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Do you bother with fancy tactics in war?

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Strategy & Tips' started by anarres, Jan 13, 2003.

  1. anarres

    anarres anarchist revolutionary

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    I have to admit that I have read many wonderful tactics for warfare in CivIII and PTW. I have just 1 question: Do you bother with them?

    The reason I ask is that I tend to have 1 strategy only:

    - Build a large army (i.e. collection of troops)
    - Attack the enemy

    I do this in tandem with Diplomacy, and I micromanage everything, every turn. Another pre-requisite for me is to ignore city improvements until I have taken out a civ or two. On the higher levels if you don't start fighting early it can take millenia to catch up....

    When I build my army I choose what ever troops seem appropriate at the time, and I often go to war as soon as I get my next offensive unit. The important thing I remember is to make the army big enough. I always take out enough of a civ in the first wave to decimate it. There is no point in fighting a land war in Asia (unless you have the numbers to make it quick) ;)

    When I attack my enemy it tends to be the one nearest me, filling up my expansion space. Occasionally I will target a civ to stop them from getting a resource they need, and sometimes I pick on a civ because I know their UU is not too far away and I want to stop their GA.

    However, 90% of the time my only thoughts are

    'How big can I make this army', and
    'Which part of their empire do I take first'

    So back to the question: Do you bother with fancy tactics such as:
    - 'AI troop ping-pong'
    - 'Artillery overload'
    - Taking out strategic resources
    - Taking out roads to capital
    - Many-pronged attacks (not just 2-prong, but I've seen 10-prong)
    - add your own
     
  2. anarres

    anarres anarchist revolutionary

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    It is also worth noting that generally I find air units and lots of ships a waste of production. The odd one or two may serve a purpose, but 20+ Battleships or bombers?

    It's not as though they damage anything very often, and they can't capture cities either...
     
  3. Ronald

    Ronald Chieftain

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    I don't use most of the fancy tactics you mentioned.

    For me, in very ancient the the question is: Can I attempt a successfull archer attack against my nearest opponent (do they have bronze working or not)

    Then it's either a big army of swordsmen and/or horsemen to take out or severely decimate my next door neighbor.

    After that it's knights to take the next few, then cavalary for the next and very rarely tanks for the final wave.

    Since I very seldom play deity, my games are mostly won with cavalry or earlier.

    The only method you describe as fancy I use, is to take out their strategic resources asap.

    I have never built a bomber and the number of my battleships can usually be counted with one hand.

    Ronald
     
  4. pterrok

    pterrok Chieftain

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    The 'fanciest' tactic I use to make sure I get my 'Sea Bees' (workers) to the front lines to turn roads into railroads BEFORE moving the armies up there so they'll have their full movement when crossing the border...

    And I'm not above pushing a settler up there on the just finished railroad to extend my boundaries--but I DO NOT use more than one. (i.e. I don't push one settler forward and make a city, get another settler there, then disband the first city to build the next city that one square further on.)

    I rarely use navies and airforce use is rather limited, too. I DO limit my use of artillery--maybe 20 in a stack--since using 100 or more is TOO effective and unrealistic for me.

    Basically, it's cool to map out the route of attack and see how many cities you can take in one fell swoop by having workers and settlers ready to expand your march all in the same blitzkrieg turn!
     
  5. RX2000

    RX2000 Chieftain

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    Heh its funny that people complain the AI doesnt use air or naval power much, when a lot of human players admit they dont even bother with it either. ;)
     
  6. Yndy

    Yndy Chieftain

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    First, anarres thank you for a new word that I had to learn: prong.
    I’d rather say that I started using tactics after reading about them. First building a large army is a tactic as opposed to building normal army of 10+ units as I initially did. Now I wait until I have 30 units at least.

    I do a little judgment when considering the future target and its location but neighbors always come on top of priorities. I consider the tech level and access to resources and I try to deny resources if it’s not difficult. My usual attack is 2 pronged but I did several 3-4 pronged attacks. I call ‘artillery overload’ ‘efficient arty use’ and use it a lot until I get tanks.

    I believe that if you try long enough you can use AI ping-pong very effectively but it sounds too exploitative for me.

    I use road disruption, food deprivation, and encirclement some times during attrition wars.

    I am experimenting a tactic that still needs to be documented that I refer to as mock wars. It should make the AI, focus on war-units, not build cultural improvements and even slow down research. Ideally I would even get some money, tech or cities when dealing peace and all with a minimum military effort from my part.
     
  7. anarres

    anarres anarchist revolutionary

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    So what did you call those spikes on your dining forks then?

    As to the terminology: I agree, everthing can be classified as a 'tactic' or 'strategy', even the act of building a large army and attacking. I did indeed refer to my antics as a 'strategy' myself ;)

    The thrust of my point is that I believe that in 90% of cases my strategy is the most efficient. By that, I mean if I played the same game my way, and any other way possible, my way would still be quickest, or at least pretty close.

    My way involves no artillery, no planes, no ships apart from transport and protection (unless on small islands). All production goes to offensive land units, with some cheap defenders to hold the cities I take. I forgot to mention I starve cities, it saves on the troops needed to leave behind.

    And please don't post a million and one exceptions to this rule, as I only said 90% of the time...

    What I want is for someone to say that they think the 'fancy' stratagies have a place in everyday warmongering. Not modern-age wars against infantry, as I would either crush the enemy before then or wait for tanks. Not in a spacerace victory where you may need to perform precision strikes. Not games you set up just for the sake of fighting. Just plain old warmongering, killing them as quickly as possible.
     
  8. col

    col Old Fart Retired Moderator

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    I think when MP is more widespread, tactics will play a greater part. We need to distinguish between tactics and tricks that the AI is blind to such as pingpong.

    But I'm sure you instinctively use tactics like using a mountain square to get the defensive bonuses. Setting up defensive kill zones. Not attacking across a river. Bombarding a city to reduce its population below metropolis. Taking a city on a continent and rush an airport then fly in hundreds of reinforcements.

    I do all of these.
     
  9. anarres

    anarres anarchist revolutionary

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    Sure col, but that's hardly what I'd call a 'fancy' tactic :)

    And to be honest, I do attack across rivers all the time. 25% is not a huge bonus. Waiting the extra turn may let then fortify, worth 50%.

    I also don't built artillery for offensive battles. Only ever if I need to defend (like in a spacerace or diplo game). Metropolis' don't really get to be a problem, the AI should be dead by then. At least your production should be high enough for it not to matter about the odd metro or two. Arty is IMO useful only when facing a very strong defence, and it's been a very long while since the AI managed to do that.

    The one thing of yours I have done is to build an airport on an island for quick conquest, but again, how often do you need to do this? Only when you are far from the enemy island and you need to conquest, and of course only when you let the tech get to flight. In fact, I can say with certainty that I have done this only once, in tourny game 3-? (the spacerace one for season 3)

    And indeed, these are single player tactics. I wouldn't dream of being so obvious in one of our MP games ;)
     
  10. Kevinicus

    Kevinicus 01001011

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    I only go "fancy" when I know the enemy is a hard nut to crack. Mostly isn't so usually I just....march in :D
     
  11. ACR

    ACR Chieftain

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    What constitutes fancy tatics??? The use of combined arms? Naval blockade? End run Inchon style amphib assaults? Reiving striaght through the foreign nation and spliting thier forces? Perhaps we should as what a non-fancy tatic is - is it Pickett-esque "over the top" frontal assaults. Perhaps a more correct term would be complicated. Tatics and stratigies need not and should not be overly complicated. We have only to look to the Japanese at Midway - three battle groups to co-ordinate two divese operation (Alutian Islands and Midway) and very little C3 (command, control & communication not the forebarrer of C-4). If your plan becomes too complex it becomes more likely to fail - too many contingencies and two many this that can go wrong. Often in battle if it can go wrong - it will. See operation "Market Garden" - or watch "A Bridge Too Far."

    However with that said, attack the enemy where he isn't. You don't need to attack the Union center or push out from the Pusan Perimeter, Attack the Round Tops and Land at Inchon whenever possible and then when the main battle line buckles to deal with the new threat push there too.

    Interdiction - troops that never arrive at the front can't troough you back. Sink there transports, pne weak transport is easier to deal with than 8 armour. Restory rail and roads, espacially where it is the most effective - difficult terrain and choke points like an isthmus or land near foreign gov't that your enemy has no ROP with. Fortify those choke points, on the high ground if possible.

    Remember you should choose the time and place of battle - if your enemy does than you are already at the disadvatage.

    Some may see these as fancy but I prefer to look at it like a fire ant attack, one bite is not that bad but dozens of bites in different places are quite agonizing and difficult to deal with.
     
  12. Moulton

    Moulton Monarch

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    Been away for awhile....

    Use any and all. Arty on the coastal railroad can damage all ships to the point of requiring only one naval vessel to sink them... ie no invasion. If no navals units are close enough, they usually turn back for repairs when hit hard.

    English once sent 32 tanks to attack one city -- 30 Arty by rail, and the tanks were damaged enough for my tanks to take them out.

    Bull rush strengh can ignore weaker enemies, but the fun is meeting changes and winning.
     
  13. Knight-Dragon

    Knight-Dragon Unhidden Dragon Retired Moderator

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    Not much of a user of 'fancy' tactics myself too. Just decide what I want get done, have a big enough army for the job, then do it. :)
     
  14. zagnut

    zagnut Monarch

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    I think you are absolutely correct. Your first post just about summarizes my style of attack in all cases.

    One of the points you make, on which no one has commented, is to build your military and ignore city improvements until you have conquered one or two civs. I think this is very important. It is counterintuitive to ignore city improvements in order to win the game, but I firmly believe that is the best strategy to use if you want to win. Somehow if you just crank out the settlers and military units as fast as possible, you end up with a bigger civ and seem to catch up with the city improvements by the end of the Ancient Age. Of course, you do have to build some improvements like a Granary in your settler city and Barracks in your main military towns, but that is about all.
     
  15. Gothmog

    Gothmog Dread Enforcer

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    I never use 'ping-pong' as I too think it a bit exploitive.

    I am a big believer in resource denial though. It goes without saying that this is important late in the game when going tanks vs. Infantry (denial gives vs. Rifles), or MA vs MI. And I will build some navy and airforce later in the game to help achieve this end. But I also look to use this in early war. If I can deny Rome Iron, or the Iroquoi horses I do so without question. Really Iron and Horses are good denial targets no matter what and I always take a look to see how easy it would be. Iron is especially good because it's always found in hills and mountains. Sending a few good defenders along a mountain range towards Iron is a good thing, even if you don't get there the AI has to attack you with your 100% mountain bonus.

    If we are talking middle ages or later I also go for luxury denial because it will slow AI production (due to entertainers and possible revolution). The Diety production bonus must be countered somehow.

    I don't know if this is a 'fancy' tactic but I often sign up an ally or two, especially if the enemy is quite a bit more powerful than I and likely to sign ally's as well.

    I am wondering though, from your description it sounds like you like to go to war right away and stay there. Now in my games (at Diety), I avoid early ancient war because the AI has the extra settler and tons of extra units and will clean my clock. Then it also depends on the tech pace. I have to get to Iron Working and/or Horseback Riding for the next possible wartime (when the initial bonus can be overcome). Then I have to have Iron and/or Horses. If I haven't been able to trade effectively the AI is already nearing Feudalism, etc. Then it does become a problem if I don't have any infrastructure.

    All in all though, you are correct. I don't use offensive artillery much, usually attack whoever is nearby, make sure I have a big army, only build navy enough to protect transport units, starve cities (and build workers from resistors), and typically just have a bunch of the best ground units (fast ones if possible) with another 25% good defenders.
     
  16. Bismarck

    Bismarck The Iron Chancellor

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    I'll use 2-, 3- or 4-pronged attacks, as long as I don't have to sacrifice concentration of force. It's simply much easier to strike multiple weak targets at the onset, than to face the inevitable reinforcements later on.

    If I can deny the enemy a strategic resource with relative ease (e.g., march through his territory and sit on his Iron hills, or even accomplish this with a naval attack), I'll do it. Otherwise, I don't bother.

    I'll use terrain to my advantage (e.g., fortifying on mountains), but this is just common sense, not really a "fancy tactic."

    I'll use artillery, but not in huge numbers. Ditto bombers.
     
  17. Phantom Lord

    Phantom Lord live by the sword

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    I use "taking out strategic ressources".

    I do it almost always before I launch a bigger attack. I don't think it's fancy, it's essential. This will probably also become an important aspect in multiplayer games. No iron, no immortals ...

    Btw, I consider luxuries almost as important as strategic ressources, stripping the enemy of his luxuries can give him some big problems too, especially in times of war.
     
  18. Thoth

    Thoth Chieftain

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    The "Bigger Hammer" stragegy is definitely effective, but I've had to resort to wars of attrition and resource denial on a few occasions when the AI has caught me underprepared for a sneak attack.

    I use artillery (yes, even catapults) to soften up the enemy, but I just don't have the patience to use more than 20 or so artillery. I will occasionally build more if I'm looking to cripple an opponent, but don't want his cities.

    For the most part,I avoid using dirty tricks like luring the AI with empty cities or lone workers but I do seem to recall leaving my capital empty for a few turns when the Romans marched 3 stacks of 20+ archers/spearmen accross my northern border while my entire army was fighting a bloody war with the Egyptians over the continents only supplies of horses and iron. :)
     
  19. PersianImmortal

    PersianImmortal Chieftain

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    tactics are key..

    I almost always need diplomacy to fight a war.. if someone declares war on me. i don't move a single unit before i've had another neighbor civ of the attacker turn on them and also drag in some other smaller ones for nuisance value alone..

    NEVER fight alone.. unless u're sure to defeat the enemy and wish to be selfish about the land u capture

    On higher levels I'm rarely the king of the hill and do need allies to fight a successful war.
     
  20. Skullbones

    Skullbones Captain

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    I don't think I'd call any of my tactics "fancy". I just try to build lots of units and attack. I do try to split enemy territories up when practical and go for cities with resources over ones without.
     

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