runequester

Soldiers directing civilians

22 posts in this topic

One option that might be handy would be this:

A xenonaut within 3-5 squares of a civilian at the beginning of the turn will put the civilian under xenonaut control for that turn.

That way, it's possible to round up civvies, get them at least in the rough direction of safety and let your men actually feel like they are there to take control of a situation, rather than the feeling of having a shoot out in a super market.

The downside is that it could enable some cheesy tactics (using civvies as scouts) but given that there's harsh penalties for civvies being killed, it should balance itself out.

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This idea appears quite often: here's a similar discussion lead by ChAnKoEr. I think people would like to see some kind of semi-control over the blithering meatshields. The most effective way I found to control civvies in Xcom was the small launcher. Aliens don't attack stunned civvies!

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Yeah, along those lines. Basically, it'd increase the feeling of being there to perform multiple tasks.

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The downside is that it could enable some cheesy tactics (using civvies as scouts) but given that there's harsh penalties for civvies being killed, it should balance itself out.

I think if I could influence them it would change my tactics to round them up and get them out of the way - both so I don't kill them/they don't get killed/I don't get killed because of them and to avoid the penalties for civilians killed during missions.

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see, that would be pretty much the thing you'd expect the xenonauts to be doing though. Send off a few squaddies to round up any survivors and secure them, while the assault team hunts down the enemy.

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Actually, the civilians ought just hit the dirt, crawl for the nextest cover then stay put unless directly threatened by an alien. I've not seen many situations in real life where even untrained civilians ran around in circles in the open during a firefight.

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Useful Civilian commands... but keeping the spirit of X-Com

- Stand in the doorway that the alien is trying to get through for a change.

- Hold this primed grenade and run aimlessly at the alien as you often run towards us.

- synchronised running on the spot order for three civvies allowing your troops to use them as cover to get across the street.

- Please run in that direction. I haven''t scouted it yet, and want to see if you get shot.

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What kind of an AP cost would be fair and suitible for directing civvies? 20 AP (about a third of a corp.'s AP)? Less? And would it be fair to say that the order's success should be based on a stat test (say, bravery as a subsitute for leadership) to reflect the difficulty a Xenonaut would have in getting through to a civillian's fear-maddened brain.

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I'd go with less than 20 I think. It should just be enough to get them out of a blocking square, or the equivalent of going prone, or getting behind immediate cover. I think if it was any more then you'd start to be able to herd them out of harm's way. Since them dying is a penalty for the mission, I'm not sure you should really have much control.

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Ah, I haven't made myself clear. I agree that the civvies should have a small amount of AP, but what AP should it cost the Xenonaut to issue the order?

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Maybe a base cost of 10 AP and +2 AP for each square moved (so it would be cheap to get them to stop blocking doors, and more expensive to round them up)

Also maybe a stay command as well (so theoretically you could round up all the civilians and keep a xenonaut to guard them)

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Alright next question. How would it be represented on-screen? Since Xenonauts can't deliberately shoot civilians, there's no harm in clicking on a civvie (unless you're armed with a grenade). Would a right-click function with either a word like "move" or "stay" appearing next to it be adequate?

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That would probably be easiest. Either right-click and list of commands appear or a right-click cycle like the firing modes.

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Just a civilian AI that sees them runnign away from aliens should be more than enough.

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Right click on the civvie and "give order" would be the simplest probably. In theory there could be a menu here, but Im not sure what else might be in there.

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If this was to be added, I'm all for simply being able to left click on a civilian as you would any of your own troops and be able to move the civilian a single square to get him out of the way. So the AP cost would be pretty much everything the civilian had -4 for the move.

I see the civvies as being the people too terrified to leave with everyone else. Having already panicked, I'm not sure having extensive order abilities lends itself to the situation. For me , it's more they see a XNaut right in front of them with a gun, screaming for them to get down, so they react instinctively to that by throwing themselves out of the way.

If you were to have something more complicated... If the aliens have mind control in Xenonauts, could the same mechanisms be used to control civilians by the Xenonauts? A chance to control them? a chance to panic them in another direction and so forth?

That they are a real pain is what still has us talking about it all these years later, and why they are an equal pain (balancing not withstanding) in XNauts. So, is it frustration worth keeping in the game? which veers off a little bit form the point of this which is, if you were to do it, how would you do it, so ignore that last sentence :)

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If we are just giving an order to Civilians, then why do we need direct control over them? Rather, how about Xenonauts within a certain radius (3 to 5 squares was mentioned, but 5 is a large area so lets say 3), the player can select a civilian like a unit, but cannot equip anything and is almost out of AP, just enough to spin the Civie in a new direction, or crouch and stay put. Then during the next civilian turn, they will automatically run roughly in the direction that you pointed them in.

To prevent abuse of the tactic, you could increase the score loss of ordered civilians for a set amount of turns.

Additionally, there can be a chance of failure baked into the mechanic as well. The higher rank the soldier who gives the order is (biasing to the highest rank in the civilians command radius), the greater the chance the civilian will obey the command. The more aliens there are in the same radius, the greater the chance the civilian will panic and do whatever the hell it wants to.

Based on these, you're likely to see new playstyles emerge, specifically players setting up safe routes of passage in order to evacuate civilians from a hostile area to areas that they have cleared. With the command bonus associated with rank, higher ranks are now needed on the battlefield to help maintain order not just of your soldiers but of the civilians you are tasked with protecting as well.

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Why not simply have the civilan AI have a goal to GET TO DA CHOPPA! Or actually behind it.

It's redicolous that people want direct control over civies at all, let alone by some new command system that would waste developer time.

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Copy the AI from X-com:EU and be done with it. Stupid nostalgia ftw!

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I think the AP cost to issue the order should be moderately high - getting someone to follow even simple directions when they are panicking isn't always so straight forward. The AP cost of following those directions is on the civilian - even if it takes more then one turn.

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i think that if civvies would stop runing around and could be directed toward the chopper would be good ( civie x squares from our soilders will be shouted upn to get behind them and hide around the chopper. In case of mision fail/ retreat we could also fill the remaining space with civvies for extra points. Xtra cool would be having option to send chopper away with civies, and it would move them lfew klicks away and return in like 10 turns or so( during which you cant retreat)

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