Flame Tanks …. Grrrr ….

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Home Forums Age of Wonders 3 Discussions Balance Suggestions Flame Tanks …. Grrrr ….

This topic contains 39 replies, has 22 voices, and was last updated by  Enguzrad 5 years ago.

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    Okay, so there have been a number of flame tank (FT) posts in the past …


    I’m adding another because I wanted to raise a few specific points and kick the idea around more.

    My current race/class combo is high elf rogue, with waster mastery and fire adept. On paper I should have a lot of nice counters for the flame tank:

    – Rot (water adept)
    – Hell hounds (fire adept)
    – Scoundrels (sabotage skill + sprint)
    – Succubus (fire resist)
    – Storm Sisters (ranged shock damage)

    The issue though, is that when flame tanks are massed, especially in open non-siege fights, flame tanks pose the greatest battlefield threat to my forces, and I seem to suffer the most loses fighting them compared to any other matchups, even when my chances of victory are “very likely.”

    The big issue on non-siege (open) fights is that if I attack, with the defending FT’s going first, if there are a few stacks involved on both sides it’s a near guarantee that the flame tanks are in range of 1 stack on the opening turn. With 3 or 4 FT’s, they can easily eliminate most of an entire stack in the opening turn given their range. I’ve had full stacks of storm sisters and scoundrels (or a mixture of both) completely killed. 2 flame tanks will kill those units very often, 3 definitely will.

    If I DO have survivors, the scoundrels are inevitably sacrificed anyway rushing in to sabotage the tanks, which when they blow up will probably kill the scoundrels if they were flamed once before. If I keep them in crossbow range, they probably won’t kill the tanks and will just get flamed next turn.

    Now, I’m fine with losing a bunch of T1/T2 units fighting the tanks, but the FT’s are able to kill or render near dead vastly more units than they are worth themselves in terms of gold (only 140G?) and force power. And I’m not saying I can’t defeat a stack or two of flame tanks (6+ FT’s), but in relation to almost any other match up I’ve experienced (even vs higher Tier 3 and Tier 4 units), far more loses result when fighting flame tanks.

    Hell Hounds are fire immune, great, but so are flame tanks. tThe flame tanks and still roll around and burn stuff to death while the hell hounds are chasing after chewing on the wheels.

    With my race/class combo, siege’s are actually better, since I start farther away and don’t get burned on the first turn and can use spells a bunch to weaken the tanks first, something you can’t do when playing on the small open field maps. When the mass AoE damage of FT’s in coupled with a few other ranged units (musketeers/cannons/etc.) things get really really ugly.


    Given the cost of the tank and equivalent production times of the supposed counters, I just find the FT way to effective. Some combination of debuff’s that have been considered in the past (not I’m not advocating for all of these, this is just the menu)

    (1) Reduce size of flame cone attack (currently shoots FIVE hexes at the furthest point)
    (2) Reduce damage of the flame attack (currently does 25 damage)
    (3) Reduce armor value and/or hit points
    (4) Remove or lessen the fiery death damage
    (5) 1 turn cool down for shooting flames

    The above is more or less my order of preference for a nerf. I think it’s damage cone is too large resulting in it’s ability to really hit things at range in a way that is too harsh – especially on open field maps where armies can start much closer together. I’d drop the cone range down to 4 hexes at the max point. In combination, a damage reduction (down to 20 fire damage) would make the FT’s feel more in line with their cost. This keeps them a nice tough closer range unit, but requires them to be positioned and used more judiciously, instead of being mindlessly spammed.




    Why don’t you consider cavalry as a counter first ? Flame tanks are ranged units. Natural counter to almost all ranged units are cavalry. Why don’t you build them them ? Elven cavalry is the best BTW to counter anything ranged. They can phase from outside the range of flame tank. If you can get draconian, they resist rather well to fire.

    And what about tier3 units ? Gryphon riders should kill the flame tanks pretty handily. But I admit they may come a bit later.

    Also, is fire halo an adept or master specialty spell ?

    Think about existing counters before asking for nerfs.



    Fire halo is a master specialty spell.

    Personally, I’ve always thought that flame tanks were the best of the tier 3 dreadnought units, and should be pushed back in the research order appropriately.



    Cavalry can certainly work – although a tier 3 gryphon rider (for example) takes quite a bit more investment before you can build them (need racial tier 3 building which is very expensive mid-game). Furthermore, if you want to keep them out of range before attacking, they are going to be down to just 1 attack after flying in, which isn’t enough to do a lot of damage to the tank. And if the tanks are massed and you concentrate gryphons (or other cavalry), the tanks you don’t focus on and kill are going to do a ton of AoE damage (and won’t hurt other FT’s since they are fire immune). Gryphon rider’s have the HP’s to take some hits, but Tier 2 cavalry don’t, especially when coupled with the fiery death on the backend of a successful attack.

    The phase is nice with unicorn riders, but again you only get 1 attack, and if you have to double up or triple up the cavalry to kill the tank, then get lots of fiery death damage plus are a sitting duck for the AoE damage of another nearby tank (or tanks), which will kill the Tier 2 cavalry pretty easily.

    I’m reacting mostly to the “dammed if you, dammed if you don’t” aspect of the flame tanks – especially in open fields where armies start close together. If you don’t do enough damage to fully kill a few tanks, they are going to burn the heck out of your forces. If you do issue enough damage to kill a tank, it often requires concentrating multiple units which then get blasted by the fiery death and are sitting ducks for the remaining flame tanks to roast.

    Honestly – the build I’m trying out (high elf rogue, with fire adept + water mastery) was chosen in large because I wanted a lot of counters for flame tanks specifically, which on paper I have, yet I’m still having a hard time not losing a lot of units in fights versus flame tanks, especially when I’m handily outnumbering them.



    Yes imo flame tank should change spot with the cannon or golem even, comes a little too early. But there is another problem, morale. Criting flame tanks are horrendous, what is it, 40 damage flame aoe ? Flame tanks shouldn’t crit.



    IIRC flame tanks are not immune to fire, only 60% resistance.

    Flame tank are indeed quite good, and this power comes from a high elemental damage ranged aoe attack. That is a lot indeed, but it also suffer some real weaknesses : machine with not so high hp and not renforced.

    They are very effective for attrition war because of these qualities but IMO are better for defense than attack.

    And again, cavalry should be rather good to counter them eventhough that might not be without casualties.

    And IMO draconian will hard counter the flame tanks (and dwarves to a lesser extent).



    Yep, they are ott. I think limiting cone size, one hex less in circumference, lower damage and range are all reasonable. That would be enough without the cool down.


    They are very effective for attrition war because of these qualities but IMO are better for defense than attack.

    yep. They can really mess with an attacker who lacks flying/floating units, and can effectively block off entire gates or sections of walls.

    Offensively, I find them very vulnerable to cavalry, support units (humans and orcs/goblins excepted, of course) High Elven Hunters, or anything with armor piercing and high resistance.

    Defensively, I’ve heard that you can set traps so that even a skilled human player with manticores will have to brave the cross fire, but that is a rather rare situation to find yourself in.

    They are quite terrifying when combined with fire immune units, like Firstborn, forge priests, or fire elementals, but on their own I find them limited.



    I think they’re quite powerful, they hit hard. They tend to burn away any swamp darters I use when attacking cities. But they are completely reliant on fire damage, if you bring fire-immune units like elders, flamers, forge priests, hell hounds, or bronze medal raptors accompanied with elders, they are completely useless. Heroes are also fairly useful as Felhorses and Hellhound Mounts seem to be common, Nightmares a bit less, that’s 40% fire resistance right there. Fire resistance is any ways very useful against Dreadnoughts, helps a lot against their fire walls spell.

    The AI is very stupid with them though, I’ve seen it multiple times using Overload on its Flame Tanks. Because Overload only increases physical damage the Flame Tanks can’t even use Overload, it just causes them to get stunned all the time.



    The thing with Flame tanks is they can wipe out a huge army – but will get destroyed by a single Forge Priest – never mind things like Firstborn or Dragons.

    It might be better to make them weaker in general, but less reliant on fire damage.

    What if they had Ram, but their Flame move came with a cooldown?



    The thing with Flame tanks is they can wipe out a huge army – but will get destroyed by a single Forge Priest – never mind things like Firstborn or Dragons.

    It might be better to make them weaker in general, but less reliant on fire damage.

    What if they had Ram, but their Flame move came with a cooldown?

    That’s great and all when playing with races/classes with fire immune units – but the issue is that most of the units in the game are not Forge Priests or Firstborns.



    The thing with Flame tanks is they can wipe out a huge army – but will get destroyed by a single Forge Priest

    Can a single Forge Priest intercept and destroy multiple Flame Tanks before they roast your army ? Can a Hello Hound ?



    Can a single Forge Priest intercept and destroy multiple Flame Tanks before they roast your army ? Can a Hello Hound ?

    No=) Flame Tanks supported by cannons musketeer don’t die to HEll Hounds, dead before it can reach Flame Tanks. Hell Hounds deliver 5 physical damage and Tanks 70 hp LoL:p Forgepriests don’t pose a threat to Tanks, do low damage and slow only Firstborn is danger but it is so slow, Flame Tank kills your other army before they kill Flame Tanks. Lower damage or reduced AOE is the answer.



    Flame tanks don’t heal. You need to consider that as it is a serious weakness : how many battle the flame tank will ba able to fight before exploding ?

    And cavalry should put them in trouble until T3 units arrive.



    flame tanks take alot of research ,
    their usufulness is limited by fire immune units

    they are t3 – and liek you said -other t3 can destroy them (gryph , firstborn , tier 2 support – forge priest – an elder can do the same)

    you want t2’s unicorns to kill t3 tanks with ease? cmon thats not a good idea

    about investment:

    gryphoon: War hall + t3 building
    flame tank: engeneer research + musket research + flame tank research + dread building

    so yeah ,,, gryphons are easier to get actually – as is every racial t3.



    I think a smaller AoE would make sense; either a stream 6 hexes long, or something more like the blunderbuss area. Right now their damage output is redonkulous. I recently had a cannon take out one wall tile (the exposed bit), and sending in a tank unit (griffon rider — not even fire resistant) after the FT has hit about a dozen enemy units. The GR will die, but the FT will get another attack on a dozen units. Took me three FTs and several GRs, but I wiped out a defense forces that should have pulverized me.

    I do love me the smell of crispy-fried wraiths, tho.



    I think the biggest thing that hits me about flame tanks is the Exploding death ability. That just really wrecks me. You basically can’t use Melee against them. Their damage output + death explosion just hard counters any melee including Cavalry. Maybe if their exploding death just hit the one who landed the death blow it wouldn’t be so wrecking.

    I like death explosion from a flavor standpoint and wouldn’t want to see it go, but that plus the massive AoE just seems over the top. I rarely have issues with massed flame tanks as long as I have massed range. But melee armies are almost helpless against them. Maybe wouldn’t be so bad if they had to disengage to spit fire in your face, but as it is. . .


    Kaiosama TLJ

    Even though I only played one match with Dreadnought I’ve played enough to agree with Mezmorki, and I didn’t even massed lots of them.

    Compared to Fire Dragons the Flame Tanks lack a melee strike to do a proper couterattack, aren’t as resilient, don’t regenerate naturally and can’t cause panic to melee agressors. On the other hand they explode on death and damages nearby units that aren’t Fire Resistant, they can use their “breath” every single turn and is as powerful as the regular Fire Dragon and also the Tanks are “cheaper” to maintain and produce. Sure, 6 Flame Tanks will have an ugly defeat against a single Fire Dragon, but not all enemies will be Fire Dragons.

    I think the Flame Tank unit needs either a nerf on it’s damage or have an 1 turn cooldown on it’s attack just like the dragon’s breath weapons.

    A bit offtopic: Speaking of dragons, isn’t their breath ability supposed to start the battle on cooldown since patch 1.1? Because every time I face a dragon in the game he still uses his breath weapon on his first turn.



    As a rogue who plays dread on the side, I agree. They’re too strong.



    They do friendly fire on top of their machine weaknesses. They are not overpowered, but you need fine placement to get rid of them. They are also easily and badly hard countered.



    Dev-remark(s): from Suggestion Thread
    – We’re looking into swapping flame tank/golem in the skill chain
    – Looking into having the flame tank start on a 1 turn cooldown (but not having a cooldown at all after that)
    – We feel that reducing the range would be too big a nerf, but might do that instead of the other 2 things.

    I’d be happy with either approach (later in skill tree + start on cooldown OR range reduction).

    My biggest grief is fighting masses of flametanks in open field maps where they have a mass 1st turn strike. Either approach would reduce that greatly.



    Id say its a matter of great strength and great weakness. A stack of flametanks is very efficient against lower tier units with no fire resistance.
    But a stack of flametanks is also hard countered by a single tier1 ranged unit like the Draconian Flamer. Suddenly you lose a massive investment to one of the cheapest units ingame.

    As mentioned, other tier3 can stand up to flametanks aswell. Its mostly that stacks that contain lower then tier3 units without fire resistance burn fairly quickly to flametanks. But, again, a single right unit with fire immunity (which is an abundant protection form) can really ruin a flametank army.
    Add to this that repairing machines is quite difficult and very time consuming, as a major drawback, and i dont find flametanks all that “great”.

    But i think it would be a good idea to push their resource back a bit, behind cannon and golem. To offer those who play against Dreadnought more time to find a solution to pure-fire damage (fairies, dragons, wyverns, giants, draconians, dwarven, fire mastery research).
    And at the same time give a better synergy for Engineers which really need Cannons available to be worth anything. So the sooner cannons come out the sooner engineers have a purpose.



    Let me put it this way: Flame Tanks cost half the gold of Fire Dragons (probably even less than that in recruitment cost) and breathe twice as often. All this from a building that costs 100 gold (Dreadnought’s Foundry I).

    A Flame Tank costs 130. It’s not a great investment to add one or two to an army. Because there’s no range fall-off and it can shoot after moving full distance, it’s very easy to position it where it will hit 2, 3 or more units. Then you move the rest of the army. If you want to destroy the tank, you’ll have to devote at least 2 units to that, if they can somehow get through my zones of control. They will suffer the explosion and open themselves to flanking attacks.

    A single fire immune unit only works against an army cosisting solely of flame tanks. It won’t be able to intercept a FT, you’ll have to send it before other units so it’s easy to cut it up. Fire immune units tend to deal fire damage themselves, and FT has 60% fire resistance. Good luck with that.

    Either way, it’s very difficult to take out a Flame Tank before it deals enough damage to break even.



    Flame tank doesn’t heal over time !!! It would be worthless if not able to deal some damage before dying !!

    And the comparison with fire dragon is insane !! The fire dragon will kill most units in game even without the breath !



    But I’m not finished. It turns out Fire Dragon is almost 3x more expensive than a Flame Tank. 360 gold vs 140 gold. Then there are two empire upgrades reducing gold cost by 10% each: Great Blacksmith (120 knowledge) and Mana Fuel Factory (700 knowledge). And I don’t even bring up production bonuses like Mana Fuel Cells. So it’s valid to compare 1 Fire Dragon to 3 Flame Tanks.

    Within 2 turns, Fire Dragon can breathe fire once. In the same time, 3 Flame Tanks can spray flames 6 times. Enough to set the world on fire.

    3 Flame Tanks can be in 3 different places at the same time, something a Fire Dragon can never achieve.

    3 Flame Tanks will kill almost any unit in the game in a single turn, without engaging in melee. Dead units don’t heal, either.

    For all dragon’s physical might, Triumph Studios chose to limit dragon breath with a 1 turn cooldown. Almost as if it would be otherwise overpowered ?


    3 Flame Tanks will kill almost any unit in the game in a single turn, without engaging in melee. Dead units don’t heal, either.

    unless they have fire immunity, that is pretty common. Indeed, most races and classes have quite effective ways of dealing with massed flame-tanks, not just the dwarves or draconians.

    Sorcerers and Archdruids can destroy machines with ease (if their armies are ever caught), anyone with rot or great hail can destroy “flame traps”, and wreck will work pretty well for this.

    When behind walls, any High Elf player has little to fear from flametanks, and their field armies can easily avoid them (even if not an Archdruid or sorcerer). Theocrats can utilize order of healing and high resistance crusaders, and rogues can use scoundrel swarms or succubi (draconian versions of both do best, of course). Warlords should simply avoid the units on the open field, or use cheap mp boosted cavalry.

    Frankly, the only problem is for goblins in general and orc rogues: they don’t really have anything good for attacking machines.



    I dont think its valid to compare 3 flametanks to a fire dragon. A dragon has powerful melee attacks, regenerates health every turn, can retaliate and make attacks of oppertunity, it can fly, it has more health, more armor and more resistance, its faster.
    And it only takes up 1 army slot, meaning you can fit more stuff in there. Ofcourse its going to be very expensive.

    The only thing a flametank does better is it “breaths” more, because thats all it has going for it.
    3 flametanks die to 1 draconian Flamer. 1 fire dragon eats a whole stack of draconian flamers for breakfast. Comparisons arent as black and white as you make them out.



    So you play High elf rogue? Send in the succubuses after them.

    It took my six flame tanks something like five or ten turns jsut to kill one succubus while positioning my flame tanks carefully so I won’t accidently torch my tanks.

    You got caught in the open? Enjoy your disadvantage for being caught unless you had succbuses with you then you’re fine.



    I believe the greatest strength of the Flametank is that it trades incredibly efficient against lower tier units (tier1/tier2) that do not have fire resistance.

    Since Flametank is a tech that comes relatively “early” for Dreadnought, its possible to rush Flametanks and get them out when most of the units are still tier1/tier2.

    I dont think Flametank itself needs a nerf, there are plenty of counters to be found and tier3 units stand up quite well against a Flametank anyway.
    But instead Flametank rushing should be slowed down a bit, giving other players some more time to advance themselves a bit, and get out a way to counter Flametanks.

    But still, Flametanks are a class unit to Dreadnoughts, its an inevitibility they will make their appearance. And when you know you are up against a Dreadnought you should immediatly start looking at your options against a potential Flametank rush.
    Meaning, getting Dwarves or Draconians or Fairies or Giants or Dragons. Or taking it into consideration when you start the game and take Fire masteries.



    I dont think Flametank itself needs a nerf, there are plenty of counters to be found and tier3 units stand up quite well against a Flametank anyway.
    But instead Flametank rushing should be slowed down a bit, giving other players some more time to advance themselves a bit, and get out a way to counter Flametanks.

    Flame tanks you ethier hard counter or struggle against, something in between is harder to achieve. I think they definitely are overpowered behind walls despite the existing hard counters, sometimes it can prove nigh impossible to conquer a flame tank guarded town unless said counters are utilized.

    Against the dreadnought you need to prepare for heavy physical ranged and melee damage as well as fire so only fire protection/immunity will only get you halfway anyways, there are still overloaded golems, cannons to deal with that would beat the crap out of most things not first borns, dragons, giants that tries to deal with the tanks. In that context i think Flame tanks are somewhat overpowered, by themselves managable but combined with the rest of the dreadnought forces a nightmare to counter for many races.

    My ideal solution would be morale not working for them, 27 damage is dangerous but 35-40 damage is too much for a wide cone aoe attack, i think many complaints about them is due to those heavy 40 damage morale damage hits, not uncommon with dreadnoughts having imperial authority buff early on.

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