What Is Your Favourite Unit Combination?

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What Is Your Favourite Unit Combination?

Post by SephiRok » Tue Apr 22, 2014 3:33 pm

Is there a particular unit design you especially like or do well with?

What about any awesome synergies between factions, operations and unit designs?
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Re: What Is Your Favourite Unit Combination?

Post by stiefelss » Tue Apr 22, 2014 9:09 pm

I like to put healing mechanisms on ATV's. It's a lot like putting healing promotions on your scouts in Civilization.

Also, put flak guns on obsolete tanks. AI has a fetish for aeroplanes, so you can take down a military twice your size if you have some decent anti-air.

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Re: What Is Your Favourite Unit Combination?

Post by jdmillard » Fri Apr 25, 2014 3:47 am

I've been guilty of using the OP strategy of: Aircraft with the device that makes an attack consume 1 movement (aka - you can attack as many times as you have moves and aircraft have a lot of moves). This is especially powerful when you get the achievement that doubles all unit movement (not a device). It's even more powerful if you've stockpiled a lot of nanobots, the instant repair operation. If you ever sustain too much damage from a single battle, deploy one of those and keep moving. And deploy one more at the end of the turn too to reset health and prepare for a possible attack between turns.

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Re: What Is Your Favourite Unit Combination?

Post by Apheirox » Wed May 07, 2014 6:26 pm

Try asking Boulugre if he likes artillery units... lol...

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Re: What Is Your Favourite Unit Combination?

Post by boulugre » Thu May 08, 2014 6:01 am

Apheirox wrote:Try asking Boulugre if he likes artillery units... lol...
Lol Apheirox, you still own me a game by the way ;-)

Concerning this topics I always go for the following upgrades as I research them

+25% attack or +25% defense
Healing other units
No damage when attacking successfully

And that's about it.... I sometime will use an autoheal update but the 3 listed above are just so superior to all the other that I never bother switching when producing.

I actually made a long rant post on this topic some months ago viewtopic.php?f=173&t=47320

About Chassis I usually go with a mix of infantry and tanks with a few planes. I never use Mecha and rovers. Boats are situational, depending on the map.

I usually specialize my units VS inf or VS tank and tend to avoid the generic +X damage type of weapon. And yes of course I am a big fan of artillery which I always have a least 4 piece in each armies ( I don't use Sniper though, don't see the point really)

operation wise I tend not to use orbital strike, just use a few nuke but consider them really to cheesy and never use black holes. Nano repair is a must but it's so op I tend to only use them in desperate situation. ( 95% of my game are vs AI)

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Re: What Is Your Favourite Unit Combination?

Post by Zak0r » Thu May 08, 2014 9:24 am

I play mostly MP but the difference is not very big.

You start off with tanks and they are always your main weapon. With machine guns against aliens or with cannon or rockets against other factions. Later also flak can be useful if you're facing a lot of planes.

Every attacking army should have at least two artillery units. Adding orbital bombardments (and nuclear rockets) is useful because you can damage or even kill off already damaged units more effectively. Mobile artillery makes less damage on damaged units. Orbital bombardments don't get weaker when the target is damaged. So you bomb with mobile first and then finish with orbital. I've never played a MP that wasn't decided before reaching black hole generators so I can't really tell how the MP warfare changes then.

Planes are nice for getting quick flanking bonuses or killing enemy artillery and ofc scouting. They're also good against units on plain terrain since 1.2.4 Beta. If you're very far advanced in comparison with your enemy you can also use them to overrun him or raid him and capture cities with orbital drop pods. On the same tech level concentration on planes is too expensive. The player building tanks will outproduce you.

Infantry is useful as cheap city defence but with Guerilla Warfare and the 2nd era trooper you should always have some rocket infantry with you to guard your army when moving through forest or mountain.

The big mechs are sometimes useful for city defence when you're facing a lot of artillery. With them you have a a strong unit in the first line that can't be bombed down too quick so you won't get overrun easily.

ATV's are not used in MP at all. But with the latest patch this could change because they got +1 sight (was my idea actually :D).

Same thing with snipers, I think they could get useful if you could choose your target from a stack for sniping out artillery. :)

Ships are rarely useful because you can always use planes to guard your invasion since the planes don't have to land. The only situation in MP where I saw ships being useful was as additional artillery for using ocean tiles when the city is not very accessible by land. In MP you need to spread your army to avoid heavy damage from enemy artillery so a few gunships can make the difference when attacking a coastal city.

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Re: What Is Your Favourite Unit Combination?

Post by Stalker0 » Sat May 10, 2014 4:11 am

Zak0r wrote: Ships are rarely useful because you can always use planes to guard your invasion since the planes don't have to land.
I completely agree, planes can do everything that ships can do, and are more flexible.

I think ships should have the second strongest attack (aside from mechs). Similar to real life, you just don't get more raw mobile firepower than a big ship.

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Re: What Is Your Favourite Unit Combination?

Post by boulugre » Sat May 10, 2014 8:17 am

Stalker0 wrote:
Zak0r wrote: Ships are rarely useful because you can always use planes to guard your invasion since the planes don't have to land.
I completely agree, planes can do everything that ships can do, and are more flexible.

I think ships should have the second strongest attack (aside from mechs). Similar to real life, you just don't get more raw mobile firepower than a big ship.
Yup ships are not so good for the only exception that you can equip them with artillery. If you Combo the leviathan Hide + the other sea monster advancement you get a +50% attack artillery which is a killer.

I remember a game as Imperium with this combo, my trans era boat artillery had a +75% attack bonus and could one shoot strenght 20+ AI infantry stakes ;-)

I think the best use of ships would be to let them automatically defend troop transport on the same hex than them, making the transport immune to all attack (strike ops included) as long as the boat is not sunk. This would solve the super weak transport problem and give a strategic value to boats.

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Re: What Is Your Favourite Unit Combination?

Post by SKRen » Sat May 10, 2014 8:16 pm

Lets see aside from the Flamer/Armor/Pheropod Trooper? Eh...

I basically just make Planes w/ Missiles/Aggression and Troopers w/ Flamers/Elusion Fields. Currently I feel weapons aren't divergent enough. I've modded them in my own games and once I get the balance right plan to release it as a mod.

If I ever need any early-mid game aggression I just use the massive aliens army I converted to wipe the opponents off map. A Devourer, a couple Galeths and a stack of Spitters is kinda hard to stop pre-turn 100.

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Re: What Is Your Favourite Unit Combination?

Post by Apheirox » Sun May 11, 2014 1:22 pm

Ships are basically tanks on water with exact same stats (though twice as fast), meaning they beat aircraft for cost. I'm not sure why you don't like them - if you rely on aircraft only a player with Watercraft/Flak will annihilate your army. The proposition that naval units should be able to guard embarked units (like in Civ 5!) is something the developers should really consider implementing; it would likely change naval warfare for the better.

ATV's will now hopefully play a role on the battlefield in a scouting/harrassing role. The +1 sight was a good change, time will tell if more is required - maybe since they're called ATV's (which I assume means All-Terran Vehicle) they should ignore terrain movement costs as well which would certainly make them useful and give them a unique role.

Snipers are much better than most people realize. They only have 1 range and don't deal collateral damage but they are cheaper than artillery and deal much more damage to infantry and aliens. FIghting in rough terrain, the army that includes snipers in the composition will beat the army that only has regular infantry units. They're also especially useful early in the game while aliens are still around where they can help damage the 8.0 aliens enough for destruction or capture.

As Boulugre points out, there are certain items that are blatantly unbalanced - on one end of the scale we have the mention Nano Repair operation which is ridiculous overpowered whereas the unit module that reduces unit upkeep cost by only 50% is decidedly worse than having no module at all (due to the increased construction cost).

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Re: What Is Your Favourite Unit Combination?

Post by SephiRok » Sun May 11, 2014 1:59 pm

Would love to hear thoughts balance as well. Which do you think are too strong and which are useless?

I agree the upkeep device is really bad. It might have to have no production cost.
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Re: What Is Your Favourite Unit Combination?

Post by Stalker0 » Sun May 11, 2014 3:19 pm

Apheirox wrote:Ships are basically tanks on water with exact same stats (though twice as fast), meaning they beat aircraft for cost. I'm not sure why you don't like them - if you rely on aircraft only a player with Watercraft/Flak will annihilate your army. The proposition that naval units should be able to guard embarked units (like in Civ 5!) is something the developers should really consider implementing; it would likely change naval warfare for the better.

ATV's will now hopefully play a role on the battlefield in a scouting/harrassing role. The +1 sight was a good change, time will tell if more is required - maybe since they're called ATV's (which I assume means All-Terran Vehicle) they should ignore terrain movement costs as well which would certainly make them useful and give them a unique role.

Snipers are much better than most people realize. They only have 1 range and don't deal collateral damage but they are cheaper than artillery and deal much more damage to infantry and aliens. FIghting in rough terrain, the army that includes snipers in the composition will beat the army that only has regular infantry units. They're also especially useful early in the game while aliens are still around where they can help damage the 8.0 aliens enough for destruction or capture.

As Boulugre points out, there are certain items that are blatantly unbalanced - on one end of the scale we have the mention Nano Repair operation which is ridiculous overpowered whereas the unit module that reduces unit upkeep cost by only 50% is decidedly worse than having no module at all (due to the increased construction cost).
For ships it comes down to flexibility. Yes they are cheaper than aircraft, but much more limited. On the water, yes an army of ships will beat planes cost for cost....but ultimately my goal is to fight on land. Planes can do double duty, and are faster at each. Its cheaper to have a few planes to serve on boat duty and that can help out the land too then build some ships AND some extra land units (oh and lets not forget the research time to actually build them). I do agree that giving them embark protection would be a major step forward.

I do like ATVs a bit more now, still not sure if they are worth it. They basically have ignore terrain cost, as in mountains and forest they have double the movement of the other units, as opposed to just +50% speed on flat land. On other option for them might be an improved flanking bonus. For example, if you are flanking with an ATV you get a +35 flank as opposed to +25, and then +70 if you are flanking with 2 ATVs. This represents how that extra speed provides stronger flanking.

I really tried to like Snipers. I used to use them in the early game too to damage aliens, but ultimately I stopped. Snipers may do more single damage to infantry, but the second I have 2 or more units in a square that advantage goes away. Artillery with range is much more powerful and flexible overall. And you also have to factor in the research cost. High Velocity Projectiles is the not the cheapest tech, so its often not worth pursuing. I personally think snipers should able to ignore a certain amount of armor (nothing else does currently so that would be a niche), or some people have suggested letting them specifically target a unit in a stack.

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Re: What Is Your Favourite Unit Combination?

Post by Zak0r » Mon May 12, 2014 7:11 pm

boulugre wrote: I think the best use of ships would be to let them automatically defend troop transport on the same hex than them, making the transport immune to all attack (strike ops included) as long as the boat is not sunk. This would solve the super weak transport problem and give a strategic value to boats.
I like this idea!

I won a few wars just by luckily finding the enemy invasion fleet right before war was declared and then killing off most of it with a few orbital bombardments. This is depressing.

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Re: What Is Your Favourite Unit Combination?

Post by stiefelss » Tue May 13, 2014 3:15 am

SephiRok wrote:Would love to hear thoughts balance as well. Which do you think are too strong and which are useless?

I agree the upkeep device is really bad. It might have to have no production cost.
Infantry sucks and nobody uses it unless they're really strapping for cash or it's early game.

I'd suggest making tanks and mechs far more expensive in terms of upkeep, or give a combined arms bonus to stacks with a certain ratio of armor and infantry ala Europa Universalis 3 (since any modern tactician will tell you that tanks are basically worthless without infantry support), to make incentive for more balanced armies.

I'd also like to bring up a suggestion I've made in the past: divide tanks to light and heavy. This makes a smoother transition from infantry to armor and adds variety to how someone can build a stack. The reason I'm so impatient with the devs not giving us the tools/info we need to actually make more units is because I don't expect the devs to make the light/heavy split, and I'm willing to do it myself and release it as a mod.

I've also had the idea of splitting aeroplanes to fighters and bombers, but that might be a bit more complicated to work out.

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Re: What Is Your Favourite Unit Combination?

Post by Stalker0 » Tue May 13, 2014 3:25 am

SephiRok wrote:Would love to hear thoughts balance as well. Which do you think are too strong and which are useless?

I agree the upkeep device is really bad. It might have to have no production cost.
I would say the no damage on a win mod is the most overpowered....and also a bit superfulous. The "heal regardless of action" module is already in the same vein, allowing you to attack and heal so you overall have more health.

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Re: What Is Your Favourite Unit Combination?

Post by stiefelss » Tue May 13, 2014 4:10 am

Stalker0 wrote:
SephiRok wrote:Would love to hear thoughts balance as well. Which do you think are too strong and which are useless?

I agree the upkeep device is really bad. It might have to have no production cost.
I would say the no damage on a win mod is the most overpowered....and also a bit superfulous. The "heal regardless of action" module is already in the same vein, allowing you to attack and heal so you overall have more health.
I once had the AI throw this transcendence-era mech that had the no damage device with transcendence-era weapons and armor at one of my frontier cities. I was still on the twilight of the mechanization era. It took me maybe eight units of tanks to kill the damned thing since the only way it would ever take any damage was by attacking it.

That device needs to go or be nerfed to maybe cutting the damage in half.

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Re: What Is Your Favourite Unit Combination?

Post by eidolad » Fri May 16, 2014 4:43 am

boulugre wrote:
Stalker0 wrote:
Zak0r wrote:
I think the best use of ships would be to let them automatically defend troop transport on the same hex than them, making the transport immune to all attack (strike ops included) as long as the boat is not sunk. This would solve the super weak transport problem and give a strategic value to boats.
...hmmm, given that even the barracuda destroyer is much stronger than an embarked land unit...doesn't that ship always act as the defender for that stack (of land unit transports) until worn down to 1 strength? In case I missed something obvious...I would strongly agree in this "naval escort mode" idea though.



On to some ideas...sorry a bit longer than I set out to type originally...

I appreciate devs who ask for feedback...huzzah!

(my slant: I've play only single player and haven't got much farther than midgame due mostly to annoyance/fatigue at the WMD effect on the later gameplay. And especially AI civs who seem to unerringly beeline straight to nukes.)


1. Fighter aircraft (used to munch "strike aircraft")

An air superiority aircraft (weapon fitment): It is very strange to me that planes cannot optionally mount anti-air weapons. These winged wonders of the Pandora battlefield should mostly fear other planes that are set up specifically to hunt them.

Consider the wikipedia entry for "Air Supremacy"...it makes no mention of "Flak armor units running around on the ground":

"There are three levels of control of the air:

Air supremacy is the highest level, where a side holds complete control of the skies.

Air superiority is the second level, where a side is in a more favorable position than the opponent. It is defined in the NATO glossary as the "degree of dominance in [an] air battle ... that permits the conduct of operations by [one side] and its related land, sea and air forces at a given time and place without prohibitive interference by opposing air forces."[2]

Air parity is the lowest level of control, where a side only holds control of skies above friendly troop positions.

The degree of a force's air control is inversely proportional to its opponent's; increasing control by one corresponds to decreasing control by the other. Air forces unable to contest for air superiority or air parity can strive for air denial, where they maintain an operations level conceding air superiority to the other side, but preventing it from achieving air supremacy."


...the flak armor can really only achieve "Air parity is the lowest level of control, where a side only holds control of skies above friendly troop positions."


*The balancing factor* is that this "air superiority fighter" should be rather ineffective against any other unit types....


2. Infantry. I would like to like infantry more.

Some ideas to help infantry be more useful/interesting/durable to the later game:

Infantry should be much better at urban warfare than other unit types: new "spontaneous" tech advance: Urban Warfare giving infantry +25 attack/defense in cities. Requires defense or conquest of one city to be available to that faction.

New infantry a module option: Military Police: reduce unrest by N in a city. If employed..."roots" that infantry in the city for N turns.

Give sniper infantry a 2 square range if in a mountain square, and optionally, +1 sight radius (sort of like a Ranger scout lugging a Barrett .50 around with a really tasty optic mounted on top)

Health recovery: infantry should be +15% or higher speed to heal than other unit types IMHO. Infantry boot camp has surely to be a higher recuiting/graduation rate than "strike aircraft school". We need to simulate the "resilence of infantry" somehow.

Mortar infantry module: a "two hex range arty attack" that has a cool-down of the turns...as a module option requiring research. The main weapon for that infantry would then be limited to the rifle/gauss type as compensation.


3. Rambling on ships vs. planes:

Pandora aircraft, with their "endless fuel, ordnance and operational range", are very close to the Jules Verne "perfect war machine"...all they would need is to be able to go undersea or tunnel in the land. Endless scouting...endless endurance to loiter where they wish.

However I think the balance between ship and plane is pretty good at the moment:

Ships can mount a variety of weapons...making a fleet of anti-air, anti-mechanical, anti-organic ships able to take on any type of mission. Currently, the Pandora aircraft cannot specialize against aircraft specifically...whereas the ships can.

In a crowded land war space: Planes are countered by anti-air weapons very well though IMHO. I lose aircraft more often than any other unit when I start soloing them around wherever they can go...unless I get smart and stack them with some help, and only range out for sure kills.



4. The AI should use a lot more artillary. One single arty unit can seriously screw up an invasion force...especially if the terrain limits the advance to one square at a time. *One arty piece per city of size 5 or more....should be an AI rule*.

Wikipedia has this to say about artillery: "...today artillery comprises highly mobile weapons of great flexibility in which repose most of a modern army's firepower."

(Yes, it said: most of)

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Re: What Is Your Favourite Unit Combination?

Post by boulugre » Fri May 16, 2014 7:51 am

eidolad wrote:
I think the best use of ships would be to let them automatically defend troop transport on the same hex than them, making the transport immune to all attack (strike ops included) as long as the boat is not sunk. This would solve the super weak transport problem and give a strategic value to boats.

...hmmm, given that even the barracuda destroyer is much stronger than an embarked land unit...doesn't that ship always act as the defender for that stack (of land unit transports) until worn down to 1 strength? In case I missed something obvious...I would strongly agree in this "naval escort mode" idea though.
Yes you are right concerning other unit attacks. My proposal was more to make embarked unit immune to artillery and orbital strikes in order to make them a little less sitting ducks and raise the value of boats.

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Re: What Is Your Favourite Unit Combination?

Post by eidolad » Fri May 16, 2014 11:29 pm

Ah sorry I didn't read closely enough...was a bit bleary eyed after failing to keep the "religion-crazed Blondie" from killing my faction last night.

Here is a modified proposal along the same lines:

1. Addressing the thin skinned troop transports (embarked land units traveling on their own over water)

a) I adore "coastal batteries" too much to nerf their close defense capability against direct invasion. Especially given the AI inability (in almost all similar strategy games and not just Pandora) of actually pairing up escorts for transports. So most kills in my continental sea wars have been to AI transports just come blundering up into artillery fire. This is a bit of balance against the AI's outstanding ability to churn out huge numbers of troops.

Also a pair of ships with an arty weapon should be a feared defensive force...requiring their destruction or area denial.

b) Let's give troop transports 2 health...i.e. they should be able to survive one arty attack...but then be quite useless until healed...*but still require proper Naval escort* and *still be toast if blundering up to properly defended cities*


c) Nerf orbital/WMD strikes by *requiring recent (like 1 or 2 turns ago) line of sight by a friendly unit*.

Don't allow the AI to able to shoot what he cannot see, unless a friendly unit (or recon operation) happened to "call in a sighting report within the last turn or two".

In one of my early games, I built two dreadnaughts and hid them in my capital city due to all the WMD raining down everywhere. The very turn I moved them out (there are no enemy units or cities anywhere close), they get nuked to death.

As a newbie programmer thinking out loud from his sofa:
The main problem I would think is that I suspect, without any proof whatsoever, that the AI has 100% radar coverage of all units everywhere. Thus item c) proposal would require wholesale changes under the hood to implement.

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Re: What Is Your Favourite Unit Combination?

Post by Stalker0 » Fri May 16, 2014 11:33 pm

eidolad wrote: Health recovery: infantry should be +15% or higher speed to heal than other unit types IMHO. Infantry boot camp has surely to be a higher recuiting/graduation rate than "strike aircraft school". We need to simulate the "resilence of infantry" somehow.
That's an interesting idea, and it would give infantry a bit better niche...though if the "attack and take no damage mod" stays in the game it would be moot by midgame.

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