1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

RBTS2 - Defense!

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Succession Games' started by Sullla, Aug 14, 2007.

  1. Sullla

    Sullla Patrician Roman Dictator

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2002
    Messages:
    2,833
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Baltimore MD
  2. Sullla

    Sullla Patrician Roman Dictator

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2002
    Messages:
    2,833
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Baltimore MD
    I start out by opening up the Defense scenario and loading up the mod. Defense! has been widely panned by posters here at CivFanatics, but we'll show them a thing or two about how to have fun, eh? Here's the rules screen that appears at startup:



    All of this information is important; I'll run through some of the details quickly for those who haven't tried their hand at the scenario.

    Building Phase: Each round consists of a building phase, then an action phase. It's pretty much the same thing as the Advanced Start option added in this expansion, if you've played around with that. You start with a certain amount of money (300g) which can be used to purchase units, place cities, conduct research, and so on. Then during the action phase, a stream of enemy units tries to capture your cities, which you have to defend. Rinse and repeat for 20 rounds. Nice and simple. For our succession game, we'll each play 4 rounds, saving the game and passing it on to the next individual at the beginning of each building phase.

    Defend All Cities: Obviously the goal is to avoid having your cities captured. Each one is worth 200g for each round it survives. There's no limit to the number of cities you can place either. One thing we'll have to discuss is how many cities to build early on (ie, investing in our economy) versus doing research and building units.

    Find All Goody Huts: The huts are worth a lot of money, especially in the beginning of the game. The scout units are particularly good at grabbing them, so we may want to research that technology (Scouting) early on.

    Cramped Spaces: One of the weird things about this scenario is that stacking units actually reduces their power. Put two units with 10 strength together on the same spot, and they'll both drop to 9 strength. This makes it somewhat more difficult to defend areas, but the same rules do apply to the AI attackers. Just keep it in mind for later.

    Research: Pretty self explanatory. You buy new techs between turns.

    Turn Timer: Ugh. The worst part of this scenario. There is a turn timer that you CANNOT turn off that runs constantly in the background. This can be really awkward at times. Why in the world you need a turn timer for a SINGLE-PLAYER scenario is beyond me... :rolleyes: There really needs to be an option to turn this off. But there isn't, so do your best and try to adapt.

    The Pause key on your keyboard is your friend. This will stop the turn timer and let you look around and think. You'll have to unpause to issue commands, of course. I use this all the time when playing, so feel free to do so as well. You may also want to turn off unit animation, since they also eat up clock time.

    Whew! OK, that's some background. Let's get started. :) The first job is to select a location for our initial city. We can only place one to start (technically we could place two, but that would cost all our money, leaving none for units! not a good idea) and so I want a sheltered, easy-to-defend location. The northwest corner is the best spot for this:



    I placed Athens on a hill tile as well, in the event (heaven forbid!) we need to make a last stand inside. The white tiles you see above are the spaces where a city can legally be placed. (We'll probably put the next one three tiles south or southwest from Athens, on one of those hills.) We don't have enough money to conduct any research at this point, so the next job is picking units. Here is what we can choose from:



    We have six initial choices. The first four are basically the same unit: Jungle Warrior (Jaguar Warrior graphic), Tundra Fighter (Berserker), Hill Fighter (Gallic), and Forest Warrior (pictured). They are all 10 strength, 2 movement, and get a +25% defensive bonus on their chosen terrain. They also each cost 40g to produce (ignore the hammer cost; it's totally borked in this scenario. That's a bug that shouldn't have slipped through. :mischief: ) Their cheapness and defensive ability makes them the bread and butter of this scenario, at least in the early going.

    The other two units are the longbow and the combat chariot. The longbow is the only bombard unit available at the start of the game; it's only strength 4 and doesn't receive defensive bonuses, but it can bombard units up to three tiles away. This works the same way as a bomber attack, except that it can kill enemies completely! Bombard units will be critical in the later stages of the game, but for now we can hold off on getting any. The longbows are pretty weak, I found in my small experience fooling around with this thing.

    The Combat Chariots are interesting. They get an extra movement (3) and are slightly weaker than the warriors (8 strength) but are significantly more expensive (90g - more than twice as much!) We'll have to debate over whether we want to build one during the next turnset. They ARE quite good at popping huts, but so are scouts - and scouts are much cheaper.

    Each time you build a unit, the cost to build another of the same unit goes up by 50%. In other words, the first Jungle Warrior is only 40g, but the next one is then 60g, then 90g, and so on. For this reason, even though Jungle and Forest Warriors are the most useful units, I build one of each of the warrior units, for a total of 160g:



    This leaves us with 40g for the next round. Also, all units must be placed within your own territory initially, which is why they're all crowded together there. I'm going to use the Jungle, Forest, and Hill units for defense of our city, while the Tundra guy just looks for huts.

    I save the game; let's get started!
     
  3. Sullla

    Sullla Patrician Roman Dictator

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2002
    Messages:
    2,833
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Baltimore MD
    Round One is called "Lion Tamer". All the enemies are lions, units with 4 strength and 2 movement. Our melee units should eat them alive, but no need to take chances. On the right side of the screen are listed both the turn timer, and the number of enemies remaining (10 for this round). The AI units don't just appear randomly, but move onto the battle screen from openings on the right side:



    The four white circles show where the enemies spawn. The yellow arrows designate the AI's favorite attack paths, as near as I can determine. The thicker the line, the more AI units head that way. We'll have to pick our spots to defend as time goes on, drawing a "line in the sand" somewhere that they aren't intended to cross. I don't know where that will be exactly, but we'll find it eventually!

    The first couple turns are occupied with scouting around, looking for huts. On Turn 7 we spot our first hut - aha!



    However, here comes the first lions as well - yikes! :eek:



    The hut yields 33g, rather on the low end but better than nothing. Our tundra fighter is forced to retreat to the north to heal up, after surviving a battle against his first lion. Fortunately, our Jungle Warrior is in position to meet the charge, and on his favored terrain too:



    Down it goes, without even a scratch for our guy! :hammer: More lions are on the way, however, pushing hard against us in the north. Our Forest Warrior to the south moves towards Athens to serve as backup in case they break past the Jungle guy. Meanwhile, the Hill Fighter is way out to the east, still scouting for more huts. That was unintended, but you've got to go with the flow!

    A quartet of lions threatens:



    "You shall not pass!" roars our Jungle Warrior as he takes out the first one, against without taking a hit. I use our injured Tundra Fighter to take out another, but that still leaves two more to go. Hmmm.

    The lions have pulled a tricky move. Rather than walking to their death on the Jungle Warrior's fortified tile, they've pulled the old end-around!



    Fortunately, now our Forest Warrior is in position to take down one of the lions, along with our Jungle dude. Along with a promotion to Combat I for the Tundra fighter, all three threatening lions are killed:



    Unfortunately, our Tundra Fighter is then taken out between turns by the remaining lion. Nuts. :( It was a 50/50 shot on the battle, and the dice went against us. That stinks. Sorry about messing that up, everyone, but I'm far from perfect. I kill the remaining lions without issue. I was unable to find any more huts with the exploring Hill Fighter; guess I was unlucky there too.

    We have 200 more gold to play around with now, with a total of 273. What do you think we should spend it on? We could get another city for a cost of 200g, which would pay for itself after a single round. We could also invest the 200g into Scouting technology, which would open up Scouts, very good early game units that can fight animals and pop huts (scouts are also dirt cheap; I think they only cost like 15g). We also need to get a couple more warriors out, just for more bodies on the ground. Decisions, decisions! Well, things to think about in any case!

    Overall, kind of a poor turn from me to lose that unit, but them's the breaks. (I was expecting the lions to move mostly through the south, not the north. Still no excuse, of course.) Hopefully Zeviz can do better on his turnset. :)

    Sullla
    Zeviz <<< UP NOW
    scooter <<< on deck
    sunrise089
    Ruff_Hi

    http://www.garath.net/Sullla/Civ4/SG/RBTS2/RBTS2-AD-0760.zip

    Wish us luck! I think this is going to be fun. :cool:
     
  4. scooter

    scooter Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2006
    Messages:
    599
    Checking in

    The turn timer really was a horrible idea, but there actually is a way to turn it off or slow it down, but you have to edit the XML (one small edit). Do we want to do this or not? I'm okay either way, since I played a few test rounds to get the hang of it and eventually got used to it (the timer gives you more time each round) and the pause button, but it would be nice to not mess with the timer.

    I think early on the Jungle warriors have the most value, since there are defined jungle tiles that they absolutely have to go through in every lane except the far bottom one in order to get to us. I like having one chariot run around looking for huts, and since we're facing weak units early on it'll be easy to heavily promote it too. Yeah it's expensive, but IMO it should pay for itself in one round, and past that it would be pure profit (much like additional cities). It should be noted though that all mounted units cannot enter forest tiles (not sure about jungle), so keep that in mind.
     
  5. ruff_hi

    ruff_hi Live 4ever! Or die trying

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2005
    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    an Aussie in Boston
    Checking in - I see that you researched Satellites so that you could see the whole map ... good job :D.
     
  6. sooooo

    sooooo Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    Messages:
    1,982
  7. Cheron

    Cheron Chieftain

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2006
    Messages:
    48
    Location:
    Dresden, Germany
    They can't enter Jungle tiles either. They *can* enter hill tiles, though.
     
  8. sunrise089

    sunrise089 Not that good

    Joined:
    May 24, 2006
    Messages:
    797
    Well I'm playing this scenario totally blind (no prior Defense experience), but founding another city looks best to me - while the enemies are weak, why not get our infrastructure out?
     
  9. dl123654

    dl123654 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    Messages:
    965
    If you need a backup let me know. I find Defense very fun. I've gotten to level 19 before before but [spoilers]. I'll be watching this one.

    EDIT:No more spoiler, sorry about that.
     
  10. sunrise089

    sunrise089 Not that good

    Joined:
    May 24, 2006
    Messages:
    797
    Hey, I know this isn't Realms Beyond so there aren't official spoiler rules, but some of the players of this game are trying to experience Defense for themselves. If possible, can we avoid spoilers?
     
  11. darrelljs

    darrelljs Immortal

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2006
    Messages:
    1,246
    Location:
    South Florida
    Lurker's comment

    So if I understand correctly, you either need to get very hut lucky the first round or you can't build a second city until round three? Even that assumes you save the bulk of your money which depending on troop survival rate might not be possible. Of course, that second city doubles your income (sans huts), so it is pretty key to get it out and get the snowball rolling. This silly little game does seem to have some strategy to it :mischief:.

    Darrell
     
  12. Galileo44

    Galileo44 Great Scientist

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2006
    Messages:
    535
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Lurking- looks to be a fun game
     
  13. Zeviz

    Zeviz Chieftain

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Messages:
    322
    Checking in.

    Does anybody know where I can download the patch? (I have a modem at home, so using the game&#8217;s built-in download isn&#8217;t an option, and this forum&#8217;s download section only has 3.02.) If I can&#8217;t find the patch in a downloadable format, I&#8217;ll have to be swapped for a couple days while I figure out how to get it.

    About the scenario itself, I think ranged units should be the basis of our strategy for two reasons:
    1. They can weaken enemies before they get to our defenders.
    2. The entire level 12 consists of units that explode on impact. And level 13 consists of a mixture of those units and regular fighters. So if we don&#8217;t have a sizable force of ranged defenders by then, it will be &#8220;game over&#8221;. (That&#8217;s how my own experiments with this scenario ended last week.)

    Another tactical note is that the enemies seem to go straight for our cities, using the most defensible terrain possible. This can be used to select whether we want to fight or avoid any given battle. (Ranged units don&#8217;t survive long if they find themselves on enemies&#8217; preferred route.)

    For the next round, I&#8217;d suggest placing a second city on the back row hills south of our first one, and hiring at least one longbow. With a couple of strategically placed ranged units, we can get away with very light defense for cities themselves. We can get scouting and a scout for round 3. (A city is guaranteed to give 200$ per round, every round, while a scout has to work hard to find all huts and avoid enemies to get comparable amount of cash. Scouting chariot is a bad option because it can&#8217;t pick up forest huts and has low visibility range.)

    If you don&#8217;t want to risk defending 2 cities with 3 warriors and a longbow, we can go for a safer option of getting scouting and buying a scout (and a longbow). This will give slightly less cash, but doesn&#8217;t carry as much risk of losing the second city.

    PS Sulla has set a pretty high standard for turn reports. I hope I&#8217;ll be able to follow despite timer&#8217;s pressure. (Copying screenshots into Paint will be pretty tough.)

    PPS We will need to put as many cities on the map as possible, so that will require careful planning. Does anybody want to make a map of tightest possible city placements?
     
  14. Sullla

    Sullla Patrician Roman Dictator

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2002
    Messages:
    2,833
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Baltimore MD
    Zeviz, you can download the patch from the official Beyond the Sword website. CivFanatics often mirrors patches as well, so that may be another option. (I haven't checked, not sure if this has been added yet.)

    Regarding the game, if you think you can hold off the enemies with just one additional unit, go for it! :) Getting another city up this early would do wonders for our economy - we just have to make sure we can defend it. (By the way, that comment that the AI units simply beeline for your cities makes a lot of sense. My cities were more centrally placed in my game, which is why I expected the lions to take a more southernly route.) I dunno about building a longbow this early though; I'd probably take another Jungle Warrior if I only had the choice of one additional unit. Your call regardless!

    Oh, and about that last thing: keeping our units and cities alive should take priority over writing a fancy report. ;)
     
  15. Zeviz

    Zeviz Chieftain

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Messages:
    322
    I have the patch and the save downloaded, so I'll be able to play this evening.

    I'll see what the map looks like before deciding whether to risk making the second city. (It depends on whether I can position longbow in a way that will give it several turns to hit approaching enemies without getting under their feet.)

    The reason I think longbow is better than a warrior is that a couple of well-positioned ranged units can make sure almost any enemy approaches our cities at 60% health. This is similar to increasing base strength of our defenders by 40%, and is better than just getting another warrior who will decrease the strength of defenders on the same plot. (Admittedly, we can afford only 1 longbow, so that is a harder choise to make, but I still prefer ranged units.)
     
  16. scooter

    scooter Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2006
    Messages:
    599
    On that northern pass there's a quite a few hills, and in my short test game (granted I didn't play until the exploding round, only tried about 6-7 rounds to get the hang of it), one method I found effective was putting a longbow/hill defender combo on each tile. If the longbow was there by itself, they would attack it occasionally and had pretty good odds to win, but with the hill defender there, they would generally leave it alone. Put enough longbows there and the units would be dead before they got to the jungle strip.

    As for placing another city, I'm all for it, so long as it's defendable. The other thing I noticed about AI behavior is that they always went for the city closest to them, and they ignored all the rest. So if you had a city closer to the front, you can stack as many cities as you want in the backline and they won't touch them until they've taken the frontline city. Just something to think about.

    My thoughts on this turn's unit builds:

    Jungle Warrior- safest build, would help fill up that bottleneck, and we're gonna need them so we might as well get them out early so we can get to that woodsmen 3 promotion quicker.
    Forest Warrior- it's almost useless if you don't found on the starting blue circle, so I think that's out.
    Tundra Warrior- this can wait, we need to focus on keeping these cities alive before we extend to running around in the tundra
    Longbow- I do think our strategy should revolve around ranged units (and getting huts), also making catapults and trebs a priority in research, but I don't think we need one yet. This should wait about 2 rounds or so IMO.
    Chariot- I actually like this build, they're plenty strong enough to hold their own for quite awhile, and will get promoted quickly because of that. We could also use it as an effective safety net this round should someone get through the bottleneck because of its 3 movement.
     
  17. Zeviz

    Zeviz Chieftain

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Messages:
    322
    The big question is whether we have enough forces to afford to place a second city. Let's take a look...



    The problem is that the single most important defensive unit we have is stuck in the farthest corner of the map. And both of our other units have forest promotions, while our cities will be on hills. So this will be a very dangerous round if I go for the second city. However, I still think we can make it. And the hill warrior might be able to get home in time.

    The key assumption here is that the enemies will beeline to the first city. Which means that I can leave the second city unguarded, as long as we place it out of the way, which is what I plan to do.

    Our second city will be nice and safe here:



    The unit under the Jungle Warrior is our Longbow, whose help will be critical to make sure the warrior isn't overwhelmed. The warrior himself will fortify in the city (on a hill), while the bowman will move out into a position from which he can attack any incoming units.

    Let's begin the game and you'll see what I mean.

    Our hill warrior rushing home stumbles upon a hut with 30 gold. Meanwhile, the longbow tries to guess what a good position is going to be. The problem with advance placement on hills is that those hills are too likely to be used for cover by approaching enemies, so after some wondering I decide to withdraw to a conservative position next to the city.

    Meanwhile, our wondering warrior spots a company:



    By the way, Pause key is great for writing turn reports and taking screenshots. :)

    You can see the wolves turning, as they head straight towards our city #1:



    However, I am still not too confident that enemies will always go for city #1, so I recall the second warrior to the second city just to be on the safe side. These wolves have speed 3, so they could capture the unguarded city before I even realize they are there.

    While my hill warrior keeps running home alongside the wolf pack, I realize the problem with archer placement: The wolves are so fast that they can cross the entire visible area in a single turn, without giving the archer a shot. The warrior guarding city1 gets C1 promotions, with the plan to make him a medic for that city.

    Meanwhile, the retreating warrior decides to take a risk, stepping into the wolves' line of march:



    He wins without a scratch, while the main warrior keeps killing two wolves per turn, also taking no damage.

    This ledge looks like a safe place for ranged units to snipe from:



    Meanwhile, an archer gets his first shot:



    As you can see, he took off more than half of wolf's health, so a row of archers along that ledge could be quite effective at making sure that all enemies got to our lines too damaged to do anything.

    With our returning warrior acting as a spotter, archer is finally able to get a good shot:



    Unfortunately the city's defender is currently down to 5.2 strength, so the next turn is going to be critical. If he can survive the attack by these two wolves, he'll be able to heal via promotion, and then the hill warrior will get there.

    The warrior does survive and, being a medic garrisoned in a city, even heals to 8.2 despite the attacks. I promote him to medic2 for even more healing help. I forgot to mention it before, but the warrior in the city seemed to have a good healing rate even before becoming a medic. Another reason to keep our warriors at home.

    Our hill warrior finally gets home, but the round ends the same turn:



    A couple final thoughts:

    The second city hadn't been attacked by a single unit. This means that we really can afford to leave the back line cities completely empty. It might not be a good long term strategy, but will probably work for the next couple of rounds.

    Because of this, I recommend both placing the third city, and buying Scouting tech (and a Scout). This will do wonders for our economy, and we can probably afford to leave that city undefended for a round. (Or we can leave city #2 undefended, considering that not a single enemy approached it so far.)

    For city placement, I still recommend the tightest possible positioning. Any volunteers to draw the map?
     

    Attached Files:

  18. Zeviz

    Zeviz Chieftain

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Messages:
    322
    I like your idea of The Ledge of Doom. The only question I have is whether we can be sure that enemies can't bypass it by taking a more southern route. (In later rounds I remember enemies taking several unexpected routes, so that's something to watch out for.)

    About your unit ideas, I don't like to use chariots for scouting because of low visibility range, hight cost, and inability to pick up huts in forests. Scouts are much more effective and cheaper.

    As for overall strategy, I am a big fan of defending cities only and using lots of ranged (with scouts as spotters) for area defense. It has worked well so far, and will work even better once we get more ranged attackers and spotters.
     
  19. scooter

    scooter Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2006
    Messages:
    599
    Good round Zeviz! Got it for tomorrow.

    The ledge I had in mind was the exact one you pointed out in your report, with a row of ranged units on the ledge, and a couple jungle warriors in that little strip of jungle. I didn't play that far, so you probably know more than me about enemy paths though. The map Sullla drew up early was pretty much what I saw, but over 50% of the units seemed to go along the northern path for me.

    As for what city the units attacked, I was under the impression that they simply attacked whatever city is closest to them, but judging from your turnset that is clearly not true. They seemed pretty bent on going for Athens there... Definitely place another city, any recommendations for the next site? We could just place it 3 squares south of Sparta, granted it's no defense bonus, but it keeps the placement tight, and if they skipped Sparta they should skip the next site. A scout will help with that.
     
  20. Sullla

    Sullla Patrician Roman Dictator

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2002
    Messages:
    2,833
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Baltimore MD
    Zeviz, that's a fantastic turnset! :goodjob: Looks like you did a better job than I did. Defending IN the cities early on is probably the way to go. I think that as we get more units we should try to push out our lines further, however - if only because defending in cities means one bad dice roll could be catastrophic. I also recall that some of these levels have literally hundreds of enemies, which I mowed down with Woodsman III Jungle Warriors on strategic tiles (strength was approaching 25 with all the defensive bounses). We can't get numbers nearly that good if we only stay in the cities. Figuring out the AI pathfinding for their units will be critical in terms of placing our units on the right tiles ahead of time.

    I do like the idea of a row of bombard units on those hills (which I don't think the AI will move onto very often) wrecking havoc on everything that passes by. :hammer:

    Where to place the next city is a good question. Here are some spots for discussion:



    (Yes, a dotmap even in this succession game! :lol: ) The red dot location would keep our backs against the wall, so to speak, but also pushes our defending front further south. I think we'll almost certainly want to build red dot eventually (which opens up blue dot later), but whether or not to do it this round is the question. The green dot pushes our front forward - but keeps the AI pathfinding locked in to the north. I'm not sure which one we should pick, or if there's a better spot I didn't see. Thoughts?

    The white X is the tile that the lions were passing through the jungle on my round; ie, the spot to position a Woodsman Jungle Warrior and watch the dead pile up in droves. Zeviz, I don't know if you were able to spot this - were the wolves using the same spot, or diverting south because we had an additional city for them to go after? In your "ledge" picture, I see a wolf on that tile, as well as the one to the southwest (the tile I marked with a faint yellow X). If all of the units are passing through those two tiles, maybe we can make a stand there, with the longbow on the hill (?) This would dictate placing a city on the green dot, obviously.

    I like the call for another city, plus Scouting tech and a dirt-cheap Scout unit. Scouts only cost 10 gold - TEN! We can build THREE of them next turn, and we might as well do so. They defend nicely against animals, after all. We can send one out on a hut mission, while the other two stay back to help defend and spot out for flankers. Seriously, who needs 90g Combat Chariots when you can buy 10g scouts? ;)

    My gaffe with getting a warrior killed notwithstanding, I think we're off to a good start here. Good luck to scooter on his turns! :cool:
     

Share This Page