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Skirmisher Units

Discussion in 'General Balance' started by Stalker0, Nov 8, 2019.

  1. Earf

    Earf Chieftain

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    How about making it so that when a skirmisher attacks, it loses a movement point. That would add some risk with using skirmishers, and alleviates the problem of having a unit attack and disappear without any chance of being hit. They can still be used with hit-and-run type attacks, it just takes two turns to complete the hit and run. You could still keep the 4 movement, to help them get around. Once you start attacking with them, the loss of a movement point on attack prevents you from abusing hit and run.
     
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  2. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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  3. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch

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    I realize you are trying to be part of the discussion, but modmods really do need to be in the mods repository. Otherwise things get confusing real quick. This is also somewhat of an usurpation of the balancing process for the main mod – if everyone starts posting their 'fixes' in balance threads and offering up links, it'll be nigh impossible to sort through them all. I'm happy to consider balance suggestions, and intend to, but let's not blur the lines.

    Thanks,
    G
     
  4. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    Moved to the mods repository.

    If people are going to discuss possible changes then this seems like the only evidence-based way to do so. Sharing a way to test out proposals, rather than demanding you make the test for them, would save you time and effort. This even gives you a way to test these proposals in a few of your AI games without having to change/revert the code yourself.

    I can't really report my own impressions of these possible changes because of course I think my proposed changes should be adopted; that's why I spend the 2-3 hours to write them out. At the very least, it gives you one person's well-structured proposal for how he thinks VP would be improved.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2019
  5. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    I was, and I am, but I also was proposing a DRASTIC reduction in their RCS.
     
  6. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch

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    I don’t mind referencing mod mods, but actual links should all be in that sub forum.
     
  7. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

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    5 move skirmishers are very good, even with this rough terrain thing. Generally speaking, this makes the units objectively better than before, barring very niche situations.

    I think rather than looking at lowering RCS, we could maybe just take the old ways but increase it? If they hit harder than archers that helps them compete. I would prefer this to their movement system being OP (and unfriendly to AI) but doing little damage to compensate. On a similar note, cavalry are pretty bad
     
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  8. HungryForFood

    HungryForFood Prince

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    What if we significantly decrease the CS and RCS, then give them a bonus when attacking? This would mean that in addition to being weak to melee attacks as before, they would also be weak to ranged attacks, while still being able to do enough damage to justify their use.
     
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  9. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    If they have the ability to move in and out easily so they never get hit....who cares about their defense?
     
  10. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    I am in late Renaissance using my skirmisher unit mod and VP1108

    I have built three skirmishers and one heavy skirmisher. Two of my skirmishers and my heavy skirmisher are dead. Even with my increase to CS in my mod the skirmishers still melt if the enemy can get a hold of them. I haven’t had much luck using them in combat, rivers are ruining my day. With lowered RCS and the city penalty they don’t contribute much to any siege.

    On the plus side, I managed to bypass the frontline when fighting Byzantium and pillaged half of her horse resources before my skirmisher was destroyed. My neighbour, the Iroquois has two rivers between his nearest border city, so I haven’t had any success fighting him whatsoever even a full era ahead.

    Mongolia is also in my game. As you recall, my mod also alters his UA to give +1 attack instead of ZOC. Genghis Khan is on the other continent and he is second last in the game ahead only of the Iroquois.

    I think the skirmishers are doing what I wanted them to do in my game — low combat power, high mobility — but the geography of my game hasn’t let me run all over everyone with them, which seems to be people’s’ fear. Maybe I just suck and I’m not using them properly, but after the second time of getting 2 shotted by a comp bow and a horseman, or getting 2-shotted by dromons because I ended the turn on the coast, I don’t think people’s fear of 5 move skirmishers being juggernauts are well-founded
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2019
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  11. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

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    You should use them to move into forest/jungle/hill, shoot, then move back. 5 movement is enough to do this, even with the movement penalty. It is common to find terrain where this creates a way to repeatedly deal damage without taking damage. The AI does not use this trick, nor does it handle the trick very well (it just leaves its units that cannot counter-attack).

    Skirmishers are absolutely dominate in large forests or jungles. Fighting the Iroquois may have made this untrue in your game, but generally they make assaulting or defending this terrain easy very easy.

    They deal little damage to cities, but they don't take counter-attack damage and they can keep gaining XP by attacking them. These are two big advantages compared to knights, skirmishers aren't meant to compete with trebuchets.

    I don't think an extremely powerful movement system + weak combat numbers is the way to go. Instead, go with a weaker mobility system but give better power. If they deal significantly more damage than an archer of the same tech level, that's an advantage that helps them compete.
     
  12. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    I’ll have to post a picture, but Iroquois have Osininka with a castle, and a river that encircles the city at a 2 tile radius around, so I can’t move-hit-retreat without facing the punish. There’s Byzantium to their north and a mountain wall to the south, so it funnels to that city.

    iroquois have no forests in this area, it’s very hilly though, so they are at least using that +10%CS terrain bonus. They also went authority to my tradition, so they have a cool +20%-45% defense on all their units on this front. There’s potential to rotate, sure, but with how low I have set the skirmisher’s CS, they are hitting for approx 17 dmg on a pike. And between rivers, mountains and other units, there’s not enough room to maneuver.

    this was my point about why I didn’t think high mobility was as much of a problem as people suggested. Land battles can turn into meat grinders easily enough, and then you will have wished for a unit that had a bit more raw CS/RCS
     
  13. HungryForFood

    HungryForFood Prince

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    Surely it is easier to catch them with range units compared to melee units right?
     
  14. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

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    Is that a skirmisher or a heavy skirmisher dealing 17 damage to a pike?

    I don't think a single game having terrain that skirmishers do poorly on is evidence that 5 movement is the right choice. In an area with a lot of rivers 5 movement isn't useful, I agree, but there is a lot of terrain where move-shoot-move is really, really strong. I'm going to cite this thread
    https://forums.civfanatics.com/threads/defensive-city-placement.650589/

    Human controlled skirmishers can run over these cities, which were otherwise very defensible positions. Lowering skirmisher damage slows them down (but also gives them more XP by the time they eventually take it down). Even if the skirmishers can't get the city itself they are a key in killing nearby units. The AI (Mongolia included) has never done a particularly good job of using this strategy on cities either.
     
  15. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    Heavy Cavalry.

    Here's the front in question, BTW. Early Industrial now.
    Spoiler :
    upload_2019-11-10_21-25-28.png

    I dropped a citadel down so I could put some roads across the river.
    I agree that Skirmishers were a problem for otherwise defensible cities. The movement penalty created its own set of problems, however. Overall, I'm pretty happy with the results of my little experiment. A difference of 3 movement and 33% RCS for any given tech level of skirmisher vs archer units makes the two lines feel like they fill distinct roles.
     
  16. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch

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    I'm not sure either, but I figured it would be worth letting you all test out.

    G
     
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  17. azum4roll

    azum4roll Prince

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    I find that while Cavalry is lackluster in offense, they're just as good (if not better) as the earlier skirmishers in defense, since you can cycle them from behind the battlefield to kill 1-2 units who dare ending their turns near your (rail)roads. The introduction of DFPs (and variant) kinda protects Fusiliers+ from this, but Landships/Gatling Guns/Cavalry/Field Guns all fall easily to Cavalry spam. They also take no damage in return, unlike planes, and have greater range as long as the road network is intact. The AI knows how to use them too, especially in lower difficulties where the battlefield isn't filled up by existing units and they have space to maneuver.

    Giving skirmishers 5 moves enables them to do everything they could do before the rough terrain penalty, and more. I don't see how this could solve the problem.
     
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  18. LifeOfBrian

    LifeOfBrian Warlord

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    My proposal would be to have the early Skirmisher line 4 movement points with the rough terrain penalty, but with double movement on grassland/plains/desert. That way they'd be a menace on open terrain, but wouldn't be broken in human hands in rough terrain.

    And the Cavalry needs to lose the rough terrain penalty, IMO.
     
  19. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    You keep saying this, but I actually have no idea what you mean.

    Are you saying you want the 4 moves with movement penalty through all levels of the mounted ranged line, and you want to increase all their RCS/CS numbers by 2-3?

    For instance, a Cuirassier is currently 28:c5rangedstrength:/23:c5strength: vs a musketman's 31:c5rangedstrength:/22:c5strength:, and is unlocked at the same tech. Do you propose that a 31:c5rangedstrength:/25:c5strength: Cuirassier is the way forward?

    I don’t see how Constraining mounted ranged unit movement wont just put the two closer and closer to competing directly on RCS/CS points alone.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2019
  20. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    I think the suggestion is to make the unit have more rcs than its archer equivalent, so it’s the most powerful ranged unit for the era. But it’s a fine line, it’s easy to slip and make skirmishers too strong if your not careful
     
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