View Full Version : Modern naval warfare in Civ3
Nov 06, 2001, 06:38 PM
This post is to start discussion on modern naval warfare in Civ 3. I
don't usually talk about earlier era naval warfare mainly because
talking about trireme to trireme warfare is none too interesting.
I have seen comments about the vulnerability of battleships to
inferior units. For one thing, it takes about 2 - 3 nuclear subs to
get rid of a battleship. On the other hand, a weakened battleship down
to its last hit point can be taken out by even an ironclad. Battleship
to battleship combat seems fairly iffy to me. I've seen the defending
battleship win too often to risk it. Best-bet strategy for defending
your coasts from battleship/transport landings would be a mixed screen
of ironclads (or destroyers) and nuclear subs spaced fairly close (2
squares) for multiple engagement of battleships.
The AI will move battleships in escort with transports so you must
take out the battleship escort first before engaging the transport. I
would recommend using jet fighters in recon mode to see the
battleships, then bombing the ships with bombers. You must not use the
bombers immediately lest you cause the battleship to steam off out of
range of your ships. A weakened battleship is no match for a
destroyer/nuclear sub combo.
AEGIS cruisers come too late in the game for any practical use -- if
you had the time to build one then you're either way too powerful
(building AEGIS crusier for specific mission) or way too weak (AEGIS
cruiser as battleship-lite). The added bonus of defending against
submarines is of little use since the AI doesn't normally use subs.
Like humans, it tends to pick a 3 or 4 to 1 ratio of surface ships to
Carriers -- they've been somewhat weakened in the game unfortunately.
No longer can you stack 7 units on a carrier like you could in Civ2.
You can only put four air units on a carrier :(
The lower load capacity of a carrier, the chance of interception by a
fighter, the vastly weaker effect of air bombardment against opposing
military units plus the instant rebase mission of a bomber make it
harder to rationalize making more than one carrier in a game.
Nice units for finishing off battleships - limited bombardment range
make it less useful for attacking cities.
Suggested naval strategy for amphibious landings
1. Clear out area with lightweight screen of
ironclads/destroyers/submarines. I believe computer AI will quite
frequently attack this screen. This may take longer than you think.
2. Have at least one or two jet fighters on carrier to do recon
missions to keep the enemy honest.
3. Once perimeter is secure, bring up battleships and eliminate all
roads leading to city.
4. Bombard city to eliminate all roads to it as deep as your
battleship's range will go. This will slow down a counterattack from reaching your target city before your reinforcements arrive.
5. Set up a chain of transports to ferry units over as they are
created or alternatively, have them preloaded onto transports. I don't
like to do that as much because of the risk involved in ferrying units
through unsecured areas.
6. Proceed to make your landings and take city.
7. Rebase your air units to the new city but do this gingerly. Enemy
AI will strike as hard as possible at the new city.
That's an ideal strategy of course -- steps may need to be taken on
depending on your desperation level and resources :)
Wishes for Civ 4
My wish is that you could do naval interdiction of trade routes in the
game. However, you can do something similar by bombarding all the
cities in an island and getting rid of all their harbors. I'm not sure
though if you can see the harbor symbol on opposition cities.
Nov 07, 2001, 02:57 AM
I haven't even got far enough yet...
What's the POINT of privateers or submarines? Why are they at all useful? Am I misunderstanding how naval combat works? seem like they'd get creamed even by weak transports.
OH, and you CAN see harbors of enemy cities (hmm.. that may just be after sharing territory map but I don't think so)
Nov 07, 2001, 08:07 AM
They're a kind of ironclad lite -- I don't bother with them much because privateers appear at a time when I'm busy getting to industrialization. My industrial capacity can't handle building enough privateers to make any sense of it.
Same problem as above. I don't have the capacity normally to justify building subs.
However, it takes two subs to knock out a battleship. Each sub takes 100 shields to build. Each battleship takes 200 shields.
I would prefer the battleship because of its bombardment capabilities.
Nov 07, 2001, 08:17 AM
The one advantage of Privateer is that you can attack while not at war. They're supposed to be "unmarked", so opposing civ doesn't know which civ it belongs to.
Nov 07, 2001, 08:57 AM
I've really found the Privateers to be useless. It's iffy that they beat a galley or caravel let alone a galleon. Despite the fact that you can attack during peacetime, unless you have huge armadas, they're useless. The notion of huge fleets of pirates doesn't make intuitive sense though. I would either make them a little stronger (attack 2) to give them a fighting chance, or make them a little faster so they could disengage and be used to harry the oponents.
Nov 07, 2001, 02:36 PM
If you stack Privateers with other, stronger navel units, sometimes the AI will attack the stack of units.
Nov 07, 2001, 04:30 PM
i agree with the privateer.....the fact that you can attack without starting war is nice..but the attack of 1 makes it pretty much useless unless ur taking on a trireme...
as for the carriers...just like in real life..i think they are absolutely necessary........
just yesterday....i had a fleet of carrier with 4 bomber each and stacked with 2 battleships as the strike force..i had subs scouting 10 blocks ahead looking for the prey when i found a nice collection of 6 roman battleships just sailing toward my continent.. i send the 8 bombers away to attack... and when it was all over i lost 1 sub and had a battleship severely damaged but they lost all 6 battleships... never underestimate the power of bombers..
Nov 08, 2001, 10:58 AM
Don't write off the submarine as completely useless. You can transport tactical nukes with them.
Although I haven't tried launching one from a sub yet. And I don't know how many one can hold...
Jan 18, 2002, 03:58 PM
It is amazing the problems AI has with privateers in early game. Key is to get privateers patrolling while AI is using first transports (not modern transports). The AI is so busy flooding out settlers and warriors, a few privateers helps greatly in keeping the AI from escaping the land blockage of rapid expansion. You should be able to get at least 2 with settlers and warriors before AI catches on. At least before patch. Will have to try after patch to see if strategy still works.
Jan 18, 2002, 05:35 PM
The privateer is a good unit to explore coastlines, as the AI will usually not bother them unless you have bad relations. Other ships will be asked to leave.
Jan 18, 2002, 07:37 PM
Spotted this discussion in a different forum. It is well worth reprinting here.
BTW, I long ago increased movement rates and strengths of pre-Destroyer warships.
Originally posted by CrushSlider
I would like to propose my solution to the naval problem:
Movement is too slow, everyone "agrees" on this. I can trade resources to a civ half the world over EVERY turn (if we both have harbors and the correct level of navigation ability) but my Battleship will take 5 turns to travel the same distance.
Could you just imagine the Admiral's face sipping his coffee on the bridge of the battleship USS BigA$$Ship as he passed by an oil tanker doing 5 times his speed (or is it 10 times since the trade isn't complete until the money is back in our treasury?) I realize that trade is abstract, but if I am that Admiral I am not happy or if am the Admiral's Commander in Chief I AM NOT HAPPY...
Does adding movement points correct this? Not in my opinion... Just makes a problem less bad, not good...
Does allowing infinite movement? Not in my opinion... sure it allows the fluidity of naval movement to be recreated - no lines in the sand so to speak, but a destroyer being produced in Danzig should not be able to bombard Washington DC on the first turn of creation.
Other Naval problems:
Pirates that cannot commit piracy...
Subs that cannot terrorize merchant ships from the deep... they sure as heck don't terrorize my Battleships or Destroyers, just irritate that sailor that has to paint over the scratches in the battleship grey that the sub's attack caused... Destroyers - my supposed sub hunters- don't have much purpose in life except as mini-battleships...
Ok here is my solution... This will cause Firaxian developers to have nightmares... Needs a lot of tweaking
Trade routes would act like railroads do on land. They would allow for infinite movement as long as you remained on the trade route.
Who creates them? Any transport ship could create the trade route one square at a time (like a worker working on a road). It would require the "trasnformation" of each square into a trade route square. I envision the square would be highlighted in the host civ's color. ( the highlight would only appear during naval unit movement so as not to blemish the map any more.) Transport ships would have an increased importance...
Trade: Each civ would have its own trade routes and as long as the trade route connected to the trade route of another civ and both civs have harbors connected to those trade routes then the trading of resources could commence.
Would you always know your opponents trade routes? NO. You would have to spy or trade for them on the Diplomatic screen. Trading for them would only last for 20 years with updates occuring automatically until the end of 20 years, trade embargo or war. Spying would not update, but you would have to spy again to get updates.
Piracy: Hey pirates can now commit piracy... Pirates would enter into the other civ's trade route and have a percentage chance of collecting booty along a route. Say for instance China is trading the luxury Silk to England. The Germans want some of that action themselves. They could send pirates out blocking that trade route. The German pirates would have a percentage chance of collecting some of that booty. Depending on how it was set up, they could actually stop/stiffle the flow of Silk. England sends out its Man-of-War (holy cow... finally a use for this special unit) and clears away the pirates, trade resumes unmolested. Pirates could also be used as trade-route-building transport ship killers...
Subs: Let's give our subsy wubsy more terror ability. Allow the subs to disturb trade routes similar to pirates, but they only have that ability to do that when at war with one of the two trading partners. If subs block the trade route completely then the resource trade could have a percentage chance of being stopped for that turn. (more subs = higher percentage). By the way allow the nuetral power in the trade that is being blocked to get upset at the sub wielding civ, possibly escalating to war. Also allow the sub (or for that matter any non-transport ship) to destroy/pillage trade route squares of an enemy. This would allow you to prevent the enemy from putting ships near you in one turn. If an enemy ship comes within striking range of a sub, as it moves swiftly along its trade route then allow for a percentge chance of a sub pot shot (Zone of control shot similar to on land)
A ship could sit on a portion of the trade route and successfully block the trade from occuring. As stated before a non-transport ship could also destroy a trade route square.
Optional: Planes and jets: Allow Planes to enter into a protect the sea lane mode. Again, just like subs, they would have a chance for a pot shot against an enemy ship that is seen moving within its range.
Ships would have a Strategic movement of infinite along the trade route squares, but they would only have one move (they cannot stiop and move again). If struck by a sub pot shot or air power pot shot they would stop. Once a naval unit stops after a strategic move it cannot move or attack.
Tactical movement rate would be the same as it is now. move attack move again or any variation thereof.
It isn't complete and it would be difficult to implement in a mod but it opens many possibilities...
A battle like the battle for Midway could occur... we wouldn't want an enemy to have an island city (read airbase) here in the middle of our trade/shipping routes.
Destroyers would be out actively searching for subs (whihc they can only do in tactical movement)...
Enemy Pirates would irritate me with Piracy which would be good...
If I had a complete trade route to a foreign continent, and that trade route is being swept for subs by destroyers and I don't move through enemy airspace I can get there in one turn, so what if I have to wit till next turn to attack, at least I am there.
Tell me what you think...
The way Naval Warfare is handled in this game is worse than even in Civ II. Sid does not have the vaguest idea what navies are for. In Civ III we can't even attack a diplomat or caravan on a transport!
Your above suggestions are a big improvement.
In Civ III, bombers canNOT sink warships. I am not sure if giving bombers an attack strength (and unclicking 'immobile') in the Editor will solve the problem. This might be the most absurd aspect of the game - and the most non-Historical. In WW II, warships were regularly sunk by both land-based, and carrier-based warships.
Yes, naval units are too slow in Civ III. And frigates, MOW, and ironclads have too low combat values.
No naval unit should be able to bombard to destruction improvements, except battleships.
Even battleships rarely risked attack to sit off shore shelling improvements. Didn't happen.
Battleships became so vulnerable to air attack - and sinking by planes - that by 1942 they were obsolete.
Sid has no idea that the real purpose of submarines and privateers was to attack MERCHANTMEN, not warships. They threatened and menaced TRADE ROUTES; other warships could do this also. The Germans sent out many surface raiders in both wars, and the Bismarckl voyage in 1941 was meant to get on trade routes and attack CONVOYS, not warships. Sinking the Hood just happened; it wasn't what the main purpose of the Bismarck was intended to be.
I could have DOZENS of privateers in the ocean between two rivals' harbors but it would accomplish NOTHING regarding their trade and commerce. I would have to actually blockade totally the port. That is NOT how navies work.
Both privateers and subs have had to have their values increased in the Editor to make them worth building; in otherwords, to make them have a chance attacking warships. But, again, that was never their real purpose.
As for Destroyers, I went into Editor and they now CAN "see submarines".
Nuclear submarines should be different from the pre-1950's diesel subs: the former remain submerged all the time; the diesels were more easily spotted being on the surface most of the time.
The other suggestions by CrushSlider are a LOT better than the mess Civ III offered us for naval warfare. His suggestions, and some of mine, need to be incorporated into the game.
PATCH THIS MESS, Firaxis.
And this is just one of many problems, both in terms of playabilty, realism, and with bugs.
Jan 18, 2002, 10:55 PM
Nah, here's my idea:
If you have the proper technology, you can make trading deals for resources as per normal with anyone overseas. A trade route, square by square, highlighted only when you've selected a ship/sub, forms. If you are the one trading a resource, the route starts at the nearest port to the resource traded, and ends at the receptionee's capital, or the nearest port to the capital. If both of you are trading resources, it's a capital-capital route, or from the nearest ports.
Ships receive bonuses for moving, as per roads, when moving on trade routes. They don't move infinitely, like railroads. And only ships belonging to the trade partners get the advantage, of course. Trade routes are always visible to the partners, and are on their world map.
The trade route can "bend" up to three squares to avoid other people's ships, but if there are too many ships in the way, either ask them to leave or the trade is temporarily halted, ie you lose the resources, or don't receive money per turn, the Right of Passage is halted etc.
Alternately, a ship can "pillage" a square on a trade route. This does not destroy the trade route, and it does cause war of course, with one random partner, or perhaps both, but the positive consequence is that you have a chance of picking up some merchant booty in the form of gold, or perhaps even technology every once in a while! Privateers don't cause war.
All this would make trading resources much more important (since you want as many moves as possible) and it would mean having to have a pretty competent Navy to keep off those swarms of Privateers out to steal your Tech!
I think the sea trade route bonus should be 4:1. So for every one point, you can move 4 squares. Better than a Road and worse than Rails.
Jan 19, 2002, 09:45 AM
I agree with the fact that Subs are too poor in this game. We must remember that a sub should be easily able to sink a transport, a destroyer, and do serious damage to a Battleship. The destroyer's ability lies not with its power, but movement and ability to sniff out subs.
Therefore I gave both kinds of subs one more movement point, one more attack point, and kept their defense the same. I also gave Nuclear Subs the ability to carry not one, but four Tacs (in real life, Subs carry 20 ICBMs, so its not really like I'm being unrealistic here!)
"The Polaris SSBN was the first warship deliberately designedto threaten the destruction of 16 enemy cities with their civilian populations. And the grim novelty of this role makes it impossible to consider the SSBN in the context of conventional undersea war."
Jan 19, 2002, 03:54 PM
I assume you gave all destroyers the ability to see subs??
Jan 21, 2002, 02:11 AM
I think that the main problem is that Naval Warfare is pointless. The only reason to do it is so that you can bombard cities(witch you can do for land anyway) and to settle a new continent. You need to make it more crusial to get overseas trade. Remember in real life you can transport a lot more over seas than ove land. If you in addition made it easier to block tade the some would need to get a navy to potect its trade routes.
To make trade overseas more crusial you could limit crosscountry trading to 1 item per Civ (you can in total trade 8 items over land 1 with each opposing Civ), if you want to trade any more Items you would have to do it over seas. This would make you eager to discover Seaways to importaint tradingpartners (Vasco Da Gama, Colombus :))
To make it easier to block the trade you shuld add some sort of trade route system as mensioned previously.