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Are the Sidar really as unstoppable as they seem?

Discussion in 'Fall from Heaven Strategy & Tips' started by popejubal, Mar 15, 2008.

  1. Zechnophobe

    Zechnophobe Strategy Lich

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    Cost for cost, I think the hawk is really one of the strongest units in the game. Massive maps, constant scouting. A single hawk completely changes your ability to both attack, defend, and find an backstaber before they suddenly appear on your doorstep.
     
  2. Ecofarm

    Ecofarm Chieftain

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    Regarding maps, especially when you get open borders with a civ and send hawk(s) to hit peaks (hills when not available) near all of their cities.

    Also, you left out that they prevent assassins from killing expensive units.

    We need various birds available at various techs, with different ranges and abilities.
     
  3. Blackmantle

    Blackmantle Chieftain

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    Assasins skipping noncombat might be the better change short term. To easy to abuse that one imo.
    Bring a big heap of slaves from the market as meatshield for your mages or weak support troops and you are safe. With Move 2 they dont even slow the stack down considerably. Rather nuts...

    Or the Hawks at the stage that is available now only as some sort of "equipment" giving +1 Vision range and see invis to the carrier (whould still be really good and worth the 20 Hammers hands down, as well as reduce micro a bit.).
    And the implementation of hawks like they are now at feral bond (which lacks some bit right now as some sort of in-between tech without permanent benefits safe the heroes and early ability to build the groves before the Units to build from it become available.) or earliest! Animal Handling under a new name. (awakened hawk / talking parrot/ raven / crow / magpie or some bird of prey or something like that which would give a reason why they are so well able to communicate with their handlers. And feature enough intelligence to not be completely unrealistic.)
    And perhaps a third bird-tier at commune with nature which could add some passive spying functions like investigate and perhaps even add a small amount of combat options to a small degree... After all if the Druids, Rangers and Beastmasters really start to communicate with the birds in their form of speach / language (spell "speak with animals" from various systems springs to mind) very sophisticated information whould be available to them.)
    Those 3 Tiers are the most i could immagine for the main-mod (and that whould allready be quite diverse. A big multitude of birds with small increments of diference (save perhaps bloodravens from the design contest for svarts or whomever but at max one or 2 civ specific specials) one day might be more apropriate to a modmod. For main imo if different birds (which i whould like to a certain extent) are implemented they should be quite different in their implementation. So that they are not percieved as "more of the same" which might be dull.)
     
  4. Zechnophobe

    Zechnophobe Strategy Lich

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    Here here to that. As cool as birds are, it's just weird that you sorta train 2 or 3 at most, and have your intelligence network for life in your favor.
     
  5. Ecofarm

    Ecofarm Chieftain

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    Warriors/hunters do not protect units with channeling or hero. Except Kithra - I suppose that's the flip-side of him spam defending while hurt and dying; an assassin is not likely to hit him at full.

    I think there are a few techs that can get birds:

    husbandry, basic hawk with less range on recon mission
    handling, current hawk
    ferral, range +1
    commune, can see hidden and invis
    warfare or military, can bombard or strafe
    medicine, medic (trained to collect medicinal herbs)
    ether (you get adepts and a bird, but not a carrier), hawk with see hidden
    sorcery, hawk with see invis

    Birds can upgrade to any other bird, for a set cost, allowing you to have a bird with all the abilities of your techs. Other techs can provide other abilities.

    Maybe they can do some neat stuff at essence, etc.

    It's so strange that birds are not more interesting. I'm sure the team has had bird requests before. Perhaps there is a reason to them boring and overpowered (1 hawk, cheap, sees all).
     
  6. Blackmantle

    Blackmantle Chieftain

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    By Slaves I didnt refer to Hunters or Warriors but to the Units that are Slaves (Elven Slave, Orcish Slave, Dwarven Slave and Human Slave) from Slave Trade given by Undercouncil resolution establish Slave trade or by the Slavery-civic (and fighting the respective Speciesmen.).

    If that whould have been what i wanted to say i whould have refered to cheap units or fodder.

    I dont really need an explanation how assasins and Marksman works (Use them myselves often enough. My last game was a sidar as is matching the thread-topic. So i know what they attack in about which order.)

    Try this and see that Mages are more or less immune to assassins if you bring 30+ Slaves as meatshield to accompany them (which you can get by one Unit in a city able to cast the instant you want to set out with your offensive Stack. At least the way the slave-trade is implemented now). In that regard they are exactely as hawks (and other noncombats) and easier to get en-masse (not strictly by price but by build-speed. And getting the Gold to get them is not that big of a task in FFH) and to follow the mages (dont need a hunter to carry them. Have Move 2 so nice if you want to protect Mages from Marksmen Units.).
    Sure they have no chance of winning. But thats not much better for a mage / archmage against high-level Assasins which is clearly more valuable most of the time.

    Hence my suggestion to have Units with the Marksmen- Ability skip noncombat-units (like all other troops do). Whould also fix them killing equipment and preserve possible cought Workers / Settlers in addition to preventig the hawk-exploit as meatshield.
    As an added benefit it whould also significantly enhance the power of the Elhoim-Archmage/civhero (which whould be immune to assasins thereafter.)


    And yes, against AI! Sidar are clearly overpowered at present if you know ways to make your units to shades ultra-fast. Which is not the hardest thing to accomplish.. ;) (seems odd when you dominate Immortal like it whould be Noble / Prince with building 80%+ of the wonders and getting nearly all techs first including all the ones giving specialists and founding 5 of 7 religions.
    And beeing solidly at the higher Tier 4 (Knights, Archmages, Immortals) while the others are at Mid-Tier 3. I guess you have to play them at Deity OCC to get any real Challenge.
    But against Players it should be an utterly different story since they will know how to handle Sidar. So i guess we have to wait until Ice when AI is done before Sidar is not a walk in the Park.



    (and since it doesnt really matter to the total number of shades you get when you shade them every city can produce a bit less than one Shade a turn (Wonders and Unit-enablers have to be built after all so its not straight out 1 a turn. ;)) + the Units you get from Command and Domination. Which can get quite alot.
    You don't shade your combat units. Basically instead of producing big infrastructre and economy-buildings you produce units for a "shade economy" (pun intended. :p).

    You produce cheap units like scouts or mounted with high withdrawl (building time so that its one a turn, which should be no problem for scouts and not really hard for horsemen.) for Shading especially. And they start out at 10-20 EP quite fast (Education and Conquest are only a very short path away. Form of the Tintan and free greath commander from military Strategy are a bit later, Thocrathy, Anerons Bounty, The Shrines (Deis Dei and Nox Nocturnis) are mid game, Ride of the Nine Kings and Altar of the Lunatoor (higher levels 4+) are late. Gaelan is not in the regular game as of now.).
    So only 16-6 EP needed (2 in the most extreme case but thats not really a big difference). Which is 2-5 Combats with Valor. (if you add Mutation you can keep and upgrade the best mutates for fighting in real wars of destruction and shade the others.)


    Against sidar the most useful thing whould be to kill their units before they have a chance to shade and not attacking in trickles (but only in overwhelming masses which leave no survivors.) which the AI is not able to grasp in its current form.
    Basically, the harder the AI hits you now the stronger you become.
    Also they whould have to be finished before they can amass EP without active involvement of any enemies which is not that late if you really go for it.)
    The most difficult part is right at the start before you get the first 5 Shades fired.


    Basically they invert the difficulty slider a bit. The more fights they have to fight, the stronger they get.
    (Meaning Deity raging barbs should be paradise for the Sidar. Pump out 1-turn-units like mad and shade what you can get. The huge Stacks of Units waiting to be shaded one time in the future make a good defense today and support is not that of a big deal with heps of Gold from settled greath merchnants which also add Food / Growth. Even with pacifism.)

    But raging barbs is not needed really.
    In abscence of raging Barbs (even if they are completely disabled) declare to an AI civ near you and either actively get your EP out of them at their home or let it come to you in form of their offensive stacks (first has the advantage of getting some Gold by pillaging and wrecking his economy in the process but the disatvantage of a long way home for the Shades and higher War Weariness, second one the advantage that you choose the battlefield with the disatvantage that he can pillage you or force you to intervene and get worse odds in fights that really matter.).

    And as allways the best way to win is fighting alongside them instead of fighting against them. :p (or to be more precise to not fight at all but to cooperate. ;)
    So playing with them with a research- and builder-handicaped civ (like Embers) in coop should be fun. ;) You provide the units, he / she builds the economy and cares for research + support or the other way around, depending on preferences.)
    If the sider player is experienced even relative newcommers doing the other part should be able do do well and learn alot about the game / mechanics along the way. (I guess thats the most useful way to get some fun out of them. Otherwise they are just to strong for the present non-worked AI.
    In pure competative PvP + quick speed pangea without AI-units they dont really shine at all i guess (or at least until hawks get nerfed seriously). But i don't like that anyways so not much of an issue for me.)
     
  7. Slarki

    Slarki Chieftain

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    You don't see the whole picture. The idea with super-specialists is that they snow ball in mid game, turning into an alternative victory if left alone. Level 4 Shades would mean 20 extra production each turn. This would be purely broken. In large maps, early super units are hard to use if you need to walk so far that the enemy is already one tech unit ahead. So in theory you are right, if you already have the power of level 6 units, you could just finish the game. In practice however you still have the rng element, the early game where production is costly and a shade is a permanent (!) bonus which carries the whole game if you don't lose the city. Snowballing is the single reason you need a tech 6 unit for shades, not tech 4.
     
  8. Slarki

    Slarki Chieftain

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    There is not a single unit type (apart from humanoids) that would get so much love. In my opinion, it would be simply weird to have that many birds. We don't have dogs units either. So I don't see the point of adding additional birds.
     

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