Upgrade the Footpad (???)

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JW
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Upgrade the Footpad (???)

Post by JW » May 4th, 2006, 9:05 am

I was just writing some more installments in How to play Knalgans when I realized that the Footpad is incredibly useless. It's only utility is as a cheap scout - a scout that only deals useful damage against Undead and a few other select units like Gryphons. Even against Gryphons 2 hits kill the poor sucker (which although unlikely, can still happen at least 9% of the time).

Now, I know having a cheap scout is nice, but after the first few turns of village grabbing, the unit's usefulness is over. They just don't seem to be worth the upkeep. Unlike other scout units, their resistancies allow them to die in one attack (from a single non-Horseman unit).

Now, I have to admit that I found their utility so low that I never use them anymore. Perhaps this is a bad taste left in my mouth - this is why the question marks in the title. I was wondering if someone could explain the utility of using Footpads to me and in what situation/s they prefer to use them. I'm not convinced that anyone does use them other than the AI.

The reason this is in MP dev is because if they really are unused and un-useful, then they need to be upgraded somehow. I'd throw out a suggestion of +1 damage on either their melee or ranged strikes, but I'd actually like to see people's opinions (especially Doc, Noy, DK, and Soliton's) about their utility before I make any thoughtful suggestions.

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Post by Elvish_Pillager » May 4th, 2006, 9:18 am

If you want to upgrade it, I'd say +1 damage on their melee *and* ranged attacks.
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Post by appleide » May 4th, 2006, 9:30 am

Or, reduce their gold cost by 2. Then they can serve in the militia.
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Post by Dragon Master » May 4th, 2006, 10:25 am

I agree with your opinion that they are quite useless. I hate'em. Either give them more health or more attack IMO

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Post by toms » May 4th, 2006, 11:41 am

Dragon Master wrote:I agree with your opinion that they are quite useless. I hate'em. Either give them more health or more attack IMO
More health makes them to a more heavy unit. Better more damage or swings.
What about 5-2/3-3 ?
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Post by appleide » May 4th, 2006, 11:57 am

Dragon Master wrote:I agree with your opinion that they are quite useless. I hate'em. Either give them more health or more attack IMO
I'd say give them even more defence!! :twisted:

Alternatively, reduce the unresistance that he has.
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Post by Ranger M » May 4th, 2006, 2:15 pm

I would agree that most of these statements would improve them, but I have another suggestion to add too.

have +1 to their attack (it is really wimpy) but also add the fugitive from the L3 outlaws pack (or IoA/Liberty) and give it and the outlaw and fugitive (an maybe footpad) ambush.

currently, they are a useless scout unit, but with ambush, they could use their speed, and admittedly weak attack, but high defenses to ambush enemies in forest tiles (which are relatively common in MP maps, although it would only work with fog on, which is why I would give them the higher attack and advancement too)

It would also fit their character too, I mean, what do outlaws do apart from ambush travelers on Highways?

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Post by scott » May 4th, 2006, 2:36 pm

I think footpads are only appreciated in campaigns. They are too difficult to level up quickly in normal play, but starting at L2 the unit is very nice - a nice ranged impact attack, enough HP to survive a couple of attacks, and most importantly elusivefoot defenses and speed. That said, I wouldn't be opposed to improving the footpad either in ranged attack or a couple of HP.
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Post by Yogin2 » May 4th, 2006, 10:57 pm

Since I just commented on them in knalgans. I'll outline one situation where I think they're definitely worth it over thieves.

Charge, player 1. Recruiting a footpad in 10,2 or 10,3 guarantees turn 2 village @ 3,1 which leads into turn 3 village @ 1,4. With a thief, you'd have to reach 3,1 @ turn 3, and 1,4 @ turn 4, unless you devote a second unit who also grabs no turn 1 village. This maneuver will net you 5-6g over the thief, or 3g, if you devote the second unit. Apply that to the cost of the unit, and you have a footpad for 8-9g, which imo is very worth it. Gryphons on charge usually try and head over the swamp to grab the swamp village since no other unit gets there easily. It's true that 40% of the time a thief will be quick, and enable you to do the same, but again, that's only 40% of the time.

Basically, the situation here could be generalized into any map where there is a village 7 hexes out, with an additional village 8+ hexes out that is not critical to the front, and that the gryphon will not grab. That situation will net 5-6g 60% of the time over a comparable thief.

Oh, I just noticed a footpad on charge can also grab 4,7 on turn 2, leading into a turn 3 grab of 3,11. This might not be as useful, since any 6 move unit can grab 3,11 on turn 3, and since it's on the front, devoting a secondary unit to grab it is worthwhile. This would net you only 3g from turn 2. Clash used to be like this, too, but I just noticed that now all the villages are either 6 or 8 moves away. the 8 move villages can be done if you feel like gambling for a quick footpad, I guess.

The other use I had for the footpad is defensive. Some maps just cry out for strong defensive units. A footpad is much better than a thief defensively, and the only non-gryphon option for knalgan grassland defense. You sacrifice a lot, offensively with a footpad, but that's what you trade for that extra 4hp.
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Post by Wintersmith » May 5th, 2006, 5:39 am

What about giving the Footpads the Skirmisher ability? I think that this would be very much in line with the character of the unit. This would be a major boost to the unit's power, but consider how it compares to the other skirmisher units: (stats based on version 1.0.2)

Footpad: 28HP, 7 moves, 4-2 melee, 4-2 ranged. cost: 14 gold

Fencer: 28HP, 6 moves, 4-4 melee, no ranged. cost: 16 gold

Saurian Skirmisher: 22HP, 6 moves, 4-4 melee, 4-2 ranged, 15 gold

Giving the Footpad the skirmisher ability wouldn't even put it far out of line from similar units; quite simply, the Footpad in its present state is seriously underpowered.

The Footpad might be slightly overpowered if we simply gave the skirmisher ability and didn't make any other changes. If people think so, I suggest cutting its HP from 28 to 24 (24HP is how much the Thief has).

On the other hand, we should remember that part of the reason the Fencer and Saurian Skirmisher are so useful is because they can slip past ZOC and finish off wounded units. Since the Footpad has such weak attacks to begin with, it wouldn't gain nearly as much benefit from the Skirmisher ability as the Saurian and the Fencer do (4-2 is a lot less than 4-4).

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Post by Wintermute » May 5th, 2006, 7:39 am

Wintersmith wrote:What about giving the Footpads the Skirmisher ability? I think that this would be very much in line with the character of the unit.
I agree that skirmish might fit the character of the unit. Given that Rogues already get skirmish, I'm not really sure that adding skirmish to footpads would be the right move.

In my mind, thief and footpad are similar enough that they could be combined into one unit. The level one stage could be close to the footpad, and then branch off into the rouge/assassin path and the outlaw path.


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Post by JW » May 5th, 2006, 9:24 am

I think making their ranged attack 5-2 and their hp 30 would be sufficient. That would make his ranged go from 10 to 18 instead of 8 to 18 when he levels. It might still be weak, but it would be a lot better than what the Footpad is now.

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Post by Ken_Oh » May 5th, 2006, 11:10 am

Whatever.

For just one more gold you get a much better scout than Vampire Bat.

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Post by appleide » May 5th, 2006, 1:34 pm

Ken Oh wrote:Whatever.

For just one more gold you get a much better scout than Vampire Bat.
Don't say That! Vampire bat can get water villages MUCH better than the ghost.
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Post by Wintermute » May 5th, 2006, 2:57 pm

JW wrote:I think making their ranged attack 5-2 and their hp 30 would be sufficient. That would make his ranged go from 10 to 18 instead of 8 to 18 when he levels. It might still be weak, but it would be a lot better than what the Footpad is now.
I would agree with that. I use footpads occasionally, but that might be *just* enough of an incease to make footpads useful in more situations. 10 ranged damge and 70% forest def for cheaper than a thunderer is certianly worth thinking about.
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