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On the Finer Points of Tank Warfare

Discussion in 'Civ4 Strategy Articles' started by cleverhandle, Dec 28, 2005.

  1. Roxlimn

    Roxlimn Deity

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    And tanks. If you have to take over something like 15 cities with 4 defenders each, you have to either have Drill Tanks and Longbows, or a LOT of tanks. I prefer Paratroopers, though.
     
  2. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    It wouldn't be very hard with an initial stack of 50+ tanks with more on the way if you stop to heal 1-2 times (being sure to cripple their ability to produce anything meaningful in the first hit), which at that point in time isn't too uncommon.

    Any sort of air support would work too, but by then EP is very easy to come by even with 0%.
     
  3. Roxlimn

    Roxlimn Deity

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    It'd be faster with Paras, though, especially with Air Superiority. You could conceivably take out a 15-city Civ within 10 turns. It would take that long for the tanks just to move around. I wouldn't need as many Paras, too, since they would both defend, heal, and attack.
     
  4. UncleJJ

    UncleJJ Deity

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    It takes longer to research Industrialism and then build 50 tanks than to go the Flight and Facism route (fighters and paras). In fact most times the war would be over in one case before it was even declared in the other :p

    Facism is essential for unlimited late game warmongering as it completely removes WW, then it becomes a war determined by largely production capacity. With air superiority, the defenders get so badly battered it doesn't matter too much what the troops used are, so the faster they can be produced and the faster they move the better. Paras and Gunships plus naval invasions are all significantly faster than tanks at moving in enemy culture, while cavalry are just as fast and can be effective attackers if protected by paras and supported by aircraft.

    Tanks are good but too slow (to research, produce and move) in most cases. I find I never have to wait for them in BtS, unlike Warlords where they were often decisive.
     
  5. helemaalnicks

    helemaalnicks Warlord

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    That's not correct. Never heard of the blitzkrieg? Tankregiments can operate on their own. The best support unit IRL is the paratrooper, a unit you can drop to key territories securing bridges and other antitank infra. This didn't work very well for me in civ4. In civ4, I advice people to use JUST tanks, with one stack of infantry for the border cities (you have infantry anyway, because they don't promote well). If you have enough bombers/fighters (enough = more planes then land units) combat 2 tanks will always do well enough to stop counterattacks, and makes for the quicker war. I'd say 2 cities/turn should be your goal on late game warfare.
     
  6. Woodreaux

    Woodreaux Prince

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    Sir, I disagree. The power of the lightning war was the effective use of combined arms. Panzers weren't the best main battle tank of their era. It was the Soviet T-35. The Reichwehr was so effective because they used motorized infantry, arty, tanks and air-power together.

    Presently, even East-Block tank regiments aren't homogeneous. They'll have tracked mortars, self-propelled AAA/SAM combos like 2S6's or ZSU-23-4's to go along with the T-72s and T-80s. Western armor units are even more integrated. The U.S. Army almost always uses combined arms task forces.

    In Civ IV, tank only invasions work fine against opponents if you have an overwhelming :science: or :hammers: advantage. If they have gunships, and your stacks are composed entirely of tanks, that stack will loose height rather quickly.
     
  7. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    Gunships come a lot later than tanks. Prior to them only anti-tanks stand a chance in the field, although any amount of collateral + the fact that tanks don't get defensive bonuses can leave them vulnerable, not just to other tanks but even otherwise sissyfoot stuff like infantry.

    If you get some air power or spies, CR tanks truly can slice through everything extremely quickly. The question worth asking is if the infantry/arty era wasn't a better window ---> infantry/arty don't really obsolete until modern armor and mech infantry show up, and might go up against weaker troops defending.
     
  8. HumanTraffic

    HumanTraffic Chieftain

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    Woodreaux - you are correct about the use of combined arms however the Panzer III was the best main battle tank until the T-34 came along i.e. after the start of Barbarossa. The first use of the T-34 wasn't until the Battle for Moscow in late 1941 (whilst I'm aware that most Americans probably think the war started on December 7 1941, that actually gave the Germans two good years of superiority :) Even then of course the T-34 wasn't the best tank, the later Panzers were better designed but the T-34 was simple to make and required one less crew because of the auto-loader. This made them more reliable and meant the Russians could churn out thousands to the Germans hundreds.
     
  9. Jrrd Tzu

    Jrrd Tzu Warlord

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    Tanks are awesome. Having tanks make you WANT to be a warmonger. Is it really a shame for a warmonger to see tanks? I would think it... glorious!
     
  10. Laurwin

    Laurwin Prince

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    errr. there were no auto-loaders in ww2, in any tanks as far as I know, T-34 had a pretty standard sized crew in the later models when the radio-operator (along with the radio) came along. However the newer T-72s and 80s and such have auto-loaders.

    Auto-loader, as far as I've heard (my best friend's brother is a tanker Leo 2A4) is pretty much the same as a normal loader. Skilled human loader reloads faster initially than the auto-loader, but if the battle drags on a long time, that robotic arm will still keep reloading at the same pace, where as the human will get muscle fatigue. Both can naturally malfunction, perhaps more the auto-loader than the human loader?

    In which version do the barrage (collateral damage) tanks work? I don't think there was really much reason to remove that ability IMO. I mean if we talk about tank divisions, they always had some pretty serious firepower available, mobile artillery, like in ww2 Brits had Priests and Germans had many sorts of self propelled artillery like the Hummel, or Wespe.

    I mean sure, the game has self propelled artillery, sort of, but they come a bit too late IMO.
    The mobile artillery that the game incorporates (after lasers?) is the M109 howitzer I think.

    That doesn't really detract from the usefulness, and lethality of older self propelled artillery (that was specifically allocated to panzer(grenadier) divisions in the case of Hummel and Wespe)
    Wespe-howitzers were quite effective at Kursk IIRC.

    The normal howizter artillery in the game doesnt really represent this kind of mobile artillery very well (it only moves 1 tile)
     
  11. Jrrd Tzu

    Jrrd Tzu Warlord

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    Good call. And I fully agree.
     
  12. Feyd Rautha

    Feyd Rautha Prince

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    With Patch 3.19, tanks can no longer get the Barrage promotion.

    You CAN however, sub in Mobile Artillery with City Raider II and Barrage I to comprable effect. In the first turn you approach they can also take some of the pressure off of your bombers when it comes to eliminating defenses. The best part is that they can skip a turn or two of healing and still be useful as bombardment units rather than be the only unit to hold up a big stack.

    I also recommend Mobile SAM Infantry as "cover" units. They are nowhere near as tough as Mechanized Infantry, but they receive defensive bonuses, serve a side function of protecting the stack against aerial units and helicopters, and will still crush anything else below infantry level (and will typically defend quite easily against damaged infantry).

    These require another tech, but I found myself getting mobile artillery and SAMs before bombers in this last game.
     
  13. Joey Numbaz

    Joey Numbaz Chieftain

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    I was wondering why this wasn't working. Unfortunately, I can give them the promotion (I think) but it doesn't work. I just assumed it meant 20% chance for collateral damage, and I was getting unlucky. Unless I'm misremembering my current game, this is brutal, as I have several useless promotion tanks.
     
  14. Feyd Rautha

    Feyd Rautha Prince

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    You shouldn't be able to load a save where the tanks have Barrage after patch 3.19 unless you are running a mod. I could be wrong though. All I know is that I cannot pick Barrage on my tanks now.
     
  15. popejubal

    popejubal Emperor

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    ...and even though you could put Barrage promotions on a tank, it wasn't a good promotion choice since Barrage didn't actually do anything for units that don't already start with collateral damage.

    Barrage on tanks was a wasted promotion, the interface now just doesn't allow you to throw away those XP anymore.
     
  16. Joey Numbaz

    Joey Numbaz Chieftain

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    Thanks for the responses.

    I confirmed last night several of my tanks do have barrage, and from memory, I definitely started the game on 3.19 (I remember going through the hour or so long patching process before I started the game). Weird. But at least now I know for the future.
     
  17. Joey Numbaz

    Joey Numbaz Chieftain

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    I would add that I'm playing a custom game, 17 opponents, huge map, marathon on a terra world. Not sure if that counts as a 'mod' or not.
     
  18. cleverhandle

    cleverhandle King

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    Cool to see that tanks are still getting their love some 4 years after I wrote this article! I haven't been playing seriously since 2007 or so, and I'm sure so much has changed since then that lots of it is obsolete now. Like barrage, for example - when did tanks lose collateral damage? They definitely had it back when I wrote this.

    Anyway, I finally got Warlords and BTS and a dedicated Windows gaming machine to run them (Civ4 on Linux is a PITA). Perhaps I'll update the article if I see enough tank action to feel confident about it. If anyone would like to summarize tank-relevant changes or make any other suggestions, feel free.
     
  19. VoiceOfUnreason

    VoiceOfUnreason Deity

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    Bug introduced in 3.17, eventually retconned ("we meant to do that") in 3.19.
     
  20. cleverhandle

    cleverhandle King

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    I see. Thanks. It probably makes more sense that way anyway, as it makes combined arms more important.
     

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