Today I wanted to talk about the HRE & some ways I think we can spice up the civ a little more by giving it some more zing & flavor. I believe the civ is good, but a bit boring. The objective of these changes is to increase the unit composition variability of the HRE playstyle, as well as strengthen their identity as an infantry/siege civilization. With this objective in mind I suggest a new unique unit to the HRE.
War Wagon: The unique HRE replacement for the Mangonel
So this unit’s role is the same as the Mangonel it replaces; the War Wagon is an anti-ranged siege unit. Initial design philosophy for the War Wagon was to create a more singularly focused siege unit that is more resilient to melee attacks. The principal method the War Wagon uses to achieve this melee resistance is the special ability to switch into two modes: Carriage mode & Wagon mode.
Modes: Whilst in ‘Carriage mode’ the War Wagon can move around has 0 Melee Armor, as well as a 50% slower attack speed. While in ‘Carriage mode’ the War Wagon cannot fire while moving but behaves like an archer, so it can ‘scoot & shoot’. While in ‘Wagon mode’ the War Wagon will be stationary, acquire 20 Melee Armor, and has base attack speed. The default mode of the War Wagon is in ‘Carriage mode’ & in order to go into ‘Wagon mode’ you must manually click a key. In order to exit ‘Wagon mode’ you must simply order your War Wagons to move. I believe the manual toggling of the modes is justified because 1. the unit is very strong, & 2. typical HRE compositions are very melee orientated which do not require micro to utilize effectively, you save micro in your melee composition & use it to manage your War Wagons.
Attack: Each Wagon fires 2 shots, as there will be two holes in each side of the wagon for the unit model. No, multiple sides cannot fire at once, that would be OP lol.
Base Stats -
Cost - 200 wood & 300 gold (500 resources total)
Train Time - 40 seconds
HP - 160 → 192 after Age 4 ‘Siege Works’ Tech
Movement Speed: 0.862 → 0.991 after Age 3 ‘Greased Axles’ Tech
Range: 8 tile range
Armor- Base Melee Armor: 0, Melee Armor (Wagon mode): 20
Armor (Cont.) - Base Ranged Armor: 20 → 30 after Age 4 ‘Siege Works’
Base Damage - 25 (x2) with +30 (x2) damage towards ranged units (ranged infantry & ranged cavalry)
Base Damage Example - 50 damage per burst to a non-ranged unit, 110 damage per burst to a ranged unit (ranged infantry & cavalry)
Rate of Fire - 2.125 (same as crossbowman), 4.25 in ‘Carriage mode’
Unique War Wagon Tech - Age 4 Tech ‘Hussite Wagons’ : Outfits the War Wagons with handcannons, improving their base damage to 35 (x2) - 300 wood, 700 gold, 1:30 research time
With this upgrade the War Wagon’s base damage raises to 70 damage per burst to a non-ranged unit, 130 damage per burst to a ranged unit (ranged infantry & cavalry)
-) This unit is meant to be a more specialized version of the Mangonel. The War Wagon highly excels at killing ranged units while also remaining very tanky against melee units with proper micro of the 2 modes. However the War Wagon cannot attack multiple units at once so an archer/xbow ball cannot be neutralized the same way one mangonel can. Therefore multiple War Wagons must be built, therefore the cost must be reflected as such.
-) Same train time as a Mangonel
-) The HP is calculated to have more HP than a regular Mangonel but still face the same damage profile from Springalds. Therefore Castle Age War Wagons will die to Springalds in 2 shots while War Wagons with the ‘Siege Works’ Tech in Imperial will require 3 shots from a Springald to die. This mirrors the exact damage pattern as Mangonels.
-) Due to the shorter range of the War Wagon, they have a slightly higher movement speed compared to Mangonels, while still remaining very slow. The higher movement speed also compensates for the fact that you must manually toggle into ‘Wagon mode’. Units even as slow as Spearmen can easily catch up to & destroy the War Wagon if it is left unguarded.
-) Mangonels have a 9 tile range, I wanted to make the War Wagons more effective against ranged units while preserving balance by making them even more vulnerable to Springalds. Springalds with their base 10 tile range easily out-range War Wagons. I do not want War Wagons to be able to destroy Springalds while also allowing War Wagons to out-range & defeat any ranged infantry/cavalry in the game.
-) The armor counts are explained via the ‘Modes’ section above. But to reiterate, the War Wagons ONLY have melee armor while stationary & in ‘Wagon mode’. In both modes the War Wagons retain their 20 base ranged armor.
-) Base damage & profiles are calculated to kill a single ranged infantry unit in one burst. The War Wagon loses the ability to damage multiple units at once, so I believe the high damage & attack speed are in balance. Also the attack speed is 50% slower while in ‘Carriage mode’.
I’ve also complied a quick pros & cons list comparing the War Wagon to the Mangonel it replaces:
Less vulnerable to melee attacks
Faster attack speed
Faster movement speed
No minimum range
& - Slightly cheaper overall, but more gold intensive
Cannot hit multiple units at once
Shorter Range than Mangonel
More micro intensive
Extremely vulnerable to Springalds/Culverin & to melee when retreating/unguarded
Final Notes: The War Wagons while moving are in ‘Carriage mode’ and therefore suffer from the typical siege weakness of dying near instantly to melee units. It is only while they are stationary that they obtain their melee armor. Fielding an entire army of War Wagons would be very easily countered as a single Springald would force you to move & be vulnerable to melee, or stay & eat Springald shots which completely outrange your War Wagons. Springalds would absolutely destroy this unit, especially after with their +2 range upgrade in Imperial.
Disclaimer: The numbers & statistics I’ve given to the War Wagon are just my initial thoughts, I tried to make the unit better than the Mangonel it replaces but not OP. I want this unit to remain a specialized anti-ranged siege unit like the Mangonel but operate in a different way while also being more tanky to melee units. Let me know your thoughts, thank you.