Early Siege units

Discussion in 'Civ5 - Strategy & Tips' started by Aramis604, Sep 13, 2012.

  1. Aramis604

    Aramis604 Chieftain

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    I'm curious what the general sentiment is among the community regarding the Catapult and Trebuchet units.

    For myself I've typically found them to be too vulnerable to offer any real advantage in warfare. It seems that the AI places a high priority on attacking these siege units with cities or other ranged units, which usually leads to my having to retreat (often times without getting to fire even once) so that they're not killed.

    The only real solution I've discovered for this is to use an additional unit (maybe two depending up on how many enemy units are near the city I wish to assault), so that one will draw fire and hopefully my other units can get a shot off in the following round. But this leads to logistical problems in many cases where there is limited space to surround a city, or limited line of fire.

    Over the course of many games I have generally found that archer units are more effective for attacking cities. True, they do not receive massive bonuses to attacking cities, but their survivability is far superior. The lack of siege weapons doesn't seem to slow me down more than a turn or two in taking a city, especially once my archers have been upgraded some.

    Honestly, at this point I don't really consider building siege units until Dynamite most of the time.... though I do like making canons for city defense.

    What have other people's experiences with these early siege units been like?
     
  2. Trickster7135

    Trickster7135 Prince

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    Siege units are incredibly powerful, but require far more protection than archers. Proper use of siege units can allow you to take a city in a single turn. Highly defended cities will go down much, much faster with siege units than archers. If you have problems defending the siege units from ranged attacks, have a melee unit attack the city or another unit to reduce it's health below maximum, then have him sit and heal every turn. That unit will draw fire and allow the big guns to take down the city quickly.
     
  3. Aramis604

    Aramis604 Chieftain

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    This is exactly my problem though... in my experience the AI seems to attack my siege units rather than other units which are in their range, including wounded melee units.

    I do often employ using melee units which are wounded, fortified, and healing, (preferably with a medic unit in range too), in order to draw fire. It works wonderfully well right up until the point I get a siege units in range.
     
  4. Trickster7135

    Trickster7135 Prince

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    ^^ Then your only solution is to bring more siege units. Have one or two switch off as the target and heal. Medic promotions from melee and ranged units allow this process to be far less painful.
     
  5. Tabarnak

    Tabarnak Cut your lousy hairs!

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    If :c5strength: of a city is over 25 you need some siege weapons if you don't have discovered machinery. Otherwise just go with CBs it will be plenty enough(at least 5 of them).

    Against a GWed civ siege weapons are more powerful because you don't want to lose a turn with CBs to get full power. Siege always need to take a turn to set-up so it's surely better with them since you gonna lose a turn in anyways. Unless you play Persia under a ga or make a big army of war phants with India.
     
  6. Osamu

    Osamu Chieftain

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    Siege unit is better in lowering city health job. However, Archer & CB are more versatile and help picking off enemy troops before you surround the city. And you're right that siege unit is vulnerable and hard to protect. That's why I prefer 3-4 CBs in early game, then upgrade to Crossbow in mid-game.

    I play Cultural Persia before with long golden age and quite amazing that 3 movement can rule the whole world. My siege can just move in, set up and shoot all in the same turn (barring rough terrain). My fully upgrade Crossbow can move in and shoot twice. I never think combat would be this easy ever!
     
  7. Tich

    Tich Prince

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    If you want to see the power of Siege units, just play as Korea. Build a bunch of Catapults early on and upgrade them to Hwachas as soon as you can. Beeline the tech if you have to. They'll keep their 200% bonus vs cities from being a Catapult and will still have their base 26 strength. Yes, it's an abusive glitch. Who cares? The math works out to them being something like 78 power vs cities, which is stronger than a Cannon. That number is probably wrong but that's neither here nor there really. It will 1-2 shot almost anything at stage of the game. Take every city that you can conceivably reach since everything will get crushed before your might. Hwachas are great against units, unlike other siege units, and are just plain overpowered if you upgrade in to them and attack cities.

    Happy cheesing :D.
     
  8. FromBirth

    FromBirth Chieftain

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    Aramis

    I feel exactly the same as you.

    Some of these response do give ways to mitigate the vulnerability of siege units and other posts rely on a more specific UU or UA. Neither really get away from the fact that the basic siege units are pathetically fragile. I used to get 3-6 catapults and keep them all alive until they were upgraded to Artillery and then rule the world with ease. Now I hardly ever get my artillery up to 2xattack/+1 range. I've even tried getting to crossbows then straight to world war bombers avoiding artillery altogether (didn't work very well).
    Next game I'm going to try and blood my catapults on some units, get the -33% range damage promo then send them in. Lets see how they fare!
     
  9. Bellrock

    Bellrock Chieftain

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    You will want to build your catapults in a city with at least a barracks to at least get the first promotions. In the vanilla Civ 5, I always aimed to get Logistics (1 additional attack) and Range (+1 range) as the 4th and 5th promotion; the first three promotions of course being, all in Accuracy or Barrage. However, I’m finding in God+Kings, that the catapults often the priority targeted when within range of the assaulted city. My current thinking (as stated by FromBirth) is to get promotions that provide defense from cities and ranged attacks. For my second promotions I have been choosing Volley (+50% combat vs. cities and fortified units), and I’m assuming does provide a defensive bonus. Although looking through the promotions Cover I and II (+33% defense to ranges attacks) may be what we are looking for.

    I suppose a question would be does Volley provide a defensive bonus as well, or is it an offensive bonus only?
     
  10. Aramis604

    Aramis604 Chieftain

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    I'm giving the Catapults and Trebuchet another try in a new game; this time as Catherine, and will likely play a few more games just to be thorough. So far though I still think Catapults are not worth building because they're too fragile.

    First I moved in my melee units, 2 Swordsmen and 1 Pikeman. The Swordsmen both have some of the rough terrain upgrades and one has cover, the Pikeman has Medic II. Swordsmen with cover enters range of the capital first, fortifies in a jungle tile adjacent and successfully draws fire. Other Swordsmen moves in as does the medic, fortify, and the AI continues to attack my cover unit... perfect!

    Now I move my 3 catapults in to range and setup to fire the following round. They're all fresh units but have one upgrade thanks to Barracks. My turn is over so I now I wait...

    As expected the AI immediately turns attention to my catapults. City fires first and damages a catapult for 89. An archer defending the city finishes the catapult off... but they have no other units in the area so they're done.

    My turn again. I have a choice to make, do I sacrifice at least one more catapult so that I can fire on the city this turn, or do I pull back so I don't lose a unit? Well, I can't capture the city if I don't take some risks. I fire. Each catapult hits for about 20hp (One hit for 22, the other for 19). The city is wounded but still has about 2/3 HP, so my melee units cannot capture it this turn, but I attack anyway. The city is now just a bit under 1/2 HP. My turn is over.

    AI kills another catapult on their turn.

    My remaining catapult fires and does another ~20hp, my swordsmen attack, and now the city is at just a sliver of health. I successfully capture it the follow turn, but not before my 3rd catapult is destroyed.

    This was an awfully costly attack for me. Especially since I'm playing on marathon speed, replacing one catapult is a significant investment at this stage of the game, let alone 3.

    Possibly I waited too long to attack with my catapults. Though, I am number 1 in tech and had just gotten Civil Service in order to upgrade my medic from spearman to pikeman. However, Montezuma was significantly behind me when I attacked. He had one Composite Bowman so he's classical era, but I presume Construction was his best tech.

    I did end up going back and loading an autosave prior to attacking Montezuma just to see how a different strategy would work out. This time I waited until I could upgrade my Catapults to Trebuchet and my Swordsmen to Longswordsmen. This fight went a lot better. Basically employed the same tactic in attacking the city, but this time the AI didn't attack my Siege units. It took two turns to get the city.

    Like I said, I want to play out a few more games to see how it works out... but I still think I prefer using archer units pre-dynamite to attack cities.
     
  11. Aoxomoxoa

    Aoxomoxoa Prince

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    I fall into the 'early siege is too much of a PITA protecting to invest in at that point' category. The AI always puts all it's effort into taking out the catapult no matter what the better strategic move might be so that... it either dies or it doesn't get used.

    Trebs can usually withstand most of those attacks, but catapults I'm way down on.
     
  12. Aramis604

    Aramis604 Chieftain

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    oops. somehow managed to post my message a second time.
     
  13. OmniPotent42

    OmniPotent42 King

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    It grants +50% ranged attack bonus against cities and fortified units, if I recall correctly. Cover is the only defensive promotion there is for ranged units.
     
  14. Ottoman player

    Ottoman player Chieftain

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    I prefer a couple/few melee units (soaking up damage, taking the city), a few/lots of archers (anti-personnel), and a couple/few early siege weapons than spamming archers. Are you playing vanilla or G+K? Dropping the iron requirement and adding the bonus vs cities (that wasn't in vanilla, right?) really helped the catapults and trebs out imo.

    That's kind of unlucky that the AI targeted your catapults rather than finishing off your melee unit. In most games I play the AI keeps pounding on whatever unit is already hurt, not the siege/archers actually hurting the city.
     
  15. Question

    Question King

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    Seige units become more valuable if you give them all indirect fire. That way you can take cities in forested/hilly terrain without turtling and teching to dynamite.
     
  16. Aramis604

    Aramis604 Chieftain

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    Can pre-dynamite siege units even get indirect fire in G&K? I had one of my cannon (started as a trebuchet and has been upgraded) benefit from quite a few promotions, and never did the indirect fire promo list as an option. This unit had Accuracy 3, Logistics, and still Indirect fire didn't pop up.... once upgraded to Artillery they got it though.
     
  17. Question

    Question King

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    Oh, i have a mod that gives all seige units indirect fire. I don't think they can get it in vanilla.
     
  18. Terakahn

    Terakahn Chieftain

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    Far as I know, indirect fire is artillery only. Isn't it?
     
  19. Aoxomoxoa

    Aoxomoxoa Prince

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    I'm pretty sure that patch that came out concurrent with the G&K release removed indirect fire from all the ranged pre-artillery.

    Does this mod give you the Indirect fire automatically? If so, that's pretty much a god mod now. If indirect fire is where it used to be in the promotion path, that's still like 6-7 upgrades... Really hard to get that many shots while keeping them safe.
     
  20. Seabastian Civ

    Seabastian Civ King

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    I've found that seige is great for taking tough early cities, but requires more planning and maneuvering. You really need to have your ducks in a row when using siege early. Here is how I generally try to take tough cities

    .......C........
    .....x x x.....
    AA....x..x.....AA
    ....S S S....

    Advance the melee's (x) to envelop the city on 3 sides, knocking out units with archers (A) first. Keep the Siege (S) 3 tiles away until the melee are in place. On one turn, move all 3 siege into firing position (if you can set up, great, if not you might lose a seige if you're not careful). Fortify your melee, and bomb away. Even a capital will fall within a few turns. The only thing to watch is that all 3 Siege have line of fire to the city... Oh, and the Volley promotion is absolutely critical... barb hunt or knock out a CS to get it... makes sieging 100x easier.

    Having said that, CBs are better for taking 90% of cities :lol:
     

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