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HUI Game #2 - Boudica

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Shafi, Nov 1, 2009.

  1. dualmaster

    dualmaster Emperor

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    Usually the AI fill focus on attacking only one city. So the key is to have one city which draws his attention. Right now a good choice would be Shaka's Ndondakusuka (or whatever it is). The AI will often prioritize taking back its own cities, and that city is also the "most vulnerable". But most importantly it is on a hill.

    So if you capture that city, basically just whip walls in and stack lots of defensive units in it. Your guerilla GWs will make great defenders with their huge bonuses. Some spears to deal with chariots, some axes to deal with swords, and GWs to deal withs cats and others. Also be sure to get a medic unit going to heal fast. Then if Shaka "behaves" he will send stack after stack to get slaughtered trying to take the city. To do this effectively actually doesn't require a lot of units and your losses should be much less than his so you probably won't need to be building that many units either.

    Thus you can focus more on settling out your terrain (you have tons of good land) and recovering your economy. This is the approach I would take instead of trying to go after Shaka. He is a serious unit spammer and any forward progress for you would be slow and overall it would decrease your tech rate. But if you focus on building your economy and teching there's a good chance you'll be killing his longbows with cannons.
     
  2. dirtyparrot

    dirtyparrot Upholding Brannigan's Law

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    It means that forest won't grow back diagonally (only vertically and horizontally). So, if you want an opportunity to for them to grow back, chop in more of a checkerboard formation. The same rules apply for jungle regrowth, although in that case, you usually don't want them to grow back.
     
  3. learner gamer

    learner gamer Chieftain

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    Glad to see you back Shafi! :) I was going to post the following:

    To paraphrase Shakespeare: O Shafi, Shafi! wherefore art thou Shafi?
    Hadst thou attained perfection in the game that is Civ, thus rendering unnecessary a continuation of the Help Us Improve series? :lol: :lol: :lol:

    but then thought that RL was perhaps holding things up...in the event, it proved to be a war with Shaka. :lol:

    OK, back to the game, on which I’ve a few questions and, hopefully, a few helpful tips. Firstly though, well played, that was a great example of how to fight a defensive war IMHO. :goodjob: That said, I think this is just the beginning – I agree with hexem3117 and suggest that you need to keep preparing for Shaka’s next onslaught...and then eventually take the fight to him.

    Firstly though I have some questions, just so that I (and anyone who’s following) can learn some more.

    Re: tech path. Out of curio, what was your thought process behind teching (i) HBR and (ii) alphabet? In the case of HBR, I ask because Shaka’s UU is of course the impi (a spear)...so, was it to produce HAs as a counter to catapults?

    In a similar vein, what was the reason behind teching alphabet? Again, I ask only because the screenie at 10AD shows that Shaka has it but won’t trade it or anything else...and presumably this trend may continue for a little while if you’re both intent on warring. With that in mind, did you tech alphabet maybe to build research or perhaps a spy or two? I note from the save that you have a very big EP advantage over Shaka.

    That brings us neatly to the future tech path and the conflict between getting your economy right and dealing with Shaka. As it happens, I think there is also third dimension to this at the mo’, namely, the timeline over which you’re going to be fighting defensive as opposed to offensive wars. The last point is relevant IMHO because Shaka’s production of catas and impis you can see from the save could well mean that your next conflict’s likely to start as another defensive battle.

    Let’s look at what all this means for tech. As things currently stand, neither of you have a decisive tech advantage – you both have catas and a whole host of early melee and archery units. Shaka’s UU has extra movement but this can be countered by roads in your terrain and, to some extent, by G2 GWs outside. This tells me that you don’t currently NEED machinery to fight the next war, even though xbows would be nice to have. Admittedly, machinery would open up engineering for trebs but you don’t really NEED them to wage an offensive war until / unless Shaka gets longbows IMHO. In the meantime, if you’re fighting a war which is at least partly defensive, catapults will be the better defenders anyway. Of course, the risk here is that Shaka starts teching machinery en route to engineering to upgrade his UU, but your espionage will tell you this so you can respond well beforehand.

    With tech largely at a stalemate, my guess is that success in the next war will therefore be more about numbers – who can produce more military (and tactics of course). With that in mind, the fact that Shaka actually has more cities than you do – and therefore greater production potential – means I think aesthetics > literature for the HE has more appeal than machinery at the mo’. The problem with researching it next of course is that it would open up the HE just as the peace treaty ends, presumably right when you need Vienne producing military rather than spending (currently about) 9 turns (thanks to marble) erecting a building. That said, I’m certain you’ll want it sooner or later – having the HE on board means more of your cities can build commerce / research amplifiers to help your economy, and yet you can still produce large numbers of troops. Indeed, for that reason, I’d ask whether it was worth going that route rather than alphabet during the last war?

    You have three other tech options at this point, civil service, compass > optics, or calendar, all of which are more economy based techs. (NB without machinery, civil service doesn’t give you maces.) Looking at civil service first, the 50% boost will give you an extra 10 commerce and 8 hammers. Not bad, but, there’s no increase in the happy cap to enable you to work more tiles in other cities. In short, the absence of cottages in Bibracte means I don’t think civil service will rectify the economy on its own, so I’d rule it out. BTW, as I mention later, your empire is currently only working 8 cottages in total; raising this to generate more commerce (whilst producing sufficient military to beat back Shaka) is your number one priority at the mo’ IMHO.

    Optics would be very handy because the whale boat it accesses would help deal with the second biggest (and related) challenge your economy faces right now: happy caps preventing you from working tiles (eg. more cottages.) The problem I foresee here however is that researching optics will take about 27 turns at present (after the discount from compass) and grant you only one extra happy – assuming you can keep the whale boat free of pillage from barbs and Shaka’s triremes. Although its a decent payoff, it comes with non trivial risks and you’re waiting a long time for one extra happy IMHO.

    That takes us to calendar. As things stand, you have two spices (plus another outside any BFC) and two bananas which calendar would access. Together, the spices will generate 9 commerce – that’s almost as much as bureaucracy, and a non trivial boost to the 140 BPT your empire can currently generate. In addition, the extra happy would allow all your cities to instantly work another tile (eg. a cottage) for further benefits. Meanwhile, improving the bananas would allow Thebes to better fulfil its role as a GP farm IMHO. Together with the existing food surplus in the city, you could well run 2 scientists and 2 merchants in that city to help provide a further boost to BPT and GPT. For me, that seals calendar as the next tech. As a clincher, note that calendar will also enable you to access incense (in the proposed city where your workers are roading, to further help raise the happy cap. (Indeed with Buddhist Stuppas, the happy cap will almost cease to be a problem in some cities.) The fact that this tech would also give you access to Nongoma’s or Hsung-Nu’s dyes (to raise the happy cap further) if you can take either in the next war is a bonus.

    Once calendar’s done, I think your tech path depends on whether you need a tech edge or numbers to beat Shaka down in an offensive war. My personal preference would be aesthetics > literature for the HE in Vienne and the NE in Thebes but, if Shaka starts spamming longbows, you may consider engineering’s trebs a bigger benefit. Optics can wait IMHO until you’ve made more inroads against Shaka. Yes, trade routes have their benefits but, pre astronomy, I think you’ll get more benefit from mercantilism in this game.

    This takes us to what I think will be the key in eventually defeating Shaka: your ability to grab the military techs you need to wipe him out. (The HE will take care of the army’s size.) To that end, I’d humbly submit that the key number is not 0 (great scientists) or 3 (catapults) – it is instead 8, the number of cottages you are currently running throughout your empire. I think this needs to increase markedly to boost commerce. As a result, I’d do two things (i) prioritise working commerce tiles in Tolosa and Georgovia as they grow and (ii) getting that bunch of workers currently picketing or on strike :lol: near Tolosa to build cottages in Bibracte, Memphis (in particular, since it can grow and work them) and Cuzco. This may seem a little strange given that you’re preparing for war but, you need commerce IMHO and, in any case, Cuzco and Bibracte are suffering from whip weariness. The cottages will help ease that a little by easing regrowth after whipping – as well as speeding research.

    Talking of Cuzco, I’d also temporarily switch the priests to science specialists to speed research. Subsequently, they should work cottages. You also urgently need those good for nothing layabouts (I mean workers :lol:) to build a road between Memphis and kwaHlomendlini in case you need to reinforce the city. The workers (lazy bunch :lol:) could also mine the iron in your cultural borders NE of Cuzco, perhaps to help speed up a newly settled city when the time comes. Most importantly of all, you urgently need your worker chopping a forest near Tiwanaku to improve and connect the furs 2N for an immediate one extra happy across your empire.

    Grabbing calendar, improving the furs and settling the incense (when you get a mo) would of course limit the number of troops you need to build for happiness under HR. This is handy because it frees up Tolosa and Geogovia (and even Vienne during this peace treaty) to build / whip a couple of courthouses that will do wonders for your economy. BTW, what was the rationale for building lighthouses in the coastal cities? I ask because, IMHO, cities really need either seafood resources or a wonder to tempt me into building lighthouses very early in a city - somewhere I’ll be incentivised to work the seafood tiles.

    Talking of builds, I emphatically agree with kossin: whilst a guerrilla may cost the same as a catapult, the ability of the latter to inflict collateral damage suggests you should be spamming them ASAP. At some point, either kwaHlomendlini or Cuzco also need to build another WB and trireme, not just for barbs but also to defend against Shaka’s navy. (Talking of kwaHlomendlini, were you not tempted to settle it 2S?) Memphis also needs a library and Cuzco a market (as kossin notes). Perhaps a spy or two might also help with taking Shaka's cities, allowing you to use your EP advantage over him. Oh, and when the economy’s righted (and you no longer need to build wealth), consider building a monastery in Tiwanaku and using it to pump Buddhist missionaries. I know, so much to do, so little time. :lol:

    Lastly, the issue of micro. Here, I’d recommend (i) working the 4H 1C mine rather than the unimproved bananas in Thebes (ii) working the farmed FP rather than a 4H mine in Vienne, to regrow and whip and (iii) working the FP cottage rather than the FP farm in Memphis.

    Right that’s it. Hope this all helps. I look forward to seeing Shaka kneel before you! :D
     
  4. kossin

    kossin Chieftain

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    Did not mean to say you did not know how cats work, I just pointed out their advantage.
    I know how good GIII GWs are, I've tried it back when Sisiutil was doing the Boudica ALC. But you will also lose those GIII GWs which hurts. It's not that easy to produce GIII GW out of the gate, even for Boudica. Hence, Catapults do the dirty job whatever happens.

    GIII GWs vs. catapult
    Pros:
    -higher survival chance
    -more likely to do more damage to the defender
    -can kill the unit
    -can move 2 tiles if a hill is involved
    -can be upgraded to more powerful units
    -costs as much :hammers: as a catapult
    -gains more experience

    Cons:
    -hard to produce
    -hard to replace unless you can produce them out of the gate
    -do not damage other units in a stack
    -axes have a bonus against them
    -you'll want catapults to bombard defenses anyway

    I'm still sticking with Catapults although some GIII GW can be good to crack open tough defending Longbows.
    Why? The above cons outweigh the pros imho, as he can produce them from only 1 city and only has 5 of them as of the save. With Vassalge/Theocracy more cities could produce them.

    @Shafi
    Turtling up is doable if you don't want to bother too much with the micro but the best option here is likely to take out Shaka. You've gotten a lot of good advice already so I would read it, understand it and then apply it, not only in this game but in future ones.
    good luck!
     
  5. dirtyparrot

    dirtyparrot Upholding Brannigan's Law

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    I agree with Kossin, there's no use in letting Shaka remain in the game. The sooner you get rid of him, the faster you can focus on building the infrastructure and developping the land unimpeded. Don't let the fact that you have the GW dictate your strategy.
     
  6. huerfanista

    huerfanista Chieftain

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    This is not true! GWs come with G1. Boudica gets 2 promos at 4XP due to the charismatic trait. Therefore, all you need a barracks + 1 other means of gaining XP. Vassalage and theo don't come all that early. However, your first GG does. An MI in a city with a barracks will produce 5XP GWs, which is 1 more XP than needed for G3. In the early game you often have one city that does the bulk of unit production, so settle the GG there and build the HE there as soon as you have literature. It doesn't matter if it's your captial - you'll have a few of them to chose from if you want to move the palace later (as in the current game). :lol: It's important to note that the 3XP from a barracks leaves you 1 battle from G3. So use those G2 GWs on flatland cities. Since Boudica is aggressive (GWs start with C1) they're lacking very little compared to a CR1 sword. You can even make it easy on them with a little seige support.

    You left out another pro: they're invulnerable to axes while on hills. Generally speaking, if you're careful in how you use them, they're much less vulnerable to axes than praetorians.

    When you think of how many catapults are suicided in the early game, losing a few GWs means nothing. I had to force myself to send a stack of them off without siege or stack protectors (usually a shock axe early on) when I started playing as the celts, but once I got used to it I was amazed at how effective they were. IMO, you're not giving the "pros" enough weight. They are similar to horse archers in their speed of attack, and besides the fact that they're cheaper than HAs, nobody who does a HA rush carries seige along or expects not to lose any during an attack. Tying them down to a seige stack is throwing away half of their strength.

    EDIT:
    Take a look at Vienne. It has a settled GG and CAN produce G3 GWs. :p
     
  7. UWHabs

    UWHabs Warlord

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    I had some fun in my current game as Hannibal with Numidian Cavalry. 50% withdraw is good. You also have the bonus - say your combat odds are 20%. Then you have a 60% chance of surviving the battle. So, you lose some. Your guys that withdraw get 1XP. But your guys that win? They're going to be getting something like 5 or 6 XP from the win. In my game, I had a half dozen 20+ XP Numidian cavalry very early, since you only need one win to go crazy with them. And especially with Gallic Warriors, being able to get C1/G3/CR3 swords at 20XP is pretty strong.
     
  8. kossin

    kossin Chieftain

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    @huerfanista
    I did notice my mistake before your post :crazyeye: 1 city producing GIII GW is going to take a while to get a stack of them going especially if you want to Accuracy Catapults...

    My main concern is the size of Shaka's stacks. Granted this is Monarch so it will still not be that much but there's nothing like Siege for large stacks. 1-2 catapults suicided per city and then let the GWs clean up if you want.

    I'd still go for a good old 50/50 stack.
     
  9. learner gamer

    learner gamer Chieftain

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    Ah, kossin you might have answered my question, the post for which I was typing reads as follows:

    huerfanista & kossin: you’re both far better players than me so this debate presents me with an ideal chance to learn something. The question I have is this: how do the GWs fare as city defenders? The reason I ask is that, if I were playing as Shafi, the one concern I would have building a whole bunch of highly promoted GWs is that Shaka might decide to re-declare as soon as the peace treaty expires, send down his SoD and inflict a heap of collateral damage on my prize GWs, who then get taken by Shaka’s supporting troops. By contrast, if I have a catapult or two in the city, I know from experience that I can use them as active defenders, softening up the SoD before they attack my city. My remaining troops then have a much better chance of defeating the SoD.

    In both your experiences, would building GWs make it significantly easier for Shaka to take Shafi’s cities or, would this be unlikely to happen because, say walls and cultural defences would stave off the attack? As an alternative, if employing GWs, is it actually better for Shafi to re-declare before Shaka so the war is waged offensively, ideally from a hill, making the most of the GW’s promotions?

    Incidentally Shafi, huerfanista’s post has highlighted something I neglected to mention in my very long winded post earlier: that feudalism is also available as a tech. Just for the record, I’d discount it at the mo’ because, IMHO, you need happy resources more than longbows. BTW, another thing for your workers to do...chop those forests to the NE of kwaH.
     
  10. kossin

    kossin Chieftain

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    They're as good as regular Aggressive swords, which is quite good actually. Unless Shaka brings in a ton of Catapults (which the AI never do), culture+walls will make him sacrifice his whole stack on the city. If the city Shaka targets is on a hill, then it's even better. I'd put a few axes to go against Shaka's axes.

    Which brings me to: he's got vision in Shaka's cities because of espionage. He's still building a lot of units from the looks of it. If you can build a very large stack then you don't have to wait for his stack to go in. If the plan is to only use GW, then I'd let Shaka suicide his stack, heal, and then go in.

    It avoids WW and retaliation is less of a worry. Feudalism would be good to produce LBs for garrison and better units but I think he'll be fine without it. Economy needs recovery more here.
     
  11. learner gamer

    learner gamer Chieftain

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    Thanks for your reply...and yeah, in fact I was wondering if this isn't the best way even if Shafi produces catapults...let Shaka suicide his SoD at Thebes then counter thanks to the healing ability of the GG currently 2N, 1NW of the city.
     
  12. huerfanista

    huerfanista Chieftain

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    @learner gamer:

    Looking at the save, Ndondakusuka is the perfect opening target. It's on a hill, you only have 1 tile in his cultural border to cross, and it's jungle (perfect for defense prior to the attack). With a stack composed of G3s and G2s (which are sitting right there - how convenient :lol: ) you let the G3s take the city, and the G2s become defenders (and perhaps cleanup units getting an easy G3 promo in the deal). They'll get +50% hills defense in the city (a little better than a CG1 longbow on flatland), and you can let Shaka suicide his units all day long against that. In fact, after capturing the city I'd move a bunch of newly-minted G2s in there just to get easy promos to G3 by defending.

    @kossin:
    Fair enough, to each his own. I'd still try to put together a stack of 6GWs (G3s and G2s) and send them on a raiding/pillaging mission. The AI has a very hard time dealing with multiple attack points, IMX.
     
  13. huerfanista

    huerfanista Chieftain

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    Here's what I'm talking about:


    Look at the multiple attack vectors that are open to G3s, and how quickly they can move from one end of Shaka's territory to the other while staying on hills or forest/jungle for protection. You can blitz him in no time with enough units. Also, did you notice that his capital is on a hill :) and you can attack from the hilled pigs. :lol:

    Also, feudalism is the same number of turns as machinery and will open the vassalage civic, enabling G3 GWs and any other 2 promo units in any city with a barracks. It also gives your cities a pretty impregnable defense.
     
  14. learner gamer

    learner gamer Chieftain

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    huerfanista: thanks very much for your reply, I appreciate the feedback and the chance I’ve had to learn something here. :)

    Re: vassalage. You’re right, there’s an obvious benefit that may mean it’s worthwhile implementing it rather than bureaucracy to speed up Shaka's demise. I think the difficulty at the moment though is that Shafi needs more commerce and happiness - and the two are related. (As an aside Shafi, I recall this was something that also cropped up in HUI 1 when recovering from the credit crunch; perhaps it’s worthwhile just keeping an eye on it in HUI 3?) Under your plan huerfanista, that cash is likely gotten through war...my problem in recommending calendar as the next tech (followed by aesthetics > literature for the HE) is that I’m too much of a peacenik. :lol:
     
  15. Hans Lemurson

    Hans Lemurson Chieftain

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    Something I'll add from my own experience with Gallic Warriors is that if you are so inclined to join up a Great General to them, this gives them access to the promotion that grants an additional +30% withdrawal rate. You now have super-charged melee units with an 80% withdrawal rate. :eek:
    80% success is good odds for any unit, but to guarantee survival at a minimum of 80% of the time, that's pretty sweet. Throw in the XP-doubling promotion and you'll be earning a lot of points towards your next GG.
    However, in the long run, it may be more efficient to settle your GG to avoid the whole "all your eggs in one basket" problem. Still, given the synergy that GWs have with GGs, it might tip the scales more toward risking one in the field. I don't know the numbers involved.

    BTW, Duns will allow your macemen to share in the same glory as your GWs since it grants them that special little promotion as well, so there's no downside to technological advancement. Also, for what it's worth, with a legitimate reason for their construction, duns bring castles and their bonuses a little more within the "actually bother" range.
     
  16. huerfanista

    huerfanista Chieftain

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    I don't believe that leadership gives more GG points, it only gives double the XP to the unit that has it. I might be wrong about this, but I think I've seen discussion of this very point in other threads.[/QUOTE]

    Sorry, but this is definitely wrong. Melee units can not get the guerilla promo line, except for GWs. I tested this in game - maces do not get the G1 promo when built in a city with a dun. Muskets (before rifling) and archery units are the only units that get the guerilla bonus. G3 muskets are one of the little-known gems in the game, BTW. A 9:strength: unit with a 50% withdrawal chance (plus all of the other benefits)? Yes, please.
     
  17. Shafi

    Shafi Chieftain

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    Honestly - Never thought of the GLH in this game, i picked up sailing quite late too.

    My thoughts exactly, see when i spoke of going back to war, i am in no way under the illusion that i can take him out in one go, even if i could i would'nt want to. That guy is a serious unit spammer (boy would i hate to meet the Deity Shaka :cry:).
     
  18. Shafi

    Shafi Chieftain

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    Well actually a bit of both, in real life I've just been blessed with a second son :).

    i) I built HA's irrespective of Shaka's UU with thought of both countering his cats + to give my stack a little more variation, and also to try to take the oppurtunity to pillage whenever i could.
    ii) Alpha was for spies but i still havent built one :blush:

    Cant argue with that, just brain freeze i guess :p. But at least we can go that path now (after calendar of course) for the HE.
     
  19. huerfanista

    huerfanista Chieftain

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    I'd like to try 1 more time to convince those who doubt the effectiveness of all-GW stacks. Let's do a little thought experiment:

    The power of a horse archer rush is well known to most experienced players. Some, like TMIT, have raised it to an art form. It's main strength lies in the ability to quickly remove the enemy's production capability by rapidly taking away its cities. Nobody expects to not lose a good number of them in doing so. They have a hard counter (spears) that is easily available very early in the game. They do not get defensive bonuses, so they are vulnerable both during transit between targets and within the cities that they capture. Nonetheless, in the hands of someone who knows how to use them they are devastatingly effective. Their main strengths are double movement on open terrain and their ability withdraw from combat (50% with F2). If I were to tell you that you could have HAs that:
    - receive defensive bonuses, including a 50% hill defense bonus
    - come with a free combat 1 promo
    - come with a 25% hill attack bonus
    - come with a 25% bonus against spears (reducing the spear bonus to 75% vs themselves)
    - come with a 10% city attack bonus and can go up the CR promotion line.
    - come with a charismatic civ, with its 25% xp bonus for promotions
    - are 20% cheaper to build (40:hammers: vs 50:hammers: on standard speed)

    Can you imagine the outcry? "Yes, please!" "Overpowered!" "Better than praetorians!" And yet this is almost precisely what a G3 (and G2, to some extent) GW is.
    - their double movement over hills is only slightly slower on average than HAs over enemy terrain.
    - they get a huge defensive bonus on hills, and the normal bonus in forests.
    - they have the same withdrawal chance as F2 HAs: 50%
    - they remove the hill defense bonus of cities when attacking.
    - when defending after capturing a hill city, they are better than a CG1 lbow on flatland.
    - they get an innate 10% city attack bonus and can get the CR promotions.
    - they are 20% cheaper than HAs.

    If you were to say that HAs should only be used with seige, you'd be laughed off these boards. It's a total waste of their innate ability. Yet GWs are BETTER than HAs in almost every way! Tying them to a slow-moving seige train is a crime. Just visualize them as centaurs with swords, and expect to lose as many of them as you would in a HA rush (you won't, though - they survive better than HAs since their counter [axes] doesn't get as much of a bonus against them as spears do vs HAs, and their defensive bonuses make them far less vulnerable to counter-attack).

    EDIT: Given the huge espionage advantage that Shafi has in the current game, I'd set one city to building spies for putting the target cities in revolt. It would really make this a cakewalk for his GWs.
     
  20. Hans Lemurson

    Hans Lemurson Chieftain

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    Hmmm...I guess I got confused with my legions upon legions of super-units I upgraded from the GWs. So nothing can bestow upon a unit any promotion that it would not be able to get on its own, correct?

    Do you have any opinions though on the idea of the 80% withdrawal-rate GGGWGW3. (Great-General/Gallic-Warrior/Guerilla-Warfare-3 :crazyeye:)
    (Could also be pronounced inaccurately, but humorously: "Guh GiGidy-WiGidy-Wee")
     

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