- Feb 7, 2018
I kinda worry about planes getting increased strength. I currently use the AI Air power fix mod, and in my current Immortal minus the starting units for the AI game I've encountered no less then 20 japanese fighters. After turn 1 of the war - taking two cities one with 6 battle ship armada's, they took out 3 of those with 6 fighters. If there increasing plane strength - they better give anti-air units the ability to launch multiple defense attacks instead of the current one.
The whole explanation about keeping air power weak because it was OP'ed in Civ 5 made no sense to me. First, I haven't heard complaints about airpower being OP in Civ 5. It changes the nature of warfare, no doubt, but my impression was that most people liked that, as it made late game war quite different than early game war. (People hated how slow the air attack graphics played out, but that's a whole different matter.) There were a lot of things about Civ 5's play balance that could benefit from a change (and I say that as someone who loves Civ 5), but the relative strength of airforces compared to other late game units wasn't one of them.
Second, airplanes in R&F aren't noticeably weak. I've stopped entire AI invasions using 3 Fighters plus city defences. I didn't feel like airplanes needed a boost to make them useful. They're too expensive, but so is every unit that opens up after the Classical era. Making airplanes more powerful is a round-about way to make them less expensive, but I don't agree that they need to be made more powerful relative to late game ground units. Unless they're intended to be a counter against GDRs, but then, why not say that they're boosting planes so you have something to fight GDRs if you don't have GDRs?
I found it an odd comment. It reminded me of the weird statement that came out when they nerfed England's free melee unit, saying that was never intended to work that way when it was working exactly as described. It made me wonder if the airpower increase was for some other reason, but they needed to give a marketing approved explanation for the change or something. Like maybe they discovered the easiest way to get the AI to use airplanes was to increase the relative strength of airplane attacks, but they're not allowed to admit that the AI rarely uses planes currently, so they had to find another explanation for the change?
Alternatively, maybe they have data to suggest that players aren't building or using many planes, and rather than attributing that to the lack of a need for planes, the dev team is attributing that to players viewing them as under-powered.
I also find it interesting that at the same time they're buffing planes, they're cutting the number planes you can put in an aerodrome, hangar, etc. by half. Maybe this is conservativism because the dev team is concerned that the higher firepower planes may be too strong, so want to limit how many you can assemble. Except you can still put 1 plane in each city, so really it's just cutting down on how much an airforce you can assemble in any one Aerodrome.