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Let’s discuss the amazing battle system in civ1

Discussion in 'Civ1 - General Discussions' started by Pikachu, Oct 23, 2006.

  1. Sark6354201

    Sark6354201 Warlord

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    I agree, realism is not the most important aspect of Civ. However, it is an entirely different thing altogether when there is NO realism to certain parts of Civ. The game loses its charm. The goal of the game is to build a civilization to stand the test of time. Civ is based off of straight forward aspects of the real world. For example, Republics and Democracies give your Civ more trade, but restrict your military flexibility. A gold deposit in the mountains will help your city with trade and in turn allow you to become richer. In playing the game, you weigh these factors in your attempt for domination.

    Obviously, the world is more complicated then this. There are numerous games that are more complicated than this system (Europa Universalis III for example). However, there is still a straight forward correlation to the real world.

    This is what is lacking the military aspect of the game. Riflemen are stronger than Chariots. This is just as apparent as gold giving you more trade and wealth. Why then do Chariots have a greater attack than Riflemen? Why do Riflemen have such a high probability of losing to a Chariot unit? Why is something so straight forward so incorrect?

    A Phalanx in modern times would have spears unless the civilization in question had better technology. This still does not mean that the Phalanx would be assumed to be equipped with better weaponry, because if the Civ had better technology, like gunpowder, it would not be attacking you with phalanx, it would be attacking you with Musketeers.

    So when I build my civilization into a world power and am ahead technologically, I expect that technology to give me the advantages that it would in the real world in Civ terms. This means my Riflemen should not be losing to ancient units. A very simple, straight forward connection to the real world.
     
  2. Pikachu

    Pikachu Emperor

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    You know that this is a result of the genius system of separating between offensive and defensive units, right? That riflemen are weaker attackers than chariots is of course unrealistic, but it is irrelevant since riflemen in civ1 are defensive units. You should not attack with riflemen anyway.

    The division between offensive and defensive units opens up a wealth of tactical considerations which makes wars much more interesting. With this system you have to figure out how to defend your offensive units against counterstrikes. Many different strategies can be successful, depending on what kind of units you have available, what kind of units the enemy is using, the terrain in the conflict area, how much time you want to spend on achieving your objectives and how great risks you are willing to take. If defensive units like riflemen had decent attack capabilities, all these considerations would be meaningless and the game would not have been as fascinating as it is.

    That is where the imagination part comes in :)

    A phalanx in civ1 represents a rather large army group, and even though the main part of an phalanx unit would normally be equipped with spears or similar weapons, the unit would probably also include some auxiliary troops with different kinds of weapons. Underdeveloped civilizations can acquire some semi-modern weapons without actually having the technology to produce it themselves. They can get some weapons through trade, smuggling, plundering etc. Those weapons can for example be used by auxiliary troops. I don’t see why it should be impossible for a phalanx unit in modern times to have a few handguns and some simple bombs or grenades in their arsenal, and thus be capable to conduct terrorist acts. The main weapon of the modern phalanx could still be a modern equivalent of spears, like knives for example. This fits well with the terrorist explanation since knives actually appears to be a quite popular terrorist weapon.

    You also seem to assume that your rifle men corps is always ready for battle, but that doesn’t have to be the case. What if some charioteers manage to make a surprise attack on some riflemen who are totally unprepared for battle? The riflemen would not have so superior fighting abilities if the attacker manages to charge them before they get time to load their rifles.

    That modern units sometimes looses to ancient units doesn’t even have to be caused by the ancient unit either. Armies frequently loose men and materiel to accidents and friendly fire etc.

    Everything is possible, but of course this requires some imaginations.
     
  3. Sark6354201

    Sark6354201 Warlord

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    I am aware the game is divided between offensive and defensive units. I'm fine with this sytem. The problem that crops up is the fact that a defensive oriented modern unit should still be stronger on the attack than a offensive oriented ancient unit. The discrepancy in technology is so great that even when the unit is not used in its intended role it should still have a much better chance of succeeding simply due to its technology.

    The reason why "imagination" doesn't work in a game like Civ is because of the scope. There is no defined size for a unit in size, nor can we simply apply a static number to a unit from any age. As time has progressed, armies have become increasingly large. Ancient armies were nowhere near the size of the forces involved in World War 2 for example. But to simplify things, lets assume one unit in civ is about 5 to 10 thousand men. This is about the half the size of a modern division. This seems logical, as many civ games end up with a player fielding a army size in the 40 to 100 unit range (depends on your style of course:)). This would mean the army size of that civ would be about a million men with 100 units at 10 thousand each. Fairly reasonable considering the Polish army in World War 2 was about 800,000.

    With this in mind, surprise is not a viable possibility. While 40 men might be ambushed by 100 charioteers and killed while they slept, this would never happen to thousands of men. A unit of Charioteers could never create enough surprise to allow them to defeat thousands of modern soldiers. This also rules out the possibility of a unit of Phalanx being equipped with enough side arms to defeat a modern unit. Even if 5 thousand of them had grenades, the weaponry available to a modern unit would far exceed that. Not to mention superior tactics. This also rules out friendly fire and accidents. No accident results in the death of an entire Brigade, nor are there any friendly fire incident that would result in thousands of men being killed.
     
  4. Pikachu

    Pikachu Emperor

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    Obviously imagination is not for you :)

    Let me give you one historical example. Do you remember what happened when Napoleon tried to conquer Russia? The campaign was going quite well until he captured Moscow, but then he decided to retreat. On the way home Napoleon’s army (consisting of 17 cannons, 9 knights and 5 musketeers) had to get past a Russian phalanx (consisting of some Russian farmers with pitchforks commanded by general winter). This encounter was disastrous for Napoleon’s army. He lost 17 cannons, 7 knights and 2 musketeers, and returned to France with only 4 units left. Though luck, huh?

    Of course there was never a battle between Napoleon's army and the Russian phalanx, but for Napoleon the result was just as devastating as the results from extreme unluck can be to civ1 campaigns. 'Accidents' can happen on a massive scale in real life too.
     
  5. Sark6354201

    Sark6354201 Warlord

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    Disease and winter took their toll on Napoleon's army. I'm sure there were instances where local Russians harrassed the army but it was certainly not the main cause for the decimation.

    This example is poor because Napleon's army met defeat versus a Russian army that in Civ terms would be very close in technology if not the same. While disease and weather were the primary causes of defeat, these are not modelled in Civ. If you were to recreate what happened in Civ, you would end up with the Russian army simply defeating the French army to receive the same result.

    It also isn't even close to the absurdity of ancient units defeating modern units.


    On the contrary, I am quite imaginative. I would just like the games I play to make sense on some level. Maybe that doesn't matter to you...
     
  6. Dack

    Dack Terra Form Moderator

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    There was a time, grasshopper, when there was no Internet, no personal computers. It was an era of board games. Some of them with highly complex methods of combat resolution using cards, charts, spinners, dice and lookup tables. Rather than being an attempt to mirror actual events, CIV DOS is a computer representation of a board game. The tokens represent not armies but abstractions of attack, defense, and other attributes of the piece.


    I'm sure others can make a longer list. The following are a few of the non-realistic aspects of CIV DOS.

    Units live forever. Imagine in the early portion of the game some poor member of a phalanx unit leave their city on some mission for their civilization. It can sometimes take hundreds years to get where they are going and they can sit next to some other civilizations city or unit for thousands of years. Technology can ebb and flow but they stay the same.

    You would think that as technology advances the cities would send out some new equipment for these units. Certainly in the higher government types the city is being charged for maintenance of these troops. How unhappy would you be for some relative who left town a millennium ago?

    City capture. This is always been a strange concept. You capture a city. You have been using catapults, cannons, artillery, and bombers to rain destruction on a city. You beat off the last defenders and enter the city. Now the inhabitants are full members of your civilization their unhappiness could bring down you government. You instantly move copies of all your state secrets there so that if you should lose the city on the next turn the enemy will get one of your technological advances. A burn the city option would be nice.

    The City state.The units produced are supported by their home city. Lose the city and instantly they die. I could see a slow death from lack of supplies. Why don’t the other cities in your civilization pick up the slack and support these other troops.

    This is not an indictment of CIV DOS but to point out what it is not. Thinking of the games tokens as actual units of armies seems way beyond the scope of the game.

    As has been suggested earlier one could always modify the attributes of the units. The combat mysteries of CIV are always surprising. Nobody minds when their catapult takes out a rifleman on a mountain, but we all wonder why we didn’t do a game save just before we ran over a trireme with a battleship and the trireme won. I can only imagine that a splinter of wood got lodged in the secondary feed water pump leading to a boiler failure when the crown plate melted. Too bad the primary pump was down for maintenance. Maybe if the crew had had veteran status.
     
  7. Pikachu

    Pikachu Emperor

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    That was my point. The loss of modern units to ancient ones doesn’t have to be caused by the ancient unit. It could just as well be caused by attrition etc. Your claim that accidents never results in the death of an entire brigade is not entirely true. Napoleon lost several hundred thousands men in his retreat from Moscow, and that is not the only historical example of massive armies being nearly annihilated by attrition.


    The real advantage of limiting the relative power of modern weapons is however to make the game more interesting to play. I have played too much of later versions of civ, and one of the most annoying features of those games is that military technology is so important that really interesting games only can happen when the technological development of my civ stays at a similar level to other civs in the game. Of course this don’t happen every game. In most games I end up either being technologically far ahead of the opponents or far behind the opponents, and then the games get boring, boring, boring :mad:

    Fortunately civ1 doesn’t suffer as much from this problem. Thank God that those Mongol chariots can still kick some ass in the modern era :D
     
  8. Sark6354201

    Sark6354201 Warlord

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    @Dack

    I'm aware of those inaccuracies, and having played numerous other strategy games including pen and paper games like DnD and tabletop games like Warhammer I know all about complicated methods of combat resolution.

    I know Civ is not a simulation and that there are aspects of the game that don't always make very much sense even in Civ terms. These problems are similar to the combat system in that they should be fixed. Many of these issues have been addressed in later Civ games, such as upgrading units in the field (Civ3), burning a city option (SMAC), non-city support (Civ3, CTP), Democracies/Republics not being overthrown by cities in riot, especially those that you just captured (Civ3). Just as these problems have been fixed, so has combat, for instance in Civ2. Having said that, I still like Civ1 due to its overall simplicity and also because other games, like Civ3, has many aspects that I do not like.

    But while city state support, units that live forever, and the other things you mention are either bearable or not to difficult to fathom (especially city state support), losing battleships to phalanx is simply ridiculous and very frustrating.

    @Pikachu
    Well, alright, you have your opinion, I have mine. I want a combat system that at least has some semblance to reality and (at least) reason, you want a combat system where chariots can defeat riflemen so it's more fun.
     
  9. Jops

    Jops Chieftain

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    You present good and valid points. About the city states, that's actually how people were organised until recent years. Athens was very different from Sparta and no way that they would have supported each other, they were fierce enemies. Only in the 19th century was Prussia united to Germany and the provinces of Italy joined to a nation (if I recall correctly).
     
  10. Diviner

    Diviner Prince

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    somtimes i find more annoying, than amazing (in those 22 armor vs one rifle cases :D), i think it's combat system is the most imbalanced of all civ and the most random. but thats no problem, because it balances the game as technological dominance can not be exploited so much as in the other civ games.

    in civ3 if you lack the resources you could build obsolete troops even if you are equally developed technologically. and its more realistic, and the better distribution of points are more realistic, but i often find myself in situations where i have a massive, invincible army facing pikes, muskets etc, which i defeat almost too easily and it takes away a big fun from the game as warfare should be more difficult to be fun and backward technology should be less devastating (despite realism) to make variety of game strategies even wider.

    but civ3 have far from bad combat system when it comes to civ4, where the combat system is even more dumbed, because there is army strength, not defensive and offensive strength. it takes away even more variety from the strategies. (in civ3 there are many units from which you can choose, so overall it compensates for some fun-element gone).
     
  11. Pikachu

    Pikachu Emperor

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    Isn’t it strange that every time they fix one of these problems the game looses some of its charm and becomes less and less interesting to play?

    Sure, and with the way it is implemented in civ1 we get both! The combat system does reflect reality at some level. It is just not written in a linear scale. The time scale, the city population, the map size and everything is non-linear. Nothing can be directly translated to years, number of people or kilometers, but it all works out to give interesting parallels to human history.

    There are historical examples of chariots beats riflemen. Take the battle of Isandlwana for example. There the winner didn’t even have chariots. The Zulus attacked an English Rifleman with 15 Phalanxes. The first 3 Zulu Phalanxes lost, but the fourth one won and destroyed the English rifleman. This kind of events are very unlikely to happen in both in reality and in civ1, but it is not impossible. With proper imagination everything is possible!
     
  12. Khilak

    Khilak Chieftain

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    I also love & hate CIV 1 combat system...it's hard when you lose a battleship to a phalanx or trirreme

    A question about strengts, in a city with no walls, and fortified (using the 'f' key) , what multiplier gets the unit ? I understood that was 3x with city walls and 1,5x without..is that correct?
     
  13. trada

    trada civ1 mod Retired Moderator

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    Civilization simulates the history of our civilizations pretty darn well. It manages both the internal and external. The internal being the management of your cities and their growth and the external being your interaction with other civilizations.

    In games of Civilization 1 you see empires rise and fall. You see naval invasions and great land wars. You see daring sneak attacks and ambushes, mighty armies sieging powerful trade cities. The unrelenting march of technology affects everything. From the biblical times of chariots and catapults to the forming of great colonies. Leaders actually seem to care about their civilizations. Regardless of all the nit picking, the AI is clever, motivated, and powerful. Wars between bitter rivals can last thousands of years. Wars on the scale of WWII *do* happen.

    It's fun, easy and in our nature to complain about the negetive aspects. But sometimes you just have to focus on the good of Civ1 and savour it all. I mean, look on the bright side: The AI *could* be much worse. Imagine if it's units only popped into existence when they came into our line of sight! And even if the unit stats could be tweaked a bit, for sure... At least they work. And we have nukes! woo! And random map generation! We are very lucky.

    I'll see you on the battlefields.. of ideas, identity, glory and tradition. I'll see you in Civ! :)
     
  14. Sark6354201

    Sark6354201 Warlord

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    Coming back to the check on this thread didn't dissapoint, thank you for providing the obligatory Zulu reference Pikachu. How could I not see that coming in a thread about Civ's problematic combat system?:lol:

    In fact, I can't believe it took this long.
     
  15. Pikachu

    Pikachu Emperor

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    I am glad I could help :)

    But you are wrong. The combat system in civ1 is not problematic. It works just like intended.
     
  16. Grand Dad

    Grand Dad Chieftain

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    One has to accept the eccentric 'battle system' of Civ joyfully :)! If you're peeved about it...well there are only two options that I would suggest...get out and don't play it :(!!!
    There's such a thing called patriotism! That's the way I see it when a single Militia defending a town repels and destroys attacking units like the Knights, and I don't mind losing in such a situation :)! I think it's realistic enough! It's happened many times in the brief history of this World!
     
  17. Khilak

    Khilak Chieftain

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    I watched yesterday a movie, The Last Samurai (actor Tom Cruise) and there, you can see how LEGIONS of samurais managed to hold against RIFLEMEN and CANNON. So, Sid Meier made his battle system as real as real life!

    Good Civ!
     
  18. XDrake

    XDrake Chieftain

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    Strangely, I think Civ1 has one of the most clever AIs in any game I ever played. Out of all the games of that era, I'd argue it was the best.

    Civilizations all had different talents and adaption to their surroundings. The Greeks and English will overrun the world with naval assaults if left unchecked. None of the civilizations seem stupid.

    The AI has lacked some naval support ideas that may have helped it. It desires land travel more. So, a blockade of the Suez can keep and enemy out of Africa or in Africa. They usually won't build ships and work around the blockade. Only try to demolish it.

    Usually, anywhere in the world they can find you and will send an endless supply of violence to you.

    I have countless moments where I sat in my chair and had something unexpected happen that was brilliant. And I go, "clever girl."

    My personal favorite was when I was fighting hard to destroy their cities. They took up fortifications in the mountains to block the way for me. It was a big pain to remove them... But, somehow the AI knew that waiting there was better than their city that was founded in grasslands and had no city walls.

    Another is when not only did they land an assault for in northern Australia, but dropped one in the east and west as well. I won in the end, but out of my five cities there was a turn they had four of them.

    My no means is it genius... But, the Civ II and Civ III AIs are no comparison. Civ II had the dumbest AI in a Civ game. Never played IV. Building forts on the north and south poles...?
     
  19. Joebob22

    Joebob22 Chieftain

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    I agree with XDrake...Civ1 has pretty damn good AI for a 1980's DOS game. And about the combat system: sure, a phalanx CAN defeat a tank...but if you've got one army of modern tanks and infantry against an older army of outdated phalanxes I think we can all assume what the result would be. So in a large battle, overall, the combat system tends to work out just fine.
     
  20. Grand Dad

    Grand Dad Chieftain

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    It certainly does, and that plus the other aspects of the 'battle system' makes all the more enjoyable and challenging :)!
     

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