View Full Version : Units per Civ (Template Creators Read)

10-27-2003, 09:55 AM
K guys ive read all your posts, templates watever but what has disturbed me the most other than some luck of gameplay and balance issues. Is your units THERE ISN'T ENOUGH!! Variety is great but there is variety and theres loads of variety. SWGB had like 50 units per civ they may have done the same thing but they still had them. Some of your guys civs have 20 max units per civ and thats not enough even some CnC games have that and CnC are known for there extremely short battles which is good but not as good as big gigantic battles where 1 thing can turn the tide.

So lets get thinking and start padding up your ideas and not leaving them flat and dry.

Admiral Vostok
10-27-2003, 10:20 AM
Actually there's only about 25 or 30 units per civ in SWGB1. What made it seem like more was that there were upgrades of the same unit, which basically fulfilled the same role as it's predecessor, so hardly counts as a different unit.

I think each civ should have a different number of units available rather than each having the same amount, but around 20 seems like a good number. Most RTS games nowadays have about twenty different units per civ.

10-28-2003, 04:16 AM
Yea the upgrades kinda do play a major role a trooper recruit is a lot different than a repeater.

Darth Windu
10-28-2003, 07:57 AM
Well i have 20 units for all of my civs in my template. The reason for this is to keep things even without favouring any one civ, and also the 20 units provide a lot of unique abilities and strategies for each civ without going too far outside the movies.

Admiral Vostok
10-28-2003, 09:44 AM
Personally I think 20 is a good number. I actually feel there are too many units in SWGB1, because some never get used. Using a unique unit set, the civs should be designed so that each unit could potentially be used.

As for making 20 the exact number each civ has, Windu, I'm hesitant to do anything similar, because civs should vary in that some have a huge variety of specialty units while others have only a few different units each with flexible skills. In my design, the Republic falls into the latter category: they don't have much of a variety of units, but their units are good at many different things that you don't need a huge variety. The Gunship (your favourite, Windu) is one of if not the most flexible unit on the battlefields of Star Wars, so why do they need a huge selection of other things?

Darth Windu
10-29-2003, 03:38 AM
Vostok - well as i said, it's to make sure no civ's are favoured, and also, i think it would be unfair to give one civ any more units than another, because then the civ with less units will have units that are more flexible and will hence have less of a need for combined arms.

With my civ's, they still have very unique capabilities though, for example-

Empire - specialises in slow, powerful armour assaults
Republic - fast, combined arms assaults
Naboo - shoot-and-scoot mech attacks, heavy infantry assaults
Rebels - air strikes backed up with entrenched infantry

10-29-2003, 09:06 AM
Originally posted by Darth Windu
the civ with less units will have units that are more flexible and will hence have less of a need for combined arms.

Which means that the Naboo do have better air than the rebs, and that diversity of units doesn't make a civ better...

Oh, no no no what am I saying, I don't want to open that debate again, I'm digging my own grave, my wifes gonna kill me etc etc

Darth Windu
10-29-2003, 11:11 AM
How on earth did you come to that conclusion? The variety of Rebel Aircraft mean that they can have more specialised roles, and hence be better at them.

10-29-2003, 07:47 PM
The Rebel/Naboo Air was never a true debate...let's not start that thing... NEW SW RTS PEOPLE!

We have to find a way that every unit has it's role, that civs with less units are not unbablanced. A flexible unit might be overpowered.

11-01-2003, 01:54 AM
With too many units you end up with unused or unnecessary units, like petards in AoC, or heratoi in AoM. Im also hesitant ot follow in windu's lead and put a definte number on units each civ has because certain civs may need more/less counters for a certain class, or branch out with many units in a certain field (like the gungans on water)

Naboo has better air units ship per ship, but the rebs have a more flexible and cheaper air force. They are the only ones who can feasibly have an only air force.

11-04-2003, 03:40 AM
I agree with Sith and Vostok about the 'definite number of units.' Part of the point of a game with unique unit sets is that very few concepts are laid down that apply to every single civ with no exceptions or modifications.
I do not believe that one civ having more units than the other will lead to the civ with more units being overpowered. Of course, with bad balance and bad programmers and bad developers this will happen, but we want to avoid that.
As an example. Based on my flimsy grasp on what I like to call 'civ character,' I think it might be appropriate if the Imperials have fewer, more powerful (commonly mechanized) units, while the Rebels will have a wider variety of units.
Now this may seem odd to the purists among you (like Vostok, cough) who will of course indignantly spout 'But that's ludicrous! The Rebels had far less men than the Empire!' The way I see it, it's more like the empire has 500 AT-ATs and 1000 AT-STs, but the rebels have 100 of each of the X-Wing, Y-Wing, Trooper, Grenadier, Tauntaun Scout and so on.
Do correct me if you had no such statement in mind, Vostok. I do so hate being right. :p
Anyway. The point is that unit diversity (or lack thereof) not only adds to the character of the civ, but creates different strategies, different options, and may make the different civs more comfortable to players with different favoured tactics. A player who prefers to full-out attack with only a few different types of units will enjoy the Empire, while someone who likes to explore the opportunities present in every different unit will revel in the diversity of the Rebels.
I see Sith's point about units becoming unused. We can only try to make each unit valuable in its own way. Logic says this shouldn't be too hard but history says that it often happens, albeit with very few units per game. However, I should point out that this 'uselessness' is often player perception/preference. In the RPG Morrowind, my fighter character spurned the potion-creating skills of Alchemy in favour of more battle-geared skills, but I was unpleasantly suprised to find that my friend's Alchemy-focussed mage character was able to use the money he saved not buying potions to purchase the Ultimate Uber Flame/Ice/Lightning Sword I had been seeking for so long.
Well, perhaps it didn't go quite like that. Maybe Sith is partially right. It was a nice story anyway... :rolleyes:

Darth Windu
11-04-2003, 05:07 AM
But the problem with civ's having different number's of units is that those with less units will be EASIER than those with more units.

This is because the civ with less units will require less tactical and strategic thought in order to develop a combined-arms force needed to win the game. Hence, from Corran's example, it would be easier to win as the Empire rather than the Rebels, and personally i believe that no civ should be any harder or easier to win with, and what should matter is no the number of uits but how the player uses those units.

Admiral Vostok
11-04-2003, 06:47 AM
Corran - I will make such a statement, so no need to apologise. The Rebels should have fewer units and the Empire more. Due to the Rebels smaller man power, their units are better equipped and better trained to compete with the endless amount of man power the Empire has. The Empire has a wide variety of units because it has a presence on a wide variety of planets. Going from the movies alone, we can see the Empire has a much greater selection of units, while the Rebels make do (quite well) with what they've got.

Windu - that is complete rubbish. I refer back now to StarCraft, which is still seen as one of the best RTS games of all time, and had possibly the best balance between the three civs which few games since have come close to. The Terrans, Zerg, and Protoss all had different numbers of available units, as well as different numbers of buildings. If it is balanced properly then of course you can have different numbers of available units. In fact, Windu, I challenge you to name one game that uses unique unit sets that has the exact same amount of units per civ.

11-04-2003, 12:17 PM
I'd have to agree with windu, i mean come on, its easier to mass assualt mechs than heavy mech destroyers and grenadiers to counter them. In starcraft its easier to mass hydralisks than mass zerglings and a few hydralisks. In Wc3 its easy to mass hunts than make 5 if every unit type. and building 3 different buildings to make them. While one civ may have many units really good at doing their task, if u have a unit that does the job of two units of another civ but does it half as good its easier just to mass this one unit. Takes less micro, trouble, resources, buildings, etc.
Units are ushually overpowered because they are too strong versus too many different types of units. Starcraft may require you to mix maybe 2 types of units for an efficient army.

11-04-2003, 07:38 PM
Actually, we want every unit to have his use on the battlefield. It might be in the end a lot less confusing and taking a lot less micro to manage only a few different units.

However, we never said that the number of units per civ should be radically different neither.

Admiral Vostok
11-05-2003, 12:52 AM
Exactly, Luke's Dad. I want variation, but by no means do I want one civ to have 50 while another has 5.

I don't like RTS games with much more than that, I don't see their point. If you have heaps of units, gamers usually only focus on a select amount of those available units, leaving some units to not be used at all. This is bad from a game designers point of view, as they have to spend all the time making a unit that gets no use. Each unit in the game should have a specific purpose and a good reason for being included in the army, and designers should encourage the use of each unit so players do use them. Having too many to chose from will not work to this end.

Some people think that with a huge variety of units you have more replayability. However, I disagree. I've been playing RTS games for many years, and I've noticed some patterns. If you have many different units with little technological upgrades available, the game gets played pretty much the same way all the time - there is no replayability. As much as I sing StarCraft's praises, I think it suffers from this, though this is only in retrospect when comparing to newer games. What I mean is, players use the same units everytime - their favourite units - and research the few upgrades there are that benefit those units. Similar things can be said for the Westwood/EA games. They have a good selection of units, but you only ever use a subset and it is quite possible to research every available technology.

In this regard, what I like the most about Ensemble games are their replayability, and I believe this is due to the hundreds of available technology upgrades. Few games are played the same way twice, because due to the nature of enemies and available resources there is always a different order to the research needed for maximum effect. You still only use a select number of your favourite units - few people take every available unit to battle - but the different upgrades they take with them is what adds to the replayability. I rarely research every available upgrade, because it is sometimes just not possible with the quantity available.

In conclusion, I'd like the next Star Wars RTS to have a diverse yet by no means excessive amount of units, in conjunction with a huge amount of potential techs to research. I believe it is the techs, not the units that make for infinite replayability - SWGB has a huge amount of potential upgrades, and it makes it still an enjoyable game. I think a similar amount of techs for SWGB2, with perhaps fewer units (getting rid of those never used) would make an excellent game.

11-06-2003, 02:46 AM
Nobody wants to build armies that have every unit in the game. That was something that RoN advocated, and it didn't work out too well. Good games should only have you mass 2-3 units (never 1) with a handful of oters in support. The difference between a balanced and imbalanced game is the viability of many 2-3 unit combos. Take AoM for example. I've heard people advocate and use every combintion of classical units for each civ, and many of the combinations of classical and heroic units, usually with only two members. But there is variability in the combinations used, whereas in GB, every used trooper mounty in t2 and a trooper+strike/air group in t3, so, in the end, even though each civ in GB had more units available to them, it ends up with less variability than a game like AoM.

11-06-2003, 11:04 PM
Well the only way to balance the game is to balance the numbers with each civ ive never seen a RTS game where a civ had way more units than another. You must be a dumb ass if your gonna give a civ 50 and another 5 anyways.

Admiral Vostok
11-07-2003, 12:27 AM
Indeed you must be, but no one is suggesting that anyway. I used it as an extreme example.

11-07-2003, 09:28 AM
A very good unit set is one that has a selection of different players all having different favourite units (which they mass and use to win), all of which with the same kind of.. power, for want of a better word. But that's generally not possible.
Like Sith said, a variety of potentially powerful unit combos is something to be aimed for in game balance. But this doesn't mean that we should have lots of units, or few. We just need well-designed units and well-managed balance.