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What if walled city attacks were removed entirely?

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by Dustbrother, Oct 12, 2019.

  1. Mark the Bold

    Mark the Bold Warlord

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    I'm going to have to disagree with you on this. Early game, Civ 6 cities aren't hard to capture. But late game they are next to impossible. Case in point, I have a game where three armies of infantry attack a city with 99 defense (pretty standard defense rating playing on Emperor). All three armies took 75% damage and did a combined -18 damage to the cities defenses. Three armies of infantry. Of course next round all three armies are insta-killed by the cities counterattack which conveniently regenerate 15 defenses.

    So the effective attrition rate is -1 city defense per attacking army of infantry.

    And before you roll your eyes and claim "muh artillery stupid!!!", I would like to point out a single volley of armied-up artillery did -5 damage to cities defenses.

    Civ 6 modern era cities make Stalingrad look like pushovers by comparison.
     
  2. Sostratus

    Sostratus Emperor

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    This goes back to how too many things (and the wrong things!) affect city strength. Besides your strongest unit, which I think includes corps/armies (someone correct me) there is also a bonus for each district the city has, I think +2. By the late game, cities have more districts, which compounds the whole issue.

    I don’t mind that urban defenses exists, but I don’t think it should start out as strong as it is as a free empire wide perk. 400HP, wall resistances (these are huge) that cannot be mitigated, and the defense creep of districts. I mean a size 13 city with 5 districts will get +10 off that, which is 50% extra defense. On top of ~2200HP effectively against melee and ranged units. For free. Just scrapping the district defense bonus or making corps/armies not count for defense if they do would be good. By this stage of the game, their ranged attack is meaningless, it’s their counterattack damage to besieging units trying to crack those walls.
     
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  3. Mark the Bold

    Mark the Bold Warlord

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    Hey, I'm not complaining or anything. I really like a challenge, and its a refreshing change of pace from earlier Civ games where like a single modern armor can bring down an entire nation of 6+ cities once their armies are wiped out on the front lines.

    I was just disagreeing with the statement that Civ 6 cities are easier to take than Civ 5. My experience has been the opposite. Modern Era Civ 6 cities are like Helms Deep on steroids.

    I was on a long Civ multi-year hiatus due to a new baby / family commitments, but just recently got back into Civ and bought the deluxe Civ 6 edition with all the trimmings.

    I have to say with no exaggeration its easily the best Civ yet. For instance, the AI is no longer pants on head mentally disabled, you actually need to build varied specialty armies to succeed, diplomacy is somewhat interesting now, and crossbowmen are no longer god tier units that can wreck cities singlehanded and shrug off knight counterattacks (looking at you unpatched Civ6 vanilla).

    The Casus Belli / Envoy improvements are absolutely wonderful. For instance, gone are the days when a Civ can invade and destroy all the City States that I am suzerain of, and when I denounce attack the mofo for doing it, the ENTIRE WORLD calls me a war monger. The protectorate war aim is legit awesome and makes me feel like an ACTUAL suzerain.
     
  4. acluewithout

    acluewithout Deity

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    I generally like most things about how City Defence work post September patch. Linking City Strength and Ranged Attack to your strongest unit is a bit of a fudge but it is a good low fuss way to make sure City defence scales properly with technology level. I also like linking Districts to Defence. It’s not a big thing, but it helps link Population and development level to Defence.

    The free City Defence at Steel is... a thing. I’m not sure it’s good or bad, really. It doesn’t mesh well with Renaissance Walls which is a problem. I think I basically like the mechanic, but I’m sure it could be tweaked a little.
     
  5. kaspergm

    kaspergm Deity

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    I agree 100 % with every point you make in this thread. On a sidenote, there was a mod in Civ5 (I think it was one of whoward's mods) that applied collateral damage to units in city centers. This was a pretty neat way to balance this, and it also makes sense, because historically, archers placed on city walls would take losses when enemy catapults or archers started returning fire. You could use the ranged unit for extra defense, but doing so, it was likely to die after a couple of turns. Or you could choose to heal it up some of the turns, which then meant you didn't get the extra attack.
     
  6. Victoria

    Victoria Regina Supporter

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    It does seem like they have tried to implement this.
     
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  7. Stilgar08

    Stilgar08 Emperor

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    I don't see the reason of making cities in civ6 even more vulnerable than they already are. And saying it is difficult to conquer on deity isn't an argument at all. It's how it should be!
    Furthermore the so called casual player might have some challenge with the current model.
    I like the idea of changing the bonus of ranged units in cities, but otoh maybe FXS should even raise priority for AI having ranged units in garrison and USE them when being attacked... :satan:
     
  8. Sostratus

    Sostratus Emperor

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    They tried something, and it’s a decent system- but it falls apart when combined with the fact that walls are supposed to have upgrades.

    Ancient and Medieval Walls become as strong as Ren units once you build one. Why can’t Medieval Walls have fixed strength at the level of a medieval unit?
    Enemy gets muskets and bombards- guess you need to upgrade to Ren walls. It would be like if all your melee warriors got boosted to 36 str when you build your first swordsman. People should not only need to keep upgrading walls, but the walls should always be a decent return on investment when built in their period. It’s just not worth making any walls over ancient right now (outside of niche scenarios) because they scale so well.
    I don’t care if the city center (green health bar) itself scales with your strongest unit, but the fortification (blue bar) should be fixed number based on wall upgrade level. At urban defenses if they want it to float, fine, but the way things are there is no arms race; of course I also support being able to directly build the highest level of walls you’ve unlocked straightaway.

    I do not hate what we have, I just think it could be a little better. <3 FXS
     
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  9. Victoria

    Victoria Regina Supporter

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    No I mean there were symptoms of wall strengths being era based when we were claiming a bug. Like that’s the default if the units do not work. I remember looking at it a few months past and thinking that it was in a way a cool.

    From my point of view walls up to Steel work pretty well now. After all, an ancient wall with muskets would be pretty hard for swordsmen to take. We all have our peeves about city defence an mine is arrows and to a degree siege.
    You cannot whittle a wall down with arrows for goodness sake and I feel If siege equipment was what the mongols used, then everyone should use it. It should be damn hard to take a walled city without it and certainly not with arrows.
    The new buffs limited arrows a bit and stopped cav and that’s positive but I did expect more complaints than I saw.

    But this modern wall stuff with steel is just weird. I guess it makes the game work and it seems to be based around building hard points in a city. Certainly a city should have some defence but nowadays, take away your military and your cities are dead. In game take away your military and your cities are OK to a degree. I guess it allows for more peaceful play. Certainly must be there for a reason, and so strong.
     
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  10. acluewithout

    acluewithout Deity

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    I think the biggest problem with Urban Defences is timing. They come very close after Renaissance Walls.

    I generally preferred having Urban Defences come through the Culture Tree, because it helped to balance Culture v Science for War. I wonder if maybe Urban Defences should have two requirements, Steel + Tier 3 Government?

    Also. Leaving the numbers aside, does anyone actually build Medieval or Renaissance Walls? If no, then isn’t that a problem in itself?

    I just never build Medieval etc Walls in my games, except maybe in my Capital at Monarchy, and really only for fun.

    The real value of Walls is the City Attack, which you get at Ancient Walls. If I have more production for Defence, then I’d rather get an Encampment than upgrade Walls - now I have two City Attacks (which is four ranged attacks if I stack ranged units), plus additional production, great people points, and somewhat useful buildings.

    My guess is that the defensive value of Walls is actually about right, as is how City Defensive CS and Ranged CS are scaled. The real problem is that the AI isn’t agro enough past the early game to justify upgrading walls (maybe combined with Seige being a bit weak) and that Walls past Ancient don’t provide great return on investment beyond (unnecessary) additional defence.

    One small easy fix / tweak would be to move City Ranged Attacks to Medieval Walls (so you have to garrison a ranged unit if you want City Ranged Attacks before then).

    Or maybe Siege units just need to be more effective (eg add a Medieval Trebuchet) so your Ancient Walls stop being an effective counter for so long.
     
  11. Beaver79

    Beaver79 Warlord

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    Medieval gives 2 tourism and Renaissance gives 3 if you make them before Urban defenses. At least I assume you keep the tourism after you research it. You don't get it until conservation though. There is also a red card that gives you +2 science for Ren walls.Those aren't great numbers, but if you build them in 20 cities it's 100 tourism and 40 science. For defensive purposes? Heck no.
     
  12. acluewithout

    acluewithout Deity

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    And you get housing from walls at Monarchy.

    I like the tourism - it’s cute - but no one is building Walls for Tourism or Housing. There’s easier ways to get both. And the Policy Card (is it Third Way or something?) comes late and is very marginal.

    I think the idea of Walls having other benefits is a good one. Tricky to balance though, because the point is you’re spending production on defence and there’s meant to be an opportunity cost to that. So, if Walls significantly boost your economy, then you lose the opportunity cost.

    I actually think Walls are pretty well balanced. If I was FXS, I’d try buffing Siege Units and tweaking Urban Defences before messing around with Walls again. After that, I’d maybe take a look at giving MW and RW some sort of defensive or military benefit beyond just more damage resistance - hence my earlier suggestion that they could maybe buff +% for AC and Siege.
     
  13. Sostratus

    Sostratus Emperor

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    You are correct there. This is why I’ve been promoting having static strength numbers for the first three wall upgrades, so there actually is a return on investment.
    Imagine if ancient walls had a fixed strength of 25. You’d totally think that swordsman units could hack through that wouldn’t you? But the wall’s melee resistance (what is it, 83-85%?) is equal to about a +45:c5strength:defense buff. You don’t see it but that reduction is massive, and will still offer protection an era out of date. Think of how imbalanced things were the last time you had a melee unit one shot a wall. Once you strip the fortification, the city itself can be scaled like now for all I care- the walls are by far the hardest part to crack.

    and the downside of what we have now (just more wall HP) is that sieges are usually pretty binary: wall resist is so strong that either you brought enough units to rip the wall down in a couple turns or you didn’t. Extra HP is almost meaningless in all but the largest sieges.
     
  14. Lord Shadow

    Lord Shadow General

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    I gave Civ6 a spin after a fairly long while, and indeed found cities quite difficult to take on. I sort of accidentally had Real Strategy enabled, so I'm not sure how much of this is vanilla and how much is modded.

    So I started an Australia game on King, being probably quite rusty. My territory is overall fairly small, with 7-8 cities, a couple in non-ideal locations due to having to fetch damn Niter. I have Scythia to the east, with far more cities but with my ally Poland on the other side so their hordes of mounted units are manageable.

    I'm into the Industrial era but still a few techs away from Artillery, so I only have Bombards for siege purposes, plus Pike and Shot, Musketmen and Cuirassiers. So far I've fought two failed wars trying to liberate Scythia-held Auckland (through formal wars since I wasn't suzerain when it fell), and the city has Renaissance walls plus an encampment in an unassailable position (can't attack without taking fire from both the city and the camp).

    Went in with three escorted Bombards, which could barely dent the defenses before one was taken out and I had to pull the others back. The mixture of going down in two hits to era-equivalent walls, and the siege units being unable to move and fire on the same turn (which results in free hits from the cities), leaves me with a feeling of considerable imbalance.

    From my perspective, it's the siege units that need a buff. Against era-equivalent defenses, they should be a threat, either having some extra resistance against city attacks, or hitting the walls harder. Otherwise it doesn't make a great deal of sense, and I can't fathom the AI being able to manage the level of coordination and complexity required to overcome Renaissance-plus defenses on any level.

    What I haven't tried is Corps-level Bombards and hitting Auckland's ultimately coastal encampment from the sea with some admiral-led Frigates, but most of the world is already hating me for the previous two conflicts. It's likely I won't be able to try again with a good chance of success for a bunch of turns, until I can produce Artillery and Bombers...

    Is there anything else I'm missing? Could I declare an Emergency or something to liberate Auckland?
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2019
  15. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Deity

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    Best 'Buff' for Siege Units is to put a Great General within radius of them - then they can move and shoot on the same turn, which saves you from at least one round of 'counter fire' from the City or Encampment. If, in addition, you stack up a Bombard Corps or two and General them into range, the walls almost always disappear in 1 - 2 turns in my experience. A Frigate Fleet will also do a lot of damage to a coastal city's fort6ifications, and combined with even one Bombard Corps/General you should be pretty sure of one-shotting the Walls.

    IRL Renaissance (roughly 1500 to 1650 CE) Sieges were the most important form of warfare in Europe at the time, and the majority of even 'field' battles revolved around getting into position to besiege a city, or breaking a siege of a city. Renaissance, or Italian Trace/Vauban fortifications were still pretty effective in Hue in 1968, so they should require some work to break through in their own Era.
     
  16. acluewithout

    acluewithout Deity

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    I agree stacking Siege with GGs helps. So does just having a critical mass of them.

    I’ve started thinking the only problem with Siege is currently just that there isn’t a Medieval Upgrade, which means your stuck resisting Medieval xbow attacks with Classical Catapults (hence why Siege get wrecked).
     
  17. Lord Shadow

    Lord Shadow General

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    Trebuchet plz.

    I suppose the Medieval twist is making full use of Siege Towers and quickly rush the city with melee units. I suspect the design intent behind this is to shake up the siege game in every era.

    As for the Modern Era, a Sapper unit as successor to the Siege Tower could come in handy, in case one can't produce Bombers to deal with modern defenses. And assuming some future time in which the AI will finally make use of anti-air defenses.

    Regarding my own case, I've yet to resume that game: unfortunately I don't have any Great Generals, having been a largely peaceful Australia and not really prioritizing Encampments. Being an Epic game (Large map), I tend to feel everything takes longer than expected, production-wise, even if I'm doing pretty well despite not rocking a much smaller population than my competitors.
     
  18. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    That's not a coherent position when it's the city itself + garrisons that never leave it that threaten the siege units, rather than the actual opposing army.

    Siege units are a counter to cities. Counter units should work effectively against the things they supposedly counter, not take considerably more investment just to defeat the things they allegedly counter.

    At least by the time of artillery you can outrange the city and with promotions + great general + fascism you can do real damage to the city with artillery, even if bombers are better.

    Fully stacked bonuses on artillery armies can let you remove defenses on cities with ~120 strength, and anything below 110 gets battered pretty fast. And to stop this the enemy *does* need to actually send units towards the artillery to attack it.

    Early game it's a non-starter, cities can just shoot and massively damage catapults w/o significant investment.

    If we are going with the realism angle...it is reasonable for archers and cav to not work against city walls as soon as it's reasonable to surround a city with units for a turn or two and instantly capture it if opposing armies outside the city don't contest it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2019
  19. Draco84

    Draco84 Warlord

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    I've always wondered how walls would work if they worked more like Aerodromes, Walls would provide defence, but no ranged attack, and each level of walls allowed you to stack one extra unit in your base. no walls (1) ancient (2) etc.

    On top of that, I wouldn't be opposed to walls being impervious to ranged attacks completely, but allow attacking ranged units to attack your garrison instead of the walls directly.
     
  20. Victoria

    Victoria Regina Supporter

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    Not sure sappers would help post WW2
    Yeah, much more planning required and sticking to your decisions. When those horsemen suddenly appear you do not have a chance unless you were already prepared.
     

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