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Horsemen???

Discussion in 'Civ3 - General Discussions' started by Aceman101, May 13, 2007.

  1. Aceman101

    Aceman101 Chieftain

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    I just wanted to know, what is the point of building Horsemen? They cost waay too much and they are just as strong as archers.
     
  2. Sashie VII

    Sashie VII Balance of Power

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    Speed, and lower death rate.

    They may retreat if losing, which keeps more of them alive. I'm not sure on the mechanics, IIRC it's a dice roll. This is very helpful as you need good kill ratios; this requires fewer deaths on your part.

    Their speed is 2 mp. They can cover more ground faster, especially with road network. This allows you to defend long borders more easily, as well as have a faster, quicker campaign. There are not many situations where swords outweigh horses due to these.
     
  3. Aceman101

    Aceman101 Chieftain

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    Wow, horses outweigh swords, and I think archers outweigh horses! I would be more understanding if the horsemen was say, 23 shields. But 30 shields is way too much. Horsemen cost the same as SWORDSMEN!!! And swordsmen have double attack and double defense. Who needs one more movement point and retreat ability when you can have DOUBLE attack.

    I have only built them once, and that was a while ago.
     
  4. Sashie VII

    Sashie VII Balance of Power

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    The extra cost is for the extra movement point. With that, you can strike at the enemy two tiles away, instead of only the tiles next to your unit. The extra defense doesn't mean much, as you'll be taking the offensive. Double attack is nice, but one bad RNG run and your sword dies. Same goes for horses, but horses do have a chance for retreat (swords don't).

    Without roads, swords take forever to move from target to target, unless the target cities are closely packed. And even then, their slow movement subjects them to counterattack on the IBT, during which they're no better than spears. In the same situation, horses with only 1 defense would most likely be beaten badly and retreat, saving it's life. Swords fight till they win or die.

    Just my $0.02 :)
     
  5. Aceman101

    Aceman101 Chieftain

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    But you wouldn't bring just one sword, you'd bring like 20. And 20 swordsmen would have a better fighting chance even if the horsemen has a retreat ability. I'd say about 30 horses would equal to 20 swordsmen because swordsmen have double as much attack. And if the horseman retrieved next to a swordsmen, then the swordsmen would more than likely kill the horseman.

    What does IBT mean? Anyway, you could ROP with your neighbors and walk through their roads, or if the enemy is next to you, then it wouldn't take long at all.

    Yes, and that's how it should be. I know there's an advantage of the retreat ability but it still doesn't make up for the double attack of the swordsmen.
     
  6. King Flevance

    King Flevance Chieftain

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    I only use horses to capture workers and settlers in the early stages of the game. Otherwise, I mostly use cats, swords, and archers for offense. Also, horses will help you keep barbs out of your turf pretty easy. It doesn't require many due to their extra movement. Usually 1 horse can keep an eye on 3-4 cities at once.
     
  7. Aceman101

    Aceman101 Chieftain

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    Yeah, they are fast but what about the cost and the value? I might as well build 6 archers for the price of 4 horsemen.
     
  8. gmaharriet

    gmaharriet Ancient Crone

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    IBT = In Between Turn

    In other words, the AI's turn.
     
  9. MAS

    MAS Chieftain

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    No you don't, archers are slow!
     
  10. Aceman101

    Aceman101 Chieftain

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    Ok, thanks.
     
  11. King Flevance

    King Flevance Chieftain

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    I agree with you there. They are seriously weak for their cost. But most barbs are only other horses or warriors is why I use them against the barbs. (mostly 1 defense until swords pop up with the barbs.) The archers will serve better in the long run with their nifty pre-emptive strikes I value them more than horses myself.
    I view horses as a unit that is good to have a small handful of early on but obsolete fairly quickly. Really, I consider the chariot unit practically as good. As you get most of the benefits for a cheaper cost.
     
  12. Mesodius

    Mesodius Warmonger

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    I've never been one to build horsemen, always preferring swordsmen. Maybe I'll try them one day.
     
  13. Aceman101

    Aceman101 Chieftain

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    Yes, when I first tried horses I liked them but know when I think what I get out of them, they're pretty expensive. Certainly not value for money.

    Building a few won't matter, but IMO building them more than swordsmen is a mistake and players like horses better, despite the swordsman's greater attack and defense.
     
  14. King Flevance

    King Flevance Chieftain

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    I agree with you on that too. Building more horses than archer would also be a big mistake, so it goes without saying about the swords as well.
     
  15. Aceman101

    Aceman101 Chieftain

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    Yes, I would say the first really important mounted unit would be Cavalry. Although Mounted Warriors are also very important, I've had some utterly bad luck with them resulting in me not liking them.

    Keeping on the subject of horses, they could have at least made an extra defense or attack, instead of costing 10 shields more than archers and yet, still no improvement in attack or defense.

    Ah well, that's what you get for extra movement points.
     
  16. MAS

    MAS Chieftain

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    In a lot of my AA wars, I build exclusively horseman. No swords, no catapults, no archers, no spears, just horseman. And then even some more horseman. Even when I'm not playing Iraqois.
     
  17. Sashie VII

    Sashie VII Balance of Power

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    When a unit attacks, the combat result is determined by RNG. Say RNG decides that your attacker loses four out of four rounds. A horsemen have a good chance of retreating, and when it does it saves you 30 shields in cost of replacing it. After it heals, it's as good as new. On the other hand, a sword would have died because it will not retreat. You will lose a unit if the battle goes awry. In civ, you want to minimize risks and get the most out of what you've got. Horsemen's retreat ability gives you better chance at minimizing losses, as the risk of dying in combat is reduced.

    That assumes that:

    1) They have a good road network in the direction you want
    2) Said neighbour won't have the odd worker/unit/whatnot blocking a road tile, causing your movement to slow.
    3) You want to sign a binding treaty that ensures peace with them for 20 turns, which I find undesirable

    Furthermore, even if the enemy is next to you, horsemen still have an advantage over swords; speed. In Civ speed kills. Speed allows you to have:

    1) Flexibility: You can quickly shift your troops from one front to the other
    2) Faster campaign: AIs sux at defending. Horsemen can quickly take one city and then move to the next target twice as fast as slow units i.e. swords. Since AIs don't understand the advantage of speed. their slower units take more time to reinforce the cities. With slow units, you're at a disadvantage as your attackers are moving as slow or slower than the enemy (you can't use the roads in their territory).
    3) Surprise: With horses, you can declare war and raze at least one or two outlying towns on the same turn. This is because horsemen can attack a town from outside it's cultural borders. Proper planning can help you raze a good number of towns before any sizable counterattack shows up.

    On the contrary, I do not think that is good. If my unit is losing the combat, the least it could do for me is save itself to heal and fight another day. When swords die, the 30 shields in cost is lost. Granted, killing enemy units may be considered compensation. But, why throw away your units? The retreat ability keeps losses lower, as I mentioned above. Whenever my horseman retreats, I would know that if in that particular combat I had used a swordsman, my swordsman would have died without question. By using a horseman, I use up the "bad RNG" combat without losing anything.

    And swords don't have double attack compared to horsemen ;) Swords may kill more, but they die more too. I'd rather have a lot of retreats with horsemen while killing a lot with very few losses, than lots of win-or-die combats with swords that kills as many units but with more deaths on my part.

    No, they're well balanced the way they are IMO. Look at Mounted Warriors, for example. They have an attack rating of 3. In combination with their speed, it is a tremendously powerful unit. With these, you can rule the world in the Ancient Age-I've done it a few times and it's quite easy. The reason horseman gets only the advantage of speed while swords get the benefit of higher attack rating is to balance things out. If say horseman have the A/D stats as swordsman, what purpose would a unit like swords fulfill in the game? No one will build them since it's outclassed by another contemporary unit in all aspects. The way things are now, you only get to choose one plus out of the two. And most of the time, speed beats stronger attack.

    I strongly disagree. In the long run, archers sux. Why do I say this? Several reasons:

    1) Pre-emptive strikes?

    -That works only on defense. A good, effective campaign means you must not let the AI do a lot of the attacking (if any). The human players are superior to the AI in terms of managing combat and manipulating variables that determine odds of success in battle. It's a shame not to use this advantage we have.

    2) Upgrade path

    -Horses upgrade to knights. Archers upgrade to longbowmen. Who needs longbowmen anyways when you have knights? Same attack rating but knights are faster. Often, having a good number of knights before anyone else can be a gamebreaker. This is especially so with powerful knight UUs such as the Chinese Rider and the Arabian Ansar Warrior. These two have three movement points. That's enormous!

    Some may argue over the costs between knights and longbows. Knights are almost twice the cost in shields, yes. But good players know not to build up their deadly host of knights entirely from scratch. A powerful tactic ( for me, at least) is to build a lot of horsemen and accumulate tons of cash before Chivalry comes in. In some of my games, my instant-40 knights the turn after I research Chivalry handed me the game. Trust me when I say that instant 40 Longbowmen in the same scenario will not have the same effect :)

    No, this would give you a big, mobile force able to strike anywhere faster than your slow units.

    ***

    My advice would be to test it out in your own games. See what works for you, and compare the plus and minus of each. Or, you could read up some games by great civ players, and see their reasoning for their choice between horsemen and swords.

    p/s: Aceman might wonder why I use Swords in my story :p It's due to my not having Horseback Riding, the need for an instant force of strong attackers (via mass upgrade, which is not feasible with horses since I don't have HBR). But once I have the tech for my horsies, things will change.
     
  18. Sashie VII

    Sashie VII Balance of Power

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  19. Mirc

    Mirc Not mIRC!!!

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    If you study carefully the benefits of a 2 point movement and retreat, you get to the conclusion that Horsemen are factually better than Swordsmen, the only disadvantage being that you can't use them for defense, which you shouldn't do with swordsmen either. I remember someone a long time ago posting some exact formulas proving this. And he was not anyone ;) (I don't remember who, but a great HoF player in any case). That being said, Horsemen are my favorite AA unit, except UUs.
     
  20. Sashie VII

    Sashie VII Balance of Power

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    Heh. Definitely not a crosspost, eh? :p

    Do you happen to remember whether the formula was posted in GD or Strategy? I'm bored enough to try dig it up :lol:

    EDIT: Mirc, is this the thread? I found this and this in it.
     

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