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Pikeman upgrade to Lancers?

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Sharku, Jun 20, 2012.

  1. jjkrause84

    jjkrause84 King

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    I was asking in a general sense. The whole "does it require a resource or not" logic is FAR too complex...it doesn't need to be that 'mechanical'. Historically, it makes no sense whatsoever. Just because mounted infantry have existed does not mean that pikemen should upgrade to lancers instead doing what they ACTUALLY did....evolve into musketmen.

    To be honest, and this is not your fault, but I'm sick of arguing it. I, and others, have made well reasoned arguments based on a sound understanding of history and a reasonable consideration of gameplay values. I'm beginning to feel that people are arguing more because they cannot abide anything contrary being said about GAK, rather than because they feel that pikemen should upgrade to a completely unrelated unit.

    Pikemen > Lancers is blatantly absurd. I still cannot fathom how people have managed to work up any sort of argument in favour of it, however tenuous.
     
  2. Ulthwithian

    Ulthwithian King

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    jj: You have an argument based on function. Others (including myself) have an argument that is also based on function.

    To say that the upgrade chosen by the designers is 'blatantly absurd' is tantamount to saying that the other argument is irrational, and it is not. It simply focuses on a different function.

    Your argument, as I understand it, is that Pikemen are the de facto line unit of the early mid-game, and therefore should upgrade into the de facto line unit of the mid-game (Musketman). That is a valid argument, and I do not believe I have ever taken issue with the validity of the argument. This is an argument of empirical function. And that is fine.

    My argument is that the Pikemen are a unit that is specialized to attack Mounted units, and therefore upgrades into a unit that is specialized to attack Mounted units (Lancer). This is also a valid argument, as it is an argument of theoretical function.

    I do not agree with your argument, as I prefer a more theoretical (and internally consistent) system. I have no issue with your argument as presented.

    (Again, as I stated before, I think the better solution is to reduce the reliance on Pikemen as line units.)
     
  3. bcaiko

    bcaiko Emperor

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    That's an...interesting interpretation of what I said. He's another look:

    Longswordsmen and Pikemen both do the "hold the line" job you want Pikemen's upgraded unit to do. Longswordsmen generally do it better, but they cost a resource you may not have. So Pikemen fill two roles: they don't cost a resource, and are also adept at stopping mobile units.

    Now the upgrade happens. Around that time you have Musketmen, who don't cost a resource and can do the hold the line job (Pikemens' first job). There are no more Iron units, so Longswordsmen upgrade into Musketmen. You can build Musketmen to your heart's content now!

    Then there's Lancers, who do Pikemen's specialty job. No one else does this role previously filled by Pikemen.

    You argue that Pikemen should not turn into Lancers, but then who does upgrade to Lancers? Longswordsmen have no relationship whatsoever with the Lancer's role. We also know from experience with CiVanilla that having a unit that no one upgrades into wholly undermines the unit (and the civilizations who use that unit via uniques). Pikemen is the best choice; they share a very special role with Lancers and their other role is now easily handled by Musketmen.

    Your solution to have multiple upgrade paths, while understandable, adds needless complexity to an already complex game. Good game often speak of eliminating such complexities in favor of elegant design. I believe the upgrade path chosen for the Pikemen is the best, most elegant solution given that it allows all units to be upgraded into and all roles to continue to be filled by a unit.

    I would invite you to look at those two ideas together. Your exasperation is palpable, but you then turn around and make the same type of blanket statement that you accuse others of. Though neither side may "win" this arguement, there is a very good gameplay reason for Pikemen upgrade into Lancers: because they both fill the anti-mobile role. It may not a reason you like, but it is not "absurd."
     
  4. Olleus

    Olleus Deity

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    I never mentioned multiple upgrade paths. Horsemen should upgrade to lancers who should both have more moves than knights/cavalry. They should have another bonus such as +1 sight or a bonus against siege weapons to make light cavalry units (horsemen/lancer/helicopter) different to heavy cavalry units (knights/cavalry/tanks), while both being worth building - but for different reasons.

    I would also remove the anti cavalry bonus, and give it to riflemen. Thus, rifles become the combinations of longswords/muskets and pikes, showing the unification of infantry once the bayonet comes around.
     
  5. bcaiko

    bcaiko Emperor

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    Sorry, I must've confused your earlier posts with someone else's. :blush: It's a long thread.

    Just curious: under the tweaks you propose, what would upgrade into Knights?
     
  6. Olleus

    Olleus Deity

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    Probably nothing. Although, they might be a case that chariots in the early game should be a 'heavy cavalry' unit rather than the ranged chariot archer. The main reason is that there are now 3 ancient/classical archer type unit, which seems a little overkill. Having 2 mounted and 2 ranged units seems like a better balance.

    Something like chariots having strength 11, 4 moves, rough terrain consumes all move, can move after attacking, upgrade to a knight with strength 22, 3 moves, can move after attacking. The horsemen might then drop to strength 10, have 4 moves and +1 sight and +33% vs ranged and/or siege (so it can take them out with almost no damage to itself). Clearly, this would need to be balanced more carefully.
     
  7. Babri

    Babri Emperor

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    • Lots of players complained about no upgrade line for something into lancer including many experienced players.
    • Firaxis analyzed the problem & fixed it.
    That is pretty logical. I don't see how ur 'lots of people can be wrong' argument counters this.

    Plz learn to play G&K before making statements like (cavalry is useless). :rolleyes:

    No they don't fill a new niche, they are the only unit in their era which kills cavalry so they are very similar to pikes in their function. However they have some advantages & disadvantages over pikes but that is fine. Its like saying that anti-tanks fill a new niche because they kill armour class of units not mounted ones. :eek:
     
  8. Olleus

    Olleus Deity

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    But lancers, don't kill cavalry. Let me do the maths for you:

    Lancer:Cavalry (No experience on either side)
    25*1.33 : 34 => 33:34 Cavalry wins narrowly, but when you take the unit cost into account (185:225), it's kind of fair, specially as cavalry can do other stuff.

    Now consider the far more likely scenario of both units having two promotions at +20% each, and both being affected by a great general.
    Lancer:Cavalry
    47:53
    The cavalry now wins even more.

    Hence, the lancer is not even a good anti-cavalry unit.


    Is the Lancer good against other lancer? Well, let's do the maths too. If the other side has a lancer, I can build a lancer to counter it and its even. That costs me 185 hammers.

    But what if I just build pikes instead. The odds then are 24:25 against me and I have fewer movements, but that only costs me 90 hammers. So I can build 2 pikes per lancer they have (at slightly more maintenance cost, but significantly less beakers required). Whats more, I can fortify my pikes or put them in hills/forests/jungles. Thus, pikes are clearly better than lancers against other lancers.

    Why would I build Lancers then? I guess if my enemy has lots of knights and I have researched metalurgy but can't be bothered to tech to military science. That's it.


    I retract what I said earlier about Lancers being good at their job. They are not. Firaxis thought that something should upgrade to them. They were right, pity they picked the wrong unit from both a gameplay and historical perspective.
     
  9. jjkrause84

    jjkrause84 King

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    This is not really my main argument, although it is one that I have made. My main argument is that a game about history should not make jarring ahistorical gameplay decisions without very good reasons for doing so. In my mind GAK does NOT have a truly compelling reason to not allow pikemen to upgrade to musketmen, instead preferring to, for the first time in Civ history (as far as I can remember) allow a foot unit to upgrade to a mounted unit. It is, at best, a misguided choice, in my opinion.

    I can see the theoretical argument, even though I think it takes a minor aspect of both the pikeman and lancer as a point of comparison, ignoring the major aspects (namely: foot vs. mounted). I suspect your position comes from seeing the game from a radically different point of view: seeing Civ as a 'game' like any other. As merely a game it does not need to have any external logical consistency (only internal). I do not see Civ like this, and probably for personal reasons as much as anything (without Civ I would probably never have decided to become a historian, a decision which radically changed my life).

    Obviously I do not think or even wish that Civ were 'realistic' (please do not try to argue that). I just want it to have a degree of both external and internal consistency. Again, history will have to be changed to make a game like Civ work....but changes still need to 'feel' right. It's like a joke: the player needs to be able to suspend disbelief. I cannot do that for the transition from pikes > lancers (especially as it is unnecessary).

    That is one solution, but not a necessary one. Pikes "feel right" as the pre-eminent melee unit of their era (which, in sheer numbers, they ALWAYS are in GAK). A compromise solution would be to give players the choice between lancers or musketmen. I, personally, would only allow pikes to upgrade to muskets. Doing so would be historical, it would allow players and AI to maintain and upgrade their forces without having to build new ground units, and it would take pikes out of an upgrade path that is "sometimes mounted, sometimes not", which I do not think is ideal from either a logical or gameplay point of view.


    Excuse the length of my reply.
     
  10. jjkrause84

    jjkrause84 King

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    Yes, I make a strong and direct statement in my conclusion after having provided a detailed argument multiple times in this thread. Such is the nature of argument. In any case, I did not say that the reasoning behind having pikes upgrade to lancers was 'absurd', but that the result was. Naturally, I do consider the argument for the current upgrade path to be very weak. Look at it this way:


    Similarities between pike and lancer:

    - Both get bonuses against mounted units



    Dissimilarities:

    - Pikes can fortify, lancers cannot

    - Pikes are the most numerous unit of their type (globally) for their period, lancers are a peripheral unit

    - pikes do not require any resources, lancers do

    - pikes have the 'normal' movement rate of '2', lancers '4'

    - Pikes are primarily static or slow-moving defensive units, lancers are primarily fast-moving offensive units



    Pikes upgrade from a unit (spearmen) which is perfectly analogous. They share the same function and fulfill the same role. This cannot be said of lancers upgrading from pikemen.
     
  11. Lyoncet

    Lyoncet Emperor

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    Good summary of the problem.

    To the people saying "there was a problem and they fixed it, so what's the issue?" I'd like to say that not all solutions are inherently good solutions. They could solve the bad combat AI if they removed war. Or removed single-player. These would be bad solutions. So no, just solving the (or rather, a) problem does not necessarily excuse poor mechanics.

    While I don't think it's necessary them to include a horseman-lancer light cavalry line, I do think that Lancers should be put on the cavalry path with another foot soldier to continue the Pikeman line. There's no real reason that Lancers have to be anti-cavalry; they'd be fine as just the next rung in the ladder with possibly more sight/movement than Knights and Cavalry. That (and/or multiple upgrade paths) fixes pretty much all the problems without really creating any. It would be a decidedly good solution, IMO.
     
  12. GenjiKhan

    GenjiKhan Emperor

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    If you see the role of Lancers during history,they always have been used to chase wounded soldiers and no general would think about using them directly against full units . Probably,one thing that could be made to reflect that,is to give them a combat bonus against enemy units with HP below 25 HP and give them another promotion,that gives them +1 movement for every enemy unit killed .
     
  13. Ulthwithian

    Ulthwithian King

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    I cannot see ANY upgrade from pre-gunpowder to gunpowder units, or from Cavalry units to Armor units, given what you said. 'Units become obsolete', IMO, is NOT a 'truly compelling reason' to allow these upgrades.

    Since I have no problem with them, I cannot imagine that a far smaller change (Pikemen to Lancers) can evoke such a response.

    I view the 'anti-cavalry' focus of the units as the major aspect, and foot vs. mounted as minor.

    As a historian, how do you defend Cavalry upgrading into Landships? Certainly that is a far more radical change?

    I do not understand how you can suspend disbelief on the pre-gunpowder -> gunpowder upgrades, and not suspend it for Pikemen -> Lancer.


    That is an internal issue, and not an external one. That is, the fact that they are _in CiV_ the pre-eminent melee unit of their era is due to their resource-less nature, which is a game mechanic, not a historical issue. I am unsure why you can accept a game-theoretical defense of your position without also accepting a game-theoretical defense of the opposing position.

    As I understand it, I would allow pikes to upgrade into Tercios (the typical pike-and-musket formation of their era, correct?). I would not allow them to upgrade into generic musketmen. A better solution would, IMO, keep the separation into at least Riflemen. Pikemen would then be inexcusably weak by then, but I digress.


    Why is the length an issue? Incidentally, what is your area of specialization in history?
     
  14. Buccaneer

    Buccaneer Deity

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    As an aside, I never understood the hate for the Cavalry unit. They have won Civ games for me including some in Civ5. They are powerful as a Rifleman and much more mobile, I perceive. I successfully played with Keshiks and Camels and as powerful as they become, I still upgraded some of them to Cavs. There were situations where I needed the firepower that the ranged units could not offer.
     
  15. ArcticPenguin

    ArcticPenguin Chieftain

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    As I read through this lengthy topic, I felt compelled to add my two bits as I felt some were looking at two separate problems and conflating them into a single issue: The "historical" suitability of the pikeman to lancer upgrade and the "game mechanics" approach. For issues of game mechanics, I am not a designer, although I do confess possessing mixed feelings regarding the upgrading of pikeman to lancers.

    From the historical perspective, I see two issues at play. First, infantry coexisted with both pikes and muskets of the matchlock variety. For a long period of time, the pike was the preeminent battlefield weapon. The "push of pike" won battles. During the Thirty Years War, European militaries began increasing the number of matchlocks to pikes in the battle formations, but the pike remained the decisive feature of land battles due to the slow rate of fire, lack of reliability, etc. As time progressed however, and the comparative lethality, reliability, dissemination, and technological advancement all made superior muskets of various types of firelocks the new predominant battlefield weapon and pike became relegated to a supporting role of the anti-cavalry variety. This persisted until socket bayonets supplanted the pike altogether sometime in the early eighteenth century, certainly by the conclusion of the War of Spanish Succession. Now this is a purely European perspective, certainly Asian military powers had a different experience. Thus, from a historical perspective, moving from pike to musket, assuming the musket in question is sometype of firelock, makes sense.

    Now, pike to lance is an odd choice to a degree, to be sure, from a historical perspective, if not from a gameplay one. There are lance armed cavalry and there are the light cavalry called lancers. Lance armed cavalry could be used against other cavalry, but it held no great advantage or disadvantage in this application, but it was used quite effectively against infantry. The Byzantines made great use of lance armed cavalry, as did the Ottoman empire. I think if one imagines the visage of a large mammal bearing down upon oneself with a long lance that would pierce straight through the body, it is easy to understand why they were valued as a shock anti-infantry weapon to break formations.

    Traditionally, heavy cavalry would charge enemy lines and then return to reform their lines, as at close range swords were generally regarded as superior. However, at the time period the game seems to introduce lancers (and because we already have a knight unit), the lance had begun to be considered a poor choice as an anti-cavalry weapon. Lancers (the light cavalry) were not especially well armored (of course there are exceptions). Lancers (i.e. Uhlans) could be used to flank opponents, charge lines, launch raids, or for pursuit of defeated opponents. By the time of the rifled musket, lancers were, in my opinion, probably superfluous in military formations, though some may argue otherwise. The Crimean War drove that point home by my estimation.

    If anything, I think the game underrates the power of mounted units in the early game. Perhaps celebrated battlefield fiascoes have led to us to somewhat underrate their usefulness. Not every battle ended like the charge of the light brigade. I would much prefer to see cavalry get some type of bonus versus infantry, or maybe an increased flanking bonus, to better portray the effectiveness of heavy cavalry in breaking lines. The Hussars comes to mind.

    I suppose, in conclusion, I would say that I have no issue with pike upgrading to lancers per se, but that the rational that they do so because of their supposed inherent virtue as some great historical anti-cavalry formation is specious at best.
     
  16. jjkrause84

    jjkrause84 King

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    As pike units did evolve into musketmen, and since muskets in-game fulfill the same role (mass infantry) they should be connected in the upgrade path. I am not sure how you reach the above conclusion.


    Please see my post above of similarities and dissimilarities.


    I don't defend Cavalry > Landships; I never have and never will. Landships should have to be built from scratch....just as they were. It makes introducing a new, powerful unit (like armour) fun by forcing the player to invest time producing it.



    This is because pre-gunpowder units DID evolve into gunpowder units....pikemen never became lancers.



    Not all theory-based arguments are made equal. It doesn't matter why pikes are the preeminent unit, all that matters is that they are. The most numerous ground-holding unit in the game should not upgrade to a peripheral flanking-attack unit.


    My guess is that 'musketmen' are in fact pike and musket units, based on the time period they arrive, and on the unit icon (in the bottom-left hand corner, not the floating icon). These are incredibly small, and possibly meaningless, indicators, but an argument could certainly be made. If anything, the game lacks a "line infantry" unit in-between muskets and rifles, which would be a nice addition. Why would keeping pikes from gunpowder until rifles make more sense?




    My main area of expertise is the First World War (specifically the French Army), but I'm comfortable with European military history from 1337-1945 (and have a special and growing interest in the American War of Independence). I can "get by" on certain later conflicts, but my knowledge becomes far less detailed after 1945. :)
     
  17. Babri

    Babri Emperor

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    No they are good at their job if u know how to use them properly. They are cheaper & are available earlier than cavalry.Let me do the calculations again.

    Lets say a city with barracks+armoury creates a lancer & a cavalry.
    • Lancer costs 185:c5production: while cavalry costs 225:c5production: i.e cavalry is approximately 20% expensive.
    • Lancer takes 1 terrain promo + formation II. Cavalry takes 2 terrain promos.
    • Lancer : 25 +25*(15+33+33)/100 = 45.25
    • Cavalry : 34 +34*(15+15)/100 = 44.2

    The battle may go into a stalemate/minor defeat instead minor victory if we put in other factors like GG bonus.

    Lancers are 20% cheaper. They are available earlier & can be good for scouting as well as doing serious damage to cavalry. They might be buffed slightly to make them more effective against cavalry but again swords loose to pikes so lancer & cavalry equal against each other is not really a big issue.

    The problem is that some people are trying to use it completely like they use pikes. Lancers have certain advantages & disadvantages over pikes which is fine, in vanilla knights used to have less :c5moves: than horsemen.

    • Higher mobility.
      [*]Better scouting potential.
      [*]Cavalry cannot outrun them like they can with pikes.
      [*]Can absolutely annihilate backward civs that are stuck with knights & crossbows due to their bonus against cavalary coupled with high mobility.
      [*]Doesn't receive penalties in flat terrain.
    • Pikes are better in rough terrain.
      [*]Pikes can fortify but lancers can't.
     
  18. Babri

    Babri Emperor

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    Another gameplay Vs realism issue. I think it is perfectly fine (from gameplay perspective) as it is right now & Firaxis won't change it. Probably u need to mod things to make a realism mod then. ;)
     
  19. Ulthwithian

    Ulthwithian King

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    I guess that depends on how you view 'upgrading'. I see upgrading as primarily upgrading the equipment. I do not see it as upgrading in training. As such, pikemen did NOT evolve into musketmen. They specifically were there as a bulwark against cavalry to allow the musketmen time to do their jobs, correct?


    I saw it. My conclusion is that you weight the similarities and dissimilarities differently than I do. That doesn't mean that one of us is correct, and the other is completely irrational.

    And, IMO, the same should hold true for a Musketman. Early gunpowder units should be built from scratch. You cannot hand a musket to a trained pikeman and expect them to do anything useful with it, from a tactical perspective. (Yes, you can make the same argument with handing a pikeman a horse.)

    And I disagree here. They did not evolve; they were supplanted. The fact that they existed at the same time, and were used for different purposes, shows this. This is a better argument if you go from Pikemen to Riflemen, but I would argue in that case that Riflemen upgrades is much closer to giving a Musketman a Pike than it is to giving a Pikeman a Gun.


    And I disagree with this as well. I believe that pikes as the preeminent unit is a mistake in a game sense (it artificially devalues Horsemen, in particular), and therefore arguing that 'fixing' this mistake by continuing their line status is fixing the wrong problem.

    This I can agree with, in principle. Your solution is to fix the second part. My solution is to fix the first part.

    Why do you guess this? We have a pike and musket unit in the game (the Tercio), and it gets a bonus against Mounted units. I would argue that this shows that the regular Musket unit is, therefore, NOT a pike and musket unit. This is supported by the fact that at no point in CiV have the developers allowed Pikemen to upgrade into Muskets.

    Because I do not believe that Musket units (aside from the Tercio) represent integrated Musket and Pike formations, for the reasons stated above. And, therefore, there is no game reason and no historical reason that Pikemen should upgrade into Musketmen.
     
  20. GThreepwood

    GThreepwood Chieftain

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    I was also surprised at first to see my veteran Pike's upgrade to Lancers. As Babri pointed out It's nice to have more movement, scouting ability and that. The only thing i don't like is the city attack penalty (fortifying not much since i mostly attack and rarely defend xP ).

    This will make Ottoman Sipahi much more valuable, and actually the Ottomans are turning into a very good Civ since the G&K expansion.

    I still prefer Cavalry over Lancers though...

    P.S. Landships (Cavalry upgrade) are BEASTS !
     

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