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Catapult rushes

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by vicawoo, Oct 20, 2010.

  1. vicawoo

    vicawoo Chieftain

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    There are a couple of strong pre-gunpowder plays: axe/chariot rush, horse archer rush, rapid expansion, and catapult rushes. Catapult rushes have somewhat gone out of style since warlords, but catapult/elephants are still a reliable way to win the continent.

    So let's talk about catapult rushes. Usually I just REX then transition into construction, but we can probably come up with something quicker and more powerful.

    For now I'll start with some main details

    # of cities. More cities = more production, but lower research rate.
    Build order: when horse archer rushing, it is often advantageous to get gold/cottages up earlier even if you delay your first settler. But you need more production when catapult rushing, since you're hitting later, and have to take on more units.
    GP/wonders: my last test I settled on marble and oracled construction, although this probably isn't reliable at higher levels (lower levels, you can dump beakers into monarchy while you tech. The other issue, you can either bulb mathematics (not bad) while setting research to 0 while teching masonry, then go 100% to construction. Or you could make an academy. Or you could settle it.

    Other Techs: monarchy is a big one. Once you hit construction, you can 2 pop whip catapults, overflow to sword/axe, repeat. You can build up population earlier, even into unhappiness, for quicker production.
    You want to trade for monarchy and possibly HBR. You could possibly skip bronze working for faster teching, but it could backfire, and building up axemen/swords while waiting for construction is good. If you get construction too soon (as in my oracle attempt), you may -not be able to trade for anything.

    Building up axemen/swords while teching to construction, so you can focus mainly on catapults.

    And of course, stack of doom tactics/composition.
     
  2. DaveMcW

    DaveMcW Deity

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    I prefer to skip monarchy/horseback riding, and just do a catapult-assisted sword rush. This minimizes the chance you run into longbows.
     
  3. mariogreymist

    mariogreymist Deity

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    I agree with Dave on this one, though I usually favor axes over swords, as usually the defending civ will have metals with which to defend themselves. I like to bring a few swords as ice breakers, but go generally axe heavy. Axes/swords/cats vs Archers/Axes/Spears is not a war...it is a slaughter. That changes once the enemy has longbows, so I like to finish them off before they do. That means I prioritize construction above all else (aside from worker techs) and generally start my invasion about the time I am researching (or close to finishing) currency.

    Currency and construction are great trade bait, and the post war world is one of tech brokering and bribery to maintain good diplomatic relations. I do that as I build :gold: in many cities, allowing the newly captured ones to regain the necessary infrastructure to be of full benefit.

    In the end, land = power (power being economic, military, whatever) and a catapult vs pre-construction rampage can be the difference between fighting to survive in the industrial period; or, finishing a cannon war for a domination win in 1500.

    Edit: if your enemy has horseback riding, don't forget to bring a contingent of spears to protect your stack from flanking horse archers.
     
  4. NihilZero

    NihilZero WHEOOHRNY

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    Catapults are a lot different from Axe/Chariot or Horse Archer, in that you have a much bigger window and a lot more flexibility in how you go about it. For example, if you have elephants and solid production (you don't even need the HE) then it doesn't really matter if Longbows show up. There is a very definite technique to an early rush, but once you have siege the timing becomes much less critical and it's all about production.

    In the case of elepult wars, you'll be getting HBR so I sometimes bring some Horse Archers in the stack too. If you FII promote them they have much better survival odds than catapults when softening the top defender, plus the versatility of some two-move units in the stack gives you some extra options.
     
  5. vicawoo

    vicawoo Chieftain

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    I meant trading for monarchy, although elephant enthusiasts may tech horseback riding if it is not tradeable.

    If you guys are going sword/catapults, I'm assuming you traded for iron working.

    If you don't get monarchy, do you bother with granaries?
     
  6. mariogreymist

    mariogreymist Deity

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    I've actually gone with a straight copper/catapult war too. If you get a couple of high :commerce: tiles working (say a cluster of gold, silver or fur...gems are usually under jungle on most maps) you can pretty much beeline for construction right out of the basic worker techs. Haven't pulled this off at immortal yet, but also haven't seen a start which lent itself to trying.

    And, yes...I bother with granaries, because I use slavery. Moreover, when I do this, I possess happiness resources which mean that I'll be whipping from a maximum happy cap of at least 6-8, and considerably better if I have a UB that provides extra happiness along the tech path for catapults. (Ottomans and Maya come to mind) Granaries make slavery much more effective.

    Edit: I was playing a game just now, and it is quite possible to pull this stuff off at immortal. (with particular sorts of starts)
    Spoiler :
    Yes....that's a lot of protective archers. I still haven't researched Mysticism here, much less Monarchy.




    Of course, the starting location that led to that little gem was a doozy:
    Spoiler :

     
  7. sherbz

    sherbz Emperor

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    It doesnt really matter whether you use swords or axes. A combination is usually what you are after. HBR should be teched after construction, unless you do not have iron or bronze, then its what you should go for after writing. Cats make city defenders a lot weaker because of bombardment, so swords or axes get the job done (you can even use archers if your really stuck). I usually try to get 4 cities, build the usual granary, monument (if not creative), library and barracks, then spam whatever i have access to. As soon as cats come in, il switch to cats in all cities, then whip at least one, possible 2 in most if not all cities, then war straight away. In the mean time id see if i can HR ASAP. 8 cats with support should conquer you at least 3 cities, possibly more if they're not situated on a hill.
     
  8. (Pro)Peanut_P

    (Pro)Peanut_P Random Hero

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    You build graneries and libraries in every city?
     
  9. Abegweit

    Abegweit Anarchist trader

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    Granaries? For sure. Double growth is essential. Libraries certainly don't go everywhere but I would say that more than half of my cities get them.
     
  10. (Pro)Peanut_P

    (Pro)Peanut_P Random Hero

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    Building graneries in every city early game is certainly not essential. It is a waste of hammers if that city has plenty food/won't be slaving/or are not an EXP leader. And btw i was just asking sherbz, based on his post, It sounds like he builds Graneries and libraries in every city and then uses every city to produce units.
     
  11. Ataxerxes

    Ataxerxes Deity

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    I put a granary in just about every city. I slave for about half the game and if the game has plenty of food, the granary is often the easiest way to get more health to continue growth.

    Libraries are a different matter. They're usually good, but you're right, putting one in a production city that makes units isn't a great idea.
     
  12. (Pro)Peanut_P

    (Pro)Peanut_P Random Hero

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    I have graneries in all my cities by late game yes, but early game when happiness cap is low i tend not to bother building graneries(Unless the city has low food in BFC), it just seems a waste of hammers.
     
  13. Abegweit

    Abegweit Anarchist trader

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    Well, it's not. There is nothing more important than food except, in some cases, culture.
     
  14. NihilZero

    NihilZero WHEOOHRNY

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    Granaries are pretty darned essential if you are systematically whipping. Otherwise they can be delayed if you have good food and low happy cap.
     
  15. (Pro)Peanut_P

    (Pro)Peanut_P Random Hero

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    your right there is nothing more important thn food, but when yo uhave a ahappiness cap of 4 and 2 food specials in bfc, what is the point of granery in that city? Unless using slavery
     
  16. Abegweit

    Abegweit Anarchist trader

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    Did I hear you say "unless"? ;)
     
  17. (Pro)Peanut_P

    (Pro)Peanut_P Random Hero

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    Hehe yep i said it :). I will often grow a city to happy cap and just work cottages, therefore not slaving in that city and no need for granery. But i am ofcourse whipping those "Lazy workers" in my other cities ;)
     
  18. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    There are only a few things that can possibly beat a granary in a civ IV city:

    1. Workers, settlers, and units to explore earlygame
    2. Monument if city placement dictates needing a border pop and you have no other source of culture.
    3. Military units if you want them ASAP in a city that is hammer heavy, food-poor.
    4. Key early-game wonders
    5. Very early library in some cases.

    If you're not doing those things, you should probably be in slavery, pushing for a cap booster, or heading for caste system...
     
  19. ParadigmShifter

    ParadigmShifter Random Nonsense Generator

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    I build granaries late if:

    Capital has a ton of food and you can't whip fast enough (low happy cap)
    TMIT's citerion #3
     
  20. FlyingSwan

    FlyingSwan King

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    Id agree usally,but in the context of Vicawoos OP it makes sense to build a library 1st in your second city(ideally a production city with bronze or horses)to get you to construction quicker-and for border pop if your not creative.

    Playing on emp/norm-I found building more than 2 citys before you get construction made it too late for a Cat rush as maintainance costs dropped the slider too early.I reckon AH/writ/BW/Math/Mas/Construction the best path-start building Cats around turn 75/80.Then settle a 3rd city.

    It doesnt make sence to build the oracle as those hammers are better used for 5 axemen or chariots.Bulbing mathmatics is a good play if your PHI,but if not then it seemed quicker to manually research math.

    Its nice getting a Cat rush going with Wang Kon for the Hwachas.Alexanders good too(apart from starting techs can make him slower if you dont have fish/deer in BFC)with his AGG/PHI and UU/UB.
     

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