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Is Anti-Cav Underrated?

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by AaronTBD, Oct 5, 2020.

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  1. japanesesamurai

    japanesesamurai Prince

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    I miss those hefty pikemen from Civ V sometimes :(
    Pike and shot can be okay if you don’t own niter though.
     
  2. Oberinspektor Derrick

    Oberinspektor Derrick Warlord

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    You are quite right there about a disadvantage with 1UPT, and that is the balancing price they should pay for being cheap.
    I think they would work generally better on the defense, where creating massed units on short notice (a "wall" around, say, the exposed side of a city, where the units fortify to boost their strength) which would help a lot when a warmonger is clearly amassing forces near the border and you're caught with your pants down.
    For offense on the other hand, more expensive units would clearly be preferable in most circumstances, simply because they "make the most of their tile" in a 1UPT setting, which is an advantage when needing to break a defensive position.
    A warmonger would still want to bring a few cheap anticav though, if nothing else to use them as cannonfodder when sieging cities (or deter enemy cavalry) while their more powerful units get into position.

    Again, this is not necessarily "just theory", as civ 5 to some degree had this system (anticav were not inherently "weak" to melee with a negative modifier, and generally cost less but had less combat strength), and the Landsknecht cranked this up to 11 with it's ridiculously low production cost.
    Granted, the production cost for Landsknechts were probably too low (about 1/3 of a longswordsman, while having 3/4 of the combat strength), but as a general concept I think it worked very well.

    Personally I used anticavalry units a lot more in civ 5, especially when playing peaceful and having to raise a defensive army fast.
    I'd really like to see the same in civ 6, as I can't recall the last time I found a specific use for anticav, apart from getting one for a city state quest or a eureka boost.
    Built one yesterday in a Deity domination game as Byzantium for a quest, but after that he was just being useless at the front and eventually relegated to "garrison duty" for the loyalty.

    I'd just remove the negative modifier where melee units get a combat strength advantage vs anticav, and slash anticav production costs with about 20-25% across the board (perhaps looking to buff pikeman innate combat strength as well).
    As was stated somewhere above, removing the melee unit weakness would go a long way in buffing anticav.
    Generally they would still be weaker overall, but not to the ridiculous amount that they are at the moment.

    Disagree that the advantage would be meaningless though.
    Most of the issues stem from the inherent combat strength penalty they get vs melee, and if that was removed (and the anticav were used defensively, fortifying at key positions) they would be a lot harder to break than they currently are.
    Still weak to archers, but that's something they'd have to live with.

    Ditto.
    I usually got myself quite a lot of anticav units in civ 5, especially during times where I was playing peaceful and/or out of strategic resources like iron.
    Worked well enough, and I've got no idea why civ 6 had to change that system.
     
    ezzlar likes this.
  3. Tarry

    Tarry Chieftain

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    They are rubbish. I normally make 1 and promote it, just so I have a spear unit to make city states give me envoys. Only make if no iron otherwise
     
  4. SharTeel

    SharTeel Chieftain

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    Make anti-cav apply ZoC against cavalry class units.

    There, fixed them.
     
  5. Vargas1

    Vargas1 Warlord

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    That would be a cool idea for a civ ability - the civ could create 3 units for the cost of 1 (production/gold/faith/resources), but it would only apply to units two eras or greater behind the world era. So when you're in the renaissance, you could spam out low-price swordsmen to go up against musketmen. Or defend your industrial cities with a plethora of crossbowman against bombards and field cannons. There would probably need to be some tweaks added to maintenance cost, and a restriction on upgrading the units for X amount of time, but I like the idea of a civ basically churning out cannon fodder that over time could take down (or at least weaken) more advanced militaries.
     
  6. DeckerdJames

    DeckerdJames Chieftain

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    Maybe some of the problem could be fixed with a better support and flank system. Two adjacent anti-cavalry could lose the -10 combat strength against melee, for example, since as it was stated earlier in the thread, they were historically more effective when used together. Also, anti-cavalry could exert ZOC on cavalry units. That is a simplistic example.

    It might be better to just make the standard +2 support bonus change based on what the supporting unit is. For example, an anti-cavalry unit might get +4 instead of +2 when adjacent to another anti-cavalry. Making support and flanking bonuses change based on what the make-up if the units are has the downside of making the combat rules harder to remember though. Maybe there is a good balance between complexity and better performance from units.
     
  7. Sostratus

    Sostratus Deity

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    AC have this as a promotion, it’s just inconveniently far down the tree.
     
    8housesofelixir likes this.
  8. acluewithout

    acluewithout Deity

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    Anti-cav really are a mess.

    AC have three roles in the game.

    First, be anti... cavalry. Guess it says it in the name. Huh. Anyway, AC are mostly pretty good at being Anti-Cav. Light Cav are generally a bit weaker than the average unit for their Era, and have weak fighting promotions, so AC’s +10 v Cav (more if you add Oligarchy) makes them pretty good. The problem is that Spears, which good v Chariots, are weak v Horsemen, which really limits their initial appeal. (BTW, his is another reason the whole “give AC ZOC vs. Cav” is stupid - AC are already good v Cav, so making them moreso doesn’t really address their real underlying problems (including Spears v Horsies).

    Second, AC are meant to be good Defence units (versus Melee which are good attack units and Cav which are good pillage and harass units). There’s a bunch of things that don’t work here - eg, just much too much weak v Melee, too vulnerable to Ranged, Ranged and Melee being often better in defence anyway.

    Third, AC are meant to be “cheap and cheerful” no resource units. Again, there are multiple things that are wrong here. Melee and Heavy Cav both initially starting without Resources is an obvious problem. Another is just how weak AC are offensively (except maybe Pike & Shot) because low / behind the curve combat strength and vulnerability to Ranged. The result is that, if you don’t have resources, you’re still often better just building Warriors and hope to get resources later + build ranged.

    I think a lot of AC problems could be fixed by (1) just giving them more combat strength, (2) reworking promotions (defence v ranged, better flanking earlier and ditch the extra movement), and (3) perhaps making them cheaper but with some strings attached (eg only certain districts / buildings / governments give you +% production for AC).

    Beyond that, I think FXS would need to look at ditching the early warrior, and making something more like the Spearman be the early default unit. But that sort of changed would be very complicated to make at this point.
     
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  9. Siddharth Venkatesh

    Siddharth Venkatesh Warlord

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    Anticav aren't good versus cav outside of very specific blocking situations. No zone of control makes their cavalry benefits completely redundant. I like the suggestion of making them provide zone of control to Cavalry units.
     
    acluewithout likes this.
  10. acluewithout

    acluewithout Deity

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    Pikeman 55 (41 + 10 v Cav + 4 Oligarchy Legacy) versus Knight 48 or Courser 44. Works pretty well on Defence, where you are also eg healing faster, fortified, City Wall attack. I also play with the mighty @Sostratus unit rebalance mod, so Pikemen are starting at 45.

    My Mighty Pikemen will Annihilate Knights and Medieval Horsies (or likewise, AI Pikes trash my brave Knights and “crap, no iron, guess it’s horsies” Coursers. It’s only the Xbows that then mess everything up...

    Spearmen are just terrible except v Chariots. Pikemen are awesome v Medieval Cav but otherwise terrible. Pike & Shot & “Jesus no Niter either?!?” are “ok” all round.
     
  11. Victoria

    Victoria Regina Supporter

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    When I attack a city early on with warriors, spears and archers.... the Ai shoots at everything but the spears.
    When I attack the city, the spears are more powerful.

    What I still struggle with is I need to get to bronze working to get spears, while my warriors use... clubs?
     
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  12. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Deity

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    Although the earliest 'military' warrior (as opposed to hunting scenes) we have a depiction of is a spearman (Pre-Dynastic Egypt) and definitely Ancient Era, my personal 'justification' for waiting until Bronze to have a 'spearman' Unit is that there is no evidence until then that the guys with spears fought in any kind of tight formation to get any special defense/attack against mounted troops - they simply had more reach versus the other guys with copper or stone-weighted clubs, maces, axes, etc.
    The earliest certain depiction/evidence of a Spearman Formation is the Vulture Stele of about 2600 BCE from Mesopotamia that shows spearmen with large rectangular shields in a dense formation bristling with copper/bronze spear points - an almost stereotypical anti-cav formation. Since the earliest bronze weapons show up about a thousand years earlier (4200 - 3200 BCE: spearpoints in Anatolia and the Balkans, short swords and daggers in Anatolia) this is solidly in the Bronze Age.

    Your (Our!) Warriors, I assume, are using all the Non-Spear weapons shown in earlier frescoes, carvings, and (wall) paintings and in archeolgical digs: weighted clubs (stone or copper weights), Obsidian-bladed wooden clubs/"swords" (which show up in Anatolia and again in MesoAmerica), short-handled stone/copper axes or maces, and short-range throwing spears/javelins. The Warrior animations in Civ VI are simply Alley-Oop/Flintstone cartoons with no basis in archeological or historical reality - like most of the combat animations in Civ VI, but that's another range of complaints . . .
     

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