The Cataphract Conundrum

Heyo, everyone

I recall that in RoR (even with UPatch) the Cataphract upgrade was both extremely rare, and stupidly expensive (2,000 food, 800 gold) and the unit itself was very expensive too. In my mind, Cavalry doesn’t really have much of a place in the meta apart from early bronze raiding (it’s that, or chariots). I’ve found that they’re so expensive that the cost usually offsets any benefit they might give - even countering archers with them tends to be a risky business, and forget horse archers. Upgrading to Cataphract is useless and overly expensive, and Heavy Cavalry isn’t too good, either. Legions are far more cost effective, with 1 Cataphract being unable to beat 2 legions - 80 gold, vs. 30 gold…

So, how would you guys deal with the Cataphract Conundrum?

Cataphract need +100 hp (and not +20 like Upatch).

Slowing down the chariots might change things; I think cavalry might become much more useful once they become the fastest thing in the game.

But I agree that the upgrade to cataphract is too much. I think they could use more pierce armor, or more HP. The question to ask is: what can cataphracts do that no other unit can do? As it stands, cataphracts can outfight any other fast unit in melee by a wide margin (basically chariots and camels). This could be a game-deciding trait if it’s used correctly.

But considering how swordsmen can still beat up cavalry, I’d suggest setting the price of cavalry down from 80 gold to 40 gold.

Yea. I also agree with this, in my whole career of AoE RoR Online scene, Cataphract is not an opcion, like never. like you said, too expensive vs it gives us, I think they should add an effect or something, something unique that can impact in the meta in a balanced way. just an opinion :slight_smile:

In my opinion they should also make them resistant to archers: + 50hp should be enough,then more pierce armour and cavcost 65 gold.1000 food and 600 gold should be a reasonable upgrade cost.

If they added an area of effect to it’s attack, it would make it a good unit for dealing with clusters of soldiers.

I wouldn’t give it aoe, but more pierce armor and +20hp or so would work wonders. I agree they were just too expensive for their use :’(

@Lithen777 said:
Slowing down the chariots might change things; I think cavalry might become much more useful once they become the fastest thing in the game.

But I agree that the upgrade to cataphract is too much. I think they could use more pierce armor, or more HP. The question to ask is: what can cataphracts do that no other unit can do? As it stands, cataphracts can outfight any other fast unit in melee by a wide margin (basically chariots and camels). This could be a game-deciding trait if it’s used correctly.

But considering how swordsmen can still beat up cavalry, I’d suggest setting the price of cavalry down from 80 gold to 40 gold.

I generally agree. Cavalry lack something to excel at outside of early Bronze rushes. In my opinion, with the exception of scouts and Horse Archers, Cavalry should be the king of speed. Slowing down Chariots would go a long way to achieve this. I also agree Heavy Cavalry / Cataphract should gain more pierce armor so they can stay more effective under arrowfire. They should be the natural counter to stuff like chariots and even compies to some extent. If the cavalry line became more usefull against ranged units we may see more use of hoplites as well, which is only a good thing.

I don’t think the cavalry-line need more hp or less gold cost though. This would only make them more cost effective against infantry which is not necessary. Infantry is already easy to counter by other means and since the calalry-line is fast enough to choose it’s engagements it is only fair that the swordmen-line should beat them on pure cost if they outnumber the cavalry. Less gold cost would also make the Bronze cavalry rush way too strong.

One good way to make cavalry stronger in the late game would be to make the infantry pierce armor upgrades also affect cavalry (but not chariots). With that a fully upgraded cataphract would have 4 pierce armor making it a good counter to any archer units.

@qweytr24 said:
One good way to make cavalry stronger in the late game would be to make the infantry pierce armor upgrades also affect cavalry (but not chariots). With that a fully upgraded cataphract would have 4 pierce armor making it a good counter to any archer units.

I support this - good idea.

@RWNorthPole said:

@qweytr24 said:
One good way to make cavalry stronger in the late game would be to make the infantry pierce armor upgrades also affect cavalry (but not chariots). With that a fully upgraded cataphract would have 4 pierce armor making it a good counter to any archer units.

I support this - good idea.

https://forums.ageofempires.com/discussion/comment/7468#Comment_7468

I suggested allowing cavalry to benefit from bronze and Iron shield here. I would draw the line at Tower Shield though purely because I couldn’t imagine a cavalry man carrying something so big and would expect an infantryman to be more redolent to arrows than a horseman that relies on speed, but I suppose it could represent the barding on the horse.

@“Mystic Taboo” said:

@RWNorthPole said:

@qweytr24 said:
One good way to make cavalry stronger in the late game would be to make the infantry pierce armor upgrades also affect cavalry (but not chariots). With that a fully upgraded cataphract would have 4 pierce armor making it a good counter to any archer units.

I support this - good idea.

https://forums.ageofempires.com/discussion/comment/7468#Comment_7468

I suggested allowing cavalry to benefit from bronze and Iron shield here. I would draw the line at Tower Shield though purely because I couldn’t imagine a cavalry man carrying something so big and would expect an infantryman to be more redolent to arrows than a horseman that relies on speed, but I suppose it could represent the barding on the horse.

I think it would be too confusing if two of the technologies affect cavalry but the final one doesn’t. And I don’t think they would be in anyway too powerful with that tech.

@qweytr24 said:

@“Mystic Taboo” said:

@RWNorthPole said:

@qweytr24 said:
One good way to make cavalry stronger in the late game would be to make the infantry pierce armor upgrades also affect cavalry (but not chariots). With that a fully upgraded cataphract would have 4 pierce armor making it a good counter to any archer units.

I support this - good idea.

https://forums.ageofempires.com/discussion/comment/7468#Comment_7468

I suggested allowing cavalry to benefit from bronze and Iron shield here. I would draw the line at Tower Shield though purely because I couldn’t imagine a cavalry man carrying something so big and would expect an infantryman to be more redolent to arrows than a horseman that relies on speed, but I suppose it could represent the barding on the horse.

I think it would be too confusing if two of the technologies affect cavalry but the final one doesn’t. And I don’t think they would be in anyway too powerful with that tech.

Agreed. If the shield line affects cavalry then all shields should, exception rules are really annoying in an rts - and if you have more of them they can snowball fast. I also agree the cavalry line sorely need some pierce armor. At this point they are simply not suitable for a late game investment like the archers are.

@“Mystic Taboo” said:

@RWNorthPole said:

@qweytr24 said:
One good way to make cavalry stronger in the late game would be to make the infantry pierce armor upgrades also affect cavalry (but not chariots). With that a fully upgraded cataphract would have 4 pierce armor making it a good counter to any archer units.

I support this - good idea.

https://forums.ageofempires.com/discussion/comment/7468#Comment_7468

I suggested allowing cavalry to benefit from bronze and Iron shield here. I would draw the line at Tower Shield though purely because I couldn’t imagine a cavalry man carrying something so big and would expect an infantryman to be more redolent to arrows than a horseman that relies on speed, but I suppose it could represent the barding on the horse.

I think focusing too much on realism like this overshadows the stark importance of game balance - that additional pierce armor could very well push Cav from a rush unit to a solid anti-archer unit, which would be a very suitable role for them.

@RWNorthPole said:

@“Mystic Taboo” said:

@RWNorthPole said:

@qweytr24 said:
One good way to make cavalry stronger in the late game would be to make the infantry pierce armor upgrades also affect cavalry (but not chariots). With that a fully upgraded cataphract would have 4 pierce armor making it a good counter to any archer units.

I support this - good idea.

https://forums.ageofempires.com/discussion/comment/7468#Comment_7468

I suggested allowing cavalry to benefit from bronze and Iron shield here. I would draw the line at Tower Shield though purely because I couldn’t imagine a cavalry man carrying something so big and would expect an infantryman to be more redolent to arrows than a horseman that relies on speed, but I suppose it could represent the barding on the horse.

I think focusing too much on realism like this overshadows the stark importance of game balance - that additional pierce armor could very well push Cav from a rush unit to a solid anti-archer unit, which would be a very suitable role for them.

That’s the point right? To make cav more viable lategame. Not to make them overpowered but to make them a viable alternative to Compies/HA’s/EA’s. If Cav becomes more viable as a army unit we might see more use of hoplites/phalanx as well in response to them - at least mixed in with ranged units in order to defend them from Cav. Win win IMO.

@RWNorthPole said:

@“Mystic Taboo” said:

@RWNorthPole said:

@qweytr24 said:
One good way to make cavalry stronger in the late game would be to make the infantry pierce armor upgrades also affect cavalry (but not chariots). With that, a fully upgraded Cataphract would have 4 pierce armor making it a good counter to any archer units.

I support this - good idea.

https://forums.ageofempires.com/discussion/comment/7468#Comment_7468

I suggested allowing cavalry to benefit from Bronze and Iron Shield here. I would draw the line at Tower Shield though purely because I couldn’t imagine a cavalry man carrying something so big and would expect an infantryman to be more redolent to arrows than a horseman that relies on speed, but I suppose it could represent the barding on the horse.

I think focusing too much on realism like this overshadows the stark importance of game balance - that additional pierce armor could very well push Cav from a rush unit to a solid anti-archer unit, which would be a very suitable role for them.

Yes, turning them into an anti-archer unit. In the original, the main counter to archers was the ballista I believe (Correct me if I’m wrong). Unfortunately, this troop was only available once you got to the iron age. Making Cav an anti-archer unit would ensure that armies are kept somewhat balanced.

@GepardenKalle said:

@RWNorthPole said:

@“Mystic Taboo” said:

@RWNorthPole said:

@qweytr24 said:
One good way to make cavalry stronger in the late game would be to make the infantry pierce armor upgrades also affect cavalry (but not chariots). With that a fully upgraded cataphract would have 4 pierce armor making it a good counter to any archer units.

I support this - good idea.

https://forums.ageofempires.com/discussion/comment/7468#Comment_7468

I suggested allowing cavalry to benefit from bronze and Iron shield here. I would draw the line at Tower Shield though purely because I couldn’t imagine a cavalry man carrying something so big and would expect an infantryman to be more redolent to arrows than a horseman that relies on speed, but I suppose it could represent the barding on the horse.

I think focusing too much on realism like this overshadows the stark importance of game balance - that additional pierce armor could very well push Cav from a rush unit to a solid anti-archer unit, which would be a very suitable role for them.

That’s the point right? To make cav more viable lategame. Not to make them overpowered but to make them a viable alternative to Compies/HA’s/EA’s. If Cav becomes more viable as a army unit we might see more use of hoplites/phalanx as well in response to them - at least mixed in with ranged units in order to defend them from Cav. Win win IMO.

Absolutely - I never saw or used the Hoplite line. Simply too slow, too vulnerable, and too easily countered. Now, if they had an actual use to cost-effectively defend archers…win-win indeed :slight_smile:

I think 4 pierce on a cataphract or 3 on a HC is too high, game breakingly so, as unless you are walled cataphracts can flow through your base with arrows bouncing off them murdering villagers in two hits.

Centurions are not a counter as unless you are a newbie you will run past them and hit the economy rather than sit there duelling.

The Upatch was supposedly the culmination of years of testing. Let’s hold fire on proposing massive changes.

The Upatch was supposedly the culmination of years of testing. Let’s hold fire on proposing massive changes.

Devlopper use this patch and we will see if is enough. I think some improuvment (like atta mouv) can change unit balence.

@“Mystic Taboo” said:
I think 4 pierce on a cataphract or 3 on a HC is too high, game breakingly so, as unless you are walled cataphracts can flow through your base with arrows bouncing off them murdering villagers in two hits.

Centurions are not a counter as unless you are a newbie you will run past them and hit the economy rather than sit there duelling.

The Upatch was supposedly the culmination of years of testing. Let’s hold fire on proposing massive changes.

Isn’t what you’re talking about here also an issue with HA’s as they are currently? Sure they have less pierce armor but they have the same speed as cavalry and outrange just about any other archer, making them more or less the Gods of base raids (and as a massed army in general).

I agree phalanxes won’t cut it for base defense against Cataphracts for the reasons you mention. What will serve as base defense though is the same thing that currently serves as base defense against HA’s -> map control. But trust me, if archers become less of a hard-counter against the cavalry-line you will see more hoplite/phalanx play, not as base defense but instead mixed in with other units like Composites to provide defense against cavalry charges.