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Thread: Some comments on Saka Nobles

  1. #1

    Default Some comments on Saka Nobles

    These look really cool and I really want to like the unit but I'm finding it hard to justify including any in my armies, I remember finding them rather underwhelming my last Saka game also.

    They are basically fancy horse archers with one extra ranged attack (highest in the game), but have normal stamina (not even 'hardy') which is important for horse archers. So you can't really keep them with a horse archer group running around or they will tire quickly.

    They have a mediocre charge (no lance), so they don't really excel at shock action besides being a reasonably well armored elite unit (and they are not that armored, 5 and 2 shield)

    Meanwhile they cost almost as much as cataphracts - around 550 per turn to the cata's 600.

    So you have a unit that arguably performs a bit worse (no stamina) than a normal horse archer you can get for 187 per turn unless they get involved in a melee. And if you're getting involved in a melee usually either A - Mass horse archers is more than enough or B - You'd much prefer cataphracts for the same price.

    Let me know if and what I am missing here. The Saka bodyguard is a modified version of this unit, or vice-versa. Seems slightly superior with a high attack non-ap sword and a bit better armor at the expense of a shield, but not really world shattering. Compare to Sauromatae nobles/bodyguard which seem to be much better and significantly cheaper. They seem to have lance and bow. Elite cavalry armed with bow and melee weapon with no lance never really did it for me. The Parthian bodyguard is the same - a heavily armored 'horse archer' who can't really run around and can't charge very well either.

    I am not sure how the animations affect combat in EB2, I remember in EB1 it was often wise to manually force cavalry to switch to their secondary weapon after a charge because although the secondary may not have had as high raw stats the attack animation was faster with a sword, say, compared to a lance. Also there were things like lethality to consider. How does this play out in EB2? In this context I am wondering if the Sarmatian noble loses out on anything from having 28 charge, to the Saka's 14.
    Last edited by Camcolit; February 19, 2021 at 12:36 AM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Some comments on Saka Nobles

    I -- who is currently something like 60 moves into a Saka campaign for the first time -- will politely disagree. At least somewhat. Ranged they are essentially slightly superior horse archers, but their real strength is horse-to-horse melee skirmishes. I find them very effective for that, and especially early a lot of battles are horse to horse. For charging infantry? Well ... I suppose the cloth-wearing light troops usually tending sheep in the Tian Shan are going to get impaled by those antlers, but no, the nobles are no good for frontal charges against line infantry like cataphracts are.

    Are they a bit overpriced? Sure. But hey, they're nobles, they have standards. And unlike cataphracts, you can recruit them much more easily all over the place.

    (But, umm, yes, I too include them in my armies because they make me feel good, not because of strategic value or combat efficiency.)

  3. #3

    Default Re: Some comments on Saka Nobles

    Well they are very overpriced for what they do. I would be more in favor of changing what they can do rather than reducing the price though. Give them a lance, unless there is some historical reason why Sarmatian nobles have lances while Saka don't, which I doubt, or the Sarmatian nobles suffer in some way from having a lance and getting attack 10 / charge 28 along with their bow, which I will wait for more info on.

    Realistically any cavalry expected to melee would have a lance or spear. A lot of these steppe elite, as far as I know, would have a lance/spear, bow, and sidearm, but because this can't be represented I think it makes more sense to have a lance/bow (if melee performance after charge is the same) than sidearm/bow.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Some comments on Saka Nobles

    Saka nobles have AP axes so they are effective in melee if you use them correctly and heavier HAs are great to counter other lighter horse archers.They can also counter charge other heavy cav that has already charged infantry or has wasted it's charge on lighter cav units that have run away.And since they can stay in melee without taking losses too quickly they can pin down other heavier units while lighter lancers cicle charg and destroy or route them.
    Realistically any cavalry expected to melee would have a lance or spear.
    Not really,it's a different time period but there were lot of cavalry units that used sabres as their primary melee weapons in the pike and shot era and later periods.Cuirassiers were expected to charge in after disrupting and breaking open enemy infantry formations with their pistols.

    Lances are great for charging but most cavalryman would switch to weapons that could be used in close combat since a lance isn't very useful in close cobmat after the charge is over:



    They are basically fancy horse archers with one extra ranged attack (highest in the game),
    There are a bunch of other factors that affect archers that are not shown on the unit card like projectile spread which affects accuracy ,but I don't know if the Saka nobles have different values compared to normal HAs.

    You'd much prefer cataphracts for the same price.
    Yes but they can fullfil both roles .
    Last edited by Sint; February 19, 2021 at 05:48 PM.
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Some comments on Saka Nobles

    Quote Originally Posted by Sint View Post
    Saka nobles have AP axes so they are effective in melee if you use them correctly and heavier HAs are great to counter other lighter horse archers.
    Any unit with a melee weapon is effective in melee if you use them correctly, that's not really an argument that Saka Nobles are good. It's not as if they have an overpowered melee weapon like the heavy kopis (10 attack, AP), they have a simple axe. Well I don't know, foot archers and some spears are a better counter, or just more light horses archers.. to be honest I don't really build my nomad armies to counter horse archers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sint View Post
    Lances are great for charging but most cavalryman would switch to weapons that could be used in close combat since a lance isn't very useful in close cobmat after the charge is over:
    Yes, this is not in dispute. What I said was given you can only have two weapons in EB2 if one of them is a bow the other should be a lance, if that cavalry unit would in reality have bow, lance, and sidearm.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sint View Post
    Yes but they can fullfil both roles .
    Well they can't though, having 14 charge is not filling the role of a cataphract.. Having 28 charge, on the other hand, is, which was the point of the comparison with Sarmatian Nobles.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Some comments on Saka Nobles

    Who says that the saka nobles must fulfill the role of a heavy charger? Their equipment is based on archeological evidence. In reality nobles would have carried all kind of weapons at once, but the engine forces them to use one ranged and melee. The units in EB2 are well sourced, so if the saka use axes as their main hand weapons, is because the historians consider that saka nobles wouldn't have fought as shock cavalry, but more like heavy archer skirmishers. Carrying ap axes isn't "useless", they're just a more niche unit that others that are more generic. Ap axes are much better for prolonged cav fights and when you must stay in prolonged melee, like in sieges - they're also good at bypassing the armour of enemy bodyguards. The point of having units with different gear is to force you to use sarmatians or parthians in your confederation for some niche roles. If you want each unit to be optimally equipped then this isn't the mod for you. Half of the units in the mod are worse versions or other better quality-cost units, with mostly flavor, terrain bonuses, or they're simple more available to recruit to certain factions.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Some comments on Saka Nobles

    Nobody said ap axes are 'useless' except you when you 'quoted'.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hellenikon View Post
    The point of having units with different gear is to force you to use sarmatians or parthians in your confederation for some niche roles.
    Not really though as the niche role of horse archers is filled by horse archers, and the niche role of melee cavalry is filled by melee cavalry that can charge. There is no niche role for a horse archer with no stamina that can't charge and costs as much as a cataphract which was pretty much the point.

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