-33% strength in open terrain: Bug?

Discussion in 'Civ5 - Bug Reports' started by Izmir Stinger, Nov 8, 2010.

  1. Izmir Stinger

    Izmir Stinger Deity

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    The civlopedia, among its other lies, says that units melee attacking from a hill will be more effective against units in open terrain. Perhaps the devastating two thirds strength death sentence we see applied to all units in open terrain was only intended to apply in this special case of units charging down a hill, but is applying to all units in open terrain because Firaxis has crappy QA.

    I think this would be balanced, flavorful, fun and add a lot of tactical depth. As it stands defenders have a disadvantage in war, which is just stupid.

    The civlopedia also implies that cities can be subjected to flanking bonuses, which is false. I think that would be neat, but cities already need a strength boost - if this was implemented they would need it that much more desperately.

    I'm kind of disappointed that I have to choose between conquering the world or playing a challenging game.
     
  2. Sonereal

    Sonereal ♫We got the guillotine♫ Supporter

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    Tactical defenders have a disadvantage, yes. But strategic defenders have the advantage.
     
  3. AriochIV

    AriochIV Colonial Ninja

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    I don't think it's a bug, but it does seem like a last-minute change; I never saw this -33% modifier in the screenshots during development until just before release.
     
  4. AgentTBC

    AgentTBC Warlord

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    Luckily this is trivially easy to mod out.
     
  5. Izmir Stinger

    Izmir Stinger Deity

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    Someone wrote about a "charging downhill" bonus at some point. Either it was in the beta or someone planed to put it in. I can find no explicit mention of the existing bonus in the civlopedia. I thought the two might be related.
     
  6. Jimbo30

    Jimbo30 Prince

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    I've seen more than a few instances where a downhill attack is favourable.
     
  7. Minmaster

    Minmaster Prince

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    wait so does this bonus exist or not?
     
  8. AriochIV

    AriochIV Colonial Ninja

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    There is no "charging downhill" bonus. I never heard it mentioned before this thread.
     
  9. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    Indeed, but this bonus is still ludicrous because of how easy it becomes for highly dated units to TROUNCE units an era or even TWO ahead. Take the case of 3 discipline + GG honor horsemen vs a rifle on flatland:

    12 + 12(.6) (GG and 3 discipline) vs 24 - 24(.78) (flatland and 3 flanking)

    19.2 vs ouch. I might be doing it somewhat wrong, but the point is that the horsies are more mobile and the attack vs a unit otherwise double their strength is VERY safe.

    Granted, that might be semi-realistic since getting completely surrounded by horsemen is not an ideal scenario even for rifled guns (horse archery was pretty accurate and deadly and you can't hit everything at once with rifles anyway), but for game balance something you can get inside the first few handfuls of turns can easily maul something that is legit mid to late-mid game. We've not seen that in other iterations, but drastic bonuses like these allows for them and is part of the reason why war is so strong compared to alternatives in this game.
     
  10. Izmir Stinger

    Izmir Stinger Deity

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    It is mentioned in the civlopedia, though. Of course it doesn't exist... hence me calling it a lie in the OP. But it was mentioned, so somebody thought it existed or was going to be implemented at some point.
     
  11. Escalate

    Escalate Chieftain

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    It might have some balancing issue but I assume that the attacker got momentum charge bonus, sound reasonable in my imagination.
     
  12. GenericPlayer

    GenericPlayer Warlord

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    Thanks for doing the math. I knew that horsemen mobs were powerful but I really had no idea what the numbers were like. I see what you describe all too often, riflemen getting routed not by Cavalry, but by Horsemen. I would like to see Mounted units get a bonus to attacking someone in open terrain, or even the charge downhill bonus for all units. But a longswordsman getting an open terrain penalty when being attacked by another platoon of longswordsman does not make sense.

    It really pushes you towards the 'bonus against mounted units' promotion - but I hate getting that because if the unit survives to the modern era, that promotion is pretty useless.

    Edit: A few other things annoy me as well:
    1- There is no river penalty for attacking a city from across the river, but the penalty is there if you are doing an amphibious invasion from the sea.
    2- Flanking bonus does not take into account the quality of the units doing the flanking. If my Mech Infantry is surrounded, the flanking bonus is the same whether its surrounded by spearman or paratroopers.
    3- War Chariot/Chariot Archer vs Spearman/Pikeman: The bonus spearman and pikemen get vs mounted units should be only for melee attack/defense. It should not apply to ranged attacks. Because it does, the Chariot Archer is, in effect, weaker than a regular archer.
     
  13. RedFury

    RedFury Warlord

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    To me the glaring problem I see here is the way - modifiers are just flat subtracted from the base strength. I like the way civ 4 did this, where if the modifier was positive it did (1.0 + x%) whereas if it was negative it did (1.0 / 1.0 + x%). Also, modifiers were combined and assigned to the defending unit.

    This might seem a bit mathematically strange but it works out well for gameplay since +/- modifiers have essentially the same impact as each other and we don't get ridiculous cases like this one, where strong units are brought down to the strength of warriors by compounding negative bonuses.

    Here's the comparative strengths for the units in the example TMIT gave, if the game was using Civ 4's mechanics or similar:

    Total Bonus for defender = -60% - 78% = -138%
    Horseman strength : 12
    Rifleman strenght : 24 * (1/(1 + 1.38) = 10.08

    Civ V Method : 19.2 vs 5.28. Combat ratio = 3.63
    Civ IV Method: 12 vs 10.08. Combat ratio = 1.19

    So the horseman still has the advantage, as it probably should with a GG and 3 flanking units. However it's nowhere near as obscene a difference in ratio and the raw combat strength of the rifleman over the horseman still factors into the equation.
     
  14. pi-r8

    pi-r8 Luddite

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    That's not really how the math works. For one thing, discipline is capped at +15%- it doesn't add for each unit. Also, flanking is a bonus, not a penalty. So in this situation it would actually be 12 + 12(.85) vs 24-24(.33) = 22.2 vs 16. But yeah, the horsemen still dominate riflemen. And you can get the same effect with just 1 highly promoted horsemen, you don't need 3 flankers.

    Basically, open terrain + horsemen = MASSIVE IMBALANCE LOL.
     
  15. migkillertwo

    migkillertwo Prince

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    Cities already have a big advantage provided that their defenses are up to par with current technology. Furthermore, I think it is entirely realistic that units should suffer if they are defending from flat terrain. They are more exposed.

    If you want to defend your Civ, you have to actually decide where to place your troops, not just build a long line of fortified units at the border of your civilization.
     
  16. Balzemon

    Balzemon Chieftain

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    A target being exposed does not make the target's defenses worse, it just means there are no outside influences. If you're shooting a bow at a shielded foot soldier then the chances of his shield and/or armor stopping the arrow are pretty much the same whether he's in a forest or in the open. A forest would certainly provide him with improved defense, but the lack of it does not make his personal defenses any less. Defensive maneuvering and communication would each be improved in open terrain.

    If you want units in open terrain to take more damage then just lower everyone's defense up front and increase the bonus for rough terrain. In the current system a unit in open terrain has 54% of the defensive capabilities of the same unit in rough terrain (assuming all other factors are equal). At no point in the game does a defending land unit use it's unmodified defense value as there is no place where there is a zero defensive modifier.

    There should be some terrain combination where there is no penalty or advantage -- where everything is equal. Two melee units meeting on an open plain is not inherently advantageous to either unit. As it is now the defender is either at +25% (or more or) -33%; there is no in between. A unit in a marsh or flood plain is no more disadvantaged that one standing in a grassland.

    The game is already skewed in favor of the attacker due to the turn based implementation without giving him huge bonuses in half the land tiles. Open terrain should be the baseline, the zero sum, that other terrain types are measured against.

    Also, CiV should differentiate between ranged attacks and close attacks, but does not. Cavalry do not gain the benefits of terrain when defending, but they should when they are being shot at. This could also fix the problem of spearmen and pikemen having very high defense against chariot ranged attacks.

    Cavalry should get defensive penalties due to terrain where they apply. Marsh is bad to fight in whether you're on a horse or on foot, and it should make them less effective when they defend there just as it does foot troops.
     
  17. MkLh

    MkLh King

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    I suspect this was a last moment addition they added after realizing how bad the AI is to defend its cities. When an attacker has 2-moves units, he usually must place his units in vulnerable positions in order to reach a city and that helps the defender. But it doesn't have much effect on mounted units that can move after attacking. Actually they are now more powerful as they can easily kill slow units in open terrain and move to safe position.
     
  18. iggymnrr

    iggymnrr Deity

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    I think I've seen pike maul helicopter gunships on a flatland.
     
  19. charon2112

    charon2112 King

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    I'll never understand the -33% flat terrain combat modifier. Maybe it should just apply to jungles & marshes...something like that.
     
  20. Izmir Stinger

    Izmir Stinger Deity

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    It is pretty extreme. Previous civ games all acknowledged that the hardest kind of warfare is an amphibious attack on a fortified position. Now the most difficult kind of combat is defending in open terrain. I see no reason for it. Not even as a fix for bad AI. It hurts the AI more than the player - we KNOW to stay out of open terrain. They don't seem to care.

    An attacking from a hill bonus as implied in the civlopedia would be cool. Wished they'd had time to implement it. Or to fix half the other broken thing with this game. :(
     

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