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Your playstyles with pikes/spears?


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nikepetros #21 Posted 21 September 2017 - 03:59 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

 

Macedonians have used pike phalanx to deny enemy forwarding, their left flank usally coverd by light cavalry and their right flank by the "shield bearers" (some elite hoplites) and right beside the "shield bearers" stands the companion cavalry.

 

I don't know where the skirmishers were placing.

 

But pikes are a part of macedonians combined warfare and their job was keep enemy at bay, in game you can combine them with ranged.

 

If i recall correctly paiku combine them with slingers sometimes.



ThatPikeGuy #22 Posted 21 September 2017 - 04:40 PM

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Not playing with slingers anymore as they were just slowing the pikes down by making them catch up with slings and only triple pike setup allows me to play the pikes how I want.


pls buff pike surfing

ThatPikeGuy #23 Posted 22 September 2017 - 08:52 AM

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I'd like to describe the problems with the aggressive playstyle was that the higher tier you go, the more you'll get punished for overextending.

First, all the abilities are off cooldown at the beginning of the matches and you won't be able to tank barrages or hold against fear just as easily as on lower tiers. Also, dogs and cavalry are going to be in full health and waiting for an opportunity to get into an opening.

While your team might get that much more coordinated, you can't really be that quick to support the pike player pushing in, with the exception of dogs.

Anything else just slows the pikes down.

 

Second, only Cynane is somewhat viable with this playstyle since Leo can just get focused down by pretty much anything, Mili isn't able to use break ranks in phalanx (even if you use it for mobility, it gets disabled after you pop phalanx) +fear doesn't help much if you're chased by multiple units and Alexander has almost no practical use. Getting used to the timing of pike phalanx and to not pop it preemptively can also take some time.

 

Like I dunno, I was seeing quite a lot of pike players try this playstyle out but maybe I left something out that could help them heaps like, for example, I didn't explain target priorities and how one should deploy phalanx to get the most damage reliably.


pls buff pike surfing

ThatPikeGuy #24 Posted 22 September 2017 - 10:02 AM

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For higher tiers (T7+) I've adapted a new playstyle - bushpiking. YES, THE BUSHPIKING FROM STEAM IS BACK OHOHOHOHOH>: D

(The reason why I've moved over from just aggressive playstyle is described above).

The fundamentals for aggressive piking are still there, but I had to change the playstyle a bit to make pikes work in higher tiers.

 

So what exactly has been changed?

Nothing too much really, it's mostly the approach to catching the units and ways of protecting oneself has been changed.

 

Attacking the units:

Since players are a lot more cautious and the units are sturdier, you can't really do much if you just rush in a choke or mid to block the units off.

What I've changed is that I'm splitting the pikes up to sandwich in the units or just press them up against a wall/cliff to not let them escape.

How I get this to work is simple - stay concealed till you see an opportunity to trap units in.

By going through the unit and turning to the opposite site you can sandwich the enemy units, which requires 2-3 pike units and by moving to the edge of the unit and turning to face the edge of the wall can make them trapped in with just a single pike unit, maybe an extra unit for protection.

 

How set up the traps with pikes?

By using forests, bushes, cliffs and chokes you can flank the enemy without being seen for a long enough time or to at least cut off their retreat path. Keep at least one unit up front to scout ahead to see when it's a good opportunity to go out and attack.

This is surprisingly effective due to how unexpected pikes popping out of nowhere can get.

 

To make them work you have to constantly peel off units to support the pike units going in the open, which means that you have to use the unit in front to protect the pike units going out in the open to catch the enemies. The supporting unit will most likely be engaged by other units, which can also open an opportunity to trap the enemies in afterwards.

 

If aggressive piking is focused on attacking the flanks and mid, then where does this playstyle fit in?

Well, if you can get into a forest/bushes in the opposite side of the map then sure it will work even when attacking a base or stick to the side of the main army to flank the enemy when they're engaged.

If you don't want to risk being seen then the playstyle works best in the bushes of your team's side of the map.

 

In the forests/bushes it can ironically enough be pretty risky to pike because of how exposed your pikes are against barbarians (especially dogs) and cavalry. This is why sticking with cavalry isn't such a bad idea.

(ofc this isn't an issue when you're defending lol)

The most front unit in the beggining of the game has to be always ready to pop phalanx in time to respond to enemy units, so try to buy the helmets that increase visibility range and always have the finger on the first ability key... or the second... the third?! depends which pikes you're using haha

 

Do you necessarily have to use forests and bushes to conceal yourself?

Not really, you'd actually be surprised how well cliffs can conceal your units for example.

Also cliffs can easily work as funnels for the enemy, so you can be perfectly fine by just playing around cliffs.

 

Defending:

You can always stick with any unit you can or go into bushes till you see the enemy engage someone or when they go to base.

 

Best commanders:

You can actually use Leonidas because you can actually use shield bash in conjunction with the short visibility to throw players off-guard. This and battlecry can act as a failsafe if your pikes don't activate phalanx in time. You can be a lot more aggressive in the bushes due to how safe your pikes are from surprise attacks.

Cynane is still the best commander because her pikes can just pass through and push enemies in so that you don't have to worry about them running away. Unlike Leonidas you can be more aggressive once you step out to trap the enemies in.

 

Best compositions:

Definitely triple pikes, the extra protection for when you go out of the bushes is that necessary.

You can bring 1 missile unit actually if you're playing Leo just because of how disgusting shield bash is.


pls buff pike surfing

nikepetros #25 Posted 22 September 2017 - 12:17 PM

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I'm still trying how to pike more efficiently, recently trying Alexander pike, because of anvil.

ThatPikeGuy #26 Posted 22 September 2017 - 02:35 PM

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View Postnikepetros, on 22 September 2017 - 12:17 PM, said:

I'm still trying how to pike more efficiently, recently trying Alexander pike, because of anvil.

 

Anvil on pikes is interesting though I never really tried it. Last time I tested it, it only worked when the pikemen themselves touch the unit (they have to be in combat basically) and the effect lasts as long as you're in combat, so retreating from an anvil is basically like retreating from oath.

I really should check Alex's pikes, maybe I'll grow to like them as much as on Steam version :0

 

For efficiency, what helps me heaps against infantry are unit highlights. Seeing individual soldiers pop up especially in the forest can help with the timing of phalanx, and it can help you see if your pikes are about to be in-combat to avoid some bullshit moments.

Positioning and engagement wise it's actually best to pop phalanx at the last possible moment and disengage as early as possible. It's not worth going for a couple of more kills if it means your teammates are blocked or the pike unit will die. ofc it's easier when you have a choke to hold but what are the chances of getting into situations like those haha
pls buff pike surfing

Jakerp #27 Posted 23 September 2017 - 09:34 AM

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View PostThatPikeGuy, on 22 September 2017 - 02:35 PM, said:

 

Anvil on pikes is interesting though I never really tried it. Last time I tested it, it only worked when the pikemen themselves touch the unit (they have to be in combat basically) and the effect lasts as long as you're in combat, so retreating from an anvil is basically like retreating from oath.

I really should check Alex's pikes, maybe I'll grow to like them as much as on Steam version :0

 

For efficiency, what helps me heaps against infantry are unit highlights. Seeing individual soldiers pop up especially in the forest can help with the timing of phalanx, and it can help you see if your pikes are about to be in-combat to avoid some bullshit moments.

Positioning and engagement wise it's actually best to pop phalanx at the last possible moment and disengage as early as possible. It's not worth going for a couple of more kills if it means your teammates are blocked or the pike unit will die. ofc it's easier when you have a choke to hold but what are the chances of getting into situations like those haha

 

Yeah anvil is not very useful for pikes as you need to touch enemy with your men. Just pikes touching them with pike wont work. At some point I used to play Alexander a lot with 1 cav, 1 pike, 1 archer build and I almoust never used anvil.

 

I used my pikes to hold choke points and shoot enemy inf with my archer unit when enemy inf started trying to flank me I ambushed and rear charged them with my cav or just harassed flanking unit with cav so he cant keep flanking and have to stand in missile fire forever trying to avoid eating rear charge. That build worked almoust againt anything only problem was that it is most micromanagement intensive way to play this game. :D


Edited by Jakerp, 23 September 2017 - 09:35 AM.


nikepetros #28 Posted 23 September 2017 - 10:30 AM

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View PostThatPikeGuy, on 22 September 2017 - 02:35 PM, said:

 

Anvil on pikes is interesting though I never really tried it. Last time I tested it, it only worked when the pikemen themselves touch the unit (they have to be in combat basically) and the effect lasts as long as you're in combat, so retreating from an anvil is basically like retreating from oath.

I really should check Alex's pikes, maybe I'll grow to like them as much as on Steam version :0

 

For efficiency, what helps me heaps against infantry are unit highlights. Seeing individual soldiers pop up especially in the forest can help with the timing of phalanx, and it can help you see if your pikes are about to be in-combat to avoid some bullshit moments.

Positioning and engagement wise it's actually best to pop phalanx at the last possible moment and disengage as early as possible. It's not worth going for a couple of more kills if it means your teammates are blocked or the pike unit will die. ofc it's easier when you have a choke to hold but what are the chances of getting into situations like those haha

 

What I experienced is that you have to walk in and attack click the unit before you anvil.



ThatPikeGuy #29 Posted 26 September 2017 - 03:30 PM

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I do get quite a lot of questions about how I get the players to engage my pikes, so might as well answer it here then lol

 

Before: when I just started to play pikes back in alpha 9/10 I just hoped for the enemy team to run into pikes as a result of me overextending like crazy. That was it really lol

I just abused the fact that players didn't even expect pikes to be the first thing they'd see so I had developed a hyper-aggressive playstyle (post #1), where I just breach through a flank and force the players to retreat till they eventually get caught up. It's a pretty dumb but pretty much recommended playstyle for newer players who want to main pikes. Though it did mean that I had to be on my own for a while and flankers always had a brief opportunity to flank the pikes because blobbing pikes isn't a great idea. Just expect to die a lot :)

 

I mean, the playstyle sort of works even in higher tiers with Leo, but with Cynane you really need to step up and use the rapid advance to the full advantage.

 

After: since I'm playing Cynane only on higher tiers I don't have the crutch abilities that Leo pikes rely upon so much (shield bash/hold the line), but I do have to give up those abilities in order to still come on top against the more experienced players with a more deadly and versatile phalanx formation.

Now I'm bushpiking (post #24) - a playstyle made to play pikes with more concealment and lure enemies into them or at least lure them into traps.

How do I approach this lure/trap playstyle then?

There are multiple ways to do it, the easiest way of which is to just wait in the forest and use archers/slingers to lure the enemy in. Even if you're not able to kill anyone with the pikes you still get free shots in. Also make the enemy think that they have the chance to flank you.

 

If any of the enemy units nearby are engaged then you simply flank them with pikes, though don't forget to secure the flanking pike unit with another infantry unit and try not to appear in line of sight before the units are engaged.

For Leo players it's easier since you can just press shield bash and move away, without dealing with FF. With Cynane's rapid advance you don't even need the second pike unit to protect them as they can just turn around/moonwalk back to the ally to respond to flank attacks.

 

The hardest way to play bushpikes is to actually trap the enemies in using the terrain. (requires a separate post tbh if anyone is interested then hit me up lads)


pls buff pike surfing

Jakerp #30 Posted 27 September 2017 - 07:35 AM

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One very fun way playing pikes is to bait enemies into canyon where there are only two exits with arty unit making enemies think they are getting easy kill. Then before enemies can reach arty unit pike players closes the way with pike unit (pike unit needs to be hidden close by). After this arty player carpet bomb rear areas of enemies full of acrid smoke AOE DOTS. Forcing enemies to chooce from eating pikes or travelling a mile full of acrid smoke DOTS.

 

This tactics demand two players as romans cant have pikes and greece cant have arty.


Edited by Jakerp, 27 September 2017 - 07:36 AM.


ThatPikeGuy #31 Posted 29 November 2017 - 09:01 AM

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Gonna revive this thread because I felt like the playstyles need updating for the new meta. I'm seeing the same stuff since September.

First Cynane pikes:

 

Since raise shields is no longer available from T7 (let's be honest here, the ability isn't that useful in comparison to fight in the shade lol), you need to be extra careful with pikes in T8+ games. You can no longer do solo missions in flanks and do exceptionally well. I mean, you can do just that if there's no missiles in flanks but that rarely is the case in this meta.

 

First, use the speed to your advantage to scout around the area and check if there's any of these things:

  • Archers, javelins, slingers
  • Dogs
  • Cavalry
  • Pikes

Missiles are particularly nasty lately as you can get yourself trapped in rather easily. Use rapid advance to get out and push in only when you have range/cav support.

While you can waste the charge of dogs with rapid advance and trade really well, you do risk getting overwhelmed when you're in phalanx and only an inf/archer player behind can help you in case you somehow don't rout.

Also wait what, cav? How is cavalry a threat to pikes? Well cav players will try their best to lure phalanx out in non-favourable positions and while you can use rapid advance to get back in chokepoints, it's just going to waste your overall damage output. Also while you can deflect cav charges from the rear because of turning, it can result in a rout if you're already tanking infantry. You have to be really careful, maybe have another pike unit with wine ready or hotswap the dying unit.

Pikes are self-explanatory. Since there's no 100% consistent way of dueling with pikes, you have to be really careful not to get locked in unprepared. It's best to have extra pikes or any unit supporting you nearby to deal with them.

 

 

Alternatively you can use the speed to get around using flank routes that only barbarian players or cavalry would use like top side on Marathon, forests in most maps. This is meant to catch players off guard or to trap them in when the rest of the team are pushing in because the least they expect coming out of the forest is barbarians.

Though you have to keep in mind that some players like to defend a lot and you can unintentionally run up to a lot of resistance, especially with ranged players.

 

1 range and 2 pike combo is no longer viable because you really need the extra firepower to stay up top with the rest of the ranged players, so 2 ranged and 1 pike is the new best combo. You really have to work around the flanks and chokepoints because players will try to stop you left and right. Keep archers in a safe distance so that you can utilize barrage a lot more and when players do surround you, use rapid advance and use pikemen to help the archers get through safely.

Also don't be afraid of friendly firing your own archers because not forming phalanx in time can result in all 3 units dying. Besides, there's no longer a penalty for killing own units.

 

 

 

The next playstyle is the anti-bully pike ranger mode.

 

The idea of this playstyle is to support your allies that are in danger.

Let's say that infantry are engaged 3v3 and there's an enemy pike player about to sandwich the poor ally. What would normally work like cavalry charges or missiles... doesn't.... y'know it's Arena and its weird balancing lol

 

By threatening the pike player to be sandwiched by other pikes, he's forced to either engage the pike unit, which would make the unit instantly dead, or he can just back off from the engagement.

Same with cavalry, you can stick your pikes near a cavalry engagement and unless the cavalry are oathed or under defiance, they'll just run away.

This helps swing the momentum of engagements because cavalry get damaged pretty badly when pulling out.

 

Alexander pikes work best for this playstyle because you can anvil the units in process of setting up or getting away. Anvilling cav can decimate the entire blob with just a single cav charge and pikes (if this ability ever works on pikes then it's just luck) become vulnerable from any flank attacks since they're unorderable.

This is why playing 2 pikes and 1 cav can actually work in some cases since pikes can effectively anvil anything that they're touching, so your cav can swing around and go for units behind or to nuke everything because anvil charges are still really nasty. Keep in mind that the cav unit is so essential to your combo that throwing it into cav battles is going to hurt the pikes a lot in the long run.

Also the cav unit can be used to make small ambushes against archers because the pikes can disable cavalry and infantry from support. I still have to work on this playstyle a little bit but ye, it's a lot more tactical and fun than just being aggressive.

 

You either protect allies from bullies or bully with Alex pikes. It's pretty nice tbh


pls buff pike surfing

Jakerp #32 Posted 29 November 2017 - 09:35 AM

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View PostThatPikeGuy, on 29 November 2017 - 09:01 AM, said:

 

Alexander pikes work best for this playstyle because you can anvil the units in process of setting up or getting away. Anvilling cav can decimate the entire blob with just a single cav charge and pikes (if this ability ever works on pikes then it's just luck) become vulnerable from any flank attacks since they're unorderable.

This is why playing 2 pikes and 1 cav can actually work in some cases since pikes can effectively anvil anything that they're touching, so your cav can swing around and go for units behind or to nuke everything because anvil charges are still really nasty. Keep in mind that the cav unit is so essential to your combo that throwing it into cav battles is going to hurt the pikes a lot in the long run.

Also the cav unit can be used to make small ambushes against archers because the pikes can disable cavalry and infantry from support. I still have to work on this playstyle a little bit but ye, it's a lot more tactical and fun than just being aggressive.

 

You either protect allies from bullies or bully with Alex pikes. It's pretty nice tbh

 

Alexander is best commander in pike vs pike fights as you can stop your opponent pike mowing with anvil. I have totally decimated leonidas or cynane pikes who play 2-3 tiers higher pikes than I play with anvil and then  pike mow them to death while their unit is not controllable while i mow it to death. Quite often result is you lose 20% of hp while that dude who play pike with cynane or leonidas end up losing his whole unit.


Edited by Jakerp, 29 November 2017 - 09:36 AM.


ThatPikeGuy #33 Posted 29 November 2017 - 10:36 AM

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Not really, anvil works weird on phalanx because you need to keep attacking the pikes (it doesn't mean you won't stop getting damaged like crazy in losing situations) and you need to make sure that at least one pikeman hits the enemy unit and they're not in knockback. I still need to experiment if thrust can yield success with anvil because extra range on anvil would be pretty nasty imo

Though I have decimated T10 pikes with T6 pikes but anvil didn't really feel necessary as long as you can put the entire T10 unit under knockback. It is pretty nice to have vs T9s however.

 

I'd say Miltiades is the most consistent at pike duels because fear can prevent the pikes from pushing in on you 100% of the time and you can get out any time you want.

 

EDIT: I brought up consistency because pikes can die real fast if you're not careful with them. Also there's an issue with attack orders sometimes making the pikes turn a full 180 when attacking a unit slightly to the side. It's even more painful to deal with when in pike duels because if the pike player being anviled has a very spread out pike unit, he'll keep on pushing forward for quite a while, making you lose the duel. With cav I find it kinda problematic how the anvil works only after the charge duration has ended, so if your pikes aren't dense enough then the cav can just charge through and hopefully be fine. I know it's a pretty extreme case scenario when the pikes are heavily depleted so none of the pikes can actually touch the cav unit for the anvil to work.

 

I mean idk if the ability is even intended to be used while in phalanx, it seems way too buggy for it to be the case imo but then again stuff like phalanx turning are just artifacts of what spear phalanx does because pikes are essentially reskinned spearmen with a primary weapon being a pike.


Edited by ThatPikeGuy, 01 December 2017 - 02:28 PM.

pls buff pike surfing

rohan17_ #34 Posted 02 December 2017 - 09:53 AM

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View PostJakerp, on 29 November 2017 - 09:35 AM, said:

 

Alexander is best commander in pike vs pike fights as you can stop your opponent pike mowing with anvil. I have totally decimated leonidas or cynane pikes who play 2-3 tiers higher pikes than I play with anvil and then  pike mow them to death while their unit is not controllable while i mow it to death. Quite often result is you lose 20% of hp while that dude who play pike with cynane or leonidas end up losing his whole unit.

 

I don't think he is. Because if u can't hit, u can't anvil. There is the exploit / bug? that when you push forward faster, you hit first and knockback and keep going like that you can decimate the whole enemy pike regardless. Fear is the good counter since it can reduce up to -40% speed; with Fear, your opponent even cynane rapid advance can't push forward fast enough to abuse this exploit.

Jakerp #35 Posted 02 December 2017 - 04:13 PM

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View Postrohan17_, on 02 December 2017 - 09:53 AM, said:

 

I don't think he is. Because if u can't hit, u can't anvil. There is the exploit / bug? that when you push forward faster, you hit first and knockback and keep going like that you can decimate the whole enemy pike regardless. Fear is the good counter since it can reduce up to -40% speed; with Fear, your opponent even cynane rapid advance can't push forward fast enough to abuse this exploit.

 

Well you can use anvil with pikes as part of mowing trough them. If you establish contact even split second you can anvil your opponent and keep him stuck inside pike mowing 20sec or more if upgraded. After that anvil ends most of unit is killed when control is recovered if alexander just keep mowing them while anvil is on. That fear trick is countered having one cavalry in pike build if Mitiaded fear alexander pike and try to flee before anvil can be used you just hit him with cavalry. Another option is to have 1 archer and keep shooting pikes who try to flee anvil traps.

 

If you can force other team pike player just run constantly by controlling battlefield you have allready won in manyways. That gives your team ways to deal with pike unit.

 

Largest weakness in Alexander pike play is not generally melee fights missile units are largest weakness for them as alexander dont have mobility to avoid missiels or anti missle stance. But some tier like VII pikes gives pretty imba shield raise ability as unit ability that makes alexander pikes very good by removing their largest weakness with missiles.


Edited by Jakerp, 02 December 2017 - 04:17 PM.


ThatPikeGuy #36 Posted 02 December 2017 - 11:19 PM

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You don't even need phalanx to anvil pikes in their formation, you can pop anvil and run away. Even one pikeman in knockback will hold the anvil lol

Also there's a risk of pushing in after phalanx thrust so anviling after that ensures you win the duel. Real nice tool to secure wins.

 

For anything else like infantry, cav and missiles I might need to write a separate post because it's a really interesting ability.

 

 


pls buff pike surfing




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