Just my musings on the subject(This may(will) be rather long)
In this post, I am going to argue how I think tiers should be implemented in Kn'C
Tiers can be contentious issue, but I for one enjoyed the progression they provided in SupCom 1/FA. I think they should be implemented in KnC as well, but in accordance with a modified research system. The tiers would again operate in a 1-3 + Experimental progression, but a modification of unit roles and types would help combat one of the flaws of the old system, wherein we saw nearly all of T1 and T2 units become obsolete as the game progressed. I propose to correct by implementing the tiers in a different fashion,
Tiers, instead of simply providing more powerful versions of existing units, would simply diversify the unit pool. Picture a tree: Instead of simply going straight up like a post, your unit choices simply branch off, giving you more useful units, and widening the pool of viable choices. I argue for this because:
1. This would add both tactical and strategic depth, by increasing unit diversity and interdependence
2. Would add enjoyment to KnC, because players can experience a full a array of units, and not simply rely on one or two throughout the game.
For buildings it would be rather straightforward- T1 possesses the basic structures needed to commence the assembly of your army- a barracks, archery range, and stable. T2 could provide you with more advanced units- siege works, airship shipyard, and T3 could provide you with locations for your faction's most powerful and specialized units- gryphon rookery, troll pit.(All these names are simply examples). I believe this portion of the tier system is fairly straightforward, and provides a logical progression of your faction's military potential.
For units, it needs to be bit more complex to avoid the TANKS, HURR BIGGAR TANKS syndrome. Let's take the archery range for an example. Say at T1, the <<Archer>> unit is available to the player. This unit has a fairly long range, and a solid ROF. He is lightly armoured, and thus highly mobile. However, his damage is not particularly impressive, and neither is his accuracy. At T2, the <<Crossbowman>> unit becomes available. This unit boasts increased damage and accuracy over the archer, but at the cost of a greatly reduced ROF and range. As well, his mobility is greatly reduced due to the weight of his equipment. These changes allow the units to be suited for different purposes. As you would not want to use crossbowman for hit and run raids, likewise the archer would be a bad choice for cutting through a slow moving battalion of heavily armoured infantry.
This adds depth to the game. While before, you would neglect your T1 unit, you now need it. Fast moving air units, lightly armoured infantry, or some sort of "zergling" type unit would all be targets more suited for archers over crossbowman. However, high value targets such as Kings, experimentals, and heavy cavalry go down more quickly with the crossbowman's heavy damage and accuracy.
Let's use another example, this one using infantry. Say at T1, you have access to a <<Spearman>>. This unit has a short spear, light armour, and fast movement(and he's cheap). However, he does not have very much protection from enemy attacks due to his light armour. However, he is fast enough to engage light cavalry, and can also close the ground quickly enough to be of some use against ranged units. Your T2 unit would be the pikeman. Instead of the spearman's 7' weapon, he wields a 15' pike. He is also clad in heavy armor. This allows him to stand up to cavalry attacks, especially slower heavy cavalry. He is obviously a more expensive unit. He does have drawbacks, however. Because of the length of his weapon, he is a poor combatant against threats which can close the distance against him. A solo pikeman can be easily killed for this reason, so this necessitates their deployment in groups.
Once again, the unit difference contribute to the overall strategy and depth of the game. A unit of light spearman could repel a charge of light cavalry, but would be crushed beneath of charge of medium of heavy cavalry units. They would have the speed to close to both crossbowman and archers in a pinch, but would incur heavy losses to the fire of either. A group of less than 10 would still be a viable combat unit. The pikeman would have no trouble standing against a charge of med. or heavy cavalry, their long spears halting their charge. Their heavy armour would also allow them to resist the projectiles of the archer better as well. However, they would be extremely vulnerable to massed crossbow fire, light infantry rushes or light cavalry(it can easily flank and close the distance due to its maneuverability). Because of its somewhat unwieldy weapon, groups of less than 10 would have a hard time standing up to a cavalry charge, and could be easily dealt with by infantry.
I hope this has given you though as to how the Tiers system could be implemented into KnC. Stay tuned for my posts on Sub-factions, and research/veterancy!
Kings and Castles needs bear cavalry!