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In-Depth Guide to Offensive Wars (in progress)

Discussion in 'Strategy Section' started by amateurgamer88, Feb 15, 2019.

  1. amateurgamer88

    amateurgamer88 Chieftain

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    Unit Composition V

    Medieval Era vs. Medieval Era

    Wars start to become rather interesting once you and your enemy are both in the Medieval Era. In my opinion, there's a role for all the units unlocked in the Medieval Era, though one unit is rather weak for this era. There are quite a few compositions you can work with depending on various factors like what your army composition was when you were in Classical Era. Once again, we will be looking at either a land heavy map (like Pangaea) or a water heavy map (like Archipelago). We will also assume that both sides have all units unlocked during this era and all cities have Castles.

    Land heavy map:

    First, I want to stress that blockading cities is still a viable option, maybe more so since Castles actually make cities quite a tougher to capture unless you have certain unit compositions. Whenever you have a chance, blockade the city as it will make life a lot easier. However, you should never attempt this when you risk losing units as it's rarely a good trade to lose a unit. Let's see some compositions and bad names I give them.

    Rush Approach:

    With any rushes, mobility is key. Therefore, your army composition depends heavily on high mobility units like Knights and Heavy Skirmishers. As I have stated before, these two units are extremely powerful and, when used properly in the right circumstances, they can devastate the enemy ranks while greatly minimizing damage taken. Of course, Knights and Heavy Skirmishers aren't enough unless the terrain really help (like allow multiple of your Heavy Skirmishers attack enemy city with impunity). You also need two other units to support this strategy. You need Crossbowmen for their Medic I or or even Medic II. If you have been warring quite a bit before this scenario, then some of your Knights might even have March. March Knights with Medic Crossbowmen can ensure that they last fairly long on the battlefield without needing to withdraw to friendly territory. You also need Trebuchet to help take down cities.

    Why do I call this a rush? Speed is of the essence here if you want to maximize the damage early on. Before the AI is ready for the war, you send your units to quickly weaken their ranks. The idea is to weaken the enemy piecemeal without taking too much damage yourself. If successful, your Trebuchet can basically attack enemy cities with impunity since you cleared most of the enemy resistances and the AI is struggling to replace the units you just eliminated. While it's possible to use this composition for a dragged out war where you whittle enemy bit by bit as you fight their main forces across a front, there's a better strategy I'll highlight below.

    Attrition Approach I:

    For the first attrition approach, you can use the composition above but you need to throw in a couple of Pikemen and/or Longswordsmen. Why? You don't want your mounted and ranged units to take hits and, with good defensive terrain, Pikemen and/or Longswordsmen can actually last somewhat long, especially if they're adjacent to Medic Crossbowmen that can also support by attacking. Do note that you want to do this on friendly territory since you can heal more and boost the survivability of the melee units. Since your main contingent of units are Knights and Heavy Skirmishers along with some ranged units, your unit supply is very limited so you can only get a couple of melee units. What will you pick? This depends on the enemy composition. If the enemy is focusing mostly on Knights, then Pikemen will be more beneficial. If the enemy uses Pikemen and/or Longswordsmen composition (like in situation where the AI has a Spearmen UU or Swordsmen UU so they outnumber mounted units), then Longswordsmen are the better bet. If you went Authority, then you might as well get the Landsknecht as it's basically a combination of the two units and can be bought with full experience as opposed to taking up production. The advantage of this over the other attrition approach is that, once you find an opening in the enemy ranks, you can break through it quickly due to the mobility at your disposal.

    Attrition Approach II:

    The second attrition approach is more fitting for the attrition name. Here, you have largely melee units like Pikemen, Longswordsmen and/or Landsknecht as your main front line. Then, you have Heavy Skirmishers and Crossbowmen providing the main damage to lessen enemy unit counts. With proper terrain and rotation, you can potentially not lose any units despite the AI throwing a lot of units at you. With rotation, it's basically you switching a healthy unit and withdrawing a wounded unit. The idea is to keep all of your units alive while your opponent is growing weaker as time passes. Rotation works best when you are defending since you have Roads to help get maneuver your units. Rotation can work in enemy territory but it's tougher as Roads can make a big difference in how quickly you can get units rotated. Now, this approach is more viable when you don't have as many Horses so a more mobile force isn't as feasible. Unlike the approach above, the push will be slower due to limited movement of your units. What I generally like to do is maintaining a strong front line while keeping an eye out for Hills that allow my Crossbowmen to support and rough terrain that allow my Heavy Skirmishers to work their hit and run tactics.

    Attrition Approach III:

    This third approach sees fewer melee units and more ranged units. The success of this approach depends very heavily on a number of things like promotions, terrain and other factors important to war. For example, maybe you have a bunch of Crossbowmen with Indirect Fire that allow them to attack at a relatively safe position. The terrain might offer a few choke points so you need fewer melee units to hold the line. You might also have UA that give your units the ability to lay a heavy beating on the opponent whenever they try to get closer. Generally, this approach isn't advised as exposed ranged units don't have the best survivability. However, this can be quite fun to use in certain situations and quite rewarding if you can pull it off. This approach does require kiting so be ready for quite a bit of micromanaging and planning ahead with what actions you units take.

    Water heavy map:

    Naval warfare in Medieval Era is quite a bit different from Classic due to the Caravel. In the Classical Era, all naval units are restricted to only Coastal tiles. While some tricks can allow your Triremes cross Ocean tiles, their movement is still very much limited. Caravel changes all that by having the ability to end its end on Ocean tiles as well. Ironically, their ranged counterpart, Galleass, cannot do so. Therefore, Caravels have undisputed dominance in the Medieval Era. Despite this dominance, Caravels are still unsuited for taking cities. Even with sufficient promotions that gives them bonuses when attacking cities, Caravels are still poorly equipped to handle the damage output of defending ranged units and the city itself. However, they are well suited in forming blockades so their contribution still cannot be underestimated.

    Regarding the composition, there will likely be a heavy emphasis on Caravel. Galleass can be useful if most of combat happens near the Coast. However, they will require protection or enemy Caravel will easily deal with them. This is probably the only time where a naval ranged unit isn't quite worth it due to how much babysitting they requiring. A full composition of just Caravel can certainly work given their maneuverability and dominance of this time. Even with Amphibious assaults, it's far better to have Caravel escort embarked units.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2019
  2. amateurgamer88

    amateurgamer88 Chieftain

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    Unit Composition VI

    Renaissance Era vs. Medieval Era

    Renaissance Era is quite different from the previous eras in that only one tech that you beeline for has a direct impact on the short term. The other techs are really designed for the longer term. While the other techs are designed for the long term, they can actually be quite powerful depending on your policy and victory condition. Most importantly, you and any AI that first enters Renaissance Era will unlock a spy for all civs except England (who starts with a spy) or those that went Statecraft and already unlocked spies due to lots of :c5culture: Culture output. Spies do play a major role in the game from this game onward.

    Banking:

    Banking has three major roles that cannot be overlooked. First, it helps you defend against enemy spies with the building, Constabulary. This building slows down enemy spies operating in your cities and thus improving your chances of killing enemy spies. Why is this important? Let's say you are in the lead with techs and the AI decides to send spies to your capital. Without proper defenses, those spies will do a lot of harm in addition to stealing your technology. With technology stolen, your enemy can catch up and what might be originally a big advantage can easily disappear. As a warmonger, our goal is to keep snowballing and not give our neighbors a chance to rebound. Letting them steal important techs can do exactly that so we must do whatever we can to stop them from ever catching back and causing issues. Of course, Constabulary alone isn't enough. You also need a defensive spy in your capital, preferably fully promoted from being a diplomat in a foreign capital city. You needn't about spy defenses in other cities until later.

    Secondly, Banking unlocks the advanced actions for spies like sabotaging Wonders and assassinating Great People. These new actions, along with stealing techs, make spies quite powerful for their time. If you are beelining for Metallurgy, then you can actually use offensive spies to steal other techs you might be delaying due to the desire to have a stronger military. In the meantime, you are also slowing the enemy down which helps you over the long run. Offensive spies becomes quite a bit more powerful with Banking so, if you are going for Statecraft, the focus on spies might not be a bad in getting further ahead. In addition, spies gives you intel on the enemy cities so those can give you a good idea what technology your enemy produces and what defenses are in the immediate vicinity of the cities.

    Finally, Banking also unlock Banks (who would've thought?). Why am I bringing Banks? First, you need :c5gold: Gold to wage war while still maintaining a strong economy. Banks can do that fairly assuming you haven't neglected other similar buildings like Markets and Custom Houses. Secondly, the Banks makes it so that 15% of :c5gold: Gold spend is converted into :c5science: Science. This means that, whenever you invest in a building/Wonder and purchases units, you get some :c5science: Science. While this might not seem like much, it can add up and, if you have a lot of spare gold, you can actually shave off a turn or two for your technology on standard pace. If you went Authority, then purchasing units like Landknechts also gives your :c5science: Science a pretty big boost. Shaving off turns for techs can widen your lead over your opponents and your advantage becomes more and more pronounce.

    Printing Press:

    This is a long term investment if you are going for Diplomatic Victory or a short term benefit if you can use it to your advantage. The Globe Theater isn't going to help your warmongering much as it's more geared towards Cultural Victory (CW) or civs that benefit a lot more from Golden Ages (GA). What can have a pretty impact is becoming the Host of the World Congress (WC) by discovering Printing Press first and discovering all the civs. Even if this is temporary when you lack sufficient delegates to stay and/or, chances are, your warmongering made you lots of enemies as well, you can pass a couple of resolutions that can help you.

    First, there's the Casus Belli that decreases warmonger penalty faster and lowers your unit maintenance, both of which can help your war machine by making it possible to war more frequently without antagonizing all your neighbor and fielding a larger force without hurting your economy too much. Secondly, you have the Treasure Fleet that can help your navy if you are playing on a water heavy map. Give your naval units, with a few exceptions, extra :c5strength: CS, extra sight and the ability to repair outside of friendly territory can make a huge deal in naval warfare if you can win gold and grab the Grand Canal. Thirdly, you have the City State Sanction that hurts AI that rely on Statecraft or CS allies while also allowing you to conquer CS with less penalty overall. Finally, there's the Endowment for the Arts if you are behind in policies because you've been focusing heavily on :c5science: Science. Overall, the extra delegate from being the host can really impact the short term or, if you are going diplomatic, the long term.

    Astronomy:

    This tech can accomplish two things. First, it unlocks the Chichen Itza Wonder that extends your GA. Longer GA means more yields overall and that can help you catch up to the leader or snowball even more. The Wonder is great for tall civs but it's generally a good option for all options if available. Secondly, we have the ability the embark units on Ocean tiles. While it's true that Caravel unlocked from Compass can already do so, this tech makes it possible to invade another continent or settle new lands that are yet to be claimed. While situational, this tech can have a big impact in the right circumstance. Will you go for this tech often? Unless you need longer GA, then Astronomy won't be a priority compared to other Renaissance Era techs.

    Gunpowder:

    For warmongers, this tech can have an enormous impact. While I'm not discussing UA specifically in this section, I should mention that 4 UA are unlocked by this tech and 3 of them belong to a warmonger civ. If you play one of those civs, then you know for certain that this tech will be prioritized. Even without a UA, Gunpowder is still quite powerful since it unlocks two units: Tercio and Cannon. Tercio is solid in holding your front line as it doesn't require any resources and has bonus against cavalry. In addition, they are upgraded from both Longswordsmen and Pikemen so you don't have to worry about which unit to build. Then, you have the Cannon which are extremely powerful for its time. Castles becomes available around the time Trebuchet is unlocked but there are no such measures against Cannons. Unless your foe goes Fealty, then Cannons will quickly drop a city's health to red if left to attack with impunity. Finally, Gunpowder unlocks the Himeji Castle that gives your units bonus :c5strength: CS in friendly territory and extra :c5strength: CS for all cities. A stronger defense means that you can more effectively launch a counteroffensive after devastate the enemy offensive by using all your advantages as a defender. For warmongers, this tech is usually high on the priority given the tools that it unlocks.

    Chemistry:

    This tech can be interesting as it can be quite impactful in some situations and has limited benefit until later. First, Chemistry gives 2 :c5science: Science to Citadel so, if you have been on the offensive a lot leading up to this point, then you will have quite a few Citadels and, as a result, a slight science boost. It's not an enormous boost but it will add up over time. Secondly, this tech is very important if you largely have plantation luxuries, specifically Tobacco, Tea and Coffee. In addition to the +1 :c5gold: to plantation from the tech itself, the Grocer that's unlocked by the tech gives :c5gold: Gold and/or :c5production: Production, two yields that are quite good for a warmonger. Finally, we have the Wonder, The Learning Tower of Pisa, that's more geared for the long term. More Great People like Great Scientists and Great Writers can have profound impact but they won't be felt later after you popped a few for academies and great works. The free Great Person can quite nice as it gives you more options to either make up for weakness or push your snowballing.

    Medieval Era vs. Renaissance Era

    Banking:

    If the AI gets Banking as its first tech in the Renaissance Era, then you have little worry about. While it does unlocked advanced actions for the AI spies, the odds of the AI spies targeting your city is quite low unless you are literally second in tech. If you are second in tech, then you probably won't lag behind much in military techs. In my opinion, there's little to worry about as Banking is the least threatening out of all five techs. Ironically, I do notice AI at times beelining for this tech in my game.

    Printing Press:

    If the tech leader is also aiming for diplomatic victory, then this tech can be problematic, especially if the AI is also doing very well religiously and grabbed Global Commandments. The ability for the AI to shape the game in some fairly big way can be dangerous. Luckily, the AI isn't always the brightest in terms of what resolution it proposes but there will be times when the AI hinder you as a player in the long run by proposing and passing a resolution you'd rather not pass. In addition to World Congress, this tech also unlocks the Globe Theater. If the tech leader is going tall and went Artistry, this Wonder can give the AI a fairly bit boost and start snowballing more at this point. While more threatening than Banking, this tech is more situational and can actually be beneficial to the human player as it lets you meet all the AIs to get discounts for tech if you are behind.

    Astronomy:

    The most immediate impact of Astronomy is the Chichen Itza. Certain civ benefits from GA more than others while a snowballing civ can get an even bigger lead. I've seen more AIs in my game beelining Chichen Itza than any other Wonder that's unlocked when you first enter Renaissance Era. Given the yields you can get from longer GA, this Wonder can make the snowballing AI very dangerous. If you have a chance to take this Wonder, you should do so. However, an AI with a large advantage might not even give you a chance of stealing it.

    Gunpowder:

    If there's a tech you have to wonder about, then it's AI getting Gunpowder. With access to both Tercio and Cannon, the AI now has a pretty strong arsenal. Remember the Knights that were so dominant in Medieval Era? Well, Tercio can really shut them down and, depending on the civ, some AI might have a ton of them. For instance, AIs that UU that replaces Longswordsmen and Pikemen will have a lot of Tercio. As a result, the AI will have a pretty strong front line while those Cannons will make short work of your cities if you can't reach them. A strong composition of Crossbowmen and Knights can help you defend quite well but it will be tricky if you let the AI get this tech advantage over you.

    Chemistry:


    Like Astronomy, Chemistry is only dangerous if the AI really benefits from the Wonder. The Leaning Tower of Pisa can help Tall civs that's going specialists focused. If you neighbor can get more Great Scientists, then you are certain the AI will get more ahead in tech as time goes on. If the AI also went Artistry, then the civ will get plenty of Great Works to pull even further ahead. Overall, this tech can be situational but, letting an AI that can put it to good use get it with impunity, you have some bigger problems to worry about.

    To be continued...
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2019
  3. amateurgamer88

    amateurgamer88 Chieftain

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    Unit Composition VII

    Renaissance Era vs. Renaissance Era

    Depending on the era, wars can change dramatically in the Renaissance Era. While all units unlocked in this era have a role, one unit does seem weaker than other units (more will be discussed below). There are quite a few compositions you can work with depending on various factors like what your army composition was when you were in Medieval era. Once again, we will be looking at either a land heavy map (like Pangaea) or a water heavy map (like Archipelago). We will also assume that both sides have all units unlocked during this era and all cities have Castles.

    Land heavy map:

    With land heavy map, you aren't likely to build a navy unless you want to defend your coastal city that are vulnerable to naval assaults. If you composition consist of mainly land units, then the composition will be very important. A poorly assembled composition will stop your expansion ambitions very quickly, especially on higher difficulties when mistakes are far more punishing. Without further ado, let's continue with the different composition you might use.

    Mobility Approach:

    As the name suggests, mobility is the key here. Therefore, your composition consists of mainly Lancers and Cuirassier due to their ability to cover large distance quickly. Once again, you should be using their hit and run ability to whittle down the enemy until you can deliver the finishing blows. Ideally, you have multiple wars prior to this moment so your Lancers, upgraded directly your Knights, will have promotions like March that greatly improve their survivability. If you can withdraw your Lancer back into friendly territory after each attack, then you will inflict a lot of damage on the enemy. However, these two units are still lacking in terms of their damage against cities. Therefore, you still need Cannons to devastate cities that only possess Castles. Use your mobile core to steadily crush the enemy opposition before you send in your Cannons to take cities.

    Ranged Approach:

    It's possible that your composition isn't very cavalry heavy. It might be consisting of mostly front line units and quite a few ranged units. This composition is quite useful if you have terrains work in your favor. Either there are lots of rough that help give your front line units lots of defensive bonuses or you have units or UA that lets you take advantage of the terrain that are hindrance to your foes. For instance, the Inca movements can move on Mountain tiles and that can be huge edge if you are fighting on mountainous terrain or choke points. For this composition, you will need quite a few Tercio as they will serve as your front line. If this front line collapses, then your entire offensive will be forced back. Of course, you need a good balance of ranged and melee units and that requires experience. Musketmen who have lots of promotions can really help with your offensive and, if your Cannons went down the Field promotion line, then their contribution cannot be overlook either. This approach is a slower approach than the Mobility Approach but you are playing it safer if you can rotate your wounded melee units to keep the front line strong. For those who enjoy methodical approach to war, this approach might be more comfortable since you are finding weakness and exploiting them a step at a time.

    Attrition Approach:

    Unlike the previous approaches, this approach focuses on the defensive initially and rely on a lot of planning ahead due to the composition varying. Essentially, you want a composition of all of your available units depending on a number of factors. If there are lots of rivers that hinders the enemy advances, then you can have lots of ranged units Musketmen and Cannons. If the terrain is flat and you have a good road system, then Lancers and Cuirassiers might be better since they are mobile and can withdraw back to safety after their attacks. Even good placements of Citadel(s) can play a critical role by forcing the enemy into a meat grinder where their numbers will eventually be whittled down. If you are using rough terrain or Citadels, then you will need Tercio to hold down the front line. The goal of this approach is to use attrition to weaken your foe and then capitalize on your enemy's weakened position.

    Water heavy map:

    Unlike naval combat in the Medieval Era, Renaissance Era naval combat is a lot more balanced and does require you to have a better composition to deal with threats. We will look at two scenarios that you will face. The first one is a defensive approach while the other is the naval dominance approach.

    Defensive Approach:

    This is called defensive approach because your goal is to defend your coastal cities. You don't care much about dominating the seas because it's not necessary. However, you want your coastal cities to be safe from enemy assaults. With the birth of Frigates and lacking defensive buildings stronger than Castles, your coastal won't last long unless you make sure to bolster your defenses. For this approach, you won't need a lot of supply cap allocated to your navy. You just need a melee ship, in this case the Corvette, in every coastal city. For me at least, I go down the dreadnought line because it gives my ship more HP and its purpose is to take damage when the city is hit while the ranged unit can hit enemy naval units with impunity. Of course, you can also go for a more offensive strategy with that Corvette but this is quite risky and losing the Corvette can be problematic to your defenses.

    Naval Dominance Approach:

    To achieve naval dominance, you will allocate a lot of your supply limit to your navy. There are two situations where you may want to do this. First, you might have dominated your half of the hemisphere but there's a serious competition on the other continent. The only way to stop that competition might be war and you won't able to do so without a strong navy. The other situation is a map that's water heavy and you needed a navy to keep you alive or your conquest ambitions alive. To continue strengthening your navy makes sense as a strong navy will decide the victor of the game.

    In such a scenarios, you will need a more balanced approach when it comes to your naval composition. Corvettes are quite powerful melee units while Frigates can easily tip the naval engagements in your favor if used properly. Frigates can't take direct hits from enemy Corvettes while Corvettes that can't reach enemy Frigates will find their health whittled down. Since naval units cannot heal outside of friendly territory except for certain promotions and Wonder, whittled down ships take longer to recover before they can reengage the enemy. Since both Corvette and Frigates can move on Ocean tiles, then it's possible to have naval engagements far from friendly territory and such engagement requires a lot more thought behind positioning, promotions and overall strategy. For those who want fun naval engagements, this is certainly the era when naval engagements can be quite fun.


    To be continued...
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2019
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  4. amateurgamer88

    amateurgamer88 Chieftain

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    Unit Composition VIII

    Industrial Era vs. Renaissance Era

    Industrial Era was once, in my opinion, a very unbalanced era for naval warfare. Recent changes to a naval unit has made naval warfare much more balanced. However, the land combat is also changing drastically due to two units that really change how warfare plays out. Here, the side with a technological advantage will get a fairly big boost while those who lag behind will punished. While this is true in most cases, the Industrial Era does unlock some powerful tools. I will be covering more than the technology you will need to unlock Industrial Era as three other technologies can have a huge role in your war.

    Scientific Theory:

    You don't want to go for this technology unless you are going tall and feel safe against your neighbors or have such a massive scientific lead that taking this technology won't see you fall behind in military techs. Public Schools gives your tall cities quite a bit of :c5science: Science while unlocking Archaeologists once you researched Archaeologists. The Zoo gives you a nice boost to your :tourism: Tourism. Unless you are going for Science or Cultural Victory, you don't want to go this route since warring will get you ahead, especially if you went Authority and have unlocked or is going for Imperialism. For warmongers, I don't recommend this unless you want a challenge or your UB is unlocked with this tech (though even that UB is pretty bad).

    Railroad:

    Railroad is a weird tech as it's pretty situational. First, you need railroads built by your Workers before you can give your cities extra :c5production: Production. In addition, railroads also improves your Villages and Towns so, if you have a bunch of these already, then you should reap the benefits. Building railroads takes time and doesn't really benefit your war efforts since it doesn't boost your movement on them and the extra :c5production: Production takes time before you unlock it. Then, you have the Neuschwanstein, a Wonder that needs to be built in a city within 2 tiles of a Mountain tile. What this Wonder provides is happiness to your happiness which you no doubt possess after your hopefully conquests. If you have went Fealty, then Castles provides 2 :c5happy: Happiness and that's not insignificant. Why do you need all the extra :c5happy: Happiness? If you want to take more cities and be able to handle :c5unhappy: Unhappiness, then this will solve the issue. Overall, this tech is situational and only research it if you know you'll grab the Neuschwanstein. Otherwise, you have better techs to research unless this Railroad is a prerequisite for a later tech.

    Steam Power:

    Steam Power is more important for warmonger that are going for naval dominance than those looking dominate the continent or Pangaea. The reason for this is due to the strategic resource, Coal. Coal is largely used by Ironclad which is also unlocked in the Industrial Era. Coal is also important as it's required for buildings like Train Station and Seaport, the latter can be a huge production boost to navy building and is unlocked by this technology too. In addition, a strategic monopoly of Coal also gives +1 :c5moves: Movement to naval units and that's a pretty big deal. If you have been conquering cities leading up to the Industrial Era, then you are almost guaranteed Coal strategic monopoly unless you are unlucky. Steam Power benefits land wars in two ways. First, it allows the constructions of Tran Station by making Coal discoverable which provides a gold boost. Secondly, it unlocks the Zeppelin which is a great scouting tool. Until this point, only the Incan can place units on Mountain tiles. Zeppelin can hover on mountains and give you very important information on the enemy unit positions to make better informed decisions.

    Rifling:

    Rifling really changes warfare on land because many cities that might be seen as fortresses before are suddenly possible to take down. Prior to Rifling, all siege units lack Indirect Fire unless they get the promotion and that takes a long time. The Field Gun unlocked by Rifling starts with Indirect Fire promotion which opens up a lot of doors. Even if there are mountains mostly surrounding a city, your Field Gun can still open fire on it as long as it can get within range of the city. Terrain also plays a lesser in hindering the Field Gun from firing so it can contribute more to combat. This makes going down the Field promotion line a lot more viable now. You also get Fusiliers that are your new front line unit. It'\s survivability is higher than the Tercio and, in the recent update, there are talks of increasing their :c5strength: CS so they'll be slightly more tankier. Finally, you also get access Arsenal which allows your cities to attack 3 tiles away and have Indirect Fire as well. This means that, if you have been aggressive, your cities might also contribute to your siege of a nearby enemy city. The city can hit pretty hard so don't underestimate its contribution.

    Industrialization:

    While the tech does provide you with Factories and Palace of New Westminster Wonder, we will only discuss the Ironclad as it's the main reason why you are rushing this tech for your wars. The Ironclad is a upgrade from Corvette but it's such a powerful improvement from Corvette. Given that Corvettes have a :c5strength: CS of 36 and Ironclad have a :c5strength: CS of 55, you already see a huge difference in terms of strength (almost 50% increase) and that's not taking into account of the extra bonus from promotions. Not only are Ironclad a handful to handle with Corvette but Frigates are going to have a worst time by doing less damage overall and one hit means losing most of the Frigate's health. There's also the bonus against cities that can be helpful if you want to take the city slightly faster. If you want naval dominance, then Ironclad is certainly one of the tools you don't want to miss out on.

    Dynamite:

    Dynamite is another tech that can really change how your wars are fought. It helps both land and naval warfare as it provides a unit for each. For land, you have the Gatling Gun which is quite a menace for its time. It 47 :c5rangedstrength: RCS is a huge deal compared to the Musketmen's 31 :c5rangedstrength: RCS. It also possesses the Covering Fire promotion that, while reducing the Gatling Gun's effectiveness against fortified units, cities and armored units, gives it +20% :c5strength: CS when defending and reduces enemies' :c5strength: CS within 2 tiles of the Gatling Gun by 15%. Those can be the difference of your Gatling Gun holding down a position long enough to crush the enemy offensive or eliminate an enemy with one less ranged shot so you can maximize your damage against the enemy. Gatling Gun is certainly a big threat and getting it before your enemy can be a game changer in certain situation.

    Next, we have the Cruiser, Until recently, this naval unit has 2 range which makes it stupidly powerful. Its range is lowered to 1 now but it's not to be underestimated. While it no longer can clear out a beachhead as effectively for your land units to disembark largely unscathed, the Cruiser can still help you achieve naval dominance, Against a foe with Ironclad, this can be quite difficult as careful positioning is required. Yet, Cruisers with Logistics can even force Ironclad to withdraw after a couple of hits because they are literally glass cannons. Against a coastal city, those Bombardment promotions can come in real handy and, with extra movements from promotions, policies and other sources, you can force the enemy ranged to move next to the Coast tiles where they can be dispatched with ease. Cruisers are still a major threat and even losing a range hasn't changed that.

    Military Science:

    This technology can play a critical role if you have the production to back up what's unlocked. First, you have the Brandenburg Gate that gives your newly built units more experience which isn't something to be scoffed at. At this stage of the game, the extra promotion can make a huge deal, especially if you stack up buildings like Order. If you went Authority and got Alhambra, then your melee units will get fourth promotions on the Drill promotion line as soon as the unit is built. Having experienced units can make your wars more smoothly, especially for your ranged units that take longer to get new promotions. In addition, the extra supply cap is nice to have if you need both a strong army and navy. Once you also build the Military Academy also available through this tech, then your units will get plenty of experience to give you a further edge. Given that humans normally make better promotion decisions than AI, then you will a better quality units to fight your biggest threats.

    This tech does unlock Cavalry but, in my opinion, this unit isn't great. The reason for that is due to the rise of Field Guns and Gatling Guns. Field Guns have Indirect Fire so Cavalry can't take advantage of rough terrain like Hills anymore. Do note that rough terrains like Forests are largest nonexistent at this stage of the game so there are even less advantage for the Cavalry. Gatling Guns also hit way harder so, in the battle of ranged units, a Cavalry stands no chance against the Gatling Gun. There might be a place for the UU that replaces Cavalry but there are certainly better options overall.

    Renaissance Era vs. Industrial Era

    Scientific Theory:

    While you might pose no threat to your neighbor if you went this tech first, the same cannot be said about the AI. The AI can very easily go for Archaeology following this tech to get to those Archaeologists. If your biggest threat is going for CV, then you know that time is working against you. The best answer to an AI going this route is to go for military techs to have a massively stronger military than your competition. If you are quick or not that behind, then you might be able to attack before the AI gets Arsenal that makes its cities noticeably harder to take. Ideally, you won't be too far behind in tech because it will get worse if you still cannot close the gap.

    Railroad:

    Unless you really want the Wonder, then your competition going for Railroad probably isn't your biggest worry. The AIs, especially on higher difficulties, usually have no issue with gold at this point so buildings like Train Stations aren't going to have that big of an impact. AIs going for CV might also go for this tech for the Hotel but Scientific Theory is probably those AIs' best option. Overall, an AI going this route isn't the most dangerous so you can continue going for your military techs.

    Steam Power:

    This tech can give your competition a pretty decisive edge if you are competing for naval dominance. Assuming that your competition went Statecraft or is warmonger, then getting Coal Strategic Monopoly is going to be fairly easy and that extra movement, along with Imperialism opener, can give AI naval units a lot of movements. For those familiar with naval combat, you know that extra movements can make a big difference either in crossing an ocean or get better position overall. Luckily, the AI still isn't great with positioning so you just have to \worry about your enemy reaching your front yard sooner.

    Rifling:

    Rifling can give your enemies some powerful tools. The Arsenal is probably the biggest obstacle in your way if you're going for naval dominance as those cities are much harder with your Frigates while the extra bombardment range for the city makes your Frigates within range of the city. The extra :c5strength: CS of the cities also make them tougher to take until you unlock units like Ironclads and Cruisers. Then, there are the Field Guns that can make certain city locations nearly impossible to overwhelm without hefty losses. The Indirect Fire really makes the Field Guns a dangerous weapon if the terrain is in favor of your enemy. What might have been hindrance to the enemy can suddenly be the enemy's greatest asset. Finally, you have the Fusiliers which aren't to be underestimated. They are noticeably stronger than Tercio and will be tougher meatshield to beat than Tercio. If your dangerous neighbor got this tech, you better be ready for some difficult wars and it's usually not a smart idea to attack until you unlock your own Field Guns.

    Industrialization:

    This tech can make your naval combat a lot tougher given how strong Ironclads are. The AI usually have quite a few of these melee naval units and they can easily crush your Corvettes and Frigates. If you noticed your target possessing these units, it's not advisable to declare war unless you have full confidence in your abilities and you have the numerical advantage. Otherwise, it's far better to be patient to wait for a better time to strike. On higher difficulties, you must remember that you need to use all the advantage and minimize what your enemy possesses that can give it an edge.

    Dynamite:

    If your enemy has unlocked this tech, then I suggest you hold off on war for both the land and the seas. The reason for that is the Gatling Gun and Cruiser. These two ranged units are really dominant for their time, especially the Gatling Gun which the AI will certainly use for devastating effects in defense. Even the newly unlocked Fusiliers you get from Rifling will easily be cut down by enemy Gatling Guns. As for navy, Cruisers are no joke as they can hurt your Corvette badly if you can't reach enemy Cruisers. Overall, wars should be postponed when these techs give your foes a noticeable advantage you can't ignore.

    Military Science:

    Unlike Dynamite, the AI that gets this tech isn't as dangerous. While the extra promotion is a headache, you, as a player on high difficulty, is familiar with fighting foes that has units with more promotions from the very beginning. Cavalry just doesn't have the same threat as Gatling Gun and no one should lose sleep of not getting the Brandenburg Gate. Overall, this tech isn't going to give the AI an advantage it doesn't boast already.

    To be Continued...
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2019
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  5. tommytoxen

    tommytoxen Chieftain

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    wow nice guide, thanks :)
     
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  6. amateurgamer88

    amateurgamer88 Chieftain

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    Unit Composition IX

    Industrial Era vs. Industrial Era

    Industrial Era is certainly an era when ranged units really shine with one exception. While all units unlocked in this era have a role, one unit lack a key role that makes it very relevant unless you actively made that unit more useful or if the unit is upgraded from a UU or is the UU. There are quite a few compositions you can work with depending on various factors like what your army composition was but changes might be made to accommodate the new tools unlocked. Once again, we will be looking at either a land heavy map (like Pangaea) or a water heavy map (like Archipelago). We will also assume that both sides have all units unlocked during this era and all cities have Arsenals.

    Land heavy map:

    First, I want to stress that blockading cities becomes more important as time goes, especially when your foe has Arsenals, completed Fealty policy tree and/or built the Red Fort, Certain unit compositions becomes more vital while some units becomes rather obsolete until a later era when a much better version of them appears. Whenever you have a chance, blockade the city as it will make life easier as it makes taking cities possible within a reasonable amount of time. However, you should never attempt this when you risk losing units as it's rarely a good trade to lose a unit. At this stage of the game, it's actually, in my opinion, easier to defend than attack so you need think through your decisions or your army will be decimated. Let's see some compositions and bad names I give them.

    Ranged Approach:

    When I said that ranged units dominate this era, I'm not kidding at all. The melee units you have available are Fusiliers and Lancers, the former doesn't have a lot of survivability against ranged units while the latter is from an era ago. If your army composes of mostly Gatling Guns and Field Guns, then you have plenty of firepower. While Gatling Guns can serve on the front lines, they are better at supporting a handful of Fusiliers with their Medic II promotions. The idea with this approach is to lure your enemy into your defensible position where your ranged units can decimate enemy forces over time. Ideally, your units get enough promotions to get the really important ones like extra range for your Field Guns. Don't forget that Indirect Fire makes your Field Guns more versatile so you actually have more option that can keep them safe while shoot at enemy with impunity.

    Patience Approach:

    For those who want to play it safe and aren't dealing with massive enemy numbers on higher difficulties, there is an approach where you can be patient while you hurt the enemy economy until you are ready to move in. This approach focuses on you keeping a strong defensive units of mostly ranged unit, preferably Field Guns due to their ability to get both extra range and Logistics if you go down the Field promotion line. I recommend Field Guns because they already have Indirect Fire so they need fewer promotions to be very devastating. Then, you use your mobile core of Lancers to pillage enemy tiles to slow them down and increase their WW. This approach requires a lot of patience and lots of planning ahead as poor positioning can get your mounted units killed very easily. Do note that you can also use Zeppelins if it has lots of promotions since its survivability is much higher. The idea is hurting your enemy bit by bit through pillaged tiles and WW while your ranged units gets the promotions they need to attack enemy units and cities from afar with almost impunity.

    Defensive Approach:

    This approach requires similar patience as the approach above but we are assuming that you already have a pretty large force. Basically, you are using Gatling Guns on the defensive where they thrive the most. Use them to mow down the enemy before you make a major offensive push on the enemy. This approach sees less Field Guns because their damage against enemy units pales against Gatling Guns and you want to mow down the enemy units as quickly as possible. You don't want the war drag on to the point where WW is hurting you as well. For this approach, the proper use of Forts and Citadels are very vital. Therefore, it makes your previous wars important too since, at this point, the AI will have placed Citadels and you can get them for free by capturing cities that already have them within their border. Unlike the Ranged Approach, you will need more Fusiliers to hold down those Forts and Citadels. While it's true Gatling Guns can do pretty well if garrisoned, you want them for damage and not damage soakers.

    Aggressive Approach:

    This is a play style that's very high risk and isn't recommended for most games. Those meeting the one or more of these factors can try it for fun. You either have a massive military advantage in term of quantities than you opponents, your melee units are very mobile and/or ignores ZoC due to policies/tenets/UA, your Ancient Era policy tree is Authority and/or your neighbor is fighting on another front so you know resistance will be weak when you declare war. This approach requires a lot of melee units like Fusiliers to push aggressively into enemy territory while they serve as both meat shield and bait. They take damage from the enemy while also forcing enemy units to appear from the fog of war so you can devise a strategy to deal with those with your Gatling Gun. Meanwhile, your Field Guns are basically just there to take out cities as soon as possible so the Siege promotion line is recommended. As you can imagine, you can lose a lot of melee units due to this but, if successful, you'll hit the enemy so hard that the AI won't be able to react. For those who completed Authority, you will get a strong melee unit next era that you can purchase with :c5gold: Gold so your Fusiliers are expendable.

    Water heavy map:

    Like Renaissance Era, Industrial Era naval combat is a lot more balanced and does require you to have a better composition to deal with threats. We will look at two scenarios that you will face. The first one is a defensive approach while the other is the naval dominance approach.

    Defensive Approach:

    If you have no intention of dominating the seas, then you need to make sure your coastal cities are well defended. Preferably, you have settled the cities in a position where they are difficult to take by sea. However, this isn't always possible if you take cities from your neighbors and the AI sometimes settle on questionable locations. You need three key things to defend those cities well assuming that you did what you could for the positioning. First, you need a Arsenal which allows your city to bombard 3 tiles away. This is very important given all the extra movements from Imperialism opener and Coal strategic monopoly. You need to be able to inflict damage every damage or the enemy will whittle you down eventually. Next, you need a Ironclad in each of your coastal cities to help inflict damage on enemy melee ships that get too close and hopefully take the damage when the city is attacked. Finally, you need a handful of ranged units. Cruisers can be very threatening so, if you have a few units that can attack enemy Cruisers, then they will drop your city health to red pretty quickly. Do be careful with your position or those Cruisers will devastate your land units as well.

    Naval Dominance Approach:

    If there are other civ(s) challenging you for the seas, then you will need a balanced composition. You generally need more Cruisers than Ironclads but, with the recent changes to Ironclads that made them stronger, the ratio is more 3:2 in favor of Cruisers. The idea is that your Ironclads not only serve as scouts and meatshields at the start of the engagement but they will also chase down enemy Cruisers once you get through enemy Ironclads. The Cruisers are there to break holes in enemy ranks so your Ironclads can wreck havoc in the enemy's formation. To go into more details, naval promotions have to be discussed but that will be saved for another post. Out of the three approaches here, this is probably the most balanced and require a diverse amount of promotions to cover a number of weaknesses.

    Siege Approach:

    If you are certain you have naval dominance, then this approach might be better suited for you as it will let you take main objective like cities faster. This approach requires more Cruisers than Ironclad where the ratio is approach 2:1 or even more in favor of Cruisers. The idea is to use your Cruisers to take down cities faster while a handful focuses on whittling down enemy land units to ensure less resistance once the city is taken. Since Cruisers lost their 2 range recently, the enemy can still field a land force to resist but, against overwhelming Cruisers, they are at your mercy while you just direct the battles at enemy territory. Do note that this approach only works if you know you can siege without being challenged at sea. Otherwise, your Ironclads won't be sufficient to protect you from enemy forces and your Cruisers will be forced to withdraw.

    To be continued...
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2019
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  7. amateurgamer88

    amateurgamer88 Chieftain

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    Unit Composition X

    Modern Era vs. Industrial Era

    Modern Era brings in a pretty big change to combat with the new tools available to your arsenal. Ideally, you had caught up in tech or have taken the lead in technology at this point. Lagging behind at this point can be dangerous given the tools that's available to your foes. If you aren't properly prepared, you will find yourself fighting wars that can heavily in the advantage of the foe. Being behind has never been so dangerous than this era. Of course, the same can be said if you lead in this era and use your military to crush the enemy.

    Biology:

    This tech is useless for warring civs unless you went for the Freedom Ideology as the Statue of Liberty is unlocked here. I won't go into details about this until we get to ideologies.

    Electricity:

    This tech provides a number of benefits to a warmonger. First, you have the Stock Exchange that gives you more gold if you are struggling to get a solid GPT at this point to maintain your large military. Empire State Building is useful due to a free Great Person of your choice. If you have a lead and want to take an even larger lead, then getting a Great Scientist to get :c5science: Science isn't a bad idea. Next, you have the Coal Refinery which can be so important depending on your situation. Sometimes, the maps might not work in your favor and Coal is hard to come by. Coal is needed for Factories, Seaports, Train Stations and melee naval units so it's a strategic resource you definitely need to keep your war machine going. Finally, we have Aluminum revealed and this strategic resource is very important for a couple of reasons. It's both needed for some pretty powerful units and, with strategic monopoly, you get +5 HP healed in addition to what you get before. Having units healing up faster at home and more in enemy territory to live longer can both be very valuable, especially if you have Goddess of Protection, a promotion from a unit upgraded long ago, Fountain of Youth or Medic ranged units to help.

    Corporation:

    Corporation is a interesting tech because it can provide very powerful bonuses if you get first choice of it. Since you are likely expanding through war all this war, you should have monopoly for a couple of luxuries so your options should be more than a few. While none of these really help your wars in the short term, the one that really stands out is Hexxon Refinery which provides you additional strategic resource scaling with franchises and extra :c5production: Production for units needing Oil, Aluminum and Uranium. As a warmonger, this tech isn't extremely important as the bonuses you get from it might pale against the benefits you can reap can conquering enemy cities.

    Replaceable Parts:

    If you went Order as your ideology, then this tech is very useful since it unlocks the Motherland Calls which gives you a free policy and allows your spies to cause more unrest and rebellion. The tech also unlocks the Rifleman which is pretty strong, especially with the recent bonuses to infantry units. For civs that went Authority, you also get access to Foreign Legion which is definitely stronger than Riflemen, especially in foreign territory. The ability to spend gold to purchase Foreign Legions to get full experience when you have Alhambra, Barracks, Armory and Military Academy is pretty amazing as you get a level 4 promotion like Blitz and Stalwart immediately.

    Combustion:

    This tech is very important for both short term and long. For the short term, it unlocks the Landship which gives your Lancers something to upgrade to. Remember that Lancers are unlocked late Renaissance Era and they aren't great in Industrial when their survivability is very low. The Landship gives your highly promoted Lancers a chance to shine, though you must be careful as Landship can still be taken out quite easily if you're not careful. Then, we have the Minefield which's the arguably the best defense against enemy navy due to how much movement it hinders for enemy naval units. If you aren't dominating the seas and want to make naval defense easier, be sure to build this in all of your coastal cities as you should have plenty of Iron at this point due to your expansions. Of course, this tech also reveals Oil that's necessary for Landship and many important units that are unlocked in this era. The extra experience you gain from strategic monopoly of Oil is a great benefit too.

    Industrial Era vs. Modern Era

    I won't go too in depth here because there's one pattern that I noticed in all of my games. The AI will always go to Corporation as its first tech in Modern so they aren't a military threat immediately. Afterwards, they will either go for Biology and Electricity or Replaceable Parts and Combustion. From my experience, you should have enough time to catch up or surpass the AI in military techs if you focus on them. If you are still lagging behind at this point, then you will need a war before the AI unlocks better units as you can still deliver a finishing blow. While having units from Industrial doesn't give you an even playing field, better promotions and positioning should give you the edge you need.

    Modern Era vs. Modern Era

    This is where things get interesting since Modern brings rise to several powerful tools and composition can change quite a bit depending on a number of factors. We will have to assume that you have sufficient resources as you have been conquering quite a bit leading up to this point. Your composition will naturally change if you are short on certain resources like Oil but a warmonger going Autocracy rarely runs out of the resources needed to build the core of one's military.

    Grind Approach:

    This approach works best when you completed the Authority Policy Tree. The idea is that you get a bunch of Foreign Legions and use them as your front line. You have ideally acquired Alhambra so your Foreign Legions get Stalwarts the moment they are bought in your capital. The Foreign Legions will serve as the front line where they will push into enemy territory. Due to their high :c5strength: and bonus when fighting in foreign territory, these units will be difficult for the enemy to get rid of so they will serve as great meatshield at the very least or strong front line to break holes in enemy lines. With the recent changes to Riflemen, you have a decent meatshield in them as well if you didn't go Authority. Then, you have Machine Guns supporting behind the Foreign Legions/Riflemen and finally Artillery, with 3 range, behind Machine Guns. With proper positioning, you can inflict a lot of damage very quickly and, from my experience, the AI just doesn't know how to respond properly due to how tough your front line is and how devastating your back line is. Note that you will need some Anti-Aircraft Gun sprinkled in if you don't want enemy air units destroying your forces in a couple of turns.

    Bombardment Approach:

    This approach relies heavily on your Artillery. The idea is that you will have a bunch of Artillery that were upgraded from Field Guns with lots of promotions including extra range. Therefore, you have two layers of melee units like Riflemen and/or Foreign Legions while your third and fourth lines are just Artillery to take full advantage of their range. You will use just Artillery to rain hell on the enemy and, with their promotions, they can devastate enemy while being difficult to take out being in the back end. Of course, you will need Anti-Aircraft Gun to protect them from air but, with the number of Artillery you'll field, chances are the cities won't last very long and it will be largely a bombardment simulation to see how quickly you can crush enemy forces and take cities.

    Air Superiority Approach:

    This approach sees you focusing on something entire different as air units just becomes available in the Modern Era. Depending how much supply you have and how much oil you control, your air force might vary in size. From my experience, a generally large swath of territory should get you enough air units for a single city. As for supply cap, that can be tougher to manage as you won't wait until this era to get units so you might have disband some units if you desperately need the cap for air units. This approach can be quite powerful if you know how air combat and interception works. With sufficient knowledge, you can actually force out interception from the enemy and then use your remaining air units to devastate the enemy. At one point, the Fighter class is pretty decent at dishing out solid damage. Now, you will want to mostly Bombers for either city bombardment or enemy units annihilation. If your opponent has little or no answer to air units, then you victory will be mostly assured as the AI will struggle to fighting aganst your faces.

    Pillage Approach:

    Another approach might not result in a lot of cities, if any, captured but the goal is to slow down the enemy and hurt them badly. This approach requires a highly mobile force composing of Landships and Light Tanks to do hit and runs while pillaging enemy tiles. Then, you also make good use of your Paratroopers by sending them behind enemy lines once you know it's somewhat safe and pillage improvements including roads. By cutting off city connections and pillaging tiles, your enemy will be hurting in happiness and, as WW racks up, you can be sure that the AI won't be liking the unhappiness too much. If done properly, you can cripple the enemy economy so the AI will struggle to put up a resistance. Therefore, your few Artillery can shell away at the enemy until city fall. In addition, you will want to prioritize enemy strategic resources because those will weaken the enemy units as they cannot heal. This approach is quite slow but, once the AI has a crippled economy, it's only a matter of time before you get what you desire like many cities to add to your empire.

    Rush Approach:

    This approach relies heavily on mobile units like the pillage approach but the idea is riskier with bigger rewards faster. This approach requires you to strike the enemy at multiple locations since the standard long line of units doesn't benefit Landships and Light Tanks too much. Preferably, you went Autocracy and had unlocked Lightning Warfare that gives your Landships an extra movement along with more :c5strength: CS when attacking. Your goal is to attack at multiple points and force the AI to make sub-optimal choices. Usually, the AI will focus more of its forces to defend its capital so, if you can pressure the capital, the AI will foolish move units away from the front lines which is the opening you can use to take those outer cities. Since most, if not all, forests are removed at this stage of the game, the terrain will be quite flat and, other than rivers, your mobile units will do quite well as long as your positioning is extremely risky.

    Note that I won't be going over compositions for the later eras because I very rarely have wars at this stage of the game. For my Emperor difficulty at least, the game is usually won or has ended so I'm not certain how to best build your unit composition. If people want to hear my theoretical, I can do it if I have a few people posting that they want to see it. Otherwise, I'll continue with other topics as this one did take a long time.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2019
  8. amateurgamer88

    amateurgamer88 Chieftain

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    Important Promotions

    Promotions can make a huge difference in combat. There are certain promotions that are especially important as they can turn the tide of battle if you have a couple of units with these promotions. I'm still not sure how I'm going structured this topic but it's going to be separated into land and naval promotions. For certain promotions, I'll just discuss the promotion line as opposed as every single promotion. Let's start with the land promotions since this will be on our mind from the very start of the game. Note that I will separate the promotions into generic ones and those from UU and UA.

    Below are the color codes:

    Scouting Melee Mounted Armored Ranged Siege Naval Melee Naval Ranged

    Land Promotions:

    Trailblazers promotion line:

    This promotion line lets your Pathfinder move around very quickly through rough terrain by having double movements through Forests, Jungles, Desert and Snow. It also gives you ignore ZoC which can be quite handy in avoiding barbarians. Given how important intel is in the early game, the ability to know where your neighbors are and the best settling spots can make all the difference between a solid start or an uphill climb from the very beginning.

    Survivalism promotion line:

    This is the other option if you don't pick Trailblazers. Maybe there are too many Barbarians and you want your Pathfinder to survive. After all, losing a Pathfinder will cost you more intel than not having the best movements around the map. This promotion is safer of the two while the other promises greater rewards for greater risk. What's amazing about Survivalism is that it lets your Pathfinder heals every heal regardless of actions and that greatly improves its survivability not only against barbarians but also in enemy enemy territory if you want to pillage enemy tiles.

    Scouting promotion line:

    This promotion line is unlocked through Trailblazer II or Survivalism II. It provides you with more vision for the first two promotions and extra in the last promotion. Overall, this lets your Pathfinder/Scout be very effective in gathering info on enemy unit positions and use that as an advantage in war. While it's very useful in wars, it also helps you uncover more of the map faster while be the first to meet some CS that happen to require you get more vision range to spot.

    Spotters:

    Unless they changed it, I'm pretty sure this promotion is available to Zeppelins and, to my knowledge, isn't available to any other units. This promotion is very powerful since the purpose of your Zeppelins is to gather intel on your enemies while preferably in enemy territory like a hard to reach Mountain tile when your enemy isn't Inca. The experience gain isn't much but it will start to add up as wars usually take awhile. If you can get Scouting promotions on your Zeppelins, then you can get a lot of intel while your foes can do little to nothing about it.

    Ambush promotion line:

    This promotion comes pretty late as it's only unlocked once you researched Combustion. In my opinion, this is an average promotion that requires a number of situations to make it a bigger priority than some of the other promotions. First, it's pretty good when your Riflemen have to face off against enemy Landship. With only 5 more :c5strength: CS and no defensive bonuses, the Landship will struggle in terms of both offensive and defensive combat against the Riflemen. If you add Foreign Legions into the equation, then Landship is practically neutralized. While the same can be said about Infantry and Tank, you must remember that Infantry serve as more of a meatshield role at this point with all the deadly units like air units and ranged units. Therefore, attacking isn't advisable when it can weaken your front line and potentially jeopardize your chance to push onward to enemy cities. Overall, this promotion has too small of a window to utilize properly and the extra :c5strength: CS from attacking, into rough terrain no less, on a unit that's geared more defensively just makes this a sub-optimal promotion.

    City Assault:

    This promotion is mostly useful in the early game when city :c5strength: CS is mostly low and you want to use your melee units to take cities more effectively. This is especially useful when you got Statue of Zeus and want to take a bunch of cities in the Ancient Era. Later on in the game, this promotion, like Ambush, isn't as useful since you want your melee to survive longer. This is largely the case when you would rather use your melee units to blockade enemy cities as opposed to attacking and inflicting very little damage overall.

    Woodsman:

    This promotion is also useful in the early game and some portion of the mid-game unless you are facing certain civs. Those are the periods when it's useful due to the existence of Forests/Jungles. The later the game goes, the less likely the AI has any left and that makes the extra movement of the Woodsman less effective overall. The +10% :c5strength: when defending on hills is also pretty small and will be more noticeable early in the game rather than later when you get more modifiers to your units. Against certain civs like Iroquois due to UA or Brazil due to UI, you might have more Forests/Jungles to work with but, overall, those are quite situational and you should take this promotion under some consideration if other promotions can help you more.

    Accuracy promotion line:

    This promotion is available both Archer units (archers/skirmishers and their upgrades) but, in my opinion, it's a lot less useful on the mounted units due to a couple of reasons. First, you pick this promotion to unlock the Medic promotion line and stationary archer units with 2 range is better at supporting other units while your mounted archer units is better utilizing their mobility as opposed to stay stationary as a weaker support. Secondly, the stationary archer can also get extra range after Accuracy III while the mounted archer cannot. That makes this promotion line a lot less enticing for mounted units that should focus their promotion on the promotion line. As for when you go for this promotion, it's advisable to have a good balance unless you have certain UU like Slingers and Cho-Ko-Nu where the decision is pretty obvious.

    Barrage promotion line:

    This is the other choice for your Archer units but, as I said above, it's more preferable for your mounted archer units since it does lead to Logistics that gives them quite a bit more damage output, especially if you play as the Mongols. Unlike Accuracy that gives you more damage against enemies with 50+ HP, Barrage gives you more damage against enemies at or below 50 HP. Both have their situation and logistics can be quite powerful as range will. This promotion line does lead to Cover promotion line at Barrage I as opposed to Accuracy II but I'm not sure how sure people take the Cover promotions. There are better options and your Archer units usually should be avoiding damage. However, Cover promotion line does give your Archer units quite a bit more longevity so it's something you can consider if your foe has lots of ranged units due to UU.

    Coup de Grace:

    This promotion isn't likely the first promotion you get after Barrage III but it can be useful in finishing off the enemy wounded units at or below 50 HP. This can quite useful on mounted archer units since they don't usually have Accuracy so their strength lies in weaken or killing enemy low health units that might be harder to chase down. Overall, this is a pretty niche promotion that can acquired once you get Logistics and have no other better options to get. It's not a bad promotion but, for me at least, it's pretty meh overall.


    Parthian Tactics:

    This promotion gives your ranged mounted units 1 extra movement and the ability to ignore zone of control. Given how late this promotion becomes available, it's pretty situational as it depends on whether or not your ranged mounted units are still relevant and the terrain you are warring in. Flat terrain can see this promotion being quite powerful with hit and run tactics but there are too many factors affecting how effective this promotion can be. This is becomes through the Accuracy promotion line which isn't, from my perspective, as good as the Barrage promotion line. If you do go down this route, there's also another promotion that might be more valued than this promotion.

    Tank Hunter promotion line:

    This comes much later in the game and I believe it's available to both Bazooka and Helicopter Gunship. As the title suggests, this promotion line focuses on defeating enemy armored units. How strong is it? Considering the number of tools available to you at this point and Helicopter Gunship having a bonus against armored built into the unit, I see this as pretty niche and most people won't even have to contemplate if they want this promotion or not.

    Siege Generic Promotions:

    Siege promotion line:

    This promotion line is mainly focused on taking down enemy cities and it does a pretty good job. I was a big fan of the Field promotion line because it eventually leads to some strong promotions. However, the Siege promotion line is strong from the very start so picking it for your Catapult can see enemy cities fall quite quickly. This, combined with Volley, can inflict some heavy damage on the enemy cities. Yet, you might consider finishing the promotion line to get the extra range that can come in handy. Of course, the extra range is only useful if you get Indirect Fire for free as it's available for free for siege units starting with the Field Gun.

    Field promotion line:

    This promotion is mainly focused on taking down enemy wounded units. Note that you do less damage to a full health enemy than a wounded unit so it's usually important to weaken the enemy first. If you want the siege unit to do good damage to cities, then Volley is available after Field II promotion. However, the strength of this promotion line is that it leads to both extra range and Logistics. It also provides splash damage which, if used properly, can be devastating to enemy ranks, especially on higher difficulties where there seems to be an endless number of enemy forces. I normally take this promotion during Industrial Era when my units get more promotions once finished because, in my opinion, Siege promotion line shines in the early and mid game while the Field promotion line shines late game.

    Volley:

    This promotion gives your Siege promotion line units more damage on enemy cities while making your Field promotion line more versatile. Volley might be your fifth promotion for your siege units on Siege promotion line while sixth promotion for those on Field promotion line. Both depends on the situation as you need to gauge what you need for your wars. This is pretty solid promotion but, as it's fairly situational, you won't take it every time you have it available.

    Archer/Siege Generic Promotions:

    Firing Doctrine: (Ranged, Siege)

    This promotion can be useful in the eras where ranged units become more dominant like the Gatling Gun in the Industrial Era. The ability to inflict more damage to a full health enemy is pretty powerful when you need to, at this stage of game, whittle down enemy forces until you are can reach enemy cities. Is this a priority compared to some other promotions? I still see Indirect Fire and extra range more important as they are more useful. In addition, the new promotions on Fusiliers and later melee units can counteract this promotion somewhat so it's not as effective as before. As for siege units, this is a more interesting promotion. It's available through the Siege promotion line so it's a tool for you to deal more damage to enemy units despite your siege unit geared to take down cities faster. I think it can be useful in wounding enemy units so your Field promotion line siege units can deal more damage.


    Indirect Fire: (Ranged, Siege)

    This promotion isn't available to mounted ranged units due to 1 range while it's readily available to siege units starting from Field Guns. Therefore, this promotion is really for your stationary ranged units and it's available through both the Accuracy and Barrage promotion lines. Depending on the terrain, this promotion might be useful for the Barrage promotion line. It's definitely worthwhile for your Accuracy promotion line units after they get the extra range as it makes them more versatile, especially when it's available on a unit like Gatling Gun that can shred all of its enemies. It's not advisable to get on your siege units before Field Guns as you will waste a promotion but there are certain situations where it can win you the early and basically decide your game there and then.

    Infiltrators:

    Logistics:

    Mounted Generic Promotions:

    Charge promotion line:

    Armored Generic Promotions:

    Melee/Mounted Generic Promotions:

    Mounted/Armored Generic Promotions:

    Charge promotion line:

    Drill promotion line: (Melee,Mounted,Armored)

    From my experience, this promotion is absolutely vital to melee units while not as useful for mounted units. For armored units, it's heavily dependent on your situation and what your intentions are. For melee units, this promotion leads to Cover I sooner so, if your opponent has lots of ranged units, it can keep your melee units alive longer. Then, it also leads to Blitz and Stalwart, both solid promotions for melee units. The former allow you to attack and pillage/withdraw while the latter just keeps your melee units alive longer so the supporting ranged units can inflict more damage. This promotion and the promotions you unlock from Drill III is especially good for Foreign Legions but we'll go into detail in a future post. For mounted units, this promotion is pretty awful as penalty against cities make the promotion weaker while Blitz and Stalwart are weaker so mounted units are more hit and run units and lack defensive bonuses to make full use of defensive promotions. For armored units, Blitz can be quite powerful while taking cities is quite viable overall.

    Formation promotion line: (Melee,Mounted,Armored)

    This promotion line can be pretty useful given what it provides you. Since this is only unlocked through Drill II, this only makes the Drill promotion line even better. Starting Medieval Era, mounted units become more numerous and more threatening. The bonus against mounted units is quite good and, if you can keep the melee unit alive, it can also do well against enemy armored units. The extra bit of bonus when defending in open terrain doesn't hurt either. If your opponent is spamming a lot of mounted units, this promotion can give you a lot less headache and, once you unlock Fusiliers, then your melee units will be pretty difficult to kill if done properly.

    March:

    Overrun: (Melee,Mounted,Armored)

    At the time of this edit, Overrun was changed to have more flanking damage and do 10 AOE damage on kill. This makes this promotion more useful than before but overall pretty situational. If you have this promotion on Mounted or Armored, it's useful in blowing holes in enemy lines assuming you don't get bogged down by ZoC. For melee units, the unit, by using full effectiveness of the promotion, can be in a bad situation. I still see this promotion as a Mounted/Armored promotion as it's still more ideal for mobile units.

    Shock: (Melee,Mounted,Armored)

    Stalwart: (Melee,Mounted,Armored)

    Blitz: (Melee,Mounted,Armored,Naval Melee)


    Melee/Mounted/Armored/Naval Ranged/Submarines/Carriers:

    Mobility:
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2019 at 11:39 AM
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  9. chicorbeef

    chicorbeef Warlord

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    I often promote Pathfinders/Scouts into Medics, it's the easiest way to get a Medic I-II unit early on which can be very helpful in wars. Sometimes, if I get a second Pathfinder out and I have a ruin-upgraded Scout or something, I will have 1 Medic I-II Scout and another full Survivalism (no Medic) scout, and I'll have them support each other.
     
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  10. Omen of Peace

    Omen of Peace Chieftain

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    From my experience with similar write-ups for other games, it's nice to add a little colour-coding to this kind of analysis:

    Drill (Melee, Mounted)

    Overrun

    but in doing this I see that the standard editor doesn't allow color, so it's more manual work... You can copy-paste my BBcode though if you want.
     
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