Redesigning Combat Units

Week 52 is over. This was a brainstorming week, where exact goals for the unit revamp were laid out, missing abilities and combat behavior was defined, and most of the work was dedicated to explaining these new concepts to the database.

Show, don’t tell

If a picture is worth a thousand words, how much is a picture full of words worth?

Whoah, but, what do those things do?

Let’s start from beginning. Each settlement starts with a most basic unit – Menar, Erolek, etc.

Then you research Menar Evolution; a low-omni low-cost upgrade – allowing you to design Tier 2 Men units.

Open up the designer (not depicted here as it’s nowhere near complete yet), click “New Unit Design”, and select Men as base unit. Four upgrades are available from the start – Attack, Defense, Morale and Speed. Each of these upgrades will improve one stat by +30%, and all others by +10%. Speed upgrades improve by +3 or +1, respectively.

Click Save, and your DiMenar await – they are unique to you; where someone would improve Speed or Attack, you went the nonobvious route and picked Defense, making your DiMenar quite unlike your fellow player’s one. Your DiMenar will have +10% attack, +30% defense, +10% Morale and +1 Speed.

After a while you decide to research Awareness – a Wud special ability that can be applied to any unit. Not only does it grant Awareness, every special ability further boosts (or sometimes inhibits) other stats. Awareness, for example, will boost defense by +20%, morale by +10% and speed by +1.

Once done, open up the designer again and create a new template – one for Menar Ums. With these two templates you can build any of these two units from  the base Menar you draft. Both upgrades cost the same.

Data! Give me numbers!

Numbers are in flux, obviously, but some obvious ones are:

ASSASSIN: +200% Attack, -75% Defense, +1 Speed.

HORSEBACK: +10% Attack, +10% Morale, +2 Speed.

BURROWING: +10% Attack, +30% Defense, +10% Morale, -1 Speed.

RANGED: +10% Attack, -10% Defense.

LONGBOW: +20% Attack, +10% Morale, +1 Speed.

If you look at the difference between RANGED and LONGBOW above, longbows are obviously an upgrade of +40% over traditional short-bow ranged units. The same goes for any of the upgraded attack types.

What of the new abilities?

Yes, the new abilities offer new tactical advantages. Here is a list, subject to change:

DESPISED: Despised units use tactics found disgusting even by their own comrades. Their deaths do not lower morale of your non-despised units.

Note: Despised is a Wud-only ability perhaps  best applied to those unit stacks you expect to be dying the most.

ORGANIZED: Organized soldiers live and fight together in tightly-knit phalanx regiments. They gain +50% defense against all horseback, assassin and ranged attacks.

Note: Organized is a Men-only ability quite useful for largest stacks that are expected to encounter cavalry.

HORSEBACK: Charges into largest enemy unit stack. If such stack is not mounted or burrowing, attacks have +50% power.

Note: Horseback are best used in large numbers to break the enemy infantry.

LONGBOW: The extra attack at the beginning of the round is twice as deadly. All subsequent attacks are at cumulative -10% attack value.

Note: Longbowmen are a straight upgrade over regular RANGED units. However, Burrowers are still exempt from the first strike damage, and there are the organized folks that can counter a part of it.

AMBUSHER: Striking from shadow and natural cover, opportunistic squads strike where the enemy is least expecting them. If the terrain supports defense bonuses, they are multiplied by 10 and turned into attack bonus for opportunistic units.

Note: Not everyone will want to bother with terrain bonuses and features. However, a correctly positioned Erol ambusher stack (in a thick forest granting +10 defense) might easily get +100% attack bonus. Pairing those with assassins can be devastating.

How do I cross-upgrade units?

Morphing Eroleks into Wudins is no longer possible. Make Erolins instead. They will have similar though not identical stats. As for upgrading within the same Atre, it’s very simple:

 

A base unit (eg. Menar) can upgrade into any template you created, tier 1 -> tier 5 directly, with appropriate mana expenditure.

Between the same tier units can not cross-transform. A Menek and DiMenar are separate stacks and they can not be mixed.

 

When upgrading into a higher tier, a unit can be upgraded if they can reach that state naturally:

Stack 1: DiMenar (Menar with any Training Focus applied) – Tier 2

Stack 2: Menar Ka (Menar with Armsmaster applied) – Tier 2

Stack 3: TriMenar Ka (Menar with Armsmaster + one Training Focus applied) – Tier 3

Both stacks 1 and 2 can be transformed into stack 3 – it’s just a matter of slapping a Ka to one stack and adding a focus to the other stack. Cost for this upgrade is just the difference in mana between Tiers 2 and 3.

 

Stack 4: TriMenar (Menar with 2 Training Focuses applied) – Tier 3

Only stack 1 can be upgraded into stack 4. Stack 2 can not “untrain” their armsmaster training.

 

That’s all for the design committee week. Now, let’s implement all of this in game. This will take quite a while, so stay patient. Thanx for tuning in!