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Best Way To Attack Heavily Railroaded Empires?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by Omegaplex, May 2, 2008.

  1. Omegaplex

    Omegaplex Chieftain

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    I've found that empires with heavily railroaded infrastructures - particularly on foreign continents - are virtually impenetrable due to their ability to have their entire army on top of your invasion force within 2 turns. You can't transport enough soldiers to survive any counter-attack, even if you do manage to take a city on your offensive.

    I know you can bombard with ships - which I believe can destroy rails - but somebody told me that air units can't destroy rails? It seems like that would be the best use for them.

    How do people deal with this, particularly in eras before flight (if air units can destroy rails)?
     
  2. Lord_Zath

    Lord_Zath Prince

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    air units can I think; I could've sworn I've done it before...

    My suggestion - find a hill behind a river and land your stack there. Make it a stack of heavy defenders such as machine gunners. Fortify them on the land. If possible, station a carrier near it as well. Launch air strikes against attacking stacks.

    Good luck! It is very tough.
     
  3. Kadasbrass

    Kadasbrass Warlord

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    Location:
    Indiana: the state, not the country
    Can't destory railways or roads via air or naval units (or even nuclear weapons), and naval units can only bombard cit defense. Methods of fighting against counter attacks in the rail age.

    Tech advantage aka stronger units
    More Experienced Units
    Bombard their units throught the empire with bombers if able
    Keep your units on defense bonus terrains while in enemy lands
     
  4. jlindy

    jlindy Death From Below

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    Cavalry... Lots of cavalry or gunships. spread them out and destroy the rail lines.
     
  5. sabo

    sabo My Ancestors were Vikings

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    Location:
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    Yes.. pillaging has always been my strat, have some multiple move units and the next turn after you take the city move out one square and pillage on the same turn.

    Works like a charm
     
  6. Noobilator

    Noobilator Chieftain

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    Not possible if the opponent's military might is similar to yours.
     
  7. Rvil Plum

    Rvil Plum Warlord

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    I use a small number of very elite troops to attack plus throw away cannon fodder to soften the target city. I therefore settle my great generals in one city, go Theocracy when army building and I look after, promote and upgrade all early elite axe / mace / etc, but within this elite attack force are defenders with hill promotions. I don't use them to attack or defend cities, and I just use them to keep my attacking stack alive when travelling in enemy territory. My attack stack always travel by hills and by the time the world has railways, my hill defenders have grown in number, and are all highly promoted.

    The trick with attacking an overseas civ or any civ for that matter is to understand that they are going to counter attack with a huge stack. Once you have dealt with that stack, then all the the AI can do is build, whip, chop or draft replacements, so if you can absorb the damage of their counter attack, and still keep your elite attacking units in one piece, then you have them over a barrel.

    You therefore need to plan the attack so that you are conducting it with both attacking and defending units, and that you are capable or continually reinforcing your troops to replace losses and to secure gains. Allies are very useful, and the geography, (hills, forests, rivers, etc), makes a huge difference.

    I usually have two separate attack forces when conducting any attack. The first stack into enemy territory is designed to soak up the counter attack so it contains lots of defender type units, and the second stack is my real city attack force, which I keep well back until it is safe to use them.

    One of the largest problems with invasions in the early rail period is enemy arty, as the AI can throw insane amounts of arty at you if they have it. Arty vs your rifle stacks will just cripple you, and it's almost just as nasty against infantry stacks. So, if you are going to invade in the early rail period, then you have to factor in the power of arty. Does the AI have it? Can you attack them before they get it? Do you have it? Do you need it? Etc.

    Overseas invasions in the modern era just need a bit more planning, (with or without railways), and the earlier you can do them, the better.

    Last but not least, if you are completely stuck by overseas invasions, then plan on gaining an early foothold on the target continent via settling a city there. It will probably be an ice / tundra city, as the AI will have settled all the good land by the time you land, but at least you then have a safe beachhead for your later invasion. This will require you to beeline straight to optics, and you will need to give it a huge culture boost to prevent it from flipping, (settle a Great Artist in it). Needless to say, if you do found a city on an enemy continent, then pay special attention to your diplomatic relations, as it will be weak as a kitten, and almost impossible to reinforce when relying upon early naval transport units.


    Regards - Mr P
     
  8. occam

    occam Warlord

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    I find it is worth it to simply assault a city from the boats!

    Once you hit the parity of mutual modern eras, even if you have a tiny tech advantage (say, infantry v. rifles and cavs), the losses are still punitively high to survive even the first turn of counter-assaults.

    Soooo, once you accept high losses, assaulting a city seems a lot nicer. Siege units (prob. cannons?) with collateral promotions will make any assault have some chance. With that same tiny tech advantage, it should be almost easy. Also, you can then defend it with fighters (you have to bring them in on a carrier to patrol on the same turn), or at least anything that gets a city defense bonus.

    The best part is you can raze it and your counter-attack losses are often low since only the razing unit leaves the boat, unless the AI has a strong naval presence to punish your sneak attack. Also, once you enter a city, all AI naval and air units therein are killed, so you can get more bang for your buck while ameriolating the counter-attack.
     
  9. r_rolo1

    r_rolo1 King of myself

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    Let him attack first, destroy his SOD in your land ( where you have the road and railroad advantage ) and then move on. Just because you are the offender doesn't force you be stupid and to expose yourself to unneeded harm.....

    In lack of borders the best way is to attack a city from a nearby hill with some guerrilla for protection letting token or none defending troops... AI will retake it and let the SoD there ( to protect the city from you :lol: ). Now you have the bulk of his attacking army ( not much of defensive promos ) in a city with no cultural defenses :devil: ... Destroy and move on ( after rushing a airport in captured city if you can : sea reinforcement is so slow in those days ): AI will take some time to recover from that carnage and it may be enough to win the war
     
  10. bddp

    bddp Chieftain

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    Spies. :scan:

    (10 characters)
     
  11. Noobilator

    Noobilator Chieftain

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    I think he is trying to invade overseas. Sure you can wait for the enemy to get angry enough to declare war on you, but it might just take a few hundred years. Any sort of oversea invasion is impossible unless you achieve at least a certain degree of military superiority. Also keep it in mind that the enemy might use his planes to bombard your stacks and they WILL use artillery ALL the time.
     
  12. r_rolo1

    r_rolo1 King of myself

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    Location:
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    There was a strategy article in Civ III times that pretty much dealt with this problem ( in Civ III it was even worse, because rails gave infinite movement ;) ) which principles are still appliable... basically:

    - Make a phoney attack in other place with a non city taking stack ( mainly SAM, guerilla, anti promoted units ( formation, ambush, pinch ) and some MG. Land them in a hill, the furthest away from a city that you can ( and far away from your target ). Wait until the AI SOD appears.

    - Land your real attack force ( make sure that it is atleast 10 tiles away from your 1st attack ... AI tend to maintain their stacks together and that delays it a lot ) , take the city, but remember to use a commando, guerrilla III or mobility unit for the last unit ( to let it come back to the stack ). Let the city undefended and wait for the AI stack.

    - Tha AI stack will take the city, but normally will not attack you ( to preserve stack integrity while defending the city , I suppose ) . Now you have the AI right where you wanted it : near you in a city without defensive bonuses.....
     
  13. Bob-san

    Bob-san Noble

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    Usually I've followed a "crash-and-burn" method. Basically load up my navy a good bit with heavier ships. From there, enter their cultural borders by the sea. Bombard with all my might, then land a large invasion force in their city. Depending on how valuable it is to me and them, either keep or raze it. I prefer razing important cities, unless I'm going for complete-conquest and will keep the city or get a colony/vassal. I usually try to land a single troop last, to raze the city, and preserve my stack. Surprise the AI and they won't be able to invade. I've also had a lot of fun in OCCs... my own little island, and have the cash to upgrade every Trireme to Frigate, every Frigate to Destroyer. By the time they want to invade, they'll have to destroy dozens of my ships to reach a spot they can invade from. I usually stack 4+ ships on a single tile--so they can't just prance in and land a large force.
     
  14. Pitman

    Pitman Chieftain

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    Doing a major amphibious invasion against an advanced (tech) opponent on a foreign continent is not easy.

    First, you have to have an invasion force that is strong enough not simply to take the first city, but also survive the counterattack. This also means you absolutely cannot overextend yourself before that first counterattack. Take a city, hunker down, fight off counterattack, then decide what to do.

    But beyond that, there are things you can do to maximize your chances. I am assuming you are trying to conquer your opponnet.

    1. Pick a relatively inaccessible invasion location, like a city on a peninsula that is far from most of his cities. That can even slow down Mr. Railroad.

    2. The closer it is to you, the easier you can reinforce.

    3. Land smaller diversionary forces elsewhere. The AI often can't tell the difference between your main objective and some other attack on a with minimal forces. Even diversionary forces not strong enough to take or menace a city can move inland and get in the way and cut supply lines.

    4. I believe spies can also cut rail lines prior to an attack.

    5. Airlift a unit in to the conquered city every single turn; remember, as in Normandy, it's all about the Battle of the Build-Up.

    6. Air support. Weaken forces before they get to you. If the landing is too far away for your bombers (except for the 4 you instantly fly in to the city), even carriers with fighters can do some damage. Put the carriers in the city and you have a handy "airfield" right there that lets you base more than the 4 air units you can instantly fly in.

    7. Culture bomb the conquered city so that you can get a "culture cushion" around it and he can't use his special movement right up to you. A "culture cushion" is really important, because each turn it takes him to get to you is a turn you can bomb the hell out of that force with your planes.

    8. Try and bribe another AI player to declare war, preferably a tad earlier than you do; maybe the Stack of Doom will go after AI Bob rather than you.

    9. Make sure you have plenty of reinforcements waiting to load up on any transports that return from the invasion.

    10. Just remember, it's all about the build up.
     
  15. Navarre

    Navarre Legio XIII

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    Basically, when I want to attack an overseas modern civ, my main idea is to be able to take a city where you can airlift troops, and be able to defend it from the AI counter-attack long enough to airlift more troops.

    I usually :

    - beeline for Flight to have carriers and fighters, and be able to send troops in taken cities.
    - build a huge stack with a good chunk of Drill promoted machinegun, one or two Medic II or III units and enough marines to take a coastal city.
    - build 3 carriers, enough fighters to load them and bombers I keep in a city.

    The idea is to concentrate enough troops in one point. I send my stack, declare war, take a coastal civ with my marines after the ships bombarded the defenses, then unload my transports in the city and retreat my navy to a coastal tile, not in the city. I fortify everybody and airship bombers in that city. The main concern is to do everything in the same turn.

    When the enemy counter-attacks, your drill promoted machinegun will take most of the heat without suffering for the preliminary siege damage. If you have enough time, you can bomb the incoming stack with your bombers before it makes contact, and your fighters on carriers will intercept any air attack the AI can launch to weaken your stack. Once the main attack is repeled, you can use two-movement units to finish the remaining units and retreat to the city. Wait for two-three turns until your stack is fully healed and you can continue your invasion. Meanwhile, you airlift one more unit per turn.

    The more cities you take, the easier it is to airlift troops, mass them, mass bombers and bomb any threat. Once the snowball is big eough you can take the whole continent.
     
  16. HiroHito

    HiroHito Prince

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    spies, paratroopers, fake landings, fast moving units etc
     
  17. LordMachiavelli

    LordMachiavelli Chieftain

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    I like rolo's advice, with a variation. I would land at least 3 transports away from your primary target. Each transport contains 1 obsolete sacrificial unit and the rest spies. The weak units and transports will draw their SoD, while your spies can use the very railroads you are about to destroy. Cut off the main target city from behind. Make sure there is no path around. If you have a choice, make sure the railroads you destroy are in forest or hills, as it will take up a whole turn just moving a worker into those tiles.

    After you've taken out your first target, keep it heavily defended, inside and outside the city so you can hold it until you get flight. If you can afford it, bring workers too, to build a ring of forts around the city and fill them with machine guns. Once you get airports, you can use this city as your primary offshore military base.

    LM
     
  18. Omegaplex

    Omegaplex Chieftain

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    Could somebody please explain the terms "OCC" and "Culture Bomb?"

    Thanks ;)

    (Took me forever to figure out whipping, chopping (which doesn't work well for me... must be doing it wrong), SE, CE, etc. etc. ;))
     
  19. Polobo

    Polobo Emperor

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    OCC - One City Challenge (custom game option) where you are only allowed to own a single city the entire game.

    Culture Bomb - Slang for having a great artist perform their "great work" action, which instantly brings a city out of revolt and add a large amount of culture to the city and surrounding tiles.
     
  20. occam

    occam Warlord

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    In BtS, the instant resolution of the revolt has been removed.
     

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