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Build up of troops alerts AI?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by Warspite2, Feb 16, 2006.

  1. Warspite2

    Warspite2 Chieftain

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    I think I noticed this happen to me in CIV3 before, but this time while playing CIV4, it was almost too good. In my last game on noble level, Montezuma was my neighbor to the east. My relations with him were pretty bad most of the game. I finally had enough of him so I began stagging troops on my border in preparation to attack him. Closely looking at his military, I knew it was not going to be easy and I was a bit worried. So I wanted to do this the right way. Here I was, stagging my troops on the border, just after I had a threatening buildup, he declares war on me and attacks first. So he got the first punch in. He caught me on that road in the open just before I was to declare war, get to that hill and fortify my attack force adjacent to his city. I was not expecting him to do this and kind of had my guard down. It hurt as he stood toe to toe against my force that I thought was formitable, beating them back. I lost 80% of my main force and was in big trouble. For whatever reason, alot of my samuris were just not standing up against his horse archers, crossbowmen and elephants. He made his way to some of my weakly defended but important cities, took 2 and burned another down. He pushed further in, and within a few turns took my capital! Shortly after down goes another one of my cities. What a disaster!

    This was completely obvious that the AI noticed a buildup of troops near the border, got concerned and attacked me. By him attacking me first, it completely backfired on me. So is this something that does indeed happen? Building up troops near the border can cause a possible attack from the AI? If so, it is realistic. I think it maybe ok to position a couple of troops, but it could be when an attack force with 10 or more units are positioning on the border, its obvious that something is about to happen. Especially if your relations is bad with them. I have had the reverse happen to me, when the AI built up troops on my border and I attacked him before he could attack me.

    In the end, this war would have been totally different if I would have been able to attack him first like planned.
     
  2. Innocence

    Innocence Chieftain

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    Could be a coincidence, ie. maybe the AI had finished building all necessary buildings at the moment, meaning it started building up a huge amount of units.

    An AI which is significantly stronger than you (more units) seems to have a huge tendency to attack you, and the fact that it was able to smash your forces fairly easy seem to indicate it was indeed much stronger to begin with.
     
  3. HungryMouse

    HungryMouse Chieftain

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    I really don't think that the AI attacked you to prevent your assault. From what you wrote it seems obvious that he had not less troops than you and possibly even more if you got smashed so easily. And in order to have that many troops he had to start producing units probably at the same time as you did, unless you was building up you forces for a really long time, like assigning only 2 or 3 of your cities to military production. So in my guess AI would have attacked you in any case and it was preparing for this. I usually got attacked by the AI after he had no more room for expansion or if he wanted some resources that I got.

    What makes me surprised is tha fact that you obviously did not have enough military to be succesful in attacking the AI the next turn you were attacked by him, because otherwise you would not have that much trouble defending in your own territory. You should always keep in mind that the AI will almost always send all his available units except some defenders in the cities against your invasion force immediatley after you strike him, so you should not expect that defensive bonuses of hills and forests would compensate for the lack of troops.
     
  4. romelus

    romelus NUCULAR!

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    if you are unsure of the AI's real troop strength (power graph gives only a rough idea), declare war but hold your main force back. let the AI send in its stacks, and either let them perish against your city defenses, or pound them in the open with siege. if AI is stronger than expected, put your invasion force into cities to defend. if he is weaker than expected, mop up his stacks then roll into his territory

    as for your experience. i'd say it's coincidence. monty was gearing up to attack you anyway. AIs will always prepare for a number of turns before attacking you, his mind was already made up
     
  5. guyjr

    guyjr Chieftain

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    One thing that could have happened is that yes, the AI was preparing for a war, but the buildup somehow triggered the AI to go to war. How? Possibly the AI has enough intel on your cities (through spies or religious missionaries) to see that you're emptying some of them out. Lower defences left behind mean greater chance of success for AI, thus the call to war.

    I'm playing on Warlord right now, and one thing I've noticed the AI consistently do is only attack my stack when he has a reasonable shot at descimating what's there. I've got tanks and marines against his grenadiers and musketmen, but he'll still attack me with a HUGE number of them if my stack has only a handful of units in it. My bombers are plenty able to punish any units he manages to get near mine though, so his tactics so far aren't working.
     
  6. Eternalsteelfan

    Eternalsteelfan Chieftain

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    I think the AI reognizes large military build ups at their borders, I've personally seen instances where the AI launched preemptive strikes while my units were massing at borders.
     
  7. Selsaral

    Selsaral Chieftain

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    Similarly, the AI seems very sensitive to civics changes. Pretty much everytime I change to theocracy/nationalism to draft experienced troops, my belligerent neighbors immediately (next turn, everytime) cancel an open borders agreement or declare war on me, and mobilize themselves for war.

    Very stylish and 'intelligent' behavior by the AI.
     
  8. Older than Dirt

    Older than Dirt Chieftain

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    The AI does not need spies. It knows everything anid it knows it better than you do. It doesn't make mistakes calculating distances. It knows what it wants and when. It will upgrade immediately when it knows you are massing troops. (If you have a web cam, cut the wire because it can even see what snack you are eating.) The best tactic is to keep your units back a little from the border pretending to guard a mine or worker or settler like the AI does and not to stack many. Later in the game rails help a lot in this regard. Curiously, I find latter in the game that the best offense is to begin on defense and let the enemy come to try and take a city or attack a stack in the forest on a hill just inside their territory. Take a good mix of units and defend for a while, having some fresh replacements available to move in to the defensive square and move the wounded back to heal. If you have aircraft you will be able to weaken their units nicely. If you have gunships, cut their roads so they have to move adjacent to attack with artillery. After a couple of turns they will have sent their entire army to futile (hopefully) assaults and will not venture out of the cities any more. It is usually much easier to destroy the enemy in the open than a city. If you can get the AI to assault your city which is on a hill, you may feel virtual guilt for the slaughter which ensues, which will make the Charge of the Light Brigade casualties look light in comparison. It recommend saving and reloading so you can experiment with different tactics to see how the AI responds. It is an incredible sucker for workers and will put very valuable units out on a limb just to capture one (which you will get back in a few turns anyway).
     
  9. Warspite2

    Warspite2 Chieftain

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    It certainly could be a coincidence, but I really don't know. He probably was planning on attacking me, I just don't think he would have done it at that time. I don't always organize an attack force on the border like I did. The reason I did this is because I knew it would be a tough fight and it was a must for me to hit him immediately after the declaration. It all had to workout like I planned or I knew there would be problems.

    I certainly thought my Samuris would have done a better job, but then again, they were trained as city raiders. On the other hand, I think my force would have overcame his units if I could have got fortified on that hill as planned. Then my city attack bonuses would have over powered his defenders. In the open, I was history.

    I wonder if someone can say for sure if the AI does indeed recongize army buildup near borders? I would love to know. Maybe I will run into this more often. I do know that civic changes are definitely something that effects relationships which is why you can ask them to switch during a diplo talk.
     
  10. sligo

    sligo Chieftain

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    I've noticed the AI will hunt down your stray artillary units as well. Good way to set a trap is to stick a lone catapult out in the open with all your good units in nearby cities. Wait for the AI to jump on your cat, then you can take him. The nice thing about this, compared to workers, is the worker doesn't do damage.

    - Sligo
     
  11. JerichoHill

    JerichoHill Bedrock of Knowledge

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    There's your problem. You specialized them totally for city raiding, neglecting to upgrade some of your units to be anti-archer and anti-melee
     
  12. Canadian Bacon

    Canadian Bacon Chieftain

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    Remember, Samurais are anti-melee. Crossbowmen will destroy them, elephants are on even ground (althoug the Samurai do get those first strikes). However, you will need to mix your forces up. Bring pikemen and longbowmen along, give them combat and unit-specific promotions, and then the elephants and crossbowmen will be beaten.
     
  13. meatwad4289

    meatwad4289 Chieftain

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    Always keep Strong military. Keep 2 to 3 Units in Cities at all times. Line your Borders with Troops(I mean Cover that border!!! Water may be a little hard to cover, as ive seen its harder to blockade water than land, but.. I've done blockades that went from continent to continent. Keeps them from getting a foothold near me. Anyways. If you had the ability switch to police State. For the Game, I find it and Nationalism the best Civics. I mean who doesnt. Itsa game to conquere others am i right??? Those were made for it. Emancipations only useful because you dont want the penalities, as with Free Relgion. Universal Suffrage only is good for rushing production, I never use it, therefore all my crap gets built without spending a dime, saving me money.

    ANYWAYS. Always highly defend your territory. Send WAVES and WAVES of stacked troops. My Troop stacks are either made up of completely diffrent troops or all exactly the same. I send anything that can move fast like gunships or anything out to fight first, while my footunits are on their way. The first wave weakens them enough for the second wave. Also Artillary is great, I mean u hurt all their units at once or weaken their defences.
     
  14. duffy22

    duffy22 Chieftain

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    i just won an epic game, domination victory on noble & i killed 4/7 civs with victory coming with another civ reduced to just capital. During each of the conquests i built up troops on my border or a border with another friendly civ(when first attacking 2nd continent) & then killed the enemy off in 2-3 turns. the AI didnt do anything until i attacked, even tho it was obvious what i was doing. i'd say that at least on noble difficulty therefore AI ignores build up. maybe it notices it at higher difficulties
     
  15. Artanis

    Artanis Chieftain

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    I'd say Montezuma attacking probably had more to do with the fact that 1) his army was strong enough to take 3 cities plus the capital, and 2) he's Montezuma. Both of those generally lead to being invaded sooner or later ;)
     
  16. Helmling

    Helmling Philosopher King

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    Yeah, I don't think the AI responds to proximity. I built a stack and plopped it down right next to an enemy city--my culture was stronger so I had borders that allowed me to move my units within striking range of the city itself. Not only did the AI not declare war, but he/she/it never even really reenforced that city much...and I didn't take it because no matter how much I poked and prodded, I couldn't get him to start the war.

    Which leads me to believe that while proximity may not matter, the AI definately responds to your relative strength. I don't know if it can factor in the types of units you possess, but numbers are certainly part of its algorythm, much more so than previous Civs. In the past, idiot AI's could almost always be goaded into a one-sided fight or they failed to attack even when they had overwhelming numeric advantages.

    In Civ4, it's a whole other ball-game. If an AI asks for something and you don't give it to them, and they've got more troops then you can expect a visit in the near future.
     
  17. duffy22

    duffy22 Chieftain

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    "I think your head looks good on a pole!" :ar15:
     
  18. romelus

    romelus NUCULAR!

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    if you have a save game 1 or 2 turns before monty's attack, move your border stack back. i'm pretty sure you'll still get attacked.

    also did he change to / was he already in the war civics like theo and vas.
     
  19. PieceOfMind

    PieceOfMind Drill IV Defender Retired Moderator

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    Here's a tip.

    NEVER give your units the city raider promotion until the turn they attack a city. City raider promotions do absolutely no good out in the open so there is no point in doing it early. In fact, there're two strong reasons NOT to do it early.

    1. You can use promotions to heal 50% of a unit's remaining HP - the best way to heal when in enemy territory.
    2. You can give different promotions if you see that your stack is threatened by a strong approaching force. A force with shock and formation promotions is much better than a city raider force which is dead, even for city attacking!

    An example:
    If you had a 6/5 XP samurai with city raider I and II heading for a city, and it is attacked down to 20HP, it will be pretty useless once it reaches the city. If instead, you had a 6/2 unpromoted samurai heading for a city and it is attacked down to 20HP, you could give it 2 city raider promotions and then have 80HP and be ready to attack the city.

    EDIT fixed typo
     
  20. Mr. Civtastic

    Mr. Civtastic Chieftain

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    I noticed this in my last prince game. When I built a SoD near the border, he fortified his city and starting moving troops. When I reloaded way back and built my troops in the back of my civ where he couldnt see, his city wasnt as fortified.

    Of course this isnt conclusive, but I do think the AI reacts to a buildup right next to its borders/cities.
     

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