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1UPT - final verdict?

Discussion in 'CivBE - General Discussions' started by santoo, Oct 27, 2014.

?

One unit per tile (1UPT) or multiple units per tile (MUPT)?

Poll closed Nov 10, 2014.
  1. I started out with 1UPT (e.g. CIV5) and prefer 1UPT

    44 vote(s)
    10.0%
  2. I started out with 1UPT (e.g. CIV5) and prefer MUPT

    6 vote(s)
    1.4%
  3. I stated out with MUPT (e.g. SMAC) and prefer 1UPT

    244 vote(s)
    55.2%
  4. I stated out with MUPT (e.g. SMAC) and prefer MUPT

    148 vote(s)
    33.5%
  1. BlueTemplar

    BlueTemplar Prince

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    Honestly, I don't care about the poll.

    What I hoped to find here, on civfanatics, is at least some arguments about how the combat is not dumbed down in Civ:BE compared to Alpha Centauri (rather than Civ5 compared to Civ4). So far, there's nothing...
     
  2. Roxlimn

    Roxlimn Deity

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    Huh? Alpha Centauri combat was pretty brain dead. Always has been. You build your special super-units the AI has no idea how to counter and ROFLstomp it to pieces.
     
  3. m15a

    m15a Emperor

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    I don't know if that's even possible. It might be possible to refute someone's argument that it is dumbed down, but how can you prove that something is not "dumbed down" especially when it's not clear what dumbed down means.
     
  4. BlueTemplar

    BlueTemplar Prince

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  5. BlueTemplar

    BlueTemplar Prince

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    I was using his words. In words of other people, I'd like to see arguments about how Civ:BE 1UPT combat is more "tactical" than Alpha Centauri's MUPT (since I often see the statement that 1UPT is more "tactical" than MUPT, but usually in the Civ5 vs Civ4 context).
    (P.S.: Also, how exactly "stacks of death" are a problem in Alpha Centauri.)
     
  6. Roxlimn

    Roxlimn Deity

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    BlueTemplar:

    Er, the Cities in BE are fairly impregnable in general before Affinity 4, and then the AI falls like wheat - pretty much like when you get choppers in SMAC. I remember deploying single Hovertanks in SMAC and decimating entire Civs with them. You don't even need a stack.

    Yes, I played all the Civs before. I know collateral damage. I know multiple stack manipulations - all that jazz. It's still fairly simple.

    All the things that annoy people in 1UPT? That's the part that's hard. It's not "stupid" that that inconvenient friendly unit is blocking you from advancing. You made a mistake and now you're paying for it. It's not 1UPT. It's you.

    If you have extra melee units that can't even get to battle because you made too many? Also you. Poor planning. Poor foresight. Poor movement. Poor tactics.

    Fact is, 1UPT isn't just a counter game. Of necessity it's also a placement game. The unit's tile position and how they advance is just as important as having units in the first place. This is why it boggles me how people can find 1UPT tedious when it involves moving something like 10 units at the most. In Civ IV, you're moving stacks 40, 50, 100 units strong. If you're moving more than 10 units at a battle in 1UPT, you're doing it wrong.
     
  7. krc

    krc King

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    I haven't replied to the poll because I'm not sure I agree completely with any of the options. I started gaming long enough ago that most games involved pushing cardboard counters around on actual maps printed on paper. And I've played both 1UPT and MUPT, both on paper and on a computer, for lots of different games. As a result, my answer is that "I like the version that is most appropriate for the setting of each particular game".

    I'm ...comfortable... with 1UPT in Civ5, even though it leads to confusion about whether the game is at a tactical level (where 1UPT is more natural) or a strategic level (where armies/stacks/MUPT may be more natural). With CivBE, I am starting to dislike 1UPT. Between mountains and canyons and a relatively small number of tiles, every battle becomes tedious; there simply isn't room for enough maneuvering to make 1UPT worthwhile.

    Thinking back over the board games I've played, it seems that Civ should work most like Frederick the Great. In that game, play revolves around moving armies into position to besiege and capture fortified strong points. Likewise, every conflict in Civ revolves around maneuvering to capture an enemy city. From that perspective, limited MUPT seems to make more sense. I'd love to see a system where
    1. you can use generals to merge individual units into divisions or corps or armies
    2. at the end of a turn, only one (merged) unit can occupy any tile
    3. generals really matter, since the number of units they can command (i.e., merge) depends on some measure of "command ability" that increases with experience
    4. different mixes of units get different bonuses (or penalties) depending on some model of combined arms
    5. terrain may limit the size of a unit that can occupy a tile
    6. lines of supply matter

    I'm not holding my breath, however. Maybe we can see a system like this by Civ10?
     
  8. Roxlimn

    Roxlimn Deity

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    That was implemented as Armies in Civ3 Warlords.
     
  9. Aeson

    Aeson orangesoda Retired Moderator

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    If you're addressing the SOD side of things, moving 100 units means one click.

    As for "doing it wrong" .... Optimal CivBE warfare is about hitting critical upgrade levels and bringing huge forces to bear in the timeframe you have that advantage. When you get that advantage, the more units the merrier.
     
  10. Roxlimn

    Roxlimn Deity

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    Attacking well with a hundred unit stack still means evaluating the enemy stack and figuring out which units should attack in which sequence. That's tedious.

    Optimal CivBE play means getting up the upgrades and bringing the precise amount of units to bear as will be effective. More is not better. That is precisely the sort of MUPT thinking that probably gets too many people in trouble, and then they blame the system, not their own mistakes.

    You have to count the number of hexes from which your units can effectively attack. If that number is 2, having six doesn't give you an advantage unless you're expecting severe losses.

    In general, 6 units is an effective fighting force for an area around a city - three melee, and three ranged, or more ranged - it depends on how much ranged vantage points there are. Terrain can make ranged attack points limited.

    You can expand that with 2 Cavalry types and perhaps 2 other - siege or air unit support. That's your basic army. Losses ought to be minimal, but expected losses shouldn't number more than the entire army!

    That's 10 units. You can fight an extended front, but I really don't see the point of engaging enemy units in non-city locations. If you have more than that, most of the excess will simply mill about and complicate positioning as they take up positions other units should be occupying.

    More is not better. You could move another 10-ish unit army onto another battle on another location, I suppose. That's 20 units of moving where position is critical, vs 100 where you really just care about attack order. I find the position game more entertaining.
     
  11. Aeson

    Aeson orangesoda Retired Moderator

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    Yes. 1UPT is always tedious, and MUPT is tedious when attacking, but not necessarily when moving.

    If you can't use more, you're just not thinking far enough ahead. If you have more units than you need for target X ... attack more targets. Win faster.

    There is more than one city most of the time. Usually a lot more.

    The idea that positioning doesn't matter with MUPT is false. Positioning is actually much more complex in MUPT. Then you have the choice of whether or not to stack.

    Stacking was rarely optimal. And even in circumstances that lead to stacking being optimal, it was sub-optimal choices that lead to those circumstances. Yet you still ended up stacking to some extent to take advantage of roads and passing through chokepoints, or in specific situations when unit composition called for it. Those situations had risks involved in all but Civ III, because stacking lead to increased damage taken.

    That's interesting.

    "Ranged in the back ... pew pew pew" is not really deep or interesting. ~100% kill rates vs a completely outmatched AI gets boring quickly. That's essentially what 1UPT in Civ has boiled down to.

    What you are actually addressing in your remarks about MUPT is laziness and incompetence. The AI is incompetent, and so needed stacking just to get it's forces into action. That at least allowed it to bring it's bonuses which it relies on for difficulty to bear militarily, even if they still wouldn't be optimally positioned. Stacking was necessary to allow the AI to compete militarily. They could have more units than the player because of bonuses ... a numbers advantage they sorely needed to give any sort of resistance. Because with 1UPT, you build 10 units and you're invincible. Doesn't matter if the AI can build 10 or 100 to throw against you ... they're still never going to threaten a competent player because only 10 of them at a time can make it there.

    Players could also play the SOD game, but by doing so they were simply playing down to the AI's level. Players who knew how to play the game rarely relied on SODs ... early rushes, chokes, keeping the FOW back, and misdirection are generally superior uses of units to building up a SOD. But being able to stack was still very helpful in reducing senseless clicking.

    For instance, with MUPT, I can produce a unit in an interior city and with one click send it 20 tiles to near the front. It will get there ASAP. With 1UPT, that won't work. Other units moving around will screw up the pathing. So if you want to get the unit to the front ASAP, you have to manually move it (and every other unit) each turn. The in-game pathing is useless.
     
  12. Drakarska

    Drakarska Epic Dadness

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    ^^

    Thank you Good Sir for an actual comprehensive explanation of SOD mechanics, well done :hatsoff:
     
  13. Sa~Craig

    Sa~Craig King

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    I think that 1upt is much better than the ridiculous stacks that used to roam Civ. yes pathfinding is a pain in the nether regions and the now required micromanagement is frustrating but it's more realistic. It means that before you get to the enemies border you have to think about where your units are in relation to where they need to be for the siege and protecting your range units from melee units. and let's be fair the AI did't know how to use stacks properly they were just huge numbers that a human player were unable to support. it just mean that as well as archers and spearmen in my cities they were also guarded with a few catapults so I could cause collateral damage to the stacks as they approached.

    However, I would understand it if Civ 6 went with stack limits eg. 5 units early game less as the game goes on. and that would mean that stack composition would become more important than the ridiculous stacks of 3 and 4.
     
  14. traius

    traius His own worst enemy

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    I think Alpha Centauri has it the best.
     
  15. Drowsy Emperor

    Drowsy Emperor Warlord

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    1UPT hard? Sure, in a large wargame with a lot of space to manouver and a ton of different units. In Civ V?
    You can win entire wars without losing a single unit due to AI stupidity.

    That's the part that people find fun. The 80% of people who bought the game and never played beyond default difficulty.

    If they had to actually play, as in counting movements well ahead for optimal positioning for each and every single unit and then get massacred when they miscalculate they'd scream in boredom and frustration and be all over these forums demanding their money back.

    Because it is fundamentally boring. You have your melee unit, your ranged unit and your siege unit and they all function the same more or less throughout the entirety of the game regardless of which period skin they're in. The tactics you're utilizing never change either. And its always the same slow crawl toward the enemy where you have to guide the units each and every turn to keep them from tripping against each other. And then waiting for them to slaughter each other since they can all take more than one hit. Watching the same warriors and swordsmen beat each other from turn to turn, in a 20 damage battle of attrition is fun... for the first two games. Which is about as much as the typical purchaser of Civ V plays, walking away with a great impression and feeling like a tactical genius.

    There's neither enough variation nor map space to call the warfare in Civ V tactical. What it is is a repetitive slog saved by the fact that the AI can't play it so even the worst human player can breeze through it.

    With stacks its at least quick and practical to move a large army around, getting to the detail of its actual use when its about to engage in combat.
    Easy grouping, movement and quick combat resolution. Pick the right terrain to fight on, upgrades and composition and you're set. Movement comes into play too but at least you don't have to calculate it for every single unit. You do have to consider it for every single stack though and at times there can be as many of them as there are individual units in Civ V. When the fight starts the units slaughter each other in seconds so no sitting around waiting for the inevitable.

    Yes it can become a burden when the armies become massive, but at least I have the satisfaction of watching huge armies smash against each other instead of the paltry forces of Civ V. Its an empire building game after all.
     
  16. Drowsy Emperor

    Drowsy Emperor Warlord

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    I do too. People are too hung up on logic or emulating history in some way or other. You could do a ton of ridiculous things in AC but it was fun to do them, and the AI could on occasion even react to what you were doing (switching to anti air troops if you kept pummeling him with needlejets, rushing artillery units out and hitting your stack with them), which I haven't seen in any Civ game since. Besides, all it had to do was hit your stack with one or two good attacks and seriously endanger it.

    Like in any other Civ game it couldn't do much when you were snowballing in mid to late game, but up until that point it was quite serviceable.
     
  17. Roxlimn

    Roxlimn Deity

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    You are seriously playing that the wrong way. Those tactics are strictly Ancient Era unit tactics. By the time you get stuff like Privateers, Samurai, Trebuchets, and Cavalry, that's not how it unfolds, and you're gimping yourself if that's how you're still playing.

    You don't kill enemy units to kill enemy units. There's no point in that. Civ is always about taking cities. You don't need to kill enemy units to take cities.

    The best wars in CiV are won before you declare war. They're won by unit positioning, by careful diplomacy, by technological advantages. By the time you declare, it should be over in 5 turns. Typically, I achieve what I want in 1.

    Sometimes, that's the takeover of an entire Civ.

    The map changes your plan. If you're just slogging through unit combat every single time, you're missing the entire point of 1UPT. Go play Panzer General.
     
  18. Roxlimn

    Roxlimn Deity

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    Aeson:

    I don't conduct war that way. I only make the units I need. I don't just have more units lying around.

    The in-game pathing works a particular way. If you plan your roads right, the pathing will work.

    All the things you point out that make the game interesting in MUPT and allow you to fight the AI on unequal terms are the very same things that operate in 1UPT to allow the selfsame thing. I don't see why it's better in MUPT and stupid in 1UPT.

    Really, actually not. You and Drowsy Emperor have the same misconception, and the same issue. You're going to win. That's a given. Whether in MUPT or 1UPT, the AI is just no match. What you want to do is to win as quickly as possible.

    Ranged units in the back going pew pew is strictly defensive play, and MUPT technically does the same thing with chokes and garrisons anyway. Once again, somehow interesting in MUPT, same thing in 1UPT is boring. Why?

    Once you get past the Ancient and Medieval Era, and especially towards the Modern, you're not supposed to engage the enemy or ideally even to take hits. You reduce the city to nil and take it in the same turn. Your ranged units don't even need to be in the back because nothing will attack them. Bombard with planes, take with ships. You can take cities 7 tiles away, inspite of the intervening army, just by bypassing the army altogether and taking the city. Once the area is yours, you can pick apart the army at leisure. Or not. They generally come apart anyway.

    Ranged in the back pew pew is the boring way to play. You don't have to play that way. The system allows for more than that.
     
  19. Antilogic

    Antilogic --

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    None that I know of, you probably have to look to different games for it. Paradox titles incorporate attrition if you are over the supply limit for a province, usually some # of troops. AGEOD titles have supply-producing locations (cities, depots, forts, etc.) and depending on the game rules you either produce a number of supplies that are distributed through your network of roads and rails, or you have a simple supply model where it resembles Paradox games a bit more.

    Side note: the fact that this has to be identified as a different type of MUPT rather than just ordinary MUPT is what I'm ranting about.

    I think people evaluate these impacts differently. People used to the pacing in old Civ games are probably more annoyed by indirect impacts, people who focus on the wargaming aspects are talking more about the direct effects.

    The poll is worse than useless.

    The other big problem in Civ3 was AI didn't understand how to use artillery. It would not move stacks with artillery near your cities and use the artillery to soften up your defenders.

    This is basically the strat-op-tac distinction I was making earlier in gaming terms. Except Civ has always had a really basic strategic and operational game as well.

    100% official endorsement.

    Not really. The army mechanic was only implemented when you had great generals, who otherwise did not have specific leader traits or participate in some greater OOB. The army mechanic was basically a one-off division builder.

    What he's talking about, and what I'm talking about, is building Civ3 "armies" as a basic building block for your forces instead of a super-unit reward. And then (presumably) adding rules for coordination between these divisions with the discovery of appropriate technologies like telegraphs and radios that allow for better coordination. The difference between the board game's rules and similar computer wargaming rules will come down to supply and maybe allowing limited stacking so long as the troops are in supply or are under the frontage limit.
     
  20. Roxlimn

    Roxlimn Deity

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    So like GalCiv's Fleets?
     

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