1.7.2. INFANTRY META (SHIELDS) (GUIDE)

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LyonExodus

Regular
Alright, so you might know that with the release of 1.7.2. some units have been modified and changed, i have run some tests to update you on the "New Meta" of infantry units. the ones you should go for and the ones you should avoid or not simply head bash into the enemies, some units, like the Wildlings are not really meant to fight in melee but rather use throwables and be supportive, at least a the start of any fight.

This guide + testing comes after playing dozens of campaigns in all kinds of challenges and formats and an extensive but not perfect understanding of the game combat mechanics and the effective use of strategy.
This is why i will praise some "bad" units and criticize some "good" ones, the paper doesn't tell all the story.

The testings were run against the imperial infantry line as those tend to be the most common units to be encountered in any campaign. There is also no point in testing them against High Tier Troops as you will be unlikely to find insane numbers against you.

Also to keep in mind that the "LOWER" the final result is the "BETTER", a low score means that the enemies routed faster, a high score means the fight dragged on for far too long and may have resulted in no routing at all.


POSITIONUNITVS T2 & T3 EMPIREVS T3 EMPIREVS T4 EMPIRELOST UNITSRESULT
8WILDLING464391431320401

It Should be no surprise that the only T5 infantry skirmisher unit in the game is also the worst in melee. this is simply not the role of the Wildling.
Wildlings excels at using their throwables (10 Javelins) both offensively and defensively. in offensive situations (an enemy circle) the wildling gives us the option to keep our archers quivers full and use his javelins instead. When combined with a good throwing captain the wildlings can very easily rack up 50 or more kills in the early stages of an offensive fight, braking the enemy bunker formation and allowing the archers, then infantry to finish the job.

Despite having a whopping 69 body armor the Helmet of the Wildling is simply too much of a burden on this unit melee potential as it only comes with 25 Head armor

Overall speaking the Wildling is a weak unit but a strategic one. you don't bring 100 Wildlings to a fight you plan to play defensively, you bring them if you plan to be the aggressor and forcing your enemy to play defensive. This kinda makes them a bad option over kinda anything else that can win reliably and with lower casualties in both situations.

POSITIONUNITVS T2 & T3 EMPIREVS T3 EMPIREVS T4 EMPIRELOST UNITSRESULT
7OATHSWARN451381366227356

The Wildling comrade, aka the Oathswarn is not much better than him.

This unit used to be the go to for Battania infantry, as it came with javelins and was overall more armored that his counterpart, but after 1.7. and the removal of the Javelins from this unit, it lost a lot of grip over it's utility.

This unit can cover any role you ask it to, it can stop cavalry with it's lance, it can skirmish with his axes and it can even fight with is, slightly bigger axe too. just, well... it does everything at a below average level.

Not much to say about the Oathswarn other than it's a disappointing unit. despite the better armor over the Wildling the lack of firepower of the throwing weapons doesn't make it worthwhile, not only that but it's entire line other than himself as no "real" throwing weapons, while the Wildling line is filled with Javs. So even if you are looking at a line Vs line comparison the Wildling still comes up on top, making the Oatshwarn the weakest infantry in the game.

POSITIONUNITVS T2 & T3 EMPIREVS T3 EMPIREVS T4 EMPIRELOST UNITSRESULT
6ASERAI VETERAN401450457200377

Alright, it's time to talk about my favorite infantry unit in the game, the mighty Aserai Veteran, the Tank of the Desert.

So this unit ranks #6 on the melee effectiveness list, now you may be thinking that's absolute garbage and there is no way this unit can be any good, and there's where you would be dead wrong.
This is THE Unit. The BEST infantryman you will ever have the pleasure to use. This is one of those moments where the paper lies and i am about to tell you why.

This unit has all you can ask from a front line infantryman, it has 62 body armor, 52 Head and even if not so important 30 Arm. The armor is all around great and makes for a great baseline to work with. It comes with a spear just in case you think they actually do anything against cav and a set of Javelins to use offensively when needed.
And also comes with possibly the best anti-arrows shield in the game, it's oblong shape is perfect for protecting the entirety of it's body from any projectile.

But, yes, there is a BUT and it's a big one. The main weapon of the Veteran is an atrocious 79 Swing Speed sword that comes with 78 DMG. Now what makes this weapon laughably bad is that: SLOW SWING SPEED, it means that this guy will "never" land a shot in a 1V1, but if it does, oh boy if it does it's a real pain for the enemy.

Realistically speaking this Unit can't win by itself, unlike the next ones we will discuss about, but it works so well in it's typical Aserai Comp, surrounded by Palace Guards (who do the Killing) and Master Archers who also do the killing.

The Versatility of the Veteran makes it a great piece in not only an Aserai army but in any army that can support it with quality shock troops, so anything but Battania.

"""THIS UNIT MUST BE USED IN SHIELD WALL WHEN CHARGING OR IT WILL HORRIBLY DIE"""



POSITIONUNITVS T2 & T3 EMPIREVS T3 EMPIREVS T4 EMPIRELOST UNITSRESULT
5SERGEANT (vlandia)364422449195357

Alright the bang AVERAGE guy.

This is your typical infantry unit, lacks throwables, has a spear and okay armor.

there's nothing bad or good to say about this guy, possibly the most forgettable guy out of all the infantryman since it's neither too good or too bad and doesn't show any massive weakness during gameplay.

A positive note about the Sergeant is the 33% of spawning with a mace, making it an OK option for hunting down bandit hideouts

POSITIONUNITVS T2 & T3 EMPIREVS T3 EMPIREVS T4 EMPIRELOST UNITSRESULT
4SPEARMAN (sturgia)394390436194353

Finally, this guy is no longer at the bottom of the barrel thanks to 1.7.2. that revived a career many of us thought was completely over.

A massive winner out of the newest patch is of course the Sturgian Heavy Spearman that finally got upgraded to T5 status, and will no longer be a liability when one of your vassal brings 29 to a fight you are projected to lose.

What maid this resurrection possible was the armor change that concerned the Unit, previously the Spearman had a little over 30 body armor and one of it's template lacked shoulder armor, the new Body armor rating of the unit is 66. making it even tankier than the Axeman, but differently from the Axeman the Spearman has one thing holding it back:

A Spear, yes, that thing holds him back like your still sober friend at 3 AM at the Disco desperately trying to stop your other not so sober friend from fist fighting a massive dude.
But yeah, seriously speaking, Infantry Spear AI needs some work and at times it can get stuck using it even in 1V1 situations making him an easy prey.

POSITIONUNITVS T2 & T3 EMPIREVS T3 EMPIREVS T4 EMPIRELOST UNITSRESULT
3DARKHAN441443450177378

Alright, maybe this unit shouldn't be in the top 3 but the number of lost units was good enough to grant it a spot on the podium.

The main infantry of the Khuzait is far from what you should want in your army, unless your army is based on shocking your opponent before they see this guy coming.

The shield of this unit is it's biggest weakness, this guy can't protect himself from an arrow if his life depended on it and until you get a captain with any of the 125 1H perks this guy will bleed from projectiles, making him a bad tank in offensive situations and quite bad too if the enemy is advancing with the archers in front.

You can quickly understand why, if the archers can bypass the shield and deliver damage to the unit it will become weaker as it engages in melee, the longer the line the worst the effect.
With this unit i suggest making the tightest shield wall possible in order to not expose too many units. but before you know TW will give it Wicker Shield as no Khuzait can have a weakness.

In Melee this unit behaves quite well with a good armor value of 58 body and 51 head, it can handle a few hits, and when combined with the Heavy sabre it might also one shot lower tier enemies with one single blow to the head.

POSITIONUNITVS T2 & T3 EMPIREVS T3 EMPIREVS T4 EMPIRELOST UNITSRESULT
2AXEMAN347441341133315

Some People have come to me saying the Heavy Axeman got nerfed and i quite simply told them it didn't. it just got re balanced a little by making his most powerful template weaker and removing it's weakest template.

The Axeman is still the king of Sturgia Heavy Infantry. the armor value may be dropped in comparison to the best template of the former axeman and he might have lost his javelins in favor of 6 throwing axes but this unit still behaves like a champ on the field and wrecks low tier units while handling high tiers pretty well too.

The versatility of the Axeman is still present even after the switch to axes, if anything it's even better now when in groups, as they seem to have a better trajectory when firing into a defensive circle.

For those thinking that the change made the Axeman worst at dealing with cavalry i will let you know that this guy and the Sturgian Heavy Spearman yielded the same results against Elite Catas, kinda proving how pointless spears are on infnatry. hopefully this will change.

But yes, there you have it. possibly the best Infantryman in the game is still your viking looking friend from Sturgia. that axe is simply one of the best weapons for infantry.

POSITIONUNITVS T2 & T3 EMPIREVS T3 EMPIREVS T4 EMPIRELOST UNITSRESULT
1LEGIONARY404415348109319

And last but not least is the best melee infantry of them all. the one who reigned supreme before is still on the throne.

Quite unsurprisingly as the Legionary was not touched in the update.

This unit is simply capable of wrecking any infantryman in it's path. the combination of a good body armor (53) and head (47) makes for a good baseline. the shield is also a fine one, not as good as the one from the Aserai but still a very solid one at blocking incoming fire.
The Pilum is actually better than having a longer spear as if the Legionary gets stuck in a 1v1 situation using this weapon he still has some chance to land an hit or two. On the other hand, for one reason or another, it can't be thrown, at least that i know of. This removes some versatility from the Legionary but who cares right?

But let's talk about the real diamond of this Unit, the Thing that makes him one step above everyone else: The Weapon.

The Calradic Mace is a little dispenser of Pain and Suffering or of Glory and Power. It depends on what part of the round shaped end you find yourself standing.
But yes, this tiny little weapon that may look very cute at first is capable of astronomical destruction. Let's start by saying that it's very short weapon, that is a great thing for a melee weapon since it won't get stuck or bounce against anything, then, you factor in the stupidly high 101 Swing Speed, just to make sure nobody else can counter fast enough once the Legionary arm has started it's motion. Then, it delivers a base 63 DMG, coming from a mace that is huge!! and can result in the Legionary 1 Tapping low tier units out of it's way.

Only Weakness of this guy? The chance of him having a mace is just 66,6%*, a shame.

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*This value may be false (66% may be the real one)

Alright, hope you found this guide useful and thanks for reading it.

If you are interested in more content from me you can find me streaming on Twitch almost all week, or you can check what i have made on my a bit inactive YouTube.
 
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Spinozart1

Knight
Thx for the interesting review and reading :wink:
Oathswarn nerf was heartbreaking for me because it was one of my favourite unit.
Shield wall + hold fire and waiting the perfect moment before releasing a wave of javelins...
And sure, spear fighting behaviour clearly needs some love. Just thinking about those never ending "melee" fights between 2 cavs with spears in tournaments...
 
Any chance of doing this for RBM? I did tons of testing and balancing but I am always interested in unbiased 3rd party opinion. Though it will be bit more complicated since armor and skill of units have much higher affect and there is huge difference between weapon types in thier ability to penetrate armor so for example sword unit will be better than mace unit against low tier units but worse vs heavily armored units. So high tier unit vs recruits or looters will not provide very usefull data. Also there are dedicated skirmishers will will behave differently from normal melee units.
 

LyonExodus

Regular
Any chance of doing this for RBM? I did tons of testing and balancing but I am always interested in unbiased 3rd party opinion. Though it will be bit more complicated since armor and skill of units have much higher affect and there is huge difference between weapon types in thier ability to penetrate armor so for example sword unit will be better than mace unit against low tier units but worse vs heavily armored units. So high tier unit vs recruits or looters will not provide very usefull data. Also there are dedicated skirmishers will will behave differently from normal melee units.
Testings are always just data gathering, at times they may be right but sometimes the data can lie. that's where experience comes into play so i would suggest to just play the game with many different units and occasionally do some Custom Battles to write some numbers down.
As far as my preference goes, for units i prefer guys that can kill the mid/low tiers reliably and have low casualties, but, other players may value the ability to be effective against High tiers more.

But the short answer is: unfortunately i find very little time to do general testings on units and how they perform. i do stream for good part of the day on Twitch and since i am no native English speaker it takes a lot of energy out of me. I also tend to not play with mods like RBM so that data would be of questionable utility for me or my campaigns.

I apologize.
 
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