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Keshiks, etc.

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by dsurban, Aug 22, 2010.

  1. dsurban

    dsurban Chieftain

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    I've made several attempts to utilize Keshiks and other early mounted units to no avail. They seem to be a waste of beakers/worker turns/hammers. Their advantage, of course, is their ability to move quickly. However, a sizable group of them can easily be slain by one or two spearmen.

    Can anyone recommend a way to utilize these units? Having to drag along some melees seems to defeat the purpose of using mounted units. Are they only good for destroying improvements? If so, the AI can still send spears out on their roads for quick mop-up duty. Either way, they feel like a tremendous waste of resources.

    Thanks!
     
  2. The Almighty dF

    The Almighty dF Pharaoh

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    With the exception of War Chariots and Immortals... yeah, mounted units suck as city-attackers. They're your pillagers, worker takers, etc.
    Immortals and War Chariots, though? Full on city destroyers.
     
  3. dsurban

    dsurban Chieftain

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    Do you think it's worth the investment? Pillaging is very time consuming, and you're likely to only steal a worker or two before they get pulled into the cities. I tend to try to keep my early wars short and effective, pillaging only vital resources or food in cities with tough defense. Spending the research time/hammers to build mounted units for pillaging seems a costly tangent. Usually, I'll end up picking up HBR in a trade later on, and only utilize knights.
     
  4. Moroktonos

    Moroktonos Philosopher

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    Rush out earlier (a HA rush only requires 3-4 cities max!), chop or whip them heavily. Pillage copper/iron (anything else is a waste unless you're choking). Try to line up your attacks so that you can take out the most important cities as fast as you can. Burn cities if you don't think you can defend them.

    HA rushes work best against low unit prob leaders (stealing pyramids from Roosevelt). If I'm taking out an aggressive freak like Montezuma, I'm going to want catapults.
     
  5. The Almighty dF

    The Almighty dF Pharaoh

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    It's worth an investment I'd say, just remember to make up a diverse army. Your main enemies in early war are archers and axe warriors, which aren't too big of a hassle with the right promotions.
    Chariots and horsemen are great for destroying roads and improvements to make sure your enemy can't build anything to defend themselves.

    This... works sometimes. But again, horses work better as cripplers for an actual, non-rush war.
    I also like to use them as city defenders, since they can quickly navigate my early empire. Better than my other defends can.
     
  6. drlake

    drlake Chieftain

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    I've had fairly good success with HA rushes up to Emperor. The key is to do it early enough, just like any other rush. 3 cities seems to work better than 4, for example. Beyond that, you need to have barracks and stable in the production cities, so that the HAs have two promotions. Then you can effectively use Flanking promoted HAs to soften up the defenders, killing them with Combat-promoted units. Doing it that way dramatically reduces attacking casualties, making it much easier to take cities and even kill off spearmen.
     
  7. Ghpstage

    Ghpstage Chieftain

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    Used well Horse Archers are outstanding empire destroyers.

    The key is to base your tactics around mobility,
    • You don't really want to be moving into blind tiles, making use of hills and a Sentry unit, usually a Chariot will allow you to see what your up aaginst before you commit.
    • Threatening multiple cities on a single turn is a very effective tactic, the AI will be forced to move defenders around and usuallly leaves one poorly defended.
    • When threatening cities the AI will start moving around defenders, losing their fortification bonuses. You can use this to shepard the AI mobile defence stacks around, Spears are most easily killed when out in the open without any extra bonuses.
    • The 2 moves allows you to go for certain key targets much earlier, in particular the capital and any metal resources. Early on the capital is most likely going to be responsible for most of an empires production, once this falls the AI will lose much of its ability to fight back. Taking out metals (either the cities or resources) will obviously prevent the enemy making use of most things that have a good chance against your HAs.
    • Also 2 moves allows yo to take a city on the first turn of war very often, it can be done to any city with 1 or less border pops by moving from the BFC corner.
     
  8. Cusanus

    Cusanus Der Fürst

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    Provided you have horses, keshiks are an amazing unit. They usually allow you to conquer at least one of your neighbours' empires completely.

    Using Keshiks as city defenders, as Almighty suggested, is just a weird idea and a horrible waste of their great potential.

    - - -
    Might help you most if you just play out a horse archer rush posting some saves and screenshots on this forum. If you want, I can check a map for horse availability before you play.

    What level are you playing on, anyway?
    (Doesn't matter much, though. Horse archers work well up to immortal.)
     
  9. MuteWolf

    MuteWolf Chieftain

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    I like using the Mongols and a part of that is their special unit. Though they aren't great for attacking cities directly (though I have used them for it) they make good home defenders. Usually I can run around mopping up any units that have made it past my primary SOD or are coming from some small city I haven't hit yet. In my experience this is often just a single unit since the city isn't producing a ton and the keshik can wait until they are on a less then great tile to attack. Same is true for any barbs that may wander into my turf, usually easily handled by my keshik.
     
  10. Cusanus

    Cusanus Der Fürst

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    I don't get why you people keep saying HA's weren't good as city attackers.

    When you use HA's, you should use them early. The main enemy unit must be archers, and they don't have great odds unless they're fortified in a hillside capital.
    Unlike chariots, HA's are not stopped hard by one or two spears (unless they're fortified in a hillside capital :rolleyes:). You lose a few extra units, but you should still take the cities.
    Of course, one of your main priorities still is to cut off the enemy's metall supplies.
     
  11. MuteWolf

    MuteWolf Chieftain

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    I don't think that they are particularly bad at attacking cities, I agree they can be quite good early on when the cities are all probably fortified by archers. The issue is that they don't get the usual promotions for city attacking. The flanking promotions can be nice to help whittle down a decently defended city but they're not as good as say a swordsman or axeman with some city invader promotions. So If I am going to invest hammers into making assault troops it will probably be in an axeman, unless I need something to get there quickly and/or they only have archers.
     
  12. The Almighty dF

    The Almighty dF Pharaoh

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    Not to mention that, as suggested, they're only good at city attacking if you -rush-, and only if the opposing city is guarded only by archers, isn't on a hill, and isn't a protective leader.
    In the end, it's still best to stick to units that are better at city taking, and using HA's for what they're best at: Crippling said civ as you're taking their cities.
     
  13. pi-r8

    pi-r8 Luddite

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    combat 1 is actually better than city raider for attacking archers, usually...
    and horse archers can easily take down cities despite hills, protective leaders, or spearmen.
     
  14. CHEESE!

    CHEESE! ROCKETS GONNA GETCHA

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    Boredom is the main reason I Keshik rush.
     
  15. mirthadir

    mirthadir Chieftain

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    Generic rules of early mounted warfare:

    1. Hit quick. Chariots, optimally, will go before the AI has lots of walls up, if religion is in play you might also try to hit before the first border pop in non-cap cities. HAs normally will face walls on higher difficulties, but hitting before the AI gets another 20% culture defense is very helpful. Waiting too long gives the AI time to do things like find Fe, build more spears, or worse research jumbos or LBs. Micro well to finish your techs quick (often going writing doesn't slow you down all that much for HA and has many benefits) and your units out quick (chop/whip is good).
    2. Hit hard, when working without siege it is a fact of life that you will have to throw away units merely to damage the ones you are attacking so the next unit can make it through. If you don't have enough mounted to completely kill a city (barring *maybe* one defender), skip it and smash something else. Ideally you want enough firepower to slam the cap on the first few turns.
    3. Use promos wisely. If going CI/Schock will stop the spear from getting targeted, hit it with an CII or FII unit so you don't burn a promo by attacking archers with a useless promo.
    4. Accept partial victories. Take the AIs cap, a Jewish holy city, and two other cities, but face a dozen agg spears? Good enough, call it a day and come back and kill them later with pults/keshiks and a few stack protectors.
    5. Be an opportunistic bastard. If an AI-AI war breaks out, you can bet that the serious defenders head to the front - leaving lots of territory for you to snag on the cheap in the rear. Consider trading HBR and brokered techs to start such a war. If you just barely take an AIs cap and are sure to lose it to a counterattack incoming (e.g. a spear and two swords are on the hill next to it), sue for a ceasefire (you want to hit once you heal and fortify the city with non-mounted units) or peace (you want time to recover and build more offensive units).
    6. Get alpha quick. This opens up several key abilities - spies to drop city defenses via revolts, tech trades to create AI-AI wars, and the ability to recover via extortion (leaving the AI with one city and demand all his techs to let him live ... for 10 more turns).
    7. Scout ahead. Know where the enemy has metal (use the yield of the tile to find Fe) and know which cities are going to be harder. Plan your attack route to neutralize (more or less in order) - the cap, the metal, any high culture cities (wonders/holy), and whatever valuable you can take cheap. If the AI has a stack of spears/archers on a hill in the jungle - leave it you have bigger fish to fry (and as an added bonus the AI will often cut down the jungle so you don't have to burn worker turns doing it yourself.
     
  16. Cusanus

    Cusanus Der Fürst

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    That works? :eek:


    Cool... kinda cheesy, but cool.
     
  17. madscientist

    madscientist RPC Supergenius

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    The Keshiks are awesome units and work well with the leaders traits and UB. Build them once you have a barracks and GER, then promote them to flanking II and attack cities, even against the best defenders they have a 50% survival rate, plus they generally damage the initial defender since they get a first strike. Worried about spears, bring a few combat I, shock keshiks which are close to spear strength. But the power of the Mongols is bringing along the Agressive promoted melee units.

    Another point of the Keshiks is that they strike out from a stack and because of the immunity to terrain can return to the safty of the stack.

    Many will probably disagree with me but I find Keshiks the second strongest UU after the Prats.
     
  18. CHEESE!

    CHEESE! ROCKETS GONNA GETCHA

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    AGG does nothing with Keshiks. Aside from the very slight Barracks bonus.
     
  19. plasmacannon

    plasmacannon Chieftain

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    If you are playing the Zulu, with a Spearman that moves 2, just like your Horse Archer, then your HA can be defended from other HAs and chariots. Since this Spearman gets terrain bonuses add woods1+2 for a defense that can beat a swordsman or axeman, in the woods.
     
  20. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam GiftOfNukes

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    If you're going to bring impi along with HA, then you probably want shock since the only unit that will consistently beat field HAs is spears (swords and axes are not so hot vs HA), and AGG impi with shock should deter them.

    I've not tried that though, because it takes a bit long to set up and you have to be pretty lucky to get copper + horse. Usually part of the draw of mounted is a combination of the speed at which you can attack using it and the speed at which it moves once you do so. If you just HAPPEN to have copper while plotting a HA rush as shaka, go for it, although one could argue that possibly shaka could go straight for the impi and hit much earlier.
     

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