It's 2012! A new year, a new set of Friday Updates, but not only that. This Friday Update is not just the first of 2012, it's also the first that's partially written by iliander (applause, please), and the first with the new concept of Friday Updates that we've recently been working on. The main part of Friday Updates will remain the same, but apart from some visual changes, there are two new additions, the 'Quote of the Week' and the 'K&B Salutes - K&B Refutes' section. The former consists simply of a quote from the team forum, the latter (with credit going to Top Gear Magazine for thinking up the idea, even though ours is completely different) consists of two parts, one thing that the K&B team likes, one thing that the K&B team dislikes. Obviously these all have a connection with Medieval history, the world of modding, or something else K&B-related.
In this Friday Update, we’ll take a break from the Map Showcases for some time, and focus on a different aspect of Knights and Barbarians, strategy. Although your strategy greatly depends on the map you’re on, most of it still derives from the civ itself, and its units.
Obviously, Knights and Barbarians will feature 3 different basic strategies, namely Rushing, Booming and Turtling. They're in this order as they generally beat one another left to right. Rushing beats booming, booming beats turtling, and turtling beats rushing.
The Knights and Barbarians Prologue will feature a single Rushing civilisation, the Crusaders. The Crusaders have the added flexibility to be able to send powerful troops early in the game from their Chapter House, as we showed earlier. As another plus, these units require Papal Favor to be trained, so you won’t be “wasting” valuable resources you could’ve spent on something else. The Chapter House units are stronger than they should be, which means they cost a bit less than they’re worth, but as a result, they don’t get upgrades. That’s why this feature fits so well with rushing, you need to make good use of them in the early ages, before all other units have been upgraded. Well, that’s not all. Let’s take a look at their unique units, apart from their Chapter House. The Crusaders have 4 unique units, to be exact: the Pilgrim, as a Peasant replacement; the Edessan Auxiliary, as a Man-at-Arms replacement; the Lebanese Auxiliary, as an Archer replacement and the Armenian Auxiliary, which is a Cavalry Archer replacement. These units (excluding the Pilgrim) follow the same laws of cost-effectiveness as the Chapter House units: They don’t receive upgrades, but in turn they are stronger than they should be, or better said: they are more profitable early in the game, and become relatively worse as the game progresses.
To give you an idea, here are the stats from the Man-at-Arms:
Build XP: 10
Kill XP: 10
Resources: 75 food, 25 coin
Resistance: 40% Hand
Hand Attack: 15 - (ROF: 1.5)
Siege Attack: 20 - (ROF: 3)
Pretty basic as you can see, they form a good meat-shield however, especially against other hand infantry.
Now let’s take a look at the stats from the Edessan Auxiliary:
Build XP: 13
Kill XP: 15
Resources: 90 food, 35 coin
Resistance: 30% Hand
Hand Attack: 23 - (ROF: 1.5)
Siege Attack: 30 - (ROF: 3)
A higher kill XP than build XP? Why is that? Well, the build XP represents the amount of effort it requires for you to train the unit, in other words, the amount of resources it costs. The kill XP represents the amount of effort it requires for your enemy to kill the unit, thus it represents their actual strength. Auxiliary units (that's the Crusader UUs, for those unfamiliar with K&B terminology) have 50% more hitpoints and attack, but cost only 25% more than their generic counterparts. To add a bit more uniqueness, they also have a lower resistance, but a higher speed and Line Of Sight.
The Knights and Barbarians Prologue will also feature two Booming civilizations, the Italians and the Turks. The Italians are probably the easiest to play with, since they receive 1 free Peasant with every Market tech, 1 free Farmer with every Manor tech, and 1 free Fishing Boat with every Docks tech. This allows the Italians to make extensive use of economical upgrades while also receiving villagers from it, turning their economy in a fast growing powerhouse. That's without mentioning that they start with a free Market. The Italians can even have a powerful economy on sea, with their ability to train Merchant Ships who generate coin. This bonus, however, is only of use on maps with water (of course), which include examples like Dalmatia and Morea, as shown in previous Friday Updates. Apart from their amazing economy, their military isn’t bad either, mainly because of their Men-at-Arms and Knights being upgradeable to Royal Guard level. Venetian Infantry as a Man-at-Arms RG and Lanze Spezzate as a Knight RG. This combination of units works well in K&B, particularly against ranged enemies. Their unique units are a very flexible combination too. Pavise Crossbowmen stand guard behind the walls while Stradiots go out on a raid. The Italians fit any strategy, and are very easy to play, but with their excellent economy, they excel at booming.
The Turks are another booming civ, but in a different way. The Turks have a good economy, like the Italians, but unlike the Italians, both their economy and their military get better in later ages. In early ages, the Turks are quite weak, but as ages go by, they become stronger and stronger. Partially this is due to their economy. Their Peasants don't cost food but wood instead, which is nice because villager production doesn't get in the way of aging up (villagers and ageups cost different resources, after all), but better still, they get cheaper after each age-up. In Age I, Peasants cost the normal 100 resources, except in wood, but in Age II and Age III they cost much less already, and in Age V they almost come for free. This last bonus applies to Farmers as well as Peasants, by the way. Lots of incentives there to age up early and get as much out of your economy as possible. There's more though. The Turks get their main ranged infantry unit one age late, which isn't much of a bonus at all, but when they do get to Age III and build the Ottoman Academy, they can train their Janissary Archers, which are much stronger than normal Archers. The same goes for Janissary Halberdiers, Sipahi Lancers and Sipahi Archers. To an extent, it's also true for the Janissary Gunner in Age V. Janissary and Sipahi units do cost more population than their generic counterparts, but they're better in everything they do. They're faster, have more HP, and crucially, do 50% more damage in all their attacks. Now you might think this isn't particularly unique, given that Auxilliaries do pretty much the same for the Crusaders. However, whereas Auxilliaries don't get upgrades, Janissaries and Sipahis do, so they get even better in later ages than they already are when they get enabled. All Janissary units can also be upgraded with a single upgrade tech, and the same goes for all Sipahi units, so the business of upgrading them is a lot cheaper and faster than it is for other civs. And no, once again, that's not all. Most booming civs will have to pay some attention to defenses at some point, but the Turks can happily ignore them, because they have the Observatory. Observatories provide a huge Line of Sight, so the Turks can see their enemies coming a long time ahead of their arrival. Apart from stealthy units, nobody can get close to a Turk base without being noticed.
That'll be it for the main part of this Friday Update. Next week we'll continue to shed light on civs from a strategic perspective, that being the other two Prologue civs, the Byzantines and the Saracens.
Don't expect too much of these Quotes of the Week, they're deliberately quite vague. In the team forum, we're continuously discussing new features for K&B, and sometimes there's a suspicion that something might be hardcoded. This week:
peugeot407 wrote: As such, we can't just create it the way we want it to be. There is hope though...
K&B salutes... the Total War series. For historically accurate yet fun games, look no further. We're already eagerly awaiting Medieval III: Total War, undoubtedly due in the future. Probably very far in the future.
K&B refutes... mindless hackers. My Facebook password recently got hacked, and I can sort of see the point in doing that, if you're malicious enough. However, hacking the FTP server of NE's forums is hardly useful, and still very annoying. Get a life, Hungarians!
PS: Oh yes, and it's Sunday again. Sorry about that.
- Quoted from peugeot407