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Do you bother with fancy tactics in war?

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

  1. MummyMan

    MummyMan Chieftain

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    I never use fancy tactics, i don't find it very fun because it's just annoying when it doesn't do much. Artillery, not effective. Bombers, not effective either. Ship bombardment, not effective either. Marines, alright, i tried them a few times and were helpful to make a quick attack on major cities deep in enemy territory. Helicopters, worthless in my opinion. Paratroopers, not good either. Combining horses and swordsmen (a fast attacker and a slow but powerful one) can be good, but i just find it's more effective to hit all at once. Resource denial, although i'm not extremely familiar with this tactic, when i try it, it's often impractical to get to the resource. I mainly like having one big force, or maybe a big one and a small one to take care of units roaming around. I bet if i tinkered with the rules, it'd be fun to use artillery and stuff, but until i do, fancy tactics is something i don't do
     
  2. Bismarck

    Bismarck The Iron Chancellor

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    Somewhat OT:
    No matter how cleverly I plan my attack, I always get a "heart sinking" feeling when I realize that my attack is running out of steam. You know, when attrition begins and you're not sure anymore if you can take that elusive third (or fourth) city. Then I look back and begin to wonder if I should have planned my attack more carefully. :)
     
  3. Zachriel

    Zachriel Kaiser

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    Resource denial is a tactic of opportunity, but when the opportunity arises, it can be decisive. You're right that you should always hit with all your strength, and concentrate your power. However, depending on the terrain and the situation, certain tactics can add an advantage. Simple things like producing Horsemen on the Steppe, but Swordsmen for Hill and Dale. And almost everyone has used the standard two-prong attack.



    By storming through Nineveh and Uruk, then gathering for the assault and occupation of Samarra, all three cities are defensible. If it goes badly, a defense can be made more easily in Samarra. If it goes well, the cities of Kolhapur, Lagash and Ellipi, can be attacked in a multiprong, radial attack while operating out of Samarra. Finally, if that phase is successful, then the forces can gather togther as Shaka's Fist threatens Babylon, itself.

    "Declare victory (but bury the bodies)." :king: Hammurabi 50BC
     
  4. StarG

    StarG Chieftain

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    I have used most of the already described "Fancy Tactics" and all work pretty well. I like to play on Monarch & Regent because I do not want to micro-manage my cities and I am more of a builder then a fighter. I specifically do NOT want to win as fast as possible so that I can try all the different troops, civs, etc.. My favorite is the "Vassal State" strategies described in other threads

    My additions to tactics:

    1) All bombardement troops (bombers, artillery, etc.) are GREAT. A stack of bombarment will reduce any attacker SOD coming at me. Arty has the advantage of being able to target a a "spread out" SOD. (The same 100 troops as an SOD but spread out so not vulnerable to #2 Nukes below).
    The same stack of arty will also destroy any target I want to take. I like to play at modern war and always build at least 30 Arty and 30 bombers. This has also worked VERY well against human players on MP. Every one expects their 50 - 100 MA to be unstoppable. The arty stops them dead and then I reattack to eliminate the troops.

    2) Nukes. A single nuke will stop any SOD. Even on my own land. Human players have now learned not to do a SOD if there are nukes available because 1 nuke = 100 dead MI/MA. They now spread the MA over many squares so as not to be vulnerable to 1 nuke. See bombardment above.
    I will also just nuke the hardest to take cities instead of losing troops. Stop 1 square away from the city, nuke, and take city with 2 - 4 troops (even Cavalry!) and no losses. Better then burning 15 MA on a size 24 city with 20 MI.

    3) Marines on transports. A single transport with 8 marines can take 2 - 3 coast cities on one turn with the proper bombardment. Bomardment can be bombers, naval or 1 nuke.

    That's it for me. Have fun and rule the world.
     
  5. hbdragon88

    hbdragon88 haunted by blackness

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    Fancy tactics?

    I try to plan well for war by building lots of units and sending out unneeded troops to the front lines. But I sign alliances w/ every other civ, so it seems to go down the drain. The AI is a LOT smarter than me, and I'm just trying to catch up. They send out like twenty units to attack a city, while I send just a few. They can attack, lose, and take over the city, while I can't.

    They also conquer so quickly that I usually only take a few cities intact. But I am the big winner when they raze cities; I churn out lots of settlers to fill the void. So I don't bother much with fancy tactics.
     
  6. egreen007

    egreen007 Chieftain

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    Artillary and bombers are essential for "softening" up those fortified enemy troops! I hate to go to battle in the ancient era due to the lack of bombardment.
     
  7. Sinapus

    Sinapus Defenestrated

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    I tend to use smaller stacks, usually a group of 4+ high-defense units covering 2+ high-attack units. If the attack units have only 1 movement point I tend to attack stacks of enemy units so I don't end up with a unit exposed to attack. If I have attack units w/2+ movement points, I'll still attack stacks in the hope of destroying it. I just hit the "wait" button after each attack so I can move the entire stack into the square when I'm done.

    Though I must note that I use a modded game that has double hitpoints for each unit grade (4,6,8,10), bonuses for different eras and some higher bonuses for units like tanks and battleships.

    (Plus a few additonal units. Barbarian basic troops have ADMs of 2/3/1 and advanced have 3/2/2. Makes them dangerous and more difficult to clean out -especially when set to Raging Hordes- a bit longer.)

    Otherwise, I try to keep a reserve handy in case something unexpected happens.
     
  8. SirPleb

    SirPleb Shaken, not stirred.

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    On the original subject, 75% of the time (I can't really say 90% as suggested :) ) I don't use any fancy tactics. I most often go for the biggest/best offensive stacks I can and the best paths of assault.

    I've never used ping-pong at all, it doesn't feel right to me. I have almost never destroyed an enemy road, it seldom seems worthwhile vs. a quick strike. I've never used aircraft after a few early games when I tried them out. I use ships occasionally but it is very rare. On most maps they seem a waste of shields. (I do often use artillery on my coasts to push back irritating enemy ships.) I don't use attrition - it used to cause the enemy to "impload" with over-drafting in Communism which felt wrong to me. (Perhaps this is fixed in 1.29. I haven't noticed it since I started playing again recently. Or perhaps it is just because I so strongly favor lightning strikes that I haven't seen it happen lately.)

    I sometimes target an enemy strategic resource and I have sometimes used heavy artillery. (I used massive artillery+cavalry stacks with support workers+settlers to attack sequences of infantry defended metropolises in my current HOF game. To a degree that I see some people might consider exploitive from notes in this thread. Oh well, I enjoyed it!) But in the majority of cases I don't find these tactics worthwhile. More often it seems faster to just leave resources until they fall in the logical sequence, and usually I think it is more effective to build simple attack units than to use shields producing artillery. Having said that, I must say that the exception cases where tactics like these (or multi-pronged attacks, or an attack which starts by splitting the enemy territory in two) are worthwhile have been some of the situations I've enjoyed most.

    A subject came up mid-thread re taking a few cities and then making peace vs. taking out an enemy. My preference is toward the "take them out" approach. Once started I usually prefer to demolish the enemy while weak. But a small difference - I like to take all but two or three of the enemy's towns, then make peace to get some tech (I'm always behind in tech in early ages at Deity) and for a town or two. Then some time later (after at least 20 turns - I almost always play a style which includes keeping my word) wipe them out to avoid flips. Sometimes one or two towns will flip during that time but the Civ is so weak that taking them back later is easy. Note that I do try to rush some early culture (especially in captured enemy towns) to gain some early strength in that area. And I never play this way against a Civ with very high culture relative to mine, the risk of many flips is too high. In that case it seems better to either raze and replace (and then give peace for tech) or to take them out completely in the initial assault. And then against all this, sometimes a surgical war (taking just some key part of a rival empire) can be quite worthwhile...
     
  9. Park Ranger

    Park Ranger Wonder hog

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    Too many good ideas in this thread for me to add much except to say that in a recent game (patchd PTW) I actually found Jet Fighters useful. Japanese had big war machine going and although I was bigger had a lot of troops tied up on another front with a culture-heavy civ. I'd seen Japanese bomb the bejeesus out of Romans so when I smelled war coming sent 3-4 veteran Jet Fighters to every city in range of the Japanese bombers.

    Well, they declared war and after my fighters shot down about 6 bombers in one turn they seemed to give up on the whole bombing idea and with the recon ability of my planes got a good sense of where the weaknesses were. Then my bombers targetted their radio towers, which you can destroy without killing off the defending unit if its down to 1 hp.

    Then with some (not a lot I wanted to capture cities with some improvements) bombarment I was able to get 6 cities in two turns (tanks vs. infantry) and negotiate peace. Lost maybe a half dozen tanks total. While this was the "Age of Offense" and I was bigger, I was maxed out just having finished off one civ and as democracy needed peace quickly. I credit the quick (and profitable) victory to the "fancy" tactic of having about a dozen fighters first on air superiority and later on recon missions. No one messed with me after that.

    It gave a me a lot of satisfaction seeing those fighters shoot down the bombers, let me tell you. Too bad I wasn't playing Americans!
     
  10. Charis

    Charis Realms Beyond

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    Nice post Sir Pleb - it's typically the strong players with a 'blitz' stylistic preference who go in less for combined arms, bombardment, minimizing losses, surgical wars. Use appropriately that's a very good alternative.

    Two things come to mind from your post -

    - I'm surprised you're not using more airplanes. For the blitzer you get the advantage of bombardment, deep resource denial, and avoid the slowness of an artillery stack of doom. In particular, in PtW with the ability to build airbases, I love strong air support. Capture a worker or raze a city, and you have an 'airport' on the spot, for airlifting or for rebasing planes. Also in PtW a key thing I like to do with airplanes is knock out radio towers, all by themselves. Fortified Mech Inf in the mountain? I'll amplify what ParkRanger suggested - Three hits by a bomber usually redlines it, another bomber knocks the railroad down to a road, another destroys the road and mine, and one more, poof, radio tower is gone without losing a single hp. Yes, that takes a dozen planes, but they're reusable and take no damage - you get to use them vs the next tower.
    The other main use of bombers is to knock down a city I'm about to assault from size 14 to 12, or 7 to 6, reducing a defensive bonus.

    - Road network destruction. If I'm in conquest mode, razing more cities than I capture, I run into the problem of having a decent number of troops (usually the slower ones, or artillery which has fired) vulnerable to attack from many different directions. What I often do in this case is to bombard or pillage most of the road network, such that at the front line touching the opponents borders, there is a SINGLE road/railroad to be used in 'my' neutral area. And my biggest stack is advancing down that road, blocking all access to troops coming up from behind. This tip is useful for combined arms conquest approaches, not of much use for the unsupported move-3 blitz conquest.

    I was going to ask what difficulty level your comments were based on, as I seldom find deity opponents 'weak' and easy to finish off. Then again I *start* my war when I have at most half the troops they do. With respect to timing, you must either hit them MUCH earlier than I do (before they get strong) or build up a much larger force before attacking (so you DO have enough that they seem weak) Or those comments were with Emperor or Monarch in mind (where it's often true that other civs live only at your whim :p )

    Charis

    PS@SirPleb, if you ARE going after deity neighbors very early, the question I'm asking everyone this month is: when do you start? How many cities, how many troops, what is your objective?
     
  11. SirPleb

    SirPleb Shaken, not stirred.

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    Thanks Charis. It sounds like I'm likely to use aircraft more in PTW! :) Radio towers and airfields both sound like good motivation. I suspect I still won't use them a lot though for a couple of reasons: 1) In many of my games I have overwhelming military superiority by the time aircraft are available, so tricky wars are over and brute force is all that is needed. 2) For fast targeted strikes which go deep into enemy territory it seemed to me (long time since I used them though) that it was difficult to keep aircraft near the front to participate in the assault. They fell behind with turns frequently wasted rebasing them. Airfields could help a lot in this regard.

    Your road network destruction tip sounds good to me. I'm going to try it next chance which seems appropriate. It could be used to substantially reduce the number of defensive units which must travel with an army and/or to make a more aggressive assault possible.

    My comments were indeed based on deity level. I'm probably a slow starter relative to most players. When possible I prefer to build up a fairly large force before going to war. Of course at deity it is never overwhelming at the start of a war but one can whittle the AI down...

    All other things being equal (they never are :lol: ) I prefer to leave the first war until I have about 30 mounted units and have enough barracks towns to produce two or three more per turn. Two things in particular can change that preference:

    1) If I don't have horses then my top priority is an early strike to obtain them. In this case I'll go to war much earlier, with no intent of dealing a severe blow to an opponent, with just the hope of taking some horses and not getting hit too hard in return.

    2) If I don't have iron then I may or may not go to war early on to obtain it. It depends on whether I'm also horse-deprived and depends on the pace of tech (if I have horses and no iron then I won't go out of my way for iron until Chivalry is available.)

    And circumstances in the game often change it too of course. Sometimes I begin with less than my preferred 30 units because the window of opportunity starts closing. Other times (it swings this way less often :) ) it seems appropriate to build up more. And of course sometimes war is thrust upon me...

    When I first initiate a war my objective is usually Forbidden Palace - I want some land which will work reasonably well for FP and I want enough fighting to have good odds of a great leader to rush the FP.

    A secondary objective is often a luxury or two - these are important enough to me to determine who I'll attack (when there's a choice) and the direction of the attack. Wonders are also sometimes secondary objectives - if I'm lucky enough to have a neighbor with a wonder I want then they become an early target.

    And if I don't have iron but do have horses then iron is a crucial objective in my first horseman assault. This can motivate me to begin my first war sooner than I would prefer, and with a smaller stack, e.g. say 20 horsemen.

    Depending on tech pace (and strength/position of neighbors, Golden Age triggers, resources, and just about everything else :) ) sometimes my first war is with horsemen, sometimes it waits until I have knights.

    My first war often doesn't result in an overwhelming victory. In later wars I often try to devastate the opponent, continuing an assault until there's little left of the other Civ. But in the first war this isn't something I focus on. I start when I think I have enough strength to shoot for a clear win, taking out say 1/2 or more of the target Civ. If the war goes well I'll continue it. If it goes poorly I'll quit when I've reached my objectives, leaving the other Civ with some strength. I sometimes keep going longer than I'd prefer (even into a second Civ when necessary and possible) if I haven't produced a leader yet.
     
  12. Beam

    Beam Beat 'm up Scotty! Retired Moderator

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    No fancy tactics here, most of the time these are just to slow and give the enemy time to regroup. The only exception where I tend to sacrifice speed is early game with nearby targets. Swordsmen do a wonderful job there, otherwise masses of fast units do the job.

    So my sequence is Horsemen -> Knights -> Cavalry and over the fastest assault path. Only when a sea-based invasion is the case will Infantry be in the troups and sometimes there is a game where Mech go with the Tanks.

    Potato guns like Artillery are nice toys for keeping those annoying Ironclads etc. away from the shore and with railroads these are cheaper and faster than a naval force.

    Forgot about the element of suprise. No better moment to get them when they are about to complete a wonder.
     
  13. anarres

    anarres anarchist revolutionary

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    In my current PBEM game I am hopelessly out-gunned.

    Now I will get the chance to use fancy tactics :D (more precisely, I will not get the chance not to use them...)

    I will report back on which 'fancy tactics' I find the most useful when you are hopelessly out-gunned and hemmed in by several very unfriendly AI's. I had 3 cities when the first wars broke out (on two fronts).

    ERIKK vs. anarres #2
     
  14. Grey Fox

    Grey Fox Master of Points

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    It's nice to see that you have reached Deity level Charis because so have I.

    You mention many strategies which I myself also have used. The Siege for one, is very useful, and sometimes almost a must if you are going to be successful.

    In one of my first Deity games on PTW I was the Ottomans and in the age of Swordsmen (had no Horses) me and my closest neighbours, the Greece, were dragged into war. My country was somewhat small, a little smaller then Greece which couldn't expand because of me.

    And the Hopelites never feared my Swordsmen because of their constant advantage.

    However, when I reached Athens it was a 12 Size city on a Hill, with 5-6 Hopelites (if not more), and some catapults.

    I sent my now somewhat small force to the city and I cut it's roads so it was disconnected from the rest of the city. Fortified the swordsmen on a tile each, and waited for the city to starve.

    When the city was to become size 5, I pillaged the outer rim of tiles, and then next turn, moved the swordsmen to attack position and took the city (with the Great Library and the Great Wall which made my conquest even harder on some cities...)

    Although the first game which I Won on Deity was a VERY Peaceful game. This game again with the Ottomans, as I wanted to try out the Siphai. Although I built 50 of them, I NEVER used them. I actually NEVER declared war, and then the Egyptians declared war on me 5 turns Before I built the United Nations.

    I fended of the attack by Pillaging the Tiles closest to my borders, and by using a Fortified Maginot Line of several Infantry (4-5 Infantry on each tile in a 5 tile Border and my Sipahi was long since disbanded by now, so I couldn't use an Offensive Defense aswell...)


    Well, I hope we Can play a Succession game soon Charis. I just started playing those again, as you can see in:
    SWE01:El juego de la sucesión tres Sueco
     
  15. Park Ranger

    Park Ranger Wonder hog

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    Just wondering, with the common complaint that the use of artillery slows assaults, if people look for ways to overcome this. I find often that I'm at war (for conquest as much as defense) during the early industrial era, and since I like to play democratic government, can't afford to stay at war for long. So I'm always looking for ways to overcome the movement lags because I need a diverse array of units.

    A couple of things I've tried: shuttling arty stacks ahead up coasts even though there's land access. Cavalry can be pillaging/taking out damaged enemy units on on the turn I move and deploy the arty stack, then catch up a turn later.
    Or positioning a cavalry army with arty right beside a city for an assault the next turn. With blitz the army has up to three attacks, so the I can save the army for cleaning up wounded defenders if bombardment goes well, or get that annoying last 4hp defender out of the way if bombardment was disappointing.

    I've had success with both but in the first case there's limited opportunity for this sort of thing and the second tactic (relying on armies) can only be used reliably every 4-5 turns with a given army, since they take so long to heal up.
     
  16. Scyphax

    Scyphax Chieftain

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    My most used "Fancy" tactic uses railroads, workers and cavalry.

    1) Workers build railheads up to my borders.
    2) Cavalry take the nearest city.
    3) Workers move in using the AI civs former roads and create a raillink to the new border. With enough workers you can build a railroad in the same turn you capture the city.
    4) Infantry move along railroads to defend.
    5) Injured Cavalry move back to cities with barracks to heal.
    6) Repeat as long as you have workers, and cavalry.

    I have used this to capture cities and resources deep within enemy territory.
    Having an industious civ helps and you need a heap of workers.
    I think about 8 industious workers per city if you are going over grassland.
     
  17. MummyMan

    MummyMan Chieftain

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    A very good tactic that i use as well, Scphax. You can usually take an entire wounded empire from an earlier war by attacking one city from it's 4 compass corners, ie. the parts where you can reach a bordering city in 2 moves. When you capture or raze this city you can use workers to build roads or better yet rails to the next city and do the same thing. I find that using mostly tanks with cavalry to get to cities 3 moves away works best. You can usually keep every city you capture without fearing culture flipping when you take most of the citites.
     
  18. kb2tvl

    kb2tvl Chieftain

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    Some considerations on building units: musketmen V riflemen but before tanks. Musketmen can be produce 1 per turn in a size 12 city where riflemen can generally be produced at 1 ever 2 turns. If your cash flow is ok then you can have 2x number of musket men in defensive positions with the defensive bonus against either cav or riflemen.... (while better units are better they require longer to build and the loss of one is far more costy).

    If you use cav V infantry, you need a full stack of cav to take down a single city but you can appear out of no where and take the city before the civ knows what happens AND the city probably has railroad to it so you can garrisoned it quick.

    A full stack of outdated defensive units can pillage the heck out of any civ. Civs tend to not attack large defensive units that travel via mountains and hills.

    Try to ring your country with defensive units but leave a breach(during war times) for the civ to enter into then gun them down with fast attack units and arty.

    Preparing battleships/transports that can be ready to go apon declaration of war can cause devastating damage to another civ's capitol.

    And as a final note, your score/power rating is based on the number of units you have and does not depend as much on quality.
     
  19. Grey Fox

    Grey Fox Master of Points

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    I hope you only mean the Power rating here, because your score is not affected by how many units you have at all.
     

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