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Removing 1UPT while maintaining 1UPT flavour (and preserving game balance)

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by dmieluk, Oct 28, 2010.

  1. dmieluk

    dmieluk Chieftain

    Feb 15, 2007
    This post is about an idea to remove the 1UPT constraint, while maintaining current game balance, and requiring the most minimal changes possible. First, though, a few words about where I am coming from on this issue.

    I'm in the civ5 has wonderful ideas but disgraceful implementation camp. Accordingly, I love 1upt. So why am I discussing ideas for removing it? I understand the annoyance some posters feel when they cant move their units across their empire cleanly. I have experienced the frustration with the pathfinding which may select a wildly suboptimal route simply because the optimal route is temporarily occupied by another unit on route to somewhere else. I don't think anything is added to the game by having civilian units as non-stackable (except not multiworking plots). It is certainly frustrating to have an army move across your empire but to have to take the GG on a convoluted route (compared to your troops) just to go around to workers...

    After thinking about this for a time, I started to drill down into what I liked about the 1UPT requirement. The only good thing about it is the tactical combat consequence. After a little bit of thought, it became clear that the 1UPT constraint could be dropped completely whilst almost entirely preserving the tactical combat consequences (favour) of 1UPT by adopting only a few simple rule changes:

    1. When a unit attacks from a tile occupied by another offensive unit, the unit suffers an attack penalty which is dependent upon the number of attack units with which the unit shares the tile. The magnitude of the penalty is such that the total sum of attack effectiveness for the tile is 100%.

    eg. 2 units on a tile, they each attack @ -50%. Three units on a tile, they each attack @ -66%. Four units on a tile, they each attack @ -75% etc.

    The consequence of this rule is that if all the units on a tile attack the same target, the total attack strength is equivalent to a single unit attacking.

    2. When the defending tile has a stack of multiple units, the defense strength is the average strength of the defending units, including all modifiers. The damage taken by the defending stack is applied to all units in the stack.

    Together, these simple rule changes mean that the 1UPT requirement can be removed, but that the tactical implications for 1UPT remian in place, since the combat penalties for 1UPT are prohibitory in almost all cases.

    Possible problems, exploits, etc.

    The first exploit which may need to be addressed comes down to horsemen (or any blitzer). Since they can move after attacking, the ability for units to stack helps make a horsemen army incredibly compact without the penalties at the point of attack (move off to attack, then all move back to the same square). The reason that this might have an exploity feel is because one of the few drawbacks of the horsemen are the difficulty of withdrawing them all to safe ground after an attack, given they get in each other's way. That said, a single attack on a stack of horses could break the mounted division...

    The second potential exploity possibility is a combined arms type scenario. Potentially, you could keep a melee unit on a tile two squares from a target (eg. city), together with a siege or ranged unit. At the start of the turn, the melee unit could move off the ranged unit. The ranged unit could attack without the stacking penalty. Subsequently, the melee unit could move back to cover the ranged unit. It is important to note that in this circumstance, the melee unit would suffer a defensive penalty when attacked, but it may still end up being advantageous to offer the increased protection to the ranged unit which unless addressed, can unleash a full strength attack every turn.

    A problem which needs to be mentioned is the capacity for the AI to deal with these modifications. From an algorithmic perspective, a stacked tile represents a dynamic kind of terrain which is both poor to attack from and poor to defend on. Given how poorly the AI uses terrain in the current iteration, it may be the case that with these changes, the AI will be even poorer at tactical combat. It's hard to say for certain (given that some things, like pathfinding, might automatically improve). However, if firaxis improves the AI combat algorithm, then any increased sensitivity to terrain should carry over to the AI effectiveness under the modified conditions outlined above.

    Why aren't I making this mod?

    I'm not able to. I believe it is not able to be done with our current access to XML/LUA. There may be folks who mess around with decompiling the c etc, but I'm not one of them. Firaxis might be releasing the c in a few months, after which stuff like this should be reasonably straight forward, but I'm still not sure how compatible it would be with the built in mod browser.

    In summary, these few rule changes could preserve the tactical flavour of 1upt whilst removing all the annoyances of pathfinding etc. The main risks are accidentally introducing exploits and introducing rules which further compromise the already compromised AI.

    Any thoughts, or other exploits you can think of?

    For the love of civ...
  2. Baleur

    Baleur Prince

    Jul 9, 2010
    Qingdao, China
    (i'm a douche and didnt read the entire topic as im in a rush right now)

    But what i read, i agree!
    Even perhaps have an even bigger penalty, such as -50% attack AND defense strength when 2 units are on 1 tile, and -75% when 3 units share the same tile, reducing by 25% for each additional unit.

    I really love 1upt, in every way. The only thing i hate is how it creates roadblocks for your own and allied troops.
    With your suggested changes (or even more extreme, as in my example), the roadblock would cease to exist since you could march all your infantry in 1 tile (if you want to take the risk of them being intercepted by a fast horseman, which would add MORE tactics to the game rather then less, something real life armies also have to take into consideration as when they are marching "casually" they are much more vulnerable to unsuspected surprise attacks, this also makes guerilla attacks more viable, if the enemy has a much larger army, attack it with fast units while he's marching in false safety).

    Woah thats a long paragraph, anyway.. Yeah :p
    That way our own units (and allies) could move together instead of blocking eachother, but once actual important battles take place you'd DEFINETLY want to limit the army to 1 unit per tile for maximum efficency.

    Enemy armies would still be blocked by another enemy or neutral army of course, including the current 1-move-only adjacant to enemies.
    So you could still use neutral city-states as "blocks" for nearby enemy nations or neutral nations who's armies you want to keep away.
  3. Anthropoid

    Anthropoid Grognard fantome

    Jan 14, 2004
    I saw a guy say that Kael has already released a mod that allows some degree of stacking. You might try looking in the mods section to see if you can find it. Kael was a very gifted modder for Civ4, so I'd bet it is a good one.
  4. UknowsI

    UknowsI Nybygger

    Dec 8, 2002
    Regardless of whether this system would be balanced or not I think it would be too complex to be implemented. It would be too hard for players to understand the strength of their unit positioning. This wouldn't be a problem for a mod since people who only understand the mod would install it, but not realistic as default settings. The default version of the game should have rules that are easy to grasp intuitively.

    Now to the actual balancing part. Since it will still allow you to play with 1UPT it wont give you any direct disadvantages. It will give you an advantage in logistics (which is a good thing). In real combat I would probably mostly use it for siege weapons in rough terrain. One highly promoted rough terrain defensive bonus unit should be strong enough to defend a siege unit in rough terrain, and he can move before the siege unit fires for full attack power. This would remove his fortification bonus though, so not sure if it's worth it.
  5. Jediron

    Jediron Prince

    Jan 8, 2006
    tactical warfare "ala PG" sucks on a CIV map, period. There's nothing that can truly fix it, other then Stacking. CIV map's are strategical. Making tactical warfare possible on that scale, is the biggest mistake they made.
  6. moscaverde

    moscaverde Prince

    Apr 26, 2004
    I really agree with you, BUT, if preserving the 1upt, the op idea is a nice one (I'm sure I already saw something alike here in the forum, though).
  7. dmieluk

    dmieluk Chieftain

    Feb 15, 2007
    Thanks for the feedback. I think the penalties I suggested are already pretty big. If you cant deliver more than 1 full attack, it is pretty harsh because you have to remember that each unit that attacks will take damage, so the final effect is supposed to be kind of symmetrical to the defensive scenario, where all units receive damage when attacked.

    Yep, the idea is to change the game as little as possible. Still ZOC, still cannot share a tile with a neutral.

    I guess you mean the legions mod? Even Kael has said he couldn't mod it such that just civilian units can stack without access to the source. Even though the changes would be remarkably simple, we still can't make them without access to the source.

    I agree wholeheartedly that one must be cautious with complexity... but really, is this too complex?

    Fictitious quote from the manual/civilpedia:
    Then there cold be an inset box with precise math for the nerds. Is that really too complex? I would hope not.
  8. Strategy Master

    Strategy Master Chieftain

    Sep 28, 2010
    Some nice ideas dmieluk.

    Here are some ideas I have suggested before for stacks.

    1 - Easiest to implement
    When units are in a stack only one unit in the stack can attack at a time (So if you want more attack opportunities in battle you have to spread your troops)

    When the defender is the stack make it so that the attacker can choose which unit in the stack to attack (So no defense advantages when stacking) (also means it would be useful to be able to view all units on a tile)

    2 - Complicated
    A separate tactical map for combat.
  9. Jediron

    Jediron Prince

    Jan 8, 2006
    My idea contains flexible armies, with a general; like you see in TW. That's the only "proper" way. why?
    Because CIV's, assembled ARMIES to wage war; not a bunch of pikes or so....lol
  10. niall78

    niall78 Chieftain

    Oct 4, 2010
    1upt is just plain wrong. It has no business in a strategic level game. If I want tactical combat there are dozens of better games out there to provide it to me. Has to go down as one of the worst design decisions ever in a Civ game to shoe horn it with a twenty year old tactical combat system. Maybe it should have been call 'Civ5:John Tillers Revenge'.
  11. greggbert

    greggbert Warlord

    Aug 2, 2007
    THe problem that I have when I play the game is that there are too many units, not too few. Allowing players and the enemy AI to jam more of these units into the tiny spaces is not an enhancement in my opinion. I think 1UPT is great and I don't want to see it go away. The only acceptable alternative is to have a military unit "pack up" into a truck for travel where it can behave like a settler or general, but then it has to find a clear spot to "unpack". OTher than that I really like 1UPT and I like the way that it makes you plan combat.

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