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Suggestion: Hawks can be shot down by archers

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Fall from Heaven' started by rmunn, Nov 6, 2009.

  1. rmunn

    rmunn Chieftain

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    I haven't played vanilla FfH in a while (mostly been playing Wild Mana), so apologies if this has already been implemented.

    Hawks are extremely powerful for scouting out a neighbor's territory prior to invasion -- almost too powerful, since there's nothing in the game (AFAIK) that can shoot them down. It seems odd that a hawk would be perfectly safe flying over a city with 4 garrisoned archery units... why not allow archers (and other ranged units) to function like SAM infantry in vanilla Civ and be able to shoot down hawks on a recon mission? That would at least force me to think before using my hawks for enemy recon -- right now it's a no-brainer, since there's zero downside. And any no-brainer decision with zero downside usually indicates a place where game balance could be improved.
     
  2. DarkxL0rd

    DarkxL0rd Warlord

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    "hey look at that bird, we should kill it" just doesn't have the same impact as, "hey look at that enemy plane in the air, READY THE SAMS!!!"

    you can't stop birds from flying in your airspace, there's just too many. which are the insidious evil birds, and which are the ones that are yours returning from a recon mission.

    "dammit Frank! that's the third hawk of ours you've killed today!" were moving you outta the archer unit!"
     
  3. WCH

    WCH Prince

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    How about some kind of spell?
     
  4. FireBlaze

    FireBlaze King

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    Hawks should be able to intercept other haws, but Archers WOULDN'T be able to shoot hawks, not without really failing in the process, like the arrows that they shoot falling on allies.
     
  5. Emptiness

    Emptiness []

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    I wouldn't mind the possibility of hawks intercepting enemy hawks, but the intercept chance should probably be low (because determining which hawks are friendly, which are enemy spies, and which are just hawks is a lot to ask of a bird).
     
  6. GordonF

    GordonF Chieftain

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    SAM infantry doesn't shoot down planes on recon missions in vanilla Civ.
     
  7. Nikis-Knight

    Nikis-Knight Deity

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    We brought up anti-bird measures before, but Kael felt that would make hawks basically useless if they were easily killed, as their utility isn't that high to begin with.
     
  8. Onionsoilder

    Onionsoilder Reaver

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    Not that high? I suppose against the AI I can see your point, but they are invaluable in multiplayer for:

    Detecting Invisible Units
    Watching Rival Troop Movement
    Locating Resources
    Identifying High-Target Profiles
     
  9. torsoboy

    torsoboy Chieftain

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    Perhaps hawks should only be able to scout terrain until a later tech, after which they can also spot units. Actually the only thng that limits my use of them is that they don't have an auto-recon feature.
     
  10. travathian

    travathian Warlord

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    And if you can shoot them down, here is the list of what they can do:
     
  11. Lone Wolf

    Lone Wolf Deity

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    Cut hawks, they add nothing but the boring micro. I like "Hawks of Esus", but that's the only thing I like about them.
     
  12. 2Hydroclopse

    2Hydroclopse Warlord

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    I could understand using hawks as an improved carrier pigeon; but, I've not yet come to understand how a hawk can communicate what the terrain in a several hundred mile square precisely looks like. A zeppelin, I could see, but that usually has a human in it.

    I would agree with Lone Wolf that they need to be cut. The hawks of FFH2 are unrealistic and overpowered.

    The fact that they can spread Esus could be a sign of a carrier pigeon function; but, you could just attribute that method of spreading to the current natural way religions spread and therefore remove hawks .

    Even if an auto-scout function were to be devised, the fact that your hawk is going mach speed halfway across the planet to an enemy city where the hawk immediately picks up his satellite based communication device and relays the local city population unit stats and number and countless other descriptors that a well trained hawk might be able to recognize himself, but not communicate to you is rather absurd.

    That is assuming these are normal hawks; perhaps, they are super magical hawks that can speak English --or whatever language the Civ who built it speaks--. If that is the case however, I think they should take longer than a hunter to build --not the 1 or 2 turns it currently takes--. Though, a hawk of this magnitude might be outside of FFH2 flavor.

    On the topic name of this thread: archers, powerful as they may be, could never be able to shoot down a hawk that is allowed to go faster than the speed of sound.
     
  13. AngelGabriel

    AngelGabriel Warlord

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    Interesting point. I think hawks should under all circumstances be tied to another unit like a hunter or something like that. You build the hunter and he can get that hawk as an addon and only him. In that case it could be explained telepathically as the hunter could look through the of his familiar.
     
  14. Emptiness

    Emptiness []

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    The ability to see invisible units sneaking into your territory isn't "nothing". There are alternatives (Perfect Sight and the Floating Eye), but those alternatives require a much greater investment, may be harder to achieve (most civs will need to build a Wonder or promote an archery or recon unit to level 7 in order to get Perfect Sight), and in the case of Floating Eye involve even more micromanagement (Hawks don't have the added step of being summoned). The Hawks is a very important and useful unit. I could see advocating the redesign of Hawks to remove the need for micromanagement. The call to remove them entirely seems misguided at best.

    It's a fantasy setting. Trees can walk and Dragons roam the world, but you have a problem with the idea that people can communicate with birds?

    Think of it as a primitive form of Nature magic (or animal telepathy, as AngelGabriel suggested), which allows a human to see through the eyes of the bird. The bird doesn't need human intelligence to communicate what it sees because a human is seeing it for him- or herself. All that is required is for the bird to be trained to fly a search pattern in a specific direction based on cues from its handler, which is possible in the real world even without magic.

    I agree that Hawks traveling to the other side of the planet in a single turn may be a bit excessive. Perhaps the Hawk rebase mission should have a limited range, and consume the Hawk's entire turn (rather than being able to rebase and scout, as they currently can).

    Hawks first require you to build a Hunting Lodge, which to me means that there are Hunters in your empire even if none of them is available to your army as a discrete unit. Having a Hawk tied to a specific Hunter doesn't seem necessary to me, and would remove a lot of the utility of the unit.
     
  15. rmunn

    rmunn Chieftain

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    I suggested archers because it's (a) plausible, (b) a tech you get just after hunting -- so when you get hawks, you get to use them unopposed if you have an early tech lead but you don't get to use them for very long against a tech-equal opponent -- at least not for free.

    However, hawks are fairly cheap to build and don't get promotions, so having one shot down doesn't cost you too much, since you can just build another. So the objection earlier that "if you can shoot them down, they become worthless" I would disagree with.

    Here's how I see it working: if the hawk gets shot down on a recon mission, it still gives you the info from that mission. (The magic-user looking through the hawk's eyes still saw everything until the bird was killed, it's just that he won't be able to use this bird for any more flights and will have to find & train a new hawk for next time). And archers don't have a 100% shoot-down ratio; perhaps their shootdown ratio is tied to their defensive strike chance, so Drill promotions also give you better intercept rates. Archers just out of training aren't very good at interception, archers with lots of experience can hit those moving targets much more often.

    Result: you can still use hawks for enemy recon, watching for invisible units sneaking up on your territory, and all that -- but against an enemy that's taking active anti-hawk countermeasures, you have to continually invest hammers into your scouting ability.

    I don't know how to solve the micromanagement problem, but this suggestion seems to me to solve the game-balance problem pretty well. (Limited-range rebasing makes sense, too).
     
  16. 2Hydroclopse

    2Hydroclopse Warlord

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    If hawks are to be salvaged, I should think they would need three things:

    -A higher cost to match their utility.

    -An event to be invoked anytime a hawk is used in or close to rival terrain --this event might kill the hawk, disable it for a few turns, or something else of that nature--. This is similar to the idea of having archers shoot them down, but could be more modifiable to suit more variables.

    -Removal of re-base feature over a certain range --2 or 3 tiles between two owned units or cities--.

    These three things might make them non-overpowered; but, as they stand, they are the strongest hammer v. utility unit I can think of --aside from summons, which require mana and casters even if they don't have a direct hammer cost--.
     
  17. WarKirby

    WarKirby Arty person

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    In FF, the Chislev have a Hawk UU which can do air strikes on enemies by dropping rocks on them, it's not strong and can't kill, but is fun.
     
  18. Monkeyfinger

    Monkeyfinger Deity

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    Hawks should require Feral Bond because, hey, how on erebus to you rationalize being able to communicate with them well enough to relay detailed cartographic information otherwise?
     
  19. lordrune

    lordrune Prince

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    I don't see why there's any need to 'salvage' or 'rationalise' them - this is a fantasy game after all!
    They're not (with the FF Chislev exception, and that's nominal only) offensive weapons, their value is utility only, so even without a counter, they're hardly unbalancing - and in mod-mods like RifE where the wilderness is full of things that will one-shot you, they're needed for survival.
    I do think the re-bases are a bit ridiculous, though - and hardly needed, since a hawk can 'Load' onto a hunter.
     
  20. Lascivious

    Lascivious Chieftain

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    I find hawks overpowered as well. A few of them will give you almost complete battlefield awareness. I feel like I'm cheating when I know exactly where the enemy armies are and what to expect at the next city. Ditto for the Eyes of Kilrogg.

    Also, the fact that there is no reason, except to save your sanity, not to assign a number of recon missions equal to #_of_hawks * #_of_turns_left hints at a bad design decision.
     

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