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Old Feb 13, 2006, 04:20 PM   #1
SPQR300
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What is the use of submarines?

Submarines usually come when you and your enemies already have battleships. Submarines have a strenght of 24, while battleships have 40, making submarines rather chanceless against battleships. If we consider that the price to make them isnt really different (150 vs 225) I think submarines arent worth the money invested compared to battleships, or even destroyers. I have only found limited use of themtalking about playing against people in Multiplayer)
-harassing enemy sea resources( the enemy can send a destroyer and a battleship to his most important strategic resource, like oil. So submarines become quite useless again)
-Infiltrating enemy territories with spies( you dont need more then one submarine for this, nor you have to effectively use the submarine)
-I am not sure about this, but can you block naval trade routes, and prevent the city working on it's sea tiles, when a submarine occupies it? (just like the way you can do the same with ordinary navy units.) This would uncover you sub's location :/
-Weakening enemy battleships. If you can catch the two flanking promotions, you can get a 80% (50%+10%+20%) retreat chance. You decrease the strenght of the enemy navy, with small submarine losses, so your main batleships can destroy them a LOT easier. I still think that they are not worth 150 hammers for this task, you are better off having 2 battleships with +20% strenght, then having 3 submarines, each with 80% retreat chance. The cost should be decreased to let's say hmmm 120hammer.
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Old Feb 13, 2006, 04:27 PM   #2
ShaLouZa
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Without subs you couldn't infiltrate an enemy country with spies if you don't have open borders on that continent. That makes them useful enough for me. I won't build a full fleet of subs but one or two.

You can also use them as "invisible" sentrys in the ocean if your enemy relies mainly on battleships. They spot a fleet, you send yours to destroy it before it can unload the troops on your land. If the enemy isn't aware that he's been spotted, he won't change his direction.
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Old Feb 13, 2006, 04:31 PM   #3
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Oops, It was already said.
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Old Feb 13, 2006, 05:26 PM   #4
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As has been said, submarines make great invisible sentries in the wide ocean, especially if you give them the sentry promotion (+1 sight range, available after flanking I i believe).

Second, remember that they are invisible to battleships without destroyer escorts. Merely by using submarines, you force your enemies to invest in destroyer escorts. And 2 submarines with flanking II can take out an escort destroyer if it is not on top of the battleship, leaving the battleship blind in the ocean.

They are great for taking out sea-based resources. Hide a sentry-promoted submarine within sight of your opponents resources. If the protecting unit leaves for whatever reason (say, to reinforce their navy), strike, pillage, and slip away.

Don't forget that submarines can also hide under sea ice if needed.

All that said, you gave the main reason for submarines in your post. Give your battleshipfleets a few subs to help weaken enemy battleships. Yes, 2 battleships might be better than 3 submarines. But if your 2 battleships attack, theres at least a 50% chance that one will be sunk (loss of 225 shields), whereas your 3 submarines are more likely to all live. In that case, you end up with 1 battleship compared to 3 submarines.
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Old Feb 13, 2006, 06:39 PM   #5
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Fighters are much better at attacking battleships though -- never once seen a fighter die when intercepted by a destroyer, and usually take no damage at all. Plus, fighters can be used to bomb resources, fortifications, and units, and can be instantly replaced (via rebase) when killed.

The only uses I have for subs are:
1) Clearing out outdated ships -- can't be attacked, and with a 80% withdraw rate against *cough* Frigates they have no problems. The AI usually won't hide their ships in port like they do if you have powerful surface ships around.
2) Ferrying the occasional spy.

I'd like to see Subs get a Torpedo Strike/Missile Strike order like aircraft...

Last edited by Thalassicus; Feb 13, 2006 at 10:28 PM.
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Old Feb 13, 2006, 07:28 PM   #6
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I use subs for spies, as has been said, and for attacking weaker ships. I use battleships and destroyers to take our transport escorts and then mop up with a sub. As the sub gains promotions, I can start giving it first strikes. Those combined with flanking 2 can make any sub a force to contend with.
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Old Feb 13, 2006, 07:38 PM   #7
Genocidicbunny
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they made it a little more useless when they removed tactical nukes and the subs ability to carry them. Sneaking a nuke in was always a nice surprise.
"i have no ICBM's built up, president of country X"
"fine, fine we'll leave you alone"
*sneaks sub in*
*boom*
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Old Feb 13, 2006, 08:32 PM   #8
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You can use your subs to probe along your enemies coast and look for any cities that have an invasion fleet docked there. Station your sub outside that city and when the invasion fleet moves you may gain an early warning to an impending attack.

If the invasion fleet isn't headed toward you then you can also follow it and see where it does go. This may present opportunities to grab some new territory from the area of the now war-destroyed city ruins or to launch an attack at a now weakened opponent.
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Old Feb 14, 2006, 09:28 AM   #9
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I play Islands/Archipeligos maps mainly because I like that initial comfort zone you get with your own island and that it garuantees naval warfare.

I use the subs mainly as sentires and speedbumps. The AI tends to crank out dozens of destroyers so the lifespan of the subfleet isn't long once hostilities start up.

Ferrying spies is a good enough tactic especially when chuckles has only one strategic resource to sabo (nice oil well . . . boom).
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Old Feb 14, 2006, 09:31 AM   #10
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Submarines can go under Ice Sheets, so if you are war with an enemy who has borders in eitehr the far north or far south it can be useful to hide your submariens in groups under the Ice Sheets and then come out and attack his/her ships as they pass, catching them by surprise
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Old Feb 14, 2006, 09:45 AM   #11
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subs can get to 10 mp without too much trouble. Would you rather take your spy on a mp 3 (or 4) caravel?

PLus if you are really in the tech lead, smashing a fleet of frigates with a sub is actually rather fun as they cannot see you.
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Old Feb 14, 2006, 10:11 AM   #12
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One word: Transports.

Okay, two words: Un-escorted transports.

However, the Subs' excellent withdrawal chances (as others have noted) can make the escorts a moot point. Send a "wolf pack" of Subs after the escorts. Sooner or later, the escort will sink, and most of your Subs should survive. Then the transports are un-escorted again!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thalassicus
Fighters are much better at attacking battleships though -- never once seen a fighter die when intercepted by a destroyer, and usually take no damage at all. Plus, fighters can be used to bomb resources, fortifications, and units, and can be instantly replaced (via rebase) when killed.
Fighters can't sink ships. They're great for "softening up" the target before you go for the kill, but they can't actually make the kill.
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Old Feb 14, 2006, 10:25 AM   #13
SPQR300
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I tried vs the AI. Some subs with 2 promotions are useful vs. mass battleships. You loose a sub rarer then the enemy looses a battleship.
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Old Feb 14, 2006, 10:33 AM   #14
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Subs would be more useful if they had the same ability as the the subs in civ3, i.e. the ability to choose which unit to attack.
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Old Feb 14, 2006, 11:04 AM   #15
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@Thalassicus - I have had a Stealth Bomber shot down by a Destroyer. The chance of such interception is said to be small (see the "Air Intercepters" thread) but since the destroyer had much higher strength than the bomber then the loss of the latter when intercepted was presumably predictable.

As regard submarines, in only one game have I met an AI sub, which slid out of nowhere to attack my destroyer-escorted battleship (which it damaged) and then slid back out of sight of my destroyer, which did not have the Sentry promotion. Never saw it again, so presumably it was hidden in a port and vanished when the port was taken. And only in that same game did I build a couple of subs myself, to try the same tactic - which I did, with 100% lack of success. Both subs were sunk in the same turn by the same battleship, which, to be fair, was down to some single-figure strength after combat and easy meat for one of my ocean-rulers.
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Old Feb 14, 2006, 02:26 PM   #16
Thalassicus
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Yeah, it can happen...never seen it yet, and I do a lot of naval warfare

Quote:
Originally Posted by SlipperyJim
Fighters can't sink ships. They're great for "softening up" the target before you go for the kill, but they can't actually make the kill.
True, though the first sub to take on a battleship doesn't have much of a chance of doing the same (less than a 1%). I find it more reliable to have a fighter strike for 1/4 damage, rather than dealing about the same with a sub, and having a 1 in 5 chance of losing it (plus the other things fighters can do once their navy is dead). Which is why it'd be cool if they had a Torpedo or Missile Strike ability like fighters' air strike.

A SSGN with missile strike capabilities could even launch short-range attacks on improvements or units near the shore, providing some usefulness after the seas have been cleared.

It's something I'm definitely going to attempt once the SDK is released.

Last edited by Thalassicus; Feb 14, 2006 at 02:30 PM.
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Old Feb 14, 2006, 03:01 PM   #17
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i build more subs than any other ship. (Prince, Large, Continents)
Sentry two, use one in a carrier task force with a battleship - use two more for spy placement and forward recon units. That makes what ...5...i usually have only 1 or 2 of most other ship types.

But reading some of these posts has been helpful in so far as ...hiding under the ice-....bombers can rebase in a freindly city (2 nice bits of info) ect.

Think i build them because i like the idea of them more than the practicality-
but that mention of the AI sub with flanking that did the hit and run has promise (coupled with that ice idea) Not the best choice for a defender bent on stopping a multi-ship invasion tho.

However, in Civ3 subs had an option to select ur target out of an enemy task force - which i have not seen as an option-

i would use subs as hit and run defenders (run back to port) if they had
the option to sink transports- i use them as offensive/recon/pillage
sea units as it is now.

Last edited by troytheface; Feb 14, 2006 at 03:12 PM.
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Old Feb 14, 2006, 09:21 PM   #18
Stalker0
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It would be nice if subs had a big strength bonus if they attacked undetected.
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Old Feb 14, 2006, 10:17 PM   #19
Genocidicbunny
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Give them back their ability to nuke, or at least to attack from a distance. Most subs today aren't torpedo based but rather surface missle based. So why not give them that ability. Like attack from 1 square away and then slip back into hiding. Or make them the artillery of the waters......
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Old Feb 14, 2006, 11:23 PM   #20
GrandMatt
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Battleships are the artillery of the water with there colatoral damage, revisiting the old civ 3 days with sneak attack for subs would be good, but the idea of a huge bonus when attacking undetected is an awesome idea

this would make subs nessicary to have ( other than for sinking transports ) , esp if the enemy doesnt have destroyers, isnt combined arms all what civ 4 is ment to be about
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