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Unit Stacking

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by michaelkottler, May 4, 2010.

  1. need my speed

    need my speed Rex Omnium Imperarium

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    I don't know what to think of it, but, I think I prefer stacks, partly because, how am I to get my soldiers from cities to the front? I can't really protect my cities anymroe, so perhaps I will have a few units lingering around them, and there's also a strategic bottleneck of 1 tile which is guarded by my units. Now, seeingas there's only 1 unit per tile possible (for military units that is), I can't move my newly produced soldier without moving another 20 units, which is unnecesary (spelling?) work, because, seeing as units have a basis of 2 moves, they can easily move back in the same turn.

    There are a few solutions though. Units are able to travel through others, and thus defeating the 1 unit per tile, but only if they can end up in an unoccupied tile in the same turn. Or, perhaps it's time to include land transports (I assume transports can move through other units).

    Something else, how are we supposed to defend things? It's great in an RTS, were you can react to enemies, but now, you have a few units around your valuable city or whatever, and they can only watch how a few enemies manage to kill your single soldier occupying the city. You could surround the city, or block the enemy's path, but what if it's a newly conquered city where you couldn't see the enemy approaching, or a ship on the wide open sea? Surely we're not supposed to have scouts in every direction, and to prevent them from dying, have more scouts, etcetera. This is a turn based strategy game, not a real time strategy game, which is part of the problem.
     
  2. Nicolas10

    Nicolas10 Warlord

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    Just an FYI to many people posting on this thread worrying about movement restrictions: You do realize that the base movement in Civ5 will be 2/2, right? And that with roads, that may double (we await confirmation). So moving your units around the map won't be at a snail's pace.

    And you also realize that there's going to be a "switch places" button eligible to all units? These have been talked about in other threads and come from interviews with the designers and producers.

    So no, you won't be micro-moving 20 units very often (if at all). And no, you won't have to clear a log-jam everytime you want to switch two units.

    As to how you defend things: you place your troops between you and the enemy. If your boarders touch, and he's massing troops next to you, you build up opposite him. If he's coming from far away, you'd be wise to have a warrior as a scout to see his stuff come towards you. Again, you move units to intercept. If he's coming by sea, you hope to have a naval unit or two and sink his "civilian units," and destroy his military before it lands.

    Look, the only thing you CAN'T do is simply stop paying attention, leave stacks in all your cities, and react late to some kind of attack. I'm utterly mystified why so many people are alarmed at that no longer being an option.
     
  3. Woodreaux

    Woodreaux Prince

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    The Football recruiting analogy was a little odd, so here's a better Football analogy: the quarterbacks' job. They're no specific rules stating that centers must snap the ball to the a player on the roster listed as a QB. There's also no rule restricting passes being allowed only by QB's. A Halfback can take the snap himself instead of the QB. Also, halfbacks & fullbacks can throw passes behind the line of scrimmage just as a QB can. QB's can provide blocking the player with the ball. These things are permitted, but they occur very rarely. They occur rarely because in most cases it's sub-optimal. (Same with kickoffs. You don't have to kick it into the deep into the other team's side of the field attempting to pin them just outside their inzone, but that's how the vast majority of them are attempted).

    In essence, QB's taking snaps and doing the passing and handoffs have come to dominate offensive playbooks. The rare WildCat formation based play adds some variation, but many teams go entire seasons without using them. The contemporary role of QB's emerged as a natural consequence of the evolution of offensive formations and playbooks. Has this narrowing down of the jobs of positions stagnated the evolution of football? Not at all. Look at how different various college teams offenses are: you have pro-style offenses, spread option offenses, air-raid offenses, etc...

    My point is stacks dominating battlefields doesn't ruin warfare in Civilizations any more than QB's generally getting vast majority of snaps and doing almost also the passing kills Football. Or maybe it does. Maybe the NCAA and the NFL need to change the rules to nerf the QB position :)
     
  4. need my speed

    need my speed Rex Omnium Imperarium

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    Even wit hthe switch button (of which I didn't know, thanks), you'll still have to move units manually I think, because I can't see that the computer moves unit 1 to the place of unit 2, unit 2 to the place of unit 1, and once unit 1 has passed moves unit 2 automatically back to its former position, all in less than half a second...And what if the bottleneck is 5 tiles long, with on each tile a unit?

    About the intercepting, knowing the speed of ships, that is hardly possible, except if they all move slower.
     
  5. Trias

    Trias Donkey with three behinds

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    Units will also be able to move through each other. This has been confirmed I think. At the very least this is how it worked for the PG games. It is also a safe assumption based on common sense. (Not allowing this would invite an MM nightmare.)
     
  6. Noddahrassa

    Noddahrassa Chieftain

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    Yes, it's bad. But their "solution" is worse.
    No, it isn't, and that's th problem. World wars were spread around along front lines of thousands of miles of length. You won't get that with stack warfare. Stacks are more like medieval wars: Small armies collected in one spot trying to occupy strategic points and eventually meeting on a selected battlefield.

    Right. That's what war on a timescale of years, not weeks, is about. The guy with the highest amount of metal and meat wins. If you don't have the manpower and the industrial capabilities, you're screwed, never mind your tactics. Classical example for Americans: The Civil War. We all know who had the better generals. Did it help them? Nope, because they lacked guns, ships, and boots. Oh, and one remark to the Persians and Spartans stuff with the bottleneck. What did happen there? Exactly, the Spartans were slaughtered within a day. How many of the other guys they killed we don't know, because nobody remained to report. They were a small speed bump against the stack, but nothing more, and you shouldn't mistake 300 for history.

    Of course you can counter with guerillas, Vietnam, Afghanistan, asymmetrical warfare etc. I'm with you here, but 1upt is not the way to implement this in the game, if you really want it. If you want this, you have to introduce colossal unrest, rapidly decaying unit strength in enemy territory and the like, and I'm not sure many people should like this.

    Then I suggest you play chess, not civilization. Or play a tactical game like Panzer General, where you focus on the battle, not the war. Of course military tactics is a fascinating field highly suited for a computer game, but civilization is not this game, and I don't think it should be. I for instance like playing ego shooters, but that doesn't make me cry out for a first person view of the battlefield in civ, where I can run about and shoot at the French.

    I've already made a suggestion how the problem of the SOD can be countered in a manner that fits strategy, not tactics. Make supplying an army harder. These are the decisions real supreme commanders have to make: What will my guys eat? How fast will they progress? Who will repair their gear? But not: How will that cavalry detachment flank around the trench the musketmen have dug?

    It has been suggested that we have to imagine Civ5 units to represent far larger military entitities. OK, but here's the catch: Every military group starting from corps level, or even from division level, consists of combined arms. Nobody has or ever had an army of 100000 infantrymen occupy a province, without any cavalry, artillery, or motorized units. The stack of doom at least reflects this, for you have to mix your units if you are not hugely superior in technology. If you want to have smaller unit numbers and these to represent larger manpower, you need custom units everybody can configure for himself, and these will obviously look all the same: Some infantry, some support, some fast units, some siege elements. Because looking at the corps level, every real army looks the same, apart from technical sophistication and minor differences, like less tanks and more boots in mountains or the like. So no, if you have separate archers, swordmen, chariots, and cavalry, you do not look at large corps or armies, but at something of division strength with the farthest of stretched imagination.

    So what you will get in Civ5 is the small tactical elements of single battles hugely blown up to spread out over continents. This can be fun, but it is no longer my idea of what a history simulation (that's Civ for me) should provide. I'm really disappointed about the path they took to get rid of the SoD, and will buy the game only after some careful testing and consideration.
     
  7. Nicolas10

    Nicolas10 Warlord

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    Look, no offense mate, but I have no idea what you're trying to illustrate with this analogy. It looks like you're saying that having one thing be business as usual over a few decades is not a bad thing.

    But, tactically, your discussion of the quarterback and comparing him to a stack of doom is bizarre. I could get into the evolution of the forward pass and the development of more aerodynamic ball, but it doesn't matter.

    What you're saying is that there's nothing wrong with a good system, so why change it? We aren't bored by QB driven offenses, so why should we be bored with stacks in civ?

    As I said in my previous posts, I respect your preference for stacks. You're used to them, you've correctly pointed out that there is some skill in producing and constructing them, and you've said the flow of the game is already good. I understand your position.

    But your tactical analogies aren't persuasive :).
     
  8. Trias

    Trias Donkey with three behinds

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    Despite a very long post. You completely fail to make that point.

    That would not solve the SoD problem at all. At best it will make them smaller since it will be harder to support large numbers of units. But units will still bunch upt as much as possible. (In fact, protecting the supply line of a single stack will be much easier that protecting many supply lines.) Unless, of course, you directly penalize the formation of a stack by giving stacked units a higher upkeep than the individual units combined. The later solution has two design issues:
    *You are trying to get rid of a dominant strategy by directly penalizing it. This typically leads to an unfun game.
    *It doesn't make much sense logically, and is thus unintuitive.


    Civ is not and never was a history simulation.
     
  9. Nicolas10

    Nicolas10 Warlord

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    Noddahrassa,

    Your post is both interesting and incredibly flawed.

    We've already talked about how the Civ Map and the Civ game are not "realistic" when it comes to moving units. Instead there's a "semi-realism." Your post is based largely upon a "number" of units, but there is no correct ratio of numerical "men" in one Civ unit. Doesn't exist. Civ's a game, not a real-world approximation.

    Somehow when you "build" units in Civ, you don't lose population... so tell me, where are all the men coming from? How come players have such large standing armies in Civilization? If it were a true "historical simulation" as you've insinuated that it is, then how come you can simply produce people? Why don't you simply produce guns, and then assign your population to use them? Why aren't there food requirements for soldiers? Why doesn't an army that travels cost more money for upkeep then an army that sits at home? Why don't huge stacks of men get disease?

    You used a Civil War analogy. Of the 1 Million American military casualties, roughly two-thirds of those died from disease.

    Your argument that Civilization is some sort of genuine historical simulation is, as I said in a previous post, simply a reflection of your own biases for what you'd like in a game. Huge stacks of men traveling around the world without a usage of food, money, or suffering huge attrition from disease... well, it's the most UNREALISTIC historical simulation I can think of.

    So, please, can we stop with arguing whether stacks have more connection with the historical world rather than 1upt? It's a pointless exercise.

    Now, you also make many historical arguments about war:

    First of all, you're showing some ignorance for medieval warfare. Those conflicts were not solely about "metal and meat." If that were true, the French would have mopped the floor with the English during the 100 years war. The didn't. Why?

    One is technology, i.e. the longbow. But the second was cultural. The French refused to fight "smart," i.e they refused to employ commoners as spearmen, or make night attacks, or any other of viable strategies. Military aristocracy prevented the French from employing certain tactics, tactics which today we use all the time.

    Look, your overall point that most wars are won by the side with the most men and material is certainly true. But they are RARELY won independant of tactics.

    I can think of many historical examples.

    The armies of Alexander the Great, which crushed the Persians and which established ruling dynasties in many parts of that area of the world won because of technological and tactical superiority. The Greek phalanx and Cavalry were superior on the battlefied. They rarely ground-out an opponents.

    The Romans frequently fought battles where they were outnumbered 2:1. Caesar's campaign against the Gauls, Boudicca's rebellion, etc.

    The Mongols expanded based upon a tactical and technological superiority. How come a civilization with practically no manufacturing capacity annihilated and conquered the powerful economic centers in China, Persia, and Arabia?

    Anyway, to close my answer to your post: I respect your dislike of Chess-like tactics in Civilization. But your defense of stacks on some sort of historical grounds is shallow and unconvincing.
     
  10. Noddahrassa

    Noddahrassa Chieftain

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    My suggestion involves the possibility of units living off the ground, depending on the terrain. So say you split up your stack of 20 into 5 stacks of 4, you don't need supply in developed terrain, and you don't have lines to protect. And of course units would stack up as much as possible, but not more. That's what armies are doing in real wars: stack up as much as possible.
     
  11. Noddahrassa

    Noddahrassa Chieftain

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    Well, right. In this case it is really pointless arguing about the stuff, because you always have the option of saying "That and that is not realistic, so why should this be?" So why won't we have pink magic unicorn units? They would sure be fun!

    I for my part won't buy a game that will let me play a Gettysburg battle taking place between Denver and Jersey City. This is just more artistic license than I will be willing to handle. I want to build a civilization and have wars fought, and not to command the single troop of archers while playing battlefield chess.
     
  12. Nicolas10

    Nicolas10 Warlord

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    Your privilege.

    I just find it odd... You will only play a game if they'll allow you to stack units? Otherwise your suspension of disbelief cannot be overcome?

    How can you play Gettysburg with a Stack?
     
  13. MrHan

    MrHan Chieftain

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    I am sincerely offended by Noddahrassa's ignorance of the importance of tactics.

    Tactics and strategy are like wheels and axels - you could ghetto up something half-assed that works using one and not the other, but at the end of the day you need both to win a war or roll a cart. If you need an example of what tactics can do in war, look up Han Xin on Wikipedia.


    As for realism, no, Civilization is not realistic. Consider this: we will not get total realism in a strategy game for a very, very long time. If you start arguing about the representation of realism in Civ the list goes on endlessly - screw 1UpH, how come the maps never account for the spherical curvature of earth? and how come you can't mine lithium in the game? you know it's important for batteries, it just HAS to be included in the game!

    It's not gonna be anywhere close to real until Civ becomes the Matrix. You know that.

    The real world isn't made up of tiles. The earth, for example, isn't 500x192 tiles big, and NYC wasn't built by a group of settlers wearing togas on a square(or hex) tile. That should say something about how vain the xUpT argument is in the first place.

    That said, 1UpT is more realistic than SoDs; people can't overlap each other in the real world. If they did, they'd go boom.
     
  14. Sparthage

    Sparthage Fighting Tyranny

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    :lol:
     
  15. Noddahrassa

    Noddahrassa Chieftain

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    I don't play it at all. I point and click and am told how it ended, just like Mr. Lincoln. Because that is my role in this game, not the one Meade or Lee had. If I want that, I play Civil War Generals, Panzer General or something comparable. In Civ, I am the one who says there will be an Eastern and a Western theatre, and that next year we start marching down the Mississippi, but I'm not deciding from which hill to shell which trench with a cannon.

    And yes, I mind a strategic game being choked up with tactics blown up completely out of proportion. If that's what the devs want to do, they can keep it.
     
  16. MrHan

    MrHan Chieftain

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    meh.

    I like the changes in favor of tactics, and that's that.
     
  17. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    This is pretty much what it comes down to. Anyone who believes that they shouldnt' have to make warfare decisions other than how many units to make and which city to attack won't like the new system where you have to make some tactical decisions.

    Everyone else will probably enjoy having a richer set of meaningful decisions. [Assuming they manage to keep MM, pathfinding, AI, ally-blocking and congestion issues under control.]
     
  18. snowlyon

    snowlyon Chieftain

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    This is probably my biggest "fear" about the direction they have chosen. Given the number that will invariably be out there I can see it being a major pain to have to move each individual unit…over and over and over.

    If they were so "fatigued" as you obviously are, it would seem this change would have happened long ago, but it didn’t. The reason being that the formula used in the previous incarnations, in the simplest term, worked! The game took on a more macromanagement viewpoint towards armies…where it is now going is much more towards micromanagement, which in turn will slow things down a good deal.

    Personally, I am very far from being fatigued with managing armies in stacks…it was convenient and fit the broad scope of the game play very well imo.


    If they had such an issue with SoD then agreed, they should do something about it…but the current direction, as stated by others here, seems to be going to the extreme in their attempts to resolve it. IMO, they could have just simply limited the number of units one could stack…2 to 4 seems like a decent enough number. As it stands though, we will be playing with 1 unit per tile and honestly unsure whether I will pick it up at this time… I suppose I will play the "wait and see" game with reviews and such before picking it up.~
     
  19. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    Yeah, there *can't* be a $10 note lying on the ground, someone would have picked it up already.

    Its an old argument, and it hasn't gotten any stronger with age.
     
  20. snowlyon

    snowlyon Chieftain

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    LOL ...and that "arguement" works both ways. :p

    the fact of the matter is that the change has happened. people don't agree with it and others do. yet to often, in this thread alone I see people often discounted because they "disagree" with the direction taken and then called down for it. the above responce being but an example there of.

    the issue that I personally have with the 1upt is that it gives the game the appearance of being focus'd on tactical warfare. getting us down into the trenches to micromanage versus macro, which was how it effectively was before. sliding towards to micro management also makes one see this eventually sliding into a RTS type of mode (standing on the cynical side) which would be a real shame for the CIV series... obviously all this is purely IMO.

    I totally get the idea that some folks are looking forward to 1 upt and believe it is for the best of the series. I can completely understand how stoked they are to flex their tactical minds within the CIV universe... I do, I really really do... ...that said though...just cause they do...doesnt automatically mean the rest of us should as well and if we don't, that we should be looked "down" on for our own personal view points.~
     

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