Unit balance: Units that are overpowered or underpowered?

LukeAtmey

Warlord
Joined
May 20, 2016
Messages
156
I'm interested in hearing your thoughts on this. Obviously this would probably depend on what civilizations we're talking about but overall I'd be interested to hear if you have any favorite units you end up spamming or alternatively some units you struggle to find use for. I'll start the discussion by mentioning the Carrier unit as an underwhelming unit. I guess this unit ought to be used to provide support for a naval assault but I think the hammer cost seems a lot when taking into account the aircraft you also have to build for it. I think it's made even worse when one Carrier can only fit 3 fighters at once. Another unit that bugs me a bit is the Paratrooper which I rarely if ever end up building. Maybe the unit could do with some forest/jungle related buffs to make it a more viable unit for harrassing the enemy behind their lines (for ex. dropping it behind the enemy lines to cause small trouble for the enemy).

I'm also interested in hearing how you guys make use of mounted units? Mostly I've been training a couple of "doctor units" to heal my stack while it moves, but maybe I could make more use of them, I'm just not sure how to do it the best. My biggest concerns are siege situations when my mounted heavy stack stands outside enemy walls while I bombard. The lack of defensive bonuses makes me worry.


How about ya'll? What are your thoughts?
 
Mounted Units are very powerful for quick conquests and/or fast sweeps. Their lack of bonuses are meaningless when you bombard the hell out of the city and the enemy can't simply attack you due to how weak they are.

And speaking of mounted units, some unique mounted units are... stupid powerful.

Persia's Savaran is an early Knight with NO CITY PENALTY. Yikes
Keshiks deal collaterals and theyre light cavalry, so noone properly counters them.
Winged Hussars on the offensive explodes every single musket/arquebus.
Conquistadors are an early Cur with bonus against almost all medieval units.

All in all, mounted units are quite strong. Theyre speedy, very strong, their lack of defense bonus is meaningless when youre on the offensive and the city penalty is also meaningless when you rain down black powder on the garrison.
 
I concur that Heavy Cavalry are very good for conquest, often better than infantry. They have an additional early source of XP with Stables, their speed means they can more easily frustrate the enemy's counter movements, and the Swordsman line, which in theory should be city killers, doesn't have a good enough :hammers: to :strength: ratio to justify sacrificing speed, in my opinion, especially once Lancers come into play.

Other units: Skirmishers and Longbowmen are units I just never bother with. Don't know if they're good or bad, it's just that Catapults and Crossbowmen seem better at their job so they're the ones I build.
 
Yes. Even with city penalty, Lancer is better performed than Heavy Swordmen on attacking city. They worth their cost.
 
I concur that Heavy Cavalry are very good for conquest, often better than infantry. They have an additional early source of XP with Stables, their speed means they can more easily frustrate the enemy's counter movements, and the Swordsman line, which in theory should be city killers, doesn't have a good enough :hammers: to :strength: ratio to justify sacrificing speed, in my opinion, especially once Lancers come into play.

Other units: Skirmishers and Longbowmen are units I just never bother with. Don't know if they're good or bad, it's just that Catapults and Crossbowmen seem better at their job so they're the ones I build.
When youre outteched or have no res, theyre powerful. Skirms and Longbows are meant for guerrilla style warfare.
 
Longbows seem weak until you make the mistake of moving your army into a forest.
 
Longbows seem weak until you make the mistake of moving your army into a forest.
Man, i always land with samurais as japan in the forest hill tile in Korea yet i always forget Korea leave one longbow in Seoul...
 
I'm interested in hearing your thoughts on this. Obviously this would probably depend on what civilizations we're talking about but overall I'd be interested to hear if you have any favorite units you end up spamming or alternatively some units you struggle to find use for. I'll start the discussion by mentioning the Carrier unit as an underwhelming unit. I guess this unit ought to be used to provide support for a naval assault but I think the hammer cost seems a lot when taking into account the aircraft you also have to build for it. I think it's made even worse when one Carrier can only fit 3 fighters at once. Another unit that bugs me a bit is the Paratrooper which I rarely if ever end up building. Maybe the unit could do with some forest/jungle related buffs to make it a more viable unit for harrassing the enemy behind their lines (for ex. dropping it behind the enemy lines to cause small trouble for the enemy).

I'm also interested in hearing how you guys make use of mounted units? Mostly I've been training a couple of "doctor units" to heal my stack while it moves, but maybe I could make more use of them, I'm just not sure how to do it the best. My biggest concerns are siege situations when my mounted heavy stack stands outside enemy walls while I bombard. The lack of defensive bonuses makes me worry.


How about ya'll? What are your thoughts?
Disagree on carriers. With the right upgrades a full CSG (carriers with jet fighters to bombard enemy units in cities, destroyers to bombard the city, transports and marines) can just whack cities. When I'm getting the America UHV I build a bunch of these and just dispatch them to every part of the world to take territory.
 
+1 for never bothering with Skirmishers/Longbowmen. They are far too niche to justify training, IMO. When I am moving to attack a city, I train siege units to take down defenses + inflict collateral damage, and heavy infantry or heavy calvary to move in and finish off the defending units. If I am dealing with an enemy army coming my way, I'd much rather have light calvary intercept them on an open field with +20% Open Terrain Attack promotion. If the enemy somehow manages to sneak by onto a hill or a forest, I'd much rather not engage them with their defensive bonus, and just let them sit there, with the war continuing elsewhere. If they have a massive stack of doom (SoD) headed my way, I might temporarily give up a city and let their SoD enter it uncontested. Then I'll hit them with all of my siege units now benefitting from their +city attack, and try to finish the enemy SoD there. It could just be my playstyle/difficulty not necessitating them, but I'd love to hear anyone else making good usage of the Skirmisher/Longbowmen.

In terms of units that are overpowered, I have to give a shoutout to the Grenadier. My favorite unit in the game, bar none. When I go to war, it's usually because I need to take some cities. So I plan on being on the offensive, and taking cities. Well, with the Grenadier, you get:
  • 50% withdrawal chance
  • Starts with City Raider 1 (and is the only gunpowder/renaissance frontline unit capable of promoting the City Raider line)
  • +25% vs Riflemen
  • Causes collateral damage at the same rate as the Bombard
When preparing for a war in the Industrial era, I'll train some few siege units, maybe a couple Dragoons/Riflemen to protect my SoD in the field, and the rest will be Grenadiers.
 
It could just be my playstyle/difficulty not necessitating them, but I'd love to hear anyone else making good usage of the Skirmisher/Longbowmen.
I have occasionally trained a few Longbowmen since they're sometimes useful for dealing with Turkic/Mongol conquerors that have light cavalry stacks mixed in with other units and which sometimes like to camp out on hills/forest tiles. That is all. I have never trained a skirmisher.

Otherwise, I've personally found post-Knight/Lancer cavalry to be pretty weak (which is historically appropriate, I suppose). By the time Musketmen became an option, I just don't train cavalry of any kind anymore --- they're more expensive for a small strength bonus in the field, and this is also the point in the game where 1 move collateral units like Cannons, Artillery, and Grenadiers really start taking over the game. I also agree that Marines and Paratroopers come a bit too late in the tech tree for their niches to show or become usable; it's just easier to brute force with Infantry, Howitzers, Tanks, and planes by the time you get those units.
 
Skirmishers/Longbowmen are cheaper than siege units and are good at busting units in rough terrain. If any siege units are going to be used solely for collateral, you might as well build a collateral unit instead. I usually have 4 siege units, which can take down most walls in one or two turns, 4-8 collateral units, which can soften up cities and bust enemies in rough terrain, and 4 light cavalry units, which can finish off cities and bust enemies in open terrain. Swordsmen are alright but a bit too overspecialized, spearmen are good if I expect enemy cities to have more than 4 or so defenders, archers are alright at protecting cities but struggle to keep the countryside safe, so I generally prefer to garrison my cities with light cavalry, which double as reinforcements should my frontlines need them, heavy cavalry are generally better if I don't expect them to serve as reinforcements. Generally, seige units are good for attacking cities but take so much longer to build that I try to avoid it. Firearms units and pikemen are really good, I tend to prefer to add 4 of each of them on top of the 4 light cavalry.
 
Skirmishers/Longbowmen are cheaper than siege units and are good at busting units in rough terrain. If any siege units are going to be used solely for collateral, you might as well build a collateral unit instead. I usually have 4 siege units, which can take down most walls in one or two turns, 4-8 collateral units, which can soften up cities and bust enemies in rough terrain, and 4 light cavalry units, which can finish off cities and bust enemies in open terrain. Swordsmen are alright but a bit too overspecialized, spearmen are good if I expect enemy cities to have more than 4 or so defenders, archers are alright at protecting cities but struggle to keep the countryside safe, so I generally prefer to garrison my cities with light cavalry, which double as reinforcements should my frontlines need them, heavy cavalry are generally better if I don't expect them to serve as reinforcements. Generally, seige units are good for attacking cities but take so much longer to build that I try to avoid it. Firearms units and pikemen are really good, I tend to prefer to add 4 of each of them on top of the 4 light cavalry.
That's a good point on Skirmishers/Longbowmen (S/L) being a fair amount cheaper than siege units. They also have higher combat strength than their siege unit contemporaries. But on the flip side, they also do the collateral job worse than a siege unit: S/L have a worse withdrawal chance, deal less collateral damage %, and to fewer units. Plus, they can't be upgraded with the City Raider line (my favorite promotion). Maybe their pros/cons all balances out and I just need to give them a fair try. But my thinking is, why would I train a unit specifically for collateral damage, when I can instead train a siege unit for collateral damage and taking down defenses.

Also interesting to hear that your strategy utilizes light calvary so much, for offense and defense. I try to avoid using light calvary to attack cities, since archer units have a bonus against them. I love the swordsmen line, because my army only moves as fast as the siege units, anyways. My calvary is just there to supplement them, usually. Light calvary for defense isn't a bad idea though, as you said, you can ride out and meet the enemy in the field, instead of waiting for them to attack your city.
 
That's a good point on Skirmishers/Longbowmen (S/L) being a fair amount cheaper than siege units. They also have higher combat strength than their siege unit contemporaries. But on the flip side, they also do the collateral job worse than a siege unit: S/L have a worse withdrawal chance, deal less collateral damage %, and to fewer units. Plus, they can't be upgraded with the City Raider line (my favorite promotion). Maybe their pros/cons all balances out and I just need to give them a fair try. But my thinking is, why would I train a unit specifically for collateral damage, when I can instead train a siege unit for collateral damage and taking down defenses.

Also interesting to hear that your strategy utilizes light calvary so much, for offense and defense. I try to avoid using light calvary to attack cities, since archer units have a bonus against them. I love the swordsmen line, because my army only moves as fast as the siege units, anyways. My calvary is just there to supplement them, usually. Light calvary for defense isn't a bad idea though, as you said, you can ride out and meet the enemy in the field, instead of waiting for them to attack your city.
Statistically, to use the skirmisher and catapult as an example, the skirmisher costs half the production of the catapult, can kill units, and has a first strike, but has 33% less collateral targets, roughly 50% less collateral damage, and roughly 50% less withdrawal chance. In terms of combat, the skirmisher has an effective combat strength against cities of 4 + 1 if the city's on a hill, whereas the catapult has an effective combat strength against cities of 3 + 1.5 from attacking a city. On paper, you'd think that the catapult is stronger, but that first strike is honestly quite insane, and it only gets more insane with drill promotions, and while the extra collateral and withdrawal are good, I don't think they alone make catapults worth the doubled cost, especially when you're still going to need to send in other units to clean up. Skirmishers can deal collateral and kill enemy units at the same time, meaning you aren't wasting turns having, for example a spearman mop up a 0.1 Strength militia your catapult just attacked.

Archer units tend to have on par or slightly more strength and first strikes compared to skirmisher units and skirmisher units are the first units I send to attack a given city, so by the time the light cavalry are attacking, what few if any archer units that remain are so weak that their bonus against light cavalry is largely negligible. If a city has enough defenders that archers are a problem, I've probably already brought some spearmen along while planning, the AI doesn't tend to build units fast enough for a lack of spearmen to suddenly become a problem. If I really need to get an army up ASAP I may condense the light cavalry and spearmen into heavy cavalry, but their penalty against cities, lack of versatility, and high cost makes them a bit less ideal.
 
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As Italy using gold to hire mercenary longbowmen is my suggestion. Suicide units for initial Italian conquest. If any survive they can act as garrison. Better to preserve the normal units that can be upgraded.

I think the only time I've used skirmishers is as Babylon - without access to horse or metal it is the best you can do.
 
For skirmisher/longbow the Mayan Holkan and Indian Pattaya(?) are both well suited to purpose
 
Don't skirmishers have a light cav bonus? Might be wrong, been a while since I played. I remember them being pretty instrumental in my China games to fight back the assaulting hordes...
 
Don't skirmishers have a light cav bonus? Might be wrong, been a while since I played. I remember them being pretty instrumental in my China games to fight back the assaulting hordes...
The regular archer and crossbowmen unit has a bonus vs light calvary, but the Skirmisher and Longbowmen do not.
As Italy using gold to hire mercenary longbowmen is my suggestion. Suicide units for initial Italian conquest. If any survive they can act as garrison. Better to preserve the normal units that can be upgraded.

I think the only time I've used skirmishers is as Babylon - without access to horse or metal it is the best you can do.
You like to use mercenary units for defense? If I have mercenaries who survive their intended conflict, and I don't have any foreseeable plans for war, I try to delete them pretty quickly.
 
Italy with San Marco and Rome's shrine income is quite rich. Better to upgrade and maintain a strong army in the north - to take Vienna when Germany is distracted.
 
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