Ant Analysis: Wood Ant Melees

Are Wood Ant Melees A Viable Unit?


  • Total voters
    10
#1
Hello folks! Recently, I decided that it would be fun to analyze the current meta and find out which ants are the most viable and which ones are best left unbuilt. I will be posting a series of "Ant Analysis" articles on the forums, to see what people think. Today I will be talking about Wood Ant Melees.

Overview
Pros
- Moderately high HP, surpassing the Black Ants by a small amount.
- Possess a tiny amount of innate threat generation, at least according to the stat sheet. This makes them more likely to be targeted by enemies, helping them perform their duty as tanks.
Cons
- Very low damage.

Roles In The Meta
Ranged Cover
- Wood Ant Melees are almost specifically designed to fight as a distraction. They are best used alongside ranged units, as they do very little damage on their own and other melee units are almost as likely to be targeted as they are. They are also completely outclassed by Leafcutter Majors, since the latter have a higher threat generation and HP-to-cost ratio.

Analysis
Wood Ant Melees are a bit of an anomaly. They're the first "Tank" unit the player will encounter, and are unique in that they are the only "cheap" tank unit, since all the others are high-costing behemoths (Army Ant and Leafcutter Majors). However, they have some glaring flaws that may present a challenge to anyone who wishes to field them. Because of their insanely low DPS, they actually don't perform very well alone. In fact, they don't perform well even if they have other types of melee ants helping them out. Point and case being, they don't perform well without ranged support. Perhaps if they were given a much higher targeting priority for enemies, they'd be more useful as tanks, despite the fact there are sturdier options out there.


Anyway, what do you guys think? Are these 'mini-tanks' viable? Or do they need a buff?

Also, if I missed something, please comment below! It would be greatly appreciated!
 
#2
I believe I forgot to mention my reasoning. Compare them to black ants, and you realize that WAM's are not very cost efficient. Since cost-efficiency is everything in this game, I don't think they're viable.
 

Buffalo981

Queen
Extremely Helpful Person
#3
I believe I forgot to mention my reasoning. Compare them to black ants, and you realize that WAM's are not very cost efficient. Since cost-efficiency is everything in this game, I don't think they're viable.
While wood ant melee are of course less cost efficient than black ants on their own, with combinations of ants, it may be balanced. I don't have the game installed right now so I can't really test it, but if anyone is interested, maybe try doing 19 level 3 mortars + 19 wood ant melee vs 19 level 3 mortars + 19 black ants. Maybe test out what happens with the melee lines at level 2 and level 3. I'm not sure what exactly the result of this test would be, but it could be interesting.
 
#4
While wood ant melee are of course less cost efficient than black ants on their own, with combinations of ants, it may be balanced. I don't have the game installed right now so I can't really test it, but if anyone is interested, maybe try doing 19 level 3 mortars + 19 wood ant melee vs 19 level 3 mortars + 19 black ants. Maybe test out what happens with the melee lines at level 2 and level 3. I'm not sure what exactly the result of this test would be, but it could be interesting.
Apparently, after a little testing, Melees will win in *almost* any scenario where they have ranged backup, as my previous research predicted. However, they were outdone by Army Ant Mediae of the same amount, despite the latter costing less. That makes Army Ants apparently superior to Melees when it comes to guarding ranged units. Another interesting test, I had 10 Ereptor workers fight 4 Melees, and the former actually managed to beat the Wood Ants. So, I'm still mostly sure that Wood Ants are not the best at combat, or even protecting.
 
#7
But that combo will not work well against almost anything with a decent amount of area damage, will it? (AA media have very low health)
True, Army Ants are weak to splash. I just feel that Wood Ant Melees are way underwhelming.
To be fair, Ereptor Workers should not win against Wood Ant Melees in any equal-cost scenario, and yet they did. They are tougher, but deal so little damage that they actually lose against workers in fair combat.
 

HofNerd

Colony
Extremely Helpful Person
#9
so the wood ant melee, are a an intermediate between the AA media and the leaf cutter major
AA media have the lower health of any melee soldier ant in the game. They are glass cannons. They have no practical use as tanks, but they can get a lot of damage out very quickly. Making them exposed for a shorter amount of time, resulting in less damage taken. They are only really effective if they can overwhelm their target.
 

HofNerd

Colony
Extremely Helpful Person
#10
I do think wood ant melee could really use something to make themselves more targettable. I think causing them to have a slightly shorter attack reach could do the trick. It would cause wood ant melee to get closer with enemies when fighting them, resulting in them being targetted first. This can make builds that use wood ant melee as tanks along other small ants very useable.
 
#11
AA media have the lower health of any melee soldier ant in the game. They are glass cannons. They have no practical use as tanks, but they can get a lot of damage out very quickly. Making them exposed for a shorter amount of time, resulting in less damage taken. They are only really effective if they can overwhelm their target.
They cost less than Melees, so they ended up killing them before the Ranged Units did enough damage to defeat them. I tested Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 for all ants.

EDIT: Also, I don't know why they managed to survive Level 3 Mortars longer than the Melees did, but that's just how it is, I guess. Anyone have an idea as to how this is possible?
 
#12
I do think wood ant melee could really use something to make themselves more targettable. I think causing them to have a slightly shorter attack reach could do the trick. It would cause wood ant melee to get closer with enemies when fighting them, resulting in them being targetted first. This can make builds that use wood ant melee as tanks along other small ants very useable.
I was thinking more along the lines of "Threat Generation", like what the Leafcutter Majors have (makes them more likely to be targeted, not just for Taunt majors, since that's a separate ability). This makes enemies more likely to choose them as targets.
 

HofNerd

Colony
Extremely Helpful Person
#14
I was thinking more along the lines of "Threat Generation", like what the Leafcutter Majors have (makes them more likely to be targeted, not just for Taunt majors, since that's a separate ability). This makes enemies more likely to choose them as targets.
I haven't really noticed the leafcutter majors being targetted first other than with taunt. Normally a creature targets the nearest enemy creature. I usually see the majors being targetted last by melee creatures, because they are furthest away. (Major ants have a lot of melee reach compared to other ants.)
 
#16
I haven't really noticed the leafcutter majors being targetted first other than with taunt. Normally a creature targets the nearest enemy creature. I usually see the majors being targetted last by melee creatures, because they are furthest away. (Major ants have a lot of melee reach compared to other ants.)
It's a thing on the stat sheet. It also says on the Formicarium Tech Tree that they are more likely to be targeted by enemies. Not very noticable, though. You're right about that.
 

HofNerd

Colony
Extremely Helpful Person
#17
However, they were outdone by Army Ant Mediae of the same amount, despite the latter costing less.
According to my extended stat sheet's calculations, lvl 3 wood ant melee should win against lvl 1 AA media if they are spawned the same amount based on spawn cost. (5 food for wood ant melee, 2 food for AA media.)
Lvl 3 wood ant melee yield 43,2 combat power per food spend and lvl 1 AA media yield 30 combat power, so the wood ant melee should be able to win that one.
 
#18
According to my extended stat sheet's calculations, lvl 3 wood ant melee should win against lvl 1 AA media if they are spawned the same amount based on spawn cost. (5 food for wood ant melee, 2 food for AA media.)
Lvl 3 wood ant melee yield 43,2 combat power per food spend and lvl 1 AA media yield 30 combat power, so the wood ant melee should be able to win that one.
If by combat power, you mean damage, then I'm not sure what happened. What I do know is that the Wood Ant Melees died first, giving the other side's Mortars more time to fire on their ranged units. That victory convinced me that the Army Ants either (A) did more damage than the Melees or (B) somehow managed to outlast them in terms of their combined health pool. If they don't have either advantage, then I'm not sure how they managed to survive longer.

Also, side note - I only tested the ants on equal upgrade levels. It's almost obvious that the Melees would win with an Upgrade Advantage, so I didn't bother to test that.
 
#19
The Wood ant Melee seem to be a late game unit, similar to the media of Leafcutters to save space. Both are too expensive for their combat power and are easily replaced by their cheaper worker counterparts.

Unless changes are made, it seems that both are a hindrance to the player that uses them.
 
#20
Leaf cutter media are actually better at harvesting food though, so they have at least some use. I say that the melee wood ants should instead cost maybe 45 to place, while ranged ants will cost 6 to hatch. This would make the melee ants less pitiful compared to fuscas, while also not letting the player get off with extra food on the already easier 2. levels.
 
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