Total War

Are there too many melee infantry/elite infantry counters?

Just hoping to start some serious discussion here. This is primarily for campaign, but to a lesser degree it affects multiplayer too.

Out of all the devastating spells and attacks in the game, most of them excel against infantry. Vortex spells, doomrockets, artillery and so on, the number of ways your Chosen (Great Weapons) can get absolutely annihilated in seconds is beyond count.

As a comparison, single entities are much more resilient. Compare the speed at which cannons kill giants to the speed at which poison wind mortars kill the supporting infantry. Compare the damage wind blasts and banishments do to the infantry versus the damage spirit leech and arcane unforging does to monsters.

In campaign it gets even worse due to how difficulty modifiers are handled. Single entities have so many advantages in mobility, non-degrading performance as they take damage and so on, they are consistently viable. But melee infantry fall off even harder. It becomes more efficient to run entire armies of archers than to bother with spearmen at all. The balance is further skewed by healing (with potentially near infinite winds of magic) and the supply lines mechanic ensuring one strong army is always preferable to two weak ones.

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Multiplayer has different gold and army constraints as well as no building requirements, skills or tech (as well as no logistical concerns), so balance is much improved, yet it is still very noticeable. The mere existence of poison wind mortars makes bringing elite infantry of any kind a fool's errand against skaven, just as an example, and another is that the common norsca vs high elves matchup sees the former being able to brutally deny elite troops of the latter by using pendulums, seafang, etc.

Should this balance be improved in some way? It's so sad to see Chaos – whose theme is about very powerful heavy infantry – instead be relegated to spamming Shaggoths because they completely outclass the alternatives even at their price point.


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