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[GS] Anti-Cav defense

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by Ownsya, Oct 4, 2019.

  1. Ownsya

    Ownsya Warlord

    Sep 25, 2018
    Not to reopen another discussion on anti-cavalry units but I wanted to share the experience I had (currently having) using anti-cav units. In the previous and long discussion, I came to the opinion that AC units were designed to be a decent defensive option in the game alongside their role of being strong against cavalry. The reasoning for this being that 1) their promotion tree allows them to stand toe-to-toe in the face of melee units but only if they're defending, and 2) they cost no strategic resources. So I decided to give this concept a try:

    I chose Gorgo, trying her out for the first time, with the aim of pursuing a CV. My vision for the game was to use her Hoplites for an early war, possibly conquer one neighbor, and then use the promoted units to defend my empire moving forward. Playing on Immortal difficulty, level 3 disasters, Large Continents & Islands map, balanced starting resources. My first time playing a Large sized map btw and I have to say I love having a few more civs in the game, it keeps things interesting beyond your 4 alliances (and more potential allies to choose from). Much more fun for me than standard size.

    Got off to a rough start when my capital got hit by a flood while I was producing my first settler, killing one of my population. That delayed expansion quite a bit but I did manage to get the Religious Settlements pantheon which kind of made up for it. As a result of that delay, my nearest neighbor, evil John Curtin decided I was too weak to live and dow'd me. To his surprise I was producing Hoplites already and with 4 Hoplites, 2 archers, 1 warrior, and later a war chariot I defeated his army and took his nearest city. It was a bit too far from me to keep loyal so I just razed it and later accepted a peace agreement. I expected him to stick to his corner of 3 cities for the rest of the game, but no.

    He rebuilt his army, settled on land I was on my way to with a settler and then dow'd me again... This time I would erase him. But as soon as I took his first city and kept it, neighboring Scythia and Arabia joined in on the military emergency, both of them had more than double my military might. But guess what, Scythia's UU is cavalry class, so is Arabia's. With my army of a 4-6 Hoplites (eventually Pikemen) a couple of knights, a single warrior upgraded to swordsman, archers to crossbowmen, I successfully defended and shredded their armies without a single loss. Obviously this isn't too impressive, they were less than smart in their tactics but still, my anti-cav strategy was more than successful and nearly all of them had 2 promotions (Thrust + Schiltron). Now that I think about it, I don't recall seeing many Saka Horse Archers, it was mostly horsemen which is weird.

    After winning the military emergency, both Scythia and Arabia made peace with me, but I kept going to erase Australia from the map. Eventually it was just their capital left when my neighbor to the east dow'd me, guess who, Hungary with his own cavalry UU! At this point I was at Pike & Shots, Musketmen, and bombards. The previous wars (plus my desire for a culture victory) meant I had already built walls in most of my cities, some upgraded to renaissance so with just crossbows defending the city it was enough to hold off Hungary's forces until I finished off John Curtin and brought my P&S units to help against Hungary's Huszars. I was also back to being friends with Arabia and had a military alliance with Scythia who I convinced to join the war against Hungary, so that helped too.

    Anyway, all this is to say that the strategy of using anti-cav for purposes of mainly defending is highly viable and in large part because cavalry units tend to be the best for offense. If you're able to get them promoted with Thrust and Schiltron then they can even defend against melee but even without those promotions, just fortify them in the best defensive position adjacent to your city with a ranged unit inside it and they will be very hard to kill while your ranged unit and city picks off the melees. After the melees are low/killed and only cavalry remain, it's easy pickings from there. Now, I did go with Gorgo here who's Hoplites are on par with melee units regardless of promotions (with promotions they beat melee even on the attack) and I also got lucky I guess with 3 neighbors who rely on cavalry class UU's, but I think generally speaking people attack way more using cavalry than they do using melees. Also, I'm loving Gorgo, the amount of culture her units produce from war is insane. She seems perfectly designed around Civ 6's desire to promote wars early in the game before they make less sense later on (unless you're going for domination). If anyone's interested in trying this same game, I'll try to dig up the seed for you. It seems like an ideal game for pushing anti-cav units.
  2. Sostratus

    Sostratus Deity

    Jul 31, 2017
    Minnesota, USA
    This part is so so so critical.
    If you had spearmen vs, oh, say, AI maryannu, or even just AI using swordsmen, you likely would have had to shift to full archers or your own mounted units.
    25:c5strength:+10:c5strength:(hoplite bros)+10:c5strength:(vs cav) is a radically different situation from 25:c5strength: vs 35:c5rangedstrength: (maryannu,) or the typical 25:c5strength: vs 46:c5strength: (swords.) Those units will not survive long enough to get promoted. That's a 20 strength swing or ~+125% attack & defense in your favor by having the UU and facing the right units.

    Although in the player's hands, i think pikes with a little xbow support can be viable in the sense of workable vs AI, because they are only -5:c5strength: to swords. Very fortunate that they were using mounted!
    Pike & Shot are great units, though. I have nary a complaint over them.
    Ownsya likes this.

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