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City Defense?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Toshiro126, Nov 15, 2005.

  1. Toshiro126

    Toshiro126 Warlord

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    Just wondering for those of you that have been succesful warmongers or even peaceful builders who have been able to stop themselves from being overrun during the game:

    what types and numbers of units do you keep in your cities to fend off attackers? ie how many ground units, how many bombardment units, etc. I am trying to find the balance between building enough defense but also being able to complete wonders and the buildings I need.

    I usually play on standard, Noble, 7 civs(?) (whatever the default is for standard)

    Thanks!
     
  2. Skutai

    Skutai Chieftain

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    One archer/longbowman and one spearman/pikeman. This is the minimum, even in remote cities due to the AI's tendency to make amphibious landings in your backfield. A mobile force of cavalry (horse archers/knights) is ready to react to invasions. The AI's best chance to take a city is in the first three turns of a war, so surviving that initial assault is key.

    The above works through the Rennaisance. After that, riflemen, grenadiers, and infantry change the dynamic considerably.
     
  3. Shillen

    Shillen Deity

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    Eh, I just put one unit in each city so they don't get mad at me. Hell half my games I still have my original exploring warrior in my capital city. I tend to not let the AI walk over my territory very much because getting pillaged can be devestating...so getting at my cities will be very difficult for them. Just keep some units along your borders to deal with any invaders.
     
  4. MrCynical

    MrCynical Deity

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    Generally archers/longbowmen and later grenadiers/riflemen. Basically whichever the best units with the city garrison promotion currently is. It is however possible to win as a peaceful builder with only one unit per city, as long as you're careful to keep the AI's near you friendly.
     
  5. Astax

    Astax Prince

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    I never had a problem with city defense. I dotn think AI ever took a city from me either. Location of the city helps, like build it on your side of the river or on a hill. But that's not necessary. City walls and lot of archers and a unit of Spearman/Pikeman. Once you go offenssive, AI wont be able to moutn any serious attack. But probably most important thing is to not be surropunded by jungle/forest. That's a very big no no. And dont ever have a forested hill next to your city, that's just dumb.

    If the AI isnt at war with you yet, it's easy to tell he is about to attack. I can usually predict any AI war cause he will build up his forces near the border city. If you had 4 city defenders in the AI city, then you see 8 units the next turn, you know its cooking. As far as AI landings, they are usually only a problem if the AI has very high technological advantage. Otherwise you can counter it easily. Have some ships in the harbor, you want to get his ships in transit to sink his units. It would save you must trouble.
     
  6. Toshiro126

    Toshiro126 Warlord

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    Yeah, that's generally where I am running into trouble. The change from bows and arrows to gunpowder. The thing I am getting beat on this game is by the AI's artillery. I was in for a shock the first time I played and the artillery fought back, unlike Civ III where you could capture them. The collateral damage is really screwing me up. (I learned the hard way last night not to stack too many units in one tile. :blush: )

    Part of it is trying to get used to the new fighting system and new units. :confused:
     
  7. WuphonsReach

    WuphonsReach Prince

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    Early-game: (1) archer with city defense. Or, if the city is built on a hill, I'll take hill defense promotion instead so the archer can do dual-duty elsewhere. A few turns later, I will add axemen to all of my cities to deal with enemy melee. Then I will add spearmen to defend against mounted units.

    In addition, I will station archer+axemen(+optional spearmen) on as many points as possible throughout my empire. Either on a forested hill, a hill with a fort, or just a patch of forest surrounded by clear land.

    Mid-game: Add mounted units to the mix. Generally not stationed in the city, but within striking range of any forces that would make a beeline towards my city.

    Seige-engines: At least one in each city, good for suicide smashing of enemy invasion stacks when the odds get grim.

    Late-game: At least one fighter and bomber in each city. For a high risk area, I'll try to get 2 of every unit type stationed in/near the city. Bombers are great for stack smashing and wearing the enemy down before he gets close to the city.

    Basically, I go for balanced forces. At least one of every type, especially if that type has a +100% against a particular unit that I expect the AI to attack with. But due to collateral damage from seige engines, you'll want to spread your units out a bit as well.
     
  8. JavalTigar

    JavalTigar Overlord of the West

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    I find keeping just one/maybe 2 of the best defender of the era per city, while having a large standing army of the best attackers/art (8/6) of the age somewhere in your border has kept the AI off my back as a builder civ.
     
  9. Toshiro126

    Toshiro126 Warlord

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    That is a good idea, WuphonsReach. I will try that next time. One question: as you get more advanced techs, do you bring those units back into the city to upgrade them, or build new ones to go out and replace them? :confused:

    Where do you keep the army normally, Javal? On the border or someone closer to the middle of your civ? :ar15:
     
  10. JavalTigar

    JavalTigar Overlord of the West

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    In the middle, I tend to have small empires around 10 cities so I keep it within easy moves to any front of my land. If it is more spread out due to geography or I have several aggressive neighbors I may make 2 standing armies
     
  11. Innawerkz

    Innawerkz I'm the other white meat.

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    Just adding something that I found a tremendous help - units only need be in your BORDERS to be upgraded!! I thought that was great. You could argue on either side as to the realism, but in the interest of less micromanagement of every little troop and reallocating them to their posts... CHEERS!
     
  12. Toshiro126

    Toshiro126 Warlord

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    Cool, Innawerkz. Thanks. This is the stuff I am still learning since I was actually too impatient to read the manual when I got the game. :lol:
     
  13. Finite Monkey

    Finite Monkey Warlord

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    Some useful information from the posters so far. I would like to add strategies I found valuable that others (in other posts) have commented on as well.

    If you have units with promotions available hold off at first. If Archers show up at your city upgrade to +25% to archers or city defense etc. melee, +25%to melee, if you find yourself under fire in the woods, out comes woodsman etc. You get the idea. The same can be said for attacking. It allows you to customize your army on the fly to some extent.

    Old units. If being invaded and things are going to be tight for a few turns I throw all my outdated/junk units out as fodder. I find upgrading to be too expensive to be worth it. This will usually buy me 1-2 turns to build new units and weaken the invaders to make my incoming troops more successful.

    Slavery- Crack them whips. When all else fails use those small fluff cities to convert population into instant defense, this has gotten me out of a jam where 1-2 modern units is just enough to intercept an invading force.
     
  14. WuphonsReach

    WuphonsReach Prince

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    Whether you upgrade old units with gp seems to depend on a few things according to what others have said around here:

    1) A unit with a few promotions already is generally worth upgrading. City Raider is a promotion that more modern units can't get, for instance. So old warriors with City Raider are worth keeping around as shock troops.

    2) A unit with no promotions is generally not worth upgrading. Especially if a brand new unit comes out of the gate with access to promotions due to barracks, civs, or wonders.

    3) An un-promoted unit that can be upgraded and available next turn is worth more in a pinch then that unit that will roll off the line 4 turns from now after the city has already fallen. For me, this mostly applies when I have an old axeman (str 5) in a city that is about to be taken and it would only cost me ~300gp to upgrade them to mobile infantry (str 32).

    Almost all of my units have 1 promotion out-of-the gate (via Barracks). Most of my new units get 2 promotions out-of-the-gate once I switch civs in mid-game (Feudalism?). So I tend to do a good bit of upgrading, especially when I'm on a war footing and generating 500-1000 extra gp/turn.

    As for assigning promotions... city defenders take their promotions early so they can dig-in and entrench themselves. Other units, I'll delay a bit on picking promotions.
     
  15. MosquitoE

    MosquitoE Chieftain

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    I dont think have this large of a standing army is the most efficient use of forces. :confused:
    Guarding your borders is very important, units guarding a hill 10 squares deep in your empire are wasted. Much more useful to put them in a border city, or better yet, attack. :)
     

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