Tactical games: Kiting

By on February 18, 2012 12:34:03 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Frogboy

Join Date 03/2001
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kiting_(video_gaming)

This is an issue that, as the AI guy, I'm still struggling with.  How to defend against this?

I've been tempted to have the AI do it to the human but the more I think about it, the more unsatisfying that would be.

In beta 1, the kiting issue isn't huge because the tactical maps are so small. But in Beta 2, they start to get a lot more interesting (I have one map that is basically inspired from Demigod complete with multiple paths).

I'd be interested in hear different ideas on how to prevent excessive kiting.

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Tasunke
February 18, 2012 12:35:53 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The best kite defense is ranged weapons. The best way to have an AI react to kiting is to have it regroup after 2-3 rounds of not reaching its target. The best magic to counter kiting is to cast haste on the kited unit. allowing it to reach the target, or stop the target with Slow, Freeze, Stinking Mud, etc. The best traits to counter kiting would be a sprint ability, attacks that stun or prevent movement (ranged and melee), bonuses to movement for rogue and cavalry heroes. The best weapons to counter kiting would be nets, webs, Bolas (please, please, please!), drugged darts, arrow to the knee, throwing hammer, etc. Hope that helps. 

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February 18, 2012 12:43:45 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

1) When they fire their arrows, they lose 1 movement next turn

2) When they get hit in melee, they lose 1 movement next turn (does not stack)

3) the above two points combined with their lower initiative means they should not be able to outdistance anyone except the slowest units

This would make it more difficult to kite enemies all around the world with archer units.

 

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February 18, 2012 12:44:46 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Well, you have code that increases the size of the tactical map on initiation based on the size of the armies involved, right?

How about as units get killed off in a battle, the number of usable tiles decreases, until it's so small that if it became a 1 on 1, it would necessarily turn into a melee (if there were melee units involved.)

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February 18, 2012 12:46:52 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Can we see a video of the kiting in question? Is it just a footman archer?

Not sure if there IS a defense to 'Horse Archer' kiting though ...

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February 18, 2012 12:48:12 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Heavenfall,
1) When they fire their arrows, they lose 1 movement next turn

2) When [anyone] get hit in melee, they lose 1 movement next turn (does not stack)
 

I agree with this

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February 18, 2012 12:49:23 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Wouldn't that just slow it down?

My mega champion with crazy initiative gets 3 turns to the monster's 1 turn.

So turn 1, he runs back

turn 2, he shoots

turn 3 he shoots

monster moves towards him.

turn 4 he shoots

turn 5 he moves back

etc.

I've been pondering about requesting a initiative cap on ranged units. But not sure how to justify that.

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February 18, 2012 12:51:21 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

If your champion gets 3 moves for every 1 the monster gets, why shouldn't you be able to outdistance him?

Another solution, then: Archer units may not shoot more than 6 times in any tactical combat.

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February 18, 2012 12:52:21 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Well, this is admittedly one of the few cases where Ranged units truly shine. However I can see how it must feel quite cheesy.

Not sure if there is a perfect answer here, really.

 

Possibly make a ranged attack give -1 initiative (stacking) for the rest of the battle? But how would that be fair for regular units? Maybe a lower limit for how far initiative can sink? (Initiative can only sink as low as regular units are built with).

Works?

Combine with shooting lowering movement by 1 the next turn ...

 

(or we could just have arrow pouches with X amount of ranged attacks, like Heaven fall suggests)-> Total War does this, actually

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February 18, 2012 12:53:52 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The benefit of the Horse Archer would be that you could Kite-Kite-Kite (run out of arrows) and retreat.

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February 18, 2012 1:08:12 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Imho, nerfing Initiative for bow-users is a terrible idea. It is one of only two stats that boost the power of an archer (the other being accuracy).

If you're specifically after nerfing horse archers, just take

1) When they fire their arrows, they lose 1 movement next turn
but make it -2 if mounted.

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February 18, 2012 1:19:39 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

True, but with high initiative heroes, it doesn't matter that you reduce their movement (apparently).

Other than making (those with high initiative) slowly bleed off that initiative (assuming move away + attack -aka archers-) until it reaches a reasonable level.

 

However ... alternatives (which work well with other movement-ideas I've suggested) is for ranged units to have a 'range' to their weapons, and maybe to lose a movement (or a turn, even) after kiting.

However, if the armies really ARE that lopsided ... why should kiting be removed? I mean, you can kite with magic ... why not kite with bows?

Maybe have a limited number of ranged attacks, and be able to 'pay mana' to "refill that arrow pouch"?

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February 18, 2012 1:24:19 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Heavenfall,
If your champion gets 3 moves for every 1 the monster gets, why shouldn't you be able to outdistance him?

Another solution, then: Archer units may not shoot more than 6 times in any tactical combat.

Because ultimately what it would mean is that get enough initiative = win.

 

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February 18, 2012 1:28:49 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

One tweak that might help is archers suffer penalties to damage/accuracy if they moved this turn or last turn (or possibly even the turn before that). The idea is that archers are most effective when they hold their ground, once they break and run they need to time to regroup and size up their targets.

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February 18, 2012 1:40:28 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The best approach isn't to "counter" kiting, but is to make the AI aware of why kiting is a danger. IE: kiting is used to pull 1 or more enemies from a far larger group of enemies, dividing their power. Make the AI aware of the importance of keeping units in a formation and prevent them from allowing isolated groups from wandering.

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February 18, 2012 1:40:54 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Being able to move your full distance and still get a shot off doesn't really make sense to me.  Think about if the battle was taking place real-time: whenever you pause to shoot, your opponent would be gaining ground on you. What we have though is a situation where if the units have the same movement and initiative, the archer can run and shoot every turn, and the other guy will never get any closer.  This would only make sense if the archer could run faster, but that is not the case in looking at initiative and movement.

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February 18, 2012 1:42:41 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Heavenfall,
If your champion gets 3 moves for every 1 the monster gets, why shouldn't you be able to outdistance him?

Another solution, then: Archer units may not shoot more than 6 times in any tactical combat.

Ammo. I think that is the solution, and abilities that could neglect arrows. So you have to think before attacking at a distance.

The initiative system is showing its limits : A unit should never get 3 turns before enemy can get one.

Another thing would be to prevent movement from shooting units. You shoot OR you move (unless you have the good trait) and shooting should get a penalty to accuracy if you moved (harder to target when you move)

Kiting has been used in some famous battles like Azincourt (archers used so spikes to slow down even further the knights that were already slowed by the muddy terrain).

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February 18, 2012 1:42:58 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

We'll the usual response is to limit the number of shots per battle by archers. While that sort if makes sense its also feels slightly forced when its  an extremely low number. What archer only carries 10 arrows?

 

Quiver Items could determine the number of shots an archer might get per round. Larger ones decreasing movement more, being heavier.

So with a smaller quiver Kiting is viable.. but only for 5 or 10 shots.

 

Alternatively they could simply lose some accuracy for each move in a round.

 

Or monsters with better piercing defense...

 

TBH though.. unless archery got a complete overhaul in the newer versions.. its so weak this should be a non issue by mid to late game.

 

 

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February 18, 2012 1:43:12 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting ks83,
One tweak that might help is archers suffer penalties to damage/accuracy if they moved this turn or last turn (or possibly even the turn before that). The idea is that archers are most effective when they hold their ground, once they break and run they need to time to regroup and size up their targets.

I like it.

 


Accuracy bonus for standing still, Accuracy bonus for not having shot the last turn, accuracy bonus for units being closer (all stacking)

 

Accuracy penalty for having moved last turn

Accuracy penalty for having attacked last turn

(Stacking)

 

Also ... perhaps the Accuracy penalty for (having attacked last turn) remains cumulative until the unit has had a turn of 'rest' (no movement or attack)

 

Basically a form of this

Quoting vieuxchat,

Another thing would be to prevent movement from shooting units. You shoot OR you move (unless you have the good trait) and shooting should get a penalty to accuracy if you moved (harder to target when you move)

 

But we shouldn't completely nerf it because of this

Quoting vieuxchat,

Kiting has been used in some famous battles like Azincourt (archers used so spikes to slow down even further the knights that were already slowed by the muddy terrain).

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February 18, 2012 1:45:18 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting ks83,
One tweak that might help is archers suffer penalties to damage/accuracy if they moved this turn or last turn (or possibly even the turn before that). The idea is that archers are most effective when they hold their ground, once they break and run they need to time to regroup and size up their targets.

Still just slows it down.

 

My solution: lower initiative gap between units and everything said in first response by Seanw3

kiting is a legitimate strategy and easily blockable. If your ranged and faster than the enemy you should be able to kite.  Have the AI prevent it strategically by never bieng without their own ranged units/fast units/spells (shouldn't anyway) and don't let mid-high lv champions have 3 attacks per regular troops 1.

 

 

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February 18, 2012 1:51:28 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

This

Quoting Stupidity10,

kiting is a legitimate strategy and easily blockable. If your ranged and faster than the enemy you should be able to kite.  Have the AI prevent it strategically with their own ranged units/fast units/spells  

 

But not this

Quoting Stupidity10,
and don't let mid-high lv champions have 3 attacks per regular troops 1.

 

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February 18, 2012 1:51:49 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting vieuxchat,
Another thing would be to prevent movement from shooting units. You shoot OR you move (unless you have the good trait) and shooting should get a penalty to accuracy if you moved (harder to target when you move)

This is nice.  An archer unit could move up to (tacmove - 1) and still fire, but if they move they get -50% acc on the shot.  If they move their full tacmove, they cannot shoot, or maybe get -90% acc on the shot.

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February 18, 2012 1:56:06 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I posted first and then edited it to give my thoughts. They seem to have been obscured by the speed of the topic. Go ahead and take a look at the first post to see my ideas. Basically I think there should be several counters to fast units. 

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February 18, 2012 1:58:31 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,

Quoting Heavenfall, reply 7If your champion gets 3 moves for every 1 the monster gets, why shouldn't you be able to outdistance him?

Another solution, then: Archer units may not shoot more than 6 times in any tactical combat.

Because ultimately what it would mean is that get enough initiative = win.

 

 

I can't see a way to justify limiting speed/initiative on say a horse archer.  Limiting ammo as Heavenfall suggests ala MoM seems like the best option.

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February 18, 2012 2:01:15 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Pretty much like the first response by seanw3, the best way that popped in my mind is increasing tactical skills and spells that counter kiting.  Possibilities could include single target versions of mud spells, nets/webs, ranged initiative reducers (howls?), knockdowns, pinning shots, grappling hooks, one turn ranged stuns, battlefield teleports, etc.  But most of the solutions work vs everything, so it could have wide ranging effects (ie every unit slowed /stunned = unfun).

If the added skills could be resisted by high armor values (I was thinking ranged knockdowns, but it could work with anything), it might avoid the problem of being universally dangerous and become more specifically dangerous to kiting units.  It wouldn't be nearly as good vs most things - since you normally don't burden kiters with much armor, but you do give it to most frontline troops /champs.  If the player counters by giving archers enough armor to resist the new skill, the armor's added weight would hopefully be balanced so you don't kite much or very well.

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February 18, 2012 2:06:39 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Yes, there should indeed be counters to fast units. Yet I think that many, if not most, of these counters already exist.

Also, everything counters itself.

 

I think the main focus here is to have, say, an all archer army not always beat an all melee army.

but A) I just don't see bows being strong enough to do this, no matter how useful kiting is

and B ) An all archer army should always devastate all melee ... until the melee catch up with em

 

I think the concept of not being able to Kite a very slow unit would be bad ... unless the unit doing the kiting is just stupidly OP.

I do not want archers to be either too weak or too strong, but I don't mind a hero-archer kiting a big scary monster as long as it does not happen under normal Warfare-with-Faction conditions.

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