Bowmen should be revisited ?

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Yomar
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Bowmen should be revisited ?

Post by Yomar » May 23rd, 2014, 5:27 pm

I write this because some days ago I was reading on this forum some posts of people complaining of the bowman being the most useless unit, so I wonder how many persons think this, personally I find them useful, but maybe if you have to choose to recruit btw a spearman or a bowman, well many choose to recruit he first one.
Then compared to most other basic ranged units he looks worse for one reason or the other.
Maybe increasing his ranged attack will convince ppl to choose more often him than a spearman (But maybe that would unbalance the game), or what about decreasing his XP by some points, after all he is considered worse than Orcish archers and Poachers, but those units needs a way less experience to advance.
I usually watch a lot of games by other ppl, and saw a lot of more times advancing an Orcish Archers and Poachers than Bowmen, I saw even more often leveling Spearmen than Bowmen, even if they require more XP, probably because ppl tend to recruit more of them, and because they are way less vulnerable.

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Dunno
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Re: Bowmen should be revisited ?

Post by Dunno » May 23rd, 2014, 6:15 pm

I remember some time ago losing in a very embarrassing way in a drakes (me) vs. bowmen spam. It's not that bowmen are useless, they just serve a different purpose than, e.g, Spearmen, your common cannon-fodder. Similar thing can be said about skeleton archers for instance.

So this plus the usual "replays or didn't happen", "factions are balanced, not single units" etc give little chance of seeing bowman buffed. Then again, I've been on a wesbreak for a while now, and I've never been a good wesnoth gamer so I might be wrong.
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name
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Re: Bowmen should be revisited ?

Post by name » May 27th, 2014, 1:28 am

Yomar wrote:but maybe if you have to choose to recruit btw a spearman or a bowman, well many choose to recruit he first one.
I believe the problem is actually that the spearman is a bit too good a deal versus all other loyalist units. The loyalist faction's theme is that they are a (fully diurnal) group of specialized units that win through combined arms (more so than other factions). But over recent years of development, various loyalists units have been debuffed for various fine balancing reasons, like the bowman losing sword power, cavalryman losing hp, etc. This debuffing just hasn't yet happened to the spearman, leaving it relatively strong.

Faction vs Faction, I believe masses of spearman gives loyalists a slight advantage over drakes on an average-sized competition map.

And in match ups against all other factions besides undead, I believe loyalists are rewarded for spamming spearman more than any other unit in any other faction.

If spearman were slightly debuffed, these issues should go away. But there are a few obstacles to doing this. Firstly, it would be difficult to prove even with many replays; the slightness of this imbalance would mean a low signal to noise ratio. Secondly, the game is balanced faction versus faction, not unit versus unit, which makes intra-faction balance a lower priority.

Finally, any solution would have to be very small and thoughtful to not harm another aspect of wesnoth's intricate balance. The best solution for this problem considered in isolation would be to lower the spearman melee attack, but there is no small way to do this with integers. Either you go from 7-3 to 6-3 or from 7-3 to 10-2, either of which could have an undesirable affect on loyalist versus rebel or knalgan matches for example. Decreasing health from 36 to 34 or increasing cost from 14 to 15 could cause similar issues.

Jozrael
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Re: Bowmen should be revisited ?

Post by Jozrael » May 27th, 2014, 3:42 am

I'd argue grunts are just as spammable, but it feels more thematic there.

name
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Re: Bowmen should be revisited ?

Post by name » May 27th, 2014, 5:39 am

Grunts would be the most spammable, except that with northerners you also have welps to spam for your daytime defense. With loyalists, spamming spearmen works equally well for both daytime raids and nighttime defense.

And I believe you are quite right that massed grunts are actually the stated focus of the northerners. Loyalists were supposed to be essentially the opposite of that though, the combined arms faction. And I believe they mostly are, each loyalist unit has a fair balance of cost-versus-usefulness, except for the spearman which covers the rest of them in its shadow.

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Re: Bowmen should be revisited ?

Post by HomerJ » May 27th, 2014, 7:23 am

I know, when these discussions come up we are talking mainly about MP. That being said, in campaigns, bowman, especially once leveled, work great and here's why:
When you can recruit bowman, chances are high you will face orcs repeatedly. With their lack of ranged attacks bowman shine in wearing down high HP units without retaliation, as well as defending from fortified positions, since they dish out a bit on melee retaliation (at lvl2 and 3 not that bad actually) and can savely fire away offensively regardless of ToD. Versus undead at least the defending point still stands.

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Cackfiend
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Re: Bowmen should be revisited ?

Post by Cackfiend » June 13th, 2014, 12:28 am

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CIB
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Re: Bowmen should be revisited ?

Post by CIB » June 13th, 2014, 3:33 am

Cold Steel wrote: I believe the problem is actually that the spearman is a bit too good a deal versus all other loyalist units. The loyalist faction's theme is that they are a (fully diurnal) group of specialized units that win through combined arms (more so than other factions). But over recent years of development, various loyalists units have been debuffed for various fine balancing reasons, like the bowman losing sword power, cavalryman losing hp, etc. This debuffing just hasn't yet happened to the spearman, leaving it relatively strong.
Odd that nobody brought up this point in the other thread, because this seems a good answer to:
Temuchin Khan wrote: There is something very odd about this thread. Those who want the Bowman's melee attack to be improved are assuming that it is desirable for all the units in a faction to be used with equal frequency. They are assuming that there is something undesirable about having a situation in which a few Cavalrymen, a bunch of spearmen, and a bunch of mages is an effective loyalist army. In other words,they are assuming that it is undesirable for the Bowman to be a specialist.

But why? Other units are specialists, why not the Bowman?

In other words, this entire thread is based on an unjustified and perhaps unjustifiable assumption. And unless someone can provide a justification for that assumption, this whole thread would seem to be pointless.
I fully agree btw, loyalists seem to represent a typical medieval army, so it doesn't thematically fit to have their bowmen be specialist units that are useful only in very specific situations.

UK1
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Re: Bowmen should be revisited ?

Post by UK1 » June 13th, 2014, 3:46 am

I disagree on multiple levels. I not only think that bowmen should not be buffed because it's fine for a unit to not be decent for every situation, but I also think that bowmen are okay for a first recruit. They're good to get for a loyalist mirror match or if you're up against drakes. They're also decent against orcs. You're basically just taking the risk that you'll be up against undead and your bowman will be effectively useless for much other than bat hunting.

That being said, I feel like we shouldn't even entertain the idea of giving loyalists any kind of buff. They already have leadership/healing leaders, the Spearman, and Cavalrymen. I'm sure they'll be just fine.

And I'll add that theme is really neither here nor there. It's nice when the theme works out, but ultimately it's far more important for the factions to be playable, fun, and preferably balanced.
"Hey you, bats should be nerfed."
"Why?"
"Because I lost a game to bat swarm and I'm bitterUhm... clarity... and... consistency? Yeah yeah that sounds good. Clarity and consistency."
Do not. Nerf. The bat.

name
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Re: Bowmen should be revisited ?

Post by name » June 13th, 2014, 2:04 pm

UK1 wrote: That being said, I feel like we shouldn't even entertain the idea of giving loyalists any kind of buff.
This is partly why I propose to instead reduce the attack power (or other quality) of the loyalist spearman. Especially against drakes, I don't think loyalists need to be any more powerful, but perhaps slightly less.

The reason people feel that various loyalist units like the bowman or fencer are underused is because the spearman is such an all around good deal.

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