When are Javelineers useful?

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revolting_peasant
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When are Javelineers useful?

Post by revolting_peasant »

The Wesnopedia says that
Javelineers are a valuable asset to an army.
But - are they, really? I mean, a Javelineer has mediocre melee and mediocre ranged capabilities. It has First Strike, that's true, but its HP is significantly lower than the Pikeman and not that much more than the Spearman. In a force with multiple units, isn't it always better to choose, say, a Spearman + Bowman instead of a Javelineer? Or rather, isn't it always a better idea to level a Spearman into a Pikeman (or Swordsman) and get some ranged support from elsewhere?

I'm wondering where people have found Javelineers useful in Campaign play. Or - maybe its' more interesting in multiplayer mode?
gfgtdf
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Re: When are Javelineers useful?

Post by gfgtdf »

The main reason why this unit it exists us afaik, that we have a rule that says an advancement must be at least as good as the low-level unit it ever aspect. Or rather that every unit muah have at least one advancement with these properties. So since both the spearman's "common" advancements loose their ranged attack the javelineer was added to the game, maybe it's a bit weak though? Not sure.
Scenario with Robots SP scenario (1.11/1.12), allows you to build your units with components, PYR No preperation turn 1.12 mp-mod that allows you to select your units immideately after the game begins.
gnombat
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Re: When are Javelineers useful?

Post by gnombat »

gfgtdf wrote: April 21st, 2020, 3:08 pm we have a rule
This rule is called "RiPLIB."
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revolting_peasant
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Re: When are Javelineers useful?

Post by revolting_peasant »

gfgtdf:
  1. A very interesting rule! Is it in writing or just a custom?
  2. Do you remember if there are any Javelineer NPCs in any of the mainline campaigns?
  3. In other cases of diverging advancement paths, the one that stops with L2 has unique combination of abilities with which further advancement would not make sense or be too unbalancing: The Silver Mage, the Goblin Pillager, the Lancer (a.k.a. Glass Canon), etc.
  4. I guess if you "just want your damn Spearman", then a Javelineer advancement makes sense, but yeah, it's kind of weak. Or rather - if it could advance to a proper Level-3 unit, then it would seem more justifiable.
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Ravana
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Re: When are Javelineers useful?

Post by Ravana »

Main importance of that unit is pierce resistance.
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revolting_peasant
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Re: When are Javelineers useful?

Post by revolting_peasant »

Ravana wrote: April 21st, 2020, 3:43 pmMain importance of that unit is pierce resistance.
Hmm. So they do. But - this is emphasized in the description of Pikemen, and goes without mention in the description of Javelineers. Also, the perception of the Javelineer is of a nimble rather than heavily-armored unit; and the Javelineer does not appear clearly better-armored than the Swordsman, without the 40% pierce resistance. What makes it so resistant then?
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patience_reloaded
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Re: When are Javelineers useful?

Post by patience_reloaded »

I think Javelineers are mainly useful for defending. They deal both enough melee and enough ranged damage to deter an enemy level 1 from carelessly attacking them. If the javelineer survives the attack, he can deal damage to the weapon the enemy is weaker at, thus reducing retailatory damage. I think that all units with balanced melee and ranged damage are more the defender type than the attacker. Other units of the balanced class are maybe footpad, drake flare (though that's also a leader), dwarfish scout, elvish scout (though they are mainly scout class), ranger (lv3 knalgan) and troll rocklobber.
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Re: When are Javelineers useful?

Post by Yomar »

Yeah, I mean his base meele dammage is the same as a lv.1 spearman with the strong trait, he can not advance to lv.3, has little HP compared to the other advancements in his category and has only one type of attack (pierce dammage), so he can NOT choose to attack the enemy with the attack that he is weak to.
Yes he gets 2 ranged strikes, but
(for example) even a lv.2 Elvish (or Elven?) Fighter gets more, with at least 3 ranged strikes and he is supposed to be a meele unit, yes the Elf doesn't get the pierce resistance, but he get high defense in forests, 2 types of attacks (blade for meele and pierce for ranged), gets more HP, can advance to lv. 3, and its neutral, so he is always dangerous, unlike the Javlineer that at night does less meele damage than a lv.1 Elf Fighter.
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Re: When are Javelineers useful?

Post by otzenpunk »

I disagree that javelineers are particularly useful for defending. In case of a doubt, opponents would just target other units in a defensive line, so you would have to have a whole line of them, which you probably won't have. One could argue that as a "special defensive unit" you could use them on especially exposed positions, like somewhere with three or more adjacent open tiles, but the truth is, in most cases they're just not resilient enough to survive that.

I agree that there is something like a "balanced class", but javelineers are just far worse than the higher level units of footpads or others, simply because they're stuck at level 2 and can't progress further. There may be some exceptional cases, where it might be possible that getting some of them is a good idea, like if you know for certain in advance, that you'll most likely have to defend a fortress against an army of lvl1 elves in the not so distant future, but in general I'd much rather spam lvl1 spearmen for those defensives purposes, if possible with leadership support, and level the survivors into swords- or pikemen.

There's one application though, where they're quite useful, and that's as really annoying enemy units. Javelineers are pretty likely to have a very short life, but in the meantime they really weaken attacking units. For players in a campaign, that's a pretty useless combination, because you have to invest a lot of effort to level your units, and it's just a waste to simply let them die pretty soon afterwards. It's a totally different situation, when you're as a campaign creator just able to recruit them with money, though. Of course, they won't survive long, but many of them will leave at least two or three severely weakened enemy units on the field, set up to be finished off by other, stronger units in your own turn, or at least forced to pull back for healing.

tl;dr: Javelineers are in campaigns about as useful as lancers. There's basically no sane reason to get them on your own, but they're quite a pain in the ass, when you're up against them.

Multiplayer games might be different though, at least the "no lvl3 advancement" argument doesn't have much impact in multiplayer.
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Re: When are Javelineers useful?

Post by Yomar »

Yes, but let's not forget, that the unit that manages ti kill the Javlineer gets 16Xp that brings him near evolution, or even lvl up if it already had some Xp.
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Re: When are Javelineers useful?

Post by Zrevnur »

revolting_peasant wrote: April 21st, 2020, 2:37 pm I'm wondering where people have found Javelineers useful in Campaign play.
Stat wise Javelineer is IMO much better than Pikeman.

Main drawback is that they cannot level up more. So consequently in situations in which this is irrelevant or not very important they are a viable choice. And these situations often are such that them having lower hitpoints isnt much of an issue either.

Pikeman/Swordsman are also some of the few units without ranged attack. The AI likes to use them for target practice. If you have mostly mixed or ranged units then picking a Javelineer over a Pikeman increases your defensive power a lot.

I have used Javelineer upgrade in situations in which I needed power now instead of power later.
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revolting_peasant
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Re: When are Javelineers useful?

Post by revolting_peasant »

Zrevnur wrote: April 23rd, 2020, 11:23 am Stat wise Javelineer is IMO much better than Pikeman.
How so? A Pikeman has:

* 55 HP to the Javelineer's 48
* 10x3 Melee to the Javelineer''s 8x3
* First Strike

The only "drawback" is no ranged attack, but - really, you don't keep these units around for ranged combat. You level Spearmen to Pikemen with other units providing ranged fire support. Using XP on leveling a Javelineer is a losing proposition.

Of course, if you're thinking about a single scenario, and you don't control XP distribution, e.g. you just have a defending Spearman that's about to level, and no ranged units, and your attackers are ranged - then fine, but I'm talking about the campaign view.
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Re: When are Javelineers useful?

Post by holius »

Javelineer, Elvish Ranger, Ranger, Dune Rover and Dune Raider share the same unit design : same retaliation power against ranged and melee attacks.

They're often despised because the alternative units in the faction have far better attack power, and thus allow to break a defense, when the balanced melee/range weak attackers can't.
However, in a defensive position, they often allow to cripple the opposing attack, and offer easier kills in the counter attack.
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Re: When are Javelineers useful?

Post by Zrevnur »

revolting_peasant wrote: April 24th, 2020, 10:24 am
Zrevnur wrote: April 23rd, 2020, 11:23 am Stat wise Javelineer is IMO much better than Pikeman.
How so? A Pikeman has:

* 55 HP to the Javelineer's 48
* 10x3 Melee to the Javelineer''s 8x3
* First Strike

The only "drawback" is no ranged attack, but - really, you don't keep these units around for ranged combat. You level Spearmen to Pikemen with other units providing ranged fire support. Using XP on leveling a Javelineer is a losing proposition.

Of course, if you're thinking about a single scenario, and you don't control XP distribution, e.g. you just have a defending Spearman that's about to level, and no ranged units, and your attackers are ranged - then fine, but I'm talking about the campaign view.
With "stat wise" I did not mean to include the ability to level up further. I think that was clear from the context but based on your post I am unsure if you even read the rest of my post...
(And I disagree with your disregard for the ranged attack. In my personal experience playing Wesnoth campaigns units like Pikeman are sort of gimped due to their lack of ranged attack and are only viable because they have particular strengths.)
holius wrote: April 24th, 2020, 12:53 pm However, in a defensive position, they often allow to cripple the opposing attack, and offer easier kills in the counter attack.
Yes, they are better line units. There is also that in campaigns enemies are often mostly melee. And the most dangerous units are often melee units. In such situations I cant attack with a Pikeman but I can attack with a Javelineer. This means the Javelineer does far more damage than the Pikeman. Gameplay vs AI is very asymmetric. And the AI doesnt heal-rotate units or anything of the sort. In the often occurring human line vs AI blob situation the Javelineer is apart from the somewhat lower survivability due to lower HP much better than the Pikeman.
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revolting_peasant
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Re: When are Javelineers useful?

Post by revolting_peasant »

holius wrote: April 24th, 2020, 12:53 pm Javelineer, Elvish Ranger, Ranger, Dune Rover and Dune Raider share the same unit design : same retaliation power against ranged and melee attacks.
I haven't played Dunefolk, but:
  • The Elvish Ranger is more beefy than its "single-attack-type-focused" alternative advancement, the Elvish Marksman - 13% more HP.
  • The Elvish Ranger gains the ability to ambush; the Javelineer doesn't gain any special ability.
  • The Elvish Ranger can advance to an Avenger; the Javelineer cannot.
Additionally, Human units, unlike Elves, exhibit more imbalance in melee vs ranged capabilities. We're playing humans under such an "imbalance paradigm"; and the Javlineer is kind of the odd man out. If it had something special about him, or even the capacity to level, then it might make more sense.
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