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Thread: What's the point in elite units?

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    EBII Hod Carrier Member QuintusSertorius's Avatar
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    Default What's the point in elite units?

    I must admit that with the number of migrated faction games I play, I often can't recruit them anyway, but I've never felt the loss. Elites just seem to be a bad economy - and hardly worth it either.

    You can't recruit them in many places, meaning particular settlements become the sole place you can get them (bringing all the logistics of getting them to the rest of the army). If you retrain (I try not to), you've got the reverse logistics to get them back there.

    Then there's the cost; double or even triple a non-elite unit. Yet you aren't getting a lot more for your money, they may be significantly better in certain areas, but they rarely win a battle by themselves. It's still a numbers game a lot of the time past a certain minimum level of quality. Talking of numbers, they're often smaller than normal units too.

    I'll illustrate the point by comparing some units who fit roughly in the same role. It's not a perfect comparison, because the elite can perform the role of "assault infantry" which few other units can.

    Take the Peltastai Makedonikoi and the more regular Peltastai. The former is almost 2.5x the price of the latter, and has a smaller unit. The elite is significantly more armoured, and has 150% the overall defense, and a much higher attack stat. Better morale and discipline. However, they have half the number of javelins, and they're shorter ranged. Obviously that's because Peltastai Makedonikoi aren't skirmishers, but their loadout is the same. Lacking spears, they can't be used as anti-cavalry.

    Upshot is, I'd rather have two units of Peltastai than one of Peltastai Makedonikoi. You can do a lot more with them, and that's four times as many javelins. The comparison is even worse if you take Thraikioi Peltastai; only slightly more expensive than regular Peltastai, but you can still get two for the price of one unit of PM. They're almost as heavily armoured, and as a bonus their secondary weapon is AP, making them brilliant enemy Family Member killers. Both the latter two are available as mercenaries almost everywhere, too.

    With cavalry it gets even worse; most elite cavalry is ridiculously expensive, but since it's often heavy, blown after a couple of charges. Or else not a huge amount better than their non-elite version. Take Tarentine Elite and regular Hippakontistai. Once more, the elite is more than double the price of the non-elite. What you get is slightly better with their weapons, much better defense, slightly better morale. Again, unless you are stack-constrained, two of the cheaper are likely to be better. You shouldn't be using sword-armed cavalry for shock charges anyway, so the fact that the elites are more able to survive prolonged melee is kind of moot.

    I can see the roleplaying reasons you might recruit elites, especially if your stack is a "royal army", or the bragging rights that you have so much money you can afford to use them, but from a functional standpoint, what's the value in elites?
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  2. #2

    Default Re: What's the point in elite units?

    Functionally speaking Elites are most often not worth it. They are only worth it if you have a limited number of slots available (like the 20 in a regular full stack). They are, as you noted also better than levies, in terms of providing flexibility (not always, but usually). Another problem is that for garrisoning duties Elites are far worse than your regular levies, due to limited unit size, and offer less strategic flexibility on the campaign map. This also applies to replacing casualties. With some units, you are restricted to one or two provinces only to recruit the elites from - and spending 3 years to replenish losses is not a very efficient manner to go about military campaigns.

    However, if you are venturing deep in enemy territory, and hence would struggle to reinforce your army / replace your casualties, a stack with more elites naturally will last a lot longer. This is especially true if you can wage battle on your terms, rather than the terms of the opponent.

    I am sure that if you put 5 units of Hoplitai Haploi against pretty much any elite infantry they will win (at equal monetary recruitment cost). But battles don't work on the basis of such 1 vs. 5 mechanics. So even though 5 Hoplitai Haploi may be a match for a single unit of Elites, that does not mean that an army of 10 Hoplitai Haploi would beat an army of 5 Hoplitai Haploi and an Elite (both armies in conjunction with cavalry etc).

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    EBII Hod Carrier Member QuintusSertorius's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the point in elite units?

    I can certainly see the notion that the more durable troops (as elites tend to be) will survive a protracted stay away from home better. Though in the case of many of the regular units, you can easily replace with mercenary versions (true of Peltastai, Hoplitai, Thureophoroi/Keltohellenikoi at the least) so I think that works in the opposite direction.

    I should say I see three tiers of unit: Levy, Regular and Elite. This is more of a comparison between Regular and Elite, rather than Levy (like the Hoplitai Haploi) and Elite. A better comparison for hoplites would be regular Hoplitai and Hypaspistai. The latter is more than double the price, yet you're not getting a huge amount more.
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  4. #4

    Default Re: What's the point in elite units?

    Generally I agree.

    Elites are useful when money is not an issue, but your cities lack sufficient population to recruit a large, cheap army which will suffer heavy losses in tough battles - or if you simply prefer having your citizens making money and paying taxes rather than fighting. Under such circumstances a small army of elites bulked out with mercenaries might be best for the long-term growth of your economy.

    Otherwise I only start recruiting lots of elites when the AI does so, and their armies become too tough to beat for my more historical army composition.

    Hopefully in EB2 elites will be rare by limited recruitment, rather than overpriced to discourage the AI from spamming them.

    My favourite elite unit are Kretan archers - they are awesome and worth every penny. For me, KH can't survive without them.

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    EBII Hod Carrier Member QuintusSertorius's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the point in elite units?

    Quote Originally Posted by Titus Marcellus Scato View Post
    My favourite elite unit are Kretan archers - they are awesome and worth every penny. For me, KH can't survive without them.
    They're my only "must recruit" unit. I always have one unit in every army I make because they're better than almost everything else available in the west. In my Massalia game, I sailed an FM to Greece just to recruit a couple of units (one to use and one spare to merge in replacements).

    It's not even for their melee ability; but because they outrange virtually everything else and carry a lot of ammo.

    EDIT: Hoisted by my own petard! Doing the analysis, Kretan Archers (who I can only get as mercs) are nearly four times as much as Toxotai (who I use for garrison troops since they're cheap). For that you get double the attack value, 50% again in extra range and more than double the ammo. Armour is a nice to have, since it reduces death from other archers/slingers, though I always post mine behind my phalanx which is as good as a wall.
    Last edited by QuintusSertorius; 06-01-2014 at 22:23.
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  6. #6

    Default Re: What's the point in elite units?

    because rich people deserve a chance of dieing honourably on the batlefield too not just the poor people

    to prevent grachism demagoges igniting internal socii wars when you should be concentrating your nation outwards

    but i use them to keep the damm poor people in line and prevent them from deserting and ofc kill a few enemues if it comes to that

    a true elite is for instance the original triarii veterans of many batles who can afford better equipment

    most elites where just snoby richer dudes who wanted some recognition not superior troops with better equipment (aaltough they tended to be bigger and stronger due to better acess to resources except when bigger and stronger meant fat assholes who needed the better horse or else the regular horses couldnīt suport them)

    kretans are not elites imho they arenīt rich/er dudes they are just the survivors of many fights those who where lucky to survive long enough that someone is willing to pay them to fight and they can afford better weapons and armour)

    in that sence true elites are solduros or scordascii orca experienced warriors with better equipment without the experience just the better horse armour and sword will only get you so far

    but as i said in my makedonian armies i use them to hold the right those extra 10% and extra time are well worth their money cause it sucks when you run with your general chassing around archers only to return and find your entire army disbanding and cracking

    because of the horse shoe the message wasnīt deliverered
    becuse the message wasnīt delivered the batle wasnīt fought at the right time
    because the fight didnīt happened when it eventually happened it was lost
    the loss of the batle turned the war
    and the loss of that war meant the king lost itīs head

    elites are to use when the right time comes (druids or gaesatae used at the right time beging the enemies rout or stop your own troops root)

    financially they make no sence with just 1 unit you could equip 5 medium troops but culturally socially and in the math of war they do make sence itīs just the way you use them and when you fight against other players or if the ai had inteligence you would learn to apreciate them when they hold that line when they close the growing gap or when they stop the enemy on the streets or on the walls everyone needs simbols elites are just another one

  7. #7

    Default Re: What's the point in elite units?

    I am sure that if you put 5 units of Hoplitai Haploi against pretty much any elite infantry they will win (at equal monetary recruitment cost). But battles don't work on the basis of such 1 vs. 5 mechanics. So even though 5 Hoplitai Haploi may be a match for a single unit of Elites, that does not mean that an army of 10 Hoplitai Haploi would beat an army of 5 Hoplitai Haploi and an Elite (both armies in conjunction with cavalry etc).
    Well I just tried it :
    1. 1 Unit Peltastai Makedonikoi(123) vs 5 Hoplitai Haploi(811) = The Haploi lost 626 men but won.
    2. 2 Units of Peltastai Makedonikoi(245) vs 10 Hoplitai Haploi(1621)=The Pelastai WON and killed 1397 men the rest of the Haploi routed,with the general.The Peltastai Makedonikoi had 87 left.

    I didn't flank or used guard mode in both battles, just head on combat and the Pelstai were surrounded.

    So no I don't think they are useless ;)they can easly hold serveral enemy units while giving your other troops time to flank,or of course using them to flank.


    most elites where just snoby richer dudes who wanted some recognition not superior troops with better equipment (aaltough they tended to be bigger and stronger due to better acess to resources except when bigger and stronger meant fat assholes who needed the better horse or else the regular horses couldnīt suport them)
    Hmm I doubt it, at least not for the celts and germanic tribes and definitly not for medieval knights,but they are a bit out of the time frame.
    The richer classes usually trained for war ,something that many poorer classes couldn't afford or do(time).
    Last edited by Thoras; 06-02-2014 at 15:38.

  8. #8
    Arrogant Ashigaru Moderator Ludens's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Re: What's the point in elite units?

    Peltastai Makedonikoi aren't upgraded Peltasts. The unit was originally concepted as assault troopers: the ones that, during a siege assault, would be the first into the breach.

    And that's really the main use for elite units: for critical positions on the battlefield, where a bit more armour and better morale can make a huge difference. The vanguard in a siege battle is most obvious example, but holding a critical flank would count as well. If you lose the flanks, the battleline folds, so putting your best phalangites there could mean the difference between victory and defeat in real life.

    However, in EB such conditions don't happen very often, for two reason. Firstly, you have far more control, and far more situational awareness, than a real-life general did. As a rule, you can prevent or counter flanking threats as they occur. And secondly, such threats don't occur very often, because the A.I. simply isn't that good.
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    Default Re: What's the point in elite units?

    In other words, EB's competence surpasses its intended performance due to the limited engine. You can always try the elites out in an online battle and see how you fare.
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    iudex thervingiorum Member athanaric's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the point in elite units?

    Elites look awesome and you don't have to micromanage them as much on the battlefield as other units (because they are more difficult to kill or rout). I like to have a few elite units in every major army for these (and other, such as historical accuracy) reasons.

    Also, this:

    Quote Originally Posted by vartan View Post
    In other words, EB's competence surpasses its intended performance due to the limited engine. You can always try the elites out in an online battle and see how you fare.
    I, too, feel that it's more of an issue of engine limitations. At least, EB offers a better solution than the vanilla TW games where elites can just walk over any other unit.




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    EBII Hod Carrier Member QuintusSertorius's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the point in elite units?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ludens View Post
    Peltastai Makedonikoi aren't upgraded Peltasts. The unit was originally concepted as assault troopers: the ones that, during a siege assault, would be the first into the breach.

    And that's really the main use for elite units: for critical positions on the battlefield, where a bit more armour and better morale can make a huge difference. The vanguard in a siege battle is most obvious example, but holding a critical flank would count as well. If you lose the flanks, the battleline folds, so putting your best phalangites there could mean the difference between victory and defeat in real life.

    However, in EB such conditions don't happen very often, for two reason. Firstly, you have far more control, and far more situational awareness, than a real-life general did. As a rule, you can prevent or counter flanking threats as they occur. And secondly, such threats don't occur very often, because the A.I. simply isn't that good.
    I'm well aware Peltastai Makedonikoi aren't skirmishers, but as armoured, sword-armed infantry they perform the same role as infantry-flankers. They can't do anti-cavalry because of the lack of spears.

    But I agree, assault infantry isn't really a role the RTW engine allows a use for.
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    Default Re: What's the point in elite units?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ludens View Post
    However, in EB such conditions don't happen very often, for two reason. Firstly, you have far more control, and far more situational awareness, than a real-life general did. As a rule, you can prevent or counter flanking threats as they occur. And secondly, such threats don't occur very often, because the A.I. simply isn't that good.
    Good points - but here's a partial solution:

    If you want to play hardcore EB, don't play on VH Battle difficulty level. Just go into the camera settings option and tick the general camera option. (And play on Huge unit settings).

    It's wicked, because you can't move the camera view away from the immediate vicinity of your general, which makes it really hard to see what's going on over the battlefield. When the AI flanks you, often you won't see it until the attack hits. Sometimes not even then, until you notice a unit taking heavy losses! And you'll need to have your general running from one flank to another so you can see what's happening, and that will often entail a delay before you can respond to an enemy attack. If your general is on foot, then boy, you're going to have real problems with viewing the entire battlefield - you'll often have to take a guess at what forces the enemy is attacking with, throw in a unit or two of your own to stop them (if you have any reserves), and hope for the best.

    Assaulting large cities becomes a lot more difficult as with your general sat safely outside the walls, you will have only a rough idea about how the street fighting is going inside the town, and you won't be able to see clearly how the streets are laid out, so the chances of you sending a unit down the wrong street are quite high. Coordinating attacks inside the town becomes all but impossible until your general goes in himself to organise things, but that could result in him being killed like Pyrrhus in Argos!
    Last edited by Titus Marcellus Scato; 06-04-2014 at 17:43.

  13. #13
    One of the Undutchables Member The Stranger's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the point in elite units?

    some elites are worth it, some arent.

    mainly they are worth their weight in gold when pinning down the enemy to a certain spot. 2 elite units can tie down up to 15+ levy units for a long time if they dont get flanked. on huge settings some elite are extremely cost effective in some situations due to their high morale and their high armour. as long as they dont get flanked they will hold for a long time. just dont lose ur general :P

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  14. #14

    Default Re: What's the point in elite units?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Stranger View Post
    some elites are worth it, some arent. [/url]
    Yes, and the Hypapistaie in my memory were impresively efficient; I can't remind their name as it was some years ago, but I remember I used their Baktrian equivalent with much success in a sp campaign.

    But the elite unit who totally disapointed (still in sp campaign) is the epilektoi hoplitai. I remember how I progressively got doubts about their efficiency until I did some tests using custom battles, and saw how they were systematically raped by this Illyrian basic unit (the one with clubs).

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    One of the Undutchables Member The Stranger's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the point in elite units?

    one of the things we found out back then is that elite units get more efficient on bigger settings. because it takes much longer, ratio wise, for them to rout.

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    EBII Hod Carrier Member QuintusSertorius's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the point in elite units?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Stranger View Post
    one of the things we found out back then is that elite units get more efficient on bigger settings. because it takes much longer, ratio wise, for them to rout.
    I only play on Huge; I've never found any to be worthwhile.
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  17. #17

    Default Re: What's the point in elite units?

    Quote Originally Posted by QuintusSertorius View Post
    I only play on Huge; I've never found any to be worthwhile.
    They stay and hold far longer without routing,take less casulites and kill more and faster.They better at flanking.

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    EBII Hod Carrier Member QuintusSertorius's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the point in elite units?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thoras View Post
    They stay and hold far longer without routing,take less casulites and kill more and faster.They better at flanking.
    I've found it very rare that Greek units break (they have morale one or two points higher than their equivalents from other cultures). Even when my general is off haring about playing Alexander, as long as he doesn't get killed or routed himself, they tend to hold. I remember in a siege battle I had one unit of levy hoplites (!) who died almost to a man on the walls, but never gave up.

    My non-Greek units, on the other hand, can be flaky at times.
    Last edited by QuintusSertorius; 06-07-2014 at 21:57.
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    One of the Undutchables Member The Stranger's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the point in elite units?

    Quote Originally Posted by QuintusSertorius View Post
    I only play on Huge; I've never found any to be worthwhile.
    well as i tested and posted in that thread i linked, the TAB or their spanish/irish equivalent can hold their own against almost 3x their cost in levy units. if thats not worthwhile, then I dont know... 1 unit can tie down 20 haploi, which are arguably one of the better levy units as well.

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    EBII Hod Carrier Member QuintusSertorius's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the point in elite units?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Stranger View Post
    well as i tested and posted in that thread i linked, the TAB or their spanish/irish equivalent can hold their own against almost 3x their cost in levy units. if thats not worthwhile, then I dont know... 1 unit can tie down 20 haploi, which are arguably one of the better levy units as well.
    Levy are the wrong comparator. You should be comparing them with Regular units (eg Hoplitai) who are very good value.

    I rarely face levy units, and I rarely use them except for garrisons or to make my armies deliberately less effective. For example in my current Epeiros game, the unit of levy hoplitai in my royal army are "Illyrians retrained as hoplites".

    Here's that army:



    The only elite in the stack (besides my FMs) are the Kretans.
    Last edited by QuintusSertorius; 06-08-2014 at 10:38.
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    One of the Undutchables Member The Stranger's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the point in elite units?

    i disagree, theyre not. The question we were debating, atleast in that thread, and also a bit in this one, was amongst others, the cost-effectiveness of elite units.

    The result was, that SOME (with emphasis on some, for various historical and balance reasons) elite units are cost-effective, but that the regular units are in most cases the most cost-effective units in the game. It doesnt even take alot of testing to deduce this, because if you look at stats, elites are easily 2x more expensive while perhaps only 20-25% better in stats. However, if you are asking about the point of elite units, the point is this, they are simply unmatched in their specific role on the battlefield. So an elite cavalry will simply do better in routing the enemy faster, this will not always be worth 2x more upkeep, but that one battle you needed the enemy to route instantly to not lose the battle, you are going to wish you had that elite. The same for elite phalanx or melee infantry, and the ultimate unit, the TAB, like all elite they simply have more staying power, they barely ever route, they barely ever give up ground, and they can tie down so many other units, even when surrounded, they just dont die. Again, in most battles, specially if not flanked, a regular will do the job equally well (not better ofcourse, but as good to not warrant 2x the upkeep for an elite) but that one battle, for example in case your village got attacked by 60 angry hoplite citizen that want democracy, you are going to wish your garrison was made up of 3 TAB and not of 6 hoplites, because the TAB will fight to the last man, while the hoplites will break alot sooner.

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    EBII Hod Carrier Member QuintusSertorius's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the point in elite units?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Stranger View Post
    i disagree, theyre not. The question we were debating, atleast in that thread, and also a bit in this one, was amongst others, the cost-effectiveness of elite units.

    The result was, that SOME (with emphasis on some, for various historical and balance reasons) elite units are cost-effective, but that the regular units are in most cases the most cost-effective units in the game. It doesnt even take alot of testing to deduce this, because if you look at stats, elites are easily 2x more expensive while perhaps only 20-25% better in stats. However, if you are asking about the point of elite units, the point is this, they are simply unmatched in their specific role on the battlefield. So an elite cavalry will simply do better in routing the enemy faster, this will not always be worth 2x more upkeep, but that one battle you needed the enemy to route instantly to not lose the battle, you are going to wish you had that elite. The same for elite phalanx or melee infantry, and the ultimate unit, the TAB, like all elite they simply have more staying power, they barely ever route, they barely ever give up ground, and they can tie down so many other units, even when surrounded, they just dont die. Again, in most battles, specially if not flanked, a regular will do the job equally well (not better ofcourse, but as good to not warrant 2x the upkeep for an elite) but that one battle, for example in case your village got attacked by 60 angry hoplite citizen that want democracy, you are going to wish your garrison was made up of 3 TAB and not of 6 hoplites, because the TAB will fight to the last man, while the hoplites will break alot sooner.
    Yes, and from the very beginning I was talking about comparing elites to regular units, not to levies. Comparing them to levies is meaningless. You've just proved my point, in the meaningful comparison, regular to elite, elites aren't worth it.

    To date I've rarely had a regular break, not unless it was a battle I'd lost anyway. Levies break when pressed, but that's because they're levies and have low morale.

    I take issue with cavalry, though. Elite cavalry (like Thessalikoi) are no better at breaking infantry than regular heavies (like Lonchophoroi), or even light lancers (like Illyrioi Hippeis). Worse, they become completely ineffective once tired. I saw this in a battle against Makedonia once; my unit of Curepos killed a lot more enemies (because they could keep charging at reasonable fitness) than the Thessailoi (who were Tired after two charges).
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  23. #23
    One of the Undutchables Member The Stranger's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the point in elite units?

    lol... you didnt read my post?

    i just said, that they are worth it, because if you need 1 unit to hold the line, which unit will do best? the elite obviously... so they are worth it.

    and im NOT comparing elites to levies, im pitting elites VS levies, to see how cost effective they are. And then we pitted regulars VS levies and the conclusion was that regulars are slightly more cost-effective VS levies than elites. so please, read...

    so your main army is best to be made up of regulars, they will give you the best upkeep-battle usefulness ratio, but taking 1-2 elites with you, is definitely worth it, because they can be assigned tasks and do stuff no amount of regulars can pull off. For example on VH-VH, 3 elite FM can take the entirety of greece in a blitz, no amounf of regulars, even if they replenished, could pull that off.

    but in any case, if you are so rich that you can make an army of elites... why not. if u want to. ofcourse that would be the best army u could make... no debating tat

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  24. #24
    EBII Hod Carrier Member QuintusSertorius's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the point in elite units?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Stranger View Post
    lol... you didnt read my post?

    i just said, that they are worth it, because if you need 1 unit to hold the line, which unit will do best? the elite obviously... so they are worth it.
    I read and disagreed. As before, regulars are more than up to the task of holding the line, especially since I never have captain-led stacks and aren't careless with my generals. More to the point, two units of regulars will do a better job of it than one elite. I'd rather have two units of Hoplitai than one of Hypaspistai (or for that matter a unit of decent cavalry - more cavalry is better for flexibility). That's more tactical flexibility. Furthermore, they're recruitable all over the place, and replacable with an identical unit of mercenaries, who are again available all over.

    You can see my army above, I never use a full stack, so it's not as if I'm short of space.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Stranger View Post
    and im NOT comparing elites to levies, im pitting elites VS levies, to see how cost effective they are. And then we pitted regulars VS levies and the conclusion was that regulars are slightly more cost-effective VS levies than elites. so please, read...
    You didn't put regulars against elites. So this is all meaningless and tells us nothing. The AI doesn't field armies comprised mostly of levies, most players don't use armies comprised mostly of levies.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Stranger View Post
    so your main army is best to be made up of regulars, they will give you the best upkeep-battle usefulness ratio, but taking 1-2 elites with you, is definitely worth it, because they can be assigned tasks and do stuff no amount of regulars can pull off. For example on VH-VH, 3 elite FM can take the entirety of greece in a blitz, no amounf of regulars, even if they replenished, could pull that off.
    The only worthwhile elites I've found are Kretan Archers, and that's not because of their armour or secondary weapon, but range of their bows and significantly more ammunition carried compared to Toxotai or Sotaroas (the easily-available archers in the west). They do a task other units do, but better (because range and ammo).

    I don't play on VH-VH and I don't blitz, and FMs are a special category since you can't recruit them in the same way. In a longer campaign where you aren't exploiting the slowness of the AI's response, you need to be able to replenish, and that's much easier with regulars (especially those with a mercenary equivalent).

    Quote Originally Posted by The Stranger View Post
    but in any case, if you are so rich that you can make an army of elites... why not. if u want to. ofcourse that would be the best army u could make... no debating tat
    It might be a great vanity project, but it's a waste of money. I'd rather have two armies of regulars than one elite one - again greater tactical flexibility since that's two different missions rather than just one. I can invade from two different places with two armies, rather than weathering all the pressure in one place with just one.
    Last edited by QuintusSertorius; 06-08-2014 at 13:26.
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  25. #25
    One of the Undutchables Member The Stranger's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the point in elite units?

    I read and disagreed. As before, regulars are more than up to the task of holding the line, especially since I never have captain-led stacks and aren't careless with my generals. More to the point, two units of regulars will do a better job of it than one elite. I'd rather have two units of Hoplitai than one of Hypaspistai (or for that matter a unit of decent cavalry - more cavalry is better for flexibility). That's more tactical flexibility. Furthermore, they're recruitable all over the place, and replacable with an identical unit of mercenaries, who are again available all over.

    You can see my army above, I never use a full stack, so it's not as if I'm short of space.
    except that 2 dont always do a better job than 1. due to better morale, 1 elite can tie down enemy armies for longer in some cases than 2 regulars ever could. due to better endurance they can wear down the enemy longer on the flank in some cases than 2 regulars. etc. this is my experience atleast, and if you disagree, i guess thats where the discussion ends.

    You didn't put regulars against elites. So this is all meaningless and tells us nothing. The AI doesn't field armies comprised mostly of levies, most players don't use armies comprised mostly of levies.
    sigh, you dont get the concept of cost-effectiveness.

    We do not sow.

  26. #26
    EBII Hod Carrier Member QuintusSertorius's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the point in elite units?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Stranger View Post
    except that 2 dont always do a better job than 1. due to better morale, 1 elite can tie down enemy armies for longer in some cases than 2 regulars ever could. due to better endurance they can wear down the enemy longer on the flank in some cases than 2 regulars. etc. this is my experience atleast, and if you disagree, i guess thats where the discussion ends.
    I do disagree, because that isn't my experience. Elites are rarely much better at doing the same job, and they certainly aren't better than two regular units at doing it. Two units of Hoplitai will hold a line much more effectively than one of Hypaspistai, not least because one can pin and the other flank. Especially when you have the force multiplier of your own cavalry, doing the unit-breaking from the rear added into the mix.

    The better morale is often irrelevant compared to the impact the general is having, and the difference between 11/12 (the usual morale of regulars) and 15 (usual morale of elites) not anywhere near as important as between 8-10 (usual levy morale) and 12.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Stranger View Post
    sigh, you dont get the concept of cost-effectiveness.
    No, clearly you don't. Levies are an irrelevance since they are not capable of doing the same job. Whereas elites are only at best 25% better than regulars stats-wise, for double the price.

    The only economy elites are providing is in taking up less slots in a 20-unit stack than the equivalent cost in regulars.
    Last edited by QuintusSertorius; 06-08-2014 at 16:53.
    It began on seven hills - an EB 1.1 Romani AAR with historical house-rules (now ceased)
    Heirs to Lysimachos - an EB 1.1 Epeiros-as-Pergamon AAR with semi-historical houserules (now ceased)
    Philetairos' Gift - a second EB 1.1 Epeiros-as-Pergamon AAR


  27. #27
    One of the Undutchables Member The Stranger's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the point in elite units?

    Quote Originally Posted by QuintusSertorius View Post
    I do disagree, because that isn't my experience. Elites are rarely much better at doing the same job, and they certainly aren't better than two regular units at doing it. Two units of Hoplitai will hold a line much more effectively than one of Hypaspistai, not least because one can pin and the other flank. Especially when you have the force multiplier of your own cavalry, doing the unit-breaking from the rear added into the mix.

    The better morale is often irrelevant compared to the impact the general is having, and the difference between 11/12 (the usual morale of regulars) and 15 (usual morale of elites) not anywhere near as important as between 8-10 (usual levy morale) and 12.
    thats not a fair comparison, you should compare 2 elites to 4 regulars, and not 1 elite to 2 regulars. manouvers are another extra thing to consider, and its not fair to take that out of the eqation for 1 unit but noth for the other.


    No, clearly you don't. Levies are an irrelevance since they are not capable of doing the same job. Whereas elites are only at best 25% better than regulars stats-wise, for double the price.

    The only economy elites are providing is in taking up less slots in a 20-unit stack than the equivalent cost in regulars.
    im not comparing elites to levies, im comparing how good elites do vs something and how good regulars do vs that same thing. its the obvious choice for that something to be levy units, because i can't balance the ratio of regulars vs another regular or an elite vs another elite. so i let 1 regular fight 1 levy and see what the casualties are and what the cost is for that unit, and i do the same for the elite, and then i compare the two. then i look at what point the levies will overwhelm and start to defeat the regular/elite and again i compare the results.

    the conclusion was that when for example you can put 1 regular vs 1 levy, then cost-wise the regulars will suffer less casualties than the elite. but when you are in a chokepoint where you can't put two regulars but you can use 1 elite, then the elite (some of them atleast) will do better than even 2 regulars (put behind each other) because the elite will break at a much much later point.

    its not that hard.

    We do not sow.

  28. #28

    Default Re: What's the point in elite units?

    Some four years ago, we had similar questions to that posed in this thread. Tests proved to be much more efficient than theoretical discussion. Hypothesis. Method. Data collection. Analysis. Conclusion. Good times.
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  29. #29
    One of the Undutchables Member The Stranger's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the point in elite units?

    i did the tests way back. cant do any again even if i wanted to, disc is broken.

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  30. #30
    Arrogant Ashigaru Moderator Ludens's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Re: What's the point in elite units?

    Quote Originally Posted by QuintusSertorius View Post
    More to the point, two units of regulars will do a better job of it than one elite. I'd rather have two units of Hoplitai than one of Hypaspistai (or for that matter a unit of decent cavalry - more cavalry is better for flexibility). That's more tactical flexibility. Furthermore, they're recruitable all over the place, and replacable with an identical unit of mercenaries, who are again available all over.
    And that's the third reason why elites aren't as useful in EB as they were in reality. In the R:TW engine, experience has a major effect. The stat difference between regulars and elites isn't that big in EB, so regulars with a few bars of experience are as good as elites. And because losses in a regular unit are easier to replace, a veteran regular is actually more useful than an elite unit. IIRC regulars also gain experience faster than elites.

    (Personally, I think the R:TW XP mechanism is unbalanced. We should give all units two or three bars of experience straight out of training, and slash base stats accordingly. This will mean that units will gain experience more slowly, and the max. effect of experience is lower. IIRC this idea was considered for EB1 at some point, but the team decided not to go with it.)

    Quote Originally Posted by The Stranger View Post
    sigh, you dont get the concept of cost-effectiveness.
    I am pretty sure that elites haven't been balanced on cost-effectiveness. I believe it's the reverse: you pay a premium for the extra ability - so it's only worthwhile to use them in critical positions or when you want maximum combat power in a 20-unit stack. In other words: they're only worth the premium in a one-on-one fight. If you're not fielding large (> 12 unit) armies, regulars are a better buy, since you you get twice as many men for only a ~20% reduction in survivability power. That's how it should be. Where it goes wrong is that, for a variety of reasons (poor A.I. tactics, the effect of XP), regulars will perform nearly as well as elites in critical positions, and are far easier and cheaper to replace.
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