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Can we please go back to melee unit dominance over ranged please?

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Ravellion, Dec 2, 2013.

  1. Ravellion

    Ravellion Prince

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    In vanilla and G&K (pre final G&K patch), I played at the emperor level. Deity was too difficult for me because I often lost to huge armies of melee units (sometimes mockingly referred to as "carpets of doom"). Melee units are relatively straightforward. You move them to a city and attack the city with it. The AI could handle this to an adequate degree.

    In BNW, the Immortal AI bores me. The buff to ranged units has made the AI completely inept. It now needs to juggle the need of taking the city with some melee troops and the need for significant ranged attack strength. This also makes positioning more important, which the AI has further trouble with. Short of being swamped by Shaka's Impis, no AI can challenge me with even a minimal military investment on my part (less than a handful of archers/composite bows/crossbows will do just fine with maybe two melee units).

    I am wondering whether I am the only one who has identified this as a significant problem.
     
  2. Silverfuturist

    Silverfuturist King

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    Yea, it also makes mobile Keshisks and Camel Archers way too strong... and it makes water-bound ranged units (frigates!) overpowering. A ranged unit situation I think is balanced is when catapults, trebs, and cannons bomb melee units. Damage gets done, but the cost to make vs death-dealt-out is balanced, and the fragility of them is in balance. However, the cost to make vs death-dealt-out is just off the charts for frigates, and xbows have too much defensive strength compared to the damage they deal.
     
  3. Hakan-i Cihan

    Hakan-i Cihan Emperor

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    I don't mind if archer-line units would get a penalty for attacking a city. This way you should rely more on siege units.
     
  4. VicRatlhead5199

    VicRatlhead5199 King

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    I agree with this. The increased reliance on siege units would also force you to use melee units to protect them. It would also take the "siege for cities, ranged for units" concept that got started with the way G&K rebuilt siege units one step further.

    It'd be a step towards making archers defensive and infantry and siege offensive.
     
  5. Crafty Bison

    Crafty Bison King

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    Actually the OP makes a good point I hadn't thought about. Normally I'd favour balance between ranged and melee, but if the AI handles melee better then I'm all for shifting the balance that way for a better AI. Even if not, it should certainly move towards being more balanced. (also my favourite civs almost all have melee UUs except England and Inca. Persia, Aztecs, Sweden, Siam, Celts, Danes, Byzantium, Zulus, Polynesia, all have melee :))
     
  6. Talcove

    Talcove Slayer of Spies

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    What if ranged units (Archers, XBows, Frigates, et cetera) couldn't injure melee attackers (Warriors, Longswordsmen, Privateers) while defending. The way it currently is, ranged units effectively get two attacks: one when they attack (in which they lower the enemy's health without sustaining any damage), and one when they are attacked (both units get their health lowered). This allows ranged units to inflict a somewhat unbalanced amount of damage against non-ranged units.

    If they didn't inflict damage when attacked, though, then it would be more balanced. Ranged units could be powerful against non-ranged units when attacking, but would need to be accompanied by non-ranged units consistently, otherwise they would fall like flies.

    ... Maybe even reintroduce the ability to melee attack to Venice's 'Pretty Good Galleass' to make it a really unique unit, then? :mischief:
     
  7. bbbt

    bbbt Deity

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    I'll 'third' this. Defensive ranged units but offensive siege units (at least against cities) makes more sense.
     
  8. Hakan-i Cihan

    Hakan-i Cihan Emperor

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    Another option would be that defensive buildings (walls, castle etc) would give cities increased defense against ranged attacks of archer-line units besides the current effects. This way defensless cities (without walls etc.) are still capturable early in the game for archer assisted armies. Defensive buildings also become more worthwhile.
     
  9. Vitruvius

    Vitruvius King

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    When an archer can beat a warrior 1v1, you know ranged is OP.

    Anyway, the problem of ranged isn't that ranged are way too strong, but because the AI does not know how to handle it. The AI has a habit of rearranging its attack formations before pouncing a single unit and beat it to death using flank attacks. Therefore, The AI seem to do melee attacks very well, but when it comes to ranged, they use it as if they are melee, meaning they would only bombard when they think its likely to be a sure kill. But as humans, we use bombard all the time, just to soften up the enemy or even just to train the unit. I am not sure how the AI could be improved on this regard, but making them more willing to bombard at will rather than waiting for the perfect opportunity to focus fire one unit to death might improve it a little.

    Adding city bombard penalty does not solve the problem because while it makes it slightly harder for humans to conquer cities, it makes the AIs worse because now they both don't know how to use ranged on the field and also suffer from the same penalties against cities. Some suggested solutions:

    1. Nerfing ranged strength across the board. E.g. Archers at 4 (6 ranged), CB at 6 (9), and so on.

    2. Scale up ranged production cost: instead of costing the same as contemporary melee units. Cost proportional to 1/2 its strength + its ranged strength. So if warrior cost 8, then archer cost 5/2 + 7 = 10 (round up), CB cost 7/2 + 11 = 15. If this doesn't work, make even more costly (proportional to strength + ranged strength, archers now cost 12, that means 50% more production time than warrior). It makes sense because archers need more training, and also require more equipment (endless supply of arrows).

    3. Nerfing range. From 2 to 1. However this makes combat less interesting, as the use of combined arms (melee + ranged) seems to be very infeasible.

    4. Allow ranged bombard to be counter attacked (at a lesser degree). If bombers can be counter attacked by a melee unit, it makes sense an archer can be counter attacked... Although it would be hard to imagine how it could happen realistically, but Civ isn't realistic in many aspects already.

    I am going to stop here, but I am sure theres lots of changes that could be made, without complete overhaul of the game itself.
     
  10. Hakan-i Cihan

    Hakan-i Cihan Emperor

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    From your ideas only the first one does appeal to me with a big if. They should have an increased strength while in a city defending it. The AI is able to use the archer units this way, so that wouldn't be a big problem. But in early game with weakened archers/CB's it could be very hard to capture cities.
     
  11. Vitruvius

    Vitruvius King

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    The point of archery line of units shouldn't be for capturing cities but for supporting melee infantry. Catapults are there for a reason and its very easy to use. Send a melee in to tank, once its injured, send catapult in. Even the mongols did not capture cities with keshiks, they had very sophisticated siege equipment and also relied alot on ploys to draw enemy out of their castles.

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk
     
  12. KmDubya

    KmDubya King

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    The solutions I would advocate are:

    1.) Reduce the defense value of all ranged units. They should be fragile to melee or cavalry. Right now they defend too well, a crossbow in rough terrain can tank a knight. This is compounded by the ability to range attack a target and then counterattack.

    2.) Add in a penalty to city attack, ranged is too good attacking cities. Composite bowmen are better than catapults by a longshot. The same is true for crossbowmen versus trebs. Cannons start to do good damage against cities, and artillery has the three range which rules.

    Even when ranged units get knocked back to one range they still are better than melee. Their defense is on par with contemporary melee units and the ability to attack even one range without taking damage in a counterattack is huge.

    The two melee unit lines also either requires a strategic resource or promotes into a useless lancer. Melee also takes longer to level up as you need to heal every few rounds instead of being able to just shoot away without any return damage. Two exp every round is better than 5 exp every few rounds.

    The promotions also favor ranged. Blitz is a good way to severely damage your unit and make it vulnerable to counterattacks. Logistics is a way to double your exp gain and to be able to one round kill most things. Range gives you the ability to ignore most attempts to return fire.

    Ranged units also favor the human as we are better able to focus fire and conquer without losing units or even take damage once we get three range.
     
  13. Sturmgewher88mm

    Sturmgewher88mm Kaiser

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    Well in Civ Rev, archer-line units were almost impossible to kill when fully upgraded and dug in, but they were destroyed easily if they attacked. Then again, the only real ranged unit in that game was the nuke, and having ranged units makes more realistic and interesting combat.

    Archers also got defensive bonuses in Civ IV, but they didn't suffer as much in attacking as in Civ Rev, and again few ranged units.
     
  14. GhostSalsa

    GhostSalsa Emperor

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    I agree melee still needs a lot of buff and balancing, though I don't think it's gotten worse in BNW - quite the opposite. In all my recent Immortal games the AI's melee units are showing up with double-Cover promotions, making my contemporary ranged units almost useless for enemy kills, and therefor improving the value of my melee units.

    Is no one else seeing a huge increase in AI use of cover promo? I'm seeing early and mid game units that at best were produced with an Armory but definitely have level 3 promos without any previous fighting.
     
  15. Vitruvius

    Vitruvius King

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    On deity, i believe ai gets free medic and cover promo. I am not sure about other levels as i only started to observe ai promotions on deity. As for ranged unit balance, the point is that melee infantry should always be the mainstay of an army from a historical perspective but it does not fit into the gameplay of civ v so i would like civ v to be designed such that melee are more valued and ranged units are just for support.

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk
     
  16. Walter R

    Walter R Great Engineer

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    Despite the fact that I play mostly as England (both UUs are ranged), I tend to agree with most of the sentiments expressed - especially that seige units are under-powered compared to archer types.
     
  17. Redaxe

    Redaxe Emperor

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    I agree with the OP on all points. I think reducing the strength of ranged attacks, ranged city damage and ranged unit defense is a good start. I would go further and allow melee units to access cover promotion at 15 exp and give ranged siege units a free cover promotion. I would also consider giving range units a damage penalty for attacking at max range. I.e. archers for attacking at range 2 but not range 1....
     
  18. Ninakoru

    Ninakoru A deity on Emperor

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    I the balance mod I made, all siege units have cover promotion. I think it is obvious, siegue units should be effective against cities and should be assorted with plates to cover against ranged attacks. Catapults and trebuchets are near useless, against tradition cities can be one-shoted easily.

    Ranged damage should work different. My idea is:

    - Damage reduced based on Attacker health (just right now, up to 33% combat power decreasee).
    - Even more damage reduced based on Target health: less health mean less damage, up to another 33% decrease).

    This second damage reduction would represent less targets in a unit formation to kill on a ranged attack. Obviously if the target formation is already decimated, would be much harder to make same casualties than in a brand new formation.
    On a more tactical point of view ranged would be better supporters and less effective at focus-killing, witch is extremely overpowered on defense. I would encourage both player and AI on using ranged as support instead of the core of a unit army.
     
  19. tomplum68

    tomplum68 Warlord

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    I think this is a great idea.
     
  20. Vitruvius

    Vitruvius King

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