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attacks from cities

Discussion in 'Community Patch Project' started by ilteroi, Dec 26, 2019.

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what should we do about attacks from cities

  1. nothing, leave everything as is

    22 vote(s)
    31.9%
  2. make them stronger

    10 vote(s)
    14.5%
  3. remove them

    18 vote(s)
    26.1%
  4. remove them and compensate by disabling healing in enemy territory

    8 vote(s)
    11.6%
  5. other

    11 vote(s)
    15.9%
  1. SuperNoobCamper

    SuperNoobCamper King

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    I'm in favor of G's view; a streamlined, logical and predictable damage output would be just better.
    Although i don't mind the Red fort OHKing cruisers
    Orders : +2 Faith, +10 City Strength, +50 Hit Points.
     
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  2. Voremonger

    Voremonger Warlord

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    @pineappledan @HungryForFood
    I think that reverting the attack range of Cities without walls to two hexes would work as a solution to the problem I see with rushing Archers.
    However, I like that with the current patch conquering non-capital Cities in the early game is relatively easy; I see it as a fun way to resolve territorial disputes or crippling neighbors.
    Maybe you could make it so that Capitals are special when it comes to attacks from Cities?
    So that they either start with a range of two hexes if the status quo is kept or that they are the only Cities that are able to attack if regular attacks from Cities were to be removed?

    @Tekamthi
    The problem is not that Capitals are poorly defended for a lack of effort; The AI does invest a lot of production into defense.
    The problem is that on the current patch Capitals are basically impossible to defend if you didn't research the right technology first.
    To be clear: I am not arguing that it should be impossible to conquer Cities by rushing Archers; In almost every strategy game I like to be aggressive from the very start myself.
    What I am arguing is that killing other players by rushing Archers should be nerfed.
    I think it has gotten to the point where it's crowding out other strategies for most games, "flattening" the game's strategy, so to speak.
    And I think that games where you immediately kill your closest neighbor(s) and then settle in relative peace are simply less fun than games where you have to fight an actual war to get territory.

    I'm not sure if reducing early supply would be a suitable solution.
    I think that if you were to reduce early supply this would impede any early military action not just rushes for a Capital.
    Maybe it would force players to settle a second City before they can raise an army large enough to use offensively?
    Maybe it would screw over tall players?

    I think that adding an extra defense building would not be a good solution (I'm assuming that such a building would simply add Combat Strength and Health to a City).
    I think an increase in City Combat Strength would affect melee Units way harder than it would affect ranged Units like Archers.
    I therefore think that an extra defense building strong enough to defend against Archer rushes would shut down most Civilizations with strong early game units (because they're almost always melee units).

    Regarding 43-player maps:
    Maybe you could implement an option like "Capitals get extra defenses" that toggles whether Capitals get defensive bonuses compared to regular Cities?
     
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  3. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    The simplest solutions so far seem to be:

    1) Adjust Archers
    2) Give cities 2 range back.

    I think either of these will work, and is probably enough. Its not like early cities are defenseless, higher level AIs are going to have more units than you, so you still have to beat their army a bit, its just a bit TOO easy right now, so a small adjustment will give the AI more time to get that production bonus a working, which I think is all that is needed.

    As to which option to pick....it comes down to what people think of archers in the current paradigm. Personally, I think archers beat everything except horseman in the early game (eventually lose to swordsman but at that point you should be at c bows). This is why I think a range reduction is an interesting idea. But its a more radical idea than just giving cities 2 range back.
     
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  4. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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  5. Tekamthi

    Tekamthi Prince

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    @Voremonger

    i don't disagree with your reasoning, but am biased towards a player-choice fix to this problem, rather than something applied automatically. I suppose this implies AI decision making issues, and may not be ideal from that perspective.

    re buffing capital only.. might be a reasonable fix, but doesn't it essentially reproduce the same problem you mentioned re: early defensive building? given that in this case it will then be restricted to capital, again it might be preferable to a more standard building -- but there's no choice for the player; weighing risks/benefits is what civ is all about. Consider as well that human will be all the more immune to these early attacks, too (okay, they're rarely seen from AI... but maybe thats the problem)

    re 2-plot range for cities from start, this is possibly the most effective defense against the archer rush, but removes the progression of building up your city's defences, and maybe makes early archer conquest altogether impossible?

    re 1-range archers.. this strikes me as a pretty significant archer nerf, and game changer to early tactics, but i'd have to play it to see.. imagine it would need other values tuned as well

    I suppose my concerns could be addressed by just tuning w/e solution is applied to the right values... make early rush harder and rarer but not impossible and extinct.

    As human, when i start near other human, i make sure to bring my pathfinder back early to watch what's being built and adjust my local strategy accordingly.. early rush is only a problem if i have too many neighbours or some other unique situation.. its probably asking too much that AI be made really competitive doing the same, as nice as this would be... skilled human is also not as prone to having units plinked off in weird terrain configurations as AI, which is probably the crux of the issue for AI using army to defend from this.

    brainstorming further here, what if warrior were given some kind of city defence promo? iirc, existing promo structure can have a unit buff adjacent city defense to some %. not altogether sure if the same exists for garrison itself but it strikes me as easily implemented, and probably more desirable than the adjacent bonus. Cities could thus get a defence bonus through warrior garrison. Could have it disappear on upgrade, or maybe have it stick but not available on subsequent builds, to add incentive to building warrior over archer in ancient, and keeping the former alive.

    Anecdotally, I'm in a deity game on huge marathon w/ 43 civs, playing 12-1 VP since early december. I didn't go for full 4000 bc rush, but as I added up the terrain and my neighbours, I switched to it just in time to catch most of the nearby AI before or as they got their 2nd city out.. wasn't quite as quick maybe as the rush you described, but just as easy... took out 3 very close AI rivals, 5 cities, by mid-ancient. By the time I had the first wrapped up, the 2nd had archers, but they were dispatched all the same, and the 3rd as well. Now, the terrain was impossible for defender on this map, even for the amazing VP AI, and would've been very difficult for human too (massive hilly forest playing iroquois).

    An extreme case maybe, but probably one for which a defence should exist. I doubt most of the suggestions in this thread would've allowed for a full defence in this niche situation; just delayed the fall of each. The one thing that might've, though, is if the neighbouring AI immediately war dec'd on me as it became clear I had advantage in my first war. Either that or if one of the AI rushed me themselves, before my rush even got going. They each started hating on me for war mongering pretty quickly, but didn't actually do anything outside of denouncements until it was way too late. If archer rush is a viable strategy and nothing else is done, AI should select it appropriately often, too. Can anything be done there?
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2019
  6. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    Considering I have released not 1, but 2 custom civs for VP centred around early warmongering as a pillar of their design, I’m not at all happy discussing ways in which the community might defang early warmongers.

    If you all hated early warmongering so much you might have said something earlier.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2019
  7. SuperNoobCamper

    SuperNoobCamper King

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    This discussion reminds me of card games for some reason; like how everyone seems to hate on hyper aggressive strategies yet it's used by the very same persons who hate it.
    I'm not as seasoned as most of you here so you might just take my opinion here with a big grain of salt, as someone who was struggling to survive Emperor difficulty that happened to just be able to dominate the same setup that made him struggle before i'm in favor of bringing back the AI starting and ongoing bonuses as well as adjusting ranged CS of cities to be in line with units of similar CS but not the 2 tiles range without walls.
    I understand that early game archer rush is hated on but i don't think it's any worse than getting swarmed by Atilla's horse archers or Askia's mandekalu cavalry t60 or 70 to warrant changing so much just to stop it.
    Changing archers range makes them as useless as vanilla industrial era ranged units without range upgrade; they are fragile, not dealing a devestating amount of damage to make up for the risk of having to put them on the front line.
    Mid and late game when every single city takes at least 5 or 6 turns to take it down especially with the recent changes to naval ranged units after clearing a way for the siege units is already rather annoying especially when cities with enough defensive buldings can do like 50HP damage to contemporary mounted ranged units.
     
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  8. vyyt

    vyyt Deity

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    I like @Gazebo 's approach. Before overhauling everything, let's make the city attack consistent and predictable first. I think it should be dealing a "reasonable" damage to concurrent units. And as "reasonable" means something different for everyone (see this poll, when some people want it stronger, while some want to remove it completely), I'd be in favor of having a modifier, a max and min damage in the options file.

    Once this is settled, then I think we can move to niche things like preventing Archer rush being too easy (give archers a malus against cities?).
     
  9. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Emperor

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    Did anyone ever expand on whether the early archer rush is all that good anyway? You presumably give up founding a religion, improving tiles, getting culture for policies, etc. Does the benefit of potentially taking an early city and a capital actually put you ahead in the long run? I've never tried this type of super early rush so I honestly don't know. I've had successful early warmonger games that didn't translate to mid and late game success so I imagine a successful super early rush might not either. Just wondering if this is really an issue at all.
     
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  10. SuperNoobCamper

    SuperNoobCamper King

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    It's effective in smaller map sizes especially continents and slower speed games; early elimination of an immediate neighbor gives you enough space to expand freely, building an overall better empire without having to be constantly spending hammers to fend off their attacks but it's not that useful in larger set ups.
    You don't really give up the culture,science or tile improvements this way if you are playing authority which you usually do if you intend to go early archer rush.
     
  11. Voremonger

    Voremonger Warlord

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    There is a big difference between Archers and the Units you described: every Civilization has access to Archers.
    If you play as a Civilization with strong early game units you are paying an opportunity cost.
    This means that while you don't get a disadvantage you are missing out on the advantages of another Civilization.
    Let me be clear: I think it is completely fine for a Civilizations like Shonghai to be able to kill other players early on because that is the advantage they are getting.
    The reason why I think rushing Archers is a problem is that it works regardless of which Civilization you are playing as.
    I think it cheapens the early game advantage you get with the dedicated early warmongers.
     
  12. XSamatan

    XSamatan Chieftain

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    Anything that levels the playing field for player and AI is a welcome change. Tactical AI is already a stellar improvement compared to vanilla - still a more simplified ruleset (voted for removing city attack and healing in enemy territory) could help the warfare balance.

    Regards
    XSamatan
     
  13. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

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    I think the thing is that you have to build early military units either way (for defense and barbarians). A lot of players put an archer in every city as the expand in the early game, if you are willing to get like 1 more archer its often enough to start conquering.

    Religion is still very found-able, a trick is you can annex a city if it keeps a shrine on conquest. And long run, having a weak neighbor is a huge advantage. You can potentially go the entire classical and medieval eras with extremely small investment in military, meaning big investment in infrastructure. Then you are positioned to get wonders, or do more conquest in Renaissance (which also means you avoided the phase of war when castles and city defense are at their strongest).
     
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  14. SuperNoobCamper

    SuperNoobCamper King

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    I don't completely disagree with you but this is only half true; civ as a game and VP to an extent are designed to be a uniform experience in a vaccum regardless of which civilization you choose to play as that changes and adapts depending on how the circumstances of every match dictate or guide your choices while the choosen civilization with few exceptions is more of a flavor that makes the every matches feel slightly different to keep the game fresh and enjoyable.
    Think of the game as a pizza with different topping/seasoning.
    The reason why i personally don't mind the archer rush is it preserves the game's essence as an adaptation to a circumstance, i might have started the game as brazil with a mindset of going tradition and artistry for a culture victory but my immediate neighbours are shaka and harold bluetooth, if the game does not offer me a chance to respond to such situation by being the aggressor limiting my ability to adapt i would call it a bad design.
    War like civs with early emphasis on early game units like Songhai and The Huns also have to adapt as well and make a choice whether to go for an early archer rush at turn 30~40 or slow a little bit and play to their power spike at turn 60~70 according to the situation.
     
  15. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Emperor

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    My understanding was that the rush looked more like:

    Shrine-monument-archer x4

    In that case you're probably delaying secondary cities too much to found since you delay shrines and pantheon faith in your secondary cities in order to conquer maybe?

    I've never done it though so I wouldn't know how it goes. If you're able to do all the normal early game things like found a religion, settle your immediate area, and then still archer rush an enemy's capital then that would seem pretty overpowered. I assumed there was some sort of early game tradeoff to the rush.
     
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  16. Voremonger

    Voremonger Warlord

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    Just pick Spain, lol.
    You get 150 Gold and 300 Faith for conquering a small City early game (225 Gold, 450 Faith for a City with 5+ Population).
    I'm currently on a game where I rushed Archers with Spain and I got my second Great Prophet before some AI got their first one (Deity, regular speed).
    I first conquered a City State to level up my Archers and get a Great General, then I conquered two of the three Cities of my neighbor Attila (I intentionally did not immediately kill him because I figured that would be too easy).
     
  17. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

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    God of War can get you a religion pretty easily. If you conquer cities and they kept a shrine, you can annex them for +2 faith. Maybe if your civ has very poor early game it can't be done, but a lot of civs (Spain, Carthage, Aztec) can get one easily while being very aggressive.

    But really the better strategy is to say screw religion, take God of All Creation, and just pump out military. Someone on your continent will get a religion, and you'll be in a position to take it for yourself.

    It does slow expansion down a little bit, and you can feel it on your culture (but really, God of All Creation can more than compensate).
     
  18. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Emperor

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    I don't think anyone is concerned that an early archer rush is too strong with civs like Spain or Carthage (though Carthage might be better off rushing Quins). I think the concern is that an early archer rush is just too overpowered in most situations more generally.

    I think you guys have said that basically any civ can do it successfully at a fairly high rate. If it seems to be the best strategy in most cases as well (the gains from the rush put you further ahead than what you might be giving up, like founding a religion or early infrastructure) then the calls from people to nerf it in some way are probably justified. Otherwise the early game devolves into the best option mostly being the rush and becomes one dimensional.
     
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  19. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    I tried a few rounds with the focus on the 4 archer rush. In general, this rush is very strong. I am pretty much guaranteed to take out one capital, and often I can snag their initial settler if I'm close enough, resulting in their removal. I was also wrong in my assessment on happiness, while you do get some strong spikes of unhappiness it corrects pretty quick (as long as your puppeting which you should be doing, annexing this early is problematic with courthouses so far away)

    What's interesting is that I can often go much further. In my last run I took out a capital (killed the Ottoman), took out Polands second city, and then snag a CS all before walls were operational. That said, I'm not sure if going this deep is worth it in most cases (barring heavy warring bonuses from civs or religion). Once you go this deep, the world pretty much declares on you, and I find their our barbs everywhere because the AI sweepers never got to sweep. So you are pretty much warring for a long time, and its very hard to get any kind of infrastructure up.

    So my general thoughts if that the multicity hit is balanced by the commitment you have to do, but the quick capital kill is pretty darn easy and ultimately very valuable. Killing your immediate neighbor gives you a big amount of land to choose from, you don't have to worry about that neighbors settling, and you now have 2 capitals worth of choice land. All for the price of 4 archers (and I generally build 1 archer anyway to hunt barbs, so its really 3 extra archers). I also generally find that my initial pathfinder is enough for the city taking, so I don't even need a warrior.

    So I would say some kind of adjustment is needed.
     
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  20. Recursive

    Recursive Covets Lands That You Currently Own Moderator

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    As in their turn 0 Settler? If that's the case, the AI should be protecting it better.
     

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