Late Game Unit Changes - resources, naval mostly

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Randall Turner, May 28, 2011.

  1. Randall Turner

    Randall Turner King

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
    Messages:
    679
    I was talking in another thread about what changes I made to make the late game more fun, and Ddude97 asked for an updated copy of my edits.

    I decided after discussing via PM w/him to go ahead and make another, separate thread for it, in case anyone else felt the same way I did about some of these units and wanted to use the edits.

    XML files and updating:
    Spoiler :
    First of all - this is all in an XML file, so if your files get updated, you'll lose them. You can avoid this in the middle of a game by keeping the game running, and you can also tell steam not to update your files automatically.

    (To keep from updating automatically, from the steam window do a...)

    Steam->Games->View Game Library

    Then, right-click on "Sid Meier's Civilization V", click "properties".
    Click "Updates" tab, select "do not automatically update this game".

    The only file I changed was the "Civ5Units.XML" file, which lives (normally) under...

    C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\sid meier's civilization v\Assets\Gameplay\XML\Units


    Changes:

    First of all, this is almost exclusively for late-game balance. This is for the people who play 90% of the game peacefully, build up their country, then get into wars late. There is no effect (almost) for early-game, ie, up to Industrial, except for the bump of Great General speed from "2" to "3".

    The first thing I wanted was to correct a couple of what I saw as pretty bad imbalances.

    One of the problems I'd been having was that as soon as I got to Mechanized Infantry, they allowed me to dominate the game. I nerfed them (basically turned them into late-WWII panzergrenadiers or 1950-1960 era mech infantry) by lowering their strength a bit, lowering their movement from "4" to "3", and (major) requiring "oil" as a resource. This makes them in between infantry and tanks both in mobility and power, giving tanks a reasonable use still. I also makes the player decide whether it's worthwhile to upgrade all their infantry types to oil-using mech infantry.

    The second imbalance was the whole Ironclad/Battleship thing. As it stands, there's just no good reason to build Ironclads. I buffed them considerably, and also allowed them to upgrade to Battleships. Then, I made Battleships considerably stronger, as well as faster. Didn't touch the other surface ship combat power, but this makes Ironclads/Battleships more attractive as the backbone of your fleet.

    The final imbalance was the tendency to go into Nuclear Holocaust as soon as nukes became available. I made A-bombs require 4 Uranium, and nuclear missiles require 8. This ensures that most of your late-game warfare will be "conventional".

    Ship speed (general) - I saw no good reason to have the Battleships and Carriers so slow, in many sea conditions they're the fastest ships in the fleet during WWII. I didn't make them as fast as Destroyers, but I bumped them both up to "6" - and it just makes them more fun, they can get around and into the action. I also bumped Submarines up to "6", they operated on the surface and were only slow "tactically", ie, when they submerged. Finally, I bumped Nuclear Submarines up to "8", and required them to use Uranium instead of Aluminum.

    Quick Study - Because Submarines can't "level up" by bombarding cities, I gave them and Carriers "Quick Study" - they'll gain experience 1.5x faster. (Of course, the only way for a Carrier to get experience is to get pummeled, so that probably won't matter much.)

    Nuclear Submarine Sight Range - Nuclear Submarines should also be able to operate independently, so I gave them a middling-good (+2) view range bump. Not as good as Destroyers, and they'll still lose a 1v1 general encounter with a Destroyer, but they can "see" around themselves fairly well now and you can send them off by themselves. (Rationale == good acoustic detection gear on modern subs.)

    Resource usage - I bumped up resource needs on many modern units to also include oil. Jet fighters require oil+alum, both Stealth Bombers and Modern Armor require 2xoil + alum. (Also aforementioned Mech Infantry, etc.) The upshot of this is that you're going to be oil-bound with late game units. You're going to have to make a choice, and probably keep many of your units at WWII tech levels. (Infantry and Artillery are still resource-free units, Tanks only use 1 oil.)

    Also, remember if you're "Condor Legion" inclined (ie, send your units off to weaker proxies for proxy wars), if the proxy doesn't have oil and you gift them (for example) a mech infantry unit, you'll need to gift them some oil or they'll fight at -50%.

    Special units - I also made a couple special units resource mods. This was entirely game specific, it turned out that Japan, USA and Germany were oil-poor on my map.
    Zero - requires no oil. (efficient radial engines)
    Panzer - requires coal (synthetic oil) instead of oil.
    B-17 - requires no oil. (no rationale, the USA just doesn't have any nearby.)

    Some other small changes. I forget them all, just diff this file w/your installed "units' file.

    You can use this directly, just save (ie, rename) your current "Civ5Units.XML" file and drop this one in, changes will take effect immediately on game reload.

    This isn't intended for general use, though - I'd suggest you just look at the edits I've made and use them as "hints" to however you think things should be.

    ps - I'd better emphasize this. Ironclads are more powerful, Battleships are waaaay more powerful, and one upgrades to the other. (I waffled, but finally decided to keep Ironclads coastal.) Swarming Battleships with Destroyers, even well-promoted Destroyers, can be very painful and a good way to get rid of unwanted Destroyer captains. :)
     
  2. Randall Turner

    Randall Turner King

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
    Messages:
    679
    xml file didn't upload, ?? probably b/c game is running, try again...
     

    Attached Files:

  3. BobDole

    BobDole American Leader in Civ VI

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2010
    Messages:
    811
    I will say, some interesting changes. The Mech Infantry changes, for example are intriguing, as in a good production city they only take a few more turns to make than regular Infantry but are so much better. And most of the changes cause units to use up extra strategic resources, which isn't a bad idea since I usually find myself having a lot of them except maybe when going for Cultural with only a few cities and avoiding war. And the nuke changes are something that I could see happening anyway in an actual patch (a lot of people have made similar changes themselves) since right now there's no penalty for initiating nuclear armageddon. Might give them a try at some point.
     
  4. Randall Turner

    Randall Turner King

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
    Messages:
    679
    If you think something's "bad" and want help fixing it, post or pm me.

    Also, there are some holes - I reduced Mech Inf from 50 to 45, for instance, but although I reduced the SAM speed to match Mech Inf, I didn't reduce their strength (they're still 40) and didn't require oil for them (probably should, just not sure.) Other stuff like that.

    But, dude, late naval warfare is awesome. :)

    Edit: be aware, too, that these changes will force you into wars to get oil (reasonable), and Arabia with their x2 oil production is a beast.
     
  5. Lyoncet

    Lyoncet Emperor

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2009
    Messages:
    1,676
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Those are some very well-thought-out and execute changes there RT! It may have to be the first mod I ever pick up! :)

    I actually think it may be reasonable to lower Arabias's UA to x1.5 oil with these changes, although since there are odd number oil deposits you'd then have to do something about rounding too.
     
  6. Randall Turner

    Randall Turner King

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
    Messages:
    679
    Actually, the changes are almost all no-brainers. Why, for instance, should a Great General only be able to move two hexes a turn? It's a dude on a horse, for crying out loud.

    re: Arabia - the AI is very amenable to trading away their oil for luxuries. If they're not a runaway opponent they make a good trading partner. (Though it's a good idea to send an expeditionary force over to help them hold onto their oil fields if you take that route.)
     
  7. bite

    bite Unofficial Civilization Cartographer Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2004
    Messages:
    4,426
    the changes seam interesting though I would do

    Abomb - 2 uranium
    Nuke Missile - 4 Uranium
     
  8. Randall Turner

    Randall Turner King

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
    Messages:
    679
    Just change line 5958 in the file I uploaded, ie,
    <Cost>4</Cost> --> <Cost>2</Cost>

    Likewise the Nuclear Missile unit a few lines further down.

    I'd make the observation, though, that I'm getting nuclear exchanges in my current game. They're just more limited, ie, the nuclear weapon stockpiles are much smaller. As an exceptional event it's pretty fun, as an ongoing deluge it just gets old.
     
  9. buchengshi

    buchengshi Warlord

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Messages:
    255
    How about making nukes non-buyable (possibly instead of using more resources)? It would cut down on the nuke every turn spam from gold heavy opponents. I've found opponents being capable of building them to be much less annoying than ones who who just buy them outright.
     
  10. Randall Turner

    Randall Turner King

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
    Messages:
    679
    I'd encourage you to make any change you'd feel appropriate. That one wouldn't be bad, you can make nukes "impossible" any number of ways, one of which is to make the Manhattan Project impossibly expensive.

    If you've already got this file open, though, just change the "cost" line to something like 50 or so. <shrug> Nobody's likely to get 50 Uranium resources.

    The key point here though, is - if something's irking you, just go in and change it yourself. No real programming knowledge necessary, just a text editor.
     
  11. Ddude97

    Ddude97 King

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    Messages:
    761
    Alright! Been waiting for you to upload this! Gonna try it now. Though, you could just put it into a mod file you know ;)
     
  12. JWAT44

    JWAT44 Prince

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2011
    Messages:
    356
    Location:
    Michigan
    i think you made the nuclear cost a little too high other than that changes sound pretty good
     
  13. Randall Turner

    Randall Turner King

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
    Messages:
    679
    I didn't want to make it into a big deal.

    Hey, Ddude, I found a pretty big problem that's still there with naval warfare. The ships are too fragile when attacked from certain sources.

    There's a global modifier to naval unit defense strength on line 242 of the GlobalDefines.XML file, ie,

    <Row Name="NAVAL_COMBAT_DEFENDER_STRENGTH_MULTIPLIER">
    <Value>40</Value>
    </Row>

    That multiplies the defender's strength by .40, ie, my 70-strength Battleships defend at 28 against an attacker from "naval domain".

    This shows up as follows - I have a Nuclear Submarine, and I'm trying to take out one of Arabia's Battleships. I have the sub itself with an attack strength of 70 (highest naval bombardment strength) and a Guided Missile with an attack strength also of 70.

    When I fire the Guided Missile at the Battleship, it's about a 1:1 attack, ie, you'll do some 4-5 points of damage.

    But then when I fire a torpedo at the Battleship, the Battleship's defense is only 28 (ie, 70 * .40), and it's a one-shot kill. (Additionally, the Nuclear Submarine gets a +40% "naval domain" bonus, btw.)

    Upshot is that I need to either bump the Battleship defense waaay up, or modify the NAVAL_COMBAT_DEFENDER_STRENGTH_MULTIPLIER value. I'm unsure for balance purposes what other effects there are to both these changes. I've settled (currently) on bumping Battleship defense to 120, AND changing the multiplier from .40 to .70 - testing is tedious, though, I haven't found the code that actually applies the modifiers and I'm not sure how other weapons (land artillery, air strikes, etc.) are affected yet.

    Battleships vs. Missiles:
    Spoiler :
    Aside - People commonly don't realize just how tough WWII battleships are. My brother is a retired Naval Aviator, retired as XO of VMA-311. Back when during the Falklands when the Brits were having trouble with Exocets, I'd made some offhand remark about how those missiles were making Battlships obsolete. As part of Reagan's naval expansion program we'd refurbished and put back into service a couple of the Iowa-class, ie, Missouri and New Jersey. My brother (Cecil Turner, google him) disabused me of that notion. He made the point that an Exocet hit on the Iowa-class ships, far from being devastating (as they were to the largely Aluminum-armored British destroyers in the Falklands), would essentially do nothing. A sea-skimmer hit on the Missouri belt armor would do nothing more than leave a smudge. Even the more powerful "Standard" and "Harpoon" missiles, with pop-up capability, would do minimal damage.

    The Soviets actually fielded some anti-ship missiles intended for large US Navy targets. They're HUGE. An Exocet is about an 11" diameter missile with about a 350lb warhead, the Harpoon is significantly larger with approx. 500lb warhead. The Soviets fielded a selection of missiles with warheads over 2,000lb, some with supersonic capability.

    The point though, is that these mid-size missiles, even with advanced semi-armor penetrating warheads, don't compare to an old-fashioned 16" main battery round for pure armor piercing capability. Their advantage is range and accuracy - a WWII Battleship protection actually poses problems even for the high-tech Harpoons. You really need one of the specialist deck-mounted Soviet big hitters against "obsolete" Iowa-classes. (and even then...)


    TL;DR - I'm still twiddling with some of the values, had to make Battleships even tougher.

    Edit: One irritating thing is that if you change unit specs during the game, the changes don't all take effect on units already in-play. Some will, some won't. Additional "default" promotions and general strength values for already built units seem to be embedded in the save game file.

    Edit2: modifying NAVAL_COMBAT_DEFENDER_STRENGTH_MULTIPLIER from 40 (.40) to 70 (.70) looks good, and takes effect immediately on reload. Against a 70-strength Battleship, both Guided Missiles and the Nuclear Submarine torpedos look to do about half damage. I think the bump to 120 for Battleship strength is overkill now, probably 90-100 would be okay.

    Edit3: yep, strength (defensive) doesn't update for existing units. Bombardment strength & speed does. I've now got some 70/46 (strenght/bombardmet) BB's and a new 100/46 BB, I'm going to rationalize this as the pre-exisiting ones being Batlecruisers (or early WWII BB's with the newly built one being Iowa/Bismarck/Yamoto types.) The defensive strength modifier is good to go, might drop it back down to around .60 after twiddling with it for awhile. (It makes all naval units much tougher.)

    Edit4: oh, the "domain" bonus is for "targeting" promotions. Get those Battleships leveled up vs. other naval units ASAP. (Not hard to do, with their "3" range.)
     
  14. Ddude97

    Ddude97 King

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    Messages:
    761
    Alright, though I think that a nuclear submarine would do more than a guided missile so dropping the NAVAL_COMBAT_DEFENDER_STRENGTH_MULTIPLIER to .60 as you said in your 3rd edit sounds good. I was aware that the US refurbished the two Iowa Class battleships, (I'm from New Jersey and my parents were in the Navy), and so I thought they'd need a boost as well. If I remember correctly the New Jersey was used as fire support for a couple of wars including Vietnam. Though I haven't done too much testing, I started a new game and am going to take that all the way up to see the effects on ironclads and then battleships. I also have the Barbarians mod going and I'm not the best player so its interesting. ;)
    I'll make the changes that you made to mine as well, do you think that since its in mod form and it effects savegames it will still work for me? Though I'm not even to frigates yet so I won't have your different types of battleships problem.
    Looking at your edit3, have you been tweaking the XML as you play the game?
    Now since battleships upgrade to missile cruisers, are you going to change their stats and costs as well?

    Edit: Where is the NAVAL_COMBAT_DEFENDER_STRENGTH_MULTIPLIER? Its is not in CIV5Units.xml (Or if it is ctrl-f doesn't find it)
    Edit2: Alright found it and changed the modifier to .60, will test later today probably
     
  15. Drawmeus

    Drawmeus Emperor

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Messages:
    1,213
    Nukes need a total overhaul. Nuclear war isn't very interesting; nuclear diplomacy is. Until the game can support that, making them overwhelmingly expensive works for me.
     
  16. Ddude97

    Ddude97 King

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    Messages:
    761
    Would you mind if I incorporated this into my my mod/scenario? (Though I might edit it a little)
     
  17. Randall Turner

    Randall Turner King

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
    Messages:
    679
    Of course not! All these things are just to make life fun for the most people. :)

    They don't. Ie, I left them as-is, Battleships are an end-unit, no upgrade. (umm... unless they've released new unit XML file upgrade changes in the last 48-72 hours or so, I've got my Steam "frozen", in the middle of a huge end-game war. Do BB's upgrade to CG's now?)

    These new-version Battleships are better than Guided Missile Cruisers by a large margin anyway. Edit: well, in most ways, besides the CG's vs. aircraft + nuke missiles etc, but as just ships, the BB's are much better. Play with them & judge. (And they should be more expensive, I didn't pay that much attention to costs. I can't afford to build any more, hardly, and the AI doesn't seem to care what anything costs, they're just spewing units! ** ) Definitely adjust cost as you see fit.

    They used the Iowa's pretty much unchanged in Korea and Vietnam. They were highly coveted as support, Marine commanders would explicitly request them against coastal fortifications. :) (this is nothing new, there's never been anything like a BB's main battery bombardment.)

    Dude, we can't model the later 1980's changes, they're just so extensive the ship completely changes. Cruise missiles, AA missiles - There were even bolt-on packages of long range anti-sub missiles. But I think it sort of "falls out" - the normal "problem" with Civ obsolete units staying effective helps in this case, the ship stays effective, so that's sorta modeling the modernizations.

    ** - spewing units:
    Spoiler :
    Every so often I sit back and "look" at the current situation in my game, and I'm stunned.

    I've got a mature end-game set up. I had one "intermediate" war (think of it as WWII) that I needed as part of the setting up, making sure countries were balanced, getting some allies "locked-in" for later use as proxies, that sort of thing. That war went on for 40-50 turns, at the end of which I could have flown a helicopter pretty much unmolested from my strongest enemy's capitol. I'd basically killed everything. (One sure way to make the AI upgrade its units.)

    Then I declare peace everywhere and allow the AI to catch up in tech and rebuild their armies. For the "real" war(s).

    In 20-30 turns, the board went from "empty" to, "every single border hex has an enemy unit on it". Simply stunning. The AI is now dumping its money, but that doesn't explain it all, Germany didn't have much of a treasury but their army has gone to double mine. At high difficulty levels and a "mature" civ (turn 920, Marathon) the AI can regenerate their forces almost infinitely.

    ....but mine have more medals! <heh>

    I should post some screenshots when the balloon goes up.

     
  18. Ddude97

    Ddude97 King

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    Messages:
    761
    Cool, thanks!

    I thought they did. But I guess not then.

    As soon as I hit the necessary tech I will - Haven't had much playing time lately :(

    Well, battleships are just giant, floating, heavily armored artillery pieces anyway, so that makes sense

    I know that we can't model them, though perhaps it could be possible to add strength (Representing these upgrades) at a certain tech?

    What difficulty you playing on? Immortal? Yeah, I'm really not surprised the AI was able to do that. When the balloon goes up, please do post screens, that would be awesome!
     
  19. Randall Turner

    Randall Turner King

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
    Messages:
    679
    Adding a guided missile slot or four is trivial, and of course those wouldn't be useable until you actually got guided missiles (Satellites). <shrug>


    Yep, Immortal. Main thing though, I think, is that the game is so "mature", the AI cities have everything. (And of course the Immortal bonuses are virtually the same as Deity for late-game purposes, Deity mostly differentiates by having stronger starting buffs.)

    Real life may interfere here, though, I may have to cut this game short and continue it later.
     
  20. Ddude97

    Ddude97 King

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    Messages:
    761
    I'll take a look at the xml then and see if I can't get it to work and see how that effects gameplay

    Immortal late game bonuses are the same? I though the AI had some slightly different gold and happiness modifiers for deity.
    O well, but if you do get a chance, screens would be really appreciated :)
     

Share This Page