Ways to make Sea Units more appealing

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by Red Stranger, Oct 23, 2006.

  1. Red Stranger

    Red Stranger Emperor

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    I've been thinking of ways Civ and make sea units more appealing to use.

    1) Reduce the cost of ships by 50%-75%. That's not realistic to real life cost, but since sea units can't attack land units anyways, they won't be overpowered for their cost.

    2) Give sea units more available promotions, and allows ships to promote quicker. That way you can vary your strategy.

    3) Create a merchant ship unit (worker unit for the sea). You can only trade across the sea if you build a "sea route." That would encourage enemies to use ships to destroy your trade route and you to build ships to defend it.

    Please think of other ideas that might help.


    Edit: If Civ uses these ideas, I want a free copy of the new game.
     
  2. automator

    automator King

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    I see some positives and negatives to your ideas:

    1) If destroyers, battleships and aircraft carriers were that much less expensive, it'd be too easy to launch an oversea attack. Expensive ships are what discourages sending over an attack force unless absolutely necessary. If I could build a transport every turn in a mediocre city and an escort battleship in ever good city, the world would fear me.

    2) I don't understand how promotions would help. I generally only go one of two routes. I do Combat promotion if I'll mostly have a defensive force and flanking to navigation if I'll be using them for troop transport.

    3) I like this idea. So, it'd basically be a sea version of CivI's "trade caravan" unit, but it'd always be there? Maybe more like AOEII's trade caravan unit? Would you need to build one for every trade connection -- like, you build it in Washington, send it to London, then it'd ferry back and forth, shuttling gold? Then you'd build another in Washington and send it to, say, Perseopolis to build a second trade route? Neat, but if they sailed at the same speed of other ships, it'd take 5+ turns to make one exchange, so each exchange would have to be worth 10+ gold. Then to counter the ability of a lowly galleon to destroy the trade route with one attack, you'd need to extra power the gold from the route. Remember, if you block the entire sea route of a city/civ, you've blocked off their sea/coastal trades.

    Along the lines of #3, I'd like better blockade ships. Perhaps a way to set ships on "sentry" where they cruise back and forth, stopping if an enemy vessel is in their sight.
     
  3. Osafune

    Osafune Chieftain

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    I wish you could target tile improvements with them... And along with that idea, I wish you could do the same with planes and seige weapons. Using bombers to destroy railroads and roads could hamper the enemy's ability to send in reinforcements.
     
  4. jUNGLE cHRIS

    jUNGLE cHRIS Tarzan wannabe

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    You can use bombers and fighters to destroy farms and mines, but not roads in railroads (which you should be able to do). It'd be nice to see the Civ 3 style of bombardment back too, where you attack the unit without it attacking you. Put that in for ships and siege weapons.
    I like the "sea route" idea. Would that also be the route that brings in resource trades? A harbor should also be required for both cities in order to have a "sea route" too.
     
  5. Red Stranger

    Red Stranger Emperor

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    But the thing is your opponents would be able to do it too, so you're not the monopoly in sea power.

    It would help the same way promotions for land units help the strategy. I was thinking of adding different promotions for the ships other than just combat and flanking. If you have early promotions that either increase ship speed or adds collateral damage, then it brings some strategy into sea combat. Right now the only strategy seems to be get a galley, and escort it with a tireme.
     
  6. Thedrin

    Thedrin Deity

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    Opposed to the idea of merchant shipping. Requires a lot of micromanagement.

    Alternative suggestion. Only allow trade routes via visible tiles - tiles not obscured by fog. This way, in order to maintain the very profitable intercontinental trade routes, you'll need to station ships at regular intervals across the sea.

    Expand on this idea with the following:
    1) Let the commerce income of each trade route be affected by the ratio of the length of the route between cities to the minimum length of the route (where ocean tiles are 'shorter' than coastal tiles which are 'shorter' than land tiles). This way having access to the Panama canal provides trade routes far more valuable than stationing your ships around South America as would control of the Mediteranean instead of trading across land..

    2) Piracy. By defeating another civs ships you earn some gold but, more importantly, if you introduce the fog of war that seperates his continent from another, he loses trade routes with that continent.

    3) Multiple civs can station ships on the same tiles. A declaration of war between two of them automatically causes these ships to fight each other with bonuses going to the civ with the largest force present.

    4) Open borders allows you to make use of another civs shipping lane.

    Benefits:

    1) Very little micromanagement. You station each ship in a single spot and, in times of peace at least, leave it there.

    2) Strategic city placement - canals - become much more profitable.

    3) If a sudden declaration of war is made and both civs have ships on one tile and the civ with the most powerful force wins then it may make naval build ups more competitive (with the right coding).

    4) Since ships cost gold only a few oceanic routes can be kept open by any one civ at a time before the returns in commerce no longer exceed the losses in maintenance.

    Flaws:

    1) Trade routes would probably need to provide a bit more commerce per turn to make some of the details listed here useful.
     
  7. The Lardossen

    The Lardossen Warlord

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    Sea units are worthless for everything except pillaging seafood. They should really cripple the trade of the enemy cities they are near. They should give a bonus if they're nearby your own cities because they counter piracy.
     
  8. Piemaster

    Piemaster Warlord

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    I wholeheartedly disagree with that. If you are playing continents, archapelego or fractual, then control of the oceans is vital. If you are at war with someone on another continent, it is very difficult to progress while he has a superios navy.

    Unfortunately the trend for people on this forum seems to be to play Pangea maps so that they can get in their early war/rush. If players choose to eliminate an element of the game through their setup choices, then that is hardly the fault of the game.
     
  9. marioflag

    marioflag History Addict

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    1)new units

    2) more sea resources

    3)ability to bombard for battleships

    4)unique promotions for ships

    5)an effective system for blockade

    6)trade routes reworked (but i don't think it will be introduced in an xp)
     
  10. The Lardossen

    The Lardossen Warlord

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    Oh yeah, put a few battleships at your coasts to kill incoming invaders. 'Rule the seas'. On higher levels I don't bother with naval invasions. You'll be sending in medieval troops against riflemen, unless you've practicaly won the game already, where you'll be rolling tanks over riflemen.

    Attacking overseas is so horrible it makes Normandy seem like a walkover...it makes you pile up huge amounts of troops before you launch the attack, and if you do, you've just sent 3/4 of your forces to a place they won't come back from any time soon making your lands easy targets for the backstabbing AI.

    There is no economic advantage controlling the seas, you can only stop AI morons from ever getting their too low but yet annoying amount of troops on your shore, and stop them pillaging all your sea resources.

    Whilst many smaller countries have had their richest and most influential periods in time while controlling the sea, like Venice, the Dutch, England and Greece. And believe me, they did something else than destroying fishing boats and landing invasions.
     
  11. ahab_in_rehab

    ahab_in_rehab Chieftain

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    This is one of my biggest niggles with Civ IV, I think the importance of the navy and the influence of the sea on the course of the game is less now even than it was in Civ III. Some things that could help redress this balance would be:
    1) More unit types and more promotions, although I enjoyed the fun of having sloops, corvettes etc. in RAR for Civ III I recognise that not everyone is a hardcore navalist, nevertheless I think the addition of an AEGIS cruiser, cruiser, nuclear submarine, privateer and ship of the line could have a positive impact on the way the navy works. As it stands modern navies are awful, you build battleships and one or two destroyers and thats about it, all the way through to the era of the stealth bomber. I would much rather see a combination of destroyer/sub/cruiser/battleship that eventually gave way to carrier/nuclear sub/AEGIS. I envision battleships being v.expensive and reasonably slow (though not crazy ironclad slow) but very tough, they would form the core of a fleet. Sub, Cruiser, Destroyer would be fairly simple a Sub>Cruiser>Destroyer>Sub, Destroyers would be fast useful for scouting and sub hunting and accompanying convoys et al. Cruisers are decent mid powered ships able to take on destroyers and act as escorts to protect against destroyer attack and to find and disrupt enemy destroyer formations. Subs are well subs having decent attack boni against surface vessels but liable to detection and vulnerable to attack from destroyers. Fighters should be made more powerful so that when Fight is discovered carriers replace the battleships as the core of a fleet. Battleships would only really be vulnerable to destruction from the air and other battleships though cruisers and subs may be able to take out a damaged one. More intersting promotions would also increase the flexibility, Subs should get stealth attack (a la CIV III) but there should be the oppertunity for othjer unit types to get ASDIC to enable them to detect subs. Obviously not straight from the dock but say as a thrid tier promotion.
    2) Bring back bombard! Its so frustrating having battleships etc. merrily floating alongside the coast after pillaging all of the coastal resources (about three crabs usually) and then despite having complete dominance of the enemies coast having absolutely nothing to do but reduce the cultral defence of coastal cities. They should be able to bombard (2 squares Battleships, one square crusiers) improvements - including roads/railroads (as should planes where did this idea come from using aircraft to block enemy communications has been a critical aspect of the use of air power), cities to destroy pop and buildings and other ships/units. Again its so frustrating to outnumber the enemy massively and have to sacrifice a ship to damage the enemies so that then one of the others will then finish it off. If cruisers and battleships could bombard then a number of cruisers would be able to weaken a battleship without being damaged so that another one could then finally engage it. Whilst not 100% realistic its better than the current system of weaker ships hurling themselves one at a time onto a stonger one until the stronger is overhwhelemed.
    3) Even if those changes are implemented what are the ships going to do? Why build them? I've had some ideas along this line which I'll post soon (have to get back to work now)

    In terms of programming although im a novice, I dont think there's anything ive suggested that would require major changes to achieve after all aircraft can bombard in the way ive suggested ships should and it would'nt surely involve too much work to take that code, and apply ana ppopriate animation to it.
     
  12. Syagrius

    Syagrius Warlord

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    Naval is good as it is. In my current domination\conquest game, my navy is an essential part of my strategy.
     
  13. Vietcong

    Vietcong Deity

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    y not have a new improvment like a sea port, or add a new ability to the harbor, whear u selecet ur coastal city, then selcet a city u can trade with. and aoutomaticly the trade rout will be set. and thats it and no new unit or any thing to micromanage.
    and to stop it u simply place a navial unit to blockade to port within 3 tiles of the city.*and set it so u dont have to blockade every tile eather*

    allso buff up the sub, the sub should get pluss 25% vs transports and carriers.

    allso give the sub the ability to chose a unit out of a stack to atack, insted of it just fighting the one on the top.
     
  14. Syagrius

    Syagrius Warlord

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    Woa, yuck, its really a pain to read your post :sad: English is not my first language however I manage to be more readable than this when I post. Have you learned to write in a butcher shop? :rolleyes:
     
  15. Thedrin

    Thedrin Deity

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    This is how the game already works, except that the trade routes you have access to are automatically given to the cities that benefit the most from them.
     
  16. ahab_in_rehab

    ahab_in_rehab Chieftain

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    Ok my idea for making navies useful is broadly similar to some of the ones outlined above but ive tried to think of a system that doesnt involve too much micromanagement and that doesnt't just add another layer of complexity for the sake of it but offers interesting strategic options.
    Basically I'd be in favour of visible oceanic trade routes, if you want to trade with an overseas civ or with your own cities on the other side of an ocean you actually have to create a trade route. This would be reasonably easily done you just move a unit (i think a work boat would work well) from one of your coastal cities into the desired overseas city. Once this is done a line the colour of your civ would be visible on the map, hell maybe even with some spiffy animations of ships running along it. Now aside from being able to exchange resources in the usual manner the trade route would give a bonus in either commerce, food or resources to a number of your cities. I would envision only about three or four cities at most being able to benefit from each trade route the exact number being a product of the population of the other civ, the higher the population the greater number of cities you get the bonus. When the route is completed you can choose the cities you would like to benefit from the trade route and what sort of benefit each would gain, commerce, hammers, food (and maybe even GPP) how much of each bonus the route grants depends on the demographics of the civ you're connecting to. A Civ with a high GNP and low production would give more commerce than hammers. Only ONE trade route can be active with one civ at a time so you cant just spam routes to a civ three ocean squares away. Also each city can only support one trade route so if the fabulously wealthy Malinese Civ has only one port there should be a definite race amongst other civs to secure the exclusive trading concessions!

    Now the interesting bit...why not have an option to allow other civs to use your trade route, if those landlocked mongols want access to the products of an overseas civ they're going to have to pay you for it, if anyone messes with your route that other AIs are using then they should get negative diplomatic modifiers wiith them (-2 Your piratical actions are disrupting our Free Trade!) and may even lead to a declaration of war. Setting up a trade route should require some sort of investment either of time or resources (perhaps an initial investment of gold) again to avoid route spamming.
    I said earlier that only one active route would be permitted but this does not preclude setting up passive ones that would only come into play if the primary one is disrupted, if your heavily dependant on imported oil, you would be probably be wise to invest in two routes in case the primary route is cut. What I eventually envision is a nexus of trade routes extending around the globe, which I'm fairly sure would overlap at several points mid ocean - instantly mid oceanic strategic points that are going to be important places to attack (and defend) and that would enable a civ perhaps too weak to directly invade a rival overseas to still have options to militarily intervene.
    Cutting routes would just be a matter of blockading the line of the trade route (or routes).

    I think this sort of system would greatly enhance the role of naval forces in Civ and give both builders and warmongers more strategies to play with, for example a civ could emulate holland and derive a lot of wealth and power by setting up many trade routes either then selling the right to use them to foreign civs or by keeping the bonuses to themselves increase their production/commerce etc. The warmonger would find that by building a strong navy they could attempt to strangle the trade of such a civ and bring it to its knees.

    So what do you think? Any good or should I just confine my desire to play with ships to the bath!
     
  17. Thedrin

    Thedrin Deity

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    There game already automaticall sets up available trade routes in a profitable way - very profitable if you know how. There is no need to throw that system out.
     
  18. ahab_in_rehab

    ahab_in_rehab Chieftain

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    Hmm yes but I think being able to choose the resouce bonus you want in a particular city would act as a poweful spur to creating trade routes, more food for a GP farm, more hammers for the powerhouse etc. it acts as a further incentive to specialise and offers more flexibility. The commerce can be quite nice especially toward the end game but I would like more variety in trade routes they feel "tacked on as present" I also miss the food caravans from CIV II, that meant you could help a sluggish city grow or help support your uber metropoilis. I think by choosing the bonus you can add a bit of depth and chocie to the game where its a bit lacking at present
     
  19. Thedrin

    Thedrin Deity

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    It's:

    1) unnecessary micromanagement,
    2) overpowered as with CivII caravans.

    I made a very similar suggestion to yours earlier in the thread. My view of how a path cleared of fog of war through the ocean should work is similar to how a river works. Any city which is connected to a city at one end of the pathway is automatically connected to the city at the other end of the pathway (assuming adequate open border treaties).

    There is also no need to place an inelegant limit on the number of paths a player can run. Creating and maintaining a path requires ships. Ships cost maintenance. A player would then only create pathways that paid back the maintenance of the ships. Any more would lead to a net loss of revenue.
     
  20. Naismith

    Naismith Prince

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    My sentiments exactly. At the very least, any ship that can bombard (remove) cultural defense should be able to attack units within a city, and pillage improvements within their range.

    I am not thrilled with the idea of having to create trade routes, or manage them by posting ships on the ocean. However, I think ships should be able to affect trade through a blockade of some sort, as long as it is kept simple. Ships should definitely be able to destroy lighthouses and harbors! It might be a good idea to increase the transport capacity of various naval units, so you don't have to build so many ships for troop transport. Making them cheaper would have the same effect, I suppose.
     

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