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Protective, truly underrated

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Caboose, May 15, 2010.

  1. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    Castles make them bombard at 4% per turn, so you need 25 bombardment turns to get past any one castle.

    They always inflict less collateral than catapults given the same promos.

    They are only marginally less expensive than cannons.

    Despite these things, they DO still get winning odds against non-protective, non-hill longbows and come with a tech that might just be necessary for counter-mounted. Even cities with 8-9 defenders will generally lose about 1-2 trebs max to kill every single one.

    The problem with medieval was is that it is slow, which means successful medieval wars combine war with infra development. That's not a cakewalk to get used to, but it can work...especially against disadvantaged opponents that lack iron or horse and thus can't reliably flank siege.
     
  2. InvisibleStalke

    InvisibleStalke Emperor

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    I think its a lot harder than you make it sound. Consider you have borders with four or five AIs - and even the ones you are friendly with have to be considered for who they have open borders with and could let through to attack you. In the early game 60-70% of your cities might be accessible within two turns movement by AIs. A typical continents map might see you bordering two AIs with only 20% of your cities accessible.

    The movement paths idea is interesting - I will have to try it out and see how good I can be at predicting the vulnerable city. But I don't think on those maps you can easily concentrate your defenses - especially if you get dogpiled.


    Are you saying there is some mechanism that makes them get more cities on these maps - or its just because there is more land to expand into and they REX quicker than you do due to their lower penalties? I guess the latter.

    On lakes map I don't think its too much of a problem - I think this map is sized about right and the amount of land is comparable to other maps. But on highlands the empires get very big. The dynamic changes a lot there too because the land is often subpar which means that you either spread out your cities and get hit heavily with distance maintenance or end up with a lot less land than the AI. Maybe that one is two difficulty levels harder!
     
  3. bhavv

    bhavv Glorious World Dictator

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    Catapults are cheaper and still effective enough until cannons.
     
  4. UncleJJ

    UncleJJ Deity

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    This is not what I've found at all. I agree completely with InvisibleStalke that the priority is Liberalism and Nationalism (usually). Then while researching Constitution I can trade for Machinery and Engineering with all the techs now available to trade. With luck, Taj Mahal completes in time to switch to Nationhood and Representation without anarchy. Now my cities build jails and castles and the first stage of a specialist driven EE is established. With courthouse and jails cities have 6 base EPs and 4 per spy specialist (3 available) for a total of 18 EPs and a +100% EP boost. Castles are not particularly useful before this stage; jails and Nationhood are needed to kickstart the EE.

    I suppose if you use a cottage driven EE then castles would have a small (+25% EP) early bonus but that is nothing compared to the effect of either +2 commerce forFS (with towns) or Nationhood (any commerce) plus Jails for +50% EP. Even with cottages it seems to me that Liberalism before Engineering is the better tech path for an EE.

    Trebs => cannons (upgrade costs 80 gold). It is a well established way to get a devastating attack the turn after Steel is researched. My stack of 8 trebs and 16 drafted Protected muskets is massed on the border and upgrade for 640 gold then unleashed on an unsuspecting AI. If I am earnestly researching Steel I don't bother to slow that down by actually warring with the trebs... they are placeholders for instant cannons.

    At that stage (assuming you won the Liberalism race) the only effective counter to the cannons and muskets is enemy mounted troops. Massed knights can be hurtful to muskets but a few pikes are an excellent counter. Cuirassiers are an even bigger threat and until rifles come onstream. Pikes are the cost effective way to stop cuirassiers but you do need more and to be careful to not expose a big stack of cannons to flanking attack.

    So... Trebs and pikemen are (definitely NOT) meh
     
  5. bhavv

    bhavv Glorious World Dictator

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    Cuirassiers are absolutely horrible, I hated the recent SE game with Isabel on my Island :(.

    As for needing Pikemen, if you have elephants, those are better.
     
  6. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    Well, Conquistadors specifically screw pre-rifle armies. A bonus against pikes means they can attack you in flatands with impunity. I succeeded using trebs themselves and NOT cannons in that very game (I have the win posted now), but that's because I prevented access to iron so my pikes were fighting horse archers and such rather than an anti-melee 12 str mounted UU that defends like a grenadier!

    Trebs are pretty decent and if castles weren't such a bombardment screw-job would be very usable...right now they're only sort-of usable situationally :p. They consistently come out ahead of non-PRO longbows in flatland cities and with minimal collateral even hill cities, and nothing defends particularly well vs them except things you don't want to allow the AI to reach: cuirassers, rifles, grenadiers, or cannons. Of my 10 treb losses to izzy, about 8 were legit (the others were from ghey garbage ---> specifically a waypointed unit moving into kill range of an enemy unit that was ALREADY IN VIEW. This is something that I will reload based on my mood, because it is bull@#$ micro inducement I'd rather reload than deal with, but with BUFFY that crashes the game, so I just dealt with it and won anyway).

    In other words I lost around 8=9 trebs vs 8+ cities - not bad, considering other unit losses were extremely minimal (I think I lost a defensive longbow or two and possibly 1-2 xbows). That outcome is cheaper than a non-siege rifle war (even if you use spies) or cavalry war, although if I could have reached cannons without seeing more advanced troops that would have allowed the least losses of all. Nevertheless, losing less hammers than two very typically accepted renaissance wars isn't exactly awful. The caveat is that the war takes longer, and that's a BIG asterisk! On the one hand, since you're attacking earlier you're far less likely to see magic rifles. On the other, you better have shored up non-target diplo and you BETTER know how/when to transition the majority of your cities away from military.

    A 40 turn war with only 10-15 turns where most of the empire is building troops and the rest tech infra isn't that devastating to the economy, which is why after that war I was able to smash an AI infantry vs rifles via INTERCONTINENTAL invasion (meaning I had to prep a navy in addition to the teching + building new units, also, and still got there before an immortal AI picked up AL).
     

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