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How do people sustain long wars?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by AdMech, Nov 21, 2010.

  1. kossin

    kossin Deity

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    Building HE is always worth it... as long as you're going to pursue a military campaign or more.

    You don't need to build it 30 turns before you start pumping units.

    It's certainly not necessary for building military police (although if you have it, might as well use it).

    The bottom line is: the AI doesn't care if you have 100,000 or 200,000 or 1,000,000 soldiers... to deter an attack you must have a ratio higher than a certain point. See DanF's post about DoW logic.
    a) if you pass the diplo test - you're safe... what's the point in having an army that costs 2000H and 40 gpt?
    b) if you fail the diplo test, wait until you see a WHEOOHRN activated and try to determine the target. As ~10 turns are about sufficient to prepare for an offensive war, so are 10 for a defensive war, the usual length of AI military buildup.
     
  2. yanner39

    yanner39 Emperor

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    Thanks for this.

    I definately agree about not building units to prevent a DOW. Thats something I learned a while back.

    What confuses me and what I trying to work on is the "~10 turns to prepare for an offensive war". I must be doing it wrong because I just don't see how I can get enough siege to start the invasion. I mean, I should have the melee units because I do have a dedicated military pump since the beginning. I usually end up building way more units than I should and that takes me alot more than 10 turns.

    Again, lately, I've practicing warring and essentially starting the war sooner with less units, eventually, I'll get the feel I guess.
     
  3. oppy

    oppy Chieftain

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    HE always worth it, it should let you build a unit a turn for 10 turns which is faster than 2-pop whips and drafting which just crushes your economy or rush buying which is an every other turn thing. Building a unit every turn just cause the city has the HE is just so silly.

    HOWEVER, HE makes a city the obvious choice to make units for Herediatary Rule Garrison because of the obvious huge hammer bonus so I wouldnt say an early HE is bad at all because youll end up saving hammers.
     
  4. mariogreymist

    mariogreymist Deity

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  5. kossin

    kossin Deity

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    Whip more. Every city can produce a unit every 2-4 turns in a buildup.
    My Shaka game had a round showing it with Cuirassiers. I think the Sury game as well...
     
  6. Dr.Null

    Dr.Null forIhavetastedthesushi

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    Wow. This is so obvious in retrospect, I'm kicking myself for never thinking of it before.

    Thank you.
     
  7. MarcoPollo

    MarcoPollo Warlord

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    Don't forget about espionage. Especially with SPI leaders. You can switch your opponents civics into something useless like Pacifism and then switch right back into your warmongering civics. Couple this with Mario's pre-build trick, and you can really catch them off guard.

    Also, using EP helps capitulate earlier. A Early Great Spy is good for this as you can set up series of city revolts thus saving turns (and thus more casualties) as you don't have to bombard as much. You can also overemphasize things likes knights that can withdraw so as not to loose as many suicide attacks.
     
  8. RobAnybody

    RobAnybody Emperor

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    One minor thing I've found that helps is to have your low-hammer-focused cities build your future garrison troops. You're going to need to leave at least 1 troop behind in each city, so build up several Archers or non-Barracks Axemen that probably won't ever fight (although they make good suicide troops if you happen to need them).

    Then you won't ever need to leave a highly promoted city-attacker behind just to garrison a city. You can leave a level 1 Archer or surplus Axeman instead. If you wait to build them, you'll be depleting your army of an attacker after each city instead.

    If I'm gearing up for war, I'll sometimes delay Feudalism slightly just so I can create a bunch of cheap Archers just for this purpose.
     
  9. obsolete

    obsolete Deity

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    Hmm! Well I don't know, I always use a tool called Free-Gold 1.4

    This is an add-on patch which always gives me as much gold as I want (free) when ever I run out of steam. That way, my armies never have any problems.

    I thought everyone else was using that too???
     
  10. AdMech

    AdMech Chieftain

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    Wow, tons of good tips. I crushed Montezuma, and I'm rolling through the Egyptians (Hatty) right now... although cursed Kublai Khan went from Pleased to Annoyed before I even noticed and stabbed me in the back. Argh.

    Tips for a two-front war, anyone?!

    Do you sue for peace between these wars?
     
  11. coanda

    coanda Emperor

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    If you've just taken a bunch of their cities, you probably don't have to "sue" for peace; odds are you can get them to pay you in exchange for peace.

    2-front war tips... don't. Make peace with one of them; give them a tech or gold if you have to. If they won't take peace without a city, go crush the SoD of one of them quickly, then immediately try for peace with that person.

    Also, you can often avoid 2-front wars with a little diplo. manipulation to get 10-turn mandatory peace treaties with third parties before declaring war on someone.
     
  12. TeeWee

    TeeWee Chieftain

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    While no expert at all, what I do have is similar experience. I'm assuming you're talking about relatively early wars (pre-gunpowder). I used to have these millenia-spanning wars which I would often end up victorious by 1600AD, but crippled compared to the rest of the world. Usually, it started like a snail-paced swordsmen rush without Cat support, taking out about one city and turning it into a trench war. Then, it would turn into a production war until one of the economies collapsed completely: would unit upkeep destroy me before my units could choke the AI to a slow and miserable death? And because of the city defense strength of Archer-line units, you often need 3+attackers for each archer built, so this phase can take a looooong time.

    Since then, I've learned a few things. Amongst others:
    you're either attacking too late (very likely) or too early. With attacking too late I mean that your buildup phase is too diffused and probably settling/expansion focused instead of war focused. If you see the need for war in this era prepare for it totally. Only settle cities that you need to settle right now: horse or metal. Build roads toward the target. Aside from building workers if you have too few of them, all hammers should be devoted to units and try to make it into a rush: this way, you only need a handful of units while still being decisive. I killed Toku with a stack of 5 chariots coming mostly from my Capital, capturing his capital (2 archers defending IIRC) and auto-razing his warrior-defended second city. This rush has a window of opportunity that will end once the target has a good second city and thus enough production to grind your rushing stack to a halt. Always remember: defensive production is almost always cheaper than attacking production, because archer-line units are cheap and very effective.

    Once this window of opportunity has closed, but you still need to war, then you will probably need to go for a Cat/Sword/Axe war, or a Treb/Mace war. Practice this. You will need to get a good feel for the size of your SoD and the proportion of siege vs mop ups. Basically, once siege is available, it should be Siege doing the bulk of the work and the rest is just for mop ups and stack defense.

    Next, there is the trap of overpreperation. More units never hurt in an assault, but after a certain point in time, it won't help either. But they do take time and money, so it has an impact. Don't bring the biggest SoD evah, bring the smallest SoD which can still do the job decently. After you're sure you can capture your target the turn you reach it (Bombarding + Collateral + Mop up in 1 turn) be on your merry way. Keep producing the units, but treat them as reinforcements and garrisons to free up the SoD units.

    Once you attack, you should keep on producing units until you are certain that you will win the war. Having two good production cities (Mace in 1.5 turns or so) is nice. Try to get a good military hammer site with Heroic Epic. Once you feel you should win, you can tone down production in your secondary production centres, only shut down your main production centres if you're certain you will win and you have something better to do with those hammers.

    And then there's knowing to quit while you're ahead. If you've made some gains but become stuck, don't be afraid to try for peace. You may even get a tech or so in return and you can concentrate on getting your economy back on track or rebuilding your army.

    Finally: be sure of your war aims and don't start wars you can't win.
     
  13. Archon_Wing

    Archon_Wing Vote for me or die

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    That unfortunately happens to me a lot. It just seems to take forever to walk from one city to another when you fight pre-siege.

    I think I have the problem have poorly choosing wars, which is why this thread interests me. Frequently, a random civ, typically a warmonger, that's kinda far away decides to declare war on me for some reason. They come with a modest stack which I usually kill, and they're typically willing to pay up for peace. However,at this point I get greedy and try to exact vengeance on them by razing a few of their cities. However, this takes a while to walk over and the people are complaining. Which I promptly respond by whipping them but even that takes its toll on my civilization and I realize that I just don't have enough forces to push any further. In worse cases, the units are extremely outdated. And even in cases where he capitulates (yes, the war gets long enough for that) I start to think it wasn't worth it.

    Though it does seem that the more units you kill, they will be quicker to pay you a ton for peace. I feel that's even more important than conquering their cities. In a recent game, I sought out the enemy's largest stacks and wiped them out with bombing and tanks(Modern warfare is so much easier), and he capitulated within a few turns for the shortest war ever , whereas if I just go destroying their cities, they almost never will.

    And finally, I learned that one of the things that slows me down during war is that I try to stop and pillage. Which is kinda silly, since there's no point pillaging what you intend to conquer-- save that for stragglers.
     
  14. oldskald

    oldskald Warlord

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    I have to echo a lot of the comments here; always have a clear idea of what you want from a war (and make it achievable), aim to fight short wars, don't neglect intelligence gathering - if you know where your enemy is strong you can plan your response, figure out how many turns it will take you to get from A to B, and make peace as soon as possible after achieving your aims. And, of course, only pillage what you can't/don't want to conquer.

    Other tips - if you find yourself unexpectedly facing a two front war then look for an ally to perhaps take the pressure off, and if you find that you need to initiate a two front war then also see if you can drag another civ into it. If you have a popular religion this can be a help in finding allies.

    Also, get some workers in to your newly conquered lands (and protect them) to connect your empire together, and work any resources that your enemy didn't/couldn't. And chop, chop, chop for improvements that will pop your borders.

    And remember - revenge is a dish best served cold! Another good aphorism - Never make an enemy so bad you can't make money from him.

    Finally, don't neglect your war chest. Having a reserve of gold can help immeasurably in all kinds of situations but particularly during a war of conquest when territorial gains will increase your maintenance costs. Whilst Civ4 can be infuriating at times when it comes to the tactical level (though not as infuriating as Civ2 - anyone remember losing Battleships to Pikes when assaulting a city?!), at the strategic level the effect of a drawn out war on an economy is pretty accurate.

    The main thing to remember, as other comments have focussed on, is to be prepared.
     
  15. Negator_UK

    Negator_UK King

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    I would vary this advice slightly.

    At the start of the war you need a single SoD and it needs to be big enough to take the counterattack that the enemy SoD hit you with. After that the units will come at you in smaller chunks.

    Still maintaining a single SoD you make your attack and start taking cities.

    A some point you will be able to judge that your enemy has no significant counterattack capability and not enough capacity to build one, at which point you can start splitting your troops into multiple stacks to finish the war quicker, which you need to do to get your economy back up to consolidate your gains and plan your next war.

    So you start off with one stack, but a mid-to-late-war objective is to move to multiple stacks unless you are only doing a limited war to gain a city or two, or force capitulation.
     
  16. oldskald

    oldskald Warlord

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    I see your point with this for a late war scenario, but in some situations I've found that attacking from multiple directions can actually paralyse the AI response (it doesn't know which invasion force to attack), and what could have been a nasty counter-attack on a mighty SoD, becomes a group of cities with large garrison forces that don't interfere with my movement. Of course, perhaps I have to fight harder to take the cities rather than strip the AI of most of it's military power in one big battle, but in this situation I pick my battlegrounds more regularly than the AI does.

    For this reason I prefer to try to attack an AI with multiple stacks in a late war. It's not always possible, of course, and sometimes I get a bloody nose. But it is an option.
     
  17. Negator_UK

    Negator_UK King

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    By late war I meant late-in-the-war, not a late-in-the-game war. The advice applies to all eras.

    I too have had bloody noses from splitting my force before dealing with the enemy SoD, hence my simgle stack start, but its nice to see it doesn't have to be that way.
     
  18. LuCiver

    LuCiver Warlord

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    RE: Running out of steam.

    Plan ahead so that you are not leaving your cityraiders loafing around on garrison duty. Throw 3 archers into your initial stack to garrison the first 3 conquered cities. Have those newly acquired cities whip out archers when they come online and send them forward to garrison the next cities you liberate.

    When playing aggressive trait, use barracks to pump out medic1 warriors instead of archers for garrison. Maybe you can do medic1 archers if protective, not sure because I avoid that trait like the plague.
     
  19. Crighton

    Crighton Emperor

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    There's a lot of good advice in the many of the previous postings.

    My advice is to have goals.

    Sometimes you might have to fight a war of anhilation, sometimes you might just want a few of the neighboring cities, whatever. The point is to have a clearly defined aim and then plan for it accordingly, usually by bringing overwhelming force upon the enemy at either the objectives or strategic points which get you to your objectives. The AI doesn't tend to do to well against multiple stacks, just be sure they are large enough to do the job.

    After that you need a plan B. If you've anhilated your rival. Plan B is rebuild and move on. If you crunched your opponent and acheived some limited goals you either have to get him to agree to a peace or dig in in many places and let him wear himself out on your defenses (thus building up his WW). Leaving the guy alive isn't always the best or worst idea, it will be situational.

    In general it's your economy and productive capacity that will drive your war machine, a glut of units can cover may a mistake.
     
  20. ORION11380

    ORION11380 Chieftain

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    Focusing on the rate of attack alone, I find March to be the most important promotion. If a unit has even half his HP, I can use the 3-4 of moving and bombarding to heal, instead of sitting in a city.

    If your units are badly damaged, you've still saved yourself 1 turn, because on the turn after you take the target city, you'd normally have to waste a turn moving your damaged units into the city. With March, you can move into the city, and heal, in the same turn. So even if your guy is at 1% health, with a medic around, you're good to go in 1-2 turns.
     

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