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Poll: Should Desert count as Open or Rough Terrain for Promotion purposes?

Discussion in 'General Balance' started by Stalker0, Mar 7, 2021.

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Should Desert be Open or Rough Terrain for Promotion Purposes?

Poll closed Mar 28, 2021.
  1. Open

    77.2%
  2. Rough

    22.8%
  1. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch Supporter

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  2. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    Like most things it depends. I took a trip to Egypt 2 years ago (ah travel before Covid!). Some of the desert areas I went to, I could run around way easier than up a big hill. Other places, yep deep sand, would be very tricky.

    Does it make sense that skirmishers are slowed down more than on a flat plain? It does. Does it make sense that units with a woodsman bonus get combat bonuses in sand? Eh....not really. Does having field artillery not getting a bonus in sand make sense? On the one hand its much easier to target units in open sand than in like a forest. On the other, sand could absorb some of the impact. So....I could see it either way.


    I think desert is in one of those tricky spots where IRL arguments work for both sides. So it then comes down to which provides the better gameplay experience?
     
    Tekamthi, Chaste, Kim Dong Un and 2 others like this.
  3. Hinin

    Hinin King

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    So, to clarify what results the three approaches (defense-based, movement-based and LoS-based), here is a summary.

    In all cases :
    • Open : All featureless plains/grassland/toundra tiles
    • Rough : Any tile with forest/jungle, hill or mountain
    Tableau terrain types.png

    As you can see, the system with the most open terrain is the one based on LoS, while the one with the least is the movement-based one.

    Also, what do we do with fallout tiles ? Do they still give a movement penalty and a bit of terrain defense ?
     
  4. InkAxis

    InkAxis Prince

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    Isn't that what desert hills represent?
     
  5. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    I would ask that we keep the discussion in this thread lazer focused on deserts. I'm happy to debate other terrain conditions in their own threads, but I want to ensure we get a good community viewpoint on deserts without starting to go into tangents on the other types.
     
  6. Hinin

    Hinin King

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    We can't talk about one tile type in a vacuum without asking ourselves what that means for other tile types.

    Of course, in the end the desert tiles are the most important ones affected by what this discussion will result in, but choosing an approach to justify whatever decision we take means being aware of the rest, at least to maintain some form of coherence.
     
  7. Recursive

    Recursive Covets Lands That You Currently Own Moderator

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    Vox Populi seems to disagree 5 to 1 ;)

    I think this might be an area where realism needs to be sacrificed for gameplay (and if necessary, Skirmishers can be adjusted, although I'd keep civs like Egypt in mind).

    However, realistically, I don't see why a combat advantage in forests or jungles should carry over to flat desert, either. It makes a bit more sense for a flat plains/grassland bonus not carrying over, but still.

    I think it should retain the movement penalty but be considered open for promotions.
     
  8. LarryAR

    LarryAR Chieftain

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    That's the most accurate. Most deserts are not beach sand; there are movement problems such as traction, fine particles causing equipment failure, navigation issues, etc. coupled with little cover for troops to hide behind.
     
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  9. dostillevi

    dostillevi Warlord

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    Civ 5 deserts look like the Namib or Sahara that are definitely difficult to cross (especially without horses or camels). But other types of desert exist too, like much of the US due east of the Rockies/Olympics. There you can find miles of hard packed, relatively flat earth and low scrub that is pretty easy to pass through, in some cases I'd argue much easier to navigate than certain grasslands (think the really tall grass on the Mongolian plateau).

    So I don't know the argument that deserts are hard to pass through should back a gameplay decision.

    But on the other hand, to simplify game mechanics, I definitely support a more nuanced look at terrain beyond Rough vs Open. To avoid penalizing desert oriented civs, I'd consider that maybe they should have bonuses to desert movement. This would reflect that, while they're still human like everyone else, they have unique knowledge and experience living in deserts that translates to easier movement (where to find water, what paths are safe to take, what clothes to wear, and how to travel at night vs during the day).
     
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  10. abulafia77

    abulafia77 Chieftain

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    This. Gameplay (!) wise, there should be a clear difference between "hilly" desert and flat desert, and it is feasible to draw a comparison to "hilly" plains/flatlands vs flat ones. Difference should not only be production (2H on desert hills, nothing on desert flats).
    Therefore supporting recursive's proposal to have movement penalties (and a movement bonus for certain civs) but combat wise treat flat desert as open
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2021
  11. Tekamthi

    Tekamthi Prince

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    is it possible to make flat desert neither open nor rough terrain for combat bonus purposes?

    not unanimous, but consensus thus far seems to be that desert should:
    1) not have rough combat bonus; and,
    2) have some movement penalty

    there remains more uncertainty about whether it should receive an open combat bonus, and appropriate magnitude of movement penalty on at least some units... also how to balance a civ afflicted by these penalties when handed desert biased start
     
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  12. ChefBRD

    ChefBRD Chieftain

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    Perhaps why mounted skirmishers historically thrived there.
     
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  13. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    I thought rough vs open was more about line of sight and cover, ie. defensive terrain. So I don’t see why flat desert wouldn’t be open terrain. I don’t agree that “rough” is more related to movement than it is to defensibility. Likewise, I see no problem with open terrain like desert costing 2 moves.

    could spearmen form a phalanx on that ground? Could pikemen make a pike square? Would a modern infantryman use natural cover, or would he make a foxhole? If the answer is yes, it’s open terrain in my head cannon. If the ground is too broken up by variable elevation or trees/etc, then it’s rough ground.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2021
  14. Rekk

    Rekk Emperor

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    Open terrain with movement penalties.
     
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  15. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    I'll give this a bump, there's another week and change in the poll so lets see if there are anymore votes to grab.
     
  16. dostillevi

    dostillevi Warlord

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    huh, interesting to me how many are voting. Treated like open terrain for promotions, with LOS for open terrain, makes desert without features tactically indistinguishable from grassland, right?
     
  17. azum4roll

    azum4roll Emperor

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    Tactically they have a movement penalty, and that's it.
     
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  18. corps_of_discovery

    corps_of_discovery Chieftain

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    Is there a reason there isn't already a promotion for desert combat analogous to "woodsman" or "altitude training?" It seems like incorporating such a promotion could help solve a lot of the movement penalty vs combat bonus issues here.
     
  19. sSs1897

    sSs1897 Chieftain

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    I do think desert is not friendly to formations and such.

    Actually I suggest splitting the promotions for open/rough bonus into los/elevation related and movement related.
    From my understanding currently swamp counts as open so formation works there?

    Also there are just so many uus that are desert skirmishers...... To the point that its reasonable to just make skirmishers good in desert to me
     

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