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Should Mounted Units be Improved?

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by bcaiko, Feb 27, 2012.

  1. bcaiko

    bcaiko Chieftain

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    Hey folks,

    Since the patch that nerfed mounted units from the godlike units they were when the game was first released, I've found I hardly ever bother building the non-unique ones anymore. While they are faster than many units, they have several issues:

    • They require a resource;
    • They receive no terrain bonuses;
    • They receive a negative modifier for attacking cities;
    • They have a hard counter (i.e., spearman), that do not require a resource (and - on Single Player - the AI loves to spam);
    • Their advantage (speed and move-after-attack) are completely flummoxed by heavy terrain...which is half the board or more.

    I can't help but wonder with the new expansion if mounted units will be somehow updated. Mounted units are most useful when they can advance on opposing troops, hit a unit and get out. But...most of the mounted units aren't actually very effective at doing that in any but the most favorable circumstances. Instead, they often end up being a suicial unit trade, which doesn't mesh well with what mounted units did historically.

    With the new expansion and the update to combat, I can't help but wonder if the devs will revisit mounted units. While I don't think anyone wants mounted units to be as strong as they were at the game's release, I do think they could use a buff. Either an increase in speed or an ability to ignore zones of control could make mounted units more worth their cost in hammers and resources.

    Thoughts? Do mounted units need to be improved in the expansion? If so, how would you improve them?
     
  2. blackcatatonic

    blackcatatonic Chieftain

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    I've always thought they should have an attacking bonus when attacking a flat tile from a hill. If you're standing at the bottom of a hill and a load of mounted soldiers come charging downhill, there's not much you can do about it, spears or no spears. A small point, though, and it wouldn't do much to challenge the issues you mention.

    I forget this, as I myself don't use them much, but do all mounted units have the ability to move after attacking?
     
  3. BobDole

    BobDole American Leader in Civ VI

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    I think they could use some sort of niche. They move faster, but as noted, terrain hampers that. And besides, you either can send them ahead of your main army and probably watch them die or make them keep up with your main force, slowing them down and negating one of their advantages. I really don't build them anymore myself unless it's a good UU because they're just not as useful as another Swordsman/Rifleman/whatever. I'd rather have an all-around unit that can defend itself well, attack cities, and not get heavily countered by units like Pikemen. Maybe I'll get one or two for scouting/exploration per game, but other than that...
     
  4. Eagle Pursuit

    Eagle Pursuit Scir-Gerefa

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    Only Knights and later (and maybe a few UU's prior to Knights) can move after attacking.
     
  5. Moriboe

    Moriboe Chieftain

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    Agreed. In my mod I gave knights and lancers (switched with cavalry) a 33% attack bonus; (light) cavalry gets a 50% bonus vs. wounded units. Think it works pretty well.
     
  6. Johan de Witt

    Johan de Witt Chieftain

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    On great plains maps, cavalry really are king again.

    The problem imho is really the fact that there is too much rough terrain going around for cavalry to use their speed edge.
     
  7. bcaiko

    bcaiko Chieftain

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    And units that are too specialized often fail best. Most players are going to play on the standard settings, which won't make that amount of flat terrain. Mounted units do need some thought toward making them viable in a standard game, IMHO.
     
  8. JeanBaptiste

    JeanBaptiste Chieftain

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    Horsemen can move after attacking. None of the mounted archer units though.
     
  9. Draskar

    Draskar Chieftain

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    Kheshik can... and that's the way they must implement Reinassance Chivalry (like the Civ II/Colonization dragoons)
     
  10. bonafide11

    bonafide11 Worker

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    Mounted units are plenty strong as it is. They don't need to be improved at all.
     
  11. KrikkitTwo

    KrikkitTwo Immortal

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    Mounted units in general...no, some of them in particular (cavalry, lancers) yes.

    What I would do
    1. not allow the % v. mounted to carry over with promotions (so no anti-cav rifles)
    2. remove the cav penalty v. mounted, and give them a higher base strength
    3. give lancers a +100% v. mounted and reduce their defense penalty to -25%.
     
  12. DavidCAD

    DavidCAD Chieftain

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    The problem isn't the units, it's the AI. The AI doesn't play the tactical hex wargame part of CiV anywhere near well enough to need mounted units, whose special ability is to run down ranged and seige units. Mounted units are a counter to an entire field of tactics the AI doesn't understand (it can't use ranged and seige units effectively in an attack, and its huge armies can be devastated by a small group of properly employed ranged units).
     
  13. GoodSarmatian

    GoodSarmatian Temporary Configuration

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    Horsemen are kind of weak, but Knights and Cavalry are usually the strongest unit when they become available (maybe I usualy follow a different research path than most people).
    Giving a bonus to horsemen wouldn't be the right solutions because every bonus carries over as a promotion and upgraded Knights and Cavalry might become too strong.
    Maybe one solution would be to give all mounted units a chance to retreat from combat earlier if it doesn't go well. Then a botched attack would result in a mounted unit only losing 10-20% instead of 50% of their strength.
    They could also get a chance to retreat while defending if there's a free tile available and some inherent resistance to ranged damage. It wouldn't make them much more useful at attacking, but it would make them harder to kill.
     
  14. CivilizedPlayer

    CivilizedPlayer Chieftain

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    This. Horsemen are great at getting behind the melee units to attack the siege/ranged units. It's just that the AI is so awful at protecting their ranged units in the first place that there's no point. One time I was about to attack Washington, so in an attempt to intimidate me, he put 4 archers on his borders. I just DoW'd him and slaughtered them. Maybe if he knew where to put them, horsemen would have been useful in that situation. But the AI never does, so I don't really bother most of the time.
    And also I agree with whoever it was that says the AI spams spearmen/pikemem too much. I remember one of the G&K articles I read said that the AI would build more balanced armies, which should hopefully solve this.
     
  15. CYZ

    CYZ Toileteer

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    100% agreed, well said.

    Horses are very good units and needed in a balanced army that can employ different tactics and counter-tactics. But indeed, the AI only uses a few simple strategies and there's rarely a need for horses as a counter unit.

    Try playing against a human, you'll be surprised how much needed cavalry is to counter ranged-based strategies.
     
  16. AriochIV

    AriochIV Analyst

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    The biggest problem I have with mounted units is that because they don't get any defensive bonuses, they're especially vulnerable to ranged fire, so the AI almost always shoots at the cavalry if they can. So any use of cavalry as it should be used (to flank the enemy or exploit a breach) 99% of the time results in a dead cavalry unit. As such, I currently use them mainly as bait to draw fire away from infantry units during a city assault.

    Having more health may help the situation, but right now I don't see mounted units as very useful.
     
  17. dexters

    dexters Gods & Emperors Supporter

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    Resource requirement is fine. What they can get is improved 'flanking bonus'

    There is currently flanking bonus for all units in game so long as you are attacking an enemy unit with another one of your units next to yours.

    They can improve flanking bonus by increasing the flanking bonus % modifier for mounted units

    Alternatively, allow a graded bonus
    full bonus applied with current rules
    1/2 bonus applied if mounted units attack within 2 tile range of a melee unit (mounted units, artillery do not count)

    That should encourage their unit coming from behind your lines. Rather than the primary/only offensive unit people use in prior games.

    In Civ3, it was all about building hordes and hordes of cavalry. I kind of like how they nerfed mounted units in this game and rebalanced them more as a specialty unit.

    But we can agree their specialty is a bit weaker now that they can no longer take cities as easily as they used to.
     
  18. MadDjinn

    MadDjinn Chieftain

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    For me it's mostly the Cavalry/Lancer issues already stated.

    While Horsemen and Knights can find usage in the early game (even Knights with flankers can 'handle' pikes), Cavalry/Lancers just break everything (in a bad way). A cavalry unit is equal in combat strength to a Horsemen in that fight. really? Something from 2 upgrades prior is equal in strength? And well, Lancers getting one shotted by ranged units being too close is just silly.
     
  19. KillingMeSoftly

    KillingMeSoftly Chieftain

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    I'd like to see mounted units ignore zone of control and always have move after attack promotion, like the Lancer.
     
  20. ShadowSonic

    ShadowSonic Chieftain

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    I wouldn't mind it if the Camel Archers could use ranged attacks, and then still attack like a normal unit after that. But combined with being able to still have two moves after using bombard, that would overpower it too much.
     

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