Long swordsman require so many upgrades compared with archers/knight in castle age. These upgrades needs so much time to research. This discourages me a lot to use infantry. I always have spearman/skirmisher/archer upgrade first.
Sometimes when I am playing Spanish or civs have wide tech tree without infantry bonus, I just skip the swordsman-line upgrade. This is avoid to spend too much resource on upgrade but not producing units.
To promote the use of infantry, greatly reducing the research time is a good way. Perhaps automatically upgrading militia to men-at-arms is an alternative. Increasing ram’s speed per infantry garrisoned by 0.05 is also a good buff. Paired with pikes and hide longsordsman inside can disturb archer’s fire and knight rushing as well as protect LS man.
However, this may be a mess to balance. Several infantry civs will also get buff for sure unless they are not benefited from the changes. I think infantry civ is doing pretty good currently. I prefer not to make any change and focus on improving path-finding first.
I’ve had the most success with Long Swordsman by starting with a M@A rush + one or two forward Villagers for a forward Barracks for more M@A. Research Supplies in the home Barracks and make M@A out of the forward Barracks and see what happens from there while building up to the Castle Age. The ideal goal is reaching Castle Age with enough resources to immediately research Long Swordsman/Arson/Chain Mail Armor and have about 20 Long Swordsmen for destroying Town Centers. Reaching this point is usually GG. And it’s still guaranteed economy damage + map control if it doesn’t reach that point. It’s an effective strategy, especially against booming builds as in the attacker’s Feudal Age about 10 M@A quickly trash Dark/Feudal Age buildings unless the defending player dumps a lot of wood and idle time into repairing.
As for Fast Castle into 2 or 3 Barracks Long Swordsman, I’ve seen it do work in high level games on Arena. The end goal is almost the same: Around 20 Long Swordsmen with Arson + Chain Mail Armor for wrecking Town Centers, but add one Siege Tower and wait for Swordsman numbers for a surprise attack with everything at once against enemy Town Centers. This strategy ought to work on some other Fast Castle maps too.
Overall, it feels like doing work with M@A/Long Swordsman needs a different mindset than Archers and Knights. Meaning out of the three unit types, the Swordsman has the most delicate buildup, but a successful buildup pays off with the fastest game ending damage. Which is in contrast to the more generalized Archer and Knight which are better for a bigger variety of situations over a longer period of time.
Why wouldn’t a defending player do this? While you’re wasting food on massing m@a they’re either aging into knights, siege or even massing archers in feudal. All of which eat your LS in castle. There’s a reason LS are hardly seen.
Oh definitely the LS needs some further buffs. But we can all get on the same train and start buffing it already OR we can all argue til kingdom come about what exactly it needs and for the next year there won’t be a change…
The true concern is not whether LS need a buff to be viable (90% people agree they do) but whether we actually want to see them viable. Imo if LS were a viable alternative to crossbows/knigths the game would be much more boring: they are slow, have uninteresting bonus damage (buildings) and need very little player input. I am fine with them being trash unless the militia role receives a major rework to make them more interesting.
Please note I’m not talking about infantry in general but militia, longswords in particular. Liking to spam halbs + huskarls in post imperial with Goth is very different from liking to make longswords in castle and rush your enemy with it.
Looking at the stats carefully I see that Goth are very popular at low rank and drop below average at >1200 elo, which makes sense because the civ is easy to play (Free loom + only barrack units), but again, low ranks mainly like to boom and attack in imperial, they don’t give a **** about long swords and castle age meta in general.
Besides, I could argue the reason people like Goth is because they like the civ itself (easy to play) not because they particularly like infantry, otherwise they would also play Japanese, Slavs, Celts as well, but these civs sit at low pick rate.
Oh god plz no. Bulgarian lack xbows to deter them from going into a lightning fast m@a into archers into xbows play. And that’s the civ who barely has a real eco bonus. Now imagine what Aztecs or Goths (ez drush) or even Sarracen (insta m@a into siege archers sounds balanced 11) could do with that.
Sounds more like an halb buff.
Indeed most infantry UU play quite differently from the militia line. The one exception is the samurai and people haven’t been very happy about that either.
Men at arms are used a fair amount (in comparison to LS) . And make for exciting early pushes. So if anything i think this might make infantry even less effective?
Sorry i misunderstood then. I thought you were saying the militia line is boring.
But even then (depending on how LS were to buffed in future) i think its a matter of taste.
Yes LS are slow but similarly they require different technique to be effective. You have to be very aggressive with them. Some people have already argued archers are very boring (snipers in FPS) because you just sit back or run away from engagements. Knights whole being more aggressive can run away and you save your units if things aren’t going well. If you make a push with the sword line there’s much less chance to turn around or risk losing even more units while retreating. They have to be played very aggressively when committed. That’s definitely appealing to some people.
But if the unit is not that great for what its supposed to do people aren’t going to use it anyway. If xbows were much more expansive or knights took even longer to be trained they would be used less.
So firstly i say LS tech must be buffed. Regardless of anything else.
But also i think if the LS did a better job at what it’s “supposed to do” ie fight trash, eagles and buildings it would be used more.
So either you buff those specific stats or you buff it in order to survive better against the meta units.
I disagree that the militia line is meant to purely be a counter/anti building unit, it just ended up there because it wasnt buffed in ways to make it a better generalist unit, which the sword line type is in other strategy games.
But even if we stick with the counter concept. Meta lines do it better. Thus we hardly see militia line. Besides early (due to early pressure) or late (spammability and relative stats)
Even though throughout that period between there’s plenty of units for them to “counter”.