The OP Aztecs and how to lame them

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Re: The OP Aztecs and how to lame them

Post by Cyclohexane »

[quote=""KingKaramazov""][quote=""I__CHAOS__I""]skirms >>> ERKs in early and mid fortress
lategame, when fully upgraded, it's another story

personally, maces are one of my fav unit. They pwn hard if used properly.[/quote]

This isn't really true, especially considering that skirms don't have a bonus against Eagle Warriors as they should. Eagle Warriors are classified as Light Infantry so the only units that have bonuses against them are hand infantry units, which get owned by Eagle Warriors because of their speed, range, and piercing damage.

Cannons are the only unit I can think of that effectively kills Eagles, but of course it's near impossible to hit a large group of Eagle Warriors with cannons...plus Arrow Knights or Coyotes will just kill them quickly in any case.

Add Ruthlessness to the equation and Eagle Warriors are not only very difficult to combat but also are the best villager killers in the game besides Oprichniks (and that may be debatable).

Eagle Warriors don't make the Aztecs OP or unbeatable by any means. They are just a very obnoxious unit that breaks the counter system, and that's why I hate to play against them.[/quote]

All light infantry gets a special line item versus eagle runner knights in the proto file. For example, here is a Skirmisher:

<DamageBonus type 'AbstractHeavyInfantry'>2.000000</DamageBonus>
<DamageBonus type ='AbstractLightCavalry'>1.500000</DamageBonus>
<DamageBonus type ='xpEagleKnight'>1.500000</DamageBonus>

It does not how up in the in-game UI, but the bonus exists. In the next patch, it will even be greater (x2) than versus other ranged cavalry (x1.5). This is because of the way they are defined in the proto file. As it is now, all light infantry (ranged like skirms) get a bonus of 1.5 to dragoons, eagles, bow riders, etc.

In the next patch, light infantry (skirms) will get a x2 bonus to light cavalry & eagle knights but a 0.75 multiplier versus cavalry. Since light cavalry is also cavalry, the bonus light infantry gets to Dragoon type units is x2 x 0.75 = 1.5 (the same as previous patches). However, eagle runner knights are not cavalry so the bonus against them will be x2.

In the next patch, when all cavalry is indirectly boosted, the Aztecs will need to depend on eagle runner knights even more, but they are severely weakened (less range, weaker fire pit, and countered by counters harder than any other civ). Combine that with the fact that Jaguars lost their bonus to cavalry (went from x3 to x2) and pumas do not have any upgrade cards (well, 1 to speed), Aztecs may have some trouble late game against cavalry. Melee units just do not do as well as ranged cavalry versus melee cavalry.

It will definitely be a different game for Aztec players. If you have played Aztecs for any significant amount of time, you would agree that skirms counter eagles just fine until the Aztec player sends 3 – 5 cards, and has 35 dancers on the fire pit not collecting resources (i.e. early to mid fortress). In a 1v1, if the Aztec player gets to this point, he deserves to win. Eagle massing is really only a problem in team games. It is impossible to pull this off against an equally skilled opponent in a 1v1.

The only way to make this fair, is if they give a special line item towards eagle runner knights of 1.5 (since that will be the net effect bonus towards dragoon type units) but I did not see anything in the patch notes that made me believe that will happen.
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Re: The OP Aztecs and how to lame them

Post by Macabee »

[quote=""Cyclohexane""]

It will definitely be a different game for Aztec players. If you have played Aztecs for any significant amount of time, you would agree that skirms counter eagles just fine until the Aztec player sends 3 – 5 cards, and has 35 dancers on the fire pit not collecting resources (i.e. early to mid fortress). In a 1v1, if the Aztec player gets to this point, he deserves to win. Eagle massing is really only a problem in team games. It is impossible to pull this off against an equally skilled opponent in a 1v1.
[/quote]


Exactly. In 1 v 1, if you lose to an ERK spam, you've been outplayed. Even more true for those playing a lame civ. It takes 4 cards, lots of gold, and 15 villagers (who aren't gathering resources) and 10 priests on the firepit to pull it off, not to mention the slow to fortress time for Aztecs and the low military pop.

Also, ERKs counters tend to be cheaper units and the counters also tend to fit the economy of the respective civ better than ERKs. Dutch come to mind using skirms and fast hals that use gold and have much more pop available for military. I can go civ by civ and make the point. I've also seen fully upgraded ERK's get slaughtered by several units including units that ERKs are supposed to counter themselves, especially in age 5.

It'll be nice to have units other than ERKs after the next patch. It's more fun using different units. Like the game Mizzkid and I played vs a china/aztec rush. They went after Mizzkid's brits and knocked him down to to just 6 vills. He not only stayed in the game but recovered really well, while I was able to mostly use coyotes to win a few skirmishes, lost a few too but bought time while Mizzkid built up his army and we won. I like to think the other team was outplayed, not outlamed by op coyotes. lol

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Re: The OP Aztecs and how to lame them

Post by KingKaramazov »

The problem, Cyclo, is that ERKs are produced quickly, have ranged armor, have good range, especially with a couple of cards, and do good damage. They are easily massable, and with Ruthlessness, were one of the best raiding units in the game.

The real problem with ERKs before was that they didn't need any units to support them in order to be effective. Now that they have lowered range and attack, you'll actually have to use some other units like coyotes, maces, and jags along with them in order to protect them and help them. They aren't going to be useless by any means. But ERKs have been lame units for a long time. Less so in 1.00 TAD than in previous patches, but they can still be abused somewhat. Finally in 1.01 they are being dealt with.
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Re: The OP Aztecs and how to lame them

Post by Sun_Tzu1 »

ERKs often did need support. Normally AK. From artillery obviously & for killing buildings. However, it was comfortable not having to worry about your opponent's Cav - ERKs dealt with them nicely.

Skirmishers have the edge on ERKs. Not by much, but enough to count. And ERKs are expensive.

Also, HI like Jans/Muskets could be hard for ERKS to deal with. Obviously, you'd upgrade your ERKs' range - at the cost of a shipment - but I found HI hard to skirmish given the ERK's 1.5 rate of fire. And when I did skirmish HI I found the ERKs didn't kill them quickly enough to be effect. e.g., if they were in your base they'd be taking down your buildings quite nicely. Obviously, pop artillery in the HI and there goes your advantage. Yes, you can build AKs to take the artillery out, but, by the time you take down the artillery it may have done serious damage to your massed ERKs. On the other hand, if you're left with AKs they can't do much damage to your opponent's massed infantry.

Is it me, or have Dragoons been catching nerfed ERKs up? I've played some games recently where my ERKs have been cheekly matched by Dragoons, and I've not been impressed by the ERKs performance. Particulary as Dragoons are faster. I had an opponent come at me with a few pieces of artillery with dragoon support and I really struggled to do anything against it.

Hope we don't get to the stage where civs with all the Dragoon upgrades can just spam Dragoons against Aztecs and there's no reply!!!

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Re: The OP Aztecs and how to lame them

Post by KingKaramazov »

No offense to Sun and Mac but you are both Aztec players (and therefore just a bit biased).

Every experience I've had with ERK over the last few patches has shown me that they have been and in some ways still are lame. With ruthlessness changed and their range reduced, they aren't as bad anymore.

The reason the range nerf was necessary was that ERK were too good at hitting and running against HI like muskets / pikes / halbs etc, which they are not meant to counter.

Anyway, it's not a problem now. I think Aztec will be more than fine.
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Re: The OP Aztecs and how to lame them

Post by Macabee »

[quote=""KingKaramazov""]No offense to Sun and Mac but you are both Aztec players (and therefore just a bit biased).

Every experience I've had with ERK over the last few patches has shown me that they have been and in some ways still are lame. With ruthlessness changed and their range reduced, they aren't as bad anymore.

The reason the range nerf was necessary was that ERK were too good at hitting and running against HI like muskets / pikes / halbs etc, which they are not meant to counter.

Anyway, it's not a problem now. I think Aztec will be more than fine.[/quote]

Well, perhaps some could misconstrue our comments to indicate that we want Aztecs to be OP and are therefore disqualified from an honest discussion of Aztecs traits, strengths, and weaknesses, being so biased and all. But I think I'm on record in these forums as stating that if Aztecs become an overly strong civ, I will leave them. I purposely left Dutch to play Aztecs for this very reason.

OTOH, I was looking at some stats and this is what I learned: Among the Brigidier-Field Marshall crowd these are the civs with less usage that Aztecs; Iroqois, German, British, and Portugese. Among Majors and Colonels these civs see less play: Russian, Sioux, German, Spanish, and Portugal. Some of these listed are very close in useage to Aztecs. Although I'm disqualified from having an honest opinion on this topic, it seems to me that these civs (especially among The Brigidiers and Field Marshalls) match my obviously biased opinion of where the civs fall. Though there are circumstances where these civs do well, in general these are the lower tiered civs.

Some have used ruyters and dragoons to counter halbs, pikes and even muskets with hit and run tactics, so I'm not convinced this is particular to ERKs. I was under the impression that HI was less of a direct counter than units that used to be called light infantry (like skirms) vs ruyters, dragoons, and ERKs. And muskets are generally a multipurpose unit with ranged attack less than skirms but melee less than pikes but can do each fairly well. Maybe I'm wrong but that's my sense of it.

I'm also not completely convinced the ruthlessness is the killer card some make it out to be. If an Aztec player is killing huge numbers of villagers there are more problems for the opponent than just the ruthlessness card.

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Re: The OP Aztecs and how to lame them

Post by KingKaramazov »

Mac, I know very well you don't want the Aztecs to be OP.

The point is, from your perspective ERKs might not seem that lame but that's because you use the Aztecs, you're rarely on the other side of the equation.
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Re: The OP Aztecs and how to lame them

Post by Macabee »

[quote=""KingKaramazov""]Mac, I know very well you don't want the Aztecs to be OP.

The point is, from your perspective ERKs might not seem that lame but that's because you use the Aztecs, you're rarely on the other side of the equation.[/quote]

Well, just the other day I played a mirror vs a higher ranked Aztec player. He aged up and tried to spam ERKs. I'm aware of Aztecs weaknesses as well as their strengths. I didn't give him time to mass them or send the cards he needed to make them work.

I think, as in the original post for this thread, that if an Aztec player is in a game and mace get killed, coyotes get killed, JPK's get killed, and the Aztec player is forced to rely on just one of the two ranged units it has (some civs have more ranged units than Aztecs do), that's not lame, that's having no options. I think the primary reason Aztecs are a lower tier civ is they are exceptionally one dimensional. I have and still support the upcoming 1.01 changes. Finally it looks like the gaping holes I see in the civ will be closed well enough (each civ should have strengths and weaknesses as well and bonus'). I can't wait for the complaints about easily massed op coyotes to get started next. lol

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Re: The OP Aztecs and how to lame them

Post by KingKaramazov »

TBH in 1v1 I wouldn't necessarily say they are "lower tier" civ even in the current patch, more like middle of the pack.

On water maps they can be super strong, they have a good boom, and against some civs their rush is unstoppable. Against others, they don't stand a chance. Different than being a lower tier civ.

In the next patch I think Aztec will be top 6-7 at least (most likely better).
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Re: The OP Aztecs and how to lame them

Post by luukje »

Once you let your opponent get 20 plus ERK it was GG. Yes they are expensive and I have won a few games against aztec where the they didnt get an ERK spam going. 10-15 ERK dont stop an age 3 european army.

But once they got going, no stopping. Age 3 dutch skirmisher, upgraded with cards, and still couldnt beat the spam.

I think aztec will be more balanced, if you get jags (counter HI) and ERK, upgraded with knight combat you should not have a problem with cavalry.
Much will depend on how effective coyotes will be countering LI.

I think aztec will have trouble vs goon/skirmisher late game.

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Re: The OP Aztecs and how to lame them

Post by I__CHAOS__I »

comon guys, you're putting this way out of proportion.
ERK's DO NOT BEAT SKIRMS until lategame after you have all upgrades and the attack dance with 10 priests.

I'm not saying they should have been nerfed, but what I've read here is just so off.
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Re: The OP Aztecs and how to lame them

Post by luukje »

Well straight FF for ERK was never a good strat. Not like FF for fast halberds. And aztec were never an op civ, if you could take them on in colonial you had a good chance of running them over in early fortress.

But a good player using aztec strong colonial shipments and BB for an extended colonial war/pressure and then going fortress with a good economy and getting the firepit full with ten WP and then spamming ERK was real hard to counter. To know what is comming and still not be able to counter it, is a bit lame. Maybe skirmisher could gain a slight edge on 1v1 combat, but ERK could retreat so quick, rebuild and when you were fighting between 2 noble huts and warhuts, your skirmisher force got depleted fast enough for the ERK to resume their attack. Or they would just run to your base and get a quick 5 villager down.

To beat aztec you had to: beat back their rush with a strong colonial force or get to fortress unharmed and then shipment spam them before they could recover.

If you loose a game to an equal player that just outspammed you on ERK, despite you building the counter, people get frustrated.

The patch was all about erasing 1 unit spams/build orders and I think they did a good job with ERK. Aztec got other fine units, a good age 4 economy and even an improved age 2, so they will definitely be a one of the strongest civs in the new patch.

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Re: The OP Aztecs and how to lame them

Post by ruminator »

ERK were only good when massed with about 3 cards played. If you want to have 3/4 cards in your deck for ERK then you have to spam them and if your opponent remembers to check your deck they know what's coming.

I tended to opt away from ERK as i didn't like all my eggs in one basket. I tended to mass coyotes and mace and then build arrow knights from noble huts, with only a few ERK for support. The 1.01 changes will certainly help this sort of build.

Massed arrow knights can be deadly, especially with stealthed coyotes and jaguars lurking around - again though you do need a good few to make it worthwhile. I once steamed through about 30 of them with 5 curraisers!

My main weakness was probably not building enough puma spearmen. They seemed to be the least used of the Aztec units - I think I just had an issue over paying 50 gold for a pike!
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Re: The OP Aztecs and how to lame them

Post by KingKaramazov »

Chaos the problem wasn't that ERK specificallly countered or even beat skirms by cost (without cards). The problem was that skirms didn't counter them well enough. A group of eagle warriors properly microed could defeat a group of skirmishers without that much trouble.

A player attempting to counter ERK spam had to make way more skirmishers than was reasonable in order to "counter" the ERKs. Add the fact that ERKs were and still are very easily upgradeable and can be quickly produced by an Aztec player with an active firepit and most likely a very strong economy, and it's easy to see why players could be overwhelmed by mass Eagles even if they did nothing but mass skirmishers. The only civs I imagine didn't have this problem were Sioux and Iroquois -- they could keep up with the unit spam, for obvious reasons.

So skirmishers didn't counter them well enough, is what I'm saying. That's why the range reduction and the change of the multiplier against ERKs was warranted.
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Re: The OP Aztecs and how to lame them

Post by Hydrovert5 »

ERKs aren't the only Aztec strength. Aztecs can have uber-walls (when?) they send the town dance card. Not too sure if you dance is available anyway but when the walls are affected by this, the walls have about 150k HP. That makes breaking through walls a bit of a task for your opponent.

Wall-spam, anyone? :twisted:

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