Are urban defenses too strong

trev1972

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Just curious how you feel about the automatic defences all cities get with the discovery of steel?

Just played through a domination victory...as soon as the AI got steel, battleship armadas started to struggle and even artillery was not particularly effective (rocket artillery did the job)

Thats not a problem, but- once i get steel it feels defending my own cities becomes utterly trivial?
I just know the AI will not be organised enough to threaten cities with urban defences

Cant help feeling the defence is a bit high? And city bombardment really strong.

What do you think?
 

trev1972

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Nope. I just use a balloon to attack the city from out of its range, or build bombers if needed.

If anything defense is very weak late game.

Maybe my difficulty is too low, have you ever seen the AI genuinely threaten a post steel city?
 

Archon_Wing

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Maybe my difficulty is too low, have you ever seen the AI genuinely threaten a post steel city?

Well I've seen them take other AI cities pretty easily
 

Solver

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Urban defenses aren't a problem IMO. Artillery, or better yet Artillery Corps, do enough damage, and you should have balloons as well, which make the whole siege game rather easy.

The bigger problem is that the AI doesn't ever have enough siege units, and is therefore too bad at taking cities. Not even late-game cities, I find that Medieval Walls already give the AI a lot of trouble - yes the AI can take those cities sometimes, but it usually requires an overwhelming advantage to do so. That's more of an AI problem than a defenses problem though.
 

trev1972

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Urban defenses aren't a problem IMO. Artillery, or better yet Artillery Corps, do enough damage, and you should have balloons as well, which make the whole siege game rather easy.

The bigger problem is that the AI doesn't ever have enough siege units, and is therefore too bad at taking cities. Not even late-game cities, I find that Medieval Walls already give the AI a lot of trouble - yes the AI can take those cities sometimes, but it usually requires an overwhelming advantage to do so. That's more of an AI problem than a defenses problem though.

That kind of my point, once i get steel, i can pretty much strip my defences as i dont have to worry at all about losing a city.
 

Solver

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Yeah but is it because urban defenses are too powerful or because the AI is too weak? I think it's the latter. You can comfortably take a city post-Steel with 2-3 Artillery units and some melee or cavalry. That seems like a reasonable investment. The AI can't, so it's an AI weakness, not a problem with the defenses. I don't think it's much different from Medieval / Renaissance walls, which can also be taken down with siege, but the AI rarely manages to.

A related problem is that the AI never builds any siege-assisting units. Battering Rams, Siege Towers, Balloons - the AI never builds any of those.
 

Tech Osen

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If you make it weaker it will just be easier for the human player to take cities. It's the AI (lack of) coding that is the issue. I don't play multiplayer games but I'm guessing it's fine there as it is.
 
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That kind of my point, once i get steel, i can pretty much strip my defences as i dont have to worry at all about losing a city.

You can approach the "problem" from two directions: AI or City Defense. The AI is full of problems in Civ VI, not the least its utter lack of combat acumen - not just in regard to attacking or defending cities, but with 1UPT in general.
In contrast, cities being major defensive strongpoints from the Industrial Era on is very, very accurate: Stalingrad springs to mind, but virtually every defended city in World War Two, as well as fortified Paris in 1871 or the modern cities and towns in the Middle East in Lebanon, Iraq and Syria, all of which have sucked major military units into them and mangled them even with poorly organized defenders.
 

Tech Osen

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A related problem is that the AI never builds any siege-assisting units. Battering Rams, Siege Towers, Balloons - the AI never builds any of those.

Or AA units to protect vs bombers.
 

MrRadar

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Maybe my difficulty is too low, have you ever seen the AI genuinely threaten a post steel city?
Yes, funnily enough, quite recently, during my last game. I played it on PS4 (no NFP), online speed, deity, tiny map (4 AIs). Teddy had a landmass of his own and was teching pretty hard. I don't know what it is about Teddy, but I notice that on my PS4 games he, as AI, tends to become monsterlike science-wise.
I had a forward-lying outpost city next to his territory, and late game, when a world war - everyone against me - broke out, he used a P-51 against my ground units, destroying them. I collected my jaw from the floor and consciously bought an AA gun, because I needed it, for the first time during these nearly 4 years. And then he repeatedly bombed that city of mine with a bomber! And took out city defenses completely, including bringing in a battleship, damaging my city garrison to 2/3 health and threatening it with a melee unit, before I stabilised the situation. It was nice to see an AI airforce in action, at last. And taking off for the missions from the Airport district, both fighters and bombers.
 

Pfeffersack

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Yeah but is it because urban defenses are too powerful or because the AI is too weak? I think it's the latter. You can comfortably take a city post-Steel with 2-3 Artillery units and some melee or cavalry. That seems like a reasonable investment. The AI can't, so it's an AI weakness, not a problem with the defenses. I don't think it's much different from Medieval / Renaissance walls, which can also be taken down with siege, but the AI rarely manages to.

A related problem is that the AI never builds any siege-assisting units. Battering Rams, Siege Towers, Balloons - the AI never builds any of those.

I agree - the AI can even fail at taking a city when having GDRs (and the opponent not):

https://forums.civfanatics.com/thre...r-to-take-cities-close-to-zero-health.660789/
 

Stringer1313

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This is one of those things where nerfing something makes it easier for the player but then results in a weaker opponent, so it's a wash. I do think urban defenses should be manually built, or have some other mechanism for building it - the automatic thing feels off esp considering the labor that goes into walls. They can make the base strength of the city slightly higher with steel, but the urban defenses as we know them now should be manually built.
 
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Personally I think the AI should get at 25% (give or take) bonus when attacking cities. It would make AI domination wins more viable.

The only time I feel city defense are a problem is in that late medieval-mid industrial period. Especially if the city is around hill/trees/mountains. There are cities where there might only be 1-2 tile width hilly approaches(due to mountains) where your army gets mauled. I just tech up to Artillery before resuming the fight if I come across that.

Late game isn't a problem because you can out-range the city or bomb it, or even nuke it. And you have things like corps and armies.
 

tedhebert

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Bombers bomb cities with 110 strength and not a problem for them to take down 100+ strength walled cities.

yeah... but is that an indication of urban defense not being too strong, or just reflects on how AI is so dumb in not producing AA units ? I'm sure if every city had 1-2 AA unit (battleship or anti-air gun) you'd feel that losing bombers is a high cost to get this done

personnally I think that Urbn Defenses is allright for strength, but I also feel you should invest to build them, not get them for free
 

sethjohnson

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As has been said, bombers are the way to deal with city defences in the modern era.

The bomber always gets through....
 
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As has been said, bombers are the way to deal with city defences in the modern era.

The bomber always gets through....

Indicating that Civ VI's historical references were by Douhet and not Kammhuber.
Unfortunately, they were also 1920s Fantasy instead of 1942 Reality - assuming the AI built any kind of AA/Fighter air defenses, which, so far, they almost never do.
Given that the Human Player has no trouble stopping Bombers if he/she remembers to build any kind of air defense, the problem is not with Bomber Factors or City Defense Factors, it is with the AI - again.
 

AriochIV

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I think city defenses are too strong in general. Once you have city walls, you don't really need to keep defensive units; you can put almost all of your units into an offensive operation. I think it's this way partially as a crutch, for the AI which is completely incapable of defending its cities otherwise.
 
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I think city defenses are too strong in general. Once you have city walls, you don't really need to keep defensive units; you can put almost all of your units into an offensive operation. I think it's this way partially as a crutch, for the AI which is completely incapable of defending its cities otherwise.

Thoroughly agree: many of the questionable mechanics and relationships in Civ VI are a direct result, I suspect, of trying to compensate for the utter failure to produce a semi-competent AI.

On the other hand, walled cities were very difficult for most armies to deal with throughout history. This is hard for many people to recognize, because the few armies that could regularly conduct a successful attack on a walled city: Classical Roman or Chinese, Renaissance French - are all Famous and relatively well-known. Less well known is the fact that Hannibal, as good as he was in the field, never took a single walled Roman City by assault or siege, and in the late 17th century CE Sieges were more important than Field Battles in deciding a war, and having the greatest 'taker of cities' in history, Sebastien Le Prestre de Vauban, in his army was one of Louis XIV's greatest assets!
 
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