• Civilization 7 has been announced. For more info please check the forum here .

The Correct Implementation of Nuclear Weapons


Jan 21, 2004
There are many that believe that nuclear missiles are, after the building of the Strategic Missile Defense wonder, so expensive and so likely to be destroyed without any effect that they are essentially superfulous; however, this is not the case. The following is a guide for the correct implementation of a full scale attack on ANY resource, navy, powerful army, city or continent.

The essential concept here is to recognize that the reason your nuclear capability is limited is because your missles are nearly always destroyed by the enemy's Strategic Defense System; therefore, it stands to reason that in order for your capability to be restored, the enemy must no longer possess his/her Defense shield. So, your primary objective will be to make this happen.

The first step is to decide who you want to completely immerse in radioactive slop.

The second step is to use your spies to locate the enemy city which has built the Strategic Missile Defense wonder. (Try the capital first, then the larger coastal cities, or the cities that have access to fresh water which allows them to build nuclear power plants.)

Step three is to secure a Right of Passage Agreement with your targeted enemy.

Step four is to advance your Modern Armor and Mech Infantry units so that they are immediatly within range of the located city.

The fifth step is to use these armies to attack and burn the city containing the SMD wonder.

Finally, you can now release an unholy nuclear strike at your discretion on this enemy with 100% success EVERY TIME. The opposing civ will never be able to reconstruct this wonder, so they will always be succeptable to a nuclear strike.

There are three things that you can expect to require for this strategy to work:

1- You must have at least fifteen, but preferably twenty modern armor units for every civilization which you plan to use this strategy on.

2- You will need a large amount of gold, as locating the correct city for attack may be significantly expensive.

3- You need many nuclear weapons, either Tacticals or ICBMs, that are in range of your primary targets.

This may seem expensive or excessive, but it is intended to be implemented by players that have researched the entire tech tree and are only in the 1300's. Often the game becomes sluggish after this occurs, as the weakest civs have already been destroyed, and those remaining are either

a) stronger or across the ocean


b) have hundreds of mech infantry in their empire, making it extremely time consuming and expensive to take even a single city, let alone worrying about keeping it.

The only sure way to ensure victory, and an enjoyable show of mushroom clouds and toxic lakes, is to intelligently use your nuclear missiles.

You can expect other nation's civs to declare war on you after you release your unholy aresenal; these however are still protected by their respective SMD wonders, and can pose a significant threat if you are outnumbered; this can be especially bad if you are playing the two highest levels of difficulty. To circumvent a "you vs. the world" scenario, just use this strategy on every other civilization during the same turn. If implemented correctly, you will be the only civilization with any chance of withstanding a nuclear disaster.

Keep in mind that when using this strategy, nuclear missiles become a main-stream weapon in your arsenal; if a fleet of Battleships/Carriers is harrasing your shores or sinking your ships, nuke them. If an army is preparing to cross your borders, or are in position to conquer a city, nuke them. If your enemy still has access to a resource that you don't want them to have ANYWHERE in their empire, nuke it. If you need to slow an enemy advance by destroying their road/rail improvements, nuke the land. The versatillity offered by a 100% effective nuclear weapon is boundless.

One final piece of advice about using Nukes; if you decide to try and use this strategy on one civ, remember that if even a SINGLE unit is present in the radius of effect that the missile will still be succeptable to THAT NATION'S SDM WONDER. This can be very, very bad if you end up in the previously mentioned "you vs. the world" scenario, and many civs are passing through each others' territories.
Or better yet nuke them before they get the SMD up.
The SDI defense only works on protecting cities I believe. An easy way around an AI's SDI, is to simply nuke the tile next to the city. The only drawback, is that the city experiences no population loss. An advantage, is that you don't have to spend so many shields on trying to take out their SDI. Its simply not worth the effort. Also, when you attack a civ's cities, (who has SDI), your nuclear force is effectively 3/4ths smaller then it actually is. If you don't care about the AI losing his population (they grow it back quickly anyway) so you just nuke next to the cities, your nuclear force is now 300% bigger (because none of them will be shot down)! I believe this to be much more cost effective.
i don't think that's how it works grav
SDI's work anywhere on the planet where a Civ's unit is located; nuking a tile next to a city doesn't stop it from being shot down.
Hey nukefest .

Your grossly immoral plan fails on step 3 or 4.

As you are an obvious warmonger who will be mad enough to offer you right of passage ? - you've probably abused it before.

Would I let 20 mod armour near a critical city ? - I'd wall them off with mech inf - inf even workers so they can't get near it.

If they do surround it Id airlift 70 def units into it.

Can your 20 mod arm survive my conventional premptive strike by my entire airforce, all arty and 30 mod armour ?

Finally if you let off nukes next turn I will probably be able to buy alliances with everyone against you.

If the chinese offloaded 3 tank divisions off LA - will the US not respond - even Kerry would waste them.

seanos08 politician (and host of other types of) bashing is not allowed here, anyway, you are forgetting, we are playing against an AI with intelegiance about 3 IQ points higher than butter, this is not real life, this is civ, if you have a ROP w/ someone, The AI thinks you are droping by to deliever a birthday card.obviously, this stratagy would not work very well against another human, but niether would a lot of startagies

EDIT:ed for typos
Seanos08, this is in response to your somewhat unneccesarily belligerent post and is also an effort to clarify what I thought was self explanatory.

First off, the strategy is intended for use against the computer, hence the references to the various difficulty levels in about the middle of the original post. In addition to this, I thought that the context of the forum in which this post was made would make it clear that this is primarily a Single Player tactic, as most of the other strategies here are also intended for Single Player games.

Secondly, I don't know why you seem to be so hostile or sarcastic about my "warmongering". There's nothing immoral about dropping a few hundred virtual nukes... and if you object to the idea then why did you read this thread to begin with?

The third point is in reference to the placement of the modern armor units in step four. If the enemy Civ is on the same continent as you are, they probably will have rails that will connect your two empires, and inevitably lead to the desired target city. Because of the Right of Passage Agreement, this means that your units will be at the city's doorstep and attacking on the SAME TURN as when you signed the Passage Agreement; its simply a matter of judging how many will be needed to take the city as once the attack starts then that RPA will be void, and the rail movement no longer in place. This means that you can potentially take over every land-neighboured Civ's SDI city in one turn, and nuke them shortly thereafter. I realize that I neglected to make a direct reference to this in my original post, and hopefully I have clarified it here.

The final point is that because of the above section concerning the rail movement, that an opposing player would have no opportunity to retalliate at all to destroy the invading force (this is assuming that the turn-based system works the same in Multiplayer as it does in Single Player... I don't know if it does because I haven't been lucky enough to try it yet). So potentially the whole victim's nation could be taken care of in one turn, as the SDI city would fall and the empire turned to orange slop, and there would be no powerful convential counterstrike force left standing after this turn took place to fight anything. As for Civs across the water, yes the strategy would probably be non-effective in a non-Single Player game.

Oh yeah, and thanks ybbor.
What about global warming? I've never seen it in civIII but i have seen it in civII when russia nuked 8 of my biggest cities, i hated myself for not biulding SDIs. Then when i triyed to retaliate with my own nukes, most if not all of his cities (except for some size 2 city surronded by tundra wich i did nuke) had SDIs.
The problem with this strategy is that it uses the ROP rape exploit, which any good player, (especially if they are part of the realms beyond community or an avid succession Game player) will tell you should be avoided at all costs, it is a move that is greatly frowned upon.

If you want to get that close to his city then instead of 20 MA units, get say 50 MA with MI escorts and 50 Artillery units, and you will be able to take pretty much anything the AI can throw at you.

In other words, use overwhelming force, especially in the higher difficulty levels. Where the AI has production Bonuses and can pump out units faster than the blink of an eye.

Not saying this is a bad strategy, if it works for you, then feel free to use it, but as a word of warning, the violation of the right of passage agreement will seriously hurt your reputation and will prevent your Civ from signing more in the future. (will also stop other civs allying with you if its a big rep hit).

Hope this helps

I know that many players do not like to exploit a ROP, but in this case it doesn't really matter what the other opposing Civs think of you; basically you're already at the point where you have all the techs, you have a substantial military and you want to use your otherwise useless nukes. In this case, you don't need trade because you don't need to research any longer, so any extra money can be used for entertainment, rushes, unit support etc. and you won't need any MPP either because all of the other civs can be disabled in one turn by burning every one of their SDI cities and nuking them all during one turn. So who cares what the other Civs start to think about you? They're just swimming in nuclear waste anyway. However, you can use brute force through a territory if you want; but the prinicpal is the same. Burn the SDI city and fire the missiles!

As far as global warming goes, there is some in Civ III but its limited in effect; some tiles will degrade into tundra or desert-like conditions, but there are not devestating meltin of the poles or flooding (that I've seen anyway, and I've played A LOT of games). So don't worry about that too much... in all likelihood the annoying sound when a tile devloves will be the most damaging thing to deal with.

I should probably note that this strategy would also be largely impractical for a space race or political victory as nukes will not be produced rapidly enough to be usefull before the game ends. If you are going for a conquest, domination or post-victory game just to have the satisfaction of owning the entire world, this strategy is a fast way to get those nukes up and down "safely". At least as safe as a nuke on its way down can be. Yeah.
I have a question about nukes. Does the computer use nukes against you? because I never see them ever use nukes. Maybe it's because I destroy the uranium resources but please answer my question
Drivebymaster, this is in response to your question.

The AI will, especially on higher difficulty levels, use nukes on you; however, this is usually only the case if you have used nukes first. Very, very rarely will the computer be the first to launch, especially against a human player, but it does happen occasionally on Emperor and Deity levels. More often, but still only occasionally, the AI will use nukes against each other. But basically here's the general rule of thumb:

If you have nukes, but have not launched any, the computer will most likely not fire theirs at you first. If you fire just one nuke, the AI will have no qualms about releasing its entire arsenal.

As I said before, the computer will sometimes fire first, but I've only had this happen one or two times in about 70 games, which is rare enough for me to wonder if that happened just because of some glitch. Anyway, I hope this helped.

The AI has initiated nuclear war against me at Regent level on PTW 1.27f. AI Gandhi did it. I had not launched any nukes against any of the AI yet. It's detailed in the war academy article mentioned in my sig.

That game went a long time in the nuclear age. Maybe it is a function of how many turns before the "inevitable" happens.

This was one of only a few games I have played where nukes were even able to be built, so I have no idea how often this could happen.
Global warming is worse than you are letting on, but it does take a long time to see the full effects. I played a game once where just for the fun of it. I decided to see just how long it would take to clean up the aftermath of a "Dooms Day". I had a rather large nation and most of my cities were metro's. To make a long story short 3000 ad. I finnally had cleaned up most of the pollution, only some mountains had any left. And all the land had degraded to desert and tundra.... making all of my lovely Metro's..... smallish cities with no pop over 15. lol but those mushroom clouds are neat arent they?
With this strategy, you must either do it against all the AI (or at least have a ROP with all of them at the same time), or it will only work once. Once you break an ROP like that, no other AI will sign one.

For those like myself who are of the opinion that ROP rapes must be avoided at all times (since the AI has absolutely no defence against the first one), then the strategy as you put it is no good.

However, why not make it a little more challenging and less exploitive by simply invading like usual (declaring war first) and then making a beeline for his SDI city? A modern nation should have enough production capability to make this possible, even against larger opponents. Then, once the SDI is down, feel free to unleash hell.
Top Bottom