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I'm still not convinced about Cruisers

Discussion in 'General Balance' started by Gidoza, Mar 25, 2019.

  1. Txurce

    Txurce Warlord

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    Of course it's not truly overwhelmingly powerful. If it were, we'd read a lot more about cruisers winning games for people ("Then I researched Dynamite and game over," etc.). I start my "other continent" attacks with frigates, because they absolutely do the job. What cruisers do, as you point out, is give you a knight-style edge early, if you beeline for them and neglect the upper half of the tree. But even that edge has limits: knights can attack more tiles, and cruisers are more likely to require attack-ending repairs, unless you have a heavily promoted, admiral-heavy navy.
     
  2. Gidoza

    Gidoza Chieftain

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    Hmmm...I'm inclined to say that comparing Cruisers to Knights is a false parallel. Regardless of their strength, they are still limited by terrain, and the right units will still stop them cold in their tracks. If making assaults, they have limitations from being melee units because they always take damage.

    Cruisers - terrain doesn't bother them, they can avoid damage from coastal cities entirely, they make ground units for coastal invasion pretty much unnecessary, and Ironclads aren't enough to stop them. When I get Cruisers before the AI, I am always confident that the game is over. I have never experienced anything of the sort with Knights.
     
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  3. Txurce

    Txurce Warlord

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    Yes, you're right — terrain doesn't bother cruisers. They just pop out their amphibious wheels and cruise inland. To take an extreme example, they are worthless against a well-situated Tradition civ. (This is why getting cruisers early doesn't guarantee a win.) On the other hand, knights can be a part of an assault on 95% of cities.

    The "right units that will stop a knight in its tracks" don't exist when knights appear — hence their power. On the other hand, ironclads do put a dent in cruisers. And they don't have to sink them to dramatically lower their value — just get them into yellow, because they often have no way to heal near the front. This frequently ends a naval assault on a city. Knights suffer damage just by attacking, but because they are part of a multi-unit attack, that attack can sustain itself while the knights heal.
     
  4. amateurgamer88

    amateurgamer88 Chieftain

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    Knights are worthless against a well-situation civ too. Getting choke points with rivers and mountains against a civ that's not Inca or Songhai can stop Knights in their tracks. I think we all agree that people only go for Cruisers if they can greatly benefit from it like taking multiple coastal cities.

    As for getting Cruisers early, it gives you a significant edge that can potentially guarantee a win. Going early means you are beelining for it so your enemy likely don't have Ironclads to put a dent in them yet. That's the timing you are aiming for. Time it well and you can take a couple of cities before your enemy have Arsenals up and that can really tip the war in your favor. In the scenario where your opponent does get some Ironclads, you'd probably taken care of their existing navy so those few Ironclads will slow you down but certainly not stop you in your tracks.

    As for comparing Knights and Cruisers, I'll admit that I would rather face Knights if I'm behind. With Knights, I have a bunch of factors in my control like terrain and my unit composition. Regarding unit composition, Composite Bowmen and Skirmishers aren't that bad if you can get good positioning while you have a few meat shield to either serve as bait or just make use of ZoC. What tools do I have against Cruisers whose 2 range is so defining?

    There is a unit that can give Knights a hard time but it's only available to Authority civ. The Landsknecht has 20 :c5strength: CS with bonus against mounted.
     
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  5. Gidoza

    Gidoza Chieftain

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    When it comes to terrain - unless the coastal city is sandwiched near another island, Cruisers have free reign to move in and out and can all take shots even at a city exposed only at a single tile.

    Knights can embark, sure, but that isn't going to help them in a battle where you don't have ships to protect them, where there are mountains around, or other rough terrain generally, and even flat terrain assumes alot to position knights well as that flatness is never as big as the hugeness of the ocean. Pikemen are weak relative to Knights, but they happily do the trick for me in nearly all situations with little effort.

    Put another way, having more Knights in a battle won't guarantee you a victory. On the other hand, more Cruisers likely will every time.
     
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  6. Omen of Peace

    Omen of Peace Chieftain

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    I could get behind Cruisers with move 4 and range 2. They would still be formidable but it would damp their power a bit, and allow Ironclad to outmaneuver them more easily.

    It's at least worth a test.
     
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  7. Txurce

    Txurce Warlord

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    This is basically true, but you use loaded scenarios to make your points. All you need to cut cruisers down to size is protected harbors, or ships that can reach them. But if you have a tech edge, they will definitely give you a big advantage in the battlefield. So do knights. So does artillery. Or air power. That's the point of beelining a military tech: to get an edge that's not easily countered. And the closer that edge comes to the late game, the more definable it is as "decisive."

    I don't think there's a civ more serially nerfed than Carthage... and yet because the UU comes early and with a kick, I can still use it to get a decisive edge in most of my Carthage games, before I even leave Classical. On the other hand, I have never been beaten to cruisers by the AI and thought, "Now I don't have a chance." It's easy to pick any number of strategies as being OP when in the hands of a human player who knows how to employ the concept of overwhelming force. But for me, something is OP when it distorts the game, not when it gives you a meaningful edge. To paraphrase myself, how many times have you read over the years about a player reaching Dynamite and saying "That was lights out for the AI"? You haven't, until this thread, because cruisers don't distort the game.
     
  8. tothePAIN

    tothePAIN Chieftain

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    For me, cruisers are my "win" condition. I know that with enough cruisers, I can take any naval city. There is less of a diminishing returns to cruisers because of the 2 range. I can potentially attack a city with 10 cruisers in 1 turn. Cruisers make taking naval cities possible and far less tedious than landlocked cities.

    In comparison, there are diminish returns to knights. I can only surround a city with 6 knights.

    Even with all of the improvements to the AI, cruisers are my win condition because I'm 100% certain that I can outright any enemy with a large enough navy once I have cruisers, no matter the difficulty. That would be less true if cruisers were nerfed. I'm not saying I'd enjoy that - it would make the game harder. But cruisers are absolutely game changing and enable conquering pretty much all naval cities if desired. The inability to heal isn't really an issue so long as attacks are done in order or a city state is taken nearby to allow healing.

    Edit: They're initially strong but not quite game breaking. The real tipping point is once they get logistics and can attack twice per turn.
     
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  9. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    Agreed. I mean if I rush knights at a time when my opponent has horseman, knights, spearmen, and c bowman....I'm going to curb stomp too.

    So lets break down what could potentially make the cruiser overpowered. These are the areas we need to debate to justify the unit's OP status.

    1) Its power in a tech rush. As stated above, if you rush cruisers and your opponents doesn't yet have the counters, they are in big trouble. The question is, how big? Is it "game over", "you will automatically lose a city" or "you are in a complete defensive war until you get a counter". A key question of that is also around the Corsair. If I don't have Ironclads, then I have Corsairs. Now clearly corsairs aren't meant to counter Cruisers...but can they delay or hold their own long enough to let you catch up in tech?

    For example when Frigates first come out, I have used Caravels in the past to hold them off. Its certainly not as efficient as Corsairs by any stretch, but delays and sometimes even kills are possible. Can we say the something about Corsair vs Cruiser?

    2) Does it have a counter? Ironclads are designed to be its direct counter in the water, and artillery serve later on as its counter on land. Do these units "do the job", or are cruisers too strong against them?

    3) How strong is its land projection? Obviously with range 2 the cruiser has a dramatic gain over the Frigate in projecting force onto the land. But the second question here is, how does its CS measure up to land contemporaries? Does the cruiser kill land units and cities as efficiently as frigates did against units of its time, or more/less efficiently?

    I'm enjoying this debate because its trying to define the edge of "defining unit of the era" vs "overpowered unit", and I think its a worthwhile debate to continue. So...continue!
     
  10. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch

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    It's all irrelevant, because I'm removing ranged naval units from the next version of VP.







    Naval units will no longer be able to attack, and will instead start a quick game of Battleship when two navies of 2+ ships collide. If fewer that this number of ships engage, there's a 50% chance you instantly lose the game.

    G
     
  11. Rekk

    Rekk Chieftain

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    Ah, le poisson d'avril.
     
  12. CrazyG

    CrazyG Warlord

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    There are several differences between rushing knights and rushing cruisers.

    First, knights have a hard time against walls with garrisons and are punished by well positioned cities. Even with a tech advantage, you aren't taking a capital with just knights. You need other techs, probably physics, to get a strong city taking force. If you do equip knights to take cities, you have a high opportunity cost in the promotions you give up. Cruisers can take targeting and still capture cities; with two range they work well against almost any city built on the water. Once they reach logistics, Cruisers with targeting do more to cities than cruisers that took the other path, and you can add bombardment as your 5th promotion to make real city killers.

    Second, there are three options to enter next era with medieval weapons, Chivalry, Steel, or Physics. To have a dominant offensive medieval army you really need all three. To defend reasonably well you only need 1 of the 3, including steel which needs less total science than chivalry. Cruisers needs 1 tech and the only defense is cruisers. Ironclads are really bad against cruisers. If they get buffed, please don't give them more city damage. Its such an irrelevant bonus.

    Third, is that knights can't hit naval units. Cruisers can devastate land armies.

    Fourth, cruisers come much later, which mean you have a lot more time to prepare strategic resources. Also, you can prepare a ton of frigates to upgrade as soon as you hit the tech. Its harder to do with knights, and not spending the gold has a higher opportunity cost during the early game, when investing in buildings can help you snowball.

    Fifth, naval units get a ton of movement boosts from various things in the game. This means that you can project power much farther much faster. It means that someone who is 10 turns behind me in tech can realistically lose their entire fleet and several cities in my window to destroy them.

    Sixth, cruisers are ranged, which means if I knock down your city with cruisers, they probably all have full health. Knights might be able to blitz a city, but they will need to heal afterwards, which gives the other guy time to catch up in tech.
     
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  13. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch

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    As I see it (and I started typing this message just as @CrazyG posted his), the power spike of Knights v. Cruisers is a little misleading because of the risk inherent in a Knights rush versus the risk inherent in a Cruiser rush. In essence, since you have more time to get your pieces set before the Cruiser is unlocked, it is an easier tactic to achieve. As such, I don't exactly see a downside to nerfing cruisers a bit. How we choose to do so is up to you, but I believe a nerf is warranted.

    G
     
  14. doublex55

    doublex55 Chieftain

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    Can we remove the city bonus and put cover 1 instead?
     
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  15. Omen of Peace

    Omen of Peace Chieftain

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    Nerf ideas:
    1/ -1 range
    2/ -1 move
    3/ lower RCS (CS itself has not been mentioned an issue)
    4/ penalty vs ground troops, or vs cities

    I'd start with 2, then try 3 if it's not enough.

    Nerfing range would achieve the goal, but perhaps overshoot and make them too plain.
     
  16. vyyt

    vyyt Chieftain

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    I'd go with 1/ for cruisers and also with 4.1/ (= reduced attack vs land units) for ALL ranged ships.
     
  17. Txurce

    Txurce Warlord

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    3/ and 4/ are great ideas, either of which I would have been open to throughout. They don't change the flow of the game the way the first 2 do, but still lower the cruise's impact.
     
  18. phantomaxl1207

    phantomaxl1207 Chieftain

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    I don't like lowering their Movement Speed, as Frigates also have 4.

    Let's try 3. Any #'s in mind?
     
  19. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    I vote for 3.
     
  20. pineappledan

    pineappledan Warlord

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