Scout or Warrior?

UWHabs

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Seems like the general strategy, NC or expand, always starts with either a warrior or a scout first, followed usually by a worker. So, what influences you decision either way?

Scouts are obviously better for looking around, with the double movement on hills and forests. But they're weak, and will often die to barb brutes if you happen to stop on flatland.

Warriors are stronger, but take an extra couple turns to finish. They don't move as well, but a team of 2 warriors can fairly easily take down any barbs you see running around.

So, assuming a "normal" map setup (small or standard map, continents, barbs on, city states on, normal speed, for example), which do you go for? What influences your decision (ie. do you normally build a scout, but opt for the warrior if you have a stronger initial tile to work)?
 

Smote

Emperor
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Aug 23, 2007
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Cases:

1. I suspect I am on a relatively small island (4-5 city locations maximum).
NO warrior or scout. Worker first.

2. Terrain is mostly flat (not forest, not jungle, not marsh, not mountainous), and I am NOT quick expanding (settler before worker).
Warrior first.

3. Else
Scout first.
 

metatheory

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Oct 13, 2010
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I do warrior in most cases, especially with a slow NC start. Warriors aren't bad scouts by themselves if you play the terrain. By that I mean use his one move over flat terrain before tackling a hill, river, or forest.

If I have 2 directions that look flat and open I go warrior without question. I don't stray too far from my capital in case a barb attacks and always pull a warrior back to protect my worker once he's out. I do build scouts after awhile to flesh out the area.
 

Supr49er

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Scouts are very cool when they get upgraded to Archers :)
 

lilnev

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Scout. He's built a few turns sooner, so he can start exploring sooner, and he moves faster (more consistently at his max rate, something like that). So he finds more goody huts, first contact with CSs, etc. And I can start building the worker sooner. Assuming he survives to get a promo, I take Sentry, and he stays useful for a long time. Eventually I'll probably lose him in war or trade him for information in a "suicide reconnaissance" move, but I get a lot of value first.
 

YYY

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I usually do a Scout first, unless I strongly suspect I'm basically alone on my land mass. Scouts can make better use of hills, so they will almost as a rule meet city states and get to ruins faster than warriors. They're also more useful on the off chance they get upgraded at a ruin - archers who ignore terrain cost are pretty handy, a unit of spearmen not so much.

If I have good reason to believe I'm alone or virtually alone, I'll go Warrior just because I'm not in much of a race to get the resources near me. With that in consideration, Warriors can be upgraded to something useful 30 turns later. Scouts cannot.
 

Tabarnak

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Scout. If a barb camp is close, i can bring the scout fast enough and put down fortification bonus to barb from a forest or a hill.

Attack with warrior first, then finish him with scout. Scout can go heal to closest city fast enough before he got killed by another barb.

Getting a level 1 scout is nice. Sentry +1 is a lot useful in multiplayer.
 

wurstburst

Prince
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Dec 9, 2009
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I do scout. It can get further away faster and make contact with more civs. On an NC first start, I want to get OB gold from as many civs as possible to rush buy a library, so that's important to me.

I use the starting warrior to clear fog near the capital and send the scout as far away as I can.
 

Bibor

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my initial build is usually Scout, warrior, worker or settler. The second warrior is used for taking out barb camps and for worker protection. On King or Emperor (and above) it's useless to get out a worker without a warrior protecting it, barbs come too soon.
 

davelisowski

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I never build scouts. Is that bad?
 

EndoConvert

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I never build scouts. Is that bad?

Naw, it's fine. I never build scouts either. I explore heavily early-game, and even then, I still don't build scouts to do so.

In fact, I really don't get why so many people build scouts. They're actually pretty bad explorers. They die so much more easily than warriors, and they're so much slower than horses.

At the beginning of the game, if you micro your exploration well, warriors move almost as well as scouts, plus they don't die as easily when running across barbs, plus they later fit right into your army.

A little bit later in the game, you'll get horses, and they'll become your primary explorers.

I've always felt scouts were one of those wasted units in the unit tree.
 

DaveMcW

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In fact, I really don't get why so many people build scouts. They're actually pretty bad explorers. They die so much more easily than warriors

You can keep a scout alive, it just requires more effort.

Always fully heal.
Stay away from barbarian camps.
Make your first move onto a hill, so you can see barbarians coming.
Never end turn next to a barbarian, no matter how injured he is. (He's just baiting you for his buddy!)
 

EndoConvert

Warlord
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You can keep a scout alive, it just requires more effort.

Always fully heal.
Stay away from barbarian camps.
Make your first move onto a hill, so you can see barbarians coming.
Never end turn next to a barbarian, no matter how injured he is. (He's just baiting you for his buddy!)

Yes, you can keep the scout alive with effort, but that's the whole point of my argument: why waste that effort?

Once you account for the turns you spend healing, the warrior overall moves faster.

When you account for having to stay away from barbs, the warrior has less limited range of exploration/movement AND produces more money (by being able to hit more camps and ruins).

Scouting with warriors is better than scouting with scouts, and building scouts is a waste of hammers and time and money (unit maint).
 

FidelZandro

Optimistic turtle
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No scouts here either.
The warrior needs to take out those barbs for hard cash.
Scout can't do that.
 

Bibor

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Scouts can turn into awesome archers. Warriors turn into stupid spears, locking out the option to swordsman upgrade. Scout archers (and later crossbows) are the best support combat unit you can possibly get. It's flexibility has won me more than a dozen "initial DOWs".
 

FidelZandro

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Scouts can turn into awesome archers. Warriors turn into stupid spears, locking out the option to swordsman upgrade. Scout archers (and later crossbows) are the best support combat unit you can possibly get. It's flexibility has won me more than a dozen "initial DOWs".

I only do this when i pop Archery from ruins.
Then it's worthwhile.
 

bryanw1995

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I usually build scout and go on an exploring binge, there are just too many huts to pop that a warrior won't get. if I have a very close rival civ I'll usually spam warriors to take him out, however.
 
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Scout is only 25 production, Warrior is 40. That's a massive difference.

Also, Scout upgrades to Archer on goodie hut which is extremely powerful very early in the game.
 
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