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SOD - Ruins games

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by ianfuture, Jul 23, 2009.

  1. ianfuture

    ianfuture Chieftain

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    I've been playing Civ 4 BTS, patched to 3.17 and had Solver/Dresden patch too. Several times now I've been doing well and then an enemy AI has decalred war with a massive SOD or two (in the region of 50 units on one tile)which has obliterated my reasonably good defenders of cities.

    This got me to thinking that it does seem to unbalance and ruin a game. My reasoning being that each unit built in Civ is supposed to be a representation of multiple instances of that type. So one Longbowman is actually a whole legion of them for example. It is not just one Longbowman. So when a player, AI or Human, has 50+ units stacked up on one tile, my first thought is how can they all physically sit in the same town, farm, hill etc easily. Surely there must be a limit, so perhaps a maximum number of units per tile cap should be enforced. Or if this is not done, then as there are so many units crammed into one tile, then any attack on that tile should be alot more succesfull as there is less space for the units there to hide, get out of the way of the attack etc. If the attack is one that causes collateral damage then it should be a lot more successful too, and hit a lot more units.

    If a unit cap was used, then it forces players to spread their units across more tiles (which I'm sure would be a better representation of how military commanders would disperse their troops), and reduces the potentially game ruining SOD as it gives the defender more chance of being able to counter attack and destroy the units if they are in smaller groups.

    Thoughts? Anyone know of a mod that can do this?

    Thanks..
    Ian
     
  2. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    1 tile in civ represents a LOT of land.

    Beating 50 unit stacks is easy. Hit it with about 20 equal-tech siege units, 10-15 of which will survive. Then, kill everything else in the stack with virtually no losses and enjoy somewhere between 3:1 to 5:1 kills to deaths.

    Then go on the offensive if it tickles your fancy.
     
  3. IronCrown

    IronCrown Black Foe of the World

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    You can easily cram a million people onto a single street, for example during the love parade (techno music event) in Berlin some years ago. Or the Obama visit last year, there were 300,000 people in even less space.

    Granted, no one would deploy an army like that ;) But still a large city could easily hold an army millions strong.
     
  4. Junuxx

    Junuxx Emperor

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    I think it would be better to give strength bonuses to units that have friendly units in the surrounding tiles.
    Say, 5% per friendly neighbour.

    Imagine a battle region between civ X and civ Y
    Y|Y|_
    _|X|X
    _|X|X

    Now if the top left Y unit would attack the X in the middle, it would be at a disadvantage as X gets 15% support bonus and Y only 5%.

    I believe such a small change could really tip the balance towards a more tactically challenging game and more spread out stacks.
     
  5. KaytieKat

    KaytieKat King

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    Jul 29, 2007
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    Hi

    I have played games that have had stack limits and games like civ2 that didnt have stack limits but SEVERE penatlies for risking units in huge stacks (if a stack thats not in a city or fort is attacked then best defender defends and if it loses the battle the ENTIRE stack dies)

    Niether of which really REDUCED the necessity of building lots of units or amounts of frustration. If you are getting out produced so much that an enemy civ is attacking with a stack of 50 and you are losing. Say there is a cap of 5 per tile. Your tile of 5 getting hit by repeatedly by stacks of 5 up to TEN times if need be still gonna be just as overwhelmed. And I would MUCH rather just keep track of one huges stack than a lot of mini stacks.

    And the game does provide ways to handle huge enemy stacks. And I am not trying to be snarky or anything but in addition to countering with siege and other collatareal damage causing units it to reevalutae what you consider "resonably good defenders" If they are getting obliterated then changes probably need to be made. Part of it isnt JUST making massive military. Part of it is intelligence gathering, unless you are waaaaay behind its gonna be RARE for an AI to have MULITPLE huge stacks like that, so find them. Know where they are gathering and then from that you can usually get an idea of which cities or even get it narrowed to to just one city that is most likey to be attacked and masse your forces there. On the other hand if you prefere not to just wait you now know where attacking first will take out most their military. There is also diplomacy keep him frindly so he wont attack you or better yet will take bribes to attack others. Or make friends with other civs to attack him and keep his stack off your back etc.

    So I dont think SoD's ruin the game. They require a playing style different than stack limits or something but those differences are not without their own annoyances so it just comes down to a matter of taste. As for realism well each unit or tile can be as big or as little as you wish to imagine so if it means thousands of troops covering thousands of miles or just a big group of 300 foot tall giants fighting above the treetops really up to you hehe.

    Kaytie
     
  6. Cao Mengde

    Cao Mengde Chieftain

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    The "Defense" mod that comes with BtS has a rule that restricts use of large stacks: Each member of a stack suffers a strength penalty for the size of the stack. IIRC it's something like 10% per member, with a lower limit of 10%. So 10 Knights sharing a tile would each have 1 strength, but as they died their compatriots wouldn't be suffering the penalty anymore. So stacks - especially small ones of 3 or 4 units - are still very important, but you don't really have benefit to stacks much larger than 10 units (unless they split up before attacking).
     
  7. Malchar

    Malchar Prince

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    I don't mind the problem at all. The SOD strategy is overrated.A large stack is extremely vulnerable to siege attacks with collateral damage. Realistically, of course you're going to have to use artillery or cannons if you're trying to win a world-war-era battle. Also, siege traveling in a SOD are vulnerable to flank attacks.

    Dividing up your offense army is much more efficient. You can attack from multiple directions and pillage tiles quicker. When capturing cities, you can quickly plow through multiple weak cities per turn rather than slowly lugging one big stack through enemy territory. This gives the opponent less time to react.
     
  8. hexem3117

    hexem3117 Warlord

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    REALLY? That's outrageous! Can I get a confirmation from another independent source?!
     
  9. Birdman6

    Birdman6 Warlord

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    I agree with others that defeating a stack of 50 units is very manageable. There are a variety of tactics you can use and if you're getting consistently hosed then it stands to reason you could be doing something better. Can you give an example of such an attack or provide a screenshot?
     
  10. Tibur753

    Tibur753 Leigonary

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    Here's an idea similar to Junuxx's: your enemy takes a penalty (something like 5 or 10 percent) for each tile surrounding them that you occupy beyond the first. This would represent the difficulty that the defender has in defending attacks in multiple directions. The theory is that for each way that you can attack, the enemy would put part of their defenses in that way. This would mean that even if you attack one at a time, like in civ, a good portion of the defenders would have to move to the battle and would not be completely prepared for the assault. This would add a great benefit to surrounding your enemy instead of attacking in one direction only. It also gives a strategic advantage to peaks, lakes, and coast because the enemy cannot surround you on that side. Think of a city built on a peninsula where there is only tile that can access it. It would be a much harder city to take, which is historically true.
     
  11. Junuxx

    Junuxx Emperor

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    Try the Defense mod :p

    Actually I think it's not -10% but a constant -1 for every unit added to a stack.
    Note that this mod also has ranged artillery (range up to 6!) which helps soften up attackers a lot. This in turn greatly reduces the need for big defensive stacks.
     
  12. IronCrown

    IronCrown Black Foe of the World

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    What is the rationale for penalizing large stacks? Joint forces make combat troops stronger, not weaker. Never tried this defense mod, but apparently using it would make a stack of swords, spears and horse archer who attack together weaker than the same units attacking individually from different directions. Which is ridiculous because every unit should rather enjoy a bonus because they combine their respective skills.

    Also, ever heard of the Overwhelming Force doctrine? ;)
     
  13. Junuxx

    Junuxx Emperor

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    It requires a lot of coordination, communication and training to make a big crowd effective. For most of history that wasn't so easy.

    I'd rather have some well deployed, strategically placed units than twice their number in a big disorganized and unprepared blob.

    Anyway, Defense is a whole new game, very, very different from Civ in purpose, scale and genre.
     
  14. Windsor

    Windsor Flawless

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    The US attacked Baghdad using one SoD. They landed the big SoD on 1 tile (Kuwait), made 1 move together into Iraq, then split the stack in two an attacked. At least, this is the scale I see things in.

     
  15. Atranox

    Atranox Chieftain

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    A large SOD will generally annihilate city defenders because of siege. If you sit around and let your enemy attack a city, you're going to lose. You should have hit the stack with a ton of siege, and then you could have taken it out with virtually no losses.
     
  16. sourdiesel

    sourdiesel Warlord

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    I like this idea a lot. It would go well with DCM's Ranged bombardment for a deeper tactical game.
    It seems to me though that the number of units that can fit on a tile is irrelevant, this is a game with a ton of abstraction anyway.
     
  17. Tatran

    Tatran Deity

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    I agree with the thread starter.
    In Rise of Nations units will suffer damage each time/turn they are in neutral/enemy borders.
    Only a supply wagon prevents damage and IIRC the French and the Versailles wonder
    made it possible for supply wagons to heal units in foreign borders.
    An excellent feature, IMHO.
     
  18. Xellos-_^

    Xellos-_^ Prince

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    my answer to AI SOD is to built a bigger SOD. The AI built a 50unit SOD you built a 100unit SOD.

    Also if you let 1 50unit SOD push you around, it means you are not doing very well. At least you are neglecting the military side of the game.

    i disagree, ancient wars has shown they can effectively coordinate huge armies. You just some capable suborinate to carry out your order and make sure you orders are not too complicated. A lot things like smoke signals and horse messengers can help coordiate movement between armies.
     
  19. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    You really only need a 40-50 unit stack yourself, about 1/3 to 1/2 of it siege. Make sure yours attacks first though...
     
  20. attackfighter

    attackfighter Emperor

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    one tile covers lots of land... for example, on a huge map, britain would be like 10 tiles at most. one tile, or 10% of britain, could easily hold billions of troops

    if you really hate large stacks, get total realism. whenever you have like 20-30 units on one tile, they all get promotion called 'overcrowding', or something, and it reduces their strength by about 10%.

    i also have to point out that having your soldiers all in one place would make it easier to co-ordinate them
     

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