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Earth scenario and civ2civ3 ruleset

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Re: Earth scenario and civ2civ3 ruleset

Postby XYZ » Fri May 16, 2014 1:37 pm

Usually each era has a unit (catapult, canon, howitzer) that cracks every defender even behind walls (though I agree here, defenders are too strong). There it is only a matter of getting close enough. About the calculus, yes you only get a level 8 city but you also get units. So I'm not only wasting units in an uncertain and costly attack where the ratio defender/attacker is not on the attackers side but usually when you even have the luck to take the city you are facing the problem of fighting off the counter attack. So you are not only circumventing a costly attack but also buying a defense in place.
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Re: Earth scenario and civ2civ3 ruleset

Postby morphles » Fri May 16, 2014 1:55 pm

Bear in mind that if you are buying city in enemy territory all of that applies to defender, also him being closer, and cities size being reduced, means he likely can require it much cheaper. Also coastal cities are quite resistant to this as you can not do diplomatic actions from ships, while land cities can be defended with scouting surroundings (but again cities are so close, that diplomats can city hop...). Yeah there are some trouble with that but, also often when you buy city, you do not get all units inside, some of them pop out of city and still belong to original owner and he can use them to recapture city. There are lots of nuances, and I agree that some things might need some work, with regards to diplomatic attacks, (nothing that ruleset authors can change though, apart from incite cost). But saying that diplomacy breaks warfare or makes other units irrelevant is quite a bit stretch IMO. As again you can and should be actively countering them.
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Re: Earth scenario and civ2civ3 ruleset

Postby bardo » Tue May 20, 2014 3:41 am

You have talked about interesting issues.

As far as I know, the diplomatic options that can be adjusted in the ruleset are the cost to bribe and the cost to incite. I have never changed them because I'm not good at diplomatic wars and it'd be hard for me to find better values, but I remember that old long turn games used to make them more expensive. However, I think the restricted infrastructure already makes diplomats and spies much less effective in this ruleset.

I agree that it is a problem in freeciv what you describe about players being afraid to move units out of the cities because they are too vulnerable in open field. I have thought a lot about it, and this ruleset already includes several changes (compared to default rules) to try to improve it. For example:
- firepower of artillery and howitzer is halved when not attacking a city.
- the attack of figthers was reduced, as well as the effectiveness of bombers against spread units.
- wheeled units do not take advantage of terrain defense bonuses. This was a big change to reduce the max defense inside the cities or fortresses, while keeping the same defense at plains, where tanks are supposed to be used.
- terrain defense was halved for rest of units, so there is no so much difference between mountains and plains.
- to force the units to move to the attacked tile. I think the most important, because it forces units to get out of the cities in order to kill enemy units. Then, if they are damaged in the attack (and the movement points are reduced), it will be hard for them to return to the city in the same turn.
This should make it safer to place your units out of the cities, as long as they are covered by other units in case they are attacked.

However, I think it is very important for the balance of the game that it is always worth to kill enemy units placed outside the cities, so the cost of the destroyed units (placed in open field) use to be higher than the cost of the units lost to perform the attack (active defense).
Else, you do not need any tactic to attack an enemy city, you just need to place your units around it and wait to see how the defender wastes his units to perform an active defense, or is forced to wait inside the sieged city. In this case, I think the player with better economy would always win.
I mean, that it is good for game balance, and realistic in some ways, that units are most of the time placed inside cities or fortresses, unless they are in march to attack enemy cities. And I personally like when units are often unable to march from your home city to an enemy city in the same turn (i.e restricted infrastructure, and max movement of units similar to min city distance).

Something that I miss in freeciv is a way to use your units to protect other units placed in different tiles. For example, a bonus to defense when there are other friendly units adjacent (or bonus to attack when enemy flancked). The ZoC rule seems designed with this purpose, but it is not very useful in my opinion, because one single unit with igZoC can bypass it for all other units.
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Re: Earth scenario and civ2civ3 ruleset

Postby morphles » Sun May 25, 2014 9:00 pm

However, I think the restricted infrastructure already makes diplomats and spies much less effective in this ruleset.

Indeed it does, also countering bribing is very easily (stack units) , thus I would almost suggest decreasing cost for that. What I also like about this that this creates kinda rock paper scissors, stacked units are good against diplomats, but costly if killed by military attack. While lone units are less costly against military (as only single unit can be killed by attack, ofc there is large simplification here on my part). But vulnerable against diplomats. Though defending from incite is considerably harder, but making players always have diplomats for defense and offense seems good in my eyes.

Again I oppose any "free defense", especially currently unchangeable "steal tech only once per city" (and I think it is like globally once, no matter who attempts later, or if city switched owners, tech steal is bound to fail...). But specials like no incite and no bribe seem a bit OP and strongly diminishes tactical opportunities.

- terrain defense was halved for rest of units, so there is no so much difference between mountains and plains.

Not too sure how this dis-encourages city hopping.
- to force the units to move to the attacked tile. I think the most important, because it forces units to get out of the cities in order to kill enemy units. Then, if they are damaged in the attack (and the movement points are reduced), it will be hard for them to return to the city in the same turn.

Yeah I think this is very very good and important. At first I though this was bad, but now I think this is basically essential.

Else, you do not need any tactic to attack an enemy city, you just need to place your units around it and wait to see how the defender wastes his units to perform an active defense, or is forced to wait inside the sieged city. In this case, I think the player with better economy would always win.

Well currently I think sieges are incredibly rare and impractical. Pillaging too. Basically if you have forces capable of doing any reasonable damage with pillaging you most likely can take city outright. And sieges (as in starve city) are probably not applicable until cities reach sizes of at least 10, but I'd guess you would hard pressed to achieve anything with siege even then. Unless city has some obscene defenses (like elite strong defenders on hills and with walls) I think you are again better of trying to conquer it that to siege.

I mean, that it is good for game balance, and realistic in some ways, that units are most of the time placed inside cities or fortresses, unless they are in march to attack enemy cities. And I personally like when units are often unable to march from your home city to an enemy city in the same turn (i.e restricted infrastructure, and max movement of units similar to min city distance).

Some points. Realism is meh :). Yeah I agree that it's kinda realistic to have units stay mostly in cities, esp in peace time. Less so at war, esp in older eras. As for marching in same turn, take into account that GT uses 2x movement, and some players are advocating for 3x movement, and I think I agree. So that changes things a bit, not exactly sure how. Restrict infra is not too bad, probably very good.

City min distance is annoying shit parameter IMO. Yeah it does some things, but I see it as very hacky, also it is very unreasonable to increase it past default 2, as you then end up unable to build city because of god knows what, some other player has city somewhere, but where, you cant even see it... I think city min dist should be set to 0, and incentive to space cities should be created in different ways. Possibilities could include something like corruption depending on city size (IMO would even be much more realistic than any distance based corruption). Stronger bonuses to buildings as that would make larger cities more cost effective. Increasing city radius with significant population or tech (maybe refrigeration [or some earlier tech]allows better food transport, allowing cities to work larger radius's, this could even end up simulating urbanization).

Something that I miss in freeciv is a way to use your units to protect other units placed in different tiles. For example, a bonus to defense when there are other friendly units adjacent (or bonus to attack when enemy flancked). The ZoC rule seems designed with this purpose, but it is not very useful in my opinion, because one single unit with igZoC can bypass it for all other units.

Yeah ZoC is pretty weak, and for now I see it as a bit cludgy. For example I do not agree that nether sea nor air have nor obey ZoC. igZoC that ignores all ZoC does not seem too bad, but it should, and well is used quite sparingly. Flanking is interesting idea, but of course could introduce some complications.

Lastly unrelated thing: in GT10-Hex that I set up I set explorer vision to 2. I think it suites units role thematically pretty well. Also I think it makes explorer much more significant and usable unit. So I would suggest you to consider making such change too :)
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Re: Earth scenario and civ2civ3 ruleset

Postby bardo » Fri May 30, 2014 2:36 am

morphles wrote:Well currently I think sieges are incredibly rare and impractical. Pillaging too. Basically if you have forces capable of doing any reasonable damage with pillaging you most likely can take city outright. And sieges (as in starve city) are probably not applicable until cities reach sizes of at least 10, but I'd guess you would hard pressed to achieve anything with siege even then. Unless city has some obscene defenses (like elite strong defenders on hills and with walls) I think you are again better of trying to conquer it that to siege.

It is useful for me to know how effective (or uneffective) you find pillaging and sieging in online games. However, I still think it might be effective against well protected cities, in the case that your sieging units are safe outside the cities due to higher tech level (for example musketeers against pikemen and catapults).

- terrain defense was halved for rest of units, so there is no so much difference between mountains and plains.
Not too sure how this dis-encourages city hopping.

I listed it because it reduces the max defense on cities, for example when placed over hills or rivers. But you are right that it also reduces the max defense outside cities.
It is the forbiddance of cities over mountains what makes the difference.

Some points. Realism is meh :). Yeah I agree that it's kinda realistic to have units stay mostly in cities, esp in peace time. Less so at war, esp in older eras. As for marching in same turn, take into account that GT uses 2x movement, and some players are advocating for 3x movement, and I think I agree. So that changes things a bit, not exactly sure how. Restrict infra is not too bad, probably very good.

I think this increase of movement has a huge effect, but I understand it is needed for online games. Else, the conquests would be even slower.
I like when units can not move from a friendly city to an enemy city in one turn because it makes much harder to conquer cities, and it encourages to use different units and tactics depending on the surrounding terrains, but I see it might not fit great turn games.

Another huge difference that I find between offline and online games is the "fortify" action. Offline, the units ordered to fortify at the end of one turn will appear fortified at start of next turn. Online, the enemy can always attack your units before they get the fortify bonus.
I personally like how it worked in civ1, if I remember, where units get the bonus to defense as soon as you press fortify, as long as they have remaining movement points. This way, it is not so important to move to mountains or hills, because you can move to plains and use the remaining movement points to fortify.
I think this could be a solution to the lack of battles outside cities, unfortunately it is hardcoded, and developers did not find it a priority.

I'm interested to know what other rules you think are most affected by the concurrent game mode. I mean, what rules makes it important the moment that you choose to move your units compared to the time of turn change, or what rules encourage the RTS play style.

Lastly unrelated thing: in GT10-Hex that I set up I set explorer vision to 2. I think it suites units role thematically pretty well. Also I think it makes explorer much more significant and usable unit. So I would suggest you to consider making such change too :)

I'm liking this one, I'll try to include it for next version. Thank you.
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Re: Earth scenario and civ2civ3 ruleset

Postby morphles » Fri May 30, 2014 5:44 pm

It is useful for me to know how effective (or uneffective) you find pillaging and sieging in online games. However, I still think it might be effective against well protected cities, in the case that your sieging units are safe outside the cities due to higher tech level (for example musketeers against pikemen and catapults).

To be fair I haven't tried too much, but I think its hard to pull much use from it. I would like to see pillaging as econ raiding in say StarCraft, you come in do some economic damaged, preferably leave alive, but even if damage is greater than unit loss it would be somewhat ok. No way to it currently. Early game has tons of stuff that needs to be build, though you probably could pull that off somethat. But after the damned musketeers, I do not see how it is practical to raid. Risk loosing 40 shield unit so that you could maybe destroy one irrigation or mine that army of workers (that opponent should have by that time) would rebuild in at most two turns? Probably no thanks. I would suggest keeping horsemen unbosoletable much much longer, it's probably my favorite unit, quite cheap, fast. Very good for poking stuff around, it bye musketeers you still had access to them (well you do before dragoons) it might be possible to pull something off.

As for sieging with hi tech, that does not seem to make much sense, if the situation is like that you are probably better off just attacking.

I listed it because it reduces the max defense on cities, for example when placed over hills or rivers. But you are right that it also reduces the max defense outside cities.
It is the forbiddance of cities over mountains what makes the difference.

I see.

I think this increase of movement has a huge effect, but I understand it is needed for online games. Else, the conquests would be even slower.
I like when units can not move from a friendly city to an enemy city in one turn because it makes much harder to conquer cities, and it encourages to use different units and tactics depending on the surrounding terrains, but I see it might not fit great turn games.

Another huge difference that I find between offline and online games is the "fortify" action. Offline, the units ordered to fortify at the end of one turn will appear fortified at start of next turn. Online, the enemy can always attack your units before they get the fortify bonus.
I personally like how it worked in civ1, if I remember, where units get the bonus to defense as soon as you press fortify, as long as they have remaining movement points. This way, it is not so important to move to mountains or hills, because you can move to plains and use the remaining movement points to fortify.
I think this could be a solution to the lack of battles outside cities, unfortunately it is hardcoded, and developers did not find it a priority.

I'm interested to know what other rules you think are most affected by the concurrent game mode. I mean, what rules makes it important the moment that you choose to move your units compared to the time of turn change, or what rules encourage the RTS play style.

Good points on fortify! Now you can basically only fortify if you are relatively safe anyways. OTOH many people try to connect at about turn changes and then you can pull off same stuff that you get in offline game.

As for online/realtime play, well IMO civ games have no option but suck in this regard. As I said in other places discreate space means you can't really have order based gameplay, you need immediate response when moving unit. Though it is managable. As for particular rules I currently can't say much but if something comes to my mind I'll write it here.

I had done some experimenting with rulesets. I have two rulesets that I started, one will need 2.6 version. So I'm totally ignoring it. Other tries to address "movement/war problems" though it's highly unique and peculiar. As I often find many things to do and in general I'm quite lazy dunno how/if any progress will be made with it. So I'm considering sharing it here so that people could have a look. Heres a short summary:

Ruleset would be named something like "wasteland struggler" or similar.
Most of the land on map is "Serious Desert (tm)" :) . I toyed a lot in trying to affect map generator, and I have managed to find some ways to have peculiar influences. So I use it generate said desert land with tiny tiny sprinklings of other terrain (also this desert has no specials, and obviously no terraform, ever.). The desert is modified and is no ordinary desert. It produces 0 food normally (don't recall other stats), but when irrigated it produces 2 food. But there is a serious catch, the main point of the ruleset :) First of you can't irrigate from irrigation, then you can't also irigate from rivers (in fact rivers are out of game entirely, only you cant prevent them from generating currently so they are present but they only give movement bonus [or maybe I removed that too...]). You can irrigate only in such cases: squares orthogonal to lakes, shallow ocean (suppose deep is too salty, more on why thats relevant later), glacier, swamp. And thats it I think. Cities get no free irrigation. What this means is you get strands of land that will never ever be habitable and you "get" locations to build population centers and war have to done "long distance" and man there is plenty of space to move your troops and build fortress, no carpets of cities. I say "get" because to build city you most likely need to irrigate the land first. This is another point I like about it. You have to prepare land and secure it. Sadly this means that AI's get to suck much more, as they seem to no have forward thinking to move in prepare land and settle just then. Though the are not totally terrible.

So anyways, this is how I tried to address "city hopping" problem. As I said I'll probably upload it to let people check it out, maybe it will get enough interest to get some more polish from me or even some else, and maybe some online games can be done using it.
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Re: Earth scenario and civ2civ3 ruleset

Postby bardo » Sat May 31, 2014 3:13 am

I'm liking your idea to limit the places where cities can be placed. I find important something like that in order to create scenarios based on extreme terrains like egyptians or incas. But as you say, it would make things harder for the ai.

I do not use to play other rulesets, but I like to read them or test them in order to get new ideas for my games. I think it would be good to see more people sharing their rulesets, specially if they include new or original ideas. It is something that I miss in freeciv compared to comercial civ versions where there were hundreds of mods and scenarios.

I see your point about obsolete units, and I agree a ruleset should not make obsolete units that are still useful. I think civ2civ3 would keep a similar balance (or playability) if no unit would ever be obsolete, and maybe the gameplay would be more interesting as you say.
The main reason to keep this obsolescence is to allow players to upgrade units, specially important for the AI. But I'll test in my next game to delay the obsolescence of every unit, to see if I can find a better solution.

About diplomatic actions, I have seen they are much more modable in v2.6. It seems each action (incite, bribe, sabotage, etc) can be enabled or disabled one by one, or to link them to different units or techs. I'll test it for future versions.

However, for now, I'd like to keep this ruleset for v2.5 mostly unchanged, unless players find some bug or breaking rule.
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Re: Earth scenario and civ2civ3 ruleset

Postby morphles » Sat May 31, 2014 4:43 pm

Yeah by the plans 2.6 sounds like it will be very kick ass version, quite some nice features.

Problem with obsolescence or no obsolescence is that it sadly also tied into upgraidability, ability to upgrade units is nice, but that you have no real choice into what or when to upgrade is a bit bad in my opinion. I'll try to talk with devs about ability to decouple obsolescence (would simply only be something that makes you unable to build certain obsolete thing), and upgradability, so that you could maybe even have ability to choose multiple upgrade paths.

Well there is little sharing of creations probably because so far community is just quite small around freeciv. I'll try you upload my experimental ruleset in coming days.

Also minor note on my outlook at game: single player is only for training. Real game is multiplayer, in all kinds of games with only certain rarer exceptions.

Anyways back to civ2civ3.

I'm of opinion that great wonders are in general quite a bad idea, I would almost guess that they were kinda added into original games for marketability reasons. Biggest problem is that they introduce quite some luck, and are in general quite powerful, thus have ability to imbalance game greatly.
One thing about civ2civ3 kind of wonders like smiths company and great library and Shakespeare's theater. That supposed weakening of them by making them have an effect on all players seems a bit dodgy to me. I know for sure that I on purpose avoid building some of them in certain cases. For example I'm tending to run very low research games recently. So there is no way I would build great library as it would be basically of no benefit to me, but of significant benefit to my enemies who are trying to push strongly on research. What I mean is that you will only build such wonders it you are already close to the top of the thing the wonder provides, maybe there is slight exception with smiths trading company as its player bonus is at least significant (though weakened). In essence those wonders can only make stronger players stronger, no matter who builds them. Or close to it. Thats kinda my perspective on them.

There is one much worse thing though - Marco Polo. Making it non obsoletable at all is very bad. It already is possibly most overpowered wonder in game. In multiplayer game that is. The amount of influence it allows to have on whole game for owning player is just sick. I would even say that in default ruleset its obsolescence is too far. It should be obsolete in at most 3 or 4 tech levels. So I would say banking, economics, democracy or navigation, and maybe gunpowder, are good contenders to do that. I would probably go with navigation.

Colossus while not extreme also has insanely high payoff. 200 shield 1 level wonder that keeps working basically to the end of tech tree? That is a very very strong thing.

Other thing. Caravel should upgrade to frigate in my opinion. Otherwise experience gained on it is basically lost/much less useful than on frigate. Yeah I understand transporting unit becoming non transporting, and caravel being more defensive unit than offensive, but still seems a bit od.
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Re: Earth scenario and civ2civ3 ruleset

Postby bardo » Mon Jun 02, 2014 5:11 am

Good points about the wonders, I think it is one of the aspects of this ruleset less adapted for multiplayer games, and I see that some costs and obsolescence times need probably to be readjusted.
I tried to design most effects of wonders so they can be transformed to "small wonders" for multiplayer games (so everybody can build one of them), and I think this would reduce the problem of "making strong players even stronger". I was tempted to include this by default, but I find the race to build a wonder an iconical feature that I'd miss too much.
Another idea was to make wonders obsolete only by techs researched by the owner (feature available with v2.5), but it'd make the game less interconnected, and at the end I left the wonders unmodded. Maybe it is time to revise them.

I also noticed that Marco Polo is probably the most overpowered wonder as you say. I did not fix it yet because I did not find a solution that I liked. I was testing to increase the cost, but then it'd become useles in games with few players.
I'm liking the idea to make it obsolete by Democracy. And I think this is something that should be fixed for v2.5. As well as the removal/reduction of waste of food by distance.

I think I changed caravel to upgrade to galleon instead of frigate when I removed the transport capability of frigate because I'm not sure what would happen if a loaded caravel is automatically upgraded. I have to test it.

My vision about games is similar, but someway oposite. I use to say "if it is not fun or balanced online, it is surely not worth to play it offline". I use to test the games online, and then to play them offline most of the time. I guess because I like things related to AI progamming, and modding games, more than playing.

Again, thank you for your comments morphles.
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Re: Earth scenario and civ2civ3 ruleset

Postby morphles » Mon Jun 02, 2014 6:47 pm

I was tempted to include this by default, but I find the race to build a wonder an iconical feature that I'd miss too much.

It's iconic alright :) Yeah we can adjust rulesets for multiplayer, and for the next game I'll be playing on gt I'll be very strong advocate of that.

I think I changed caravel to upgrade to galleon instead of frigate when I removed the transport capability of frigate because I'm not sure what would happen if a loaded caravel is automatically upgraded. I have to test it.

Hm very good point, tell me the results, interesting what game does in that case :)
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