Discussion in 'CivBE - General Discussions' started by Dale, Apr 13, 2014.
haha this is great
While I hated SODs with a passion and I generally like Civ 5's 1UPT system, I do think it could use some work.
Right now you can stack a military unit with a civilian unit on land and a military naval unit, an embarked military unit, and a civilian unit at sea. I think it should be taken further. Different types of units within a overall type should be able to stack, but just once.
On one tile you should be able to have one of each. A tank, an artillery, an offensive infantry, a defensive infantry, a worker, and a Great Person. Replace tank with mounted unit for earlier eras. Also, if that tile is attacked each unit shares in the damage received. You can choose which unit is the default top unit and it receives the most damage, each one below it, a fraction.
The problem with that is that it'd be a lot of micromanagement when it comes to war. This can be fun for the more hardcore audience (I wouldn't consider myself a hardcore civ gamer, but I'm almost there ), but others may find it rather tedious. That and it'd considerably drag out the time it'd take to wage wars (although Iupt sort of already does that).
Personally, I'd like to try a system like the one you proposed but only if it's a toggleable option. Also if it doesn't hit hard on performance (I only recently upgraded, but my comp is still outdated )
Leave the grid how it is. Just allow a maximum of two military units to stack per tile. Problem solved.
Civilization V's entire economic system works different from CivIV's for the sole reason that costs had to be balance to limit the number of everything. Yeah, "tactics" are fun, but it is hard to feel like you're fighting a massive total war when there are only a handful of units, especially compared to CivIV where I'm regularly sending dozens of units into the meatgrinder every battle.
In that sense, what can help a lot is simply making units easier to kill and lowering the cost for units.
Make it so units can't heal outside controlled territory for free. Replace the very idea of unit "health" with "supply/manpower" that cities can produce, and healing units drains.
Make the amount a unit can heal in the field dependent on how flanked they are. If a unit is on a hill surrounded by six hexes, three enemy-controlled hexes and three non-enemy controlled hexes, halve the amount the unit can heal.
Allow stacking, but decrease the rate each unit in a stack can heal based on the number of units in a stack. If there are four units in a stack, then each unit can only heal 1/4th the usual rate. A stack of ten units that is nearly completely surrounded? Easy pickings.
That way, the natural tendency will be to try to spread out, protect your flanks, and try to surround the enemy stacks. Stacks, on the other hand, are something you would use to bust a hole into something, like a front. There wouldn't be the forced 1UPT of Civilization V, nor the unlimited benefit of massive stacks of Civilization IV. You'll have a system that has pros and cons for stacking and not stacking.
As there should be. You see in other GSG games, like Paradox games, that there are pros and cons to stacking, including attrition.
Meanwhile, units would be cheaper. Supply could increase naturally based on a settlement's production, or can be built like wealth and research. During peacetime, supply stockpiles. War will drain your natural surplus quickly, and while units may last a while in the beginning, they will begin dying in droves as you run into crippling supply shortages.
Unit placement no longer would be just tactical decisions, like Civilization V. Unit placement would be strategic decisions as well. You can't just level a handful of units to godmode and cheese your enemies to death.
TL;DR. Cheaper units. Replace health with supply. Make cities produce supply like they produce wealth or whatever. Allow stacking, which lowers the rate your units health. System now naturally balances out to favor a limited number of units spread out across several hexes instead of being forced into that situation via game mechanic, or forced into one mega stack due to imbalance.
Oh please, I've been playing Civ4 for six years and I've never seen a stack of 100 units made by the AI. If you want to make a point, make your point, but using exaggeration and disinformation makes nothing but a dishonest argument.
I'm not going to get into a debate over the stacks vs. 1UPT argument because it's pointless, but at least present your objection to the Civ4 combat system with a little more accuracy.
And I'm not surprised you would think that. It seems like whenever 1UPT or Stacking is brought up, purists (not saying you are or not, just saying in general) on both sides rush off to the trenches and any attempts at finding a middle ground are thwarted by the fact that the middle ground becomes a No Man's Land attacked by both sides.
Are there pros and cons to both Stacks and 1UPT? Yes. Are these pros and cons weighted differently by different people? Yes.
Does that mean there's no chance for a happy middle ground? Not at all. I think that in the most extreme situations, such as unlimited stacking with no real penalties and 1UPT, the player is ultimately hurt because they lose the ability to choose. With megastacking, you don't have much of a choice but to stack more and stack better. For 1UPT, you don't have any choice but to shuffle units across the map.
A better system would have a player say something like, "Well, I can throw ten units into this stack for now, or I can spread them out to try to flank the enemy army. Both ideas have pros and cons, and my decision will totally be dependent on the situation."
I need to point out, I don't like the big SOD's or 1upt for Civ. But they are both the extreme range of available options. There are many many design points in between that are equally possible, and in some cases, better IMO.
Now taking bets that in 1 years time we will see posts from the OP about his time playing a game he said he would not buy.
I've seen it once or twice in SP, it's not very common. Enormous screen-breaking megastacks are actually more common in multiplayer. But, if someone manages to bring something like that to your doorstep without warning, you must have made some horrendous strategic errors.
Having played quite a bit of both games, I agree, there are advantages and disadvantages to both systems.
High numbers of units/tile allow easy concentration of forces. It's also fun from a strategic perspective: the only way to build a huge army is to first build up the intrastructure to do so in the first place, and Civ has always been about buildering. But I can see how some people would get frustrated by this (even though they messed up by failing to establish the infrastructure to build huge forces).
Low numbers of units/tile force you to spread out your units, and spread out over the terrain. It's fun because it forces you to utilise all the terrain to your advantage, instead of a relatively narrow vector in the case of Civ4. For instance, I'm currently playing a game on GMR, where I war chariot rushed someone ~T50. I won because I made a good tactical play of controlling all the terrain around my opponent's capital, carefully flanked his capital while moving just out of range of his capital, and did a simultaneous attack of 7 war chariots all on the same turn. I also made the good strategic play of realising that a war was inevitable (he started 9 tiles from my capital), and therefore rushed for Liberty's free hammer and settler so to maximise my early game production, and pumped out that huge army of war chariots at the expense of my economic development. Unfortunately, the downside of 1upt is that large armies are unwieldy and frustrating to use: if my opponent was more aggressive, he could have disrupted my process of act of flanking his capital, and sapped the momentum from my attack. In other words, 1upt hits diminishing returns on your strategic skills at building large armies quickly, while high units/tile tilts it in favour of your empire management skills.
Another thing to consider is that alot of people who play Civ are actually really, really bad at the game. So when they lose to larger armies, they inevitably complain that their tactics are superior, they would have won if army numbers were more equal. When in reality, they would have lost anyway because they would have made bad strategic decisions of not building up their empire quickly enough and therefore fallen behind in unit building capability.
(Thankfully, my anecdote about my recent MP war is unrelated, he was a good sport and realised he lost because he had the bad luck of scouting me a good 30 turns later than I scouted him, so hadn't realised that had defected in our little prisoner's dilemma game until it was too late. I wrote that final paragraph aimed at alot of people I read on CFC).
Dale, can you recommend specific games from the companies you mentioned.
私も激昂じゃない　片時も激昂じゃない　なせ？
英語は半のインタネット、　これは隈なく　他語は見ない
(I am also not excited, Not one bit. Know why?
English is used in half of internet, They are all over the place. I can't see other language.
I want a post in other language.
Written with my feeble knowledge of Japanese.
I've recently looked at a few Let's Plays from Age of Wonders III (which borrows greatly from Civ).
There armies have up to 5 units and there is a nicely done strategic battle screen (with terrain and defensive structures and so on), so you can play out your battle in detail.
Plus there's an autoresolve button if you find the micromanagement tedious (but it will generally produce slightly worse results)
Plus if you like large scale battles there's this: In combat all the units from adjacent tiles take part, too. So you get up to 45 units ramboing it out on the battlefield.
Plus the battle AI seems to know what it's doing and actually uses the perks and promotions of its special units (of which there are many)
Oh, and the maps (strategic and tactical) are made of hexes ...
I think I'm going to get this one as soon as it comes out for the Mac.
With the orbital layer and the existing flexibility of the 1upt system, 1upt could actually mean up to 7upt in Beyond Earth. Perhaps you won't be able to have two infantry on the same tile, but you will probably be able to have e.g. an air unit, an infantry, a battleship, a civilian, a military satellite, an economic satellite and a scientific satellite all on the same multi-layered tile. 1upt is quite a simplification, and I think most people would be satisfied if those types were expanded only a little further, by allowing e.g. siege units to be classed as a different unit type to infantry units, thereby allowing 8upt instead of 7upt.
This is certainly no solution to the problem. Firstly you can disregard all non-military units and satellites as they don't take part in battles. Secondly the stacking of air, land and naval units on one tile will probably still only work in cities so has little bearing on the richness of a battlefield experience. That leaves 2UPT, providing those military satellites really work like units.
One thing that does give me hope for a better battle experience is that info about supremacy units benefitting from entering into certain formations. If the AI can pull that off then it might be a cool feature.
I have to agree very much with Dale.
I loved (and still play it sometimes) PG and when C5 was announced first, I was thrilled. I had big hopes in 1upt, based on my experiences with PG.
Nevertheless, the first pre-release screenshots already revealed that the scale doesn't fit at all. This was later proven by some weekends extensively playing C5 on a friend's rig.
Yes, the SoD system of Civ4 has some flaws, I completely agree to this.
But Dale's analysis still is correct: the concept of 1upt influences almost any other area in the game, may it be economics, diplomacy or whatever.
Parallel to this, it just hampers the (socalled) AI more than anything else. It is almost impossible to lose a war against the AI if you're at least somewhat comparable in technology and economics.
Whoever may be happy with c5's 1upt - good for you. You've found "your" game.
But don't think that the one extreme (1upt) would be the only (and for sure nor the best) solution to fight the deficiencies of the other extreme (SoD).
What makes SoDs so awful are mainly the fact that you don't have to pay for your armies nor that it costs you anything (except time) for healing them. Furthermore, even within the SoD system units still fight one against the other, without taking advantage of having other units on the same or adjacent tiles.
And the last flaw would be that currently one of the two units involved will die.
Within these flaws lay the options to improve the SoD system, which in turn would allow to have a real "empire building game" (which, in my eyes, C5 clearly isn't).
Well, I have. Granted, it was while playing a modded game, but it was really fun.
The AI and I met at a chokepoint, and for turns and turns we were stockpiling our units until I decided to go for the fight.
And believe me, it took almost an hour to resolve this battle. And it was great fun!
Fighting the enemy's SoD with your own doesn't mean to simply push unit after unit against him. It takes at least as many tactical skills and considerations as a "1upt battle" - it is just that your tactics are now "vertically" oriented in contrast to being "horizontally" oriented.
To make a long story short: Civ4 was an empire building game with the emphasis laying on "empire building". In the military subsystem it still has flaws, which nevertheless could be solved, as far as I see it.
But the AI was able to handle this subsystem - proven by the complaints of people arguing against the "SoD's sudden attack".
C5 on the other hand limits you in almost each aspect to allow for a military subsystem of "1upt" - and still the AI cannot handle this subsytem; even not in an at least decent manner. And in consequence, you even don't get the feeling of "building an empire".
1upt limits the game experience automatically, where SoD doesn't.
The complaints about 1upt aren't just about the richness of a battlefield experience, though, but about the impact on the economic part of the game. The need to limit the ability to blanket the entire map with land military units assumes that's something you'd want to do, and with the right balance between the 7 unit types, it isn't. Of course, if land military units are far more desirable to build than anything else, 1upt does become more of a limitation, but with correct balance, there isn't the same restraint on production costs. So if there are 10 tiles and a true 1upt system, costs need to be set such that those 10 tiles won't instantly be crowded out. But if it's desirable to create equal amounts of e.g. 4 classes of units, then halving costs will still leave half the space empty. You'll have 40 viable slots for units on those 10 tiles, and the capacity to build 20 instead of 10.
The main point that I'm trying to make here is that it seems the orbital layer adds whole new classes of units that can occupy the same tiles as units on the ground, which therefore reduces the problems which might be associated with 1upt (even if it doesn't eliminate them). BE may be keeping Civ5's 1upt system, but it looks like it adds flexibility to it.
I think you meant to attack stupid AI instead of "stupid AI that can't play 1upt".
I think that's what you basically said.
I personally see Civ5 as experimental combination of Turn-based Empire-building game, hex and 1upt which turn out bad (vanilla) to decent (BNW). There are few game that follow Civ5 but implement these system in their own way.
I prefer to think that developer learned lesson from the experiment (that happen to selling on Steam) whether by Civ5 or similar game and they will combine the improved version of Civ5-esque game with Alpha Centauri storytelling and create a great game.... Hopefully.
In theory halve the spaces should still be empty. In practice, players and the AI will probably try to build as much as possible, which is why any solution to 1UPT's economic effects have to deal with the outflow (destruction) of units, not just the building of units. To that end, 1UPT's greatest problem was really the health system which made a unit lasting from beginning to end likely, as opposed to Civilization IV where an active war unit was unlikely to last to the end of the era.
I do think that in the beginning of a mid-game war, the filling up of all possible hexes along a front is desirable, and that a visible front that in effect is a meatgrinder is fun for the purpose of making decisions in 1UPT a strategic decision, not just tactical decisions with the occasional strategic decision of pillaging and taking cities.
Of course, no matter how good the system is, it will be terrible if the AI simply can't play it.
Separate names with a comma.