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Basic Defensive War Question

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by Marshall Thomas, Nov 7, 2007.

  1. Marshall Thomas

    Marshall Thomas King

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2005
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    700
    This is a basic war strategy question. When my enemy is on the offensive and I'm preparing to defend a city, should I simply keep putting newly produced (or whipped) units in the city and await his artillery bombardment and his attack after my city defenses are at zero percent? Or should I interupt him with an attack? Typically, his "stack of doom" is on a tile with a terrain bonus of either 25, 50 or 75%. So I'm naturally hesitant. But if I let him attack me, I won't have any city defenses left. Now I know that the city defenses forced him to delay his attack, which allowed me time to reinforce the city with new units -but should I send all of my newly produced units into the city and await his attack? If not, what should I do with the new units while he's using his artillery to soften up my city defense percentage?

    I know that this is a vague, non-specific example -but this situation occurs several times in all my games and I wonder if there are any other good strategic options other than producing as many units as I can and then simply sending them all to the city under seige and then try to fortify before the attack. Thanks in adavnce
     
  2. Woodreaux

    Woodreaux Prince

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    Sep 18, 2007
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    Location:
    So Cal
    Depends on the differences in the height, power, and match-ups of your defending and the AI attacking stacks. I always try to take advantage of favorable match-ups. The best examples are horse units. If you have any knights or cav in your city, counter attack with them! They don't get defense bonuses, so they usually aren't ideal defenders, but they do have special powers against the enemy siege weapons. Conversely, archers and longbows are fantastic defenders, but weak attackers, so I usually advise against using them against for counter attack (unless they're attacking from a hill, are you archer units have guerilla3). In a nutshell, my main tactic is exploiting every opportunity to counter-attack with best counter unit. The bigger the opposing stack, and the more variety it has, the harder it is to pull it off.
    From my experience, the AI usually attacks with a tall SoD, that has deep cannon fodder protection so counter-attacks are often not worth it, because their defending spears will stop your horses from getting at their arty while their crossbows/maces/axes will stop your spears from getting to their horses.
    Remember that defered promotions are your friend, too. Sometimes it pays to sacrifice a melee unit or 2, to weaken their best defenders. Once these strong meat-shields are weakened, use the appropriate promotions on the fly to help even the odds. Sometimes, their stack is just too powerfull to stop ahead of time. In those cases, having your city chalked full of fortified archers/bowmen with City-Garrison will make attacking the city a futile exercise. You'll loose a few, but they'll loose a lot more.
     
  3. Dynamic Cow

    Dynamic Cow Moo

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2002
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    584
    Location:
    Sweden
    It is always a good idea to weaken them with siege weapons of your own. The more collateral damage on them, the better. Imagine a SoD filled with units carrying one strength each. Not too dooming, yet still somewhat scary. So, if you happen do have some knights or other unit within reach - send 'em in!
    A good offence capability IS a good defence. :D
     
  4. azzaman333

    azzaman333 meh

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    A couple of seige weapons to hurt the stack (only enough to hurt most of the stack) and a couple of flanking II mounted units to hurt the siege weapons, and rebuild and hope they retreat onto flat ground.
     
  5. bardolph

    bardolph King

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    Feb 5, 2007
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    This is why it is strategically sound to chop all forests next to your border cities.

    Yes, you should counter-attack, if your odds are good, and especially if you have siege of your own. Also consider sending Horse Archers with the Flanking promotion to flank attack their siege engines before they attack.
     
  6. Wantanabe

    Wantanabe Chieftain

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2007
    Messages:
    10
    I find It depends on the situation. Playing on Emperor the SoD's are usually at par or made up of superior enemy units. Hitting them with siege weapons is ok if you have larger numbers of them, but sometimes the best thing to do is abandon the city, pull all friendly units back a square or two ( depending on wether enginereing has been discovered ) and let the city be taken. The advantage here is that you now can move in with your siege weapons as the borders will not have expanded yet, weaken their defenders in or out of the city, and retake it, wiping out the enemy SoD in the next few turns.
     
  7. rabidveggie

    rabidveggie King

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    Apr 4, 2007
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    697
    I personally like to take the fight to the enemy to prevent pillaging. However I probably won't attack them if were close in power and they are on a hill or in a forest. If you will lose the city regardless you should fall back unless its your capital or something. If you have a lot of cats you should attack and follow through or you will have wasted them. Keep in mind your best defenders will counter their attacks so sometimes keeping cavalry to defend is a good thing if the rest of your army is say, spearman, although you probably lack common sense to do that in the first place.
     
  8. King of Town

    King of Town Adventuring

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    Location:
    Wilamette Valley
    I always have a pretty varied stack of units in my cities ever since my first shaka expereince. I'll usually have 7 or 8 per city, sure it hurts the economy, but so does losing a city. i hate to see my territory being taken when they show the recap at the end. I will usually build 5 or 6 archers and send them out as explorers so that they can be attacked by the barbarians and get them all up in promotions. Some of them get first strikes so that collataral damage has a lessened effect and some get cg bonuses. I then try to move this little group of archers in my border cities. Usually keeping a couple cat's per city ois a good idea too, since you can move them to the city that is being attacked quickly enough. I'll then wait until they get the dfense down to zero, and use the cat's since the stack will have no other choice but to attack then really. And of course horse archers and the like are awesome city defenders because they can attack cats, and if the enemy has no spears for some strange reason they are normally strong enough to take any unit heads to head.
     
  9. LemonJello

    LemonJello Warlord

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    Aug 23, 2007
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    Location:
    The Crossroads of the Marine Corps
    I have two strategies that I use when defending against an AI assault:
    1) If I have the advantage in tech or numbers, I hit them as far out from my borders as I can; damage the SoD enough, and you can stop them before they can threaten/pillage within your borders.
    b) If at a numbers/tech disadvantage, fight within my borders, taking advantage of movement and healing bonuses, but still counter-attacking the SoD so that they never have a full turn to heal without some added damages piled onto them.
     
  10. wayneb64

    wayneb64 Prince

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    First, I always chop forests next to my cities. That both helps a new city grow, and prevents an attacker from digging in later on. Siege is the next most important unit to have on hand, as they are not only good for offense, but putting things in a stack just asks them to be bombarded. What is really scary is the coastal city attack where the AI throws many boats full of units at your city. No way to stop that or really see it coming. What I try and do is setup little defensive stands along the invasion route away from the city. The AI can't seem to resist attacking them, often throwing themselves at really bad disadvantages. If they try and walk by on the open ground, siege the tar out of them, and then soak up promotions killing off the tattered remains. Consider siege to be throw away units. All other units should be upgraded throughout the game, therefore getting very strong. While the AI builds replacements for the hordes it threw away attacking your well defended decoy stacks, you rebuild the siege. The use of bait units really can confuse the AI, and have his stuff circling for turns while you beef up. Also try not to let battered units get away to heal.
     
  11. Inspector Javert

    Inspector Javert Prince

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    I'm normally caught off guard by the stacks of doom but when I can I try and make sure I have a variety of units available so I can counter any of theirs, add a couple of seige units and I normally can get a load of GG experince before all my archers fall to the 5 catapult-4 swordsman rush and loose my city :p
     
  12. Neo Guderian

    Neo Guderian Panzerarmee General

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    In the case where you have a highly defensible piece of terrain next to a city, you should spare a few units and occupy it. The enemy stack will either A) sacrifice alot of their units taking that forested hill fort held by 3 longbows, or B) (and even better) they will move onto open ground where you can slaughter them at your leisure.

    It is an axiom of war to always 'Control the High Ground'. Force the enemy to attack your strong position or force them into a weak position.

    If all the terrain around the city favors the defender, this is not a viable strategy because you will spread your forces too thin occupying each of the 'hardpoints'. In that situation, I turtle in the city and wait for them to either suicide against it or try to go around and pick a juicier target.

    I have had 'ping pong' matches where the enemy SoD couldn't decide which city to attack because I was bouncing strong forces between both cities until I was strong enough to kill the stack in the open. This was against Shaka, of course =).
     
  13. L4zXX0r

    L4zXX0r Warlord

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    Personally, I think meeting an attacking enemy in the field is your best option. I typically attempt to lure a stack to a tile with as little defensive bonuses as possible. I keep a small amount of horse units stored in cities for this sort of battle. It's always a good idea to hold up your best defense in your cities still, but I'd rather play the war on my own terms. Normally I also try to keep about 10 units or more in my cities, with about half or more just sitting there for non defensive military ventures, such as war out in the field, or taking cities. Defensive civs should keep stacks of siege engines around in their cities as well, so that you can cause a ton of collateral damage, and quickly remove any real threat of danger.

    Of course, a good offense is always a good defense. If someone declares war on you, I'd create a force to go raze a few cities, or just cause some damage in their homeland.
     
  14. L4zXX0r

    L4zXX0r Warlord

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    For sure, one of the best defensive strategies around. Being able to attack attackers without bonuses is great.
     
  15. sabremookie

    sabremookie Chieftain

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    I like to have catapults to cause collateral damage. Even if I have only 1% chance to win, I use them. Then I attack with my horse units right away before they get damaged. After that, I try to mass produce horse from across my empire and keep attacking the stack while my city is weakened but before the onslaught. That way, even if their catapults cause damage to my defenders, they will have nothing but catapults left to attack with. But, sometimes, the best to do is withdraw and then counterattack. The SoD is tough, but I am glad the AI does it, keeps you on your feet, and it is fun when you defend against one because right after you defeat it, then you counterattack the AI and get some of their cities.
     
  16. troytheface

    troytheface Deity

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    attack. unless u have uber units - once i had three archers with triple mountain promotions that held off a mini stack until reinforcements arrived.
    But all in all - i say attack.
     

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