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Spearman line or Warrior line ?

Discussion in 'Civ5 - Strategy & Tips' started by brainfixer, Jan 11, 2013.

  1. brainfixer

    brainfixer Chieftain

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    Hi,

    I'm interested in everyone's thoughts on using the Spearman line as the melee component to your army instead of the Warrior line (I feel Swords & Longswords seem like the default go-to.)

    Do you only go Spears if your Civ has a relevant UU like Darius or if you're facing a warmongering neighbor Civ with mounted UUs like Mongolia?

    Maybe it's just the aesthetics of Spears that I like and the bonus vs mounted units but I wonder how useful they are in higher level play (Emperor, Immortal and Deity.)
     
  2. FeiLing

    FeiLing Deity

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    Somehow I always only go Archers. Or ships. Never melee. Maybe a Pikemen or a UU to capture cities. Haven't built a swordman or longswordman in ages. The tech path is just horrible and usually I end up without Iron anyway.
     
  3. ense7en

    ense7en n7

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    Yeah ever since G&K i pretty much ignore melee unless it's an early UU.

    Hammers are usually much better spent on ranged units.
     
  4. The Pilgrim

    The Pilgrim Deity

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    Not really. In early rushes the main goal is to keep alive one melee unit in city range, doesn't matter which one. For archers rush (emperor-) spearman is clearly superior to warrior. But I won't bother with one unless I get it from ruin. Hoplites and immortals excluded. Usually I prefer scouts. They're cheaper and can take damage from soft cities. On immortal+ neither warriors nor spearmen are strong enough. By the time you go offensive (composite bowmen) AI has tons of archers of its own at least, so you'll lose some melee units anyways. And again, scouts are just cheaper and faster.
    Pikes are better now though, so while I was totally ignoring them in vanilla, in G&K I like using them as cheap and resource independent meat shields.
     
  5. Dogmouth

    Dogmouth King

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    If I want melee units, I'll go with horses, horses, or horses. A horseman or a knight can easily capture a weakened city while pillaging up to full health along the way. Swordsman, spearman, etc., are highly likely to die to city fire and ranged fire, and they're a pain in the butt with UPT compared to horsemen (or scouts).
     
  6. crazymarco

    crazymarco Chieftain

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    Ranged units like composition archer is far more effective for combating in my opinion.
     
  7. Ra's Head

    Ra's Head Chieftain

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    A long term problem for spears is that they eventually upgrade to lancers, which have a different role and require horse. The swords upgrade to frontline melee type units all the way to Mech Infantry so you can keep the promotions to get much more powerful mid-late game units. The reality of higher levels, though, seems to be that ranged units win the wars and the melee units are more of a necessary afterthought.
     
  8. Jigokuro

    Jigokuro Chieftain

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    I often find the 'upgrade' from pikes to lancers to be counter productive, since it basically just makes them weak to my opponent's pikes.
    Warriors upgrade all the way to the late game better than spears, but by that criteria horses are even better.
    I do use pikes on defense in the mid game a little though (to guard the CBs, of course), as I virtually always get civil service before iron working (on deity, lower than that optimization doesn't matter much as victory is near automatic.) Then once pikes become to weak I just sell them off; conveniently its about the same time I get Gats which no longer need guards anyway.
     
  9. Crafty Bison

    Crafty Bison King

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    The ranged line is the strongest, but I actually really like the anti-mounted line. Obviously good until the end of pikes, the fact that your ranged is about to become gatlings mean the pikes no longer need be meatshields the whole time, and the move to lancers helps manouverability and tactics no end. What annoys me about them is that anti tank guns are so far away (and only one tech to helicopters) they never get used, so your army gets stuck with lancers way beyond when they should still be out there. Dunno about history, but from a gamer view I'd like to see anti-tank come out with landships.
     
  10. Matthew.

    Matthew. Deity

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    Warrior line isn't bad, it just requires dedication to it, which the typical "4 city Tradition only build a few CB's and tech to victory" style of play isn't going to cater to. Hitting Lswords/trebs before your neighbor is a huge advantage, and rifle/cannon just two more techs after that. If you spend too much time towards the top of the tech tree, you can't take advantage of that huge jump in tech (rifle/cannon vs. typically pikes/cb's)
     
  11. Wargizmo

    Wargizmo Warlord

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    Pikemen. Because getting civil service is such a massive bonus to your empire early because of the food, and it's a prereq for education; I think the units themselves are probably stronger with swords, but the other benefits to your empire from going civil service are just too good to pass up. That said, majority of my army is still ranged, and I'll really just get a few pikemen to tank damage and capture cities.
     
  12. RedRover57

    RedRover57 Emperor

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    On higher difficulties (e.g., Immortal) I almost always use spears/pikemen and/or horses for city capping, with comp. bowmen/crossbows as the main force. I would only consider the warrior line early for civs like Rome and Japan. Even then I worry about being out-teched quickly if on a continents/earth map and there is a runaway on the other continent. Science (Education) is just too important and pikemen/horses are at least on the right track, and I would also rather use iron for Frigates anyway (when appropriate).
     
  13. chmilz

    chmilz Chieftain

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    Hate 'em both. Swordsman require like 52 upgrades over time. Ridiculous.

    Pikeman are handy in OCC culture/science games since they'll be your strongest melee unit for ages, but otherwise the upgrade path gets progressively worse. Anti-tank and choppers are useless.

    Post G&K it's all about horsemen. It's a short upgrade path to tanks, and oil tends to be plentiful. With pillage heal, those movement points and move after attacking are incredible, and once you bombard a city to zero hp, walk your fast horseman in to take it.
     
  14. angkor t. wat

    angkor t. wat Chieftain

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    For early melee units I'll usually build spears unless I have a lot of iron so I can have frigates later. I always tend to have 2-3 units from the warrior line though - they upgrade frequently so I feel like I can always depend on it being a useful unit.

    The exception is with Japan because the samurai comes with two free promotions and keeps them forever. Too good to pass up.
     
  15. apocalypse105

    apocalypse105 Deity

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    I like the swordsman line because it upgrades to rifleman. Especialy if I play as a civ with unique gunpowder unit.

    The only downside is you have to use it as soon as you get it because it gets fast obsolete.

    Swordsman become outclassed by pikeman pretty fast so you have to rush someone in the classical age.
    Longswordsman become less effective if someone has gunpowder so you have to kill them in the medieval era.

    Basicly it are the best units in there eras COmpared to the pike and spearman.
     
  16. cmorganuk

    cmorganuk Chieftain

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    I like to play immortal domination games. I usually take out my nearest neighbour around turn 60 with 5 or 6 CB's and a couple of warriors or spearmen. Then I always get to a conunderum and even now I'm still not sure what the best way to go is.

    Do you go back to the top to grab education or continue down the bottom to cross bows and long swords. Its always really tricky for me. I want to keep the CB's rolling as much as possible because logistics and range gantling guns late on are formidable, but as others have said, it's easy to slip behind with tech if war bogs you down a little.

    I finished a game yesterday as China where I continued ploughing along the bottom, but I finished feeling that cross bow men with instant logistics was the real game changer, it allowed me to conquer quick enough to keep tech parity with a runaway on the other side of the pangea. I ended with a 278 turn domination victory, with machine gunners and bombers killing all in sight. But without the quick logistics I think I'd have got bogged down too much and fallen behind with tech.

    So I'm leaning towards quicker education being a must without a UU and using battlefield skills to win the inevitable more even mid game wars. Then out teching to the more modern units.

    Even then, I think some games on immortal are just not winnable via domination, or I'm just not a good enough player.
     
  17. Light Cleric

    Light Cleric ElCee/LC/El Cid

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    Definitely Sword path. Cover II Infantry take hits like nothing else. I absolutely loathe Pikes because of their horrid upgrade path. Lancers are okay but they're a specialized unit and the path gets worse from there. Pretty much only use Pikes if I'm Darius or I'm facing Siam. I don't play Germany and it's annoying because, unless it change recently, Spearman -> Landsknect is 10 gold but Landsknect -> Lancer is 290 gold instead of 200 which really sucks. :(
     
  18. Crafty Bison

    Crafty Bison King

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    Why does everyone forget the Pictish Warrior? It kicks ass! If you haven't already, check it out post patch.
     
  19. triheptyl

    triheptyl Warlord

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    I'm still a subscriber to the warrior line when it comes to the melee component of my army, with a few backing horsemen.

    I find the problem with horses is they feel weak. They are fast and great for pillaging, but they are squishy. They can't fortify and don't do well in city attacks. In a toe to toe fight they get hurt and die quick, and just don't hold up in lengthy wars and sieges.

    Spearmen and Pikemen are probably better in their era, and I'll often use them during the classical and medieval eras, but the lancer upgrade signals a slippery slope for the unit line. Once the lancer comes around they inherit the weakness of the horsemen line. Then they become anti-tank guns, and does anyone really use those? The attack helicopter is a rare high point for the post medieval spearman.

    Warriors, meanwhile, and just good, average units. No strengths or weaknesses, just a good front line unit. Post G&K combat seems to revolve almost entirely around archers and ranged attacks, and the warrior line gives you the hearty shield you need. They are tough and can take abuse while you push in and kill your enemies. They have the almighty fortify ability.

    The others have their place, but for me its all about archers, siege, and swords.
     
  20. Matthew.

    Matthew. Deity

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    When in doubt, go for tech first. Immortal is still possible to keep up tech pace with AI, or at least remain close. Once you hit some of the later units (artillery/battleships/bombers), those handful of heavily upgraded Xbows/gatling won't seem as great.
     

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