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Skirmisher Units

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

  1. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch Supporter

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    Fair- I'm planning to drop the -25% in rough since the movement penalty bakes some pain into it. Re: base RCS, we could probably see it go back to prior values and they'd be in a good spot.

    G
     
  2. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    Also here is the terrain I'm working with so people have context.
     
  3. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    I actually think we can drop the rough movement penalty instead. Yes they can move in and out but they do so little damage it doesn't matter. And it makes movement more consistent (and therefore more intuitive) for people using both horseman and skirmishers.
     

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    CrazyG, vyyt, randomnub and 1 other person like this.
  4. Coffee Monopoly

    Coffee Monopoly Warlord

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    Agreed, CS penalty in rough makes much more sense than movement. I'd even suggest dropping any malus in hills and making it just CS penalty in forest/jungle, for the sake of both realism and not being stupendously micro-niche.
     
  5. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    Just another good example. The Skirmisher doctrine doesn't work against cities, so notice how the Cbowmen does about as good as a heavy skirmisher at city assaults.

    upload_2019-11-26_16-3-13.png
     
    Kim Dong Un likes this.
  6. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    upload_2019-11-26_16-4-55.png

    and now the heavy skirmisher (having some real copy/paste problems in the forum recently)
     
  7. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch Supporter

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    Either way is fine with me.

    g
     
  8. Kim Dong Un

    Kim Dong Un The One & Unly Supporter

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    I can confirm that the archer line is smashing the skirmisher line, even in open terrain.
     
  9. azum4roll

    azum4roll Prince

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    Wait till you get to later eras. I'm quite sure Cavalry smashes through everything in open terrain.
     
  10. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    Third option, and something a player can actually control:
    • Increase City Penalty to -50% on mounted units
    • extend the mounted and siege units' city damage modifiers to apply to defensive tile improvements at half strength. (forts, citadels, chateaus, kasbahs)
      • Siege units do +50%, nullifying the bonus defense of a standard fort.
      • Mounted units do -25%, compounding the effect of a standard fort

    I was reading about the mongol invasion of Hungary, and the most effective defense against light cavalry is an extensive network of fortifications. If fortifications were more effective vs mounted units in particular, that would be a terrain penalty I could get behind.

    I think if this were adopted, the Encampment should be changed to have something besides +15% defense. It's too small to contribute to such a large additional penalty, and they are too common of a tile type. I have some ideas for things they could do instead.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2019
  11. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

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    I think dropping the movement penalty is important, and was originally part of the suggestion to give a CS bonus/penalty on certain terrain.
    Flavor wise this is on the money. However, of my last 1,000 attacks with skirmisher unit I think there were like 3 against a unit in a citadel, and 0 attacks against a unit in a fort. The skirmisher lines see a lot of use before forts or citadels are common. As strong as the flavor is, gameplay wise it just doesn't add very much.

    I'm mostly indifferent between a 33% penalty or a 50%, but I think we should realize this mostly affects chariots and skirmishers because after castles their attacks on cities are mostly irrelevant even without a special penalty.
     
  12. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    I don't love it either, but seems like people are allergic to just having skirmishers' base stats dictate gameplay, and would rather see some massive penalty put on them with bells and whistles.

    I would still rather just have the unit have low RCS and high moves, but if they need to have some needless penalty, it may as well be something that players can employ themselves, rather than "The map script arbitrarily gave this civ some hills. Mongolia is now disabled."

    Could move forts to Masonry. The point would be that forts would be more valuable, and thus more common if they gave more than 50% defense, especially depending on who your neighbours are. I have also never. Ever. Advocated for dropping the rough penalty from chariots. You can take a look at my unit tweaks mod for what exactly I am proposing, and you will see that chariots are penalized there.

    Are you just gonna poo poo any suggestions? What's your goal here? I haven't heard you really try to defend your rough penalty/open bonus, even though you pretty much got you wanted this patch aside from the removal of the movement penalty.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2019
  13. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    I came out swinging against this proposal, and I can’t help feeling a bit smug. I’ve tried them up until heavy skirmishers on the current patch. It’s bad. And while a lot of that can be laid at the sheer degree of that 75% swing, I’m not convinced that any number is the right number. As @Stalker0 said, the unit is binary. It’s pigeonholed, and it’s not even that good at being in open terrain.

    it feels like G set an extreme value to test the validity of this model. If it kinda works in an extreme case, maybe all that’s needed are smaller adjustments? I doubt my opinion counts for much considering my stated bias against this mechanic, but I hate it about as much as I thought I would. :old:
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2019
  14. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

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    Myself and others have attempted to explain why skirmishers interaction with rough terrain and open terrain causes the base stats to be difficult to balance. AI performance is a huge factor in the skirmisher rebalancing, you haven't acknowledged this at all (I checked all 9 pages of the thread). In my opinion this is the most important factor, and really the disparity between what humans and AI would do with skirmishers was the catalyst for this thread. I don't really care what values your mod-mod produces, my question is does it address this core issue.

    These ideas that I'm "poopooing" strike me as very weak from an AI perspective. Like a skirmisher unit with logistics or infinite attacks, will the AI handle the risk and reward of that unit very well? Do we really want that to be a core unit line all civs can build? (I still think it would be a great UU though.) Maybe I'm wrong and it will work, but asking these questions doesn't make me a bad guy. I don't know what alleged problem your fort idea is even intended to solve, but I think trying to move things around the tech tree or change fundamentally what forts do is a big change that doesn't have big reasons to match.

    To be clear, my suggestion, which you appear to morally opposed to, is basically your mod with -1 movement in exchange for a promotion for +50% damage in open terrain.

    I think you are role-playing too much. Raider is not a niche. All units can pillage. I won't spend hammers on a unit just because its slightly better at pillaging. The theory is great, the game play isn't. Same as your fort thing, what gameplay problem is it even intended to address? Your posts are ideas looking for solutions. My goal in this thread, and threads of this topic before hand, has always been making skirmishers more fair against the AI. I don't see how your mod or other suggestions does that.
    Dan, you've been smug this whole thread. Here's a post from earlier.
     
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  15. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    If you didn’t see it then you simply don’t want to find it. The old skirmishers were better in rough terrain because they could fire through rough and retreat without any risk. My solution:
    • make them fire through open and retreat without any risk too (5 moves)
    • make both worse by dealing less damage (lower RCS).
    If everything is special then nothing is.
    You have made a case that you value the AI’s ability to grasp mechanics above other considerations. Why do you think the AI is going to understand and use a terrain-based damage steroid better than a change that only affects base move/RCS/CS? My proposal reduces the power of skirmishers in rough by democratizing that power, using only the core stats of the unit.
     
  16. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

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    Show me.
     
  17. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    K. Basically that whole page, really.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2019
  18. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    the real issue was not that skirmishes were better in rough than open per say...it was that they were the best unit in rough period.

    that said, I hear you on the new mechanic and AI, obviously can be proven wrong but is this new mechanic that AI friendly?

    I keep wondering if we need to look at alternate support options for the unit line, as attack wise we keeping coming up against melee, ranged, and mounted. They are all fighting for the same attack space...and at some point overlap is inevitable. If the skirmisher instead had a secondary ability (support aura ala machine gun, extra pillage power...etc) with a weak attack than you build the unit for its secondary abilities...and when you need attacks you go for the other units
     
  19. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

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    I read that entire page and this entire thread. You don't even say the phrase "AI" once on that page. Control + F to search for "AI" finds no results.

    I sorry, I don't understand why promotions connected to terrain are evil. VP currently has and has always had promotions connected to terrain. It isn't a new feature being brought back from the dead. Secondly, this has very few similarities to shock/drill promotions of vanilla. Its an innate promotion, not one unlocked by experience. It doesn't feel bad to have this unit attack from a forest, because usually it still dealt some damage in a situation where an archer often would not have been able to attack at all.

    5 movement points is a huge deal, in both rough and open terrain but moreso in rough. I don't know why you think it helps in open more, it makes the shoot-scoot-boogie even stronger in areas of rough terrain (and lets it work much better in mixed terrain too). In terrain open enough for archers, they are still preferable to skirmishers because of their higher damage. 13RCS (the value of both your mod and G's beta) on heavy skirmishers is very low, I would only consider building this unit if I had a situation where archer type units would be unable to attack at all.

    I think 5 movement should be for UUs or units with 4th tier promotions. It doesn't push the units towards scouting or pillaging

    In my opinion, they are weak in G's beta because of the rough terrain penalties, especially the movement. I took that promotion away on my local file, and its a workable unit type, though the numbers could be tweaked. They are great in forest because they attack in situations archers cannot. In open terrain, the 50% bonus helps them compete better with archers. Its a unit useful in more than one terrain type.
     
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  20. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    So they are too good with 5 moves, but so bad with 13 RCS that you would almost never build them. Cool.

    As in the picture above, moving into rough and shooting consumes 3 movement, and if you are moving back into rough, it doesn't matter if you have 4 or 5 moves, all moves will be consumed. Thus, 5 moves benefits open terrain more, because there are many instances while fighting in rough that the 5th move makes no difference at all.

    Edit: This post mentions the AI. The AI not handling strange abilities well is why I haven't given any credence to the idea of buffing their ability to pillage, or any of those kinds of suggestions, but enough other people had made those points. I don't even know why it's so important to you that I emphasize the same things you do as some minimum requirement.
    By the same token, why is Terrain bonuses such a silver bullet, in your opinion? If the AI's ability to use them is so important, why would you even consider terrain-dependent promotions? Less than 4 hours after G posted the patch, randomnub documented the AI failing to make use of this ability. Why would you even want a unit that has overt bonuses to open terrain anyways? Open terrain presents very few tactical challenges. Giving a specific unit type more power in open, in addition to the damage increase that every other unit also gets, doesn't meaningfully broaden your toolkit in that terrain.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2019

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