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Skirmisher Units

Discussion in 'General Balance' started by Stalker0, Aug 12, 2019.

  1. ridjack

    ridjack King

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    *cough*

     
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  2. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    I don’t really like that idea, mostly because it will be confusing and hard to document/justify it a new player.

    “Yeah, this 1 unit type loses all its movement when hitting 1 type of target”

    That didn’t exist in vanilla; it’s a very strange mechanic.
     
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  3. ridjack

    ridjack King

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    Neither did corporations, civilian unit stacking, diplomatic units, monopolies and probably half a dozen other things I can't think of right now.
     
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  4. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    To be honest, I’m not sure why ranged mounted units haven’t just gotten more RCS taken away. Right now, heavy skirmishers and skirmishers are still only 1-2 RCS from the compBow/crossbow that comes after them. Even cuirassiers used small carbines in comparison to the long guns that musketmen would use in their time. This unit line is designed for light skirmishing, harassing, and chasing routed enemies, why is their RCS high enough to punch through a melee unit then?

    What if mounted ranged units had RCS roughly equivalent to the ranged unit of the previous era and had 40% withdraw from melee attack? Skirmishers are hitting for 7-8 RCS, doing 15-20 damage to swordsmen. So they are small damage and hard to get rid of. Constant bug bites instead of packing the whallop they do now?
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2019
  5. tu_79

    tu_79 Deity

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    In the begginning it was like that, but someone said that it's an unit that requires a resource and thus it should be over average. I remember first skirmishers not having enough endurance, or punch. Yes, they could hit and not be hit, but sometimes there was no place to hide and you lose the unit. They got improved and all seemed good.
    Then AI became good at using skirmishers, and now we fear them.

    I don't mind to hurt skirmishers in their movement ability, but the one that affects chariots is just... horrid.
     
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  6. ridjack

    ridjack King

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    I thought this whole discussion was because they were too good for the player and the AI couldn't quite handle them. If this is because they're too good for the AI or something now... this change became even more perplexing for me.

    I actually tend to agree that if it's going to require a strategic resource, the unit should be better than average. I'm personally of the opinion that the project would benefit from choosing a map script (I know you've been working on a VP-specific Communitas that would be perfect for this @tu_79 ) and balancing things around the resource distribution of that script.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2019
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  7. tu_79

    tu_79 Deity

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    My idea around this is preventing players to get more than 4 horses at the begginning, so you can have some mounted units, but it's not the core of the army (and this is in standard!). But sometimes you start with no horses around, or there's just one flock in your continent. The strategic option is still there for those who want 2 guaranteed horses. Iron is scarce too, but seems less relevant than horses.

    Well, at least I'm trying that. If it ends up being too difficult to play, I might increase it a bit.

    Sorry for shameless self promotion :p
     
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  8. Bhawb

    Bhawb Prince

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    IIRC the biggest issue is the disparity between the skirmisher line using the "shoot n scoot" mechanics that we've been trying to deal with ranged naval using. The problem is that less skilled players and AI don't and won't understand the use of that mechanic. This turns into an abuse case where the best players are able to deal damage that cannot be countered, due to these units never receiving return fire, while other players will use them as "intended". We obviously cannot balance them for both parties, so similar to our talks on how to change naval ranged we need to consider what we want skirmisher line units to do, and then figure out how to make them do that mechanically.
     
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  9. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    This discussion happened because people were discussing the merits of skipping iron working/metal casting entirely for Oxford university cheese, because they found that they could get by, even do well in the classical era by rushing mathematics and coasting on skirmishers/catapults, then backfill the classical era once they were getting the free :c5culture: from oxford. People argued that the only reason this strategy was viable was because skirmishers are so flexible and potent that you could ignore other military techs.

    This isn't so much a knock against swordsmen, comp bows, or any other classical era unit. The units are all pretty balanced except that skirmishers are too universally competent, and can effectively cover for other glaring gaps in your unit mix while you prioritize other things.

    So, if that is the goal of this little debate, then we should try to make skirmishers' skillset more narrow without necessarily making them worse. Hence, my suggestion to greatly reduce their RCS and give them withdraw from melee combat.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2019
  10. ridjack

    ridjack King

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    Sounds like things got needlessly complicated.

    If that's the only problem, I'd say move the thing to a less convenient tech. As it is, mathematics is so often right on the path I'm headed down anyway that they're just the easiest defensive unit to build.

    Same reason I rarely build swordsmen; I usually don't have a reason to be down there during the time they're relevant. They also don't do anything particularly well to justify any focus on them, but that's almost always secondary to the above reason for me.
     
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  11. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    my opinion would be that things got aimed at just nerfing, rather than narrowing. The problem is that Skirmishers are too much of a Swiss Army knife; moving them would help, but I agree with others that this would only move the problem elsewhere instead of resolving it. Furthermore, I agree with the general assessment that the entire unit line is just too flexible/, and that the Oxford cheese is a symptom of a more general problem with mounted ranged units.

    I would rather see some sort of side-grade for mounted ranged, making them really good at some very specific use, rather than what they can do right now.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2019
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  12. Kim Dong Un

    Kim Dong Un The One & Unly Supporter

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    This is the right call. Then we exclude Mongol & Hun UU's from the RCS nerf so they stay impactful.
     
  13. chicorbeef

    chicorbeef Emperor

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    I think the reason Skirmishers were Swiss Army knives was because you needed to wait for Engineering for Composite Bowmen and Skirmishers are vastly better than Archers.

    That's why I proposed to switch Skirmisher/Composite Bowmen positions, and nerf Composite Bowmen so that they don't become OP compared to Spears etc. (down to 7:c5strength:/11:c5rangedstrength: like Vanilla, or maybe 8:c5strength:/10:c5rangedstrength:).

    We could do something similar to Heavy Skirmishers/Crossbows as well. This change makes thematic sense as well, Parthian Horse Archers used composite bows for example, so having Composite Bows discovered after Skirmishers yet having Skirmishers being stronger (in terms of raw damage) than their contemporary foot ranged counterpart doesn't make a whole lot of sense from a realism standpoint.

    We could then revert the rough terrain penalty if people don't like it. Skirmishers coming later and costing Horses would be the tradeoff for hit/run capabilities, I think that's fair.
     
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  14. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    Then you'll have to move Heavy Skirmishers back too. I'd rather work with the tech tree we have.

    TL;DR, swap some RCS/CS stats for more movement and a nerfed version of withdraw from melee

    chariot Archer/war chariot ==> no change

    skirmisher (11:c5rangedstrength:/11:c5strength:) ==> (8:c5rangedstrength:/10:c5strength:)
    - 5:c5moves: moves
    - No rough terrain penalty
    - 50% chance to withdraw from melee attack​
    Horse Archer (11:c5rangedstrength:/11:c5strength:) ==> (11:c5rangedstrength:/12:c5strength:)
    - 5:c5moves: moves
    - No rough terrain penalty
    - 50% chance to withdraw from melee attack​

    Heavy skirmisher (19:c5rangedstrength:/15:c5strength:) ==> (14:c5rangedstrength:/15:c5strength:)
    - 5:c5moves: moves
    - No rough terrain penalty
    - 50% chance to withdraw from melee attack​
    Camel Archer (23:c5rangedstrength:/17:c5strength:) ==> (19:c5rangedstrength:/17:c5strength:)
    - 5:c5moves: moves
    - No rough terrain penalty
    - 50% chance to withdraw from melee attack
    **Note**: loses 80% withdraw from melee, but splash damage now a larger proportion of total damage potential
    Cuirassier (30:c5rangedstrength:/23:c5strength:) ==> (23:c5rangedstrength:/23:c5strength:)
    - 5:c5moves: moves
    - No rough terrain penalty
    - 50% chance to withdraw from melee attack​
    Hussar (34:c5rangedstrength:/27:c5strength:) ==> (27:c5rangedstrength:/27:c5strength:)
    - 5:c5moves: moves
    - No rough terrain penalty
    - 50% chance to withdraw from melee attack
    - lightning warfare
    - sentry​
    Naga Malla (33:c5rangedstrength:/28:c5strength:) ==> (33:c5rangedstrength:/28:c5strength:)
    - 3:c5moves: moves
    - No rough terrain penalty
    - feared elephant
    *Note*: no change from current design. Still a tank. loses withdraw on melee attack and 2 moves now
    Cavalry (42:c5rangedstrength:/30:c5strength:) ==> (35:c5rangedstrength:/30:c5strength:)
    - 5:c5moves: moves
    - No rough terrain penalty
    - 50% chance to withdraw from melee attack​
    Comanche Rider (44:c5rangedstrength:/30:c5strength:) ==> (40:c5rangedstrength:/30:c5strength:)
    - 5:c5moves: moves (+1 from promotion)
    - No rough terrain penalty
    - 50% chance to withdraw from melee attack
    - no movement to pillage
    - +1 moves promotion
    *note* loses 80% withdraw from melee, but gains additional RCS vs base cavalry​
    Berber Cavalry (46:c5rangedstrength:/33:c5strength:) ==> (42:c5rangedstrength:/33:c5strength:)
    - 5:c5moves: moves
    - No rough terrain penalty
    - 50% chance to withdraw from melee attack
    - Ignores terrain cost
    - Homeland Guardian
    *note* Berber cavalry currently has both the rough terrain penalty AND the ignores terrain cost promotion. Lol.​

    Light Tank (58:c5rangedstrength:/50:c5strength:) ==> (52:c5rangedstrength:/50:c5strength:)
    - 5:c5moves: moves
    - No rough terrain penalty
    *Note*: does Not have the 50% chance to withdraw
    helicopter ==> no change

    Mongolia Change: 2 moves and ZOC to mounted ranged units changed to +1 move and +1 attack to mounted ranged units (stacks with logistics)
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2019
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  15. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

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    @Dan
    Is your suggestion without move after attacking? Otherwise the chance to withdraw from melee attack seems really excessive.

    The current changes seem unpopular (though I think skirmishers are still very strong on the right terrain). I think moving skirmisher to engineering, and heavy skirmisher to machinery, would be an okay solution.

    I like these two quotes from other threads:
    The idea of a skirmisher nerf was to address this, both threads talked about a strategy of rushing things like Oracle and Education, and how doing so you tended to be very safe militarily.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2019
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  16. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    it would be a nerfed version of withdraw, but yes. I think removing RCS to the point where the mounted ranged unit hits as hard as an archer unit from the previous era would be low enough damage that it would relegate the unit to a harrasser
     
  17. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

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    No move after attacking would already low their damage output by a lot. Those RCS numbers are extremely low, I think I would just skip this line of units entirely. They can't avoid damage from ranged units, and only have a 50/50 shot of avoiding it from melee. Withdraw from melee is dependent on having a blank tile behind you, which isn't common by medieval/renaissance wars when the battlefield is extremely crowded.

    The late game units like cavalry are currently somewhat weak (even without the rough terrain stuff) and I cannot fathom lowering their damage compared to a gatling gun even more.
     
  18. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    Precisely. This would make them niche units that have low damage and high mobility.
    Right. Cavalry comes out at the same tech level as gatling gun has 3 less RCS. Heavy Skirmisher comes out 1 tech earlier than crossbow and only has 1 RCS less than crossbow. Perhaps that contributes to them feeling more balanced.

    Oh I also forgot, I would change Mongolia's UA, with that RCS reduction so that mounted ranged units could still be their bread and butter. Also unstack them from Parthian tactics. Editing my top post.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2019
  19. tu_79

    tu_79 Deity

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    +1 movement cost for ranged mounted on features.

    This one has passed on to the newest version. Since it is a fundamental change, I suggest playing with the new mechanic before further discussion.
     
  20. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

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    It is +1 movement cost on rough terrain, which includes forest, jungle, and hills. "Features" means forest, jungle, or marsh. On the last beta there seems to be some confusion about this. Skirmishers do not get a special penalty in desert, marshes, or snow.
     
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