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Warfare Mechanics

Discussion in 'Rhye's and Fall - Dawn of Civilization' started by Leoreth, Jan 8, 2015.

  1. Leoreth

    Leoreth Prince of Blood Moderator

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    Okay, I didn't actually want to start a discussion of this right now, because it will take some time until I can get to implementing it and I didn't want to put my half-thought out ideas out here.

    But it seems that the topic has attracted some interest, so it seems silly to only respond vaguely all the time. My points are:

    1. Weaken pre-gunpowder siege units
    Catapults and Trebuchet base strength will be reduced by half and they receive an additional +100% city attack modifier so that their strength in attacking cities remains unchanged.

    2. Weaken cavalry city attack
    All cavalry units receive a -50% city attack modifier. Their use should be in winning battles in the field. This makes cavalry less interesting as a very mobile attack force, especially in cases of technological superiority. It also balances cavalry against the change below.

    3. Remove city attack strength from City Raider promotions
    Choosing these promotions is usually a no-brainer for most of your infantry because they're twice as good as Strength promotions and your most important battles are city attacks anyway. Therefore I will remove this bonus and replace it with a new ability: ignores x% of city defense bonus. So if City Raider I has let's say "ignore 20% of city defense", they can attack a city with 20% defense left without penalties, and a city with 50% defense left as if it had 30%. So the purpose of this is not to make your units stronger, but to cut off time bombarding their defenses.

    4. City defense limits collateral damage
    Most siege units have a collateral damage limit, i.e. they can only damage units until their health is down to x% after which the combat stops. Units in cities have a collateral damage limit that is equal to the remaining defense modifier of the city (if higher than the attacking unit's limit). This makes bombarding more interesting instead of just throwing all collateral units with city attack promotions against the city.

    5. Buff forts
    Forts start out with +1 commerce and +50% defense bonus. To balance this, I might need to make them bombardable. Civics and or technologies could improve the hammer and commerce output further. I'm thinking especially of Vassalage and Standing Army.

    6. Introduce Zones of Control
    Defended forts and cities have a zone of control over the ring of tiles surrounding them. That means that enemy units cannot enter a tile within ZoC if they are already in a ZoC tile, unless one of your units occupies that tile already. Some units or promotions may have the ability to ignore ZoC. This finally makes forts strategically useful again because they can now strategically cover a 3x3 tile area, and the enemy has to choose between attacking them or circumventing them. The same is true for cities.

    7. Weaken naval raids
    Ship speeds are very high in RFC while the map scale is comparatively small, which makes naval raids very easy in which you drop off units somewhere that start from a faraway city where the enemy has no way of preventing them. Not sure if it's enough, but reducing naval movement speed in enemy territory to 2 might be a good start. Otherwise I might need to consider putting a limit on how many units can enter the same tile from a ship at the same turn. Or I make it completely impossible to land units inside of enemy territory without the Amphibious promotion.

    8. More buildings to strengthen city defense
    I think the Castle bonus that reduces bombard effects is very useful, unfortunately it expires at some point. I think it makes sense to include more buildings that replace it with later technologies before they become obsolete themselves, forcing you to keep your defenses up to date. I'm thinking of Star Fort (Military Science, obsolete with Artillery) and Bunker (Artillery).

    9. Introduce ranged attacks
    This will introduce a new ranged attack tag to units, usually Archery units and the like. Ranged attacks are similar to first strikes: they allow you to attack an enemy and potentially damage them until you run out of range attacks, with no risk of being damaged yourself. They are different from first strikes in the following way: while one first strike is expended every combat round, ranged attacks are expended every combat round that the enemy wins. This means that if a ranged attacker wins a combat round, they will damage the enemy, and if they lose, they'll lose one of their range attacks for this turn. The combat ends when all range attacks are expended, so unlike first strikes there won't be a following melee phase. Defending units with range attacks can still damage attacking ranged units. Range attacks could get stronger from being on a hill, inside a city or fort, or with certain buildings (Castle) or promotions (City Defense).

    This can serve two purposes: a) replace the role of Catapults as preemptive weakening units before a proper attack in the field, b) allow you to proactively defend cities and forts without risking the units inside of it.

    I think that's all for now. I hope I've made my reasoning clear in every case. Discuss.
     
  2. strijder20

    strijder20 Wallowing in irony

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    Yes. This.

    Completely in agreement. Keshiks should be an exception though.
    In all fairness, cavalry should get a malus while defending too, but that'd probably require a lot of work rebalancing.

    I'm somewhat dubious on this (considering you'd leave the CG promotions intact), but it could work.

    This, combined with the change in CR promotions, could cause some problems, I think.
    A possible solution would be to remove the CG promotions from gunpowder units. Archers definitely need them though.

    The +1 :commerce: could possible be unlocked with Feudalism.

    If this system is implemented as you state it, it'd make for a whole new colonization game, where you can use forts as colonies instead of proper cities. Maybe make forts unbuildable if another is already close (like in FFH2).

    The bolded would cause problems for some civs (including, ironically, Japan) and is not really historical (D-day, Spanish invasion of Aztec lands, scramble for China etc.).

    The main problem is that you can land troops without a naval counterattack even being possible; a naval movement reduction in enemy seas is already a good counter to this. Another possibility is to make landing troops last two turns; I have no idea how feasible this is to code though.

    And on naval combat, there really should be a non-oil/uranium dependent (semi)-late game ship, as otherwise certain civilizations (Thailand, Japan, non-colonial Spain, Portugal and Italy) are stuck with Frigates and Ironclads in the modern era.

    Star Forts and Bunkers fit the picture indeed. Air Shelters could replace the current bunker (but honestly, who builds these except for the AI :p).
    Also note that the effect of Castles and Walls does not properly obsolete; they obsolete when their owner researches the techs, while it would make more sense the other way round.

    Possible suggestion: extend this to Muskets, Rifles, Infantry and Mechanized infantry. This would make protracted firefights possible and is more realistic than the current quasi-melee fights Gunpowder units have. This ability could be strengthened by promoting a unit along the drill line (which would tackle the problem of those promotions being underpowered along the way), as you probably had in mind already.

    The actual fighting could then be done by Grenadiers (against Riflemen), Assault Infantry and Tanks (against Trench Infantry and Machine Guns) and Modern Armour (against Mechanized Infantry).
     
  3. borhap88

    borhap88 Prince

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    I'm with you with all of these points, except about the limit on how many units can enter the same tile from a ship at the same turn; the reduction of naval movement speed in enemy territory will be enough to weaken naval raids.
     
  4. Tomorrow's Dawn

    Tomorrow's Dawn Heroes Never Die

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    I'd like to point out that if Cavs become relegated to field units with a defense penalty, this completely obviates the need for anti-cav units like Spearmen and Pikemen as Cav units become virtually useless.
     
  5. strijder20

    strijder20 Wallowing in irony

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    How so? If they remain the strongest offensive unit to send in a fight then they'd still have some use.
     
  6. Tomorrow's Dawn

    Tomorrow's Dawn Heroes Never Die

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    Then their STR ratings need to be buffed because they need to meet less resistance in the field if that's their new intended role.
    They're not the strongest units by much.
     
  7. Novicenoble

    Novicenoble Prince

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    I agree most of the ideas, if AIs can learn them properly.

    I don't think this cannot prevents naval invasion on Japan, England, or other some 'close to continent' islands.
    Here's a proposal for naval remake.

    1. Carriers now don't have Strength points, so they will get destroyed when attacked by battle ships.
    2. Introducing new 'Patrol' option for battle ships. Its range is half of the ship's movement points. Units with zero strength points cannot move into the 'patrol' area.
    3. Now you need to crush English fleets before starting Operation Sea Lion.
     
  8. ezzlar

    ezzlar Emperor

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    Nice. But have you considered making early siege weapons strength 0 and thus only making them able to bombard city defenses? From Bombard and onwards they can have an attack value. Werent early siege equipment built for razing defenses mostly?

    A bit high maybe? They dont have to be worthless. It would be strange if they had a much lower attack value than one could guess that they would have as unmounted.

    Limit of speed is a good start. But 2 is still enough to reach the coast and empty transports.

    Otherwise, the changes will remake much of the game!
     
  9. strijder20

    strijder20 Wallowing in irony

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    Yes, that, or a higher withdrawal chance.
     
  10. merijn_v1

    merijn_v1 Black Belt

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    -50% city attack for mounted units seems a bit to harsh for me as well. Many mods use a -25% modifier. That seems a nice number to me.

    In PIE AE (PIE's Ancient Europe), transport ship get a movement penalty when carrying units.
     
  11. Imp. Knoedel

    Imp. Knoedel Simperator Knoedel

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    How about we expand on naval units' Sea Patrol ability? Instead of only attacking enemy ships trying to pillage adjacent sea improvements ships in this mode automatically attack any enemy ships which enter a tile within their move range, or if that's too much half of their move range. That way civs like England and Japan can actually use a large navy do defend against enemy landings.
     
  12. Daffy

    Daffy Prince

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    I'd favor to not completely dismiss 'siege weapons' use in the field
    but not catapults or trebuchets.. those are 'wall attackers'

    there was something else in quite widespread use in the classical era
    -> ballista type weapons
    these weapons were indeed field weapons for use against troops, afaik they 'evolved' into the crossbow mostly..
    maybe some additional unit would fit in with the changes?
    no city attack bonus, but instead for more general use (e.g. bonus vs infantry or so)
    maybe also a 'ranged attack unit' like bowmen and so are supoosed to become

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ballista
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scorpio_(weapon)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carroballista

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polybolos
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithobolos
     
  13. Leoreth

    Leoreth Prince of Blood Moderator

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    Yes, and I think Khampas too.

    Yeah, or it's associated with Vassalage which is unlocked by Feudalism.

    Such a restriction seems to be a good idea. I'm not sure about the relationship to colonization though?

    Yeah, this is probably too radical as a solution.

    Shouldn't be hard, there already is a way to make a unit defend-only for x turns, which can happen as a consequence of certain events for example.

    Yes, I also intend to revise the entire naval unit progression, including such a unit. But I think the unit roster is a separate topic from these general rule changes.

    Good point, I will see if I can address that as well.

    I disagree with this. Of course weapons technology has reached a point where technically every weapon is a ranged weapon, but if the common soldier on both sides has a ranged weapon it becomes rather inaccurate to model it that way. Also, even in modern wars, infantry still does most of the fighting, and they are the first line of battle, essentially making them "melee" units as far as melee can hold any meaning in modern warfare. I see tanks more as support units (obviously powerful support but still). And actually, Grenadiers should probably also be changed to a support role instead of being such a blatant counter. Strength against cities/forts and or access to City Raider promotions seems reasonable, and maybe also collateral damage.

    Maybe. Cultural control over water usually extends two tiles so no enemy ship should be able to get close to it over neutral waters and unload its cargo at the same time, but I still want to observe the actual consequences.

    You're right, -25% is more reasonable.

    Speaking of that, Cavalry probably should be split in its roles between Shock Cavalry and Support Cavalry. It makes little sense to have Knights that rely on withdrawal.


    I'm a bit confused, does a sea patrol mission already exist? I've never used anything like that, what does it do?

    The idea is certainly nice, but I don't know if I would want to implement it unless we already have something similar that would only need to be repurposed. I'm also a little worried that some players would abuse it to separately draw out AI fleets. I'd prefer if the AI had the opportunity to make a concerted attack with all of its ships in its own turn.

    I have, but I think that's going to far. I'm okay with siege units being used to attack units inside cities. It gives more options to the attacker (bombard first or attack outright) and forces more decisions on the defender (defend in cities and risk collateral damage, or go outside and leave cities undefended).

    You're right, maybe the rules should be changed that troops cannot unload when their transport is out of moves. Or maybe every unit should consume one movement during unloading!

    That's also an option, although I wouldn't like delaying peaceful uses of transport ships such as ferrying colonists like that.

    Maybe, but as I said, I first want to focus on the rule changes and adjustments of existing units before I want to think about new units.
     
  14. Imp. Knoedel

    Imp. Knoedel Simperator Knoedel

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    It was introduced in either Warlords or BtS, but I didn't notice it for the longest time either. A unit on sea patrol will automatically attack any enemy unit attempting to pillage an adjecant sea improvement. The funny thing about this is that this gets counted as attack and defense at the same time, that is both the +10% defense modifier if the unit is on a coast tile and any withdrawal chances apply, so it's actually better to park your unit next to a fishing boat and run this mission rather than putting it directly on the improvement, especially when the improvement itself is on ocean rather than coast.

    But that's already the case. :confused:
     
  15. Leoreth

    Leoreth Prince of Blood Moderator

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    Okay, that might make it actually possible to modify this mission to also intercept transports.

    I mean one movement of the transport.
     
  16. Lone Wolf

    Lone Wolf Deity

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    The common multiplayer Civ wisdom is that attacking enemy territory is dangerous due to collateral initiative, so in this sense defence is stronger than attack. The AI, however, often fails to take advantage of said initiative.
     
  17. JustAnotherNerd

    JustAnotherNerd Warlord

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    Classical and medieval era civs cannot produce, say, 20 units from 10 cities in a couple of turns, as in late game. And late game units have no "city raider", it's fair and balaced. Besides they ignore city defence without any promotions.
    In a case of classical era civs, if one has 5-10 melee units it's already not bad, in a case of medieval 10-15 infantries is quite decent amount. And in a case of removal of "city raider" one going to loose them all, at least most part, in attempts to take a city with archers/longbows.
    Besides AI don't afraid to whip units. Actually they whipping as crazies. It will make taking a city nearly impossible.
    Everything is already balanced as it is.

    edit: and actually everything is fine with balance of warfare, with city raider, with cavalry (I don't know how people imagine cavalry? Horses during napoleonic wars already was 800-1000kg weight, literally a tank, not some pony as in medieval era) and with siege engines everything is fine. Say, trebuchet is powerful, but expensive to produce.
     
  18. JustAnotherNerd

    JustAnotherNerd Warlord

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    And another addition:
    To deal with knights exist pikemen and they doing well. Very. To deal with cavalries exist riflemen with city defence.
    And if someone have seen ever longbowman with city defence lvl3, I doubt that he would say that taking a city is easy task even with siege engines and city raider 3 infantries.

    So, if you want to make taking cities harder, then just add some building which gives for archery units, say, 5xp. With appropriate civics it's lvl3 city defence. Which is more that enough to make taking city not easy task.
     
  19. andrewv42

    andrewv42 Warlord

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    This would lead to combat promotions becoming even more prevalent than they are already. It might be a good idea to add a slight buff to the drill promotion tree so that players are faced with more of a choice when deciding how to initially evolve their army.

    This seems to blur the role of forts a bit. Nobody builds forts for gold and the +1 commerce is negligible anyway. If anything forts should add -1 commerce due to the expenses associated with maintaining them. It would probably be best to focus on buffing the primary military role of forts instead. The zone of control concept is already very good. Perhaps give friendly units a combat advantage when attacking from forts within their own cultural borders, or giving forts the ability to heal units in adjacent tiles, would be good ways of making them more appealing. This would emphasize their supportive role on the battlefield, and helps turn them into staging points for counter attacks on invading enemy units. Their defensive purpose could also be improved by making them impassable to certain types of enemy unit, or maybe just causing nearby enemies to suffer some kind of attrition, like the Russian UP does. +1 commerce just distracts from what should be the central function of forts imho.

    Could it be possible to make naval units expend all their movement points when they enter foreign cultural borders? This way enemy ships don't get ensnared by movement penalties from being in hostile waters, and would still prevent flash naval raids.

    This is a great idea. A more active role for archers on the battlefield would be extremely welcome. There would need to be something to tilt combat in favour of ranged units, at least when attacking from a city with walls/castle or a hill, though. Why would I risk weakening my archers by using them to attack when they thrive on the defensive, especially with city garrison promotions?

    Overall I think you have some very cool ideas, assuming that some, like the Zone of Control thing, don't confuse the hell out of the AI.
     
  20. strijder20

    strijder20 Wallowing in irony

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    You can easily access large amounts of Trading Company resources (in Brazil) by building forts with cultural control.
     

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