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Siege machine promotions?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Elandal, Oct 26, 2006.

  1. Elandal

    Elandal King

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    As awesome as trebs are, they still die when thrown against a city. With CR2 maybe one out of three survives against longbows (either killing or withdrawing, and usually not the first one), but the basic assumption is that they die while dealing collateral damage. Suicide cats don't survive - they just die..

    I'm used to giving them CR2 out of the barracks (or rather just before using them) assuming I build them under warbuild civics (vassalage and/or theocracy), but have just started thinking about it again - why CR and not barrage? Obviously with CR promotions they have higher survival rate, but that's not really their job, collateral damage is, so maybe Barrage 2 would be better? Then again, CR3 trebs actually have a decent chance of surviving, so they lucky ones that get there might actually stay alive to get fourth promotion.

    Of course I like having three accuracy trebs in the stack as well to take out cultural defenses before going for the kill, but they don't attack anything - they just bombard. Therefore they don't gain xp and thus no promotions over accuracy either, which doesn't matter because that's all they do - bombard.

    Also, is Drill of any use for them? Do first strikes matter when they are thrown in to die while softening the defenses?
     
  2. CivDude86

    CivDude86 King

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    Stick to cats if you want to deal more collateral damage since thats determined by base strength. I give all my trebs CR then drill after if I think I can get enough use of them to reach Drill3 or 4 otherwise combat. I never give trebs accuracy since its means only saves me 1 treb and I rather have 4 trebs that I can use the next turn than 3 of you destroyed the walls you can go home now.
     
  3. gdgrimm

    gdgrimm Prince

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    Dec 23, 2005
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    I think you'll still want/need some CR trebs. It's pretty common to run up against Longbowmen with a couple CG promotions on a hill. If your siege unit is too far outclassed, it'll leave the target unit unscathed. Which means sending in another suicide siege, hoping to hit the target unit this time around.

    An extreme example -- my last game I lost 2 CR promoted Catapults to a CR3 Longbowmen without the Longbowman even being hit.

    Obviously, there was some 'bad luck' involved in that example, but if you reduce the victory odds for your suicide siege too much, you're likely to find you'll need multiple suicide sieges not for the collateral effect, but to reduce the strongest defender enough to allow your 'mop-up' crew good odds.

    Of course, a mix of CR Trebs with Barrage Cats may be the best way to go.
     
  4. Elandal

    Elandal King

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    CR3 and Drill 3 or 4? That'd be level 7 or 8, so 50 or 65 xp.. Considering all the xp comes from city attacks, and basically one combat per city taken, I don't really expect any of my trebs to ever get that far. L5 is already asking a lot, and L6 without charismatic is rare (and thus the GG used for Medic 3 is needed to get access to West Point).

    The reason to use accuracy promotion is obviously to get the same effect with one treb less. If I have five trebs, I can either have three that bombard and two that charge (hoping for one to survive) after which the CR footsloggers (axes, swords, or maces) will crush the weakened defenders and it's time to march in, or I can have four bombard and only one charge in which case the footsloggers will suffer some extra losses. Not like the trebs would have a job to do on the next round anyway. Having all trebs with CR seems useful in case I don't think I'm going to take the city in one sweep though. In that case I can do with just four trebs: first round I bombard, next round I charge.

    As trebs are purely for city attack, I still keep some barrage cats with my stack. I use them mainly when I encounter an enemy in the fields, or when the enemy stack comes to my newly acquired city. Only if I had too few trebs to begin with do I need to throw them at the city walls.

    I guess mix of CR trebs and Barrage cats is then the way to go, with either extra treb or some of the trebs with accuracy, or use a cat or two to fill in in the bombard duty. Barrage cat against city is best when the defenders are many and the first CR treb lucked out with the top defender, either killing it (fat chance) or severly weakening it.

    And to sum it up: CR trebs are needed because the top defender has to be severly weakened, and without CR promotions the trebs might not be able to do it. For pure collateral damage, barrage cats are better. Therefore, CR treb or two followed by suicidal barrage cat or two may have the biggest impact in case the city is defended by a reasonably large defense stack.
     
  5. Barney's_Soul

    Barney's_Soul Warlord

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    Trebushets are awesome....8 strengh > 5 strengh, if you want to weaken your opponent by killing a few of his strong defenders(i mean each unit has 3, they kill 1 or 2), then your army can mop up. Trebushets > Cats
     
  6. Thedrin

    Thedrin Deity

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    I would send in the barrage units first. Reasoning:

    1) If the barrage units don't damage the first defender you will still send your city raider units against the first defender but all other defenders should be sufficiently weakened.

    2) If the barrage units do damage the first defender you will send your city raider units against damaged units so that they have higher odds of winning.
     
  7. Naismith

    Naismith Prince

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    Yes, if you are going up against lots of defenders, by all means send in the collateral promoted units first. The only exception is if your CR trebs have good to decent odds of winning, or if there are one or two strong defenders and a load of weak units defending the city. In both cases, the need to maximize collateral damage isn't a big priority, and you might avoid having to sacrifice the collateral promoted units.

    In my last game, by the time I geared up for war I already had Engineering, so I didn't have many cats - I built mostly trebs. I regretted that when a large counterattacking stack showed up, and I only had trebs to use for inflicting collateral damage. Trebs mostly with CR II. Ugh. I was faced with the unpleasant choice of losing more regular units when I attacked the stack, or sacrificing my beautiful CR II trebs. (I did a little of both.)

    Moral of the story: Trebs do not completely replace cats.
     
  8. wioneo

    wioneo King

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    Barrage catapults for defense, city raider trebuchets for...city raiding. I usually use bring six trebs, use four to bombard, send the other two to attack, and continually send a mace+treb to replace the ONE that died. The second usually survives...
     
  9. Baru

    Baru Beer Drinker

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    I actually only promote trebs and cats for barrage. I never expect them to survive the battle (though get them 2 barrage and one accuracy they might)..they are only there to weaken the city forces. This will slow down your advance rate yes, but unless you have a serious plus on your cash flow this is usually a good thing. I also never in the mid game go with less than two per city, maybe I am overprotective but I rarely try to take a city and fail.
     
  10. uncarved block

    uncarved block Prince

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    I've been toying around lately with CR1 and Barrrage Trebs (and Cats) when I get two promotions, just to see if it makes the attacks after the first one more effecient. Haven't noticed much difference, but if they survive, CR2 with Barrage is another story . . .

    It's only anecdotal, but the only thing that seems to help Cat/Treb survival is the simple Combat promotion, especially when used in defense and not city assault. Could be something in the combat mechanism, or it could just be selective memory.

    I haven't messed with Drill for any any units after the first couple months-- it just didn't seem to do anything early, and too many of those units never survived long enough to find out if Drill 4 cool or not. With the advent of the Protective trait, I've fooled around with it a bit, but nothing to report so far.
     
  11. Krupo

    Krupo Old-time newsgrouper

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    Just finished a bout of BF:2142.

    Makes me wish Civ 4 had Titans.... <grin>
     

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