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Artillery: almost always the most important game changer?

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Marshall Thomas, Jan 26, 2014.

  1. Marshall Thomas

    Marshall Thomas King

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    I hope I'm wrong about this, but it seems as though the most important time for pressing an advantage against a rival civ (by far) is if you can get dynamite (the tech for artillery) before it can. It seems as though in every game I play, the key to my victory was having artillery before the AI did; even if the AI had other techs (including other military techs) that I didn't.

    It seems almost unbalanced. I can be inferior in all other military aspects, and an artillery advantage more than makes up for it.

    In my current game, a very powerful Poland declared war on me. I had to wait a very long time to research dynamite. During this wait, I didn't even consider an offensive. I simply sat back in a defensive position, saved lots of money, build lots of cannons (to upgraded later), and researched dynamite.

    Once the research was done, I upgraded all my cannons to artillery and my inferior infantry didn't really seem to matter; despite Poland also having The Great Wall.

    Am I missing something? or is artillery the most important military advantage in CiV? or maybe I could have done much better than I thought I could have if I had not waited for the artillery upgrade, and just had proceeded to go on the offensive with cannons? What do you think? Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Helmling

    Helmling Philosopher King

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    I feel that way about air power. If you're up a generation on the AI in terms of your air force, forget about it.
     
  3. darden

    darden Chieftain

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    yeah... I usually find that if I'm the first Civ to discover artillery, I can generally just steamroll across the world until another Civ starts building bombers.

    I'm surprised there's no mechanic in place where cities get an extra tile's worth of bombardment range once at least 2 civs have discovered artillery.
     
  4. GAGA Extrem

    GAGA Extrem Emperor

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    Well, there is Flight and the option to build Great War Bombers.
    These are even more powerful than ART, harder to counter, fantastic for rapid offensive thanks to their range and in the middle part of the tech tree, accessible via Industrialisation (another key tech).

    So while ART is very powerful, it is easily outclassed by this unit, usually leading to a point where I never bother to even research it (unless I need Railroads).
     
  5. kkapalk

    kkapalk Warlord

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    I totally agree. I usually bide my time, accepting taunts and the like. Then as soon as I research dynamite I upgrade my cannons and destroy! It is a little predictable but I still love using the Artillery. Like others have said, I also find being the first to Great War Bombers is also a big advantage, and researching Radar for the much improved Bombers helps a good deal when I start war.
     
  6. Denkt

    Denkt Left permamently

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    Well in RL artillery is one of the main killer in wars nowadays.
    One thing they could do is to add ranged attacks on GWI and uppward to represent mortars and such making artillery ranged advantage less so.

    Maybe tanks and such should have a big bonus against artillery, taking far less damage from its ranged attacks and kills in very quickly if it can reach the artillery.
     
  7. GhostSalsa

    GhostSalsa Emperor

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    There's no "almost." Unless you're Arabia or Mongolia. Ranged without return fire is the only way to take on cities. BNW just made that worse since you no longer have any strategic reason to stop AI runaways by force before industrial.

    I hate being in late-rennaissance and, blessing of blessings, I'm actually at war, and I've got chemistry and my AI opponent doesn't, but it'd still cost me 5-7 units to take their city with cannons. City ranged attacks are way too strong, especially with stupid Oligarchy policy, and make both offensive and defensive melee units useless. I'd like to use mid-game units for city capture, but no.
     
  8. kaspergm

    kaspergm Deity

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    I do think the fact that Artillery gets BOTH range 3 AND indirect fire in one shot is a bit overkill - if Artillery got only range 3 but no indirect fire before an upgrade unit sitting between this and Rocket Artillery, things would probably look a bit more balanced. Obviously air units do take a bit off the steam of artillery as mentioned, but that doesn't change the fact that you can easily gobble up one or two AIs with Artillery alone if they are not ahead of you in technology.

    I think GhostSalsa is pretty spot on, a major problem is the city ranged attack being overpowered. If the ranged unit - and ability to stay out of city fire - was less alpha/omega in capturing the city, Artillery would also be less overpowered simply because other units would be able to do the job also. I plan to mod city strength down at some point and see how that plays out, my fear is, however, that this will make AI even less capable of holding their cities than they currently are.
     
  9. szcott

    szcott Chieftain

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    Ani't called 'the King of Battle' for nothing;) Sorry couldn't resist being an old Redleg myself. If you want more powerful Arty, make some catapults and farm xp on some poor sucker, and when you finally get Dynomite you'll have 4 range, double shooting guys.
     
  10. TheHanzou

    TheHanzou Chieftain

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    Artillery is simply overpowered thats the problem. The easiest fix is to remove their indirect fire and introduce another unit later in the tree that has it. Having indirect fire and Range 3 all at once over the previous unit is just too much.

    What should be done with siege units is to give them all the Cover I Promotion which increases the defense against ranged attacks since they are supposed to be out of the range of archers, that way they could withstand a few more shots from cities and do what they are intended to do.
     
  11. GoStu

    GoStu King

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    You're not the only gunner on here :)

    @OP: I think it's because the guns are the first unit that can reliably overcome the city ranged attack. Ghostsalsa is right that it makes cities very hard to capture, a problem that only gets worse as the bonuses stack up. Base city is tough enough, city plus oligarchy plus walls/castle/arsenal plus ranged unit gets ridiculous. Worse yet is that Freedom policy or that goddamn pantheon: you start to get cities over 200 strength that can gib anything in range.
     
  12. GhostSalsa

    GhostSalsa Emperor

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    Definitely. Which is where in an ideal balance melee would step in to fill the gap. In mid-game when you attack a city the AI is already pretty active with those one-turn-build muskets killing off your units when you are near their city - but at current that's only the coup de grace after city-bombard does the heavy lifting - and the melee unit then dies the next turn thanks to your archers. It's a mess of death.

    Open field tactics with an AI are never going to happen. But if the AI would just park some melee units around a city, and if city attack was reduced, you would pay a few units to push through the melee and then basically not have to worry about your surviving units and moved-in cannons insta-dying. At this point the AI would either have to flank you with horses or lose the city.
     
  13. Aristos

    Aristos Lightseeker

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    If you go Arty (I do), most of the AIs prioritize the center-up of the tech tree, so they will probably get early bombers, and they love to build/use them. Your shiny arty (like mine) is a sitting duck when the bombers come flying.

    Not OP.
     
  14. Aristos

    Aristos Lightseeker

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    Force 5 tiles between cities and you shall see. :D
     
  15. VicRatlhead5199

    VicRatlhead5199 King

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    Bombers counter artillery well enough imo. You really have to beeline artillery hard to do a whole lot with it before GWBs start popping up. If I'm going the artillery route (I usually do, it's more enjoyable to me than the bomber route) I'll beeline Ballistics right after. That way I can get some AA guns to protect the artillery and upgrade all the gats left over from my crossbow days.

    I don't think war before artillery is all that bad. You just have to use the meatshield tactic. Only capitals and coastal cities (damn ships hiding in cities) are any real trouble. Only problem is you're rarely on equal tech footing before the Renaissance on level 7&8. Might as well just wait for artillery then.
     
  16. aimlessgun

    aimlessgun King

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    I think they're around par with GW bombers. Flight is one section later but unless you're a serious warmonger from the beginning you've probably neglected the bottom of the tree quite a bit.

    Cities hurt bombers but they're less cumbersome to maneuver. And if you got arty and AI got flight, you're going to lose an arty every turn to bombing runs.

    Arty also become very ineffective in actual battle once tech level goes up a bit, dealing little damage. GWB to Bomber comes faster than Arty to Rocket Arty (iirc).
     
  17. darkskies

    darkskies Warlord

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    In water games the changer is the frigate (and the galleass if you want to get an early start), build a few attack a city rotating them in in out until you get the range bonus and then you can steam roll the AIs. Even in continent based games you can often use these to attack a costal city to get a "beach head" for an invasion base.

    But in non water games you can quite easily take out a city with compound bows. The trick is to have two or three of your strongest units (these become the "target" units) standing by, move one in--it gets hit...next move in the ranged units and attack...set the target unit to heal (pillage too). When the target gets weak pull everything back then move in the new undamaged target unit and then repeat the cycle until the city falls, and you can use which ever target is in the fire zone to take the city too since a damaged unit can take a city at 0 hp. Of course first you need to clear the field of any of their units.

    In my first BNW game I got stuck on a small isolated island with India. Before I could get my first settler out he had started two new cities taking all the resources except for my starting ones. I took him out with four compound bows and two pikemen. I did not lose a single unit. Another handy thing, if you have the patience, is to run up the xp on the cbow until you get the range option (unless you are England and then beeline to longbow or Arabia and you can get the camel archer which can move in hit a city and move back out of range).
    What I didn't know was that by taking all three cities I'd be stuck with warmonger for the rest of the game, but it was actually fun when five other players dowed me just as I hit the modern era, some quick military build up and I was able to take them all down, but right at the start it was very exiting for a few turns.

    Edit: If somebody has great wall and is not easily accessible by water, then I will wait for artillery.
     
  18. Gamewizard

    Gamewizard Emperor

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    In most of my Immortal games, the AI ignores Dynamite and favors teching the upper part of the tree. This means if I want to tech Dynamite first it is going to cost me more research. By the time I can get 3 or 4 artillery in place my opponent is starting to pump out GWB which counter very well. I think it is well balanced provided you are playing on a level where you aren't outpacing the AI in tech by 5 techs or more come the Industrial age.
     
  19. brewgod

    brewgod Prince

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    I find that Cannons are deadly even before you can upgrade to Artillery. Love watching the color bars of the cities go down to red with four shots from my cannons. Then in for the kill with a knight.
     
  20. GhostSalsa

    GhostSalsa Emperor

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    If you're playing "optimally," ie abusing the early game tall/tradition science advantage, then you get artillery when the Immortal AI is still on metallurgy.

    I dislike going for strong early science in every game but I did just have one as the celts, my arty and lancers wiped out a runaway-ish Inca while they were still at rifles, I reduced science focus at this point in the game and still made it back up to scientific theory and flight before any other AI.

    With teching to radio before dynamite, I've still made it back down to dynamite, built artillery and embarked it across an ocean to put down runaway immortal Russia before she had flight. The AI does not get flight faster enough than a human playing four-city start can get dynamite on immortal.

    In most of my games I play sub-optimally (wide/warmonger) early on purpose and reducing the effective turn range of dynamite is one of the intentions of that - but arty can still kill an AI with flight if you need it to.
     

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