I appreciate your point of view Danubian, and i’m glad you’ve provided both screen shots and fair critique. I understand that you want the game to feel balanced, and frankly I somewhat agree with your assessment of the goblins to some degree. However, I don’t really share your hatred of the orcs, or your opinion that massive balance changes on the orcs need to occur. Granted, as a matter of full disclosure, I would not, under any circumstances run into a battle against 10 orc warriors. If I saw that coming at me, I would laugh hysterically, and “nope” right on in the opposite direction. I wouldn’t have the game any other way frankly.
The game world is one where your mercenary band of mortal human fighters are battling against incredible odds. Losing soldiers is a part of the game, which is why there is a loading tip that clearly states “expect to lose some men”, and even one that says “if the odds are against you, retreat to fight another day”. Unless you’ve got a band of fully upgraded soldiers that are specced to deal effectively with most situations, many battles rated even or above become a question of “how many soldiers will i lose”.
It’s a matter of you against insane odds, but the game does allow you to heavily swing those odds in your favor. It’s pretty easy to wait for small squads to come out of a camp, and pick them off one at a time. After a while of taking out smaller parties belonging to a single camp, the rating of the camp itself will fall, and your odds against it will improve pretty substantially. Battle Brothers as a game encourages picking battles carefully, especially early on, and that doesn’t entirely change when you’re the big bamf on the map. Frankly, I think the design is a fairly realistic approach, and I really appreciate the devs for it. Force the odds in your favor by attacking smaller squads, and if you find yourself faced with deadly, or even a fair battle, just don’t fight it. One of the most hilarious points from the Art of War says don’t fight battles you aren’t sure you can win, or “don’t fight fair battles”. It’s a waste of resources and soldiers if it can be avoided. This game forces you to keep that in mind, and i’m not sure that it’s unintentional on part of the devs.
As for fights, deny your enemies the high ground. Shield bash them away from high positions and take the ground for yourself. I kind of doubt that the orc in that screenshot had the ap to both move to his position on the high ground and then break both of your shields. It’s one orc young, but his location puts both of your brothers in that shot in a pretty awful position. I would be curious to know how he got into that position in the first place. Was it unavoidable? Did your character’s have deflect? How about heater shields?
Train up your archers before fighting tougher bands of orcs. A single archer with focus can very easily waste an incoming berserker, or at the least, nerf his damage if you happen to have the debilitate perk. As for the crossbows, damage can be strongly hit or miss. Some crossbow shots will yield a disappointing amount of damage. On the other side of the same coin, I’ve seen armored orcs take a sizeable chunk of health damage from a single crossbow shot. I’ve also seen crossbow headshots outright kill orc warriors that had most of their health left. You aren’t going to see the full range of the crossbow’s capability in a single battle waged to get a single screenshot. For that matter, what level was your archer in that shot? To be fair, a low damage shot can even happen to level 11 brothers, but i would still like to know.
In a battle where there are no berserkers, then you should prioritize by weapon type. The orc that destroyed your shields had an axe, and he should be one of the first enemies that you take out of the fight for exactly that reason.
Between the weapon, shield, and perk variations, there is a pretty nice variety of ways to plan for battles with orcs. In a very serious way, single battles are won in bb before the fight even starts. I’ll concede your goblin issue. It’s absolutely 0 fun chasing enemies around the map, especially since dogs aren’t all that intelligent, and don’t run for the archer units if there are melee units nearby. Other than that though, I very much like the game as it is. It’s not that I’ve come to accept broken design as you’ve implied. That statement assumes quite a bit about willingness on my part to put up with bullshi*t and that’s just not the case. We don’t know each other, so don’t assume that i’m prone to rolling over for bad design choices just because I disagree with you about something. There are plenty of things that I would very much like changed in BB, but orc balance is not one of them. I just think that the difficulty of the orcs, and the necessity of using every single advantage that the player has to come out on top is an intended part of the game’s fabric. I could be wrong, and I’ll concede that immediately if the devs decide to correct me.
I do think that the fatigue of orc warriors can be toned down a bit. Pushing aside your units while wearing all of that heavy armor should be a bit more costly than it is for them at the moment, but that’s about it. To be fair, I may well have tunnel vision. I’ve put more than 120 hours into the game and perhaps (JUST MAYBE) i’ve grown tolerant of some questionable things. I’ll admit that much. The fact that I’m perfectly willing to call BS on pretty much all of the spawning system, location diversity, and the frequency of bandidt marksmen spawning with crossbows, tells me that i might not have complete olfactory fatigue on bullsh*t. The orcs are the only remaining challenge after you get decent equipment and five brothers to level 11. I’d like them to remain that way.