Loyalists vs Khalifate is grossly imbalanced

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wessy1
Posts: 4
Joined: July 31st, 2015, 2:57 pm

Loyalists vs Khalifate is grossly imbalanced

Post by wessy1 » August 7th, 2015, 1:35 pm

I would like to share my observations about this matchup.
I am not a ladder player, but I frequently play ladder players and can regularly win against people in the 1.8k elo bracket. I suppose that means that I am neither a terrible nor a very good player.

I have been playing the Khalifate vs Loyalist matchup a lot recently and my personal conclusion is that the Khalifate cannot win against Loyalists in the hand of a decent player.
My points are that as the Khalifate player, you

1) cannot attack
2) cannot hold ground against an attack
3) cannot capture back villages in time
4) cannot fall back to the outrunning and village grabbing game
5) cannot camp/play passive

About 1)
The Khalifate has a very hard time tearing a village from the clutches of a Loyalist player. The Khalifate has two units with breaking power, namely the Arif and the Khaiyal. The Khaiyal is a pretty horrible buy against Loyalists for obvious reasons, so you really should not have more than one, if any. Both of those units are lawful and have no ranged attack, so they have to attack at day and will suffer spectacular retaliation damage from Spearmen in melee (which on top of all have first strike). Even if you are so fortunate to get a few lucky hits and a kill here and there, the next turn the full power of a village-backed loyalist army at daylight will be unleashed, while your lawful units are probably wounded and your liminal units have a 25% attack penalty. In short: everything dies.
If the Loyalist player wants to add insult to injury he can even buy a HI and add it to his defense. This will force the Khalifate player to buy two Naffats for 19 gold each - but while the Naffat only counters the HI, the HI (in defense) counters the entire Khalifate army due to the faction's impact weakness.

About 2)
Loyalists are the kings of breaking power. Not many factions won't abandon a frontline village when a Loyalist army is approaching and it is especially bad if you are playing the Khalifate.
You have only two options for units to stick into a village or in a defensive line that is under attack. A Jundi or an Arif. Any other unit will perform worse for obvious reasons.
The Jundi has slightly less HP than an Elvish Fighter and will dish out minimal retaliation at day, the Arif will (in most cases) enjoy only 50% defense in a village, so pick your poison. At day, any Loyalist player with a healthy amount of Spearmen and a Horseman or Mage sprinkled into the army won't have any trouble breaking either.

About 3)
Once you have a Spearman or a HI in one of your villages you have very little chances of coming back due to 1) and 2). Your Jundi (hopefully you don't have many Rami) and your lawful troops need to be very lucky to do sufficient damage to the camping loyalist army until night falls. Once it is night, neither of you do any damage so the Loyalist player can heal up while enjoying a higher income. At this point the only thing the Loyalist player has to do is buy Spearmen (which are 1 gold cheaper than your bread and butter unit), send them to the frontline, and rotate units. You will suffocate under Spearman spam backed by a superior income.

About 4)
Your Jundis, while fast, are not powerful enough in offense to get the odd spearman out of a remote village until help arrives (unless you dedicate a considerable amount of units to grab a remote village, which means the Loyalist player will simply roll over your frontlines the next day). On extremely large maps, you might have a chance with falcon and Rami spam (which are actually not that fast for a mounted unit), but I doubt it.

About 5)
If you play passive you lose. Once it goes into the lategame, i.e. where supply numbers and gold penalty from unit supply start to matter, the Loyalist player can begin to buy supply efficient power units (Horsemen, Mages, HI) to eventually roll over the Khalifate army - while the Khalifate has no useful power unit in this matchup.

I am not a frustrated player that is calling for buffs or nerfs, I just want the situation to be looked at. Maybe I'm even missing something here.
Tweaks to the Khalifate are difficult. For example, you cannot simply lower the cost of the Naffat in order to have a cost effective counter to the HI - because cheap Naffats will whip Undead.
One change I find intriguing is switching the Khalifate from liminal/lawful to liminal/chaotic, although I'm probably not aware of all the implications. If you look at the unit descriptions of the Naffat line - basically depicting them as mad arsonists - a chaotic alignment would fit the fantasy of the unit much better. If you wanted to make the Arif chaotic you could justify that with the metal armor simply getting too hot in the desert sun.

I'm open to your opinions and a discussion about potential tweaks to the Khalifate faction.

Sir_Cryer
Posts: 10
Joined: July 5th, 2015, 7:48 pm

Re: Loyalists vs Khalifate is grossly imbalanced

Post by Sir_Cryer » August 8th, 2015, 11:19 am

I agree.
Jundi = main melee fighter = costs 15 gold, 32 hp, 5x3 melee blade and 6x3 ranged pierce
naftat = supposed to be archer = costs 19 gold, 31 hp, 8x2 melee fire and 6x3 ranged fire

Also their cost is very high when compared to other factions. Very unbalanced.
In my opinion, devs should focus more on balancing.

Velensk
Multiplayer Contributor
Posts: 3979
Joined: January 24th, 2007, 12:56 am

Re: Loyalists vs Khalifate is grossly imbalanced

Post by Velensk » August 8th, 2015, 11:48 am

I actually agree that this match-up is problematic however the above illustrates a different problem.

Judi are not the 'main melee fighter'. The faction has no main melee fighter. The Khalifates primary strength is their amazing ability to skirmish away from villages and the faction does this by having their most efficient unit be a mixed fighter and having no efficient 'main melee fighter'. This is something that is really hard for a lot of people to wrap their heads around. Of course, this style very much contributes to the problem against loyalists as the methods which the Khalifate have for breaking down fortifications when you have forced your enemy back don't work very well if your enemy is more lawful than you are (which the loyalists certainly are).
"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."

wessy1
Posts: 4
Joined: July 31st, 2015, 2:57 pm

Re: Loyalists vs Khalifate is grossly imbalanced

Post by wessy1 » August 8th, 2015, 1:31 pm

I never pictured the Jundi as a melee fighter. I use the unit as a relatively cheap skirmisher and harasser. In that role, I find myself using the bow more often than the melee attack. The melee attack is useful against dedicated ranged units (which are less common on the battlefield than dedicated melee units) and for dealing retaliation damage to melee units. In most matchups Jundis are great at softening up a hastily put together (due to the Jundi's speed) defensive line, then at daylight hopefully your Arifs arrive to the party. One problem here is that the faction has nothing good to put into a village to survive a counterattack. I had no good experiences with the Khaiyal, it seems horribly overpriced to me in every matchup. The Khalifate is generally weak when your opponent is good at managing and reallocating units between multiple fronts - once there are enough units on the battlefield that critical positions can only be attacked from 2 or 3 hexes the Khalifate loses power very quickly. For this reason maps like Den of Onis or Hamlets are a nightmare for the faction. However, all of this is still manageable if you play to the faction's strengths - except in the matchup vs Loyalists. Loys stomp the Khalifate, there's simply no way to win unless the map is gigantic and you are the better player.

Velensk
Multiplayer Contributor
Posts: 3979
Joined: January 24th, 2007, 12:56 am

Re: Loyalists vs Khalifate is grossly imbalanced

Post by Velensk » August 8th, 2015, 3:01 pm

When I said the above, I was referring to Sir_Cryer.

I generally agree with your assessments. I could nitpick the details but since I agree with the main points I'm not inclined to.
"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."

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