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What's missing, unit-wise?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by damerell, Jul 22, 2012.

  1. Rusty Edge

    Rusty Edge Deity

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    I agree, it's another hole. Most countries found something else to fill those roles and apply similar tactics without using horses or helicopters for WWII, at the least.

    I think some sort of motorcycle/ armored car/ jeep unit to fill the scouting, screening, disrupting communications, pursuit and flanking roles of light cavalry ( you know, the ones promoted along the flanking/visibillity route ).

    I figure heavy cavalry ( combat promotions ) went the truck infantry & half-track route on the way to transport helicopters and Armored Personnel Carriers.

    That being said, I have no problem with unit types going obsolete.
    Sailing ships upgrading to ironclads and dead-ending. Cavalry dead-ending.
     
  2. Tristan_C

    Tristan_C Emperor

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    Off the top of my head I know that machine gun elephants are missing. There should be an offensive counterpart to machine guns at railroad; gatling elephants would be able to attack, but be vulnerable to collateral damage and not receive defensive bonuses. They should also be able to move at a speed of 2 (owing to the fact that they wear rollerskates).
     
  3. Tlalynet

    Tlalynet Emperor

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    AOE III had em for India. And their workers ate wood instead of food too. That proves Tristan C made a totally serious suggestion.

    They forgot the roller-skates though, sadly. That's Microsoft for you.
     
  4. Tristan_C

    Tristan_C Emperor

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    Damnit, every time I think I've lampooned real life, I find out Age of Empires has done it first.

    :mad: wololo
     
  5. username804

    username804 I am a meat popcycle

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    According to legend,

    When Germany invaded Poland, the Poles only had light cavalry and sent men with swords and pistols on horses against armored cars and light tanks. This is the only reason Germany won the opening battles of WW2: they had tanks (even crude light ones) and no one else did.

    By 1943, The US and the USSR were over producing tanks and by sheer numbers defeated Germany.

    I guess no one here ever played PANZER GENERAL? They had scout cars, light armored cars, the VW "THING" etc.

    :king::goodjob:
     
  6. ChaosSlayer

    ChaosSlayer King

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    well this is a rather exaggerated legend.

    The incident of cavalry vs tanks did took place but it wasn't an all out charge. Polish cavalry was merely used as means of distraction while polish forces tried to regroup.

    Of course its true that many countries entered WW2 with large cavalry based armies using obsolete approach to modern warfare carried over from WW1. USA, France, USSR all had massive cavalry force build up not realizing how much it was obsolete by then.
    Only Germany and Britain were up to date on modern warfare in 1939.
     
  7. calibur

    calibur Prince

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    Or at least in land terms. America was pretty advanced in naval warfare, no?
     
  8. jordiflor

    jordiflor Chieftain

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    Yeah, a sidecar motorbike unit would be pretty cool!!
     
  9. Rusty Edge

    Rusty Edge Deity

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    Well, I understood that their close air support practices factored into it, too.

    Those VW "THING"(s) looked cool.
     
  10. Te_Wheki

    Te_Wheki Chieftain

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    They should upgrade to tanks since tanks replaced them on the battlefield once machine guns made them cannon fodder. Also the upgrade is slightly less ridiculous than hey you on the horse, now you're flying this thing.
     
  11. Rusty Edge

    Rusty Edge Deity

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    I'm not sure how to answer. Between the World Wars the USA, Britain, Japan, France, Italy, and Germany negotiated a series of Naval arms limitation treaties. USA and Britain were allowed the largest navies, but they were spread among multiple oceans, leaving the USA weaker than Japan in the Pacific theater, for example, but with a tremendous production advantage when both were geared for war.

    Japan and Italy brought an end to the treaties before WWII started, and that resumed the arms race.

    For a number of reasons, the US didn't really go the battlecruiser route, and converted the first two it started to build to aircraft carriers. I think that turned out to be an advantage.

    Traditionally the USN has had live fire gunnery drills, not just going through the motions & sequences as fast as possible. That's an advatage.

    The USN had an excellent 5inch gun that could be used against targets in the air, on land, or sea. It was quick, dependable and accurate. It was used widely as the main armament on destroyers, and as the secondary armament on larger vessels. Advantage.

    The American torpedoes were unreliable, and frequently detonated before contact, or didn't detonate at all. The Navy was very reluctant to admit it and/or correct it. The Germans had torpedoes that detonated when and where they were supposed to, and they had acoustic guidance sytems. They shared these with Japan. Big disadvantage.

    Initially, the American carrier-based fighters were inferior to Zeros in that they had less power, manuverabillity less armament. Big disadvantage.

    Radar was an advantage.

    Sometimes things aren't as bad as they seem. Being late to enter the war meant being able to lend-lease the older ships to Britain while modernizing our own fleet. Losing the old battleships at Pearl Harbor led to expediting the Iowa class batleships. Being left with aircraft carriers ushered in a new era in naval warfare. Inferior fighters led to an expedited fighter development program. Crummy torpedoes led to relying on the dive-bomber approach, which worked pretty well.

    But as much as anything the Pacific war was a numbers and logistics game. The USN used one class of submarine ( which simplified training and supply ) and built and manned them as fast as they could and ( learning from the battle of the Atlantic ) sent them after the Japanese merchant ships. Japan, ( and much of it's empire) being a collection of islands depended on ships the way the US economy depended on rails. By sinking the freighters and tankers they were able to cripple industrial production before they got close enough to bring enough bombers to bear. This part wasn't out-teching, it was out-hammering and pillaging.
     
  12. Dr.Null

    Dr.Null forIhavetastedthesushi

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    Alright, here's what I've distilled from reading through the recent pages of this thread. Thanks for all the feedback on my initial list. Hopefully I've done justice to your excellent ideas; please let me know!


    Sea Units

    - Armored Frigate (available with Astronomy + Military Science + Steel): 120 :hammers:, 12 :strength:, 4 :move: (+2 :move: with Steam Power), replaces Ship of the Line.

    - Dreadnought (available with Astronomy + Steel + Steam Power): 180 :hammers:, 20 :strength:, 4 :move:, deals collateral damage, 50% withdrawal chance, upgrades to Battleship.

    - Torpedo Boat (available with Combustion): 140 :hammers:, 20 :strength: (+50% vs. Submarines, cannot see Submarines), 6 :move:, gains 2 first strikes, upgrades to Destroyer; cannot bombard defenses.

    - Transport (available with Combustion): as normal.

    - Destroyer (available with Artillery + Combustion + Radio): otherwise as normal.

    - Battleship (available with Artillery + Industrialization): gains a 50% withdrawal chance; otherwise as normal.

    With Rocketry, all ships gain access to "SAM 1 / 2" promotion which gives +20% / +30% interception. Bombers lose their anti-ship penalty. Fighters gain the ability to spot Submarines.


    - - -

    Land Units

    - Bombard (available with Gunpowder + Metal Casting): identical to Trebuchet, identical cost, upgrade to Cannons.

    - Culverin (available with Gunpowder + Engineering): 100 :hammers:, 10 :strength:, 1 :move:, siege which cannot bombard defenses, upgrade to Cannons.

    - Early Armor (available with Combustion): 120 :hammers:, 20 :strength:, 2 :move:, armor unit, no defensive bonuses, upgrades to Tank. Nothing upgrades to this unit.

    - Elephant Machine Gun (Khmer UU, replaces Early Armor, requires Ivory instead of Oil): just kidding.

    - - -

    Desired Effects

    - Gunpowder now a "destination". It's possible to invade a neighbor with just Muskets and Bombards. If you have Janissary or Oromo, it might even be a good idea.

    - Combustion remains militarily strong, but it's not the "one-stop" own-the-seas tech it used to be.

    - Battleships (and Dreadnoughts) become the Siege of the seas. They deal collateral, the only addition necessary was the Withdrawal chance. Hopefully this will make Battleships a thing you seldom lose but often need to protect (by sacrificing your "screening" ships).

    - The deal with Torpedo Boats getting a bonus vs. Submarines is purely a game issue. Torpedo Boats should be on roughly even footing with Subs, but Subs should murder Dreadnoughts, and Destroyers should murder all of them. Adding this one special bonus allows me to get the desired effect with zero changes to existing unit strengths.

    - Early Armor is an answer to Infantry and Machine Guns. It's also a way to actually get some value out of Anti-Tank and Panzers, who should stomp it flat.

    - Small Unit Impact: this only adds 3 new sea units and 2 new land units (plus one alternate "skin" for an existing unit). The tech tree itself is unchanged, but some units get pushed back to make room for the new ones.

    Please let me know if I've neglected anything interesting, or made some kind of balance mistake.
     
  13. damerell

    damerell Slow Worker

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    You're missing the steam-powered transport (assuming you like it well enough to include it).

    The trouble with this is that if the Bombard is identical to the Trebuchet, but bypasses Walls and Castles as other gunpowder units do, it's.... better than the Cannon, to say nothing of further reducing the utility of Castles. But if it doesn't have that bypass, it lacks flavour.

    I really don't feel the need for the culverin or early armour.
     
  14. SamSniped

    SamSniped DJ Goodboye

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    Subbed to this. I'll try and put some of these ideas in my mod when I get back to updating it :p
     
  15. damerell

    damerell Slow Worker

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    I think a difficulty with this is... what screening ships? It's already the case that, with the Battleship weighing in at 225 :hammers: vs. the Destroyer's 200, but with 40 :strength: against 30 (and the utility of strength is not linear, either), once I can build Battleships I need relatively few Destroyers, especially once Carriers can provide interception. And you've just made them better.
     
  16. Dr.Null

    Dr.Null forIhavetastedthesushi

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    Thanks for the feedback!

    You make a good point. Should the cost of Battleships be increased? 300 to 350 :hammers:?

    I do want people to have a reason to build both Battleships and Destroyers.

    Could we fill the hole with something like "Galleon +1 :move: with Steam Power"?

    The only flavor would be the tech path difference (no Engineering) and the unit graphics.

    Others have argued eloquently enough for each of them, and I found their arguments reasonable and compelling.

    Can you see a way that either would hurt the game's balance (i.e. are either of them overpowered)?
     
  17. Te_Wheki

    Te_Wheki Chieftain

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    Torpedo Boats are not anti-submarine they weren't even in use when submarines became popular, they are anti-Frigate, the only weapon against submarines are depth charges as trying to fire a tordeo from a surface vessel at an underwater target would be woefully inaccurate. Especially when the surface vessel is about the size of a lifeboat, they were used in sneak attacks against Frigates or ironclad steam ships because they were small and difficult to spot at night so could sneak in and fire off torpedos and sink much larger ships by stealth. I can kind of see what you're trying to do but Torpedo Boats simply didn't function as a sub counter, in fact nothing did until Destroyers came along hence why the German U-Boats were so effective (perhaps they'd be a better UU than the Panzer?).

    Also Bombers would be a better choice as submarine spotters than Fighters as they do so in real life by dropping sonar detection devices underwater - maybe have it so they only spot them on the recon mission?

    I like the rest of your ideas though, although I'd consider calling the Early Armor just Armor, as they didn't know they were early and with Tanks following it works well.
     
  18. damerell

    damerell Slow Worker

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    Perhaps if subs (and torpedo boats) were granted a bonus against Battleships (and Dreadnoughts), escorting destroyers would be more effective.

    I looked into that, but as far as I can see it can't be done in the XML, significantly increasing the effort involved in the project.

    I find that rather unsatisfactory: the Bombard does not count as, and have the flavour of, a Gunpowder unit. But we're introducing it because, er, it's an important piece of the history of gunpowder units.

    True. But I think one could mount an equally good argument for pre-dreadnoughts, and for a distinction between early carriers and supercarriers, and... well, I think one has to beware scope creep. But all I'm really saying is, I personally don't feel the lack of them.
     
  19. Dr.Null

    Dr.Null forIhavetastedthesushi

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    Yeah, you're historically correct... but it seems like bad game balance to me to allow a unit before its counter.

    Hmm, the more I think about it, the less bad it seems. Unlike the Destroyer, nothing upgrades to a Submarine, so the submarine commander wouldn't be mass-upgrading. Okay, sold! Thanks for the help.

    We could have the Airship upgrade to Bomber instead of Fighter. Then the submarine victims would at least have a sporting chance at spotting the darn things.

    So sub spotters are:
    - Airship
    - Bomber
    - Destroyer
    - other Submarines & Attack Submarines

    Makes sense, and thanks!

    That makes a lot of sense. Around what, a 100% bonus? The bonus would only apply if the Submarine or Torpedo Boat initiated the attack, of course.

    The fact that it was historically important does not mean it should have special powers. AFAICT the Bombard was the first Gunpowder weapon which was good enough to be useful compared to medieval siege units. IMHO that's good enough for inclusion in the game, particularly if it'll entertain some players.

    If you race up the Guilds -> Gunpowder route, you'll have Bombards, Muskets, Knights and Crossbows. That's a plausibly winning combo without any special bonus. IMHO we really want to be careful with game balance.

    Early Armor is one I've felt myself, when I've lacked horses.

    The Culverin... yeah, I dunno. It seems like it'll be a unit ripe for cheap Cannon upgrade at worst, and a useful tactical option at best. That doesn't seem like a bad bet to me.

    (Side note: isn't a "Super Carrier" just a regular Carrier which is full of Jet Fighters instead of regular Fighters? The difference in effectiveness is large!)

    Thanks!
     
  20. Rusty Edge

    Rusty Edge Deity

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    Hmm. I never thought of it in those terms before.

    You're right. An American Essex class carrier in WWII carried about 90 combat aircraft, and so does an American supercarrier, although the ship's tonage is much greater, as is the bombload that each plane can carry( Grumman Avenger 1 ton/ Northrop FA-18 6 plus ). The modern Russian carrier about half as many planes, and everybody else even less.

    I suppose realistically, a civ carrier could carry three prop planes or one jet. I guess it's simple streamlining for gameplay that things are the way they are.
     

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