I’ve been thinking recently about some of the major issues with balance in FE, and I’ve come to notice that one of its biggest flaws is how much it’s tilted in favor of mounted units. In almost every game, mounted units are some of the most broken, being able to move significantly farther than foot units and having roughly equal combat to them throughout most of the game.
So how do we rectify this?
I’ve come up with a few ideas over the months I’ve mulled this over, but I’d like to see what others think about this.
(Also first non-comment post, hello)
#1: Make mounted units unable to use 1-2 range weapons.
This is pretty simple—mounted units wouldn’t be able to use weapons like Javelins or Hand Axes. 1-2 range weapons are one of the biggest boons you can have in FE, and mounted units achieve absurd feats using them. But with this change, if you want to use those ranged weapons, you’re gonna have to use your foot-soldiers. This would make it so that mounts have a large portion of their usefulness limited to player phase, while foot units are more useful on enemy phase due to being able to counterattack anyone who doesn’t have a longbow or a seige tome.
However, i’m uncertain how this would work for mounted mages. (Maybe they could only attack at 2 range? I don’t know how you’d program that into a hack, though.
#2: Decrease growth rates and caps significantly.
This is already done to some extent in some FE games, but the reductions are small enough to be negligible on anything less than the hardest difficulty (and sometimes even then!) What I’m talking about is a massive stat reduction to the point where using only mounts would use up roughly the same amount of turns as using only foot units. Mounted units would be capable of making decent chip damage, but would struggle to ORKO any enemy that isn’t especially squishy.
#3: Mounted units are unable to double.
This is a more drastic change that achieves a similar effect to #2. Mounted units would be unable to double-attack without the help of a brave weapon. Without a second attack, it would be nigh impossible for mounted units to ORKO anything stronger than a healer without an effective weapon. This would force players to use mounted units primarily for utility (rescue-training, setting up kills, etc.)
#4: More varied terrain on maps.
Mounted units, for all their mobility, have one Achilles heel: their difficulty moving over terrain. This means that if most maps had a lot of forests, mountains, etc. in them, and they were placed properly, you could hamper the effectiveness of mounts significantly. Another terrain-related idea is to give mounts evasion and defense penalties instead of boosts in rough terrain, or do both at once.
That’s about all I’ve got. If you have any ideas on how you’d rebalance mounted units, feel free to say so.