A quite common dilemma seen in most RTS
es that range a very wide historical timeline, i.e. Empire Earth
. The term is derived from a certain situation from said game, where you could often see Swordsmen fighting WWII Marines, Trebuchets laying siege to "Laser Walls", or effectively, Archers vs. Tanks. This situation, while not really gameplay affecting in most cases, is still very odd to see, as it substracts realism to the game, which is something many, if not a lot of players, care about.
If I were to make one such game, my solutions would be:
- Divide the game into different parts or "Ages" and associate the corresponding units and techs to each, as if you had # games in one. It would be more or less like Prehistory to Classic Age, then Dark Age to Renaissance, and so on. You could still mix archers with tanks in the Editor for a time travel scenario. =D
- Old units would degrade over time, then die. It might not sound fun, albeit it would add more realism in spite of "random fun".
- Archers would get firearms - yes, I'm speaking of automatic upgrading. Keeping the fun and military strength in spite of some logics.
"I have the same issue with balance in this game. How do spearmen take out B52 bombers? I just don't get it. And archers vs tanks is just never going to happen. It would be nice if there was a way that people customize the balance to be a tad more realistic." -Quoted from a user from Gameguru Mania, about Rise of Nations.