Distances between attackers and defenders not always sufficient

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Home Forums Age of Wonders 3 Discussions Distances between attackers and defenders not always sufficient

This topic contains 18 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  GoblinCookie 5 years, 2 months ago.

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  • #98655

    MartyD81
    Member

    OK, I know, this has been discussed many, many times before but I can’t help myself… The problem is often with dragons or units with an AoE attack. When I attack them, several of my units take immediate damage as soon as round 1 and there is nothing I can do to avoid this, of course apart from not going into that particular battle… Really frustrating. I think that the distances between attacking and defending parties should be such that neither can reach each other on an initial round. The first round should strictly be thought of as kind of a unit deployment move for either side. If this rule applied at all times, there would be no need for unit deployment or formations.
    Does anybody else think the distance between attackers and defenders is just not enough or has everybody gotten used to being attacked on turn 1 in some cases? As always, thanks for your ideas.

    #98675

    GoblinCookie
    Member

    Yes, the battlefields need to be far larger. It is pretty much annoying to have to decide which units you want to die in order to buy you time to group your forces together when the enemy instantly attacks one of your stacks on turn 1 of the battle.

    #98682

    Mezmorki
    Member

    Siege battles are much better in this regard. Really, the issue is that the open field fights map the strategic map hexes to the deployment zones in combat 1 to 1, with the attacked army going in the central spot.

    Flanking on the strategic map is cool and all but it just means that those units are now placed a very short distance from other units. Increasing the size of the open field battles 50% or so would help.

    Basically, what’s strange is that if the defender has multiple armies, their armies other than the primary target are deployed in their exact world hex location as if they were another attacking force. There should be a set of defender deployment zones that are all pulled in more towards the middle – and then a set of attacker defender zones that are spaced further back.

    #98689

    GoblinCookie
    Member

    Siege battles are much better in this regard. Really, the issue is that the open field fights map the strategic map hexes to the deployment zones in combat 1 to 1, with the attacked army going in the central spot.

    It is truly twisted that one actually ends up preferring to fight enemies that are fortified simply because of the whole AI, hit the furthest flank trick. The counter to this is rather nasty, you have to actually decide who lives and who dies in order to bring your forces together to fight the weakest of the flanks.

    It is totally unrealistic of course because as the attacker you should realisticly be able to deploy your armies in formation to start off with wherever you like.

    • This reply was modified 1 year ago by  President.
    #98694

    Mezmorki
    Member

    It is truly twisted that one actually ends up preferring to fight enemies that are fortified simply because of the whole AI, hit the furthest flank trick.

    It’s funny, I was complaining about flame tanks earlier. It’s soo much easier to kill 6 flame tanks in a siege than 6 flame tanks in an open field. In a siege, I can hold back and spam spells and get units in position for my strike. In the open field if I attack pretty much one entire stack is going to be burned to a crisp before I can even react.

    I think the direction should matter in terms of flanking or surrounding the enemy with multiple stacks, but the size of the battlefield needs to take this all into account and cluster the defenders more in the middle and keep the attackers further away.

    #98698

    Magus77
    Member

    Yes, the battlefields need to be far larger. It is pretty much annoying to have to decide which units you want to die in order to buy you time to group your forces together when the enemy instantly attacks one of your stacks on turn 1 of the battle.

    It can be even worse, since one attack (Breath Weapon or Ranged) is not so bad most of the time – the rules seem to allow it, but disallow a ranged or melee attack by a unit (archers,…) in the first round.

    But the order how the game sets your units down on the battlefield is somehow random, only several things are sure (ranges of attack). Yet – often the a ranged unit stands in the first line, and my best melee unit in the second line, so that it has to move twice before even able to attack.
    Also if I have two heroes in the stack, the caster (class Sorcerer) stands before a fighter (class Warlord or Dreadnought) sometimes, the fighter stands in the second line if there is one.

    It seem to have to do with ranges (there are rules I am sure), but part of it is random, since in very similar situations the strongest melee unit stands either in the second line, or sometimes in the first line, right or left, sometimes far left or right.

    M.

    #98717

    Epaminondas
    Member

    Yes, starting distance need to be slightly further apart; but the tactical battle map is large enough.

    As for alpha strikes eliminating units before you can move them, I believe it is better addressed by the ability to pre-place units like HoMM – though I suppose that’s another thing that’s completely out of the cards.

    #98955

    MartyD81
    Member

    @epaminondas

    I imagine that would prolong battles enormously, considering the fact that up to 7×6 units can take part in battle, whereas in HoMM it is only 8×2. The idea of unit pre-placement was considered and later scrapped by the devs during AoWIII’s development for that very reason. Anyway, starting distances should just be made a little more “distant” once again, as it was done during the alpha development stage. I am not talking about the original AoW starting distances here, setting units some 1-2 hexes further apart could be enough (and should not be at the expense of the retreat hexes space).

    #98956

    Reefpirate
    Member

    I’m not sure the battle maps need to be 50% larger. That seems kind of dramatic. Surely just a few hexes would do it?

    I’d also try to keep in mind that it’s kind of an unwritten advantage for the defender, since the defender can decide to attack or move out of range on their turn but the attacker has no say in the matter.

    #98961

    Mezmorki
    Member

    Take a look at the attached images.

    Image 01 is the current deployment zone assuming 4 attacking (red) and three defending (blue) armies as an example. The yellow “issue” zones are the problem with the current deployment situation. It makes for really strange and illogical combat situations with opposing armies starting really close to each other.

    The proposed images show how the deployment zones could be different for the attacker and defender, the defender’s army gets pulled in closer together, with their stacks all forming a defensive block/line in the middle. The attacking armies are all pushed slightly further out.

    Image 3 just shows a different layout of attacking armies at the strategic scale, with an isolated “ambushing” attacking army. Might make for an interesting situation, although it’s probably a losing battle for the attacker 😉

    The nice thing about this proposal is that even though a defender might have 3 stacks versus an attacker’s 4, with the defender being more concentrated initially they can chose where to attack first (e.g. Hex “A” or “D” might make sense to hit a flank) and provide a little advantage to the defender to make up being a whole stack short.

    Thoughts?

    #98966

    Mezmorki
    Member

    I’m not sure the battle maps need to be 50% larger. That seems kind of dramatic. Surely just a few hexes would do it?

    In terms of the images above for the alternative proposal, I think pulling the attacking lines back about 2 hexes in tactical (not those big hexes in the images!) is what you’d need to do. Along with setting up different deployment zones for defender it would give plenty of distance without having to make the maps any bigger at all.

    #98969

    Reefpirate
    Member

    I like your proposal, Mezmorki. I’m not sure how easy it would be to implement it, but I’m generally in favor of interesting strategic/tactical dynamics.

    As an attacker now I just treat it as an extra cost in attacking outside of a city or fortress. You’ll be eating nukes first, and potentially some of your flanks might be open to an early alpha strike.

    #98976

    Mezmorki
    Member

    As an attacker now I just treat it as an extra cost in attacking outside of a city or fortress. You’ll be eating nukes first, and potentially some of your flanks might be open to an early alpha strike.

    Thanks!

    It’s funny when the prospect of having to attack stronghold via a siege is more appealing than having to fight with a numerical advantage in open ground.

    #99069

    GoblinCookie
    Member

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>Reefpirate wrote:</div>
    I’m not sure the battle maps need to be 50% larger. That seems kind of dramatic. Surely just a few hexes would do it?

    In terms of the images above for the alternative proposal, I think pulling the attacking lines back about 2 hexes in tactical (not those big hexes in the images!) is what you’d need to do. Along with setting up different deployment zones for defender it would give plenty of distance without having to make the maps any bigger at all.

    Essentially all we have to to do is make sure that given reasonable mobility on behalf of the attacker, they can evade the alpha strike will all their units and bundle them together towards the centre of their line.

    #99077

    I think the issue lies mostly with the AoE attacks. Dragons, flame tanks and such. Normal skirmishers can do damage, but aside from musketeers it’s just an average attack and it’s their special perk. AoE however often is on rather buff units, and dragons and horrors can’t even be hindered by terrain.

    The problem only occurs on open field battles. Sieges and bridge battles add more distance and structure battles tend too.

    4 to 5 more hexes between the sides would be enough. Alternatively AoEs starting on cooldown.

    #99953

    Mezmorki
    Member

    Dev response (from the Suggestion Thread):
    – This was looked into and unfortunately it is too much work to fix. (We’d need to modify and retest 60+ tactical maps).

    Certainly understandable, although unfortunate that it’s such a monumental task to change. I do wonder if even just pulling the lines back 1 hex (which is usually open already?) and clustering the stacks into two lines of 3 units each would help, as it would pull in the edges of the deployment zones.

    However, as mentioned in this thread the biggest problem with the close starting sides is mass AoE attacks (e.g. Flame Tanks) that can get into range and torch whole lines in the first turn. Sounds like they are looking into a few options for flame tanks (#71 in suggestion thread).

    Thanks Tombles!

    #99955

    b0rsuk
    Member

    Related: some battlefields are inherently so small that opposing sides practically start next to each other, especially in multi-stack battles. Battles for control of a Necropolis in particular.

    The other side of the coin, I think, is Ironclad Warships. Ships move so fast relative to their firing range that usually they literally have no time to use their special ability (Fire Mortar). This is because it starts on cooldown.

    When there’s a knife fight in a telephone booth, there’s no time to call artillery support.

    #99987

    ecgbert
    Member

    Would an initial 1 turn duration spell for open terrain combat that reduces movement of all units, be viable here?

    #100008

    GoblinCookie
    Member

    Would an initial 1 turn duration spell for open terrain combat that reduces movement of all units, be viable here?

    It would have to be the defending units only surely and I would imagine a formal spell would not be needed just a loss of movement points. The problem is the defenders ability to attack the end of their line before the attackers can gather their forces more compactly.

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