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Artillery usage?

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Strategy & Tips' started by Rohili, Mar 15, 2005.

  1. Rohili

    Rohili King

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    Could anyone provide tips on using artillery? I seldom use them but after reading the posts of a few people it seems that people use them a lot, and to good effect too. How useful are they and what are the most effective ways to use them?

    Any tips would be welcome. :)
     
  2. Tubby Rower

    Tubby Rower Chronic Slacker

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    Well I'll state the obvious.....They are very useful and they are most effective hitting enemy targets....

    Typically on the higher levels you have to use them due to the AI's production bonus over you. It's good to have an equal or greater number (~20 or more) of artillery as opposed to offensive units. The reason for this is because even if all hit, you will need at least 3 or 4 to get the enemy redlined. This will improve your chances of winning that battle. multiply by 4-12 defenders in a city and you can see how it will add up.

    I'll add other stuff if I can think of it....
     
  3. Bluemofia

    Bluemofia F=ma

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    I use them for defensive purposes generally. I use them to shell the approaching tanks to redline them and I destroy them with a cavalry or something fast. I tend to not use them to attack cities because of the problem of failure. If I do, It is usually surrounded in a giant SOD and the siege of the city generally lasts for a few turns (usually the capital) but the artillery often destroyes improvements that I am lazy to rebuild.

    In general, artillery aren't very powerful until you get cannons and above.
     
  4. Tubby Rower

    Tubby Rower Chronic Slacker

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    Also occassionally disconnecting resources and destroying roads the enemy is using to reach you faster are good targets.
     
  5. Bluemofia

    Bluemofia F=ma

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    That's reserved for bombers for me... If their air defense is too strong, I try to swarm their cities with tanks and maybe cavalry.
     
  6. Tubby Rower

    Tubby Rower Chronic Slacker

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    True, but the units that the arty are going up against aren't too powerful either so its really a wash. Now if you are using a catapult against a mechanized Infantry then no they won't be but hopefully by the time the AI has more advanced units you also have the technology to build better arty.

    That goes back to my original point. Have a bunch of them. There should be a couple of semi-productive cities with no barracks building arty from late AA on. Upgrade them as you get better technology.
     
  7. zerksees

    zerksees in remission

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  8. Tank_Guy#3

    Tank_Guy#3 Lion of Lehistan

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    This actually happened by accident while playing on a world map, I forget the difficulty. Anyway, I had built an outpost city on NW Africa, probably Morocco (my mainland N. America), and I got myself (foolishly) into a war whose homeland was Africa. They didn't attack me for about 9 turns for some reason, time enough for me to pack the city with troops and artillery. When they did attack, my fortified artillery launched a round at each of their units that attacked, and this is after I bombarded them to 1 health bar left before they reached my city. They were doomed to failure with 1 health bar attacking a city fortified with walls, marines, infantry, cavalry, artillery and 3 destroyers patrolling off the coast.
     
  9. gunkulator

    gunkulator Emperor

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    The only decent era of oppurtunity for offesive use of artillery is the early to mid Medieval Era plus a smaller niche in the mid Industrial.

    In the Early Medieval, trebuchets combined with med inf + pikes (or longbows + spears) have pretty good odds against defending pikes, especially in towns. However, once muskets come along and the AI towns grow to cities, it's pretty tough going. Even still, you are better off with knights than with med inf + trebs + pikes, however you are often more like to have the latter from upgrades, whereas knights are expensive to build and expensive to upgrade.

    Before the early Medieval, you generally wouldn't have enough catapults to make much of a difference anyway. And who needs a bombard=4 unit when for 10 more shields you get an attack=3 unit?

    After the mid Medieval Era, the balance switches to favoring defenders. Against fortified muskets in cities, a cannon only has 8 to 7 odds of knocking off just 1 hp. You're better off waiting for cavalry, which at least can retreat. Similarly, when rifles come along, things get worse. That being said, if you are lucky enough to be able to build a medieval infantry army, the AI will be reluctant to attack it before it has cavalry. You can hide cannons and other units underneath. If you can build a knight army, forget the artillery and just use knights and the knight army.

    In the mid Industrial Era with infantry but before flight, the artillery unit redeems itself by having increased strength, plus double the rate of fire plus double the range. Build an infantry army and stack many arties under it. Bring along your cavalry and cavalry armies. Inch them ever so slowly towards enemy cities. The AI will not attack an infantry army until it has bombers. When 2 tiles away, blast the living daylights out of those defending infantry (or rifles). Each arty gets 2 shots so you're bound to hit something. Finish up with cavalry.

    Once the AI gets flight, alas, it will bomb your stacks to death so you can't continue this for long.
     
  10. Moonsinger

    Moonsinger Settler Retired Moderator

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    Yes, you can continue for as long as you like. It doesn't matter if they have bombers, modern armors, or stealth technology. You just have to set up a few decoys (or dummy target) for them to drop bombs on and keep your stacks far away from the front line until you are ready to simultanously destroy most of their airbases. It takes the AIs forever to build those planes, but it would take you only one turn to destroy them. Too bad! We can't capture their planes.

    Note: You have to give them something valuable to bomb at; otherwise, they will destroy all your roads and that would be bad! Hint: Use workers as engineers to instantly rebuild whatever that they just bomb to keep them coming back for more. Anyway, you can also learn this tactic by watching the Lord of the Rings: The Return Of The King. They use the same trick to draw out Sauron's army to clear the path for Frodo and Sam.;)
     
  11. gunkulator

    gunkulator Emperor

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    Hard to do if you're attacking from overseas. If you just drop off a few decoys, they won't bother bombing them, they'll attack them.

    Sure, but you have to take the city first. The point is that artillery are slow and culture borders are large in the latter part of the game. The AI always gets at least one free shot at your stack before the artillery can fire, often two shots.

    By the time tanks come along, you should just use tank armies and tanks to bust up AI cities. Tanks are a much better bargain than artillery. They only cost a little more, have a very high attack, move twice as fast, can retreat, can defend, can blitz and can possibly create a MGL. If the AI has metros, use bombers and try to knock them down to size 12. Artillery is too slow and too ineffective against metros.
     
  12. Moonsinger

    Moonsinger Settler Retired Moderator

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    It's all defending on the game level. If they are way too strong and you are way to weak and you need to invade their island from overseas, you need to make plan at least 20 turns in advance. If you are the honorable type, it may take 40 or more turns to completely taking over their island. Basically, if I need to invade their island on Sid, I usually do it in two stages:

    Wave 1:

    #1. At least 20 turns before the invasion, I would ask them to declare war on me. No need to worry! Since they are overseas anyway, I can just take the time to fight my wars else where with another civ.

    #2. Just let the war declaration cooking for awhile until they are willing to negociate for peace.

    #3. Land some defenders, a settler, and an army at their beach head. Also land some other decoy units else where near their resource. Sure, they may drop some bombs on your army, and even launch cruise missle at your army...but guess what? They usually launch their range attack at the end of turn. That mean they won't finish you up until the next turn. The AIs are kind of funny that way...they usually want to let you bleed on the battlefield for a turn before they finish you up.

    #4. Use the settler to setup camp. Immediately unload your main troops (your artillery should be within range and ready to fire at their nearest city immediately). Just launch everything you have to raze all nearby cities, then make peace before the end of turn. You now have a secured and fully operational beach head at the heart of their empire. Note: All of the things in this step must be executed within the same turn.

    Wave 2:
    Using that temporary cease fire to setup for the main assault by land....If you are the honorable type, wait for the peace treaty to expire on its own. if you aren't, just ask them to declare war again. In the worst case, you can always declare war yourself. I'm sure you can figure out the rest.

    Slow? Usually, people often complain that artillery are just so fast and the AIs can't keep up; therefore, using artillery is an exploit! At this stage, railroads are every where, so there isn't really a place where artillery can't reach. Here is a link to such example (I just notice that zerksees had already posted it - thanks zerksees):

    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=25078

    Wait a minute! I thought we were talking about taking down tough AIs here. Since the AIs are so tough and more advance, they probably launch their spaceship by the time you have tank. Beside, it takes forever to produce tanks. On the other hand, you can mass upgrade horsemans and catapults.;)
     
  13. Zelda's Man

    Zelda's Man A Link to Something

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    Posted by gunkulator:
    The point is that artillery are slow and culture borders are large in the latter part of the game. The AI always gets at least one free shot at your stack before the artillery can fire, often two shots.

    This is why combat settlers are good. They shrink the culture borders and allow the artillery to get closer sooner.
     
  14. Jopedamus I

    Jopedamus I Immortality is reality

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    Artillery is the most effective "weapon" in civ3! Anyone who disagree with this is not very good player and can't win the game in deity or sid. Enough said? ;)
     
  15. Tomoyo

    Tomoyo Fate

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    Also of note: Artillery doesn't die. :D
     
  16. Whomp

    Whomp Keep Calm and Carry On Retired Moderator

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    Example of poor return on AI investment--
    In a recent game the AI dropped off 4 cav on our little pop 6 island. Their next turn I watched them break every agreement including ROP raping us. However by the end of that IBT they had 2 redlined cavs left and our inf. promoted to elite. That's not real good ROAII.
    Since then they have lost about 6 cities over the 12 turns because of the arty offensive we've used. In combined arms fighting there is nothing more powerful IMO because it never loses health. Just make sure they have enough "D" coverage.

    In Civ4 I hope we see AI counters or offensives with arty. It could make for some interesting battles.
     
  17. Bluemofia

    Bluemofia F=ma

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    But it can be stolen and used against you.
     
  18. Tomoyo

    Tomoyo Fate

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    And then it can be stolen back. :D
     
  19. rysingsun

    rysingsun King

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    this subject keeps coming up so someone is going to have to break down one of these days and post a series of saves that will demonstrate once and for all the power of artillery-heavy armies. those of us who are artillery fanatics know from experience how powerful they really are but i get the really strong impression that few people believe us.

    i cannot post any saves because i deleted my installation again with all the saved games. thats the way it goes.

    but i would like to answer a few of the objections to artillery such as:

    1) artillery can get captured:

    a lame excuse. workers and settlers can be captured so should we not build them? bombers can be destroyed in their base city if the city is captured. should we therefore not build them?

    2) artillery are slow:

    not if you have rails everywhere. on my offensives i always drop settlers off inside the culture areas of the ai that im attacking so that the artillery can bomb the cities i plan to take on the next turn. everything has railroads because my workers make sure of it. the endgame goes so fast that terrain improvements make little difference anymore. the whole purpose of workers at this late stage is to rail up the front line each turn if it needs it.

    3) artillery are expensive for the amount of damage they do:

    nonsense. an artillery unit can be used every single turn and the damage adds up quickly. a tank attacking a city that has not been reduced through shelling will on average take out only one defender before dying more or less depending upon the technology difference. to me that is a very high cost. wars are slow because they can only progress as quickly as production can make up the losses. in an endgame blitz on a larger sized map we might have to destroy 1000 defending units in all. this is likely to be 100 turns worth of war production. it gets worse because in 100 turns the ai can produce a great many units too. now on average an artillery does about one hp of damage per turn. if i have 150 artillery they can redline about 50 defenders every turn. hence in 20 turns they can redline the 1000 units i talked about. redlined infantry in cities can be eliminated even with cavalry. once tanks come along they can be eliminated at nearly a ten to one loss ratio. in this event the offensive grows in strength with every turn and conquest soon turns into rout. furthermore with such a low loss rate on tanks very large numbers of them become elite and many leaders are born. the resulting large numbers of armies only make the rout that much more extreme.

    those who use artillery extensively know what im talking about. they know what im talking about when i say that taking 10 cities per turn is to be expected in the late game. they know what im talking about when i say i dont understand this whole issue about cities flipping and what to do about it when we are looking at the game and saying to ourselves "i own a third of the world but in another 20 turns i will have a conquest victory under my belt so what difference will a few flips really make?"

    dont knock it if you havent tried it. now you might not "enjoy" it because all that bombardment is time consuming. that is another matter.
     
  20. gunkulator

    gunkulator Emperor

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    I consider combat settlers a really cheesy exploit. Settlers were never intended to be used that way.

    Spaceships? I never said the AI was a age ahead. By the time tanks are available, you should have factories and coal plants up. Tanks really don't take all that long to build, especially if you disband cavalry to help make them.
     

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