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Old Jan 26, 2009, 08:11 PM   #1
Soluafin
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Aerial Wars

You'll have to forgive me if this is an issue brought up before, but here's one of the things I'd really like to see improved in the next Civ: a more realistic air war. As it is now, airplanes, fighters, bombers, are all small fraction of what they should be. I say this mostly regarding the fact that they are bombarding weapons and pretty limited in what they can do. Granted, in Civ4 there are some nice improvements to the way they function, but they still fall very short of their real life counterparts.

In the real world, historically and in the modern setting, a squadron of fighters and bombers can take out an entire fleet of ships through dive-bombing, torpedo drops, and long range anti-ship missles. Carpet bombing and incendiary bombs have been used for a while to completely eradicate infantry. Laser-guided bombs and missles are a well known bane of tanks.

In Civ, however, planes can do little more than 'soften' all these enemies up and make them easier for land units to take out. Now, granted, airplanes can't take over a city and shouldn't be able to, either. But they should be able to effectively destroy most unit types. As it is now, they're only realistic in their city bombing, which can and does destroy buildings within a city. Though the ability to pick specific targets within the city should be a key factor, rarely are planes sent to just 'bomb the place' and bombing an enemy's statue or temple is hardly a success. Being able to direct a bombing run on enemy barracks, harbors, factories, on the other hand...

Yes, I do realize this brings a bit of a balance issue, but I think a matter of making an 'air control' system in place would fix this. A system where air power in a given region is labeled as 'contested' when the range of two different civilization's air forces overlap, preventing air strikes in that area(except for an attack ON the enemy air forces, which would be a dangerous move and have a fair risk of failure) until the opposing air forces are destroyed. In addition, the presence of anti-air power on the ground(missle infantry, mobile SAMs, anti-aircraft guns) within a fixed area of the target, say 2 squares, would either prevent a strike from being launched or provide a high risk of failure and loss of air unit and/or bombardment result similar to the current way planes work, just softening up the target a bit before being forced to flee. This would also include a revamping of some units to give them AA power additions, such as the Destroyer having AA guns, etc.

I'd just like to see air power given it's rightful signifigance in warfare. Historically, Pearl Harbor is decent example, and in more modern times in the Middle East, air superiority has been a major factor in most conflicts and in some cases been the deciding factor. I'd like to see that the case in Civ, as well. And thus ends my slightly alcohol-induced rant!
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Old Jan 26, 2009, 09:14 PM   #2
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Old Jan 27, 2009, 02:33 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Soluafin View Post
In the real world, historically and in the modern setting, a squadron of fighters and bombers can take out an entire fleet of ships through dive-bombing, torpedo drops, and long range anti-ship missles. Carpet bombing and incendiary bombs have been used for a while to completely eradicate infantry. Laser-guided bombs and missles are a well known bane of tanks.
I am inclined to think that all of these issues would be solved by making planes back into actual units that have attack strengths and so forth and that you actually fly around, rather than giving them missions.

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As it is now, they're only realistic in their city bombing, which can and does destroy buildings within a city. Though the ability to pick specific targets within the city should be a key factor, rarely are planes sent to just 'bomb the place' and bombing an enemy's statue or temple is hardly a success. Being able to direct a bombing run on enemy barracks, harbors, factories, on the other hand...
I would very much like this; I am inclined to think that with bombarding type units as well, precision targeting should improve over time; from your basic catapult randomly hitting any unit or improvement in a city, to cruise missiles having 100% accuracy, and other sorts of artillery having more or less chance of hitting what you aim it at as appropriate.

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Yes, I do realize this brings a bit of a balance issue, but I think a matter of making an 'air control' system in place would fix this. A system where air power in a given region is labeled as 'contested' when the range of two different civilization's air forces overlap, preventing air strikes in that area(except for an attack ON the enemy air forces, which would be a dangerous move and have a fair risk of failure) until the opposing air forces are destroyed.
I think that's needlessly complex. If you want to defend your units from air attack, either have specialist anti-aircraft units with defence against aerial attack, or put air units of your own in the same space that the enemy has to fight and defeat before they can get at your ground units.

Possibly, come to think of it, planes should have an against-aerial-unit attack and defence and an against-ground-unit attack and defence strength.
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Old Feb 17, 2009, 03:49 AM   #4
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I believe that the mission system is the most appropriate for planes, as a plane cannot actually move into a position and stay there. It has to perform a mission and return to its base. What has to be changed is their radius+power and extend their mission list. Missions like precise strike (which could also extend to artillery-missiles-ships) and unit drop are needed imo. Of course that power boost would come with a balanced anti air boost.
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Old Feb 18, 2009, 12:58 PM   #5
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I believe that the mission system is the most appropriate for planes, as a plane cannot actually move into a position and stay there. It has to perform a mission and return to its base. What has to be changed is their radius+power and extend their mission list. Missions like precise strike (which could also extend to artillery-missiles-ships) and unit drop are needed imo. Of course that power boost would come with a balanced anti air boost.
I think you have it right. If you can mod in an "air superiority" mission (or borrow Dale's Combat Mod) that just sends your fighters out to intercept and destroy enemy fighters, and then give aircraft greater strength in strafing units and causing collateral damage, they could fulfill their intended role.
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Old Feb 18, 2009, 01:21 PM   #6
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I believe that the mission system is the most appropriate for planes, as a plane cannot actually move into a position and stay there.
Nor can a ship stay at sea for years without end without being repaired. It's an approximation for gameplay purposes, not an actual plane; I think there's a fundamental disjunct between the timescale at which cities grow and develop etc. and the timescale at which realistic wars are fought for most of history, and that the game acknowledges this by keeping unit movements and other things working on the same scale of turns (and making war be a separate game on a separate scale to the rest of the game would be a REALLY BAD IDEA) so I think the "realism" argument for making air units behave as missions is kind of ridiculous if we are going to stick with things like ancient-age units moving across continents turn by turn when the turns are decades long. Timescale won't be "realistic" anyway without a fundamental, drastic, and IMO disatrous degree of change to the game, so at least make it consistent.
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Old Feb 18, 2009, 01:24 PM   #7
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The difference is scale--ship travel times between ports or on missions can be measured in weeks or months. Air missions are typically measured in hours. You have to admit, there is at least an order of magnitude difference there.
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Old Feb 18, 2009, 01:30 PM   #8
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The difference is scale--ship travel times between ports or on missions can be measured in weeks or months. Air missions are typically measured in hours. You have to admit, there is at least an order of magnitude difference there.
Oh, agreed; it just seems to me that the similarity between units is greater than the difference between kinds of units in this, that a trireme getting to move its couple of squares every fifty years and a plane going up one year and having to land the next are not actually different scales of abstraction. Other people's perspectives clearly vary.
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Old Feb 18, 2009, 03:42 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Antilogic View Post
The difference is scale--ship travel times between ports or on missions can be measured in weeks or months. Air missions are typically measured in hours. You have to admit, there is at least an order of magnitude difference there.
Magnitude & difference where in the Civ world, units don't have to be concerned with crossing the International date line like real world planes & ships.
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Old Feb 19, 2009, 05:52 AM   #10
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A lot of stuff could be done just with promotions. You could also mod up an entire air war system in which aircraft are redefined as land units that have this enormous move, blitz, and 90 percent retreat (but can't take cities). Unfortunately, due to the turn based nature, you wouldn't have air units maneuvering againstg each other then, but would just be replicating the mission system, unless you had an "airwar" phase in which multiple air unit moves would be made between land war turns. They would be a unitcombat category that some unit types would have a bonus against.

Why would making war be on a separate time scale be a bad idea? Phases are an old idea in wargames. Have the regular economic turns alternate with a warfare phase consisting of up to ten additional turns. When not in a war (as declared by the human player) it would just be movement rates of ten times normal, alternating turns. Then if the human player decides to, the military movement phase could be broken up into ten alternations at 1/10 movement rate. In between each of which you might have air war phases.

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Old Feb 19, 2009, 12:52 PM   #11
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Air war is one of the least ridiculous (best thought out) game mechanics Civ has come up with so far.

It's light years ahead of the laughable "diplomacy" engine.
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Old Feb 19, 2009, 11:08 PM   #12
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I think airplane movement should go like this:

1. An airplane has a gigantic amount of moves, let's say 10 for a certain plane.
2. When he runs out of moves, the plane returns back to the city, like if the amount of moves the plane has is half of it's tank.
3. When flying over a tile with a unit, it may either airstrike the tile or pass through.
4. When airstriking, ground units without Anti Air protection cannot fight back. Give the fighter a certain amount of rounds of combat against such a unit.
5. With Anti Air, the units will fight regular combat when the attacking plane is airstriking or the ground unit will have free rounds of combat against a plane if it is just passing through.
6. Half of it's movement range will be a defense grid where it is able to attack incoming planes. You can set the planes to attack or stay in place during their turn.
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Old Feb 20, 2009, 10:23 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Smartbluma View Post
I think airplane movement should go like this:

1. An airplane has a gigantic amount of moves, let's say 10 for a certain plane.
I prefer aerial units have a totally separate grid system like that of ocean vessels. From a trireme of 2 movement points to a destroyer of 7 movement points.
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2. When he runs out of moves, the plane returns back to the city, like if the amount of moves the plane has is half of it's tank.
In Civ2, Helicopters suffer health damage per turn when they remain in the skies. I think concept should apply to planes where an aircraft can remain in the air until it runs out of fuel and crashes just like bombers & planes in Civ2.

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3. When flying over a tile with a unit, it may either airstrike the tile or pass through.
I agree but an air unit cannot pass over certain air tiles such as those above an enemy city or bunker/port.
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4. When airstriking, ground units without Anti Air protection cannot fight back. Give the fighter a certain amount of rounds of combat against such a unit..
There should be a new combat ratio for air/ground battles where of course air units are by far more superior.

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5. With Anti Air, the units will fight regular combat when the attacking plane is airstriking or the ground unit will have free rounds of combat against a plane if it is just passing through.
Same with warships, they can also engage air units.

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6. Half of it's movement range will be a defense grid where it is able to attack incoming planes. You can set the planes to attack or stay in place during their turn.
no defense grid. Incoming planes can be passenger/freight planes either by Boeing, Airbus or Sukoi. There has never been a situation where a jet fighter or bomber attacked a passenger/freight plane.

Civ has units like a settler, workers, explorers, caravans for ground units. Transports & workboats represent ocean units. I think passenger and freight planes should exist for air units. These units are usually non-combat and ought to be added. I'd like to see the return of freight 18 wheelers and a new sea ship, the cargo container vessel.
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Old Feb 20, 2009, 10:23 AM   #14
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Air war is one of the least ridiculous (best thought out) game mechanics Civ has come up with so far.

It's light years ahead of the laughable "diplomacy" engine.
I agree with you, with the notable exception of enemy propeller planes being a little too effective at intercepting my jet fighters. However, I only have that minor complaint. The mission-oriented system definitely gives you a feel for air units being different from standard ground and sea units. The use of promotions in BtS also gives you the chance to increase evasion and interception rates, range of operation, and brute strength.

Overall, it's a decent system.

Far better than the old Civ2 system. "Oh no, that line of obsolete musketmen are preventing my nuke from hitting his city! NO!!!"
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Last edited by Antilogic; Feb 20, 2009 at 10:25 AM. Reason: Added a small additional comment.
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Old Feb 21, 2009, 12:23 PM   #15
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In Civ2, Helicopters suffer health damage per turn when they remain in the skies. I think concept should apply to planes where an aircraft can remain in the air until it runs out of fuel and crashes just like bombers & planes in Civ2.
I very much agree with this.

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I agree but an air unit cannot pass over certain air tiles such as those above an enemy city or bunker/port.
Not this though. Maybe if the enemy city has anti-air defences they should get a free shot at you when you pass over, but you should be able to overly anything on the ground.

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There should be a new combat ratio for air/ground battles where of course air units are by far more superior.
Depends on the units. Modern anit-air rocket launchers against WWI biplanes ?

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There has never been a situation where a jet fighter or bomber attacked a passenger/freight plane.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_...nes_Flight_007

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Civ has units like a settler, workers, explorers, caravans for ground units. Transports & workboats represent ocean units. I think passenger and freight planes should exist for air units. These units are usually non-combat and ought to be added. I'd like to see the return of freight 18 wheelers and a new sea ship, the cargo container vessel.
I'd very much like this too.
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Old Feb 21, 2009, 02:37 PM   #16
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Not this though. Maybe if the enemy city has anti-air defences they should get a free shot at you when you pass over, but you should be able to overly anything on the ground.
Your point is noted.
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Depends on the units. Modern anit-air rocket launchers against WWI biplanes ?
WWI biplanes would be upgraded to jet fighters.

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Oh yeah, I forgot about that. It still proves my point that combat aircraft and civilian aircraft fly in the same skies.
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Old Feb 22, 2009, 12:56 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Soluafin View Post
You'll have to forgive me if this is an issue brought up before, but here's one of the things I'd really like to see improved in the next Civ: a more realistic air war. As it is now, airplanes, fighters, bombers, are all small fraction of what they should be. I say this mostly regarding the fact that they are bombarding weapons and pretty limited in what they can do. Granted, in Civ4 there are some nice improvements to the way they function, but they still fall very short of their real life counterparts.

In the real world, historically and in the modern setting, a squadron of fighters and bombers can take out an entire fleet of ships through dive-bombing, torpedo drops, and long range anti-ship missles. Carpet bombing and incendiary bombs have been used for a while to completely eradicate infantry. Laser-guided bombs and missles are a well known bane of tanks.

In Civ, however, planes can do little more than 'soften' all these enemies up and make them easier for land units to take out. Now, granted, airplanes can't take over a city and shouldn't be able to, either. But they should be able to effectively destroy most unit types. As it is now, they're only realistic in their city bombing, which can and does destroy buildings within a city. Though the ability to pick specific targets within the city should be a key factor, rarely are planes sent to just 'bomb the place' and bombing an enemy's statue or temple is hardly a success. Being able to direct a bombing run on enemy barracks, harbors, factories, on the other hand...

Yes, I do realize this brings a bit of a balance issue, but I think a matter of making an 'air control' system in place would fix this. A system where air power in a given region is labeled as 'contested' when the range of two different civilization's air forces overlap, preventing air strikes in that area(except for an attack ON the enemy air forces, which would be a dangerous move and have a fair risk of failure) until the opposing air forces are destroyed. In addition, the presence of anti-air power on the ground(missle infantry, mobile SAMs, anti-aircraft guns) within a fixed area of the target, say 2 squares, would either prevent a strike from being launched or provide a high risk of failure and loss of air unit and/or bombardment result similar to the current way planes work, just softening up the target a bit before being forced to flee. This would also include a revamping of some units to give them AA power additions, such as the Destroyer having AA guns, etc.

I'd just like to see air power given it's rightful signifigance in warfare. Historically, Pearl Harbor is decent example, and in more modern times in the Middle East, air superiority has been a major factor in most conflicts and in some cases been the deciding factor. I'd like to see that the case in Civ, as well. And thus ends my slightly alcohol-induced rant!
You should check out "History in the Making" it includes Dale's Combat Mod, the GAU-8 Canon tech, the Fairchild Republic wonder, and the B1 UU, among others.
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Old Feb 23, 2009, 01:28 PM   #18
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WWI biplanes would be upgraded to jet fighters.
Yes. I was just thinking that if you have a reasonable tech lead, so someone comes at you with biplanes and you have more advanced anti-aircraft defences, you should be able to shoot down their planes fairly straightforwardly.
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Old Feb 28, 2009, 09:36 PM   #19
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I'm pretty sure a modern anti-air missile would have problems tracking a WW1 mostly wood-and-canvas biplane. Not exactly something they were designed to do.
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Old Mar 03, 2009, 10:05 AM   #20
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Machine gunners intercept, which is realistic enough. Takes care of archaic air units nicely.
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