- Aug 2, 2016
Kind of depends on the difficulty you play. Playing on Deity you can actually get to Cuirs much faster by avoiding the Music tree and trading back for it with a faster Nationalism/Education/Gunpowder, which leads to earlier attack date i.e. more success. You can do the same on Immortal but the Ais can still be so slow that you could beat them to Music while setting up your GS bulbs anyway, and a free GA is really good for setting those up via the Golden Age + starving down.1) I've never really done a cuirraser rush that's worked, usually I'm too late. What's the timeframe I have for a successful push? What are the key techs to get? If I'm getting the music GA, are there any techs I need to avoid to get a good bulb?
Key techs are definitely Philosophy (earlier is better, if you have a religion to spread) and thus you need CoL or Drama + Meditation to unlock the bulb on Philo. I would argue CoL is the superior path so you can immediately swap to Caste + Pacifism after the Philo bulb, but there is something to be said for Drama as a tradeback tech especially if you did self-tech up the Music path yourself (I often do at least up to Literature for NE or GLib anyway). Then you'll want all the techs required to unlock Liberalism bulb after Education: Alpha, Math, Aesthetics, Calendar, Metal Casting, Compass. You will also want to have at least Nationalism open as your Lib target, so Civil Service. Finally, you'll probably want to tech/tread for Paper to avoid "wasting" a scientist bulb on it and you need it to open Education for bulb. Then boom boom boom, GS bulbs into Philo/Edu/Lib
Avoid Machinery if you want to do the Liberalism bulb at all. The Ai typically will have and try to trade it to you before you are ready for Lib bulb on Immortal or higher so be careful not to make the trade until after you bulb into Lib!
Maps, techs, gifts of gold, fulfilling demands they make, even opening borders on the first turn you meet their worst enemy (I know this one because it happens a LOT on maps with Astro separation). It can all count towards worst enemy grief. And of course, they can track it even without meeting you until later2) Does "You've traded with our worst enemies" only keep track of techs or resources/gpt too?
Flanking is best used sparingly to weaken the top few defenders no matter what tier of mounted it's on. The worst matchups for HAs come from Spears typically, so it can be a deliberation between Flanking or Shock. Flanking tends to work better when there's much higher defensive boni stacked on the target defender....taking -25% from a spear that's getting +100% native +25% fortified + 25% Formation + 40% culture + 50% walls + 25% hill = +265% defense and +20% on top of that from Combat 2 will not make much of a dent, and leaves quite a large margin for it to kill your Shock HA flawlessly.5) Is flanking of any use in a HA rush? Could maybe lead to 1 or 2 more HA surviving for later
Promoting Flanking 2 in that situation instead of Shock gives you up to a 50/50 shot to at least try to injure that same spear, no matter how strong it defends at. Once you start to get damage on that spear it can either be killable or shuffled out of the defense rotation so you can kill archers instead of grinding him down.
The best way to use it I've found is to promote a handful of these guys , 3-4, and send them in first ahead of the normal attackers for this specific purpose. It can do the trick when you can't get a spy there in any amount of decent time for a revolt, no siege, no airships, etc, or when it's too early for any of those things, like with HA attack.
I find the simplest solution is just to push tanks and go for Spy revolts. Revolted cities + City Raider on tanks is extremely effective (easiest way to kill gunships is when they stack in a city) and you can just shut off tech after you reach Industrialism + Combustion if you have Oil and go for the kill while pumping EPs and a small amount of spies at your target constantly. Small squads of 3-5 spies work well to survive moving through enemy terrain long enough to get to the city and then succeed in revolting it...if your economy is strong enough you don't even need to wait on the mission discounts. Defenseless Mech Infantry, Marines, other Tanks, even Modern Armor will get shredded by CR2/3 Tanks. Panzers are actually one of the worst problems, funnily enough.3) What's the key units/techs/buildings I want for fighting wars in the modern era? I find I struggle a lot once ai have tanks/gunships even if I have my own.
When in doubt you can also nuke too. Don't have a lot of experience with it but being able to wipe most effective resistance off the board in a single turn with a few tac nukes can be devastating considering the way the AI consolidates units.
If you aren't using GS for the first Academy, or to bulb on this list of techs:4) Is there a general rule when generating GM's are better than GS?
Engineering (very specific case)
I would argue you could get better use out of a GM. Especially if you already have a Bureau cap, Oxford, or lots of well developed Towns and a good raw commerce total across your empire. Combined with a Golden Age and build Research you can really out do the value of a GS with one GM.