1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

Upgrading units

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by jsl, Aug 14, 2007.

  1. jsl

    jsl Chieftain

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2007
    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Finland
    I was just wondering why is the price for upgrading units so high? For every upgradeable unit I have, the price is over 300 gold! That makes the whole feature useless in my opinion, as surely there's absolutely no sense in paying that much money for upgrading a unit! Only expection I've stumbled into was the "early cavalry" (can't remember the exact name, Cursomething) to Cavalry, which costs about 65g. But for everything else it's always over 300, which is insane amount to pay for a unit not to mention just upgrading one. :(
     
  2. GenocideBringer

    GenocideBringer King

    Joined:
    May 29, 2005
    Messages:
    628
    1) You can amass a LOT of money if you put some effort into it.

    2) You're not meant to upgrade every single unit. You're meant to upgrade high-veterancy units.
     
  3. UncleJJ

    UncleJJ Deity

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2006
    Messages:
    2,226
    Location:
    London
    The cost of upgrade is related to the hammer costs of the two units plus a small extra amount. You are effectively buying hammers. At normal speed the formula is 3 gold per hammer and 20 extra. So upgrading a 110 hammer rifleman to a 140 hammer infantryman costs 30 * 3 = 90, plus 20 gold which is 110 gold.

    You seem to be playing at a slower game speed and hammer costs of units are higher there, Epic 1.5 times and Marathon 3 times Normal speed number I use here. You also seem to be upgrading early troops (like axemen = 35 hammers) to later troops (like infantry = 140 hammers) and therefore buying a lot of hammers when you do this. At normal speed that upgrade would cost 95 * 3 + 20 = 305 gold, and that upgrade would I guess cost, 458 gold at Epic speed and 915 gold at Marathon.

    Upgrading units is expensive but it is a good way to keep your highly promoted and specialist troops competative. Say your axeman is level 4 with CR3 (City Raider 3) promotions then it can be very worthwhile to upgrade him. It is not possible to build an infantry with CR3 and he will be astonishingly good at attacking cities and forts. It is well worth having a few of these special assault troops even if they do cost a lot to upgrade. But on the other hand it is not worth upgrading ordinary troops like archers and longbows with only 2 exp, just build new infantry (with 2 or more exp) and delete the old troops as useless.
     
  4. Legendary King

    Legendary King Chieftain

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2007
    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Malaysia
    I found the upgrade is worth the gold as most of the unit has high vaterancy due to their skirmishes with the barbarians. Most of them are in Combat II or First Strike. The new upgraded units are more stronger due to this.
     
  5. frob2900

    frob2900 Deity

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2006
    Messages:
    2,117
    To see the power of upgrading units play Hannibal. Build Numidian Cavalries in the ancient age to expand your empire. Once you are large enough start cottage spamming and tun Hereditary Rule. Keep on building Numidian Cavalries as much as you can, and beeline toward Cuirassiers.

    Once you hit the cuirassiers tech, set :gold: to 100% on the slider. You should be earning major income if you've done the cottage spam properly.

    Once you have ca 10000 gold, mass upgrade your Numidians. Instant pwnage!

    (This worked even better in Warlords before Cavalry was pushed back)
     
  6. Underdawg

    Underdawg King

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2005
    Messages:
    672
    Location:
    Wet Coast... er... West Coast, CAN
    A well timed Great Merchant is also key.

    I don't find much trouble in amassing the gold needed for upgrades... A Great Merchant or more often just trading non-sought after techs to civs with a lot of gold does the trick... (what harm is there in trading drama, music, constitution, etc, etc to the AI? None really...)
     
  7. frob2900

    frob2900 Deity

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2006
    Messages:
    2,117
    A great merchant is a very, very nice boost to this strategy :) Still, correctly done you can be at +800 :gold:/turn from cottages (if you do an early Liberalism->Democracy this is easy) by the time you hit cuirassiers, so the strategy works even without great merchants.
     
  8. RedRalph

    RedRalph Deity

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2007
    Messages:
    20,708
    Meh, I think its too high as well. Imagine a nation having to suspend its entire R&D for years to change tank battalions from t72s to T80s
     
  9. Underdawg

    Underdawg King

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2005
    Messages:
    672
    Location:
    Wet Coast... er... West Coast, CAN
    It's more like upgrading the T-34's to the T-80's...
     
  10. frob2900

    frob2900 Deity

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2006
    Messages:
    2,117
    Be happy you don't have to rebuild them from scratch! If the cost bothers you then just build Wealth in a few cities rather than lowering the tech slider. That way you can simulate using industry to do the upgrade.
     
  11. Lurking Liu

    Lurking Liu Prince

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Messages:
    344
    The cost to upgrade in Marathon is the same as in other speeds. Well, I'm not absolutely certain of that, but according to the formula given above, it should be 900+ to upgrade one unit and it's certainly not =P

    It's 170 to upgrade from Spearmen to Pikemen in Marathon, is that what it is in Normal? If so, then there's your answer right there--In Marathon, it's cheaper and easier to upgrade your army than it is to build a new one.
     
  12. MrCynical

    MrCynical Deity

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2005
    Messages:
    4,510
    Location:
    The Dreaming Spires
    The cost of upgrading was set up so that it was essentially the cost of cash-rushing the difference in hammer costs of the two units, plus a very small base cost (20 gold).

    It's very cheap as it is. Much cheaper and it would be cheaper to buy the old unit and immediately upgrade it to the new, than to just buy the new unit outright, which would make no sense.

    A better analogy would be having to suspend R&D for (probably only one or two) years, to retrain all a nations old archers to use rifles. When you get as far as tanks you are generally so inundated in gold from corporations that upgrade costs aren't too important.
     
  13. the_elf

    the_elf Warlord

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2006
    Messages:
    145
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Generally speaking, isn't it cheaper (Hammer-wise) to just build new units? Also, with a few Great Generals settled in your military production city, you can get around that 10XP cap that you face when upgrading obsolete troops.

    I'm slowly learning that you can never stop building your military. Sure, upgrade the neat units with lots of or special promotions. But upgrading isn't economically feasible for keeping you #1 in the military game.
     
  14. jray

    jray King

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2006
    Messages:
    925
    Location:
    North Carolina (USA)
    I think the upgrade costs would be easier to swallow if the AI didn't make such ridiculous tech trade requests. Yesterday I had Mansa Musa offer me 20 gold for Engineering (and tell me that I'd be stupid to refuse, to boot). I was thinking Hmm, so it would cost me about 10 times the "value" of the entire Engineering tech to upgrade a single axeman to a maceman? No thanks!"
     
  15. Spiceweasel

    Spiceweasel Warlord

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    Messages:
    150
    It depends how you play. If you're a heavy industrial nation with all of your cities clustered on a single land mass, then sure, it's easier just to build new ones.

    But say you're a financial nation spread across a bunch of islands, with little production capacity in some of your far-off cities? With the press of a button, your colonies can have the latest, greatest defense.
     
  16. LunaticSlave

    LunaticSlave Sieg Zeon!

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2005
    Messages:
    148
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    I just upgrade my army most times. All the city defenders are built by the very same cities they are at...unless ofcourse the city sucks at hammers bad...in that case i either use cash for upgrade or just build the replacements with one of my production cities. This way the upgrade costs dont seem that painful for me.
     
  17. axident

    axident Emperor

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2005
    Messages:
    1,066
    Good info on the mechanics of cost, and I agree. I do think there are alternatives to deleting old units.

    Personally I don't delete units unless I really feel the need to. More often, they get light garrison duty, so my core cities have obsolete crap. Leftovers accompany my attack stacks because any warm body will do when the object is to spread out collateral damage. So an early (just got Infantry) Industrial attack stack might have 8 cannons, 4 trebs (if I don't get around to upgrading them first), 2 Machine Gun, 3 Infantry, 6 riflemen, 5 ridiculously upgraded CR melee (usually a CR-III, Combat I or II swordsman that I've been milking for West Point purposes, and some axes, maces, or other such units who also have insane xp), a healer or two, and several weird stuff like crossbows and pikemen to better absorb any mass siege attacks/airship attacks on my stack.

    I also gift old crap to vassals for their cheap AI upgrades, or even to other civs if I have an interest in prolonging a war that they are in.

    Also, sacrificing some obsolete units to weaken an enemy stack inside of your own territory (where you don't get War Weariness for losses) is another use for them. Think of them as suicidal airships. Don't do this if you want to sue for peace anytime soon. I often fight wars to the death--I don't care much for vassals--so I usually don't care if I sac some units and it decreases my leverage when suing for peace.
     
  18. _alphaBeta_

    _alphaBeta_ King

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2005
    Messages:
    976
    Location:
    NJ, USA
    Old units are excellent under hereditary rule. It's a course of action that you can take before adjusting the culture slider. Just throw your old useless units into a troubled city for the :) .

    I think the upgrade cost is a little high. Actually I wouldn't mind it, but the AI's cost is half. It's rather annoying that their entire army gets upgraded in a couple turns.
     
  19. kazapp

    kazapp Emperor

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    Messages:
    1,058
    The upgrading feature is a godsend!

    In my current game as Holy Rome I was desperatedly short of iron. I made a few attempts at conquering a city near to an iron resource, and built a dozen warriors while I did so.

    However, culture defeated my attempts, so when my most powerful neighbour amassed War Elephants and Macemen at my border (even though he was friendly, he's a psycho), I was at wit's end.

    What to do? Why, I asked that same neighbour if he could give me Iron as a gift, and wouldn't you know, he did it!!

    4000 well-spent gold later I finished the turn, and indeed, he declared war on me and started his invasion.

    Only now instead of a few scraggly Horsemen and a bunch of defensive Longbowmen, he's facing a dozen Landsknecht and two or three elite Knights...

    heh, heh...
     
  20. Lurking Liu

    Lurking Liu Prince

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Messages:
    344
    I always figured there should be a Leader Trait that lowers Upgrade costs... It doesn't really step on Aggressive or Charismatic's toes, and could have some other sort of benefit as well. Just a thought.
     

Share This Page