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(3-NS) Improve ranged combat, modify range and indirect fire promotions

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fiskeboller

Chieftain
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Dec 29, 2022
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Status as of today: The range and indirect fire promotions are strong. But more importantly they tend to make combat less interesting as they remove some of the strategy element related to terrain. It is also unrealistic that a ranged unit can do the same damage regardless of line of sight and range.

Proposal:
-Remove the base negative ranged combat strength modifiers from the range and indirect fire promotions.
Replace with the following mechanics.
-40% ranged combat strength when attacking an unit out of line of sight (behind obstacles). -20% for siege units after industrial era.
-40% ranged combat strength when attacking at a range of 3 or more. -20% for siege units from cannon and later

These effects (behind obstacle and range 3 penalty) should stack.


Reasoning:
This should in my opinion fix cheesy and boring gameplay. Make combat tactics richer. And has the bonus effect of likely improving the human vs AI combat balance in favor of the AI. The main issue of the current game is that the AI needs alot of resource bonuses to keep up with human tactical combat advantage. A significant part of that is in my opinion exploitation of cheesy gameplay involving ranged units with range and indirect fire.
The differentiation between siege and normal ranged units are to reflect actual warfare. Cannons has longer range than guns. And modern artillery is effective without line of sight.
 
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Bazooka/Artillery+ are base range 3 now. Are they going to be nerfed by default when attacking at max range?
 
I don't get into the lategame much but range 3/indirect seems a lot less cheesy once there are Bombers and Tanks around in the cases when I do. Really the issue is more when you get to there before those natural counters come out.

I also kind of think Indirect is maybe a bit cheesier than Range in general, a lot less counterplay is involved and range 3 without indirect is always super awkward in getting over obstacles. Without ideal terrain you're usually going to either have a very limited number of useful firing positions for that, or a long flat approach that mounted melee can charge into to smash your ranged units.
 
I don't get into the lategame much but range 3/indirect seems a lot less cheesy once there are Bombers and Tanks around in the cases when I do. Really the issue is more when you get to there before those natural counters come out.

I also kind of think Indirect is maybe a bit cheesier than Range in general, a lot less counterplay is involved and range 3 without indirect is always super awkward in getting over obstacles. Without ideal terrain you're usually going to either have a very limited number of useful firing positions for that, or a long flat approach that mounted melee can charge into to smash your ranged units.
Agreed. And my proposal would not significantly influence artillery late game (note that i propose to remove the base ranged combat strength penalty from both promotions).
What in my opinion is cheesy and completely unrealistic is crossbowmen/musketmen/gatlin guns/machine guns annihilating from range without line of sight. Even bringing cities down from behind hills/forests/mountains..
 
Not a fan of this. I rely on units with indirect fire to serve a function in game. They aren't OP when they come out; they are relied on as part of the changing meta at that stage of the game.

Now I would have to keep track of LOS on artillery, etc. even if I can already see the units because of spotters, so that I'm not eating a -40% penalty? No thanks. This will make placement of artillery a massive pain in the ass. The game at that stage can already become a sliding tile puzzle of traffic jams, and the strategy consists of getting multiple units onto an overlapping field of fire on the front line despite the 1UPT limitation. This system already works fine, and you're suggesting adding extra punishment on it without good cause.

Edit: also this would be a flat -40% to all naval ranged units hitting inland targets. No. No. No. No. No. No.

If you don't like indirect fire on archer units then fine. Make that your proposal. As it exists, your proposal will brutalize multiple unit lines that get indirect fire for free, and depend on it for any game impact at all.
 
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I think the better solution to this is just nix the Indirect Fire promotion. It feels kinda bad to get it on Siege before the upgrade would get it naturally, and it doesn't feel "right" on the Archer line. Just let it be a part of the game that comes from tech/unittype.
 
note that i propose to remove the base ranged combat strength penalty from both promotions
The current penalty on indirect fire is -10%. You're proposal quadruples the penalty.
 
Not a fan of this. I rely on units with indirect fire to serve a function in game. They aren't OP when they come out; they are relied on as part of the changing meta at that stage of the game.

Now I would have to keep track of LOS on artillery, etc. even if I can already see the units because of spotters, so that I'm not eating a -40% penalty? No thanks. This will make placement of artillery a massive pain in the ass. The game at that stage can already become a sliding tile puzzle of traffic jams, and the strategy consists of getting multiple units onto an overlapping field of fire on the front line despite the 1UPT limitation. This system already works fine, and you're suggesting adding extra punishment on it without good cause.

Edit: also this would be a flat -40% to all naval ranged units hitting inland targets. No. No. No. No. No. No.

If you don't like indirect fire on archer units then fine. Make that your proposal. As it exists, your proposal will brutalize multiple unit lines that get indirect fire for free, and depend on it for any game impact at all.
Answer the actual proposal. This would make very little change to late game artillery. Insignificant change to naval, except for early units hitting far inland or behind hills/forest.

Unit queues is a very different problem/topic/proposal that could be fixed by altering damage vs hitpoint ratio in general. Or increasing unit cost.

I agree on your point that removing indirect fire on archery line fixes much of the issue. But still think my proposal would make combat more tactically interesting and historically realistic.
 
This would make very little change to late game artillery. Insignificant change to naval, except for early units hitting far inland or behind hills/forest.
All water is at a height of -1, which means that all land is to water what a hill is to flat land. hitting any land tile that isn't adjacent to water is, by definition, beyond line of sight for the damage calculation. ie. this would be a flat -40% to battleships etc. hitting anything that isn't directly on the coast.

It's pretty clear you haven't given the impact to artillery or naval combat much thought. You aren't talking about a minor change to their combat roll; you are talking about adding an additional -30% combat penalty to pretty much any situation where these units are used in modern era or later.

You’re also talking about adding range and LOS checks into damage calculations for the tactical AI, something that hasn’t had to be considered. I expect this would have major performance impacts, but that’s just speculation on my part
 
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All water is at a height of -1, which means that all land is to water what a hill is to flat land. hitting any land tile that isn't adjacent to water is, by definition, beyond line of sight for the damage calculation. ie. this would be a flat -40% to battleships etc. hitting anything that isn't directly on the coast.

It's pretty clear you haven't given the impact to artillery or naval combat much thought. You aren't talking about a minor change to their combat roll; you are talking about adding an additional -30% combat penalty to pretty much any situation where these units are used in modern era or later.

LOS is not the same as elevation. Ships dont need indirect fire to hit land.
But otherwise agree naval has not been my main focus.
On the other hand naval is arguably unrealistically strong vs land in current game.

On artillery as the proposal stands I could edit the proposal from -20% to -10% in modern era to make it similar to the game today. No strong opinion, and my proposal is intended to fix issues before the modern era. Not to change modern game. But in reality it is not an advantage to place artillery far from the frontlines (except to preserve it)
 
On artillery as the proposal stands I could edit the proposal from -20% to -10% in modern era to make it similar to the game today.
Or just don’t change it. You’re already proposing 2 different promotions based on combat class anyways.

Now you’re also proposing a system where promotions’ abilities transform into different ones based on tech. Another thing that doesn’t exist yet on top of your proposal to implement differing damage modifiers based on two units’ positions relative to each other.
LOS is not the same as elevation. Ships dont need indirect fire to hit land.
Indirect fire only works off elevation already, you used the terms interchangeably so I did too. Once again, you don’t comprehend the system you propose to change.
 
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I think the better solution to this is just nix the Indirect Fire promotion. It feels kinda bad to get it on Siege before the upgrade would get it naturally, and it doesn't feel "right" on the Archer line. Just let it be a part of the game that comes from tech/unittype.
Removing Indirect Fire from land ranged and Range from siege maybe? So there's no range 3 indirect fire unit before Artillery.
 
The Indirect Fire on Archer line is ridiculous to be honest, especially for later units with attack animation that goes straight.
It's funny to see Machine Gun or Bazooka attacking through a mountain to a unit behind it.

Let it be a promotion exclusive to Siege and Naval Ranged only.

I actually like it if attacking a further target is more punishing than attacking directly next to the unit, as a means for realistic accuracy. But this is way too punishing and I'm not a fan of it.
Like full :c5strength: CS if the target is within 1-2 range, -15% :c5strength: CS for each extra range.
 
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