How much would a complete lack of recruitable mounted units effect game balance?

I generally dislike mounted units.

They have ridiculous utility compared to infantry units, especially so for fliers. Wyverns are universally good unless you severely nerf their stats, which just makes them unfun to play with. Even if you do give the player a mounted unit with 0 stats, they’d still be situationally useful for rescue dropping which is in of itself a bullshit strategy. Getting rid of canto or making a unit with shitty con would essentially sap their most unique skill, so at that point you might as well not use them at all.

If there were legitimately 0 options for mounted units, how much would it fuck up the regular balance of the game?

Assuming there were no new substitutes for mounted units, like giving some infantry classes canto or higher average movement between all classes, it would probably just make the game move slower.

Cavalry and fliers are very often overpowered, this is true. Yet, I think that overpowered things can be a lot of fun. Without access to high movement, canto, rescue chaining, and flight, the player’s strategies become a lot more limited. Warp would be even more broken than it already is, because it’s utility would be wholly unique. Armor knights might end up a little better, given that the player won’t be able to outrun them with the rest of their army as easily/quickly.

I don’t think there’s a good reason to remove mounted units, assuming you’re going for a fairly traditional FE experience. If mounted units exist, that doesn’t prevent a player that wants to go slower and use growth units and armor knights from doing their thing. But it would certainly prevent players that want to play fast from doing so.

Granted, I think severally limiting cavalry can be interesting if applied in moderation. Chapters 4, 4x, and 5 of Thracia 776 are all completely indoors, which in that game means that you have to dismount your cavalry and fliers to use them, weakening their stats, move, and weapon options. Narratively, the player’s army is trying to escape a prison, so limiting their options helps reinforce the characters’ struggle. On top of that, you only have a few units, and you must deploy all of them because none of these chapters have battle preps. However, as much as I’ve enjoyed playing through this part of the game, I’ve found it kind of tedious on repeat playthroughs. I think the reason is primarily because an army of all infantry with 4-5 move have access to much less strategic tools than an army that’s comprised of cavalry and fliers would, giving me less agency in how I approach these chapters. I would never want a full-length game without mounted units for this reason.

TLDR; I think cavs are fun, pls keep them existing.


none if the game is designed around that


It wouldn’t really do much for casual players since most just move their units in a group anyway. It’ll only really bottleneck players who want to move faster and limit the skill ceiling since tools like rescue and canto will be essentially non-existent. I don’t see much value in such a removal personally.


I think it depends a lot on how the game is designed.

You mention “the game” but which one are you referring to? If you were to make a romhack withut mounts I think the gameplay would only be affected if you allowed it to be affected.

Bigger maps mean more time to travel between places, which is how Mov becomes king. Many fire emblem games are designed around you using your mounts to traverse large amounts of tiles in few turns, which is why their nonexistence would be extremely impactful even for casual players. However, if you were to make the maps generally smaller, your infantry wouldn’t have to walk so much to reach objectives, and it would likely pace better, even without the presence of playable mounts.

So, really, if you’re talking about the mainline fire emblem, the lack of mounted units would impact the game a lot, try yourself a no-cav no-flier playthrough of some games if you wanna see what I mean. But if you want to make a game without mounts, I’d recommend smaller maps so your units don’t have to walk a lot from place to place to reach the endgoal; it only affects game balance if you allow it to affect game balance.


As said above, it depends how the game is designed. It would probably mean the removal of Canto, skill scrolls and special items notwithstanding. That plus less movement would mean the player has less options at any given moment, which can invite challenge but also result in a limited skill ceiling.


Getting rid of canto or making a unit with shitty con would essentially sap their most unique skill, so at that point you might as well not use them at all.

Roughly half the FE series has no canto or rescue, mounted units are still unique by having high move. I think the common sentiment against removing native GBA mechanics is silly. You shouldn’t feel pressured to retain a gameplay feature in your hack just because “almost every other hack has it.”


I like this concept, because it already tells a story for me. In a feudalistic society, it is quite possible that only the upper-class people were taught how to ride a horse or even own one. It would make a really cool story to have access to 1 or 2 horseback units in your army, compared to the enemy that would have dozens more per map, from the beginning.


im just wondering what makes rescue dropping in of itself a bullshit strategy.
like is reposition, shove, rescue or any other tool that moves another ally unit also bullshit because it does that or is there smthn inherent about rescuedropping that makes it a bigger offender in some way

Any skill that amounts to “trivialize any static boss without expending any resources or really even trying at all” is a bullshit strategy to me.


Rescue dropping could also be considered a BS strategy because it allows the lord to be rescued by a unit you solo the game with, IE Seth.


those both just sound less like bullshit strategies and more like a failing on the part of balancing tbh cause if you CAN do that. that just says more about the situation with the boss itself and enemy equality respectively than it does the feature/skill itself.

also + it just sounds a lil silly to wholesale call these things (like rescuedropping & reposition/shove/smite) when the majority of the time they’re not tools restricted to just being potential cheese in specific situations


If every base class starts with 5 or 6 move and promotes to have even 6 (or possibly 7 for intentionally fast/light units like a sniper, rogue, or scout class), and the levels are designed with that in mind (smaller maps, less emphasis on covering open plains/hallways, etc) then this presents an interesting and potentially fun design ethos. I’ll confess to not enjoying social knights/paladins in FE in general, but cutting out all mounted units for both sides really cuts back potential challenging options, for example:
-a map filled with peaks with ballista nestled in forests/plains between peaks; unless the player has options like warp or mobile infantry like brigands and bersekers, then the logical direction is giving the player one or more fliers to drop units to deal with the ballistas, or to rush the ballista themselves another example:
-a thief spawns within 12 tiles of a locked treasure room. Unless the player has access to a fast, high move infantry unit, then this could likely be a losing proposition if they can’t pin the thief in the treasure room somehow


I mean every single FE game that has rescuing also has static bosses/enemies, so not really sure what you’re getting at. I Agree that the main uses of these skills isn’t cheesing, but it’s definitely their best single usage. Also this is FEGBA we’re talking about; (apologies if I wasn’t clear enough, thought it was implied) skills like repos and smite aren’t incredibly relevant.

you’d lose quite a bit of diversity among the player cast and limit movement-oriented strategies.

you’d need to do more to differentiate how the various infantry play and feel IMO, which could be difficult.

i could see making mounted have some kind of cost, like berwick horses, where it’s an expensive upgrade. think that’s an interesting and underexplored space - mount items.


Terrors of the Forest :333 ^UwU^

Coming back to this bc I realized you said RECRUITABLE mounted units

That would be hell.
The player would basically be walking on eggshells through the whole game bc there’d be no security in pushes. No mounted units means no retreat for those units and no rescuing/pairing into and escaping with other units. So in the end any mounted units on the enemy’s side would be inescapable without rescue, an extremely valuable and limited staff in most cases, thus making the game much more snowball heavy on the enemy side.
If a mounted unit puts one of your units in a bad spot (theoretically could also be due to reinforcements) then there’s nothing you can do about it, that’s just a pick for the enemy and then things can go out of control from there.

Overall I think that no mounted units or rescue on both enemy and player ends just makes the game unnecessarily slower for faster players but limiting mounted units to solely enemy units makes the game much more frustrating and volatile for both fast players and slower players alike. This is a very bad idea.