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

What is the solution to 1UpT?

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by TheMarshmallowBear, Sep 21, 2011.

  1. Aristos

    Aristos Lightseeker

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2001
    Messages:
    3,575
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Deep inside...
    Indeed. Call to Power 2 had that model, they called it Public Works and you had to accumulate PW units (derived from your production "hammers"), and then invest those PW in improvements. Worked very well and got rid of the micro related to workers. Also, CTP2 had a mixed combat model, 12UPT called an army where combined arms was rewarded (three lines of combat, infantry in front, cavalry in flanks, flanking was that the cavalry could attack anyone in front or sidewise and add to the infantry attack, second line short range (archers, MG, etc), third line arty, siege, etc... combat was simulated inside a little window that included terrain factors, you could not "move" the units inside the combat window but you could retreat your remaining force if things were going badly...

    Perfect combat model for a civ game. No SoD, no CoD, strategical depth and some tactical elements simulated within a manageable frame. The perfect solution, if you ask me.

    Why did lil' Jony refuse to learn from others? Who knows.
     
  2. binhthuy71

    binhthuy71 Emperor

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2003
    Messages:
    1,887
    Location:
    Southern California foothills
    That sounds very good to me. Was it possible in CTP2 to digress from combat to take care of business back home or was a battle always resolved in one turn?
     
  3. Aristos

    Aristos Lightseeker

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2001
    Messages:
    3,575
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Deep inside...
    The battle was simulated within seconds, not a big deal since you would have a few armies positioned in the map (each army max 12 units including generals, who made a big difference). The simulation gave you just enough time to monitor the battle in case you wanted to retreat if loosing. I didn't mind at all the little time it took to sim the battle as the price for having true armies. You would try to optimize the combined arms approach as a three lines army was clearly superior to a non-combarms army. Nonetheles, for pillaging and harrassing and delaying tactics you would use lesser "army corps", only cav for example, for fast incursions to destroy key improvements or scouting. Armies and units had ZoC too.

    I truly do not understand why this model was completely disregarded when considering the "next step" for civ. It needed a little refinement perhaps, but it is probably the best solution for combat for a game with the scope of civ.

    If you can find a CtP2 version of the game somewhere to buy, there is a modified legal version over at Apolyton's website, developed by Martin G., which makes the game even better, if you can ignore outdated (yet very functional) graphics...
     
  4. Psyringe

    Psyringe Scout

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2001
    Messages:
    3,394
    Location:
    Berlin, Germany
    I think it was always resolved in one turn, but if Shafer had wanted, he could have taken the CtP approach and simply add multi-turn battles, there's nothing in the two concepts that would block adding one to the other.

    By the way, CtP is a very good example of a system that had more tactical depth than simple stacks, and yet didn't suffer from the many shortcomings of 1upt in terms of AI weakness, UI nightmares, and immersion breakdown. It's also a good example because somehow criticism of 1upt is simply equaled with the "Civ4 vs Civ5" debate, and that simply doesn't do it justice. Over the years, there have been many different approaches to this problem. Personally I _liked_ the Civ4 approach, because it focused on making the AI strong, and I could live with the other shortcomings. CtP shows that working alternatives to the Civ4 system, which put more weight on combat tactics, are very well possible. Given that, it's all the more puzzling that Civ5 was designed with a combat system that "works" so badly.

    BtW, anyone who wants to try out CtP: It's available cheaply with many only retailers. For example, gog.com has it for 6$. It's good "study material" for everyone interested in Civ-like game design, as it applies several interesting ideas which strayed a bit from the original formula, but which actually enhanced the game.
     
  5. Iranon

    Iranon Deity Whipping Boy

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    Messages:
    3,214
    Location:
    Germany
    Easy method would be to discourage large stacks without imposing a hard cap. This could be tied to logistics, crude example: food yield +1 for any improvement including roads leading to a friendly city gives you how many military units a tile can support.
    If you stack more, units will get penalties to health regeneration and eventually start taking damage each turn. This would get rid of the annoyance and actually increase depth ('is a force march of my entire army across a mountain or desert worth the attrition?').

    As for the CtP model: I found the games detached and uninvolving, imo too much abstraction to still work with the usual boardgamey representation.
     
  6. Aristos

    Aristos Lightseeker

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2001
    Messages:
    3,575
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Deep inside...
    That is good to know. I still hold my original from 2500 BC :lol: ...

    If someone wants to try CTP2, I strongly encourage to install Apolyton's Martin G version over it... think what BetterAI did to BTS, and multiply by 10... that is Martin G's contribution to CtP2.

    Also, this may seem OP, but it is not, as it pertains to the discussion of 1UPT vs SoD, and shows that a working middle ground was pre-existent yet disregarded. Please do not treat as off-topic. Thanks.
     
  7. binhthuy71

    binhthuy71 Emperor

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2003
    Messages:
    1,887
    Location:
    Southern California foothills
    Off-topic? Not to me! It seems that warfare in CiV needs some serious reworking. Whether or not you're a fan of 1UpT there are plenty of gripes about combat in this version of the game. Yes, there have been gripes about combat directed at every release of Civ. That fact should have, in my opinion, driven the developers to cast a wider net when considering the model for CiV. Well, at least we got rid of the Axeman rush and the Keshik rush. :lol:

    Thanks to all who pointed to sources for CTP. I'm going to give it a try.
     
  8. deanej

    deanej Deity

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2006
    Messages:
    4,859
    Location:
    New York State
    I never found embarking in civ4 to take micromanagement. Simply form a stack of transports near where you're forming the SOD or moving it to, move it onto the transports when ready, then give a transport a move order onto the tile you're debarking on to. Then regrouping is just clicking to "go to (all units)" button.
     
  9. Aristos

    Aristos Lightseeker

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2001
    Messages:
    3,575
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Deep inside...
    going to try something crazy now... I wonder if some of the AI limitations come from the fact that the scale of civ5 is not good for 1UPT... I am changing some values to give it more space, will try playing with those values and without CS (not that I will miss them), without diplo victory, doubling the hitpoints of units and cities... I wonder what will come out of it. If it's interesting, expect a report.
     
  10. Kerosene31

    Kerosene31 Prince

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2001
    Messages:
    402
    Remember the Battle of Thermopylae? A huge Persian stack squashed a much smaller Greek force. ;)

    Am I the only one who doesn't run into all these traffic jams? I mean, once in a great while I'll be building a road at a chokepoint and will block other units or something, but that is rare. Once your units can embark that goes away almost completely.

    I'm not saying it never happens, but I just don't run into it very often. Just take a second or two to think about your moves and you won't have a problem usually.

    Also, why give the AI open borders? They only want to scout your territory for places to settle and/or attack.
     
  11. civ-wrecked

    civ-wrecked Chieftain

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Messages:
    83
    Maybe the people who hate 1upt are like me and have given up on Civ V altogether. Not sure when was the last time I checked out Civ V threads.
    Anyway, for me:
    - I move workers and troops around for reasons that have nothing to do with fighting battles a lot more often than fighting the battles so solving some battle issue and turn the whole game into a big annoyance in doing everything else is a big turn off.
    - I play the games at around the Emperor/Immortal levels and almost always conquer the world before 1600AD. If I have a bad game and it drags on to beyond 1700AD then I just quit even if it merely takes another 20, 30 turns to win. At that time, the micromanagement become too much for me to bear and to have any fun (and I'm just talking about moving some 50 units or less in battles around this time). Civ V just makes that micromanagement annoyance happens much earlier.
    - I never encounter the fabled SoD, probably because I practice the Civ saying "Never attack with 50 units when 15 will do". I attack early, sometimes with as few as 5 units, and I win early. I don't build up hundreds of units and that usually means the AIs have no time to build up either so the whatever problem Civ V is supposed to solve never existed for me in the first place.
    - For those who claim that 1upt is a good solution when the other civs have a big production advantage, there's another solution to that problem: Don't play at Deity, or whatever higher difficulty level than you can handle the production advantage the AIs get. The game design should not take someone's ego into an account and don't create an AI mess just go some people could claim triumph over the AI at Deity level. Those people should just play at whatever level that will give them the most fun, not at Deity level and then complain about the AI production advantage that crushes their smaller army.
    And I can see that how beating the hapless AI using the 1upt can make some people feel great. It's probably like playing Total War against a seriously-crippled AI.
     
  12. TheMapDownloade

    TheMapDownloade Chieftain

    Joined:
    May 10, 2011
    Messages:
    64
    There are two parts to Stack of Doom: the "Stack" part (players and AI seem to get best results by combining units into piles instead of spreading them out) and the "Doom" part (stacks are huge and battles take forever).

    The "Stack" part is because combat is point-to-point not area-based. In a Civ war you can take a lot of territory with your troops but if you don't conquer cities NOTHING HAPPENS. The borders don't move, you don't get new resources or population, the enemy civ will not parlay. Everything depends on taking cities; cities are points on the map. Hence there is no advantage to spreading your units out in a battle front. Just send them to capture a point, then send them to capture the next point, and so on. There is a LITTLE bit of strategic value to territory, like destroying improvements and unhooking strategic resources, but basically the game revolves around cities. This, plus the obvious combined-arms-approach of using defensive units to protect offensive units and artillery, basically mandates that you use stacks.

    But stacks don't HAVE to be terrible. It's just when you get a 20-v-20 battle that the game bogs down. That's the Doom part.

    The "Doom" part has always been a scale problem. Stacks get unmanageable because you're playing unmanageable games. If you're doing a 180x180 Civ III map with 31 civs and trying for Domination, you're going to have hundreds of units.

    The solution to these problems is NOT 1upt.

    First, the solution to the "Stack" issue would be to give the players and AI more incentive to take territory. This could mean that above and beyond destroying improvements, you could kill the enemy's population or even shift the border. Give players ways to interact with the territory that accomplish war aims. Otherwise no matter what you do people are just going to try to throw as many units as possible at cities. Even with 1upt they still do this, the game system is just artificially designed to make this impossible.

    When the game is purposely designed to try to frustrate players in their attempts to do something that's naturally and intuitively good play, you know you have a problem.

    The solution to the "Doom" issue would be to design the game CORRECTLY so that civs produce few units, each unit is important, and in a war you don't have to care about 200 units on a battle front, but more like 8-16.

    This could even mean setting a stack limit - that you are only allowed to have X stacks outside of your cities, with X rising as your empire grows, learns tech and adopts military civics. Each stack is an army that can be comprised of however many units you want, but they move and fight as a single unit, the army can only be assembled/disassembled inside cities, and how the army moves and fights is dependent on the unit mix you've chosen.

    The emphasis in Civ should ALWAYS be on PRODUCING units, and the strategic decisions. Battles themselves should be simple affairs where the player does NOT have lots of control.
     
  13. TheMapDownloade

    TheMapDownloade Chieftain

    Joined:
    May 10, 2011
    Messages:
    64
    As for Civ V it's mostly a lost cause, that's why you don't see people complaining about it anymore, it's been a year man!

    But look at the modding community and the scenario community and you'll see the difference from what Civ 4 was like...
     
  14. lschnarch

    lschnarch Emperor

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2010
    Messages:
    1,296
    You've brought up some very good points.

    Let's have a look at the most simple form of attack (please note that for simplicity reasons I will make some asusmptions about the average damage done; furthermore, I assume that there aren't any obstacles in your units' way): your units vs an enemy city.
    The city's strength is 20 (no units inside, no walls).
    Let us assume that you have archers (doing 2 damage points) and melee units (doing 4 damage points).
    To get that city as quickly as possible, you would have to have any combination between 8 archers and 1 melee unit and 0 archers and 5 melee units.
    Since the city will fire at some of your units, you should have more than the mentioned minimum numbers (units deal less damage when wounded and not having Bushido). Furthermore, you have to expect enemy counter attacks, which may damage or even kill some of your units.

    So, the minimum number of units under the best possible conditions is 5 (just the melees) to take a city in one turn.
    Less units means more time needed to get that city, which in turn means more reaction time for your opponent (buying a garrison unit, buying a wall, bringing in reinforcments).

    The more units you can allocate to the siege, the higher your chance to get the city early.
    And this leads to a dilemma: either you have to accept to have to attack that city for several rounds, or you have to create a local carpet of doom.

    Now, some people will say there wouldn't be any fun in maybe losing a city in just one turn. On the other hand, that's the reward for the attacker to be able to collect an army and send it against an undefended city (note, that my calculation would change in case of defenses). And 5 or even more units clearly count as an army in Civ5 terms.

    tl;dr:
    More units is a necessity in Civ5 as well.
    Everything else will just lead to repetition of individual attack moves without adding anything to the game experience.
    As Civ games are about to create empires, economic strength is what it is all about. Economical strength should give you advantages in terms of allocating troops and sending them into a certain area.

    Civ5 by the concept of 1upt puts limitations on your ability to make proper use of such an economic strength.
    Literally, you are penalized for having done everything right.
     
  15. jjkrause84

    jjkrause84 King

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2010
    Messages:
    959
    Location:
    UK
    I think a system of graduated stacking might be interesting. So, in the ancient era it is 1upt. By the end of the game it is 3 or even 4upt. I think it'd work great. It would reflect the prodigious growth of army size across history without giving us the carpet of doom and would also allow for production to ramp up as history moves forward (so far, I think the SNAIL'S PACE production rate is the biggest drag on Civ 5). Tactically, I think it would be VERY interesting. Do you go with 2 longswordsmen (best overall strength, and thus great at defence and attack) or do you go with a mixed order of battle (an archer of some description and a longswordsman) which woud give you flexibility, but would mean that you'd be at a disadvantage against more specialized (i.e. 2 longswordsmen) groups.

    EDIT: Let me add...stacks were NEVER a problem. The reason they didn't work in Civ 4 was because there was no Zone of Control. There was NO incentive to spread out. Add ZoC to Civ 4 and it'd make a WORLD of difference.
     
  16. Fluffball

    Fluffball Warlord

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2011
    Messages:
    299
    There was ZoC systems in previous versions and stacks were just as prominent. The only incentive to ever divide a force with a stacking system was if an enemy stack can attack two or more cities in it's turn and even then it was much better to simply defend the most important city and allow the enemy to take the least important one then retake it with your stack next turn.

    Any dilution of the 1UpT rule for combat will destroy the only real success of this latest verion of the series.

    Tweaking it for combat units could be possible without ruining the combat directly.e.g. you can stack units for transport/storage with possibly allowing a single unit to guard them but in that case it should be ensured that the active unit is only ever allowed to fight in a stacked position and any form of the old system where once that unit is damaged another units will fight as it is now stronger should be avoided at all cost as that would be a huge step backwards.

    The best way to ensure that you couldn't exploit the system would be to make transport/storage units take x amount of turns to reactivate.

    The Doom part is not so much the size but the fact that when you start to group units of different types.e.g. rock-paper-scissors together there is no weakness, there is no sense of tactic or strategy apart from who has the largest number.
    Rock can't take scissors because paper will defend, scissor can't take paper because rock will defend, paper can't take rock because scissor will defend.

    With stacks the simple rule is "i have more units, i will win" with 1UpT the amount of units can be a factor but it is very possible to beat a much larger opponent by using tactics, manouver and strategy.

    1UpT needs optimising rather than changing.
     
  17. Fluffball

    Fluffball Warlord

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2011
    Messages:
    299
    There was ZoC systems in previous versions and stacks were just as prominent. The only incentive to ever divide a force with a stacking system was if an enemy stack can attack two or more cities in it's turn and even then it was much better to simply defend the most important city and allow the enemy to take the least important one then retake it with your stack next turn.

    Any dilution of the 1UpT rule for combat will destroy the only real success of this latest verion of the series.

    Tweaking it for combat units could be possible without ruining the combat directly.e.g. you can stack units for transport/storage with possibly allowing a single unit to guard them but in that case it should be ensured that the active unit is only ever allowed to fight in a stacked position and any form of the old system where once that unit is damaged another units will fight as it is now stronger should be avoided at all cost as that would be a huge step backwards.

    The best way to ensure that you couldn't exploit the system would be to make transport/storage units take x amount of turns to reactivate.

    The Doom part is not so much the size but the fact that when you start to group units of different types.e.g. rock-paper-scissors together there is no weakness, there is no sense of tactic or strategy apart from who has the largest number.
    Rock can't take scissors because paper will defend, scissor can't take paper because rock will defend, paper can't take rock because scissor will defend.

    With stacks the simple rule is "i have more units, i will win" with 1UpT the amount of units can be a factor but it is very possible to beat a much larger opponent by using tactics, manouver and strategy.

    1UpT needs optimising rather than changing.
     
  18. Psyringe

    Psyringe Scout

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2001
    Messages:
    3,394
    Location:
    Berlin, Germany
    I agree that stacks were never much of a problem. I don't think going back to a ZOC approach would be a good solution though, it feels pretty artificial that units aren't able to enter a free tile just because of some odd movement rules.

    You're right though when you say that a good way to prevent super-huge stacks is to provide incentives for smaller stacks (or even single units), instead of using an artificial hard-cap 1upt limitation. There are Civ4 mods which provide such incentives. I'll describe one approach:

    There's a Civ4 mod that gives you combat bonuses when the unit that you attack has units belonging to you on several tiles adjacent to it. If you just attack with a single stack, you don't get any bonuses, actually you may suffer a malus depending on how the defender has set up his units. If you encircle the enemy unit from all 8 sides, you get a massive bonus. If you encircle it from only 5, or only 3 sides, you do get a bonus, but it's smaller than the "fully encircled" bonus.

    This poses an interesting tactical problem: You want to split your stacks to get the best bonus, yet each stack that you split away needs to be able to defend itself, should the enemy attack it in the next turn. The system is also highly realistic (having to face attacks from several directions at once is a major disadvantage for any real army). It's also a ruleset that the AI can grasp much better than the 1upt limitation. And it does away with the UI nightmare that 1upt entails, because you still move units around in easily manageable stacks, you just split the stacks when there's a battle.

    Of course, this is not the only way to prevent SoDs and to put more tactical challenges into Civ combat. Many other options exist (CtP2-style combat which combines stacks with a "combined forces" approach; logistics making huge stacks hard to maintain; increased collateral damage as in SMAC; attrition as in EU3; separate battlefields as in Age of Wonders; etc. Each of these approaches has specific advantages and disadvantages, but each of them _works_, and could have worked work in Civ5.

    With Civ5 however, the designer decided to ignore all these working approaches, and instead opt for a 1upt approach that only works for "Panzer General" type games with huge battlefields (to give room for maneuvering) and scenario gameplay (which makes a weak AI less of an issue, as the scenario can be geared to give the AI advantages, or the AI can be given scenario-specific strategies). The lead designer even referred to Panzer General multiple times in interviews. Why nobody at Firaxis was able to stop this very obvious nonsense and point to the many working solutions that already exist, will probably forever remain a mystery.
     
  19. blitzkrieg1980

    blitzkrieg1980 Octobrist

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Messages:
    4,899
    Location:
    New Jersey, USA
    You bring up very good points. I guess I just find the combat in Civ5 to be a lot more fun. It has a lot to do with ranged units, though. The fact is, I only picked up playing civ5 within the last 3 months. I played civ4 for years without it getting old. So, while I (currently) say that I enjoy Civ5's combat more, it may become quite stale and push me back towards Civ4. The diplomacy certainly isn't rewarding in Civ5 (which was something I loved about Civ4) and trading is very much a joke.

    I just got so bored of the SoD approach that I guess I see the 1Upt as something new and fresh to me. But your points are quite valid. And I certainly do hate intercontinental invasions. Point-click-point-click-point-click etc etc etc bleh!
     
  20. Fluffball

    Fluffball Warlord

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2011
    Messages:
    299
    Isn't the usualy argument that it works with Panzer General type games because the battlefield is small and it doesn't in Civ because the maps are too big?

    Like all the ideas that have been tried in the past they sound good in theory but don't work in practice. Obvious way around that is you have a massive stack with a couple of flanking units to provide the bonuses while the huge stack does it's work. It's just a fiddly version of SoD rather than an incentive not to stack.
     

Share This Page