#1 16.10.2018 09:40:23

Hans_Lemurson
Player
From: Silicon Valley
Posts: 144

Hitpoints and Firepower

Hitpoints and Firepower are largely useless stats for units.  They are just extra ways of increasing the strength of a unit, but are largely redundant: Doubling the HP or Firepower of a unit is roughly equivalent to doubling its Attack/Defense strength.

There are only 3 ways in which HP and Firepower differ from the regular combat stat:

1.) The higher the Firepower to HP ratio, the fewer rounds of combat a battle has, and the more "random" its outcome is. Increasing the HP of units serves to average-out the RNG, and increasing the Firepower of units makes the battles less predictable.  This is largely a matter of "Flavor" in letting certain units be more or less lucky.  High Firepower increases the chances of units winning with more HP left, but also increases the chances of losing battles you "should have won".

2.) Higher HP resists bombardment better.  Bombardment does a finite amount of damage, and so if you have more HP, it will take off a smaller fraction of your health.  Provides a way to model heavily armored units that could shrug off hits, or maybe ww1 trench infantry.

3.) The designers of Civ2 didn't understand math, and so the actual combat formula did NOT work the way it was stated in the manual.  Hits in a 2v1 battle would be calculated by comparing 2*random() to 1*random(), with the hit going to whoever rolled higher.  This results in 75--25% odds of hitting, instead of 67--33%.  Overall it meant that every point of combat-power above your opponent's power counted for twice as much.  Doubling your HP or FP would only make you 2x as strong, but doubling your ATK could make you 3x as strong.

As far as I understand, Freeciv implements combat the way the Civ manual stated, with the probability of an attacker landing a hit being A/(A+D).  Thus, there is almost NO reason for HP and Firepower to be used as separate stats.

Gunpowder units having 20HP never made any sense to me.  Gunpowder doesn't enhance your capacity for taking a hit, nor does it make battles more predictable.  The jump from Pikemen to Musketeers is a doubling of their HP which makes muskets 2x as powerful as pikes, a very sudden power spike.  Cannons similarly become 3x as powerful as their Catapult predecessors.

Doubling the HP of units partly hides their combat stats, since it's not obvious at first how a Dragoon's 5 ATK is superior to a Knight's 4ATK.  It also takes away some flexibility in deciding on unit strengths.  There's no middle ground between 2 and 3, but there is between 4 and 6.

Thus, I propose that unless there is a really good reason for a specific unit to have enhanced HP or Firepower (an "all or nothing" attacker, or a bombardment-resister, or something like that), that all increases in Combat Strenght should be manifested as increases in the Attack or Defense stat.  This would result in Battleships having 100 combat strength, and I don't have a problem with this.

Offline

#2 16.10.2018 09:54:51

Corbeau
Player
Posts: 832

Re: Hitpoints and Firepower

The point of increasing HP is exactly what you stated: decreasing the influence of Randy. Which makes perfect sense: we don't want the probability of Swordsmen killing a Musketeer to be 40%, do we? The HP increase actually symbolizes the incoming of the next unit super-class: gunpowder against swords.

Offline

#3 16.10.2018 19:44:01

Hans_Lemurson
Player
From: Silicon Valley
Posts: 144

Re: Hitpoints and Firepower

40% Where did you get that number from?
...Do YOU understand how the combat system works?  Check the calculator: http://longturn.org/warcalc/

Swordsmen (Atk-4) attacking a Musketeer (3-Def, 2xHP) = 12% chance of success.
Swordsmen (Atk-4) attacking a Musketeer (6-Def, 1xHP) = 18% chance of success.

The Musketeer is still significantly stronger than the Swordsmen.  The only difference is that with 10HP the lesser unit has a slightly higher chance to get lucky.  The 6-Def Musketeer also has a higher chance of surviving the battle with more HP, but that's not shown in the "Chance to Kill".

The question I'm asking is Why change the HP when you could change the ATK/DEF instead?  If it's about decreasing randomness, then you can just give every unit 100HP, but I guarantee you that is NOT why Muskets were given 20HP in Civ2.

20HP Gunpowder units and 30HP Tanks and Warships just add confusion as to what their actual combat power is, but don't significantly change their combat strength compared to giving them 2x/3x ATK/DEF.  There is no point in having 3 different combat stats that all basically have the same effect.

Offline

#4 16.10.2018 20:34:49

Wahazar
Player
Posts: 138

Re: Hitpoints and Firepower

Hans_Lemurson wrote:

...why Muskets were given 20HP in Civ2.

In my opinion, reason was straightforward: smooth conversion from attack/defending units (archers, swordsmen vs phalanx, pikemen) to universal units (musk., infantry etc)

Offline

#5 16.10.2018 22:40:47

Hans_Lemurson
Player
From: Silicon Valley
Posts: 144

Re: Hitpoints and Firepower

Wahazar wrote:
Hans_Lemurson wrote:

...why Muskets were given 20HP in Civ2.

In my opinion, reason was straightforward: smooth conversion from attack/defending units (archers, swordsmen vs phalanx, pikemen) to universal units (musk., infantry etc)

What do you mean by a "Smooth conversion"?  How is doubling the combat power a "Smooth Conversion"?  And why can you not get this "smooth conversion" by modifying the ATK/DEF values directly instead of indirectly through HP?

The reason HP and Firepower were added is because Civ2 had an option to use Civ1 combat rules with 1-round battles which would use Combat strengths equivalent to those of Civ1.  Civ1 musketeers had 3 defense.  In Civ2, Musketeers also had 3 defense, but they decided this didn't make them strong enough in Civ2's combat environment so they gave them 20HP as well.  The 3 Defense was kept for reasons of backwards compatibility.

But regardless of the reasons for their creation, HP and Firepower are stats that are now baked into the core gameplay of Freeciv.  So my question is: How best should they be used?  Because their current implementation I believe is NOT using them properly, and creates un-necessary confusion for players as to the true strength of units.

Last edited by Hans_Lemurson (16.10.2018 22:41:51)

Offline

#6 17.10.2018 10:04:11

Wahazar
Player
Posts: 138

Re: Hitpoints and Firepower

Hans_Lemurson wrote:

What do you mean by a "Smooth conversion"?  How is doubling the combat power a "Smooth Conversion"?

OK, "smooth" wasn't maybe the optimal word for describing jump from melee to gunpowder technology...
I agree, that all these four parameters (A, D, HP, FP) are ambiguous and without calculating tools it is hard to estimate the combat result.
Maybe it was a reason to introduce them?
In my "advanced modpack" I'm using intermediate values of HP15 for musketeers and arquebusiers. But there is slightly different situation, because I keep both classes of attack/defense specialized infantry until the end of technology tree, instead integrate it in one universal, as in classical civ rulesets.

Offline

Board footer

Powered by FluxBB