Civ Split (long)

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by eric_, Sep 6, 2006.

  1. eric_

    eric_ Emperor

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    OK, unfortunately I don't have a save to post from here at work.

    But here's my situation:

    I'm Tokugawa (first time I've ever gotten him - I play random leader) and I started with Saladin to the east, Peter to the north, and Alex to the south. I'm playing continents and this is my first serious game on Prince. It's somewhere around 1150 AD.

    I made an early bid for Saladin's westernmost city (Damascus) as it was encroaching on my territory. I won it easily with a stack of Axemen and Swords, and then after wreaking havoc on his capital's tile improvements, I made peace. After a few turns I had an army sufficient for taking out the rest of his cities, moved them to the border, and declared war again. I took over the Christian Holy City (I founded the Confucian Holy City), and ended up keeping the other three simply because of their strategic locations (gives me full control of land from the west coast to the east) and surprisingly good placement.

    At this point Peter has mostly secured all the territory between the coasts to my north, and Alex to my south. The shape of my empire is something like an hour glass turned on its side, with my original cluster of cites on the west, Damascus at the heart of the narrow part, and Saladin's old cities in a cluster on the east. Further peaceful expansion is no longer possible.

    My problem is that both Peter and Alex HATE me, probably because they love each other and I keep them apart ;). Peter is significantly weaker than me, but Alex is slightly stronger, though not for long. I'm currently building a massive force of cats and elephants to supplement my axes and swords. I'm also only about 8 turns from Machinery, so Samurai will make the scene soon.

    Unfortunately Alex's starting location (on a 5-tile wide strip of land, so blocked by the fat cross) precluded any chance I had of meeting his southern neighbors. Of course, random sharp declines in his power graph indicate that he's fighting SOMEONE. That's good, if I'm right.

    So anyway, my first question is, how do I handle this "split" without getting crushed? I'm thinking I'll take my few chariots, stack each with an axe and an archer, and send them into one civ's land to pillage while I start wiping out the other one. The key would be to spread the pillagers out enough so the enemy's troops are occupied on all fronts and can't make a strong invasion from any one point without leaving its tile improvments vulnerable. I have like 4 archers per city (and crossbows coming with the Samurai), so that should be good to defend cities and even some improvements.

    The next question is, who do I attack first, and who do I pillage first? I'm thinking pillage Alex and let him waste some troops on me while I make hopefully quick work of Peter. Then regroup and attack Alex. If I'm right that Alex has an enemy to the south, that reinforces this decision, especially since I know Peter has nothing but tundra to the north of his civ.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. automator

    automator King

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    Tough bet.

    I'd go south. Generally, the only resources in the north are furs, whales, silver and (later) uranium. South has a bit of everything.

    If Peter is furious at you and you declare on Alex, you'd best be ready for an attack from Peter. Maybe you can buy off Peter?
     
  3. Phrederick

    Phrederick Warlord

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    When in doubt, attack the strongest enemy. That's usually my plan.

    Edit: Although, if you think Alex is in a war, you could attack Peter and damage him significantly without worrying excessively about Alex declaring war on you, since he's busy. If you do that, don't wait for elephants or more than four accuracy cats, since he's significantly weaker than you. Send one or two elephants after the invasion force, then stockpile the rest near Alex as a show of force and in case he does invade.
     
  4. eric_

    eric_ Emperor

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    I'm trying to, but they REALLY hate me. Everything is red. When I hover over a red option, it informs me that "We hate you too much to trade with you." Something like that. So my options for buying Peter off are limited, at best.

    Yeah, that's the idea behind declaring war on both at once and sending pillaging groups in to the civ I don't plan to wipe out yet.

    I kind of agree I should go for the stronger civ first, but then again, I'm pretty sure I could make quick work of Peter while weakening Alex with the pillaging raids. That could make him an easier target once Peter's gone, especially since I'll have an army of cats, elephants, and CR 2+3 samurais by then.

    Of course, I could also just build up my pillagers on the borders of the enemy I'm not wiping out, just hope they don't declare war, but ready to strike if they do. But like I said, they hate me so much because I have cut them off from one another, and they're great pals. Attacking one won't go over well with the other. So do I preempt, or wait for them to declare, and hope they don't?
     
  5. eric_

    eric_ Emperor

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    I like that. And I actually already have like 6 cats and 4 or 5 elephants. Maybe I'll just send those in with an axe and archer or two each, and then send the rest of my melee guys down south and spread them along the border (which is already well defended).
     
  6. JahtheIII

    JahtheIII Chieftain

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    I'd look at it this way, I'd rather be fighting 1 war at a time rather than 2.

    If you have a nice force built up and you think you could do some damage to Alex, I'd attack him, try to take some key cities and weaken him for the long term. If your far enough ahead strength-wise, Peter might not even join in and attack you, which would be the best case scenario, you can finish him off later, as he'll probably always be a generation behind you in military techs.

    At least this way, if you do get attacked by Peter you will be defending against the weaker side, it will be easier for you to keep him from doing much damage.

    If you were to attack Peter first, while your initial battles might be easy, you will be really pressed to keep Alex from hurting you if your forces are focused to the North.

    Weaken Alex, take some cities, make peace, destroy Peter, go back and finish off Alex would be my preferred strat.
     
  7. eric_

    eric_ Emperor

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    That also makes some sense.

    I might try both, and then some, even if the first one works. This seems like a great opportunity to hone my skills.
     
  8. Sisiutil

    Sisiutil All Leader Challenger

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    I'll just add/ask one thing: it's 1150 AD--are you anywhere near Optics?

    What I'm thinking of is Caravels to go and meet the neighbour(s) to the south of Alex and see what you can work out with them in terms of diplomacy. If nothing else, you'll have better intel from which you can make more informed decisions. But if Alex is at war with someone, you could really win some big points with them if you attack him too.
     
  9. voek

    voek Prince

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    Attack Alex with your main stack, while you keep a good defence force in your city's at the border with Peter. Mix the defenders, like 1 spear, 1 axe, 1 archers with CG, and prob a cat. Key border city's also get a elephant. Should be no problem holding a 'sudden' attack from Peter. With walls, 2 units in a city might also do the job. It might sound like a bad thing, a war on two fronts, but it isn't too bad, since Peter is weak. Take over the stronger Alex while Peter get's weaker when he throws his units at your city walls. When Alex is finished, guess who's next...
     
  10. eric_

    eric_ Emperor

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    So I played this out in two ways last night.

    First, I started massing my troops on the south border to attack Alex, and then two turns in Peter declares war and invades. I did damage control to the north while preparing to launch in the south. When I finally did launch, I managed to catch a couple of border cities, but the inability to send all reinforcements to the south meant I wasn't able to impress upon Alex that it was in his interest to talk to me and accept peace. It ultimately ended up in a protracted war on two fronts. I kept ahead of both armies, but I was set WAY back. It was clear it wasn't going anywhere, so I gave up.

    I reloaded so I could try the opposite tack. I did my best to ignore my foreknowledge of Peter's pending war declaration and held tight until I was ready on my own terms (rather than massing troops to the north to prepare for or prevent the war declaration). The war declaration came two turns later, as expected, but this time, because my intention was to invade Peter, I had all of my troops in my central and northern production cities, ready to move north. Peter's initial stacks were defeated easily, and then I moved north and made quick work of his two central cities. This effectively cut his empire in two. Soon thereafter I took his western-most city as well. By this time I needed to regroup, so I sued for peace and got Feudalism, Monotheism, Calendar, another tech or two, 30 gold (all he had left), and 3 gpt.

    I spent the next few years beefing up my production (I have like 4 major production centers. My empire is extremely hilly) with forges and the heroic epic. I acheived Machinery during this period and once I had the epic, I was churning out cats and samurais every turn in my main production center and every 2 or 3 turns in my other production cities. Now it was Alex's turn.

    I amassed three huge stacks to the south, consisting of samurai, cats, and a couple of spears and horses for protection from mounted units and to pillage. I took a city on the first turn (had land adjacent to one of his cities), another on the third turn, and a third on the fourth turn. Then Alex sent a stack to a well-defended but isolated city in the east of my empire. The stack was just large enough to take it, but not large enough to hold it. I had it back after two turns with minimal losses.

    At this point I wanted to let troops heal and build defensive units to consolidate my power in the newly captured cities, but Alex was being obstinate. I decided to pull my offensive stack from the campaign against Peter down south to let Alex know it could get worse. Because of this, Peter got cocky. On the next turn he demanded civil service. I declined it, but sent the stack back to keep him in check, which it did. Now, I don't know if mobilizing those troops is something that the AI is responsive to, but for whatever reason, now Alex was also extremely pliable. He offered me like 5 techs and 300 gold to back off. I accepted.

    Now Peter loves me ("pleased" with me--he even gifted me gunpowder) and Alex is running scared. I'm strategically and logistically positioned to overrun both civs in relatively short order...I'll get to that tonight.

    Thanks for all the tips! Turns out Peter's actions made the southern invasion an ineffective strategy.

    Oh, and there were no neighbors to Alex's south, so I don't know what the drops in power were. I'm a little bummed I picked continents and not Terra, which isn't what I meant to do. It means I'll end up losing as Victoria and Cyrus (who found me) are far more technologically advanced than me, and they're both an ocean away. It's possible that I'll be able to pull off a space race win once I have the continent to myself, but it's already 1750, so I doubt that'll happen. Domination or conquest aren't possible either as I have been mostly ignoring the seafaring techs because I initially thought I was on a terra map and was going for conquest. Hehehe...

    Even if it doesn't turn out as a win, I feel like I handled the "split" relatively well.
     
  11. cabert

    cabert Big mouth

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    how far from domination are you?
    i'm sure a push towards land in your continent would give you some 50% landmass.
    After that, you need gallions and cannons... doesn't seem impossible to me
     
  12. eric_

    eric_ Emperor

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    Well, it's 1750 and I only just got gunpowder. The problem is winning the rest of the continent, getting to galleons and cannons, building a large invading force, and landing on the other continent before the three civs over there (English, Persians, and Mongols) before they are significantly more militarily advanced than me.

    So I guess I'm kind of at another fork in the road. I'll try to win via domination and via space race.
     
  13. cabert

    cabert Big mouth

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    my question was how much %landmass you already have.
    Maybe you don't need a lot more...
    Maybe you could go to war vs the weakest opponent out there and get the few % you're missing?
     
  14. eric_

    eric_ Emperor

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    Oh, I still have a long way to go. I'll check the percentage tonight. I have probably 40% of my continent and non of the other continent. I'm in a good position to finish off Peter and Alex, but the process has hardly been started.
     
  15. cabert

    cabert Big mouth

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    Since you can't get conquest, think of domination = don't raze too much
     
  16. eric_

    eric_ Emperor

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    Word. Yeah, I've been keeping a lot of what I capture. I'm definitely flirting with economic collapse, though. It was brutal for awhile there when I was focusing heavily on production to stay competitive and ultimately gain the edge militarily.

    But once I got civil service and was able to spread farms around the cottages started going up like mad. They're starting to mature and I'm starting to be able to sustain 40% - 50% Science on a regular basis. Getting Currency helped a lot. At the end of my two city-grabbing campaigns I was down to 30% as the courthouses were going up. I ended up gifting one of Peter's worthless cities back to him as it kept revolting and was just dead weight.

    One thing I need to get the hand of is the specialist economy. That could've come in real handy this game as there are lots of food resources and hills, but very few grasslands and floodplains tiles.
     

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