medium spears cost the same as hoplites?

Field of Glory II is a turn-based tactical game set during the Rise of Rome from 280 BC to 25 BC.
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vakarr
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medium spears cost the same as hoplites?

Post by vakarr » Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:59 pm

If medium spearmen come up against protected hoplites, they are the same points as each other, but the hoplites have the advantage in open terrain (ie most of the time) as they are heavy foot. I think this is a bit wrong and there should be one or two points difference between them - I keep coming up against large armies of hoplites in open terrain and I don't think much of my chances of beating them with medium spearmen; the rules are built around heavy infantry and the medium infantry should cost a bit less as they are not able to dominate open terrain. I find that my army is no larger than theirs so my flanking opportunities are limited.

It would also make the strange half-swordsmen known as massed peltasts a bit less useless if they would break off if they failed to win a combat, or had some similar mechanic that allowed them the opportunity to charge again they might be worth having, but really it seems not worth using them at all. Your average barbarian mountain man now seems to be a 100% swordsman (having previously only been light spear armed) so the peltasts should go the same way or something else done to distinguish their mode of fighting. Either that or make some of them superior.

Now that Greek peltasts are everywhere, there ought to be a superior Thracian peltast option, too.

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Re: medium spears cost the same as hoplites?

Post by rbodleyscott » Wed Oct 09, 2019 6:13 am

vakarr wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:59 pm
Your average barbarian mountain man now seems to be a 100% swordsman (having previously only been light spear armed) so the peltasts should go the same way or something else done to distinguish their mode of fighting.
As far as I am aware most if not all of the ones that were light spear only are now 50% swordsmen.

I don't really agree about the Medium Spearmen as they have their advantage in non-open terrain. I take your point about armies that don't have anything but medium infantry, but that is a metagame monolithic army issue, not one that indicates that they should be cheaper all round.
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Re: medium spears cost the same as hoplites?

Post by MVP7 » Wed Oct 09, 2019 12:16 pm

Personally I consider medium foot to be superior to heavy. Heavy foot is slightly more stable than medium in the open and that's it. Medium is far superior in all other terrain and even in the open it has the same POA values as heavy.

Medium spearmen army isn't really even supposed to beat a hoplite army in the open since that's the only terrain where hoplites have any advantage over the mediums. Even if the odds of medium army against heavy in the open aren't great, they are still far better than for a heavy army trying to fight mediums in bad terrain.

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Re: medium spears cost the same as hoplites?

Post by Geffalrus » Tue Oct 15, 2019 10:02 pm

Rough terrain gives a massive advantage to medium foot over hoplites, as has already been said. In open terrain, hoplites only beat Thureos (for example) in the grand scheme of things......or in other words, the Thureos will fail a cohesion check more often than hoplites if both have equal numbers of victories/defeats/indecisive. The rough terrain advantage is immediate and obvious each and every time. However, rough terrain is not as common as open terrain, so in theory it balances out.

One other advantage of 42 point medium off spears is that they don't have the Unmaneuverable trait, while 42 point Hoplites do. This helps the medium off spears be a little faster at flanking since they can maybe turn to expose a flank one move earlier than a citizen hoplite could. Mercenary Hoplites cost 6 more points for the same mobility.

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Re: medium spears cost the same as hoplites?

Post by MikeC_81 » Tue Oct 15, 2019 11:09 pm

Point for point, medium foot scales much better the higher up the quality ladder you go in size and quality. If you had a choice between a Medium Foot army and a Heavy Foot army with the same unit capabilities, the Medium Foot is more cost-effective in almost every way and there is no reason to reduce their cost at all.

The only thing a heavy foot unit gains over medium foot is the +1 CT modifier. This is less useful the higher up the quality chain you go. That's because the bonus to CTs are generally useful for mitigating RNG circumstances where you lose combat. As you go up the quality chain, the chances of you losing combat go down dramatically meaning that the +1 to CT is not often in play. In non-combat CT scenarios, the Superior quality's ability to reroll 1s on their CTs makes this +1 less useful.

In return, the medium foot unit gains:

1) The ability to fight favourably against heavy foot across any rough and difficult terrain. Heavy Foot simply cannot go mediums tread. It isn't even a question of a minor loss in efficiency, they simply will get run over by anything except for something they brutally outclass (ie melee vs unarmed archers or Terminator Vet Legions vs Irr foot or something).

2) They get "drilled" status for free where you have the free 45-degree turn if within the influence of a General whereas heavy foot needs to pay 1 point per model for the same privilege. At a typical rate of 6 points per unit, this adds up rather quickly. Ex. African Spearmen vs Thureophoroi is 48-42 points are combat identical even in Heavy Foot's wheelhouse of open terrain.

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Where heavy foot cab pay off typically occurs at the lower end of the quality spectrum like at Average or Raw. A good example is surviving a shooting CT check. An Average quality unit absorbing missile fire will take a CT at -1 if forced to check. A Medium foot unit will fail this test 41.7% of the time and lose a cohesion level - in essence making it combat ineffective outside of providing ZoCs. That same unit as a heavy foot will fail only 27.8% of the time - a marked improvement though letting it get shot at is obviously something not to be recommended. They are also markedly better at falling back in the face of the enemy since the +1 modifier allows them to fail only 16% of the time (1 in 6) while the medium foot unit doing the same will fail 27.8% (slightly worse than in 1 in 4). They also rally better if they can be sheltered and a General sent in to reorganize the unit. Let us say a fragmented unit has suffered 1/4 casualties and a General is sent in. The medium foot unit is only going to regain a cohesion level 27.8% of the time while the Heavy Foot unit will do so 41.7% of the time (keep chasing those pike blocks people, they often haven't even suffered 25% losses!!!)

They also don't suffer from a -1 when losing to cavalry or other Heavy foot which the Medium foot will.

Overall though, I think it can be agreed that the flexibility of Medium Foot fighting in any terrain and essentially "free" drilled status makes up for most of these benefits though. Especially when you essentially get a 6 point discount on their Heavy Foot counterparts in the realm of superior quality units. Things like Zealots, Vet Italian Foot, and Vet Samnite Foot are still among the most cost-effective heavy hitters in the game and they can go anywhere on the map as well. Where heavy foot can shine is if you need a bunch of grinders, you can find open terrain and don't want to pay a lot for it. Things like Raw Spearmen in triple ranks are amazingly cost-effective and can tie down enemy units for a long time with their +1 CT tilt and the lack of a -1 CT penalty against other heavy foot and cavalry.
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Re: medium spears cost the same as hoplites?

Post by vakarr » Tue Oct 15, 2019 11:48 pm

So in the most common circumstance - average medium spears vs average heavy spears in open terrain, the medium spears are at a disadvantage and it says so when they meet. I did say it should only be a few points difference between them - if there's less of a disadvantage for superior spears then I accept that there is some equivalence there, so the points difference is not necessary (though the additional morale penalty is hardly what you would want even then). The difficult terrain abilities are useful but It is the ability to dominate open terrain that is the key to winning the battle not difficult terrain; open terrain is far more common, and the centre of every battlefield tends to be open terrain (or an open terrain hill or similar). I've yet to meet anyone who would prefer to have medium spears rather than heavy spears in the centre of their line.

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Re: medium spears cost the same as hoplites?

Post by Geffalrus » Wed Oct 16, 2019 12:12 am

vakarr wrote:
Tue Oct 15, 2019 11:48 pm
So in the most common circumstance - average medium spears vs average heavy spears in open terrain, the medium spears are at a disadvantage and it says so when they meet. I did say it should only be a few points difference between them - if there's less of a disadvantage for superior spears then I accept that there is some equivalence there, so the points difference is not necessary (though the additional morale penalty is hardly what you would want even then). The difficult terrain abilities are useful but It is the ability to dominate open terrain that is the key to winning the battle not difficult terrain; open terrain is far more common, and the center of every battlefield tends to be open terrain (or an open terrain hill or similar). I've yet to meet anyone who would prefer to have medium spears rather than heavy spears in the center of their line.
I think it's important to understand where and when their disadvantage comes into play. Thracian Spears and Hoplites meeting on open terrain will have roughly equal combat win probabilities as they have the same exact POA values. The expected result in the short term would be Indecisive rounds of combat. Less likely would be one or the other losing a round of combat. It's only at that point that the Hoplites jump into the lead. As Mike C pointed out, heavy infantry have a substantially higher probability of passing a cohesion checks, especially when facing other heavy infantry or cavalry. So in this example, the Hoplites have a solid +2 to cohesion rolls advantage over the Thracians (Heavy inf +1 and the medium -1 when facing heavy inf). So - IF - the Thracians lose a round of combat, they have a higher likelihood of failing the cohesion roll. That likelihood goes up even more the more rounds of combat that have happened, due to accumulate casualties.

In the long run, Hoplites will probably win. And if there's a big line of both, it might even look decisive as routs cause neighbor cohesion tests and flanking opportunities, etc etc.

In the long run.

Of course, if you're in rough terrain, medium foot win over heavy infantry without much trouble, in a much shorter space of time.

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Re: medium spears cost the same as hoplites?

Post by SnuggleBunnies » Wed Oct 16, 2019 12:44 am

Yes, I think Mediums are priced just fine for their capabilities.

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Re: medium spears cost the same as hoplites?

Post by rbodleyscott » Wed Oct 16, 2019 8:21 am

vakarr wrote:
Tue Oct 15, 2019 11:48 pm
So in the most common circumstance - average medium spears vs average heavy spears in open terrain, the medium spears are at a disadvantage and it says so when they meet.
No it doesn't. They are of course slightly disadvantaged because of the CT modifiers, but it does not say so in the tooltip because their POAs are identical.
I did say it should only be a few points difference between them
As has been pointed out, they are already effectively 6 points cheaper because they are getting Manoeuvrable/Drilled status free.

Sure this won't be particularly noticeable if you are pitting them against Undrilled Hoplites in a solid battle line in the open, but it will make a significant difference against any army with Drilled Heavy Foot.

(Be careful, you might be talking me into putting their price up slightly! :wink: :lol: )

Also, it is worth mentioning that a forthcoming update will remove the Heavy Foot +1 CT Modifier from Heavy Foot that are of "Below Average" quality or worse. (Average of Experience and Elan <= 90)
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Re: medium spears cost the same as hoplites?

Post by MVP7 » Wed Oct 16, 2019 2:08 pm

I still think the medium foot should suffer some minor POA penalty in the open against shock cavalry and maybe even heavy infantry.
rbodleyscott wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 8:21 am
Also, it is worth mentioning that a forthcoming update will remove the Heavy Foot +1 CT Modifier from Heavy Foot that are of "Below Average" quality or worse. (Average of Experience and Elan <= 90)
That sounds like a good way to nerf the heavy infantry spam armies a bit. Is is going to be be in the current open beta or in some later update?

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Re: medium spears cost the same as hoplites?

Post by Geffalrus » Wed Oct 16, 2019 4:05 pm

rbodleyscott wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 8:21 am
Also, it is worth mentioning that a forthcoming update will remove the Heavy Foot +1 CT Modifier from Heavy Foot that are of "Below Average" quality or worse. (Average of Experience and Elan <= 90)
Heh, that should calm the Romano-Brits, KoSoisson, and Bretons down a bit with their limitanei/subRoman spam capabilities. Obviously they'll still have a slight advantage over equivalent medium foot in open terrain due to the medium foot penalty when facing heavy infantry.

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Re: medium spears cost the same as hoplites?

Post by rbodleyscott » Wed Oct 16, 2019 5:14 pm

MVP7 wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 2:08 pm
I still think the medium foot should suffer some minor POA penalty in the open against shock cavalry and maybe even heavy infantry.
rbodleyscott wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 8:21 am
Also, it is worth mentioning that a forthcoming update will remove the Heavy Foot +1 CT Modifier from Heavy Foot that are of "Below Average" quality or worse. (Average of Experience and Elan <= 90)
That sounds like a good way to nerf the heavy infantry spam armies a bit. Is is going to be be in the current open beta or in some later update?
It will be in the next iteration (1.5.20) of the open beta, probably next week.
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Re: medium spears cost the same as hoplites?

Post by melm » Wed Oct 16, 2019 6:10 pm

Oh no... it hurts me as a raw unit lover.

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Re: medium spears cost the same as hoplites?

Post by vakarr » Wed Oct 16, 2019 9:46 pm

That's good to hear, I recently got beaten by an AI Egyptian army after never having been beaten by the AI in an equal points clash since my first few games - the changes to AI tactics have certainly made the AI a tougher opponent!

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