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Troop transports for ST MOD

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Star Trek Mod' started by Cmcastl, Dec 1, 2010.

  1. Cmcastl

    Cmcastl Chieftain

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    K..... Troop transports.

    In other threads, I have argued for the addition of troop transports. I am no programmer but have been informed, as far as I understand, that there are difficulties in having ships carrying troops in this Civ IV Mod.

    So, don't have actual troop units as such. Consider them virtual all-arms units but their actual strength will depend upon small arms development.

    Have colony ships as troop transports, coloured grey perhaps, which are weighted with a given strength, depending upon the small arms development of the attacker, against one or more "bunker networks" a la Birth of the Federation, which have a factor based upon the small arms development of the defender. No troop units as such but combat factored in by the strength of the quasi-colony ships against the number of bunker networks.

    I am open to better suggestions - I am just trying to show I have thought about the matter!

    Live long and prosper.
     
  2. Marla McGivers

    Marla McGivers Chieftain

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    I agree with the idea of troop transports, as I've mentioned before, primarily because it seems odd to take a world merely with starships and then use the crews of said ships to garrison the planet.

    I suppose troops can be carried by the starships, but actual transports would be a nice touch.

    What I would further suggest (if at all possible / practical) would be to have ground units, be it space marines, AV's etc which would actually be on the transports and then disembark to garrison the system, in much the same way as amphibious assaults work in the original version.

    I did read somewhere that the AI doesn't grasp the use of "space" tiles as land or water (or something like that, I can't remember exactly... perils of getting old people!) so perhaps that would preclude such a thing?


    Marla x
     
  3. TC01

    TC01 Chieftain

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    The problem is fairly simple (though there is not a simple solution).

    In regular Civ 4, you have two types of tiles- land and water tiles. As a result, you have land and water units.

    Firaxis included water units that could transport land units. They also programmed the AI how to handle transporting land units over water. But because they did not include land transports, they did not bother to program the AI to use land transports as well.

    While it is fairly easy to make a land transport, the AI won't know how to use it. Thus far, our (our meaning modders in general) attempts to get the AI to use it have failed, because it involves getting the AI to understand that it can move a unit faster over land by loading it into a transport and sending the transport to plot x rather than just walking to plot x.

    Final Frontier only has one type of tile- land tiles. It may look like the Solar Systems are land plots and everything else is water, but this isn't the case. The solar system is just a feature, and you are blocked from founding cities on anything else. Ships are land units in Final Frontier.

    So, if you try to add a system of land units that can be transported by "ships", the AI won't be able to do it, because the "ships" are also land units.

    One possible solution I mentioned would be to go the Planetfall / Civ 5 route. Planetfall, if you've never played it (you should), features a system where your land units can move over water tiles that you own. Their graphic changes to be a unit and a ship, rather than just a unit. Of course, Civ 5 has it's similar, "units can turn into ships" system- I mention Planetfall because it's proof the system can work in Civ 4.
     
  4. Cmcastl

    Cmcastl Chieftain

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    I am no programmer, TCO1, BUT...

    Haven't I made it clear that I asked if we can have "virtual troop transports" with "virtual ground planetary defences". To avoid the problems of the limitations of Civ IV you and Deanej have outlined and which I respect.

    Thus, the troop transports could be specially "weighted" ships going against the specially weighted planetary defences of the system. You could perhaps have the ship "troops transports" go only against special ground units which I defence asl an accumulation of "bunker networks". The troop transports ships would, of course, be vulnerable to other naval ships and planetary defences. Couldn't this work conceptually? And couldn't you use the Civ IV battle tables to determine the outcome? No actual troop units then, only "virtual ones", factored in by said weighting.

    If a super-duper ST MOD comes out for Civ V I will then buy that game but, and that would require another thread, in some respects, Civ V seems a step backward on Civ IV - as I understand, no unit stacking and no Values, for instance.

    Live long and prosper.
     
  5. jfby

    jfby Chieftain

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    Cmcastl, the way I see troop transports working is what I've already said; a ship with weak power but with high bonus to system attack. The only way to implement ground troops would be to make them immobile, and then have a way to prevent the AI from building a multitude of units and having an anemic fleet.

    The troop transport would be how BOTF treated them, without actual 'ground' units.

    The defensive aspect could be modified with 'bunker defense' or whatever you want, but without an immobile 'ground' unit, the ships would still fill in for the defense.

    I will need to see what TC01 is talking about to understand the Planetfall mechanics.
     
  6. Cmcastl

    Cmcastl Chieftain

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    I don't mind how they are implemented, jfyby, as long as eventually they are! Either in this MOD or a Civ V one! ;)

    Here is another wrinkle for you to consider. I take this inspiration from MOO3.

    It doesn't have to be the case, if it is too complicated, BUT I propose that the surviving troop transports factor number, having eliminated the entire bunker network defence factor number, that is all the "virtual" defending ground troops are eliminated, versus the remaining population size of the system after the attack - can one, I wonder, create an algorithm whereby the system can throw off the occupation if not enough "virtual troops" survived the taking of the system or are subsequently posted to the reinforce occupation of the system?

    All the time since TCO1 outlined the problems, I am thinking of "virtual" troop units, not actual ones being factored in to the gameplay of Civ IV, because I think I understand from what I am told that actual troops cannot be carried in transports terrestrial or in space under Civ IV. But maybe all this will require Civ V? If Deanej promises a good ST MOD for Civ V then that is what I shall buy. :)

    This is all just an idea. I am full of ideas. But not being a programmer I have no idea how to implement them! I leave them to the geniuses like you, TCO1 and Deanej!

    Live long and prosper.
     
  7. God-Emperor

    God-Emperor Chieftain

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    The one possibility that the existing AI might actually use correctly is to make it so that none of the existing ship types is allowed to capture a star system, a.k.a. a city (this is done by setting the bNoCapture tag to 1 instead of 0). They would all be like the helicopter units in regular Civ: they can attack units in cities by they can't actually capture the city. Then add new units, called things like "troop transport" and such, that are the only ships that are set to be able to capture a star system. There are no actual troops and it is not really a transport, it is just called that. They would be low strength and therefore would only able to capture a star system if the ships defending it were all destroyed or crippled already.

    This would simulate having troops without having to teach the AI new stuff, hopefully. It uses no mechanics that don't already exist in regular Civ, but I can't really say how well the AI would use this system. Somebody would have to try it to see.

    There are still no special "ground troop" defenders or anything like that which regular ships can't attack, just ships, so you lose that aspect of the idea.
     
  8. TC01

    TC01 Chieftain

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    cmcastl, I was responding to Marla, not you. :) I know you understand the point, cause i explained it in the other thread. But Marla asked "I did read somewhere that the AI doesn't grasp the use of "space" tiles as land or water (or something like that, I can't remember exactly... perils of getting old people!) so perhaps that would preclude such a thing?"

    So I restated everything (and it's good to explain it again in the new thread).
     
  9. Cmcastl

    Cmcastl Chieftain

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    TCO1 and God-Emperor, I agree with youthat I think this the solution for a Civ IV ST mod. Simulate the troop units by adding factors to a new class of ships and their interaction with a ground defence for a System.

    I don't know whether anyone thinks this is worthwhile, though, for the question is, is Deanej and y'all going to make your next ST mod for Civ V? In which case, from what I understand this whole concept is easier?

    As I said, if and when ST goes Civ V that is when I buy Civ V!

    Live long and prosper.
     
  10. Cmcastl

    Cmcastl Chieftain

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    PS - God-Emperor, you could have, I propose, a "bunker network" numerical factor, a la Birth of the Federation, which the "troop transport" units would have to overcome for the invasion to be successful. How you would factor this in is too technical for me but I wonder if you couldn't use standard Civ IV battle-tables?

    Live long and prosper.
     
  11. jfby

    jfby Chieftain

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    I don't think there will be a Deanej Star Trek Mod for Civ 5; mainly because this one has been in the works at least 3.5 years, and I'm sure he would like to work on something else once all the 'bugs' are fixed. I'm just happy this one has turned out as awesome as it has, and look forward to the user contribution continuing into the future.
     
  12. Cmcastl

    Cmcastl Chieftain

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    Well, jfby, that is good news in a way.

    Firstly, it makes it worth considering a "troop transport" patch for the present ST mod, and, secondly, I have, as I am sure you have, read the reviews of Civ V, and I for one am not happy that you can no longer stack units or that Values will be downgraded. Well, that is what I understand, at least, from what I have read.

    Live long and prosper.
     
  13. TC01

    TC01 Chieftain

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    deanej is going to work on an FFH modmod next I believe, forget the name. I seem to recall he's one of the people who refuses to get Civ 5 because of Steam but I'm not certain.

    I'm planning a Troop Transports gameoption for Final Frontier Plus, which could easily be ported to Star Trek.
     
  14. Cmcastl

    Cmcastl Chieftain

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    "I'm planning a Troop Transports gameoption for Final Frontier Plus, which could easily be ported to Star Trek."

    Good on you, TC01! :)

    Live long and prosper.
     
  15. deanej

    deanej Chieftain

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    At this point I'm winding Star Trek down. Just bug and balance fixes at this point (so troop transports will have to be a modmod); in fact, I hope that each patch is the last one I need to do. I'm even recompiling the full install next week.

    As for civ5, I am against the Steam requirement, but it also could use more polish before I'd be interested in getting it anyways. We'll have to see how modding and DLC fall out too. Maybe in a couple years. It's not like I have time for it anyways (I manage only the occasional game of actually playing civ4 these days).
     
  16. Cmcastl

    Cmcastl Chieftain

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    Please keep us posted, Deanej. If you do convert your ST MOD to Civ V that is, as I said, when I shall buy it.

    Troop transports as a "modmod"? What is that? What I hope is that if TC01 comes up with a troop transport addition for Final Frontier Plus, you, him or some one else will convert that for ST.

    Live long and prosper.
     
  17. Cmcastl

    Cmcastl Chieftain

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    PS - "Steam" what is that?
     
  18. deanej

    deanej Chieftain

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    A modmod is pretty much as the name implies - a mod of a mod.

    Steam is a digital games marketplace/DRM software/"API" (in quotes as a real API is just a bunch of DLL files). Civ5 requires it for DRM purposes, selling DLC, and a couple of other things that could easily be disabled with if statements if they were serious about making a non-Steam version. Despite the features that it's claimed civ5 requires steam for, it's pretty clear that it's actually for the DRM (2k doesn't want to go with a simple disc check, or better yet, no DRM, and people hate SecuROM that they'd lose a good chunk of sales in the current marketplace).
     
  19. Cmcastl

    Cmcastl Chieftain

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    Thanks for enlightening me, Deanej.

    I have some other games I love to play including Planetfall but for the past few weeks I have been pretty much been playing nothing but your MOD.

    Oh dear, snow on the server! Couldn't that short it? :)

    Live long and prosper.
     
  20. Cmcastl

    Cmcastl Chieftain

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    I understand you have worked a long time on this MOD, Deanej, and want now to do other things, but please, please, please, please, pretty, pretty please, give us the Troop Transport mod for ST - it can factor in "virtual troops" as proposed above, so it is just a question of creating a new type of ship, based on a Colony hull, and planetary defences, which could be accumulated as individual "bunker networks", a la BOTF, without the actual need for discrete troops units. I doubt that it can come from anyone but you and it will then complete the great spectrum of strategy choices any of the ST races must make; you know your Mod won't be complete til then. :)

    Live long and prosper.
     

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