Farmcraft (Idea's Board)

Level 5
May 27, 2007
Hey guys, I'm just going to use this thread as a sounding board for various idea's that I have regarding my latest project.

First thing I'd like feedback on, is a combat system.

This image demonstrates the simplicity of the system.


In short:
Swords beat Spears
Spears beat Horses
Horses beat Archers
Archers beat Swords.

In long:
In the above analogy, 'beat' is a bit too strong a word. You are always going to sustain losses. For example, above it states that Archers beat Swords. This is not strictly true. If my opponent had 10 archers and I had 20 swordsmen, I would win, although I would suffer more casualties than he has done.

Similarly, a large force of cavalry could win against a smaller force of spearmen. But again, the cavalry force would lose a lot more than the spearmen force.

I should probably also talk about the value of the units.

An Archer is the cheapest. Quick to produce, least food upkeep.
A Footman is second cheapest, still fast to produce, small food upkeep.
Spearman are average price, quite quick to produce and a medium food upkeep.
Knights... High cost, slow build time and high food upkeep.

So, with this in mind, we can assign each of the units a 'Point Value' based on it's relative cost, build time and upkeep:

Archers: 1
Footmen: 2
Spearmen: 2
Knights: 4

So, roughly speaking, a Knight takes 4 times as long to produce as 1 archer does. Yet, due to Knights being able to put the beat down on Archers, one Knight should theoretically be able to kill 4 archers. Still with me?

Footmen are valued at 2. But they are ultimately weak against Archers. So, in theory, one archer should be able to deal with 2 footmen and come out on top.

Spearmen, valued same as footmen at 2, are the ideal counter against Knights. So, one Spearman can take down 2 knights. Theoretically.

Footmen gain their bonus when fighting Spearmen... But, you'll notice they both have the same value. While footmen are statistically weaker (less attack-speed, less attack damage, less hitpoints, less armour), their bonus against Spearmen is such to put them on a level footing. With one spearman and one footman, the victory would be 50/50. Every time.

You'll notice I kept mentioning 'in theory' and 'theoretically' above. The reason for this, is that in practice: You will never have a 1v1 situation between a Swordsmen and a Spearman. Or a Knight and an Archer.

I am considering implementing this system, as a means of forcing a player to diversify his troops. And micromanage his battles:

So that your archers are hitting footmen, and your knights are countering his enemy archers, while your spearmen make short work of enemy knights.

What this has been leading to, I guess. Is, do you think it is worth my time and effort to implement this into my map?

Or should I just wing it, and give each unit it's own characteristics, and hopefully balance them nicely?

Edit note: This system is nothing new, and I do not claim any sort of acceptance that this is my idea. It has been prevalent in almost every combat simulator (most famously: Total War), and is even regarded by military historians as factually accurate (from writers such as Cicero in 50's BC ancient Rome, to French writers during various European conflicts of the last 2 centuries).

All I want to know, is it worth implementing this into a war3.edit format?
Level 9
May 28, 2009
This Combat system you are talking about is my favorite. It's quite simple whilst it's still very affective. The first time I ever saw this kind of system was in LoTR - BFME. And that game is great. Although I suppose your system won't be as flashy as that was, it's still very good. I vote for using this system as it, how should a put this... Forces players to think ''tactics''.
+Rep for this. I really hope your game will be very enjoyable.
Level 5
May 27, 2007
Thanks z00rtaz. Appreciate it.

In addition to the very simple method of

Arrows > Swordsmen > Spearmen > Knights > Arrows

Unit's have a wide variety of upgrades available... Also, the Tech-tree progresses as above, Archers are available first, then Swordsmen, then Spearmen and then finally Knights.

So, if you are a weaker player with low-tech (Swords + Archers), fighting against a high-tech player with access to (Knights + Spearmen), you still have a chance to win - through upgrading tactically as well.

Examples of upgrades:
Elven Longbows: +200 attack range.
Sneak (Ability): 20 second windwalk, -25% movespeed.
Elven Bowmastery: +20% crit x2, +12.5% dodge

Stamina Training: +25 movespeed
Sprint (Ability): Gain +100% movespeed for 3 seconds
Swordsmanship: +8 to 12 attack damage

Phalanx (Ability): Like defend, protects Vs arrows, -50% movespeed
Manoeuvre: +0.8 to turn-rate and +10% to attack speed
Javelins (Secondary Attack: Short range missile, bonus Vs swords.

Mithril Plating: +100 hitpoints.
Charge (Ability): +100% move speed for 2 seconds, +100% damage on next attack.
Battle-Dismount: When a Knight's hit-points reach <200 he dismounts and becomes a Swordsman.
Level 9
May 28, 2009
Personally, I think that adding those kind of upgrades will sometimes ruin the game.
For example:
For Swordsmen
Sprint (Ability): Gain +100% movespeed for 3 seconds. + Stamina Training: +25 movespeed

These ones (I hope) will be very expensive or atleast nerfed. Because giving these to the swordsmen, who has the disadvantage against archers, will suddenly be able to rush up close to the archers and quickly killing them. The archers will after awhile become extremely weak, as they can't ''beat'' Swordsmen, Pikemen or Cavalry.

Also got a question about this ability:
Battle-Dismount: When a Knight's hit-points reach <200 he dismounts and becomes a Swordsman.
Does this unit stays for the whole game or is it more like a summoned unit. Because otherwise when your buying a cavalry your also buying a Swordsman. Also I wonder if the Dismounted unit will use the Cavalries hp (200) or will it gain it's full hp?

Just sharing ideas. =)
Last edited:

Deleted member 177737


Deleted member 177737

Your idea seems good, but there is one fatal flaw in your combat chart.
I do agree that:
Swords beat Spears
Spears beat Horses
Archers beat Swords

But when it comes to horses beating archers I strongly disagree.
For example say I have 5 Aarchers and you have 2 Horses.
1.) Your horses charge at my archers
2.) My archers see the horses coming towards them
3.) My archers fire at your horsemen (while they are still charging)
4.) Since the horsemen are still charging towards the archers, my archers have free time to fire at your horses which would undoubtedly lead to your horses taking massive damage before they even reach my archers
5.) Horse #1 falls to early archer attack
6.) Horse #2 reaches archers, but is soon killed by archers #2-5 after targeting Archer #1 for single combat.

Now if you look at the above situation logically, and go over a few scenario's where the horses may be closer, or the archers may be on a cliff so the horses half-to go up a ramp to reach them. 75% of the time the horses would fall unless supported by a charge of footmen or a squad of archers firing a volley at the enemy archers before they can attack your horses.
Therefore unless your horses are backed up by other forces they will fall. The deciding unit would most-likely end up being the archers if it was a full army battle.

If you don't want to read my wall of text heres the short version:

Archers+Range=Dead Horses
Level 5
May 27, 2007
Thanks for your input, Yayoi.

Archers have two attacks.

A short-ranged melee, very weak against armoured (well any units)
Their typical long-ranged arrow volley.

Again, sorry I did not make this clear enough from the beginning :)...

So, the archers range for the melee attack is 125. Whereas, the Ranged attack has a minimum range of 250, and a maximum range of 750.

So, in your Scenario, two knights charge five archers. You're right, the most likely outcome would be the archers get 1 to 2 shots off before changing to a melee attack, that is between 5 and 10 arrows fired. But, with Warcraft 3, there is nothing which will dictate that the archers fire 5 arrows at each Knight - killing them both. A much more likely scenario is that 6/7 or 8 arrows will hit and kill one Knight, leaving 4/3/2 or 1 arrow to hit the remaining Knight. Once this Knight has entered melee combat with the archers, he will take down at least 3 or 4 of them.

Other things to consider: Late / Mid game upgrades:
Archers get a % chance to crit x2 damage.
Knights get a % chance to turn into Footmen when their HP reaches <349.

Archers can 'sneak' - Windwalk, 15 seconds, -50% movespeed. 0.8 sec channel cast-time.
Knights can charge - 100% movespeed for 3 seconds, and +20 damage on next attack.

Archers can lay traps - which slow + damage over time, incoming troops.
Knights become passively much faster & more hitpoints.

So, it is highly likely that a group of Veteran Elven Archers (maximum level) can kill a similarly sized group of Knight-Conscripts (lowest level). Because, these knights cannot charge, have no chance of turning into a footman (ie, the Horse dying and the footman remaining) and are generally a lot weaker and slightly slower than Knights-Templar (maximum level)...

I'm just going to ramble on here about some other idea's I was planning on.

Spearmen - have two modes:
1) Formation (Phalanx, upgraded) - move very slowly, but take 75% reduced damage from arrows from the front and sides. Are very vulnerable to swordsmen and archers to sides and rear. Massive bonus to cavalry in front.
2) Standard - in this mode, they are very much like weaker, faster swordsmen... But, upgraded they gain a Javelin attack, making them into versatile skirmishers in this mode. Medium bonus to cavalry from all angles.

Unit's come in squads.

You train 1 Swordsman (as you would in Warcraft 3), but you receive five. These act as a unit, gain experience together, kill together, and in a rain of arrows, die together.

Archers, come in packs of three. Spearmen, packs of five. And, Knights, packs of three.

I am contemplating whether certain squads of units should have squad-specific upgrades - these would be Item-specific, such as armour/weapons, and can personalise specific squads to deal with specific threats. One example would be:
1) Leather Armour - increased vulnerability to arrows, increased movement speed.
2) Chainmail - slight resistance to arrows, decreased movement speed.
3) Steel Platemail - greatest resistance to arrows and knights, nearly immobile.

The examples were for Swordsmen. This sort of bonus/penalty would be applied across the entire squad. Whereas, upgrades relating to Archers/Spearmen/Knights abilities, would apply to all your units of that type. I am also considering a 4th level of item/squad-specific upgrade (or, development choice), to be sort of elite/legendary:

4) Mithril Chainmail - decreases movement speed, good protection against arrows.

These items would be unlocked (or chosen) as your unit gains experience. Making veteran units more valuable and sturdier (or more specialized) than a mass of green and fresh recruits...

Last two final features: Morale & Flanking.

Every unit is going to have a custom value assigned to it. And this fluctuates depending on the damage the unit (and surrounding friendly units) are taking and the damage the unit (and surrounding friendly units) are dealing. So, morale will go from 0 to 100.

1-20 Terrified, fleeing. You lose control of these units and they run away either quitting the battlefield or running until they regain their nerve or are rallied by a general.
21-30 - On the Brink of Collapse. Unit's gain a slight chance to miss.
31-50 - Tired. Units start moving and attacking slightly more slowly. Mana (energy) doesn't regenerate - meaning you may not be able to use certain abilities.
51-75 - Fresh. No penalties or bonuses. This is what all units start on once they are recruited.
76-85 - Tasted Blood. Slight attack and movement speed increase. These units have tasted success in the field and are eager for more.
86-90 - Victory is in sight. Minor chance to deal critical damage on all attacks.
91+ - This is a special morale level. It is very rare for units to achieve this, except in special circumstances. Which I will talk about in the next section.


I am currently trying to work out a way in which it is possible to figure out, if a unit is being attacked by 1 direction, 2 opposite directions or from all sides. Until I manage to do so, it's getting a bit impossible (pipe-dream really!)... Basically, if you attack a unit from one direction - you gain or lose no morale. If you attack a unit from LEFT and RIGHT OR TOP and BOTTOM - you gain morale quicker and they lose morale quicker.... But, you must be careful not to trap a unit or group of units in FROM ALL SIDES...

If a unit is trapped, their morale is instantly set to 99. 'Final Stand' - with nothing to lose, they realize they cannot escape and attack like crazed veterans. Unit's with this morale level gain a massive attack speed boost. A light chance to miss, but a minimal chance to deal 4x critical damage. They also take damage over time. Unit's in a 'Final Stand' situation are not under your control, and instead act like Fleeing units, except this time fight until either a) they die from combat, b) they die from sheer exhaustion or c) manage to hack their way an exit from the battlefield. That is, to say that they are no longer surrounded by enemy units. When c) happens, they immediately have their morale set to 0, and run for the hills. Note: Some special units, usually Mercenaries, gain an ability which puts them into this mode of morale, effectively sacrificing themselves to deal a silly amount of damage to your opponents troops...

Anyways, in theory I know how to do the Morale. I have no idea how to even contemplate Flanking. The Morale may be a little too intensive - not sure how Warcraft 3 copes with altering the custom value of 12 to 24 (rarely, but sometimes 48) units at once, every 2 to 3 game seconds...

Deleted member 177737


Deleted member 177737

Well you've gotten rid of my doubt's about the knight's.
I'm pretty sure that if this map is finished it will do quite well, cant wait to play it! =)
Level 5
May 27, 2007
Thanks. It's going to be a busy summer holiday :)

Created this threads own Map Development thread.

Decided to separate the two ideas. FarmCraft would be too confusing with this sort of Combat System as well as the Economic System it currently has.

At least one will be finished by the 31st of August 2010. I'll make that promise now, so you can quote me on it! :)