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How do you screen your invasion forces?

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by E66man, Nov 9, 2010.

  1. E66man

    E66man Warlord

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    Ok, I know Civ V is no Pacific General (LONG overdue for an update... but that's a story for another time), but this business with your units being helpless in the water is getting pretty old fast.

    I don't mind having to keep military vessels around to screen the transports- I expect it. But if I'm going to have to try and prevent my transports from being captured, you literally need to keep a ship in every adjacent hex since even the Caravel has enough moves to slip past ZoCs if you have any openings. Having to need 6 military ships to protect 1 transport is a little excessive. The ratio gets a little better as you add more transports- 8:2, 10:3, etc., but still.

    In previous versions of Civ I remember transports being able to defend themselves eventually via tech- I think this needs to come back. Replaceable Parts might be a good spot for it. Or else, allow transports to stack 1 per tile with warships like you can do equivalently on land.

    In my last attempt to play a naval game, I had 4 Destroyers + 2 Battleships out in a ring guarding 3 transports. I had hoped I had them spaced out far enough that I could see if any enemy warships were in range to capture the transports, but I didn't see any. Sure enough though two Destroyers outside my view snaked in and took two of the transports... with almost no consequences since unpromoted ships take forever to kill each other. We need our liberty ships back, badly!
     
  2. MadRat

    MadRat Cheese Raider

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    I don't bother with escorts per se but rather set up pickets at key points that let me know if ships enter the area. I also set aside 2-3 ships to do regular sweeps of areas of contention prior to an invasion.

    Given the high rates of naval movement in late game a close escort is unable to see threats in time.

    Rat
     
  3. MickyLuv

    MickyLuv Chieftain

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    This.

    I also preempt by making sure I actively hunt down and sink the opposition's navy before I embark the troops. Carriers are great for this.

    It is a PITA though. Embarked units are essentially non-combatant whilst in that state, so they should be able to stack with one combatant vessel. Hopefully in a future patch...
     
  4. Atwork

    Atwork Immortal

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    Either let 'em stack or give 'em some defense.....they're sitting ducks as it is. Caravels slipping past modern warships to sink armed troop transports without return fire? c'mon
     
  5. Rohili

    Rohili King

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    I think the difficulty of guarding your embarked units is greatly exaggerated. The key is to use your naval units to scout ahead, instead of keeping them near your transport fleet.

    An enemy destroyer only has 8 movement points (unless it has movement promotions - very unlikely). So if your destroyers scout ahead by 8 tiles in each direction, and ascertain that there are no enemy units in the vicinity, then your transport fleet can safely move forward. It will be physically impossible for enemy ships to reach them in one turn.

    Also, keep in mind that the sight radius of enemy ships is less than their movement points, so you don't really have to scout 8 tiles ahead. You just need to scout enough tiles to ensure that your embarked units won't wander into the sight radius of an enemy ship. The AI doesn't get magical sight, so if their ships don't see your units, they won't attack (unless they randomly stumble upon your units).

    Using this method, I only need 2-3 naval units to escort a fleet of 6-8 land units. It is much more efficient than stacking naval units on embarked units (which will require a 1-1 ratio).

    I do agree, however, that naval units take ridiculously long to kill each other. IMO ships should have separate attack values for naval battles and land bombardment.
     
  6. E66man

    E66man Warlord

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    If you differentiate between 'guaranteed protection' vs 'good enough', I don't think I'm exaggerating. Depending on the amount of available water, in your scenario 2-3 ships scouting around out front won't prevent losses to ships that sneak up from behind, since even the Caravel has enough moves to catch up to the slower moving transports. Enemy Destroyers are going to catch up twice as fast. Moving around in a wide ring around your transports may lead someone to *think* they've seen everything, but it is seldom certain. Given the logistical nightmares of making an opposed invasion on another landmass, there are times when I want to be positive the chances of losing a transport to this capture rule are zero.
     
  7. testdummy653

    testdummy653 Prince

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    I don't ship my forces, until i take care of the enemy navy. Yes, i have problems and lose some units, but its not really, a big issue since it flushes out the leftover navy, and than my forces can take coastal cities.

    I think any changes to this feature would be a dis-service to the community, in that it make us play strategy in our placement of our units.
     
  8. Rohili

    Rohili King

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    I've never lost a unit to enemy ships using my method (the only times I have lost units was when I kept my naval units close to the embarked fleet instead of scouting ahead). And since I always play continental maps, I pretty much launch naval invasions every game.

    So, I do think "good enough" in this case comes quite close to "guaranteed protection".

    Sure, it might be physically possible for the AI to catch up from behind after your naval ships have scouted ahead, but that doesn't mean it will happen. Like I mentioned earlier, the AI doesn't get extra line of sight. If they don't know you have a fleet there, how will they know to "sneak up from behind"?

    Furthermore, "behind" is usually your own territory, while "front" is the enemy's territory. So how did enemy ships reach the back of your fleet without passing through the sight radius of your naval units out front? Did they take the long way around the globe just to "sneak up from behind"? That must be a very cunning AI indeed.

    And the simple solution to this (if you really must have the peace of mind) would be to have one extra naval unit scouting your rear as well, ensuring that no enemy ships can come through without your knowledge.

    Maybe the game designers wanted to make naval invasions inherently risky. After all, that is what happens in real life - ships don't cross vast oceans without encountering unexpected mishaps. Even the Titanic sank.

    So how about you just factor in the risk of losing a unit or two when planning your invasion? Why is there this obsessive-compulsive need for absolute certainty?
     
  9. Atwork

    Atwork Immortal

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    I might be fine with leaving the system alone, if aircraft regain recon ability.

    Otherwise, the system needs some improvement -- again, caravels slipping past modern warships to take out modern transports? really?

    I believe that one of the civ's special abilities is that their embarked units can fight back....that should be a universal rule, but it's a -50% for everyone else.
     
  10. SuperJay

    SuperJay Bending Space and Time

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    I still wish we could use transports in addition to embarkation. Make it optional - units can embark if need be (with all the penalties that entails), but if you have the time and resources, you could still build transport ships and load a few land units onto them. Unfortunately that probably can't work because of 1UPT.

    While I understand the premise behind embarkation, it just turns naval movement (let alone large invasions) into even more of a chore.
     
  11. GenericPlayer

    GenericPlayer Warlord

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    I use destroyers for picket points - their sight and mobility makes them ideal for this. Still you end up with ships hiding in straits you can't see (like the one between india and sri lanka on an Earth map).

    Actively seeking and destroying the opposition navy before embarking is key too. I thought sub-wolfpacks would be best for this, but like someone else said carriers do it well.
     
  12. Mustakrakish

    Mustakrakish In 'Node' We Trust

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    You DO realize that "using this method" of yours PLUS "stacking naval units on embarked units" can coexist? Thus superior to just "using this method". No need in swinging between 2 extremes... :mischief: It won't "require" 1-1 ratio.
     
  13. Rohili

    Rohili King

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    I never said they couldn't co-exist. I simply said that the difficulty in protecting your embarked units without stacking is greatly exaggerated.

    The only person presenting two extremes was the OP, who said that without stacking, the only way to protect your units was to surround all six hexes around each unit. It was that notion that I was questioning.

    And for the record, I do agree that it makes no sense that naval units cannot be stacked with embarked units, since the latter are counted as civilian units for all intents and purposes.
     
  14. E66man

    E66man Warlord

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    In the last game where this was a significant problem for me the percentage of open water / landmass on the map was fairly high. While visually it looks like the AI has done something clever, the reality is something like it was just moving its ships back to its own territory and happened to run into my fleet. Also since the oceans were so big I was well away from my own cities.

    I would also claim that the risk is much higher than simply losing a 'unit or two'. If you don't have enough of a preponderance of ships to wipe out the enemy on your next turn, you have the chance of them simply cleaning out all of the rest of your troops instead of engaging your escorts. If an enemy ship cleans out 2 transports and then dies, the hammer losses are well in the enemy's favor. Caravels probably only need to take 1 transport holding a Renaissance or better unit to make the sacrifice worthwhile.

    To turn it around, why is there a need to keep such a weak game mechanic in the game? Unless the escorts *greatly* outnumber the attackers, the best tactical play (from a purely naval standpoint) is to always mop up the transports and ignore the escorts. And as I mentioned already, depending on the units involved it is likely to still be better to take the transports and sacrifice the capturing ships. I'd be happier if there was more of a trade-off between deciding between engaging the transports vs the escorts.

    I think my comments might be being misread into a belief that I object to taking losses. My objection is solely on this insta-kill business that lasts the whole game. If a ship wants to come up and sink my transports by firing on them, fine, that's a war- and still can happen if I'm trying to block all my transports from being moved upon. I'm fine for gameplay-trumps-realism arguments, but having Caravels doing insta-kills on my Infantry transports just goes to far for me in that regard, nor do I find that this mechanic leads to good gameplay.
     
  15. Bob1475

    Bob1475 Prince

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    I think the inability to safely ship your troops over continents is a good and deliberate change to the game. Cross sea invasion is inherently dangerous, you need to assume and plan for a certain percentage casualties. You can screen all you want but a destroyer in harbor can come out and sink one of your units but here is the key - ONLY one. You invade with eight and lose one. Acceptable casualty rate. It's the cost of invasion.
     
  16. E66man

    E66man Warlord

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    Sure. I just prefer it if my casualties come from an actual fight, and not simply from somebody moving onto my occupied tiles. Even if the capturing ship still scored an insta-kill but took some token damage that would be something.
     
  17. testdummy653

    testdummy653 Prince

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    It does take damage or it should when the rest of your navy gets that ship the turn after.
     
  18. Mustakrakish

    Mustakrakish In 'Node' We Trust

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    Fair enough.
     
  19. bryanw1995

    bryanw1995 Emperor

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    also, you can get destroyers with absolutely obscene vision. just promote caravels, you'll get +2 sight to go with the +3 sight. as a bonus, you get indirect fire. it's pretty expensive but that extra sight is nice. you can also get a +1 sight promotion, plus the great lighthouse and that commerce policy also give +1. theoretically you can get 10 sight!!
     
  20. bryanw1995

    bryanw1995 Emperor

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    yes, but a couple of enemy naval units can use zoc to keep your embarked units to 1 movement per turn, giving a huge advantage to the defender.
     

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