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A simple solution to "stacks of doom"

Discussion in 'Civ - Ideas & Suggestions' started by Diplomat32, Jan 7, 2011.

  1. Diplomat32

    Diplomat32 Chieftain

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    We know Firaxis implemented 1upt to get rid of Stacks of Doom but many civ players feel that solution was too radical. Why did Firaxis not consider a simpler solution: simply have a hard cap on the number of units in a single tile, for example 15? This solution would still allow stacks thus avoiding all the issues with 1upt while keeping the stacks small enough to avoid them becoming "stacks of doom". The cap could easily represent the ability of your empire to manage an army of a certain size. In fact, you could have techs, social policies, city buildings, Wonders that would modify this cap. For example a wonder could give +2 units per tile allowing your empire to have a larger stack.
     
  2. Smote

    Smote Emperor

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    It would be interesting. I would enjoy playing it- whether more or less, I can't really say.

    It is simply stated, but is such a massive change to game mechanics/coding that I can't see it happening. Its similar to telling mathematicians to re-do every proof, but only using a new combined multiply-add operator. Doable, but not going to happen, and only questionably better ;)
     
  3. m4gill4

    m4gill4 King

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    I had a similar idea, except that you could "merge" units, making the resulting unit a bit more powerful. Add diminishing returns so that it can't be abused (i.e. merge 15 longswords into an invincible unit). This would open lots of strategic choices and prevent the carpet of doom, and may also make traffic jams a little less of a problem.

    You could "add" or "merge" an archer unit to your sword unit to give it a weak ranged attack (weaker than a "pure" archer). You could combine two swords, but the resulting unit would not have the strength of two units, just a bit more than one. It's the diminishing returns that keeps this from being just a "backdoor stack of doom".

    A merged unit of, say, archer and sword would still accurately reflect an army unit at the division level. An army division will usually incorporate combined arms, and it's perfectly plausible for an "overstrength" division to face of against an "understrength" one.
     
  4. markantony

    markantony Warlord

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    To be honest, they only implemented 1upt because Shafter loved Panzer General.
     
  5. serikas

    serikas Chieftain

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    xUPT isn't too much different from 1UPT. But we do need some modification to 1UPT in civ... like transport mode.
     
  6. Jesus is Lord33

    Jesus is Lord33 Chieftain

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  7. Smote

    Smote Emperor

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    Bow down before the might of my Keshik-Cannon! Face the dreaded Battleship-Bomber-Tank, master of all domains! Don't be caught by the Nuclear Missile-Worker, who will cover your land in not just fallout, but bloody bits as well!
     
  8. elthrasher

    elthrasher Revcaster

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    CivRev (which allows infinite stacking) uses a mechanic like this (though simpler) where you can merge three units of the same time into an army that has three times the combat value of the individual units.

    When I first heard about 1UPT in this game, I expected to see something like what you describe. I think it would be cool if you could combine different units into armies. For example, if you merged sword, archer, pike, you'd have a good melee unit with a weak ranged attack that has a bonus vs. mounted. Sword, catapult, catapult would be a strong city raider with no ranged attack that is weaker in melee than a pure sword unit but stronger than plain catapults. And so on.

    But mainly I think the ability to not stack but merge units into the same fighting force (and possible separate them later?) would probably eliminate a lot of the 1UPT complaints.

    Well, maybe in Civ 6.
     
  9. Harvestmoon

    Harvestmoon Chieftain

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    They could just make "stacks" limited to one unit of each type: melee, ranged, siege; something like that.

    Aircraft already break the rule, infinitely in cities and up to 3 on a Carrier, so allowing a 3x Stack doesn't seem like the end of the world, to me.

    Plus, you can implement the feature from VI where the best-suited unit defends... if a mounted unit attacks and you have pikemen ,the pikemen are on defense. If you have a catapult, an archer and a swordsman, the archer gets a"first strike" sorta thing, the swordsman is on defense and the catapult crosses their fingers.

    Et cetera.
     
  10. Zyxpsilon

    Zyxpsilon Running Spider

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    Two things for a quick mean & lean solution...

    1) How units move inspired by this alternate system.

    2) Some secondary Tactical overlay where battles are resolved through simultaneous use of all Units (both sides!) within a 5 tiles radius (green dots) of the central targeted (Red) Hex. That specific tile becomes another 91 wide group of hexes where all units involved get dispersed and contribute on a larger battlefield based on a more detailed terrain -- in a popup. Can be automated and might result in a huge skirmish where numerous units take damage & are eliminated. As seen in the attached image.

    An indirect Stacking principle while keeping the whole strategic planning of 1upT deployments in mind.
     

    Attached Files:

  11. MkLh

    MkLh King

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    It's not a solution. There wouldn't be any more tactics involved in 2-3 little SoDs than in 1 big SoD. Instead there would be more annoying micro management.
     
  12. poncratias

    poncratias Prince

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    scale xUPT according to the size of the map
     
  13. Arsenic Steel

    Arsenic Steel Warlord

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    Maneuvering and utilizing multiple stacks is similar to utilizing multiple units in 1UPT.
     
  14. wurstburst

    wurstburst Prince

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    I actually don't believe that 1upt was implemented as a way to solve stacks of doom.

    1upt looks more like an attempt to implement tactics within a battle. In that, it has been 50% successful. A human player will make great use of the 1upt tactics, by shielding ranged units, flanking, scouting, concentrating fire, fortifying, etc., exactly as the develops envisaged, I'm sure. This is actually a big success ansd a much more enjoyable way to wage war than the stack of doom.

    The problem (and it's a big one) is that the AI isn't able to use those same tactics successfully. A smaller problem is the logjam issue.

    Going to a 15upt just leaves you with an army made up of 3 or 4 stacks of doom and eliminates any tactics. You go back to the old strongest defender against the attacker routine. It will be as boring as the old stacks of doom, but more tedious to keep track of the mini stacks.
     
  15. migkillertwo

    migkillertwo Prince

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    To OP, and everyone else trying to solve 1upt, the 1UPT concept is very good in theory. Honestly, it offers an extremely realistic picture of warfare. Players often have problems and inconveniences when moving their armies from one place to another, but this is exactly the case in real life. Moving twenty infantry and armoured divisions from the east coast to the west coast of the united states would present massive logistical problems.

    Further, it offers a pretty dazzling array of methods with which to defeat your enemies, in theory at least. SOD, in my and a lot of others' experience, offers a pretty formulaic way to defeat your enemies; Build a larger army than them, and move your army to where their army is. Defending certainly offers more options, but not much more.


    But it didn't work because the AI sucks, and every solution short of actually improving the AI creates more problems. On higher difficulty levels, the game just gives the AI civs production bonuses.
     
  16. MkLh

    MkLh King

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    Not quite. Stacking always reduce the tactical aspect of placing units, even if the stacks were just size of two (no-brainer to stack your siege with a defender etc.). Any nupt (where n is a limited number >1) limit would lead to annoying micromanaging as you would have to arrange all your troops in n-size stacks. There is never point to use smaller stacks than you can.
     
  17. Selous

    Selous King

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    the problem with xUPT is that the x becomes the size for a "full stack" and anything less is like sending wounded units into battle

    a much more simple solution is incorporation of collateral damage when a tile is attacked, if the defender loses then the whole tile of units is lost
    this allows easy maneuverability of unlimited stacking, keeps units spread out tactically and allows the flexability of stack attack but with a risk that goes up the more you stack.

    but overall, i think 1UPT is the way to go just with some kind of flexability would be nice
     
  18. Arsenic Steel

    Arsenic Steel Warlord

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    All I implied was that using multiple stacks was similar to using multiple units in 1upt. Instead of ranged/seige units being protected by melee units on a different tile the melee units are now on the same tile, the concept is still the same. I move multiple stacks around to flank, out maneuver, or limit the options available to my enemy - having more or less units on a single tile has not changed that tactic of mine.

    Creating a stack or moving units in 1upt both have a certain level of MM. What you call annoying is completely subjective and has not relation to my opinion.
     
  19. Pooh

    Pooh Chieftain

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    In my opinion, the ability to stack in previous Civs wasn't the main culprit when it came to the SOD problem. Instead, I would suggest that the problem lay in the fact that ALL of the units in a stack of any size were combat effective along any front. Basically, it suggested that each tile had an infinite front along each of its edges. (wasn't anyone else ever bothered by this?)

    The solution, I think, is not to limit stacks (to 1UPT or any other xUPT) but to limit the number of combat effective units in any tile (defined as units able to attack from that tile). Consider a system that allows unlimited stacking, but sets a limit of 1 attack per turn originating from any given tile. This would make logistics much simpler to manage while preserving the tactical nuance of 1UPT.

    The obvious objection is that it would skew things too much in favour of defence, since you could place infinite defenders on a tile that could only be attacked a maximum of six times (once from each adjacent side). There are ways to address this, however, such as collateral damage (Civ IV) and death for all units on the defending tile (Civ II). My own preference would be the collateral damage route coupled with scaling combat penalties for the defender depending on how many units are crowded into the tile (that's actually what I'd like to call the penalty - "crowding").

    I think this kind of hybrid system would make the whole process of war a lot more interesting. While maintaining the increased tactical nuance of 1UPT and streamlining logistics, it would introduce whole new considerations when mounting invasions or planning defence. Imagine marching an invasion force into enemy territory needing to be constantly on the look out for ambushes! Imagine the current system of fewer roads not impeding your ability to swiftly move defenders across your empire. I'd actually argue for allowing the movement bonus for roads to apply no matter what territory you're in, since it would force the attacker to decide whether to move swiftly along the roads (risking ambush) or slowly through the country side.

    I know that this doesn't address the ineptitude of the AI in respect of combat tactics (no idea if it would help or hinder either... probably hinder?) but I do think it would be a much more fun way to address the whole SOD issue from previous iterations of this game. Would this be something a modder could do?
     
  20. cassembler

    cassembler typically in screensaver mode

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    IIRC, this is exactly why they didn't go with xUPT. (Side note: I like the 25 HP mod that makes the units live longer, battling longer... You can give it a few turns to shift the tide, or escape and lick your wounds.)

    Say what you will, but 1UPT is awesome. EDIT: IMHO
     

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