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Massive Despot Rush strategy

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Strategy & Tips' started by Ferd, Nov 23, 2001.

  1. Ferd

    Ferd Chieftain

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    Many people have found rushing as a despot to be particularly effective. I've seen posts here that mention it and go into a little bit of detail, but haven't seen a thread on it specifically. I'd like to lay out some of the techniques I've found, both from my own experience and from others, and request input from forum members.

    Be aware that rush building as a despot may be an overpowered technique, and upset the game balance in your favor. It clearly isn't an exploit, since it was deliberately put into the game, and purposely scaled the way it is. However, it's maximizing production from it that makes it overpowered.

    The general idea is that food production is not affected by corruption. With a granary in your city, if you have extra food producing squares, you can get to the point where you get a population increase in two turns. If you keep your city small and manage unhappiness well, you can produce anything that takes 40 shields or less in two turns. This includes swordsmen, pikemen, horsemen, cannon, caravels, and longbowmen, as well as special units immortals and mounted warriors. Also, barracks. If you work it very well, you can produce units that take 80 shields or less in 4 turns. This includes Knights, cavalry(!), fighters, riflemen, artillery, and ironclads, as well as temples, libraries, and harbors. In short, what it does is take your corruption plagued cities that normally turn out one shield per turn and turns them into powerhouse production cities that can pump out 20 shields per turn. It's worth noting that it doesn't help with wonder production, unless you count giving you more units to try making great leaders out of.

    Not all your cities are going to be able to produce this quickly. It depends on the terrain. What you shoot for is 5 food production. You usually get 2 food per turn, just because a size one city lets you work two squares. So you're looking for special squares that will give you 3 extra food. Irrigating grassland squares doesn't help under despotism, unless you get special resource squares. Cattle or wheat will give you an extra food each--two if you irrigate. Fish squares will give you an extra if you build a harbor. Each flood plain square will give you an extra food if you irrigate. If you get lucky and get a wheat flood plain square, irrigate it and that one square will give you 3 extra food per turn.

    What I have found works best is to produce warriors until your city gets up to the point where you can rush build your granary. This gives you bonus exploration and unhappiness control units. I've always had enough warriors scouting that I can pretty much plan city placement while I'm building the settlers. I don't usually worry about escorting my settlers unless I've seen barbarians in that direction or I think there's a high probability of an encampment in that direction. I can make more settlers if I don't have to use production protecting them, so I can afford to lose one or two. I plan my city placement around the bonus food squares. Don't actually settle ON the bonus food square, or you won't get the full potential of it. Settle next to it, or at least where it will be in the city radius. Settle on hills or tundra, since they then give you 2 food and one shield. Settle jungle and it automatically clears it for you. Leave the grassland for food production.

    I have had cities get diseased before. Once, my capital lost a couple of population just as I was about to build my first settler. It was a pain, but only took a few turns to get it back, since I already had my granary. Disease has not been a major problem.

    Unless you need to expand the city size to include bonus food squares, or build a harbor to take advantage of fish squares, I find it almost always works best to rush build a granary in every city as quickly as possible.

    There are two issues you'll need to deal with besides the food production--unhappiness and cost. Cost will only become a big problem on smaller maps or when you get a LOT of cities with max corruption. Each city at max corruption gives you one commerce. That will pay for one improvement. Unless you have the pyramids, that would be the granary. Any other improvements will cost extra. With a lot of cities, it doesn't take long to get to the point where you're running a deficit income each turn. Of course you're turning out lots of culture, and tons of veteran units, but be aware that it may be a problem.

    Unhappiness can be dealt with in several ways. If you keep the city size small enough, unhappiness will not be a problem, regardless of how many jobs you rush. However, in order to take advantage of 3 irrigated floodplain squares, your city must reach size 3. After a couple of rush jobs, you'll need some unhappiness control. It's a general rule to keep two units in each city. The primary purpose of these units is not to defend the city, although they may end up doing that. They are supposed to keep order in the city. As such, don't bother using anything more expensive than warriors, unless you're already rushing units. Then you may as well rush the best unit available. I usually end up with horsemen or swordsmen. Jaguars if I'm Aztec, immortals if I'm Persian.

    Temples are a good idea if you're going for culture. Cathedrals and colosseums if you need them. Luxuries are a major priority, being free and all after you have the roads in place. In cities with lots of unhappiness problems, a marketplace with 6 or more luxuries will do wonders, even if the city is corrupted so badly that there is no monetary gain from the marketplace. Just remember that every additional improvement is going to compound the cost problem we already covered.

    Ok. Let's cover how and when to do the rush job. In general, each citizen is good for rushing 20 shields. However, the citizen cost is rounded down, and rushing cost is doubled if the shield box is empty. For example, trying to rush a harbor (cost 80) when the shield box is empty will cost you 8 citizens! If you wait for a turn and your city produces one shield, it will only cost you 3 citizens. Maximizing rush jobs is done by rushing 39 shields at a time. If you have a size three city, you can rush a harbor in 3 turns using only 2 citizens.

    1) Have it build the harbor for one turn.
    2) Switch to barracks or something else that has a 40 shield cost.
    Rush build it. It will cost only one citizen.
    Switch back to harbor and let it build for another turn.
    3) Rush build the harbor. It will cost only one more citizen.

    You can see how to cascade this technique to build cathedrals and colosseums, 40 shields at a time. If your city is producing one population every two turns, you just rush it to the next 40 shield level every two turns. There may be some gaps on your build list. For example if you're trying to build a stealth bomber (240 shields) you can go longbowmen (are they still available that late in the game?) for 40, Fighter for 80, stealth fighter for 120, but if you're not in a coastal city, what can you buy for 160 or 200?

    Settlers are a special problem, because they take not only one citizen for rushing, but two citizens for populating them. That means if you're using a city with 3 irrigated flood plain squares, you'll have to get it up to size 5 without going into civil disorder. Otherwise it will take a couple extra turns to rebuild your population. If you rush it the turn it gets to size 6, it will pop back down to size 3 and be ready for another settler in 6 turns. If you rush it early, at size 4, for example, it will pop down to size 1, at which point it can only use one of the irrigated flood plain squares. It will take 9 turns to get back to size 4, instead of 6. At any rate, for settlers I find it easier to either use cities that aren't at max corruption, or cities that have the Wheat Flood plain square. A city that has the wheat flood plain square still has to get to size 2 without civil disorder, but that's not such a problem. If you rush it at size 2, you can just leave it alone for 4 more turns, at which point the settler pops out and it returns to size 1.

    Workers can be done without rushing. You can probably get a city close to your capital that can put out 5 shields per turn, and one population every two turns. It can turn out a worker every 2 turns without rushing.

    Some cities don't have access to enough extra food squares to get one population every 2 turns. If you only have two extra food, it will take 3 turns. If you have one extra food, it will take 4 turns. If you don't have any extra food, it takes 5 turns. The rushing strategies work with them, too, it just takes longer before you can rush. If they are close to the palace, and not at max corruption, you may be able to pump out a cheap unit between rush jobs. For example, suppose you have a city that has one extra food square, and takes 4 turns per pop point, but can give you 3 shields per turn. And warriors are no longer available. Build an archer for 7 turns, then rush a knight for the next 3 turns. You might be able to get the archer in 6 turns, if the extra population you got after 4 turns gives you another shield.

    Sometimes it takes a lot of turns to get a new city with a granary, temple, and barracks so you can start pumping out the units. This can be reduced by transferring population with workers. Even settlers if you're into that sort of thing. I have a hard time not just starting a new city with settlers.

    One way to battle the cost problem is to build improvements and then sell them back. It doesn't make you a lot of money. Selling a harbor, for example, only nets you 20 gold. In a max production city, that's only 5 gold per turn. Better than nothing, though. Sell the barracks in cities you're not producing units in. Build them next time you go to war.
     
  2. Ferd

    Ferd Chieftain

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    Sorry I'm getting long winded here; I ran out of room before I could ask for input.

    That's about it as far as my experience goes. I have tried this strategy on chieftain level, regent, monarch, and emperor. I have not tried it on tiny maps. Only small and huge. I have not had a lot of experience with the end game--usually because I dominate early. So here are some questions for other people with more experience with this and similar strategies:

    How does it work with Communism? I would expect there would be a lot more population increases, but I'm not sure how the level corruption would stack up. With the number of cities I get, I'm not so sure it wouldn't just make every city a max corruption city. You can garrison more units in the cities for unhappiness control, but small cities only get two free units, so maintenance may be a nightmare.

    How does this work with the longevity wonder? Knights every two turns? Cavalry every 3 turns?
     
  3. Yeti

    Yeti Prince

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    Wow. That was one of the best posts I've seen yet. Sure a lot of it I already knew and used, but it definitely contained some excellent tips for refining my early game strategies.

    Thank you!
     
  4. Geon

    Geon Chieftain

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    Blank is that you?

    If so, this is shaggy from the old aoe days. You might want to check this site out Jeb's new site .
     
  5. abenamer

    abenamer Chieftain

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    Ferd, you're not the first one to espouse the despotism rush technique but I like the discussion of rush building 40+ shield city improvements by building something smaller and then switching to the desired final output.

    My only real problem with a despotism rush technique is that sometimes you can be incredibly successful with it only to find that enemy civs have surpassed you in tech or culture points. I usually modify the despotism rush strategy by building libraries and marketplaces and heading into republic as soon as possible. It gives my civ a large cultural bulge in the culture histogram and allows me to start annexing enemy cities instead of fighting for them. I usually limit myself to destroying only one enemy civ because of the downside of reduced tech and culture. By then, my land area should place me either 1st or 2nd and I'll be in a good position to dominate the rest of the game.

    The major difficulty with the rush technique is the transition to republic or democracy. You may be financially unable to pay for all the new improvements under republic or democracy and be forced to settle for lower tech levels. Has that happened to you? Or do you stay in despotism all the way through the game? And if so, how?
     
  6. Gholam

    Gholam Chieftain

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    The problem with despot rush is wonders, you can't rush them, and you have no production base to build them normally... only way you can get them is great leaders, which means warmongering early and often, which can drop you behind in tech as other civs won't want to trade with you :( If you want to play despot rush, you either have to settle for a few wonders only, those you deem most important (hoover dam, UN, pyramids, etc... though I'm guessing hoover dam isn't really needed for a despot), or pull out of it at some point - and that's where trouble starts, because citizens have a LONG memory, and happiness control can be hard with them rioting all the time :(

    Urk, that was a long sentence, my english teacher would have killed me if I ever had one :lol:

    Anyway, in my current game (large, continents, 8 civs, persians) I found myself boxed in by Babylonians early on, so I had no choice but to rush them with immortals. I wiped them out successfully (though they respawned, but it was actually good, as their new spot held Zulu expansion in check) and tried to go back to normal production, but by the time I got things under control, I got beaten to pyramids, JS Bach's Cathedral, and Sistine Chapel :( Barely got Sun Tzu's Art of War built, and haven't missed any of the industrial/modern wonders due to tech lead, but let me tell you, lack of JS Bach's hurts, especially with ~20 newly conquered cities :( I got Sistine Chapel by conquering Zimbabwe :cool:, but JS Bach's is forever beyound my reach, as it is located in Paris on another continent, and it looks like even if I destroy the wonder, I can't build it myself :(
     
  7. LKendter

    LKendter Exterminate, exterminate, exterminate!!! Supporter

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    I also use the Despotism rush technique, in a limited fashion.

    One of my favorites. The cities has 9 turns to build. Then start barracks . Reality, 10 turns to build. Libraries and temples can sneak in well here to. Does wonders for getting you up and running. These tend to be the ONLY things I rush in all cities.

    I use it in select cities for the most part. An irrigated cow, irrigated wheat, or irragated flood plains wheat :) will be my mass rush cities. They often become my mass settlers cities. Great cities to mass build speaman and other offensive units.
     
  8. Out4Blood

    Out4Blood Chieftain

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    LOL - Blank and Shaggy. I remember you guys... and Jeb...
     
  9. nikitos

    nikitos Chieftain

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    while i'm not a huge fan of rushing overall, on higher difficulty levels, the unhappiness will just be too much, I always usually rush my temples. They are the first things i build to start the culture flowing and to keep 1 person content. With a religious civ you can build it for 1 turn then rush build it for the cost of 1 citizen. Very effective.
     
  10. Eliezar

    Eliezar Deity Despot

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    Its hard to fall far behind in tech in a despot rush game. You should continually be getting tech for peace and have a cultural advantage.

    In my current Emporer game at ~200 ad no civ has researched something that I don't have, I control half the worlds land mass, I have an income of 17 per turn, and I have science set to 0.

    My culture is roughly 40 percent of the chart and my great leaders get me the wonders I want (Sistine Chapel, Forbidden Palace when needed, etc). I have taken over 3 cities by culture and should be able to win the game long before 1500ad by military conquest. This is a normal sized map.

    Transitioning to Democracy is EASY. You just need both the happiness and economy buildings to allow you to do it and a great leader to rush a forbidden palace. I get a ring of cities, about 6, around my capital and forbidden palace city that each get a cathedral (cheaper than colleseum if you are religious), marketplace, granary, temple, and barracks. All other cities have a temple, granary, and barracks. If you do not have your marketplaces before you switch to democracy you will have a major financial problem. The question is WHY are you switching to democracy. If you are going for a space race win or a turbo tech then military then you of course need to get lots of libraries and universities. You can also switch to democracy and get banks in those core cities and just get turbo money and culture for awhile so that you can switch back to despotism or to communism and take over the world with a nice financial cushion.

    This strategy works easily enough on deity if you have a suitable starting location for your first city, if you get a great leader to rush your forbidden palace, and if you aren't on a small continent. It works best in one land mass games though.

    Eliezar
     
  11. Kev

    Kev Hired Goon

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    With the speed that the AI expands and obtains tech at Monarch and above, it's almost a necessity to do at least SOME rush building with citizens. Also consider the amount of time that you'll be forced to stay in Despotism as Monarchy and Republic can take a while to get to.

    I've done the Despotism rush in just about every game, and found both the success and the difficulties associated with it.

    The cost factor is one that I always seem to come across. The only answer I can come up with is the Forbidden Palace. In the initial game land-grab, I'm bound to have "issues" with some neighbors and have to fight. Hopefully I'll end up with a Great Leader and be able to build it quickly. It will make all the difference - especially if you end up switching governments later on.

    The happiness factor I've been seeing more on larger maps as I am building more settlers and units from specific cities that grow quickly. These cities later have at least 1/2 of their population as entertainers (in a Democracy) which is a waste as these cities are often close to my capital (or it IS my capital) and I'm wasting some non-corrupted shields and cash.

    I'm trying something that I hope will work in my next game. It won't work with your capital city, but it may with others. In a city that's near some great food, I will have that city produce nothing but settlers and units (maybe a barracks). This will go on non-stop. Finally, I'm bound to bump up against another civ and I'll know that it'll soon be wartime. What I'd like to try is to surround the city with units of mine and then sell the city to my rival. I'll go for a lump sum of cash or a tech advance if I can - nothing per turn. Then, I'll get a war going, take the city I sold them, and then RAZE the darn thing. Put a new city there with a settler (perhaps the last thing that doomed city produced) and I am guessing it will not have the same unhappiness problem later in the game.

    I know that I could always starve it, but why not get something for it?

    Haven't tried this yet, but it seems like a sound strategy. Again, won't work with a capital city for obvious reasons. But for other cities with good food you could probably produce a great deal of settlers and units before you kill it off.
     
  12. Justush

    Justush Chieftain

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    There is a nice strategy to hurry production w/o reducing population. Moreover, it works with all govt types.

    It goes like this: later in the game you'll probably have some (coastal) cities with decent production (if you were extremely lucky and got to build Iron Works you MUST use that city). So, make them produce hi-tech, shield intensive units (battleships, etc.) and carry them over to the frontier/recently-occupied cities and disband them there. One battleship=50 shields.

    Military units are needed for the war, of course, BUT with cities producing battleships every 2 turns, seas get overcrowded, and i actually use only 5-6 b-ships for bombardment, since naval combat is usually handled by my allies :cool:

    If the city has no sea access, use injured ground units (tanks, etc.). Your transports/railways must be pumping new blood to the frontier constantly (if you want to crush'em anyways), thus some shabby, one-bar-health, non-elite tanks can be retired and recycled for a temple.

    When the war is over (or should i say "if"), reducing your military often makes sense. So, IF you decided to disband a unit, do it in a city.

    NOTE: wonders of any kind cannot be rushed using this strategy
    NOTE: spare some time to caress your elites, who knows, maybe they'll give birht to some crazy wonderbuilder (umm.. leader). the point - don't disband your elites.

    Topics for further discussion:
    1)Elites are INFERIOR to veterans combatwise, because of the following:
    Overinflated ego - retreat is not an option for elites
    Megalomaniacs - they throw themselves onto the spears and ... loose. Tis my prejudice at least.

    2) Defence rating stands for nothing:
    when my mounted warrior (3.2.2) attacks some lousy longbowman (4.1.1), the outcome is fifty-fifty. If AI m.warrior attacks my l.b.man, 80 to 20 that i'm gonna loose. Combat outcome calculation is beyond my comprehension and i have a strong feeling, that it is very biased in favor of AI.

    3) Making a great leader to build an army is a HUGE waste (except for the first, since Heroic epic needs a victorious army)


    thanks for your attention
     
  13. Wislem

    Wislem Chieftain

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    Ok, DOES the Heroic Epic work? I built the damned thing and it didn't seem to do squat for me. How about you guys, did it make a noticeable difference for you?
     
  14. Sukenis

    Sukenis the J'BOOtian Warlord

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    A quick question from a person who has not played Civ 3.

    Can you kill a city by rush building it? What I am meaning is can you get a city with good food production and use it to rush troops. After you are no longer needed more soldeirs, rush build a settler and disband the city. Then just rebuild with the settler just created and you have a new city that does not remember the deaths of all those people killed in rush building.

    If this is possible you would not want to waste time on any inprovemnet aside from a granery, but still.

    Also if you build workers in a city that has much disorder form rush building and those workers join into a different city, do they still casue troubles? If not why not just have a high food city rush workers constantly and have them go to better production cities with low amounts of food. This can allow you to grow production cities quickly without haveing to worry about haveing excess food. As lon as they can support the next population point then you are set.
     
  15. Kev

    Kev Hired Goon

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    Boy, I'm with you on this.

    I played as the militaristic Chinese, and with my second great leader I built an army (the first went to the Forbidden Palace). While I was building the Heroic Epic, I actually got a third Leader and saved him. Once the Epic was done, I never got a fourth. I had TONS of battles with elite units all over the place, and nothing cropped up. I would have been much better off rushing Bach's since I ended up losing that wonder.

    Sukenis: It is not possible to rush build with population to the point of disbanding the city. If your city is size 3 and it takes 3 citizens to complete a project, you merely get a message from your advisor saying it would be too costly. The workers idea is one that I've employed - and it seems to me to work pretty well. Though, workers can be very valuable in the early stages with improvements as well, so I try to weigh the pros and cons.

    Also, I'm going to try the sell-conquor-raze-rebuild strategy with a city that I've been rush building in for years and years. Hopefully placing a new city there with a settler will allow me to have a city free of the unhappiness inherent in the rush building.
     
  16. Wislem

    Wislem Chieftain

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    Actually it's funny that you mention that Kev, when I first built an army I got a leader the turn RIGHT afterward. I was pretty happy about that because I'd discovered how useless armies really are. I wonder if that's coincidence, is there a higher chance of getting another leader right after making your first army?
     
  17. Clutch-3

    Clutch-3 Chieftain

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    Justush: When you quote those 50-50 and 80-20 percentages you should back them up with some statistics. Statistics says that if you play a game of civ, there WILL be a chance your swordsman will get whipped by a warrior, even a few times in a row. This is the nature of statistics. You also need to add in the defensive ratings involved. A mounted warrior (att:3) will NEVER have a 75% chance of hitting a longbowman (def:1) because the MINIMUM possible defensive bonus is 10%, and this is pretty rare. Usually the defensive bonus is greater (don't forget fortified, river and city defensive bonuses, as well).

    Anyone who honestly posts questioning the validity of the combat system better bring some serious math to back themselves up, because even if 5 of your tanks get beat down by a spearman, it still says nothing about the combat system itself; it only means you've experienced an event which is statistically unlikely. There's also an element of psychology: you never remember the 15 spearmen you beat with tanks, only the one spearman who actually killed the tank. Statistically, it's gonna happen. I have no reason to think the combat systems works any other way than as advertised. If anyone keeps a good log of ALL the combats you experience in a whole game and posts the results, I will personally do the statistics for you (getting my PhD next year) and tell you what it means. Until then, just live with unlucky twists; they happen!

    by the way, a normal tank (att: 16) attacking a normal spearman sitting in a field (def: 2*1.1 = 2.2) has about a 1.7% chance of losing. The same tank attacking the same spearman fortified in a size-14 city in hills (def: 2*1.5*1.25*2 = 7.5) has TEN TIMES the chance of losing: about 20%. So those defensive bonuses are key.

    cheers,
    clutch
     
  18. Justush

    Justush Chieftain

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    If the only things involved in combat calculations were, as was somewhere mentioned, all kinds of bonuses (fortification, mountains, rivers, etc.) i wouldn't be complaining. The thing that bothers me is that under the same (at least seemingly) conditions (i.e. my unit with Att 3 attacks AI unit with Def 1 AND AI unit with Att 3 attacks my unit Def 1; both cases with no bonuses) there is a very great chance that the outcome statistics will be in favor of AI, while it should be close. It's hard to get numbers to back up, thus SPECULATIONS like mine occur.

    What LOGIC lies behind the system, i'm eager to ask. In SMACs, Att, Def ratings made clear sense - combat calculations were made obvious and reasonable: morale, bonuses and things were all listed and summed up. Moreover, units with Def 1, had very little chance against an attacker with Att 3, unless 300% bonus applied. In CivIII you must have technologically advanced army if you want to wage normal war (Normal - no blitzkrieg from either side) which was never the case in SMACs.
     
  19. Sukenis

    Sukenis the J'BOOtian Warlord

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    While I have yet to play Civ 3 (busted board on the PC) I have to agree with what waws said about SMAC. When you attacked, you knew what odds you had. There was no "hidden" combat system. While at times this might be considered a cheat, it was GREAT in the early stages of learning the game. You got a real feel for how combat worked.

    Also the odds that were given were pretty accurate. If you had a 1:1 ratio you should expect that no matter who won or lost, the winning unit would be pretty hurt. Also there were times when you would have a 20:1 chance of winning and would loose. There would be times you had a 1:20 chance of winning and still would win. The statistics of the combat system worked and could be seen.

    From what I gather with Civ 3 it is not the system that is bad, but figuring out how it works. While in Civ 2 I had a good idea about how a fight would go without a calculator, I had played it long enough to have a feel for the game. This will happen to everyone in Civ 3, but it will just take time.

    By-the-way i hated it in the original Civ when my battleships would loose to milita, but hey, what can you do (except reload)?
     
  20. Eliezar

    Eliezar Deity Despot

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    I've played a lot of civ III and I haven't seen any issues as far as the combat computations go.

    Sure you'll have a fortified phalanx beat a knight without losing a hitpoint and then lose to the next knight he fights without damaging the knight at all. Sure a veteran pikeman in a size 13 metropolis with a river between it and a tank will actually beat a veteran tank about 1 out of 4 times, but that IS what the combat generater shows. The only thing about civ III is that it doesn't show you all the bonuses and how they add up like SMAC did.

    This game is all about mobile units though. Use a jaguar warrior instead of an archer. Use a horseman instead of a swordman. Use a mounted warrior instead of a longbowman or rifleman. Use Cavalry instead of marines. You'll do fine if you use mobile units on offense or if you you use mass bombardment. I've had success with 6 cannons/artillery or with mass mobile units and have had no problems with the combat systems computations.

    I think it does all go back to statistics. If you flip a coin 100 times you are much more likely to have 7 heads or 7 tails in a row than to not. Yet studies continually show that people think 7 consecutive heads or tails in a row are unbelievable 8)

    Eliezar
     

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