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Number of city defenders

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by ianfuture, Jul 31, 2009.

  1. ianfuture

    ianfuture Chieftain

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    I play on Noble.

    However I was wondering how many units at each stage/era people leave to defend their cities and what mix they are? This is purely for reasons of being confident they will repel any attack, not for reasons of keeping happiness up etc.

    Thanks..
    Ian
     
  2. smitty5ca

    smitty5ca Chieftain

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    Well I guess it depends where your city is and how many guys are attacking it. I would usually leave for Defender type units in a city. But will attack a large enemy force with say Horse archers, knights, artillary, etc. Just to dwendle their numbers. 4 longbow men won't last long against a large enemy force.
     
  3. Marigwen

    Marigwen Chieftain

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    I'm really bad about underdefending my cities, and it gets me into trouble sometimes, but my answer is 'it depends'. In the early game I tend to run 1-2 troops/city, 2-3 in the mid-game, and 2-4 in the late game. Then I vary that by who my neighbors are and what my relationship with them is (any city sharing a border with Monty or Ghengis, for instance, gets a lot of troops). Plus, I like to have one or two decent armies collected somewhere, either getting ready to invade, or intimidating my neighbors to keep them from attacking me. Obviously these go on the most risky border/s. Interior cities get fewer troops, sometimes even none at all, except that I'll often put mounted troops in the interior where they can quickly get to several cities to provide support as needed.

    The other thing I do a lot is find that even when I'm working pretty hard at upgrading troops, I still have a lot of old troops scattered around my empire. I generally accept this as a fact of life, and then keep a large buffer of gold to use for emergency troop upgrades if someone actually attacks me. That works pretty well usually, except for cities that are flat up against a border, or coastal cities where the enemy attacks direct from boats, either of which gives no warning to do upgrades.
     
  4. Willem

    Willem Deity

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    That's impossible to know for sure. You might have Montezuma come at you with a few Archers in tow, in which case you need next to none in order to beat him off. Or you might have Shaka bearing down you with a stack of 50+ units in it. In that case, no number of city defenders is going to help, only your own SoD will be able to fend that one off.
     
  5. Phoenician

    Phoenician Tiberium Warrior

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    I play monarch and I always try to stay #1 in power. If you have a weak military the AI will dogpile on you. I have usually 2-6 defender units per city and 4 mobile units (cavalry, knights, gunships) and a couple artillery. The defender units are used just to repel an amphibious invasions. The mobile units and artillery are used to take on the enemy stack, usually 3-4 cities worth of mobile units will be able to take on a stack.

    Also, always maintain a powerful navy. If you sink the enemy's navy, it will hinder them from sending more troops, pillaging and blockading your territory, or if your lucky enough you can sink the armada before the troops reach land fall. I've also noticed that the AI will see you as weaker if you don't have a navy, even if you have a strong land force.

    So, all in all, keep a strong military at all times, you won't get messed around that much.

    In my last game, I was Russia, I was getting dogpiled, so I started spamming ship-of-the-lines and cossacks. I had 40 cossacks protecting my land, most of them with flanking promotion so I did not need that many artillery as they can just pick off units and retreat. I believe this is the best way to defend, to have retreating mobile units.
     
  6. sosasoser

    sosasoser Chieftain

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    It all depends how vulnerable the city is to an attack. If it's likely to be a target, I'll make sure to have as many defensive units as I can afford, some siege units to rip through AI stacks, and some offensive weapons to mop up that stack.

    If the city isn't going to be attacked I won't bother with it. Not too long ago my capitol in a space race win was protected by a lone Quecha for the entire game as the AI would have to have gone through several chokepoints to get to it.

    So, I think the answer to the question is, it depends.
     
  7. Pembroke

    Pembroke Tribune

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    Using roads and 2-move units you can implement a mobile defense. This gives you "more with less" i.e. instead of defending three cities with 3 units each you have 9 units that can respond to a threat against any of those cities. This usually gives you local superiority even if you have a smaller total army. It also allows you to quickly turn the defense to an offense. The AI seems to favour defending its own cities to conquering yours which will help lessen the pressure against your cities.

    Besides, 2-move units are great for crippling your opponents production and movement capacity with a burn+loot strategy. Or was it first loot and then burn? :D

    A mobile defense with 1-move units is possible, too, but you need to plan carefully and position them so that they can intercept the possible attacks. Fortunately the AI isn't very clever so the attack paths it will use are usually quite easy to deduce.

    You still need some defenders in your city to keep your citizens content and the AI and barbs seem to target seemingly undefended cities. Also, if your empire is large and your concentration is on one war front you can miss an enemy strike from an unexpected direction. You can still get by with less, though, meaning you can have a more efficient army actually fighting with the same amount of production capacity and upkeep costs.

    It also pays to learn what units your opponents are using i.e. cover promo against archers, pikes against mounts etc. Siege units are very useful in city defense because they can quickly cause some damage to lots of units which reduces the odds of the enemy units making an actual kill when they attack in their turn.
     
  8. xcrissxcrossx

    xcrissxcrossx Prince

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    If you look at the statistics screen, it will compare your army to everyone elses. I try to stay in the top 80%, so if there are 10 civs, I want to be in 2nd at least, or 15 I want to be in 3rd at least.
     
  9. Phoenician

    Phoenician Tiberium Warrior

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    I think you mean top 20%, not top 80%.

    For me, if my military power is not #1, and if I don't have at least
    6 mobile/defender/artillery units per coastal/border city, and don't have a
    strong navy, then I don't feel safe.
     
  10. Marigwen

    Marigwen Chieftain

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    I'll have to try a game with the really heavy military. I tend to run pretty low, almost always in the bottom half, and usually in the bottom 25%. I can win pretty consistently on Prince this way, but I haven't been able to make the jump to Monarch, and this might help. For one thing, I haven't been winning Domination victories since I upgraded to BTS, as the AI seems to play smarter. Before on vanilla Civ IV, I used to do Domination victories regularly.
     
  11. davelisowski

    davelisowski Spartan

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    very early game, i'll put at least 2 archers and 1 warrior.
    as soon as i can get axemen, i'll try to put 2 in every city.
    if i know the AI has mounted units, i will add spearmen with the medic upgrade.

    i'll usually convert my archers to longbowmen, but that depends on unit exp.

    by the time macemen arrive, i'll work on converting all of my axemen (again depending on unit exp.). i would rather keep an axeman with 17exp than upgrade him. it rolls back to 10exp when converting.

    by this time, i will usually have 2 or 3 stacks that roam around. one stack will be mostly mobile units (horse archers, knights, cavalry, etc.). the other will be high exp units. i'll also include catapults or trebuchets in those stacks.

    from then on, i'll add units to border cities. with gunpowder, i'll usually skip musketmen and wait for rifling to get cavalry and riflemen.

    one problem i'll run into, more so than dealing with AI attacking, is that i'll run low on money. when i'm running vassalage and theocracy i'll build a majority of my forces. so depending on the AI relations, wars, funding, and tech. research, i'll build a considerable force that can be easily updated in the latter eras.

    by industrialism, i'll usually have 6 units per city with at least one medic in the stack. and from there, i create roaming stacks (or assault stacks).

    one thing to consider, however, is that i play on standard or smaller sized maps and on marathon. i can't really say how effective this would be on larger maps or different speeds.
     
  12. cracked

    cracked Wierdo.

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    Turn 0-50 1 unit.

    50-100 two units, reduced to one if borders prevent early attack.

    100-150 three units for border cities, two for cities within four spaces of borders, one for cities on the coast, one in those cites well away from borders.

    150-200 four for borders, reducing numbers as I get away from borders. Two in coastal cities.

    200-250. five for within two spaces of borders, four for those within four spaces, three for coastal cities, less for those well away from borders.

    250-300 stating form six near borders and three on the coast, work my way down.

    300+ seven near border, six within two spaces, five within three spaces, four within four spaces , three on the coast, less for cities isolated from attack but nearly always more than one. Then add another one every fifty turns

    With a mix of mounted and siege units to wipe out stacks and other units to counter as I need to and build them (I'm always building at least some units, even when not engaged in conflict or seeking to aggresively expand. A balanced force with some catapults will deal with most threats).

    When someone DOW on me, this allows me to redirect troops garrisoned in cities to flashpoints, while using non-garrisoned mobile troops to counter stacks.

    When I invade someone on my island, those units advance as I gain land.

    Oddly enough, on noble I only get DOW on me when placed next to proper psychos like monte or when I get diplomacy wrong (not very often). However, using this and an added bit of common sense, defending is easy enough. It requires a certain discipline not to use the counter attacking units to invade and wait for the attack.

    Wound up next to Monte last game. His fair sized stacks got wiped pretty comprehensively against what were pretty weak arches (particularly once I'd whipped a city wall out).
     
  13. xchen08

    xchen08 King

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    1, seriously.

    I never have more than one permanent city defender in each city, and in interior cities that one defender would often be a warrior even into the modern era. Against the AI, there's never any need for more since you can predict which of your borders need defending and the paths of attack AI stacks will take. Most times, you can even predict when an AI will attack. A few strategically placed reaction groups are quite capable of reinforcing garrisons as needed, killing off an enemy stack, or mounting counterattacks.

    Large static garrisons are the main reason the player can defeat an equal tech AI with superior military score alongside seige weapons. If you have enough static garrisons to be totally safe from attack, then you should have had enough troops to end the threat of attack in a more permanent way.
     
  14. Malchar

    Malchar Prince

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    If the AI comes at you with any reasonable stack with siege, the only way to stop it is to attack it with your own stack. The only way that city defenders could hold it off is if you're an entire level ahead of the opponent in military technology. Massing units for defense is generally a waste compared to massing siege and offensive units which could be used to attack an enemy city or to attack an incoming stack. Since siege usually get a bonus to attacking cities, your best bet is to engage the enemy stack before it gets to your city.
     
  15. cracked

    cracked Wierdo.

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    So, you're at war with someone, you've committed all your troops to attacking that nation and then one of your rivals declares war, and all you have defending your cities is one unit per city, and some of them have warriors and it's the medieval era?

    In case your wondering, it has happenned to yours truly. Less so in the modern era, more so during the classical and medieval era. You wage war, wipe out their stack then they pay someone else to attack you. A static garrison gives you just that little bit more time to react, and means you can whip walls and castles rather than troops.

    And this means you don't need to keep that counter stack in the "perfect" position. HR means these troops generate happyness in your cities. And because there are no obvious weaknesses the AI is much less likely to attack.
     
  16. GenerallyGreat

    GenerallyGreat Prince

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    Diplomacy is the key. Have one of your neighbours too happy with you to attack and the other busy attacking someone else. It's almost always possible to keep likely attackers busy, begging for a little bit of money is always a good option for 10 turns of peace.
     
  17. xchen08

    xchen08 King

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    Against the AI, you really should not be caught off guard. You can keep track of which of your neighbors can be bribed to attack you, or are willing to attack you. And if there are potential threats, you don't commit all your troops to the attack. The main thing is that static garrisons are pointless. It is better to have a mobile reaction force near, but not on the borders than to have twice as many base infantry and machine guns sitting in your cities. HR is a point, but you generally won't be running HR by the mid-late game.
     
  18. TheDS

    TheDS Regular Riot

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    I agree with xchen08. I typically have only 1 defender unless it's in a contested area. (In the earliest parts of the game, I might not have ANY defenders in my safe areas, because I'm too intent on getting other things built and just haven't caught up to the demand yet!) I'll usually have a few spare defenders as a reactionary force to counter barbarians and slow down invaders, but by about the middle of the game, if someone back-stabs me, which I don't recall ever having happened, I've got a reactionary force PLUS I can usually whip or draft a few defenders to hold off the attack until I can build some new units. By then, my production is usually strong enough I can crank out a force equal to the attacking force in about 3-5 turns.

    Against a human opponent, I'd have to have more defenders, but when you've got a big enough defensive force, a better use of it is for offense, so again, I'd have 1 defender per city and keep a (larger) reactionary force, plus start securing my borders. Having a strong navy and control of my continent is usually important to my games too.
     
  19. bestsss

    bestsss Emperor

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    against ai one per city unless i am under HR and need the happiness.
    dedicated defense does cost extra gold/hammers and wont hold enough anyways.
    that's for peace times.
    Border cities protection/placement/culture borders are way more important.
    Keep neighbors pleased/friendly. Use bribes at will... demands too. Ask 1 gold (that's true exploit, though) if you are afraid of attack.
     
  20. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    I always leave at least two defenders in each city, one state-of-the-art (if you will) and the other obsolete. I horde gold to promote when I need to. I find leaving units obsolete for longer provides for more flexibility, given that it is really expensive to upgrade all units. But anyway, I tend to aim for two state-of-the-art units in cities near coasts, and three in cities near borders. At least. I have an unhealthy knack for over-fortifying my cities.
     

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