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It's time to stop requiring units to need resources

Discussion in 'Civ - Ideas & Suggestions' started by Disgustipated, Aug 28, 2017.

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Should units require resources to be upgraded

  1. Keep things as is, it's perfect

    10 vote(s)
    55.6%
  2. I like the idea of no resource requirement, but not the forced upgrading you mention

    1 vote(s)
    5.6%
  3. I like the idea of no resource requirement and the forced upgrading you mentioned

    1 vote(s)
    5.6%
  4. I have other ideas (explain in the space provided below)

    6 vote(s)
    33.3%
  1. Disgustipated

    Disgustipated Chieftain

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    The past 2 games especially have shown how bad this mechanic is in my opinion. Civ5 implementation was no better than Civ6's implementation, it's worse imho. It's been a little too long to remember how well it worked in Civ4 and Civ3 (which I believe only UU's required resources in civ3?, I cannot remember it's been so long). Thoughts on why I feel units shouldn't require resources at the end of this post.

    First idea is to completely eliminate the need for units to need resources. Any unit can be upgraded at any time provided they have the required technology. But of course we'd want to give an advantage to Civs that do have the resource associated with that unit. My first thought was to give them +5 on offense and defense if they have the previously required resource. Or would +7 be better? That may be too powerful.

    My second thought was there's already a game mechanic for units that lose their required resources in that they stop healing. So we could make it so any unit can be upgraded, but if you lack the required resource, your units won't heal. This one may be a little too harsh, however. But perhaps more realistic. Think of German tank divisions late in WW2 who struggled to find enough oil to operate, and hence couldn't field full divisions. It's not like they went back to building knights when we took away their sources of oil.

    My last thought is units should be forced to upgrade. Both AI and human units. This may be a little controversial. As a strategy game should be all about choice, and I'm hesitant to suggest forcing a player to do something. But in this case I feel like it will offer better and more realistic gameplay, and that outweighs strategy concerns. Now we wouldn't want to punish civs with good economies, they should have the outright advantage regardless. So I propose only 1 unit at a time automatically upgrades regardless of how much money you have stockpiled. Instead, gold per turn (rather than lump sum) is removed from your turn(ly) income until the unit is "paid for". Once that happens, a second unit is automatically upgraded until that unit is paid for, and so on. Civilizations with negative (or zero) per turn incomes cannot upgrade any units of course. The AI players seem too incompetent or poor to upgrade their armies, and some human players may purposely leave their army un-upgraded to save money on maintenance. Think about it, it's not like the U.S. was fielding divisions of musketmen in 1941 before WW2 broke out and suddenly decided to upgrade to infantry to fight the war. It's ridiculous. I'm tired of seeing outdated units on the game map. This has been a problem with this game from the start and needs to be fixed. One thing that would have to be balanced, is only removing a certain amount of gold per turn from the budget, like I said, civilizations with great economies should have the outright advantage. So maybe only -10 or -15 per turn until the unit is paid for (professional army card should still apply at the time the unit is upgraded).

    I still don't believe it was lack of resources which doomed certain civilizations (Yes I know about Guns, Germs, and Steel). But you can't convince me that there was no Iron for the Native Americans. There certainly was Iron in the Eastern U.S. at least. I can't speak for South America, as I'm not familiar with that continent. It was lack of technology that doomed them, not necessarily lack of resources. The iron was always in those hills (of Pennsylvania), they just didn't know what to do with it. I feel if you have the required technology, then you should be able to upgrade. Of course I feel for my ideas above, technology costs should be upped by 15% at least in order to slow things down and space unit upgrades apart. As for gameplay reasons, yes we want the search for resources to be exciting and intense, but seeing these outdated units really breaks immersion. To me, better realistic immersion would be more beneficial than trying to promote fighting for resources. And as the way the warmongering system is right now, who wants to start a modern war just to get oil? I can often win the game without it. Though usually I just build a city out in the middle of nowhere to get it.

    In theory, even nukes I feel should be able to be built without Uranium. Uranium 238 is not hard to come by, 20 countries mine the stuff. It's technology (and industrial capacity) that is needed to turn this into U235 or Pu239, in the form of breeder reactors, or centrifuges in the case of U235 (though this is mostly used for energy and not weapons). But since a nuke is a nuke in the game, and can't be made "less powerful", I would be okay by saying this is the only thing that should require a resource to be built since there's no easy way to give advantage to players who have Uranium.

    I still want strategic resources to be useful. I just don't want to see knights in the modern age because a civilization lacks oil or Uranium (for modern armor). It's not like you see Slovenia's army using knights (I picked Slovenia since Wiki lists them at the bottom of oil production).

    So give me 1 good reason why we should be seeing knights in the modern age for you strategic resource defenders.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2017
  2. SirWill90

    SirWill90 Chieftain

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    I don't have time for more than a very brief reply but here goes. In short I think that the resource requirements are a good thing simply because they make the game more interesting; for instance, discovering and acquiring iron is one of the main goals of the early game for me. As to the requirements for building certain units, I think they are often nonsensical, as in the case of being able to build knights without horses.

    Another consideration: Civ games since resources became required for building units seem all the more to follow the "Guns, Germs, and Steel" kind of view of human civilizational development and dominance. Remove that aspect, and it becomes once again, less interesting with less incentive to explore and exploit what you find.

    Anyway wish I had time to write more but I believe I am giving the gist of my thoughts here. Lose the resource requirements and much of the meat of the gameplay is lost with it and it's just another game of rock, paper, scissors.
     
  3. Phrozen

    Phrozen Chieftain

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    Some of it is really strange. For instance iron is incredibly common and really the only place that didn't have decent iron was Japan. Horses or course make no sense as well since being animals that are hardy and easy to breed in a vast majority of climates they would proliferate anywhere humans are able to ranch them.

    Edit: Later technologies should reveal more resources. Being able to mine deeper means you can find additional deposits of iron rather than what is close to the surface, etc.
     
    Vimpispimpilx, SirWill90 and Siptah like this.
  4. Manifold

    Manifold ModderProtectionAdvocate

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    Resource scarcity and struggle for it is an essential element of the game
     
    Zaarin and SirWill90 like this.
  5. Sostratus

    Sostratus Chieftain

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    I will admit that I really miss how Civ 5's strategic resource system worked- The system in 6 is very binary. Resource+Encampment= infinite unit production. While this motivates maybe an early settle spot for iron or horses, we have lost the incentive to be more adventurous in search of getting our hands on more resources to support our military.

    It would be nice to see some kind of benefit to having more copies of resources, even if they are relatively small. This applies to strategic and luxury resources- it would really encourage civs to trade if, for example, 1 copy of silk can give an amenity to 4 cities, but 2 copies can reach 6 cities, etc. Perhaps a military that is well supplied can heal faster, fight better, or have some other benefit. (We can also extend this to our industry: factories or power plants might require coal like in Civ5, or get some boost for having them available.)
    If we could make the AI value it properly, I personally think facing demands for my resources, potentially followed by an invasion targeted at my deposits would be a fun twist on industrial and later diplomacy!
     
    Olleus, SirWill90 and Amrunril like this.
  6. c4c6

    c4c6 Chieftain

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    1. Most players like the rules they play by to become more and more more detailed, complicated & complex ...
    2. Many players insist that the computer must play by the same rules as the human "on an even level", "without cheating" etc.
    3. It becomes more and more difficultier to create an "AI" able to handle the resulting discrepancy.

    So in short methinks: Any new rules suggestions should also discuss, how that is to be handled by the computer players.

    I'd say: "some kind of benefit to having more copies of resources"-rules great for the human player, but don't burden the computer players with that.
     
  7. Sostratus

    Sostratus Chieftain

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    This is one reason I wish we had a little better idea of what runs under the hood w.r.t. the AI- it can be very hard to have a computer understand the finer points of systems like ranged vs melee combat. But, in this instance, even in the binary resource "on/off" system we have now, the tools to implement it should already be there. The computer knows to settle near luxury resources when it expands. It clearly assigns some weight to that. it also has a weight, expressed as gold value, for making trade deals for resources. (Modified by how much they like you, but we can consider the neutral value.) Simply insert a snippet of code that tells it,
    "if we already have N copies of resource, weight the N+1 copy to X." which would presumably come from a table or something. If you can assign an accurate numerical weight to something, you can usually roll that into decision making like "where to invade during a war." A rule like extra amenities from an additional copy of a luxury is very easy to translate. I agree that things like "heal faster" or "extra movement" are very hard to evaluate.
     
  8. gettingfat

    gettingfat Chieftain

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    It is also an essential element of the warfare history. As a Chinese, I can use the ancient Chinese history as an example. Basically half of our ancient wars happened between the Han Chinese in the south and the nomadic races such as Huns and Mongolia in the north. The lands of Han Chinese didn't have a lot of horses; whereas the nomadic races didn't have much iron, so most of the time it's the war between better weapons/armors vs higher mobility. The Han Chinese still had limited number of horsed units, and they would use them for support to prevent the mostly mounted enemies from running circle as desired. After Tang Dynasty because of civil wars, the Han Chinese lost the only lands that breeded horses. This made the armies of Song Dynasty lose all of their mobility, so the aforementioned balance was broken and the Song's armies became so vulnerable. Eventually their northern half of lands got conquered. The Han Chinese later was forced to develop various new anti-cavalry units, and they almost recovered their lost lands until this was stopped by some political issues.

    So the idea of building any units regardless of resource availability is not only "unfun" from the perspective of gameplay, it's also unrealsitic.
     
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  9. Sostratus

    Sostratus Chieftain

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    I think in the case of the military units requiring resources, it is not handled optimally right now. If you don't have niter, for instance, you're just not building melee units until you get some. So it is easy to sympathize with why some might want to go the extra step of just removing the burden of having to settle one resource spot to start producing from encampments. But then there's the question of why we don't have our militaries split into "basic" units that are weaker but resourceless and "elite" units that require resources.

    This was poorly done in Civ5, with the pikeman's placement on the tech tree and combat strength being so optimal that there was no reason to even tech to swordsman. (That scenario, btw, is why I believe they made spears so awful this time around.)

    Just thinking pre-gunpowder, consider the spearman, swordsman, and pikeman.
    • Spear
      • 25 combat
      • 65 prod.
    • Pike
      • 41 combat
      • 200 prod
    • Sword
      • 36 combat (+10 vs Anti-M units)
      • 90 prod
      • needs one iron source w/encampment
    Swordsmen cost 25 production more than a spearman. But they have a 21 strength advantage. They also cost less than half of a pikeman, and still beat them by +5. And you can build unlimited from one iron source if you have an encampment up. For the player without horses, it isn't even viable to have melee units in your army that are anti-mounted.

    Without making this a huge post about how the tech tree and military units need some work, my point is that without having a "basic" unit to fall back on, resource access becomes mandatory.
    So we have the philosophical issue: how militarily powerful should strategic resource access be?

    (Pikeman really suck, by the way. The unit they exist to counter, knights, cost just 180 hammers and in a match up only have a -3 disadvantage. And they have the extra movement. Firaxis plz, think of the poor serfs!)
     
  10. Amrunril

    Amrunril Chieftain

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    Pikemen are even worse than their inherent stats make them sound. Not only are they more expensive than swords, crossbows and knights by default, they also lack a policy card to boost their production. I think your point about the lack of effective basic units is a good one, and it ties into the relatively small number of up to date units in each era. There's nothing inherently wrong with the idea of staggered unit upgrades, but it means that, since fewer unit types are up to date at any given time, those that are need to be well balanced to ensure valid choices and backup options exist. When balance fails (as it does for knights and the anti-cavalry line), it means that only 1 or 2 units are valid strategic choices. When those units are resource gated (but can be produced in unlimited numbers with 1 or 2 of the right resource), it makes for an incredibly binary divide between the resource "haves" and "have-nots".
     
  11. dagriggstar

    dagriggstar Chieftain

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    Should be able to build and upgrade any unit type at any time. I think strategic resources should indicate where like the "world best" source of a resource is and should provide a combat bonus (So basically original thought).

    I would do something like
    Swordsman base 36 strength + 1 if have access to copper/obsidian (new resource) or +2 if have access to Iron (Not both)
    Combat bonus only applies if you have produced less Swordsmen than you have sources of Iron (If you have 6 swordsmen, then only 6 units can gain this bonus)

    Would probably require going back to the civ V strategic resource quantity method
     
  12. Sostratus

    Sostratus Chieftain

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    One of the drawbacks of our system now is that if my mortal enemy has 3 iron mines, and I invade his lands and pillage two of them, it doesn't actually inhibit his unit production. When we think about modern combat, what good are seizing oil fields if it won't stop their bombers?
    I don't think they will return to Civ5 system at this point, (although with all the new systems in Civ6, I think we could do a lot with it!) but I strongly agree, Amrunril, that until they fill out the unit trees, they really need to take a closer look at how they are balanced between each other.

    With what we have now, maybe that means making the current "melee" line more "heavy infantry".
    Spitballing:
    • Swordsman (+"longswordsman" types, berserker and samurai):
      • inherently gain a bonus defending against ranged, similar to the ngao memba. (+5?)
      • lose their crazy anti-mounted bonus, or reduced dramatically to e.g. +3
    • Spears and Pikes
      • inherently gain a bonus if next to another spear/pike, like the hoplite (+5)
        • Hoplites, as compensation, would keep the higher +10 adjacency bonus with anti-m, and gain the melee defense vs ranged- sort of becoming a hybrid
      • thrust promotion reduced to +5 vs melee
    So then we have swordsmen as these tough, elite units, whose armor helps them soak archer fire. Then we have cheaper spearmen who can have parity with swords at one promotion and positioning (thrust) but lack the heavy armor, making them vulnerable to ranged, but they can still beat back horsemen on a cost basis. Yes, zweihanders are viable vs pikes. But guess what- a gladius isn't some magical hammer of thor to smite everyone with. Formation and tactics beat pike walls. I digress.

    These are some very intertwined systems, and it may require a combat rework like G&K to actually smooth most of it out.
     
  13. Bechhold

    Bechhold Chieftain

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    Keep Resources as they are but reveal more as technology progresses but include Manufacturing like Coal + iron = Steel or something...
     
  14. drubell

    drubell Chieftain

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    One idea I'll throw out is to allow people to spend turns to generate a strategic resource that they don't have. Like if I don't have Iron, I can spend 200 hammers or whatever (probably the cost of a Wonder) to create an Iron resource. Civ 5 had this issue covered with Aluminum by building recycling centers to generate Aluminum, which was great if you didn't have any of it.

    It would help if there were any reasonably good units without resource requirements, but there aren't really. If you have Iron and your opponent doesn't, then your opponent is dead, plain and simple. Swordsmen and Knights are untouchable if you have no Iron unless you plan to spam archers.

    I wish I could say that Horses have the same kind of value, but Horsemen, while great for Classical and Medieval war, are worthless once Knights are in play. There REALLY needs to be more than one horse unit before the Industrial Era; the current implementation of Horse is weird in how limited Horse is compared to Iron.

    As mentioned, Pikes in their current implementation are not good counters to Knights, and Spears are not good counters to Horsemen and they really should be.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2017
  15. Phrozen

    Phrozen Chieftain

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    Spearman and later Pikeman were the backbone of armies in some form or another from the ancient era to when the musket became common enough to basically take over as the main armament of soldiers. Sure there were different formations (Phalanx, Tercio, etc) and different weapons were used (English Billmen for example) but they were all essentially spearmen.

    The spear/pike just makes too much sense. It is cheap, easy to use even for beginners, gives you a quite a reach advantage, and when packed together gives cavalry and even heavy infantry pause as long as the spearmen/pikemen stay in formation. Archers/skirmishers were their bane due to tight formations needed to be effective.
     
  16. Disgustipated

    Disgustipated Chieftain

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    Some good points, here, and I realize resource scarcity is an important part of the game. The spearman/pikeman issue has me poking into the files. I'm going to make some of my own changes.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2017
  17. EpicWestern

    EpicWestern Chieftain

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    I agree with the concept of resource scarcity but also that resource availability being random also makes the game replayable after many hours. If you could just build knights every single game you wanted that would be boring. The randomness in resource availability forces you to take other strategic options.

    I will say that there's some awkwardness in how its been implemented though. I don't think its really necessary to have a difference in having 2 copies of a strategic as opposed to one. Having your production canceled because you accidentally trade away one copy or have it pillaged is quite annoying. I'm also not a fan of disabling healing if you don't have the resource. Also upgrading units as opposed to just building them outright seems a bit overpowered. I would be in favor of a significant increase in upgrade costs, while production to strategic units is reduced with each extra copy of a strategic resource.

    Also, like everyone else I would definitely be in favor of a significant spearmen/pikemen buff.
     
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  18. Horseshoe_Hermi

    Horseshoe_Hermi 20% accurate as usual, Morty

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    A pure "gamism" design would be one which randomly (via the map) puts different strategic resources in players' hands, each of which has an impact in what way, tactically and strategically, you can annex and protect your land (cities). So what you are really needing to adapt to, is a way of playing and exploiting the board, with the technology you can use. There is a need to ensure every player has a chance , as well. While it is realistic for some civilization to come up a pure pauper of some metal or draft animal, the notion of a predestined game over does not sit well with those who wish the game to be a sport.

    What we have is a system that generally gives any player a strategic, but interacts poorly with the dismal 1UPT mechanics to simply provide some "special forces"-esque threshing power. We also have some weird build permissions with tech progression, where, as OP notes, you may be disallowed from building any of the units of some class for only a poorly-interpretable reason, for upwards of several eras.

    In my view, we don't use gamism though. More economics. More nitty-gritty detail of supply chains and manufacture. Ultimately, more options for military present through the tech trees, but less autocratic aggression is possible due to a variety of gauges and limiters:

    • The sentiment of the warriors actually matters - so culturally defining your military caste to be compatible with your grand strategy is necessary
    • Your economy has to support the army - so, your actions have to telegraph your composition (and thereby your tactics)
    • The status of the army - being standing, professional, conscripted, or what have you - is really simulated, and not just the name of a policy card (that you never use because it's not the objectively best one lol this crazy game)

    It would also make sense to have some rules that disallow fielding an obsolete army, yes, but such should depend on your civ's perceptions of military power. Yeah, you wouldn't be able to put outdated weaponry in someone's hands and tell them to fight with it - unless that person is a peasant who has no right to valuable steel and mail. At the same time I would want more restrictions, to where, once you've crashed against rifles, nobody is going to want to be caught taking a spear seriously. If you don't know how to make rifles, tough, your civ is now minus a standing army. But with an appropriate cultural norm it might stil fight with "an" army.
     
  19. Olleus

    Olleus Chieftain

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    You might want to have a look at 8AgesOfWar, one of the very many small changes is to make spears/pikes stronger, cheaper, and with a better bonus Vs cavalry so they can actually CT as counters. The release version is horribly out of date, but you'll find a more up to date one on the discussion thread.

    Also added policies that give increased production for anticav and siege units. I actually pulled off a hoplite rush against varus with it!
     
  20. Arent11

    Arent11 Chieftain

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    I would like to see a much more elaborate military infrastructure:

    (1) standard units that do not require ressources/military infrastructure (militia, basic infantry, cheap & weak), basically cannonfodder that can hold choke points, serve as garrison or delay the enemy
    (2) advanced & specialized units that need training & ressources (swordsmen, horsemen, archers, need stables, weaponsmith & archery range to even build, need certain ressources)
    (3) military infrastructure buildings that provide "support points" as in master of orion. Each support point allows you to support 1 unit for free. If you exceed your limit, you have to pay lots of money per turn (barracks, castles, military academies).
     

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