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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. fyar

    fyar Prince

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    I would MUCH rather not have a unit at all than build one that blows up randomly. That just sounds like a very frustrating, and not-fun game mechanic.

    Just because they were around doesn't mean that they need to be represented in the game if they didn't play a major historical role. Civ doesn't need to cover every single historical type of unit that ever existed, or else it'll be flooded with all sorts of useless units. Or worse, all-too-useful units lacking a counter strategy that dominate all of those other units that actually DID play a role in history.
     
  2. greygamer

    greygamer Feudal Lord

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    Wikipedia is a good place to start looking for information, but as you are using wikipedia try this entry http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strategic_bombing#Interbellum
    As I mentioned it shouldn't be used to represent bombers 1914-18 but rather bombers 1914-1940. I already mentioned why it is seems accurate conceptually once you get away from it represents that particular plane, I simply used it as an example of where strategic bombers were in 1918. If the war had continued they would have been used in greater numbers. Bombers up to 1940 tended to carry around 2 tons of bombs, it was only after 1940 bomb loads increased dramatically.

    It also doesn't represent 1 aircraft or 1 squadron even. Think of each unit as representing a strategic force, probably a bomber group which could consists of many squadrons. When a bomber group attacks, 1 turn would allow many attacks by that bomber group or larger and yes it could reduce a ground formation by 25% over that period of time. Those losses are really the attrition of veterans and the infrastructure (supplies etc.) of the ground unit, with enough time or bombers a unit could even cease to be an effective fighting force.

    If we look at bombing in 1944, the allies destroyed a complete division over 24 hours. Could that have happened with pre-modern bombers? Quite possibly if they had been built in great enough numbers. Civ is alternative history on an abstract level really, WW1 only lasted from 1914-18 but wars in Civ tend to be much longer and ground units cover much less ground.
     
  3. flying_dug0ng

    flying_dug0ng Chieftain

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    @Boris - great and informative posts, thank you.
     
  4. GamerFlair

    GamerFlair Chieftain

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    Yes, but Civ is also not strictly historical. Bombers aren't just a unit, they are a totally different way of war and totally change the dynamics of warfare. The were there, but none of the parties involved were able to get them working in large enough numbers for them to have an impact.

    I'm in the same boat as you, I'm 99% sure I would not use them myself. However, I feel they should be included and be somewhat meaningful because if either side HAD built them and manned them in numbers, it would have massively changed the course of the war.
     
  5. Peng Qi

    Peng Qi Emperor

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    But that's false. They didn't change the dynamics of the war at all. Even fighters didn't change the dynamics of the ground war. Hell, bombers in World War II didn't even change the dynamics of the ground war; they only had an impact on the naval war, and even then it wasn't the tactical bomber that did, it was the fighter-bomber and dive bombers. By the time reliable enough bomb systems to attack specific ground targets were invented, we had already invented a much better delivery system for them in the form of helicopter gunships.
     
  6. fyar

    fyar Prince

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    If either side had built them in huge numbers, I think the course of the war might've changed because THAT side (the one that built all those bombers) would've had less production going towards ships, ammunition, artillery, etc., and a whole lot of largely ineffective bombers which didn't have the payload to significantly weaken enemy lines, the range (and/or fighter escorts with sufficient range) to reach the enemy's industrial base, carriers from which to initiate naval battles, nor the armor to withstand much damage. The reason that GWBs didn't play a huge role wasn't lack of numbers, it was lack of technology. Technology that made for much improved aircraft in WWII. If they were going to be effective enough to turn the tides of war, don't you think they would've been built en masse? Both sides were certainly desperate enough to win.

    As for gameplay, if I wouldn't build it, and you wouldn't build it, and no one else would build a unit that blew up randomly, why should we include it? So that a stupid AI would waste even more units?
     
  7. greygamer

    greygamer Feudal Lord

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    ]
    Erm... I have serious doubts about your conclusions, what are you basing this on? As I mentioned in a previous post they were used to open up gaps in enemy lines (e.g. operation Cobra in France 1944). Fighters were used as fighter-bombers and targeted supply lines, an out of supply army is less effective (these things are depicted abstractly in Civ). The German and Soviet air forces in WWII were tailored around a ground support role. The German pilot Hans Rudel flew 2,530 combat missions claiming a total of 2,000 targets destroyed; including 800 vehicles, 519 tanks, 150 artillery pieces, 70 landing craft, nine aircraft, 4 armored trains, several bridges, a destroyer, two cruisers, and the Soviet battleship Marat

    Of course Rudel was exceptional. However when air superiority over land was established enemy supply and mobility became compromised. These elements are abstracted in Civ.
     
  8. Peng Qi

    Peng Qi Emperor

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    By 1944 the German army was a collapsed shell of its former strength, and I don't think it's fair to conclude the efficacy of air superiority based on a force that was in mass retreat on every front.

    As evidence for my assertion, I point to the Korean War and the Vietnam War. In Korea, we had close to air parity, and in Vietnam we had complete superiority, and air superiority played a minor but extant role in each. It wasn't until Desert Storm and the mass deployment of gunships that air superiority became a completely and destructively dominant factor which the enemy could not hope to overcome.

    Note I'm not saying that air superiority had no effect in these wars, I'm just saying that the depiction in CiV, namely that air superiority is basically the only thing that matters, is about as far from reality as the complete domination of axe-men on the field of battle was in C-IV.
     
  9. greygamer

    greygamer Feudal Lord

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    The German army in the West was not in retreat in the late summer of 1944, it went into that state after the breakout from Normandy (after operation Cobra). Prior to that the invasion had stalled requiring a plan to breakout into France proper. It's air force was pretty much destroyed, hence air superiority. You might like to think of that campaign as comparable to desert storm. Also bear in mind a strategic bombing campaign had been going on prior to 1944 so you cannot look at 1944 in islolation, maybe bombers should be able to target hammer production to better reflect this.

    Desert Storm itself is not a good example as the Iraq air defences were poor at best and they were also outmatched on the ground, it was also ideal terrain for attacking with mobile forces whereas the Normandy area was more suited to the defence. The fact is that the attacking forces left little to chance in that operation.

    You seem to be suggesting bombers should be nerfed and helicopters buffed or am I misunderstanding? I think they are fine as they are to be honest, although I would like to see machine gun and artillery units have some anti-air capability. Helicopters seem to have no role in Civ, I seem to get by fine without them which is a shame.

    If you build anti-air defences in the modern age air power will not be the decisive factor, there is however a window of vulnerability which is covered by the GWB which probably goes on for too long. I can only guess that the developers wanted civs to use the Triplane as the anti-air unit.

    From what I gather on the forums here it seems the game is won or lost prior to the modern age anyway but it does depend on play style I imagine.
     
  10. Peng Qi

    Peng Qi Emperor

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    No I'm OK with the current situation with some tweaks. I'm not a stickler for realism; I'm a stickler for good gameplay, and GWB's are not good gameplay right now.
     
  11. greygamer

    greygamer Feudal Lord

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    Sorry I am confused :confused:
    Thought you were talking about 'modern' bombers. I stand by my previous remarks as regards the GWB. If you don't like using them then don't. If you don't want them targeting you get Triplanes, mine shoot them down pretty quickly.
     
  12. Peng Qi

    Peng Qi Emperor

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    Unfortunately that doesn't solve the issue of GWBs devastating city states and AIs who aren't at tech parity in an unrealistic and not-fun manner.
     
  13. katfish

    katfish Warlord

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    If you cant devastate city states(at any point of the game) and AIs who aren't at tech parity in an unrealistic and not-fun manner with anything, well, i dont know what to say.
     
  14. isau

    isau Deity

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    I don't feel strongly about the balance of the late game tree. What I am shocked has gone two expansions without being corrected though is the animation time for bombers. I have to turn Quick Combat on just for that one animation. It's beyond ridiculous. A nightmare scenario isn't just getting attacked by a bunch of bombers, its a neighbor getting attacked while you don't have Quick Combat on and getting stuck watching 6+ minutes of bombers.
     
  15. greygamer

    greygamer Feudal Lord

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    The same argument could be used against Artillery, Battleships and Nuclear Submarines. I am afraid you have lost me on this one. I guess it depends on what a person considers "...an unrealistic and not-fun manner". It's not fun to be on the receiving end of it, that is for sure :mischief:
     
  16. Peng Qi

    Peng Qi Emperor

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    Except that all of those units can at least be attacked by earlier units. GWBs can't.
     
  17. fyar

    fyar Prince

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    Triplanes don't always worked. I mentioned in some thread (maybe this one) a situation where a naval invasion of mine failed because he got GWBs. I had Flight also, but because his continent was far away, my Triplanes had no way of getting there without Carriers (which were still a long ways away). There was literally no counter to GWBs in that scenario. Which is ridiculous since GWBs played NO role whatsoever in the naval battles.
     
  18. greygamer

    greygamer Feudal Lord

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    Sorry for the long post, it will be my last in this thread. I will continue to lurk though ;)
    TL/DR
    The main thing I take away from this thread is that Civ is really not great at warfare especially from the 1900s onwards. It is why players seem to often have things wrapped up by the Industrial age, you are either ahead on techs or behind and that dictates if you win or lose. I am not sure it can be fixed without distorting the time frame once you reach the Industrial age though. So I agree with the title of the thread in some ways, which I didn't initially because it doesn't really bother me that much.
    They should really remove the pre-fix Great War anything from the game, you are talking about five years, how many turns is that in Civ?

    Main post
    As mentioned before the GWB doesn't represent a single type of bomber but bombers in general up to around 1940. However I did find this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torpedo_bomber#First_World_War

    It does support the argument that Carriers should be available soon after flight though. However it should be remembered that seaborne invasions in WWI were not a great success and of course did not have naval air support. I think the main problem is that there was such a technological revolution in WWI (1914-18) that Tanks, Fighters/Bombers, Submarines, Carriers should all appear around that time. This could be harmful in terms of game play though. Civ isn't really a history-sim except in an abstract way, for those that truly hate the way the Industrial era onwards works in the game there might be a mod that helps. If not it would be a great project.

    The period from the mid 19th century up to the end of WWI was typically one were it was easier to defend than attack requiring novel solutions. Submarine warfare came close to knocking Britain out of the war but Submarines do not appear until the modern age and yet this thread is very focused on the GWB. The early arrival of Submarines would make Battleships less effective, technically the Battleship was also supposed to be a super weapon but also had a very small window of dominance, around the same period of WW1. In that case you would have to get anti-submarine ships quite soon afterwards, although anti-submarine warfare did not become truly effective until 'the Modern era'.

    For those interested in the technology of WWI John Terraine's book White Heat: The New Warfare, 1914-18 is recommended though it is probably difficult to get hold of these days. I saw a few copies on Amazon when I checked.

    PS just saw this in the patch thread
    Air Combat
    New stacking limits on air units in cities. Starts at 6; increased to 10 when you add an Airport. Game Concept text updated to match this change.
    Player now receives a warning that projected damage can go up if the air unit is intercepted; number of visible enemy anti-air units that haven't fired is also given in combat preview.
    Air Combat: Award experience to intercepting planes and firing AA guns
     
  19. Gort

    Gort Emperor

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    There's a mod that doubles the speed of plane animations that you should download. However, it should be part of the base game, and bombers shouldn't be allowed to break one-unit-per-tile as much as they do.
     
  20. Good2B

    Good2B Chieftain

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    Need to play a few Diety games to see how broken air power is for the AI, even Immortal you can see it. You just don't really see it until the higher difficulties where AI can afford to have ridiculous numbers of units & fast production of them.

    I have had multiple games where the AI stacked 30+ air units in the nearest city to me (no idea how they always have that much oil), with the following results during war:
    1. Every city within range gets pounded down to 0 immediately. Better hope one of their Lancers can't reach any of them...
    2. Any unit except Fortified Infantry will get wiped out in one turn. Especially artillery, even mobile artillery. Really sucks losing a mobile arty to GWB's.
    3. Somehow they never lose any units with all this bombing.
    4. Triplanes are beyond useless. 3 cities, 1 triplane per city, will be lucky to kill one bomber every other turn. Meanwhile AI is turning out 3-4 new bombers per turn.
    5. Even AA is limited usefulness. Each will only attack one bomber per turn, unless attacked directly. But the kicker is - I should be able to place AA in the city, and every single bomber should get hit by that AA. But that's not the case. Somehow when in a city, AA will only fire once.
    6. Only way to make a dent in the onslaught ends up being to a-bomb the city. Which just means, you are going to get a-bombed back soon.

    Really like some of the ideas here, I think it will help improve gameplay greatly.
    The key is, bombers shouldnt be able to attack with impunity without clearing air defenses first! Every historical air attack includes a phase to clear air defenses as the first step.
    - GWB should probably be nerfed just a bit, maybe 40 strength instead of 45? The bombers of that era weren't really that effective.
    - Anti-Air (triplanes & AA) needs to be beefed up. There should be promotions allowing multiple interceptions per turn, and SAM's versus earlier era aircraft should be extremely powerful. Add a new ARM (Anti-Radiation Missile) aircraft to directly attack SAM's.
    - Really like the idea of limited units per city.
    - Upgrades to Stealth ought to cost TONS of gold, not the silly 10 gold per unit as it currently is. Really all end-game units need to be increased, it's silly that an upgrade to Great War Infantry costs 200 gold (I think) but Mechanized Infantry is 10 gold or so.
    - AA & Fighter should have a small chance (10-20%?) to intercept Atomic Bomb. SAM & Jet Fighter should have good chance (50%) to against Atomic Bomb, due to technology advantage. Key is, there needs to be SOME way to defend yourself.
    - Last step will be some defense against Missiles and Nukes in very end game. Although usually games end too quickly for this to matter. (personally, I think tech costs/times for Information era needs to be increased, and slightly increased for Atomic - give us a chance to play the era)

    Just my 2c.
     

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