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Thread: Unit stats dev topic

  1. #1
    Harbinger of... saliva Member alpaca's Avatar
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    Default Unit stats dev topic

    This thread is supposed to serve as a base to discuss unit stats.

    First of all, let me quote Highlord_z0b talking about the general balance we're aiming for:
    The first thing is to move away from the -Paper, Scissors, Rock- mentality of Total War; Spears beat cavalry, Cavalry beat Swordsmen, Swords beat Spears. The reason for this is twofold;

    1) Sword units are not very historical, I'm not saying they didn't exist, but the vast majority of fighting was done with spears, even those unit that did have swords would have started with a spear to begin with and pulled out the sword if the spear broke or they wanted to throw it. The reason they were mentioned in historical texts is because they were the exception to the rule and it was assumed that everyone knew that they would have had a spear as well.
    Swords certainly weren't (and still aren't) an anti-spear weapon. They also aren't great at getting through armour compared with a spear.

    2) By removing the paper/scissors/rock mechanic of M2TW you force the player to use the other factors to win battle; terrain, morale, etc. In fact morale and strategy becomes the most important thing when you remove swordsmen from the equation. Outflanking the enemy becomes really important because you can no longer rely on throwing your heavy infantry at their spearmen.

    I'm not saying there won't be infantry, there certainly will be and some will wield swords, however they will be rare and therefore serve a different purpose. Non-spear infantry will have mixed one handed weapons and shields or will be 2 handed weapons like pikes and bills. The mixed one handed weapons will include maces, single handed axes and swords. They will be good against spearmen (generally think of them as being more trained, non-levy troops) however the Levy Script will ensure that they are non common so you cannot spam that unit to take out the AIs spear heavy army.

    My idea is that generally you would have spear infantry as standard (and a very large part of your feudal levies) and some other specialty troops depending on who you are and where you're mustering, plus the possibility of mercenaries.

    If there is an "infantry killer" it should be the two handed troops (billmen, halberdiers etc.) which would have a very high attack but their lack of shield would be their weakness (vulnerable to archers). However these troops should also have the anti-cavalry trait as well.
    And here are some stat propositions for weapons and armor:

    Weapons Attack Value

    Blade

    Knife 1
    Dagger/Hunter's Knife 2
    Short Sword/Scimitar 4
    Broad Sword/Long Sword/Sabre 4
    Two-Handed Sword 8

    Axes/Bludgeoning

    Club 4
    Axe/Mace 4 (AP)
    War Axe/War Hammer 4 (AP)
    Two-Handed Axe/War Hammer/Halberd/Billhook 8 (AP)

    Polearms

    Short Spear 4 (+2)
    Spear 4 (+4)
    Long Spear 4 (+6)
    Pike 8 (+8)

    Missiles

    Short Bow 2
    Bow 3
    Longbow/Recurve 4
    Composite Recurve 4
    Light Crossbow 6
    Heavy Crossbow 8
    Arbalest 10



    Armor Defense value

    Cloth 0
    Padded/Leather 5
    Light Mail/Chest Plate/Chest Lamellar 6
    Heavy Mail 8
    Partial Plate+Mail/Full Plate/Lamellar armor 10

    Helmets

    Leather Cap 1
    Padded Helm/Spangenhelm/Nasal Helmet 2
    Great Helm 3
    Bascinet 4

    Aventail (if applicable) 1

    Shields

    Buckler 5
    Targe/Small Steel Shield 6
    Kite Shield/Heater/Oval Shield 8


    I'll let them speak for themselves right now, feel free to ask questions or comment :)
    Last edited by alpaca; 10-11-2007 at 07:55.

  2. #2
    Harbinger of... saliva Member alpaca's Avatar
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    Default Re: Unit stats dev topic

    Well I wanted to keep everyone posted on things, so here's a small update that doesn't really fit elsewhere so I put it here:

    We don't have any extensive research data on most factions' units and I neither have the time, resources or even the ability to conclude it myself.
    Therefore I decided that to at least have something playable, I'll create a very generic unit roster (spearmen, archers, crossbowmen, light cav, heavy cav) available for all factions so that we can test the other features properly.
    If you feel like doing any research work, even small amounts of stuff are welcome (as long as you use decent sources :thumbsup2 )

  3. #3

    Default Re: Unit stats dev topic

    The unit stats for weapon values look seemingly balanced. only play testing could see how balanced they are. i like the idea of removing the 'paper/rock/scissors' idea. im curious as to how 'spearmen' like units would cope in 'close' melee with a sword/axe unit with this kind of thinking. or are spear-like units equipped with a sword/dagger/axe/mace etc for 'close melee combat'. if so, then will it be possible to show those statistics as well. what i mean is, spear units are great against a calvary's initial charge (or infantry's), but how would they fare once in close melee if they are only using a long spear versus a short sword (which is ideal for close melee)?

    or would a spear-like units defense 'skill' be the 'key' in showing such statitistics???

    do you see what i am getting at?
    "Crom, I have never prayed to you before. I have no tongue for it. No one, not even you, will remember if we were good men or bad. Why we fought, and why we died. All that matters is that today, two stood against many. Valor pleases you, so grant me this one request. Grant me revenge!
    And if you do not listen, the HELL with you
    !"

    Conan, "Conan The Barbarian"

  4. #4
    EB annoying hornet Member bovi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Unit stats dev topic

    How would you portray relative attack/defence skill of units using the same weapon? Lethality? It would likely be precise enough for game balance, but the player won't be able to see how the Geek Swordsmen are better than the Nerd Swordsmen ingame. Perhaps the other way around, have a set lethality for the weapons and adjust the attack/defence skill values according to how comparatively good they were?

    I agree armour should be a constant per type, unless one faction were specifically better at making some kind of armour.

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  5. #5
    Harbinger of... saliva Member alpaca's Avatar
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    Default Re: Unit stats dev topic

    Quote Originally Posted by bovi
    How would you portray relative attack/defence skill of units using the same weapon? Lethality? It would likely be precise enough for game balance, but the player won't be able to see how the Geek Swordsmen are better than the Nerd Swordsmen ingame. Perhaps the other way around, have a set lethality for the weapons and adjust the attack/defence skill values according to how comparatively good they were?

    I agree armour should be a constant per type, unless one faction were specifically better at making some kind of armour.
    Lethality (or skeleton compensation factor) has been removed in M2TW, or rather the code isn't hooked up. A programmer did a code-lookup and said the code wasn't used. My tests suggest the same.

    So we will still have an additional unit skill both in defense and attack which will be added to the stats. I might even lower them a bit (or raise defense even more) to slow battles, but that'll have to be done through testing.

    In fact I think that spears weren't worse weapons for melee than swords or other shorter weapons (well Urnamma gave me a metaphorical slap on the back of my head for having different stats earlier). They are a bit more clumsy but you have a larger range with them. Swords were probably more of a status symbol, axes are very unbalanced weapons which makes them pretty bad to use unless they are specifically designed with a large counter-weight and then they are very heavy, so they are definitely not better than spears. The same goes for maces to some extent, depending on the weight of the head I guess - you can deal severe blows but if you blow the blow, parrying is not an option.

    All in all spears (as padded armor as I was also corrected by Urnamma), are probably somewhat under-estimated. Don't forget that one of the most effective melee units in the antiquity, the Phalanx, was basically a spear unit.

    The main grudge I have is that pikes in M2TW suck so severely because the units will just switch to their secondary weapons so soon.

  6. #6
    EB annoying hornet Member bovi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Unit stats dev topic

    No lethality? Gah! No wonder battles in M2TW go so fast and cavalry charges are instagibs. I would suggest overall relatively high defense values then.

    I thought the attack values listed for the various weapons were the total attack value. Adding attack skill makes it more a guideline, which is quite okay.

    The missile weapons seem extremely powerful compared to the armour values. They're mitigated by the fairly high shield values, but flank attacks will be carnage. Also considering all the guys fire while the melee guys only fight with the first row, missiles in general seem to be overpowered. As the crossbow/arbalest are highly armour piercing and the missile is not always lethal (hits to nonvital parts for instance), perhaps it would be better to have the attack values fairly low and give them ap instead. Or is that too not in use any longer?

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  7. #7
    Harbinger of... saliva Member alpaca's Avatar
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    Default Re: Unit stats dev topic

    Quote Originally Posted by bovi
    No lethality? Gah! No wonder battles in M2TW go so fast and cavalry charges are instagibs. I would suggest overall relatively high defense values then.

    I thought the attack values listed for the various weapons were the total attack value. Adding attack skill makes it more a guideline, which is quite okay.

    The missile weapons seem extremely powerful compared to the armour values. They're mitigated by the fairly high shield values, but flank attacks will be carnage. Also considering all the guys fire while the melee guys only fight with the first row, missiles in general seem to be overpowered. As the crossbow/arbalest are highly armour piercing and the missile is not always lethal (hits to nonvital parts for instance), perhaps it would be better to have the attack values fairly low and give them ap instead. Or is that too not in use any longer?
    Well I'm not quite sure what to do with missiles. I kind of like giving the shield a huge effect on them and I want to lower the accuracy in general so that missiles become more of an area attack weapon than a trueshot weapon (except for crossbow-style weapons). I had hoped to give crossbows a much longer reload time to compensate for their high stats and good accuracy.
    Archery units in M2TW aren't particularly effective when standing behind your lines unless they can get a clear view on the enemy. I think that the physics engine slows arrows down a bit after flying for a while (at least their effectiveness severely decreases when they use high angles), but I'm not sure about that, it's just a gut feeling.

    And both melee and ranged units are supposed to tire quickly which means that neither will archers stand behind the lines the whole time just shooting (which will also be limited by ammo) nor will additional melee units just stand around behind your lines. Instead you should have to keep reserves to replace tired units.

    All of this is highly hypothetical though as so far I didn't do any proper in-game unit tests.

  8. #8
    Magistrate of Pirkka Member Sebastian Seth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Unit stats dev topic

    Just an idea...

    Medieval 2 Total War, has a small short coming on the unit attack stats. So when we do a list of weapons and their attack value to suit the game, we only look one number. Where as it should be two numbers: 1. Attack Rating of the weapon (Damage) and 2. Attack rating of the man wielding the weapon (Skill). So when counting/estimating these attack values, it could be better that we make exell sheet where you have weapons attack values and the skill level of the man count seperately and then together. Then just put the counted value there. There is similar thing in defence ratings of M2TW. Theres skill, armor and shield values seperately.

    Quick example:
    Knife: 1
    Sword: 3
    Long Sword 5

    Peasant: 1
    Militia: 3
    Veteran 5

    So now having veteran wielding sword vs peasant wielding long sword = 5+3 vs 1+5 = the veteran would win by two points due experience.
    So then having militia with knife vs peasant with long sword = 3+1 vs 1+5 = the peasant would win by 2 points due better gear.

    (Example is just random numbers. But made it quick to clarify the idea.)

    Same can be used with the crossbows and ranged weapons... in a hands of unskilled peasant they are not that effective. Chevrons (experience) changes it tought.
    Humans very easy to make and very hard to understand. - SS

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