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Effective use of air units

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by michmbk, Aug 18, 2009.

  1. michmbk

    michmbk Emperor

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    As I'm trying to move up to immortal, I find my games are going later into the tech tree, and I'm seeing more air units in cities that I'm attacking. Up until now, I haven't had any use for any air units other than airships, which I find to be somewhat useful in defense. I'd be interested in what strategies advanced players use with respect to air units. Are there good combinations/uses that aid war strategies that people use?

    I tend to continue to default to my usual stack composition, which is cannons/rifles cavalry until the late game, and then infantry/artillery, with some tank and anti-tank support once the AI hits industrialism. I'm wondering if there's a reason to divert to pick up flight and other air-related techs to maximize the use of air power in my late game wars.
     
  2. Lansky

    Lansky King

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    Try Cav/Bomber sometime. If you can get Radio/Flight before your opponent has Flight you will roll over an opponent of otherwise close tech parity like you've never experienced before. Duckweed showcased this in his last all Warmonger enemy thread and just rolled the AI. After that I tried it myself and suddenly Artilliery just isn't as fun.

    Even later Bombers are amazing units as long as the AI does not mass SAM. Unfortunately Stealth Bombers come sooooo late that even when I'm using the modern mobile units I never get around to teching stealth.
     
  3. Grey Fox

    Grey Fox Master of Points

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    Bombers/Fighters/Jet Fighters + Helicopters + Paratroopers is some of the fastest conquering you can do. Paratroopers can't attack after a jump, but they can conquer an empty city. And Helicopters can't capture a city, but they can kill the defenders.
     
  4. mirthadir

    mirthadir Emperor

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    air power is the fastest conquest in the game (barring nukes). You can use air power to take down defenses and to weaken defenders. The main problems are:
    1. The AI getting fighters of its own. Getting Jets yourself is a pretty good counter, pillaging/bombing/taking/spy burning their Al or oil also is good.
    2. An insufficient number of slots. For many maps, water allows you to use carriers as mobile fighter slots. Send the fighters (Jets) in first on defense removal mission and eventually you will win the skies, then use the land based bombers for collateral. Only fighters have a really good shot of downing planes and only fighters can attack more than one air unit per turn.
    3. The AI gets MechInf. At this point you either should be using stealth bombers, have a MASSIVE production advantage with jets, or be using nukes.


    Some techniques:
    1. Choppers are some of the most versatile units in the game. They can attack right off the transport and have huge move count. This lets you pillage away rail links so you can isolate an airhead to bring in more troops.
    2. The best logistic line in the game is airport to airport to rails. A quick way to getting that is to take an AI city or two (normally in the tundra) and raze until you have a one tile cultural open to use a settler. Then you can rushbuy the airport in one or two turns and just mass airlift over. Whipping out airports in conquests is slower, but also good.
    3. Placing a GG on a fighter with leadership and placing it on air defense against mass airships will quickly rack up XP and lead to and insanely powerful plane (Combat promos on aircraft are stronger than on ground units). A high enough XP fighter can take down jets later in the game.
     
  5. Dirk1302

    Dirk1302 Deity

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    A very good tip from Duckweed:

    If the ai has fighters begin your bombing/striking with your own fighters. Once all the ai fighters have had their intercept mission strike down with bombers. Bombers are just plain bad against fighters, fighters fare much better. So don't build only bombers.

    Bombers need electricity/radio over fighters. Cav/fighters is a brutal combination too vs a not too advanced ai. Cav/ships is very effective against protective ais that don't have rifling. If ai is not protective the ships are not strictly necessary. If i have physics i always build some nowadays if only for the reccon and gaining an advantage in field. They're quite cheap.
     
  6. Ignorant Teacher

    Ignorant Teacher Emperor

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    Hello guys!

    Sorry if I'm too OT here, didn't want to start a new thread. The thing is, I was playing the LHC Mao (tough map, BTW) and something really weird happened.
    Spoiler :

    One of my fighters was damaged by an airship. (The name is because of BUG). The red sentence. It's a little difficult to read because I've recently changed the resolution. It reads "July, 1885 AD. Your Airship 3 (Xian) was damaged by an enemy Airship (-20%)."


    How is this possible?
     
  7. pi-r8

    pi-r8 Luddite

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    fighters can do unlimited intercepts. If they're very lucky, one good fighter can shoot down your entire air force.
     
  8. bestsss

    bestsss Emperor

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    @Ignorant Teacher

    You didn't rename you fighter when upgraded.
    A fighter was damaged by an airship while intercepting.
     
  9. Ignorant Teacher

    Ignorant Teacher Emperor

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    True, but it's not often that the opponent's fighters will be in good enough conditions to fight your bombers after you've sent your own fighters. When they're damaged, they can be killed by bombers.
     
  10. Ignorant Teacher

    Ignorant Teacher Emperor

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    No, I didn't. I have no patience to do that. Apparently, that will be automatic with BULL.

    I didn't know it was possible for airships to damage fighters. I knew other fighters and jets could, as well as MGs, A-Ts, Mech Infs, SIs, Destroyers, etc., but I never knew about Airships. Has this ever happened to you?
     
  11. bestsss

    bestsss Emperor

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    Only if the fighter is full health. the interception rate is reduced w/ low health and if you have well promoted fighters the outcome is in your favor.
    Air promotions are more important than the ground troops' ones
     
  12. bestsss

    bestsss Emperor

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    Air ships do have air strength for a reason. Yes, it has happened.
     
  13. pi-r8

    pi-r8 Luddite

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    Fair enough, i'm just saying, you're never completely safe from enemy fighters until they're all dead.
     

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