Peaceful Builder goes to war suggestions

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by ChicagoCubs, Mar 7, 2006.

  1. ChicagoCubs

    ChicagoCubs Prince

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    Most of my games have me developing my infastructure until I get tanks. I maintain a solid defense to deter any agressive civs, and I might have a border skirmish or two, but I don't do any all out offensive until I get tanks.

    I think this strategy burns me out on the game some as it is relatively boring early in the game.

    I would like suggestions as to when I could start an early war. What units would you recommend as the core of my attackers?

    Lately, I have been playing as Germany (Freddy) for the hunting and mining starting techs.
     
  2. NuWorld

    NuWorld Warlord

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    It would help if you'd say what game settings you use (difficulty, map size, game speed, number ov civs...). You shouldn't pay much attention to starting techs but rather to leader traits, because that's what basically determines your game strategy later on. Regarding early warmongers, you can choose between Romans (Praetorians), Incas (Quechuas), Aztecs (Jaguars), Malinese(Skirmishers), Persians (Immortals), Egyptians (War Chariots) & Mongols (Keshiks). These unique units are available very early in the game, so they have an edge over their contemporaries making them easier to conquer.
     
  3. vinstafresh

    vinstafresh Prince

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    I personally love the mid-game wars better, because with early warmongering, you can only take over a limited number of cities. Catherine (Cre/Fin), Elizabeth (Fin/Phi) and Qin (Ind/Fin) are very useful for builders and they have very strong UU's. Most of the time I develop my core cities and take the tech lead. Before I do, I usually give in to demands, so I'm not bothered while I'm building. When I see an opportunity (neighbour without iron/copper) or unused horses, I'll use swordsmen and axemen to take his useful cities and/or horse resource.

    The financial trait of these leaders allows you to take over fully developed enemy cities (do NOT pillage the cottages!!), which take care of themselves instantly when the riots are over. Pop/Cash-rush a courthouse for more cost-reduction.
     
  4. ChicagoCubs

    ChicagoCubs Prince

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    Game settings:

    Chieftan at the moment
    Typically Terra or Panegea(sp?)
    Size standard or large
    Everything else is default

    I go with Germany so I already ahve mining and hunting. I like having the scout in the beginning for huts and exploration. Also, the UU of panzers appeal to my late game tank strategy.

    I don't want to go all out war monger. I am looking for suggestions, mainly military/units, as how to conduct an earlier war. I assume that I will want some catapults. What melee unit is a good to complement the catapults?

    My games typically follow this route...

    Settle on first turn, make worker, chop rush another worker, chop rush settler, make barracks/stonehendge.

    Leave one worker improving the first city, settle second city, chop rush a worker, chop rush a settler, make barracks.

    Leave one worker improving the second city, settle third city, chop rush a worker, make barracks.

    As other resources come availavble (copper and iron) I will chop rush settlers/works to get the resources. Usually, by the time I have iron, I have about 6 or 7 core cities, and I start working on infrastructure. The other civs have for the most part completed thier expansion and the cultural boundaries are filling in the gaps.

    Here is where my "boredom" starts kicking in. I typically try to avoid war (i.e. I don't go looking for it), and barbarians on the main land tend not to be an issue. On Terra maps, I beeline for Astronomy and settle the New World. I then will fight the barbarian hordes in the New World and expand there as necessary.

    Basically, my "boredom" time is during the beeline to Astronomy. I think I want to start having a war or two during this time. With these goals:

    1. Get some units with experience to make West Point available.
    2. Capture and enemy city or two for furture launching pads of blitzkrieg.

    I know very little about early war against the AI. Any help would be appreciated.
     
  5. ChicagoCubs

    ChicagoCubs Prince

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    Also, in what quantities would I want the unit for an earlier war?
     
  6. vinstafresh

    vinstafresh Prince

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    Try to lose the 'steps' you take and analyse the situation at hand and act according to that. That will take away a lot of boredom straight of the bat. You shouldn't rely on chopping that much in the beginning, because you're expanding too fast and that hurts your economy. With that strategy, you cannot maintain a significant force to start attacking an enemy anyway (maybe as Roosevelt with Fin/Exp trait). Furthermore, relying on chopping is a crutch in the end. You start to depend on a foresty area. Regardless, lose the 'steps'.

    Every game is different, so every time you need different numbers and different units. If your neighbour has horses, you need spearmen. If your neighbour has swordsmen, you need axemen. If your neighbour has archers on the offense, that means he has no resources for strong units and thus he's weak. Sometimes you need to wage war against a stronger neighbour to stop him from getting even stronger. Sometimes you cannot wage war to your east, because you cannot afford to leave the west undefended.

    Are you on pangaea? What is your position on the earth (middle, somewhere on the side), what is the terrain type? If you're on a continent, you might want to explore the sea as well. If you're on lakes, you don't really need the sea-techs at all. If you're on archipelago, the military techs are not as important.

    Will war make a difference, what will be the gain? Will it gain you valuable land or do you just want to wage war for the sake of war?

    A lot of questions which can only be answered for each particular game. There are some rules of thumb around, like 3 offensive units for every defense unit and use catapults to lower the enemy's city's defense, preferably 8 at the time, to reduce the defense to 0% in one turn.
     
  7. loraque

    loraque Chieftain

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    Basic "Win an early war" path.

    Beeline to bronzeworking, chop a settler for your second city next to copper. Connect traderoute, and start building axemen. This works great for me on Monarch, as the AI will have only a couple archers, and his border cities might not even have any culture defense yet. The window of opportunity is quite short at Monarch difficulty, but if you bump up your difficulty, you will still have some time.

    Go for their capital, unless another city has something you need. Losing the capital hurts the AI more, and you are guaranteed a good location. Raze lesser cities (too expensive to keep them all right away) to prevent border creep on your new acquisition.

    I would also heartily recommend playing as the Romans if you tend to pick civs. Perhaps less useful traits at your difficulty level, but Organized is great for a widely spread civ, and the health bonus won't kill you. It is very useful as you progress in difficulty. And the praetorian is exceptionally powerful, extremely quickly, if you get IW fast and luck out with iron. You can dominate for your window, if you play your cards right.

    Back off the wonder building, and crank out units instead. I think you will find the rest progresses normally from the large standing army costing you money.
     
  8. gdgrimm

    gdgrimm Prince

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    Here are some 'sweet spots' for war. These are based on all normal units (UU's can really change things), and are geared for city taking/razing, not just pillaging raids. And to get them, you'll have to focus on making them happen (i.e. research to these sweet spots). If you deviate too much, the AI will have the proper counters prepared, and you won't have a sweet spot anymore.

    Bronze Working and Copper hooked up: If you can pull this off before your neighbor can get Copper/Iron hooked up, you can attack with Axemen against his Archers. That's good enough to take any city you want. Figure 2 (or more) Axemen per defending Archer in a 'typical city', with probably 3 Axemen per defending Archer in a 'capital city' or other city with >20% defense bonus. This is about as early as you can pull off a real conquest war.

    Bronze/Ironworking+Construction: Can be effective even after opponent has Copper/Iron hooked up. The AI does not build enough Axemen to defend well against a stack of Axemen. Bring about 4+ Catapults per city, plus 2 Axemen per defending unit. Drop the city defenses with the Catapults, then suicide 2 Cats against the city. Let the Axemen loose after that to clean up the carnage.

    Civil Service/Machinery/Construction: Again, this exploits an AI weakness. Even after the AI gets Machinery, it doesn't build many Crossbowmen. It relies on Archers for defense until it gets Longbowmen. This means you can go at it with Catapults and Macemen, almost identically as the previous sweet spot (Cats+Axe). Once the opponent upgrades to Longbowmen, this gets tough.

    Military Tradition: I'm sure that there's a sweet spot to exploit with Cavalry, but I don't do it enough to know it well.

    Chemistry/Steel: Grenadiers (especially those that were upgraded from Axemen/Macemen with City Raider promotions) + Cannon. This combination works well until AI establishes defenses based on Riflemen/Grenadier/Cavalry.

    After that, you're pretty much into the Modern warfare world, where you seem to have plenty of experience.
     
  9. gdgrimm

    gdgrimm Prince

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    Also, if you're primarily thinking like a builder, you may want to consider pillage wars, rather than conquest wars. They're easier to do and can be done almost anytime.

    See my above post, but ignore any requirements for Cats/Cannons. Build a couple small stacks (3 or more per stack) of the Axe/Mace, and focus on destroying all your enemy's access to special resources. This can really hamper your AI's build plans, and will allow your own build plans to be more effective in comparison.

    For pillaging, there's also a couple of other very nice sweet spots.

    Gunpowder: Musketmen can pillage very well, up until AI gets Cavalry/Grenadiers/Riflemen

    Rifling: Riflemen will pillage well until AI gets Grenadiers. Cavalry aren't overly effective against Riflemen.
     
  10. Crighton

    Crighton Emperor

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    My Advice (also How I became the Warmongerer I am Today)

    Go Roman.
    Get Bronze Working, Roads and Iron Working.
    While waiting to get to IW explore a little bit, build a worker to improve terrain and build roads.
    Have a barracks and preferably a city or two in addition to the capital.
    After barracks are built, built team Skullthump (about 8 Praetorians, 7 with the city raider promotion 1 with strength, when the strength gets exp and promotes make him your medic).

    Now go thump some skulls (and raze the cities you capture otherwise economy goes to the crapper and everybody goes on strike and disbands, ugh, economic implosion sucks).
     
  11. synthboy

    synthboy Prince

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    Don't neglect scouting. Broker open boarder treaties and then send your scouts off into neighbours territory to have a look about. Suss out which are weak cities, where good defensive terrain is, etc.
     
  12. DarkFyre99

    DarkFyre99 Prince

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    Also, when scouting, be sure to take plenty of notes (alt-S). Knowing what was where really helps your war strategy. Knowing where the enemy's stack of catapults is could mean the difference between your mega-stack taking very few casualties, or having one of your many smaller stacks completely annihilated. :goodjob:
     
  13. Nestorius

    Nestorius Prince

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    You got to move up a level if you are getting bored. Of course chieftan level is very boring, and you'll be too powerful for the AI to want to attack you. You seem to have the basic strategy down, why not try a few games at Prince?
     
  14. J.Rose

    J.Rose Prince

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    I agree. Play at least Prince. Then you can really keep your hands full beating back barbarian axeman and archers. After you get that under control look out because here comes Izzy or Monty. You can be a builder and still have enough fighting to keep you interested.
     
  15. pholkhero

    pholkhero Deviant Mind

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    You'd be surprised at how few units you need, in some cases, to go to war (i was!), you don't even need catapaults. if it's early enough and cultural defenses aren't huge, axemen are good to go, esp. with city raider...too, once you get iron working, the swordsmen is a city-taking specialist, use him.

    Also, STOP using germany. Try one of the civs recommended for their early UUs. Keshiks are particularly good for an early war, and, even if you don't completely defeat an opponent, are good for keeping the boot on their neck while you build up more and finish them off.

    Since you've been playing on Chieftain, i'm sure your strategies have evolved to that level. Try boosting the level to Warlord or Noble. To me, it seems like the cross-over btwn noble and prince is the where a lot of the 'easy level' strategies don't apply as much as they did
     
  16. NuWorld

    NuWorld Warlord

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    @Chicago Cubs
    Me thinks that your boredome comes from warlord difficulty, you may consider moving up level or two. In early wars most of the cities will be guarded with 3 archers, capitols will already have some cultural defense (20 or 40%) so you may need some catapults or at least horse archers to take them down, otherwise you can expect to loose 2 or 3 axemen per archer. Another option is to try One City Challenge (pangaea, 18 civs). That way you will really learn how to micromanage your cities, it will sure add a different perspective to manage your empire :wink:
     
  17. ChicagoCubs

    ChicagoCubs Prince

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    Thanks for the replies.

    To be honest, I like the lower levels of Civ as I am getting to know the game. I forsee a game or two more on Chieftan, then I will bump up to Warlord. Then I will play a game or three on Warlord before bumping up again.

    As it goes right now in my new game, I stopped growing at three cities (thrid city was out of necessity to get iron). I have copper and iron, and I am starting my manufacturing of axemen and swordsmen. I foresee Spanish being razed (bad location) and America being occupied (America is closer to my cultural borders, and they have a nice port city).
     
  18. Crighton

    Crighton Emperor

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    remember, only take what you can keep and destroy the rest
     
  19. Sisiutil

    Sisiutil All Leader Challenger

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    Civilization is a game that requires such an investment of time and brain-power that you don't want to get to the end of a 20 hour + game and LOSE. And yet, taking risks and having some of them blow up in your face is the only way to really learn. (Makes for great stories on this board, too, I've noticed.)

    Fighting a war when you have a huge tech lead--tanks versus riflemen or even archers--is enticing because you're practically invincible in that scenario. Did that several times in Civ II myself.

    Early wars are much riskier, not to mention more challenging, since you have less-powerful units, a small number of cities to produce them, and lower levels of production in said cities. Your rivals are also much more on par with you tech-wise. But early wars are SO much fun, precisely because the scenario is much more challenging and the choices are more difficult. Success is harder to achieve, but that makes it all the sweeter when you finally taste it. Follow the advice above and give it a whirl.

    I'll add the following: the big benefit of an early war is that you haven't invested that 20 hours of gameplay yet--probably only 2 or 3. If things go sideways, load a save or autosave several turns back and try again with different strategy and tactics--maybe even different diplomacy and choice of targets. You'll learn a lot that will help you at the higher levels of gameplay.

    Best of luck, and be sure to come back and share your war stories!
     

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