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Making forts more useful

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Deggial, Sep 24, 2012.

  1. Deggial

    Deggial Emperor

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    The upcoming fall patch will introduce some changes. The idea behind some of the changes might be to make not so useful game mechanics more beneficial. One of those will target the usefulness of pillaging, which will grant 25 HP to wounded units. Even more, it is promised that the AI will know to use this new feature!

    There are discussions about the consequences of this change. One of them might be that – in order to protect the own improvements - battles will tend to happen more on the open battle field rather than just boil down to sieges against city-fortified ranged units. If this is really the case, it would be a very welcome change, in my opinion.


    In this context, I want to put the following idea up for discussion:

    What about making forts more useful by giving them a range attack?

    Forts – I almost never build them, right now! They consume the space for a much more useful tile improvement, as farms or mines. They are useless without fortified units. They are (more or less) useful only when defending, but don’t help (too much), when the attacker simply decides to bypass them.
    Now, if battles in the open field will be more important after the patch, wouldn’t it be nice to have a tile improvement that is actually worth building and helpful when the realm is being invaded by a sinister foe?

    So, why don’t give forts some actual impact? In detail, I am thinking of something like this:

    Range attack: with a range of 1
    Strength: era-depended. Could be equivalent to corresponding siege-weapons; classic: 8 (= catapult), medieval: 14 (= trebuchet); renaissance 20 (= canon), …
    This will be less powerful than the era's range-attack units (against other units) and therefore hopefully not overpowered.
    Upkeep: Yes! After roads/railroads, forts should be the second tile-improvement with upkeep. The upkeep should be moderate, though, as immobile forts are less useful than mobile units, 1 or 2 gpt should be fine at the beginning, eventually with an increase when progressing in the timeline.
    Visualization/handle: a target cross, just like cities, but no “right-side notification”. Forts with valid targets could be part of the “units-to-move-queue”, though.

    Of course, the great general’s citadel is indirectly depreciated by this buff.
    This could be overcome by granting the citadel a direct attack, too (in addition to it's current passive damage ability). It might even be a little bit stronger than that of the “standard” fort or citadels might have a range of 2 rather than just 1.

    What do you think about this proposal?
    Could it add an interesting tactical layer to CiV? Would it be overpowered or maybe useless? Could it change your habits of building (or not building) forts in your games?
     
  2. Liex

    Liex King

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    It's a necessary thing, indeed, and your proposal is great. Would it keep the +50% defensive bonus?
     
  3. Deggial

    Deggial Emperor

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    Yes, I think the defense bonus should be kept.

    --

    Edit:

    Using the search function, I could find a quite (but not 100%) similar idea (by Scilly guy)
    The idea of manually upgradable forts is nice, but the numbers might a bit too high. Anyway, it seems to be impossible to be the first person with an idea, here...
     
  4. woodshadows

    woodshadows King

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    seems like another defensive layer which would impede tactical manoeuvring. as you mention, battles right now tend to take place around cities with the cities acting like some giant death robot vs everything else, with a huge health bar, the ability to shoot two tiles away over all terrain types incl/ mountains and packing a huge attack power. I dislike this horribly as the lines between a siege and a battle get blurred and the defender sits behind their mega-power city beating the crap out of your units on the offense, or vice versa. I would prefer if the entire city combat mechanic were reworked completely and brought back to civ iv standards - ie, the requirement for a garrison, having to win battles in the field with your army to protect your city. With this walls could become more of a health bar, 100% decreased each time siege attacks and once the walls are breached the mele units could attack the defender in the city, while before that time only range (xbow/composite/archer) could hit the defending unit inside with minimal damage, this would be similar to the way in which sieges/battles take place in the Total War series.

    None of this will happen of course.. the idea of making cities self-defending monsters was implemented to help the sloppy player who couldn't be bothered to station garrisons and patrols. So, to add even more mini-monster defending 'units' would clutter things even more and reduce even further the ability to tactically engage.
     
  5. ravencour

    ravencour Chieftain

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    I like the suggestion to make forts a more useful measure.
    I rarely use them, which overlooks the historical fact that forts were an important means of securing terrain with the minimum of manpower. Big disadvantages were they were expensive to build and maintain.

    I understand the concern of having lots of forts slowing down a war of manoeuvre (which was their purpose), that is why they should have a maintenance cost to reduce carpeting the map with them.
     
  6. Rooftrellen

    Rooftrellen King

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    I think forts will be made more useful by the fall patch.

    Because action will take place outside of cities more, forts will provide units with a defensive boost to better handle an attacking enemy without the need of sitting in (or behind with ZoC) a city, making it harder to attack than defend, still, but with that action away from cities, forts are automatically better.

    Being able to put down a few forts defended by melee units with ranged units behind, if those forts were able to give a defensive boost to the unit on them AND give you extra offense on your turn, it just seems like too much, particularly with how the AI loves to attack your units while at war, even if they can see it's suicide.
     
  7. SammyKhalifa

    SammyKhalifa Deity

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    I'd be okay with them having a ranged attack, but only if there's a unit stationed there.

    It also might be an idea to give units in the fort a large bonus to vision range (I forget what CIV calls that).
     
  8. Gucumatz

    Gucumatz JS, secretly Rod Serling

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    I agree something needs to be done with forts.

    In general its an improvement that seems to be an afterthought

    I like your suggestions and think Sammy's idea is probably needed and maybe half the upkeep you suggest (So to sum up a unit must be in the fort to have its ranged attack work. It adds +1 sight/or doubles air defense of units in one)

    Also if this is added a small attack bonus ought to be added to Citadels (Basically the same feature can use a ranged attack - if a unit is in the Citadel, but a little stronger than a regular fort. And ranged strength of a fort/Citadel can be dependant on the unit in it killing 2 birds with one stone)

    ---
    Also - Oceans/Naval battles have very little terrain defense. For gameplay purposes - I still think being able to create a "Sea Fortress" or a "Minefield" with a Great Admiral would be incredibly fun/beneficial/welcome add. Plus would help lift the meh feeling off of the Great Admiral
     
  9. Seabastian Civ

    Seabastian Civ King

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    What if it was a "unit"?

    Built in a city, slow moving (perhaps the animation would be civilians as siege engineers or something), 1 movement set up like a seige weapon, but once placed could not move again. Give it very high HP and 1 range attack, increasing upkeep and attack power as turns go. Allow other units to fortify on this tile. This would also allow the fort to be destroyed by a conquering invader, but still allow the player to build a semi-permanent defensive structure.
     
  10. mdl5000

    mdl5000 Prince

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    "What about making forts more useful by giving them a range attack?"

    Or just put a ranged unit in the fort tile and increase that ranged attack, plus a maintenance reduction for having a "garrisoned" unit.
    That should make forts more attractive.
     
  11. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Deity

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    Let's assume a Fort represents a fortification manned by a number of troops too small to make a regular unit. Then a Fort, unlike the larger Citadel, would be a much smaller construction, and could have the following characteristics:

    1. Like a road Improvement, it allows other Improvements in the same tile.
    2. Because it has a built-in garrison, it would require, say, 1 Gold per turn Upkeep like a road.
    4. Because it has a Garrison, an enemy unit (including Barbarians) cannot enter the tile without attacking the Fort. The Fort's Combat Factor would vary with the Era of the owner.

    This makes the Forts pretty useful for protecting tiles, but if you want something big enough to garrison an army (unit), you have to build the larger Citadel. Along that line, I think the Citadel should have a Ranged Factor, again varying with the Era of the owning civilization.
     
  12. Halps

    Halps Chieftain

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    The one thing I'd like to see with forts, is the canal "system" they had in civ 4. I hate having that 2 space strip leading to a peninsula and not being able to build a canal to shortcut my ships through.
     
  13. Dentalfury

    Dentalfury Warlord

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    I think a buff to Forts is sorely needed as well. I almost never build them (my workers have better things to do) and why build a fort for a static defensive line when you could build a Citadel with the somewhat abundant mid-game Great Generals?

    Keeping some of the ideas from previous posts,

    - Make Forts have a single tile ranged attack, very weak though.

    Or

    - Make them cause a small amount of base damage to surrounding tiles. Like 5-10 hp, non-stacking. Similar to the Citadel, but very watered down.

    - Have Forts cost maintenance, 1-2gpt being era dependent. Could even be modified or eliminated by policies in the Honor tree. Conversely, it could be modified by the Freedom tree to highlight the defensive combat policies even further.

    - Give a small non-stacking combat bonus to surrounding units. Also 5-10%.

    - Forts prevent surrounding tiles from being pillaged. This would synergize well with the patch changes to pillage giving players an extra incentive to build them if your going up against a horde of Siphai or raging barbarians.

    - I also agree that there ought to be something for water tiles. Mines seem reasonable, and you could maybe even add an anti-mine / anti-sub promotion for destroyers to add a decent counter.
     
  14. HeraldtheGreat

    HeraldtheGreat King

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    I remember posting on a thread by someone with the same issue who wanted a canal improvement, but I suggested a patch that would bring back the canal use for forts as in the days of old...
    ________________________________
    Stupid truth always resisting simplicity.
    -John Green
     
  15. Galgus

    Galgus Emperor

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    Making pillaging more viable and thus encouraging battles in the open would be a very welcome change for me, to.

    As for Forts, my biggest pet peeve with them is how melee units use them: if I choose to have them attack a unit and they kill it, they leave the fort and probably die.

    Thus, I would like to see melee units landing a killing blow return to the fort immediately. Additionally, perhaps make Forts heal units occupying them for a very small amount whether or not the unit has acted that turn.
     
  16. Dentalfury

    Dentalfury Warlord

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    Not sure if the attack then return mechanic would be doable.

    However, it makes sense that Forts could give a passive healing effect to its garrisoned army. Would obviously make the unit harder to remove (except in later eras when units tend to get focused out quickly via air and artillery attack) and would increase the value of the fort generally.
     
  17. Mike III

    Mike III King Mike III

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    that AND the forts should act as canals for ships and embarked units like in civ 4. Also can base air units, missiles, and nukes. just like civ 4. but do you think firaxis will come here to look at these ideas?
     
  18. Dentalfury

    Dentalfury Warlord

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    Lol, the odds that Firaxis would actively check these forums for development ideas is dubious at best. But, you never know.

    I never actually played Civ 4 so the idea that a fort would also function as a canal seems rather foreign to me. I'm pretty sure everyone here would like to see some sort of canal mechanic built into the game somehow. Personally, i'd like to see it as a build function of a GE, and and gold charge per tile to make it exponentially expensive to build long canals. Also, modified by map size and limit 1 per Civ.
     
  19. Mike III

    Mike III King Mike III

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    forts cost money?? never knew, but at least i dont use them!
     
  20. Gamewizard

    Gamewizard Emperor

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    I was thinking something similar. In order to help the AI with an improved fort mechanic:

    - When the player declares war on the AI, the AI receives a free "Fort Engineer" at their capital. This unit is a civilian and can construct a fort in 1 turn and is expended in the process. The AI will dedicate the closest melee unit to escorting this unit into the battlefield, perhaps joined with a ranged unit on higher difficulties.

    - Higher difficulties: an escort unit is spawned WITH the Fort Engineer. More than 1 free Fort Engineer.

    Another improvement to help the defending civ, give a gold/culture bonus to killing units inside your own territory. This could be a policy placed in Freedom, perhaps joined with the city strength increase policy, which is weak as is.

    I also think cities need to be placed further apart, so increase the minimum tile distance to 4 so that there are more open tiles. This increases the forts' importance and usefulness. AI's should place their forts inside these dead zones free from city bombardment.

    For the player, forts should still take some turns to build. This forces the player to plan ahead and fortify vulnerable points. This also keeps workers busy and away from more lucrative tasks.

    I also strongly agree with these ideas.
     

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