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Medieval War: From Feudalism to Gunpowder

Discussion in 'Civ3 Strategy Articles' started by Tarwoch, Jun 5, 2003.

  1. Tarwoch

    Tarwoch Chieftain

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    MEDIEVAL WAR : FROM FEUDALISM TO GUNPOWDER.

    As soon as you get advanced to Middle Ages a new problem appears: adapting to the new methods of warfare, that is a bit different from those of Ancient Era.

    A new, superior defensive unit becoms available, pikeman. It's defensive strength makes horsemen, knight and even cavalry to leave the battlefield after almost each battle. There are few solutions on bringing them down. Even a 1hp pikemen can kill a full-healthed knight. So, cavalry cannot solve this problem even in conjunction with catapults. Even a Longbowman, with its infernal attack strength can lose a combat against pikeman. The best unit suited for taking out the pikemen is a swordsman.

    Infantry dramatically changes throughout the Middle Ages. From spearmen through pikemen to musketmen. From archer to longbowman. The task of attacking infantry is to destroy defensive spearmen, pikemen and hoplites. But attacking infantry has a puny defensive factor. They are not to be left fortified to guard a city. Attacking infantry is a kind of assault troops (like marines or paratroopers).

    Knight is a mounted unit with good attack and defensive capabilities. They are good for exploring, scouting, spying and so on. Also, they can retire from combat (to be repaired at your nearby town). Knights should be used to cover your longbowmen and swordsmen from attacks of an enemy assault infantry.

    What about catapults? This kind of weapon is taken from ancient times, but it's still powerful in Middle Ages. If the target location is surrounded by forests or mountains, you are to task your workers there to build a road. A catapult has a bombard capability. So, it can be used to perform a revolution in your enemy's empire. Encircle an enemy city, pillage out all terrain improvements yo cut the city out from luxuries and other resources and to minimize trade (that lower the quantity of "happy faces" in this city, then bombard the city. If the Courthouse is destroyed, corruption just rushes in this city (so there is 0 luxury income), and if Cathedral, Colosseum and Temple are destroyed, it causes disorder in the city. When you see the city smoking, set out for the next target. A disordered city can cause overthrowing the government and enemy's production, trade and science goes to hell for three turns. I consider this kind of forcing the government a part of medieval tactics because Cathedrals, Colosseums, Marketplaces and Courthouses are used mainly during Middle Ages.

    One of the most important factors is civilization. There are 3 civs in the original Civ3 game that have medieval UU -- India, China and Japan (all of them are Far Eastern). Those UUs are built instead of Knights and enabled by Chivalry. I think, the best way to build up a strong military and to win a medieval war is choosing Chinese, with their attributes and very mobile Chinese Riders. Indians re not so powerful, but they have War Elephant, a unit that demands no resources to build it and as strong as Knight. Japanese civilization is a "golden mean" between Chinese and Indians with Chinese militarism and Indian religiousness, and their unit, Samurai, requires nor two neither none resources, needing only iron to be built.

    You have to use "combined arms" in early medieval wars. For example, to take an unwalled town, 2 knights, 2 pikemen, 2 swordsmen, 2 catapults, 2 longbowmen are needed. If all these units survive, half of them are left at the city, others attack another town. If you attack a city or a walled town, then the forces should be doubled. If you want to attack their capital, you are to have 8 units of each type to ensure a firm effect.

    You have to prepare for the war if you come across an opponent. One of the most meaningful parts of preparation is investigating your enemies cities before the war using your embassies. Trade with other players (with luxuries and techs) to maintain friendly relations with them (it will be needed when you declare war to form military alliances against your hated rival).
     
  2. music_theory7

    music_theory7 Chieftain

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    I think pike+catapult+longbow can defeat any city or army (if they can get there) it could do without knights.
     
  3. Darkness

    Darkness Shadow creature

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    But that would be very difficult. Possible, yet difficult. And the knight has the additional advantage that it upgrades to cavalry....
     
  4. Batho

    Batho Chieftain

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    Swordesmen attack at 3. Longbowmen, knights, and medievil infantry attack at 4. They are better for taking out the pikemen.

    Sidenote: Depending on many factors depends on whether I use pike/medievial/catapults(trebuchets) or knights. One is government, monarchy allows more units so the slow stacks of doom are feasable, whereas Rebuplic can't support as many units so the knight (better all round, multi purpose) is what I use then. Other factors come into consideration such as surrounding terrain (mountains or grasslands), the coutnerattack expected, and how far I want to conquer.
     
  5. ForTheEmpire

    ForTheEmpire Chieftain

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    Knights' retreat ability is never emphasized enough. All infantry units fight to the death, leaving you on average 50% more casualties after each turn if you choose to not use knights.
     
  6. Uncle Sam

    Uncle Sam Educated Redneck

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    There are more than 3 civs with Medieval UU's... even if you only count Vanilla civ.
     
  7. scoutsout

    scoutsout Minstrel Boy

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    Edit: This article is good "food for thought", though you should be careful about using terms like "infantry" to describe all footsoldiers in Civ...

    Knights are the fundamental unit in early Middle Ages combat. They defend as well as pikes, attack as well as anything available until Cavalry, and are fast. If there is a time when single-dimensional tactics can work, it's in the Middle Ages with Knights.

    If you don't have iron or horses, then some variation of the 'poor man's army' is in order.

    If you don't have Iron
    Spears
    Catapults (Trebuchets in C3C)
    horses
    longbows

    If you have iron but not horses, then
    Pikes
    Catapults (Trebuchets in C3C)
    Swords (Medieval Infantry in C3C)
    Longbows

    If you have neither Iron nor Horses, then you're pretty much limited to spears, catapults/trebuchets, and Longbows. If you let the game get into the middle ages without iron or horses, you need to work on using spears/catapults/archers in the ancient ages, IMO.

    The "defensive free shot" that Archers and Longbows provide in C3C can come in very handy. I have had spearmen withstand the attack of a Longbow thanks to the defensive free shot provided by a longbow paired with the spear.
     
  8. Longasc

    Longasc Chieftain

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    Hi.

    You based your article on Vanilla, the Ansar Warrior just to point out one is missing e.g.

    How about the sense of this Swordsman-sentence? In the next you point out that Knights can retreat, they can attack harder, so why Swordsman, not Knights?

    Vanilla is obsolete because in PtW and C3C you get Medieval Infantry for Swordsman, having 4 attack.

    Also that thing with Cathedrals, Temples, Courthouses, Marketplaces - mainly used during the Middle Ages? Always used perhaps, I would say.

    The combined arms tactic sounds well, but usually you end up with a huge stack of Knights and some pikemen following, sometimes a longbowmen for defensive bombardement, but never optimum numbers which are not the best solution either - all out Knights, primitive but efficient. Sometimes you need siege engines, true...

    scoutsout already said, Knights all the way can and will work. I feel a force of 8 Knights has much more potential than the combined arms force. I would rather recommend 4 Catapults and 4 Knights, Catapults hardly do damage, so you would have to build a stack of them to be really effective.
     
  9. Tomoyo

    Tomoyo Fate

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    :confused:
     
  10. eg577

    eg577 Chieftain

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    This guy must still be playing civ2....


    1)A pikeman's defense is not higher against mounted units. Pikeman don't beat knights with ease, and especially not cavalry.

    2)Longbowman and Knights attack at 4 while swordsman attack at 3, so the former are your best bet in attacking pikes.

    3)Making a large stack of catapults with the intent of bombarding away all the improvements while pillaging every tile is just time and effort wasted that only accomplishes less than a direct attack.

    4)You probably would not cause civil disorder with that tactic, it would just force the AI to use more entertainers

    5)Civil disorder doesn't cause Anarchy. Only massive war weariness will cause Anarchy, and only in Democracy.
     
  11. ForTheEmpire

    ForTheEmpire Chieftain

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    And republic as well.
     
  12. Arathorn

    Arathorn Catan player

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    Republic will never dissolve into Anarchy because of war weariness. You can get some REALLY unhappy people, but they will never dissolve your Republic on account of war weariness. Only Democracies will actually revolt by ww.

    Arathorn
     
  13. ForTheEmpire

    ForTheEmpire Chieftain

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    :rolleyes: Oops, didn't know that... SORRY!
     
  14. zerksees

    zerksees in remission

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    Maybe this is because swordsman costs 30 shields and knight costs 70. I might agree the extra cost of the knight does not justify the one extra attack point and retreat ability

    Hmm. I like 3-4 defenders, 10+ catapults and 5-6 attacking type units. In PTW or vanilla use catapults to knock city down to size 6 or less and take out the walls. This will minimize losses. Don't attack over a river. IMO an attack with two catapults is not very effective, and not worth tying up units to defend them. The only time I use low counts of catapults is if I am attacking a unit in the open, where the hit ratio is higher. I am starting to really like using catapult stacks at this time of the game.

    I know artillery is much more effective in C3C. I have not used catapults much in C3C yet. If they are better then I would like them for that game too. In C3C I might bring a few more offensive units since you have to redline all the troops before you can knock out city improvements like walls. I would try to redline the troops and then attack.

    I agree with this 100%, and I have not seen this written often on this website.
     
  15. scoutsout

    scoutsout Minstrel Boy

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    I don't know if anybody's still tracking this thread or not, but I recently played some rather interesting turns using medieval troops.

    I was playing as Inca on a continents map, emperor level. After taking out the Arabs, and taking some cities from the Dutch... I had exactly one strategic resource:

    Saltpeter.

    So... when I decided to go after the Iroquois and the rest of Netherlands, I was using combined arms of Longbows, Trebuchets, and the occasional Musketman to cover.

    What did I learn from this? A new appreciation for the Trebuchet. Those things do a magnificent job of bridging the gap between catapults and cannon. Enemy muskets and Swiss Mercs don't hold up so well when they're beaten down to one hit point.

    I'm grinning as I write this... :D ... hearing the "thunk" of a longbow as he whacks a fortified Swiss Mercenary in a city I'm about to take.
     
  16. Rubruk

    Rubruk Chieftain

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    I'm playing [ptw] 1.27f with India at Monarch. Since the map is crowded, I had to gain more territorry at the beginning of the Medieval Age. Since my infrastructure was well established, I could give all my shields to build up a strong military. I build maybe 20 war elephants. So I could attack cities that were guarded by 4 or 5 Pikemen. I lost 5 elephants,5 to 8 more were retreated, but I took the city. Two turns later I had 15 elephants ready for the next attack. When you attack a city, then use enough force to take it in one turn. Then the retreated units are not in immediate danger and can heal later. A large stack of Knights might not be the most efficient way to win a war, but it definitely works. :ar15: :whipped: :ninja:
     
  17. Bagatur

    Bagatur Chieftain

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    Rubruk, your loses are unbearable! I consider 1:1 kills ratio disastrous, 1:2 bad, 1:3 and up - acceptable and good. On Emperor and above levels, u just can't afford such loses. Also these loses decrese with great amount your chances to generate MGLs, which are little treasures.
     
  18. AlanH

    AlanH Mac addict, php monkey Moderator Hall of Fame Staff Supporter GOTM Staff

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    A vet elephant should win 65% of the time against a fortified regular pike in a pop 6 town on grass, so if the RNG is behaving, 5 pikes should only need around seven elephants to take th ecity, with one or two deaths/retreats.

    That sounds like an attack against a city with multiple defensive bonuses - river, hills, walls or high population - or a bad run of luck. If it was on a river then attacking across it should have been avoided. Otherwise you may be prepared to accept that level of loss as long as it was an isolated case. If you are up against a lot of cities like that you should probably bring some artillery to weaken it and/or pillage them to starve the pop down.
     
  19. Darkness

    Darkness Shadow creature

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    :confused: :confused:

    I completely disagree with this!
    Swordsman are less useful for taking out pikes than even horseman for two reasons

    1 - Swordsman are slow, horseman are fast. The two move unit will allow you to reach and take the AI's cities much faster, thus it reduces the amount of units you'll face.
    2 - Retreat ability. Fast units don't neccessarily die if they can't take out the pike. They'll often retreat, so they can heal and try again. So, you'll lose far fewer units.
     
  20. Rubruk

    Rubruk Chieftain

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    Hi Bagatur and AlanH,

    thank you very much for your advise.

    It was a city with size 9 defended by mongol vereran pikes, maybe more than 5, I forgot to count. I did not attack across a river. Next time I'll attack with less losses by reducing the city size before. Of course those losses are far too much only to take out 5 or 8 Pikes, but I got the city in a very important location.

    Another remark to the topic: the time between Knights and Cavallery is not very long. I think, at the medieval age it is important to keep up in Science either by buying or by researching. If not, a war against an opponent in the industrial age is likely.
     

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