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Heroes Community > Heroes 7+ Altar of Wishes > Thread: Heroes on battlefield and mounts
Thread: Heroes on battlefield and mounts This thread is 2 pages long: 1 2 · NEXT»
Mediczero
Mediczero


Famous Hero
Warlord of the sea
posted November 10, 2016 05:11 PM

Heroes on battlefield and mounts

Heroes IV introduced the concept of having the hero on the battlefield, fighting alongside his or her units. A bit of an controversial change, but conceptually it is a nice idea, which changed up how the game worked (and no longer had the hero sitting safely on the backline while the troops was out there getting murdered. What a hero indeed)
However, it was a bit broken. Heroes would become overpowered, outclassing most units, and with the ability to multiple heroes in one army there was little to no reason to use units at all.

The solution to this is simple. Balancing.
Ideally, the hero should be around at the level of power as a tier 4 creature at level 1, making him/her/it an valuable addition to the starting army, and should around level 15* be somewat at the level of a single tier 7 unit (it's a hero after all, they should be powerful) The problem here though, is that the hero might become too weak and practically useless.

A solution to this might be the idea of mounts. Basicly, the hero can optain and equip different mounts, either as a racial perk** or by purchasing them from a building in town. The mount can at any time be changed at the artifact screen.
Equipping a mount would give different bonuses. It would give a boost to some stats depending on the mount, and in some cases give extra abilities, like if an unicorn is equiped it might give a blinding attack, but if a griffin is equipped it gives the ability of flight and unlimited retaliation.
Lastly, mounts could be split into three catagories, depending on how powerful they are. Common, the weakest, rare, the medium, and lastly heroic, the strongest.

Example:
Stronghold mounts
Common: Giant wolf
Boosts attack, speed, and a smaller boost to initiative
Grants the unlimited retaliation ability.

Rare: War bull
Boosts HP and defense, smaller bonus to speed and attack
Gives the charge ability

Heroic: Thunderbird
Boosts speed, initiative, attack, smaller bonus to defense and HP
Gives the flying and lightningbolt attack ability.

To finish things up, I will shortly comment on the likelihood of this ever being inplimented in an official Heroes game; Probably not. If anything, it might be considered if the community ever where to get together and make a fangame considering how useless Ubi tends to be.

*theoratically, it is hard to say without testing it.

** As such, stronger mounts would become avaible at higher levels

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Elvin
Elvin


Admirable
Omnipresent Hero
Tastes like chicken
posted November 10, 2016 05:34 PM

Still does not address the army scaling. That aside, I always found the idea of a super powerful hero single-handedly taking down small armies a little silly. I am more interested in the clash of armies, creature/spell/skill combinations and associated strategies. Otherwise there are plenty of rpgs where you develop a strong hero and kill enemies by the thousands.
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Mediczero
Mediczero


Famous Hero
Warlord of the sea
posted November 10, 2016 06:06 PM

Elvin]Still does not address the army scaling. That aside, I always found the idea of a super powerful hero single-handedly taking down small armies a little silly./quote said:

Well though it might be a tad silly, it is more interesting to have the hero fight alongside the troops than having the hero sitting on the backline doing nothing other than the odd spell or attack once in a while. Thematicly, it brings forward a different element. Though of course the hero would not have the ability to change the course of the battle and beating stacks of powerful units on their own. The main focus would still be the units and the combination of these, as the hero would not be able to defeat armies on their own. And only one hero can be in an army at one time.

And as far as I can see, the army scaling is primarily a balacing issues. Feel free to prove me wrong.

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Antalyan
Antalyan


Promising
Famous Hero
H7 Forever
posted November 10, 2016 06:28 PM

That idea of different mounts is quite fresh & interesting.
As much as I understand it, it's a bit similar to the idea of more diverse warmachines introduced in H7.

As about heroes being a separate unit (or even army structure influencing hero movement points), I have never liked these ideas.
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Maurice
Maurice

Hero of Order
Part of the furniture
posted November 10, 2016 07:40 PM

Fielding Heroes on the battlefield will only work if you limit stack sizes. Otherwise, you'll never be able to get the balancing right between individual Heroes and for all purposes limitless stacks.

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LizardWarrior
LizardWarrior


Honorable
Legendary Hero
Age of erwins is over
posted November 10, 2016 08:19 PM

Well, it can be possible. You can keep heroes as they are and add WoG-like commanders, but whose abilities are more for support, like raising morale, casting (de)buffs, stealing enemy mana, helping your spells etc. You can also have abilities like a "spell rod" that has X% chance to redirect hostile spells towards the commander rather than the intended target, or an "example strike", when the commander attacks an enemy, another one of your stack that is adjacent will attack that target too.
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PandaTar
PandaTar


Promising
Supreme Hero
Celestial Heavens Mascot
posted November 10, 2016 08:47 PM bonus applied by kiryu133 on 11 Nov 2016.
Edited by PandaTar at 21:54, 10 Nov 2016.

The idea that I was thinking months ago around this can be see more or less in THIS THREAD., and a bit resumed described in my post in this PART.

Also a bit of talking around AMMO CART functions would gravitate around that conception.



A balanced heroes on the battlefield, in my understanding and the way I thought could be better and funnier, would require constant self-positioning awareness and some logical input. For heroes with armies, having units 'guarding' your hero is priority to avoid having your hero getting targeted. An unprotected hero would be vulnerable to hostile engagements.

It would be translated considering an Area of Effect (AoE) around the hero, where one has their protection area (allied troops on that area grant's a hero's safety, thus enemy units cannot engage the hero directly. Besides, this settings would require battle maps to be bigger, and hopefully, varied.

Look at this picture.



In general, the feeling of the game would change that the hero MUST fight with the units, and not on the sidelines, pointing and grunting and being safe, nor it would turn out that a hero could single handily kill a horde of Rampaging Dragons. Simply because, as you already observed, they are heroes, not cowards. Heroes are to be take as example, and troops must be keen to have them around and also to protect them.

For MIGHT relation between Hero and Troops, hero would perform attacks on their own whenever they had units on the dark-gray part of they AoE, meaning that they would attack along the troops, as part of the charge. The results can be many one could design regarding balance. For example: a boost on damage, attack, a buff or whatever. Stronger, more skilled heroes could, then inflict more damage or increase boosts given to troops.

If you think this way, heroes would have 'multi-turns' embedded in their troops. Because your troops are acting accordingly to your hero orders, so your hero is, indeed, having multiple actions aside from the physical body.

Of course, to avoid exploits, a hero could move only once per round, although hero could be able to perform and boost the physical attacks of all surrounding troops (on the dark-gray area). Other troops, from the light-gray area, would get the fight-along boost, but the skill and commanding auras (things like skills such as OFFENSE, DEFENSE etc.). However, when picking a Magic action, a hero could cast mass spells on nearby units (dark-gay area), and single target spells on units beyond that point. As, for some spells, even a max range could be set, requiring a better positioning, also to avoid simply staying back and destroying enemies with lightning bolts. Of course, everything is taken into consideration when a magic Hero is a very strong one, so one would have a greater array and range of action.

Returning to the point of protecting the hero, engagements would occur like this:


HERO – ENEMY UNIT

Having your hero engaged by hostile forces, make your troops move and act on their own, while you are busy. Actions that can be taken are moving away, fleeing battle, surrender or duel.

    1. Moving away: your hero will be able to find or try having an allied troop enter their protective area. While a hero is engaged by enemies, allied troops will keep acting on their own, based on the last orders given to them, and your hero cannot assist them directly. Troops will automatically retreat back to their hero if they are facing (looking at) the hero under threat.
    2. Fleeing battle: your hero returns safely to your nearby Point of Control (a town, a garrison, a fort), and your troops are left to fight for their own. If they manage to survive, they'll return to your hero, but some desertion may happen depending on hero/troops morale etc. Hero will reappear at nearby point after the same number of days it would take for that hero to reach that place on turns, so it's not a teleporting action, but a returning action. Fleeing also requires a hero to reach or be at the edges of the battlefield.
    3. Surrender: your hero and troops will then be arrested or treated as ransom. Diplomatic skills could negotiate freedom for remaining troops to return safely to a nearby town, the price of surrendering, or even bribing your way out if fleeing was impossible.
    4. Duel: it would spring an option to ask for a duel vs opposing hero, as a last stand, in which the opposing hero could or not agree. Comparing overall stats and levels, if the hero demanding duel is stronger (in case of this same hero being the one unprotected by troops) and the opposing hero denies that demand, the result will promptly make the hero target of the closest engaging enemy army. And when this happens, all the stats, levels and equipment of the hero will be taken into consideration to classify your hero as a single unit comparable to tiers ranging from 1-max. The relation of numbers would look somehow like this:

WEAK HERO -> Tier 1, 2, 3
Hero would have a tier and be considered killed by a same tier after being hit 10 times (or after 10 turns). E.g.: a Tier 1 hero would be able to resist 10 turns against a Tier 1 unit (but a single 1 unit). If the opposing army has a stack of 5 Tier 1 units, the hero survives only 2 turns, because he's being attacked by 5 units. Tier 2 acts as if being 2 Tier 1 and 3 as if being 3 Tier 1, which means that a hero endures 5 Tier 2 attacks and 4 Tier 3 attacks. A hero dies or is captured immediately if engaged by Tier 4 above. The hero attacks too, and his tier matches the number of attacks needed to kill an opposing unit x 2. Which means that a Tier 1 hero needs 5 turns to finish off 1 Tier 1 unit. Hero can perform spells normally to try and win the battle. Damage from spells occur normally. The relation between same Tier hero and troop is always (5 x 10, number of physical attacks to kill enemy X number of physical attacks to kill hero). The number doubles (when higher) or halves (when lower) if different tiers are involved. E.g.: a Tier 3 hero is facing a stack of 6 Tier 1 units. During normal attacks, that hero has this build: (10 x 2 x 2) /6 from the perception of the opposing army, which means that the hero would sustain 7 attacks. On the other hand, the build: (5/2/2) means that the hero needs only 2 attacks to kill 1 Tier 1 units. Considering a small fight between them with hero only performing normal attacks and having the preemptive strike, the fight would evolve like this:
1st turn (hero attacks => hero is attacked)
40 hp vs 1 hp, 2 hp, 2 hp, 2 hp, 2 hp, 2 hp => 34 hp vs 1 hp, 2 hp, 2 hp, 2 hp, 2 hp, 2 hp
2nd turn
34 hp vs 2 hp, 2 hp, 2 hp, 2 hp, 2 hp => Notice that here, the build changes because 1 enemy unit died: (10 x 2 x 2)/5, meaning that it takes 8 hits to kill the hero now (40/8 = 5 damage) => 29 hp vs 2 hp, 2 hp, 2 hp, 2 hp, 2 hp
3rd turn
29 hp vs 1 hp, 2 hp, 2 hp, 2 hp, 2 hp => 24 hp vs 1 hp, 2 hp, 2 hp, 2 hp, 2 hp, 2 hp
4th turn
24 hp vs 2 hp, 2 hp, 2 hp, 2 hp => Build changes => 20 hp vs 2 hp, 2 hp, 2 hp, 2 hp
5th turn
20 hp vs 1 hp, 2 hp, 2 hp, 2 hp => 16 hp vs 1 hp, 2 hp, 2 hp, 2 hp
6th turn
16 hp vs 2 hp, 2 hp, 2 hp => Build changes => 13 hp vs 2 hp, 2 hp, 2 hp
7th turn
13 hp vs 1 hp, 2 hp, 2 hp => 10 hp vs 1 hp, 2 hp, 2 hp
8th turn
10 hp vs 2 hp, 2 hp => Build changes => 8 hp vs 2 hp, 2 hp
9th turn
8 hp vs 1 hp, 2 hp => 6 hp vs 1 hp, 2 hp
10th turn
6 hp vs 2 hp => Build changes => 5 hp vs 2 hp
11th turn
5 hp vs 1 hp => 4 hp vs 1 hp
12th turn
Hero wins the battle against engaging troops.

STURDY HERO -> Tier 4, 5, 6
The same translates to this stage, 10 hits from Tier 4, 5 from 5 and 4 from 6. If a Tier 4-6 hero engages a lower tier enemy, an additional proc of 50% is given for critical strikes (doubled damage). Multipliers keep going on 2 by 2, and they are added to the effects if engagements of different levels happen. A hero dies or is captured immediately if engaged by Tier 7 above.

POWERFUL HERO -> Tier 7, 8, 9
The same translates to this stage, 10 hits from Tier 7, 8 from 5 and 4 from 6. If a Tier 4-6 hero engages a lower tier enemy, an additional proc of 50% is given for critical strikes (doubled damage). Multipliers keep going on 2 by 2, and they are added to the effects if engagements of different levels happen. A hero dies or is captured immediately if engaged by Tier 7 above.

ELITE HERO -> Max Tier
Hero is able to fight his way out and flee. Or, if chooses to fight the engaging army, another 2 multiplier is added to the Tier 9 in relation.

Remember numbers here are merely symbolic. There might be cleaner or more elegant solutions to that.

A hero killed in the process of not having a duel will give much less experience to the opposing hero, plus having randomly items lost and much less spoils are retrieved. The body is lost too, although one can linger on ideas of nearby Sanctuaries that can retrieve nearby dead heroes and even make them available to be resurrected if another allied hero reaches the place in time.

Another thing is that the relation Hero -> Troop doesn’t employ retaliation.

Another thing is that the hero performs 1 hit per kill at minimum. So a hero will take 1 turn to kill 1 unit, even if it’s very weak. Too weak stacks may trigger diplomatic actions when they feel overwhelmed, in case of Elite heroes attacking Tier 1 or 2 units which are few in numbers. They are still, though, dangerous in high numbers, because the hero will still kill only 1 by 1 (in a hand-to-hand basis) and max natural amount of HP an elite hero can have in relation to a Tier 1 unit is 10 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 = 5120. If facing 100 tier 1 units, it means your hero withstands 52 attacks, but he might perform 100 to kill all of them. Right now I’m out of time to simulate who would win, but let’s say it’s a close match, which gives me the impression that it’s a rather balanced solution.

If a situation like this arises when a hero is caught without troops, then both heroes will fight each other and this kind of duel cannot be interrupted.

Other things to consider is that the opposing hero can keep controlling their own troops against the rest of the your army, or even cast spells against your hero remotely.

HERO – HERO

   The options that spring are Flee, Surrender and Duel. Duel between heroes consider them units with own stats abilities etc., similar to what they were in H4. While they are engaged in battle, both heroes cannot command troops which will be acting on their own accord, and a duel can be interrupted at any moment if one of the hero disengages by fleeing or getting protection.
    1. Fleeing grants the opposing hero a preemptive action in addition the their normal action.
    2. Surrender is akin to all situations.
    3. Duel is fighting your opposing hero one on one. Winning a duel grants greater experience and spoils of war (artifacts, items).


Continuing the system of AoE in battle, a hero could afford being away from the messy hand to hand battle, even without protection, if one was sure that no enemies would be able to reach that place. But being far from the troops would demand some backsides.
    1. Hero wouldn't be able to assist directly in attacks.
    2. Some orders given to troops might fail (a % of chances of troops not to perform orders given or repeat last action).
    3. Prone to be surprised by teleporting hostiles, spellcasting targeting from opposing hero etc.
    4. Some spells can fail or miss.

Ranged heroes would have a slightly different range of action when assisting troops, a bit greater when performing physical attacks along their troops.

Also, heroes can target each other through spells, if they are in sight or in range of their spell casting prowess, which gives magicians a bit of advantage. However, when dueling a melee fighting hero, magicians have problems to cast demanding spells or get vulnerable when trying to channel stronger spells, considering that magicians tend to be weaker to physical offenses.

All in all, heroes alone cannot target enemy stacks.




As for mounts, adding them to this scenery would represent additional layer of defense, or evasion or bonus to damage (or other variables due the variety of mounts one could ride), considering that the mount can be targeted and killed before the hero.

The feature of having heroes on battle was one of the things I most liked in Heroes history, aside the unbalanced feel of it, I was expecting it to be refined in later installments and it came as the biggest disappointment when I learned that it was cut off in H5.

I think this covers much of what I had in mind.
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Varnoc
Varnoc


Hired Hero
posted November 10, 2016 08:50 PM

Quote:
Fielding Heroes on the battlefield will only work if you limit stack sizes.


To be honest, I'm not entirely opposed to the idea. Historically, soldiers were broken up into smaller units to more easily facilitate combat maneuvers, I don't see why the same thinking can't be reasonably applied to Heroes.

Quote:
Well, it can be possible. You can keep heroes as they are and add WoG-like commanders, but whose abilities are more for support, like raising morale, casting (de)buffs, stealing enemy mana, helping your spells etc.


The idea of the Hero delegating commanders in combat also has it's basis in history, and may present a portion of a solution to the question of how Might Heroes can have an impact on the field without simply providing passive bonuses to troops.

Important to note, however, is that these two ideas are not mutually exclusive, the Hero may partake in combat (by either being attached to a unit or by serving as his/her own entity) while still delegating commanders to other potions of the field.


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Mediczero
Mediczero


Famous Hero
Warlord of the sea
posted November 10, 2016 09:44 PM

Two things I got out of this:
1) I'm in no position to debate technical stuff like how to make the heroes on the battlefield work. Should stick with the creative stuff.

2) The idea of different mounts is not half bad and I should consider to make it work with normal heroes.

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PandaTar
PandaTar


Promising
Supreme Hero
Celestial Heavens Mascot
posted November 10, 2016 09:50 PM

Mediczero said:

2) The idea of different mounts is not half bad and I should consider to make it work with normal heroes.


Are you familiar with Age of Wonders 3? You heroes have different mounts that have different abilities and even can allow you to fly over on the adventure map, if it's a flyer.

In my opinion, it's a good idea if well implemented and if considered means to prevent abuses and exploits ... just like every other kind of feature you think to implement these days. ^_^
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Mediczero
Mediczero


Famous Hero
Warlord of the sea
posted November 10, 2016 09:59 PM

PandaTar said:
Are you familiar with Age of Wonders 3? You heroes have different mounts that have different abilities and even can allow you to fly over on the adventure map, if it's a flyer.

In my opinion, it's a good idea if well implemented and if considered means to prevent abuses and exploits ... just like every other kind of feature you think to implement these days. ^_^

Hmm, I really need to get age of wonders 3 at some point.

Anyway, the idea for the flying mounts is good. Flying could be a kind of different "stage" that can be used, and would probably have the disadvantage of extra movement cost and the inabaility to use it underground. A counterpart to this could be a burrowing mount.

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Maurice
Maurice

Hero of Order
Part of the furniture
posted November 11, 2016 01:07 AM
Edited by Maurice at 01:07, 11 Nov 2016.

Panda, isn't your suggestion more or less turning combat into what it's like in AoW 3? I still can't really see it working if the enemy has a stack of 1000 Archers and 1000 Pikemen and your Hero only has a company of 10 Swordsmen, for instance. Battlefield occupation just doesn't make much sense anymore then.

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PandaTar
PandaTar


Promising
Supreme Hero
Celestial Heavens Mascot
posted November 11, 2016 01:32 AM

OH, yes, but I wasn't addressing the matter of occupation. I was thinking how to fix the fact that a hero could take down whole stacks of units, as it happened in H4. In that approach, a hero can even get to fight against a unit under certain conditions, but if fighting against a stacked number of units, the hero will be certainly in trouble, even when it's about tier 1 units.

Quoting Varnoc

Quote:
The idea of the Hero delegating commanders in combat also has it's basis in history, and may present a portion of a solution to the question of how Might Heroes can have an impact on the field without simply providing passive bonuses to troops.


That's a part of the description I gave in a resumed manner. Heroes, specially Might heroes, could 'tag along' to boost the fighting of nearby units.



Regarding the matter of occupation, I'll think a bit. But in a first view, stacks with higher numbers could be able to engage in melee battle or have their AoE presence and influence from afar, not to mention possibilities at being harder to flank and take less damage from concentrated attacks and spells and/or attacks from less numerous units. This way, I think, might help escalating the power of low tier units in late game. What do you think?
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Varnoc
Varnoc


Hired Hero
posted November 11, 2016 03:58 AM

Quoting Maurice:

Quote:
I still can't really see it working if the enemy has a stack of 1000 Archers and 1000 Pikemen and your Hero only has a company of 10 Swordsmen, for instance. Battlefield occupation just doesn't make much sense anymore then.


If stack sizes were limited to say, 100 units (with maybe less as the tier of creature increases?), this becomes less of an issue I would think.

Still, let's say that you're encircled by 600 Pikemen versus your 10 Swordsmen. It's somewhat the same situation, though not quite as drastic. Is the Hero and the accompanying stack captured? Can they attempt to fight their way out? These are certainly questions that must be answered should such a thing be applied to the game.



Quoting PandaTar:

Quote:
Quoting Varnoc:


Quote:
The idea of the Hero delegating commanders in combat also has it's basis in history, and may present a portion of a solution to the question of how Might Heroes can have an impact on the field without simply providing passive bonuses to troops.



That's a part of the description I gave in a resumed manner. Heroes, specially Might heroes, could 'tag along' to boost the fighting of nearby units.


I'm rather fond of the idea of Heroes having an Area of Influence (AoI), should they become battlefield entities in some manner, as the possibilities for such a thing abound for Might and Magic Heroes alike.

Heroes being able to 'tag along' and fight with the stack they're attached to also gives a good reason for the Hero to have an Offense and Defense statistics, without relegating them to bland stat increases. This, in turn, provides a better foundation for balance between Might and Magic oriented Heroes as a result.

The implications of such a thing are very interesting to examine.

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Maurice
Maurice

Hero of Order
Part of the furniture
posted November 11, 2016 10:03 AM

Varnoc said:
If stack sizes were limited to say, 100 units (with maybe less as the tier of creature increases?), this becomes less of an issue I would think.


I actually like this idea. Suppose your Hero can bring a stack of 1000 Pikemen to the battlefield, but during deployment phase, the player will have to distribute it across multiple hexes. Each hex would contain no more than a certain number of units; let's say, 100. Then that stack of 1000 Pikemen would occupy 10 hexes on the battlefield. Each division could move independently, I guess, otherwise movement across the battlefield becomes too much of a hassle. However, it should still be possible to move the whole bunch at once, after which you could still fine-tune individual unit positions.

But I do realise this may increase turn length by a great deal, as the number of units on the battlefield would increase rather dramatically.
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Galaad
Galaad


Honorable
Undefeatable Hero
Enrothian Conservative Party
posted November 11, 2016 12:38 PM

Come on, I don't even have to read Panda's post to see it's QP worthy.

On topic, I'm very skeptical, I don't necessarily reject the idea but again it's going against what has been proved to work in the franchise.
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PandaTar
PandaTar


Promising
Supreme Hero
Celestial Heavens Mascot
posted November 11, 2016 02:38 PM

Thanks, Galaad.

Maurice said:

But I do realise this may increase turn length by a great deal, as the number of units on the battlefield would increase rather dramatically.


I don't think they needed to be deployed in different limited stacks, or else you can just split the stack? I think that whether you want them to be represented on a greater stack, it could spread around a bit, as if being a Large unit stack, allowing stacks to reach higher numbers, but limiting them, nonetheless. Or you could have option to toggle on and off while map making having games with or without stacks limited by size.

The spreading sense would work marginally like the image below:



That would be a scheme showing a small/normal unit stack numbering. As it grows beyond Horde size, it would spread about adjacent spaces, and that would then happen again when it started becoming a legion.

Of course, spreading units would require bigger maps, but does open a set interesting features regarding interaction of numbers, and, as I said on the previous post, helps balancing and escalating the power of lower tiers units for being numerous.

Some topics we could consider:
   
    1. Spread units can have a bonus, probably varying as I pointed out in the image, on offensive and defensive capabilities over a less numerous non spread stack of units, mainly because it's easier to focus on them and greater are the chances to kill them faster.
    2. Given that they are more numerous and more spread out, it's harder to be focused by less numerous units, which would then have less effectiveness on focusing attacks.
    3. These bonuses and penalties would translate even greater when the stacks were beyond legion size, where too few numbers would have even more difficulty trying to take down so many enemies (sorting the problem with escalating lower tier units, very numerous, fighting strong tier units, less numerous).
    4. But being too numerous won't only be advantageous. Being that dense and spread about would increase the range of units capable of targeting the stack, more are to hit, which brings another interesting possibility.
    5. For these spread out stacks, AoE attacks would then inflict greater damage, because they would hit the whole squadron, which must be translated as the capacity of killing many foes on a single strike, so the more are gathered, the more are killed.

But again, limiting stacks and considering these numbers would come in handy whether you started thinking on Heroes and not a THE MORE THE MERRIER kind of strategy. Creature growth and other mechanics should be designed in a different way, because endless stacking of units would end up narrowing the usual strategies in game, and I think that Heroes could be much more than that.
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TD
TD


Promising
Famous Hero
posted November 11, 2016 02:53 PM
Edited by TD at 14:55, 11 Nov 2016.

I think heroes should definitely be part of the battle. I liked the h4 approach the most overall(could have multiple heroes and they were active part of the battle). H5 was ok too with heroes having their actual own turns, but I think there should be ways to effect the heroes too with status spells at the very least. Heroes Online had the third best approach with multi army/hero approach IMO.

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Varnoc
Varnoc


Hired Hero
posted November 11, 2016 03:13 PM
Edited by Varnoc at 15:29, 11 Nov 2016.

Maurice said:
But I do realise this may increase turn length by a great deal, as the number of units on the battlefield would increase rather dramatically.


This has been a concern of mine as well when considering the idea. Perhaps if we were to limit the number of starting stacks (6 or 7, as those have common historical numbers for the franchise thus far), but allow each side to summon reinforcements at the end of each round. This is often done during conflict to keep fresh troops available.

The length of combats would certainly increase (though I'm not really sure that's a bad thing to be honest, if done well Combat is the most interesting part of the game), but turn length would remain fairly short in the early stages, and both players would be further incentivized to get to the end of the round. To prevent one side from snowballing out of control with stacks upon stacks of units, however, the number of reinforcements a side summon should probably correlate to the number of active stacks they have on the field. For instance:

1 - 5 Stacks on the field = 3 Reinforcements Stacks may be summoned
6 - 9 Stacks on the field = 2 Reinforcement Stacks may be summoned
10 - 15 Stacks on the Field = 1 Reinforcement Stack may be summoned
18+ Stacks on the Field = No reinforcements may be summoned.

Of course, it doesn't have to be those numbers in particular, but that's the general idea. Of course, this impacts other facets of game-play quite heavily. AoE Damage spells become much more viable throughout all stages of the game, due to stack Health being fairly predictable.

An issue that arises from this is the strategy of sitting back and starting/reinforcing with large numbers of shooters. A solution to this could be Fog of War, a feature long overdue in my opinion, but held back by the limited stack sizes, and thus battlefields, in previous installments. The need to scout out your targets before being able to actually shoot them would be a severe hindrance to that kind of strategy, while providing melee units opportunities to get close to undefended ranged units when approaching intelligently (I.E. from cover to cover). This also resolves the issue some have with the unnatural starting positions of combat (all lined up), as after the first 2-3 rounds your units would be more naturally positioned in a manner of your choosing. Ideally, you would never encounter that unnatural starting line.

Reinforcement may not be the answer to the problem we're facing, as it likely presents problems of it's own that need solving, but the more I theory-craft this kind of thing the more I come to understand it's the nature of the process for the solutions to have their own problems that need solving.

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PandaTar
PandaTar


Promising
Supreme Hero
Celestial Heavens Mascot
posted November 13, 2016 07:02 AM

How about this then to address the number issue:

I was pondering these aspects with cjee at CH, and he pointed three things that he thought it ought to be addressed in Heroes games (in his opinion):

1) maintenance and upkeep of troops – the matter of sustaining troops that grow infinitely
2) the supply lines – keeping such troops healthy on distant campaigns
3) the effect on the real world – having huge armies going about would influence the world around it



This would open another discussion on whether each town has a limit of 'magical souls', which means a limited number of units to be hosted based on the size of the town; ‘souls’ also could be simply 'food', but given we are talking about a magical situation here with undead, constructs and other non-living stuff which don't eat (nor have souls, so they must be magical), towns would have limits of max number of troops.

So, conquering new towns/dwellings/posts/forts/villages provide numbers, and such buildings upkeep troops on them. Now, if you have a huge troop, and then you lose one of the towns, the results must be considered, but one that wouldn't require much micromanagement is the same one we see in games like Age of Empires: you need houses. In that game, if you happen to reach the limit of troops housed, you cannot train more, but magically you can convert them to your cause by using monks. However, if some of your troops die (either those converted or not), you still cannot hire any more due the limitation of housing. So, in Heroes layout, if you were cut off upkeep by losing one of your towns, you could keep those troops until they got defeated, which meant that you still wouldn't be able to hire if you were above limit. Or, in a more realistic and drastic output, troops would start deserting after a couple of days without upkeep and supplies, in an effect similar to that of going into a whirlpool.

So, in a resume, housing locations such as Towns, Forts, Dwellings, Villages or anything else which could be elaborated, provide a housing/upkeep capability of given Area of Control. Linked Areas of Control share grouped capabilities which not extend to isolated Areas.



As for the supply, I think the Caravan behavior of previous games could help (free paths between you and your towns), and also considering that those 'magical souls' or 'food' would have different requirements for this and that troop. A peasant needs 1 unit. A Dragon needs 50 units (which would be cost of upkeep/housing). So it would all depend on the capability of housing of your towns and dwellings (some large units cannot amass too much in a single town). And, again, there should be a limit of the amount of troops a hero can carry around effectively, which would change if heroes were really good at battling and commanding, giving them a wider and greater area of control on battlefield (another improvement over Might heroes). This layout requires a Hero to be a Hero, and not those situations in which you hire a LV 1 hero that can simply control legions of dragons.



The effects on the real world are another topic with varied implications on the game, once the limits of numbers and upkeep were determined. Something that comes to my mind in a first thought is movement penalty when you are going about places without infrastructure to support bigger army logistics. But I gather that these instances might reflect on your Town Management, as to resources you can delegate to keep roads and support buildings running optimal on the Area of Control (similar to having that Artifact in H2 which taxed you in gold), which grants you benefits of keeping everything up and running: it’s easier to travel in your lands, it grants vision on your domains, neutral creatures are more like friendlier, reduced cost at hiring and using the local market etc. This setting feels somehow realistic while not time-consuming with too much micromanagement, and also makes late game resources useful (because you’re supposed to have more armies that require more maintenance), to keep your huge kingdom working properly. Being able to address Areas individually helps in this strategy, whether you can focus on places you are most likely to use or which are critical to your strategy, like having vision on your lands. If you start simply ignoring certain Areas, they could start decreasing overall resource production, lose vision on that area, neutral creatures are hostile, prices of dispenses on local flagged buildings rocket, roads get bad and you have movement points penalized – all this in a background way to represent dissatisfaction and abandonment, obliging you to poll resources from other places to rebuild it if you happen to need that Area functioning properly. Recovering areas should take days.



I think people only dislike limited numbers because they need to feel the urge to be always beyond and beyond, always evolving. However, not long ago I was watching one of those WoG games with two armies of 200 zillions of many stacks. In the end, they all worked the same as if having few units of each, regarding that damaging spells would be much more useful in a fight with less units, thing that you didn't see in that other bizarre battle, where your hero only buffed and debuffed zillions of units at once ...

Also, limiting numbers help balancing the issue in which the outcome is much more focused on skill of playing and involvement of heroes in battle, considering much more their strategic decisions on adventure map and building of their kingdom than sheer numbers. Or so would be my perception on this subject.

____________

Heroes-based proposal threadOn hold, while I'm writing my book. =)

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