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Cavalry?! What for?!

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Gooblah, Aug 17, 2007.

  1. Yeosol

    Yeosol monarch

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    With a well done Immortal or WC rush you can take out 1-2 civs right away. (before 500bc). Even if you intend on only keeping the capitals that leaves you with 4 citys (3 capitals + 1 built by you) and a massive area of land to be settled. Cyrus is great for this as Char. helps with the attack and Imp. helps with quickly filling in all that conquored land with citys. You should be able to create an empire 2-3 times as big as anyone else. From thier the game is pretty much won.

    As for horse archer UU's, they are a little more situational. Unless you can pop HBR from a hut thier more of a support unit. However they do make an axe/sword baced attack much easier. A HA UU should alow you an easy late classical conquest. Both of these types of units are great.

    standard chariots are good as well for barb control as they are fast and can beat archers + axemen. HA's are good for pillaging I guess. I usualy don't build them if no UU.
     
  2. Gwil

    Gwil Warlord

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    Using stables and opting for the Flanking 2 promotion (especially on UU horsies) means you have units almost certain to withdraw. Their XP builds up allowing for the 10-20 horses you have become specialised (eg sentry, combat)
     
  3. BARBEERIAN

    BARBEERIAN Prince

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    Horse Archers are extremely underrated by most people. With the BtS addition of flanking damage, and removing the -10% city attack penalty they're the most effective unit you can make in the classical age.

    They absolutely devastate enemy stacks. Suicide a few cats into the enemy to soften them up and then ram them with your HA's. Not only will most of the defensive troops be dead, but the flanking damage will obliterate the catapults they're escorting.
     
  4. Bureaucracy

    Bureaucracy Chieftain

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    Almost certain to withdraw seems to be too hard to believe.
     
  5. Diamondeye

    Diamondeye So Happy I Could Die

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    Haven't read all the replies, and haven't got Warlords or BtS, I think horse archers are pretty bad, but Immortals are lovely :) Their super escape rate when upgraded properly (the extra %escape from level 2 and 3, then the move speed at lvl 4 and sentry at lvl 5). Having a large army of these can be great due to this escapepercentage - use them as defensive strikeunits based in bordercities. Offensive, well, I like axe/swordrushes better.
     
  6. SickCycle

    SickCycle Prince

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    Immortals are overrated.

    :eek:
     
  7. Percy

    Percy Cow who laughs

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    Care to add some substance to this post?
     
  8. Harbourboy

    Harbourboy Deity

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    Get them early and pillage the enemy's metal. No more spearmen.

    You can take over the whole world with Immortals if you use them properly.
     
  9. Diamondeye

    Diamondeye So Happy I Could Die

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    That goes for most of the UUs - maybe except indians...
     
  10. Handel

    Handel Prince

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    Do the explorer remove the terrain penalties for the whole stack (Warlords)? And what is this "Woodsman III" promotion? My civpedia shows only 2 woodsman promotions?
     
  11. r_rolo1

    r_rolo1 King of myself

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    No, the scout doesn't remove the terrain penalties for other units. And about Woodsman III:

     
  12. Sisiutil

    Sisiutil All Leader Challenger

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    Have another look at the tech tree; once you have Cuirassers, you're still several techs away from Cavalry.

    Military Tradition and Gunpowder enable Cuirassers. You tech there from Philosophy and Civil Service through Nationalism, and Music is a pre-req. Rifling is on a very different branch of the tree, teching from Civil Service (or Theology) through Paper to Printing Press, Replaceable Parts, and then Rifling, with Banking thrown in as a pre-req along the way (for RP). I usually have Cuirassers many, many turns before Cavalry or Riflemen are available. I'm coming to really like the unit, especially as they don't really have an effective counter until Riflemen show up.

    I'm also finding not all of the BtS AIs are as in love with Rifling as their vanilla and Warlords predecessors. Willem, for example, seems to prioritize naval techs such as Astronomy and Chemistry over the Rifling path.
    As with many things in Civ, the big deal isn't getting there, it's getting there first. If you get to Cavalry first--or at least before whomsoever you wish to inflict them upon--you have a unit that at strength 15 is stronger than any other unit around, and it has 2 moves as well. It will stand up to counter attacks and absorb damage in a stack before other units that have other jobs to do (such as your precious city raiders); it will chase down and punish any would-be pillagers; and build enough of them and they are quite sufficient at taking cities--and holding on to them. No, they don't fortify or earn defensive bonuses, but it's often possible to both take a city with half a dozen to a dozen Cavalry and then move them in to defend the city on the same turn.

    Just because Riflemen show up it doesn't mean that the Cavalry's day is done. Have you ever attacked Cavalry in the open field with low-promotion Rifles? The odds aren't overwhelming--usually in the low 70% range. The AI is often reluctant to attack with those odds unless it has a large number of units to throw at you. And the AI doesn't upgrade many of its units, so there can still be other defenders against whom your Cavalry are still effective.

    Grendadiers used to be wonderful city-takers in vanilla and Warlords, since you could tech to them faster than you could to Rifles, and all your CR-promoted melee units can be upgraded to them. And with their bonus against Rifles, you could still field them against the AI's favoured defender of that era. Their only counter was--wait for it--Cavalry. In BtS, however, the availability of Grens has been pushed back in the interest of balance. I usually don't bother with them now, preferring to tech to Rifling before going after Military Science, since a very handy production tech (Replaceable Parts) is along the way and it now enables two top-grade units (Riflemen and Cavalry) rather than the 2 mid-grade ones enabled by MS (Grenadiers and Ships of the Line). And frankly, when I'm close to MS (after Chemistry is done), Steel is a much more tempting tech, for Cannons and the Ironworks.
    I'd have to agree. With Flanking II, my withdrawal odds are rarely above 50%, let alone getting near 100%.

    It's better to think of early mounted units with Flanking promotions as early Catapult substitutes. They don't do collateral damage, but they'll damage a defender and there's a slight chance that they might survive the attack to fight again.
     
  13. Askthepizzaguy

    Askthepizzaguy Know the Dark Side

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    I agree with Popejubal.

    You need to have at least one mounted unit with sentry. They are super scouting units. They are excellent pillagers. I make almost every single mounted unit a MEDIC!

    Medic is a trait a bunch of your army units should have, but you have to trade away combat strength for it. WASTED. Why not make your chariots and knights super medics? Stack them up and make them your mobile hospitals.

    They make excellent city defenders (active defenders). These are units you wouldn't be using to attack cities with anyway, right? You just need bodies in the city for defense and order. Use mounted police.

    They can retreat a lot easier, so yes, softening up, and fogbusting... just, wow. Everything Popejubal said.

    Sorry, I'm not trying to rip off his ideas, but man he does make a good case. I will be using more of them now. :lol:
     
  14. obsolete

    obsolete Deity

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    Cav used to be my specialty, this is no longer so :(
     
  15. Sjaramei

    Sjaramei Prince

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    Horse archers got some use early on for me. I don't use chariots in very huge numbers, they are for barb defense or an all out rush to get a resource early on. Later i prefer Axes with shock to counter the swords/axes they throw at me.

    The key is mobility.
    Use them to catch reinforcements before they get to the city, they are great to stop the harassment they inevitably will throw at you at vulnerable places. (Combat 1 + Shock rips Axes and Swords apart, and the siege counter is a good bonus)

    I don't make my stack of these and expect them to take cities, they are flankers and protectors, the main units is still swords/axes with city raider and siege. Don't underestimate the first strikes, very often you can take out units with close to no damage at all and they can be back in the safety of your stack right after.

    Knights are awesome, immune to first strikes makes you able to assault hill cities more easily, and protective civs aren't as powerful. As soon as i get guilds these are the backbone of my army, just beware of elephants. ;)

    Cuirassiers is essentially a buffed up knight and very good unit, and we all know what cavalry can do :p (you can get it reasonably early enough to make a huge impact still since the AI's tend to tech slower now)

    Try playing with aggressive AI on, I've found much more use for horses when fighting AI's who actually builds units to counter you instead of camping inside cities with longbows.
     
  16. Jorunkun

    Jorunkun Back with a vengeance

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    What I like best about mounted units is their speed and flexibility in combined arms assaults.

    If you are waging a major war over a distance, you want a maximum number of units to arrive at the battlefield at the same time, in one huge wave. Tiering your build cycle roughly in the order of bombarding stack - city raiders/heavy hitters - mounted units allows you to do that.

    The slow moving units march to the front while a wave of mounted units is being built. They arrive just as the city walls begin to crumble, mop up damaged units and can retire to guard duty behind the lines, allowing you to free up and bring in city defenders for the newly conquered cities.

    Combined arms assaults imho work better the further along you are in tech, but I will also build chariots to accompany an axeman rush if I can.
     
  17. axident

    axident Emperor

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    It's not a big deal unless cavs used to be a one-trick pony. ;) Sorry, I couldn't resist the pun!
     
  18. Sisiutil

    Sisiutil All Leader Challenger

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    This is serious stuff, guys--quit horsing around.
     
  19. LionQ

    LionQ Noble

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    Why not throw a hilariously cheap Scout or Explorer medic in a stack?
     
  20. Gwil

    Gwil Warlord

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    Ok perhaps almost certain to withdraw was an exaggeration of small proportions :)P) but I still see flanking as the most useful promotion for horsies...

    Also I don't if anyone completed "horse whispering" campaign but getting 7 HA's to restart a war which had stagnated against Brennus was extremely helpful!
     

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