Tarth needs some love

By on April 18, 2013 9:20:06 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

ogredpowell

Join Date 04/2010
+3

After playing my first game, tarth got smeared early on.  The new changes (most of which I feel are awesome) do not seem to benefit Tarth.

 

I get the idea that Tarth is supposed to be one of the 'warrior races' of men, rebels who favor hit and run tactics as well as 'elite' units, hence the bonus when in small armies.  This bonus simply does not work with the current swarm mechanic (which i like for the most part).

If you want Tarth to remain w small armies, I would consider giving them a 'anti-swarm' mechanic.  something like 'back to back'- your soldiers stand back to back, preventing them from becoming surrounded. Effectively, if two tarth units are next to each other they cant be swarmed. (this also may be a cool mechanic for warrior and defender heroes).

 

Additionally, the 'racial combat abilities' dont seem to fit.  If tarth is 'highly mobile hit and run fighters', Altair's 'rush' ability seems to more fit with Tarth.  Switching these two combat abilities seem to fit more thematically, and may actually help tarth counter the swarm more effectively (use their 'tarth blood' initiative and attack bonus w rush's mobility to 'even the odds' before their opponent has chance to respond).

 

 

 

 

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April 18, 2013 9:31:18 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

If Tarth gets to longbows+ lvl 3 fortress, they pretty much win.   Double First Strike is massive, esp with training yard+barracks, and troops are cheap to build also.

 

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April 18, 2013 11:13:23 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Interesting.

 

Do they get wiped by the AI in your games?

 

 

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April 18, 2013 8:28:19 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

I've only gotten Tarth as a random AI opponent once... partly since I was glued to them for the first several weeks of playing, as I love their archers so so much.

More recently, I've been playing modded games with a focus on melee, but for classic XP rate, 9x6 stacks of archers with Rams' Horn Longbows are made of win and awesome.

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April 19, 2013 12:34:24 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The faction - double strike and archery are nice.

The blood trait - +3 attack and initiative if in groups of 3 or less, is less so.   I'll never even hire a tarth champion unless I want to eat him or steal his gear.

 

I'm experimenting with upping the blood trait to see if it interests me.  Last game was +5/+5... still not really enough to make a stack of 3 really worthwhile unless its your super sov.   

Going to try +10/+10 and see if it makes them awesome enough to want to try.    Probably OP, but 3 unit groups aren't that great for most of the game, then when you have your armored horsemen, the +3/+3 isn't that important - you're already putting out first turn killers.  At +10/+10.. I'd split my groups more frequently  

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April 19, 2013 12:40:18 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The game I played on a huge map had Tarth as one of the stronger performers. They wiped out Yithril before I ever saw them, and were at #2 when I finished the game. This was at easy difficulty, however, as I was trying to learn the game.

Will see what happens on higher settings.

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April 19, 2013 12:41:59 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The only way I can see the groups of 3 or less working is if Heroes didn't count against the group limit.  Double-Strike works regardless of the number of units in the stack, you just lose the +3 attack/initiative bonus.

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April 19, 2013 2:12:28 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

There's not really a good way to balance the blood trait for both early game and end game.  +10/+10 is basically an I win bonus in the start of the game, when you can't have more than 4 units in an army anyway, but the current bonus becomes irrelevant by the end game.  What if the bonus scaled per unit in the army?  Say it starts at +8/+8 for a single unit, then goes down by 1/1 per extra unit in the stack, until there's no bonus for a full 9-man army?  Not sure if the code would allow for something like this, though.

 

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April 19, 2013 2:51:38 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I would like to see the "hit and run" aspect of the Tarth in their combat mechanics. For example, when they are in groups of 3 or smaller, their units have a 20% chance to survive combat even when killed/defeated. This would help the units function in smaller groups, and actually make attacking with many small groups a viable tactic, as you can afford to lose battles to weaken opponents.

This would be in addition to the +3/+3 for being in small groups.

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April 19, 2013 2:53:10 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I find the Tarth AI to be harder to beat, because their archery / mage units will consistently target the weakest units, they get double strike, and they are more fond of elemental damage (e.g. mages with fire sticks).

 

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April 19, 2013 7:25:30 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


I find Tarth very powerfull now in my hands at least. The attack bonus With 3 units or less in an army is extremely powerfull early to mid game. I can afford to make 2 units per hero, so that means I can start leveling up my heroes much faster.

I play on redicilous on both difficulty settings. Guess Tarth would be even more powerfull on the lower levels where creature armies are rather easy to take out.

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April 20, 2013 4:46:24 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Naidrev,
I would like to see the "hit and run" aspect of the Tarth in their combat mechanics. For example, when they are in groups of 3 or smaller, their units have a 20% chance to survive combat even when killed/defeated. This would help the units function in smaller groups, and actually make attacking with many small groups a viable tactic, as you can afford to lose battles to weaken opponents.

I like this suggestion! Mechanics like that really would make me feel like I'm playing a sneaky, hit-and-run guerilla race. Then my little stacks of 3 could wear away at more powerful stacks, the way guerrilla units can. Currently, since you can't escape from combat without an "escape" scroll, there is no such thing as hit-and-run, and the guerrilla feel is kind of muted.

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April 20, 2013 6:12:50 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

the "hit and run" aspect could just be represented by an "escape" ability instead of the suggested "cheat death". not necessarily linked to tarth blood - thematically, an escape spell might fit with the "master scouts" or "stealthy" racial traits (for the stock Tarth race it wouldn't matter anyway since they have all those attrbutes)

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April 20, 2013 10:36:57 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

All the Blood traits have always bugged me as underdeveloped and unbalanced. Umbars + attack in groups over 5 is a ridiculous ability, as even early game its easy to have an army of 5 and that + swarm is a lot of damage. In fact once you have a decent fortress you can just forget about the ability.

Basically I think that each race needs a base bonus and a ability that increases per level. Quendar actually fits this as they get fire resistance and the ability to do increasing fire damage per level. Gilden also is great as they get 1 hp per level and base spell resistance.

An example of a blood trait that seems terrible and shallow is Altair's experience bonus and rush. Its great to increase levels quickly but the leveling system just feels so shallow with only hp and  accuracy gained. Its why the veteran trait is so bad for units, the single level for most races is only a single hp and slower leveling from that point on.

Quoting Azunai_,
the "hit and run" aspect could just be represented by an "escape" ability instead of the suggested "cheat death". not necessarily linked to tarth blood - thematically, an escape spell might fit with the "master scouts" or "stealthy" racial traits

Always thought assassins should have an escape ability, only for themselves though, not for the whole army. But a Tarth only trait (Like Altairs awful potential) seems like an interesting idea.

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April 20, 2013 2:43:47 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

What about giving all Tarth units an "escape" spell with a casting time of 1 or 2?

 

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April 20, 2013 9:12:25 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

yes, i like the escape idea to give Tarth the ability to pick off a few units at a time.  should that replace the double-strike ability?

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April 20, 2013 10:28:04 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Awhile ago I posted some ideas for unique traits for every faction in another thread. Here are the ideas for Tarth.

 

Guerrilla: +1 move and + 2 initiative when below 50% health.

Camouflage: + 5 dodge +10 dodge versus ranged

Trapper: +15 dodge +1 counterattack and +25% counter damage when defending.

 

I also like the escape ability. A think hobble is a very Tarth like ability as well. Either or fits their irregular military style much better then double strike.

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April 21, 2013 3:48:50 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Giving Tarth an escape ability was the first thing that came to mind when trying to make them "hit and run", but that ability either seems incredibly strong (units would almost never die if they could escape), or weak (giving it 1 or 2 turn casting time seems like it would be worthless. Units would be killed by the time it went off, or not be able to do any damage before they escaped, which is the whole point of hit and run). Conveniently enough, one of the upcoming major changes to decrease damage may make this a more viable option. But until then, giving them a chance to survive seems like the best way to let Tarth units do damage against superior forces and live to tell the tale.

I posted some ideas for faction abilities in another thread, too. These would be unlocked during research. Might as well include them all in one place.

Unique Building: Ranger's Guild - All outposts connected with the city have their upgrade costs halved. City receives an additional ranged defender.

Traits: Ambusher (unit gains an additional first turn in forest, mountain, or swamp tiles), Ranger (unit cannot miss), Survivor (when killed, unit may act one last time).

 

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April 21, 2013 9:39:20 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I've been interested in an escape ability, so last night I put it into the Assassin tree (I switched the tree positions of Gamblers Strike and Hobble, and replaced True Strike with Escape).

In the original CoreSpells there is both an escape ability and an escape spell. Using the ability version is not that powerful, but could be still useful to an undersized Tarth army. Using the ability version, there's a couple reasons why it wouldn't be too powerful. First, no experience is gained. Second, the ability version does not teleport you anywhere (ie your capital), meaning, if you attacked an army, they will likely attack you during the AI's turn. This makes it defensive in nature, which could still makes sense. Seeing as you could, as the ability is currently, infinitely stall an enemy army in the same square, I'm going to try a five turn cooldown. The spell version costs mana and teleports, so that's an option instead.

I also think the other changes made to the tree make sense. I usually have multiple Assassins but I've never chosen True Strike, seems pretty worthless. I feel like Gambler's Strike also makes sense later in the tree after a hero has found better weaponry and gained bonuses to damage. Hobble and Escape seem more akin to the evasive side of the tree.

After 0.85 is released I'd be happy to share the changes.

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April 21, 2013 6:10:16 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting bigduncm24,
In the original CoreSpells there is both an escape ability and an escape spell. Using the ability version is not that powerful, but could be still useful to an undersized Tarth army. Using the ability version, there's a couple reasons why it wouldn't be too powerful. First, no experience is gained. Second, the ability version does not teleport you anywhere (ie your capital), meaning, if you attacked an army, they will likely attack you during the AI's turn. This makes it defensive in nature, which could still makes sense. Seeing as you could, as the ability is currently, infinitely stall an enemy army in the same square, I'm going to try a five turn cooldown. The spell version costs mana and teleports, so that's an option instead.

I don't think that's true. The idea would be that instead of having all your units in single stacks of doom, you split them up into hit-and-run groups. So say your max army stack is 9. Instead of sticking all your guys into a stack of 9, you split them up into 3 armies of 3. You attack a large, dangerous stack with your first group of 3, deal a bit of damage, then flee the combat. Next you send in your second group, wear them down again, and flee some more. Finally, you send in your last stack (which might have a hero or something who you want to get the exp) and take down the already-wounded enemies for lots of exp.

Too bad this can't work with the auto-merge that occurs if you move two armies on the same tile when their total stack size is equal to or less than your maximum army size...

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April 21, 2013 9:28:09 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

What's not true? Sounds like a good strategy though.

 

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April 21, 2013 11:13:44 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


How about, instead of Tarth's blood trait only kicking in if you have 3 units or less, it is whenever the unit count of your army is lower than the count of the opposing army? I think that would still fit the Tarth idea of a motley crew of ex-gadiators and slaves beating on larger forces, and it would be something that remains useful for much of the game.

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April 22, 2013 2:19:17 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I really don't like these traits that depend on the number of units, they tend to either go, pretty much, without saying or be useless for the majority of the game. 

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April 22, 2013 7:01:29 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I actually really like Tarth's trait. Because it encourages small groups, it completely changes how the Tarth play, and makes them feel very unique. A Tarth game's strategy is very different from every other race, and that is exactly what traits should do.

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April 22, 2013 8:19:08 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think it would help if the bonus starts at + 3 initiative and + 3 attack and increases with researching the first bow to + 4, the second bow to + 6 and the third bow to + 8.

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April 22, 2013 8:56:30 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

(NOTE: The commentary below specifically discusses the +3/+3 trait of Tarth, NOT the Tarth race. I only realized I should point that out after I had finished writing below.)

 

Not to be devil's advocate, but I steamroll every game as Tarth, BECAUSE of its racial +3/+3. Using a custom Tarth of Quick + Lucky + Master Archers, and creating Archer units using just the Tier 2 bows and giving them Quick + Finesse (a mere 16 additional production,) you're looking at groups of archers with 23 initiative and 18 additional attack at the smallest squad size. Squads that can fire a double volley off before anything but high level monsters have a turn (which in this case, is 96 attack.) This is BEFORE you account for wargs , initiative increasing magical equipment, or for creating them from a location with the +initiative per essence spell (Aura of Grace, IIRC.) The stats only get more bonkers if you start accounting for Charge or Bloodlust, or even swapping Master Archers for alternative super weapons like the Athican Longsword or Dual Great Axes.

 

Now, I'm not saying the trait is perfect, but with the exception of ONE game (I play on a minimum of Challenging, depending on how much b.s. I want to deal with when land-grabbing against the AI,) where Ironeers sent seven full armies of 9 units against me, I can't remember a game where the above scenario didn't play out entirely in my favor. In fact, if an enemy army has 6 or less units in it, I can generally expect to take no damage, killing off the large movement units off first, ranged second before they get an attack off, and melee stragglers last - well before they make it into range. At 7+ units, I have to prioritize, but the fact that it usually takes 8-9 units to even damage me should state something about the power of this trait.

 

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