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Ask Me Anything

Discussion in 'Strategy Section' started by Funak, Apr 9, 2016.

  1. kvn_m

    kvn_m Chieftain

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    So what's the early warfare army composition usually like? Spearmen plus chariot archers? Spearmen plus chariot archers plus catapult? Horsemen plus catapult and one or two spearmen?

    Are catapults worth building? I kind of find their attack strength to be a bit weak, but are they still built as a precursor to having better promoted trebuchets?

    I know there will be varieties of time when you first start to conquer your first city, but what are the typical army compositions like? (E.g. spearmen + archers for early rush, maybe different when slightly after...)

    Also, which promotions do you normally prioritize for your melee units? Getting to shock 2? Or double medic? Or one medic, one cover? Two covers?
     
  2. Takagi Hiro

    Takagi Hiro Prince

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    Anything, huh?

    ...

    So, Funak, what are you wearing? ;)
     
  3. Funak

    Funak Deity

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    This is really dependent on location and opening-tree.

    First of all I'd like to say that my Citizen management is by no means optimal, I'm in 90% of the cases using the automated citizens (mostly to test that they are doing fine, which they usually are), only switching the governor focus around.
    I do however usually lock specialists myself, or at least when the governor specialists conflict with how I want to play the game.

    Anyways I'll split this into Progress and Tradition.

    As Progress, I tend to keep my cities on either default or full production focus, switching between them from time to time to cut turns off buildings or turns on growth, when I get close enough to get a new citizen I usually switch to full food for a turn or two to pick it up. In general I let the food from buildings policy do most of the citizen building and then I finish it off with food focus.
    This isn't really working that well anymore since the food from buildings policy got moved, so these days I tend to use default focus a lot more than production focus, sometimes even switching to full food for a few pop, if I feel like the city is falling behind. I think the most important part of this is actually making sure you get the buildings providing production out quickly, Watermill, Forge, Well, Arena, Baracks.

    For Tradition you usually need a lot more micro-management, your capital tend to throw away most of your food on specialists if you don't control it properly. That being said, running those specialists usually isn't a bad idea, the governor is usually just trying to run too many of them. For this reason my tradition play uses a lot more Food focus than my progress play, growth-bonuses in tradition makes focusing on food slightly more effective than it is for Progress. However, getting infrastructure up is still important, usually requiring me to make investment in stuff like Watermills to get the cities up and running.


    The key to population-growth, is that by definition, everything else gets easier if the pop goes up (assuming you improve the land and actually have enough tiles to work). For example, if your goal is to build a market, build a library and reach pop 10, the most effective way to do this is focusing food until you reach pop 10 and then build the market and the Library, because you have access to more pop that can work more production. As you might expect this does not always work out very well, and the key is to know when to prioritize growth and when to prioritize production.

    Not really a very good answer, but it is too situation-dependent for me to say anything useful, sorry about that.


    I'm usually not in the business of ancient era warfare unless I have a unique unit available, so I can't say that for sure.

    Catapults are definitely worth building, they demolish cities without walls. They die in like 2 hits, but they dish out damage just as quickly.

    Here's the deal, it completely depends on what your goal with the war is and on how the terrain looks like.

    Early warfare can usually have two goals, first is to kill a lot of units for Authority bonuses, and to stop potential expansion towards you, this is usually best handled by archers and horse-units (and spearmen if you run out of horses) chariot archers are also fantastic at this if you're play playing in rough terrain, where they are completely useless. Of course if you have access to Swordsmen, compbows or skirmishers you're going to be using those units instead.


    If your goal is to take cities, your best bet is either catapults, but make sure the terrain allows your catapults to attack properly, you want to place them on hills and you usually want hills or forests(but not forested hills) in front of them so the city(and defenders) can't attack you back. If the terrain don't allow you to set up your catapults properly you can either try to move into melee-range with them or you can just give up on it and go for another city.
    If the city is coastal, Dromons work just as well as catapults and cheaper.

    For my melee promotions, I tend to focus a lot on Medic and Cover, like you said, the goal for my melee-units is to stand still and take punishment and those two promotions helps with that the most. Usually I end up with way too many medic-units but I rather have too many than too few.

    Sorry if that was not what you wanted to hear.

    Right now I'm not wearing anything, I just woke up :D.
     
  4. Takagi Hiro

    Takagi Hiro Prince

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    Oh, you never let me down.~ :pat:
     
  5. kvn_m

    kvn_m Chieftain

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    No, thanks for answering them :D

    Then when do you normally get involved in a warfare, especially if you are the aggressor?
    When that happens, what sort of army composition do you normally have?

    I think I'm still not quite sure how to use chariot archers and skirmishers properly. Especially chariot archers, they don't have a way back to do a hit and run, they are more like finishers to runaways after their hps have depleted?

    I'm not actually sure how to line the skirmishers up during an offense because when my melee unit is for instance going into the enemy territory and get bombarded by ranged units, usually even if 4 movements, they will usually end up deep in the enemy territory. They won't score a kill and they're probably gonna die the next turn this way.

    Any tips?
     
  6. Funak

    Funak Deity

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    When I actually attack, which is pretty rare, I usually get attacked before I'm ready to attack :D, it really varies too much from game to game to give anything specific. I usually think more of the timing than the actual units, Attack as soon as I get trebuchets, or cannons or Artillery, attack as soon as I get access to my unique unit, or frigates, or something like that. Two or Three trebuchets or cannons are usually enough to take a city, but I don't really plan my wars that way, if I can have 5 cannons instead of 2, I'm going to go for it, even if 3 of them gets to stay behind and defend my flank.
    Other than that a big part of my army is usually military city-state-gifts that I receive over the course of the game, so the composition usually depends on what gifts I receive.
    The backbone of my army however consists of siegeweapons and melee-units.

    The trick to mounted archers is that they are fairlytanky, they can usually take a hit or two, and then provide flanking for the rest of your units, meaning pulling them in close with no way of retreating isn't all that bad.
    That being said if you know your skirmishers aren't going to get the kill there is no reason to commit them into a possible suicidal position.
     
  7. ExpiredReign

    ExpiredReign Deity

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    Thanks. Follow up question.
    How much difference, if any, does it make to have your food production at around 3 or 4 and all specialists slots filled to removing a specialist or two and bumping food to 10 - 15?

    I tend to look at an empty specialist slot and it irritates me saying: "I need to be filled. Fill me. Fill me." until I fill it I feel incomplete.
    It's the same with wonders. I just want them ALL.
     
  8. Funak

    Funak Deity

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    Well, if you have 15 excess food instead of 3 excess food your city is going to grow 5 times as fast, or 400% faster.

    I haven't done any research on this at all, but the way I deal with growth and specialists is that I usually remove all specialists by the time the city reaches like 50 or 60% of the food required to grow, and just burst that last food needed as quickly as possible (assuming you're actually in a position to grow the city).
    That being said some times I slow-grow the cities, working some specialists for quite a while, falling behind on population compared to other civs, and then I just decide to drop everything else and just focus the city on growth for maybe 20 turns, a good idea is to combine this timing with some other growthrelated bonus occurring, like triggering WLTKD in the city, finishing an aqueduct/grocer or activating an internal trade-route.

    Specialist management is a tough beast, and I know for a fact that there are a lot of people using specialists a lot different compared to me, in the end it comes down to playstyle and experience.
     
  9. ExpiredReign

    ExpiredReign Deity

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    Thanks again.
    Ok one last food question, does the AI have advantages to grow their cities faster than the player?
    I see cities founded and each subsequent turn they gain another citizen, this means cities plopped down on my borders grow so fast that they become trouble far too quickly for me sometimes.
    No matter what I do I can't get a city to grow that fast!
     
  10. Funak

    Funak Deity

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    Not really strategy-related, and I don't really know, I don't usually spend my time watching the AI but I usually keep up in total population pretty well so I don't think they have that big of an advantage, even if there is one.
     
  11. Fragamemnon

    Fragamemnon Warlord

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    They do, but it's not something to worry or complain about. They usually need the extra pop to keep up, and as the game progresses their ability to get past 30-ish starts to kick in and you can catch up pretty readily.
     
  12. Orlanduke

    Orlanduke Chieftain

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    How do you typically deal with getting behind? Speaking in terms of Emperor difficulty, even more relevant on Immortal/Deity, you're already a set distance behind the AI in the general race to the finish, so getting even more behind by missing wonders, being invaded, etc. is particularly devastating in my games.

    Second question, though related. What are some good checkpoints to make to determine whether you can still potentially pull out a win or not?
     
  13. Funak

    Funak Deity

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    Honestly? I just tend to always catch up somehow, through superior infrastructure would be my personal guess. War usually helps. Fighting an AI usually slows down his science while it doesn't really slow down mine much at all, it also gives me more cities, which is nice. The AI also seems to be worse at prioritizing important war-techs, like Artillery, Rocket-artillery, bombers and so on.

    This, I actually can't answer, I don't even remember the last time I actually lost a game. It has probably happened, but I can't remember it. I think I've gotten rushed down while ill-prepared in deity some times, like I know I'm doing something extremely stupid, and then an AI decides to punish me for it, these days I usually survive those attacks however.

    Sorry I can't be more helpful here.
     
  14. tu_79

    tu_79 Deity

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    Hey Funak, is there a way to stop nukes?
    One nuke hurts enough, but I've received almost 12 nukes on two cities before I was able to force peace. The UN decission couldn't be enacted.
    Austria seems content just destroying my lands and units and doesn't make a real effort to take my cities, but it's annoying.
     
  15. Funak

    Funak Deity

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    Not that I know of, you can preemptively nuke the city that holds the nukes (as all units on the tile are always destroyed) but that's not really a solution.

    I very rarely get to a stage where the AI have access to nukes, and if I do it's pretty much always just the short-range 'bad' nuke, and it usually doesn't bring that many problems. I have preemptively nukes a border-city housing nukes on a few occasions but in general it doesn't happen to me very much.
     
  16. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Emperor

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    I play at Immortal and only win ~25-33% of my games there so I'm not at Funak's level, but I think the only way to catch up is to take advantage of the aspects of this game where the AI is weak. You don't catch up by trying to match the AI's ability to grow its cities, make tons of gold, and produce tons of units/buildings because they have inherent advantages in those areas. You catch up by being smarter than the AI- places where it's too difficult to program the AI to be human like (even though the CP/CBP is a great improvement over vanilla).

    Military is probably the most obvious choice. Even though they can outproduce the human player in terms of units, a smart human player can fight entire wars where you kill off the AI's entire army twice over and take their cities yet never lose a single unit of your own. The tactics (unit formations, when to be aggressive to kill off an enemy unit and when to be conservative to preserve your own unit, etc) and the strategy (what techs to beeline, what eras to war in, how to prepare for war, etc) probably deserve a separate post of their own from someone better at it than me.

    Making intelligent use of complicated synergy is also an area where you can gain on the AI. A human player should be able to look at their civ's UA/UB/UU and pick up on the synergy involved to formulate an overall game plan. For instance, a civ like Korea is clearly geared toward working as many specialist slots as possible so a human player might purposely go for policies, beliefs, and a victory condition that all play into that strength. An AI will probably play to some of their civ's strengths but might not be intelligent enough to formulate an overall game plan like that so a human player can presumably gain some ground. Take a look at some of the other posts in the strategy section that talk about going all in with a game mechanic for examples of using complicated synergy- the one about playing into border expansion and the one about stacking bonuses when expending great persons are intelligent use of synergy.

    A human player also has a higher 'competitiveness' score than the AI. We want to win the game, whereas some of the AIs are happy to just exist while others care more about win conditions. If we are going for a win condition then we can quickly recognize the hurdles to our strategy and address them. Want to win a diplomatic victory but Greece/Austria/Mongolia are in the game? Better deal with those civs ASAP and clear the way for allying those CSs, or possibly seek a different victory. An AI might not recognize those threats until later in the game, and may or may not try to deal with the threat depending on how high their competitiveness score is and their level of friendship with those civs.

    The general theme is that we are supposed to just be smarter than the AI to make up for their statistical bonuses. Many of my wins occur without EVER actually catching up to the AI in terms of total score, science, production, etc. I've had plenty of culture, science, and diplo victories where I'm a small but tall empire with a mediocre total score and there is a complete runaway civ with double my score- but I won anyway. It's pretty much only when I heavily warmonger that I end up with a top score.
     
  17. DoctorDuke

    DoctorDuke Chieftain

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    I find it difficult to play as Attila when I get a start next to Shaka. Similarly, as Arabia when adjacent to the Ottomans or Brazil..the colors are too similar.
    So my question is whether there is a way to tweak the color settings, or must I use Really Advanced Setup to somehow get better-contrasted neighbors? And for that matter, how would I do that?

    Thanks
     
  18. Takagi Hiro

    Takagi Hiro Prince

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    I'm also curious. Poland and Austria as neighbors is just awful.
     
  19. Funak

    Funak Deity

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    There certainly is a way, as I've seen a mod that changes the Ethiopia color so they don't look the exact same as barbarians. That being said I know nothing of modding so I couldn't help you with how to do it, try asking someone with the modding knowhow instead :D.
     
  20. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch Supporter

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    I think the values are set in the civ defines, but don't hold me to that.

    G
     

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