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Poll for return of Town Guard

Discussion in 'Civ4Col - We The People' started by lyciummusic, Mar 3, 2019.

?

Would you like to see Town Guard back?

  1. Yes

    81.1%
  2. No

    18.9%
  1. lyciummusic

    lyciummusic Chieftain

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    Greetings. Town Guard was a melee unit that you could make with swords, removed from RnR. I'd love to see it return.
     
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  2. CptBadger

    CptBadger Chieftain

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    Wholeheartedly support this
     
  3. lyciummusic

    lyciummusic Chieftain

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    Historicaly, pike units were dominant in 1500s, still around until late 1700s as far as I know anyway. Should one even google "tercio", it would be crystal clear.

    They'd be a cheap, placeholder unit, mostly against natives and a little bonus against cav.
     
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  4. rah

    rah Deity Supporter

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    Was the created with blades. (not swords)
     
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  5. Nightinggale

    Nightinggale Deity

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    Adding a new unit will break savegames. We plan 2.7.x to be savegame compatible with RaR 2.7 meaning any such changes to units will have to wait until 2.8. This is a problem with most xml files (buildings etc) and not just units and it has to do with the vanilla savegame design.

    I managed to fix this issue in Medieval Conquest. We plan to reuse this, but redesigning a key part of it to make it less prone to bugs when adding more data to savegames in the future. We also want to make the savegame file size small because joining a game will make the host send a savegame and small files means faster joining. However changing the savegame format will break savegames meaning this too will have to wait until 2.8.

    As for the town guard specifically, I can't really see an issue in adding it. Usually the biggest problem is graphics, but that's not an issue in this case. I generally feel we lack "bad" units in general. We start with access to late game units, but it will take a while to be able to afford them in decent numbers. We need cheap units for early game, which are better than nothing, but too weak to really matter for late game.
     
  6. FaarmAnimal

    FaarmAnimal Chieftain

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    I voted yes.

    Iirc the reason it was removed was because:

    1) it was considered an ineffective unit against other military units, and
    2) There was already too many units.

    Point 1 should be true, but the unit should still have value in the early game as the most basic defensive unit, and I don't agree with point 2.

    Just make it weak and very cheap and all is good.
     
  7. Schmiddie

    Schmiddie Emperor

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    graphics are not a problem - they exist and can be re-implemented. I can provide the files if required.
     
  8. pauldst

    pauldst Chieftain

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    Yes, please add it back in.

    Town Guard sort of fulfills the function of an early, rough militia.
    Also, early on it is annoying to have 100 Blades that you can't use without horses. So, you have weapons that can be used by Cavalry and on ships, but no one can use them on land even in defense? The lack of a unit on land that uses Blades leaves a noticable hole in the game.
     
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  9. TheIO

    TheIO Bugged

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    Line Infantry needs guns and blades both.
     
  10. pauldst

    pauldst Chieftain

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    True, but early in a game, I'm not buying muskets for Line Infantry, I'm just buying enough to make militia.
     
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  11. CptBadger

    CptBadger Chieftain

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    So are we expecting this brought back with 2.8?
     
  12. Nightinggale

    Nightinggale Deity

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    Since the vast majority wants it back, I don't see a reason not to do so. My only concern about this is to actually do it. I mean the work of finding the old xml entry, copy pasting it and then locate all the graphic files, text, art xml etc and copy those too. It's not that it's extremely difficult to do, but it takes time to do it.
     
  13. Lord Chambers

    Lord Chambers Emperor

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    An argument against it would go:
    The vision for the mod does not include risking player confusion in the name of superficial details that 1)make the game easier, 2)add realism but not meaningful gameplay, 3)satisfy existing players.
    Spoiler :

    1a) Town guards are cheaper than alternatives, so an obvious choice until later. They are weaker, but I don't recall their weakness to be a meaningful tradeoff against expensive muskets.Stick something in there that counts as a combat unit so the colony grows beyond 4.
    2a) There is no reliable feedback to the player when later is. Do you need cannons or militia when you get raided every turn by natives, or can you wait until you get raided every turn by two natives? If Europeans attack, a town guard won't stop more than one enemy unit. But would the alternatives to a town guard have stopped more than one enemy unit? This is a larger issue stemming from the lack of conveyance to the player about their combat odds against a plethora of enemy units and the probability of facing those units in 5, 15, or 50 turns. It's not amenable to any single remedy. The existence of a town guard unit can highlight it because it's a perfect unit right until you get destroyed, so then does not act as an inferior, but meaningful substitute. Choosing to use a town guard unit does not indicate a player's tolerance of risk or their awareness of the game state, very much.
    2b) If defense is expensive, it may involve meaningful tradeoffs against economic development. If defense is cheap, it might be perfunctory, which calls attention to how irrelevant the choice of defense is.
    2c) That swords and pikes were used does not require them in a non-comprehensive military simulation. Swords and pikes should be included only insofar as they offer compelling economic meaning, since this is a fairly thorough economic simulation, at least to this player.
    3a) Existing players offering the rationale of "I want it" are unpersuasive if they want it because it 1)makes the game easier. Easy = less meaningful choices.
    3b) Existing players may have forgotten the mod has enough meaningless detail that new players have to do research to sort important options from flavor. Existing players may have forgotten that there are so many details a newbie can't play intuitively. Hours of civilopedia reading are required to determine, "hey, these two units are practically the same, I'll use the cheaper one" or "processing these two raw materials requires this building, but this building pairs these other two." I accept that small differences are differences, but would argue differences are meaningless until the player chooses one over another depending on circumstances, and suffers when choosing unwisely. For instance, there are a litany of combat upgrades against specific unit classes. Would you be punished on the strategic level if you chose the wrong upgrades? If you can't be sure the answer is yes, then such a detail probably not meaningful, and it doesn't make gameplay more interesting. Where possible, this mod should avoid meaningless detail.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2019
  14. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder

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    Hi guys,
    first of all I want to thank the current team again for keeping RaR in its new form WtP alive. :)
    I really appreciate the great service the team does for the community.

    Please also forgive if I give my 2 cents to the current discussion even though I had left the modding team due to personal / professional reasons years ago.

    ---------------

    Yes I have to agree that in the current state of the mod some things like "Town Guards" seem to be somewhat pointless.
    But originally "Town Guards" (or actually the concept of "Blade Weapons") was just an itinary step to a much bigger concept to rebuild the combat system to be more interesting and challenging.

    1) I wanted to have several very distinctive Combat Types for Units to create an interesting "Scissors / Stone / Paper" system with 4 Combat Types.
    With mayor advantages / disadvantages depending on Terrain and Combat Situation (e.g. enemy Unit).

    - Blade Weapons very strong for Combat in Forrests, strong for defensive Combat in Cities, some selected Blade Units (e.g. Town Guards) strong against Cavalry
    - Cavalry strong in Flat Terrain, very strong against Cannons
    - Cannons being used for "bombardment" with plot based damage to slowly weaken bigger stacks of units on a Tile (e.g. a City) - so Cannons would not have been able to attack in "direct" Combat like now
    - Guns (in terms of Muskets) generally being alrounders and the only real useful unit for conquering towns - e.g. after Cannons would have weakened the defenses

    2) I also thought about implementing the following limits for Land Combat Units / stacks depending on Tile
    (All non-Combat Land Units or Ships would not have been affected.)

    - Flat Terrain: 5 Units
    - Hills: -1
    - Light Forrest: -1
    - Forrest: -2
    - Mountains: -4

    - Small City: +2
    - Medium City: +5
    - Huge City: +7

    Defensive Buildings (like citadel) could have given bonuses as well.

    3) I also thought about additional rules for Cannons

    - Large Cannons would have needed to build up their position first for 2 additional turns before being able to bombard
    - Small Cannons would have needed to build up their position first for 1 additional turns before being able to bombard
    - While Cannons would have been build up they would not have been able to defend, move or attack
    - Large Cannons would have been able to bombard 2 tiles away
    - Small Cannons would have been able to bombard only 1 tile away
    - Hills giving +1 bombardment range, Citadels in Cities giving +1 bombardment range (both to Small Cannons and Large Cannons)

    ---------------

    Summary:
    * Cannons would have been very special purpose (bombardment of offensive stacks or City defense) that could be easily destroyed by Cavalry
    * Blade Weapons would have been very special purpose (for Forrest attacks, City defense or guarding Cannons against Cavalry)
    * Cavalry would have been used for destroying unprotected Cannons or charging Guns in open Terrain that had already used their attack
    * Guns (Muskets) would have been the alrounders and only useful unit to conquer Cities
    * The stack / tile limit would make it necessary to think more about tactics (e.g. positioning)

    ---------------

    So why was this not implemented?
    (Even though I had already protoypes for this.)

    1) People were already complaining about the complexity of RaR being too much.
    2) In my prototypes AI did absolutley not understand this concept and would be crushed by Human players.
    3) In my prototypes I experienced performance losses and was afraid of impacting performance too much.
    4) The effort for implementation of this new systems and the risks of bug was very high

    ---------------

    Summary:

    I fully understand why people sometimes believe that some things implemented in RaR are pointless.
    But almost nothing was implemented without a plan / a reason / a concept envisioned. I simply failed to make all these visions come true.

    I am also complete aware that although some people might have really liked these concepts
    many others would have hated them because they would have made the game much more complex and challenging.

    So maybe it is better this way.
    Maybe it is better to get back to a "keep it simple" approach.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2019
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  15. Isabelxxx

    Isabelxxx DoaNE Explorer

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    I strongly disagree with that vision. It has no consideration of context here.

    Civ 4 or Col are not entry level games at all, one has to learn how the game works to play it right, the same Europa Universalis works. If you don't like that style of game then just play other thing (?). The argument you give is the same everybody experienced when playing Civ for the first time. Should it be simpler for newbies? -> Civ 5, Civ 6, ... ;)

    Obviously you are going to be punished if you chose wrong paths, that's the point of the game. Too punishing? Just lower difficulty levels. One has to master every detail to be good playing the game. That's a feature of any Civ style game. It's the base, long term planning.

    And finally this is a mod of the game, which means the player MUST re-learn the rules and adapt to the new details. That's a requirement. I see no point simplifying things because a newbie could not play it intuitively, because "intuitively" means different things according to player level, experience, etc.

    Obviously there must be a plan or vision for the mod as Ray said which puts some sense to every addition (something C2C lacks many times and there I would agree with the "meaningless" concept). I see no reason to not make soldiers with only blades, it's not logical at all as pauldst said. I would even say it's totally counter-intuitive for any new player, which is ironic being that your argument.

    You -as experienced player- see the logic behind not having only cheaper townguards due to later game problems, but that's knowledge AFTER playing it!
    Apply some common sense... if this is a game about colonization, it spans some centuries, you have the possibility to make cannons/guns and you wait indefinitely with town-guards because they are cheaper... then your strategy is clearly flawed and the game will give you enough feedback about it when you loose. The 2nd time you will play differently ;)


    I would obviously endorse ingame tips, tutorials or general walkthroughs (on pedia) to give you a rough idea of how to start playing the mod for newbies. That's great and solves the problem for newbies. There is no need at all to spend hours reading every unit in the pedia when there is a 1 page text telling you what's a general strategy to play the game at easy levels, the combat system, etc. Then if you want to master it, just play it more.
     
  16. lyciummusic

    lyciummusic Chieftain

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    I started this post for I got frustrated that I couldn't do anything with the blades alone. I knew it got removed from RnR at some point and they probably had their reasons, but my basis was:

    1) Unhistorical, melee formations were used well into later centuries, as earlier firearms were inaccurate and took long time to reload
    2) Illogical gameplay-wise, as they are "a product", only used combined with others, namely firearms or horses but they could be.

    It is plausible to think of a rock-paper-scissor system. Town guards would be at bottom. These are simply militiaman with halberds, spears and other bladed weapons- much like their counterparts in Europe. Perhaps they would have low strength, with -10% against melee, to reflect they wouldn't match guerilla tactics of indian braves in melee unless they have a defensive advantage. If AI can't handle it that is fine as well, we can go on living without it- no big deal. I always play 2 leader permanent alliance so I know AI isn't handling the game well.

    As an answer to a comment above referring requested changes as gamey, why am I playing this game at all?

    In most strategy games AI doesn't really get much by increasing difficulty, they get bonuses instead. So you try to beat superior resources with your tactics. That's what Civ is too. What keeps me playing is the role playing and immersion of the game. I've been playing since Civ I - before I learned to read, let alone speak English. Because it is a darn good simulation of making history. It the beauty of strategy games- learning by an endless cycle of replaying full of possibilities. There was a talk on reddit on similar issue, I'm linking it here.

    This absence of town guard merely broke that for me a bit. That is why I liked R&R, the details.

    This is an old game now, there will never be an casual gamer influx to Civ4- even Fall From Heaven or Rhye. A few minor adjustments wouldn't hurt. I can name other unnecessary things- rangers (too high cost to be plausible) or mounted conquistadores for example. I never "do" them if I have to power play, but I like them being around.
     
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  17. devolution

    devolution Prince

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    I think that there are many arguments in favor of melee units:
    - We need a unit that can counter mounted units. A pikeman (perhaps a variant that also had guns as well) unit would be suitable. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tercio
    - Gives blades more purpose and ensures that they can be used without horses \ muskets.
    - We could perhaps introduce a native unit armed with blades as well to make the natives units more diverse.
    - If we had tech tree of some sort if would be far easier to represent the gradual transition from melee to firearms which is a crucial piece of important military history to say the least.
     
  18. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder

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    Since I was still playing RaR 2.5 I still have all the required graphics and the XML setup.
    Thus I could easily build the Units / Professions back in again.

    I volunteer to do it if everybody in the team agrees.

    This should cause no side effects on the AI improvement efforts of devolution.
    However this would not be save game compatible then until Nightinggale does his savegame compatibility changes.

    Thus I am waiting until I get a go. Probably after the current ongoing public release has been fully finished and published.
    (Which will have the further AI improvments of devolution and save game improvments of Nightinggale.)

    Edit:
    And of course we could rename the Unit to something more suitable.
    But that is a minor issue for me at the moment since it can easily be changed later on.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2019
  19. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder

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    Oh carereful with this:
    All Natives (just like European Colonies) use their Nation specific graphics (e.g. Uniforms) for Professions.

    These graphics don't exist for "Natives with European Blade Weapons" and would need to be created for the massive amount of Native Nations we have.
    As I remember correctly I had actually discussed this with Schmiddie and he rightfully told me that it was way too much effort.

    Schmiddie has already created Nation specific Town Gurads graphics for the European Colonies and thus it is almost no effort for me to build it back it.

    But let us please not do something hastily that would later on look bad compared to all the other great graphics that Schmiddie had done for the mod ...
    If we find a graphical modder again who volunteers to do this for the mod I would like your suggestion though. :thumbsup:
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2019
  20. Drunk-Monk

    Drunk-Monk Chieftain

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    With regards to the idea of natives armed with blades, I don't think there is a need for a completely revised model, as many of the natives already carry blades. Instead it could just be implemented as a promotion, the same way that the bayonet works for Europeans.
     
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