Medieval Era v3 discussion thread

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e_i_pi
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Medieval Era v3 discussion thread

Postby e_i_pi » Thu Aug 06, 2015 12:21 pm

Hi all,

This thread is for discussion on improvements to Medieval Era. Now that we've been playing Medieval Era for a while, I think we've got a handle on ways it could be improved. Here's some suggestions I have, I'd like to get everyone involved in discussion so we can get a better version out in the next week or two.

Stronger Cavalry
Cavalry is overpriced for what it is at the moment. I suggest that we give Cavalry +1 to their dice rolls whenever they're involved in open battle (i.e. - not a siege, and not landing on a beach). This will immediately improve their viability.

Cavalry battle involvement
Also, I think Cavalry should be the last troop involved in a battle line-up, so you only risk your cavalry when there isn't enough Infantry to cover the attack or defence. For instance, when you're defending in a field battle, two Cavalry are involved. I'd like to change this to one cavalry when you have two or more infantry.

Flanking manouevre
Cavalry are very susceptible to being killed in these battle types. I think with Flanking Manouevre, one of the Cavalry should be invulnerable, but the attacking Infantry should not do damage - the infantry would be sacrificial pawns and let the cavalry do the damage.

Cavalry Charge
Any Cavalry beyond the 2nd unit should be invulnerable, meaning deploying a heap of Cavalry for cavalry charges should pay off a bit better for the attacker.

Siege Engine combat involvement
Siege Engines are currently only used for attacking in a Siege, making them an expensive way to grind through territories. Apart from that they serve no purpose. I think Siege Engines should be part of the defensive troops in siege-style battles, and make them invulnerable except when the attacking force is using siege as well. This would represent having ballistas and catapults on towers. Siege would still be able to be captured.
Also, I'd like to see Siege Engines play an invulnerable defensive role when a navy attacks a navy at land, in essence being equivalent to port defences.

Small forts are capturable
I'd like to introduce several new combat types that allow attackers to capture small (1 or 2) size forts without risking siege engines or the defending forts. Think of it as being like scaling the walls with ladders, or knocking down the gates with battering rams. When scaling walls, the siege would not even be part of the battle, but the defenders forts would be invulnerable and be able to outnumber the attackers. When knocking down the gates, the siege would be vulnerable, but the numbers would even up a bit more. Of course, the full siege battle would still be available, but then the attacker would risk reducing the fort to rubble.

Unaccompanied infantry weak
A territory with just infantry would have lower attack and defence numbers, making them quite vulnerable. This would represent there not being a general (i.e. cavalry) to help order them into good positions. It also means Cavalry would play a greater role in the game.

Navy battles
Currently, if the defender only has 1 navy, the attacker can only attack with 3 navy. I'd like to change this so that attacker can use up to 5 navy at a time.

Siege engines on boats
Siege engines on navy should be able to be part of the attack if the attacker chooses, or if the defender is down to only a couple of navy. This would represent navy using heavy weapons during attack (ballistas, battering rams, etc)

Adding escorts to all relevant battles
Currently when you use an attack like "Field Battle (by sea)", when you capture the enemy territory, the army lands on the territory without any navy. I've recently put "escorts" in Era Battles, allowing a navy to be part of the invading force. This makes more sense in the scheme of things. Similarly, in siege battles where the siege engine is required but not part of the attackers (sclaing the walls with ladders for instance), the siege would be part of the capturing force.


Sargon
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Re: Medieval Era v3 discussion thread

Postby Sargon » Sat Aug 08, 2015 2:26 pm

My thoughts on each suggestion below.

Stronger cavalry: I think cavalry is undervalued rather than overpriced (subtle difference). +1 to the roll is fine, +2 might be better depending on the other implementations.

Cavalry battle involvement: Okay for me, as long as their die roll counts as part of the roll. In other words, if I understand correctly, the only effect is that instead of a loss being allocated at random, the infantry go first. If that's the understanding I'm good with that.

Flanking maneuver: Okay for me.

Cavalry charge: Okay for me.

Siege engine combat involvement: Okay for me.

Small forts are capturable: This is very tricky, considering how the initial starting positions are laid out. In general I like the idea, but this might make the Caliphate of Cordoba, for example, even stronger than it already is, and weaken empires like Sardinia and Corsica.

Unaccompanied infantry weak: Okay for me.

Navy battles: No way. I recommend against implementation. 3v1 is more than enough. 5v1 would be catastrophic in some game setups, in my opinion. I think the current navy vs. navy battles don't need to be changed at all. Again, I'm thinking of factions like Sardinia and Corsica.

Siege engines on boats: I disagree with this. By giving a siege engine two functions, the attacker could get a substantial advantage attacking island territories (or water territories defending land) for less cost than usual.

Adding escorts to all relevant battles: I'm not sure what you mean here; if I attack with navy and I want all my troops off the ship, I just move the boat slider to the invading territory and move everything to the land. So, I think it's fine the way it is; but I might not understand what you mean.

This sums it up for me; of course, when the implementation actually occurs, we'll see it in practice, and if something seems unbalanced, I'm sure it can be adjusted at some point.

Sargon

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e_i_pi
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Re: Medieval Era v3 discussion thread

Postby e_i_pi » Sat Aug 08, 2015 6:59 pm

Sargon wrote:Stronger cavalry: I think cavalry is undervalued rather than overpriced (subtle difference). +1 to the roll is fine, +2 might be better depending on the other implementations.

+2 would be too strong I think.

Sargon wrote:Cavalry battle involvement: Okay for me, as long as their die roll counts as part of the roll. In other words, if I understand correctly, the only effect is that instead of a loss being allocated at random, the infantry go first. If that's the understanding I'm good with that.

No not quite. Let's say the attacker has 1 Cavalry (dice type Unassailable) and 1 Infantry (dice type Defensive). The defender has 2 Infantry (both dice type Offensive - the regular dice we have now). Let's say the rolls are like this:
    Attacker Cavalry 5 - Defender Infantry 5
    Attacker Infantry 4 - Defender Infantry 1
What would normally happen (with Offensive dice all round) is the Attacker Cavalry would die, and the second Defender Infantry would die. With the new dice types:
    Attacker Cavalry (Unassailable - Can do damage, cannot take damage): They have lost the battle, but because they can't take damage, they survive as does the Defender Infantry 5
    Attacker Infantry (Defensive - Cannot do damage, can take damage): They have won the battle, but because they can't do damage, Defender Infantry 1 survives as does the attacker
The battle would have resulted in a stand off, with no casualties on either side.

Sargon wrote:Small forts are capturable: This is very tricky, considering how the initial starting positions are laid out. In general I like the idea, but this might make the Caliphate of Cordoba, for example, even stronger than it already is, and weaken empires like Sardinia and Corsica.

This is slightly off point, I'll tell you why. These changes are about the Era (i.e. the battles), not the Scenario (i.e. Medieval Europe - Factional Domination). The Era needs balancing. As the game goes on, more and more forts should spring up and stay there - this represents the empires becoming bigger and more culturally significant. Castles were always highly sought after in Medieval times, and were almost never destroyed by the invading force. They were jewels to be captured and maintained. Having them easier to capture without destroying them will reflect this well. It may well cost the same to capture them, but the cost will be in infantry, not siege engines.

As for the Scenario, this change will help empires such as England, France, Italy, Poland and Germany, which are very difficult starting positions. Balancing out the various Empires and Factions will be done at the Scenario level (and yes, there will be significant changes to balance factions, particularly Islam, Moors and Celts, which are far and away the easiest factions to play as).

Sargon wrote:Navy battles: No way. I recommend against implementation. 3v1 is more than enough. 5v1 would be catastrophic in some game setups, in my opinion. I think the current navy vs. navy battles don't need to be changed at all. Again, I'm thinking of factions like Sardinia and Corsica.

Again this can be balanced at a Scenario level. My main concern here is that you can go 4v1 in a field battle by having more numbers, but not via Navy battle.

Sargon wrote:Siege engines on boats: I disagree with this. By giving a siege engine two functions, the attacker could get a substantial advantage attacking island territories (or water territories defending land) for less cost than usual.

Not if the siege engines can be destroyed. This would also play in to attacking heavily defended fort islands, which would be impossible if I remove the "Siege Attack (by sea)" option, which I am seriously considering. There would still be siege (by sea) options, but only against territories with say 3 forts at most. Any more than that, you'd have to use navy with siege engines to break down the port defences to launch a beachhead attack.

Sargon wrote:Adding escorts to all relevant battles: I'm not sure what you mean here; if I attack with navy and I want all my troops off the ship, I just move the boat slider to the invading territory and move everything to the land. So, I think it's fine the way it is; but I might not understand what you mean.

The problem is you don't have to send the navy across at the moment, which is ridiculous. How does the army capture the territory without the boat landing them there in the first place? Escorts would not take part in battle, they would just accompany the capturing (landing) force.

Sargon
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Re: Medieval Era v3 discussion thread

Postby Sargon » Sun Aug 09, 2015 2:38 pm

I get some of what you are saying, but I think I'll need to experience it to get the whole idea. :D

Sargon

Sargon
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Re: Medieval Era v3 discussion thread

Postby Sargon » Sat Aug 15, 2015 5:25 am

After thinking about it, for the navy battles, perhaps 4 v 1 would be a better compromise. I still think 5 v 1 might be a bit overkill.

I've had several situations recently with 3 v 1 (navy battles and infantry battles) where I as the attacker have lost quite a bit of troops against a lone navy or infantry.

I'm not proposing changes to the infantry battles - it's just to illustrate the point that a lone unit can be formidable.

Sargon

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Re: Medieval Era v3 discussion thread

Postby e_i_pi » Sat Aug 15, 2015 9:38 am

First draft is done, I'll be testing it over the next week or two. In the meantime, I'm happy for people to leave feedback and I can incorporate concerns into my testing to see if they hold water.

So the current Medieval Era has 18 battle types. The new version is up to 46 battle types. Sounds a bit overwhelming, but it's mainly to make sure there are adequate choices available during most conflicts, and to ensure that there are appropriate "siege" type battles depending on how many forts the defender has. Since the defender has up to 6 forts, there's 6 siege types by land and sea, making a total of 12. So you can see how easily the number of battles has increased.

Cavalry have been made much more important. In any open battle not involving a fort, they get +1. They also only take part in a battle if the Infantry is completely used. Additionally, they are required for any land siege battle even if they don't take part, as if they were a knight leading an army.

Forts have been made more important too, with forts being impenetrable in many battles (i.e. - they don't take damage or do damage, but can block an attacker's roll). 3+ Forts also help in naval battles on the coast, providing additional protection to the defending navy (i.e. - a harbour or port)

Siege Engines are taking a greater role now, in two aspects. Firstly, when you have 3+ Forts, at least 1 siege engine can take part on the battle in a defensive capacity. Siege engines are often unassailable, meaning they can attack but can't die. This is balanced by giving -1 to their die roll in those situations. Secondly, siege engines can be used by navy when they're trying to break into a heavily (5-6 forts) defended port, in battles called Bombard Inner Port and Bombard Outer Port.

There are certain terms used for dice that may be new to you:
Defensive - Can't do damage, can take damage
Unassailable - Can do damage, can't take damage
Impenetrable - Can't do damage, can't take damage, but can block attacks.

Here's a breakdown of battle types, broken down by meaningful categories.

Open field battles (i.e. no forts) Available via land or beach
Infantry only
    Infantry Battle - 3 v 2. All infantry battle. Not available if defender has cavalry.
Infantry and Cavalry on both sides
    Field Battle - 4 v 3. All Infantry, but each side gets 1 unassailable cavalry.
    Pitched Field Battle - 5 v 4. Up to 4 attacker infantry, up to 3 defender infantry, remainder on both sides is cavalry with +1 to die roll.
    Flanking Manouevre - 4 v 3. Attacker gets 2 unassailable cavalry, and 2 defensive infantry. Defender gets 1 unassailable cavalry, remainder is infantry. Not available if defender has 2+ cavalry.
    Encircle Enemy - 5 v 4. Attacker requires at least 3 infantry 1 cavalry. Not available if defender has 5+ infantry or 3+ cavalry.
Defender has just Cavalry
    Pursue Cavalry - 4 v 3. Attacker gets 1-2 defensive infantry, and up to 3 cavalry (1 unassailable), Defender gets 3 cavalry (1 unassailable). Attacker requires 2+ cavalry. Not available if defender has infantry.
Attacker has Cavalry, Defender has Cavalry and Infantry
    Harass Army - 3 v 3. Attacker gets 3 cavalry (1 unassailable), all +1 to die roll. Defender gets up to 3 infantry, and then up to 2 cavalry (1 unassailable). Not available if defender has 7+ infantry or 3+ cavalry.
    Hound Army - 4 v 4. Attacker gets 4 cavalry (1 unassailable), all +1 to die roll. Defender gets up to 4 infantry, and then up to 3 cavalry (1 unassailable). Not available if defender has 10+ infantry or 4+ cavalry.
    Harrow Army - 5 v 5. Attacker gets 5 cavalry (1 unassailable), all +1 to die roll. Defender gets up to 5 infantry, and then up to 4 cavalry (1 unassailable).
Cavalry on both sides
    Cavalry battle - 3 v 2. All Cavalry battle. Not available if defender has 3+ infantry.
    Pitched Cavalry Battle - 5 v 4. All Cavalry battle. Not available if defender has 5+ infantry.
Attacker has Cavalry, defender has Infantry only
    Cavalry Skirmish - 2 v 2. Cavalry gets +1 to each die, giving a good advantage.
    Cavalry Charge - 3 v 3. Cavalry gets +1 to each die, giving a good advantage.
    Cavalry Bloodboth - 4 v 3. Cavalry gets +1 to each die and outnumbers infantry, giving a great advantage.

Naval battles (sea or coast)
    Naval Battle - 3 v 2. Defender requires 1-2 navy. Not available if the defender has 3+ forts.
    Fleet Battle - 4 v 3. Defender requires 2+ navy. Not available if the defender has 3+ forts.
    Armada Battle - 5 v 4. Defender requires 3+ navy. Not available if the defender has 3+ forts.

Port battles
    Raid Docks - 4 v 4. Available when defender has 3 forts and any navy. Attacker gets all navy, defender gets 1 impenetrable fort, remainder is navy.
    Raid Harbour - 5 v 5. Available when defender has 4 forts and any navy. Attacker gets all navy, defender gets 1 impenetrable fort, 1 unassailable siege, remainder is navy.
    Raid Inner Port - 6 v 6. Available when defender has 5 forts and any navy. Attacker gets all navy, defender gets 2 impenetrable forts, 2 siege (1 unassailable), remainder is navy.
    Bombard Inner Port - 6 v 6. Available when defender has 5 forts. Allows attacker to use both navy and siege to bust defences. Defender gets 2 forts (1 impenetrable), 2 siege (1 unassailable), remainder is navy.
    Raid Outer Port - 7 v 7. Available when defender has 5 forts and any navy. Attacker gets all navy, defender gets 2 impenetrable forts, 2 unassailable siege, remainder is navy.
    Bombard Outer Port - 7 v 7. Available when defender has 6 forts, only way to attack 6 forts from sea. Allows attacker to use both navy and siege to bust defences. Defender gets 2 forts (1 impenetrable), and 2 unassailable siege engines, remainder is navy.

Sieges by land or sea
    Scale the Walls - 3 v 4. Available when defender has 1-2 forts. Attacker is all infantry, but requires a siege to escort them (not involved in battle). Defender gets 2 impenetrable forts, remainder is infantry and cavalry.
    Ram the Gates - 4 v 5. Available when defender has 1-2 forts. Attacker gets 1 Siege. Defender gets 2 forts (1 impenetrable), 1 siege, remainder is infantry and cavalry.

Sieges by land
    Assault the Gatehouse - 5 v 5. Available when defender has 3-4 forts. Attacker gets 2 siege (1 unassailable). Defender has 3 forts (2 impenetrable), and 1 unassailable siege engine.
    Siege Tower Assault - 6 v 6. Available when defender has 3-5 forts. Attacker gets 2 siege (1 unassailable). Defender has 3 impenetrable forts, and 1 unassailable siege engine.
    Full Scale Siege - 7 v 7. Available when defender has 4-6 forts, only way to attack 6 forts from land. Attacker gets 2 siege (1 unassailable). Remainder is Infantry and 1 Cavalry. Defender gets 4 forts (3 impenetrable), 2 siege engines (1 unassailable).

Sieges by sea
    Storm Docks - 5 v 5. Available when defender has 3 forts and less then 3 navy. Attacker gets 1 defensive navy, 1 siege. Defender gets 2 navy (1 unassailable), 1 impenetrable fort.
    Storm Harbour - 6 v 6. Available when defender has 3 forts and less then 3 navy. Attacker gets 1 defensive navy, 1 siege. Defender gets 2 navy (1 unassailable), 2 impenetrable forts.
    Storm Docks - 7 v 7. Available when defender has 3 forts and less then 3 navy. Attacker gets 1 defensive navy, 1 siege. Defender gets 2 navy (1 unassailable), 2 impenetrable forts, 1 unassailable siege.

Sargon
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Re: Medieval Era v3 discussion thread

Postby Sargon » Sat Aug 15, 2015 11:43 am

Wow.

Sounds great!

I'm going to have to print this out. :mrgreen:

One question: when you say "attacker" as in attacker infantry, does this mean like it always has, can do damage, and can take damage? I'm assuming yes; just want to be sure.

Sargon
Last edited by Sargon on Sat Aug 15, 2015 12:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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e_i_pi
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Re: Medieval Era v3 discussion thread

Postby e_i_pi » Sat Aug 15, 2015 12:19 pm

For that battle, yes

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Re: Medieval Era v3 discussion thread

Postby e_i_pi » Tue Aug 18, 2015 9:40 pm

Testing of this has commenced, and I'm happy to say that it's looking pretty good so far. Most of the time you'll have about 4-6 battles available via land, which opens up different tactics. Cavalry is much more powerful / important, I can tell from early testing, but is probably something you buy after a few rounds. Unless you're in an area with lots of neutral cavalry, then you need to start deploying right away, which makes more sense.

I'll update again in a couple of days. There's still a few code enhancements to go in before I can deploy the supporting code, but I think the new Era and Scenario will be out before the next good code enhancements to the game page.


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