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Standing Army in Peacetime: Rule of Thumb?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Jhaeman, Mar 14, 2014.

  1. Peteyboy

    Peteyboy Warlord

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    The settings in the game I mentioned, was a Large (9 Players) Pangaea on IMMORTAL

    It was unusual in the sense that no player dominated the cities - Sury with his stack came from 11 cities (inc. capturing Kyoto from Japan)

    The challenging situation is all the AI advantages allow it to build so many more units without suffering the financial penalty - I don't know exactly what it is - you get approx. 5 free units on Immortal as the player (I think the AI plays at the equivalent of Noble - I'd guess at approx. 25? - I'm sure someone knows) but also the advantage of No. Cities maintenance is reduced to 5 from 7. The 22.5% discount on stuff means the AI can produce so much quicker - Therefore more cities = more production + cheaper production + allowance for units means that very quickly the AI can crank out an army which for you to maintain will cripple you in the long term. The reality is you have to be prepared if you are building military units to make them count.

    Kallikrates - You mention Emperor settings - Whilst not a lot difference - Being a player that now wins 75% of emperor - I find the main difference, is that the player can afford about 7-8 cities, and you just get the extra 5 or so units, which generally means in peacetime I can maintain roughly 0.8 str to the AI as supposed to being nearer 0.6 on immortal. Also note the AI production bonus isn't quite so high.

    I agree that it would be unusual to see naturally 12+ cities on any difficulty level. Even the AI eventually gets overwhelmed by maintenance costs :)

    Xploring - you do make a valid point, which I often overlook - the power of Civics matching. I had a relatively lousy capital (cept for food - thus GP farm) so switched to FS (gained 35 beakers per turn, and saved 14 gpt) but I lost happiness with 2 AI - A mistake it seems I may have regretted.
     
  2. elitetroops

    elitetroops Deity

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    You need enough turns of cannons, but you don't need to wait for rifling to build the rest of your army. If you are facing medieval units, then cannons can be supported by whatever units, doesn't matter much if it is maces or rifles. Cannons will damage the opposition enough to keep odds skyhigh for the guys who are mopping up. Often it's actually better to have maces who can earn their CRIII promotions before you later upgrade them to rifles/infantry. If you are facing medieval units it is also mostly better to attack as soon as you get steel and not allow the opponent to catch up in tech while you head for rifling.

    I'd say a 100+ strong stack of medieval units is quite rare on immortal, don't remember seeing that. Every now and then someone does manage to put together bigger than usual stacks, but with cannons this is manageable if you can lure them into a city and park your siege outside. Hit them with a ton of cannons, most units will receive some degree of collateral damage and the top defenders will all be severely crippled from direct hits. Then destroy as much as you can with whatever other guys you have around. He will usually not counterattack, because most of his army is wounded and he'll try to heal up. Next turn you hit him again in the same way, rinse and repeat until stack is gone.

    In the modern age stacks more often get really big. It seems a lot of deity players prefer nukes once stacks are growing too big to handle. I haven't used nukes in a while, but I believe 2-3 tactical nukes is enough to wipe out any stack in the field. Should solve your problems easily. Until you face the nuclear retaliation... :run:
     
  3. Tatran

    Tatran Deity

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    Yeah, I know that feeling. The AI can play that game too. I do remember a reload.

    Sometimes defending with units with the CG2 or CG3 promotion is better. You'll probably lose a few units, but the enemy stack is enough damaged.
    The next turn, your attackers can clean up the rest of the enemy stack.
    The blitz promotion also saves gold spend on units.
     
  4. Peteyboy

    Peteyboy Warlord

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    Standing army vs Toku as neighbour - What is the best play?

    I just had a game where I got a great start, wiped out inca (was Egypt - WC's owned) had 10 cities, equal/best technologically, but Toku who started a long way away from me, naturally ended up on my border would DOW me with 0.6 - we'd fight I'd win 80% of fights, peace, 20 turns later, all he has done is pump out units - DOWs me, repeated 4 times. But the damage was done, during one peace, the inevitable, my other border Ragnar (who I was 0.7 to me) eventually DOWed me (I DOWed him earlier to steal workers and razed 2 cities, thus annoyed ^^), and he was friendly with Brennus who DOWed me, bribed Mao Zedong, bribed Toku, and Bang! Despite having just researched Cannons (unique) Toku still had his stack on my border, Ragnar's stack had enough to be annoying, Mao was 0.7. 4 people at war with me - Game lost.

    I find Toku as a neighbour incredibly awkward, he always DOWs you and whether he wins or not, he costs you significant GPT in unit cost, and time.

    I reloaded to try and stop the mass wars, obviously Toku I couldn't stop, Brennus I got to pleased by +4 for tech (not sure if Brennus will DOW at pleased), with Mao at -2 net, +4 isn't enough.
     
  5. pepe26

    pepe26 Lacrosse Enthusiast

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    In case you still don't believe the ones who say you need diplomatic only, let me stress that again: you don't need a standing army in general! If you learn to play diplo right, you are almost always safe. If you ser someone with a red fist (you are using BUG, aren't you?), figure out who they might attack.
    Begging gold off pleased AIs is also a popular tactic, used by most immortal and deity players. Your questions should really revolve around how to diplo-handle AI s, because military is a huge waste of hammers and gold, if not used aggressively and efficiently
     
  6. Thrar

    Thrar King

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    As pepe26 said, with pleased neighbors, you can always get a 10 turn grace period - beg a little gold. If you don't overdo it (no more than every 30-40 turns), they'll accept.

    If you have a neighbor who you will inevitably fight, attack them on your terms. Get those 10 turns of peace from their potential allies, then declare. Don't wait for them to build an army and come to you.
     
  7. NihilZero

    NihilZero WHEOOHRNY

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    In general, a passive standing army is to be absolutely avoided at all costs, as all it does is 1) drain your economy, and 2) become obsolete.

    However, there are exceptions:

    - you may need border troops in the early game to dissuade "dagger" attacks, which is essentially an unplanned war where the AI sees an easy opportunity (for example, an empty city) and goes for it without entering WHEOOHRN mode;

    - you may need troops sitting in a city to prevent revolts or culture flipping;

    - Hereditary Rule, of course;

    - and lastly, actual defence. This is very situational, depends on neighbours and their capacity for war. In most games, you should aim to avoid defensive armies completely by making it impossible for the AIs to DoW. This can't always be achieved, in which case you may have to tech certain techs and raise a standing army.

    Standing armies are pretty much bad news, as it's hammers and upkeep gold you would rather be directing to something more useful. On the upside, sometimes they mean you can jump in on an intra-AI war with minimum preparation if the opportunity arises :devil:
     
  8. Ringo Kid

    Ringo Kid Prince

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    I dont know about high levels, I usually play prince or monarch. I like to have a small stack of mounted units, keeping them upgraded as the game goes along. Early they get used for barb defense and scouting. Later they make a defensive "rapid response" stack that can quickly defend a city that gets sneak attacked. And they are useful against a stack that has siege weapons because of "flanking" that kills cats and trebs. Cannons too I think.
     
  9. pepe26

    pepe26 Lacrosse Enthusiast

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    These types of inefficiencies are the reasons that keep you constrained to lower difficulties. This is why there is so many people here stressing the fact that you can almost always do without a standing army. The way you learn this is to ask specific questions about diplo, especially regarding warmongers, begging, WHEOOHRN, tech/resource trading, religion, favorite civics, giving in to demands, negotiating trade embargos and bribing an AI into a DoW.

    If you consider all of the above which is challenging and fun at the same time, you will almost never be declared on!
     
  10. rah

    rah Deity Supporter

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    I find with tech trading off, that without techs to bribe the AI, it's harder to almost never be declared on. And aggressive AI doesn't help either.
     
  11. Royal Tenenbaum

    Royal Tenenbaum Exiled

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    That warrior spamming tactic is new to me. And it sounds genius.
     
  12. Dave_uk

    Dave_uk Chieftain

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    I'm just moving to Monarch and realising the importance of having a minimal army when not at war to save on maintenance costs. I've never considered having no garrison in a city at all though, doesn't that come with a huge happiness penalty? I also play huge perfectworld maps with raging barbs on, so I do need an army as there will be large open spaces from which an large army of barbs will descend on me. I'm guessing this map and setting makes the higher difficulties much harder to manage. Also I find that for most of the ancient age I often find there's nothing good to build other than units for a while especially if I have no resources for wonders, what do you do then just build wonders for the failgold?
     
  13. elmurcis

    elmurcis Emperor

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    Thats good reason why I skip hunting unless I need it for resources (ivory/deer/furs) or HA (or Elephant) rushes.. Without Hunting can build warriors very long time.. (until Rifling possibly?). And you always can trade for hunting resources still :D
     
  14. Kallikrates

    Kallikrates Prince

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    No garrison gives a happiness penalty, but only after the city has grown to size 3 (or thereabouts). But for this warriors are enough (also for the increased garrison happiness under hereditary rule). I also try to avoid hunting, but very often one needs either the happiness from ivory/furs or archery anyway for safety, if no copper/horses are around
    I think the "dagger" surprise attack is a very real possibility with the wrong neighbors (I suffered it in two recent games, once from Kublai, once from Ragnar.) If one has only peaceful neighbors one can certainly get along with diplo, but not always.
     
  15. pepe26

    pepe26 Lacrosse Enthusiast

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    daggers are really rare... dont build an army because of an off-chance dagger
     
  16. TheSunIsDark

    TheSunIsDark Settled Great Scientist

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    1 unit is fine in the core cities. You probably need more in border cities.
     
  17. pepe26

    pepe26 Lacrosse Enthusiast

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    no you don't...
     
  18. Robo-Star

    Robo-Star Prince

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    Two of the best defensive units my level of technology will allow, both with at least City Garrison II.
     
  19. NihilZero

    NihilZero WHEOOHRNY

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    Hmmm, I have to disagree. Rare they may be, but a dagger attack is pretty much game over, so it pays to be wary of the possibility.

    I'm not certain of the exact mechanics, but I think they only happen early game. If you have a warmonger neighbour (AFAIK not everybody can dagger, although I did get daggered by Augustus once!) and they have access to something better than archers, they can and will dagger you on Immortal+, often resulting in a razed city at best or total extermination at worst...:eek:
     
  20. pepe26

    pepe26 Lacrosse Enthusiast

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    If they can't build better than archers, they can't dagger nor WHEOOHRN either afaik. You may be correct, though, that you need to consider who your neighbors are more than I'm admitting/realizing. I'm just saying that an off-chance of a dreadful event can never justify taking building in inefficiencies into your economy EVERY game because it will disqualify you from ever beating Deity unless the rest of your game is super strong ;) (I'm not beating Deity yet, just to be frank)
     

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