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[NFP] [discussion] Major flaws of Civ VI - part 1: City combat strength and defense

Honestly for me, it's pathfinding. I send a force of three units and they have to pass by a CS on the way. A stray unit happens to cross their projected path in 15 turns, and my units are all bewildered. One suggests going 30 turns out of their way to get around it. It's chaos, over a single unit that was in their path and would have moved by the time they get there.

Or trying to get multiple units through a 1 or 2 hex pass - you have to move them individually, in the right order, one move at a time.

I don't know the solution, but it will probably add a good week onto my life expectancy due to reduced stress.

1 UPT
Low movement allowance
Lots of bad terrain with movement penalties

You need to remove at least one of these, because movement is basically a Solve The Sliding Tile Puzzle Minigame that no AI is going to handle well

As far the wall spam goes, I think the AI recently got a priority and perhaps a boost to building walls and encampments because they are suddenly everywhere

I’ve fought entire wars where the enemy AI literally had zero units, and it was just a grindfest against static defenses, which is even less fun than it sounds.
 
While allowing that Civ 6 is a game and not a historical simulation, one can note that in Civ 6 every time a city is taken, it is taken by assault. Historically, it was more normal in a siege to starve the defenders out. Also, it was not uncommon for a deal to be struck along the lines of "If we don't get a relieving army in three weeks, we'll surrender". Which goes back to a previous poster's point about the importance of units.
 
I’m finding that with a mod that gives a 25 CS boost to AI against all district defenses (AI or player), but no bonus to the player, the AI can be a reasonable threat, I get wiped out in ancient if I don’t focus on military, and the AI continues to capture each other’s cities throughout the game (most games they capture 5-7). This really effects coastal cities, as a galley can capture a city, requiring you to build/buy a few in defense. I recently had to sail my Renaissance navy across the map to defend against Norway who captured a coastal city before I could counterattack. I also no longer take cities until the area is secure, since with +25 CS any unit can few 50 damage to a city, killing the unit I just took the city with.

Part of why this works so well seems to be that AI can take out walls using units, without siege. They do much better with siege, but it suggests that even a little more CS against cities could really balance things. I really like the idea of walls having diminished protection against units of later eras, to take advantage of this dynamic.

You can also play around with the pseudoyield_city values to increase overall aggression. One in particular, you could remove the effect of neighboring units to prevent the AI shuffling their plan whenever you move defenders. Though the AI does do pretty well when they attack your undefended front.

I’ve been plying 1UPT recently, since I had found I abuse stacking better than the AI, but when using ARS strategic movement (stacking, +1 move), whenever the AI rolled up a catapult guarded be a swordsman, it did get pretty scary. I’ve been playing with pacing mods lately that effectively make units cheaper relative to game pace, and at least with real strategy, this causes the AI to build up pretty meaningful armies, usually 1500-2000 by early Renaissance. I think I’ll turn back on ARS when I try the update, since in my most recent game, I know I would have taken much higher casualties with the stacking, when my and the AI’s full armies squared off on their border. Stacking seems to help the player avoid casualties when battles are smaller, whereas not stacking helps avoid casualties when battles are larger.

Edit: Oh wait, it was when I played with stacking against Gaul that I stopped.


Taeflin, What is the mod you have to add the +25 to CS and what is the ARS mod? I may add both after tomorrow.
 
1 UPT
I’ve fought entire wars where the enemy AI literally had zero units, and it was just a grindfest against static defenses, which is even less fun than it sounds.

Same here, and it really kills my enjoyment of the game at times.
Walls are atm just a massive crutch that the devs implemented as a band-aid-fix instead of tackling the deeper problem.
 
it favors builder civs (who focus on technology and/or culture) over militaristic civs.

It's for this exact reason I like this mechanic. The fun in playing Civ is in building an empire, not building military units. I don't want to feel forced into building a large standing army in an empire building game. A small defensive force should suffice in my opinion, and I'm glad it does. That said, I'd agree walls are a bit overpowered at it stands, and it makes going on offense too difficult at higher difficulty levels.
 
It's for this exact reason I like this mechanic. The fun in playing Civ is in building an empire, not building military units. I don't want to feel forced into building a large standing army in an empire building game. A small defensive force should suffice in my opinion, and I'm glad it does. That said, I'd agree walls are a bit overpowered at it stands, and it makes going on offense too difficult at higher difficulty levels.

The fun is in having more than one viable playstyle.

Civ6 is VERY builder focused. Diety is a challenge because the AI gets a massive head start in the builder race. You can easily afford to hilariously neglect your military.

To make warfare fun the AI has to be greatly improved, and this leads straight back to two problems:

The AI not building enough units

The 1 UPT/low movement allowance/restrictive terrain penalties in both movement and using ranged units combo

I’d increase the move allowance AND remove the silly LOS thing for ranged units and see if that helps

Which brings me to yet another OP bs facet of walls; the city ranged strike doesnt have to obey LOS rules.

How exactly are “defender sorties” or whatever the ranged strike is supposed to be teleporting past a wall of sieging melee units to kill the sieged ones?
 
It's for this exact reason I like this mechanic. The fun in playing Civ is in building an empire, not building military units. I don't want to feel forced into building a large standing army in an empire building game. A small defensive force should suffice in my opinion, and I'm glad it does.
Personally I find there to be a lot of fun in fielding a strong military and making use of it. Is fielding a strong military somehow not part of building an empire?
 
Personally I find there to be a lot of fun in fielding a strong military and making use of it. Is fielding a strong military somehow not part of building an empire?
It should also come at a steep cost as well.

I'm fine with making walls weaker, as long as they double the current upkeep cost of military units in exchange, for example.

As of know, declaring war is too easy with very little risk of not getting anything out of it (thanks to pillaging and the aggressor getting to position his units to pillage all the important things on the very first turn). The diplomatic consequences of doing so is laughable (diplomacy in this game is non-existent thanks to grievances not doing anything!). Whereas in reality declaring a war is a very weighty decision which needs careful planning, and the defender often requires a far less impressive military force than the attacker.

I propose:

Walls reduce damage from non-siege units by half or so, rather than by the 90% of something that it feels like. All capitals now start with ancient walls.
Walls now increase a stationed ranged unit's attack by 10, 15, and 20 (30 for Tsikhe) and attack range by 1 rather than having an innate ranged attack as well as give them unobstructed line of fire. Cities now gain combat strength bonuses if a melee unit is anywhere adjacent to the city center (rather than having to be stationed directly in it).
Units inside and adjacent to city centers now only take reduced damage rather than being completely invulnerable in a city (however, they will still regenerate every turn despite attacking). A player must reduce both the city's HP and the unit directly stationed inside the city center to zero before the city can be taken (if the city's HP reaches zero, the units inside now take full damage). It makes no sense that a full HP GDR newly produced inside a city with red HP will die in one hit once the city goes down.

Grievances tripled for the declarer of the war for the same action as the defender (that is, if the defender takes a city of the aggressor, the grievances are far less) Such that the moment you declare war, you give your new enemy free license to do whatever he wants should the war turn in his favor.
Declaring a surprise war without casus belli now inflicts a huge amount of grievance (300 or so). Pillaging inflicts grievances for each instance (10 per instance).
Grievances against a player reduce all his units' combat strength against you by 1 per 50 points of grievances.
Double cost for all military unit maintenance (such that you are almost required to run the -1/-2 cost per unit cards if you are going for domination).
Tiles belonging to a city cannot be pillaged unless the walls are down.
War weariness now afflicts only the declarer of the war. When war weariness reaches a certain threshold limit, the attacker is forced to automatically peace out with a white peace (players can decide to make peace before then with a deal)
 
It should also come at a steep cost as well.

I'm fine with making walls weaker, as long as they double the current upkeep cost of military units in exchange, for example.

As of know, declaring war is too easy with very little risk of not getting anything out of it (thanks to pillaging and the aggressor getting to position his units to pillage all the important things on the very first turn). The diplomatic consequences of doing so is laughable (diplomacy in this game is non-existent thanks to grievances not doing anything!). Whereas in reality declaring a war is a very weighty decision which needs careful planning, and the defender often requires a far less impressive military force than the attacker.

I propose:

Walls reduce damage from non-siege units by half or so, rather than by the 90% of something that it feels like. All capitals now start with ancient walls.
Walls now increase a stationed ranged unit's attack by 10, 15, and 20 (30 for Tsikhe) and attack range by 1 rather than having an innate ranged attack as well as give them unobstructed line of fire. Cities now gain combat strength bonuses if a melee unit is anywhere adjacent to the city center (rather than having to be stationed directly in it).
Units inside and adjacent to city centers now only take reduced damage rather than being completely invulnerable in a city (however, they will still regenerate every turn despite attacking). A player must reduce both the city's HP and the unit directly stationed inside the city center to zero before the city can be taken (if the city's HP reaches zero, the units inside now take full damage). It makes no sense that a full HP GDR newly produced inside a city with red HP will die in one hit once the city goes down.

Grievances tripled for the declarer of the war for the same action as the defender (that is, if the defender takes a city of the aggressor, the grievances are far less) Such that the moment you declare war, you give your new enemy free license to do whatever he wants should the war turn in his favor.
Declaring a surprise war without casus belli now inflicts a huge amount of grievance (300 or so). Pillaging inflicts grievances for each instance (10 per instance).
Grievances against a player reduce all his units' combat strength against you by 1 per 50 points of grievances.
Double cost for all military unit maintenance (such that you are almost required to run the -1/-2 cost per unit cards if you are going for domination).
Tiles belonging to a city cannot be pillaged unless the walls are down.
War weariness now afflicts only the declarer of the war. When war weariness reaches a certain threshold limit, the attacker is forced to automatically peace out with a white peace (players can decide to make peace before then with a deal)

If the aggressor is getting to perfectly position his units and pillaging everything on his first turn, that is on you for apparently building no military and not responding in any way to an invasion force deploying on your borders

I mean you absolutly should get rolled and absolutly deserve it

Your suggestions are taking the already OP turtle strat in this game and turning it into Gamera
 
If the aggressor is getting to perfectly position his units and pillaging everything on his first turn, that is on you for apparently building no military and not responding in any way to an invasion force deploying on your borders

I mean you absolutly should get rolled and absolutly deserve it

Your suggestions are taking the already OP turtle strat in this game and turning it into Gamera

Unless you fix cavalry units ignoring ZoC, it is actually quite easy for high move units to get in on the first turn (esp once you get the 1 mp to pillage promotion) unless you have a unit stationed on every single pillagable tile. The attacker just needs a handful of light cavalry. This becomes even more prominent when they get movement bonuses on top (GC, India, Persia). Not to mention your trade routes which are by default outside your borders.

I have no idea why you say the turtle strat is OP when warmongering is extremely OP in this game without any drawbacks (no occupied city penalty at all compared to BNW). If you want such a game where war is the only default option then play Starcraft or something.
 
Personally, I don't like how city strength works either.
I believe city defenses should be of fixed strength and require you to build the latest defense to get the highest strength. So for example, medieval walls would have 45:c5strength: and Ren walls would boast 55:c5strength:, but they wouldn't climb around beyond that. (There's only 3 levels of units after that so you can easily make it work - eg automatic urban defenses still require investment to be at par.) You play with the wall HP to get the desired durability. Likewise, I'd just have districts grant city HP instead of defense strength.

I also think most of the rage about walls comes from the hidden resistances, not so much the combat strength itself.

Now, whether the actual exposed city - the green bar - should have it's "invisible garrison" and be a passive unit or not is something for debate, although I'm fine with it being there. Unwalled cities only stop cheese tactics, which is good - you can imagine something like Persia sitting out of sight with a horseman, surprise DOW to grab the +2:c5moves: for like 6 move horses, and sniping half your cities in one turn with no recourse. That would be lame.

I think the best brake on domination, though, is not combat, but money. If your economy cannot afford to occupy cities, then you won't go out capturing. Maybe some raiding instead. When I say money I mean the economy in general, whatever resource that may be. Occupation is not a very serious penalty in 6, and no one ever worries about going broke. In civ5 you absolutely worried about going broke all the time. I miss that aspect. We have loyalty and amenities and such as well, but war shouldn't pay as much as it does in the short run.
 
Walled cities being able to snipe siege units until Industrial feels wrong. if City attacks had a range of one I think this would be an improvement and better represent desperate defenders trying to see off attackers. Walls would not be an empire defence as they are now, if barbarians are maurading across the countryside you'd need to go out and fight them but of course if they headed for the city you could fend them off.
 
Walled cities being able to snipe siege units until Industrial feels wrong. if City attacks had a range of one I think this would be an improvement and better represent desperate defenders trying to see off attackers. Walls would not be an empire defence as they are now, if barbarians are maurading across the countryside you'd need to go out and fight them but of course if they headed for the city you could fend them off.
I wanted to mod exactly that the day after the game was released, and could not find the define value for city attack range, as it was available for civ5.

Ironically the first wall I hit modding civ6. And I can tell you this one also resists attacks.
 
What about walls around encampments? Any thoughts there?

I'm personally cool with those.
They can be strong, annoying and actively hurting your attempt to take a city.
Bu they are after all not a target you need to take down, and so you can often ignore them (with losses of course).
In fact, I kind of think that Encampments need to have walls, as they are pretty trash as a defensive structure without them.
As in, more trash than they already are as a district.
 
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I think the best brake on domination, though, is not combat, but money. If your economy cannot afford to occupy cities, then you won't go out capturing. Maybe some raiding instead. When I say money I mean the economy in general, whatever resource that may be. Occupation is not a very serious penalty in 6, and no one ever worries about going broke. In civ5 you absolutely worried about going broke all the time. I miss that aspect. We have loyalty and amenities and such as well, but war shouldn't pay as much as it does in the short run.

I wouldn't mind getting closer to the civ 5 model of warfare costing a lot (and able to bankrupt you if you mismanaged it), but it shouldn't be as harsh as the civ 5 version either.
Vanilla civ 5 wasn't too bad, but in BNW the negative gold and (especially) negative happiness got too harsh.

I remember one game I had with Zulu, where I was taking about every happiness- and gold-boosting policy I could, spamming Trading Posts in my cities (for the gold), sniping every happiness-wonder I could get my hands on (Notre Dame, Prora, Forbidden City), pillaging when possible etc. etc.
Yet still, I eventually had to raze almost every city I came across in the end (and sell captured workers, lol), because the idiotic gold and happiness system was just too harsh in BNW, making the map consist of huge wastelands of nothing, sprinkled with the odd capital that I had to keep.
So getting closer to civ 5 would be cool, but not copy the system 100% as that was just too harsh at times.
 
As always, look to 4 and not 5 for a straightforward and sensible solution.

Basically, cities cost more the further way they were, so if you were aggressive, you would end up paying a lot of distance maintenance and would need trade to help offset the losses. You also had more maintenance with the more cities you had.

The other thing was the unit maintenance was higher outside your borders too.
 
Unless you fix cavalry units ignoring ZoC, it is actually quite easy for high move units to get in on the first turn (esp once you get the 1 mp to pillage promotion) unless you have a unit stationed on every single pillagable tile. The attacker just needs a handful of light cavalry. This becomes even more prominent when they get movement bonuses on top (GC, India, Persia). Not to mention your trade routes which are by default outside your borders.

I have no idea why you say the turtle strat is OP when warmongering is extremely OP in this game without any drawbacks (no occupied city penalty at all compared to BNW). If you want such a game where war is the only default option then play Starcraft or something.

Again..if cavalry is free to zip around the map unempeded your military is too small and/or poorly positioned.

How much effort to devote to your military and how much to economic development is one of those key tradeoff decisions that define the 4X genre. Civ6 is already ridiculously balanced in favor of the latter
 
What annoys me about city defense is that, when looking at history generally, cities just don't "defend themselves".

Armies can defend cities. Or, in certain points in history, a well-fortified city without many soldiers could hold out for a year or so - at most - against a sustained siege (unless it had sea-based lines of supply). But even then a siege was a brutal experience that could wreck a city.

Just to be blunt about it, if there is a theory behind military history that is embodied by Civ's ideas about defense, it is a nonsensical one.
 
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