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Balance and Gameplay discussion.

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Legends of Revolution' started by phungus420, Jun 23, 2009.

  1. achilleszero

    achilleszero Emperor

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    Ive always felt like the medieval era was missing a unit or two. But I really dont see a place to add a unit or know what it could be.

    Maybe the pumping of the pikeman went too far? Or is the problem solely with the Heavy footman?
     
  2. phungus420

    phungus420 Deity

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    I was just brainstorming, and came up with this:

    Heavy Footman +10% vs Archery Units
    Crossbow increase cost to 75:hammers:, targets melee units first in combat outside of cities.
     
  3. Berenthor

    Berenthor King

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    As a question related more to the UB of Egypt: how usefull is the extra two priests? I myself don't really like it as bonus and like the stele or totem pole bonusses a lot better and more usefull and stronger. Is this just me? I know it was original firafix still but maybe this has been brought up before in discussions.
     
  4. phungus420

    phungus420 Deity

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    This wouldn't work the way I want it to. I want archers to still be able to defend melee stacks, I just don't want mounted to defend against X-bows. Fortunately though I can set multiple UnitCombatTargets. So how about this?

    X-bow increased to 70:hammers:, targets archery, gunpowder, melee first in combat outside cities.
     
  5. Roland Johansen

    Roland Johansen Deity

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    (reply spread over two posts due to picture limit of 10 per post)

    Sorry that I didn't reply earlier. I knew that I wanted to take some time to make a good reply and I didn't have that time earlier.

    I have version 0.9.3 of LoR installed on my computer and trebuchets and catapults still have the same maximum collateral damage and maximum damage value as in regular BTS (50% and 75% respectively according to the information from the file CIV4UnitInfos.xml from the mod). I do remember some discussion along the lines of limiting the damage of siege units, but apparently it hasn't been added to this version although you think it is. :confused:

    Still, if you're really willing to make the main city attackers necessary for taking a city, then you'll have to go a lot further than limiting damage to 50%. A unit that is damaged to 50% of its hitpoints is already weakened to such an extent that any contemporary opposing unit will beat it with good odds even if the weakened unit is the counter unit of its attacker. Hitpoints matter a lot in combat odds.

    Since a picture is worth a thousands words, I'll show some pictures of the odds of three attackers attacking a wounded fortified longbowman: a maceman, a pikeman and a spearman. All units are unpromoted as the city garrison promotions of the longbowman cancel out the city raider promotions of the attackers. The city defence bonus is 0 as this can easily be bombarded to that level. The longbowman is fully fortified. The city is on flatlands. These are assumptions, but I can't test every case.
    The first three pictures show attackers attacking a full healthy longbowman, the next three a longbowman at 80hp, then at 75hp, the next post at 70hp, then at 50hp, then at 25hp

    Spoiler :












    100hp longbowman vs maceman
    100hp longbowman vs pikeman
    100hp longbowman vs spearman
    80hp longbowman vs maceman
    80hp longbowman vs pikeman
    80hp longbowman vs spearman
    75hp longbowman vs maceman
    75hp longbowman vs pikeman
    75 hp longbowman vs spearman
     

    Attached Files:

  6. Roland Johansen

    Roland Johansen Deity

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    Spoiler :











    As you can see, at 25 hp, the current damage limit of trebuchets, even the spearman has excellent odds to win. At 50 hp, the spearman will likely lose but still has a fair chance to win. At 50 hp, the odds of the pikeman are very good. So if trebuchets weaken defenders to 50 hp, then it doesn't matter to take macemen into your stack. Pikeman will defeat the defenders anyway when damaged upto this level. Around 70-80 hitpoints for the longbowman, you can see a clear difference between the odds for the maceman and the pikeman.

    As I mentioned in an earlier post, I prefer a different balance than Firaxis does. Firaxis created a game balance where a few siege units are lost when attacking cities, but after a sacrifice of several of them, the rest of the siege units can attack with good odds while weakening the defenders further (until very low hitpoint totals 15-25hps depending on the type of siege unit in BTS). The main city attackers can then just walk into the city slaughtering the city defenders. If you bring enough siege units, then you will rarely lose a normal unit while attacking a city. It also means that defending a city with many city defending units is a hopeless case. You'll have to counterattack in your own turn to keep a city against a stack with siege units.

    I prefer a balance where siege units will rarely be lost when attacking a city (odds 90+%) but will only weaken the defenders up to the point where the odds for the main city attackers are decent (not good). This way the number of city defenders does matter as they will kill a good number of city attackers.
    So in my personal modification of LoR, that would mean that trebuchets will only damage defenders for something between 20 and 25 hitpoints. Maybe, I'll consider a slightly higher value after testing macemen versus their counter unit city defender, the crossbowman. It will take some time to balance this right across all the ages of civ4.

    Of course, my preference is very different from the one of Firaxis and thus likely not suitable to this mod. Still the various pictures might give you an idea at how the limit the damage of the trebuchet so that the maceman will be far more attractive as a city attacker than the pikeman.

    Also note that even though I will very likely mod LoR a bit to my personal taste, I really think it's a great mod. We just all have slightly different preferences.

    70hp longbowman vs maceman
    70hp longbowman vs pikeman
    70hp longbowman vs spearman
    50hp longbowman vs maceman
    50hp longbowman vs pikeman
    50hp longbowman vs spearman
    25hp longbowman vs maceman
    25hp longbowman vs pikeman
    25hp longbowman vs spearman
     

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  7. bigfatjonny

    bigfatjonny Warlord

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    Some excellent discussion going on here.

    Yes I agree, ancient seems to work very well, but the footman seems to have lost his place.


    However I also totally agree with Roland. Today I steam rollered about 6 cities with the loss of about 5 bombards. My stack was made up of 40% seige and the rest units. I only lost a unit or two by bad luck.

    This does not represent a very realistic battle. Seige is there to smash defenses, not destroy the units behind the walls. Collateral damage from seige allows you to attack with very little heavy attacking forces.
     
  8. Roland Johansen

    Roland Johansen Deity

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    Weird, the uploaded images in post 45 were suddenly the same ones as in post 46, and the spoiler in post 45 was empty for some reason. That wasn't the case when I had just uploaded them. I reuploaded them and added them again. Lets see if they stay there this time. :confused:

    edit: For some reason, I can't have the pictures show in the 2 subsequent posts, but the links to the pictures work.

    edit2: Huh, now the pictures are back again. Something on this forum is not working correctly. :confused:
     
  9. Roland Johansen

    Roland Johansen Deity

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    I had forgotten to respond to this one and see that no one else has. My main question would be why you want to change the counter for the crossbowman away from knights?

    Historically: Mounted units were regularly used to scare away ranged units that moved to the front areas of an army (in order to get the most out of the range of their ranged weapons at the start of a battle). The mounted units would quickly move to their position which would force them back behind other units that could protect them or be annihilated in the charge. So with their speed, knights would effectively somewhat protect slower heavy melee units against bombardment by missile troops (until the armies had moved closer to one another and missile troops could fire at the enemy behind the protection of other troops).
    Ranged units would most likely die when their army was retreating as that would be the first moment that they wouldn't enjoy the protection of other units. Mounted units did the most killing during a retreat.
    So tactically, mounted units were the counter against ranged units in medieval combat. The heavy melee units wouldn't be able to catch up with them to kill them.

    Gameplay: If you remove the knight as a defender of crossbowmen, then there is no contemporary unit that has better than 50% odds against attacking crossbowmen (mjah except maybe the rare elephants). The crossbowman is also a strong unit in the current setup as there is only one type of unit that can reliably beat it: mounted units. Other units have worse than 50% odds against it. So they have a useful role in stacks: defend against melee units, kill enemy melee units in stacks without mounted units.

    But I must say: the idea that you can remove some units as potential defenders against other units does offer options to the civ4 combat mechanism. Especially in game settings with lots of different units of the same time period or when you want to represent the special options of some unit. Other combat mechanisms already make sure that siege units aren't targeted first but otherwise this trick could help.

    For instance, the submarine. It would historically go after the weak (measured by armor) ships with high value: transports and carriers. But destroyers and other escort ships would try to intervene. Battleships and other main combat ships wouldn't mess with the submarines as they didn't have the right equipment to do so and would often manoeuvre too slow to intercept submarines. Much of this is already in the game due to the various bonuses that ships have against other ships and due to the flanking attack of the submarines. The only thing is that battleships in a stack are targeted by submarines before transports and carriers which is a bit weird. Not that I find this a real big game problem or something as the current naval setup is a huge improvement over the one in BTS. But I just thought that your idea where you can avoid certain units when attacking could be used here if you wish to do that.
     
  10. MrPopov

    MrPopov King

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    I would like to suggest that Great General points not accumulate when fighting minor civs. It seems the drawbacks of prolonged war with "real" civs do not apply with minor civs (war weariness for example) so it is easy to farm them for xp and great generals among other things.
     
  11. GONdorman

    GONdorman ROCK´N ROLL PEOPLE!!!!

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    I have some suggestions as well:

    - Longbowmen should be left out. It may sound radically dumb:D, but if you think about it, it makes good, good sense. All units have already got counters (Pikemen>Knights>Crossbows>Melee), so they dont fit in...

    - Heavy Footmen AKA Macemen should get +10%:strength: when attacking cities (they arent very useful for the time being IMHO). Alternatively, they could get City Raider I at start...

    - It would be cool if Paratroopers got +10%:strength: when fighting in cities (either attacking or defending

    - In the early game, years pass to fast methinks. Mainly because in the early game (first 40/50 turns) there´s not much to do. Problem is, these "early game" means from 5000 BC to, say, 1500 BC. At that rythm, wars, big armies and stuff only start appearing by 500 BC. What I mean is, each turn in the early game should represent less years than what it does right now (IE instead of 50 years, 25 yers and such).
    · Another solution would be to make the early game longer by adding some more turns...:crazyeye:. Again might sound like radical crap but it´s only a suggestion, and should be taken as such

    @Roland Johansen

    Good post sir, completely agree with your thoughts:hatsoff:
     
  12. Alsark

    Alsark Noble

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    So this probably has nothing to do with LoR per se, but it should be changed nonetheless.

    I have attached two pictures both pertaining to the "medicine" event. The second option... doesn't sound particularly favorable.

    Alas, my brother made us reload (for about the 502nd time that game, because he kept making mistakes), so while I wanted to try the second option just to see if anything special would happen, I wasn't able to (since events are not seeded [which is a good thing - I always reload when the Barbarian Uprisings occur]).
     

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  13. achilleszero

    achilleszero Emperor

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    Unlikely that will ever happen. Longbows are integral part of the game. Archers dont have counters really either or musketman. Their the base city defenders, they really dont need counters. Anything you throw at a city that can beat it is their counter.

    There wasnt much going on in the world at that time anyway. 500 BC is about right time frame for large empires and armies to be sprouting up. The date system is always off no matter how much you change it. If you make the early turns shorter year interval then it throws off the rest of the game. The date doesnt really matter, its the turns. Try playing epic and marathon. It has a slightly better time scale, but not much.
     
  14. Roland Johansen

    Roland Johansen Deity

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    It's event 17 in this list.

    I agree that the chance (odds 67% btw) of additional benefits of the extra investment should be mentioned.
     
  15. Alsark

    Alsark Noble

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    Ah, thanks. Figured there had to have been something to it. I didn't even have the third option presented to me, though (usually it's at least grayed out).
     
  16. Roland Johansen

    Roland Johansen Deity

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    I think you misunderstood. When you pick option 2 you pay some gold and then get the exact same benefits of option 1 which makes option 2 sound like a worse option. However, there is a hidden potential benefit to option 2, namely the benefits named in part 3 of the event that I linked.

    To sum it up:

    Option 1: +1:commerce: on tile
    Option 2: pay 100 gold, +1:commerce: on tile and a 67% chance of +3 :health: and +1 free scientist in a nearby city.

    (The 67% isn't mentioned in the linked list of events, but I got it from the xml-entry of the event. The linked list just talks about a chance, not that it is 67%.)

    The problem I have with this is that a part of the bonus of option 2 is hidden (at least when you're not using sources of information outside of the game like I just did). That would be fitting for a roleplaying game, but not for a strategy game.
     
  17. Alsark

    Alsark Noble

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    Oh, lol, I did misunderstand. I thought it said there was a chance of getting +3 commerce instead of +1. Not sure how I got that. Thanks!
     
  18. bigfatjonny

    bigfatjonny Warlord

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    I dont think longbows need leaving out but I see your reasoning. Do all units need an exact counter? And all units do have a counter, a massive stack of seige equipment that rolls up and smashes everything to bits.

    Agree with Roland again.

    The more I think about it the more Im not sure about the pikeman needs tweeking at all. Even without their upgrades I use pikemen all the time, they are excellent counters for knights.
    I understand that pikemen were historically used as an infantry unit and that that is not represented in the game, you wouldn't use them for anything except knights at the moment. Would it not be better to raise their base strength and cut down on the +100% knights?
    Also doesn't the Footman also represent a melee unit that could be pike carrying? It used to be called macemen, but this was changed to make it less ethically representative. If the goal is just to represent pikes more, then use a pike name/graphic for the footman, and have the existing pikeman as a specialist in cavelry defense.

    I think that Roland's point a page back was much more important. Once you get good siege equipment then conquest gets conciderably easier. The maximum damage of siege does not represent what siege equipment was used for historically. It was for destroying defenses and making an enterance, not for killing the defensive forces.
    Against the AI I actually prefer to attack cities than units in the field if I have plenty of siege. You can get all the units together on one tile, suicide the first on or two, then have 99% chance against the rest. Siege with +city and CR promotions get massive bonuses for attacking.

    If you want to be able to represent sieges better then we need some way of having a system like in Total War, where the defending forces can only last a certain number of turns and take damage every turn the city is sieged.
     
  19. Roland Johansen

    Roland Johansen Deity

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    A plea for a classical age city defender.

    Each age in the game has several units that are good at cracking cities. Especially siege units are often required for this job. LoR added siege units to the ancient age and added an earlier classical age siege unit and thereby made city conquest in these ages a bit more viable. When a good city attack stack can be created, the attacker will lose less units to defeat the city defenders. Of course, it does cost some investment to get this city attack stack early in the game.

    To avoid making city conquest too easy, the axeman was toned down a bit as main city attacker of the start of the game. However, I think that city defence against the swordsman was overlooked a bit. The swordsman is only weakened ever so slightly in LoR at attacking cities while it shouldn't have to face 20% or 40% culture (or higher) defence bonuses any more now that it is supported by siege units.

    The normal Civ4 BTS game doesn't really need a unit that can stand up to the swordsman after city defences are stripped because city defences can't be stripped that early in the game. Thus while the game progresses from the ancient to the classical age, cultural city defences go up from 0%-20% to 20%-40% which helps archers first beat axemen and then swordsmen. However, in LoR these city defences can be removed by siege units and the archer is alone in its task to face the swordsman.

    Almost every age in the game has one or more units that are especially good at defending cities while their role outside of cities is smaller:
    Ancient: archer
    Medieval: Longbowman, Crossbowman
    Renaissance: Musketman
    Industrial: Rifleman, Squad Infantry, Machine Gun
    Modern: Motorised Infantry
    Future: Mechanised Infantry

    The classical age misses this unit and it shows: Unfortified, the ancient age archer has strength 4.5 when defending a city. Fully fortified it is increased to 5.25. Both of these values are not enough to have a decent shot at defeating a swordsman at strength 6. It has essentially become an obsolete unit at city defence once the swordsman comes around and there is no unit to replace it in this role until the medieval longbowman (which has been delayed in LoR).

    One could argue that the counter unit of the swordsman, the axeman could fill this void but it is not really well suited for the job: it can't get the city garrison promotions and thus is not well equiped to stop city raider swordsmen. It would rather fight the swordsmen outside of the city than defending the city. It would be similar to defending a city in medieval times with the new and improved pikemen instead of longbowmen against city raider macemen.

    The ancient age archer was initially (normal civ4) designed to face axeman and swordsman which was possible due to ever increasing cultural defence bonuses. Now with the axeman reduced in strength and city raider swordsmen that don't have to face cultural defence bonuses, it has become very strong against axemen (5.25 vs 4) and very weak against swordsmen (5.25 vs 6).

    Historically, some improvements were made to the bow between the primitive bow with stone tipped arrows and the medieval longbow. Metal arrow tips and composite bows were both developed during the ancient and classical age. So, I would be in favour of a base strength 4 composite bowman at the start of the classical age (mathematics maybe) while increasing the tech cost of iron working a bit as the swordsman is very powerful when you can get it early. For game balance, it should be easier to get the defending unit than the attacking unit. The normal archer could get a small reduction in city defence bonus from +50% to +25% as it doesn't have to face strength 5 and 6 city attackers anymore.

    So:
    archer: strength 3 +25% city and hill defence (fully fortified strength 4.5 in cities vs strength 4 axemen)
    composite bowman: strength 4 +25% city and hill defence, +10% vs swordsmen (fully fortified strength 6.4 in cities vs strength 6 swordsmen)
    longbowman: strength 6 +25% city and hill defence (fully fortified strength 9 in cities vs strength 8 macemen)
     
  20. BobTheTerrible

    BobTheTerrible Just Another Bob

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    I agree with the addition of a composite bow unit, especially given the additional ancient siege units and the AI's additional adeptness at attacks. However, Phungus has stated there will be no new content added to LoR, but if anyone makes the unit and uploads the relevant files I would love to include it in my game.
     

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