Unit strength

Chinois

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Although I have not read all 3300 threads, I have not seen this issue addressed.

It seems that the relative unit strenghts for military units doesn't make sense. For example, many times I have been using units with guns only to be beaten by opponents with swords. I've had spearmen beat mounted gunmen!

I focused on developing firearms thinking that the technology would allow me to roll over other civs. Even though I was the first to have guns in my world, they didn't do much for me.

Any thoughts or similar experiences?
 

PaulNAdhe

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You don't have to read all 3300 threads. If you picked out a handful you should find at least one that concerns combat modifiers.

The classic is the swordsman defeating that tank. I hope they don't give you too hard a time for stating this topic is new. :p

Basically it's because the units are not a single swordsman or single tank but a unit of swordsmen and tanks. There are myriad modifiers for each side in combat combined with the roll of the dice.

The combat map referred to at the top of the board is presented solely to check out the combat modifiers and assure us that the AI isn't cheating. But, about the only time you'll be rolling over units is with Modern Armor.
 

Zachriel

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Just a couple quick thoughts:

Technology is never a sure ticket to victory. There are many other factors in real life combat that can effect the final outcome, including everything from the weather to the willingness of the soldier to face death. These unknown factors are represented in the game by the randomizer.

Swords survived as a viable weapon well into the gunpowder age. An example would be the three musketeers who are best known for their swordplay, not their muskets.

Gunpowder foot units are best used as defensive units, as that was, and is, their primary function in armies. They hold ground.

In a tough situation such as against a fortified position, hedge your bets with bombard, bombard, bombard. A unit with only one hitpoint is much more likely to succumb.

Generally, though, superior weapons and superior tactics will prevail.
 

etj4Eagle

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Another suggestion is drop any preconceived notions about the inherent strengths of these units. Look at them strictly in terms of their A/D values and then you won't have trouble with "bad" combat results. For those who have played SMAC with its futeristic techs this is second nature.
 

Tarquelne

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Its also worth noting that the desingers almost certainly wanted to make sure that technology _wouldn't_ "allow me to roll over other civs."

In the game a Tank has a 8 Defense and a 2 movement. A Warrior has a 1 Defense and a 1 movment. Everyone _knows_ that a Tank is far more than 8 times "tougher" than a guy with an ax and more than twice as fast... but realisticly representing the units would, indeed, allow someone with guns to generally "roll over" opponents without them.

The only thing that'd balance realistic combat stats would be realistic costs (A Tank is certainly more than 10 times as expensive as an ax) or far, far more realistic Tech tree. You'd need a "Too realistic" tech tree.

A technological advantage in the game can still be a very large advantage... just don't expect the advantage of more advanced units to be as large as it _realistically_ should be.
 

infanta

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people keep going on bout the "tanks beaten by horsemen/spearmen" thing

what you gotta realise is this is an abstract game (not a wargame), it doesn't mean that tanks are actually facing spearmen but rather that it is the average kinda tech lvl of the units involved

when something like tanks are beaten by spearmen in cities it could refer to something like partizan activity by people in the city using things like petrol bombs and homemade tank traps and then fighting tank crews when they emerge from their units when the tanks get stuck.

it doesn't mean a nice shiny hoplite phalanx forms up and charges a tank

you will always get unexpected results at times but looking at the combat values (a/d) and factoring in mods can show what chance of success you have

generally better units have better chances against poorer ones but city assaults are always expensive

even modern military thinking tends to say outnumber by a factor of at least 3 if you want to take urban areas and when you look at the units here, 3 horse will generally kill one spearmen, 3 longbow will take one pike and so on...

higher tech lvl than your opponent mainly just reduces the number you need rather than making you immune to lower tech lvls which some people seem to expect



please people, stop thinking this is a wargame...
 
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What i think is more of a pain in the ass is the fact that someone with 40 spearmen and worriors thinks that they are as powerful as someone with 40 mech inf and tanks. As i've been saying before, a simple fix to this would be give each unit a power rating, so we give 0 to workers and setlers, and say a 1 to worriors 2 to spearmen and swordsman, Add one point if its a CS unit. And at the top end it would be something like 15 to a modern tank, 20 or so for a ICBM. I dunno on all the numbers you'd have to go through everything, but you tally it all up and there you go, you have your strength, and now someone with a S**t load of obsolete units wont think they are as powerful as you are. Take a look at what happened in Somolia in 1993 , i beleive it was somwhere in the order of a 300 (just a guess may be a bit higher) American and UN troops in the end delivered more casulaties to 5000 or more Somolians. it was around 1000 somolians dead and 16 american troops.

*on a side note, see black hawk down, its an awsome movie, but if you dont like blood and nasty spaghetti surgery i might skip this one*

Numbers doesn't defete tactics, training, and equipment. If you have 10 men that cant shoot worth crap but you have 2 eleite commandos, its quite possible that those 2 trained commandos who know how to use cover and can shoot extremly well are going to win that "battle"

But we must also remember the size each unit represents. They dont just represent one guy with a pointy stick going up against one shiny new tank. It would be around 50 tanks or so up against 2000-5000 men with pointy sticks, with that number of people in a city you can imagine that they would be able to take out the tanks with sheer numbers, and again its just a game not a simulation of any sort.
 

infanta

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ya but another thing in favour of numbers is 40 + warriors can pillage 40 + squares, your 2-4 tanks can only kill 2-4 units per turn

this means that big stacks of obsolute units can still cause headaches

if you're one of those players that leaves cities undefended if a large stack of fast things (even chariots) breaks through they can raze/pillage so much stuff you may be crippled from that point onwards

also the time it takes you to munch yer way through all the stack is time they can building something else

it ain't always neceesary for units to kill stuf to be useful, being able to distract, delay, cripple is more than enough

i often shove impis into enemy areas just to delay their production as it means they can't have workers and settlers running about undefended which forces the civ to use units to escort
 

Zachriel

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Originally posted by infanta
it doesn't mean a nice shiny hoplite phalanx forms up and charges a tank

Absolutely correct. The "primitive" warriors will attempt to develop tactics that are appropriate to the threat. I would assume that pits, deception and fire would be possible counter measures, all available to even stoneage barbarians.
 

Zachriel

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Originally posted by Furry Spatula
[BNumbers doesn't defete tactics, training, and equipment.[/B]

Don't forget the will to fight. A large army with advanced weapons that won't fight is next to useless. If they disperse and run for cover when the going gets tough -- then even though the people and equipment still exist, the unit is destroyed.
 

Chinois

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what you gotta realise is this is an abstract game (not a wargame), it doesn't

The problem is that Civ3 is not marketed as an "abstract" game. It's marketed as chance to reconstruct history. Based on that, I expected there to be a clear nexus between the game and reality. The connection is tenuous at best.

In reality, guys with guns kill guys with spears by very large margins (think about the Brits and the Zulus). That's largly how cultures in history have advanced and conquered. In Civ3, guys with chariots do not have a real advantage against guys w/o chariots. This is not realistic. 70 spanish soldiers conquered some 50,000 Incas because they had guns, steel and horses (and yes, germs). Civ3 ignores that fact to its detriment.

Some one said that you just have to look at it by attack and defense numbers. But the game implies that there are diffences between units because some units take longer to produce. Without a corresponding benefit in battle, the time to produce more advanced units is pointless. This is unrealistic and confusing.

Without this difference, why spend the time to produce more "advanced" units? I'll just keep building warriors and put as many attack points on the board as I can.
 

PaulNAdhe

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Originally posted by Chinois
SNIP... Without this difference, why spend the time to produce more "advanced" units? I'll just keep building warriors and put as many attack points on the board as I can.
Yes, you could definitely do that and it sometimes seems as if that is the AI strategery. But, at some point you will realize the fact that each unit has a maintenance cost and all those Swordsmen will be costing you a ton of gold. I prefer to build the more capable units, even if they're not invincible against the AI's Spearmen.
 

Zachriel

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Originally posted by Chinois
In reality, guys with guns kill guys with spears by very large margins (think about the Brits and the Zulus).

Good example, because the Brits killed lots of Zulus, but demonstrated the ability to lose even with a technological advantage. Like many Civ players, they did not take the threat of a spearmen attack seriously.

Without this difference, why spend the time to produce more "advanced" units? I'll just keep building warriors and put as many attack points on the board as I can.

Why? Fact is, a city fortified with infantry is much more likely to survive a concerted attack than an equal number of spearmen. If you are winning and taking the attack to the enemy, it may not be as important, but I would still suggest you fortify your artillery with infantry, not warriors. If you are in a position where you must defend, then it is even more important to have upgraded units.

Of course, you will still lose sometimes. Maybe the soldiers don't trust their leadership and will bolt at the first sign of trouble. Maybe they would rather join the enemy instead of living under the whip of a despotic regime. Maybe they took a wrong turn.

I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.
 

macaskil

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Excellent point.

By the way, The Conquistadors may only have been 70 in number but they had as allies the non-Aztec tribes who saw the opportunity to overthrow the Aztecs; even so they needed a lot of luck and were able to exploit the Aztecs' political and religious systems. In civ3 terms, you send a bunch of musketmen and knights to invade a civ with loads of warriors and their neighbours join in on your side. I've found it's easy to get other civs to team up with you against militaristic civs - in one case I had 10 civs all fighting against the Germans. They had been the strongest civ but were eliminated in a few turns - not before destroying most of my cities I'm afraid.

On the other hand I was surprised when an 18th C frigate managed to sink my submarine - what with? Presumably my skipper surfaced and allowed them to take potshots at him and they got lucky? The fellow deserves to be court-martialled!
 

Zachriel

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Originally posted by macaskil
On the other hand I was surprised when an 18th C frigate managed to sink my submarine - what with? Presumably my skipper surfaced and allowed them to take potshots at him and they got lucky? The fellow deserves to be court-martialled!

Wouldn't be the first time! It could have been a torpedo that exploded on board. But if he left the hatch open again, he should be court-martialled.
 

Chinois

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Survival of an attack is certainly a whorthwhile goal but if you're trying to win militarily (domination or complete conquest), you've got to attack. My problem with the game is that attacking with "superior" technology is discounted.

So much of the game is about allocation of resources between military units and wonders. If I choose to focus on one aspect to the detriment of the other, I should have the benefit of the advantage. So if I race to get gunpowder while other focus on temples, when I attack I should win against the civ that religious.

Again, Civ3 doesn't work that way which is simply unrealistic and internally inconsistent.
 

Zachriel

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Originally posted by Chinois
Again, Civ3 doesn't work that way which is simply unrealistic
and internally inconsistent.

Take a look at this attack:
http://www.crowncity.net/civ3/attack.htm

To me, it is apparent that this attack has a very good chance of success, and appears realistic and internally consistent.

A Legion is not just a bunch of guys with swords. A Legion is composed of sword, bow, seige, spear, engineers, accountants, training, command, tradition, forts and roads organized as a single fighting unit.

If the leadership does not follow the rules of engagement for a Legion (for instance, not building the requisite fort at nightfall), or discipline fails (such as if the lines break), then the Legion becomes just a bunch of guys with swords.

In the example given, the army fights as a group. One riflemen will split from the group and pillage the surrounding area. The rest will fort above the city. Cannon will bombard the city turn after turn if necessary, until the defenders are rendered harmless. The Cavalry units will then breach the city defenses and destroy the garrison. Finally, the riflemen will hold the city.

Working as a team, this army can overcome the natural advantages of the defenders. Spearmen would not stand a chance under this assault -- as expected.
 
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posted by Zachriel

Don't forget the will to fight. A large army with advanced weapons that won't fight is next to useless. If they disperse and run for cover when the going gets tough -- then even though the people and equipment still exist, the unit is destroyed.


thats another good point. And the fact is you cant realy complain about what units die when unless you have complete controll over them. So lets make Civ 4 a strat game like civ 3, but then we need to add in Squad FPS (like Rouge Spear) sections in so you cant complain about loosing a fight, and then we need to have something for tanks maybe just merge WW2 Online and Civ 3 to make Civ4.

So once again i just must say that you people, ok not all of you, are complaining about this game because you expect too much, it seems like you want everything. Would you be happy if the game had a section of Real Time combat in which you controlled your units and you still lost b/c you sucked? or would you still complain?

Unfortunatly it seems that that kind of game wont come along for a while, just think of the space it would take up :eek: It would be bigger than diablo2 with the expansion.
 
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Oh yea guys, one last thing. I just thought of an example of some equiped ppl getting their buts kicked. It was in the years before WW2. REmeber that Italy vs. Ethiopia incident? Well here is the run down. Italy wanted to expand and make an empire, So they take on Ethiopia. Well in the end they did win, but they had a very tough time. And keep in mind the Italians had good guns and about the same training if not a little more than the Ethiopeans with thier pointy sticks, hey is that infantry vs spearmen? well anyhow eventualy italy won but it took them quite a while.
 

Chinois

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Will to fight?

Where is that described in the game? It's not. Because it's not part of the game.

Perhaps the so-called randomizer takes that into account but I think you're reading way too much into what happens in order to justify the fundamental problem of the game.

With respect to Italy v. Ethiopia, there are examples of indigineous, low-tech societies fighting technologically advanced societies with some success but, on the whole, these are few and far between. Civ3 allows it to happen with much greater frequency.

Superior tech = superior fire power = conquest. It's that simple and this game misses it.
 
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