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Discussion on Civ 4 combat

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by Arminius14, Nov 23, 2014.

  1. Arminius14

    Arminius14 Chieftain

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    This is my first post, so please bear with me. I have question for all about the way combat is done in civ4 BTS in particular, and yes I did read the guide to the combat matrix. I still wonder why some things were not done to change some pretty serious flaws in combat. I noticed it had changed from vanillia civ4 and the change was not good. I am especially talking about "Axeman defeats a tank" syndrome. Clearly for air units attacking land units without the ability to reach an aircraft, something was done written into code to prevent the ridiculous concept of a phalanx or even basic rifleman from responding to an attack they could not possibly hope to defend. However, apparently axemen can reduce a tank regiment unit by 1/3. This is sort of extreme un-realism significantly reduces the enjoyment of the game for me. I like the civilizations franchise historical context. I don't think of it as a world where axemen shoot tank melting magical fireballs from their axes. So when I see that happen, I feel compelled to reload the game and attack again until the more realistic thing happens and the axeman is crushed like bug. Vanilla civ4 had this problem also but to a much lesser extent. It seems the designers thought it had to be tit for tat combat no matter what? How could swordmen possibly defend on an open field against riflemen? Also why would spearmen get a combat bonus against horse units on the attack? They would never be able to catch the horse archers etc, its preposterous. In civ 2 pikemen only got the bonus against horse when they were defending and that is accurate. I don't have any problem suspending my disbelief on many fronts for the sake of gameplay but this really is too much. Any thoughts or actual knowledge of what the designers were actually thinking? I like the game it would be perfect if there was a fix or patch for this stuff or something. :confused: TIA!
     
  2. traius

    traius His own worst enemy

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    If spearmen didn't get a bonus vs HA's, Ha's would be equal to or stronger than anything in the open field until macemen or elephants. HA's would then equal pillage everyone's resources, unless they want to make probably-bad trades. So that is an extension of the "Rock-paper-scissors" combat of the early game (Spear beats HA, HA beats Axes, Axes beat spears). Chariots essentially have the same spot in that dynamic.
    Then archers defend cities well but suck everywhere else and Swords beat archers but are kind of crappy everywhere else (not exactly, but w/e).

    As for tit-for-tat, that's not actually how combat works. Hits are not guaranteed. Every "round" of combat, there is a RNG roll.
    What follows isn't 100% what happens, but basically represents what happens. The RNG roll goes from 0 to (Sum of combat strengths). So let's say modern armour and axeman, open field no promos. The roll goes from 1 to (40 + 5) so 1 to 45. 40 of that 45 represents the tank, and 5 of that 45 represents the axeman. The first numbers are the attacker (the tank) and the last numbers the defender (the axes). Then it rolls the number. The winner of this roll scores a "hit." Let's say a 7 was rolled. 7 is in the first 40 numbers, so the tank hits. If it had been 41-45, the axe would've hit. This represents that in every round of combat, the axe has only an 11% chance of hitting, whereas the tank has an 89% chance of hitting.
    So the hit has been made. Then, damage is done. Each party, if at full health, has 100 hp. Damage varies from ~5 (iirc, could definitely be wrong about the minimum) to ~60 (usually, anything over 50 is irrelevant, but maybe it will matter). If even strength, damage done is 20 (for exactly five hits to kill). In the tank v axe case, the damage would be 50+, meaning it would kill in 2 hits. The axe would only be doing about 5-6, and would thus would take 17-20 hits to win. Thus, to win, the axe would need to win 17-20 combat rounds, and each round has only an 11% chance to be won for the axe. The tank need only win 2 rounds, with each round having an 89% to be won! This means the axe has ~80% of winning without damage (in reality, higher, because modern armour have a first strike which I didn't include which raises the odds to nearly 88%. The odds of losing are lower than 5%x10^-19 This seems very low though, so I think I have got the minimum damage too low. Maybe it's more like 10 instead of 5). This could be represented by ambushes, like dug pits, or running them out of ammo and charging a lone tank. Unlikely to work, and even if it did, you got 1 tank out of the division. Some tanks simply crapped out on their own without meeting the enemy even in the 2nd gulf war. happens, tanks are lost.
     
  3. vandermerwe

    vandermerwe Butt of many jokes

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    Civ simulates strategy, not tactics: you move your forces into position and leave the rest to the RNG. Of course if you line up x swordsmen and x riflemen on an open battlefield and let them slug it out, the riflemen will win. But that's at the tactical level, and armies can and do make dumb tactical decisions (not modelled in Civ) which means a badly-equipped force can beat a better-equipped one - see Isandhlwana, Little Bighorn, Dien Bien Phu etc. So suppose the swordsmen invaded the riflemen's badly-watched camp at night, or captured the weakly guarded ammo train, or created a diversion which drew off many of the riflemen, or suppose the riflemen chose a bad location to fight and allowed themselves to get surrounded? OK, that doesn't explain axemen beating tanks, but as Traius says the chances of that are incredibly low.
     
  4. 6K Man

    6K Man Bureaucrat

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    I don't mean to sound dismissive, but this complaint has been made many, many times, and the reason for the "axe damages tank" outcome is game balance, pure and simple. Spears beat HAs in order to avoid HA rushes being an "I win" strategy in every game. And if Axemen could never damage a Tank, then a single Tank unit could kill a million Axemen, which is equally unrealistic.

    Civ4 combat outcomes aren't representative of real-world military outcomes. You can rationalize them ("the axemen caught the tankers while they were bivouacked for the night"), ignore them, or if you are really irked, there is a game option (IIRC) in which the unit with better odds will always win a battle. Which sounds good, until you realize that Protective Longbows on a hill are basically untouchable until you have Cannon.
     
  5. Ambidexter

    Ambidexter Edjumacated Idjit

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    In 1879 the Battle of Isandlwana was fought between the Zulus and the British. The Zulus were equipped mainly with the traditional assegai iron spears and cow-hide shields while the British had breech-loading Martini-Henry rifles and two small cannon. Despite a vast disadvantage in weapons technology, the numerically superior Zulus ultimately overwhelmed the poorly led and badly deployed British, killing over 1,300 troops. The Zulu army suffered around a thousand killed.

    So history tells us that spearmen can defeat riflemen.
     
  6. Enginseer

    Enginseer Salientia of the Community Patch Supporter

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    Fixed that for you.

    With that fix, we can prove that mobility promotion improves their combat odds. :crazyeye:
     
  7. ThorHammerz

    ThorHammerz zzz

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    :spear:

    Fix'ed. The spearman probably stuck his shaft inside the tank's turret-hole.

    :lol:
     
  8. Robo-Star

    Robo-Star Prince

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    I don't recall seeing that option; are you sure that's not only in a mod? It does sound good, but only if the unit with better odds still takes damage (and hence its odds get progressively lower).
     
  9. nfw

    nfw King

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    This would be easy to fix modifying the XML, though time consuming by using first strike as an era modifier.

    1. remove the ignore first strike promotion.
    2. give modern units a ridiculous amount of first strikes, eg. tanks get 30, axe get 1, so when an axe fights a tank, the tank would get 30-1=29 first strikes.

    Won't completely solve the problem but close enough.
     
  10. Lennier

    Lennier Emperor

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    I like to think of the Battle of Endor where the Ewoks with Classical-era techs (UU slingshotted with catapult support) defeated an imperial legion with armored walkers and blasters (future tech ~250). Sometimes low-tech with unusual tactics and a bit of luck can defeat a technologically superior force. Even without using the Force. ;)
     
  11. Mizar

    Mizar IM

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    Isandhlwana you're right.
    other 2 you're wrong.
    Little Bighorn not only where the Natives superior in numbers but also had better rifles.
    Dien Bien Phu similar, the Viet Minh had way more artillery with larger rounds, apart from also beeing vastly numerical superior.
     
  12. traius

    traius His own worst enemy

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    Meh, even isandhlwana is probably wrong. The Zulu force was far greater in size than the British force. In game, it would be like 10 high combat impi units attacked 1 British redcoat. The first impi in the stack attacked and died, but the RNG was not bad and it did some damage to the redcoat. Based on the estimates of Zulu casualties, perhaps a second impi attacked and died as well. Then the second (or third) impi attacked, and got a good RNG outcome and wiped out the injured redcoat. But overall, the impis lost a very comparable number of men compared to the British, so I'd say both lost at least a unit on the "board."

    EDIT: Battle info (from wikipedia):
    Zulu forces about 20,000
    British Forces: 1837

    Losses:
    Zulu: ~1000-2000 dead, ~2000 wounded
    British: ~1300 dead, the rest fleeing or captured
     
  13. Arminius14

    Arminius14 Chieftain

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    Ok, first I want to say thank you for all your replies. However, I feel few actually answered my question and none took note of the fact I mentioned that there are special rules for aircraft vs land units, and why can't that be done for other areas of extreme technological differences. Yes, there have rare cases of technologically inferior armies overcoming superior ones, almost ALWAYS as a result of overwhelming numbers. But we are talking 1 on 1 in civ, and those were the exceptions not the rule. I am talking about the rule, which in Civ4 BTS is first time attacking always losing anywhere from 1/3-2/3 of your unit to radically inferior opponents. Also in civ2, pikemen (spearman) only got the bonus on defense. I don't see why that should change I don't see how it effects game balance it still protects from horse unit attacks. Please read actually what I wrote, instead of just skimming thru it. I understand this has been a complaint many times but it was my first post here I don't know that :) Anyway, also noted is game balance, but really I think its the opposing civs fault for not coming anywhere near keeping up with the tech level of other civilizations. I wish I knew how to change the XML, or whatever decides the values for the combat matrix, thanks for that suggestion I will try to look up how to do that.
     
  14. Arminius14

    Arminius14 Chieftain

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    Oh and as far as a million axemen vs a tank division: The tanks could run over the axemen until they ran out of gas! To say nothing of actually using weapons. The axemen could never ever hope to defeat a tank, short of waiting until the thing ran out of gas and starving the guys inside out. Its just ridiculous. If you don't believe it watch that vid of chinese tanks running over a guy in Tianamen square. Lol.
     
  15. Old Hippy

    Old Hippy Deity

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    should also watch the vids of burning APC's there too, and with no axes !!!!!
    but an axeman dose not become stupid in the industrial age, and would have no problem filling a bottle with petrol, the game still has tanks winning most battles it just means occasionally axemen catch the enemy unprepared or overconfident and not aware of IED's
     
  16. Mec AntiKythera

    Mec AntiKythera King

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    It seems to me a rather inaccurate assumption that tanks never malfunction on their own and the soldiers running them never make mistakes. It is unfortunately so that people in automobiles can drive out into the desert and die, with no axemen involved. Equipment fails and people commit errors. In addition, military leaders are capable of inventing brilliant tactics to win battles they should rightfully lose. Nothing is certain, not even a tank.
     
  17. clanky4

    clanky4 Emperor

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    I think its a bit dumb when a full health unit with ~90% combat odds gets killed. They shouldn't die in that situation. Just take a good deal of damage at the very worst.
     
  18. elitetroops

    elitetroops Deity

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    If they couldn't die, then they wouldn't have only 90% odds.

    To everyone upset about this, just bring more units and it won't bother you anymore. And if losing with 90% odds makes you angry, whatever you do, stay away from online poker!
     
  19. traius

    traius His own worst enemy

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    Actually, the image you're talking about of "the guy" being run over by a tank ISN'T run over. A common misconception. He actually climbs on top of the tank.

    Link to video.

    As for them running over a million axemen no problem, why are you assuming the axemen are complete idiots who simply stand in line waiting to be run over? Why do they never attempt to board it? Why do they never attempt to pick a place where the tank is forced to slow down (steep hills) or stop (heavily forested areas?). While attempting to chop a tank with an axe is a waste of effort, tanks OPEN on the top, and once inside, an axe CAN chop the drivers. A likely scenario? Probably not. But in WW2, tanks WERE hopped on, and grenades WERE thrown inside. They just waited until the tanks were inside cities or broke down before such an assault. Attempting to charge headlong into a tank on open flat ground would be suicide, but running up from a blind alley on the tank's flank and hopping aboard IS possible.
    As for air combat, it's a specially scripted part of the game. Air units belong to the category AIR, and AIR can only be injured by other AIR or those with INTERCEPT. I guess they could make a group WW1-MODERN that can only be injured by WW1 - MODERN, but then does it really make sense that a tank could beat an _infinite_ amount of musketmen? No, not really. Some, especially early, tanks had open tops. Burning alcohol (molotov cocktails) was an effective weapon against these tanks. While explosives were beyond the knowledge of axemen, alcohol and fire were not, and certainly musketmen understand basic explosives (gunpowder!). Enough gunpowder could kill the drivers inside a tank, even if that tank might still be reparable, and killing the drivers is the same as defeating the tank from a practical standpoint. A 'division' of axemen successfully burning or hopping aboard every modern tank in a whole division being less than 1/1,000,000? Certainly. But their odds of in game ARE less than 1/1,000,000.
     
  20. elitetroops

    elitetroops Deity

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    Btw. being run over by a tank is not necessarily that bad. Just lie down flat in the middle of the tank and you're safe. They have enough ground clearance. I know, because I have been run over by a tank.

    Edit: that last sentence makes so much sense if quoted out of context :lol:
     

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