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Scouts in the early game

Discussion in 'Civ5 - Strategy & Tips' started by Teedman, Jan 1, 2012.

  1. Teedman

    Teedman Chieftain

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    I am a relatively new player that has a question about scouts….

    I’ve read several threads that recommend building a couple scouts during the early game…some even saying to make a couple right from the start.

    My question: How do you keep them alive/protected from Barbs? Most of the time I send them out and they get their ***es kicked within a few turns. Sure, they can defend themselves but not too well imo. Overall, I have found it a bit of a waste to make them; but since the suggestion to build a few at the start comes from (what I can tell) experienced players, I am wondering if I am missing something?? Thanks for suggestions.
     
  2. Soronery

    Soronery Prince

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    Don't put them on auto scout and pay attention to where you move them.
     
  3. joncnunn

    joncnunn Senior Java Wizard Moderator

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    The quantity to build is rather map type & size dependent. 2 at the beginning sounds like a Pangaea map, particularly on a large or huge map size.

    Yup, don't auto scout, and pay attention, but they are expendable units. Unless you find a ruins that upgrades them to an archer they can't be upgraded anyway.
     
  4. vexing

    vexing knows

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    always move one tile at a time. this lets you see barbs / camps ahead of time.

    try to make the second move always land in rough terrain. the +25% defense vs -10% is significant if you are going to be attacked.

    scouts can pretty much always survive a single attack from a barb, but will probably die to two attacks without healing between, so when you're attacked you have two choices: realize your scout is going to die and continue scouting, or heal it up. very early, where you're trying to get ruins, i'd probably go the first route. later, where you want to scout the lay of the land, find city states across map, etc, you should heal up.

    if you manage to survive three attacks, you get a promotion. for actual scouting i prefer the visibility promotion. being able to see 3 tiles is enough that you can prevent your scout from ever being attacked again.
     
  5. Teedman

    Teedman Chieftain

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    Thanks for the advice! Not putting them on auto...would never do that. lol Will give these ideas a try!
     
  6. Scarpa

    Scarpa Prince

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    I like to scout hilltop to hilltop, this ensures I'm always on a defensive bonus terrain and can see over forests. If I can't get to a hill I try to get into forest or something. Mostly just moving one hex at a time and watching carefully will be sufficient, though.
     
  7. daviscor

    daviscor Prince

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    You can always activate the "No Barbarians" option, which, of course, will disable unit promotions until you go to war... Personally, I like this option, because barbs are pain in the a**. And as I play with Mongolia, my Keshiks are promoted twice as fast. And I also unlock the social policy where units receive double experience from combat.
     
  8. ense7en

    ense7en n7

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    All good advice here.

    I too prefer to follow hills/forest as it's safer to end up there, and while it's so tempting to move two tiles at once, never ever do it.

    And if you do get enough action to get a promotion, the visibility upgrade is indeed awesome.

    Patience with barbs is sometimes necessary too.

    I've been trapped and the end of a landmass corner and had to fight it out with barbs one on one.
    Lots of fortifying in rough or hill terrain and i've won eventually.
     
  9. shaglio

    shaglio The Prince of Dorkness

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    It's interesting that 2 people both said this. I'm far from an experienced player, but I tend to always go the other promotion route first. The 1st one lets you heal 2 points per turn which gets you back out and scouting sooner, the 2nd one gives you an additional 50% defense bonus which allows you to survive attacks better, and the 3rd one is the equivalent to "March" which allows you to heal while moving. Than I take the other promotion line if I'm still alive/scouting.
     
  10. snarzberry

    snarzberry Emperor

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    At the end of the day it really barely matters which promotion you choose for your scout. Your last remaining goal for them at this point is to scout out the AI territory, so survival against barbs is what you're after and both help in this regard. I'd say that the extra sight to see where possible attacks are coming from plus 1 extra tile vision into your opponents land is slightly better but it much of a muchness either way.
     
  11. NotSure

    NotSure King

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    Extra vision often means never having to take any more damage.
     
  12. rondo

    rondo Chieftain

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    I also tend to favor scout before monument, just to explore the opposite direction of my initial warrior for a lucky ruin or two.
     
  13. vexing

    vexing knows

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    the visibility promotion lets you scout immediately without fear: seeing three tiles, you can always stay safe, even with a 1hp scout.
     
  14. MadDjinn

    MadDjinn Deity

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    It also has longer term viability during combat as a spotter (if you don't place it where it will be killed). It's usually nice to pop a scout over the hill to see the enemy unit placements before moving your siege units there.

    hmm, I'll have to check again, but since american scouts already get +1 sight (actual promotion), that basically means that they can move on to the lvl 2 promotion right away.
     
  15. Silverfuturist

    Silverfuturist King

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    The AI civs have a much harder time vs the barbs than me even at the deity level... AI civs will lose workers and settlers to the barbs. City states will lose workers to the barbs. This equates to free workers, free city state influence and stunted AI growth as some of their settlers don't make it. In fact I think deity can be easier to win with raging barbs turned on.

    If done right (the barb camp is placed ideally near the city state), you can return the same CS worker multiple times - I have gotten free alliances with this, and end up with the worker at the end of the procedure! Not even mentioning the city state quests to get rid of the barb camps.
     
  16. daviscor

    daviscor Prince

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    Hmm, I didn't know that. You've changed my mind. Thanks!
     
  17. Poopin Thelift

    Poopin Thelift Chieftain

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    And with some luck it can get you visibility II, which also gives another movement point. And with even more luck, you can get a visibility II Scout Archer, an incredible good early unit!
     
  18. ense7en

    ense7en n7

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    Obviously how you use your scouts if up to you, but to me, their job is scouting, not fighting.

    So while health regen is nice, i'd much rather have an extra tile of view to meet city states faster (30 vs. 15 gold), see where the ruins are faster (can be huge beating the AI to some of them), and being able to see the barbs and avoid them, not waste time fighting them.

    I may actually start doing scout-scout starts at least on large Pangea-style maps in order to get those ruins/city state meetings done with as fast as possible, since they make such a big difference early on.
     
  19. CYZ

    CYZ Toileteer

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    I'm also against health regen. it is tempting, especially when your scout seems to be attacked again and again. But reducing downtime is not as good as preventing it with the extra sight range. The defense is nice but comes late, by then spearmen and archers are often running around thus it won't really benefit you. The third promotion is unreachable with barbarians only.

    Also, in the long run. You can have +50% defense healing moving scout, pretty soon all units will still be able to one-shot it so those promotions become totally useless. Whereas 1 sightrange will always be usefull, especially for scouting the AI but also for preventing the attack in the first place.

    In fact, I think the entire healing+defense branch needs an upgrade since I can't see any situation where I would prefer it, unless I'd be using scouts for fighting. But that's always a bad idea.
     

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