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I think melee infantry should be buffed

rewchorewcho Posts: 20Registered Users
edited September 2019 in General Discussion
Sabre infantry, Axe band, Jian swordguard, and faction-specific infantry such as Yuan Shu should be buffed.

They are useless compared to spear infantry.

Spear infantry has shield and fight well as anvil than sword infantry. Also, sword infantry isn't stronger than spear infantry that much.

I think melee infantry makes stronger than now.

They should kill other spear and range units much faster.


  • LESAMALESAMA Member Posts: 1,272Registered Users
    Quite like it how it is. Archers and cav are your damage dealers as are vanguards. Infantry is for holding the line where swords outperform spears but not so that they break the line easily.
  • nephlitenephlite Posts: 285Registered Users
    edited September 2019
    Agreed. I will copy my opinions from other discussions:

    Arguably, all melee infantry other than spear guards are useless.
    Spear guards is OP meat shield because they has cheap cost, and has no weakness against arrows, infantry, and cavalry. So you can easily unify the world with it.

    Ji has no weakness against cavalry and infantry but vulnerable to arrows, and archers of this game is powerful.
    It means they have normal balance. But why should produce them instead of Spear guards?

    Sword and Axe infantry are the worst melee infantry. They are units with weight of shock or offence than defense, but it doesn't work at all for now.

    Of course, In 1: 1 battle, Axe (or sword) infantry will victory against Spearguard after very long time. But The Axe infantries are not necessary for the ideal combination. The Spearguard's endurance gives Immediate and overwhelming stability to the combined cavalry and archer. Axe infantries cannot that.

    So I suggest Axe infantry must be have more aggressive role.
    they need to be able to wedge formation, and able to break the enemy's formation.

  • BreadboxBreadbox Posts: 785Registered Users
    Not sure the problem lies melee infantry being bad or the cavalry being too powerful and easily available. They both fill the offensive role but cavalry is so powerful they can break the enemy instantly and moving them around the flank isn't difficult at all, thereby making a more offensively oriented infantry kinda pointless. But again, melee infantry are probably still a little UP, other units should get a debuff in forests and rough terrain, which melee infantry does not get.
  • cool_ladcool_lad Senior Member IndiaPosts: 2,272Registered Users
    Melee infantry isn't actually underpowered or particularly in need of buffs. If you play them like WH, and expect them to make quick breakthroughs like cavalry, you're not using them right. If you play them like Spear Guards and expect them to be a pure stand in for the same role, you're also playing them wrong. There's no strong Rock-paper-scissors relationship here that can be cheaply exploited.

    Infantry fights will drag on, and they will, undisturbed, take a while. Changing weapons won't magically make infantry better at grinding through other infantry and they won't allow them to replace cavalry. The choice of infantry, while significant, is completely down to the tactics you prefer to use.

    If you intend to use them as a pure anvil, you're better off taking the Spear Guards or Ji infantry, who can hold out longer and otherwise do some damage in the process.

    Melee infantry are your more offensive option. They allow you to aggressively move towards the enemy lines and thus engage on your terms. Their shields are a big part of this, since they allow these unit to move through enemy fire without taking a lot of casualties and still engage the enemy effectively at the other end. This allows you to seize the initiative from the defense, tie up their ranged troops and leave them open to your own ranged and cavalry. Even their unit description tells you this; their role is 'frontline' not anti-infantry or pseudo-cavalry.

    Axe infantry is great if you know how to use them; they're best used for shock tactics and flanking; they'll put the hurt on an enemy unit and do more damage in a shorter span of time, but if you just leave them in melee without following it up, they'll lose that element of shock and get killed. Sabre infantry works as a Jack of all trades, combining offense and defense while Jian Sword Guards are best as reinforcements and at holding the line.

    The key here is combined arms; if you just use a pure hammer and anvil with a stationary anvil, you're certainly better off taking green line infantry; purple line infantry won't be useful to you unless you're they're used in tactics suited to them. This is something that holds true for every single unit; you won't find them useful unless you're using tactics actually suited to them. You can't replace one unit with another in the same tactic and expect them to be just as useful.
  • nephlitenephlite Posts: 285Registered Users
    edited September 2019
    Are you talking about multiplay? It meaningless in singleplay campaign.
    Winning in campaign is not determined by just one battle.

    AI always have more legion than player, so need to several battles for win. This requires extremely low consumption in every battle, forces the player to play extremely defensive.
    So melee infantry is always worst choice, because they must be damaged to approach the enemy. You can win once, but don't know if they will remain in the second battle.

    In contrast, the Spearguards simply sit on the vantage ground, form circle or turtle, and just wait for the enemy to approach. It's very efficient and you can more control over cavalry and generals.
  • cool_ladcool_lad Senior Member IndiaPosts: 2,272Registered Users

    Have to disagree there. This is even more important in Singleplayer.

    It really comes down to what sort of tactics you prefer and can pull off. For me, melee infantry are a better choice especially when attacking, since not only can they tie up enemy ranged, they also leave my own ranged free to rain down merry hell on the enemy, making ir much easier to trigger a mass rout. They also allow cavalry to operate with relative impunity, since they both free up ranged support and more effectively tie up any possible responding units.

    Spears can hold, but this also means that they'll be much more easily picked off and destroyed. Simply put, unless you have a great defensive point, just sitting put isn't actually going to conserve any troops; worse, it'll also mean that the enemy's ranged troops can get off their own volleys with impunity since your own ranged troops will lose precious range sitting behind that wall of spears. Add to this the extra threat of enemy artillery and the possibility of units like Protectors of Heaven, and you're looking at far worse casualties as you forfeit the initiative and allow the enemy to dictate your moves and pick the engagement.

    It really comes down to what the player uses and is comfortable with. Shock tactics and units aren't going to be much use if you prefer to play defensively, but are invaluable to someone who does prefer to use them. So while you may see little utility in the more offensive tactics that melee infantry lend themselves to, I find them an invaluable asset in my battles, while Spear Guards play a far more marginal role due to their defensive style.

    Each unit is adapted to a different style of play, and can't just be swapped out without a change in the tactics employed with them; you can't judge a fish by saying that it's bad at climbing trees.
  • mirohmiroh Member Posts: 128Registered Users
    I agree totally.
    Infantry units seem useless and I don't understand their role.

    It should be that they could easily cut through spears
  • cool_ladcool_lad Senior Member IndiaPosts: 2,272Registered Users
    miroh said:

    I agree totally.
    Infantry units seem useless and I don't understand their role.

    It should be that they could easily cut through spears

    The big question here is why?

    Melee infantry already have a role, one that they perform quite well. Whether you find them useful or not entirely depends on the tactics that you use, and buffing them would just worsen the overall balance of the game.

    Weapons don't work like Rock-paper-scissors; a spear isn't a worse weapon in combat than a sword and giving someone a sword won't automatically mean that they're going to be masters of melee combat.

    Making them "cut through spears" would simply shift balance towards a more arcadey direction where the focus shifts from combined arms to simplistic unit matching. Not to mention that it's entirely unnecessary since melee infantry already do quite well on their own and a buff would just raise a host of balance issues.
  • LESAMALESAMA Member Posts: 1,272Registered Users
    miroh said:

    I agree totally.
    Infantry units seem useless and I don't understand their role.

    It should be that they could easily cut through spears

    Fully agree with cool_lad. That you don’t understand iT doesn’t mean that it’s useless.
  • RewanRewan Senior Member Posts: 1,866Registered Users
    Weapons don't work like Rock-paper-scissors; a spear isn't a worse weapon in combat than a sword and giving someone a sword won't automatically mean that they're going to be masters of melee combat.

    *Distant angry Fire Emblem noises in the background*

    Anyways, imho the main offenders for needing a buff would be sword units, they have higher attack speed but it just feel like they just lack the "raw" damage to back it up. I didn't look exactly if Sabre/Dao/Axes had bonus against infantry but nonetheless I believe adding 10 non-AP damage to Sabre/Dao would actually make the units much more competitive.

    But that's just my opinion.
  • DragantisDragantis PolandPosts: 195Registered Users
    Imo axe infantry should have increased dmg vs unit with shields.
    Blood for the Blood God!
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  • RewanRewan Senior Member Posts: 1,866Registered Users
    edited September 2019
    I think Axe infantry is fine, they have relatively high AP damage and a good rate of attack at least. Sabre infantry don't have AP damage and Dao infantry loose out attack rate for AP piercing damage (which relatively evens out I think)

    Best thing for Axe infantry would be getting a little bit more armor to make them slightly more resilient.
  • street_regulatorstreet_regulator Posts: 166Registered Users
    Not at all a fan of the "you just don't know/understand" rhetoric. unnecessary and toxic

    Every role @cool_lad and @LESAMA explained for melee infantry are incredibly situational & niche. Yes, if you adjust your plan to include sword infantry, you can find success using them. There's no argument there.

    The argument is that there is no advantage to adjusting your playstyle to fit sword infantry. The reason army composition matters is that there are supposed to be strengths and weaknesses to each different style. What strengths does a sword infantry based army have over a spear guard based army? On paper it should be better at dealing damage to a frontline. However, in practice it takes sword infantry a MUCH longer time to deal damage. So what's the advantage of using them as main damage dealers as opposed to using the conventional archer & cav mix? No advantage. And as OP said, there's also no advantage in using them as the "anvil," as spear guards are flatly better at that.

    In terms of effectiveness it's only advantageous to have 1-2 in your composition, and only if you are willing to heavily micro them. I'd say that's an underpowered/niche unit.
  • cool_ladcool_lad Senior Member IndiaPosts: 2,272Registered Users

    Kindly read the above comments; the actual use/role of melee infantry has been more than adequately explained therein.

    I'll break it down, however:-
    1. Purple line units are going to replace the Green line units; they're not going to be replacing your cavalry or ranged. Infantry remains infantry, they're not going to do the same things as cavalry. It's possible to replace blue or red/yellow lines with purple, but again, only if you use the right tactic for the job.
    2. Melee infantry are a more offensive option compared to the green line units, which are more defensive in nature due either to their lack of shields or poor performance in melee.
    3. Melee infantry are mean to close the gap and get stuck in with enemy infantry, allowing the other elements of your army more freedom to operate; ranged is freed from the need to cover infantry and cavalry draws less enemy fire leaving each with much more freedom to operate.
    4. A melee infantry based army therefore is much better equipped to carry out offensive tactics; fighting offensively and dictating the engagement on their own terms rather than reacting to the enemy.
    5. This allows for far greater tactical flexibility. Yes, spear guards are great anvils for hammer and anvil, but that's just one tactic out of many. Melee infantry lend themselves better to shock, oblique order and envelopment tactics; each is enabled by different army comps, and each is powerful in it's own right. Hammer and Anvil is a simple and well known tactic, but it is by no means the be all and end all of tactics, nor for that matter is it the most effective under all or even most circumstances.
    6. Melee infantry aren't defined as being anti-infantry or meant as an "anvil" like spear guards. They're not there to replace your cavalry or chew through frontlines; they don't work off cheap rock-paper-scissor like bonuses and unit matching. What they do is open up new tactical possibilities for the player and enable the army to operate in very different ways based on what they are working alongside.
  • RewanRewan Senior Member Posts: 1,866Registered Users
    nor for that matter is it the most effective under all or even most circumstances.

    To be fair I actually believe this to be wrong, with the way the game works with debuffs for units getting flanked/reared I believe hammer + anvil will always be the best tactic in Total War : you deal a metric ton of damage = you rout the ennemy faster = you take less casualties. This sort of thing.

    Ofc it's not the only tactic you can employ but there are very few cases where trying to hammer is not the most effective strategy just because of the game mechanics.
  • ImnuktamImnuktam Posts: 60Registered Users
    Infantry in general is rather worthless imo, but part of the problem is how effective most range units are in comparison. I have armies that use 0 infantry, instead using Onyx archers which have passable melee stats and max out at 70% melee evasion for my front lines. Run them 6 wide and 2 rows deep, add 3 trebs and 5 or so cavalry and its honestly so easy its boring on any difficulty, though it is fun to watch.

    When I do use infantry its 3-4 units like Protector of heaven or Azure dragons that have charge reflect, and they are mostly there just in case a cav unit makes it through all my range spam. Since my cavalry or generals will usually take care of those before they make it to our line, the melee units I carry mostly just watch battles, polish their armor and collect a paycheck.

    +1 for buffs that give me a reason to use them over what I mention.
  • street_regulatorstreet_regulator Posts: 166Registered Users

    funny how you can write an essay on sword infantry and still not provide ONE advantage a sword infantry army has over a spear guard one. No, I'm not satisfied with "it opens up more offensive opportunities." that is an empty statement that doesn't effectively translate into anything within the game. I've read enough of your gibberish to know that you're just speaking subjectively, which is fine, but I'm not sure why you felt the need to be condescending to the OP. it really irks me when people assert their subjective feelings/opinions as fact. its okay to be of the opinion that sword infantry is good, but that is certainly not objective.
  • Antiquesroadshow1Antiquesroadshow1 Posts: 24Registered Users
    edited September 2019
    Swords are not superior to spears on a battlefield. They are more mobile and are better in tight quarters. Like in a siege. I love the way CA has done it in this game. My complaint with Spear Guards is not vs swords. But making Ji infantry kinda weak. I think Ji infantry should just have better weapon damage period. Ap and standard. But they are close. I think people complaining about swords are just sword fans.
  • RewanRewan Senior Member Posts: 1,866Registered Users
    edited September 2019
    Spears have less DPS than Ji afaik. (which offsets the fact they don't have missile protection)
  • shattishatti Posts: 368Registered Users
    they are very well balanced "infantry wise"
    the OP archers & cavs need nerfing, that's it
    i don't want them to slash wall of spear very fast, this is not an iphone game

    also, in land battles spears are the master weapons
    in siege, swords would shine more
  • street_regulatorstreet_regulator Posts: 166Registered Users
    I don't know what a "sword fan" is, I'm just trying to play a videogame with viable & balanced units. There's a place for realism in videogames, but taken to the extent of making certain units flatly inferior to others just limits the amount of fun had playing the game, for my preferences anyways. that said, I understand it's impossible to please everyone in this regard
  • cool_ladcool_lad Senior Member IndiaPosts: 2,272Registered Users
    @Imnuktam AFAIK, the offensive power of Infantry has always been measured by the effectiveness of ranged firepower. The only period where melee infantry were seen as dominant without their ranged support was the Roman one, where both ranged firepower and cavalry were lacking in offensive strength, and even then ranged support was critical in facing down cavalry.

    Simply put; infantry have, historically, not been able to go toe to toe with cavalry without ranged support or some other way of seizing the initiative from the faster cavalry.

    That said, the rule here is less that infantry on infantry engagements will take time (because then so do cavalry on cavalry engagements) and more that quick results can only be achieved if you concentrate forces/firepower or get a flank. A flanking unit of infantry will quickly rout most units, even if it doesn't have the same impact as cavalry charge.

    @street_regulator the difference here is that you're looking for "better against X type of unit" advantages in this situation, which frankly don't exist. Each of the units enables a different kind of tactic; as already explained, and that means that each has to be used differently in order to actually be useful. Melee infantry are better than spear guards and can go toe to toe with Ji and Spear infantry; buff their melee beyond that and the unit actually breaks balance and becomes OP.

    Melee infantry combine solid performance in melee with much better resistance to ranged fire. This allows them to close the gap with enemy infantry and tie them up for your own units. This is something the green line units can't actually do since they lack shields; the one unit that does have shields (spear guards) is terrible in melee and easily held up by fewer enemy units, not to mention more easily cut down by enemy infantry.

    For example; axemen as part of an oblique order infantry line will quickly and effectively overwhelm enemy infantry and trigger a mass rout.

    This makes melee infantry units a much better pick for the frontline, since they're much better at actually moving and fighting through enemy fire, good in the actual melee and allow your cavalry and ranged units much greater freedom by reducing the pressure on them.
  • ImnuktamImnuktam Posts: 60Registered Users
    Im not sure what you are saying there tbh lad, sounds like you want it to stay where it is with melee being somewhere between meh and completely useless. Since I have always loved ranged combat over melee in total war titles, I really didn't care at first but the disparity between melee and range is so great I have a hard time any more carrying any melee at all.

    While I carry 3 melee per stack, (usually a few Protectors of heaven, Azure dragons or Imperial Guards) they are easily dropped and replaced with a few more Onyx archers who max out at level 10 rather quickly and have 70% melee evasion.

    Try a custom battle with 12 onyx archers and 3 trebuchets all with fire and level 10, and build the standard ai stacks you usually fight. Its just ZZzzz

    Its rare something makes it through all that to your lines and what does is nearly dead and broken anyways. Even units with extreme resistance to range like the 85% 'ers cant make it to your line.
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