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How to survive next to a warmonger?

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Phyrre56, May 2, 2014.

  1. Phyrre56

    Phyrre56 Chieftain

    May 2, 2014
    I'm a Civ novice. Civ V is my first foray into the series. But I know the basics -- I've won several games handily on Prince difficulty, now working on King. I generally play 8 Civs and Continents, everything else pretty much random.

    I find my games fall into one of two categories:

    1) I don't spawn near a warmonger. I build up a nice economy, production, science, etc. and it's pretty much a cakewalk to the victory of my choice (except Domination). I usually win around Turn 350.

    2) I do spawn near a warmonger, and within about 100 turns they march an enormous army to my door and destroy me.

    The obvious solution is "You need early defense." Fine, I tried that. In a recent game I spawned near Attila so I invested much more in early units than I usually do. By turn 90 or so, I had 4x Swordsmen, 4x Horsemen, and a few Composite Bowmen. Realistically I didn't have the Science to get much further up the military side of the tree by that point, and I also had a bunch of horses and traded for Iron to upgrade my Swordsmen.

    He marched an army easily 5x larger than mine plus a significant navy (saw at least 6 Triemes) and he just kept sending wave after wave at me and my nearest city-state ally. I had the tech advantage but it didn't matter because he had sheer numbers.

    Seriously -- what was I supposed to do??? Also how is this fun or balanced? I'm not that interested in continuing to play a game where I have to build the biggest army as quickly as possible, no matter what, or the AI might just decide that I lose. Shouldn't there be some more balance? I have better things to do with my time than set up a civ for an hour or two only to find out "Sorry, you're the first target for this game's warmonger with his Terracotta Army, so have a nice day."

    Also the Civ nearest to me (Ethiopa I think) refused to declare war on Attila even though he was rampaging me, and Ethiopa was next. Logic...

    I'm kind of done with this game because of this flaw, but I figured I'd let the experts try to salvage my experience before I packed it up. Am I completely missing something here?
  2. notyourtypical

    notyourtypical Warlord

    Jul 22, 2013
    A few things: First, build more ranged. 2 swords, 2 horses and 4 bows is fine. Second, he's not going to want peace if he doesn't feel threatened, so you'll probably have to engage him in a second front or push into his territory and pillage improvements. Third, on King he will have at most, 2x the number of units as you on turn 100. Maybe 16 to your 8. But the AI is terrible at combat, so this is not a problem. Work on improving your combat skills. The better you are, the less units you need to build. Fourth, pay him to attack someone else. Finally, if you are at war for 50 turns but are holding your enemy off and he can't pillage the tiles you work, who cares? You're getting unit XP.

    You could also post a save just prior to the DoW.
  3. Phyrre56

    Phyrre56 Chieftain

    May 2, 2014
    Thanks those are good tips. But just to understand, other than buying him off, my only solution is to devote my resources to this war -- correct?

    I guess it's just a reality of the game then. I don't particularly like that he declared war on me after zero diplomacy. He didn't threaten, he didn't demand trades, I didn't do anything to anger him -- he just showed up on my doorstep with his army and went from never speaking to me to declaring war.

    He had way more than 2x my units if you count naval. He also had the advantage of his unique battering rams and horse archers.

    Thanks for your response but I don't think this game is for me long term. I like the strategy elements. I don't like the random start / sometimes you're just screwed despite your best efforts component.
  4. Avatan

    Avatan Warlord

    Jun 22, 2010
    Have you try bribing HIM into wars? If he has a big standing army he will usually gladly accept a small bribe to go and hassle someone else.

    Another good trick is to denounce the civ that isalready denounced by everybody, soon enough the warmonger will jump on the hate wagon and ask you to join him in a war, which you will accept of course.

    If not, and you feel that the threat is imminent, denounce him so that your friends will like him less. Then try to bribe them to DOW him.

    If all this fails and war is unavoidable, try to play with the terrain. A very small force (like 3/4 bows and a couple melee) can handle a huge army if the terrain is right, think 300.
    Use moutains or lakes to force the troops into a narrow corridor, make sure you have at least a couple hills behind your city so that your ranged can fire over the city, and rough terrain to slow the adversary. Use of roads to allow your wounded troops to fall back quickly and fresh troops to replace them, and forts in strategic points will go a long way to ensure your small defensive army resist longer.

    When close to a warmonger, settling a defense city is a must.

    Defensive pantheons can also go a long way in helping a small defensive army to withstand a huge invasion. The one that gives an extra 30 HP to troops stationing close to a convrted city is just brutal. Having your troops healing 50 HP / turn is very demoralizing for the aversary. The one that increase city attack is good to.

    Defense buildings are cheap to build, maintenance free and make a huge difference in battle (especially walls and their +50 HP).

    So yeah, it's kinda preposetrous to say that the only way to survive is to build a huge army.
  5. danaphanous

    danaphanous religious fanatic

    Sep 6, 2013
    Yeah, all warmongers are spoiling for a fight early. It's what they do. If you know you don't have the resources to muster a good defense or don't feel like putting the gold and time into the proper defenses then you have to buy him off. Trade a lot of timed luxuries/resources. Send him trade routes. All these will make him less likely to target you bc it will hurt his economy. Sometimes they do it anyway though, so just to be safe if I see a large army and it looks like he might attack me soon I'll actually pay him to attack another AI. He wants to fight someone, make him your friend by paying him money to do so and it won't be you.

    Also, build walls and castles on all your border cities. They will make your cities WAAAAY harder to take, and virtually impossible with a core of ranged defense units unless he has a very well balanced army complete with siege weapons. The more work he has to do to steal territory from you the less likely he will be to pick on you. Shaka is the worst, but even he is easy to derail. Just expect they will attack someone and pay him a little to make sure it'll be someone else. Warmongers that are already looking to fight will be paid off very cheaply too. I've sent Shaka to war repeatedly for only 2 gpt, and he ended up being a game-long friend and loving me after a few wars together.
  6. Koiranputki

    Koiranputki Prince

    May 9, 2012
    Well...Attila is Attila....if he's close he's a problem.... but he is flaky..... You just have to grind him down and then he becomes a coward... :)

    In my current game I found a choice site for my second city quite close to him...... and the best spot was a flat grassland tile.... What to do?!? What to do!?!....To heck with it...I'll settle and defend.....

    I took "Holy Warriors" and and I prepared.... I think I only actually hard-built a couple of units... almost all were "Holy Warriors".... And he, of course, attacked and I started grinding away on him.

    I should also mention that Genghis is also nearby...so I reasoned that if I sufficiently weakened Attila, I would let Genghis finish him off.... And that's exactly what happened. Eventually Attila tried to get peace with me, but I would have none of that...I kept the pressure on, picking off his units and razing his tiles.

    [Aside: ...during this process I hovered my cursor over his capital...I would get an "Extreme Warmonger" penalty if I took the city...this warmonger penalty really is lame... He started the war!! ...but that's a whole other discussion...;)]

    Anyway, Attila is now out of the game and now I'm hoping Genghis will DOW...then I can go on a rampage and liberate Attila and several CSs that Genghis took over. Should be a long, interesting game.

    Although it is always situational...the key in this case was getting "Holy Warriors".....

    You have to try to scout out the map as much a possible early on and try to decide what you are likely going to have to deal with....
  7. joncnunn

    joncnunn Senior Java Wizard Moderator

    Mar 17, 2008
    For defense: It's mostly Composite Bows that you want. (Build as archers to escort the settler to the city and then upgrade) And then fight within range of your city so it also bombards them.

    Melee units take damage even when they win as opposed to Ranged units that take no damage when attacking.
  8. chazzycat

    chazzycat Deity

    Oct 13, 2010
    if you were playing as Attila, wouldn't you try to destroy your neighbors? The game is set up to be somewhat realistic when it comes to motivation for war. "I want your land" is plenty good enough reason.

    others have already mentioned it, but bribing them is really a good option a lot of the time. They want to attack someone, but it doesn't necessarily have to be you. You can even bribe them to attack nearby city states, that can keep them busy for at least a little while to build up your defenses. Then you can liberate them later.
  9. brewgod

    brewgod Prince

    Feb 7, 2006
    Jet City
    In a similar note I started a game yesterday playing continents and when I bought land tiles near a border of another civ I did not get any issues. The civ three tiles over not even touching borders popped up and said thanks for "backstabbing me" and then sent over six units and took over my city. Wow. I went on the defense and working on taking over my great city with resources and then finish him off.

    Brew God
  10. LoneRebel

    LoneRebel Emperor

    Apr 16, 2013
    Distinguished and Ever Loyal City
    I'm a bit surprised that after you've been handily winning games on Prince and even on King, you suddenly decide that this game is "not for you" after just one off game.

    An army 5 times bigger than yours must be an exaggeration. Assuming from your description of your army's order of battle that you had 10 military units or so, I find it hard to believe that a King-level AI could have a 50-unit army by turn 100. More likely is a 2:1 ratio as someone else noted, and a human player can definitely defeat an AI army with those odds.
  11. Callonia

    Callonia Deity

    Jan 14, 2010
    Ok so Phyrre, your 12 units times 5 equals 60?

    Holy sheet I wish my king games was this entertaining. To get that kind of hordes from the AI by turn 90 I need to play on deity. Even then I think i'm underestimating just a lil bit. And what's more you say its from Attila? That guy really sucks at warmongering. He's never a threat in my games. He just flop around and die horribly.

    I'm guessing he brought like 20-30 to your 12.

    I regularly go for domination victory, if i have other victory conditions achieved its because I felt lazy to do domination or have to otherwise I lose the game. I also like playing on King because anything above it is too silly too much science bonus.

    How you use your lay of land and soldiers is very huge factor of how well you can handle the invasions.

    4 swordmen nice, 4 horsemen ehh i would build spearmen instead of horsemen because spearmen can fortify while horsemen cannot and is used in reserve unless you're on the offensive and a few composite bowmen is good. Plus i'm not sure but, isn't' horsemen more expensive to build than spearmen? You could've had even more units if that was the case. I have forgotten the specific details cuz I'm been playing AOW3 lately but I"m still good at warmongering.

    Without any screenshots I can't really say much other than what I have already said in this and some more.

    Just focus on preserving your units unless you can replenish your deaths very easily and even then I would preserve if it means i can swamp attila's lands with my units in counterattack. If you're badly outnumbered, fight near your cities so your cities can contribute to the battle. Pop your citadels onto good defensive lands. Have your melee fortify the lands and ranged fire off their shots until its safe for your melee to start attacking. Rotate in and out the wounded melee units with fresh units and veterancy will build up until your soldiers become the immovable rock that the AI cannot dislodge.

    I had a bunch of landsknechts with march promos yo xD because they was attacking so much out of the city's hex which was under siege many times until it got to the point where landsknechts could attack every single turn without stopping to heal due to march promo making landsknechts heal 25 hp every turn.

    Don't be afraid to use your city's hp values, as long as it doesn't hit zero you haven't lost the city as long as it stays at 2 hp preferably.

    Normally i have the world's biggest military so the AI is usually afraid to dow on me during industrial and later. But before that, My military is decent-good.
  12. Mozzington

    Mozzington Prince

    Nov 7, 2005
    That's how life was back then?
  13. phillipwyllie

    phillipwyllie Wannabe Deity

    Dec 11, 2003
    4 Hexes from FoY
    Beeline Engineering and build the Great Wall, then beeline Civil Service and train pike-men making sure you have a few Composite Bowmen around. When you have pike-men Attila won't be a problem anymore.

    As you are playing on king you will be able to get the Great Library which you use to research Philosophy for free to get you the National college. After this techs will take only a few turns each, especially if you pick techs already know to other civs.

    As has been suggested earlier to get Attila to sue for peace you must march an army on him and start pillaging, just don't accept cities as your happiness will suffer greatly.
  14. Loucypher

    Loucypher King

    Jun 3, 2012
    One thing to keep in mind is that even if you do fall behind in tech early on due to neighboring warmongers, as long as you can beat them back (Which, given the tips provided above should prove to be no issue), you're still in good shape. Get to the Rennaisance, set up your Universities with the Science specialists and come Industrial/Early Modern era, you should be back in top of the science charts.
  15. BuzWeaverCiv

    BuzWeaverCiv Warlord

    Sep 9, 2013
    Another helpful tip is don't accept an embassy in the early game. I had the same issues you were having when I first started King. As NotYour mentioned have ranged units complimented with a few melee. The other thing I like to do is have a catapult or trebuchet in my city(s).
  16. b7fanatix

    b7fanatix Warlord

    Jun 20, 2013
    If you're neighbours with a warmonger they're going to come, no question about that. You can't build an army the same size as theirs and have a healthy economy, or even be able to pay them all to stop the units disbanding.

    Also, i'm having none of this bribing business. I'm not stirring the pot, i'd rather just take them on.

    The biggest thing for me i think is city placement. Think about how defensible the location is before you settle it, especially if you are near warmongers. Always pick the more easily defended tile over the one with the most specials.

    As far as a defensive army goes, it's hard to make efficient use of defenders over and above that first archer. Only one can go inside the city and if they lurk outside it, they may get torn up.

    My tips

    1) Settle cities closer together and have interconnecting roads, so you can rush reinforcements in quickly and avenues for entering/pillaging your territory are reduced.

    2) look at the terrain to create natural choke points , this can reduce pillaging.

    3) i like river cities anyway for the production bonus, but enemys get penalised attacking over water too.

    4) Hills give a combat penalty to attackers on the city, but also remember the effect on the archer garrison. The best thing about being on a hill is that you can shoot over a bare hill on the tile next to the city to hit enemy units 2 tiles from the city. If the city wasn't on a hill, that tile would block your line of sight. Forests can also give cover to enemy units. If the city is on a hill and the forest is on flat land, you can shoot over it, however if the city is on flat land, you want to chop any forests within 1 tile of the city. If the city is on a hill, forests within the first tile can stay if they're on flat land, but any hilly forests in the first tile must be chopped.

    5) As someone has already mentioned, take the Faith Healers pantheon, build a fort 1 tile away from a vulnerable city and fortify a melee unit in there. The enemy will try to kill this unit before attacking your city but will find this difficult, especially as the unit will get healed 50hp per turn thanks to your pantheon. Just don't attack with this unit, it will only heal if it remains fortified.

    6) mountains allow construction of observatory if adjacent to your city, and block attacks. they also make superb choke points for your territory as a whole. Consider how many hexes your city can be attacked from in melee when choosing a site - eg. 1 blocked by mountain, 3 impeded by river, gives only 2 clear avenues of attack, this city will be hard to capture.

    Experiences with early rushers has led me to play China a lot. If I get a bad neighbour, i take the Honour tree and take the two left side skills.

    One , a free Great General gives a nice bonus and can be turned into a Citadel right next to your city at the flick of a switch. Two, double XP from combat. Their unique unit replaces the Crossbow and fires twice per turn. It gains XP for each attack, making it possible to get the +1 range promotion which is extremely OP. For your first promo, pick rough terrain or clear terrain then stick with that one, one either has reached rank 3 the really juicy stuff (+1 range promo, heal every turn even if moving/attacking ) become unlocked. Finally, those Chu-Ko-Nu can duck in and out of range in a way that a normal archer cannot, since they can move after firing , provided they have movement points remaining.

    Eg. an archer that fires on its first move uses up all remaining movement points with that attack.

    The Chu-Ko-Nu that fires on its first move can fire again on its second movement point or use that movement point to back up.

    Even better if you have a road leading up to the city under attack. You can hang back out of range, then move one place towards the enemy along the road (costs half a movement point), shoot, then back up out of range again - all in one turn.
  17. danaphanous

    danaphanous religious fanatic

    Sep 6, 2013
    As noted by b7fantix above, mobility+terrain is King in battle. He is already at the disadvantage if he's coming into your territory, especially if you've laid down a proper road network. If you let him set up position to cut off reinforcements, occupy your hills, etc, you've lost half the battle. Create border forts, fortify strong melee on hills and in these, with ranged on safe hill locations behind the line. Use mountains as chokepoints, but note you can manufacture chokepoints using strong hill/fort locations and city placement. Another fun thing to do is to leave swamp/forest border points, especially if near a hill line and grind them up as they attempt to cross the no-man's-land with strong ranged attacks backed by cavalry which can plunge in and finish off wounded units. If you play the border right you'll grind your enemy's force down significantly as he's trying to get through to target the city. AI's are kinda predictable. It cost some extra money but if you have a road running up behind a hill/fort chokepoint you can rotate your units creating a replenishing/healing loop which will make you last much longer. You'll only have 1 turn downtime as units re-fortify, which is doable with forts or healing bonuses. Note that generals not only give combat bonuses but healing bonuses as well. So do certain promo paths, so think about this as you place your units. You can get your forward defender up to +25-35 hp/turn even without faith-healers. Also, choose the fortify option not the fortify-till-healed option. They are different, and the second term spent in the classic fortified status your defense goes up again to +40% I think. This on top of a fort/fortress + healing backing is an extremely hard unit to kill. I've had much success with pikemen occupying this position in early wars, or any unit that is resistant to bombardment. You will chew up their forward-melee as they weaken attacking you too if you place 2 bombardment units on the back-side 2 hexes.
  18. Ryika

    Ryika Lazy Wannabe Artista

    Aug 30, 2013
    Imho the easiest way to deal with a warmonger as your direct neighbor is to declare war on them as soon as you see them (so if you meet one of his units in the first few turns or if you arrive at his borders - you won't get any diplomatic hit if he's the only civ you know at that point), push out 2-3 archers asap and then just pin him into his capital. The AI is dumb, so if you're careful, you should be able to snipe his units (don't be afraid to reload if you made a mistake and lost a unit - experience will allow you to make fewer mistakes), maybe even steal a few workers (that includes settlers that are trying to leave his borders), get exp for your archers, while he just isn't able to do ANYTHING at all.

    If you still haven't made contact to any other civ once you can upgrade to Composite Bows (or if you just met 1-2 and don't care that much about the warmonger penalty), then you can even wipe him out completely. If his city has 2 unique luxuries, then you can even annex the city without worrying too much about the hit on your happiness. Capitals start in really good locations most of the time, so the additional luxuries alone will make up for the delayed start - and the problem itself is solved early on. ;)

    Works all the way up to immortal, not so much on Deity, because of the second city. And of course, sometimes the surroundings just aren't suited for that.
  19. reddishrecue

    reddishrecue Deity

    Nov 16, 2009
    Build units, steal workers, and build walls. Get the fortification bonuses and you will save money when you have too many units. Besides, walls are free.

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