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Mid Game Military: Arabia vs. Mongolia

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Montezuma II, May 18, 2015.

?

Mongolia (Keshik) or Arabia (Camel Archer)

  1. Arabia

    19 vote(s)
    41.3%
  2. Mongolia

    27 vote(s)
    58.7%
  1. Montezuma II

    Montezuma II Chieftain

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    There's been speculation recently as to which civ is militarily superior in the mid game: Mongolia or Arabia, or more specifically, Keshik or Camel Archer. Thoughts?
     
  2. TheMathmagician

    TheMathmagician Chieftain

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    Movement is king with 1UPT. Even though less combat strength, Great Generals and Quick Study makes up for that. Mongolia all the way militarily.
     
  3. Delnar_Ersike

    Delnar_Ersike Prince

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    Maybe you ought to specify circumstances.

    For example, Keshiks' and Khans' faster movement is more useful on Large and Huge maps and less useful on Small and Tiny maps. Keshiks' odd movement count is more useful on maps with a lot of rough terrain because they can move 3 rough tiles per turn versus Camels' two. Keshiks can be killed a lot easier in simultaneous turns multiplayer. In multiplayer, Keshiks usually are not given as much time to earn their promotions because humans are better at focus-firing key units and trapping Keshiks with ZOC and terrain. Both Keshiks and Camels can last you the entire game in singleplayer, even at higher difficulty levels, but both units eventually become obsolete in multiplayer thanks to aircraft, with Keshiks becoming obsolete sooner than Camels. In multiplayer against experienced players, people will often attempt pre-emptive strikes against Mongolia/Arabia before they get access to Keshiks/Camels, so the civ that can survive better early on are more powerful midgame, whereas this does not need to be considered for singleplayer. A Liberty Arabia is more stable than a Liberty Mongolia, but Tradition does not really make much of a difference for either. Mongolia has a better chance at getting more horses than Arabia without Strategic Balance, and horses are required for both Keshiks and Camels. On maps where embarkation is required to reach certain players' lands, embarked Keshiks and Khans do not have faster movement IIRC, so Camels' higher strength becomes more valuable. Maps that contain a lot fewer early gold luxuries for the player favor Arabia with the extra gold Bazaars over Mongolia, who would have to rely on international trade routes to keep their unit and building maintenance in check. Maps that contain very few horses favor Arabia over Mongolia because strength differences between units become more prominent at smaller unit counts: 3 camels vs. 3 keshiks is a much bigger difference than 8 camels vs. 8 keshiks. Getting and maintaining good religions and early wonders is a much harder at high difficulty settings in singleplayer, so Arabia's power from possible Desert Folklore and Petra starts is diminished, while Mongolia's power from possible plains river salt starts is not.

    It also depends what you are aiming for with mid-game aggression: Arabia transitions better into builder styles, so if the aim of your mid-game wars is just to get yourself a enough extra cities to snowball you in the lategame, then Arabia has an upper hand, but if your aim is to go on a non-stop war, Mongolia has the upper hand.
     
  4. Lord Alexander

    Lord Alexander Warlord

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    Going with Mongolia, the movement is everything, makes dealing with the pesky Great Wall a cake walk
     
  5. Montezuma II

    Montezuma II Chieftain

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    I just want people's general opinions, basically would you rather have a Keshik or a Camel Archer Mid game. Obviously there's plenty of different scenarios where one would be favored over the other. That's the beauty of Civilization.

    Basically, if you were going into a civ game, you didn't know if it were SP or MP, you didn't know the map (it's not water), pretty much everything random. Would you be better off with the Keshik or the Camel Archer.
     
  6. Aheadatime

    Aheadatime Prince

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    Camel archers for me. Since we're allowed to view this anyway we want to, I'm choosing to view it on context.

    Arabia is a flat-out stronger civ than Mongolia imo. They have a desert bias which can lead to desert faith and/or petra. They have an economic advantage via Bazaar. They have double oil, which leads to a stronger late-game war presence. Their caravans have more range, which can equate to either better gold trade routes or more internal trade route possibilities. These add up to potential advantages in faith generation, growth, gold income, happiness, production, mid-game war, and late-game war.

    Meanwhile, literally every bonus Mongolia has is war-based, which is extremely limiting regarding strategic diversity. Yes you can rush your neighbor and maybe push into a second or third civ afterwards, but your bonuses run out. In MP, people keep an eye on when you hit chivalry. War someone, and that person's neighbors build military, gift the guy, or just team you. In SP, well in SP you can kill the AI with any unit lol. Late-game, you have no bonuses whatsoever. Unless you ensured your victory during mid-game with keshiks, you're now just a generic bonus-less civ.

    In isolation, I would still take the camel archer over the keshik. Who cares if keshiks get more promotions? A keshik would need to have 4 promotions to compete with a non-promoted camel; accuracy 1, accuracy 2, barrage 1, and barrage 2. This is because their 16 ranged strength would need a 30% increase to reach the camel's base 21. I'd much rather have a 30% increase in base strength (which scales better with promotions btw, as 15% of 21 = 3.15 while 15% of 16 only = 2.4) than 2 movement points.

    The only thing the camel has no answer for is the faster general production. I can't seem to find an exact number regarding how much this actually effects general production, but this isn't a reason in and of itself to choose mongolia over arabia, given all of their disadvantages. The reality is that in SP you can win wars without generals, so this really lends itself to MP. Again though, having a civ geared completely towards war makes players prepare for you, team against you, and limits your strategic diversity.
     
  7. themathmajician

    themathmajician Chieftain

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    Can I just say something here? In MP, neither of these units can be reliably killed in one turn with a competent player and contemporary tech.
     
  8. Aheadatime

    Aheadatime Prince

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    Not true. Well, I guess it's sort of true given that you used the term 'reliably'. Knights paired with crossbows are the counter for both of them. Knights have 20 melee combat strength, which is higher than both the keshik (15), and the camel (17). Contextually speaking, city placement will have a large impact on how one defends against keshiks/camels.

    If you are bordering a mountain behind a river and surrounded by single-tile hills, for example, it will be near impossible to take that city, assuming you've roaded your territory like crazy. This becomes even more daunting if you throw in the great wall and/or some general plants. Yes, competent players will try to avoid such cities, but competent defenders will scout properly, and therefore expand towards/near the keshik/camel in such a fashion that the attacker won't have an option but to attack that city first and foremost.

    Knights can also retreat after attacking. Ideally, since the defender has the road advantage, you would use your knights as if they were ranged units by attacking from out of range, and retreating back out of range immediately. Since knights are stronger than both units in melee, you can easily defend if you've successfully prepared yourself and are ahead/tied in hammers.

    I've seen FilthyRobot defend against both units (and these were high-level players attacking him mind you) with the above points in mind. He basically prepares for the rush from turn 1, keeping in mind how defensible his expands are and keeping his eye on chivarly tech.
     
  9. Amrunril

    Amrunril Emperor

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    Arabia and Mongolia have, in my opinion, the two strongest UUs in the game. While these units are quite similar, they are subtly different, reflecting differences in their civs' playstyles.

    Mongolia, with the Keshik, is the best civ for an all in attempt at a medieval/renaissance conquest of the known world. They have to be, as they have virtually no bonuses for anything else. The keshik has a somewhat lower combat strength but makes up for it with extra movement and the fast study promotion. The former is key to enabling keshiks' hit and run tactics to function even in rough terrain and can sometimes enable you to cycle attackers in and out of range, allowing the deployment of increased firepower in a limited area. The latter enables you to reach the powerful logistics and range promotions faster, giving you the boost you need to continue your conquering spree even if your other opponents build up their technology and defenses as you win your first war.

    Arabia, in contrast, is a much more balanced civ (and a much more powerful civ overall), thanks to an excellent UB and situational but potentially powerful boosts to religious pressure (which synergizes well with desert start bias) and oil supplies. The camel archer is a very important piece of their power and can certainly win them a mid game war or two, and may even be more powerful than the keshik in its first war, especially if that war's fought in Arabia's level home terrain. It doesn't have quite the same potential to sweep across entire continents, but it doesn't need to, because Arabia has plenty of other tools it can use if the game doesn't end with camel archers.

    In summary, I'd say that Mongolia is the strongest mid game military civ, precisely because every advantage it has is geared towards winning the game through mid game wars. Its advantage over Arabia is, however, relatively small, and Arabia's other bonuses make it a much stronger civ overall.
     
  10. Væringjar

    Væringjar Warlord

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    For Blitzkrieg, Keshik+Khan armies are the far far best in entire game. I don't know if there is any army as strong as Keshik+Khan armies. But, after Medieval Era, Mongols don't have superior UA or UB. Yet, Arabia probably bathes in money in entire game and money always wins wars...
     
  11. reddishrecue

    reddishrecue Deity

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    At this point i'm not sure who but from prior experience, crossbowmen were better against keshiks than camel archers. Camels also had a advantage against horses because they had a smell that horses didn't like.
     
  12. robaker

    robaker Chieftain

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    Do you play primarily on Quick speed? On standard speed played on Deity, you can easily conquer 1-2 civs with chariot archers, cover-promoted melee and a Khan before even researching chivalry. By that time you will have plenty of Logistics chariot archers that can be upgraded into double-shooting Keshiks. Once you have Keshiks you can conquer the entire world or at least guarantee a win. Late-game bonuses aren't very important to Mongolia because you will usually win the game in the mid game. It's important to get full Honor as Mongolia because the gold-from-kills can really add up, especially on Deity where you will be killing hordes of enemy units. Honor is more effective on higher difficulties because you will have way more units to kill (and gain money and experience from), the AI will have more resources to trade at all times (to maintain happiness better), trade routes are much more beneficial to the player (allowing you to ease up on economic aspects a bit), etc. Opening Tradition or Liberty is not as necessary when you're not planning to reach the late game in the first place. I acknowledge that Mongolia may not be as good in multiplayer games due to the specific settings that most multiplayer games use, but keep in mind that Civilization 5 was balanced for single-player mode first and foremost, otherwise we wouldn't have a civ like Venice that is severely disadvantaged in multiplayer mode (to the point where games are restarted if someone gets Venice) but is pretty damn good in single-player mode.

    I think you're missing the point. Keshiks are great not necessarily because of the quicker promotions (because if you start conquering with chariot archers you should have many Logistics chariot archers by the time you unlock Keshiks) but because they can reliably get off double-shots in situations where Camel Archers cannot. Furthermore, Keshiks will always be accompanied by a Khan so they have 18.4 combat strength at all times. As a bonus they can count on 5 movement horsemen to capture cities more reliably in difficult terrain (or when the Great Wall is involved).

    The details are better explained here: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=547613


    Khans are very effective in single-player despite you constantly making single-player mode out to be dumb and easy (judging by some of your statements). All this time I thought single-player mode was the main focus of the game, but I guess not;). Khans are great in the early game to help out with barb hunting, and more importantly to go conquering neighboring civs with chariot archers and cover-promoted melee units. You're probably going to say that a Khan isn't necessary even then because the AI is so stupid anyway (and you're right that the AI is dumb as bricks because they always end up attacking my fortified cover-promoted melee who is healing 25 HP every turn allowing my chariot archers to go without a scratch - which makes the Khan's healing ability more useful than it should be), but the key points here are efficiency, the ability to get more experience on your units, minimizing downtime, and the fact that other civs cannot do the same thing (healing 25 HP in enemy territory is a big deal in the early game before you get Keshiks). It's a shame that most people ignore using Khans until they've unlocked Keshiks.
     
  13. docbud

    docbud Emperor

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    ^^I admit I'm guilty of very rarely ever building chariot archers.
     
  14. Chicoutimi

    Chicoutimi Chieftain

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    keshiks !

    dont forget they get 50% more xp in combat, they get a lot faster to the op promotions
    the extra movement point really makes a difference on rough terrain

    not to mention mongolian's khan (+15 hp when healing all game long on all your units omagad), in pure mid game combat nothing beats mongolia
     
  15. daft

    daft The fargone

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    Mongolia are superior, for now, and by history's sake should be. Until the devs finally add Mamluks for Arabia in, the no doubt upcoming, civ6, and thus shift this duel into Arabic favour.
     
  16. Chicoutimi

    Chicoutimi Chieftain

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    mongolia is the easiest civ for domination anyway, they're all the way about war
    arabia got op bazar market on top of their camel archer :p they're a top civ too
     
  17. den1998

    den1998 Chieftain

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    I know im a newbie but i played the mongols, they were fun but for domination i actually prefer england, longbows were awesome for me and the upgrade to 2 range gats just make them better

    Any water on the map and its a no brainer for me. I do need to play arabia and see what the fuss is about :)
     
  18. Aheadatime

    Aheadatime Prince

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    I play on all speeds.

    This is only true is you have a very strong start. First and foremost you cannot have an isolated start. Second, you need to have room for expands. Third, the terrain between you and your opponent mustn't be filled with rough terrain/rivers. You cannot do this every game. I just loaded a pangea standard game as Mongolia and I'm semi-isolated with the only neighbor being protected by ~15 tiles of jungle/hill/river crap.

    Again, this would have to be a crazy strong start to ignore trad/lib altogether. You don't get the gold from kills until after you've completed the tree. How will you do that if you have to hard build your monuments? That will take time away from your chariot hammers, especially considering that you also need settlers, granaries, workers, libraries, water mills, and NC. Honor is just plain awful. It can be very useful as a second tree between tradition and rationalism, but even if I'm going full war, I would never open with honor.

    If you have roads up, the difference in movement speed is near moot. Yes, if you plan on attacking an enemy civ through open terrain ~15 tiles from your border (meaning no generaling and no roads), Keshiks have the advantage. That's not how I wage war, though. It is always always through roads when I have Keshiks/Camels.

    Which is why I mentioned that Camels base strength scales better. With a general, Camels have 24.2 ranged strength. Your math was off a bit, btw. Keshik melee strength with Khan is only 17.2, while Camels with general is 19.6. You meant their ranged strength, which is still inferior to the aforementioned 24.2. It's actually lower than Camels' melee strength with general lol.

    Single-player warfare is generally pretty easy, yes. This doesn't mean it isn't fun for me, or else I wouldn't play the game/post here on the boards. But the question wasn't "which UU is more fun", the question was which civilization is better. Arabia is just an overall better civ. There are going to be games where the Mongols can't just wipe the map, much more often, in fact, than there will be games where they can (so long as you're playing at an appropriate difficulty setting in relation to your skill).

    Rough terrain, junk starts, hyper aggressive neighbors blocking expands, getting Dowed on while trying to play catch-up, etc. Arabia has the tools to win the game in the long run under such circumstances, while Mongolia does not, especially if you're opening with honor.

    I should note, however, that I'm definitely not claiming that early warfare is a bad strategy. I wage early wars all the time. But, they're unavoidable, concise, and planned out, usually involving me paying the AI to dow their other neighbor so their units leave, etc. To say that you can roll over multiple AIs very easily as if it's a very reliable and consistent tactic, however, is misleading imo.
     
  19. Amrunril

    Amrunril Emperor

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    The question was which is a stronger midgame millitary civ. I voted for Mongolia because I think that Keshiks+Khans are stronger than Camel Archers, but I'd never argue that Mongolia is stronger than Arabia overall.

    Roads do mostly neutralize the movement speed difference, but only when you're defending your own territory, and if your only goal in waging war is to defend your own territory you don't need the strongest mid game military civ. If you want to go actually on the offensive and capture cities, you're going to have to rely on your units' inherent movement speeds.
     
  20. LordBalkoth

    LordBalkoth Prince

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    No, it's just a strategy that only works well on Deity and to a lesser degree Immortal. This is due to the sheer unit spam the AI will do so the Honor finisher brings in an insane amount of gold. On Emperor or below the AI simply doesn't have enough units to make it as viable. I can make a video of this strategy if you'd like.

    I used to generally think that until I actually started trying it. The thing is that you don't care about growth from tradition and you don't care about settling lots of cities from Liberty. That said, picking up points in those trees later (either Liberty for Meritocracy happiness or Tradition for Aristocracy happiness/Oligarchy gold savings) can work.

    Also, you don't even bother with Rationalism in this set-up. Honor/Commerce/Autocracy. You don't bother with science buildings after Universities and can Oxford a key tech...rest you're mainly stealing.

    So you build roads BETWEEN other empires you haven't conquered yet too? Like if it's you, Civ A, and Civ B, you build a road between Civ A and Civ B before you've conquered either?

    Except the generals can't keep up with the camels, which is the whole point. Khans will always be with Keshiks. Generals won't always be with camel archers.

    Even in the worst case scenario, with a bad start and bad terrain, you can still conquer 2-3 other civs with Keshiks and be set for the rest of the game (to win however you want). And it's in precisely those bad situations where Mongolia is superior because Keshiks can deal with the bad terrain in a way that Camel Archers cannot.

    It's not with Keshiks. To a lesser degree with Camel Archers.
     

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