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The "joke unit" is totally imbalanced

pi-r8

Luddite
Joined
May 1, 2006
Messages
2,564
Location
Babylon
Like a lot of people, I thought the GDR felt really out of place in game of civilization. But then I thought, "well it doesn't really matter, I almost never use modern armor in Civ IV, and this will be even more advanced, so it will be very rare to see it."

How wrong I was.

I just finished my first conquest victory on deity, continents map. I gained control of my continent with companion cavalry abuse, while Nobunaga took over his. I wanted to invade him, but a Deity AI with over 50 cities is not an easy foe. He produced so many units that it seemed like I had no chance at an invasion.

The biggest problem was my lack of production. I was teching pretty fast, so before I could even finish building a unit, it would already be obselete. 20 turns to build a fighter, but only 5 turns to research lasers for jets. 25 turns to build a tank, but again 5 turns to research modern armor. Meanwhile I kept popping great scientists, with the result that before I could put together any sort of real invasion force, I had already reached the end of the tech tree!

Well, thanks to Big Ben, plus a stockpile of gold, I was able to immediately buy 4 giant death robots. (they take a long time to build, but you can buy them instantly, whereas other victory conditions require you to actually build an expensive project) These were my entire invasion force, except for a few old cavalry and artillery. I had one city and one allied city-state as an invasion base. Nobunaga had an entire continent of deity-level production to throw at me. The result?



He never stood a chance. The GDRs tear through anything and everything. Pretty soon they leveled up enough to take blitz, auto-repair, and mobility, and then they were each killing multiple units in one hit, every turn, usually taking no damage at all.

These things are waaaaaaay too strong for a joke unit.
 
The game is supposed to be over by the time you reach them, they're supposed to be a way of finishing the game off once everything has been researched rather than sitting around in boring "future techs".

They're not supposed to be stoppable.
 
with clever micromanagement, you can take them out. have 2-3 artillary in range, a few helicopter gunships and bombers, and they should be toast. But of course, you need much more hammers to kill them than to build them, and you shouldnt be cought off guard by them. But to be honest, I never got to the point building them...
 
The game is supposed to be over by the time you reach them, they're supposed to be a way of finishing the game off once everything has been researched rather than sitting around in boring "future techs".

They're not supposed to be stoppable.

I honestly don't see how I could have finished this game quicker. Possibly a diplomacy win, if I'd had a great engineer, but the GDR is only slightly more advanced than globalization. The science victory would have taken a lot longer, since you have to actually build Apollo and then all the components. And Nobunaga was way ahead of me in every demographic, yet I was able to crush him within 20 turns of researching fusion.
 
with clever micromanagement, you can take them out. have 2-3 artillary in range, a few helicopter gunships and bombers, and they should be toast. But of course, you need much more hammers to kill them than to build them, and you shouldnt be cought off guard by them. But to be honest, I never got to the point building them...

yeah... guess what the AI isn't good at lol.
 
The game is supposed to be over by the time you reach them, they're supposed to be a way of finishing the game off once everything has been researched rather than sitting around in boring "future techs".

They're not supposed to be stoppable.

Except by other GDRs, eh? :)

I notice he seems to have a lot of artillery lying around. That suggests to me that you had a pretty sizable tech lead. If that's the case, it's not that surprising that you were able to steamroll him, is it?
 
Except by other GDRs, eh? :)

I notice he seems to have a lot of artillery lying around. That suggests to me that you had a pretty sizable tech lead. If that's the case, it's not that surprising that you were able to steamroll him, is it?

He was ahead of me in tech for the entire game, I don't know why he was still using so many backwards units. He did use a lot of helicopter gunships and mech infantry too.
 
He was ahead of me in tech for the entire game, I don't know why he was still using so many backwards units. He did use a lot of helicopter gunships and mech infantry too.

But no modern armor or stealth bombers or anything? Maybe this is just my Civ IV brain talking, but that's how I'd probably counter single super-units.

But to me, that suggests that either a) the AI is *really* stupid, if he had those units available but decided to spam weak ones instead, or b) he wasn't up to your level of gold availability. Or maybe even prod - his total prod may have been high, but his cities look really small...that would be a little discouraging if the AI is even stupider than we previously thought.
 
yeah right.. I am sure there is a strategy to beeline the entire tech tree by 0AD...

welll... the entire tech tree by 0AD is probably impossible. (Never say never!) But the more I play this game the more I see how fast research can go. The tech tree is quite short. After getting through the industrial era, you only need to research 9 techs to build the GDR. Stockpile some great scientists and scientific revolution, and you ought to be able to get these surprisingly fast. I had them in 1850, even though I wasn't really planning for it at all. I wouldn't be surprised if some clever babylon player could get them by 1500AD.
 
I honestly don't see how I could have finished this game quicker.
You could have taken their capital (supported by some nukes if necessary), or got a diplomacy win.

but the GDR is only slightly more advanced than globalization
After the first tier of Modern era, globalization is 2 techs (Ecology, Globalization), GDR is 7 techs (Rocketry, Lasers, Nuclear fission, stealth, advanced ballistics, nuclear fusion).

@ ahriman - yeah i had same thoughts. "It's OK son, here, take this, you can finish em up now" -love CIV dad.
Precisely :)
 
But no modern armor or stealth bombers or anything? Maybe this is just my Civ IV brain talking, but that's how I'd probably counter single super-units.

But to me, that suggests that either a) the AI is *really* stupid, if he had those units available but decided to spam weak ones instead, or b) he wasn't up to your level of gold availability. Or maybe even prod - his total prod may have been high, but his cities look really small...that would be a little discouraging if the AI is even stupider than we previously thought.

I'm afraid A is the correct answer. I just checked and, even after I've carved a path of destruction through his empire, he still has 12,000 gold stockpiled, and twice my GNP. And he does have some big cities too.

The only thing I can think of is that he's stuck with each of his cities trying to slow build a modern armor at over 20 turns each, and he never thought to spend his gold to just rush buy some.
 
There was just a tiny little bit of sarcasm involven in my post ;-) But sure, if you have the chance, you can mass up population and science buildings to rocket sky your tech... maybe even use city states and patronage..
 
You could have taken their capital (supported by some nukes if necessary), or got a diplomacy win.


After the first tier of Modern era, globalization is 2 techs (Ecology, Globalization), GDR is 7 techs (Rocketry, Lasers, Nuclear fission, stealth, advanced ballistics, nuclear fusion).


Precisely :)

take their capital? With what? Maybe, if I'd gotten lucky enough to catch him with his army in the wrong place, I could have taken it with my previous army of cavalry and artillery. But most likely his huge blanket of old units would have prevented that.

Nukes require you to build the manhatten project, which takes longer to build than just researching fusion and buying a GDR.

"After the first tier of Modern era, globalization is 2 techs (Ecology, Globalization), GDR is 7 techs (Rocketry, Lasers, Nuclear fission, stealth, advanced ballistics, nuclear fusion)."
5 techs isn't really that many. Anyway I think the diplomacy victory in this game is also quite broken, since you can easily bribe every single city state to vote for you.
 
Maybe, if I'd gotten lucky enough to catch him with his army in the wrong place, I could have taken it with my previous army of cavalry and artillery.
Uhh.. you didnt' have anything between cavalry/artillery and GDR?
Where are infantry, bombers, tanks, mech inf, etc.?

5 techs isn't really that many.
??
40 turns or so?

Anyway I think the diplomacy victory in this game is also quite broken, since you can easily bribe every single city state to vote for you.
Which you could have done, quicker than getting GDRs.
 
Ooh, I can't wait until someone makes a strat to beeline these by 0ad :)

Play Babylon, get a lot of cities, use a lot of Scientists and skip everything north of Radio and Radar. Archaeology is also optional. Closest you can come, not much of a beeline really.
 
Uhh.. you didnt' have anything between cavalry/artillery and GDR?
Where are infantry, bombers, tanks, mech inf, etc.?
This was actually my original plan. But like I said in my original post, by the time I could build a new military unit it was already obsolete! Research in the late game totally outstrips production. It would have taken more time to build an army of those things than it would have taken me to build 4 GDR, which is all that was necessary.

??
40 turns or so?
it only took me 5 turns to research a new modern tech, and i was also getting scientists about 1 ever 10 turns. So 5 techs is only about 20 turns, less than what it takes to build the UN.

Yes, it would have been slightly faster to do beeline the UN and eek out a cheese victory with the most broken mechanic in the whole game, but don't you think it should be slightly more difficult to conquer the whole world? More importantly, don't you think modern warfare should be about something besides racing towards the GDR?
 
I'm not sure if being able to purchase GDRs is balanced or not balanced.

What I am sure of is a game against awful AI that hordes 12k gold is not a game that can determine whether the mechanics are balanced. Diplomacy isn't really broken either other than it's more of an economic victory. The issue is again that the AI is awful. I still really enjoy playing Civ 5 but this terrible AI definitely degrades the experience.
 
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