Artillery broken?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by Exel, Jan 18, 2006.

  1. Exel

    Exel Prince

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    Does anyone else feel that artillery, especially the actual Artillery unit, is broken? And I'm not talking about artillery mechanics, but game balance with the system as it is.

    I've increasingly often came across cases where artillery units alone win major battles. This is especially true in the late industrial / early modern era with Infantry, Machinegunners and Tanks. Often I don't even have to send my main forces into combat, because my Artillery (with Barrage I) destroys the city defences, kills the defenders, captures the city - and survives. All by itself. This with equal number of defenders versus the attacking artillery. What's weirdest however is that many if not most of the charging artillery units usually survive the attack.

    It's not because of the difficulty level either (unless there's some weirdass bug related to it) since I've had the same happen the other way around as well: a city defended by 8 infantry and machinegunners gets annexed by the same number of artillery units without any other support.

    Unless it's a pure bug, I think Firaxis should really rethink its artillery model. This can't be the way it's supposed to work.
     
  2. Hardvark

    Hardvark Warlord

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    Consider yourself lucky. My artillery gets sacrificed to weaken defences all the time, but they rarely survive to get reused. I've very rarely actually killed a defender with artillery, unless that defender has been seriously weakened, or is seriously obsolete. I don't know whether you've just been very lucky, but I certainly haven't found artillery to be overly powerful.
     
  3. Eigenvector

    Eigenvector Molekh has nothing on me!

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    Do a search in this forum, I'm sure you'll find plenty of conversation about this.
     
  4. MrCynical

    MrCynical Deity

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    For the point where it appears the artillery unit's strength of 18 is too high. This makes it a viable direct attack unit against things like infantry and gunships in the open, and especially SAM's. It should be weakened to around 14-15, and another more modern artillery unit added in at a later tech so you have something to use against mech inf and modern armor. Every previous civ has had a howitzer or radar artillery around that point, and I think that could be the answer.
     
  5. player1 fanatic

    player1 fanatic Fanatic

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    Well, Marines have bonus when attacking Artillery. So there is a counter to mass arty groups too.

    It's same thing with Catapults before medieval techs (also valid attacker), or with Cannons before industrial techs.
     
  6. player1 fanatic

    player1 fanatic Fanatic

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    Now compare that Arty to a Tank that also has colateral damage.
     
  7. MrCynical

    MrCynical Deity

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    I don't think a tank does anywhere near as much collateral damage as an artillery. In any case I still feel artillery should be for attacking cities and softening up stacks, not as an attacker in their own right. Catapults and cannons don't have much chance against their contemporary units in a straigth attack, and that's as it should be. I'm not denying marines can counter artillery, but it shouldn't be possible to launch an attack with it as your main strength anyway (which the computer frequently does as it is very effective).
     
  8. Exel

    Exel Prince

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    Artillery as direct attack weapons is a questionable feature anyways, this only strenghtens the point, really.

    To me the simplest way to solve this would be to make artillery's attack versus units similar to its bombardment against city defences, so that it would not involve actual combat. I mean bombers have ranged attacks against both units and cities/improvements, why not artillery?

    I understand that Firaxis has made a deliberate design decision with artillery, but maybe it is time to revise that?
     
  9. Baktus

    Baktus Chieftain

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    I totally agree with you. The artillery is far to strong.
    I also think that the catapult and the cannon are to strong. Not the bombardement but theyre combat strenght. I have experienced many times to caputre towns with just artillery...and I have also lost for the same thing in multiplayer. It sucks big time. Especially when I loose cityes because of this.
     
  10. player1 fanatic

    player1 fanatic Fanatic

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    Artillery is pretty much the same as Catapults and Cannons at proper time. And it has its strenght to counter balance big stacks.


    It's just more often it happens you get to medieval beofer using catapults much and discovering cannons to late.
     
  11. Loyran

    Loyran Chieftain

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    Since artillery have a bonus against siege weapons, it's no wonder you can easily take a city defended by machine guns/artillery. Machine guns are siege unit and will be destroyed by artilleries, and artilleries in themselves aren't very good for defence (no defence bonus).

    Infanteries and then marines fare a lot better against artilleries, and once they have modern units a la gunship/mech infantery/tanks your artilleries are toast.
     
  12. Exel

    Exel Prince

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    The same happens with cities with the majority of defenders being infantry with the occasional marine or SAM infantry amongst them. Artilleries are hopeless at defending, yes, but for some reason they seem overly powerful when attacking.
     
  13. Nilrim

    Nilrim Warlord

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    Its not really the strength of artty that is the problem. Bring 8 artty units to a fight, bombard tell defense is at 0 then on next turn attack using your artty. Yea the first few can take a beating but with them doing damage to other units in the tile at the same time, by the time you get to your 4th or 5th artty unit they start killing just about anything. Once you are finished with your artty attack if there is anything left you can clean up with just about any handy unit as the remaining defenders will all be near death. Rinse and repeat for the next city.

    EDIT ADDED: You really want to make city taking hard, just make it so any defending artty also does damage to all the units in the attacking tile :)
     
  14. elite_dannux

    elite_dannux Chieftain

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    couldnt you give the art some ranged attacks?

    if you would give the art the same bombing attack like the plane has but much shorter range (1-3 tiles). but if you give the art that attack would enemy fighters try to intercept it?

    or could you give art some stelth ranged attacks?

    i actually thinks that art was better and more realistic in civ3 although it had som overpowering uses later in the game. it just feels wrong when you use your cannons as cannon fodder ;)
     
  15. Andrew_Jay

    Andrew_Jay Prince

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    I don't really like artillery, it's a little weird. However, it works fine from a gameplay perspective.

    I had an idea for at least improving the logic of artillery. While it will still serve to reduce city defences, it will not attack on its own (which it does now as a suicide collateral weapon):

    Rather, it can be used to provide support for attacks.

    Say you have 7 infantry in a stack with 3 artillery. Three of those infantry can attack with the artillery. The artillery doesn't get killed, but it boosts the infantry's attack, and adds the all-important collateral damage (artillery can't attack unless it has some other unit to support).

    It stops artillery from being a front-line suicide weapon, while also avoids the CivIII problem where you just build all of the artillery you want and shell everyone done to 1 HP before moping them up (because you need to have other units that you are willing to risk or sacrifice in attacks - the infantry essentially become your suicide weapon, which makes a bit more sense).

    Of course, this adds a bit of unwanted micormanagement to the game . . . I think.
     
  16. Exel

    Exel Prince

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    I've been trying to campaign for this since day 1. However, the currently available modding tools don't allow an easy way to do this, since land units can't have air unit features, and making them air units would have some nasty side effects. I'm hoping that we could do it with the SDK, but we'll have to wait and see.

    It would be better, however, if Soren & Co. would themselves address this problem. That way the fix would be available to all, and not just the core community.

    I agree with you whole-heartedly. Civ3 artillery had some balancing issues, but I'm sure they could be worked out to give what otherwise was a superior artillery model to Civ4.
     
  17. shackleton

    shackleton Warlord

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    I also didn't like the way catapults etc worked (will post why later).

    Currently experimenting with a slightly different mechanism. I took away the collateral damage. No more stack-buster. I upped the withdrawal chance. With the right promotions, they can get very high withdrawal chance. So now catapult is used as a "rock solid defence breaker". When you're up against a stack of units or a city, the odds are against you (former because cities are tough, latter because stacks have a mixture of units so you're using cavalry against pikemen etc). So a catapult is used to soften up the defences, with a good chance of withdrawal, but without being so annoyingly powerful.

    I'm testing how this works at the moment. Depending how it goes, I might add in the ability to collateral damage one unit. But I'm very conscious of not making the catapult deal more damage than a single unit should (see below) so if I do it will likely be capped at collateral damage to 1 unit.

    The reason I made this change is I had a war where the enemy had a lot of cavalry in his cities. Like 16 units. So I *have* to use units in a big stack, else he can nip out and take my units out piecemeal. He then threw a bunch of catapults into my stack and you simply cannot win when the enemy has that many catapults. Reason for this is that 2 catapults will destroy 8 units (i.e. reduce them to the point where any old unit can finish them off). So your stack of 25 units will be wiped out at the loss of ~6 catapults.

    It would have been possible to win this war, but only in two ways.
    i) Build such overwhelming forces that the loss of a stack of 25 units wouldn't matter. But that would be annoying and I'm not sure it's practical.
    ii) If I had sent 25 catapults instead of 25 pikemen, I could have just zerged his city, turning the computers cheesy tactics against him.

    I don't like zerging but the collateral damage of catapults basically prevents you from doing anything else I think, so I'm changing it :)
     
  18. Artanis

    Artanis King

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    ...why are you sending 25 Pikemen to try to take a city? :dubious:
     
  19. shackleton

    shackleton Warlord

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    It's actually phalanx (greek UU), and not the entire stack was phalanx, some axemen swordsmen and catapults too, but majority phalanx.

    The city was garrisonned by 1 or two archers, everything else was cavalry, so the phalanx were a good force for attacking the city. If he'd had more archers in the city I'd have needed more swordsmen or something I guess, but I'd still have needed the phalanx to protect my attacking force.
     
  20. Jason Fliegel

    Jason Fliegel Warlord

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    Why not make artillery work like bombers, which can only reduce an enemy unit to 50% health?
     

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