The way I see it:
Siege in this gamedesign brings way too many cons with it.
High hp pool with high arrow armour makes counterplay against it very very specific, especially when units can’t reach it anymore due to 100 military on the field.
The way siege is designed in AoE1 or 2 is overall not only way more useful, but feels way more encouraging/fun to play against due to the open nature of it in which literally everything can be threatening to siege.
Right now in compositional fights, siege feels completely untouchable to meele (bodyblock around it and even if you could get to it, you’d always need to pull way more units than he has in supply for siege) and is immune to arrows anyway.
That puts the game in a weird spot in which the only way to counter siege is building siege on your own, which slows down the game and makes it very one dimensional and also frustrating when you throw civ bonis in the mix cause the only way to deal with it is mirroring what he does which is by definition a way worse version of what he has (+50% hp clockwerk or more bombard range, rus more springald range).
The cavbuff against siege doesn’t adress this issue at all, since the problem behind siege is that the later thr game gets the more it slows the game down since you can’t reach it at all anymore when higher number of military is on the field.
I’d say buff siege in a sense that mangonels for example shred every blobbing unit and are more dangerous while beeing more accessible (cut cost by 1/3) and don’t let it pack up but therefore slow it down a bit and give it way less hp on 0 or maybe 1 ranged armour and go from there.
Buff it a bit against buildings as well.
Mangos should scale with dmg upgrade instead of atkspeed upgrade in imp to compensate for the growing unit hp (imp version of inf/cav, bloodlines and inf +20% hp upgrade) and underline it’s role as a nuke aoe unit that punishes blobs or engagements in corridors.
If it needs friendly fire or not you have to playtest.
(Might not be a bad idea to involve an additional risk factor if it oneshots backline and twoshots MAA line).
Trebs should also be cheaper, cost less supply and be a bit more arrow resistant in comparison.
Should be a long siege situation type of unit but the issue is that it does the same as a ram for waaaay more cost while preventing the siegeworkshop from getting actual higher impact units that influence the fight (springald to win siege fight/mango if the oponent plays heavy english trashinf e.g.).
Ah and fix the english treb splash tech in imperial pls
Springald and Culverins therefore need an utter rework or big rebalances to compensate for the fact that the game is more open to play now since everything can kill siege now.
Lower health, movement speed and no arrow armour.
I’d say make them high base dmg solo target units and look into culverin vs chinese bombard situation (bombard kills its’ supposed counter cause it outperforms it in every metric (range, firering speed, dmg, even Hp with clockwerk).
That opens up the game way more when it comes to land vs ships.
I know ppl still have ptsd from these old springald meta games, but I am convinced that the main issue was the movement speed, cost efficiency paired with the fact that these units are basically immune to any arrow play.
They should be absolutely overrun when you mainly rely on them and that’s the goal for the balance in their regard in my opinion.
Accessability, supply efficiency and fragility instead of closing the game more into rock paper scissors 1 type of usecase unit.
That’s the only way I can think of where to put these units, since they obviously have a way different spot in the siege concept rn that brings just too many cons with it in my opinion.
Bombard same treatment as mango.
Cheaper, slower, less hp, no arrow armour, maybe more supply and no packup.
When it comes to culverins, springalds and bombards, you obviously need to adjust the base dmg/bonus dmg accordingly to the shrinking hp of the siegepool.
Some testing required here.
Siege should just be completely overrun by any type of heavy military play to underline its’ role as a support unit, while still beeing very high impact in certain situations.
On that note, ships should get similar treatment.
They need a rebalancing to be way more vulnerable to arrows with less armour/hp but tweak on maybe +1 range on galleys, less supply and less costs overall for military ships.
Demo dmg relation to shrinking ships hp pool should be kept the same for now.
That should also help a little bit against the demo play, that I wouldn’t touch further until the ship design spot overall is more clear.
Rn hybrid maps play like water maps, since it has huge lockdown potential without any counterplay from land.
Ofc those changes above will bring balancing issues with them as well, black forest comes into my mind, but this is more a design issue of the map rather than the unit itself in my opinion.
Nothing is set in stone and you can tweak here and there ofc.
Overall I think siege and ship design is way too one dimensional and forces you to mirror it to be able to deal with it, which is quite the bad design in my experience and changes above should absolutely adress it without making it unappealing to get siegeweapons here and there at the same time.
But we talk about a complete overhaul of the Siege concept here so it should be tested througoutly and most likely come with additional balance changes.
Horsearchers for example come to my mind that are going to be absolute siege snipers with low commitmentcost due to their speed.
Hope you’ll keep us up to date what the devs idea and plans are.
Siege/water designs and balance are the reason I personally left the game a few weeks ago.
Not because it’s imbalanced per se but because the design only has 1 right respons and if you don’t do it in time instantly you have to concede water/siege entirely without much of a chance to come back into the siege/water play again.
The suggestions I’ve made up there are only one way to do it, but I think we all share the conclusion that the way siege and water is designed right now is pretty bad when it comes to counterplayability.