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Is Early War good enough?

Discussion in 'Communitas Expansion Pack' started by Stalker0, Aug 2, 2013.

  1. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    This was a discussion point brought up in discussion with barracks, and the concept seemed to warrant its own thread.

    Some of the debate recently has centered around very early warfare. By early i mean nearly turn 1, where you start with very little economic infrastructure and go right into war units.

    My experience so far has been:
    1) Because of the plethora of early barbs in the mod currently, i find building a few extra war units in the early game to be quite useful. if i focus on workers or settlers too early then i just have to barb dodge for far too long and my improvements get pillaged.

    2) There is a night and day difference between a city with a garrison and without one in the early game. If i can surround a CS and wait for his garrison to move out then i can take an early CS with a few warriors and archers. However, even with one garrison (melee or ranged) my early force is annihilated and i need to wait till catapults to have a good return.

    3) The happiness penalty makes early conquest sketchy at best. The cities i conquer don't have a lot of infrastructure and just stick with unhappiness i can't manage yet. I haven't really tried an early pillage war, but there isn't usually a lot to pillage at this point.


    So that is my limited experience, i'm not a warmonger myself, generally my waring starts in the renassance era if i'm going to conquer. But i was curious what other people's experience is. What type of early warring do you do, do you find it effective?
     
  2. Dezath

    Dezath Chieftain

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    IMO war that early on is pretty pointless, annexing a city will put you into unhappiness and slow you down.

    Early domination gameplay is warring against barbarians for gold and walking your warrior up to the CS and civs and demanding tribute when you have a decent force in order to do so
    This is usually very helpful for early on, you can demand for a worker or gold which they have a decent lump of

    Once you have a decent army with catapults a surplus of happiness you can start annexing cities you want and razing some of the smaller ones
     
  3. mitsho

    mitsho Deity

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    I agree mostly, 1) You do need a bit of military early on because of the many barbs. I think this is good, 2) not enough experience..., 3) agreed, early war is a gamble, maybe it's better to harrass-attack a major civ instead of trying to take his cities (steal a worker, keep him from building up), that is of course rather difficult as you have less units than the AI...

    Another option is to go for city states which I haven't so far as the "alliance"-bonus on conquest isn't included yet. That may change a few things once it's included...

    Would it be a good idea to upon conquest of a CS to allow for the option to "install a friendly regime", giving you x influence, but leaving the city state "free"?
     
  4. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    Something to think about is declaring war has a much lower diplomatic penalty in BNW. Capturing cities has a higher penalty. This means we can get a low diplo hit if we declare war, then raze the opponent's improvements to the ground, followed by peace. I'm going to try this more often around the Classical era once I have barbarians under control. Recon-2 promoted units are great at pillaging. It might be a great way to cripple our neighbors.

    I'd like to make pillaging a good alternative to total conquest. I don't think many of us try it. I usually want to capture enemy territory intact instead. It's harder economically in BNW, now that we lose potential trading partners in war... hmm... how about we test higher pillage income for a while to see how it turns out? We can reduce it again if it becomes too powerful. :)
     
  5. agc28

    agc28 Warlord

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    I agree with Thal.

    I often refrain from pillaging the enemy's improvements because I wanna capture the city. We SHOULD up the pillaging bonus!
     
  6. Dezath

    Dezath Chieftain

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    Isn't demanding tribute a bit like "pillaging"
    Cripples them and you can gain nice amount of gold

    I usually play on immortal or deity and lots of the aggressive ai demand tribute from CS early on i tried a conquest gameplay focusing on demanding tribute and you can really boost you economy.

    IMO pillaging cripples you opponent, heals your troops and pay for their maintenance during war.
     
  7. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    That's great to hear! I'm glad demanding tribute is so effective. I should try it more often. I think we can make pillaging major civs more of an alternative to capturing cities. I'm going to try a much higher gold bonus for v3.2.2, then we can reduce it later if necessary.
     
  8. Shadzy19

    Shadzy19 Warmonger

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    I wouldnt recommend upping the bonus on pillaging, its already a great bargain and it should be used a lot if u dont want to capture / keep the city or just to weaken a opponent for the future.

    You get 10-25 gold most of the time for every pillage and your units heal for free.
    The damage your pillagers take from city and archer fire usually is offset the next turn with pillaging 2 other improvements, when in danger they can just move away quickly.
    Like Thal said recon 2 unit are superb at this.

    Extremly strong if u get 2 spearman in and they dont have horseman yet.

    On topic, warring that early is a bit useless imo unless you see a juicy settler / worker unguarded.

    A bit later however is a diffrend story, I really think we should do something on chariots / horse archers, the AI's cant use them effectivly and in the hands of a human u can clear army's 3 times your size by just hit and running, all u need is a few warriors on defense as meatshields in the first engagement, once their main army falls 3 chariots can kill a entire civilization and never take damage, city's are no problem whatsoever neither never even need catapults.

    I would suggest giving them a HUGE penalty vs city's considering how strong they are, that way we are at least forced to get catapults to take the city's and gives the enemy a chance to get horseman.
     
  9. mystikx21

    mystikx21 Deity

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    I don't think the rewards need to be upped either. It's already quite effective, it denies economic benefits to them (including luxuries or resources), and heals/gives gold to you, and doesn't have nearly the penalties of a full-fledged conquest.
     
  10. Babri

    Babri Emperor

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    How about a pillaging promotions, i.e pillage would yield more gold, give units some XP, heal more HP etc. This promotion could be given to privateers & some UUs and can be taken by normal units as well. It would be balanced promo as you won't be taking promotions which increase your combat strength.
     
  11. LanguishViking

    LanguishViking Warlord

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    In a recent war between my Japan and Carthage, Austria, Ethiopia and Assyria one of my recon 2 upgraded pikemen discovered the austrian homeland, undefended, their army was fighting it's way through barbarian infested lands on it's way to attack me at home. This pikeman had recon 2 and march. So he proceeded to wander through and pillage virtually every tile and to capture and disband every worker austria had. Shortly after I did the same to carthage.

    Basically neither country recovered. I came back 100 turns later (on extra slow) hoping to solve my cash flow problem and much to my disappointment saw that they hadn't repaired anything. This was on emperor. But I've seen it on lower difficulties as well. Also in this game I basically neutered Assyria by pillaging every tile around Asssur. Rather than trying to fix it they kept building settlers and marching them across the continent to build a city on the other side of me to get some crabs (the luxury not the VD).

    The AI seems incapable of dealing with systematic pillaging of it's own territory. A spearman or pikeman with recon 2 march and medic is basically indestructible when not facing garrisoned cities and field units.
     
  12. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    I'd like to make pillaging harder and more rewarding. It sounds like the combination of pillaging and healing promotions might be a little too easy. What if we change the Recon 2 promotion and increase the pillage rewards? Or make it more difficult to get the combination of Recon 2, medic, and march at the same time?
     
  13. Babri

    Babri Emperor

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    That would be a solid change. Units with extra sight are great for pillaging. So recon II could give pillage bonuses but remove the no movement cost pillaging thing, bring recon I to level 1 units so units can get pillaging more easily. And if you go for recon side you won't be able to get march/medic easily because for them drill/shock line would be required first.

    Personally I think pikes shouldn't get recon, it should only be available to scouts & horse units. Historically armies used light mounted horsemen for scouting purposes on the battlefield. Also pikes are cheap & resist horses (at least in vanilla) which is the quickest unit to defend lands if you are surprised by a neighbouring pillager which makes it even more painful.
     
  14. LanguishViking

    LanguishViking Warlord

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    I don't think that melee foot, anti-cav foot, anti-tank foot or anti-air foot should have scouting at all. Initially I was trying to exploit the scout->spearman promotion direction to get the recon promotions before I found out fresh built spears got them as well. By the time I had armories I was building inf that was recon 2 march at start. I never bothered with the clear and rough promotions. My healing scout promoted infantry were simply more survivable than anything else. They healed so when they were in trouble they were not in as much trouble as non-healing units and they were faster so they could outrun any enemy and find a safe place to heal and then return to combat.

    That is how I was fighting until I found out that properly upgraded and garrisoned cities were one-shotting up to date units. At which point I didn't bother defending terrain and merely used my mobile marching scouts to counter attack the army which was breaking itself on one of my cities... if the army survived that is.

    I think you might be making combat too difficult and complex for the AI to manage. The AI is going to try an solve any problem by throwing more units at it. To make combat more challenging you need to make it simpler less terrain dependent AND you need to make field combat necessary by making cities easier to take.
     
  15. Alteris

    Alteris Chieftain

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    Backing up some from the pillaging discussion, I think LanguishViking's point is right on. Above all, anytime things are made that the AI can't handle well it's just one more area in which the human player's going to be able to get an easy edge due to a predictably ignorant opponent.

    It's too easy to defend against the AI, as they are half-hearted attackers and fail to seize the moment, and cities are too strong when you're using their built-in missile attack. I'm not an expert but my inclination would be to tweak the damage from the built-in missile attack down substantially and see how that goes.

    Terrain bonuses are also a good point, I don't see the AI exploiting those nearly to the same degree I do. Recently with just a couple swordsmen I threw off a massive and more tech advanced Persian army simply because I saw that holding the jungly hills on the other side of the river from the Persians just above my city was my only prayer. Were I the Persians I would have just flanked that and hit the city, but the AI is reliably ignorant of terrain.

    I think the mod should be wary of dynamics like these the AI can't grasp well.

    As to early war it was historically a very lucrative prospect for a victorious invader, even if plundering the wealth of others in the long run isn't a good permanent basis of the economy. Rome took a big hit when spoils no longer were coming in, but while they were coming in, they made Rome immensely wealthy. Early war in the game is definitely not a very lucrative prospect. I think it should have strong short-term gains (making it tempting), balanced by long term costs. Right now early war is quite costly, with the opportunity cost of lost trade, unit maintenance, spending hammers building units, etc with basically no short-term payoffs. There are long-term ones, but with plenty of land to still settle, crushing your neighbors is much more expensive than crushing the barbarians in order to expand. And so taking other lands doesn't really begin to have long-term value until later when it's all about victory conditions and the best land has all been claimed. To make early war attractive it needs to have big fat short-term payoffs, for plundering the treasures of your neighbor's aristocracy and temples, that balance the many costs.
     
  16. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    In my current game Askia declared war on Pocatello. He invaded with five or six units, pillaged all their land, then declared peace and retreated. His gold went up substantially with the recent changes I made. AIs often do this without successfully capturing a city, so it should help them, especially when they only accomplish a short raid-and-retreat war.

    Ideally the AIs should capture cities well too; they did it in Gem, and I'm working on it for Cep.
     
  17. Seek

    Seek Deity Supporter

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    Regarding city attacks, I think that units should get a ~10% defensive buff against cities for each adjacent unit. Since the city attacks represent a city's people rising up and defending it, this would be more realistic (ie, attacking a treb in the middle of an army is going to be less effective than one on the outside flank of an army; similarly, if there is one marauding unit the city should have an easier time dealing with it) and would go a long way to balancing this mechanic. It would also help the AI take cities because it is quite good at bringing a large, balanced army when attacking, and this change would mean it loses fewer units while getting them into position.

    Thoughts?
     
  18. JE_McKellar

    JE_McKellar Chieftain

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    I've been experimenting with a "forager" unit, basically a multi-purpose early unit, weaker than a warrior that can also build some basic improvements (camp, pasture, farm). It's cheaper to build than a regular worker, about the cost of a scout. That makes it good cannon fodder for early wars, and allows the player to start building improvements without investing in a worker that would likely be idle until many other techs had been researched.

    Replacing the default warrior with a forager gives the player more flexibility from turn 1, and thus make early wars more interesting.
     
  19. mystikx21

    mystikx21 Deity

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    I'm not sure any anti-city bonus should be a per unit effect so much as just the anti-city bonus in general encouraging combined arms and using your army to drive back an invading horde. This sounds like while it would help the AI somewhat, it mostly helps a human who would understand positioning their treb in the center of the line to maximize the impact it would get.

    To my mind the difference between a large horde and a couple of marauding units is already clear enough that a large horde provides more targets that would need to be killed (especially melee units), making it harder to focus fire with the city/garrison combo to kill them fast versus being able to hammer stray units down quickly. The Ai's "dumb" +25% versus cities should be sufficient as a bonus already as a result.

    I would only recommend replacing the worker/warrior choice for a UU effect, like legions building roads or forts. I don't see how that improves choice by taking an important early game choice completely out of the game.
     
  20. Babri

    Babri Emperor

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    I think no movement for pillage completely removes the risk of being attacked & destroyed the next turn by the enemy. It also makes a huge annoyance for the opponent. Replacing it with higher pillage gold would result in high risk high thing that Thal wants.
     

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