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Lessons learned

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by yanner39, Nov 17, 2010.

  1. yanner39

    yanner39 Emperor

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    Ever since I came back to Civ 4, I've played several games where my sole goal is to get better at war, something I have always had problems with. I want to get to the point where I will DOW the enemy with a 0.7 or 0.8 power rating.

    In the last few months, I've managed to get my stack composition in order to properly counter enemy units, as well as paying close attention how I move my stack inside enemy territory to take advantage of hills and forests/jungles.

    Another thing I've tried to do is before I DOW, I map out which cities I will hit is specific order. However, in my current game, I was caught off guard a little. I amassed my troops to Charlemagne's border. I had a bunch of cannons, maces, a few pikemen. My power was about 1.3 over him. The first city I chose was 1 tile away from the border, which is why I chose it.

    I new where his stack was but I assumed he'd bring it to where my stack was for defense. Not so.

    I took the first city with minimal effort. However, my plan was de-railed because he sent his stack over my borders to attack my city.

    So. Is it safe to say that before I start any war, the enemy SoD needs to be taken care of, regardless of what the optimal war path is? I think I know the answer.

    If I would have taken out his stack at the beginning, I would not have have wasted any turns going on a detour to defend myself. These wasted turns were probably more than the turns I would have taken for a less-than-optimal war path.
     
  2. oranje willem

    oranje willem Prince

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    It rarely happens for me that the AI counter attacks one of my own cities, they usually send their stack to the city I just captured. Anyway, you should always take out the SoD of the AI, because once it's gone they will just hide in their cities waiting for them to get taken by you. If they go for the first city you just captured, I would advice to let them take it back (just leave the unit that captured it alone in the city) so you get the siege initiative and mop his stack up with 90%+ odds.
     
  3. yanner39

    yanner39 Emperor

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    Yeah, I was a little surprised myself. I knew where the stack was - garrisonned in one of his bigger cities. When I took the first city, I garrissoned my troops in it, expecting a counter attack.
     
  4. mariogreymist

    mariogreymist Deity

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    Also, by declaring and waiting for his stack to come onto your land, you ensure siege initiative, since your stack uses roads and his doesn't while on your territory. Frankly, you're probably better off having his stack take one of your cities than coming after your stack, given you put your stack on his land. It means you might be able to swing back around on your land, and take his stack while it's in your city. Sure, you'll lose a few buildings, but that's probably less :hammers: than you'd lose to his stack getting the drop on yours on his land.
     
  5. ColossusXXIII

    ColossusXXIII Warlord

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    Great point about the hammer differential, you're absolutely right. I have one question for you though, let's say that your border city was reasonably developed and u had a wonder in it. When you recapture it which buildings would likely be lost? I assume barracks plus any culture buildings (temples. libraries etc). But what about the wonder? I know that when I capture Ai wonders I get the bonus from the wonder but not the massive culture bonus. Would this apply to a city the Ai captures from you and then you liberate? stupid question i guess...
     
  6. yanner39

    yanner39 Emperor

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    Yeah, good point. I've seen this before. So even if I DOW the enemy, the AI is programmed to enter my cultural borders and attack? Does this happen for sure?

    Essentially if I DOW, I stick around my border a few turns and eventually I should see the enemy stack attack. It's interesting because since I am the aggressor, I never think of letting myself be attacked.

    On letting one of my cities get captured and the hammer differential, great tip.:)
     
  7. mariogreymist

    mariogreymist Deity

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    I've never had it not work. Even when I've done it on a construction beeline for an early catapult war, if I declare the enemy will always send whatever troops it has to spare into my land. Watching a couple spears and a handful of swords and axes walk into the teeth of a big stack of catapults is pretty satisfying, if completely devoid of drama.

    Generally, you shouldn't let one of your cities get nailed, though. Use a spy to locate the enemy's stack, then figure out where it's likely to cross your border. Position your stack accordingly, and the moment his stack hits a spot of flat, unforested land (clear forests on your border for this...chop them for cats/cannons) let them have it with siege initiative. You'll likely lose a handful of siege, but that's less :hammers: than the buildings you'd lose by surrendering a city.

    What I meant was, given the fact you had already exposed your stack (by entering his territory), having the enemy sack a border city probably cost you less :hammers: than had he nailed your stack while he had siege initiative. Because of how cultural borders work, you probably could use roads right up to his stack, and hopefully quickly enough that they'd still be in the city they took. Had he sent his army for your stack, in territory where he had the ability to dictate the location and get siege initiative, your losses would have been worse, in terms of :hammers:. (And that's not to mention the lost opportunity of the invasion itself)
     
  8. oranje willem

    oranje willem Prince

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    It's also the biggest flaw in Civ IV combat, once siege is involved you will always win if you attack first (given about equal strength stacks). On the other hand this gives the player tricks to overcome mega bonuses the computer gets on higher difficulties.
     
  9. mariogreymist

    mariogreymist Deity

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    I'm not sure how much of a "flaw" it is. It does make combat remarkably predictable and devoid of variety. Really though, when two comparable forces meet, if one side managed to set up an ambush, the chances are remarkably good that the side being ambushed is about to be cut to pieces. The lack of detail is a trade off for high detail with other game mechanics - Civ IV is not solely a combat simulator. Were it intended as such, I'd say this is a flaw. As it is not a combat simulator, I think of it as a neutral feature.
     
  10. theskibum

    theskibum Brewer of Oatmeal Stout

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    Its also somewhat realistic to life. Speaking historically most battle outcomes tend to favor the force that dictates battle location.

    There are many famous examples and some famous counter-examples.. The thing about CIV as opposed to real life is that its typically the defensive army on offense that gets decision, i.e. fighting an enemy stack in your own territory to dictate location and seige initiative. Real life, defenders typically get to dictate the battle position and can use it to superior effect. I think the main counter example would be seige of a walled city (starvation).

    Sometimes in CIV even having the seige initiative isn't enough as the RNG can be a cruel goddess.
     
  11. yanner39

    yanner39 Emperor

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    Here's another situation: I take an enemy city. I garrisson a couple of troops in the city. I believe the AI is programmed to counter-attack and try and take the city back. Should I hang around the newly conquered city a couple of turns before moving on to the next city?

    In my current game, I stationed a rifleman in the new city, which was quickly displaced by a few Cuirassiers. Is it a good idea to just stay put for 2 or 3 turns and wait? Maybe leave more troops in the city and move on to the next?

    Probably an obvious answer to this question but I don't always have the luxury of scouting (ie: inter-continental invasion where I drop my troops in allied territory and DOW my target soon after) so I don't know right away where his reinforcements are coming from.
     
  12. vicawoo

    vicawoo Chieftain

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    Sentry mounted/stream reinforcements through the city.
     
  13. AdMech

    AdMech Chieftain

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    What is "siege initiative" and how do I know if I have it?
     
  14. yanner39

    yanner39 Emperor

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    Bring a lot of siege with you. Siege to reduce city defense and siege to cause collateral damage. After that, a melee unit for each enemy unit garrisoned in a city.
     

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