1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

Explain Why the Landcrap (Landsknecht) Is Terrible

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by MilesBeyond, Jan 27, 2013.

  1. MilesBeyond

    MilesBeyond Prince

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2011
    Messages:
    422
    This is one thing that's always confused me. Usually when there's a post on Best/Worst UU (which is, what, once a week? :lol:) Landsknecht almost always manages to snag a place as one of the absolute worst UUs.

    My question is: Why?

    I've never played as HRE, so I've never used them, but I respect the opinions of the players here, most of whom are more experienced than I am, and when they say that it's a bad unit, I'm inclined to believe them. However, on paper the Landsknecht looks like an amazing unit. +100% vs both Mounted and Melee means that the only real counter to it is Musketmen (and who builds those). It would toast Elephants, have good odds against Knights, and come out even against Macemen and Cuirs.

    So... Why are they so terrible?

    My gut instinct here is that there's something in the combat mechanics that I haven't quite grasped. I know they're very counter-intuitive, but I still have no idea how they work.


    Another one that's always puzzled me is the Vulture. Logically speaking, they would be just as good as Axemen against melee units (5 STR +50% = 7.5 STR, 6 STR + 25% = 7.5 STR) but stronger against everything else. However, this does not seem to be the case.

    So, can anyone help clear this up for a poor, confused soul?
     
  2. Doshin

    Doshin jolly yellow giant

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    Messages:
    4,470
    Location:
    Terra
    It offers no substantial benefit over using a Mace and a Pike: a standard Medieval army contains City Raider or Shock Maceman (8 strength) and Combat II Pikemen (6 strength), which eventually receive Formation. With the Landsknecht as the foundation of a stack, most will have to be promoted to City Raider or Shock (to capture cities) with a few serving to defend or attack against Knights. By specializing the promotions, you essentially create a bunch of normal Pikes and weak (if cheap) Maces. The unit gets no bonus attacking Longbows, so they die very easily there.
     
  3. Nicol.Bolas

    Nicol.Bolas Prince

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2008
    Messages:
    575
    Location:
    Bohemia

    current nobles club game has HRE.
    I built them and they are simply disappointing.
    Pikeman by itself is simply disappointing however.

    Landsknecht biggest problem why you can't base anything on it is called: crossbowman, longbowman.

    it's very weak against arechery units compared to MM, against siege and against musketman, which ai builds.

    the bonus vs melee is same as maceman (8+50% =12, LK is 6+100% =12)

    in the mentioned game, someone posted a deity rush using LK, its on youtube, havent yet had tome to watch it though
     
  4. gunslinger6792

    gunslinger6792 Warlord

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2012
    Messages:
    282
    I'm somewhat new at civ IV so I have to ask why don't people use musketmen? They're definitly not one of the best units but they upgrade nicely. As far as the OP goes I've never used landsknecht but from what you said the unit on paper sounds good.
     
  5. MilesBeyond

    MilesBeyond Prince

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2011
    Messages:
    422
    Musketmen aren't bad units so much as they just come at an awkward time on the tech tree. When you get them you're basically almost at Cuirs, Riflemen aren't too far off, and Knights are both faster and stronger.


    The points made by others make a lot of sense. I suppose the Pikeman just isn't an amazing unit in the first place, and neither the Pikeman nor the Landsknecht is any good at killing Longbows.

    Is that all there is to it?
     
  6. Dasphios

    Dasphios Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2009
    Messages:
    43
    It also has a phenomenally stupid nickname and is hard to spell. At the root of many people's discontent is the expectation that a unique unit should be able to fill every role in an army; that a stack made up of only your UU and some sieges (with the odd X for defense). Landsknechts are far from lousy, but they're best as a defensive unit, and that doesn't really jibe with the way most people play.
     
  7. azbestor

    azbestor Chieftain

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    Messages:
    58
    Location:
    Germany
    If landsknecht is hard to spell, try some polish names :lol:
    Once people realises, that lk is not a maceman and should be used as pike, that can smack sometimes in melee, then they start to appear bit better.
     
  8. gps

    gps King

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2007
    Messages:
    885
    Well, it's not exactly a nickname. A "Landsknecht" is a "Landsknecht" like a "Rathaus" is a "Rathaus" or a "Panzer" is a "Panzer" ...

    I always thought the Indian fast worker was considered one of the best UU around. Or how about the Carrack or the East Indiaman..? ;)
     
  9. rugbyLEAGUEfan

    rugbyLEAGUEfan Deity

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2010
    Messages:
    5,290
    Location:
    sydney australia
    And if you do intend to do a bit of city raiding with them, they often get damaged by your opponents units first as they will defend the stack. Maces remain untouched while your x-bows and pikes do the defensive work usually.
     
  10. calibur

    calibur Prince

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    Messages:
    353
    Weren't landschnekts basically pike-killers?
    They were the holy roman counter to Swiss pike mercenaries.
    They are not analogous to maces or pikes...
    UU's should not have to replace a unit.
     
  11. Robert FIN

    Robert FIN Monty n' Roll

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2012
    Messages:
    1,363
    Location:
    Finland
    Landies suck because of they'll be owned easily by l- and xbows.... Still not even close to worst. I'm not really professional player, just said what I'm thinking about them.
     
  12. Dasphios

    Dasphios Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2009
    Messages:
    43
    Yes, it's true, the unit's name is not a nickname, but as the original post's title noted, they are often referred to as the "landcrap", which is a stupid nickname.
     
  13. Pisskop

    Pisskop Goblin Axeman

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2011
    Messages:
    315
    Location:
    Connecticut
    They are at best supports. I use them in the same situations as pikes, and only make a few more. They are specialty units that don't even keep any bonus when they upgrade. Although against ai I usually try to get a few city raider ones going for whan they become infantry. . .
     
  14. PieceOfMind

    PieceOfMind Drill IV Defender Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    Messages:
    9,319
    Location:
    Australia
    The reason that doesn't come out exactly the way you expect is that all attack or defense bonuses/penalties in the game are always applied to the defender's base strength. The only exception is when an attacker has one or multiple combat promotions, as combat promos will always modify only the strength of the unit who owns it.

    There's a bit of maths involved, but one can show that when attacking a melee unit, an axe outperforms a vulture when the defense modifier of the unit defending is less than 75%, and a vulture is better when the defense bonus is greater than 75%.

    For example, if the defender is a fully fortified (25%) axeman, his defense bonus is 75% (50% for melee and 25% fortify). Against this axeman, an attacking vulture or axeman would have the same odds. If the defending axe was not fortified so his defense bonus was only 50%, the attacking axe would perform better than the attacking vulture. Conversely, if the defending axe was fortified and also had a Combat I promotion, its defense bonus would be 85% and now the attacking vulture would perform better than the attacking axe.

    So the effect is probably that when out in the field vultures might tend to feel worse than axes for the purposes of attacking melee because defense bonuses would typically be under 75%. However in the unfortunate situation where you need to attack a melee unit with a high defense bonus, like an axe in a forest (50% from forest and 50% against melee) then you should be glad if you have vultures to use instead of axes.
     
  15. Archon_Wing

    Archon_Wing Vote for me or die

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2005
    Messages:
    4,759
    Gender:
    Male
    Because base strength is king.

    Landpoops require engineering, and this civ (crappy start techs) nor leader (meh traits) is particularly noteworthy for being effective at rushing to that.

    They're also terrible for offense (useless vs archery units), and while the bonuses sound cool in theory for stack guards, defense is NOT what you need more of in medieval warfare. :lol:

    Why all that effort to get to a stack guarder? Even if you end up building them, you're going to build like 1 or 2. And that's not different from a regular pike.

    IMO, if they came with machinery, that would be much better.
     
  16. Ghpstage

    Ghpstage Deity

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2009
    Messages:
    2,944
    Location:
    Bristol, England
    Even as stack defense theres a potential pitfall, as landies will defend against melee quite commonly, theres a good chance you won't have your pikes at full strength when those flanking mounted units come to visit.
     
  17. babar

    babar King

    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
    Messages:
    600
    I'm not speaking from experience here, because I've hardly ever played HRE, but anyway...
    I think I remember good players advocating mace-less medieval armies. The idea being that pikes, xbows and longbows provide the defense while trebs take down the cities. Theoretically it makes sense because maces are kind of redundant with that composition. In practice I like to build a few combat maces myself because their high strength makes them a good utility unit, but I can see landsknechts fulfilling that role. Particularly if you beeline Engineering before CS and your enemies don't have maces and few/no crossbows (quite doable on Emperor or below I think). They will kill everything in the field, which isn't so bad. I think they might be more popular if an Engineering beeline made good long term sense. And if Charlemagne and the starting techs weren't so dismal.
     
  18. digitalcraft

    digitalcraft Warlord

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2010
    Messages:
    291
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    They're really not that bad because you can beeline pretty easily to engineering and then you have a decent unit and your trebs. As far as city invading, it doesn't matter what you pair there your trebs are doing the work. What you need is units for defending your stack and for defending cities you take.

    If you get war elephants, landskanks are a good backup unit to prevent them from getting janked by pikes. Otherwise they go good backed up by your own crossbows. They'll prevent enemy calvary from overrunning the crossbows. Basically the main thing I like about them is they come at the same time as trebs and that's pretty convenient, and they're fairly cheap units.

    Sure there are other more powerful units, but I don't think it's TERRIBLE, because its kind of convenient.
     
  19. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Messages:
    25,523
    I upgraded it a while back from "worst UU candidate" to simply "bottom tier", as it is clearly better than things like the Panzer.

    The reasons LK are crappy:

    1. They are no better at anti-mounted than pikes
    2. They are only marginally better against melee than maces
    3. They are no better than pikes at all against the most common defenders in cities (longbows)
    4. They get completely ruined by xbows and thus you still need the anti-xbow component in your army.

    So what role do they serve? They're worse pure attackers than maces, worse against enemy maces than crossbows, and don't beat knights better than regular pikes. They get slightly upgraded over pikes because they can attack offensive stacks a bit more effectively (mace defenders don't ruin you, just xbows), but all they amount to is a slightly more powerful version of a role player in a standard stack...but they also come in one of the harder time periods to war.

    Lol. Even axes can easily stack defend against pikes. Elephants are the only resource in the game that gives everyone who has it a UU-caliper option. Full on medieval armies struggle with the elephant of the classical era :/. The centerpiece of such a stack is not the LK, it's the noobiphant and the trebs (or even just catapults).
     
  20. AdamCrock

    AdamCrock Polish Pudding

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2012
    Messages:
    4,652
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Infected zone - Rzeszów
    Pikes are generally defensive lot. They have their uses in ofensive against stacks full of horse units (horseman, knights or cavalry). Landsknecht only adventage over pikes is the bonus against melee but You cannot really use it properly (in offensive) so it's narrowed down to defend against mounted units with bonus to melee - that's about it. Poorly designed unit.

    edit: melee bonus is probably from using helberd not pike I guess hehe ;)
     

Share This Page