Unit Costing Anomalies

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Re: Unit Costing Anomalies

Post by rbodleyscott » Tue Feb 26, 2019 10:44 am

Cavalry

I think Mike has convinced me that the only change needed is to reduce the cost of Armour for pure Horse Archers (without lancer or light spear capability).

Currently the extra cost for cavalry Armour (over Protected) is 2 for Average, 4 for Superior and 5 for Elite (per 100 UnitSize).

If these Armour premiums were reduced to 1, 3 and 4 for pure Horse Archer units, costs would be reduced as follows:

1) Expert Armoured Horse Archers from 72 to 68.
2) Armoured Horse Archers from 57 to 53.
3) Byzantine Flankers from 52 to 48.

If the armour premium were reduced to 1, 2 and 3 for pure Horse Archer units, costs would be reduced as follows:

1) Expert Armoured Horse Archers from 72 to 64.
2) Armoured Horse Archers from 57 to 52.
3) Byzantine Flankers from 52 to 48.

The question is whether Superior Armoured horse Archers would be better balanced at 68 points or 64 points?
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Re: Unit Costing Anomalies

Post by MVP7 » Tue Feb 26, 2019 10:58 am

These seem like reasonable changes although the superior Warbands are going to be pretty expensive. I don't think the armoured average hoplite price is going to be an issue. Horse archer price reductions looks good as well but since I don't know about their multiplayer balance I'm indifferent to which reduction is used.

edit. Maybe test the 1, 3 and 4 costs first? It seems like it makes the relative price differences more fitting.

edit2. Didn't realize the Armoured Horse Archers had 'some armour'. The 1, 2, 3 prices are pretty good in that case although light units still seem to pay a heavy price for extras.
Last edited by MVP7 on Tue Feb 26, 2019 3:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Unit Costing Anomalies

Post by Paul59 » Tue Feb 26, 2019 2:20 pm

rbodleyscott wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 10:44 am
Cavalry

If the armour premium were reduced to 1, 2 and 3 for pure Horse Archer units, costs would be reduced as follows:

1) Expert Armoured Horse Archers from 72 to 64.
2) Armoured Horse Archers from 57 to 52.
3) Byzantine Flankers from 52 to 48.

The question is whether Superior Armoured horse Archers would be better balanced at 68 points or 64 points?
The 1,2,3 option would bring the Expert Armoured Horse Archers to the same cost as Noble Armoured Lancers, that seems reasonable to me.
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Re: Unit Costing Anomalies

Post by rbodleyscott » Tue Feb 26, 2019 4:58 pm

Of course the alternative to all this would be to simply tweak individual units which are obviously excessively benefited or disadvantaged by synergy or lack thereof.

Probably that would mean simply an ex-gratia adjustment to the cost of Zealots and Imperial Roman Auxilia.

As I have said before, I have been trying to avoid such individual unit tweaks.
If the points system can be tweaked to adjust for such synergies (or anti-synergies), that would be better (going forward).

So I might propose (for infantry):

1) Impact Foot capability costs 1 point extra per 100 UnitSize for Fully Superior or better quality Medium Foot (not Warriors) units which are Protected/Lightly Protected/Unprotected.

This would (I think) affect only the following units:
a) Zealots - unit cost increased from 51 to 57.
b) Veteran Samnite foot - unit cost increased from 63 to 66.
c) Veteran Dailami Foot - unit cost increased from 54 to 60.

2) Armour cost reduced by 1 point per 100 UnitSize for Average Light Spear Medium Foot.

This would affect only:
a) Imperial Roman Auxilia - unit cost reduced from 48 to 42.

It has been explicitly worded to avoid reducing the cost of Assyrian Heavy Foot, who are certainly cost-effective enough already.

I am not convinced that Thorakitai need a cost reduction. Their armour is very useful if they are deployed where the enemy will be able to concentrate the most shooting.
I always take them if they are available, which is usually a good sign that troops are cost-effective. The benefit of armour in helping to avoid disruption prior to contact should not be underestimated. (Similarly I doubt if anyone takes less than the maximum available Armoured Hoplites).

However, if we wanted to include thorakitai, the above could be changed to:

Armour cost reduced by 1 point per 100 UnitSize for Average Medium Foot.

This would affect:

a) Imperial Roman Auxilia - unit cost reduced from 48 to 42.
b) Thorakitai - unit cost reduced from 54 to 48.

3) Reduce base cost of Unprotected Superior Light Foot to 5 points per 100 UnitSize;

This would affect:
a) Cretan archers - cost reduced from 42 to 36.
b) Balearic Slingers - cost reduced from 36 to 30.

--------------------------------

This rather hacky fine-tuning of the "official" (though unpublished) points system is intended to try to avoid ex-gratia adjustments, because having guidelines makes it easier to cost new units that are added to the game.
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Re: Unit Costing Anomalies

Post by MVP7 » Tue Feb 26, 2019 7:13 pm

Impact foot adjustments of section 1 look good to me.

I'm also not sure if Thorakitai is too expensive although it's not the best deal with current price. Price of 54 for Thorakitai and 42 for Auxilia feels like too big price difference but on the other hand Thorakitai for 48 would be pretty low considering how well medium offensive spear can manage even in the open.

Maybe reduction of 0.5 points instead of 1 could be considered for section 2. With base cost of 6.5 the the price of Roman Auxilia would be 45 and if Thorakitai was included that would be 51 points.

Maybe 0.5 points instead of 1 in section 3 as well. The superior vs average gives Archers about 20-30% raw damage plus the other benefits so mere 20% price increase from average units could put them near the other extreme of cost efficiency. With base cost of 5.5 the prices would be 39 for Cretan Archers 33 for Balearic Slingers.

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Re: Unit Costing Anomalies

Post by rbodleyscott » Tue Feb 26, 2019 7:34 pm

MVP7 wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 7:13 pm
Impact foot adjustments of section 1 look good to me.

I'm also not sure if Thorakitai is too expensive although it's not the best deal with current price. Price of 54 for Thorakitai and 42 for Auxilia feels like too big price difference but on the other hand Thorakitai for 48 would be pretty low considering how well medium offensive spear can manage even in the open.

Maybe reduction of 0.5 points instead of 1 could be considered for section 2. With base cost of 6.5 the the price of Roman Auxilia would be 45 and if Thorakitai was included that would be 51 points.

Maybe 0.5 points instead of 1 in section 3 as well. The superior vs average gives Archers about 20-30% raw damage plus the other benefits so mere 20% price increase from average units could put them near the other extreme of cost efficiency. With base cost of 5.5 the prices would be 39 for Cretan Archers 33 for Balearic Slingers.
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Re: Unit Costing Anomalies

Post by MikeC_81 » Tue Feb 26, 2019 11:26 pm

rbodleyscott wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 10:37 am
Infantry

I am currently exploring the following combination of changes.

1) All armoured infantry costs reduced by 1 per UnitSize.
2) Cost of Impact Foot capability increased to 2 per UnitSize for Superior/Elite units.
3) Depth discount increased to 11%. (Though this could be tweaked further)
I am unsure whether a reduction across the board is a good idea, I now support more of changing only Average Quality values for Armour. Explanation to follow

Impact Foot
1) Superior/Elite Roman Legionaries,Hastati/Principes and raw Legionaries - cost unchanged.
3) Mediocre legionaries - cost reduced from 60 to 54.
4) Imitation legionaries - cost reduced from 54 to 51.
5) Zealots - cost increased from 51 to 57.
6) Veteran Samnite foot - cost increased from 63 to 66.
7) Average warbands - cost reduced from 58 to 56. (Increasing the % depth discount would reduce this further)
8 ) Superior warbands - cost increased from 75 to 80. (Increasing the % depth discount would reduce this increase)
9) Veteran Dailami Foot - cost increased from 54 to 60.
Items 2 and 3 are desirable changes. They have long been over-costed, just not to the point where I felt I had to complain about it.
Light Spear Foot
1) Imperial Roman Auxilia - cost reduced from 48 to 42.
2) Legio Palatina - cost reduced from 78 to 72.
3) Legio Comitatenses - cost reduced from 54 to 51.
4) Veteran Italian Foot - cost reduced from 66 to 60.
5) Persian Immortals - cost reduced from 75 to 69. (see discussion below).
6) Average Assyrian Heavy Foot - cost reduced from 60 to 54.
7) Assyrian guard foot - cost reduced from 72 to 66.
Items 1,3, and 6 are all welcome changes. These are over-costed but not egregiously so besides Auxilia which is too expensive by far.
Items 2,4,5,7 are all dangerous changes. Superior close combat troops of any sort should not become any cheaper than they are now. They are already often automatic picks due to their power level and much effort is made to cut fat out of army list picks to fit as many of these troops as one can reasonably afford. Superior troops are dangerous across the board regardless of what type of unit capabilities they are packing since they are +50 PoA on Impact and Melee and are much tougher to route, and significantly more likely to rally if damaged.
Offensive Spearmen
1) Superior Armoured hoplites - reduced from 78 to 72.
2) Average Armoured citizen hoplites - reduced from 54 to 48.
3) Thorakitai - reduced from 54 to 48.
4) Veteran African Spearmen - reduced from 78 to 72.
5) Pictish Spearmen - reduced from 54 to 52. (Increasing the % depth discount would reduce this further)
6) Triarii - cost reduced from 43 to 40.
Items 2 and 3, 4 are reasonable changes to me although now that I look at it, they could end up being aggressively cost efficient.
Items 1, 4, and 6 are not good changes at all. Superior Offensive spears are no joke and are very strong as it is already. Every effort should be made to prevent them from becoming cheaper.

-----------------------------

The majority of the changes I like with this format are the Average Quality Troops and the changes I don't like are those that involve Superior/Elite Quality troops. There is a game mechanics reasoning for this. Average Quality troops have a much higher chance of not surviving Impact Combat intact and thus accessing their Armour bonus in subsequent stages. That is on top of the fact that these units are scary in an of themselves and there has never been any reason look at them and say they are underperformers with the exception of maybe Superior Warbands prior to the deep ranks discount being introduced. After some thought, I think it is better to leave Superior units alone for now, even with the expensive Armour tax. Changing armour values in the abstract looked much safer until you started producing those point values.

I understand that without doing the Impact Foot recosting, Zealots will still be "a thing" but I would rather keep units like Zealots, Samnite Foot, and Dailami foot around as "good buys" rather than open up a can of worms where now we have to worry about Persians and elite spearman potentially rising up as the "new OP". In addition, these units appear in relatively few lists.
rbodleyscott wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 10:44 am
Currently the extra cost for cavalry Armour (over Protected) is 2 for Average, 4 for Superior and 5 for Elite (per 100 UnitSize).

If these Armour premiums were reduced to 1, 3 and 4 for pure Horse Archer units, costs would be reduced as follows:

1) Expert Armoured Horse Archers from 72 to 68.
2) Armoured Horse Archers from 57 to 53.
3) Byzantine Flankers from 52 to 48.
This is a good place to start. If these changes do not help, you can always cut them again.
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Re: Unit Costing Anomalies

Post by SnuggleBunnies » Wed Feb 27, 2019 12:20 am

I actually disagree that the changes to superior troops would be bad. I think those numbers look pretty good to me, and, in any case, it is often armies that can field masses of cheaper average troops that are performing well right now (remember the 24point Sub-Roman foot, or 20pt Indian Cavalry?). Superior troops are certainly not automatic picks, IMO - that really depends on the terrain and opponent, as it should.

Looking at just one item, for example, the Superior Armored Hoplites - dropping them to 72 would be put them at the same price as Average Phalanx Pikemen. Depending on terrain and opponent, having these cost the same feels pretty reasonable to me. Furthermore, the drop in price for hoplites counteracts the drop in price for Immortals. If these changes leave the Persians stronger versus non-Greek opponents, I wouldn't really see that as a bad thing - after all, they conquered a great empire. In any case, I still don't think it would put them in anything like the territory of pre-patch Indian Massed Archer armies. I would also note that the drop in Assyrian infantry costs would help a little in that respect.

Legio Palatina always seemed like a bad deal to me, so I would welcome a price drop. They are good troops, but their Darts left them hobbled when trying to attack.

The detail I'm still unsure of is whether the Expert Armored Horse Archers should drop to 68 or 64. 72 is certainly too high, but we wouldn't want them to be too cheap either... I think I incline toward 64, but it's a tough choice.

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Re: Unit Costing Anomalies

Post by MikeC_81 » Wed Feb 27, 2019 12:35 am

That could be the case, I just saw 60 point Vet Italian Foot and 72 point Spartan Hoplites and went eek!
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Re: Unit Costing Anomalies

Post by rbodleyscott » Wed Feb 27, 2019 8:07 am

rbodleyscott wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 4:58 pm
Of course the alternative to all this would be to simply tweak individual units which are obviously excessively benefited or disadvantaged by synergy or lack thereof.

Probably that would mean simply an ex-gratia adjustment to the cost of Zealots and Imperial Roman Auxilia.

As I have said before, I have been trying to avoid such individual unit tweaks.
If the points system can be tweaked to adjust for such synergies (or anti-synergies), that would be better (going forward).

So I might propose (for infantry):

1) Impact Foot capability costs 1 point extra per 100 UnitSize for Fully Superior or better quality Medium Foot (not Warriors) units which are Protected/Lightly Protected/Unprotected.

This would (I think) affect only the following units:
a) Zealots - unit cost increased from 51 to 57.
b) Veteran Samnite foot - unit cost increased from 63 to 66.
c) Veteran Dailami Foot - unit cost increased from 54 to 60.

2) Armour cost reduced by 1 point per 100 UnitSize for Average Light Spear Medium Foot.

This would affect only:
a) Imperial Roman Auxilia - unit cost reduced from 48 to 42.

It has been explicitly worded to avoid reducing the cost of Assyrian Heavy Foot, who are certainly cost-effective enough already.

I am not convinced that Thorakitai need a cost reduction. Their armour is very useful if they are deployed where the enemy will be able to concentrate the most shooting.
I always take them if they are available, which is usually a good sign that troops are cost-effective. The benefit of armour in helping to avoid disruption prior to contact should not be underestimated. (Similarly I doubt if anyone takes less than the maximum available Armoured Hoplites).

However, if we wanted to include thorakitai, the above could be changed to:

Armour cost reduced by 1 point per 100 UnitSize for Average Medium Foot.

This would affect:

a) Imperial Roman Auxilia - unit cost reduced from 48 to 42.
b) Thorakitai - unit cost reduced from 54 to 48.

3) Reduce base cost of Unprotected Superior Light Foot to 5 points per 100 UnitSize;

This would affect:
a) Cretan archers - cost reduced from 42 to 36.
b) Balearic Slingers - cost reduced from 36 to 30.

--------------------------------

This rather hacky fine-tuning of the "official" (though unpublished) points system is intended to try to avoid ex-gratia adjustments, because having guidelines makes it easier to cost new units that are added to the game.
Hi Mike,

What about this more surgical strike for infantry changes? As you say for the cavalry change, further changes can be made at a later date if needed.
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Re: Unit Costing Anomalies

Post by MikeC_81 » Wed Feb 27, 2019 7:48 pm

rbodleyscott wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 8:07 am
Hi Mike,

What about this more surgical strike for infantry changes? As you say for the cavalry change, further changes can be made at a later date if needed.
They are good, although I don't understand why Average Armoured Heavy Infantry are apparently too strong to warrant a reduction. The change which managed to catch the Legio Comentitatis, Imitation Legionaries, and Mediocre Legionaries were nice.

Assyran Heavy Foot is Average LS/Swordsman Armoured yes? +100 PoA on Impact /+125 Melee vs a Protected unit seems tame enough for something less than 60 points. Pre-Islamic Heavy Foot is only 36 points and has +100/+100 though they are undrilled and don't get the free wheel.

Do other players have more extensive experience with this and maybe I am out of touch with Average Heavy Foot?
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Re: Unit Costing Anomalies

Post by nyczar » Wed Feb 27, 2019 8:32 pm

While it has been fun to see all the new players we have and the essential questions in the forum again, it is always a joy for me to read such deep analysis from our most experienced and thoughtful players and game designer(s). A couple of things struck me:

1) Someone made the point that the number of units available in a list could simply be adjusted, forget points. While a point adjustment clearly is attractive from a implementation perspective (code changes and done), simply adjusting the number of units available in a list I think ought to be considered when seeking to improve/reduce the relative effectiveness of a list. I am not suggesting that a point change methodology be thrown out, just that the absolute number of units in a list ought to be in the mix when considering adjustments.

Implementation of a list review is of course messy, but I am sure the community could be surveyed for their views of the lists that need adjustment; this plus the data over the last 6 seasons of the DL.

2) The idea of adjusting the POA of armored units was eliminated quickly. I am curious as to what experience and insight is behind this. Was it a heated debate from the ills of the TT game? Is it a monumental coding effort? I'm curious.

Thanks in advance.
Last edited by nyczar on Thu Feb 28, 2019 1:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Unit Costing Anomalies

Post by rbodleyscott » Wed Feb 27, 2019 10:06 pm

In our view, the tabletop game over-represented the close combat effect of armour, but we were unable to do anything about it as the manual POA system was too granular, with it being possible to either have 1 POA (equivalent to 100 POA in FOG2) or not have it. This system was replicated in the FOG1 computer game. The result was that many of the staple troops of Ancient armies became highly undesirable picks.

With the reboot to FOG2, and with the game design being done by one of the designers of the original tabletop rules (me) instead of a 3rd party (Hexwar), it was felt possible to correct some of the faults of the tabletop rules, rather than simply replicating the tabletop rules, faults and all.

We are very happy with the current effect of armour, which encourage the use of more historical army compositions, and do not intend to increase it.

However we do need to revisit the issue of cost effectiveness, and make cost adjustments where it is deemed appropriate. In the original design we deliberately decided to err on the side of possibly slightly over-pricing the better units, to encourage the fielding of more historical arrays. The time has come to consider a readjustment.
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Re: Unit Costing Anomalies

Post by rbodleyscott » Wed Feb 27, 2019 10:14 pm

The problem with using army lists to manipulate the choice of units is that they are supposed to be based on historical army compositions. We already try to restrict the availability of the most desirable units and add more units of bog-standard units as filler. Further manipulation would sometimes make it impossible to field armies with recorded historical compositions.
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Re: Unit Costing Anomalies

Post by MVP7 » Wed Feb 27, 2019 10:30 pm

So what are your favored adjustments to be made at the moment Richard?

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Re: Unit Costing Anomalies

Post by rbodleyscott » Thu Feb 28, 2019 7:55 am

Althiugh I think that Expert Armoured Horse archers may eventually come down to 64 points, I think Mike is right that is safer to bring them down to 68 this time round, and bring them down to 64 later if that does not prove sufficient after some serious play time in the wild.

I would therefore also be cautious about adjusting infantry costs and propose the current limited set of adjustments to go into the current beta and be released in the update accompanying the next DLC.

1) Impact Foot capability costs 1 point extra per 100 UnitSize for Fully Superior or better quality non-deep Infantry units which are Protected/Lightly Protected/Unprotected.

This would (I think) affect only the following units:
a) Zealots - unit cost increased from 51 to 57.
b) Veteran Samnite foot - unit cost increased from 63 to 66.
c) Veteran Dailami Foot - unit cost increased from 54 to 60.

2) Armour cost reduced by 0.5 points per 100 UnitSize for Average Medium Foot.

This would affect only:
a) Imperial Roman Auxilia - unit cost reduced from 48 to 45.
b) Thorakitai - unit cost reduced from 54 to 51.

3) Reduce base cost of Unprotected Superior Light Foot to 5.5 points per 100 UnitSize;

This would affect:
a) Cretan archers - cost reduced from 42 to 39.
b) Balearic Slingers - cost reduced from 36 to 33
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Re: Unit Costing Anomalies

Post by rbodleyscott » Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:50 am

Cavalry

As we are having difficulty deciding whether to reduce Expert Armoured Horse Archers to 68 or 64, I propose we split the difference and reduce them to 66.

Currently the extra cost for cavalry Armour (over Protected) is 2 for Average, 4 for Superior and 5 for Elite (per 100 UnitSize).

Reducing these Armour premiums to 1, 2.5 and 3.5 for pure Horse Archer units, would reduce unit costs as follows:

1) Expert Armoured Horse Archers/Persian Armoured Horse Archers from 72 to 66.
2) Armoured Horse Archers from 57 to 52.
3) Byzantine Flankers from 52 to 48.
4) (Persian) Improvised Camelry from 60 to 56.
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Re: Unit Costing Anomalies

Post by SnuggleBunnies » Thu Feb 28, 2019 12:39 pm

I personally liked the originally proposed broader changes, but certainly testing one increment at a time makes sense.

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Re: Unit Costing Anomalies

Post by MVP7 » Thu Feb 28, 2019 12:43 pm

Looks like good set of tweaks with little risk of upsetting the entire existing balance. For Expert Armoured Horse Archers I think 66 points could be a good place to start so it's easy to go either way if it doesn't feel right.

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Re: Unit Costing Anomalies

Post by MikeC_81 » Thu Feb 28, 2019 3:13 pm

Auxilia, and therefore any other armoured LS Swordsman unit, at 45 is still too high. But if you want to start there, I'll bug you again later ;)
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