I put this article together from some posts in another thread. While the War Academy has a couple of excellent articles on the use of Artillery, I haven't really seen an article or thread that specifically describes Combined Arms. This is offered to those who might need a little help working with the concept. (For those that care, I mostly play Regent and Monarch level vanilla CivIII) The term "Combined Arms" often comes up when discussing early to mid industrial era warfare. Let's say you're doing fairly well scientifically; just built "Theory of Evolution" to get Atomic Theory and Electronics; you're building Hoover Dam, researching Corporation. Even at max science, you're at least 24 turns from Tanks. You are militarily or par with or slightly superior to your closest rival, but blitzing with waves of cavalry is not feasible. This is a dangerous time for a war. I try to avoid wars in this period, but sometimes can't. I'm usually in Democracy, so war-weariness is a problem after just 10-15 turns of war. (Sistine Chapel/Bach's Cathedral and Sufferage can extend this, but not indefinitely.) The greatest risk is getting involved in a "war of attrition". (more on wars of attrition below) Keys to warfighting in this period: Technology favors defense; Infantry fortified with artillery in large cities are formidable defenders. Movement generally favors the defender early in the war if he has a rail network built up. Though Infantry and Cavalry are "equal" in the attack, the retreating ability of Cavalry makes them potentially useful. The problem with Cavalry is that they're lousy defenders; if this is the only unit used to attack you can expect heavy combat losses (read "war of attrition"). "Combined Arms" provides an effective set of tactics to solve these problems, and take the war to the enemy. I like to organize stacks of Infantry, Artillery, and Cavalry into "Combined Arms Task Forces", that will generally stick together as a group through the conflict. The tactics are simple: the "CATF" uses Artillery to soften up the target, to give an edge back to the attacking Cavalry. The infantry are used to defend the Artillery and Cav en route to the target, to secure a city once taken, and occasionally to finish off a last weakened defender that you'd rather use Cavalry to attack (but have attacked with all your Cav in that turn). A common complaint about artillery tactics is movement. While moving one square per turn in enemy territory is slow, you can offset the downside of sluggish advances. 1) Take the high road. If a path to the next enemy city keeps you in the mountains, TAKE IT! Your infantry will enjoy a defensive bonus, and your cavalry won't be tempted to outrun your infantry. Your Combined Arms Task Force will arrive at the city full strength, ready to do some serious damage. 2) Open a second offensive axis of advance on the same front. If you have the resources (units and movement ability) to assemble additional CATFs of Art/Inf/Cav, start a second or third axis of advance. If you have 3 CATFs operating in concert, one can be advancing on a city while a second is attacking a city, and a third is consolidating a city just taken. Just as the AI is ineffective at multi-front wars, he is usually ineffective when confronted with a multi-axis front. By maintaining the initiative, and giving the AI no rest, usually the war will reach a turning point that the enemy's army is sufficiently weakened that it makes more sense to send waves of cavalry into the remaining cities to finish the AI off in more of blitzing fashion. At this point the cavalry losses are of less consequence than ending the war - but the key is to END the war this way. (If you get to motorized transportation before war's end, dedicate your production to tanks...) On Wars of Attrition: Much is said about the need for short wars under Democracy; and these are certainly not blitz tactics. It is important here to distinguish between a long war and a protracted war. If you are shelling a city with artillery, attacking with infantry and taking 3-4 turns to take a single city, you run the risk of a protracted "war of attrition", especially if you are losing infantry in the process. If, OTOH, you are taking cities in 1-2 turns on each axis of advance, and keeping those cities after taking them, you will fight a much more decisive war, that should end sooner. Force preservation is the key to avoiding a war of attrition. Each unit that survives to the next turn equals one unit added to your total force next time one of your cities produces a unit. Each unit preserved on a foreign continent means precious transport space will be used to make your overseas expeditionary force stronger. Force preservation is the reason Cavalry are key to Combined Arms. Though reaching obsolescense, they attack as well as infantry and suffer lower combat losses because they can retreat. Some notes and finer points: My unit mix for a CATF: 2 or 3 parts cav to 1-1.5 parts Inf to 1-2 parts Arty. A transport load is the basic "part" for my recipie. If landing on another shore, I'll take more cav to secure that first coastal foothold. This is scaled up as needed. In the defense I will only use a couple of infantry, the rest are in cities. Some prefer to use larger (20-30) stacks of Artillery with just enough Infantry to protect the stack. A variation on the same theme, and just as valid a tactic for pummeling the enemy. There is no single "right" way to employ the Combined Arms concept. Here are some uses for the "additional" (NOT "extra") infantry that I include in my CATFs: 1) Some infantry must be left behind to defend captured cities. 2) Individual infantry can be used to form picket lines across railroads outside my new cultural borders, to keep the enemy from using these rails to hit me deep where my wounded units are resting. 3) A small stack of 2 or 3 infantry can be used to protect a stack of captured workers that are busy on infrastructure projects to help in the war effort. A complete rail line to the front conserves movement points... 4) If I have just taken a city deep in enemy territory (maybe next to the enemy capitol) I can use additional infantry to form a perimeter around the captured city. In the event of a culture flip I only lose the one unit IN the city, he cannot reinforce that city, and my first counterattack is already there. By war's end I usually have infantry scattered all over the place...but that's a nice problem to have, as the outlying cities that border my "next enemy" are easily reinforced. <g> I know some will say "I don't believe in Artillery and just like to attack with stacks of fast moving units", but I'd like to hear comments on this. I'd also like to read about alternative Combined Arms tactics, either different mixes and their uses, use of combined arms in other periods, etc.