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Were "stacks of doom" really that bad?

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

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  1. redmosquito

    redmosquito barbarian bear

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    Out of curiosity: What kind of tactics do people use in civ 5
     
  2. brxbrx

    brxbrx Worthless loser

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    I think he meant that any changer will invariably have its haters
     
  3. brxbrx

    brxbrx Worthless loser

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    archers behind infantry. advance. repeat.

    I do like the choke points better though. too bad most mountain passes are so easy to bypass
     
  4. redmosquito

    redmosquito barbarian bear

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    The last time I checked it was replaced with "build a huge carpet". ( Sorry to add this off topic comment: If Civ 4 is Simcity, I would say Civ5 is tictactoe. At least there were some tradeoffs in Civ 4. )
     
  5. SammyKhalifa

    SammyKhalifa Deity

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    Pretty much. "One per" does have issues so far (mostly AI related), but no more issues than the old way had. People are just more willing to see past the shortcomings of stacks because that is what they knew and were comfortable with. Most are/were invisible to us because we didn't know any other way.

    Think people complain about "dumbing down" (hate that phrase) and lack of choices between IV and V now? Imagine the outcry if suddenly you could just put all your units in a big pile and not worry about placement.
     
  6. mitrydates

    mitrydates Chieftain

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    SoD were really bad. But the idea of different unit types in the field is bad too, as we're talking about huge areas, not just tactical view. It's extremely stupid to have an army of archers to shoot over a different unit (modern artillery looks better, but ancient archers, catapults, mangonels, whatever you like) don't fit.

    I think the solution could be some kind of Europa Universalis / Crusader Kings approach, where the armies are somehow self built and siege units are detached from the regular force. It's terrain/ tactics/ military technology and luck what eventually matters.
     
  7. Bibor

    Bibor Doomsday Machine

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    That screenshot is from a modded game, you'll never see a carpet of doom in a regular game (check MadDjinn's deity video). It's really getting old :)
     
  8. m4gill4

    m4gill4 King

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    Stacks were not ideal, but civ IV was fun.
    1upt is a good idea, but civ V is less fun.

    There could have been compromise. I had an idea where you could combine units to form more powerful ones, but with diminishing returns and increasing penalties (i.e. more maintenance, more xp needed for promotions) each time you do it to a particular unit. This would keep the map tidy and provide an outlet for excess gold, but the diminishing returns would prevent any unit from becoming "uber-unit-of-doom" without a vast expenditure. Sadly, it can't be modded in either because the AI wouldn't be able to make sense of it.

    A tactical battle option a-la Master of Orion would have also been fun, but it's even more out of the question.
     
  9. Arsenic Steel

    Arsenic Steel Warlord

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    1upt and stacks are viable implementations of combat for games, neither is better than the other(one paper). This is not an awareness issue. Outside of the civ-vacuum most gamers were already aware of 1upt and stacking combat before civ 5.

    Despite the lamenting of some there was indeed tactics involved in composing and using stacks. If there were no tactics involved other then building a bigger stack we would have a lot more user names in those deity challenges.

    The phrase I hate to hear comes from developers/publishers when referencing an established 'good' franchise, it goes:"With this iteration we will try to expand to a new audience." That remarks usually heralds a product that is no doubt prettier than the previous version but also shorter and oversimplified. The publishers seem to be fixed with the idea that this new audience wants less options than what was present in a game they never played.
     
  10. SammyKhalifa

    SammyKhalifa Deity

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    True enough, but I don't think stacks was the issue there. To me is that there just isn't that much to do for most of the game. Hopefully, they're getting that a little better now.
     
  11. Shaka II

    Shaka II Chieftain

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    :D

    I do think 1UPT is the way to go for a complex turn based strategy game like Civ, naturally making improvements along the way. The variety of individual unit movement over terrain, including defense bonuses, promotions like drill or shock, make it much more fun than SOD. A bit more chess-like.

    Where I think SOD still works very well is in mixed turn based/real time battle games like the Total War series (RTW, MTW II, STW II (soon)). You have a reasonably deep turn based game with outstanding real time battles. In that way the SOD is an army formed much the same way as in Civ, but which is allowed to form positions on the battlefield and fight in real time.

    For a deeper TBS game like Civ though, 1UPT is better. I think requiring an extra tile between cities will improve 1UPT, and reduce the annoying tendency of being bombarded by multiple cities at the same time.
     
  12. m4gill4

    m4gill4 King

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    I consider the implementation of 1upt to be the cause of "there isn't that much to do for most of the game". It's all about preventing "a unit on every single hex". Cities have to be kept as useless as possible, and this is done with all kinds of means. Qualitatively, that means low tile yields, buildings that are expensive and of dubious value; quantitatively that means all sorts of ways for limiting the overall number of cities; global happiness, increasing minimum distance, SP penalties, etc.

    That the game is slow paced unless you're in constant war is a direct result of the fact that the civ map is too small for a strict 1upt system, and the hardware requirements are too great for a larger scaled map. All the contortions that the developers are making to obscure that fact is what slows the game down and makes it boring.

    In a vacuum, I like 1upt. Other games that have used it were fun. It has at least the potential for greater strategic depth than simple stacking. The problem is the scaling, the civ map is too small, and compensating for that simple fact makes the non-war side of the game less fun. Wargamers will continue to love it, and builders/empire-management types will continue to bemoan the side effects of it.
     
  13. DaveGold

    DaveGold Emperor

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    Stacks weren't the problem in CIV4. It the lack of alternatives to stacks (as a viable strategy) that were the problem. Given that there wasn't an obvious solution created in the many mods for CIV4 perhaps it was time to try something else. Shame they made such a hash of it!
     
  14. Mathalamus

    Mathalamus Emperor of Mathalia

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    i love stacks. they accurately represent the army, and they have good uses. and you can demolish a good sized stack with artillery, nukes or just plain harassing it. i don't see why so many people hate it like its the worst thing ever. i never saw a mod limiting stacks or doing away with them completely.

    Building a stack with hundreds of units is exceedingly hard, and an enemy can demolish it very easily. i once lost a large stack to enemy nukes. or one item where i lost an invading army completely to attack a city.

    1upt is okay, but tends to be annoying in warfare. and it tends to go overboard with it.
     
  15. Solo4114

    Solo4114 Prince

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    Not to be snarky, but seriously, check out EU3 and then let me know your thoughts on the subject. EU3 has no problems with stacks and it's PLENTY deep.

    Exactly.


    It's not that the basic concept of 1UPT is never workable. It's just not that good in this case, certainly if you aren't a warmonger. But even then, you can run into real trouble.
     
  16. brxbrx

    brxbrx Worthless loser

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    how about soem sort of stack maintenance?

    where the greater the stack, the greater you pay for management or maneuvering?
     
  17. vandyr

    vandyr Prince

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    Not really. I used to pile infantry into massive stacks and throw it at stuff until the stuff was dead.


    1upt is far superior as far as I'm concerned.
     
  18. Arsenic Steel

    Arsenic Steel Warlord

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    If you want to oversimplify and ignore the journey through the eras then your tactic for civ iv is easily matched by tossing out as many modernized infantry as you can in civ v.
    What do you do before having teched up to infantry?(assuming you don't only start your games in the modern era)
     
  19. Brian Shanahan

    Brian Shanahan Permanoob

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    Thats more of a sign that you should have been playing a level or two higher more than stacks not giving a tactical choice.

    If you get to the point where one unit is able to steamroll the opposition in Civ 4 you are at the point where you've beaten the level you're playing at.
     
  20. Shaka II

    Shaka II Chieftain

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    Perhaps I will take a look at EU3, though I have to budget my time on strategy games, seeing that Civ takes up so much of it. :lol:

    I didn't mean to imply that SOD doesn't allow for a deep strategy game, certainly all of the previous Civ versions employed SOD and were deep strategy, as well as CTP, and Alpha Centauri. I was comparing more the use of the stack of doom in the mixed TBS/real time tactical map of Total War series,which I think works very well. Those battles are real time on a large tactical battlefield, e.g., a castle, so the stack just defines who you're bringing to the fight, sometimes multiple armies (SOD's). That genre is generally not as deep in the building/strategy way that Civ is, and for good reason. They're different games. Many people who love TW would not hyave t5he patience for Civ, while many Civ players would not be satisfied with the depth of strategy of TW games. I like both genres a lot, but Civ is what I go back to in the end.

    I just think that 1UPT is more the direction that Civ should be. Fewer units, individually moved, each with more identity, like chess on a grand scale. It is my preference, not saying that everyone will like it that way.
     
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