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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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    I don't follow your logic here.
    Typically ranged units have first strikes, exactly because of that. They managed to shot a round at their enemy even before they got close.
    Similarly to the Drill promotion line, which mainly enhances that advantage.
    Where did you get this info?
    Hills have +25% defence, Forests +50% (exactly to be a huge disadvantage for mounted units).
    At the same time there is no penalty for open terrain which mounted units "ignore", their superiority there is represented indirectly.
     
  2. Swarbs

    Swarbs Chieftain

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    In a normal combat situation, the strength of each unit is rolled against each other, and the unit which wins inflicts damage on the other. As I understand it, the first strike means that the unit gets the chance to inflict damage with no chance of receiving damage.

    So it's exactly like archers and ranged units firing on knights from long range - they have a chance to kill some of the knights without any risk of casualties.

    That's absolutely the case with longbows. They have an advantage against heavy infantry, and also against heavy cavalry when the terrain is with them. But knights will be stronger on flat land and light cavalry will not have any penalties against longbows, making them stronger as well.
     
  3. Force44

    Force44 Chieftain

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    I probably was a bit unclear in my previous post.

    (afaik) The engine compares (modified die)rolls. In every round the higher roll wins and the lower roll receives damage until either one runs out of hitpoints (not taking retreat into account).

    When a unit got 2 first strikes on the first two lower rolls he will not take damage. This looks a lot like armor to me.
    First the shell must be cracked before the oyster can be consumed.
    I made it up.

    Probably I should have noted that in advance.

    Right now cavalry receives no bonus on flat terrain. To simulate their advantage on flat terrain vs eg archers I envisioned a negative bonus (or malus) on flat terrain from which they are exempt. In my example I reduced the bonus defence on hills from +25% to +20% to make the difference between hills and flatland smaller (in my example it was 30%, already 5% higher than in the current version)

    Yes, if I want to I can see it that way.

    Still it is odd that the the implementation of shooting a couple of times without the chance of taking damage yourself fits the simulation of armor so well.

    And of course there is this. When two units with first strikes fight eachother they both receive their first strikes (don't get damaged for a couple of rounds). To keep it consistent every unit with first strikes should have been immune to first strikes when it was used to simulate shooting at targets unable to fire back.

    It is certainly a means to an end. Personally I would caution against a long list of modifications. Simpler is usually better.

    (On the other hand, to achieve a favorable outcome sometimes less than optimal steps have to be taken. And this might very well be one of those cases.)
     
  4. Swarbs

    Swarbs Chieftain

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    I struggle to see it that way to be honest. At the time, armour wasn't generally 'cracked', like an oyster shell. Instead it was a case of trying to find a chink or weak point in the armour, particularly when firing arrows. Once a weak point was found, that didn't mean the rest of the armour was useless, it would still protect the rest of the body.

    To my mind, the armour is better represented by the higher strength of armoured units. Like comparing a knight to an armoured lancer - a lot of the additional strength is a result of the plate armour vs the chain mail of older lancers.

    This is a bit odd, but then it does generally balance out. I don't think they should have immunity to first strikes though, if anything it simulates the fact that some units with first strikes like longbows could take a shot from distance, but when facing another unit with first strikes like a horse archer they would still be vulnerable when doing so. Whereas units like Pistoleers have first strikes and immunity, as they would shoot from range and then wheel away to avoid counter fire. Of course ultimately something will have to be surrendered to the limitations of the engine, but I think that's a fairly good representation of reality.

    I don't think it would be an excessively long list - +25% city and hills defence, +25% vs heavy infantry and heavy cavalry, 2 first strikes. Same as the current Welsh Longbowman barbarian unit but with 8 strength.

    English longbows wouldn't necessarily need anything more than that, just make them cheaper and available earlier, maybe with the Drill I promotion as well.
     
  5. Force44

    Force44 Chieftain

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    This is where we disagree. Which is fine. I don't aim to convince you.

    This wasn't the point I was trying to make but finding the weak point is exactly how I crack an oyster.
    -​
    I think strength is a bad representation of armor. Higher strength makes makes you damage the unit with lower strength more often and also in greater qantities (iirc).

    That is an adequate representation of tela (offensive weapons like swords)

    Arma (defensive weapons like shields and armor), on the other hand, aim to reduce the effect of tela.
    -​
    Longbowmen in particular were armed with tela (the longbow) but not with arma (armor or shields)

    edit: some pictures show them with helmets, so apparently they were armed with some quantity of arma, I think those were for general protection, not to counter specific tela and associated tactics, but I might be wrong there.

    The genoan UU (Balestrieri) on the other hand was not only armed with tela (the crossbow) but also with arma (helmet, hauberk and ofc the pavise)
     
  6. Ogi123

    Ogi123 Chieftain

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    Notice how we are talking exclusively about English longbow? That's because only it had such feats to it's name, continental Europe used crossbows and longbows here were very rare and not powerful at all.
    Longbows and crossbows shooting method was different, longbows were used as artillery shooting on parabolic trajectory, while crossbows bolts were shoot straight, I think.
    And again I must say that I'm heavily against longbow as better than arbalest. Perhaps it should be some kind of semi - skirmish unit? Ignores enemy terrain defensive bonuses, retreat chance, very small collateral?
     
  7. Force44

    Force44 Chieftain

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    I gave it another thought.

    And there is some merit to to simulating range with first strikes.

    As the range of arms (tela) progesses units receive more first strikes.

    This brings up some interesting ideas for siege weapons. They could receive a lot of first strikes (they fired projectiles at the enemy whilst being out harms way themselves) and a very high retreat chance (perhaps even a 100%) paired with a relatively low strength.
     
  8. Ogi123

    Ogi123 Chieftain

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    Anyway I think that further discussion about longbow is futile, all interested parties presented arguments and I don't think that any of us will change mind.
    So what about cavalry? I presented two options here, one is linear growth of both heavy and light cav, second one is that final unit will meld both lines in single unit. Any thoughts about this?
     
  9. AbsintheRed

    AbsintheRed Chieftain

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    I thought everyone were more or less on board with the initial cavalry suggestions.
    5 light and 5 heavy cavalry units, with different bonuses and advantages above both each other and other unit types, depending on their historic roles.
    I don't really see the point in merging them into a single unit in the end.
    Prussian-style light Hussars (which spread to almost all of Europe from Hungary through Austria) were dominating in the late 18th century, but some more heavy cavalry units were definitely present at the same time. Curassier represents that fairly well in the game IMO.
    Also no real reason from a gameplay point of view to reduce the options in the endgame.
     
  10. AbsintheRed

    AbsintheRed Chieftain

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    What wasn't discussed in detail was the heavy infantry line, and possible some special units (units not in any clear update lines). And everything naval.
    The cavaly lines and the archery/gunpowder line are more or less ok. The siege line is probably ok the way it is now.
    The anti-cavalry line should probably be something like Spearman-Heavy Spearman-Guisarmer-Pikeman, as some of you already suggested. So no real change there, only adding another early unit for the extended turn number.
     
  11. Swarbs

    Swarbs Chieftain

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    It also becomes a logistical nightmare as you have a new form of cavalry and thus need to give new bonuses to all the anti cavalry units.

    I think my suggestions about cavalry from post #18 should be fine, just need to balance the strengths of the respective units, and arguably give the gunpowder armed light cavalry bonuses against heavy cavalry.
     
  12. Swarbs

    Swarbs Chieftain

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    I'm not 100% convinced we need a new polearm unit. As it stands, spearmen are superior to lancers, then inferior to armoured lancers, then guisarmers are slightly superior to armoured lancers and slightly inferior to knights. If we make guisarmers stronger then knights are no longer superior, so we lose the historicity of the age of the knight. But without making guisarmers stronger there isn't really room for a heavy spearman.

    For the heavy infantry, I think there is a possibility for a foot knight / man at arms to fill the gap between macemen and arquebusiers, now we are pushing the arquebus later. Maybe we could also consider removing the longswordsmen, or merging them with macemen, as the swordsmen, longswordsman and maceman are arguably too close together.

    As a starting point for discussion:

    Axeman: 5:strength: +50% vs polearm (Bronze Working)
    Swordsman: 6:strength: +10% city attack (Chain Mail)
    Longsword / Maceman: 7:strength: +25% city attack, +25% vs heavy infantry, +25% vs polearm (Plate Armour)
    Foot Knight: 9:strength: +25% city attack, +25% heavy infantry, +25% archery units (Military Tradition)

    The foot knight may be OP vs archers with this strength, but is intended as a counter to arbalests and longbows, reflecting that more powerful crossbows and hand bows around that period meant knights started fighting from foot. I'm also assuming that with the changes to the archery line, arbalests will move back to Replaceable Parts (windlass) with 7:move: 50% vs heavy infantry and cavalry, and longbows 8:strength: with 25% vs heavy infantry and cavalry. Crossbows I would suggest go to Blast Furnace with 6:strength: and 25% vs heavy infantry and cavalry.

    I don't think we need five units for the heavy infantry line, as they are replaced by gunpowder whilst cavalry remains in play until the end.
     
  13. Swarbs

    Swarbs Chieftain

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    The only major change I think is required for the naval line is to move frigates to Astronomy with :strength:10, 10% bombard per turn (making them privateers without the hidden nationality) and add Ship of the Line under Naval Architecture with the current frigate stats.

    This is because there is currently no viable counter to the Privateer, as if you defend with Carracks they are ROFLstomped and if you defend sea resources with your own privateers then everyone attacks you until you are dead. Also the first privateers were actually frigates built by the Spanish Netherlands to attack the ships of the Dutch during the 80 years war, so the two ships are contemporaneous from history. Essentially most privateers of the time were unflagged frigates, so you shouldn't be able to build one without the other.

    The only other possible change could be to reduce the :move: of galleys and war galleys by 1 to reflect the superior range of cogs as sailing ships, and also reduce the :strength: of war galleys to 3, as they shouldn't really be stronger than a cog imo.
     
  14. Force44

    Force44 Chieftain

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    I would like to make two points.

    1st. The instances of closely clustered tier units of longswordsmen and macemen and the temporal uncounterability of privateers provides relievo. That the mod isn't flat and through its relievo provides a certain narrative is is a thing I really like. Taking it away will change the character of the mod to a certain degree.
    (It happened before with boosting the mines, now the incentive to replace mines with windmills is very small and that part of the narrative of the mod was lost.)

    2nd Sofar the discussion is focussed on unit lines and sometimes even units. This is not the way I would go.
    Focussing on the units and providing them with abilities to reflect their real life properties leaves those properties rather pointless.
    The way I would go is focus on the abilities and assign units to them.
    Granted. This leaves the units less meaningfull. But the aim of the units is to serve the narrative of the whole mod.
    The narrative of the whole mod is more important than the narrative of the individual unit so individual units should contain inaccuracies to provide a better narrative for the mod at large.
     
  15. Force44

    Force44 Chieftain

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    This is not true. What makes a ship a privateer is a "kaperbrief" (sry google translate does not recognize this dutch word), letters provided by the gouvernment that gives the captain of the ship the right to engage and siege hostile shipping. The aim of privateers was economical warfare. In essence they were legitimized pirates. So they predate the 80 years war.

    Even if most privateers used the the Dunkirk frigate type of ship (which I doubt, because they came to life in a very specific geographical, economical and political environment) the privateer predates the frigate.

    excerpt from Wikipedia under spoiler:
    Spoiler :

    Age of sail[edit]
    Origins[edit]

    Light frigate, circa 1675–1680
    The term "frigate" (Italian: fregata; Spanish/Catalan/Portuguese/Sicilian: fragata; Dutch: fregat; French: frégate) originated in the Mediterranean in the late 15th century, referring to a lighter galleass type ship with oars, sails and a light armament, built for speed and maneuverability.[1] The etymology of the word is unknown, although it may have originated as a corruption of aphractus, a Latin word for an open vessel with no lower deck. Aphractus was, in turn, derived from the Ancient Greek phrase ἄφρακτος ναῦς (aphraktos naus), or "undefended ship".

    In 1583, during the Eighty Years' War, Habsburg Spain recovered the Southern Netherlands from the rebellious Dutch. This soon led to the occupied ports being used as bases for privateers, the Dunkirkers, to attack the shipping of the Dutch and their allies. To achieve this they developed small, maneuverable, sailing vessels that came to be referred to as frigates. The success of these Dunkirker vessels influenced the ship design of other navies contending with them but because most regular navies required ships of greater endurance than the Dunkirker frigates could provide, the term was soon applied less exclusively to any relatively fast and elegant sail-only war ship. In French, the term "frigate" became a verb, meaning 'to build long and low', and an adjective, adding further confusion. Even the huge English Sovereign of the Seas could be described as "a delicate frigate" by a contemporary after her upper decks were reduced in 1651.[2]

    The navy of the Dutch Republic was the first navy to build the larger ocean-going frigates. The Dutch navy had three principal tasks in the struggle against Spain: to protect Dutch merchant ships at sea, to blockade the ports of Spanish-held Flanders to damage trade and halt enemy privateering, and to fight the Spanish fleet and prevent troop landings. The first two tasks required speed, shallowness of draft for the shallow waters around the Netherlands, and the ability to carry sufficient supplies to maintain a blockade. The third task required heavy armament, sufficient to fight against the Spanish fleet. The first of these larger battle-capable frigates were built around 1600 at Hoorn in Holland.[3] By the later stages of the Eighty Years' War the Dutch had switched entirely from the heavier ships still used by the English and Spanish to the lighter frigates, carrying around 40 guns and weighing around 300 tons.
     
  16. Swarbs

    Swarbs Chieftain

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    My apologies, I have poorly phrased my first argument. The concept of the privateer may predate the frigate, but the quality of privateer in the mod, as a vessel which is superior to both the carrack and the galleon, must make it a frigate type ship. It's too early to be a sloop or brig, which wouldn't be stronger than a galleon, and a ship of the line or man of war wouldn't be turned over to a privateer, so the frigate is the only viable candidate.

    After all, as you correctly note, the privateer was any ship granted letters of marque by a government (the English equivalent of kaperbrief) to allow the captain to sail for a nation without flying their flag. Therefore if the privateer is to be a ship in the mod with :strength:10 then it stands to reason that there must be an equivalent flagged ship design which was used by the privateers. After all, why can a civ can build a ship which is stronger than a carrack and galleon and issue it a letter of marque, but are for some reason unable to build the same ship and add it to their official navy?

    I also disagree with the argument that "the temporal uncounterability of privateers provides relievo". It doesn't provide relief, it just encourages exploits and spamming of privateers to pillage colonial trade routes unopposed. As such, it turns most of the colonial goals away from being a genuine focus on specific technologies to get colonies first, and towards a mass privateer rush to remove any time pressure through pillaging. Privateers should be a way to achieve this, but should not be the de facto superior way to do so.

    Of course if you disagree with the use of the frigate then please suggest what ship you believe the privateer in the mod is based off and we can then add that one to the mod alongside the privateer and keep the frigate where it is. Although I would still argue that we should add a ship of the line to the mod, as they were the dominant warship by the end of the mod.
     
  17. AbsintheRed

    AbsintheRed Chieftain

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    I absolutely disagree.
    My line of process is not "We want a good city defender unit, what would be the best suited unit for them? Mounted Knights? Probably not. Maybe Archers!"
    Instead "Well, Archers were very significant through the medievel era, and they were pretty good at city defence. Let's enhance that in the game!"

    I want to keep the units as historically established as possible.
    In your version, why not just call them "good city defender tier 2", and "superb open field unit teir 3"? Sry for the hyperbole, of course that's not your goal either, just wanted to point that not the unit role/property is the most important thing in a historic mod.
    We can balance the properties of historic units in any way we want to, which is of course how they behaved historically so it shouldn't be that hard.
     
  18. Force44

    Force44 Chieftain

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    Thanks for teaching the term letters of marque. I appreciate that.
    Google translate might have screwed me over when I searched for the translation of the dutch word reliëf, it says relievo or relief. Now relief has a connotation I absolutely do not want to highlight. So I might have misused the word relievo.

    What I meant is: Throughout the mod you are faced with units you can counter with another unit. And if not you can usually field a superior version of the unit you are facing. This is an instance where you can't. That requires a different approach to solve the problem of facing Privateers. That leads to temporarily different gameplay. And that highlights the dominant gameplay beyond what it could be just by itself. (I like that) That is what I meant by relievo.
    I don't think Privateers should be modelled on a physical ship. The way I see them they were pirates preying on known weaknesses of the opponents they were facing. Like a specialized predator.

    Yes that makes them annoying, but the solution is not that hard. Have sacrificial defence ships on the resources combined with privateers of your own in the ports you are trying to defend from privateering.

    Personally I think the Privateer was not introduced with a specific ship in mind. I recall Absinth regaling that the (other? in my mind Absinthred is on board of this mod for like forever) original creator of the mod (sry I forgot his name) did not care about shiny graphics or historically accurate pictures but whas interested on how certain properties could be achieved. I guess I'm a bit on his camp.

    But having said that, without shiny graphics and recognizable gameplay I don't think the mod would be enjoyable for a lot of players outside the original creator. Perhaps not even playable.

    To summarize: I applaud your efforts to find the historical most suitable vessel to fill the role, but in this instance I think actually implementing that vessel will cost more than it yields.
    You hit the nail on the head (litteral translation of a dutch proverb for you read my mind)

    I approch the problem from with a fundamentally different direction. Though the desired endresults might be really close. I do it that way because history is not written in stone (even though it is) It is fluent and will change according to the needs of the scholar. The narrative and gameplay of the mod on the other hand are eternal.

    (NO sarcasm alert) If you on the other hand choose to design the mod founded on (currently) established history I can't but applaude your efforts and bow to your wisdom. After all, even this mod is a product of its time.
     
  19. gilgames

    gilgames Priest-King

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    Basicly force44 is right about privateers. Having a privateer promotion with chemistry or whatever tech would be better that having only one type of vessel for this purpose. In the endgamr they become a bit obsolate too.
     
  20. merijn_v1

    merijn_v1 Black Belt

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    The problem with that solution is the AI doesn't handle that very well. Other mods have done this before with not very satisfying results.
     

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