There are a number of upcoming changes to the game in the upcoming patch which seem to be quite detrimental to balance and very much a problem with regards to the enjoyability and depth of battles, especially in Records mode.
These changes are:-
- Nerf to crossbow range vis a vis bows
- Addition of a number of bonuses vs certain units; especially the anti cavalry bonuses being added to bows and sword (yellow) cavalry
- A substantial increase to the speed of cavalry
Now, one can see the reasoning behind these changes somewhat in that they seem to be geared towards addressing 3 issues:-
- The excessive power of ranged units in the later parts of the game against all units
- Crossbows being somewhat better all round than bows
- Yellow cavalry losing out to red line cavalry which is often seen as all round better in the later game
Of these, perhaps issue 3 is the most serious in that it really isn't an issue at all and is already addressed within the existing balance through the use of ranged units like crossbows (which is what powerful cavalry was historically countered with). Yellow line cavalry are already balanced overall by their greater staying power in normal combat and their ranged block which, unlike shock cavalry, allows them to stay in the fight and not be slaughtered by ranged fire.
Therefore, the addition of a bonus vs cav to sword cavalry and greater speed overall to cavalry seems to achieve little more than creating a balance issue by breaking the extant and working balance between infantry and cavalry and substituting it with the sort of balance that has already been an issue in previous games (the see-sawing of sword cav between OP and not being used in previous games, and the high speed cavalry dodging from Warhammer).
The issue with ranged is also something that won't really be addressed by the changes. While the reduction to crossbow arcs of fire may be a good change overall, the range reduction serves little purpose apart from nerfing infantry vis a vis cavalry as a whole by taking away the offensive power of infantry and permitting cavalry to run circles around them with less crossbow range and more cavalry speed. This also raises the substantial issue of the crossbows now being in a position where they lose their better defined niche in favour of being pushed into the niche for bow equipped units.
The elephant in the room
The issue at the core of the seeming power of ranged has, ultimately not been addressed; to wit: the massive bonuses to stats that these units (and indeed, all units) receive from characters. Unfortunately, the elephant in the room for balancing units isn't the units themselves (which are already pretty decently balanced), but rather the characters, which bring to the table massive bonuses to stats such as ranged damage and rate of fire.
Therefore, until the elephant in the room (massive Character bonuses ) with regards to balancing isn't worked out, the balance changes will only serve to make the gameplay, especially in records mode, less satisfying and more arcadey; without actually addressing the fundamental issue that makes these otherwise balanced units unbalanced. Especially since a number of these changes simply seem to be bringing issues from the balancing of other TW games into the fundamentally better balancing of 3K.