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Number of Units equation discussion

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Realism Invictus' started by plasmacannon, Sep 20, 2019.

  1. plasmacannon

    plasmacannon Emperor

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    Since it seems unrealistic to build just units all game long, I was wondering if you considered adding another mechanic for Civilizations to construct a few buildings throughout their existence as well as limiting SoDs, such as:
    Everyone can have 5 units, plus x number of units per city, plus an additional unit per average number of buildings, plus 25% more for Militaristic Leaders.

    So in this example of a Civilization of 10 cities and where you set x=3, and an average of 1 buildings per city, we would have a maximum of:
    5+(3*10)+10= 40 maximum number of units.
    Enough for 1 defender and 30 more to attack, scout or fogbust with.

    In another example of a Civilization of 10 cities and where you set x=3, and an average of 2 buildings per city, we would have a maximum of:
    5+(3*10)+20= 50 maximum number of units.
    Enough for 1 defender and 40 more to attack, scout or fogbust with.

    In this final example of a Militaristic Civilization of 10 cities and where you set x=3, and an average of 1 buildings per city, we would have a maximum of:
    1.25*[5+(3*10)+10]= 56 maximum number of units.
    Enough for 1 defender and 46 more to attack, scout or fogbust with.

    I used x equaling 3, but it could be set to any number you felt would be appropriate.
    The same goes for the Average number of buildings or per two buildings for example.
    The point there would be to promote constructing buildings in our cities, not just units.
    Even certain buildings could have bonuses, if they seemed relevant (barracks, stables, shipyard) and/or for buildings that most civilizations actually built in real life, such as a granary. You could even add a bonus to encourage the construction of buildings that you feel are not getting constructed enough such as airports.
    You could reduce the build cost of units, since we would hit a max eventually regardless of buildtime.
     
  2. Walter Hawkwood

    Walter Hawkwood RI Court Painter

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    The problem with every approach that ties the number of units (or even their costs) to the number of cities or population lies in gameplay balance - it creates a positive feedback mechanism. If we postulate that the bonus is actually useful (= the number of units gained is higher than the number of units required to garrison the new cities), it creates a positive feedback loop, where the bigger you are, the easier it is to get even bigger. These things are really bad for game balance, as they either place players in no-win situations or rob them of any challenge (depending on whether they are in the lead or not).

    Also, the way you're wording this assumes someone actually builds units all game long - which is profoundly untrue in case of AI, where the amount of production it spends on units is actually defined by a variable that for any individual AI leader is set to no more than 20% (except for special cases such as barbarians), and hopefully equally untrue for human players (for whom that would just be plainly unoptimal).
     
  3. plasmacannon

    plasmacannon Emperor

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    "the bigger you are, the easier it is to get even bigger"
    This makes sense though, right?
    Even today, If Belgium attacked China, it would not go so well for them.
    Hypothetically could a smaller country succeed against a larger country? Sure, especially with allies brought in, and as it gained vassals before attacking a larger foe, would be a wise move.


    "Also, the way you're wording this assumes someone actually builds units all game long - which is profoundly untrue in case of AI, where the amount of production it spends on units is actually defined by a variable that for any individual AI leader is set to no more than 20%"

    Interesting. I was unaware of a restraint on the AI like this. I just figured some AIs were constructing buildings when I did to try to keep up after I gained a huge tech lead over them. Some foes such as the Romans tend to build a large army early on, which is realistic for their civilization. I get that.
    I guess it's good to know that the AI won't get even larger armies. :)
     
  4. Shuikkanen

    Shuikkanen Warlord

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    Yeah, in a way... Also, in gaming terms that would be like playing the board game Monopoly. Once you get ahead, you'll likely stay ahead and everyone else just inevitably loses. Not exactly how one should design a game.
     
  5. plasmacannon

    plasmacannon Emperor

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    So it works for Monopoly but not for other games?
    In most RPG games, on a PVP server, if a level 30 character will eliminate a level 1 character nearly every time.
    Those players have better weapons, better gear, better knowledge and experience of their game.
    So all of those RPG games are all designed wrong?
    Of course not. They've earned their way up to being that powerful.
    Neither is Civilization an automatic win for the largest empires. I have won on some incredibly low odds when a larger AI attacked me. Some AIs rarely attack when they should or send just catapults so they can't even capture a city. They just have poor strategy, poor diplomacy skills and don't think like a competent human Civ player.
    I know I have beaten larger empires in Civ4. Many have.
    I'm sure most of us have seen those 99% chance of success odds and lost. So even in multiplayer vs other human foes, larger is no guarantee of success. More cities to produce units from usually gives the ability to bounce back after an attacking loss.

    "where the bigger you are, the easier it is to get even bigger."
    We do grow bigger to get even bigger by capturing our opponents cities all game long in Civ.
    It's kind of how the game works.
    To your point of an AI getting so large that we can't beat it, well this happens to me practically every time I try Deity. So I tend to play on Monarch. :)
    I read in this forum over the years of players beating Deity often. Maybe they need the challenge it was meant to be.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2019
  6. Sephykrowd

    Sephykrowd Chieftain

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    I think the bonus to units limit should decline as you are building more cities for gameplay and balance. For example you can build 5 more units for the third city settled, 3 more units for the 7th city, and only 1 more units for the 11th. This makes it harder for large empire to snowball. For a more realistic approach, the units limit can be affected by population and culture. For example, a civ can produce 1 more units every 3 population they controlled, on top of that, cities influenced by foreign culture provide less bonus to unit limits. For instance, a city with 12 population and 50% Roman culture only provides the bonus of 6 population for the Roman civ, not 12, as half of that city's population is unwilling to go to war for the Romans. This force civs to "digest" newly conquered cities before they can enjoy military bonus from those cities, making it harder to snowball. The declining factor can be implemented on top of the population/culture system to make it even harder to snowball.(1 extra unit per 3 population for first 30 population, 1 unit per 4 population after 30, 1 per 5 after 70, 1 per 6 after 120, you get it)
     
  7. Walter Hawkwood

    Walter Hawkwood RI Court Painter

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    You deliberately chose a poor example. A better one would be, say, Switzerland against Bangladesh. Switzerland is much smaller in terms of both population and territory, and yet would soundly win due to other factors. Or if you want a more "real example", take Soviet Union and Finland - there, Soviets even had a technological advantage over their opponent. A larger country IRL would likely beat a smaller one all other things being equal - but not all other things are equal, including factors that are directly tied to the size of the two hypothetical countries. But the more important thing to consider is that we're not building a simulator of real world, but rather a game, and games should be fun and balanced to play. Which brings us to the fun example used in this thread...

    ... because Monopoly was specifically created for NOT being balanced or fun to play - it was actually an educational/propagandist tool that illustrated the evils of unregulated market, where the monopolist can't be stopped by the market mechanisms alone. Its rules are intentionally unbalanced and offer very little in terms of actual winning strategies. The person ahead is almost guaranteed to win (as everyone who ever played Monopoly and wasn't ahead is certain to have found out, to their frustration). The popularity of the game in its current form is actually a mild mystery to me, as it definitely is not a good game by any account (and it's probably more of a testament to Hasbro's marketing genius). Compare that to chess for instance, where the number of pieces on board left for each player is certainly a predictor of who's winning, but a much less certain one - there are definitely possible wins with a major numerical disadvantage.

    You are again (intentionally or unintentionally) confusing two things. For some reason you argue against civ's size not being a factor in a civ's sucess - while it very definitely is, and nobody is taking it away. There are already lots of advantages to being bigger in Civ 4, and one of them is already being able to produce more units. This advantage comes organically from the base game rules - as more cities/population means more production means more units, and as such does not require any additional reinforcement.

    Yup, the positive feedback is already there, as you attest - but I don't see why we need to reinforce it even more, which is what your suggestion leads to. We're not arguing here that being big shouldn't be advantageous. We're arguing that it doesn't need more advantages. The game already rewards expansion in a myriad ways, and having a larger army is already one of them, without new artificial rules.

    I can still see no argument why the bonus would be needed in the first place, in gameplay balance terms. All you're offering is scaling it down without actually offering any justification for its existence in the first place.
     
  8. Sephykrowd

    Sephykrowd Chieftain

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    Well, I'm just adding some of my thoughts on the topic, not necessarily trying to justify it.

    Moreover, I acctually think my version of units limit balance the game by limiting the effect of snowballing, as the marginal benefit of conquering/settling a new city consistently decline. Eventually civs that aim for conquest victory will come to a point where conquering a new city would only give you one extra unit to defend that city. I think, though not entirely sure, that this can actually make conquest/domination victory significantly harder.

    That's just my uneducated opinion feel free to ignore me.
     
  9. Walter Hawkwood

    Walter Hawkwood RI Court Painter

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    What I was getting at here it is still an added benefit - even without all these rules conquering a city is very beneficial in many aspects, like getting more production, more commerce (offset by upkeep costs to a larger or smaller extent), more resources (meaning also more population in your other cities) etc. A lot of it already translates into more units with each new conquered city. That's why I'm arguing that any new mechanic that makes it easier to have bigger armies the more cities you have is unnecessary from gameplay perspective, as such a mechanic already is in place.
     
  10. plasmacannon

    plasmacannon Emperor

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    By the way, none of this was to imply that RI's version of Civ4 is flawed. At least you've tried something to limit SoDs, which is much appreciated. It's just that I still see large SoDs. Some early. Some late game, where the AI or Human player can amass enormous stacks. In many cases ignoring RI's penalties, instead of limiting their stacks to smaller sizes. ;(
    Perhaps that is a worthy suggestion to contemplate.
    Limiting an AI's maximum stack size to its Logistics penalty.
    That would make sense for different leaders to have different maximums.
    Ghenghis Khan might not care about logistic penalties, but a tactical thinking Julius Caesar might care more about them.
    Ghandi might not permit any logistic penalties.

    This would not create a complicated new system, nor limit anyone's ability to construct more new units.
    It would simply vary the stack size of some well known leaders based on their concern for the welfare of their troops.
    Mixing it up a bit.

    Just for the fun of it, I looked up Monopoly versions and found this link.
    https://monopoly.fandom.com/wiki/List_of_Monopoly_Games_(Board)
    Some of it's links are no longer active, but it gives us a fair list of the plethora of versions that have been produced over the years.
     
  11. jafink

    jafink King

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    I don't think any additional hard limits on units is necessary, but I love the idea of making the culture of a city more impactful in some way. It makes sense from both a historical perspective and a gameplay perspective that the benefits of a newly conquered city would increase slowly over the years, as resistance to your rule decreases and you increase your control over the important institutions of the city. The main penalty to newly conquered cities is several turns of revolt, the loss of some amount of population (I think it might always be a loss of 1 population but I'm not sure) as well as some percentage of buildings destroyed and some unhappiness penalty. Personally the buildings being destroyed seems to be by far the harshest part of this penalty, and it is also the only part of the penalty that also affects the original owner of the city if they recapture the city.

    I think a better balance might be to:

    (1) Significantly reduce turns of revolt in newly captured cities - because revolt is not a very fun mechanic to be able to do essentially nothing in your newly captured city for many turns.

    (2) Decrease the average amount of buildings destroyed by roughly 50% - so that when you lose a city for a few turns and then immediately recapture it the value of the city is not reduced by as much.

    (3) Add a new mechanic related to the culture of the city - to make cities that are a different culture from you be less valuable, and slowly increase in value as the cities culture changes to your culture. This would probably be a penalty to commerce and production that is relative to how different the culture of the city is from your own. It should also be affected by civics. This penalty could also be affected by certain civics, some decreasing/increasing the penalty, and some decreasing/increasing the speed of culture change in the city.

    I know this mod isn't really being developed in the sense of adding new mechanisms to gameplay, but it was just a fun exercise to think about which changes might improve the game.
     
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  12. plasmacannon

    plasmacannon Emperor

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    I like all 3 of those ideas.
    1) Either reduce it or make it more realistic. It always seemed weird to me that after I captured a city, it's inhabitants would rather starve themselves to death then create enough food to feed themselves. I could see them being angry and not paying taxes or researching for me, even producing things more slowly, but not starvation.

    2) It is frustrating when we lose a city and several buildings are destroyed, then arrive on the next turn recapturing it and having to spend hundreds of years rebuilding those very same buildings.
    Part of me wants to reload an earlier save, the other wants to keep on going.
    I don't think RI changes any of this from the base game though.

    3) This sounds interesting. It's basically a percentage multiplier for the city's culture.
    It reminds me of the Romans conquering parts of Western Europe and those new members of the Roman Empire not feeling so Roman. It would take roads, commerce and sometimes temples for them to part of the greater empire.

    As for the "hard cap" as you put it, think of it this way, just how many aircraft carriers can fit onto the same tile? Also, Walter went through a lot of effort to create the Logistic mechanics, which work well for us human players, yet the AI seems to ignore them. Do they not access those same files and consider which is best for their stack? A stack of mostly siege units doesn't need to care as much because it's just there to bombard the walls down, but a stack of mounted might if it wanted to attack just before some reinforcements arrive, because it still has it's penalty for attacking cities if the walls are still up.

    It appears AIs don't make these kinds of tactical decisions on a case by case instance nor in the larger concept of avoiding penalties for all it's stacks all of the time. Each leader could be weighed for different results based on their historical warmongeriness.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2019

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