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Winning a game - Analysis on nuclear holocaust and what would you do?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Rise of Mankind' started by 45°38'N-13°47'E, Apr 12, 2010.

  1. 45°38'N-13°47'E

    45°38'N-13°47'E Chieftain

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    Ok, yesterday I had a long discussion with my wife (I play RoM with her in hotsead mode at the moment - hoping it will work til the end) about how a game often ends. This is almost the same I guess for single and multiplayer games. What happens if you're not winning but you notice that someone (ai or another human player in MP) is about to win and you can do something about it? Better, what CAN you do to stop him/her? If the victory your opponent is about to reach is not Conquest or Domination (there's little you can do in this case, I think) or Diplomatic (from my experience this is often unexpected), my point is that the only way to stop your opponent from reaching a cultural, time or space race victory is throwing at him/her every nuke you have and to conduct an all out assault. That's what I actually did last year in my only long MP game with RoM with E_Pluribus_Unum: I nuked him and conquered his capital to stop his spaceship, nuked 3 other civs and razed their cities which were reaching legendary culture and nuked and captured the capital of another civ to stop their spaceship too, allowing my spaceship to reach its destination first and then winning the game. So, is there any other option you will follow to win the game? My point is that almost every game could end in a nuclear war: if the player that isn't winning has the chance to nuke the (almost) winner, why should he stop? The point is that there's no reason not to use nuclear weapons at the end of the game if they can help your victory and the reason is that the game WILL end anyway and you don't have to live in a radioactive world (that's one reason why they're not used in real world, I suppose: real world doesn't "end" like a civ game and you still have to live with the consequences of what you do!). So my question is: if you think you can prevent someone else from winning using nuclear weapons, do you use them? And then the logical consequence is: is there a way to make nuclear weapons less attractive to use at the end of a game? I'm curious, what's your opinion?
     
  2. Afforess

    Afforess The White Wizard

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    If your ultimate goal is victory, yes.

    Doesn't the AI have nukes too? Isn't that deterrent enough? I guess you've never played a game that went MAD because of an AI nuclear pre-emptive strike, have you? ;) I had a game in Europe where Brennus was 2x stronger than me, I was England, and he had 2/3 of Europe. I had just been building tons of ICBM's to prepare for the inevitable war, while I hurried up my spaceship parts. Then, out of the blue, Brennus invaded. He only used a few tactical nukes on the border. So I went all out, and nuked everything, with ~100 nukes. He did the same to me. Global Warming pretty much consumed the planet, and I had failed to kill all his armies, which marched right into my cities (which I might add, were starving due to an extra few desert tiles per turn). I lost that game.
     
  3. Civ Fuehrer

    Civ Fuehrer Eat, Sleep, Mod

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    As it is now, nukes have a maintenance cost and help restlessness within your cities, on top of that the diplomatic consequences.
     
  4. 45°38'N-13°47'E

    45°38'N-13°47'E Chieftain

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    Ok, I agree that if you think you can prevent someone else from winning using nuclear weapons, you simply use them. That's fine with me, I also always used them. The question is: doesn't every game always end in the same way then? I mean, there will always be a second player trying to stop the first from winning. And using nuclear weapons is the only way... or, of course, another way could be trying to reach another victory before the first player but in this case, should the second player be close to gain victory before the first one, the first would be the one beginning a nuclear war to prevent the other from winning. And that's always because there is going to be only one winner, so nobody cares about what's going to happen after you're finished fighting a nuclear war.
    You're right Afforess, it never happened to me to have an AI player starting a pre-emptive strike. But what happened to you is just another proof of what I'm saying: every game where players have nuclear weapons will end with players nuking each others. Or isn't it so? I raised this subject because I was trying to find a way to play with human players without always ending in a nuclear holocaust. Regarding AI, there's little or nothing you can do about it: the game has to end with only one winner. As for human players, do you think there's a way to dissuade people from using nuclear weapons at the end of the game (where it's almost mandatory to use them as we've seen)? I don't think so, unless you somehow bind together multiple games in some way (a score system for people playing together in MP?) so that using nuclear weapons at the end of a game might give you a victory but could cause you problems in the NEXT game you're going to play (with the same players, of course). I know it sounds complicated and I don't think it's something that can be programmed inside the game but rather should be an agreement between players (some kind of "house rules"); but don't you think there should be a little bit more realistic deterrent in the use of nuclear weapons at the end of the game? Cost of maintenance and other player's arsenal ARE a deterrent; but once you're close to the end of the game, I don't think they work as a deterrent anymore because everyone wants to win in the end... Sorry for the long post, I hope I've made my point clear and I'm really curious to know if someone else agrees on this issue of unrestricted nuclear weapons usage at the end of the game. :)
     
  5. Afforess

    Afforess The White Wizard

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    Yes, but I suspect it says much more about the human condition than it does Civ or nuclear weapons.
     
  6. dexy

    dexy Chieftain

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    Yes, I have the same problem. Games become boring once you know the outcome. 2 nukes + one fast unit per city can be all you need to capture the whole civ, even if they have more power and more nuclear weapons. Then you send a horde of workers to clean the fallout and you get clean new cities with a lot of territory within few turns.

    The solution could be to punish the aggressor, so that he doesn't benefit so much from the initial strike. Here are some suggestions:

    • If you're the first to use the nukes, you get 2 unhappiness in all cities for every nuke that explodes; if you've been nuked first, you can throw as many nukes as you've been hit with, without causing unhappiness, but each additional one would cause 1 unhappy face (in all cities).
    • Currently, you don't care about attitude of rivals if they are already 'furious' with you. You can get additional -40 "You nuked us" without consequences. This could be changed, so that each nation that hates you automatically causes unhappiness in your cities (even during peace time, not just war weariness). Unhappiness should be proportional to the attitude (but not quantized to 'furious', 'angry', 'cautious'...) and to the ratio between your two civ's cultures. This will also work well with other aspects, making you care more about relations (for instance not having your spies get caught 5 times each turn trying to poison or destroy smtg). This change could be made effective only after UN has been built.

    All this is a simple change for an experienced modder... ahem...Afforess :mischief:
     
  7. E_Pluribus_Unum

    E_Pluribus_Unum Chieftain

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    All of my games except one MP with Corrado (45°38'N-13°47'E) nuclear weapos were banned trough UN or Quest.
    The problem is useing nuclear (biological and nano (?) (and chemical?)) weapons affect only diplomatic relations. You have huge minus relations with other nations, but trade routes still exists. The consequence is minor compared to the impact, the economy is unaffected.
    A successfull nation/empire based on not just its resources, but needed cooperation with oter nations. The cooperation should be ended afre useing theres weapons : huge minus in diplomacy, closed borders, cancel all existing packts and trade aggreements, no trade routes.
    If you are on your own you think twice to use them...
     
  8. 45°38'N-13°47'E

    45°38'N-13°47'E Chieftain

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    No guys, I think you're missing my point; beside the fact that I guess nuclear weapons ALREADY give unhappiness in your cities if used, the problem would always raise again at the end of the game. I like the proposal from E_Pluribus_Unum of "huge minus in diplomacy, closed borders, cancel all existing packts and trade aggreements, no trade routes" although I think this should be applied progressively the more nukes you use. But the problem remains at the end of the game, when you're a few turns away from finishing the game: who cares if everyone is angry at me or if I don't have any trade agreement anymore if I only need to survive 5-10 turns after having nuked everyone else (or in particular my opponent who is winning before me)? THIS is the problem. The game will end, so I WILL use nukes anyway... In my MP game with E_Pluribus_Unum I throwed at him more than 50 nukes for sure and I conquered many of his cities. But in the end I made peace with him only because some of my cities were about to revolt. I won the game in the end but if E_Pluribus_Unum hadn't made peace with me, probably someone else (AI) would have won the game because some of my cities would have revolted against me and I couldn't have ended the game with a space victory. No penalty for using nukes would have stopped me though, because that was the only way to stop him from winning and I didn't care what could happen after someone (me, him or AI) had reached a victory. That's a fundamental difference with the real world. And the only way, in my view, to escape this "end-of-the-game-holocaust" is to apply some kind of "house rules" when playing with other human players that give you some penalty in the NEXT game you're going to play; something like "The next game we play together, you'll start with -50 points for every nuke you used in the last game" and then agreeing on the rule that the winner should not be the one who wins a game but "the one who wins the game and at the same time has the higher score (over more games, summing scores from different games)". That way, someone could be less willing to use nukes because in the next game his score could be lower than if he hadn't used them. Of course this is something you can apply only when you play with the same people and only as an agreement that cannot be put inside the game itself.
     
  9. E_Pluribus_Unum

    E_Pluribus_Unum Chieftain

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    I see your point.
    What about that if doomsday units only can be used against that civ, who attacked you, or used also doomsday unit agains you.
    This means if you want to stop a civ winning the game you can't use doomsday units until he/she used them to stop you.
     
  10. dexy

    dexy Chieftain

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    I meant that the penalty should be so high that you'd lose the game anyway, because of massive revolutions. If you threw 50 nukes, you'd have 100 unhappiness in all your cities, even after you forced the other guy into peace. So the other (nuked) guy could still win. Maybe not in the same turn, but eventually...

    Currently, peace signing nullifies all war weariness that can be very high because of the nukes. This should be changed.

    I see only one problem with this in MP: you could have agreement between 2 players, so that one uses nukes and takes all the consequences while the other wins the game (against common enemy). But this is a different issue.
     
  11. Afforess

    Afforess The White Wizard

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    Again, I'm telling you, this isn't any fault in the game, it's a fault in human nature. Why you think it is inconceivable for a game to end peacefully is why it never will.
     
  12. dexy

    dexy Chieftain

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    Just wandering what will happen when kids that are playing CIV now become presidents, secretaries of defense, etc. "Ah that red button brings back so many memories...let's try it, just once" :nuke:
     
  13. civ_king

    civ_king Deus Caritas Est

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    yes, depravity of the human condition, my games never end in nukes
    Yes, I pressed it ONCE it involved 300 nukes launched in a stack, it crashed my computer
     
  14. 45°38'N-13°47'E

    45°38'N-13°47'E Chieftain

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    I don't agree completely; I think you must admit that there IS a difference between the game and the real world, no matter what we can do in terms of bonuses/penalties and so on: the game HAS TO end. The world hasn't necessarily to, or not so soon at least. I agree on human nature, but near the end of the game that isn't important anymore: it's important to win because the victory is definitive. There's no such a thing in the real world.
     
  15. 45°38'N-13°47'E

    45°38'N-13°47'E Chieftain

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    I was wondering... isn't unhappiness caused by the use of nuclear weapons already present in the game? I seem to recall in the last MP game I had last year that I had a lot of angry people in my cities because I was using nuclear weapons, but I could be wrong.

    This is a very good suggestion! I also think that war weariness should disappear during some turns and not at once when you sign peace.


    Well, true, but if 2 players are in the same team I guess they both would take the penalties; and if they're not in the same team in the game but they only have an agreement, then only one of them can win the game. Isn't it so? That should be ok because it's a matter of diplomacy not letting 2 players join their forces against you; moreover, the player who would take all the consequences of using nukes would have to agree to lose the game in favour of someone else; I don't know if it's so common for anyone to voluntarily lose the game when you have some chance to win (why shouldn't be the other player to attack with nukes?).
     
  16. Afforess

    Afforess The White Wizard

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    I'm actually pretty sure this is not the case.
     
  17. dexy

    dexy Chieftain

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    OK, I forgot that I'm still on RoM 2.4 :(. I'm actually pretty sure this is the case in that version :D (war weariness still remains, but the unhappy faces "War, what is it good for?" are gone once the peace is signed). If it has been fixed in later versions, great; sorry for the confusion.
     
  18. 45°38'N-13°47'E

    45°38'N-13°47'E Chieftain

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    I don't know, I don't like the idea so much. I think everyone should be left free to decide on his own if using nukes is worth the risk or not. The solution you're proposing sounds like it's too restrictive for me. After all, there's always UN vote to totally ban nukes.
    Anyway there's another thing that I'm not sure of: how often two or more players are at the same time so few turns away from victory? If you remember, in our MP game there were 6 civs which were about to win in only a 10-15 turns time span (you-space victory, wan kong-cultural, hannibal-cultural, vikings-cultural, zara-space, me-space).
    The problem I was trying to analyze in this thread is related on how often different players come close to victory at the same time. Of course the problem is not so important if the time span between different possible victories of different players is longer than 15 turns. I think anyone can start a nuclear war and expect to survive 5-10 turns with every possible penalty; surviving a longer period is a much harder problem that could be enough to stop anyone from using nukes because using them would make impossible anyway to reach another victory.
    So here goes the question for MP players: how often different players come so close to victory at the same time? (As for "close" I mean less than 10-15 turns time span)
     
  19. Killtech

    Killtech Discutator

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    i don't really fit into this discussion because in all my years with the civ game series there was not a single time i used a nuke... when i think of it i don't even know how the nuke explosion looks like in CIv 4 lol. na, i just can't stand the idea of losing buildings, population or the improvements around the city i capture... it would take me too many time to rebuild all the stuff. problem is that i consider all foreign cities as already mine and my opponents just don't know it. i would never damage my own economy!

    in Civ1 my startegy were always diplomats and buying all cities. in BtS taking over cities by culture was my favorite. now spies are my preferred tactic in later game stages - especially in RoM & AND because of the commerce overflow and the super spies feature (sabotage production of spaceship and nukes, revolts to take over cities without losses to my forces). so no need to get that violent.

    but as it is now all my game end between the medival and industrial era (conquest victory)... so i don't even have the chance to use nukes.
     
  20. 45°38'N-13°47'E

    45°38'N-13°47'E Chieftain

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    Well, actually since my first game with Civ1 I used so many nukes only in my 1st MP game with E_Pluribus_Unum. I really seldom use nukes and I guess I never had to use them so much because against AI I was usually able to win well before some other AI player could reach victory. This only means anyway that I was playing with a too easy difficulty level; and I suppose the same goes for you if you can win by conquest in the medieval era (and I also suppose you don't play huge or giant maps...). Anyway even at harder difficulty level I suppose AI isn't as good as a human player so strategy against a human player has to be totally different and you need to adapt a lot more to different strategies. E_Pluribus_Unum had a totally different strategy from me, and the same goes for you. There IS a lot of choice in strategy in CIV4. That's where fun is in MP games.
     

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