....I very rarely get to go naval anymore.

    As I have become accustomed to Immortal play I find I make naval fleets less and less. The AI builds MASSIVE fleets, and unlike land....to seriously deal with a naval fleet you either have to pull them into a great chokepoint and murder them with land...or you have to bring a similar navy yourself.

    Now while tactically the human is better at naval combat, the design of naval combat favors numbers heavily. As such you can't go halfway with a navy, you either make a big one....or none at all. And a big navy costs a tremendous amount of hammers....but more importantly supply. I find that unless I am playing very wide authority I do not have the supply to make both a real navy and a good land force. As such I generally only go naval play when I'm on an isolated area where I feel land attacks are not going to happen (which can start to bite you once paratroopers come online).

    Also, naval combats are very swingy. I don't mean the actual combat itself, I mean the result of failure. If you lose your navy as human....that's it. The AI is going to bring a massive fleet of ships to your door, and you will not be able to regenerate ships quickly enough to stop them. So you have to accept naval sieges on your doorstep, and try to soften/kill them with land forces. But with aggressive AIs you will not get time to regenerate that fleet...and until you do, that fleet just has a target on its back. It has no way to fight back, so it must run, run, run until your land forces can weaken the enemy.


    So in summary, I like how navies have shaped up...I just wished I got to enjoy them more.
     
    vyyt likes this.
  2. cerk

    cerk Chieftain

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    Maybe we could give the AI, production bonus only to land units, similar to air supremacy speeding up production of air units
     
  3. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    I actually just played some Boarding Party heavy games because I wanted to ensure my opinions were good and accurate. And you know what, I think I'm changing my mind about the line in general. Now I still think Dreadnought makes better ships....but I'm tired of losing ships to boarding party AI. I would rather have weaker ships that can actually escape than tanky ones that are simply going to die anyway on the followup attack.

    Beyond that, encirclement is better than I thought. Its nice combined with ranged ships, because any friendly ship touching yours (no matter in which position) will give you a bonus, so its pretty easy to score a +30% attack bonus with that, and that starts to become appealing vs another +15% from BP III.
     
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  4. phantomaxl1207

    phantomaxl1207 King

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    I would say that Melee Naval Units have access to the best overall variety in Promotions. Their biggest flaw to me is that they need the 2 Siege Promotion to be effective vs Cities.
     
  5. SuperNoobCamper

    SuperNoobCamper Warlord

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    I personally like naval combat much more than land combat for a couple of reasons.
    1- as you mentioned naval melee units are in a very nice spot, if all you produce is just frigates and cruisers you are not going to win naval fights as often as you do with the ranged land counter parts.
    2- Talking of promotions I play with 3rd & 4th UCs, one of my favorite things to do is playing Spain and rushing astronomy to unlock Armadas.
    It starts with Boarding party 1 & 2 so at level 2 with just a barracks and an armory it gets access to blitz, an incredibly powerful promotion that i barely got to use before that.
    Slamming and ramming just 3 of these ships at any costal city is a guaranteed city capture thanks to the massive difference in CS between it and the contemporary city CS even in this patch.
    3-ranged units are the standard units for sieging and taking cities in land combat but you can do just fine with upgraded ironclads or destroyers.
    4-the technological advances makes naval combat much more interesting not just a bump to CS, the difference between an iron clad and a destroyer is a big one and using it defensively against air units is amazing.
    5-Missile destroyers are a personal favorite of mine, carrying missiles, intercepting air units, hunting submarines while still being a monstrous unit is just amazing.
    6- air carriers having access to a ranged attack is one of the things that hooked me to VP when i first started playing it, it actually made me wonder why is not this in vanilla game ?
     
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  6. nmb93

    nmb93 Chieftain

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    I agree with most of what's been said here. I really like naval post-shootnscoot. Regarding ranged though, I think the bombard promotion line should culminate in range +1. Currently I only really consider the bombard branch after logistics. Or when I'm building a 'win more' navy. The reward for ferrying generally weaker ranged around in my flotilla for centuries and foregoing double xp long term should be substantial. I don't think pre-battleships with ranged should be able to exceed the one tile land range limit however.

    Seperate from that, what's the deal with early game ranged? They're incredibly squishy and cost a pretty penny in opportunity. Assuming a non island map, early game navy, beyond the token explorers, only come into play if I desperately need to blockade a coastal city.
     
  7. merill

    merill Prince

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    If the supply is the problem, why not creating a separate (ex: 4, +2 per era, +1 per port / naval base) supply pool for naval units, or removing supply from naval units?
    It reminds me the Washington Naval Treaty.
     
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  8. SuperNoobCamper

    SuperNoobCamper Warlord

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    We already have that for air units but there is abig difference between air units which have to be stationed on cites or dedicated carriers and naval units that do occupy a tile.
    I generally think the supply needs to be a bit bigger than what it is now.
     
  9. merill

    merill Prince

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    Naval unit can't go into land hex.
    Land unit can't collide with naval unit in water hex.

    edit: also air, naval, land are often separated in the "army command"
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2020
  10. Rekk

    Rekk Emperor

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    It seems that the supply problem needs to be something that Tall can capitalize on more than Wide.

    From what I understand of from the comments of @Stalker0, naval battle is mostly a quantity game, where the side with the most ships blows out the side, then prevents any opponent naval build up afterward. Maybe this is because defensive coastal city placement is less of a thing compared to landlocked city placement, partially due to the latter being considered more important, but also because it's much more map dependent. It relies on chokepoints both to limit the number of ships that can attack a city and also to cut inner production cities off from the the warfront, so that a city under naval siege can actually be reinforced by water.
     
  11. nmb93

    nmb93 Chieftain

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    I think part of what @Stalker0 is saying is universally true, that the AI spams naval melee. But the idea that you can only have an "all in" navy is extremely map dependent. If you only have a couple of coastal cities on a single coast and they're being blockaded, sure, you're not going to be able to raise a navy. But I often have multiple coastal cities spread across my empire so even when an AI navy has dominated one 'region' I'm able to build up my navy elsewhere. IMO the real point here is that naval united need to be grouped up and have at least a 2 to 1 ratio of melee to ranged to be effective.

    To @Stalker0's thoughts about using naval less and less on immortal, my experience has been the opposite and I exclusively play small or standard sized immortal domination on continents plus or pangea plus. By the time cruisers are available I've typically secured my region and wiped or vassalized my neighbors. At that point a cluster of naval units to start wiping city states and coastal cities speeds up conquest massively.
     
  12. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    Quick Quiz: What is the best promotion for melee ships and city sieges?

    Vanguard? Naval Siege? Nope....the answer is blitz.

    What actually takes melee ships out isn't the city per say (especially once you get ironclad+), its all the ranged around it. With blitz, you can attack the city AND still move out of the range of those other defenses. There is no better protection from damage....than not taking damage.
     
  13. phantomaxl1207

    phantomaxl1207 King

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    I would disagree with you because those promotions give such good +x% increases that more Units hitting won't be as effective. You'll have more Ships taking damage by attacking the City. Than again, it's not just your Ships vs the City. There are also the Enemy Units capable of doing far more damage. Units which you may not be able to threaten right away.

    Giving Units that don't have hit-and-run increments the amount of mobility they have. You can have more Melee Ships attack a City, unfortunate that Vanguard and Naval Siege are on the other side of the promotion tree. I would say it's hard to say weather Blitz is better than Naval Siege without looking at the situation.
     
  14. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    The trick is, the amount of damage your ship saves with the siege type promotions pails to the damage you save by avoiding even one ranged attack. In situations when its just the city vs your ships, its true that siege does more....but its also a win more scenario. If the city doesn't have ranged protection its going to fall regardless. Its the cities that have ranged protection that become "unassailable" in short order. Doesn't matter if I took a little less damage from the city when my ship gets sniped right afterwards. But with blitz, you can move out of the ranged screen after an attack...which is tremendous savings.

    Blitz is also useful in ship to ship fighting, mainly when your ship is fighting ranged ones....though granted there are other promotions I might prefer in that case.


    I will say I have gone a complete 180, and now the vast majority of my vessels go boarding party over dreadnought. The immunity to movement penalties at level 2 is too good...I would rather have less hitpoints with the ability to run away or shift, than a tankier ship that is just going to die anyway because they can't escape.
     
  15. nmb93

    nmb93 Chieftain

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    Are y'all attacking much with your naval melee units? I prioritize feeding my ranged naval units XP very highly so the screen of melee that protects them is almost exclusively promoted into the dreadnaught line to just tank damage. For melee that stays camped in my coastal cities however I 100% agree boarding party promos all the way.
     
  16. cerk

    cerk Chieftain

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    I do not build ranged naval at all. Spam dreadnought and siege Ironclads and sink enemies with subs. Then again my recent playthroughs have been with tradition where I did not have enough supply to field a navy.
     
  17. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    I agree, if your supply is limited, its melee naval all the way. You need a very strong wall of ships, or your ranged units will get crushed.
     
  18. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    This was my old way of doing things. And what I found was...yes, dreadnought ships are better in combat than BP ones...but it didn't matter. I couldn't run my melee ships after the enemies attack, so the second wave would get me and I started losing ships. As against high difficulty AIs you just can't lose too much....as the AI will simply replicate his fleet, and if you don't have numbers to stand against it, your ships will crumble...or you will be forced back behind your cities for protection while you try to rebuild (in which case you can kiss any sea trade routes you have good bye).
     
  19. cerk

    cerk Chieftain

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    What do you think about healing through treasure fleet, or through the supply promotion that you get through the dreadnought line? Or is your healing in your territory simply a matter of guarding it?
     
  20. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    1) I rarely bank on the top Treasure Fleet promotion, how level AIs have too much production. Unless I'm running away with the game I can usually snag the 2nd power but never the first.

    2) Protection in that my fleet cannot beat the AI's fleet. Unlike land combat, I often don't have anything to bottleneck his troops. If our two fleets clash in somewhat open water, unless I have a major fleet size advantage (which requires a lot of time to make), than I will lose the fight....or at least lose enough ships to not make it worth it to me. So you pull back to your cities to have them soften up the enemy navy so you can attack and push him back. That's what I meant by protection.
     
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