Discussion in 'Civ3 Strategy Articles' started by Ision, Jul 13, 2004.
I love your perspective and depth, DocT
Indeed, Doc, clear analysis on why the 2.5.1 musketeer is great!
Best unique unit in vanilla civ III is IMO undoubtly the Greek Hoplite.
Reason - It is best/most cost efficient defender for an extreme long period. (Until discovery of Nationalism)
In my style of warfare, that is very artillery based ( I hate taking casualties) is a good defender more important than good attacker. So i not agree with those who prefer offensive power.
Biggest problem with the Hoplite is delaying the GA to discovery of republic/monarchy. But do we succeed is it nice to have GA as soon as possible.
The legionarie is also quiet good, but it cost 50% more - i can use these shield elsewhere.
I simply not understand why German panzer should be 1st tier - it comes far to late.
OK, I think it's time for my first post here.
Being new to C3 (thanks to a magazine I got the Complete Edition!!) I have not tested all the UU's so I cannot speak of their relative merits, just their relative values in the game - for me.
For UU's to be truly valuable a combination of factors must be taken into account. Attack/defense, speed, cost(shields), requirements (tech and resource) and special abilities (bombardment, enslavement, blitz etc). Also the UU's impact on the game in depth of time must be considered (I think I just ruled out the F-15 and the Panzer as they come very late in the game) as it is a decisive factor of overall value - probably THE decisive factor. So, here goes...
Probably the best UU in my book is the Hoplite. Reasons are quite simple. They are available early (well, immediately!), they require no resources, they are cheap (Berserks are nice but they need Invention and 70 shields), they are relatively strong (not as attackers but try and find a better defender in 4000 BC!) and of course they look cool (OK, that's not a factor but still...). Of course there are downsides. Not a wise choice for an attack force, they can trigger a GA as early as the first unit is out of the production line and meets an enemy civ (in cramped maps this could be as early as 3600 BC) which could be a waste under the right circumstances (or a game winner one might say), they move slowly and their usefulness as military depends quite largely on the oppsition (meet a banch of Immortals with 1-2 Hoplites and you'll know what I mean). Still, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages (IMO) with the added plus that they can be used (or overused) for a very long time AND can be upgraded all the way to riflemen (I think).
If only the attack (or movement) was raised by 1 they would make the perfect unit (and most games with Greece would end around mid-Ancient Times... (probably that's the reason for not doing that!)
Be welcome at the board but, I'm going to disagree with you:
I think you are overvaluing defense rating in general. I almost never build spearman, or pikemen, or musketmen. And the ones I do build are rarely tested in combat. So a Hoplite is a unit that is better than a spearman at still doing, almost nothing.
Its better to build fast moving units with high offensive value and attack the enemy invaders before they reach your cities.
Exception being the industrial age. When the AI gets cavlary, you need some defenders in border cities, and to defend your invasion force in enemy terrain.
An other exception is when you are overwhelmed by very, very large amounts of hostile units, but that usually only happens in very high difficulty levels and the "Always War" variant.
PS: You are necro-posting, the last post before your's is from 2005!
bamspeedy won "beyond Sid" using defensive units and artillery starting with catapults. No or few offensive units.
I think beyond Sid might be a special case where production was so ridiculously high that defensive units are more important than at lower levels.
I think that the UUs go something like this:
1.Rider, Sipahi, Ansar Warrior, Hoplite, Immortal, Enkidu Warrior, Mounted Warrior, Berserk.
2.Bowman, Numidian Mercenary, Cossack, Gallic Warrior, Dromon, Man-o-War, War Elephant, Hwach'a, Swiss Mercenary, Impi.
3.Chasqui Scout, Carrack, Musketeer, Jaguar Warrior, Javelin Thrower, F-15, War Chariot, 3-Man Chariot, Conquistador, Samurai, Legionary, Panzer.
Note that I factor in the time of appearance of the units, like how useful they are in the game situation that they appear in. Like Panzers are fantastic units, but they appear too late in the game to change the outcome by a great amount.
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that other factors may alter the importance of units in any given game. The size of the map, number of AIs, age (3bil,4bil,5bil), climate, water coverage, etc. This is only on random map games, and on custom games, it really depends on the game, so some people may value some units more than others because some people have different playing styles.
I see a lot of disregard for the Cossack unit. IMO, it is one of the most deadly units out there, because of its speed and blitz. I think the reason you undervalue them is because you're thinking of them as an offensive unit. They're not really: they're tremendous defenders! I'm a builder. I don't start many wars, and when I get into one, I'm usually outnumbered3-1 or worse. But if I have Cossacks, you're doomed. First, my territory is always well-roaded. So, I zip up to the border, cross, pillage, and retreat. Now, you have no roads going up to my border, nor away so you can't leave and heal. Anything that crosses into my territory, never gets back out, a la Napoleon in Russia. I get to raid your reinforcing units, and your redlined units, then withdraw back to town. They don't have great defensive strenths, so they are usually the last to get attacked in my stack. I hate when my cavalry gets attacked, when I have unengaged inf in the stack. I want my cav to be held back for counter-attacks. If the enemy sends a lot of attackers, the blitz is very useful. It means that I don't have to have as many units built and maintained to defend myself prior to outbreak of hostilities. The great thing is that the Cossack can move, attack, blitz, then return to town to be healed, and be ready to go 2 turns later (assuming a barracks). As was pointed out, they get promoted rapidly, so they can be built in a town sans barracks, while you use the towns with barracks to build your inf. Because they have a move of 3, they can go 2 tiles per turn in the hills. They can cross the border in a stack after I've whittled your army down, and hit your town that would be out of reach of most units. In a really large stack, they're almost unparalleled in a first-strike action. Move 'em up to the border, declare war, and take an enemy town right off the bat. If you have your garrisons on the border, too, when you take that town, you can immediately garrison it by moving down the road with your inf. If you hit the middle of his border cities, then almost all his follow-up movement and attacks will head right for the strength of your army. The little that leaks across your border can be handled by the couple units left to garrison your border cities. I have literally driven straight down the middle of an opponent's nation using this tactic. Strike from beyond the border, move in the inf, consolidate. Repeat as necessary.
The overlooked thing about Roman legions, is that they do double duty. They're strong attackers, so the AI is less likely to pick a fight with you, and they're strong defenders. Basically, they cost the same to maintain as workers, do road building, build border forts, and allow you to maintain a larger army during peacetime. During wartime, they go fight, at a time when your workers have to flee the border regions. Instead of using your pop to build workers, you can instead build settlers. Conquered territory is easily re-roaded, and new border forts built, by the stack of victorious units left you at war's end. As the Roman player, what you take, you can hold: just build roads and forts!
1) All cavalry has 3 moves, so you can't say that that boosts the cossack's power. Secondly, the defensive bonuses will make the defender's def higher, and the cossack will often be too damaged to attack effectively the second time around. Then, if you blitz, you may find yourself with a cossack a square away from a city, but still in danger. And finally, cossacks are not defensive units. If so, the next offensive unit is the tank, an era later. The previous attacker was the knight, too pathetic to kill anything of any value in the enemy army. The cavalry's entire purpose is to get out there and massacre the enemy. If you use it as a defender, then just bypass the russians and choose the french for a defender. The sipahi is better because of that extra attack, and it can kill almost any invader until infantry, unlike the cavalry and cossack, which are in danger if faced with riflemen, unlike sipahis.
2) Legionaries cannot build either roads or forts. What's more, the ideal unique unit either takes a unit's most useful stat (mp for riders, ansars, and panzers, def for musketeers, hoplites, enkidus, and swiss mercs, atk for berserks, sipahis, mounted warriors, and immortals) or gives it an advantage of another kind (no resources for war elephants, only iron for samurai, amphibious for berserk, enslave for man-o-war). Sadly, the legionary has itself "averaged", whereas the immortal is an ancient-to-medieval beast. This also goes for the cossack, where one might argue that blitz makes up for no other changes, but if you repeatedly attack a stronger force with an ever weaker and weaker one, you lose (duh).
Legionaries build roads and forts in some of the conquest scenarios, but they don't in the standard epic game. And this discussion is about the standard epic game. Please don't confuse things by mixing rules from various scenarios into the discussion.
I agree that high speed, high attack units such as cavalry make a great "defensive" force! And the Cossack bonus helps a lot with that. (although peace-mongers have even less need for its abilities)
Peace-mongers usually have even less need for defensive units than conquerers. As peace-mongers usually fight on their own territory, where they have the speed advantage of their own (rail)road system.
Attacking the enemy units and winning doesn't add to WW, being attack does, even if you win.
But not building them with barracks is bad advice, more elites is always good, not only does it help the unit win battles, but it also increases the retreat chance. Making your losses that much smaller. Also, all your unit building cities should already have barracks by the time you get to cavalry.
I can tell a lot about somebody's playing style by the way they use UUs. Some of you say you like using fast guys to defend. However, this brings up another point: What exactly IS defending? If you mean killing their units before they have time to reach your city, then that's simply responding to threats in an offensive manner, because it's you who's bringing the battle to them. Had you awaited them in your city and defended against them, then that's defending. In short, if it's still your turn and combat occurs, then it's offense. If it's their turn and combat occurs, it's defense.
In my opinion if you are preventing your cities being taken you are defending, if you are tryoeg to take cities you are attacking.
My bad. I've played an awful lot of 'Conquests', lately, and I was confusing the two. Hard to keep it sorted out in my mind, sometimes. Now, check me on this, but aren't Cossacks a lot cheaper than other Cavalry?
As for style, I hate to take a lot of casualties, especially of my offensive (more expensive) units. So, when I attack, I like to have a position for my offensive units to fall back upon. That means infantry of some kind. The thing I hate, is that the game rates my elite Cav as higher powered defensively than a vet Musketman, so my elite cav, built with such effort and care and general TLC (pun intended), get creamed, and my inf stand around doing nothing offensively (too weak) or defensively as my Cav gets slaughtered. I don't remember having that problem with Cossacks....
That could just be because the RNG was favoring you those few times, and maybe terrain bonuses (or bonii?) were in your favor. The AI also might have attacked with units that weren't as powerful.
Attacking is where you walk into their territory and attack their stuff.
Defending is when they walk into your terrtory and you attack their stuff.
Getting pasted is when they walk into your territory and attack/pillage your stuff.
In either version of the game, cossacks cost the same as cavalry. In PtW they have an extra def point, whereas in C3C they have blitz. Personally, I think both those buffs are a bit weak, but I marginally prefer the blitz. If they were only 70 shields to boot, then I would rate them as a decent unit (I prefer ansars to riders for instance).
Yes, and extra defense is pretty useless on cavs. The ansar isn't as powerful defensively as the rider, and very few defenders can keep up with riders, so the cities they take they can hold for a fair amount of time, whereas the Ansar can attack, but then it has some trouble holding on to its acquisitions long enough for backup to arrive.
It's a rare old thread that I will take the time to read through, this one has been very enjoyable. For my own 'two cents' first tier and standing alone is the Conquistador, it is the only unit useful for the rest of the game; third tier and standing alone is the F15, an upgrade to a rarely used unit results in a rarely used unit; second tier is all the rest, modest improvements that are good until the next better unit comes along.
Could you elaborate on it 'remaining useful'? The way I see it all you get is an expensive explorer with the stats of an Ancient Age swordsman. Remaining useful is in my book, not the same as remaining useable as you seem to imply.
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