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Anti-City Promotions for Melee Units Too Weak

Discussion in 'General Balance' started by Voremonger, Jan 10, 2020.

  1. Voremonger

    Voremonger Chieftain

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    I think the Promotions that give melee Units more Combat Strength when attacking Cities are too weak.
    Currently Drill 1, Drill 2, and Drill 3 each give you +25% Combat Strength when attacking Cities.
    City Assault gives you +50% Combat Strength when attacking Cities.

    I think to make attacking Cities with melee Units viable the values on the above Promotions would have to be changed as follows:
    Drill 1/2/3: 25% CS -> 35% CS.
    City Assault: 50% CS -> 100% CS.

    I recently played a game where I increase the CS percentage bonus against Cities from Drill to 33/33/34.
    It made attacking Cities with melee Units worthwhile in some circumstances but it still felt a little on the weak side.
    (I was taking Drill 1 -> Drill 2 -> Drill 3 -> Stalwart on all of my melee Units.)
    The reason why I think City Assault should be buffed so much is that the circumstances under which it gives you any bonuses at all are relatively limited.
    If you're in a position where you can freely attack a City with your melee Units you can usually also just attack it with your siege Units.
    For reference, the equivalent Promotion for melee naval Units also gives +100% Combat Strength when attacking Cities and I think the benefits of that Promotion are about right.
     
  2. phantomaxl1207

    phantomaxl1207 King

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    Melee Naval have 2 Anti-City Promotions: 1 for +75% and Healing outside Friendly Lands, the other gives +100% and reduces Damage from Cities by 50%. Those are higher numbers 175% vs 125%. Naval Melee starting at Ironclads have an innate +33% vs Cities.

    What makes City Assault good is that it has Reduces damage from Cities by 50%. This is what lets your Melee (Naval or Land) Units attack Cities with less Health loss. You can take City Assault at Drill 2 or Shock 3. Land Melee Units have an easier time Healing than Naval Melee. It is easier for Land Units to Blockade (surround) a City, which speeds up a Siege. I can agree that it Cities can gain rather high CS, being at around twice your Melee Units' Strength.
     
  3. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    Yeah I really have to disagree with this proposal. Drill is fine, and City Assault is very useful. Try a Japan game with City Assaulting Samurai and feel the power!
     
    cammcken, bigcat88, Rafs and 2 others like this.
  4. Voremonger

    Voremonger Chieftain

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    This isn't just about how much health your melee Unit loses but also if attacking at all is worth it (i.e. if your attack deals relevant amounts of damage).
    If you attack rather than fortify you are losing a defense bonus plus at least five HP from healing.
    Even if you take next to no damage during the attack I think that attacking a City with a melee Unit is often not worth it.

    True, but at the same time it is much easier to pull out naval melee Units than it is to pull out naval land Units.
    Together with the extra HP from Dreadnought I think this gives makes attacking Cities with naval melee Units much less risky even disregarding promotions.
     
  5. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    I've said that I think the overall strength of the promotions is fine. However, I could see the case that Drill relies too much on the City Assault promotion for its effectiveness. In which case you could remove City Assault and do something like this.

    Drill I: +10% CS, +33% vs cities
    Drill II: +10% CS, +33% vs cities. City Damage reduced by 25%
    Drill III: +10% CS, +33% vs cities. City Damage reduced by 25%.

    That would give you a smoother power curve...though it would actually weaken very highly promoted melee units that Get Drill III and City Assault.

    Personally I still don't think this is necessary, but I think its a reasonable position to debate.
     
  6. Randomized

    Randomized Chieftain

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    I don't know, in my experience drill III + city assault units hit cities for pretty solid damage. As well as that, I generally want stalwart on most of my infantry, which necessitates going drill.
     
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  7. Voremonger

    Voremonger Chieftain

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    I am not implying that the current version of City Assault is useless.
    What I am saying is that the opportunity cost of taking that Promotion is too high: I think you are better off with another Promotion in almost any situation.
    I think that as of right now Drill1 -> Drill 2 -> Drill 3 -> Stalwart is the best progression for aggressive play because Stalwart is very strong for shielding your siege Units.
    I think it is not worthwhile to go Drill 1 -> Drill 2 -> City Assault because this will delay Stalwart by at least 50 Experience.
    I also think it is not worthwhile to take City Assault after Stalwart because when you factor in siege Units, Mobility or Cover almost always allow for higher damage against Cities.
     
  8. phantomaxl1207

    phantomaxl1207 King

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    I only have my Melee Units attack a City when I have control of the area around it and have them safer attacks on the City, this is the important part. You can't have your Melee Units attacking a City when under fire. If Units do take City Assault, I need to make sure they are attacking Cities spend less time waiting for the Siege to end and gaining XP in the meantime. City Strength is another important factor to consider, if the City is much stronger than your Units, you will only be able to attack with Ranged Units, safely. On the other hand, running over weak Cities is a great use of Drill.

    It does take longer for Naval Melee to Heal: they have to move and have higher HP. In addition to Zone of Control, Boarding Party raids can hamper your Naval plans. Overall, if Coastal Cities lack Coastal Tiles to attack from, Naval Melee will falter in their sieges.

    Any changes to the Drill line will also apply to Mounted and Armored Units. We should keep that in mind.
     
  9. Voremonger

    Voremonger Chieftain

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    Well, that is the problem.
    Currently land melee Units are only good for attacking Cities when you have already won, even if you take Drill and City Assault.
    There is no point in taking a Promotion that only gives you more power in a situation where you have already won, and nothing otherwise.
    With the current numbers you are actively hurting yourself by taking City Assault because you are missing out on Promotions that help you in situations where your victory is not yet assured.
    To make City Assault worthwhile it needs to be good enough that you would seriously consider attacking Cities even in situations where there are still enemy Units around.

    The time it takes to heal Units is largely irrelevant.
    All you have to do is build a few Units more to compensate (one-time production cost, some maintenance cost).
    What matters is the rate at which you are losing Units.
    And I would argue that naval melee Units are superior to naval land Units in this regard.
     
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  10. LifeOfBrian

    LifeOfBrian Warlord

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    I am very happy with the current anti-city promotions for infantry units.
     
  11. Kim Dong Un

    Kim Dong Un The One & Unly Supporter

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    Considering I was the one who first fought for a tweak of "City Assault" a while ago, I've understand what Voremonger is saying and I'd have to agree. At the same time, I've not utilized enough of melee city conquering to be able to gauge how effective it is, and if change is actually necessary. I'll try out a game soon with some focus on strictly taking cities with melee, to see how it all works out.
     
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  12. andersw

    andersw King

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    I've tested quite a bit of games recently with Drill -> City Assault.
    Drill 1-2 doesnt give much but city Assault is super strong and it's no problem to just straight up melee capture cities with this promo.
    If you go with Samurai or Berserkers it turns into an extremely fast rolling machine.
    Just beware of chokes, coastal tiles and have scout around for vision.
     
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  13. civplayer33

    civplayer33 King

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    I just did that in my current game and I agree with andersw; City Assault allows you to actually attack Cities effectively with your melee units, so they go down much more quickly; it also has nice synergies with several promotions, like Landsknechts and their derivatives. Having melees between the City you're besieging and your ranged / siege units is always a good idea, so I don't get the objection of Voremonger at all...having City Assault units is definitely worthwhile and the promos don't need a buff, IMO; I'm actually sympathetic to the idea of nerfing Vanguard for naval melee a bit, because it just makes those units too invulnerable and powerful in certain circumstances...Cities should be hard to take, IMO, and especially with the recent City Strength nerf it doesn't need to be made any easier.

    I'm curious about the changes to City Ranged Attack, though...so far it seems they've made it quite strong so that may very well impact the discussion here.
     
  14. Gidoza

    Gidoza Emperor

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    I can't really put up a good challenge to Voremonger's following statement:

    While it's true that Samurai and Berserkers will do a uniquely good job of taking cities out, in most City assaults I am concerned about all the units my opponent is swarming into my position and trying to take them out so they don't take me out. My ranged units are critical to that effect, while my melee is content to pillage tiles and heal from incurred damage. Once those tiles are gone, I don't have the luxury of attacking a city even with reduced damage and 5 HP healing per turn: my ranged is perfectly capable of whallopping the city without the melee help.

    All the above rebuttal conversation seems to concern itself with actually having the city-damage-reduction promotion, which is presumptuous: if I used up my time to wait until my melee was a certain level before bothering to attack cities, those wars wouldn't be won.

    That said however, I end up taking Drill anyways in order to have Blitz, because I'm not convinced of the measley bonus of 5% more flanking. Drill has one use for me: that when the City has 0 HP left, my melee unit can capture it without being autokilled from the city's defence rating.
     
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  15. civplayer33

    civplayer33 King

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    Medieval gives you Armories, which would put you at Drill II for new units...a decent Medieval war can earn you enough XP to get that third promotion...but even before that it's theoretically possible if you think about lucky CS Quests for conquest or Tributing, for example (or just lots and lots of war). And once you have Military Academies you can give new units City Assault from the start.

    Besides what I already stated above, another reason why I like City Assault is that for Authority games, where you get tons of melee through conscription and usually have too many of them, it allows you to build less ranged to begin with and have your ranged units focus more on killing units rather than helping with the siege directly. I think the power of several City Assault units crashing into a City over two or three turns, which is often possible before they need to be switched out, is underestimated here.
     
  16. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    With the city defence change, I will be very surprised if the drill line stays as it is. Cities used to have upwards of 2x the base CS of melee units for that era. Hitting them was suicide, so 25/50/75% damage reduction was necessary. city CS will be coming down if city CS=RCS going forward, so hitting a city with a melee unit will be very similar to hitting a strong unit, as opposed to a death wish.
     

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