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Do Panzers make artillery useless?


Apr 20, 2001
Now admittedly I am playing at a lowish level and thus have the scientific jump on the other Civs, but I have found after the first few turns of a big war as the Germans (obvious really) that my artillery are totally useless.

The Panzers are rushing ahead and the artillery just cannot keep up, by the time they reach a city that I had planned for them to soften up the Panzers had been, conquered and were already a city or two further into the enemy's heartland.

I have now just used the artillery to disband and grab the shields towards infrastructure in new captured cities because they just cannot under any circumstances keep up with the front line.

I imagine if the other civs were at the same technological level I might find that I actually need them, i.e. if another civ could actually mount a meaningful counter-attack :)
I found them pretty well useless except for defence. They are great for pounding the crap out of anyone silly enough to land on your shores. You just use the railroads to get them there and the shell the crap outta them.
Until I got into the editor and gave them one more movement point. Now at least they can keep up with the Mech Inf.
Well, artillery is great when you are about the same technological level as the AI (or slightly ahead).
One movement point is enough, since I usually protect them with infantry or riflement who only have one movement point as well. (now, if we had stacked movement, that would be helpful...).
What I do is take all the big cities near the one you want (capitol for instance) and raze them. Now you have had the time to bring the artillery near the capitol while your tanks were busy around. Then, you can pound the capitol, and take it. The chances for it to revert back are not that high since you removed all the ancient towns in the immediate vicinity, and since you pounded it to ashes, it's likely size 3 or 4 now...

I agree though, radar artillery should have 2 mvt points to keep with the mech inf.

Artillery is the one unit I wished I could stack, but now I build less of it, for exactly the reason Karlsen gave: once I get tanks, artillery's obsolete. I use bombers instead.
I seem to end up fighting most of my wars in the early industrial age. Since the highest attack value at the time is 6 and infantry have a defense of 10, artillery is almost necessary to accomplish any military goals. I just have a stack of 10+ artillery protected by an army of infantry. Also, included in the invasion force are 10+ cavalry that stay with the rest until the artillery gets close enough to bombard. After the onset of tanks, I use artillery to weaken the enemies border cities for the initial assault and then they simply help the infantry defend territory as I take it.
I'm a great believer in combined arms, and that doesn't end with Motorized Transportation. I will rarely attack a city with tanks alone. I find the losses to be unacceptable. Although it delays my conquest somewhat, I like to create an assault force of:

1 Army of Infantry or Mech. Inf. (for defense)
2-3 individual Infantry/Mech. Inf. (to garrison the captured city)
4-8 Artillery (to batter down the defenses)
4-5 Tanks (the heavy hitters to kill the city's defenders)

By subjecting the target city to a good artillery barrage, I can reduce any defenders to one or two hit points. This makes it much more likely that my tanks will live to fight another day. The speed of my advance may be slower, but I don't have to wait for replacement tanks to come up from the factories.

This is just me. I can see where some people would prefer the "armored blitzkrieg". And I really have to pay more attention to air power. This has been a weak point in my style of play ever since Civ1. I just don't like waiting for bombers.
Patience . . . artillery is GOOD ;)

What is the BIG DEAL with waiting a few turns for reinforcements? You will find it much easier to take a city softened by 10-12 artillery. Never bring less then 6, too many missfires will frustrate you with less then 6. With rail system you can move them like crazy, especially on defense as mentioned above.

I took out 24 cavalry from Americans in one turn with Panzer, Bomber, and Artillery. Combined forces are a necessity!
A huge weakness of bombers is that as you advance you end up having to stick them in newly conquered cities, and run the risk of losing them to reversion.
The problem with artillery on the offense is you run too great a risk to destroy improvements/citizens you'll want when you capture the city.

I stopped building artillery all together, its just too slow for my style of play. The units I've captured sit in my major port cities waiting to be railed away to a landing army. Artillery is very good for defense, especially around coastal cities (Since navies move so slowly).
I havent buit a bombard unit of any kind since my first game. I prefer the fast attack of knights,calvary, tanks, and modern armor. If you wait around to bring up the artillery it takes too long to eliminate the enemy and the chances of a city that you took on the first turn of the war flipping increases greatly. I prefer to use the fast units and get the war over quickly. Total destruction of the enemy is the best way to avoid culture flips. I keep captured artillery around for the duration of the war to slow down any counter attacks but then they get disbanded to hurry city improvements.
Originally posted by maddskillz
What is the BIG DEAL with waiting a few turns for reinforcements? You will find it much easier to take a city softened by 10-12 artillery. Never bring less then 6, too many missfires will frustrate you with less then 6. With rail system you can move them like crazy, especially on defense as mentioned above.

The big deal that your Panzers are already 2 or 3 cities further down the track and more to the point, they don't need to wait for the artillery to do the softening up. They are more than adeqauate at doing that themselves.

As I mentioned above, I used them on the initial attacks and then they were just too slow. There seems little point holding up the entirely successful war just for some units that can't keep up and are no longer needed.
artillery would be more useful if retreat ability was removed, and defense bonuses were slightly increased. I used the editor to triple all units move rates, all terrain move costs, and road move costs (so retreat is gone and units still move at same rate) and i increased the fortified and grassland/plains defense slightly. this helped alot, since attackers can no longer simply blitz and plow through helpless defenders in a single turn, the game is more fun with realistic wars. attacking without artillery and trying to blitz is incredibly costly with these changes.
Artillery serves several good, but highly specialized, purposes. It actually becomes more useful when tanks are available.

For your initial attack, it softens up the enemy positions for your tanks or other assault forces to move in.

It eliminates the retreat ability of fast units. (No offense, simwiz, but I disagree with your premise.) Single hitpoint defenders can't retreat, so if you knock them down to one hp with artillery, a slow unit can take them out pretty easily. If you're using tanks exclusively, this won't matter much, but this way you can use a slow unit (like infantry for example) to finish off some stray cavalry and save your tank attacks for where they're most needed.

Where artillery helps tanks is in upping the odds they'll get to use their second attack or exploit their breakthroughs. If a tank takes damage during an attack, it uses both movement points and the tank can't move or attack further that turn. If the artillery softens it up first, the defender will be less likely to inflict damage on the tank (since it will generally die faster) and the tank will have its remaining movement available for use.

To make it effective on the assault, you have to have what I call combat engineers. You can't just move your tanks out into enemy territory unsupported and expect to blitz through everything. I will always build (if they're not already there) railroads as far forward as I can. Then move the tanks and artillery up to the very edge of the enemy's border. You can often (not always but often) get to a spot 2 hexes away from enemy cities or units with your railhead, and thus make use of your artillery. The tanks move up and take the next city, and the process repeats. I also make sure to have two independent railheads moving forward with my advance just in case one gets cut by a roving enemy unit or by an unexpected city flip.

As for destroying citizens or improvements, so what? Most improvements don't transfer anyway, and fewer citizens just means fewer resistors and less chance of flips. Most large cities end up starving for several turns anyway since they don't have enough culture to bring in food for everyone.
Most players who "blitz" with only tanks are usually decidedly ahead of the AI in technology and/or economic vitality, so the AI cannot mount an acceptable defense. Indeed, most flips are caused by a too rapid advance without a plan for holding the captured region.

A more measured approach usually works better. By advancing step by step, utilizing combined arms, you can more confidently push forward while simultaneously securing your rear lines. Nevertheless, the "blitz" has a definite place in the strategy manual.

Each position has its own logic.
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