1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

Skirmisher Units

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

  1. Bromar1

    Bromar1 King

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2015
    Messages:
    763
    What if skirmishers could only move into open terrain after attacking? So you could move into rough, attack, but then you could only retreat into open terrain.

    Or, what if skirmishers attack consumed all remaining move points except for 1. So you can never retreat more than 1 tile after attacking
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2019
  2. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2017
    Messages:
    4,298
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    I had to quit my game and couldn't go past cuirassiers. Two of my custom civs had major bugs in them and I released fixed versions of them, but they were enabled during my game, so it's not save compatible. :(

    @Stalker0, the luck you had with my modmod sounds pretty acceptable to me. They couldn't hold ground vs knights, and you struggled to use them outside a scout/harrass/pillager. Sounds like niche achieved.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2019
  3. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2005
    Messages:
    5,434
    For all of the ideas we are spitting out (mine included), maybe we just need to go back to simpler.

    1) 4 moves, no rough terrain penalty
    2) Low RCS and CS.
    3) Starts with Accuracy I

    Its a unit that useful to soften up certain positions, but doesn't do enough damage to really kill except in large numbers. Becomes very vulnerable to enemy mounted, and so can be scared away with melee horses. Low RCS ensures their city damage isn't too strong. Accuracy gives it access to more interesting promotions for utility (also gives them a little niche differentiation compared to ranged units), and also gives it a "does weaker damage against low hp units, making it harder to finish units." Aka they are the units you use to soften a force not to finish them.

    Its basically invincible, but its very low damage ensures that it can never be the mainstay unit.
     
    vyyt likes this.
  4. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2005
    Messages:
    5,434
    I think its a reasonable test but not comprehensive. As I mentioned I didn't see much rough terrain use, and rough terrain has been where people say skirmishers actually shine. I will say (having now played through cruissars and Cossacks)….that I think the open terrain gets worse for them over time (using your numbers). Fusiliers, G Guns, and then eventually Artillery just make it very hard to do any work in the open field.

    A similar test needs to be conducted in a more rough terrain focused game to see if it has similar results.
     
    JamesNinelives likes this.
  5. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2016
    Messages:
    4,343
    Location:
    Beijing
    • 4 moves
    • no rough terrain penalty
    • low RCS, but like +50% damage attacking from open terrain.
    I think this way would give them a niche where they can provide support from forests, without being dominating in that terrain type. In open terrain, their movement and attack system would be worse than archers, but they still deal decent damage.
     
    Gazebo likes this.
  6. JamesNinelives

    JamesNinelives Prince

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2019
    Messages:
    344
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Australia
    If we're talking simplicity, I think lowering the RCS may already be enough to improve the balance.
     
    phantomaxl1207, vyyt and pineappledan like this.
  7. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2017
    Messages:
    4,298
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    I had lots of rough terrain on my test. They were fine. The field of fire from hills made archers far preferrable, and then I got Minutemen from a CS ally, and that really made the comparison unfavourable for cuirassiers. In comparison to your test, I thought heavy skirmishers did the worst, and the unit felt much stronger in Renaissance.

    It's too easy to deal with a unit whose main defence is its mobility once artillery and planes. All the forests are gone at that point too. That's why the light tank needs to go back down to 4 moves higher CS/RCS.
    I can absolutely 100% guarantee you that a terrain-based attack bonus is just going to make the unit feel worse. I hated those bonuses in vanilla and I will hate them here. Let them remain dead and buried; I will not mourn them.

    If people absolutely must have some sort of rough terrain penalty, then keep the rough terrain movement penalty, keep the moves at 5, and reduce the RCS. They stay high-mobility in open, can keep up with mounted melee in rough. I think it's bad bonus that forces the unit onto roads instead of going cross-country like skirmishers should, but at least it's not going to make their damage fluctuate so much the unit feels gross to use.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2019
  8. JamesNinelives

    JamesNinelives Prince

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2019
    Messages:
    344
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Australia
    I'm 12 years old and what is this?

    Ahem. Excuse me. What I mean to say is: no, no, please no.

    Light cavalry get more mobile over time and that makes me happy because it allows them to keep up with a battlefield that is becoming more complex and other units similarly becoming more potent. Infantary gain defense against ranged attack. Artillery gain indirect fire and then their range improves. Aircraft turn up, and then they gain more range. Subs turn up so do guided missile and then nukes. Scouts learn to fly, then they learn to parajump, then they become X-Com troopers.

    Why would you want things to go backwards in terms of ease of use for only this unit type, and at such a late stage in the game?
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2019
  9. Earf

    Earf Chieftain

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2019
    Messages:
    24
    Gender:
    Male
    @pineappledan, would you be able to recap the changes you made for skirmisher units, and location of your mod-mod for testing the changes? I've been reading through your previous comments, and generally agree with what has been said about skirmishers/mounted ranged units.
     
  10. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2017
    Messages:
    4,298
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    @Earf : all of my sketchy .zip files can be found in the mod repository, or in my signature

    Shady Link

    I guess so they behave more like a chariot archer at that point? Chariot archers have 4 move, but high RCS for their era, same thing for light tanks. I said this in another thread, but the fastest WWI era light tank was the UK's Whippet tank, with a top speed of 8.3 mph. They pack a punch, but these aren't zoomy boys. At any rate, a good RCS and CS is more important at that stage, because indirect fire and airplanes will hit target the softest units no matter where they are.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2019
    vyyt likes this.
  11. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2005
    Messages:
    5,434
    Now that you say that I will agree. I found that Crussaiers did perform better overall than the heavy skirmishes. But then Calvary (actually Cossacks for him), started to drop in performance again...mainly due to the various newer and stronger melee/ranged counters on the board.
     
  12. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2005
    Messages:
    5,434
    Aka throwing this idea out there. What if we gave them logistics at base? Now I know what your thinking...logistics is crazy strong! But here's the thought process.

    1) Skirmishers get 4 moves, no rough terrain.
    2) Very low RCS, low CS.
    3) Start with logistics.

    So the idea here is....the skirmisher does minimal damage with 1 attack, borderline pathetic. However, two attacks the damage is "decent"...but that consumes more movement. So if the skirmisher is having to dance, its doing minimal damage, but if it gets into situations where it can commit more power (aka 2 attacks), it does decent damage. This gives it mobility, but requires a sacrifice of that mobility to actually commit power (as opposed to the horseman that must commit its hp for power). In rough terrain it either makes the 2 attacks and sits there, or it can scoot and shoot for minimal damage.

    In skilled hands, the benefit is more XP and stronger promotions, but its a tricky unit to use to its full potential, and even at full potential it will never be the strongest damage dealer. Its greatest strength is still as a defender on roads, but it at least gets some ability to project power without being OP like the original version.

    I will say if we went this route we would probably need to take out Parthenian tactics, or maybe make it an ability of Calvary/light tank and take it out of general promotions. It would probably be too strong as just a promotion with this model.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2019
  13. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2017
    Messages:
    4,298
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    I was too timid on my bonuses to Cossack. Of the 3 unique cavalry, they are the slugger meat boy. They need at least +5RCS over the cavalry. I think it’s perfectly acceptable for cavalry to be low-tier for that tech level. We’ve talked about unit type golden ages, knights in medieval, Gatling guns in industrial, artillery in modern, etc. The Crimean war was the last respectable showing for cavalry divisions, they were relegated to auxiliary and scouting rolls after that.
    This is basically my Mongolia proposal. Mongolia would trade +2 moves and ZOC for +1 move and +1 attack. Bring back the keshik’s quick learner bonus as a UA trait, and keep the max movement cap for skirmisher units at 7
     
  14. JamesNinelives

    JamesNinelives Prince

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2019
    Messages:
    344
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Australia
    Yes, for realism it's wonderful but for gameplay it's horrible. Chariot archers are good in the ancient era because there's nothing better around to compete with them.

    Sure, I can imagine having a cumbersome heavy hitter in a later era (the Naga-Malla is fun to use) and making it work. But why would you want to? By that point there are lots of other options that are less trouble to bring to bear. It's not like landships/tanks are obtuse to play with, and their real-world counterparts weren't particularly easy to maneouvrable in the early days either.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2019
  15. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2017
    Messages:
    4,298
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    The Naga Malla is a perfect parallel actually. It's like everyone gets Naga Mallas for an era, except they have 4 moves instead of 3.

    That's yet another bee in my bonnet with the current system's movement penalty. Naga Malla has 3 moves but loses all movement in rough, like they're an old chariot. They're less mobile than berserkers and musketeers.
    I mean, going back to 4 moves for 1 era before upgrading to a 6 move hovering unit isn't exactly what I would call "obtuse". If people desperately want the 5 moves retained on light tank then it can be made to work. Not a hill to die on for me, it’s just a bit silly to have these WWI light tanks zipping around, when IRL you could speedwalk faster than one.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2019
    vyyt and 76ers like this.
  16. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2005
    Messages:
    5,434
    Yeah, considering that we are still so heavily debating the base line skirmisher, I really don't want to get tied up in the "when should the skirmisher line start looking different". Lets get the base line where we want it, then if we want to adjust at calvary or light tank or helicopter we can do that.
     
    vyyt and JamesNinelives like this.
  17. 76ers

    76ers Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2016
    Messages:
    43
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    I guess my opinion is different than everyone else in that I would prefer to just have the skirmishers, heavy skirmishers and cuirassiers removed. Bring back the keshiks for Mongolia and make the ranged mounted units unique only like they are in the base game. Make cavalry the first ranged mounted units available for everyone. I think you have enough counters for them by that point with promoted units and artillery with 3 range.
     
  18. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2016
    Messages:
    4,343
    Location:
    Beijing
    I'm curious how you can 100% guarantee me this?

    It seemed to me that stalker basically said heavy skirmishers were bad, but in more polite terms. There is no niche. Pillager is not a niche, all units can pillage.

    Scout isn't a niche, there is already a unit line for scouting that has much better promotions, and doesn't require horses.

    Harasser, I don't know what this even means in terms of gameplay, but dealing small amounts of damage isn't a niche and taking hits poorly isn't a niche. Rather that just harass the enemy, other units types could just kill it.

    I think I'm basically suggesting your idea but with bonus damage on open terrain, so that the units aren't useless in areas without forests.

    On a somewhat related note, giving Mongolia logistics to start is a really bad balance change. See the Inca thread for evidence of how broken early logistics is. Mongolia is already an amazing warmonger (even with the relatively weak status of skirmisher units) and ignoring ZOC is much, much less valuable that attacking twice.
     
    JamesNinelives likes this.
  19. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2005
    Messages:
    5,434
    I was advocating for logistics on the skirmisher line period. And there are several reasons why the slinger comparison is a bad one:

    1) Skirmisher rely on mobility for survival. So the trade off of an extra movement is quite high. Archer units will commonly just stand their ground and attack.
    2) The slinger provides logistics to the archer line....whose damage is balanced around 1 attack. In this proposal, skirmisher damage would be balanced with the expectation of a second attack...so logistics will not "upset the math"
     
  20. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2017
    Messages:
    4,298
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    He's referring specifically to my own balance suggestion of changing mongolia's UA.

    As for if it's OP. Probably, I haven't tried it yet. Yes, ZOC is worse than double attack, but ZOC and 1 movement is getting closer to the value of +1 attack. Or maybe Mongolia could get +1 attack and no movement/ZOC bonus whatsoever?

    Regardless, the +1 attack idea was really just a way to remove the ZOC and reduce the move cap on mongolia's skirmishers. People seem all sorts of bothered with how the AI is going to handle 5 moves skirmishers, and yet we've had 6-7 moves Mongolians for years. I hoped we might find something to give mongolia which unstacks their UA from parthian tactics and keeps the absolute ceiling for land unit movement at 6-7 moves.
     

Share This Page