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Thread: Weaker gunpowder?

  1. #1

    Default Weaker gunpowder?

    Do we really need or even want weaker gunpowder units in the game?

    As it stands right now, to get musketeers you have to invest nearly 25000 florins for ONE city to be able to produce them. To move them to the front in a timely manner, this also means that you have to maintain a network of ships. For their extremely high cost, gunpowder units aren't really that powerful, are they?

    As it stands right now, gunpowder also lacks any real armor, which means that they still take casualties to bows... but a weaker gunpowder, as far as I can see it, would leave us at MTW the original... with gunpowder infantry a novel weapon that isn't worth the cost and effort to put on the battlefield.

    Shouldn't arqubusiers replace bows? Shouldn't muskets be more powerful than crossbows? Thoughts?
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  2. #2
    Στωικισμός Member Bijo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weaker gunpowder?

    I agree with most what you said.


    What I think about it is very simple: they fixed the reforming issue; a good thing. And that's all there is to fix about them.
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  3. #3
    Praeparet bellum Member Quillan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weaker gunpowder?

    They don't specify, so they might be talking about reducing the power of gunpowder artillery somewhat. I don't have a problem with muskets. By the time it gets to the point where they can be built, if you don't have them you should have some really experienced pavise crossbow/longbow/horse archer/long range foot archer troops you can use to oppose them.

    However, some of the artillery is extreme. How many complaints have you read about the Timurid cannonphants? I haven't fought them, nor have I played a faction that had serpentines, so I can't say from personal experience. But I have used culverins and basilisks, and they are VERY good units, even in field battles. They aren't super accurate, but mostly the AI troops are all in one area so you'll take out something on a lot of the shots.
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  4. #4
    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weaker gunpowder?

    They are more or less only powerful because the passive AI is standing around doing nothing, if they get rushed by melee fighters, they either have to retreat or will be crushed.Making them worse makes them obsolete.


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  5. #5

    Default Re: Weaker gunpowder?

    That's a good point Husar. If the AI will now basically bum rush you instead of going through the whole missile duel thing, then muskets will need to retain all the power they currently have to be worth it.

    As it stands right now, I can barely get off two volleys of musket fire before a bunch of screaming cavalry charge through and decimate my muskets.
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  6. #6
    Ricardus Insanusaum Member Bob the Insane's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weaker gunpowder?

    Well I basically agree witht he OP but I will reserve judgement until we see how effective they are once the update one is applied...

    It is possible they will become excessively effective and we would have demanded their nerfing!!

  7. #7
    Relentless Bughunter Senior Member FactionHeir's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weaker gunpowder?

    I suppose they are nerfing the gunpowder units because some other TW community whined loudly about it. At least there has been little crying out about too powerful gunpowder units here and they must have gotten that idea from somewhere.

    I think gunpowder units are fine as they are. Easy targets but if they hit, they devastate morale (In a custom battle my janissary muskets hit some genoese crossbows and they instantly routed without taking too many casualties), as they should, considering that they pierce armor and would frighten old fashioned knights, who suddenly realize that their armor isn't gonna help and actually even hinder them.
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  8. #8
    Member Member Barry Fitzgerald's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weaker gunpowder?

    Gunpowder units seem about right...sure they can do damage..but bows are faster..so it isnt a problem.

    As mentioned before...once the passive AI is fixed...should be ok...balanced.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Weaker gunpowder?

    The first canon (bombards) were used in siege warfare no earlier than 1314, and the first muskets entered battle around 1550. Lances, pikes, and swords were still the weapons of choice at the beginning of the Thirty Years War... (1618).
    Not to mention the first muskets were heavy, slow to reload and and could not be fired without a rest.

    I see no need for anything other then bombards in the game and IMO they kinda detract from the medieval setting.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Weaker gunpowder?

    What about multiplayer battles?

    Influence:

  11. #11

    Default Re: Weaker gunpowder?

    Gunpowder units do not need to get gimped. They however need some fixes.

    Gunpowder units should not be weakened because:

    1. Siege engines do more damage, ripping through the ranks with their fireballs, taking out 10-20 at a time than cannons do with their explosive rounds. Btw, siege engines were not used in field battles nor did they use fiery ammos as so pictured in Hollywood movies.
    2. Handheld firearms should be so “devastating” as they are now making armors useless once they hit their targets.

    The prblem with Arquebus and Musket units: They have the tendency to line themselves perpendicular to the line of sight toward their target. At loose formation and stretched line of two-rank deep, they often turn the entire line to shoot, causing the one of their flanks to run into the approaching enemy line. I’m sure this is a frustration for many users having to go back time after time to realign their musket/arq units parallel to the enemy line and to theirs. I’m sure the problem with this is due to the fact that, unlike archers or crossbowmen, they only shoot volleys, which means that everyone in the line has to shoot, therefore all men in the line must be in range and perpendicular to the line of fire. Individual soldiers in arquebus and musket units should be able to fire at their own discretion as do other range units.

    With regard to balancing issues, CA should look into the following:

    1. Reduce the impact and accuracy of handheld gun powder weapons according to distance.
    2. Slightly increase the amount of time it takes to reload guns. This makes for use of firearms more of a challenge in that it is not used to decimate enemy units but to create a negative morale effect by the sheer number of men it brings down after a volley. And if one wants to increase the rate of fire they would have to make their ranks deeper for rolling lines of volleys, sacrificing their maximum fire effect of created by stretching out the line. The rate of fire it stands now is too unrealistic for the kind of fire arms used during that period, which negates the use of any other range weapons upon discovery of gunpowder.
    Last edited by BeeSting; 12-14-2006 at 22:32.
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  12. #12
    Confiscator of Swords Member dopp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weaker gunpowder?

    My connection to the Guild is messed up so I didn't spot this thread until now. I also can't quote properly.

    Handheld firearms have exactly the same AP stat as longbows and crossbows. The only difference I can see is higher attack, and not that much higher compared to crossbows. Ingame the kill rate from a good volley is about the same as crossbows.

    I think impact and accuracy of all missile weapons should increase with distance (no laser death at 300 yards please, even cannonballs lose power over distance) but it doesn't seem possible with the current game engine. The gunners are not armored like in MTW, so shorter range than everyone else will result in them getting slaughtered.

    Gun reload time is fine atm but this may change once the reforming issue is sorted out. Playing them on skirmish mode (ie they use 'true' reload time) gives a RoF of around 7 seconds per shot, about 2/3 that of a crossbow. Considering that only half the unit gets to shoot at any time, that's pretty decent. A missile unit that takes casualties has to constantly reform and this really kills gunpowder units vs archers since they must all be ready in order to fire.

    If they want to double the cost for multiplayer so as to reflect the difficulty of getting them in campaign then fine. If they want to add separate event triggers in to slow down their appearance in the campaign then fine. But please don't nerf them just because someone produces a 13-page dissertation on how he couldn't hit a barn door with his pal's homemade hackbutt or something.

  13. #13
    Member Member Musashi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weaker gunpowder?

    Quote Originally Posted by ScrapTower
    The first canon (bombards) were used in siege warfare no earlier than 1314, and the first muskets entered battle around 1550. Lances, pikes, and swords were still the weapons of choice at the beginning of the Thirty Years War... (1618).
    Not to mention the first muskets were heavy, slow to reload and and could not be fired without a rest.

    I see no need for anything other then bombards in the game and IMO they kinda detract from the medieval setting.
    So don't use them?

    I mean, the AI almost never fields them, it's not like you're forced to use them or perish...
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  14. #14

    Default Re: Weaker gunpowder?

    Quote Originally Posted by ScrapTower
    The first canon (bombards) were used in siege warfare no earlier than 1314, and the first muskets entered battle around 1550. Lances, pikes, and swords were still the weapons of choice at the beginning of the Thirty Years War... (1618).
    Not to mention the first muskets were heavy, slow to reload and and could not be fired without a rest.

    I see no need for anything other then bombards in the game and IMO they kinda detract from the medieval setting.
    But the technology was indeed available.

    In my opinion, the whole theme of total war games is rewriting history. Not something crazy like spaceships and lazers, but making different decisions than the leaders of the time. If military leaders didn't want to implement gunpowder weapons in their armies for some reason or the other until about 1600, that doesn't mean that the player should be hampered by said decision and not allowed to embrace gunpowder technology sooner.

    As far as I've read, there haven't been any huge technological advancements with gunpowder until the late 1700's to the mid 1800's. The main reason that gunpowder was so effective was because of drilling and combat techniques. Drilling soldiers day in and day out to reload their weapons as second nature and with great speed was one reason the british musketeers were so effective. Napoleon's regiments were successful because of their formation and volley fire, coupled with large unit sizes to add to the morale (and subsequently cohesion, which then improves the volley fire). None of these are inventions in the conventional sense, but new tactics. Who's to say that in your game you didn't have a spanish general who realized the power of black powder and decided to drill his soldiers in their use constantly, explaining the appearance of muskets earlier than history tells.


    So like I said, half of the fun of total war is that I get to re-write history within reasonable limits, not stick to the limitations that history provides.
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  15. #15

    Default Re: Weaker gunpowder?

    Quote Originally Posted by Musashi
    So don't use them?

    I mean, the AI almost never fields them, it's not like you're forced to use them or perish...
    Im more of an MP player, but yeah the AI hardly fields them so it not much of an issue for me. Just thought Id throw in my two cents. Gunpowder Total War might not be a bad idea for a future title.

  16. #16
    Darkside Medic Senior Member rory_20_uk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weaker gunpowder?

    I would personally like to see gunpowder units having some use, and I heartily agree that merely as history didn't see classes of weaponry appearing until a certain date doesn't mean that it was impossible for it to have happened.

    I would also like to see such things as pavise gunpowder units, as well as units with some armour. Merely as they wern't made doesn't mean they couldn't have been. Maybe they're expensive and not that good... but that doesn't mean that some crackpot leader wouldn't use them.

    On an aside, is there a limit to the number of units that can be in the game?

    In reality, units who fire in lines would have fired even if the range was not exact - how would they know otherwise? The order is given, and the adrenaline is such they'd fire at any range and wouldn't reform.

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  17. #17
    Member Member geala's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weaker gunpowder?

    Quote Originally Posted by ScrapTower
    The first canon (bombards) were used in siege warfare no earlier than 1314, and the first muskets entered battle around 1550. Lances, pikes, and swords were still the weapons of choice at the beginning of the Thirty Years War... (1618).
    Not to mention the first muskets were heavy, slow to reload and and could not be fired without a rest.

    I see no need for anything other then bombards in the game and IMO they kinda detract from the medieval setting.

    A short time before I visited a historical museum in Nuremberg. There is a picture of a battle in the year 1502 ("Battle in the woods") between the town of Nuremberg and one margrave. The picture is contemporary and shows a lot of soldiers in different actions. I studied it for a long time. One can see halberdiers, pikemen and diverse forms of light and heavy cavalry. One can also see a lot of arquebusiers. But there is not even one soldier with a crossbow or a bow.

    In a German medieval book called Mittelalterliches Hausbuch from around 1480 you can see a lot of ranged units, crossbowmen and arquebusiers. The latter are the majority by far.

    Could be continued.

    What I want to say is that the use of gunpowder units spread very fast at the end of the medieval time. The guns were not nearly as clumsy and ineffective as some people might imagine. Like it or not (I don't like it), bow and crossbow (except in England, which was rather backward till 1580) speedily became second class weapons.

    As M2TW has a timeframe till 1530 and the conquest of the Americas is part of the game it should include gun units and it should include useful and effective gun units. They should be even a bit stronger than now, maybe not in MP where history counts even less.

    That M2TW fields the musket too early is one of the annoying unhistorical settings, they should have used only arquebuses but... nothing against movable flame-throwing machinegun trebuchets.

    1618 the musket was well established. Firepower, following the modern Dutch-German doctrine, was already seen as one of the most important factors on the battlefield. The coming war unfortunately proved that to be true.
    Last edited by geala; 12-15-2006 at 07:44.
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  18. #18
    Necro Lenin Member Koval's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weaker gunpowder?

    Has anyone had any luck using the explosive shot on the Culverins. It seems that any time i use it, the cannons fire everywhere but where they're supposed to. And personally, i think the non-explosive cannonballs are more devastating than their explosive counterparts, bot to mention that they actually hit a lot more frequently.
    So, i take it that its a morale draining thing only, yes? And if so, how good is it at scaring the opposition?
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  19. #19
    Member Member geala's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weaker gunpowder?

    The use of exploding shells seems to lower the accuracy of the canons a lot. But as there was almost no use of such exploding shells before 1850 except in mortars I'm not very irritated by this.
    The queen commands and we'll obey
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  20. #20
    Confiscator of Swords Member dopp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weaker gunpowder?

    There were some exploding shells fired from cannon, they just weren't very good (or used very much). No HE to make them really deadly. The shells in the game have a very small blast radius to reflect this, I guess.

    I think they're going about this the wrong way, nerfing firearms instead of increasing their cost, but we'll have to wait and see what they intend to do. Hopefully they'll say something more than just "reduced effectiveness of gunpowder units", and I hope they don't change anything we can't mod back if we disagree with their balancing (ie change the animation files or something). It's a real pity, since gunpowder is one of the things that sets M2TW apart from MTW for me.
    Last edited by dopp; 12-15-2006 at 14:41.

  21. #21
    Praeparet bellum Member Quillan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weaker gunpowder?

    The most damage I've ever caused with an exploding cannon shells was when one of the wildly inaccurate shots from a basilisk landed in one of my own Tercio pike units! 18 men dead! Like you, I mostly find the regular balls to be more effective, although I can say from a rare experience that a direct hit from an exploding cannonball will take out a trebuchet just like a direct hit from a solid shot does.
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  22. #22

    Default Re: Weaker gunpowder?

    I have just done a test battle using Byz peasant archers against Eng arques.
    The are killing each other at the same rate. Is this right?

  23. #23
    Praeparet bellum Member Quillan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weaker gunpowder?

    Probably about right. A 90 man unit of archers will fire 90 shots at a time. A 90 man unit of arquebusiers will fire only the front rank. You'll see more arrows than lead balls, so roughly yes, about the same rate of killing. Of course, it depends on a lot of other factors. Also, make the range a lot closer and see what happens. The archers will probably rout at the 1st or second volley. Gunpowder weapons scare the bejesus out of enemy units.
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  24. #24
    Member Member Gustav II Adolf's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weaker gunpowder?

    I┤m worried about "less devastating gunpowder units". I really hope they dont destroy this game by making gunpowder units less usefull and less fun. What is the point of evolving into that era if you dont get anything from it. I love seeing cannonballs smashing through enemy units, having muskets thunder and cracking enemy lines. They could instead reduce effectivness with super mega fire exploding catapults and trebuchets.

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  25. #25
    Confiscator of Swords Member dopp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weaker gunpowder?

    I hope a dev reads this thread and drops this "nerf gunpowder" idea. If they change the animation files (to increase the reload time) or the projectile lethality itself (if it even exists as such) then it can't be modded back easily for those who actually like the gunpowder units.

    The arquebusiers and musketeers are identical in stats except that muskets have 50% more range. The rationale for this (as I understand it) is that the 'musket' was originally a large, heavy weapon fired from a stand (they don't have stands ingame for gameplay reasons, just like the pavise crossbowmen don't prop their shields in front of them but carry them on their backs instead), while the arquebus is a lighter and handier weapon. The 'real' musket is a much later (and lighter) development owing more to the arquebus than the heavier weapon. So the musketeers might be the game's equivalent of riflemen or sharpshooters, while the arquebusiers are the line infantry.

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