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New action "Surgical Strike Building"
See gna patch #7683 ( https://web.archive.org/web/20170307033654/http://gna.org/patch/?7683 )
A "Surgical Strike Building" is an attack against a player specified building in a city. Similar strikes against units/extras is out of scope for this patch.
The target building must be seen to be targeted. Potential follow up: Make Investigate City* (or Targeted Sabotage City*) remember the location of invisible buildings (/units) so they count as seen for surgical strike. Alternatively a new action representing a Spy with a laser high ligting the target building.
In the beginning this action will be useful in rules where it is given to an high value unit (Leader) but spends all movement fragments, leaving the high value unit exposed. (Use the royal sapper to destroy the city walls and pray that you manage to eradicate all opposition before turn change.)
In the future I plan to add ruleset defined pre action battle. I think a new battle kind where one unit in the city that is able to attack the actor unit attacks it (like diplomatic battle) would fit this action well. Precicion Bomber tries Surgical Strike Building but is interrupted by attack from Anti-aircraft Artillery should make this usable for non game loss units too.
#5 Updated by Lexxie L about 2 years ago
This is potentially extremely useful if developed more. I know this is just getting started for future possibilities.
I think it would ultimately be a great use for special types of things. In particular, a Battering Ram or Sapper, to defeat city walls.
For that to work would need a lot of other mechanics in place. Ways to reduce the probability of base success and for the defender to reduce those odds even more (boiling oil, etc.)
It's a lot to think about, and probably other cases would want totally different things too.
It would be very exciting though to add these components to freeciv: sappers,battering rams,boiling oil and other rampart defences, siege towers, and so on. But I think it needs some kind of group brainstorm for how all these different mechanics somehow would fit together.
#6 Updated by Sveinung Kvilhaugsvik about 2 years ago
Thank you for the input, Lexxie. I appreciate feed back from ruleset authors, especially on new stuff like this. Both use cases other than my own (surgical air strikes) and on what you need to balance it is great.
I have filed Bug #873351 for documenting that the base probability already is adjustable. Feature #849494 should let the ruleset decide odds for attacker and defender. Does this cover your suggestions or did I misunderstand you?
I agree that a group brainstorm around this would be a great idea.
#7 Updated by Lexxie L about 2 years ago
How exciting! If I were confident I already knew all the ideas from a group brainstorm, I could answer your question better ;)
All I can do to answer is have a private brainstorm all by myself, right here. I do not pretend to think of every case though.
Let's take case of Battering Ram, attacker brought 2 of them to make a try at cracking the City Walls. Also other units to attack the city after he is lucky with the Ram.
Just for our example, let's make it simple and say 50% success of Battering Ram vs. Walls.
If I understand correctly:
1. You can set the base probability of 50% success.
2. #849494 would mean one defender in the city gets an auto-attack first.
2a. If the defender auto-attack happens, is it like diplo combat where the action has to be tried one more time?
If 2a = yes:
For this to work for Battering Ram, it would mean only some kinds of units should be allowed to attack Battering Ram, (otherwise it is useless for attacking City Walls because everyone inside the city would just defend against it. Then it can only remove the City walls after the city is empty!)
OK, so we make Battering Ram unreachable except to some units. This makes a problem though. If a Battering Ram is all by itself in the country going down a road, now it is unreachable to most land units. We want it unreachable only to some kinds of defenders inside the city. Only a special kind of defender gets a chance against it.
OK let's think of that. It's a flag "SurgicalStrikeDefender" that only some special units get. It sounds good but, does a boiling oil unit really help against a precision bomber? Also, do we want a special unit u.Boiling_Oil_Man? Maybe we want the defense to be connected to an improvement like "Rampart Defenses". Having the improvement then enables some types of units to defend (i.e. auto-attack). If this happens, the ruleset should have a special bonus/modifier for this condition. A legion who finds a battering ram all alone in the country will defeat it easily. But in the city, if it has Rampart Defences, it gets a chance to defend but with a different percent chance to win, otherwise it wins too easily and Battering Ram is useless.
Also in this case, we probably don't want the legion to die just from trying boiling oil on a ram down there. It is more like, only for this special case, there are combat_rounds. No one died but the Ram is more compromised.
2a = no. The best possible "defender" gets to do an attack against it, which if it fails, allows the Battering Ram to get its 50% chance to destroy the Walls. In this case, we have Battering Ram which by itself is probably a poor defender. A legion who finds it on the road would kill it easily, but not kill it easily if it is attacking the city. The ruleset should be able to set some modifiers like "DefenseMultiplierDuringSurgicalStrike", and also, if it wants to use combat_rounds when defending. We don't want to force combat_rounds in other situations.
After this brainstorm I can already see just this one example is complicated. And I did not think of other strange kinds of units in rulesets like "alien". So it definitely deserves some more brainstorm.
#8 Updated by Lexxie L about 2 years ago
Now I think, at least in this case, the defender doesn't lose any hitpoints at all. It is more like there is just a percent chance to prevent the strike and kill the unit AND/OR it is like a Bombard attack where the surgical-striker undergoes x rounds of defending at no risk to the auto-attacker. Unlike Bombard though, it can result in a kill.
In some other case you might want the defender to be at risk though, of losing hitpoints. Otherwise the AAA is preventing hundreds of surgical strikes every time. Well, maybe you want that.
Wow it's blowing my mind. I will come back to think more on it later. Obviously the nicest solution is very simple but covers the most cases. If we're lucky someone will have more brainstorm to add, like how to cover so many cases but in a very simple mechanical way.