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Aggression: always a winner?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by podraza, Oct 17, 2006.

  1. Wlauzon

    Wlauzon Prince

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    Oct 1, 2005
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    One of my main gripes with the game is that it emphasises war and early conquest much more than anything else. If I play a 2 civ game, take my warrior and run over and kill the one lone size 1 city of the other civ in 3500 BC, I get a MUCH higher score than if I play 8 other civs and win a cultural victory in 2049.

    That is one reason I think I will try a peace-only game this weekend when I have a few hours, something different and probably an all new strategy.
    Gee, I wonder which takes more time, work, and skill?
     
  2. Jorunkun

    Jorunkun Back with a vengeance

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    Agree with this, but the inverse is also true: You can't really win on immortal without destroying other civs, and the earlier the better (unless you are playing cultural).
     
  3. BYC

    BYC Warlord

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    Much like real history, aggression tends to be better than not. It's extremely rare that an early war doesn't help in the long run. I think the only time when I actually overexpanded and lost from it was when I was playing Hatshepsut. I massed war chariots in an early rush against another civ. I overran that civ, but the Creative trait really backfired when I conquered the civ. The borders expanded way faster than I could reel my economy back in line. It was so bad when I was at 0% research, and I was STILL in the red. A few more turns later, it was obvious I couldn't possibly regain control, but a good lesson nonetheless.

    As long as you're prepared, war is rarely a bad thing.
     
  4. Antilogic

    Antilogic --

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    One problem I've seen with early wars is when you have very aggressive neighbors yourself. Sure, you are prepared to take one. You are prepared for that opportunistic douche that decides to attack you. But are you ready for the next set? I've been dogpiled by nearly every AI simultaneously, and it wasn't very pretty.

    Part of avoiding that situation is intelligently picking your targets and being a cunning diplomat, but sometimes it isn't on the board. Admittedly, fighting the entire world is pretty fun, but it can really put a crimp in your game if you lose cities early on.
     
  5. one_man_assault

    one_man_assault Dir-tay Uno

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    umm is it me or does stratagy stop working when you play on anything besides a pangea?
     
  6. sylvanllewelyn

    sylvanllewelyn Perma-newb

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    Oct 19, 2006
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    The main reason why higher difficulties are harder is not because the AI starts with more workers and settlers, it's because of beakers per technology. For certain periods of the game, growth IS exponential, but that's not because of the extra workers/settlers, but because the early technologies are very growth-oriented. When building workers and settlers, your cities aren't growing, unlike technology.

    What that means is, if you chop out workers and settlers peacefully like the AI, the commerce of your cities will fall behind relative to the AI because of technological differences. Eventually the AI will out-tech you militarily massively and crush you, eventually but inevitably. The concept of military action is not to crush the AI, but to own as many times the cities of the average AI as your techs cost in beakers. As per real history, wars are always about resources and land to a certain extent, so after all the land is filled up, the only way to gain more cities is to take it away from someone else.

    Personally, I play multiplayer 3v3 or 2v2v2, so I'm used to war as a means to any ends. However I don't feel that my warmongering skills are still up to par, because while I could win in a variaty of ways on immortal, I never managed to win deity (Incan wins don't count). Heard it's something to do with getting AI's to gift you techs and permenant alliances, don't know. But besides that, anything that's not deity and aggression's the way to go.
     
  7. PedalPower

    PedalPower Chieftain

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    Of course the root of the problem is that the AI is extremely bad at war. I'm not sure why it isn't better, but I suppose Firaxis has its reasons. But I have yet to see the AI wage an effective war at any time. People say that an isolated start fixes the problem of the early war strategy being a sure winner, but in that case you are even more sure to win in the long run, because the AI is really, really bad at intercontinental war. I have yet to see an AI put a stack of doom into six transports and land them on another continent. It's always piecemeal attacks of two or three galleons or transports, and sometimes they are poorly defended, making them easy prey for your navy.

    OTOH, if I land a SoD on their continent and take a city, they will make one aggressive counter attack and stop there if it doesn't succeed. They may have a hundred units in various cities and railroads to take them to me, but they always seem to stop short of doing what it takes to wipe out my invasion force. Then there is the fact that some cities may have twenty defenders and another may only have three. If I march toward the one that has three, the AI will very seldom reinforce it. Possibly the stupidest thing of all is the way the AI will hole up entire navies in coastal cities and when I attack that city, they don't move them out. Even if I happen to have a better navy waiting for them, a suicide attack and a battle of attrition is far better than losing them for nothing.

    So, IMO, aggression is pretty much always a winner. Late game, early game, it doesn't matter much. If you are on a continent with one other civ, it would be foolish not to dominate them, and the sooner the better. If you have secured your continent and things are headed toward a space race, start a war with the best AI civ and take them down a notch or two. Need resources? If the AI won't trade for them, take them by force. This is pretty much always effective if the civ has an isolated outpost defending that resource.
     
  8. Antilogic

    Antilogic --

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    It has gotten much better since Civ3, though. Now, the AI actually used artillery against of having them sit around in their cities. And no longer is their invasion force a single obsolete unit--now at least they send a couple modern units at you. The AI has done some reinforcement while I have been bombarding cities down, but not to the extent that I would.

    Basically, I'm trying to say it's gotten better, but it still has a long way to go.
     
  9. PedalPower

    PedalPower Chieftain

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    I haven't played Civ III in a while, but it seems like I remember what you are talking about. It would be better if the AI was more aggressive when they are in a war. I suppose that would have unintended consequences though, with the AI going crazy and doing too many suicide attacks.
     
  10. luniz

    luniz Chieftain

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    I would say on higher level (emp+) warring is necessary and on immortal it's absolutely necessary.
     
  11. bassist2119

    bassist2119 Warlord

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    Regarding keeping in the tech race, there's many hints throughout the forum which are applicable up to at least monarch - applying just a few will keep you in the race, if not allow you to springboard way ahead.

    More importantly, I wouldn't let the "tedious" nature of intercontinental conquest become such a limiting factor that it prevents you from enjoying the greater majority of games and options thereof. I agree that there is much more fun to be found in competing within a continent to which you already have a presence, and that the current game design is lackluster regarding naval buildup. But staking a claim across the river isn't so difficult as you would seem to make it out to be. SImply making 3 galleons (4 for seciruty) and loading them with 3/4 rifles (possibly sub in a cavalry or two) and 1/4 artillery units (cannons make a huge difference here) allows the takeover of one coastal city on the other continent, which is all you need. Thereafter, the force that remains after the acquisition can hold the position until reinforcements arrive (8-10 turns later). Other tactics which can facilitate this are:
    - along the road to conquest of your own continent, there should be at least two coastal cities that favor production.
    - acquiring steel allows for drydocks. This makes your galleons build at a rate of 3:2. Additionally, dropping a great general in one of these cities gives six XPs to the galleons (flanking/nav1) for an extra movement point.
    -once the beachhead is extablished, decide which of the following suits the current game better, either 1.) beelining to refrigeration for yet another movement point to ferry troops, or 2.) priioritizing flight which allows a.) airports - every turn, another troop flies over. Once the second site is acquired, two drop in and expansion solidifies. All the while, b.) other cities make fighters (then bombers) which rebase to initially reduce the counter attack, and then work to reduce city defenses.
     
  12. Naismith

    Naismith Prince

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    Mostly, I don't have problems staying ahead in tech on Prince, no matter whether I'm playing a mostly peaceful game or warmongering. Monarch is a different story, and I still haven't attempted a continents game on that level.

    Yes, that's my basic point. In fact, I felt the same way when I played Civ 3, and ended up modding naval units to have more movement (+1 on all), and also increased transport capacity (+1 or +2 on all with any transport capability). So far I've resisted the urge to modify Civ4 the same way. As you can probably tell, I just don't have a lot of patience for building up the number of ships necessary to transport a sizeable force, and protect the transports, and the number of turns necessary to cross the ocean.

    That would work if you are ahead in tech (which I probably would be if playing at Prince) and picked a lightly defended coastal city. Otherwise, 3 or 4 rifles and a few artillery would not survive a counterattack if your opponent had much in the way of military. Usually, I just land in force (enough to take and hold maybe three cities and handle counterattacks), and then reinforce/resupply as needed to take more cities.

    Thanks for the other suggestions. I particularly like using airports to transport my units rather than ships. Unfortunately, playing at epic speed airports come pretty late in my games, so I don't get much chance to use them.
     

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