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Nobody ever talks about conventional military past cannons. Are later units useful?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by nate46, Jul 25, 2016.

  1. nate46

    nate46 Warlord

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    On higher difficulty levels (immortal/deity), is there ever a good reason to mass attack with, say, infantry and artillery? or fighter planes? or non-nuclear missiles?

    Or is the post-cannons-cavalry-riflemen-era the point where you just beeline nukes or consolidate your diplomatic situation and go for space victory or diplomatic victory?

    For safest conquest/domination victory, should you just stop teching entirely once you hit rifling and steel, and take over the world with mass drafted rifles, spending gold on upgrades or unit purchases through universal suffrage, and leaving tech at 0%?

    At what point do you go for nukes and at what point--if any--do you go for later military units other than nukes?
     
  2. lymond

    lymond Rise Up! (Phoenix Style!) Hall of Fame Staff

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    Well, I can't speak for everyone, but my assumption is that most experienced players want the military aspect of the game complete before those eras. Even if going for..say..a space victory, I want the requisite amount of land secured at least by or during the rifle-cannon era. Even in dom/conq type games it's the same, hopefully having won or at least secured victory by that point, not that some Infs or Artie don't get thrown in the mix toward the end.

    I've never based any strategy with a focus on late military units unless I was actually playing a late era start which is rare except for the occasional HOF challenge or GOTM.

    I've never really used nukes much at all, although obviously they can be highly effective if your game happens to reach that point. However, usually if my games reach that point I'm doing space, so I've long been avoiding wars by that point.
     
  3. Fippy

    Fippy Micro Junkie Queen

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    I have done Tanks before, when i figured some Deity AIs being too strong earlier.
    And bombers, they are very powerful.. plays like mobile siege without dying.
    By that time you can have State Property, and high prod in most cities so it's easy building them.
     
  4. Izuul

    Izuul Level 86

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    Infantry + Artillery is really strong if you find yourself in a long and drawn out deity game where you just need to finish off 1-2 advanced AI and cannons + rifles aren't strong enough. You can take out AI with tanks and all using that combo if you add a few Anti-tanks for stack defense.
     
  5. georgjorge

    georgjorge Deity Wannabe

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    Non-nuclear missiles are awfully bad, they are one-use and don't even kill a unit.

    Lymond said it best: it's usually better to attack earlier than later. The AI get huge bonuses which increase with each era, so they will run away in tech + military if left alone for too long. And the Renaissance is about the time when you can still have a tech lead by bulbing with Great Persons, which is not so viable later on.

    If you reach the Industrial era with 15+ cities an Infantry + Artillery/Bomber war is very viable, but that probably means the REALLY hard work was already done before by earlier units.

    As to your question on stopping teching at Rifles/Cannons - it can be the best option sometimes, but depends entirely on how advanced the AIs are. You need to know beforehand how many and which AIs you will need to conquer/vassal to reach Domination. If those AIs include some that will have Mobile Artillery and Bombers by the time you get to them you might consider keeping teching until Machine Guns/Infantery yourself. But if they only get to Infantery + Machine Guns I would say that Rifles drafted from 20+ cities should be enough if you are smart about where to attack.

    Nukes are used to conquer a very big and advanced AI (usually with vassals). I'm talking 20 cities and a big tech lead here. You usually have a good number of cities yourself from conquests but are behind in tech, to the point where any unit you could build would face much superior units. But nukes don't care about the level of the units they destroy, so they level the playing field - the only things that matter anymore are production capacity and surprise factor. Plus they are fun to use.
     
  6. shakabrade

    shakabrade Praise Vivec!

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    Nukes are OP and should be the last resort. I find Nuke victories only slightly better than Religious Diplomatic. This is just my opinion. Everyone can play the game as they want as long as they don't use Nukes. :D

    Edit: xpost with georgjorge

    Anyway, you can clearly see we all have our preferences.
     
  7. unas876

    unas876 Warlord

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    Tanks are like the modern time Cuirassiers to me. I haven't done it on Deity (although I know it can be done) but on anything lower than Deity you can easily beeline towards Tanks when you have missed the opportunity to get Cuirassiers or Cavalry quick enough (or you haven't been able to take the map with those units and are still missing a couple of AIs that are too far in tech at that point).
    With the production bonusses you get in the Tank era (with infrastructure in place obviously) its not too difficult to get out an army, especially considering their Blitzkrieg promotion (or what its called).

    What I have also found myself doing is stopping an AI that was close to culture victory with Tanks. If you have made mistakes earlier in the game or you have overlooked them going for culture sometimes you can't really do anything but go to war, no matter if you like that eras warfare or not.
     
  8. Fippy

    Fippy Micro Junkie Queen

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    What about Paratroopers, Izuul?
    Remember a certain sgotm :)
     
  9. Izuul

    Izuul Level 86

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    Oh yeah! Paratroopers are awesome if there's one AI left that is completely closed off by peaks and there's literally no other way to get to them. You really can't beat Paratroopers in that scenario ;)
     
  10. dutchfire

    dutchfire Deity

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    I've gone to Infantry and Artillery in an AW game. I've also had a few Cavalry+Artillery armies while mopping up enemies, it is an interesting combination.

    Paratroopers are also nice on the huge Earth map, I've used them to cross the Himalaya from India. Qin never knew what hit him.
     
  11. Dewii

    Dewii Chieftain

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    If you have enough bombers paratroopers are faster than tanks.
     
  12. nate46

    nate46 Warlord

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    this is basically the strategy i used for Alpha Centauri. hahaha...

    step 1: Send Plane Colony Pod and a 20 stack of 6/3 planes in the general direction of an AI.
    Step 2: Found a base for the planes with the colony pod and then spam buy 1/2 paradrop rovers in the city.
    Step 3: Take the whole continent in like 4 turns with nothing but planes and paratroopers. GG.

    ...I wonder if there's a mod for alpha that makes it harder, i never really looked into that. I want to say transcend difficulty on that game is somewhere around monarch to emperor difficulty for civ IV.
     
  13. Powerfaker

    Powerfaker Warlord

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    Many of my dom/conquest games used to end with space race victory almost completed too. I like warfare in the modern era. The high mobility can make it ''fast and furious''. I prefer not to exhaust my cities and treasury for a dozen turns quicker victory and never use anything fancier than rifles every game.

    The easiest time at war in the entire game is when you have bombers and the AI does not have SAM inf yet. Bomber air strikes turn the AI units powerless even with culture bonus still intact. These wars are won with (almost) zero casualties

    Tanks are powerfull too and multiple attack per turn is also nice. I like Paratroopers and gunships a lot. They can reach inland cities faster than mobile units.

    Coastal cities are easy accessable from transports (with inf+art typically because of their 1 movement) supported by coastal bombardment.

    AI's will build plenty of SAM and anti-tank inf once they have access to that. That will make war tougher. The latest units do not change that much (mobile art/SAM, mech inf, stealth units).

    I find fighters not very useful. Their best purpose is interception.
    For reckon missions air ships are better (quite good actually)

    I try to avoid nukes. It just seems not decent to use 'm. I've never seen AI's use them either by the way. I wonder what would trigger an AI to do that.

    If you couldn't win wars in earlier ages I don't think you have better chances in the modern era, assuming you won't be able to get any tech advantage.
     
  14. Lazteuq

    Lazteuq Chieftain

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    In several multiplayer games, I've gotten in to a race toward infantry, because they crush cavalry and rifles. You only need Steam Power and Corporation, and Steam Power helps with production and leads to Railroads and Combustion.
     
  15. rah

    rah Deity Supporter

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    I played the game for a long time and never used nukes. (mainly because after a few SPACE race games I usually played for dom/con wins that ended prior)
    But after playing a few AW games I decided I'd play an AW only nuke game where every major city had to be double nuked before I could take it. It took a little longer to build all the necessary nukes but it really opened my eyes to how OP they were. And I loved the graphics. :)
     
  16. SittinDown

    SittinDown Prince

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    As a longtime player at lower difficulty, I've found myself in many later game wars against strong opposition.

    I really like the variety and options in the late game units. Other people have talked about a bunch, but there's one tactic i've always liked that nobody mentioned:

    Gunship pillage stacks.

    Gunships are excellent for pillaging, because they can move, pillage, and move back. Take a handful of gunships and a bunch of cheap defensive units deep into enemy territory. The cheap units protect the gunships, while the gunships pillage pillage pillage. In this way, you can go up against a very strong opponent's territory and wreck their villages and towns fast without taking meaningful losses. It crushes their GDP, and makes them focus on rebuilding their economy instead of retaliating. I've used this before against a stronger opponent to hurt their economy enough that it was the difference in a space race, or allowed me to culture out. (recovering wonder spammer here).
     
  17. unas876

    unas876 Warlord

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    Unless the game is almost over (you're warring against the last guy or you figure that if you get that guy you have pretty much won the game and just need to play it out) I'm not sure pillaging the opponents stuff is a too great idea, unless you need the money desperately to keep your army running. The problem is that once you capitulate them they won't be nearly as strong a research partner if you wrecked all their cottage tiles. This may not be true for lower levels but on the higher levels its very useful to have your vassals research certain techs for you and depending on how big they are still and how many good tiles you left them you can either use them to research techs you don't need in the immediate future or you can use them to research key techs for you on the spot which they often still can do very fast because of the bonusses they get on the higher levels.

    I have even seen players vassal AIs that were way farther in technology than them by brute force and then having those AIs go farther in tech than the human player could ever get to because of maintenance. Depending on how good a warmonger the captured AI is you can then sometimes just gift them bad troops (Warriors if you can manage to get rid of all your metal, otherwise your veteran but outdated troops from the war). They will upgrade the troops for little gold (another one of these bonusses the AI gets, although I don't know how that bonus works) and then they can basically do the warring for you as they will have more modern troops.

    For example: capture Alexander. He is much farther in technology than you and you can't catch up fast. Gift him troops. Declare war on another AI. Let Alexander crush him with superior technology. Profit. Obviously watch out that Alex doesn't break free.
     
  18. M3dge

    M3dge Chieftain

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    I am finally winning at Monarch consistently now, but I struggle to do so early - 1930 is my record to date, so I have plenty of experience with modern arms:(

    I would echo the other comments about bombers if not faced with fighters or SAM - these are great for invading another land mass as well, drop four bombers straight into every captured city and trash the AI's counter attacking stack. Tanks I find are now more balanced since they lost the ability to inflict collateral damage. And as I usually play continents, I tend to ignore my navy completely until I am ready for an invasion then crank out plenty of battleships, destroyers and transports.

    To the nuke discussion - I've been nuked by the AI before, but only in retaliation following a DOW (and it was first use, I did not even have rocketry!) - I have no moral problems, it's a game :lol: - in my last win I did a massive first strike to reduce the AI's population to the level where I breached the pop target and won the game on the next turn.

    Now I need to drive that win date down. If I pursue early war beyond the first one or two rushes I inevitably run out of money before currency, so end up hunkering down, taking my continent at Rifles & Cannons, then teching to Combusion/ Industrialism before D Day.
     
  19. Metaslab

    Metaslab Chieftain

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    I had some very long drawn-out wars with all the late units in play in my earliest civ games (about 5 years ago - yes, late starter), but don't really see anything past inf/arty these days, and usually don't get to them.

    The situation in which I'm most likely to use nukes goes like this: Build Manhattan Project in a second-tier production centre while the big cities are finishing spaceship parts. After launch, nuke everybody for lulz and pretty graphics :lol:!
     
  20. Lexicus

    Lexicus Deity

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    I play on Huge maps for dom/conq so I regularly fight modern era wars. I've fought with artillery/infantry (ww1), artillery/infantry plus tanks and planes (ww2), and I've even fought a few serious wars with mech inf/modern armor/mobile artillery.

    Nuke are extremely powerful, 2 or 3 are sufficient to destroy enemy stacks of hundreds of units.
    Having gotten into a few nuclear wars the best strategy is generally to nuke the AI's uranium so they can't nuke you back too severely.

    Also, I'm interested to hear people like bombers, in my experience AI already has too much anti-air capability by the time I get them so they're never that useful to me. I prefer to spend those hammers on more artillery. Usually I build only fighters just to protect my own units from the enemy bombers. I have had fighters get up to Combat 5 and range 2 before from shooting down the AI's planes.

    That changes when I hit stealth. Stealth Bombers are incredible and promoted with Evasion they have a 75% chance of avoiding interception.
     

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