1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

Modern Naval Strategy for Beyond the Sword

Discussion in 'Civ4 Strategy Articles' started by Plato90s, Sep 12, 2007.

  1. Plato90s

    Plato90s Chieftain

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    Messages:
    52
    Beyond the Sword changed many things about the game, and naval warfare was one of the most dramatically affected. The limits on aircraft units per city changed the scope, but not the basis of air warfare. The additional units in land warfare made siege units relevant again.

    But war at sea was completely changed.

    In the vanilla CIV4, naval supremacy was nice to have but not necessary. The worst that could happen from not owning the oceans was losing some fishing boats and an air strike here and there (which you could counter with land-based aircraft). After your massed stealth bombers whittle them down, a few battleships can take down entire fleets of weakened enemy ships.

    Cruise missiles and tactical nukes changed all that.

    Now, not having sea superiority means that large stretches of your interior can be devastated, and possibly even nuked. The AI also uses amphibious assaults more often, and in conjunction with missle/nuke strikes. At the same time, the equation for gaining sea power has gotten more complicated.

    A whole new naval strategy is needed.

    To start, let's cover the main units.

    Missile Cruiser

    This is going to be your main combatant. Once onboard missles are exhausted, this is just a battleship and should be used accordingly. Promotions should be for Drill 1, Drill 2, and then Barrage. The idea is that you want the MC to survive initial combat, and then start prepping the rest of the enemy fleet for destruction.

    You shouldn't feel the need to always have fully-loaded MC's, but rather keep a few empties around so that they can fight the battles. Once the enemy is down to ~27 strength, a Drill 2 MC should be sent in.

    In a protracted war at sea, expect to build (and lose) a lot of MC's.

    Stealth Destroyer

    This is a misunderstood unit in because it's NOT a replacement for the destroyer the way a MC is a replacement for Battleship in every way. This is a brand new unit, like the Attack Submarine, and needs to be used in a brand new way.

    Two basic role exists for Stealth Destroyers - surveillance and assassin.

    In the surveillance role, the SD should have Flanking and Sentry to maximize the viewing radius. Surveillance SD's (S-SD) should be deployed to make EVERY ocean square between you and your enemy visible. There can be no fog of war when it comes to naval warfare unless you want an entire fleet to sneak up on you. The specifics of how such a picket line should be ployed will be discussed later.

    Another use for the S-SD's is to sneak in and bombard enemy cities' cultural defenses, if your picket lines are close enough.

    In the assassin role, the SD should have only Drill promotions, and hold those promotions in reserve for healing injuries. Once you kill opposing SD's, your highly damaged SD's can be in the middle of the ocean but also be perfectly safe. That's why your Assassin SD's (A-SD) should be the vehicle of choice for finishing off damaged units or hunting down tranports/subs/carriers. They're the only ones who can survive the aftermath.

    SD's should emphatically NOT be employed in a stack with other units, the way the AI does. It doesn't buy you anything, since SD's won't defend against anything except another SD.

    Attack Submarine

    This is a critical unit, because the AI really loves to use submarines to deliver tactical nukes. Once you have Stealth Destroyers, you'll need Attack Subs in order to help locate and destroy enemy submarines.

    Because Attack Subs should only be used against other subs or transports/carriers or heavily damaged units, it's in the same category as a S-SD and should get Flanking and Sentry. Additional promotions should be Navigation 1 and 2.

    Submarine

    This is also a crucial unit because it's the way to deliver tactical nukes and additional cruise missles to a front-deployed fleet. There's no combat role for the submarine because it's not powerful enough to fight any of the late-game opponents head on.

    If you want missle strikes - better to deliver it from a MC, which can follow up with an attack or survive a counter-attack after getting close to enemy shores.

    If you want to detect/kill other subs, the Attack Sub is much better.

    That's why the main role of subs is to either shuttle cruise missles to re-load MC's which have fired their on-board supply or to sneak in a tactical nuke. As such, submarines receive Flanking and Navigation 1/2. Beyond that, add Sentry to help avoid threats.

    Battleship

    Whatever battleships you have as of the time that MC's come along - leave them alone. There's no need to spend money upgrading BB's when they don't gain any combat power and the supply of cruise missiles always tend to trail the number of MC's on hand.

    Instead, use the BB's for the same role as they had in CIV4 original - escorting carriers and transports. Their MP's are perfect, once the transport/carrier has been upgraded with Navigation 1. They're just as powerful in defensive role as MC's.

    There's no particular need to stock up on BB's, and also no reason to change how you use them from the original CIV4. You can't see SD's or subs sneaking up on you, but that's why you have surveillance SD's and Attack Subs anyways.

    Destroyers

    These are critical units which should be stockpiled in large numbers. Build them while you can and NEVER upgrade them. You can always build more SD's, but the supply of destroyers you have are finite

    DD's have the ability to detect subs, they can move farther than the Attack Subs, and can kill the invading subs just as effectively. On top of that, they still retain their anti-air capabilities, so they're not nearly as vulnerable to air assault as the submarines.

    DD's also come in the same 2 varieties as SD's - surveillance or attack. Unlike SD's, surveillance-type DD's should be used to escort large fleets because it'll provide some redundant sub-spotting (and killing) capability.

    Otherwise, attack- and surveillance-DD's should be deployed near shorelines because they're so valuable and so vulnerable.

    Carriers

    In theory, carriers are much less useful than before. Air recon can't detect submarines or Stealth Destroyers, and the naval strike role which made Jet fighters valuable can now be taken over by missiles.

    In reality, carriers are still useful for providing first-strike on detected submarines and MC's which have been stripped of their escorts. More importantly, they have a HUGE role in one of the main purposes of the navy - supporting a beachhead.


    Forts

    Technically not an unit, but so crucial it deserves its own mention. With BTS, fortifications act as cities for naval and air purposes. That means new tricks which were impossible before.

    A naval unit can use a fort to create a land-bridge to cross an island while an enemy fleet must take the long way around. A ship can move from ocean-to-fort #1, then fort #1-to-city, then city-to-fort #2, and finally fort #2 to ocean. A crossing which might have used on the entire MP quota of a MC could instead be completed with only 4 MP's.

    Ocean-Fort-City-Fort-Ocean

    A fort can also be constructed to give you secure naval bases in stretches of your territory where it makes no sense to plant a city.

    A fort can be used to house fighters/bombers to help support your coastal defense.

    Now, if you're lucky enough to have an island off your shore, build a city on it just to be able to use it as forward air/naval station. Forts give you shortcuts to help chase down a faster enemy, and a secure way of bringing your transports further along before exposing them to attack.
     
  2. Plato90s

    Plato90s Chieftain

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    Messages:
    52
    Naval deployments

    There are several major categories of naval war strategy.

    You can choose to fight a defensive action, where your fleets are deployed out of home ports and are tasked with killing any unit you see. The goal is to protect your own lands while the land war continues or you're trying to prevent a landing.

    There's also the offensive approach, where you bring your fleets near the enemy cities to offer battle and to strike at their infrastructure. The goal is to decimate their coastal cities and wipe out their fleet.

    Finally, there's the sea-lane action where the goal is to maintain a secure travel route in order to ship in more units for the war in a distant location.

    In reality, a large war will always involve at least some of each of the 3 in different phases. It might start with a defensive action, then you'd move to secure a sea lane to provide an invasion corridor, and finally shift over to a total offensive action.

    Or it might be the other way around, where you deploy your fleet to a forward position to nail the initial stack-of-doom invasion fleet and then pull back to a defensive position shortly afterwards.

    In all cases, there are some basic tactics to consider.

    Oceanic Surveillance

    With the Stealth Destroyer, it's critical that you cover the ocean with your own Surveillance-SD's. Each S-SD can cover 14 ocean squares, so it doesn't take that many units. Because enemy SD's can easily move beyond the range of your S-SD in a single turn, you need to either deploy enough units to cover the ENTIRE ocean or establish two picket lines far enough apart that there's no way that an enemy unit can get past your S-SD's.

    Between the S-SD pickets, you should seed in Attack Subs, also spaced out carefully to make sure there are no gaps. That's the only way you're going to spot the enemy subs given the disability of the S-SD's.

    In combination, the line should look like

    S (enemy continent) N
    +
    +
    --SD----SD----SD----SD----SD-- (SD line 2)
    +
    +
    +
    +
    AS----AS----AS----AS----AS-- (AS line 2)
    +
    +
    +
    +
    --SD----SD----SD----SD----SD-- (SD line 1)
    AS----AS----AS----AS----AS-- (AS line 1)
    +

    S (home continent) N

    (each + and - represents an empty ocean square)

    The combined 9 spaces between the SD lines means that it's impossible for enemy SD's to slip by, and the double-line of attack subs also ensure that no submarine can make it past without being stuck in at least 1 location where your own Attack Submarine can see it. The absence of an Attack Sub is also a clue that there must be at least 1 enemy sub in the vicinity, so units in the 1st line should be prepared to move up to the next line at any time.

    The goal is to NOT use the units in the line to make attacks and to place your own battle fleet in a position to attack only after detection of the enemy.

    Attack echelon

    When attacking an enemy fleet, always check if there's SD's in the stack. If there is, send your own attack-configured Stealth Destroyers in first to engage them. Beyond that, use cruise missiles to soften up the enemy units to around 30 strength, and then send in your highest promoted MC which has Barrage. That MC will probably die, but naval warfare is about attrition - not experience. It'll soften up the fleet for follow up attacks. Then send in additional MC's until there are no units above strength ~20.

    At this point, it's time for the assassin SD's to enter the fray and clean up. By holding back promotions, the same group of SD's can be used to attack multiple fleets over time and they're perfectly safe sitting in the middle of the ocean as long as you eliminate enemy SD's.

    Forts and airpower

    Airpower is less powerful now that nearly 1/2 of the modern AI navy can't be detected by recon, but that's why you deployed that Oceanic Surveillance network. Forts give you places to put Stealth Bombers where it can do the most good, and add to the numbers of deployed aircraft. Do NOT send in stealth bombers until the enemy jet fighters are eliminated, but they can be deadly against subs and missile cruisers.

    Each fort should come standard with at least 1 A-SD and 1 S-DD, to provide full coastal surveillance. Then drop in a gunpowder unit with Medic to provide healing and cover against amphib assault.

    Carrier airpower

    Given the danger of parking a carrier in the middle of the ocean, and how softening up the enemy fleet can be done via cruise missiles - there isn't much of a role for carriers as before. Their job is now more specialized.

    Carriers should also be based in forts/frontier port cities. They can sally out 4 squares, launch air strikes, and then retreat. Rather than trying to avoid the enemy fighters, you're going AFTER them. Strike directly at the enemy carriers, and whittle down their fighters to open them up for stealth bomber strikes. That covers everything between line #1 and #2 on your surveillance net.

    You can then reload with fighters from a secure home port during the same turn, and be ready to sally forth again.

    In the assault role, carriers are a lifesaver. When an enemy city is taken, it's never taken with the airport intact so the amount of airpower available is limited. There's also no option to use nearby cities to provide extra air cover if this is the beachhead. Support the ocean crossing with carriers, and you can park as many fighters in the conquered city as you want. Then every available slot can be used for Stealth Bombers.

    Submarine shuttle

    Unless you plan to use tactical nukes, regular submarines are mainly useful in finding other subs and bringing cruise missiles to bear. Like regular land units in transports, missiles can be transferred from subs to MC's. That will help fleets to keep a full inventory of cruise missles without coming off their forward-deployed stations.

    Since the surveillance pickets are keeping an eye open for any intruding units, the submarine carrying missiles to the front should have a secure journey, doubly so if the MC move back enough spaces to shorten the journey.

    Convoy Escort

    When escorting convoys, you need a BIG fleet unless your sea superiority is so complete that the AI navy is completely decimated. But given production advantages, that's unlikely. In general, a convoy's escorting fleet units should reflect how many turns the fleet will be in transit.

    MC's = (# turns) x3
    SD's = (# turns) x2
    DD's = (# turns) x1
    Carriers = 3 minimum

    That's a lot of ships but you should need 1 escort fleet per ocean and you can use it to escort 4 or 25 transports.

    I consider the "typical" crossing to be 3 turns, landing the army on the 3rd turn. That means a fleet of 9 MC's, 6 SD's, 3 DD's and 3 carriers.

    At the start of the turn, move the carriers forward 2 spaces and send out 2 fighters to recon for large fleets. That will make sure you detect any large stacks of BB's or MC's for a detour if necessary. Next, send the DD's on a roundabout route to the targeted rendevous point. With S-DD's, you should be able to scan a 6-square wide corridor and still get the DD's to the target point. Any detected subs will be struck by air power. SD's with cruise missiles and subs with air strikes. Move your A-SD's in for the kill and then have them rejoin the fleet.

    As the final move of the turn, the rest of the fleet (MC, carrier, and transports) will move to the convoy station through a thoroughly sanitized area so that the AI won't know for sure you have transports coming their way. Remember that the AI's LOVE Espionage so they already know your port of embarkation. They just don't know when the transports will sail. But they will know once your transports leave port, so it's important to deny the AI precise location on your transports.

    Final point - the transports should hold off-shore the planned insertion point as far as possible on the final move to keep out of range of land-based air and units which might sally forth from secure ports. That means even if you have the MP's to gt within 4 squares of the coast on that turn, hold off 6-7 squares so that the transport can make a last-turn dash straight for the enemy coast.

    Coastline defense

    With cruise missiles, stealth destroyers, and air strikes - defending off-shore platforms and fishing boats are just a quick way to get your units killed. Stockpile the work boats and leave those resources unguarded. A good surveillance network will protect your off-shre resources more surely than a bunch of sentry-duty MC's or SD's.
     
  3. MrCynical

    MrCynical Deity

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2005
    Messages:
    4,597
    Location:
    The Dreaming Spires
    This looks a good guide for ultra modern naval warfare in BtS, and the AI's increased fondness for naval invasions makes this a more important aspect of the game as well.

    I would add in one small point about air recon. While fighters and jet fighters cannot see subs, airships for some reason can. Given they have a fairly good range as well, I often hang on to a batch of these to assist in tracking down enemy subs. They can't spot stealth destroyers unfortunately, and care has to be taken not to send them near enemy carriers, but I find them useful.
     
  4. Tantor

    Tantor Warlord

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2003
    Messages:
    238
    Location:
    Norway
    This seems like a good strategy, but it requires a lot of hammers to produce all the units described.
     
  5. Plato90s

    Plato90s Chieftain

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    Messages:
    52
    The assumption here is that you face a navy (or many) which have comparable technology and large numbers.

    If the enemy doesn't have tactical nukes or cruise missiles, you can revert to the CIV4-style of play where you ignore the enemy navy and just deploye enough BB/MC's to create convoy stations.
     
  6. InvisibleStalke

    InvisibleStalke Emperor

    Joined:
    May 24, 2006
    Messages:
    1,329
    Location:
    Auckland, New Zealand
    I agree completely with the roles of the different ships and the importance of naval warfare. In the Lonely Hearts club games we had a couple of late game naval wars.

    But I'm not so sure you can just carpet the seas with your fleet. Thats a lot of hammers for an essentially passive role.

    A couple of thoughts on that:

    - Before war, its a good idea to keep an eye on what the AI has in port. Caravels and subs are ideal for this. Locating where their potential invasion fleet of transports is hiding can give you advance warning of a war.

    - Nukes are the main threat. Once you have the manhattan project built you must have a good ring of destroyers or attack subs. But I usually move them around on patrol - it means you don't need quite so many.

    - Battlefleets definitely need air cover now - carriers aren't optional anymore. Another role for carrier based air power is strikes against oil wells. If oil is scarce this can be devastating. Likewise strikes against uranium. Spies landed from subs can also help with this.

    - Winning the circumnavigation race is now really important.
     
  7. Percy

    Percy Cow who laughs

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    Messages:
    556
    Location:
    France
    Do you have a screenshot? I was under the impression it didn't quite work that way. The city needs to have water access too, i believe.

    EDIT: yup, i just confirmed in WB that it was as i said: Ocean - Fort - City - Fort - Ocean works only if the City is connected to Water (Lake/Ocean). A city that is not seems to be unable to build water-related buildings and to house ships.
     
  8. r_rolo1

    r_rolo1 King of myself

    Joined:
    May 19, 2006
    Messages:
    13,818
    Location:
    Lisbon, Portugal
    In my experience withe the Lonely Hearts club Games ( that had their share of modern sea action ( AI love to launch a invasion task force to raze your capitol if yous how sign of beating them to the SS) ), my opinion is that the nuke carriers ( subs and missile destroyers ) are the most important units in the modern sea battles. Why? A couple of them can obliterate a naval SOD and launch mayhem in the enemy coastal cities ( the only place where naval units can be built) ,easily preventing a second attack... And modern war is all about production ( "The machines will beat the machines", Churchill to the Commons Chamber during WWII ).
    Of curse that is if you're defending.If you're attacking, you need to hunt the enemy subs and missile destroyers while in peace and destroy them in the first round of the war ( or at least before they can get to tactical nuke reach of your main fleet or your lands ). Remember that the AI tends to follow straight lines between port and target and those zones should be patrolled with subs or even with some remaining caravels. Naval chokepoints should be patrolled as well.
    Your fleet seems quite effective ,but maybe :hammers: heavy. I would rely more on subs and nukes ( the poor man's aproach ... see USSR 1945-1990 )
     
  9. Plato90s

    Plato90s Chieftain

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    Messages:
    52
    I thought it was implied what the city itself had water access, given that it's in reference to an island.

    Strategically place forts and cities on an island which isn't too wide can be quite interesting.
     
  10. Plato90s

    Plato90s Chieftain

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    Messages:
    52
    That's what I thought before a few games against a large AI navy. The AI is a lot more clever now about sneaking in subs in unexpected spots to nuke you, and you can't protect yourself against nukes unless you get comprehensive coverage.

    You don't need to carpet the whole ocean, but the picket lines are essential. If playing continents on a normal-sized world, you can easily have coasts far enough apart that a 2-line picket still leaves 5-7 ocean squares before reaching the enemy coast.

    And if your coastlines are close enough together that a sub can get in close and launch in the same turn - you're just screwed - plain and simple.

    Moving around the units with "active patrol" can save units, but by the late game when huge armies/navies are facing off against each other - I can't be bothered to do it.
     
  11. Percy

    Percy Cow who laughs

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    Messages:
    556
    Location:
    France
    Errr...
    You're aware that "island" doesn't mean that the city is necessarily touching water, right? Indeed, it is not, since the experiment i ran with WB had a situation where the body of land was three squares wide, which meant that, if one wanted to cross it using your strategy, it absolutely NEEDED a lake, otherwise the structure you presented (O-F-C-F-O) would not be possible/desirable.

    Yes, but either your suggestion is incorrect, or lacking the precision of the city needing to touch water.

    EDIT:
    Illustrating what i said with pictures...

    Possible travel:
    Spoiler :


    Impossible travel:
    Spoiler :
     
  12. Plato90s

    Plato90s Chieftain

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    Messages:
    52
    Thanks for pointing out the details for people who didn't realize a land-locked city couldn't host naval units.

    The best such example (I will try to upload a screen shot) of how useful the island can be, it was a T-shaped island right off shore from my continent, forming the northern edge of a gulf. Basically, imagine the location of Cuba shielding the Gulf of Mexico.

    By placing the city at the middle of the "T", it was possible for units to cross from the content into open ocean far more quickly than otherwise possible, and enemy fleets trying to enter the gulf was under air strike from all directions.
     
  13. Percy

    Percy Cow who laughs

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    Messages:
    556
    Location:
    France
    The thing is, i cannot imagine (but feel free to provide me with a screenshot because i definitely could have a brain failure here) a situation where you'd have a water-city and STILL need an O-F-C-F-O structure.
    It would definitely require a very twisted land form, and even then i'm not sure it's possible (but see above).

    If you're talking about a O-F-C-O structure, then that's ok.
     
  14. Plato90s

    Plato90s Chieftain

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    Messages:
    52
    I'll get the screenshot later, but the land mass looks like this

    OLOOOOC
    OFLOOOO
    OLLOOOO
    OLLFOOO
    OLCLLOO
    OFLOOOO
    OLOOOOO
    OOOOOOO


    As you can see, an island like this (no, not via WB - random generation) shields the continent to the east as well as provide quick transits . Approaching enemy flees from the west much go around the island while your fleet goes right through.
     
  15. axident

    axident Emperor

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2005
    Messages:
    1,066
    @OP nice write-up!

    As usual I agree with Invisible.

    However:

    1. "That's why the main role of subs is to either shuttle cruise missles to re-load MC's which have fired their on-board supply or to sneak in a tactical nuke." I never use missiles. But from what I hear, you can only load missile-bearers at port, not at sea. Perhaps people are mistaken, in that you can't fly a missile into a missile-bearers, but you can transfer if it's on the same tile. Am I correct in interpreting what you wrote as being that you can actually load at sea, if it's from sub to missile-bearer?

    2. WAY too many hammers go to waste if you pepper the entire ocean with ships. A concentration on either your coast or theirs is enough.

    3. NEVER underestimate carriers' ability to disrupt enemy resources. In a recent game, I used this ability with devastating effect against enemy oil and uranium.

     
  16. Plato90s

    Plato90s Chieftain

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    Messages:
    52
    Yes. Cruise missiles can be transferred from sub-to-MC or from MC-to-MC. It can't be used in the same turn of transfer, but it means you can rearm a battle fleet far from port without pulling the MC's all the way back.

    In fact, you can create a convoy system with subs for shuttling cruise missiles similar to how strategically placed transports can transfer land units by sea from one continent to another within a single turn by transferring the Tanks/MechInfs at sea. You can even rebase cruise missiles from their production point and get them to a battle fleet at sea in a single turn.
    It's really not. I'll be glad to post a saved game at Emperor level where the enemy fleet had well over 200 units total, and boatloads of nukes/missiles. A concentration on the enemy coast would require a navy of hundreds of ships, and a concentration at home coast means you might as well give up because the subs will nail the cities before you see them.

    This strategy lesson came out of several long and protracted wars which I (deliberately) engaged to see how the AI's war-making engine has been deployed.
    Been there, done that. Place 1xMobile SAM and 1xMechInf, and the air strikes will be very costly. Also, large platoons of workers deployed right on top of vulnerable resources means the damage is fleeting.

    You'd need a LOT of carriers or a very weak AI navy to make that work.
     
  17. Plato90s

    Plato90s Chieftain

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    Messages:
    52
    For clarification, the Ocean Surveillance Network assumes that you're playing at a level where the AI you're fighting has equivalent technology and greater numbers thanks to production advantages, thus necessitating at least an initial defensive position because you can't just go and parade your fleet right up to his coast-line.
     
  18. axident

    axident Emperor

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2005
    Messages:
    1,066
    With all due respect, I have never seen a truly massive enemy AI fleet on par with my own, at least not for long, and I play Immortal. It's my humble opinion that if you see such a navy and weren't going for cultural/dip/space victory, you did something very wrong. It's also practically unheard of in my games for ANYONE to have nukes, and even when some fool builds the MP, it's usually either too late to matter, or I just blow up their uranium anyway.

    When I say concentration at home I don't mean literally right on your coasts, but about a turn and a half's move away. As for enemy coasts, I mean about a turn away from their coasts so you can spot and intercept any large invasion fleet.

    Regarding air strikes, it's rare for me to see the AI effectively counter continual pillaging. In my latest Immortal game, I had a ground-based fighter group continually pillaging an enemy oil well, and the AI would fix, then I would bomb, then they would fix, then I would bomb, etc. SAM infantry be damned. They never got a full turn of uninterrupted oil flow, so it's as if they never fixed it at all.

    Also, the AI doesn't do that great of a job protecting its oil from airstrikes until fairly late in the game. It is my humble opinion that if you're warring with someone, you should be strong enough to at least pillage their stuff, else you have a pretty pathetic military force. It's rare for the AI to be so teched up against me that they can stop a single carrier's 3-fighter group from pillaging, let alone two or three carriers' worth. And you know what? Even if they ARE that teched up, it's STILL worth it to bring a wolfpack of carriers and pillaging oil and uranium, as that will drive their war production to its knees.
     
  19. Plato90s

    Plato90s Chieftain

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    Messages:
    52
    If you're playing a game where the AI is already so far behind you in terms of power, then you don't need this guide at all.

    The question isn't whether you can win without these tactics. Obviously, it's quite possible.

    This guide (and the previous generic one) is for people who enjoy wars on a global scale.

    Armies with hundreds of units and navies with hundreds of ships are not uncommon at all when you turn off Space Race and use Aggressive AI on an Epic or Marathon game.
     
  20. MrCynical

    MrCynical Deity

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2005
    Messages:
    4,597
    Location:
    The Dreaming Spires
    It may depend on map type. I'm playing mostly on hemispheres/Immortal, and have got hit by a very substantial enemy navy in the late phase of the game on several occasions. On no less than three occasions the best AI has slung everything it has at me immediately that I launch a spaceship and, since I don't like sharing a continent, they've all been naval invasions. Nukes I agree are rarely that relevant - if there are other AI's at a tech level to build these, nukes are so easy to ban with the UN that they're never really an issue. There's at least one random event that lets you ban them without worrying about the UN as well. I've certainly never had to worry about a nuclear strike.

    The AI is very fond though of sending literally hundreds of guided missles into your terrain improvements from subs and cruisers, so it is worth keeping a few scouts out - but only attack subs, and I usually find it easier to watch the ports of my enemies (assisted by espionage) than to stretch forces across my whole coastline. The cost of a defensive net as you suggest in your article is horrendous, and the classic AI naval stack (30+ missle cruisers, 40+ destroyers, 30 odd subs with missles and assorted carriers and transports) will punch through it like tissue paper.

    The trick is to look for enemy stacks while you're at peace and they're in port. Then when war comes you've got a good idea of the direction they'll come from, and how long you've got to intercept. You have a couple of stacks positioned so they can reach any part of your coastline within a turn or two, and have a handful of attack subs as an early warning system out at sea. I think it's your focus on stealth destroyers which is the main problem. While I agree modern naval warfare is now important, I've yet to see stealth destroyers be relevant, for the simple reason that Stealth is invariably the last tech to be researched. Also, it isn't a problem if they do get through to your coastline - they can't carry missles or troops and they can't escort transports because of their broken behaviour. At worst I lose some fishing boats, and I assume that will happen anyway. It's a SoD you've got to worry about and a thin layer of Stealth destroyers isn't necessary to spot it, and won't even scratch it.
     

Share This Page