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Alternative City Capture Options

Discussion in 'Communitas Expansion Pack' started by Delekhan, Jul 25, 2013.

  1. albie_123

    albie_123 Modding In Secret

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    Well I've always thought that making it impossible to raze a city post-puppet would make more sense than anything. No-one in history has ever razed their own city (and no, scorched earth doesn't count, they abandoned smaller towns but they certainly didn't abandon their major cities :p).
     
  2. mystikx21

    mystikx21 Deity

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    You could argue that Sherman razed an American city. But we were technically at war at the time. And it was rebuilt into a huge airport and traffic jam.

    Scorched earth basically laid waste to both Russia and Napoleon's army. But the essential point (nobody razes their own cities) is valid.
     
  3. Teholb

    Teholb Warlord

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    If this sort of sacking system is implemented, I would prefer to see it follow along the lines of Albie's post. Especially the bold portions. Unhappiness after conquering just a single city is often difficult to support, in addition to the forces required to wage the war itself. And while I generally don't like wars, perhaps it is best to not punish the AI any further, regarding conquest. A mechanism to support early warfare would be great, and this would seem to be just that, and it avoids leaving the conqueror with a handful of developed cities if they want to go for a total, plunder-fueled blitz strategy.
     
  4. Delekhan

    Delekhan Prince

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    I agree with albie too, a simple system without too much complexity will work best in balancing penalties/rewards of looting cities. The most I'd put in beyond killing most of the buildings and tile improvements is a longer resistance period (that just makes sense, and it balances the immediate lump sum of gold with a few more turns of lost income from the city).

    Also, since the amount of plunder depends on the city's development and base gold production, it ensures that only built-up cities are worth sacking.

    Newly founded cities would deliver almost no loot under that formula (see OP). And it prevents a warmongering player from founding a bunch of crappy snow cities, giving it them to the AI and declaring war to farm them for easy gold in the late game.

    I'm glad you guys like it. This feature has been on my wishlist for a while :)
     
  5. griffer13524

    griffer13524 Chieftain

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    Has anyone considered having a sacked city remain in the control of the original owner? Sacking would simply be a way to cripple enemy cities, without having to take on the burden of owning them yourself. So, besieging a city would allow a player to take the rewards and goods of the city they sacked, but essentially penalize them because they don't get the city itself.

    This would resolve a few problems, particularly the question of why someone wouldn't raze a city after sacking it. A sacked city would take a hit to production and gold, for a certain number of turns, and perhaps lose some buildings. In addition to getting gold from a sacking, the player could also steal great works, steal population (either converting it into "enslaved" workers, or population in their own cities) or stealing technology.

    I know I would probably use it in a game, against a civ which is striving towards a cultural victory. Siege a key culture center, sack their great works, and undermine their victory, without the effort of defending and building the city up again.
     
  6. Delekhan

    Delekhan Prince

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    I've thought about that too, and it would be a neat feature with the right balance, but that would require some pretty handy changes to the lua code, which is outside the scope of CEP Basic. Maybe later once Thal starts work on the advanced portions.
     
  7. Endovior

    Endovior Prince

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    TBH, I can't see why you'd want to keep a city once you've sacked it. If the city is worth keeping, you should want to keep it as largely intact as possible; an enemy city with no infrastructure is a liability, that'll take quite a bit of time and effort to build up to something worth having. Similarly, I don't see why you wouldn't sack a city that you were Razing. It strikes me that you'd pretty much always want to Sack > Raze.

    A sacked city reverting to its original owner would be a neat mechanic, though, which handily solves that problem, and is nicely more flavorful than burning everything to the ground.
     
  8. LanguishViking

    LanguishViking Warlord

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    viz City States - is it possible to "install friendly government" when capturing a city state which would grant the identical benefits one would get from liberating but only with existing city states? You conquer a city state for the purpose of making it an ally. Maybe require that you either have certain cultural advancements or an ideology.

    viz Sacking - you can have the sack mechanic if you return the city to the original owner after the sack - like liberation.
     
  9. Teholb

    Teholb Warlord

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    Sometimes you need a quick infusion of cash to continue the war effort or to support your empire back home. With a sacking system, the conquerer would sack the city and, in the model I'd prefer, would be forced to own the city for an amount of turns before being granted the option to raze it. This would balance the "free" gold of conquering with the forced extra turns of unhappiness, which could be fatal in the wrong circumstances. It's all about having strategic options. Perhaps a small diplo penalty could be attached to each sacking, representing the world's distaste for your barbarous pillaging.

    If the city stayed with the owner, then the only sensible option would be to sack, as you'd get gold and no penalty, with the bonus of crippling that city for a long time.
     
  10. Endovior

    Endovior Prince

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    Ok... so how is this different from Razing? When you Raze a city, you get unhappiness (from the people you're killing), and are forced to own it for a number of turns (until it finishes burning), and you get gold from selling off all the buildings in it (or at least, you should, if you're paying attention).

    IMO, Sacking should be mechanically distinct from Razing, in such a way that Sack doesn't merely become 'extended Raze'.
     
  11. Teholb

    Teholb Warlord

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    You're not going to get nearly as much gold (and the extended duration of unhappiness) if you choose to immediately raze the city. You can either risk future unhappiness or simply raze it as quickly as possible. As I said, a diplo penalty from other civs (similar to the city conquering/last city deal) would further serve to make it distinct from a standard razing.

    Games like Civ are always about choices between options, and this is simply yet another choice, imo. Early benefit, long term benefit, or raze.
     
  12. griffer13524

    griffer13524 Chieftain

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    Going back to the original problem, we were discussing what to do with puppeting and annexing cities. It seems that in the current system it is always better to puppet than annex. This model of sacking seems to have the same problem, where in it's always better to sack then raze than to simply raze.

    At the moment, it feels like we have two options:
    1) Puppet, then annex, or
    2) Raze.

    If the player takes control of the sacked city, then we still only have two "good" choices:
    1) Puppet, then annex, or
    2) Sack, then raze.

    Having the city remain in the opponents control would give a "true" third and distinct option, one which isn't helpful for a conquest victory at all, but which would give other kinds of victory paths a reason to build offensive and defensive military units. That said, I think sacking needs some sort of heavy penalty associated with it, like a heavy diplomacy hit, because as it is, it seems like a lot of good and not a lot of bad. I would say that sacking a city would give less gold than puppeting or razing, but would instead give other benefits, like stealing population and great works, or destroying world wonders. The choices would then be:

    1) Do you want to conquer and take a new city? Then puppet and annex.
    2) Do you want to conquer, but don't want a new city? Then raze.
    3) Do you not want to conquer, but instead cripple an opponent? Then sack.

    That's how it would function in my head, but I'm also aware that it would take a lot of new coding. I'm not a programmer, I just enjoy making game systems, so I fully understand if it couldn't be implemented.

    Another option I just thought of would be something similar to the barbarian's ransom mechanic--the diplomacy screen pops up, and you offer to not take the city if the opponent gives you something in return.
     
  13. Teholb

    Teholb Warlord

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    . . . ok, fine, that does sound rather good :lol:


    But I still don't see how it would always be better to sack -> raze if the player had to hold the sacked city for say, the same duration razing one takes (1T/pop). A wealthy, well developed city would then yield good sackin', but would take ages to raze. As I said, I do agree that your proposal sounds quite good. I just think it's good to explore all possible alternatives, especially since this sort of feature might not be a top priority.
     
  14. griffer13524

    griffer13524 Chieftain

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    Well, just as there are a few times when it is better to annex than puppet (say you have a lot of gold to burn on buildings right away) there will always be some times when my cases about "sacking, then razing" wouldn't hold. That said, I like your idea too--but would it maybe be better to make razing itself higher risk / higher reward, than add another option?

    I think razing a city is kind of cheap and easy. I'd rather see it take more turns and come with some sort of automatic resistance--like the city keeps fighting against your units in a form of resistance, or partisan units spawn around the city to try and take the city back. I'd like razing to give the most short term gold/rewards personally, but it ought to be more of a challenge than it is currently, I think. No city would simply burn down with out a fight.
     
  15. Seek

    Seek Deity Supporter

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    As I see it, the vanilla city-capture mechanic already models "sacking":
    1) The conquerer gains a bunch of gold (and possibly great works)
    2) Many buildings are destroyed
    3) Half the population is killed
    So the concept is there, it's just a question of whether CEP should return to vanilla in this regard (2 and 3 were lowered considerably in gem) or whether we want another option on capture (in which case 1 should be lowered for normal captures as well).

    Sacking while not keeping the city is an interesting idea, but it's modeled nicely by pillaging tiles, and it would be potentially a nightmare to balance. I vote for leaving the mechanic the way it is.
     
  16. ExpiredReign

    ExpiredReign Deity

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    Tend to agree with Seek on this one.

    The game 'sort of' models it already.
    And whilst sacking and not taking sound interesting, I feel it would be a devil to implement properly.
     
  17. griffer13524

    griffer13524 Chieftain

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    I figured implementation would the the sticking point all around. I suppose what I feel the game is missing is a good way to undermine your opponents without having to take over and siege their cities. Pillaging is certainly one useful technique, I just thought sacking would amplify that.

    It might be easier, both in the sense of implementation and game systems, to move this sort of mechanic over into espionage. Spies, at the moment, can only steal technologies--it might be interesting to have them also capable of stealing great works (it has been discovered that a great work in your museum has been replaced with a forgery!), diminishing population (an civilization has committed an act of terrorism in one of your cities!) or stealing gold, (a civilization has embezzled a a large sum of gold from your central bank!).

    Right now espionage seems kind of limited as a way to catch up scientifically late in the game--this might expand its usefulness, and be an alternative to overt warfare. Hell, advanced spies might even be able to instigate a coup in a city, though I think they can do that already with some ideological tenets. Again, none of this is easy enough to make it into basic, but might be interesting changes to game systems for the advanced version.
     
  18. Zaldron

    Zaldron King

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    Keep in mind the law of unintended consequences here: Someone will be going on a conquest spree and use and use this population reduction as a way to keep happiness problems in check turning it from a disadvantage into a strong advantage.

    I really like the idea about more partisan units showing up though.
     
  19. VainoValkea

    VainoValkea Emperor

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    I'm actually planning to implement an alternative city capture myself, for City-States. Currently, CS alliances can become all but impossible to break. I'm planning to implement a militaristic option to nullify that alliance - upon capturing a CS, the player has the option to let it remain sovereign but independent of its former ally. So the influence for each civ is reset to the resting point or something like that.
     
  20. Endovior

    Endovior Prince

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    This. 'Rubber-Band' mechanics are really awesome in a single-player context; if you're losing badly, you still get a bit of a chance to make a comeback... and if you're winning massively, the game gets harder in response. If hostile units will spawn in response to my decision to raze/sack some place, that adds a real cost to the decision, which (at the very least) slows down the military steamroller.
     

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