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Stacking Units

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by civhawaii, Mar 9, 2006.

  1. civhawaii

    civhawaii Chieftain

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    Units get a bonus when stacked on other units correct? My question is do they have to attack as a whole to get the bonus, or can you select individual units out of a stack to attack and still keep the bonus?
     
  2. TCGTRF

    TCGTRF Chieftain

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    No, they do not get a bonus when stacked together. Things like workers and settlers are not captured when they're stacked with military units. In addition, if an enemy attacks a stack of units, the stack is defended by the best unit available in the stack for the job.

    Tom
     
  3. civhawaii

    civhawaii Chieftain

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    Oh i see, so when people talk about stacking, its merely to have different types of units to counter others, its not actually a bonus?
     
  4. TCGTRF

    TCGTRF Chieftain

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    Exactly. For example, if you were going against a Civ that had knights and macemen, you'd want pikemen to counter the knights and other macemen to counter his macemen.

    Sometimes having a big stack can actually be detrimental. If, for example, you come up against an enemy stack with Catapults and one of them with Collateral damage attacks you, even though you defeat it, it damages many, many units in your stack.

    So, it's like everything else in CivIV. Always have a reason for making any move. Let's say you want to take an important city of your enemy. You would want some catapults in your stacks to take down the city's defenses, one extra one to do collateral damage and a type of unit in your stacks to counter every one of his defenders. You would need enough total units to defeat everyone in one turn, plus have one or two left over to enter and hold the city after you take it. In addition, you'd want at least one unit with a medic promotion along with each stack to speed up healing in enemy territory. All of these units need to be put in stacks that are large enough to survive counterattacks, but small enough that if you are attacked by a Catapult, your force is not completely weakened.

    Sound complicated? Yep, it is, but that's why we play this darn game.

    Tom
     
  5. bluedevil99

    bluedevil99 Chieftain

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    Yes, the "bonus" of stacking is that when a stack is attacked the game chooses the defender with the best odds to fight. A spearman and axeman have a much better chance to win in consecutive fights with a horse archer and spearman stacked than they would unstacked because you're assured of spear vs. horse and axe vs. sword.

    The tradeoff is that stacking can be risky when an enemy has units with the collateral damage mod available. CD may be the best mod in the game as even a small amount of damage can have a huge impact on combat odds, particularly in battles between evenly matched units or when a defending unit is receiving city/fortification bonuses.
     
  6. civhawaii

    civhawaii Chieftain

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    Ok I think I got it. How do you guys play it though, do you attack as a stack or do you individually pick out the units that you want to use to attack?
     
  7. TCGTRF

    TCGTRF Chieftain

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    Well, when I sidle up to a city, I first of all have used another unit to find out what's inside it, so that I have a decent spread of types of units. I then spend one or more turns lowering the city's defenses with Catapults, Cannon or Artillery. Then, I send a special catapult against the city defenders which has a couple of collateral damage promotions. This weakens the units defending.

    At that point I begin sending in troops. The city will use its best troops versus a given type against your attackers, so you may lose the first couple you send in, but eventually, you'll exhause its defenders. There's some difference of opinion on what order to send your troops in. Some say send your most powerful units in to do the most damage. Others say to send in obsolete troops as sacrificial lambs to take the edge off. I prefer the former, myself. The important thing is to take out the city in one turn after you get its defenses down to 0%. Otherwise, units which have defeated one of yours can get promotions (which incidentally heal them part-way), and if they get reinforced, can be extremely problematic. Do not attack as a stack, but as individual units in any case.

    That help?

    One way to help keep your enemies down is to use fast units like knights and cavalry to go behind the lines and pillage (destroy) things like iron mines and horse farms. If these resources are removed from the opposing civilization, it greatly diminishes his ability to build new high-tech units. Usually, you don't need a really large stack to do that at all, perhaps two or three horse units each with flanking promotions.

    Tom
     
  8. Draetor24

    Draetor24 Chieftain

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    I almost always give every Catapult, Cannon, or Artillery unit the Collateral promotions because all I use them for is bombardment and tearing up stacked units mostly in cities. I use other units with Combat/City Attack promotions to take out defenders once weakened.

    I also use huge stacks when I'm vastly superior in better tech units than my opponent to make it easier to quickly take 2-3 cities a turn sometimes. If I'm going against heavy Artillery units, I spread my stacks around to about 3 units minimum.
     
  9. CaptainEO

    CaptainEO Chieftain

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    If you select all the units in a stack and attack an enemy unit or city, the game will automatically use whichever unit gives you the best odds.

    There are some bugs with this though - for example, if one of the stacked units has exhausted its movement points, you may not be given the option to attack unless you deselect that unit. (this might only happen if the exhausted unit is the most powerful one for that attack). Also I've seen some strange reporting of odds for large stacks, as if some of the units are being ignored.
     
  10. 5cats

    5cats Chieftain

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    The game does seem to prefer sending 'suicide cats' (catapults) insted of attacking with the strongest unit.
    I keep my catapults seperate, or the computer will use them first, getting them all killed! Of course they're in the same hex, just not active with my other troops.
    Another reason to be selective is that your experienced troops will usually fight first, getting themselves killed against strong defenders. Try to keep 1-2 'new' units with city attack just to soften things up a bit. This keeps your guy with 23 experience alive :) and if they do win a high-odds battle, the new units'll gain better exp!
     

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