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Is using weapons on troops worth it

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glumetzul View Drop Down
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    Posted: 23 Oct 2018 at 12:34
Hello,

I think I can be considered a rookie as in I've read a lot but I haven't really been through a war so I'd say that I'm lacking experience. Lately I've been doing some math and research on mass weapons production so they can be equipped to troops rather than commanders.

I've been using the tables on Ten Kulch's profile regarding equipment and analyzed the first few recommended equipment items (green rating). I've aproximated the cost of each equipment based on the market cost of each element at some time, and skipping the most cheapest offers to simulate for the long term cases when those won't be available.

1. Plainsman's Spear: Spear (~75 gold) + 10 gold + Scaled Charger Vertebra (~13000 gold) + Herb (~400 gold). In total I have a cost of 13485 for an item that would raise my spear unit by 60% on Plains. For reference, the estimated cost of a human T2 Spear would be 1325 gold. So I'm spending 13.5k to increase the stats of a 1.3k unit by 60%, and only on plains.
2. Plainsman's Armour: Leather Armour (~300 gold) + 10 gold + Hide (~4500 gold) + Giant Scorpion Exoskeleton (~15000 gold) = ~19810 gold. I can use it on an archer for example to increase it by 60% on plains (or 100% being human) but that archer would cost me ~607 gold otherwise.
3. Forester Spear: Spear (~75 gold) + 10 gold + Giant Rat Fur (~3000 gold) + Herb (~400 gold) = ~3485 gold
4. Short Sword: Sword (~285 gold) + 10 gold + Giant Rat Fur (~3000 gold) + Mineral (~200 gold) = ~3495 gold

So you see where I'm getting at. With some of those items I pay about 10 times the cost of a single unit and I only get a 60% bonus on plains. And I know that you may be telling me that the costs I took from the market are way overpriced and I could get a better deal but still I doubt I could get a deal that's 5 times better or 10 times. And if I get a better deal on a Giant Scorpion Exoskeleton, I might as well get a better deal on simple spears or leather armours and this lower my estimated troop price as well. 

All in all, basic math would suggest that rather than buying equipment parts, crafting equipment and equipping my troops, I should rather buy advanced resources and just train more troops. Or, if we're not talking about buying them on the market, I should sell my harversted resources (like Giant Rat Furs) and with the gold buy advanced resources for more troops. Or even better, use my harvested resources to create items, sell those, instead of equipping my troops and then buy items to create more troops.

Now, I suspect the two main factors in this are the duration time to train troops and the upkeep. Obviously instead of waiting to train 10k spears, I could only train 5k and craft another 5k Plainsman's Armour and then when using them on Plains have the equivalent of 10k spears with half the upkeep and half the training time. 

But is it really worth it to spend the equivalent of 11 spear units in gold on a single unit that acts like 2 on plains? As mentioned early in the post, I don't have practical experience, just theoretical knowledge, and that's why I'm posting here. I wonder exactly how useful that equipment is for the troops? Is it worth it to hoard it in case there's a war or rather hoard advanced equipment and hope that I can train enough troops when the time comes? Or just hoard troops despite their upkeep so that I'm always ready? Or am I missing something about war equipment that makes it a lot cheaper or a lot more useful?
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glumetzul View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote glumetzul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Oct 2018 at 13:32
After a bit more research, I feel like I may have partially answered my own question. It's about the defensive items dropping back to the defender and being reusable, right?

Still, that doesn't explain why someone would use attack items, except emergencies.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dessembrae Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Oct 2018 at 14:06
You are forgetting another one of the main factors,the cost of troops per hour.
AKA Agalloch The Rude
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glumetzul View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote glumetzul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Oct 2018 at 14:37
Originally posted by Dessembrae Dessembrae wrote:

You are forgetting another one of the main factors,the cost of troops per hour.
Not exactly forgetting, I'm just trying to understand how relevant that is.

If a Pikeman costs me 1325 gold to train, and the upkeep is 3 gold / hour, it takes about 18 days of having him idle until he was better of not being trained at all. Or course some people would rather accept the loss rather than be unprepared, it depends on personal strategy I suppose.

Nof if I add a Plainsman's Spear to him, he's 60% more effective, so instead of keeping 1000 pikemen, I only have to keep 625, so that's a 37.5% reduction in number and thus in upkeep. I could translate this as in each Plainsman's Spear saving me 1.125 gold per hour. With an initial investment of 13485 it turns out it becomes profitable after about 500 days. 

I get the idea of having some troops always available but 500 days of keeping them idle is a bit much. If there's a good chance that I won't need those troops in 500 days, I think I'm better off not having them at all and just training them when I need them.

PS: As mentioned before, only today I realised that defensive equipment is theoretically always recovered, unless I reinforced some faraway square, so this changes my previous points, I can see how investing in defensive equipment can be a good idea for long term.
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General Lacesso View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote General Lacesso Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Oct 2018 at 15:55
You should also consider what you are using the army for. If it is to just hunt then there is no good reason to equip your army. Just my opinion though.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Llannedd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Oct 2018 at 17:15
There are also buildings that reduce the cost of troop upkeep, and you can have more than one of them per city. At level 20 1st building reduces upkeep by 30%, 2nd reduces by 15% (each gives half the bonus of the previous). So with 2 buildings of the same type you reduce upkeep by 45%. Similar buildings and stats exist for diplo units as well.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dungshoveleux Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Oct 2018 at 19:08
No-one manufactures by buying all the materials. The "cost" of using the materials is the buy-offer price or just below it. The sell-offer price is only what you THINK the materials are worth.  The reason why most manufactured goods sell for below the sum selling cost of their components is because people are optimistic/greedy and most people regard self manufactured goods as being "free".

Edited by Dungshoveleux - 23 Oct 2018 at 19:12
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Hucbold Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Oct 2018 at 00:37
I'm a big fan of having massive amounts of equipment and occasionally frightening one's enemies by using it! 

However consider the following points:
1. A human T2 cav has an attack value of 65 - a terrain spear or armour adds 39 to that. T1 spears (all races) have a defence against cav value of 13 - so a terrain spear or armour adds 7.8 to that. Those figures have to be modified for terrain afterwards. So the gear is worth different values to different troop types even though they 'cost' the same - whatever your measure of cost is.
2. You can make spears faster than swords and swords faster than bows - so the 'time cost' of spears is less.
3. The terrain specific gear gives a +60% bonus so +120% is possible for all terrains except buildings. The skins needed are common (rats, dogs, bears in particular). So a person who hunts can easily stockpile the gear - my stockpiles of both weapons and armours are in 6 figures and some are close to 7 figures.
4. Some military players don't hunt - meaning they would have to buy the gear. They look at the economics of that and generally reject the idea. That's a choice.
5. To craft effectively, you needs lots of skinners and specialised smiths. That means big population cities and many military players dont like that as its harder to move them. I craft big scale - close to 3k skinners and can craft all the specialised terrain spears at rates between 80-100 per hour and armour at about half that rate. I frequently have more than 10k stuff out there to gather to craft.
6. Gear has NO upkeep per hour, whereas troops DO.
7. You don't lose all the gear when you use it - you may be able to gather some of it, depending on where the battle occurs.
8. You can transfer gear between towns as fast as you can spend pres! You cannot transfer troops.
9. When you do use gear you lose 45.5% of what you would have lost if you sent unarmed troops - and have cut the rebuild time accordingly - your enemy may be building kobolds in the desert with high sov bonuses but they'll find it hard to match that bonus (assuming its on top of miltary sov of your own).
10. Most things in Illy are, in fact, free. The only real costs are pres and your time. Crafting, on a massive scale, helps with both. 

The choices are yours to make. It depends what game you want to play. I am only making the point that there is a way to look at gear that makes it desirable.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SirBradly Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Oct 2018 at 03:41
I agree with alot of the points Hucbold brought up.

I would also add much of it can be related to the troop type you focus on.  A human player making Knights at 65 attack does get much more "point value" for the gear.  Whereas an orc mass producing t1 spearmen would get very little return on investment using gear in the field.

All gear is 100% recoverable within city walls so that's always worth using.

Hunting and making gear is a large commitment of time.  So you have to factor in how active vs casual you want to be.

SB
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glumetzul View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote glumetzul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Oct 2018 at 13:47
Thanks for all the feedback, it did make a difference to clear my head on this subject.

I should add that I realise that the "cost" can be lower by hunting and gathering my own ingredients. My point was that, even if I do that, if those ingredients are valued so much on the market I may be better off selling them, or crafting the item and selling it afterwards, rather than equipping armies with them.

All in all I guess that in defense it's a sensible idea to equip armies since you're likely to recover the items after being attacked. And in attack they make sense either in emergency situations where you really need that extra punch or if equipping the strongest units like Human T2 Cavalry, but even that deppends a bit on the item.
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