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The Combat better be overhauled

Discussion in 'Civ4Col - General Discussions' started by Lord Chambers, Jul 17, 2008.

  1. Lord Chambers

    Lord Chambers Emperor

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    In the original Colonization military units weren't created by hammers or shields over a series of turns, but simply supplying an (1)existing population unit with (2)horses and (3)muskets. When these units lost in battle they lost their horses and became weaker. If they lost again they would lose their muskets. If they lost again they would simply be captured, having no combat ability.

    This was somewhat sensible since the original Colonization was purely an economic game, and the combat needed somehow to be tied into that system. When you lose horses and muskets, you're essentially losing money.

    Or so the designers thought. As it turns out, it's more efficient to completely ignore the cash crops (sugar, tobacco, cotton, and furs) and just produce the horses yourselves instead of trading products for money to buy them.

    (2)Horses are bred on food, and food is incredibly easy to come by. It can be grown on any tile in reasonable quantities, including sea squares which can't produce any cashcrop whatsoever, and experts skilled in producing food are cheap to hire or easy to train in colonies or by natives. Expert Farmers and Expert Fishermen only require a lowly Schoolhouse which can be built at population 4.

    (3)Muskets require more steps to their production, but are pretty easy to obtain since they come from ore which is only second to food in it's availability on the map (hills, mountains, swamps, marshes, and deserts) and experts are also cheap to train or hire. Easiest of all is to steal Muskets with Privateers which are a good sink for the pointless money you're bound to accrue if you invest in producing cash crops at all.

    (1)When you've made it your goal to produce a ton of horses you always have excess food stockpiling which creates extra population, the only other prerequisite for creating soldiers.

    Having broken combat isn't enough to ruin a Sid Meier franchise game. In fact, his name was built on it. The real problem is that the only victory condition in the original Colonization was declaring independence and beating the king's expeditionary army in battle. Essentially this renders the cash crop production and trade aspects of the game an amusing diversion.

    The key to beating the king is simply to have a huge food base for raising more horses than you can lose in a round. The only professions you need are farmers, fishermen, ore miners, carpenters, lumberjacks, elder statesmen(to increase your combat odds), a couple of blacksmiths, and one or two gunsmiths. The other professions help you earn cash which helps you buy tools before you can produce enough yourself, and they're an effective way to buy privateers, which actually get you more muskets than gunsmiths ever will. but are unnecessary. Extra. They just speed up the rate at which you can acquire the actual necessary might for killing the king.

    Even artillery or fortresses are unnecessary effort. They're helpful against European colonial powers, but not against the king. The king lands a handful of troops every turn, and all you need to be able to do is kill that stack the turn it lands, and it'll never attack a colony. In the worst case scenario in the original Colonization you have to fight the king's cavalry on flat land outside a colony. With continental cavalry that's 5(+50% attack bonus) vs. 6. Sometimes they'll land on forested or mountainous squares which increase your ambush bonus by 50% to 100%. There's not much to it, just a lot of horses so you can create and maintain the best combat odds possible.

    Killing the king's stack the turn it lands is also beneficial because it allows your wagon trains to fly around, bringing horses and materials to where they need to be.

    Anyone who has won a game of Colonization will probably agree, but it's strange that a game based on economics has so little to do with economics as its victory condition. It's simply too easy to ignore the cash crops in the game and instead stockpile horses. I hope in Civ4: Colonization the combat is overhauled. If it's not, let this be the first and only article added to the War Academy.
     
  2. akadyer

    akadyer Chieftain

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    Yes combat does need an overhall , more units hopefully and away from the pure percentage system. Though I enjoyed the economics more than actually winning the game. I think I retired from more games than won and I loved learning to manipulate the ecomony with custom houses, I would looking foward to an economic victory condition, fingers crossed.
     
  3. Desert-Fox

    Desert-Fox King

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    Also I hope that there will not be so much Cont. Cavalry is defeated by colonist. The combat was too random.
     
  4. Greybriar

    Greybriar Prince

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    Combat in the original Colonization may have been flawed (like a phlanx unit defeating a tank in the original Civilization, for example), but since I was more focused on peaceful activities than waging war it didn't bother me so much.

    "artillery or fortresses are unnecessary effort"?! After incurring disastrous casualties, I never attacked the king's forces. I preferred fortifying my settlements to the max and stockpiling as many horses as possible to survive the inevitable onslaught.

    Although there is room for improvement on the combat mechanics, I would still buy the 2008 release of Colonization even if the combat system were exactly like it was in the original release. :spear:
     
  5. Lord Chambers

    Lord Chambers Emperor

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    I may be wrong as I don't have the game or numbers handy, or fully understand how percent bonuses are applied in Colonization, but I believe the situation I described is the best strategy. Lets look at that again.

    The odds you encounter by attacking the King's stack is Continental Calvary versus Kings Calvary(what was this unit called?) is 5(+50%) vs. 6(possibly -50% or -100% if in forest/hill or mountain). When the same Kings Calvary attacks your fortress the odds are better: 6(+50%) vs. 7(+200%). But, when the King finishes flinging his calvary at you, he attacks with artillery, which gets a 100% bonus for attacking settlements on top of the 50% attack bonus.

    The problem is that it requires a much larger colonial investment to produce hordes of artillery than it does to create veteran dragoons and horses to keep them as Continental Calvary during the war. When you turtle and wait you allow the King to dictate where the battle takes place. He can surround a colony which prevents you from getting new troops and horses inside, and if the odds go his way you end up trying to take back a fortress where he gets the 200% bonus. Moreover, relying on defense means you have to build a fortress in every colony, otherwise the AI will go after your forts ands stockades.

    If instead you attack him you can focus your entire army on the couple square his stack lands, meaning you control the flow of the battle. When you wipe it out the turn it lands you have the next turn or two to casually rearm and redeploy your dragoons because the kings landings are periodic. Through control and a wide enough food base you can end every turn of the war with your land free of enemy troops. That allows you to get troops and horses wherever you need them, and in the scheme of the war that improves your odds more than the 200% a fortress gives.
     
  6. Greybriar

    Greybriar Prince

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    @Lord Chambers: I never invested too heavily in artillery--it was too expensive to buy, took too long to make, and was too easily damaged or destroyed.

    What I did was fortify my settlements to the max, stockpile all the horses and muskets I could, and simply endure until the King's forces had destroyed themselves in their attacks upon my fortifications. Despite the odds, the King's military was simply of a superior quality and nearly all attacks I mounted against it met with my defeat.

    If your method worked for you, more power to you--it simply did not work out that way for me. :dunno:
     
  7. C~G

    C~G Untouchable

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    I usually maxed out those colonies that king's forces would land near to. With Navy you could try to attack their ships or at least "guide" them to land into specific places instead right next to your colony. Then you could put also land forces to do the same.

    I usually used roads/ships between colonies to send reinforcements to the places where they were mostly needed. Especially the most experienced dragoons that were promoted when the war starts.

    Within colonies you could have few artillery pieces and then all the possible folks with muskets and horses. Then in mountains you could have again those dragoons that would attack the piles of royal forces (in the clear or in the forest to get ambush bonus) that were weakened during the last attack or were moving.

    Can't be sure that it is the only winning strategy but it worked for me.
    If you prepared well for the war (build up schools etc. turn colonists into veterans, have working magazine line etc.) sometimes it was almost too easy.
     
  8. Captain Carnage

    Captain Carnage King

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    I remember people wanted this combat system in Civ4 before it came out.
     
  9. vsipinen

    vsipinen Warlord

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    I think the combat system itself (the way winner of the combat was decided) in the old Colonization was perhaps too simple (I would prefer at least something like in current Civilization games), but the way the soldiers were "created" should be used also in Civilization. Instead of being only some robotic armies built in cities the military units should require also people. Creation of military units should decrease the population available for other uses. I am not sure about the way in which dragoons became first soldiers and so on. In a way it is perhaps sensible that the losing side is not immediately destroyed, but conversion of one type of military unit to another type in such way could be strange in some cases (if used in Civilization).
     
  10. The Snug

    The Snug The Civ Heretic

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    Both attacking and defending strategies against the king were effective. If you attacked correctly, you could get a +50% ambush bonus. If you built fortresses and stuck canon in them, they were also invincible.

    Fighting against the king was never difficult regardless. You could simply wait until your army far out-numbered his.

    As to Lord Chambers assertion that building an eocnomy was unnecesary, he would be incorrect. Even with lots of food and home-grown horses and home-built muskets, it took a great deal of time to amass the amount of colonists necessary to kill the king's forces. In the meantime, you might as well develop a strong economy and use the money to purchase extra ships, canon, colonists, horses, muskets, etc... Developing a viable economy simply makes you just that much stronger. The more effective strategy is to do both.

    Besides, when you beat the game, you got extra points for each K of gold that you possessed. I typically had more than 100K of gold.
     
  11. i_diavolorosso

    i_diavolorosso Prince

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    Never played colonization before
    But from your preview, now i'm eagerly await that
     
  12. GIDS888

    GIDS888 King

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    All the gripes relate to a game that was out over a decade ago!

    Think of Col2 in terms of the evolution of Civ1 thru Civ4, and realise this ain't gonna be the same game at all!

    I remember George's Man'o'Wars kicking my butt and Privateers being no match for them, and that is just one aspect of play that will have been radically improved!
     
  13. Lord Chambers

    Lord Chambers Emperor

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    Months from now, when you come back to edit your post, here it will be enshrined in all its glorious naiveness.
     
  14. Lord Chambers

    Lord Chambers Emperor

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    Did you really just tell me I was incorrect that building an economy was unnecessary, then say
    Thank you for the astute illustration of how unnecessary gold is. I agree that cash crops can speed up your development. Still, "economy" is not integrated into the victory condition because military strength is not derived from your cash crop production. It's derived mostly from horses, which are too easily obtained. This is the crux of the broken combat I want to see overhauled.

    Muskets are much more difficult to obtain, but you only need 50 to create each unit, and even on Viceroy you don't need more than around 20 to kill the king's stack each turn it lands. So, you only need 1000 muskets in the entire game because you will never lose any in combat if you have enough horses, which again, are easy to produce on (1)almost every tile from (2)easily trained experts, with almost (3)zero required infrastructure-stables + warehouse expansion.

    As for the utility of gold, if you want points then the 1k = 1 point conversion is ********. Hire Ore Miners for 600 gold and get +5 for each extra expert. 100k worth of Ore miners is 833 points vs. 100 points for gold. Hi
     
  15. Lord Chambers

    Lord Chambers Emperor

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    Good to read:

     
  16. Greybriar

    Greybriar Prince

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    I wonder how many of us who played the original Colonization will continue to play it due to this and other *improvements* in gameplay made in the new version? ;)
     
  17. henryMCVII

    henryMCVII Warlord

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    Well, I personaly always wanted such changes to the game. The old way made it pretty easy to get lots of free colonists for building up an strong army. We will se how it will run now.
     
  18. dutchfire

    dutchfire Deity

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    What about some new victory conditions too?
     
  19. C~G

    C~G Untouchable

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    Even though OT for this thread...

    That is one of the things I was utterly disappointed with that they didn't come up any other victory conditions.

    So basically the game still relys to military resolution in the end when I would have liked to see example diplomatic victory where foreign nations would have pressured the motherland of player to give independency or late domination victory where player with his colonies would dominate so much of the New World it would achieve independency by that fact.
     
  20. Lord Shadow

    Lord Shadow General

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    Given it's a total conversion, I'd assume the combat will be pretty similar to Civ4's. That'd be great, since it wouldn't make dragoons all-powerful like they were in the original, and force you to use balanced groups when at war.

    However, I liked the fact cannons got a bonus when defending cities. I hope they do something similar with them in the remake, but they may count as Civ4 siege weapons and behave as such (cities in the screenshots have +X% figures above their name, the kind of defensive bonus that's reduced through siege weapons).
     

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