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Is there any strategic value to naval melee units?

Discussion in 'Civ6 - Strategy & Tips' started by Wingednosering, May 14, 2017.

  1. Wingednosering

    Wingednosering Chieftain

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    Pretty much what the title says. Are naval melee units valued by anybody at all?

    Galleys help you explore early, but they can't attack cities, can't capture enemy boats (until much later) and always get hurt when attacking and then can't heal outside of friendly territory.

    Land units even have decent defense while embarking, making naval melee units even less useful.
     
  2. Rosty K

    Rosty K Chieftain

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    Frigates, privateers and their upgrades can't take cities, while caravels and their upgrades can... So you want to have those for a decent naval invasion.
     
  3. Superhai

    Superhai Chieftain

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    Personally I find the mere concept of "naval melee" stupid. Melee in naval warfare usually means boarding or ramming. While those techniques were effective before the introduction of heavier ranged weapons, afterward ships usually employed both ranged weaponry and option for boarding. Rarely were ships designed for ramming, or only boarding.

    For civ, I love having ranged navy units, they can be stationed in cities for extra protection, and while they can't take cities, they are very effective at tearing down defenses. I usually use the shorter ranges close to the city, and a ring of outer longer range ships, and one land melee unit ready to take the city. The healing is a problem tough, and usually I have to cycle out ships when they have endured enough damage. If you fight far from home, a friendly city state is crucial, otherwise you need more ships.

    Naval melee units I am usually ignoring, as they are not healing (unless being promoted) and as every attack causes damage they are difficult to manage.
     
  4. Wingednosering

    Wingednosering Chieftain

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    Wait, seriously? I've never had a galley or caravel give me the option of attacking a city in Civ VI.
     
  5. Rosty K

    Rosty K Chieftain

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    They can. It maybe doesn't draw a red target over the city (or it is not seen very well), but they can 'melee' attack cities ok. At least caravels surely.
     
  6. Rosty K

    Rosty K Chieftain

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    They're slower than ranged ships (at least until much later), so additional logistic micromanagement needed. Also you can hide a melee ship behind ranged ones and out of the city shooting range so it doesn't take damage. Then you move it to the city and deliver the final blow in one turn, while with the land unit you need some additional maneuvering to get it into position.
     
  7. stinkubus

    stinkubus Chieftain

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    Ancient and classic era boats don't cost much to upgrade, either. Next time your feudalism builders are out chopping try slotting Maritime Industries for the overflow, and build galleys and quads in coastal cities to trigger the eureka and give you units to upgrade. For a few hammers and a few hundred more gold later you can have a mass of frigates and caravels quick.

    If you also build enough harbors you can get great admirals that will let you form fleets and armadas before Nationalism or Mobilization. In my last game I made an armada out of a frigate w/ an admiral who was from an era ahead (no combat bonus for the frigate). With an old renaissance era admiral in tow that armada single handedly wiped out the last two capitals on a continents map. Had a caravel and then ironclad fleet do the captures, but that was overkill. A scout would have taken these cities after the frigates got done with them.
     
  8. agonistes

    agonistes wants his subs under ice!

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    Strategic value? Or tactical?

    Melee ships can see subs, which carry nukes and thus are strategic assets.

    Due to range limitations, subs are the optimal choice for delivering nukes to distant lands.
     
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  9. MyOtherName

    MyOtherName Chieftain

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    Melee is an effective range thing. Musketmen and tanks are melee as wel.
     
  10. Victoria

    Victoria Regina Supporter

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    Yes, melee ships are vital to convert to destroyers later in MP games.

    Only melee ships get the flanking bonus, ranged ships count toward the flanking bonus but do not get it themselves. Flanking in sea battle is quite important. A sea battle with many ships each side is a rare affair that is a game changer and having flanking bonuses help.

    A couple of galleys can take an early city easier than you think. The fact that shooty ships cannot take cities is reason enough to have a couple.

    The galleys are the scouts for the ranged, they get the naval combat upgrades.

    My ideal fleet after many games is

    2 melee
    2 shooty armadas
    3 shooty singles
    2 privateers (or 1 sea dog armada)

    If I played MP I would change my shooty singles to melee
     
  11. Superhai

    Superhai Chieftain

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    Yes of course, melee is meaning effectively hand to hand fight, but also any brawl or mob created from units. But "naval melee" disconnects Civilization from tactics from the real world. The vikings are probably the last to do anything resembling a "melee" fight in their naval tactics. One could argue that the submarine hunts in the 20th century somewhat resemble a melee fight, but still I think the category is not good. Ok, now enough rant.

    I love using naval units in civ, but as I said I really prefer the ranged ones. I am also a fan of the Venetian Arsenal and try to build it early, and when you get two or three units quickly really makes your navy imposing. That is also a quicker way to create armadas. Unfortunately the AI do not really understand anything about naval warfare, and seem to not benefit from having those units. It makes it easy to kill with your ships. For humans it is different, and I love having an armada of armadas! It is an imposing sight when you have many battleships, but when you upgrade them to missile cruisers the size difference makes it a bit comical. But when you get to the point where you have 4-5 nuclear subs and equal amount of missile cruisers, waiting outside your opponent ports, you are unstoppable.
     
  12. Superhai

    Superhai Chieftain

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    Yes, land units embarked have their issues, but having them have also the advantage if you want to continue inland, and there naval units are somewhat limited! It is of course different strategies and one is not necessary wronger or better than the other.
     
  13. Victoria

    Victoria Regina Supporter

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    YI Sun Sin to me is the greatest naval commander ever and he fought against the Japanese who seemed to consider all naval warfare melee based.

    Trafalgar was a classic case of breaking tradition and going back to a melee.

    Just a little confused by what you must mean by melee. Lots of melee out there... melee was used as a decisive action and ranged blasting in line came

    "You may compare me with Lord Nelson, but not with Yi Sun-sin. Next to him, I am only a petty officer."
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2017
  14. agonistes

    agonistes wants his subs under ice!

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    Who said that?

    I would rather all ships, maybe excepting the galley (maybe not), have bombard capability. Even if the range is 1 before promotions.
     
  15. KingCheops

    KingCheops Chieftain

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    I take naval melee to mean close range engagement. A destroyer unit would be a mixture of covettes, destroyers, and PT boats. They are screeners. Their promotion tree lets them take extra sight range similar to naval raiders and carriers. Well played groups of subs can do a lot of damage to fleets that aren't being protected by destroyers. They also provide great home defense as they can see a lot of ocean with the upgrade and attack any subs getting ready to nuke you.

    The main backbone of your fleet is still going to be the naval ranged and naval carrier -- melee are there as deterrent.
     
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  16. Abraxis

    Abraxis Chieftain

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    Despite it always being used in that context, it's important to remember melee does not mean hand to hand. It means fray or a chaotic mass of combatants.

    Think of them less as wooden ships with human arms sticking out the sides whacking each other with clubs, and more as vanguards to be the body of an engagement. It's up to them to pressure and lock down the enemy who must meet them in kind or be chased around unable to organizing a formation or maneuver correctly. Once the vanguards meet and the melee ensues, it's up to the ranged ships to vie for positioning to support them and apply decisive strikes against targets of opportunity created in the chaos.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2017
  17. agonistes

    agonistes wants his subs under ice!

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    I think of them as having large frkn cannons and I want to be able to use them that way.
    :D
     
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  18. Abraxis

    Abraxis Chieftain

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    Well they would, just not as many. You'd want to stick on enough for them to be a threat, but not enough to be too upset about their loss. You'd stack most of the firepower into the ships you're screening with the vanguard.
     
  19. Japper007

    Japper007 Chieftain

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    I'm pretty sure galleys can attack enemy cities...:hmm: Or my version of civ 6 is bugged:D

    I'm very fond of bee-lining to Submarines after Industrialization (an underrated timing push IMHO) so at that point Ironclads are my only real option for a city taker unit, as everything else is obsolete against any serious city defense. The Ironclad just sits back while the group of subs slowly whitlle down the defenses and then steams in to take the city.

    So yes I use naval melee units.

    In the early eras I like Norways UU a lot, it can attack cities (though it'll take heavy damage in the process) and pillage enemy tiles. Really fun to use in MP, really frustrating to be on the receiving end of this strategy, since their is really nothing that counters it (apart from not being coastal!).
     
  20. TurboJ

    TurboJ Chieftain

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    All melee-class ships can attack and take cities. That means galleys, caravels, ironclads and destroyers (and the Viking UU Longship).
     
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