1. We have added the ability to collapse/expand forum categories and widgets on forum home.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. All Civ avatars are brought back and available for selection in the Avatar Gallery! There are 945 avatars total.
    Dismiss Notice
  3. To make the site more secure, we have installed SSL certificates and enabled HTTPS for both the main site and forums.
    Dismiss Notice
  4. Civ6 is released! Order now! (Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR)
    Dismiss Notice
  5. Dismiss Notice
  6. Forum account upgrades are available for ad-free browsing.
    Dismiss Notice

A Proposal to Flesh out Combat Unit Upgrade Lines

Discussion in 'Civ - Ideas & Suggestions' started by Jkchart, Apr 13, 2018.

  1. Jkchart

    Jkchart Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2016
    Messages:
    97
    I was going through the list of Civ VI combat units the other day, and while I really like most of the combat unit lines and how it’s handled (such as there only being an upgrade every other age, in most cases, so you’re not constantly spending gold), I feel like there is room for improvement. As such, I suggest the following changes:

    1. Split the ranged unit line in two in the Industrial Age. In my opinion, the atomic age really nullifies the strength of ranged units by having the field cannon upgrade to a Machine Gun, which, while powerful, has only one range, thus limiting their usefulness. I propose the idea of the Field Cannon upgrading to another range 2 unit, the Mortar Team, which is more vulnerable in melee, but more useful on the offense since it can be placed behind the main line of melee units. Then, also in the Industrial Age, we should get the Gatling Gun, which upgrades to the machine gun in the atomic age. These ranged units are intended to be more defensive, having only one range, and therefore their ranged and melee strength are more evenly balanced than the Mortar Team, which might have slightly higher ranged strength, but is very vulnerable if it is not protected.

    2. This might be unnecessary, but I suggest adding an Explorer unit as a scout upgrade between the scout and the ranger in the medieval era. I think this is a good idea simply because the scout is incredibly weak by that era, and thus the recon line loses its usefulness until you get rangers. To keep the line relevant during the medieval era and renaissance, and to place emphasis on really just how much exploration took place during this time, the Explorer should return.

    3. Reduce the cost of the anti-cav line. Their cost is too high in relation to their combat strength, and this would help since cavalry units are already so powerful to be able to produce their counter units at an affordable cost. I know I’m not the only one that has thought about this since I’ve seen this suggestion on the forums before.

    4. Add a Lancer unit in between the Knight and the tank. Not only is it silly to see Knights on the battlefield at the same time as inventions far ahead of their fielding, but it makes the line more fleshed out and historically accurate on the evolution of cavalry/armor in warfare. On top of that, the horseman could upgrade into the Dragoon in the renaissance as well, since Cavarly seem more like a “late” style cavalry unit reflecting 19th century and early 20th Century use.

    5. First, thanks for having a biplane as the beginning Fighter unit in Civ VI, having everyone using triplanes in Civ V like the Red Baron did never sat well with me. It is accurate and fair to have 3 upgrades for the air lines in this game due to how much technological innovation has gone into air warfare in only a century, so I propose that the Bomber line also gets a a modern age unit in the Airship to reflect the evolution of this kind of warfare even more accurately.

    What do you guys think of if these changes were made to flesh out these combat unit upgrade lines?
     
  2. historix69

    historix69 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2008
    Messages:
    1,213
    1. I would suggest to upgrade Field Cannons to kind of light artillery with range 2 like :
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infantry_support_gun
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/7.5_cm_leichtes_Infanteriegeschütz_18
    Range of Mortar is similar when using long range charges.
    Range of heavy artillery is several km larger.

    Later it could upgrade to an armored and self-propelled vehicle like
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sturmgeschütz_III

    2. Scout now has a promotion which increases combat strength to 30. (Problem is when your scouts do not get enough xp to reach it.)
    I think, the Explorer upgrade was already a mod for Civ5, so the midgame-scout-problem should be known to the devs.

    3. Anti-Cav-Infanterie was usually cheaper than normal melee troops due to cheaper equipment (often without shield and armor).
    They lack mobility of cav and lack combat-strength of normal melee troops.
     
    Jkchart likes this.
  3. acluewithout

    acluewithout Warlord

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2017
    Messages:
    1,053
    I’ve been wondering two things about unit gaps.

    First, does anyone think Firaxis is maybe holding back some units for the next expansion? I can’t believe the game doesn’t have Trebuchets. I mean, I don’t need them, and they’re hardly the most pressing thing the game needs. But there’s a massive meme about them, so I would of thought including them would be good from a marketing angle. And they had them in previous games?

    Second, do some unique units sort of fill the gaps already? Take Medieval Melee units. Sure, there’s no Longswordsmen, but you can get Medieval Melee if you play certain Civs (eg Norway). Maybe just think of it as not everyone having access to that technology.

    On the second point. I was thinking ‘why doesn’t the game have industrial melee, eg riflemen’, because I was thinking I’d like to play some ‘Battle of Waterlo action” France vs English Wellington, with cannons and rifles. And then I thought well I can already , because both France and England already have riflemen (Garde Imperial and Redcoats)!

    I think if you include uniques, the gaps aren’t as bad as they look...
     
    Jkchart likes this.
  4. Jkchart

    Jkchart Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2016
    Messages:
    97
    1. Yeah, those would be great! I was just thinking of the Mortar because it was an indirect fire weapon, as opposed to machine guns. The game models firearms and “direct fire” weapons as “melee” weapons (except machine guns), and since mortars are kind of a mini artillery piece, it made sense, and fits the model the game seems to go for. I mean, it doesn’t have to be perfect of a representation, it just has to fit a model (after all, does a bow really fire at the same range as a catapult?) self propelled guns would work as well. Really, the ranged unit line just needed to be more useful in the late game IMO. Thanks for those ideas! I really like it.

    2. Yes that’s true, but like you’re saying, it’s pretty rare to reach it. You have to probably use a LOT of scouts and not just in exploring. An explorer isn’t necessary, nor the most elegant solution, but it makes the recon line more relevant during the actual age of exploration.

    3. Hence why anticav should be cheaper than it currently is. I always feel like pikemen are so expensive for units that can still get bested by a classical swordsman + 1 other Unit. Either that, or anticav needs to be more powerful against cavalry.

    Thanks for the feedback!!!
     
  5. acluewithout

    acluewithout Warlord

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2017
    Messages:
    1,053
    I think ranged units are intended to be largely defensive. That's why you get x-bows on the castle / fortification tech line, and ultimately why ranged become 1 unit machine guns.

    "Mortars" are sort what's covered by the later units in the Siege line, which is a more offensive unit.

    Obviously, both unit lines are mixed use. But I think that is sort of the underlying idea (but it is just my guess).
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
    Jkchart likes this.
  6. Jkchart

    Jkchart Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2016
    Messages:
    97
    1. Would that be surprising? No. The Trebuchet didn’t actually make its first appearance until Civ III Conquests, and didn’t appear in IV until Warlords. I think V was the only one to have it out of the gate. But on that point - with how firaxis has constructed the unit trees in VI, it is an unnecessary unit, unless Firaxis either 1) adds an unnecessary upgrade for the catapult, or 2) makes a second class of siege units differentiated from the main catapult line in their power, range, function, etc. the trebuchet is one of the most famous medieval inventions, so it sucks not having it, but I feel like they need to find a good way to Reinclude it, ala Civ IV similarly.

    2. Yes, true. I don’t dispute that at all. I actually think most of the upgrade paths work really well, and that it’s nice having the “extra” units for civs specifically powerful during that time.
     
    acluewithout likes this.
  7. Jkchart

    Jkchart Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2016
    Messages:
    97
    I’m thinking Yes and no. It’s their function as opposed to strict offensive or defensive. Sure, Siege is “offensive”, but ranged units are just as important. Siege units are intended to be city killers, ranged units are supposed to kill other units. “Mortars” fall in between, but I saw them as “ranged” because they’re not like big artillery pieces (siege, how the game models them), and mortars make good antipersonnel weaponry. It also makes sense because bows become cannons now, so it should evolve in that direction I thought. But I’m not unhappy with how it is now, it’s just a way I thought it could be improved.
     
    acluewithout likes this.
  8. acluewithout

    acluewithout Warlord

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2017
    Messages:
    1,053
    @Jkchart Agree re: Trebuchet. I don't see any gameplay need for the unit (except maybe to have another unit to stick in Military Tactics, although it would make more sense sticking it in Mathematics). I honestly think the only reason to include the unit is just the cool factor.
     
    Jkchart likes this.
  9. Sostratus

    Sostratus Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2017
    Messages:
    209
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Minnesota, USA
    While there's nothing wrong with unit line gaps- we can't expect a new ranged ship in every era- I think they emphasized the wrong reasons for doing what they did.
    Why have gaps in the first place? Well, for one, it helps keep UUs in the spotlight longer and encourages you to actually send your army out to fight, since they won't becomes obsolete in 10 turns.
    Plus, you can make the argument that having different lines get upgrades at different times keeps the battlefield fresh, encouraging a player to make different units in different eras.

    I think that is a wonderfully intentioned idea that doesn't work out in reality.
    In reality, the whole unit upgrading system means you want to keep one line going as much as possible. So that right there means I'm going to want to stick to melee or mounted or ranged or something- but I'm not going to build 10 chariots, switch to crossbows, then swap over to Pike and Shot. You would be a fool!

    Since that's just how the game is played, we run into problem #2: the unit lines upgrade at different times. The long periods between upgrades in some cases makes the entire line unusable for a while. Spears to Pikes. Knights to Tanks. If every unit line had an upgrade that was within one era of whatever you're fighting in, that would be one thing. I think the gaps are just too large. Besides production costs, the anticav line is obsolete the first half of the game because they need swordsmen to do so much. Warriors are cheaper and beat spears, swords come the very next tech and murder them and pikemen.

    Problem #3: City defenses. Cities are getting power upgrades every single era, excluding the walls. Things that attack cities don't. This tilts the equation as well, even if we don't realize it. Would you ever send spearmen against a city with walls in the classical? Of course not, you have perfectly good swordsmen for that!
    I actually think that trebuchets should be in the game, as the base unit for a domrey (which sits exactly in between catas and bombards) for the exact reason that walls have 3 buildings in the first 4 eras.


    Anyways, IMO, the biggest goal of expanding unit lines at this point should be to both avoid power increases of 15+ and to make sure all that there are relevant units in most stages of the game. For example, ranged units in G&K got the gatling gun->machine gun. In BNW, they gave it the late game "bazooka" upgrade. I understand that pedantically that's an anti armor weapon but it worked. The problem with those 15+ power spikes is it just unbalances things. Chariots are okay at the beginning, quickly fall from grace when swords come out, but Knights storm the field and absolutely mop up every unit including pikes. See also the sudden strength surge when you go from muskets to infantry.

    For that reason, I'd like to see some kind of light cav in the medieval/renaissance; Some kind of cuirassier (h cav) and rifleman (melee) in industrial; an end of game ranged upgrade to push them to 85/85.

    But, since the seeds of this get sown at the beginning, it isn't enough to flesh what units are in these trees; we also need to think carefully about how well these units fill their roles!
    I'm written about this issue elsewhere before, here and here.
    Primarily, we need to delineate advantages to each of our unit lines and what that says about their production costs. The two infantry lines have it the worst; swords fight horseman better than spears, come one tech later, and destroy spears. Again, swords have to do too much in the game- why not give the lines a few degrees of difference: such as strength vs cav, vs ranged, vs cities, and cost.

    One last thought: the policy cards really swing things too. I actually would prefer seeing ranged units taken away from "Agoge" line cards and get a new card class with ranged + siege in it. Maybe lump supports into it in the late game.
    I just feel having the melee+ranged in the same card greatly devalues the military slot, since I know I can always build a decent force with one card. There'd at least be tradeoffs since one card would only ever get you half a combined arms force.
     
  10. acluewithout

    acluewithout Warlord

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2017
    Messages:
    1,053
    @Sostratus has some really good posts on this topic. Check them out.

    A few things random things:

    - Melee and Anti-Cav are stronger than they look when you’re comparing them to cav, because they benefit from Oligarchy and Oligarchy Legacy. As an experiment, I had a game where I swapped from a Tier 2 gov back to Oligarchy when fighting knights just for that bonus. It made my units very punchy.

    - Ranged are boosted by walls because of elevation.

    - Defensive units are much stronger in your own territory with better healing and logistics.

    - The big gaps for cav I think are a feature, not a bug. Sure, invest in these units, and conquer stuff, but it’s easy to over invest, and stirrups gives you nothing else (except maybe a eureka for military science).
     
    Jkchart likes this.
  11. Jkchart

    Jkchart Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2016
    Messages:
    97
    - as for the Oligarchy point, while I agree with that, I shouldn’t have to temporarily (which can be drawn out in long Wars) sacrifice my tier 2 government for a tier 1 government just for a combat boost so my Pikemen are worth something. It’s a bit of a silly measure to have to devolve your government and lose 2 slots just for that. But as to how the game works, you’re right. It’s a strategy that totally works - either switch or keep oligarchy as long as possible.

    -agree on the next two points (it should work this way)

    -oh I know the lack of an upgrade isn’t a bug. It was designed that way. And I know it works fine - after Civ V had an upgrade all the time, and forced you to spend so much gold (which they increasingly made difficult to get), it is a huge relief not to spend a fortune in upgrade costs that you’d rather use for something else. And yeah, the heavy cav line already has 4 units in it, so I see why it’s “unnecessary” to have something between tanks and knights. Tanks to lancers to knights just felt better IMO.

    Thanks for the feedback!
     
  12. Jkchart

    Jkchart Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2016
    Messages:
    97
    You make excellent points. I knew someone else had chimed in on this issue. Wow.


    I’m not sure how I could add to that. I’m gonna have to read your other links when I get some time. XD

    I hadn’t even thought of the policy card issues, which really adds another dimension to the issues that we have here.
     

Share This Page

Ebates: Get Paid to Shop