the poacher needs balancing

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whatnoth
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Post by whatnoth »

im willing to concede that i over-explained my position. something tells me that if i made a thread and said only "does anyone think the poacher is a little underpowered?" then i would get a lot of positive responses.

i simply hope that even if people have a problem with different parts of my argumentation they can at least agree that the unit needs a boost, and discuss the ways of doing so. that seems to be the case. no one has said "youre crazy, if anything he is overpwered," but rather disagreed with the specifics of my analysis.

is there consensus that the poacher is a little underpowered?

Gus
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Re: the poacher needs balancing

Post by Gus »

Even though i don't necessarily agree with whatnot, i think he has the merit of having put a lot of thought into his post, so kudos for that. I mean, i'd rather have that than a "tihs unit suxx fix it" post.
whatnoth wrote:thats all ive ever argued. i havent argued for a complete overhaul of the unit. one suggestion was cut the cost by 1, cut hp by 3. a little cheaper. cut the hp by 3, boost the damage to 6-3. a little something extra. no poison damage, or healing aura, or fire arrows. pretty modest, dont you think?
The problem i see with that, is that you're arguing giving more power in exchange of some HP, or making them cheaper, still in exchange of some HP. Well, isn't it safe to say, in this case, that the purpose of the unit was to be able to tank a little more than what you seem to expect, at the cost of being a little less cheap/effective than you seem to expect?

I believe that's part of what Becephalus is trying to tell you: the unit as it is has a role, and it's up to the players to use it in that role. If you're trying to have a unit fit into a role it wasn't made for, don't complain when you fail.
I apologize if this sentence sounds harsh or something, it is not the intention, i repeat that i appreciate and respect the amount of time you've put into this. You have potential =P
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Noyga
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Re: the poacher needs balancing

Post by Noyga »

whatnoth wrote:
Becephalus wrote:
I think you are underestimating the effect of trying to kill ghosts with 4 move units. Also underestimating how often a ghost you want to kill has two or three hitpoints. It can be very frustrating to miss with 2 thunderers when one poacher could do the job easily. Poachers ar e much more reliable and there are situations where that si exactly what you want. Keep in mind I am NOT saying poachers are better than thunderers, just that they both have their uses.
does having 5 moves make a big difference? i agree about finishing ability, at least compared to a thunderer, because of the difference between 4 hits and one. but i dont see how having one fewer movement makes it that much harder for thunderers.
This +25% movement simply allow to target a lot more units.
Now compare with the ghost's 7 moves. 4 moves is almost the half, 5 move is more than 2/3 the moves..
i would take 3 gryphons over 5 poachers to take and hold, or take back, a swamp/sand/water area. maps i am thinking of are blitz, loris river, paths of daggers, hexcake, waterloo sunset. and no, i dont want a unit to stand there, i want to make the kill and not allow a retreat. i assume thats what you were talking about above, withthe 4 move thunderer vs a ghost. i laid out the poacher's problem with poor swamp movement pretty clearly in my first post.
Gryphons don't have a ranged attack so they will be much more useless if you have to defend against any ranged units. Also having 5 units allow more control on the ZOC line.
And poachers are 100 times better vs elvish archers? Citing cases where
paochers are inappropriate (front line forest vs multiple elf fighters) is not an argument. You also should not put burners in front line vs multiple elvish fighters are they a bad unit too?
Burners arent supposed to be good in the forest. poachers are. [/quote]

They are both quite general units.
Burner a quite good everywhere, poachers on most terrains outside of water and open ground.
This last comment is what betrays you as a new player. Its not about choosing one unit over another unit to exclusion. Each unit has its uses. Thuderers are not categorical better than poachers. If you thin so you just don't understand the game. I know that sounds harsh, but it is true. It is really tempting early on to make these sweeping generalizations, but 99% of the time these generalizations just arise from a lack of understanding of the game. From your comments it is pretty clear yours do as well.
ive never pretended to be anything else, but tell me which one of these is wrong:

1. if you are unsure of your opponent's race, units, or exact tactics, thunderers are always a better buy than poachers if an equal amount is spent on both. [/quote]

Well 4*4/14 > 18*1/17.
In term of best attack damage / cost the poacher is cheaper ...
Also at night the poacher makes more damage than the thunderer.
Which mean that when well used the poacher can deal more damage for its price than the thunderer.
At last, the thunderer rather is weak outside of hills/mountains while poacher can be decent on more terrains.

Usually good players use them both, since each of these two units have avantages over the other.
2. in swamp/water/sand areas (*these areas often neighbor each other*), gryphons will out-perform poachers. poachers are badly out-manuvered by saurians, mermen, naga, and flyers, units that the poacher might encounter in the swamp from other races.
1. Gryphons aren't good if you have to defend against mostly ranged units, so the gryphon doesn't always outperform the poacher. Also the gryphon cost much more so you cannot send as much gryphon as poacher to make a zoc line.
2. Swamp patches aren't necessarily close to swamp/water/sand.
thats all ive ever argued. i havent argued for a complete overhaul of the unit. one suggestion was cut the cost by 1, cut hp by 3. a little cheaper. cut the hp by 3, boost the damage to 6-3. a little something extra. no poison damage, or healing aura, or fire arrows. pretty modest, dont you think?
I don't think that reducing the number of strikes, thus reducing its accuracy is a good idea.
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Haibane
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Post by Haibane »

Just to show some support for Becephalus, I use poachers and I don't feel like they are underpowered.
I don't really care if they cost 14 or 13g or if melee is 3-2 or 4-2, but their ranged damage is fine, 4-4 is nice for chaotic unit and 14g, considering elvish archer for 17g and neutral 5-4. They are also fine as forest unit (unlike thunderers), just don't use them to beat elvish fighters in melee (ranged attack at night works fine imho) .
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Motrax
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Post by Motrax »

For 14 g poacher is a nice buy while playing knalgans pretty good def on most terrian and decenta attack for its price , pretty much expendible and helps to zoc a lot knalgan cannon fodder - i buy them all the time :-)
its definietely not a perfect unit but that is the point? every faction has its strenghts and weaknesses and so do their units, it all depends on how the player uses the unit in the end... and as far as lvl 2 of the poacher goes i think its a good unit there arent many archers with 4 melle attacks on lvl 2 :-)
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Post by joshudson »

Even when playing at 70%, when I get the chance to level a poacher, I don't take it unless there is no other unit that can get the kill or I need the other unit to pass through the target's hex.
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Motrax
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Post by Motrax »

joshudson wrote:Even when playing at 70%, when I get the chance to level a poacher, I don't take it unless there is no other unit that can get the kill or I need the other unit to pass through the target's hex.
thats ur choice id rather level it especially if its a resilient poach :P
Gryphon riders should look like gryphons with a dwarf on its back not a badger or dwarf in a canooe!

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Haibane
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Post by Haibane »

Yeah Motrax, trapper is good archer with decent melee strike, in many cases better than thunderguard. I don't see problem here, may it's not so strong unit but still very useful one.
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JW
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Post by JW »

I must admit that I have forgone recruiting Poachers. Now I use the trusty Footpad, who I think is more versatile.

I like the idea of increasing the Poacher's SW defense to 30%, but I'm not so sure I like dropping his swamp movement to 1. If I were to choose one of your options it would be -1g, -3hp. All the other outlaws are weak, so this would fit him in more.

But yes, the Trapper is officially the worst L2 unit in the game. It is horrible. Perhaps the Trapper could have 1mp through swamp???? (He becomes more skilled in traversing that terrain like a Ranger does)

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jb
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Post by jb »

I'm not a very good player so I don't always know what i'm talking about.

But as a huge fan of all the "criminals"....I think poachers are absolute studs.

They are cheap. They have great Def. They are so easy to level it's silly. I have seen more level 2 poachers than any other level 2 (except saurians/bats/gobos).

When anyone complains a map doesn't have enough hills/mountains or is not knalgan friendly, my first response is you need more poachers.

When you start looking at things in terms of (+/-) 1 gold or (+/-) 2 Dam .... you are getting into an arguement that isn't really going to be a game breaker.
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Doc Paterson
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Re: the poacher needs balancing

Post by Doc Paterson »

Becephalus wrote: I will note that at least one of the MP devs doesn't like it.
Do you mean me?

I for one like it, but never recruit it. I don't think it's a bad unit, but it doesn't mesh well with my style.
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Post by Jew unit »

JW wrote:I

If I were to choose one of your options it would be -1g, -3hp. All the other outlaws are weak, so this would fit him in more.
i agree too, it would give it more of an outlaw feel...
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Post by Glowing Fish »

First, I want to thank you (the original poster) for explaining your position so well. Second, I would say that you do miss a little of the subtle advantages of poachers. One of the best things about poachers is they have four attacks. These attacks might not do too much damage, but when you are attacking a weakened unit in a village, there is a big difference between four attacks and three attacks. So the poacher might not be the best all around unit, but it is good for attacking elusive foot units, and units that you really want a good chance of hitting at least once.
That being said, and despite everyone's protests to the contrary, I think you might be right, that the poacher might be a little underpowered. Not extremely so, but maybe where cutting back its cost by 1 gold would make sense.
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Post by Sapient »

Is the poacher an inferior forest ranged unit? Yes
Is that OK? Yes
Why? Because Knalgans Alliance is not supposed to have forest-superiority

(I remember where Dave argued that the poacher should be even weaker!)

This has already been said, but it bears repeating: units are not balanced against units, factions are balanced against factions

But it does fill a role that the knalgans often need to be filled, so it remains a worthy purchase. Depending on your style, you may prefer the footpad to fill this role (good point, JW... I remember you were the one who got the footpad buffed, tho :p)
Last edited by Sapient on December 14th, 2006, 3:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Thrawn
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Post by Thrawn »

jb wrote: They are cheap. They have great Def. They are so easy to level it's silly. I have seen more level 2 poachers than any other level 2 (except saurians/bats/gobos).
I have never seen a lvl 2 goobo or bat :P

I must say, after Highergame, it is a relief to see someone argue intelligently. I would be for making them cheaper. I don't often use them (prefereing thieves and footpads) but they do have their uses. After playing for longer, and actually trying to incorperate them into your play the way they are, not how you want them, you will see their uses. Just a side note, about the lvl 2edness. I use there easyness to level a differnt way. I agree that the upgrade sucks. However the free hp heal doesn't so I use almost leveled trappers as shields--even though it isn't as good as other lvl 2s, it is better than lvl ones, meaning it is a tough decision to attack one and have it level so that the lvl2 can be used against you next turn.
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