How do you handle losing units ?

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My normal "strategy" is to retreat when units get within kill range. My logic is that each unit lost represents lost production. Each time you do something with a unit represents a return on that initial production investment. I often have playthroughs without losing a single unit.

Usually I only lose units when I misclick or misunderstand the map (Really common examples are assuming a tile has a road when it doesn't and trying to understand the range of a ranged unit around rough terrain). Usually I restart those turns because I'm not losing to poor strategy, I'm losing to poor UI (Situations where if I knew moving forward put me in range of an archer that I already know about I wouldn't move forward essentially). Those situations are just frustrating. Old world UI is actually fantastic at avoiding this....

Today I actually lost units deliberately (In the sense that I didn't retreat them) to capture a final city off an opponent. One of the very few instances where I was actually fine (Even enjoyed) losing units.

I thought it would be interesting to discuss how losing units makes you feel ?
How often do you lose units ?
Under what circumstances are you (or would you be) happy to lose to an AI ?
Do you think more or less of your own units should die to opponents in civ 7 ?
How do you feel about how "permanent" units are ? (In the sense that your first warrior could possibly last an entire playthrough for instance)

Personally I'm only happy to lose units to an AI when they use good strategy. In civ 6 this basically means they have to overwhelm me with numbers in the early game before walls.
On a more game balance level, I think warfare is too powerful a tool, like once you go down the war path there really isn't any reason to just keep conquering. More warfare just increases the return you get on your initial production investment.
One critique of civ that I've seen around is that units take too long to produce, leaving you with not much to do other than next turn. I think the initial 'cost' is about right though. I think I'd rather look at how to limit the potential returns on units so that it isn't basically limitless. Whether that means battles are more decisive or units can't upgrade or each unit has a "lifetime" (like heroes) I'm not super sure. Or maybe something else I haven't imagined.
 
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I thought it would be interesting to discuss how losing units makes you feel ?
How often do you lose units ?
Under what circumstances are you (or would you be) happy to lose to an AI ?
Do you think more or less of your own units should die to opponents in civ 7 ?
How do you feel about how "permanent" units are ? (In the sense that your first warrior could possibly last an entire playthrough for instance)

It sucks of course if it was a vital unit, for example a siege unit, a key unit for maintaining my siege etc., otherwise I am fine with losing units.
That being said, I am pretty good at tactical maneuvers and estimating whether or not my units will survive a worst case scenario during the AIs turn, so I rarely lose my units anymore.
That being said, I try to bring some reserves in any case, because more is usually better.

Also GMC is a thing in this game, and imo way too strong.
Even if you dont use it, the ability to insta-raise an army wherever you want (or insta-resupply at the front) is too good of an insurance policy.
Pillaging faith is easy enough as is, and when you can use it to buy another bombard on the same turn, that's too strong as it completely negates the supposed lost production cost you would otherwise have to deal with.
It also doesnt help that the faith economy is completely off compared to gold, whereby faith buying units is just way too cheap in general.
 
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UWHabs

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I try to avoid it. As you said, a lost unit needs many turns of production, and you are back at 0 with experience. Whereas if you can save the unit, you can retreat and heal for "free".

Now, there are times I'll sacrifice a unit. For example, if I get an early DoW from an AI or a barb raid, often times if you can draw their fire to your unit, it means they're not going after your better unit or the city, so maybe I end up trading with them (basically the equivalent of swapping bishops in chess). In those cases sometimes one turn more is all you need to get that next warrior or archer or whatever out that can repel the rest of the invasion.

Sometimes I lose a unit to a mis-calculation. Like especially when my slinger is going up against a barb spearman. You can run into cases where if you get a good shot off on them, they'll be weak enough to not kill you on the hit back. But if your shot is weak, then they can kill your unit. In those cases, I just use my best guess whether I think I will survive, usually guess wrong, and then simply live with it.

I do agree on some of your last points that I feel that units are too immortal. Like, it's cool to upgrade units and all that, but the balance in civ IMO is way off. Honestly, I kind of feel that units should be cheaper to build, more likely to die, but also maybe should be more expensive to upgrade rather than rebuild. As in, I'm curious how the game would play if the only times you upgraded a unit was basically to keep their promotions. Maybe it would be weird and wrong, or maybe it would hurt the AI even more. But I do think it would also give more cost to large overseas wars. Especially given the policy discount cards, you can often pre-build with a 50% production boost, and then upgrade with a 50% gold/resource discount, so you're essentially getting your army at a severely discounted rate. It's a little weird that the #1 district that helps you build up a big army is a commerce hub.
 

Rg339

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I’m risk averse with losing units. Each unit, if used correctly, will result in swift acquisition of territory. The returns on that vastly exceed the cost of the unit, so it may at first make sense to sacrifice a unit here and there, but time is the crucial thing. Each lost unit slows the speed of conquest. If you have to replace half your army, your gains are gonna be so much lower just to due to lost time you could’ve spent advancing.

Pretty easy to avoid losing units, too, IMO. The Egyptian UU is the only unit I regularly lose troops to. It’s just very hard to plan for. Strong enough that two of them can pop units like a bubble, fast enough that you often don’t see them because they move into range and strike on the same turn.

Horsemen can accomplish the same thing, but they’re less effective at it in my experience. They have 4 MP but their effective mobility is limited by terrain blocks(which abound during their time of use) and the lack of a ranged attack. That Egyptian UU has a devastating effective mobility.
 

aieeegrunt

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Upgrades, faith, and chopping are pretty broken, and that is just in the basic game. Once you pile goveners and the other mechanics from the more advanced versions and modes the AI has zero hope

Try a game with a no chopping house rule. It’s far more interesting. It definitly forces you to Play The Map a lot more, which is playing to the game’s strengths
 

reddishrecue

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I am glad someone brought this up because there's nothing more that hurts me in the game rather than losing units. I would rather lose a whole game of civilization and quit than lose a unit because units are very important to me. I treat units like if they were my real life troops even siege weapons I would treat like a living being because they are capable of being upgraded and promoted to more powerful siege weapons. Other units such as melee or ranged also deserve good care because after a bunch of kills they are capable to do better things and that means even attacking twice. The other good thing about taking good care of your units is that you don't have to rebuild them again in a city and instead focus on a good economy. This is one of the key issues that I noticed in domination particularly in civ 5 where conquest was done with the same units from the ancient era and then upgraded to the future eras as more resources became available and the units got more powerful with the technology. The Professional Army military card comes really handy when upgrading since it reduces costs. Having high ranking troops by the futuristic eras is worth a lot rather than building armories or encampments with buildings that give promotions to units. It doesnt hurt to build one or two in the future but a unit that has been upgraded and has been well taken care of while attacking can be a lot better than a unit built at the encampment with all its buildings. Losing units is foolish and there's nothing more that I don't like than being a fool. :)
 

kaspergm

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I always try to avoid losing units, but there are times where I will make the sacrifice of units. Specifically when attacking a city in early game if defender suddenly puts up ancient walls why the city is under siege and assault (lame), or when city combat strength suddenly jumps because defender builds or upgrade a unit in another city (again, lame), I just have to throw all my units at it and suicide some of them in order to claim it.

However, there are times, where I will savescum if I lose a unit, particularly if my recon unit blissfully walks into the arms of a group of barbs hiding in the map fog without stopping when the first comes into sight range (how did that feature not get carried over from Civ5?).

Also GMC is a thing in this game, and imo way too strong.
Even if you dont use it, the ability to insta-raise an army wherever you want (or insta-resupply at the front) is too good of an insurance policy.
I've made this claim before, but I will repeat it here, because I agree 100 % with you: Faith buying is one of the big flaws of Civ6.
 
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reddishrecue

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However, there are times, where I will savescum if I lose a unit, particularly if my recon unit blissfully walks into the arms of a group of barbs hiding in the map fog without stopping when the first comes into sight range (how did that feature not get carried over from Civ5?).
Savescum, yes I would do that sometimes as well, as long as most units survive and sacrifice any units that just can't make it somehow.
 

bene_legionary

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I try to avoid savescumming at all costs. If I'm going to lose a unit, well, that's too bad. It happens. Mistakes happen all the time and you gotta deal with them, not avoid them. Losing a unit is a small mistake for me and I press on.
 

aieeegrunt

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I won’t savescum unless it’s a case of the game UI being bad and causing the error

You have to take your lumps if you want to learn and get better at the game. Failure is an excellent teacher
 

reddishrecue

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I savescum when you're in a higher difficulty or when your unit is too well-promoted to lose and is irreplaceable even with fully built encampments.
 

UWHabs

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I always try to avoid losing units, but there are times where I will make the sacrifice of units. Specifically when attacking a city in early game if defender suddenly puts up ancient walls why the city is under siege and assault (lame), or when city combat strength suddenly jumps because defender builds or upgrade a unit in another city (again, lame), I just have to throw all my units at it and suicide some of them in order to claim it.

However, there are times, where I will savescum if I lose a unit, particularly if my recon unit blissfully walks into the arms of a group of barbs hiding in the map fog without stopping when the first comes into sight range (how did that feature not get carried over from Civ5?).


I've made this claim before, but I will repair it here, because I agree 100 % with you: Faith buying is one of the big flaws of Civ6.

Faith purchasing and the faith economy are both the best and worst. It's great because I absolutely love that there's a way to convert a resource that traditionally in civ games has never really had a use out of one context, and now faith can be used in basically every victory type.
But because of that, it's too much of a catch-all, and it definitely suffers from some game balance. Like the fact that it's really hard to get a commerce hub with an adjacency higher than +4, but especially with the right pantheon, can easily run higher holy site adjacencies, while also realizing that faith:gold is generally a 1:2 ratio, means that a +4 adjacency holy site is like having a +8 adjacency commerce hub. Yeah, obviously there's some flaws there. If faith was on even footing with gold, that would bring things a little closer to balance, I think. At least it would be a little more expensive to replace units rather than just using the power of God to raise a massive army cheaply.
 
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I don't mind losing "lesser" units. Warriors are cannon fodder, and even some low promoted archers are cannon fodder. Once I get to highly promoted units, I am very careful with them.

As for scouts. I admit I have an OCD tendency to try to get that 3rd promotion (+20 strength). I am very careful with my initial (and only) scout. It's kind of a mini game to me to get highly promoted scouts.
 
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I don't mind losing "lesser" units. Warriors are cannon fodder, and even some low promoted archers are cannon fodder. Once I get to highly promoted units, I am very careful with them.

As for scouts. I admit I have an OCD tendency to try to get that 3rd promotion (+20 strength). I am very careful with my initial (and only) scout. It's kind of a mini game to me to get highly promoted scouts.

Yep, scouts with free move (hills/forest), move after attack and +20? Do NOT want to lose those.
I'll reload if they get ambushed.
 

MrRadar

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I thought it would be interesting to discuss how losing units makes you feel ?
Voice in my head No 1: 'By God, sir, we've lost a unit.'
Voice in my head No 2: 'By God, sir, so we have.'
Usually, losing units makes me pay more attention to what's going on on the map :) But I accept all losses and continue. The other day the 'Hah hah hah' guy one shot my level 6 Field Gun Army with an empty Encampment. I saw that he had machine guns already but hoped that an army could weather on hit. It couldn't. Oh well, in response I'm settling two brand new cities next to two uranium resources. Strictly for scientific purposes, of course. To see how many nukes he can take before melting.

How often do you lose units ?
I try not to lose them very often, but some of them still bite the dust. Cases when a ship or an embarked scout gets ambushed by a swarm of barb caravels out of the fog probably are the most painful. If I assault a well fortified AI position, I already expect some losses.

Under what circumstances are you (or would you be) happy to lose to an AI ?
All my losses to Civ 1–4 AI felt very much ok, some were even epic. If I lose to Civ 5 AI, it is because I played lazy, not too happy. Civ 6 has virtually no AI, so a loss can not be justified, unless you fold during the first 30-40 turns under Deity rush.

Do you think more or less of your own units should die to opponents in civ 7 ?
I think the price and turnover of units were in the best spot in Civ 4. Wars really felt like an industrial affair, plenty of units into the meatgrinder. I'd prefer a return to something like this, but then coming back of stacks would be inevitable. But I prefer stack movement to this awkward puzzle sliding that we have in 5-6, with unsolved pathing and unit swapping and traffic jam problems.

How do you feel about how "permanent" units are ? (In the sense that your first warrior could possibly last an entire playthrough for instance)
With 1 UPT came the crazy unit production costs and the cost of losing a unit increased accordingly, so now there are less units and bigger proportion of veteran units lasting millennia, which isn't very realistic, but again this is just a game which must be fun. Still, I think that units should lose an XP level on gold upgrading them into something more modern. Or should they lose a level after a certain number of turns without seeing any action? I'm afraid the latter would be seen as to much not fun.
 

tedhebert

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i accept all losses as part of the game, with one single exception: if the pathing AI moves my unit totally stupidly and I lose the unit because of that; most common is embarking/disembarking my unit when there is not a single good reason to do so...

otherwise, my bad, I live with it
 

steveg700

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Yep, scouts with free move (hills/forest), move after attack and +20? Do NOT want to lose those.
I'll reload if they get ambushed.
That underscores the main reason I'd save- scum to avoid losing a unit. The game needs to stop movement as soon as a hostile is sighted. That it doesn't leads to deaths that need have happened. A common enough occurrence when scouts are auto-exploring.

Otherwise, how common is it really to ever be in a situation where one's own troops perish? Not very. Then again, I find war itself largely avoidable. It's generally only something I do to protect or liberate a CS.
 

reddishrecue

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i accept all losses as part of the game, with one single exception: if the pathing AI moves my unit totally stupidly and I lose the unit because of that; most common is embarking/disembarking my unit when there is not a single good reason to do so...

otherwise, my bad, I live with it
When I see melee or mounted units doing good damage on my units, I do that, embark them. If they're ranged and upgraded ranged then I would go to forest or jungle.
 
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A common enough occurrence when scouts are auto-exploring.

I forgot to mention this on my post. I no longer use auto explore for my scouts. I manually move them all the time. Sometimes just one hex at a time. I'm so careful that I almost never have to reload. The exception might be if I get trapped on a peninsula and there's a quadrireme around.

It's kind of sad the auto explore can't be better. I might use it for ships, but often I manually move my ships as well. The auto explore loves to put your ship in a position where it's ganged up by like 5 or 6 galleys.
 

UWHabs

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I forgot to mention this on my post. I no longer use auto explore for my scouts. I manually move them all the time. Sometimes just one hex at a time. I'm so careful that I almost never have to reload. The exception might be if I get trapped on a peninsula and there's a quadrireme around.

It's kind of sad the auto explore can't be better. I might use it for ships, but often I manually move my ships as well. The auto explore loves to put your ship in a position where it's ganged up by like 5 or 6 galleys.

Auto-explore is only really useful once you have manually scouted your area, and you just don't care about the unit anymore. Especially when you levy a CS, it's fun to just take 4-5 of their units and throw them on auto-explore where you really don't care if they live or die. It can be useful to get to the far reaches of the world, especially with barbarian clans mode to randomly find those late tundra CS.
 
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