Unit Choice doesn't matter

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Glowing Fish
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Unit Choice doesn't matter

Post by Glowing Fish »

Well, now that I've shocked everyone with my title, I will qualify that: unit choice is not the most important thing. Unless, of course, you do something like hire mostly Woses against Drakes, or recruit Mermen Warriors on the Clash map.

A lot of people seem to think what units to recruit is written in stone...and have a precise formula for what units to hire. It sometimes makes sense on a really small map like Isar's Cross, but even there, it is okay to experiment with unit choice. For example, most people believe in having a force with lots of mages and woses against undead. Which is good, but hiring a balance of fighters and archers also makes sense.

What sinks people more than wrong units is wrong terrain and wrong Time of Day. Hiring a Horseman against undead isn't always a ludicrous idea. Sending it into a swamp to charge a ghost at night time is.

What do people think?
Tmoiy
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Post by Tmoiy »

Unit choice isn't the most important thing, but nor is it less important than things like time of day. The most important thing is simply a good grasp of Wesnothian strategy and tactics. Unit choice is an important factor of strategy, among many other factors.

I agree that in many situations, there are many strategies that make sense, and thus different unit recruitments that make sense. There may be an optimal strategy for a particular match-up, but you're right in that following a different strategy won't necessarily spell your doom, if that strategy also makes some sense.

Still, going into a battle with a bad strategy will handicap you from the start. Could you fend off a balanced army with only horsemen, even with perfect tactical execution? Unlikely. On the other hand, having the exactly correct mix of units won't help you if you don't use them properly.

So, to recap, things like unit choice are but factors in the overall grand scheme of strategy and tactics. Putting too much emphasis on it is a mistake, but neglecting it from consideration is a grave mistake.
Gun der Stick
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Post by Gun der Stick »

Kill yourself.


PS: I never managed to send a Horsemen into swamp while not hiring it before.
Glowing Fish
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Post by Glowing Fish »

Gun der Stick wrote:Kill yourself.
I tried to take your advise...but this poison is just making me very, very sick, without actually killing me!
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JW
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Post by JW »

Gun der Stick wrote:Kill yourself.
Stuff like this could lead to your ban. I'd watch it if you want to stick around here.
Gun der Stick
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Post by Gun der Stick »

Ok, no probs. But avoiding best unit selection is much more tough way of self-destruction.

There are many ways to increase efficiency. Good tactic vision is the best, but there too many factors that should be considered.
In fact, wrong overall strategy will cut lots of tactical possibilities and slowly leads to loss.

That's like playing chess without knowing debuts - you still can win, but not the easiest way.
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Wintermute
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Re: Unit Choice doesn't matter

Post by Wintermute »

Glowing Fish wrote:What sinks people more than wrong units is wrong terrain and wrong Time of Day. Hiring a Horseman against undead isn't always a ludicrous idea. Sending it into a swamp to charge a ghost at night time is.

What do people think?
I agree with you that many newer players consistently underestimate the value of time and place.

However, I have seen, and played in, some games where there is not a major mistake made by any side regarding unit placement or time of day advancing. Instead, one side having one or 2 of "the wrong" units forces them to make an early withdrawal and forfeit some positional advantage.

An example of this:
It may seem like a good idea to recruit two bats as UD on a medium-sized map, to quickly grab villages without paying upkeep. Perhaps this would work in some situations (like facing a loyal faction, and having a full night to consolidate your holdings or something), but if you are facing northerners, you would be severely punished by even a mediocre player with a good recruit.

Spending a quarter of your starting gold on units that have no staying power in such a situation could put you at enough of a disadvantage that you *may* not be able to recover.

Another example:
Take a mixed loyalist recruit that may seem balanced on the surface:
2 spearmen, 1 fish, 1 bowman, 1 horseman, and either fencer or cav.

A recruit like this may work against most factions, but if you are facing UD on, say, Lorris River. Just take a minute to imagine the pain!

Personally, I can trace (or at least blame!) my loss in some games to a poor recruit. Gambling on quick traits over better units or gambling on my opponents faction (with units like Wose, HI, assassin).
"I just started playing this game a few days ago, and I already see some balance issues."
Sombra
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Re: Unit Choice doesn't matter

Post by Sombra »

Glowing Fish wrote: What do people think?
That you play to much against the AI :?:

Especially in MP the first battles are deciding. If you have recruited spearmen and fencers against undead with skeletons you will lose the first day, night and most of the following day and night to bring the right units to the front. Until then you already are fighting from a disadvantage .


Like in chess the loss of even 1-2 units can be the deciding factor to retreat => losing viillages => less income => no possiblity to take back the villages => defeat

Depending on map size you need a different kind of mix for the units. The bigger the faster to take villages and concentrate your forces.
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Re: Unit Choice doesn't matter

Post by Blarumyrran »

Glowing Fish wrote:For example, most people believe in having a force with lots of mages and woses against undead. Which is good, but hiring a balance of fighters and archers also makes sense.
riiiight.
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Doc Paterson
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Re: Unit Choice doesn't matter

Post by Doc Paterson »

Sombra wrote:
Glowing Fish wrote: What do people think?
That you play to much against the AI :?:
Yep.
I will not tell you my corner / where threads don't get locked because of mostly no reason /
because I don't want your hostile disease / to spread all over the world.
I prefer that corner to remain hidden /
without your noses.
-Nosebane, Sorcerer Supreme
Imp
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Post by Imp »

Terrain, time, etc. might be more important to master when you're new. But once you understand them, unit choice quickly comes to the fore in importance.
Kalis
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Post by Kalis »

I disagree completely.
In every game I've played MP, the first battle determines who will end up with more villages (econ) and troops.
In addition, proper troops trained in the correct locations of the castle will determine how quickly you grab your villages, which is extra gold for more units. So proper unit choice is practically everything.

That said, with the traits system, there really is no ideal army combination.

Take Knalgans. In several maps you want a footpad for that 7 movement. However, if you already have a quick thief, that footpad is no longer necessary.
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F8 Binds...
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Post by F8 Binds... »

I think what Glowing Fish is trying to communicate is that for the "normal" races (humans, elves, dwarves, orcs) you can create whatever you want without going to the extremes, and not face much consequence when you face these. drakes and undead, are different however, as certain units are absolutely useless against them. He's saying any reasonable recruit will do fine against most races.
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Thrawn
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Post by Thrawn »

I'd say that it isn't unit choice, but use of units that is most important, except for extreme cases, such as UD.

Although many units are good against certain other units, you shouldn't base what you get solely on what the opponent has at the moment.

Because if they get burners, and you respond with spearmen, that makes sense. But so does using mermen, archers, and horsemen. The problem is that thinking getting the units that counter the enemy is all you have to do to win: the fighting gets really sloppy and you begin to play worse when you start to think like that.

Also, if you are playing against drakes, and don't recruit ANY mages, because all they have out (that you can see) are drakes, then you lose a valuable tool against saurians.
...please remember that "IT'S" ALWAYS MEANS "IT IS" and "ITS" IS WHAT YOU USE TO INDICATE POSSESSION BY "IT".--scott

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Glowing Fish
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Post by Glowing Fish »

F8 Binds... wrote:I think what Glowing Fish is trying to communicate is that for the "normal" races (humans, elves, dwarves, orcs) you can create whatever you want without going to the extremes, and not face much consequence when you face these. drakes and undead, are different however, as certain units are absolutely useless against them. He's saying any reasonable recruit will do fine against most races.
That is pretty much what I am saying. And some people are pretty strict about just the "right" units: one shaman, one archer, and two fighters on Isar's Cross, and if you get two archers and one fighter, that is like the worst idea ever.
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