[BTS] Deity Conquest Win at 20BC - The Power of the Marathon Whip!

Freaky

Chieftain
Joined
Feb 4, 2021
Messages
45
Location
Israel
tl;dr: Whipping Praetorians on Marathon is insanely devastating, even on Deity. 542,000 score.

I've been trying out all the early rushes I can find to see what seems to be most effective. I like to play Deity on Pangea, which means early wars for expansion, where the most fun UU's are.

Immortal
Strengths:
Chariot with +50% strength vs Archery units. Sucks against spearmen, but you can get 4 of them ridiculously early, cut off your opponent's metal, whip/chop a few more, and take out an enemy's archer-defended cities before 2000BC.
Weaknesses: You beat them so hard that it's usually too early to afford their ~5 cities' maintenance, and they don't even have Alphabet to beat any tech out of them. Their counter unit (Spearman) creams them at 8v4 strength, so choke that metal!

War Chariot
Strengths:
Chariot with 5 strength and immunity to first strikes (essentially bonus vs Archery), which makes them almost as good as Immortals against Archers, but they can still go 2:1 against spearmen when upgraded, so they last until Longbows. Perfect timing for beating tech out of your first opponent while researching Currency while you take out a 2nd and expand to a massive size to clinch the lead.
Weaknesses: They don't get a City Raider bonus, so they're kind of disposable, which means no super hero units, and you have so many rolling around that it strains your economy, so I find myself struggling in tech after my 2nd opponent dies, and have to take a long time to catch up. Their counter unit (Spearman) is rough, but doable at 8v5 strength as long as you have upgrade to Shock.

Praetorian
Strengths:
Swordsman with 8 strength but no inherant city attack bonus. The raw strength makes them great all around attackers/defenders. They actually get City Raider promotions, so while some get suicided against defenses, others can get 5 promotions, so you don't need to build as many of them, which helps your economy stay afloat. Also, you have time to research Pottery and make some cottages before you send out your massive stacks, and can build bigger stacks because you're cottaging as you build. Your first enemy should have Alphabet by the time you hold their last city ransom. Their contemporary counter (Axeman) doesn't even break even against them at 7.5v8. Their real counter (Maceman) doesn't come until you've already conquered most of the world. If you pair them with Catapults, you can continue 2-4 lost catapults per city until Knights start to ruin your day or Riflemen start defending.
Weaknesses: They're late, and they're slow. Late means you're going to face axemen for your first target, and likely longbows for your 2nd. On top if that, you're stuck with Axemen and maybe Archers to defend yourself with until Iron Working. Slow means that your enemy is able to build up some reinforcements before you get to each city.

I wanted to find a legit way to solve the Cons for one of these UU's since I love them so much! I don't have time for multiplayers, so just AI strategy for me. I decided to try Praets on Marathon. Here's why:

Marathon: Since each Normal turn gets 3 Marathon turns, unit move at effectively 3x the speed. This helps Praetoreans a bunch. Also, normal building costs are 3x, but units are only 2x! This is a warmonger's dream!
Marathon Whipping: Earlier is better. You spend fewer turns paying maintenance for troops sitting around waiting while their brethren get built. Also, your Stack(s) of Doom are ready a dozen or more turns earlier! Taking cities is more profitable: 6 population city = 5 more Praetoeans. You can whip more early cities (you are imperialistic after all) with less space needed since they will never get past 8 population, and you can share cottages. Why spend 30 turns building a Heroic Epic when you can just whip out 10 Praetorians instead?

Additional way to handle Praetorian's strengths/weaknesses:

Build two stacks once you can afford it: The 3-5 turns that it typically takes for your stack to take their city after you DoW means potentially 3-5 whipped reinforcements and whoever can travel their from their back row. A second stack means fewer "back row" cities that they're comfortable leaving unguarded, and no instead of having 1 city 5 turns later, you have 2 of them, and they're in a really bad position.

Leave conquered cities undefended: Consider your Stack of Doom attacking a city in 3 parts on the attack turn. Part A finishes bombarding/softening/dying/winning against the city's defenders. Part B is the sacrificial lamb who takes out the last defender. Part C has full movement and is standing on a road that is now neutral, so move them through the city on to the other side in enemy territory to threaten the next city (you might want to leave a couple from C to defend A if they're super injured) The enemy may move a troop/stack to retake the city, but who cares? Your half-health troops (A) are loaded with City Raider, and can likely still take out whoever is sitting back in their old city that has no cultural defense left and no fortified troops. If they need help, part of group C can do it and now you've used your CR bonus to utterly wreck their counterattack.

My playthrough:

I don't like Candyland. I hate dice rolls ruining my strategy, so I stick to the following rules:
Deity: everything else is too easy once you know the mechanics of the game.
No huts/events: Obvious... Plus the AI starts with loads of troops so they find 3x as many as you.
Pangea: Getting isolated or meeting Montezuma on another continent who you unknowingly traded with his worst enemy and are of a different religion so he can DoW you the next turn are not fun.
Balanced resources: Not fun to start with no strategic resources, or face roll an enemy who has no metal/horses
No junk starts: If I have no 5+ food resources in my starting area, or only Calendar resources, I redraw the map.
New seed on reload: I reload if I have a 75%+ chance and lose, or a 25%- chance and win. That keeps it at a predictable amount of suicide troops lost per city (usually 2-4). Also city revolts under 5%. I don't know the enemy's attack odds, so whatever happens on their turn happens. Unless it's barbs. Defending on hill+forest with woodsman or forest with woodsman II+ and losing, I reload.

· Start in a corner with 2 food resources next to Cyrus and Willem. Spy points on Willem - he'll make a good trading partner until he becomes my pin~ata. Pee my pants because Cyrus is going to try to pull my pants down before I can even get to BW like he always does.
· Yay, there's gold! Put a 2nd city there. City #3 can go toward Cyrus to share pigs with my capitol.
· Cyrus puts city #4 so close I see his border from my capitol... Poop my pants this time. Sorry City #3, you get to go by Willem, who will try to eat you with his creative culture creep.
· Ramasses is diagonal to me and builds every ancient wonder by Pyramids, and founds Islam. Willem founds Christianity. I know where this is going...
· Ramasses settles up against Cyrus, who has a big stack of Immortals and now has a target to use them on
· Cyrus declares war on Ramasses, but forgets that War Chariots are way better, and they're evenly matched while I get Iron Working and test out some Praets on the nearby Barb city
· I convert to Christianity, trade tech with Willem, build more Praets and Ramasses takes over Cyrus' city next to me. I guess I know who my first target is...
· I agree to Cyrus' request to DoW on Ramasses, and Cyrus takes his city back in a peace agreement, leaving me along in the war. Jerk...
· Praets get more practice against inferior War Chariots until I get him to make a cease fire. Ramasses hates me, but everyone hates Ramasses.
· I declare on the injured Cyrus with 13 Praets and take over all of his cities but 1 ice city in exchange for some tech and his conversion to Christianity. I give him a few resources and now we're buds again.
· I regrow my poor whipped cities for a few turns.
· Willem declares on Ramasses (who has 2 religious shrines now), but once again underestimates the power of the War Chariot, and gets locked in another stalemate.
· Gilgamesh (other side of Willem) adopts Christianity and now he, Willem, Cyrus and I are best buds. Hammurabi (other side of Egypt) already ate Bismarck, and nobody like him.
· I whip out some more Praets and instantly eat Egypt with 2 stacks while Willem is still fighting him.
· I build research and get currency before my massive 1000BC empire (~15 cities) goes broke. Then Code of Laws to whip some Organized courthouses, and start on Construction.
· I trade more tech with my friend Willem, then eat all of his cities but one and beat Aesthetics out of him (only 1 tech for your life? Cheapskate...). I give him some of his supplies back and we're Friends again.
· Gilgamesh didn't like that I ate our mutual friend, but he's still Friendly also, and adopts Cyrus (who as now grown to 3 ice cities), and they both declare war against Hammurabi
· Hammurabi is winning so hard that he declares on ME in the middle of his war! No red fist warning for me. 2 turns later, while his main stack is about to wreck into Gilgamesh, they make peace, and he turns his stack on me. I have a few catapults out, so I wreck his main stack, take over half his cities, vassal him, and return his border cities so Gilgamesh doesn't eat them.
· I gather about 20 Praets, 20 catapults, split them into 3 groups, and declare war on my best friend Gilgamesh, who has Engineering now...
· I stream in fresh Horse Archers and catapults, and he folds in 6 turns with 4 cities down and a big stack outside his capitol. 2 civs dead, and I have the other 4 as vassals in the year 30 BC, and win on 20 BC.
· GG. 500,000+ score
 

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Infantry#14

Emperor
Joined
Dec 26, 2006
Messages
1,600
Quecha rush is possibly the easiest rush on deity. You may need luck to get to the last AI before they hook up their metals/horses.
 

Freaky

Chieftain
Joined
Feb 4, 2021
Messages
45
Location
Israel
Quecha rush is possibly the easiest rush on deity. You may need luck to get to the last AI before they hook up their metals/horses.
I agree that Quechua rushes are consistently good and easy, and give you a nice 2nd/3rd city super early, setting you up for success. Huayna Capac and Terraces are also insane and will take you the rest of the way to the finish line. But domination in the BC's is something you can't do with just Quechuas. I tried the Praetorian thing 3 more times and wiped the map with Praets and eventually Praets+catapults. Getting to the AI before they have metal, or choking them out of it is almost necessary for your first opponent when your guys are lvl 2-3 because of Axemen, but once you have a dozen CR3 Praets, you can afford to lose 1 Praet per axe, and by your 4th target, you should have a few lvl 7+ Great General city raiders and nothing can stop you.
 
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