Low Tier units vs High Tier units

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Apocal

Grandmaster Knight
Except we don't really know what those sources talk about. These are all just interpretations. I have posted video above where whole thing is been discussed from the point of our current knowledge. Nobody knows how it was done and if it was done at all to begin with, that is when Tacitus and Polybius talk about it, we don't know what exactly they talk about.
With regards to relief by units, we definitely know it was done.

The fighting took place in this spot, which was unfavourable both from its confined limits and because they had halted just under the very spurs of the mountain, so that no missile failed to reach them. Nevertheless they strove with valour and endurance and sustained every description of wound. The forces of the foe were increasing and cohorts were continually being sent up to them from the camp through the town so that the unexhausted were always taking the place of the exhausted. Caesar was obliged to adopt the same course of withdrawing the exhausted and sending up supporting cohorts to the same place.
(from Caesar's Commentaries)

That is perfectly clear in meaning. I don't know how anyone could look at that and think there is ambiguity there. You can certainly say Caesar is lying immediately raises the question -- why?
When looked at the data we have from another angle, it's clear that combat must have been way less intensive then we usually assume.
Nobody serious has ever assumed battles look anything like they do in any television show ever aired. The stuff in that scene from HBO's Rome was apparently made-up by one of the technical advisers. Obviously that carries over into games with action elements, like Bannerlord. A game where you basically engage in a low-density series of duels and small skirmishes while darting back to the safety of your formation for long periods to rest up would not be well-received.
 
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hruza

Knight at Arms
With regards to relief by units, we definitely know it was done.

The fighting took place in this spot, which was unfavourable both from its confined limits and because they had halted just under the very spurs of the mountain, so that no missile failed to reach them. Nevertheless they strove with valour and endurance and sustained every description of wound. The forces of the foe were increasing and cohorts were continually being sent up to them from the camp through the town so that the unexhausted were always taking the place of the exhausted. Caesar was obliged to adopt the same course of withdrawing the exhausted and sending up supporting cohorts to the same place.
(from Caesar's Commentaries)

That is perfectly clear in meaning. I don't know how anyone could look at that and think there is ambiguity there. You can certainly say Caesar is lying immediately raises the question -- why?

That text does not talk about some formalized system of replacement of front line troops during fighting. It talks about Caesar sending reinforcements and withdriving spend troops to-from particular defensive position in a battle that took place on much wider space as Romans and Gauls fought for the dominant positions of the terrain, Romans basically trying to cut Gauls off their supplies.

At no point in the text it is suggested that Romans have somehow rotated their troops out during close fighting, that would require some special "technique" suggested by some people.
 
As was mentioned, many historical battles were long and had little casualities until rout (at least if two armies with similiar tech / culture met), there are also mentions of switching tired troops for fresh ones.

This suggests defensive poking, armor (or other defense) actually working, and some sort of troop replacing, if any of this conditions would not be met the battles would simply be much shorter - exhausted people get killed easily, unprotected people get killed easily, people that attack suicidaly both kill and die easily. This is what seems logical to me. How exactly it was done? Noone nows exactly because of how old records were written. But I believe that educated guess that is based on modern warfare, street fighting, human (and horse, elephant) psychology and physiology, in combination with historical records and experiments with armors and weapons is better than current FFA approach, because that is clear not how it was done.
 

Pejot

Sergeant Knight
WBVC
Even if that's 100% truth how it was done we have not only roman based soldiers in Bannerlord so it's not something that could be implemented for all factions.

And since it's a game and doesn't have to be 100% like real battles we can have simplified mechanics.

I'm not saying that current approach is ok, it could benefit from some changes but except lenght of battle what the game is lacking is some withdraw mechanic with real chance to escape and not always being annihilated.

So instead of lords miraculously spawning with some troops in the middle of their kingdom or players having to build up their army from scratch we could have less casualties, more wounded and retreat option that makes it a little harder to annihilate/being annihilated.
AI and Player could retreat with whatever they managed to retreat and build up their strength from that point by withdrawing to friendly territory and replacing loses with fresh troops.

This would add some strategic approach to catch enemies in places where they have nowhere to retreat to.

Of course if AI or player falls in battle he would be either dead or captured but troops that withdrawed could go back to the castle or closest friendly fief to wait for commander or just join another lord. Of course if they are not blocked in dead end.
 
As was mentioned, many historical battles were long and had little casualities until rout (at least if two armies with similiar tech / culture met), there are also mentions of switching tired troops for fresh ones.

This suggests defensive poking, armor (or other defense) actually working, and some sort of troop replacing, if any of this conditions would not be met the battles would simply be much shorter - exhausted people get killed easily, unprotected people get killed easily, people that attack suicidaly both kill and die easily. This is what seems logical to me.
exactly. I find it hard to wrap my head around how some people have argued that battles last for hours with low casualties (which is historically true based on all records) while simultaneously believing that the front line troops never got replaced...

defensive poking is what all melee fighters do. the better and more experienced they are the better at defending and countering they become. and it's more likely than not that legions like the romans have a systematic way to swap frontline troops with reserves in the back. in fact it's probably a main focus of their daily training. when people are fighting for their lives and exerting everything they have, their stamina drains rapidly and won't last more than a few minutes in the front lines. knowing that and how average battles lasted hours sometimes days. you know there's lots and lots of swapping. and also the actually numbers of troops on either side engaging each other is a fraction of total available troops. indicating that both sides maintain formation with strict discipline.

one of the main problem with field battles in the game ATM is the AIs not having a brain and mostly just charge mindlessly with their unoptimized army consisting of many lower tier troops. which frankly is not realistic at all. and the best fix of it so far is the RBM AI.

honestly, what is the point of these discussions? personally i find little value in it as the devs rarely if ever grace these parts of the forums with their presence, let alone read every post and see if there's something useful to be put into the game. at most we can give a modder some ideas so he can actually go about improving the gaming experience somehow.
 
So instead of lords miraculously spawning with some troops in the middle of their kingdom or players having to build up their army from scratch we could have less casualties, more wounded and retreat option that makes it a little harder to annihilate/being annihilated.
AI and Player could retreat with whatever they managed to retreat and build up their strength from that point by withdrawing to friendly territory and replacing loses with fresh troops.
I suggested a solution for this:
- not all wounded troops of the defeated lord will become prisoners for the winner. a rogery check will be performed by the winner and a % of wounded troops captured, the rest are able to run away. (eg. i win a battle, killing 100 and wounding 200 enemies. i have 30 rogery skills which gives me say 10% prisoner capture rate. so 20 out of 200 wounded troops are my prisoners, the rest rout)
- not all routed troops will be erased from the game. a leadership check will be performed for the loser (now a captive) and a % of routed troops will eventually return to the nearest garrison/lord as an independent party. (eg. the loser of the battle has 150 leadership allowing say 60% of his troops to retain after a rout. meaning 60% of 180 = 108 troops will form a little party x days after the battle and seek out either their garrison or a clan member)
 

Pejot

Sergeant Knight
WBVC
exactly. I find it hard to wrap my head around how some people have argued that battles last for hours with low casualties (which is historically true based on all records) while simultaneously believing that the front line troops never got replaced...

defensive poking is what all melee fighters do. the better and more experienced they are the better at defending and countering they become. and it's more likely than not that legions like the romans have a systematic way to swap frontline troops with reserves in the back. in fact it's probably a main focus of their daily training. when people are fighting for their lives and exerting everything they have, their stamina drains rapidly and won't last more than a few minutes in the front lines. knowing that and how average battles lasted hours sometimes days. you know there's lots and lots of swapping. and also the actually numbers of troops on either side engaging each other is a fraction of total available troops. indicating that both sides maintain formation with strict discipline.

one of the main problem with field battles in the game ATM is the AIs not having a brain and mostly just charge mindlessly with their unoptimized army consisting of many lower tier troops. which frankly is not realistic at all. and the best fix of it so far is the RBM AI.

honestly, what is the point of these discussions? personally i find little value in it as the devs rarely if ever grace these parts of the forums with their presence, let alone read every post and see if there's something useful to be put into the game. at most we can give a modder some ideas so he can actually go about improving the gaming experience somehow.

After the release of modding tools I came to realise that modders are the only hope for making the game better.

I'm not trying to say that devs are not doing their work (I know they do and they do it best they can) but it's either how the whole game is planned or how devs focus is planned that the game is not improving in most critical parts while modders were able to improve it in short time. Maybe it's just the effect of looking at the game mechanics with fresh view from observator perspective.

And I wasn't thinking like that for most part of the time since release of the game but recently after trying some mods I just cannot think otherwise anymore.
 
And I wasn't thinking like that for most part of the time since release of the game but recently after trying some mods I just cannot think otherwise anymore.
I agree. this is a sad realization. kinda like giving up on your ex. I think the main reason for this kind of situation is due to the fact the game devs work too much and don't play their own game enough. (small team, budget situation, scope of the project, company, management... too many reasons) so they frankly don't know much about their game from the other end, especially compared to some of the fans that have clocked in thousands of hours.

I make a comparison between game development and the restaurant business a lot because both seek to produce a product to be enjoyed by the consumers. and my experience working at a michelin level restaurant is that the head chef (equivalent to head developer) tastes food all day and never cooks, worked for the guy for years i don't think i've seen him cook once. now imagine if the guys in charge of Bannerlord spends 50 hours per week PLAYING/TESTING THE GAME instead of w/e else they happen to be doing (which could be done by a senior developer) there might be rapid improvements to the game. but of course such a change in behavior is merely wishful thinking on my part
 

five bucks

Squire
Arguing with hruza is a head-bashing-on-wall exercise. No matter how clear a statement from a historical source is, he'll play dumb and find a way to misunderstand it so that his version of events still makes sense, and he'll keep doing it for days if necessary. You can get a time machine and bring Julius Caesar himself to testify in person and that still wouldn't be enough to convince him.
Entirely safe at this point to label him as a troll and move on, I think most people here have experienced it by now.

Either way, TW is extremely unlikely to implement stamina systems for troops. Morale might be able to fill a similar role with some changes, though.
 

Terco_Viejo

Spanish Gifquisition
Grandmaster Knight
Arguing with hruza is a head-bashing-on-wall exercise. No matter how clear a statement from a historical source is, he'll play dumb and find a way to misunderstand it so that his version of events still makes sense, and he'll keep doing it for days if necessary. You can get a time machine and bring Julius Caesar himself to testify in person and that still wouldn't be enough to convince him.
Entirely safe at this point to label him as a troll and move on, I think most people here have experienced it by now.
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Either way, TW is extremely unlikely to implement stamina systems for troops. Morale might be able to fill a similar role with some changes, though.
Very much agree, morale is the key.
 

froggyluv

Grandmaster Knight
NW
So my first playthru in over 6 months and at all settings at highest/hardest one thing im really noticing is that Recruit level AI fighters seem to fight just as well as High tier fighters if armor is not a factor. Like in the Arena practice fights, these lowest level guys are blocking, switching out weapons (bow to axe) feinting and basically doing everything as well as a high level guy. Why is this? I am using Real Battle Mod so not sure if this is skewing my gameplay in this regard but I remember all the previous M&B titles you could really "feel" the troop level disparity combat skill/animation -wise/ of troop level.

This was one of the best aspects of this series and its a shame if its been lost in engine upgrading
 
So my first playthru in over 6 months and at all settings at highest/hardest one thing im really noticing is that Recruit level AI fighters seem to fight just as well as High tier fighters if armor is not a factor. Like in the Arena practice fights, these lowest level guys are blocking, switching out weapons (bow to axe) feinting and basically doing everything as well as a high level guy. Why is this? I am using Real Battle Mod so not sure if this is skewing my gameplay in this regard but I remember all the previous M&B titles you could really "feel" the troop level disparity combat skill/animation -wise/ of troop level.

This was one of the best aspects of this series and its a shame if its been lost in engine upgrading
This is due to mod, if you want easy mode reduce combat AI difficulty, it will still be harder than vanilla but more managable (right now it is set to require fieints, dragging and bashing to beat lords and high tier troops).
 

froggyluv

Grandmaster Knight
NW
This is due to mod, if you want easy mode reduce combat AI difficulty, it will still be harder than vanilla but more managable (right now it is set to require fieints, dragging and bashing to beat lords and high tier troops).
Thanks I’m guessing your the mod author if so many thanks. Yeah I like it when bots are really really hard and use lots of player like feints I’m just looking for more disparity - that being recruit level guys don’t fight nearly as well as seasoned troops - is this possible with what your suggesting? I take it you mean on the options menu of the game itself
 

Nogand

Recruit
While I think there's quite a strong realism case for 1 elite armored guy being able to survive fighting a group of 5 untrained, armorless wastrels (especially since the common argument "they tackle him and grab his arms" literally can't happen in Bannerlord), obviously some people will never be convinced that it's realistic. However, those people should consider the following:

* Plenty of people consider it realistic enough, at least as many as those who don't. If not more.
* Those who don't find it realistic can mod the game easily enough.

That argument applies to both parties, but I propose the default in vanilla should be "A unit's tier is a rough guide to how many recruits it can fight at once and survive." Because:

* Higher tier melee units will be worth the effort and money. Currently T5 melee units have 6 times the wage cost of recruits, plus the time you spend training them and the upgrade costs, despite most of them barely being able to go 1v2 with recruits.
* The player will get a more satisfying sense of progression. It just isn't fun to see your elite units you worked hard on being weak as ****.
* It's a nice, easy rule to remember that allows the player to make an informed tactical guess on how fights will go between formations of different tier.
* It will aid TW's balancing between different unit types to have a general "benchmark" of how each unit should be performing.


@anoddhermit In that case, just increase the upgrade cost of higher-tier units. But they really need to be effective and worth having.
To be fair, troop wages are trivially cheap, a decent workshop can fund 20 T5 troops. It's more party size limit, speed, and number of available recruits in friendly villages that's the limiting factor in building armies once you're past the early game.

The high tier edge does show itself in a formation fight, a wall of legionaries will get a 5:1 kill ratio against a mix of AI mid-tier melee of the same numbers. Unless they get flanked or shot in the back while chasing a horse archer F1+F4 results in a wall of green. But one guy caught out in 2v1 will just get stunlocked regardless of his armor or skill. IMO this is because the flinch threshold is so low that every single hit landed is a stun, turning an even fight (one T5 vs two T2 scrubs) into a beatdown. Plus combat skill doesn't affect unit AI so T5 just lets himself get surrounded unless he's shoulder-to-shoulder with friendlies.
 

five bucks

Squire
The high tier edge does show itself in a formation fight, a wall of legionaries will get a 5:1 kill ratio against a mix of AI mid-tier melee of the same numbers. Unless they get flanked or shot in the back while chasing a horse archer F1+F4 results in a wall of green.
Which mid-tier units did you use, spearmen or something? I believe what you're saying is possible, but here's a test by Apocal on 300 recruits vs 50 legionaries


and as you can see, the legionaries can't manage anywhere near a 5:1 kill ratio against imperial recruits.
But one guy caught out in 2v1 will just get stunlocked regardless of his armor or skill. IMO this is because the flinch threshold is so low that every single hit landed is a stun, turning an even fight (one T5 vs two T2 scrubs) into a beatdown. Plus combat skill doesn't affect unit AI so T5 just lets himself get surrounded unless he's shoulder-to-shoulder with friendlies.
Yeah I agree that's a big part of the issue. Since I like to collect feedback for that roadmap thread, how would you fix it? Maybe make flinch stun have a cooldown, to give a unit fighting 2v1 or 3v1 a way to keep fighting without being perma-stunned to death? They used a similar solution for 1vX in Mordhau.
 

Dabos37

Sergeant Knight at Arms
Which mid-tier units did you use, spearmen or something? I believe what you're saying is possible, but here's a test by Apocal on 300 recruits vs 50 legionaries


and as you can see, the legionaries can't manage anywhere near a 5:1 kill ratio against imperial recruits.

Yeah I agree that's a big part of the issue. Since I like to collect feedback for that roadmap thread, how would you fix it? Maybe make flinch stun have a cooldown, to give a unit fighting 2v1 or 3v1 a way to keep fighting without being perma-stunned to death? They used a similar solution for 1vX in Mordhau.

Stun having a cooldown would make the 1v1 combat pretty much unreliable and random. In Warband there is a simple solution related to recruits doing pretty low damage to armored units, so this damage is not enough for stun the armored guy. Plus recruits are much slower at releasing attacks than elite units.

The main problem in Bannerlord is how much effective blunt damage is against armor. Even a pretty low damage mace is able to do a high amount of damage to the best armor, and easily stun the enemy.

Blunt damage should be effective against armor, but we should not be able to kill an armored guy after 2-3 hits with a teaspoon, just because it does blunt damage. Same happens with two handed weapons which are pretty effective against armor, even if a pretty low weapon tier.

On the other hand, should 50 Legionaries be able to kill 300 recruits if legionaries get totally surrounded? I mean, I know that people would love to see that but I actually prefer what is currently happening. It looks much more realistic for me.
 
On the other hand, should 50 Legionaries be able to kill 300 recruits if legionaries get totally surrounded? I mean, I know that people would love to see that but I actually prefer what is currently happening. It looks much more realistic for me.

If the recruits had shields and helmets it would make sense for them to have a chance at winning, but currently they're just guys with swords and literally nothing else. From both a gameplay and believability perspective I have no problem with them just getting massacred.
 

five bucks

Squire
In Warband there is a simple solution related to recruits doing pretty low damage to armored units, so this damage is not enough for stun the armored guy. Plus recruits are much slower at releasing attacks than elite units.
Sounds good to me.
The main problem in Bannerlord is how much effective blunt damage is against armor. Even a pretty low damage mace is able to do a high amount of damage to the best armor, and easily stun the enemy. Blunt damage should be effective against armor, but we should not be able to kill an armored guy after 2-3 hits with a teaspoon, just because it does blunt damage. Same happens with two handed weapons which are pretty effective against armor, even if a pretty low weapon tier.
Agreed.
On the other hand, should 50 Legionaries be able to kill 300 recruits if legionaries get totally surrounded?
No, but I do think they should be able to kill 250 (suffering heavy casualties in the process). That would be a 1:5 KDR.
So each Legionary, being T5, could take on 5 recruits at a time, and have a decent chance of surviving with a sliver of health left. Or in the case of 50 being mobbed by 250, you would have just a handful of Legionaries left.

As I said further up in the thread, there are multiple benefits to a unit's tier referring to how many recruits it can take on and win (on average, of course, it would be too difficult to balance it perfectly). It would make higher tier units worth the effort to train them up and pay them, create a satisfying sense of progression, make tactics slightly less in the realm of guesswork, and aid balancing.
If the recruits had shields and helmets it would make sense for them to have a chance at winning, but currently they're just guys with swords and literally nothing else. From both a gameplay and believability perspective I have no problem with them just getting massacred.
This too.
 
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Dabos37

Sergeant Knight at Arms
Sounds good to me.

Agreed.

No, but I do think they should be able to kill 250 (suffering heavy casualties in the process). That would be a 1:5 KDR.
So each Legionary, being T5, could take on 5 recruits at a time, and have a decent chance of surviving with a sliver of health left.

As I said further up in the thread, there are multiple benefits to a unit's tier referring to how many recruits it can take on and win (on average, of course). Make higher tier units worth the effort to train them up and pay them, create a satisfying sense of progression, make tactics slightly less in the realm of guesswork, and aid balancing.

This too.

I am not sure if 50 Legionaries should be able to kill 250 recruits in order to find them cost/effective or not. It is not like if it would be possible to build infinite men armies and if it would be the case, your party would be really really slow. Keeping in mind that we have party limits, Legionaries just need to be considerably better than recruits to find them worthy. Your party is simply much more effective having 100 legionaries than having 100 recruits (remember party size limit), your legionaries are also less likely to flee, and while legionaries are more expensive, they allow you to defeat enemies easier and get much more money.

Same happens in games like Total War Warhammer, and elite units are not necessarily x3 stronger than basic units, despite of being x3 more expensive. There are more variables for evaluating how much worth units are aside from just testing these units in custom battles, and expect a perfect 5:1. So while I also would like to see high tiers feeling stronger, legionaries are one of these units which currently worth the money they cost. Same for most of ranged units which perform considerably better as they get upgraded.
 
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