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Stacking Solution

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Harvestmoon, Jan 13, 2011.

  1. Harvestmoon

    Harvestmoon Chieftain

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    I haven't read every thread and every post on the subject, but I think I have a solution to the SOD/1UP problem. I'll cut right to the chase.

    1) Allow units to stack indefinitely. No combat penalties, no scurvy, no nothing. Let 'em stack. I say "indefinitely" so there's no presumed "gotta stack to this #" idea floating around. If you say "you can stack up to 4", that'll be the norm, and any stacks under 4 will be "poor man" stacks. Saying "indefinitely" gives the idea that it doesn't matter how many you have, because the size of the stack isn't the source of the effect, it's the stacking alone that gives all the benefits.

    2) Combat is still handled on a 1-to-1 basis.
    e.g.) You've got a stack with 2 Swordsmen, 1 Archer and a Spearman. Nicely-rounded force, chief... or Immortal, or whatever you call yourself. You are at war with Egypt (why not?) and find yourself faced with a stack of 3 Spearmen and 2 Chariot Archers. You wanna fight? Here's what happens:
    a) It's your turn, so you select your stack. You get a popout that lists the units in the stack. Select the Archer. You now make the Archer's ranged attack, like normal, and it targets everyone in the enemy stack at -20% or somesuch penalty for bombarding a stack - it'd be a new mechanic.
    b) Select your stack again. Now select a Swordsman from the popout. You can make your Swordsman attack as usual. Only this time, when you attack the Egyptians, it gives you a dropdown of the units in the stack. Wanna focus on his Spearmen? Select one as your target (with the combat stats window output changing as you scroll through the list) and go for it.
    c) When all the units in the stack have acted according to your wishes and your turn ends, the AI does the same thing: bombards with any available siege/ranged units, peppering everyone in the stack, then focuses with any melee and mounted.

    3) There would be a promotion that lets certain weak-to-melee units drop back if targeted by melee or mounted units, forcing a different unit in the stack to defend for them. If there are no other units in the stack or if the defending unit is alone, they defend as normal. Some ranged or siege weapons could get this automatically.

    4) There should be absolutely no option (sans modded stuff) for "stack attack", i.e. where everything in the stack attacks at once. The idea is to make stacking a tactical decision allowing you to put multiple units at risk from ranged assault and siege weaponry in exchange for more flexible mobility. Each unit defends and attacks on its own merits. There's no "stack bonus". The only reason to have stacks is for the convenience of mobility and a better illusion of realism. The intention is NOT to make super-units.

    5) There's still incentive to stagger units around the field of battle:
    a) Agency. You want to command the field, not a single tile. Having stacks of 2-4 units in multiple places give you a wider range of attack options and help you control the flow of the battle.
    b) Indirect fire. Always an incentive to have units in different tiles.
    c) Flanking bonuses. I can't recall if there is a flanking bonus in CiV, but if there isn't, this would be the time to implement one. Like a +10% bonus when the target has more than one adjacent tile occupied by an enemy.
    d) Siege attackers. Avoiding the collateral damage caused by siege weapons is a nice incentive not to cluster up.

    6) Ranged and siege units can take it down a notch, now that they can be guarded by melee units. Drop all range increments for siege and ranged units by 1.
    ---------------

    I still like Embarking for land units, but I think naval units should be able to stack, as well. Same logic applies. If you have a Destroyer stacked on a few Infantry, attackers would have to target them, and Embarked units can benefit from the "drop back" idea if they have the promotion.
    ---------------

    So, will you still have Stacks of Doom? You'll have stacks... and if you're not a mouthbreather, you'll be murdering enemy stacks with well-placed and well-defended archers and catapults and all that.

    Will you still have Carpets of Doom? Not to the extent that you do now, since the incentive exists to intelligently stack your forces into well-rounded strike teams/armies.
    ---------------
     
  2. MkLh

    MkLh King

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    Choosing a defender would give a massive benefit to the attacker. This was probably the reason why the strongest unit was always picked up as a defender.
     
  3. WeaselSlapper

    WeaselSlapper Prince

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    The system you suggest sounds oddly familiar, where have we seen that before in almost every way. If I could only think of a game where unlimited stacks were the norm...hmmmm. Oh ya now I remember, EVERY OTHER CIV GAME EVER MADE!!!! This resulted in massive Stacks of Doom not the spread out mess you suggest will happen, except in the other versions the attacker didn't have the massive advantage you suggest of being able to choose it's target.

    This was exactly what they were trying to avoid with 1 UPT. Personally I think stacks of 2 maybe three could work allowing you to defend your damaged/siege units. But I actually like the tactile combat of 1 UPT. I just wish the AI could handle it so I don't fight wars where I kill the entire AI army and don't lose a single unit.
     
  4. LamaGT

    LamaGT Emperor

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    1upt has much more tactics, in civ4 and any other civ game what you basically did was stacking infinite number of units in front of a city and pushing attack until that city with another stack would be defeated.(same with another army)
    Now to conquest a city you need to deploy your army and position it in right spots, and if there are two armies fighting, you can kill those annoying ranged units with cavalry easily for example
    Also defending in thin valleys has an actual big advantage, exactly as it is in real life :D (or at least it was in medieval times, now we have artillery bombers fighters etc.)
     
  5. DaveGold

    DaveGold Emperor

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    Apart from it isn't. Breaking one unit per hex would allow you to attack many times from one hex into an adjacent hex. This means a stack of units could attack any number times onto a high quality unit in a good position and eventually kill it with low/no casualties. You can do this in CIV5 as it stands but using cavalry, ranged units, and good movement, i.e. much more strategy than one big stack.

    Zone of control is marginalized when you can move everything through the same hex. City defences need to be increased if you can attack many times through one hex. Terrain becomes less important when you put every unit on just one of the available rough hexes. Cavalry and ranged units become marginalised when an infantry stack can march up together in a stack. New stack defence rules for cities are needed to stop any stack of units in a city being less well defended inside the city than outside.

    Whilst your opponent has the freedom of an open battlefield and can attack into the stack, it's just an illusion of command. The big stack will be able to retaliate and kill anything in its radius since it will have the best possible mix of counter-attack options, even if it is no stronger in defence than its components.
     
  6. Becephalus

    Becephalus King

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    What he said.

    Civ5 has a lot of issues, but 1upt was a tremendous decision. They just need to think more about unit design and AI limitations.

    (There should be no ranged units, and no units with more than 3 moves and lower combat bonuses.
     
  7. Deep_Blue

    Deep_Blue Knight

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    Your solution is not different from previous civ games except that you can pick the defender that you want to attack , which make things very unbalanced in favor of attacking units. In 1UPT you can put your archer at safe position behind melee attackers, but in your system archer is an easy target.

    I always hated 1UPT but I also hated SODS what we want is small stack armies of 3 units to make a combo like (swordman + horseman + spearman) which is very important tactic and very familiar tactic in strategy games !
     
  8. Harvestmoon

    Harvestmoon Chieftain

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    Yeah, I know it's the same as earlier Civ games. Kinda the point. :)
    But hell, it's one or the other, guys. You pick the evil you'd rather deal with. Seems everyone who's posted here so far prefers Carpets to Stacks. C'est la vie.
     
  9. DaveGold

    DaveGold Emperor

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    The game is so many problems that everything needs a little bit of repair before the designers spend 6 months totally rewriting the combat system.
     
  10. Harvestmoon

    Harvestmoon Chieftain

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    You'll get no arguments from me on that.
     
  11. LamaGT

    LamaGT Emperor

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    here i am, i ALWAYS hated civ4's battle system
    :spear: see this? i would describe civ4's battle system with this, really there were no tactics, the army with the biggest stack always won
    though 1upt has some problems like moving troops i definetely prefer this, and imho, everybody that complains about 1upt probably always loses against ai, or plays on warlord :) no offence
    still it's true that ai needs to be more adaptive to this
     
  12. catfish99

    catfish99 Warlord

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    But armies in all eras had ranged units. The one per hex line with the archers/cats/trebs/arty behind is pretty much the way things worked forever.
    And there is a ton of fun in breaking a line, pouring your horses through the gap and taking out the enemy cannon. Tally ho!
     
  13. Pooh

    Pooh Chieftain

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    The bolded text. This is the problem, not xUPT, but the number of attacks that may be conducted from a tile. If you want to move combat out of the cities and into the fields (which would make combat a lot more fun) you introduce a mechanic limiting number of attacks allowed from a tile.

    Both the old SOD system and the new 1UPT system have this inherent balance -
    • SOD: unlimited units allowed on a tile is countered by unlimited attacks allowed from a tile
    • 1UPT: one UPT is countered by one attack from a tile (notwithstanding some movement after attack bonuses)

    You can create a similar balance by introducing a crowding penalty for UPT > the number of attacks allowed from a tile. This would prevent turtling a bunch of units into one tile from being an effective defence.
     
  14. Tokira

    Tokira Warlord

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    I see a condratiction in your suggestion. If you have units stacked and they all can attack from the stack, the combat is not handled on a 1-to-1 basis. That is because this way you could have the same old 20 units against cities and taking them would be just a 1 turn job no matter how big the city is and what is guarding it.

    What you're suggesting is a similar system that existed in civ3. Or we could just say that its the civ4 system without being able to attack with the whole stack at once, which would still be too near to SoD in my opinion.
     
  15. Harvestmoon

    Harvestmoon Chieftain

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    Suppose there was a limit to the number of attacks in a turn, then? Say, 1 attack per tile per turn, +1 for a GG.
     
  16. elthrasher

    elthrasher Revcaster

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    You've got to consider the other effects of something like this. Now, if I have four longswords and want to take a city, I have to move them into position to surround. My target can throw stuff in my path to get extra turns of bombardment and stall to bring in reinforcements.

    With this change, I'd just march my stack up to the city, attack for two turns. Done. I'm not saying this 1UPT implementation is perfect but the thing it does do is prevent a big stack from just rolling through cities with no use of tactics whatsoever.

    If you want to limit my attacks from a tile, fine. I march my stack up and then spread out, take the city, then stack it up again. Not much different there.
     
  17. Pooh

    Pooh Chieftain

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    The difference is that 1 tile can be attacked from six directions. So as your stack is approaching, it would be vulnerable to well-coordinated ambushes by defenders. Unlimited stacking combined with limited attacks from a tile eases logistics bottlenecks while maintaining strategic and tactical decision making.
     
  18. code9

    code9 Warlord

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    What's wrong with have 3 or 7 units per tile limit?
    Or basing that limit on the total power of units (so the limit isn't numbers, but rather strength) ?
     
  19. MkLh

    MkLh King

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    What's the point of it?

    xUPT-limit isn't necessary a sound compromise between two extremes. Rather it seems to couple bad sides from both: tactical shallowness of the SoD combined with jamming problems and tedious micro managing of 1UPT.
     
  20. bhavv

    bhavv Glorious World Dictator

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    Civ 2 had it right with infinite stacking and destruction of whole stacks outside of cities or forts if the primary defender died.
     

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