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Stock Swordsman Rush - No Praets No Cheese!

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by dankok, Oct 20, 2019.

  1. AcaMetis

    AcaMetis Prince

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    Welcome to the reason why I'm married to my single player games ;). I have a hard enough time beating a SNES AI at Tetris, me playing multiplayer Civ IV is just a trainwreck waiting to happen.

    True, but early aggressiveness is the intelligent play for higher level AIs, assuming they keep their AI bonuses. On Noble it'd be much less dire, of course, since you'd get time to learn who's around and how to react, but Deity? If a Deity AI has someone next to them that is defending a capitol city with one, maybe two Warriors, the intelligent play is to steal their worker and rush them. More land for you, less land for one of your rivals. Hell, it might make Marathon completely unplayable, since on Noble/Marathon it's entirely possible to walk up to an AI capitol and just walk in before the AI has a chance to even build a defender. Much less the player, since AIs always first build a defender that's already half-finished. As for intelligently whipping defenders, true to a point, but I feel like it would lead to an exploit. Move in a few HA, wait for the AI to whip their cities down on Spears, than move in with an actual Axepult stack, something like that. The city bombardment issue and defenders stationed inland rather than coastal is definitely true, as well.
     
  2. dankok

    dankok Chieftain

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    If you bring a few HA, the AI should only whip 1-2 Spears. No need for more. Plus the situation you mentioned really isn't an exploit. You could do it to a human player too. It's certainly an improvement if an AI under attack by HA's builds a Spear instead of an Archer.
     
  3. Tobiyogi

    Tobiyogi Prince

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    I agree @AcaMetis that intelligent aggressive AIs would make the game a nightmare. But if you remove all the bonuses and everyone starts with the same techs/units, then it would be different. That's maybe what @dankok means by comparing to chess. Human player and computer have exactly the same material to work and from that point, everyone can do any move. The computer cannot have both, the same intelligence AND large bonuses, that wouldn't be a game anymore. I usualy hate games that are based on imbalances, that's why I can still play Civ 4, because here you can make up for that with intelligence. (if that's the right word).
     
  4. Gumbolt

    Gumbolt Phoenix Rising

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    The key is the developer wants to make the game accessable to all. You can't make the Ai too challenging. It would be almost impossible to give the Ai human thinking. Multiplayer is maybe your best bet for that. Were also assuming players not on this forum will have the mind for micro and game play. I would suggest the average player at home won't have the knowledge and skills some have here. In fact forums have helped players micro here. Try searching for strategy articles on Civ 5 and 6?

    Unlike CiV and Civ 6 least the higher levels are more of a challenge. The game wasn't dumbed down so you could beat the top level.

    In terms of this game. I think an HA/chariot rush completed by 850bc is definitely possible. Quicker if you only build 2 cities and work commerce tiles. With 8-9 HA you could likely take down Egptians too as long as Alex doesn't do anything silly. Much quicker if you just use chariots as Mylene showed. Also with warriors too.

    The key problem with swords here is 1mp. Yes very strong against holkan and archers. When you declare on Egptians it would take 4 turns to attack. With HA you can be attacking capital on 2nd turn. Pending where cities end up.

    Ai does seem a bit slower tech wise on Emperor. Of course with swords and pults you could be taking down the Ai with less losses. Albeit who ever fully bombards a city to 0%? Only the Ai seem to do this.

    This is a great start to chop out an army. Albeit terrible start commerce wise. Ideally need an AI to tech alphabet so you can trade for techs.
     
  5. AcaMetis

    AcaMetis Prince

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    I'm sure there's still ways you could trick an AI into doing something stupid if they tried to match their defences against your offence, especially if AIs had to actually build and use Spies to figure out what units you have roaming around in your territories. I suppose such a mechanic wouldn't be an exploit, as such, but I'm just not sure how such a mechanic could be properly balanced. Which would inevitably lead to players, well, exploiting it. Say there was a way to trick AIs into thinking they need to build spies to figure out what army you have, you might be able to trick them into not even building archers.

    The issue I foresee is that even on Noble, assuming an AI as intelligent as a human player, you'd either need to start near Copper or rush Iron Working if you're next to Persia (or Egypt, to a lesser extent) with Horses. Or even without any UUs/UBs, assuming equally skilled players and starts, the one that plays a leader with traits/starting techs that help gain an early advantage will inevitably win against those with traits/techs that only become useful later, since they get an early advantage to press. Of course Civ IV is a complicated enough game that there's more than enough aspects to shift the scales rather than force some kind of victory (of foregone conclusion thereof) pre-T50 or so, no one would ever play Civ IV multiplayer if there wasn't, but AIs playing on such a level is just not a direction that I feel would an improvement over the current system of AIs that follow a defined personality.

    Now, that AIs should be more intelligent about whipping defenders regardless of whether they're Monty or Gandhi, sure, that's perfectly fair. But AIs with "human-like intelligence", to me, sounds like it would make every AI some variant of Shaka, since when all bets are off it alls leads back to warfare, if not offensively than defensively. Which, eh...no thanks. That does not sound like a fun game to me.
     
  6. Tobiyogi

    Tobiyogi Prince

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    I personally have never played MP, it must be a completely different game where you permantenly produce adrenaline. How could you leave your cities undefended while you are still growing to the happy cap? How can you rely on any relationships? You could only count on hard numbers like 10T peace treaty. In that regard, if you play against aggressive human players, a computer opponent would seem more "human" because the computer at least can become your friend (unless Catherine) :lol:
     
  7. dankok

    dankok Chieftain

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    To be fair she was very lucky Pacal didn't research BW and have a single Holkan on turn 56. She could have gone after Hatty but Egypt had metal nearby and even one Spear in the capital sends the Chariot rush packing especially a 4-5 unit one. I think on this map, a Swords rush works better than a Chariot one.

    HA rush in 850 BC is very early. It would be difficult. I've tried HA rushes and 300 BC is more the norm. TMIT's demo game with Keshiks on Immortal was circa 200 BC IIRC.
     
  8. Gumbolt

    Gumbolt Phoenix Rising

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    The major issue Ai have is the human player defends with 0-1 defenders per city. We know the Ai nearly always uses one main stack. The Ai spams 3-5 units a city to defend. Imagine if they suddenly reduced defenders and sent a stack of 20-30 units towards the player.

    Problem is the human player can abuse any weakly defended cities. So Ai need to be geared towards defending at times.

    You should be completing HA rushes way before 300bc. On this games I had 6-7 HA and 5 chariots. 925bc his capital was gone. I was slow to HBR. I lost 4 HA mainly due to Holkan. Chariots cleared up weak defenders. He also settled on the iron which slowed me down to his capital.

    Really not sure holkans are that good. He had 2 defenders in capital and one in outer city. He whipped 1 holkan in each city. After 1 attack holkans were 70% wounded. Really not that great a unit. HA had C1 and Shock.
     
  9. drewisfat

    drewisfat Prince

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    I dispute the idea that high difficulty level railroads the game. I think the fact that warrior rushes work on most difficulties is insanely railroading.

    On the other hand, if the AI countered the units you built that would hugely railroad the game. The only viable attack strategy would be to be mass siege.

    Trading anything for 3 starter techs while all AIs are revealed is WFYABTA suicide. Granted I know that constraint is tied to difficulty, so maybe it's completely irrelevant on emperor, idr.

    The one thing I'd touch with difficulty levels would be to give the player penalties before giving the AI bonuses instead of doing both simultaneously. I think that would make certain discussions on here more applicable to more people and also help the feeling of "playing the same game as the AI" a wee bit. I also think the maximum constraints on happiness, maintenance and tech trading are at a good level.

    @AcaMetis why blame me for choose your own religions settings lol

    Difficulty levels are serviceable on civ 4. It's not easy to write a good AI script, which is why despite tons of effort Better AI and KMOD are modest improvements with their own tradeoffs. And despite having the advantage of being newer games, civ 5 and civ 6 AIs can't play the game at all. Any complex game where the AI and human are put on equal levels is going to be quite trivial for the player once they learn the basic mechanics.
     
  10. Tobiyogi

    Tobiyogi Prince

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    It is a good point @drewisfat that some kind of restrictions are needed to make the game playable and not a push-over, if I summarize your post right.
    And having penalties like lower happy cap, less starting techs etc... do also work well because you know what you have to deal with.
    I personally just hate when I observe hidden bonuses like units out of the nowhere (that you can check with the WB) or some AI getting to Feudalism before you even have monarchy while you have destroyed all their cottages and mines. Some things that are happening are simply not realistic and so you cannot deal with that. You just have to be still better than that and that makes specific games stressful.
     
  11. Fippy

    Fippy Micro Junkie Queen

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    1 Spear stopping chariots (edited in as i won't play on here)
    Spoiler :


    With how the combat system works, units with superior odds get wounded in most fights (log opened for this reason).
    Here her Spear was at 3.0 strength after 1 attack, which already gives much better odds.
    Odds started at 4.4 vs 9.6, so a logical way of calculating would be "okay i expect to lose 2-3 chariots against 1 Spear), as 3x4.4 beats 9.6.

    Looking at her garrisons, at T56 she has 1 Archer in each city..
    with copper i guess 1 Spear + 1 Archer as tested would already be "well defended".
    Advantage Chariots: might also build Axes :)

    Overall we can say that several weak units can kill 1 strong unit.
    Against a soft AI in expansion mode on Emp, ~10 chariots should be good for 2-3 cities.
    Teching writing after AH & wheel would help with scouting, and making sure that only good attackes are made.

    Such an attack costs some development time and forests, but usually np with new cities in return.
     

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  12. Gumbolt

    Gumbolt Phoenix Rising

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    Quick test on swords. Up to 850bc.

    Pascal dead. Egyptian capital captured. Lost 4 swords taking it. He has 2 cities left.

    I think the OP started too late with swords. That or didn't build enough workers. I did no whipping.

    So maybe swords can be quicker than HA. Main difference here was stack fully of sword. All CR1. Plus Pascal only fielding holkans and archers. Where the Ai city with 2 axes cost me 4 swords. That being said it was the second AI to be attacked and he has copper.

    The 925bc save is HA run. That 3rd city killed my research badly. I wonder how well the swords would of done on immortal. The Ai would of expanded faster and got metal quicker.

    Of course as Mylene and others have shown Chariots and warrior could be quicker. Not so sure if chariots would work on immortal. Be a tougher fight,

    No way warriors would of taken down Egyptian capital. Chariots maybe.
     

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  13. pigswill

    pigswill fly (one day)

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    As Fippy and Gumbolt can attest I am not a particularly good player. Having said that it occurs to me that 5 cities and a tech deficit at 100bc could be a showcase for the benefits of not rushing and going for initial rex instead.
     
  14. drewisfat

    drewisfat Prince

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    Spoiler :
    Civ4ScreenShot0109.JPG
    You hear that boys? He says there's NO WAY we can take down this Thebes. Now I know some of you are still hurt from Mutal, but you gotta just press on cuz we got more work to do. He just founded this Helio city, so hopefully he'll be spread a bit thin.
    Spoiler :
    Civ4ScreenShot0110.JPG LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL!!

    Spoiler :
    Civ4ScreenShot0112.JPG Mission Accomplished!

    Spoiler :
    Civ4ScreenShot0113.JPG Guys you proved your point. You just needed to take the capital...

    Spoiler :
    Civ4ScreenShot0116.JPG 11 warriors beat 3 archers, with two left to spare! lmao

    Spoiler :
    Civ4ScreenShot0118.JPG :cool:
     
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  15. Gumbolt

    Gumbolt Phoenix Rising

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    Lol I take that back.

    How many warriors did you build?

    I did find it strange after taking capital their other cities had 1 defender. Clearly had no axes yet.
     
  16. Tobiyogi

    Tobiyogi Prince

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    Great warrior attack, really impressing. Most underrated UU (unique because you are the only one to use it) :lol:
     
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  17. dankok

    dankok Chieftain

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    @Gumbolt

    You can get Swords much earlier than HA's probably about 20 or so turns. IW is cheaper than HBR and the latter also needs AH + Archery. HA's are also more expensive units although with whip/chop that's not significant. I definitely could have had Swords quite a few turns earlier than I did. I played very sloppily. Probably could have used fewer as well. I had 11 when I declared war in 750 BC.

    HA's are better units than Swords though. If I didn't move the Settler and had Cows in my BFC I would have researched AH found Horses in my BFC and gone for HA's to crack Hatty's skull and probably went after Suleiman or Alex next. However getting a large army of HA's enough to destroy an entire enemy civ (not just capture a city or two) is very hard to do prior to 500 BC. I just went back and checked and like I said TMIT's Immortal Keshik Rush took Isabella's capital in 200 BC. This particular map is great for chopping though!

    That Warrior rush is spectacular. Problem is if the enemy gets just one Axe... And yea like you said one defender per city is unusual. When you approach the city the AI will at the very least whip a second defender and you will see three defenders fairly often. And it takes a lot of Warriors to kill 3 Archers.

    Holkans are Spears with a FS. They absolutely decimate Chariots but are same as regular Spears vs HA's.

    @Fippy

    I wasn't talking about 10 Chariots. They will indeed capture 2-3 cities like you stated.

    I said that 4-5 Chariots taking out even one AI city with an Archer + Spear is far from a sure thing. If you lose 2 Chariots to the Spear the city is yours but if you lose 3 you're not capturing it because the Archer will probably kill 1 Chariot. Did Hatty even have BW and whip an extra defender?

    I looked at my own game log. Pacal switched into Slavery in 2080 BC which was quite before you Chariot rushed him. Mutal had on Archer and a Holkan in 1800 BC (went back and checked WB on this turn) and it's safe that he would have whipped another defender. 2 Archers + 1 Holkan is what I would have faced. Hatty had 2 Archers in her city with no Copper hooked up at this time so she would be the much better first target with Chariots if I went that route. Not to mention her land was better. But she too would have whipped a third Archer and I'd surely lose 3-6 Chariots taking the city.
     
  18. Gumbolt

    Gumbolt Phoenix Rising

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    I think you could of had an HA stack well before 500bc.(See my save.) A mix of chariots/HA worked fine. Your inital capital placing was not good here.Maybe your scout missed the cows.

    The one good thing about the capital is the 3 commerce lake. Also the 3 commerce coast tiles for the horse city. If you run 3 of these that is 9 extra commerce a turn. That is huge. Sometimes if you don't need hammers commerce is your friend. Sticking to 2 cities is 100% way to go here. You can also road for trade routes too.

    On this game I teched AH first in both saves. I think the Swords rush was actually ahead of the HA rush.

    I doubt attacking the Greeks would of been wise. The main strength of this start was all the forest. This allowed some crazy chopping for units.
     
  19. dankok

    dankok Chieftain

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    The Scout started right under the settler and I made a 50/50 coin toss to move East with the Scout. Didn't see anything so figured I'd settle the cap on the river but missed out on the Cow in the BFC. Thus didn't need AH and didn't research it for a while. Simply farmed the FP and then Sugar for food. The 3C from the lake was only due to Financial though.

    You had 7 HA's when you attacked which is a bit on the light side. I usually go for 12ish. Maybe I should reconsider that and or combine with Chariots. That's an interesting way of going about it.

    I think on this particular map with the given opponents Swords rush is most efficient and reliable. Well, after the Warrior rush! :lol:
     
  20. Gumbolt

    Gumbolt Phoenix Rising

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    For this map. I think warrior/chariot/sword/HA. With wheel and AH you can get chariots super early. IW carried a risk of knowing where iron was.

    Well aware Ragnar is financial. Sometimes on a non financial leader running commerce tiles can shave 2 turns off a tech. Here I opted for a 15 turn worker and ran lake tile once I settled the city. I knew commerce was biggest issue here.

    Commerce vs hammers. Once you have the barracks running hammer tiles adds very little with all that forest.

    For emperor 12 HA is overkill. I think your issue here is you are reaching HBR too late or not aggressively building up units. On immortal 1000bc or so should time time when your stack is ready. Emperor Ai are slower to expand so you can afford 1-2 less units. I think 7-8 might of worked for Egyptians here. I might try a more focused HA rush sticking with 2 cities. I think this cost me many turns expanding to 3 cities.
     

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