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A comprehensive UU guide (the updated thread)

Discussion in 'Civ4 Strategy Articles' started by aelf, Nov 25, 2006.

  1. aelf

    aelf Noctis Lucis Caelum

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    Who are you saying this to?
     
  2. idiot_savant

    idiot_savant Chieftain

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    Correct. -1 terrain movement cost. The grenadiers were able to continue covering 2 grass/plains tiles without roads just like Impis before, but I will check as to what that actually equates to in game.
     
  3. aelf

    aelf Noctis Lucis Caelum

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    Nope. They will move one step at a time on unroaded terrain. A grenadier only has 1 move and any unroaded terrain costs at least 1 movement point to enter. Not sure if they are not faster on roaded tiles, though.
     
  4. johnny_rico

    johnny_rico one more turn addict

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    Anyone who reads it. Never mind though. Upgrading an Impi to a grenadier will reduce the MP from 2 to 1 although the mobility promotion will remain. But the mobility promotion is useless with only 1 MP. Thus the question, what to do with Impi's. Attack recklessly with them and those that survive become game long medics. I think eventually you'd be better off building pikes from scratch as opposed to upgrading Impi's because of the MP loss and the useless promotion retained.
     
  5. Wodan

    Wodan Chieftain

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    If you care to upgrade them all game, Impis make great Mech Infantry.

    Wodan
     
  6. drkodos

    drkodos Chieftain

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    I believe this is not only most thematic but, is also highest and best use.
     
  7. johnny_rico

    johnny_rico one more turn addict

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    LOL regarding the thematic use, that's what I thought as I was posting.
     
  8. carl corey

    carl corey Chieftain

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    With some delay, here is the entry on Janissary. aelf, feel free to edit it as I'm sure parts of it are superfluous to the purpose of this thread; once started I just couldn't stop. ;) And if anything I wrote isn't clear, either post here or drop me a message.

    Edit: Ouch, waaaay longer than I expected. Sowwy. :D


    Ottomans: Janissary (Musketman)

    One of the most interesting Unique Units, the Janissary comes at a time when you're happily building your Universities and are on the verge of getting those nasty Grenadiers to obliterate your last neighbors... That is, if you get them the "usual " way, through slow teching toward Gunpowder.

    Part 1: Beelining for Gunpowder

    To make full use of the Janissary's bonuses and lack of early counter a beeline for Gunpowder is in order. Whether you take the "southern" path through Metal Casting -> Machinery & Monotheism -> Monarchy -> Feudalism => Guilds or the "northern" path: Maths -> Currency (Priesthood?) -> Civil Service -> Paper -> Education, you can make it to Gunpowder in time to face mostly Longbowmen. Different lightbulbing techniques are available here (GMs for the southern path, GSs for the northern one) so you won't have to self-research everything under the sun.

    Part 2: Strengths and weaknesses

    The Janissary's UU bonus is a 25% boost against melee, archery and mounted units - so pretty much everything your opponents will throw at you with the exception of siege units. Counting the fact that Pinch is now only available with Gunpowder the Janissaries are quite safe. You'll also get lots of promotions from their first fights (take out lightly defended cities first, forget going for the "prime estate"); in this case going the Combat I + Cover way for most and Combat II in view of Formation for others renders them even more powerful.

    The first real threat are Knights, since by then the opponent is one tech away from Gunpowder and will most probably promote them with Pinch right out of Barracks & Stables. By that time though you should already have Pikemen and be on your way to Grenadiers.

    Part 3: Getting more!

    Costing 80 hammers (the same as the normal Musketman) they aren't very easy to get. Considering that most of the time you won't have early wars while teching toward Gunpowder you'll have only a bunch of cities to help you build your army. Fortunately you won't need a lot of them at first. Make sure to get Construction too for some Catapults, if only for stripping down the city defenses. Once you capture some big cities though don't hesitate to whip the Barracks and then Janissaries from them. You'll be at war for a long time so the war weariness will be quite high in newly conquered cities anyway and you won't be able to make everyone happy.

    Another way to get more is to draft them. If you're going the Education route, you're not far from a Liberalism -> Nationhood grab. You can even consider getting another Great Scientist out to lightbulb Philosophy, whether after Gunpowder (to start on the army first) or before (to run Pacifism) and then you're all set up for Liberalism. Of course you can also delay Liberalism to get Chemistry and Grenadiers with it.

    A post-patch (2.08) change now makes the Education route even more desirable: the newly improved Military Academy requires Education and gives you a 50% bonus at building military units. Coupling that with Heroic Epic in a high production city will help you get a constant string of Janissaries to keep the attack going.

    Part 4: What about the "infrastructure"?

    You might be tempted to stop after one or two wars to build universities, grocers, banks, courthouses, etc. Well, do that and you'll lose all your military advantage. Instead, consider changing targets if you're heading too deep into enemy territory. Also, accepting capitulated vassals can really help you dominate your continent at a very early date by 1) not having to fight to the end, 2) getting some forgotten techs from the capitulation, 3) enlisting someone else in your fights. Once you have your own continent you can do whatever you want with it; plenty of time for infrastructure.
     
  9. aelf

    aelf Noctis Lucis Caelum

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    Thanks, carl corey!

    I'm back to focusing on EMC4 these few days. Will be back here with a new entry soon.
     
  10. carl corey

    carl corey Chieftain

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    You're welcome. And take your time, my post won't go anywhere. :D
     
  11. UncleJJ

    UncleJJ Chieftain

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    Great post on the Jannisaries and by co-incidence I was playing a game last night testing out my bee-line to Gunpowder :D . I opted for my drafting strategy afterwards so it was Liberalism and I chose Nationhood before doubling back to get Engineering for trebuchets.

    My first target was Mao, the tech and military leader and who was ticked off at my refusal to pay tribute and keeping my own religion. His capital had walls and castle plus quite a few of his protected longbows. I had to wait 2 turns for my rubbish level 2 catapults (mostly CR1 :( ) to reduce the defence to zero and then had 2 lucky withdrawls. Before that collateral dammage the chances for my drafted janissaries (combat 1) was only something like 23% against a protected longbow fortified in a city (with zero defence). The war was long and bloody particularly for Mao who lost 2 cities before he researched grenadiers and that made my janissaries much less useful. Even a level 2 janissary with combat and pinch is not much use against a grenadier unless he's damaged. By that time I had my own grendiers but had to build them the slow way or upgrade and I had few good early troops worth upgrading. So I made peace and he'd only pay 550 gold and 8 per turn and not a Banking which I needed :( . I vowed to return when rifling was available and set about fortififying the 2 good cities I had captured.

    I switched targets to Mansa (who hated Mao and was my friend but looked a lot softer target ;) ) He was now tech leading and building wonders so there was good pickings to be had. What is more he had neglected his military and did not even have Gunpowder. The janissaries just ripped through his unpromoted longbows, pikemen and macemen almost without catapult and trebuchet support once the defences were reduced to zero. Two cities have fallen and he still won't give me Constitution for peace, going for a third now to squeeze his resolve a bit harder. This war has to end soon as it is only 5 turns before rifling is researched and another round of drafting is needed.

    Here are some statistics on my protracted drafting of janissaries.
    current 19, built 4 and lost 9. So 19 + 9 = 28 in total and 4 were built so therefore 24 were drafted. And here are some dates from the log
    Gunpowder 760 AD
    Liberalism 920
    Nationalism 940
    Theology 960
    Nationhood 1010
    Theocracy 1010
    Free Speech 1460
    So drafting was possible from 1010 to 1460 (about 45 turns) and in that time my empire expanded from 4 cities to 9 (4 captured and 1 new in a gap) and land expanded from 10.5% to 14%.

    Theocracy is a central part of my strategy since drafted janissaries get 2 exp with barracks other troops 5 exp. Normally I promoted attacking janissaries with combat 1 and defending ones with city garrison 1 and both are needed. If they get a second promotion the attackers get pinch and defenders CG2.


    Mao counter attacked fiercely with war elephants, horsearchers and macemen all of which were easy but trebuchets hurt and killed some men and weakened others delaying progress. Having a really big stack of drafted troops helped absorb his collateral damage. The janissaries gained promotions (and I gained GG points) from counterattacking the damaged trebuchets and horse archers that withdrew.

    Conclusions:
    Jannisaries are great troops particularly when drafted, building them is just too slow unless you have lots of whipping cities and you also need catapults or trebuchets to weaken defences. Building both siege and janissaries slows down the build up. The bee-line to Gunpowder strategy is useful but restricts early expansion to one short war at most. You need to research the techs and build up the infrastructure to crank out the troops fast while you have the technological advantage.

    Most of all it depends on the target you unleash your janissaries on and how well prepared they are. Mao was tough but they cut down his tech and military lead better than any other troops I could build. Mansa was easy and janissaries are still very usefull attacking and defending. So choose your target(s) carefully. Perhaps use them on advanced civs first and then switch to more backward ones as that preserves their usefulness longer.

    Finally, a word for the Hamman which supports this strategy nicely with 2 :happiness: in large cities
     
  12. carl corey

    carl corey Chieftain

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    In my slingshot game I started wars at 760AD, 1090AD and 1380AD, each one against a different opponent. By 1545 I had two vassals and was left to fight only one already weakened AI. I didn't see any Musketmen until the last war, and by then I had Grenadiers anyway. I guess hitting your opponents early is better than hitting them hard.

    And as I said, with Heroic Epic and Military Academy in the same city you can get some decent Janissary production.
     
  13. UncleJJ

    UncleJJ Chieftain

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    Maybe your opponents were easier ;) I could have smashed 3 if they were all like Mansa. Mao was worth two Mansa's at least in terms of resistance and I had to deal with him first. Without access to marble the HE would cost the full 200 hammers and take a long time to build anywhere but Istanbul and it is not a good idea to tie up your capital building units all the time. I am now building it in Beijing after capturing Mao's marble :) ... the culture will help push back the borders.

    For comparison purposes, it would be interesting to know how many janissaries you managed to build and when you researched Gunpowder and Chemistry.
     
  14. carl corey

    carl corey Chieftain

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    Actually, they *were* easier. I had Shaka, Genghis Khan and Cyrus on the same continent, no religious nut nor any teching powerhouse. That made me the first to found a religion (Confucianism) and it spread to pretty much everywhere on my continent. No early religions also meant nobody was exceedingly unhappy with anyone, so there were no wars prior to my 760AD one.

    I had Gunpowder in 560AD, Construction a few turns later, Liberalism in 1270AD and chose Chemistry as my free tech. In 1310AD I made peace with Shaka (second war) so I had two full wars with Janissary as the main force. The statistics page shows 34 Janissaries produced, and I don't think I built any after getting Chemistry. I don't have an earlier save to confirm this unfortunately.

    As "tough" opposition I had to face a grand total of 7 Musketmen and 4 Knights. :D The bulk of the troops I attacked were Longbowmen (43 kills), Cats (21 kills), Maces (19 kills) and War Elephants (17 kills). I did lose 15 Janissaries, but hey, can't have a war without casualties. :D And I had 5 wars in total, so... There's a save in the Beelining for Gunpowder thread if you want to take a closer look at what happened.
     
  15. PraetorianSteve

    PraetorianSteve S.P.Q.R.

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    Since the Praetorians are rather straightforward I think I took the liberty of putting these few lines down:

    Rome: Praetorian (Swordsman)
    Coming in at strength 8, here is another UU that you either love or hate. Rome's Praetorians, replacing the Swordsman, can secure a lot of real estate for you in a short amount of time if used properly. On the flip side you can easily overextend your empire by grabbing too much. One of those difficult choices in life!

    The Praetorian's best (and only) feature is his increased strength of 8 which means that, much like in antiquity, Rome's legions will have almost no equal in the field until the middle ages come around. Their best use is in a "Praetorian Rush" early on before your opponents have time to get units that can counter them. This will require a steady source of Iron, without which Rome can do very little. Since the Romans start with Mining it can be tempting to research Bronze Working, Iron Working and The Wheel before anything else. If you are playing a map with known features, such as the Earth maps, having your workers connect the future Iron deposit before you even get Iron Working can be a smart move.

    The biggest counter to the Praetorians in classical times are Axemen, especially if they have the shock promotion. This can be countered with catapults, chariots and by giving your Praets the shock promotion as well. When it comes to sieges, the Praetorian can easily take cities defended by Archers without any outside help. However when the Longbowman starts showing up, bringing a few catapults/trebuchets along might be in order to stave off unnecessary casualties.

    Once Knights and Crossbowmen start showing up, the Praetorian's future will depend on the promotions you gave him. At that time however, it might be prudent to start upgrading to Macemen. By that time, Rome's advantage over the other civs has gone forever, so use it while it lasts.
     
  16. carl corey

    carl corey Chieftain

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    Well, Macemen only get an additional melee damage bonus, so I don't really see how that helps them be any better against Knights or Crossbowmen, or cities defended by Longbowmen. I see using the money for those upgrades as a slight error. I'd rather use the conquest money to run a higher research slider to get help for the Praetorians in the form of Pikes, Trebs, Maces (built, not upgraded), then shoot for Chemistry.
     
  17. aelf

    aelf Noctis Lucis Caelum

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    Thanks for the ideas on the Praetorian, Steve. Very concise, condensing everything about of this powerful UU to several simple lines :D I can only think of a thing or two to add to that. Good job!
     
  18. Andrei_V

    Andrei_V Chieftain

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    Some observations about Samurais.

    Samurais replace Macemen, and unlike the regular Macemen, they:
    1) Require Iron - Copper won't do. If you play as Tokugawa, make sure you research Iron Working early and hook up some Iron.
    2) Have two First Strikes.

    That's the second thing which makes them so cool. Let's begin with a little bit of game mechanics regarding first strikes.

    Suppose we have two healthy units (100 HP) engaging in a combat. In the beginning the 'damage' is computed based on their strengths after modifiers, like terrain bonuses or promotions. If the strengths are equal, the damage PTs are also equal, 20 each. So, the combat goes like this:
    Unit A is hit for 20 (down to 80HP)
    Unit B is hit for 20 (down to 80HP)
    Unit A is hit for 20 (down to 60HP)
    Unit B is hit for 20 (down to 60HP)
    ... and so on, until one of them is hit to 0HP and dies.

    Now we have certain random element, so that one of the units can occasionally strike twice before the second unit responds - in this case the second unit reaches 0 HP sooner, and dies. If the strengths are different, the stronger unit gets more than 20, the weaker, less, by approximately the same amount except roundoff errors, like 25 vs. 15, or 27 vs. 14. This way the weaker unit loses its HPs faster, and dies more frequently.

    What a First Strike does is to significantly shift the odds in favor of getting double or triple strikes. If two units are of equal strength and one of them has more First Strikes, it wins with a lot greater chance.

    The units such as Longbows have a natural First Strike. The units like Macemen do not, and they can't even have Drill promotion to get one. Samurais have two, that's one more than Longbows.

    Let's compare a couple of combat log transcripts. In the first case, Macemen attacking Longbows:

    Turn 286, 1376AD:
    ANDREI_V's Maceman (8.00) vs Hatshepsut's Longbowman (4.28)
    Combat Odds: 98.3%
    (Extra Combat: +10%)
    (City Defense: +25%)
    (City Attack: -75%)
    ANDREI_V's Maceman is hit for 14 (86/100HP)
    ANDREI_V's Maceman is hit for 14 (72/100HP)
    Hatshepsut's Longbowman is hit for 27 (73/100HP)
    ANDREI_V's Maceman is hit for 14 (58/100HP)
    Hatshepsut's Longbowman is hit for 27 (46/100HP)
    Hatshepsut's Longbowman is hit for 27 (19/100HP)
    Hatshepsut's Longbowman is hit for 27 (0/100HP)
    ANDREI_V's Maceman has defeated Hatshepsut's Longbowman!

    ANDREI_V's Maceman (7.36) vs Hatshepsut's Longbowman (4.00)
    Combat Odds: 96.2%
    (City Defense: +25%)
    (City Attack: -75%)
    ANDREI_V's Maceman is hit for 14 (78/100HP)
    ANDREI_V's Maceman is hit for 14 (64/100HP)
    Hatshepsut's Longbowman is hit for 27 (73/100HP)
    ANDREI_V's Maceman is hit for 14 (50/100HP)
    ANDREI_V's Maceman is hit for 14 (36/100HP)
    ANDREI_V's Maceman is hit for 14 (22/100HP)
    ANDREI_V's Maceman is hit for 14 (8/100HP)
    Hatshepsut's Longbowman is hit for 27 (46/100HP)
    Hatshepsut's Longbowman is hit for 27 (19/100HP)
    Hatshepsut's Longbowman is hit for 27 (0/100HP)
    ANDREI_V's Maceman has defeated Hatshepsut's Longbowman!

    As you can see, even a CRIII Maceman against a non-promoted non-fortified Longbow nearly dies (with only 8 out of 100 HP left), just because it gets hit by the defending Longbow more times.

    Now let's take a look on what happens to Samurais in a similar case.

    Turn 292, 1412AD:
    ANDREI_V's Samurai (8.80) vs Isabella's Longbowman (6.30)
    Combat Odds: 90.9%
    (Extra Combat: -10%)
    (Fortify: +25%)
    (City Defense: +25%)
    (City Attack: -45%)
    Isabella's Longbowman is hit for 23 (77/100HP)
    Isabella's Longbowman is hit for 23 (54/100HP)
    ANDREI_V's Samurai is hit for 16 (84/100HP)
    Isabella's Longbowman is hit for 23 (31/100HP)
    Isabella's Longbowman is hit for 23 (8/100HP)
    Isabella's Longbowman is hit for 23 (0/100HP)
    ANDREI_V's Samurai has defeated Isabella's Longbowman!

    ANDREI_V's Samurai (8.80) vs Isabella's Longbowman (6.30)
    Combat Odds: 90.9%
    (Extra Combat: -10%)
    (Fortify: +25%)
    (City Defense: +25%)
    (City Attack: -45%)
    Isabella's Longbowman is hit for 23 (77/100HP)
    Isabella's Longbowman is hit for 23 (54/100HP)
    Isabella's Longbowman is hit for 23 (31/100HP)
    Isabella's Longbowman is hit for 23 (8/100HP)
    ANDREI_V's Samurai is hit for 16 (84/100HP)
    Isabella's Longbowman is hit for 23 (0/100HP)
    ANDREI_V's Samurai has defeated Isabella's Longbowman!

    See the difference? Rather than a Maceman being hit-hit-hit by a LB, the LB itself is hit-hit-hit by a Samurai, even if the combat odds are slightly lower (like 90% v. 96%).

    So, compared to regular Macemen, Samurais:
    - win more frequently even at lower odds
    - suffer less damage (faster healing)
    - are not so easy target for xbows, since they have 1 First Strike more, which makes them equal if not better even when attacked on open.
    - in the end, they have a significantly lower mortality rate, which means you'd typically have a lot more well-promoted units by the time of upgrading them to Grenadiers or Riflemen.

    Even a non-promoted Samurai can do a lot of good work, which means you can easily promote it to Medic I -> Medic II or March, maybe even Medic III. Just attack whatever is left in the city after the main protecting forces died to your CR Samurais. It's typically Pikes, Cats, seriously damaged Longbows, and things like that - an easy target to get Medic Promo with a reduced chance to get killed due to the First Strikes again.

    I personally like Medic I with March units, they are easy to get with Barracks + Theocracy (Toku is Aggressive, so Combat I is free), then get Medic II in the battles. With Medic + March unit after capturing a city, you can just march to another city and heal on the way, since the damage is minimal.

    Now you can see that two First Strikes are really really cool, and can be easily translated into a winning strategy.

    The only real medieval counter against Samurais is Knight (especially with Shock promo), which ignores First Strikes, so be warned and advised to add some Pikes or Elephants to your stack.
     
  19. VilleDick

    VilleDick Chieftain

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    Prats and Panzers are the UU's I've had the most success with. Both make gamebreaking advantages in warfare and can cripple opponents quickly.
     
  20. aelf

    aelf Noctis Lucis Caelum

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    Wow, what a lot of data just to say that first strikes rock :p But thanks for it. It confirms the fact that, despite being derided for so long, this ability is actually quite powerful. Definitely enough to base an entry on Samurai on :)
     

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