# Probability of successful bombardment

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Strategy & Tips' started by Mavtse, Jun 23, 2002.

1. ### MavtseChieftain

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Hello! I'm new here.

I've played CIV3 at the Chieftain level for about 10 times and begin to go on the Warlord level.

So far, I discoverd that the chance of successful bombardment is very low . That makes air units and other pure bombardment units useless. So, anyone knows how to calculate the probability of successful bombardment?Also, how would u use bombardment?

2. ### InsuableChieftain

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I seem to remember a post that said the probability of a successful bombardment is only 65%, which is pretty low. I would dig around the general or tips forum for some commentary on bombardment. Most stuff I read has generally said to ignore it or only used it for really specialized strategies. I like to run my battleships around in a world or frigates just to feel powerful . Same with having bombers is a world of cavelry, but I havn't really had much use for them. Same with Catapults/Cannon/Artillery - they are annoying because they have to be escorted and even worse when they are captured and used against your own forces outside they city.

Joe

3. ### TweedledumPrince

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As far as I can see, the probability of successful bombardment is almost zero.

In a recent game, I had 20 catapults all aiming at the same target and what did I get? Artillery bombardment failed X 20.
I no longer build any artillery- type units. They are useless

4. ### SparhawkChieftain

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Catapults are mostly useless but you can use batteleships and bombers to soften up enemy ground troops before engaging them with your own. That way, you save a lot of your ground troopers. You can also use bombardment to destroy enemy improvements such as railroad etc to impede their movements and generally, be a nuisance.

5. ### MavtseChieftain

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Thanks everyone!
i've give up all hope about bombardment and never play as the American again!(F-15 sucks in Civ3!it kills nothing!)

Soften up enemy by bombardment? that only works if and ONLY IF bombardment success frequently.

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I EDITED UP bombardment rates a long time ago.

Check some of the mods on the other forum for examples, or just add about 30%of the initial strength to the unit.

The problem with bombardment units is three:

1. The AI never uses them offensively. Dumb.

2. It gives us no "horse cannon" unit with a MP of 2.

3. It treats catapults like field artillery when it was only used for sieges and built on the scene, not in cities.

7. ### eightyBoycott Milk

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I'm happy with bombardment. If you are going to base this on real life at all, catapults were never that accurate. They usually took a couple of shots for range calculation before they could be accurate. Units in cities have more shelter, so bombardment is more difficult on cities. Bombers work fairly well against improvements. And improvements are a common target for warring nations. Cutting off the enemy's railroad, bridges, natural resource access, and resupply lines has been a tactic practiced throughout the world in wartime, so it makes sense to me that the AI would bombard improvements often. Which reminds me:
So when the AI bombards improvements, is that considered defensive or offensive?
Oh, and I believe it was trebuchets that were assembled at the battle. Catapults were small enough to be pulled by teams of slaves, horse, mule or oxen. Or even soldiers if they had to.

That said, succsessful use of bombardment doesn't really start until artillery. Catapults and cannon are weak and inaccurate. Artillery is stronger. It has a range of 2, which is great for softening up improvements and attacking units, esp. if the attacking units are moving through slow terrain, such as hills. The more artillery bombarding an area, the greater chance that your bombardment will end up working.
Bombers excel due to their massive range and instant rebasing ability. I think this is preferable to a bombarding unit that has MP of 2 (yippee). Fighters are useful because they can deter the AI from bombing an area. It often won't use bombers if there is a threat of interception, so at least by having the fighters they are doing something, even if it is completely passive.

8. ### AxraxesChieftain

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Wow - I'm not sure why you're all so down on bombardment. Yes, the early units like catapult and cannon don't seem to 'hit' very often, once you get the artillery unit it changes things.

A good sized stack of Artillery defended by several Infantry units will rarely fall to an attack - if they get attacked at all. Also, the Artillery units bombardment attack, in my experience, is successful more times than unsuccessful.

The trick to using them effectively is you need a bunch of them opening up on the town you want to attack. I will usually stack 20 to 40 together and will be able to reduce a city of 20 plus population down to a level that makes it easy to attack IN ONE TURN - plus, all the defenders hit points will be down to one when I attack with my calvary / tanks / so even if the city is defended by several infantry units - it falls very easily.

Also, if you can whack the heck out of the population level in the city before overtaking it, the city will be less likely to depose your governor and return to its original owner. At times, once taking a city I will deliberately starve it down to one population point, then have it grow again with my civs in it. I don't know if there's any info out there on this, but from my experience it seems to keep the chance of the city flipping back to its original owner pretty small, even if they are ahead of me in culture.

Another plus to the artillery unit is, like the battleship, it can bombard from two squares away - so you don't need to take the extra turn to get them right next to the city you want to attack.

The artillery unit is the staple of my offensives - without using it correctly your chance of taking hugely populated, well defended cities are next to nil.

As far as catapult and cannon - like I said earlier, they don't seem to bombard as successfully as the artillery unit, but again, to use these units successfully - you need to get a bunch of them - just one or two isn't going to make a hill of beans difference. Catapults and cannons are good for added defense in cities and stacks as well - they almost always seem to hit an attacking unit making them weaker when they attack.

9. ### AxraxesChieftain

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Zouave, I do agree with your first point. Why doesn't the AI use artillery offensively? I think it would have me shaking in my shoes if I saw 20 artillery stacked with 10 Infantry and 20 calvary approaching my cities - especially if I didn't have tanks yet. OUCH!!

10. ### GI JoshChieftain

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. . . in a big way. Catapult to cannon is worthless against the AI. But arty makes a huge difference, both defensively and offensively.

Defensively, by the time of arty your empire should be RRed. With a stack of 30-40 arty, you need never fear an AI invasion. The AI always attacks with huge stacks of slow moving defenders and with arty you can attrit them to the point where they'll turn back or be unable to attack. Playing Monarch I've never lost a city after the intro of arty.

On offense, I use arty in two ways. First in surprise attacks on cities within 2 squares of my borders. You can pull up a huge stack of arty (20-40+) on your RR to the fringe of your borders, turn his large, well-defended city into a small (i.e. no defensive bonus) village with defenders at 1 hp. Then conquer the city with fast-movers, e.g. cavalry or tanks. Second, in a more limited fashion, arty works well on D-Day invasions. Because marines are so underpowered, you need at least two turns to take a city. A typical invasion force will be 3-5 transports. One will be filled with infantry, one with tanks, the rest with arty. Land on a hill or preferably a mountain near a city. Bombard the city to smoking ruin and conquer. Rush build an airport and then you can move all the units you want, quickly and with little hassle.

Bombers and battleships are extremely useful, not to conquer cities but to take out strategic resources. On the same turn you attack / land your forces, use bombers to take out all his aluminum, oil, and rubber. Suddenly he's drafting rifleman and the result of the war is only a matter of time . . .

Respectfully disagreeing with Zouave, I think overall Civ3 does an admirable job of requiring combined arms attack and defense (except for the underpowered and under-ranged marines, helicopters, and paratroopers). Once MP comes out and you're faced with human ingenuity, I think it will only get better.

11. ### MavtseChieftain

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by the time i can use arty, either me or AIs would have been destroyed by bloody battle of warrior, archer, swordman and spearman!

12. ### Shabbamanrebuffing the rebels

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Good for you, but try a stack of artillery when you encounter mechanized infantry. You know what the odds are of your tanks killing the mech.? You'd better get yourselves a killer spearman

I still think that it's a shame that radar artillery hasn't got better movement.

13. ### ZachrielKaiser

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One can inelegantly throw your army at entrenched defenders. But in many situations, it is better to soften up the enemy forces first. This can actually lead to more Great Leaders, as your elite units can attack damaged enemy units.

http://www.crowncity.net/civ3/Attack.htm

14. ### KlasanovCatz!!!

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When I got infantry to repay the Persians for what they were going to do to my calvary, I massed them in a big stack and tried to sack Persepolis. No artillery at all.

Guess how many units I lost, trying to take the 16 size metropolis with 8-10 infantry defending? A lot. Persia is all but destroyed in terms of army though, now, and I'm still loading infantry into airports to take over to the other continent. But now I'm sending artillery over as well (via ghalleon. No oil, no transport. Ironclad will do, which is what he has as well) to help with the attack.

It's only a matter of time before I take over Persia, or stop and start bullying them. I think I may destroy them though, more potential units for me to take over the Zulu.

15. ### Free EnterpriseThe return stroke.

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Artillery is best captured rather than built. I suggest uping the bombard strength on all units in order to make it somewhat possible to hit. Maybe double it. Bombers miss very often when I play, it seems like the only hit on rare occasions(when they aren't shot down).

16. ### AxraxesChieftain

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The AI doesn't build enough of them to give you a sizable force if all you do is capture your enemies artillery. If you build up a good sized artillery force of your own, it makes it easier to capture your enemies artillery as they are usually nestled in among several defenders in their cities.

I wouldn't recommend tweaking any settings. Its not needed. You just need to build a well-balanced army. Bombardment units need to have a part in your plans - you can't just build tanks and infantry. Well, you can, but you'll end up losing too many of them attacking a heavily populated, well defended city. All the resources you spent building those units could have been better spent building units that would have helped them survive.

Bombers, like artillery and all other bombardment units work great for me. If I decide to build bombers I build them like my artillery - a bunch at a time - at least 20 of them assigned to bombard a target. If the enemy has fighters protecting the target, that fighter can only perform one air superiority mission per turn (I think - at least thats how it seems to go in the games). You need to overwhelm their defenses.

Here's how I usually use my bombers:

Because bombers have a much greater range than artillery, I will send my bombers to bombard a city that is out of range of my attacking force, knowing within a few turns time I'll be attacking the city I'm currently bombing.

This gives me two, maybe three turns worth of softening up the cities defenses before my ground force even arrives. If they don't all hit, no big deal, I've got one or two more turns of air bombardment to hit yet - its cumulative. If some get shot down, its sad, but I expect that some will. It's a sad fact of war.

Think about the bomber squadrons during WWII. They didn't just launch a few per mission - they launched hundreds at a time - (remember, overwhelm the defenses) and they knew full well at launch that many wouldn't return home. And they knew full well many of them wouldn't make direct hits on their assigned targets - though the crews would give it their best shot. Things like fog and rain and night-time bombing, and enemy intercepts would get in their way.

(Also, they didn't have todays technology - this is why if you research Advanced Flight and build stealth bombers their chances of getting shot down by enemy air superiority goes down quite a bit - I usually don't spend the time to do this though as I find my bombers and artillery can get the job done).

It's not like Desert Storm or the war in Afghanistan where the US flew planes the enemy couldn't even see - and if they could see them, had no credible means to shoot them down.

On a side note, the movie "Memphis Belle" does a good job of portraying the difficulties WWII era air crews had in hitting their assigned targets and how easy it was NOT to return home from a mission. If you haven't watched it yet, I'd recommend renting it.

17. ### MirandaCoreChieftain

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Sorry, but I find all forms of bombardment pretty much useless. The only time it is useful is when both u and the AI have infantry, and neither have tanks. But then, I never war at that stage, knowing that when I get tanks, I would whoop ass.

The catapult/cannon/artillery/bombers all suck for this reason:

The next time u play a game, build only a few defensive units in ur border cities but a lot of fast units like horseman, knights or calvary. Keep peace with the AI until u have a lot of units and then declare war. U'll see how useless catapults/cannon are.

In the Industrial age, instead of warring with the AI when u don't have tanks, keep the peace and build up factories and railroads. If u got a large enough civ, u should be able to mass produce tanks when u get Motorized Transport. Then produce tanks and ONLY TANKS. When u got 30 or 40 or more, attack and replace the lost/damaged ones with more tanks (I generally play Huge maps on Monarchy). U don't need infantry because u can deal with resisters after u've wiped out the enemy civ.

With that strat, I can wipe out enemy civs in 10 turns. Sure I lose a couple of tanks, but they get replaced and the tanks just keep on pounding and pounding and cut through enemy cities like scythes through wheat.

Whats the point of artillery if they can't keep up with the tanks?

18. ### JinglehopperChieftain

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What's the point of tanks when you're attacking stacks of Mech. Inf? Even Modern Armor will get their asses kicked if you're attacking the big fortified cities.

That's when you need the arty, when the odds aren't already in your favor from a big tech lead.

19. ### ZachrielKaiser

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Choosing when to fight a war is one of the most important aspects of good gameplay. However, even if with the best diplomatic strategy, sometimes war is unavoidable. When that happens you must use the tools at hand. If that is infantry and artillery, or riflemen and cannon, then that is what you must use. Besides, for role-players, such as myself, we don't play as if we know the future. In other words, role-players don't start planning for tanks in 4000bc.

Finally, there is the problem of repetition. What is the fun of always winning the same way? Sometimes, I'll fight an ancient war strategy; sometimes I'll delay war for as long as possible. Sometimes, I'll try catapults; other times, cavalry. If tanks are easy, try another strategy next time.

20. ### AxraxesChieftain

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Artillery's point is not to keep up with your main attacking force. Yes, it would be nice if it could, but then you would need a unit that has a movement value of 2, plus the ability to fire and move in the same turn - (actually it would need a movement value of 3, so it could fire, then move two spaces to keep up with your tanks) - that would make for a pretty unbalanced unit.

You can use artillery and tanks in the same turn many times. Stack them together, bombard a city from two squares away with your artillery (this way you don't have to wait another turn moving them right next to the city), then, only after the target has been softened move your tanks in - with their two movement points - if the enemy city has roads next to it, or your moving over grassland or plains, your tanks will still be able to attack after moving one space. (Make sure you leave good defensive units, like Infantry, stacked with your artillery at all times though).

Once the city is taken, the surrounding area comes under your control. The next turn, if there are roads, you can move your artillery three spaces. This may get you in range (with their ability to fire two squares) to fire on the next city the following turn. It may mean there is a turn of waiting between attacks, but the payoff is that you will lose many less units attacking cities if you can be patient enough to keep moving your artillery in. That is what the unit is designed to do - to soften up the enemy to keep your number of casualties lower than the enemies. This means, as a general, you need to determine when and where to deploy your forces, and in what combination, and in what strength.

The artillery's abilities model how it is in real life, If, in the game, they could keep up with your tanks, that would be unrealistic.