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Promotion Tip

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Diamondeye, Jul 31, 2009.

  1. Diamondeye

    Diamondeye So Happy I Could Die

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    Almost all players are aware that promoting a unit restores half of it's lost hitpoints. I have observed what might be determined as an exploit in the game (talking 3.17, but I see no sign of it having been revamped in .19).

    When a unit earns the final experience needed for a promotion, a turn is needed before the promotion becomes available - often when your unit critically needs that healing now - not next turn. This is especially true earlygame when units are few and of almost equal strength.

    Imagine this situation: You are attacking a city with a stack, and you have one remaining attacker; a Swordsman with full HP and 4/2 experience. The last defender is a Drill III Archer (possibly wounded). You have about 95% odds of winning. Spending your exp on a City Raider Promotion would increase this to 99%, roughly.

    However, you also know that the enemy has a wounded Axeman nearby, and you worry that your lone Swordsman, possibly wounded by the fight (against an enemy with many first strikes, injures happen rather often), can hold against this Axeman, and the city will suffer another two captures, ruining buildings and population and all sorts of annoyances.

    What you do is waiting. Attack and kill the Archer without spending the exp first. Maybe you'll have suffered .2 damage more than with a CR promotion, but here's the trick: You now have two promotions available. That's right! Having one promotion available will eliminate the 1 turn requirement for a newly aquired experience level. This means you can now promote the Swordsman twice (Combat I + Shock would be a suggestion) - effectively healing him 3/4 of his wounds and increasing his capability against any leftover Axeman considerably.

    I don't know if everybody knows this and I am merely stating the obvious, but this is actually a rather good help to my earlygame warfare. And this is a forum for strategies and tips. Here's one of my favourite tips for you all.

    (And of course, it implies that you know not to promote all of your units out of the gate, another good tip)
     
  2. Pindrus

    Pindrus Warlord

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    Thanks for posting. I have also noticed this and use it on rare occasions, which you illustrate effectively with your example.

    Recently though, I've been playing a number of Always War games that involve MANY battles, mostly at 80%+ odds in my favor. Generally I do hold promotions for when needed and, like your example, don't often use them with high chances of victory un-promoted. Yet with such a large amount of combat, I inevitably end up losing every once in a while with long odds and have begun to be more aggressive in promoting units even if it adds only a few % points to my victory chances. I agree in the situation you use that it makes sense to wait for the promo's, but I guess I would argue that holding them for such a case may be outweighed by the slightly higher % chance to win previous battles.

    p.s. I think you mean "Combat I + Shock" not "Cover" if it's an axe that is threatening the lone swordsman.
     
  3. DaveMcW

    DaveMcW Deity

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    You probably mean 4/2 experience.
     
  4. Diamondeye

    Diamondeye So Happy I Could Die

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    Thanks for correcting me, you are both right. Editing.
     
  5. Nials

    Nials Prince

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    I always wondered why I could sometimes promote units on the same turn they received enough experiences, and at other times it was not possible.

    Good tip.
     
  6. CHEESE!

    CHEESE! On a long nostalgia trip

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    Nice tip. I always wondered that.
     
  7. ShannonCT

    ShannonCT Deity

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    I don't think this is an exploit. It's a fairly common practice to leave units unpromoted while heading into battle, either to give them promotions that fit the situation or to heal twice right away.

    Using this strategy has a cost: a lower chance of winning the battle.
     
  8. LuCiver

    LuCiver Warlord

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    Nice OP, Diamondeye. I've often seen folks advising to not promote until you are ready to battle (ie to maximize flexibility for using the best promo for the sitch), but after reading your post I realize this is a good tip that I often use unconciously. I think I most often use it when I have newly built units with 2-3 free promos. I will give them 1-2 appropriate promos for their attack, but save one in reserve for healing after the battle. Effective whether or not they earn the xp for a second promo.
     
  9. samthedagger

    samthedagger Warlord

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    I'm still not comfortable with the whole idea of waiting to promote units. I see it as so much wasted potential. The only time I can see a benefit is for defenders when you have a sentry or good map info on an attacking force heading your way and decide what promotions at that time to defend with. But I usually want my archers Drill IV ASAP.
     
  10. oyzar

    oyzar Have quit civ/forums

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    I use this all the time. I think it is fairly common practice. That said it is certainly not something intuitive that everyone knows out of the gate.
     
  11. Diamondeye

    Diamondeye So Happy I Could Die

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    SamtheDagger, I don't believe there is any waste of potential - on the contrary. If you realize that you are facing the first wave of enemy Knights, Drill promotions will do little to help you. Had you kept those promotions, they could have been used better.

    That said, I will often promote the units that cover the stack (ie, a Formation Pike, a Shock Crossbow, etc.), but leave the main stack unpromoted until they see action. That way, you retain flexibility without risking a nasty surprise.
     
  12. AutomatedTeller

    AutomatedTeller Frequent poster

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    well, if it's the difference between 95% and 99%, then it's worth it.

    course, an unpromoted sword against a healthy drill III archer fortified in a city is way less than 95%
     

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