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 Peasants: What is the Point?

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PostSubject: Peasants: What is the Point?   2015-07-22, 14:13

I was playing Heroes II the other day and marched my army upon a horde of angry peasants guarding an artifact. As I brushed the little gnats aside with the wave of my hand, and a measley first week army of centaurs, gargoyles, griffins, and a tiny band of vagabond sprites, I couldn't help but wonder..... Peasants: What is your reason for existing?

All games, that include combat, have a weak level one unit that is there for you to step on as you ascend to greatness, but..... they at least have some kind of quality that makes them tough at first. After having so many opportunities to analyze peasants, I realize that there is nothing redeeming about them.

They are terribly weak in both defense and attack, and even if you were to mass a large amount of them(which is the only thing that really makes a tier one unit worth it's salt), they are incapable of moving fast, in a matter of both movement and turn taking. So, that massive army of bloodthirsty peasants is basically destined to fall victim to a few well placed arrows and/or spells eventually, without a kill to their name, or, even if they are able to walk up to main army under the cover of a better, more feared, ally, they would be easily felled by a much stronger melee attacker. All I can say is, 'Thank you, peasants, for all of those times you took up space and prevented a much more valuable ally from joining my ranks. May you rest in peace knowing that you're to blame for the end of your comrades' lives and dreams!'.



.....Has anyone had any kind of experience that proves me wrong? I, and the original creators of this game, may rest a little easier knowing that the addition of the wart know as 'Peasant' wasn't a total waste of time.
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Orzie
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PostSubject: Re: Peasants: What is the Point?   2015-07-22, 19:26

Well, they also can have use in the hands of skilled players. Mostly it's castle defence due to their low cost and ability to deal more damage than they worth.
I recall a speedrun video of Pandemonium map where the dude used many strategies unusual for a casual player.



I must state, however, that this 9 days result is not considered ultimate. The dwellers of the Tournament Arena on various info resources may very well have shown better results. There are not too many of them currently because they are mostly Russian, but we will see what happens later.

I also recall a mission in one of the Heroes 3 WoG campaigns where Peasants were artificially made a ferocious weapon with the use of Vial of Life Blood, hero raised statistics and forcing player to use them.

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PostSubject: Re: Peasants: What is the Point?   2015-07-22, 22:30

Because of their stats peasant are one of ost iconic creatures in the game. It is always funny to have a creature with simply lowest stats possible making them so weak that it is hilarious to see them fight. But as Orzie said they also have their strategic use and has the highest damage to health ratio Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Peasants: What is the Point?   2015-07-29, 21:00

In the "HOMM II Mod" this is the changes they made, and I'm pretty sure they make a big difference, especially the speed increase:

Increased Peasant basic growth from 12 to 24 (total 24+2+8=34)
Decreased Peasant gold cost from 20 to 15
Increased Peasant speed from Very Slow to Slow
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PostSubject: Re: Peasants: What is the Point?   2015-07-30, 04:39

Whoa, these changes seem drastic. I am interested to check this.

The speed improvement is definitely provocative: now the Knights will be able to take Peasants and Archers in one party for scouting because Peasants are no longer Very Slow. This will overthrow all existing offline gameplay strategies. I suspect Peasants being even too dangerous (at least as a damage dealing stack). It's still pretty clear that the Peasant stack will diminish very quickly under a focused assault.

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PostSubject: Re: Peasants: What is the Point?   2015-07-30, 07:06

I'm pretty fond of how that mod changes several creatures from Very Slow to Slow (Zombies are the main other one that comes to mind). Peasants become a lot scarier.
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PostSubject: Re: Peasants: What is the Point?   2015-07-30, 07:25

That is a pretty huge buff considering it increases their speed by 50%, while also making them cheaper and more numerous. We actually made our peasant for H3:TSW too strong with a 1-2 damage range Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Peasants: What is the Point?   2015-08-02, 19:31

Regarding creature stats there were little changes in HoMM I -> HoMM II transition, and this could be the reason why peasants feel too weak. If we look at H1, i'd say the peasant were way more important there than in H2. First thought is that because the battlefield size makes H1 peasants more capable to reach an enemy, but there may be other reasons.
I would advocate increased speed as the first measure to make these guys more useful.
Alternatively, what if they had H5 specialty - generation of gold. Then you would love to have them, but not on the battlefield...
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PostSubject: Re: Peasants: What is the Point?   2015-08-02, 20:02

True that. The stats come from Heroes 1 where Peasants were something bigger.
I am thinking about adding them the gold ability, considering their weak stats in H3SW. I should remind however, that this ability comes from Heroes 4 where Peasants were not weak and their growth was limited, so this should be also taken into account.

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PostSubject: Re: Peasants: What is the Point?   2015-08-02, 20:47

Right, there were peasants in H4 too. Forgott them.
Random thoughts on the gold generation subject: If a peasant would produce 1 gold per day, it would take three weeks to repay himself, which is quite long time. The knight town itself is among the cheapest and could be considered more a rusher than late game town. So, it is questionable whether the knight itself benefits much from the peasant's gold. If the player has different town types then of course knight type towns and villages would be more valuable than others to support the dragon/titan armies of late game.
If the aim is to make different towns more equal/balanced then the money generation may not be the best way to go. For new/fun experience it would however add more than peasant speed increase.
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PostSubject: Re: Peasants: What is the Point?   2015-08-02, 21:45

Some robust speed calculations. H1 had battlefield 35 hexes out of which ca 20 were free (free of armies and obstacles and therefore the "maneuvering space"). H2 had battlefield was 99 hexes and maneuvering space around 85 hexes. So the field increased 2.8 fold and the space not already covered by armies or obstacles by more than 4 fold. This means that even H2 "slow" melee creatures are rather in slight disadvantage compared to H1 and "very slow" creatures are just ... losers. It makes even worse that the speed is also initiative. As an attacker peasants may be the first troop to act on field in H1, but less likely so in H2. So to make H2 peasants equal to H1 peasants, their speed should be 3 (slow) or even 4 (average)?

Yet another solution i thought once is to have them rescurrected after battle. Peasants really do not die, but mostly just run away in panic. So if a necromancer collects skeletons after battle, a knight collects say 80% of "killed" peasants from nearby bushes back after a victorious battle.
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PostSubject: Re: Peasants: What is the Point?   2015-08-02, 22:15

Would this be as well as a speed increase? I think Peasants need to be at least Slow (3 Hexes/Turn) for this to work.
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PostSubject: Re: Peasants: What is the Point?   2015-08-02, 22:29

I am in strong doubt that any implementation of post-battle resurrection for H2 is not bad for balance and game atmosphere.

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PostSubject: Re: Peasants: What is the Point?   2015-08-03, 01:07

Pitsu wrote:
Yet another solution i thought once is to have them resurrected after battle. Peasants really do not die, but mostly just run away in panic. So if a necromancer collects skeletons after battle, a knight collects say 80% of "killed" peasants from nearby bushes back after a victorious battle.  
I like this idea. Smile It's not resurrection, it's ran away, came back.

Maybe if we can prevent they die and really make the peasant stack loosing troops itself... It would be good.
(kind of hiding peasants...). But then... when the Knight lost all his army, he can still fight because he has some hidden peasants! hahahaha Very Happy (or not, if hidden peasants doesn't have any "turn".. :p)

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PostSubject: Re: Peasants: What is the Point?   2015-08-08, 10:23

I disagree that H1 peasants should be better than their H2 versions. The peasant in H2 can actually cross the battlefield faster than in H1 and can move faster diagonally across the battlefield. The peasant in H1 can though cover up shooters easier, because there simply is no free hexes between the units when battle begins. That do though also make it easier for the enemy to make breath attacks with either the dragon or the phoenix where peasant usually dies and the neighboring stack can't retaliate. I still think the H2 peasant has more advantages than the H1 version, but that is just my guess of course.
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PostSubject: Re: Peasants: What is the Point?   2015-08-08, 10:31

From my offline tournament experience, H1 peasants have a use and H2 peasants practically don't.

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PostSubject: Re: Peasants: What is the Point?   2015-08-08, 10:39

But is that just because the average strength of creatures is greater in H2 than H1? I mean upgrades as well as Wizard and Necromancer creatures makes the general power level of creatures bigger I suppose?
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PostSubject: Re: Peasants: What is the Point?   2015-08-08, 10:43

That's because the battlefield in H1 is basically much smaller than in H2. Peasants are useful for early battles with fast melee-oriented neutrals (like Nomads) as a damage dealing stack. They have Slow speed just as Archers.

In Heroes 2 they have Very Slow speed which reduces the hero movement points.

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PostSubject: Re: Peasants: What is the Point?   2015-08-08, 10:48

So because you can't escape the "slow" speed of archers you have a speed cape of "slow" units in H1 anyway, but you can change that in H2 by upgrading the archers to rangers?
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PostSubject: Re: Peasants: What is the Point?   2015-08-08, 10:50

The party speed is calculated over the slowest creature in the party. Simple logistics. Smile

I would recommend you to try some of offline tournaments which are featured here on the forum. Some Heroes 1 tournaments and Heroes 2 ones are going to appear on the next week.

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PostSubject: Re: Peasants: What is the Point?   2015-08-08, 10:56

Orzie wrote:
The party speed is calculated over the slowest creature in the party. Simple logistics. Smile

I know dude, I just got confused because you said that Peasant is very slow in H2 (which is completly true) but so is archers so that changes nothing, unless you upgrade them, which was my point Wink

Orzie wrote:
I would recommend you to try some of offline tournaments which are featured here on the forum. Some Heroes 1 tournaments and Heroes 2 ones are going to appear on the next week.

I would love to, but unfortunately I had not time for this partiqular one, but I am pretty sure I will give the next one a try Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Peasants: What is the Point?   2015-08-08, 18:51

Still, even a legion of peasants is manageable with some decent shooter stacks, mass slow, mirror images etc. They are still quite weak for their level and I think some changes need to be made so that people actually use them.
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