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Phalanxes replace Axemen WTF?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by G-Max, Dec 31, 2011.

  1. G-Max

    G-Max Deity

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    In the real world, phalanxes used spears. In Civ IV and Warlords, phalanxes replace spearmen. Makes perfect sense, right? Why were phalanxes changed in BtS to replace axemen instead? Allowing the Greeks to build both phalanxes and spearmen, but not axes, is like allowing the French to build both Musketeers and Musketmen but not longbows.
     
  2. GGracchus

    GGracchus Tribune of Rome

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    Yeah, this is a ridiculous example of Firaxis logic(just like immortals replacing chariots). Phalanxes are macedonian, not greek, anyway. There are several mods that make them replace spearmen, like Dumanios's Ad Infinitum(phalanx is changed to hoplite and becomes a 5 strength spearman).
     
  3. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    The real problem is that axes are a dominant ancient era unit in the first place. In reality, spears were THE military melee weapon of choice for most war prior to guns, where melee fell out of favor for somewhat obvious reasons (still happened, but not ideally, usually).

    I do believe the original phalanx was a stronger unique. While unimpressive as a strict offensive UU, the current phalanx is only better when trying to defend against chariot attacks, and is actually no more effective attacking cities than a stock axe. Frequently it will be struggle more than a standard axe just because greek starting techs make an axe rush opening slow.

    The original, however, was a 5 str spear, which picked up 100% vs mounted. This meant that even knights-era mounted struggled, and as part of a stack classical mounted attacking it were a joke. Its versatility meant it could be used better in an offensive role also, while still providing coverage against not only chariots but also horse archers. It wasn't a stellar unit, but it was an average-to-above one, whereas now it is average-to-below.
     
  4. noto2

    noto2 Emperor

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    Why didn't Firaxis give Greece a str 6 melee unit at bronze working, instead of Sumeria??? That would fit Greece much better. As for Sumeria...hell, I don't know, they were the very first civilization in Mesopotamia, they pre-dated Babylon, I don't see why their UU can't be a warrior or archer
     
  5. Akbarthegreat

    Akbarthegreat Angel of Junil

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    Sorry:blush:.
    I request a mod to delete this post.
     
  6. Akbarthegreat

    Akbarthegreat Angel of Junil

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    THAT was the most ridiculous. Good thing Rhye changed it[replaces spear; lesser hammers-even cheaper than an archer; and +100% vs archers].


    :agree:
     
  7. Rusty Edge

    Rusty Edge Deity

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    Exactly. The French didn't use longbows, and the Greeks didn't use axes, although they did use various types of specialized spearmen.
     
  8. perhaps

    perhaps Chieftain

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    The idea was that the Greeks (all the Hellenic cultures) did make extensive use of spears, but were not renown for their use of the axe; having a Greek Civilization that runs about with armies of axemen is significantly less accurate than having the Greeks use two units armed with spear.

    Phalanxes were designed to counter less dense formations (melee) and were the main type of warrior used in Hellenic warfare - much more accurate than axemen. Having them as the main offensive unit is better than their original use as hill-defending spears.
     
  9. GGracchus

    GGracchus Tribune of Rome

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    True, but it makes more sense for a phalanx to replace a spearman. Besides, there's more precedent in cIV for civs having ahistorical units: America with pre-gunpowder units? Aztecs with rifles+?
     
  10. Rusty Edge

    Rusty Edge Deity

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    We've had this discussion before, on this forum and on Polycast, but I was unable to find it.

    Perhaps I can summarize.

    In the Warlords version you could march around the Mediterranean with Legions, but you couldn,t roll up Egypt, Persia and India with Phalanxes if you wanted to relive Alexander the Great. It wasn't exactly an offensive unit, it was best as a hill defender. There was a lot of grumbling from the gamers and historians alike.

    Eventually I invited participants into a single thread to hash it out, and eventually a consensus was reached. Alexander's phalanxes were best described as anti-melee units with march promotions. A spear UU was wrong for it, because the counter to a Macedonian Phalanx was missile & flanking attacks, best described as horse-archers in Civ terms ( and spearmen were the only ancient units with a bonus against horse archers ) . Firaxis read the thread, but must have dropped the idea in play testing, because the civilopedia cites the march promo for phalanxes.

    It must have proven too powerful( march promos retained as units upgraded), and they threw in that chariot bonus instead for reasons unknown. Also for reasons unknown, they swapped the graphics for the generic spearmen and macedonian phalanx so that they were wrong.
     
  11. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    So....

    Which competent historical army featured primarily axes?
     
  12. danjuno

    danjuno Emperor

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  13. Old Hippy

    Old Hippy Deity

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    Harold at Hastings.... competent you say :) well ... they were 3 days before at Stanford Bridge
     
  14. The_Reckoning

    The_Reckoning Prince

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    I think we should all come together and design a much better tech tree. There's loads of things which are just silly in Civ4's. I need to play some Rhye's and see if he fixed all the things which annoy me.

    Ancient armies should have lots of spearmen and a few axes/swords as shock units, cavalry for open field battles, infantry to assault cities.

    This is how I feel it should work in all eras:

    Outside the city walls:

    Horseman > Archer
    Archer > Spearman
    Spearman > Horseman
    All > Catapult

    Defending the city walls

    Archer > Horseman/Spearman
    Catapult > Archer
    Horseman > Catapult

    Here's the most annoying things:

    Chariots fighting across rivers and in forests
    Axemen being the dominant ancient/classical unit
    Immortals -> Chariots
    Phalanxes -> Axemen
    Longbowmen everywhere for defending cities
    Near-useless Ironclads but not Dreadnoughts
    Archers/Longbows purely defensive units
    Catapults die on the attack
    Everyone builds Oxford University, Wall Street etc. instead of something generic like 'National University' or 'Financial District'
     
  15. Akbarthegreat

    Akbarthegreat Angel of Junil

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    Cannons with steel, you are just a tech away from artillery. They played a very important part IRL, but in game they are almost useless. Another good thing RFC fixed.
     
  16. HorribleHarald

    HorribleHarald Warlord

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    Cannons from steel is an another big joke from Firaxis. Traditionally they were build from bronze or iron. It would be better if we could get cannons just reaching gunpowder tech or (new) metallurgy tech between engineering and steel with gunpowder. Perhaps this would be too close to trebuchet and then trebuchets are short-lived like cannons now.
    Just wonder these things like phalanxes are axemen and immortals are riders instead of heavy infantry.
     
  17. Um the Muse

    Um the Muse King

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    On catapults losing to everything in the open field, does that really make sense historically? I thought that there were various anti-troop siege weapons? Onagers, ballista, that sort of thing. Then again, maybe it's a matter of scale. The animation for CR promoted units shows siege towers.

    On bronze cannon, yeah, bronze is far better for cannon than iron, iIrc. But didn't steel step it up a notch? Speaking of bronze, it would make sense for it to require both copper and tin. From what I remember, bronze was actually stronger than iron at the time (depending on what alloys were in the iron), but was much less used due to the sheer inavailability of copper and tin.

    There are a lot of other historical inaccuracies unrelated to warfare, too. At the end of the day, you just have to remember that it's just a game.
     
  18. yuchai

    yuchai Chieftain

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    I am ignorant about the historical application of cannons, but in the game I think they are used pretty extensively and have a good shelf life. Getting steel early is often game winning.

    People saying they are just a tech away from artillery are assuming that rifling is available, which is probably untrue if going early steel.
     
  19. Ataxerxes

    Ataxerxes Deity

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    Agree with most. It is just a game (admittedly a great one) and not everything will be perfect. However, most catapults could attack from range but were dead meat up close unless they had protection, especially from mounted units (CivIV partially reflects this). I think that, for the most part, it makes sense. In CivIII they were just captured.
     
  20. em jay

    em jay Chieftain

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    The phalanx was a Greek innovation, around 650 BC iIrc, Phillip II/Alexander just ramped it up a notch with longer spears, better cohesion and cavalry support. :)

    em jay
     

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