Let's make Heavy Infantries useful!

Discussion of all aspects of multiplayer development: unit balancing, map development, server development, and so forth.

Moderators: Forum Moderators, Developers

Locked
name
Posts: 396
Joined: January 6th, 2008, 3:32 am

Post by name » January 9th, 2008, 4:58 pm

JW wrote:The point I was making is that there are horses in mainline that go over mountains, and even ones intendedd to be included in mainline. I forgot why that was applicable.
We where questioning the realism and gameplay reasons for half the loyalists units being completely unable to cross mountains, while a strong majority of the units in all the other factions can.

I believe you were making the case that since the naga and elvish riders (and I had brought up woses too) can go up mountains, that loyalist cavalry and probably heavy infantry should be able to as well, from the realism/believability standpoint.

It was then countered that the elvish were just really exceptional riders, and naga as their name suggests are mostly snakes, and apparently cold blooded giant sea snakes can belly crawl up a cold, high mountain better than a guy with 20 to 40 kilograms of ergonomic armor could. :?

You then made the case that the kalifa riders can cross mountains as well, human and well armored though they be. So apparently loyalists just have really stupid horses or something. :o

User avatar
anakayub
Moderator Emeritus
Posts: 518
Joined: May 3rd, 2007, 12:44 pm
Location: Malaysia
Contact:

Post by anakayub » January 9th, 2008, 5:07 pm

This is a recent planned (not random) Loy vs Knalgan match meant to show the usefulness of HI's. My personal obversations:

1) It can really affect an opponent's plan for strategical movement.
2) It's slow, but like the Dwarvish Guardsman, it holds its ground well when used properly.
3) Getting hit by it hurts. A lot.
4) Nothing wrong with it.

Anyways, this doesn't stop our beloved JW from taking a dig at our beloved unit. :P

Image

This game was not played to the end, but the HI's role was quite evident.
Enjoy.
Attachments
2p_-_The_Freelands_replay.gz
Loy ('FreeAsABeer') vs Knalgans ('JW'),Freelands Wesnoth 1.3.13
(19.46 KiB) Downloaded 123 times
Last edited by anakayub on January 10th, 2008, 1:28 am, edited 2 times in total.
Take a breath.

Angry Andersen
Posts: 205
Joined: September 15th, 2006, 1:22 pm

Post by Angry Andersen » January 9th, 2008, 6:08 pm

To me the negative resistances to fire and cold are still the main problems with the HI. Combined with the low defense the HI becomes very vulnerable to those damage types. Furthermore many cold&fire attacks are ranged, so the HI cannot retaliate.

Removing those negative resistances would help make the HI more effective in it's niche, while keeping the inability to move on mountains ensures they remain a niche unit.

User avatar
TL
Posts: 511
Joined: March 3rd, 2007, 3:02 am

Post by TL » January 9th, 2008, 6:26 pm

Angry Andersen wrote:To me the negative resistances to fire and cold are still the main problems with the HI. Combined with the low defense the HI becomes very vulnerable to those damage types. Furthermore many cold&fire attacks are ranged, so the HI cannot retaliate.
There are a very small number of units where the HI's low defense and negative resistance both come into play. The big fire/cold hitters generally have magical attacks, against which the HI's defense is the same as anyone else's. Fencers and thieves are generally threatened more by mages and dark adepts than HI is, for example. Many other L1 fire/cold attacks are so small that -10% does not enter into the calculations. The HI suffers from low defense against the 3-3 ranged attack of ghosts, drake fighters, and drake gliders, but takes no extra damage even against best TOD. This leaves orc archers and drake burners as the only two L1 units that can fully exploit both the HI's negative fire resistance and the HI's low defense. HI flat out sucks against drakes in general, so we can write that off. The HI is great against northerners, however--and the alternate tank unit vs. northerners, the cavalryman, is just as vulnerable to orc archers as HI is.

Velensk
Multiplayer Contributor
Posts: 3984
Joined: January 24th, 2007, 12:56 am

Post by Velensk » January 9th, 2008, 8:30 pm

I Realy don't see how the inability to move over moutains makes it a niche unit. You don't move through moutains allot anyway, I'd say that the increased move cost over hills (which are much more common) is more of a problem. Heavy infantry are made a niche unit by it's other problems.
"There are two kinds of old men in the world. The kind who didn't go to war and who say that they should have lived fast died young and left a handsome corpse and the old men who did go to war and who say that there is no such thing as a handsome corpse."

Caeb
Posts: 68
Joined: September 11th, 2007, 2:02 am

Post by Caeb » January 9th, 2008, 9:00 pm

other than more replays, I think all the relevant arguments willing to be taken into consideration by the devs have been made on this subject...

in the same vein as the Fencer debates, all I hear are people complaining that their Swiss knives have too many useless functions when they're trying to use the hammer tool to open cans...

User avatar
JW
Posts: 5046
Joined: November 10th, 2005, 7:06 am
Location: Chicago-ish, Illinois

Post by JW » January 9th, 2008, 11:56 pm

anakayub wrote:1) It can really affect an opponent's plan for strategical movement.
2) It's slow, but like the Dwarvish Guardsman, it holds its ground well when used properly.
3) Getting hit by it hurts. A lot.
4) Nothing wrong with it.

This game was not played to the end, but the HI's role was quite evident.
Enjoy.
Actually, this isn't a very good demonstration. Yes, HI hit hard, but it was an error to even be on that village on that turn. I forgot that time was turning to dawn the next turn, so I stupidly put my thunderer on that village. Even then he did not die from 3 units, HI included. Also, none of his units could reach my dwarf in the NE due to the terrain.

Anyway, the threat of HI was not my biggest concern for the most part - it was all those spearmen and the mage at day. Neither of his HI were quick, so it was easy to stay out of their ranges. The mage was my primary worry, though it alone could not kill any of my dwarves.

Anyway, I can see a use for the HI against Knalgans, I conceded as much last night. Still, I was able to run around them even with dwarves! If loyalist player is to use HI he must be willing to keep them near the front lines, even if it costs him hp. Moving him around is useless as it takes too long.

Also, looking at his 40% village defense:
unit v unit: damage * probability
Thunderer v Spearman: 18 * 0.4 = 7.2
Thunderer v HI: 11 * 0.6 = 6.6

spearman: 36hp / 7.2 = 5
HI: 38hp / 6.6 ~ 6

A HI will last approximately 1 more attack (6) than a spearman (5) on village. This is only a 20% increase in survivability for a 36% increase in price. The unit sacrifices mobility and minimal ranged retaliation for approximately the same melee damage v. Knalgans.

Spamming Spearmen is more cost-effective than buying HI.

User avatar
TL
Posts: 511
Joined: March 3rd, 2007, 3:02 am

Post by TL » January 10th, 2008, 4:38 am

JW wrote:Also, looking at his 40% village defense:
unit v unit: damage * probability
Thunderer v Spearman: 18 * 0.4 = 7.2
Thunderer v HI: 11 * 0.6 = 6.6

spearman: 36hp / 7.2 = 5
HI: 38hp / 6.6 ~ 6

A HI will last approximately 1 more attack (6) than a spearman (5) on village. This is only a 20% increase in survivability for a 36% increase in price. The unit sacrifices mobility and minimal ranged retaliation for approximately the same melee damage v. Knalgans.

Spamming Spearmen is more cost-effective than buying HI.
Averages aren't everything. Over time, yes, spearmen give you more bang for your back on average. Heavy infantry will not win in a war of attrition, unless you're facing skeleton spam. In absolute terms, however, the HI has advantages which are undeniable. Two thunderers will probably not kill a spearman in a village... but they will definitely not kill an HI in a village. Indeed, three thunderers cannot, whereas they would start to get decent odds on a spearman. If you absolutely need to hold that village, HI delivers a surety that a spearman cannot.

User avatar
anakayub
Moderator Emeritus
Posts: 518
Joined: May 3rd, 2007, 12:44 pm
Location: Malaysia
Contact:

Post by anakayub » January 10th, 2008, 9:37 am

Not the most optimal of replays, but there's another Loy+Ud vs Kn+R. I was Loys and used HI's against Kn. You guys can take a look in the 2v2 archive.
Take a breath.

Sombra
Posts: 273
Joined: August 11th, 2006, 6:38 pm

Post by Sombra » January 10th, 2008, 12:53 pm

Can we say that Wesnoth has proven that the development of the HI concept has been a mistake in history?

It seems that armies should have depended more on lightly armed infantry for battles

...sure there was a plague of undead and dwarves (knalgans) in ancient times but afterwards the military concept should have changed....

User avatar
TL
Posts: 511
Joined: March 3rd, 2007, 3:02 am

Post by TL » January 10th, 2008, 7:08 pm

Sombra wrote:Can we say that Wesnoth has proven that the development of the HI concept has been a mistake in history?

It seems that armies should have depended more on lightly armed infantry for battles
Er... armies did generally depend on more lightly armed infantry for battles. The spearman is a much closer representation of common historical infantry than heavy infantry is. Full armor was mostly for cavalry, which could load up on 50+ lbs. of armor and still get somewhere in a timely fashion. It was not uncommon for ancient/medieval armies to utilize smaller numbers of more heavily armed and armored infantry as well (roughly corresponding to Wesnoth's HI, although I think the HI here is probably something of an exaggeration of the concept), but they did not rely on these for their main line of battle; the truly heaviest infantry units were niche units used as shock troops to spearhead an attack against a strong enemy line, or defensive units held in reserve in case the main infantry began to falter (gee... sounds familiar, maybe?)

Of course Wesnoth does not even begin to claim to be a historical simulation, so this entire side discussion is irrelevant.

name
Posts: 396
Joined: January 6th, 2008, 3:32 am

Post by name » January 11th, 2008, 3:26 am

While I question the heavy infantry's inability to cross mountain terrain, I really don't think its fighting ability should be called into question.

So for those of you who think that heavy infantry is only useful against undead skeletons, I offer a reminder of another situation in which they are quite useful. . .
Attachments
wack.png
wack.png (382.88 KiB) Viewed 2445 times

Grand Marshal Aditya
Posts: 134
Joined: August 1st, 2007, 1:37 am
Location: In the MOTHERLAND!

Post by Grand Marshal Aditya » January 11th, 2008, 3:48 am

Heavy infantry are strong power hitters with low defense. They fit the loyalists perfectly and I don't this argument is getting anywhere...

Some please lock it.
Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

Angry Andersen
Posts: 205
Joined: September 15th, 2006, 1:22 pm

Post by Angry Andersen » January 11th, 2008, 10:24 am

TL wrote:
Angry Andersen wrote:To me the negative resistances to fire and cold are still the main problems with the HI. Combined with the low defense the HI becomes very vulnerable to those damage types. Furthermore many cold&fire attacks are ranged, so the HI cannot retaliate.
There are a very small number of units where the HI's low defense and negative resistance both come into play. The big fire/cold hitters generally have magical attacks, against which the HI's defense is the same as anyone else's. Fencers and thieves are generally threatened more by mages and dark adepts than HI is, for example. Many other L1 fire/cold attacks are so small that -10% does not enter into the calculations. The HI suffers from low defense against the 3-3 ranged attack of ghosts, drake fighters, and drake gliders, but takes no extra damage even against best TOD. This leaves orc archers and drake burners as the only two L1 units that can fully exploit both the HI's negative fire resistance and the HI's low defense. HI flat out sucks against drakes in general, so we can write that off. The HI is great against northerners, however--and the alternate tank unit vs. northerners, the cavalryman, is just as vulnerable to orc archers as HI is.
You are right in your observation that not too many units can exploit both weaknesses. But the HI is countered by a lot of rather common units, i.e. orc archers, dark adepts, drake burners. Being rather vulnerable to other factions staple units just makes the HI a bit too vulnerable, especially because they are too immobile to choose favorable situations. Removing the negative resistances would reduce this a bit.

(BTW cavalryman at least get a chance of running away and get a ranged attack at lvl2 so they can retaliate. Furthermore they are not also weak against Goblin Pillagers.
While balancing is most essential to multiplayer, lots of people also enjoy playing campaigns were you will much more often also encounter higher level units)

Noy
Inactive Developer
Posts: 1321
Joined: March 13th, 2005, 3:59 pm

Post by Noy » January 11th, 2008, 6:10 pm

Grand Marshal Aditya wrote:Heavy infantry are strong power hitters with low defense. They fit the loyalists perfectly and I don't this argument is getting anywhere...

Some please lock it.
Your wish is my command

Locked
I suspect having one foot in the past is the best way to understand the present.

Don Hewitt.

Locked