#1 2020-04-03 23:03:41

Corbeau
Administrator
Posts: 1,015

Nukes

Ok, I understand that some people love the fireworks, but nukes have two huge problems.

1. They come in too fast, meaning from "no nukes" to full power. A nation can become full nuclear power and obliterate its enemies in only few turns. This is not how things should happen because it turns the game into a single-goal race. Also, very unrealistic.

2. No chance of retaliation. Whoever hits first has won, end of story. This is why every game ends in nuclear war: if you can do it, you will. If you don't, your enemy will, he will win and you will lose. Not doing it under such circumstances is simply playing bad.

So, for the solutions:

1. It took USA years to build the first three nukes, and they weren't much compared to what they were able to build later on. In 1945 the USA was able to build maybe a few bombs a year. And this makes perfect sense: while the technology is still new, nukes should be extremely expensive. I'm talking about at least 1000 shields for the first prototype. Also, there should be a Great Wonder (Manhattan project). Also, the thing should have movement 0 (zero) and be able to be caried by bombers only. Next, 2 or 3 techs further, there should be cheaper stuff. But also, to mimic the ability of USSR to catch up more quickly, there should be at least one more Great Wonder that would make the construction of 2nd and/or 3rd level nukes possible.

2. Like it was said many times, one of the problems in Longturn is that all action happens while the attacked player is offline. So, compensate for this. In real world, the attacked nation can respond within minutes after the launch is detected. In Civ, they can't. So do the extra stuff to make retaliation possible. Somebody already mentione one of the ideas, and I also got it on my own: make nuke units indestructible so that once you're hit, you can retaliate. This is the reason why there has been no nuclear war: deterrent, not some notion of high morals. Also, the chance of retaliation is increased by gradual increase of power of nukes that happens with time, and not simply switching the possibility to have them on because, again, as it is now, whoever gets them first is, by definition, the only one who has them at the moment. Stretching the period of acquiring full nuclear capability AND making it easier for second-comers to  catch up is essential in creating caution about the first strike.

As for other stuff proposed in the discussion, making a nuke destroy 50% or all buildings would not really have much effect. Nukes are mostly used to cripple the enemy and destroy his units. The war is so fast that capturing enemy cities and using them for production is very insignificant. Once you've performed the first strike, the game is half over. If you survive the next few turns, it's definitely over. Besides, you can already set the building-destruction-on-conquest percentage, just can't tie it to nuclear attack. Also, an average sized nuke doesn't really destroy a large city such as London or Paris. I could be wrong, but I think that 10-50-megatonne bombs are not really the main part of the nuclear arsenals today, tactical nukes are far more common and useful.

Next idea: ICBMs should have "Paratrooper" flag with enough range to hit anywhere. One of the main reasons why retaliation is almost or completely impossible is that the nukes, in order to be effective, must be located near the front. But this makes them vulnerable to first strike and usually destroyed. However, making it possible for a nuke to be dropped literally anywhere on the planet enables the attacked player to hide the weapons deep in his rear to be used. NOT give them huge range and ability to move around the map because this actually makes it possible for the missile to do a lot of scouting before exploding which doesn't really make sense.

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#2 2020-04-04 12:31:20

Wahazar
Administrator
Posts: 232

Re: Nukes

Last idea is very good.
But how to enable spy action like exploding nuke case?

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#3 2020-04-04 15:15:06

Wahazar
Administrator
Posts: 232

Re: Nukes

Well, I found it - unfortunately nuke case possible in version 3.0

My M.A.D. idea was as follows:
ICBM unit, 2 MP, 2FP
Paradropping action (possible if unit in city/airstrip) can spawn this unit anywhere on the map, but all MP are drained, thus attack possible next turn.
Even empty city can be nuked (thus this 3.0 action is required) thus removing troops doesn't helps..

Of course it doesn't helps if somebody got nukes first while others are far behind in science. But in such case he deserves to won game.
But if both sides has nukes, such approach produce deterrent effect...

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#4 2020-04-04 19:20:50

Corbeau
Administrator
Posts: 1,015

Re: Nukes

I'm sorry, I don't see what's so interesting about a nuke case. Game-wise, it's a quirk that we can do without, and realistically, you can't use a suitcase to carry a nuke that would amount to anything strategically. Kill 10000 civilians, close down a few city blocks, but no military effect. Civ population does not do politics so terrorism doesn't work.

Wahazar wrote:

My M.A.D. idea was as follows:
ICBM unit, 2 MP, 2FP
Paradropping action (possible if unit in city/airstrip) can spawn this unit anywhere on the map, but all MP are drained, thus attack possible next turn.
Even empty city can be nuked (thus this 3.0 action is required) thus removing troops doesn't helps..

Did you miss the "Explode Nuclear" (shift-N) order? You can detonate a nuke without it hitting anything.

As for paradrop/move, I don't like it. It means the nuke would be sitting there for the whole turn and either be destroyed by the defence or, if it's indestructible, obstruct movement on a probably very busy tile which is very senseless. I'd go for immediate explosion without delay. I did consider making them somehow slow so that the other side can respond, but I don't see how it could be managed current mechanics so that it makes sense. my first idea was making the missiles travel slowly and somehow make them indestructible, but the tile blocking and also scouting problem persists.

Of course it doesn't helps if somebody got nukes first while others are far behind in science. But in such case he deserves to won game.
But if both sides has nukes, such approach produce deterrent effect...

It all depends on the goal of the game. If you are playing Warcraft with the only goal to defeat your opponents, then it makes perfect sense to nuke'em all if you can. If not, if the goal is to play Civilization, then this should be reflected in the game goals.


Also, there was a remark on Discord that nukes shouldn't be super-expensive. Well, let me repeat: even after the first one was built, the production capacity of the most powerful country in the planet was only a few per year (while in the same period it was possible to build 10,000 tanks). I believe this should be reflected in the game.

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#5 2020-04-04 21:56:31

Wahazar
Administrator
Posts: 232

Re: Nukes

Corbeau wrote:

As for paradrop/move, I don't like it. It means the nuke would be sitting there for the whole turn and either be destroyed by the defence or, if it's indestructible, obstruct movement on a probably very busy tile which is very senseless. I'd go for immediate explosion without delay.

Missiles are unreachable, thus they can't be destroyed. Delay between launch and explosion nicely simulate Mutual Assured Destruction policy.
BTW paradrop action make sense for missiles (except of cruise missile), which should be launched once, it is silly that you can use any missile for scouting and return back.

If talking about costs, happy cost 2...3 + fieldunit flag should decrease number of nuclear units, especially for democracy.

Edit: Unfortunately all my idea was spoiled by fact that Explode Nuclear can be performed even with mp left.

Last edited by Wahazar (2020-04-05 00:27:29)

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#6 2020-04-06 17:34:39

jwrober
Administrator
From: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 85

Re: Nukes

This is an interesting concept. We certainly see a lot of nuking going on in LT games near the end.

Manhattan Project wonder would be small, so the nation that wants nukes has to built it and not just get it as a great wonder. The wonder would open a Nuke Prototype unit that has the characteristics to have few MPs and be required to be loaded on a bomber. With another tech (rocketry?) would get ICBM or another nuke unit that has more MPs. Agree that they should be expensive like they are in RL.

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#7 2020-04-06 19:09:06

HanduMan
Player
Posts: 119

Re: Nukes

I think this is not the first time nukes are being discussed on this forum. And I have already spoken my bit in the previous ones. But here emerges one thing I don't remember commenting yet..

makes it possible for the missile to do a lot of scouting before exploding which doesn't really make sense.

Howt about

vision_radius_sq = 0

?

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#8 2020-04-06 21:30:38

Corbeau
Administrator
Posts: 1,015

Re: Nukes

HanduMan wrote:

I think this is not the first time nukes are being discussed on this forum. And I have already spoken my bit in the previous ones. But here emerges one thing I don't remember commenting yet..

makes it possible for the missile to do a lot of scouting before exploding which doesn't really make sense.

Howt about

vision_radius_sq = 0

?

This would make a lot of sense for cruise missiles that are supposed to go into the already charted territory. But if you want to send a strategic nuke deep into the enemy rear, where you don't have that much data, it going completely blind would mean it is very likely to hit a random unit and explode way off target, which is not ICBM behaviour.

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#9 2020-04-06 21:36:56

Corbeau
Administrator
Posts: 1,015

Re: Nukes

jwrober wrote:

Manhattan Project wonder would be small, so the nation that wants nukes has to built it and not just get it as a great wonder. The wonder would open a Nuke Prototype unit that has the characteristics to have few MPs and be required to be loaded on a bomber. With another tech (rocketry?) would get ICBM or another nuke unit that has more MPs. Agree that they should be expensive like they are in RL.

The whole point of Manhattan Project is that it is a Great Wonder so that:
1. all other nations get the memo
2. it is easier for those lagging behind to catch up because they don't have to build it anymore

What I had in mind, though, was to have at least three-, maybe even four-tier nuke accession and that some of them are triggered by anyone getting a certain tech. The problem I'm trying to solve are players that would get all the necessary techs, accumulate production and then wait for someone else to build Manhattan which is a pure game mechanics manipulation. But I'm still working on it, what I just proposed doesn't seem completely right. Need to have the right combination of World Wonders, maybe small wonders, techs and "global techs" to get the desired effect.

Maybe: you need to have Uranium Processing Facility to build a nuke, but to build a UPF you need to have a whole array of technologies for it. Or something like that.

Or: Manhattan only starts the nuclear race, after that you need to discover one or two techs, then build a UPF and only then you can build nukes... Accumulation works less well with techs and the longer the path, the less you want to try manipulating.

Saving for later: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Greenhouse

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#10 2020-04-07 17:56:56

jwrober
Administrator
From: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 85

Re: Nukes

Corbeau wrote:

Maybe: you need to have Uranium Processing Facility to build a nuke, but to build a UPF you need to have a whole array of technologies for it. Or something like that.

Maybe a new tech - Advanced Mining or Uranium Mining is needed and that gives you the Uranium Processing Facility. Could also have to have a Spent Uranium Storage Facility before you can build them. Can also get a Nuclear Power Plant to go along with it.

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#11 2020-04-21 22:28:54

Wahazar
Administrator
Posts: 232

Re: Nukes

Another idea, at least for 2.6 version.

STrategic Arms Reduction Treaties - Great Wonder, which require United Nations wonder existing in the World (by the way not used usually), and Environmentalism tech.
When START wonder is finished, Retire_Pct effect apply to Nuclear units - for example each nuke has 15% chance of disappear each turn in case of Democracy, 10% for Republic, Federation or Communism , 5% for more retarded govs.

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#12 2020-04-22 14:54:16

jwrober
Administrator
From: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 85

Re: Nukes

Wahazar wrote:

Another idea, at least for 2.6 version.

Strategic Arms Reduction Treaties - Great Wonder, which require United States wonder existing in the World (by the way not used usually), and Environmentalism tech.
When START wonder is finished, Retire_Pct effect apply to Nuclear units - for example each nuke has 15% chance of disappear each turn in case of Democracy, 10% for Republic, Federation or Communism , 5% for more retarded govs.

That is a good idea too. Do you mean United Nations wonder vs United States?

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#13 2020-04-22 16:21:20

Wahazar
Administrator
Posts: 232

Re: Nukes

Of course I meant United Nations. This wonder is rarely used in multiplayer, thus as prerequisite for START wonder it would be more meaningful.

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#14 2020-04-22 17:50:38

Corbeau
Administrator
Posts: 1,015

Re: Nukes

This would probably result in nations owning nukes deciding to spend their nukes before they disappear, most likely on the nation that built the wonder smile

Also, this wonder would be very different from the real-life START.

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#15 2020-04-22 20:31:53

Wahazar
Administrator
Posts: 232

Re: Nukes

Corbeau wrote:

This would probably result in nations owning nukes deciding to spend their nukes before they disappear, most likely on the nation that built the wonder smile

Sounds fun wink

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