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Volunteer army - insanely overpowered?

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Horizons, Sep 8, 2013.

  1. chazzycat

    chazzycat Deity

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    It's a pretty solid tenet, even for some peaceful games. Sometimes you just need some more pointy sticks to avoid getting DOW'd. They upgrade to infantry & mech inf. very cheaply as well so they are a good deterrent for the entire end game.

    That being said, I don't think it's OP. All of the tier 2 freedom tenets are pretty good. It's not an automatic choice by any means.
     
  2. Pythakoreas

    Pythakoreas Chef Tain

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    As mentioned above and before on this forum it is not easy to reach it. I find this reasonable in many ways, I'll start quoting from others.
    1 - Getting to Volunteer Army early requires tech lead, rushing to Industrialization and three factories. If you could do that, 6 Foreign Legions are rightly yours.
    2 - Making units for peaceful empires is counter-productive. When you get assaulted this is a useful panic button.
    3 - There are many other sweet level 2 tenets you could get at the place...
     
  3. parts

    parts Chieftain

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    I realize I'm not supposed to say this on the interwebs, but I did not actually know a lot of this, or about the Legion's history in general. Thanks for this. I briefly looked up the details you cite and you are indeed correct.

    I nonetheless still don't understand the point you're making. Per wikipedia, and yourself, the Foreign Legion was set up by an autocrat, NOT a democracy. When you correctly point out that "seditious elements" could have exploited the human resources of the Legion Etrangére, you omit that those elements would have been seeking to replace the last King of the French by a republican form of government. Unless you are claiming King Louis Philippe as a representative of the Freedom ideology because of his constitutionalism, I really don't follow your argument. If anything, it backs up my point that Autocracy - which I realize refers more to fascism than monarchy - should have the Volunteer Army tenet.

    Furthermore - and on this I may well simply be uninformed - I cannot find a single source using the term "volunteer army" in the context you mention, i.e. either specifically to the Legion or to the concept of a unit made up entirely of foreign volunteers. I can however find numerous references to "volunteer army" or "volunteer military" with reference to the contexts I refer to, i.e. as a non-conscript army raised by liberal democracies as a substitute for conscription specifically because it is anti-democratic.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volunteer_military
    http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_briefs/RB9195/index1.html
    http://www.shsu.edu/~his_ncp/VolArm.html
     
  4. Vohbo

    Vohbo Warlord

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    I cannot even begin to understand how people can think Autocracy is underpowered. It is in my opinion perhaps the most narrow but the most powerful of the ideologies. The combination with commerce allows you to buy units for 40% of their cost, and the happiness bonuses completely overshadow anything the other ideologies can offer you.

    I think the 6 free foreign legions are pretty weak. You basically waste a social policy for 6 units and a minor amount of gold, and you have to take that policy early for it to be worthwhile. It can be used as a panic button, but the occasions where it truly shines are rare.
     
  5. Singulare

    Singulare Chieftain

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    Seems like it should be the other way around 6 units to start with -1 for each additional city you have to a minimum of 2. It should be a tenat that helps weaker civs not stronger and bigger civs.
     
  6. EK834

    EK834 Prince

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    It's that. The Monarchie de Juillet was virtually a republic with a King of the French people (no longer the "King of France") sworn to the Charter as head-of-state (it's described as a monarchy surrounded and checked by republican institutions. Louis-Philippe was mocked by royalists as the Citizen-King). It was by a kind of compromise regime between the royalists and the republicans. It was a constitutional monarchy, a bit like Britain's. Louis-Philippe's government created the Foreign Legion, but it's endured as an institution in Republican France (and first through the Second Empire).

    I'm not quite sure why they chose Légion Étrangère (except perhaps lazyness/budget.. they recycled a now discarded unit and its bonus), but from the look of it they may have meant that first level tenet instead to represent a measure in early republics/democracies to defuse the threat to the new institutions the old militia/ex-soldiers of the ancient regime were (eg: the mess the ex-soldiers of the Empire recycled in private militias made during the Weimar Republic): send them to defend the colonies and to fight for you abroad.

    I suspect it's the meaning they intended to give to the tenet (but I agree the name Volunteer Army is ill-chosen for that), as the bonuses make no sense to represent the introduction of professional, non-conscript armies: those professional soldiers and even volunteers in time of war cost a buck to a state - far more than they do in autocracies or even to Russia, China and other communist regimes, and it wouldn't make sense their fighting bonus is when they're abroad instead of in defense of the homeland/democracy. Beside, most Western democracies/republics had to resort to drafting/conscription in war time.

    Professional armies, non-conscripted, is also a bit too vague for Freedom. After all, even an autocrat like Napoléon had such an army.

    If anything it would make more sense for this tenet to provide a number of current infantry units whenever you're DoWed, and they disband once peace if signed.
     
  7. Txurce

    Txurce Deity

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    How many posts have there been complaining about the AI predominantly taking Order? There's a price paid in this regard to taking Freedom. Having these OP units for defense makes more sense in this context.
     
  8. Windscion

    Windscion Chieftain Supporter

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    Well, by the time I can take VA, there is usually a civ who everyone else hates because they are swallowing their neighbors. I can send my FLs (or upgraded versions) out to block them, preventing my allies from being overrun (on King). In pre-BNW, the warmonger would likely have wiped out two other civs already. That kinda thing makes me nervous, so I like being able to check them.
    Basically, I'm getting this ability for free instead of spending time to build excess units, which is pretty sweet. All this hardly counts as warmongering, however. Freedom bonuses are geared toward tall empires, not wide.
     
  9. kb27787

    kb27787 Deity

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    :lol: It's every peacemonger's emergency weapon; like someone said before a free Chichen Itza and half red faces from specialists is way more powerful, and 90% of the time that should be your 1st level 2 tenet; volunteer army is the one policy you leave open (always have a spare level one tenet and a writer near by) while your empire grows tall and peaceful and start causing red faces around the world with your tourism, until someone else decides to take you out; then two turns later they find their pathetic rifle forces overpowered by 6 pracinhas/infantry.

    And here promotions are the key; foreign legion are weaker than great war infantry, ignoring the 20% combat bonus and will easily lose to riflemen if they have better promotions and GG/honor bonus; They can certainly stand their ground, but they can't sweep through them like infantry can.
     
  10. PrimoXanthous

    PrimoXanthous ~ knightmare13 ~

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    yeah,I think 6 Foreign Legion are too powerful, but maybe if they would be reduced to 4, it would be balanced.
     
  11. sherbz

    sherbz Emperor

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    I think its ok as it is. I have used it defensively only and it has saved my neck a couple of times. Usually you are quite small with freedom so dont necessarily have the economy/infrastructure to support a large army. If you have autocracy you should have a pretty big army anyway. Its only powerful if you have been pumping loads of culture as well, otherwise as long as your tech is decent, you should almost be teching infantry by then anyway.
     
  12. ChrisTheMean

    ChrisTheMean Chieftain

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    I agree with those who say is a useful but not overpowered policy. In most games, if one is being peaceful making a push to be first to ideologies, there can be a time when you have invested heavily in infrastructure, but with only a small deterrent military.

    If I get to ideologies first and go Freedom, I will never take Volunteer Army over the specialist policies, unless I am in a tough war, or have a warmonger chomping on my friends or marching on my borders.

    I have used it to great effect, but after that battle, once everyone is back at tech parity, that policy is gone and does nothing for you anymore.

    I think the policy that might need a look- I hesitate to say it as I have abused the heck out of it - is Arsenal of Democracy.
     
  13. parts

    parts Chieftain

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    Ah, ok, I thought as much. This, however, is where I think we're just going to need to agree to disagree, though. I've really enjoyed this conversation though - one of the things I love about CiV is how I'm learning new things every time I play, and reading up on the Legion's history and traditions (francais par sang verse was particularly interesting for me) was really cool as well. You're clearly pretty learned about this - are you French?

    Louis-Philippe was certainly as constitutional as monarchs get (apparently he fought for the Revolution as a youth :king:). And he earned his Citizen-King moniker - he abandoned the policy of strict censorship his predecessor put in place, lowered the qualifications for voting, and even replaced the white-and-gold Bourbon flag with the tricoleur. All well and constitutional.

    The problem is, when one man in a country is able to order these things done and have his wishes obeyed, the country is many things, but it certainly isn't a liberal democracy and the comparison with Great Britain is thus misleading. The contemporary King William IV of Britain was merely a bystander as huge changes were pushed through on his watch: the end of slavery, the Poor Laws, the Reform Acts. And that's exactly how things are, and should be, in a constitutional monarchy.

    There's a difference, in short, between a country with a genuinely constitutional form of monarchy (with the monarchy restrained into a consultative/titular role) and a country in which a King is by his own inclination passing the very same laws constraining his own power. Bhutan today, for instance, has a benign, enlightened Crown Prince doing very similar things. It doesn't make it a constitutional monarchy and thus a Freedom representative.

    I really question whether countries in the early 19th century can be said to have an "ideology" for the purposes of CiV at all. The tripartite Freedom/Order/Autocracy split is clearly intended to represent the 20th century after WWI.

    I actually thought they were to represent the antithesis of the Volunteer Army - the levee en masse, sudden glut of cheap (free) troops. That's on the assumption that the Foreign Legion was chosen because it was... well, French, and they needed to put it somewhere, rather than it having any historical significance.
     
  14. Horizons

    Horizons Needing fed again!

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    I think it should make say 8 or 10 units maintenance free and give no free units. That still equates to a lot of saved gold.
     
  15. sherbz

    sherbz Emperor

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    The point of it is is that its benefit, or period of being overpowered, is only finite. You only have a small window of opportunity to use it, and then its not very useful at all. Put that in contrast to the many other bonuses you can have which last for the rest of the game. I dont think something being over powered for a finite period is that much of a problem. where you run into difficulties is when something that is overpowered lasts the whole of the game (im looking at you Poland).
     
  16. qalsip1977

    qalsip1977 Wonder Lust

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    I think Venice players are probably the ones using this to its fullest potential. I was playing my first game of BNM (as Venice) on King (I always keep the difficulty down a bit on my first play through of a new xpac) and used it to fend off an aggressive Incan incursion. With the help of a couple of siege units I think I even puppeted a city as well before peace was declared.

    I don't know if I'd consider it insanely overpowered though...
     
  17. Horizons

    Horizons Needing fed again!

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    The maintenance-free units benefit is not time limited? You can disband all six of the foreign legions and the computer will calculate another six units to make maintenance-free surely? I remember in G&K there was a Freedom tenet that simply made a few units maintenance free and the idea was to allow a smaller empire to field an up-to-date standing army without having to pay for it.
     
  18. sherbz

    sherbz Emperor

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    6 free units is pretty meh by that point of the game. Im much more interested in Science or other things. As i said before though, its not bad defensively. I saved it in reserve and didnt build any military units, concentrating on wonders and other things, then when I got DOWD on my Monty, i picked up the SP which killed off his invasion.
     
  19. civ54lyfe

    civ54lyfe Prince

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    if you nerfed Volunteer Army you'd be nerfing Brazil who is already a bit iffy.
     
  20. compwiz1202

    compwiz1202 King

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    Would be interesting if they only got bonuses against Autocratic or Order nations that DoWed you, or any nation that you DoWed because another Freedom or nonIdeology nation was DoWed.

    e.g Elizabeth takes Freedom and is just building up her navy and minding her own business.
    Autocratic Bismarck rolls in with his Panzers and , "Die Lizardwoman!!!" as he shells London.
    Freedom loving Napolean brings in his Foreign Legions to defend London. The Foreign Legions get +20% against Bismarck.
    After Bismarck wallows away defeated, Napolean BSes Elizabeth. This time his Foreign Legions get no bonus since he is the aggressor.
     

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