1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

First strikes in FFH2

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Fall from Heaven' started by morchuflex, Oct 3, 2010.

  1. morchuflex

    morchuflex Emperor

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    1,385
    Location:
    Paris
    Hello.

    I've just noticed that most promotions have been boosted in this mod ("combat" now gives +20%, "schock" +40 etc).

    Doesn't it make the Drill line promotions even more useless than they already are in BTS?

    Most BTS studies seem to indicate that one first strike is slightly less valuable than a 10% strength boost. Now that "combat" means a 20% boost, is there any reason to choose Drill promotions? :scan:
     
  2. PPQ_Purple

    PPQ_Purple Techpriest Engineer

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2008
    Messages:
    3,395
    Firsts strikes give your unit a chance to deal damage to an enemy unit, potentially even destroy it without suffering any damage in return.

    It is extremely valuable, but only on high strength high level units. Since it allows them to decimate entire stacks without loosing health at all.
     
  3. morchuflex

    morchuflex Emperor

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    1,385
    Location:
    Paris
    That's FS are supposed to do, but do they actually? Does a one round invulnerability chance give me a better chance to win without taking damage than a 20% increase in strength?
    Increasing my base strength increases my chances to hit and the damage dealt when hitting, so it shortens the battle, and does increase the probability of winning without damage.

    In his infamous "Combat explained" article (link below), Arathorn long ago demonstrated that one FS is barely able to hold its own compared to a (vanilla) combat promotion. So, it would seem logical to assume that a doubled combat bonus beats a FS hands down.

    Example: for 10 XP, I can give my unit either +60% str (combat III) or 1 FS and 3 additional FS chances (Drill III), which means 2.5 rounds of combat invulnerability. I'd guess the first one beats the second even in chances of winning undamaged.

    Link:
    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=137615
     
  4. Jarrema

    Jarrema Master Voter

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2009
    Messages:
    4,196
    Location:
    At home
    Also, Blitz promotion could be a reason for going drill line.
    Btw, drill promotions also get buffed - more chances for defensive strike, more damage associated with it.
    I typically have one dedicated defender in a stack - he gets all drill promotions he can, and if it is possible, blitz. Then, he has good chance for a devastating defense strkika, and (thanks o the blitz) he can make infinite number of defensive strikes in a turn!

    I love to buff Arthendain hero with drill and blitz. He has basic 40% chance for defensive strike.
    As every good defender, he also doubles as a healer.

    EDIT: one drill gives you a small change of leaving fight unscratched. But the whole line...
    Of course it depends on relative strength of units, but a strong unit with all drill promotions and Blitz can kill 4 enemy units in a turn when attacking and not suffer even a small wound.
    So, drill basically leads to save decimation of enemy weak troops. Against not so weak target, combat would be better. But, if you take only combat promotions you could be damaged even by very weak opponent
    As for defending, my highly promoted Arthendain once killed 100+ units in one turn - but of course he had also combat promotions
     
  5. Jarrema

    Jarrema Master Voter

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2009
    Messages:
    4,196
    Location:
    At home
    Morchuflex, there is a citation from the thread you mentioned:

    'The other thing, though, is that units with first strike are less likely to be wounded. First strike helps preserve hit points, so that a unit which won will be healthier. Back to the 3.3 vs. 3 with 2 first strikes example. The stronger unit wins more, but it deals, on average, 78.6 hps damage, while the first strike unit deals, on average, 79.8 hps damage. And the first striker is more than twice as likely to walk away uninjured as the stronger unit.

    If your unit is barely stronger with first-strike or barely weaker without first strike, then the first strike promotion is better than a strength promotion. This appears true out to about the 1.38/1.39 strength ratio barrier. If the strength ratio is outside 1.38, strength beats first strike. And if strength would change which unit is stronger, strength wins out. Exact calculations on this may come later. One thing to note -- Combat I doesn't always give 10% to modified strength. An archer defending a city on a hill, for example, gains far less than 10% modified strength with Combat I (6 vs. 6.3). In cases with lots of bonuses, Drill might be the better promotion, potentially even over a 20/25% bonus. Work is still in progress on this.'
     
  6. PPQ_Purple

    PPQ_Purple Techpriest Engineer

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2008
    Messages:
    3,395
    In other words, first strikes can not and will not help a weak unit defeat a stronger opponent.

    What they will do is help a strong unit defeat weaker ones much more efficiently (without taking damage) thus allowing your ultra strong, old and promoted units and heroes to become annihilators of large stacks.

    So they are a tool for taking down swarms of weaker units that try to use numbers on you.
     
  7. Jarrema

    Jarrema Master Voter

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2009
    Messages:
    4,196
    Location:
    At home
    Yes, definitely, both on defense and in offense.

    But there is also another us for drill:
    You can use it for not so strong units - for defense strikes. If you have one unit in the stack with drill promotions and blitz, it is worth it. If you cannot (it reqires 5 promotions after all), even 2-3 units with drill1-2 in the stack of 10 can be helpful as dedicated defenders - defensive strikes are awesome if opponent does not take precautions against them (and AI typically does not). City guarded by 4 archers with 2 of them having drill rather than combat would be harder to take than a city guarded by 4 archers with combat promos

    Yes, but it can help a strong unit in its own stack to defend against another strong unit.
     
  8. rvarnell

    rvarnell Chieftain

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2004
    Messages:
    46
    Morchuflex – I initially thought the same thing. In general the combat line is superior to drill in BTS & with the added strength in FFH2 I thought it was a no brainer to promote up the combat line to March & beyond. But with the last few FFH2 patches I started to run into trouble when playing at higher levels. The trouble was that the new patches allow the AI to make hundreds of units – giving them an enormous numbers advantage versus my dozens of units. So I experimented a little & found that, if a Drill promoted unit survived until it reached the Blitz promotion, that it truly could annihilate a stack (as PPQ Purple said).

    I currently think that the Blitz promotion is the most important promotion in the game for combat units. Blitz + Mobility promotions effectively turn one champion into two by allowing it to attack twice per turn. By the same token, one beastmaster becomes 3, one knight becomes 7 (with Mobility 2), and on down the line. So Blitz evens out the numbers advantage that the AI has.

    To take advantage of this I typically promote units up two different paths. Non-mage type heroes & units that I intend on promoting to Tier 4 units get Mobility & then get promoted up the Drill line & eventually get Blitz. Once they get Blitz they go up the Combat promotion path. They also get March (after Combat 3) and Commando (after Combat 4) promotions when they go up that line. Typically if I’m doing lots of fighting & get a unit to the Blitz promotion, then the Combat promotions come fast because the Blitz promoted units get XP so quickly. Add in a Valor spell or a Great Commander & they get XP even faster. But it is a slog getting to Blitz, as those Drill-promoted units are typically weaker than the Combat promoted units they are fighting. To get better survival rates for my lower level Drill promoted units I use siege units or damage spells to lower the strength of the units that I’m attacking. I’ll sacrifice multiple catapults to ensure that my drill promoted units have a high probability of survival because they are so valuable later on in the game.

    The other group goes up my “cannon fodder” promotion path. It’s the opposite – Mobility/Combat line/Drill line. These units have better survival odds initially, but tend to stall out promotion wise because they can never get enough XP to go through the Combat line & up Drill to Blitz. These guys (or gals) get used against stronger units that would beat my Drill promoted units. These troops are also used to protect the drill promoted units against cavalry attacks (since they are immune to first strikes they are very effective against Drill promoted units). These units also get relatively quick access to the second best promotion in the game for a fighting unit – March.
     
  9. morchuflex

    morchuflex Emperor

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    1,385
    Location:
    Paris
    All right, thanks all of you for the clarifications. I wasn't aware that Drill lead to Blitz. That's a point in its favor.
     
  10. Monkeyfinger

    Monkeyfinger Deity

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2006
    Messages:
    2,002
    For these first strikes to be effective in either civ4 or FfH, you have to have a certain amount of strength compared to your opponent, then they become a good pick over more base strength.

    It's easier to get this level of strength with FfH combat promos than it is with civ4 ones.
     
  11. Avahz Darkwood

    Avahz Darkwood Emperor

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2001
    Messages:
    1,220
    Location:
    Behind You!!!!
    Its good for cannon fodder units that give them a rare chance at hitting a powerful unit. Damaging him so that your hero will have an easier time or even a chance at taking him downs. Oddly it works well against Mulcarn.

    Good Cannon Fodder units are summons like skeletons who die at attack, but get resummoned asap.
     
  12. CarpeGuitarrem

    CarpeGuitarrem Chieftain

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2010
    Messages:
    20
    I may be mistaken, but don't the Drill promotions also confer Defensive Strike chances? The other factor, of course, is that by keeping health high, they keep the unit more powerful.
     
  13. Jarrema

    Jarrema Master Voter

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2009
    Messages:
    4,196
    Location:
    At home
    Yes, it does. IMHO it makes Drill very effective on chosen units; I give it to my advanced attack units (AKA heroes), and to one or two dedicated defenders per stack. Also in cities, some of my defenders would have drill promotions
     
  14. Zongo

    Zongo Warlord

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    Messages:
    161
    Drill has a nice sinergy with cannibalize, which heals you 20% after combat. Even if cannibalize only applies to undeads, you can get it through mutation. So you can specialize your random units through such sinergies. Of course, mutated vampires are the best, but it is going off topic...
     

Share This Page