Catapult-driven wars: Best UU?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Iranon, Oct 14, 2009.

?

Which Unique Unit do you consider best at supporting a catapult-driven war?

  1. Quechua

    1 vote(s)
    0.8%
  2. Bowman

    6 vote(s)
    4.8%
  3. Skirmisher

    4 vote(s)
    3.2%
  4. Immortal

    1 vote(s)
    0.8%
  5. War Chariot

    2 vote(s)
    1.6%
  6. Dog Soldier

    2 vote(s)
    1.6%
  7. Vulture

    9 vote(s)
    7.2%
  8. Phalanx

    8 vote(s)
    6.4%
  9. Holkan

    2 vote(s)
    1.6%
  10. Impi

    1 vote(s)
    0.8%
  11. Jaguar Warrior

    3 vote(s)
    2.4%
  12. Gallic Warrior

    1 vote(s)
    0.8%
  13. Praetorian

    67 vote(s)
    53.6%
  14. Hwacha

    13 vote(s)
    10.4%
  15. Keshik

    1 vote(s)
    0.8%
  16. Numidian Cavalry

    4 vote(s)
    3.2%
  1. Iranon

    Iranon Deity Whipping Boy

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    I am curious on the opinion of other players on this. Assuming you are looking for war, and the AIs have dug in enough that bombardment and collateral damage are called for.


    *

    I'm only looking at this time frame. Potential gains from an earlier rush should not feature, but the ability to build your cleanup troop of choice in advance should. Units I found quite useful are:

    Quechua: Disposable units to weaken small numbers of healthy archers when catapults would be overkil before you send your real units in. You can keep building them while having access to both Axemen and Spearmen, then upgrade them with conquest cash as needed. Cheaper garrison troops in safe cities, better stack defenders if you are willing to pay for them since they retain the combat promotion when upgrading.

    Skirmisher: Cheap and efficient. Knights are the first regular unit to beat them hammer for hammer unlike, say, Muskets or War Elephants. Resourceless so they can be built anywhere. Strong defenders in cities and/or on hills.

    War Chariot: Strong general purpose unit on the offense (War Chariot vs. Spearmen isn't any worse than Swordsman vs. Axeman in most cases). Mobile enough to pillage or to get reinforcements to the frontline quickly. Particularly strong against Archers, often more so than Immortals.

    Dog Soldier: If our offense relies on catapults, we arguably need quality stack defenders more than we need quality cleanup units. Dog Soldiers provide just that, and we can build them in front cities not yet connected to our trade network.

    Vulture: Competent cleanup troops that do well against any defender - Vulture vs. Axeman is usually better for the attacker than Axemen vs. Archer or Swordman vs. Axeman.
    Out in the open with no bonuses to the defender, they lose against regular Axes though.

    Praetorian: Very strong individually. They can save a tidy amount of hammers that would otherwise be spent on suicide catapults since they can often take cities without much support. Stronger than spearmen against mounted units so Horse Archers flanking our catapults will be less of a problem. They lack a hard counter before Macemen - Axemen lose individually, Crossbowmen lose on a hammer-for-hammer basis.

    Hwacha: If we're waging a catapult-driven war, better catapults sound good. Not requiring much in the way of melee defence is especially good if we have access to War Elephants since either covers the other's weakness.



    These are the ones I found particularly strong in testing and actual gameplay. I found Horse Archer replacements not worth the wait (any benefit over War Chariots seemed minor considering the difference in hammer cost), and the Bowman, Phalanx, Impi, Holkan, Gallic Warrior and Jaguar Warrior appear underpowered in comparison.
     
  2. TheLazyHase

    TheLazyHase King

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    Where are Samurai and berserk ? Because of innate first strike, samurai tend to be the better cleaner after cats. Most of the units you give here tend to be somewhat outdated when catapults come around.
     
  3. troytheface

    troytheface Deity

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    the evidence is clear. bowmen by a landslide.
     
  4. Iranon

    Iranon Deity Whipping Boy

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    Samurai and Berserkers are beyond the time scale I had in mind for this.
    Cho-Ko-Nu are as well, unless we actually skip the Catapults which would make the original question rather meaningless.

    Catapults can still feature in Renaissance wars also involving Riflemen, but I didn't include Redcoats either.
     
  5. Silu

    Silu Deity

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    The main strength of Praets and Vultures lies in pre-siege warfare, Dogs, Skirms and Quechuas are more defensive/support units than needed, and 2move units are usually wasted with catas. I'll say Hwacha - while the AI doesn't build as many melee units as would be optimal, they still help out a ton and act as good anti-axe units even for city defense. Their leader isn't optimal for warfare at this era but it could be worse.

    Hwachas would be a contender for the top UUs if there was some synergy to be had along with it.
     
  6. Lansky

    Lansky King

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    Tough call, but went with Skirmishers. Praets are better of course, but with them I tend to go without siege at all. I've never tried Skirmishers and catapults before though so I'm just going with my gut.
     
  7. Windsor

    Windsor Flawless

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    I don't like to sacrifice too many catapults. They are quite expensive and many of the units you list simply ain't good enough vs spears and axes.

    In a catapult driven war you'll always have bronze working. You simply need the chopping power to get enough production, therefore axe-UUs are strong candidates. If you can skip IW you'll save a lot of beakers, still the praetorian is just mighty impressive. The war will start later both because you need to invest beakers and since both cats+praetorians are expensive. Still, once you start you will loose few units which is good long-term and you can continue until maces.

    After praetorians I'll probably choose vultures, there is enough defensive terrain so enemy axes don't totally wreck your stack and you don't need to waste beakers on unneccessary techs.

    Ballista Elephants are of course also very good together with cats. They require HBR, but it's often possible to trade HBR with math.
     
  8. dalamb

    dalamb Deity

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    I'm still learning, but... I thought cats+swords was a classic combination, so cats+praets seems best since praets are already so good on their own.
     
  9. Yamps

    Yamps Deity

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    Interesting poll...:cool: (for a change)

    I voted for Jags. Cheap, don't need copper or iron, cats make up for their weaker strength and woodsman promotion is always nice. It's also a sword so chariots aren't an issue.
     
  10. bestsss

    bestsss Emperor

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    Not in the poll: Ballista Jumbo or any other jumbo.
     
  11. Negator_UK

    Negator_UK King

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    The question seems strange (but clear) - why only ask about UU's ?

    Still, my votes was praets, but as Silu said, these are good without cat support and therefore need less when cats come along, and fit the profile of coming of age later than traditional early rush axes. However they aren't on the tech path to cats, so could theoretically be bypassed altogether to get to cats quicker.
     
  12. Shurdus

    Shurdus Am I Napoleon?

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    I voted Phalanx, but already I start to doubt my decision. :p

    What made me vote for them is that the have no counter in their own age. that is, their usual counter unit - chariots - do not counter a phalanx.This is obviously very useful for defending the stack. For actually taking cities with the stack I can see Preatorians being far more useful.
     
  13. Shafi

    Shafi King

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    i voted Preats ... cos i just love preats with or without cats .... :D
     
  14. JammerUno

    JammerUno King

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    I resent building cats when I have Preats available, You can build 10 preats for every 9 cats and you really won't need cats until LBs, and in that era I'd prefer samurai.

    Phalanxes are cheap, don't have a counter until xbows, and are great support for cats. Skirmishers are good, but will have a hard time defending your stack, and I actually think the catapults would be chosen as defenders when you're not parked on a hill. (although I could be wrong there)
     
  15. TheLazyHase

    TheLazyHase King

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    I don't get it. Medieval war are all about catapult, so why forget those time period ?

    In addition, UU with catapult are kind a waste before longbow. Classical unit are slaughtered by catapult because of their lack of strength, so you'd better look out for the next period.

    Praetorian are not specially good with cat. Regular swordman, and after them maceman, do the cleaning just as well. The only gain is a little defense before medieval unit (where stack defender can be easily just as strong as praetorian).

    But in fact, no classical UU is meant to go along with cat. Catapult are the high-end weapon in classical warfare, and should really be consider as an early medieval thingie, because longbow, crowwbos and maceman are not that far by the time you get cat'.
     
  16. Silu

    Silu Deity

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    No they're not. They're about Trebs and attacking and defending cities. Catas are pretty horrible against LBs and Xbows.


    You shouldn't be planning on cata warfare if you expect to face LBs... at least not without Jumbos. Exceptions happen, though...
     
  17. Silu

    Silu Deity

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    Hmm, what's so magical about the Phalanx? Chariots get crap odds against Catas anyway. Just a couple of HAs can stop Phalanx/Cata dead in their tracks, so you probably want Spears anyway, at which point you might as well have Axes instead of Phalanx.
     
  18. TheLazyHase

    TheLazyHase King

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    They are a lot better than trebuchet. Don't forget that they are WAY cheaper and does MORE collateral damage. Since survival rate will never be that good, cats are really superior. Trebuchet are really specialized units ; in most of the time they help because they tear down castle faster, but as attacking unit they are way too weak.
     
  19. Silu

    Silu Deity

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    ...What? Redlining a couple of LBs costs about 2 Trebs or 4-5 Cats. Not such a hard choice. Not to mention that redlining gives tons of exp for the surviving siege and better survival rate also results in more collateral damage. The faster bombard alone usually results in at least 1 less LB to fight.

    This all against cities of course, which is IMO 90+% of medieval fighting (because of Trebs).
     
  20. TheLazyHase

    TheLazyHase King

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    All of that is just plain wrong. A single trebuchet does less collateral damage than a single cat, because he's strength 4 and the +100% does not count for collateral damage (even in a city). Survival rate does not influence collateral damage at all, just damage on the main target

    So, the only real point where treb are superior is that they can survive more easily. Each make less damage than a catapult if they are enough defender to make collateral damage worth it. And if there is only 1 ou 2 defender, you'd better sacrificing maceman, they are cheaper and 8 strength, and can use city raider just as well.
     

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