Title says it all.
At the current cost of 70F, and 45G they simply aren’t worth building over Knights or Scouts. When you are allowed to create them they have to compete with opposing Knights, Archers, or TC fire as a Raider. Simply put units that don’t generate value in these battles don’t see play.
If you want Steppes to be a raiding unit, then they have to cost less and or be more resistant to TC fire.
If you want steppes to be a field unit, then they have to create faster, and be similarly as easy to field as a Knight, if not easier.
As of this second Camel’s serve the latter role of Mid-range Field Unit, so that leaves room for Steppes to be the Mid-Range Raiding Unit.
+1 Pierce Armor and either 10 less food OR 5 less gold on the creation cost.
I use them as Mongols and they are quite decent tbh
They are super at raiding or when you can get them to stack up.
The base Steppe lancer has found its uses (raiding, picking stuff). I first thought the elite version was fine too because it was seeing some play (including in NAC3), but as pathfinding got better the advantage of being a ranged unit went away, and I don’t think their upgrade is truely worth 900f 550g. So lowering that would be nice I guess.
It is basically priced the same as HCA, but HCA is much better.
Not to mention that all the civs that even have SL, have HCA with bonus.
Are you not considering the micro potential? Hit & Run vs melee
I am considering the micro potential. However, if it is roughly the same difficulty to produce as knights, then why play the unit that is harder to play with the similar payoff?
I don’t think Steppes are a bad unit objectively. I think they are a bad unit meta wise, and without some change I don’t see them ever being competitively viable to make over Knights. Like I said, if they could tank Arrow fire as good or better than Paladins, then I think they’d have a real niche. Then Knights could be the hard gold counter to them.
What about a bonus against villagers? And/or larger moving speed
they’re already good against vills with their range allowing multiple lancers to attack vills at once. They really struggle against high HP units or with melee armor because of their terrible attack rate
They are allready fast. They are fast as Camels, so Camels may have trouble catch them. Make them faster to 1,5 will make them good against camel-civs, because they will micro them. This is also idea, give them small CavArmour.
Viper believes that the Steppe Lancer has a Niche, and it’s raiding.
Being able to attack over a quickwall or repair on a woodline to prevent blocking out the units, being able to attack with multiple units all at once, these are really strong benefits of the Steppe Lancer that simply makes it better than comparable options in raiding scenarios. They break pre-walled areas faster than any comparable option simply because they get more attacks on target.
Low pierce and HP makes them very fragile against defensive structures, so you need tact with them, but I’ve found myself being able to justify those downsides, especially if you can get them in to a back woodline or mine.
I don’t think it’s very good in pitched fights or as a practical part of an army, but then again, I really don’t know if it needs to be. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to convince DE to push them into the anti-melee niche, but players have found a niche use for them as it stands. I’d ask them to tweak the attack speed (I still think it’s a bit too slow for what it is now) but besides that I’m not certain they need much. Just smart play and good timing.
Which, to be frank, was what Steppe Horsemen were good at anyway, as they mostly avoided direct confrontation with the enemy army, and starved it out due to superior mobility and supply line raiding.
When trying it after the re-buff I found them performing pretty well against eagles. Not so much in post-imp when there a lot of halbs/pikes on the field but certainly in castle age. Large groups of SL seem to easily deal with large groups of eagles. Best thing about is that when the eagles try to escape you can snipe a lot of them and while the usual eagles+monk composition is very strong against knights is not really effective vs SL.
Maybe that’s another scenario where the half knight/half scout characteristics of the SL comes in handy. But that’s just my experience from a couple of games.
I think the problem with this is you almost always need to do the patrol stacking to beat Eagles in equal numbers, and Lancers are also more expensive than Eagles so massing them is much harder due to the food cost
The issue I run into here is that that is there intended niche is raiding… but Hussar’s are just more cost efficient at doing exactly that for literally each of the civs that have access to Lancer’s. Lancer’s are technically more pop efficient, but if we get to max pop and pop efficiency starts mattering then Knight-Line is yet again technically more pop efficient. They are simultaneously not cheap enough to consider going for late game over Hussar, and not strong enough to go for over Cavalier / Paladin. The exact same problem as their castle age value.
They get pretty slaughtered by TC / Castle fire as well. Good raiding units are good at tanking arrows. Steppes are not that. It’s why I proposed they gain a Pierce Armor. At least I’d feel like I’m getting what I paid for then.
I have seen pro players using them, and not in a trolling way.
Viper is probably the one most well known for going for Lancer’s. I’ll admit that. And when it comes to raiding unprotected villagers, 4 Steppe Lancer’s is basically the best micro-ing raid group. However It’s always in tiny amount. Recently he tried going heavy Steppes / Kips in a Cuman Mirror and was forced into tech switching to Paladin… because all the Steppes ever fought were Cav Archers or Knight-Line units. The unit simply put isn’t versatile enough OR strong enough in it’s niche to justify it’s cost.
I think relativly good idea will be make Steppe Lancer mini-Catas. I even make some math, and this what I get:
- If we add regular SL +3 vs Infantry and +5 Cav Armour, thye should win against FU Pike. Knight also win, but SL will be more cost-effective.
- For Elite, we should add +5 vs inf and +9 CavArmour, and they will be more cost-effective vs Halbs than Paladinos.
Camels still will beat them, because of superior stats and hlaf of bonus will still land.
I think just a sizeable bonus vs spearmen class will make them good, the only issue is what about civs without good knights/camels or arbs?
I’m not convinced the game needs more ways to beat basic infantry. Longswords are already sort of a meme unit that sees play in just a few scenario’s.
Some Celtic pushes
Defense against Eagles
When you are late game switching to champs and are furiously waiting for 2hSword to come in.
Uh… You still have 3 M@A from your M@A Tower rush somehow and you want to rub it in