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Your playstyles with pikes/spears?


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ThatPikeGuy #1 Posted 08 September 2017 - 07:03 PM

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This thread is dedicated to discussion of different playstyles of pikes and spearmen (throwing in spears just because of hoplite phalanx having about the same purpose as pikes now).

Throw in your own way of playing pikes/spears, I'd like to know how you're approaching these units :o

Also I'll keep updating the thread with more playstyles or just keep adding in for the currently written playstyle.

 

My playstyle varies game to game but I will describe my most preferred style.

 

 

I just call it the "Hyper-aggressive playstyle"

This is my most prefered way of playing pikes mostly because of how fun and intense it can get, despite having a high chance of getting rolled. I actually enjoy dying a bit, as long as I can learn something from it it's fine :)

What I usually do is that I deploy at the very front and pick the flanks or mid, depends where I can get the most forward position.

After getting into the battle I race towards the closest choke or cliff that I can deny from the enemy, which is why I play Cynane's pikes instead of Leo's because by using rapid advance, I can get into the face of at least 2-3 armies at once and block them off from going through the choke for a pretty long amount of time. After the allies have catched up, then I can start pushing in because it's mostly just dumb to go through the usual blobfest without any support, especially if the enemy have dogs.

 

Some general tips I can give for this playstyle: when playing triple pikes, you should spread your pikes out as you're going through a choke. It's meant to stop any flank attacks that generally follow up when going through chokes. The usual setup is the mobile triangle:

                      ------^----- (goes in front)

             -----^------ (either covers the more exposed rear or is ready to go to the closest choke when pushing out)

                                -----^----- (either waits for the front pike unit to die to replace them or to push out from the opposite side)

It isn't recommended to play with just 1 pike unit with this playstyle, but 2 are just manageable. Bringing Cynane will give you the best results but playing any commander will work, even Leo.

With two pikes and let's say a missile unit, I like to deploy in this manner:

 -----^----- (pikes at front, taking all the damage and also dealing most of the damage)

        ------^----- (acting as the rear pike unit, mostly used to protect the archer unit behind or to cover the second choke for a defensive hold)

    --v-- (archers usually stand behind the pikes, but one should move them inbetween the pikes as soon as the enemy attempt to flank)

 

If you do see that your pikes might get destroyed fast (dogs or lots of archers) and you don't see any point in holding the flank, just fall back and eventually protect the base. It's usually the best bet in situations like these.

 

How to support the pike player:

Let the pike player know when he wants to play supportively or when he actually wants to go aggressive, though the usual aggressiveness from this pike playstyle can throw off quite a lot of players so please be prepared of the levels of overextension.

The best units to play with the pikes are:

  • Archers because usually the infantry will be forced to retreat from your pikes so that's free shots in the back;
  • Dogs will get free rear charges and pushing in with pikes will make the dogs get some free kills as the enemy are running away;
  • With cavalry you can either lift your pikes up and let the cavalry charge into the blob you've caught or you can even use cav to your advantage by making them fight infantry while your pikes come in and get some damage in.
  • Sword infantry, just to get that anti-dog support and to protect the rear, usually you can let them go in first so that you can kill off the enemies that do attack them or you can let them follow you as you're pushing through with pikes.

 

This playstyle is highly rewarding while being extremely risky as you can get overwhelmed rather easily, though it is one of the most fun playstyles in the game in my opinion, so prepare to die a lot and keep on improving!



HeroicHoplite #2 Posted 10 September 2017 - 02:44 PM

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I haven't done a lot of field-testing when it comes to the pikes but as you say, phalanxes appears to do the trick just as well. Hadn't crossed my mind to play Cyn-pikes but it makes sense if you're going for the chokepoints though I feel like you'd lose a lot once you're then in the fight? 

 

Personally I love Miltiades for spears to create phalanxes and move backwards while moving a unit behind and let loose hell with Fear - Break Ranks - Infantry Charge into their backs. It do rely a bit on Miltiades being alive but I figure that's always the case.



ThatPikeGuy #3 Posted 10 September 2017 - 04:01 PM

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View PostHeroicHoplite, on 10 September 2017 - 02:44 PM, said:

I haven't done a lot of field-testing when it comes to the pikes but as you say, phalanxes appears to do the trick just as well. Hadn't crossed my mind to play Cyn-pikes but it makes sense if you're going for the chokepoints though I feel like you'd lose a lot once you're then in the fight?

 

Ye unfortunately it's almost guaranteed that I lose my first or even second unit of pikes entirely after the first engagement, which is why the reserve pikes are necessary :s

What kills me the most often are missiles, wedge charges (I wish I was kidding lol) and barbarians but it's usually the first unit that gets focused down, which makes the other two pikes able to escape untouched most of the time.

 

And ye, Cynane's pikes are definitely worth getting just because of rapid advance's pushing and anti-flank potential. Leo is idk I'm getting bored of the turtley playstyle of his even though he can still be a very viable aggressive pike gen.

 

Also, do you move hoplite phalanxes backwards to recover from fatigue or just avoid them from getting damaged?



HeroicHoplite #4 Posted 10 September 2017 - 08:59 PM

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I guess death to missiles is the price for not going with Leo as Commander.

 

I'd probably try Miltiades out too be honest, since he's a bit more aggressive than Leo and still got some decent speed boosts (although not nearly as effective as Cynane's)

 

And yeah I definitely move my phalanxes back quite often to recover fatigue, most enemies follow soon after anyway so unless I accidentally backpeddle into another unit of enemies, I don't see anything negative with it. Should be even better if you're using pikes than spears I figure?



ThatPikeGuy #5 Posted 10 September 2017 - 10:18 PM

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Like the problem with Leo for me was that once you get into phalanx, you're commited to it. While you get massive missile block with fight in the shade and additional DPS/safety from shield bash... eh like I'd rather have mobility and escape and/or be more aggressive than to have abilities that I'd use only when I fuck up and those abilities have serious weaknesses like you can't use fight in the shade as you're retreating + the speed debuff is just beyond bad and shield bash only works from the front so you can't form phalanx while surrounded in-combat.

 

Sure, Leo's pikes can be used with fight in the shade to power push, but you are gonna lose a lot of opportunities because you can end up on unfavourable positioning when you meet up with the enemy.


Edited by ThatPikeGuy, 10 September 2017 - 10:18 PM.


Bojackcobb #6 Posted 11 September 2017 - 12:18 PM

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Just started using spears with Leonidas.

 

I find it so frustrating because often I'll have a good position, only for allies to run through my phalanx, so I start doing FF. Happened to me every game so far, I just dunno how you guys put up with it!


Edited by Bojackcobb, 11 September 2017 - 12:18 PM.


HeroicHoplite #7 Posted 11 September 2017 - 03:06 PM

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Began playing with Leo today because of this thread and I gotta say, I'm liking him this far. As you said ThatPikeGuy as Leo you really find a position and dedicate to it since you can't really jump around the map as swiftly as other commanders can.

 

And honestly, Bojackcobb, if my units are in a phalanx combat with enemies and someone decide to run into them I hold them just as accountable, unless I've missed an obvious rear-charge setup or something similar that I should've seen but didn't.



SUNTZU_JoJo #8 Posted 11 September 2017 - 11:30 PM

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View Postnikepetros, on 11 September 2017 - 10:07 PM, said:

Is there a reason why there is no more drop pike? I miss it.....

 

P.S. give pike units a 7 ranks formation please (6*16 and 4).

 

If you add all the speed buffs and enemy speed debuf that Miltiades has at his disposal (break ranks + charge + fear) you can chase down Cavalry!

Try it..

With break ranks already enabled, press Fear on nearby (roaming) enemy Cav unit, then charge..

Most Cavalry players don't realise this yet and get real close think they can squeeze by...

I've lost count on the amount of times I chased Cavalry, hilarious when you they are the ones supposed to be doing the chasing, add the Spear damage bonus VS cav that they get and it's GG or heavy losses pulling through you now phalanxed units.


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Guest_BojackCobb_* #9 Posted 12 September 2017 - 09:21 AM

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View PostHeroicHoplite, on 11 September 2017 - 03:06 PM, said:

Began playing with Leo today because of this thread and I gotta say, I'm liking him this far. As you said ThatPikeGuy as Leo you really find a position and dedicate to it since you can't really jump around the map as swiftly as other commanders can.

 

And honestly, Bojackcobb, if my units are in a phalanx combat with enemies and someone decide to run into them I hold them just as accountable, unless I've missed an obvious rear-charge setup or something similar that I should've seen but didn't.

 

Hmm yeah I guess I should just do this.

ThatPikeGuy #10 Posted 12 September 2017 - 10:37 AM

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View PostSUNTZU_JoJo, on 11 September 2017 - 11:30 PM, said:

 

If you add all the speed buffs and enemy speed debuf that Miltiades has at his disposal (break ranks + charge + fear) you can chase down Cavalry!

Try it..

With break ranks already enabled, press Fear on nearby (roaming) enemy Cav unit, then charge..

Most Cavalry players don't realise this yet and get real close think they can squeeze by...

I've lost count on the amount of times I chased Cavalry, hilarious when you they are the ones supposed to be doing the chasing, add the Spear damage bonus VS cav that they get and it's GG or heavy losses pulling through you now phalanxed units.

 

Yeah, that used to be my playstyle with pikes back on Steam version. Used to because God damn CA and their ability disabling >:O

I played Alexander's pikes because of rapid advance (it wasn't all that great back then but it was enough to make pike surfing work) and anvil, which was used to stop cav mid-charge.

 

Now I approach cav very defensively because pikes not only have no bonus vs cav, the delay on phalanx is a pain to deal with and it feels shit how cav get near point blank charges (even 2s charges are devastating) while pikes have to set up 3-5 seconds beforehand.

 

btw are spears able to deflect charges or do they absolutely need to have phalanx up to manage that?

 



nikepetros #11 Posted 13 September 2017 - 01:11 PM

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I use pikes only for two tasks. 1. To denying enemy (defensive) 2. Attack a strong defensive position (aggressive). In my opinion pikes best friends are melee cavalry and slingers.

 

 

But i prefer spears over pikes, because of their better aggression and defense stats and the ability to phalanx while in combat and the 7 ranks formation.

Miltiades: placing hoplite at an ally melee infantry flank, wait for them engage in melee, flank charge with break ranks on and then fear.

Alexander: charge enemy and anvil and cav charge, then cav pull out,  after anvil is gone, phalanx.



Halflifeless #12 Posted 14 September 2017 - 06:01 PM

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Does Alexander's Anvil ability work with all Pikes/Spears? If so, could you not just freeze a unit and run them over with Pikes?

 

Seems like Miltiades is best with Pikes. Break Ranks is a passive speed buff, and the debuffs do not really bother Pikes because they are not technically in combat most of the time, no?



ThatPikeGuy #13 Posted 14 September 2017 - 06:23 PM

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View PostHalflifeless, on 14 September 2017 - 06:01 PM, said:

Does Alexander's Anvil ability work with all Pikes/Spears? If so, could you not just freeze a unit and run them over with Pikes?

 

Seems like Miltiades is best with Pikes. Break Ranks is a passive speed buff, and the debuffs do not really bother Pikes because they are not technically in combat most of the time, no?

 

Anvil technically shouldn't work on pikes, but it still does if the pikemen are actually touching the enemy units. It no longer works by just touching the unit with the tip of pikes. Now you actually have to get inside the unit and, since the anvil lasts 15s without upgrades, you're damm sure you'll destroy that unit.

 

Mili is the pike duelist because fear debuffs speed and it can be used to rout pikes right after one flank attack. Pretty much a counter to Cynane's pikes.

And no, break ranks no longer work with phalanx, it just disables after you pop phalanx.



Jakerp #14 Posted 15 September 2017 - 01:09 PM

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View PostSUNTZU_JoJo, on 11 September 2017 - 11:30 PM, said:

 

If you add all the speed buffs and enemy speed debuf that Miltiades has at his disposal (break ranks + charge + fear) you can chase down Cavalry!

Try it..

With break ranks already enabled, press Fear on nearby (roaming) enemy Cav unit, then charge..

Most Cavalry players don't realise this yet and get real close think they can squeeze by...

I've lost count on the amount of times I chased Cavalry, hilarious when you they are the ones supposed to be doing the chasing, add the Spear damage bonus VS cav that they get and it's GG or heavy losses pulling through you now phalanxed units.

 

btw. you can do this same with barbarian falxmen with hamstring skill or alexander using anvil with spearmen.

Jakerp #15 Posted 18 September 2017 - 05:58 PM

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View PostSUNTZU_JoJo, on 11 September 2017 - 11:30 PM, said:

 

If you add all the speed buffs and enemy speed debuf that Miltiades has at his disposal (break ranks + charge + fear) you can chase down Cavalry!

Try it..

With break ranks already enabled, press Fear on nearby (roaming) enemy Cav unit, then charge..

Most Cavalry players don't realise this yet and get real close think they can squeeze by...

I've lost count on the amount of times I chased Cavalry, hilarious when you they are the ones supposed to be doing the chasing, add the Spear damage bonus VS cav that they get and it's GG or heavy losses pulling through you now phalanxed units.

 

This trick also works against enemy missile units. I have destroyed enemy missile units with this trick countless times as Mitiades even with full infantry build. But doing missile kill strike with inf and mitiades is a lot more tricky than when playing cavalry. Timing it right, positioning and trying to advance trough cover is very delicate still if done correctly it works more often than you think. :)

Guest_Rocking It_* #16 Posted 18 September 2017 - 11:16 PM

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Someone said that pike phalanx doesnt apply the bonus dmg against cavalry. I cant see that info in the game. Is this true?

ThatPikeGuy #17 Posted 19 September 2017 - 10:13 AM

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View PostRocking It, on 18 September 2017 - 11:16 PM, said:

Someone said that pike phalanx doesnt apply the bonus dmg against cavalry. I cant see that info in the game. Is this true?

 

It is true. If you can't check by playing the units, you can still see in the gear menu that the pikes don't give bonus damage to cav whereas spears do.

 

I think it was a lazy fix for pikes not to deal 300+ damage to cav when out of phalanx, who knows haha


Edited by ThatPikeGuy, 19 September 2017 - 10:43 AM.


Guest_Rocking It_* #18 Posted 19 September 2017 - 05:15 PM

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View PostThatPikeGuy, on 19 September 2017 - 10:13 AM, said:

 

It is true. If you can't check by playing the units, you can still see in the gear menu that the pikes don't give bonus damage to cav whereas spears do.

 

I think it was a lazy fix for pikes not to deal 300+ damage to cav when out of phalanx, who knows haha

 

So whats the point on playing pikeman? In paper seems worst than hoplites

ThatPikeGuy #19 Posted 19 September 2017 - 05:47 PM

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View PostRocking It, on 19 September 2017 - 05:15 PM, said:

 

So whats the point on playing pikeman? In paper seems worst than hoplites

 

Technically ye pikes do deal less damage than hoplites per hit and that most of the abilities for pikes are disabled but what sets them apart is their ability to deal damage to multiple ranks of men and the fear factor from having pikes around any unit is massive (except for dogs lol CA pls), that's what matters. Also, pikes can be safe against Germanicus whereas hoplites struggle against him. Same with oath and shield bash.

 

Might need to update this thread with my newer playstyle since I've kinda started to be overly aggressive in a different manner.


Edited by ThatPikeGuy, 19 September 2017 - 05:50 PM.


Jakerp #20 Posted 20 September 2017 - 04:20 PM

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Before dogs came I used to play Mitiades with 2 spears and 1 pike build my tactic was push with pike and protect it flanks and rear with spears. Pike gave extra front vs front fight power where Mitiades is fairly weak inf commander. When dogs came that tactic dont work anymore you just die in dedicated dog attack even from perfect defensive position in matter of seconds.

 

Only way to play spears in dog era is to play with 2 spear and 1 cav build and use 1 cav lure dogs away from your spear. It is onlyway to survive from dogs while playing spears. You lure dogs away with cav so you can counter charge then with spears or run away. I dont understand how people with pikes only survive from dog attacks at all when I play dogs I can most of time ROLF destroy all pike players one by one fast strikes in seconds before they can even react to those attacks.





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