Expand IsInfra Functionality

  • Admin

    So when using IsInfra for combat units so they don't have any HP there are still some less than ideal situations that happen. Mostly this is around when you use IsInfra units to attack where they are either providing some strength, targeted attacks, or support but shouldn't have any HP or be able to be taken as a casualty. I think probably better defining how IsInfra units should work in combat and what the major gaps compared to what we have today is the best way forward.

    Current Limitations

    1. Can't retreat isInfra air units?
    2. Battle calc doesn't seem to always handle them properly (Breastwork and Entrenchment on Civil War is handled by engine but not battle calc when attacking).


    1. What should happen if only attacker and defender have only IsInfra units left?
    2. Should IsInfra attackers being able to be captured instead of only destroyed? Or should any remaining IsInfra attackers always retreat?
    3. Should IsInfra units be able to be targeted by targeted attacks?

    Maps With IsInfra Units That Can Attack

    • HoH (Cannon)
    • AoT (Nuke)
    • Civil War (Torpedo, Breastwork, Entrenchment)
    • Dragon War (Young Dragons)

    Past Discussion

    I think for TWW air transports they really should just be "isInfra" all the time but I think there are some reasons that they then don't work right for transporting units or something. As you really want them to never have HP (always be destroyed or captured and they would never attack alone).

    Missle/munition/etc are a bit different since you want them to have HP when attacking so they can attack by themselves but infra that are capturable or destroyable on defense. My thought is really we need say an 'isMunition' or 'isInfraForDefense' property that makes units act like non-infra during their turn for attacks but act like infra during other players' turns for defense.

    Air transports can currently retreat (can't if changed to IsInfra). Unless of course you press the attack without any ground forces. There may be the possibility of it having to be taken as a casualty if you sustain more hits than you have (legitimate) attackers... but technically that is also an illegal play. Doesn't come up much as people rarely try suicide attacks with air trannies. (And by not much I mean it has never been brought up by a player in a match, I have only come across it in my personal exhaustive tests)

    Oh ok, I forgot about retreating. The retreating portion could probably be fixed as I think we just need more clear engine rules around how attacking with isInfra units should be handled from a retreating vs capture/destroy standpoint (and whether that should be different for air vs land/sea units).

    The AA is a bit more interesting as "isInfra" generally means it has no HP so can't be targeted. In theory, you'd need something so that "targeted attacks" could hit IsInfra units but regular attacks couldn't.

  • Moderators

    @redrum The other half of the equation is how something like a "munition" is handled when it is on defense.

    Currently if you try to use a munition and set it up as a "suicide" unit... it will die immediately after the territory is attacked... so there is nothing to stop a player from attacking your position with 1 INF and destroying all the munitions you have in the territory. Even though you potentially did not need to use any of your "Heavy Guns" to repulse an attack... thus depriving you of having any ammunition on your turn to launch an attack.

    I realize this may warrant its own issue. Just wanted to get it down while it was rattling around my spacious noggin.

  • Admin

    @Hepps Yeah, its related so we can track it here for now. My thought is making a attribute to allow units to be regular units on attack but IsInfra on defense ('isMunition' or 'isInfraForDefense'). Might also need an attribute for 'IsSuicideForAttack' so that they are only exploding when attacking.

    That would drive at the following behavior for munition type units:

    • Are suicide units on attack with 1 HP so they can attack alone without other units
    • Don't do anything on defense. Act as IsInfra (factory, etc) and would be captured/destroyed if territory was captured.

  • Moderators

    @redrum But a munition should really be "suicidal" on both attack and defense... the real issue is that a defender should have the ability to decide whether they are going to be part of the battle or not.

    If you really look at the way @CrazyG has his Hvy Artillery set up it is actually a very inconsistent model (though I give him total props for making it work as well as it does).

    The Hvy Art cannot participate in attacks... ergo the ammunition is the actual "weapon" however on defense the unit somehow can defend at 5 for all rounds of combat. So if you really think about it... the ammunition for the Hvy Artillery IS the weapon. Now if we are saying that it the unit can only be used for a limited ammount of time during an engagement on the offensive... would it not mean the same should be true while on the defensive? IE. You could unleash your heavy guns at the beginning of a defensive fight as the enemy initially comes towards you... but once in close quarters you could not utilize them for fear of hitting your own troops.

    Right now what we have is a system where a unit designed to use munitions is (subjectively by design) omnipotent on defense during normal combat and limited use on offense.

    Wouldn't it make more sense if "what is good for the goose is good for the gander"? Or should I say would it not make more sense to include that option in the design rather than pigeon toeing designers into a very limited spectrum of options?

  • Admin

    @Hepps I can see what you are thinking and that is another alternative. You are treating the Hvy Art as more of just a barrage generation/firing unit and it wouldn't really have any combat value itself.

    I guess for Hvy Artillery on CG WW1, I was thinking that the barrage unit represented more of a long range bombard type attack (kind of like battleship bombard) and its attack/defense is used if directly in the battle (again like a battleship works). So its barrage unit wouldn't ever be used on defense if you take that approach. It treats the Hvy Art as more of the actual unit with att/def values and the barrage unit as more of a special ability.

    I think you could argue for either system and not sure which most map makers and players would prefer.

    One other thing I'd add is another approach is having the 'munition' or barrage unit in this case not generate until the start of the unit owners turn rather than the end of their turn. This ends up with pretty similar functionality as the approach I described but then you don't even need to worry about the barrage unit on defense at all.

  • Moderators

    @redrum Yes and I agree that a mixed system could also be used but that omitting the flexibility while tackling the issue might not be the ideal approach. That is, if you are already building increased flexibility into the system... would it not be better to create broader possibilities while you already have your dirty little fingers in the dirty little pie of code?

  • Moderators

    @Hepps said in Expand IsInfra Functionality:

    If you really look at the way @CrazyG has his Hvy Artillery set up it is actually a very inconsistent model (though I give him total props for making it work as well as it does).

    Just FYI, I totally copied this from Frostion's Age of Tribes.

    And heavy artillery operates without problems if you move the end of turn phase to the start of the turn, which I plan to do.

  • Moderators Admin

    @CrazyG So this eliminates the one unit suicide strike destroying the stockpile?

  • Moderators


  • Moderators

    One of the current effects of IsInfra that I really don't like is the swing. If you add cannons as an isInfra unit, you do end up with extremely swingy situations. If I get this hit kill the last infantry, I the kill 5 or 6 units for free. Now, swings have a role, but if they are too common, its bad.

    So I'm going to put out something I'd like to see. I want a unit with the current isInfra status, where it cannot be chosen as a casualty. But I don't want it to be captured, ever. Not when attacking, not when defending.

    So what happens if all the normal combat units (the units with hitpoints) die? You should put the newer hits on those isInfra cannons.

    Situation 1 (1 round of combat)
    I roll 4 hits. My opponent has 3 infantry, 3 cannons.
    I should kill the 3 inf, then 1 cannon.

    Situation 2 (2 rounds of combat)
    Round 1
    I roll 3 hits. My opponent has 3 infantry, 3 cannons.
    His 3 infantry die.
    Round 2
    I roll 2 hits. I kill 2 cannons.

    Situation 3
    Round 1
    I roll 4 units. My opponent has 3 infantry, 1 light cannon, 1 medium cannon, 1 heavy cannon.
    First, my opponent's infantry are dieing. Those leftover hits, the defender would decide which of his cannons die.

  • Moderators

    @CrazyG What is the point of making them Infrastructure in the first place if you are going to make them be taken as casualties during battle? What am I missing from this?

  • Moderators

    Well to start, infrastructure is a confusing term.

    There are a lot of reasons a person might want a unit to not be able to be taken as a casualty. TWW's air transports is one example. We want that unit to not be selectable as a casualty, but that doesn't mean its captured.

    Here is a theoretical situation. I attack a territory with 2 air transports, 2 paratroopers. You defend with 3 infantry. Let's look at two situations.

    Situation A
    You get lucky, you score 3 hits. What should I lose? 2 paratroopers is obvious, but what about that 3rd hit? I think I should lose an air transport too.

    Situation B
    You score 2 hits. I lose 2 paratroopers. What should happen to the air transports? Are they captured by the enemy, or destroyed?

    Another case would be if I attack a territory but cannot capture it. Let's say I have 100 fighters, I attack a space with 1 infantry, and 1 cannon (the cannon without hitpoints from before).

    I actually can't kill your artillery if its infrasture. If we change this situation so that you have 10 artillery, I would have to sacrifice a ton of planes just to get that one infantry.

  • Admin

    @CrazyG I think what you are getting at is 'enforced' or 'required' casualty selection ordering. Essentially having some way to say these unit types must die first or last or somewhere in between. You could even take this to the extremes and have a set casualty selection order so that the defender never has any input into their casualty selection (and even attacker for that matter). An example would be for say revised that the 'enforced' OOL is inf, art, tank, fighter, bomber. This would eliminate the funkiness around players trying to decide whether to take say their bombers as early casualties in a large, close battle. There is also the concept of just full/partial random casualty selection where the player would have no casualty selection input at all the casualties are determined randomly (this is already an available property for targeted attacks).

    That concept has been discussed before and is something that could be potentially added. Though its somewhat tangential to how IsInfra works. IsInfra currently essentially indicates a unit has 0 HP and can be either captured/destroyed.

  • Moderators

    @redrum said in Expand IsInfra Functionality:

    That concept has been discussed before and is something that could be potentially added. Though its somewhat tangential to how IsInfra works. IsInfra currently essentially indicates a unit has 0 HP and can be either captured/destroyed.

    I see that.

    But just to consider for isInfra and ideas like air units that have it. Fighters will be able to attack anything they want for free if the capturing behavior is changed.

    So the answer is yes to question #3

  • Admin

    @CrazyG Good point. Which is why I generally lean towards even air infra units being captured/destroyed if they are the only ones left. I believe that avoids being able to say have 1 fighter that has HP and 100 bombers that are IsInfra then flying that stack around to essentially strafe large unit stacks while only losing 1 fighter. Ends up being a very similar problem to having lots of multi-HP units that heal every turn which can just strafe with their extra HP.

    And yeah, I don't really see any downside of allowing targeted attacks to target IsInfra units.

  • Moderators

    @redrum & @CrazyG I get it now. Thanks for elaborating.

  • Moderators

    I've done some brainstorming, and I'm confident that allowing isInfra units to be targeted by targeted attacks is the most useful feature suggested so far. This ought to be the priority for this thread. I could immediately use it for something, the idea of a map that uses only targeted attacks would really benefit from this feature.

    On attacking isInfra units being captured/destroyed or retreating, there are cases for both making sense (tribes wants them to be captured, HoH wants them to retreat). So would it be possible to make a global property that determines this?

  • Moderators

    I've also noticed that if a unit is isInfrastructure, it cannot have an targeted attack. You won't get an error, the targeted attack just won't fire.

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