Best unit in the game (for me): the story of an unusual breed

Discussion in 'Civ5 - Strategy & Tips' started by FinsT, Dec 23, 2013.

  1. FinsT

    FinsT Chieftain

    Dec 23, 2013
    Hi everyone.

    This post is about terminators: end-game, high-level, unusually-strong Bazooka units.

    Intro: i am a bit of a munchkin. In civ 5, i tend to always have a few "favorite" units which i keep alive and develop as much as humanly possible. Lately, i fashioned one especially powerful creation - i call these units "terminators". Making even a few of those - comes with a very heavy "price" tag, though: the sum of significant sacrifices and delays in early civilization development, huge gold cost (total), some very spoiled relations with at least one other civilization you otherwise might want to befriend, and lots of time devoted specifically to create these few units. Because of this, i am not sure whether it is at all possible to have Terminators (and not to lose a game) at a difficulty any much higher than King.

    - level 16 -
    (but it's already very unusually strong starting at level 8 and onwards)
    - movement: 3 tiles -
    (ignores terrain movement costs, including rivers)
    - field of view: 4 tiles -
    (you'll see pretty much ANY land-based, and most of sea-based, threats. Surprise attacks thus get reduced to late game naval and aerial threats - IF you'd allow other civs to develop that far AND dominate seas and/or air (which you shouldn't anyways %) )
    - ranged attack, range: 2 -
    (or 3, if playing England)
    - attack strength: 136+ -
    (85 base, +60% from Morale and terrain-dependant upgrades - not sure if it's additive or multiplicative though; plus, higher is possible with Great General in vicinity, Himeji Castle and/or Shoshone bonuses. Note, Terminator can easily take out a Giant Death Robot: being a ranged unit, thus no counter-attacks, plus able to move after firing, plus defensive terrain bonuses making Terminator's defense way higher than any attack power GDR could possibly bring in, plus actually higher mobility than GDR around rivers and/or in rough terrain. With double attack upgrade, Terminators can also take on cities with impunity: move in, fire once, move out. Ships and helicopters, whenever in range, are destroyed extremely efficiently, as are any lesser units such as infantries, of course. It is this versatility and ability to avoid damage (if played right) which makes this unit very best all-around unit of the game. Note, it's best to use Terminators in pairs or larger groups, though; then they really shine, destroying pretty much anything game can throw at them, while withstanding tremendous amounts of damage)
    - defense strength: up to 200+
    (this is before terrain, at level 16 or close to it, 200+ - against ranged attacks, assuming corresponding upgrade stacks with other combat strength upgrades; in a citadel, 400+ should be possible i guess. If so, then i wonder - with self-heal upgrade plus healing from one's own territory, is it possible at all to lose one when fortified in a citadel - no matter how large army is attacking? One day i gonna try that, hehe)

    Here's how:

    1. Play Earth map, either Shoshone or England;
    2. Rush iron working;
    3. Rush build Heroic Epic;
    4. Produce Pathfinders (Scouts for non-Shoshone civs) - up to 6 on a huge map, less in smaller maps. All the following applies to each produced Pathfinder / Scout;
    5. Take Scouting I;
    6. Locate a weak (small), preferably separated "Victim 1" town of another civilization which exists between your town with Heroic Epic and Australia;
    7. Move towards Victim 1, but fight barbarians on your way up to level 3. A few support units - ranged or two plus a "doctor" pikeman - helps. Get +50% experience to units (social policy from Honor tree) about now;
    8. Take Scouting II;
    9. Damage Victim 1 and allow it to damage Pathfinders / Scouts, but do not raze Victim 1 until done with p.10;
    10. Take Scouting III. This one upgrade is what gives Terminators +1 movement - and together with ignoring terrain movement costs, this is just awesome and totally worth few dozens turns (tops) delay which is needed to get 30 experience by doing a small war with some or other civ (it can be a remote one, too). Once done, feel free to take or raze Victim 1;
    11. Upgrade Pathfinders / Scouts to ranged units, using Ancient ruins;
    12. Designate a civ which has a city (better, two cities) which is with 5 tiles from one (or more) of your cities. If no other civs have a city that close to yours, then create a city which is within 5 tiles of at least 2 other civ's cities (preferably smaller ones). Those 2 cities are "Victim 2". Buy tiles, if nesessary, so that you have a few tiles which are at a distance of 2 from target cities (so that ranged units could fire from your territory hitting Victim 2 cities) - preferably hills, forest or jungle tiles;
    13. Rush to the tech which allows to upgrade to Crossbowman (also, it's not a waste at all, since right after it once can research for World Congress); while doing it, make sure to end all trade routes with Victim 2, and ensure Victim 2 does not have any city-state allies (do quests and/or bribes enough to ally any city-states which it managed to have as allies, by getting higher influence over those city-states than Victim 2 has).
    14. Upgrade Terminators to crossbowman. Position them 3 tiles away from city (cities) which are victim 2. Having a doctor or two behind (healing all adjacent units) is helpful.
    15. If possible, do a beneficial deal with Victim 2, "paying" him with gold-per-turn and resources, taking straight gold (if friendly) and (if possible) convincing Victim 2 to declare war on some 3rd civ. Next turn, your benefits will remain, but his - will disappear:
    16. Next turn, declare war on Victim 2. Level up your crossbowmen to at least level 9, taking all 3 upgrades for rough (or open, if you prefer) terrain, then extra range, then extra attack (it'll possibly take some 100+ turns to do it);
    17. Keep going as usual from now on, upgrading Terminators to better units as you go. Keep levelling them up on purpose, much like in p.16, if you aim to eventually get every possible upgrade (self-heal, other 3 upgrades for the 2nd kind of terrain, and 2 upgrades for defense against ranged attacks - the latter i HIGHLY recommend).

    Notes for some of the above parts:
    ... 1. - Earth map, because we'll need a large place dominated by Barbarians for much of the game (which is Oceania and Australia regions), to preserve ancient ruins for us. Shoshone or England, because these two civilizations offer unique features to make "Terminators" stronger. Namely,
    - Shoshone gives +15% combat bonus in one's territory. On top of that, Shoshone allows to choose bonus from ruins, and makes it much easier to level up during level 2 ... level 4 stage, because of higher combat strength of Pathfinders;
    - England gives unique and very powerful bonus of 1 additional range (via Longbowman), which also helps very much during levelling from level 4 to level 8, making it much safer.
    ... 3. - Morale promotion is a plain +15% combat strength. A must-have for a unit which is built to be ultimate power, me thinks. :)
    ... 4. - it takes some luck and skill to build more than 4 terminators even on a huge map - and i doubt more than 6 could be made at all. This is because part of the process - is p.11 above, and for _every_ unit upgraded to a ranged type you'll need at least THREE ancient ruins, because once taken, this bonus disappears from next 2 ancient ruins' list, even for Shoshone. For other civs (England, etc) it's either save-load exploitation for every 3rd ruin, or even more ruins needed per unit (depends on your luck).
    ... 10. - razing a city seems to motivate its civilization to offer peace, in a while, with additional goodies; i typically get offered another city. Removing it from the deal and taking gold/resources/etc - is a nice bonus. Since we have quite large force harrasing Victim 1 city already - why not raze it once done with levelling and get the bonus?
    ... 11. - at this point in the game, very few (if any) ancient ruins still exist - except for Oceania and Australia regions, which are usually heavily dominated by Barbarians, thus still having some (on larger maps, more than a dozen) ancient ruins. That's why p.6 says to locate Victim 1 generally on a path towards Australia - saves time. Also, due to barbarians, it is almost required to bring at least a pair of Galleas' (or at least Trireme + Galleas). By the way, building Heroic Epic in a coastal city will give Morale (+15% combat strength) to all naval units, too - and this helps against pirates as well as all future navies, of course. It's a no-brainer if your capital is on a coast, but if it's not, then additional delay may be if you'd decide to build Heroic Epic in a non-capital coastal city. Additional resources thrown to accelerated development of that coastal city - to bring its production and infrastructure up, fast - slow general progress somewhat (happiness issues - forced slowing of capital growth, etc); last game, i was 2 turns late to be a founder of world congress exactly because of this - alas, it was Korea snatching it out, these guys are faster at it than most other civs, too.
    ... 16. - Move crossbowmen to firing position and open fire - hit any units 1st, if in range, otherwise hit cities. Damage, but do not capture them (just keep hitting with crossbowmen). Cities (and possibly units stationed inside) will shoot back. This is good - more experience (being hit - gives experience to the unit). Fortify any crossbowman which is being hit after it was hit for a 1st time. Being in friendly territory will heal him much. Being in rough terrain will reduce incoming damage, as will fortification bonus. Doctor behind will help with healing. If, by any chance, a crowwbowman drops to red or nearly to red - retreat him out of enemy field of fire, heal up, get in again. And, yes, it's a LONG process. Reject any peace offers from Victim 2 until you got all 3 rough (or, open) terrain upgrades, 1 extra range upgrade, and 1 extra attack per turn upgrade. That's when you'll be very glad you got that +50% experience from Honor tree during p.7.

    Sorry for typos (i probably made a bunch - typing in a hurry!) and for coarse english (it's not my native). And darn, best of luck if you'd try to do this with England, too. You'll need it! :)

    P.S. As a bonus, Terminators - being arguably better than any possible high-level GDR, - do not consume any resource. Not even alluminium. Nice, eh? ;)
  2. TheGrumpyBuddha

    TheGrumpyBuddha King

    Aug 8, 2013
    I guess everyone needs a hobby :D
  3. Shurdus

    Shurdus Am I Napoleon?

    Feb 24, 2004
    Settle in place
    So you are saying that you probably cannot do this on a difficulty above king? Given that on king and below, you can crush any civilization using a fly swatter, I see no point to this. More power to you for doing this though, but I see no valuw whatsoever other than novelty.
  4. FinsT

    FinsT Chieftain

    Dec 23, 2013
    Yep, hobby it is, i guess. :)

    Shurdus: i said "any much higher than King". I meant, it's most likely doable on Emperor, but beyond that, i am not sure. At least not without giving up some features (like Morale and Scouting III upgrades). But yes, why, it is about novelty, but it's also about munchkinism, too. If you're not familiar, it's sort of sickness, related to min-maxing. Some people are infected with it, myself included. If you never heard about it, then perhaps take a look at page... :)
  5. joshua43214

    joshua43214 King

    Mar 21, 2012
    getting 3 scout upgrades then getting a ruin seems pretty iffy to me.

    Pretty cool unit though. You could make yourself a challenge like; OCC, only allowed 2 units, the terminator and a knight/cavalry. Then see how high a level you can beat the game on. I would be amazed if you could do it even on Emperor just because the AI will gobble up all the ruins.
  6. FinsT

    FinsT Chieftain

    Dec 23, 2013
    Currently playing it with Shoshone, huge Earth, King (munchkinism doesn't mean mastery; in my case, i like to go sloppy and lazy, leads to lots of "mistakes"). At the moment, it's late 200sh - about turn 285 or so, iirc. Speed is Epic, though (so it'd be what, ~190 turns on normal? Dunno for sure).

    Even so, i got 4 pathfinders to Souting III and then all 4 upgraded through ruins, going through most of Oceania and Australia; have 1 more ruin in Australia to spare, plus most likely some more in New Zealand and small islands all around the globe. Have a trireme + galleas + single pikeman cleaning remaining ones up. Several dozens barbarian units - land and naval - already died in the process, hehe. :D Got 3 of the 4 terminators back to homeland, 4th on his way there; and few turns ago, started the long war with Inca (who very conviniently just settled two cities right next to my borders, silly). To level 'em terminators up. Plan is, level the 4 up to level 9, and then go, without hurry, to raze everything except capitols, starting with those smart koreans. After i'm done with it, they can call me a warmonger for all eternity - not that i'd care, hehe. And while doing that, i am also:
    - going somewhat tall eventually, but it's 6 cities, spanning from where-real-China-would-be all the way to central Africa, all cities within 10 or less tiles from each other (eventually will be continuous space, but right now, there are few gaps; despite it, already got roads to all 5 extra cities, too). Again, it's a "huge" map. 2nd west-most city being on a tile which has coast tiles leading both into Atlantic and into Indian ocean (the navy gonna love this one shortcut);
    - having earliest possible pantheon (turn 20 - playing epic speed), early religion (3 x80 religion ruins - managed to get it even before Celts, which are present in the game, but they enhanced before i did, though), and at the moment, my religion is followed by some 130+ followers (both foreign and domestic), and growing fast;
    - starting with 5 free techs from mainland ruins (4 of them being 2nd-tier of Ancient era), 3 "regular" crossbowmen upgraded from Pathfinders (also from mainland early ruins);
    - having 10+ citizens of my cities being folks joining my civ outta still more mainland and Oceania's ruins (that Pathfinder's feature to pick which benefit i get outta a ruin - rocks, eh);
    - building more wonders than all other civs combined (as it should be on King i guess).

    But on higher difficulties, delays caused by, production costs (barracks for all cities, additional units), maintenance costs required to maintain the 4 "away for alot of time" would-become-terminators plus their support units (healers, ranged units, naval units), and sibptimal research (early Heroic Epic and crossbowmen) - would probably cripple early development to a point of being critically outperformed by already much-ahead AIs. Because all these units are created on top and above all the usual units for defending one's territory, of course. Whether or how to counter it, i am not sure. What i am sure about is that this whole "terminator" thing is definitely not the most efficient thing. The unit - eventually, - may well be the best possible unit, but the price of getting it - on higher difficulties, - is probably too high. :p

    But since i don't play higher difficulties - i like it easy, "guilty!" :D - and since i like to see overpowered bazooka men blowing up things left and right, - i ended up going the way i do. Perhaps someone else would like it, and i had time to share (err... obviously, eh :D ).

    Alas there are some happiness issues at the moment - going with some 12+ happiness to spare is not so much room for accidents, eh. So i decided to cripple capital's growth once it went to 17 population, allowing other cities to catch up, and some to even go higher - because one of them is actually one with Heroic Epic (coastal, unlike the capital - this is my main unit production site, including navy), and the other - extremely solid near-mountain Petra city, - is my primary science and commerce center with a huge growth potential (11 resource tiles within 3-tiles radius, most of which are luxuries, including 3 Silver tiles; all working-range tiles except the mountain in the middle - are productive lands, and all but 4 are desert, yet among these 4, 2 are wheat plains; best Petra city i've ever had).

    I sure respect folks who play this game for achievement (deity and all), but for me, it's casual munchkinism, you see. Thus, all above. Hope i didn't bore you to death yet. Cheers! :)
  7. Grubsnik

    Grubsnik Chieftain

    Apr 2, 2009
    I've always defined munchkin'ism to be willing to do anything within "the letter of the rules" (or "game mechanics as implemented") to win or gain an edge. This includes abusing any and all loopholes.

    Before BNW, this could be selling all your GPT and luxuries for hard cash, just before declaring war on the one who just bought your stuff. Another variant was when you made 2-3 luxury cash deals before overwriting one of the luxuries with a fort, so the entire deal would crash. That way you could cheat the AI out of tonnes of gold, with little or no disadvantage to yourself.

    What you are describing isn't munchkin like behaviour, it's more like roleplaying or just messing about in a casual way. Nothing wrong with that :)
  8. FinsT

    FinsT Chieftain

    Dec 23, 2013
    In fact, in the 1st post, i exactly advocate selling things for cash and possibly war declaration between soon-be-my-enemy and some 3rd civ. Does it qualify for a bit of munchkinism? I guess it does. Creating few units which definitely have an edge in vast majority of combat situations - including the use of "not intended for non-scout units" +1 movement upgrade, - does also, in my book.

    And in my book, - i know quite many disagree, - there is nothing wrong with munchkinism as long as it 1) doesn't hurt other people, and 2) is enjoyable by the player. The former is why this whole topic is strictly about single-player, and also about one particular idea which is overall inferiour strategy in multiplayer: i ensure nobody gets hurt by what i share. The latter is a matter of tastes and personal preferences; like i said, it appears some people are "infected" by munchkinism, - some, but not all. Me, i got a mild form of it, i guess; there are much worse examples, yes. :D

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