Combat, bombardment, destruction and damage

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Corbeau
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Combat, bombardment, destruction and damage

Postby Corbeau » Wed Jan 24, 2018 2:47 pm

This started as a discussion on the Longturn forum about some particular aspects of combat in a particular game, and I realised I started discussing things in general, so maybe put it here.
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Frigates completely killing of city units is very unrealistic. I was toying with the idea of "shore bombardment", giving most naval units "Bombarder" flag, but that would make purely naval battles a bit odd. But I still haven't discarded the idea. Maybe have a weak naval unit (Corvette, Destroyer) a normal attacker, while everything heavier (Frigate, Cruiser, Battlesihp) Bombarders. Then you have to roam the seas in formation, heavy ships will weaken the enemy and "normal attackers" will finish it off before it manages to repair or limp back to the port. Again, it would be a LITTLE odd, but it might work. It would be a rough approximation of naval battles where a battleship was never travelling alone. Also, many naval battles ended with a lot of damaged, but surviving ships. And, of course, a lot of them sunk, but not really *all*, which basically is the case in Civ.

Speaking of battle damage, actually, warfare generally does consist of armies attacking each other and very rarely would a whole unit be completely wiped off. Much more often they would be forced to retreat or decimated, but would survive and, after reorganization and reinforcements, would be ready to fight again. Basically, this would be achieved if ALL combat units would have the flag Bombarder, but then there would be no destructions at all and the general effect would again be pretty odd. Not unplayable, but still.

Maybe have most be Bombarders and have some, weaker ones, Skirmishers or something, have the ability to kill the damaged and weakened ones. But then the effect would be the same, everybody would have combinations of units in the field and most units would end up being destroyed, so no effective change.

Any thoughts?

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Re: Combat, bombardment, destruction and damage

Postby wieder » Wed Jan 24, 2018 3:57 pm

You could make the ships to bombard cities and still attack each other.

Bombarding is however kind of this sword with two blades. It's working well if you have one or few units in a city. However if the city has 20 units and it's attacked by 5 frigates, all those units would be really badly damaged. I may not be right about this but bombarding in the early game might be too powerful at least with ships. The ships can appear out of nowhere unlike units like catapults.

Then again it might work. Maybe there could be some ship that could bombard while the others wouldn't be able to do that. I wonder what would be the penalty for that ship?

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Caedo
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Re: Combat, bombardment, destruction and damage

Postby Caedo » Wed Jan 24, 2018 7:40 pm

wieder wrote:Bombarding is however kind of this sword with two blades. It's working well if you have one or few units in a city. However if the city has 20 units and it's attacked by 5 frigates, all those units would be really badly damaged. I may not be right about this but bombarding in the early game might be too powerful at least with ships. The ships can appear out of nowhere unlike units like catapults.

I wouldn't attribute this problem to bombarding in the early-game specifically, but bombarding in general – if I have a city with SAM battery, a bunch of fighter jets and possibly underground bunkers, it simply doesn't make sense for an enemy's bomb raid to hit literally everything. Of course, that counteracts the problem of having too many units in one place, but I don't think it's really a good solution. Especially if all players go at the same time, it makes a huge difference whether I move a split second earlier and attack first, or they attack a split second earlier and weaken all of my units.
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Corbeau
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Re: Combat, bombardment, destruction and damage

Postby Corbeau » Wed Jan 24, 2018 9:57 pm

Caedo wrote: if I have a city with SAM battery, a bunch of fighter jets and possibly underground bunkers, it simply doesn't make sense for an enemy's bomb raid to hit literally everything. Of course, that counteracts the problem of having too many units in one place, but I don't think it's really a good solution.

Well, if you have a city crammed with military so much that they are falling out of the windows and then a bunch of bombs drops by, guess what is realistic.
However, yes, I'd say that different behaviour is needed for "Bombarder" flags in different situations. For example, a bombard unit attacking infantry shouldn't pose a risk. However, there is this thing called "artillery duels" and it isn't implemented in Civ. Same should work for the Bomber/SAM or Bomber/Fighter pairs.

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Corbeau
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Re: Combat, bombardment, destruction and damage

Postby Corbeau » Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:00 pm

wieder wrote:You could make the ships to bombard cities and still attack each other.

With ruleset settings?

Bombarding is however kind of this sword with two blades. It's working well if you have one or few units in a city. However if the city has 20 units and it's attacked by 5 frigates, all those units would be really badly damaged.

Like I said above, if the city really has 20 units crammed inside, then it's pretty obvious that any bombardment will end as a slaughterhouse, both in RL and in Civ.

If you don't want heavy losses, spread your units.

As for ships coming out of nowhere, that's a different matter. Need to either increase vision or reduce ship movement.

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Re: Combat, bombardment, destruction and damage

Postby GriffonSpade » Wed Jan 24, 2018 11:33 pm

It's notable that the bombardment was released in SM's CivIII, where it only targets a single unit, same as a regular attack.
The problem with bombardment is that there's basically no way to stop it, so bombarders can be rolled in, flatten the defenders, then normal units can finish them off.
Likewise, the only units with enough range and power to bombard an area while safe are Artillery, Howitzer, Bomber, Stealth Bomber, Cruiser, and Battleship. (Assuming Artillery, Howitzers, Bombers, and Stealth Bombers are all Regimental units)
Others lack the range or firepower to attack all units on a tile.
Cannons, Frigates, and Ironclads have neither the firepower nor the range to hurt units halfway to the other side of a city. It's easily arguable that Frigates shouldn't /ever/ be safe while attacking a city, as any land-based defenses should have better range.
Likewise, Fighters and Stealth Fighters don't have the sheer volume of firepower necessary, and also need the ability to kill units.
Destroyers shouldn't have Bombard, otherwise killing sea units, and submarines in particular, becomes an issue. (Carriers, Cruisers, and Battleships should ALWAYS have escorts)

The options for balancing their ability to flatten defenders:
-Increased cost (Increased time to make a bombarder)
-Increased maintenance (Reduced maximum possible bombarders)
-Reduced attack (Reduced chance of inflicting damage)
-Reduced firepower (Reduced damage when a target is hit)
-Reduced movement (Reduced ability to get into position to hit a target)
-Reduced bombard rate (Reduced chances to hit a target)

As an alternative to strong bombarders you can also have:
-Reduced unit healing rate from barracks/forts (reduced need for bombarders)

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Re: Combat, bombardment, destruction and damage

Postby Caedo » Thu Jan 25, 2018 11:31 am

Corbeau wrote:Well, if you have a city crammed with military so much that they are falling out of the windows and then a bunch of bombs drops by, guess what is realistic.
Corbeau wrote:Like I said above, if the city really has 20 units crammed inside, then it's pretty obvious that any bombardment will end as a slaughterhouse, both in RL and in Civ.

The problem here is that city growth isn't reflected too well – if I put 20 units in a size 1 city, then sure, they won't be able to fit. But if I have a ruleset with large city radii and put 20 units in a size 30 city, that's a whole different matter entirely.
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Re: Combat, bombardment, destruction and damage

Postby VladimirSlavik » Thu Jan 25, 2018 11:49 am

Is the bombardment mechanic itself immutable? One could just limit the total damage caused by a bombardment attack and then it's a question if it's spread across 2 units or 20 units on the one tile...

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Corbeau
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Re: Combat, bombardment, destruction and damage

Postby Corbeau » Thu Jan 25, 2018 12:09 pm

VladimirSlavik wrote:Is the bombardment mechanic itself immutable? One could just limit the total damage caused by a bombardment attack and then it's a question if it's spread across 2 units or 20 units on the one tile...

If you go into changing the code, yes, a lot of stuff can be done. Anyone here able to take up that part of the task?

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Re: Combat, bombardment, destruction and damage

Postby wieder » Sat Jan 27, 2018 12:22 pm

I know how to code but usually my coding looks horrible to anyone with good coding habits :)

I'm not a Linux user but I assume this might not be that big issue. Probably the best idea to code with a Linux machine anyway.

Now I'm kind of worried how to manage the changes made to the server. There is already this no stealing techs from the cites when conquering patch. Adding more stuff would mean more changes to be maintained when the server version is upgraded in the future. Anyone here with experience about good ways to do that? I know lots of cases when it didn't go that well in a slightly similar commercial project :D