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Swordsmen vs Horsemen

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

  1. grs

    grs nameless one

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  2. Darkness

    Darkness Shadow creature

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    Upgrade cost = Difference in number of shields between the 2 units * 3

    Horseman: 30 shields
    Cavalry: 80 shields
    difference: 50 shields

    50*3 = 150 gold for a horseman to cavalry upgrade

    @grs: 1.5*schield difference is when you've built Leo's (halves upgrade costs)
     
  3. grs

    grs nameless one

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  4. Darkness

    Darkness Shadow creature

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    Yeah, it's one of my favourites too! :) ;)
     
  5. Xen

    Xen Magister

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    *whoops* I changed the costs around for my personal mod, and they've been that way so long, i figured they were regular
     
  6. vmxa

    vmxa Deity Supporter

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    I think the cost in C3C is 3 times the shields difference, which is half if you have Leos.
    So Spear at 20 and a Pike at 30 yields 10 shields time 3 or 30 gold.
    Horse to Knight is 40x3 = 120

    I am not sure, but that is my best guess.
     
  7. mastertyguy

    mastertyguy I'm tired!

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    Swords are more effective, horses can retreat. combined wepons is best. The only way to win is combos. You cover it with spears and you are invincible. but I think swords are best because they can, if you have a problem, defend your last conquest because of there 2 D. but horses are the best CA with there 2 M. Combined weapons. retreat can also be use like "artillery" since they can attack and not baing killed. But in somme situations, they wont retreat. Also, horses can upgrade to knights and cavs. But I still prefere swords.
     
  8. WackenOpenAir

    WackenOpenAir Deity

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    Combined is exactly NOT the way to go (unless playing sid and using artillery of course). what is your horses 2 movement good for when they are moving with one movement units ?

    If you have both units, make seperate stacks and have the swords take the nearby cities while the horses take the more remote targets.
     
  9. Abegweit

    Abegweit Anarchist trader

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    Lurking over on the SGOTM, I read of your imminent retirement from CIV :(

    I hope you continue to lurk the forums though. Your comments are always spot on the money. Here you come right to the point as usual.

    Of course, it doesn't hurt to have a couple of oddballs mixed into your swordsman SOD. Spears, archers, pults and, yes, even a horsie or two... so long as you realise that it is a sword stack and the others are just to provide a bit of special duty.
     
  10. catchsomezzz

    catchsomezzz Life is recursive.

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    Comparing Swordsmen vs. Horsemen is exactly like comparing apples to oranges. Ultimately, either will be more useful depending on the playing style you use. Some are okay with trading 1:1, even 2:1 blows with the AI, and as long as they are out-producing the AI, they'll eventually win, there are some great players who employ this strategy.

    My playing approach is to try to not lose any of my military units - or the corny version - "I mourn over every lives lost." Thus, I rely heavily on catapults/trebuckets/cannons/artilleries as a major part of my arsenal. Yup, another artillery junkie. :king:

    Depending on the era & difficulty level, my so-called "stacks of deaths" have a ratio of 3:1 artillery & defensive units - enough defense to ensure I won't lose my artilleries. For example, each stack in the medieval age might consists of 15 trebuckets to 5 musketmens. Sometimes, I'd have a few Crusaders (if I have the Knights Templars) and workers/slaves (if I can spare them) in each stack primarily to build quick fortresses and or barricades to defend the stack as needed.

    So, where are my offensive units? My military strategy works best when I have speedy offensive units. Each offensive unit are modular and aren't set to a stack. They can quickly catch up to the stacks that are engaging the enemy & attack as needed - and quickly reach another stack attacking another city as the current stack is recovering/resting.

    Their speed also comes into play when they are used to garrison the city to pacify the resistors, retreat back to you own territory to heal, etc. while the stacks continue marching forward. When done with their job/heal, they can quickly catch up with the stacks.

    The point? For the way I play, it's a no brainer. In the ancient age, horsemen might have a weaker attack. But I'm not using them to overcome a full-strength defending enemy spearmen. My catapults would have already red-lined them. A horseman, thus, would have a great chance of taking out the weakened defender, or if not, it has a chance to retreat to fight another day.

    To be fair, in my current game (16 civs, huge map), I'm the Iroquois, so I get to built the Mounted Warrior. But the same basic military approach still applies and I have suffered very few losses - only 3 total for the whole game as of the mid-Industrial Age. One was a disbanded conscript warrior, one was a Mounted Warrior attacking a redlined spear, and one was a Knight attacking a full-strength spear (got a little impatient on this one - it was the last remaining spear of the last Viking city - I wanted to wipe them out on that turn). My current military is nearly 300 units - and I have exactly 5 Guerilla units (4 were early warrior upgrades, and 1 swordsman upgrade).

    Oh, I'm not a pacifist, by no means. I have wiped out 4 civs and controlled my continent, and are currently at war with 6 others (each and everyone, I manipulated to declare war on me) on two other continents.

    Anyway, on higher levels, with the production bonuses and other advantages the AI gets. You just can't afford to trade blows with other Civs. For every units I lose, I want to take out at least 10 or more enemy civ units.

    Plus, not losing units means you spend less turns building replacement units and more turns building your infrastructure. My first priority is to build military, but it's also important to build infrastructure. That extra 30 shields to build a replacement for the swordsmen or horsemen you just lost, could've been used to build half a temple or harbor, a settler, or 3 workers!
     
  11. Abegweit

    Abegweit Anarchist trader

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    As Wacken said, the [main] reason to build horses is speed, not survivability. The latter is a trade-off, not an essential.

    According to combat calc, a vet sword will win 97% against a redlined spear (you are building vets, I hope) while for a horse, it's only 92%. True. Half the time it loses, the horse will survive. I don't see this as very important. It's small either way.

    However, in order to achieve these odds, you need a truly massive amount of 'pults. Massive. You can build two warriors or 2/3s of a sword or horse for each one of these catapults.

    Without any arty, the sword will win almost four times out of five. The horse will win more than three times out of five (and will survive to fight again half of the rest).

    Do you really think it is worth building (how many?) ten (more maybe?) catapults to improve the swords' chances from 4 in 5 to 19 in 20?

    I sure don't.
     
  12. vmxa

    vmxa Deity Supporter

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    Excellent points, I would not expect to be building cats in the early ancient age, unless I was playing a War only type of game. Maybe a very high level pangea, where it will be hard to make enough troops to keep up with the losses, so cats can be worth the shields, close call.

    Probably not even the pangea game as I will try to just buy them off, (pay the demands) until I am ready and that will not be in the AA.
     
  13. catchsomezzz

    catchsomezzz Life is recursive.

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    My earlier point is to say that there is no right or wrong answer. The choice of swordsmen or horsemen depends entirely on the type of gameplay style that one prefers.

    Resources aside, in my attacking units, I value the speed, flexibility, and the upgrade path of the horsemen most of the time. However, there are situations and settings where I will built swordsmen over horsemen.

    The use of bombardment units fall into a similar "debate" - some sees the value of catapults early on, while there are others who don't consider bombard units to be useful until replaceable parts. There are other threads that will debate the use of them.

    But, to answer your question, yes, I do think building a lot of catapults early on is worth it. I consider myself to be an artillery junkie since I see a lot of advantages to having them. For one, most of the time they are not really lost if your stack is defeated, you just need to recapture them back. Or the fact that, they're cheap to build & don't require barracks - so that your outer cities can reasonably contribute to your military might early on.

    And as I said earlier, I don't like to lose units -- much of this is also purely for roleplay reasons. As a just ruler, I "value" the lives of each and every one of the men serving me, and I don't put them in harm's way without making absolutely sure I have done everything I can to ensure they come out victorious.

    There's a lot of different approaches to the game, and that's what makes Civ great. Ultimately, any good strategy is one that works for you and allows you to get better and compete progressively against higher levels and/or skilled human opponents.
     
  14. AndrewH

    AndrewH Prince

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    Gallic Swordsmen :)
     
  15. Civ3Newbie

    Civ3Newbie Chieftain

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    Horseman are better, since the retreat saves unit costs and prevents enemy promotions.
     
  16. Gato Loco

    Gato Loco Open to Interpretation

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    I'm usually too busy expanding and building during the AA to make the massive horse/artillery stacks needed to pull off a horsey war. Just give me 10 swords to pound on some poor weakling neighbor who just happens to be sitting on good land. Then again, if I were going to fight a fair fight in the AA, I might go ahead and build the horses. Anyway, I've found that as the game goes on, war becomes more and more fun and building less and less so.
     
  17. WackenOpenAir

    WackenOpenAir Deity

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    Normally most people wont build catapults indeed.
    When you play sid however, you might not be able to afford fighting ith 4 in 5 chances (which are not reailstic by the way, also count city defences and fortify defences)
    In that case catapults will help you a lot. (at the cost of a much slower war)
     
  18. jupiterkris

    jupiterkris Warlord

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    Tomoyo wrote : Is Mr. X Persia?

    Errh, I live in Singapore .
    Persia is many bounds away .
    It really doesn't matter who Mr X is .
    He could even be Mrs Y or Ms Z .

    BTW, my fave horseman is Iroquouis Mounted Rider . :clap:
     
  19. Dell19

    Dell19 Take a break

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    In general in normal situations though the cheaper horsemen would have been able to attack earlier whilst surprising the ai and allowing early gains in the war. If the objective is total destruction then you could then hold these cities until the swordsmen join the battle or just wait for 5 turns and gain a favourable peace treaty.
     
  20. gunkulator

    gunkulator Emperor

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    I prefer horsemen until near the end of the AA. Once I know Feudalism is on the horizon, I build more swordsmen for the cheap upgrade. Plus, once the AI gets pikes, your horses are all done anyway.

    I like the horse->knight upgrade but it takes many more turns to get to chivalry, especially if you stop to get trebs first, which I do. If the AI gets knights first, I need med inf and artillery to counter any invasion. I'll build more horses once I'm getting close to chivalry, but the upgrade cost is too steep to do a mass upgrade.
     

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