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Privateers seem quite powerfull

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by SantaX, Aug 12, 2007.

  1. SantaX

    SantaX Chieftain

    Joined:
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    Hi all,

    I love CIV since version 1, since I'm dutch I like to play with naval-warfare.
    Beyond the sword finally makes it more fun to invest in large navies. However, playing as the dutch on an Island map, I just finished my first 3 privateers. And I allready have sunk over 10 ships, in a couple of turns...

    It's a nice unit, but to me it seems a tad bit overpowered. Am I the only one experiencing this? (playing on noble btw)
     
  2. Zetetic Apparat

    Zetetic Apparat Warlord

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    I tend to find that the ridiculous Caravel spam means that you have to stack a good 2 or 3 of them if you want to blockade (the best usage), and that unless you have a sufficient tech lead (i.e. few enemy frigates cruising the waves) they're sunk very quickly.

    Having said that, getting a good 10-30 gpt from them (excluding maintenance, I guess) is warm, fuzzy feeling.
     
  3. SantaX

    SantaX Chieftain

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    Well this is my first BTS game that got me so far, but I now have 8 of them... and I think there is no other ship in the world left lol. I only lost 1, due to a stack of 4 caravels. However, 2 privateers came to aid the next round. End of stack... Isn't there at least a chance that will find out that is me 'great SantaX from Dutchies' who is wreaking all this havoc upon them?
     
  4. MrTomothy

    MrTomothy resident punker

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    Nope, no chance of detecion. :)

    I found that lower-tech, and especially smaller civs are absolutely terrified of Privateers, focusing on only spamming caravels. Sometimes they don't even use them to attack, but just keep making more and more and more...

    Frigates clean them up quite easily, unless you have a stack of pirates, and later units will obviously blow them all out of the water, so enjoy them while you can. ;)
     
  5. SantaX

    SantaX Chieftain

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    Hehe, well I hope these things are upgradable, i got 12 of them with 5 promotions now lol. Let it be clear once and for all in 1600's the dutchies ruled the seas :)

    *the memories, reminds me when we went to London and came back with their flagship 'The Royal Charles', I was still a young boy back in 1665 :D *
     
  6. meatwad4289

    meatwad4289 Prince

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    not strong enough... perfect before anyone gets frigates... SUCKS after.. I produced 16 to blockaid mecca which procuded 10 Carvals and was still making more then i ahd to produce 60 to be able to assemble good blockades agaisnt manasa musa, They spammed Caravals. once Mansa got Frigates I upped to 100 privateers blockading him in 4 spots.. These 4 spots soon became 3 spots, then became 2, and finally became one spot. the frigates were to powerful for having 4 seperate stacks. Finally they started to wipe out my 1 stack(which conviently blcokaded their 4 largest cities thanks to bays :):) ) I moved the remained of the ships into Arabian territory. The arabs were far behind and had n oway of making frigates. However the only cities I could blockade without getting wiped out by Mansa Musa was Mecca whic hwas alreayd blockaided. I sent my privateers to the next continent, which jsut obtained optics. I was able to close my borders with mansa and saladine, so a select few stayed behind and was able to blockade from my territory. By the time my troops arrived in position, the Chinese developed frigates and Babylon had a alot of caravals... I couldn't hunt there either. I pulled the remaining ship to a group of islands outside my territory. LEft them there. I had built 264 Privateers... I had 109 left.... All of which bankrupt me... When I upgraded to destroyers... There were no enemy ships in the water.
     
  7. axident

    axident Emperor

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    With all the hammers you put into privateers, you could have raised an army capable of taking over another civ or two outright, rather than bleed a bit of gold from them.
     
  8. SantaX

    SantaX Chieftain

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    264 privateers .... it will prob be my playingstyle, but I don't think I have ever build that many units in total lol... :eek:

    Ah well, after sinking an encredible ammount of enemy ships and getting as much as 8 promotions on some of my 12 privateers, the game has catched up on me and my privateers are swimming with the fishes. But still for every privateer i have build i at least sunk 15 maybe 20 ships. It was my first game using them, but if this happens all the time i'm gonna mod them down a bit.

    I even got 3 GG from these 12 ships lol. I never had more than 1 GG. (I'm not a warmongerer, I play HOI2 for my war-needs)
     
  9. UncleJJ

    UncleJJ Deity

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    Has anyone seen the AI build a privateer yet? They seem to be very much a human player unit, a fun way to manipulate trade and pillage seafood resources when not at war.
     
  10. UERD

    UERD Chieftain

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    I've seen them, although they didn't do much. The AI player kept on sending them even after I got Ironclads and later destroyers, though :/.
     
  11. kazapp

    kazapp Emperor

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    As a unit, Privateers aren't terribly powerful. As I understand, if you can build a Privateer, you could build a Frigate which is a stronger unit.

    The advantage of Privateers is indeed that you can use them without declaring war, but they are only useful if your designated opponents are limited to Galleons, preferably Caravels or ancient units only. (Granted, you can limit yourself to blockading those opponents that are behind in the tech race...)

    This means they will be more likely used to harass weak opponents than strong ones: in the real world, Spain, France and England used them against each other - not against minor (sea) powers (like, I don't know, the Turks). But in Civ, the seas are much much smaller than in real life, and you gain quite a good income even if used against quite backwards Civs.

    If it was deemed important to better simulate reality, the privateers should be given a large escape chance (withdrawal at 90% perhaps) but should only make any real money if used against the richest and strongest rivals (the ones most probable to have Privateers themselves, and therefore Frigates too). That's not needed if you ask me, though.

    Of course, privateers has nothing to do with playing as the Dutch.
     
  12. Kark

    Kark Mad berserker

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    How does the blockade work? I placed the privateer outside a city and clicked the button. According to Civilopedia I should be able to see the effected area, but nothing happened. So I gave it up. Should I have waited?
     
  13. kazapp

    kazapp Emperor

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    Probably the city wasn't rich and big enough to have any sea trade lanes worth blockading.

    When the blockade gives a yield, you will get a message that (each turn) clearly tells you you got, perhaps, 8 gold from that trade lane.

    The message doesn't pop up when you give the 'blockade' command - it only appears at the beginning of your next turn, provided you let you ship stay in "blockade mode" (abstaining from moving or attacking with it).

    And only if there was anything to blockade (as explained above) - otherwise I don't think you'll get any message at all.

    Clicking the blockade button in itself does nothing, it works like the red cross button (heal) in that there's no effect unless you don't disturb the unit for a whole turn.
     
  14. MrCynical

    MrCynical Deity

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    I'm still sceptical about privateers. They're quite expensive hammerwise as a means of bleeding gold from the AI, and corporations do so orders of magnitude more efficiently. They're OK against weak AIs, but most just wipe out any economical force with frigates.

    The AI does seem to use them (occasionally) which is interesting, as it's the kind of thing they're usually hopeless at.
     
  15. TheLastOne36

    TheLastOne36 Deity

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    I haven't tried using them yet, but if it does what i hear here, then i should try using it sometime. seems very fun.
     
  16. ComradeDavo

    ComradeDavo Formerly God

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    I on the other hand just had 3 privaters smashed to pieces with the grand pillaging total of 2 fisheries under their belt....
     
  17. jeffreyac

    jeffreyac Mostly Harmless

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    OK, I haven't used them yet, so I apologize for what may be a stupid question - but you mentioned a 'blockade' command, which shows an area covered by the privateer - do you have to cover all available sea squares, or have the target city in this area, or what? My guess is you need to have coverage to essentially prevent a route to the ocean - i.e. cover all available water tiles that connect to his/her city; is this correct?
     
  18. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    For a city to trade, it must have at least 1 adjacent coastal tile that is not blockaded. If all 8 adjacent tiles are either land, or blockaded, that city cannot trade.



    After clicking the blockade button, select the ship again and you'll see shaded tiles. Enemy trade routes cannot pass through the shaded tiles, nor can citizens in enemy cities work these tiles. (All other civs are considered enemies to Privateer units, regardless of war status.)




    By blockading near a city, if the city has no sea tiles adjacent to it's square that are "open", that city cannot have naval trade. Red X's indicate "closed" tiles next to a city, purple dots are "open" tiles. The left city of Kish cannot trade; the city is blockaded. The right city of Eridu has 2 open tiles next to it's square, can still trade, and is not blockaded. Neither city can put citizens to work on the green shaded tiles indicating the blockade.




    When you blockade with a second unit, their ranges are combined. Selecting any unit that is performing a blockade will show you all squares that you have blockaded. In this arrangement the city of Eridu on the right can still trade, there is one "open" tile next to the city square. Again, none of the shaded, blockaded tiles can be worked by either city, which can potentially starve cities out.




    You can blockade multiple cities from a single tile. Both cities are now fully blockaded in this picture and cannot trade by sea. (The city of Eridu on the right is blockaded and cannot trade, but does have some water tiles in it's fat cross where citizens can work on the rightmost edge of the screenshot)




    You can blockade any city you are at war with using any type sea unit. Privateers have the special capability to blockade friends as well. If a city is blockaded by a Privateer, friend or foe, at the beginning of each turn you'll receive a small amount of gold. The more profitable the trade routes would be in the cities, the more gold you recieve.




    Before Astronomy, you can blockade a huge number of trade routes with a single ship, since all trade has to occur along the coast. No enemy trade can pass through blockaded tiles, wherever those tiles may be. You could block all trade between blue and the civ to the right, for example, if you were at war with blue and blockaded with a single ship in the middle.

    I hope this helps clear things up. And yeah... Privateers are really only useful in the game against civs less developed than you -- equal-tech civs will build a few Frigates to drive them away. Against underdeveloped civs, however, if they have a lot of coastal cities a few Privateers can completely annihilate them economically and starve their cities out. On a map with lots of coastline, beelining to Privateers could really wreak havoc.
     
  19. Aneurism

    Aneurism Prince

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    I thought that a blockade required complete coverage of every sea square sorrounding a city but it doesnt, in BTS when you do a blockade you can not see the affected area, however I once had the AI blockade one of my cities and I could see the blockaded tiles (shown with similar pattern as placing a city), and the one ship blocked quite a few tiles, the city was on a penninsula and tiles were blocked on both sides!
     
  20. hoopsnerd

    hoopsnerd Prince

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    I just saw my first AI privateer last night. He came, he pillaged, he left. Pillaged me once for 8 GP, never saw him again.
     

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