Saboteur (if proposed assassin changes go ahead)

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phoenixffyrnig
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Saboteur (if proposed assassin changes go ahead)

Post by phoenixffyrnig » Sat Aug 14, 2021 10:41 pm

Does all the jobs the rebalanced assassin won't be able to, ie destroys buildings, ships, siege weapons etc.

Plenty of reasons why we need something that can take on this role. Pretty much same as assassin in practicalities and logistics but focused on the non flesh and blood side of things.
I also play an RTS game called Life 8-)
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Re: Saboteur (if proposed assassin changes go ahead)

Post by phoenixffyrnig » Thu Oct 07, 2021 2:32 pm

Revisited.

A stealth unit that destroys buildings and constructs (distinct from the Petardier - imo they are two different roles).

TC recruitment only.
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Endru1241
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Re: Saboteur (if proposed assassin changes go ahead)

Post by Endru1241 » Thu Oct 07, 2021 4:01 pm

It would kind of miss the point of assassin rebalance in the first place.

Ability to destroy upgraded castle with (almost) everything inside is the original reason for removing overall anti construct usage.

And let's be honest - assassin was used pretty much only for that.
Well, maybe in very specific situations - against some siege tower, galleon, turtle machine or elephant.

So bringing saboteur with almost identical usage as pre-change assassin is big no.
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Re: Saboteur (if proposed assassin changes go ahead)

Post by phoenixffyrnig » Thu Oct 07, 2021 7:15 pm

OK, you're obviously very much against this - fair enough. My assumption was that it was assassin's versatility (flesh and blood OR constructs) that was the problem - I was figuring that being one-or-the-other would rebalance it somewhat.

I honestly think most of the issue was due to people
a) building castles on the front line (ie, inviting attack)
b) not defending it properly.
No one uses walls. No one! And in general, most people do not have much of a standing army so there are no units blocking the route or defending the castle.

And then they get sore because they're precious castle gets killed by a 4 turn unit. Funny how no one ever complained about their catapult getting assassinated... exactly the same build cost... but people seem to think their castles should be a special case and immune from the consequences of bad decision making...

But anyway, looking forward - How about if a saboteur could only kill an empty building? Would that work?

These are the main scenarios why I think a unit like this has a role - and if saboteur is not the answer then I think we need some sort of alternative, because otherwise there will be a whole lot of games stuck in eternal deadlock...

1 - making a beachhead. Obviously, we sometimes have to invade an enemy island. What about an island that is 10 squares away (ie out of treb range) from any other land. How would we approach that if it was well defended ? Any siege ships lack the range to deal with land fortifications, even en masse. The only key to that lock would be a swift attack of deadly subterfuge... and for that to even be possible one would either have to either beat the enemy's navy or be up against a foe who has no navy. Hardly a freebie

2 - attacking well defended choke points. Consider endgame - a single elite worker repairs more damage than a heavy treb can do, significantly so in the case of fortified buildings. It would take 7 treb shots (or the equivalent of) to destroy a fully upgraded high castle, 6 shots to do in a fort. Unless one can concentrate that much firepower on a target in one turn, chances are it will be fully repaired next go. And often, due to terrain, it is utterly impossible to engage that much firepower.

So how to proceed? How else can we possibly advance in these not uncommon situations?
Endru1241 wrote:
Thu Oct 07, 2021 4:01 pm
Well, maybe in very specific situations - against some siege tower, galleon, turtle machine or elephant.
Yeah, sounds like a few good arguments for why a saboteur should exist in principle, (remove ability to target mega-buildings if necessary, or replace with a "sabotaged" effect that does not destroy the building but puts it out of action for x turns), but without this ability I think we are looking at unwinnable situations.
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Re: Saboteur (if proposed assassin changes go ahead)

Post by Endru1241 » Thu Oct 07, 2021 8:00 pm

phoenixffyrnig wrote:
Thu Oct 07, 2021 7:15 pm
No one uses walls. No one!
It's expected.
For just a little bit more worker actions you have towers, that at least doesn't block your movement, but heals and hides units on top of that.
Damage is just a free bonus here.

Some remediation to that may come from upcoming build time increase.
Maybe I'll even get crazy and put it into the same pack, before publishing.
But anyway, looking forward - How about if a saboteur could only kill an empty building? Would that work?
No way to set that.
Engine limitation.
phoenixffyrnig wrote:
Thu Oct 07, 2021 7:15 pm
Yeah, sounds like a few good arguments for why a saboteur should exist in principle, (remove ability to target mega-buildings if necessary, or replace with a "sabotaged" effect that does not destroy the building but puts it out of action for x turns), but without this ability I think we are looking at unwinnable situations.
That seems like much better way to go.

Idea - Sabotage ability, which sacrifices Saboteur would severely debuff construct targetted AND deal damage.
And by severely I mean like -10 attack range, -10 speed, -10 ability range, -10 actions, -20 heal rate, -10 mending rate (if I am not wrong it would damage units left inside) and probably most importantly - something like -1000% mend affect to prevent repair.
Unfortunately I am not sure if production can be stopped in any way (but I'd try setting reverse money courier effect to add +1 or +2 turns to production).
It doesn't even have to be for long to be effective.
I am thinking 1-3 turns, but I am open to ideas and discussion.
It can be discussed how exactly the damage should be set (and bonuses to it).

I am just not a very big fan of instant actions.
There is also no telling if assassin won't get some more limitations later on (lowered damage).
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b2198
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Re: Saboteur (if proposed assassin changes go ahead)

Post by b2198 » Thu Oct 07, 2021 9:30 pm

Endru1241 wrote:
Thu Oct 07, 2021 8:00 pm
phoenixffyrnig wrote:
Thu Oct 07, 2021 7:15 pm
No one uses walls. No one!
It's expected.
For just a little bit more worker actions you have towers, that at least doesn't block your movement, but heals and hides units on top of that.
Damage is just a free bonus here.

Some remediation to that may come from upcoming build time increase.
Maybe I'll even get crazy and put it into the same pack, before publishing.
I don't think that will solve the issue completely, because yes, walls will be relatively more efficient to build, but a trebuchet that was targetting the castle could just destroy them aswell, and walls in this case are harder to repair, because to repair them while the enemy sieges the castle the builders would have to get into enemy range (8 or 9 tiles from enemy trebuchets, depending on wall placement), whereas when repairing a castle, they can do it from a whole 12 or 13 (vertical or horizontal, respectively) tiles afar from an enemy trebuchet, so the only danger to them would be wagons with hwachas/archers coming into range
Endru1241 wrote:
Thu Oct 07, 2021 8:00 pm
That seems like much better way to go.

Idea - Sabotage ability, which sacrifices Saboteur would severely debuff construct targetted AND deal damage.
And by severely I mean like -10 attack range, -10 speed, -10 ability range, -10 actions, -20 heal rate, -10 mending rate (if I am not wrong it would damage units left inside) and probably most importantly - something like -1000% mend affect to prevent repair.
Unfortunately I am not sure if production can be stopped in any way (but I'd try setting reverse money courier effect to add +1 or +2 turns to production).
It doesn't even have to be for long to be effective.
I am thinking 1-3 turns, but I am open to ideas and discussion.
It can be discussed how exactly the damage should be set (and bonuses to it).

I am just not a very big fan of instant actions.
There is also no telling if assassin won't get some more limitations later on (lowered damage).
This sabotage ability seems very interesting, would add a lot more dynamics to the sieging and defending game.

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Re: Saboteur (if proposed assassin changes go ahead)

Post by phoenixffyrnig » Thu Oct 07, 2021 9:55 pm

Endru1241 wrote:
Thu Oct 07, 2021 8:00 pm
It's expected.
For just a little bit more worker actions you have towers,
Walls need encouraging, they could add so much if they could be made useful.

What if the "tower manning" tech allowed one unit garrison per tile of wall...?

Boiling oil / murder hole ability on gates? (double burn to siege, like fire ships? ignores armour burn effect to mêlée troops )

+1 range for garrisoned missile units because of height?

+1 power to melee for having the high ground?

Endru1241 wrote:
Thu Oct 07, 2021 8:00 pm
Unfortunately I am not sure if production can be stopped in any way (but I'd try setting reverse money courier effect to add +1 or +2 turns to production).
It doesn't even have to be for long to be effective.
I am thinking 1-3 turns, but I am open to ideas and discussion.
It can be discussed how exactly the damage should be set (and bonuses to it).
Could production be stopped by simulating the spy effect minus the "takes life" function?
I also play an RTS game called Life 8-)
And I also like drinking beer! :D

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Re: Saboteur (if proposed assassin changes go ahead)

Post by Endru1241 » Thu Oct 07, 2021 11:33 pm

Walls garrisoning has many obstacles:
- would allow free movement, because unit cannot pass spec has to be removed to allow carry - it would effectively remove distinction from gate or even make it worse - it's also bad for flavour
- joinable graphic definitions don't allow for occupied image, so no telling if there is some unit
- can mess campaign maps - those, that assumed walls have to be destroyed to let enemy pass

Fire effect for walls is now possible (after adding weapon effect on counter). To be considered.

Spy/assasin sabotage production is hardcoded ability - cannot be used in any other way.
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Re: Saboteur (if proposed assassin changes go ahead)

Post by b2198 » Fri Oct 08, 2021 12:06 am

What about a new wall-like building that is more costly than the wall and not as durable but can carry units and has CARRIED_UNIT_CAN_BUILD spec? That would allow for double-sized walls with normal walls in the front and builders inside the new walls in the back (a bit more) protected from enemy fire. Or would that be too op?

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Re: Saboteur (if proposed assassin changes go ahead)

Post by Endru1241 » Fri Oct 08, 2021 12:30 am

Such spec doesn't exist.

Mend action is hardcoded and can only be used if carrier:
- allows shooting
- doesn't hide unit and allows it to be damaged or is TC

But repair could possibly be handled another way - by adding ability effect, that places negative damage (just like group heal for flesh and blood).
It would be unaffected by mend rate and mend affect of target unit thought.
Maybe damage bonuses could allow for some variation and making it based on ability power, which could be set in similar values as mend rate.
It is non trivial solution and there is no guarantee it would be successful to make it.

If however I could make it - I'd probably limit it to be targeting only walls and gates.
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