Gryphon Riders

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Home Forums Age of Wonders 3 Discussions Gryphon Riders

This topic contains 88 replies, has 19 voices, and was last updated by  hilfazer 7 years, 7 months ago.

Viewing 29 posts - 61 through 89 (of 89 total)
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  • #128869

    Epaminondas
    Member

    Option 1A/2A: Armored (+1 Def) and -3 Move -> 27 Move.

    I like this option best.

    #128880

    Draxynnic
    Member

    Okay, so we want to balance giving gryphon riders armoured – which is dubious as to whether the model really does justify it due to the armour only covering a small fraction of the model that is going to be out of reach for most attackers – by, and let’s consider the full ramifications of what’s being proposed here: making a flying unit that is slower than heavily armoured knights on the tactical map.

    I guess it would help to keep knights relevant, but to me, if you’re really pushing this on the basis of the unit’s statistics meeting expectations, then even on that basis the proposed cure is worse than the disease.

    Furthermore, from the perspective of player expectations, we’re taking a race that lore-wise disdains dreadnoughts, and then nerfing them for every class that isn’t dreadnought. So you’re trading more closely matching expectations in one (dubious, for reasons that have been discussed) area, in exchange for breaking them in not one but now two others.

    And, for the record, I think that +1 def and -10% cost is a big deal. Like most classes, dread upgrades are based on upgrading what the dread is good at, rather than upgrading the units that fill holes in their capability (this is why, for instance, warlords pay full price for support units – lack of nonphysical damage is an intended Achilles heel for the warlord, and if you want to plug that gap, you need to pay full price for it). Making those bonuses apply to dreadnoughts means that dreadnoughts get to apply a full set of upgrades to a unit that covers one of their weaknesses. I really don’t think that’s a good idea, particularly when it also pushes a race/class combination that’s supposed to be incredibly rare according to the lore.

    One of the things I commented on early in the beta is that the most synergetic race/class combinations tended to also be ones that made sense according to the lore. Elf dreadnoughts have already been a minor exception to that observation. Giving them armoured flying cavalry would make them a MAJOR exception.

    #128911

    Ayenara
    Member

    As I said before, I’ve already tried playing High Elf Dreadnought thinking that the GR had Armored, and I didn’t find the combo very good. Granted this was mostly in 1v1, but also in some FFAs. But speaking from experience, I don’t think this will change much.

    And so what if HE/Dread becomes an interesting choice? It won’t be the default race for Dread, and it won’t dominate the other races. There are so many other things to consider than whether the racial t3 is Armored or not. Other races have some really nice things going for them that people are already using to play good Dread with.

    I’m not very well versed in the nuances of AoW3 lore, but there are already many very strong combos that I think are probably not the most perfect fits lore-wise. Also, I can imagine some renegade High Elves, tired of all the tree-hugging and nature worship, instead decided to be good engineers with all their knowledge and magic. Or alternatively, they could justify using the reasources of the land by claiming a higher purpose. They could also have the philosophy of making sure the things they love were used and not forgotten. I see many ways for this to make some sense lorewise. But the most important aspect is probably that Elves are pretty smart (I think you learn a thing or two in the time you have from being immortal), and you have to be pretty smart to build advanced machinery.

    #128913

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>Fenraellis wrote:</div>
    Option 1A/2A: Armored (+1 Def) and -3 Move -> 27 Move.

    I like this option best.

    Option 1A/2A: Armored (+1 Def) and -3 Move -> 27 Move.

    Not bad idea. And the wolves are sated and the sheep intact.

    Fenraellis wrote:
    Option 1A/2A: Armored (+1 Def) and -3 Move -> 27 Move.
    I’ll take that. It would make them the defined “heavy flying unit” role, which would be both lore appropriate and fun to use.

    Polite cough.

    Fwiw, it makes sense to implement that slight nerf if we assume that armoured is a buff overall. However, wild Gryphons move faster, which is why I, erronously, put the Gryphon Rider speed in at 36 when I proposed nerfing it a bit. So, the very act of carrying someone makes them move slower, so if the Gryphon itself gets armoured as well, then yes, it should move slower, but then really you’d need to animate that, in which case you might as well remove the armour from the Elf riding the Gryphon and give him clothes, leaving the Gryphon Rider exactly as it is right now, stats wise.

    Overall, either way, I don’t think it will make a huge difference. Elf Dreadnought is already quite an attractive proposal, more so than Hafling imho, and you already get a flying, potentially shooting, rather good T3 unit anyway, so an extra defence etc won’t make them any more interesting imho, overall.

    I.E. if you were going for HE Dread anyway, then the potential 10% discount an extra armour would be the icing on the cake – you’d be far more likely to be looking at cheaper, shooting Unicorns…

    #128921

    terrahero
    Member

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>terrahero wrote:</div>
    he Phalanx unit has Shield, but doesnt carry one so that should be removed. etc etc

    Have you looked? it has a small shield on the left arm.

    Also, I don’t think it’s to much to demand the unit models appear like the ability list would suggest.

    As for the Gryphon Rider itself, I think it should be added. If Elf Dread really proves to strong because of this, the +1 def can always be taken off again, making it into a almost pure weakness.

    A tiny shield, maybe i missed it. I merely took a look at the Tome of Wonders unit model which doesnt have one.
    That still leaves the polearm ability remaining for Knights and Boar Riders.

    Units look a way they do, and it doesnt always match their abilities. And there are reasonable arguments for and against.
    Some say a Gryphon looks armoured, others might say this armour covers relatively little of the beast, and could very well be of very light construct to avoid slowing it down to much. That as a result the armour contributes so little, it doesnt count as armoured.
    Much as some would say a Knight uses a polearm, and others would say the way he uses his polearm in a different way then a Pikeman unit. And this martial difference determines how the polearm-effect works against cavalry/flying units, and not merely the presence of one.

    Aslong as its not completely immersion breaking, and no sensible counter-argument could be mounted against following the design of the unit in determining its skills, i say we follow gameplay and balance as a guideline.
    Otherwise we are going down a very slippery slope, with the Knight/Boar Rider just being the beginning.

    #128930

    Fenraellis
    Member

    Polite cough.

    I was merely utilizing the element of your idea and adding to the ‘options list’. Not trying to steal it. 😉

    #128987

    Ricminator
    Member

    I think an armored Gryphon Rider is a bad idea for two reasons:

    one:

    it will be the only armored flyer in game, because the manticore, drac flyer, exalted and the halfling Eagle rider aren’t. Especially with the enchanted armory you can really create a scary unit. The enchanted armory might not show up everywhere, but on each map you will find spots where you can set it up.

    two:

    the HE as a race already synergize the best with all the classes. Why should I want to play with any other race if the gryphon rider is armored?

    WL for instance: the cav archer is the best, add a focused chamber and you have the best archer in game. Have an armored gryphon rider and you have the only tanky flyer and thus the best mobility with the best cav stats.

    AD no need to explain the HE hunter plus the HE adds lightning to counter anything what is blight immune.

    Theocrat adds healing to the HE, where the HE adds again lightning to counter machines.

    DN is already explained in above posts.

    Only HE sorcerer doesn’t add extra synergy although it is not a bad combo.

    Attack a city and anyone would prefer flyers over the human knight, because you can get over the walls so easy. So there is no need to improve the best flyer, which in itself is already a good very useful unit.

    #129005

    Aennor
    Member

    And so what if HE/Dread becomes an interesting choice? It won’t be the default race for Dread, and it won’t dominate the other races. There are so many other things to consider than whether the racial t3 is Armored or not. Other races have some really nice things going for them that people are already using to play good Dread with.

    I agree.

    Overall, either way, I don’t think it will make a huge difference. Elf Dreadnought is already quite an attractive proposal, more so than Hafling imho, and you already get a flying, potentially shooting, rather good T3 unit anyway, so an extra defence etc won’t make them any more interesting imho, overall.

    It’ll only make the life of independents harder 😀

    Much as some would say a Knight uses a polearm, and others would say the way he uses his polearm in a different way then a Pikeman unit. And this martial difference determines how the polearm-effect works against cavalry/flying units, and not merely the presence of one.

    Well, the Knight uses something lake lance (the leading weapon in cavalry charges, and was unsuited for throwing or for repeated thrusting, unlike similar weapons of the spear/javelin/pike family typically used by infantry (c) Wikipedia), so their way is truly different from pikeman 😀

    Otherwise we are going down a very slippery slope, with the Knight/Boar Rider just being the beginning.

    What’s wrong with this? The more variety the better.

    Attack a city and anyone would prefer flyers over the human knight, because you can get over the walls so easy.

    Well, it’s double-edged sword actually. You can easily fly over the walls into the slaughterhouse suicide. Too much factors to count. However, with defensive buldings you should think fast, so, either way you should breach the walls fast, and what will be there – that’s another story.

    #129016

    As I said before, I’ve already tried playing High Elf Dreadnought thinking that the GR had Armored, and I didn’t find the combo very good. Granted this was mostly in 1v1, but also in some FFAs. But speaking from experience, I don’t think this will change much.
    And so what if HE/Dread becomes an interesting choice? It won’t be the default race for Dread, and it won’t dominate the other races. There are so many other things to consider than whether the racial t3 is Armored or not. Other races have some really nice things going for them that people are already using to play good Dread with.

    I would like to observe that the racial t-3 is a much bigger thing for long term sp games than it is in mp (at least since the research slowdown/cost increase for the ultimate building).

    In games that go up to 100 turns or over, the racial T-3 becomes sort of your “bread and butter” unit. Even though people complain about t-4 spam, they are usually limited by cp, cities with the ultimate class building, or the small number of dwellings. The racial ultimate building is also critical for late game utility on the lower units, as that extra medal makes a big difference (for non warlords at least).

    It is also the major “difference unit” in the lineup, as the others are mostly tied to the same unit schema.

    So, the very act of carrying someone makes them move slower, so if the Gryphon itself gets armoured as well, then yes, it should move slower, but then really you’d need to animate that, in which case you might as well remove the armour from the Elf riding the Gryphon and give him clothes, leaving the Gryphon Rider exactly as it is right now, stats wise.

    Yep, you and Fen should share the internet nobel prize. As to a visual indication, yes, it would be preferable for there to be some kind of mail to show that the gryphon itself was covered in armor. The same would be true for the unicorn rider, and all the other armored cavalry units that don’t have barding.

    However, that would be fairly low on my wishlist, as the armor of the rider is a decently strong indication of being armored.

    As to the impact of the +1 and armored, then -3 move-points, I think that would merely accentuate the way the unit is already going. It has one defense more than both the flyer and eagle rider, so is is already functionally a “heavy flyer”.

    Against armor piercing, a very common skill, the Gryphon rider would have defense equal to that of the eagle rider, and less than that of the flyer vs. ranged (because of projectile resistance).

    three less move-points would put them at a disadvantage on the strategic map, especially relative to the eagle rider. However, they would still be able to outdistance non floating and flying things over most terrain (and advanced logistics would make them faster than 36 mp walking/riding units in tactical combat).

    So for classes other than the dreadnought, it would be +1 defense in most situations, and something useful to build with the enchanted armory, but vulnerable to a -1 net defense attack in many others (armor piercing).

    They would also be vulnerable to rust strike, for another -2 defense.

    For the dreadnought, they would offer a potentially powerful meat unit, but with the drawback of being slower than the other flyers. They would also not be useful for fighting enemies with armor piercing.

    As to the lore, I think that fits the high elf design aesthetic pretty well. They are a force of fast moving elites: both fast and durable. They are somewhat Persian in set up: They have gilded armor, excellent archers and cavalry (including the best horse archers), but mediocre infantry.

    Gryphon riders with armor are basically flying cataphracts: a balance of heavy, mobile cavalry that can fight as shock cavalry, or defend, as the case may be. The Dreadnought makes the role even closer, as it gives them a close in ranged attack.

    #129022

    Garresh
    Member

    Unit wise, elves already have the best cavalry, one of the best archers, a really strong support, and one of the best t3. Is this really necessary? Personally I still think humans could use a little love.

    #129026

    Unit wise, elves already have the best cavalry, one of the best archers, a really strong support, and one of the best t3. Is this really necessary?

    I was against it until the lower mp was proposed by our druid friend and mr. stabby. What do you think of that?

    #129049

    Draxynnic
    Member

    I’m not very well versed in the nuances of AoW3 lore, but there are already many very strong combos that I think are probably not the most perfect fits lore-wise. Also, I can imagine some renegade High Elves, tired of all the tree-hugging and nature worship, instead decided to be good engineers with all their knowledge and magic.

    These are exceptions to the rule. The proposal here would, I think, make high elf dreads the rule as people get past the mental block and realise how valuable armoured flying cavalry really is for dreadnoughts. High Elf dread is already an attractive option with unicorn riders and nonarmoured flying cavalry.

    Only HE sorcerer doesn’t add extra synergy although it is not a bad combo.

    Technically speaking, HE sorcerer gets extra ranged damage on the sorcerer as well as on apprentices, although it’s not a huge amount. HE sorcerer also has synergy in the ‘more of the same’ sense – sorcerer is strong

    It’ll only make the life of independents harder 😀

    Um… “Making the life of independents harder” leads to an advantage in MP as well. It will also ultimately make the life of opponents harder when this combination gets used in MP.

    BBB’s comparison with halflings is also, I think, another one that needs to considered. At the moment, halflings and high elves are actually close to being equal contenders – elves have a few advantages in synergy there (armoured pikemen, armoured archers, unicorn riders being more useful for dreads than pony riders) but eagle riders have the interesting angle that as pistoliers they potentially need never receive a retaliation, which means they can compete with gryphon riders there. If gryphon riders received armoured, then that would become no competition from the dread’s perspective – a gimmick is not worth the opportunity cost of what gryphons bring to the table. So at the moment, we have several interesting choices for tier 3 pistoliers: knights, which are land-based and thus don’t plug the hole in dreadnought capabilities, but have armoured; gryphons, which do not have armoured, but provide a tough flyer; and eagles, which aren’t as tough as gryphons but are faster, and have a gimmick that can potentially allow them to avoid a lot of damage if combined with Pistolier. Armoured gryphons would, I think, shift this balance so that once things settle down gryphons will come out as the only clear option, collapsing three interesting options into one correct choice.

    This is, of course, unless gryphons are substantially nerfed somewhere else, in which case, I repeat: The effect is to nerf elves for all the classes that are good matches for them lore-wise, in order to buff them for the class that isn’t. From a lore perspective – and the claim ‘it looks armoured and thus it should be armoured’ (even though only a small portion of the surface area of the unit is actually armoured) is essentially a lore perspective – the proposed ‘cure’ is worse than the disease.

    What’s wrong with this? The more variety the better.

    Side discussion, but when we already have one tier 2 cav with polearm, adding another reducing the distinctiveness of the existing one.

    Well, it’s double-edged sword actually. You can easily fly over the walls into the slaughterhouse suicide. Too much factors to count.

    Errrm… You ALWAYS need to pick your battles a bit. That’s part of the game. However, any time putting flying units over the walls is going into ‘slaughterhouse suicide’ – it’s probably going to be an expensive siege whatever mix of units you use.

    Using flyers and other wall-bypassers, however, can give you the opportunity to avoid the ‘slaughterhouse suicide’ by being able to strike a city before the opponent has the chance to reinforce it. “Conventional” wall-bashing options usually have lower strategic mobility and lack the ability to ignore terrain obstacles, so it’s hard to catch someone by surprise with them. Flying units have no need for a slow siege train, and can strike a city from a completely unexpected direction with little or no warning.

    If you are forced into attacking a well-defended city, flying units are still a huge advantage to have. If your enemy has a lot of ranged units defending the city, than flyers and other wall-bypassers give you an option to neutralise those quickly – this can be hard on the wall-bypassing strike team, but usually results in less casualties overall. In the rare case that the defenders are predominantly melee, the flyers are less useful, but even if the attacking units don’t have to worry about being worn down by ranged attacks, they’re still at risk of being funneled into chokepoints (either the gates or the locations of breaches) where they can be picked off one by one, or being forced to fight at a disadvantage while wallclimbing. A well-timed wall-bypassing strike team can then serve to take a lot of pressure off – it’s certainly more useful to have than a similar number of walking units that can only wait for their turn to be fed into the chokepoint meat grinder.

    This is getting a little close to ad homina territory for my liking but I have to be honest here – your blithe statements regarding flying, in addition to previous exchanges in this thread, are giving me the impression that you’re seriously underestimating the value of flying units – which in turn means you’re underestimating the effect on balance of changing a flying unit. Particularly when the main beneficiary of the change is a class that has few options for wallclimbing units.

    three less move-points would put them at a disadvantage on the strategic map, especially relative to the eagle rider. However, they would still be able to outdistance non floating and flying things over most terrain (and advanced logistics would make them faster than 36 mp walking/riding units in tactical combat).

    Flying units require 5mp/hex in tactical combat, other units require 6. So gryphon riders with 27mp would only be able to move 5 hexes/turn on the tactical map, putting them on par with boar riders and 32mp infantry, and behind most cavalry (36mp granting 6 hexes/turn).

    Advanced logistics would bump them back up to 6 hexes/turn in tactical, but this would also make gryphon riders the only unit in the game that is affected by advanced logistics in tactical combat. I don’t think that’s a desirable state of affairs – advanced logistics is supposed to be a strategic mobility thing, not something that’s relevant when the armies actually meet. Furthermore, moving slower than heavily armoured knights ever is something that I think should be reserved for fairly clumsy flyers, which I don’t think the gryphon is, nor do I think the relatively small amount of armour on the rider (compared to the strength of the gryphon) is going to change that.

    At this stage, people are pushing for one change based on meeting a lore-based expectation (the rider is armoured so it should be armoured!) in exchange for sacrificing the lore in two other, IMO more significant areas (making elves one of the best and arguably THE best dreadnought race, making a flying unit be slower than heavily armoured ground cavalry in tactical combat). From a lore and realism perspective, I think this is a significant net loss.

    #129055

    Advanced logistics would bump them back up to 6 hexes/turn in tactical, but this would also make gryphon riders the only unit in the game that is affected by advanced logistics in tactical combat. I don’t think that’s a desirable state of affairs – advanced logistics is supposed to be a strategic mobility thing, not something that’s relevant when the armies actually meet

    maybe it is just a supply of freshly slaughtered mutton? After all, proper food supplies on the march would both be something that would improve the gryphon’s long term flight and in battle performance.

    Furthermore, moving slower than heavily armoured knights ever is something that I think should be reserved for fairly clumsy flyers, which I don’t think the gryphon is

    or maybe it could be that only the biggest of the mid size fliers, the wyvrens and the king gryphons, could carry someone and fly without slowing down quite a bit. Flying in mail would be very hard.

    For the eagle rider, it could be that whatever causes the physical weakness makes them easier burdens.

    #129070

    Garresh
    Member

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>Garresh wrote:</div>
    Unit wise, elves already have the best cavalry, one of the best archers, a really strong support, and one of the best t3. Is this really necessary?

    I was against it until the lower mp was proposed by our druid friend and mr. stabby. What do you think of that?

    I don’t know. My gut feeling says no. They occupy a unique position as flying cavalry with first strike. Compared to other fliers, this already makes them a terror to archers and the like. It also makes them one of the more vicious T3s, as they can both commit themselves farther in a fight than others, and are harder to remove compared to, say, the Eagle Rider or Flier. Let’s say they did gain armored. In exchange for a hex, they effectively become a flying shock trooper with first strike, and better resistance. Even if they lose out on the 6 hex bonus, they would in some ways obsolete shock troopers in my eyes, while also threatening some of the other t3s in different roles. They would sacrifice some specialization to become by and far the most versatile T3.

    It just feels wrong to me, and when combined with Dread upgrades especially, they would turn into a rather ridiculous unit. They’re already really good. I vote no.

    #129071

    Draxynnic
    Member

    Well, a halfling is obviously going to be a lighter burden than an armoured elf, particularly since the riders seem to be less generous in the belly area than some other halflings. However, this is already represented in gryphon riders having 30 mp, while eagle riders and wild gryphons both have 36 mp.

    If the gryphon itself was armoured, maybe that would be justified, but it isn’t. And any argument can be applied to knights with heavier armour and barded steeds – sure, the horse isn’t trying to fly, but it’s also a lot smaller and likely physically weaker than a gryphon. At the bottom line, I’d be willing to bet that if this change was incorporated, then at some stage – maybe immediately as a response to the patch, maybe a few months later when someone realises that we have gryphon riders that are slower than knights and recognises how stupid that is posts a thread asking why because they weren’t part of this conversation. Just like this thread was started by people who, presumably, weren’t party to the last time this was discussed. And then we’ll be back to square one on that perspective, while having lost in other areas as well as I’ve already elaborated on.

    Regarding logistics: Could not that claim also be made for eagles as well? Other flyers in general? What about animals and cavalry? Heck, if good food can make somebody faster on the tactical battle level, why can’t well-fed humanoid troops benefit from it as well?

    The problem from a balance perspective is that you’re taking an upgrade which provides a tactical benefit to literally no other unit in the game, and making it so that there is a single unit out of the entire game that uniquely receives a tactical benefit from it. No other unit gets anything outside of strategic mobility, but for just one unit, it’s that much more important than it is for anyone else. This really does not seem to be a good idea from either a thematic or a balance perspective.

    #129088

    vota dc
    Member

    armored, +1 defense and -3 mp would make gryphon riders a lot stronger even for non Dreadnought: they move 1 square less in tactical until you do the right research and they gain the +3 mp back (30 mp or 33 mp is the same movement in tactical).

    #129095

    I proposed the lower movement as a nerf if armoured were to be brought in, but let me clarify (incase it wasn’t clear last time) that I think the unit is fine as it is.

    #129101

    Ayenara
    Member

    These are exceptions to the rule. The proposal here would, I think, make high elf dreads the rule as people get past the mental block and realise how valuable armoured flying cavalry really is for dreadnoughts. High Elf dread is already an attractive option with unicorn riders and nonarmoured flying cavalry.

    At this stage, people are pushing for one change based on meeting a lore-based expectation (the rider is armoured so it should be armoured!) in exchange for sacrificing the lore in two other, IMO more significant areas (making elves one of the best and arguably THE best dreadnought race, making a flying unit be slower than heavily armoured ground cavalry in tactical combat). From a lore and realism perspective, I think this is a significant net loss.

    There is two parts to this whole Gryphon Rider debate. First is the lore issue, if it fits the model etc. Besides what has already been said, I think that the fact of how this thread started and the initial response suggests that many people think that it would be natural for it to have Armored, and it’s simply a oversight that it doesn’t, something they forgot to add.

    Looking at the pre-GR races, they all follow the same pattern of either having almost all of their units Armored, or not. The Irregular is never Armored, and out of the Support units, only the Dwarf is Armored. Right now High Elves are the only race where this doesn’t hold true, as their Infantry, Pikemen, and t2 Cavalry are all Armored, but for some reason the t3 unit lacks it. And this I think plays a part to why it would be easy to assume that the Gryphon Rider would be Armored.

    Halflings don’t follow this model since their Infantry and t2 Cavalry are Armored, while the Pikeman (Farmer) and t3 Cavalry are not. But it makes sense, as I can imagine Farmers don’t usually have much armore lying around, and eagle riders want to be fast and avoid things that drag them down.

    If Gryphon Riders were given the Armored trait, I do not think that the common player would find it odd.

    The second part is about the strength of the change. What most people here forget is that in 95% of cases this is a straight up nerf. Being Armored makes the Gryphon Rider subject to Armor Piercing, take extra damage from Rain of Poison Blades, and becomes a potential target for Rust Strike. Maybe someone thinks this is an unecessary nerf to a race that’s already been recieving nerfs in every patch?

    In two cases the Gryphon Rider can become stronger than before. First there is the Enchanted Armory. It requires finding and clearing a Crystal Tree, and probably found a city there, and grow and build that city so it can produce Enchanted Armor Gryphon Riders which give +2 Defense and +1 Resistance.

    I’d guess that in a normal game, if you have some luck and maybe rush some things, this could be done by turn 40. Maybe some of you will argue that it could be done faster, and it probably could, but it could also be done a lot slower if the Crystal Tree is in an unfavourable position, or simply not there. Or perhaps you’re too busy doing other stuff like fighting opponents, conquering cities and dwellings, or claiming Seals of Power.

    By that time in the game the extra +2/+1 on Gryphon Riders from one city is going to have a minor difference, if any at all. And theres still be plenty of ways for the opponent to fight and win. He can even take that city for himself! Meanwhile the guy who started building those Gryphon Riders will think he’s smart and feel good about himself, and maybe they will aid him in his victory. But it won’t be the +2/+1 on a couple of Gryphon Riders that would’ve made the difference. He could in like 99.9% of the cases have been building regular Gryphon Riders and it would have worked out the same (consider this is around turn 40+). Or maybe it would have been better to build some other unit with the Enchanted Armor.

    The other case is when the GR is in the hands of a Dreadnought. This doesn’t necessarily mean that his starting race is High Elf, as he could have found some elf city on the way. However one argument was that none of the other races would be comparable to High Elf if this change was implemented.

    I understand the power of flying t3s, check my third game in the summer tournament finals if you want to. So I understand where you are coming from. But you fail to see all the other benefits that the other races have. Benefits that you miss out on by playing High Elf. And the weaknesess you have by playing High Elf. There are so many things to bring up here that I don’t really know where to start.

    Also it’s quite abstract, since in what context are we talking about here? Single player, casual MP, or competetive games? Because if you look at the casual MP being played at the moment, I think High Elf Dreadnought is very rare. Dwarf, Human and Goblin are the most commonly seen Dreadnought in my games. And I doubt that Armored GR will do much to change this order. Fundamentally Dwarf and Human are still the ones who have Healing Supports, and Goblins have cheap Musketeers with Wetlands Foraging. And these are just some of the reasons why those three are nice races to play with Dreadnought. I think it would be a good thing if this would make High Elf Dreadnought a bit more popular.

    Around turn 20, if you have a good start, you could be training GR with +1 defense and 10% cheaper than before. This would save you 14 gold and 3 mana every time you produce a GR. And this is all pretty nice and all, and again you’ll probably feel good about getting your strategy working. But again this change is so minor won’t make much of a difference.

    Now I realize the power of a change is difficult to argue about since we cannot really bring any evidence to it. I guess we could play a game with Dreadbought and make a note of everytime the change would make a difference. Or make some calculations: let’s say you build 3 GR, that’s like one extra t1 unit you’d have the resources to build (or if you build 10 GR, you have money to build an 11th). On the other hand I can’t remember the last time I built 10 GR in a game. The defense might be difficult to predict though, but it’s still only 1, which you could get from a medal, or the WL Command.

    What about when you get lucky and get to build a city, as a Dreadnought, near both a Crystal Tree and a Spring of Life? Then you’re lucky sure, but what about the rest of the game? What is your opponent doing? Maybe they have some Altar of Bound Souls and Blood Altar, Phasing, Stunning, Draconian Apprentices? Or maybe all your neighbors decided to attack you at the same time? Maybe at start you had hated terrain all around you and all the cities were hostile? Maybe you bought a t3 from an Inn and lost it in the first battle you fought?

    Generally the further into the game something is, the less of an impact it will have. And later into the game, bigger and bigger things are needed to change the game. Gryphon Riders are just flying cavalry with physical damage. They don’t have any breath attacks or other powerful abilities, multiple immunities or other extravagant defenses, or a powerful long-range attack. They’re just late-game grunts, and weak to many things.

    In any case, I’m not sure how much more this particular part of the argument can be argued without showing some examples from games. Right now the strength part of the debate is based too much on feelings and hypothesis.

    Despite the rest of the arguments, can we agree on one thing? That it’s fun with synergies in this game? I feel that even though this is a minor change, it would be fun in the few cases where it might be relevant.

    #129105

    vota dc
    Member

    There isn’t a fixed rule for armored except that the irregular is always unarmored:
    DWARVES irregular
    HUMANS irregular, support
    ORCS irregular, support, archer
    HIGH ELVES irregular, support, t3
    HALFLING irregular, support, archer, pikeman, t3

    #129109

    Fenraellis
    Member

    I proposed the lower movement as a nerf if armoured were to be brought in, but let me clarify (incase it wasn’t clear last time) that I think the unit is fine as it is.

    My point as well.

    Also, I originally stated my ‘option’ as “A1/B1” to indicate being inclusive of both the +1 Def and no Def bonus selections. Although I admit that simply being Armored and -3 Movement sounds fairly penalizing, since it would require a Dreadnought or Enchanted Armory to even catch up(or surpass) the original values, while otherwise being vulnerable to Armor Piercing and slower moving. Unless another suitable balancing point was added for the +1 Def, such as -1 Str on top of the -3 Move. Not sure I approve of 14 Str Gryphon Riders, but maybe…

    On a semi-related note, what is actually wrong with a unit gaining an extra combat movement from Advanced Logistics? For silly argument’s sake, there actually is a unit that does already, the lowly Cherub.

    #129131

    Draxynnic
    Member

    Looking at the pre-GR races, they all follow the same pattern of either having almost all of their units Armored, or not. The Irregular is never Armored, and out of the Support units, only the Dwarf is Armored. Right now High Elves are the only race where this doesn’t hold true, as their Infantry, Pikemen, and t2 Cavalry are all Armored, but for some reason the t3 unit lacks it. And this I think plays a part to why it would be easy to assume that the Gryphon Rider would be Armored.

    As vota dc pointed out, there is actually no fixed rules for armoured except that racial irregulars are not armoured (some class irregulars, namely engineers and monster hunters, are). Oh, and…

    …there are exactly zero units with both Armoured and either Floating or Flying. Zero. Zip. Nada. I thought maybe Spy Drones might have armoured, but… nnnope. Perhaps because it’s better for dreadnoughts to pay full price for a unit that closes their achilles heel and not get too many special benefits, maybe?

    This is a common trend with the classes. They get a list of class units that are focused in a particular area. They get empire upgrades that emphasise their focus in this area with both class and non-class units. And they have weaknesses. Racial units that fill in for their weaknesses usually do not get bonuses from the class… because being able to fill in a weakness of the class is bonus enough. Dreads being able to give pistols to flying cavalry is already an exception to this rule. They don’t need to be able to add Great Blacksmith and Solid Engineering to it as well.

    The second part is about the strength of the change. What most people here forget is that in 95% of cases this is a straight up nerf.

    I think everyone here realises that there are three ways in which armoured could be implemented:

    The first is that it’s simply added to the unit with no change in the base stats before Armoured, giving it net +2 defence. I think everyone realises that was not going to happen, or that anyone who was hoping that maybe it might has realised that everyone else would think that was silly and is keeping quiet about it.

    The second is your assumption, that the end result would be weakness to the things that target Armoured with no change to the final stats. This is, in most circumstances, a straight nerf. The net result of that, as I’ve observed before, is that elves get nerfed except when used by the class that least suits them according to the lore. And the question I’ve asked before: How do people think this is a good thing?

    The third, which I think is the general assumption including that of the OP, is that if this change is made, it will follow the usual pattern when a unit with armoured is compared to one without – a net +1 to defence. In most circumstances, this is a net buff. As BBB and Fen have said, the unit is fine as it is, and being close to the top of the tier 3s, any buff should be met with a commensurate nerf. In which case… see my response to the second case.

    Being Armored makes the Gryphon Rider subject to Armor Piercing, take extra damage from Rain of Poison Blades, and becomes a potential target for Rust Strike.

    Okay, so that’s what Armoured does. Now, think about the actual unit in question. Does this make sense?

    A unit with Armour Piercing, such as goblin spearmen or unicorn riders, facing a GR is most likely to strike at the gryphon for reasons I’ve discussed – to summarise, because the gryphon is a larger, safer, easier, and higher priority (since a riderless gryphon is more of a threat than a single elven swordsman, even a highly skilled but nonheroic one) target. This is reflected in the GR having the same defence rating as a wild gryphon, something I do not believe to be coincidence. How is an armour piercing weapon going to help when poking at a gryphon? How is Rust Strike going to help if you’re attacking the gryphon? Sure, it might make the rider a slightly less unattractive target, but the game is made of abstractions – the probability that by luck or risk-taking that someone gets a hit on the rider instead of the more obvious target is low enough that doing so may be more effective with an armour-piercing weapon is unimportant enough that it can be abstracted out.

    The one thing in that list where the rider IS being hit by something that is armour piercing every time is when subjected to Rain of Poison Blades… and hey, the rider’s vulnerability to that is already accounted for. In the 20% blight vulnerability.

    Because if you look at the casual MP being played at the moment, I think High Elf Dreadnought is very rare. Dwarf, Human and Goblin are the most commonly seen Dreadnought in my games.

    High Elf dreadnought SHOULD be rare. It’s their least favoured class lore-wise, after all.

    However, I have seen an observation in balance threads that HE dread is a good combination even as is. Phasing cavalry at tier 2, access to flyers at ALL – these are good things for dreads. You wouldn’t necessarily be seeing it a lot in casual MP because people there are probably more inclined to play either more obviously synergistic combinations, or more intuitive combinations. Give HE dreads armoured flying cavalry, and people are going to twig onto that synergy, and as words get out… well, human dreadnoughts are going to be leaning a lot on their happiness bonus, because that’s the only thing that can save them.

    And even then, y’know? A high elf dread has a number of other races they can pick up to get the advantages of others. Get a human, halfling, or dwarf city, for instance, and you get healing supports (and let’s not forget that dreadnought heroes get Iron Heart themselves). A human or a halfling city can both provide high-production manufacturing sites for machines, assuming your elf city isn’t in a good location to do so. If you go with dwarfs or humans, though, there’s only one way you’ll get armoured flying cavalry, and that’s by lucking out and getting a high elf city. The odds are better that if you start out as high elf that in the end you’ll be able to leverage the advantages of the others, than if you start as one of the others that you’ll be able to get flying armoured cavalry.

    (Goblins, you’ll note, I’ve never considered to be in direct competition, since massed goblin musketeers is a substantially different approach.)

    I think it would be a good thing if this would make High Elf Dreadnought a bit more popular.

    Why? Lorewise, it’s supposed to be an uncommon combination.

    From a variety perspective… buffing High Elf dreadnoughts will be coming at the expense of other combinations. Humans, for reasons I’ve outlined previously, are one race that is likely to have their popularity poached by high elves if this change is made (if someone is going humans because they’re looking to mass pistolier cavalry… well, now they can go high elves, and mass pistolier cavalry that can wall-cross in sieges!). Halfling dreads are another combination that I think would suffer – the benefit halflings currently give to dreadnoughts is similar to that high elves currently give (flying cavalry). If the elven contender is made substantially better in dreadnought hands, than that’s a disincentive to going halfling.

    At the moment, I think there are five out of seven races that are viable contenders for dreadnoughts – humans, dwarfs, goblins, high elves, and halflings. If GRs were given armoured… then I honestly think that would risk collapsing that list to three. It may not, it may only knock it down to four… or once people figure out what they can do with it, it may even knock it down all the way to two.

    Despite the rest of the arguments, can we agree on one thing? That it’s fun with synergies in this game? I feel that even though this is a minor change, it would be fun in the few cases where it might be relevant.

    Synergies are fun, but they need to make sense. This one, I don’t think does. Sure, there’s a little armour on the rider… but since the rider is such a small area of the target area of the model, it shouldn’t actually make much difference to how vulnerable the unit as a whole is to attacks. Nor should improving the armour, whether through the crystal tree or through Solid Engineering, make a substantial difference when most blows are likely to fall on unarmoured areas. And I certainly don’t think one suit of armour is a significant enough portion of the cost of preparing a gryphon and rider for combat (including raising and training the gryphon) that it makes sense for the dreadnought upgrade to reduce the price of the unit as a whole by 10%. Most of the cost of the unit is probably in the gryphon – considering that you can train and equip eight swordsmen (with shields) for fifty gold, then even assuming the equipment of the rider is of higher quality I can’t see the rider’s equipment being worth much more than ten gold total, let alone enough that improved forging techniques can reduce the cost by fifteen gold.

    And I’d definitely rather see elves synergise well with classes that are popular among elves rather than pushing them to the one combination that goes against the grain for them.

    On a semi-related note, what is actually wrong with a unit gaining an extra combat movement from Advanced Logistics? For silly argument’s sake, there actually is a unit that does already, the lowly Cherub.

    Whoops, I’d forgotten that one. 😮

    Even so, thematically I think Advanced Logistics is supposed to be a strategic-movement-only upgrade that doesn’t play any role in tactical combat. I think that was unavoidable with the cherub (unless the effect of Advanced Logistics was changed to ‘10%, rounded down’ and the cherub was given 27 mp) but cases where a strategic mobility upgrade has an effect in tactical combat is, I think, something that should be kept to an absolute minimum.

    #129138

    Fenraellis
    Member

    I would joke about “TL;DR” but that would be a lie. This thread does seem to spawn a lot of lengthy posts <3.

    (Upon further review of the three pages… damn, Drax, just, damn)

    #129172

    Let’s say they did gain armored. In exchange for a hex, they effectively become a flying shock trooper with first strike, and better resistance. Even if they lose out on the 6 hex bonus, they would in some ways obsolete shock troopers in my eyes

    Really? I’m surprised, as shock troopers would seem to have some pretty nice rouge applications: they are a big, tough, melee focused unit with armor piercing. Of course flyers would be even better, flying backstab support for those super happy flamers.

    …there are exactly zero units with both Armoured and either Floating or Flying. Zero. Zip. Nada. I thought maybe Spy Drones might have armoured, but… nnnope. Perhaps because it’s better for dreadnoughts to pay full price for a unit that closes their achilles heel and not get too many special benefits, maybe?

    except for wyvren/king gryphon mounted heroes, of course.

    #129193

    Fenraellis
    Member

    except for wyvren/king gryphon mounted heroes, of course.

    Oh, you know he meant producible units, since he mentioned ‘pay full price’ in the same paragraph.

    #129200

    Draxynnic
    Member

    Yeah, I was meaning to put in a stipulation to that effect, but it slipped my mind. You can get the combination with a hero, but that generally requires two magic items (a mount and a suit of armour) – although sorcerers can make do without the mount.

    Really? I’m surprised, as shock troopers would seem to have some pretty nice rouge applications: they are a big, tough, melee focused unit with armor piercing. Of course flyers would be even better, flying backstab support for those super happy flamers.

    That might be kinda the point – if you’re looking for something to perform backstabs with as a rogue than flyers are certainly better. Shock troopers are relatively difficult to get backstabs with – gryphon riders with increased defense would provide a unit that can fly over the enemy front line and survive while setting up flanks for other units.

    It’s kind of like my argument for armoured gryphon riders potentially obsoleting knights. Yes, knights do what they do better than GRs, but a GR can perform a knight’s duties adequately, while also being able to do things knights can’t. Garresh’s comparison with STs may be on a similar basis.

    #129361

    Oh, you know he meant producible units, since he mentioned ‘pay full price’ in the same paragraph

    my profession requires me to point out exceptions with glee. Anyway, I think most of the reasonable arguments pro and con in all the varieties of the change have been aired.

    What say the devs?

    #129409

    Aennor
    Member

    I think most of the reasonable arguments pro and con in all the varieties of the change have been aired

    Or just someone’s out of constructive argumentation for now 😀

    I would joke about “TL;DR” but that would be a lie. This thread does seem to spawn a lot of lengthy posts <3.

    That thread is 3 pages long as some 6 pages could be (if you take the number of letters, ofc) 😀

    What say the devs?

    Especially when so many spears were broken

    #129457

    Bouh
    Member

    I fully support what Draxynnic says.

    I’ll first distinguish two cases :
    Case 1 : make the GR tougher (more armour, at the expense of some mobility)
    Case 2 : only add armour trait

    Case 1 : To me, elves are already very powerful and don’t need any buff, and making the GR tougher would be a buff because the elven line up is geared towered mobile units. By giving them a heavy mobile units, they would have no drawback as a race and the gryphon rider would take the roles of both mobile striking unit and heavy fighting unit. An all in one, because first strike and tireless at gold make for an incredible strength on a tough unit.

    Case 1+2 : To me, armour piercing and armour targeting things are not enough of a vulnerability on a unit with flying and first strike to be noticed. On the other hand, synergies with dreadnaught are real and effective as Draxynnic explained in length already.

    Also, popularity is never and will never be a good information to base balance on, and even more so when we can’t measure it correctly.

    #129489

    hilfazer
    Member

    One thing I don’t want to see (and i believe devs won’t do) is adding Armored to GR without adding any defense.

    Why?

    Units with Armored already get 1 point of def less that description suggests. Making it lower would be too much.
    Primary function of Armored is giving unit more defense. Not giving any defense would defeat it’s purpose.

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