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Thread: Some tested Tactical info - feedback requested

  1. #1

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    Qapla all.

    plz offer CONSTRUCTIVE feedback and your own experience.

    Like many of you with S:WE, I was really concerned with unit balancing. So, I have taken the last two days to do some testing regarding some of the complaints. Allow me to share what I have learned, and feel free to add and/or discuss and/or recreate these results.

    First unit I will deal with is Mongol Heavy Cavalry - otherwise known as MHC. It doesnt matter if your using it or facing it, its one tough unit - high damage and pretty tough. Against an equivilant Japanese Heavy Cavalry, the MHC will win every time. This seems to be the biggest complaint to date - even 2 or 3 JHC's can be routed by a single Mongol HC. Is this a flaw? No - the MHC was the most powerful unit of its day - and its modeled as such. HOWEVER - it is NOT indestructable. Properly outfitted, a single group of Yari Samuri can take out a MHC. Let's look at HOW this is done. In the Single Player Mongol campaign, Mongol units cannot retrain, nor can they be upgraded. That means that the MHC you will fight will always have the same armor and weapon value - adjusted only for honor level. So when facing the Horde in Single Player - do what you can to hold them off while upgrading your units with armor and weaponry. Once you have strengthened your units - then you can face the horde on even terms. Until then, fight a delaying action.

    In multiplayer - another issue comes up. Unfortunately - the horde has weapon and armor upgrades available - and this IS a serious detriment to multiplay balance. Perhaps mongol upgrades will be deleted in a patch, but perhaps not. Regardless - unless your playing with a HUGE amount of koku to start you can balance it- you can purchase a 3Honor/Armor/Weapon Yari Samuria for the same price as a 2Honor/0Armor/0Weapon MHC (and have 24 koku left over per unit - allowing an extra honor unit here and there possibly). The above mentioned YS will win over the MHC above on even ground (head to head) every time - losing only 10-15 men in doing so. Even better, fight the cavalry in brush or woods, where they are penalized - making them even easier to kill. (fighting in woods - downhill into the cav - 7 losses vs all 60 MHC destroyed.) Use tactics that are to your advantage. This should be done on all battles anyway! Note that Naginata Cavalry are also somewhat effective against MHC - but due to cost/efficiency ratios the YS are definitely the better buy!
    Personally - for multiplayer - I would seek opponents that are willing to preserve the balance and not use armor/weapon upgrades on mongol units.
    Overall - the MHC is a tank - treat it with respect and use or defend against it wisely.

    The second unit I will discuss is the Kensai Sword Saint. An expensive unit - but able to tear thru ANY standard infantry unit. The Kensai has a very high resistance to missile weapons - he must be catching all the arrows that would have hit him! His attack skill is phenomenal - he can attack and beat 2 or 3 units on his own before some lucky blow brings him down. Usually it is because he is EXHAUSTED and his attack/defense rating is substantially lower due to fatigue. Fast and fearless - with the ability to increase the armor and weapon factors - the Kensai is the bane of infantry. However, because he is only one man, it takes a long time of fighting to kill 60 men, so after killing 2 units he is VERY TIRED or EXHAUSTED. If you want him to live, rest him! He fares well against most cavalry as well, altho he will NOT survive an encounter with Mongol HC! (At one time I thought he would - sorry folks - he gets only about 9-11 of them before he is run thru.) Amazingly enough - one unit is the Kensai's worst nightmare - Battlefield Ninja. If you run into a group of Ninja with a Kensai - RUN! Although they are only 12 men to a unit - your SwordSaint will be lucky to kill one of the assassins before he falls.

    Which brings me to the Battlefield Ninja. These are by far one of the MOST DIFFICULT units to use properly - but they are DEADLY! With a short ranged but powerful missile attack, and the ability to attack hand to hand with a vengeance - these units are SCARY! What makes it worse is that if you leave them still - even out in the open, they become concealed - so your enemy cannot see them until they start shooting or move. By then - they are TOO close for comfort! They are lightly armored - and thus while they will carve up an enemy unit quickly - u will lose men doing it, unless your extra sneaky and hit the enemy in the rear or flank and have them engaged from the front as well. They also benefit from armor/weapon upgrades, giving them even more durability and power on the battlefield. So how does one stop these deadly assassins? Cavalry - Yari or Heavy will do. They are unable to withstand a cav charge due to their lack of armor - although after they are upgraded they still do not stand well against horsemen. Of course, a smart general will put his ninja in trees when possible......

    Naginata cavalry - these guys are my unit of choice for cav. While not as tough as heavy cav - they don't need to be. They cut through enemy units (except MHC) with a quickness - minimizing their casualties in the process. (The faster they fall, the less time they have to hit back....) Add in armor and weapon upgrades and you have a japanese tank that will run over ANY unit on the map - including equal honor MHC (provided they have no upgrades.) Again - Yari Samuria are the answer here - as are xbowmen and musketeers. Also - you HAVE to use terrain to your advantage when facing these guys.

    Xbowmen - Amazing what a peasant with a xbow can do. Cheap to produce, with no morale penalty to samurai if they rout, good damage against even armored opponents and decent range - these guys are well worth their cheap cost! However, since they are peasants - the will fold quick under a Yari Cav charge as long as your cav can reach them. Upgrades do little to improve their survivability.

    Mongol Skirmishers - a cross between thunderbombers and archers - these guys are a serious threat if you don't whittle their numbers down from long range. While they have only a few shots - javelins do ALOT of damage per salvo. They are short ranged though, so a few archer groups can get them to a small enough unit that they are not very effective. The manual says they have a shield for missile defense - sorry but if they do it does little to help them. Move them fast or use them from a height advantage to minimize their time under fire. Their hand to hand skills are not great, but adequate when ammo runs out.

    Mongol Light Cavalry - otherwise known as MLC is one of the greatest threats on the battlefield. Fast and accurate - the key to killing these guys is surrounding them so they cannot run away - otherwise you will be running a long and losing race while they stop occasionally and shoot at you. Using them is common sense - seek high ground to improve accuracy and range - avoid being trapped and if possible - use them as bait to hit a unit in the flank or rear while they pursue your MLC. They are MUCH better at hand to hand combat that their Japanese counterparts - so use that when you are out of ammo! Their speed and attack skill means they are excellent flank chargers!

    Lastly - thunderbombers. This is one unit I do not pretend to be able to use effectivly. Some claim they are great, but mine sling their bombs anywhere in the forward 180 degree arc, and almost NEVER hit their target unless it is throwing at a mass of units. They (Very Often) do blow themselves up, and I have not seen a great improvement in their ability even at high honor. Their killing power is good - if they can hit the target. If you can use them, tell us how!

    That about covers this installment - although I would like some CONSTRUCTIVE feedback - meaning test it before you state it as fact!

    Also - if someone could confirm for me - it seems that height has become a very large advantage where before it was minimal. Archers seem to be MUCH more accurate that in Shogun:TW although range increases appear to have been unchanged. Infantry advantage in height does not seem to be quite as high as for archers, but does look to have been improved a bit. Anyone here concur? I uninstalled the original SHOGUN so I cannot run a true comparative test.

    I look forward to everyone's response.

    Qapla!
    BSM Skkzarg

    BSM_Skkzarg
    "ARG when I'm Happy, ARG when I'm Sad, ARG when I'm good or bad. ARG!"
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  2. #2
    Member Member Yoko Kono's Avatar
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    i totally agree with your comments about MHC and kensai
    many people criticized these units claiming they unbalanced the game but clearly they do not. The fact MHC have a same-cost counter and that 1 dachi will easily kill 1 kensai (losing around 10-20 men) disproves that. In the original stw we had monks that were over powerful and the only unit in the game with no direct counter. In S:WE the naginat cav appears to be this while monks SEEM less powerful their stats appear the same.
    The only problem i can see with S:WE regarding unit balancing is the Naginata Cav. at 450 it is far cheaper thamn the Heavy Cav without a significant reduction in attack and defence valuse or speed. The Nagi has much greater attack and only slightly lesser defence than Yari yet costs only 25 less in MP. Whil yari cav do have speed and Heavy cav had power (allbe it mostly defensive power) the Nagi cav seems to be a cheaper alternative to both and hence the usefulness of heavy cav especially is greatly reduced since with their speed yari cav can be used to chase off cav archers at least
    The only other issue with the mongol invasion i have is the ineffectiveness of Skirmishers spears to ward off arrow attack. Had this unit had the sheilded capability as was described in the manual then its already good usefulness would have been substantially increased. Imagine a unit with awesome close range ranged power, but little ammo, closing in almost unscathed while hordes of guardsmen shelter behind, its only weakness being that fast moving infantry and cav can get in and attack while the javelins fly overhead. Hopefully a patch fixing the `F1` problem and the `Owari attack` and the minor issues mentioned here will be forthcoming at some point, although it is not required with the urgency some have demanded. People must remember the mongol invasion is an expansion only. Many people forget this and treat it like a totally new game. In comparison to the original STW the WE/MI is a much more polished product and far superior. The SP campaign alone is infinately better and the mongols present a challenge to even the most battle hardened veteran when defending against them on Expert.

  3. #3
    Gifted Dilettante Member DragonCat's Avatar
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    BSM - excellent - I agree with most of your comments - the rest I haven't tried myself- so I expect to agree with that as well once I do.

    I would still like some testing and numbers to support your comments, but as a start, this is very good stuff.

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    Member Member BakaGaijin's Avatar
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    Oddly enough, I've had exactly the opposite experience with respect to the survivability of the Korean Skirmishers. In one castle siege, I faced off two units of Skirmishers against two units of Crossbowmen. I took only three losses on the approached, then moved one unit at a time to point-blank range... The Skirmishers took NO losses as long as they faced the Crossbowmen! So, as far as I've seen, the shields work.

    Actually, the Skirmishers have become something of an unexpected favourite for me. They're better than Samurai Archers in melee combat and cause massive damage to enemy units of all kinds when they're throwing their javelins. And they're cheap!

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  5. #5
    Member Member Anssi Hakkinen's Avatar
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    Very nice post, Skkzarg-san. Since I still don't have the 'pack (for reasons that can only be described as "obscure" ), I am somewhat limited in my ability to comment, but this post will no doubt help me to survive on the expanded battlefield. And from an analyzing point of view, I like the added importance of the weapons/armor upgrades - the discipline characteristic seems much less tangible by comparison.

    BTW. Has anyone tested the usefulness of the skirmishers (KSk) in a bridge battle? If their range is sufficient, I would imagine they can do a lot of damage to enemies on the other side of the river - and their shields might enable them to survive the deadly teppĂ´/crossbow crossfire, too. If they work that is.

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  6. #6
    Gifted Dilettante Member DragonCat's Avatar
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    I don't think they can hit across the river, distance is too far- as best as I can remember.

    Remember also that the crossbow is a LINE OF SIGHT weapon. If you advance over uneven ground, you might get some shadow protection.

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    Member Member HATAMOTOKILL's Avatar
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    OH i do wish i could shed some light on this!

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  8. #8
    Member Member VoodooChild's Avatar
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    Anssi Hakkinen,

    KSk make for excellent bridge crossers. I have found like BakaGaijin, that the shields do work well for them. Add to this that they can obilterate a unit with two or three salvos of spears, you can knock out the first unit that comes up to fight you, and move up more before engaging the next unit. Mean while you can pull in reinforcements without getting too bunched up at the bridge mouth.

  9. #9

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    I am forced to disagree - but it really depends on the opposition. The Mongol Skirmishers do HEAVY damage - and it appears that their shields DO work - to a point. They are hardly touched by crossbow fire, but arcing fire, such as from archers, still does heavy damage. My standard river defense is 4 SA in a 2 rank line with one at the far end set at 90 degrees/2 rank. Back that up with whatever melee units were available. Under that condition - the first few units across are the only ones that ever reset into formation - they do so, move toward the line and then break and run - making the following units more prone to rout as well. With the amount of firepower the archers are throwing out, its very rare for any unit to reach my line. Skirmishers have proven to be about equally vulnerable to this deathtrap as the rest of the units (Barring Heavy Cavalry). However, do NOT attempt this with xbowmen - as their range is a bit to short and against skirmishers they do very little damage.

    Hope this helps.

    BSM_Skkzarg
    BSM_Skkzarg
    "ARG when I'm Happy, ARG when I'm Sad, ARG when I'm good or bad. ARG!"
    "ARG to port! ARG to starboard! Arg from stem to stern! ARG!"

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