Discussion in 'Civ4 - Fall from Heaven' started by SwampCow, Mar 10, 2009.
I suspect that if Spearman and Pikemen were reinstated, the Hippus would be curtailed somewhat.
In a MP, prince level, game I ended up with Hippus near me. When they decided to invade I was able to hold them off at most of my cities and even take back one of the cities I lost. However, with their insanely high movement rates and the defensive withdraw I couldn't take out their horses in the field. Every last one of their horses I was able to attack in the field would flee a up to 5 tiles away.
This got me to thinking about how horses and defensive withdraws are handled. Here's what I think would the issue better not only with the Hippus but with any civ that's using horses and/or units with defensive withdraw.
1) Cap the movement rate of horses and any other land unit that can get a movement rate bonus at 3 or 4.
2) Either make defensive withdraw only work if the unit has movement point left, or only allow a 1 (non-mounted units) or 2 (mounted/naval units) tile defensive withdraw and have that withdraw reduce the number of moves they have available for their next turn. So a horse with a 4 movement that defensively withdraws 2 tiles, can only move 2 on their next turn.
I've been thinking about the horse counter/pikemen problem ever since pikemen were removed. It's always nice to have a griffin or war elephant around - if we can't get pikemen back, how about being able to sacrifice a griffin to make a griffin's aerie, and an elephant to make an elephant stables? Tamed griffin riders and high cost war elephants would be a neat flavor addition. Perhaps I should simply pitch this idea to the fall further team.
Do any of you Hippotamuses object to the idea that Hippus horsemen are too powerful? Usually players of a civ know best what don't have that they'd like.
Oh, . .. .. .. . the Hippus. I hate being next to these guys. It's like I'm just not allowed to have improvements, ever. Or workers. Or found a new city without it being a twenty unit tall stack guarding the settler.
Or I can warrior spam them and get back to maybe playing the game, except I won't get to found any religions I want or build any wonders.
Horse . .. .. .. .ers.
On a serious note, however, I consider this to be working as intended, and wish I could feel such a deep hatred and loathing for all the other ai civs, as opposed to a mild disinterest, or occasional annoyance when one beats me to a wonder.
I mean, what if the Sheaim or decius over the malakim ran into my lands and turned every tile into desert. God, I'd hate that, I'd scream, and cry, and turn everything they love to ash in return. That'd be a good game.
That would be fun and more interesting than just having a city taken or cottage pillaged. When the burning lands appear it actually livens the game up to have the challenge too. So some civ changing land into desert or Illians' snow tiles; things like this are cool.
Against the CPU the Hippus can use mounted units much like any civ uses anything else until Tier 4 units are on the scene, where mithril champions and Arquebusiers obsolete them. (But mithril mounted mercenaries remain pretty cool)
In general Mounted units have a few specific niches. Horsemen are hilarious if you can deny metal to your opponent. Organise your Horsemen into triplets with a mix of promotions and strip pillage an opponent then sit on hills and chase any worker who tries to leave a city. Their economy will never recover. Unfortunately they'll just feed XP to bronze Axemen.
Horse Archers arrive on a cheap technology and will enjoy a brief season of battlefield supremacy which should be used to harass enemy Settlers and outlying settlements while still being able to return to your territory in time should a big stack show up. But without use of the Bless spell or acquiring of Nightmares from Hell terrain they will be a dead end and require building a whole new army for the next stage of the game. Even the slight strength upgrade will just delay their demise.
Chariots are a cheeky option that give flexibility for someone going a melee/siege route. Their poor defense means they get flattened by melee (or even Rangers!) when unsupported. If you move them with a stack they can suck up improvements as you move across them and threaten any vulnerable unit at reasonably long distance.
Rhoanna is an incrediby vanilla civ who should probably use mostly melee units supported by high movement mounted units. Expansive/Financial means she is incredibly frontloaded and should have a very high score and economy in the early game. It should be reasonably easily achievable to found Ashen Veil. A midgame army might be something like Champions/Ritualists/buff Adepts/Nightmare Mounted units. The mounted would move with the stack and force opponents to split their defenders between cities, because any city within 5 tiles that thinks it can donate most of its defenders to another city will get flattened.
Tasunke is something else and is the Hippus as most people think of them. With him I'd put all my eggs in one very small basket. Scout your opponents early, pick the weakest one and roll over him using Warcry. Perhaps you should even create a weakest opponent by using a small warrior stack to sit on their copper. You'd want to maximise in this order: Unit survival, XP gained, turn advantage, gold pillage. Its unimportant whether you finish this opponent off, just that you generate veterans, pay off the costs of your army, maybe advance your research a little and possibly create a punching bag for later. If you've been very quick you may be able to use your veteran horsemen lead by those who still have Warcry to hit another opponent. This second opponent may have metal and would have been untouchable without all the 10+xp units you should now have.
While you've got good units and other people's gold you can't afford to waste them. Turn those Horsemen into Horse Archers and hit the strongest opponent. Same mission parameters: Don't suicide into his strongholds, keep building up your XP in your units by running past the strong cities and razing the outlying ones. You don't have to kill him, you just have to ruin his economy and slowly bleed away his army in repeated small opportunistic attacks. If something scary appears then run away using the opponent's own roads.
The Order is probably a good fit for a religion. Bless new Horse Archers and they'll be very successful at farming XP in whatever punching bags you've left alive to this point.
At this point you should decide on the course of the rest of the game. Your mounted units are strong enough to attack even the best defended cities with reasonable odds and Iron isn't quite on the scene yet. You can either: 1) Pick the one or two opponents whos lands neighbour yours and add their cities to yours. You will probably take heavy casualties but thats ok because it allows you to transition into an Iron Champion army. You settle down somewhat with a large empire, an economy 20 turns behind where a builder game would be and the opponent's 50 turns behind you. 2) Contemplate the complete destruction of your enemies by getting Iron working, Guild of the Nine, adopting Consumption and Mercantilism where possible and turning your economy to 100% gold, Emphasise hammers, hire Iron Mounted Mercenaries at all cities every turn and try to kill everyone all at once. If hiring a Mercenary costs 80 gold then he only has to pillage 2 Towns to make his money back. So, if he survives 2 turns and pillages 2 Towns/Villages/Hamlets then he has probably hired 3 Mercs. This can very reasonably snowball into small stacks everywhere pillaging then all suddenly converging whatever weakspots show themselves. If you want to keep cities then maybe research Fanaticism first and use Acolytes to generate free Crusaders for city defense.
Raiders makes the difference between Tasunke and Rhoanna. Mounted units are fragile and will die if you don't take care of them. When they are Raiders and you use them intelligently then they can never be caught. You will be required to gain vision into as many tiles as possible each turn, spot the opportunities, take them and then retreat to safety. Rhoanna's 4 movement Mounted can't do this reliably but Tasunke's 8 movement Mounted can.
Now contrast this with the Doviello where you just walk up to people and punch them in the face AND still enjoy the same level of success then you get the feeling that melee emphasis armies don't have to work so hard...
hummm as a "Hippotamuses" I would have to say on the whole they are more "effective" at what they do. They can be a bit over powered, if they get the right starting location, and if you use the Erabus or flavormod scripts they will most always get a good starting point. Its one of those issues were the Dwarves are nerfed due to those scripts, but the hippus thrive. My gripe is that they (per lore) are a merc civ and you can not hire them (odd though that they can hire the best mercs themselves), but thats a flavor issue. I wouldn't nerf them though simply because they do make the game interesting, it forces me to change my tactics and I like/need that to help keep a game interesting.
I have also had good luck with 3 movement druids in a group of horse-archers/knights
While Hippus are seriously . .. .. .. .. .y, I don't find them problematic. I hate having to manually run my workers whenever a raider trait character is in the game, but their fort obsession makes it necessary anyway... Their cavalry aren't any worse than axemen, the axemen are much more of a pain for city defense. Doviello are far more dangerous. You guys that are having trouble probably rely on the unit dependent promotions too heavily, I use them first only when I have to.
When I played the illians, I turned all the land into snow and ice that I could, when I played malakim, I turned everything I wasn't using into desert, it just seemed to make sense, and lordy it . .. .. .. .ed over the AIs, so I'd love to see them return the favor. That'd be great.
I think when - and I know I will eventually again - play the Hippus, I'll have to keep this thread in my, esp. Senethro's assessment of them.
Darkwoods' mention of Dwarves & Hippus makes me think of a D vs H fight; I like playing underdogs. Maybe a Dwarf civ vs Hippus civ, Erebus style map, where the Hippus could do their thing (if I understood correctly)? Let's see what they got.
In my current game (Tebryn) I started near Faeryl and Tasunke... First 300 turns were really difficult But it is one of the most funny game I played - in turn 530 (epic speed) most advanced are elves(FoL) and Malakim(Order), my only fellow is Auric, with everybody else I`m at war (I started only 2 wars: with Casiel and Faeryl(with her I have 100turns war, 10 peace, 100turns war...)). Faeryl and Tasunke are fighting with almost everyone else too, so world is really dynamical changing, and this is GREATE!
i noticed that tasunke keelyn and the doviello leaders are taking most of the games. so what i do is bribe them early on to fight other bad players or themselves and than internal relations between evil civilizations are ruining their game so that good guys can survive. for instance now i play huge map 35 players on emperor and most of the good guys ( except cardith of course) are still alive even at gunpowder age
I played as the Svartalfar in my first game of FFH, and built up quite a nice empire after barbarians took out the other elves early on. I built some cities on the eastern side of my empire, then sent a hunter and hawk to see what lay beyond the eastern mountain range.
With at least 45 units in the one city I could see.
I have never been so happy to have an impassable mountain range blocking me from prime land.
No mountain can keep you safe forever! Wake up, you lazy horse
The hippus are one of the stronger civs, but I don't find them "overpowered" per se until you get to emperor, when the free promotions from difficulty level start coming into play. Hippus horsemen already withdraw a ton, so they survive even though they usually have bad odds. But with Combat III out of the gate, they have good odds to win AND a high retreat. Even fortified in a city, your odds of actually killing a horseman (odds of winning on defense * (1 - odds of them retreating)) drop from something like 60% to something like 20%. Essentially, their survival rate is TRIPLED, and you just cannot keep up militarily.
I can deal with Monarch Hippus. I can't deal with Emperor Hippus.
Try at Deity! Everybody's promoted to the full extent of the law it seems; they're certainly all heroic! But then, every civ is! Except mine.
There is a solution! Turn your civ into AI and just watch the game autoplay!!
Spoiler Why don't I ever have an army like this when Tasunke is around? :
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