I lately didn’t had much time for Age2 and the forum.This saturday I will update the civilisation concept hub with the newest proposal.
But I had an idea which I want to share with you, cause I think it’s worth a collective brainstorm.
When I watch videos of sotl, hera, mike or other content creators I often see them matching units vs other units. Most of the time with equal ressources. But imo these are kinda “unrealistic” scenarios. The question is ofc what are “realistic” scenarios. How do you measure the real utility of a unit?
And I think if we ask that question we also need to restrict us to “power units” only. Cause units that are often used as an addition have usually certain purposes which evolve from the real gameplay. These addtionions therefore have to be measured individually for that situaions they are made for.
BUT I think for power units (i.e. archers / knighs / CA) we possibly could create some kind of “parcours” to measure how good they perform there and also how fast they do it. The idea is not to let them battle one single fight but solve several tasks which represent seni-realistic in-game scenarios.
One idea would be to make alterating raids with different forms of protection (infantry/TC fire/Counter unis/ Castle fire) and battles with the most established army comps (xbow+pike/knight+skirm/ca+light cav/fulltrash). Also potentially one building (house) while under tower fire or something like this.
I would be interested to hear feom you what ideas you have for such a “parcours” to measure the performance of units or possibly even unit comps. Maybe you can look in the recs of your games to figure out what are realistic scenarios to look at.
I doubt this will ever be fully realistic, even if just for the fact that the composition Halb - Teutonic Knight - Scorpion is simply played very differently from Mangudai - Hussar. One composition is much more about pushing, being an unstoppable and unignorable force on the front, while the other one focuses much more on raiding and being everywhere at ones.
That said, this sounds like a really cool project. It’s a creative approach to comparing units that I personally haven’t seen before. I can already kind of see me watching the Youtube videos of it. A certain amount of resources worth of units goes in and runs through a couple of stages, like in one stage they’re fighting some knights under castle fire (killing trebs defended by knights would be more realistic, but also a more specialized task). Then you could even have different versions of the gauntlet for different points in the game, the most obvious ones to consider being fully upgraded feudal, castle and imperial age. (Early feudal age fights often matter more than the late ones, but it’s just nice to have a clear expectation of which upgrades should be in and not.)
As for what should be included: I feel like enemy unit wise the archer line and the knight line need to be in there, possibly the mangonel too, and maybe the monk, although that might introduce too much randomness. This gauntlet is probably already going to be more random than the simple fighting tests, even with all the units controlled by a tight set of instructions. There should be a defensive building firing, probably arrows, as they are more common than bombard towers (even though now we have both archers and an arrow building, maybe throw a bombard cannon in there to have gunpowder represented?) The units also need to destroy something, like a pallisade gate or something, while being attacked. I’m not sure how I would do scoring. I’m tempted to just go by %hp remaining, but as you rightly suggest time taken should probably play a part in it. Although… would there be a way to take unit creation time/building into account as well, like maybe starting with a certain number of production buildings, say 6 stables/barracks/ranges or 3 castles maybe? Although that just creates more choices on when to start advancing to which the right answer differs per case.
It’s an interesting problem…
Edit: creation time and cost could potentially be calculated into the total unit cost
for each 3 minutes (random example number, probably more realistic for a rush scenario than for late game) of creation time the cost of one production building is included. So because a knight has a 30 second creation time, the resources used for calculating how many knights you get is now 60 food, 75 gold and 175/6=29 wood.
Messed around a bit with a very basic version of the idea that I’m sharing basically just because. In this version you still need to click a few things even to run the test: select all your units, attack move forward, and after the knights are dead right click the pallisade or your units just stand around being confused. Ideally these would just be AI’s with a few scripting pointers. That way you could even run multiple tests simultaneously on one map. This pretty small scale test gauntlet already produces kind of inconsistent results. Of the 17 camels (of course I tested with camels) there’s usually between 3 and 8 or so left, but one run ended in a big defeat with 5 crossbows or so still standing.
I also thought a little bit about numbers of units and such. I figured feudal age units should probably be tested in pretty low numbers, so I went with 3 scouts and 3 archers as the opponents in feudal age, 9 knights and 9 crossbows in castle (probably already on the low side) and 18 paladin and 18 arbalester in imperial (definitely too low, now that I think about it a bit more).
For determining how many resources each army consists off I figured maybe count food as more expensive in feudal age, x1.2 or so, and maybe gold x1.2 and stone x1.5 in imperial age. (In castle age I figured all resources are actually pretty even.) As for the cost of production buildings, maybe one building per 2 minutes of creation time in feudal, per 4 minutes in castle and per 8 in imperial age? Too short? For this version after those corrections I gave the attackers as many units that they would just surpass the resources of the defenders (counting the 2 wood for the pallisade of course ;)), but that balance would probably have to be entirely different based on the exact design of the parcours. WIth the enemy units spread out for instance you might put much less resources into the attackers than the defenders, with defensive buildings present you might use more.
Imo this is kinda expected by this kind of test…
Probably it would even the best to do the parcours manually. It could even pose some kind of challenge to do it as fast as possible.
Maybe the parcours could be designed in a way of gradually increased difficulty of the individual tasks. While in the beginning you have only a few feudal counter units to fight, later on you have to raid under xtensive defensive fire. And it’s not about “solving” the parcours but more how far you get with certain units/investment. You then could even try entire different army comps and see how addition of units improves your performance. You could eg. try how far you get with 12 knights + 2 monks or something like this.
Once I made an approximate calc of how much res can be valued at different timestamps:
For Castle age I got .6 # # ## # = 1 W
And for the lategame before Gold becomes scarce: .6 G = .8 F = 1 W
It’s only approximate but I think quite well representative of what’s happening in the game in reality.
I unfortunately never heard of the term ‘parcour’ before as it relates to AoE2. I can maybe guess based on how you’ve used it in a sentence, but maybe you can further define it for those of us that aren’t familiar with what you’re talking about?