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Age of Kings Heaven » Forums » General and Strategy Discussion » Dark age castles and knights
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Topic Subject:Dark age castles and knights
Dave3377
Squire
posted 12-02-18 03:18 PM CT (US)         
This question is related to a mod I am working on, but is about strategy and mechanics, not modding itself (thus, I think it fits better here).

I want to make a mod where castles can be built in the dark ages and knights (or at least a weaker pre-knight cavalry unit) can be built at castles.

The idea is to make a very risky but viable dark-age knight rush strategy. My thinking is such:

1. It will be very hard to get a castle up in the dark age and doing so will put your economy way behind (even more than a feudal age tower rush).

2. It will be harder still to produce very many knights given their high cost.

3. However, knights will be very powerful at this point as there are no viable counters to them (no spearmen yet).

4. If executed correctly, it could a devastating strategy. But if it fails you will likely lose.

Here is where it gets tricky. I think someone could probably get to the feudal age and start making spearmen before the castle was even complete. That negates the knight rush as a strategy. I also want knights to be created at the stable in feudal age. Thus, one would be better off getting to the feudal age and then making knights.

I wonder if making the Feudal age upgrade take longer would make the dark age knight strategy more viable. That is, one could try to get their knights out before you get to the Feudal age (even if you have already started the research).

Another option is to up the food cost of going feudal. Thus, there would be more time spent in the Dark age and a longer period of dark age knight vulnerability. The latter makes the dark age knight rush even more risky though, given that the player going for it will have an even harder time getting caught up to the Feudal age if it fails.

I am curious to get some thoughts and feedback on this.
AuthorReplies:
Kataphraktoi
Squire
posted 12-02-18 03:38 PM CT (US)     1 / 6       
Does raise a good point that knights should be available in fuedal or crossbowmen should be FAR harder to obtain. Its currently possible to get 20 crossbowmen before a single knight gets out which is the opposite of real life when crossbowmen came along far later and slowly obsoleted the knight.

Getting 650 stone in dark age for a castle...oof. Thee motte and bailey seen in some dark age mods could be really cool though and allow for a knight like unit to be trained

"Excellent could be any map that has the quality of a ES random map or ES scenario. AoK is an excellent, award winning game. That's where I'd start." -AnastasiaKafka

"Hard work is evil. Bitmaps are stupid. Working on a scenario for more than one afternoon is stupid. Triggers are stupid. Testing your own scenario is stupid. The world is stupid. You are the Greatest." -Ingo Van Thiel
HockeySam18
Dúnadan
posted 12-03-18 03:44 AM CT (US)     2 / 6       
In the military historian's perfect world, crossbowmen and archers would be entirely different unit-lines and serve separate niches, as they did in reality (crossbowmen becoming available later than they are at present would be a byproduct of this, naturally).

The development of the competitive meta in Age2 has made it abundantly clear that ES vastly underestimated things such as the power of massed range fire, the gameplay impact of raising population limits higher than 75, and the notion of cost-efficiency vs. raw power. In particular, they never envisioned how micro-intensive the game would become at its highest levels, a phenomenon that obviously augments the strength of ranged units more than their melee counterparts.

In the Sandyman interviews, for example, it was said that the ES testers firmly believed cataphracts and heavy camels to be the most imposing unit composition in the game. The multiplayer community, of course, would disagree, given the extreme difficulty involved in upgrading and massing said composition in conjunction with the fact that it is devoured by arbalests, which are widely considered one of the weaker unit choices in mid-to-late imperial.

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Dave3377
Squire
posted 12-03-18 09:57 AM CT (US)     3 / 6       
I would probably lower the cost of the castle to closer to 488 (like the Franks). I am also considering making the castle a drop point for all resources and giving them the ability to train multiple unit types (cavalry, infantry, and archers [later]) with perhaps accelerated training times. In that way, getting a castle up would buy back some resources in wood that would normally be spent on barracks, lumber camps, etc.

I still don't know if dark age castling will be a viable strategy though. It would, however, drastically change any map where you start with a castle but in the dark ages.

In my mod I also plan to make archers and crossbowmen separate lines with the latter being available later and functioning a little more like hand cannoneers. They will have a higher attack, be cheaper to mass and quicker to train, but have a much longer reload time. Depending on the available upgrade they may be a better or worse option than the archer-line.

But the mod I am working on is actually not historical. Rather it is a Lego mod. Lego started with knights, castles, axemen, and swordsmen in the late 70s. In 1984 they added siege weapons, archers, and spearmen. In 1990 they added heavy plate armor (a separate tankier knight line) and crossbows. In 1992 and afterwards they added long kite-shaped shields, halberds, great swords, wizards, witches, and dragons.

The structure is mostly dictated by their timeline. It is the balance and playability that are tricky. Fortunately I can take creative license and use team bonuses to counteract any imbalance in the technology trees. For example, I give factions without siege equipment units with an attack bonus vs buildings.
Dave3377
Squire
posted 12-03-18 09:59 AM CT (US)     4 / 6       
Side note: The crossbow being adopted late is true only for western civilizations. The Chinese used massed crossbow fire for centuries before the weapon was popularized in Europe and the Middle East.
Kataphraktoi
Squire
posted 12-03-18 10:11 AM CT (US)     5 / 6       
Rather it is a Lego mod. Lego started with knights, castles, axemen, and swordsmen in the late 70s. In 1984 they added siege weapons, archers, and spearmen. In 1990 they added heavy plate armor (a separate tankier knight line) and crossbows. In 1992 and afterwards they added long kite-shaped shields, halberds, great swords, wizards, witches, and dragons.
Hey, I was huge into legos in the late 90s and early 00s. I had a bunch of older magazines which I had laminated and enough legos to fill multiple huge plastic bins. I had a bunch of those castle type legos too...the royal knights vs the dragon masters was in the middle of the 90s I think? The older dark forester sets were sweet too. Wolfpack was my favourite though, so rare and interesting.

I got rid of them all awhile back and play minecraft instead of legos now, though. You infinite blocks, can place them easier, and its more immersive. Plus you dont need to pay the absurd prices for those plastic bricks
Side note: The crossbow being adopted late is true only for western civilizations. The Chinese used massed crossbow fire for centuries before the weapon was popularized in Europe and the Middle East.
Indeed, mostly I refer to western europe when saying 'historical' this or that.

How about making a wooden castle that can be upgraded to the normal castle?


There are some interesting graphics mods on HD Edition that might do well: Western European Motte and Bailey Castle



lordgood palisades:



And also abejin's palisades which I quite like:



Tons of castle mods on the workshop too, they have been cranking them out like mad recently for some reason.

"Excellent could be any map that has the quality of a ES random map or ES scenario. AoK is an excellent, award winning game. That's where I'd start." -AnastasiaKafka

"Hard work is evil. Bitmaps are stupid. Working on a scenario for more than one afternoon is stupid. Triggers are stupid. Testing your own scenario is stupid. The world is stupid. You are the Greatest." -Ingo Van Thiel

[This message has been edited by Kataphraktoi (edited 12-03-2018 @ 02:24 PM).]

MawBTS
I ONCE PUT AN ENTIRE ORANGE INTO MY MOUTH
(id: Bart Pimpson)
posted 12-03-18 11:27 PM CT (US)     6 / 6       
Ehh, don't we already have the douche, which everyone thinks is lame?

To me, putting cool stuff in the early game breaks a fundamental part of Age of Empires - advancing to unlock new things.
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