The Mounted Niche (not a gripe)

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Fall from Heaven' started by Chandrasekhar, Sep 28, 2006.

  1. Pelaka

    Pelaka Chieftain

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    From my point of view the "no defensive bonus" trait of mounted really, really makes them unattractive. Especially when we have civs/races that start with guerilla and woodsman, and ancient forests that give even more defensive bonuses. Lets be honest... 90% of non-siege battles are won by luring the AI into attacking you on that forested hill. To have units whose only purpose is to attack in non-seige settings is useless... especially if other then movement they gain no other strength or advantage over a similar recon or melee unit. How can this be corrected?

    1. Base mounted units should be +1 or +2 strength to comparable melee units.
    2. There should be a "mounted infantry" unit in the tree that retains its ability to defend (similar to the royal guard).

    A few other points. Woodsman works on offense too? Since when? Also, I agree that city defenses are weak. Having a city have less of a defensive bonus than a forest is silly. Likewise, walls is such a useless upgrade, since the cultural bonus of the city very quickly matches and exceeds the wall bonus. Perhaps if they could stack?

    Pel
     
  2. Bad Player

    Bad Player Deity

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    Did the walls and culture bonuses stack in vanilla civ?


    I don't know much about combat history but I would have thought mounted units would be better than melee units at killing. E.g. if you have someone with a sword on a horse vs someone with a sword on foot, surely the person with the sword riding a horse would win the battle?
     
  3. Chandrasekhar

    Chandrasekhar Determined

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    Giving mounted units more strength just makes them into recon units that require more investment and can pillage.

    The point of allowing mounted units to get hidden nationality is not that the victim would think that barbarians were attacking them. It would be that they would know that they were being raided by a rival, but they'd not know who that rival is. Some of you might say that this would make mounted units an annoyance, but consider this: the units ought to only be able to hide their nationality when in neutral areas. Thus, the only places they'd be able to attack without risking being killed en route are the border zones.

    The unpromoted or lightly promoted mounted unit would only be able to get a tile or two into the rival's territory. It wouldn't be able to fortify on some hill and block working of tiles because mounted units don't get defensive bonuses. Promoted units would likewise hurt a lot, but would require more investment to deploy. The raider trait Civs would be very good at using raider cavalry, as the free commando promotion would let them cause trouble behind enemy lines. Other Civs could better spend their hammers on other things, but could fall back to raiding if the situation called for it.
     
  4. Bad Player

    Bad Player Deity

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    I think we might need to look back to medieval and earlier history and work out why armies employed mounted units even though they were much more expensive to make than melee units.
     
  5. daladinn

    daladinn Prince

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    the breakdown i have seen on the units is as follows

    -- infantry -- foot unit , primary offensive
    -- archery -- foot unit , spec city defense
    -- siege engines -- busting cities
    -- casters -- city busting , army leveling , destructive
    -- land management
    -- recon -- terrain based defense
    -- calvary -- anti caster / anti siege

    as far as a calvary solution, fixing the tech cost is one of the most obvious issues that has been talkedd about being fixed. honestly though if someone comes at you with casters (arcane and divine) calvary is really your only choice. inside your own territory this is easy , however outside its a bit rough. to this i have a few semi-simple solutions

    1- allow the commando promotion available with combat 2 to mounted units (this forces them to be blooded before going offensive)

    2- allow the sentry promotions to certain civs like the malakim (having a range of 4+ is only useful if you can see that far)

    3- allow certain civs like the elves to carry hawks (see #2)

    4- allow certain civs various spells to aid specifically in thier job
    -- floating eye
    -- haste
    -- burning blood

    another thing about calvary that i have found difficult is that horses are much harder to get then any of the metals or insence or reagents. this is caused by both low frequency and starting hidden. One solution to this i think would be to offer multiple grades of elephants also (easy in a fantasy setting).
     
  6. Maniac

    Maniac Apolyton Sage

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    heavy melee cavalry: shock effect of the first charge
    light melee cavalry: flanking slower opponents, pursuing fleeing enemies (both missing in civ combat)
    light ranged cavalry: Parthian tactics, hit and run (that is partially represented by withdrawal chance)
     
  7. puck11b

    puck11b Warlord

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    Hmm, how about a "Charge" ability that gives heavy cavalry a bonus for moves before they attack. Say 10% attack per tile moved, max 30%. Pikeman negate this ability in a stack that they are defending.

    As far as why armies deployed cavalry, I would only add two things to M@ni@c's post, the first being prestige. It was a mark of status to go into combat mounted and to have an entourage of knights. The armies of foot were, for the most part, untrained leavies. We're talking peasants here. Oh, this is talking about Medieval Europe here.
    The other thing that (light) cavalry was used for was scouting and a message corps.

    Real mounted archers as skirmisher units are rather rare throughout (European) history, Mongols and Cataphracts -like the aformentioned Parthians- and that is about all I can think of right now. And Cataphracts were really heavy cavalry that used bows more than light ranged cavalry.
     
  8. Nikis-Knight

    Nikis-Knight Deity

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    good thought, but in practice I think this would equal micromanaging each unit to pace back and forth before attacking.
    The opposite would be better, a bonus for each move point it has left when attacking, but the attack would use all remaining movement.
     
  9. Xanikk999

    Xanikk999 History junkie

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    Kael you should add an experience bonus to stables for mounted units like they did in warlords.

    (I could of sworn that firaxis copied the stable idea from your mod kael :goodjob: )
     
  10. Sureshot

    Sureshot Goddess

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    Mounted units don't start with commando even if you have Raiders, nor the Combat 1 bonus from being Aggressive (making Tasunkes seemingly great traits a big waste unless you go melee line). And they don't have access to any slaying promotions, or any second level shock or anti-archery or anything.

    They need more access to promotions, but they need help in everyway that i can see except movement, they're been pretty much weakened in every regard so they're pretty much useless unless you can play a peaceful game until the endgame.
     
  11. puck11b

    puck11b Warlord

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    Yeah... that is better. Or perhaps a button to activate, for those instances where you did not want to burn all of your movement.
     
  12. Chandrasekhar

    Chandrasekhar Determined

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    Ack. You've got to be kidding me. One of the balancing aspect of recon units, in my opinion, is the fact that they have a limited selection of promotions. If anything, mounted units should have more of a selection of promotions, not less. Please, please, let them get combat I from aggressive and commando from raider...
     
  13. Grey Fox

    Grey Fox Master of Points

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    Yeah, Mounted should get both of those, and Recon units shouldnt get Commando from Raider IMO.
     
  14. Sureshot

    Sureshot Goddess

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    ya, considering they can't even raid or pillage lol
     
  15. QES

    QES Court Jester

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    I agree that early game it should be hard to take cities. But a difficult to take city means fighting in stacks and seiges. It should also, occasinally be easy to take cities, dangerously easy, so battles would be fought out in "the fields" before cities get involved. It should eb and flow back and forth throughout history as the technology and tactics change.

    I think this should be the order.
    Time {in order}: (Level of difficulty to capture city): <Rationale>

    Beginning: (Moderate) : <Lack of units>
    Early Stages of First City Development: (Hard) : <Distance vs Production>
    Expansion : (Easy) : <Vulnerability of new cities vs established defenses>
    Enhancement: (Moderate to Hard) : <Technology Adances in Defense>
    Religous Awakenings: (Easy to Moderate) : <Magical Advantages>
    Kingdom/Empire: (Easy) : <Advancement of Weapons, obsolecence of defenses>
    Reconstruction/Advancement: (Moderate) : <Development of new Defenses>
    Pre-appocolypse: (Hard) : < Very Tough Defenses and advances>
    Appocolypse: (Easiest) : <Nullification of All defenses, armies are sole defense>

    Some sort of ebb and flow would encourage and discourage army sizes over time. A "turtle" would have to adjust accordingly, and an "agressor" would have to plan ahead. Or use unique tactics (seige during hard phases), to capture citys. The Important thing is that during "Easy" phases, numbers and sizes of compariable armies are what save the day, where as during "hard" phases, the types of units and level of those units would matter more.

    ALSO, specialization should be more dominant (for cities production/capasity) during "hard" phases, and less prevelant during "easy" phases. Thus, making war shift between numbers and types back and forth.

    Just a thought.
    -Qes

    Edit: Heros, Recon, Suberfuge and Seige units would be most useful during "hard" phases, where as Simple numbers of melee, calvary and archery troops should be the most efficeient means of capturing cities during "Easy" phases.
     
  16. Hypnotoad

    Hypnotoad Prince

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    My impression is that horse units are pretty awesome for everything but storming a castle. A charge against a standing soldier almost always ends with the soldier in much worse shape that the horse rider.

    In many ways horses are one of the ultimate weapons. A case can be made that they are what allowed the nomadic barbarians outside of China to cause China so much trouble for thousands of years. There was much better horse breeding grounds outside of China.

    So what about giving horse units ridiculously high strength but -30% City attack or some such. And consider giving the better ones blitz right away -- in many ways that makes more sense than archery units. Then they would really tear through units except for in seige situations.

    There should also be some awesome horseriding heros.
     
  17. puck11b

    puck11b Warlord

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    Sorry, pet peeve time.

    A single mounted fighter charging a single fighter on foot ends in bad things for the fighter on foot

    A group of cavalry charging a group of infantry that breaks ends in a massacre of the infantry.

    A group of mounted fighters charging a group of infantry that stands their ground ends up with bad things happening to the infantry at the point of impact then no real advantage when the mounted fighters is out of momentum. At that point is comes down to which group has the better equipment, training, and discipline.

    A group of mounted fighters charging a group of infantry armed with polearms that stands their ground ends up with a massacred group of cavalry. The vast majority of horses will not impale themselves on spears. They just won't, and no amount of training will make them. They will stop just short of the pike line, some will fall into the pike line, but they will not run through the pike line (unless you blind them).

    This was by no means directed at you specifically, Hypnotoad, I just had to get this out there.
     
  18. Chandrasekhar

    Chandrasekhar Determined

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    So... it seems, from what I see, that there's a lot of support here for two mounted lines. The heavy cavalry, which would be useful in full-tilt warfare, and has a strong presence outside of cities, and a light cavalry... which I'd like to be the raiders. I guess they could be thought of as the conventional cavalry and the raiders that don't stick around long enough (in an ideal situation) to be identified and countered.
     
  19. Hypnotoad

    Hypnotoad Prince

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    Puck: quite right. So, for example, I think the 50% bonus pikemen get makes perfect sense. I didn't mean to suggest otherwise. I can see how I might have.

    This suggests that somehow horses should be particularly good against green troops and more average against experienced troops. But that sounds a bit too fiddly to be a good mechanic... Probably best replicated simply by the anti-horse bonus indicating that the unit has been trained to hold their ground against a horse charge.
     
  20. Grey Fox

    Grey Fox Master of Points

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    Yeah that wouldnt be good, and it would be kinda redundant, experienced troops are already better. And as you say, the anti-mounted promotion is a suffiecent enough counter against mounted units. Considering they dont get defensive bonuses its even better.
     

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