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Age of Empires III Heaven » Forums » General Discussions » Tactics in AoD?
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Topic Subject:Tactics in AoD?
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Jackson
Skirmisher
posted 12-21-04 11:25 PM EDT (US)         
One of the things I'm most looking forward to with AoE 3 is seeing how ES handles formations and tactics.

Tactics have basically been absent from the Age of series so far. Yeah, there has been the extended rock/paper/scissors business but that's about as primitive as tactics can be. That was ok for the the first two games and AoM, but it doesn't really hold water in the colonial period. As far as I can tell from movies, books, and common sense, battle during and prior to the middle ages was pretty mixed up.

But as gunpowder takes over, battle becomes increasingly formation-driven. (Not formations-in-AoK, which are basically useless except for dissipating onager fire or whatnot).

So any decent game focusing on this period should include a lot of options - flanking, retreating, charging, etc. Stuff that you would expect from a wargame.

One of the best tactical games that I've played is Sid Meier's Gettysburg, which came out maybe 4 years ago. You can find it at pretty much any computer store for under $10 and I would recommend checking it out. It handles leadership, morale, experience, battle fatigue, formations, flanks, unit organization and so forth, all in a real-time setting. (Rather like Rome:Total War, but the graphics are really bad, and the battle system stricter).

To take the whole tactics-as-a-requirement idea to an extreme: can you imagine World War I included in a game without trench warfare? It wouldn't have the slightest resemblance to WWI.


I'm wondering how these features could be implemented in an RTS game. Which features could be included, which are unfeasable, which add to the entertainment and which make it more frustrating? Do you expect ES to include any sort of primitive battle system?

AuthorReplies:
FlipBizcut
Skirmisher
posted 12-21-04 11:57 PM EDT (US)     1 / 34       
I had the same thought as well...The idea I had though was in order to use certain formations and tactics you have to learn them through special techs or what not.

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lief ericson
Skirmisher
posted 12-22-04 00:05 AM EDT (US)     2 / 34       
Yeah, special formations (line and box for infantry, wedge for cavalry, etc.) that added real, meaningful bonuses, and made the military game more than microing your infantry away from archers and towards cavalry, would make the game much more fun and strategic. Flanking would also be great. Ammo and fatique might become a bit annoying, however, and morale should only be used if you still have control over your units, a la Dawn of War. In that game, when units got to 0 morale, they'd become useless in battle and much easier killed, so the player had to take the units out of the fight and let them regain morale.

SEXITUP.
Former Leader of the FPH Clan
Acting-President of AoMH
Argalius
Skirmisher
posted 12-22-04 01:18 AM EDT (US)     3 / 34       

Quote:

retreating, charging


Don't you do those things just by clicking on the ground so they walk back... or attack of course.

|| argalius.elpea.net
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|| In honor of FlipBizcut
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Talon Karrde
Skirmisher
posted 12-22-04 03:12 AM EDT (US)     4 / 34       
yeah, I'd like to see formations actually having some use. example: units in line formation fire in volleys. a slower rate of fire, but compensated by slightly higher damage and damages everything within their range that is directly in front of them.

or something like that


Bah.
Mythos_Ruler
Skirmisher
posted 12-22-04 03:13 AM EDT (US)     5 / 34       
@ Argalius: Yes, but in a gunpowder game one would assume the default attack would be to fire the guns, rather than charge, so a "charge" feature would be seperate from the standard "attack."

[This message has been edited by Mythos_Ruler (edited 12-22-2004 @ 03:25 AM).]

Argalius
Skirmisher
posted 12-22-04 10:06 AM EDT (US)     6 / 34       
Oh yeah, didn't realise about the gunpowder.

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Pwned
Skirmisher
(id: You_Are_Pwned)
posted 12-22-04 10:58 AM EDT (US)     7 / 34       
Why do you need a flanking button? It's not exactly hard to flank. I think if ES went to heavy on formations, it would detract from the amount of micro you would have to use. If ES do implement it, I hope they don't go over the top.

ada
lief ericson
Skirmisher
posted 12-22-04 11:15 AM EDT (US)     8 / 34       
Well...I'd much rather have strategy than micro.

SEXITUP.
Former Leader of the FPH Clan
Acting-President of AoMH
Jackson
Skirmisher
posted 12-22-04 03:14 PM EDT (US)     9 / 34       
@ Pwned : I'm not exactly sure where you got the idea of a flanking button. You can flank in AoM, but what does it do? The only use is getting cavalry to siege because the pathing is so awful. I wish they would have a flanking feature, where units suffered loss of power while being heavily flanked.

That's why pretty much any well thought out battle involves attacking and defending an army's flank. Based on all the military strategy I've seen, half of it involves flanking, envelopment, double invelopment, etc. But flanking in AoM gives you no psychological bonuses, no efficiency bonuses, etc.


In general, I think microing has a bad reputation, or isn't as entertaining, because it's poorly implemented in the AoE/AoK. Having to deal with all those little men getting jumbled up, trying to path and so forth is just a pain. If there were a way to group units together into a semi-locked formation that would alleviate the problem a great deal, especially with archers/skirmishers.

Pwned
Skirmisher
(id: You_Are_Pwned)
posted 12-22-04 03:44 PM EDT (US)     10 / 34       

Quote:

Well...I'd much rather have strategy than micro.

Go play Rome: Total War.

Quote:

I'm not exactly sure where you got the idea of a flanking button. You can flank in AoM, but what does it do? The only use is getting cavalry to siege because the pathing is so awful. I wish they would have a flanking feature, where units suffered loss of power while being heavily flanked.

I don't know what you mean, flanking is easy. Select cavalry, right click to the far side of the melee units in your way then shift-click on to archers. If you put in a flank button, it's just reducing the amount of micro a person has to do. It would be the same as you doing the move yourself, just the computer would be doing it for you.


ada

[This message has been edited by You_Are_Pwned (edited 12-22-2004 @ 03:44 PM).]

Mythos_Ruler
Skirmisher
posted 12-22-04 07:40 PM EDT (US)     11 / 34       
You arent reading correctly... he didn't say we need a flanking button. He just said that currently, flanking gives no uber bonus as it would in real life.
Jackson
Skirmisher
posted 12-23-04 02:30 AM EDT (US)     12 / 34       
Spot on, mythos. Flanking is easy, yes, but it does nothing. It should have some sort of effect. The player can still perform the flanking action again.

As an aside, what ever happened to the supposed elevation bonus - units from higher up getting extra power? I've never even noticed this as having any effect. Does anyone pay any attention to whether their units are on hills?

Hikari
Skirmisher
(id: echowinds)
posted 12-23-04 05:19 AM EDT (US)     13 / 34       
Flanking is one of the most effective tactics in war, it should have some bonus. Maybe enemy troops will fight pooror if you "encircle" them.

Pwned
Skirmisher
(id: You_Are_Pwned)
posted 12-23-04 07:39 AM EDT (US)     14 / 34       
The thing is though, I think flanking does have a bonus because your cavalry > his archers so you will benefit from taking out his archers (which surely is a bonus.)

ada
WhoAskedU
Skirmisher
posted 12-23-04 08:29 PM EDT (US)     15 / 34       
Has anyone ever played a First Person Shooter? Okay, so the chances of someone not knowing what a First Person Shooter is would be very slim, so I am not going to go into explaining what it is...

There is a simple thing called hit-boxes in first person shooters.

A hit-box is basically different areas of the body that do different damage when you shoot them in different spots. For example, I shot to the head will do exceedingly more damage then the shot to the hand.

Now obviously I do not suggest such detail in a RTS as having hundreds of different hit-boxes for one single unit, but maybe only two hit boxes. Now listen up, this will make there be a huge advantage to people who try to flank and attack from behind.

Of course, each unit type could have different damage multipliers. For example, Cavalry would have a 1.3x damage multiplier, while Archers have a 1.5x damage multiplier. And bonuses would still apply, so a (In AoK terms...) so a group of Scorpions will have a 1.5x damage multiplier on top of the splash damage it already has.

Of course, charging could be done just as simple as the flanking. You could Alt-Right click on an enemy unit and your units would have a short boost of speed, an increased damage multiplier, a tiny amount of splash damage (depending on type of unit), but a decreased amount of armor.

The boost could be done by tile amount, some units can charge for longer than others. For example, Infantry can only charge for 10 tiles, while cavalry can charge for 20 tiles. War Elephants (or AoD equivalent) can charge for only 5 tiles, but have a HUGE splash damage bonus and not as much decreased armor. After the charge, the units will also have a small "down" time where they fight slower (not for longer, maybe only 2-3 seconds)

However, some units also get bonuses against units that charge against them. Like pikemen get a bonus against cavalry that charge against them...

Of course, you should time when you click the charge button. If you hit the button to late, they will get exhausted to soon and will hit the units tired out and will fight them with the charge-penalty. If you time it to late, they will not pick up enough speed at won't get the full bonus. For example, if your units can charge for up to 10 tiles and you hit the charge button 1 tile away from the unit, basically when they are already in the battle, you will only get 1/10th of the bonus. If you hit the button when they are 5 tiles away, you only get half of the bonus.

Only melee units and some ranged units, like gun-powdered units with bayonets, can charge...


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[This message has been edited by WhoAskedU (edited 12-23-2004 @ 08:29 PM).]

lief ericson
Skirmisher
posted 12-23-04 08:31 PM EDT (US)     16 / 34       
That sounds awesome. Especially with the cool Bang! physics, causing units and horses to fly when they charge into each other.

SEXITUP.
Former Leader of the FPH Clan
Acting-President of AoMH
Midnight
Skirmisher
posted 12-24-04 05:20 AM EDT (US)     17 / 34       
If facing is going to be used, there needs to be much more control than there currently is over the direction your units are facing, since they get terribly mixed up in melee.

I would like to see more in the way of tactics and less in the way of micro (oh, my non-existant micro skills!), and having formations actually do something would be groovy.


veni, vidi, scripti
Red Link
Skirmisher
posted 02-22-05 08:40 PM EDT (US)     18 / 34       
Although there were formations in AoK, I, personally, have never seen them really used a whole lot. I hope they will play more of a role in the future. Also, if you think about how the British fought, they fought in straight lines, like with grenadiers and commanding officers and such. I also think that should be a new unit, Commander/Officer. Maybe every 5 military units you make/convert you'll get a commanding officer that doesn't count towards your population limit, but can still be attacked.. And if ES decided to make check morale, if you lost your commanding officer, units would lose a little morale. Perhaps flag-bearers will make an apperance.

If this game is revolutionary-based, guerilla tactics shoud definalty have their place. Like if you have cannons and stuff you really shouldn't be able to fire while hiding. Single scouts should be able to find guerilla units, if you choose to do so.

Elpea
Hal
(id: lp_usa)
posted 02-22-05 08:42 PM EDT (US)     19 / 34       
Hmm, 2 months old thread got bumped? We still thought the game would be called AoD for god's sake

Red Link
Skirmisher
posted 02-22-05 08:43 PM EDT (US)     20 / 34       
Sorry. I just didn't want to make a topic that has already been posted before.
Elpea
Hal
(id: lp_usa)
posted 02-22-05 10:49 PM EDT (US)     21 / 34       
No problem, interesting program anyway.

Gamer man
Skirmisher
posted 02-22-05 11:54 PM EDT (US)     22 / 34       
but then when someone is getting flanked, wont he just grab some end units and turn them to face the attempted flankers. in this then noone will be harmed more or less by the flanking, and units can surly turn faster than move so its not like it would be hard to do. this is a problem with the flank thing of RoN, if cavarly charged at your flanks, so what, you could always just turn some spearmen to face them faster than they could reach you. What you owuld need is for it to somehow recognize the cavalry's push and forced crowding, plus psycological damage as flanking was effective on a whole mostly because of psycology and the fact that people were forced into a confined area where they couldn't turn to face the cavalry.

Moooers are remembered, chirpers never die, splashers are invincable

DarckRedd
Skirmisher
posted 02-22-05 11:56 PM EDT (US)     23 / 34       
*clears throat*

Formations do have a use in AoK, altough mostly defensive. For instance, a mangonel loses a lot of effectiveness against soldiers in staggerd formation. Once I set up a scenario where a player would be ambushed from front and back as soon as it crossed a bridge. The first time I crossed the bridge, I lost a lot of my archers to the flankers. I restarted, but this time I put my men in a box formation. I lost none of my archers and inflicted much more damage upon the enemy.

The moral is that formations can be useful, if you know where to use them.


| D A R C K R C D D |
Silentflame
Skirmisher
posted 02-23-05 05:15 PM EDT (US)     24 / 34       
I really really hope you guys at ES learn from BHG's game Rise of Nations when you make the unit controlling system(like how to make another formaiton, and where you want your units to have their front..++. controlling system = like when you use your mouse and control the units .

Rise of Nations also have some cool formation bonuses and using the landscap..
Like flanking 100% attack bonus(maybe to much)
attacking your opponet from behind( =P )50% attack
archers standing on cliffs shoting down get bonus
light cav and infantry get bonus standing at rocks(they can move easier through those rocks I guess.


SilentFlamE
"What can you say about a society that says that God is dead and Elvis is alive? "

fhertlein
Skirmisher
posted 02-23-05 06:17 PM EDT (US)     25 / 34       
I can't believe SilentFlame is the only one that mentioned RON. Using tactics is important in RON because of the bonuses that the attacking units receive.

Since ES has a policy of playing every RTS title out there, I would be surprised if ES has not learned something about implementing tactics.

Remember folks that we have hardcore and casual gamers, and trying to balance the game in order to make it fun for both is difficult. Can you imagine the AI using tactics that the casual gamer is not thinking about?

In the end if I hit a bunch of units from the side or behind, I should receive some kind of damage bonus since I was able to take them by surprise.

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