[Guide] The Art of War

Discussion in 'CivWorld - General Discussions' started by SavingHawaii, Jul 13, 2011.

  1. SavingHawaii

    SavingHawaii Chieftain

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    Types of Military Units
    There are four basic types of military units:
    • Melee
    • Ranged
    • Mobile
    • Naval
    Within each category there are a variety of different units. Some are primarily offensive (e.g. Legions with 4 attack and 1 defense) and others primarily defensive (e.g. Phalanxes with 1 attack and 4 defense). Many units are somewhere in between (e.g. Knights with 4 attack and 2 defense, Riflemen with 3 attack and 5 defense).

    Types of Battlefields
    There are five types of battlefields:
    • Grassland
    • Mountains
    • Plains
    • Coastal
    • Forest
    Each battlefield has a specific number of available unit slots for each type of unit (e.g. a coastal battlefield will have 5 melee, 4 ranged, 2 mobile, and 2 naval). Importantly, note that the actual size of a battlefield is dependent on the size of the civilization that is defending. If you attack a large civilization you might have a 2-page battlefield (e.g. a coastal battlefield would have 10 melee, 8 ranged, 4 mobile, and 2 naval). The size of the battlefield is dependent on the size of the defender.

    Preparing Your Army – Working as a Team
    This is where things start to become complicated. It is extremely important to know the strengths of your own civilization and who your enemies are. Many players buy a few legions, a few spearmen, a few cavalry, a few archers; a little bit of everything. That's a very bad way to do things. Imagine that we had a 5-member civilization and were preparing for a battle on a coastal battlefield. Each player in the civilization has bought 5 legions, 5 swordsmen, 5 archers, 5 horsemen, 5 cavalry, and 5 galleys.

    This is how you might end up filling your slots on a coastal battlefield:
    • Melee: 5 Legions (Player 1)
    • Melee: 5 Legions (Player 2)
    • Melee: 5 Legions (Player 3)
    • Melee: 5 Swordsmen (Player 1)
    • Melee: 5 Swordsmen (Player 2)
    • Ranged: 5 Archers (Player 1)
    • Ranged: 5 Archers (Player 2)
    • Ranged: 5 Archers (Player 3)
    • Ranged: 5 Archers (Player 4)
    • Mobile: 5 Cavalry (Player 1)
    • Mobile: 5 Horsemen (Player 1)
    • Naval: 5 Galleys (Player 1)
    • Naval: 5 Galleys (Player 2)
    Your civilization has left 10 legions, 15 swordsmen, 5 archers, 20 cavalry, 20 horsemen, and 15 galleys sitting on the sidelines. You might lose an important battle because you're not working together as an effective team.

    Suppose instead that the members of your civilization focus on creating just a few specific units in their own personal army. Player 1 just creates 25 legions, player 2 just creates 25 swordsmen, player 3 just creates 25 archers, player 4 just creates 25 cavalry, and player 5 just creates 25 galleys. With this teamwork, here's what your battlefield will look like:
    • Melee: 25 Legions (Player 1)
    • Melee: 25 Swordsmen (Player 2)
    • Melee: Empty
    • Melee: Empty
    • Melee: Empty
    • Ranged: 25 Archers (Player 3)
    • Ranged: Empty
    • Ranged: Empty
    • Ranged: Empty
    • Mobile: 25 Cavalry (Player 4)
    • Mobile: Empty
    • Naval: 25 Galleys (Player 5)
    • Naval: Empty
    Having all of those empty slots isn't a bad thing. Your civilization is actually fielding a much larger and more powerful army in this example than in the earlier one. You have 10 extra legions, 15 extra swordsmen, 5 extra archers, 20 extra cavalry, and 15 extra galleys on the battlefield.

    A strong civilization is one whose members focus on excelling in specific military roles. If you have a huge army but can't bring half of it into your battles, you're not going to win. Work with your civilization so that each member is focused on filling a specific slot on the battlefield. You don't need to fill every single unit slot on a battlefield, but you do want to make sure that every available unit is involved in the fight. The Defense Minister plays a very important role during battles in ensuring that unit slots are being filled properly. If a player is wasting a crucial melee slot with his 2 spearmen and blocking the entry of another player's stack of 50 legions onto the battlefield, the Defense Minister should order the retreat of those two spearmen so that a much more valuable stack of legions can join the battle.

    Preparing Your Army – Know Thine Enemy
    It can be daunting looking at the world screen and knowing that your rival fields a tremendous army. Relax. You can defeat them on the field of battle if your civilization works together as a team. Let's illustrate how this can be done using an example: My civilization wants to attacks our only rival in our current game.

    Here's what their army looks like:


    And here's ours:


    Because we're attacking, the action will go down on a plains battlefield. That means three stacks of melee, 6 stacks of mobile, and 2 stacks of ranged units. 94 spearmen (188 defense), 75 phalanx (300 defense), 73 archers (146 defense), 82 horsemen (82 defense), and 22 cavalry (44 defense). With those units alone we're looking at a total possible defense of 760. But, they can't actually field that entire defending army at once. Most of their players only have a handful of each and every single unit. On an actual plains battlefield, they could at best field: 20 phalanx (80 defense), 14 archers (28 defense), 15 cavalry (30 defense), and 16 horsemen (16 defense). That's their best possible defense, for a total of only 154 defense. Not very good. On our side, we can put onto this battlefield 50 legions (200 attack), 60 man-at-arms (180 attack), 53 longbows (53 attack), 26 cavalry (52 attack), and 27 horsemen (27 attack). That's a total of 512 attack points versus only 154 defense, a crushing advantage.

    When preparing for battles, it's important to know where they will be fought and who they will be fought against. Scope out your rivals. Identify who you're likely going to be struggling against. What sort of battlefield will you be fighting on if you attack them? What sort of battlefield will you be fighting on if anybody attacks your civilization? For both offense and defense, build an army that complements what the rest of the players in your civilization have. If you know that you're probably going to be fighting battles on the plains and that a couple other players already have large stacks of melee units, create mobile units so that you can dominate on the flanks of the battlefield as well. Don't waste your production creating a fourth stack of melee units that won't be able to join the fight because there are only three melee slots on a plains battlefield. As has been reiterated again and again, teamwork is essential to victory in this game.
     
  2. SavingHawaii

    SavingHawaii Chieftain

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    [reserved]
     
  3. SavingHawaii

    SavingHawaii Chieftain

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    [reserved for additions]
     
  4. Bugio

    Bugio Warlord

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    Correct me if i'm wrong, but it seems to me that if you are in a organized Civ and you are really are trying to maximise the chanches to win the battle, all you need is a single super strong stack in each category (so 1 player take care of an area and build as many units as possible, trying to grab the weather bonus of course)

    Filling slots only help to determine the MVP of the battle for the fame bonus and medal, but in fact it's a very BAD thing to do for the outcome of a battle:

    the damage your stack do to opponent stack is proportional to difference in power. So you want your strongest stack to attack as often as possible. Having more stacks not only will reduce the damage you do each round, but also will reduce the amount of times the strong stack will attack cause afaik the stack will attack in turn. This can also be abused to screw a team mate for MVP position of course. Just fill as many stacks as you can and you will attack more often.

    Also the number of times a civ attack is proportional to the total strength of an army. So if you have a single super strong stack in each category you can just go all out and put it on heroic without fearing too much. You will attack more often, cause your total strength is higher, you will cause more damage as the stack strength will be huge. On the other hand you will suffer normal casualty regardless of heroic stance cause your str will be so much higher than opponent's that will matter little in the end.

    All in all, i think the battle system is really dumb. The only challenge is versus your own team mates (if you are winning, that is, and defending a much stronger opponent is just a waste of resource/gold) on who grab the most casualties, which i believe it's sucky to begin with.
     
  5. Creepy Old Man

    Creepy Old Man Warlord

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    Great start on this, SavingHawaii. Thanks. One comment, though - perhaps make it more clear that each civilization has a particular battlefield terrain, and will always defend that terrain.

    Does it actually matter at all which unit does the attacking on any given turn? I've seen three swordsmen kill as many barbarians as 40 longbows did the previous turn. I think it's more likely that the choice of unit that attacks is merely cosmetic. Therefore, if the choice is between an empty slot or anything at all, put the anything at all in. Am I right?
     
  6. Glinda

    Glinda Warlord

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    Um, there's some issues here. Legions are great if you are attacking, because they have a high attack, but only 1 defense. If you are the attacker, then your guys count their attack, but if you are the defender, then the battle is calculated on your defense numbers.

    Also, when scoping out your enemy, sure if they are noobs and doofuses you can look at what units you have, and that might be all they field, but smart players are going to hoard production and respond accordingly.

    Also, your plan doesn't figure for your enemy building Call to Arms.

    You also need to add something about the over-run bonus. It's all very well to say you don't have to fill all the slots, but if your enemy has boats and you have none, they get a massive bonus.
     
  7. Creepy Old Man

    Creepy Old Man Warlord

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    How does the system determine which side attacks on a turn? I recently had my first major war - we (Arabia) invaded America. At the beginning of the fight, it was something like 1900 for us against 1800 for them. It gave our side the first two attacks. On the third turn, they killed off a single phalanx that one of our nubs put in an attack slot (with gladiator on, so we couldn't pull it out). Then, we got the third attack. It wasn't until the fifth attack that they actually did any damage to us. But by that time, it was already too late. Our 1900-1800 lead had expanded to 1900-1450, and they were already doomed. So because of lopsided luck in the first four turns, what should have been a very close fight in which we lost a lot, was a total massacre in which we lost almost nothing.

    Our side had every single card filled (although many with garbage). They had almost half the field empty, with a few large stacks (but no empty domains). Is it possible they missed turns because when it was their turn to attack, their empty cards were chosen as the fighter for the turn?

    However, a conclusion that was obvious - damage done is entirely independent of the attacker chosen for the animation. Small numbers of phalanx (as attacker) were killing exactly the same number of opponents as were ten times as many catapults.

    I also learned important strategy from this. Large stacks are good, sure, but then fill every single remaining slot with a single cheep unit. Then the system will randomly choose that you lose the entire stack of one spearman instead of nine from your stack of twenty knights.
     
  8. Glinda

    Glinda Warlord

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    The battle mechanic preferences giving the attack to the larger force, and the bigger the difference between the armies, the more it gives the attack to the larger force.

    If your armies are closely matched, you can (especially if you are DM), manipulate the attack a bit by switching your mans to heroic just as the turn changes.
     
  9. Verdisian

    Verdisian Chieftain

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    I just started on a new world, I haven't done any combat in the first so I decided to start off right in combat here defending against the first barbarian invasion. My stack of 16 Heroic horsemen kill the same unit as the stack of 1 individual horseman next to it. Both attacking the same unit stack. In fact it seems like whatever stack attacks it kills 1 of whatever it attacks every time.
     
  10. Glinda

    Glinda Warlord

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    It kills a specific percentage of the opposition force.
     
  11. stream_mm

    stream_mm Chieftain

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    First, this guide is great - I think I understand war a lot more now.

    Question: About how long does a war last? The couple of wars I've actually put troops in have happened overnight, so I did not watch them.

    Why I ask? Our Civ. just invaded the Aztec's. I just put a lot of troops ready to attack. About 1 hour, 20 minutes later - the Aztec's invade us. So these battles will take place in about 8 hours, and the 2nd in a little more then 9 hours.

    Since I have a lot of my biggest stacks already in the 1st battle - if the battle takes longer then 1 hour, 20 minutes - those troops will be involved in Battle 1 and not be able to be put into Battle 2.

    .... which might work out very well for Aztec's - draw out Battle 1 and lose... and then make sure they win battle 2 to get all the stuff when our troops are busy with Battle 1.

    Question #2: Is there a way to remove some of the troops I already put into Battle #1 (not started yet) and put into Battle #2?
     
  12. Glinda

    Glinda Warlord

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    Battles can last 3 hours, especially if the sides are evenly matched. If the Aztecs don't put any troops into their attack on you (the second battle) it may cancel.

    Remember that when you attack, your army counts its attacking number, but defense number when it defends. Ideally, you put legions and catapults into battle 1, and your phalanxes and archers into battle 2.

    Unless you have the Gladiators civic, you can retreat your troops.
     
  13. Isoak

    Isoak Chieftain

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    Also, if you come to help another civ fighting barbarians, and you get MVP, you still get population bonus?
     
  14. eewallace

    eewallace King

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    How is it that an UNDEFENDED battle also last for ages though? Given that the other civ had hours to put up troops, it seems like it should be over on the first round if there are no defenders.
     
  15. Isoak

    Isoak Chieftain

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    Tested, you don't get anything :(
     
  16. stream_mm

    stream_mm Chieftain

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    OK, apparently I don't know what I'm doing.

    Went to war - I'm the minister, so I can control things.

    We have a bigger army - attacking another Civ. First couple of fights go our way, then all of a sudden, the other side put all 6 of their troops in Heroic status - which bumped up their total strength.

    So at this point, they kept on attacking 3-4 times in a row, and we were starting to take a beating.

    So I quickly started to put some of our troops in Heroic also to up it. Nope, did not help - they kept attacking and killing our unites even quicker.

    What should I be doing. This is a great guide to get ready for battle, but would like to know more on what should be done during a battle.
     
  17. stream_mm

    stream_mm Chieftain

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    Yea - i just don't get this battle thing.

    The other side had a total of 6 places filled. They had all 6 in heroic status, and even for all 11 slots in heroic status, they still had a higher number and kept attacking.

    So I decided to put all my troops back down to normal - in the hope that we (1) won't lose as many troops, and (2) if we do happen get to attack, we can still do more damage.

    As I watch - a few minutes before the next combat starts, the other side places 1 of their 6 units back to "normal" - and yea, our side DID get an attack this time... and of course it attacked the 1 "normal" unit???

    How did they do this? How did they know to put that 1 troops back to "normal" and know that our side was going to attack that one slot?

    I have to be missing something with war. I've already added as many troops as I could, and no one else from my side is around to help stock up troops... so I'm just slowly losing even though the numbers seem like we should have won easily... which means it's probable something that I'm just missing on what to do during combat.
     
  18. Glinda

    Glinda Warlord

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    You have to have a bigger number to get the arrow going your way. Putting troops on heroic ups their strength, and you can do it strategically with the mans that have weather advantage, too. NOTHING but the number matters for attacks during battle. The bigger the difference, the more attacks the stronger side will get in a row.

    An undefended battle will last, I dunno, 40 minutes if you are the attackers. This presumably is to give the defenders a chance to get some troops in there.
     
  19. stream_mm

    stream_mm Chieftain

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    Well it's too late for my side now - even if I put everyone on heroic - I can't match, and can't afford to put any more troops into the battle.

    So my question now - the battle is still going - our side has about 200 troops still in battle. Should I just let the battle run it's course (most likely lose at this point) - or should I retreat all our troops and try to save some troops for my side? (Yea, know we will lose all our wonders & such)


    EDITED TO ADD: OK, Got my own answer - once the arrow hits the bottom, the war is over and the rest of the troops are then returned. So I guess I could have saved a few, but it was not like all were lost.
     
  20. Quentin

    Quentin King

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    Personally what I do is put most units on normal except if I am weaker than the other side on one of types (melee, ranged, etc), then I fortify that type. Then I just try to put in more units than the enemy.

    An example of why I'm doing this from my first and current game.

    One of my earlier offensives, I am in Japanese Shogunate and we were invading French Alliance and the battle went roughly like so:

    Japanese attack strength was roughly equal to French defense and in fact slightly higher on absolute terms I believe. They had many more ships however, and the battle started in windy condition so they ended up with higher net strength.

    Battle starts: They placed most/all of their units in heroic and we do the same. With the slight lead in strength, they start the battle attacking more often than us but we hold quite well as the strength difference was slight.

    Roughly 1/3 through: At this point we're hoping for a weather change to foggy to give our legions an advantage. We may have turned the battle if that had happened but anyway, it didn't, rain came to give advantage to their phalanx.

    Roughly 1/2 through: With the phalanx rain bonus and after we've taken some damage their advantage was now growing. We took more damage more often.

    Roughly 2/3 through: Fog came, giving our legions a bonus and almost bringing our strengths to equal. However by now our forces had already suffered significant losses and the fog bonus was just not sufficient.

    Then wind came again shortly before the battle ended with us losing by having the bar pushed to the end. We lost maybe 1/4 of our forces.


    TLDR or takeaway from this battle:
    • Take the weather at the start of the battle into consideration if the two sides are closely matched.
    • If you're hoping for something to happen to turn the battle (reinforcements, weather change, etc), you might want to fortify some stacks first to minimise losses so that you have enough units to counter.
    • If one side has a significant advantage on one of the slot types the disadvantaged side will lose units there very quickly, or at least it feels that way. If the slots are not replenished the bonus the stronger side gets from being unopposed (overrun, blockade, etc) can be devastating, particularly since they clearly must have good numbers for that unit type to clear your slots.
     

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