Combat mechanics update, supply units, military ranks
Posted by Oleksandr on January 1, 2018
January 2018 development update (v3) brings new gameplay and UI features, and other changes, which are available in newly created game sessions and in the demo.
Melee and siege units now deal collateral damage to other units on the same target tile when attacking. The exact amount of such damage is proportional to unit attack strength (bonuses included), but is weaker than damage done to the primary target. Siege attacks don't have a primary target, but instead hit every unit in the target tile with collateral damage. Cities are also affected by these attacks: stored food supply is destroyed, which can cause population to drop.
Collateral damage mechanics with a new limit of 4 units per tile should effectively deal with the "stacks of doom" issue, while at the same avoiding the "carpet of doom" of 1 unit per tile setup, where battlefield logistics can quickly turn into a nightmare.
Each move near an enemy military unit or a city with stationed units now takes all remaining move points, due to these tiles being in the "zone of control" of the enemy player. Such tiles are highlighted with red glow when you're moving units.
Path preview when moving a unit now uses red arrows and special marker to visualize attacks. It is now also possible to get move preview for units not controlled by the player. Simply try to move them as if they were your units and you'll see the calculated path (but of course the command itself won't be executed).
For attacks there is now a combat preview UI that accurately predicts the outcome of a battle. It shows all affected units (including those hit by collateral damage). When attacking a city, stationed units are not known in advance, so in such case you won't get an accurate prediction.
Now you can restore health of military units on the battlefield (or elsewhere) without pillaging by using supply units (Supply Wagon and later Logistic Support). When such unit is nearby, "Resupply" action becomes available, which recovers health at the expense of supply unit's health. This action takes one movement point.
Military units now earn combat experience which improves their performance (up to 50%). Based on experience they get assigned ranks (Regular, Veteran, Elite). Veteran and Elite units are marked on the world map with badges. Certain city buildings (Barracks, Military Academy) provide experience for newly produced units. Unit experience decays over time unless stationed in a city with military buildings.
Some of ancient-era units have received modern versions available after researching certain technologies:
- Explorer (replaces Scout): faster movement and more durable. Unlocked by Invention tech.
- Pioneer (replaces Settler): with more health and defense strength. Unlocked by Invention tech.
- Engineer (replaces Worker): 50% more efficient and can build Railroads. Unlocked by Railroad tech.
AI got some updates to work with the new gameplay mechanics, in particular supply units. Also it is now better with exploration.
All important changes since v2 release (September 2017)
- Melee and siege units now deal collateral damage to other units (and city) on the same target tile.
- A single tile can now contain no more than 4 units.
- Units now attack with reduced strength when movement points are exhausted.
- Zone of control.
- Improved path preview visualization when moving a unit.
- It is now possible to simulate and preview moves for units not under player's control.
- Improved UI for stationed units in a city.
- Combat preview UI.
- Supply units (Supply Wagon, Logistic Support) that can be used to heal units in the field.
- Unit experience and ranks (Regular, Veteran, Elite).
- Certain city buildings (Barracks, Military Academy) provide experience for newly produced units.
- Modern versions of ancient-era units: Scout → Explorer, Settler → Pioneer, Worker → Engineer.
- Tweaked terrain movement cost calculation.
- Tweaked unit health decay.
- AI has received updates to handle new and updated game mechanics.
- Further backend work to ensure that new code is compatible with existing game sessions.