Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by phil9999uk, Oct 7, 2010.
As Sulla explains, the stacks aren't of doom at all.
Ok. You are completely entitled to your opinion. But... why? I've asked before in this thread, and I've yet receive a coherent answer to why 1 UPH is superior to stacks. The only comments in favour seem to be "stacks are rubbish", or words to that effect. So, I ask again, why is 1UPH so good?
The infamous Carpet of Doom speaks more to the failings of AI programming, revealed most vividly at Immortal/Deity level (and thus the necessity of the outrageous unit-generation bonuses) than it does to the merits/demerits of 1upt.
1upt+hexes seem such a great step forward in the war aspect of civ gameplay, even with their limitations, but the real problem is that the rest of the game's mechanics were simplified and gutted, leading to war being the default modus of play. If you ain't at war, or threatened with war, well, just whaddaya gonna do? Peacetime is boring; the devs realized that, and so endless war is hardwired into the game after the initial exploration phase.
All the moaning over diplo is for much the same reasons--you gotta go to war to divert your attention from the boredom of peacetime, and what is left to do now in diplo is pretty much all about that.
What gets me is that you have to play at immortal to get a challenging game, but run into such ridiculous AI exploits as the CoD in the endgame. The AI can't succeed with 1upt in any other way than with the CoD. So is it really, truly an advance over the SoD? Meh, not really, all things considered.
I'd like to see at least the introduction of 2-unit stacking in cases where a unit strikes a foe and can land on an adjacent friendly unit to end its turn.
lol, yup thats made the game better alright.
Just read Sulla's article (posting the link again here).
This for me is an excelent summery of the state of civ5, how it stands now (which is probably how it will always be), and the section on 1UPT is a very insightfull and sad read. If only the devs had thought of it in this way.
Anyone who strongly advocates 1UPT as a great feature and has no good reason (I don't include "but SoD is stupid!" or "Its unrealistic to have thousonds of troops all in one tile!", etc, as reasonable) should read Sulla's article.
Like others I think that 1UPT is a potentially fun sounding idea but as it stands and in a game like civ (a Grand Strategy game, not a Tactical War Game) it has no real place and probably will never work.
I feel sad
I'll try to explain as best as I can but the language barrier is a bit difficult for me.
I've read Sulla article it was a good read, but I strongly disagree with him. He makes alot of biased accusations that I don't agree with at all.
I advice you try to play civ4 again at a higher difficulty, clashing with throngs of units. Then you realise how good 1UPT is. I can't go back to that type of gameplay any more. Not after playing with 1UPT. Try it yourself and see if it plays out as good as you used to think it did.
What 1UPS tries to do and somewhat accomplish is the need to position your units correctly, bombard cities from afar while protecting your catapults, placing infantry across to river to give you a combat advantage. Protecting pass with archers, and so on.
With stacks you just build them as large as you need and attack x20 or more times until one stack wins. No chance to retreat, your army will be destroyed in one turn, boom!
Limited stacking wont work either because you are basically just limiting yourself to the maximum number allowed, if we allow 3 units to stack, you build piles of 3 units (why build less), if you allow 5 to stack you build a pile of 5 units with the optimal choice of units to have the stack as powerful as possible and you basically have stacks again.
Also it's just the highest level that we see the carpet of doom and very few people who bought the game play on those levels. It's only there we start to see some of the side effects of 1UPS and that is AI bonuses not the core of 1UPS itself.
Very few people? I don't see how saying "people don't play on those levels" is in any way an argument for promoting a broken system.
The alternative is not stacks. There needs to be a balance. Limiting stack size and unit types allowed in stacks (or number of certain kinds) would make more sense.
Still haven't seen any compelling aren't why 1upt is better than stacks.
Aside from that, if you only used one stack in your civ4 games then you'd get wiped. The strategy was getting a good combination of offensive and defensive (and siege) units in each stack.
Now it's about building the most of the most advanced so that some can be slaughtered on the march through enemy territory and the rest can attack
I'll preface my opinion by saying that I'm not really for or against any system - in the context of a civ GAME virtually anything COULD be made to work but ALL civ games so far have had pretty lame combat.
That Civ5 IMO failed wasn't an innevitable result of adopting 1UPT, but rather doing so with a cut and paste mentality of importing concepts from other games without putting enough planning as to how to properly integrate the entire game into a single coherent concept.
Arguably the reason 1UPT is so popular is not a question of realism (as neither is particularly realisitc), but rather more gamers find tactical/operational warfare more interesting than they do the strategic side. The differences between weapon types, how weapons were used on the battlefield, how generals won or lost, maneuvering units on the field of battle, elite units, stories of dramatic victories against overwhealming odds, etc appeal more directly to a great many gamers than the strategic side - production, logistics, geo-politics, etc. The actual invasion of Normandy for example is probably of more interest than the politics of when and where to open a second front and the logistics behind the invasion.
Civ until Civ5 was orientated more towards the strategic side - wars were won by logistics and production but the actual battles themselves were dull. While the rest of game was rich with narrative the wars had little narrative value as one SOD battle was no more interesting than another. For all the attempted trappings of tactical interest (unit types, upgrades, combat bonuses) Civ4 was ultimately very unstatisfying because the there was no such thing as a meeting battle, or making use of terrain, or elite units - everything revolved around throwing stacks of units at each other. And there lies the problem of every civ until Civ5 - when you throw stacks of units at each other you've got the design challenge of how to abstractly represent the tactical combat assumed to be happening between the stacks in a way that returns believable results, that make the tactical trappings relavent, and that involve the player in *meaningful* decision making.
Civ4 failed in most respects. Unless you had suicide siege weapons standing by combat always favoured the defender. Instead of fighting stack against stack which would have been realistic, 1 attacker would venture out into no mans land, unsupported, and issue a challenge which in turn would be answered by the single unsupported defender best equipped to defeat him. Given all the complaints about archers shooting over the channel I'm surprised that knights who ALWAYS impale themselves on a pikewall... even if there's only 1 pikemen in a stack of 50 catapults doesn't generate similar scorn. Such gladitorial style combat mechanics remove meaningfull design making, aside from ensuring your own stacks always have a mix of units, they make meeting engagements between two equal forces impossible as whoever attacks the other first is at a huge dissadvantage, and they remove the relavence of elite units, unit types, etc - as combat is purely throwing in as much canon fodder as possible until the opposition is finally overwealmed.
In *theory* 1UPT along with more durable units *should* have added more flavour to battles. The match ups would still be 1v1 but now players could make meaningfull decisions as to when and where and between whom those matchups would consist. The result of battles would then be influenced by a players tactical decision making abilities which, aside from stroking players egoes would add an additional level of narrative to the game - as now wars would be decided by battles, as opposed stack resolution. "Not only did I hold Monty off when he stabbed me in the back but it was due to the EPIC defense my elite 7th, 8th, and 9th divisions fought holding him back along the banks of the Black River."
Is playing out tactical battles on a strategic map realistic? No. But in the context of a GAME where one warrior walks from one end of the world to the other over 4000 years beaming back satallite accurate maps of what he sees ultimately realism can be relaxed if the resulting mechanic is somewhat enjoyable. Again look at the popularity of RTSs or the Total war series - All civ 5 has really done is overlaid the tactical combat of the later directly onto the strategic map to save fighting meaningless battles over meaningless generic terrain.
That Civ5 doesn't live up to it's promise has more to do with the half assed job they did implementing the concept rather than the concept itself.
You are missing the point, only on the highest difficulty levels are we seeing a "flaw" with 1UPS and that is huge AI bonuses that make the map cluttered with troops aka carpet of doom that you call broken. Its the AI bonuses making it, not a fault with 1UPS.
You would still have a "best" stack in each era walking around killing stuff, limiting the strategies you can do and get a very dull gameplay. Oh 2 horsemen I attack with my stack of 2 pikemen then.
Why should I use two stacks? One bigger is better in every way. I never used more then one stack and I had no problem beating the game on the higher difficulties. I never got "wiped" as you claim because using a single huge beatdown stack. The only troops that died was X siege troops used to weaken the other stack and the occasional 95% win loss when the rest cleans up. Hows that strategy?
Civ is a GAME not a SIMULATION - therefore arguments that one gaming mechanic can't be used in place of another are as invalid as debating the realism of rolling a dice to decide where I'll live this month in Monopoly. You could make an entirely reasonable civ GAME using X-com combat to resolve warfare as long as sufficient thought is put into it's reasonable integration. (which would actually be a pretty cool idea =P )
I've read Sulla's article but I think the underlying premise is flawed:
He seems to imply that Civ5 was an innevitable disaster because it adopted 1UPT instead of, IMO, Civ5 was a disaster because of the way Firaxis adopted 1UPT.
Case and point he points to his quoted article pointing to Firaxis' decision to limit army size by reducing global production which made the game boring.
1UPT requires fewer units -> true
Less global production means fewer buildings means slower game and more next turn clicking -> true.
However it is fallicious to present that lowering global production is the only way to control unit numbers. This is where poor game design came into play - firaxis simply copied and pasted one element and assumed all that was required was a tweak of Civ production values to make it work.
Far better would have been to keep production speed the same as Civ4 and (re-)introduce a mechanic that limited army size to the ability of a civ to support it. IE tie unit numbers to production penalties, happiness penelaties (people don't like being drafted afterall) harsher economic penalties, science penalties (money diverted from R&D to field forces), upgrade costs (huge infrastructure to change), experience costs, etc so that producing units would get progressively more expensive and lower trained the larger an army gets, but conversely as they were lost progressively easier to replace.
Likewise add unit repair costs so a player repairing a 1/10 unit takes nearly an equivalent hit as the AI who has to rebuild the same 0/10 unit because the AI will never be as good at unit preservation.
Such simple changes would at a stroke improve the AI by default by reducing the emphasis from the one battle to decided the war back to replacement production - to which an AI's production bonus can apply without the need for CODs.
My emphasis in bold.
To me having the 1UPT in fact seems like it reduces your strategic choices on the empire wide level whilst increasing your tactical choices on a per battle basis. Ok so this may sound fun but this is ment to be a strategy game and not a tactical war game.
Limiting the number of units due to 1UPT, i.e. their high production and maintainence costs, has a knock on effect that means you need to make tiles and cities less productive. This massively takes away from the point in playing civ IMO, which is to build an epic empire. Its strategy and not tactics, that determin the strength of an empire, and its the shift in the overall aim of the game from strategy towards tactics that 1UPT has created.
Ok so I see what your saying about poor design vs the inherent base issues with each system.
I wish the devs had consulted more widely as it seems that there are many people who can come up with good ideas that seem like they would have resulted in a better system.
Again I ask the question why does needing fewer units mean you have to make tiles and cities less productive?
Are you saying there was no other possible way to reduce the number of units other than to build less of everything?
I'm not saying 1UPT doesn't have it's drawbacks or limitations.
I also think they, given their experience and time to invest in the project probably would have been better off sticking with Civ4.5 as it would have been a less radical change.
I'm just saying I don't think it's impossible that someone, somewhere if they were prepared to go from the ground up could develope a Civ scope game using 1UPT with an AI at least as competant as Civ4 and make it fun.
No, you're quite wrong (and makes me wonder if you really read that article at all, or how attentively): Sulla doesn't "seem to imply", he very explicitly says that Civ V was doomed to failure because of 1UpT.
And I agree with him.
And some don't, please stop your crusade correcting people. Just respect that everyone doesn't agree with Sulla and his opinions about the game.
No need to puke your Sulla fanboyism in every thread and response you make.
Moderator Action: Flaming. There was no need for the insults and name calling.
Please read the forum rules: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=422889
Well that was a brilliant rebutal... arguing over symantics as to what Sulla intended in his post rather than countering my arguments with actual logic?
If you read the article in question you would see that the only line in the whole article in which he comes close to laying blame "explicitly" on 1UPT is "The design team is trying to fix this with patches, but they aren't having more than modest success, because these problems are inherent to the design of Civ5's One Unit Per Tile restrictions."
Notice even then he doesn't say "these problems are inherent to 1UPT" but rather "are inherent to the design of Civ5's 1UPT restrictions"
Given that most of the article is a criticism of the solutions the designers actually implemented instead of a detailed analysis of why potential alternative implementations of 1UPT were also doomed to failure I'm merely being polite and giving him the benefit of the doubt that he MIGHT merely be explaining why 1UPT AS IMPLEMENTED in Civ5 was doomed to failure as opposed to the blanket statement that 1UPT could NEVER be made to work in any empire building game of comparable scope to Civ.
Did he really mean that to have 1 COMBAT UNIT per tile innevitably meant the loss of the ability to stack workers - or was he commenting purely on the actual design decision of Civ5 which chose to implement 1UPT for workers as well as combat? For that matter is it really necessary to have worker units in the game at all? Or could the same effect be achieved by a "public works" mechanic so that I could invest production into the ability to start improving a certain number of tiles per turn?
Again he says Civ5 combat, not 1UPT. Does that mean he believes no 1UPT game could have more enjoyable combat than Civ4's stacks or he simply doesn't think Civ5's combat is improved over civ4?
Again is he (or you for that matter) seriously suggesting that the ONLY way to limit the number of units on the map was the method Firaxis chose with Civ5 - crippling tile yields and making *buildings* vastly more expensive? That there is no other mechanic available which could "encourage" smaller armies while still allowing building production to reach Civ4 speeds?
1upt doesn't work
This argument is just going round and round. It's "it can't work", "not in it's current state," "it can't work," not in it's current state." Well, I am in the camp that it CAN work in a very modified state. As far as Civ V goes, it's probably doomed because the implementation is too fundamentally flawed; the game would have to be rebuilt from the ground up. But if it were built right, it could easily work.
I voted for it but on one condition . Yes it needs tweeking . But on a Macro level we must all remember that there is no perfect way to institute a strategy game or any video game . It is all a simulation . So you have to use your imagination . But I do like the strategy of war better . But hate moving my massive army / ai weakness
Separate names with a comma.