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Fixing the Melee Line

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Aaron90495, May 2, 2013.

  1. ahawk

    ahawk King

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    Currently, I build pikes to ward off mounted units for hundreds of turns, then eventually anti-air guns to help with planes. Otherwise, I only build melee sparingly, usually to be the one unit that takes the city after ranged units knock it down to about 0 hp. Of course, sometimes a UU is good enough to justify building it, so there are a few other melee units I build (Samurai, Jaguar Warriors, Pictish, Hoplites) but melee just doesn't cut it anymore (pun intended).

    Now to BNW:

    1) Zulu. The Zulu look geared to make melee more relevant.

    2) I'd like to see melee units in general (including gunpowder units) have a couple more promotion lines. I hope the promos the Zulu get for free will be available to everyone else after a certain level of XP.

    3) I'd like to see the Siege promotion unlockable earlier for melee units than it currently is. Let melee units make it to this promo sooner than ranged units can.

    4) Move the Iron strategic resource, as well as the Swordsman and Longswordsman, earlier on the tech tree. We already have the swordsman nerfed by having composite bows come very early, as well as by having pikes get buffed in G&K, so why not allow swords to appear earlier?

    All this said, I don't really put too much stock in BNW making melee units in general all that relevant again. I do hope, though, that BNW will in the very least make Iron worth having for reasons other than Frigates (which appear very late as far as Iron is concerned) and Forges.
     
  2. kaspergm

    kaspergm Deity

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    Yes, this is pretty much the thing. Ranged are good against melee, Cavalry are counter to Ranged, and Pikes are counter to Cavalry, but where does that leave Swords? Pretty much out in the cold.

    As I see it, Archers, Cavalry and Pikes should be your favored choice for field combat. Siege and Swords should be your choice against cities. This is why I've advocated the following changes:
    • Swords get a bonus against cities.
    • Archers get a penalty against cities, like Horses.
    • Siege weapons start with Cover I.
    • Pikes get cut in strength but increased bonus against Cavalry.
    • Cavalry get an overall strength boost.

    These changes will mean that Pikes become an overall worse choice than Swords except for countering Cavalry, making them specifically defensive units. CB city rush becomes much less viable, and Catapults will actually have a chance of doing damage to a city and not just be killed first turn it moves into range before it even gets to set up. Cavalry become your all-round skirmisher unit effective for taking out particularly Ranged and Siege units, whereas Swords will actually be able to play an active role in sieges.
     
  3. plokoon9619

    plokoon9619 Warlord

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    Ok lets not make pikes useless, that's what will you do in the competitive playing field with that suggestion. But for now just focus on the range problem on hand.

    The issue is not just range units being effective against cities. 5 Composite Bowmen will always beat 5 Swordsmen or 5 Horsemen or 5 spearmen. This is simply because they can all concentrate fire on one unit at a time while melee at best can get 2 units adjacent to a range unit.
     
  4. Olleus

    Olleus Deity

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    Changing the numbers, even significantly, won't change a thing. Being able to attack without losing any health is simply too important - it means making it much easier to survive the next turn. Having a ranged attack also makes it possible to concentrate fire on a single target, which is a vastly useful tool. Making ranged units suffer a little attrition is just common balance. And the main difference between the units (1. How far they can attack and 2. How vulnerable they are) are still there. It just means they cannot rain down death for ever.

    As far as I'm aware, anyone saying that ranged units should NOT suffer any damage when attacking, is also saying that AIR units should NOT suffer any damage when attacking non anti-air units. Both are ridiculous.
     
  5. mitsho

    mitsho Deity

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    So, to recap the discussion:

    If you make ranged units take damage, you make them too much like "warriors with two range".
    If you reduce damage of archers, they will still be overpowered until they become useless at one point (because they can't kill anymore).
    Cavalry units are theoretically good counters against archery units, but fail most often due to the constraints of a civ map (scale means not enough place to maneouver).
    There's a difference between city combat and "field" combat whereas the latter doesn't really exist in civ 5.

    Did I get something wrong?

    My radical change proposal: Make every unit only able to suffer 2 ranged attacks per turns. It would make focus fire considerably weaker, but it's also a problem for the AI (attack first with the wrong units, archery units in the back then can't attack anymore...) and it's a hard rule. Also not sure if codeable.

    The more indirect ones are clear to me: Raise upkeep costs for archery units, make the AI chose 'cover' promotions more, reduce damage by archery units, etc. ...

    Another thing that makes ranged units better than melee is that they don't have to move onto the other tile. I say make use of the "attack" button every unit has and make it so that the melee unit if it wins the fight stays on its own tile which is probably better for itself to defend and retreat. Also, give cavalry units (easy) access to a "move after attack" promotion.

    EDIT: On the other side of the battle field, I would like to give good options to garrison other unit types in cities. I can see melee units 'doubling' the city attack strength or give more health point to the city (or make it recover faster) and cavalry more used for a sortie. Again, the 'stays on (city) tile after attack' may be worth its gold here.

    Oh, and solve the 1 city + 1 garrisoned archery unit + 1 newly built archery unit + 1 ship = 4 attacks from one city bug. Please!
     
  6. SMA333M

    SMA333M Warlord

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    I think melee units are fine and it's normal that ranged units got better damage than melee units, because they are weaker. The role of melee units is to protect ranged and to take the cities (after they've been bombarded by ranged).
     
  7. BSPollux

    BSPollux Deity

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    How about variable health points? Archers are weak, so why not let them have only 50 HP?
     
  8. plokoon9619

    plokoon9619 Warlord

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    Your not playing the game right then. You can get away with using melee units on a prince or below AI. Instant you step into multiplayer, try to war with good player and he will respond with 4-6 composite bowmen that destroy anything that attempts to move up to them. Its the flavor of the decade strategy, if your not doing it, your not playing a fully effective game.

    I have a long list of suggestions to fix useless units like melee, early naval units, fighters
     
  9. Seek

    Seek Deity Supporter

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    Changing production cost may be the key here. If melee units cost 50% of current costs and ranged 200%, I bet we will see a dramatic shift towards combined arms. Obviously these values are exaggerated to show my point, but it could be worth looking into. Opportunity cost is the main balancing mechanic in Civ 5, so it would be a natural fix instead of changing mechanics; plus it would also be simple to code.

    Another simple and easy solution would be to make the entire ranged line have a range of one like the Gatling and Machine Guns. Added bonus: more realism!
     
  10. IkM

    IkM King

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    Melee units are ok, IMO. but, armoured units may get defence bonus against archers.
     
  11. Louis XXIV

    Louis XXIV Le Roi Soleil

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    Swords are still good against cities (I can see an argument to make them better, but they're better just for higher attack value). They're also good if you're in a hurry - you can weaken with Archers but plow ahead with swords without having to wait. The only real problem with swords is that Pikes have the same value and arrive too quickly.

    However, swords also have the advantage of being on a better upgrade path. If you think long-term, Pikes become Lancers (which nobody likes), while Swords go all the way through Infantry as the bulk of your army.
     
  12. mitsho

    mitsho Deity

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    I hope that they fix the Pike->Lancer upgrade since it doesn't make sense for a unit to change its type on upgrade (the Pike now goes from 2 to 4 to 2 to 4 movement...), so I hope that this is an invalid argument by you :)

    no comment on the "may attack but not move onto attacked tile"-proposal?

    I'm not sure how much changing the cost of units will change, but it may be worth a try as well, though that one is just one small 'numbers' adjustment of which a few can be done. It doesn't adress the underlining imbalance.
     
  13. Seek

    Seek Deity Supporter

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    I'm still mulling it over - it's a fairly dramatic change - though I think I'm not in favor of it. You raise some good positive points, however I think it would result in more rigid and stationary battlefields. I have two worries resulting from this: 1) it might make battle against the AI easier - form your front line, wait for the AI to throw it's units against it, rinse and repeat; 2) it might make war boring - extremely long standoffs where neither civ attacks because advancing against the opponent's lines would mean death. Making the units move onto the tile was a critical facet to the devs' 1UPT design I think, and it's not likely to change.

    It would make melee units quickly and cheaply accessible while requiring a large investment for ranged units, which would address the balance of units on the battlefield. It wouldn't matter if 5 archers beat 5 warriors every time if it takes the same amount of turns to make 20 warriors as it takes to make 5 archers - the archers would eventually fall under sustained attack. I'm not saying it's a perfect solution, but it's simple, easy and effective.
     
  14. Louis XXIV

    Louis XXIV Le Roi Soleil

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    Given that it was a conscious design choice for G&K, I doubt they'll change it back unless they come up with an entire line of upgrades for either Pikes or Swords that are different from now.
     
  15. BSPollux

    BSPollux Deity

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    ...or the damage of ranged attacks could be reduced, but melee units could get a bonus (or promotion option) that allows them to do additional damage if theire target was hit by a ranged attack on the same turn. That way one ranged and one melee would be more effective then two ranged attacks
     
  16. kaspergm

    kaspergm Deity

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    Are you saying this just because you believe it's true, or have you actually tested this? All I can say is that I don't agree with you, and from what I've experienced during game, you are wrong.

    And for the record, I am saying that ranged units should not take damage, and I am not saying that Air units should not take damage. There's a huge difference between Air units and archers - first off, Air units are stationed in cities, and thus can't be targeted by normal units. Secondly, Air units have a much greater range than ground units, plus you can stack Air units unlimitedly (which is perhaps the worst rule in the game), so the two are absolutely not comparable.
     
  17. Dunkah

    Dunkah Emperor

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    What if there were a hard limit to the amount of units you are allowed to build.

    Real Life armies always had/ have units split into working parts, that compliment each other.

    Say a typical company would consist of 3 infantry platoons, 1 weapons platoons, some long ranged, air or armour support.

    So if in Civ you could have 1 ranged unit and 1 siege per 3 melee units.
     
  18. Seek

    Seek Deity Supporter

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    I agree making the unit cap an effective part of gameplay would be nice (I often forget it even exists!) - we could have ranged take up more supply than melee as a simple balance mechanism.
     
  19. Draskar

    Draskar Warlord

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    I'd like to see a reduction of damage when you strike a wounded unit,
    If 100 men fight vs 20 men all 20 dies
    If 100 men fires with a bow on 100 men, maybe 20 men dies.
    If 100 men fire with a bow on 20 men, maybe 4 men dies: IN CIV5 ALL 20 MEN DIES.
     
  20. Pembroke

    Pembroke Tribune

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    Currently ranged units are overpowered. At the same time horse type units are underpowered. You could solve both issues with the same cure: give horse type units an attack bonus against ranged units (i.e. not "cover" against ranged fire but as in "charge against less mobile light units"). Could even be a new promotion path with additional bonuses against ranged.

    You'd even get sort of a paper-rock-scissors type effect with that: pike/spear trumps horses trumps ranged trumps pike/spear.
     

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