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Scouts

Discussion in 'Civ6 - Strategy & Tips' started by Gus_Smedstad, Apr 7, 2017.

  1. Gus_Smedstad

    Gus_Smedstad Warlord

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    I find that I never build scouts in the early game. They're not cheap enough to justify giving up a slot that could be a slinger. Warriors and slingers do the early game scouting well enough, and are far, far more combat capable.

    Scouts gain experience from discovering natural wonders, but it's too minor of an advantage. They're never going to gather enough experience to get to that +20 combat strength promotion, which is the only thing that'd really make a difference.

    Using the Double Experience for Scouts (Survey) policy could help that, but there's no way I'm forgoing +5 against the barbarian swarms. The camps aren't so bad, but if they spawn a wave, particularly a horseman wave when I'm still fielding warriors and archers, I need everything I can get.

    Even as Greece, I'd rather use the wildcard policy slot for something else, like Great Prophet points, cost reduction on units, or doubled initial envoys.

    I find the only time I build scouts is when I've advanced to Archers and Swordsmen. At that point there's a much more significant price difference, so they're good then when I want something cheap and disposable.
     
  2. isau

    isau Deity

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    I think they should earn XP for each tile they uncloak, like they did in th Civ 5 Vox Populi mod. I've thought about modding it in eventually, once I take care of some other things.
     
    JustNilt and Atlas627 like this.
  3. Arent11

    Arent11 King

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    On higher difficulties, I find that scouting can actually be quite dangerous, because you are weak & enemy ais tend to declare war on you. It can be advantageous to stay in your part of the map & only contact the neighboring civs.

    One could maybe have combined scouts with spies to get nice effects. Something like a ~cloaked unit for reconnaissance that can only be discovered by other scouts/spies.
     
    gettingfat likes this.
  4. EpicWestern

    EpicWestern Warlord

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    I had used a scout first build for a while, but as I've said in a number of threads, pure slingers into archers is the only viable defense against very early double rushes on deity.

    But I still use scouts throughout the game for a number of reasons:
    - cheaper than caravels and galleys, and also scouts land (obviously) and can pick up villages
    - cheapest way to acquire the +1 amenity bonus for garrisoned units, which IMO is the best all around military policy card
    - cheapest/fastest way to get deep inland to reveal cities with spaceports to pillage (frequently necessary to trade for open borders)
     
    MIS likes this.
  5. Arms Longfellow

    Arms Longfellow Warlord

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    I never build scouts early in the game for the reasons you listed, but it can be useful to quickly pump out a few later in the game since they only take a couple turns to build at that point and cost no maintenance. That way you can meet all the remaining civilizations for trade, and city states for quests. Especially useful if you're friends with that one city state that gives you relics for discovering new natural wonders and you have slots for them.

    My next game I'm going to experiment with a funny strategy I thought of where I beeline to Rifling, and right before hitting the tech I'll quickly pump out like 12 scouts, then mass upgrade them to Rangers and attack someone. Of course this will require me to save up quite a bit of cash. It would work a lot better if I also had Corps so I'll also need to get Nationalism at a decent timing.
     
  6. Gus_Smedstad

    Gus_Smedstad Warlord

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    I do agree that as the game progresses, scouts get more useful simply because they're the cheapest unit available. Scouting the oceans if I haven't managed to do the galleys -> caravel upgrade for Exploration, and sometimes just to keep an area under observation to prevent barbarian camp spawns. I started the thread because in the early game, they seem poorly designed - not cheap enough, not fast enough to justify giving up a slot, and of course terribly weak.

    They're also hurt by the way Civ 6 treats barracks. If you could get starting experience (as in all prior games) instead of an experience multiplier, you could start a scout with a promotion that'd make them more useful. Not that anyone in their right mind builds a barracks until the early scouting era is long gone, of course.
     
  7. Arent11

    Arent11 King

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    It would be really cool if scouts would be a *cheap* (~20 production) and early reconnaissance unit that is invisible to units & barbarians. And later on, when you discover writing & later technologies, you can upgrade them to diplomats & spies. In this way you could use them for:

    (1) Military reconnaissance (Knowing where enemy units are stationed, how many units the enemy has, watching wonder building in cities etc.)
    (2) Diplomatic missions that cost gold (establishing embassy, investigating relation with other civs, improving relations to your civ)
    (3) Special abilities that cost gold (Stealing of tech, sabotage etc.)
     
  8. The googles do nothing

    The googles do nothing Prince

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    I was going to argue for building a slinger first, but after reading the post i've changed my mind. Getting the free first envoy doesn't matter much on deity because the ai kill the city states. I wonder if the logic changes on large maps because of the lower chance of being rushed early?

    I play more mp and i'll still build a scout there first because of a much lower chance of being rushed and the city states are not killed as quickly.
     
  9. Jonathan

    Jonathan Prince

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    Scouts are useful for scouting because they're cheap, fast (especially with promotions), and don't seem to annoy other civs. In the early game, they usually have enough defensive strength to survive one attack (after which they can run away). Of course, I find them particularly useful now that I've started turning off barbarians :), but I was using them beforehand too.
     
  10. MIS

    MIS Prince

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    I think the main issue with scouts is that they are not good enough at what they are meant for. They are barely better than a warrior or slinger. I think with movement = 4 it would be better. I did like what I read before about using them later in the game, but I think that points to a design flaw also - scouts used to stay at home as a garrison unit!
     
  11. Victoria

    Victoria Regina Supporter

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    Movement 4 would be a good buff however I use them in about 30% of my games currently. typically when there is clearly some flat space for them to run in initially.

    A good scout used eary enough can have enough for 2 promotions without using the double card. If you then use the terracotta army you get to the +20 benefit but you really do need to get a couple more to have a ranger army, they are still a bit squishy and all that hard work can disappear quicte quickly. They come too late to be of real value to your cities ranged attack. I now never bother with a level 2 promotion finding them much more useful ignoring both woods and hills untl they die.

    However there is one thing, if you have a scout you tend to meet civs on their turf and therefore get invited to their cities (10 tile distance) you tend to stop them having so much information about you. Its a small thing. There is benefit in not exploring as well so its a personal choice.
     
  12. Esperr

    Esperr King

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    I always build scout first unless im doing some kind of funsy role playing game or something. Random village pops are still stupid, but most importantly you need to find your first few victims ASAP.
     
  13. DiffSarit

    DiffSarit Chieftain

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    I usually build 2 scouts after I have 4-5 cities. Send them in the opposite direction and let them reveal the entire landmass for you.

    Their main jobs are (1) finding City States (even on diety, some of them will still be around) which is critical because the earlier you meet them, the more quests (and envoys) you can have; (2) finding other civs which can be your trade/war partners; (3) reveal the locations of every cities on your continent which help you to set up necessary trading posts and road network in time, so that you are ready to send your trader in response to CS's quest or speed up your invading army.

    They will eventually have 2 promotions, which most of the time I choose ignore hill and forest.
     
  14. hal1000

    hal1000 Chieftain

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    I don't think they are cheap, they cost 120 gold on standard and the slinger cost is 140 gold, but the slinger can be upgraded to archer, then crossbowman, for scout you have to reach industrial era to upgrade to ranger which is pretty costly - 520 gold.
    One of the problem of the scouts is they become weak during medieval/renaissance eras when the other ancient/classical units get upgraded. Maybe they should get an upgrade in medieval era, an intermediate unit between scout and ranger it would be nice to have.
     

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