Attila Deity Domination Guide

Cromagnus

Deity
Joined
Sep 11, 2012
Messages
2,272
NOTE: I'm going to be filling in and adding photos as I go, so bear with me.

The purpose of this guide is to demonstrate how to achieve sub-t150 Domination with Attila. Even t100 victory is possible with perfect play, but the good news is, this strategy does not require perfect play. It is, in fact, a fairly simple strategy, and in my opinion, is easier than CB/XB rush, so Deity Domination newbs might want to try this first.

I'll start with an introduction to Attila's strengths and weaknesses. I've put each section in a spoiler to make it an easier read for those who wish to jump to a particular area of the guide, but I advise you read the intro first if you're unfamiliar with Attila. Succeeding on trickier map rolls requires that you understand his UA and UUs.

Attila for newbies:
Spoiler :

Attila is the early domination king. Two ancient Era UUs, neither of which require a resource, and three Ancient Era-relevant UA bonuses.

#1) The Horse Archer - This unit replaces the Chariot Archer, with 4 key differences:

* Does not require horses.
* Starts with Accuracy I - "+15% Ranged Combat Strength against Units in OPEN Terrain."
* Does not have the Rough Terrain Penalty - "Entering rough terrain consumes all movement."
* 7 combat strength against melee attacks. (Instead of 6)

These are each significant advantages, but combined they're extremely powerful. In a nutshell, here's why:

* Build as many as you want.
* 40 less XP to achieve Logistics.
* Enter rough terrain and fire in the same turn.

#2) The Battering Ram - This unit replaces the Spearman, and is different in every way. It is undoubtedly the best Ancient Era unit for capturing cities, but it has many weaknesses:

* 10 Combat Strength. (weaker than the Spearman, which is 11)
* Can ONLY attack cities.
* 33% defensive penalty.
* No defensive terrain bonuses.
* 1-tile visibility.

But it has three key strengths:

* Warriors upgrade into them from ruins. (just like a spearman)
* Cover I (+33% ranged attack defense)
* +300% damage vs cities. :crazyeye:

This unit is 40 strength vs cities, which is enough to capture an undefended plains capital *solo* before t20. Generally though, they need assistance.

#3) Scourge of God - Attila's UA is actually 3 UAs:

* +1 production from Pastures.
* Starts with Animal Husbandry.
* Raze cities at double speed.

These are all extremely valuable. More on that in the following sections.

The Strategy:
Basically, the plan is to spawn Horse Archers as fast as you can, and nuke down the AI before you lose advantage. The Horse Archer is the strongest ranged unit you can build prior to Construction. They're 10 Ranged Strength, and you can have your first army up around t30. Composite Bows are 11 Ranged Strength, and you generally don't get them until t55. The difference in those 25 turns in enemy military strength is significant. Battering Rams flat out *own* cities until t60 and stay relevant until about t110.

So, your goal is to take out the entire map before it can get strong enough to do anything about it, diplomacy be damned! (kind of)


Build order, basic tech path, scouting, social policies and decisions on turns 1-20:
(Work in Progress)
Spoiler :

Tech Path:
Spoiler :

1) First tech is always The Wheel, unless you can start on a mining hill luxury. In that case, Mining first.

Why this first? Attila rush is all about getting lots of Horse Archers fast, and you can't build them until you tech the Wheel. Pretty simple.

2) After The Wheel, you should tech a luxury resource. You're going to be stealing workers early and improving resources to sell ASAP. You also need the happiness, because you're going to capture cities early and often.

Prioritize Mining so you can chop down forests and rush-build Horse Archers. If you don't have forests or mining luxuries, but do have camp luxuries, I recommend Trapping, because this leads to earlier Horsemen, which *can be* very important depending on the map.

3) Next, I would go with Bronzeworking, but only if you have the happiness headroom to delay a second luxury tech. Here's why:

In general, strategic resources are going to be the backbone of your economy. The AI values strategics at roughly 1.6g/turn when you're on good terms, meaning that a 6-iron tile generates at least 9g/turn, which is actually worth more than a lump-sum trade for a luxury, and doesn't cost you any happiness. Even when they start to hate you, you can still get 1g/turn for a strategic. Most importantly, you can sell these resources piecemeal, maximizing your gpt when no single AI can afford all of them. Furthermore, this sometimes has the side benefit of getting your enemies dependent on your strategics, resulting in a *very* significant combat penalty for them when you attack.

Early Bronzeworking allows you to make these 30-turn trade deals before everyone hates you. It also allows you to build The Battering Ram. :thumbsup:


Social Policies:
Spoiler :

Full Honor: Military Tradition -> Professional Army

If my capital has a ton of great tiles, with lots of resources in the third tier, I will open Tradition first. Otherwise, it's just full Honor until game over.

It's a trade-off: Opening Tradition first will delay the Honor closer, so you're trading early-game gold spent on tile expansion for late-game gold from kills. There's really not much delay in getting the all-important Military Tradition though, because culture from barbarian kills is almost always zero for the first 10 turns or so.

Why Honor? Well, two reasons. Faster promotions and faster generals. Logistics almost doubles the speed of capture. (Minus travel time) Faster Logistics, etc. shaves time off the victory.

The real question is, Why not Liberty? Here's why: There isn't time to build the Pyramids because we're building Horse Archers all day long, and when we're not, we're building happiness buildings. We don't need to repeatedly pillage-heal because Horse Archers can pillage multiple tiles in one turn, and by then you're moving on to the next city. We also don't need a settler. We also don't need all the extra workers. We capture so many it's actually a bad thing. In fact, when I have opened Liberty for the Pyramids with Attila, I've ended up deleting those 2 free workers, because they're back at the capital, far from the front, and I'm usually over the unit supply cap anyway. You're also not going to build 15-tile roads between your cities, and most of your cities are puppeted, so most of the perks from Liberty disappear.

I will say, there is an argument for opening Tradition to Monarchy and Landed Elite, to boost happiness and the unit cap. (Via growth) However, this guide is centered around Honor. Beyond Logistics, there are advantages to getting further promotions quickly, but I'll leave that to the late-game section of this guide.


Capital Build Order:
Spoiler :

1) Scout - you need this to find ruins (but not necessarily grab them unless they're contested) and City-States.

2) Scout, Warrior or Monument?

Your first big decision is whether to build a second scout, a warrior or a monument. This really depends on the map. If I get a culture ruin, I'll delay the monument and build a second scout. If I get a battering ram upgrade ruin *AND* there's a nearby flatland city with a good approach vector, I'll delay both of those to build a warrior, so I can rush over and capture that city ASAP. On most maps, I'm going to build a monument second.

3) Granary or Horse Archer?

If you haven't yet built a monument, you need to do it now. If you've already built a monument, and have The Wheel, build a Horse Archer. Otherwise build a scout unless you have a great need for a Granary. You must grow your capital fairly quickly at first to get production and unit supply up.


Scouting:
Spoiler :

First priority is to find ruins, nearby CS and your nearest neighbor(s).

If you find a Military or Faith CS before meeting anyone, DoW it. This will be a source of free workers starting on t20 and there's no diplomatic penalty for Acts of War that occur prior to meeting someone. Any other CS you probably want to be nice to at first. Culture, Happiness, Growth... all good things. (Extra food is less valuable in the mid-game, but great early on)

When you meet your first civ, try to get an easy worker steal in immediately. If you can't, but you deem them a good first target, and can DoW them before meeting anyone else, do so. (Another diplo hit you can avoid)

Otherwise, wait to DoW until you get a good opportunity for a worker steal or you're ready to attack.

If you find a ruin with your scout that you believe is "safe" from other AI, because, for example, it's on the peninsula behind you, or at least in a spot where you'd see the AI coming from a long way off, leave it for the warrior. We *don't* want CB upgrades. We *do* want a battering ram.

NOTE: If you are isolated on one end of the Pangaea, with only one AI neighbor, consider not scouting past him at all. Instead, take him out ASAP. You can often eliminate him before meeting anyone else, and pay zero diplomatic penalty for your first capital. This is a gamble, but it can really pay off.



I'll be updating this periodically over the next few days.
 

Cromagnus

Deity
Joined
Sep 11, 2012
Messages
2,272
General city siege tips:
(WORK IN PROGRESS)
Spoiler :

Worker-baiting - A city that has no garrisoned unit is easier to take, by far. Worker-baiting is an easy solution to this problem. Let me give an example:

You declare war, and capture a worker just inside the city boundaries. You move a horse into range and see that there's an combosite bowman in the city, and a pikeman standing next to it in rough terrain. If you were to move your 4 horses into range this turn and start firing, chances are, they would fail to take out the pike, who would then get instant-healed, and one of our units would die. (city attack + melee + CB)

You could move in a meatshield to block the pike with ZOC, if he's in position to do so, but he will likely die. So, instead, move your horse back out of range, and leave the newly captured worker undefended, 2 tiles from the city. (He is often there anyway because that's where you captured him)

One of the units will almost always come out to recapture the worker. Boom, you nuke down that unit with 2-3 horses and recapture the worker. Repeat the next turn. On turn 3, you now have an undefended city, unless reinforcements came. Even if they did, now you're only facing the reinforcements, not the other 2 units as well.

Suicide rush

Sometimes, you want to do the exact opposite of the above advice. If the city is weak enough, or if there are lots of tiles to pillage, or if you have reinforcements incoming, it's sometimes totally acceptable to have casualties, just to save those 2 turns of worker-baiting. But, it's only worth it if *you can still capture quickly despite the casualties*. This is a judgment call. It takes practice to know when to go all out attack, and when to minimize casualties.

Effective use of meatshields - The AI will often focus fire on ranged units before melee. Battering rams can be an exception, but there is a way to prevent the AI from attacking your horse archers.

A damaged unit is higher priority than most other units. (The AI will often still prefer to focus fire on units it can take out in one turn though)

So, when you heal your meatshields between battles, try to leave them at 95-99 hp. I check each unit's health before healing. If he's at 50 hp, one pillage-heal + one heal *outside a city* will put him at 95. If he's at 89, heal him *outside your boundaries*. Now you have a unit that can absorb the first round or two of damage. This is invaluable in fast city capture.

Bring enough melee/horse units to capture

Sometimes you have a city that can take out a unit in one turn, but thanks to logistics you have that city down to zero health with no casualties. How do you capture? With a horsemen, you're all set. With a warrior, he might die after he moves into range. In this case, you really want two melee units, just in case one dies. Alternatively, leave an injured lvl 1 horse archer in range to sacrifice itself, but this isn't as reliable. Often the AI won't fall for that.

Roads and great generals

If you capture an AI's secondary city first, there will often be a road to the capital. This road will be inside the AI's city boundaries, but a great general can change that, and suddenly, your warrior can move 4 tiles in one turn to capture. This tactic is especially important for dealing with the Great Wall, and is another reason I'll sometimes attack the secondary city first when dealing with the GW.

Army balance and troop movement
There's no point in bringing 10 horse archers to a fight without a unit that can capture. It's sometimes better to have 2 melee and 3 horse than 5 horse and 1 melee. It depends on what you're up against.

Often, the reason you end up with 10 horse archers and no melee units is that you're waiting for them to catch up. If you can pillage heal near the front rather than heal them in the previously captured city, this will shave 4 turns off waiting for them. The other solution to this is to either make horsemen or make melee units in your annexed cities closer to the fight. Sometimes you might even start a melee unit + general in the direction of your next opponent while your horses deal with something else. Great generals are also commonly left behind.


Early game (t20-t60) - more scouting, warpath variations by map, worker priorities and tech choices.
(Work in Progress)
Spoiler :

Scouting:
Spoiler :

Your primary goal in scouting during this time is to figure out how you're going to attack every capital. Where are you going to approach from? Will you need Optics? Will you need Logistics? Will you need Range? Will you need multiple melee units? How long will it take units to get there? When do the slower-moving units need to start moving in that direction to get there in time? All of these things should be on your mind as you plan your conquest.

If you have an isolated start, and start warring immediately, chances are you won't know the location of every capital by t60. That's ok, but it'll slow things down if you need to send your horse archers out across the map to gather intel. One solution to this is to tech Writing and get Embassies. That at least tells you which direction to scout in.

Friendship, when played right, will ease your conquest. AIs will offer friendship 20-30 turns after you meet them, (I forget) and so the sooner you meet them the better. For a central start, if you can meet 4 AIs by turn 10, you can be friends with 3 of them before you capture a capital. Eventually they will denounce you, but by then you'll have traded with them and, as a side bonus, other AIs hate them for Backstabbing, and you get no additional penalty for DoWing a friend after you've been denounced.

Usually, the AI will go through two stages. Stage 1: They dislike you but will still trade (5gpt for a lux)... Stage 2: They hate you. (3gpt for a lux)

During Stage 1 you can usually get AIs to DoW each other. More on that in the next section. Sometimes your friends will denounce you after your first capture, but they won't go straight to stage 2. Just in case though, I recommend making every trade for cash you possibly can on the turn you capture. That next turn, your friend may denounce you.

Tech path
Spoiler :

1) Luxuries & Strategic resources.
2) Horseback Riding
3) Writing, Mathematics or Construction?

After you to finish up your luxury and strategic techs, get Horseback Riding. You need it for Horsemen and Circuses. If you have a Trapping start, I recommend going for Horseback Riding before the last luxury tech if you have the happiness headroom. (In this case, usually Sailing)

If you capture a coastal capital with an unimproved sea luxury, it's worth annexing to get that work boat out, but you'll probably need a trireme to protect it. Hence, Sailing is my lowest priority. A pillaged land tile is a lot cheaper to fix. :p

NOTE: Do not forget that you don't get happiness from tile improvements in your captured cities until you have the corresponding tech!

Next, you need to decide between Writing, Mathematics and Construction.

* Writing is only useful for Embassies. (And later, Open Borders possibly) Don't build Libraries.
* Construction is only useful for Coliseums. You don't need Composite Bows.
* Mathematics is only useful for Courthouses, so if you don't need to annex, you don't need Mathematics. (Catapults will get left behind)

On an ideal map I can just grab Construction and then start thinking about whether I want Optics or Engineering next. I'll discuss that in the next section.

City-States:
Spoiler :

Go after every barb camp quest you can. Trade every resource you can. (If you have 1 salt and they have 2 ivory, make that trade! CS will offer you quests for your own resources if you don't currently have them...)

You want as many CS friends and allies as possible. Culture & Happiness foremost. Allies are extremely helpful as a base of operations as you charge across the map. You can heal, or hide behind either the city tile or the CS's units while shooting, etc. As an added bonus, if the enemy captures that CS, it hurts *their diplomatic status* and you have 150 influence after recapture. :thumbsup:

Barbarians:
Spoiler :

We want all the XP and culture we can get from barbarians. So, don't use your city attack on them unless you need to to prevent pillage or worker capture. Let your units take damage and deal damage for more XP. Don't clear camps unless there's a quest, a nearby AI scout, or you need that unit to move on to the front. In the mid-game, I tend to start hunting down nearby camps aggressively, because I usually don't have very many units left behind to defend my cities. But in the beginning, more barbarians = more culture, and the longer you wait, the more likely someone will give you a quest.

Worker priorities:
Spoiler :

1) Farms - Your capital needs to grow quickly at first.
1) Forest chop, to get your first army out faster. Stop at 1 turn remaining if you can't build Horse Archers yet.
1) Pastures. (to sell Horses and get the +2 production)
1) Other strategics
1) Luxuries. Obviously, if you need the happiness, prioritize it above all else. However, anything above -9 isn't so bad. Below that, rebels suck, and the modifier starts to really hurt combat effectiveness IMHO.

You read that right. Everything is top priority. In other words, steal workers early!

NOTE: Don't waste time improving resources you can't work yet. If your city has 3 citizens, you don't need 6 improvements. Send that worker to another city that is working crap tiles instead.

Build Order
Spoiler :

In the capital, it's all Horse Archers, with a Warrior or Battering Ram as needed. You might start building happiness buildings. Stone Works serve a nice double purpose, but don't bother unless there are 2 or more quarries that you have population to work. Try to survive on luxury and CS happiness until circuses. However, if you're at the Unit Supply cap early, Stone Works and Stables are a decent alternative if you lack the tech to make happiness buildings.

You may need to annex a city before t60. (To rush-buy a warrior or battering ram) If so, the build order is Monument->(Units whenever happiness allows)->Courthouse->Circus->Coliseum

The Warpath
Spoiler :

There are generally two warpaths.

1) Linear - You started at one end, and are working your way across the continent, eventually fighting multiple fronts at the end.
2) Split - You started in the middle, and are fighting two-three fronts continuously throughout the game. This is a faster map, but it's trickier.

Once you have multiple fronts, the dilemma is dividing up your armies. In the early game, 2 Horse Archers + 1 melee is enough if you're super-effective at combat(tm). Plan on a minimum of 3. In the mid-game, you will need more units.

It's very important to not under-estimate your troop needs. It's far better to over-estimate, and finish slower than it is to *fail to capture*.

Your goal should be to capture 1 capital every ten turns starting on t40. Worst-case scenario, you need to start by t50 and capture 1 capital every 15 turns. (50, 65, 80, 95, 110, 125, 140) Any slower than this and your conquest will likely fail. Although, if you're down to one opponent... you can just tech Chivalry and finish him off with suicidal Knights/Landsknechts even as late as t160... sometimes. I emphasize 1 capital every ten turns because this will often mean capturing at least one other city, so essentially, we're talking 1 city every 5-6 turns. Which brings me to the best thing, hands down, about Attila:

Double-speed razing - This is the solution to your happiness woes. You should plan to raze most enemy cities. It's fine to leave an enemy with one or two out-of-the-way cities if there isn't some material advantage to wiping him out. Which... raises... an excellent point. ;)

Advantages of wiping out a civ completely:
* It cancels DoW deals - If you paid someone to DoW this guy, you get your resources and gpt back when you wipe him out. :D
* It ensures they can't counter-attack later. (This is often a problem even if they can't really hurt you, because they can ally CS and break trade routes, etc.)
* Sometimes the AI enters agreements to attack you and can't accept peace terms. Sometimes the AI just won't accept peace terms... you're a threat to the civilized world, after all. Dead AIs don't have CS allies.
* When you leave an AI alive, it will backfill-settle behind your warpath, cutting off your supply lines, or worse, mount an army and counter-attack.

Once you have only a few capitals left, you can stop worrying about whether to wipe out civs completely. There won't be time for them to mount a counter-attack after the peace treaty expires. But you probably want to wipe out the first few civs completely. As you can imagine, people are going to HATE you for this. I'll talk about that in the next section.

Also, when capturing a city, I recommend NOT pillaging any strategics and luxuries you think you can sell. Selling them that same turn, after capture, before your friends Backstab you, will net you a tidy profit.

 

Cromagnus

Deity
Joined
Sep 11, 2012
Messages
2,272
Mid game (t60-t90) - Diplomacy, money and happiness, which cities to raze/puppet/annex, choosing victims and handling the dreaded GW.
(Work in Progress)
Spoiler :

The Great Wall:
Spoiler :

In the mid-game, you will need more units per army, probably 4 Horse Archers, but, then, suddenly, you will need less. Each unit with Logistics is as effective as about 3 units without. (2 Horse Archers with Logistics is enough in the mid-game for one army, but you should probably bring a third, a rookie, to each fight)

The Great Wall is different. Here are some tips, in order of preference:

1) Use Range to nuke down the city from outside the Great Wall, and send multiple horsemen in at once to ensure capture.

2) Bring a great general, and capture a nearby easy city first.

Usually expos have smaller cultural boundaries, meaning you can attack from out of range, or move in and out with logistics. (2 moves to go in, fire once, move out)
After you capture that city, unless you're going to puppet it, raze it down to 1 population and stop razing so you can plant a great general just inside the GW. (Stopping city razing effectively annexes it, hurting culture... oh well)
This allows you to break through the GW much faster.

3) Bring a settler if there are no nearby cities.

4) If all else fails, nuke down this bad boy with overwhelming force. Bring your big guns. Bring everything. Suicide walk right into that great wall. Unless you get lucky and find that you have an easy approach, sometimes this is the only way.

Speaking of which, this is a good time to mention worker-baiting:

If you place a worker inside enemy territory, and none of your units are in range... the AI will almost always capture that unit. (Especially if they can't see your troops)

This allows you to chew through their units without absorbing city attack damage or garrisoned composite bow fire. I only recommend this for hard targets, as it slows down your warpath... but for the Great Wall, it can really help.

Diplomacy

The key to speeding up your warpath is paying the warmongers to attack everyone. Ideally, you pay your current target to attack multiple people, then DoW your target, then, on the turn you eliminate your target, pay your next target to attack multiple people. The ongoing wars will distract your opponent and reduce resistance when you get there. It really helps to make deals the same turn you eliminate someone. Once the chain denouncing and DoWing starts, there won't be any dealing. After a certain point, everyone left alive will be at war with you. So, you want to get as many wars going as you can before that time.

Peace Treaties

* Do not accept peace until you're done attacking that civ!!
* The AI can trade you cash for luxuries during peace deals. This is actually a viable way to get money. They won't give you a good deal, but you should have tons of excess luxuries eventually.

The Unit Supply Cap
Spoiler :

In the Military Overview, you can see your unit supply, and how many you have remaining. (Caravans are free while active)
Once you hit the cap, you suffer a 10% production penalty, up to 70%, *per unit over the cap*. In other words, watch this carefully. You *should* be getting enough unit supply from all your captured cities that it's a non-issue, but the slower you capture, the more of an issue this will be. The longer the game goes, the more units you need, and the more over the cap you'll be. This is yet another reason why the game will go better if you conquer quickly. You won't be fighting against superior technology, and you won't run into the unit cap. (As much)

I try to stay no worse than -10% or -20%. Sometimes this means deleting workers, or missionaries, or generals. Usually it just means switching from Horse Archers to circuses. That'll usually do the trick, and it coincides nicely with your next capture, usually. If necessary, you may need to let cities grow. I find it very convenient to restrict growth and leave cities at 1 turn from growth, so I can increase unit supply as needed. Which is another advantage to annexing. (See below)

Raze/Puppet/Annex?
Spoiler :

* Is this city worthless? (No happiness buildings, unique luxuries, wonders, bad production, etc.) Unless it serves a strategic purpose, raze it!
* Do you need troops close to the front? Does this city have good production? If so, annex.
* Does this city have a religion that would allow you to spend some stored up faith on a happiness building? If so, annex.
* Is this city going to grow uncontrollably despite pillaging all the farms? (You did pillage all the farms... right?) If so, annex.

If none of the above applies, and you can't raze it because it's a capital, or it has strategic value but sucks otherwise, puppet it.

Choosing your victims
Spoiler :

Usually the closest guy is the next guy you should attack. But, sometimes it's worth going the long way. If Venice is in your game, for example, he can often be ignored until the end. You want to take out the biggest threats as soon as you have the firepower. This doesn't mean take on the strongest guy first, it means take on the weak guys until you have logistics, then take on the strong guys to maximize your advantage. But, usually, closest first.

If you can convince a warmonger to war with someone, that can influence your next target. Always be checking for the option to buy a war. Always.

Optics: If you have an opponent that has 3 expos between you and their capital, all forested, look for a way around via Optics. If you find a route, but don't have Optics yet, prioritize it, and go after someone else first.

Engineering: I tend to keep enemy roads in place as long as they provide a tactical advantage. Annexing a city that is connected by roads almost all the way to the target you're attacking allows you to build units that will get there quickly. Bridges make a big difference here, but only if you have Engineering. Plus, the extra trade route is nice. If you don't have Sailing yet, get it. Trade routes are going to help keep your economy afloat in the end game.


Promotions past Logistics

After Accuracy II, II and Logistics, you have 4 choices IMHO.
1) Barrage I & II - This is my default choice nowadays. I would actually start with Barrage I if Horse Archers didn't get Accuracy I for free. But alas. Anyway, this will REALLY help.
2) Range - I take this only rarely now, because you don't need it with 4-move units. (Move in, attack 2x, move out) Still, it's useful to have at least one per army, just in case. And if you run into the Great Wall, it's a game-changer.
3) March - I tend to take this as needed, if I have an injured unit and no way to heal them.
4) Instant Heal - Use this judiciously. If this is the best way to speed capture, do it! If this is the only way to keep a logistics unit alive long enough to escape an ambush, do it!

Cover? Meh. You shouldn't be getting hit. And you can pillage-heal the damage.
 

Cromagnus

Deity
Joined
Sep 11, 2012
Messages
2,272
End game (t90-t120) - Finishing fast, avoiding recapture, and the importance of leaving it all on the field.
(Work in Progress)
Spoiler :

Great Generals

You're going to have a ton. Many more than you need at the front. So, what do you do with them all? Generally, after you have 4, you don't need more. (1 per front, +1 for the GW)

So that 5th one? Plant it somewhere to secure a luxury. Do the same with the 6th. If the game goes past t120, you'll probably get 7 or 8. It's worth buying a tile in the third tier to extend your GG's range.

Garrisons
You might want to start rush-buying scouts, or producing warriors/cheap units to protect your cities. By now you have like 5 capitals, all of which are far apart, and your army is off doing conquest. Barbarians will *ruin your day* if you let them. Also, undefended cities tempt the AI to counter-attack. Generally, one horse unit for every two cities is enough, but if you need the extra happiness, a scout works. (You may want the extra culture to complete Honor)

All-out Attack Mode
Spoiler :

Right around turn 90-100 you should have only 2-3 opponents left. At this point you should have enough units, but be suffering on cash. You're going to want to stop growing, stop building, and reduce that gpt maintenance cost!

* Delete your granaries, workers, unneeded great generals, unneeded units. (Keep some in your cities for the happiness from Honor that should have kicked in by now)
* After you complete Honor, delete your monuments.
* Raze down cities that are generating negative gold or less happiness than they produce. (This is trickier... last resort)
* Don't bother defending cities if you think they'll survive long enough for you to finish.
* Start using suicidal tactics for the last two (simultaneous) captures. Leave it all on the field. If you win this battle with one unit left, you still win the game.
* Delete roads in your captured cities! (you should already have deleted the ones that held no tactical value)

Statue of Zeus
Spoiler :

If you start your conquest on one end of the Pangaea, you will eventually find that units from your capital take too long to reach the front. Chances are you haven't researched Guilds yet, so you can't set your city to produce Wealth, and you may eventually run out of things to build. If you *really* don't have anything else to build, and Statue of Zeus is still on the board, it will likely take less than ten turns to build. The extra 15% helps.

Sometimes, you can even build it earlier if you're over the unit cap. Don't build it unless you have nothing else to build!

Some might argue that this is a waste, that it's better to be at -70% production than to stop building units. However, the thing is, there are *other cities* that may desperately need circuses and coliseums. That -70% is hurting EVERY city, even your puppets. So, IMHO, it's not worth it to get more than about 2 units over the cap until the end, at which point it's too late to get units to the front anyway.

 

Fallen_Kings

Chieftain
Joined
Oct 21, 2013
Messages
97
IMHO,if you want to achieve a pre-100t victory,Liberty is far better than Honor,because 1 production per city+one more city to train units mean 1.5 times military strength.Logistics?I only need Instant Heal.Quantity over Quality,that's what it means:)
 

Cromagnus

Deity
Joined
Sep 11, 2012
Messages
2,272
IMHO,if you want to achieve a pre-100t victory,Liberty is far better than Honor,because 1 production per city+one more city to train units mean 1.5 times military strength.Logistics?I only need Instant Heal.Quantity over Quality,that's what it means:)

I'd have to disagree, you'd need 54 turns for that +1 production to equate to an extra unit in any given city, plus any city you build yourself is just a happiness drain. Logistics = 2x the units. Getting that even ten turns sooner is absolutely worth it because you can attack more targets simultaneously. Liberty is primarily advantageous for building your own cities, connecting them, and Pyramids pillage-repair-healing. None of which really apply in such a fast game. I acknowledge that Tradition might be a good option because of the extra happiness, gold and capital growth for unit supply. But Liberty feels like it's ill-suited for this. In my opinion, of course.

Not to mention that you can easily end up way over the unit supply cap without Liberty, so +1 production isn't helping. Growth is a limiting factor on production in my games because of the unit supply cap, and to some degree happiness is a limiting factor on growth, but production is a non-issue. I can easily hit the 70% production penalty. This is why I would argue Tradition is better than Liberty, to boost capital growth early on.

Regarding Instant Heal: I'm not wholly convinced you're wrong about that, but unless you have Promotion Saving turned on, half the time it's not even helping. Regardless, that's an even bigger argument for +50% XP, because you get more Instant Heals out of it. :p

But, I can see with Promotion Saving that having 3 or 4 Instant Heals queued up would be pretty awesome. Otherwise, most of my units end up promoting at full health.
 

Fallen_Kings

Chieftain
Joined
Oct 21, 2013
Messages
97
Liberty is not about more or less,it's about now or never:crazyeye:

EDIT: Don't need promotion saving.Manipulating experience and HP you can make the most of IH.Capturing each city you need about 1-2 IH,so units don't need much experience.Sometimes more experience is a bad thing-A living recuit is better than a dead veteran:crazyeye:
 

Fallen_Kings

Chieftain
Joined
Oct 21, 2013
Messages
97
Some useful tips I want to add in:

1.Ai tends to concentrate fire on the unit with least HP,not considering whether all units can fire at it.The sequence of attack is City-Ranged-Melee,so if one horse archer with 40HP stands behind a mountain(can be attacked only by city),and another with 70HP stands in the open(can be attacked by AI's city and ranged units,and will be killed if AI focuses fire on it).AI will attack the first unit with City and attack the second with ranged,thus killing none of them.Now get the first unit an Instant Heal and withdraw the second to recover.You can repeat this process until capturing the city.

2.Manipulate HP and experience.Don't keep all horse archers at full health before attacking a city.Leave one with about 7-9 exp and 90+HP to absorb damage,so it can get an Instant Heal and recover next turn.This way level 0 is better than level 3:crazyeye:

These 2 tips are helpful for all sorts of combat,I think.

3.No growth.There is little difference in production between one citizen working on hill and two citizens working on plain.So extra citizen is just a waste of happiness(except capital of course).On the other hand you don't have much time for Courthouse,and puppet city without unique luxury worths nothing.So liberty has its advantage as it provide 1-2 extra cities to produce units.
 

Cromagnus

Deity
Joined
Sep 11, 2012
Messages
2,272
Liberty is not about more or less,it's about now or never:crazyeye:

EDIT: Don't need promotion saving.Manipulating experience and HP you can make the most of IH.Capturing each city you need about 1-2 IH,so units don't need much experience.Sometimes more experience is a bad thing-A living recuit is better than a dead veteran:crazyeye:

1-2 Injured Horse Archers? Good luck with the Great Wall... Have fun when the war elephant comes out of the fog of war and you suddenly lose both units. Not saying your strategy couldn't work if you got really lucky, but it smells like a lot of reloading to me.

Here's the difference: One horse archer with logistics does as much damage as two units without it, but takes none of the damage. It can attack a unit that would otherwise be suicide to attack. Against units in the field it does almost 3x as much damage as an unpromoted War Chariot, because of the +45% damage.

I've won three times in a row doing it this way because it's a reliable strategy that doesn't require luck and perfect combat play. Which makes it a more appropriate guide, I think, for beginning deity players or those who struggle with domination. That being said, I've learned to take your suggestions seriously, so I'll experiment and see how far I can get with exclusive use of instant heal. ;)

And regarding liberty, like I said, I see no value in making more units than I already can, especially back near my capital. I'm up against the supply cap as it is. Sure, you might need more units if you're suiciding them non-stop, but if I need more I can easily make more.

Every city I build is base 4 unhappiness that I need to fix. By the end, none of those expos will have resources I couldn't get from a captured city. The goal of only having one city is to minimize unhappiness. Every settler I hard-build, even with liberty, is one or two horse archers I delay getting out, and the earlier you attack, the better. I'd much rather annex on t40 than plant a settler. The city will already have tile improvements, and usually there is a worker present. I'm just not buying the advantage of liberty. My liberty runs have felt slower, without exception. Maybe post a video demonstrating your approach? Perhaps I'm just missing something.
 

tommynt

Emperor
Joined
Sep 28, 2008
Messages
1,814
Not sure if its possible to write a good "rush" Domination guide.
being succesful relies a lot about ingame decision making - mainly when and where to attack.
Getting most profit out of trades is also VERY important.
 

Cromagnus

Deity
Joined
Sep 11, 2012
Messages
2,272
Not sure if its possible to write a good "rush" Domination guide.
being succesful relies a lot about ingame decision making - mainly when and where to attack.
Getting most profit out of trades is also VERY important.

Yeah, my goal is to include enough info about decision-making and trades to make it a helpful guide for "rush" newbies. Lots of pictures incoming! And I'm going to start recording my games, so that when I finally do achieve t99 I can just post it.

I got a little distracted by the Spain Emperor Pangaea SV HoF game though, so I haven't worked on the guide or made another attempt. :p
 

Sequm

Chieftain
Joined
Jul 4, 2012
Messages
89
Thanks for this. I always go for super easy Venice diplo wins on deity, but I'll try domination again.

Also, what are "expos"?
 

Cromagnus

Deity
Joined
Sep 11, 2012
Messages
2,272
Thanks for this. I always go for super easy Venice diplo wins on deity, but I'll try domination again.

Also, what are "expos"?

Cities you found other than your capital. "Exposition" is I believe where the term came from, or maybe "expansion"... I'm not actually sure. :lol:
 

Cromagnus

Deity
Joined
Sep 11, 2012
Messages
2,272
Some useful tips I want to add in:

1.Ai tends to concentrate fire on the unit with least HP,not considering whether all units can fire at it.The sequence of attack is City-Ranged-Melee,so if one horse archer with 40HP stands behind a mountain(can be attacked only by city),and another with 70HP stands in the open(can be attacked by AI's city and ranged units,and will be killed if AI focuses fire on it).AI will attack the first unit with City and attack the second with ranged,thus killing none of them.Now get the first unit an Instant Heal and withdraw the second to recover.You can repeat this process until capturing the city.
These 2 tips are helpful for all sorts of combat,I think.

BTW, thanks. This is good info. I didn't know about the City-Ranged-Melee order. I do make use of the "stand behind a hill so they can't focus fire" trick, but I didn't know the order. FYI, Promotion Saving *is* allowed in HoF games, so it's possible to store up multiple Instant Heals, and therefore there's no reason to avoid getting XP. I'm thinking though that if one were to use that effectively to win an even earlier Deity rush, Promotion Saving might become outlawed. :p

In any case, I usually just use worker-baiting to draw out units, so I almost never deal with garrisoned unit fire or melee attacks. If you don't do that, it's just too unpredictable.. you don't know how many units could come in on a road and melee or shoot in one round. You're going to have losses. Once you've dealt with their army, I can see the value in manipulating instant heal to speed up conquest.
 

Sequm

Chieftain
Joined
Jul 4, 2012
Messages
89
Also, other than Pangea, what are other fun map types to play this on?
 

Fallen_Kings

Chieftain
Joined
Oct 21, 2013
Messages
97
"Liberty vs Honor" is a topic we have been debating for almost a year in CIV,so I really don't want to start again:(... The 73t Egypt chose Liberty(Which "converted" so many Honor followers).In my opinion all Honor policies except Professional Army are useless,and because you don't have enough time to get Logistics in a pre-80t domination game, Professional Army is also-somewhat-useless.

Unsafe to leave unit injured?I don't see the difference between 100HP and 95HP.Besides, FOW in Civilization is somewhat predictable because enemy unit will still show a red circle in pathfinding(the same tip to keep settlers and workers from barb), and you could know well about enemy's Gold, Production,flavor and resources to predict whether a new unit will be born in the city.These predictions may not be accurate,but lossing several level 0 units are somewhat acceptable in early domination.

Worker-baiting?I remeber that sometimes it doesn't work when you have a large army gathering around AI's city(But sometimes still works in that circumstance,don't know why),sometimes AI quickly buys a new one in the city,sometimes I just don't have a worker.Useful still,but I don't rely on it.
 

Cromagnus

Deity
Joined
Sep 11, 2012
Messages
2,272
"Liberty vs Honor" is a topic we have been debating for almost a year in CIV,so I really don't want to try again:(... The 73t Egypt chose Liberty(Which "converted" so many Honor lovers).In my opinion all Honor policies except Professional Army are useless,and because you don't have enough time to get Logistics in a pre-80t domination game, Professional Army is also-somewhat-useless.

Unsafe to leave unit injured?I don't see the difference between 100HP and 95HP.Besides, FOW in Civilization is somewhat predictable because enemy unit will still show a red circle in pathfinding(the same tip to keep settlers and workers from barb), and you could know well about enemy's Gold, Production,flavor and resources to predict whether a new unit will be born in the city.These predictions may not be accurate,but lossing several level 0 units are somewhat acceptable in early domination.

I agree that Logistics is irrelevant in a pre-t80 Domination win, but I'm of the opinion that this is somewhat unrealistic in BNW. However, I'd love to be proven wrong. So far, I've yet to see a faster time than what I've posted with Honor. :D

I don't mean to imply I think my record can't be beaten. I don't pretend to be an expert at Domination. I feel like I'm approaching the level of an upper-tier player, but I've still got a lot to learn. The very fact that *I* posted a record time should tell you there's room for improvement. In fact, I'm positive tommynt could beat it if he cared to. But, I still think t80 is out of reach. Like I said, I'd love to be proven wrong!

BTW, I was referring to your comments about 40 and 70 HP units. Fog of war will get those killed often enough that I find it an unreliable tactic. If you're good enough to know when you can safely do that, you don't need a guide. :p

Which reminds me: This guide is not for "optimal play". I created it with the Deity Domination "newb" in mind. I believe that the tactics you discuss are too advanced for most beginners at Domination. Whereas, I do believe that by following my guide, you can reliably win before t150. And although I do get into some fairly involved micro-management/strategy in the guide, I still think it's easier than most Deity guides I've seen. As someone mentioned, Attila rush is "brain-dead simple". Not quite brain-dead on Deity, but still. Easier than most rush. Hence I believe it is a more valuable guide for the average player.

Not to say there isn't a place for the "optimal" strategy discussion, but case in point: If your gambit fails, you're left with unpromoted units on t100+ going up against superior technology. This is where Logistics and beyond will save your hide. Considering that the vast majority of Deity players have never won pre-t200, it's safe to say that most people, when first attempting this, will struggle to win before t150. In other words, your Instant Heal strategy isn't going to work for most people who need a guide.

But, I'll give it a try nonetheless!
 

Cromagnus

Deity
Joined
Sep 11, 2012
Messages
2,272
Cartharge's pre-100T domination in archipelago?I won't call it funny-you need nothing but a good map,a really good map.

Possibly Byzantium on Archipelago too, but the lack of a melee ship means you're waiting for units to catch up before you can capture... very map-dependent.
 
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