[Tuning] Military Units (Modern/Atomic/Information)

Stalker0

Baller Magnus
Joined
Dec 31, 2005
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Time to take a (hopefully) final review of the military units to ensure they are doing the job they need to do. I will use the same standard scale as in all the tuning threads.

A - Unit performs as needed, no changes.

C - Unit is either slight underpowered or overpowered and could use some tweaking.

F - Unit is either significantly underpowered or overpowered and needs adjustment.

I definitely would like a lot of community feedback on this one, as I am not the most military player.

Modern Era

Rifleman (C)
: As the military units start to branch out and become more mobile, the main infantry line gets left in the cold a bit. Really, this unit is for civs that don't have oil. In that respect, its decently durable but most of its benefits get left behind when paratroopers come on the field. Further, even against other oil-less civs, calvalry are pretty strong vs them as is the field gun and gatling guns....so its not great in that arena either.

One thing to consider would be a hammer reduction, let this represent the cheap massable unit.

Landship (A): A big question in the modern era is "where am I going to spend my oil?". Ultimately while I think aircraft are more powerful, landships come early enough and are strong enough (with no city penalty), that they can do well cleaning up ground units that would simply chew up air units.

Paratrooper (A): I think this is a wonderful all around unit, honestly it may be OP in the hands of a skilled player. It brings tremendous mobility, a great ability to crunch siege units, and the recon promotions offer powerful defense that make it difficult for equal era units to beat it down. Paratroopers can go on pillaging spries and its hard to stop them. Add to the fact they need no resources....a really great unit. Only the fact that they are weak against cities prevents them from ruling the entire era.

Sometimes I wonder if they should have a small strength reduction, their defense is just amazing.

Triplane (C): Its true that compared to the anti-aircraft gun Triplanes are more mobile....but at the expense of precious oil. Also their interception is weaker than the AA gun. I find I prefer building more bombers and using AA guns for plane defense if needed.

Bomber (A): Just a great unit, to me the "default" oil consuming unit. Can be promoted as a strong city killer or a unit sweeper, very hard to completely kill if you are careful with them. Only the lack of carriers at this era (so their limited range) brings them back in check.

Anti-Aircraft Gun (A): Perfect unit at its niche. Does a good job deterring aircraft and protecting a ground army. Comes with solid defense so it can stand up to assault. Perfect.

Light Tank (C): While the landship comes early enough in the era to carve its own niche, I find the light tank is generally outclassed by the other units that are popping up at this time, especially given its weak city cracking ability. Why spend my oil here when there are better alternatives?

Machine Gun (C): While the gatling gun had its uses, those niches are wearing thin in this stage of combat. They also have pretty low Melee strength so can get crushed by landships and paratroopers who have superior mobility.

I feel like this unit is struggling with purpose. I almost wonder if the AA gun should be merged with this unit, and have an intercepting unit with a weaker ranged attack.


Atomic Era

Submarine (A):
So many times we have gone back and forth on the submarine (invisible or not, melee or ranged, etc) but I like where its at. Terrible on defense, brutal on offense. This is a unit that is great to make to soften up an enemy navy....but cannot hold the line on its own and really needs other units to come in an finish the job before the counterattack destroys them. The invisibility is nice, though I always wonder how well the AI handles it.

I also like that is uses aluminum, so its a bit limited but doesn't compete with the other units of this era.

Destroyer (A): A great all round unit. The niche of the melee ship has been expanded to keep up with changing times. It now can help against aircraft, kills battleships and subs, and is very good at speed and scouting.

Guided Missile (F): This is a unit that I think we need to look at a redesign. Right now I don't find the expendable powerful unit all that useful. Sure it has a great punch, but compared to a plane or a battleship that can attack again and again and again its not that strong. Further, battles are increasing in distance, and having to ship back new missiles to the front lines can be a daunting task.

A few options to me:
1) Significantly increase its range. Its a one shot, but from long distance.
2) Make it actually cheap. 500 hammers is not that cheap when a 750 unit will last many turns.
3) Remove the oil restriction. Make it a weaker but generic unit, allows a player to combat superior promotions and strategic resources with pure hammers.

Tank (C): On the one hand, when tanks first come out they are decent board sweepers. They can take out AA guns and paratroopers which have been hard to defeat previously. They also are decently durable against the aircraft of their era and especially the previous one. And the extra +1 move is nice. On the other, units with anti tank promotions start to arrive on site....and several other units would love to use that oil.

I'm torn. I do wonderful if the tank needs a niche expansion, such as the stealing of the Machine Gun's area strength reduction.

Infantry (C): As ranges are become longer, and mobile units more mobile...this unit is lagging behind. Paratroopers are far more mobile and better on defense and ZOC (which is the infantry's niche at this point). Ultimately this is the unit you build if you still don't have oil....and its really the only purpose.

Battleship (C): Personally, I think the battleship should be brought in a tech earlier (like refrigeration), both for historical purposes and balance. At the time it comes in, both counters are already on the board, and while range 3 is always great....we have had range 3 on land for a long time now. I say either bump its ranged strength or allow it earlier.

Carrier (A): Though I question if it should have interception (isn't that the point of destroyers and fighters on the carrier?), it does its job reasonably well.

Bazooka (C): Its a very strong anti-tank unit so it certainly has a niche, but I question what this unit is really meant to be about? Especially since I feel that the rocket artillery (which comes one tier later) takes all of its goodies and then some.

Heavy Bomber (A): Gets it done.

Fighter (A): With the AA gun still an era behind, and the carrier allowing fighters to be brought in to assist against bombers in enemy lands, and a 100% interception rate, this unit is now worthy of the oil it consumes.


Information Era

Nuclear Submarine (A):
Still good at the things subs were good at. Now the aluminum cost is a much steeper one, but I think the ranged strength of the nuclear sub and its ability to sneak in nuclear missiles is worth it.

Special Forces (A): A great unit is getting greater. While it doesn't have the pillaging bonuses of the paratrooper (I wonder if that's a typo?), it gets new amphipious promotions, and now is even stronger against gunpowder units.

Mobile Sam (A): Offers strong AA capability without paying the strategic resource price.

Rocket Artillery (A): To my mind this is come back of both siege and base ranged units. This unit is great, good mobility, range, power, anti-tank....and only iron as a resource (so basically no resource). This is a spammable unit that can dominate a ground campaign and crush cities.

Helicopter Gunship (A): There unique mobility gives them a niche not seen before, which allows them to be competitive in the information landscape.

Mechanized Infantry (C): I keep coming back to this one. Its probably the one good city taker you have without resources, and the 3 movement is nice. But special forces are much more generally useful at holding territory and still have better overall mobility.

Jet Fighter (F): There role is to intercept bombers....but the stealth bomber has 100% evasion....so they are pretty damn pointless to me. But I think the change should be in teh stealth bomber.

Modern Armor (C): I think the thing modern armor is lacking is a bonus vs recon units. They have enough CS that they can take a hit from planes. They have an interesting cat and mouse play with rocket artillery (RA crushes them on attack, MA can crush them on the counterattack), and the big one....they use oil at a time when everything is going aluminum.

Ultimately that may enough...its just that I find the final phase of the game is dominated by Xcom squads, and rocket artillery are so good at hitting cities you don't need MA for that. And of course helicopters crush them. But with a anti recon bonus they would be a serviceable unit vs xcoms to give them a late game niche.

Missile Cruiser (C): Ultimately this is the final consolidation of naval power, and for the most part its pretty good. Can take on missiles, good speed, great interception (in theory, of course stealth evasion is a problem). I do think that battleships should upgrade to them (historically battleships were decommissioned but I think this is an area where we let gameplay trump a bit).

Ultimately though the naval line has lost city striking power beyond missile hits...and I fear that ultimately makes the line weaker at this point in the game.

Stealth Bomber (F): 100% evasion is just wrong. It makes too many other things in the game pointless, and drops the fundamentally balance between aircraft and everything else. Some evasion is fine, but not 100%.

Xcom Squad (C - OP): Having played some great late game wars with this unit, I can say its OP. Their airdrop range is so powerful, and with the recon defense and healing they are nigh unkillable. I have seen the "swarm strategy", fields of xcoms dropped on enemy territory pillaging everything in sight. And while they don't have the killing power of rocket artillery, they can murder any city that doesn't have the strongest defenses.

The issue is there is no real counter to them at this point in the game, see my suggestion on modern armor (GDR could probably get the bonus as well).

Giant Death Robot (C): Considering it consumes precious uranium, it needs more oomph. One idea is ignore ZOC (its too easy to hold these guys up using xcoms to clog them up). Another is a bevy of promotions (survival 3, blitz)...give this thing just raw awesome. The GDR biggest enemy is time, its not on the board very long before the game is over. If its going to compete with nuclear missiles...then it needs to be AWESOME!!!
 
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tfw you're a communist and start a united front by spamming guerrillas across the map. Guerrillas are so powerful. Also Zeros are fantastic during this era due to their lack of oil requirement allowing you to spam them in overwhelming numbers especially for lack of oil-users.

For Stealth Bombers, I agree 100% evasion is stupid. It makes anti-air units irrelevant once ultra late game hits. Either give it Evasion I(50% promotion) instead of Evasion II or make the aluminum requirement much higher.
 
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Light Tank (C): While the landship comes early enough in the era to carve its own niche, I find the light tank is generally outclassed by the other units that are popping up at this time, especially given its weak city cracking ability. Why spend my oil here when there are better alternatives?

Still think these should use Aluminum rather than Oil, so the ranged cavalry line sticks to one strategic resource post-Industrial instead of two. This would also be a bit of an indirect buff since Oil is in higher demand than Aluminum at this point.

Stealth Bomber (F): 100% evasion is just wrong. It makes too many other things in the game pointless, and drops the fundamentally balance between aircraft and everything else. Some evasion is fine, but not 100%.

agreed
 
So make Paratrooper Units weaker than Infantry Units.

Make Tanks the force of nature that Horsemen have been all game. And have 1 or 2 units designed to counter them. So what Units are the ones who need to be defeating Tanks: Infantry, Helicopters, or Bazookas.
 
Landships weren't all that effective historically, but neither were biplane bombers. I'd make both tough to kill, but not all that powerful.

I agree that tanks should be dominant roughly akin to mounted units earlier.

The paratrooper/Special Forces/X-com squad line, like the AA guns of vanilla, should remain a niche unit, rather than the AI (or human) go-to unit. I would either make them weaker or, better, more expensive.

Light tanks aren't worth it due to the oil. I would revert to calling them armored cars and remove the need for oil.

Guided misssiles should be cheap.

A lot of the other issues go away with these changes.
 
+1 with Txurce to make paratrooper/Special Forces/X-com squad line more expensive instead of weaker (if needed).

Merging the anti-aircraft gun with the machine gun is an interesting idea. Maybe the bazooka can even have some spare stingers (so we can remove the sam).

For the guided missile, i think it's a tough nut because:
1) it depends a lot on ai coding. A smart swarm of missiles may be able to clean the battlefield in 1 turn and let tanks advance unopposed, pillaging fortresses and capturing cities, and i didn't know if the ai is capable of that.
2) the rocketry tech is the equivalent of nazi v1/v2 weapon tech, ie inefficient costly weapons (and almost not guided).
3) the missile cruiser/nuclear submarine need real guided strike missile, efficient but costly.
Some proposals:
*) Move the guided missile for a later tech and buff it.
*) Create a second unit.
*) Add a "charge" system to the guided missile, to make it die only when they are depleted. Add a "+1 charge & +1 range" promotion at Satellites (and maybe an other one at Nuclear fusion).
Also, i think a much higher range removes some value from the missile cruiser /nuclear submarine.
 
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For the guided missile, i think it's a tough nut because:
1) it depends a lot on ai coding. A smart swarm of missiles may be able to clean the battlefield in 1 turn and let tanks advance unopposed, pillaging fortresses and capturing cities, and i didn't know if the ai is capable of that.
2) the rocketry tech is the equivalent of nazi v1/v2 weapon tech, ie inefficient costly weapons (and almost not guided).
3) the missile cruiser/nuclear submarine need real guided strike missile, efficient but costly.
Some proposals:
1) Move the guided missile for a later tech and buff it.

This makes sense historically and from a gameplay perspective.
 
Right now it feels bad to use riflemen or infantry. Its never a unit I want to use, I used to build them because I have no oil, it felt like a punishment. Now I just don't build them, I spend all my strategics and if I need more units I get gatling guns, and its worked much better. You would think having almost no direct combat units would be bad, but its yet to really have negative consequences for me. I think the issue is that all the other toys are learning new tricks, but these aren't. In fact, they are losing their +50% to cavalry, but for the entire game even with that +50% they still struggled to compete.

With light tanks its a similar issues. Because of railroads, siege and archer lines become pretty mobile, which crowds out this units big advantage. If siege or archers get logistics, they can move after attacking as well. If on railroads, you can move, attack and move again, without having the big drawback of only 1 range. And siege gets free indirect fire, m guns become scary elephants. Why spend strategics to use a unit with fewer abilities?

Maybe giving light tanks and infantry their own perks would be a good move? BTW I really don't think just reducing production costs would work, I'm more concerned with getting the best unit on that tile than i am gold or hammers at this point. I'm not saying its a bad idea, just by itself I doubt it would do much
 
Right now it feels bad to use riflemen or infantry. Its never a unit I want to use, I used to build them because I have no oil, it felt like a punishment. Now I just don't build them, I spend all my strategics and if I need more units I get gatling guns, and its worked much better. You would think having almost no direct combat units would be bad, but its yet to really have negative consequences for me. I think the issue is that all the other toys are learning new tricks, but these aren't. In fact, they are losing their +50% to cavalry, but for the entire game even with that +50% they still struggled to compete.

With light tanks its a similar issues. Because of railroads, siege and archer lines become pretty mobile, which crowds out this units big advantage. If siege or archers get logistics, they can move after attacking as well. If on railroads, you can move, attack and move again, without having the big drawback of only 1 range. And siege gets free indirect fire, m guns become scary elephants. Why spend strategics to use a unit with fewer abilities?

Maybe giving light tanks and infantry their own perks would be a good move? BTW I really don't think just reducing production costs would work, I'm more concerned with getting the best unit on that tile than i am gold or hammers at this point. I'm not saying its a bad idea, just by itself I doubt it would do much

I'm guessing that you are mostly talking about non-domination games, where a small high-tech army does the job 90% of the time. And in fact, many modern nations do have small, cutting-edge armies. Old-fashioned infantry has had less and less of a role in warfare. Transforming it into something more powerful than it really is doesn't seem optimal to me. I would rather have them be a serviceable, truly spammable unit that relatively undeveloped nations (and desperate ones) can resort to, to stop a blitzkrieg (like the Soviets did in WW2).
 
I'm guessing that you are mostly talking about non-domination games, where a small high-tech army does the job 90% of the time. And in fact, many modern nations do have small, cutting-edge armies. Old-fashioned infantry has had less and less of a role in warfare. Transforming it into something more powerful than it really is doesn't seem optimal to me. I would rather have them be a serviceable, truly spammable unit that relatively undeveloped nations (and desperate ones) can resort to, to stop a blitzkrieg (like the Soviets did in WW2).
You shouldn't be transitioning in small cutting edge armies during WW1 tech. I think my points on light tanks stood for any army size, they didn't compete well with artillery or gatling guns, and they use a key strategic. New patch changed them to aluminum, which will be interesting since light tanks are early enough that they don't really compete for aluminum. They also are stronger, I think the change should work

The patch also weakened paratrooper-line, which I think was wiser than messing with production costs. Scout promotins are strong enough for paratroopers to still do well in combat. Kudos to Gazebo for updating on discussion so quickly
 
You shouldn't be transitioning in small cutting edge armies during WW1 tech. I think my points on light tanks stood for any army size, they didn't compete well with artillery or gatling guns, and they use a key strategic. New patch changed them to aluminum, which will be interesting since light tanks are early enough that they don't really compete for aluminum. They also are stronger, I think the change should work

The patch also weakened paratrooper-line, which I think was wiser than messing with production costs. Scout promotins are strong enough for paratroopers to still do well in combat. Kudos to Gazebo for updating on discussion so quickly

The AI seems to like the changes thus far. Let me know if I missed anything. You all do a good enough job hashing things out that I don't feel the need to jump in to the discussion!

G
 
I'm a little worried the changes were a bit too extreme in some cases, especially the -10 CS nerf on the Paratrooper. I don't think it dominates like the Xcom does at its era, and further you have increased its rivals (machine gun and light tank) so a -5 CS may be fine there. Also curious to see if the 80% evasion is enough, I don't know if it will change much to make intercepting units that worth it vs stealth bombers.

I like the light tank change to alumninum.

Overall looking pretty good! I'm eager to see how the GM change works out and see if the "insane" CS is worth units that instantly die.
 
I'm a little worried the changes were a bit too extreme in some cases, especially the -10 CS nerf on the Paratrooper. I don't think it dominates like the Xcom does at its era, and further you have increased its rivals (machine gun and light tank) so a -5 CS may be fine there. Also curious to see if the 80% evasion is enough, I don't know if it will change much to make intercepting units that worth it vs stealth bombers.

I like the light tank change to alumninum.

Overall looking pretty good! I'm eager to see how the GM change works out and see if the "insane" CS is worth units that instantly die.

Paratroopers have so much defense - they're supposed to get into the backlines, survive, and pillage/wreak havoc, not push a shockwave on offense. They're still scouts.

G
 
You shouldn't be transitioning in small cutting edge armies during WW1 tech. I think my points on light tanks stood for any army size, they didn't compete well with artillery or gatling guns, and they use a key strategic. New patch changed them to aluminum, which will be interesting since light tanks are early enough that they don't really compete for aluminum. They also are stronger, I think the change should work

The patch also weakened paratrooper-line, which I think was wiser than messing with production costs. Scout promotins are strong enough for paratroopers to still do well in combat. Kudos to Gazebo for updating on discussion so quickly

I agree about not transitioning during WW1-era tech, but rifles are't miserable against landships.

I viewed the light tank ssue differently. They were too weak. I liked th idea of making them resource-less and cheap (as armored cars). but the new solution is probably more interesting for game play, as it gives you aluminum vs oil options.

Likewise, I advocated a higher cost for the special unit line, but retrospectively agree with Gazebo that they are an extension of the scout line, and so should be weaker.

And the GM changes were just what I had in mind. Consider this my response to the new changes, Gazebo. Thanks again.
 
Ynot steal or borrow a few from Mischa future worlds fill up those last two techs?
 
You didn't win yet?
The last techs are only here for the science victory, imo.
 
Thoughts on A bombs and nuclear missiles? The missiles don't feel strong enough to warrant the 2 uranium resource cost imo. It feels like you're better off getting 1 A bomb and 1 nuclear missile than getting 2 nuclear missiles, even though they are supposed to be the clear best nuke offensive units.
 
Thoughts on A bombs and nuclear missiles? The missiles don't feel strong enough to warrant the 2 uranium resource cost imo. It feels like you're better off getting 1 A bomb and 1 nuclear missile than getting 2 nuclear missiles, even though they are supposed to be the clear best nuke offensive units.

Out of context, the gap could be bigger. The problem is that, unlike in RL, nukes often fly in Civ, and the damage can't be game-wrecking (as in "first to nukes rules a radioactive planet"). The solution may be to weaken A-bombs as much as you strengthen nukes: slightly.
 
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