On siege warfare

Discussion in 'Civ - Ideas & Suggestions' started by §L¥ Gµ¥, Mar 15, 2009.

  1. §L¥ Gµ¥

    §L¥ Gµ¥ Prince

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    I'm sick of the only type of warfare being siege warfare. Giant stack of units approaches a city, one side reinforces, whips/drafts units behind a walled city, and a bloodbath ensues. What's worse, is that in Beyond the Sword, the computer reinforces those cities from without like mad, and with the huge 'war weariness' factor, 2 cities into a conquest war, a population will either be starving based on unhappiness, of being decimated through the call to arms.

    I acknowledge that warfare is a costly enterprise, but in conquest one shouldn't have to wait a 1000 years before one should reap the rewards of that venture while populations regrow, buildings are restored, and cultural unhappiness is thwarted. Besides, throughout history, most wars were decided on a battlefield, and not through the siege of a city.

    So what I propose is that when an army of significant size [say, equal to or greater than the number of defenders within a city], fortifies outside the city, it creates a 'blockade' preventing defending units from reinforcing from outside the city. The concept is already present in trade blockades, but it's logical to assume that any army looking to wage a siege will do whatever it can to cut off that city from the rest of it's empire.

    What this does is that it will force the approach to a city to be as speedy as possible. Scouting enemy movements become more important, to know where to reinforce, or when to 'skip over' a city to avoid a meat grinder, to feint an assault in one direction in order to split defenders to multiple fronts. It will force defenders to more often tackle an enemy stack in the field, turning terrain into an important factor, and choice of battleground to be more important as well. It'll mean more varied units more varied promotions, instead of the predominant 'city raider melee', 'collateral damage siege', of 'city defense archers' with a few stack protectors in for good measure.

    Simply by forcing war out of the cities it opens up a whole new area of strategy, whether it be flanking a stack's supply lines for poorly defended reinforcements, or harassing a stack with appropriate counters on their approach to a city, to arriving at a city and finding out you don't have the force to blockade it and have to either tuck your tail and run, or switch over to pillaging, it would make for much more interesting war.

    What do you think?
     
  2. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    I agree with the sentiment, but blockading a city can already by done, if you surround a city from all sides.
     
  3. I-imp

    I-imp Warlord

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    But surrounding almost takes too much effort, not to mention vulnerable if you only have 9 of the same units. (E.X. Axemen.)

    You 9 axe's would be spread out around the city, taking up most of the good tiles. A number of chariots could just mow through your men! And why bother blockading a city in the first place if you are going to take it in the first place.
     
  4. §L¥ Gµ¥

    §L¥ Gµ¥ Prince

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    by surrounding it from all sides, it will take 2 full extra turns. That's two turns to reinforce for the defender, and those looking to wage a siege generally want it over within that span of time anyway.

    Why I'm looking to blockade, is because I get tired of seeing a ripe city, ready for the taking, and in the single turn it takes for my siege to take down the walls/cultural defense, the number of defenders doubles or even triples.

    Essentially, when waging a siege, sitting next to the city is like sitting on top of the city itself. So if the tradeoff is that there are no terrain defensive bonuses in squares adjacent to cities, I'd be willing to make that trade as well.
     
  5. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    Fair enough. Maybe it the city was on a river, you would only have to block it from one side, perhaps. I still don't agree with one adjacent unit completely blocking access, as, say, in the late game, a gunship could be quickly deployed to every enemy city, stopping any troop movement. I do agree, however, that there should be more advantages for making battle out of a city, for whoever initiates that battle, to give this initiation an incentive. Maybe a +15% strength bonus for attacking something that isn't in a city? And perhaps another +10% strength bonus, for counterattack, which is given if attacking a unit that attacked in its previous turn, to give a further incentive to not just sit and defend your city.
     
  6. Infantry#14

    Infantry#14 Emperor

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    if dont want to have too much defenders in cities, you can choose to place a limit on number of units inside a tile or that units suffer combat penalites when they are too "crowded"
     
  7. Xellos-_^

    Xellos-_^ Prince

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    that is call being realistic

    haven't study much history have you?

    again that is being realistic, if you want to cut off supplies and reinforcement then surround the city completely.
     
  8. Zeiter

    Zeiter Prince

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    Here's a compromise: enemy units prevent the tiles they are on and adjacent to from being worked. This symbolizes how your city's citizens would have to scurry out, harvest stuff, and then scurry back into the city, which would be too risky even adjacent to the army unit.

    Or even better yet, make it dependent on movement speed. A 1-move unit blocks 9 tiles from being worked. A 2-move unit blocks a fat cross centered around itself.
     
  9. CivMyWay

    CivMyWay Warlord

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    Yeah, I agree. This will also reduce the SoD, as they will need to divide up a SoD if they want to truly seige a city.
     
  10. Onionsoilder

    Onionsoilder Reaver

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    I agree(Not about the speed dependent thing though - keep it at 9 tiles). In addition, blocked tiles would mean the improvements would not work either, I.E., mines wouldn't produce iron and roads won't reduce movement cost. This way if you divided up into 2 stacks, you could effectively blockade a city. reinforcements could still arrive, but they couldn't zip past your army - unless they have 2+ movement, they would fall short of the city due to the roads not working, giving you a chance to attack them before they enter the city.

    As far as the improvement thing, if the enemy has a unit fortified on a tile, it does work, I.E., if an enemy Archer is fortified on a iron-producing mined hill outside the city, which is adjacent to your army, the mine will still produce iron and enemy units can still use the road to get to/from the city.
     
  11. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    Sly Guy makes a reasonably valid point. Although siege warfare does have a (large) place in the game, battles on battlefields also, and perhaps even more so, do.

    If you look at all periods of history, there have been big battles on battlefields (Note: this is not to say that there hasn't been many sieges). Take Alexander the Great's conquests, for instance. Although it did contain many important sieges, notably Tyre and Gaza, the outcome of the war was probably decided, arguably, at the Battle of Granicus or the Battle of Arbela.

    Compare this to World War One. The fighting was almost all done on battlefields, and not in sieges.

    But I'm not here to argue that. My point is that battles on battlefields have probably been more important to history than sieges (which still have a big part), which should be reflected in the game. Personally, I like my idea :)D), and Zeiter's. Zeiter's would reflect the damage that sieges do to defenders, and would probably force, or at least encourage, defenders to give battlefield outside of a city.
     
  12. Xellos-_^

    Xellos-_^ Prince

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    the more famous battles are fought on open but the majority of battles fought in history are siege battles and many historic moments are also decide by whether a siege is successful or not.

    besides it pretty dumb of the AI to sent a inferior force to attack your bigger SoD when it can hide behind a set of walls. Which is the correct tactic when facing a bigger army. As far as the game is concern the AI will sent in a SoD to face your SoD if it has one. If it not it will hide behind walls in a city. i think the original poster's problem with battles in civ4 is that he didn't bring enough siege units.
     
  13. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    Often, however, the a superior, or reasonably strong, force behind walls. There should be some kind of incentive to go and give battle out in the open, rather than sit and rot. Also, I liked Zeiter's idea, in that it reflects the fact that a besieged city has no access to resources or improvements outside of it. So, sitting in a city would just cause the city to rapidly deteriorate. Hence the historical starvation and sanitation issues of being in a besieged city.
     
  14. Xellos-_^

    Xellos-_^ Prince

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    i agree with the lack of access to resource outside the city but only in complete surrounding of the city. And the sanitation and increase unhealthy and unhappiness should be increase too but you can force the AI to come out in open combat. As i said before if the AI can put together a reasonably stronge SoD, it will use it.

    And to balance out the increase in Unhappiness and Unhealthiness the invading army should be require to have units like supply wagons which should be valunarible to sabatoage by spy units.
     
  15. PieceOfMind

    PieceOfMind Drill IV Defender Retired Moderator

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    A city under siege could experience 1:mad: and 2:yuck:. This may make the besieged city more likely to starve faster (bad if you intend to capture it) but that is the cost of being slow in taking the city.
     

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