Discussion in 'General Balance' started by Boombar, Jan 10, 2018.
I was asking for a bump in the promotion vs mounted, instead.
Like I said before, I didn’t think a bump would really change any dynamic. But on the other hand, I don’t think it will affect my play st all, so go for it
There's a number of options, of course.
A simple buff to CS would make the pikemen perform better in every situation. I kind of dislike this idea- I like the swordsmen/longswordsmen line having a clear advantage as the overall strong melee unit since it makes access to strategic resources an important goal. If you just make the non-strategic resource pikemen good enough then getting access to iron becomes far less important. Access to resources is a compelling source of conflict in civ. I think it makes individual games of civ more interesting when having access to iron (or not) really matters and changes the course of the game.
A further buff to the pikemen's CS specifically against mounted units could help as well. It makes the pikemen have a specific role to fill where it can fight off mounted units very well but still not be overly strong against the swordsmen and archer lines. I think this is also historically accurate, where pikemen were specifically used to fight off mounted knights? I like this option more than a straight buff to CS. I like the idea of certain units having a role to play, and using your units tactically in their role is rewarded. It seems like this was the original intended role of the pikemen but perhaps the %buff against mounted was just a tad too low.
Another option could be to give the pikemen a further defensive/fortified buff. You could make the pikemen the "defensive" melee unit which is able to hold territory when fortified. The swordsmen line would be the favored unit for offensive warfare (so war mongers better get access to that iron!) but the pikemen could be the preferred unit for tall/peaceful empires who plan to only defend in wars and might not have great access to iron. This might also be somewhat realistic? Pikemen formations were typically the more stationary part of the army potentially, awaiting the charge of mounted units? Their forte was perhaps holding ground rather than charging? I believe the tactic of using the pike was to sort of lodge the end of it in the ground with your foot behind it so that it wasn't just knocked away when the enemy charged (if my vague memory of military history from college is accurate)? That kind of tactic only works from a defensive/stationary position so I assume pikemen weren't much used for charges/offense?
I think I would want to agree with tu_79 - if we increase CS on the Pikeman, it might come so close to the Longswordsman that those couple of extra CS aren't worth the iron, so we want to avoid that - I like the fact that Longswordsmen can slaughter Pikemen. What I'd like to see is a Pikeman that's so specialized in a particular domain that the Pikeman is generally always worth having around. Specialization VS mounted or also on defence would fulfill this really well; combine that with availability at Metal Casting and I think this is a pretty reasonable setup for the unit.
Talk about having the same idea at the same time!
Great minds think alike! Though presumably so do weak/crappy minds. I wonder which one we are?
If you think 3 CS isn't worth the iron you're crazy. The other fact is that a longswordsman not only has an extra 3 CS, but a free shock promotion. This makes them start at effectively 22 CS with a bonus on flanking. That's a 5 CS advantage, and makes them better upon upgrading as well.
I would still favor Longswords every game. Strategic resources are still going to be important, but not having them shouldn't instantly lose you the game. (Though it stlll does in 1v1.)
To be clear - does CS for a unit related to damage scale by proportion or by absolute number?
That is to say, Spearman VS Swordsman is 10 VS 14, and Pikeman VS Longswordsman is 15 VS 20.
If proportion, the first is 140% for the Swordsman and 133% for the Longswordsman, so the Longswordsman is proportionally stronger against the Pikeman than the Swordsman is to the Spearman.
But if absolute value, then the first is 4, the second is 5, in which case the latter case favours the Swordsman even more.
But yes, good point on the free Shock promotion - that is important and kind of a game-changer...even so, wouldn't it be fun if Pikeman served a very specific and distinctive purpose?
What if Pikemen had access to the formation promotion line so that they could a proper anti-horse unit?
Proportion. Google civ 5 damage, it's complex.
Spearmen are very weak to swords, but come much earlier and are great vs horsemen.
Pikemen DO and WILL serve a very specific role, but having them a BIT better versus longswordsmen is important. Civ 5 combat isn't rock-paper scissors. If longswords just bowl over pikemen then it makes defense too hard in some cases. You should have an advantage, but not enough to overwrite all other variables like you basically do now.
That's fair. But regarding the Spears VS Swords earlier thing, what would be the reasons for or against moving Pikemen earlier in the tech tree? Is it necessary for them to come together? At least if you're a civ without Iron (or God forbid, without any Horses, either), earlier Pikemen would help you deal with Swordsmen if you could tech up faster for it.
I don't think so. That would give you a decent period of time where you have pikemen who're basically equal to swordsmen. Then you get longswords and knights and they suck again. That doesn't sound very good to me.
But that's the point - if they Pikemen suck again when Longswordsmen and Knights come around, then the earlier tech actually gives them some meaningful use. This doesn't mean we don't offer extra CS if needed.
However, I see your point - if you have a Pikeman you could build, making a Swordsman has zero sense to it and then you could just save on iron...yeah, you're right. Too bad, though - the back-and-forth flow of it would have been nice.
Pikemen don't suck... They kick ass. honestly though I would give them another promotion. Call it Immovable if they spent their entire turn stationary then they get a combat bonus.
Maybe I'd bump the "fortify" and "vs. mounted" by 10-25%, but other than that I'm ok with how they are. On defense they're good enough against mounted units and (long)swordsmen, and on offense they're good enough if they've been promoted enough. So they imo serve their purpose as the hammer/resource cheap units.
Just bump "vs. mounted" this time by 15% and we will talk again in a couple of releases, deal?
Edit: I forgot the pikeman is weaker than I thought. Redoing the numbers.
If you assume a 20% bonus due to promotions (which at that is the least you would expect). To put a pikeman on equal footing with a knight, it needs to have an 80% bonus against mounted.
Knight: 25 * 1.2 = 30
Pikeman: 15 * (1 + .2 + .8) = 30
Pikeman (with 100%): 15 * (1 + .2 + 1) = 33
I personally would say, if a pikeman is not at least close to a knight against the one thing its strong against, then your buff will change nothing. I honestly think you could get away with a 100% bonus against mounted.
I think that the buff to 17 CS is much better. A 100% bonus to mounted seems like giving the peasants rocket launchers to compensate for their slightly too weak arms.
Just put the same math to that suggestion:
Longsword (just to showcase it): 20 * 1.3 (remember they start with shock, so are expecting to have at least 30% bonus) = 26
Pikeman: 17 * 1.2 = 20.4
vs knight 17 * (1 + .2 + .5) = 28.9
The Pikeman needs another ~6.5% anti-mounted if you want it to match the knight's strength.
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