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Combat/Defense

I have heard there will be combat as in other tribes attacking your settlements etc.

I’d like to see early Palisade Walls, Scout Towers and other Defensive structures in the game. Later, through technology and trade, maybe we can upgrade to Mud or Stone walls?

I’d also like to see some Defensive methods, such as Caltrops, Wooden Spikes, Pits and Fire Bombs.

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I would very much like to see something like this as well as it is the natural next step, the question of how can we stop them from hurting us, what can we do or build to better help survive.

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Don’t expect too much from combat in Neolithic compared to Bronze age.
Neolithic settlements were small and combat very rudimentary. We want to reflect that.
Wooden palisades were even common -not al them with defensive purposes- but stone buildings or walls in Neolithic were very very rare.

Now, this could be a good thread to talk about what game-play mechanics related to combat would you like to be present in the game.

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As you may be aware there have been mass graves found dating back around 5000 - 6000 bc but there is still speculation as to whether these killings were a collective choice by an invading tribe or more opportunistic as nomads happened upon strangers.
With this being said different types of raiding would be interesting as it would give the player a more varied challenge as they have to prioritise protecting different resources (nomad invasion) or protecting people (invading tribe).
If this is possible maybe have the nomads be more destructive (resources, buildings) but more passive against people unless the player actively engages in combat or a more courageous member of the tribe does so themselves.
When a tribe invades they will be more interested in killing your tribe members and less worried about resources unless they are in short supply of a particular one.

Even if this isn’t included I hope it provokes some thoughts for the development team!

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The only thing we know is that AC is not going to be an RTS, but that is fairly limited information. Still, my guess for AC would be that we don’t control manually our “troops” (while this terminology is inaccurate for the Neolithic, it will be later on) like [Select] => [Square formation] => [Attack], mostly because we won’t be able to directly control citizens (they even will sometimes do things contrary to the players will apparently, making them unique, living organisms). So this means the fighting system will be automated, Neolithic people will stand up and fight and later, warriors will do that.
If these assumptions are right it means what we can control is not the battle itself but rather the city’s defensive organization and plan raids.

This means:

  • who fights/flees/hides? (chieftain/men/women/expencting mothers/children/elders/ill people) (in later ages, warrior classes, nobility classes could be added, etc.). This also works well with the group system the studio is working on lately.
  • where do people fight [in your city]? Are they rushing the attackers, protecting the city gates, protecting the religious complex, shooting arrows from watchtowers or gatehouses, or maybe each person defends its household? This could be done by zoning chokepoints, manning defensive buildings and/or deciding what defensive policy to use.
  • weapon production. Again, for the Atlantic Neolithic this question doesn’t offer much variety : spears, bows, and maces (maybe javelins? I don’t know if they were likely to be used in warfare). If you don’t have weapons, tools or big branches could do the trick.
  • preparing a battle. A ritual could take place, involving a priest/chief, and the infamous jadeite axe (this is extremely speculative and not based on any hard evidence).
  • fleeing? This is often overlooked in many games, but actually being afraid and not fighting was pretty common, even more so in times when war was not a developped concept, like Neolithic times. Maybe a party comes raid your settlement but you are well armed and outnumber them 10 to 1, so maybe they arrive, realize they can’t fight you and decide not to fight and leave.

Keep in mind what we’re talking about battles that take place in cities, so raids and sieges, and not pitched battles. Pitched battles imply lots of strategy, of units, of manoeuvres. Sieges are much more straightforward with on one side the defenders and on the other the attackers, each one following their own set of rules, from which we can work to make combat in AC work.
Defense is much more about planification, be it with buildings or defensive strategies, so it is not such a big deal if the player doesn’t control his “troops”. However, he surely will be pleased to be the one planning the defenses and see them at work.

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@Gal2 Great post !

Just I want to add consequence if you lose.
In most (all ?) games, if you lose to an invader then it is game over. However I think it could be interesting to add surrender options :

  • paid a tribute
  • Accept their gods
  • a part of your population is taken as captives/slaves

And maybe some benefit to surrender :

  • News technologies and social practices
  • No killing or burning
  • News trades routes

In the Bronze age you will loose your independence and must satisfy the requests of your new master.

That way you can boost the strength of the attackers so fight then off would a huge achievement. In later ages, if you manage to stop an invasion by yourself your ruler could grant you special privileges (less tax, specials trading right).

In late Neolithic (and next periods) if your city is well defended, the attackers could also try to starve you out (like most siege in ancient time). During the siege you can plan sorties (at night) to destroyed their supply and use diplomacy with the clock ticking for both sides.

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In fact, there is still no information available. I really can not imagine that. Is there more in the direction of “the settlers” or “Stronghold” or “Cultures” …? Which option does the player have and to what degree? Think, before we only can contribute little to an expectation concerning fights.

This has been said in an interview in spanish, meaning you won’t control citizens directly, and this idea has been confirmed many times in the forums. It is true that it doesn’t compulsorily imply that military forces won’t be controllable but it is my opinion that the game is going to go this way, specificaly now that we’re talking about Neolithic times, meaning:

  1. there is no designated military, nor buildings dedicated to a professional/caste warrior group
  2. strategy is still at its first faltering steps, so not so interesting to control

This is solely my opinion and what I think the game is aiming to from the clues that have been hinted, but I may certainly be wrong. The future will tell us eventually ^^

To save your time, combat and hunting mechanics maybe similiar at this game stage (neolithic)

  • it would be nice introduce mechanics which allow you manage leaders (most brave warriors/hunters) and that leaders commnunicate orders to the rest (like a jerarquic structure), diferent from a micromanagement system where you can decide all actions of each one
  • develop a trap system, not only to hunting animals, to ambush and surprise enemies
  • a trophy mechanic which each warrior get an status depending on their loot or hunting
  • painting wars (on skins) when their are going to combat. It could help to distinguish leaders and groups
  • defence: introduce sentinel mechanic when you are on alert due dangerous animals or tribes
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Dear Uncasaul Games

Maybe a Leadership or influence mechanic?

You have a single leader with a family who can gain respect or hatred? (Will that be a thing)?

OR maybe that isn’t what the game is about? Please correct me on this.

Here is my email address for your response. [email protected]

There will groups, all of them with special roles and characters pushing to get to that roles, including those ones. How the groups work and what rules apply to move characters to roles is one of the things we are working on and the basis of social simulation and game-play of AC.

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I think if your citizens had a more AI feel about it and would carry grudges against other tribes leading to a war party of 15-20 people heading out with spears/bows to raid against a tribe they may have encountered before, who may have emporached on the players territory, used players resources (whether its flint/animals/plants) or have attacked the players tribe. A gathering of elders could Initiate the opportunity for the player to then have the ability engage and control such a raid, (with an engagement like Total War series) any thoughts? I.E. it is first only after the tribe feels pressured/wronged/intimidated by another tribe that such a situation could arise.

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It may also be that a surrender would involve the loss of resources, but the raiders would probably leave after a while. These are small groups, war bands of a dozen or two people, max.

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It is important to remember that a major cause of raiding may have been revenge or “honor” killings, as we see in so many human cultures.

A group of 4 or 5 men* sneak into a neighboring tribe and:

  1. Kill a specific person
  2. Kill a family member of a clan
  3. Take resources
  4. Take captives

Remember the Y-DNA bottleneck of the Neolithic was likely caused more by this than full raids.

  • Woman were known to do this in Native American cultures as vengeance for their husbands or family members. So this could also be possible.
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It would be a great mechanic if your village was fully raided and you had to then carry on with the new tribe (those that had raided you)

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Keep in mind that every single religion at this point was some form of animistic paganism. When a village was conquered by another, they usually found that they had different names for the same gods. There was no concept of one god being more right than the other. Shared culture is an illusion perpetrated by conquers looking to unify their territory and promote stability.

Indeed my statement concerning gods of the conqueror is a bit early for the base game period. But my list apply to futur periods too. After all conflit in the base game period are historically very limited. Hence armies and sieges are probably for later.

Speaking of conquer and the conquered, here is a site which details several Neolithic examples of mass graves. The images are a little graphic (though just line art) and the language is not English (chrome translate button to the rescue!). You can research these in more detail of course.

We definitely need to allow for the possibility of raids and even extermination/mass violence. This did happen from time to time, though I suspect it was uncommon.

http://www.virtualniarcheologie.cz/jak-se-zilo-prvnim-zemedelcum/jak-se-tenkrat/jak-se-tenkrat-bojovalo/

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Yes, conquest was very limited. The first city didn’t appear until roughly 4,000 BCE and the first empire, considered the Akkadian Empire, didn’t appear until 2,300 BCE. Egypt was unified in 3,100 BCE, but wasn’t considered an empire because it was a collection of villages stretching up the Nile. The first city in Egypt was Memphis, founded to better administrate the territory rather than for agriculture like in Mesopotamia.

Even once the bronze age started in roughly 3,000 BCE, religion was used as a tool to create stability and promote “sameness.” Each city-state typically had a patron deity they worshipped and upon conquest the conquers would say “Hey that goddess you worship sounds a lot like our goddess of fertility, they must be the same god.” Then that instills the idea that these two ethnically and culturally different people are actually “similar” and integrates them into the empire, preventing them from rebelling.

The first religion to only promote belief in one god was Judaism. The only reason the Romans cracked down on Christians, who they originally saw as a sect of Judaism, was their practice of meeting in secret and general disrespect for the rituals of the Roman Empire. The Romans believed that their entire empire hinged on everybody practicing the proper rituals, which Christians refused to observe. The Romans practiced Hellenistic Paganism and believed there was a god governing every aspect of life. The Pantheon in Rome has a statue for every god they could think of and even the unknown god, so if they missed a god, that statue served as a catchall. As you can see, this is pretty generally applicable and just about anyone could worship any of these gods under a different name serving the same purpose.

I agree, anything that would’ve been possible at this time should definitely make its way into the game to allow for historical accuracy. It would definitely be interesting to see a village perhaps not have a standing guard or weapons and then a more aggressive village seeing a good opportunity for loot and slaves.

I would say that this might be the first documented, but there’s no way to know it’s the first. While Neolithic people are often said to have practiced animism, one cannot overlook there are numerous anthropomorphic figurines.


( Recreation I made of a Cucuteni figurine)
It is completely possible specific groups may have followed individual deities. The problem is that we you really can’t tell, given the lack of evidence.

Of course such figurines may have served completely different purposes, such as charms, anthropomorphic representations of concepts or perhaps even likenesses of their creators. It would be interesting to know what they believed and why, but unfortunately we will probably never no more then some general tendencies and concepts.