Why is war so unrealistic in Civilization V?

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by CivAddict2013, Jul 25, 2016.

  1. CivAddict2013

    CivAddict2013 Warlord

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    I recently won a domination victory with Babylon. But I noticed something...

    In Civilization V, even if your units are 2 eras ahead; they can still struggle against weaker units.

    For example, I was trying to take Venice. Venice is still in the industrial era and has a few Riflemen. I sent in 2 Infantry and a few artillery. But I still struggled to take the city, even with much more advanced units.

    Overall, war is unrealistic in Civilization V. I've seen Crossbowmen and Pikemen survive an artillery shot.

    The most unrealistic aspect though, is how much damage cities do. Realistically, a renaissance era city or industrial era city would do little to no damage to modern Infantry. But in Civ V, a city with a cannon and a few Riflemen, is enough to fight off modern Infantry.

    In real life, a city with renaissance or industrial tech would stand no chance against a team of Infantry and Artillery.

    Can you honestly imagine a renaissance era city fighting off Infantry and Artillery? No, but in Civilization V it can happen.

    It's the same with bombers. In real life, a Crossbowman would stand no chance against bombers. But in this game, it takes a few bombers to take down a Crossbowman.

    Battleships too. Why does it take 3 shots from a Battleship to take down a Renaissance era naval unit?

    So my question is, why is war so unrealistic in Civ V?

    Why are units 2 eras ahead so weak against less advanced units?
     
  2. danaphanous

    danaphanous religious fanatic

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    it helps if you realize that these are not just a few ships or units but armies of the unit type, that is what they represent in the game.

    So yes, pikemen stand no chance again bombers, but it still will take a few bombing runs to completely destroy an entire army of them. likewise battleships massively overpower frigates, but it will still take them a few rounds of attacks to take out of a fleet of frigates, which is what each unit represents.

    Anyway, some things still don't make sense, but they are for balance choices. The game designers tried to make the military curve less steep because it is a turn-based game. So if someone happens to get to great war infantry 10 turns before you, you aren't destroyed immediately. If you play Deity and experience being behind yourself you will be glad they designed the game this way. :) Otherwise the AI could invade as soon as they get a new military tech and take over your empire in 1-2 turns before you even had the chance to react and upgrade your troops. But they balanced it by giving you time to upgrade and purchase units when you are attacked even though each turn technically represents a few years.

    For cities, they gave them extra defense because losing one is pretty devastating when civ V is much more focused on growing fewer cities to be more productive. This is because population is halved and half of the buildings are burned. That's thousands of years of progress. So they wanted to give cities a bit extra defensive power so you couldn't just paratroop in and take cities left and right like in real life. In real life you CAN do this, and you can burn entire cities to the ground with bombing raids, and it is why war is so terrible. They nerfed nukes something terrible too. irl even the weakest bomb would completely level any city off the map. A nuclear missile would be even worse. The first H-bomb test in the pacific by the US was so devastating it completely erased an island from the pacific ocean and destroyed several fishing ships they thought were out of range.

    So yes, the game is not realistic, but these choices were made to make the game fairer then real life and more fun.
     
  3. docbud

    docbud Emperor

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    Two eras ahead? I think you need to move up a level or two. But--then again--if you just like to guarantee yourself a win by beating the snot out of an outmatched AI, more power to you.

    And are you sure you are using your military properly? Or enough units?

    If you have artillery and infantry, you should easily take a Renaissance city. Two or three artillery alone will take the city down to zero in two turns.

    And I've had infantry survive riflemen and cannons, and it barely put a dent in the infantrymen.

    So far as bombers dropping their payload on crossbows, why wouldn't some survive?

    Its sounds like you just want to beat the crap out of the AI without them putting up a fight.
     
  4. corona88

    corona88 Chieftain

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    In real life turns don't exist. So why you don't complain about that? Game not realistic because of turns. Games never should be realistic, because game exist for fun.

    You want compare game with real life? You can't do that with any game, because they are games not real life.

    We can talk here only about balance. In every game balance is important not if they are realistic or not.
     
  5. yosefm

    yosefm Chieftain

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    Remmember that cities are not actual cities. Look how much place they take on a standard map. It is more like a metropolitan area surrounded by suburbs, villages and farms. And this metro-area has some garrison, it has fortifications all around, and it has bloody hedgerows. Just imagine the allied paratroopers dropping into the Caen area in normandy: most of the force was scatterred before they saw a single enemy unit.

    I think of the different strengths and modifiers as taking into account not only the size of armies but also the tactical level which is hidden from you, home advantage, ability to use the terrain.

    And as some leaders and civs point for you, lower-era units *did* in history give a lot of trouble to much better-equipped armies by using advantages like that - and matched armies engaged in fights resulting in a total rout of one side. War is the kingdom of uncertainty.

    So next time a city guarded by a crossbowman gives your infantry a headache, consider them crossbowmen sneaking around dropping bridges, coming on your camp at night and you can't even see rifle flashes, taking out an entire legion by blocking the sides of a forest road and storming the long line from its side - as the German wariors really did do to six Roman legions. Imagine your tanks preferring to go around a vilage and into a possible minefield rather than into ambush in the narrow streets of the village. That's what CIV tries to give you.
     
  6. apocalypse105

    apocalypse105 Deity

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    To be fair modern infantry olso dont stand a change to artillery and bombers if they dont seek cover.. so yeah pikeman can survive artillery shots if they take cover.. Yep its realisitc.

    The only problem i agree with you is that crosbowman have to high melee power so they can bassicly stand agianst mustketman and longswordsman wich they shouldnt
     
  7. CivAddict2013

    CivAddict2013 Warlord

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    Yes, it's true that units represent armies. However, it should still not take 3 shots from a Battleship to take down Privateers.

    Even if it is an army of Pikemen; it shouldn't take 3 bomb strikes to kill it. Bombers tend to cover a wide area, meaning that the whole Pikeman unit would get hit. Realistically, even 5 Pikemen would stand no chance against a Bomber.

    I understand there needs to be balance. But if I have a massive army that's 2 eras ahead in tech; I shouldn't be struggling against Renaissance and Industrial units.

    The main problem with city defense, is the damage cities do. It's super unrealistic. So even if you're in the modern era; a renaissance era city with a Crossbowman can destroy your infantry. Can you honestly imagine a Renaissance era city fighting off a WW2 army? No. But in this game it's possible.

    I don't have a problem with the extra city defense. But the damage cities do; particularly to more advanced units should be nerfed.

    My Infantry should not be struggling against a city with a Cannon and a few Riflemen.

    It takes a lot of techs to get from Rifleman to Infantry; but it just doesn't seem worth it. Why go through all those techs just to struggle against industrial units? It still takes 2-3 turns for an Infantry unit, to take down a single Rifleman unit.



    Yes, two eras. I was in the Atomic Era, while every AI was either in the Renaissance or Industrial era.

    The problem isn't that my Infantry don't survive. It's that my Infantry's are getting destroyed by a combination of the city, a cannon and Riflemen attacking my Infantry. The city is doing the most damage.

    Cities being able to do a lot of ranged damage to more advanced units is unrealistic. How can a city defend so well, against technology it hasn't even discovered? Completely unrealistic.

    I expect to put up a fight. But if all of my units are 2 eras ahead of yours; I shouldn't have as hard of a time beating you.

    Why should you get rewarded for being behind in tech?

    Home advantage still wouldn't be enough to fight off a more advanced army. Look at what happened with the Native Americans. They had a "home advantage" over the Europeans, but were still defeated because of inferior technology.

    You're correct that lower-era units did give more advanced units trouble in history. But these were large armies of lower-era units. Not a few Riflemen units like in this game. A city, a cannon and a single Rifleman, shouldn't be able to kill a modern Infantry unit so easy.

    The whole German Crossbowman thing makes sense; since Legions and Crossbowmen are from around the same era. What doesn't make sense is Crossbowman surviving a melee attack from a modern Infantry unit.
     
  8. Browd

    Browd Dilettante Administrator

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    I think General Custer would like to have a word with you, as would Publius Quinctilius Varus. At Little Big Horn, Teutoberg Forest and innumerable other battles throughout history, technologically "inferior" armies have soundly defeated their "superiors." Among other things, an army's technological superiority will not overcome strategic and tactical ineptness on the part of the army's leader.

    Candidly, I experience little of what you describe. I cannot help but wonder whether you are trying to do too much with too few units, and perhaps the wrong mix of units.
     
  9. historix69

    historix69 Emperor

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    If you compare warfare in Civ5 with 20th century real warfare, Civ makes the gameplay easy ...

    In real life
    - your planes cannot simply spot and bomb enemy armies which are hiding in forests, jungle and villages and moving only at night (e.g. Vietnam War)
    - your soldiers would get sick by tropical desease like malaria when stationed in tropical regions like Africa, South and Middle America and South Asia. WW2 units fighting in those regions often had more casualties from deseases than from fighting.
    - Inferior enemy units would attack at night and in difficult terrain to compensate their weakness.
    - Desert sand would ruin your vehicles' motors.
    - Units would need supplies like water, food, ammo, fuel, replacement equipment, ...
    - Lifetime of equipment often was very short, e.g. allowing only a few thousand shots by an artillery unit or driving around 1-2.000 kilometers with a tank before the motor had to be exchanged.
    - In WW2 factories were busy producing enough replacement equipment for the units in the field while in Civ your units simply rest and are restored to full health without additional costs.
    - ....

    Warfare in Civ is simply entertainment and far away from a simulation of realistic warfare ... even with a proper AI, the design (game rules) is too unrealistic ... more realism would mean more micromanagement (e.g. Logistics) and less entertainment for Gamers ...

    Did you wait with infantry attack until city defence was reduced by artillery?
    Did your infantry had promotions like cover, medic, city attack?

    My biggest problem with war against "inferior" enemies is that taking a city usually reduces the city's defensive value and gives the enemy a chance to easily take back (liberate) the city the next turn and thereby killing my valuable unit ... the fight is only between the attacker and the city and the combat-value of my garrison unit is ignored ... therefore I often use cheap units or cavalry for taking a city (and move them out of the city the same turn if possible.)
     
  10. danaphanous

    danaphanous religious fanatic

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    cities that are eras behind do less bombardment damage and have strength penalty already actually compared to later era cities.

    Also in my experience crossbows and cannons can do very little damage to infantry.

    I'm not sure why you are having trouble taking a renaissance city, that should not be the case. But you said he had rifles so he's not renaissance, he's industrial. So I'm gonna take a guess and say Venice had offshore frigates that were also bombarding you and a castle+arsenal. this greatly increases a city's defense. You might not know this yourself as humans don't usually build these many extra defenses but the AI often do and it makes a city pack quite a punch even to infantry. But this IS realistic. An industrial fortress city with cannons will still do quite a bit of damage to modern infantry which are really just troops with better guns. They still need artillery or air support to take down a fortress even irl.

    Now, you said you had artillery so I'm wondering why you were even getting your infantry close enough to take damage. The standard move is to fortify you line just outside city fire range, set up artillery and whittle it down, then charge in with a horse unit or something. All you need to do is move a unit in one for sight for the artillery then move it back out after they fire. As other people have said, tactics still play a role in civ5. If you are struggling to take the city with artillery then you weren't using your troops properly in my opinion.
     
  11. historix69

    historix69 Emperor

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    Usually you can see the City Defence Strength as small number below the City Name ... a new founded city usually is around 10, but a big city in modern times with defence buildings and support by wonders can go beyond 100 ... compare this number with the strength of your infantry ...
     
  12. Matthew.

    Matthew. Deity

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    I agree with the cities being too powerful, but not sure where you get the idea units 2 eras ahead still struggle. Knights often one-shot archers.
     
  13. mrwho

    mrwho Prince

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    If you're two eras ahead of your target, I really don't know why you're struggling enough to post about it if you're being at all strategic in your attack. Artillery makes it very easy to take a city, especially if it is technologically so far behind. With respect it sounds to me like you need to work on your tactics more. Once you get artillery, it becomes very easy to steamroll a weaker foe because they do so much damage to cities and have a range outside the city attack. All you need to do it spend 2-4 turns bombarding the city with your artillery, making sure they're protected from melee attacks and using a unit popping in and out of range to gain the LOS, and then come in with a melee unit or two to take the 0 defense city.
     
  14. poxpower

    poxpower Prince

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    I agree, warfare is not realistic, but everything else in the game is.

    From Wikipedia:

    "Ghandi was building a Pyramid in the tundra city of Delhi in 540BC when a carrier pigeon announced that Germany finished theirs, so he had to scrap his construction project and sell the existing structure for flat gold."
     
  15. yosefm

    yosefm Chieftain

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    But it took a very long time. And most of the advantage was offset by plague.

    German Warriors, not crossbowmen - those are from a different example.
     
  16. GAGA Extrem

    GAGA Extrem Emperor

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    I think this is more an issue with pacing than the actual damage calculation of the combat system. You need the slightly lower general damage output to allow proper frontlines to form, but every turn represents so many years (even later on) that the time progression feels off.

    The secondary issue is that there is a pretty big difference between equipment, army structure and doctrines, but CIV abstracts everything into the unit itself. Also in history you often have a gradual shift between different styles of warfare, while CIV has these massive jumps in efficiency between each model.

    As for the damage, inferior units that are unprotected and out in the open will usually die in one hit to vastly superior forces. The only time they can really resist is when they are either fortified, in terrain cover or within a city. Which would make sense to me, considering that this could be (more or less) interpreted as an abstraction of guerilla warfare.

    Apart from all that, I'd argue that the CIV5 combat system is supposed to have a boardgame-like feel by design. I am not a big of the it, tbh - mostly because I feel that 1UPT doesn't work on the scale - but I guess it gets the job done well enough. (And in the end I can always ignore it and just play peacefully.)
     
  17. Alleria

    Alleria Chieftain

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    It is rather intereseting that you compared Civ V war to real wars, because obviously this is just a game so many things are rather simplified for the sake of fun, but you actually pointed only at things that are actually rather realistic...

    The main issue is that you over value technological difference. Though on a large scale technological difference makes a difference (e.g. the transition from the bronze era to the iron era, many bronze era civilizations were wiped by iron), on a "1 on 1" basis, it does not. You can kill a fully geared marines with a knife with luck, training, surprise, or many other reasons, and knives have been around since the begining of humanity. So I think I will have to correct some of these things so you can have a better understdanding on warfare in general.

    As some other posters already told you, units represent armies. In naval warfare (just like in any other type of warfare, to be fair), positioning can be devastating and entire fleets have been sunk not being able to sink a single ship of the opposite fleet, and that was not because it was two eras ahead. Privateers have canons on board, and canon balls pierce through battleships just fine. Battleships are obviously way better, but once your ship is hit hard, it does not matter.

    Also, in the Gulf of Aden massive carriers are taken by bands of 5 pirates in wooden ships. Granted carriers don't have the firepower of a battleship, but you get the picture.

    No, bombing does not work like that, and yes taking cover helps not getting killed by bombs. "Carpet bombing" actually does not make the floor a carpet. Did you know that London had been bombed during 57 nights straight in 1940 ? Yet London is still there today, even though what the Nazi were bombing was civilians (let's say "workers"), which in Civ are less powerful than a pike, let alone an infantry.

    Ask americans about Afghanistan, Vietnam, etc.
    Now I see what your issue is, you miss the piece of the puzzle that would help you understand how war is made. Wars are not won through Superior military (though it helps). They are won by logistics and food supplies. Damage from cities may represent many things, such as inaccessibility to supply lines, harassment from locals, actually real canons, etc. You see the damage done by the city as if the city itself was sending some supermassive bomb on your units, but it's not the case. Send some fully geared marines deep in ennemy territory without supply lines and see how they fare (how damn, Vietnam here you are again).

    So I think this adresses most of your points, the problem being that you overvalue techonological advantage which are actually only marginal (weather my sword is made of bronze or iron, if I get it through your hearth you are dead), and you do not grasp all the factors that actually matter into war.
    I guarantee you, playing with supply lines would be super tedious and boring, but wars are all about supply lines.



    Wow wow wow stop right there, put the keyboard down and open an history book instead. ;) The desmise of the native americans happened for many reasons, none of them being superior technology because, you know, Europeans traded guns with them, and once you have guns on both sides it does not matter.
    Also Tamerlan and Genghis defeated european armies that were considered more Advanced from a technological point of view. And if you want to point something that is not realistic, the fact that Keshik comes in the same era as the knight is totally wrong technologically speaking as keshiks exited way before and require much less technological advancement, but Firaxis did this because otherwise you would just wipe out the map with them. Because that's actually what Genghis did.
     
  18. fau78

    fau78 Chieftain

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    Hahahaha, I like it!: lol:

    Why gunpowder units act as melee attack? A bullet's range is even less than that of an ancient arrow?

    Why machine gun's range is shorter? English longbow could fire 300m? I doubt, but Machine guns could!

    Why bombers get hurt when attack a medieval city? Why they could throw those stones to sky? Just because "a stone with two birds"?

    By the way I like mongol cavalry, 6 speed after promotion. Those mechanical infantry, just bite me.
     
  19. glaciermi

    glaciermi Chieftain

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    I think it was explained a long time ago in a galaxy far far away, Civ 1 Forum on why a beginning warrior could take down a battleship. The answer was something like this, the unit although considered ancient in organization and training (guerillas?) would still have access at the national level to arms dealers and the technology of their allies. So a militia - warrior - guerilla unit say armed with a couple cruise missiles, exocet etc, taking on a battleship.. most likely will die, but one lucky shot and the Bismarck goes to Davey Jones locker.
     
  20. Socratatus

    Socratatus Emperor

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    I`m sure others have answered this (not read whole thread), but you have to see these battles as abstracted.

    For instance, 1000 crossbow men and 1000 pikemen could quite easily survive arty shot from several hundred of them and advance to close with the enemy. Artillery is terrible at close quarters fighting.

    Also consider that if say modern 20 th century tanks were attacking a medieval army and the army won, perhaps the army was smart enough to dig ditches with hot oil all along their line and spread out among the trees and bushes and the tanks (being led by an incompetent leader) got caught in the ditches allowing the medieval army to set fire to the tanks and burn them until the men came out?

    Cannon placed in a well fortified medieval city could do quite a lot of damge to a modern army having to march up and take that city (if it has no air power).

    Of course, in the end, the modern army should win if it has the air power and manpower and knows what it`s doing.

    I am reaching in a lot of this, but without the battle mechanic explaining it I have to use LOTS of imagination!

    However, that said, there was one time when my bomber somehow got show down by Medieval Knights on horseback and i`m still scratching my head to how that one could possibly happen! So, yea, the system isn`t perfect.
     

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