View Full Version : How do I wage war succesfully?


Dave82
Oct 09, 2005, 11:05 AM
After several games I think my style of play would be identified as a builder. I play quietly in the opening phase not pestering the other civs and just get on with expansion and infrastructure. Yet as a warmongerer I still cant seem to get it right.

In a recent game I was playing as Ottomans on Monarchy difficulty. After geting my territory established I decided since I had no iron or horses I would bash a nearby AI to get their cities with resources. Heres what I did. built barracks in 4 cities and had each of them then build archers at a rate of every two turns. I sent a stack of 8 archers, 1 catapult, and 1 spearman to go and capture the nearest civ city to me which happened to be the Aztec capital. I had them wage war on me first by demanding they remove their forces in my borders which they didn't and the next turn I went for it.... and got completely embarrassed. My 8 veteran Archers managed to beat just 2 Aztec speramen. I kept getting Archers up to the capital but by the time they got there the previous stack were severly injured and depleted so I made little progress and just ended up losing several units through attrition.

What went wrong? Usually when Im in a hurry to take a city quickly I send out a stack of 10 at a minimum but I am now wondering what sort of number is effective? In later stages of the game I attack with several units as its easier to move them when rail roads are built. When playing the AI I usually do well playing peacefully and only attacking when the AI starts a war with me, but when I am the instigator it rarely goes well. Usually I find I am too busy building city improvements like temples etc and workers to worry much about building an enormous army by the time I start a war Im usually not the strongest civ but am miles better than the AI in techs. So Im going to have to start from the basics. How many units should a stack consist of? 10? 20? 30+? In the example above, the game was just at the beginning of the middle ages so was in a rush to declare war soon before the AI built new units that I'd have no chance against since I hadn't the resources to build decent units myself.

vmxa
Oct 09, 2005, 11:59 AM
Of course games vary, but in the main I would expect the Aztecs to have a fair number of units and the capitol to have more than any other city.

So if you go with archer and they have spears, you got a rough road. It is a 2 attack Vs a 2 defender. The defenders is getting some bonus, fortified, in maybe a city or walls? Maybe across river, naw you wouldn't do that right?

So depending what all the bonus tally is, did I mention on a hill, it could be a 3 defender. This makes the attacker an underdog and at any case it will not be more than a toss up.

Can you bring a few cats? Your damaged units are in real jeapardy as Jag Warriors can attack and retreat. So I want real big numbers 3x what I expect to face, but better if I can bring some cats. Now the counter attackers will have to face bombardment and fortified spears.

Could you pick a town to attack that allowed you to hit form a hill or a mountain (no cats on mountains)? Giving you a better defense and mayb even making them leave you alone.

Any place to safely retreat wounded units to heal? Anyway I would leave the capitol till later, unless they only had 2 or 3 towns. If you cannot do those tings, look to pillage all tiles and starve them down and reduce the support for troops.

Obormot
Oct 09, 2005, 12:00 PM
AI defends capitals much stronger then other cities. 8 archers is usually not enough to take a capital. You need to build a bigger amry, and it is much better to attack several cities at once so that you can destroy a civ relatively quicly to avoid problems with flips and WW. To build a large army you need to build fewer improvements, build only the ones that are most usefull like libraries, aqueducts, markets and barracks, but don't build temples and colosseums. It is better to get happiness by capturing luxes and building markets to multiply the effect or using lux slider. Culture is also not very important because if you kill a civ quickly enough you won't have many problems with flips. In any case libs provide some culture and that should be more then enough.

If you want to learn how to fight wars try playing on a pangaea and try building only barracks in your cities. Choose a civ with a strong early UU and stop all research when you get the tech needed, use money for upgrades and rushing units. This strategy should work perfectly for levels below demigod.

Dave82
Oct 09, 2005, 01:20 PM
I have thought of reloading and trying to attack a different city than the AI capital. When you want to beat a civ quickly is it better to pick off smaller cities before striking the capital? I have to admit when I war with the AI I try go for its "juicy" cities ie the ones with wonders. Im gonna try again testing out different civ traits.

SJ Frank
Oct 09, 2005, 01:31 PM
How much army is enough in this case? Well, since you're attacking the capital, the best way to find out is to establish an embassy right before you attack. It's a little trick that can save you a lot of grief.

In general though, if you're using archers as the main force of your attack, you'll need to bring a lot of catapults. You can build catapults in the cities that don't have barracks. I ususally build roughly the same number of catapults as archers.

Against a size <6 towns defended by 2 spears, which is what I ususally see in the Ancient era, 6 archers + 6 cats + a spear or two is enough. If the city is on a hill or has grown to size 7+, then I would bring at least 50% extra force. The capital city though, deserves special attention.

Defense at the capital city can wildly from game to game, that's why it's best to scout using embassy first before attack. If you could attack early enough when the capital is still building wonder (check F7) or settlers, then the capital defense is likely no better than a regular town's. If you attack later, then the capital defense will vary depending on whether the AI is peacefully building or preparing for war.

A less aggressive civ like India will likely have less troops, more agressive civs like Zulus or Germans will likely have a lot more. I've seen more than a dozen troops in the Roman capital once (while establishing the embassy ;) ). But the pre-set aggressive level of a civ is not the only determining factor though. Even a less aggressive civ can flip a switch and turn on war mode, because of lack of expansion space, lack of resource, or just a case of bad curry :p .

This is another place where having a lot of catapults can help you. After a bombardment round of a dozen cats, you'll have a good idea of how many defenders are in a city, and whether you'll stand a chance with the current troops, without actually losing any troops.

SJ Frank
Oct 09, 2005, 01:46 PM
I have thought of reloading and trying to attack a different city than the AI capital. When you want to beat a civ quickly is it better to pick off smaller cities before striking the capital? I have to admit when I war with the AI I try go for its "juicy" cities ie the ones with wonders. Im gonna try again testing out different civ traits.

Which cities you attack should depend on the goal of your war.

If your goal is to acquire useful territory for yourself, then you should attack those cities that are closer to you, since the further away cities will have too much corruption to be useful. If your goal is to hurt the enemy, then you want to strike at their core cities, probably cutting a path into the heart of their territory. If your goal is to acquire resource, then your goal is the resource location, and any other cities that are required to reach that location and to hold that location.

Once you have determined a set of cities that you want to attack, then the order of attack should depend on logistics: the ease of reinforcement, a path of attack that leaves you exposed for the shortest number of turns to counter attacks, a path of high ground leading to the next target city.

If there is a critical resource that you want to cut off, do that first. If you have AI allies, chose a path closer to them, so you could take advantage of their troops, and making sure that while they do all the work, you get to take all the cities. :lol:

Obormot
Oct 09, 2005, 03:24 PM
I have thought of reloading and trying to attack a different city than the AI capital. When you want to beat a civ quickly is it better to pick off smaller cities before striking the capital? I have to admit when I war with the AI I try go for its "juicy" cities ie the ones with wonders. Im gonna try again testing out different civ traits.

It is best to go for capital and biggest cities first so that they don't produce more units, but of course it depends on the shape of their empire a lot, there is no solution that would be good for every situation. In general try to minimize the time you spend on moving your troops back and forth and maximize the time spent on actually figting.

And don't use catapults even if you don't have resources. Your losses will be much bigger of course, but who cares about loosing a stack of archers? If you build just archers without cats you'll have an army capable of capturing enemy civ faster and after doing that you'll have resources that'll allow you to build proper offensive units. Cats are only for extremely difficult games when you need kill ratio more then speed.