First off this thread is not to claim spearman have no proper counter. Archers clearly counter spearmen and other ranges with some work also offer a soft counter to spearmen. Still the more, units like MAA and alike also soft- to hard counter spearman.
This thread is to hopefully establish how fundamentally STRONG (aka well rounded) the spearman unit is!!!
Let’s first lay down some metrics:
- Effective Health pool per cost per population (most units have 1 pop but we got elephantos so…)
- Effective Damage per second per cost … per population (okay I’ll drop saying per population but just remember it comes into play for elephantos)
- And Versatility measured by number of optimal functions
Lastly I’m only talking about the generic veteran spearman; no civ bonuses or unique techs Nor ACADEMY buffs will be considered.
Effective HP per Cost (EHPPC)
Veteran spearman vs most castle age units has an EHPPC of 150 HP per 100 resource cost. The only real exception to this is: spearman vs archers, which reduce that effectiveness down to 70 HP per 100 resource cost. This metrics is functional in that it gives you an idea how effective the veteran spearman can SOAK incoming damage per resource invested.
Note: we COULD dive deeper and enter a training time parameter and you'll see the spearman effectivity skyrocket....but i digress )
Now compare the spearman EHPPC to that of the MAA’s? The MAA has a higher EHPPC ONLY when soaking incoming spearman damage* (negligible) and incoming archer damage–I’m ignoring horsemen on purpose. So if you neglect the horsemen and spearman incoming damage, the MAA is strictly for absorbing ARCHER damage!!! ANY OTHER STANDARD UNIT INCOMING DAMAGE would be equally or superbly absorbed per COST by spearman!! If you factor in training time and the safe abundance of food/wood resources??? The MAA is useless compared to the spearman!!! (except of course vs archers).
Let’s do the same comparison to the Lancer/knight. The lancer is even worse than the MAA at soaking various incoming damage per cost!!! And it only literally displaces the spearman effective HP per cost vs archers (the clear counter to spearman). Obviously the lancer is a high mobility, high damage unit so it makes up for less effective soaking damage HP by doing soooo many things at a high level of efficiency even if it’s not at the top of each metric. Point still being SPEARMAN DO A BETTER JOB SOAKING INCOMING DAMAGE PER COST THAN THE LANCER; aka when you HAVE to eat incoming damage from standard units Spearman are more cost effective HP wise than lancers (except against archers ONLY).
WE’RE NOT gonna compare vs the horsemen because the standard horsemen ##### ###### at soaking damage, cost effectively that’s NOT range damage; aka NOT a good MUST soak incoming overall damage unit.
Last EHPPC comparison will be to the War Elephant’s … (as mentioned above when population is factored in which only really comes into play when max pop; War Elephant effective HP per cost per pop is one of the overall worst!!! So let’s just show the Effective HP per cost metric)
The War Elephant NOT only has 2 counters that it can’t really out maneuver BUT the spearman hard hard counter to all cavalry MOST greatly impact this immobile creature which IMO makes this elephanto HORRIBLE at soaking unavoidable incoming melee damage. And it ONLY soak archer specific damage superbly at an effective HP per cost of 397HP per 100 resource cost. All other damage are about par with spearman or woefully (i mean woefully) less efficient at soaking damage per cost to that of the spearman. AKA you cant be slow, soak damage cost ineffectively, and have medicore DPS per cost and be considered a decent unit???..plus the War Elephant benefit less from mass engagements because it’s less susceptible to overkilling (overkilling benefits the units soaking more than necessary damage to die. Effectively increasing the unit’s EHPPC. Another thing mass spearman Really really reallly excel at).
Next post will be on DPS per cost.