Posts Tagged ‘combat’

Making Evony Better – Corabee

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

An Evony member made a very interesting suggestions post. I thought it worthy enough to come here.

Overview

After over three weeks of play and evaluation, this is my assessment of the Evony RTS system. The goal of this post is to provide the community with food for substantive thought. To place this in perspective, I am a graduate of the US Army War College. I welcome any feedback beyond the drive-by infantile sort.

Evony Strengths

  1. The economic/city building system is first rate.
  2. Alliance system works fairly well.

Evony Weaknesses

  1. The association of noble rank to medal farming. This is the biggest negative of Evony.
  2. The non-realistic army/combat system, it takes the “strategy” out of RTS.
  3. Inability to use alliance members’ cities/allied cities strategically (e.g., as a staging ground for offensive operations). Adding this to Evony would elevate the game from decent/good to “totally awesome.” Again, an RTS needs to have the tools in place to implement meaningful strategic diplomatic and military goals.
  4. Lack of an Extended Truce. Everyone likes take vacations. Each account should get two Extended Truce items per year … this would put them in a protected mode while they are away from the game.

Any critique should provide constructive criticism — that is, it should also provide food for thought on how to improve rather than just a blanket “the strategic use of forces sucks.” It should provide a basis for a discussion on turning Evony from a decent RTS game into a stellar one.

Suggested Improvements

Alliance:

1. Add the ability to use allied cities. It’s great that you can Reinforce an ally with troops, but what about attackers? The option should exist to use an allied city as a Forward Operating Base for scouting and attacking. This would add a whole new dimension of strategy to the game.

2. Add the ability to conduct joint operations. Troops sent to Reinforce an alliance member or ally should have the option to “Conduct Joint Operations,” the Reinforcing troops usable by the hosting city and/or the reinforcing troops could draw on local troops in conducting operations.

3. Provide Alliances with appropriate reports about the state of the cities of their members. Strategically there is no way to get an overview of city status, other than by mailing members and asking. The Alliance interface should allow designated persons the ability to view a report of a member’s city (similar to a scouting report) so that alliance-wide strategic goals can be evaluated and set.

Nobility

Nobility is a function of politics historically, not of medals won on the field of battle. Advancing through noble ranks should not be tied to mindless medal farming. Tie noble rank to Prestige and Alliance size. This would provide motivation to work on individual and collective prestige building.

Miltary Ranks

Tie the rise through military ranks to the current medal system and weight it with Honor gained.

Military Strategy

Currently there is no emphasis on combined-arms operations and power units unrealistically dominate the “tactics.”

There is an over-emphasis on ballistas/catapults to project power. Historically “artillery” are a great means to project power, however, while power can be projected, they do not have the means to take or hold ground. Also, siege-type units have a small unit strength (for example, a battery of artillery is 1/3 to 1/2 the size of an infantry company) and their individual self-defense weapons are minimal. Give strategic weapons a defense equal to workers. Futhermore, the presence of enemy troops in a resource or city would make them vulnerable to sallying if they are not protected. No more taking NPC level 1 cities with 50 ballistas with transport support. Catapults are designed solely to attack point defenses.

Stress should be placed on efficient combined-arms forces. A smaller, but arms-balanced force, can defeat a larger opponent that is one-dimensional in nature. By shifting to a combined-arms methodology of combat, the combat part of Evony becomes both more tactically and stratigically realistic.

Types of Combat

Basically these fall into two categories in Evony: City attack/defense and non-city battles. At the tactical level, the major difference (other than the defensive capability afforded by walls) is that combat outside a city is more fluid, while city defense/attack is a set-piece type of warfare.

Battle Overvew

The rounds of battle should reflect the three phases of offensive/defensive operations: the meeting engagement, the initial assault/defense and the reinforce/exploit phases.

The key to the meeting engagement is the army’s screen; in the case of Evony, that role would be filled by Scouts and Cavalry. The opening rounds of combat should determine who “wins” the meeting engagement. Denying your opponent battlefield information is the key to winning a battle. The result of this phase should impart modifications to the main part of the battle. The ratio of the result should determine who’s force benefits from better tactical intelligence and thus would more efficiently commit their main combat forces (warriors, swordsmen, pike) to best tactical advantage, it could be rated thusly: Screen Overwhelmed (big negative to combat modifier); Screen Bypassed (moderate negative); Partial Screen would provide intelligence, but also yield intelligence to the opponent (no modifier, both sides have benefited equally); Screen Gains Tactical Advantage (moderate positive); Screen Gains Battlefield Superiority (big positive bonus).

Middle rounds of combat should be weighted by the meeting engagement results (e.g., the commander with good intelligence will utilize it maximally. Here the Intelligence score of the commander can come into play). This constitutes the heart of the battle and would weight the effective deployment of archers‘ impact on the battle. Also during this phase, counter-battery combat takes place, ranged weapons seek to eliminate the enemy’s ranged threat.

The latter rounds are all about exploitation/reinforcing. Either the defender bolsters their defense effectively or the attacker is poised to exploit the breach of the defenses. If the battle is fairly even, neither side benefits from this; that is, the battle becomes a statemate with the attacker withdrawing in good order. If the attackers wins the battle of the middle rounds, they are then poised to exploit or pillage the resource or city. If the defender wins the battle, the premise is that they sallied effectively, wreaking havoc on the attacker’s strategic assets (transporters, workers, ranged weapons such as ballista and catapults, and siege equipment (battering rams)).

Rates of Fire

Ranged combat needs to factor in rate of fire. Archers are more effective than ballista in this, as a bow reloads far faster than a ballista does, and a ballista reloads faster than a catapult (see Caesar by T. Dodge for Roman army rates of fire). The volume of fire from 1000 archers will be much higher than a comparable number of ballista. So while ballista will have a definite effect during a span of rounds (due range diferential and the “power” of the weapon), ultimately the archers will prevail (given a favorable combat ratio and a positive result in the main battle) in the exploitation phase as they close to within range and directly engage strategic assets such as ballista and catapults. A suggestion would be to have archers fire every round, ballistas every two rounds and catapults every three (and against point defense targets only).

Combat Losses

The Meeting Engagement Phase
Scouts and cavalry loss ratios during this phase should actually be quite low, as historically an army’s screening elements tend to disperse and filter rearward of the army rather than stand and fight to the death.

The Main Battle Phase
This is where the majority of infantry and archer losses are taken, as well as losses to strategic weapons and defenses from counter-battery fire.

Exploit/Reinforce Phase
This is where the “fruits of battle” are realized. If the battle is fairly equal, neither side benefits (that is, the attacker is presumed to withdraw in good order, but with little to show for it). In the Exploit mode, the attacker plunders the resource or city. For the defender, the “Open City Gates” to fight option would need to be checked; that is, they sally forth to exploit the results of the battle, otherwise the impact on attackers strategic assets in the attack would be reduced.

The Spoils of War

City attacks should fall into two categories: the raid and the assault. The first is geared more to economic disruption and a favorable (or even neutral) result in combat would yield the bounty of the outlying farms, mines, quarries and mills. Based on Logistics level (or some other), this could have a production impact as the city’s resource fields recover from the attack.

In the assault, to effectively sack a city, the defenses must be breached and sufficient ground forces to conduct the pillaging should be present (sorry, but the crews of 50 ballistas cannot effectively plunder). In the combat system, this is where the close-in wall defenses should come into play as well as battering rams (a huge boost to gaining entry to the city. In this case of actually breeching a city, the spoils would include warehoused goods, gold and (possibly) population reduction.

In Closing

I will add more to this as time goes on, as real life calls and I also want to see what feedback this post garners.

Regards to all,
Cora”

Evony Database – Research Technologies

Sunday, August 9th, 2009

Today, we completely finished the researched and technologies portion of the Evony Database. All 19 technologies are now available at the database.

We’ve divided them into three categories: Resource Technologies, Combat Technologies, and City Technologies

If you have a suggestion to add something to all of the research technologies in the database, or an suggestion on the Evony database at all then please, post it HERE.

Chapter 9 – Combat Phacts

Sunday, July 19th, 2009
  1. Combat Phacts

Phacts: Pseudo or fake facts.

A lot of faulty information surrounds combat.

Walls: At some point in the game when you attack walls, you may notice that while the enemy has no defenders, you lost your men. This usually happens because of small contingents of archer only forces fail to break the wall.

Rumors/Common Questions:

Did those Abatis kill my men? No. Abatis only kill Calvary (and Cataphracts). If you lost a fight on a wall, you failed to break its durability.

Do I have to stock my archer’s towers with men? Archers Towers cost no food and require no archers. They are, however, about as powerful as 4 archers.

What happens if I run out of food? Your men will die until you reach a balance. This most often happens when you build a bunch of men over night and forget about the fact they must be fed.

Catapults are going to KILL ME! You actually can’t lose any buildings in any attack, except if you lose a city.

The simulator at the rally point said I would win… but I didn’t. When you attack a valley, assume it has tech equal to its level. For example, a lvl 4 valley has lvl 4 archery, lvl 4 compass, lvl 4 iron working, etc. But you can also assume it only has an academy equal to that level: lvl 1 at valley lvl 1, so no archers. Attacking lvl 3 or lower valleys will cause the least casualties, while lvl 4 have a huge leap in damage.

The reason the rally point doesn’t work: it doesn’t take tech into account.

How can I improve my chances in combat? Well you have three things to take into account:

Tech:  If you have a high attack tech, you will deal more damage. A high ranged tech will improve archer range (an extremely important advantage)

Hero: Your heroes attack will improve your army (% improved is = to number. Example: Hero with 54 attack increases attack to 154% of normal)

Items:  These will improve your army a lot:

Corselet:  An armor improver. This improves your army’s armor by 10% for a time (24 hours or 1 week, depending on which one it is) ex. Swordsman has 385 armor (-38.5% damage)

War Horn: An attack improver. This improves your army’s attack by 10% for a time (24 hours or 1 week, depending on which one it is) ex. Pike man has 185 attack (185 possible damage)

War Ensign: Allows a 25% increase to max number of troops sent in one battle. Useful late in the game. (125,000 troops at lvl 10)

Penicillin: Adds 30% to the cure rate, this allows a total of 40% of all attacking troops to be recovered at least, near 70% of all defenders.

Hint: Wait… Recover troops? After a battle you can go to your rally point and select the cure troops button. A certain number of your men may be healed for a price.

These questions are constantly posted all over the forum and have now been answered.

Lord Arumen

Chapter 4 – Combat Lesson 2

Sunday, July 19th, 2009

Before fighting in this game realize this one fact:

“All the fighting calculations thus far are poor at best and result in unrealistic and unfair battles.”

-Lord Arumen

As above, you can quote me on that. So how do you overcome this? Well, this will teach the basics of combat.

  1. Pick your battles: Don’t attack people who have double your prestige. Don’t attack any valleys above level four if your archery is smaller than the level of the flat. (Example: lvl 5 archery, lvl 6 flat. DON’T DO IT. Unless you over compensate)
  2. Scout ahead: Learn the enemy’s tech and such. Unless you have a massive army on hand, never go into battle without knowing what you face. You never know if the enemy has anything worth taking. Also, it’s usually easy to tell when a city is inactive. (Check to see if the goods are at a number ending in three zero’s). Also, if the scouts die, it’s a good way to know NOT to attack there.
  3. Army types. These are good forms of armies:
    1. Scouting army: You have leveled up your informatics as fast as possible, and this army consists of 1000+ scouts (never for attack)

Informatics: (see chapter 2)

  1. Speed: No warriors, consisting of Calvary and Cataphracts. Used to thieve from in-actives while your siege force is out and about. Down sides: This army would be the only thing that can take out abatis, so any inactive that did the abatis quest has 100 of these to break through. That’ll cost the average player roughly 60 Calvary.
  2. War party: This is a force of one melee type (warriors are the cheapest) and archers. This would be used to destroy any and all opposing armies in fields and is good for defense.
  3. Siege force: This is a force containing a large amount of archers and swords. Also, it will contain transports for increased capacity and any siege weapons you can afford so to remove archers towers quickly.

How to protect your archers: Though this is taking advantage of the system, it is a perfectly reasonable way to do it. Put one warrior, one swordsman, one pike man, and one Calvary in your army of archers. This will double your kills. Why? Well, the game has it set up so the enemy army has uses their entire move action attacking your one man, so you therefore postpone their attacks for 1 round. With four types with four different speeds in the way, the enemies will be slowed and killed by the archers. (I personally hope this glitch will be removed from the game, but till then, take full advantage of it.)

Lord Arumen

Chapter 3 – Combat Lesson 1

Sunday, July 19th, 2009
  1. The guide to Units and Combat

Your army is a crucial part of this game. While I personally used a very small army the first few months, it all depends on your play style. I categorize war into three different play styles:

  1. Diplomatic: Small armies, a lot of talking to other players. Most people will stop attacking you, for a few days at least, if you ask them (as long as you’re far smaller than them.) Your army will only be for raiding inactive and very weak players.
  2. War Lord: Build up large armies consisting of only warriors and archers. As of the point this was written, archers are the “God” unit that in large numbers beat anything. WIth the new patch though, Ballistae and Trebuchets are more important, so consider making them.
  3. Defensive: Build up large armies of swords and archers. More expensive but a very good offensive force when need be. Also, your walls will be filled with mostly Archers Towers (Which I will talk about later)

The best units to build in this game are: Archers, Warriors, and Swords. But why is this?

Archers: Ranged infantry, and they are the “God” unit. Enough of these can kill any unit, since they do 60 damage to infantry and have a range of 1260 (since they require archery 1 to build). That gives them 5 shots on the fastest infantry.

Warriors: Cost only 230 goods and carry 20. They take a mere 30 seconds to build and become a screaming axe of death when they get to about 70k in size.

Swords: Cost wise, Swords are the best unit in the game. And they are worth it, but only with archers as backup. Else they will be mowed down all the same by the opposing archers.

Other Units:

Workers: Weak and pitiful, they carry a lot. Also, 250 are required for a new city.

Scouts: Worst fighters, besides Transporters and Workers, a scout army is a VERY important thing to have. You will kill off enemy scouts and prevent them from gaining full knowledge. Do reduced damage to walls, or none at all.

Pike men: Fast and with a 50% bonus versus Calvary, they look like a good choice. And if you mass them they are. But don’t rely on them.

Calvary: Powerful against archers in en masse, these units die quickly to abati.

Hint: When you attack a city and your force dies and you all you see are abati, they DIDN’T get killed by them. The units failed to break through the wall. Unless those units are calvary

Cataphracts: Extremely powerful, a legion of these would be the most destructive force in the game. It would also be impossible to support. They cost 36 food each.

Transporters: Hold 5000 goods, but move very slow. Transporters are a necessity for sieges, allowing you to steal a lot of the enemy’s goods.

Ballista: These weirdly target archers first. Good against archers, but often killed by other things soon afterwards.

Ram: Powerful durability wreckers. Use to smash through high level walls.

Catapults:  Powerful ranged units. Can kill towers easily without being hit. Super expensive and extensive to build.

Now what’s important: Don’t mix units of the same type. Send armies of one kind of melee, archers, and siege. Warriors, Pikes, and Swords sounds like it should work the best, but fails too, unless you are trying to use the meat shield method, upon which this works.

Following these basic combat rules should lead you to victory on the field.

Lord Arumen