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I have the solution to the Stack of Doom vs. 1UP debate

Discussion in 'Civ - Ideas & Suggestions' started by Brawndo, Apr 24, 2012.

  1. nokmirt

    nokmirt Emperor

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    We were talking about this in several other threads some time back. The ideas you mention may come around in Civ 6. We'll have to wait and see. Right now though, with CiV, I feel IUPT is the way to go. All be it, it may need tweeking here, the game's design is centered around it. To change it now would not be a good idea.

    One other thing. We have been in discussions about the AI. Good AI vs Fun AI. With a separate tactical map for combat, a Good AI could be used to run the battles. In theory making the AI more competitive. While the campaign map would continue to use Fun AI.

    Here is a basic rundown of what I am talking about. There are some videos on youtube as well.

    http://pc.gamespy.com/pc/civilization-iv/854509p1.html
     
  2. CYZ

    CYZ Toileteer

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    Me neither, it seems very boring. There'd be no reason not to put your units in stacks of three. Effectively, you're ending up with many copies of the same stack.
     
  3. Deggial

    Deggial Emperor

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    This!

    With 1upt, you have to worry about defending your weaker units against surprising attacks, must plan your city sieges, fear defended choke points,...

    With combined units, you just place them in front of your target all together, attack with your ranged unit and don't have to worry, because your meel unit stays healthy and can defend no matter what. So, stacking units would be a no brainer. BORING!
     
  4. Deggial

    Deggial Emperor

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    I strongly disagree! I know, that Sulla came up with theory, but it is simply untenable!

    If you want to limit unit counts by tweaking production, you simply make *units* need *more hammers*! There would be *no reason at all*, to lower the whole city production!
    Thus, lowered city production (if it exists at all, as later in the game, things speed up drastically) must have other reasons.

    True, tile yields are lower in CiV, especially on resource tiles.
    My theory is, that this is done due to multiplayer games and the intention was to make city spots more "fair". (So players don't complain about unequal starting positions or spots for the second city). As I don't play MP, I find this decission a little bit anoying, too. But well, there is so much for compensation in CiV and patches altered things till the first days, too.
     
  5. WorldWarIV

    WorldWarIV Captain

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    Why wouldn't you have to worry? It's not like the melee unit is invicible, I don't understand why they will defend no matter what.

    I agree with the first part of your post though, I do like how strategy works with the 1up.
     
  6. CYZ

    CYZ Toileteer

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    They are obviously not invincible.

    But 9 outof 10 cases, you will stack a melee unit on a ranged unit. Then the ranged unit is defended automaticly.

    If your army consists of 3 archer and 3 warriors, and they are all stacked. You basicly 3 units, combatwise.

    Right now you might have a few tiles with a warrior unit, a few with an archer unit, and one or two tiles with a horse unit. With the proposed suggestion you will just have a few tiles with archer+warrior on it. There won't be any variety.
     
  7. Brian Shanahan

    Brian Shanahan Permanoob

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    Well then why is production so badly nerfed in this game? If it were possible to keep stacks low while keeping production high, would you not think it'd be in the game?

    And finally it was not Sullla who put the idea on paper first it was Luddite/Pi-r8. Sullla just spread it to the masses (playing Paul to Luddite's Jesus if you will).
     
  8. Gucumatz

    Gucumatz JS, secretly Rod Serling

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    To be honest there are mods for this. I have to say combat before in Civ 4 I never enjoyed as much. Particularly in multiplayer. The tactical nature of combat in Civ 5 is much more fun and desirable in multiplayer hundred fold.

    And if they can improve AI it will improve singleplayer too.

    ====

    To be short I don't see the need for the suggestion.
     
  9. Brawndo

    Brawndo Warlord

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    Then you've never played a game that results in a giant war between two Carpets of Doom. Tactical nature of combat? What tactics? Tactics go out the window when there's no room to maneuver thanks to a massive traffic jam of units. What combat boils down to is clogging up the enemy front line with meatshields and then bombarding enemy units with ranged units until they die and new ones move up to take their place.

    Jon Shafer and the CiV design team tried to model this game after Panzer General, but it doesn't work without space to move. In PG, maps are huge and mechanized units can move 8+ hexes a turn.
     
  10. Deggial

    Deggial Emperor

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    I think, I already mentioned. If unit numbers would have been the "target", you simply could make them so expensive to build (and buy), that a spear-man needs 50 turns to be build. There is *no need* to nerve whole production. Do you *really* think, the devs missed this tweaking possibility?

    I don't know, what was the idea behind the postulated production nerve. Maybe the wish to model industrial progress over time? After all (and I did write this already, too), production increases dramatically with all necessary buildings built. Isn't this exactly, what we want? The necessity to develop our cities in order to gain high benefits?
    Regarding the bonus resource nerve (and I think, it is *here*, where the most severe cuts where made), I answered your question, too: *I* reason, it is due to MP.

    Well, then all praise to them! I still disagree.
     
  11. TyBoy

    TyBoy Prince

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    The thing that drove me absolutely nuts about stacks of doom and makes me think 1upt is the lesser evil was the magical defensive formations. Attack a guy's stack with a knight and he's got his pikeman up front. Follow that up immediately with an attack from a mace and those pikes have magically been replaced with a crossbow. It's completely absurd from a realism standpoint and actually has pretty far reaching, IMO mostly negative, consequences for the game.

    The most significant effect is the massive advantage it gives to the defending stack, even without considering terrain based defenses or the actual strength of the stack. In the extreme case, two identical stacks with balanced composition meet in the open field and the one that attacks gets absolutely crushed by the one that defends for no reason other than all of the attacking units had to face the thing that counters them and all of the defensive units got to face the thing that they counter.
    Actually, if you want to defeat a balanced stack the way to go about it is to use a stack composed of a generically good attacker like a knight, eat heavy losses against the counter unit then have enough in reserve to kill off the juicy city attackers underneath, not that they're total pushovers.

    Of course, that requires a pretty big army on the part of the attacker, which leads to the next facet of that inherent defensive strength: In civ 4, combat should never occur away from cities unless someone (generally the AI) messes up. Since merely being the defender grants a significant advantage regardless of the location of the combat and losing a battle weakens a player it is desirable to defend. The only way a player can force that advantage for themselves is to let the fight happen at their city where the offensive player has to attack. For a fight to happen outside a city because the offensive player initiated it requires that the defensive player moves their weaker army into a weaker position (the city being the best defensive tile around, generally) which is a mistake. For the fight to happen outside the city because the defensive player initiated it requires that the defending player has a strong enough army to beat the offensive army in spite of the advantage the offensive army gets by defending in the battle. A defensive army that can do that would absolutely crush the offensive army if they tried to attack a city, which means the offensive army has no business at all and made a big mistake going on the offensive or lingering in the opponents territory.

    Interestingly, this actually leads to the (legitimately) most-cited strength of civ 4 over civ 5. The tactical AI is much better. Since combat outside of cities is almost universally undesirable it simplifies a huge game board with all the tiles down to one that effectively consists only of the tiles that contain cities with a simple algorithm for travel between them that pretty much travels directly to the objective prioritizing tiles with defensive bonuses. You can make a much stronger AI algorithm for that situation than the civ 5 one where every tile has to be considered for the army. Of course, concluding that an AI is actually better because of that is a bit like looking at Checkers vs. Go and concluding that because the pieces are similar and Checkers is weakly solved by computers and the best computer Go players barely rank as professionals then Checkers AI must be much 'better' than Go AI.

    I sort of got off on a tangent here, but I think it's good stuff so I'll leave it. Magical defensive formations are more annoying to me than the shortcomings of 1upt. I don't really see how carpets of doom could be any worse than stacks of doom, especially since production levels don't allow them to be maintained and once they smash up against each other for a while they thin out and you get the tactical combat that makes 1upt so great.
     
  12. Brawndo

    Brawndo Warlord

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    I completely agree with your criticism of Stacks of Doom! Warfare in Civ4 was absurdly favored towards the defender.

    However, while 1UPT sought to remedy this problem, it also introduced a fresh slew of problems. I am generally in favor of the 1UPT system, but the scalability of the battles is all wrong and affects gameplay in negative ways. Civ5 attempts to use the tactical scale of hex-based wargaming on a strategic level, which doesn't work. Fighting on an island or peninsula is virtually impossible because there is no room to maneuver, and large wars become traffic jams that strongly favor the defender who has lots of ranged units and a few meatshields up front.

    My proposed change would allow for far easier movement of armies on the strategic level, while still using the 1UPT system on a larger, tactical battlefield that is separate from the main map. I can tell from the above comments that this is too jarring of a change for some Civ veterans, but I do not agree that this would put undue emphasis on the war aspect of Civ. IMO, the designers of Civ5 have already moved the series towards wargamey territory with 1UPT - what I outlined in the OP would only change how this is implemented. Furthermore, anyone who has played the Call to Power series knows how efficient combined stack combat can be. Fighting as a stack resolved combat faster compared to having a near-endless series of 1 vs. 1 duels, allowing the player to return to empire-building instead of spending hours trying to play Panzer General on a Civ-style map.
     

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