After a few minutes the arty gets serious enough to effectively render all assaults suicidal
This is sad, but not unexpected. Almost every ZK artilery unit's time is better spent shooting mobile targets than it is spent shooting porc. And as longest-range anti-mobile units, once density scales up, the lanchester's square law means arty wins.
In low densities, other units' higher individual
anti-unit efficiency masks this. Like, Emissaries may be good against everything, but you're not countering Glaives with them until you have a legit bunch and some Kodachi. In high densities, the squared efficiency of overlaying Emissary ranges overcomes that.
Indulge me in going through ZK arty list, fac by fac, unit by unit.Cloakbot
- Sling: honest-to-god anti-porc artillery. Still quite bad vs porc, but worse against units than against statics. Quite decent in killing Pickets or wearing down Stingers.
- Phantom: Two-three shots to kill a Stinger. Two-three shots to kill a Commander. One shot to kill a Lance. Guess which of those shots are more valuable?Shieldbot
- Racketeer: perfectly accurate - even by radar - disable antiheavy with OKP. Again, you can disable a Stinger. Or you can disable a riot protecting a bunch of enemy artillery. Or you can with the same ease disable something heavy, so that your heavies have an easier time. Rover
- Badger. Has so little range and so much turn radius that it often dies to Stinger, and so much accuracy that it often misses Pickets. And if it doesn't die to Stinger, it takes five mintues or so to actually kill it. But minefields often kill raiders, and it's accurate enough to kill Scalpels and other skirmishers (and waste their shots).
- Impaler. Actually legit sucks vs mobiles. So far we've counted two artilleries of this kind then, good against statics but not mobiles.Hovercraft
- Lance. Oneshots low-tier commanders, oneshots 400m Stingers, oneshots 400m Maces, oneshots moving 1600m crabs. Three shots to kill a Gauss, three shots to kill a Cyclops. Perfect accuracy. Shooting Stingers with this is just a waste.Heavy Tank
- Emissary. Enough accuracy to hit raiders moving in a straight line. Enough aoe to multikill Ronin or hit targets by radar. Enough damage to one or doubleshot Lance, Recluse, all other skirmishers, most other arty (except Merlin and Tremor lol). Outranges Lance. Almost as fast as Bandit. So you're gonna spend three of its shots to kill a Stinger? You may as well, it has the ROF. But it makes cost much faster against the fragile, expensive mobiles.
- Tremor. Can't hit the side of a barn, can't hit a Picket, can't hit a Glaive. But its accuracy against moving Glaives is exactly the same as its accuracy against static Pickets. It's exactly as bad against mobiles as it is against statics, a rare thing and an exception in our list. I won't count it as anti-unit but when you have enough, they will become anti-unit easy enough.Jumpjet
- Firewalker. Riot artillery. Shotgun sidearm at point blank. One shot can ruin a whole skirmisher ball or a bunch of raiders. Sucks vs porc because of low dps and bad accuracy - takes minutes to cook a Stinger, often misses Pickets. One Aegis counters three Firewalkers. Ship
- Envoy. Remember Emissary? This is an Emissary with more range, more health, more DPS, and it can shoot on the move. Now you know why you fear the sea.Gunships
Not going to include this in the totals, but Nimbus outranges Stinger so is technically an arty.
Again, i'm going to say these don't count, but i'll comment on them anyway.
- Merlin. Yeah it can kill a stinger, even oneshot it. Or you see those other things on the list? It can kill several of those at once
, also one shot. Or a commander, always good. Three merlins can OHK a Paladin. Shooting a bunch of Lances is often instant cost made.
- Paladin. Has that tachy gun that outranges Stinger so its technically an artillery. But lol. I mean. Hahaha.
- Shogun. You thought Paladin was funny? Shogun. Remember Envoy? This is an envoy with Cerberus guns. Three of those. I mean, it's a strider, so it's okay, but ahaha.
- Scylla. Shit be expensive, but shit be true arty, and one of the best ways to kill superweapons. Pluksub best sub.Totals (without striders and nimbus)
Anti-unit artillery units in this game: 7 (Phantom Racketeer Badger Lance Emissary Firewalker Envoy).
Anti-static artillery units in this game: 2 (Sling Impaler).
Tremors in this game: 1 (Tremor).Arty dominance in super dense environments is a foregone conclusion. Resistance is futile. You will be artillerated
The problem might actually be that playing clusterfuck on tiny maps is shit.
Too many words, man.
So, what about a new sort of unit that is extremely effective against artillery but crap against other units? What I'd have in mind is basically some sort of big shield in front of a unit that can soak up ludicrous amounts of damage, from the frontal arc only. It it gets outflanked its toast, but it would give other units some sort of cover so that they can get close enough to assault without getting ripped to shreds.
This is pretty much what assault units should do. Frontal shield doesn't do much to arty though, many of this stuff is high-arc. Racketeer in particular will just disarm your battering ram from above. But it's an interesting idea.