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The basics of Armies

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

  1. Chieftess

    Chieftess Moderator Retired Moderator

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    One theory I read somewhere is that it's because the AI never places a unit in an army if that unit has less movement. Because of that, the AI will often stick one unit in an army (if you give it one), and rarely put another in.

    The other is that it tends to use it to defend a city.


    Yes, the AI doesn't attack armies, but the "bug" (or lack of logic) comes in that the AI doesn't know how to coordinate an attack against an army.
     
  2. jkp1187

    jkp1187 Unindicted Co-Conspirator

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    Can an elite unit in an army produce a MGL?
     
  3. Tomoyo

    Tomoyo Fate

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    It cannot.
     
  4. Beam

    Beam Beat 'm up Scotty! Retired Moderator

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    Good initiative for this article and a good summary.

    Q: can naval units be loaded in an army?
     
  5. AlanH

    AlanH Mac addict, php monkey Moderator Hall of Fame Staff Supporter GOTM Staff

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    No. Quite the reverse, in fact. As Theoden says, armies can be loaded into transports, but you have to count the army and each member as a separate unit to see if they will all fit. For example you can only load an army with one unit into a galley, or an army with one or two units into a caravel.

    Air units and artillery can't join an army either.
     
  6. jkp1187

    jkp1187 Unindicted Co-Conspirator

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    Interesting idea for loading naval units into an Army. Has anyone tried to create a similar unit (let's call it a "fleet") for naval units via the editor?
     
  7. Theoden

    Theoden Deity GOTM Staff

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    I just tested it and the results are as follows

    army changed to sea unit:
    No units can be loaded into the army. Neither sea nor land units. However the army can move on water and cannot move on land. The seafearing trait doesn't increase the movement of a watermoving army.

    army changed to air unit:
    No units can be loaded into the army. Neither air nor land units. The army can move on both land and water, but only it's normal one movement.

    So this means that armies can only be used as armies on land. Making naval and air fleets is impossible.

    Theoden
     
  8. Breunor

    Breunor Deity

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    Chieftess, I'm playing the Zulu's in a game now and I've invaded the Persian's main area. They have attacked my cities quite a few times defended by armies -- they killed two of them.

    I know people have said that the Persians seem 'smarter' than other Civ's, but I think its really a matter of where the AI was.

    In this case, it was armies consisting of four cavalry. The AI attackers were cavalry. I think the AI says 'Cavalry should attack since they have 6 attack points and 3 defense points' and attacked the cavalry anyway. The armies it attacked wre better on offense than defense, so they AI attacked even though it went against armies.

    For whatever reason, it did happen!

    However, there is no doubt they don't know how to mount an attack. If they had used some of their plentiful infantry to attack, they could probably have thrown off my initial invasion. Once I got a chance to land, fortify, and get my artillery in, it was all over. I'm sure a human would have taken the loses to throw me off, even if they lost more than I would have.

    Breunor
     
  9. Bagatur

    Bagatur Warlord

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    I agree on AIs atacking armies. LAst two "events":
    - I got Inca city, size 3, put tow 4 unit cavalry armies, completely healed + 1 4 units Samurai army, also completely healed. City in hills with walls.Inca sent same turn SoD of Cavalry and attacked. 38 Cavalries fell down, killing one of my Cavalry armies and other two armies had only 1 hitpoint left. I had Military academy,so Armies were strong

    - Lonely longbowman attacked my 14/20 hitpoints 4 units Horseman army in jungle and killed it, losing only one hit point. Was painfull, my strongest attacker was Horseman and strongest defenders - spear. Armies were my only hope. Playing as Neitherland I hadnt iron... Well, Alexander paid later for this. He hadnt iron too, but hoplites are killers when on top of stack of Longbows.
     
  10. Bungus

    Bungus Archont of Cootertown

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    Armies always seemed to throw off the gameplay in my opinion. They are far supieror to individual units, and the AI doesn't know how to use them. This just gives the player another un-needed edge against the AI.

    Next epic game I play, I plan on editing them to reduce their advantages somehow. If anyone else has come the same conclusion, what are some things you've done to tone down Armies' power? Some things I've thought about are:
    1. reducing the number of units that can join an army to 2 (pent./whatever still increases this, to 3.
    2. Giving the army unit -x hit points. I have yet to try this one, I'm not sure if it will work because a army hase no hit points to begin with until a unit joins.
    3. Well I don't even know if this is possible, but could some of an army's traights be redifined in the script? I'd probably take away the bonus movement, and reduce the attack/defense bonuses.
     
  11. Pfeffersack

    Pfeffersack Deity

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    @ Bungus

    I tend to agree that they are overpowered, especially as long as the bug which prevents the AI from using MGLs isn't fixed.

    So my first suggestion would be removing the abiliy to generate Armies from MGLs (side effect is there is no more AI strategy for a rushing only MGLs, so they won't use it for anything, but thats not a huge disadvantage for the AI, because it only uses them at the moment for rushing improvments) and make the military academy spread them at a constant rate (every 20 or 30 turns).Take away the prequesite of victorious armies, the ability to build armies and the combat bonus.You can use the pentagon in a similar fashion.

    1. Definitly a good idea, this is the way it is in the RaR mod.
    2. I don't think this works, because a filled army has as many HPs as the units which join...but since I have no evidence, I would recommend to give it a test.
    3. Not possible, too.You can only take away the extra bonus from the MA and some basic abilities as blitz, radar or pillage.But this would cripple the functionality of the empire army...
     
  12. Bagatur

    Bagatur Warlord

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    I must agree, armies are killing any kind of war strategy. In my last game I generated 73 MGLs(still more than 800 enemy units to kill!!! and far from victory), having 39 armies, but around 18-20 unfilled with units. Playing militaristic civ, and even not militaristic, makes production of armies in city with military academy pointless. MIlitaristic civ is able to generate 3-4 MGLs each turn on high levels(I just moved to Demigod,found it quite harder than emperor), thus making this trait most usefull in game for me,coldblooded warmonger. Well, the problem is that u can generate MANY armies, not army bonuses themself I think. Its hard to kill more than two infantries in city above size 6 with 4 units, full bonuses, 20 hitpoints army, so they arent that strong. BUT! Problem is also - AI NEVER attacks full strenght army, except when its in city u just captured. So, I would liek to see probabilities of producing MGLs decreaser, or number of cities able to support army increased, lets say, twice.
     
  13. Improviser

    Improviser Chieftain

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    For army promotions the animations for an army attack will show when the unit attacking in the army changes. For an army say of 3 veteran swords, the top unit may promote if the army wins with 9-12 hp's, the 2nd unit if 5-8 hp's and the 3rd unit if 1-4 hp's.

    I'm not sure if the first unit loaded in the army goes in at the top or the bottom though.
     
  14. Stile

    Stile Emperor

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    I think you are close. I have definitely had more than one unit promoted in an army (not during the same battle of course). I agree that the unit doing the defending or attacking is the unit that gets the promotion. The army automatically uses the best unit for the job.

    In your example of three vet Swordsmen, I always see the first fight for 3 hp, the second fight for 3 hp, then the third fight for 3 hp. Then when the entire army only has 3 hp left it cycles through the units again starting with the best unit for the job.

    So if you have an army with a horseman, knight, and cavalry - all veteran, and then attack, the cavalry will fight for 12-10, the knight will fight for 9-7, and the horseman will fight for 6-4, then the cavalry for 3, the knight for 2 and the horsemen for the last one. (I am mostly guessing in this example based on other observations since I never put different units in an army.)
     
  15. Justus II

    Justus II General Staff

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    The units attack in the order of their base attack factor, and in case of ties, in order of their base hit points. (Same for defending, using the defense factor). So for example, let's say you're Carthage, and you made an army with a Vet sword, a regular sword, and 1 regular Numidian Merc. You would have 10 hp (4+3+3). If attacking, the vet sword would be the top unit, since it has the best base attack factor (3), and most base hit points (4). It would fight for the first 4 hits of that battle. If the enemy wasn't defeated, the second sword would step up, and fight for 3 hp worth. Finally the NM would fight the last 3 hp if needed. On defense, the reg. Numidian would defend first, since it has the better defense factor, then the vet sword, then the regular sword.

    AFAIK, the hit points, when the army is full, are apportioned to the units according to their level, so the Vet fights for 4hp, then the regulars fight for 3 each. It's when the army is at less than full hp that it gets trickier, I think they are allocated to each of the units in proportion, but I'll have to check.

    Since (as was mentioned) only the unit fighting at the time of victory can be promoted, and since the top unit, with the Army's attack bonus, is often enough to defeat a single enemy, the top unit tends to promote more quickly. Note that even in a second attack that same turn, the same unit will be the first attacker, and fight for the first 1/3 or so of the hps.

    Because a lot of people put a *'d elite (one that's already generated a leader) in their armies, that means that the unit that sees the most action, is probably already elite, and therefore can't be promoted. In the example army, once the vet sword gets promoted to elite (bringing the army up to 11 hp), he will still fight first every battle, and fight with up to the first 5 hps of the army. The only way for the reg sword to be promoted, is if a battle lasts past the first 5 hps, so the (original vet) sword is done, then he steps up, and wins it within his 3 hp. The Merc in this case would likely only get a chance at promotion if the army is attacked, as it's the top defender, or if it fights a single fight down to the last 2-3 hps, when the Merc will step forward.

    Another Note: One ability not mentioned is that an army comprised of all fast units (horse/knights/cav, etc) CAN retreat when it gets down to the last hp. An army of move-1 units will not, even though the army itself has a move of 2, it's based on the fast unit flag, not just the movememt allowance.
     
  16. Hunter Noventa

    Hunter Noventa Overlord

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    Did you give the naval units the Load option? I noticed that land units i create can't get into an army if they don't have the load command.
     
  17. Neomega

    Neomega Deity

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    long long ago in vanilla, I made air fleets that worked in combat. I don't rememebr the specifics, because the AI couuldn't use it, so I didn't keep them. But, I do rememebr a whole lot of tweaking to get it to work right.

    I didn't try naval fleets.
     
  18. boogaboo

    boogaboo Josef Popper 4ever

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    One healing question (verifying)-
    When an army has only 1HP, say, then some units inside must be with 0HP.
    If there are only veterans, it should take 4 turns for the army to heal (no barracks)?

    Also, I think the promotion issue should be checked (by someone that messes with the editor..).
    I think it is only bad luck - put 3 vets in an army, and then do multiple attacks.
    I believe that this is just a very slim chance in a normal game that one will lose HP (to let another vet attack) and be promoted, and the vet that follows the blitz also gets promoted.
    It just didn't happen to us - should be recreated/verified.

    EDIT.....military academy - changes "6" to "4" in the formula, so it actually strengthens attack/defence of armies a LOT!!! :eek:
    Does it also change the movement bonus??? :mischief:
     
  19. Justus II

    Justus II General Staff

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    It's a decent increase, to be sure. However, an important point is to realize the impact the Pentagon has on armies now. In addition to adding another unit (and therefore increasing the total hit points, by roughly one-third) it also increases the base Total Attack factor, thereby increasing the attack bonus! Here's a common example:

    Normal 3-Cav army (assuming vets, just for comparison): 12 hp, attack factor of 9 (6 attack for the cav, bonus of (3*6)/6=3).

    New 4-Cav Army: 16 hp, Attack factor of 10 (6 attack for the cav, bonus of (4*6)/6=4).

    Combine the Pentagon with the Military Academy, and you get the real 'wrecking ball' armies that can take cities on their own:

    New 4-Cav Army w/MA Bonus: 16 hp, Attack factor of 12 (6 attack for the cav, bonus of (4*6)/4=6).

    The best part of the Pentagon is that you can add a new unit to an older, otherwise obsolete army, and give it new life. I love getting the Pentagon and adding a Cav to an older knight army, it still has a base attack of 9 for the first few hits of every attack!

    One other note, regarding special unit abilities, is that Enslavement does work for units in armies, making Jav Thrower armies effective much longer than the unit would have been on it's own.
     
  20. Pfeffersack

    Pfeffersack Deity

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    Or an army of marines to take coastal cities...you get an attack of 18 for the MA and 20 for MA/Pentagon... :crazyeye:
     

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