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Is a decisive win possible?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Wlauzon, Nov 24, 2005.

  1. Wlauzon

    Wlauzon Prince

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    I have played 100+ games on Noble, and win probably 2/3 of them.

    However, I have NEVER gotten what I would call a "decisive win" - that is, where I simply trounce all or most other civs militarily. (unless I do something like a very early rush against 1-2 city civs, which is boring after the first couple times).

    The problem seems to be is simple logistics - you can't move units fast enough across long distances. You send a herd of swordsmen to a city 15 turns away, and by the time they get there tech has advanced so much that he now has Muskets. So you make Muskets - and by the time they reach that far away city (ever worse if by sea), he has riflemen. etc etc etc.

    And if the game goes long enough to get to modern armor and mech infantry, forget it - by then both sides probably have tons of defensive units in their cities, and will probably have maxed out the culture defense bonuses also. So if the other civ has 10 large cities, you might need 150+ modern armor + artillery + gunships to even take half of them.
     
  2. Shillen

    Shillen Deity

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    On a pangaea I have several times. On continents map is a lot more difficult. If I modded anything in this game it would be to let galleons hold 6 units intead of 3 and double their movement rate...
     
  3. baptiste

    baptiste Warlord

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    Reading your post, it might be that you are underestimating catapults.

    You can beat longbowen/pikemen/knights with axemen/elephant (ie : 1 generation different), you just need to use enough catapults. But you need many. Many many. Each city needs 3/4 to be sacrified, sometimes more but 3/4 is often enough.

    This is a question of number, not of power. Using the Carthage scenario on mediterranean map i was attacking Egypt (VERY powerful technologically on this map) with elephant/catapults and they were defending with... musket and then riflemen ! They fell. But you need plenty of units. Don't be shy as to stack 10+ cats as to attack an enemy, and cut down horses spot as to forbid them to have quick units that could cause a problem to your logistics.

    By the way, swordmen is not a good choice imo for attacking, better 3 cats + 3 axe than 6 swords. And much quicker to build ;p
     
  4. Gufnork

    Gufnork Prince

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    All you need is the tech lead and fast units. I've gotten a decisive win on Immortal by getting the tech lead, then started a war in the modern age. Don't underestimate bombers against an enemy without air power or SAM infantry. Add tanks and their Blitz ability and the other civs are meatloaf.

    I've also conquered the world with Cavalry. When your opponents defend with Longbowmen against you they rock. Especially with March promotion, your offense rarely have to even slow down. Since there are roads everywhere in this time, reinforcements will also arrive very quickly.

    But yeah, trying to get your swordsmen over to the enemy in galleons and expect them to do some good won't work. Getting tanks over to the enemy in transports (with two movement promotions of course) will. Once you get a foothold you can start airlifting.

    Anyway my point is that conquering the world in the ancient age will provide serious logistic problems. You need to wait until infrastructure is built up or boats have better movement. Having a tech lead also means you can use fast units that suck when your opponent is in the same era as you.
     
  5. blueinf

    blueinf Chieftain

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    heh upgrading cavalry to copters is quite nice when you have a tech lead, they suck after a while tho. I have not yet really found a real use for copters in modern warfare aside from taking out enemy wounded units then run away in safety.
     
  6. mrjepson

    mrjepson Warlord

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    Pillaging, you take a whole town down in one turn :) Or move to kill a stratigic road and then retreat.

    Swordsmen on a galleon? I'd say this is the root of your problem. Galleons come way after swordsmen. Swordmen are only useful on your continent or anywhere a galley can quickly go.

    To take people over the key is fast units. Run around pillaging everything (make sure to take out the roads, this keep reinforcements from arriving) until your slow units show up. Whenever possible fight civs that border other civs you have open borders with. As you burn cities their culture will take over allowing you to keep using the roads to move the fron forward faster than defenders can be pumped out.
     
  7. syneris

    syneris Chieftain

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    Helicopters get a massive bonus vs armored. If an AI is rolling tanks on me, I always build a few to finish off the job my artillery did.
     
  8. Harry_P

    Harry_P Chieftain

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    This doesn't seem to be logistics to me. You're obviously exaggerating about the time involved. It takes a lot more than 15 turns to get from swordsman to musketmen. If they're upgrading to musketmen before your swordsman get there then you aren't sending your swordsman soon enough, simple as that.

    Warfare in civ is as much about picking the right time as it is about logistics if you're looking to bowl everyone over. I usually, not always, have three times that I start a war:

    1. Right after Iron Working when I've connected the Iron. I usually wait til I have 4 or 5 swordsman and then I send them, without catapults and rely on producing the rest that I'll need while the war is ongoing.

    2. Once I get Military Tradition and can start building cavalry. I usually have two or three full groups of catapults before any battle begins and enough Galleons to get them to the fight if it's on another continent. That's before I get Military Tradition. After I get the tech I switch over to Cavalry in all of my cities and once I get 10 or 12 I run with them.

    3. Tanks and Bombers. As soon as I get the required techs for these I start building. I take enough bombers to drop the city defenses and then spam tanks constantly, usually I'm ahead far enough that I have a strong tech advantage and so I only need 5 or 6 Tanks to start the war and I can rely on production to fill the rest.

    These are all assuming that I don't have a specific unique unit to take advantage of and that I have the tech lead. The main point is that if you wait around to have 30 Swordsman then they're obsolete before you strike, but you don't need 30 swordsman to get the job done.

    On the higher difficulty levels this is far less appropriate, but for Noble you can easily get ahead techwise and then all you need to do is take the initiative and use the tech lead.

    This is definately NOT a problem of logistics in the game, it's a problem of when you're starting your wars and how many units you're needing to get the job done.
     
  9. Halk

    Halk Chieftain

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    There's good times and bad times to war.

    When everybody has pikemen, crossbows, macemen and longbows it's pretty much a stalemate. You can only really break cities down by having a pack of throwaway catapults.

    But if you have the right tool for the job you can unlock cities very easily.

    When artillery come out they're very useful, same when cannons come out, but you'll find that there's certain points when the offence that's around doesn't beat the defence, and times when it can.

    If you really want to see carnage, play as Persia, cut down loads of trees and get yourself a second city, 3 or 4 workers, a barracks in each city, and churn out immortals. You'll find you're unstoppable.
     
  10. Paradoxus

    Paradoxus Chieftain

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    Ive gotten a decisive victory before on Noble. Was continents standard map 8 civs. I and 2 other civs on one continent and 5 on the other. I killed the civs on my island and had a massive empire. The other civs fought seemingly the whole time and were quite small by the time I had the whole map. I had a 3000 point lead and 70% of population 52% of land mass. I had about 25 cities and the next largest 10. I turtled up and worked on building. I completely smoked the AI and finally took a spaceship win in the mid 1800's just to end it. I truely crushed them soundly.
     
  11. Si_Lurker

    Si_Lurker Warlord

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    If you're going to conquer enemy on another continent that had time to develop, you will need to focus some cities entirely on military and build units to keep momentum going.

    First problem is not getting enough units to front initially. You solve this by upgrading (warriors->swordsmen->macemen, etc...) and maintaining offensive army from the start and by making enough ships, catapults, spearmen, archers,.... to keep going.

    Another problem is loosing momentum. Key to this is to bring enough units to conquer one big city and constantly keep a trickle of units going to front. Also when you get new technology you should upgrade all units on the front, lowering science, pillaging and conquering cities should finance that.

    If you just make a half attempt by building 10 swordsmen in one city and then sending them somewhere and refocusing on building after ships have left, you willl loose momentum.

    I had decisive victories in my last two noble games (had 3x score of 2nd civ untill I eventually achieved domination or conquest).
     
  12. HeadBlend

    HeadBlend Chieftain

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    Pillaging their resources can help a heap. This way, when they build replacements, they are easily taken out. Even just pillaging everything of theirs you can find will give you cash, ruin their economy and start their downfall....
     
  13. Ray Patterson

    Ray Patterson the dude is not in

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    So no medieval knights/macemen charge?
     
  14. panasonic

    panasonic Chieftain

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    bombers are amazing for war. i had 10+ bombers just razing their cities. then when i got stealth bombers and jet fighters the spanish got massacred. militarily i had less units. but the bombers brought all their units down to less then half health. put in the factor that i had modern armours while they only had a few mechanized infantry allowed me a quick victory
     
  15. KAuss

    KAuss Warlord

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    Cho Ko Nu rush... These things are unstopable... With barracks just upgrade first strike and they'll go through a heap of cities with 3 catapults that never need sacraficing...

    I just ran 6 civs off a my map that was on the same island since my religion tactic didn't work... Once you start, don't stop... Even if you're in the red, the landmass you gain will usually out do your opp's 100% research...

    I was on 70% most of the game and still out researched the CPU by at least 3 or 4 techs... Once tanks came out, diplo win won it for me... I had 51% population...

    This was the first time I had power scores higher than the AI... I was about 3 times higher than the average army size...
     
  16. A'AbarachAmadan

    A'AbarachAmadan Deity

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    I'm playing my third game. I've played continents, standard every time. First game was Noble and I've gone up a difficulty level every time. First game was domination, easily dominated my continent with war elephants and catapults and destroyed other two continents with cavalry and catapults. Second one I tried cultural victory, so different type, though I took out my continent. This game, ended up with all 7 of us on one continent. So far, destroyed first civ with swordsmen and catapults, working on next with musketmen and catapults. Except for the civ I'm fighting, which has tech parity with me, all are way back in tech, so I think I should be able to wipe out most of the civs with cavalry. Now if I can just get the civ who joined me this time to stay with me through at least one more rampage.
     
  17. Wlauzon

    Wlauzon Prince

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    I had one good game a couple days ago, that took me AGES to finish off the last civ.

    His last city was a fairly large one on about a 6 square island a LONG ways off. Being isolated for years, he had built up a massive amount of units there. It took me about 50 to 60 turns.

    However this was on Warlord. I still have not been able to do a total or almost total wipe on Noble.
     
  18. Asterothe

    Asterothe Warlord

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    How did you manage to play +100 games? It makes 3 games per day
    since the launch.
     
  19. Harry_P

    Harry_P Chieftain

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    Nope. I don't think I've ever attacked with Knights and Macemen. It's not uncommon in a noble game to have the AI start popping out Longbowmen while you're attacking with Macemen. I don't see any advantage that Macemen have that can't be used with Swordsman instead. 8 vs 6 is hardly worth waiting all that time for and unless you're fighting archers, macemen are getting the short end of the stick. There have been plenty of times where I've been fighting a long war with Swordsman and I upgrade to macemen for the extra punch, but starting with macemen usually means you're going to have to deal with Longbowmen before the war is over and that's no fun.

    As far as Knights go, again not so great. Cavalry vs Longbowmen are like Swordsman vs Archers. A strong enough advantage to win most battles. That means quick victories. Knights versus Archers are great, but most of the time when you get the right number of Knights together the AI is starting to get Longbowmen and there goes your fun.

    There just seem to be natural breaks in the tech tree which allow for huge advantages when used correctly. After Longbowmen you have Musketmen and then Riflemen. Musketmen aren't much better than Longbowmen so really the jump is from Longbowmen to Riflemen IMO. As long as you can hit Military Tradition before the AI gets Rifling you can bowl them over. With Knights/macemen this isn't the case. The AI can defend adequately with Longbowmen to really drag out the war and hurt your production.

    It seems to me the optimal matchups are:
    -Swordsman vs Archer
    -Cavalry/Riflemen vs Longbowmen
    -Tanks/Bombers vs Riflemen
    -Modern Armor/Bombers vs Infantry

    If you can attack with any of these advantages you should be able to knock a civ out of the game quickly and efficiently.

    Obviously wars can be fought against civs with the same techs as you, but logistics and production play a far stronger role in those wars obviously. I find that it's usually better to pillage and raze a few cities and then call for peace to get the tech lead again. Then you come back with your boomsticks and crush the spearchuckers :)
     
  20. yoshi74

    yoshi74 Tourist from Mars

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    I think the bold number is part of the problem. You played a lot of games, and many of them quite fast i assume (unless you play 24/7 ;) ).

    Its hard to focus on details, checking the small (cities, improvements) and the big (build and research strategie) regulary. Often at some point there are desisions about the next city improvement or the next tech to research done purely on instinct without much thought about it. Spending more time on this gives many small advantages who accumulate to a bigger one like a longer time of technological advantage and therefore more success at conquering.

    Its really a patience problem. I also play too often to fast, doing things often without much thought about it, which leads to a mediocore success. Good enough to win, but not to a win where i wiped the floor with the ai. I really see a diffence in these games where i forced myself to turn more attention to the details, if only during the early phase, where is much easier because less cities. Advantages there are carried through the whole game.
     

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