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Beachhead

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by puglover, Nov 17, 2006.

  1. puglover

    puglover Disturber of Worldviews

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    I've just conquered my entire continent, but across the sea two civs occupy a continent of just about the same size. I want a conquest victory, but the other civs are just as developed as I am. I'm experienced in land warfare, but I hardly ever fight on sea. Are there any special tips to launching a sea invasion and establishing a beachhead against counterattack?
     
  2. Thomas G.

    Thomas G. Warlord

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    If you are currently at peace:
    You only need a pack of transports. Stay outside border, declare war, then sail in and make landfall next to a city. Next turn you enter, and defend it while airlifting in reinforcements and re-basing fighter and bomber aircraft.

    You need a really huge land force, and make sure to include medics & city garrison units.

    Do this against the weakest city of the weakest civ, and go from there.

    Mabye.
     
  3. GoodSarmatian

    GoodSarmatian Jokerfied Western Male

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    How far are you in tech ?
    Flight ? Assembly line ? Industrialism ?
     
  4. puglover

    puglover Disturber of Worldviews

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    Optics. :p
     
  5. GoodSarmatian

    GoodSarmatian Jokerfied Western Male

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    No Astronomy ?
    Are the continents connected by sea squares ?
    Then all you can do is invade with a lot of troops in galleys protected by caravels . Just bring enough city defenders and a medic to hold the first city until you get reinforcements.
     
  6. illram

    illram Deity Retired Moderator

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    If you bring enough seige units to counteract the negative marine assault modifiers you get for attacking from an ocean square, you can attack from your ships and not give the AI the chance to weaken you before actually attacking your target city.

    Alternatively, find a hill/jungle or hill/forest square right next to a target city and land there. Whatever you do, the "hard" part is not taking the city but actually maintaining a strong force to keep going. There are a variety of ways to do this, but in general make sure the stack either has a range of different units so it can defend against anything, or at least some high XP units with a good range of upgrades, and of course at least one medic unit. For your initial attack, some archers with city defender II (or III? Is there a III?) also helps, as the AI might end up killing a lot of their own units in a suicide attempt on the city you just took.

    How many units you need depends on your difficulty level and how far away you are from the other continent. (I.e., are you able to ferry other units in constantly or are you going in every 20 turns with a huge stack?)
     
  7. zagnut

    zagnut Monarch

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    Illram's advice seems the best to me. You really have to plan where to attack.

    1. If you have a choice of cities to attack, choose the one with the terrain that gives your troops the best defensive capabilities on the new continent. Remember, once they land they cannot attack for one turn and must therefore be prepared to absorb your enemies counterattack at the beginning of the turn after they land. Being in a forest or on hills is a must.

    2. If possible land on defensible terrain that is next to the city you want to attack. Remember you are trying to establish a beachhead so that you can resupply your troops in the future. You may want to attack a weak city that is not on the direct line to your ultimate goal in order to be assured of capturing it quickly.

    3. Always have more than one ship available. The 2-4 unit capacity of our various transports may not give you enough units to survive the enemies counterattack if you only use one or two ships. The larger the force you can land the more chance it will survive to fight in turn 2.

    4. Load your ships with a variety of units. You need some that are good defensive units to protect your offensive units. And don’t forget siege units. They bombard down the defensive ability of the city and allow you to capture it faster. It seems to me that you are better off combining all siege units and attacking together. I haven’t done any statistical trials but it appears to me that you have better success attacking as a group. Any units in the group that are not needed to bombard can then be used to attack and cause collateral damage, thereby making it even easier for your offensive units.

    5. If you are next to the city when you attack with a unit that has 2 movement points, that unit can then occupy the city after it has been captured. Moving it into the city after capture provides additional units to blunt the enemies counterattack and enables those units to heal faster.

    6. Once you take the first city on the continent, you have to be able to bring in new units from the home continent as fast as possible. Don’t be in a rush to attack the second city on the new continent. You need to heal your units and bring in more. The enemy will counterattack and many of your units will be at reduced health from your attack on the city and therefore vulnerable.
     
  8. ShannonCT

    ShannonCT Deity

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    I have to disagree with the advice of attacking a weak city first. I'd rather start by attacking the AI's most productive city, the one that looks like it can churn out units the fastest. If you start by attacking some weak remote city, the AI is going to start churning out units from it's industrial center. The counterattack could wipe out your invasion force as you move toward the prime cities. Sure, a big productive city is going to have a lot of defenders, but you were going to have to kill those units eventually. Making good use of collateral damage units and avoiding attacking cities on hills should make capturing that juicy city easy.
     
  9. zagnut

    zagnut Monarch

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    The AI's most productive city is most likely its capital, which may well be inland. I didn't suggest you always attack the weakest city. I said you may want to attack a weaker city.

    The goal in any amphibious invasion is to get to the other side, establish your beachhead and be able to protect it. Landing is a small part of the equation. Being able to stay there is initally the most important thing. Don't forget the question posed the situation where the enemy is just as advanced as you. Therefore, an invasion is not going to be a walk in the park.
     
  10. Wodan

    Wodan Deity

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    It's also vitally important to maintain a line of resupply. Your source of additional units to push the war is the homeland. You have to ferry them over two units at a time on a ship that moves 2 spaces a turn.

    You don't want to bend your elbow out of shape finding the "perfect" landing site which probably is a considerable distance away. Pick the best site you can which is fairly close, and leave it at that.

    Wodan
     
  11. Warspite2

    Warspite2 Prince

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    I tried this in the past, and sometimes the AI atacked me before I could declare war and land. Lost half of my invasion fleet and everything the transports were carrying. I recommend a decent force of escorts, destroyers at very least. Plus you can use them to soften the city the same time your troops land. Then the following turn, you won't even have to bombard with artillery first. You can attack outright with the artillery and that will increase your chance of taking a city.
     
  12. miller4242

    miller4242 BassMaster

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    I agree with Warspite2. Do NOT forget to send escorts with your troopcarriers. If you lose even one transport, this will hamper your re-enforcements.

    You said you were going for Conquest. If you do not have domination turned off, I would take one key AI city and torch the rest. The maintenance costs on those far away cities will be counter-productive.
     
  13. zagnut

    zagnut Monarch

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    If you want good, comprehensive advice on amphibious warfare in the modern era go to the "Warmonger's Guide for Industrial/Modern Era World War of Conquest" in the War Academy. The War Academy can be accessed from the toolbar at the top of this page. Click on Civilization IV.
     
  14. Elrohir

    Elrohir RELATIONAL VALORIZATION

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    I'm in a somewhat similar situation in a game I'm playing currently, only I have a slight technological edge. (Destroyers v. Frigates, Infantry v. Rifleman, anyone?) I could probably win the space race with ease, but that's no fun being this far ahead - so why not conquer another continent and go for a domination or conquest win?

    If you see a city which has most of the enemies ships in it, attack it, and do so using the Sirian Doctrine, if you can. (Stripping it of defenses with ships, then launching artillery against it and then infantry to take it directly from the ships) Once you destroy the land troops in it and take the city the navy is destroyed, and with a significant portion of his navy out of the war, he'll either have to devote valuable production to making ships, instead of land troops, or give you free reign to reinforce your armies. Either way, you win. Additionally, in my game, I have a Great Artist and several City Defender infantry ready, so that the turn after I take it the territory will be mine - with the enemy rushing to retake that, then my other invasion force will land on the other side. :mischief:

    If you have a GA, take it along and used it to establish a good beachhead once you take a city. And be sure to take a couple city defenders to defend your new conquest against the inevitable backlash.

    That's my advice, anyway.
     
  15. Carl v.

    Carl v. Chieftain

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    Invasion of an enemy empire on another continent is a great challenge in many ways, not at least considering logistics. Assume we and our opponent are equally developed and in principle have access to the same weaponry; how to win under unfavorable conditions?

    In previous posts, there have been good suggestions on tactical solutions. I think these can be seen as parts of a few general principles.

    First, naturally, we need enough forces. As warmonger, we have been producing troops in preparation of the attack and probably are the stronger. In addition we need an adequate navy (transport capacity and defense/attack capability). As attacker we can choose where and when to fight. But after that, the enemy has the freedom of operations on his own soil.

    Conquering a city

    could be nice as our first move. In such case, there should be transport capacity to bring in enough forces to repel the enemy’s counter attacks.

    It might take the enemy some time to bring his troops in position for attack to retake his lost city. But in principle, our expeditionary force faces his entire offensive might. An isolated force defending in a city with no defense bonus is not a favorable situation. (Here I do not take in consideration that such an adventure might succeed against an AI, due to his tactics of attack waves instead of a single blow.)

    Beachhead

    Establishing a beachhead and waging defense warfare to wear down enemy strength is an alternative.

    Warfare on enemy territory on another continent is to our disadvantage. Our initial aim must be to reduce the enemy’s military capacity. It can be done if we exploit our freedom of action to determine where to fight; that is on terrain with defense bonuses. With adequate promotions a defender is hard to take out at such circumstances.

    The enemy will:
    a: group troops against the invasion force
    b: scramble his navy to attack our convoys, and try to get an invasion force to our continent.

    Navy actions

    Now it is time to patrol and determine where his ships are, if they have transport capacity and how strong they are. According to this, we rearrange our naval forces to:
    a: establish a protected sea lane for our transport of troops
    b: control the sea lanes from cities where an amphibious assault can be launched (where transport vessels are observed).

    If we can take out a few ships filled with troops, the enemy is significantly weakened. And if we manage to sink all his transport vessels, the treat of invasion is avoided and will free garrison troops for the battlefield. This requires a strong fighting navy.


    At this stage we might continue to build up forces on our beachhead and transform our “guerillas” into a conventional army with capacity to take cities. Or we could launch an amphibious attack on a costal city after naval bombardment.

    Or both.
     
  16. Warspite2

    Warspite2 Prince

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    I have a different strategy I use for naval then whats in there. I would prefer a destroyer at cost 200 instead of a transport as bait for 125 in additon to 60 for a worker, not to mention losing pop in a city for a couple of turns. Thats the cheapest unit you can really build in that time period, if you go for infantry, the costs go significantly up, add 140 on top of the 125, thats 260. So even more then the destroyer. I don't want to keep the enemy navy busy, I want to fight them and sink their ships. So a destroyer won't go down without a fight and is alot faster then a transport. Also I keep at least 1 carrier around, they can beat down enemy ships from afar without costing you anything. Destroyers are the backbone of my modern navies. They lack the muscle of the battleships but are cheaper and faster. With carrier support, you can beat battleships with destroyers sometimes. I tend to have to do overseas invasions alot due to the map types I play and this usually works pretty good.
     
  17. PugFugly

    PugFugly Chieftain

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    If your enemy has any cities on small islands near his continent I prefer to go after those first. You opponent will have a much harder time reinforcing that those cities and they probably won't be totally engulfed in his culture after you take them.
     
  18. puglover

    puglover Disturber of Worldviews

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    Wow. Thanks for the advice all. I'm ready to play a continents map now. :goodjob:
     
  19. JackOfClubs

    JackOfClubs Warlord

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    But then again, you have the same difficulty mounting an attack from an offshore island as your enemy has reinforcing it. This is a good half-measure if your only objective is to establish a place where wounded units can heal and if you plan on razing all of the cities on the mainland, but you will waste at least two turns loading and unloading your units on transports.
     
  20. Fetch

    Fetch When in doubt, reboot.

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    just a thought, you may want to select your beachead at or near the point closest to your own continent so that the ferry trips can be cut down, allowing you to amass your army sooner. A tile that is exactly 2 moves away from where you load your transport will allow the following scenario:

    turn 1-- unit move onto transport, transport moves as far as it can
    turn 2-- transport arrives, unit unloads onto new continent
    turn 3-- unit kicks butt, transport goes 1/2 way back for more
    turn 4-- transport moves to loading dock, unit moves onto it
    ...
     

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