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Improving air combat

Discussion in 'Civ - Ideas & Suggestions' started by killingdjef, May 22, 2004.

  1. killingdjef

    killingdjef Chieftain

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    I searched the other topics and didn't find any suggestions to improve Aircombat so ill be trying to add my 2 cents :)

    First of all, the aircombat was a little bit useless in Civ 3. Ok, the bombarments were cool but I didn't really have the feeling of "Oh boy! Now im bombing my enemy back to the stone age!" because before you knew it their tanks and units were already crawling over my borders and using 12 bombers to destroy 1 improvement also anti-climaxes your goal to have the biggest air fleet

    My suggestion is that there are more aerial units. Spy planes for example that can be deployed on an enemy square and will fly arround there for 3 days before it needs refueling/self destructs (A drone)

    also i would like to see stealth planes flying cloaked and only visible when engaging, naturally when the plane is spotted by Radar equipment, they aren't cloaked on their way back. Im little bit suggesting a way to keep your airplanes longer in the air. Mainly also because i find the bombing range and the attack wins very weak compared to the potential Air combat had in real life.

    Having apache attack helicopters (to name something) would be perfect to fly (semi-cloaked) at the enemy grounds and then softning up enemy tank forces or infantry. Naturally to ballance it all, the mobile sams are extremly effective when the unit is spotted and sams from cities are effective as well.

    This could open up interesting combat. How bout 5 chinooks, with 3 squads of infantry and 2 armored units is moving in enemy airspace while apache's give them Close ground support and 2 F22's provide Air support? Ofcourse im taking in account that chinooks (heli transport) will be more effective :)

    Another idea im having right now because of it is the use of a radar network. To detect everything (even stealthed units) you need to set up radar posts. This could bring in the interesting Wild Weasel missions for airplanes. (Sending a plane to take out an EWR (Early-warning Radar) post)

    so in short.

    *Civs need to set out radar posts to have total view of their airspace
    *Transport heli's need to me more effective (take for example the real life chinook which can transport 120 men and/or an armored vehicle)
    *Airplanes can end a turn on a non-airbase tile, so it actually stays mid-air. An aircraft has to land after say, 3 or 4 turns to refuel (and/or rearm!)
    *A few units need to be added like the attack helicopter

    Finally, air to air combat. In my oppinion its going a tad to fast as well. Its *click* engage! and boom, yours or the enemy's plane is blown right out the sky. I would love to see some kind of retreat option

    Also add in a slight percentage chance that the pilot stuffs his bird in the ground (esspecially with old planes) and perhaps when combat iniated between 2 planes, 1 could also crash or fly against mountains (if the terrain is mountain like) :)

    Im still a little bit full of ideas about this topic but maybe you have some interesting idea's as well before i add more :)
     
  2. rcoutme

    rcoutme Emperor

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    Although I would like to see a more dynamic air combat system, what you are proposing, IMHO, is too much. Civ doesn't even distingush between various types of ground units all that much (heavy vs light tanks, infantry, cavalry, etc). Having that many different air units would unnecessarily complicate things. I think that the system they have in the Conquest WWII Pacific handles air combat a little better (they added in fighter/bombers and long-range bombers) unfortunately, all planes can still take off from carriers.

    They need to tweak air combat, not completely overhaul it. I do like the idea of adding in attack helicopters, though. They had somewhat similar units in Civ2, but those units still didn't operate quite the way they should have.
     
  3. The Last Conformist

    The Last Conformist Irresistibly Attractive

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    Have you tried C3C's lethal bombardment? After emptying a couple of major enemy cities with waves of bombers and then rolling in unopposed with a single Tank, you won't feel that air power is week.
     
  4. xerox

    xerox Chieftain

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    It would be great to be able to create an 'air force' (think 'army' but with air units).
    1) You could create a mixed air force where the fighters fly cover and shoot down enemy planes that try to attack the bombers. Fighters acting in this manner cannot bomb also.
    2) Bombers could ...
    a) All bombers attack the same unit (and should be able to destroy it!) with excess firepower wasted
    or ...
    b) All bombers attack the same unit until it is destroyed (or reduced to 1 hit point :confused: ) then attack the next strongest unit
    or ...
    c) each bomber attacks a separate unit, excess bombers could double up or could be wasted

    Also I agree that more/specialized air units would be great (how about an A10 to soften up those tanks).
     
  5. Archer 007

    Archer 007 Rebirth

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    I'd like a move to Civ2 style air combat.
     
  6. killingdjef

    killingdjef Chieftain

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    Whats the civ 2 air combat system like?

    The idea to let your air units stay in air 1 or 2 turns opens more strategic combat. You can actually intercept bombers like you would intercept ground units when invading.

    Rather then pressing the "Defend Airspace" button and randomly clicking a tile, you could scramble your airforce and intercept the enemy!!! :D
     
  7. Squirrel

    Squirrel Warlord

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    I too think air combat needs improvement, but my ideas are a bit different.

    I don't think the improvement should be made by adding more fancy units. In my opinion, the problem is that air combat (and naval combat, but that is another issue) are unbalanced vs ground combat. The game does not recognise how important air combat is in modern warfare.

    Below, I list two problems that I find important, and how they may be solved.

    1. In real life, air combat is a crucial factor when invading overseas. (How would D-day go if the allies didn't bomb first?). This is not reflected in Civ3. The major reason, I think, is that carriers, which are needed to bomb civilizations overseas, are too expensive. Therefore, carriers should be made cheaper, or they should be able to carry more units. If one carrier could carry e. g. 10 units, they could be worthwhile.This would also make naval combat more interesting, as you would want to sink those ships, and protect them.

    2. Also, in preparing for a ground invasion, you would normally send in bombers first to soften the enemy. There is not that much point in doing that as it stands, though. The defending civ normally hides its units inside cities. When you bomb a city, you may have four results: the bombs may miss, they may kill citizens, they may destroy improvements and they may weaken a defending unit. If you bomb because you intend to invade the city, you need a huge amount of bombers to weaken the defence enough.
    So, what's the solution to this? In real life, the defending units will not hide inside cities. They will dig themselves down close to the enemy border in order to defend their country before they get to your cities. The attacker will then use artillery and bomber to soften the defensive line.
    In civ there is not much reason for the defender to dig down along the border, though. The border towards the enemy is often quite long, so you need an enormous amount of units, otherwise the enemy will simply go around you.
    I think they should think of doing a limited re-implementing a rule from Civ and Civ2: "A unit may not move from a square adjacent to an enemy unit to another square adjacent to an enemy unit," but with one important modification: The rule should only apply if the defending unit is dug down in a fortress.
    What will happen then is that you may build a line of fortresses along your border with two squares between each fortress, and pack them with defensive units. The attacker will need to use planes and artillery to soften those defense lines, otherwise they will not get through.
     
  8. DogmaDog

    DogmaDog Chieftain

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    The problem with Civ 2 and SMAC style air combat was that you could fly a plane over on some square and let it sit there for a turn, and it would prevent enemy ground units from moving into that square. It was an exploit

    I would fly planes behind enemy cities I'd just captured, so they couldn't counterattack with ground units (unless they had enough fighters to down the planes). You could also defend a stack of ground units with a bomber, but then when a fighter came to attack your stack, it would go against the best defender, and usually die.

    Personally, I like the air combat in Civ III. Strategic bombing of the enemy's strategic resources is pretty effective. You can also easily repel enemy naval and amphibious attacks with a stack of artillery to redline ships just offshore, followed by bombers to sink them.

    And while air power is important in amphibious ops, or "forced entry", naval and air bombardments really didn't reduce the enemy resistance at Normandy or on the Pacific Islands all that much--it was still tough going for the landing forces. So if you can use air power to delay or blunt the enemy's initial counterattack when you land on his continent, you're probably doing pretty well.

    DD
     
  9. Sinapus

    Sinapus Defenestrated

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    I will repeat one idea I mentioned for the C3C suggestion list:

    Flight paths.

    I like the Civ3 air mission methods over Civ2/SMAC's air unit movements. An improvement would be to have the aircraft follow a flight path from launching point to target and have any fighters/air defense units along that path have a chance to engage the planes. Adding in fighter escorts would also be nice as well, though I don't see how that would be implemented. (Or, more to the point, how to get the computer player to do it.)

    I'd also make flak and SAM type units do a sort of lethal air bombardment. Perhaps with a ROF to make it possible for it to shoot down an enemy aircraft, but not an all-or-nothing possibility.
     
  10. ShADoW^HawK

    ShADoW^HawK The Shanksta Ganksta

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    Actually, I would like to see aircraft and naval combat improved a lot, especially naval combat.

    1. First of all, they should increase the chances of hitting something, because, generally, when bombers bomb an area, they have pilots in that area that can see whether they are bombing a building or an open field. So, the chance of doing NO DAMAGE should be like 1/16 or something. I agree that the chance of missing should be large, as it is already, for artillery and naval units, since most of them aren't very closeby. But, for example, they should have a spy function to investigate a square/group of squares or something, and you could do that during a war! If you would investigate a square/group of squares, it wouldn't cost too much gold, and your spy, if succesful, would radio back the general locations of most of the military units there. This would allow the artillery and naval units to adjust their range and direction and therefore, the chances that they would hit something on that square would increase quite a bit more, to maybe 3/4. Of course, if your spys were caught, then the other nations civilians would lessen their war warriness becasue they would hate you more.

    2. Another interesting feature that I heard earlier here was that fighters should be able to fortify, therefore making them actively be able to intercept any enemy planes that they can detect (each one being able to shoot down 2 bombers, and 1 other fighter -- fighter less because they can manuever better than bombers and becasue they can shoot back). Of course, if the city/carrier didn't have a radar, but had a F-15 or something, and a stealth plane attacked the city/carrier, the stealth plane could attack and get away. This way, you could feel that your bombers and your carrier are more protected. If this was installed I would build 2 fighters per carrier, while nowadays, I build only about 1 for every 5 carriers or so. The fighters would cover a 5x5, 6x6, or 7x7 (not sure because I would need to playtest this) square around them when they fortify.

    3. Another valid point is that Carrier cost should be reduced, since carriers only function is for carrying air units. If this isn't implemented, then the amount of planes per carrier must be increased, because being able to carry 2 bombers and 2 fighters on one ship doesn't help too much. At least one should be able to carry 6 or 8 planes per carrier.
     
  11. rcoutme

    rcoutme Emperor

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    My thoughts on this:

    1. Bombers should be able to be accompanied by fighters who are looking for enemy interceptors. This was a major flaw in the Civ3 model.

    2. Bombers and fighters should be able to intercept enemy ships! The reason that battleships were supplanted by carriers is not the number of planes the carriers had, it was that the range of the planes made it almost impossible for a group of battleships (unprotected by aircover) to approach a carrier fleet! The entire reason for the Battle of Britain was that German transports could not cross even the small English Channel so long as the RAF was looking for them!

    3. Fighters should be the modicum for attacking ground units and bombers should be attacking factories! The B-52 was used in the Vietnam war. More tons of ammunition were dropped on Vietnam than on Germany or Japan in WWII, yet the Vietcong did not suffer great casualties due to this. The reason is that it is hard to hit a specific guy in the jungle on a bicycle from 35000 ft up in the air! In fact, carpet bombing was tried in Normandy with B-17's and B-25's and was a failure (more or less). The fighter aircraft were far more effective at taking out enemy targets (most of the tiger tanks destroyed in France were victims of allied fighters).

    4. Bombers should eliminate production points from cities (possibly including those stored for the production of a unit, i.e. you have 32 pts toward your next unit, a bomber comes along and takes out 20 of them).

    5. Stealth Bombers and fighters should be aiming at specific targets of opportunity. First of all, these units should be produced with different technologies (otherwise the stealth fighter will be condemned to oblivion). The stealth fighter should cause less strategic damage, but have a really good chance to eliminate enemy radar and SAM units.

    6. The early flight unit should be a fairly short-ranged biplane. The era of biplanes was longer than the era of single-wing prop. fighters. The biplane was being used by 1910. It lasted to about 1939 (with some used in 1940 or 1941 off of British Carriers). The single wing prop planes went from about 1934 or 1935 to 1946 when most powers switched to jets. Yet, in Civ2 and Civ3 we don't see any biplanes (except in Conquests scenarios created by players).

    7. Air Superiority missions should go both ways! If I send an air mission out, and an enemy intercept occurs, if I am within my radius, my interceptors should counter intercept!

    8. ASW aircraft should be able to search for submarines. If they find them, the subs are exposed. If the subs are not exposed by ASW then they should be invisible to all units, destroyers, other subs, et. al. Destroyers can not, repeat not, see submarines. If this were the case, submarines would not exist--they would be totally ineffective!
     
  12. collin_stp

    collin_stp Warlord

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    For point 2, I use planes to intercept enemy battleships all of the time. When I have a continent to myself, that is the primary use I have for them.

    People complain a lot about the use of airplanes, but in conquests, I think they can be very lethal both offensively and defensively. I do like the idea of having a fighter escort, though, which is probably the worst thing about CIVIII airplane combat. Regular bombers are nearly worthless if your enemy is near your tech level, because they consistently get shot down.
     
  13. Ballazic

    Ballazic King

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    I like it.
     
  14. necrosmith

    necrosmith Warlord

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    This is a fantastic idea. Bombers should be changed so that their role is to do this and bomb tile improvements. They should not be used to attack other units. This should be the role of fighters.

    They should also change it so bombers cannot be launched off carriers.

    To compensate for the loss of the current role that bombers play as attack aircraft, normal fighters should have their attack strengths increased.

    This would more accurately reflect the roles of fighters and bombers.
     
  15. rcoutme

    rcoutme Emperor

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    Instead of changing fighters' stats, they should add divebombers. These would have the same range as fighters but reversed stats (i.e. they would be good on bombing, ok on attack suck in defense). This is how the strike forces of carriers were made up anyways (except that they also had torpedo bombers, however I consider that to be too much--dive bombers would suit me: no regular bombers off of aircraft).
     

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