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Civ 6 is all about war-mongering and potential fix to balance.

Discussion in 'Civ - Ideas & Suggestions' started by MGplayer, Jun 8, 2017.

  1. MGplayer

    MGplayer Chieftain

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    I enjoy the new format and changes in CIV 6. And I believe CIV 6 is tantalizing close to being the best CIV by far. Unfortunately, every difficult decision is currently best resolved by warmongering. Since, warmongering is the de facto resolution, all the the other intricacies can be ignored on the path to victory. And this is a significant shame.

    Most people, who recognize this issue blame the AI and it would be great if the AI was better. But programing a non-exploitable AI for tactical warfare is difficult at best. So I started to think, what would be some simple fixes would could help the AI survive warfare and be better at warfare without the massive investment of building a better tactical warfare engine.

    First lets identify, the easiest way to exploit the AI, I have found.
    1) fight the AI away from its cities (even better near my cities), destroy its army, and take over it cities. Cities can not successfully defend themselves, without assistance from military forces. Rinse and repeat until the game is done.

    This exploit works because, it takes a long time to build any new military units. So once the AI military is defeated or severely weakened, the AI is done and will never recover. Then it is just matter taking over the cities. Only cities with very favorable geography will pose any obstacle.

    So, if the military units were cheaper (probably even significantly cheaper 1/2 to 1/3 of cost) to build, the AI could recover quicker and put up a better fight. Also the AI would need to a be tuned to build military units while at war.

    But making military units cheaper allows building massive militaries, which creates a new exploit.

    This could be balanced, by making the military units have higher maintenance costs. So large militaries would bankrupt the player or the AI.

    This still leaves an unfair (too great) advantage of large expansive empires over small defensive empires. This can be balanced by flexible maintenance costs.
    Here is a example of flexible maintenance costs. The actual additional cost would need to be vetted for best result.
    1) unit stationed in a city cost or military encampment cost X
    2) units stationed outside city or in allied empire cost X+1 (except scouts)
    3) units stationed outside the empire cost X+2 (except scouts)
    4) units stationed another CIVs empire at war cost X+3 (except scouts)

    This also brings scouts back into the game. At this time, it is better to explore with military units and forgo scouts.

    This would force individuals to use solutions outside of pure warmongering to beat the AI at higher levels. For the player, warmongering would become a weighted choice instead of the de facto solution. For the AI the calculated choice to build military and go to war is a bit more complicated but does not appear to be an overly complex calculation.

    With these changes, I could not beat the AI at its higher settings anymore. So it would be conceivable, the AI bonuses could be reduced (maybe even significantly) and AI would still be more competitive and the game more enjoyable.

    Hope this helps,
     
  2. stormerne

    stormerne is just a Retired Moderator

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    That's a creative though fairly complex solution to your problem. (I'll leave aside the debates about whether the problem is minor or major, real or imagined etc.) Wouldn't it just be simpler to leave things as they are and go to one simple solution based on your original statement? You said:
    The easiest way to fix this is to ensure the AI units need not be far away from their cities. And the easiest way to implement that would be a very limited return to unit stacking, specifically that units can stack in, and only in, city centers (and possibly encampments, though maybe to a limited extent). With a potentially large number of defending troops in a city, and protected by the city, I suspect no other changes would be required to achieve your desired outcome.
     
  3. MGplayer

    MGplayer Chieftain

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    Thanks for your reply,

    Needed to think about your answer for a while before responding. Wished to ensure, I gave worthwhile response. :)

    Your answer: The easiest way to fix this is to ensure the AI units need not be far away from their cities. Is a one step solution to the issue at hand and it appears to be a simple solution. But lets look at it closer, the word "need" makes this answer complex. AI do not understand "need" unless it is programmed to understand "need" better.

    For the AI to understand its "need" requires a vastly improved tactical engine. The AI would need to understand how some or all of these items; to weigh its tactical advantage better, weigh avenues of attack better, weigh avenues of retreat better, weigh avenues how to approach and attack a city better, understand how to exploit opponent's positioning of forces better.

    If we take the simple answer and just say the increase the AI equation for its numerical advantage before engaging in war. Then we create the consequence that the will AI deploy turtling tactics and the Human can exploit turtling both aggressively and defensively. With no expansion restrictions in CIV 6 and the AI still not expanding by settlers effectively, turtling tactics would likely hurt the AI more than it helped. Expanding by settlers would become even easier than it is today in CIV 6. If the AI gets expansion by settlers fixed and turtling becomes the defacto tactic, then the game devolves to Phase 1 expansion by settler Phase 2 turtle. This would be less than ideal.

    If we take the answer of stacking units in a city, then turtling might become the the de facto solution and aggressive warfare would become too difficult. Limited stacking might be a good answer, City can host 1 unit with walls can host 2 units. A similar model could be used for encampments. But even this limited model appears to swing the issue too far in the opposite direction and to make turtling a de facto solution. This solution does not address unlimited expansion issues the human can exploit in CIV 6. And appears to make it easier to exploit settle and defend strategy.

    Now Civ 5 did improve its AI by using tactical turtling and it was significantly effective. The AI would position, it forces near its city, if the AI calculated it was at a disadvantage. With CIV 5, if you could get the AI to move it units away from city and destroy the AI army, this did not mean you automatically could take cities. This was because CIV 5 used happiness to reduce massive uncontrolled expansion and new Military units could be raised faster. CIV 6 has no expansion control mechanism and Military units take a long time to build. So tactical turtling if deployed properly, would likely help CIV 6 AI but would not as effective as tactical turtling was in helping the CIV 5 AI.

    So, if CIV 6 uses Military Maintenance to restrain uncontrolled expansion, this mechanism creates play balance and by removing an exploit where the AI is weak, makes the limited AI a more effective opponent. Lowering cost of building Military units also helps the AI recover from a bad military deployment and makes a single mistake less catastrophic for the AI. Promotions still make Military unit retention important for the Human player. Human use promotions to gain an advantage over the AI. So, it does not appear Humans could use less costly but conditionally higher maintenance military units as effectively as the AI could.

    Thanks,
     

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