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Questions, Conduct, & Feedback => Conduct & Design Discussion => Topic started by: Ratharing on July 09, 2015, 07:01:27 PM

Title: Equipment
Post by: Ratharing 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.
Title: Re: Equipment
Post by: Gustav Kuriga 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.
Title: Re: Equipment
Post by: Ratharing 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.
Title: Re: Equipment
Post by: netforce10 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.
Title: Re: Equipment
Post by: Tom 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.
Title: Re: Equipment
Post by: Roran Hawkins 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.


Title: Re: Equipment
Post by: Ratharing 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.
Title: Re: Equipment
Post by: Roran Hawkins 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.
Title: Re: Equipment
Post by: Tom 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.
Title: Re: Equipment
Post by: De-Legro 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?
Title: Re: Equipment
Post by: Weaver 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.
Title: Re: Equipment
Post by: De-Legro 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.
Title: Re: Equipment
Post by: Ratharing 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).
Title: Re: Equipment
Post by: Tweeznax 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.
Title: Re: Equipment
Post by: Tom 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.
Title: Re: Equipment
Post by: De-Legro on July 10, 2015, 08:09:21 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.


Javelin are actually quite good in real life to foul up shields, the Romans in particular were known for that tactic. Pikes are the obvious choice against horses. Heavy armour is harder, pole arms and blunt impact weapons might fit the bill, and very powerful crossbows were developed in an escalation race against improving armour.
Title: Re: Equipment
Post by: Ratharing on July 10, 2015, 02:15:48 PM
I've updated the balance now.

Could you rename the Pike to "Halberd", for accuracy with the description and image?

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.

Axe & Javelin (Pilum) > Shield.
Spear & Pike > Horses
Halberd & Bill/Guisarme > Rider.
Maces, Hammers & Picks > Heavy Armor.

Just some to keep in mind.
Title: Re: Equipment
Post by: Gustav Kuriga on July 11, 2015, 04:26:18 AM

Javelin are actually quite good in real life to foul up shields, the Romans in particular were known for that tactic. Pikes are the obvious choice against horses. Heavy armour is harder, pole arms and blunt impact weapons might fit the bill, and very powerful crossbows were developed in an escalation race against improving armour.

It would make my masses of crossbowmen actually useful. :3
Title: Re: Equipment
Post by: Huntsmaster on July 11, 2015, 05:05:52 AM
I've updated the balance now.


Does this mean that my masses of pikes that I thought were better than spears are now in fact better than spears?
Title: Re: Equipment
Post by: FARevolution on July 11, 2015, 05:21:20 AM
Pikes has always been better than spears, which is now reflected in the game thanks to Tom's update.
Title: Re: Equipment
Post by: Roran Hawkins on July 11, 2015, 10:57:16 AM
Could you rename the Pike to "Halberd", for accuracy with the description and image?

Axe & Javelin (Pilum) > Shield.
Spear & Pike > Horses
Halberd & Bill/Guisarme > Rider.
Maces, Hammers & Picks > Heavy Armor.

Just some to keep in mind.
Javelins would do pretty awesome damage in general indeed.


Spears and pikes would indeed give you a bonus against horsemen, although I wish to add that the main effect of a cavalry charge is devastating morale of the defenders. Ideally a line of spearmen was already breaking before the xharge struck home. As such I'd say spearmen and pikemen to a lesser degree only receive a tangible anti-cavalry bonus at higher experience-levels, to display that they would be better-drilled,disciplined and would maintain formation in the face of such a charge.


Since I categorize halberds as specialized polearms under a pike, sure.


Maces, hammers, picks, and axes to a lesser degree are definitely good anti-armour weapons. However, they also come at a distinct disadvantage. Their short range make it harder to defend yourself while attacking the opponent adequately. It was for a reason that most maces etc were most often used by people dressed in adequate armour themselves, as that way they were largely immune to an opponent's glancing blows or even heavy blows, while their lunt or piercing weapon's strikes would strike with more effect than his opponent's sword for example. Troops using hammers, maces or picks should become vulnerable to high losses in melee if they don't have at least mail armour, and while not less lethal, their weapons are also less effective at rapidly incapacitating an unarmoured opponent compared to say a sword.
Summarized; better damage versus armour, slightly worse damage versus unarmoured, defence malus if the soldier isn't clad in decent armour himself, imo.



Title: Re: Equipment
Post by: Ratharing on July 14, 2015, 04:22:35 PM
Thanks for fixing the pike/halberd issue, Tom!  :)
Title: Re: Equipment
Post by: De-Legro on July 15, 2015, 12:50:29 AM
Javelins would do pretty awesome damage in general indeed.


Spears and pikes would indeed give you a bonus against horsemen, although I wish to add that the main effect of a cavalry charge is devastating morale of the defenders. Ideally a line of spearmen was already breaking before the xharge struck home. As such I'd say spearmen and pikemen to a lesser degree only receive a tangible anti-cavalry bonus at higher experience-levels, to display that they would be better-drilled,disciplined and would maintain formation in the face of such a charge.


Since I categorize halberds as specialized polearms under a pike, sure.


Maces, hammers, picks, and axes to a lesser degree are definitely good anti-armour weapons. However, they also come at a distinct disadvantage. Their short range make it harder to defend yourself while attacking the opponent adequately. It was for a reason that most maces etc were most often used by people dressed in adequate armour themselves, as that way they were largely immune to an opponent's glancing blows or even heavy blows, while their lunt or piercing weapon's strikes would strike with more effect than his opponent's sword for example. Troops using hammers, maces or picks should become vulnerable to high losses in melee if they don't have at least mail armour, and while not less lethal, their weapons are also less effective at rapidly incapacitating an unarmoured opponent compared to say a sword.
Summarized; better damage versus armour, slightly worse damage versus unarmoured, defence malus if the soldier isn't clad in decent armour himself, imo.


Spears are likely too short to give a real advantage against cav.
Title: Re: Equipment
Post by: Roran Hawkins on July 15, 2015, 01:39:42 AM

Spears are likely too short to give a real advantage against cav.


There is nowhere defined what the length of the spears in this game are. In either case, a closed infantry formation with spears will resist a cavalry charge better than one with axes or swords. I remember a nice read on the effect of cavalry charges and casualties on the charging and receiving side, and usually the knights suffered not insignificant casualties aswell when they frontall charged a formation that did not waver or break up before the charge struck home.
Title: Re: Equipment
Post by: De-Legro on July 15, 2015, 01:41:24 AM

There is nowhere defined what the length of the spears in this game are. In either case, a closed infantry formation with spears will resist a cavalry charge better than one with axes or swords. I remember a nice read on the effect of cavalry charges and casualties on the charging and receiving side, and usually the knights suffered not insignificant casualties aswell when they frontall charged a formation that did not waver or break up before the charge struck home.


Actually, a good shield wall will stop most cav charges. Horses do not like to charge towards a solid barrier and will shy from them.
Title: Re: Equipment
Post by: Roran Hawkins on July 15, 2015, 01:50:11 AM

Actually, a good shield wall will stop most cav charges. Horses do not like to charge towards a solid barrier and will shy from them.


That's been disproven aswell. A cavalry charge gets a herd mentality that will just crush straight over obstacles.
Title: Re: Equipment
Post by: Gustav Kuriga on July 15, 2015, 01:58:59 AM

That's been disproven aswell. A cavalry charge gets a herd mentality that will just crush straight over obstacles.

Proof please.
Title: Re: Equipment
Post by: De-Legro on July 15, 2015, 02:10:51 AM

That's been disproven aswell. A cavalry charge gets a herd mentality that will just crush straight over obstacles.


In the battle of Hasting the Norman cavalry was unable to penetrate the shield war many times. There is a reason that the heavy cavalry charge was reserved and used when the enemy started to waver.
Title: Re: Equipment
Post by: Gustav Kuriga on July 15, 2015, 03:35:16 AM

That's been disproven aswell. A cavalry charge gets a herd mentality that will just crush straight over obstacles.

Except every stampede of horses I've ever seen has them going around obstacles rather than through them. You know, because getting an injury is pretty much a death sentence for a wild animal, especially horses.
Title: Re: Equipment
Post by: Tweeznax on July 15, 2015, 04:04:13 AM
Put blinders on the horses and set their tails on fire. You will get through the shield wall. Best to have spare horses on hand!  ;D
Title: Re: Equipment
Post by: Roran Hawkins on July 15, 2015, 08:28:04 AM

In the battle of Hasting the Norman cavalry was unable to penetrate the shield war many times. There is a reason that the heavy cavalry charge was reserved and used when the enemy started to waver.


Because charging uphill whedre the horse can develop such magnicifent speed is always a good idea.


Proof please.


I can only remember this guy making a good point out of it, but I'm not sure anymore which videos. I remember reading it elsewhere, but for the hell of it I can't remember properly. I don't think this is the correct video, but you'll have to skim through. I think it was something where he quotes that book about 'British swordsmen of history' or whatever, talking about cavalry charges hitting an infantry formation square on etc. I'll look into it when I find more time.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdd-RKNr5f4 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdd-RKNr5f4)


E: I think it was this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7g9y9ScKjE
Title: Re: Equipment
Post by: Ratharing on December 22, 2015, 12:07:56 AM
So, reviving this thread and after seeing the weapon changes I would like to reformulate some of the requests:


Firstly, the javelin. It is currently made by the Weaponsmith, along with the mace and the halberd, making it an extremely costly one-use weapon. It would be much better if made in the blacksmith, along with axes and spears (much more similar to javelins than halberds).


Secondly, the mace and axe. I understand the introduction of the mace in order to balance things, but if we consider it as most of the things you can swing around and have a blunt hit (including short and long sticks, and blunt polearms) we might find it much simpler than most of the things you can swing around and have a cutting/chopping hit (including hatchets and poleaxes). My recommendation is that you rename the current mace with "axe", and the current axe with "mace", and describe them generically in such way.
That would make the mace<spear<axe<sword progression much more logical.
Title: Re: Equipment
Post by: De-Legro on December 22, 2015, 12:19:27 AM
So, reviving this thread and after seeing the weapon changes I would like to reformulate some of the requests:


Firstly, the javelin. It is currently made by the Weaponsmith, along with the mace and the halberd, making it an extremely costly one-use weapon. It would be much better if made in the blacksmith, along with axes and spears (much more similar to javelins than halberds).


Secondly, the mace and axe. I understand the introduction of the mace in order to balance things, but if we consider it as most of the things you can swing around and have a blunt hit (including short and long sticks, and blunt polearms) we might find it much simpler than most of the things you can swing around and have a cutting/chopping hit (including hatchets and poleaxes). My recommendation is that you rename the current mace with "axe", and the current axe with "mace", and describe them generically in such way.
That would make the mace<spear<axe<sword progression much more logical.

Tom equates the axe with a lumber axe, rather then a rare and specialised war axe, thus their low tier and poor effectiveness. Maces I can live with. In reality they are simple to make, but they are also extremely effective. For game balance moving them up into that tier make sense if we just look at performance.

Javelin are a pain. They are reasonably slow to accumulate, which given their 1 shot nature make them situational at best. Camp followers only carry 15 or so of them, making even small amounts of refills require significant baggage trains if you plan to use them in any significant numbers.
Title: Re: Equipment
Post by: Tom on December 22, 2015, 01:38:22 PM
Javelins are also quite powerful, and much faster to train than comparable multi-use ranged weapons.

I look at the statistics and I see that javelins are used quite a lot, so I don't think there is something wrong with them.

I look at a lot of numbers all the time to check. For example, I see that the longbow is much, much more popular than the shortbow, so I might have to do some rebalancing there soon. I see the shield is by far the most popular equipment, so I might change something there as well. I see leather armour is by far the most popular armour, which I consider fine.

Title: Re: Equipment
Post by: Weaver on December 22, 2015, 02:16:09 PM
Is there any chance we might ever get a basic and vague idea of what some of the equipment is good at. We only pick the popular things either because we are out of shields, or because we think that training time equates to effectiveness. We know nothing of any special things the equipment might do. Some transparency would be very welcome in diversifying equipment, as we have no certain or good way to test which is better, or what it does better.
Title: Re: Equipment
Post by: Lann on December 22, 2015, 02:46:48 PM
Exactly.  A little information in this regard would be very helpful.  Exactly how 'good' are javelins?  Is a single attack by javelins a lot better than arrows or bolts?  What advantage does a horse give?  Hell, I even question the effectiveness of short swords. If placed on a melee unit, do they boost their attack in melee or does that work only for ranged? Shields are easy to figure out because they give a +1 to your unit's defensive rating.  But all other equipment is kind of shrouded in obfuscation, so it's hard to figure out exactly how good (or bad...) they are or when to use them.  So many don't even try because of the time and uncertainty factor. 


Personally, I always felt the javelin made a better defensive weapon in this game.  Supplying them in the field is costly.  But if you can have wall defenders with them, then your melee units can support your ranged during a defensive siege and get resupplied after by the town they're sitting on.  I've had mixed success with this.  Offensively, it takes some time to get enough javelins with your camp followers so that you can resupply your men. 
Title: Re: Equipment
Post by: De-Legro on December 22, 2015, 03:28:56 PM
Javelins are also quite powerful, and much faster to train than comparable multi-use ranged weapons.

I look at the statistics and I see that javelins are used quite a lot, so I don't think there is something wrong with them.

I look at a lot of numbers all the time to check. For example, I see that the longbow is much, much more popular than the shortbow, so I might have to do some rebalancing there soon. I see the shield is by far the most popular equipment, so I might change something there as well. I see leather armour is by far the most popular armour, which I consider fine.

They were used a lot, for example they were standard equipment throughout Rheged. They no longer will be they are abandoning them for the simplicity and reliability of archers. That more then one thousand javelin infantry to be retrained.

Exactly.  A little information in this regard would be very helpful.  Exactly how 'good' are javelins?  Is a single attack by javelins a lot better than arrows or bolts?  What advantage does a horse give?  Hell, I even question the effectiveness of short swords. If placed on a melee unit, do they boost their attack in melee or does that work only for ranged? Shields are easy to figure out because they give a +1 to your unit's defensive rating.  But all other equipment is kind of shrouded in obfuscation, so it's hard to figure out exactly how good (or bad...) they are or when to use them.  So many don't even try because of the time and uncertainty factor. 


Personally, I always felt the javelin made a better defensive weapon in this game.  Supplying them in the field is costly.  But if you can have wall defenders with them, then your melee units can support your ranged during a defensive siege and get resupplied after by the town they're sitting on.  I've had mixed success with this.  Offensively, it takes some time to get enough javelins with your camp followers so that you can resupply your men. 

Short sword for archers increase their survivability significantly. I assume it is because they have some say of defending themselves in melee. For infantry the main reason is a backup weapon should the main be lost. While the main weapon is still present, I observe no "bonus" to the short sword.

Shields don't give +1. When combined with leather sure the total defense of the unit is now at least at the same ballpark as plain scale, so you go to medium classification, but that is the only case. Scale + shield is not the equivalent of chain for example.
Title: Re: Equipment
Post by: Lann on December 22, 2015, 07:28:04 PM
Shields don't give +1. When combined with leather sure the total defense of the unit is now at least at the same ballpark as plain scale, so you go to medium classification, but that is the only case. Scale + shield is not the equivalent of chain for example.


Truly?  Would you say Scale + shield is worse than chainmail + nothing?
Title: Re: Equipment
Post by: WVH on December 22, 2015, 09:22:11 PM

Truly?  Would you say Scale + shield is worse than chainmail + nothing?

That depends.  Soldier vs soldier, probably.  But this is not ultimate warrior.  We have limitations on how many warriors we can produce at all, and how quickly we can produce them at different levels of gear.

I would rather have 3 spear/scale/shield warriors than 1 sword/chain warrior any day.  In fact, I would trade out that shield on the 3 for 3 javelins and watch that chain mail warrior die before the spears get there.
Title: Re: Equipment
Post by: De-Legro on December 22, 2015, 09:56:24 PM

Truly?  Would you say Scale + shield is worse than chainmail + nothing?

Yes, yes I would. Solider vs solider chain + nothing has always performed better in my testing. This is rather hard to test though, as exp matters. Chain being a higher tier quite likely requires higher exp before it is properly utilised.

That depends.  Soldier vs soldier, probably.  But this is not ultimate warrior.  We have limitations on how many warriors we can produce at all, and how quickly we can produce them at different levels of gear.

I would rather have 3 spear/scale/shield warriors than 1 sword/chain warrior any day.  In fact, I would trade out that shield on the 3 for 3 javelins and watch that chain mail warrior die before the spears get there.

That is the fallacy though, same with Javelin. So little of the world wars that most have all the time in the world to equip all their troops with chain. Lots of people have equipped javelin too troops? How many have used them for more then fighting off the occasional bandit. How many people have trained an entire sub realms stockpile of them in 3 RL days of fighting, only to watch them slowly tick up because they are now part of a higher tier building that now requires a decent grassland settlement to get full population production, and a greater source of metal.

Why are Longbows so prolific? Because they produce fast. Training time is higher, but supply is easily enough to equip entire archer forces, all for the cost of one more building. How many of the Javelin troops were produced back when that was true of them. When they didn't consume the work hours of two of the most desirable melee weapons? When they didn't require a greater population and metal supply to produce in any sort of useable quantity? Raw numbers are meaningless without context.
Title: Re: Equipment
Post by: Tom on December 26, 2015, 03:22:44 PM
I would love to support a project that tries to put together observations.

Just revealing things is not so easy, because I would have to go deep into details. However, one thing that I have repeatedly denied is that there is any kind of special mechanics for individual weapons. There is no "this weapon is good against that armour" code. All battle code is abstract. That means that, for example, while right now the javelin is the only one-shot weapon in the game, there is no special "javelin" code, there is only a "ranged weapon with limited number of shots" code. I could turn all ranged weapons into limited shot ones (say, 100 arrows) easily. Same for melee weapons, armour, etc. They have values, but no "if this weapon, then" code.

So everything you observe can be explained in terms of abstract values, such as defense, offense, damage, etc.

Some items have more than one value and increase both offense and defense, for example.
Title: Re: Equipment
Post by: Lann on January 04, 2016, 10:13:39 PM
That depends.  Soldier vs soldier, probably.  But this is not ultimate warrior.  We have limitations on how many warriors we can produce at all, and how quickly we can produce them at different levels of gear.

I would rather have 3 spear/scale/shield warriors than 1 sword/chain warrior any day.  In fact, I would trade out that shield on the 3 for 3 javelins and watch that chain mail warrior die before the spears get there.


Well... yes.  But that's not exactly my question or issue.  I get that supply is an important thing.  Believe me I do.  It's a lot easier to assemble and stock an army of spearmen with leather armor than any chainmail soldier.  That said, I've seen just how good 100 heavy infantry decked in chainmail and shields can actually be.  I've seen 100 heavy infantry take a settlement against 100 medium infantry/ archers and despite the medium infantry/ archers having a defensive bonus from palisade, kill only 14 chainmail soldiers and lose well beyond 50 of their own.  But nevertheless, yes you are correct in that supply, population, and buildings are a big factor into what kind of troops you can field. 


That said, that doesn't mean I don't want to know more nuanced information regarding soldier equipment and how one man with one kind of gear and equal experience stacks up to another man with another type of gear.  That kind of information is invaluable, if for no other reason than to get a rough estimate of how to measure chance of victory in a battle.  There are of course, a lot of different factors beyond equipment that influence a battle. 


Also, De Legro, I appreciate the input to my question.  It was very informative.  I used to think Scale + Shield = Chainmail + nothing, more or less.  Glad to see I was wrong there.
Title: Re: Equipment
Post by: Weaver on January 04, 2016, 10:19:01 PM
By the way, Tom, does 'everything is abstract' mean that every piece of equipment is basically just a modifier? Even the shortswords and horses? I was under the impression that horses counted as a secret separate combatant with it's own combat values. That seems to be my logic in figuring why there's a warhorse and a horse, other than, you know, better bonuses from horses. I also believe you said something along the same lines once. And shortswords, for example, they are not a fixed value in case the main weapon gets lost, or?
Title: Re: Equipment
Post by: Tom on January 05, 2016, 03:32:48 PM
@Lann: I could envison setting up a "battle table" where I run test battles of 100 vs. 100 of some of the most common equipment combinations. However, I fear it would not be a very good result as it ignores, for example, that archers with an infantry shield are much better than without.

@Weaver: Yes, equipment modifies battle values. Even shortswords and horses. All the effects described in their descriptions are folded into those modifiers. I spent a lot of time tweaking things to make sure they give the results that I would expect from them. Especially horses. They modify quite a few values, for example in addition to battle values, horses also affect the pursuit phase considerably.
Title: Re: Equipment
Post by: Weaver on January 05, 2016, 04:10:46 PM
Ah, I see. That makes it a lot more intuitive. I myself was always under the impression that shortswords only mattered if the combatant lost his main weapon, or that it, for example, doesn't affect anything in the ranged phase. Very interesting. I would very much love to be part of the theoretical project to gather this data and start an in game war academy of sorts. I recently found out that horses, which surely you can remember I hated, are actually... kinda good. Kinda really good. Damn good.

I long operated under a doctrine where I ignored horses. I liked my heavy infantry, cause they don't care if I am charging walls, defending walls, beating up people. Minimal archer support. I think in 20 battles more or less. I never captured a noble, or killed one. Hurt, yes. Then the first time I field cavalry, and voila.

I would very much like to test pure cavalry and pure archer armies, to see what exactly they can do against the standard combinations of infantry to figure out what exactly is going on. I do think that it is possible with enough soldiers, to find out about all the details equipment provides.

Which also brings me to my suggestion- can we separate archers into classes? I did know that Archers with a shortsword are crazy good, but I always figured it was up to their experience. I also knew about archers with a shield performed quite a bit better than pure archers. I think it is a difference big enough that it warrants classing archers as heavy or light. Maybe even add a sort of 'assault' class for archers with shields, or just call them 'pavise archers'.

I got a bit off the rails there- how do you suggest we start this project to accumulate the data we need?
Title: Re: Equipment
Post by: Andrew on January 05, 2016, 04:45:59 PM
Classifying archers ruins the surprise though, and means you know more precisely what you're going up against.
Title: Re: Equipment
Post by: WVH on January 05, 2016, 05:05:35 PM
Which also brings me to my suggestion- can we separate archers into classes?

I would agree with the archer suggestion.  Scouts should be able to tell if archers are cloth/bow or if they are heavy armored with swords/bows.  Would those not be what Battlemaster considered mixed infantry?  I realize that the real world use of heavy armor with archers was minimal... other than breast/back plates and helms.  Anything that restricted arm movement would restrict how many shots could be fired.

Add in a short sword however and you have a unit that can fire off a couple of shots then act as reinforcements for the infantry.

But what is a better name than mixed infantry?  *edit* Velites? That refers to use of javelins but could be adapted to any ranged/close combat combinations?  It would at least give an idea to the other side to expect more ranged weapons in battle.
Title: Re: Equipment
Post by: Weaver on January 05, 2016, 06:21:29 PM
I think javelins are easy enough to conceal, after all, these guys are supposed to bring wagons and stuff for logistics. But an archer deployed in heavy armor is easy to distinguish from a dude in peasant clothing and a ranged weapon. Maybe by the same logic, it would be hard to tell if they are shielded or not, since they could carry the shields on the transports or on their back.
Title: Re: Equipment
Post by: De-Legro on January 06, 2016, 01:32:28 AM
Ah, I see. That makes it a lot more intuitive. I myself was always under the impression that shortswords only mattered if the combatant lost his main weapon, or that it, for example, doesn't affect anything in the ranged phase. Very interesting. I would very much love to be part of the theoretical project to gather this data and start an in game war academy of sorts. I recently found out that horses, which surely you can remember I hated, are actually... kinda good. Kinda really good. Damn good.

I long operated under a doctrine where I ignored horses. I liked my heavy infantry, cause they don't care if I am charging walls, defending walls, beating up people. Minimal archer support. I think in 20 battles more or less. I never captured a noble, or killed one. Hurt, yes. Then the first time I field cavalry, and voila.

I would very much like to test pure cavalry and pure archer armies, to see what exactly they can do against the standard combinations of infantry to figure out what exactly is going on. I do think that it is possible with enough soldiers, to find out about all the details equipment provides.

Which also brings me to my suggestion- can we separate archers into classes? I did know that Archers with a shortsword are crazy good, but I always figured it was up to their experience. I also knew about archers with a shield performed quite a bit better than pure archers. I think it is a difference big enough that it warrants classing archers as heavy or light. Maybe even add a sort of 'assault' class for archers with shields, or just call them 'pavise archers'.

I got a bit off the rails there- how do you suggest we start this project to accumulate the data we need?

My problem with such testing is we end up with too many "optimal" forces. Take archers for example. While shields might not seem logical, they are plentiful and once you know of the advantage they confer it is hard not to take them.
Title: Re: Equipment
Post by: Weaver on January 06, 2016, 01:35:02 AM
They already take a ton of time to recruit. I ain't putting shields on my archers even if it made them all the Emperor of Mankind or Primarchs. That or an Atlas mech.

They should be happy if they get armor at all.
Title: Re: Equipment
Post by: Tom on January 06, 2016, 10:16:19 AM
Everything in the game is a trade-off. When I have lots of time and no war in sight, I recruit with good equipment. When there is action, I recruit minimum equipment troops, send them into a battle or two and then retrain the survivors with better equipment after.

Oh, and I'll add "armored archer" as a class.
Title: Re: Equipment
Post by: Weaver on January 06, 2016, 04:35:22 PM
Awesome! That should work.
Title: Re: Equipment
Post by: Roran Hawkins on January 10, 2016, 02:48:38 PM
A little input about archers from a historical point of view from an amateur historian;


Archers generally could be divided into two categories; levies with bows and professional archers. The former are what you probably have in mind; people who can shoot bows that you draft for war that will run at the first contact with the enemy. The latter however are professional soldiers. Professional light infantry that excell with their bows or missile weapons, but are not a one trick pony for sure. They often had very good quality armour and would not shy away from a melee fight, provided that it was not standing up to a cavalry charge on a flat open field. The most commonly cited example would be the English longbows descending on the French dismounted chivalry stuck in the knee-deep mud at Agincourt like packs of wolves after firing their arrows point-blank into their ranks.


I know for example that in the English armies of around 1370-1410 there were generally speaking only archers and men-at-arms on the payroll, aside from knights and nobles. The archers were paid the least, but still a respectable sum (would have to look it up again to give numbers, sources and more context in general). The men-at-arms were paid a bit more than that, and were expected to bring varying forms of 'heavy' equipment. It should be noted in this case that very often archers would try to join the payroll as men-at-arms for the additional income by gathering the necessary armour and equipment, which they would undoubtedly also use.


In history there's often been both and mixed forms of these. Not all professional archers were necessarily well-equipped or heavily armoured (a quick glance at Arabic and Eastern cultures in general), nor all unprofessional ones were shy from melee combat (town militias in some cases).


Translated to M&F; Would these be easy to distinguish? Well, how easy would it be to distinguish professional soldiery compared to relatively unwilling men on campaign? Remember that actually fighting is such a little part in a soldier's life, and that wearing armour on the march is something only done when fearing ambush or when deep in enemy territory, making that argument moot in most cases. Recognizing a professional fighting force from a less organised one however, is not too difficult.




Disclaimer; take my words with a grain of salt. An amateur historian is me.
Title: Re: Equipment
Post by: De-Legro on January 10, 2016, 03:13:54 PM
A little input about archers from a historical point of view from an amateur historian;


Archers generally could be divided into two categories; levies with bows and professional archers. The former are what you probably have in mind; people who can shoot bows that you draft for war that will run at the first contact with the enemy. The latter however are professional soldiers. Professional light infantry that excell with their bows or missile weapons, but are not a one trick pony for sure. They often had very good quality armour and would not shy away from a melee fight, provided that it was not standing up to a cavalry charge on a flat open field. The most commonly cited example would be the English longbows descending on the French dismounted chivalry stuck in the knee-deep mud at Agincourt like packs of wolves after firing their arrows point-blank into their ranks.


I know for example that in the English armies of around 1370-1410 there were generally speaking only archers and men-at-arms on the payroll, aside from knights and nobles. The archers were paid the least, but still a respectable sum (would have to look it up again to give numbers, sources and more context in general). The men-at-arms were paid a bit more than that, and were expected to bring varying forms of 'heavy' equipment. It should be noted in this case that very often archers would try to join the payroll as men-at-arms for the additional income by gathering the necessary armour and equipment, which they would undoubtedly also use.


In history there's often been both and mixed forms of these. Not all professional archers were necessarily well-equipped or heavily armoured (a quick glance at Arabic and Eastern cultures in general), nor all unprofessional ones were shy from melee combat (town militias in some cases).


Translated to M&F; Would these be easy to distinguish? Well, how easy would it be to distinguish professional soldiery compared to relatively unwilling men on campaign? Remember that actually fighting is such a little part in a soldier's life, and that wearing armour on the march is something only done when fearing ambush or when deep in enemy territory, making that argument moot in most cases. Recognizing a professional fighting force from a less organised one however, is not too difficult.




Disclaimer; take my words with a grain of salt. An amateur historian is me.


What is your point? In M&F Heavy Infantry can be green levies as well. We look to equipment as something we can measure for a general sense of effectiveness, there is no reason Archers should not be categories in a similar method to infantry. One might question if armour is the defining category though, or if the type of bow is more important.
Title: Re: Equipment
Post by: Roran Hawkins on January 10, 2016, 03:55:44 PM

What is your point? In M&F Heavy Infantry can be green levies as well. We look to equipment as something we can measure for a general sense of effectiveness, there is no reason Archers should not be categories in a similar method to infantry. One might question if armour is the defining category though, or if the type of bow is more important.


I lost my point halfway through as well. I think it was about scouts discerning heavy from light archers.
Title: Re: Equipment
Post by: De-Legro on January 10, 2016, 04:10:36 PM

I lost my point halfway through as well. I think it was about scouts discerning heavy from light archers.


They discern light/medium/heavy infantry, light/heavy cav. I think it is well established that our scouts are capable of discerning the armour of their opponents from a reasonable distance.
Title: Re: Equipment
Post by: Tom on January 10, 2016, 07:56:10 PM
Experience is largely underrated in comments that I read, but is actually quite important, especially for high-level equipment. With a spear and shield, yeah ok. But if you are equipped like a knight without the training vs. an actual trained knight - big difference.

Title: Re: Equipment
Post by: De-Legro on January 10, 2016, 08:50:42 PM
Experience is largely underrated in comments that I read, but is actually quite important, especially for high-level equipment. With a spear and shield, yeah ok. But if you are equipped like a knight without the training vs. an actual trained knight - big difference.

I am more then happy for other realms to continue to do this.
Title: Re: Equipment
Post by: Weaver on January 19, 2016, 08:25:54 PM
Tom: Do the various things we can equip on soldiers affect only two stats, in the way of offense or defense, or are there more? Perhaps knowing just the names of those stats could help us pick our equipment better. Recall when I said that people pick shield cause it seems to be the cheapest and best choice. I know you mentioned that a heavy infantryman can't catch a horseman, like a Noble. And I noticed a greater amount of surrenders when attacking with Archers, and sometimes with cavalry too.

Is that just my imagination, or are there more 'stats' or abilities running under the hood?
Title: Re: Equipment
Post by: Tom on January 19, 2016, 10:52:44 PM
There are a couple more stats that are dynamic during the combat, like morale or number of attacks dealt, all the small parts necessary to run a simulation somewhat realistically. For example, the reason you see lone nobles escaping from 500 men is that they simply can't all attack him at the same time. So the first row catches up with him and gives him some slashes and then he runs away. It's not like he would wait until surrounded.

As said in another topic, shields really are good. I use them a lot myself. But they are not superior to every other choice, it all depends. Mass javelin attacks have shown to be really devastating, while a few javelins are less effective.

In addition to stats, there are also a lot of individual effects. The game actually looks at your equipment to determine if you get away or are caught up with and attacked during the pursuit phase. It also looks at your ATTACKERS equipment. Horses are really, really good in pursuit, both when you want to get away and when you want to catch them. But also if you throw away your weapon or equipment depends on what it is. Shields drop more easily than short swords because they are so cumbersome.

So there is quite a bit going on. I think I should write up a short surface summary without too many technical details - once I find a bit of time.
Title: Re: Equipment
Post by: WVH on January 20, 2016, 04:09:24 PM
So there is quite a bit going on. I think I should write up a short surface summary without too many technical details - once I find a bit of time.

Maybe put it into a story.  Then it is less technical and instead it helps draw players into the game.  Give them something to visualize that tells us what happens in a battle at the same time.
Title: Re: Equipment
Post by: Tom on January 20, 2016, 09:17:42 PM
Maybe we can create this together? I will write up what is happening inside the code in the form of a summary and with a few questions for clarification we will get the story done.


I can't write it right now, so if I forget, please remind me.
Title: Re: Equipment
Post by: Weaver on January 21, 2016, 01:23:37 AM
I'd be up for this. I like writing.