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Thread: The Crazy EB Phalanx: An analysis of phalangist stats

  1. #1

    Default The Crazy EB Phalanx: An analysis of phalangist stats

    Of all the mods i've played for RTW, Europa Barbarorum, is by far my favourite. In fact it may be my favourite mod for any game i've played. One that has so many changes to vanilla that i like, that i have even altered other mods just to make it more like this one! However i believe to truly love something, you need to also be critical of some of its flaws and errors. One of the most apparent flaws in EB is how the mod handles units that fight in the Macedonian phalanx.

    Usually when criticism is levelled at this, people point to the flaws in RTW engine, in that it has serious problems replicating the dynamic of the phalanx such as turning on it access, swinging its spears around, and attacking a flanking force with ease. Or it being so easy to form and reform the phalanx while locked in combat. i've played RTW and other mods enough to recognise these problems with the engine, but i think there are aspects that are wrong with the phalanx, that are unique to EB. These faults are universal across phalangist units, and can actually be changed rather easily, by going into export_descr_unit. So if your somebody else who's frustrated at certain aspects of phalangists performance, or just a passerby, curious what some guy has to say i hope you enjoy!
    Part 1: Shield valueAt a quick glance the shield value of phalangist seems rather strange. Despite only carrying a pelte, they have a the highest shield value in the game at 5 beating units carrying the aspis or scutum which have a value of 4. Whenever i see forums questioning this, it is usually justified by the fact that historically the long sarissa carried by phalangist would also deflect incoming projectiles while the unit is in the phalanx. Its makes complete sense in theory..
    .
    ...In theory...

    In practice this additional shield value is totally unneeded. When in phalanx mode, a phalangist receives additional frontal protection from missiles. This means that instead of simulating the extra protection the sarissa provided and making the unit resistant to frontal missile attacks, the additional shield value only results in making the unit near invulnerable to frontal missile attacks! Let me try and prove this to you:

    I decided to set up a little test, to take a look at how phalangist units react to frontal missile fire. A single unit would move up to a large city, with a large wall. The defenders would only have a melee unit that did not interfere. The same map was chosen, with the same weather conditions, and the single attacker would always only move up to firing range of the gate. The battle would have a timer of 60 minutes, so i could track how long the unit lasted before the battle would be lost once enough soldiers had died to no longer man the ram.

    I decided to start the test using Machimoi Phalangitai. They are the lowest armoured phalanx unit in the game, and so i thought would make a good start to test out the missile defensive capabilties of the phalangists, in and out of phalanx mode. The first test i had them move in front of the wall in phalanx mode:


    The unit survived 24 minutes of consistent wall fire before defeat. Pretty darn impressive for a low tier, pretty cheap levy unit. However, lets compare how the unit did when out of phalanx mode:



    16 minutes, an 8 minutes difference. This is the first bit of proof that phalanx mode, provides extra frontal protection to missiles. However, you could argue its not a huge time difference, and could just be chalked up to coincidence, or luck. So lets go deeper.

    My third test, i decided to try something different. Instead of a phalangist, i would test how a Hoplitai would perform under the constant wall barrage. For me, this is important, because the historical justification for the phalanx shield value is that it was resistant to missile fire, thanks to the long sarrisa causing them deflect away. However every source i've seen, suggest that the hoplite phalanx had similar protection from missiles too, because of there heavier armour and larger, thicker shield. Logically one would expect a Hoplite and phalangist to have similiar missile protection in EB. I decided to raise the number of hoplites to 60, the same as the phalanx units, so the phalangists will not have a numerical advantage over the hoplites. The result:

    20 minutes. More than the Machimoi out of phalanx, but less than them in phalanx. Keep in mind Hoplitai are more costly and require a higher MIC than machimoi, and in this comparison, i had increased there numbers to match there phalanx counterparts. Had i kept them at there usual 40 unit size, they would of lasted even shorter. One would expect that Hoplitai would outclass a levied phalanx in its range protection.

    But how about we compare the Hoplitai's performance to a phalanx unit closer to its status? I decided to go for Pezhetairoi. With one armour less, and one shield point more, you would expect the 2 units to have a similar anti missile protection. My first test would be the Pezhetairoi in phalanx. The result.....

    ....is shocking! The unit survived 60 minutes of constant tower fire! What makes this even more terrifying, is that Pezhetairoi aren't even the heaviest protected phalanx unit. The elite phalanxes have even more armour, especially Hysteroi Pezhetairoi, Chalkaspidai, and Elite African Pikeman. After that i decided to test again, only with the unit out of phalanx mode:
    (Please excuse the painted timer, i took the screenshot without my mouse hovering over the timer)

    26 minutes. 6 minutes more than Hoplitai. And 2 minutes more than machimoi in phalanx mode. Not overly surprising considering they are more costly. However what is very impressive is the the time difference between pezhetairoi in, and out of phalanx. In phalanx the unit lasted more than twice as long. For me, this is very convincing proof of phalanx mode providing frontal arrow protection, and in my opinion, shows that the justification for the very high shield value is unnecessary. The formation itself accounts for the pikemans long sarissa protecting from arrow fire. The extra shield value, in an ironic twist, makes the unit so immune to projectiles, that is makes it LESS historically accurate. Not only that, but it makes them far too capable as assault units. Your opponent could man his walls with dozens of cretan archers, and it wouldnt matter, cause your army could soak up all those arrows, while taking minimal casualties.

    Solution

    There a 2 stat changes that i believe need to be done to make Phalangists a move balanced unit, when it comes to anti-missile protection, without impairing its melee capabilities
    Lower shield value by 2 points
    Raise defence skill by 2 points
    Let me show you how these changes effected the test. I repeated the Pezhetairoi in phalanx mode test, with these new stats. The result:

    29 minutes. This makes these units still very resistant to frontal missile attacks, however they are now not totally immune to them. Now a legionary can lob his pila at a phalanx line, and actually be able to do some damage. The increased defence skill makes up for the loss of the shield in close combat, so they do not become weaker in melee. Ive found these changes have opened up more tactical options to dealing with a phalanx with skirmishers and archers. While it is still a better idea to flank them and throw the projectiles in the rear, it is now no longer a complete waste of time shooting a phalanx from the front.

    Part 2: Attack value/Lethality

    If the shield value of phalangist's seems strange at a glance, the attack values are arguably even more absurd. Lets take a look at various phalanx units of different status, and compare them to other spear wielding equivalents.


    As you can see, relative to other units carrying normal spears, phalangists consistently have much higher attack than there competitors. Its crazy to think that a low tier Machimoi Phalangitai has an attack that exceeds the elite, and much more expensive Thorakitai. Pezhetairoi, the standard unit of a successors faction, has an attack that matches the truly elite spartan hoplite! From what i have seen Argyraspides have the highest base melee attack of any unit in the whole mod! And if that wasnt bad enough, the sarissa has a high lethality of 0.17. Usually in EB, units with higher lethality, tend to have lower base attack values, either making them more suited for tackling less armoured opponents, or relying on powerful charges/ armour piercing abilities to hit harder. However Phalangists have the luxury of high attack and high lethality.

    Unsurprisingly these 2 stats together is a terrifying combo. Anything that hits the front of a phalanx will rapidly suffer from massive casualties, irregardless of the quality of the unit. In theory, one could argue that you shouldn't attack the phalanx from the front, but because of the limitations of the RTW engine, phalanxes have to be pinned in place with infantry from the front, while another unit hits them from behind. If you try to have one unit flank, without another unit pinning the phalanx, it will turn around instantly, and quickly begin unleashing its massive attack and lethality onto the flanker. They only way to try and avoid this is to have your units deliberately run through the phalanxes spears, and mosh into there formation. But this is a cheap, exploitative tactic, abusing the limitations of the engine. As unfair as it is though, its one of the only ways to tackle a phalanx in melee without taking heavy casualties

    This high attack has further knock on effects on the morale too. If a unit is killing many enemies, very quickly, its own morale will stay up. I recall a time when an enemy unit of Galatikoi Klerouchoi was hit from both the front and rear and the unit quickly panicked and routed. Yet in the same battle i did the same thing to a Pezhetairoi, a unit that has the same morale as the galatians, and it held on for a gruellingly long time. Why? Because the Pezhetairoi attack meant that the unit pinning it for the flankers, was taking massive casualties, keeping its morale up. This created a cycle, because as it held on, it continued killing my men rapidly, and so its morale remained high, keeping it holding, and so killing more men! Only once most of the unit was destroyed did its killing power falter, and the unit finally break.

    This of course begs the question....why? Why do phalangists have such high attack power, as well as such high lethaltiy? While the sarissa was a good weapon, it wasn't renowned for having killing power that was MASSIVELY higher than say a dory spear. Why does there seem to be a pattern in the graph that every single phalanx unit has roughly 3-4 more attack than spearmen of the same class? In all the forum posts i've viewed, i've never seen a historical reason for why the attack on these units is so absurdly high. However i did find something else.

    In an old thread for EB in 2008, a user was asking why the Macedonian phalanx had such a high attack as was being asked here. Someone replied that the reason it was so high was because the sarissa had the spear attribute. For those who do not know, this raises the attack of a weapon against cavalry by 4, but lowers it against infantry by 4. Suddenly it all seems to make sense, and why the pattern of phalanxes having 3-4 points more than there spear equivlents. Its to compensate for the lowered attack against infantry. Unfortunately, there is just one problem....

    In newer versions, the sarissa has the light_spear attribute instead, just like all other spearman! This gives it 4+ defence against cavalry, and no attack loss versus infantry. This means that instead of hitting enemy infantry with the -4 attack it had in earlier versions, now it hits with its full attack! Ultimately the current attack was supposed to compensate for the spear attribute, but now only results in phalanxes being terrifying killing machines.

    However, so far i've only been looking at the effects on the battlefield. How does this absurdly high attack effect the campaign map? Badly. The ai, from my experience is very much biased in favour of recruiting units that perform well during autoresolving. Stats such as attack, defence, and numbers per unit are important in resolving, instead of morale, stamina, speed, special attributes, missiles etc. This is an area where the high numbers and high attack of the phalanx, especially relative to its cost, excels. By c
    ontrast units such as horse archers, light cavalry and archers which have low attack, low defence, low numbers, relative to there cost, falter. This is a really bad dynamic to have in a game where two of the main factions, that are trying to challenge the phalanx juggernaut of the Seleucid empire, are Pahlava and Sauka rauka, factions that are dependent on horse archers, light cavalry and archers. Unless you the player are those factions, or support them by financial aid or military support, they usually get slowly annihilated by the white blob of death, and its army of phalanxes. These factions have so many cool units like Grivpanver or Agema hellenikon that you will never fight, because the Seleucid have forced them back, and stopped them from reforming and unlocking them.

    This problem persists with most the other successor, phalanx dependent factions, who tend to have an advantage against there opponents who do not have these units. The bias to recruiting them means that these factions tend to avoid recruiting other cool units in there own rosters. Why would the ai controlling Carthage recruit the 13 attack elite african infantry, when it can get the elite african pikeman with there immense 18 attack instead? The massive stat difference greatly influences the ai's recruitment decisions, and makes battles further dominated by phalangists

    Put simply, the high attack is in my eyes, a major problem for the unit, amplifying the limitations of pikeman in the RTW engine, and making the campaign map much less interesting and diverse. And with no historical, or practical justification for it, i think it should be altered

    Solution

    The simplest change to the sarissa is this:
    Reduce attack points of pikeman by 4 points

    This change means the unstoppable killing power of the phalanx has been greatly reduced and puts them closer in line with there spear wielding equivalents. However, they still possess their high lethality and so still are by no means weak. Another alternative, could be lowering the lethality a little, while only reducing the attack by 3 instead. From my experience, these changes make phalanxes far more balanced to fight against, especially for equivalent units of cost. However, where ive noticed the most substantial improvement is on the campaign map. The Seleucid empires is nowhere near as unstoppable now, while still being a strong faction and the eastern and nomad factions have much more capability to expand. Other units are more viable as purchases for the ai, and so battles are not totally dominated by phalanxes. I believe a more in depth look into how this stat change effects the game could be useful, but i may save that for another day

    If you have reached the end of this 'essay' i applaud you. Thanks for reading, and im curious about your thoughts
    (Please ignore the all italics, its being all glitchy)

  2. #2

    Default Re: The Crazy EB Phalanx: An analysis of phalangist stats

    Totally agree with you, spot on.

    In my own personal modification of EB, I independently reduced the attack of pikemen by 3 (and all spearmen by 1) and combat seems to be much more balanced. I didn't change the phalanx shield or defence skills though, that's an interesting idea and makes a lot of sense.

    With regard to autoresolve, there is one balancing factor though to the points you mention around Pahalava, Saka etc: horse archers (and some other light cavalry units like Numidians) have 2 secondary Hitpoints in the EDU. All units have been given 1 secondary HP, but horse archers get 2. That does help balance autoresolve a little bit. One change I personally make here to further balance autoresolve is to give all archer and slinger units an extra secondary HP as well (so they also get 2 like horse archers and light cavalry).

  3. #3

    Default Re: The Crazy EB Phalanx: An analysis of phalangist stats

    Thanks for your response.
    Ive never actually thought about lowering the attack of all spearmen by one, but it seems an interesting idea. It would definitely make the ai more incentivised to recruit swordsman instead, which it usually is biased against, due to attack difference. I do wonder if a stat change for spearmen like this would be good:
    -1 attack
    +2 bonus attack vs cavalry
    It has definetley got me thinking. I might do some tests to see how it changes the game, and if i prefer it that way
    Ive never actually noticed that horse archers have a secondary hitpoint before! I wonder how much it alter's autoresolving and the ai's recruitment patterns.

  4. #4

    Default Re: The Crazy EB Phalanx: An analysis of phalangist stats

    I don't think spearmen need any further bonuses against cavalry. They already chew up cavalry once the cavalry's charge bonus expires. Any more bonuses is just overkill. The reduction of attack by 1 just makes them more balanced against the rest of the roster.

  5. #5

    Default Re: The Crazy EB Phalanx: An analysis of phalangist stats

    Hey Madoguy, and welcome!

    Nice analysis: that's a really good way to introduce yourself at the EB forum. I did a similar research as well by means of some modding: you can see my results in my short article (it's funny because I wrote it a long time ago and didn't get around to publishing it until today). I came to the same conclusions you drew from your little tests.

    The TL;DR version is that not only the phalanx formation gives a hidden shield bonus, but also that it is not a fixed addition: it depends on the value of the shield itself!

    This has been a sort of known issue in the past, even if as far as I know nobody really investigated it that much in a quantitative manner like I did. In the Multiplayer version of the EDU, giving phalanx units only 2 shield for their small round shield seems to be working more than adequately. I wouldn't deem necessary to increase the defence skill of the phalangitai, because otherwise you magnify their combat capabilities even when fighting out of phalanx, with their secondary weapon (e.g. when a unit flanks them and they turn around to fight): instead, they should be extremely vulnerable to side and rear attacks. To give you an example, the Phalangitai Deuteroi have 7 defence skill in the multiplayer EDU. Still, they are perfectly capable to hold a line when in phalanx mode.

    Quote Originally Posted by Madoguy1
    As you can see, relative to other units carrying normal spears, phalangists consistently have much higher attack than there competitors. Its crazy to think that a low tier Machimoi Phalangitai has an attack that exceeds the elite, and much more expensive Thorakitai. Pezhetairoi, the standard unit of a successors faction, has an attack that matches the truly elite spartan hoplite! From what i have seen Argyraspides have the highest base melee attack of any unit in the whole mod!
    The attack issue is quite big, I agree. Decreasing the attack by 4 points surely helps in rebalancing phalanx vs non-phalanx fights. Anyway, I don't know what the light_spear attribute is doing there, as it's totally unnecessary. Pikemen are sufficiently protected from cavalry, because of their multiple layers of pikes and their insane mass boost when in phalanx formation: cavalrymen who charge a phalanx from the front receive a large amount of attacks from the pikemen in the first five lines even before reaching the first line of the pike square, and often get stuck in the formation, dying horribly shortly after. I'd suggest removing light_spear altogether, and leaving only long_pike.

    Quote Originally Posted by Madoguy1
    And if that wasnt bad enough, the sarissa has a high lethality of 0.17. Usually in EB, units with higher lethality, tend to have lower base attack values, either making them more suited for tackling less armoured opponents, or relying on powerful charges/ armour piercing abilities to hit harder. However Phalangists have the luxury of high attack and high lethality.
    Regarding lethality, I think the lethality of pikes is a bit too low actually. Again, in the multiplayer EDU the lethality has been boosted to 0.3. It's strange that you say that 0.17 lethality is "high", because it's just slightly better than spear lethality so definitely not that awesome; if you combine that with the attack nerf, phalanxes become just too ineffective. You park your main line in guard mode forever, and flank with javelinmen/cavalry/ap infantry. That's it, that's all it takes to destroy a phalanx line. So our good friends the Phalangitai need a bit of punch to actually threaten the infantry standing in front of them: hence the 0.3 lethality.

    Quote Originally Posted by Madoguy1
    Ive never actually thought about lowering the attack of all spearmen by one, but it seems an interesting idea. It would definitely make the ai more incentivised to recruit swordsman instead, which it usually is biased against, due to attack difference. I do wonder if a stat change for spearmen like this would be good:
    -1 attack
    +2 bonus attack vs cavalry
    I don't fully agree with the decrease in attack for spearmen: the spear is considerably weaker than the longsword in terms of lethality, so a boost in attack is much needed not to skew the combat odds too much in favour of swordsmen. I don't understand why many think that sword > spear, or conversely that swordsmen > spearmen: the spear is an effective weapon, with much more reach than a longsword and extremely good synergy with close and ordered infantry formations with shields. It's easy to pierce weak spots with a spear while standing relatively far away from your foe, so the high attack is justified to me. Swordsmen were also quite rare in the ancient world, I don't see large contingents of spearmen as a problem really.

  6. #6

    Default Re: The Crazy EB Phalanx: An analysis of phalangist stats

    Thanks for the response mephiston!

    Regarding lethality, I think the lethality of pikes is a bit too low actually. Again, in the multiplayer EDU the lethality has been boosted to 0.3. It's strange that you say that 0.17 lethality is "high", because it's just slightly better than spear lethality so definitely not that awesome; if you combine that with the attack nerf, phalanxes become just too ineffective. You park your main line in guard mode forever, and flank with javelinmen/cavalry/ap infantry. That's it, that's all it takes to destroy a phalanx line. So our good friends the Phalangitai need a bit of punch to actually threaten the infantry standing in front of them: hence the 0.3 lethality.
    Consider the fact that 'average' lethality of weapons in EB sp, is 0.13. Relatively 0.17 is actually a higher end lethality rating for melee infantry, beating short swords (0.1), medium swords (0.13), kopis's (0.11), spears (0.13), axes (0.165), maces (0.165) etc. While there a certainly much higher lethality weapons such as the falx and celtic longsword, the sarissa hits pretty darn hard, especially since both the longsword and falx have rather low base attack. I also never made a dedicated conclusion that the lethality needs to lowered. My problem was that the lethality combined with the high attack is the big problem.

    I don't fully agree with the decrease in attack for spearmen: the spear is considerably weaker than the longsword in terms of lethality, so a boost in attack is much needed not to skew the combat odds too much in favour of swordsmen. I don't understand why many think that sword > spear, or conversely that swordsmen > spearmen: the spear is an effective weapon, with much more reach than a longsword and extremely good synergy with close and ordered infantry formations with shields. It's easy to pierce weak spots with a spear while standing relatively far away from your foe, so the high attack is justified to me. Swordsmen were also quite rare in the ancient world, I don't see large contingents of spearmen as a problem really.
    I totally agree with you, that the peoples belief that sword>spear is misguided. There's a reason the spear has been used so much and so long by humans. However i wasn't comparing to longswordsman like Neitos. I was comparing to medium/short swordsman, like Thorakitai Pontikoi, Armenian medium infantry, Ethiopian swordsman. These swords have less attack than spearman, and no lethality advantage to compensate, which makes them feel really meh. And its even worse when you have unit that mixes a spear with a medium sword, a combo that id argue makes them outright worse at performing either task.

    How many changes are there between sp edu, and mp edu? I noticed you say on the archer thread that projectiles perform differently. Im quite curious, because i wish skirmishers would be a more competitive option in sp, next to archers and slingers.

  7. #7

    Default Re: The Crazy EB Phalanx: An analysis of phalangist stats

    Quote Originally Posted by Madoguy1 View Post
    Thanks for the response mephiston!



    Consider the fact that 'average' lethality of weapons in EB sp, is 0.13. Relatively 0.17 is actually a higher end lethality rating for melee infantry, beating short swords (0.1), medium swords (0.13), kopis's (0.11), spears (0.13), axes (0.165), maces (0.165) etc. While there a certainly much higher lethality weapons such as the falx and celtic longsword, the sarissa hits pretty darn hard, especially since both the longsword and falx have rather low base attack. I also never made a dedicated conclusion that the lethality needs to lowered. My problem was that the lethality combined with the high attack is the big problem.

    I totally agree with you, that the peoples belief that sword>spear is misguided. There's a reason the spear has been used so much and so long by humans. However i wasn't comparing to longswordsman like Neitos. I was comparing to medium/short swordsman, like Thorakitai Pontikoi, Armenian medium infantry, Ethiopian swordsman. These swords have less attack than spearman, and no lethality advantage to compensate, which makes them feel really meh. And its even worse when you have unit that mixes a spear with a medium sword, a combo that id argue makes them outright worse at performing either task.


    Yes, the SP EDU is heavily imbalanced in that regard. Shortswords are next to useless, with 0.1 lethality; kopeis are severely underpowered with their 0.11 lethality; axes and maces instead are too strong (0.165 is insane).

    Quote Originally Posted by Madoguy1 View Post
    How many changes are there between sp edu, and mp edu? I noticed you say on the archer thread that projectiles perform differently. Im quite curious, because i wish skirmishers would be a more competitive option in sp, next to archers and slingers.
    Quite a lot.

    1) Introduced accuracy parameters for missile units: accuracy ranges from low, medium, high and ultra high and influences the dispersion of projectiles.

    2) Removed ap from cavalry lances, together with a large increase of attack; this was done to make cavalry secondary weapons useful, because otherwise ap lances >>>>> everything.

    3) Reworked unit sizes to make more units useful, especially light cavalry and light-medium infantry. Now light cavalry and some medium cavalry have between 60 and 73 men in large scale, and infantry units having 110, 100 or 90 men have been introduced. E.g. the Pontikoi Thorakitai have 100 men, meaning now they're a unit worth being recruited, unlike before.

    4) Shield boost for a lot of light infantry, who otherwise are utterly unplayable.

    5) Barbarian bonus applied to all "barbarian" units other than Western barbarians, which were just as fierce and resilient as Gauls or German tribes and otherwise get the shorter end of the stick. I'm talking about Ethiopians or Nubians, Garamantines, Anatolian hillmen etc. who ranged between weak and useless.

    6) Removed cantabrian circle from horse archers. The cantabrian circle made horse archers invulnerable to those units who should have been their natural counter, i.e. foot archers, and made them hugely overpowered. Cantabrian circle stays for several javelin cavalry, mainly the ones that made this tactic their trademark (Cantabrians and steppe javelin cavalry) and highly trained and disciplined skirmisher cavalry (e.g. Tarantines, iirc). I would strongly suggest to implement it in the SP too, as the AI never used the cantabrian circle, meaning that it gives a clear advantage only to the player.

    7) Removed ap from the kopis, and increased its lethality to 0.24. This was done to boost its usefulness because 0.11 lethality wasn't going to bring you anywhere in a melee, even with ap. I don't agree with this change, so in the MP EDU that I was working on I changed the infantry kopis to 0.135 lethality with ap, and the cavalry kopis to 0.24, no ap. The cavalry kopis was more similar to a Napoleonic cavalry sabre than to a proper forward-curved blade like the infantry kopis is (on horseback you need more reach) so the ap for cavalry kopeis is out of place imo.

    8) Increased by a large amount the damage output of javelins, especially for mounted ones, to make them a viable competitive option. Now skirmisher javelins have 6 or 7 ranged attack, infantry javelins between 8 and 10 attack, and cavalry javelins between 10 and 14. Pila have 6 otherwise they're too strong.

    9) Reworked phalanx system, as I already mentioned: all shields go down to 2, some phalanxes get reduced size (elite ones and the KH phalanxes, because the manpower in mainland Greece was hugely depleted in Hellenistic era), lackluster defence skill to balance their immense frontal power. Fairplay rules that are introduced in MP battles include that it's forbidden to turn a phalanx that is already engaged in a frontal fight to meet a charge from flanks or rear, and also that, if a phalanx is engaged when out of phalanx formation, the unit needs to disengage first to enable phalanx mode. When I used to play campaign I used these rules too, otherwise phalanxes are too strong; this helps in making them acceptable.

    10) Reworked infantry charges, to mitigate the problem of guard mode. In case you don't know, guard mode is one of the most op features in this game, because you can just sit your units in guard mode and they will resist pretty much everything from the front, with little casualties and no expense of stamina, while you mop up flanks with cavalry and assault units. Therefore infantry units have been given much higher charge values, to smash into guard mode lines and do enough casualties on the charge to be able to fight on equal ground from that point on. To give an example, Bataroas have 24 charge, Gaesatae 20, Milnaht 12, Sloxonez 32(!). This means they're absolutely devastating on the charge, so a wise commander needs to be careful: I've seen Sloxonez dish out 10-15 casualties in the first ten seconds of melee after a charge on a 80 men unit, which means killing around 15% of the unit in question. This is something else I'd like to see in SP, as it helps getting rid of the irritating passive behaviour of some players who just wait for the AI units to charge blindlessly and make mistakes.


    That's on top of my head, I'm not sure if there's something else but I think these were the most groundbreaking changes that were implemented across the years. And I love all of them, unless specified otherwise. What do you think about them?

  8. #8

    Default Re: The Crazy EB Phalanx: An analysis of phalangist stats

    Quote Originally Posted by mephiston View Post
    [/FONT][/COLOR][/LEFT]What do you think about them?
    Well ill guess ill go through my thoughts on them

    1. Archer accuracy sounds like a cool idea, but its a change you can only really judge once you have seen it in action i guess

    2. If removing ap makes cavalries secondary weapon more viable, then it sounds great. The higher base attack, would likely make these units more attractive for the ai to recruit, which is major plus for me too.

    3. Unit resizing really depends on the individual units. Personally, id prefer Pontikoi thorakitai to be better units, than more numerous

    4. EB has always been very formulaic in regards to its shield and armor values so, raising shield value on light infantry is a complicated choice. Its something id have to look into with greater depth to see if its what id want to change in sp

    5. Not totally sure what you mean by 'barbarian bonus'. Do you mean them having higher attack, relative to there 'civilised' counterparts? (For example Gaeroas having 15 attack with their spear, while Thureophoroi, have 14) Nonetheless, its an interesting idea that could give those units more uniqueness and identity

    6. I havent used horse archers much in my playthroughs, and i tend to be scornful of overly cheesy strategies against the ai, so for my own personal sp games, i wouldn't use cantabrian for these units. However, making most horse archers, vulnerable to foot archers is a good idea.

    7. Hate this idea for foot infantry. Just makes the kopis a boring copy of the celtic longsword. Personally, ive never agreed with people who say that the 0.11 lethality of the kopis makes its weak. Ive seen units like Thorakitai Hoplitai, Samnitci Milites and Pedites Extraordinarri, give fierce accounts for themselves, even with there supposedly 'weak' kopis. Giving the kopis 0.135 lethality as you did, seems to have the problem of making it a better weapon than the medium sword, whereas i prefer the idea of having different swords filling different kinds of tactical niches.
    However, giving the cavalry kopis a higher lethality at the cost of ap, is an idea i actually like. I still think the lethality of 0.24 is a bit too high, and intrudes on the celtic longswords niche. Maybe something like 0.185 would work? Perhaps the statistical difference of the infantry kopis, and cavalry kopis, could be made more obvious, and logical, by naming the cavalry variant the Makhaira? Funnily enough, i was actually changing another mod a while back to be more like eb, and i pondered the thought of having Makhaira wielding infantry, have higher lethality, while kopis wielding units have an ap bonus.

    8. I sort of like the look of this idea. I was never a fan of arrows having largely the same attack as javelins, while having more range, and more missiles. This would make skirmishers a more viable niche in armies. Only thing i worry about it that the numbers seem almost too high. Id have to test them out to see how they perform in practice. Im also curious that if the pila is op with more than 6 attack, what about the soliferum, used by the iberians? That has the ap bonus, with a higher attack than pila. How is it effected in mp edu?

    9. Reducing the shield value of phalanx's to 2 seems excessive. The only ones id see it as viable for, would be levy phalanxes, with there smaller shields. Reducing sizes of elites seems to make sense. For KH phalanx, it would work, so long as the units cost is reduced a bit.

    10. Guard mode is definitely a complicated aspect in the game. The optimal solution would be to make hoplite phalanxes operate more akin to how they really did, but thats a different topic altogether.
    However, giving infantry, particularly barbarians high charge values, is really cool idea. Their charge was notorious for how strong it was, and would really emphasise there strategy of hitting hard and fast, but crumbling in long attritional combat. Granted some of those charge values seem a little excessive, but having not seem them in practice, thats just an assumption

    On another note, you could also encourage aggressive play from hoplite phalanx units by raising there charge too. Not as high as barbarian units, but enough to give reason to play more aggressive.

  9. #9

    Default Re: The Crazy EB Phalanx: An analysis of phalangist stats

    1) and 2): agreed.

    3) of course the biggest limit is the historicity of a unit, so we cannot artificially boost stats too much. The other option is to increase the number of men in a unit, while of course increasing proportionally the cost, because the number of men you field is a plus in itself, even if you pay more for them. I'd happily buy 4 pontikoi thorakitai as Pontus vs any successor if they are 100 men, but I'd probably give them a pass if there were only 80 of them.

    4) yes it's a complicated issue, it was effective though as now the Lusotannan or the Casse have actually some hope to win sometimes. Oh wait, was the boost only for light cavalry? I don't remember, I'll check tomorrow.

    5) the barbarian bonus is an artificial +1 attack/+1 armour that has been originally given to Western barbarian units, to make up for their inferior armour and discipline (otherwise the game would have been too imbalanced). However the devs did it only for the Western barbarians, forgetting all the others.

    6) yup

    7) 0.11 is terrible in sp, especially when compared to 0.165 axes. The unit that you mention make up for that disadvantage only thanks to superior armour, morale and discipline.
    Oh, sorry, I forgot to mention the rework of weapon lethality. 0.13 falcata (ap), 0.14 axe/mace (ap), 0.15 shortsword, 0.16 gladius hispaniensis/xiphos, 0.16 or 0.165 spear, 0.2 overhand cavalry lance, 0.24 kopis, 0.25 longsword/falx, 0.365 claymores (the ones wielded by the Lugians and the Kluddargos), 0.4 underhand cavalry lance.
    Most of these changes were much welcome: falxes, axes and maces were just supreme, while shortswords and overhand lances were totally useless. Other changes were kind of meh, like the kopis: I prefer to keep 0.135 and ap for infantry, as I already mentioned. Oh, in case you don't know ap weapons get an attack malus while shortswords get an attack bonus. For example, thorakitai hoplitai have 11 attack with 0.135 and ap, while peltastai makedonikoi have 14 with 0.16 but no ap. That's exactly what you say by filling different tactical niches: ap infantry is not so efficient vs unarmed opponents but shines vs heavy infantry, while the peltastai makedonikoi can carve a bloody path on the battlefield with their high attack but start struggling vs heavily armoured foes.

    You may have seen that the falx lost ap too: another omission on my part. The reasoning was that the falx is capable of bypassing the shield due to its curvature, but not the armour. A Dacian falx can't deal concussive damage through armour like an axe or a mace can, and in fact it was famous for chopping off unarmed limbs. Drapanai and other units equipped with falxes received a large increase in attack in exchange for losing ap, and I may say that they're one of the most cost-effective melee units in the game, as they can still deal tremendous damage without being extremely op as they originally were.

    By the way, the overall boost in lethality came with an increase in the defence skill across the board,so that battles aren't faster as one may have thought at first glance.

    8) the numbers are alright in my opinion: finally you can see javelin cavalry actually threatening something other than other light cavalry or light infantry. Now heavy cavalry needs an escort of medium/light cavalry, otherwise they get picked off by fast javelin cavalry without being able to catch them in melee.

    I forgot about the soliferrum. They get 7 attack, yes. But it rarely matters because they suck.
    Jokes aside, the soliferrum deserves a higher attack due to its nature of heavy iron dart, but Lusotannan have many vulnerabilities so they don't feel overpowered at all due to this issue.

    9) To me 2 shield is alright, consider that with phalanx on it gets boosted roughly to 4 shield which is more than enough.

    10) The issue is that you don't have to deal only with hoplite phalanxes in a vacuum. You also have Roman infantry, for example. Several cohorts parked in guard mode are really really hard to deal with, especially for barbarians which are notoriously low on armour and get owned by pila.

    Keep in mind a good rule of thumb: if you place two of the same given unit one against the other in a mirror fight, one in guard mode and the other out of guard mode, the latter needs 20-ish charge to beat the former. So another good rule of thumb is the more impetuous a unit is, the higher his charge value will be.
    Bataroas out of guard mode should always beat Bataroas in guard mode, as they are aggressive and impetuous fighters, well suited for attack but ill suited for defence: they get 24 charge (>20). Milnaht were famous for their shieldwall, so they should perform well in defence: they get 12 charge (<20) and also tight spacing, which is super important for guard mode units.

    I don't remember the sp charge values of hoplites, but in MP they get 8, which isn't bad. Still, they have +1 shield and -1 defence skill, because they're primarily a shieldwall unit. You can experiment with the unit radius, but I'd suggest not to go below 0.35 because the effects on the battlefield can snowball very quickly (IIRC haploi with 0.2 radius slaughter thorakitai hoplitai).

  10. #10

    Default Re: The Crazy EB Phalanx: An analysis of phalangist stats

    Ahhh, when you take into account all the lethality changes, things start making a lot more sense. Also makes the increased javelins attack make more sense too. Only thing i have noticed is that you say that underhand cavlry lances have 0.4 lethality. Does that include all lances? (Celtic lance, xyston, kontos) Because previously they all had different lethality.

    I didnt realise guard mode effected roman infantry. I only thought it effected hoplite phalanx units. In that case, yeah, i can understand how much more broken that can be.

    By the way, is this the mp edu in eb 1.3? Because i looked through my mp files in 1.2 and the stats look the same. I have RTW on steam, cause my old disk no longer works, so i cant play alex

  11. #11

    Default Re: The Crazy EB Phalanx: An analysis of phalangist stats

    Yes, lances have all the same lethality. What changes is the charge value, which is also weapon dependent.

    Ah well, the mp edu and the "online" mp edu are two different entities. Back when EB online was still quite a big thing, people decided to add an additional folder called "ebo game edu backup", with the same function as the other two backup folders in the main EB folder. This came with an additional option for the dropdown menu in the launcher: before you had only "single player" and "multiplayer", after you had also "eb online multiplayer".
    In order to add the online multiplayer edu thus you need some additional files: you can find all the instructions and the links to the files here if you want to.
    Last edited by mephiston; May 31, 2020 at 06:02 AM.

  12. #12

    Default Re: The Crazy EB Phalanx: An analysis of phalangist stats

    I just installed that folder, and am looking through it now. Ill probably merge parts of the ebo edu, and sp ebu, that i prefer. Thanks for the help!

  13. #13

    Default Re: The Crazy EB Phalanx: An analysis of phalangist stats

    I do think that the levy phalanxes the various Hellenistic factions can recruit could have used a nerf. For how cheap they are to recruit and upkeep, and how wide their recruitment base is, they are excellent units. I've been playing a campaign as Epeiros on VH/VH lately and despite the punishing difficulty setting they are able to fight really well against all unit types. They get smashed by general's bodyguards and by elite phalanxes on very hard - there was one particularly nasty siege I fought against an army containing four Seleucid generals, who between them tore through six or seven levy phalanx units. Another time I fought a siege against a single Ptolemaic general, albeit with 4 experience and 117 men in his bodyguard, and he killed two full units of levy phalanx by himself. But even so they are able to hold the line for quite a long period of time, giving you the opportunity to hit the enemy unit in the back and win the battle by hammer and anvil.

    Their OPness is also compounded by the way that experience works. I've got a few units all the way up to level 9 experience with the blacksmith upgrade as well, giving them +10 to their base attack and defence skill values. With that amount of experience even on very hard I think they would crush elite phalanx units and general's bodyguards with ease - though I've yet to put my veterans to that test in this campaign to date.

    With the better quality phalanx units, I think their incredible strength is offset by their costs and limited recruitability, as well as the fact that it takes forever to even construct the buildings required to train them. I'm in 236 BC, so about 150 turns in, and I'm still another 8 turns off getting my very first Epeirote Elite Phalanx at Ambrakia. No other city in the world is even close to being able to train them. Also they cost like 1100 a turn in upkeep so I won't be able to spam full stacks of them.

    I think that makes it more balanced - yes, they are truly insane, but it's so hard to get them and they are so expensive. You can get three units of levy phalanx for the same price as one unit of elite phalanx, and out in the field at least three levy phalanxes would beat one elite phalanx: use two to lock them down in combat and send the third around to pincer them from the back. In my opinion it's the levy phalanxes that are the most OP on the campaign.

  14. #14

    Default Re: The Crazy EB Phalanx: An analysis of phalangist stats

    Quote Originally Posted by Chutiya View Post
    I do think that the levy phalanxes the various Hellenistic factions can recruit could have used a nerf. For how cheap they are to recruit and upkeep, and how wide their recruitment base is, they are excellent units. I've been playing a campaign as Epeiros on VH/VH lately and despite the punishing difficulty setting they are able to fight really well against all unit types. They get smashed by general's bodyguards and by elite phalanxes on very hard - there was one particularly nasty siege I fought against an army containing four Seleucid generals, who between them tore through six or seven levy phalanx units. Another time I fought a siege against a single Ptolemaic general, albeit with 4 experience and 117 men in his bodyguard, and he killed two full units of levy phalanx by himself. But even so they are able to hold the line for quite a long period of time, giving you the opportunity to hit the enemy unit in the back and win the battle by hammer and anvil.
    I agree, Levy phalanxes do really overperform, especially Pantodapoi Phalanagitai. Having an ap axe, mixed with their really high shield value, and additional protection from the phalanx formation, makes them really cheap, numerous, and effective assault troops. It should go without saying, but that is a role that they really shouldn't be filling.


    With the better quality phalanx units, I think their incredible strength is offset by their costs and limited recruitability, as well as the fact that it takes forever to even construct the buildings required to train them. I'm in 236 BC, so about 150 turns in, and I'm still another 8 turns off getting my very first Epeirote Elite Phalanx at Ambrakia. No other city in the world is even close to being able to train them.
    While your argument works in theory, it doesnt work in practice, because the costs, limited recruitablity, and need for a high MIC, are not unique to elite phalanx units. All elite units have these limitations too. For example, lets compare Chaoenian agema, with another elite unit like Spartiartai Hoplitai. All the same limitations apply. On the surface the elite Epeirote phalanx is more expensive, at 4056 recruitment cost, and 1014 upkeep versus the 3095, and 774 of the Spartans. However, keep in mind that the elite phalanx has 60 soldiers per unit, while the spartans have 30. If their numbers where identical, the Epeirote phalanx would cost 2028 to recruit, and 507 upkeep, substantially less than the Spartans. The Spartans also have only one recruitment area, against the 3 of the Elite Epeirote phalanx, and both require the same MIC.

    Put simply, the elite nature of these units, does not change the fact that phalanx units have disproportionately high attack, and high shield values, compared to units of the same status, which is my problem with them as units.

    Also they cost like 1100 a turn in upkeep so I won't be able to spam full stacks of them.

    I think that makes it more balanced - yes, they are truly insane, but it's so hard to get them and they are so expensive. You can get three units of levy phalanx for the same price as one unit of elite phalanx, and out in the field at least three levy phalanxes would beat one elite phalanx: use two to lock them down in combat and send the third around to pincer them from the back. In my opinion it's the levy phalanxes that are the most OP on the campaign.
    Thats just how EB's economy works. All elite units are disproportionately costly, relative to their effectiveness so as to discourage full stacks of them. If you want a full army of elite units, you have to do at the cost of the number of armies you can actually field. Personally, i like this system. However, it doesnt change the fact that all phalanxes, irregardless of them being levies, or elite, have attack and shield stats that are much higher than other infantry.

  15. #15

    Default Re: The Crazy EB Phalanx: An analysis of phalangist stats

    Quote Originally Posted by Madoguy1 View Post
    In an old thread for EB in 2008, a user was asking why the Macedonian phalanx had such a high attack as was being asked here. Someone replied that the reason it was so high was because the sarissa had the spear attribute. For those who do not know, this raises the attack of a weapon against cavalry by 4, but lowers it against infantry by 4. Suddenly it all seems to make sense, and why the pattern of phalanxes having 3-4 points more than there spear equivlents. Its to compensate for the lowered attack against infantry. Unfortunately, there is just one problem....

    In newer versions, the sarissa has the light_spear attribute instead, just like all other spearman! This gives it 4+ defence against cavalry, and no attack loss versus infantry. This means that instead of hitting enemy infantry with the -4 attack it had in earlier versions, now it hits with its full attack! Ultimately the current attack was supposed to compensate for the spear attribute, but now only results in phalanxes being terrifying killing machines.
    Indeed. I respect what the new EB team is doing and the screenshots in the preview thread show very exciting additions. But a change in team will always lead to hiccups like this, where the new team changes one thing without realizing that the old team had compensatory mechanisms for the thing they changed, and the mod's balance gets disrupted. OP phalanxes are also my biggest gripe with the 1.3 versions so far. Hopefully the modders read this thread and make corrections to the phalanx stats for 1.33.

  16. #16

    Default Re: The Crazy EB Phalanx: An analysis of phalangist stats

    Quote Originally Posted by BHL 20 View Post
    Indeed. I respect what the new EB team is doing and the screenshots in the preview thread show very exciting additions. But a change in team will always lead to hiccups like this, where the new team changes one thing without realizing that the old team had compensatory mechanisms for the thing they changed, and the mod's balance gets disrupted. OP phalanxes are also my biggest gripe with the 1.3 versions so far. Hopefully the modders read this thread and make corrections to the phalanx stats for 1.33.
    Thanks for the comment. Im not exactly sure when the spear attribute, was switched to the light_spear attribute, but by the time of the thread i mentioned in 2008, it seems to have been the case. Its probably been like this so long, the new team didn't even realise it. One weird thing i actually noticed while going through the export_descr_unit files, was that i realised that Klerouchoi Phalangitai actually still possess the spear attribute instead of the light_spear one. No idea why that is the case, but probably makes them the most balanced Phalanx unit in the game, by accident.

    I do also hope that the current team takes a look at re balancing phalanx stats. While it wont personally effect me (I dont have alexander, so i play on EB 1.2) i think it will improve the gameplay and balance, and will also make writing this essay, feel totally worthwhile

  17. #17

    Default Re: The Crazy EB Phalanx: An analysis of phalangist stats

    Quote Originally Posted by BHL 20 View Post
    Indeed. I respect what the new EB team is doing and the screenshots in the preview thread show very exciting additions. But a change in team will always lead to hiccups like this, where the new team changes one thing without realizing that the old team had compensatory mechanisms for the thing they changed, and the mod's balance gets disrupted. OP phalanxes are also my biggest gripe with the 1.3 versions so far. Hopefully the modders read this thread and make corrections to the phalanx stats for 1.33.
    Several points need to be specified here.

    1) EB 1.2 already had light_spear as a phalanx attribute.
    2) Phalanxes are OP anyway in sp, with or without light_spear.
    3) In the newer versions of EB the EDU was inherited by the jirisys mega mod pack, which included any sort of bs from a balance point of view.
    4) The EDU will be changed anyway in the next version.

  18. #18

    Default Re: The Crazy EB Phalanx: An analysis of phalangist stats

    Quote Originally Posted by mephiston View Post
    1) EB 1.2 already had light_spear as a phalanx attribute.
    Sorry, I got confused by the OP's saying they got light_spear in "newer versions". From my experience of playing in 1.3, phalanxes are certainly stronger than they were in 1.2 so I assumed that must be the reason. After looking at the EDU for 1.3 I've realized they didn't become stronger because of any of the points made by the OP, but because of the addition of the AP attribute.

    1.2 EDU entries for several phalanx units:
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    ;176type greek infantry taxeis phalangitai
    dictionary hellenistic_infantry_taxeis_phalangitai ; Phalangitai Deuteroi
    category infantry
    class spearmen
    voice_type Light_1
    soldier hellenistic_infantry_pantodapoi_machimoi_taxeisphalangitai, 60, 0, 1.4
    officer ebofficer_hellenic_officer
    officer ebofficer_hellenic_standardbearer
    mount_effect elephant -1
    attributes sea_faring, hide_forest, can_sap
    formation 1.1, 1, 2.2, 2, 6, square, phalanx
    stat_health 1, 1
    stat_pri 16, 0, no, 0, 0, melee, blade, piercing, spear, 0 ,0.17
    stat_pri_attr long_pike, light_spear
    stat_sec 7, 4, no, 0, 0, melee, simple, slashing, sword, 0 ,0.13
    stat_sec_attr no
    stat_pri_armour 8, 4, 5, leather
    stat_sec_armour 0, 0, flesh
    stat_heat 3
    stat_ground 0, 0, -4, -2
    stat_mental 9, normal, highly_trained
    stat_charge_dist 30
    stat_fire_delay 0
    stat_food 60, 300
    stat_cost 1, 1479, 370, 40, 50, 1479
    ownership macedon, thrace

    ;352
    type greek infantry kleruchoi hoplitai
    dictionary greek_infantry_kleruchoi_hoplitai ; Klerouchikoi Phalangitai
    category infantry
    class spearmen
    voice_type Medium_1
    soldier hellenistic_infantry_kleruchoiphalangitai, 60, 0, 1.4
    officer ebofficer_hellenic_officer
    officer ebofficer_hellenic_standardbearer
    attributes sea_faring, hide_forest, can_sap, hardy
    formation 1.1, 1, 2.2, 2, 6, square, phalanx
    stat_health 1, 1
    stat_pri 17, 0, no, 0, 0, melee, simple, piercing, spear, 0 ,0.17
    stat_pri_attr long_pike, spear
    stat_sec 9, 4, no, 0, 0, melee, simple, slashing, sword, 0 ,0.13
    stat_sec_attr no
    stat_pri_armour 8, 6, 5, leather
    stat_sec_armour 0, 0, flesh
    stat_heat 3
    stat_ground 0, 0, -4, -2
    stat_mental 11, normal, highly_trained
    stat_charge_dist 30
    stat_fire_delay 0
    stat_food 60, 300
    stat_cost 1, 2002, 501, 40, 50, 2002
    ownership numidia, romans_julii, thrace, macedon, carthage, romans_brutii, slave

    ;169
    type hellenistic infantry heavy pezhetairoi
    dictionary hellenistic_infantry_heavy_pezhetairoi ; Pezhetairoi
    category infantry
    class spearmen
    voice_type Light_1
    soldier hellenistic_infantry_pezhetairoi_koinonphalangitai, 60, 0, 1.4
    officer ebofficer_hellenic_officer
    officer ebofficer_hellenic_standardbearer
    mount_effect elephant -1
    attributes sea_faring, hide_forest, hardy
    formation 1.1, 1, 2.2, 2, 6, square, phalanx
    stat_health 1, 1
    stat_pri 17, 0, no, 0, 0, melee, simple, piercing, spear, 0 ,0.17
    stat_pri_attr long_pike, light_spear
    stat_sec 9, 4, no, 0, 0, melee, simple, slashing, sword, 0 ,0.13
    stat_sec_attr no
    stat_pri_armour 10, 6, 5, leather
    stat_sec_armour 0, 0, flesh
    stat_heat 3
    stat_ground 0, 0, -5, -3
    stat_mental 13, disciplined, highly_trained
    stat_charge_dist 30
    stat_fire_delay 0
    stat_food 60, 300
    stat_cost 1, 2077, 519, 50, 80, 2077
    ownership romans_brutii, macedon, thrace, romans_julii, numidia, slave




    1.3 entries for those same units:
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    ;176 Phalangitai Deuteroi (Hellenic Levy Phalanx)type greek infantry taxeis phalangitai
    dictionary hellenistic_infantry_taxeis_phalangitai ; Phalangitai Deuteroi
    category infantry
    class spearmen
    voice_type Light_1
    soldier hellenistic_infantry_pantodapoi_machimoi_taxeisphalangitai, 60, 0, 1.4
    officer ebofficer_hellenic_officer
    officer ebofficer_hellenic_standardbearer
    mount_effect elephant -1
    attributes sea_faring, hide_forest, can_sap, frighten_mounted
    formation 1.1, 1, 2.2, 2, 6, square, phalanx
    stat_health 1, 1
    stat_pri 16, 0, no, 0, 0, melee, blade, piercing, spear, 0 ,0.17
    stat_pri_attr long_pike, spear, ap
    stat_sec 7, 4, no, 0, 0, melee, simple, slashing, sword, 0 ,0.13
    stat_sec_attr no
    stat_pri_armour 8, 4, 5, leather
    stat_sec_armour 0, 0, flesh
    stat_heat 3
    stat_ground 0, 0, -4, -2
    stat_mental 9, normal, highly_trained
    stat_charge_dist 30
    stat_fire_delay 0
    stat_food 60, 300
    stat_cost 1, 1479, 370, 40, 50, 1479
    ownership macedon, thrace

    ;352 Klerouchoi Phalangitai (Hellenic Medium Phalanx)
    type greek infantry kleruchoi hoplitai
    dictionary greek_infantry_kleruchoi_hoplitai ; Klerouchikoi Phalangitai
    category infantry
    class spearmen
    voice_type Medium_1
    soldier hellenistic_infantry_kleruchoiphalangitai, 60, 0, 1.4
    officer ebofficer_hellenic_officer
    officer ebofficer_hellenic_standardbearer
    attributes sea_faring, hide_forest, can_sap, hardy, frighten_mounted
    formation 1.1, 1, 2.2, 2, 6, square, phalanx
    stat_health 1, 1
    stat_pri 17, 0, no, 0, 0, melee, simple, piercing, spear, 0 ,0.17
    stat_pri_attr long_pike, spear, ap
    stat_sec 9, 4, no, 0, 0, melee, simple, slashing, sword, 0 ,0.13
    stat_sec_attr no
    stat_pri_armour 8, 6, 5, leather
    stat_sec_armour 0, 0, flesh
    stat_heat 3
    stat_ground 0, 0, -4, -2
    stat_mental 11, normal, highly_trained
    stat_charge_dist 30
    stat_fire_delay 0
    stat_food 60, 300
    stat_cost 1, 2002, 501, 40, 50, 2002
    ownership numidia, romans_julii, thrace, macedon, carthage, romans_brutii, slave

    ;169 Pezhetairoi (Hellenic Medium Phalanx)
    type hellenistic infantry heavy pezhetairoi
    dictionary hellenistic_infantry_heavy_pezhetairoi ; Pezhetairoi
    category infantry
    class spearmen
    voice_type Light_1
    soldier hellenistic_infantry_pezhetairoi_koinonphalangitai, 60, 0, 1.4
    officer ebofficer_hellenic_officer
    officer ebofficer_hellenic_standardbearer
    mount_effect elephant -1
    attributes sea_faring, hide_forest, hardy, frighten_mounted
    formation 1.1, 1, 2.2, 2, 6, square, phalanx
    stat_health 1, 1
    stat_pri 17, 0, no, 0, 0, melee, simple, piercing, spear, 0 ,0.17
    stat_pri_attr long_pike, spear, ap
    stat_sec 9, 4, no, 0, 0, melee, simple, slashing, sword, 0 ,0.13
    stat_sec_attr no
    stat_pri_armour 10, 6, 5, leather
    stat_sec_armour 0, 0, flesh
    stat_heat 3
    stat_ground 0, 0, -5, -3
    stat_mental 13, disciplined, highly_trained
    stat_charge_dist 30
    stat_fire_delay 0
    stat_food 60, 300
    stat_cost 1, 2077, 519, 50, 80, 2077
    ownership romans_brutii, macedon, thrace, romans_julii, numidia, slave


    There is no difference in the stats except for the addition of AP in every case. So if the OP had been playing 1.3 he could have added another complaint to the list.

  19. #19

    Default Re: The Crazy EB Phalanx: An analysis of phalangist stats

    So, just under a week ago, Chutiya gave his own response on this thread. I appreciate his response, but it got my mind thinking, about how i think my initial study left open an aspect, that i believe made him not realise how problematic phalanx units are. Heres his response:

    I do think that the levy phalanxes the various Hellenistic factions can recruit could have used a nerf. For how cheap they are to recruit and upkeep, and how wide their recruitment base is, they are excellent units. I've been playing a campaign as Epeiros on VH/VH lately and despite the punishing difficulty setting they are able to fight really well against all unit types. They get smashed by general's bodyguards and by elite phalanxes on very hard - there was one particularly nasty siege I fought against an army containing four Seleucid generals, who between them tore through six or seven levy phalanx units. Another time I fought a siege against a single Ptolemaic general, albeit with 4 experience and 117 men in his bodyguard, and he killed two full units of levy phalanx by himself. But even so they are able to hold the line for quite a long period of time, giving you the opportunity to hit the enemy unit in the back and win the battle by hammer and anvil.

    Their OPness is also compounded by the way that experience works. I've got a few units all the way up to level 9 experience with the blacksmith upgrade as well, giving them +10 to their base attack and defence skill values. With that amount of experience even on very hard I think they would crush elite phalanx units and general's bodyguards with ease - though I've yet to put my veterans to that test in this campaign to date.

    With the better quality phalanx units, I think their incredible strength is offset by their costs and limited recruitability, as well as the fact that it takes forever to even construct the buildings required to train them. I'm in 236 BC, so about 150 turns in, and I'm still another 8 turns off getting my very first Epeirote Elite Phalanx at Ambrakia. No other city in the world is even close to being able to train them. Also they cost like 1100 a turn in upkeep so I won't be able to spam full stacks of them.

    I think that makes it more balanced - yes, they are truly insane, but it's so hard to get them and they are so expensive. You can get three units of levy phalanx for the same price as one unit of elite phalanx, and out in the field at least three levy phalanxes would beat one elite phalanx: use two to lock them down in combat and send the third around to pincer them from the back. In my opinion it's the levy phalanxes that are the most OP on the campaign.
    I totally agree with him that levy phalanxes really over-perform in EB, having stats that are far above there competitors. However i disagree with him, that high quality phalanxes are balanced out by their costs, recruitability and need for a high MIC. I already commented about this, saying how this is not unique to elite phalanxes, but to all elite units. However, my tests didn't actually involve any elite units, or elite phalanxes, so i can see why anyone might believe elite phalanxes are balanced. This is a fault on my part, and so i think may make some believe that elite units are performing fairly. So i decided to do a bit more further testing, to see how elite units, compare to elite phalanxes

    Before this test even began, i made the hypothesis that similarly to there low quality counterparts, elite phalanxes where going to heavily outperform another comparable elite unit, in regards to anti missile protection, attack, and performance in auto-resolving. Nonetheless i would repeat the same shield tests i did before. So i used the same circumstances i did prior (same map, weather, large wall, large city, opponent having a single melee unit that wouldn't interfere), only this time, i would try out an elite phalanx, versus an elite hoplite. I chose Chaeonian agema, because they where the unit that Chutiya specifically mentioned, against Spartiate Hoplitai, as they where the unit i compared them to in the initial comment. Both these units have small recruitment areas, high costs, high upkeep, and require a high MIC. These two units, if balanced, should perform comparably in these tests. Like before, i raised the numbers of Spartans to 60 per unit, so the Chaeonian agema do not a numerical advantage.

    I started with the Chaeonian agema, under fire from the walls. I already knew that they would survive the 60 minutes arrow bombardment, because the more lightly armoured Pezhetairoi, already did. Here is the result:


    The unit survived, with slightly under half casualties, showing just how tanky elite phalanxes are against anti missile fire. Though this i purely an estimate, i reckon the unit would of lasted another 20 minutes before it was finally destroyed. Next, i tested the spartans under the same circumstances. Here is the result:



    29 minutes. Only 3 minutes longer than Pezhetairoi, out of phalanx mode. And not even remotely close to how the Chaeonian agema performed in phalanx. Ok, but how do Chaeonian agema compare out of phalanx mode? The result:

    34 minutes. 5 minutes more than Spartiates. This is really absurd, considering that they possess less armor than the spartans, and that they shouldn't have such immense protection once outside of the bristling spear protection of the Macedonian phalanx.
    Put simply, elite phalanxes have substantially better protection from missile fire, than their elite hoplite counterparts. Realistically, these 2 types of units should have similiar anti missile protection, but its barely even comparable.

    However, lets see how Chaeonian agema perform inside phalanx mode, only this time ive given them them the -2 shield stat, that i suggested should be done to all phalanx units:

    35 minutes. 6 minutes longer than their spartan counterparts. While you could argue its not perfect, one cannot deny that this is far more balanced than the near immunity to missiles that the Chaeonian's had prior to the stat change.

    But how do we compare these 2 units overall, especially in regards to their base attack? From a purely statistical perspective, its obvious that Chaeonians have more attack than Spartans (19 vs 17) However, trying to find a balanced and practical way to show how these units perform on the battlefield is really hard. A good commander can make great use out of a bad unit, while a bad commander (Like the ai) can use good units very poorly. Because of this unfortunaley, its really hard to find a fair way of comparing these units on the battlefield.

    However, one of my complaints was how phalanx units perform on the campaign map, especially in regards to auto-resolve, something that is important, as battle between 2 ai factions will be based around autoresolving. So here is one way i compared: I would take unit of Chaoenian agema in a custom battle, versus a 60 unit size Spartiate hoplitai. I would then use the balance of power metre, to see how the game sees them as comparing. As far as i know, the balance of power metre, uses the same methods to working out how units compare, to the one the autoresolve bar uses. (If this isnt that case, can someone let me know) This is what the balance of power bar showed:

    There might be a pixel difference in favour of the Chaonians, but it could be my eyes. At a glance, the bar seems to be perfectly balanced. One could at this superficially quick look, conclude that the 2 units are comparable....
    Except they arent. Why? Cost difference.
    Keep in mind that in this comparison, i doubled the number of spartans to 60, matching the amount in a unit, compared to the Chaeonians. However, normally the unit would have 30 unit size instead, half the amount. So lets compare the recruitment, and upkeep of the 2 units with there normal unit size:
    Chaeonian agema: Recruitment cost: 4056, Upkeep: 1014, Unit size: 60
    Spartiate Hoplitai: Recruitment cost: 3095, Upkeep:774, Unit size: 30

    The elite phalanx has a huge cost and upkeep, but keep in mind, its unit is twice the size of its spartan counterparts. Of course it would cost more. However, because we doubled the unit in size in our balance of power test, we need to see how spartans would hypothetically cost, with a unit of twice the size. All we need to do is double the recruitment and upkeep costs:

    Spartiate Hoplitai: Recruitment cost: 6190, Upkeep: 1548, Unit size: 60

    Yikes! Suddenly, when you take into account overall costs to numbers, spartans are significantly more expensive than Chaeonians, costing 2134 more to recruit, and 534 to upkeep. Thats so expensive, that the Epeirote player, could recruit a unit of Pezhetairoi, or a unit of Thorakitai, with their Chaeonians, and still have money to spare. When you take this into account, the balance of power bar above, seems far less balanced.

    Conclusion

    I think this further adds evidence to what my original conclusion was. This isnt a problem of levy phalanxes overperforming, while elite phalanxes are balanced. This a problem across the unit type, of being too well protected to missiles, and its absurdly high attack. Considering the very formulaic nature of EB's unit stats, this doesn't surprise me in the slightest.

    Thanks for reading my extra additions to this essay, and i hope it helps you see that this is a pesistant problem across all Macedononain phalanx units irregardless of quality. If any of you have any further thoughts, please comment

  20. #20

    Default Re: The Crazy EB Phalanx: An analysis of phalangist stats

    Sorry, I got confused by the OP's saying they got light_spear in "newer versions". From my experience of playing in 1.3, phalanxes are certainly stronger than they were in 1.2 so I assumed that must be the reason. After looking at the EDU for 1.3 I've realized they didn't become stronger because of any of the points made by the OP, but because of the addition of the AP attribute.
    There is no difference in the stats except for the addition of AP in every case. So if the OP had been playing 1.3 he could have added another complaint to the list.
    Wow, are you kidding me?? They took a unit that was already way too strong in 1.2 and gave it the ap attribute too?? Without altering any of its other weapon stats??? In eb 1.3, against a very heavily armoured unit, a pezhetairoi is going to do 34 attack!!!

    Yeah none of my comments where aimed specifically at EB 1.3. I was actually commenting on 1.2 in particular, as its the one i play. If i was playing 1.3 then i would of defo mentioned the absurdity of adding the ap attribute too. I mean come on, surely of all units, heavily armoured infantry should be the only ones who can at least try and force there way through the pike line. But no, they gonna get massacred even harder than light and medium infantry now! This further adds to my point of how crazy phalangists stats are. Im genuinely amazed by how much of a blunder this is, to the point that im curious what rationalisation the EB mod team took to adding it.

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