Intelligence Operations in CiV

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by esemjay, Jan 22, 2011.

  1. esemjay

    esemjay Prince

    Jan 24, 2008
    Does anyone else notice the distinct lack of Intelligence Operations in Civilization V vs Civilization IV? I spent most of my time on Civ IV playing the Legonds of Revolutions (LoR) mod, as I felt that it added a couple of levels of gameplay that BtS didn't offer. The only change I made to it was that I took the ability to attack away from the UAV unit (As I can guarantee with 100% certainty that there is no Reaper or Predator variant with a cannon on the nose), making it a "pure" ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) unit.

    I also took away their ability to station on cruisers, and put them on Aircraft Carriers; as well as took away the upgrade from Seaplane to UAV- but that was for the sake of realism.

    I would build UAV's en masse and station them on border cities and set them to auto-explore (which caused them to automatically Recon areas that were masked by the "Fog of War"). That, alone, provided an ENORMOUS amount of situational awareness that the game otherwise does not readily provide to you. Not to mention, you have 1 carrier with nothing but UAV's, and you immediately have an area where nothing but the fastest ships can sneak up on you.

    LoR also had a "Special Forces" type unit, which was excellent for Unconventional Warfare- as well as providing a great level of SA (Situational Awareness). It basically performed the role I WANTED the spy to perform. It was invisible to all units, except for other SOF (Special Operations Forces) units, and UAV's. If another unit saw it, it could be engaged in combat- which it would almost certainly lose if attacked. The unit could be covertly inserted into enemy territory; destroy roads/improvements; or attack & harass workers/reinforcements as they pass through the area.

    Both ISR and Unconventional/Asymmetric Warfare have been severely underplayed in this new installment. Unconventional and Asymmetric Warfare are completely understandable, as their representation in Civ IV was limited to spies and espionage- which was, itself, incredibly underwhelming. ISR, however, has taken a HUGE step back in Civilization V vs Civilization IV- taking away the ability to scout enemy territory in it's entirety- replacing it with the weak 6 tiles of visibility you get from aircraft being stationed in a city.

    Half of the time, I can ALREADY see 6 tiles from the city, because I either already own the city (In which case, it should already have a decent sight radius) - or I deliberately go after strategic cities that have a large sight radius. There also isn't any need to put aircraft THAT close to the border- generally, you want to strike units and cities that are within combat radius of your troops- the only time I can understand that being an option is when you did a naval assault, and you only have one city in the territory to station aircraft. Even in this case, you probably brought ships along, and you should have brought artillery with you. Aircraft are just too expensive and vulnerable to put on the front line.

    (Missing units with an innate "Attack from Sea" ability is another topic altogether.)

    Military operations are HUGELY dependent on Intelligence and Information, and have been for a very long time. It's very disappointing to see that Civilization V improved the combat system of the game so much, and then gimped one of the most potent weapons in the game- Information- to a point where it may as well not even exist.

    Maybe I'm the only one who feels like this, but whenever I go to war in Civ V, I feel like I'm sending troops in with blindfolds.

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