Beta e1.7.2 Troop & Equipment Changes

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Well if it comes down to javelins Battania has plenty to answer back with! And if armour is buffed well, ranged skirmish strategies will not be abuse so much as a legitimate playstyle with merely good but not broken results, balanced by inaccuracy, ammo, and damage low enough that many of the shock troops should live long enough to be able to fight once the ammo runs out.

Plus Battania's shield troop line can absorb plenty of shots, and their jav cav can rush down the archers, and their noble troops can fire a volume of arrows comparable to that of all the enemy's non noble troops!
I find Battanian shield troops to be weak at absorbing shots because of their small ass shields. Not to mention how they hold them.

Eh on jav cav vs archers. They could but you're likelier getting them tied up with enemy cav.

I don't find fians making too much of a difference in enemy armies. AI don't get to spam them like players can, so they simply can't match the raw volume that other factions can.

In 1.8 lords have noticeable preferences, for example quite recently I fought an Empire lord with almost no ranged infantry (despite his faction tree's high amount) but a very large number of horse archers (despite Empire only having one at T5).
Noted. But..

I don't follow, sorry.
As armies fight, they lose troops. So a seemingly distinct party template will get whittled down, and be forced to recruit just to bolster their numbers. The more they do this, the more uniform they will appear, like everyone else. Unless I am wrong, and parties somehow have preferences for troops.

But I would agree with you that across the board I would like (using shield troops as an example) Sturgian shield troops to use the strongest shields, Empire shield troops to have the best armour, Battanian shield troops to be the fastest, Aserai shield troops to be all-rounders, Vlandian shield troops to have the best one handed skill, etc.
Yes. And I don't see why Battanian common archers can't mix in. I find they join better than some heavy infantry shock trooper that effectively functions just like Aserai Palace Guard, unless you decide to change those guys.

Would certainly be appropriate for gallowglass to be mercenaries.
Same, would not mind Battania getting an extra minor faction in their midst. Make them a nod to norse-gael relations. But if so, that means you can't just put more gallowglasses in the Battanian tree, so why not archers instead?
 
haha fair, but I'd still be against it because it just doesn't suit their flavour, and also the Battanians are meant to be proud and stubborn highlanders who won't deviate from the old ways... would be strange to me to then see them using the Vlandian/Imperial invention rather than the battanian longbow.
Eh, I think Caladog is established as a dude that upsets the 'old ways' and has no issue turning enemy inventions on them.

As for why use the crossbow over the longbow, it would just be because training is a lot easier, simple.

Yeah, mounted spearmen are pretty inaccurate sometimes and just don't have that punch. Although the English housecarls were famed for their ability to fend off the Norman cavalry at Hastings and Dyrrachium, although it seems they used their kite shields like pavises.
I don't believe the whole Saxon force was all housecarls, that would be a bit absurd. I imagine the shield wall was mostly some manner of spear wielding fyrd.

And even somehow they were all housecarl, holding the high ground tends to neuter the potency of any cavalry charge...

I mean the later version have had a few villages which churn out nothing but fians while others have zero. Some of the lords go to those villages and have loads of fians (normally the player aha) and then the other lords have none. It's easy enough as the player to manage, it's just the AI that manages it poorly due to not distinguishing between shock troops and shield troops - they're all just infantry to the AI.
Ah that. Well I hate that, and I think its stupid to make nobles that common. But oh well, people seem to like spamming elites, so I dunno if TW cares to change that.

And yeah, I am mostly concerned about how AI parties fight. Players will just spam fians and do fine.

It's a difficult balancing act of translating the concept into gameplay. For example, you have the same concept for the Aserai that Taleworlds had for the Fian and Battania - really good but not many. There's also the fact that they need to complement other troops in the tree well, for example, your proposed Sturgian archers make sense for Sturgia thematically but I'd much rather have a bow-line with more ammo as Sturgia's already got plenty of good shielded troops but needs the ranged support. I suggested a targe and sidearm for a Battanian common archer as I only wanted to give them a small stack of arrows (to fit the ambush theme and not amplify the already great Fians), and it made sense to balance their low ammunition and relatively light armour by giving them a little more melee survivability (so they function like a skirmisher), like the Wolfskins (honestly if Battanians could just recruit Wolfskins, I guess maybe some lords would and some wouldn't, it'd be a moot point). Sturgian archers would just become second-rate melee troops at the cost of sacrificing their ranged potential, which is something you were worried about with Battania, and honestly it'd be worse with Sturgia because they have less javelineers.
Well TW wussed out on the Aserai and gave them t3 archers. So now they don't feel all that different to Palatine Guard. Boo.

I don't think all troops in an army should compliment them in all fields, otherwise that just makes them OP. Sturgia needs a weakness- that and someone in this game needs to be **** at ranged combat. And should Sturgia get the best of everything? If they already have the 'best' melee infantry and impressive cavalry, they should not get archers that are good at being archers. Again, all factions need a weakness.

Sturgian archers don't have to be second rate melee troops either- ideally they would be terrific in a siege. And not having to worry about them in melee is a fair bonus too. I only worry about Battania's ranged problem because their infantry and cavalry are just... not great. Sturgia on the other hand has no issues with either apart from their melee shield axeman not being better than legionaries, and can easily weather ranged combat thanks to their awesome shields.

For my goofy idea of a glass cannon archer, I can't see how giving them a targe would help their general... squishiness. And since Fians are so damn good at close combat anyway, there's no need for Battanian common archers do be good there too. I wouldn't be opposed to giving it to them anyway, just to dilute the kit and give the army a more 'chaotic' Battanian vibe. I could see something like random 1/3 come with targes, 1/3 come with greataxes and 1/3 come with a second quiver being fun and flavoursome.

Also I agree about pavises, because they're only good for letting the enemy waste their ammo rn... they should remain upright when you drop them and then you can pick them back up when you want to move... shouldn't be too hard to teach the AI to drop it infront of them before they start shooting hopefully...
Yeah, I just can't get into the idea of them being 'good in melee' too. As far as I care, Vlandia should be the army that lacks that sort of tactical 'flexibility'- their ranged troops are only good as ranged troops, their spearmen only good as spearmen, etc. Make them play as a genuine 'combined arms' force.
 
Eh, I think Caladog is established as a dude that upsets the 'old ways' and has no issue turning enemy inventions on them.

As for why use the crossbow over the longbow, it would just be because training is a lot easier, simple.
Yeah, but doubt the Battanians would use them all up and down the country just because Caladog likes them, given the anarchic nature of Battanian society. Could just as easily justify a semi-feudal Yeoman type unit to mimic English/Welsh longbowmen by the same logic.
I don't believe the whole Saxon force was all housecarls, that would be a bit absurd. I imagine the shield wall was mostly some manner of spear wielding fyrd.

And even somehow they were all housecarl, holding the high ground tends to neuter the potency of any cavalry charge...
I never said it was, but it was housecarls and their dane axes that were repeatedly mentioned as being especially effective at beating off the charge, I think there's even axes killing horses in the Bayeux Tapestry. They also notably served in the Varangian Guard at the Battle of Dyrrachium, under Alexios Komnenos, and were specifically positioned to the front to absorb the Norman cavalry charge, which they did splendidly apparently. Interestingly, they made the exact same mistake they made at Hastings, getting carried away and pursuing the fleeing Normans who then flanked and routed them.

Basically the housecarls and specifically their axes are mentioned as being good at dealing with cavalry, but I feel like that might just be a dual-purpose sort of thing, like the dane axes are meant for fighting infantry but hey it's long and powerful, could probably be decent against horse compared to an arming sword. It's a little bit of a tangent though, as housecarls would be elite units also carrying a shield, etc. so in Bannerlord I would hope that they give a decent effort against cavalry. Falxmen and line breakers though? Agree they should become instant kebabs when taking a cavalry charge.

Ah that. Well I hate that, and I think its stupid to make nobles that common. But oh well, people seem to like spamming elites, so I dunno if TW cares to change that.

And yeah, I am mostly concerned about how AI parties fight. Players will just spam fians and do fine.
Yeah, a lot of people just roam around with armies of fians, cataphracts and khan's guard, then they're just untouchable. Seems boring.
I don't think all troops in an army should compliment them in all fields, otherwise that just makes them OP. Sturgia needs a weakness- that and someone in this game needs to be **** at ranged combat. And should Sturgia get the best of everything? If they already have the 'best' melee infantry and impressive cavalry, they should not get archers that are good at being archers. Again, all factions need a weakness.
I think you're misunderstanding me. I'm not saying they should complement each other in raw power, but rather the role they're focused on fits with the use of the other units. So Sturgian archers can still be paltry compared to other faction's archers, but keep their ammunition and enough skill to do their job which is defend the shield wall. They don't need to outduel other archers because they have a shield wall infantry for protection, and Sturgians seem to have an in-game reputation for endurance in battle (mainly Sturgian lords describing Pendraic shield wall fighting) and having an archer which can't last in its role for long seems ill-fitting for how the other troops are designed.
Sturgian archers don't have to be second rate melee troops either- ideally they would be terrific in a siege. And not having to worry about them in melee is a fair bonus too
I see the logic but I find the game never really plays to shielded archers well, even with AI mods. They'll take some arrows yeah but then when they switch to their bows they just get outshot anyway, unless the player is doing some fancy stuff but even then you're just effectively reducing the amount of bowmen who can fire if half have their shields up. Also siege defenders will never run out of ammo so can't kite them that way. The shields are nice for conserving ammo and closing the distance safely, but archer fights are so one-dimensional that their true usefulness would be in melee.
I only worry about Battania's ranged problem because their infantry and cavalry are just... not great
I get what you mean, but that's the idea behind bolstering their infantry to compensate for this. If Sturgia is the best at pushing the shield wall then their troops should revolve around supporting that shield wall. Battania is meant to be an ambush/guerilla warfare specialist so they should be great at launching sudden and deadly charges, and the troop tree should reflect this. An opponent keeping good distance between them, skirmishing and not giving battle should be the best way to defeat them (as you said, all factions need a weakness) it's just that it's way too easy to do this in the game atm due to high ranged damage, AI's ability to shoot through trees and fog accurately with no problem, enemy formations always being aware of nearby formations without any LOS, how easily ranged troops can kite with F1-F4. It's difficulty to play an ambush specialist faction when the enemy always knows exactly where you are lol.
For my goofy idea of a glass cannon archer, I can't see how giving them a targe would help their general... squishiness. And since Fians are so damn good at close combat anyway, there's no need for Battanian common archers do be good there too. I wouldn't be opposed to giving it to them anyway, just to dilute the kit and give the army a more 'chaotic' Battanian vibe. I could see something like random 1/3 come with targes, 1/3 come with greataxes and 1/3 come with a second quiver being fun and flavoursome.
It's just a small concession to bolster them in melee combat, but not to the extant of becoming lightly-armoured shock troops. If they're fast and have powerful 2H weapons, then they'll do better in melee than they really should just because the AI uses the 2H weapons better in melee combat than the 1H and the extra oomph can really make up for the armour difference. I'm actually opting for 1H over 2H because it's worse in the melee, and gives them a bit more difference from fians so they're not just budget fians.

Funnily enough I made a common archer line yesterday and did leave it up to like a 1/3, 1/2 chance to spawn with a targe instead of extra arrows. I mainly didn't do full targes because this common line was straight up replacing the Fians as the de facto ranged unit and I didn't want to limit their ammo as much as I would if they had fians in their ranks. Worked decently and the ones with targes will even protect those behind without any shield, but they purposefully don't have the protection of the vlandian sharpshooters, but are somewhat intermediary which I like.
Same, would not mind Battania getting an extra minor faction in their midst. Make them a nod to norse-gael relations. But if so, that means you can't just put more gallowglasses in the Battanian tree, so why not archers instead?
I've actually been trying it this way around but have replaced the Fian Champions with the New Improved Gallowglass line.

Took the throwing weapons away from my modified falxmen (gave them a normal falx, boosted athletics, if you didn't read in one of the posts above), gave a set of javelins to a two-handed axeman/swordsman (I made a more claymore size two-hander in the weapons.xml) with good armour and high athletics. The unit seems works really well in the elite role, being the king of all other shock units but slightly lacking in that speed and ranged defence (although the good armour helps). I much prefer this way around with the commoner archers (from tier 3) and elite shock infantry and Battania's performing a lot better against the Khuzait than they did with fians + commoner Gallowglass. Works a lot better because now how many elite units the army has just bolsters Battania's strength rather than dictate whether they can use ranged tactics or not.
 
Yeah, but doubt the Battanians would use them all up and down the country just because Caladog likes them, given the anarchic nature of Battanian society. Could just as easily justify a semi-feudal Yeoman type unit to mimic English/Welsh longbowmen by the same logic.
Perhaps. But again... Pictish crossbowman is a look that I like and I feel my logic is good enough to justify them so heck your's.

I never said it was, but it was housecarls and their dane axes that were repeatedly mentioned as being especially effective at beating off the charge, I think there's even axes killing horses in the Bayeux Tapestry. They also notably served in the Varangian Guard at the Battle of Dyrrachium, under Alexios Komnenos, and were specifically positioned to the front to absorb the Norman cavalry charge, which they did splendidly apparently. Interestingly, they made the exact same mistake they made at Hastings, getting carried away and pursuing the fleeing Normans who then flanked and routed them.

Basically the housecarls and specifically their axes are mentioned as being good at dealing with cavalry, but I feel like that might just be a dual-purpose sort of thing, like the dane axes are meant for fighting infantry but hey it's long and powerful, could probably be decent against horse compared to an arming sword. It's a little bit of a tangent though, as housecarls would be elite units also carrying a shield, etc. so in Bannerlord I would hope that they give a decent effort against cavalry. Falxmen and line breakers though? Agree they should become instant kebabs when taking a cavalry charge.
You know, looking at dane axes again... I can see them in particular being good at fighting cavalry. They're really long things, almost like a early middle ages halberd really. Maybe there is something to it.

Still, I think the fyrd and the hill position helped out a fair bit too.

Yeah, a lot of people just roam around with armies of fians, cataphracts and khan's guard, then they're just untouchable. Seems boring.
Maybe so, but considering how much people love huscarls and swadian knights and all that, I think its not necessarily the wrong way to play. Just kind of like you say, boring.

I think you're misunderstanding me. I'm not saying they should complement each other in raw power, but rather the role they're focused on fits with the use of the other units. So Sturgian archers can still be paltry compared to other faction's archers, but keep their ammunition and enough skill to do their job which is defend the shield wall. They don't need to outduel other archers because they have a shield wall infantry for protection, and Sturgians seem to have an in-game reputation for endurance in battle (mainly Sturgian lords describing Pendraic shield wall fighting) and having an archer which can't last in its role for long seems ill-fitting for how the other troops are designed.
The problem then becomes... why ever bother with Sturgian archers then? My own logic with troops is that everyone ought to have some sort of 'niche' that distinguishes them from the rest of the pack. Even if said niche is not good for their main role.

If Sturgian archers are just subpar to everyone else, then why bother ever using them? I think by at least giving them shields, you can keep them 'subpar', match Sturgia's general reputation for shieldwalling without making them utterly meritless.

And it doesn't matter if the archers don't last long anyway, that Sturgian shieldwall is not meant to be a static position, but a moving formation intended to collide in gruelling melee with the enemy.

I see the logic but I find the game never really plays to shielded archers well, even with AI mods. They'll take some arrows yeah but then when they switch to their bows they just get outshot anyway, unless the player is doing some fancy stuff but even then you're just effectively reducing the amount of bowmen who can fire if half have their shields up. Also siege defenders will never run out of ammo so can't kite them that way. The shields are nice for conserving ammo and closing the distance safely, but archer fights are so one-dimensional that their true usefulness would be in melee.
They're not really meant for outduelling other archers is the thing. In my little mod, the ones that tended to do that were actually Palatine Guard because their one saving grace is being the most heavily armoured common archer. Its just that the same guys don't kill infantry all that well and are mediocre in every other respect.

And in regards to sieges, picture going up a Sturgian wall thinking to beat down their archers... only for them to pull out shields and hold their own until their real infantry arrive. That's what I mean for sieges. And since they don't run out of ammo, that single quiver means nothing as a weakness.

Like I said, they are meant to be ultimately the 'worst' archer, yet can fulfil unusual roles to make them good for something at the very least.

I get what you mean, but that's the idea behind bolstering their infantry to compensate for this. If Sturgia is the best at pushing the shield wall then their troops should revolve around supporting that shield wall. Battania is meant to be an ambush/guerilla warfare specialist so they should be great at launching sudden and deadly charges, and the troop tree should reflect this. An opponent keeping good distance between them, skirmishing and not giving battle should be the best way to defeat them (as you said, all factions need a weakness) it's just that it's way too easy to do this in the game atm due to high ranged damage, AI's ability to shoot through trees and fog accurately with no problem, enemy formations always being aware of nearby formations without any LOS, how easily ranged troops can kite with F1-F4. It's difficulty to play an ambush specialist faction when the enemy always knows exactly where you are lol.
Ambush guerilla warfare style simply does not work in this game because there is no mechanic for it. For me, I just shifted them towards being the all round foot fighting faction with a broad variety of quick moving runners that can hit hard in all kinds of ways. Giving Battanians common archers instead of redundant shock infantry or weak cavalry is my idea of making them gooder.

I've actually been trying it this way around but have replaced the Fian Champions with the New Improved Gallowglass line.

Took the throwing weapons away from my modified falxmen (gave them a normal falx, boosted athletics, if you didn't read in one of the posts above), gave a set of javelins to a two-handed axeman/swordsman (I made a more claymore size two-hander in the weapons.xml) with good armour and high athletics. The unit seems works really well in the elite role, being the king of all other shock units but slightly lacking in that speed and ranged defence (although the good armour helps). I much prefer this way around with the commoner archers (from tier 3) and elite shock infantry and Battania's performing a lot better against the Khuzait than they did with fians + commoner Gallowglass. Works a lot better because now how many elite units the army has just bolsters Battania's strength rather than dictate whether they can use ranged tactics or not.
Sounds about fair and well... actually I think this works better for fivebuck's thing.

If Battania were to be the 'shock trooper' guys... why not have their nobles represent that, as the best shock infantry in the game?
 

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Knight at Arms
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I find Battanian shield troops to be weak at absorbing shots because of their small ass shields. Not to mention how they hold them.

Eh on jav cav vs archers. They could but you're likelier getting them tied up with enemy cav.

I don't find fians making too much of a difference in enemy armies. AI don't get to spam them like players can, so they simply can't match the raw volume that other factions can.


Noted. But..


As armies fight, they lose troops. So a seemingly distinct party template will get whittled down, and be forced to recruit just to bolster their numbers. The more they do this, the more uniform they will appear, like everyone else. Unless I am wrong, and parties somehow have preferences for troops.


Yes. And I don't see why Battanian common archers can't mix in. I find they join better than some heavy infantry shock trooper that effectively functions just like Aserai Palace Guard, unless you decide to change those guys.


Same, would not mind Battania getting an extra minor faction in their midst. Make them a nod to norse-gael relations. But if so, that means you can't just put more gallowglasses in the Battanian tree, so why not archers instead?
mate, been playing the 1.7.2 for a while now, given it's modded (makes all dmg calc more proximate to Warband), my balance observartions are as following:
  • Battania is OP as fk when built in an army (not single parties), most infantry's just cannon fodder for all cultures except for Empire, which RN holds the best infantry units in the game by far.
  • Empire's OP as fk too at all times, given they aren't mowed by archers they'll win on face value over any overly specialized culture at any time, except for Aserai
  • Aserai's OP as fk when built in an army (not single parties) because they have way too many sources of missiles
  • Khuzait's are OP as fk on auto-calc, and exceptionally annoying to battle against because it's basically a patience challenge to manage dealing with horse archer's zerg
  • Vlandia's balanced
  • Sturgia's crap
When we see any faction that isn't empire dominating that's usually because empire's busy fighting each other like idiots and the AI's too stupid to measure risk calculation, so they'll lose by attrition or by declaring war when 50% of their nobles who can field armies are in prison or "grounded" for just being released.

Battania with a full army, as long as they aren't being beaten to crap, will field a massive amount of fians, and as such, they simply shred any army to pieces before they even reach their infantry line, so complaining about their crap inf units' just wanting them to be OP with no downside.

Empire's just broken bonkers, they not only hold most of the best lands (which longterm makes them the richest and consequently the ones who field the larges t6 armies), their infantry can't be beaten by any other faction except Sturgia if the Empire's army composition is infantry only. (talking about inf vs inf) Even than they'll win most of the time against sturgians because sturgians have a wasted crap t6 on cavalry instead of infantry, and the infantry gear that isn't empire centric's crap. Empire's weapons deal more dmg, their troops are more versatile, and their infantry's geared with 1h and short-polearms (which can be used on face-to-face range successfully by the AI)

Aserai fields the largest array of missile units, and their archers are pretty close in power to Fians, that means you'll be showered by jarrids and arrows like there's no tomorrow whenever you face their armies. Given their cavalry's also pretty resistant, it's a matter of the player giving a helping hand (significant one) so the AI manages to win against them. If you are in-scene battle against them and fail to open up tactical viability, the AI will almost always lose unless the Aserai troops are crap low tier.

Khuzait has been a problem since Warband (i know, they were Khergits there, but regardless it's the same issue as always). Basically this happens because in their infinite wisdom, TW decided to negate the most important function and reason for the creation of ARMOR in HISTORY by making armor uncapable of stopping arrows from piercing people. So there you have it. They've also made one of the most ridiculous systems for battle auto-calc Ive ever seen by basically giving any mounted unit 2 lives, the results of such a brainy implementation are obviously observed at all times in almost all versions and with almost all mods since the game entered EA, Khuzaits will steam-roll other factions if the player isn't involved (meaning pure auto-calc).

Vlandia arguably holds the best cav. in the game, but than again their other units are so crappy that it makes them very balanced. Crossbows although powerful in total dmg deal laughable DPS when compared to any archer (they lose to Aserai, Battania, Empire and Khuzaits in DPS), yet they still overpower Sturgia's meme bowmen quite easy. Their infantry's also pretty decent, they can counter cav aptly, they can hold their own against infantry formations, and they aren't mowed by archers as fast as others. They, do, however, lose attrition battles for not holding decent shield units, which I think is fair. Basically this kills the classic "counter-swadian" tactic of charging cav before their cav charges you, which's nice, forces for a more tactical approach.

Now, Sturgia's just the underdog meme-worthy faction since the beginning, and it saw absolutely no effective fix to make them even half-decent. Their gear's crap (inferior to all other factions) except for their high tier 2h axes, their armor's crap for a faction supposed to be infantry-centric, meaning they get mowed easily by missiles in general. They move slowly. Their territory's "Siberia on Steroids", they simply can't produce anything at any time and their economy's always crap, player-involvement or not. Their territory distribution's also total "RNG". Their main units (infantry) are only slightly more "skilled" than Empire, but with rags and pitchforks. Their weapon range's also crap to deal with face-to-face infantry, so spearmen are just incapable of doing anything useful when there's no cavalry charge, and when there is, they'll miss 99% of their attack's effective range. So basically TW made Sturgia as useless as looters, and their territory as useless as bandit hideouts. What's the solution? Well, make at least their capital more to the south and as rich as Kiev used to be. Varangian's (the original Rus) were also exceptionally proeficient in trading, that's the reason they even appeared IRL, if you wanna base Sturgians on them, than do it properly. It's also know that cold shores of Scandinavia and northern Russia are rich in rare sea resources like Salmon and Wale (wale oil being a massively important resource during history) So Sturgia economy could be salvaged if they added "fancy fish" and "wale resources" to the economy, and basically throw 99% of said resources into Sturgian bound villages. If that's done right (a virtual Kiev + virtual Northern Shores) than Sturgia might even balance itself by being able to field larger and higher quality armies. Another absurdity of Sturgian territory comes with their lack of villages, which also destroy their economy. To fix them, first and foremost, remove Druhziniks as cavalry and make them heavy infantry (even CK does that, for crying out loud). Swap their cultural buffs to something actually helpful like either economy related or warfare related. And finally, fix their territory/economy by giving them more villages and unique resources to their lands. They are, currently, the faction that makes the least sense in the game because they are just a copy&paste of others only worse.
 
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