Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Nicol.Bolas, Mar 19, 2011.
Yes, what's wrong with cataphracts?
Unlike Knights, Cataphracts are not immune to first strikes. So they're potentally weaker against units that get lots of those.
Well, Dog Soldiers get mauled by chariots, but that's hardly the point is it? The thing is that the Holkan is demonstrably better than a regular spearman in every situation - even if it is still just a spearman (ie. not a very spectacular unit).
Holkans are pretty sweet resourceless barb defenders, though (not on game settings where barb axes proliferate, naturally).
Well there's literally no way for me to respond to that without appearing to take it too seriously, so I'll let it drop. But let me just clarify that I was at no point offended, up in arms, or otherwise overly invested in the issue at hand -- which to me is the only real sign of taking a discussion too seriously.
Holkans aren't bad - usable resourceless attackers (and they do better against archers than Dog Soldiers because of their first strike immunity) that don't mess up anything else.
Regarding Cataphracts: Lack of first strike immunity doesn't keep them from being good... if you really want it, you can get Flanking2, be equal or better in terms of strength than a C2 knight and essentially get the withdrawal for free. More importantly, the additional strength makes it likely they will fight their direct counters on favourable terms.
I could understand arguments that Jaguars and Numidian Cavalries are also downgrades, but I usually don't feel that way. For one thing, both get a free promotion so there's some persistent bonus. Jaguars also make excellent healers and worker stealers.
Numidian Cavalry can achieve very good withdrawal odds, and in a mixed stack I usually consider them a (minor) asset. Definitely a potential liability though... dedicated Horse Archer wars are even more of a resource drain for Carthage.
Which was, essentially, my point - that I think a big part of the reason people don't like the dog soldier is that it is different to an axeman in a way that in some cases makes it less powerful. Jaguars get the same complaint, though interestingly, I don't hear anyone dissing the Vulture. Maybe it's because the Vulture's base Str is higher, so even though it is weaker against melee overall, it's stronger against everything else, whereas the dog soldier is stronger against melee but weaker against everything else (though unlike the Vulture, you don't need copper for it).
On the other hand, the value of the base unit probably does need to be a factor in defining the bonuses of a UU, I think. Something like a spearman, you probably need to ladle on a few extra bennies to make people actually build more than 1 or 2 of them. With an axe-based UU, it's likely plenty will be built in any case
There is a reason you get less complaints about the Vultures: they are actually good.
Vultures are weaker against axemen on level-ish terrain, and on the offense against moderately fortified other melee.
Vultures actually have a positive record against regular Axemen when one side has outside bonuses above 25/50%. Overall, the anti-melee performance is a wash and they're a lot more cost-effective against archers.
I agree completely with this. You could also add samurai (can't be built with copper) and ballista elephants (you don't always want to attack horsies).
The benefits, if the units are used correctly, tend to outweigh the drawbacks (except numidians , although maybe I should defer to the likes of Absolute Zero on this one too...)
they don't ignore walls and castles, which is for unit coming in the era of castles and walls veeery unwelcome ;-).
I once had a really good game going on some marginal difficulty, where I was finishing the game with knights...oh boy luckily it was something like noble/prince and the number of defenders was marginal...but they performance is sucky.
about hulkans... I will not say they are great, but I once tried a game with Maya and got captured city 2 from barbs, which I retook with hulkan next turn, so the hulkan is clearly very strong ;-).
I wonder why Maya gets almost no love on forum...very rarely played.
Jaguars do draw some ire on occasion, but the thing is, Jags are cheaper, which pretty much pre-empts most criticism. If Dog Soldiers had a discount people would probably be more enthusiastic about them.
I'd say the real litmus test for UU isn't comparing them to the original unit. To really see how lame these units are you have to compare to other UUs of the same unit.
How often would want a dog soldier instead of a vulture, which is a non-iron ghetto swordsman that probably gets similar success rates against melee units anyway? How often would you want a Numidian Cavalry instead of a Keshik, who get a more awesome bonus without having to sacrifice strength for it?
The real deal is that while Numidian Cavalry and Dog Soldiers have potential scenarios where they can be useful, the regular versions of the unit have more useful scenarios and the superior UUs have way way more instances where you'd want them. As a result Dog Soldiers and especially Numidians are just painfully lame units, filler UU at best.
Don't forget Praets! The extra 5 cost could be devastating if you need an emergency defense, you can't quite muster 45 in time, and the other available units aren't quite strong enough
I like dogs myself, which may be because I don't feel the need to zerg rush the AI every other game. It probably depends quite a bit on map type and game settings though; on Normal speed and Small size (sadly my comp lags pretty hard lategame on Standard ) you can get enough land peacefully most games, with the occasional barb archer to fend off.
OTOH, I'd rank Numidians and Jags below the stock units. Dogs are guaranteed barb defense, these two come too late for that.
Good point! For some reason it hadn't occurred to me that praets do indeed number among the disadvantaged UUs.
Keshiks are not immune to first strikes.
In theory Holkans could be worse than spearmen if you don't have bronze working, have hunting, and an AI trades you bronze/iron.
I'm not even sure if Drill IV machineguns get better odds vs cataphracts than knights.
I'd rather have dog soldiers than jaguars.
Landsknecht comes to mind as well.
I don't like the DS so much, because you've got no option for an axe rush. That's really a serious drawback. Probably not so much on the higher levels.
But it also makes a nice barb defender, which I really got to appreciate on Emp raging barbs.
DS have their uses.
To paraphrase Voltaire, if Sitting Bull didn't exist, it would be necessary to mod him. A super defensive leader is essential to the variety of the game and the DS, regardless of whether its good, bad or indifferent is very much an appropriate part of the package of UU, UB and leader (although I hate to think about how obnoxiously defensive Gilgamesh would be with NA in an unrestricted leaders game). In any case, I haven't seen many good suggestions so far as to how it might have been better without becoming too good (e.g. free cover)
I think he'd be better off with an archer unit.
I hate the anti-synergies that some of the leaders have with their uniques. Hammurabi has Aggressive warriors and should therefore tech Archery in less than 5% of his games (he might want to HA rush somebody, perhaps). Therefore, Bowman are useless and should really never be used.
Likewise, Gilgamesh is Protective so he gets a melee unit. Doh!
Why can't SB have an archer? That would actually make use of his talents and his UB to give him something good, but oh no, we couldn't have that.
Keshiks and the Ger are fine. Dog Archers and the Totem would be fine too (and possibly even cool ).
Actually dogs are perfect for SB, cus usually i want to get some X-Bows rush action with him.
This can mean i dun want to bother with AH early, not to mention archery for barbs defense.
I think some peoples would agree with me on: Dogs are more helpful than let's say Redcoats in some cases.
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