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Meat shield unit balancing idea for campaign

Captain_OzCaptain_Oz Junior MemberRegistered Users Posts: 17
Units such as skavenslaves (swords, spears and slings), peasant mob and zombies have a limited usage in campaign as they are too slot-inefficient to offset their lower cost and basic recruitment requirements. Therefore something has to be done to improve these units and give them a clear role in campaign. This idea concerns these units in campaign only and has no impact on multiplayer balance.

So what is the idea?

I purpose that skavenslaves, peasant mobs and zombies can be deployed in ”unit pairs” consisting of 2 identical units. Every unit pair takes up one unit slot in the army, enabling you to command two units instead of one unit in that specific slot. The units will move and attack together in order to make them manageable in larger battles.

This idea would give expendable meatshields a role as an effective meatshield in the army. They would provide more hp per army slot as well as being able to cover a larger area than elite and standard units. This will enable Skaven, Vampire Counts and Brettonia to use these meatshield units to protect their more valuable units in a slot-efficient and cost-efficient way. Using these units in pairs they could defend their front line from charges and e.g. gunfire. However, the pairs have a cap in order to reduce the possibilities of exploits and to make sure that they do not cause performance issues.

I would argue that it can enable new and exciting army compositions which utilizes slot-effective and cheap meatshields. At the same time a system like this could open up the possibilities for a more creative approach to balancing as CA can intentionally create weak units that are meant to be used in pairs. To summarize these points I believe that this idea is good because:

• It provides a clear role for expendable meatshields
• It enables new and exciting army compositions and tactics for campaign battles
• It paves the way for a more creative approach towards unit balancing in Warhammer 3




Technical details:
General movement: The units deploy as an unlocked group of 2 units with a set distance between each other. They attack as units in a locked formation. However they are not grouped together.
Combat and hp: The units have individual health bars and model counts.

Leadership: Leadership is shared between the units, where they will have the lowest leadership among the two units. Both units break and rally at the same time. Damage taken leadership debuff is calculated as damage taken of the entire pair in relation to the hit points of the unit pair.

Buffs and debuffs: Any buffs or debuffs will affect both units at the same time. Single target damage over time will only target one of the units.

Healing caps: Each unit has an individual healing cap. This means that you are able to heal each individual unit to the heal cap respectively. The unit pair counts as one unit in regards to aoe healing caps*. This means that you can heal a maximum of 3 entities, where a pair is treated as one entity. This is to reduce micromanagement and make healing easier when using unit pairs.

Groups: A unit pair can be grouped with other units and behaves as if the entire pair is one unit in the group. The only exceptions are attack orders where the pair will attack as a locked group, even if it belong to an unlocked group. The pair will move as a locked group if it belongs to a locked group.

Caps: There is a cap of how many ”unit pairs” you are able to bring. I suggest the arbitary number of 5 unit pairs per army as the base cap. This means that an army can contain up to 5 ”unit pairs” as the standrad. Certain technologies and skills in the general skill tree may increase this cap.

Sieges: The unit act as a locked group when deploying on walls, scaling walls and issuing attack orders on walls.

Recruitment: When recruiting any of the aforementioned units you recruit them normally. When you add any number of units which makes a pair possible they will automatically appear as a pair. The unit which is currently recruited appears below and in front of the unit which was recruited before. If your army already contains a unit the first recruited unit will appear in front of the existing one. When creating a unit pair from a unit with experience and a newly recruited unit the experience will be the same across both of the units and have the same value as if the two units were merged into one unit.

Upkeep: The upkeep of a pair is twice that of a lone unit.


Visuals:
This is what I have in mind when it comes to design of the unit cards of a pair. The first picture is a zombie pair in a battle and the one below shows recruitment of a zombie pair. Light blue shows where the turn time of recruitment will be displayed.






Do you think this is a good idea? Do you disagree? Do you believe that it can be improved? Feel free to comment and give me your thoughts and ideas. Thank you for taking your time and I look forward to your input! :)
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Comments

  • Ephraim_DaltonEphraim_Dalton Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 22,712
    I'd rather have the amount of elite in general be reduced in campaign by making them less convenient to field.

    1.Lower the replenishment rate of elites in general
    2.Auto-replenish chaff units in case you win a battle. The thing is that zombies and co. are simply no good if they've taken huge losses, but taking losses is why you bring them in the first place, so the game basically punishes you for using them as intended
    3.Either nerf economies in general or rise the average recrutiment and upkeep of elites in general

    What you propose would probably require some sort of engine update and I'm sure we won't get that until WH3 if at all.

  • WojmirVonCarsteinWojmirVonCarstein Registered Users Posts: 799
    edited February 27
    OP, what you are proposing in essence, is doubling the number of models per unit. I can see this is a partial solution.

    Make zombies have 240 models, goblins 180 models etc.

    Of course what I proposed would effect MP as well.
  • ystyst Registered Users Posts: 6,614
    edited February 27
    I think the best way to handle this - is simply have a tech that once researched, double the unit size of “meatshields”

    Peasants overdraft, zombie apocalypse, slaves bonanzas, u name it

    They r extremely slots inefficient tbh. Like to the extreme, even godly chaffs like swordsman with full tech, max lord boost, have absolutely no place end game.

    Hell u even think twice about saurus and chaos warriors late game despite them being kings in mid high heavy infantry. Ure just facing like rank 9 swordmasters, black orks in the end
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  • ChaunChaun Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 84
    Honestly they just need to replace the supply-line penalty with something else so you aren't punished for having multiple stacks of cheaper infantry.

    I preferred the traditional total war system of corruption; it makes sense that an empire's bureaucracy gets less efficient as it grows. They could maybe change it up and base it on distance from the capital with distant provinces barely providing any income.

    Either way I def get bored of spamming/fighting nothing but elite stacks endgame. It is totally immersion breaking.
  • DandalusXVIIDandalusXVII Registered Users Posts: 4,249
    No I disagree.
  • ystyst Registered Users Posts: 6,614
    Supply lines is a frikkimg stupid mechanic, dunno wth thought of it in the first place. Simply turning the game into some stupid empty empire full of forted towns simply because of the foolish supply line penalty.

    Why the frikking hell such bad mechanics is still in the game, does absolutely nothing but **** players off to no ends
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  • tank3487tank3487 Member Registered Users Posts: 1,435
    Just remove stupid penalty for fielding multiple stacks. Supply lines or how it called.
    Right now main reason of elites being OP in campaign are that each new stack bring massive gold penalty.
  • Captain_OzCaptain_Oz Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 17

    OP, what you are proposing in essence, is doubling the number of models per unit. I can see this is a partial solution.

    Make zombies have 240 models, goblins 180 models etc.

    Of course what I proposed would effect MP as well.

    I think the best way to handle this - is simply have a tech that once researched, double the unit size of “meatshields”


    I have been considering these kind of ideas as well. However, they would potentially cause too much performance issues. Imagine a 40v40 stack battle where both players are using expendable only units. The model count of over 17,000+ would cause some major problems with performance. Using my idea, you have a limit of the number of "doubled" unit sizes, which drastically reduces the potential performance issues.

    I'd rather have the amount of elite in general be reduced in campaign by making them less convenient to field.

    My suggestion does not exclude any other balance ideas and suggestions. Now, the problem with expendable units is that they are not chosen in favour of standard troops (300-600g range) as well as elite troops. So "fixing" elites will not create an incentive for using expendable troops. It will just reduce the incentives for fielding elite units.
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  • Nitros14Nitros14 Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 1,704
    edited February 27
    The best way to fix it would be to fix supply lines so it doesn't incentivize using the most expensive units available.

    Then you could drag along armies of 19 slaves or zombies and it wouldn't cripple you economically.

    Armies like that actually aren't bad in battles, great for exhaustion and pinning. Supply lines is the problem.
  • Theo91Theo91 Registered Users Posts: 1,121
    Why not just double their unit size and increase the cost accordingly?
  • andrewbh2003andrewbh2003 Registered Users Posts: 49
    Theo91 said:

    Why not just double their unit size and increase the cost accordingly?

    cause that would cause balance problems in MP
  • FloppingerFloppinger Registered Users Posts: 375
    edited February 29
    tank3487 said:

    Just remove stupid penalty for fielding multiple stacks. Supply lines or how it called.
    Right now main reason of elites being OP in campaign are that each new stack bring massive gold penalty.

    It´s a reason. Not the main reason imo.

    Having a stack that easily dumpsters whatever comes its way is still the main reason. With supply lines removed, the player is just encouraged to field more elite stacks and snowball faster.

    The limit on how many units can be active on the battlefield, combined with no limit of how many of those units can be elite is the reason why elite stacks are so powerful.

    The game pretty much has an inbuilt mechanic against elite stacks being overwhelmed by superior numbers.

    Unit limit per side on the battlefield, denying the unwashed masses of chaff units to deploy their full strength and forcing reenforcments to trickle in peacemeal, combined with balance of power mechanic pretty much ensures that elite stacks reign supreme.

    If you do that and do not sufficiently limit a players ability to field elite units in numbers (by caps, affordability, availability, etc), well then guess what, elites will be the way to go.

    Correct me if I´m wrong, but that´s how I see it at the moment.

  • Theo91Theo91 Registered Users Posts: 1,121

    Theo91 said:

    Why not just double their unit size and increase the cost accordingly?

    cause that would cause balance problems in MP
    Surely everything can be balanced in MP with price

    Also, it could be a SP option only if CA wanted
  • Ares354Ares354 Registered Users Posts: 2,539

    Theo91 said:

    Why not just double their unit size and increase the cost accordingly?

    cause that would cause balance problems in MP
    One of the reason why SP suffer from MP balance problems...
  • Cadia101Cadia101 Registered Users Posts: 363
    Are we really resurrecting the mp vs sp stupid war ?
  • Captain_OzCaptain_Oz Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 17
    Theo91 said:

    Why not just double their unit size and increase the cost accordingly?

    The main reason is that it could create performance issues. As I mentioned in an earlier post, doubling the model count can lead to battles containing containing over 17 000 models. I am not sure whether many people would be able to play the game under such conditions. Addionally, this idea only strives to improve campaign balance, not MP balance. I have no reasons to believe that these units are unbalanced in MP, so I see no point in changing them there.
    Nitros14 said:

    The best way to fix it would be to fix supply lines so it doesn't incentivize using the most expensive units available.

    Then you could drag along armies of 19 slaves or zombies and it wouldn't cripple you economically.

    Armies like that actually aren't bad in battles, great for exhaustion and pinning. Supply lines is the problem.

    I believe that the problem is that these units do not perform well in campaign battles. Even if they were free, which zombies already have the potential to be, I don´t see them bringing enough value to be worth fielding compared to units in the 300-450 gold range. So unless their battle performance is tweaked, I cannot see a good reason to field them in most situations. This is why I have proposed an idea which would significantly improve their battle performance and give them a clear and defined role in the army.
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  • Nitros14Nitros14 Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 1,704


    I believe that the problem is that these units do not perform well in campaign battles. Even if they were free, which zombies already have the potential to be, I don´t see them bringing enough value to be worth fielding compared to units in the 300-450 gold range. So unless their battle performance is tweaked, I cannot see a good reason to field them in most situations. This is why I have proposed an idea which would significantly improve their battle performance and give them a clear and defined role in the army.

    Zombies perform fine in campaign battles. Their purpose isn't to actually kill anything. They tie things up, waste ammo and reduce enemy units to exhausted and do it for very little cost. Until supply lines enters the picture that is.
  • Ephraim_DaltonEphraim_Dalton Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 22,712
    Nitros14 said:


    I believe that the problem is that these units do not perform well in campaign battles. Even if they were free, which zombies already have the potential to be, I don´t see them bringing enough value to be worth fielding compared to units in the 300-450 gold range. So unless their battle performance is tweaked, I cannot see a good reason to field them in most situations. This is why I have proposed an idea which would significantly improve their battle performance and give them a clear and defined role in the army.

    Zombies perform fine in campaign battles. Their purpose isn't to actually kill anything. They tie things up, waste ammo and reduce enemy units to exhausted and do it for very little cost. Until supply lines enters the picture that is.
    They become obsolete even if you remove supply lines. You are simply encouraged to spam even more doomstacks full of elite units because the game gives you no reason to not do so.

  • TeozamaitTeozamait Registered Users Posts: 70
    I reckon the issue is max 20 unit size, a relic from past games.

    Maybe dynamic unit caps (some units take more unit caps) would be the solution?
  • Ephraim_DaltonEphraim_Dalton Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 22,712
    edited March 6
    The problem is less the 20 unit size and more that any slot can be used for any unit, save the lord slot. So of course you fill them all up with the best you have since CA didn't bother to create any downsides to elite spamming. Elites are easily way too cheap in SP for all the money you rake in by midgame and they simply punch way too far above regular troops. That they also replenish just as fast as regular troops put the nail in the coffin for good.

    Anyone played Wolfenstein 3D? That game had four weapons, but once you found the fourth and final one, the chaingun, you had no reason using the other weapons ever again because the fourth weapon was the strongest and used the same ammo as the two weaker guns. If the ammo types had been split up and the ammo for the chaingun much rarer, it would have ceased to be the one go-to choice in the game. Something similar must happen here.

    CA needs to make elites less cost-effective in campaign and reduce their replenishment considerably. I can also easily see upkeep increases by up to 100% to be necessary if CA changes nothing else about the campaign economies.

  • KayosivKayosiv Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 2,639
    edited March 6
    I have to say, the Tomb Kings campaign, and how they made money matter and elites heavily restricted, was the most fun and challenging campaign of TWW I've ever played.

    The correct strategy in every campaign is turtle until your base has an invincible garrison, then acquire enough territory (usually 1-2 provinces) to be able to field a stack of single entity super units. Then build 18 of those with a lord and hero. Then, with your now completely invincible army, win effortlessly.

    Legendary lord, faction, starting location, none of those matter. Get a decent economy, acquire a full stack of super units, win forever, is the strategy on every difficulty with everybody.
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  • ystyst Registered Users Posts: 6,614
    Cadia101 said:

    Are we really resurrecting the mp vs sp stupid war ?

    Whats there to debate lol, mp own the crap out of those campaign carebears its not even worth mentioning lol. Just some extremely low skill players can that have absolutely no idea about balancing
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  • DandalusXVIIDandalusXVII Registered Users Posts: 4,249
    yst said:

    Supply lines is a frikkimg stupid mechanic, dunno wth thought of it in the first place. Simply turning the game into some stupid empty empire full of forted towns simply because of the foolish supply line penalty.

    Why the frikking hell such bad mechanics is still in the game, does absolutely nothing but **** players off to no ends

    I agree supply lines need to go.
  • TennisgolfbollTennisgolfboll Registered Users Posts: 8,309

    The problem is less the 20 unit size and more that any slot can be used for any unit, save the lord slot. So of course you fill them all up with the best you have since CA didn't bother to create any downsides to elite spamming. Elites are easily way too cheap in SP for all the money you rake in by midgame and they simply punch way too far above regular troops. That they also replenish just as fast as regular troops put the nail in the coffin for good.

    Anyone played Wolfenstein 3D? That game had four weapons, but once you found the fourth and final one, the chaingun, you had no reason using the other weapons ever again because the fourth weapon was the strongest and used the same ammo as the two weaker guns. If the ammo types had been split up and the ammo for the chaingun much rarer, it would have ceased to be the one go-to choice in the game. Something similar must happen here.

    CA needs to make elites less cost-effective in campaign and reduce their replenishment considerably. I can also easily see upkeep increases by up to 100% to be necessary if CA changes nothing else about the campaign economies.

    Yep
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