Praetorians Imbalanced

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by Splaaat, Feb 22, 2006.

  1. GIDS888

    GIDS888 King

    Nov 25, 2005
    England South West
    Praetorians have to be overpowered to simulate Rome's might as a military power. And Caesars traits are not helpful in the longterm game - in fact his conquering heroes cause headaches after looting city 10 or so!!

    Rome against China circa 100AD - now that would be fun!
  2. SilentDemon

    SilentDemon Warlord

    Feb 14, 2006
    Romans also used many other innovative technologies with their legions which would rarely make them finds themselves at a disadvantage against ranged units and mounted units. All roman legionaries carried throwing spears with them, as well as their trusty gladius. Not to mention the first ones to use a vast amount of siege weaponry, mechanical weaponry (such as small mechanized non hand-held crossbows, ballistae etc.) and field surgeons. The game doesn't reflect these things either. In truth there were no enemies of the Roman empire during their time that were able to stand in their way, the most potent known would likely be Hannibal, and he wasn't able to sack Rome either. I believe the advantage they are given makes up for these things fairly well.

    You have to remember the organization of the Roman army, true they did lose and there are many examples to cite where they did, but nearly every if not every army that they lost to they immediately sent a new legion to destroy and did so. Carrying the equipment that they did, archers would be a nuissance and might be able to defeat some of a roman legion or perhaps one, but would not be able to withstand continual pressure. Some things people always forget about archers in real world application... They run out of arrows, arrows are expensive, and have to be made very well (pre industrial era keep in mind) to hit their target with any stopping force. I agree to defeat a roman army, cavalry and archery would be good to exploit, but this would simply result in a war of attrition which the Romans were very, very good at. Again I feel the strength boost symbolizes this well.
  3. Sisiutil

    Sisiutil All Leader Challenger

    Feb 19, 2006
    Pacific Northwest
    Hmmm...well, I stand corrected. Though I've read quite a bit about the Napoleanic wars and how cavalry of the time could almost never penetrate a square infantry formation with bayonets presented. Were early 19th century horses not as brave or well-trained, or am I missing some other detail?
  4. gettingfat

    gettingfat Emperor

    Nov 7, 2003
    The key to stop the charging calvary in Napoleanic era is still the rifle firepower. Bayonets provide the extra protection. In fact, this is basically the strategy used by ancient Chinese armies in Han dynasty (Lining up war-carts mixed with spears to form an obstacle, with crossbowmen forming tight formation behind the line and shooting in rotation), when combined with a decent horse-riding force they were able to drive the Huns all the way to the Europe. In this case, it's the crossbows which were very advanced in that age that provided the firepower.

    You can apply the same statement to many UU. Just use Keshiks as example. Keshiks carried gunpowder weapons to help destroy those castles and used firecrackers for scaring the enemies, and they also combined with the siege weapons from Chinese as well. In many battles they drove the slaves captured before into the enemy armies to disrupt their formations. Their organization and discipline was probably comparable, if not even stronger, to the Romans. Tactic wise their scouting units could travel 300 km in one day to collect info, and delivered the lethal surprise attack out of nowhere. Still, in the game Praetorians can easily beat Keshiks. Oh, each Keshik unit typically carried 60 arrows. So if battled one on one, they have 60 chances to shoot at the much slower target.

    Praetorians should be dominant, but not to that point. I guess the game has nerfed the early horse-riding units a bit too much (still don't like them taking away their withdrawal ability when being attacked), and for whatever reason list Keshiks as a primitive hill-climbing horse archers. About Praetorians, I will give it a strength of 6, 33% bonus vs melee units (remain same strength vs melee), 15% bonus vs archery units (because of their better armors). This will be dominant enough.
  5. Lief

    Lief Chieftain

    Feb 19, 2006
    Depends what armour you are talking about.

    A longbow or close equivalent, will go through chain mail, reasonably easily, with the correct tip.

    Chain mail piercing tips are long and sharp, platemail 'piercing' tips were shorter, but still sharpened at the edges.

    The actual success rate of a plate mail piercing arrow is VERY low, even at a range of 20 yards, this depends on the workmanship of the armour also.

    Any angled platemail will leave the arrows just bouncing off, with flat plate mail, you may get a dent, but it usually just cannot penetrate the armour.

    I have seen a platemail piercing arrow piece some metal, the same kind as was used in most platemail, the problem was, this was a large sheet of metal, due to the added flexability of the large sheet, and arrow could penetrate fairly easily.

    Longbows were lethal against armoured troops not because they reguarly pierced armour, but because they were fired in such hails of arrows, that out of the 100 that hit you, 1 would go through and kill you.

    Basically, people would not of bothered wearing plate mail unless it actually worked, which is why it was worn until guns became common.
  6. Kenji

    Kenji Chieftain

    Jan 10, 2006
    actually the earliest able to fight Prae unit can be War Elephant ... easier to get +25% bonus vs melee ( require 6 xp ) , but Prae vs Horse bonus need 10 xp ;)

    Axeman with culture defense bonus can also cause headache to Prae too...
    Aggresive trait civ's Axeman trained with Barrack already have +25% vs melee selection. which will becomes becomes 5.5 (+75% vs melee) vs 8.

    the odds will be : 5.5 vs 5
  7. Wodan

    Wodan Deity

    Jun 3, 2005
    In transit
    Of course.

    You need to have double the size of any stack you're attacking. That's true of ANY swarm tactics.

  8. Crighton

    Crighton Emperor

    Jan 3, 2006
    as a side note on this subject, I played as Rome yesterday built a Praetorian rush but just not enought o follow it all the way through so I parked my units outside Berlin just to mess with Frederick. I'd use my best unit to pick off any defenders who tried to leave the city and of course leave him and about three more Praeto's fortified on a hill.

    I got "Old Stompy" up to 53 exp and many many promotions before finally ending the war. I didn't feel like trying to get to 65 the next exp level.
  9. TrailblazingScot

    TrailblazingScot I was kittenOFchaos

    Jan 6, 2001
    Brighouse, England
    I've never worried about Praetorians in multiplayer as axemen seem to do the business. Also, as they're not cheap I've never faced many Praetorians neither and quantity has a quality of its own.

    In single-player the Praetorian comes into its own as for some bizarre reason axement aren't a major part of the A.I's defensive option in cities. Whilst for humans online (at least in the league) there are nearly always hordes of the axe wielding maniacs giving swordsmen and short shrift.

    This is just my personal experience with over 300 multiplayer games under my belt on the league, pretty much 80% wins - which is a good record ;)
  10. moggydave

    moggydave Warlord

    Jul 12, 2005
    The Roman legions struggled quite a bit eventually against horse mounted enemies. Most famously I think is the adventures of Crassus in Parthia. Superior tactics and knowledge of the terrain on the part of Partian cavalry wonthe day. The partians had quite a similar way of war to the mongols with regards to calvary, both were peoples of desolate steps, large slopes and open areas as well as deserts so i guess horse was the only way to get around.

    I think the praetorian is quite well represented and the keshik is unerpowered asin the last game. It should haveextra first strikes i think and perhaps be stronger to make it a match for the praetorian and to have a chance against later units- if only quite a small chance
  11. diablodelmar

    diablodelmar no comment

    Jan 11, 2006
    The praetorian is very nicely done indeed. Historically, the legions were by far the most efficient troops of their time. The world actually slid backwards after the Romans were destroyed. They had better technology than the mediaval age.

    In the actual game, Praetorians are beaten by axemen. Try it sometime!
  12. gunkulator

    gunkulator Emperor

    May 30, 2003
    NH, USA
    The Roman Legions were primarily focused on infantry. In hilly or forested terrain or for city seige, they were pretty much unbeatable however in flat open terrain, they were vulnerable to superior cavalry and archery tactics. Both Carthage and Parthia were able to foil Rome time and time again with cavalry, although in Hannibal's case much of his success was just superior generalship.

    Praetorians are available around the time you get one of those early/mid-game civics that allow for +2 XPs. Combined with barracks, that's two promotions right away. Praetorians with City Raider I and II are devestating, even against axemen in cities.
  13. opticaljim

    opticaljim Warlord

    Oct 26, 2005
    san Antonio, Texas
    Anytime I'm close to the Romans I focus on city defense and just wait them out for an era. Due to their traits, Rome fades quickly in the latter stages of the game.

    There are other Civs that can give them some trouble. If you are the Incas, for example, you just wipe them out or completely disable them with your Que Chas before they can even think about discovering iron. The Greek Phalanx is a pretty nifty defender against them.
  14. Colossian

    Colossian Prince

    Nov 14, 2005
    That's right. All the same units are not fun. Civ4 is a game.
  15. Brighteye

    Brighteye intuitively Bayesian

    Jan 19, 2006
    I think that earlier someone was seriously overestimating the amount of training you can give a horse. Horses do not charge rows of spikes, whatever you may have seen in Lord of the Rings. Cavalry horses did have to be highly trained, but that's to stop them running away in the noise and confusion of a battle. A cavalry charge against a row of spears would result in most of the horses turning away, getting knocked into and trampled by their fellows and generally causing a lot of confusion in the charging ranks, as well as some horses causing chaos in the defenders.
    The Roman legions were incredibly well-trained. Whoever said that keshiks were better trained may be right, but implied that the legions were about average, which is simply untrue. They were highly disciplined and better-equipped. In an age when most combat was about rabbles keeping loosely together the legions had little trouble in using careful formations to destroy their enemies. This general superiority is modelled by giving them an increase in strength

    The key combination is archery with horses. This gives range and speed, and is devastating. However, learning to fire a bow while riding is very difficult indeed, and accuracy is poor. A mounted archer will never have as good a bow as a foot one, and it was common for horse archers to need to get within 50 yards to have a good chance of a kill. This didn't matter too much, since they could gallop away again if the infantry tried to catch them.

    The problem with the game at the moment is that horse archers ought to have a huge bonus against melee units, but a giant susceptibility to real cavalry. A lightweight horse archer is worthless against a 'melee cavalryman'.

    So yes, keshiks may be underpowered, and should be able to beat Roman legions, but that's because the whole horse archer system is a bit confused; it's not a problem with the Roman UU.
  16. Older than Dirt

    Older than Dirt King

    Dec 17, 2005
    Swamps of Houston
    Praetorians are very powerful especially attacking cities, but once they take just a little hit they do become vulnerable to the cheap and ugly axemen. So I soon learned to take along some of my own nasty axemen to counter them. Civ 4 is pemeated even from early times with the combined arms concept. A praetorian attacking an axeman who is in the woods had better be in good shape and lucky, especially if the axeman is from an aggressive civ with a free combat 1 promotion. Playing as Rome gets even better when played on epic or marathon speed so you have plenty of turns to crush other civs while you UU is so effective.
  17. diablodelmar

    diablodelmar no comment

    Jan 11, 2006
    A good counter to axemen is horse archers, and to a lesser extent normal archers.
  18. KrikkitTwo

    KrikkitTwo Immortal

    Apr 3, 2004
    Well Ideally, the Horse Archer cuald be changed to just Horseman (have it require Hunting instead of Archery and increase the cost of Horseback riding) The Keshik could then be made similar to the Horse Archer.

    (although for modelling proper 'historical dominance' the Keshik should be a Knight replacement, perhaps have the Arab UU move back to be a Horseman replacement)

    As for the Praetorian... it is overpowered probably should either be a cost of 50 or a cost 40 strength 7.
  19. loraque

    loraque Chieftain

    Feb 7, 2006
    Caesar has quite good traits for a domination victory. And of course a potent UU to help him get there, at just about one of the best times for rapid expansion.

    It must be difficulty differences, but expansive is much more valuable than most seem to allow it. Expansive, when combined with a large, sprawling empire fueled by lower costs via Organized, will have that much more population pushing out commerce.

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