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Tips to Fighting a Defensive War [Late Industrial/Early Modern Era]

Discussion in 'Civ3 Strategy Articles' started by dresdor, Jun 21, 2004.

  1. 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 Artillery units: Even those outdated cannons can be of some help.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. Use these to soften the enemy units, as you all probably know how to.

    2. Fast units: Remember all those calvary you were using before everyone got infantry and tanks? The enemy will be moving at 1 or 2 squares 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. Use these to counter-attack, especially weak enemy units.

    3. Ships: You should have 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 Use out of date ships to soften up enemy targets (you'd be amazed what a caravel suicide run can do to some vessels) and then blast away at them with your modern weapons.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....in fact because they seem to be biased against ships, they probably wont send anything after you. So I suggest using your ships to attack the enemy mainland if the enemy sends no ships your way.

    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 the enemy has nothing, use them as extrodinarily long range artillery. Remember, fighters can pack a few thousand pounds of explosives as well.

    5. Some More Planes: 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....100% in a metropolis. None of your defensive units should be wandering around the battlefield unless they have a mission (such as guarding a stack of artillery), and then they should be forified.

    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 fine...destroyers couldn't hurt either.

    2a. Battleship countering: Did you know that Destroyers can take out battleships? According to the Civ 3 Combat Calculater, (http://www.civfanatics.com/civ3combatcalc.html) there's a 45.6% chance of victory when attacking a regular battleship with a regular destroyer. If the destroyer is vetran, the odds increase to 61.1%, and if its an elite unit, the odds are even mor in your favor: 73.3%!!! So if you attack a battleship with two destroyers, you should destroy(er) it.

    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.

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