• Civilization 7 has been announced. For more info please check the forum here .

War in Civ7

In other words, there's no point shirking the bad AI onto other mechanics. The truth is the AI sucks because there is not enough effort behind it, and that's just how it is.
Or, to my point, some mechanics are easier to design for the AI to use while others are not. The simple fact is that the more complex a game becomes the harder it becomes to design a competent AI. Civ6 has a lot of moving parts and even the AI in Old World, while good at combat, isn't as good at city design. The basic trade off is that the more complex a game gets, the less good the AI becomes at playing it. This is an universal problem, not a Civ specific problem so the choice is between a complex game with lots of moving parts or a strong AI opponent. So, if players want a more competent AI opponent then the devs have to make a game the AI can play, which is going to be a simpler, more streamlined game.
 
Anyone who thinks the AI can't properly handle 1UPT should play Old World because it is more than fine there and can actually challenge the player. The biggest difference between Civ and OW is that there is a lot more room actually move units around in OW so the AI doesn't have as many issues.

Civ6 in particular is also much worse for invaders than civ5 because of even harsher terrain movement rules, way overpowered city defenses, goddamn encampments as if we didn't have enough automatic turrets instead of army battles, and loyalty pressure to add insult to injury. All that cripples AI offense vs player and other AIs even more, commiting yet another sin beyond defensive wars being way too easy for human player and offensive wars being frustrating: the world of civ6 AI politics is highly static and boring to watch.

If we need to have 1UPT then please at least make units feel faster and more convenient to move, give more room to manueuver, and just remove encampments and make cities not shoot on their own (just melee defense or even just passive HP). Also change loyalty to something more lenient and make late era AIs more agressive after removing that ridiculous idea behind civ6 diplomacy "human history sees progressive decrease in warmongering", because as we know there have been no big wars in Europe over past 150 years.
 
Last edited:
In other words, there's no point shirking the bad AI onto other mechanics. The truth is the AI sucks because there is not enough effort behind it, and that's just how it is.

As you suggest, if an AI can play Old World perfectly well then why not Civilisation?

It's partially because the mechanics of Old World are designed with the AI in mind that its AI can perform as well as it does. The AI declares war on you, and then suddenly you're under attack from 3 different routes because the Order system allows for really large movement speeds when you need them, which helps the AI dramatically because it is hard to code AI that is thinking multiple moves ahead about where they should be for future placement. Once your city is under attack, you don't generally need to bring the right siege equipment or have done conflicts ahead of time to get promoted units to be able to conquer the city, which helps the AI because it's really hard to code for the AI to go specifically get your siege weapons the +range promotion before going to war against a civ that is going to be hard to attack. Old World doesn't have units that completely change the way you approach combat - artillery with a range of 3+ to allow them to outrange a city's ability to fight back, or planes that use a completely new set of mechanics; this means you can code the AI to take the same set of approaches without needing huge exceptions, which is a big help in it being functional.

One could improve the Civ AI without changing the mechanics, that much is true - just look at mods like Real Strategy for Civ 6 that don't change the mechanics, only the AI, and it's substantially better. But it's also true that it's possible to make game design decisions that make it far more complicated to make well-functioning AI, and if the AI was a priority, Civ should redesign some mechanics to better fit with the goal of improved AI.
 
The issue of war in Civ V and Civ VI is that the AI is bad with one unit per tile combat. To solve this, we should partially return to stacks of units. I think stacks of units are better than carpets of units for simple management purposes (fewer clicks overall). I think if techs limited stack size (i.e. initially only 2 military units per stack, more unlocked through later techs) that could prevent the issue of having massive stacks overwhelm everything. And of course having collateral damage from catapults hitting stacks (like in Civ IV) would also discourage massing units into a single tile. In this way the AI could be more threatening. I've recently gotten back into playing Civ IV and I really enjoy how challenging the AI is to beat in war.
 
I think stacks of units are better than carpets of units for simple management purposes (fewer clicks overall). I think if techs limited stack size (i.e. initially only 2 military units per stack, more unlocked through later techs) that could prevent the issue of having massive stacks overwhelm everything.

I agree with having limited size stacks. But limiting the size of a stack is not enough, the game also needs to limit the total number of units you can have. Otherwise, you will just get "carpet of stacks". Making units more expensive to build and support is one way to do this. You could also add a food maintenance cost so that more units would slow down your pop growth. Or you could simply have a hard cap on the total number of units allowed in your civ based on pop, tech and government policies. In fact, I would argue that having an effective cap on the total number of units might be more important. Without it, you will get carpet of doom or carpet of stacks. With an effective cap, you can then decide whether to force 1upt or allow stacks. But that really shapes how the player organizes and moves their units. The important thing is to make sure the map does not get congested with units.
 
The biggest obstacle to creating a challenging Domination / Conquest victory objective is that once you've conquered one civ, you've conquered them all. The rest of the game is just cleaning up. Having to organize a cross-ocean invasion may be tactically interesting enough to be enjoyable, but the outcome is not in doubt. The only ways I see to put the outcome in doubt is either:

1. Create enough penalties associated with conquering civ one that conquering civ two, civ three, etc. becomes harder, rather than easier. This has mostly proven true in the real world, but mechanics to reflect this in a 4x game would likely be unpopular, at least amongst a large portion of the game audience. It could create a real domination challenge, though, that would be welcome by some, if each new war became harder and harder to win.

2. Create an AI that (a) ruthlessly pursues aggression so that during the end game the player is facing a unified second half of the globe that's as powerful as they are, and (b) is tactically smart enough (or given enough AI-only bonuses) to potentially beat the player at the complex late game warfare. See Leyrann's quote of stealth_risk for why this would likely be unpopular and see any conversation about Civ 6 AI for why it's also almost certainly technically unfeasible without AI "cheating" (which itself would give birth to such a black hole of discontent on Steam/Reddit that all positive Civ 7 vides would be sucked into it, disappearing forever beyond the event horizon).

3. Load the AI civs up with enough of a starting bonus on Deity that surviving long enough to conquer civ one is enough of a challenge that players are content to then enjoy their laurels as they mop up the rest of the map. This is likely where we'll land.
Another solution I've thought about, is for the game to spawn a new civ on virgin land whenever an old one has been eliminated. Though it should probably be combined with the option to provide combat bonuses against empires that have already conquered other empires, and I should stress that it needs to be an option, as in it can be turned on/off in the game setup
 
Top Bottom