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War Movement Mechanics

Discussion in 'Old World' started by Piranga, May 10, 2020.

  1. Piranga

    Piranga Warlord

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    There is so much about this game that I find amazing to play. However the huge distance at which military units can cover in a single turn completely ruins the game for me. Along a border, enemy units (normal non mounted ones even) can go from their fog of war and completely attack units hiding behind cities or behind other ZoC units from incredibly far ranges.

    This mechanic is so absolutely terrible, I've already quit this game.
     
  2. Deggial

    Deggial Emperor

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    I experienced the same and this is definitely something to get used to and I hope I will. But for now, it’s irritating.
    (The currently not fully implemented movement animations add to the impression that the attackers just “teleport in”, but that will change and is just a visual clue anyway.)

    Units will die a lot more than in games like Civ and this might be okay.
    Reconnaissance will be way more important and those scouts being able to hide in forests is a useful game mechanic in this respect.

    A thought I had regarding this issue (if it is one):
    ‘Old World’ has way more space to maneuver due to the distanced city sites and it uses this space with the orders system and the ‘fatigue’ mechanic. Maybe, ‘zones of control’ have to be adopted to this fact more?
    Currently, ZoCs only affect the adjacent tiles. This works well enough in Civ, where everything is more dense and unit speed way slower.
    For ‘Old World’, I propose to extend ZoCs to a two tiles reach. The “outer ring” might not stop enemy movement completely, but just slow it down significantly. The “inner ring” would stop it short.

    Other possibilities would be to reduce the basic unit movement per order, reduce fatigue points and/or get rid of the additional purchasable unit movement that extends the reach even further.
    But my favorite solution would be the proposed ZoC change, because it doesn’t impact deliberate design decisions, but actually takes one into account and tweaks the game rules accordingly.

    Whatever is done, I currently feel that enemy moves have to be way more predictable (and controllable). Especially as it is possible to add the leader (you) as a general which has to be protected by all means. The risk to die itself is fine! But I need the ability to act accordingly.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2020
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  3. Elhoim

    Elhoim Iron Tower Studio Dev

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    I didn't have many issues with this and I think combat works really well, once you understand you need to form a proper big frontline if you are waging a war, instead of having 2 warriors and one archer like in Civ.
     
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  4. Noble Zarkon

    Noble Zarkon Elite Quattromaster - Emperor (BTS) Super Moderator Hall of Fame Staff Supporter GOTM Staff

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    Two thoughts about this:-

    1) A turn is a year and an army can move far in that time!

    2) In other games using the orders system you use them in order so e.g. year 1 everyone does their first order, then their second order etc etc. Maybe in Old Word you could do a quarter of your orders at a time or something like that.
     
  5. Deggial

    Deggial Emperor

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    While you are of course correct that one year is a lot time to maneuver around, I don't feel that this "real time frame" should overshadow a game mechanic possibly in the need of tweaking.
    Gameplay first. ALWAYS!

    With your second suggestion: do you mean that the game should be played in seasons rather than years? This will affect the hole pacing quite a bit and I am not sure, if all consequences are forseable. Leaders would live 4 times as long, distorting the current "cycle of life and succession". Worker building times could get adjusted, but the whole research/culture system would have to be re-balanced in order to keep the playing experience (decisions per turn are an important meassure to keep the game interesting).
    I am not sure, al this rat-tail of consequences warrents the "realism" provided by quaterly army movements ...
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2020
  6. Noble Zarkon

    Noble Zarkon Elite Quattromaster - Emperor (BTS) Super Moderator Hall of Fame Staff Supporter GOTM Staff

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    I don't see why any of that would have to change, all I'm suggesting is instead of each player / AI expanding all their actions in one go they would be spread across 4 seasons. 1 year would still equal 1 year, see below:-

    Current System
    Year 1
    Player takes all their actions
    AI 1 takes all their actions
    AI 2 takes all their actions
    AI 3 takes all their actions
    Year 2
    Player takes all their actions
    AI 1 takes all their actions
    AI 2 takes all their actions
    AI 3 takes all their actions

    Proposed System
    Year 1
    Spring
    Player takes 1/4 of their actions
    AI 1 takes 1/4 of their actions
    AI 2 takes 1/4 of their actions
    AI 3 takes 1/4 of their actions
    Summer
    Player takes 1/4 of their actions
    AI 1 takes 1/4 of their actions
    AI 2 takes 1/4 of their actions
    AI 3 takes 1/4 of their actions
    Autumn
    Player takes 1/4 of their actions
    AI 1 takes 1/4 of their actions
    AI 2 takes 1/4 of their actions
    AI 3 takes 1/4 of their actions
    Winter
    Player takes 1/4 of their actions
    AI 1 takes 1/4 of their actions
    AI 2 takes 1/4 of their actions
    AI 3 takes 1/4 of their actions

    Year 2
    Spring
    Player takes 1/4 of their actions
    AI 1 takes 1/4 of their actions
    AI 2 takes 1/4 of their actions
    AI 3 takes 1/4 of their actions
    Summer
    Player takes 1/4 of their actions
    AI 1 takes 1/4 of their actions
    AI 2 takes 1/4 of their actions
    AI 3 takes 1/4 of their actions
    Autumn
    Player takes 1/4 of their actions
    AI 1 takes 1/4 of their actions
    AI 2 takes 1/4 of their actions
    AI 3 takes 1/4 of their actions
    Winter
    Player takes 1/4 of their actions
    AI 1 takes 1/4 of their actions
    AI 2 takes 1/4 of their actions
    AI 3 takes 1/4 of their actions
     
    Casualty of war likes this.
  7. Deggial

    Deggial Emperor

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    Sorry, I haven't explained myself very well.

    With your proposal, you are in the end effect quartering all available orders per turn while quadruple the number of turns (now "seasons" instead of "years"). Leaders woud obviously still live the same amount of "in game years" - but regarding the player experience, they woud live 4 times as many turns. This is, what the player will experience in the first place. Not some virtual life years of our protagonists. (Mathematically, you are correct, of course!)
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2020
  8. Shadowhal

    Shadowhal Warlord

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    Sounds a bit like the board game Eclipse, if anyone played it. Each player takes one action in turn, but only once all players have passed on actions, do events get resolved and the game proceeds to the next round. It's a neat idea, but would probably require significant game redesign and increase play time.


    The other strand mentioned briefly is reconnaissance or maybe espionage. Some way of knowing where enemy force are stationed so that movements don't come out of nowhere. I think part of the problem are the potential long distances units can travel (if prioritised) with still somewhat modest visibility radius. I would probably favour espionage, because it sounds somewhat tedious to keep sending scouts in and out, plus they would just get picked off, if not returned to the bigger army immediately.
     
  9. tedhebert

    tedhebert Emperor

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    Haven't done a whole lot of warring yet, but... I feel that approaching into enemy city territory sould be a little harder. how about move cost increasing when moving in enemy territory ? something like costing 2 orders per tile ?
     
  10. McGreggD

    McGreggD Chieftain

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    They could let units stack into a party and add tactical combat maps like in age of wonders, that would work very well and add a whole new dynamic to the game.
     
  11. Siptah

    Siptah Eternal Chieftain

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    It‘s another point of specific civ customs that you‘ve got used to over the years. Movement is still more limited compared to Age of Wonders III, for example. It doesn‘t ruin that game, however, that armies can arrive from nowhere when you don‘t scout or pay attention. I‘m sure it just takes a few games and you can make the most out of it.
     
  12. Dale

    Dale Deity

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    Stop treating this game like Civ and learn to scout properly.
     
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  13. Roald Amundsen

    Roald Amundsen Warlord

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    I have no issues with war as it is. With a proper military and good scouting you'll be fine. If you go into the game expecting combat to be like civ IV you will be dissapointed though. Sure, there is probably room for improvement, but saying it's absolutely terrible really comes down to tastes imo.
     
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  14. Elhoim

    Elhoim Iron Tower Studio Dev

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    Yeah, not sure if taste but not trying to learn how this game works and trying to play it as you play other games, complaining why it's not "working" or it's "badly designed". Here's some feedback I posted on Discord about how I like the combat.

    - I like the change in the latest update on the test branch which slows down enemy movement, makes it more clear which types of moves the enemy is doing.
    - I love seeing the AI using units to explore and clear the FOW, poking my defenses to find a hole to go through.
    - Using the diplomacy, I was able to control the wars quite easily, which is great. No random surprise wars from crazy friendly AI.
    - Of course, I kept a large standing army. If you set up a proper military city (2 barracks and 2 ranges with especialists) you can churn them out extremely quickly.
    - I like it's a game of armies instead of super units. Having a commander is fine, but not mandatory. It's more about creating defensive lines with reinforcements, which I love.
    - Perhaps add an option with shackled AI for people who don't really want to engage on the type of combat challenge this game adds, but please don't change it for the rest of us. It's really great as it is (there are improvements to be made for sure, but the core idea works extremely well).

    I'm waging a war with Babylon, creating defensive lines around chock-points, making pushes against them with several units. If they go behind my lines is because I left a spot uncovered which they used to get one unit, which is great as it makes it useful to have units defending your cities even if the war front is somewhere else. It keeps you on your toes and makes you think a proper defensive strategy instead of just concentrating your units in a single place.
     
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  15. Stringer1313

    Stringer1313 Emperor

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    Yes I'm also trying hard to adapt to this. I'm building way more military units than in a typical civ game and have realized their maintenance needs aren't as high as in civ. I'm basically building 4x as many units as I would in Civ based on number of cities. Also I'm slowly understanding the genius of having workers build the improvements instead of the city doing so - so you never have to choose between military and improvements. You're just choosing between military and non-military units/citizens (and the projects).

    I've also started building front lines / walls of units in anticipation of war based on the neighbors' attitudes and to block sudden teleportation. Being forced to build a lot more military has presented some interesting choices. For one, I now understand what the point of food is and I've started paying attention to food (whereas before I didn't understand its purpose). Second, I now i understand why the AI suggests building 5 million barracks's and ranges's, it's been good to balance between whether i want a unit on the front line or to hang back on some barracks (it took me forever to realize that you have to put a unit on the barracks/ranges to have it gain exp lol); and then when a unit gets super experienced I wrote them off and have a newbie go train. Third, I now actually am caring (I didn't realize before) that you should ideally have a unit from the same family around the city b/c it reduces happiness, so that creates another element of "do i put my unit out front or do i leave them behind to reduce unhappiness.

    Lastly in my games (I only have played at Strong level) I've been somewhat able to manipulate the AI enough to not declare war on me so that's another advantage the human has over AI.

    So far I haven't been blitzreiged. But you can only build so many units. I have enough units to wall off 2 different cities but 3 other ones are still exposed. So it is starting to feel a little ridiculous that i need to build walls and walls of units around all my border cities.

    In sum, I'll learn to adjust to this new military focus but I think some balance can be struck- maybe the 2 or 3 ZOC idea will work.
     
  16. Thrakse

    Thrakse Chieftain

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    I had the exact same thought a few days ago without reading you! I love that proposal.


    This came to mind as I really like the fact it doesn't take 15-20 turns like in CIV to move one unit from one side of your empire to the other one - the current fast moving system is good there. But the pain is the battlefield surprise attacks. Therefore changing the zone of control might be a quick fix to separate the battlefield from the unit movement?
     
  17. Barra

    Barra Chieftain

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    Based on the 45hrs I had already time to play this fine game, I also came to the conclusion that either the units move to fast or too many of them are needed.
    In civ, I also hated it to move a whole army (late game) around the globe, not being able to move all at once (mark the ones you want to move and give them the collective order to move to the destination, like in rts games) is a pain in the ***, especially when one has to move unit by unit and half the way to its destination the unit "forgets" the order and asks again.

    Now in Old World, this effect is even worse, because you have to move unit by unit and you have to do this every turn (units do not remember their orders a round ago) and you have to move waaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyy more units compared to civ.

    I really like the game BUT please dear devs, add the described rts-feature (move all marked at once) or atleast being able to order a unit and it will reserve the needed order points year by year for its movement, so we dont have to gave order to the same moving unit year by year.
    This click feast is almost to much for me, reduce the total of units needed to wage war, make them slower, bigger ZOC, less dmg more hp, more expensive or whatever but in this state its not so much fun as soon as you hit the (early)midgame.


    Currently imo the game has to struggle with the same issues the last 2 civs with the one unit per hex rule also had when they were released. The so called carpet of doom.
    Its not desireable to have this much units needed, that it basically blocks your whole territory.

    What I like is the fact, caused by the limited orders per turn, no matter how big your or the opponents army is you/the enemy cant move all at once. So when you have a superior military in terms of stats, you could win a war even when the opponent has way more units and/or production power.


    Hmm Im not in the same boat with you, especially the term "shakled" seems to imply that users which do not like this click feast arent able to fulfill the challenge (are dumb) and are in need to get the AI "shackled"
    Also while options like the proposed one are always fine, they also seperate the playerbase into camps. Not to mention its an early access and Im very sure that this aspect will be revisited and shrinked down to a more "manageable" amount of units that could still be called an army.

    Im also not so sure if the combat system, weilding very large armies, is so expected and given as you state, because the game at all, seems at its current state, to have no need for full sized wars. Because currently the diplomatics system is way to easy, in ALL of the difficulties its no problem to keep the nations that are most "dangerous" to you in a green cautionous or even friendly state. Also the amount of winning points needed, is imo currently to low. At a medium map with 6 opponets you have enough citys midgame to win without the need of more citys, depending on your starting location a war with a nation isnt even needed sometimes. So in some circumstances you just have to go for war when one of the opponents seems to outpass you in winning points (is snowballing).
    As soon as you hit the midgame (explore and expand "finished") with lets say 6-8(10) citys your fine, not neccessarily to win but to defend, if this ever happens because of the easy diplomacy system and the cowardly AI that does not really rush at you (at least in my games so far)

    Basically there is currently no real challenge, despite the fact that you have to fight against a giant blob of units or in the "old world" the infinite supply chain (as they arrive unit per unit at the battlefield), it just tooks patience.and an huge amount of units to kill as much units of the opponent per year as possible (because the ai is smart enough to retreat wounded units and replace it with fresh ones, which does not have much to counter (beside the amount of orderpoints), because if you sent fe. mounted units to destroy the wounded fleeing ones, you could be sure that this mounted ones are getting smashed by the opponents next turn)
    Also Im missing advanced features like, flanking unit bonuses or rochade (chess cascade?!), softening of units by hitting them ranged first and second melee them, given the amount of units that are fielded, maybe a siege weapon with splash damage, land improvements that slows the enemy down etc.

    Its fine that mounted units can attack twice, as long as the first attack killed an opponent unit and the next unit to attack is in direct adjacency. More features like this please!

    So in the end, I would suspect to beeing far of knowing every trick and hint but its currently to easy and to click intensive aswell. You could say you are not really forced to "learn" more because the little bit I already know is enough to play and win even at the higher difficulties
    The whole balancing of the resources, the creation of units, the movement speed of them, the little nifty combat "tricks" like flanking etc., the amount of winning points , to less "bad" events, missing ledgers for the progress of the opponets and so one, clearly SCREAMS early access!

    my10Cents...
     
  18. Stringer1313

    Stringer1313 Emperor

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    Not clicking movement orders every time: I am very sympathetic to the view that you should be able to tell a unit where you want it to go eventually and now have to redirect it every time. I routinely run into this problem in my games and it's extremely annoying. I think the developers wanted to emphasize the fact that you have to decide between guns and butter each turn b/c of limited orders.

    However, I can also see the auto move being a problem if I sent a bunch of units and then suddenly want to switch priority to domestic. At that point I would have to go to each unit one by one and tell them not to follow the orders I gave before. Also since the map is more crowded than in civ, I feel like any long term order will be stymied because those paths will more likely run into units.

    What about this: what if you can give long term orders, and then each turn it cycles through each unit and all you do is press Enter and then the unit automatically goes where you ordered, but if you don't then you press smtg else (and it be clear what key you want to want to press). Maybe that'd be too complicated but i think it's worth a try during early access.

    Lassoing units: A lot of people have argued for lassoing a bunch of units and sending them somewhere, but how does that work exactly? Does the AI just use its best judgment on how to send 10 units from A to B? and you just trust the AI? How do you lasso then specify which unit goes where?

    High number of units: I am starting to quickly adapt to building more units and setting up walls to prevent blitzkriegs like you mention. I don't mind having to build more units, honestly it makes the game more exciting to me / more like a battle with tactical issues. In my last game i threw 15 units at a civ and surprisingly half of them were cut up, then i had to quickly build and send another wave, but then had to decide whether i should wait to amass them or send them early, and then decide which units to build b/c the AI is quite good at the rock-paper-scissors game. In other words it feels more like a turn-based starcraft rather than, here are my three units, now I win. (I can't believe I just compared to starcraft b/c that game is an anxiety-fueled nightmare to me). I also like having more units b/c it gives my generals something to do.

    AI too friendly: I think this is a matter of preference and is always debated like in the civ forums. Some people like having predictable AI based on attitude points (that's me) b/c it feels more like role playing. Especially when I choose to criticize a kid and then when the kid becomes the ruler he is pissed (I definitely want much more of those kinds of random events). Others like totally unpredictable AI b/c it presents more of a challenge. However, I definitely like the dynamic where a family demands you declare war on someone b/c the family doesn't like some ideology or religion, and then you take a pretty big hit if you disagree. (Though in the later game it's too easy to keep families happy).

    I do agree it's sometimes more manipulable but that just means there should be more hard-decision choices that result in negative attitude hits. Maybe people should not like you if you break treaties, including with barbarian tribes. It seems weird that i can break treaties with barb tribes at will with no consequences and no one cares if i break treaties with other civs. Or maybe more events dealing with the personality of the other ruler so it's ruler based. There may also need to be attitude hits if your army is large (maybe that's already in there).
     
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  19. Athmos

    Athmos Warlord

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    I'm sorry if you don't like it (on my side I'm in love). It means I do have to create front lines, use units with ZOC to protect my back ranks, and it feels a lot more balanced than games when the AI simply doesn't understand how to be effective and always get massacred by the player better abilities with high mobility units.

    I think part of the frustration migh come from civ 5 & 6 having terrible unit AI and so players got used to always completlty crush larger armies.
    This feels different and I love it. It never felt right to me that I could wade through armies 4 times the size of mine in civ (well the 1UPT ones) because the AI is stupid.

    Old world AI will definitly try to outmanever you, pick out isolated units, and focus its damage to ensure kills.
     
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