Discussion in 'Civ3 Strategy Articles' started by soujourner, May 2, 2008.
What tips does anyone have to use naval units more effectively?
Transport ships are often the fastest way of moving your troops while on campaign, especially if you are fighting with foot units.
Units standing on ships in friendly / neutral waters heal in the same way as if they were standing on friendly / neutral dry land, which means you can often have your troops advancing and healing at the same time.
1. Naval bombardment can reduce a coastal enemy city's defences and population to soften it up for capture, by land forces or amphibians.
2. Ship chaining is considered an exploit by some players, but it's a powerful way to reduce the delay in getting reinforcements from your production centres to the battle front to maintain your attack momentum.
Station pairs of transports at appropriate handover points in the sea or ocean crossing. Load up a transport in your starting port, with units that have movement points in hand. Move that transport to the first handover point, wake the transported units up and transfer them at sea to one of the transports there. Move them on to the next handover point and repeat until they get to the destination. Return the unused one of each pair of transports backwards down the chain, the last one going back to the home port. The chain is then ready to repeat the process next turn.
Once you have a beach head city on the enemy continent your troops can disembark there and proceed towards the front. They will have used up no movement points during the crossing. You can, of course, use multiple pairs of transports to increase the chain's capacity.
Transport ships have low defence strength, so if your enemy has a navy then you will need to protect your handover points with fighting ships, as in a convoy.
With rails or roads feeding your coastal cities, your fast units - knights/cavalry/tanks - can often go into battle on the same turn that they were trained.
If both transports are in a stack, no. Just "wake up" and then Load, and chose the right transport from the list.
What i do is make what i call an 'Armada'. It consists of one Carrier with 3 Bombers and 1 Fighter on it, one Battleship, 2 Cruisers, and 4 destroyers. I can make multiple Armadas and i send them to an area of crisis to deal with the problem.
The uses are:
Bomber-bomb enemy cities and ships
Fighter-protect form planes
Battleship-defense and bombardment
Cruisers-defense and bombardment
Destroyers-Advance guard and Submarine protection
Armadas may not be necessary, not all AI Civs go in for big navies. Many times I get away with just transports. 'Normal' protection for me consists of a Battleship and something that can see submarines.
Having trouble with Cruise Missiles? They need to be loaded onto a transport off the coast, not in a city.
Getting carpal tunnel syndrome moving a lot of units? Most units can be airlifted, any number to a single airport or airfield, the downside is they can't be used till next turn.
My Naval doctrine depends on the Era.
AE: Galleys I use ethier as transport if practical. If not I use them to cut off the cost to stop the AI from doing those long range drop offs that never do anything but annoy.
ME: Early on I mostly do the same, but I'll stack then up because with the ability to travel on the see rather then coast it looses relevance. I may build some frigates for the sack of early defense and bombardment, but usely no.
IE: If I have a sufficient tech lead I'll research Ironclads and build them up, if not to just upgrade to Destroyers later. Ironclads are very decent bombarders for their time.
Late IE onwards: I basically do what Argetnyx does but with a different mock up. I extablish 'fleets' and defense flotillas. A fleet would consist of 3 carriers, 4 fighters and 8 bombers, 6 Cruisers, and 6 Destroyers. A Defense flotilla will consist of 3 or 4 Destroyers and 3 Cruisers.
My fleets will handle any significant AI navy, and launch invasions with its destroyers searching for subs. My defense flotillas will spread out where the AI will come from and I will set the Cruisers back to attack whatever trys to go through/attack the line.
Mine also depends on the era, but is different. Skipping AE since it's obviously galleys.
Late medieval/early industrial: Galleons for transport, Frigates as needed to disrupt enemies/provide a bit of defence. Try to only attack with 50% more ships than they have (approx) so I can actually finish them off and don't waste my ships for nothing. I only build privateers for fun. I almost always skip Ironclads, since Destroyers come soon enough and ironclads are slow. If I want bombardment, I build cannons so I can get interior cities, too. Even in Vanilla when Steam Power unlocked Ironclads, I rarely built many of them.
Late game: A mix of carriers, battleships, and destroyers for my main fleets. Cruisers didn't exist in Vanilla, and I still don't build them much. For transports, I'll include an escort, but it varies as to what it is. I also send out submarines, usually in small groups and/or near my own coast. Often I use them to take out transports and thus stymie invasions, but they're also great for finishing off damaged ships.
I tend to use fewer escorts per transport than the AI, particularly in the late game when a single submarine can snipe transports at will.
Yeah I only like Ironclads so I can have a sizable destroyer force quickly after making them available. But that's only when its justifiable to get the tech in the first place.
Personally I don't use battleships. I tend towards large fleets so that kind of makes me not like the extra cost too much, despite the more bang for the buck.
I got a mixed relationship with subs. I love the stealth attack. But the damn AI running one over makes them annoying. So I rarely use them. Honestly on fleet on fleet actions I prefer to catch them out in the middle of the ocean and bombard them weak, and then hit them with bombers. I find ships too expensive to waste in open combat. Mainly because theres only so many go coastal cities (in relation to land locked one) so bombers are more easily replaced.
Good point with the Sub Bug™. I do fairly often keep my subs either in port, or covered by another ship, in part to avoid this, and in part because they aren't very good at defence. Sometimes I'm risky and send them out on their own. As to what's more economical, I'm not sure. Having big enough fleets to bombard is expensive in the first place, and aircraft carriers are not cheap. I will bombard given the opportunity, but I don't always have that many ships, and the carriers I have are usually for overseas land operations, at least initially. There's also the question of whether it's cheaper to replace lost subs or lost planes - it's true that I can make more planes overall, but it might cost more in hammers to replace planes lost to ship AA fire. In real life, air power is the way to go, in Civ, I'm not as certain.
I'd forgotten that in [C3C] Ironclads upgrade to Destroyers - they don't in Vanilla. That does make them a better deal, and might be enough for me to build them if they didn't have a new, separate tech. I suspect in most cases I'd still rather have the smaller destroyer force sooner by skipping Ironclads. Especially if I were already ahead in tech, I'd put up with only having Frigates and then pwning my enemy's navy with the first few destroyers I built after skipping Ironclads. It's an interesting idea that if I were out-teched, it might pay off to go Ironclads, build a bunch, keep them in port, and then mass-upgrade to leapfrog in naval power.
Really I prefer large navies for no other reasons then I'll like them, and I do a lot of at sea work. I have a British like imperialism in most of my games, dominating small segments of the globe that I expand from typically around a particular resource. So Crusiers over BS for me just to make it easier on me.
As far as planes go, in civ I always mass produce my bombers. So AA isn't a big deal to me. I try and maintain about a 40+ bomber fleet where viable.
I clean up the seas with battleships and then park some outside the ports of whatever enemy I have at that moment so they can never get out in the open.
This leaves me able to just do whatever I want with carriers and transports. I will protect them with ~2 cruisers mostly.
It's their harbor cities that I bombard and destroy, I pick one as a landing spot. Sometimes I raze the place and build my own city, sometimes when the culture is low I keep it. My attacks are always a straight line towards the capital. So if there's a route that I can bombard from sea, then that's the route I'm taking.
I personally try an avoid destroying civs. So when I'm invading I focus on what ever territorial goals I have, then on ravaging the economy. I take a similar approach after I've destroy them as sea but I keep my forces more condensed.
I always end up with 6 Carriers, with 21 Bombers aboard, plus 3 Fighter Jets. By that time I have at least 18 Destroyers.
At that point, I rule the seas. I don't have to lift a finger, but can pull the trigger at will.
I make sure I have plenty of Jets/Bombers to rebase.
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