Early Game Barb Hunting - How to Promote Units


Baller Magnus
Dec 31, 2005
I posted a combat calculator in the general forum: OW Combat Calculator v1.0 - For Public Download | CivFanatics Forums

And with it we can look at early game barbarians, and the optimal way to promote in order to take them out.

So in the early game you are generally fighting two main barbs:

A Strength 3 barb
A Strength 3 barb in a hovel (which grants its a +45% defense bonus).

Killing the Base Barbs

At base, it takes a +13% combat bonus for a warrior or slinger to deal 10 damage to a barb unit, aka enough to kill it in two hits. This obviously makes the steadfast promotion very useful. It also means that a single other promotion isn't quite enough. Fierce for example gives a +10%....not quite enough. Coupled with a combat I promotion though we can do the job. This means it may be worth promoting your first unit twice before sending them out barb hunting, as they will be much more efficient on their kills.

A slinger can still do it with a +13%, although with a +33% bonus (such as steadfast + fierce) you can do it from 1 tile away.

To "one shot" a barb, we would need a total combat strength of 138%. It would take a level V unit with probably the strongest general you could must to get those kind of bonuses...so one shots are not really in the cards outside of crits.

The Barb Camp
Against the hovel, we need a minimum 10% to kill it in 3 hits.... so combat I is not enough! To do it in two hits requiring 64%.

That's a tough number but possible in the right circumstances. Steadfast (25) + Fierce/Strike (10) + the right general with 29% or better attack could do the job. If your family is friendly or pleased you can even do it for less.

A one shot requires 245% bonus, simply out of the question.

So taking the information above, here are some quick tips to turn your units into barb hunting machines.
  • Ensure your first barb hunting unit has a minimum +13% attack bonus. This can be a general, steadfast, or a Fierce/Strike + Combat I type promotion. Its always worth promoting your warrior or slinger to this number before going after camps.
  • 64% is your magic number, as it lets you kill barbarian hovels in two hits. Beyond that though, extra attack strength has no real benefit against barbarians. If you are fighting just barbs (and not the tribes), it may be better to spend your orders/training on other things rather than more promotions once you hit the 64% number, or you could consider focus promotions to give you some chance of one shoting your target.
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