Ballista!

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This topic contains 119 replies, has 32 voices, and was last updated by  NINJEW 6 years, 11 months ago.

Viewing 30 posts - 1 through 30 (of 120 total)
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  • #113070

    ExNihil
    Member

    Hey fellas,

    I am re-posting here my proposal for a Ballista that was originally in the now defunct New Units Proposal Thread (thanks to BBB and Ravenholme for contributing to this idea). I would really like to see this unit implement in the next patch. If you would like that as well, through your support by posting in this thread – with enough interest I’m sure the dev’s will give it a serious though. Ok, here it is:

    BALLISTA

    A tier 2 unit that comes between the Battering Ram and the Trebuchet for all races. It’s production is unlocked with Siege Workshop and it has the following properties:
    110 Gold and 8 gold maintenance. 50-55hp / 9 defense / 8 resistance / reinforced / 40% fire weakness / 100% blight resistance* / 100% spirit resistance* / 28MP.

    Fires a projectile for long range and does 20 physical damage / has Line of Sight and Ranged Penalties / can fire only with 3 action points / no cooldown between shots / Armor Piercing.

    Upon leveling to Gold Medal it received an extra +4 fire damage due to burning arrow.

    This unit is superb in early game wall defense but is incapable of damaging walls and is as such a poor siege weapon. It is effective in pitched battle, but all in all does less damage then treb.

    It would be relatively easy to introduce this unit because it is a universal rather then a racial unit and as such requires much less work. It will also give all races a unit that is ok in city defense vs. other machines and has the range to counter trebuchets and cannons – although with significantly reduced damage due to range. It would be devastating on lower tier units, and will offer a good counter to a sorcerer’s stunning + phase support units city rushes, as like all machines it is immune to stun.

    * pending changes to machine blight and spirit resistance mechanisms

    #113076

    Marcus
    Member

    All in all, I’m ok with everything that adds more diversity (More machines? Sure, the more the better).

    You might add trebuchet’s trait, that doesn’t allow to move/shoot if it is engaged in melee. Just my 2 cents.

    #113078

    Ravenholme
    Member

    Cheers for the mention, I do feel that I didn’t contribute all that much to the idea, but it is cool to get mentioned.

    As you well know, I’m a +1 for this idea. It is something that was in AoW2 (and lower, I believe) so there is precedent for it.

    #113079

    ExNihil
    Member

    @marcus,

    It has the trebuchet’s trait – can fire only with 3 action points (only on green).

    #113081

    Thariorn
    Member

    I would add a 1(Maybe 2) Hex long Line of Damage behind the inital target (Where each hex takes 50% less Dmg, so inital Hex 100%, 1st Hex behind the target 50%, 2nd HEx behind the target 25%), similar to the Dreadnought’s Cannon.

    And Bleeding Wounds Attack Modifier on some Medal rank

    #113082

    I think you have a great idea there , well thought out well done 😉

    #113088

    ExNihil
    Member

    I would add a 1(Maybe 2) Hex long Line of Damage behind the inital target (Where each hex takes 50% less Dmg, so inital Hex 100%, 1st Hex behind the target 50%, 2nd HEx behind the target 25%), similar to the Dreadnought’s Cannon.

    And Bleeding Wounds Attack Modifier on some Medal rank

    Thats very cool idea but it might be OP for a t2 unit. I dunno, as flamers have AoE attack as well….. I’d like it :). Anyhow, if this is the case the damage should be reduced, probably to 18 and so it will be 18, 12, 6 + Line of Sight and Ranged Penalties.

    #113092

    Unfortunately the devs will never make a new unit simply because 20 people ask for it, even with some cool ideas backing it up. If the request count jumped up to the kind of numbers that we don’t have on these forums annually, say 100 people post replies backing you up, i still doubt anything would come of this.

    At best, it would merely be added to a very long product backlog and i have no doubt that you wouldn’t see it soon never mind “the next patch” as the artists are so incredible busy atm.

    This is because TS do have milestones, things they need to hit each week and month. Full units are a serious undertaking and would delay their plans considerably.

    But i agree with you, they are cool machines of war that i would also like to see in game. They have been brought up in the past too though, so you can do a wi search and if you find them then you can use those threads as further evidence for your argument. From then onwards all you can really do is to cross your fingers and hope for the best 🙂

    tbh though, i can imagine this being left to the modders before TS make them :/

    #113097

    Thariorn
    Member

    So……who knows a bit of 3D modelling here? ;P

    #113103

    This unit is superb in early game wall defense but is incapable of damaging walls and is as such a poor siege weapon. It is effective in pitched battle, but all in all does less damage then treb.

    a bad offensive siege engine (unless paired with seeker). Defending in a siege also makes a weapon a siege engine. Otherwise, the engine sounds good.

    I’d also like to see this paired with a decrease in the trebuchet’s damage vs. organic units. That way, there would be a clear progression in siege engines.

    You’d have the ram for walls, Ballistae for units and somewhat for machines, and the Trebuchet for walls and machines.

    I’d nerf the trebuchet’s damage against organic units simply by lowering its attack strength by five. I’d also make reinforced not work when an attack has wall crushing (this makes sense. the very thing that makes the machine less vulnerable to swords/axes/arrows makes it more vulnerable to big stones).

    That way, trebuchets would deal much less damage to organic units, and the same to walls to machines. Dreadnought heavy machines would become more vulnerable, but do more damage to enemy machines.

    This would also be a boost to the Warbreed, who would be a counter engine fighter (provided that they can survive the musketeer screen, of course).

    As for the Stone Giant, I’d keep its ability the way it is and just rename it “giant’s toss” or whatever, because it can hurl a giant stone much more accurately than a machine.

    #113105

    ExNihil
    Member

    Well I’ll be a prick, but I guess you are the kind of guy that appreciates this stuff :). According to wikipedia a Siege Engine is:

    A device that is designed to break or circumvent city walls and other fortifications in siege warfare. Some have been operated close to the fortifications, while others have been used to attack from a distance.

    Hence you are mistaken, but Engine does sound cool! Anyhow, I like your suggestion and I think it makes sense.

    #113108

    Leave it at war machine =]

    #113114

    Hence you are mistaken, but Engine does sound cool! Anyhow, I like your suggestion and I think it makes sense.

    ah, siege engine is a more general term than you say. If you look at the article, it says “or circumvent” for walls or fortifications. Circumventing could simply be firing over, (as to attack troops behind crenelations on the walls, or attack the town behind the walls).

    If you read about the siege of Masada, the Romans used their scorpions and ballistae to raise so great a fire that the defenders couldn’t stay on the walls regularly.

    Indeed, it is a matter of no small scholarly debate as to whether any ancient ballistic weapon (before counterweight trebuchets and cannon) could actually destroy stone walls.

    Even under the more narrow “destruction” definition of siege engines, arrow throwers still count. Even when walls are stone, there are wooden outworks built on them. These wooden structures can occasionally be pierced by heavy enough bolts, and if not properly protected with vinegar/water soaked hides, lit aflame.

    an engine simply means a machine or mechanism, and a siege engine is any machine used in a siege. It is a modern term of art that combines artillery (the technical term for ancient throwing stuff) with battering rams and towers. Anything from a ladder to a cannon counts in the current literature.

    Read here for the still in wikipedia use of siege engine for arrow throwers used offensively and defensively.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torsion_siege_engine

    #113132

    11balanced11
    Member

    All in all, I’m ok with everything that adds more diversity (More machines? Sure, the more the better).

    I’m against ballista as universal unit for all races / classes just by the diversity reasons. It could replace racial t-1 archers (aspecially as city defense unit): every player will tend to produce ballistas instead of archers? so the unit diversity will decrease.

    To dream up, I’d better make it a class unit for Warlord, moving horse archer to some new ‘Nomad’ class…

    #113136

    ExNihil
    Member

    I suggest a cost of 110 gold/production, whereby archers have a cost of between 65 – 75 gold/production. Also, this unit is no good in creeping and in most situations cant be healed with a Master’s Workshop (250 gold/production). I explain the production mechanism in the Balance Suggestion sub-forum in my post on Humans: http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/races-and-classes-balance/ – as you will see these are big differences because of which archers and ballistas are not exchangeable.

    • This reply was modified 4 years ago by  President.
    #113157

    a siege engine is any machine used in a siege

    I don’t agree, a siege engine is a device create for the purpose of besieging a city.

    A mechanical spoon that could tunnel through a wall in 1000 years isn’t considered a siege engine simply because it was used in a siege by some half wit.

    Its taking an example to the extreme but it helps aids in the understanding of why i don’t agree.

    #113160

    ExNihil
    Member

    Lol, brilliant example 🙂

    #113192

    Leon Feargus
    Member

    I am in favor of adding Ballistae as the default tier2 siege machines!

    All in all, I’m ok with everything that adds more diversity (More machines? Sure, the more the better).

    You might add trebuchet’s trait, that doesn’t allow to move/shoot if it is engaged in melee. Just my 2 cents.

    I agree that Ballistae should inherit this trait of not being able to shoot while engaged. However, I am sure that Trebuchets (so dito for Ballistae) can still move while engaged (at the cost of a strike of opportunity of course).

    Unfortunately the devs will never make a new unit simply because 20 people ask for it, even with some cool ideas backing it up. If the request count jumped up to the kind of numbers that we don’t have on these forums annually, say 100 people post replies backing you up, i still doubt anything would come of this.

    At best, it would merely be added to a very long product backlog and i have no doubt that you wouldn’t see it soon never mind “the next patch” as the artists are so incredible busy atm.

    This is because TS do have milestones, things they need to hit each week and month. Full units are a serious undertaking and would delay their plans considerably.

    This is a rather negative look on things. It is my believe that when the devs spot a good idea they will put it on the feature request list. This idea will of course not instantly become high priority so expecting it to be introduced in the next patch will be a tad too optimistic, but who knows after that.

    #113221

    Making it a universal unit instead of a racial unit cuts down on the workload! Anyway, you never know, they might put it in!

    #113235

    Making it a universal unit instead of a racial unit cuts down on the workload!

    I assumed it would be like this too. When the mod tools get released i plan on creating racial war machines but until then i don’t think we will see visually different racial machines.

    #113240

    Gloweye
    Member

    +1 for ballista.

    I’d give it bleeding wound right away, and I dont think 22 damage(Current Fire Ballista strength on ships) would be OP. Dwarf Crossbowmen have a 16 damage, can repair after combat, have melee capabilities, AND are 1 tier lower(half upkeep, etc).

    For the Flaming arrow, i’d just give it +1 damage on every medal rank, and Shoot Flaming Javelin on Elite Rank for 20 Phys, 4 Fire damage. Extra damage channel for conditional higher damage, as flame is just about most common resistance.

    About the AOE effect, im not so sure. If you’re talking about the roman scorpion kind of thing, they could only hit 2 people at realatively close range. That said, you could that you hit 1 hex behind target for 50% damage under the condition that you have no range penalty. At least, if there is a way to easily explain that in an in-game ability….

    Siege workshop as requirement sounds right. Also, regarding the more buildings project weve seen in the dev journal here: http://ageofwonders.com/development-journal-mystical-city-upgrades/ The Siege workshop could enable a Defensive tower structure that would just be exactly a immobile ballista with a few more HP that would only be usable in defensive sieges. Just like a ballista build on a tower. Range not modified, So enemy cannons would be able to take them down.

    #113390

    I don’t agree, a siege engine is a device create for the purpose of besieging a city.

    A mechanical spoon that could tunnel through a wall in 1000 years isn’t considered a siege engine simply because it was used in a siege by some half wit.

    Its taking an example to the extreme but it helps aids in the understanding of why i don’t agree.

    well, no siege lasts a 1000 years, so yes, it wouldn’t count as a siege weapon! Digging instruments were historically used as siege engines, and not just for digging under walls. When you have mudbrick walls, people can actually mine through them.

    I can give you scholarly cites where “siege weapon” is more generally applied to weapons used to defend in a siege, rather than just attack.

    This comes from the appendix of “The Traction Trebuchet: A Reconstruction of an Early Medieval Siege Engine” by W. T. S. Tarver
    in Technology and Culture, Vol. 36, No. 1 (Jan., 1995), pp. 136-167, 166-167

    Siege Engine, Siege Machine: An ancient or medieval contrivance for
    throwing substantial missiles at an enemy during sieges and related
    tactical situations
    .

    Torsion Engine: A siege engine used by the ancient Greeks and
    Romans using one or two skeins of twisted animal sinew or hair to
    store energy. A one-armed torsion engine (i.e., an onager) would almost invariably have a sling rather than the highly inefficient, but unfortunately stereotypical, spoon; a two arm torsion engine would have a bowstring (in the manner of a crossbow).

    Scorpion: A catchall name for several kinds of Roman siege engines,
    particularly but not exclusively the smaller ones.

    #113401

    ExNihil
    Member

    hamm… my dear – this is a thread about Ballista! (written thus) a poor siege engine in the strict sense of a machine used to besiege a fortification but a very good wall defender – in case you misunderstood the original intention (which you didn’t). As the Romans well knew – a siege engine without the wall-crushing attribute is no siege engine worthy of the name!

    non urinat in ventum, or in yiddish: Contra Venta Nicht Pischenda

    #113430

    hamm… my dear – this is a thread about Ballista! (written thus) a poor siege engine in the strict sense of a machine used to besiege a fortification but a very good wall defender

    I’ll say once and for all that isn’t the technical usage of the word in the modern military history literature (how can you argue, I have a scholarly source using the term as I indicate). Here is a cite from Josephus for the offensive besieging use of scorpions and bow shooters at Masada:

    “The other machines that were now got ready were like to those that had been first devised by Vespasian, and afterwards by Titus, for sieges. There was also a tower made of the height of sixty cubits, and all over plated with iron, out of which the Romans threw darts and stones from the engines, and soon made those that fought from the walls of the place to retire, and would not let them lift up their heads above the works.”

    Josephus,De Bello Judaico, bk. 7, sec. 304. available on project Perseus.

    #113433

    ExNihil
    Member

    ROFL…. I think you missed the joke and the point of my post, which was…. this is a thread about introducing a t2 unit that is very good at defending walls but not in besieging them – nobody cares about the correct terminology used in contemporary military historiography but you seem to be adamant to prove your point and demonstrate your knowledge of both primary and secondary sources in war studies :).

    #113442

    Ravenholme
    Member

    Well, you guys were adamant in trying to disprove Chrysophylax’s usage of the term Siege Engine, so I think he is entitled to go prove you wrong.

    (Long story short: A Ballista IS a Siege Engine, but it would be used primarily for defensive purposes in AoW 3. Seeker Enchantment would allow it to function close to how it was historically used in an offensive siege situation, though)

    #113443

    ROFL…. I think you missed the joke and the point of my post, which was…. this is a thread about introducing a t2 unit that is very good at defending walls but not in besieging them – nobody cares about the correct terminology used in contemporary military historiography but you seem to be adamant to prove your point and demonstrate your knowledge of both primary and secondary sources in war studies .

    accuracy is more important than joking, when it comes to correct historical terminology (I am a classics major after all). You can probably guess that I play a lot of Total war games.

    moreover, a scorpion might be a good place to look for ballista designs, as we want it to clearly look like an anti personal/anti material rather than anti building weapon (the fire attack will let it attack wooden walls, but I don’t have a problem with that).

    What do people think of that, or do we want to go more “big Leonardo Da Vinci style” giant crossbow?

    Attachments:
    #113449

    Ravenholme
    Member

    Go big or go home, I say.

    Mostly because it is going to be an individual (machine) unit, and it fits the fantasy atmosphere to have something large and fanciful.

    #113451
    #113457

    Ravenholme
    Member

    Pretty much what I have in mind, yes. Not actually a Ballista, I know (Tension weapon instead of Torsion), but the name serves.

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