(Proposal) Changes to the Legion and Immortals

Discussion in 'Community Patch Project' started by Psilonemo, Apr 22, 2022.

  1. Psilonemo

    Psilonemo Chieftain

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    Not sure if this post will get any attention at all, but here goes nothing. I'll try to be concise.

    I think the Unique promotions of the Persian Immortal and Roman Legion are both, somewhat arbitrary in their choice of design.

    1. The Persian Immortals are basically a professional backbone that is always maintained at the expense of an imperial treasury, better trained than seasonal conscripts, yet dismounted and not as elite as royal household/guard units. In this sense they are pretty generic. Their name "Anusyia" literally means "Companions", a very common term used to refer to such units shared by almost all Mediterranean cultures of antiquity. An example is the early Macedonian "Shieldbearers" Infantry and "Companion" Pikemen. What does make them distinct, however, is their iconic depiction as being replenished so quickly as to be "Immortal" in the eyes of the Greeks, and the fact that unlike their counterparts from other contemporary cultures, the Immortals were a hybrid unit - meant to embody the dismounted half of Persian martial tradition, which emphasized the mastery of not only melee combat but archery in particular as the weapon of choice. Considering those two unique factors, the Immortals are indeed quite special and so generic as first imagined.

    Hence, in any historically accurate depiction of the Immortals, what really sets them apart is the fact that they not only have melee weapons for close quarters and their iconic silver-butted spear (golden butted spears being reserved for an elite household bodyguard of 1000 "Apple-Bearers") but also a bow and quiver. They would deploy their large wicker shields, as would Genoese crossbowmen, and serve as archers if need be, and immediately engage in melee if need be, with spear and sword alike. They were truly a jack of all trades. You'll notice that in Civilization 6, the Immortals actually do have such a design, with respect to history.

    Obviously, the "Faster Healing" promotion reflects their replenishment very well, and it's too iconic to modify, since even their name is indeed "Immortals". So this should remain as is. However, the 25% armor plating promotion, is rather questionable. The Immortals, were never known for how well armored they were in particular. Sure, the Greeks really obsessed over how every Immortal always had top of the line scale armor, but it wasn't all that superior or notable - in fact the Persians considered traditional scale armor interchangeable with Greek lino-thorax armor.

    Considering all this, I think it is reasonable to suggest changing this "Armor Plating I" promotion into something different. Perhaps a promotion which allows adjacent ranged units to ignore terrain and fire over the Immortals themselves to simulate coordinated archery? Or perhaps a promotion much like the Legion's "Pilum" which damages units adjacent to it when fortified. It would be way too much work and hassle to create new animations, models, and mechanics just to make Immortals a ranged unit, but this would be ideal if possible. Ideally, the Immortals would be given the option to shoot bows as a ranged attack that's slightly weaker than their melee attack, and also let adjacent ranged units shoot shoot over obstacles - with both of these functions being explained by a dummy promotion. This way Persian players would be naturally encouraged to use Immortals alongside other archer units (or other Immortals too), and maintain excellent cover for their army.

    Speaking of the Legions' Pilum promotion.. it's not that I find the notion of the pilum arbitrary. It's not. The legionnaries were indeed the ONLY unit in history to perfect the design of skirmishing javelins into their iconic Pilum, but what was it that made it so special? It was always meant to be used as a precursor in combat, which would stick into the shields of the enemy and bend, preventing the enemy from using that shield and throwing the pila back towards the Romans. Besides, this, nothing is all that special or unique about the Pilum.

    Therefore, since I suggested the Immortals should get a promotion like the current "Pilum" anyways, I propose that the Roman Legions' "Pilum" either be changed into a modified version of an Impi warrior's precursor attack (since it would be exactly the way the Romans used it in combat - offensively before engaging in melee.) OR, give the Romans a unique promotion that gives them a buff when defending in open terrain to capture just how feared the Legions were on the open field. Almost every historical source states that the Legionnaries were so formidable when fought against on the open field that all of their adversaries either avoided it altogether and insisted on ambushing them from rough terrain, or relied on cavalry instead. The whole point of the battle of Teutoberg Forest (which is why Augustus looks so stressed out in Civ 5) was to neutralize this advantage the Romans had in a pitched battle on an open field. If this is redundant with existing promotions.. some other ideas of mine are just giving the Legions the march promotion, to simulate how they would encamp every night to rest and recuperate in relative security, or a unique promotion which simply gives them +5 healing outside of friendly territory as well as a bonus to production when garrisoned in a city to simulate how Legionnaries were simultaneously colonists and specialists who rebuilt their own conquests into Roman towns.

    Just some thoughts of mine. :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2022
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  2. Rekk

    Rekk Emperor

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    Just chiming in with what is/isn't possible.
    Legions would use their attack city animation of throwing flaming torches, so unless someone can hook us up with someone willing to do the pilum throwing animation, this is unfortunately off the table.

    This is doable but will require work in the DLL.

    Everything else is feasible.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2022
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  3. Psilonemo

    Psilonemo Chieftain

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    Thanks for the reply! I did sense that a lot of the suggestions were most likely going to be possible or was going to involve time consuming DLL. I was just throwing around ideas. :)
     
  4. Glassmage

    Glassmage The Desert Flame

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    Yo dude what is your obsession with Persian stuff? Are you Iranian or something lmao
     
  5. Psilonemo

    Psilonemo Chieftain

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    Woah, I'm already giving off vibes of obsession? Guess I gotta disappear for a while, which is 3 months in VP time :lol:!
    Actually I'm South -_- Korean, I like to think I don't have a particular obsession with anything Persian, any more than I have with everything else. If anything my obsession tends to be towards Byzantine and Mesoamerican stuff. Forgive me if I'm being too much of a crow here. I guess I just couldn't help but put this out here, even if it was never gonna happen. Sorta like tossing a coin into a fountain? Ok maybe a huge coin.
     
  6. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    I think we were talkkg about this earlier, but you COULD make a unit that can both melee attack and ranged attack. You just don't give the unit the "cannot melee attack" promotion. It would defend from ranged attacks with its ranged CS, and melee with its melee CS. if you clicked an enemy unit, you would melee attack by default, but you can use the special ranged attack mission to hit the enemy with the immortal's ranged attack too.

    There is very little reason for the unit to ever engage in melee on attack and take the revenge damage, assuming the RCS and CS are close, but it could have tactical uses for the melee attack's kill/advance function and for taking cities.
     
  7. Psilonemo

    Psilonemo Chieftain

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    That's very interesting. I wasn't aware of that. If only custom animations could be made, it would be ideal. Indeed there is almost no reason for a unit to enter melee combat at all if it was capable of ranged attacks - but it would be a tactical consideration nonetheless. For example if it had to ensure it takes a barbarian camp rather just deal a killing blow from afar.
     
  8. azum4roll

    azum4roll Emperor

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    If you have a massive flanking bonus it could be worth melee attacking.
     
  9. Psilonemo

    Psilonemo Chieftain

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    Just thinking about it is making me blush. Think I should quit hoping it can come true lmao
     
  10. Rekk

    Rekk Emperor

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    Huh. For some reason, I thought the Immortal had AlwaysHeal as per March, not Faster Heal Rate when Fortifying.
     
  11. Tekamthi

    Tekamthi Prince

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    do you know if a melee unit can be given RCS via a promotion? I'm aware promos can increase RCS on % basis, but of course 1000% of 0 is still 0.
     
  12. KlHannibal2

    KlHannibal2 Warlord

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    Talking about the legion:

    The idea of pilum I find historically accurate, but not the fact that you need to be entrenched to use it. It was used on the move, before closing into melee. AFAIK, they used it on attack and defense. So I would also see it more like the impi spear throw.
    Gameplay-wise I found the current pilum also good on the offense. When you camp next to a city and bombard it, the legion can hold the line well due to cover 2 and 18CS. With cover 2, ranged attacks do very little damage. Melee attacks are very costly for the enemy when the legion is fortified and deals pilum damage every turn. Especially if you have a line of legions for 20 pilum damage. It also works well with the ballista.

    Cover 2 I guess simulates the testudo formation. I think this promotion is fine as stated above.

    Building forts and roads, while historically accurate, was always hardly useful for me. Sure the first 1 or 2 legions could build a few road tiles, but I prefer to march them to City states for tribute and when my army is fully built, to attack an AI. Very little time to get much built. And building the fort, you need a later tech. By that time all my legions are on the attack. And even if I happen to be on the defense and a legion could build a fort on the front line (while defending the tile), I would rather use a worker for the fort and have the legion fortified to get the pilum damage.

    So if you change any legion promotion, I would change the building ability for some permanent combat bonus.
     
  13. 4CV

    4CV Warlord

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    With improved building speed near GG, legions do it faster, and my workers can do something useful in the cities. So I would not like the legion losing their building powers.
     
  14. KlHannibal2

    KlHannibal2 Warlord

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    They are better than workers and can free them up, but doing that means you are not conquering and wasting most of Rome's potential. Even more so as the legion does not give much advantage in combat after it upgrades. So IMO legions should always fight, not build, to make optimal use of Rome's kit.
     
  15. Psilonemo

    Psilonemo Chieftain

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    FYI the legion being able to build is probably the most unique and iconic thing about Rome. Not sure about removing that. It doesn't force you to do anything, it is just there as an option. You can use the legions if you are at peace and there is no opponent to wage war on. Legions being able to help build roads and forts free up workers to do other things in peace time too so I don't know if it is that bad.
     
  16. Psilonemo

    Psilonemo Chieftain

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    that would actually be a bit morr immersive. but both works just fine in reflecting their whole "never went below or above 10,000" ordeal.
     
  17. Psilonemo

    Psilonemo Chieftain

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    it is hard to pull off, but if possible it would be the most immersive.
     
  18. Rekk

    Rekk Emperor

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    This ability is mostly vestigial; it exists because it exists in the base game and there's no harm keeping it. It's not considered when balancing the unit.

    As stated earlier, we can't make Pilum work like Impi's Spear Throw, but in the end, Spear Throw is just a %CS boost when attacking with more steps. It just has cool visuals and incidentally gives +2 XP per attack.

    The Pilum promotion is incredibly strong, but if you want something thematic specifically about the Pilum snaring the opponent's shields, it could instead be similar Naval Melee's Boarded Promotion, where initiating combat with a Legion inflicts a plague/debuff on the opponent for a turn, giving it -CS% when defending.
    Alternatively, you could reflavour the promotion as a temporary fortified camp (its own temporary citadel) as the legions did when campaigning: Castrum Aestivum. It's still not quite right, because they didn't specifically fight out of them. However, I think it's a closer theme to the mechanics than Pilum. Maybe add +5% CS when Fortified or something to push the theme a bit further.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2022

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