Range, Melee, and Support Troops


#1

Right now, if have an oncoming horde if at all possible, I’ll pick them off at range, retreat and repeat, because every guy that dies is another point you didn’t get. Of course while this sort of min-maxing micromanagement is best for points, it isn’t really all that fun.

The points part, is easy, there could just be some sort of decreasing bonus applied based on the time to complete and eradicate the threat. You may lose a few more troops not waiting a day and a half for the reinforcements to arrive, or kiting around them non stop shooting them with arrows and freezing them with spells, but you purged the blight that much sooner, plus it encourages speedy, climatic, bloody finale. Yay!

Some of the things we’ve discussed earlier would encourage melee battle a bit more, like the possibility for leaders and heroes to rise up out of the ranks, but as it is now, if you’ve got a good ranged unit, you really don’t want to send him into the fray because ultimately they become a less effective ranged unit, even on slim losses. Also, if you have a few random troops traveling with them on the way, you might not want them involved at all. “You stay back cowardly noble!” (As if we would have had to say that to him! Ha. Silly coward. ) In a normal battle, we wouldn’t necessarily expect our archers, cowardly nobles, healers, and other weaklings to be mixing it up in the battle, unless the infantry grunts couldn’t handle the things on their own. No we’d expect them to contribute what they can, and then come out relatively unscathed, unless we said it was all hands on deck. So maybe if the basic ranged units didn’t really have range, per se, but supported the battle? It would make mixed card armies a more useful thing, because right now, if you are rolling for melee, you really don’t really want to toss in your archers/blunderbuss in unless you absolutely have to, and who wants to micromanage pulling out the artillery from a relocation for just a few moments because they are going to get in the thick of things. Our stout dwarven warriors would’ve kept the zeds away from the valuable artillery… well, if they survived, anyways. So maybe if range worked more like the Orc Chariots, but then didn’t contribute to melee, ( unless you toggled them to, there’d be a good reason to roam the map with mixed (ranged/melee) unit type stacks.


#2

No real comment other than to say since the might squared stuff I have found myself throwing far more into melee as it lowers the casualties, sometimes dramatically so.

I am kind of unconvinced that taking away ranged attacks would be a good idea unless a large amount of the combat logic was changed with it. Which might be a good thing but I suspect it would be gutting too much of the game to be worth it.


#3

Care to elaborate? What sort of changes would you like to see?


#4

I’ve said this elsewhere (including the discord text chat last night) but I think there is one big bit missing that will tie a log of blight together and solve a lot of problems at once. At the moment i’m feeling like its getting disturbingly close to a solved game for me.

I think from what has been developed the easiest way would be the hell gates idea eshal has had, but i think a variety of things would work for a new element.

If instead the way of shifting it away from a solved game was via increasing the role of combat I think you would want to switch to at a minimum
a) more types of basic troops (typically for games you get a combo of 3 like dps, tank, healer or archer, horsemen, foot troops) - there would be multiple options most probably would work.
b) that combat became a multi round thing where troops would work of some initiative order, applying whatever effect they have until one side is defeated. (say artillery has 1 barrage at the beginning then nothing else for the rest of the combat, archers do a small amount of damage each round, foot troops do and take damage each round etc). there are many variations that would work in my view but hopefully that gives an idea.
c) the blighted have more variations in combat either each race having multiple types or each race having a certain buff (say blighted dwarfs take 75% less damage in the ranged attack round etc)

I could happily try to expand to a full game idea, but the thing is its a lot more work than just implementing the hell gates idea (or something similar).

I think removing ranged attacks would shrink the problem space I have to think about even further where as it needs to expand in my opinion.

tl;dr
in my opinion the needed amount of change needed to remove ranged attacks mean that its not worth the development effort.


#5

slight side note if ranged units got a free ranged attack before the melee started it may solve your problem while not gutting the permutations to think about. even if they got weakened in melee for that it may be a good trade.

With few exceptions I throw everything into melee now that the might squared rule is in effect anyway, so I’m personally not seeing as much of an issue as you do at the moment


#6

This especially makes sense with the current experimental change of limiting hero card drops. It feels like every race should have some sort of each troop, even if one is superior to the other. We could have goblins with slings, the dwarves and their blunderbuss guys, rock hurling trolls, elven swordsmen, etc.

That thought process goes well in line with what I was thinking. It could also be adjusted so each internal battle round has a max number of participants. If there are 40 blighted humans, there’s no way that 400 swordsman will be actually involved in the battle. A good chunk of them would just be waiting to take the place of their fallen comrades.

Player Army
1 Healer
150 Swordsman
25 Elven Archers

Blight Army
43 Undead Goblins

Battle Report
Round 1:
Healer’s Aura all troops have additional 20% save throw, next 3 rounds.
25 Archers fire. Undead Goblins take X damage, 4 goblins destroyed
39 Undead Goblins remain
117 swordsmen engage 39 Undead Goblins, 6 swordsmen killed, 27 undead goblins killed
12 undead goblins remain

Round 2:
25 Archers Fire, Undead Goblins take X damage, 5 goblins destroyed
7 undead goblins remain
21 swordsmen engage 7 undead goblins, 1 swordsmen killed, 7 goblins killed
You are victorious!

But yeah, it would be a pretty significant change to the battles. Would make reading the battle reports a lot more interesting, though. But it could also lead to lots more fun synergies with the card unit stacks. In battle cards could have a cool down, so maybe that healing aura applies to the first 2 rounds, but unless you have another in the stack, you’d better win before round three otherwise you won’t have the benefit of that ability. But yeah, it would definitely be a lot of effort.

That’s definitely would be more variety than, “They are tougher in the environment you are most likely to encounter them in”. :slight_smile:

Yeah, I wonder if squared might just be a bit too much. Like I mentioned earlier, it’s not like can use each of your 400 swordsmen against 40 blighted, and likewise, if you are surrounded by a horde, they can’t claw you through their brethren. Only so many can be engaged with a single opponent at a time.


#7

I dunno about doing away with ranged combat entirely… I think it adds a lot of dynamics to the game.

However, I do see your point that right now it’s pretty easy to have an archer continually stay just out of reach from a group, chipping away at their numbers until they’re gone.

Maybe a better answer though would be that a unit’s movement would be significantly slowed while their ability was on cooldown, that way you could use a ranged unit to attack a group, but if you tried to just flee from entering combat, the unit would be likely to overtake you and crush you anyway.

That way it would promote synergy between having melee units in front to block, while keeping your ranged units out of trouble in the back lines.


#8

I think the answer is harder maps with more undead. Ranged attacks are safer but as other people have identified killing someone with ranged attacks is generally slower and can be more resource intensive with mana requirements. In contrast if you have a lot more strength you can just destroy them in an hour. And if there are two armies like that the unit with more strength can easily take two one at a time but ranged attacks take twice as much time / resources.

The trade off you should be making is you could kill them more safely with ranged attacks, but then your forced are retreating or stuck at the same point in the map while the undead and destroying more cities and growing their numbers, or you sacrifice some units to win in combat to get moving and save more cities or burn more bodies.

This relates to another issue that I feel like right now after the early game there is a point where there are still a lot of unread but it is pretty that the living collectively have superior forces and there isn’t really a risk of losing the game. I don’t know what the solution is to that but I feel like it will make the game a lot more fun.


#9

I’m thinking more and more that the answer is to remove Valour rewards for ranged attacks. You can choose to use a ranged attack to whittle down a horde to a more manageable size or to destroy a large threat “the easy way”, but you won’t be rewarded with Valour to feed back into your expansion and Mana/Gold economy. Using ranged would be a strategic and defensive choice, but you need to get in there and fight to earn Valour. The game becomes more about building and mobilising armies, and the cards become an interesting and strategic layer, but not the whole game as it is now. This works well with the cooldown on deploying cards as well, as the game becomes less about these cards.


#10

I feel like this also creates a balance issue with different races. Maybe for a race like the humans this would be fine but I think it really puts the elves a step behind where one of their key modes of dealing damage now doesn’t give them a critical and scarce resource. It seems like the issue to the extent there is one is primarily with Blind Justice and High Elf and even there I’m not sure how much of an issue it is with the new deployment restrictions.


#11

Yes, if no valour were provided for ranged attacks then I think all towns would have to be able to build melee troops.


#12

All towns can build melee troops! Just… not very good melee troops. :wink:


#13

I like the idea of removing Valor for ranged attacks. It’s elegant and gives a reason not to use it.

Late game it wouldn’t make a difference though, as Valor is rarely in short supply.

Elves would be fine at their settlements require very little valor.

Goblins would likely suffer, how much though would have to be seen in gameplay.