Interview with Kael about his new Civ5 Mod
by, September 27, 2010 at 14:18 (17701 Views)
Kael, the modder behind Fall From Heaven, arguably the most famous Civ Mod ever created, has developed a modular mod for Civ5 - modular meaning it can run next to any other mod.
It´s called "Legions - A Mod for Stacked Unit Combat in Civilization5" and is available on the ingame Mod Hub.
Kael´s description of Legions:Screenshots from "Fall from Heaven II"
I asked Kael a couple of questions about Legions and Civ5.1. Which mechanics compared to the base game are different and in what way?Kael: Legions removes the 1UPT (One Unit Per Tile) limitation from Civilization V. Its a good mod for warmongers. To support the new mechanic cities no longer add additional life to units defending them (since multiple units can defend cities), and unit maintenance is reduced by 25%. There are also seven new promotions to select with your units when they level up.
Legions is completely modular, meaning that it can be run concurrently with any other mod. That was an important feature for this mod, so that players can run it toegher with other mods, treating it more as a game option than a full mod.2. What is the goal of the "Legions" mod? What difference in gameplay are the changes supposed to make?Kael: It's really just for fun. I love the 1UPT mechanic and I think Firaxis was brilliant to design it. But mods are about trying out new ways to play the game. And players have different preferences. Personally I play some games with Legions, and some without.
From a gameplay perspective Legions makes warfare easier. Your mass of troops can march together, ranged units can be directly protected. It doesn't reduce the production cost of units so units are as rare as they were before (this won't return to Civ4 style stacks), but does make moving units easier since they don't need to jostle around each other anymore.3. The "Legions" promotion system is orientated around bonuses for attacking / defending rather then terrain. You for example changed Shock back to Civ4´s version, providing a general +10% in combat instead of +20% in open terrain. What do you think in general about the Civ5 promotion system providing in the early parts of the game bonuses based on terrain rather than absolute combat bonuses?Kael: I don't like that there can be no difference between a 1st and 4th level unit, if the terrain they are on doesn't match with their promotions. I wanted players to have more variety of promotions to pick from, especially at low levels (where they can only select rough bonus, open bonus or instant heal).
Giving them a lower bonus in all combat (the +10% option) is a cool strategic decision compared to +15% attacking, +15% defending, +20% in rough, +25% attacking cities or +25% defending cities. I like that players can specialize their units, but for specialization to be a real strategic option, you have to have a general option available too. Otherwise you are selecting to specialize your unit, only which specialization.
And I cut the open bonus (making it into the general bonus) because being better at combat in a featureless plain doesn't make much sense to me. I like the bonus in rough terrain, but I balanced it against a smaller bonus in all situations. I thought it was a more interesting strategic choice.4. "Legions" reduces unit maintenance by 25%. Do you generally think unit maintenance is too demanding in Civ5 or do you just want "Legions" games to see more units?Kael: Yeah, I think in general unit maintenance is too high in Civ5. I wouldn't mind that change just in the general game, but it became more important in a mod that was supposed to appeal to warmongers, so it was a good place to play test the change.
5. "Legions" allows for stacking units the way it used to be in prior civ versions. What do you think about 1-unit-per-tile in Civ5? Is combat more interesting to you? Do you find it annoying moving a bigger army or do you enjoy grouping it and finding the optimal formation based on land composition?Kael: I love the 1UPT mechanic in Civ5, I think it's brilliant. This mod wasn't intended to imply that I think Firaxis made a mistake, they absolutely didn't. It's just a different way to play.6. Following situation: You hit an opposing unit with one of your units. Both get scratched heavily. Behind your own unit you have another unit with enough movement points to hit and kill the opposing unit, but you cannot hit it because you would have to do that from the tile your other unit is standing on. Also you cannot "cover" your damaged unit. Both prevented by the 1upt system.Kael: I think both types of decisions are viable. In 1UPT terrain, especially bottlenecks, have more strategic importance. In Legions, your army matter more, you can punch through strong defenders, which isn't always possible in IUPT.
Do you mind your own units limiting each others movement possibilities or do you think it adds strategic depth to the game requiring more planning of unit placement?
7. Who´s in the front line of your army when attacking a city in Civ5? Melee, Mounted or Ranged Units?I'm the worst guy to ask about base Civ5. I'm nearly always playing mods, either Legions, Queen of the Iceni or some larger mods that I haven't released yet.
8. Military Units and 1upt aside, what do you think about being able to stack civilian units like Worker, Great People or Settler, which currently are also bound by the rules of 1upt?I love that idea. Pazyryk was the first person who I heard of that suggested it and I think its a great idea. Although I would never suggest that Legions be checked into the core game, I do think that unlimited non-military units per tile should be the default.