# The basics of Armies

Discussion in 'Civ3 Strategy Articles' started by Theoden, Sep 13, 2004.

1. ### TheodenChieftainGOTM Staff

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Since I have seen no strategy articles covering armies yet, I've decided to come up with one, hopefully solving some of the misunderstandings about armies. This guide is Conquests only, so many of these things does not count for vanilla/PTW

What I am going through is the properties of armies and a few known bugs. Much of this info was gathered in different threads so thanks to those people
This is mainly a newbie guide so some of this might seem familiar to alot of people. This article doesnt cover how to use the armies effectively, only the basic properties and the bugs about them.

What are armies:
Armies are created by leaders using themselves to create the army in any friendly city. They can also be created in a city containing the military academy(small wonder). Once the army is created other units can be loaded into the army. All the units in the army move around as one unit together. The units then share hitpoints as if they were one unit.

The properties of armies:

-The attack and defense of the army is a tricky part. The formula for this is:

Attack = A+(TA/N)

A  the attack of the unit currrently doing the fighting

TA  the attacks of all the units added together

N  4 if you own the military academy, else just 6

This formula is rounding fractions down. To find the defense just use this and replace attack with defense (pretty obvious). Note that when right clicking an army it doesnt show its attack and defense as it really is, only the unmodified attack and defense.

-During combat the strongest unit in the army will begin then descending down and ending with the weakest unit.

-Armies have a capacity of 3 units though the pentagon increases this to four

-The armies movement is equal to the movement of the armys slowest unit +1
So an army consisting of three knights would have 3 movement points

-Only combat units (those with an attack and defense) can be loaded into an army

-When defending, an army gains defensive terrain bonuses as a percentage of the improved defend value, not the value showing when rightclicking it

-When no units have yet loaded into the army, the army will only have a movement of one. Furthermore the armys movement along roads is reduced by 1. So following a normal road an army will only have two moves, on a RoR road (which gives a 4x road multiplier) the movement for an army would be 3.

-You must have at least four cities for every army you create. If you lose cities so there is no longer at least four per army you wont lose any armies, you just wont be able to create any more before enough cities are built/captured

-Armies have the blitz ability which allows them to attack multiply times in a turn

-They have the radar ability which allows them to see two squares regardless of terrain

-Armies can pillage without using movement points to do so

-Armies heal at a rate of one HP per unit in the army. This can also be done in enemy territory even before battlefield medicine. Furthermore armies are also able to heal in one turn in a city containing barracks.

-When transporting armies in ships each unit in the army plus the army unit itself requires one free space (so a normal 3 unit army requires a transport with capacity 4)

-The army unit itself as well as units in the army requires support every turn

-Units in armies can receive promotions just as normal units. The unit fighting when the army wins will get the promotion. Also armies cannot get automatic blitz promotion. It has to be gained through many combats (unless you are lucky, off course). Also the army unit itself cannot get promotions only units in the army.

-Units in armies cannot be upgraded

-An army only gains a special ability if all of the units in the army have that ability (e.g. an army of 2 marines and one rifle cannot make amphibious attacks)

-An army can never gain a worker function even if all of the units in it have that worker function (So a crusader army cannot build fortresses)

-Armies cannot make any MGL's, not even if the army unit itself is elite status (not possible in the game but I tested it through the editor).

Known bugs about armies:

-The AI will almost never use their leaders to create armies (in fact Ive never seen or heard of an AI creating an army in the Conquests expansion)

-When they have an army (like in RoR) they will usually put a stupid combination of units in it (e.g. i once saw carthaginians make an army of two elephants and one swordsman in RoR)

-AIs are very hesitant to attack your armies. Since the AI calculates everything on a unit-to-unit basis it will have a very low chance of winning with just one unit, and since the AI doesnt know combined arms strategy they will almost never attack your armies. The few cases where some will probably see an AI attacking an army is when the AI has an army of its own, if you got a very weak army, or if the army defends a town that the AI absolutely must have.

That was all their was about the basic properties. Hope this helped solving some of the misunderstanding there has been about armies. If you have any comments please don't hesitate to share them.

Theoden

2. ### PfeffersackChieftain

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- Units inside armies cannot generate MGLs
- promotions in armies: just my expierence and I don't know the reason, but for me it feels that promotions are very rare.I read here on the forum that most of the time only one of the units inside an army will get promoted.
- agree on the point concerning the AIs dealing with human armies, but there is another important exception: The AI loves to bomb you armies to death if it has bombers...reagrdless if the are in or outside towns (but since Conquestseven more in the first case).
- special abilities of units inside armies: they are lost, except for the case all units in the armies are from the same type.Having the same special ability (e.g. beserks and marines) isn't enough.Some abilities might be lost completly (don't know about paratroopers for example)
- armies can be also built via Military Academy

3. ### bouncelotChieftain

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That's fine for C3C, but which of those properties are still there in Vanilla or PTW?

In Vanilla, the unit support, loading into ships, number of units in an army, and unit promotion whilst in an army all still hold, but how much of the rest holds?

4. ### PfeffersackChieftain

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AFAIK, the only advantage of armies in vanilla was the fact the units share HPs.No extra speed, no better healing, no free pillaging and IIRC also no blitz.
There was only one clear advantage...the AI was able to use MGLs for creating armies.

5. ### BagaturChieftain

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Yes, units in armies can get promotion with blitz. I usually fill army with single veteran, blitz weakened enemies with him, he get promoted, then fill army with elite units already generated MGLs and which cannot be upgraded. Depends of course, but its good way to get full strenght army with no losing units, able to generate MGL.

Also, there is noticable change in attack strenght of EARLY amies with no military academy and with military academy.Mind it when attacking infanty or even fortified rifleman with Ancient cavalry 4 elite units elite.

As for AIs - they attack armies only in towns, which I just got from them, my expirience and army must be weakened. Secomd case - If they see wekened army they chase it to death. I used two-knights(because lack of knights) army to pillage iron of Temujin, and it was chased by hordes of medievals, until they fainally got with only 4 hits points from 9)) PITA, but on net turn I made 3 MGLs, so it wasnt that painfull

6. ### TomoyoFate

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A unit (It is "a", right?) in an army can only promote if it is the one fighting, and most of the time, the first units does most of the fighting, because that units starts any battle and while fighting, he "borrows" the amount of HP that he would have without the army from the other units, so the same unit does the fighting, but the HP are the contributions of all of them.

That would explain it.

7. ### SirPlebShaken, not stirred.

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Some more points:

o Almost all of the information at the top of this thread applies to Conquests only. In Conquests armies are super-powerful. The more you have the better. Before Conquests they had drawbacks and were only occasionally worth building.

o The city with the Military Academy can build armies, subject to the one army per four cities limitation.

o Army builds in the Military Academy city can be rushed with cash. If you can spare the gold this can be a very powerful investment.

o Units in armies can not be upgraded.

8. ### bouncelotChieftain

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It can also be a very useful prebuild for a wonder.

In my current Vanilla game, I've had a unit promoted whilst in an army. Therefore it can happen.

9. ### SirPlebShaken, not stirred.

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Oops, sorry, I meant to say "cannot be upgraded". I've edited my previous post to correct it.

10. ### TheodenChieftainGOTM Staff

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Well it seems like I've forgotten a few things. Thanks for the fast replies.
I'll update the original post with the corrections.

11. ### punkbass2000Des An artiste

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I thought you couldn't use tainted shields for wonders.

12. ### TheodenChieftainGOTM Staff

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You can't

what he meant is
1: that armies can be goldrushed
and 2: that the army can be used as perbuild
this said as two seperate things

Theoden

13. ### PfeffersackChieftain

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And armies containing hopelessly obsolete units are still useful, too.You can disband them for at least 100 shields (don't know if you get the shields from the units inside, too) to rush improvements or units.

14. ### AlanHMac addict, php monkeyModeratorHall of Fame StaffSupporterGOTM Staff

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Worse healing in vanilla. I think only one unit per turn heals, even in a barracks, so it takes several turns to heal a wounded army. Whereas you can heal all the separate units in single turn. Blitz is possible as long as the army has movement points left, but I always feel that three separate cavalry would do more damage, with more flexibility and faster recovery, than a 3-cav army.

The best uses I've found for armies in vanilla are:

1. To win once and allow you to build the Heroic Epic for extra Leaders.

2. Build one to cover your cavalry or knight SOD. The AI will seldom attack an army, so your SOD can assemble outside their cities without any other defence, and you have the army available to take out the final Rambo spear that always seems to survive in key AI cities.

3. To kill Infantry before tanks.

4. Load up an army with red-lined units to build that one extra attacker you should have brought along to take out the key enemy city.

Not so fast with the "was" though. Some of us are stuck with vanilla

15. ### OysteinChieftain

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Here the first A should be the attackvalue of the attacking unit in the army. Ex: An army of a MA and a pikeman will fight with an attackvalue of 24 + [25/6] = 28 until the MA has used all hp, then 1 + [25/6] = 5 when the pike is attacking.

I also think that you should include that a defending army get terrain bouns for the whole new defend value. Not just the base value for each unit.

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I learned the hard way that although the AI rarely attacks armies, they have NO problem using artillery/bombers on them until weak enough to send ground units in to finish them off...

17. ### chucknraChieftain

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Army builds can also be rushed with citizens

18. ### TheodenChieftainGOTM Staff

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I know, I know, but that is not a bug, thats the tactic the AI uses so I didn't include it in the bugs section for that reason.

19. ### VinaesChieftain

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Very nice summary, but as other people said you missed a few things.

20. ### TheodenChieftainGOTM Staff

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Just remembered a few things I missed

-Only combat units are able to join armies

-even if all of the units in the army have a worker function the army wont get that worker function