The state of Militia-line and melee infantry (part 1?)

hi guys! yeah i know i’m posting a lot, but i’m brand new to the forum so overly exited to join the community… so be compassionate lol

today i want to ask your opinion about an old topic, since there were a few changes lately, to investigate the state of militia line and melee infantry UU in general.

-Are they effective at the moment? can they be used to decent extent outside from drush and frush or late game trash counter? can a “infantry faction” really win with the infantry as the main backbone of its army? and how are some iconic infantry UU atm (berserk, teutonic knight, jaguar, samurai, even serjeant, and the like?)

-which faction/s can really justify using infantry to actually win a game over other unit tipes? (you know the candidates…vikings, slavs, teutons, malians, etc…)

-what are problems (if any) that would like to be solved in order to use the militia line or UU infantry more?

i have my opinions of course, as well as suggestions for some tweaks, but i want to hear your opinions and then expand the topic on a future thread, if needed.

my two cents is that militia and infantry in general is never going to be as effective as archers or cavaliers and that’s fine cause they are the generalist-all purpose unit, but they at the same time could use some help to at least become a relevant choice, mainly in the form of a cheaper transition cost to tech into them both in resources and times

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For the militia line: They have recieved a lot of buffs recently if you were following it. Personally I’m happy with where they are, I don’t think they should really feature too much in the midgame for most matches. They just aren’t as fun to play with personally as archers or cav is.

For the unique units: I think they are getting better, but the castle thing is still a pretty big bottleneck for standard infantry UU play in most cases, and I would be fine if they got further changes in some cases.

infantry line is, and will remain a support unit. They would not be able to compete with other gold units without a plethora of further changes, including changes to the militia line that would make them worse in some situations (potentially more expensive, longer training time, and trash weaknesses), and would require rebalancing the entire game. it is for this last reason that it is likely to never happen.

i agree on that, but that raises further questions: are they cost-effective supports?

so do you think infantry cannot ever be the bulk of your army? is it never justified to count on the militia line from the beginning and stick with it as your go-to? if that’s so, what are “infantry civilizations” supposed to do? we know goths can win with infantry, is that impossible for others?

depends what you’re fighting. for trash units, they are either cost effective or supply effective. of course it depends what civ you are using and what civ you are facing. for example obviously Persian or Tatar Militia line are going to be less cost effective, meanwhile Bulgarians, Malay, Goths, and Malians all are incredibly cost effective, depending on what you are fighting.

depends on what civ you are and what you’re facing. Malians for example could use them effectively against archer civs, and Bulgarians against Melee civs, Goths ofcourse Infantry is their entire thing, and Eagle Civs not only rely on Eagles heavily, but eagles can also be countered hardcore by infantry.

yeah i know it always depends, but in practice it seems like even infantry faction prefere to rely on others asset

of those you listes, teutons, vikings, japanese, slavs, celts (other infantry civ) are not worth/less effective?

none of them are worthless, berserks and teutons for an example are great against melee targets, but as the core of your army with the rest you are at best looking at pike/halb/siege pushes or timing attacks.
The game would require a substantial rework to make infantry the core of your army.

fair point. But let’s theory-craft. lets’ say we want to really make melee infantry (non-halbs) stand out for once, what would be a good “substantial rework” to do so? just curious, i’m well aware that infantry will never be as competitive as cavalry so to speak, and thus halberds will be more effective, but let’s try this game

i have faith in the militia-line for the future. after all, the game went already on several big changes trough the years (or better, ages) it has been out, and it was for the best overrall

to make infantry compete against cavalry they need more speed to close the gap, and either more armor, attack, or bonus damage to make them fight against them.
we know speed alone won’t help (See celts), we know more attack and armor alone won’t help (see burmese and teutons). so we know based on existing bonuses that more is needed.
to make infantry compete against archers they need more speed to close the gap, more pa to survive incoming arrow fire at a minimum.
same here - more speed and more pa alone don’t work (see celts and malians), so we know that we need at least two buffs against archers).

then because you now have a force that can compete with knights and archers, you would need to give them a trash weakness so that they can be countered when an opponent is falling behind on gold units. not to mention potentially increasing either the cost or training time.

then some civ bonuses and/or unique techs would have to be reworked to account for the increased stats of the entire militia line.

First we would nerf archers. For example thumb ring couks give only 95% instead of 100% accuracy, which will lower dps of infantry most common direct counter.

Its also lire realistic. Who had 100% accuracy anyway. Also makes archer play more reasonable fir civs without the tech.

Lastly I would point out that in original age of Kings, thumb ring didnt exist. And hc needed an additional tech to research

Even thought supplies has with De corrected that balance drift off

Also cav archers with same 100% accuracy is very unrealistic

but i think the goal is not to make infantry compete with cav and archer. they are different units after all, so they should be competitive in their own niche, no? archer are supposed to counter infantry, while cav is supposed to be able to avoid infantry with speed, but in melee, they do not trade effectiveli already. for example, 2 longsword with supplies cost lest than a knight and they beat him. but of course the knight can avoid the fight entirely

on the other hand, i do not see the problem in giving the militia a trash counter. skirmisher could be that, instead of just having bonus against spears they could have bonus against all infantry and the problem would be solved, and range would remain the weakness of infantry as it already is. so even buffin infantry significantly should not be that big of a deal since a posible counter is already in the game?

i think the problem is that the developers think that every bonus to inf must be compensated with the lack of a tech, see malai not having champion, celts not having squire, etc. i see this as a mistake, since infantry is so niche that a bonus should be just that, a BONUS on top of existing options, without the need of compensation by loosing anything, unless leeds to toxic problems like goth with supplies, of course.

but seriously, tweaking those bonus would not be that hard. why celts cannot have reduced +10% speed and squire added to the tech? just an example

that said i think infantry could be fine with some added minor tweaks like they did in the last few months/years after DE. for example, arson could cost a bit less, enforcing the infantry strenght against buildings, squire could also cost a bit less, and militia-line updgrade could drop a bit in cost, making militia effective trough sheer cheapness. all inantry upgrade could drop 10/20% in time, so with less cost and time, you could easier the transition in teching into them.

another option would be buff supplies to make militia line train a bit faster in addition to the discount, so that goth would not be affected by it

altogether, that way militia would be the cheap and fast to train option, while knights and xbows would remain the “better” damage options, you then could win with militia with attrition and sheer numbers, which i think is appropriate. of course no one would still be at the goths level, but if goth is the only civ that can effectively win with infantry, why not copy something from them and give a lessened variant to others?

goth would still remain the top tier infantry civ with no contesters so it would not even be a nerf to them, not a real one

another option could be add a new niche to militia and UU melee, to increase its usage. not only a bonus vs eagles and buildings, but why not a bonus vs siege for example? since they already are effective against them … or even more interestingly: a bonus vs villagers?

all in all, bows and cav wins over infantry because they can damage enemy economy far more effectively by killing villagers faster. infantry do not have the speed or the range, so why not making them competitive raiders and giving them a little bonus from castle age and on against villagers? you would still pick knight for that, but at least you have an options and suddenly speed boost (squire and celts) become much more appealing

another problem is population efficiency, but that is harder to fix, but still possible with maybe new tech specific to infantry.

all problems are solvable after all, since i do not see militia be never as effective as cavalry anyway, but at least a little help to make them usable in mid game would be better for the entire game i think, surely less boring than costant siege, archer and cav spam until gold is over

but you just asked what would be required to make them compete.

except skirm base damage and fire rate is really low and even with bonus damage they would get wrecked by buffed infantry.

except again, if you’re buffing infantry to compete with knights and archers then they have more PA and speed, which pretty much offsets the bonus damage from skirms hardcore.

why do they need further tweaking? they do there job just fine.

this is the only change i would support at this point - and only for ths and champion. LS is already cheaper as is, and M@A is the best opener in the game and doesn’t need to be made stronger.

militia line training time is already insanely fast.

because other civs have better ecos then goths, or other statistical advantages on goths like more attack, armor, health, etc. the only thing keeping goths balanced is their drawbacks, you let a goth get their eco up and running and start flooding and its practically GG, so imagine what a civ with a solid eco like Aztecs, Vikings, or others could do with this.

also infantry is available earlier then the other options. imagine you’re a cav civ, and now infantry has cheaper techs and can pump out numbers cheaper and faster - you hit castle age. he already has been massing up men at arms otw up, and researches LS, and has a numbers advantage over you of cheap, disposable infantry, who mass up really fast. what can you even do?

they already made them more usable in the mid game as is. they are also the best opener in the game and invaluable in the late game when gold starts running out.

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i don’t think the changes made it useful mid game. what’s the last time you have seen longswords in castle age for a faction that had decent knights or bows?

also i said i wanted competitive infantry, but no competitive against cavalry or archers directly, i said competitive in their own things, and if the niche is to narrow, the niche can be expanded.

as i’ve sayd i’m well aware infantry will never be as competitive geneally speaking as cavalry, and that’s fine, also historical in a way.

also no if we say skirmisher cannot deal with infantry as trash counter, we are saying that they cannot do that against spears too, since they both are melee infantry and both beats them badly in melee. still, skirmisher are the trash counter to spear and everyone seems fine with that (i personally think skirmisher should have higher bonus against spears, but still…). mayans skirms can already do decent against groups of infantry with their double javelin. with a sizeable bonus (like +5 ) it would not be an ineffective counter i think.

the example i used about goths is that they are currently the only civ that can win trough sole infantry, and the reason for that is faster creation time, cheaper cost, and high pierce armor infantry (huskarl) and population efficiency (+10 pop), so why not draw a little ispiration from them and give it to others? of course it would never be at the same level of goths. i’m not saying make every barracks work 20% cheaper, but a small collection of small buff close to the spirit to what goths have, not close in the magnitude, could make infantry more useful altogether

and yes when i was talking about cheaper upgrade i was referring to 2HS and champs mainly sorry for the misunderstanding. even if i also think arson is a bit expensive. my main take was also about time cost, since teching into infantry require a hume amount of time over cavalry for example, on top of resources. so reducing time of certain upgrades could still be an option

also i’m curious about your opinions on a specific damage bonus against villagers (from castle, since MAA is arleady good at it i guess) to make them better raiders. they would keep pace with bows and cav in that regard a little

because again, they aren’t supposed to be the core of the army. so which is it? do you want them to be the core army or not? they see use in the mid game against eagle play.

so if this is what you want them compete in, they already have that. there is no way to really expand there niche without making them fight against gold units, which would make them compete against knights and archers. You’re literally contradicting yourself.

except spears have low base damage, low base attack rate, and no pierce armor. none of those apply to the militia line. Think about it this way, when you break it down, a fully upgraded Halb will have 10 damage. it will deal 7 damage after armor to most skirms, or roughly 2 damage and change a second. meanwhile a champion will do 14 damage every 2 seconds, or 7 damage a second. also the Champion has higher HP and more base PA.

except this is not true - it all depends what you are fighting with and against - bulgarian ths can absolutely wreck cavalry. Malians with a concerted effort can absolutely wreck archer civs.

goths are not population efficient at all, that is why they have extra pop space to begin with.

because again, the goths ahve a very lacking eco, and their infantry lack the final armor, meaning yes, for example Huskarl wrecks archers, but it’s terrible against pretty much anything else, furthermore their champs lose 1v1 to pretty much most champs in the game. meanwhile a civ like Vikings? with an Insane Economy, full Blacksmith upgrades, and +20% HP? Imagine goths with all that going for them. or how about Japanese, with a solid early game economy, an insane hybrid map economy, and attacking 33% faster. no throw in even lowered goth bonuses on top of that. or what about Slavs, Insane Farming economy, supplies for free (which would be greatly impacted by your increased production speed bonus), backed with cheap siege and of course having trample damage?

Furthermore for all your comments about Goths being able to win with infantry - how often do you honestly see them used at the highest level? like serious play? the only place goths really shine at, is Ladder play where they make it to late game unscathed.

i think the concept of bonus damage vs villagers is a good idea, but not for a slow infantry.

so again what is it you want? because on one hand you say “I don’t want them to compete with knights and archers” and on the other hand you say the above. and frankly the Militia will never really be good raiders due to their lower speed.

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I would set the Champion Upgrade to 525F 250G and 2 melee armor

I think price reduction is not needed. Just 2 Melee armor and also +1 melee armor for imperial age infantry UU.

Too easy to get champion make infantry UU obsolete

If they keep the upgrade cost, and we get +1 Melee armor, how much it would trade effectively against Cavalry and everything?

Militia-line and Unique infantries would trade cost-efficiently against heavy cavalry if it gain +1 Melee Armor. For instance, Champion would die to Paladin in 6 hits instead of old 5 hits which is +20% resistance. I think Unique infantries is good now. Only giving 0.05 speed to Samurai, Jaguar Warrior and Berserk is needed. On the other hand, Longsword still need small buff. +1 attack (10 attack) could be pleasant considering LS need 2 upgrades to be useful. Champion is fine due to cheapness.

My opinion is…
The buff the Infantry received was good but not enough
A lot of people was worried about the buff, some people start using Infantry in their games but at the end it wasn’t enough to compete against the meta
They need more buffs in the same way they the previous buff
Not a popular opinion

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