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Emperor and Military Difficulty

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Strategy & Tips' started by Woobi, Sep 14, 2005.

  1. Woobi

    Woobi ...

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    Hello everyone!!!

    I have been lurking on this site for months, only recently registered, but I am hoping to become a part of this great community...

    Setting that aside and on to the real topic; my Civ III troubles...

    I play PTW, the most updated patch just so you know...

    I have been playing Civ for years, but only recently have I decided to challenge myself and move up in difficulties. I consider myself a better then average player overall, but I have some very big problems with my gameplay.

    I am, atleast I think, and excellent peace time builder. All my games monarch and above that I have won have been either Space or Diplomatic. However, I never seem to use any military in my games.

    I don't know what it is, why I just never seem to push myself to buidling units and attacking. It always seems useless to me seeing as the AI is so strong at those levels. But I realize this is what is keeping me from winning consistantly at Emporer level. It's like an all or nothing. If I get attacked, I lose instantly. But if I don't, I have a good chance of winning. I always succumb to bribes and all the sort. Very peaceful.

    I geuss what I'm asking for is some tips on military, how to use it when to use it. I read the guide to winning on Emporer and I get all of it. Just I have a hard time using military...

    The game I attached is a Monarch game. You can see the very little military presense I have, but you can also see how I am obviosuly going to win very easily.

    This is at a point in the game where it was a lock so I jsut started building happiness just for a higher score.

    So any advice or tips would be great. Also, I've been thinking about asking for a SG for teaching the emporer level. Because I know I'm not the only one having trouble.

    Thanks everyone!

    (and sorry for the long post)
     
  2. Heroes

    Heroes Heroes of Might and Magic

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    For war, maybe the most important tips are: 1. diplomacy; 2. artillery; 3. army.

    Diplomacy. In general, the most alliances and the less foes, the better, -- of course if you can afford so many alliances. E.g., you get a free tech from GL, and most AIs don't know it yet. It's passive to wait for them to learn it. You can start a war against the advanced AI, and ally all the others using that tech. For diplomacy, be sure to keep your reputation purely clean.

    Artillery. You can't afford 1:1 kill ratio. The safest way to reduce loss is to use a lot of artilleries (catapults, trebuchets, cannons ...). Any tough defender can be easily killed, if it only has 1 HP left.

    Army is super strong ... but you are playing PTW, that's a different story :) But anyway, in PTW you can still use army to cover you artilleries, since AIs are not likely to attack your army.

    Have fun, and welcome to CFC! :)
     
  3. TimBentley

    TimBentley Deity

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    It is important to build barracks. I usually only build a couple regular units to explore and a couple regular units for MP, then I build only veteran units (exception for far away cities that I got in a peace deal).

    You also don't need units in all your cities. You only need units in your border towns and enough in your coastal towns to deal with troop landings. Once you get rails, you don't need coastal troops until your opponents have marines.

    The key to beating the production advantage on the higher levels is losing less units. The best way to do this is to build artillery-type units. You also need offensive units (such as cavalry), but I don't think this save's military makeup is indicative of what you would do if you were trying to win militarily.

    Bede just opened an emperor training SG, but it's a space victory goal, and I think it already filled up.
     
  4. Woobi

    Woobi ...

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    The SG is filled, plus its C3C...

    On building military, I just always say in my head it's better to just build peace time improvments and not waste that 1 GPT on military...

    I can never push myself over the edge...

    What are the first things you do in a city if looking for a military victory???
     
  5. Heroes

    Heroes Heroes of Might and Magic

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    The 1st thing? Barracks? :)
     
  6. TimBentley

    TimBentley Deity

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    If it takes 10 units to capture a city that makes 15gpt (both arbitrary numbers), you'll make a profit, and you'll hurt the AI you got the city from, and there may be other situational benefits.
     
  7. gmaharriet

    gmaharriet Ancient Crone

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    I've had much the same problem, Woobi. I'm not comfortable with the "idea" of war, either in real life or in the game, so I've preferred peaceful games. However, I've learned that the AI are less likely to attack if I have a strong military, so I keep one available.

    To "push" myself into learning to actually fight, I played a couple of AW (Always War) games. I posted some of my saves on this board and got a LOT of helpful suggestions from other members, and won both games (1 at Warlord, 1 at Regent).

    If you aren't familiar with the concept of AW, it requires that you declare on any civ you come across on the turn you meet them, and you cannot ever sign peace treaties. It's the exact opposite of what you're going now, and you get plenty of experience in fighting. It's a matter of deciding that you want to learn about warmongering and dedicating a game (or 2 or more) to learning just that. It's very helpful for later taking a middle course in your subsequent games, and I heartily recommend it.

    Good luck!!! :)
     
  8. Twonky

    Twonky King

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    IMHO the best time for war is when you get cavalry before your victim does. You are then going to face pikes and some muskets, which can be overcome quite easily. Try to research to Military Tradition as soon as you reach the MA. You are going to have some cities that already have libs and markets, where you pump out horsemen or knights if available. After the mass upgrade to cavalry just go ahead on your neighbour.
    This works well for me, at least up to emperor.
     
  9. rysingsun

    rysingsun King

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    i agree with gma about the always war technique for learning to fight. not everyone needs to be coerced like that but for you it will give a good excuse to learn HOW to fight now and learn WHEN to fight later. i would suggest in your case maybe a regent game pangea or continents.

    my experience is that war is profitable under 3 circumstances.

    1) you get attacked. it would be unprofitable to not fight back.
    2) ancient or middle ages if you dont have enough territory to make a full core and you quite simply need more territory.
    3) industrial age after you get cavalry and artillery and have factories built. at this point your production rate is very high, you (should) already have all the workers you need and you've run out of good things to build peacefully in your cities. at this point you ramp up military production including a generous share of bombard units and start making conquest at a fairly low cost in units lost. make sure to form at least one alliance with the one you are at war with - more if you are afraid of him. even a single alliance is usually sufficient to drain off most of his offensive units (the only really troublesome ones) on your neighbor. one interesting method to drain off almost ALL of his offensive units on your neighbor is by first declaring war on your distant neighbor and allying your near neighbor against him. 20 turns later you declare war on your near neighbor who has lost the large majority of his offense. now you can bombard his cities to ruins without debilitating counterattacks.

    after completing your first or second always war game you will have learned enough about war that you will have confidence in fighting technique. but you are not done. diplomacy in war is an art form that takes time to learn, although it seems pretty easy once you get used to it.
     
  10. vmxa

    vmxa Deity

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    It seems to me that you would need a complete rethinking to play Emperor or better. Although it is possible to win with a no war policy, it gets very very tough from that level onward.

    At least go with a war at teh right time plan. I mean you want to get a war fairly early in some games to hurt you neighbor. You must get a war or two in in the middle part to take land from someone.

    Right now you have less land than most of the civs. At this stage of the game at Monarch you should be top dog.

    Things that should not be done in my view. One never build colosseums. Ok I will relent on a rare case for a metro. Almost never build cathedrals. Surely nevr built them in anything other than the capitol or a metro.

    Do get towns up to city and at size 12 asap.

    Never build anything other than a warrior and maybe a spear as a regular. Better yet, do not build spears for the most part.

    Do not make wealth in a core city and surely get it growing again. Wealth is for totally corrupt cities late in the game.

    Try to tighten up city placement. It will work at monarch and emperor, but why get into a bad habit. You do not need metros at those levels. If you are playing a conquest only game and I know you do not play that way, then a metro or so will be useful.

    Do not make defenders until you are going to need them. Where are you attackers? Why no army? Stop tinking that troops cost money, not having them cost more.

    Use them to bust your neighbors and take their land. They will then earn their keep. Male a few cities that have a barracks and do mostly nothing but make troops.

    Stay out of Demo, use Rep it can stand wars better. Do not choose Rel civs until you are comfortable smashing civs on emperor. One gov switch is all you need and cheap temples and such are not cheap as I do not want to build many of them anyway.

    GA is great time to build massive numbers of troops to crush someone.
     
  11. Lullaby

    Lullaby peaceful builder

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    If you want to try to overcome your builder habits do the following:

    play China, Monarch, normal sized world. China is totally one dimensional to play with and, other like the Aztecs, Mongols or Zulu, really powerful. The Vikings would do it too.
    play a no Wonder + Oscillating War game. This means from the first turn you encounter another civ you have to be constantly on war with at least one civ. You can make peace any time, but you have to declare war the same turn on any one civ, including the one you made peace with. In addition you are not allowed to build any wonders. You are allowed to capture them though.

    For strategies look for the war academy or some succession games that aim at warmongering. The main thing would be to focus on offense units, especially after you get Riders. Think about your start though. sending lots of settlers without escorts and suddenly having to declare war on the first civ you meet won't get you far.

    You can win without having a single culture building built.
     
  12. Choffy

    Choffy One more turn

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    If you want to go to war you need :
    - 2 to 4 granaries + 3 to 4 regular warriors + as many Workers and settlers as required
    - Barracks and offensive units for productive cities
    - Catapults / canons for corrupted cities

    - later on you can afford 3 / 4 marketplaces + 1 forbidden palace

    That is all. Do not produce something else.
     
  13. Woobi

    Woobi ...

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    VMXA alot of the stuff in that game is jsut to gain more points because it was already handily won...

    But as for the AW idea, I think I will try it...

    Definetly on a lesser level, but I think it will atelast help me to be an opertunistic warmonger if I get a few games of AW in...

    Thanks for all the replies guys!!!
     
  14. vmxa

    vmxa Deity

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    If you wanted more points, you should have conquerd at least half of the land by 750ad. Win by domination around 1200ad or by conquest around 1700ad. That will get you more points than a few structures or wonders.

    Anyway when I see a map like that one at 750ad, it looks like losing to me. Squeezing out a diplo or space win with the smallest empire is not winning to me.

    AW at monarch on a pangea should be fun game, not too hard, but will require some paying attention for the first age or two. AW on emperor is much better, but it is a game that can be lost, if things go wrong. It will get tiresome late in the game with all the units to shuffle around.
     
  15. ZubieMaster

    ZubieMaster Warlord

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    I'm also an emperor player but on vanilla. I'm pretty much exactly the opposite as you normally play as I'm in war with everybody at some point thruout the entire game. I really don't know how you play otherwise since the very nanosecond I let an AI become peaceful they start to runaway. AW seems too constricting to me. Sure you will practice combat but it might not be combat for a specific purpose, which is more useful when you want to stop AW and play a "normal" game.

    Wars revolve around goals. Need a lux? Need to expand into a neighbor? Need to knock down the leader a peg or maybe you just want to take over the entire continent? Never war in civ unless you know "why". Sometimes you get sneak attacked and the "why" is thrust upon you, but you should be prepared for that.

    Much of this others said. Don't put units in every city. Some MP is fine but use the lux slider early. You should be taking over luxes pretty quick and it will go back down. Don't just turtle in your territory. Maybe instead of an AW rule try holding yourself to the rule of not building any defensive units. You really don't need them and you appear stronger to the AI with offense, and ready to attack. Late in the game you can draft defenders. Build swords, but mostly horsies and arty and you'll be good to go.

    Be opportunistic. Jump in on a war that's been going on. As others said, always ally, always gang up on someone or else they will gang up on you. If you have a spare tech or resource to offer, that's the time to declare and ally. Sometimes your goal is so important you might have no choice but to use GPT, just make sure it's worth it. Never pay lump sum, assume your ally will reneg on the deal.

    Be patient. You want the AI's SODs to gas out against each other. Create as small of front as possible. Fortify on mountains, then hills, then behind rivers. But this doesn't mean to sit there; you also need to take initiative when any unit comes within range. Redline it w/ arty, kill it with a fast unit so you can retreat it back to the fortified spot. Your kill ratios will be great (of course not as good as they should be thanks to the RNG :mad: ). Once the AI's initial stack trickles out, move in your SOD. With enough arty and patience AI cities easily fall.

    Accept a different perspective on econ/tech. As a builder you've probably got the slider at 90% research. You're probably used to Republic-Demo; choose monarchy as your government until you really get good at limiting what causes war weariness. Instead of AW you should try a no research game. Put that slider to zero. You'll have the money to war with. This will force more diplo and war since you'll have to engage in "pointy stick" research. You will fall behind in tech; don't worry, horses and cats still beat pikes if you have enough to redline them.

    It might be painful for a builder, but as others said don't build wonders, take them after your neighbor wastes all those shields. Taking the GLib especially solves the tech race problem. It's really fun to "double-dip" the Glib – take it over early and keep pounding the civ that built it until they aren't a threat. Then let them take back the Glib before education, ideally after chivalry. Go war with others until you stall out with knights & cats going against rifles & cav. Then take the Glib a second time and enter industrial age at parity, game over.

    You say a problem is not building enough units, but if you just build offensive and stop building every structure you'll have enough. Rush barracks if military civ. Only build one culture structure: just a temple (or library instead if sci civ). In a lull after achieving a major goal put up markets in your core. I like to rush aqueducts to get up unit support and to peel off settlers. I rarely build granaries, maybe just one or two, and never any after the expansion phase. Don't worry, once you're the top dog and cruising to a win, you'll have plenty of time to build anything you want at the end to sate your builder thirst. :king:

    Maybe some of this won't work for PTW, but hopefully there's something in there that will help.
     
  16. Heroes

    Heroes Heroes of Might and Magic

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    Guys, I agree with most of your ideas, but except one point: why not build defensive units? Don't you need them in your SoD? A stack of horses and cats is too fragile. Besides, ideally you have a thin front, but life is often not so ideal. When you are going ahead into enemy's territory, gradually you will have several front points to defend: city and resource. In this situation, aren't defenders really needed?
     
  17. cleverhandle

    cleverhandle King

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    Because the AI is not really very smart in understanding military strength. Even though a small number of defenders and artillery along with one or two skirmishers can effectively defend against a large onslaught if played intelligently, the AI will consider it a weaker force than a few offensive units. If your goal is to stay out of war, building offensive units will make a stronger impression, even if they would do a worse job defending in case a war actually did break out.
    I think the answer is basically "yes" to all of this. You probably do want *some* defenders, but only in places where they are actually going to be attacked, like the ones you mention. What people are warning against is the usual newcomer's mistake of building spearman by default, thinking they will protect their cities. If I'm garrisoning a city that's not in imminent danger of an attack (like right on the border with Rome), I'm going to put an archer there instead of a spearman because I want the (theoretical) military strength. I'll only build a few spearmen for locations that have a specific and compelling reason to be targetted by the AI.
     
  18. Heroes

    Heroes Heroes of Might and Magic

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    I see your point, thank you. :) Just a side issue: spearman is often a better investment than archer in a long run. Spear can upgrade all the way to mechanical infanry, while archer's next upgrade (longbow) is not very great (still useful) and too far away (that's the main problem). Certainly, sometimes archers are really great: fight barbarians, protect your small island (the sid game I'm playing as China). But as long as you get iron, archers fade away, --they don't die, as veterans ... :D
     
  19. vmxa

    vmxa Deity

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    To me it is a function of the what is going on in the game. If I am in against a stronger civ and they are at war with me, I will make defenders in at risk towns.

    If I have not cleared my land and barb camps are about and two civs triggered uprisings, I may need a defender in one or more towns. I may also just let them pillage the town, if it is cheaper.

    What I won't do is just make spears to sit around in towns that are not going to be coming under attack, just to have 2 units in each town. I won't send spears along with horses on the hunt.

    If this is some AW type of game, then I will make spears as I need to get my ratio of kills high as I can. That means defenders and bombardment units.

    The idea is I do not want any more defenders than I need. I cannot attack with defenders. Archers are better attackers and in Conquest they get defensive bombardment. I can archer rush, I cannot spear rush. I won't even have cats at teh time I may want to do an archer rush as I probably will not have Math.

    Now you are correct that archers do not have a great shelf life and as such I tend to pick and choose when I am going to make a bunch of them. That is why vets warriors can be a better choice, they can be swords and MDI. They are good attackers for the AA and vey early IA, after that they suck.

    So what is my civ? That can tip the balance as to what you want to be making. I love horses as they get to retreat and upgrade very nicely (especially as China).
     
  20. ZubieMaster

    ZubieMaster Warlord

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    Depends what you consider a "defender" I guess. Swords are the "defenders" of my early stacks. Build warriors instead of spears and upgrade them to swords. Sometimes this gives enough swords right there that I only need to build horses during the transition to knights. Of course your lower-production non-barracks cities should be going all cats from early on. Anyway, I used to think exactly like you are saying, now I refuse to ever build a spear. Just give it a try, just one game of the "build no defender" rule and you'll be hooked. You'll find the best defense is a great offense.
     

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