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Improvements in the unit roster

Discussion in 'Rhye's and Fall: Europe' started by AbsintheRed, Apr 27, 2017.

  1. AbsintheRed

    AbsintheRed Chieftain

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    While the RFCE unit roster is not bad per se, I see a lot of difficulties. Both logically and for gameplay.

    For starters, let's get together all the possible units which is redundant or might be introduced to the mod.
    Exact tech is not imporant right now, only the historic time where it should be active.
     
  2. AbsintheRed

    AbsintheRed Chieftain

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    For example on the subject of cavalries:
    I don't see any points in separating late-game cavalries into 3 types. No real point in the Dragoon, almost all cavalries had some sort of gunpowder weapons by that time, both heavy and light units.
    Would rather keep a more clear line of heavy and light cavalry development. While it can never be perfect, as it was a mess in real life, I think it would be very beneficial from both game design and gameplay perspective.

    I'm toying with the idea to add another heavy cavalry unit between Knight and Cuirassier (while Cuirassiers came in many form, we can probably stick to the late-game heavy version).
    Winged Hussar would replace this unit instead of the Cuirassier, as they were introduced in the 16th century.
    While obviously not perfect, maybe the Demi-Lancer could work? It has the additional benefit of having some extra defence against gunpowder units.

    On light cavalry units we could keep the Hussar Cavalry for the late game, with the Pistolier available from around 16th century as a general light cavalry unit.
    Before that there are not that many options. Nothing which was widespread enough. The couple examples we already have should rather be included as special units. As they are now.
    Between the 12-15th centuries Jinete is the closest thing, as it was adopted through all of Iberia.
    Maybe we could just have a generic light cavalry unit for this time period. Similarly how we have Lancers and Armored Lancers as early heavy cavalry.
    Before that I'm thinking about expanding the role of the earliest light cavalry units, so they could be useful till Knights are available.
     
  3. The Turk

    The Turk Chieftain

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    Didn't heavy cavalry go out of style with the arrival of gunpowder weapons. Pistolier cavalry kind of end the days of knights in armour, when a peasant on a horse can shoot through their armour from a distance.

    Is it possible to have region specific units? I think SoI does this with elephants, so that only Indians can build elephants. Having different units for Iberia, Fracia, Italy, Transdanubia, Russia etc would be nice.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2017
  4. Swarbs

    Swarbs Chieftain

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    Agree with keeping two types of cavalry. Although I also think the Dragoon is useful, as it represents mounted infantry. So whilst it is rightly not as strong as Line Infantry, it plays a role in allowing for a rapidly deployable defence force. But keep them as gunpowder units, as for most of the period of the mod Dragoons fought dismounted.

    Completely agree with adding this. Although not sure why the extra defence against gunpowder - demi lancers had stronger plate because older full plate was largely ineffective against musket fire, but their stronger plate only evened it out, they didn't have a decisive advantage.

    We could have a generic light cavalry unit with strength 9 and 40% withdrawal, probably arising with military tradition. Then give them varied artwork to represent Jinites, Turkopoles, Hobelars, Kursores etc depending on the civ which builds them. That would supplement the stronger specialised light cavalry mercs light Stradiots etc. Pistolier and Hussar could then stay where they are. After all, whilst there was no generic form of light cavalry across Europe at the time, lots of civs had some form of light units for harassment and pursuit, and the MS and HA are too weak for this by the mid game.
     
  5. AbsintheRed

    AbsintheRed Chieftain

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    The role of Heavy Cavaly changes after the intoduction of firearms, but 17-18th century Cuirassiers are considered one.
    Also the Demi-Lancer (or anything similar) can represent the early adoptation of heavy cavalry vs gunpowder units.

    I think from a gameplay perspective it's rather limiting to not have light cavalry units in the heyday of heavy, from the 10-15th century, while do not have heavy from the 15th century.
    I would rather represent it with their strength and bonuses.

    In the middle game heavy cavalry would be the stronger force by far, while in the late game light cavalry would have better almost as high strength as heavy and much better bonuses.
     
  6. Swarbs

    Swarbs Chieftain

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    Not really until the days of repeating rifles, which are out of scope of the mod. Even then there are still examples of recent cavalry charges against emplaced machine guns, like the Battle of Beersheba and Alfambra.

    Also peasants alone couldn't do it - you needed significant training to load, aim and fire a breech loading musket in a short space of time, and even then accuracy wasn't great, particularly with hundreds of armoured horsemen barrelling down on you. Even with a modern rifle you could easily miss a charging horse if you are untrained or fire from the hip. Also with muskets the reload time alone meant that cavalry could still close with you before you could kill them all, and if you rushed the reload you could lose a finger to the bayonet.

    Well trained infantry units able to form line and square under orders could defend against any heavy cavalry attack. But if discipline was lost even for a minute then the cavalry could still ride them down.

    That would be nice, but possibly a lot of work. Also wouldn't it mean that you could recruit local units after capturing the province? Not sure how good that would be for historical representations if Crusaders can suddenly build Ghazis from Jerusalem, for example.
     
  7. AbsintheRed

    AbsintheRed Chieftain

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    Sure, I only meant that they are less vulnerable against gunpowder units than Knights.
    Yeah, "fixing" light cavalry is one of the main purposes of the unit updates.
    I would like to have a much cleaner upgrade line for them.
    I can even imagine adding a 5th tier:

    Horse Archer (east) and Skirmisher (west) - 4-5 strength, active till the 8th century
    Improved Horse Archer (east, early Arab UU going here, Turkopoles, late Keshiks) and Mounted Sergeant (west, Berber Cavalry) - 7 strength, till 1100, significantly weaker then Armored Lancer
    General middle light cavalry (Hungarian Huszar, Stradiot, Black Rider, etc.) and Jinete (Iberian civs) - 9 strength, till 1500, even more weaker than Knight
    Pistolier - available with Flintlock around 1500 - gaining strength compared to heavy cavalry
    Hussar Cavalry - from around 1700 - the best possible cavalry unit for most purposes, somewhat better than Cuirassier against almost all unit types
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2017
    The Turk likes this.
  8. The Turk

    The Turk Chieftain

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    I don't think Reiters would agree with you: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reiter
    Not quite the same, but: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_wagon

    But no, of course it wasn't an overnight ****, but it happened so that the heavy cavalry of yore, became light cavalry instead. And instead of having the military aristocracy wield guns on horses, they led command positions. If you can shoot down a nobleman on horse, with a mass volley of light cavalry pistoliers, that is the downfall of the heavy armoured noble on horse.

    I was being a bit facetious, what I meant to say was people of lower birth - commoners.


    I don't think you understand. Some units you restrict by religion and location - so you can only build Crusader units in the "Holy Land". As I said SoI does this, so copying the code (if possible) shouldn't be difficult.
     
  9. Swarbs

    Swarbs Chieftain

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    Don't want you to start another flame war, but the existence of Reiters and gunpowder does not obsolete heavy cavalry. The successful Charge of the Heavy Brigade during the Crimean War (particularly when compared to the disastrous Charge of the Light Brigade) combined with the widely reported role of curaissers in the France Prussian War shows that heavy and armoured cavalry was still in widespread use until the end of the mod and beyond.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Waterloo

    "The cavalry in particular was both numerous and formidable, and included fourteen regiments of armoured heavy cavalry, and seven of highly versatile lancers who were armed with lances, sabres and firearms."

    In an ideal situation a force of light cavalry could obviously defeat a heavy cavalry force, but then war wasn't always fought in ideal conditions. Particularly in a pitched battle, where infantry and artillery were present, armoured cavalry were still prevalent.

    That said, I do agree that Pistoliers, Hussars and other firearm equipped light cavalry should have a bonus against heavy cavalry, to reflect their superiority against heavy cav not supported by infantry and artillery. When combined with the existing bonuses gained by pikemen and line infantry, this will reflect the weakening of heavy cavalry and the fact they no longer had the same level of superiority as knights once did.

    No I do understand, despite what you seem to think I have played SoI extensively. But I don't think it will be a simple as copying the code - my point is that the code will need to be carefully designed or else you run the risk of having some bizarre things happen.
     
  10. gilgames

    gilgames Priest-King

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    What about an option where you can upgrade archer to longbow. Also put back longbow to RP or even earlier. At MT no will build them too late ect.
    Anyway bow and crossbow need a different skill to use.
     
  11. The Turk

    The Turk Chieftain

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    @Swarbs, you are completely misquoting me (reread what I wrote). I'm not saying heavy armour disappeared over night, rather than "heavy cavalry" gradually transformed into something completely else. And this 'else', was not, or did not have to be made up of the landed aristocracy (knights etc), as has been done in the past.

    Should all civs have access to Longbowman? Or should that just be the preserve of the English and mercenaries?
     
  12. gilgames

    gilgames Priest-King

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    I aint sure but why not?
     
  13. AbsintheRed

    AbsintheRed Chieftain

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    If the cavalry line seems more or less ok with the proposed changes, we can move on the other unit types.
    I would still like to hear further name suggestions, both for the new heavy and light cavalry units.

    Anyway, let's start on archery and polearm lines too. Those are the main defensive units, with the late gunpowder units of course.
     
  14. Swarbs

    Swarbs Chieftain

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    Ok, if I misunderstood you then I apologise. Although I still think your assertion is over simplified - gunpowder, pistols and carbines were just one of many trends, including the end of the feudal system, the professionalisation of armies and the growing use of pikes in formation, which saw the end of expensive knights made up of the landed aristocracy.

    Although I think the game is already going to reflect that, if we go from Knights to Demi Lancers to Curaissers, showing heavy cavalry going from aristocracy to professional lancers to armoured cavalry equipped with firearms. Is there anything you think needs changing there?
     
  15. Swarbs

    Swarbs Chieftain

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    I think they should - the main reason most continental armies didn't train them was the expense, particularly compared to cheaper crossbows and arbalests. That doesn't mean we should prevent a player from having that choice. After all, longbows are now so late and expensive for most civs that they will probably rarely appear unless a player specifically chooses to build them, or lacks access to sulphur.

    Demi lancer is still the best option for the heavy cav imo - fits perfectly in the timeline between knights and curaissers.
    For light cavalry there can be heavy horse archers as well as the ones you've listed above. Possibly heavy horse archers as the mid game unit with str 9 for the Arabs and eastern civs to represent Turkopoles etc. Although that's a bit thematically odd given that heavy horse archers were generally heavy cavalry with bows, so many a bit confusing.

    I think the archery line is pretty good, although I find it odd that archers have 3:strength: with 100% when defending cities, then crossbows have 5:strength: with 25%. Seems strange to have such a wide divergence, which means that, particularly for hill cities, archers are almost as good at defending as more advanced crossbows. Maybe 4:strength: with 25% when defending cities would be better for archers, although that may make them too close in strength defending hills outside the cities.

    Polearms are also good imo, particularly now guisarmers have the extra strength against cavalry. Although maybe pikemen should have a reduced bonus (+25%) against light cav, as by the time they come to prominence the light cav will be moving towards gunpowder units, so a pike will be of less use against them. That would mean pikes were still superior to mid game light cav (str 9) but only equal to pistoleers and worse than late game hussars.
     
  16. AbsintheRed

    AbsintheRed Chieftain

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    What if we have 5 tier of light cavalry units?
    What could be the generic unit's name for the 3rd tier?
    Or did you mean to have Horse Archer, Improved Horse Archer, Heavy Horse Archer?
     
  17. AbsintheRed

    AbsintheRed Chieftain

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    I also think the archer-polearm line is more or less ok
    Though I'm thinking about making Crossbows/Arbalest and Longbows more parallel with each other.
    Maybe the former being more defensive, while the latter being also suited for attack to some extent?
     
  18. Swarbs

    Swarbs Chieftain

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    For light cavalry I'd say:

    L1: Skirmisher
    L2: Horse Archer / Mounted Sergeant
    L3: Heavy Horse Archer / Light lancer
    L4: Pistoleer
    L5: Hussar

    Heavy cavalry equivalents:

    L1: Lancer
    L2: Armoured Lancer
    L3: Knight
    L4: Demi Lancer
    L5: Curaisser

    I think those names work well enough. Light lancer is quite generic, but so is armoured lancer. After all, Huszars, Stradiots and Hobelars all generally fought with some kind of light spear as well as swords and often projectiles.

    Hungarian Huszar and Ghazi can then replace light lancer, whilst Winged Hussar replaces Demi Lancer. Jinetes as a light lancer replacement could be a more contemporary UU for Spain and Turcopoles could be mercenary heavy horse archers.
     
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  19. SanJose

    SanJose Chieftain

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  20. Baron03

    Baron03 Baron

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    I haven't been on the forum here in some time, but it's always great to see development for one of my favorite mods! Thank you Absinthe, merijn, and those who help.

    I'll dig up an old idea I had about adding more medieval units. However, making it more complex may not be the solution. But I'm always for making things more complex.

    1. Adding a militia styled Man-at-arms unit (either early or late game) with little or no bonuses requiring Catholicism/Orthodoxy.
    2. Separating the knight unit into a more expensive "Mounted Knight" and a regular "Knight". Middle game unit, requiring Catholicism/Orthodoxy, and possibly a limited national unit.
    3. Adding a Poleax-man/halberdier/billman unit. This would be a hybrid between pole arms and the maceman.

    A big downside is that early units have a tendency of becoming obsolete quickly from what I remember (the longsword unit). Things didn't die out very quickly or change so suddenly, and I like having more units coexist. There would be a lot of balancing though...

    Here's all the unnecessary details for the extra medieval units
    Spoiler :

    1. Foot knight - ten strength (can upgrade from man-at-arms?) requires civil service tech, iron, and obsolete by Arabic knowledge. +15% versus heavy cavalry and +10% city attack and defense. (Costs less than regular knight ie "mounted knight," but more than a maceman). Rename knight to mounted knight? Foot knight is replaced by Musketman. Also requires feudal monarchy? Or some other feudal civic? Costs 165 hammers.
    2. A man-at-arms unit: this could be a very early unit or a later foot knight alternate.
    A. six strength, +10% vs polearms, and +10% city attack and defense. Requires Catholicism as state religion to prevent other civs from making it. (They cost food). +1 support cost?
    B. seven or eight strength and no bonus at all. Costs more to build.
    3. Maybe a halberdier/Poleaxman, a mix between a mace man and pikeman? Strength of eight or nine, +25% versus polearms and +75% versus heavy cavalry. (Costs 130 hammers). Requires Plate armor and civil service tech. Replaced by Musketman.

    For extra flavor:
    4. Militia unit. Appears only for independent revolts if they occur, or instability. Strength of four, +25% hills and forests defense, and +10% city defense.
    5. Barbarian Peasant units that can spawn during instability or peasant revolts (if a mechanic like that is ever made)
    A) Peasant: (same as SOI) 3 strength and +50% vs mounted units.
    B) Peasant: 4 strength, +50% vs melee units.
    C) Peasant: 5 strength, +25% forest and hill defense.


    I like the idea of the crossbow being a cheap unit throughout the game until gunpowder is used. The Arbalest units can be the more expensive and stronger option rather than a direct upgrade.

    I dislike the maceman unit for the Western civs because he wields a flail. Shouldn't there be a heavy infantry unit instead, or was the flail/mace widely used enough to fit the heavy infantry place?

    Also, You could break the cuirassier unit into an earlier "mounted arquebus" unit, but I'm not sure if that's distinct enough for the game. I never played into the late game
     

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