Getting the most out of unique units

Joined
Sep 30, 2019
Messages
22
All the civ-specific strategy guides I've read pay a lot of attention to unique units. However, in my experience conquering cities is all about the siege units (and in later eras, bombers) with the bare minimum of melee units to actually take the cities. What am I missing here? Are UUs more useful in human vs. human matches?
 

knighterrant81

Warlord
Joined
Aug 9, 2011
Messages
272
All the civ-specific strategy guides I've read pay a lot of attention to unique units. However, in my experience conquering cities is all about the siege units (and in later eras, bombers) with the bare minimum of melee units to actually take the cities. What am I missing here? Are UUs more useful in human vs. human matches?

I think a lot of strategy guides do a disservice by presenting every bonus as equally important. Not all bonuses are created equal, and that goes for UUs as well. Some pretty decent Civs still come with some pretty terrible UUs. For instance, America is a decent Civ (not OP by any means, but decent). However, neither P-51s or Rough Riders are particularly useful. P-51s come too late and Rough Riders are really held back by needing to hard build them, although hard building units in the mid to late game is more viable in Gathering Storm than it has been in earlier versions of the game. America's strength comes from Roosevelt Corollary, Film Studios, and the new version of Founding Fathers (Diplo cards are Wild cards).
 

ezzlar

Emperor
Joined
Dec 21, 2001
Messages
1,763
UU:s used to not require any strategic resources which was one of the best selling points for many of them since it enabled you to plan a push.
 

tetley

Head tea leaf
Joined
Nov 8, 2001
Messages
3,218
Location
Igloovik
All the civ-specific strategy guides I've read pay a lot of attention to unique units. However, in my experience conquering cities is all about the siege units (and in later eras, bombers) with the bare minimum of melee units to actually take the cities. What am I missing here?

Ranged units.
 

tetley

Head tea leaf
Joined
Nov 8, 2001
Messages
3,218
Location
Igloovik
What are examples of genuinely useful UUs?

I think most are. Pitatis (Nubia) are amazing. Scythian Horse Archers can give you BC-era Domination wins. Cree and Incan scouts. Biremes and Sea Dogs are brutal. A lot of these units, you have to play them to really appreciate them. Barbary Corsairs, Eagle Warriors, and Maori Toa, for example: you just have to play it and see. I like Sumerian war carts and Spanish Conquistadores for the way they combine with their other civ bonuses (i.e. you couldn't just pick up War carts and give them to England, and expect them to shine).
 

knighterrant81

Warlord
Joined
Aug 9, 2011
Messages
272
What are examples of genuinely useful UUs? Playing as Russia and sort of disappointed with the Cossack.

Units that you get early and do not require resources are particularly good, as well as units that you can upgrade into rather than being forced to hard build.

I really like Nubian Pitati Archers. Roman Legions are pretty nice. Other nice UUs include Ottoman Janissaries, Aztec Eagle Warriors, Sumerian War Carts, Persian Immortals, Hungarian Huzar and Black Army.
 

Victoria

Regina
Supporter
Joined
Apr 11, 2011
Messages
11,883
What am I missing here?
A Civ specific guide will talk about UU's specific to that Civ but will not repeat standard strategy like bombards

Differential
If a Unit has a few +x values it provides a bonus over other values but the higher that differential the more severe the difference.

Take your disappointing Cossack as an example.
Cavalry are considered quite powerful IF you beeline them. Yes they are quite late and yes you may need to hard build them but bee lining a unit that is either +5 or +10 over a standard strong unit is important and the move after attacking, especially with a GG allows it to attack, move to farm and pillage heal in the same move. Bee lining also takes you past printing so quite likely you get a +3 in there.
On deity it takes time to get your science really burning and typically when you get to Cossacks when bee lining you are ahead of the curve typically so your +5/+10 can even convert to near one shots in differential. Now at this level of difference it is even possible to take walls without bombards/artillery.

So in a Russian Specific strategy I would expect them to talk about civ specific strategies and one of them would be the Cossack beeline after pushing science. I would not expect them to discuss a knight rush strategy as that is more general and should be known through general strategy guides or threads.

Even if a unit was rubbish or a strategy does not suit (like it may not in this case) I would expect a civ specific guide to cover it and I would not expect it to cover more general strategies like a sword rush. Russia can very quickly generate a lot of faith and this faith can even be saved to create 10 Cossacks if required because at that stage of the game you can buy Cossacks with faith. If a strategy is both well explained and well executed most UU's will do OK. I play a lot of England and do Redcoat rushes which are quite strong but Cossacks are similar with some interesting and beneficial differences of speed and pillage/healing
 

tetley

Head tea leaf
Joined
Nov 8, 2001
Messages
3,218
Location
Igloovik
and the move after attacking, especially with a GG allows it to attack, move to farm and pillage heal in the same move.

This is similar to what makes Barbary Corsairs useful. Run in, coastal raid, run out. Don't even have to get hit by the walls. Have a nice day, we'll bill you later. On to the next victim.
 

MinnesotaRuss

Warlord
Joined
Feb 9, 2017
Messages
114
Legions are incredible. 8 attack points with no iron requirement and early enough in the game to work fabulous in tandem with archers and catapults. Take virtually any city you want.
 

Mr_PeaCH

Chieftain
Joined
Oct 9, 2009
Messages
76
I've been spending some time with Norway lately trying to make use of their UUs; Viking Longships and Berserkers. While I'm still finding it hard to find a niche in which Berserkers are viable (slower game speed may be required) I'm loving the hell out of Longships.

For Longships you have wonderful synergy with the Leader's abilities of 50% bonus for naval melee units (obvious) and, since Gathering Storms, a wildly successful pillaging bonus. The pillaging bonuses work with any unit doing the pillaging but the Longship is able to pillage improvements and districts on the coast. Farms and many UU buildings give straight 50 points of Health. But mines yield bonus Science and all the rest (Quarries, Pastures, Plantations and Camps) yield bonus Culture. Districts give yields accordingly except Entertainment gives Health and Manufacturing gives Science. Th pillaging bonuses can be pretty large and are increased by use of the civic which increases yields from pillaging by 50%.

But the real revelation was finding out that even after upgrading Longships to Caravels they still have the pillaging ability! Another unsung ability for these ships is they can convert civilian units with just a single movement point. Pillaging still takes 3 movement points but once it's a Caravel it's got 5 and with an Admiral near, 6, so it can be easy to get in, pillage, and get out of range of the city guns. And when you consider that the pillaging bonuses work with any land unit you'll want to upgrade Light Cavalry to get the 1 point pillaging perk. Total fun to run wild through your oppositions cities pillaging all they have. And like I said, the bonuses can be several turns worth of Science or Culture making further advancements come quickly.
 

Victoria

Regina
Supporter
Joined
Apr 11, 2011
Messages
11,883
And when you consider that the pillaging bonuses work with any land unit you'll want to upgrade Light Cavalry to get the 1 point pillaging perk.
Yes, this makes the civ totally awesome and not fully appreciated
 
Joined
Sep 30, 2019
Messages
22
I just got through playing a domination victory with the Mongols and I have to say I was very sad when I upgraded my Kesigs to field artillery. On paper the Keshing might not seem that exciting—they're basically crossbows with +2 movement—but the bonus movement was incredibly valuable in terms of being able to place the Keshing's exactly where they needed to be.
 

m_mus

Chieftain
Joined
Mar 15, 2019
Messages
47
I love Samurai.
Their ability to fight until their last point of health with full force makes them absolutely devastating. Especially in MP, when some opponents seem to forget that fact. You can fight much longer before retreating and you often lure your opponent in fights they thing they can win. You'll get them in medieval-age, when everyone else has only ancient walls. Buy them with faith (Japan has its holy sites 50% faster), accompany them with a ram / siege tower and off you go. You won't need catapults.
I also love Minas Geras.
They wreck not only your enemies fleet, they also cut through city-defences like a knife through warm butter in that crucial phase, when you don't have bombers yet, but the enemy already has steel- or renaissance walls. Since they come with the nationalism civic, you'll be fighting with this battleship with 3 range, when everyone is still reliant on frigattes with 2 range (unpromoted, for sure).
-
In general you make most of UU, if you get them early, so the window of time extends during which they are superior to equivalent non-unique units of the same age. So beeline.
 

CoconutTank

Unapologetic Warmonger
Supporter
Joined
Oct 23, 2014
Messages
532
Location
Macro Land
I've found the Macedon's Hypaspists to be a lot of fun. They're just as strong as base Swordsmen, require far less Iron to train, and also gain a strength bonus when besieging, which helps with taking cities early on.
 

Flaxton

Warlord
Joined
Jan 30, 2012
Messages
153
Location
London
Mamluks can be real fun. They heal every turn, combine that with a retired Abu Al-Qasim Al-Zahrawi and a medic Apostle and you are healing 30hp in enemy territory. They upgrade to tanks so there's a useful future too for your experienced units.
 

CoconutTank

Unapologetic Warmonger
Supporter
Joined
Oct 23, 2014
Messages
532
Location
Macro Land
So a +5 is some circumstances is the thing. The +5 does help though, it’s just when I am being run down by Mongols it is a touch annoying but it is great to have 2 UU’s.
Oh the +5 is certainly quite nice, it's just a reminder that Hypaspists don't have a base strength that's higher than the base strength of the unit they replace, that's all.
 

Mr. Shadows

Nomad of the time streams
Joined
Jul 6, 2015
Messages
650
Location
Incheon, R.O.K.
The reduced iron cost is important to remember with any swordsman replacement. A normal swordsman costs 20 iron so you can upgrade a maximum of two warriors on the turn you research iron working. The UU replacements cost 10 (except for the Toa- still iron free?) so you can upgrade up to five if you have the gold. That makes a big difference in what can be accomplished before crossbows. I have to say Alex doesn't feel nearly as strong to me these days. Maybe I just need to make an adjustment or have had unlucky starts but it seems a lot harder to get his snowball rolling than it once was.
 
Top Bottom