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Latest Comments by Colombo
Winter Falling aims to blend elements of FTL with Total War
25 May 2020 at 10:32 pm UTC

Seems to be an expanded version of this concept: https://rarykos.itch.io/winter-falling which is about a single battle in Game of Thrones thing.

UnCiv, a free and open source remake of Civilization V
11 January 2020 at 12:30 am UTC

Quoting: Purple Library GuyI'm not positive, but I don't think he was talking about AI. I think his opinion is that the Civ 5 approach to combat is braindead, as expressed in this line:
Quoting: PangaeaI'll take stack warfare over parking lot logistics any day of the week.
That is, he's saying a combat system where the "strategic depth" is all about figuring out how to maneuver your units past each other because they can't stack or even move through each other, is braindead.
I don't really mind it, but then I don't mind the doomstacks approach either. Far as I'm concerned, the game is about building up a civilization; to me winning through clever battle tactics despite having a civilization that is fundamentally lesser than the one you're at war with is . . . not cheating, but sort of missing the point. I want to crush my enemies because I have a more powerful economy, more advanced technology, stronger social cohesion, not because I managed to deploy a ranged unit to the right spot at the right time. So all I require from a Civ combat system is that more powerful armies are likely to kill less powerful armies. "Not brain dead" would be at best gravy, at worst actually damaging to what I consider the real point.

If you want game where combat is a little more than extension of economy, Civ 4 is right for you. Personally, I consider Civ 4 combat the weakest from the whole series. Look at Civ 2 or Alpha Centauri, death stacks are significantly discouraged because you are at risk of using either whole stack (Civ 2) or all the stack is significantly weakened by collateral damage and you risk losing your whole stack. You still need to combine your unit into stacks to cover their weaknesses (attackers/defenders), hold strategic positions against multiple enemy units with multiple defenders or attack strategic positions with multiple attackers. But since you are at a greater risk to lose your whole stack, it forces you to spread your forces a bit and pay more attention to positioning.

This positioning is not just property of "twin stick shooters" as Pangaea send me to play when his arguments were lacking. But of a lot of game. And it was property of Civ 4 as well! You still had to use some sort of tactics, entrenched positions on hills next to cities and a right unit mix. And notice that I am not complaining about stacking units in general vs 1UPT system, but about a particular implementation of deathstacksing in Civ 4.

UnCiv, a free and open source remake of Civilization V
10 January 2020 at 3:54 am UTC Likes: 1

Quoting: PangaeaAdmittedly Civ 4's combat isn't where the game shines - though it still managed to utterly trounce the idiocy of Civ 5

Ok, I need to say it again. Civ 5 doesn't have idiotic combat AI compared to Civ 4. The AI is about the same. The problem is that there was no strategic depth in Civ 4 combat (or very little of it), due to it being completely random, just by increasing numerical superiority or fudging the numbers a bit based on difficulty could AI be quite competitive. Again, the quality of AI was about the same, Civ 5 combat has much more strategic depth and this wasn't properly reflected so at the end human can seriously abuse this.

The statement that people with zero experience could jump right on Diety and trounce the AI is ridiculous. Given the AI bonuses (e.g., it starts with several settlers and units, huge production and science bonuses), you need to seriously abuse mechanics (and AI) and tightly control city growth to even stay competitive.

Civ 4 was perfection of the style that rose in Civ 1/2. Civ 5 (6) is a major change with attempt to make everything more interactive.

I think that's one of the great properties of Civ franchise on how different each game is (unfortunately I never played Civ 3 or Call to Power, which isn't really civ...). So everyone have their favourites.

btw. even Civ 2 had a better combat system than Civ4.

UnCiv, a free and open source remake of Civilization V
10 January 2020 at 2:39 am UTC

Civ 4 had bunch of great ideas. Interesting governments with different features (slavery which enabled to sacrifice population to speed up production, Aztec gameplay was build on that), strong specialists (unlike with any other mainline civ) and cottage economy (tile improvement that starts as cottage and grows into a village, town etc. to give more coin, this made pillaging quite dangerous). It also had religion, vassalage, strategic resources and bunch of other neat features (like 2 leaders per civ).

However, combat system was utterly retarded and usually consisted of creating deathstacks and then suiciding catapults into deathstacks to deal DMG to all units. Given the total randomness of the combat system and no strategic depth, numerical superiority was beneficial and AI could be king. When Civ 5 brought much more strategic combat, it showed how combat AI is braindead and just incapable of unit concentration,

UnCiv, a free and open source remake of Civilization V
8 January 2020 at 10:46 pm UTC

Quoting: wvstolzingAn AI that actually plays the game (rather than just spawn units & cities while unreasonably handicapping the player according to the difficulty setting) would be the best upgrade they could ever release for this game. All the 'diplomacy' updates they've introduced over the years have amounted pretty much to nothing because the AI's 'decisions' remain arbitrary as ever.

I wonder if this free engine makes any efforts towards implementing a real AI.

This. AI is braindead. It doesn't play "to win", it just works as some sort of background noise.

If they decided that they would try to make AI win that tries to win and then designed various mechanics around it (such as alliances against stronger players, leagues so that several AIs could band together in some sort of faction against common enemies for a common goal, vassalages to solve problems with having to utterly destroy enemy). This would make much more interesting game with a kind of self-balancing build in.

UnCiv, a free and open source remake of Civilization V
8 January 2020 at 10:40 pm UTC

Quoting: NeverthelessUh... sorry.. I meant city numbers, not size!

Read again. From Civ 2, both size AND number of cities were limited with sort of global unhappinese system. In Civ 5, it was just put in a clear view and constrained for a smalled empires.

UnCiv, a free and open source remake of Civilization V
8 January 2020 at 7:24 pm UTC

Regarding growth limitations, they were there since at least Civ 2. In Civ 2, you get unhappy citizen when you city reach certain size depending on difficulty. You also get additional unhappy citizen when your empire reaches certain size. See:
https://strategywiki.org/wiki/Civilization_II/Getting_Started#Citizen_happiness

and

https://forums.civfanatics.com/threads/hapiness.322213/

There is also corruption, which decrease the trade income (which can be converted to luxuries, money and research)

So its not like this wasn't in game before.

UnCiv, a free and open source remake of Civilization V
8 January 2020 at 2:40 am UTC

Quoting: NeverthelessI really never counted mouseclicks for micromanagement in any Civ I played. I also did not define where exactly the difference between management and micro management is. I only kbow that I find Unit movement and work order wise I find Civ6 far less annoying than Civ5. There are far less workers to move, nagging for orders and to secure from enemies. Streets are built automatically by trade routes, military units can be stacked as corps and armies later on.
Of course the number of cities influences the amount of decisions you have to make (also influenced by the map size), and of course you don't just have to tell what is built into a city, but sometimes (for districts and wonders) you also have to decide where they shall be built, but I find these decisions rather interesting than annoying.
I would like it if they'd highlight new policy cards for a better overview, but I like it to be able to fine tune the direction I want my civ to go.
I like Civ V too, I just find Civ6 more "managable", even if (should I count) I found out, I had to click my mouse even some more to play it.

Mouseclicks is essentially how you are doing any actions in a typical strategy game (unless you are using keybinding for everything). In AoE, you can send your lumberjacks to cut wood by selecting them all by click and drag and sending them to tree. And you can also micromanage every single lumberjack by sending them to the nearest tree, correct side of tree and so on... with a littre extra gain, but a huge amount of clicks. So any micromanagement will always boil down to increase in the number of clicks, time and decisionpower.

Regarding builders, thats not true. If you assume that each worker will build more than 3-5 improvements (it will), you will always have less workers over time than builders. I thought that the mechanics of builders is nice, especially with the like of China or Aztecs that could build wonders or districts by spending chargers. But I started to hate it in practice.

Same with districts. It sounded like a good idea, but the sheer amount of different bonuses means that trying to play it somewheat efficiently is incredibly demanding and building districts (especially with their ever increasing cost) is ever present and annoying decision. And thats basically the most important and interesting thing on districts, they don't serve any other purpose (except the military one)! I think they could have been done much better and more interesting, especially from long-term perspective (once you place them, there isn't much more interaction with them).

Civ 6 have some nice mechanics and some nice ideas, but a lot of it is done in a quite annoying way. Not that Civ 5 didn't have annoying mechanics (such as the nonexisting UI showing you local happiness, inability to claim land in any other way than to put city on it, but a strict penalty for taking cities).

UnCiv, a free and open source remake of Civilization V
7 January 2020 at 7:51 pm UTC Likes: 2

Nevertheless: What kind of bull is that? Civ 6 has far more micromanagement and overwhelms you with all these tiny choices that neither previous civ had.

The insane micro of Civ games comes from two primary sources: units and cities. Governments are usually not micro intensive (except in Civ 6 with the policy cards, which can add quite a bit if you try to play efficiently).

Both of those primary sources have micro stemming from quantity and complexity. Civ 1,2 and AC were well known for ICS -- Infinite City Spam/Sprawl (also called Smallpox in Civ2), where you tried to paste as many cities (even bad cities) to on your land as possible. With so many cities, managing them all added quite a bit of micro. Fortunately, the city management, as well as tile improvements, were braindead simple. You could easily queue the same buildings and some other games like Master of Orion 2 had even custom build-order-queues you could set for each colony. The complexity of city-management slowly increased as many buildings were made useful in certain occasions and a variety of tile-improvements also increased. So Civ 5 came with the idea to reduce the number of cities (and units) and make their management more important or rather to move to empire management instead of city management. This was done by introducing global happiness, and later capped local happiness (so that you cannot spam infinite cities just by building some happiness buildings), and by introducing one-unit-per-tile. Fortunately, city management was still relatively simple.

Civ 6 abandoned this and instead went to making city management more important, introducing districts, more tile improvements, builders that have chargers instead of workers, while spamming cities was yet again of primary importance. Which means not only that you have more micro than in Civ 5 just due to the amount of cities, but the new mechanics like districts, builders and policy cards constantly bombards you with these tiny decisions that are nontheless important. This is not helped by the scaling cost of all these things (workers, settlers, districts and who knows what else). Add to that disasters, which might be interesting, but in the end are just random events that force you to do more work.

Sure, Civ 6 might have some neat features, especially with the latest expansion. But claiming that Civ 4 and Civ 5 had insane micromanagement because of the horde of workers, while Civ 6 is somehow cleaner in this regard doesn't make any sense at all.

The free Livy update to Imperator: Rome and the also free Punic Wars DLC out December 3
27 November 2019 at 2:44 am UTC

Quoting: Kimyrielle
Quoting: ColomboIMHO Paradox as a company made a deep dive and we have lost one of the more interesting company for strategic fans.

I am not sure I agree with this. While this game did get a lukewarm reception, I cannot name you another recent Paradox title that wasn't at least good, if not great. Stellaris, Cities Skylines and Hearts of Iron IV are arguably the best games of their respective genres, and Surviving Mars is still a good game.

I need to disagree with you strongly regarding Stellaris and Cities Skylines.

Stellaris was bad game. Very bad game. The first two hours of the first two games were great because the start is heavily exploration and event focused. This becomes however problem once they are not novelty thing any more. The rest of the game is however bad. This is very visible once you reach sectors, advanced warfare, diplomacy and other stuff in late game. I am not even mentioning the slogfest of conquering planets, forcing peace after sitting on them or troop transports that essentially serve no interesting purpose. And yeah, most technologies are just +5% to X. Only few of them allows you some specialization. And those are usually no-brainers.

Compare with Alpha-Centauri. There you had some storyline as well, some events that explained you interaction with planets. And a lot of quotes from individual leaders about technologies. The planet storyline stopped being exploring something strange alien after second gameplay. Quotes from leaders were not a new thing that you did read religiously at the similar time. But even after you would remove these elements, you had a solid mechanics in the form of honed and expanded Civ2 engine. With a powerful terraforming (which you could use as a weapon) and unit customization (which was not as interesting as it seemed). More than that, the planet storyline and quotes from leader, even after they got old, still served their function, to anchor player into the story, create certain athmosphere and sense of progression. This is completely missing from Stellaris. EU series didn't need it (as much), because this was done through historical quotes, the anchoring is done through historical conotation to real history, same as with standard Civs. And this is the same reason why no one could replicate the success of Alpha-Centauri, because no dev realized this difference (turns out you need superb mechanics and very distinct races with very distinct gameplay).

Stellaris just failed on the mechanical side (dev agreed, thats why the massive overhaul). And unfortunatelly, the events do not have some decent anchoring (one storyline does, but is quite inconsequential), but are build on purely exploration or nonsensical-fun purpose (bottle in space). And when those got old, they do not help anchor the gameplay any more.

Read this review: https://www.quartertothree.com/fp/2016/05/18/bone-dry-sci-fi-stellaris-game-doesnt-even-work/

Regarding Cities-Skyline, I was equally dissapointed. I expected Sim-City killer. Instead I got sandbox with very narrow way to develop city (all interesting things are locked down at the start of the game) with a very simplistic economy and stuff to do in game. Its basically road-building simulator. Canvas to which you paint. Thats nice, but thats nothing like Sim-City was, which was a good (and sometimes quite challenging) game in the first place. With much greater options for building diverse cities from start. Likewise, quartertothree (a strategy fanboy) put it into top10 overrated games.