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Tips on fighting a defensive war?

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Strategy & Tips' started by Xenos, Jun 19, 2004.

  1. Xenos

    Xenos Chieftain

    May 14, 2004
    especially in the modern era
  2. Tomoyo

    Tomoyo Fate

    Feb 21, 2004
    Boston, Mass
    Artillery, artillery, artillery, Modern Armor, artillery, artillery, artillery, airports, artillery, atrtilley, artillery. :)
  3. Ision

    Ision Master

    Mar 8, 2003
    a ton of artillary (to red-line a larger force into impotence), a strong mobile (tanks/modern armor) force not committed to city garrison duty, a well roaded empire to quickly move your limited forces from one point to another, the avoidence of 2 front wars, a good relationship with other AIs (possible allies), a cash reserve (for rushing units in critical moments), intelligent use of terrain (defend with the bonus-mountains/hills/fortresses ect...), a small nuclear arsenal (in case all else fails).

  4. Mr Furious

    Mr Furious Chieftain

    Mar 29, 2003
    Perhaps some aircraft to do some pre-emptive strikes on thier transport equipment? See if you can sink a few before they get close; but chances are they're going to have a hell of a lot of AA so you probably won't be able to get them en route.

    Just a thought.
  5. e_a_olson

    e_a_olson Gentleman and Diplomat

    Sep 2, 2003
    Boston, MA
    That made me smile. :)

    Seriously though, if my current game has taught me anything, it's that artillery is your friend. You can even do without the mobile units if your territory is well railroaded, unless youre fighting against mobile infantry.
  6. kb2tvl

    kb2tvl King

    Jul 15, 2002
    -Raze the near by cities to extend your culatural border out.
    -Make a defensive line with 3 units in a stack running along you border. Have one hole in your line.

    -40 ~ 80 arty.
  7. dresdor

    dresdor Chaotic Evil DM

    Jun 20, 2004
    I am almost always fighting a defensive war one way or another (usually to hold cities I blitz) and usually this is with many civs very mad at me (I remember a few occasions when I literaly had to hold the world at bay). Here's some things you must have:

    1. Artillery units: Even those outdated cannons can be of some help. This should be a major part of your army.

    2. Fast units: Remember all those calvary you were using before everyone got infantry? The enemy will be moving at 1 or 2 square a turn (probably) so utilize your obsolete riding units. The calvary can arrive in the nick of time, and then be sped away to a safe location or to another trouble spot.

    3. Ships: You need ships. Every make and model is useful if employed properly. Use out of date ships to soften up enemy targets (you'd be amazed what a caravel suicide run can do to some vessels) and then blast away at them with your modern weapons. Go for the transports first...the AI will rarely send an empty transport after you.

    4. Planes: They are your best friends. Fighters are best for a defensive war. If your enemy is using a mighty airforce, have your fighters flying air superiority, if they have nothing, use them as extrodinarily long range artillery. Remember, fighters can pack a few thousand pounds of explosives as well.

    5. Planes 2: Fill the sky with as many bombers as you can produce...especially if your enemy has no planes in the area. Bombard the **** out of everything...especially enemy transports and warships. In history, battleships have been notoriously weak against air assaults, the same holds true in Civ 3.

    6: Defensive units: Make sure you have plenty of these. At least two in each city. Make sure their defensive stat matches the attack of the enemies most common attack unit. And remember, you get a 50% boost from just being in a city. None of your defensive units should be wandering around the battlefield unless they have a mission (such as guarding a stack of artillery).

    Well, considering I've now mentioned practically every unit in the game, let's get down to tactics.


    1. Choke Points: Look for choke-points, that is areas that are only a few squares wide (1 is ideal) that the enemy must come through or waste a lot of time to avoid. Garrison these areas with a powerful defensive unit or three, and a few pieces of artillery, maybe an attacking unit or two as well. It may be smart to keep a couple of planes near this area and maybe a few sea-bombarding units. Diverting one of your battleships here might be a good idea. Hold this area as well as you can, but be prepared to fall back. If you think the enemy will overrun your position, it is better to loose the battle than to loose too many of your units...especially artillery. I have never seen the AI effectively use artillery weapons, but you are still giving them resources, and that is bad.

    2. D-Day Prevention: Sea landing are very, very annoying. You think there are no enemies in you territory, and then a few transports drop by and there are tanks all over your lands. Simple solution: Blast them out of the sea. If you spot transports coming, bombard them with planes or artillery if you can, and then send your ships after them. The good news is that the AI apparently hates sea units. They always have many more land units than sea units, and their convoys wont be protected too terribly well. If you have a few battleships and a few cruisers you should be find...destroyers couldn't hurt either.

    3. Defensive strike: Okay, there are enemies standing right outside your city, and all you have are your defensive units...what to do? Well, its pretty simple. You soften them up with artillery, and then they will usually retreat. If there are multiple enemies, there's a trick you can use to destroy some of them: When you attack an enemy stack, and your unit wins, the enemy is destroyed, but your unit returns to the square he was at originally...so if you were to attack with your defensive unit, he would return to the city, ready to defend it from the attackers (not to mention getting a lot of bonuses for defense). However, he will loose the fortified defensive bonus, but that shouldn't matter much.

    4. Counter-offensive: When you start this depends on how close the enemy is to you. The further away his cities are, the more effective this will be. When waging war, the AI usually sends all his offensive units at you, hoping to swarm you and take your cities. That can be very effective, but your delaying tactics (1-3) should hold them at bay long enough for all good attacking units to be far away from his cities. In fact, those cities are only held by a few defenders, and they seem like juicy plums ripe for the picking. And who can resist a good plum?

    Well, you should resist those plums because they will only get you damaged units. This is largely an era of trench warfare where the defensive units win out in the end. So, if you can't take the cities, what can you do? Take their resources. Send a transport full of calvary (and any other fast units you can spare) to the enemy lands and pillage everything. Sending a carrier force with bombers is also very effective (if you can spare them). You mission is to take out all of his luxiries, strategic resources, and road network as fast as you can. His cities will probably fall into anarchy, or at least he'll send some units back to deal with the ones running around in his territory (if not all of them).

    I highly suggest taking out all the roads to his capital. That is usually one of the largest cities, and the people there are usually on the edge of civil disorder. In the worst case, you are taking food, commerce, and shield production away from his most powerful city (and the one with the least corruption usually)

    Well, that's all I can think of off the top of my head. Except for one last thing: After you take out a lot of his units (and only after you take out a lot of his units) ask around for help. Since his empire appears weak (lack of military strength) the other foreign nations will be more inclined to attack him...and that draws his forces away from you.

    Oh and be sure to research weapons technologies. You can impliment them faster than he can (because your production base is right there) and they may turn the tide of the war.
  8. Reprisal

    Reprisal Warlord

    Apr 6, 2002
    BC, Canada
    The Sentry command (Y, or Shft+Y) is your best friend if you have a lot of offensive units in your cities. Using this command, any unit set to Sentry duty will automatically "Wake Up" whenever a unit of another civilization (Y) is adjacent or whenever a unit of an enemy civilization (Shift+Y) is right next to them.

    I when I lacked Iron as the Greeks, I used two Hoplites, two Longbowmen and two horsemen in fortresses to guard my chokepoint until I could must enough units to take some Iron from my hated Persian enemy. The going was rough, but placing at least one of my Longbowmen and both of my Horsemen to Sentry would allow me to attack the Persian's Immortal Stack of Doom with some effect. With the addition of Barricades in C3C, I figure this tactic might work well for players forced to get on the defensive.

    Question - Do Archers/Longbowmen do the defensive bombard against attackers if they are in Sentry mode, or does it only work if they are fortified?

    - Rep.
  9. scoutsout

    scoutsout Minstrel Boy

    Dec 29, 2002
    Check Six!
    Defensive war: Learn to fight defensively with offensive units, i.e., skirmishing.

    Ancient era, horses. Middle ages, Knights. Early industrial era: Combined arms of Artillery and Cav.

    In the industrial era, railroads are your friend. As soon as you get steam power, make it a priority to connect all of your cities by rail. This will allow you to move units from any part of your empire to any other part of your empire very quickly. Stacks of artillery to redline the enemy units, cavalry to reduce the stacks.
  10. BobV

    BobV Chieftain

    Jun 16, 2004
    MY favorite is the use of a Kill Zone. I stack up calvery, artilery or even cannons behind uninproved or pillaged land. Its wide enough so that the AI can not cross it in one turn. That's when the bombardment starts. When the AI is down to one hit point I send in the calvery to finish the job. This may not work on higher levels but I have had the AI send wave after wave of it's best into my kill zone only to be cut down to zerro. When I sense the AI is weak enough I go on a little offence of my own.
  11. Alvin

    Alvin Warlord

    Feb 25, 2003
    One lesson I learned that is very helpful is to draw battle instead of give.
    For example, the best defense if offense
    If you place an MI at a mountain with a fortress that controls the only major railroad line into your country, you probably be attacked, but you can take at least 3-4 MAs before he dies.
    Or you can stack a bunch of MIs at the center(or focus) of the enemy attack and fortifiy it and watch the enemy attack crumble.
  12. Alvin

    Alvin Warlord

    Feb 25, 2003
    Also, when the enemy retreats after he attacks, attack him...
  13. Sukenis

    Sukenis the J'BOOtian Warlord

    Jun 18, 2001
    Southeast Missouri
    I would say the rogue state strat is the best way to go. When you get into a war, pay the world to help you against the agressor. Even if you can only buy a handful of civs, they then have the money (what you paid them) to buy other civs into an allaince. Once a civ is fighting off 3-14 other civs, you are less of a target.

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