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Domination Victory

Discussion in 'Strategy Section' started by peter142, May 28, 2016.

  1. peter142

    peter142 Chieftain

    May 22, 2016
    I have been playing this game a long time, and I still don't really get some aspects it.

    I always go for a cultural or science victory. Building tons of units and going to war just seems to bog down your civilization. Wasted production, unhappiness from conquering cities, and what do you get out of it, a crappy city that contributes little to your empire. Instead you could be focusing on growing a strong empire, when you go to war it just diverts all your resources and eventually you fall behind the other players.

    What am I missing here.... how can I grow a strong empire that is happy, advanced in culture and science (both very important to have a powerful military - conquering cities is hard!) ... and win a domination victory? What am I not getting here? Do you just wait until the end game to go to war? At which point you could probably easily win a science victory? Taking every capital on the map seems like an extremely daunting task even with an extremely powerful military.

    In vanilla, I have only played up to difficulty 5, usually I play Prince.
  2. ishmael_

    ishmael_ Chieftain

    Sep 8, 2015
    I'll try and explain my thought on the matter.

    Firstly, the reasons for going to war. There are some civilizations that gain clear bonuses when engaging in a war. Adopting authority policies also gives large bonuses from war. Conquered cities might cause a lot of unhappiness at first, but you can fix that relatively fast. After that they are like any of your other cities. So conquering cities in a pace that lets you still manage your happiness will gain you cities in areas that the AI already settled.

    Which brings me to my next point. You don't only gain (crappy) cities, you also take them away from your enemies, reducing their power. It is also the only way to gain wonders that someone else already built. This is a good tactic against an enemy that is getting too powerful and might win the game in the future.

    Next, producing units and going to war. You generally need to produce some units for defense. And if you already have some units, might as well get a few more and have them fight in the enemy lands. That way tiles around your cities won't get disrupted or pillaged and you can keep producing in relative safety. If you don't net a city from your war, you might gain some gold from pillaging their trade routes and/or tiles. And you disrupt their economy by occupying their lands. Knowing when to go to war is quite a complex matter. You need to keep your own empire safe while making sure you aren't just throwing units away. So, the times I go to war change from game to game (if I go to war at all). You need to try and guess if you are stronger than your enemy and act fast if you feel you can profit from a war.

    For me, domination victory becomes an option if I've done well in the early game wars. Even if I manage to conquer some capitals early in the game, in most games a few AIs grow really strong. To fight them I need a strong experienced army. If I've managed to keep my experienced units alive, I might attack the strong civs and capture their capitals. More often those civs prove to be too tough to crack and I end up going for some other type of victory condition.

    I like early game wars, so I tend to play with civs that have some edge on early game that I can exploit. Inca are currently my favorite civ. With their unique archer unit and movement bonus on hills/mountains, I can often choose an enemy civ that I feel I can defeat and whose lands I would love to conquer. The defensive capabilities of the Inca are also superb, so I can often turn a defensive battle into an attack.

    I'm not sure if I answered your questions, but hopefully you got something out of my ramblings.
  3. Jdoug312

    Jdoug312 Warlord

    Jul 20, 2013
    ishmael hit the nail on its head. I just wanted to add that going to war can also lead to forcing the AI to capitulate, which will give you science, culture, and gpt increases, as well as having a (possibly temporary) ally to help you in future wars.
  4. tu_79

    tu_79 Deity

    Feb 11, 2016
    Malaga (Spain)
    There are some issues here:
    1. Going domination.
    2. Hurting competitors.
    3. Strategical capturing.

    I'd only advice this if your civ main uniques are warfaring intended, or if you really like combat. As explained, every city you take takes time to be fully integrated in your empire. Remember that you're going after capitals, so if you find too many lame cities, just let them burn. Take on the stronger civ you can face. Favor easy pickers, for you don't want to be stuck in the same war for too long. Keep your troops alive, focus in warfaring policies, and in no time you will be unstoppable.

    While you may not fancy war, you still need a strong army to defend yourself. And you can still use that army to hurt a competitor without being labeled as "badboy". Remember you can declare war for a little diplo cost, so you can do a raiding war (steal workers, pillage tiles, crush their army). You just need to avoid taking any city, and because they don't hit that hard, you can pillage and recover without losing any unit.
    Do this to any civilization that is annoying you, or that is competing for your same objectives, or if it risks to runover. You'll get some gold, some peace of mind, and nobody will hate you but the civ you crushed.

    Usually taking cities is not worthy if not going domination, but there are some exceptions. Say you are inland and want a coastal city, but passage is blocked by another civilization city. Sometimes you need a wonder that you know it's been built in a neighbouring capital. Sometimes a religious neighbour is pestering you with its missionaries, and its holy capital is not that far. Or an ill placed city is preventing you to place lots of farms together, or forcing your units to do a big turnaround, hurting your economy.
    I'd call it tactical when you get a big advantage by just taking one city, other than the value of the city itself, usually by its location or its special buildings. In those cases, it's right to DoW and try to take it.
    Occupying the city is the easiest way, but if you can manage to defeat its army, pillage its land and demand the city in the war peace, the diplo penalty is smaller. Beware that some leaders won't surrender easily if you take a single city, they will be committed to war for serveral turns.
    Alternatively, if you get a Declaration of Friendship and it's a small city, you might ask a price for that city. It may seem expensive, but it's usually cheaper than war.
  5. Legen

    Legen King

    Sep 13, 2015
    The first thing to understand is that you should have a strategy in mind to profit from war. Until you learn one or two that turn those conquered cities into productive additions to your empire, going to war will mean just what you described: wasted production, questionable additions, unhappiness you're not prepared for and falling behind in science/gold/culture. These strategies usually revolve around which victory condition you're going for, domination aside, and which social policies you're going for.

    Also, whether you're annexing or puppeting matters, as it can invalidate your entire strategy. Annexed cities will increase the cost for social policies and great people, just like founding cities would, and, as a rule of thumb, should be avoided by any strategy that revolves on getting as much as possible of either. Puppets don't add to social policy and great people cost, have a -50% unhappiness need modifier and don't require a courthouse, but you can't build nor purchase anything in a puppet, nor can they produce units, and they have a -25% penalty in :c5science: science and :c5culture:culture output. They are usually undesirable for any strategy that depends on specific buildings being built as soon as possible and may delay your tech advancement, as they still increase your tech costs as much as a founded/annexed city do, but are very useful for quick territorial/economical expansion and social policy acquisition.

    One strategy revolves around the Sacred Sites reformation belief. You generate tourism from faith buildings and tailor your religion exclusively around them, then expand as much as you can. Because faith buildings can't be purchased if the city is a puppet, any conquered city must be annexed, and its needs will be reduced by the instantly purchased faith buildings. In this strategy, the strength of your empire lies in how many cities with your religion you have, not by how many buildings you have in your core cities, and you can win a quick culture victory without relying on great people or wonders.

    Another strategy is a Tall expansion, in which you have 4-5 core cities and all the rest are puppets. Your core cities will be one for building wonders, three for guilds and great people (can include the city responsible for wonders, a common thing for Tradition starts), and one specialized for building military units (with Heroic Epic, hopefully Alhambra and Brandenburg Gate, plus Barracks/Armory/Military academy). This strategy aims at minimizing the cost of great people while having extra culture from conquest with fixed social policy costs, making it a competitive strategy for wonders. This is a good strategy when going for a standard cultural or scientific victory, as both benefit greatly from great people and wonders.

    Sometimes, the strategy is around a civ's uniques. Persia benefits greatly from annexing cities for economical reasons, as its UB is a courthouse replacement that generates golden age points on a civ that have stronger and longer golden ages. The more cities you annex, the more your civ spends its time on golden ages, which provide you the economic and militaristic conditions to pursue any victory condition you desire.

    With a proper strategy for what to do with conquered cities, you look for the proper timing, which is based on your civ's uniques and certain techs. Industrial era techs, artillery, flight, many naval unit upgrades and UU-related techs provide you such an edge that you can win over more numerous opponents with relative ease. Some civs only benefit properly from war once a certain technology unlocks their UB/UI, and may prefer to delay warring until then.

    One thing to understand is force projection capability, the ability to send your units to distant places of the world and keep it supplied. Even a small army can take distant capitals if it can be quickly deployed and properly resupplied with fresh units. Naval and air capabilities usually falls into this category, as well as alliances with city states. Imperialism and Autocracy have special benefits to improve your force projection and deserve your attention if you intent to fight anywhere beyond the borders of your core cities.

    Another thing is naval and air superiority, plus decent naval/air bombardment capability. Once you have these over your opponent in any place where your naval/air units can act, you can deal so much damage without suffering retaliation that the AI won't be able to displace your land forces, even with a numerical land unit advantage.

    A third thing to understand is that you don't need to have that big of an advantage in science and culture to win a war, as the AI sometimes pick only non-military techs. When that happens, and if you went for military techs, you have an edge that you can exploit to cripple his science and culture production; provided that you can project your force on him, of course. Bonus if your advantage happens to match with your civ's uniques timing. Scout your target's units to have an idea of which military techs it lacks to defend against your forces, especially in the naval and air category.

    A last thing is that you can avoid the AI's unit carpets by threatening multiple fronts at once. The AI isn't that good at dividing its forces proportionally to the forces you send to a front and will usually overcommit in some of them, leaving your main force facing light resistance. Mounted (both melee and ranged) and naval units are quite good at dividing the AI's forces, as they can disengage/pillage easily once they force a response and join your main front before the AI's split forces manage to regroup. In some cases, allied city-states can act as an extra front to divide the AI's forces, which is of particular value for diplomatic civs.
  6. jma22tb

    jma22tb Prince

    Oct 12, 2011
    United States
    You clearly know how to run the domestic side of things so it looks like you need more tactical knowledge:


    Is something I've used for a while.

    Early on, you'll have sort of a holy trinity of units for your army: artillery, infantry, and cavalry.

    Infantry forms a frontline that protects your artillery while cavalry uses its mobility to surround the enemy and crush them.

    If you combine that with Navy, then you can engage anyone on the map from the classical era onward.

    My ideal template for a Classical Era Legion:

    3 swordsmen
    3 catapults
    2 horsemen
    2 skirmishers
    3 trireme
    3 dromon

    With that setup you can crush almost any opposing force, even if they have uniques. Exceptions are Mongolia, who will want to have 4 skirmishers instead because of how fast they are and uniques like Pictish Warriors, Immortals, etc.

    Once the numbers of cities you have and, thus, your economy expands more, then you can afford another legion like this and fight wars on multiple fronts, upgrading to medieval units.

    Once you get to the Modern Era, however, this Legion configuration becomes obsolete and has to be replaced with Modern Combined Arms, like so:

    3 bomber
    3 triplane
    2 landship
    2 armored car
    2 riflemen
    1 AA gun
    3 cruiser
    3 ironclad
    3 artillery

    Now that Air Force and Armored vehicles have entered the mix, you need to use that and be able to protect your army from air strikes. AA gun replaces one of your infantry and works with your artillery and infantry like before. Armored units are the replacement for mounted units and are incredibly efficient at wiping out enemy units. Your air force should follow your offensive to provide firepower against both units (fighters) and cities (bombers). You also have less incentive to be patient in this era. Your navy is still vital because they have so much firepower.

    Once you have Submarines and Carriers then you'll need to adjust your navy to reduce melee and ranged a bit to add those, because they are significantly better than their counterparts. Submarines have a stealth advantage that gives you the edge on the offensive, while Aircraft carriers lead to more firepower overall than a ranged navy unit because they have 2 spots for bombers.

    The big thing with all of this is to maintain the discipline of how each unit type works. Keeping infantry alive is something of a pain in the ass for me because I'll get greedy sometimes and they'll get killed by ranged navy ships. Coastlines are very, very dangerous. Without navy support in CBO, you can get massacred. It's better to wait until you get some ships over there than to advance too fast and lose three experienced infantry to galleys / dromon.
    swapoer likes this.

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