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Rifling or Steel?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Jonjon1026, May 20, 2013.

  1. Jonjon1026

    Jonjon1026 Chieftain

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    Hey, guys! Been lurking a while but I've been wondering about this a lot lately so I decided to post...

    When going for domination/conquest, which path do you usually prefer to take post-cuirs?

    I usually go for cannons-->rifles/cavs-->infantry (if I need them). The cannons are usually very helpful and the Chemistry workshop boost is great but they're so slow on the battlefield. I've tried skipping cannons entirely a few games and found I didn't really miss them as long as I had a big enough tech lead. Other times, it felt like everyone had rifles all of a sudden and I was just slamming cavs into a brick wall. Anyone have any thoughts on when it's ok to skip straight to rifling?

    Thanks
     
  2. Jonjon1026

    Jonjon1026 Chieftain

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    I forgot to mention: I'm usually playing IMM on a pangaea.
     
  3. vranasm

    vranasm Deity

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    if you are already mounted no reason for cannons

    just go cavs, then cavs+airships. on Immortal that should lead to domination victory in like 90% of the time....

    on Imm you should be able to cuirassier at least 2 AI's, sometimes maybe even 3, with cavs it's basically adding 1-2 more vassals and you should be really really close to domination.
     
  4. Manco Capac

    Manco Capac Friday,13 June,I Collapse

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    If archipelago-like mapscript, then Steel for frigates and cannons. Anyways, mounted units mobility has no use in that particular situation.
     
  5. traius

    traius His own worst enemy

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    I have exactly 1 immortal win under my belt, so far from an expert, but the answer is....
    It really depends. Immortal pangaea is a good start in describing what you play, but without map size and game speed, it's hard to know for sure. But generally, on faster game speeds/larger map sizes, the higher movement of cavs make going after them more useful (remember; with flanking 2, they'll survive more than 60% of the time, which is far from a brick wall, and you can go pinch for the post-withdrawal-units cleanup).

    On slower game speeds, the one movement of cannons and rifles isn't that big of a deal. It gets messier too, because upgrading cuirs to cavs sounds like less of a change in your army, but in reality cuirs don't really need flanking and you need flanking cavs to hit rifles in cities (already immune to first strikes, need combat to get above longbowmen in hill cities).
     
  6. Jonjon1026

    Jonjon1026 Chieftain

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    Thanks for the replies. Definitely appreciated.

    @traius: I'm playing standard size/speed if that clears it up. And that's an interesting thought. I never really go down the flanking promotion tree but that could def be useful as far as softening up the top defenders goes.

    @vranasm: Just curious, would your response change if I were playing on Deity? (I do plan to move up when I get the stones for it)

    @Tachywaxon: So, are you saying that usually don't find cannons too useful unless you're playing on a more navy-intensive mapscript in which mobility is less of an issue?
     
  7. Handel

    Handel Prince

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    Steel of course.
    Except if you plan to finish the game one way or another right after you got the rifling.
    The AI always go for rifling. Get the grenadiers and the riflemen are toast. You probably will need cannons only to lower the defenses of the cities.
     
  8. PeteJ

    PeteJ Warlord

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    I've always found that steel is a bit more safe and solid if you even in tech or behind. If you are ahead enough then cuirs>cavalry is good.
     
  9. vranasm

    vranasm Deity

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    I have not much experience from deity besides watching others playing it and from what I got you will meet rifles much much sooner then immortal.

    The thing here is that on deity you will have to go deeper then cavs+airships so thinking about late game transition is good.

    I saw games where it was cuirs->cavs->tanks+air, but I guess going cannons->artillery should be good too.

    the thing here is if you plan cannons why go cuirs first place? doesn't mesh well (or at all)
    it is completely different pathway (cuirs is the upper half part, where as cannons is lower half part)
     
  10. Fippy

    Fippy Mycro Junkie Queen

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    On Pangea, Cuirs + Cavs are very often most efficient.
    Esp. Cuirs you can have earlier than Steel, on normal speed you usually are wasting time with siege units including cannons, they are only good if there are really tough AIs around you cannot beat with just mounted..but that's rare.

    Even on Deity you can usually end games with just Cavs, if you get some experience.
    You just have to be consistent, and go full out whipping them. If you worry about later, your army may not get big enough, which is usually a huge mistake.

    Oh and never use flanking..
     
  11. traius

    traius His own worst enemy

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    Flanking is still good in my mind. Not for many, but some. Note I recommended pinch cav for the bulk of his forces. It's also especially good for when you break his stack and he has only his scraps remaining in his cities. Then you have a higher chance of survival. Just makes sense to me. But apparently you're a lot better than I, so w/e I guess....
     
  12. Chase_2_Rabbits

    Chase_2_Rabbits Warlord

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    It depends on how big your tech edge is (which largely depends on how good a map you roll, and your skill level in relation to the difficulty level).

    It's always nice to steamroller the map with cuirs and cavs, but it's just not always possible. Sometimes you've gotta grind it out with cannons and artillery.

    I also use flanking when combat-promoted units are getting poor odds, but I've got no analysis to back it up; it just feels right (and realistic).
     
  13. Fippy

    Fippy Mycro Junkie Queen

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    As i said in the other post, iam not interested in arguing with people over stuff like this.
    Flanking doesn't get you into better positions from my experience, as you will need more units to actually do some damage in return, and are much weaker in defending also.
    Trying to start some crappy stuff with me doesn't help this forum, so why don't you just stop.
    Neither does editing your posts afterwards btw.
     
  14. traius

    traius His own worst enemy

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    I wasn't. I was conceding that you were better than I was, so you should stop. I have already.

    As for my edits, I only do it when I'm the last post on the list so I don't double post. Otherwise I write edit. My last edit on the other board and your last post came at almost the exact same time though, so it might have seemed like I was swiching things up.
     
  15. vranasm

    vranasm Deity

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    flanking is not good promotion according to my experience, but that is not the topic....

    the only place where flanking could be superior to combat is when you battle enemy stack full of siege units outside city.... you can count yourself the number of times you run into this situation...
     
  16. Chase_2_Rabbits

    Chase_2_Rabbits Warlord

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    Losing them both...
    Saying stuff like this doesn't help this forum either. Either:

    1) You have evidence to back this up, but can't be bothered to present it

    Or

    2) It's just like, your opinion, man. Except you're presenting it as fact.


    Neither of which is helpful.
     
  17. Fippy

    Fippy Mycro Junkie Queen

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    Okay well let's just forget this, we are all friends in playing the same game after all ;)
    as for flanking, there are some main points why i think it's weak:

    - retreating Cavs (i think for Cuirs it's even worse, so not going into that) will be low health, and unable to fight for some time. If you have good whipping cities, supporting you with reinforcements, or a big army already, you should instead try doing damage to top defenders, and make progress.

    - Cavs vs. Rifles is not terrible enough to give up beating them "straight", if you go into such wars you should plan doing so with great numbers, as mentioned above doing damage and taking cities > retreating then.

    - flanking gives no defense, only if your stack is big you can afford not worrying about that against strong Ais.
    If your stack is big...see point 2.

    - Cavs already have some retreat chance, getting 20% more isn't that great, considering you are giving up lots of firepower with their high base str. and not going combat etc.

    Hope that was more helpful..
     
  18. traius

    traius His own worst enemy

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    30%, and immunity to first strike for cavs. Cuirs already have immunity to first strike, so they don't get that, but cavs don't, so they get the full use of flanking 1 and 2 (10% for 1, 20% for 2, not cumulative, so 30% total between the two).

    The rest of what you're saying makes sense though.
     
  19. Handel

    Handel Prince

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    On the topic of flanking - it is priceless if you have cavalry and have to battle cannons. Several cavalry units succeeding to retreat will exterminate all of the enemy cannons (I myself found this the hard way).
     
  20. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    Even among the upper tier players (the people who regularly play deity, instead of the occasional guy like me) flanking is debated. Players like Obsolete always hated it, but I've seen ABigCivFan use it extensively. If you're going to use it, you really want a super-medic so the cavalry can be relevant again in time; the whole point of a withdraw is that the unit can survive and fight again. In order to do this, you need the unit to heal fast enough to get into another fight.

    Basically, the more fights a unit is likely to see across the game, the better flanking becomes since it is more likely to survive those fights.

    That said, bear in mind that flanking isn't very helpful if you already have favorable odds, and also that you want flanking 1 + sentry on at least one mounted unit (chariot is best) until you get airships because that lets you see further.

    Between rifles and cannons:

    - Cannons have more staying power; if you can cover them against cuirs and cavalry you can effectively fight up to and inculding rifles/cav/grenadiers. Rifles are only good against cuirassers and earlier

    - Rifles are easier to come by, thanks to drafting. Even if you're a cottaged empire with minimal whip potential, you can easily get 3 rifles per turn (in practice more) and building some will have 40+ in 10 turns. Once you annihilate their stack, you can split them and not worry about a unit that doesn't get defensive bonuses getting picked off.

    Situations to favor (though not necessarily always get) rifling before steel:

    - You are AGG or PRO.
    - You have cottaged heavily.
    - You otherwise have limited production and want to rely on the draft.
    - You want cavalry after spamming cuirassers

    Most games I find myself going rifling, but this is somewhat a playstyle choice. People have won deity games going steel 1st often enough, just as they have rifles and cavalry.
     

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