At the moment, Castle age is a springald fest with trash in front, because springalds counterplay is your own mass of springalds. Reaching it people just automaticaly prod 3-4 springalds minimum alongside their army then keep massing them because it’s now the win condition : win the Springald trade, allows you to use mango’s and trebs, forbids ennemy siege, good damage all-around (especially against knight play) , then snowball.
Even culverins that are supposed to be the ultimate Imperial anti-siege canon are not really good against them : springalds get a relatively cheap upgrade (that is very probably worth because you’d have a lot of them at that point) that make them almost as good, while still being immensely cheaper and faster to mass.
Plus not every civ got culverins…
I think these units are too oppressive, and should take longer to produce / have a higher cost / doing less damage to other-than-siege units. Imo they shouldnt represent 50-75% of your army to the point nothing can reach them besides a desperate 100 horsemen last samurai finger-crossed charge as the only way to comeback if you fell behind in springald mass.
Don’t take me wrong, i don’t hate this unit. I just don’t want it to be the automatic and ever-present win condition that hurts the strategy depth of this game.
it sure feels that way… boring to watch mid/late castle where both armies just stand ground with springalds with no counter-play besides other springalds.
Maybe they could:
slow their rotation so players can flank
and/or reduce movement speed so players can chase them with unmounted military
and/or reduce the time it takes to pack/unpack avoiding that silly snipe micro
If all these 3 are applied, they could buff it by making springalds pierce and hit multiple targets (just like it says in the description. “Projectiles can pierce multiple targets”)
In theory yes, in reality no. A competent player will be able to position their springalds such that using melee units to attack them is too costly. While this is technically taking a fight with unfavorable terrain its too easy for the player with springalds to pick fights that favor them.
I think they should delete Mangonels - but they shouldn’t turn into de facto anti-everything. At the moment there’s no effective response to 60 damage from 10 tiles away unless you have such a larger army you can just run them over. It will always be better to just make your own and duel it out.
I’d also be tempted to argue making them in the field as Mongols or Abbasid should cost more, but that would be tied up with wider balance concerns.
A couple of things. Lower their ROF, they hit too many units too effectively due to their high damage and high reload speed. So even if you rush em with 10-20 horsemen, they are all killed before they even get in position to burn em, even if you caught them all alone with no protection. I think unpacking springalds could still be quick (for that quick mangonel snipe), but packing it up should take longer.
They also have a fairly high health, perhaps a weakness to torches wouldn’t be a bad idea. But a lower ROF and a high cost to packing it up should keep them in line.
What? Maybe if you mean vs. 10-20 springalds. Horsemen, or better yet, just scouts, are the perfect springald counter and as long as you’re not doing something silly like trying to fight with 1 horseman per springald, they’ll destroy them in no time. I think they’re hard to balance because, as people have pointed out, on maps with chokepoints and at the back of large armies or just protected by spears, it can be hard to reach them at all. On open maps, flanking with scouts/horsemen can work.
Yes, I am talking about springalds in mass vs. horsemen in mass. It’s a problem that even when they get my flank I can still destroy them with ease with a couple of scoot and shoot. Obviously, having some human shields in front helps, but even when it doesn’t exist, they still do relatively well.
Btw, “flanked” doesn’t mean much due to the fast turning time.
As you said yourself: A question of composition. The fast units that should in theory reach the springalds are the ones getting mowed down by other (preferably trash) units. Then the opponent has to break that death blob up by using…SPRINGALDS (and mangonels, but they die without springalds to kill the other springalds without the need of melee )… it’s an infinite loop of sad army composition revolving around said springald-trade.
I personally see the whole siege behaviour as the problem: They move too fast, pack and unpack too fast, fire too fast, turn instantly and overall play too much like semi-stationary tanks rather than siege engines.
The death blobs would be a lot less scary if the siege engines were much less mobile and if there were bigger timing windows to rush in and take them out before they can set up to fight or move up to the frontline of regular units. Which would also mean a lot more risk involved for the siege user in open field battles or while marching them from A to B, leading to less ridiculous hit and run gameplay with siege. Thats how AOE2 and AOE3 managed to dodge a lot of the same problems we see right now.