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Skirmisher Units

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

  1. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    Mounted units already do more damage in open terrain; if more flat/rough difference is needed then maybe the rough terrain defense boost should be adjusted instead.

    Mounted units already gain no defense boosts from terrain. All that rough does for them is make movement slower and reduce their damage. I thought the point of raising moves to 5 was to eliminate the 1 benefit of rough for skirmishers: using obstructions to attack without reprisal. With 5 moves that can attack/retreat without reprisal as well, so the rough terrain bonus is nullified. After that, I see any bonus to rough/flat as redundant to the systems that already incentivize mounted units onto flat.
     
  2. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch

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    Bonus wouldn't be nullified if it reduced your RCS output when attacking from rough terrain.

    G
     
  3. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    You misunderstand.
    The nullified bonus I referred to was how 5 moves allows skirmishers to move 2 in, shoot, move two out, completely out of range of a counterattack in the same way that skirmishers used to be able to move into rough, shoot, and move out again. With the increase to 5 moves a skirmisher can avoid counterattack regardless of terrain, so it ceases to be a special thing they could only do in rough terrain.

    to your point, I appreciate how VP has, to this point, restricted attack/defense bonuses to melee units and defending units only. I wouldn’t welcome the reintroduction of having to consider both the defending unit’s terrain and the shooting unit’s terrain separately.
     
  4. JamesNinelives

    JamesNinelives Prince

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    Personally I like the bonus on open terrain that the Cataphract has. I would prefer to try to keep base units relatively simple, so if we can achieve our goal by simply tweaking movement, CS, and RCS that would be ideal. But as promotions go I think that one fits the cavalry lines well (and could be balanced by reducing CS/RCS slightly).
     
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  5. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch

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    Well, if the issue becomes 'how do we weaken skirmishers in rough terrain without making them worthless in open terrain,' we have to address the question of damage potential.
     
  6. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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  7. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch

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    I don’t think reducing RCS alone is enough of a solution. You recreate the problem on land that we just solved at sea with the tedium of shoot and scoot units.
    G
     
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  8. ridjack

    ridjack King

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    Is it possible to have them use extra movement when attacking from rough terrain? Or even consume all of it? That was too much when it was for moving onto rough terrain, but could be a good bit different if the penalty is only for attacking from it.
     
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  9. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    shoot-n-scoot was tedious for navies because it was the only option. land combat is richer, has more variable terrain and movement options, less navigable/open land due to borders, different unit classes filling dedicated niches, like dedicated siege units. I'm with everyone in saying that shoot-n-scoot navy WAS tedious, but that doesn't retroactively poison the mechanic for land. Having only 1 options ,shoot-n-scooting cities down, sucked.

    The only reason we are talking about this at all is because archer units exist. The change to making naval ranged act more like archers was a big improvement, but there wasn't anything else at sea doing that already, and we don't therefore need 2 archer lines on land.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2019
  10. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch

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    I recall conversations about skirmishers that started this discussion - they were ubiquitous enough that they replaced pretty much all other offensive ranged units. It's a dark path.

    G
     
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  11. Thibix Magnus

    Thibix Magnus Chieftain

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    I feel (only emperor level) skirmishers were extremely strong at city defense rotating over roads, notably versus melee ships, probably now even more. While it feels counter-intuitive for newcomers they would struggle more than melee cav in rough terrain, apart from chariots. You would think they would be good at patrolling the wilderness, harassing flanks, nabbing caravans and wiping retreating units, but on the opposite they are a defensive centrepiece that has to stay on roads... They feel mostly like rail guns :)

    Maybe it was obvious and already discussed, but what was the problem of them being very mobile but much less potent than same era archers?
     
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  12. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

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    I'd be happy to try giving skirmishers a lower RCS with a big bonus on attacking from flat terrain.
     
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  13. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    As do I, and no one specifically cited their movement as the problem. People in that discussion also weren't saying that Skirmishers were too strong per se, but more precisely that they were strong enough and flexible enough to serve as a stopgap that allowed you to forego basically all other military techs while you focused on other parts of the tech tree. Also recall that conversation was specifically about Classical Era Skirmishers, and it happened before C Bows were moved forward.

    The skirmisher unit needs to be narrowed in its utility, such that it doesn't effectively cover for the absence of other unit types. What do skirmishers do differently from archers? They scoot after they shoot. If you are going to suggest that the 1 mechanic that differentiates archers from skirmishers is 'a dark path', then maybe you should just delete the entire unit line.

    As for the open terrain suggestion, I would much rather see open terrain bonuses added to the spear line. Mounted units have, up to this point, been fairly terrain-agnostic. I've made a proposal for how to add both historical and game-appropriate flavor to the spear line which includes an open terrain bonus.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2019
  14. JamesNinelives

    JamesNinelives Prince

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    I feel like we're getting away from the subject again. Can we focus on the changes that are being tested at the moment? Then we can decide what needs adjusting.
     
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  15. Rekk

    Rekk King

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    5 move
    Can't move after shooting
    50-75% withdrawal chance

    ?
     
  16. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    responding here. Cuz why not?

    do you think the remedy is lowering skirmisher movement, their defense, or their damage?
     
  17. Earf

    Earf Chieftain

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    Cool, thanks for moving the discussion to this thread. I can't say there's a definite solution to this, as skirmisher line has gone through several changes over the different versions, but I think making them incredibly mobile makes them annoying to deal with and too easy to use. If we plan on staying with 5 movement points, then lower ranged strength so they don't deal too much damage. If they are caught in a bad position, then they can still take some hits and run out the next turn. There has to be some weakness to this unit, and right now there isn't.
     
  18. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    So extending that game (again remember these are additional changes PAD put in a mod, so not exactly the current beta), I got heavy skirmishers after beating up Poland, and went after Korea. Korea had a stronger more modern force, so a bit of a better comparison.

    Honestly...the heavy skirmishers fell a bit flat. Once knights showed up in the open ground I didn't feel I could hold the area. If I send me h.skirmishers in, the knights would take damage but would turn around and take me out. So I need my own knights or longswords to hold key areas and tie up the knights. The h.skirmishers did ok damage and let me pillage various areas, but in open terrain they were bested by enemy knights. Now if the enemy could not field knights it may be a different story.

    So going through completely open play (no real rough terrain), the h.skirmisher seemed somewhat lackluster. I think the real trick for me is getting into some more rought terrain to see how it goes.
     
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  19. Earf

    Earf Chieftain

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    I don't know what the function is for skirmisher units, but if you want them to be an offensive powerhouse, then lower cs so they don't tank so hard. If you want versatile scout unit, lower their ranged damage so they don't kill units too easily. There should be some way to counter these units, or they should have some kind of weakness. And however their movement works for ranged mounted, I think should also be applied to melee mounted. Otherwise, it would seem weird that ranged mounted can outrun any unit, other than another ranged mounted. You would be at a large disadvantage if you didn't have one to counter an enemy's ranged mounted unit (and that doesn't mean you don't have horse supply, just that you decided not to build any ranged mounted units).

    My personal opinion, is that these units are more of a versatile scout unit with a lower ranged strength. Unless you are Mongolia or some civ with a UU as a ranged mounted unit, then you can make them a powerhouse as they should be. Ranged mounted units in general shouldn't make up the main force of an army, and you won't get that unless they are somewhat weak.

    Mounted ranged units have been an issue for so long in this game. It's very difficult to balance this unit line. I think the only way is really to just make them weaker in combat, as a utility unit, so that they are more scout-like and just poke at the enemy. When I've played this game where ranged mounted have been a strong unit, I usually end up just getting frustrated by the game because they seem too op.
     
  20. Guynemer

    Guynemer Prince

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    I generally agree. I would like to see them able to mop up injured units, get in/out for a quick pillage of a strategic resource, generally annoy and soften up the enemy, but not be able to stand up to an attack from another type of unit if they get caught. With obvious exceptions for certain UUs and UAs.
     
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