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Tactics and Tricks for Multiplayer Warfare: Industrial and beyond

Discussion in 'Civ4 Strategy Articles' started by I play 4 fun, Mar 2, 2007.

  1. I play 4 fun

    I play 4 fun Chieftain

    Dec 28, 2005
    Hello fellow civers, multiplayer and single player alike.

    After playing multiplayer for about 8 months now I have won and lost many battles ranging from every era. But when ever i get to the industrial age and higher, my buddies seem to lack in their war tactics. Maybe it's because they rarely get to that era or they just dont know how to change battle styles.

    So I have decided to write an article on industrial to modern era warfare for multiplayer, specifically online play. This is my first article so hopefully I can cover everything. :) and plz forgive my spelling :wavey:

    I can't possible write down everything at once, so i will be posting in stages.

    Todays stage will be; Industrail warfare: game play, transition, the choice between infantry and machine guns,

    First we need the settings:

    Most games that I play start from ancient era which usually end up being 6+ hour games
    No tech trading
    No vassals
    No barbarians
    Balanced map with low sea level
    Any size is good, I prefer the big maps
    If online play: Blazing or fast speed and simultainious turns

    As for picking civs, any civ is good if you start from ancient era as they all have their time of dominance, but when i reach industrial era and beyond
    I find that spirtual is extremely powerful. The ability to change civics with no anarchy is awsome.

    Ok now the game setup:

    When i enter the industrial era these units are usually present on the battlefield or can be built.

    Industrial era: cannons, grenidiers, cavalry, riflemen, machine guns, infantry,
    I know machine guns (mg's) and infantry are far more powerful then Rifles cannons grens and cavalry, but this game is being played from the ancient era so there is the key transition period between renassiance and industrial.

    One last thing before I begin the tactic talk is i should mention these few things.

    1. Your civ should have plenty of land, more land = more mfg and more science

    2. Your enemy or enemies should also have lots of land

    3. This article assumes the tech is fairly equal, so you both produce the same number of beakers per turn (approximently)

    4. Democracy, Rifling, Steel and Astronomy are already researched (maybe corperation if you choose that tech path)

    Ok now for the game play:

    You have been playing this game for awhile now, civs have ben destroyed, wonders constructed and empires forged. There should only be a few people left by this era with huge armies of cannons grens cavs and rifles.

    Here are somethings to consider:

    In order to compete you must have tons of mfg. It's basic, the higher hammers you have the faster you can build an army.

    Have plenty of roads between cities to maximize movement.

    Keep your science cites, wheter they be cottage or specialist economy, well defended. If they start getting pillaged in war you will be in serious trouble.

    Navy drops are always a threat, counter this with a nice stack of units in each coastal city with a mobile stack of cannons. The cannons will soften up any land invasion leaving the enemy units wounded with no retreat.

    On each border haev a stack of cannons cause you never know where an attack might come from

    Ok now that you have reached steam power (hopefully u have coal), you have to make a key choice in the game; go for assembly line or railroad.

    Assemblyline Pro's: :goodjob:

    -You get factories which give even more mfg allowing you to build anything -extremely fast
    -Infantry are good vs everything at this point and are very good -defenders/attackers
    -Infantry are a core unit in the game which last a long time
    -You draft infantry instead of rifles which is a very nice boost
    -The pentagon, allows your units to become really deadly :devil:
    -Organized builds factoiries very fast

    Cons: :(

    -Factories require time to build and dont reach full potential till u have power
    -Your first power source is coal which hurts your health
    -Infantry are good but they dont counter mg's
    -Infantry cost a fair amount of hammers for a city to produce without factories
    -Factories dont provide the movement your workers can make with railroad

    Railroad Pro's: :goodjob:

    -mg's are effective against every unit and cant really be killed till artillery or marnies show up.
    -your workers will start building railroads which provide more mfg and 10 movement! This allows your troops the ability to "warp" from one city to the next, very usefull while on defense.
    -you can assualt an infantry army with enough mg's protecting your stack.
    -railroad leads to oil, which is good if you plan to make war in the sea. :lol:

    Cons: :(

    -no factories, that alone sucks :cry:
    -mg's only defend not attack
    -doesnt lead to fascism (free general)
    -railroad mfg doesnt match the mfg factories usually provide
    -prolongs the drafting of riflemen (not worth it anyways)

    This is where the transition phase as i call it comes into play.
    Whether you pick railroad or infantry, you have to decide when is the right time to go 0% science and upgrade units or change civics (anarchy not a problem spirtual civs). this move costs you valuable tech, so decide when you think it is appropiate. I usually do so when I get infantry, wheter or not i get assembly line first or railroad.

    Overall I prefer assembly line over railroad as you can change to Universal suffrage go 0% science and buy factories and the drafting of infantry is unsurpassed at this stage.
    When i decide railroad is more important is when i have a large empire, and I dont tech as fast as my oppenents. Mass transportation allows my army to hold from an infantry attack.

    Attacking an Infantry army with mg's:

    this is an important topic that i feel needs to be taught because it can be done, with ease to.

    In order to to this u must have a ton of cannons and an equal number of cavalry. Rifles and grens just cant attack and win against infantry.

    The idea is that your mg's will take all the damage from the cannons your oppenent will throw at you. Upgrade mg's with drill promotions so they take less collaterall damage also the first strikes are really usefull.

    You will need numberous healing units to keep your units alive. A warlord unit that wont face combat, should get triple healing so units heal 15% faster then usual. This is very handly surviving multiple cannons.

    For promoting cannons, I would give 2/3 of them with collateral damage and the rest with city attack.

    So with your huge army of mg's, cav's (with pinch promotion and one with sentry so it can see further), cannons, and a few healing units that wont see combatt, you are ready to attack.

    In large maps, it is best to do a 2 frontal attack using 2 serpate armies. This forces your oppenent to split his mobile cannon stack into groups and spilt the new units he builds in his cities.

    While moving your stacks in (do your best to get hills and forrests), you want to be building lots of mg's in your front cities and cavalry in your back cities. Cavalry are the killing units after a cannons has caused some damage. But the best trick is the "bitc*" tactic as some people call it.

    The bitc* tactic is advancing a single or a pair of mg's forward with no plan of attack. by doing this you force your oppenent to waste cannons and infantry on mg's. If they dont attack them, you gain valuable scouting, you can hold land, secure choke points, and the best of all you can pillage roads, mines, cottage, and farms. If it takes 2 cannons to hurt 2 drill promoted mg's and maybe 3 infantry to kill them, you win on hammers lost. If u really want to be mean, have a cavalry with medic promotion escort them. Cavalry can move and pillage in the same turn. This is really effective for seiging a city where you must cut all roads of access. Just have a cavalry and 2 mg's go pillaging.

    Say you take a front city that didnt mean to much to the enemy. I suggest keeping it and building a railroad to it. It is likely your culture was already near the city so the effect of the railroad will work. If you take any major city from an enemy, i suggest razing it. even if they cant take it back, it destoryes a huge culture radius allowing you to build more railroad.

    When you reach a major city and have pillaged roads leading into that city using the bitc* tactic, you can take it. Sacrifce all your collateral damage units first followed by city attaack cannons. Follow up with your cavalry and it should be yours. If you dont have enough units to take the city, just camp around it and wait for more to come. This is why you choose railroad first, mass transportation.

    I think that's all i can manage for the moment. I will follow this article up with
    Industrial age: choosing the tech path after physics and how to run a successful defense.

    Hopefully this comes in handy, feel free to ask any questions and I will respond asap. :cool:
  2. Kiershar

    Kiershar Chieftain

    Nov 23, 2006
    Fortified on a forested hill
    Quick comments.

    Attacking 2 places at once is a NO NO if the enemy has same army as you. Railroad will let him smoke one army then move on the next.

    I'd give strength promotions to cannons instead of collateral and city attacks because first of there is not much difference between city attack and strength promotions when attacking a city (4-5% i believe. you have to check combat mechanism in details. Also having more strength make it survive more round to do more colllateral damage. So skip on collateral unless you can promote to collateral 3 right away) and also its better to defend with strength promotions

    Lastly, get more cannons and research artillery. Looking at your proportion of troops in your ideal army looks like 20-25% cannons. You should aim for 40-60% of cannons.
  3. I play 4 fun

    I play 4 fun Chieftain

    Dec 28, 2005
    Good comments on the strength promotion for cannons, if i am correct, segie units take collateral damage (if at all) after all units recieve it so it comes down to attacking cannons vs cannons. With strength promotion yours should win and survive longer.

    but if you are assualting a city that has mg's with drill 2 promotion and lots of healing units, the more collateral damage the better. 1 cannon with 3 collateral damage upgrades would be more effective then throwing 1 cannon with triple strength promotion. The cannons that you should expect to live are the strength or city attack not the collateral.

    A cannon with 2 strength is 12+1.2+1.2= 14.4
    A cannon with double city attack is 45% of 12 +12 is almost 18, so strength cannons a better for open field then taking a city

    If u focus on a one front war the the enemy can foucs an entire stack of cannons on your mg's (which take less collateral damage with drill to). This causes more damage in general cause of the sheer number of cannons. If they stack is split they less damage, even with railroad on a long front it may take 2-3 turns in shifting an army.

    thx for the comments and keep them coming :)

    I'll hopefully post the next section soon.
  4. I play 4 fun

    I play 4 fun Chieftain

    Dec 28, 2005
    Ok now that I finished my university exams I can post the next section that I would like to post.

    Now that you and your enemy have infantry, mg's and factories running, the tech tree leads you down scientific method path. This allows you to see the key resource of oil on the map. If you dont have any in your empire i suggests building a city on a patch asap. Without oil you are screwed.

    Another important tech after railroad in combustion. Allows you to build wells, destroyers and transports. I sometimes grab this tech before assembly line depending on how important navy is at the moment.

    After Scientific method: Physics, Communism and Biology all become available. If you are the first one to scientific method get physics first because of the free scientist (free gp's are always great). Also if you have no oil get physics asap so you can at least see uranium, with fission uranium allows you to build boats at least.

    Communism is sort of a dead end tech but it has it's uses. First it gives state property civic which is a must for huge empires. Second it allows the kremlin to be built, -33% off costs when purchasing stuff in cities can be very helpful once you switch to universal suffrage in the late game. Lastly it allows scotland yard for spies, which are a crucial element to the game. Spies allow you to go behind enemy lines and scope out their land, intell is always needed on the enemy in this stage.

    Biology is very useful is you are running alot of farms and a specialist economy. Unfortunatly if you dont have tons of happiness resources teh extra population boost may not be that great. However biology goes on to medicine which is very useful for health and healing units.

    Each path has it's uses but it eventually comes down to tech path after physics.

    Ok now that i have mentioned physics (i'll come back to later), I can talk about how to run a successful defense in the industrial era.

    Just to Recall, industrial era troops are mostly infantry cavalry cannons and mg's with a side of grens and rifles. Grens and rifles are virtually useless when mg's and infantry come around but they play an important part in upgrading to infantry and mg's

    A good tactic when preparing for new military units is to build tons of old units then upgrade them on 0% science. This works particually well for machine guns because grenidiers can get promotions that machine guns cant, like pinch, and city defense. A mg gunner with city defense or pinch promotion is a pain in the ass to kill. What i usually do is spam grens. I dont usually build rifles to much if I have cavalry cause rifles lose to cavalry unless rifles are triple promoted with 25% vs mounted. Grens are also slightly cheaper in hamemrs then rifles and can upgrade to infantry and mg's.

    When setting up a defense, it's always a good idea to chop all forrests and put units on all hills. You dont want your enemy to have cover when invading.
    Of course the biggest thing to running a succesful defense is transportation. Railroad is key, even if you have infantry and your oppenent is attacking with mg's and cav's, you only move 3 spaces at a time. That's not fast enough to hold te assualt.

    Once you have railroad you can have the mobile defense unit as i like to call it. Have a seizeavle stack in each border town with a few cannons. somewhere in the center of your empire you want tons of cannons and units with city defense. When someone attacks you can move your city defense guys to the city being attacked. this will catch your attacker off guard and even my lure him into early peace. Of course allowing the enemy to come near then killing their army is always fun :)

    Now if you are defending a city which has open terrian in front, a good tactic is to place a mg or 2 in a line. this either forces your enemy to waste units killing them, or you force them where you want them to go. Then you kill their stack with cannons infantry and cav's. And never forget the power of nationalism, drafting units is killer in the late game.

    A hard but important thing to learn is realizing that a city will fall and when to retreat your army from it. Usually front cities are made for sentry purposes. If you have a major army there and no back up forces, it's usually a good idea to abondon the city and fall back to a choke point. This allows you for your army to heal (if they were in combatt), allows you to mass a new stack of cannons if you used them attacking units, and mass a bigger defensive force.
    Try to pillage all roads that are no longer in your cultural borders so the attacker moves slower.

    Dont just leave any city open though. Always have a few units from drafting or just a couple of mg's to stall the seige of your city, make your oppenent pay for everything he takes.

    Thats about it for running a successful defense. So now we move back to teching after physics.

    There are numorous paths to take each with it's own pro's and cons. Some are better for attacking and some for defending, some for mfg and some for teching.

    I will get down to these next post.

    feel free to post any thoughts and strats.
  5. TheRealCzar

    TheRealCzar Chieftain

    Jul 1, 2005
    Republic of Ireland, Sometimes.
    Nice breakdown of pros of Assemby Line versus Railroad (i'm a railroad man)

    Isolated units, or small groups of units in static defence outside of cities are easier to kill than a stack in city. If there is a forested hill or even just a forest, an MG is a formidable defender, but in open ground, he's better behind the walls IMO, because if we say the MG can kill the first, but not the second, then you find you have both lost a unit, but one of his more experienced.

    I'd also add, that the best defensive tactic I've ever used, or seen used in the era you're talking about, is to hold the bulk of defensive troops, particularly cannons/artillery a few squares behind the city out of sight. Suck in the attack, by looking weak. Then you can move up your army, attack with a few collateral units and wipe his stack out completely and easily, in stack to stack combat with collateral, damage regardless of stack size, he who strikes first, rarely has to strike again. Counter attack is nearly the only way to make ground in the era of machine guns and infantry, before tanks and bombers.
  6. I play 4 fun

    I play 4 fun Chieftain

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nice comments, I totally agree with the hiding of cannons and such. thats what i described as mobile cannons stack.

    It is true islotaed units are easier to kill then in a city. But in the era of mg's they arent easily killed without sacrificing a few units. Putting them in a line to force movement is great. Also if they attack is weakens there units forcing them to heal.

    Mg's in a city cant attack anyways so you can do this then counter attack with the army. This also keeps your oppenent from seeing your land if they are far enough away.

    Thx for the comments
  7. I play 4 fun

    I play 4 fun Chieftain

    Dec 28, 2005
    The time has come to break down what to do after physics. For most players online, that I have seen, go for tanks asap because tanks are superpowerful in the modern age. But there is more then tanks to consider.

    First I will go over the different techs which you can choose after physics and their different paths that they lead to.

    Electricity: Gives coins to windmills and water mills.

    Pros: -This tech is most often sought because it immediatly leads to industrialism (tanks marines and battleships).
    -electricity also leads to other key techs: fission (nukes and use of uranium), refridgeration (boats move an extra space), and radio (Effiel tower and bombers)
    -Fission is of course a big tech because of nukes and the use of uranium for boats.
    -allows you to build bunkers and bomb shelters which are very usefull in defense situation

    Cons: -It doesnt dirrectly give you any military units
    -the bonus of coins added to watermills and windmills is decent but not game changing
    -gives you even more options of tech to choose from (like you dont have enough already)

    Artillery: a relatively cheap tech to get for this age

    Pros: -give artillery (arties),
    -arties are last the last ground seige unit in the game and they are useful till the end
    -leads to rocketry
    -rocketry is usefull to counter airplanes with sam infantry and also required for nukes, rocketry is also a small step to the SDI
    -arties are essentially machine gun killers and infantry killers which people have plenty of

    Cons: -artillery only leads to rocketry, which allows for space race which people never put on in multiplayer
    -arties are great put planes are more usefull if you are the first to get them
    -arties lose most of their usefullnes when marines start poping up

    Flight: probably the biggest tech in my opinion because it opens up a new kind of warfare

    Pros: fighters, they can attack units scout land and defend against air attacks
    -airports allow for instant transportation of units between cities, very useful in huge maps
    -when you capture a new city, you can fly a new unit in there with city defense to hold it
    -flight allows for carriers which are extremely important in naval warfare which I'll talk about in later posts
    -flight also allows for bombers later on which are very effective in damaging units and bombarding cities
    -flight also leads to rocketry
    -the biggest advantage, I think, is that it leads to gunships (I'll talk about them later)

    Cons: planes dont kill people, infantry and arties kill people
    -fighters can be countered with some effectiveness by sam infantry, which is available with rocketry
    -airports cost time and hammers to build, which you may not have time for in a war
    -no artillery, if the enemy has artillery then your cannons are useless because atries get 50% seige weapons
    -fighters are a unit that are most defensive then offensive and require good tactics to use effectively

    When you research one of these techs, you are usually specializing down a certain path. It is important and hard to decide which path to take during a game. Here is some of the paths I suggest and when to take them.

    Path numero uno: Flight-rocketry
    The idea of this path which I normally choose, is to maximize transportation of airports and need gunships to battle tanks asap. Holding a newly caputured city is one of the hardest things to do when your enemy has railroads everywhere. Flying in a fully healed unit helps alot in defending newly conquered cities or just defending your own. also fighters can pillage improvements scout terriotry and damage units, which is all very good.

    The second obejective behind flight-rocketry path is gunships, and every person in multiplayer should know how usefull they are.

    Cavalry upgrade to gunships (a reason I still to date dont understand). Usually when transitioning to for industrial armies to modern units, people have alot of cavalry because they are the best unit untill arties to kill mg's.
    Gunships kill tanks, infantry, mg's, marines, modern armour ahd to an extent mechanized infantry.

    Gunships also have 4 movement and no terrian penalty. This allows for 40 movement across railroad in friendly territroy, you dont even need to airlift them.

    Gunships usually are promoted in 2 ways. Drill 1 and 2 promotion to avoid damage and collateral damage and strength and pinch promotion to make quick work of infantry and gunpowder units. cavalry usually have pinch and promotions so the early part promote new gunships with double drill promotion.

    Gunships are the best pillagers in the game and are essential for any attack to cut off railroads leading into the city under seige. they also require more then one unit to kill them when they are alone. A gunship with pinch promotion can easily take on a sam infantry with 20% strenght.
    gunship= 24+10% strength+25% pinch= 24+2.4+6=32.4
    sam= 18+20% strength+50% gunships= 18+3.6+9.5=27.5+3.6=31.1

    I know that it may seem that I over exaggerate gunships, but they are just that useful.

    Thats all I can handle tonight as I have classes tomorrow.

    When I get another free day I'll finish up the rest of the paths:


    Take time to read up and post any thoughts, I'm still trying to refine my stratagies. :confused:
  8. I play 4 fun

    I play 4 fun Chieftain

    Dec 28, 2005
    Ok guys im back for the next installment of this article.

    The artillery-rocket path is for instant war making. Arties come right with artillery (duh), which are used for the rest of the game. SAM infantry are also good against gunships and sometimes shooting at aircraft. What should be noted is that, artillery-flight-rocketry is a better choice. It makes use of air warfare and airports for transportation.


    This is the most use path that I have seen in Online play and for obvious reasons: Tanks, marines, battleships. Plastics is more for getting the offshore platforms running if your only oil is in the ocean.

    Battleships are the king of the water in naval warfare, they almost make destroyers abosolete.
    Tanks are one of the core units of the game and are widely used by any civ (espcially germany). They move 2 tiles at once and can attack multiple time. Tanks also get a variety of promotions. You can have strength, pinch, city raider, withdraw, and scout tanks.
    Marines mostly serve as anti artillery and mg units. Also when assualting a city from sea the are crucial. The down side to marnies is that you cant draft them (correct me if im wrong). Also they dont have a distinct advantage of infantry.

    Electricity-fission-ecology what i should add on is that this sometimes goes electricity-fission-artillery or flight-rocketry satellights
    the ecology part is assuming you have medicine already

    I've seen this path for really advanced cvilizations that lack the mfg power to wage a winning war. Also civs who are afraid of nuclear attack take this path to get shelters and be able to clean up fallout.
    Really adavanced civilizations that lack mfg to wage a good war should choose this path.
    1. Nukes are great detterants, they keep people away from you.
    2.Nukes are great offensive weapons, use one before taking a city to kill any troops
    3. fission allows the use of uranium for boats, which is a must if you have no oil.

    This is probably the path least chosen because it offers no military units. (the bomber requires flight)
    It's used for when you are in an age of peace, going for culture victory(effiel tower), or in some rare cases the space race.
    Sometime people divert after radio to mass media for the UN to prevent nukes. Only go for the UN when you ARE sure you get elected.

    All i have time for now, next time I post I'll put all these military units together for fighting a modern war.

    Feel free to post any thoughts and comments
  9. DaveMcW

    DaveMcW Chieftain

    Oct 8, 2002
    I don't know how many of these you have actually tested, but

    is definitely wrong. Gunships only move 12 on railroads.
  10. I play 4 fun

    I play 4 fun Chieftain

    Dec 28, 2005
    Thx for the correction.

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