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Civ Has Come a Long Way

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  • Dis
    replied
    SMAC is the be all and end all of TBS games.

    The only reason I like games like civ a little better is because I like the historical aspect a little better than the sci-fi aspect.

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  • Leonidas
    replied
    Re: Civ Has Come a Long Way

    Originally posted by albiedamned
    I just bought Conquests and got back into Civ3 after not playing for quite a while, basically since it first came out. I just wanted to say how far this game has come, both since it first came out, and especially since its predecessors (Civ2, SMAC). While the game is not without flaws, and while there are features of the game that people still complain about, I think Civ3 has really established itself as the premier TBS game. Here are some reasons why I think this:
    • The tech tree and the eras. In Civ2, the early tech tree was mostly a joke and the game really didn't even start until tanks or at least cavalry. In Civ3, every era really matters, and just about every advance gives you important new abilities. The Ancient Era is critical, and following the right path up the tech tree can make or break your game. Ancient Era wars basically never happened in Civ2, but in Civ3 they are not only common but crucial to most strategies.
    • The units. There are very few useless units in Civ3. Just about everything serves a purpose. Compare that to Civ2, with its legions and catapults and horsemen that no one ever built. There are a few relatively useless things in Civ3, such as Explorers, but for the most part every new unit you gain access to really helps in some way or other. And I won't be surprised if someone replies to this post with a really good use for Explorers which I haven't discovered! SMAC does still get an edge here though because of its unit workshop - nothing in Civ3 compares to that.
    • The AI. I'm sure I'm going to get some grief on this one because there are still many complaints about the AI. But compare it to Civ2 or SMAC, and it's night and day. Experienced players can always defeat the AI by exploiting its weaknesses, but unfortunately I don't think there are any games in existence where this is not true. However the Civ3 AI regularly gives new players a run for their money, usually for quite some time. The way it aggressively goes after your weaknesses is very impressive. Of course the AI could be improved, especially in the use of bombardment and in organizing amphibious assaults, but it's still miles beyond Civ2 and SMAC.
    • Diplomacy. I know I'm going to get grief on this one too, but the Diplomacy screen in Civ3 gives you so much more flexibility than any previous TBS game that it's not even close. Yes the AI doesn't always make the smartest deals, but still, the flexibility to define each trade individually, and to trade such varied components as maps, contacts, techs, resources, workers etc. is a major advance from previous games.
    • The combat model. I think Civ3 really got the combat model right for the first time in the TBS genre. This is one area where there seem to be almost no complaints. In Civ2, or even in SMAC, the "phalanx sunk my battleship" complaint was probably the most common. The key features that make the Civ3 model good are the use of experience towards hit points (SMAC had this too), the new bombardment model, the new air mission model, and in general the balancing of the unit strengths.
    • The new features: resources, culture, separate workers vs settlers, bombardment, unique units, civ traits, borders etc. SMAC had some of these features too, but no previous Civ game did and they all add quite a bit to the game.
    • The improvements since the game first came out. There really are no major bugs anymore, and many of our complaints from the initial release have been addressed. The balancing tweaks I think have really improved the game, especially the UU tweaks (no more useless French Musketeers) and the new units (no more un-upgradeable swordsmen), and also the vastly improved balancing and diversity of naval units. I'll even throw the Espionage screen on this list. While the Espionage model is still clumsy, the new screen is far better than the original implementation, and far far better than the Spy/Diplomat/Probe units of Civ2 and SMAC (and all their accompanying exploits).

    I'll stop gushing now. My overall point is that while the game had serious flaws when it first came out, it really has turned into a well polished product. So while everyone still is entitled to their complaints, just think about what we had before Civ3 came out.
    There is still room for improvement.

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  • Last Conformist
    replied
    Did you expect anything else?

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  • albiedamned
    replied
    The original purpose of this thread was to point out that despite all the griping, what we have now with Civ3 is so much better than any TBS game we've had before. But ironically, this thread has turned into another forum for airing remaining gripes about Civ3. Oh well!

    Leave a comment:


  • Last Conformist
    replied
    The settler territory snatching is one of the little annoyances that need to go in CivIV.

    The minimal solution would have the city not take the already claimed tiles till the next turn. Or require the city to have some culture to contest multiply owned tiles.

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  • WarpStorm
    replied
    Gunkulator, you don't need MAs, just armies.

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  • gunkulator
    replied
    Originally posted by Dominae


    This is not the right way to go about it. What you need to do is build a city (within your lands...or not, if you're already at war) that will push back the AI's borders just enough for you to get enough Cavalry/Tanks to conquer one border AI city. Once that city falls, you should have access to all the other ones on the same continent via the AI's own rail network.
    I've read about this but I consider it a horrible exploit - but to each his own of course. In any case, it is certainly the least realistic method of warfare ever and definitely against the spirit of how the game was designed.


    What players often forget in this era of the game is that Workers and Settlers are just as important to your offensive army as your Cavalry, Artillery, or Tanks. On a standard-size map I like to have at least 60 Workers dedicated to the war effort, and about 7 Settlers just hanging around. Those Granary-pumps never go out of style!
    Workers - yes! Settlers? Founding cities in a war zone? That's too much like using Spies from Civ2 - an unbalancing unit. I would hope something like this is not allowed in Civ4.

    Then again I don't play above Monarch level so maybe you really need to do this to win.

    Leave a comment:


  • Dominae
    replied
    Originally posted by gunkulator
    ...that don't work in AI land. By the time Tanks come rolling along, much of the AI's territory is 3 squares deep. If you bring Artillery, you need one turn to get 3 squares away, another to get 2 squares away and then you can attack on the third turn. Reinforcements? Forget it. They may be just one square away on clear land but it might as well be across a mountain or swamp.
    This is not the right way to go about it. What you need to do is build a city (within your lands...or not, if you're already at war) that will push back the AI's borders just enough for you to get enough Cavalry/Tanks to conquer one border AI city. Once that city falls, you should have access to all the other ones on the same continent via the AI's own rail network.

    Of course, it's not always that easy. Here are some things that can ruin your RR-rush:

    1. AI places it's cities too far apart; usually it sticks to 4-tile, but sometimes the underlying terrain messes with this. In the worse-case scenario there will be tiles that the AI has not worked at all (Forest, etc.) because they do not fall within any of it's cities' workable radii.

    2. AI does not have any or very few Railroads. Here you have to use your own (hopefully massive) Worker force to connect the dots with rails.

    3. AI sometimes gets Mech. Inf. too fast. Here even large stacks of Artillery will not help very much...you need Modern Armor to start rushing again.

    4. You have insufficient units to kill all the defenders (usually two per city) in the AI's cities. Solution: build more units, fewer improvements!

    If these four mitigating factors are not present, you can gut an AI civ in one or two turns. Then all you need to do is double back and contain it's standing army, wherever it may lie. If it starts threatening you, you should be to sign for peace pretty easily after conquering 90% of the AI civ's cities!

    What players often forget in this era of the game is that Workers and Settlers are just as important to your offensive army as your Cavalry, Artillery, or Tanks. On a standard-size map I like to have at least 60 Workers dedicated to the war effort, and about 7 Settlers just hanging around. Those Granary-pumps never go out of style!

    Leave a comment:


  • Dominae
    replied
    Originally posted by WarpStorm
    I can often take 5-10 cities in one turn in the late game..
    The game makes it possible to take *all* of them, which is the reason why I dislike the late-game versus the AI.

    Railroads tops my (unimaginative) wish-list of overhauls for CIV.

    Leave a comment:


  • gunkulator
    replied
    Originally posted by WarpStorm


    One word, Railroads.
    ...that don't work in AI land. By the time Tanks come rolling along, much of the AI's territory is 3 squares deep. If you bring Artillery, you need one turn to get 3 squares away, another to get 2 squares away and then you can attack on the third turn. Reinforcements? Forget it. They may be just one square away on clear land but it might as well be across a mountain or swamp.

    Rails are also an annoyance in that they bring about the most unrealistic aspect of the game: The AI can attack your invading army with everything its got, no matter how far away, all in a single turn. To survive this, you need raw numbers, leading to massive "unit bloat" and the associated monotonous one-at-a-time attacks.

    Of course, blitzkrieg really needs tanks. Once you have tanks blitz is very much possible in Civ3. I can often take 5-10 cities in one turn in the late game..
    With MA's, yes but there's an awful long stretch of time to get them. Without MAs, you'll never get past their borders without a counter attack. The only way I've ever taken that many cities in the modern era is by breaking a ROP and that's a one shot deal.

    I dunno, I prefer ancient and medieval warfare. More kinds of units, more options, quicker to get in and attack. YMMV I suppose.

    IMHO, Civ2 made modern warfare too easy, but it was fast. Civ3 has swung too far the other way.

    Leave a comment:


  • WarpStorm
    replied
    Originally posted by gunkulator
    [Yes, I know about the massive Arty stack tactic. My complaint is a gameplay one, not a realism one. Building a moving a huge stack of infantry and artillery requires more micromanagement. Plodding along at 1 move per turn drags the game down compared to medieval and ancient era warfare. Realistic? Probably. Good gameplay: nope.

    This is an area where Civ2 was better, although it tended to swing the other way. Modern warfare was very fast but also too easy. Blitzkrieg just isn't possible in Civ3.
    One word, Railroads.

    Of course, blitzkrieg really needs tanks. Once you have tanks blitz is very much possible in Civ3. I can often take 5-10 cities in one turn in the late game..

    Leave a comment:


  • Leonidas
    replied
    There is a lot I like in Civ3. But Civ2 also has a lot I like as well.

    Leave a comment:


  • Last Conformist
    replied
    Building a moving a huge stack of infantry and artillery requires more micromanagement. Plodding along at 1 move per turn drags the game down compared to medieval and ancient era warfare. Realistic? Probably. Good gameplay: nope.

    I personally rather like it. It's only a pity the AI does not understand it.

    Leave a comment:


  • Proserpine
    replied
    Originally posted by vondrack

    I do not think I can agree with this statement - tanks in WW1 made one rather spectacular appearing at the Battle of Cambrai, but made very little difference otherwise. They were too unreliable and too few to "break the deadlock".
    True, but they did have some effect at the end of the war. Arguably, without wishing to start a debate about the outcome of WWI, their use at Cambrai also reflected the growing technological advantage of the allied (Entente) and Cambrai was the writing on the wall for the Central Powers.

    I am currently reading a book on the Polish-Russian conflict of 1919-20 (White Eagle, Red Star). The use of WWI era tanks by the Poles was helpful, particularly in exploiting the "miracle on the Vistula", though I would argue not decisive (except locally).

    KR

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  • spy14
    replied
    Should have written "some" instead of "the". Either way though it was when the first major advances occured (and at a walking pace).

    Leave a comment:

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