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Operation Sealion - Concepts to employ when invading by sea

Discussion in 'Civ3 Strategy Articles' started by Magister_Mortis, Jan 3, 2005.

  1. Magister_Mortis

    Magister_Mortis Chieftain

    Joined:
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    Just to start things off, this article is NOT intended to be used as a reference for experienced players. It IS however, designed for the inexperienced player, who needs a little help.

    Now you may be wondering why I used the name of an unsuccessful German Invasion Plan during World War 2. The reason I used it was simple. It was well thought out, and if Germany had the resources to execute it properly, Britain would indeed have been conquered by the Third Reich.

    So, you've played your game for a little while, and you have encountered a threat to your vast empire. You cannot dispatch them for some reason, perhaps there is a nation between you and them, or they are located on another island. Well, using this guide, you should be able to easilly conquer this pest once and for all.

    Before you start try to find as much crucial information about your enemy. For example, the locations of Ports, Airports, Roads, Railroads and such. Try getting their territory map first, but if you find that is impossible, scout their coast out with ships, and maybe even land a few suicide units to scout further inland.

    Once you feel you are somewhat comfortable with the layout of their Empire, start preparing your military. Before you do anything else try to ensure that you have a superior navy. This is useful for bombarding the coast, preventing a counter offensive, protecting your landing force, and blockading crucial ports.

    Once your mighty navy rules the seas, plan where you want to attack. For this, you need look no further then their harbors. More then likely you have units at this point that require strategic resources, thus if you can secure a viable trade route you will be able to switch your core cities back to domestic production, and migrate military production to the area in question.

    Even if you cannot trade with the area at the moment due to technological limitations, the harbor cities will prove useful down the road, especially if you face resistance. Now that you have chosen your target city, prepare an invasion force.

    What you include in the initial attack is completely up to you. However, a popular consensus find it is most useful to make ONE defensive unit for every THREE offensive units you make. This will of course lead to a higher military cost in less war favoring governments, but I find it VERY useful. Basically it allows you conquer a city, and then secure it, allowing your attacking units to quickly move on, not having to linger around waiting for cities to construct their own defenses.

    A decent sized initial assault in my opinion can consist of 9 offensive units and 3 defensive units at max, and definitely no fewer then 3 offensive units and 1 defensive units.

    Once you've taken this initial city, your going to have many uses for it. One is as a gathering point for further troop deployments, and another is as a forward production center. Another use is that you pretty much see what kind of resistance you will be facing. If you are going to face weak resistance that is an era (or more) behind you, then all you need do is continue to pump out units and then voila you have won the war. (Generally its good to have about 60 offensive units, 20 defensive units, and as many bombard units you want, though this number will not be that large since you can use ships to bombard coastal cities)

    However if it looks like you are in for the long haul facing mediocre or strong resistance I have a some more tips for you.

    Try pillaging roads and railroads in order to slow the speed at which they can move units to the front only as a last resort. You will need them later, but if things look really desperate and you cannot continue on the offensive, destroy.

    Find and seize crucial strategic resources by simply cutting off roads to them.

    Or sign trade embargos against the invaded nation, and try to minimize how many luxuries they have in order to fuel the seeds of discontent.

    Summary:

    1. Have a good knowledge of where you want to attack, don't squander precious shields and time just because you didn't know their unit, city, or resource placements.

    2. Pick the site of your initial attack carefully. Try to pick cities with a harbor

    3. Build a massive navy and make sure you control the seas around your enemy, now is a good time to declare war if you haven't done so already

    4. Have three offensive units for every defensive unit

    5. Stay on the offensive once you've made a beachead, make sure you have a constant stream of units lined up

    6. If you are facing strong resistance and are losing, instead of retreating from the area pillage improvements in order to hamper their production. As Stalin once said during the battle of Stalingrad, "Do not take one step backwards!"
     
  2. LionQ

    LionQ Noble

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    Location:
    Rotterdam, The Netherlands
    Never Pillage in territory that could become yours, because it will also "slow the speed at which" yóú "can move units to the front" when you've conquered the territory.
     
  3. soul_warrior

    soul_warrior Termite!

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    Location:
    Sydney, NSW
    a few remarks.
    by the size of your proposed stack, i would think it was at REGENT level?
    but WHAT ARE your goals in the war?
    trying to capture a city or two, is fine with 10-15 units (assuming the rival is 10-15 city large, and has 3-4 defender in each target)
    without any math, i find a ratio of 3 attackers to 1 defender, annoying but true.

    SoD?
    i would use a MUCH larger SoD. the reason? if i can i want to cripple them ASAP. if i can get to my goals i will do just that.
    so assuming again a rival of 10-15 cities, that has had a resonable peace period, with a pessimistic point of view, i would guess his army to be around 45-60 units. meaning - you need atleast that much.
    i find the SoD composition that works for me best is: 30% offensive, 30% defensive and 40% bombard units. this combo can change and is not rigid.
    if possible i would get a SoD of 50+, but even smaller ones work.

    transports?
    every invasion by sea will use a whole lot of ships.
    you do NOT want units to sit around your side of the border waiting for a pickup. the solution? build more transports, and make them as large as possible, but us even dated ships if you need to.
    escorting those ship is also VITAL. have a large enough navy to escort your stack of escorts. remember the convoys from the WW2? they used as many traders as possible, with an escort and saved most :)
    i find the escort size is variable, but a 1:4 is reasonable i think.
    dont forget the coast guard. u will need some scouts near your border to warn of danger - i use dated galleys, as i will use the heavier ships to bombard. the galleys are on suicide runs, but with enough warning i can dispatch the units when they land, or rush a warship at them.

    targets?
    i aim at the harbour towns, so i get both a harbour and a base of ops.
    i usually will try to take one town on turn 1, hole up, wait for the enemy to crash on my new RUSHED walls and barracks, and then move out.
    if i can i will use 2 SoD. the first will be a generic one, getting cities, the other a purely defensive one. 50% defensive, 50% bombard. this will move into enemy territory, drawing thier attack units. it will also aim at the enemy's resources, disabling them as they go by FORTIFING and not pillaging. this will keep it with you (the resource, while kicking them in the teeth).

    recon?
    use the ability the spy out your target city. that way you will KNOW how strong the defenses are and how many troops you will need for that war.

    summary
    1- get recon. get the rivals territory map. know where they have iron, coal, rubber, etc. know thier troop placements. know thier weak points and aim to take them.
    2- have enough transports to move your entire army in a turn or two onto enemy land. have some rear guards/scouts defending your border, and a large enough support navy.
    3- base your targets, goals and army size according to your recon. if you have bad recon, get more troops!
    4- let the enemy come to you! when you're on his land he will come, so fort up, preferably on a hill, and wait :mischief:
    5- dont pillage unless u must! u will need it later on!

    just my 2p.
     
  4. Magister_Mortis

    Magister_Mortis Chieftain

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    I can understand using 3 attackers for every defender... A good concept

    I also should have put more emphasize on pillaging as a last resort, however I disagree with letting the enemy come to you.

    If you simply wait to be attacked you will squander the advantage of using offensive units. A very bad strategy in my opinion. Use the city for protected healing.

    Escort? Seems kind of pointless if you actually read my article. The player must take FULL control of enemy waters. Protecting your transports is pretty much the only reason for controlling the seas. This isn't Alpha Centauri...

    Also if you actually read it you would know that I gave the unit percentages for the initial attack, not the rest of the war. But, since you were confused by it I can assume anyone else could be too, so change it I shall

    I probablly will edit my original post to make sure that players know to use pillaging as a last resort, and to constantly remain on the offensive - in order to keep the enemy guessing.
     
  5. soul_warrior

    soul_warrior Termite!

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    ok, now its my turn to clrear up on things :D

    1- by waiting for them to come, i meant not sit up and wait for the war to end, but absorb thier initial assault, which will consist of most - if not all - of their free troops. once those are gone, u can proceed with taking the land.

    2- escorts. i did read your article. i just use a variant of your tactic. this way your navy can be smaller, while keeping some extra troops in the homelands (always a good thing, in case of any sneak attacks). controling the sea is naturally my goal, but its not always possible. with the escort service i can minimize my fleet size while transporting many troops.
     
  6. Magister_Mortis

    Magister_Mortis Chieftain

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    And I never really suggested for people to take their ENTIRE militaries with them, I don't really see how someone could get that impression.

    Another reason for controlling the seas is that you can prevent the enemy from escaping. Since this would be used on a water map it ensures that you don't have to go hunting for little three square islands with enemy cities on them...
    You can use an escort on top of controlling the seas, but you still have to make completely certain you control the water around your enemy.

    Waiting for your enemies initial strike is a waste of time. The enemy will more then likely switch to building more military units after you declare war. So, unless you want to end up in a situation like in World War I try to avoid static defenses. Besides if you were playing an actual player they could just use Radar Artillery and blast your units to pieces...

    History has shown that attacks into enemy territory have to be quick and decisive. If you don't attack right away you give the enemy precious time to build more units.
     
  7. soul_warrior

    soul_warrior Termite!

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    well, my reasoning for delaying and fortifying (mind you, just for a turn or two) is that i rarely have more offensive units then my rival. transporting and maintaining the troops is hard. and one must remember we are attacking a more than likely heavily entrenched enemy. luring him out into the open seems like good sense to me.
    if i was up VS RArty, i would rush headlong into them, never staying still, but since most wars are pre-radar, i guess some delay is acceptable.

    about sea power, i agree absolutely. but reality is another thing. i will try to have total control for minimum effort. i.e. smallest navy i can.
    agian - this is my tactic... not for everybody.

    this seems to have moved from a sea-born invasion tactic discussion to a "how do you wage war tactic".
     
  8. Magister_Mortis

    Magister_Mortis Chieftain

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    Haha! I don't see how a hearty discussion on the principles of war can be a bad thing... :D

    I guess its a matter of preference, send me a private message with what you think the player should do if they play like you do and I'll add it to the article...

    Variety can never hurt
     
  9. socralynnek

    socralynnek Civ & Hattrick addict

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    First of all, your analysis isn't bad, but I have some comments.

    Especially if your enemy has railroads, then he will throw a lot of units at your stack, even before you can attack a town (if you're not using marines, you can't attack from sea), so it is strongly needed that your stack is on a tile with a defense bonus (mountains are best), because you can't even fortify your units. And bringing bombard units with you is also very helpful.
     

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