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how does combat in this game work?

Discussion in 'Civ3 - General Discussions' started by miaasma, Jan 24, 2018.

  1. miaasma

    miaasma Prince

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    i'm fighting japan with knights (he has swordsmen) and i seem to just be breaking even despite the entire era between the units. is combat a dice roll? i'm very confused

    just coming back to this game after years of not playing it so keep in mind that i'm pretty bad at it and although this mechanic seems hugely annoying i'm very aware i'm probably doing things wrong
     
  2. justanick

    justanick King

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    Essentially yes.

    The attack value is modified if a radar tower is active, but that is a rare thing, so the attack value is the value shown in the units stats. The defence value is modified, often several modifiers apply. Say a unit is fortified in a city on grassland and between attacker and defender is a river, than boni of 25%, 50%(city size), 10% and 25% apply. So with a sword as defender that is 2 x (1+0.25+0.5+0.1+0.25) = 4.2.

    The chance the attacker will win a combat round is A/(A+D). In this case the defender will lose a hitpoint, elso the atacker will lose it. So with a chance of 4/8.2 = 48.78% the defender will lose a hitpoint and with a chance of 4.2/8.2 = 51.22% the attacker will lose a hitpoint.
     
  3. miaasma

    miaasma Prince

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    thank you for clarifying

    i love this game, but the combat was making my head spin and still is

    there seems to be zero consistency in success rate
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2018
  4. Buttercup

    Buttercup King

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    The combat is the aspect of the game I loathe in Civ3. Luckily, Civ3 allows so many avenues for peaceful victories that I barely ever bother with Domination or Conquest wins. You can pretty much convert the game into a city builder game if you choose Huge maps with a max-water Archipelago design. To reduce the chances of another Civ spawning on your starting island simply reduce the number of opponents to 11.
     
  5. miaasma

    miaasma Prince

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    it's funny you say that, since i actually find this game really enjoyable until war-time starts

    i never initiate war, it's always some AI who randomly demands 21 gold or something, gets denied, and then declares war from across the map

    which then devolves into every AI in the game forming a military alliance against me while walking ancient era units at my medieval era units and still somehow coming out even

    is there a reason that happens? i can't say i understand how the AI behaves in this game since random aggression regardless of military strength has been the only common denominator in all of the games i've played since revisiting the game
     
  6. Nathiri

    Nathiri Commander

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    I actually like the simplicity of the combat system of A/D values. Counters adds extra complexity and can be good, but it can be rather difficult to learn. I would rather the system was improved in its surety, than to ditch it entirely.

    AI tend to be aggressive, but they can be easily exploited in this too. It is really the only thing they can do somewhat well. Productivity is not something they are really good at, unless they receive discounts.

    I enjoy all aspects of the game personally, though I find it lacks some things, so I turn to modding. Warfare has its micro enjoyment, just as economy has its micro enjoyment. Sometimes I would rather not go to war, as it can be too easy. But it has its strategy too, if you have to fight with limited units vs massive army from the AI.
     
  7. CKS

    CKS Deity

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    To play with less war, there are a few things you can try. First, turn down the aggression level when you start the game (play on Least Aggressive). Second, give into small demands - 21 g or a map is probably not worth going to war over when you don't want to be at war. (Don't give in to big demands - a monopoly tech is definitely worth going to war over.) Third, build embassies so that you can get allies to fight for you, or at least not fight against you. Fourth, build an army of veteran attackers (not defenders), so that you are militarily strong. This won't stop all war declarations, but it does stop some of them, and it makes the AI more willing to back down if you refuse a demand.

    If you know you are going to be declared upon, look for deals that will make them pay - giving them gpt for techs or cash, for example, or trading them a government tech to encourage them to revolt and start the war in anarchy.

    To win more battles, pay attention to defensive modifiers and consider whether attacking or defending will work out better. You can use a combat calculator to help with this. (Warning - getting attacked causes more war weariness than attacking does, so you need to consider this, too.) Take advantage of the terrain to protect your guys and not the enemy. Put some artillery-type units in your stacks - they can bombard on the attack, but they also bombard on defense (as do archer-types in Conquests). Knocking off a hp from the attacker before they get to attack helps tremendously. Fast movers can retreat, but not if they are battling another fast mover or a red-lined unit. Try to avoid leaving your attackers alone and undefended - sometimes it is best to not kill the last unit in their stack if it strands one of your guys out in the open. Build your units (except artillery types) in towns with barracks so they have 4 hp.
     
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  8. Theov

    Theov Deity

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    Build off units so the ai will think you are strong.
    Make allies with others. The best is to invade a country with a partner. It weakens both countries and if you play it smart you can let the ally do the dirty work and you can pick off the cities.
    Keep a good relationship with you neighbors.
     
    Nathiri likes this.
  9. miaasma

    miaasma Prince

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    thanks for all the tips, i appreciate it

    i suppose one of my biggest things with war in this game is how quickly it devolves into an all-against-one AI vs humans scenario, and how easily bribed the AI is when it comes to war
     
  10. Kirejara

    Kirejara King

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    It must not be you against everyone else.

    If one KI attacks you, then bribe their neighbours into the war.
    if you are about to be attacked by an KI while at war with another one, bribe them into the war before demanding them to leave your territory (but do not give them gold or techs by doing so. Give them gold per turn or rescources, so that they gain nothing from the trade!).

    An example how to do is here: Interesting Screenshots

    Let them fight against each other.

    Once the infighting starts, the KI is sometimes fighting so hard each other, that they forget, that there is still a human player around. ;)

    Just watch out, that you do not trash your trade reputation. Let the KI break treaties (z.B. by declaring war on you or each other), but keep your trades (watch for uninterrupted trade routes and do not declare war with running treaties!).
     
  11. choxorn

    choxorn Watermelon Headcrab

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    I've found that while the AI is easily bribed into joining an alliance against you, they're also easily bribed into joining an alliance against other AI's. Later in the game, when they start signing Mutual Protection Pacts more or less randomly, this tends to inevitably lead to everyone fighting everyone else. If you get a big enough war going on in a game with a large enough number of AI's, you can regularly see them all more or less randomly signing peace treaties or declaring war every turn. Sometimes even declaring an alliance against somebody they just signed a peace treaty with!
     
  12. miaasma

    miaasma Prince

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    what you've just described is exactly what is currently happening in my game

    i've just entered the modern era (i'm a few techs in the lead) and everyone is just randomly declaring war/making military alliances/immediately breaking aforementioned alliances and declaring war on each other, it's become quite a mess

    on the plus side, i've gotten much more used to the way this game works in general after being so out of practice
     
  13. Dishpan_Hans

    Dishpan_Hans Chieftain

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    How combat works. The AI/computer decides whether it will let you win or not.

    Like at Monarch level, when an unfortified archer in hills can defeat an attack by my swordsman.

    Or how you can send 5 archers against a city and lose them all attacking, maybe killing one enemy spearman. The AI sends two archers against your city defended by two spearmen. The AI takes your city!

    Or how the AI can use its galleys to sink yours but you try that and *blub-blub* down to the bottom your ship goes.
     
  14. Theov

    Theov Deity

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    You and the AI have the same random chance. So you are forgetting to take something in consideration (attack a hill, over a river etc), you have memory bias or you must have bad luck, but over a period of time this will even out. Add some artileries and your victories will come.
     
  15. choxorn

    choxorn Watermelon Headcrab

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    Yeah, you remember all the times your Tank loses to an AI Pikeman, but not the times when you send Cavalry against fortified Riflemen in a city and win 7 out of 10 battles, or when one of your units kills 5 attacking AI units, or something along those lines.
     
  16. Buttercup

    Buttercup King

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    I guess the real problem is that a tank should never lose to a pikeman. By putting in the element of doubt it immediately destroys a large element of strategy. If you want a certainty that your tank will defeat a pikeman you suddenly need to send in two tanks, doubling your costs, factored globally, forces a spam-mechanic where its not about strategy, its about spamming thoughtlessly. Or cheesing exploits, of course. And then when two tanks fail to defeat a pikeman... etc.
     
  17. choxorn

    choxorn Watermelon Headcrab

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    That's just a consequence of the total randomness of the combat system- Pikemen won't beat Tanks very often, but it will still happen sometimes.
     
  18. miaasma

    miaasma Prince

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    yeah i relaxed with the combat annoyance when i realized i was probably using confirmation bias to make it seem more lopsided than it really is

    i still dislike how random it is and how the defensive bonuses work, but it's not that bad
     
  19. Buttercup

    Buttercup King

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    Well, it's no surprise that one of the most common criticisms of Civ3 is the infamous "stacks of doom". The randomness of the combat is one of the major reasons for the stacks. The other reason being the AI is addicted to maximising military output, for a whole host of sub-reasons, so even when you're in the Modern Age with Modern Armour, invading a small Island takes forever and sometimes even multiple nukes as your Marines flounder by the dozen on 20 fortified Musketmen.

    And what's the workaround to the terrible RNG and awful enemy AI? Building even more military units.

    Yes, this doesn't effect some people. Some people enjoy moving 500 units every turn, taking hours to complete one turn, and more power to them, it's great that there's a game out there that can cater to them. But this isn't the area where Civ3 excels as a game, civ3 excels by having a vastly increased plethora of (relatively) peaceful victories, all of which require a completely different overall strategy.
     
  20. Nathiri

    Nathiri Commander

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    You use artillery to counter the high amounts of units. And usually the stacks arnt a huge issue until a high difficulty. Civ3 excels at the scale of the empire management.
     

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