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The Industrial and Modern Tech Trees are Utterly Broken

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Peng Qi, Sep 13, 2013.

  1. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Deity

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    Replace GWB with Zeppelins. Zeppelins have extremely long range, but, like Missionaries and such now, can suffer attrition (historically, lost more airships to storms and weather than to the enemy). Very low bombing effect, but, as said, very large viewing radius.
    Machineguns get an AA effect against Triplanes and Fighters (low-flying aircraft). Regular AA will come later, but should be placed in the Tech Tree at about the same time as Bombers.
    Historically, regular artillery (light German 77mm field guns, specifically) took out more of the WWI 'landships' than anything except mechanical breakdowns. Give artillery a slight bonus against Mobile Units - they were death on cavalry as well as being used even in WWII against armor.

    Any mass use of air power requires major ground support and construction. Therefore, the unlimited basing of aircraft is a another complete game breaker, but easily remedied:
    City = maximum of 3 aircraft based, plus 1 aircraft for every 5 population points over 10.
    Airport = + 3 aircraft
    Fortress = maximum 6 aircraft based

    In other words, a 30 population capital city with an Airport can base 10 aircraft, but that's not going to happen very often. To sustain a major air offensive, you'll need to expend Great Generals or rely on massed aircraft carriers lurking off the coast.

    The real problem is that the sequence in the Industrial/Modern Tech Tree is so FUBARed now that the relationships between weapons and units is skewed. Just for examples:
    GWI represents infantry armed with smokeless-powder magazine rifles. Historicaly they started appearing about 1885-1890. At virtually the same time, the modern gas or recoil operated machinegun appeared. The Gatling Gun, always a very unreliable weapon, only lasted for about 20 years at most, unlike its near-universality in the game. Indirect fire artillery techniques did not appear until 1905 (Russo-Japanese War) and were not perfected until 1917 (mobile forward observers, mathematical registration, ultra long range fire with meteorological data calculations). Which is approximately the same date as the introduction of the Landship.

    On the sea, the Ironclad dates from 1860-1865, while the modern submarine comes along about 1900 - 1905 and the modern destroyer, which was originally called the Torpedo Boat Destroyer because it was designed to counter the surface version of the torpedo-carrying submarine, starts appearing at about the same time or a few years earlier. The modern Dreadnaught battleship dates from 1906. The aircraft carrier with an air group that can do any real amount of damage doesn't come along until the early 1930s (earlier ships could launch and land aircraft, but the aircraft didn't have any effective weapons until dive bombing and air-launched torpedos were perfected)

    In the air, the 'triplane' or pursuit aircraft, was perfected between 1915 and 1918, the multiple engined bomber in 1918. Neither had any appreciable effect against ground troops, cities or ships except in EXTREMELY favorable circumstances - Billy Mitchell demonstrated GWB against anchored, unmanned battleships, and 'triplanes' or pursuit aircraft spent most of their time shooting down reconnaissance aircraft and artillery spotting balloons - and each other. The first semi-effective bombers were Zeppelins, which bombed London during WWI but, while terrorizing some of the population, managed to do about as much damage in two years as one WWII air raid did in one night.
    Effective antitank guns start appearing in the early 1920s, and only 15 years later does the tank as represented in the game appear. Antiaircraft guns (75-77mm) were improvised with vertical-firing mounts by 1918, started getting really effective by the early 1930s. The introduction of Radar, by the way, should result in a very much more effective air defense, but has no such effect in the game at all.

    In short, correct the Tech Tree shenanigans and a lot of the Unit - Counterunit problems will solve themselves... :D
     
  2. gaiko

    gaiko Warlord

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    The whole bomber line up to Stealth needs nerfing, IMO. Main combat effect of bombers should be to tilt the battlefield a bit in favor of the attacker, not be the main battering ram. That, as always, was the main task of artillery/rocket artillery.

    Otherwise, bombers should perform two strategic and one tactical function:
    - bomb cities to increase unhappiness
    - bomb resource developments/roads/railroads/workers
    - counterbattery artillery (a key current function at present)

    And yeah, a reasonable stacking limit.
     
  3. Olleus

    Olleus Deity

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    Although, once you have airports, you can fly tanks across the world in a single turn, but planes are limited by the rebase range. That really makes no sense.
     
  4. MarshalN

    MarshalN Prince

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    Someone from Firaxis should read this and just fix the damn tech tree according to it.
     
  5. Peng Qi

    Peng Qi Emperor

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    Irrelevant.
    Another problem with current tree: City States have no way to defend themselves from aircraft.
     
  6. Zenstrive

    Zenstrive Ocean King

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    ....my great war bombers always suffer from even simple bombing run to riflemen.
    And you need OIL for great war bombers, right?
    I prefer artilleries myself to conquer a continent, then battleship and destroyers to have a beachhead on other continents, THEN wipe em out with bombing runs.
     
  7. Resipsa

    Resipsa King

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    The big constraint is oil, strategic resources are always in short supply if you start with a tradition based opening into a autocratic Dom Victory.
     
  8. Doc Skillz

    Doc Skillz Chieftain

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    It is logical for something that is "anti" to come after the unit it is meant to counter. An anti-tank gun would not be anti-tank unless a tank existed. Semantically it makes sense...however in a tech tree it does not. The unit and its counte should be positioned relatively closely in the tech tree...not twent turns apart from each other.
     
  9. Arilian

    Arilian King

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    I absolutely agree, GWB comes too early, have no counter, make tanks pointless, and does not limited by 1 up. (They also have air repair as the 3rd promotion, so they never really damaged)

    And they are not really historical. When did bombers dominated WW1?
     
  10. Peng Qi

    Peng Qi Emperor

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    Irrelevant.
    But the counters to aircraft and tanks existed before aircraft (machine guns) and tanks (artillery-sized cannons). The counter to cavalry existed before cavalry (spears).

    It doesn't even make sense semantically.
     
  11. fyar

    fyar Prince

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    Thanks for a great and informative post! Now, how to rearrange the tech tree to reflect all of this? I don't think it needs to be exact... just because real Triplanes came a few years before Landships doesn't mean that you shouldn't be allowed to prioritize Landships over Triplanes. But it's ridiculous that Subs generally come WAY before Destroyers, and even more ridiculous that Great War Bombers exist at all.
     
  12. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Deity

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    Let's start with a framework for when everything should happen relative to each other in the Industrial/Modern Eras:

    First, let's accept that for our purposes, the Industrial Era starts with the introduction of Factory Production. The first factories started up in Britain using water-powered machinery as early as the 1790s, so that in fact makes them the First Industrial Era Technology:

    1790 +/- = Factories

    + 40 years (1830 - 39) = Railroads and Steam Power
    + 20 years (1850- 59) = Rifles, Cavalry (rifle-armed mounted troops), Telegraph (earliest practical use for Electricity)
    + 10 years (1860 - 69) = Ironclads and Gatling Guns, Germ Theory (sanitation)
    + 20 years (1880- 89) = smokeless powder, Dynamite. Great War Infantry, Machine Guns
    + 10 years (1890 - 99) = Electric Lights, Psychiatry
    + 5 years (1900 - 05) = Torpedo Boat Destroyers, Telephone
    + 5 years (1910 - 15) = Submarines, Dreadnaught Battleships, Artillery, Automobiles, Wireless Telegraphy (early Radio)
    + 5 years (1915 - 20) = Triplanes, Zeppelins, Landships
    + 15 years (1921 - 35) = Broadcast Radio, Movies, Aircraft Carriers, Antitank Guns, Antiaircraft Guns
    + 5 years (1936 - 41) = Tanks, Infantry, Bombers, Fighters, 'Interstate' or Autobahn highways, reliable commercial air travel, Airports, RADAR, Paratroops, Marines, Penicillin
    + 5 years (1942 - 47) = Manhatten Project, Atomic Bomb
    + 10 years (1948 - 58) = Hydrogen Bomb, Jet Fighters, Helicopters, Television
    + 10 Years (1959 - 68) = ICBMs, Nuclear Missile Submarines, Super Aircraft Carriers, Helicopter Gunships, Apollo Program, Antiaircraft Missiles, Special Forces troops
    + 10 years (1969 - 78) = Satellite communications and reconnaissance, Modern Armor, Mechanized Infantry, Missile Cruisers, Antitank Missiles
    + 10 years (1979 - 89) = Computers, Stealth Fighters, Stealth Bombers, Rocket Artillery
    + 10 years (1990 - 99) = Cruise Missiles, Personal Computers
    + 13 years (2000 - 13) = Internet, 'Smart' Missiles & Bombs, Personal Body Armor, Drones

    I personally think that the 'Future' of warfare is more towards the X-COM squad or Heinlein's Mobile Infantry than the Giant Death Robot, but I think that both the X-COM and the GDR could be 'in service' within another 10 years.

    In this 'timeline' I've included some 'civilian' techs but left out a whole bunch more that could be included - Containerized Shipping in the 1960s - 70s revolutionized both internal and international trade, for instance, but has never been acknowledged in any Civ game. Earlier, the development of the Bessemer and Open Hearth blast furnaces in the early 19th century made possible the mass-production of steel by the thousands of tons, which in turn made railroads, ironclads, steam ships, skyscrapers and their like all possible.
     
  13. Nick Carpathia

    Nick Carpathia Unleash the HAARP

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    It's a bad idea trying to map what happened in real to a videogame. You basically only match up the eras to the actual year of events if you're terrible at Civ.

    What does annoy me about planes is that they (a) can kill, and (b) can stack infinitely. Even in Civ4, they had a damage cap, you couldn't kill with air units. And you could only stack 4/8 planes per city. So whoever hit Flight in that game first had a huge advantage, but it wasn't anywhere near as overwhelming as here.
     
  14. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Deity

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    But you can match up the sequence of events if the videogame purports to be based in some way on history. This entire string of posts started because Civ V utterly fails to do that now.

    Like so many threads in this forum, it has deviated from the original purpose: into the specific problems of the unhistorical significance of the 'Great War Bomber' and the ridiculous advantage given to all air units versus ground and naval units in stacking, but that's easily remedied, as I've posted before in this thread.
     
  15. terrycrist3

    terrycrist3 Chieftain

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    I think flight should require combustion. It's a bit ridiculous how early it comes (right from Steam Power) and this would force you to go down the bottom of the tree more (you don't even need chemistry right now).

    There are a few other places where I'd like to see beelines brought under control. Computers should be a prerequisite for the internet at least, and perhaps globalization and particle physics too. A few other suggestions might be physics before astronomy (or education before physics), chemistry before scientific theory), steam power before electricity, and rifling before military science.
     
  16. fyar

    fyar Prince

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    All of those make sense. I honestly think one of the reasons the tech tree is so wonky is because Firaxis decided a priori to make it "look" nice by being able to connect all the prerequisite techs with a tangible line on their tech chart. That really limits things, and makes it impossible to connect computers to the Internet, based on where they are on the tech chart. I say forget about a nice, clean tech chart and make the Internet require computers anyway.
     
  17. greygamer

    greygamer Feudal Lord

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    Just for information purposes, the aircraft that the GWB seems to be is the Handley Page V/1500 which could carry a bombload of around 2 tons of bombs.

    The problem is the unit is called the Great War Bomber, but bombing really came into it's own in the years between the world wars. The theory that the bomber would always get through was at the front of military thinking and was the 'nuclear' fear of that period. In that sense it is modelled quite well in Civ, though counters to it should appear much sooner and it's range should be longer. The HP set a number of endurance records including crossing the Atlantic Ocean (obviously without a bomb load). Fully loaded it was supposed to be able to reach Berlin from England.
     
  18. MarshalN

    MarshalN Prince

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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Handley_Page_V/1500

    It was also never used as a real bomber. In any case, it was never produced in anything near sufficient numbers for it to make any difference. Against a division of troops (the minimum modeled by the GW infantry in Civ 5, I think) one bomber could hardly do anything. It certainly can't kill off a quarter of a unit the way a GWB can now in the game, unless the troops were purposely standing together to get bombed.

    That's really the problem with the GWB - its damage is far too high. It also kills units, which as some pointed out would be nice to be nerfed.

    As for the more general problem of the late tech tree, I think one issue right now is that it encourages beelines too much. When you beeline for radio for the ideologies, for example, and you got to industrial through scientific theory, when you get radio you become "modern" but really, you are only three techs into industrial. Seems.... strange. Of course, with free tenets, beelining that one is more encouraged than ever.
     
  19. Nelsonius

    Nelsonius Chieftain

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    Limiting stack, inability to fully destroy a unit, or simply remove it from game would be my two cents. Flight only unlocking the triplane would still be powerful and have the modern bomber appear as is.
     
  20. GamerFlair

    GamerFlair Chieftain

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    Give GWB a 20-30% chance per flight of just dying randomly instead. They were around in the time period, so I wouldn't cut them.

    The main problem was that
    a) planes were new and hardly anyone knew how to fly so you couldn't mass them.
    b) they were really, really unreliable.

    Having them randomly blow up would represent the unreliablity.
     

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