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Promotion: general or specific?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Heroes, Nov 9, 2005.

  1. Heroes

    Heroes Heroes of Might and Magic

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    Which promotion do you like to do, combat 1-5 (useful in any case, but only +10%) or specific ones (city raider, pinch, cover, formation, drill, ...)?

    At first sight, those specific ones typically +20% or 25%, looking stronger than combat. However, I heard that those +25% doesn't mean your unit gets 25% stronger, but their unit gets 25% weaker. For example, your swordsman has a natural +10% city attack, and is attacking an archer in city. This is not that you gain 0.6 strength, but that the archer's strength is reduced by 0.3. So, combat +10% is better than city raider +20%, if they already receive >= 100% defensive bonus, like an fortified archer on a hill city (+125%).

    I guess I will use combat 1-5 more often?
     
  2. Mujadaddy

    Mujadaddy Geheim Grammar Polizei

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    The way the game is coded makes the specific promotions useful...only in that situation. Those specific promotions are NOT useless...they're just only useful against that specific situation.
     
  3. snepp

    snepp King

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    You're only partially understanding the +to attacker -to defender concept. Trust me, it had me going in circles for the good part of an afternoon, at times thinking of it as a bug (which it definately is not). The attack/defend ratio works out to be the same, regardless of who the bonus gets applied to (with small rounding differences).

    I'll use your example, and apply the bonus both ways.

    The way it works in-game:
    Swordsman 6.0 vs Archer 2.72727272727 (and on forever)
    Ratio = 11/5 = 2.2

    If it worked the other way:
    Swordsman 6.6 vs Archer 3.0
    Ratio = 11/5 = 2.2

    As you can see, the ratio is the same, and will give you the same odds to defeat the archer.

    Edited to correct the ratios, there are no rounding issues, just me screwing up mathematics
     
  4. Vizzini

    Vizzini Warlord

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    If there is no pressing need: No promotion at all. You don't have to click the little blue button immediately ya know. ;)

    If there is a pressing need: Promote using the most appropriate promotion for the immediate situation and worry about what happens during an upgrade later... since there's no guarantee that the unit will even be around that long :p

    The above is for the melee units. The specialists get their promotions immediately:

    Siege = Increase Barrage Damage.

    Archers = First Strike! To hell with City Defense. First Strike is far and away the most potent ability your archers can ever have IMO and is useful in all situations.

    Mounted Units (Horse Archers, Knights, etc) = Flanking. Increases withdraw chance and at Flanking II it makes the unit immune to First Strikes... which can seriously violate attacking units, which is why I always have First Strike on my Archers and Flanking on my Mounted Units. :p
     
  5. incubuspawn

    incubuspawn Warlord

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    :D IM glad you pointed this out lol. I have been assigning specific roles. All my archery units got city defence, my swords man got city attack, my cavalry units get march, and my axemen just get the generic buff. lol Ill study this thread and others some more to break away form that lol.
     
  6. MiamiBigAL

    MiamiBigAL Chieftain

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    I rarely use combat promotions unless they lead to something else I want immediately after. Otherwise, I always wait until a situation arises, and promote then.

    I'm not sure about using first strike over city defense though. But I don't know the inside-outs of first strike and how it relates to combat ratio. The flanking is nice though.
     
  7. pcasey

    pcasey Chieftain

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    What you're calling rounding error actually isn't. Take a more extreme example and compare, say, city raider 2 (+50%).

    Axeman City 2 vis Archer
    If you buff the axeman it's
    7.5:3 or 2.5:1
    If you debuff the archer it's
    5:1.5 or 3.33:1

    A debuff of n% is always a greater marginal advantage than a buff of n%.
     
  8. MiamiBigAL

    MiamiBigAL Chieftain

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    So that would mean city raider is even MORE advantageous than combat strength! woohoo!
     
  9. Mujadaddy

    Mujadaddy Geheim Grammar Polizei

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    pcasey --- you're statistics are right.... except that archers aren't Melee!!! :lol:
     
  10. pcasey

    pcasey Chieftain

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    Don't bother me with these triffling details :).

    Seriously, I have no idea if that's how combat works (I haven't paid all that much attention) so I couldn't tell you if combat mods are buffs or debuffs.

    All I am doing is making the mathematical claim that:

    (A+x%)/B < a/(B-x%)

    Where x > 0;

    Hence debuffing is more powerful than buffing if it's a flat, addative buff.
     
  11. snepp

    snepp King

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    You're right in one respect, but off on the other. I'm going to edit my previous post (silly mistake) then come back and address the issue.

    Alright, here goes. Regardless of where the 50% comes from (city raider II is 25%), we'll just pretend it's an upgrade that gives 50%.

    Axeman with Generic upgrade (50%) vs Archer (no bonuses)
    Buffing the Axeman is as you have listed, 7.5:3 or 2.5:1
    Debuffing is where the math is off...
    5:3/1.5 or 5:2 or 2.5:1

    Again, both ratios are the same, giving the same combat odds.
     
  12. Pinstar

    Pinstar Ringtailed Regent

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    I try to shy away from speclific upgrades in the earlier eras...and just go with combat upgrades until gunpowder rolls around.
     
  13. Heroes

    Heroes Heroes of Might and Magic

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    Well, if the sword and the archer have only their base strength, then there is little difference between (1+0.1)/1 and 1/(1-0.1). (They are still different!)

    However, they both get other bonuses, which makes things different. Let's say the arhcer gets 50% for city defense, 25%+25% for hill terrain, 25% for fortifying, so it gets 125% altogether, 3*(1+1.25)=6.75. The sword has 10% city attack, which makes the archer's strength reduce to 3*(1+1.25-0.1)=6.45 (right?). Now, if the sword has combat 1, its own strength becomes 6*(1+0.1)=6.6. OTOH, if the sword has city raider 1, its own strength is still 6, while archer's strength is reduced to 3*(1+1.25-0.1-0.2)=5.85.

    In the former case, attack:defense = 6.6:6.45. The latter one is 6:5.85. They are pretty close, although the former is better by a little bit. So the 10% bonus from combat 1 is almost equal to the 20% bonus from city raider 1. But combat 1 can be used in any other situation, so it should be better altogether.
     
  14. Dagoth Ur

    Dagoth Ur Warlord

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    I always pick +25% vs gunpowder, because it's so useful.
     
  15. Heroes

    Heroes Heroes of Might and Magic

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    Emm ... The main point of my thread is: +10% is not necessarily worse than +25%, because they work in different ways!
     
  16. Abacus

    Abacus Chieftain

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    pcasey - that math is right, in general debuffs are more powerful, but the Civ4 combat formula is more complicated because the defender bonus is also added to B.

    snepp - check your math, 5:1.5 does not equal 2.5:1.

    According to this thread (http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=137615), the actual comparison would be:

    A(1+a) / D(1+d) ?<=>? A/D(1+d-a)

    Where A = attacker strength, D = defender strength, a = attacker bonus, d = defender bonus.

    The algebra's not too bad, it all simplifes down to:

    d ?<=>? a

    That means that, compared to the obvious formula, the Civ4 formula is better for the attacker only if the attacker's bonus is larger.

    It only gives the same result if the attacker and defender bonuses are equal.

    Edit: just reread the thread and realized the formula changes if the attacker bonus is larger, so in this case the debuff is always better for the defender.
     
  17. snepp

    snepp King

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    Ahh, but there's the catch. 10% bonus added to 1 does not = 10% negative bonus removed from 1. This is only relevant when the defender has no other bonuses to consider, the rest of your examples are spot on.

    To apply a bonus, we multiply by (1 + %) (which you obviously know)
    1 * (1 + 0.1) = 1.1

    To apply a negative bonus, we divide by (1 + %)
    1 / (1 + 0.1) = 0.9090 (repeating)

    Of course you're right, the initial example was used for simplicity's sake more than anything. I'm glad you brought this up, I setup another example earlier but forgot to post it. And amazingly enough, you used the exact same sword/archer combinations I did. :lol:

    As could be expected, the bigger the numbers you work with, the +% changes are going to have a more profound effect. I didn't intentionally setup that tank example that way (quite by accident), it does skew things a bit. If you give the mech Combat I also, the win odds become something like 27% and 31% respectively.
     
  18. snepp

    snepp King

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    :confused:
     
  19. Abacus

    Abacus Chieftain

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    Finally figured this out :crazyeye:

    If the defender's bonus is higher than the attacker's bonus, the effect of the 10% bonus from combat 1 is the same as (100+d)/11.

    (again d is the defender's bonus).

    With a 10% defender bonus: combat 1 is equivalent to a +10% specific promotion.

    With a 25% defender bonus: combat 1 is equivalent to +11%.

    With a 50% defender bonus: combat 1 is equivalent to +13%.

    With a 75% defender bonus: combat 1 is equivalent to +16%.

    With a 100% defender bonus: combat 1 is equivalent to +18%.
     
  20. Abacus

    Abacus Chieftain

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    Sorry snepp, you're exactly right. :blush:

    I was reading 5:3/1.5 as (5:3)/1.5 and thought ":3" was a typo.

    Both formulas are equivalent when the defender's bonus is 0, aren't they.
     

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