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Combat promotion line rocks!

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Grey Fox, Aug 28, 2009.

  1. Beamup

    Beamup Higgs boson

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    When the point is that it looks like they give the same benefit, but they don't, comparing C2 to CR2 would be completely useless, since those DON'T look like they give the same benefit.
     
  2. Grey Fox

    Grey Fox Master of Points

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    I used to use City Raider a lot, but last couple of months I've been going away from it more and more cause I don't need it and there are more situations where I've wished this unit had Combat promotions.

    I'm also feeling like this with City Defense. Often when it comes to the Riflemen or Infantry wars I've been looking at my stacks seeing an awful lot of City Defense units which I now wish was combat I.

    Early on I use City Raider, but mostly on units that will die anyways or before siege to take a barbarian city or an axe rush or something.

    How often doesn't your units have 95%+ in attack odds vs cities anyways? If so I'd rather have a unit that can properly defend itself after taking the city.
    And even if the odds is 75% instead, winning that battle will yield more experience.

    I'm not saying it's useless, far from it. It's one of the best promotions. But for the long haul games, going for domination or conquest, I'd rather have an army of Combat 4, 5 units than City Raider units. Combat units tend to survive longer in my experience too.

    And when it comes to Blitz and Commando.
    They are great on Helicopters. I'd rather have Blitz on them than Flanking II.
    And Commando is hard to get, but if you are Boudica and have a city that can produce lvl 5 units ("only" 13xp) you can make them from build. 20xp for other Charismatic.

    In my last game with Cyrus I had 4 cities that could produce lvl 5 units. It was awesome. (Thanks AI for settling your generals :D)
     
  3. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    I generally like combat, because of how the game picks stack defenders. Usually my CR troops are siege, so the only time I use CR on non-siege is before cats. However, I frequently choose to fight with mounted then (if available and I don't have a good melee UU), and those can't take CR, so they get a combo of flanking II and combat.
     
  4. Grey Fox

    Grey Fox Master of Points

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    Yeah, I know my first post was a bit fussy, but I mentioned this and it's probably the biggest reason why I prefer Combat.
     
  5. VoiceOfUnreason

    VoiceOfUnreason Deity

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    From time to time I hope to demonstrate that Combat -> Medic -> March is a useful line for fast conquest, only to (re)discover that the siege needs to take breaks anyway.
     
  6. ShannonCT

    ShannonCT Deity

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    Knock down the culture defenses with cats and the odds swing towards CR1. But your point is true that CR and other specialty promotions get weaker (while attacking) the more defensive bonuses the defender has. If a defender is getting 100% defensive bonus, CR1 only weakens the defender by 10%.

    On the flip side, the Combat line gets weaker when the unit has some natural bonuses against another unit. For instance, a quecha gets 100% bonus versus archers, plus Combat1 for free. Giving a quecha Combat2 as its first promo only makes it 4.76% stronger versus archers (4.2 -> 4.4). Giving it CR1 or Cover will certainly make the archer more than 4.76% weaker (typically 7-12% weaker).

    If you're trying to decide how to promote a stack defender like a spear, pike, or Xbow, you definitely want to chose the specialty promotions as soon as they're available. That is, choose Formation for the spear/pike before C3 because C3 only makes the spear/pike 4.55% stronger defending against mounted units. Choose Shock for Xbows. Same principle applies for spears/pikes/Xbows attacking the unit they counter.
     
  7. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    If you have a tech lead, it's not nearly as bad. Say you have infantry and the opponent has yet to field machine guns or its own infantry. With some cannons to bombard (and maybe ONE collateral hit or something), your infantry will generally have good odds and can just keep going.

    Although the usefulness of this against just waiting to promote, then insta-healing with promotions is debatable. Medics range from very useful to completely useless depending on how quickly you can end the war (if your units never stop and you're going to cap them in 5-8 turns, medics don't do a whole lot).
     
  8. Elkad

    Elkad Emperor

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    Multiplayer really brings out the power of Combat. You can't bet on facing all longbows, catching the majority of units in cities, etc.

    Combat is slightly worse than the "appropriate promotion" for just about any situation, but its far better than having the wrong promotion for the job.
     
  9. civvver

    civvver Deity

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    I never promote specialized anyway, except for stack defense: one mace/axe with combat shock, one spear/pike with formation if possible to get that many promos, sometimes a longbow with guerrilla.
     
  10. Polobo

    Polobo Emperor

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    The health benefits of the higher combat levels seems to be marginal if it doesn't stack (and even if it does) with any benefits provided by medics that should be in ANY stack that has combat 4/5 units.

    If I am going to be attacking with a unit it generally get combat or CR (heavily dependent on how much/kinds siege I can muster at the time - which basically means CR early but once I have trebs my melee units will start getting combat.

    Defenders get which ever promotion lines will maximize their traditional role (c1,2+formation for spears; CG for archery; and some guerilla/woodsman for stack defense as needed)

    except for CG promoted which I try get start at 5XP; I rarely try and get XP; but for everyone else they can assist in mop-up duty and get to level 4 over time (stack defenders rarely get level 5) and then start getting another stack defender promoted up the chain.
     
  11. Monsterzuma

    Monsterzuma the sly one

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    Yes, this seems to be the case with the defending longbowmen, but not with the archers. I mistakenly believed longbowmen get 50% city defense like Archers do.

    Close. 120% is the turning point. The leftover percentage after the reduction needs to be 100%. In other words to get the actual ratio change caused by the promotion, add 100% to the leftover percentage, divide 1 by it, and multiply the nominal percentage by it. In this case ( 1/(100% + 100%) ) * 20% = 10%.

    I tested this and got a result that refutes your claim; see the attached save. The spearman has 4 base strength with 2 combat promotions. The Quecha has 2 base strength, +100% situational strength and 2 combat promotions. They get the same combat odds against an unpromoted archer on flatland. Combat promotions work independent of situational bonusses.
     

    Attached Files:

  12. JammerUno

    JammerUno King

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    Good point. I dislike CR for this very reason. The only time it's a decent promo is when you're either desperate, or have a techlead which lets you attack cities with 120% defence bonusses succesfully. Regular combat will usually be just as effective against garrisons, while also being stonger on the field and on defence.
     
  13. Monsterzuma

    Monsterzuma the sly one

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    You're not interpreting the data correctly. Above 120% defensive bonus CR1 is completely useless because it gives the same bonus as Combat 1 in fewer situations. So in such cases it is in fact not a decent promotion at all. You'll want to use CR1 in battles with lower defensive percentages than that.

    The argument that I like to use against CR is that in the battles that are most likely to give you trouble (archers in cities on hills), CR is at it's weakest. Combat is also just more reliable and versatile than any other promotion. It doesn't limit your options or irrevocably lock down the function of things.
     
  14. JammerUno

    JammerUno King

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    I did have it backward there for a bit.

    But this also means CR and siege have great synergy.
     
  15. TheWilltoAct

    TheWilltoAct I am observe

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    I hadn't heard this said before, so could someone please help me with the math?
    Specifically Monsterzuma's claim that CR isn't as good vs an archer on a hill.
     
  16. VoiceOfUnreason

    VoiceOfUnreason Deity

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    Basic idea: what we compare is the ratio of attacker's strength and defender's strength. In each case, strength is some base strength with a multiplier. So we can write that

    R
    = ( A-strength * A-multiplier ) / ( B-strength) * (B-multiplier)
    = ( A-strength / B-strength ) * ( A-multiplier / B-multiplier )

    A-strength/B-strength is inherent to the units we are comparing - promotions have no effect here. So if we want to compare to promotions, we need only consider the effect that they have on the multipliers. Now the formulas here aren't quite what you would expect, because combat is treated differently than the attach multipliers. Roughly, we have:

    A-multiplier = 1 + A-combat-bonus
    B-multiplier = 1 + B-combat-bonus + B-defensive-multiplier - A-attack-multiplier.

    Since the defenders combat bonus and defensive multiplier are used in precisely the same way, we can combine the two to simplify the expression. For an attacker with a single promotion available, we have a choice between a 10% combat bonus or a 20% city raider bonus. To determine the break even point, we set the two different expressions equal, and try to figure out what value of B makes that so.

    (1 + 10%) / ( 1 + B ) = 1 / ( 1 + B - 20% )
    1.1 / (1+B) = 1 / ( .8 + B )
    1.1 ( .8 + B ) = 1 * (1+B)
    .88 + 1.1B = 1 + B
    .1B = .12
    B = 1.2 = 120%

    In other words, when the city-defender's bonuses are exactly 120%, combat and city raider are exactly equivalent for the attacker ( 110%/220% == 100%/200% ).

    Since that's the only value for B where the ratios are the same, you only need to find one representative value on each side to know what's better. CR is the superior when B = 0 (110%/100% < 125%/100% == 100%/80%), and Combat is the superior when B = 230% (110%/330% == 100%/300% > 100%/310%) and therefore that answers the question for all of the other values.
     
  17. Carboniferous

    Carboniferous Warlord

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    One area where combat promotions appear superior is for air units - particularly fighters. It may be down to the way air combat works, but I often get air units with enough experience points to get them to level 6; as long as I give them combat one and two (and three, if possible) to start out and then park them on intercept near an enemy who also has fighters/bombers. In fact I will always try to build my airforce in cities with settled great generals and/or West Point to max their initial promotions.
     
  18. madscientist

    madscientist RPC Supergenius

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    An interesting example on a current game, earth map as Tokugawa.

    Attacking a Barb city with an unpromoted archer, not border pops. I have 2 axes, one combat III (from previous battles) and another combat/CR I fresh from the barracks. When I hover the unit over the defender the Combat III axe has 69% (6.5 vs 5.25) chance of success, and the Combat I CR I axe is onlt 66% (5.5 vs 4.65). Considering both should have apparent +20% extra aganist the defender, I gotta rethink the combat promotion a bit. In all the above conversation I got the impression the combat line did better when the defender get's more bonus, but here it's as bare as you can get.

    And I am aware that my Combat III axe has 2 promotions compared to the CR I axe. My point is the combat odds are slighty different than they appear at first.
     
  19. mi6agent

    mi6agent Warlord

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    Just test : CR III Rifle have slightly more chance than Combat III Rifle against a CD III long bow in a hill city with 60% culture defense
     
  20. ppciv4

    ppciv4 Warlord

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    Errr... Trebuchet, YOU first!!
     

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