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Humankind Game by Amplitude

Discussion in 'Humankind by Amplitude' started by AtlantisAuthor, Aug 19, 2019.

  1. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Deity

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    As I remember, and this may have changed radically since, in the Open Devs each side had a numerical score of how much they wanted to start or continue the War, and in general it kept going down the longer the war dragged on. I believe at Zero your people basically stopped fighting and you lost or had to settle the war whether the gamer wanted to or not. I don't think I ever got to Zero so couldn't tell you what the actual mechanic was for the afflicted Faction.
    Point is, conquest had some extra problems built into it in Humankind that we are not used to in Civ. Even in Open Dev Lucy that didn't mean you couldn't conquer, just that you could not keep conquering indefinitely without pausing to Rebuild or gather strength and your population's resolve before starting on a rampage again.

    I've argued for 'supply lines' in 4X games before, and still think they could be added without cognitive overload, but they also aren't just a simple addition that can be slapped on at the end of the development process, so don't expect to see them in Initial Release Humankind or a Civ VI DLC.

    On the other hand, Humankind does put some 'supply-like' restrictions on your military. The lack of ability to rebuild units outside friendly territory is a big one, because within territory you can not only rebuild units over time, as in Civ, but also use Money to rebuild instantly: that means the Defender you just beat down to 20% last turn comes back next turn (potentially) at Full Strength while you are still at 50 - 75%. That's a HUGE bonus to the Home Field Advantage. Add to that having to send any reinforcements across the map, and the attacker needs some major tactical, technical, or numerical advantages to overcome the defender's advantages in 'supply' (access to replacements and reinforcements). It worked that way in Lucy Open Dev, at least, and I assume that's the way they want it to work: we may get confirmation nest week . . .
     
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  2. Siptah

    Siptah Eternal Chieftain

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    Or you could go the Rise of Nations route with supplies: attrition damage in enemy territory for all units. Can be denied/reduced by bringing supply units with you (that make prime targets in battles). But in a game like Humankind, this is probably just tiresome to do, as it is just another unit to carry around all the time that takes a valuable army slot.
     
  3. Denkt

    Denkt Left Forever

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    Rise of nation is however a real time startegy game with simple and fast unit management. In humankind adding a supply wagon to each army don't really make it any more interesting and supply train capture is kinda already represented by the flag during combat.
     
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  4. Ferris Bueller

    Ferris Bueller Chieftain

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    That’s great to hear. To be clear, I don't want there to be any more complexity than necessary, I prefer the "easy to learn, heard to master" kind of game. As long as the general principle that it is possible for defeats to occur as a result of being distant or cut off from one’s bases/supply sources/whatever you want to call them is present, I'm happy, and the simpler, the better.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2021
  5. Krajzen

    Krajzen Deity

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    To be honest, that sounds extremely annoying even in RTS game...

    I also don't think it's realistic that military units just magically die out as soon as they are within enemy political boundaries. Across history, big and small troops could always survive via more or less gentle extortion of supplies from the local population.
    Of course defender could use the scorched earth tactic to deny enemy replenishment but that should arguably be activated special power or ability in game, not default state of things.
     
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  6. DaviddesJ

    DaviddesJ Deity

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    Fine, I can think of lots of ways to change that. I just wouldn't introduce a supply system as one of them.

    FWIW I think it's intentional that it's relatively easy to "conquer the world" and it responds to what most players want. I agree it's not "realistic" but that isn't the goal.
     
  7. Atlas627

    Atlas627 Deity

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    They took damage over time. They didn't just suddenly die. And you could bring multiple supply wagons to guard against this tactic (and then of course the army itself is smaller). Furthermore, the supply wagons had a radius, so it meant that you generally didn't have a single unit off in the middle of nowhere harassing on its own. You could have a multiple small forces each with a supply wagon, though.
     
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  8. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Deity

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    This is a mechanic from board games introduced over 40 years ago! Which doesn't make it a bad one, but it is an abstraction of the entire Real Life supply problem.

    Actual armies throughout most of history needed primarily food for their men and fodder for their animals on a constant basis. The majority of the time, some or most of that came from the areas they passed through - either gathered from the terrain, like the great hunts by the pastoral horse nomads, or gathered from the local population - "requisitioning" to use the nice word, Stealing to use the more accurate one.

    Once gunpowder weapons arrived, gunpowder and ammunition also had to be provided, and by the 20th century, fuel for vehicles. Also with the 20th century, modern artillery's requirements for ammunition reached the point where it amounted to 75 - 90% of the total of supplies by weight, and food requirements became a relatively small part of the total (20 tons out of 200 in a German infantry division in WWII, for example)

    To accurately or even semi-accurately portray the 'supply problem' in-game then, Supply Wagons are a bad method. All the supplies carried with an army in wagons, carts, pack animals, etc amounted to just a few days' worth to get them through terrain that could not provide enough. What armies needed was a supply line of wagons, carts, pack animals, ships, trains, trucks, etc leading back to a Supply Source: in other words, a Trade Route with all the Trade going one way, to a mobile destination that is the army.

    Having a Supply Line/Route on the map allows it to be cut, raided, or moved to a new Supply Source as you advance or retreat, without requiring any new Units to move with the army. Define the Supply Sources as cities, Depots, Forts, whatever: all the gamer has to do is make sure he has a Source within range (which will change with technology, of course) and he doesnt have any extra work to include Supplies in his strategy - until, of course, some enemy Chariot sits on the Supply Line.

    "Living off the land" is even more easily represented: the army without a supply line automatically Pillages every tile it passes through or X number of tiles that have to total enough Food to feed the army. Pass through tiles without enough food, the army starts taking Damage - try to imitate Alexander and take your army through the Gedrosian Desert, and your Units will Suffer immediately, as they should. And don't even think about taking an army through Tundra without a Supply Line!
     
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  9. DaviddesJ

    DaviddesJ Deity

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    This isn't too bad for human players. But it's way beyond what AI players can handle. You have to have a game that the computer opponents can play too, right? If the AI player can't manage and defend its supply lines, then it becomes way too easy to defeat.
     
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  10. Ferris Bueller

    Ferris Bueller Chieftain

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    Aside from the AI issue, that’s a really simple and elegant way to do it. It’s much better than the example I gave earlier. There could even be unique units in place of the generic Supply Wagon for factions skilled at maintaining long supply lines, which I imagine could become some of the most coveted in the game.
     
  11. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Deity

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    On the contrary, if the AI can handle establishing Trade Routes, there's no reason it can't handle Supply Lines As Trade Routes to Armies. And if, as now, Barbarians can cut Trade Routes at an excessive rate (at least, so it seems to me early in the game) then the AI should not have a problem acting against enemy Supply/Trade Routes.
    In neither case are we requiring any radically different set of actions from the AI than what it is already doing in the game.
     
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  12. Atlas627

    Atlas627 Deity

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    Yes there's a big difference. Trade Routes are point to point and there are no options for what the points are. A supply line requires them to decide which points are more important than others and which ones are to be cut/guarded at which spots along their path. Way more complicated.
     
  13. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Deity

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    Okay, just realized we're in a Humankind thread and I'm relating the discussion to the current Civ VI mechanics. My Bad. Still, Humankind has Trade Routes and presumably some way to destroy/cut those Routes, so the argument still holds in either game. I don't believe that the Trade Routes in the Open Devs (so far) have been visible on the map, but given the visible wagons and carts trolling along the tiny roads, that should not be an unsolvable porblem in Humankind, either.
     
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  14. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Deity

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    More complicated only because one point is now a moving Army instead of fixed The other point would still be a fixed City or Depot, and protecting the Supply Line is the same problem as now with Trade Routes. The only added 'complication' is tagging the army as a End Point for the Line. Since you can program to determine Supply Status at the beginning of a turn (and thus apply any Out Of Supply maluses for the coming Turn), before movement, even that point is, technically, 'fixed' and so not very different from the current fixed Trade Route end points.
     
  15. Atlas627

    Atlas627 Deity

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    I think you might need to explain your proposal in a different way, because it seems like you're combining some amount of Civ mechanics here, and I can't possibly know how much.

    The trade routes in Humankind do not work like Civ trade routes. There isn't really a route to pillage, as far as I know. They would have to add all of that first, then teach the AI how to value splitting its army for supply purposes, evaluating how far it can go without having its supply line cut, calculate where the supply line's spaces will be if it moves here vs there and how vulnerable/protectable those spaces are, which of those spaces are more/less vulnerable and cut/protect them accordingly, and think about attacking/defending, enemy/friendly territory, and if attacking with the loss of the supply line is still worth it, etc.
     
  16. 8housesofelixir

    8housesofelixir Emperor

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    The HMK trade route is actually reflected on the map in the form of trade posts (very small visuals on the map), trade ports (also very small visuals on the map), the origination of trade routes (the resources and the territory that has the resources), and the end point of the trade routes.

    If you disturbed one of these on-map features - whether ransacking a trade post (yes you can ransack them), ransacking a luxury extractor, or taking the luxury territory from others - the trade route will be pillaged and stop functioning. And you or AI will generate grievances because of that.

    ______________________

    For supply system: As far as I know, in most of the hex-based war games, the Supply System works like this - every city have a certain supply level, which will decrease when you move away from the city. Roads, especially railroads, can reduce the decrease and send supply from high supply cities to low supply cities - for instance, if Capital is 10 supply level, City A is 5 supply level, and the two are connected by rail, then the actual supply level at City A will be higher than 5. And if something happens to the roads and railroads - say, bombing - then it cannot convey the supply anymore.

    I can imagine a similar system for HMK - for example, supply is related to roads, quarters, and exploitations, instead of being a per territory thing - as long as there is a game mechanic for pillaging automatically generated roads.
     
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  17. Atlas627

    Atlas627 Deity

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    Well the UI needs to be better about those trade nodes then, since I've only ever seen the Extractor get ransacked.

    The fact that new units must always be generated back at home and then moved to join the front already simulates quite a bit of these logistics. Combine that with only healing in friendly territory and I think the strategic map already handles "supply".

    Now if you are talking about wanting a Supply unit on the tactical map, that I could get behind. The AI already needs to know how to use the Flag, so some of that positioning and prioritization logic can be applied to a Supply unit.
     
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  18. DaviddesJ

    DaviddesJ Deity

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    If you want the computer opponents to be able to conduct offensives and to not easily get defeated just by cutting their supply, then you would have to invest an awful lot of resources into getting them to master this supply system. It seems like a complication that doesn't address a real problem. There are plenty of other ways to tweak the balance of offense and defense without having to model supply.

    I do really recommend that anyone interested in this subject check out Unity of Command II. While a different type of game, it does this really well, but playing it illustrates both the strengths and limitations. It only works in that game because the human player is always on offense and the computer player is always on defense.
     
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  19. Denkt

    Denkt Left Forever

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    I don't see any reasons to add a serious supply system for Humankind as warfare is just part of the game, not the whole focus. Adding supply wagons as a unit would not add anything to the game, supply train is basically already represented by the flag in combat anyway. The game is already quite generous for the defender, ability to build fortifications that increase combat strength and getting militia units to defend cities.

    If there is obstacles needed, it should be things like making it harder to expand everywhere and control the whole map, administrators hardly did anything in Lucy. The only serious thing lacked on the military side was how you could field an arbitary amount of armies and units, adding maintaince cost like in endless legends would be a help here.

    Overall the combat part of the game seemed to work quite well in Lucy, the economy part and city part however seems like it needs some work.
     
  20. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Deity

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    Agreed. The discussion of Supply Lines is just that: a discussion with little to do with Humankind the game, which, frankly, doesn't need any such thing. I've discussed elsewhere the fact that since Humankind has a 'war weariness' type mechanic you already will have problems going on a continuous offensive rampage because eventually your own population gets tired of it and forces Peace.
    In one of the early Open Dev/videos, and I can't remember which or which one, there was something about units costing Population whenever you built one in a city. That alone would curtail the Continuous Offensive War as a strategy because, at least in the Lucy version, population points did not appear that fast in an early growing city - as I remember, it took 6 - 10 turns to add a point of population, which would reduce you to no more than one new unit in that time unless you spent a long time preparing for your war by 'stockpiling' population before going on your recruiting spree.

    One of the things I am most interested in seeing in the next Open Dev will be the interaction between the various systems, because that seems to be the major failing in Civ VI: lots of great individual mechanics, but they don't work well together, and the implications of the interactions don't seem to have been worked out well before the release of the DLCs. If Humankind can get that right, it will be a much more playable game, with potentially a lot more variety available in how you play the Factions, Eras, Units, and other mechanics in the game.
     
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