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The Endless Power of China

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by DeaExMachina, Jan 4, 2008.

  1. DeaExMachina

    DeaExMachina Warlord

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    I've been playing MP a lot for the past two weeks and I've been experimenting with different Creative and Industrial civs. I like the strength both those give me especially Industrial as a well placed Oracle can grab me an early Metal Casting (or lacking other Industrial Civs I can wait for Machinery grab). From this experience I've come up with my favorite offensive Civ, which is actually Protective: China.

    The Strength of China lies in its Protective Trait and its UU the Cho-Ko-Nu who is one step away from being over powered. Let me explain for a moment...

    For those of you who don't know the Cho-Ko-Nu is a Crossbowmen UU that has 2 First Strikes and causes Collateral Damage. The Cho-Ko-Nu is the only unit in the game that can cause CD with no limit that does not require any promotions.

    Lets consider the "average" mid game Cho-Ko-Nu. You build him with a Barracks and either Vassalage or Theocracy and he comes off the line with two promotions ready to be assigned. Additionally he gets City Defender which makes assaulting you a bad idea early on and Drill 1, the completly useless first promotion of the Drill line. Of course that completly useless promotion is the more powerful of the two. Lets say you dump both of your promotions into Drill II and III.

    This gives you a 6 Strength Unit with 3-5 First Strikes that takes a load less dmg from defensive siege. This is fairly nice until you remember it causes collateral damage. With a 60 hammer cost you can easily create many cities which produce a Drill III Cho-Ko-Nu in 1-2 turns. Each unit created in this short amount of time is a killer catapult that will always deal damage to every unit in the stack even if it had only 1 Strength left.

    Gearing a Chinese population towards the 100% construction of Cho-Ko-Nus by the time you get them will nearly assure you the game. I suggest testing this against Modern armies to see just how powerful the Cho-Ko-Nu actually is. Some people who may not be familiar with the unit will laugh at a Crossbowmen UU defeating armies of infantry and tanks but I assure you, with the ease of production and the CD dmg you receive the Cho-Ko-Nu can defeat any army not wielding Bombers and ICBMs.
     
  2. PimpyMicPimp

    PimpyMicPimp Regrets His Username.

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    There are a few UUs that I know I've never given a good enough play (Cho-ko-nus and War Chariots being the top two). I really should give them another try and focus on them, I usually just end up building them as support units. Why? I don't know...
     
  3. tuckerthecat

    tuckerthecat Chieftain

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    The Chinese ( industrious/protective one ) leader is one of my favorite civs because of their UU. Its the best UU in the game in my opinion. You can get it early if you beeline it & it stays viable for a LOOONG time. The best thing is with the collateral damage & all the 1st strikes your army will almost never have to stop & heal, leave any wounded troops to fortify & heal in captured cities while your army moves onto the next city. The cpu has a hell of a time dislodging a few cg1 drill4 cho-ku-nu's from a city ( especially if you whip some walls ).

    I used to make some spears to bring as stack protection against horses but I found the cpu makes my highly promoted cho-ko-nus defend against HA attacks so now I just spam cho-ko-nus.

    My basic chinese strat is to wonderspam while beelining machinery then take out the world with cho-ku-nu's.
     
  4. Zanttu

    Zanttu Pure Tactician

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    Cho-ko-nu is for sure really powerful and one of the best UU's in the game, but it still doesn't beat the mighty Praetorian. Why? Because you can get Praetorians so much earlier than Cho-ko-nus, and they have 2 points higher base strength (which is a bit more powerful than few first strikes). Collateral damage? If you beeline construction for catapults after Iron Working, you can get it in about the same time as you would get Machinery for Cho-ko-nus. Well, you need fewer units if you use cho-ko-nus because they do the collateral damage also, but with catapults you can also remove the cultural defenses which means less losses while capturing a city. So Praetorian+Catapult > Cho-ko-nu. But as I said, Cho-ko's are a really good UU too.
     
  5. Artichoker

    Artichoker Emperor

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    I think "few first strikes" would properly describe the Cho-Ko-Nu without any promotions. Because their starting number of 1st strikes is 2-3, not including the Drill promotion (if I'm not mistaken).

    However, the Cho-Ko-Nu's base stats combined with both Chinese leaders' Protective trait allow you to raise that number really high.

    You then consider the different uses of the unit in battle. For reducing cultural defense, of course Catapults are great to have, but you don't need that many of them. However, as the 1st unit to attack a city, once the cultural defense has been reduced to 0, the Cho-Ko-Nu has the added advantage of combining First Strike with Collateral Damage. This means that each Cho-Ko-Nu can damage the unit it's attacking, in addition to the units affected by the collateral damage. For this purpose, the Cho-Ko-Nu does better than either the Catapult or the Praetorian, because of the combination of First Strike and Collateral Damage. It's the "suicide catapult" function that people mention once in a while--but Cho-Ko-Nu's are better for this purpose.
     
  6. tuckerthecat

    tuckerthecat Chieftain

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    Call me crazy but I dont like praetorians all that much. I play large maps mostly & 99% of the time I can get 6 cities at least peacefully ( any more will crash my economy that early ) Cho-ku-nu's come at a perfect time for me, my empire is fully developed & can actually absorb some cities by conquest ( cities captured later on are much more likely to have usefull building in them than praet captured ones ).

    They are overpowered in attack strength I just dont find early rushing all the helpfull.
     
  7. Zanttu

    Zanttu Pure Tactician

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    @tuckerthecat & Artichoker:

    I didn't count the drill promotions (except the free one for being protective) because for every drill promotion, you can give one CR promotion to a Praetorian. And CR promotion is at least as powerful as drill, probably more.

    I don't see why you couldn't attack with Praetorians at the same age as with Cho-ko-nus. The Praetorian has same base strenght as Maceman, the most powerful attack unit in its era, plus the +10% against cities for being replacement of a Swordman. The point is that with Praetorians you can do an early rush, but you don't have to. You can also wait until catapults and then attack. You can found those 6 cities peacefully, or start spamming Praetorians only after 2-3 cities. Both ways work really good. The fact that praetorians come early doesn't mean you have to use them early.

    A Praetorian without promotions has better winning changes against any defender (except a melee one) than unpromoted cho-ko-nu. Of course the collateral damage is a big advantage of cho-ko-nus, but against 4-6 defenders the advantage isn't big enough to make them more powerful attackers than Praetorians are. What I'm trying to say is that even with collateral damage+the first strikes, a cho-ko-nu isn't better city attacker than a Praetorian, due praetorians higher base strength. With Praetorians you don't have to suicide catapults so much, and I bet you will have casualities with cho-ko-nus aswell.
     
  8. Artichoker

    Artichoker Emperor

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    1) Praetorians do not get a +10% bonus vs. cities. Of course, their higher Strength more than makes up for this, but they still don't have the bonus.

    2) The real benefit of having free Drill I from Protective is not from the 1st promotion, but the last promotion that is available in that chain. As with all promotion chains, the benefit becomes greater the higher the ranking.

    3) Both Crossbowmen and Melee units (especially Macemen) will present a situation in which Chu-Ko-Nu's make better city attackers than Praetorians.
     
  9. Nay

    Nay Warlord

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    CKNs are not one step away from being overpowered, they are several leages south of that.
    They are the single-most overpowered unit in any game ive ever played.
     
  10. laughingman12

    laughingman12 Chieftain

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    I don't think that the game will revise the CKNs down. They are fine the way they are.
     
  11. Cabledawg

    Cabledawg King

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    I did a test in Worldbuilder a while back and found that as long as the Cho-ko-nu is attacking, then hammer for hammer, its the best unit. For example if you spend production on 10 grenadiers with 2 promotions....then spend the same hammers on Cho-ko-nus....have those CKN's attack the grenny's...its no contest. CKN's win by a large margin.....its the collateral damage that can wear through any stack.

    Ive played some multiplayer games as china back in vanilla. I would build the Pyramids....and then tech to metacasting....when the free engineer came, I would bulb machinery. Build CKN's and conquer the world.
     
  12. Gooblah

    Gooblah Heh...

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    Sweet. I don't play China after it got slapped with the Protective Trait much, but you have made me see the light! I'll finish current game as Pericles though; I've started a World War!
     
  13. King of Town

    King of Town Adventuring

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    It's funny that in a conversation comparing prat's and cho's that cho's are the ones being described as the most over powered unit in the game. Because of when they become available prat's are stupid over powered. I love cho's, most people scoff at x-bows in MP and are suprised when they get rolled by them.
     
  14. vicawoo

    vicawoo Chieftain

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    10 grenadiers is a lot of defenders. If using chukonus that way, why even promote all but the last attackers.

    All that said, they're pretty strong.
     
  15. kazapp

    kazapp Emperor

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    Why would you want to attack with a unit that has unassigned promotions left? :confused:
     
  16. troytheface

    troytheface Deity

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    i play tested China's Cho Ku Nu's to see if an idea for an early archer UU with collateral damage was feasible. I suspected that a civ that was protective with an archer UU may be overpowered even with minimal boosts.- I suggest China gets away with it (barely) because it it the last archer unit.
     
  17. sylvanllewelyn

    sylvanllewelyn Perma-newb

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    He's talking multiplayer - on quick speed and 4v4 team play, pooled research, by the time prets reach the other end, they'll have CKN's. Only classical unit rush that works is anything that has 2 movement, or Holken choke.

    Historically, the last time CKN's were used in a real battle was against a modern Japanese army. The CKN militia were slaughtered to a man, BTW. But yes, Singapore did a documentary on the last Chinese bow-maker in the world (he's childless and too old to conceive one), and he demonstrated the ease with which 8-9 shots were made in 20 seconds, with his frail and un-muscled arms, and the way they penetrated the target.

    CKN's have a very glaring weakness however: knights. In SP the AI will reach guilds faster than you, and in multiplayer knights are used for city assult for 10 strength and 2 move.
     
  18. DeaExMachina

    DeaExMachina Warlord

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    I wasn't talking about a team game, I don't play team games I play free for alls. Well I do play team games when I can't get a free for all but I never choose China, my team refuses to tech Machinery with me D:

    Also, yes Knights are a problem. A skilled opponent could beat you back with them but you're assuming that the Knights are on the offensive which is where the Cho's are weakest. Still a fear Spear/Pike can protect your ranks of Cho's and in a city the Knights will still need to camp so their siege can tear at your defenses which perfectly allows your Cho's to spread their collateral. With the loss of the first strike they will deal less dmg to the camping stack but if your running a production rich economy focused entirely on the production of Cho's you should still be able to roll it under just with higher then normal losses.
     
  19. Hereditary Rule

    Hereditary Rule Warlord

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    This thread is making me want to try out china.

    :goodjob:
     
  20. King of Town

    King of Town Adventuring

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    I just got done with a china game, on a large continents map I had conquest done in the before 1400. Cho's took out two civs without any backup. They are pretty close to prwat's now that I played them. I had drill4 guys and they were just marching non stop.
     

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