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Early Combat

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by DavidA, Nov 22, 2005.

  1. DavidA

    DavidA Chieftain

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2005
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    Please tell me what I'm missing....I just aborted a game where 3 Egyptian archers inside a city successfully fended off my 4 swordsmen, 3 horse-archers, and 4 axemen. I just got slaughtered. I've had similar or better odds in my favor on many occasions with similar results. Yet I've had cities defended by archers, axemen, and pikemen, and a few enemy swordsmen cut through me like butter.

    I'd like some advice about combat, especially early in the game...a rival civ gets a few archers (even barbarians), and they're nearly invicible. Do I really have to mass 15-20 units to take out the 2nd weakest military unit in the game?

    I give my units the city-attack promotions, +xx% against melee units, cover against archers, etc...it just seems that archers inside a city are waaaaay overpowered, so I must be missing something.

    Any experts out there have some hints?

    Gracias...
     
  2. Gargoyle

    Gargoyle Warlord

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    Location:
    Garfield NJ
    Well one thing that would help greatly is cataputs. They can bombard cities reducing its Defense bonus. With enough cataputs, you can reduce it to zero. This includes the Cultural bonus.
     
  3. KAuss

    KAuss Warlord

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    Nov 3, 2005
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    Units in a town newly found will have almost 0% culture bonus, then a capital will have upwards to 60% early game...

    Swords are useless... 10% city raider is useless... Combat one is generally the same thing but for every situation...

    I seriously don't attack until I get catapults... The cost in production usually sways me away... Unless it was a tiny map and you can wipe people out in a rush...
     
  4. Taronas

    Taronas Chieftain

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2002
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    Location:
    Germany
    there also seems to be some random aspect to it. In early my current game I went after those nasty Barbarians, found one of their cities, defended by three archers. I went there with all units I could spare: a few axemen and a few archers of my own.

    I saved the game :)

    I tried an attack: booom, five of my units killed

    reload, tried again: tata!! I take the city with only one unit lost :)

    Now, it's up to you whether you consider save/reload a cheat or not ...
     
  5. KAuss

    KAuss Warlord

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    Nov 3, 2005
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    Hell yeah save and load = cheat... Might as well use world builder...

    Anywho, I once lost 3 calvary to another calvary in a single turn... It was actually two that did the same thing, so it took me 8 calvary to defeat 2 that was dropped off by transport... Beats the hell out of me how that happens but meh...
     
  6. LeSphinx

    LeSphinx Bachogwa

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2001
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    Location:
    Paris, France
    DavidA, which promotion you used for your 4 swordsmen, 3 horse-archers, and 4 axemen ?

    4 swordsmen, 3 horse-archers, and 4 axemen against 3 Archers in the beginning : YOU HAVE TO WIN.
    Have you check the odds for each cities before attacking ?

    LeSphinx
     
  7. Gufnork

    Gufnork Prince

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    One mistake you're doing is having too many troop types. While some mixture is good if the AI counterattacks you, it's much better to have many of the same type when attacking. If your stack had 9 swordsmen and 2 axemen instead your odds would have been much better. Attacking promoted archers in high culture cities on hills is a pain though. The archers really racks up those defensive bonuses (they get +50% in city, +25% on hill, +25% for being fortified for more than five turns, +xx% for culture, +xx% for City Garrison promotions). If that's the case it might be better to wait until you get catapults. Not only can they reduce a citys cultural or wall defense, they can also suicide against cities causing collateral damage, which weakens all defenders. After a few of those your swordsmen shouldn't have a problem taking the city.

    Warring before catapults against a prepared enemy isn't recommended. Usually you're up against unpromoted archers and a low cultural bonus that early though.
     
  8. Batvanio

    Batvanio Chieftain

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    also try to read the article about combat here in the forum in articles.
    It is explained via mathematics.
    I've read it and I perfectly understand the combat system now
    there is also a useful trick with alt+mouseover on target. Try it.
     
  9. zafyro

    zafyro Warlord

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    May 20, 2005
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    spain
    3 Archer should not be that though, i agree with most people catapults are the turning point, not only for the bombard capability but mostly for the colateral damage. I ususally "suicide" [if they are going to die there´s a chance they will retreat] 2 or 3 catapults against a city i have previously bombarded in the same round i make the big atack so the defenders will be damaged thus making the asault easier.

    I guess your problem was that they were fortified archers in a hill city with some promotions and you were really unlucky with the first strikes.
     
  10. Pvblivs

    Pvblivs Scriptor

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    Location:
    Berlin, DE
    Ever tried catapults with city raider III? :) That's THE deal. Catapults are not weak anyway, like in civ1, but with civ4 you can promote them to win or at least retreat and to collateral damage.

    My usual tactics for Single Player: 4 catapults, 2 horses (against enemy cats), 4 axes (promoted against melees) and 2 spears to save the stack.

    /edit: I forgot: First bombard to zero, then attack with cats, then cleanup :king:
     
  11. zafyro

    zafyro Warlord

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    i prefer catapults with extra colateral damage and for atacking i use swordman with those 3 city raider improvements :}

    Eventually i might try "sacrificing" horse archer with 2 flanking improvements so they are inmune to first strikes and have great withdrawal chances.

    My point is to beat them a bit to ease my sword work
     
  12. DavidA

    DavidA Chieftain

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    Thanks to all who replied...I did come across the rather lengthy mathematical treatise about combat, but after a few white russians I wasn't quite up to it last night...it'll make good reading while enduring thxgiving with the family.

    Gobble, gobble...
     
  13. The Last Conformist

    The Last Conformist Irresistibly Attractive

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    Swordsmen are strength 6, which isn't to be scoffed at early on.
     
  14. Astax

    Astax Prince

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    Oct 27, 2005
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    Hmm odd indeed, 100% bonus? and city garison promotions? Then you got no chance! Late stage of war as it seems you were up to, I would use double promotion units with the folowing: Catapult with collateral and barage (Good -15% per turn bombarding). then Id try to put a defender spearman with comabt1 medic 1. Add to it my offensive units, 2 horseman archers combat1 shock (Why? Ofcourse because of defending spearman). Then a mix of 2 swordman and 2 axeman with city attack2!

    Without catapult you probably need, in a case you describe, 9 horseman archers atleast. And if they had 100% and city garrison... then I would use 15 horse archers. So catapult is the key.
     
  15. Astax

    Astax Prince

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    Swordman Combat1 is a good overall unit vs all forms of units, ti does get a little beating from axeman but its not bad and you can run it into forrest when an axeman comes, later get shock promotion. It holds awsome agianst a horse archer and Longbowman. If you have fewer untis and your stacks are less than 3 untis, swordman my friend :)
     
  16. Zhahz

    Zhahz PC Gamer

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    I have had success with early war (pre-catapults) but you have to be very dedicated and quick about it. If you wait too long they'll have cultural defense bonuses and extra defenders.

    A big key is to watch out for creative leaders (like Hatty/Egypt, who is also spiritual with a high potential for more culture via religion and cheap temples). Since city defense bonus is based on culture those creative leaders will have a nice cultural defense bonus for their cities even very early.

    Fortified archers with city defense promotions in a city with a defense bonus are very tough without siege (city could be on a hill and/or have walls too).

    I recently (and stupidly) selected Cyrus for my first victim of an early attack and his capital had a 60% defense bonus very, very early. I built up to ironworking very quickly and had a nice sized stack of Jaguars, Axemen, etc that I marched to his nearby capital, then ended up marching in the other direction to his newer cities instead after seeing that his defenders had more than double the strength of my best attackers.
     
  17. blueicus

    blueicus Chieftain

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    In a recent game as the Mongols, I had great success in an early way against Egypt. Using Keshiks and Swordsmen and a couple of axement (I didn't have catapults yet) with various anti-archer and city raider upgrades, I managed to pretty easily destroy the opposing forces of archers (some even with two city defense upgrades) despite the culture bonus. Of course, I did make it a point to go for cities with lower culture defense first, but by the time my army got to the capital, their promotions made them more than a match for the bunkered archers. Using the alt function is very useful in determining whether you should lay siege to a city or not.
     
  18. Marvin77

    Marvin77 Chieftain

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    In general this army is overwhelming - with 3 : 1 ratio in troops and almost 2:1 ratio in (pre modifier) strength. This should be enough to take the city even w/o catapults .... *with one, single exception*: If the city is on hills (+ bonuses of culture/walls and fortify), just forget it - in this case archers and longbowmen are near invincible in the ancient age. Such cities can be taken usually in 2:1 ratio, but if your troops are somewhat stronger, i.e., pretorians and maceman + city attack II, or maybe elephants. And catapults are a must as well. Therefore in the ancient age (pre catapults) I usually just go around hill cities and attack cities on flat lands. One more thing - you do not attack across river, right?
     
  19. Dikaioma

    Dikaioma Warlord

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    I was just going to mention the game I am playing now. I am (was) on a small continent with Japan, and I quickly figured out it was just me and him. So what I did was mobolize a good size army, about 4 chariots, 4 axemen and 2 spearmen. When I discovered iron working (hoping I would have iron, and I did) I switched 3 of my closest cities to him to swordsmen. Side note: I don't use my promotions right out of the factory. I started my war capaign, took a city, razed one and discovered horseback riding.

    I started producing horse archers and whatever else I lost and by the time I reached his capitol I had a very large army. His capitol wasn't very strong, and all he had left was 3 cities total. After I took his capitol I went after his new capitol before it got too strong and took it, but his next capitol was really strong (on a hill and a crap load of units) and my army was weakened by that time, so I signed a peace treaty and discovered construction. As Zhahz was talking about, if you wait too long (and I had no choice) you will have to build seige units. I built about 6 cats (it takes that much to bombard to zero defense) and finished him off.

    Attacking very early put him at a serious disadvantage, and you can usually get away with not using cats, but unless you blitz, or they are unuasually weak, you are going to have to use cats. Always check your odds before attacking. Oh, and forget about attacking across rivers.
     
  20. duezeone

    duezeone Kingish

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    Location:
    Seattle
    early barracks and use raider promotion on swordsman, and once you get catapults all you need are those. also dont discover any religion, if you're a real warmonger you will conquer a holy city (or 2 =D). I usually only go with the aggressive strat when i am working with a cramped up map, and i usually use qin shi huang no matter what my strat is. also try building stonehedge when you get the chance, once you get a great prophet and a few holy cities it will help a lot when you are behind in science.
     

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