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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)
  2. Mongolia

    27 vote(s)
  1. Aheadatime

    Aheadatime Prince

    Dec 21, 2009
    I understand the premise behind finishing Honor and reaping the benefits, but my confusion lies in the early game. I can't fathom opening with honor and being competitive in terms of growth and happiness, which equates to science. What point is there bringing kehisks to a fight with riflemen, arties, and gats?

    Then again I suppose I'd need to try it to see for myself. It'd be great if you could post a video of a preferably poor start where you can execute such a strat and win before late game on Deity. That might give me some much needed pointers and inspiration to try this myself. Pangea standard pace etc.

    It's just so hard to wrap my head around this if were talking Deity. How do you possibly stay competitive in tech/growth this way? Even if you chariot your closest neighbor or two, the guys on the other side of the map are going to be (possibly) peacefully teching away/wonder spamming. Again, I realize that I can't knock it until I try it.

    Clearly not. On Deity, I either conquer enough land until I've won the game already (which means killing off that annoying neighbor who settles on your border and going from there), or the AI are so tightly packed in that I just bring workers to war and build roads as I conquer. Either way, I rarely find myself traveling across ~15 tiles of open terrain to conquer somebody. There's hardly ever that much room available on the map.

    I've never once had an issue with keeping my generals close to my camels. Literally not once. In a worse case scenario, I can see a group of camels cycling shots for a turn or two before my general can arrive (if I started the war late and didn't have any generals from earlier warfare), but this never happens with me.

    So you're basically saying that you can win with Mongolia 100% of the time, every time, regardless of how horrible your start is? Even in crap isolated non-coastal tundra land bordered by flat jungle without rivers and surrounded by badly placed city states, with a salt start korea on the other side of the map with no aggressive neighbors? Either you're much better at the game than I am or I haven't experimented with Mongolia enough, both of which are very possible.
  2. LordBalkoth

    LordBalkoth Prince

    Dec 7, 2014
    First of all, I hope that last sentence is a joke -- Keshiks destroy Riflemen, Artillery, and Gatling Guns. It takes either massed Cavalry, Great War Infantry, or planes to stop their rampage.

    Second, you just need to do reasonably well, science wise. Just a three city NC -- all you really lose compared to Tradition (at that point) is the monument hammers in terms of speed.

    Define before late game? Or perhaps explain why you desire that?

    I ask that for two reasons:

    1, I don't partake in some "tactics" I consider massively exploitative, like "worker stealing" from CSes or other Civs early on or declaring war on a CS to "train" units. If I declare war, I'm going to war -- I may take workers if I see them but I won't steal a worker and run, counting on the AI to not pursue and then forgive and forget a few turns later. This does mean that sometimes my games are slower overall.

    2, the first time I tried this strategy I wound up having to crush the last few opponents with Rocket Artillery. Mind you that I screwed a lot of things up which also resulted in me being a lot slower and less effective on the initial Keshik rampage (which also got me into major ideological happiness issues), but it is what it is.

    I mean, ideally, yeah, you crush the world before needing to go to late games...but on some maps that probably isn't possible.

    And I'll work on a video.

    Steal techs like crazy with Autocracy. Why do you need to be competitive in growth? Unless you really somehow thing you need Stealth Bombers for some reason, the last major tech you need is Rocket Artillery, which you can Oxford...so you just need to steal Radar.

    Yeah, see, that city should be at 1 HP in a turn or two. Maybe three. Then capture and move on.

    I think so, yes. In such a case I might need to go Liberty rather than Honor for the hammers, though.

    And to be clear, do you mean "win domination every time" or "win every time?" I ask because you could easily conquer half the map (or whatever) as Liberty and then go Rationalism and such to Science Victory.

    But, that said, the earliest Korean launch I've seen is 290. If you've seen significantly earlier launches then it's possible the answer is no if the map is truly, truly awful. If you ever think you find such a map do let me know and I'll give it a try.
  3. Aheadatime

    Aheadatime Prince

    Dec 21, 2009
    Cover rifles and quick reflexes with arties or even crossbows can defend against Kehiks in MP. In SP, you are correct.

    Science is a direct result of population and to a lesser extent production (production = growth/science buildings = more science), both of which get negatively effected with happiness issues. The happiness and gold from monarchy and aristocracy coupled with the growth from landed elite and tradition finisher give your tech a big boost over honor players.

    The reason I have a hard time getting behind honor (as the first policy tree, that is) is because it was designed for taking cities. If you take cities, you are going to be down on happiness and gold (unit/road maintenance). You are also going to be sacrificing infrastructure to spam military. Military caste attempts to aid this a bit, but the problem is that it is a contextual bonus (must keep units in cities) that doesn't cover it's own tracks (maintenance cost), unlike the tradition bonuses which come with no context or downside.

    Especially on Deity, where I want every single pop point and beaker I can manage, I've found honor to be a garbage policy tree unless it's opened between tradition and rationalism. I will give it an honest shot later tonight or tomorrow with Mongolia and see if I can improve my gameplay/plan around it.

    Late game to me is Plastics and beyond. I said that because an earlier poster said that as Mongolia, you should win on Deity before the late game, so rationalism doesn't matter. I'd like to see it, but not with a solid start which any civ can use to win fast. A crappy start that is much more realistic to many posters RNG experiences.

    Which is also RNG based. Spies can get killed in action and the timing on steals doesn't always work out so smoothly. If an opponent of mine gets to bombers before I do and they have plenty of oil while I have close to none, the war never looks good. On Deity, I simply avoid such situations by being very competitive in tech, buying all of my neighbors' oil, and maintaining peace where possible.

    I once played a marathon/huge map game as zulus on Deity, trying to get every promotion possible (fun stuff). Rome was my neighbor, and he was on a complete rampage. Long story short, by the time we got around to bombers, it turned out that I had ~7 oil, Rome had 20+ oil, and he got to bombers before I finished building a few triplanes I was planning to upgrade. He simply wiped out my army one by one with bomber spam, and if I pulled them back, he would just target the city I had on his border.

    So the Deity AI you fight build 0 units? When I war on Deity, they have units in the way that I need to wipe out before I can just waltz in and take the city.

    Going with liberty or tradition negates this entire conversation, as I've fixated on how bad Honor seems (and has been in my experience) as an opening tree. And I mean domination, as conquering problem civs and winning through diplo or science is perhaps the easiest way to win. Opening with Honor and winning through dom (with all VC enabled, though) is what I was referring to as challenging with a crap start and neighbors with rough terrain etc.
  4. reddishrecue

    reddishrecue Deity

    Nov 16, 2009
    The best way out of all of this is through technology. Once you do good research and upgrade your units, you will be able to obtain even better troops than both camel archers and keshiks. Both of these units upgrade to cavalry (and if not, they should) which are way better. Since theyre ranged, promotions that benefit attacking flat or forest jungle and hills can carry on to cavalry except for range.
  5. robaker

    robaker Chieftain

    Oct 28, 2014
    Accuracy and barrage don't work on melee units. Drill and shock don't work on ranged units. March, logistics and blitz work for both ranged and melee units. March and repair don't stack. Logistics and blitz stacks for three attacks. Keshiks keep 'quick study' when upgrading.
  6. LordBalkoth

    LordBalkoth Prince

    Dec 7, 2014
    Yes, I'm talking SP (or MP with either Hybrid/Sequential or gentleman's agreement on something like "attacker moves his units first and then defender moves his units second).

    And exactly how big is your capital usually around turn 100 on standard speed as Tradition? There's a reason Liberty is better for early game -- Tradition's growth bonuses take a while to kick in. Tradition is not going to reach National College *that* much faster than honor. But it will reach Plastics a hell of a lot faster.

    Most infrastructure doesn't really matter, frankly. Taking cities will boost your gold tremendously through connections (and puppets if necessary) and should boost your happiness -- because you're doing things like taking capitals that have Notre Dame, Chichen Itza, or Forbidden Palace (amazing!). Military Caste with scouts (or other spare cheap units) is actually very effective for a long time -- hell yes I'll take 2 culture and 1 happiness for 1-2 gpt and 25 production. When maintenance gets to 4-6 gpt or more then that isn't so amazing, of course, but at that point you should be swimming in gold anyway.

    Speaking of gold, that's why Honor is amazing. When you're doing something like killing a Knight, two Musketmen, and a Cannon per turn or something you're bringing in 88 gold from that. It's turning the Deity unit spam against itself, which is why this works -- Honor is much less effective on lower difficulties.

    I've been recording a video with Mongolia, at turn 210 right now. Some brief highlights...

    1. I rerolled 15 times (no joke) to get a start that was pretty bad. The first fourteen times either had amazing starts, amazing surrounding terrain...or jungle with El Dorado about 5 tiles north of the capital.
    2. Since I knew I was playing Mongolia, I was a lot more reckless/haphazard in general since I knew I'd win. I was also playing sections of this when I was completely exhausted (and thus made some really stupid mistakes/decisions due to being brain dead).
    3. I forward settled Denmark a bit to secure more horses and unique luxuries (since my start was so bad) -- one city halfway between us and another like 6 tiles from his capital (and maybe 10 or so from mine).
    4. Denmark conquered a Mercantile city state between us and then declared war on me with a massive honor army (while I was still getting basic infrastructure up).
    5. He then conquered both my second and third city.
    6. I then used a small chariot archer army to wipe out his army, retake my two cities (which are both back at one pop with all buildings destroyed), liberate the city state (which lost its unique luxury, though : / ), and capture Denmark's capital (I left him with one kind of bad city so I could sell him my luxes and get a trade route or two).
    7. As you might guess, this delayed National College a bit (losing your libraries and going back to 1 pop in both of my other cities was really, really bad).
    8. Korea then declared war on me (turn 113) when I was still a ways from Keshiks (again, massively delayed National College and terrible population, this should not have happened). Wiped out his Spearmen at the forefront of his army and carefully took out some of his special trebuchet (26 range strength hurts) -- think I did lose one chariot.
    9. Got Keshiks online on turn 127 (way way late), immediately upgraded like 8 Chariots or so, upgraded the last few within the next few turns.
    10. Had to march through nasty swamp/jungle terrain to try to assault Korea, took his capital and second best city, left him one bad city on the edge of the continent (turn 144).
    11. Near the end of this America declared war on me (while, to be fair, I was en route to attack him at this capital in the south while my capital was in the north) and marches a Minuteman/Crossbowman army to surround my capital.
    12. I don't dispatch sufficient Keshiks to hold my capital and try to be cheap in terms of not buying more Keshiks or at least Walls/Castle to fortify my capital. The result is that I lose my capital (possibly twice, I forget) to his army though I quickly retake it. Still, a 3 pop capital with no National College sucks and this really really really slows down my science as you might guess. Then I use the northern Keshiks I've gathered near my capital to start driving forward in the northern map to take HIS cities.
    13. During this a city state ally of his in the middle of the map marches a massive army like 10 tiles away from their city and captures both my second and third city AGAIN. Once I destroyed his northern army (couldn't spare the forces earlier from my capital defenders) I dispatched a few Keshiks to clean up the mess and retake those units while the other Keshiks got to work on his cities as mentioned in #12. But my entire "core" of three cities are in complete shambles now.
    14. While this is going on my MAIN army is conquering HIS capital (multiple times, as I have to kill a lot of Riflemen/Gatling Cannons that he has at this point and so I keep withdrawing to preserve my units at the cost of losing his capital for a turn). Eventually he runs out of units (he's being assaulted on both the northern and southern ends of his empire now) and I proceed to take eight of his cities by turn 177. I then make peace since all he has are two irrelevant cities halfway across the map.
    15. I then declared war on Egypt on wiped out his four cities by turn 191.
    16. I then declared war on Morocco and took three of his six cities (razed two, first cities I razed in the game) and am besieging his capital, hopefully will have it in a few turns. Having two problems. One, his Berber Cavalry are awful -- 50% desert bonus plus 25% friendly territory bonus makes them completely murderous. Takes like 5-6 Keshiks to kill one of them (that's with two shots each) and I've lost a few Keshiks to one-shots. Two, city strength is 60+ for his cities which means they take a lot of shots to bring down. Which wouldn't be much of an issue if I wasn't having to spend so many shots on those damned Berber Cavalry. This is currently turn 210 (I've conquered Denmark, Korea, America, and Egypt) and I need three more capitals (Morroco, Aztecs, and Babylon).
    17. While this is going on Korea declares war on me just to be a dick and I have to use some Keshiks I want for the assault on Morocco or for attacking either Babylon or Aztecs to wipe out his small army. America joins in too -- but since his cities are on the other side of the map it's irrelevant. However, I have to dispatch MORE Keshiks to stop his freaking city state allies from taking several cities.
    18. One of the city states (Morocco's ally, I think) near Egypt actually sneaks several Cannons and Musketmen into my territory and manages to take Egypt's second best city for a turn before my reinforcements wipe out those units and retake the city.
    19. I just entered Industrial Era, rush bought three factories (turn 208), and took Autocracy. Babylon went Tradition, two points into Rationalism, and then went Order (including taking the double chance to catch enemy spy tenet). He's in the Modern Era with Flight researched in addition to having access to at least 3 Oil. So I'm mainly worried about some Great War Bombers ruining my day if he declares war. Once I finish Morocco I'm going to be turtling for a bit (Aztecs are both friends with me -- and I don't want to turn down a friend against Babylon -- and they have the Great Wall which would make attacking them really frustrating anyway at the moment) to steal enough techs to attack Babylon. Mainly need access to Oil and then Flight so I can defend against his planes -- not worried about his Artillery as my Keshiks can handle those. I might need to sacrifice a city or two in defense if he DoWs me before then but I'm preparing for that eventuality.
    20. Once I do that and take out Babylon then finishing with the Aztecs should be a piece of cake.
    21. Like I said, I was being silly/reckless a lot and completely brain dead for some of the most important parts of the game (I think I've lost at least 4-5 highly promoted Keshiks simply due to being stupid (like ending turn with them in range of a city rather than retreating them) along with one of my two Horsemen (which meant my second army needed two Pikemen to capture the American cities from the north)). I also enjoyed building a larger empire rather than just raze most cities and do nothing but churn out Keshiks from annexed cities to end the game long before now (which is possible to do). So I've been silly/inefficient WHILE losing my capital and two other self-founded cities (twice each for those!)...and I'm still going to win. I'm sitting at like 20 cities or so right now and even if Babylon DoWed this instant (with three planes) he couldn't take more than half a dozen in the worst possible case scenario before I got enough tech to start pushing him back and wipe him out. This is also with a really bad start (by far) that I had to reroll 15 times to get (intentionally).

    As I mentioned above, I actually rerolled 15 times to finally get a bad start (and with surrounding terrain that also wasn't very good). I also am skipping Rationalism entirely. I suppose it is *possible* I might get to Plastics -- but that's only being done with four other Civs conquered before Industrial and a fifth about to fall in early Industrial. And if I had not had an awful start, been more careful at the beginning of the game, and pushed more aggressively rather than build an empire (which would have included taking Babylon out earlier before their tech lead was so far I *needed* to catch up in tech -- I didn't want to break the DoF I had with him, though) I certainly could have ended the game long before now.

    What "timing?" It's literally just "if I've hit a stalemate and need Rocket Artillery to proceed...just wait until I steal Radar (can easily fight a stalemate war with units prior to that) and then Oxford Rocketry." Spies can get killed, but usually don't if you pick your targets well (not capitals, not Order civs -- kind of sucks because in my current game Babylon was apparently guarding more than just his capital AND has the Order tenet to catch spies which is making this harder than in most games...but I'm still going to win anyway).

    I have at least 20 cities at the moment (about to add 2-3 more) and control the land (or soon will) of 75% of the Civilizations in the game. Babylon has I think four base cities plus one conquered from America and controls like 15% of the continent. Who do you think is going to have more oil? Who do you think is going to make more production to make more planes? I also have both the Commerce and Autocracy policies to buy units super cheaply, large gold income, and am working on Big Ben.

    The only problem I have is being massively behind in tech (and the reason the gap is so large is due to losing my second and third cities at the start, then losing my capital, and then losing my second and third cities again!). But now with two spies (Industrial) and the Autocracy tenet to steal faster I'm going to start catching up fairly quickly. Even if he DoWs me I can simply use some of my like eight Great Generals (Khans) to lay down Citadels in key points and park Covered Musketmen or something in them which will give even planes some pause (and can rotate those units if they get too injured). Plus those units will heal 35 HP per turn because Khans.

    So yeah, the current situation does suck because I wasn't evil enough (could have conquered him instead of America to avoid the problem but didn't want to break the DoF) which in part was due to not expecting to lose my capital and other cities and get so far behind on science. If I "knew" how careless/silly I'd be while tired and braindead I'd have avoided the DoF and just gone after him once I took a northern America city or two to act as a "bridge" to his territory.

    Of course, the fact that he's Babylon, went Tradition, took points in Rationalism, and then took Order didn't exactly help either -- kind of a worst case scenario.

    Hang on -- he got to RADAR at the time you finished FLIGHT or something? I mean, worst come to worst you can still send a bunch of AA guns (later SAMs) to shoot down his planes if you lack oil -- main problem is that they come later than Flight so early Great War Bombers are a problem. But if he was on Radar and you didn't even have Ballastics then you were way way behind on tech...WHILE not having conquered enough earlier to both give you more access to Oil AND deny HIM access to Oil.

    Regardless, you should have gone after Rome EARLIER with your Impis and stopped him from running away. YOU are the runaway, not the AI. You should be controlling most of the land and having one of the largest (if not the largest) armies.

    90% of their units are going to be fought initially in most cases (or at some specific point during your invasion whenever their reinforcements arrive -- might get a city or two first if you're lucky). Once you break their line then their cities should fall very rapidly.

    To put things in perspective, after beating back the American army that (temporarily) captured my capital and having to wipe out another army of theirs at the American capital, I *finally* captured his northernmost city on turn 170. That was also the turn that the back and forth for his capital ended (which was in the southwest of his empire) -- I was having to chew through a ton of Riflemen and Gatling Guns. So turn 170 is firm control of two cities of his at opposite ends of his empire. On turn 177 I captured an eighth city of his and made peace (leaving him with two random cities in the middle of nowhere). That's six cities in seven turns. Even if you separate that out (since it was technically two smaller armies rather than one huge one) that's still three cities per army in seven turns..and the northern army was delayed due to having to wait on two Pikemen to do the capturing (only Horseman was in the southern army).

    Then look at Egypt -- four cities in 14 turns from the DoW...with that being slowed down by some really really terrible and dense forest near his capital. Some important numbers...

    177 DoW
    180 First city falls
    189 Capital falls
    190 Third city falls
    191 Fourth (and final) city falls

    So basically took a few turns to kill units defending border city and capture it. Then nine turns to progress through the forest, kill off the rest of his army surrounding his capital (which was scattered around his empire initially), and take his capital. Then one turn per city for the last two...and I easily could have kept taking another city every turn or two if he had more at that point.

    And, of course, this is pretty late in the Keshik lifespan and having to fight more advanced units/higher defense cities in general with me not even pressing as hard as I should have in many respects -- just messing around.

    Ah. I wasn't sure if you were asking about Mongolian domination in general.

    I'm not sure it really negates it, though -- I mean, if you have a really bad tundra or blank desert capital then trying to go Tradition science victory is going to be rather difficult as well. Need to go Liberty in that case since your capital simply can't be that good. Or what if you have a map that has few good city spots around you and closer neighbors? Trying to go Liberty rather than Tradition would be a bad idea.

    Despite that, you'd be really hard pressed to find a map where Mongolia couldn't open Honor and win Domination. Even in 15 tries to specifically get a bad start I'm still easily winning this despite all the screwing around I've done. If you think you can find such a map please let me know and I'll take a crack at it...but Mongolia (and Keshiks/Khans) are just that amazing. There are definitely starts that most Civs would not want to try Honor/Commerce/Autocracy -- when you have very sub-par terrain and bad neighbors. But Mongolia can still pull it off.

    Uh, no. I'd even avoid upgrading to Cavalry until the Modern Era -- Keshiks/Camel Archers will destroy anything until planes, Great War Infantry, or Landships enter the field (minor exceptions exist like Berber Cavalry which are both in friendly territory and desert for a 75% boost). And at that point the Cavalry mainly exist to capture units once Artillery brings them low.

    And...the terrain promotions from Keshiks/Camel Archers do NOT benefit Cavalry and beyond. Logistics allows for two attacks and March still leads them heal, but they do not get terrain type bonuses.

  7. Aheadatime

    Aheadatime Prince

    Dec 21, 2009
    Sounds intensely interesting to watch tbh. I'm waiting patiently :hatsoff:

    Regarding my zulu/rome game, yeah I was sort of underestimating my opponents. And tbh, it was my first time on Huge map/Marathon speed so I didn't know what to expect. I knew that since the game was so ridiculously slow, worker steals and tile yields will make an immense difference. I also had an odd desert start (half plains, no river, just awkward) so I rushed for petra. I actually opened tradition just to hit aristocracy because I was worried that one of the other 18 civs (I loaded a million AI onto the map) would rush it. Meanwhile, Rome was opening with Liberty, spamming cities, and conquering all of his neighbors. I made some pretty huge mistakes that game that ended up hurting me a few hundred turns later because I simply wasn't familiar enough with that type of game setting.

    Oh and I've loaded up a Mongolia Deity game myself to test this strat, but I've been cheating hard. I got a good start and instead of rerolling a bad one and going Honor etc, I played it out with tradition/honor hybrid and am currently conquering my second neighbor. I'm not recording it as I don't have recording software but tbh, it's not worth showing. The start is so good that any civ could have rolled over his neighbors with it. My first expand has Kili and my second expand has Uluru (both expands are only ~5 tiles from my cap). Natural wonder faith = early religion for %production. The Keshik spam is real with this setup. Annoying mayans are behind a mountain range surrounded by ~10 tile hills and a 2-tile choke, and they keep spamming missionaries/prophets, but I'll be DoWing them soon after I'm finished with my other neighbors just so I can start stealing/deleting the crap he's sending my way.

    Who knows. Perhaps I need to branch out and experiment with different strats. I'll still need to find a crap start and roll the world over to be convinced that honor/Mongols actually works as consistently as you say, but perhaps I've underestimated the strat so far.
  8. reddishrecue

    reddishrecue Deity

    Nov 16, 2009
    You're talking about seige units. Im talking about mobile archers that upgrade into cavalry.
  9. Athenaeum

    Athenaeum Prince

    Mar 20, 2015
    Well the thing to consider with that, is that a higher base combat strength is not going to transfer with upgrading. Of course people are strictly talking mid-game so I guess we're not supposed to consider that.
  10. LordBalkoth

    LordBalkoth Prince

    Dec 7, 2014
    I have the first four parts uploaded, but I forgot to disable the music for part 1, so it's blocked on YouTube. It's trying to edit out the offending bit, will update this once YouTube figures its stuff out. Also uploading part four right now so may have all of those up.

    Currently on turn 281, Babylon is in the Information Age with Advanced Ballistics, Satellites, and Robotics (clearly rushing for a Science Victory).

    I think the only Modern Era tech I have is Flight.

    Anyway, I've crushed his army, pillaged most of his lands, and am a turn or three from taking one of his core cities. His capital will be next, then clean up the last few cities. Right now I'm thinking I'm just going to go for a cultural victory after that as the Aztecs have been nice to be this whole game and I'm not sure I want to attack them. Hotels/airports alone will do it with Futurism pretty quickly, I think. Worst case I can roll over the Aztecs, but none of the other AIs are more than 2-3 techs ahead of me, I think.

    Gotcha. But yeah, in this type of game *you* need to be the runaway. You know how you often have Science games where there's AI just conquering everyone else and you're really hoping he doesn't attack you (and probably keep bribing him to attack others)? And you're counting on a few higher tech units to be able to hold off his advance if he does attack long enough that he'll give peace?

    This is the opposite of that where *you're* the guy the tech leader fears and is praying you leave him alone.

    Of course, like I said, if I hadn't lost my two secondary cities at the start of the game, then lost my capital, then lost both secondary cities AGAIN my science would be significantly better anyway and this would be less of an issue (and, on top of that, if you really do this "right" then you conquer everyone before the Modern Era anyway, which is doubly true if you're Mongolia/Arabia -- I made a whole bunch of stupid mistakes and screwed around with other stuff rather than be ruthlessly optimal).

    Well, if you find a crap start that you think isn't doable, do let me know and I'll give it a shot.

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