1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

Were "stacks of doom" really that bad?

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Blitzscream, Feb 25, 2011.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Buccaneer

    Buccaneer Deity

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2001
    Messages:
    3,562
    Misotu, it is ironic in that I still consider Civ4 the best strategy game of all time (after playing Civ2 for 7 years). However, I clearly favor the concept of 1upt over Sod, Social Policies over Civics, and the elimination of vanilla Religion, not to mention the awfulness that was Espionage. I full well know the state of Civ5, as well as how emminently playable Civ4 was upon release. But they did do a massive patch to vanilla Civ4 and my only point was that it took longer for them to do that compared to the last two Civ5 patches.
     
  2. Ricci

    Ricci Prince

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2007
    Messages:
    531
    Infinite stacking has it's issues, but considering the alternative presented they were truly a godsend..
     
  3. Ricci

    Ricci Prince

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2007
    Messages:
    531
    Off topic, espionage was beautifully done in IV, always failed to understand rants against it, maybe because they always came unprovided of argumentation.
     
  4. mekane

    mekane Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    Messages:
    57
    yeah i think the new combat system is far better. It would be nice if they made improvements to the AI, but they are actually not that bad in general, its more of just a few specific situations where they completely goof up.
     
  5. JoxerNL

    JoxerNL Warlord

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2010
    Messages:
    192
    Stacks of Doom sucked.
     
  6. Demon Rob

    Demon Rob Chieftain

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2005
    Messages:
    42
    Location:
    Melbourne, Oz
    'wars are all in cities because of sod' - well, yeah, you're not fighting a war to win a farm tile, cities are the one and only goal of going to war, so if SOD concentrates fighting at the cities then surely thats a successful design!
     
  7. Samuil

    Samuil Warlord

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2008
    Messages:
    214
    Location:
    Macedonia
    Stacks of doom were a cheap exploitive way to win as a warmonger, so yes, they were that bad
     
  8. bruntfca

    bruntfca Warlord

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2001
    Messages:
    120
    It's not going to be fixed or "polished".

    Firaxis announced that the upcoming patch is final.

    I imagine they are trying to work on an even more simplified console version now to keep the money stream coming in; they have a business to run. For me and a lot of others, it's time, as Sulla said, to give other games a chance.
     
  9. Thormodr

    Thormodr Servant of Civ Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2005
    Messages:
    4,807
    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    Stacks of doom weren't great but at least the AI could use them semi competently.

    The AI is totally lost with regards to 1UPT.

    This isn't a quick fix like some posters on these forums believe either.
     
  10. eris

    eris King

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2004
    Messages:
    623
    Location:
    On this forum
    Can you cite a source of this supposed announcement. The last I saw said this was part of a series of planned patches and gave areas they intended to address. If you have something different, please refer to it, otherwise, I will have to consider this as being yet more misinformation about Civ V.
     
  11. Trias

    Trias Donkey with three behinds

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2008
    Messages:
    594
    And that has always been a hallmark of the civ series. It combines the different scales of tactical and strategical map on one map with one interface. This has never been a problem, so I don't why it is now.
     
  12. Disgustipated

    Disgustipated Deity

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2006
    Messages:
    11,079
    Location:
    Las Vegas
    stacks were bad, but 1upt is far worse. Having stacks of 40 or 50 units of course is ridiculous, but so is having only 1 unit is a hex.

    I say limit stacks to 5, get rid of this silly "ranged" combat. Have everything fight as a combined army (a la CTP games).

    Simply put, tactical combat does not belong on the world map. If you want a tactical combat mini game, move it to a separate battle screen when two stacks engage.
     
  13. pazmacats

    pazmacats Warlord

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2010
    Messages:
    108
    General leading units who fight on tactical map? This isn't going to happen: 2 games in one (empire building, tactical battles in one game). TW series tries this and has terrible strategy layer gameplay which is saved by the graphic engine. Also: This won't be fun. Because the tactical battles will be distracting (to the strategy player) and the strategy game will be distracing (to the tactical war game player). In most games that offer this option tactical fights are either broken (bad AI) or unnecessary (auto-resolve).

    The only game that got this aspect about right was MoO2. The tactical fights were fun. Because of the self-designed ships. The AI in MoO2 wasn't too competent but it knew how to select a primary target. So the tactical battles were fun (for a while).

    What really bothers me is this:
    "CIV5 uses 1UPT which can become great, once someone improves the combat AI" (Bibor)

    There is not enough space for all of the AI's units. They cannot move. If you give the AI a bonus by numbers the map won't have enough hexes. If you add more hexes you'd have to reduce the graphic engine. And nobody thinks that will be an option. The game has to sell well after all.
     
  14. lschnarch

    lschnarch Emperor

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2010
    Messages:
    1,296
    First of all "this has never been a problem" is one of the most heard arguments against improvements. With that logic we would still be sitting on trees, as "this has never been a problem".

    Secondly, in previous versions it has not been that much of a problem because these games didn't have 1upt. The tactics were about vertical fighting, not horizontal fighting.
    For a world map, stacking just makes sense.
    For a tactical map, it obviously doesn't.

    Unfortunately, the map in a Civ game is per definition a world map, a strategic map.
     
  15. Buccaneer

    Buccaneer Deity

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2001
    Messages:
    3,562
    You must not have ever played one of the classic wargames? They've been around since the 1960s and up to the 1990s when many of the best ones went digital.
     
  16. BrendanM

    BrendanM Prince

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Messages:
    326
    Location:
    Louisville, KY, American Empire
    In Civ3 and 4 I would load my SoD's up with bombard units, then march through enemy land taking cities down one by one, or, if i had 2 big stacks, 2 by 2. It was easy.

    I do agree that is unrealistic to have 1UPT. Developers could calibrate it, perhaps 2UPT, 3UPT or whatever works. That way units don't become stuck by a wall of friendlies and die. Right now it's like playing a jigsaw puzzle trying to get wounded units out and fresh units in.
     
  17. Misotu

    Misotu King

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    Messages:
    934
    Ah, my mistake. It's simply my inability to play that made it challenging :lol: :crazyeye:
     
  18. Solo4114

    Solo4114 Prince

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2002
    Messages:
    523
    In regards to the "Well, it requires more thought!" argument for EITHER stacks OR 1UPT, I think it's ultimately a wash.

    It's not that one requires MORE though than the other, but rather that the thought process is different. And both are fairly simplistic.


    Consider for a minute.


    With stacks, you had to decide on the composition of the stack to start with. Were going to make a city-busting stack full of CR units and cats? Did you have enough medic units in the stack to heal your units between turns? Did you have enough garrison troops to leave the city in relatively safe hands, quell revolts, and fend off counter-attacks? How about countermeasures; were you adequately armed against what the enemy had? (IE: mounted units to attack his siege weapons, spears/pikes to defend against his mounted units, etc.) Were you making a pillaging stack? Because that'd require slightly different composition. Once you were in position to attack, how did you handle the attack itself? Launch your cats forward to suicide and wear down his city? Hit it with your weaker troops at the risk of losing decent garrison units? Or hit it with your more advanced troops (IE: CR3 macemen) and risk losing THEM and your ability to push forward? The approach to a given site of battle counted, too. If you're going to besiege a city for several turns, are you crossing a river? On a forested hill? Did you manage your approach well enough to get into position with moves left to fortify? You had to think plenty. It wasn't just "smash your stack into his and see who wins." Plus, your production, technology, and wealth all mattered. You had to manage ALL of that in order to field a successful army.


    1UPT also includes some thought, but it's a different kind of thought. You still have unit countering to deal with, but you also have to lay your army out carefully so Unit A doesn't block Unit B's approach. All this is is a different KIND of thought, though. You're dealing with a certain kind of spatial thought, akin to those puzzles with a missing tile when maneuvering. Sometimes you have to decide whether you'll approach one way or another, based on the 1UPT limitations. Obviously, your production, wealth, and research all still matter, but you are often fielding FAR fewer units (due to slower production times), you have to contend with relocating units (which takes FAR longer due to lack of roads often), and you have to think differently about fighting. But I don't think this is MORE complicated than good management of stacks. It's just...different.



    I agree that unlimited stacking with no penalties is a problem. EU3 manages this by having your armies suffer from disease, especially as your "stack" gets bigger. I think that's one decent way to make it less attractive to just build Stacks of Doom. But regardless, an unlimited stack with no penalty does have its problems.

    What I see as the fundamental flaws with 1UPT, though, are two things:

    1.) The rest of the game had to be managed to (ideally) avoid the "carpet of doom" scenario. Meaning that production, tile yields, costs for EVERYTHING had to be made higher. Road spam had to be avoided so you couldn't just move your armies as a spread-out stack right up to your enemy's doorstep and spank him. And so on, and so forth.

    2.) The game's maps are not set up to accommodate large armies with the 1UPT restriction in place. (See also, avoiding carpet o' doom) Unlike, say, Steel Panthers/Squad Leader, the scale of Civ's maps has always been a bit fuzzy. None of that mattered, though, when you were dealing with stacks, rather than 1UPT. It doesn't matter if the Italian peninsula is one hex wide. You could still field the Roman legions with ease if you wanted. Not so with Civ 5. While it doesn't happen on every map, you can find yourself in situations where you're SEVERELY limited in your ability to produce and/or maneuver even a reasonable, smaller Civ-5-sized army. Plus, 1UPT really ends up highlighting some of the absurdity of the map scale weirdness. So, you've got a ranged unit that can literally fire from Gibraltar to Morocco? Seriously? Again, this was always present in Civ games, but it was less ridiculous because you could stack. There was less a suggestion that the scale of the landmass you were occupying was so small as to only perming one "unit." The 1UPT approach also calls into question what exactly a "unit" represents. A regiment? A battalion? A full army in and of itself? Four dudes with clubs? Nobody knows. It never mattered before, but with 1UPT, you impose a sense of scale on a game that previously didn't really concern itself with scale at all.


    I'm not against tactical wargames at all. I love the hell out of Steel Panthers. It holds a very dear place in my heart. Same with Battleground Waterloo and such. But those games have rigid systems of scale, and are actually EXTREMELY sophisticated, rather than "tactics lite" like you get with 1UPT in Civ. There's no unit morale to consider, no loss of unit control due to being too far from a command unit, no penalties for shooting through or moving through rough terrain, no unit suppression, line of sight only matters a little bit, etc., etc., etc.

    Put simply, the only thing that 1UPT did was to (A) take the stacks and spread them over a wider area, and (B) screw with production and civilization growth as a necessary but ham-fisted way to avoid carpets of doom.
     
  19. MkLh

    MkLh King

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    903
    Location:
    Finland
    The whole dichotomy between "strategical" and "tactical" is artificial and arbitrary when we are speaking about computer games. Those words don't have clear meaning in that context. For example many "real time strategy games" could be as well seen as tactical games. It's just the matter of taste which word do you want to use.

    Therefore it's quite unclear what people really mean when they say that 1UPT is something that supposed to be in "tactical" rather than "strategical scale". I guess they mean the scale where catapults fire 500 miles and so on is unrealistic. This is without doubt true, but there are much more unrealistic aspects already. I don't know if this particularly is so bad.
     
  20. BrendanM

    BrendanM Prince

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Messages:
    326
    Location:
    Louisville, KY, American Empire
    This is what it really comes down to. If you take Civ3 size and give it 1UPT you would have more flow and function as the landmasses are wider the cities more numerous and the units in larger numbers.

    What does a "unit" represent. The ambiguity of the term unit leads it wide open to personal assessments. This is good, in some cases, but leads to misinterpretations of game size, just as a tile of terrain isn't exactly measured out. (In Civ4 your landmass was calculated for you in the stat sheet during the game, I don't know if Civ5 does this?). I've always tried to deduce how many men are in one unit (Civ4 tells you the size of your army in numbers, but doesn't break it down) but never really got a hard number, just vague parameters.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page