1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

Swordsmen vs Horsemen

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Strategy & Tips' started by Blackbird_SR-71, Mar 30, 2005.

  1. Blackbird_SR-71

    Blackbird_SR-71 Spying from 85,000 ft

    Joined:
    May 25, 2004
    Messages:
    1,177
    Location:
    Centreville
    Which one do you prefer to use? i read that Tomoyo say that Horsemen are better. but how? although they can retreat but that won't do much since you can retreat but the horsemen are too weak to kill spearmen
     
  2. vmxa

    vmxa Deity Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Messages:
    13,873
    Location:
    Oviedo, Fl
    In practice I find Horse are better than Swords in that they can retreat and hence live to fight again. They can kill spears, but will need more units often, if the spear is forted in a city than both units will have their hands full.

    Horses can move 2, so they can get out and grab camps on many levels. The can cover towns bettr, they can get to stragglers that Swords will not reach in time.

    They have a more useful next upgrade. Probably in part it is a bit of a relic from the days when you did not have the MedInf to upgrade Swords to and you grew to shun Swords more often.

    The 2 move cannot be over stated IMO. Got 16 tiles to your next target, would you like to get there in half the time or not?
     
  3. Tomoyo

    Tomoyo Fate

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2004
    Messages:
    9,698
    Location:
    Boston, Mass
    I never that horsemen *were* better. I said that they *could* be better sometimes. I actually like swordmen better, it's just that horsemen are so much more effective in getting to attack the enemy units that can attack you.
     
  4. island007

    island007 Warlord

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2002
    Messages:
    134
    Location:
    Hawaii
    I prefer Horsemen. I find speed kills. You only give up about 21% on combat calculations against Spearman. You gain a 100% increase in movement and the ability to retreat. I do build swordmen too, to attack in the jungle and marsh area cities.
     
  5. SJ Frank

    SJ Frank Spamalot Co-court

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2002
    Messages:
    717
    Location:
    The hill tile S-SE of San Francisco
    I like to use swords when the odds are in my favor, like when my swords are attacking reg spears in size 6 cities on the flat, or if I have a lot of catapults :D.


    On the other hand, if I'm going up against a size 7 city on a hill, without bombardment support, then I'd rather use horse (possibly because once upon a time my entire stack of swords got wept-out in a situation like that).

    In any case, I'm firm believer in combined arms. A swords army is much more effective with a couple of spears and horses in the stack. They can absort or head-off counter attacks, preserving the swords for more important tasks. A horse army is much more effective with some spears and swords behind it in reinforcement. They can cover exposed horses, defend captured cities, and attack red-lined units (horses can't retreat against red-lined units, which also means once you have enough catapults, you lose one of the major benefit of horses).
     
  6. Binnor

    Binnor High Prince

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    Messages:
    70
    Location:
    Great Southern Land
    Personally i find horses more useful. sure you have to build more of them but they tend to survive more battles. i fully agree with vmxa: the speed advantage at this early stage is a big bonus. i also find the upgrade more useful.
    but as sj frank points out the best strategy is to cover all bases. swords and horses have different roles so it is a little hard to compare them.
     
  7. vmxa

    vmxa Deity Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Messages:
    13,873
    Location:
    Oviedo, Fl
    Yes one must always be flexible, especially when you do not have horses.
     
  8. Mordack

    Mordack Increase the Deceased

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Messages:
    200
    Location:
    Secret Police HQ
    agree...apples and oranges
     
  9. Roxlimn

    Roxlimn Deity

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2005
    Messages:
    3,526
    I prefer Swordsmen in general because you need a smaller number of them to present a credible conquer threat to a neighboring civ, compared to the forces you must amass with Horses. This is especially imporant in the Ancient Age when troop count tends to be rather small for a variety of reasons.

    Once you get to the late Ancient Age, Horsemen tend to get better. I'd like to have both if I can help it at all.
     
  10. ChuckDizzle

    ChuckDizzle Warlord

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2004
    Messages:
    143
    Location:
    College
    Actually, having both swords and horses is better. I like swords for hard targets, like units on hills or in cities behind walls.
     
  11. mikezang

    mikezang Pegasus

    Joined:
    May 6, 2002
    Messages:
    465
    Location:
    Tokyo
    In general, I use Swordmen, Horsemen is too weak for attack, although they can promotion more time.
     
  12. Mad2rix

    Mad2rix Warlord

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2004
    Messages:
    287
    Location:
    Japan
    Horsemen mostly if I play the game on larger maps.
     
  13. citizen001

    citizen001 Banned

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Messages:
    1,281
    Location:
    Australia
    Swords are a much more potent weapon especially against size 12 cities with spears. Horses are weaker but have retreat which means you need to build more initially and I find that annoying.
     
  14. sorky

    sorky Warlord

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2003
    Messages:
    186
    Location:
    Nantes
    If I have both iron and horse, I build swords and horsemen. I usually put 1-2 spear and 1 sword in exposed towns, some horse around to go where it's needed.
    To attack IA, I go with swords/horse AND bows (2-3 bows for the stack), with some spears to take the hit. Bow is somewhat safe for defense with their little bombard. They are cheap and they upgrade -> TOW.

    Like SJ Franck, red lined unit have to be killed with swordmen, it's much more effective; bowmen without guards, or big town on hill with horsemen. Bows are only here for defense but if the town is redlined, it's better to use them than horse.
     
  15. Darkness

    Darkness Shadow creature

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Messages:
    6,755
    Location:
    Rotterdam, the Netherlands
    Ah, yes, the great horseman vs swordsman debate, again... ;)

    Swordsman:
    30 shields, 3/2/1, needs Iron
    Horseman:
    30 shields, 2/1/2, needs Horses

    My POV:
    The swordsman in stronger, both on offense and on defense, but the horseman has a better upgrade path (best in the game), it's faster and it can retreat.

    I'd take the horseman in almost every situation, with the exception of a really crowded start, with AI neighbours with AA defensive UU's.
    Basically, IMHO, the swordsman is a quick fix, whereas the horseman is a depth investment.



    FWIW: One of the funnest games I played was COTM7 (IIRC). Demigod level, playing as Sumeria, with neither Iron nor Horses available to the human player. Try killing Babylon and the Byzantines with archers/catapults/Enkidu warriors.... Now that was fun! :)
     
  16. MeteorPunch

    MeteorPunch #WINNING Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2005
    Messages:
    4,819
    Location:
    TN-USA
    Would anyone build an army with horses? I've definitely built swordmen armies that can march straight into enemy territory, kill 2 units per turn, and not get counter-attacked.
     
  17. Tk_dustin

    Tk_dustin Chieftain

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2005
    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    ohio
    Swords for close enemie cities the send in horsemen in large numbers for far cities.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Don't Be Mean And Dont Be Whiney Or Else I'll Go Medevil On Your Highney :spear:
     
  18. Darkness

    Darkness Shadow creature

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Messages:
    6,755
    Location:
    Rotterdam, the Netherlands
    Why would that be any different for a horseman army? Besides the fact that it can kill three units a turn?
     
  19. Ljdjr

    Ljdjr Warlord

    Joined:
    May 22, 2004
    Messages:
    107
    Location:
    The Pacific
    IMO Horsemen are better than Swords cause they prevent the enemy from promoting most of the time. Obviously, if it's a city on a hill a few swords will help out.

    As far as Horsemen Armies I think they suck, cause the AI will attack them and they only defend at 1.
     
  20. Dell19

    Dell19 Take a break

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2000
    Messages:
    16,231
    Location:
    London
    In the case of an army I think I would want a swordsmen army rather than a horsemen one since at least then the army would still be vaguely useful later on in the game on defence and offence. The horseman army would expire too quickly.
     

Share This Page