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An alternative Deity Tier List (a.k.a. 'Don't Forget About Conquest')

Discussion in 'Civ5 - Strategy & Tips' started by consentient, Mar 13, 2015.

  1. mbbcam

    mbbcam Prince

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    A interesting observation. One of the many reasons I am no good at Civ -- I get fixated on one thing.

    There are some interesting discussions in this thread, but one idea keeps on coming back to me. I am probably being over-intellectual, but I can't help feeling that any game of Civilization involves a "system" -- something that consists of "player + civilization + map + opponents". Each of these systems is unique and, by definition, unrepeatable. The progress and result of each game depends on the interactions between the elements of the system. Probably one of the reasons for varying opinions about the value of certain civs and their units or abilities is that it is not really possible to separate a civ from the person who plays it. What you probably need to look at is the interaction between the player and the chosen civ -- which means that everyone's tier list would be unique.

    But as I said, I'm being over-intellectual :)

    But then, I'm an academic, so my goal in life is to make simple things complicated ... ;)
     
  2. yung.carl.jung

    yung.carl.jung Hey Bird! I'm Morose & Lugubrious

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    dear consentient,

    i've been lurking on these forums for about two months now, without posting. i would just like to say that Acken, peddroelm, tommynt and you have really challenged me to step up my game and have changed my entire approach to deity. thanks for that.

    now there are some things i would like to clear up. you said the archer line is "objectively superior" to trebuchets, which is quite silly. statements like that really should not be made, because it's just too easy to construct a situation where they aren't "objectively superior". just to get that out of the way.

    now as for hwacha, there are some things i would like to correct. you called them "worse than trebs", which is something i just cannot agree on. hwacha are the third, maybe even the second best unit for killing cities before cannons and artillery enter the equation. here is why:

    generally when you're building up your army you want to put production into low hammer units, in this case, catapults, because trebs are very hammer heavy and come at a time where you really want to be building other things in your cities. therefore building catapults (one would be sufficient, two might already be too much) and upgrading them for little gold really is the way to go. i would like to point you to peddroelms mongolia lp for that, which you definitely have seen. he spams chariots like a madman and uses ~1200 gold to upgrade all of them, something among those lines.

    this puts hwacha on a whole 'nother level. since they keep their +300% bonus against cities upgrading from catapults (if not just ignore my post, but i knew they did at some point, maybe they fixed it) hwacha are now at 26x3=78 ranged strength, while trebs are at 14x3=42. that is almost double the power of a trebuchet, which in and of itself can easily chunk a city down to half with three or four attacks. it's absolutely insane firepower.

    what you're giving up on is annexing an early capital, because with this strategy you're not going to composite rush any opponent. you will obviously wait for machinery and physics to have the upgrade edge on the opponent, which, with koreas (albeit extremely small) early game science boost should not be a problem. you could expect to attack a capital turn 100-115, which you called "too late", yet peddroelms honor + commerce strategy attacks around that time, too. i don't think it is a huge issue to be honest. what it does help with is early warmonger penalty, usually around that time the AI will already either hate or have DOF'd you, so you can atleast keep your friends for a little longer than you would usually and get better trades out of that.

    really, i think incorporating a single cata or treb into your army of (assumed) six to eight cbow or xbow, one or two horsemen and a few pikes as meatshields can help your conquest a lot, especially since you're only sacrificing a single archer. sacrificing more than that is usually not worth it in my opinion.

    then again, who uses korea for domination victory anyway? i really like tech-dom, i think it's a lot of fun, but korea is obviously better at going for a science victory. just my two cents.
     
  3. Browd

    Browd Dilettante Administrator

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    They patched the hwacha upgrade bug. It no longer retains the +300% vs cities when upgraded from cats.
     
  4. yung.carl.jung

    yung.carl.jung Hey Bird! I'm Morose & Lugubrious

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    i used to have an entire strategy based around that :'(

    pretty sad, korea used to be my favorite civilization for a long time.

    goodbye sweet prince sejong, rockets are just too boring for me.
     
  5. Browd

    Browd Dilettante Administrator

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    Hwach's are designed to reinforce Korea's ability to turtle to victory. At 26 ranged combat strength, they are far better anti-personnel units than their contemporary crossbowmen (18 ranged strength). Put a Hwach'a in your cities for defense, rather than crossbowmen. In the later game, they can be upgraded to normal cannons/artillery/rocket artillery.
     
  6. consentient

    consentient Domination!

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    For me, what Browd wrote, while true, is an example of why I can't rate it higher than the unit it replaces. I don't want units that I rely on for defence to be parked in cities, since if the units are in range of my cities they are also likely to pillage, etc. And out in the open, Hwacha are too weak to enemy attacks unless supported by the very troops that I would ordinarily use for defence anyway. So they don't really have much of a niche use.
     
  7. Junnies

    Junnies Chieftain

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    First of all, great list in which i agree with mostly everything. I tried my hand in modding to bring up some of the weaker civs, but in doing so, i've found two civs rated poorly by you which I found difficult to justify too much serious improvements

    My comments in Purple

    ----

    "1. Assyria

    Assyria's advantages are: Siege Towers, Royal Library and Tech stealing.

    1. Siege Towers. Some people rave about these, but I think that getting them at Mathematics means that they come too late to be much use on Deity. Maybe I am not playing it properly. I invite comments on this point. They are really powerful on lower difficult levels, broken perhaps. But on Deity, even when I beeline Maths after lux techs, I run into troops that can smash these up. UU rating = 2/5"

    I think you underrate this UU, which becomes that much stronger if one goes Honor. I see that you rate the Battering Ram at 4/5 and IMO, the Siege Tower is at least as good as the BR. Yes, they come a little bit later in the tech tree, but I think their usefulness lasts much longer. Rams are great till Medieval, whilst Siege Towers remain useful til the end of the Industrial due to its synergy with crossbows/gatlings/cannons.

    They do get mashed up by stronger melee units, but that is much less of a problem if you clear out enemy troops first, and only send in the Siege Tower when you want to rush down a city. Unlike Rams, Siege Towers are meant to work with other units, so its not such a big minus that they require other units to clear out threatening enemy melee units before sending them in (they handle ranged attacks quite well). I gave them 4/5 in my own subjective rating.


    "2. Royal library. A minuscule buff for troops when filled with great works. But warmongers want to use GWs and GAs for faster SPs and Golden Ages, respectively. UB rating = 1 (being generous)"

    Agreed. This is a really underwhelming UB and I buffed it by taking krajzen's idea of giving it +2 production. (the rationale being that it allows Assyria to generate a decent-sized army faster although it is also useful for less aggressive strategies). After giving it +2 production, I personally rated this UB as 3/5 since the production boost comes so early.

    "3. Tech stealing. This can be great if you get something you really want. But a bit hit and miss. UA rating = 2/5."

    As you said, its a bit hit-and-miss. Could be great or a little underwhelming so 2/5 is reasonable although I rated it higher at 3/5. All in all, with my buff to RL, I had Assyria as a (4+3+3=10) rating and the only buff i gave them was +2 production in RL.


    ---


    "Rome

    Rome's advantages are: Legions, Ballistas, and Capital-first building bonus.

    1. Legions. These suffer from the same problem as all Classical Era UUs: they just don't cut the mustard on Deity. You won't have caught up to the AI yet, and so waging war with slightly-buffed Swordsmen is not a good idea. They can build roads, but then if they're building roads then they're not farming XP or completing quests or acting as meat shields for CBs/XBs, are they? UU rating = 1/5."

    Agreed, although I think a 1.5 rating is probably more accurate (not a disagreement since you use discrete integers in your ratings) which is why I incorporated a mod which gave them a Tetsudo free promotion (+15% defence to ranged attacks). This makes them 2/5 in my own rating.


    "2. Ballistas. As above. On lower difficulty levels these could well be great, but laying siege to a Deity AI city with these is liable only to get them one-shotted. Yes they are a bit better than Catapults, which I'm sometimes build if I have nothing better to build, and then they can gather XP before being upgraded to Artillery later, but they're nothing to shout about. UU rating = 1/5."

    Agreed, and this is quite underwhelming. At the risk of making it overpowered, I incorporated krajzen's ballista buff (which has some historical accuracy according to him!) which removes the requirement to set up before attack (lost on upgrade of course!). I haven't tested it out, but I tentatively give them a 4/5 rating as they become Siege-Composite Bowmans minus defensive terrain bonuses and limited visibility.

    "3. Capital first. I don't know about you but I like the flexibility of being able to build whatever is most effective upon completion, not having to contrive my build order to take into account what I want to start building in my expos when the capital building is complete. Generally, things that you want in all cities (like LIBRARIES) are built at the same time, so I think that this UA is really all about roleplaying, and has about as much bearing on how the game plays out as the story of Romulus and Remus has on the lives of modern Romans. There could be some things later on (Industrial era) when this becomes quite useful, but I can't imagine it being a help in the whole first half of the game. UA rating = 1/5."

    This rating seemed problematic to me. Wide empires benefit more than Tall empires, and occasionally Capital locations can be poor, so its tricky to estimate the production boost this gives. That being said, a potential 25% building production boost to non-Capital cities (which are usually lagging in production) seems very significant to me. To get the most of this UA requires the Capital to prioritize buildings or purchase buildings in the Capital so you have to adjust the construction of other stuff like caravans/workers/militaryunits and sometimes spend gold to maximize this UA, but as long as you have a decent Capital, this UA really helps non-Capital cities get their infrastructure up and running.

    If one is domination-focused, this UA becomes even stronger, since puppet cities only build buildings. Getting gold, science, happiness and culture buildings in puppet cities, or even ones which you've annexed 25% faster is pretty significant. For me, this UA is 2/5 if one plays peaceful, and 3/5 if one chooses the path of conquest. In total, with my mod buffs, Rome becomes a 2 + 4 + 3 = 9 rating Civ.
     
  8. consentient

    consentient Domination!

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    I don't want a unit that moves that slowly and I only send it in at the end. Clearing enemy units is already pretty much a prerequisite for approaching cities, and XBs are so good at pulling down cities until Artillery, that I can't really see how much easier it is.

    I'll tell you what I'll do. I've already agreed to reexamine Assyria's UA if/when they come up in the DCL/ICL. I'll go one further and purposefully see how long I can keep siege towers going and do as you say and take them along for a boost. But right now I'm skeptical that they are as effective as you make out.

    But I don't want to have to be so inflexible. What wide empires benefit from is anything that buffs food or happiness. But let's not forget that on Deity, it's really much more difficult to put together a proper wide empire (more than 6 self-builds) because the AI is so expansionist.

    And if I'm not self-building but capturing, then I will raze it if it's not worth it, not puppet it. Or else I'll puppet it now and then annex it when I have spare happiness. Then I can choose what to build, and it won't be buildings for long. It will mainly be units.

    I think that Rome could be quite good if their UA was something like 'Legalism' and you got a Free Monument there even if you went Liberty. But having to mess around with BOs just to get a 25% boost seems like it doesn't trade off. I think I've been generous enough with my rating. :)
     
  9. beetle

    beetle Deity

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    But BR being early is 90% of why it is great! With luck, your starting warrior will upgrade to one and take a city out by itself, but every game they are strong enough to warrant a beeline. BR unlocking with Bronze Working instead of Mathematics is a huge buff.

    I like the ST more than consentient but less than you. It is interesting play having a siege unit screening archers and CBs! Trebuchets and cannons with the early cover promotion is also neat (but does not help them stand up to cities).

    You mention synergy with cannons -- which makes me think I am doing it wrong! Do you purposely not upgrade your ST? I had not considered having the ST trail my XBs just for the sapper buff. That is such an intriguing idea that I want to try building a game around the exploit!
     
  10. stormtrooper412

    stormtrooper412 Peacemongering Turtlesaur

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    I'm obviously thick though, because in the Huns DCL, my Rams were absolutely useless and got one shotted by a city with a CB stationed inside before they could get close to the city, a big reason why I skipped finishing that particular map :lol:
     
  11. beetle

    beetle Deity

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    Ouch, was that with a double cover promotion? I cannot get more than one cap out of either BR or ST, but that is one more than I usually get before XBs.
     
  12. stormtrooper412

    stormtrooper412 Peacemongering Turtlesaur

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    single cover, but still, ouch indeed. So I had to pair them up to make them work but that kills their purpose kind of, because I can just as well shoot cities with HAs and then walk in a horseman from another town over
     
  13. beetle

    beetle Deity

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    Absolutely. I don't like to loose BR at all. (As compared to taking a city with two spearmen, where you know one will not survive.)

    I am poor a warmonger but I can keep BR alive. I needed 3+ and double cover (but that takes only a little xp, which barbs can provide). In pairs (supported or not) one BR will die per city. Three BR with double cover (no other units) lets you steamroll a few cities, even a cap over rough terrain. Of course, you need units to deal with units, but the early cities are like glass to BR. By contrast, ST coming later means they never can work alone.

    Yes, HA + 1 horseman works fine, and you have to switch over that mode anyway. Hopefully before your BRs start getting one-shotted, but after HA are starting to pick up logistics. It is not by themselves, but also the synergy the BR has for setting up the next phase of conquest for the HA that makes them an exceptional UU. ST cannot do that since Assyria only has the one UU. HA are great on their own, the BR buffs them by getting them some space early to level up. Once the HA have logistics, it does not matter if they are a little underpowered as the game progresses.
     
  14. stormtrooper412

    stormtrooper412 Peacemongering Turtlesaur

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    wait, how can you train a BR on barbs?
     
  15. consentient

    consentient Domination!

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    Guys, I think you are using BRs really wrong if they're getting one-shotted by a CB+city. You should get them out ASAP (the guy who posted the sub-T100 victory went Bronze Working before The Wheel, but I do it the other way around, still these are your first two techs), and build only units and go full Honor left side. This way, you can take out whichever cities are in your way until you are ready to assault with HAs. BRs can take out a city so quickly its broken. If you are waiting until you have a ton of HAs before you start using them, you've waited too long. BRs are good on their own as long as you retreat and heal them. After a while they will have Cover 2 and the support of maybe an archer and a couple of HAs. Early cities have so little in the way of defence, especially CS, which you can Annex and use to make more HAs. The Huns care not for happiness. Not one iota. On the Always War Challenge I wiped out the nearest CS super-early with a lone BR, then the nearest AI with a BR+1 HA. I really think 4 HAs and 1 BR can take a continent if you go Honor Left and retreat units to the 3rd ring to heal. AIs will do dumb stuff like spam settlers when they are under threat, and will rarely build walls and city defences unless, like India, they have flavour for it.

    Don't waste time getting XP from barbs with BRs. Assault the cities, full-bore. Retreat them when necessary, support them ASAP, but don't puss.y out. Just be relentless.
     
  16. beetle

    beetle Deity

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    Brutes are reluctant to attack BR, but barb archer and axe men will happily shoot at them.

    I do start the BR late, usually after a barracks even. I think they only need one promotion to be at double cover.
     
  17. consentient

    consentient Domination!

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    IMO, there is zero need for Barracks with the Huns. If you're building stuff other than units, you're delaying how quickly you can take the capitals. The only exception is a monument, which you will of course need. I recommend: Warrior > Monument > Archer > HAs/BRs, which will give you a shot at clearing your continent by T80/90
     
  18. stormtrooper412

    stormtrooper412 Peacemongering Turtlesaur

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    well in one run of the Huns game, I took one AI city quickly but the other was on a hill with no defenses inside and my Ram died before it could capture it, late archer not being able to get there in time
     
  19. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    I just recently started playing this game again, so much rust and I never played the expansions so there's a lot to learn about the steps in practice rather than in theory. The thought process behind this list is more valuable than the numbers being presented in that light. For the most part the list is consistent.

    That said, I believe the point on dromons is fair and that this list is underrating them, for the reasons Cromangus put forth. Their value is carried forward and it becomes significant quickly then.

    It's interesting that the meta shifted so far away from conquest that a deity player is having to convince people of its value :D. In Civ IV and even Civ V vanilla (under very different rules than now) conquering cities was considered a dominant strategy...in fact with most starts at high level civ IV it was easier to win by conquering competitive amounts of land to overcome AI bonuses than just staying small.

    Civ V's happiness/per city tech penalty puts a damper on that, but if you can come up with the happiness and are not taking complete junk then consentient is right, it is not only viable but desirable/makes the game easier.

    You can win any VC you want if you have 95% of the world's cities, and you can't win any VC if you're dead. That's true for the AI, too. Military survival isn't the only priority, but it is the top one, even if there are minimal-unit ways to secure that in some cases. Turned on the AI, if it fails at military survival, it can't win.

    Theoretically, the proportion of your army to #cities shrinks as you grow, so as long as you can come up with enough happiness to keep going your income should climb as you conquer cities, just need a little help from espionage and the AI for wonders/infrastructure :).
     
  20. stormtrooper412

    stormtrooper412 Peacemongering Turtlesaur

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    Of course you agree, when I asked that goofy "life or death" question on PolyCast, you just said Keshiks :D
     

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