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1 unit per hex: failed experiment

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by ohioastronomy, Oct 3, 2010.

  1. Psyringe

    Psyringe Scout

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    As I said in another thread, I do see many problems with a 1upt approach (most of those already mentioned by the OP, so I won't repeat them here). I can see that it may still lead to better gameplay (at least between human players) than a SOD mechanic, though personally I didn't see that much of a problem in the way Civ4 handled that. But supposing that SOD may have been annoying to players, I think I would have preferred fixing the stack mechanics with appropriate counters over taking the whole feature out.

    I disagree that limited stacking would have been a good solution. It's still a hard cap. In my experience, limited stacking (which was a "feature" in old games that simply couldn't jandle unlimited stacks due to the way they managed the units and the map internally) leads to players looing for "killer combos" which fill all available slots and lead to a nearly unbeatable mini-stack. So instead of the unlimited stack of death in Civ4, or the single unit of death in Civ5, you'd have a mini-stack of death. It's still the same problem.

    Imho, a good approach to solve the SOD problem would have been to offer better counters against it: More collateral damage, less reliability that the "best defender" is chosen when attacked, area-of-effect weapons that target all units in stack and thus can do a lot of damage in a single turn if the opponent built a huge stack), etc. There are dozens of possibilities, and they have been known for a long time.

    One particularly interesting approach (imho) is found in Master of Orion, a 17-year old space strategy game. In this game, players could design their own spaceships. Possibilities ranged from having a single huge dreadnought with a ton of armor to having a fleet of thousands of tiny ships consisting of little more than a weapon attached to an engine. Let's view the single behemoth as a single unit and the fleet of tiny ships as a huge stack of units.

    There were also weapons with very distinct effects. One weapon removed 20% of a ship's structure (hit points), but could only affect one ship at a time. Another weapon killed 25% of all ships in a single fleet. Obviously, the first weapon would be very effective against the dreadnought, doing a lot of damage with every shot, while being totally useless against the fleet (reducing 1 tiny ship's structure while leavin 999 others untouched isn't a huge gain). Conversely, the second weapon was totally ineffective against the dreadnought (removing 25% of ships in a fleet of 1 ship does nothing), but extremely effective against the fleet, destroying hundreds of ships with a single shot.

    Hence, whether to use single units or stacks was a strategical decision. The game didn't simply forbid stacks (like Civ5), nor did it make them the ultimate weapon (like Civ4). It implemented stacks as a tactical option that was very useful in some situations and horribly bad in others, depending on the weaponry and equipment of the opponent. So, you had to study your opponent's ships and then decide how to best counter that with your own designs, and you then built either a dreadnought, or fleets of tiny ships, or something in between. And isn't that what strategy games are about - having options and trying to choose the right ones?

    That's why I'm increasingly skeptical about 1upt in Civ5. In an attempt to solve the problem of overpowered stacks in previous games, they removed the option to build them instead of giving us more and better options to counter them.
     
  2. mrt144

    mrt144 Deity

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    Using strategy for the simplest of tasks against an inferior opponent is a waste of strategy.
     
  3. mrt144

    mrt144 Deity

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    They seemed to do a lot of things in this vein. It's like they took things they didn't like about Civ4 then did the complete opposite.
     
  4. Gorey

    Gorey Prince

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    How bout just being able to stack like units? Keeps you from putting one unit of every type for the unbeatable stack..and gives you alittle more utility in moving your troops and setting up defences.

    The problem i hate right now is that you have your swords in the front and archers behind them. What happens if a sword dies? You archers are in the way for another swordmen to take his place. So you have to move an archer out of the way and move a new swordsmen to the front, then move the archer back. If you could just stack two or more swordsmen in each tile across the front line it would be better IMO.

    Would solve the worker's getting in each other's way problem as well.
     
  5. mrt144

    mrt144 Deity

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    Increasing the scale presents it's own problems not too unrelated to SoDs which is the tedium of moving so many units. How is moving 150+ units per turn in a full scale really a stream lining of the game?
     
  6. teejing

    teejing Chieftain

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    Many problems could be solved if there were just less units on the map, so an easy +cost/power for units would go a long way.
     
  7. mrt144

    mrt144 Deity

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    The problem is that it just makes each unit more important and the consequences of losing a unit more disastrous. This is why a SoD worked as a means to an end with combat in Civ.
     
  8. Drakken

    Drakken Warlord

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    The OP is well thought out. Whether 1 UPT is a better or worse combat system than the SOD is not so easy to call. However, when you include the other disruptions caused to the overall game that 1 UPT causes (i.e. blocking, difficult movement, extreme rock, paper, scissors results) it is worse in my opinion. Both combat systems have major flaws! However, why do we have to settle for a less crappy system of combat. Why can't we have a good one?

    To the posters who say you can win the game without combat? Against a stupid AI perhaps, but I would kill you in an instant. At the very least you have to be able to defend what you have and that involves the combat system of the game.

    To really see the flaws in this system you have to play a game in multiplayer. The AI is totally inept and just because you haven't seen the gamey tactics the 1 UPT system promotes doesn't mean they are not there.

    In our LAN games we have noted the attacker has almost all of the advantages. The attacker usually has his forces concentrated and not scattered around the map. It takes forever to move your units from one side of your empire to the other. The fact that the enemy moves as fast in your territory as you do makes this even worse. Add in the instant heals and the attacker can often take down several cities before the defender can even get his units together.

    Rock paper scissors is extreme now. The attacker gets to choose who matches up against who. Catching units in the open with the -33% is lethal. The mounted units can usually sneak in and sneak out without paying the consequences.

    I want CIV V to be a good game but the combat system is so broken right now that after 2 weeks of playing we have given up on it. Perhaps someone will fix it.

    The army idea is a good one. Joining units into an army with the benefits of combined arms is appropriate for CIV.
     
  9. Iberian

    Iberian Prince

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    The infamous Civ III army returns!

    I don't know if that will work though. Would be interested in play testing that.

    If all armies could be stacked 3 high like the normal GG in Civ III that may work. Only seige should not be allowed to stack. Then you could have a melee anti-archer/pikemen anti-mounted/archer anti-melee system (archers no longer are able to range fire in this version only real seige weapons may) and create a rock/paper/scissors system.

    The other option is to allow stacks, you assign one unit in each stack as the primary defender (except no stacking with seige), and if the primary defender dies the stack dies.

    Stacks of doom aren't a problem because they are stacked. It was a problem because you would build 50-100 units and have to use them all. It took forever. I like less units but I hate pathing and the inept tactics that you can use to decimate the AI or the fact that if you are attacking you win. The AI has no chance when a human attacks. Even a human has a hard time.
     
  10. Jediron

    Jediron Prince

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    Well, when you speak of Armies i would not refer to Civ 3 "armies" . I speak of REAL army sized battlegroups, like they use in TOTAL WAR, a dozen troop types, to your liking. Combined armes.

    Also, too minimize micromanagment with units in such a armies, i would prefer to build ARMIES and Fleets completely, in ONE single Sprite/Unit. And then afcource, instead of all the types of units, you can use now, make all types of armiegroups and build those!. You decide what kind of army/fleet you deploy, to suit your strategic plan.


    Stacking problem solved, micromanage single units solved. Simply build the right type of armie and use it there, where it hurts most (offensive >> attackmode / defensive army >> defencemode...etc.etc.etc.
     
  11. tibbles

    tibbles Warlord

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    I'll just echo, I don't have a problem with 1upt in theory. The problem is the 1upt system is designed around having maneuver room.

    Just think about any wargame, table top or computer rts for a second. The combat field is vast in relation to the size of a unit. It allows flanking and bypassing. Choke points are rare and valuable. I'm no military expert, but I'm pretty sure concepts like reserves and defense in depth came about solely because no one ever had the number of units required to physically man the entire border of their nation in wartime.

    On a civ map, choke points are still valuable, but mostly created by accidental unit blockages, not terrain. Exploiting a killzone cause the AI is too dumb to get it's forces out of it's own way is less satisfying than knowing you won cause you garrisoned a mountain pass.

    Plus, regardless of (un)realism you get a lot of tedium having to manually move every unit 1 at a time every turn when dealing with more than a handful. Or waiting for the ai to chunk thru it's moves. Or trying to press an attack that you know you'll win, but your troops can't physically move forwards until you trash 100 of the AI's out of date units 1 at a time. That's reducing fun.
     
  12. Buccaneer

    Buccaneer Deity

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    I recall getting into an argument with someone here several months ago when I brought up the scale issue - that is, the number of units in relation to the number of hexes. I argued that the typical civ maps do not allow for true hex-based tactics and the other person argued that the scale was fine since we will not have more than a few units. I guess that's partially true since you can win with only four [insert your favorite power unit]. But I still say larger battles doesn't make sense at this scale.
     
  13. drachasor

    drachasor The Undying Flame

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    A CTP system for armies would be far from bad.
     
  14. Zaimejs

    Zaimejs Emperor

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    Great comments so far. I really didn't think of how bad this battle system is for MP until I read about the advantage that attackers have.

    In addition, I noticed how BIG the stupid hexes are in this system. I thought it was because I was on a smaller map, but no matter now big the map is, the size is just silly. I played Axis and Allies way back when along with other hex games, and the hexes worked because there were so many that allowed for maneuverabilty.

    Ah well. If you don't like it, don't play it. Right? I tried another game and I'm feeling the meh.
     
  15. Jediron

    Jediron Prince

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    You are spot on on this!

    That's exactly why i favor the TotalWar battle-approach; to figth the battles itself, in a real-time 3D envirement, with the landscape suited to the ground the armies are standing on. Then all those 1 hex limitations are solved, once and for all. Also, when using Army-groups (as any socalled wise "king" should use anyway; you must be a total idiot going to rage war only with archers and nothing else) you solve the annoing handling and moving around of hundreds of unit types.
     
  16. LDiCesare

    LDiCesare Deity

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    Do you use intelligence and scouting a lot?
    There is no reason why the enemy should have his forces concentrated and not you if you saw him coming. If you're unable to because the borders are near, then this issue might be fixed with spy units that are invisible but able to enter enemy territory. Or just attack immediately if an enemy builds a city less than one turn move from one of yours.

    No. It depends on the map (script) you use. I have plenty of terrain chokepoints.
     
  17. Sc_0pe

    Sc_0pe Chieftain

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    Oh yeah, I meant the AI not me having those amounts of units ofc :)
    The best I've done on a small map is the game I'm currently playing, where I have around 20 units. But I don't see that as a bad, I like smaller scale battles actually.

    I have to play more to really make up my mind on this though.
     
  18. Mîtiu Ioan

    Mîtiu Ioan Deity

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    I'd like to put this in the right perspective - mainly in order to not have another "Civ 5 vs. other Civs" approach ... ;)

    This problem is not new in Civ-games combat mode - actually I'd said that in Civ3 it reaches ( especially in Conquest ) extrem levels too ... :( : more precisely it's the way in which a stack of artilery pieces could red-line or even kills a whole stack of other units without any retaliation from enemy. Even if there was artillery pieces on target stack it didn't start a "counter-battery fire" - which was ridiculous IMHO !! :nono:

    For that reason I stopped playing Civ3 ... I should admit ... :p

    The same issue exists in Civ4 ( for that reason it's adequate to say that catapults/cannons/artillery destroyed a nice planned "rock-scisor-paper" system :( ) but it was somehow reduced as importance there due to - suprise, suprise ! - limited "collateral damage" effect and the basic fact that, usually, a siege unit has low chance to survive an attack against a melee/archer-derived units. :mischief:
     
  19. db0

    db0 Bane of Misoids

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  20. TLF

    TLF Prince

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    With only a small number of units, you may be able to attack successfully, but how can you play defensively?
    You will not have enough troops to defend each city and it takes too long to move troops to the point of attach.
    Doesn't this make defense impossible?
     

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