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Alans: A cry for a patch

AkosAkos Senior MemberRegistered Users Posts: 271
Now, I do realize that in these forums we like to throw around big words like "completely broken" and "needs patching immediately", mainly because of reasons like a random unit has 30 attack instead of 32 or something like this.
I also know that there is already a topic about more or less the same issue, and in which fine gentlemen Rewan tried to come up with a solution, namely a mod, but apparently necroing threads is a mortal sin and the problems persist as I see it as I just started the actual alani campaign. Problems, such as:

> In a game called 'Attila' the heavy "elite" horse archers are painfully useless in general for tons of money*
> Considering the above, the Alans virtually don't have archers up from mid-game


* (That is not a faction specific problem but a general rule from the huns to Himyar but even in AoC you are far better off with the basic avar HA's)

"Yes, they do!" - no, they don't:
> A light horse archer, such as the Steppe Horse Archer has parthian shot and a reload cycle of 8 seconds.
> An elite horse archer, such as the alani Grey Hair does not have PS and has a reload cycle of 23 seconds.

So, the basic horse archer is capable of doing three times more damage while maneuvering as the "elite" staying stationary. Just start the game and see it yourself. This cannot be explained with "gameplay reasons", I refuse to believe that this is intended and I am inclined to believe that this is one of the many instances where Attila had a great idea but not enough time(?) or resources(?) to polish and balance it out.**

"So? Just don't upgrade your horse archers." - Ah, yes, the beauty of the Tier-system, the mechanics that only AoC was capable of getting somewhat right. See, the problem is that because of the tech tree by choosing not to advance you are unable to train such auxiliary and primitive units like Alani Mounted Veterans, Noble Alani Cavalry, Elite Sarmatian Cataphracts, Alani General, Sarmatian Heavy Cavalry and so on. Tl;dr you either keep your archers, or everything else.



This is really sad, because apart from the huns the alans are currently and potentially the only steppe faction in the game - and a really cool one too, a shock-and-bow faction as R2's massagetae, but currently, from a purely gameplay point of view, the alani are now worse than they ever were.



** Why do I think this? There are several other small/tiny issues with the alans too.

1.) Their horse archers (not only Grey Hairs) are seemingly unable to decide even whether or not do they have bows, and if they do, what kind.


2.) Sarmatian Warband, before throwing javelins, threaten the enemy with their fists. This error is in the game ever since it's launch.


3.) Missing shield bosses in units like Sarmatian Heavy Cavalry or Alani Heavy Cataphracts.


4.) Other smaller issues; like the fact that
- Level 1 cities have 3 units in the garrison
- Level 2 cities have 12(!!) units in the garrison (not that I have a problem with that, as you can imagine... ;) )
- Level 3 cities have 6 units
- And the level 4 Large City have 8 units, not including the bastion ballistas.
Pretty random, huh? It's also maybe interesting to mention that you get Sarmatian Warband really early on (as an early upgrade from Sarmatian Band) from level 1 settlements, leaving not much room for Alani Warriors or Swordsmen, really.
Again: Good ideas, beautiful units, but their implementation seems to be lacking. It's like I am talking about the whole of Attila... But I don't care about this.

What I care about:
I beg you, do something about the elite horse archers! No need to hurry, it's indifferent when it will be done, just let it be done!

Comments

  • RewanRewan Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 2,197
    edited January 2016
    Oh snappy, snap. The old attachements are broken with the new forum. I didn't notice.
  • RewanRewan Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 2,197
    Well, forum won't let me add attachment while editing.

    It's a bit different from the old one (I toned it down on the charge bonuses stats and I actually made the shield from HCA work again...)

    Statwise the Alans ranged units are now a decent match for Hunnic ranged units I feel. (I would edit the bosses but I just get confused by how the Variant Editor works... easy stuff like swapping armor is easy... but then I just lose it. :lol: )
  • Bura89Bura89 Senior Member Pisaurum, ItalyRegistered Users Posts: 596
    Akos said:


    4.) Other smaller issues; like the fact that
    - Level 1 cities have 3 units in the garrison
    - Level 2 cities have 12(!!) units in the garrison (not that I have a problem with that, as you can imagine... ;) )
    - Level 3 cities have 6 units
    - And the level 4 Large City have 8 units, not including the bastion ballistas.

    I can't say much about horse archer and anything else since I didn't tried Alani yet but about the garrison I just checked and I would like to add that not only you get an incredible number of units but they are all the old germanic ones.
  • Skywalker91Skywalker91 Registered Users Posts: 27
    edited January 2016
    I made similar suggestions here about the Alans. I support you. Your ideas are very good. Please have a look at my thread: https://forums.totalwar.com/discussion/167163/alans-and-caledonians
    Post edited by Skywalker91 on
  • JuniusJunius Member Registered Users Posts: 127
    Wow. That was exceptionally well displayed for the argument in question. I'm more a believer that there's no reason not to make the elites devastating in the GC, since the price is a lot and any player who makes it to the mounted general line will have faced enough adversary and deserved that kind of a reward.
    Completed Campaigns in Attila on H: Ostrogoths, Huns, Burgundians, Saxons, Visigoths, Ebdanians, WRE, Vandals on H and Legendary, Himyar, Anteans TLR: Vandals, Visigoths, Roman Expedition and Kingdom of Rome AoC: All Factions completed

    Check out my Attila AAR: Trapstila Vandalarius: The Romano-Gothic Empire on TWC
  • jamreal18jamreal18 Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 8,652
    Strongly Agree! Hopefully CA notices this thread...
  • MaleAmazonMaleAmazon Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 664
    Yes. IMO the game should get a few bug fixes, like these, because they really are bugs. It annoys me that stuff like "Attila never becomes kan" is still an issue that totally messes up my campaigns 152 DLCs and a few patches later.

    Maybe apart from the parthian shot thing... IMO steppe nomads should have their supposed superior horsemanship displayed in the game, parthian shot is one way of setting them apart a bit (but ok, Alans are nomadic and could have it at least for an elite horse archer). While it is a bit unfair and perhaps unrealistic that other horse archers frequently don´t get them, I am not sure I´d like to see fullstack 'acrobatic horse archer' armies from every faction that has a ranged cav unit. I mean I enjoy all-out nordic raider armies, but, well...

    Though it would seem many other horse archers and hybrid units are still off balancewise.

    Now I havent played the 'new' Alans, but I looked through Honga, and if it is correct the mounted bows have parthian shot, but the upgraded units (horse archers and greyhairs) dont. So that is just off. The reload also just seems off, like someone miscalculated it. Wouldn´t be the first time CA made a miss like that :'(

    IMO unarmored and elite nomadic horse archers should get parthian shot. Other horse archers shouldn´t IMO, it makes them harder to use but then that´s part of the charm. They are supposed to fulfil more of a niche role.

    Of course unit prices should reflect the lack of parthian shot.
  • Bura89Bura89 Senior Member Pisaurum, ItalyRegistered Users Posts: 596
    It's probably unseen by many but there's an alan naval unit that does not have its weapon showed, I think it was alan marauder or light marauder.
  • peugeot407peugeot407 Senior Member GueldersRegistered Users Posts: 1,362
    "Tons of money" just about sums up the problem with the Alans, really... They have rather good units, but they're all incredibly expensive on upkeep.
    Team Anything That Isn't (Western) Rome
    I wish I could give you my regions...
  • Pallas_AthenaPallas_Athena Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 69
    Actually there are finishing problems with some graphical models... This is true for the Alans and other factions (including WRE, ERE and Sassanids). :'(

    I hope the developers will correct all these problems in the final version.
    Simplex officium conscientia mea.
  • KillaJulesKillaJules Member Registered Users Posts: 54
    Unfortunately, I don't think that CA is going to do anything about the worthless units that the Alans get. If the Alans were underpowered overall, then CA might actually do something. However, in their current state, the Alans get very competitive units, namely their infantry, their cheap shock cavalry, their old melee cavalry and their skirmisher cavalry. With such cost effective units such as Sarmatian Band and Cavalry Raiders, I don't think CA will be motivated to do anything about the problem units.
  • SteliosCASteliosCA Junior Member Registered Users, CA Staff Posts: 34
    Never say never :)
    Formal disclaimer: any views or opinions expressed here are those of the poster and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of The Creative Assembly or SEGA.
  • Ephraim_DaltonEphraim_Dalton Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 22,693
    Only two Alani horsearcher units actually lack parthian shot, Cataphract Archers and Grey Hairs, the two units preserved from their former roster. It's a simple oversight.

  • Daniel_SDaniel_S Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 41
    There are other problems:
    1) In campaign Alans asian horge (in Caucasus) called by Odin name :confused: . I doubt that they (ossetins forefathers) even have heard about him.
    2) Alans has culture bonus for relationships with Germans, and penalties with the other Sarmatians tribes.
    So they have close culture with Alamans and culture differences with Roxolani. The reason of this bug is that Alans culture just specified as Germanic (not Sarmatian).
    3) Cataphract archers can be upgrated to GreyHairs, but Cataphracts are more costly unit with better armor and health. Really, none of this units can be called better than other.
  • Ephraim_DaltonEphraim_Dalton Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 22,693
    #2 isn't actually all that outrageous considering that the Alans mingled with the eastern Germanic tribes and at the end completely assimilated into them, at least the part that migrated to Spain and Northern Africa.

  • DariosDarios Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 427

    #2 isn't actually all that outrageous considering that the Alans mingled with the eastern Germanic tribes and at the end completely assimilated into them, at least the part that migrated to Spain and Northern Africa.

    During the 370s-80s the Goths (as vassals of the Huns) attacked the Antes and killed their king Boz. In retaliation the Alani came to the aid of the Antean kinsmen, defeated the Ostrogoths and sent them fleeing into the Balkans. There was no love lost between the Alani and Germanic tribes.

    Yes, elements of the Alani migrated west and mingled with the Vandals, but like any other steppe tribe that settles in the settled world - they quickly lost any sense of political or ethnic identity.
  • Ephraim_DaltonEphraim_Dalton Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 22,693
    So you're disagreeing with me although you haven't actually an argument against any part of my statement.

  • AkosAkos Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 271
    Thank you for participating in the conversation, guys!

    @Ephraim_Dalton: Unfortunately that is not true. Only the basic horse archer has PS, even the Alani Horse Archers don't. Cataphract Archers were indeed formerly a part of the alani roster, but not in their current form. Zodiac Archers, who have nothing to do with the alans suffer the same fate with the lack of PS and inexplicable rate of fire.

    @Stelios: Thank you for response! While I am aware that you probably already know about these issues, but I'll continue this little list in hopes that this will help.

    First of all, I did get a PM from Segababa telling that "don't receive any garrison ships in settlements with ports". I checked it and it is true, neither port gives garrison ships, although I am unsure if this is a bug or intended.

    I had a little time experimenting with Alani Chosen Raiders, and - I'm not going to lie - they behave weird as well. I couldn't measure perfectly their RoF, but it seems reeeally low compared to some of the alemanic mounted skirmishers (again, this time take it with a grain of salt, but around ~18(?) seconds compared to 6-8), and although on paper they have PS, they don't seem to throw javelins backwards until I don't give them again a direct attack order to do so.
    They also tend to put nipples onto their shields instead of bosses. Although I can respect that.



    Taking about Cataphract Archers: in some animations, they seem to keep their shields on their backs in melee, in some other animations they fight with shields:

  • RewanRewan Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 2,197
    @Akos : Most skirmishers of the alans don't have reload skill. So very poor RoF in general. Catraphracts Archers shield is only on the model, not in the stats.
  • Daniel_SDaniel_S Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 41

    #2 isn't actually all that outrageous considering that the Alans mingled with the eastern Germanic tribes and at the end completely assimilated into them, at least the part that migrated to Spain and Northern Africa.

    1) That changes nothing. Alans are Sarmatians. After assimilation by any other nations they are not Alans. Anycase Sarmatian unit roster, Sarmatian description and Germanic culture is strange controversy and its looks like typical bug.
    2) Only West part of them mingleds with Germanic. East Alans (in Caucasus) have even never seen any Germans.
  • Ephraim_DaltonEphraim_Dalton Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 22,693
    Only the basic horse archer has PS
    Actually, raiders, chosen raiders and mounted skirmishers have it, too, but you're right, of all the horsearcher units, only the basic ones have PS. I already corrected it in my mod along with giving them a better rate of fire.
    Zodiac Archers, who have nothing to do with the alans suffer the same fate with the lack of PS and inexplicable rate of fire.
    Zodiac Archers are a Himyar unit, what do they matter here?

  • Pallas_AthenaPallas_Athena Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 69
    edited January 2016
    Silvan said:

    1) That changes nothing. Alans are Sarmatians. After assimilation by any other nations they are not Alans. Anycase Sarmatian unit roster, Sarmatian description and Germanic culture is strange controversy and its looks like typical bug.
    2) Only West part of them mingleds with Germanic. East Alans (in Caucasus) have even never seen any Germans.

    It's relevant.

    In the game, the West Alans are integrated within the Vandals (Germanic people) and the East Alans are playable as "Alans".

    Let's just hope the "East Alans" will have a specific culture soon. :)
    Simplex officium conscientia mea.
  • Ephraim_DaltonEphraim_Dalton Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 22,693
    Except that the victory conditions fully confirm that you're not playing as either western or eastern Alans, but as a combination of the two. Thank you for playing.

  • Pallas_AthenaPallas_Athena Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 69
    It's not my fault if the victory conditions don't coincide with the division of the Alans in game. Only a contradiction of development.
    Simplex officium conscientia mea.
  • RewanRewan Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 2,197
    edited January 2016
    It's not my fault if the victory conditions don't coincide with the division of the Alans in game
    Well the division of the Alans in the game is represented by having an eastern horde and a western horde. They are pretty far away from each others after all. The goal is mostly to build up a bit, resettle for free in the eastern lands with the eastern horde and take Aquae Sextiae approximately at the same time with the western one. (Or you can always raze and hope one of your allies resettle there since you don't actually have to own that province personnally if I remember correctly.)

    Anyways, we're getting pretty far off the original post (and I don't want this to be closed)
  • Ephraim_DaltonEphraim_Dalton Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 22,693
    Total War games have never been history simulators, so why expect one? In Barbarian Invasion there was just a unified "Sarmatian" faction which was incredibly generic save for the Bosphoran Infantry unit.

    If you want total history, read a book or watch a documentary.

  • Skywalker91Skywalker91 Registered Users Posts: 27
    The Alans should have some normal archers as well for a better defence within cities. I suggest Steppe Archers and Chosen Steppe Archers.
  • AkosAkos Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 271
    edited February 2016
    Today I had a good amount of free time, so I returned to Attila to check out the slavs and in the meantime see if anything was done with the alans.
    ...and boy, are they awesome now!

    To my surprise, not only did CA fix my main complaint of playability, namely the fire rate issue of the horse archers, but each and every horse archer has now parthian shot! Every last one of them. Yes, even the cataphracts.
    Many more issues were dealt with as it seems (missing shield bosses, weird garrison sizes, missing javelins on the animation of the Sarmatian Warband etc.), and while there are still some minor issues (again: shield bosses, like on the shields of the basic general unit; changing bow types in different animations on the horse archers; units charging with shields in hand but fighting with the shield on their backs etc.) but none of those are game-breaking and they are all something that I (and probably everyone) can live with.

    In the end, the alans are now working properly and as such, they are one of the most interesting and resourceful faction, who brought me back to playing the game again. (Also take into account that back when the game came out, I had zero interest in them.) They have tools to deal with difficulties in a way few other factions can, like ripping enemy skirmishers apart with dogs then annihillating the - now undefended - rest with horse archers; or vaporizing entire lines with a mixed wave of heavy lancer / melee cataphract charge.

    I have to give credit where credit is due, guys - I don't know how much work was to fix all these issues, but I honestly think that it was worth the effort and you truly have my gratitude for that. You converted a black sheep into a dreaded war machine.
  • FedorFedor Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 166
    I agree. Alans are very impressive now.

    Some things still look strange. For example CA boost cataphract archers melee defence by 30 instead of just giving them a missing shield stats. Seems to me they are afraid to give missile block chance. And why cataphract archers are stil upgrading to Grey Hair. Last one looks worse choice to me.

    Also I still can't understand the role of Alani Warriors and Alani Swordsmen when Sarmatian Warband is always available, better and cheaper.

  • ArilouArilou Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 632
    Now, if only they'd give Parthian shots to Persian Mounted Archers things would be gravy...
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