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Thread: ARMOUR and the piercing thereof

  1. #1

    Default ARMOUR and the piercing thereof

    Hi, fellow War fans

    I started playing MTW just about from the get go, but never researched the various mechanics behind the game. All I did of that kind was, after a few years of playing sporadically, to study Frogs' guides. While doing that I was puzzled by what she said about armour piercing weapons.

    For example this, about the CK: The higher armour stat is something of a double-edged sword as it makes them more vulnerable to anti-armour units.

    It was the "more vulnerable" that I couldn't understand. I checked the appendix, accordingly, to learn how the AP formula worked. I found there the numbers involved and this, very inconclusive, statement: Upgraded armour is affected by this, effectively making added armour only half again as effective as it was supposed to.

    I kind of let the issue go since I couldn't figure out the reality of things and have not begun to think about this until now, after picking up the game after a layoff. So, I looked through these forums and got a little wiser, but also more confused.

    The following represents the way I thought it worked.

    ”How is AP more effective against Armor than without Armor”

    Post #4: econ21:
    An armoured person vs non-AP weapon - they get the armour stat added to their defense.

    An armoured person vs AP weapon - they get [Armour - AP bonus] added to their defense. This is always positive and so they are still better off than the unarmoured person.

    Post #5: Ludens:
    AP is not more effective against a unit with armour. If all other stats except for armour are equal, an unarmoured unit will suffer worse from the attacks of an AP unit than an armoured one. It is just that an AP unit gets an attack bonus against armoured units, and this bonus is never greater than the defense bonus confered by the armour.

    I would really like to know where this misconceptions stems from. It reappears every few months, and even made its way into Froggy's Unit Guide.


    So far so good. But digging in the vaults lead me to statements such as:

    "Effective Against Armor"
    Post #7: The Grand Inquisitor:
    Armour protects vs missiles. Defence vs melee. They do not add together, though 'armour bonuses' are added to both armour and defence.

    Post #14: The Grand Inquisitor:
    For example, Billmen have defence 4, armour 3. With a level 1 armourer, they have a defence 5, armour 4. Against melee opponents their attack factor is only compared against the defence stat (5 when armoured) not defence + armour (which would be 9 when armoured).

    As these statements are in contradiction I decided to dig deeper.

    ”What does armor do”

    Post #9: Del Arroyo:
    Wait wait wait...... are you guys saying that the "armour" value in the Unit_Prod file ALSO factors into melee? Because I was under the distinct impression that it was totally unrelated.

    As in, an "armour upgrade" adds to both the defence skill and the armour
    value, but armour value only factors into missle resistance and fatigue

    Post #10: CBR:
    No the armour value in the unit prod file is not added to the defense stat. The defense stat is calculated in a spreadsheet where defense is based on armour, weapon and troop quality. The results from the spreadsheet was then copied to the unit prod file.

    Finally some clarity! Or? What CBR says implies that the armour value shown in the Unit_Prod is the exact same value that can be found in the spreadsheet, and that the engine distinguishes between upgraded armour and the value from the Unit_Prod. According to this, armour upgrades is the only armour that improves melee skill and, so, Frog is right to say that CK's are more vulnerable to, say, Militita Sergeants than what FK's are. This is of course contradicted by what econ21 and Ludens claim, as shown above.

    My question is: Since all these statements can't be true, which ones are and which ones are not?

    Sorry for the length of this post - but as my mother always told me "You can't be clear enough". This way, I hope, there won't be too many misunderstandings and the issue will dissolve quickly. Right!?

    Thanks in advance.


  2. #2
    Clan Takiyama Senior Member CBR's Avatar
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    Default Re: ARMOUR and the piercing thereof

    An armour upgrade adds +1 to defense and +1 to armour value.

    Depending on the exact armour value that either means the upgraded unit (when facing an AP weapon) has improved defense by +1 or no real effect because the AP equipped unit also gains a +1 attack.

    The AP formula: Armour value/2 -1 gives the following table for how much of an AP bonus against an infantry target.

    1-2 = 0
    3-4 = +1
    5-6 = +2
    7-8 = +3
    etc

    For cavalry its
    2-3 = 0
    4-5 = +1
    6-7 = +2
    etc

    So a FMAA that has armour 3 gaining an armour upgrade will gain +1 defense but an AP unit will not gain an additional bonus.

    A CMAA of armour 4 gaining an armour upgrade will not get anything when facing a AP unit as it enters the 5-6 range and the AP units gains +2 instead of +1 to its attack

    So armour and armour upgrades are actually not a double-edged sword as armoured units will gain defense that AP cannot take away completely.

    If one stripped a heavily armoured unit it would not be better versus an AP unit. According to the spreadsheet a FMAA would have 4 less in defense if no armour. Any armour above 3 adds just 1 to defense so its the same principle as armour upgrades ingame.

    Hope that is clear enough.

    edit: let me provide another example. Compare CK with Lancers. Now an AP unit will get a +2 versus the CK and a +3 versus the Lancer. But take a look at the defense of the Lancer. It has 7 versus the defense 5 of a CK. So its armour 9 might give another +1 to an AP unit but it still has an overall better defense than the CK that has armour 7.


    CBR
    Last edited by CBR; 04-21-2008 at 00:24.

  3. #3

    Default Re: ARMOUR and the piercing thereof

    Quote Originally Posted by CBR
    If one stripped a heavily armoured unit it would not be better versus an AP unit. According to the spreadsheet a FMAA would have 4 less in defense if no armour. Any armour above 3 adds just 1 to defense so its the same principle as armour upgrades ingame.

    Hope that is clear enough.
    Actually, no, it isn't. But thanks for the quick and thorough reply! Here's the cake: I'm wondering if the engine converts the armour value in the Unit_Prod into defense in-game, after the calculations on bonuses are made? I suppose I could refrase as follows:

    We assume that a unit with 3 attack hits a unit of 3 defense & 3 armour. The attacking unit has no AP bonus. What, now, is the attack value measured against: 3 (as in the defense value alone) or 6 (as in defense + armour)? If the same unit (3 defense & 3 armour) gets hit by a unit with 3 attack that is AP, it goes without saying that the attack value bumps to 4, but is it measured against 3 or 6 as suggested above?

    In other words - do AP-units confer more "percentual damage" (strictly figuratively speaking) to armoured targets than they do to non armoured ones?

    Rgrds
    B

  4. #4
    Needs more flowers Moderator drone's Avatar
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    Default Re: ARMOUR and the piercing thereof

    Let me see if I have this right:

    The combat engine determines the kill chance for a striker and his target. To keep this simple, let's assume there are no other modifiers for formation, height, charging, etc. The engine starts with the striker's attack value. From this, the target's defense value is subtracted. If the target has a shield that comes into play, the "defense" value of the shield is subtracted. Then the armour value is subtracted. If the striker has an AP weapon, the AP bonus (from CBR's formulas) is then added to the total. This bonus is computed from the armour value only, the shield and horse values don't count, but armour upgrades from the Armoury line do.

    It's important to keep defense, armour, and shield values separate when trying to figure this stuff out. Especially when valour and rank bonuses and such come into play.

    To answer your overall question, armour is still a good thing to have (as long as you aren't in the desert). It's just that the effectiveness is reduced by AP weapons. If two units are identical except for their armour values, the lesser armoured unit would still die faster. I noticed what you have seen in the guides as well. I think the point was supposed to be that it would be a waste to have your AP troops hacking away at peasants when a perfectly juicy knight unit is nearby waiting for the axe.
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  5. #5
    Clan Takiyama Senior Member CBR's Avatar
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    Default Re: ARMOUR and the piercing thereof

    Quote Originally Posted by bondovic
    Actually, no, it isn't. But thanks for the quick and thorough reply! Here's the cake: I'm wondering if the engine converts the armour value in the Unit_Prod into defense in-game, after the calculations on bonuses are made? I suppose I could refrase as follows:
    The unit prod file contains the numbers for base defense, shield, and armour. The game then adds the shield and base defense to create the defense value you see when hitting F1 during a battle. The same thing for the F1 armour, as that is the base armour and shield number combined.

    AP weapons only count the base armour and not the combined F1 number, in other words the shield is left out for melee AP bonus calculation.

    We assume that a unit with 3 attack hits a unit of 3 defense & 3 armour. The attacking unit has no AP bonus. What, now, is the attack value measured against: 3 (as in the defense value alone) or 6 (as in defense + armour)? If the same unit (3 defense & 3 armour) gets hit by a unit with 3 attack that is AP, it goes without saying that the attack value bumps to 4, but is it measured against 3 or 6 as suggested above?

    In other words - do AP-units confer more "percentual damage" (strictly figuratively speaking) to armoured targets than they do to non armoured ones?
    The armour value is only useful for AP bonus and missile damage calculation: AP against the base armour value, missile from the front against base+shield value, missile from rear against base armour value.

    The non AP unit would have 3 attack versus 3 defense and the AP unit would be 4(3 +1 from AP bonus) attack versus 3 defense.

    Armour value is not added to defense value. The defensive bonus for armour has already been added in the spreadsheet and therefore part of the ingame defense value of a unit.


    CBR

  6. #6

    Default Re: ARMOUR and the piercing thereof

    Thanks alot, Drone and CBR

    But I notice that you contradict one another, which leaves me hanging once again. From where do you get your info on this?

    Rgrds!

  7. #7

    Default Re: ARMOUR and the piercing thereof

    Here is my understanding, plain and simple and I ebleive - correct:

    Armour adds to a units defense, as does a shield bonus (only vs a friontal attack though), and valour bonuses. Lets forget about shield and valor bonuses for the moment though.

    e.g. A FMAA with 0 valour has 3 attack, 2 defense, 3 armour. it's 3 armour gives it a +3 bonus to it's defense, giving it an effective defense of 5.

    As the FMAA does not have an AP weapon, it will always have an attack of 3 vs all opponents (leaving out terain, situation and charge bonuses).

    A unit with a armour piercing Melee weapon may gain a bonus to their attack stat if the target they are attacking has armour 3 or higher. If it has less than 3 armour the AP weapon makes no difference.

    e.g. Halbardiers have stats: 1 attack (AP), 6 defense, 5 armour. Their 5 armour gives a +5 bonus to their defense stat giving them an effective defense of 11. If they were to fight the FMAA above, they would also get a +1 bonus to their attack stat as the FMAA's have 3 armour (AP bonus is target armour - 1 /2 rounded down so 3 (FMAA armour stat) -1 /2 =1)

    If they were to fight another unit of Halbardiers they would get +2 attack due to the higher armour level of the Halbardiers (5-1 =4 /2=2 bonus).

    The AP bonus they get, offests the benefit of the armour their target is wearing, but only by 50%, as each point of armour a unit wears increases it's defense, but the AP weapon bonus only give +1 attack for every 2 points of armour and has a min threshold of 3 before it does anything.

    Even though the Halb's get a +1 attack bonus vs the FMAA's due to their 3 armour, the FMAA's get +3 defense because of it. If that FMAA got a +2 armour upgrade, it would then have 5 armour, and the Halbs would now get +2 attack instead of +1. The FMAA's would get +5 defense instead of +3 though so it's still beneficial to them.

    Armour boosts it's wearers defense. Armour Piercing increases the attackers attack. You are always better to have armour than not have it (except for deserts etc.), but the net gain you get from it depends on whether the opponent has an AP weapon or not.

    I had exactly the same questions when I first came to this forum! I'll see if I can dig up the thread link somewhere......

    There's a whole different set of questions once you start looking at how armour affects MISSILE combat.

  8. #8

    Default Re: ARMOUR and the piercing thereof

    https://forums.totalwar.org/vb/showt...ghlight=armour

    Here's the thread I started a while ago, it deals mainly with missile combat but does mention how armour affects melee combat as well.

  9. #9
    Clan Takiyama Senior Member CBR's Avatar
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    Default Re: ARMOUR and the piercing thereof

    Quote Originally Posted by bondovic
    Thanks alot, Drone and CBR

    But I notice that you contradict one another, which leaves me hanging once again. From where do you get your info on this?

    Rgrds!
    A moderator is always right you know

    But I found a post: https://forums.totalwar.org/vb/showt...313#post365313

    Armour = defense against missiles
    Defense factor = defense in melee.

    The defense factor already includes the effect of armour, troop training, weapon type, and mode of fighting.

    When you get an armour upgrade, this would obviously contribute to both defense in melee and against shooting, so it increases both stats.

    To answer you questions.

    1) When you press F1 the effects of any armour upgrades are included in both the defense and armour stats.
    2) Yes. In this case the armour factor serves as a handy indicator of how much of a unit's defense factor is due to armour, and thus how much bonus the armour piercing weapon would get.
    3)This is not so. If a unit had less armour, it would have less defense. Units always benefit from having more armour, even against armour piercing weapons. It's just that against ap weapons extra armour gives less benefit.
    4)A defense factor of 0 or less does not mean a unit has no inherent defense. The absolute value of the numbers are of no importance, only the difference between the attacker's attack, and the defender's defence.
    The questions are one post above.

    In other words: attack and defense values are the only values that are interesting for melee and armour is only for AP melee bonus calculation or missile damage.


    CBR

  10. #10

    Default Re: ARMOUR and the piercing thereof

    Quote Originally Posted by drone
    The engine starts with the striker's attack value. From this, the target's defense value is subtracted. If the target has a shield that comes into play, the "defense" value of the shield is subtracted. Then the armour value is subtracted.
    The melee combat calculation is of the form (striker's attack value - target's defense value + bonus). The values for shield and armor are already included in the defense value. If the striker has an AP weapon then a bonus is calculated using the target's armor value. However, the target's armor value is first modified to subtract the contribution of his shield and horse. If the striker hits the target from behind then a bonus is calculated for the shield being unavailable to parry the strike. It's +2 bonus if the target is a footman with a large shield and +1 bonus if the target is a mounted unit or a footman with a small shield. The Varangian Guard has its shield on its back, so this is reversed for them.

    This info is out of the Official Strategy Guide with the chapters on the combat engine written by the battle engine's designer.

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  11. #11
    Needs more flowers Moderator drone's Avatar
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    Default Re: ARMOUR and the piercing thereof

    Which "defense" value are we talking about here? Is the armour/shield already included in the defense value shown in UNIT_PROD? Now I'm all confused.

    I wasn't aware that the shield on the back negates the rear attack bonus, I don't think the guide says anything about that. This keyed off the "MeleeWithShield = No" field in UNIT_PROD, right?

    Good info, I need to get this stuff straight.
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  12. #12
    Clan Takiyama Senior Member CBR's Avatar
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    Default Re: ARMOUR and the piercing thereof

    The unit prod contains values for (base)defense, shield and armour. The defense value that you see under the F1 screen during battle is the combined value of the base defense and shield value and same thing for the armour value (armour + shield value)

    Now where does all the numbers in the unit prod come from? Thats all based on the spreadsheet that CA made for the game.

    Lets take a FMAA as an example:
    Troop class: Normal (morale 2 and no attack/defense adjustment)
    Sword: +3 attack/+1 defense
    Mail armour: +2 defense and armour 3
    Large shield: +2 defense

    The base stats of a FMAA (as seen in the unit prod) would be attack 3, armour 3, defense 3 and a shield giving it a +2 defense. The F1 screen would say Armour 5s and defense 5s with s for shield (the game just doesnt tell you how much of a shield bonus, only that there is a shield giving something)

    Unless attacked from the rear the to hit calculation would be using the Defense 5 value against an opponents attack value.


    CBR
    Last edited by CBR; 04-22-2008 at 04:35.

  13. #13
    Needs more flowers Moderator drone's Avatar
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    Default Re: ARMOUR and the piercing thereof

    So that explains why the Gnome Editor uses the "_BONUS" nomenclature for the columns (MELEE_BONUS, DEFENSE_BONUS, etc.), there are default values for a troop class/weapon type and these columns are just modifiers. Can I assume the weapon type references the WeaponType (SWORD/SPEAR/AXE/CLUB) column? How is the troop type determined, is this just the UnitType (INFANTRY/CAVALRY)?

    Looks like I need to search the mods forum, my ignorance knows no bounds...
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  14. #14
    Clan Takiyama Senior Member CBR's Avatar
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    Default Re: ARMOUR and the piercing thereof

    Quote Originally Posted by drone
    So that explains why the Gnome Editor uses the "_BONUS" nomenclature for the columns (MELEE_BONUS, DEFENSE_BONUS, etc.), there are default values for a troop class/weapon type and these columns are just modifiers. Can I assume the weapon type references the WeaponType (SWORD/SPEAR/AXE/CLUB) column? How is the troop type determined, is this just the UnitType (INFANTRY/CAVALRY)?

    Looks like I need to search the mods forum, my ignorance knows no bounds...
    Actually Gnome editor just copies the text from the unit prod file which also use the terms MELEE_BONUS etc. Maybe the term BONUS confuses things, I dont know. Just consider all units to have a default 0/0 in attack/defense and then add the bonus as seen in the unit prod.

    There are no ingame default attack/defense values for weapon types. All ingame values are derived from the spreadsheet. The WeaponType entry is just for the various hit sounds as they are different depending on weapon.

    The troop class I mentioned is from the spreadsheet and is a designers decision. Each class has its own attack/defense/morale/charge value.

    The spreadsheet was made public by CA and can be downloaded here http://www.mizus.com/files/files/MTW...unit_Tools.zip The "Tabels" tab in crusaders_unit_prod11.xls has all the values I described.


    CBR
    Last edited by CBR; 04-22-2008 at 08:43.

  15. #15

    Default Re: ARMOUR and the piercing thereof

    Quote Originally Posted by drone
    I wasn't aware that the shield on the back negates the rear attack bonus, I don't think the guide says anything about that. This keyed off the "MeleeWithShield = No" field in UNIT_PROD, right?
    You're right the Official Guide doesn't say anything about the Varangian Guard's shield. I can't remember where the info on that came from. We did verify it with testing by comparing results of shooting arrows into the front vs rear of the unit.

    The bonus term in the formula is a summation of all the situational combat bonuses that apply. There could be lots of effects included in that bonus term. When striking a target from behind there is a +7 bonus for that.

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  16. #16
    Needs more flowers Moderator drone's Avatar
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    Default Re: ARMOUR and the piercing thereof

    Quote Originally Posted by CBR
    The spreadsheet was made public by CA and can be downloaded here http://www.mizus.com/files/files/MTW...unit_Tools.zip The "Tabels" tab in crusaders_unit_prod11.xls has all the values I described.
    That file is full of goodness. Thanks!
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  17. #17

    Default Re: ARMOUR and the piercing thereof

    Wow! Thank you all so much for the info on this.

    I realize now that what threw me off big-time was the talk about how armour adds to defense although it is not included in melee combat calculations except for the AP bonus. This was of course regarding the base values generated by the combination of characteristics in the spreadsheet. There armour adds to the base defense value that is then exported to the unit_prod.

    This means, however, that a modified unit_prod value ignores the armour-adds-to-defense doctrine. Example:

    We nerf the defense value of halbardiers to 0 in the unit_prod while leaving the armour value intact. This would let the halbardiers absorb missile fire just as well as before but die in a melee from a crap unit using nothing but armour piercing harsh language.

    There we go. My cake is gone. Reason ate it at last.

    Let's see what questions this breeds for me.

    Props to all you guys!

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