Keeping low-level units relevant

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  • #155694

    Teehon
    Member

    Yes, yet another idea. I don’t know if it actually make sense to keep posting them, since their implementation is very unlikely. But still, I like to share my dreams 🙂

    I really, really like racial tier 1 units for some reason. I don’t know, in my opinion simple soldiers form the bulk of one’s forces and I like it to be this way in Age of Wonders as well. I especially love t1 dwarven units, they look amazing 😀
    And actually, I believe there are enough units in the game already, they just need to all be used 🙂

    But in AoW3 they become obsolete too fast. If you don’t plan on rushing straight away, you eventually forced to build mostly t3 and sometimes t2, almost never t1.

    I got this idea, why not add another level on unit enhancements in a way of additional buildings like Arena, Archery Range etc., but only for racial t1 units, unlockable after t3 building. The way I see it (An example for dwarves):

    After building Firstborn building, you can build three more buildings –

    Enchanced Armory, improving Axemen
    +10 HP, +20% physical res., + crippling wounds
    +20 to cost, Expensive trait – 6 gold per turn instead of 4 (the opposite of volunteer)

    Crossbow Workshop, improving Crossbowmen
    Gives them +5 HP +1 Res (so they wont be destroyed by mass spells that easily)
    Get Improved Crossbows instead of Heavy Crossbows, the same damage but no range falloff
    +10 Cost, Expensive trait

    Deepguard Tower
    +5 HP +1 Res +20% to Fire, Lightning and Cold resistances, +1 to damage.
    +10 Cost, Expensive trait

    My stories: Writings of The Noin
    My Mod: Noin's Mod

    #155699

    Ermm…racial governance does alot of this.

    www.grababrew.weebly.com/

    #155702

    Ravenholme
    Member

    Ermm…racial governance does alot of this.

    I was going to say…

    “I am Welcomed in the Home of Ravens and Other Scavengers in the Wake of Warriors, I am Friend to Carrion Crows and Wolves, I am Carry Me, and Kill with Me, and Die with Me Where the Road Ends; I am not the Honeyed Promise of Length of Life in Years to Come, I am the Iron Promise of Never Being a Slave.”

    #155713

    Teehon
    Member

    The question is:

    Does it make using tier 1 racial units viable after 30+ turn?

    If not, then it’s not enough. The examples given in the Dev Journal are:

    +2 to ranged damage for Crossbowmen… Doesn’t change much.

    Buff for Firstborns – great, as if I needed another reason to build more of these.

    Lvl 5 Draconian Military: All Draconian Infantry, Irregulars and Pikemen get fire weapons and deal an additional +3 fire damage – hm, still no reason to build t1, but Phalanxes and Assassins with fire damage will be nice, of course.

    My stories: Writings of The Noin
    My Mod: Noin's Mod

    #155715

    Gloweye
    Member

    Crossbow Workshop, improving Crossbowmen
    Gives them +5 HP +1 Res (so they wont be destroyed by mass spells that easily)
    Get Improved Crossbows instead of Heavy Crossbows, the same damage but no range falloff
    +10 Cost, Expensive trait

    Racial Governance reveal says the Crossbowman get +2 Damage for Dwarf 1 Military. Also, no range falloff is kind of an elven trait…(and historically inaccurate for any kind of crossbow.)

    #155718

    Teehon
    Member

    Racial Governance reveal says the Crossbowman get +2 Damage for Dwarf 1 Military. Also, no range falloff is kind of an elven trait…(and historically inaccurate for any kind of crossbow.)

    Well, I wasn’t thinking about it historically but gameplay-wise, sorry. In AoWSM crossbows had long range and bows had middle, and there was no outcry about it. +2 doesn’t change the way players use this unit, it doesn’t motivate me to build it. Neither does it add any interesting additional tactical or strategical advantages or possibilities.

    Also, it states that “As for impact on game play, if you focus on a single race you will likely get an upgrade every twenty turns. ”
    So, the crossbowmen receiving +2 to Ranged Damage on the 20th turn… Yeah.

    I am not Racial Governance, I actually find it a pretty good idea. But I think it’s not enough.

    I don’t believe the t1 should be more powerful, but there simply should be ways to keep the regiments upgraded so they stay relevant and useful.

    My stories: Writings of The Noin
    My Mod: Noin's Mod

    #155723

    Ravenholme
    Member

    Racial Governance reveal says the Crossbowman get +2 Damage for Dwarf 1 Military. Also, no range falloff is kind of an elven trait…(and historically inaccurate for any kind of crossbow.)

    Well, I wasn’t thinking about it historically but gameplay-wise, sorry. In AoWSM crossbows had long range and bows had middle, and there was no outcry about it. +2 doesn’t change the way players use this unit, it doesn’t motivate me to build it. Neither does it add any interesting additional tactical or strategical advantages or possibilities.

    Well, this isn’t AoWSM. Crossbows are more modeled in AOW3 towards the early days of their usage (Though, really, they only became incredibly fearsome with modern construction techniques, and at that point they’re really just a specialist hunting weapon), and Longbows (as in reality) have a longer range.

    Crossbows back in the day were actually quite inaccurate and only useful massed, as I recall, sort of like a precursor to the musket. Their strength lay in that there was no real skill involved in using them, so they COULD be massed.

    “I am Welcomed in the Home of Ravens and Other Scavengers in the Wake of Warriors, I am Friend to Carrion Crows and Wolves, I am Carry Me, and Kill with Me, and Die with Me Where the Road Ends; I am not the Honeyed Promise of Length of Life in Years to Come, I am the Iron Promise of Never Being a Slave.”

    #155728

    Teehon
    Member

    Well, this isn’t AoWSM. Crossbows are more modeled in AOW3 towards the early days of their usage (Though, really, they only became incredibly fearsome with modern construction techniques, and at that point they’re really just a specialist hunting weapon), and Longbows (as in reality) have a longer range.

    Crossbows back in the day were actually quite inaccurate and only useful massed, as I recall, sort of like a precursor to the musket. Their strength lay in that there was no real skill involved in using them, so they COULD be massed.

    And once again.
    I did not want to talk about real life disadvantages of using crossbows! There were, in the ENTIRE history of the human race, not a SINGLE army composed entirely of Red Dragons led by a Flying Draconian hero, so they should be probably cut out of the game. Oh, and people in Middle Ages did NOT use remote-controlled Drones or Golems.
    Why would you even want to start talking about that? Want to show off your knowledge of medieval weapons? Well, in this topic it’s COMPLETELY irrelevant.

    My stories: Writings of The Noin
    My Mod: Noin's Mod

    #155763

    I am not Racial Governance, I actually find it a pretty good idea. But I think it’s not enough.

    With all due respect, it’s a bit premature to make that call.

    With regards to Draconian racial governance, there are 2 perks that affect the t1 units.

    Also, if you compare the stats, Xbows with + 2 means they hit for 18 odd damage. Throw in a medal, and that is 19 damage, which is not far off the much more expensive Musketeer.

    Xbows are consistently underrated, but I like them. You are supposed to protect them with Axemen, who then engage the enemy, and which are able to tank rather well.

    Then run your Xbows to the side, and flank with that damage.

    Also, it states that “As for impact on game play, if you focus on a single race you will likely get an upgrade every twenty turns. ”
    So, the crossbowmen receiving +2 to Ranged Damage on the 20th turn… Yeah.

    Well, that was an estimate form quite a while ago.

    You will get your first racial upgrade quite quickly, and then the cost goes up.

    I’m in a large (Goblin Theocrat) map, turn 86, and just got the Goblin level 4 (which is pretty tasty btw;).

    www.grababrew.weebly.com/

    #155764

    The short answer is yes, various things known to you and not known to you make lower tier units even more valuable.

    When you look at the champion system and the mystical sites, then the armored, shielded infantry are already very useful on into the game (if not offensively, as they are slow).

    #155775

    SaintTodd
    Member

    Would anyone else like to see promotion rewards be a little more aggressive ? Particularly in regards to HP, but across the board I’d like to see silver and gold units more powerful, with the 10 HP champion bonus nerfed slightly.

    I am Adam Evil, I'm not really evil, am I?

    #155789

    Fenraellis
    Member

    With regards to Draconian racial governance, there are 2 perks that affect the t1 units.

    ‘affect the T1 units,’ specifically, considering there are other perks which affects a broad variety of units, which happens to include T1s.

    Don’t worry, Dwarves get some definite love in this regard as well, and they are far from alone in this matter.

    #155796

    I find low tier unit still useful.

    Musketeers and Engineer remain relevant, Spy Drones are amazing, Goblin Untouchables…

    The secret is late game you can spam them in larger number and support them easily.

    #155798

    llfoso
    Member

    The problem is that racial governance can’t be too powerful or it will skew too strongly in favor of monoculturalism. Ideally the perks of monoculturalism vs. multiculturalism should come out even.

    #155803

    Teehon
    Member

    With all due respect, it’s a bit premature to make that call.

    With regards to Draconian racial governance, there are 2 perks that affect the t1 units.

    Also, if you compare the stats, Xbows with + 2 means they hit for 18 odd damage. Throw in a medal, and that is 19 damage, which is not far off the much more expensive Musketeer.

    Xbows are consistently underrated, but I like them. You are supposed to protect them with Axemen, who then engage the enemy, and which are able to tank rather well.

    Then run your Xbows to the side, and flank with that damage.

    Well, I made this call because from the examples given by the Devs, high tier units still got nicer buffs.

    When you look at the champion system and the mystical sites, then the armored, shielded infantry are already very useful on into the game (if not offensively, as they are slow).

    Is there a new mystical site, giving upgrades to Shielded? Because otherwise, all the mystical sites are still more effective on t3. (You have a city with the Prison and Magical Tree, whom will you produce? armored t1 or armored t3?)

    I find low tier unit still useful.
    Musketeers and Engineer remain relevant, Spy Drones are amazing, Goblin Untouchables…

    The secret is late game you can spam them in larger number and support them easily.

    Yes, you listed the more nicer t1, most of which are class units anyway, and Musketeers (which are one of the best t2 units in the game). But what about Draconian Wallbreakers? Elven Swordmen? Goblin Marauders? Ork t1 in general? Halfling peasants?

    My stories: Writings of The Noin
    My Mod: Noin's Mod

    #155811

    Gloweye
    Member

    Racial Governance will give aimed buffs to T1’s, like the Dwarf Crossbowman one. This will dramatically raise their cost/effect ratio.

    #155814

    Is there a new mystical site, giving upgrades to Shielded? Because otherwise, all the mystical sites are still more effective on t3. (You have a city with the Prison and Magical Tree, whom will you produce? armored t1 or armored t3?)

    Its just that you can combine everything to get high defense values at low prices. shield is just nice because it is an additional 2 defense on top of the uparmored defending unit.

    Depends on what I’m looking for. Axemen are quite excellent, and there are situations (fighting hunters or musketeers) where you want them en mass rather than up armored first born.

    But to answer more directly, there are lots of changes in the expansion that make some t-1 units retain value for the entire game if nursed correctly.

    #155819

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    It makes no sense to allow T1 units to become T2 or T3s in order to have good reason to build them. They are cheap, and they are not useless, if you manage to keep them alive long enough for them to gain a couple of medals.
    Otherwise, without any economic limits, you would OF COURSE build your best units, and that, by definition, cannot be T1s, and even then you may want to build the odd Pikeman or special Archer (Darter, Flamer, Longbowman) or even an Infantry (Dwarves, for example).

    #155821

    caxap
    Member

    I think tier 1 units are ok in current game state.
    5-6 tier 1 units could kill tier 4 unit without big problems just using flanking and sacrificing themselves to drain MP from T4 unit – i’ve done this to manticore – it kills one of my melee guys and then i just swarm it with my other t1 swordmen.

    Of course, stack of 6 TIV units are extremely strong, but it’s only applies on games when you turtle and raise huge economy to support such doomstacks.

    In my last 5 games i’ve not build ANY TIV unit – game ends long before that moment. And even at big maps it was better for me to spam low tier units and zerg enemies with 2-3 full stacks of tier 1 units.

    I think that in current gamestate, tier 4 unit is powerhouse of army – it acts in most important places, supported by lowtiers (they protecting flanks, buff and provides long-rage support).

    #156004

    Turn 6 or 7 to get your first racial upgrade btw.

    www.grababrew.weebly.com/

    #156040

    Mezmorki
    Member

    As others have said, T1 units remain useful for quite a while. All class/race combo’s can produce tier1 units with two rank upgrades (though the arena/shooting/ground/etc. and from building the race T3 building). Most classes then provide a way for some flavor of T1 units to get another rank bonus (e.g. Rogues giving +rank to irregulars, Druids giving +rank to archers). Layer in the race perks and it’s even more so…

    T1 units with a few rank upgrades are solid units. Furthermore, T1 units can be produced at cities with lower overall production more efficiently, so you can really crank them out quickly if you setup for it.

    #156123

    Teehon
    Member

    I think tier 1 units are ok in current game state.
    5-6 tier 1 units could kill tier 4 unit without big problems just using flanking and sacrificing themselves to drain MP from T4 unit – i’ve done this to manticore – it kills one of my melee guys and then i just swarm it with my other t1 swordmen.
    Of course, stack of 6 TIV units are extremely strong, but it’s only applies on games when you turtle and raise huge economy to support such doomstacks.

    In my last 5 games i’ve not build ANY TIV unit – game ends long before that moment. And even at big maps it was better for me to spam low tier units and zerg enemies with 2-3 full stacks of tier 1 units.

    I think that in current gamestate, tier 4 unit is powerhouse of army – it acts in most important places, supported by lowtiers (they protecting flanks, buff and provides long-rage support).

    The problem, there are only so many units you can fight in a army. Only 5 units can get bonuses from a hero, for example.

    Another thing: if you fight three battles with a stack of t3 (clearing sites for examples) and you loose no units, you don’t loose money per se. However, if you fight with two stacks of lower tier units of equal total cost and you loose 2 units, you do loose money. More than that, you need to replenish your losses, and that adds additional logistical challenge. Other than that, you are less maneuverable with low-tier units as they are less mobile in general.

    You know, I tried to make a strategy based on low-tier and it is just not viable.
    Let’s see how it will be after the expansion!

    My stories: Writings of The Noin
    My Mod: Noin's Mod

    #156146

    stellarrat
    Member

    Low level units were much more relevant in Shadow Magic because you could enchant them on the strategic map with multiple additional buffs BEFORE combat. I know some people disagree (stacks of doom, etc…), but I really wish the developers would bring this back. I’m sure it could be balanced with some thought and feedback.

    #156177

    vyolin
    Member

    Low level units were much more relevant in Shadow Magic because you could enchant them on the strategic map with multiple additional buffs BEFORE combat. I know some people disagree (stacks of doom, etc…), but I really wish the developers would bring this back. I’m sure it could be balanced with some thought and feedback.

    How would that solve the problem? Why would I enchant my cannon fodder rather than my top tier units to make them even scarier?

    The easiest way of keeping low level units relevant would still be to have cities produce multiple units per turn, if production allows. This way we could finally make use of the fact that low level units are economically more efficient than high tier units.
    The only thing keeping the already existing balance between tiers from kicking in is cities wasting huge amounts of production on low level units.
    Just to beat that dead horse, you know.

    #156179

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    The balance is fine, thank you.

    #156181

    Stormwind
    Member

    Low level units were much more relevant in Shadow Magic because you could enchant them on the strategic map with multiple additional buffs BEFORE combat. I know some people disagree (stacks of doom, etc…), but I really wish the developers would bring this back. I’m sure it could be balanced with some thought and feedback.

    I dont know why that would help, since your opponent could go ahead and enchant those upper tier units you are going to fight.

    'My Dad used to say 'always fight fire with fire', which is probably why he got thrown out of the fire brigade.'

    #156205

    stellarrat
    Member

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>stellarrat wrote:</div>
    Low level units were much more relevant in Shadow Magic because you could enchant them on the strategic map with multiple additional buffs BEFORE combat. I know some people disagree (stacks of doom, etc…), but I really wish the developers would bring this back. I’m sure it could be balanced with some thought and feedback.

    I dont know why that would help, since your opponent could go ahead and enchant those upper tier units you are going to fight.

    I know, but even in SM you couldn’t afford to have every army group enchanted (due to mana maintenance costs), so if you had the ability to have some level 1 – 3 units heavily enchanted there was a pretty good chance that they could come up against some non-enchanted level IVs and have a good chance to win that’s what kept them relevant even in the late game. It also took multiple turns to throw all the enchants on the units, so unless your opponent knew where an attack was coming from and when “counter-buffing” his level IVs wasn’t necessarily going to work. Also, you could create lower level units very quickly and buff them on the way to the battlefield, so they were more flexible in emergencies. I’m not saying it was the ultimate solution, but it was better than what we have in AOW III, IMO.

    #156221

    I’m not saying it was the ultimate solution, but it was better than what we have in AOW III, IMO.

    um, low tier units tended to always miss when fighting high tier units, if memory serves me. There was also no flanking, so a super high defense unit could receive nary a blow from many swordsmen/archers. I use lower tier units in the late game much more frequently in aow iii than the earlier ones.

    In fact, the ultimate stack in sm was an all hero all the time super holy wrath attack. Backed by other t-4s, of course.

    so if you had the ability to have some level 1 – 3 units heavily enchanted there was a pretty good chance that they could come up against some non-enchanted level IVs and have a good chance to win that’s what kept them relevant even in the late game.

    you could upgrade them to be competent, of course, but you could also upgrade the t-4’s to exactly the same extent, so it becomes a wash in tactical prowess. As T-4’s had a strong advantage beforehand, they would keep that advantage assuming equal enchanting.

    If you can surprise your opponent in the situation you mention, then you’ve won by surprise with an inferior force, not because of tier balance.

    Strategically, permanent enchantments totally favor high tier units. Take haste, for example. Since that magnifies an already present ability, units with flying/floating/lots of movement points get more out of haste than slower ones do for the same cost. As high tier units have those things more often than lower tier units, the high tier benefit more.

    Remember super doom wolves, or floating steam tanks? Lets just say there is a reason that most of the big permanent enchantments are end of the game spells. And that the wild hunt doesn’t make ships float anymore.

    Spillover production, on the other hand, would aid lower tier vs. higher tier units quite nicely. I don’t think anyone is actually opposed to it, but it would just be a huge change. So it won’t get in with all the new stuff.

    #156231

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    I am FIRMLY against spillover production.

    #156247

    Stormwind
    Member

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>Stormwind wrote:</div>

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>stellarrat wrote:</div><br>
    Low level units were much more relevant in Shadow Magic because you could enchant them on the strategic map with multiple additional buffs BEFORE combat. I know some people disagree (stacks of doom, etc…), but I really wish the developers would bring this back. I’m sure it could be balanced with some thought and feedback.

    I dont know why that would help, since your opponent could go ahead and enchant those upper tier units you are going to fight.

    I know, but even in SM you couldn’t afford to have every army group enchanted (due to mana maintenance costs), so if you had the ability to have some level 1 – 3 units heavily enchanted there was a pretty good chance that they could come up against some non-enchanted level IVs and have a good chance to win that’s what kept them relevant even in the late game. It also took multiple turns to throw all the enchants on the units, so unless your opponent knew where an attack was coming from and when “counter-buffing” his level IVs wasn’t necessarily going to work. Also, you could create lower level units very quickly and buff them on the way to the battlefield, so they were more flexible in emergencies. I’m not saying it was the ultimate solution, but it was better than what we have in AOW III, IMO.

    Enchantmant cost though is per unit; its much cheaper to enchant a couple of high level units than a half dozen low level ones. I think this could easily have the opposite effect you intend.

    'My Dad used to say 'always fight fire with fire', which is probably why he got thrown out of the fire brigade.'

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