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Thread: A Bone to Pick with Balancing

  1. #1

    Default A Bone to Pick with Balancing

    I'm sorry, but some of the balancing choices in this mod are frankly just kind of baffling.

    Why... On-God's-Green-Earth... are archer units so ridiculously tanky? Crossbowmen seem to be harder to kill in melee than most spearmen. If there are more than one or two units of them in one place (which there pretty much *always* are, due to how the AI likes to build super infantry heavy armies), they basically turn into a giant shapeless sucking morass that spells certain doom for heavy cav... Which really kind of defeats the purpose of even having heavy cav in TW in the first place.

    The classic "hammer and anvil" just doesn't really work, especially not in larger battles. The cav are too slow, die too easily, and don't do enough damage. Archer units in the rear line of the enemy formation just plain don't die like they should, and half the time they dodge your cav entirely due to how ponderously slow the latter are.

    Call me crazy, but this - giant mobs of super tanky infantry and archers, easily squeezing out and sidelining noble calvary - just doesn't strike me as being a terribly accurate depiction of Medieval warfare, especially not in the earlier periods.

  2. #2
    Miles
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    Default Re: A Bone to Pick with Balancing

    There's no doubt ranged units are far too tanky and stubborn. Situations like this are common in sieges, there is no fathomable excuse for that archer having not routed yet.

    However in field battles units route within seconds when flanked by heavy cavalry, with some random exceptions. Sometimes I'll get an enemy general unit that just sits there and fights in melee with no damage taken for 2 minutes while surrounded and charged from 4 sides. That's one of the strangest things about units being so stubborn and resilient in this mod, sometimes I'll charge heavy cavalry wedged into archers and after the charge bonus wears off, the two units will just sit there in melee for 1-2 minutes with neither unit scoring a single kill on the other.

    Blobs of melee infantry route within seconds of being flanked by shock cavalry, honestly heavy cavalry seems too effective against melee infantry but not strong enough against ranged units. It's like archers and crossbowmen have some anti-cavalry force field around them that melee infantry don't have. I know some archers are elite and there's even a class of hybrid archer-heavy infantry units now, but I'm not talking about that - I mean just levy militia archers that are taking rear wedge charges from elite heavy cavalry and fighting the cavalry to a standstill in melee.

    This is Attila though and heavy cavalry is ridiculously strong no matter what morale magic is going on. Wedged shock cavalry with 150+ charge can still charge head-on into spear walled spearmen on legendary and win. Hammer and anvil is how I've won every battle in this mod, it's so powerful that I can take down 2 full stacks with just 1 army by swarming their range units and wedging their infantry line. Remember to turn off wedge when withdrawing from melee for cycle charge or fighting ranged units because it reduces speed and missile block. Attila's version of warscape engine is very punishing on units their show their back in melee, so withdrawing for cycle charges can be deadly. Even levy archers can take out several knight models while they withdraw so it's usually best to just stay in melee.

  3. #3

    Default Re: A Bone to Pick with Balancing

    Quote Originally Posted by Artannis Wolfrunner View Post
    ...I'll charge heavy cavalry wedged into archers and after the charge bonus wears off, the two units will just sit there in melee for 1-2 minutes with neither unit scoring a single kill on the other.

    Blobs of melee infantry route within seconds of being flanked by shock cavalry, honestly heavy cavalry seems too effective against melee infantry but not strong enough against ranged units. It's like archers and crossbowmen have some anti-cavalry force field around them that melee infantry don't have. I know some archers are elite and there's even a class of hybrid archer-heavy infantry units now, but I'm not talking about that - I mean just levy militia archers that are taking rear wedge charges from elite heavy cavalry and fighting the cavalry to a standstill in melee...
    That's exactly what I mean. I can literally have a single archer/crossbow(/even skirmisher, in some cases) unit surrounded by four different units of melee and shock cav, one on each flank, cycle charging over and over, and the damn thing just WILL. NOT. DIE. They just stay there, gridlocked, keeping my cav from moving on to support any other part of the battle line for literal MINUTES at a time.

    In larger (four or more full stack) battles (especially against Muslim armies that tend to be especially archer heavy), this basically makes rear charges with cav suicidal.

    1. There can literally be a DOZEN of these unkillable bastards running around at one time.

    2. The archer units all have skirmish mode on, and they're all unrealistically fast on their feet (or cav are just too damn slow) so you wind up having to chase the damn things across a kilometer or more map before you even make contact. By that point, they'll often have run back to the cover of their battle line. Or, all the *other* archer units with skirmish mode enabled will have simply re-positioned to surround your charge, and your cav winds up getting machine gunned to death, usually without having caused any real damage.

    It's INFURIATING. lol

    Weirdly, this only seems to happen in campaign. The archers are still a bit too tough in custom battles, IMO, but they are at least manageable.

  4. #4

    Default Re: A Bone to Pick with Balancing

    That's probably why the Mongols never seem to make it anywhere in campaign either, come to think of it.

  5. #5
    Miles
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    Default Re: A Bone to Pick with Balancing

    I've definitely run into stubborn ranged units that refuse to route but not nearly the frequency you are describing. You are saying every archer behaves this way which I find difficult to believe, sounds like confirmation bias where you only remember the time it did happen because it was so frustrating and ignore the much more numerous times that it didn't since things aren't memorable when they are working as intended. You need to make sure you have enough heavy cav in your army to be able to put 2 cav units on each enemy ranged unit, since they route very quickly when flanked. Most will not require 2 but when you run into one that does you should have a unit nearby to help.

    Not sure why this would affect Mongol AI. The AI just autoresolves against each other with no field battles, and this is in-battle behavior that wouldn't factor into autoresolve.

    Hammer and anvil is extremely strong in 1212 and Attila. Half a dozen units of heavy cav are still enough to wipe an entire stack.

  6. #6
    Marble Emperor's Avatar Civis
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    Default Re: A Bone to Pick with Balancing

    I have also noticed that archers seem to be far too competent in melee. Many times archers will beat out heavy infantry in one-on-one fights which is just ridiculous to see.

  7. #7

    Default Re: A Bone to Pick with Balancing

    Quote Originally Posted by Artannis Wolfrunner View Post
    I've definitely run into stubborn ranged units that refuse to route but not nearly the frequency you are describing. You are saying every archer behaves this way which I find difficult to believe, sounds like confirmation bias where you only remember the time it did happen because it was so frustrating and ignore the much more numerous times that it didn't since things aren't memorable when they are working as intended. You need to make sure you have enough heavy cav in your army to be able to put 2 cav units on each enemy ranged unit, since they route very quickly when flanked. Most will not require 2 but when you run into one that does you should have a unit nearby to help.

    Not sure why this would affect Mongol AI. The AI just autoresolves against each other with no field battles, and this is in-battle behavior that wouldn't factor into autoresolve.

    Hammer and anvil is extremely strong in 1212 and Attila. Half a dozen units of heavy cav are still enough to wipe an entire stack.
    It's not *every* battle, but it is certainly *enough* battles to pose a significant issue. For example, it's common enough that, on replaying a quick saved battle after defeat, I will often wind up being screwed over by the same overly tanky missile units on multiple tries. A 2 v 2 full stack battle against the Kwaz Empire in Eastern Turkey pissed me off so much that I literally abandoned my play through over it, and prompted me to start this thread.

    Three tries, three defeats, against armies that are like 2/3rds foot missile. What in the Hell is the point of playing if field battles are so utterly ganked?

    Maybe it's easier if you're playing as a "knightly" Western faction, which encourages spamming heavy cav. But I'm playing as Nicaea, which seems to lend itself more readily towards a "combined arms" sort of play style - 2 x shock cav, 2 x melee cav, 4 x pikes, 2 x spears, 2 x melee inf, 2 x archers, 4 x crossbows, 1 x Gen, 1 x Elite Guard inf. Put two of those armies together, and you can easily have 4 - 5 units of cav per flank.

    I dunno about you... But, IMO, in any *sane* TW game, let alone one set in the friggin' Middle Ages, 4-8 units of cav in charge should EASILY be able to route an equal or greater amount of missile units, and not even take long doing it. Here, if I don't micro the living Hell out of them, they die, and it *always* seems to take forever, even if you don't get massacred.

    Put simply, something's broke. The team needs to fix it.

    1. The AI needs to put together less infantry heavy armies to begin with, at least in Tiers 1 and 2. This is the era where cav was king. I shouldn't see "Knightly" armies with 5-6 crossbow units, and only two units of cav in them, only one of which is even a knight (excluding the General, ofc).

    2. Whatever wonkiness they have going on with archers being stone walls against which cavalry and heavy inf waves break needs to be addressed, and corrected.

    3. Mongols need a buff. I've played the Eastern Roman Campaign up to 100 turns twice, and they never seem to get anywhere near Turkey.

    Just my 2 cents.

  8. #8
    Miles
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    Default Re: A Bone to Pick with Balancing

    Quote Originally Posted by gathomas88 View Post
    text
    I've played 3 campaigns so far, Nicaea, Zengids, and Nicaea again. Currently doing Nicaea 2 with This is Total War, which is war with all factions and no diplomacy. As you can imagine I've fought many battles and have some experience with the Byzantine army. It's strange to see talk about Nicaea as if their cavalry is weaker than "knightly" Western factions: Cataphractoi are supreme in 1212. They are the second strongest cavalry unit in the early era and thus the campaign, only the Ghurid Ghulam-i-Sultan is better. Knightly factions actually have mediocre to somewhat weak cavalry in the campaign, Christian knights aren't that strong in the early era and don't take off till the high era. Cataphractoi have the 190 health - 155 charge - 40 missile block - 55 armor holy grail of stats that none of the Christian knights are able to come close to matching. Their massive health, armor and missile block make them highly resistant to damage especially from the front, their charge allows them to break anything even without wedge, and their very high health, armor and melee defense make them highly resilient even in drawn out melees. Cataphractoi are the ultimate Christian unit and can take down any force or city if they have the right backup, which they will need to make up for their slower speed.

    I'd like to see some of your army compositions. Heavy cavalry is only strong if they have friends who are watching their back. Artillery, archers and crossbowmen are good friends to cataphractoi. Try to keep 1 or 2 melee infantry on each of your flanks further up, midway between your main line and cavalry flankers so they can run forward or backward to help either, depending on the situation. If archers are giving you a problem then brings lots of your own. The AI in Attila really does not like its ranged units being shot at by other ranged units, you can easily suppress their archers by shooting them with your own. The AI will relocate their archers most of the time. Even if their archers are better and would beat yours in a straight shootout, they will still relocate when shot at. The Attila AI really, really does not like its archers being shot at.

    My armies are all variations on the same 7 infantry - 5 ranged - 6 heavy cavalry - 1 catapult - 1 general theme. They look like this:

    Army 1
    Army 2
    Army 3

    Those are my main armies, each of the 3 also has a stack of 19 catapults following it for easy city sieges. Strategy is usually: use the catapult to force the enemy to attack. Put infantry into shield/spear wall. Catapult focuses down enemy cavalry and general. Archers prioritize shooting at units that were hit by the catapult, their hitpoints will be low due to bombardment and die quickly to focus fire. Use archers to focus enemy ranged units to suppress them from firing. Use Cataphractoi to stop charges on infantry flanks. Circle around with Cataphractoi to knock out general, corral enemy archers, and hit the rear of the enemy line. Once the general dies the enemy army folds quickly.

    Here is a replay of a siege I just did. It shows some good work by heavy cavalry and how strong they are at surrounding a larger force and destroying it quickly. Two good things in this battle:

    1. The beginning, I rush the enemy reinforcements that are landing on the shore with cavalry that is completely unsupported. A good surround routes them all very quickly with almost no losses.

    2. Toward the end, I clear the city out completely using my heavy cavalry. They are well supported by archers, crossbowmen, artillery, and pikemen to make their job easier.

    There's a long boring period of sieging the walls between the two but it still may be useful to see.

    edit: well I just tried to load the replay and it crashes upon loading. I guess replays are broken in this mod, that's too bad.
    Last edited by Artannis Wolfrunner; January 13, 2020 at 06:47 AM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: A Bone to Pick with Balancing

    Quote Originally Posted by Artannis Wolfrunner View Post
    I've played 3 campaigns so far, Nicaea, Zengids, and Nicaea again. Currently doing Nicaea 2 with This is Total War, which is war with all factions and no diplomacy. As you can imagine I've fought many battles and have some experience with the Byzantine army. It's strange to see talk about Nicaea as if their cavalry is weaker than "knightly" Western factions: Cataphractoi are supreme in 1212. They are the second strongest cavalry unit in the early era and thus the campaign, only the Ghurid Ghulam-i-Sultan is better. Knightly factions actually have mediocre to somewhat weak cavalry in the campaign, Christian knights aren't that strong in the early era and don't take off till the high era. Cataphractoi have the 190 health - 155 charge - 40 missile block - 55 armor holy grail of stats that none of the Christian knights are able to come close to matching. Their massive health, armor and missile block make them highly resistant to damage especially from the front, their charge allows them to break anything even without wedge, and their very high health, armor and melee defense make them highly resilient even in drawn out melees. Cataphractoi are the ultimate Christian unit and can take down any force or city if they have the right backup, which they will need to make up for their slower speed.

    I'd like to see some of your army compositions. Heavy cavalry is only strong if they have friends who are watching their back. Artillery, archers and crossbowmen are good friends to cataphractoi. Try to keep 1 or 2 melee infantry on each of your flanks further up, midway between your main line and cavalry flankers so they can run forward or backward to help either, depending on the situation. If archers are giving you a problem then brings lots of your own. The AI in Attila really does not like its ranged units being shot at by other ranged units, you can easily suppress their archers by shooting them with your own. The AI will relocate their archers most of the time. Even if their archers are better and would beat yours in a straight shootout, they will still relocate when shot at. The Attila AI really, really does not like its archers being shot at.

    My armies are all variations on the same 7 infantry - 5 ranged - 6 heavy cavalry - 1 catapult - 1 general theme. They look like this:

    Army 1
    Army 2
    Army 3

    Those are my main armies, each of the 3 also has a stack of 19 catapults following it for easy city sieges. Strategy is usually: use the catapult to force the enemy to attack. Put infantry into shield/spear wall. Catapult focuses down enemy cavalry and general. Archers prioritize shooting at units that were hit by the catapult, their hitpoints will be low due to bombardment and die quickly to focus fire. Use archers to focus enemy ranged units to suppress them from firing. Use Cataphractoi to stop charges on infantry flanks. Circle around with Cataphractoi to knock out general, corral enemy archers, and hit the rear of the enemy line. Once the general dies the enemy army folds quickly.

    Here is a replay of a siege I just did. It shows some good work by heavy cavalry and how strong they are at surrounding a larger force and destroying it quickly. Two good things in this battle:

    1. The beginning, I rush the enemy reinforcements that are landing on the shore with cavalry that is completely unsupported. A good surround routes them all very quickly with almost no losses.

    2. Toward the end, I clear the city out completely using my heavy cavalry. They are well supported by archers, crossbowmen, artillery, and pikemen to make their job easier.

    There's a long boring period of sieging the walls between the two but it still may be useful to see.

    edit: well I just tried to load the replay and it crashes upon loading. I guess replays are broken in this mod, that's too bad.
    I gave you my army comp in the previous post.
    (Forgive spelling)

    2 Cataphractoi/Dynatoi, 2 Kavalaroi, 4 Kontaroi, 2 Mortoroi, 4 of the basic Byz Crossbow units, 2 Scut Swords, 2 Scut spears, 1 Spathoroi/Varangian/Angl, 1 General.

    In field battles, I deploy in a fairly standard double line, pikes in the center to pin the enemy force, spears in a spear wall after the pikes, melee in a shield wall on the ends of the line (sword scuts are a bit under-whelming in a stand up fight, so I prefer to use them for flanking). Archers are behind the infantry, with crossbows more towards the flanks so they can envelop advancing enemies if they get the chance. My Guard infantry and general are center(ish) behind the archers as a reserve, and to shore up morale in the center. One unit of shock cav is on each flank to counter enemy cav and serve as a precision wrecking ball to the enemy rear, supported by one unit of lighter melee cav.

    i.e.

    1.....................MI.SI.P.P.P.P.SI.MI...................
    2..MC..SC.......CB.CB.A.A.CB.CB.......SC..MC
    3...........................GI.....GEN..........................

    Of course, this is doubled up if I'm fighting a two stack battle and have time to set it up properly.

    This is essentially the same formation I used as the Eastern/Western Romans in Attila Vanilla, with some minor variation (i.e. pikes in place of legionaries as the center, and crossbows for the AP bonus - regular archers feel like they might as well be throwing spitballs in this mod). Its the same formation I use in pretty much *every* TW game, because its versatile, and usually works.

    It *should* work here, quite frankly. Again, I'm not losing these battles due to tactical deficiency. Its not like I'm being out maneuvered and swamped by an overwhelming number of enemy heavy cav units - the AI barely even uses heavy cav, and the ones that they do use tend to die very quickly.

    I'm losing due to something in this mod's archer units being broken, and not responding to cavalry charges properly. The cav flanking force gets bogged down and can't do its job because some stupid archer unit in the rear of the enemy formation, that has no. Earthly. business. being so tanky, takes an absurd three to five minutes to route. By the time it does route (*if* it does route) the cav are often either spent from the ordeal, and/or the infantry line has taken so much attrition due to withering fire from all *the rest* of the enemy archers on the field, while simultaneously getting hammered by charging enemy heavy infantry without cav support, that the battle's either lost already, or, at the very least, is incredibly pyhrric.

    Again, don't get me wrong. This isn't an "every battle" problem, but it is a common enough problem to be *incredibly* irritating, and to make me not want to bother with this mod anymore.

    I'm not going to go out of my way to *play around* something that's obviously a screw up on the part of the Dev team. "John Wick" caliber archer units casually shrugging off cavalry charges *should not be a thing* in the Middle Ages. PERIOD.

  10. #10
    Miles
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    Default Re: A Bone to Pick with Balancing

    Ah okay, when you said 'put both armies together and have 4-5 cavalry per flank' I thought that army comp was not your standard since using two armies every battle is real cumbersome. The /Dynatoi makes me think custom battles since they are not in campaign yet. What I will say is your army has not nearly enough cataphractoi and there's no use for Kavallaroi, this is a weak unit that takes massive losses to everything. I've also found that Varangians and Spathatoi swordsmen are completely worthless and should never be used - varangians because they have no missile block or +mass formation so they get focused down by archers or charged by cavalry before they can contribute anything to a battle and spathatoi swordsmen because Rus Mercenaries do the same thing and are vastly better in every way.

    I'd recommend you dump the 2 Kavallaroi and 2 Spathatoi swordsmen and replace both with 4 Cataphractoi for a total of 6, 3 on each flank + your general for 4 on one flank. Dump any melee infantry that's not rus mercenaries and replace them with rus mercenaries. This unit is supreme in melee and will quickly take out any and every other unit in the game in melee, you can use your cavalry to stop enemy archer and infantry units so your Rus wolves can catch and eat them.

    My formation is much more basic: RM - Rus mercenaries AC - Archers/Crossbowmen C+ - Cataphractoi - CA - Catapult Artillery GB - General's Bodyguard

    ..............RM RM RM RM RM RM RM..............
    ...C+ C+........AC AC AC AC AC........C+ C+...
    ...C+ GB..................CA....................C+.....

    If my army has Spearmen, replace to the RM on each side of the formation with 1 of each. If my army has Pikemen, replace the 5 RM in the middle with Pikemen + 1 RM on each flank to protect the formation with shield wall. The cataphractoi in the first line wedge charge into enemy cavalry and archers, the cataphractoi in the second line circle around to hit from the rear what the wedge didn't rout.

    This formation is solid enough to hold in spear/shield wall, numerous enough to tie up a huge portion of the enemy army and still have 1 or 2 melee units free to help the cavalry or flank the line battle, well covered by a large corps of powerful missile troops to keep enemy missile troops and cavalry at bay and run around the sides of the formation to fire flank shots, and heavily supported by a large cavalry corps that is able to quickly overwhelm the enemy back line and battle line when the battle starts. Once the enemy general is dead to catapult/archers/cavalry charge combo the whole army will route within a matter of seconds. An army built like this can easily beat any other army on the field without backup, even when the enemy has reinforcements. It has every unit type you need to beat any other unit type and it has each in abundance. Get that general's bodyguard into combat, even with a smaller unit he's still heavy cavalry that can get hundreds of kills and help flank those archers in the back.

    The archers problem isn't something I run into often, partially because I know it's there now and form my army compositions to deal with it and also because I make sure it doesn't happen by surrounding archers and killing the general quickly. The only place I still regularly notice it is in city sieges, where 1 militia archer can hold a street chokepoint against 5 cavalry units wedge charging it from the rear while they skirmish away. Combined with the AI's love for barricade placement this can be a problem. I haven't encountered stubborn archers nearly often enough to want to stop playing solely because of it and I haven't lost any battles because of it, though it has cost me more casualties than I probably deserved on several occasions.

    You said that an archer unit takes "three to five minutes to route" which is strange to me, I don't mean to sound cheeky at all, but that's 3 to 5 minutes that you had to get something over there to flank and help rout the unit but didn't. It sounds like your armies have some combined arms issues and need more troops available to support each other in routing the back line. You have to be able to quickly sweep their backline out, this is what decides a battle every time. So build your armies to have plenty of cavalry and archers to do this. A catapult in every army to weaken or even kill their general before the melee starts is valuable for taking him down quickly.

    Also remember that Nicaea does get horse archers. It can be hard to train them due to what seems to be a developer oversight in that they take Tribesmen population but the Byzantines have no buildings that increase Tribesmen, so you will not have them available in any of your cities. However you can capture cities from the Seljuks and other Muslim factions that already have Tribesmen in them and will allow you to train the Turcoman horse archers. You can replace some of your foot archers with them. Their melee stats are not good, but they are extremely fast and can help you deal with archers by flanking those that are already charged by your cataphractoi for quick routes.
    Last edited by Artannis Wolfrunner; January 14, 2020 at 12:12 AM. Reason: breaking down those walls of text

  11. #11

    Default Re: A Bone to Pick with Balancing

    Quote Originally Posted by gathomas88 View Post
    I'm not going to go out of my way to *play around* something that's obviously a screw up on the part of the Dev team. "John Wick" caliber archer units casually shrugging off cavalry charges *should not be a thing* in the Middle Ages. PERIOD.
    There is no screw up here, you just assume the balancing is done in a way, when it clearly isn't. There are no 'John Wick' archers here, only high quality infantry.

    Unlike CA games, we've decided that to properly emulate medieval warfare, we needed to stop using purely arcade combat systems. Does that mean it can't be adjusted? No, absolutely we will tweak it. The main complaint we hear about this, however, is that basically people keep trying to fit a round peg into a square hole, then ask why we didn't make their round peg a square peg.

    For context, in medieval warfare, or in any premodern warfare period really, being an archer or crossbowman didn't make you a worst soldier. If anything, in the medieval period, an archer was typically a very good soldier because archery required a lot of training and a professional soldier who mastered a bow also learned to use other weapons. As such, the idea that because you use a melee infantry and rush it into an archer should mean immediate victory is simply not valid in the mod. The advantage of soldiers with polearms or melee weapons usually comes from their unit being able to use formations, which makes them significantly more effective. Professional archers, crossbowmen or handgunners will likely be quite proficient in melee, and act more as a hybrid infantry unit (ranged/melee) than a pure ranged glass cannon unit.

    With regards to cavalry, the big issues we often see is that people charge just like they would in other CA games and expect the same outcome, when there's many variables to it. In prolonged melee against quality units, cavalry will often lose because they are simply outnumbered (160 v 80) to begin with. Cavalry's main power is always in the heavy charge they have, which will kill a good number of units immediately and the following moments after. If you do not micro your units and do not properly charge, you will likely lose a lot of cavalry. You also don't have to absolutely rear charge or flank with cavalry, since infantry that is not in formation is too light to receive a front charge without taking heavy casualties.

    If you do not enjoy this combat, you're free to stop playing the mod. We did not design it so that we could please everyone, but rather that we could make what we thought was a mod we were happy with internally.
    Last edited by zsimmortal; January 14, 2020 at 12:00 PM.

  12. #12

    Default Re: A Bone to Pick with Balancing

    Wouldnt a charge of heavy cavalry break up an unsupported archer formation and cause a rout? Im genuinely interested in hearing about a historical example of an unsupported professional archer unit standing up to a charge of heavy horse.
    Last edited by Athos187; January 14, 2020 at 01:48 PM.

  13. #13
    KAM 2150's Avatar Artifex
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    Default Re: A Bone to Pick with Balancing

    At the moment there is a bug with melee attack/melee defence calculation so this could be the source of some issues.

    Basically, in normal melee hit chance calculation there are 3 factors, melee attack, which is actually a % value, hidden base hit chance (25% in this mod) and melee defence of target. This means that all melee attack values have hidden +25 melee attack in the end so a soldier with 20 melee attack has in fact 45 melee attack.

    In order to calculate hit, you need to subtract melee defence from total melee attack, the catch is that final result can't be lower than 10% and higher than 65% (based on MKTW values).

    This means that in order for combat calculation to work, melee attack + base hit chance of weakest unit has to be higher than melee defence of best unit as otherwise it will be always increased to 10% as this is minimum hit chance.

    To put this into a more extreme example, you have two units:
    Unit A: 25 melee attack, 25 melee defence
    Unit B: 5 melee attack, 1000 melee defence
    As you can see, there is an extreme difference between two units but...both have in fact exact same stats! That is because neither of them is able to score above 10% in final calculation due to below:
    Unit A: 25 melee attack + 25 base hit chance = 50 melee attack; 50 melee attack - 1000 defence = -950 = gets increased to 10% due to minimum hit chance
    Unit B: 5 melee attack + 25 base hit chance = 30 melee attack; 30 melee attack - 25 melee defence = 5 = gets increased to 10% due to minimum hit chance

    In terms of this mod it means that a lot of units cant use their high melee defence as an advantage. For example for units with 20 melee attack; all enemies with melee defence above 35 make no difference as that unit will hanve exact same chance to hit a target with 35, 40, 50 or 60 melee defence.


    Now as a side note, I haven't seen such extreme examples as in above posts.
    Last edited by KAM 2150; January 14, 2020 at 02:21 PM.
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  14. #14

    Default Re: A Bone to Pick with Balancing

    Quote Originally Posted by Athos187 View Post
    Wouldnt a charge of heavy cavalry break up an unsupported archer formation and cause a rout? Im genuinely interested in hearing about a historical example of an unsupported professional archer unit standing up to a charge of heavy horse.
    It should. I assume every time it ends up being like people claim it is, it's because it is a poor charge and extended combat will always be a problem for cavalry, no matter how strong, against high quality infantry because of the numbers advantage.

  15. #15

    Default Re: A Bone to Pick with Balancing

    Quote Originally Posted by Athos187 View Post
    Wouldnt a charge of heavy cavalry break up an unsupported archer formation and cause a rout? Im genuinely interested in hearing about a historical example of an unsupported professional archer unit standing up to a charge of heavy horse.
    Generally a charge by heavy cavalry would provided the cavalry was charging over solid, dry ground, is well-led and disciplined, is well-armoured and carries melee weapons suitable for fighting infantry.
    And isn't tempted to dash off to attack baggage trains or feels it is beneath their rank to fight common soldiery.

    The archers would probably try to avoid fighting unsupported by men-at-arms or spears, and would aim to develop a defended position, taking advantage of terrain, pointed sticks etc.

    One-on-one the cavalry should defeat the archer due to impetus, better armour, better weapons, better training etc.
    The archers best equipped to defend against cavalry would be pavise crossbowmen - a 2-man unit where one was equipped with spear and shield and the other shot the crossbow.
    English longbowmen, lacked shields, lacked armour, (any they had was no match for cavalry armour) and if caught unprepared on open ground lacked any defensive weapons against cavalry charging them.

  16. #16

    Default Re: A Bone to Pick with Balancing

    Quote Originally Posted by zsimmortal View Post
    There is no screw up here, you just assume the balancing is done in a way, when it clearly isn't. There are no 'John Wick' archers here, only high quality infantry.

    Unlike CA games, we've decided that to properly emulate medieval warfare, we needed to stop using purely arcade combat systems. Does that mean it can't be adjusted? No, absolutely we will tweak it. The main complaint we hear about this, however, is that basically people keep trying to fit a round peg into a square hole, then ask why we didn't make their round peg a square peg.

    For context, in medieval warfare, or in any premodern warfare period really, being an archer or crossbowman didn't make you a worst soldier. If anything, in the medieval period, an archer was typically a very good soldier because archery required a lot of training and a professional soldier who mastered a bow also learned to use other weapons. As such, the idea that because you use a melee infantry and rush it into an archer should mean immediate victory is simply not valid in the mod. The advantage of soldiers with polearms or melee weapons usually comes from their unit being able to use formations, which makes them significantly more effective. Professional archers, crossbowmen or handgunners will likely be quite proficient in melee, and act more as a hybrid infantry unit (ranged/melee) than a pure ranged glass cannon unit.

    With regards to cavalry, the big issues we often see is that people charge just like they would in other CA games and expect the same outcome, when there's many variables to it. In prolonged melee against quality units, cavalry will often lose because they are simply outnumbered (160 v 80) to begin with. Cavalry's main power is always in the heavy charge they have, which will kill a good number of units immediately and the following moments after. If you do not micro your units and do not properly charge, you will likely lose a lot of cavalry. You also don't have to absolutely rear charge or flank with cavalry, since infantry that is not in formation is too light to receive a front charge without taking heavy casualties.

    If you do not enjoy this combat, you're free to stop playing the mod. We did not design it so that we could please everyone, but rather that we could make what we thought was a mod we were happy with internally.
    Yeaaah... I'm sorry, guy, but I think this is one of the stupidest things I've read in a long while.

    How, *precisely*, does a mob of unarmored peasants with unsharpened wooden sticks and *maybe* some clubs and long knives, hold their ground against one hundred or more two thousand pound horses, galloping in formation, carrying 12 foot spears, and swords capable of literally chopping men in half with a single swing?

    Is there *any* historical precedent for that whatsoever? Even at Agincourt, pretty much the only reason the longbowmen weren't horribly massacred is because they took cover behind a long row of sharpened stakes, and the enemy knights had exhausted themselves charging across a muddy field before hand.

    If you're looking for "realism" here, the archers should really route before the cavalry even makes contact. That is what generally tended to happen in historical reality.

    The idea of a unit of archers standing their ground against heavy infantry in prolonged melee, let alone a formation of charging shock cavalry, is absolute madness. They're human beings. They *do* have survival instincts.

  17. #17

    Default Re: A Bone to Pick with Balancing

    Quote Originally Posted by Artannis Wolfrunner View Post
    The /Dynatoi makes me think custom battles since they are not in campaign yet.
    There's a mod which adds T2 and T3 units to the end of the military tech tree in the Alpha Campaign on steam workshop. T2's the second to last tech on the tree and takes around 30 turns to research, T3 is the very last and takes about 120 (haven't made it that far in a campaign so far).

    The archers problem isn't something I run into often, partially because I know it's there now and form my army compositions to deal with it and also because I make sure it doesn't happen by surrounding archers and killing the general quickly. The only place I still regularly notice it is in city sieges, where 1 militia archer can hold a street chokepoint against 5 cavalry units wedge charging it from the rear while they skirmish away. Combined with the AI's love for barricade placement this can be a problem. I haven't encountered stubborn archers nearly often enough to want to stop playing solely because of it and I haven't lost any battles because of it, though it has cost me more casualties than I probably deserved on several occasions.

    You said that an archer unit takes "three to five minutes to route" which is strange to me, I don't mean to sound cheeky at all, but that's 3 to 5 minutes that you had to get something over there to flank and help rout the unit but didn't. It sounds like your armies have some combined arms issues and need more troops available to support each other in routing the back line. You have to be able to quickly sweep their backline out, this is what decides a battle every time. So build your armies to have plenty of cavalry and archers to do this. A catapult in every army to weaken or even kill their general before the melee starts is valuable for taking him down quickly.
    Frankly, I think I'm either just going to stop playing this mod entirely, or wait a looooooonnnggg time to see if they ever iron the kinks out. Though... Given the post I just saw from (what I presume is) one of the devs, I'm not exactly hopeful on that last front.

    Some rather... *ahem* "funky" ideas regarding how combat should play out, to say the least.

    Again, its not like I couldn't work around this mod's weirdness if I wanted to (in fact, I think I more or less *was* using a Western knightly version of the strategy you just described in the 1220 campaign). I just don't think that sort of "min-maxing" should be necessary if the mod was balanced properly.

    Nah. Apparently, the unkillable archers, and AI armies made up entirely of foot knights and crossbowmen, are by design, and working as intended, from what I'm hearing. Wtf???

  18. #18

    Default Re: A Bone to Pick with Balancing

    Quote Originally Posted by gathomas88 View Post
    Yeaaah... I'm sorry, guy, but I think this is one of the stupidest things I've read in a long while.

    How, *precisely*, does a mob of unarmored peasants with unsharpened wooden sticks and *maybe* some clubs and long knives, hold their ground against one hundred or more two thousand pound horses, galloping in formation, carrying 12 foot spears, and swords capable of literally chopping men in half with a single swing?

    Is there *any* historical precedent for that whatsoever? Even at Agincourt, pretty much the only reason the longbowmen weren't horribly massacred is because they took cover behind a long row of sharpened stakes, and the enemy knights had exhausted themselves charging across a muddy field before hand.

    If you're looking for "realism" here, the archers should really route before the cavalry even makes contact. That is what generally tended to happen in historical reality.

    The idea of a unit of archers standing their ground against heavy infantry in prolonged melee, let alone a formation of charging shock cavalry, is absolute madness. They're human beings. They *do* have survival instincts.
    You can call this stupid all you want, it appears you've been very influenced by some deep-seated myths on what medieval armies were like and how combat actually happened. The idea of mobs of unarmoured peasants being even remotely close to what professional archers were, i.e. usually the cream of the infantry in medieval armies, is very, very wrong.

    And I still don't understand where you come up with this idea of archers simply surviving strong charges. You're probably using your cavalry very wrong.

  19. #19

    Default Re: A Bone to Pick with Balancing

    Its also pretty historically accurate for professional sergeant units not being expected to hold the line, the 12th century Teutonic order had a rule that if you werent a fully armed and armored knight you could leave the battle if you got wounded or it was looking bad.

    The rule states, "With the gratitude of God and the Order if they fight well, but if they see they cannot endure or are wounded, they may withdraw without asking permission, and without punishment"

    I think this conversation really needs to also take into account the specific units, is it just crossbow sergeants?

  20. #20

    Default Re: A Bone to Pick with Balancing

    Quote Originally Posted by zsimmortal View Post
    You can call this stupid all you want, it appears you've been very influenced by some deep-seated myths on what medieval armies were like and how combat actually happened. The idea of mobs of unarmoured peasants being even remotely close to what professional archers were, i.e. usually the cream of the infantry in medieval armies, is very, very wrong.
    Key word being "professional," there, guy. This is a problem that's being regularly observed even with militia missile units in this mod.

    And even so, if we're talking about Crossbowmen at arms, or something, how exactly do you figure that a gaggle of guys with nothing but a short piece of wood and a short sword/hammer are going to be able to contend with armored foot knights with kite shields and long swords? God forbid a heavy cavalry charge!

    Again... Care to point to any actual examples of such a thing happening in historical reality?

    And I still don't understand where you come up with this idea of archers simply surviving strong charges. You're probably using your cavalry very wrong.
    First off, what in the Hell do you mean by "bad charges?" You've eluded to that multiple times.

    Unless you guys have some hidden stats at play here (in which case, you really kinda need to let the player actually know about that kind of thing), a charge should just be a freaking charge. Annnd again... Unless those archers are forming an invisible schiltron, or something, it shouldn't really matter where or how that charge lands. The guys with the short pieces of wood and long knives/short swords should die. Quickly.

    I mean... You do you, dude. But there are several threads on this topic throughout this subforum, all with several posters saying the same thing; "the archer units in this game make no damn sense."

    You can stick your head in the sand if you want... But it would appear that this is, in fact, a real issue.

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