Author Topic: Archer targeting  (Read 1452 times)

Vita

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Re: Archer targeting
« Reply #15: July 27, 2018, 02:43:27 AM »
Where do you see that?

Foxglove

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Re: Archer targeting
« Reply #16: July 27, 2018, 03:21:30 AM »
Where do you see that?

It's that faded out text that's up at the top right of the game pages when you're playing a character on Dwilight. It currently reads, "stable". I remember noticing it myself last week and thinking it was strange, but then forgot about it.

Actually, now that I've just checked, it also says the same thing on Beluaterra.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2018, 03:24:35 AM by Foxglove »

Vita

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Re: Archer targeting
« Reply #17: July 27, 2018, 03:48:08 AM »
It's that faded out text that's up at the top right of the game pages when you're playing a character on Dwilight. It currently reads, "stable". I remember noticing it myself last week and thinking it was strange, but then forgot about it.

Actually, now that I've just checked, it also says the same thing on Beluaterra.
That has nothing to do with the islands, but with the specific pages. Most all pages are stable versions, even on testing islands. There's a few testing pages only available on testing pages, mostly related to sea travel iirc. That stable/testing/war in the top-right corner is relevant when reporting bugs.

So the character status page I presume Chenier was looking at, only has a stable version, used on both stable and testing islands. Dwilight and BT are still testing islands.

Chenier

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Re: Archer targeting
« Reply #18: July 27, 2018, 10:53:26 PM »
Ah, that explains it. I thought Dwi was testing too, I thought that was weird.

Medron Pryde

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Re: Archer targeting
« Reply #19: July 30, 2018, 08:33:28 AM »
Sirion and their allies used the "archer only" attack tactic during the assaults on Oligarch.

Note that there were both infantry and archers defending the city.  Approximately 10k of each as I remember.

They would attack in one turn with only archers.  Five realms worth of archers so it was 10k or 20k worth of archers.  Since there were no infantry units at all, the defending infantry would charge out on turn 1 and get slaughtered by the attacking archers.  The defending archers would win the battle in five or six turns, maybe eight, and do heavy damage to the attackers, but the infantry were all scattered.

And militia units don't usually rally immediately, so there were a couple turns where the entire infantry defensive line of the city was gone.

So the next turn Sirion and their allies would attack with what archers were able to rally (maybe 5k or 10k survivors) and their 10k or 20k infantry deploying as far forward as possible to avoid as many archer rounds as possible while they closed with the walls.  With little to no infantry to man the walls, the infantry would storm the walls and engage the defending archers in close combat, thereby wiping them out as mass infantry charges always do to archers.

Note that the walls and defenses of Oligarch could handle 20k or 40k attacking force and had done so multiple times.  There were enough infantry to repulse their infantry from the walls, and enough archers to kill the enemy at range.  The "archer only" attack was designed purely to suck the infantry out so they could be immediately slaughtered on the field rather than holding behind the walls while the archers dueled.

That tactic, and that tactic alone, made holding Oligarch impossible and resulted in the end of Oligarch as a kingdom.  Short of that tactic, Oligarch was holding its own with support from the Southern Alliance.

The issue is that any intelligent infantry would have stayed behind the walls and let the defending archers take out the enemy archers rather than charge out of the walls and get cut down.  It's a stupid tactic, especially for a turn one action before the attackers have been softened up.  I can see the idea behind the defending infantry charging out after there has been a mass infantry battle at the walls...after the attacking infantry have been shattered, and it is time to finish the attacking archers that have been dueling with the defenders the entire battle.  But as a turn one tactic, for the defending infantry, to charge out against a fresh and dominant archer-only force when there are defending archers that can kill them in a few turns seems just utterly stupid on the face of it.

And a case could be made that purposefully planning attacks like that, designed to trigger that particular part of the code that sends infantry out when there are no attacking infantry, could be an abuse of the game code.

Zakky

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Re: Archer targeting
« Reply #20: July 30, 2018, 12:37:15 PM »
As someone who oocly told the general of Sirion to do that exact move, let me tell you why I told him to do it. At the time, Sirion couldn't breach the city at all. Oligarch had 4 infantry RCs and 1 archer RC. With so many infantry guarding the city, it was not possible for Sirion+allies to breach the city with their noble count at the time. Their issue wasn't that they were not bringing enough CS. They were. The problem was how broken militias were. The biggest problem with militia units are that despite the game losing many players, militias were not nerfed at all. Back in the days when we had realms that had more than 50 characters, militias were nice addition to your defense. Now with less people around, militias are pretty much your main source of defense. Some realms have more militia CS in one region than their entire mobile army CS at this point. The game never was designed to be played with so few people. The battle system is utterly broken because we lack people. Archers are doing so well because with so few people to recruit infantry, you can just mow them down with archers before they even get near you. If we have double the number, we wouldn't be seeing archers dominating the game to this degree. Anyway back to where I began, since militias were so problematic, the only way to siege the city was to screw militias over first by using their predictable pattern against them.

As for the tactic, not sure why you think it would be an abuse. They have no commander. That is why they can't be placed where you want. They should be weakened a lot more than now to match the game's reduced noble count/mobile CS. Otherwise there should be different ways to besiege fortified regions. The game doesn't provide any other alternative but to use the dumb behaviour against itself.

Chenier

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Re: Archer targeting
« Reply #21: July 30, 2018, 06:30:24 PM »
I agree completely and I have written a number of lengthy posts about why I consider that to be a serious problem along with suggestions to help lessen or correct it.

Chenier

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Re: Archer targeting
« Reply #22: July 30, 2018, 06:36:46 PM »
Sirion and their allies used the "archer only" attack tactic during the assaults on Oligarch.

Note that there were both infantry and archers defending the city.  Approximately 10k of each as I remember.

They would attack in one turn with only archers.  Five realms worth of archers so it was 10k or 20k worth of archers.  Since there were no infantry units at all, the defending infantry would charge out on turn 1 and get slaughtered by the attacking archers.  The defending archers would win the battle in five or six turns, maybe eight, and do heavy damage to the attackers, but the infantry were all scattered.

And militia units don't usually rally immediately, so there were a couple turns where the entire infantry defensive line of the city was gone.

So the next turn Sirion and their allies would attack with what archers were able to rally (maybe 5k or 10k survivors) and their 10k or 20k infantry deploying as far forward as possible to avoid as many archer rounds as possible while they closed with the walls.  With little to no infantry to man the walls, the infantry would storm the walls and engage the defending archers in close combat, thereby wiping them out as mass infantry charges always do to archers.

Note that the walls and defenses of Oligarch could handle 20k or 40k attacking force and had done so multiple times.  There were enough infantry to repulse their infantry from the walls, and enough archers to kill the enemy at range.  The "archer only" attack was designed purely to suck the infantry out so they could be immediately slaughtered on the field rather than holding behind the walls while the archers dueled.

That tactic, and that tactic alone, made holding Oligarch impossible and resulted in the end of Oligarch as a kingdom.  Short of that tactic, Oligarch was holding its own with support from the Southern Alliance.

The issue is that any intelligent infantry would have stayed behind the walls and let the defending archers take out the enemy archers rather than charge out of the walls and get cut down.  It's a stupid tactic, especially for a turn one action before the attackers have been softened up.  I can see the idea behind the defending infantry charging out after there has been a mass infantry battle at the walls...after the attacking infantry have been shattered, and it is time to finish the attacking archers that have been dueling with the defenders the entire battle.  But as a turn one tactic, for the defending infantry, to charge out against a fresh and dominant archer-only force when there are defending archers that can kill them in a few turns seems just utterly stupid on the face of it.

And a case could be made that purposefully planning attacks like that, designed to trigger that particular part of the code that sends infantry out when there are no attacking infantry, could be an abuse of the game code.

So where was your mobile army?

Militia should not be able to defend cities along against vast armies. If the attackers get creative to defeat militia forces, kudos to them. If you had a lesser infantry:archer ratio in your militia, and a lesser militia:mobile ratio in general, the "problem" you are describing, which really mostly has to do with militia rallying, would just not occur whatsoever.

Oligarch deserved to die. Not because of anything the players did or did not do, I wasn't there, I have no opinion on the realm. But I'm completely opposed to the idea of cities being virtually invincible. If a mobile army attacks with a great number advantage, they *should* win. Militias and wall are there to make cities require more effort to overtake, not to make them impossible to conquer.

Vita

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Re: Archer targeting
« Reply #23: July 30, 2018, 08:28:15 PM »
The problem was how broken militias were. The biggest problem with militia units are that despite the game losing many players, militias were not nerfed at all. Back in the days when we had realms that had more than 50 characters, militias were nice addition to your defense. Now with less people around, militias are pretty much your main source of defense. Some realms have more militia CS in one region than their entire mobile army CS at this point. The game never was designed to be played with so few people. The battle system is utterly broken because we lack people.
This. Exactly this. There have been some recent changes to moderate militia since the timeperiod being discussed, but I think we may still need more.

Chenier

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Medron Pryde

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Re: Archer targeting
« Reply #25: July 31, 2018, 08:02:04 AM »
The mobile army was in Oligarch at the time.  Somewhere in the 5k to 10k range as I remember.  There were around a dozen active players at the time.

It could not win in a stand up fight against the 20k to 30k armies of three or four dozen nobles the North was sending at the time, but it could raid and stuff like that.

Along with the 20k militia, it could hold the city against even the mega 30k armies and four dozen nobles the North was bringing against it.

And when the beaten Northern armies went back home to refit, we could go out and retake regions or raid for food and gold and the like.

Oligarch was a very rich city which could grow a lot of food inside its walls, and we had support from the Southern Alliance.  Mostly economic and food related.  Though we did see the occasional Southern Army rolling through after Sirion called all of their allies into the field against us.  It generally made us a very hard nut to crack.

Then Sirion used the archer-only abuse to suck the infantry out to get slaughtered, and threw enough wounding magic scrolls at the nobility to keep half of the nobles in comas for a week or two at a time.  Then they would attack with their infantry when we only had a handful of remaining nobles to rally and there was just no way to fight them at all.  They could sack the city for days at a time with their constant magic attacks against the nobility while burning the walls and economy down and basically making it impossible for our players to even play the game.  That's the real reason Oligarch was abandoned in the end.  Sirion did that two or three times in a row, and there was just no way to play the game against them.  The game just wasn't designed with those tactics in mind and it gave Sirion an overwhelming advantage that simply could not be played against.

Very similar to what Sirion did with the portal event that stripped the walls from Perdan City and the surround regions, erased their best recruitment centers, and gave walls to Sirion allied regions.  That has been partially dealt with via a responding portal event to return at least the walls, but it's endemic of the effects of magic in what is supposed to be a low-magic continent.  That is another subject though.

The main thing I was focusing on is the archer-only tactic they used in drawing out the infantry by abusing the code that sends infantry out to charge after the attacking infantry is decimated.  It's really odd because there used to be code that kept the infantry on the walls for several turns before ALLOWING them to charge out.  I remember old battles where they wouldn't charge until turn 8 or 9.  Now they charge on the opening turn against intact archer squads.  It just makes no sense when that happens.

Much like the "suicide squad" tactic used to suck all of the archers to attack a single suicide squad deployed ahead of the army.

Basically, I take notice of tactics that change the way entire wars are fought.  Some of them are just smart tactics.  Some of them are abuses of unintended side-effects.  And just like we need to find a way of balancing militias against the new, smaller player base.

The Southern Alliance ran into that issue actually.  We could smash Northern armies again and again in the field, but taking a city was nearly impossible even with our entire army.  And then 5k and 10k militia units started appearing out of no where when we marched into their regions, and that made things difficult for us.  Basically, militia is an issue we need to deal with.  It is too powerful for the present player base.  And if we're being honest, many very small realms with three or four nobles are basically depending on militia to survive.  I don't think that was ever the intention of the militia system.

Zakky

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Re: Archer targeting
« Reply #26: July 31, 2018, 09:17:05 AM »
The mobile army was in Oligarch at the time.  Somewhere in the 5k to 10k range as I remember.  There were around a dozen active players at the time.

It could not win in a stand up fight against the 20k to 30k armies of three or four dozen nobles the North was sending at the time, but it could raid and stuff like that.

Along with the 20k militia, it could hold the city against even the mega 30k armies and four dozen nobles the North was bringing against it.

And when the beaten Northern armies went back home to refit, we could go out and retake regions or raid for food and gold and the like.

Oligarch was a very rich city which could grow a lot of food inside its walls, and we had support from the Southern Alliance.  Mostly economic and food related.  Though we did see the occasional Southern Army rolling through after Sirion called all of their allies into the field against us.  It generally made us a very hard nut to crack.

There is your problem. Oligarch being able to fend off 30k CS with the help of militia units mainly. That was never the case back in the days. 12 nobles fending off 30+ nobles not because of walls but because of militia units. The game has tried to balance itself in many ways but it has failed mostly. To name a few:

1) Large realms making a lot less gold due to region restrictions. Small realms can generate gold efficiently. More so when you only have a city. Then you can milk the damn thing. Which doesn't make much sense but it is there to discourage realms from getting too big. This should probably be fixed to encourage realms to be more dense even if they are big. As long as they can keep the density, realms should still generate gold efficiently but for now that is not the case.

2) You have a problem when your primary defense relies on your immobile militia units. The game needs to separate actual soldiers from militias. Actual stationary soldiers need to be limited harshly depending on your noble count while remaining militias need to be treated as guardsmen or 'police' if we are to use our existing mechanics and make police units perform a lot worse than they are now. Militias were never meant to be your 1st line of defense. Your first line of defense should be your own army. Your last line of defense is your peasants which devastate your realm from even using it once. It is quite lenient on its punishment for using it at the moment. War in BM is essentially a joke at the moment because most people rely on non-controllable units to defend them rather than actual people. Too many artificial garbage prevent realm deaths. I get why they want to do so but it is at a point where it is hurting more to have them around than not due to some extreme cases. Maybe these extreme cases need to be addressed by implementing some kind of cap on how many peasants can spawn. At the moment big cities are too difficult to siege when that city happens to be your capital and your realm is small enough to summon them endlessly.

3) Sirion with their allies brought more than most realms in the game could bring to siege the city yet they still failed. That is a problem when the game's biggest CS army is not enough to bring a single city. It is just a failed design that needs to be corrected. At that time, Oligarch had too many layered defenses. You bring the city down with everything you have then you get pushed out by peasants who had more CS than most of the realms on the continent put together. And let me tell you that I am not a big fan of Sirion and their allies. You complain about how unfair it was for them to use such a tactic to draw out militia units but in fact you should be complaining about how flawed the game is since it forced some players result to abuse the game to siege one damn city. When all traditional methods fail, all you have left in your hands are non traditional ones. I really hope the game will provide more ways to siege a city or balance the broken system because simply put militias are bloody broken and they need to be fixed ASAP. That will help the dev team's plan of shrinking realms down quickly. Militias are just way too outdated and they need to be updated accordingly as we no longer are playing the game someone of us joined a decade+ ago. With only 400 players, Militias need to be weakened to 1/5 since the game is using the same militia system from the time when it had 2000 players.

Then Sirion used the archer-only abuse to suck the infantry out to get slaughtered, and threw enough wounding magic scrolls at the nobility to keep half of the nobles in comas for a week or two at a time.  Then they would attack with their infantry when we only had a handful of remaining nobles to rally and there was just no way to fight them at all.  They could sack the city for days at a time with their constant magic attacks against the nobility while burning the walls and economy down and basically making it impossible for our players to even play the game.  That's the real reason Oligarch was abandoned in the end.  Sirion did that two or three times in a row, and there was just no way to play the game against them.  The game just wasn't designed with those tactics in mind and it gave Sirion an overwhelming advantage that simply could not be played against.

When someone is attacking your realm with 3 times the number of people no wonder they are overwhelming. Oligarch lasted more than it should have because the system was broken. Without having any allies, it was inevitable that one day Oligarch would come to an end. Oligarch was abusing both militias and peasants. Can't really blame someone for doing the same.

Very similar to what Sirion did with the portal event that stripped the walls from Perdan City and the surround regions, erased their best recruitment centers, and gave walls to Sirion allied regions.  That has been partially dealt with via a responding portal event to return at least the walls, but it's endemic of the effects of magic in what is supposed to be a low-magic continent.  That is another subject though.

Whoever did the portal event probably had a vendetta against Perdan. Because portal events should have never had so much impact on the game especially on EC. The devs had somewhat deviated from the BM's theme of having low magic. Magic has run rampant recently and I hope it gets reduced soon meaning no more silly portal events on EC at least. It is getting ridiculous. We are apparently playing a high fantasy game when it is supposed to be a low fantasy game.

The main thing I was focusing on is the archer-only tactic they used in drawing out the infantry by abusing the code that sends infantry out to charge after the attacking infantry is decimated.  It's really odd because there used to be code that kept the infantry on the walls for several turns before ALLOWING them to charge out.  I remember old battles where they wouldn't charge until turn 8 or 9.  Now they charge on the opening turn against intact archer squads.  It just makes no sense when that happens.

Much like the "suicide squad" tactic used to suck all of the archers to attack a single suicide squad deployed ahead of the army.

Basically, I take notice of tactics that change the way entire wars are fought.  Some of them are just smart tactics.  Some of them are abuses of unintended side-effects.  And just like we need to find a way of balancing militias against the new, smaller player base.

Some people are just more observant than others and noticed how units react during sieges. You need to think why people had to result to the way of luring infantry units out of the walls. You didn't notice the difference before because you've never seen realms attacking cities with just archers. For a very long time, archers were useless. Only in the past 2-3 years, they started to be more useful thanks to many buffs they received. With losing so many people, we are also seeing archers being more effective. Being able to attack every round is always better than walking toward your target for 4 rounds then attacking. It is just more efficient to have many archers. That is why you are now seeing buffs to infantry. Maybe cavalry units need to be buffed so they take a lot less archer hits. Then they might actually start to be a great counter to archers.

Quote
The Southern Alliance ran into that issue actually.  We could smash Northern armies again and again in the field, but taking a city was nearly impossible even with our entire army.  And then 5k and 10k militia units started appearing out of no where when we marched into their regions, and that made things difficult for us.  Basically, militia is an issue we need to deal with.  It is too powerful for the present player base.  And if we're being honest, many very small realms with three or four nobles are basically depending on militia to survive.  I don't think that was ever the intention of the militia system.

Peasant militias are too significant. They need to be reduced. Those random militias you encountered are probably from regions hating your realm. The problem is there are too many coming out all of sudden. If the dev team wants to really utilize this feature then they will need to slash off 0 from every region's population to limit the number of peasants that are showing up because there are just too many spawning when regions hate you. Looting is starting to be less viable and realms really need to have more diplomats when we are lacking players to even lead troops.

Gabanus family

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Re: Archer targeting
« Reply #27: July 31, 2018, 10:50:53 AM »
I will elaborate on a few points mentioned here:

1) Initially Oligarch had around 40k militia which held off anything
2) Then we gained more nobles, lowered the militia to 12k and used the rest of the gold to field mobile army.
3) Our noble count reached same as Sirion and we were winning battles even in the open field
4) Sirion's allies entered beating us back and we lost some nobles because of it and raised militia back to 20k or so with a 10k mobile force

5) Everytime we left the city, because Commonyr and Greatbridge were hateful now, we faced 5-6k peasant militia. This caused us to lose more nobles as we were stuck in the city mostly

6) More militia, less mobile again and then about 3 occurances of peasant militia?

In summary, Oligarch for the half of its time didn't fully rely on militia but on mobile force. There were several issues overall though:

1) Peasant militia is overpowered and its effects too easy to repair before the enemy brings the next wave of attack
2) There was too much magic used against Oligarch.
3) The spawning of peasant militia upon arrival due to hateful ruins everything for smaller realms. You get stuck in your own regions.

The archer opening siege is one I don't see as an abuse though. Ranged attacks make sense. It's a strategy Zakky and I fleshed out at the time after tye fall of Taselak, so in that sense I helped defeat Oligarch I fear.

Oligarch as a single realm can field 40k militia no problem. One the one hand it makes sense that the largest city is nearly impossible to take, but on the other hand militia is powerful and has little downsides.

I would support initiatives like increasing the rate at which militia walks away for instance, to strengthen the idea of them being more temporary.

I would also once more beg that the peasant militia rising up due to hateful to be removed and peasant militia called by rulers to be weakened somehow.
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Medron Pryde

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Re: Archer targeting
« Reply #28: July 31, 2018, 11:20:17 AM »
I see you didn't read what I wrote.

First off, I said we need to rebalance mlitia to make it less powerful.  Using very similar arguments.  The current size of militias compared to the current player base is...out of balance.  And we see that far more now than ever in the past.

Secondly, Oligarch had allies in the Southern Alliance who were aiding Oligarch in many ways.  Gold.  Food.  And even some military aid.  And I will remind you that Oligarch was winning the Sirion Civil War before Sirion called in all of her allies to protect her.  Then, absolutely, the war turned against us.  That is when the Southern Alliance began seriously aiding us and there is no way the realm could have held without that aid.  I have been very up front with that point.

In much the same way that Highmarch never could have held against the Northern Alliance without the Southern Alliance funding their military and marching to fight with them, Oligarch never could have held without Southern Alliance support.

Oligarch abused no rules.  We simply had a well-layered defense with the strongest walls, devoted nobles, and enough money and food coming into our realm from the South to keep us operating far better than a single city could otherwise maintain.  Do you really think we could have maintained a 20k CS militia AND had the money to fund an equal sized mobile army that kept...what was it...FIVE other realms on their toes for months on the resources of a single city?  Sorry.  No.  That did not happen.  I was the banker of Oligarch.  I know what I speak of.

Yes, in the last month or two we were down to a 5k to 10k mobile army.  After Sirion pulled their trick with the archer-opening to suck all the infantry out (both noble and militia I will note), and the magic scrolls to keep our nobles wounded, we never fully recovered.  When they pulled the same attack again and again, it put the nail in the coffin of Oligarch.  It's not fun not being able to play a game because the enemy is using magic to keep your nobles wounded for a week or more at a time.  And the archer-opening that causes infantry to rush out and be slaughtered is just a cheap abuse of a system that was never designed for a pure archer force.

Also.  I will note that I have played this game for over a decade.  In all that time, I have never led an infantry unit into battle.  I have taken Cavalry.  I have lately used Mixed-Infantry and ranged special forces.  But since the very beginning, I have always used archers predominantly.  Archers have always been useful.  One of my characters killed the King of Kthon with an archer unit in battle.  That was the better part of a decade ago.  And I can't count how many nobles I've wounded or units I've wiped out in battle over the years.  Yes, an archer unit requires an infantry to survive in most cases.  You simply can't lay down enough fire to kill an infantry unit before it runs over you.  Or at least you couldn't in the past.  You relied on the infantry line to hold while you filled the enemy full of arrows.  The standard archer opening where the archers started in front while the infantry moved forward under your arrows is a time-honored tactic that has controlled battlefields for over a decade.  Heck, I remember archer units fleeing from battle en masse when the infantry started advancing.  That doesn't happen as much now as it used to.

It's the balance of forces with each type of unit contributing to the battle that makes the game interesting.  The Cavalry charge.  The infantry wall.  The archer swarms.  The special forces doing their fun stuff on the fringes.  The mixed infantry that does a bit of everything and contributes everywhere.  It's a balance that has worked in interesting ways for over a decade.  And I have always been on the ranged side of that balance, with one or two forays into the cavalry game for fun.

Gathering five realms worth of archers into a single battle line and then marching into battle without infantry support so they can suck the militia and noble infantry units out into the open and slaughtering them before they can even reach the archers is something I never saw in the old days.  It simply wasn't a viable tactic.  Perhaps it is this boosting of archer units you talk about that made it possible?  If so, I certainly agree that it is time to rebalance the infantry versus archer game to be more...realistic.

Ketchum

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Re: Archer targeting
« Reply #29: July 31, 2018, 11:32:23 AM »
I remember Perdan PMW forces. They employed full Infantry army against Nivemus in the past war with such ruthless effectiveness. Infantry Charge, you name it, you have it as part of Marshal opening setting. I could not beat Perdan infantry attacks till we were given breather to build those top quality recruitment centers. However in much recent times, archers have taken over the role. My character in Nivemus used to command the biggest infantry unit in battles, now he changes to ranged units, so are many other characters. Can't blame them if archers and ranged so powerful nowadays. Still remember Range 5 Special Forces? That do quite a damage. Infantry charge is previous fashion in battlefields, now it is Archer Opening now.
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