Need advice for early military stength

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by civilaitis, May 19, 2010.

  1. civilaitis

    civilaitis Chieftain

    May 19, 2010

    I usually play Catherine (Imp/Cre) for Russians. And the game usually ends when I get invaded by some 6 centurions or whatever. By that time i have axeman/swordsman and it seems like all the other civs have some immortal units that I can only get ~6% to defeat them, on my own forests. And that's even without them fortifying.

    Now I know about defense bonuses, but still. Is it that I should be:

    a) giving more priority for some technologies unit-wise?
    b) just making more mediocre unis so I can defend using like 8 of them to defeat one enemy unit? what about if I want to attack, then?

    The other thing is I don't seem to get anything of my special unit (Cossack), because by the time I get these, it's like everyone has already made their trades and they all have some special units defeating my cossacks hands down.

    And one more thing. If i manage to stabilize the situation in some games, so that I don't lose half of my cities, ten times out of ten I'm the first to create railroad and eventually tanks, etc. I get the huge technological advance later, the only problem is my early game. Any ideas?
  2. VoiceOfUnreason

    VoiceOfUnreason Deity

    Dec 5, 2005
    1) Welcome to Civ Fanatics
    2) See my signature for the Everyone's Guide to Getting Advice
    3) What difficulty level are you playing?
    3a) Have you learned about catapults yet?
  3. Sisiutil

    Sisiutil All Leader Challenger

    Feb 19, 2006
    Pacific Northwest
    1. I can't emphasize this enough: diplomacy is more important than military. Civ IV was designed that way. If someone is declaring war on you, think back on why, from a diplomatic perspective, that came about. Did you have a different religion? Did you refuse all their requests/demands? Did you befriend their worst enemy? Yes, all the AI leaders ask you for things, but those who are closer and can actually do you some damage have to be considered more carefully than those far away.
    2. Units on forest tiles get a substantial defensive bonus that is not easily countered. Attacking with sacrificial catapults to weaken several units helps. Mounted units with Flanking are also good to use as they have a chance of withdrawing to survive, heal, and fight another day.
    3. Make sure you can defend yourself. Alternate "civilian" techs and builds with military ones. Research Literature, build the Heroic Epic in your best production city, and pump military units out of it just about non-stop.
    4. If you mostly play peacefully, try playing a game as a psychotic warmonger. Even if you go back to playing peacefully, you will learn a lot about what is required to build an army and capture cities in Civ IV. Know the enemy as you know yourself. Try using my Early Rush and Stack o' Doom guides (links in my sig) to help you out. :goodjob:
  4. henrebotha

    henrebotha proud Fender owner

    Sep 27, 2008
    Cape Town, South Africa
    Not that my opinion matters much, but I heartily agree with Sisiutil: play a game as a bloodthirsty raider. It'll teach you a lot.

    Defending your empire should always take top priority. No sense in building a beautiful empire that can research anything in two turns, when all it takes for it to be destroyed is for Shaka to get bored with sitting around.
  5. Negator_UK

    Negator_UK King

    Nov 14, 2007
    There is a games variable called unitbuildprob (?) that acts to trigger varying size armies in various AIs - Genghis and Ragnar both have high values for example, while Lizzy and Izzy have lower values. Each AI will have a different sized army if left alone.

    That means there is no standard army size for YOUR needs - you need to base your protection needs based on your neighbours characteristics and actions - either learn the AI-secret-traits or send a spy over the border to see whose building what.
  6. georgjorge

    georgjorge Deity Wannabe

    Dec 14, 2009
    Also, chop those forests immediately next to your cities early in the game (watch for regrowth), so when an army comes to them you'll be able to attack it on the field! Getting only ~6% chances when attacking units in forests doesn't necessarily mean that your units are bad, attacking units in forest is just very often not a good idea unless they are mostly mounted (no bonus there).
  7. CerberusAlpha

    CerberusAlpha Chieftain

    Feb 2, 2010
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    I think it is important to focus on establishing your military presence immediately.
    like your first tech choices should be about finding either copper/horses/iron
    and you should immediately build a city on one of these. then you can have defences
    right away, and with one or two cities with lots of mines constantly building units you should be able to cover all of your needs, and maybe go offensive early.
    Then you'll have some room to move, tech-wise, but you should mostly focus on getting land and a strong economy over say... wonders and buildings.
    but sticking with the military route is a good idea, too. building a massive stack of early attackers and crippling your nearest opponent will keep you safe in the early game, though it might kill your economy.
    And then you can start teching towards the better units: horse archers, catapults (lots of these), elephants, crossbows or longbows, and then macemen. The military tech path moves from iron working to masonry, math, construction, metal casting, mechines, and then civil service (and then onto engineering, guilds, and military tradition later). Thats the early game for war. And feudalism is in there somewhere but the AI will trade it to you.
    It might be a good idea to give up on the russians for a while to use some of the civs with good advantages in the early game, if thats where you're having trouble. Many games are won or lost in this era. Build lots and lots of units, and vary them so that they can cover each other. And catapults. Lots of collaterally damaging catapults.

    um... diplomacy is a good idea, yeah. get an ally to do your bidding. but if it comes to war on your soil remember you can use chopping and slavery and drafting to protect your cities when you need to and just stall.

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