It would be the wiser strategy to use only special forces and air craft carriers, yet this doesn’t happen, because of cost, and various other reasons.
So, yeah, ofcourse a stack of 1 t4 and 5 t3 units will beat out 2 stacks of t1 and t2 units (because, otherwise, what would the point be of having higher tier units, if not to give an advantage?), but the entire design of the new game is supposed to heavily gate the production of t3 units and t4, compared to AoW3.
To recap, regarding t3 and t4 units in Planetfall:
- you need to build the appropriate barracks
- you need to research the unit
- you need cosmite to build the base unit
- their production costs tend to be very very high, so even a fully kitted out production city will need a few turns to make one
- the equivalent cost in lower tier units will pretty much always win, especially if they are cosmite modded and the tier 3 is not
- modding a t3 or t4 unit is 3 to 4 times more expensive for the same mod than modding a t1 unit
Going back to that screenshot, having a stack of 5 Tyranadons is actually more of an investment than getting 5 Knights together.
That’s a much more valid concern imho than worrying about the much bemoaned T4 “spam” that people complained about in AoW3, which came about because of an excess of resources given to the Ai especially, and arguably to the player over the course of very long games (large maps)
resources seem much more curtailed, and access to units much mroe gated, as already outlined.
Regarding what the Ai does with it all, that is a vey good question.
In AoW3 it would fast tech to it’s t4 class unit, and fast build to it’s racial t3 unit, and fast tech to have the maximum number of casting points, then it would crank out the “best” units it could (best here meaning almost inevitably most expensive and that in turn meaning almost ievitably t4 units)
And it would do this for every class, which is why facing a Dreadnought or Warlord Emperor AI in mid to late game was far more dangerous than a Sorceror, or a Necromancer, because “build and pump out units” is precisely how a warlord and Dreadnought should be played.
However, the modding community, and one mod in particular by a guy called Jolly Joker, tweaked the Ai building parameters, and made single player quite challenging without facing many t4 and t3 units.
Now if a modder (in fairness, he is quite obsessive) could do that, then one hopes the pros at Triumph will be able to deliver something more complete.
Plus, the dlc nature of the industry nowadays could actually help them here, because they can tweak and alter things once their sample size of players goes up, namely after release.
They did this with AoW3 after all.