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Phalanxes replace Axemen WTF?

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

  1. username804

    username804 I am a meat popcycle

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    Well, I suppose warriors should upgrade to bronze age axes, axemen should be str 2 and only get 100% vs warrior (he's naked with a club)

    even if we consider the Greeks & Romans as being the only armies to be "organized" and "drilled" and especially if we use the Gaulic and Viking examples of everyman for himself fighting, then surely axemen should have a "negative" shock value and all other melee units should get 100% shock v axeman. Boudicca's real life forces only succeded en mass in a mob formation and failed when the Romans had a wall or forest at their backs and could shield each other and such.

    If a sword cant cut metal, what use is it? Samurai swords can cut through damned near anything. A European sword should at least cut leather armor and cloth barding, and damage steel, or else what's it for? Thousands of real men died by swordplay, so it must have happened. All those undamaged suits of armor in museums were decorative or never got used. All the damaged ones got melted back down and recast.
     
  2. Higher Game

    Higher Game National Socialist

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    Absolutely wrong. Any remotely competent armor will break those giant knives. They're low quality swords meant to kill peasants, or a sidearm of last resort. Like the epee, they're great for dueling. They're just not a weapon of war.
     
  3. Um the Muse

    Um the Muse King

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    Are you sure? Logic suggests if that were so, there's no point in wearing a shield in that case. Also, Wikipedia claims that, "Longbows and crossbows could also pierce plate armour up to ranges of 200 metres (660ft) with a lucky shot."

    I know English Longbows were perfectly capable of tearing through platemail, too.
     
  4. AJ11

    AJ11 Emperor

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    You are 100% correct. Arrows and crossbow bolts were effective against armour. However, it is a pretty moot point as not many people HAD those armours historically. Most of the people in medieval armies were peasants conscripted as footmen. Most did not have armour at all.

    This, however, changed with composite armour. The breastplates worn by the Spanish conquistadors, for example, were composite armours, made up of three layers of metal. Those could stop early era rifle bullets.

    With regards to swords not being able to cut stuff, that is debatable. Straight edged swords do have some problems against platemail, yes, but later era curved blades can make a mess of armoured foes.

    To wade into the katana thing, the katana was effective against soft armour, not fullplates (which the Japanese never had to begin with). The blade was curved and the folds gave it a saw-like edge that helped panetration against soft targets (minute saw-like edges were a drawback against hard surfaces). The katana was actually a pretty good design. Historically, the problem with katanas were that they were made from inferior iron. Could it be made better? Yes. Would it have been better if given the right materials to start with? Yes. Were they better historically? No, because the Japanese never had the need to make it better. It was perfectly good enough to fight other armoured Japanese foes (who were typically in a splintmail made from leather or equally inferior iron).

    The problem with axes were that they tend to be unwieldy as one-handed weapons. The weight is centred forward in order to aid penetration, which meant that recovery from a swing, particularly a missed one, can be far too long on the battlefield.

    Spears had another problem: If the enemy gets too close (usual in the rush of battle), the spear is nigh useless. The spearman relies on the other guy not wanting to run into massed spearheads to stay safe. Hence why the phalanx was so effective: the tight discipline meant that the hoplites did not break ranks when faced with a charging, howling enemy. Spearmen were incredibly vulnerable when isolated.

    This was why the Romans had the gladius: close-quarters combat. In the tightly packed battlefields (i.e., when you were up close and personal with the Roman ranks), even a longsword is a hindrance (which is how the Romans crushed the Germanians initially before the Goth numbers eventually overwhelmed the empire). Shortswords gave you much more room to play with.

    Civ4 is not an accurate portrayal of melee combat in anyway. The stone-paper-scissors thing is an attempt to foster strategy and tactics. The names of the units are largely arbitrary. After all, historically, the Persian Immortals were infantry, the warchariots were abandoned when people learnt to ride on the horses in direct combat, and there are no direct evidence that units like the Vulture and the Babylonian Bowmen even existed as is (i.e., getting a massive bonus vs melee units).

    As one of my friends used to say with regards to D&D: "I don't care if you call it the machinegun of epic doom. It does 1d8 damage, just like a longsword."
     
  5. Archon_Wing

    Archon_Wing Vote for me or die

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    Hmm? Artillery requires physics, steel and rifling. That is quite a long walk from just steel. Those techs in between aren't exactly cheap.

    A lot of people will take Steel from Lib, after all, and it's certainly not to war with artillery.
     
  6. Akbarthegreat

    Akbarthegreat Angel of Junil

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    What I said that 18 and +50% with siege is a huge step up from 12. I personally prioritize Physics, and even Rifling(not the chemistry path). At least from my play-style cannons are quite useless.
     
  7. Archon_Wing

    Archon_Wing Vote for me or die

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    Well, my point is that Steel and Artillery are far apart and it's hardly "just one tech" I see them as fairly balanced when it comes to gameplay-- they're hardly useless unless you're going for a Cur/Cav war, in which case siege wouldn't be needed regardless.

    I don't see why you'd skip chemistry when you can so easily grab it with a bulb.

    Also, Cannons are just as huge a leap from Trebs.
     
  8. babar

    babar King

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    This is the key point here I think.

    They wanted three simple, easily differentiated melee units, and they wanted to represent a variety of weapons. Given these constraints, the choice of swords, axes and spears seems ok to me, as do the roles assigned to them.


    Slightly off topic, but the one that really pushes the 'game first, historical realism second' thing too far is the hwacha. How can you justify an explicitly gunpowder unit that comes over a thousand years before gunpowder can be researched? Once I modded mine to become a collateral damage musket: made sense, more fun, and only moderately OP.
     
  9. AJ11

    AJ11 Emperor

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    Well, the Hwazha should really be a replacement for the cannon, not the catapult. The thing was first built in the 15th Century!
     
  10. 2metraninja

    2metraninja Defender of Nabaxica

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    :thumbsup:
     
  11. babar

    babar King

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    Hmmm, I had thought it was a little earlier for some reason. Still, I prefer the idea of it being primarily anti-personel rather than a city buster, so maybe a grenadier would be better. Although ignorant as I am, muskets are close enough chronologically for me...

    Edit: In fact it occurs to me now that although invented a little later, they really were concurrent with muskets weren't they?
     
  12. AJ11

    AJ11 Emperor

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    The way that Civ4 is done, everything is anti-personnel...
     
  13. babar

    babar King

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    You're basically right of course, but it feels wrong that Hwachas should be able to knock down city defenses.
     
  14. AJ11

    AJ11 Emperor

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    Dude, over 100 rockets fired into fortified defences would make you run and cower and scramble in fear. Which is the Civ4 equivalent of reducing defences because you are plain too busy doing something ELSE to bother with hunkering behind your shield and launching sharp, nasty objects at the howling bad guys climbing your walls.

    Civ4's reduction of city defences has little to do with actually knocking down defences (walls and castles don't get obliterated on bombardment), but keeping the defenders too busy to think about organised defending (it takes out the fortified bonus, for example). For this, the nail-bomb-strapped-to-a-rocket ammunition of the Hwacha is even better than the Cannon.
     
  15. username804

    username804 I am a meat popcycle

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    interesting way to think about that, the Hwacha

    You know, the Egyptian chariot was a mobile arrow launching platform, and not a melee combat weapon. They rode close to the battle, turned at a right angle, the archer fired a volley, and the chariot retreated. With 20-30 of these things firing at unarmored peasants with axes, whoa nelly!
     
  16. HorribleHarald

    HorribleHarald Warlord

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    Yes chariot archers would be better than melee like chariots for Egypt.

    And who's idea was putting nuclear missiles in ordinary submarines and not attack (nuclear) subs?!!
     
  17. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    Cut through anything? :smoke: Look, I like anime as much as the next guy and possibly more...but really?!

    In a slashing motion, a fine Japanese steel katana wouldn't even get through a copper plate. Boing! In a stabbing motion, it would manage most likely if it got the torso area dead on and wasn't glanced off at an angle. For any of the shields from the greek era with some metal coating a wooden frame, it would quite literally impossible for a katana from 1000+ years later to get through it in any conceivable battle situation. The best hope for that kind of sword would be to try to slash an opposing soldier somewhere he was not actually armored. Against trained soldiers on a battlefield moving in tandem with others that would largely be an exercise in futility though.

    Roman swords were stabbing devices for the most part.

    Most COMPETENT armor in history stopped 100% of slashing motions that connected with the armor and was pretty good against stabs (though not perfect against enough force). A traditional katana or european straight sword is much better suited to opponents with no or light armor than someone who is wearing lamellar, plates, or other actually worthwhile armor. Of course, armor was often bypassed via blunt trauma (maces) or simply doing the damage where the armor wasn't though.

    Bullets really changed a lot.
     
  18. username804

    username804 I am a meat popcycle

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    so you're saying all those shows on the History Channel are lying to us? OH NOES! :joke:
     
  19. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    I've watched it tested, I'm afraid. You stab or you don't get through.
     
  20. AJ11

    AJ11 Emperor

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    Most people on ancient/medieval battlefields are NOT armoured, so slashing weapons work. It is only when you field entire units of armoured soldiers that slashing weapons become tactically unsound.
     

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