1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

Longswordsmen and Great War Infantry

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by j51, Aug 20, 2012.

  1. Jabberwockxeno

    Jabberwockxeno Prince

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2012
    Messages:
    487
    Right, but we are talking about exclusively the infantry type unit.

    More changed between the world wars in terms of the true utilization of mechanized warefare, but in terms of things that apply to the Warrior > swordsman >.... etc line, more changed from 2 to name than 1 to 2.
     
  2. smallfish

    smallfish Immortal

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2011
    Messages:
    2,968
    WWII Infantry gets thrown around here a lot, but that's because of their "M1 helmet" icon. There's really no sticking era for Infantry the unit itself, other than a general point of 1940-1965.

    They are meant to be broad abstracts.
     
  3. jjkrause84

    jjkrause84 King

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2010
    Messages:
    959
    Location:
    UK
    The small-unit tactics of the World Wars were not radically different. If you look closely at the matter it is surprising how similar they were.....WWI troops even used Bangalore torpedoes!*


    * Which the French called "mines-on-a-stick"....I wish I was kidding!
     
  4. GhostSalsa

    GhostSalsa Emperor

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2012
    Messages:
    1,010
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Listen to xeno.

    WWI was a radicalizing period for infantry as they adopted to the machine gun (the real one, not Gatlings)- but you leave the war with infantry units sporting non-automatic rifles, semi-automatic handguns (like M1911) and a few sub-machine guns (MP18).

    In WWII infantry were carrying non-automatic rifles, semi-automatic handguns, and a greater amount of sub-machine guns (each country had their own kind). You don't have infantry fighting with automatic rifles ("assault rifles", though they're carbines really) until Viet Nam.

    GW Infantry makes sense and is just the new name and look for Vanilla Infantry. It should really stay around until the end of Atomic. It can be renamed or whatever but it is balanced perfectly, all that needs to happen is for the next unit to GTFO of Plastics.
     
  5. smallfish

    smallfish Immortal

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2011
    Messages:
    2,968
    Combined Arms would make for a nice new home for Infantry
     
  6. Jabberwockxeno

    Jabberwockxeno Prince

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2012
    Messages:
    487
    Personally, the most practical solution is to move plastics a little higher up the tree, and change the infantry unit art/ civopedia text to match a cold war era solider.

    It makes sense that a cold war era small arms unit is unlocked at plastics, as that's when they started to be used.

    I think I'm just going to do a unit/tech tree overhaul.
     
  7. GhostSalsa

    GhostSalsa Emperor

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2012
    Messages:
    1,010
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    The Kalashnikov would disagree that plastics were the instrument of change. A lot of it was just the nitty-gritty work of feeling around with different round weights and barrell sizes to solve the problem of a portable (not crazy heavy) automatic weapon that was slightly ok for distance firing.

    But yeah moving plastics back would work. Research labs coming late would be just fine with me. It would be great if before you go to atomic to just have nothing but military tech in the modern era. And that way tanks and destroyers cold keep up with the fighting rather than appearing after SAMs.
     
  8. Scam

    Scam Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    Messages:
    45
    Look back into history for a moment. Riflemen (industrial era) lasted for nearly a century with that technology of weaponry. Then enter WW1 type tech. Bolt-action rifles, invented the turn of the century (~1895-1903). How long did this last? Not too long considering the Thompson (Tommy gun) was invented late into WW1 to mow down infantry that were stuck in trenches. These weapons were used largely into WW2 (Civ Infantry). The germans in WW2 used bolt-action rifles from many years ago, the technology hadn't changed too much, but other advancements had been made. The US used the M1 Garand, the first semi-auto rifle. This is the main development, along with sub-machine guns.

    My point is that the time-line is history is very close, I think GnK has it right with the tech progression. Great war infantry should only last 50-100 years based on your tech priorities. I often hold off on Replaceable Parts in favor of other techs at the time, because Great war infantry + artillery is good enough.
     
  9. chazzycat

    chazzycat Deity

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2010
    Messages:
    2,897
    not really...just change your tech path to delay it...
     
  10. Gucumatz

    Gucumatz JS, secretly Rod Serling

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2011
    Messages:
    6,181
    I have to agree with swords/longsowrds dilemna. Other than for a uniquelongsword replacement civ - there is little to no point in building many/any longswords. Iron is better reserved for frigates - considering Muskets are so soon on the path anyways
     
  11. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo Deity

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2012
    Messages:
    26,326
    The whole line of argument about WWI inf vs WWII inf and their place in the tech tree is really a western-centric argument at the expense of the rest of the world. Names and unit graphics aside, plenty of countries used WWI and WWII type inf units in a completely different timeframe from the west.

    Also, many countries still use CiV style WWII infantry as the backbone of their forces. They didn't just dissapear at the Vietnam war or the appearance of mech infantry. For these reasons I think the current progression is fine.
     
  12. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo Deity

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2012
    Messages:
    26,326
    What's even weirder to me is the fact that you can get great war bombers and triplanes before combustion. As an aerospace engineer, I can confidently tell you that THE reason airplanes happened when they did was because of the advent of the internal combustion engine. Steam engines were tried but the power to weight ratio was too extreme.

    On another aside, WWI planes are too powerful in CiV if you take them to literally represent WWI planes. The real things had very limited roles and the bombers in particular couldn't inflict really meaningful damage. I have to kind of ignore the obvious and just tell myself they could also represent inter-war units.
     
  13. Kurtbob

    Kurtbob Prince

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2003
    Messages:
    470
    Location:
    Arizona
    I agree with OP. I think Infantry should be pushed into the Atomic Era. Atomic Theory would be a good place for them since it is a tech at the top of the tree which fits the rest of the infantry units. I would also like to see Marines placed in Plastics so they appear before Infantry.

    Actually, the whole Modern Era is just too screwy. Has anyone even looked at it? Railroads appear at the same time as Refrigeration and Radio, Flight is before combustion, Great War Infantry come before Machine Guns (to a such a degree that you never see them fighting one another, though this may be a generalizatin on my part), and of course Infantry coming one tech tier after Great War Infantry. Some more techs would be nice, but I'm not sure how that would affect the game flow. I would hate to have an issue like Vanilla where some techs had three or four buildables while others had one or none.

    Not sure what can be done about Longswordsmen. You can't easily just move them elsewhere on the tech tree.
     
  14. GhostSalsa

    GhostSalsa Emperor

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2012
    Messages:
    1,010
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Exactly! Except that: there's no such thing as WWII-era infantry that isn't basically the same as (end-of-) WWI infantry. But you're dead-on that the tech of WWII (same tactically as end-of-WWI) is still in use all over by established armies. WWII-build submachine guns like the M3, that use handgun-equivalent ammo, are still in heavy use, and anything fancier like a HK is going to use the same cartridges.

    The cartridge a gun uses is the gauge of progress. Two guns built around the same round are functionally the same.

    Today's guns, whether used by armies or police forces or gangs, anywhere in the world, are largely built around four cartridges or likenesses of:

    9MM Parabellum (1901) handguns and submachine guns

    .45 ACP (1904) same as previous

    7.62 (Rifle): the standard for machine guns, semi-automatic rifles, and non-automatic rifles for 110 years and going. Most prevelant current designs are the 7.62 "Rimmed Russian" (1891) and the 7.62 NATO which is based on the .30-06 (1906)

    Intermediate Rifle: this is a broadish range that I'll define between the 7.62x39 Soviet (as in the AK-47; cartridge designed in 1943 but not to have an impact on warfare until Viet Nam) and the 5.56 NATO (as in the AR-15; cartridge designed in 1964).

    The last cartidge category gives rise to the modern assault rifle which as mentioned in my previous post is the only major change to infantry "combat strength" since 1906, leaving out other late-era things like body armor and goggles that really lump better with mechanized inf.

    My point is not just "let's be butthurt by historical inaccuracy". My point is, thowing a super-powered imaginary unit into Plastics that makes all other melee units obsolete hurts gameplay both for feel-of-combat and balance-of-tech-tree reasons and is totally, completely, utterly without historical logic.
     
  15. Jabberwockxeno

    Jabberwockxeno Prince

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2012
    Messages:
    487
    The issue is that it only takes away from the game where they could easily show the world wars in a single unit, and instead added one that is only there for a few turns, and didn't fix the void between infantry and mechanized infantry.
     
  16. Kurtbob

    Kurtbob Prince

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2003
    Messages:
    470
    Location:
    Arizona
    Agreed. The focus on WW1 units in this expansion made the tree awkward. I would prefer seeing Rifleman > Infantry > Modern Infantry > Mech Inf. Same with air units: Figher > Jet Fighter > Stealth Fighter; Bomber > Jet Bomber > Stealth bomber. Why focus on WW1 so much? I don't get it.
     
  17. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo Deity

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2012
    Messages:
    26,326
    Although some of the units can get unlocked at weird times (Great War Bombers), it's not entirely bad that the tech tree can be approached in non-historical ways. We have the freedom of shaping history the way we want to, not just forced to play it the way it played out irl.

    As for the WWI/WWII infantry, I suspect there would be less of a negative reaction if the units had been given more generic names and appearances than the super-specific ones they got. It is harder to see the abstractions the units actually represent when they are presented so specifically.

    I know what the devs were going for by trying to slow down the late game. I also like it, but it causes some interesting conundrums for history minded civers and opens them up to nitpicking that's largely based on their presentation than their substance. I guess at the end of the day it's easier to sell games with 'doughboys' and 'landships' and the like than 'generic pre-mobile warfare infantry melee units' ;).
     
  18. smallfish

    smallfish Immortal

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2011
    Messages:
    2,968
    What about the StG44? That's pretty hard to ignore considering something like 425,977 copies were produced by war's end and it saw use in the latter part of the war (in the Ostfront)

    Then there's the FG42, though its more of a battle rifle in vein of the M14.

    In any case, my solution for (WWII) Infantry is simple - shift it all the way down to Combined Arms. Player is given a choice between wanting to go down that route (with artillery) or going with just "GW Infantry" with Bombers and Rocket Arty.
     
  19. GhostSalsa

    GhostSalsa Emperor

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2012
    Messages:
    1,010
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Left out of my chart for simplicity. It's true the gun was on the field and being fired by 1943, but that gun's story also begins with the cartridge: it was designed around the 7.92 Kurz and that cartridge came about (with an intermediate automatic rifle in mind) five years earlier. The five year span between cartridge conception and working (though economically awkward) assault rifle that Germany acheived has to be considered hypothetically exceptional.*

    This is important because even had WWII continued, few other countries would have been able to just "tech" that thing in five years.

    Making an single-soldier automatic rifle was as hard as any other problem tackled in the history of firearms. Even without Germany's defeat the StG would have been the only one of its kind until the late atomic era and a war-themed video game would want to give Germany a unique unit for that rather than making it the standard "WWII" infantry.

    *Edit: I argue that this is different than the submachine gun concept which Germany also debuted at the tail end of the previous war. Submachine guns ran on existing and well-understood pistol cartidges and did not take long to imitate (e.g. the Thompson)
     
  20. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo Deity

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2012
    Messages:
    26,326
    I don't really think there is a void. The infantry unit is not just a WWII infantry unit. As I explained in an earlier post, you have to go past the graphical presentation of the unit. The abstraction that the unit is supposed to be is more in line with modern, non-mechanized infantry. They should be strong enough to almost go toe-to-toe with modern units and with adequate support, they can.

    It is really tough to see past labels and graphics like "Great War Infantry" or the graphical style of Infantry. The way they are presented to the player makes them seem firmly planted in a certain time period from a Western perspective. They probably did this for marketing reasons, but if you just look past the labels and graphics I promise you they make a lot more sense.

    Most of the world currently use CiV-style "Infantry" over Mechanized Infantry, and the timescales that the rest of the world adopted "Great War Infantry" and "Infantry" were very different from the timescales that people in the Western world recognize (WWI, and WWII). It's just so easy for us to pigeonhole these units in a certain time and place and feel uncomfortable with them outside of that context.

    Despite the graphics and labels, you have to think about how Civ is supposed to work. You choose the tech path, you choose when units are upgraded. Things aren't supposed to follow a certain predetermined path beyond the general progression of technology. When you think about this, and the fact that the rest of the world adopted the techs that lead to "Great War Infantry" and "Infantry" at very different times than the West, the units make a lot more sense.
     

Share This Page