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Barracks, Armories, Military Academies... are they worth it?

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Tyrus, May 30, 2014.

  1. Tyrus

    Tyrus Chieftain

    Jan 22, 2014
    I'm torn on whether or not to build these. In fact, I have so many arguments in my head over the logic of making these, and whether or not they are worth it, that I regularly just ignore them given how complicated the problem is.

    :c5war:CONFLICT #1: Are they worth the cost?

    The first debate in my head is whether or not they are worth their cost in hammers and maintenance. Is it better to just built another unit with the hammers and maintenance?

    :c5war:CONFLICT #2: When to build them?

    The second debate is over when to build them. Should I build them early, before I even have an army, to maximize the potential XP gained? Or should I build them AFTER I've built the core of my army, at which point I again ask whether it's not better to just build another unit?

    :c5war:CONFLICT #3: The Heroic Epic
    Probably my most hated building is the Heroic Epic. Now you have additional layers of complication. Do you train all your units in this city, or just accept that your army is going to be mix-and-match with regards to the 15% Morale combat bonus (not gainable by promotions). Do you slog through hard-building and rush-buying Barracks first BEFORE training a crack-army with the HE? Or do you just gradually replace units without Morale with HE-build Morale units through disbanding and rebuilding those units? Or just leave your vanilla units standing?

    :c5war:CONFLICT #4: Which empires benefit the most?

    My last conflict is over what type of playstyle benefits the most from these. It would be logical to conclude a warmonger gets the most out these buildings, but it perhaps makes even more sense for small, peaceful empires (who do not have to build many buildings to get the Heroic Epic) to keep a small but highly-trained force for defense, since their unit's effectiveness is multiplied in critical situations like defending chokepoints and cities, where only one unit has to fight the often superior numbers of a warmongering foe. In contrast, warmongers might just be better off spamming vanilla units and not bothering with Barracks since they get so much XP anyway (and since they often prefer to exploit the easy "Instant Health" promotion often with their cannon-fodder units), whereas the only option for peaceful empires to get any sort of XP on their units is to use these buildings.

    ARGH. :mad: This is an infuriating conflict that I need clarification on, because I'm sick of wondering about all this. Ignore these buildings as a peaceful civ? Is the HE worth the grind + additional headache? Do I build these early, in the middle of a war, or after there's nothing else to build? Don't even get me started on Brandenburg and Alhambra. I also play a lot of MP so advice in that direction is also appreciated.
  2. volisas

    volisas Chieftain

    Mar 30, 2013
    On #1: I always go for barracks and armoury. First, I highly trained military is very useful when having small army sizes. Second, unless your old units are level 3+ (in which case upgrading is recommended), it is cheaper and more efficient to train new units with Armoury rather than keep upgrading old units. The gold saved from upgrades (and gained from disbanding old units) can be used to rush buy buildings or RAs.

    As an example, I would spend 200+ gold from crossbow to gatling and another 200+ to machine gun. That roughly 500 gold. You can devote 4-5 turns to build a unit and invest the money on RAs instead, no? At least I prefer so...

    On #2: I don't build in ancient or classical. Barbarians and city state attack serve as training grounds for my early units. And that early barracks are not probably worth it. Also, I forgot to mention that I specialise two cities in unit production and almost always have one of the two building a unit. (So I build armoury only in those two cities; barracks everywhere so as to get Heroic epic.)

    On #3: Yes you will have a mix but so what? I find Heroic epic especially important for two units: Aircraft carriers and Nuclear missile delivery systems (that is, whatever sub or cruiser I plan on using to carry missiles). That 15% can be the difference in saving your airplanes and nukes in case you are ambushed.

    On #4: I would definitely say peaceful playing benefits most. Warmongers can get level 5-6 units throughout the game with no barracks. While these buildings allow you to have a battle-worthy small army. This is especially true given than you are usually attacked by warmonger AIs, who do build their military buildings as well as promoting their units to level 4 quite often (although they pick stupid promitions, like medic. never got that)
  3. tetley

    tetley Head tea leaf

    Nov 8, 2001
    Zulu benefits the most from building Barracks, I'm pretty sure.
  4. Chris3894

    Chris3894 Warlord

    Apr 25, 2014
    ^^^^ their UB that replaces the barracks gives you crazy good promotions that can absolutely destroy huge armies if used effectively
  5. Walter R

    Walter R Great Engineer

    Mar 8, 2013
    OP I would suggest that like most things in the game it is what works best for you.

    From my perspective I know at the start that I will be going for a Dom victory, so that makes it an easier choice. I also know that as I play England a lot I'll be looking for land and naval (and eventually air) promotions.

    - Personally, I try and keep most of my units alive and upgrade them, but obviously that's easier with garrisoned range units than melee; in my experience the veterans will be far higher promoted than if you wait for the training buildings to arrive, particularly true for warships.
    - I build a barracks at the earliest convenience (usually capital); amongst other things it gives scouts and triremes a starting promotion, but it does make your route to Education sub-optimal.
    - My first warships go out with only one promotion and earn the rest the hard way unless I get lucky with encampments, but subsequent navies are stronger (obviously I'm looking to get range and eventually logistics promotions for the SOTL); incidentally I prefer bombardment to naval.
    - I usually have two cities with barracks and armories by mid-game, the other two concentrating on science.
    - One of my longer term aims will be to build Brandenburg and that's the only city I'd consider a military academy for: if succesful you get bombers with air repair straight away, if not you're still only a few bomb runs from that promotion.

    Hope this is of some use
  6. Matthew.

    Matthew. Deity

    Sep 14, 2011
    I look at the xp buildings as ways to replace highly promoted units rather than starting off with them. If your group of military with 5-6 promotions each gets in a bad position and one of the gets killed off, then getting a replacement with 3 promo's and +15% combat strength isn't a bad replacement.

    So no need to rush any of the buildings, as you shouldn't be losing units that quickly. A barracks and armory is the equivalent of farming barbarians for two promo's.

    Definitely don't rush the HE for the 15%. It just isn't worth it, no matter how you try and fit it into your build order. Eventually you can get it later in one of your high production cities. Preferably on a coast. Then new military reinforcements like ships and planes will have it.
  7. Halcyan2

    Halcyan2 Emperor

    May 12, 2012
    I normally prefer peaceful games but when I do build units, I tend to concentrate them in one city (usually my capital). That way I only need one city that needs an Armory or Military Academy.

    Barracks are sometimes built everywhere until I can get the Heroic Epic, which gets built in my cap. And Alhambra and Brandenburg also go there if I can get them built.

    If playing Assyria, you can also get 10 XP from the Royal Library.
  8. Zezima

    Zezima Professional Troll

    Nov 9, 2012
    United States
    I think the point in #4 about small empires is generally true most often. Like most National Wonders, the Heroic Epic is primarily to allow smaller empires to get a slight advantage against the more expansive ones. Sure, sprawlers can still get HE, but it's more of an investment/requires more planning.

    I tend to struggle with these decisions as well, but for me it just comes down to how much dedication I'm willing to put into war. If I'm just defending, I don't really need extra XP/combat buildings/wonders. But if I want to conquer or be feared, I'll grab as much as I can.

    Regarding civs who best benefit from this: I'd say America has great potential. With Armory the B17s can spawn with Air Repair, and if you push for Brandenburg+Military Academy, Minutemen can spawn with March. That's a huge number of starting promotes on a unit.
  9. Fluffball

    Fluffball Warlord

    Sep 22, 2011
    I tend to build them in the mid to late game when expanding/replacing my army although depending on the situation i may fit them in earlier.
    I mainly aim to have them when new unit likes appear though such as aircraft or frigates( not really a new unit line but previous naval units are rubbish).
  10. Vitruvius

    Vitruvius King

    Oct 27, 2013
    I think in the early game having an extra promotion is not crucial. Therefore barracks arnt very necessary. I would often build all 3 in the mid-late game. Unless its ikanda and kepost

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk
  11. TurboJ

    TurboJ Warlord

    Mar 15, 2014
    One thing to consider is the map; what is the terrain like near your enemy cities and if there are bottlenecks on the path to reach them.

    If you can fight effectively with a huge number of units, then it may not be useful to build military buildings. But if you are forced through narrow paths between mountains, for example, it can help if your troops have some promotions to begin with. That can, in those cases, mean the difference between insta-dia and a narrow survival for those troops. Armories are nice in that they allow melee troops to start with the Cover promotion, with which they can survive on a siege. Otherwise I will delay armories and military academies for the final push when I need to replace some defeated veterans. National Epic can be fun, but I think it's only useful if you plan to / need to do lots of unit spam after the initial military build. Otherwise your veterans will still be more effective compared to your NE specials.
  12. LoneRebel

    LoneRebel Emperor

    Apr 16, 2013
    Distinguished and Ever Loyal City
    As it hasn't been mentioned yet, I'll note that Autocracy has a policy that makes each Barracks/Armory/Military Academy give 2 happiness each. This definitely makes them more worth building, especially as they all only cost 1 gpt in maintenance.

    On the other hand, if it's the two free promotions that come from having both a Barracks and an Armory, barb camps can cover that to some extent, since 30 exp is the limit that can be gained from barbarians. You can farm barbarians to train your units in this way.
  13. BrokTheFanatic

    BrokTheFanatic Warlord

    Feb 10, 2012
    I don't build them everywhere, usually in 1-3 cities where I build all military xp upgrade buildings and try to build all of my units in them. In times of war you can funnel caravans or cargo ships at them and really pump out units.

    In previous civs city specialization was important but not really in civ5 (which is a knock against it IMO) but this is one place where it works well to specialize because you just don't need barracks+ in all cities.
  14. kaspergm

    kaspergm Deity

    Aug 19, 2012
    I generally think Barracks and Armories are worth it, but generally don't bother with building Barracks before I have unlocked Armories (at this time, building Barracks is fairly quick). The two promotions granted by these buildings makes it pretty well worth it imo. Military Academy is more dubious because it doesn't give you a new promotion directly - I know it helps you along, but it doesn't feel like quite the same reward. I normally don't build Heroic Epic (exceptions apply, for instance if I know I'm going to go early domination I will rush for HE).
  15. sam44hill

    sam44hill Always go for the Kill

    Sep 9, 2013
    It is nearly always better to have only a few elite units, unless warmongering. Whether melee or ranged, a unit with several promos can go toe-to-toe with 2,3, more units of lesser quality. Having few units is good because: low maintenance cost while not sacrificing quality, less to micromanage allowing closer attention to what your goal is and generally looks good to other civs, not appearing too agro but not but weak either. And having 2-3 buildings to maintain is a lot cheaper than maintaining an army.
  16. Calouste

    Calouste Deity

    Mar 17, 2006
    Barracks and Armories are very helpful for the Dutch. You get Sea Baggers out with Coastal Raider III, Supply and Logistics.

    I think the XP buildings are also very helpful for any Infantry UU that starts with a Drill or Shock promotion (Samurai, Minuteman, Mehali Sefari) or if you have Alhambra. March is what makes Infantry useful, and if you can get there in a fairly short amount of time, it makes quite a difference.
  17. phillipwyllie

    phillipwyllie Wannabe Deity

    Dec 11, 2003
    4 Hexes from FoY
    An autocratic civ with the appropriate tenet unlocked(the one that give +15 exp to units) means every city can build bombers that have air repair right out the box. Failing that you need Brandenburg Gate. I usually build 2 batches of 6, one that has the city promotions, and the other batch that has the unit promotions. When your bombers become Stealth Bombers then the AI may as well just give you it's cities....

    To answer your second question I build Barracks & Armories just before I hit Astronomy so I can pump out Caravels that have the sight promotion. Military Academies come when I either unlock that Autocratic tenet or have built the Brandenburg Gate and I'm able to build Great War Bombers(cos I have oil). Siege units benefit from Barracks & Armories but not so much Military Academies. Submarines do benefit from 3 promotions(against naval units) as very quickly your subs can get logistics and that hurts just thinking about it, assuming your involved in naval warfare.
  18. Tabarnak

    Tabarnak R.I.P.

    Sep 17, 2010
    Singleplayer : Usually no for me. Excepted a barrack before pumping Frigates(they can reach +1 range faster than land units) since that it is easy to pump a lot of ships from only 1 or 2 cities. You need Steel for later units(industrial+) so an armory can be counsidered but only later.

    Multiplayer: Yes...especially when you reach artillery or planes. Barrack+Armory combo for instant 2 promos for fresh new units. This can make a huge difference between a win and a loss.

    In this picture i'm going to put armories in all cities in preparation of planes and the very useful +2 range attack.

  19. docbud

    docbud Emperor

    Feb 14, 2012
    I usually build them all, but only in a few of my cities. I'll definitely get the barracks, and eventually the others. But I don't make it a top priority.
  20. jlim201

    jlim201 King

    Sep 14, 2013
    Somewhere North of the South Pole
    barracks and armory yes, military academy only if i get Brandenburg Gate because without it, there wont be an extra free promo.

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