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The Hittites

Discussion in 'Civ3 Strategy Articles' started by Ision, Jun 6, 2004.

  1. Ision

    Ision Master

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    I have decided to do a review on each CIV. My intention is to encourage debate and hopefully to help others (and myself) in their game play.

    The Hittites

    It is said that the noise was deafening, the blaring trumpets - the pounding hoofs of horses pulling the largest chariots known - the dying screams of the vanquished - these were the last sounds heard by the once great empire of Babylon. Their demise was at the hands of a new and vibrant warrior culture known as the Hittites. The inventors of iron and perennial foes of Egypt, the Hittites make their appearance in C3C.

    Commercial and Expansionist, the Hittite trait combo is not among the most synergistic in the game. A Commercial trait that provides extra commerce in large cities and reduces corruption is a ‘snowballing’ trait whose effects become far more pronounced over time. Unlike other traits that Commercial will accentuate better in the early game, its effect on Expansionist is not as great. Along with this is the Expansionist trait that will give the Hittites the ability to more effectively explore the map, locate resources and contact other civs - while popping goody huts for warriors, gold, techs and the occasional settler. Expansionist is strictly an early game trait designed to help keep up with, or surpass the performance of other civs in the early game. Starting with Alphabet and Pottery, the early beeline of Philosophy, a free Code of Laws, and Republic is tempting. On average however, the Hittites are better served with a beeline to Philosophy strat, picking up Polytheism as the free tech (in some lucky cases the Hitts will pull off Monarchy, having got Poly by trade or goodie hut). With the exception of an unusually great start with 3 or 4 nearby luxury resources, an early warmonger strat for this CIV with a Monarchy and later Communism government is usually the better choice. The reasons for this will become apparent from the rest of the article.

    As a peaceful/builder civ the Hittites are very mediocre at best. Their starting traits give no half-priced anything, as such the Hittites pay sticker price on every single building they create. This could be mitigated greatly if they were to have faster workers (less needed/higher shields) or higher pop growth – but this is not the case. Add to this the fact that they have a 30 shield ultra early UU that requires a higher than average early commitment in shields for units and barracks over temples & libraries. Building with the Hittites requires patience and long range planning (and on average a few expansion wars as well). In time the commercial effect begins to take its toll thus allowing for mass builds and build rushes. Assuming a few successful early wars and a large empire – a Hittite late culture commitment can pay off, if nothing else by the sheer numbers alone. In the early game a player is far better served foregoing any Ancient Age wonders and as few temples and libraries as possible, with marketplaces being the late ancient/early middle age exception.

    The essential element for the Hittites early is settlers/workers and above all combat units – while true of every civ to varying degrees, this is especially more critical to the Hittites given their early builder limitations. As a warmonger CIV the Hittites can be quite effective. Their early expansionist mapping often gives them an edge on enemy positions and crucial strategic resources. Add to this a mobile 2 movement UU available with the Wheel tech, and you have a civ poised to do well at war. However, the Hittites do not begin the game with immediate access to archers, spearman or their UU – that, and the builder limitations already stated, does not make them among the better early rushing Civs. Nevertheless, a focused Hittite player can begin a series of bite-sized wars from mid to late ancient - oscillating from one neighbor to another in short wars of limited objectives (2 to 3 strategically important cities), growing in a methodical and patient manner while weakening their immediate threats. Once in the Middle Ages they can take a breath for some infrastructure building, before beginning the whole process over again with ever growing objectives. On average the Hittites will not have the built-in infrastructure to rebound well from a failed early war – early on, be conservative and methodical. In time the snowball effect of your spider-web like growth and the Commercial trait cash will allow your ambitions to increase.

    The Hittite UU is the 3-Man Chariot, a 30-shield, 2-2-2 horsemen class unit that requires access to horses to build – its 2-2-2 stats making it the most powerful of the ultra-early ancient UUs. Given a good start, this durable little beast can over-run virtually any neighbor. The 3MC can be quite effective until the advent of Pikes and Knights. Unfortunately, at 30 shields the ability to mass them early is difficult, furthermore the wheeled status of the unit makes it quite difficult to field properly on a map densely covered with mountains/jungles/or marshes. This fact re-enforces the need to maximize your expansionist trait’s early scouts – it is essential that you determine early whether the 3MC will be the core of your attack force, or whether you will need to mass Archers and Swords instead. Perhaps more than any other Expansionist civ – the Hittites rely on the power of Expansionist for their success. Later in the game the Hittites will lack an all-terrain 2 or 3 movement point unit until it either researches Chivalry or beelines to Military Tradition (the wheeled 3MC replaces both the chariot AND the horseman). Given this, an astute Hittite player may opt to build more Archer/Swords and Cats early (keeping only a few 3MCs to initiate the GA), and aim for a large Middle Age military of lower shield Longbows/Med-Infantry and Trebs. Naturally, if your start has been fast, your shield output high and the terrain suitable – a strong 3MC commitment is in order.

    Summary: The Hittites are a difficult CIV to play well, requiring a greater attention to detail and a full maximizing of their traits in order to be successful. While this is true of a few other civs as well, unlike them there is no mitigating factor(s) such as great trait synergy or an overwhelmingly dominant UU. The Hittites tend to be an awkward and overly methodical civ that fails to display a true dominance in any specific area. Play with the Hittites tends to be ‘bland’ in comparison to other civs- regardless of your play style - there’s simply nothing to get excited about. As a builder/culture CIV they are very late bloomers (if at all) and thus 3rd tier. On water maps they will struggle far more than most. As a warmonger CIV they show greater promise (especially on larger maps), but in my opinion they still fail to break into the top 20 (out of 31 total civs) – therefore 3rd tier. Overall: a lower end 3rd tier CIV.

    Below is the link to all the other Civ reviews:

    link to all the other civ reviews
     
  2. E-Raser

    E-Raser hard, but unfair

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    Excellent article. It is that I've played them once and put them on my never again list. UU is too expensive to mass them and on bad terrain they are useless. Plains are well but to go towards India is impossible. May be that's why they decided to go to Egypt?
    Anyway I dislike them. Commerial is a good trait however but there are other Civs combining this trait better than with EXP or they simply have a better UU - or... BOTH.
     
  3. scoutsout

    scoutsout Minstrel Boy

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    Another solid review Ision - it will be interesting to see what gets posted here when some of the people playing COTM1 come across this.

    I like the commercial trait after a little warmongering, since there is a better chance that conquered cities can be made productive. I can see why you put them in the bottom tier; the trait combination is a little awkward. Though I like the 3-man chariot, terrain limitations do apply. I guess somebody has to be in the bottom tier!
     
  4. Longasc

    Longasc Deity

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    "The Hittites are a difficult CIV to play well".

    Yeah, that's it. It is difficult for them to use their 3MC to full effect early on. Still waiting for some players who said they had their easiest time or so ever with them.

    Well done, Ision - much more entertaining than the Hittite Civ! :)
     
  5. mintyfreshdeath

    mintyfreshdeath Warlord

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    Whilst I have to agree with Ision's review I should also say that...
    One the best games I ever had was with the Hittites. :) I was random everything and on regent. Ended up playing a rather strange map. All one landmass (so it was pangaea) that curved upwards. That is to say, a landmass shaped almost like a boomerang. I was on the bottom lefthand corner next to some hilly terrain blocking the upper passage to the Persians and some irate Chinese, sharing my floodplains and grasslands, directly to my right. The Mayans were all the way to the far bottom right corner, on the other side of the map, along with the Indians and Babylon.
    Not really the ideal place to use the 3MC because I could not really take them anywhere except to visit China. The scouts proved more useful, outlining the narrow stretch of land arcing north and swinging around again to go south. I fought my way from one side of the land to the other and won a domination victory.
    I can't say that I remember anything truly outstanding about the Hittites.. there was nothing inherent about them that put me at an advantage in that game except perhaps for their traits.. but the same could be said for any combination of civ traits when used correctly.

    BTW I do enjoy the fact that there are civs like this one available in the game. Playing an unusual or difficult civ should always be an option for the more skilled player... let the novices *always* play Persia :)
     
  6. Ision

    Ision Master

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    Thank you one and all for your comments and input.

    BTW - for anyone interested, its finally going to happen.........

    my next review is on the .......... Mayans

    Ision
     
  7. Kaboth

    Kaboth Prince

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    Is it worth mentioning under the Hittite's sea worthiness that like England in classic civ3 they have commercial, expansionist traits and so can research map making immediataly and build the great lighthouse sooner than any other civ.

    Of course picking a seafaring civ would be easier. But it is still an advantage.

    I've attached a Word document all of Ision's civ reviews so far. Much smaller than saving every one of the forum webpages of Ision's civ reviews to disk. Select view/document pane from the menu to bring up a list of all the civ reviews and easily navigate through them. All the work is Ision's and scoutsout I take no credit for anything other than arranging it in one file. Perhaps when Ision and scoutsout have done them all I'll arrange them in a powerpoint file with graphics and all :D Anyway hope this helps some people. I hope you don't feel I'm intruding or hijacking your thread Ision.
     

    Attached Files:

  8. yankees

    yankees Chieftain

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    great review ision!!!!!!!!

    i am alway amazed how well you write.

    Y
     
  9. yankees

    yankees Chieftain

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    also the hittite has regular workers. when there are many mountains or jungles many player say just build road to your enemy to use the 3mc but this is not egypt civ. it will take many more workers and in early part of game this will be harder. you will have to build more workers so you will have a lower pop that will make it harder to make more 30 shiel 3mc.

    Y
     
  10. dgfred

    dgfred Sports Freak

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    Great report :goodjob: . I have never tried the Hittites :blush: , but maybe
    I will after reading your excellent article. I tend to play my favorites over
    and over :crazyeye: .
     
  11. Ision

    Ision Master

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    Excellent point Yankees! However, it is somewhat overstated - it all depends on how much roading we are talking about. If it is a question of getting past 1 or 2 jungle squares - then its not that big of a deal. If on the other hand it is an entire range of mountains/jungles 4 or 5 squares deep - then yes you are absolutely correct.

    Ision
     
  12. Nakar

    Nakar Barbarian Grenadier

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    Of course, in C3C Egypt can no longer quite do this as effectively as before, what with the toning down of Industrious. However, they still do it faster than the Hittites, and with Religious, they can hold their early conquests. What's a Hittite going to rush-build in a captured city? Ugh, can't stand them. Mursilis is at least somewhat rogueishly attractive, if nothing else.
     
  13. dmanakho

    dmanakho Deity

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    I do agree with Ision's article, but I am going to be the player who says he has easiest time with them :rolleyes:. It happened when I just finished my COTM1 and it indeed was one of the easiest games i played.
    I guess that's because i usually play monarch and above and this game was a regent game.
    But I doubt i will want to play hittites again in future. :)
     
  14. Offa

    Offa Bretwalda

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    Based on cotm1 the 3 man chariot is one of the worst UUs in the game. The extra defence is irrelevant but the inability to move on swamps, mountains and jungle can be a real drawback. At least it does allow you to trigger a fairly early golden age.
     
  15. troytheface

    troytheface Deity

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    Starting with a scout, and being commercial, and with a killer early UU the hittites simply need the correct timing to expand and prosper starting by- blitzkrieg an enemy. The expansionist trait should have given gold or a free city as well as a rival's cities and resource locations.
    Takes awhile to build a stack, but u have to hook up to horse and research wheel anyway ...however u may have gotten that free city or have a granery capital - which should be popping out a settler and worker combo........ One thing...always build vets. (this is true of Greece as well...a 3 ht pnt hoplite loses much in that missing red dot -same for any defensive unit perhaps-but at any rate it is true of the three man chariot) Skip taking three cities...attack a neighbor into dust, take all their workers and cities and land and tech then pile drive into the next, late ancient is a touchy time when units are about to be upgraded by tech leaders so using the Three man continuously is key, and getting an army with these is also increased because of their early arrival (they are around longer) and double movement which equals survivability-double the chances of creating a leader- the main nemises of this civ is probably someone like rome or greece. (not sure about carthage, great stat civ that i find hard to play) Seems like legions would be tough on three man chariots-and the hoplite always proves to be a hi loss kill. But the three man can contend with all the other ancient era uu's which is a nice thing to have-you can attack slower hi attack uu's and still be a spear like defender and can hold and chase the celtic sword or mounted warrior...The UU upgrades to knight which is pricey but u should have cash- and as the very first 2 attack 2 movement unit- the three man chariot - with an army-is the most menacing stack around during the ancient era- add to this ur scout units...(again, u have access to the earliest pillaging 2 movement unit- coupled with the earliest 2 movement attacker that can survive a counter attack-scouts should have fullfilled their first purpose and now go into their next -pillaging roads and resouces- a dual purpose unit that u get one of for free ....build a few of these as pre and post invasion special forces- (again all in ancient age no less) ...blitzkrieg -timing -targets, workers- should do the trick everytime- enemy horse will be one's more pressing unit to face and the three man has an edge here... ...terrrain and no horse resource are considerations but it has been my experience that they are minor, there is always a navigatable path, there is horse somewhere....(emperor/huge random civs-random continent map)
     
  16. handy900

    handy900 Deity

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    Have not played COTM1 yet, but I have played a practice Hittite Regent whiile I figure out how to do a dual install. :blush:

    They strike me as a hard civ becuase of the inability to move over marsh, etc. as previously mentioned. Okay for Regent & Monarch, but would be a good challenge on Emperor or above. I think I like 2.1.2 horses rather than 2.2.2 chariots. Which brings me to my pet peeve. Why can't I select between a civ's UU and the standard UU? This really comes into play with the Celts. I'd rather build 3.2.2 Gallics than 4.2.1 MI's.

    Nice Article :thumbsup:
     
  17. sampedestal

    sampedestal Warlord

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    ??? u lost me... don't the celts normally get gallic warriors (or w/e they're called)
     
  18. handy900

    handy900 Deity

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    Right, but then when Med. Infantry comes along, you cannot build anymore Gallic Warriors. I'd rather have sowrds with retreat capability (Gallic's) than Med infantry. But you don't get a choice, you HAVE to build med infantry.
     
  19. sampedestal

    sampedestal Warlord

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    ah. my guess is that, the way firaxis saw it, u'll be getting knights soon, and those have retreat capability. either way, u could probably use the editor to prevent gallic warriors from upgrading.
     
  20. dgfred

    dgfred Sports Freak

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    Most of the time as the Celts you already have many, many Gallics by then,
    so you can build MI, upgrade some Gallics or just keep them around for
    :hammer: . Also Knights have arrived on the scene ;) .
     

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