Author Topic: Equipment  (Read 9199 times)

Ratharing

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Equipment
« on: July 09, 2015, 07:01:27 PM »

I have noticed some odd things regarding equipment.

First one is regarding the pike, which has the name of a long spear wielded by infantry but has the description and image of a halberd, requires less time to train than spears, and can be wielded by cavalry.

If you mean a pike which becomes a lance in the hands of cavalry then the image and the description should be fixed. I'd also say that it would require more training than a spear.
The pike becoming a lance should also considerably change it, since it shifts from defensive and charge-countering to its opposite. It also requires more training.

If you mean a halberd then it has no place on a horseman. Same if it is a pike which does not translate into a lance.

If you mean a generic polearm, then we have the first scenario, but with even lesser requirement for training. Most polearms were improvised peasant tools.

Second one is regarding the spear, which is derived from the concern about pikes. While you can argue that its higher training than axes reflect the fact they are less versatile tools in daily life (only for hunting, opposed to axes, or swing weapons, which had more uses), you cannot deny the difference is small, and that spears were widely used throughout history and before. When considering short spears, you can hardly go simpler than that.

Third one is the javelin: one of the early skirmishers' favorite. Despite being an extremely simple weapon, for some reason it is set to be built at the same level than swords. They should be available earlier, not unlike the like the spear and axe. In fact, if the pike is actually a halberd, it would make sense to switch it with the javelin on the building it is made from.

Forth one is the shield. Very versatile and quite widespread, this generic category fits almost anywhere. Almost. It has no place on a polearm-wielding soldier, and even less on an archer. Those should not be compatible.

Fifth is the longbow, which should not be associated with horses. Mounted archers, in fact, should have an increased training time, for it's certainly not equal to the separate times of bow and horsemanship training, but a (very powerful) skill into itself.

Gustav Kuriga

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Re: Equipment
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2015, 08:30:49 PM »
Forth one is the shield. Very versatile and quite widespread, this generic category fits almost anywhere. Almost. It has no place on a polearm-wielding soldier, and even less on an archer. Those should not be compatible.

Fifth is the longbow, which should not be associated with horses. Mounted archers, in fact, should have an increased training time, for it's certainly not equal to the separate times of bow and horsemanship training, but a (very powerful) skill into itself.

I want you to look up three things for me, Geonese crossbowmen, phalanx pikemen of macedon, and japanese mounted archers. Then please, come back with your insistence of shields being incompatible with polearms and archers, as well as longbows being out of place on horse archers.

Ratharing

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Re: Equipment
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2015, 09:11:52 PM »
I want you to look up three things for me, Geonese crossbowmen, phalanx pikemen of macedon, and japanese mounted archers. Then please, come back with your insistence of shields being incompatible with polearms and archers, as well as longbows being out of place on horse archers.

Point taken regarding the pavise (shield for crossbowmen). These were, though, structures you left mounted in the ground to provide cover while you reloaded, or held by a servant. Different in a higher degree than the one between kite shields and bucklers.
Even with that considered, they made sense for the reloading time was long. With bows, however, they makes less sense. Cumbersome for less benefit.

On polearms, it will depend on what "pike" means. Pikemen traditionally did not use shields, in the same way halberdiers and other polearm-wielders didn't. It would make their axe/hook/blade parts rather useless. Spears of varying sizes, though, did very often tend to accompany shields.
Even considering the sarissa equal to the pike, I can't think of an instance other than the ancient phalanx in which it was used with a shield. And that tactic was as outdated as the war chariots in medieval times.

The only similarity between the samurai Yumi and the English longbow was the size, period. Its draw strength was otherwise much, much lower, even in comparison with much shorter bows. It would count for all purposes as the light bows described by the in-game short bow.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2015, 09:16:03 PM by IMVader »

netforce10

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Re: Equipment
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2015, 10:20:47 PM »
Wasn't it English doctrine to use the horses to get into position and dismount when they are ready to fire(or prepare for battle incase of non archers)? that would mean that it doesn't take longer to train and in fact it would be easier as you don't have to learn how to use a horse in battle but only how to ride a horse normally.

Tom

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Re: Equipment
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2015, 11:11:30 PM »
We are not simulating too perfectly. The spear is, in fact, a better weapon in this game than the pike, hence the longer training times. The idea is that like a sword you can just give it to someone and they can swing it around, but it takes training to become good in it. With a spear, more than with a pike, which was developed in part because of its simplicity.

Yes, some equipment should not combine, but the game simply doesn't check for such things.

Roran Hawkins

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Re: Equipment
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2015, 11:26:31 PM »
And that tactic was as outdated as the war chariots in medieval times.
The reason pike phanaxes fell out of use was because professional heavy infantry was more difficult to train, equip and maintain than self-sustaining heavy cavalry land-owners. And those were pretty damn effective against anything but prepared professional heavy infantry.


Anyhow, I do agree with you on the pike/halberd/shield and horse thing though. I see the 'pike' as any kind of specialized polearm designed for war that's not a simple metal point on a stick (aka, spear) yet most of those are always two-handed weapons.


Longbows used from horseback really means any heavy warbow used from horseback (shortbow being any hunting bow or light warbow).


Warning - while you were typing a new reply has been posted. You may wish to review your post.

Wait a minute, spears are better than pikes...? I don't get how a 'simple' point on a stick would beat a polearm specialized for warfare. Is it better at all experience levels? I mean, an experienced man wielding a spear would be able to take on an experienced man with a halberd or poleaxe (or pike, but then it'd be a formation weapon) but he'd definitely be at a disadvantage when fighting armoured foes.


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Ratharing

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Re: Equipment
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2015, 11:37:52 PM »
We are not simulating too perfectly. The spear is, in fact, a better weapon in this game than the pike, hence the longer training times. The idea is that like a sword you can just give it to someone and they can swing it around, but it takes training to become good in it. With a spear, more than with a pike, which was developed in part because of its simplicity.

Yes, some equipment should not combine, but the game simply doesn't check for such things.

Any chance we can make things a little more realistic? Weapons in real life largely played a rock-papers-scissor game with somewhat complex interactions. I'm sure a system both simple for casuals and deep for those that dig it can be achieved. I would not mind throwing some more elaborate suggestions, but I'd have to put some extra research, if you were willing to consider some changes.

The reason pike phanaxes fell out of use was because professional heavy infantry was more difficult to train, equip and maintain than self-sustaining heavy cavalry land-owners. And those were pretty damn effective against anything but prepared professional heavy infantry.papers

Actually, pike formations were used until firearms came into play and turned heavy cavalry obsolete. They were the best counter for them.

Unless you mean ancient phalanxes, which were outclassed by another class of heavy infantry (Roman), not by cavalry. Mainly due to the lack of flexibility, specially important in uneven terrain.

Roran Hawkins

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Re: Equipment
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2015, 12:02:57 AM »
Actually, pike formations were used until firearms came into play and turned heavy cavalry obsolete. They were the best counter for them.

Unless you mean ancient phalanxes, which were outclassed by another class of heavy infantry (Roman), not by cavalry. Mainly due to the lack of flexibility, specially important in uneven terrain.


The ancient phalanx fell out of use not because it was inferior to Roman-style heavy infantry but because its culture and the nations/realms using them were assimilated. They were not inferior to Roman-style heavy infantry either. They were vastly superior in a frontal fight to a Roman-style heavy infantry unit, and their weaknesses were inflexibility and weakness at the flanks. The fact that the Roman leaders managed to exploit their enemy's troops weaknesses with their own units' strengths does not make the phalanx a bad unit. It means the Roman leaders had a better grasp of warfare than their opponents.


The main point why pike phalanxes, and any other heavy, professional infantry for that matter fell out of use near the late antiquity was the rise of heavy cavalry and the demise of generally centralized and powerful states. Professional, trained, well-equipped heavy infantry is and always was equal or superior to heavy cavalry, but the problem was maintaining them. You would need specialized tactics, training, uniform weapon production, a good system to keep your units maintained and everything. All very expensive, and intensive. Where heavy cavalry is similarly expensive, they don't need nearly as much training to be as effective, as they did not have to rely on their teamwork, cohesion and formation fighting as much.


Compared to heavy cavalry, especially once the saddle and stirrups became more used in the West making horsemanship an easier skill to learn (yet not all that much more effective in actual combat), heavy infantry was simply too expensive. It required massive efforts from a well-organized state to raise and maintain them, where heavy cavalry could be comparably easily drawn from local landowners (aka insert feudal system) who could rely more on personal skill rather than formation fighting.


Once states began centralizing more again heavy infantry once again appeared on the battlefield (aka, golden century of the pike, 16th century but also the rise of the man-at-arms in the 15th century). An added bonus was that guns made even cheap and relatively untrained infantry formations a fearsome force on the battlefield, which was the demise of the expensive knight in shining armour on the battlefield as the main striking force.




I don't have time/am too lazy to go find sources for this though. I'm also dragging the conversation off-topic. Apologies.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2015, 12:06:17 AM by Roran Hawkins »
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Tom

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Re: Equipment
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2015, 12:31:08 AM »
Wait a minute, spears are better than pikes...?

I looked it up in the code and frankly, I was surprised as well. Don't know what I was thinking there.

De-Legro

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Re: Equipment
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2015, 12:40:16 AM »
I looked it up in the code and frankly, I was surprised as well. Don't know what I was thinking there.


I was surprised when I was testing this as well. I am now very sad the cat is out of the bag, do you realise how many men died in the name of science to determine this?
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Re: Equipment
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2015, 01:43:50 AM »
So that's why my Spear cavalry kicks serious butt.


Though, when I reasoned on the IRC, it made sense to me that a Pike would have better defensive bonuses (assuming it was actually a halberd). Is this true, as compared to the spear? In fact, I reasoned that the Pike would have the /best/ defensive bonuses out of all the weapons.

De-Legro

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Re: Equipment
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2015, 01:58:03 AM »
So that's why my Spear cavalry kicks serious butt.


Though, when I reasoned on the IRC, it made sense to me that a Pike would have better defensive bonuses (assuming it was actually a halberd). Is this true, as compared to the spear? In fact, I reasoned that the Pike would have the /best/ defensive bonuses out of all the weapons.


Testing so far has not suggested to me that weapons change effectiveness based upon attacking/defending, apart from Archers losing massive effectiveness against decent walls.
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Ratharing

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Re: Equipment
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2015, 03:15:17 AM »
From what I learn about equipment, there should really be a rework. The idea of top-tier units that are simply superior to any kind of other units is pretty sad. Same for the idea of certain kinds of soldiers which would make sense in real life in many contexts, but are simply ineffective or directly impossible in here (Spanish tercios, Roman legionaries+auxiliaries, Anglo-Saxon shieldwalls, Irish gallowglass+kern+light cav, Parthian shot+cataphract, Swiss Lansknechts and so on).

Tweeznax

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Re: Equipment
« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2015, 03:35:40 AM »
No simulation is perfect. Tom said in another thread somewhere the combat system may get a rework at some point. As long as you take the different weapon types to be abstractions, the system is simple but not broken, IMO.

Tom

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Re: Equipment
« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2015, 07:45:06 AM »
I've updated the balance now.

The combat system is not meant as a perfect simulation, but as an abstraction. On the level we simulate, tiny details would get lost anyway, so no point in coding them.

Some kind of limited rock-paper-scissors can be useful, I agree, making some weapons useful against certain other types. I might add this later. I would like to have a weapon or two that defeats shields, or horses, or heavy armour, for example.