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Rating the Unique Units by Ision

Discussion in 'Civ3 Strategy Articles' started by Ision, Jul 13, 2004.

  1. Necromancer

    Necromancer Chieftain

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    i agree wit troytheface because everygame will have a different situation in which one unit will definitely be more valuable than another. It is all based on personal experience so try the units out for yourself.

    P.S. the F-15 does kinda suck though...
     
  2. neapol1s

    neapol1s Chieftain

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    i think its spelled berserk not beserk
     
  3. bkwrm79

    bkwrm79 Chieftain

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    In many situations, defending outside the city is the right strategy - you have to keep the enemy away from the city, of course.

    I had a dramatic demonstration of this in one game when my finger slipped and my units went into the city instead of to the mountain... my army of Knights (including an actual Knight Army) was destroyed in a couple turns.

    I replayed that correcting for my slip, moved my Knights onto the mountains... completely different. Stopped the enemy attack, inflicted massive casualties, was able to counter-attack.
     
  4. AmericanGeneral

    AmericanGeneral Chieftain

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    why are legionry 2nd teir? i mean, i once took on 5 civs in the ancient age and only 2 survived against my legions.
     
  5. Pfeffersack

    Pfeffersack Chieftain

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    I guess the lack of extra speed and the defense nature of the Legionary are the main reasons.For a strong human player fast and units with extra offense strength are more useful in most situations.
     
  6. Roxlimn

    Roxlimn Chieftain

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    Since as Ision, says we have to discuss these things with some kind of assumption, I'll keep to the ones he has in order to provide some sort of saneness to the proceedings. I, too, have a different view of the UU value relative to the unit they replace. I rank them thus:

    1st Tier: Rider, Immortal, Mounted Warrior, Hoplite, Panzer, Beserk, Cossack, Swiss Mercenary, Samurai, Javelin Thrower.

    2nd tier: Babylonian Bowman, Jaguar Warrior, Legionary, War Elephant, Dromon, Keshik, Sipahi, Musketeer, Carrack, Ansar Warrior, Gallic Swordsman

    3rd Tier: War Chariot, Chasqui Scout, Numidian Mercenary, Hwach’a, , Conquistador, 3-Man Chariot, and the F-15, Enkidu Warrior, Man O’ War, Impi

    Again, of course, this is relative to the value of their respective units. Almost all these units are right powerful in the right circumstances, but I rated them in terms of how powerful they are in relation to the units they replaced and in terms of shield value.

    I rated the Cossack very highly because it is, IMO, a very powerful unit. Practically broken, IMO. The reason for this is because of their position in the tech tree and the relative forces they face as well as in comparison to normal Cavalry. A Cossack unit will usually be facing off against Musketeers. You can argue that it will most likely be facing off against Riflemen, but this is unlikely. The power of Cossacks against Musketmen means that if this were a nonunique unit, Military Tradition would be the first tech to get in the MA, therefore, it is most fair to rate the unit against Musketmen and only later on Riflemen.

    This unit upgrades from the Knight and does not cost more than regular Cavalry. This means that you can field it in significant numbers without undue strain. The blitz ability is not an extension of speed, but is an extension of Attack power. In fact, the Blitz ability is practically opposed to Speed. You can't use Blitz if you're using Speed and you can't use Speed when you're using Blitz. Blitz means that the Attack capability of your offensive unit is effectively increased, not numerically in terms of being a more powerful attacker, but in terms of being able to defeat more units at once.

    Practically speaking, ranging against Musketmen and Riflemen, the Blitz ability increases the offensive value of each Cossack by 100% or twice the attack value of a Cavalry, taking into account attack power, cost, and time. Even a Sipahi is not as good. Whereas a Sipahi can attack more successfully with each attack, a Cossack can attack more often. Individually, it comes about even, as what the Cossack lacks in attack power it makes up for by attacking more targets, but in a stack, the Cossack is absolutely deadly as an attack unit. Not only can it attack units redlined by other Cossacks (that retreated and so are not lost), but it can also attack another time when it is lucky enough not to lose a hitpoint. In fact, even redlined Cossacks can save your bacon by being able to attack a redlined defense unit and giving you the possibility of winning and thus territory control.

    Of course, Blitz on the attack and taking more damage on the attack (due to lower attack power) makes Cossacks less powerful on the defense than Sipahi after they both make an attack, but I estimate that a stack of 6 or 7 Cossacks on the attack is more powerful than the same number of Sipahi or Cavalry on the attack anyway, very probably leaving no attackers to attack them, making defense a moot point. If I'm to wager on a civ war between a civ with Cossacks and a civ with Sipahi, I'd wager on the civ with Cossacks without batting an eyelash.

    The difference between Cossacks and Cavalry is greater even, than the difference than Panzers and Tanks. Tanks have Blitz to begin with, so the only real advantage Panzers have is an extra movement. Sure, Panzers have an extra attack, but keep in mind that this is supposed to be in an environment with comparative forces and tech. I often have to retreat Tanks that have redlined after two Blitzes, never mind a third Blitz. So in my view, the extra movement granted by Panzers is mainly an extra move, not really an extra attack most of the time. In comparison, Cossacks gain not only a second, but potentially a third attack whereas Cavalry only have one. They don't gain an extra move, but in a unit with 3 movement already anyway, an extra move is really a questionable gain. I'll be the first to say that 4 move Cavalry and Rider Armies are a terrible thing to have to fight, but I'll qualify that with the statement that most of this is because of the Blitz ability combined with the extra effective HP, not the extra movement. Cossacks gain most of this Blitz ability. In fact, if you have Cossacks and an empty Army, putting the Cossacks into the Army is a highly questionable move, since you deprive yourself of a lot of firepower by doing so.

    Many would not agree that the Samurai is a top-notch unit, but I contend that this seems to be so only because the civ that hosts it is such a bad warring civ. The versatility of the Samurai and the fact that it upgrades from Swordsmen gives the Japanese a potent MA edge that cannot be underestimated. Given to the Chinese, instead of the Rider, the Samurai might be too much. Compared to the usual Knight, 1 more defense would not seem to be much, but in a stack with similar defense Samurai, it's pretty daunting. Moreover, unlike Riders, Samurai need no backup defense on their stack. All they need to do is find a city to hole up in and they're set. As long as you keep the Samurai force intact, you can advance practically indefinitely. Even the cost is really nominal for what you get. Comparatively, in terms of tech level, it's really in between the Musketman and the Pikeman, so it's really also comparable to the Swiss Mercenary in terms of what the tech environment is like when you first field it.

    So it's not only a Swiss Mercenary with 2 movement, it's also got a 4 attack rating. You'll also need to have backup defense units to occupy cities significantly behind the Samurai line, but that's really a luxury. Between high defense and high offense, Samurai by themselves can dictate enemy troop movements and set up killzones all by themselves, in a variety of terrain. The extra point of defense on the definitive offensive unit in the age without a higher cost and for less strategic resources makes the Samurai a top notch unit, comparatively speaking. Without Samurai, Japanese would be so much harder to play.

    Some might question the position of the Carrack as superior to the Man-O-War but I make this placement because of a exploration premium, not a war-time premium. The Carrack's position next to the Explorer on the Astronomy tech combined with the Expansionist trait means that you can send a Carrack to explore the other continent right off from Astronomy. This means that you will most likely have at least a 10 turn advantage in terms of meeting the other continent compared to other civs. Most continent maps are not served by suicidal galley attempts, even by SEA civs, except when you have the Great Lighthouse. Great Wonders are not factored into this valuation as any number of them throw off unit valuations by a good deal, and are considered separately when they are with you or against you. That being the case, the Carrack, because it can cross ocean squares straightaway, is valued highly for the contacts it provides you. As any experienced player knows, these contacts can net you major tech advances, and even gpt deals. The best deal to make is to maximize tech trades until you judge people have almost completed Navigation, at which time you trade contact (using Printing Press) for massive gpt and tech/luxury deals. The amount of leverage the Carrack can grant you with surety makes it solidly second tier in my estimation, in comparison to what the Caravel is capable of.

    Javelin Throwers and Swiss Mercenaries also rate higher with me than with Ision. I rate Javelin Throwers more highly because I consider the slave worker production to be assured. With the Javelin Thrower's early appearance, attacking a Barbarian enclave is almost always certain, and the odds of never generating a slave worker after fending off Barbarians and after a major war are practically nil. IMX, you will almost always generate at least one slave worker per Javelin Thrower. Sometimes you will net more, and sometimes less, but with the kind of use UU's usually get, usually one per is the norm.

    I also rate both the Swiss Mercenary and the Musketeer higher than Ision does. He says in his commentary that the defensive nature of these units means that triggering the GA with them is awkward, but I do not find this so. Declaring war gets you attacked at some point, and if you have UU defenses, you will almost always trigger the GA. As well rate the Hoplite less. I feel that the Swiss Mercenary is just as good as the Hoplite is. While it is true that the Hoplite is active for a greater portion of time, but I feel that the Mercenary is active for a more significant portion of the game. More significant in that most civs and definitely the Dutch value the defense very highly. Of course, the Greeks do very very well by the Hoplites, but this is only because they especially need the defense early on. Compared to Spearmen, the Hoplite is just as good as the Swiss Mercenary is compared to both the Musketman and the Pikeman (the latter because of the significant greater defense, and the former for the cheaper cost). Whereas the Hoplite is not really required for the defense (only for the Greeks who need it more than most) as most AA units have equal attack to the Spearman, in comparison, the Swiss mercenary pars both the Knight and the MI, both of which make the early MA a time for war, as they both supercede Pikemen in offense. In fact, there is practically no early AA unit that can match the Swiss Mercenary favorably on attacking, save perhaps the Crusader and the Berserk, and this is the more valuable as these same units can attack Pikemen with relative assurance of success. Compared to the Hoplite, the Swiss's area of operation is smaller, but its impact on defense is much greater. In a favorable defensive situation, Swiss Mercenaries can even stand up to Crusaders, Berserkers, and Cavalry.

    Impi receive a third tier rating for me probably because I do not favor pillaging tactics very much, though I do use those tactics every now and then. While they are very effective with Horsemen, this use is very situational. In many situations, Spearmen managed well can sub acceptably for Impi in that role. While they are good for pillaging, they cannot do this acceptably better than Horsemen can. They're simply stuck between roles too much to value highly.

    I do not value the Gallic Swordsman as highly because their only advantage is maneuvering speed. They neither attack better nor defend better. Whereas this can be useful for mustering forces on the attack or on the defense, there are numerous situations in which their speed advantage can be neutralized effectively. I think many people overestimate the value of Gallic Swordsmen because they're piggy backed onto a civ that's Agricultural and Religious -a very powerful civ to begin with. It is very useful to compare them to Ancient Cavalry which they resemble and are inferior to, if Ancient Cavalry were a UU. While Ancient Cavalry are definitely powerful, they aren't as overwhelming for their age as say, Cossacks are, IMO. The extra cost is especially damning. If it were cheaper, it would definitely bump off either the Samurai or the Swiss Mercenary.
     
  7. CustodianV131

    CustodianV131 Chieftain

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    Nice tread

    I usually don't chose my civ for its unique unit, but this does remind me that there are still a few civs I'v not played a full game with myself.

    Nice piece Roxlimn! I'll keep your views in mind. Good to see everyone has a different view depending on their playing style. Although some units seem to come up high often.
     
  8. Theoden

    Theoden Chieftain GOTM Staff

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    When disagreeing with the rankings I think we should bear in mind that difficulty has a great impact. On the higher levels defensive UU's are much better, while blitz is useless as the defenders is so tough you will only survive a single combat. On the lower levels a good attack factor combined with a decent speed is the solution.
    I suspect that Isions ranking is based on a variety of difficulty levels and represents the average of how useful the UU's is on the various difficulty levels.
     
  9. budweiser

    budweiser King of the Beers

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    I disagree Theoden. It seems you are saying defensive units are better than offensive units, not defensive units are more important at high levels than low levels. The best defense is always a good offense.

    The blitz isnt useless at DG. You can pick off weaker foes and gain a lot of land. You can go one on one with rifle if you have to and you can beat inf if you use arty. I about tripled my lands on a large pangea using cossack the second time I tried DG.

    The Gallic Swordsman remains effective at least until DG. I have won before with them. As long as you can get rolling before pikes, you can kill any civ. I defeated Carthage, japan, and iroquios with celts at DG.

    "On the lower levels a good attack factor combined with a decent speed is the solution." This is still true at least to DG and should be true beyond.
     
  10. Theoden

    Theoden Chieftain GOTM Staff

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    I am not saying that defensive units are stronger than offensive units. If i had the choice between having a 4.1.1 and a 1.4.1 unit then I would definately choose the first. Counterattack is usually the solution to repel enemy forces.
    On the really high levels though offensive units lose their overpowered advantage. now you will be facing muskets with knighte and iinfantry with cavalry. This is the time where artillery becomes really useful. Also, when the enemy has too many units to counterattack with or they can reach your city in one turn defensive units becomes much more useful. Only at the higher levels can the AI produce enough to force you to build defensive units, which you should be able to avoid up to around Emperor, perhaps DG.

    To sum it up, I'm not saying that that defensive units is a must on higher levels and that offensive units are helpless beyond monarch. All UU's are an improvement from their original unit, and all of them can be put to good use. I have succesfully used Mounted Warriors to defeat muskets on emperor, for example. My point is that all UU's are effective at all levels but some UU's are more or less effective depending on if the difficulty level is high or low.

    To take your game as an example. Your cossacks took a lot of towns and proved to be effective. Now what I am saying is that in a regent game they would have been even more effective, and in a sid game they would have been less effective, even though they are still an improvement at all levels.

    I hope that explains my point of view better than before.
     
  11. Own

    Own Grasshoppah

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    i like 3/4/1 better than 2/5/1. i don't care if you're attacking with 3 (musketeer) or 4 (knigh, longbownen, medieval infantry) when the units you attack are red-lined ;) from artillery.

    i think the 2/5/1 deserves 2nd tier, and the 3/4/1 deserves first tier.
     
  12. Own

    Own Grasshoppah

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    your absolutely right. if i have a stack of cossacks ready to invade, and the ai unloads a bunch of bad units (warriors i. e., i've seen the ai do this a lot) you don't want to waste 3 cossacks turns killing the warriors, so they won't pillage my roads.

    the main strengh of blitz is counter attack, not attack.
     
  13. Arathorn

    Arathorn Catan player

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    Own, you're entitled to your opinion, but it's a very strange one indeed. Why make a stack of 3/4/1 units when you can make a larger stack of 2/5/1 and 4/1/1 units to both attack and defend better? Longbows and MDI are much cheaper than muskets and attack better. Why attack with muskets? Or musketeers? OTOH, units do get attacked and a 25% bonus in defense is quite handy.

    Also, difference between 3 attack and 4 attack small? A redlined musket, fortified, on flatlands, in a city (or with walls), will defeat a 3 attack unit 25.63% of the time. A 4 attack unit will only lose 17.7% of the time. Roughly speaking, that's every fourth attack vs every 6th attack. Roughly 60 attacks means 5 more casualties or 300 shields flushed away. Not counting the additional losses on defense.

    Mystified,
    Arathorn
     
  14. Tomoyo

    Tomoyo Fate

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    I prefer 3/4/1, too, if for nothing more than old times' sake. I even played a French vanilla AW game to relive the glory days of my civ newbiehood and those musketeers. :)
     
  15. MeteorPunch

    MeteorPunch #WINNING Supporter

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    the industrial bonus doesn't hurt either ;) ...3.4.1 preferred to 2(2).5.1!?!? If only you could combine the two, then France would be an overpowered, top-tier civ.
     
  16. Hygro

    Hygro soundcloud.com/hygro/

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    But if its redlined from artillery, whats the big deal between 2 offence and 3 offence? Instead you can have 5 defence and over power any attacking enemy.

    I remember Bamspeedy's "Beyond Sid" game he played with ptw, the musketeer had 3.4.1 since it was not c3c. Someone had said it was good he had the ptw musketeer but Bamspeedy replied he would have found the conquests one more valuable.
     
  17. Own

    Own Grasshoppah

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    i recently played a game on demigod as the french, (w/ C3C, but i edited rules for 3/4/1 musketeers) and i attacked a 8 size city fortified with musketmen. with 60 trebs, i redlined them all, and only about 1 out of 5 musketeers died, so either your math is wrong or i'm really lucky (i'm not being sarcastic, i might have been really lucky).

    but i couldn't win that game, i didn't have enough musketeers to handle the SOD's :( .
     
  18. Own

    Own Grasshoppah

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    IMO, france already IS an overpowered, top-tier civ. industrious, get masonry for free, palace and or pyramid prebuild for great library, commercial, so start with alphabet and closer to literature, musketeers, both vanilla/ptw and C3C are amazing (i said in IMO the originals are better, but by no means is the conquests one bad), the pretty late golden age is nice. industrious and commercial allows rich and powerful empires, fast.

    IMO, only civ that can be better is the celts.
     
  19. Jopedamus I

    Jopedamus I Immortality is reality

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    Own,

    How strange opinions you have... :crazyeye:
    France overpowerd..WHAT?! Its nice and good civ to play for sure, but there are many better civs around, mainly because France IS NOT agricultural civ!! Its one of the best non-agri civs though, and top tier civ in a hands of good player (demigod-sid)..
    Also about Musketeer, I take 2(2).5.1 over 3.4.1 ANYTIME.. I dont even understand how someone disagree with that! It just shows that people who take 3.4.1 are not very good handling warfare in civ, IMO...
     
  20. Doc Tsiolkovski

    Doc Tsiolkovski Deity

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    I'm also puzzled how someone could seriously prefer the 3.4.1 Musketeer. (Except for nostalgia, Tomoyo ;) ).
    The new one allows to completely skip nationalism without lacking a capable defender. Because of them, France is the most effective Civ for GL capturing strategies.
    Often enough, the AI will not attack your units at all, just like they do not attack Armies. For example, AI Crusaders do not attack 2 Musketeers on a Mountain or Hill. Ever. Or vet Cav doesn't attack them on a mountains.
    I don't see France as overpowered, but the Musketeer is definitely one of the most powerful UUs, if employed correctly.
    Of course, a Rider or MW shines more at first sight. But, the diference is: The Musketeer allows for strategies that are not feasable without - while most UU 'only' allow common strategies to work even better.
     

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