Endgame

Discussion in 'Strategy Section' started by Gidoza, Jul 23, 2021.

  1. Gidoza

    Gidoza Emperor

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    I don't know about anyone else, but once I hit the Modern age, at least militarily, things seem to become really lame really quickly (in my favour).

    Horse to Landship to Tank, there seems to be quite a transition. Lancers have only limited effect on Cities, but Tanks can simply mow over them like nothing is there. Combined with railroad, it's easy to batter down a city with little effort.

    Infantry units - which in a previous era would be good tanky units especially with City Assault - suddenly become slow and kind of useless in my opinion. I end up only planting them in cities as a garrison while the Tanks do all the work.

    In general, I find the AI rarely can come up with any meaningful kind of defence as soon as I have even 10 Tanks at work, weaving in and out of the field and ripping things up.


    This isn't to mention Bombers, which once I have a good 6 per city can chew up entire armies in the vicinity (and I haven't noticed much or any interceptors).


    Sea battles seem to get similarly uninteresting as soon as Ironclads and Cruisers show up. It's like when I have Frigates & Corvettes, everything is difficult and a tough slug. The moment Ironclads and Cruisers show up, everything my opponents have suddenly dies.


    I don't know - it's just sort of disappointing to me that the early and mid-game have interesting strategic dynamics for unit positioning and management where slow care is required; and then suddenly in the late game I don't need to care: while behind half an Era in technologies, I was able to take down 5 opponents and lost only two or three units. This feels weird/wrong to me, and I'm not willing to attribute it to any kind of master skill of mine because I'm not doing anything special. Also playing on Immortal. So I don't know...
     
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  2. Hinin

    Hinin King

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    We talked about it a bit with @Milae once, and I go exactly in your direction : comes the endgame, a lot of the "combined arms" strategizing that makes the spice of this mod's warfare disappear : the number of viable military strategies diminishes, the diversity of useful units too, and too much "all-around" power becomes concentrated into few, dominant units (the Tank stands as the most visible example I think).

    I understand that, since each action in the endgame needs to be as decisive as possible (because there is no more long-term effect to things, it is just over in a few dozen turns), the spike in power needs to be felt : compare the power level of the Guerilla unit (Order UU), or of any UC coming after the industrial era, with what you can find before (in term of balance I mean) and you see a sharp increase in overall power per "unique aspect" (a unique promotion will give enormous advantages, a bonus in base CS will be very significant, previous weaknesses disappear). That, combined with the much lower feedback for this part of the game (because people tend either to win or to stop earlier), means that when something becomes too powerful, it is really too powerful, and will stay like this for a while.

    That's a bit of a shame, especially since it is supposed to be the part of the game with the highest diversity of units (you have subs, helicopters, special forces, conventional armies, air units, missiles, atomic bombs and so on).

    I would be very keen on discussing this part of the game more in detail with people, since I think this situation is a bit sad considering all the balancing that has been done for the earlier eras.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2021
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  3. Gidoza

    Gidoza Emperor

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    Thanks for the feedback!


    I think one thing that could make this part of the game more interesting is a much LOWER Military Unit cap. I think my cap in the game I just finished was well over 200 for a long time and ended at 284, but I stopped building units after 90 because I just didn't need more. A more stable cap throughout the game would bring back some of the strategic energy you mention, because it would force one to split armies in multi-pronged conflicts (which are normal at this stage of the game). But when I have enough military to guard every border and assault on every front...it just doesn't matter. Throw in the 200,000 gold I had (yes, I had 200,000 gold and didn't bother spending it), 70K Faith for more free units with Zealotry...any amount of Strategy that might be needed is totally irrelevant. Tanks and Ironclads are magical.
     
  4. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    So a few things you could try off the bat:

    1) Obviously you could try a difficulty bump, that's kind of our last resort.

    2) One thing I do with the Communitas_79 map is I increase the number of strategic resource deposits but I lower the the number per deposit. In general I find this lowers my number of strategic resources overall but doesn't crater it.... which makes strategic units more.... strategic.

    In terms of aircraft, the AI was pretty good at putting out interception in recent versions....but if that has started to drop again (which could be due to the recent nerfs to the AA gun) that seems like an AI tweak. The AI definitely underuses the fighter..... with the AI's natural promotion advantage it can easily support fighters with +1 interception....in which case you need a sizable airforce to push through the interception screen.

    In terms of late game, I think the infantry's purpose is both garrison and amphibious combat. Infantry with CA or amphibious are good at hitting coasts and costal cities, and cover II infantry are good at getting on beaches against massive fire. But once the beachhead is established I agree tanks are the superior unit....and that to me makes perfect flavor sense.

    So instead of nerfing tanks, I might suggest a shift in the bazooka one tech earlier. I find the bazooka tech currently to be very onerous, there are some many others things I want to get at that point in the game that its hard to commit to that tech. But if it was a little early you could field them as a better counter to the tank. Since bazookas are still an underutilized unit, I think that's a better initial answer than any nerfing of the tank itself.
     
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  5. Gidoza

    Gidoza Emperor

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    I'd probably say that Bazookas are an underused unit because their attack rating is garbage. I'm not inclined to build them even if they come earlier in the tech tree. In fact, even Rocket Artillery becomes onerous to use and feels inferior to Tanks for attacking cities at this point in the game...the damage is superficial, and it's not uncommon for my Tanks to crush cities faster than my Rocket Artillery can move into range to attack.


    As for reducing strategic resources...I can only imagine that this would hurt non-Warmongers and do nothing to Warmongers whatsoever. My excess strategics were numbering well over a hundred, so any reduction would have changed nothing from my perspective.
     
  6. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    So the issue with just lowering supply across the board, it really changes the dynamics of earlier warfare, and really screws over TALL style play. So I don't agree with most proposals I've seen to just nerf supplies across the board. That or often it doesn't matter to your runaway militaries, they get so many cities they still have 200+ supply even with nerfs.

    A very effective but also very gamist solution..... every civ has a max supply determined by map size. So for example, on a medium map you could never get higher than a 100 supply....no matter how many cities you own (obviously the number is just an example). You still have to build your supply up to that number, but once done....it will go no higher, just like RTS games like Starcraft. If that is just too gamist for people, you could make it a threshold. At 100 supply, you need 2 supply to get another +1 supply, at 150 you need 3, etc etc.

    If you want flavor to support this, we can use inefficiency as our rationale. Ask any logistics officer in a modern military, when your dealing with the sheer tonnage of stuff that military needs....more and more things fall through the cracks. So once you hit certain numbers, even if you could get the supplies....your logistics network is just too big and too complex to effectively utilize them.

    That is likely the most effective answer to the problem.
     
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  7. Gidoza

    Gidoza Emperor

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    I don't see how it would screw over Tall play if City Pop retained it's military generation power, but individual buildings did not. This would draw away lots of supply from Warmongers but retain most of the supply from Tall. Either way, I don't remember the last time I used the full military cap when I was a Tall civ, so I don't really get your point.
     
  8. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    The key is, any supply loss from Tall is felt significantly more than a supply loss from a wide military player. Its the same argument you made to counter my strategic resource idea, a war player will have so many resources a nerf won't bother them, but a civ with much smaller supply will feel that supply loss a lot. Its also a much stronger nerf.... for example a military civ with 20 cities, sure I could remove the +1 supply from the armory and drop 20 supply.....that civ probably still has tons of supply, the nerf is just not enough to really change the dynamics your seeking.

    A direct cap is your scalpel change, because it hits exactly what your asking to hit....the wide military civ with tons of supply and more units than they know what to do with. A cap would heavily nerf them, but leave low supply civs untouched....giving them a fighting chance.
     
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  9. Milae

    Milae Prince

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    Actually one other thing I noticed in my game was that AIs got quite screwed over by the supply limit reduction from tech as the game goes on. It's a bit weird because it's a linear negative scaling so when you have 67% of the techs you have 50% reduction but then when you get to 100% tech completion it it's 75% reduction. But this effectively means your supply cap halves again in the last third of the game. When I checked they were at times way over the limit and then having to disband a lot later on.

    Also yes tanks are too good and aren't really effectively countered by bazookas or gunships and they smash cities. Perhaps the extra movement is not necessary since there are railroads already? Or they should have a big movement penalty in rough? Also oil is only used in military stuff so you never have to sacrifice to make them.
     
  10. vetox20

    vetox20 Chieftain

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    My two cents as a Prince novice, so take it with a grain of salt:

    Like mentioned as the game approaches the end, with no clear victory path already set in place, the AI seems more docile in regard to warfare. The earlier eras are a constant display of chaos of who is attacking who, various army compositions and tactics they use. I can't speak to the mechanics as you've been discussing on supply limits but the AI definitely has boat loads of money to spend and GPT, they are often happy both generally and in their chosen ideologies.

    I check their relationships with other Civs and there is certainly a lot of anger and competition according the numbers, maybe one has a vassal here and there, but rarely seem to make Modern/Atomic era wars against their enemies (me included). Even those geared with the standard Authority/Fealty/Imp/Autocracy kits. Your mileage may vary, but I agree it seems to get stale as well.
     
  11. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    I generally find the best counter to tanks are bombers. Bombers with x2 attack (which the AI should definitely have if they are promoting planes properly) deal lots of damage to tanks and take a pittance in return. This is my general answer to an AI that has a lot of tanks, I can just pick them off from long range, assuming i have won the air war. One tweak to the AI would be if they are prioritizing tanks with their bombers strongly enough....I will always hit artillery and tank units over ranged/melee units if I can....and the AI should do that as well.

    I also find rocket artillery a good answer but it requires good area control, which the AI is not as good at, so I don't think that unit is as good a counter against me when I use tanks than the reverse.

    If we were going to nerf tanks (which considering we gave them a +25% to defense some time ago is not out of the question), I would go with straight CS adjust. I think adjusting their movement has too much of a cascade and frankly removes some of the fun of the unit. Tanks are fun because they allow for that blitzkreg style that is just not possible earlier in the game at higher difficulties, so I would like to see their mobility stay intact.
     
  12. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    Ah I had forgotten about that.... so we already use a "gamist" supply control mechanism. In that case, shifting to a more rigid one (X max supply on Y map....period) would not be as big a shift as I thought, and would eliminate the problem you just mentioned, because supply would never go down.
     
  13. Gidoza

    Gidoza Emperor

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    I've never really understood the goal of the flexible supply cap tbh. I mean obviously it makes sense not to have 200 units on an ancient-era civ and so something needs to grow with time, but beyond that it seems somewhat arbitrary.

    What about diminishing returns per city, much like Science and Culture requirements increase per city you own? That would favour Tall civs because the diminishment per city would be minimal, while Wide civs would gain less and less military cap increases as cities expanded. If we increased the base value, this would maintain Tall's military cap while drastically reducing wide's limits.
     
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  14. tothePAIN

    tothePAIN King

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    If you go up to Deity, even tanks can get stalled out if they have enough units. Then you're forced to still use combined arms.
     
  15. stii

    stii King

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    I do wonder if the supply cap should be more flat across the game. Early on it is a pretty big limiter but later on you can have as many units as you want really.

    I do agree tanks are the most powerful late game unit by far but I think it is mostly just a case of snowballing. Once you are ahead you just get further ahead. Tanks let you finish off the game more quickly, but if you have enough cities to build a swarm of them any unit would win given a bit more time. At least it makes it less of a slog winning with a swarm of tanks.
     
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  16. Gidoza

    Gidoza Emperor

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    The thing for me is that the game becomes a slog when I have to manipulate and use 80 units. If I'm not using more than 40 at any stage the "slog" would be much less potent.


    Moreover - if Warmongers were harshly limited on their troops, Tall could have a curb on their unit limit in a proportional manner leading to the same ratios. Depending on the game, sometimes as Tall I only need less than 10 units strategically placed to ward off an army of any size.
     

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