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war strategies

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Strategy & Tips' started by curmudgeon42, Nov 26, 2001.

  1. Moff Jerjerrod

    Moff Jerjerrod Chieftain

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    Hello everyone,

    This is my first post here. I'm a big fan of all civ type games. I enjoy playing Civ, Civ2, Civ2 ToT, CtP, CtP2, and of course Civ3.

    I thought I'd share with you some of my warmaking strategies.

    The first thing I do is to try to get all my troops and artillery as close to the intended target as possible. I make sure that I'm in either despotism, monarchy, or communism before waging war. This avoids the war weariness under republic and democracy although there are ways of fighting under these governments, more later. Then I try to get a military alliance with someone to help me crush the target if his forces outnumber my own. This will force your target into a 2 front war and make your job a little easier.

    After war is declared wait a turn or two and see if your opponent is launching any serious assaults against your lands. Use your army (cavalry, knights, infantrymen, musketmen, etc.) to take out as many of his troops as possible. Don't worry about taking any of his cities yet. The object is to destroy as many units as possible. All your own cities should be producing military units. This is total war you know! Then when it appears his offensive has stalled you invade his turf. Bring in loads of artillery or cannons protected by footsoldiers. Yes it's slow going to bring them to the front but you'll need the firepower to utterly destroy his warmaking ability. Blast his cities and any units caught out in the open with your artillery. Then follow immediately with a massive assault against one of his cities. Concentrate on one city at a time. You must bring all forces to bear on him. Civ3 seems to reward those who mass their troops in giant stacks. Meanwhile use your navy to bombard his coasts. If there are any roadlinked resources on the coast bombard those tiles! Cut off his resource supplies any way possible! If you can send in 3-4 cavalry raiding parties deep into his lines to pillage those resource tiles that are not near the coast.

    Well hope this helps. Feel free to comment. These are just my own observations and experiences but you may have other ideas. Above all great gaming to all! :)
     
  2. CivAl

    CivAl Chieftain

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    If you attack his UNITS and not his PRODUCTION his offensive is never "going to falter", as you put it. He's just going to churn out more units. You should be able to finish off a war in less than ten turns unless you're seeking to wipe out your enemy. And you should only do that when he has five cities left. Fight little wars, then you don't have to spend ages in transition anarchy to communism and back. You're not supposed to NEED any more units once you declare war, as the very act of declaring means you think you have the resources RIGHT NOW to take what it is that you want. Decide your objectives, build military, and THEN declare. Besides, the units you build are never going to get to the front before war weariness sets in, so what's the point? But I agree with you, a second front is essential. If their capital is near water, land another offensive there - or send a cav raid. Here's an example war:

    TURN ONE: You declare war. Immediately 10 cav that were hiding near your border move in, in two stacks, and seize a city each. You land another 6 cav behind their lines, from ships that have been sailing there for the past ten turns.

    TURN TWO: The landed troops can move now, and they seize the capital. Meanwhile your other cav stay to quell resistance.

    TURN TWO: War over. In peace talks you get a third city for your pains.

    The enemy never got a chance to "counter-attack" as you put it. If an enemy EVER attacks you outside of a city, it's a sign that you overextended your troops and it's time to sign peace.
     
  3. Spawnbob

    Spawnbob Chieftain

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    Supersheep
    have u ever played Shogun : TotalWar great game base on TSun Tzu and that actually happens if an army approaches from a forest birds will be disturbed,
     
  4. Moff Jerjerrod

    Moff Jerjerrod Chieftain

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    That does make sense, especially the part of having your army strength ready before declaring war. That's probably why in all my games my wars tend to last for 20+ turns.

    Do you build your strength so the military advisor says our military is average compared to them or do you build until he says you outnumber them?

    I've noticed that even if your strength equals theirs and you have any ally helping you he still manages to send in waves of troops into your territory. But it may be because like you said about being ready before war is declared.
     
  5. Moulton

    Moulton Monarch

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    I have only had enough troops on hand to rush a victory twice. Once near end game, it was taking so long for turns, I just got the UN and quit (Won, I mean)
    And Now, I hav 63 cav units ready for anything.
    "Average" means, I think, that you have about th same number of units he has. If you know his units are spearmen, and you have Cav... no prob. If both have Cav, better get ahead or him, or wage war *very* smart.
    When China declared war on me, my knights did not always win against his super-swordsmen. Fortunately, he had never discover horses :) I held out until I got Cav... only a few turns, and then removed China. I enlisted (for a price too high) the aid of England. SHe went to war gladly, with enthusiam, but did not win many battles, and only took three cities--ones I did not particularly want. At least I know that the AI loses as many battles with other AI as I do--maybe more.
     
  6. whstaff

    whstaff Chieftain

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    Before I declare war I prepare by fortifying my boarders, the tactic I have run into is the AI amassing a huge force(of about 100 units) and somehow invading my home land. However, it's a mixture of cavalry and ancient units, I've been able to surround the invading army and wipe it out everytime. That takes a couple of turns, but in the in the meantime, I strike deep into the ai territory and start depriving them of resources, and bombarding their cities. The AI shoots it load with that huge invasion force and has to rely on conscript infantry to defend it's cities. It's a slog after that, but the results are ineivtable. I really like the idea of using 3-4 transports full of mobile units like tanks and cavalry and really wreaking havoc in the interior of the enemy, I'm gonna try that next time.
     
  7. zebomba

    zebomba Chieftain

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    Never build wealth. Those times you aren't building anything special in a city are times to build some units.
    Of course, once you reach 200 OR half of cities' maintenance it's time to give the building frenzy a break.
    Mobilization is also a powerful weapon. It's like a free golden age. Just time it so you'll get rid of it just by the time you're sueing for peace.

    Since spearmen are upgradable till the bitter end, you never have enough of them.
    Civ 3 isn't like the old versions. You can have a huge army and still lead in tech or broke them.
     
  8. CivAl

    CivAl Chieftain

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    I never pay attention to the military advisor. After all, he counts workers like military units. He's just an AI, he thinks like they do.

    Generally, the idea is NOT to come in contact with his army, only his garrisons. You want a war so fast and brutal that you'll have taken or destroyed at least three cities by turn two, and he'll be ready to listen to peace before his army can do any harm to you. If an army does come over to your side, get out and fight it. Better to lose units than valuable improvements. And take the same tactics- if you have any useless units (which would be a big mistake, but just if you do) destroy improvements with them.

    I think there is a time when you should build Wealth. Obviously no city should build wealth until every possible building is there, with the exception of Courthouse/etc in your capital. If you have a democratic-type govt and already enough military, better not to build units that will drain your economy. Wealth actually does quite a bit of good for your commerce, and a typical big-city can add up to four gold per turn! That's more than you'd be willing to pay the AI for a tech in most cases.
     
  9. LeroyJr

    LeroyJr Chieftain

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    Why do we have to go through diplomacy to declare war? Just curious because the AI certainly does not have to bother with technicalities like that. Just a little box in the top right corner that so and so declared war on you. Why do we not just have an option of declaring war on someone for no reason what-so-ever, just because we feel like it.

    I tried a new strategy in my latest game. It seems like I never have a large standing army just a good defense. I have been nailed with that in the past when buddy just declares war on me for no reason and it takes time to mobilize my troops. I'm thinking that the AI does not respect you if you do not have forces on the ready. So in this game after I got my arse kicked by a surprised Mounted Warrior attack from the Iroquios I went into a mode in my city building. I would build a building or improvement, a unit, another improvement, another unit, another improvement and so on. Each spare unit would be sent to one of three border stops that would be staging/defensive stands if attacked.

    This time when the Iroquios declared war I had a standing army of 20+ Immortals one tile off a city of his and just moved the whole works forward and destroyed his town. Left a couple of Pikemen behind for defense and moved the Immortal stack forward to the next town. A couple of horsemen were sent on a suicide mission into Iroquios Nation to destroy the road to their one iron supply. Iroquios got a massive beating that time and have pretty much behaved themselves after I parked 15 Immortals and 10 Knights on the border and left them there for next time.

    I think this whole plan backfired though. Instead of seeing me a weak link the AI now sees me as a threat with three 20+ stacks loaded up at my borders.

    One piece of advise is to know your neighbors. The French are my only other neighbor and they are in about 6th place and not that tough. Just to the other side of them is Egypt who is slightly ahead of me and has a much larger area but slightly behind in science. When Cleopatra declared war on me for no reason my first instinct was to call up J of A and get an Allaince and make the Egyptians fight a two front war. She would have done it for every last thing I had but I declined it. Cleopatra would have handed J of A her ass on a platter and then I would have had the big dogs as my immediate next door neighbor. Better to leave the French out of this tussle. Alliances only work if the other party can actually inflict some damage.

    I sort of feel bad for the French actually and may have to send them a humanitarian package to the city of Lyons. Both the Egyptians and myself have a ROP with France and we have been waging war IN FRANCE for the last 25 turns or so. There must be just a mountain of thousands of dead horses outside Lyons. I must have killed 150+ war chariots and she has done in about 50 of my Knights. Cleo has just been sending wave after wave after wave of chariots. Everytime I think she will be slowing it down she sends another stack of 10 my way. Her original attack featured 60 War Chariots. 60!! Good thing they are not worth a damn in combat and my 20 Immortals and 5 Knights held them off until more Knights and eventually Musketmen made their appearance. I was fortunate that her assualt point was just three tiles from my army. And after all of that I have not set a foot onto Egyptian soil and she has not laid a foot onto Persian soil. (She better keep her eyes open because my standing army of the south is soon going to be entering Egypt and doing some damage.)

    Question for warmongers out there. If I was to get totally desperate vs the Egyptians and move my 25 units from the Iroquios border would that mean a 100% chance the Iroquios would strike? I would think so.
     
  10. zebomba

    zebomba Chieftain

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    Why build wealth? Even if it was at a 1:1 ratio, and it's not, why bother with a handful of gold when you can build some units? You can use them to impress, blackmail, block, pillage, so why stick to outdated Civs 1 and 2 tactics?

    Remember, 100k gold won't lead you anywhere. An army of 200-500 units (I never play huge maps, but I guess 500 is a nice nr) OTOH will.
     
  11. Crazy Jerome

    Crazy Jerome Chieftain

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    The trick to using cannons and the like is to minimize movement. They have proved useful in several ways in my few games so far, especially when not much of a tech edge (or even no edge):

    1. Defense--obviously, but also good to have just a few to convince the AI that you mean business.

    2. Hard nuts, alternate offense--it's a really bad idea to go after only 1 or 2 cities at once. The AI tends to spread his defense out according to the threats. So give him so more threats. Your musketman/cannon stack may not reach the city before your riders take it, but the AI cannot be sure. This works especially well if the guns aim for a city that is large, since you may need some extra oomph to take it.

    3. Passive raiding--sometimes you land that mobile force of knights or cavalry in the rear via ship and they draw a lot of attention. That is a time that a couple of guns and defensive units on a good defensive terrain could have done more. Land the units, fortify the defense and start blasting nearby improvements. If you have the later guns and an unobstructed view, 3 square range probably puts at least one city within range. The poor foe will not be able to tolerate this. That gives his mobile guys something to do while you pour across the border with yours. If you can get one of those isolated mountains to perch on, so much the better.:lol:

    4. Mountain combat--the calvary will be slow anyway. Might as well use defenders and guns to open up another attack. Better yet, stay in the mountains and draw attacks.

    5. Hammer and Anvil--really, a combination of all of the above. There is not often a need for this by the time railroads are pervasive, but it can save your neck in the cannon stage. Make a point of having some border near hills and mountains on one side, but with plains and grasslands on the other. Build fortresses in the mountains and station the guns there with adequate protection. When war starts, advance only far enough to bring the enemy territory under fire. This will absorb a lot of that initial push that other posters have discussed. This is the anvil. Your hammer is the mobile units ready to sweep across the more mobile part of the border. :)

    That last one depends on the terrain and border, naturally. But when it works, it is oh so sweet. Nothing like having the Germans bash themselves against your Maginot line while you take their best trade cities.
     
  12. LeroyJr

    LeroyJr Chieftain

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    I am not a warmonger at all and prefer to build my cities up and go after science. I found out that knowing your neighbors cuts both ways. Because nobody was within striking distance of the Egyptians besides the French in my game I did not seek alliances. Next thing you know ole Cleo has the Japanese, the Aztecs and the Zulu's declaring war on me. Good thing that phycopath from the Iroquios was around and he joined an alliance with me vs those two guys. The Romans also got into it vs me and I drug the Indians vs them. This is all still in Knight time!! Finally I decided I had better drag J of A into this one before I was fighting her as well. For everything I had she declared war on the Egyptians.

    Now all of the sudden for the first time in I have no idea how long Cleo will talk to me and actually settle for just a peace treaty. War from two sides did it. It was a war of attrition to that point for 30 turns so I did not feel I had to give her anything else. Of course J of A was none to happy that two turns after she allied with me I was pulling out. She would get over it in a big way!!

    I felt bad seeing the little pink space on the map getting turned to yellow two and three times a turn. Cleo was way ahead now but made a tactical error. She was so busy fighting her science went into the tank.

    My strategy was simple. Create two stacks of combined Immortals and Muskateers about 15 to 20 deep just outside of the Egyptian borders. Six squares back in my city sat two groups of 15 Knights and Horsemen. Make a total beeline for Military Tradition. One year after the discovery of Military Tradition I had 40 Immortals or Muskateers and 30 Cavalry sitting on their doorstep. I moved them all next to her city and she said get out or declare war. Hmmmmmm, tough choice.

    My new best friend by the way is the War Academy. 40 slow units and 30 cavalry on the attack easily wipe out cities. I made it a two prong attack. I would take a city and then let the War Academy heal the wounded. By that time I would have another city. I would vacate all my healed troops up to that city. Give Joan of Arc a call and toss her the old city as I did not want it anymore. Repeat, over and over and over and over again. Twice I had cities revert before I could get out so went back and razed them to the ground. Used the old workers as decoy thing to keep the Egyptians busy. Pillaged their lone supply of Iron and both of their horses. In the end I gave 15 cities to the French and razed another 15. Fun, Fun, Fun. I waged war for 60 turns in a Republic Government which was hell on the home front.

    Funny thing was the Zulu's pulled up to one of my stacks on the Iroquios border with an Army of Knights and 7 other Knights. My Immortals finished off their Knights and their mighy Army was toasted by a single Cavalry unit that never ever took a hit point attacking an Army.
     
  13. Moff Jerjerrod

    Moff Jerjerrod Chieftain

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    I also have noticed that if you station a large force on the AI's borders he views this as a threat and may declare war on you. I then tried moving the stacks back one or two tiles away from his border. He moved his forces away from my border and there was no war.

    I agree with having a decent standing army in the field but away from the borders. The AI seems to leave you alone then. Just keep your forces on roads/railroads to aid in rapid deployment should war break out.
     
  14. Moulton

    Moulton Monarch

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    It has always seemed to me that the AI will respect your might. So if they try to walk through, you get the option of kicking them out or they have to declare war--if you are strong enough. This game turns out to be more complex than that.
    This worked with Egypt. She built 6 cities in coastal squares while I was still consolidating. For awhile she honored my demands. Then I wiped out the Babs, the CHinese and the aztecs, and suddenly she decided she was going to traverse anyway. England, however, charged around her little squares endlessly, never violating the border. She once asked for ROP, after I finished off china, and had just negotiated MPP with France. She wanted Booty! 170Gold. I countered with Lux and gold from her... and she said, 'And what's to keep you from doing to us what you did to Babylon?"
    So anyway, after three demands to leave my territory, I marched on Egypt... removed all her cities in one turn, and then went to sue for peace... 20 turns later, she stil will not talk to me. No prob.
    Now France attacked Russia, and I was forced to join by my MPP.
    Not ready to invade--having only a few galleons. Russia sends waves of Frigates and Ironclads to bombard my coast. Having lots of artillery and cannon left from the last war--- by NO ships yet... she had learned to dart in and dart out... after sending about a dozen limping home with one hp. By the time she brings them back, I will have destroyers on line. It was great fun to bombard them to one point, then sink them with a privateer:D

    What I hope to see is Russia nd France destroying each other's culture pumps. I may have to invade and do it myself. They have like 40 cities each, pop 12, high culture.
     
  15. thcsquad

    thcsquad Chieftain

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    There are two good strategies that really haven't been mentioned yet.

    Go straight for the resources! Unless they are really huge, they probably don't have more than 2 or 3 sources of any particular strategic resource. Send landing parties to the coast nearest that, and head straight for it. This works better pre-tanks because oil and rubber don't tend to be in the mountains or hills, do they? Iron and saltpeter are easier to defend cause they're in mountains and hills, while horses aren't as easy, but you can ignore horses because if they can only build horsemen that's fine. If they have Military Tradition, go for their saltpeter. If they aren't there yet and use knights, go for their iron.

    And to distract most of their army effectively, land a bunch of defensive units on a mountain square in their territory. Pillage roads leading to the mountains from their cities if you can(it takes a few turns for them to start to reach you in large numbers, so you have a little bit of time, especially if those mountains you're landing in are part of a larger mountain rage inbetween you and them), to slow them down. They will send all their free units at you, most of the time. Not sure if you have to capture a city for them to get that pissed off to send everything at you, I first used this when just trying to gain a foothold on their soil with a small town, but that failed quickly so I retreated to nearby mountains. Amazingly, 2 Samurai lasted a long time in the mountains, taking out at least 15 or 20 units, mostly swordsmen, before succoumbing. But you won't last for long if you aren't in mountains. I would say build a fortress there too but usually that's not really possible due to how long it takes to build in mountains unless you send 8-10 workers, in which case it'd be a pretty big invasion force, nullifying the point of the strategy, which is a distraction. Your real invasion force should wait a few turns for them to be out of the way of their big cities and quietly raze their capital and the nearby cities. For that reason siege weapons wouldn't be efficient for the defending mountains part cause you're going to be facing a lot of units, a few catapults/cannons won't so much. Combine this with the above "go straight for the resources" strategy, say, raze their capital and then get their iron/saltpeter.
     
  16. Sman

    Sman Diplomacy is over!

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    Most of the fun wars are late in the game, the end of the industerial age and the modern age. I like it because you need alot of planning.

    Even when I'm not having wars I still build up my army like crazy, what I do is I make fleets and position them in strategic places all over my civilization. I have about 3 ground fleets and 2 navy fleets by the modern age. Each ground fleet has about 10 artillery, 10 mech infantery, 10 tanks, 5 cruise missiles, and 5 suecide cavlary (if there is a war, they will pillage resources and then do as much damage till they die) I put my mech infantry on hill or mountains and they attrack enemy units. My naval unit has 2 battleships, 2 destroyers, cargo ship with 7 marines and mech infantry and a carrier with 4 bombers.

    My wars don't last because I raze all the city and don't garrison any units. I hit strategic cities and city improvements and I can pretty much destroy a civ's economy and militilary power in about 2-3 turns. The bad thing about my strategy is that the civ won't talk to me because I raze his cities so either I have to switch from democracy to communism or just wait till he talks.

    The other thing is that when I'm finished with a war my golds per turn go into like -60 per turn, because I'm usually ahead in science and I trade it with other civs and the civ that I had just had a war against won't give me alot gold per turn cause I kicked his @$$, same goes for the resources. So how can you make money with out selling tech or resources after a war because your really don't get decent deals for them any more?? It keeps on happening to all of the games I have.. out of 5 games I have only won 2 because I go broke near the end.
     
  17. Ater Draco

    Ater Draco Chieftain

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    my strategy can be summed up in two words... 'scorched earth'...

    once i am in control of a satisfying amount of territory, like say one continent, i begin a campaign to destroy all other civilizations. While i prepare for my doomsday assault i do my best to prelong existing wars by alternately supporting the losing sides. When my borders are sufficiently defended against counter attack (including nuclear subs around my coastal cities) and i have a large nuclear arsenal and a decent sized 'mop up' army compiled mostly of modern armor units, i lauch a huge nuclear barrage at all the other countries at one time striking their capitals first and then their largest and most prosperous cities along with any really large groupings of units. Then on the second turn my 'mop up' army moves through one country at a time razing as many cities as fast as possible. At this point i do not worry about completely conquering them, simply reducing them to the point that they could never even hope to oppose me. Perhaps at some later point i may reinforce my original 'mop up' army and go through a conquer the remains...
     
  18. macaskil

    macaskil Chieftain

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    Re: Wealth

    $s can be used to

    - rush-build units/improvements
    - earn interest ($10,000 nets $500 a turn - can use this interest to get a big tech lead; sell the techs to get even more $s and/or other techs)
    - bribe other civs to make MPPs or alliances with you
    - get luxuries from other civs
    - get iron, coal etc from other civs
    - get techs from other civs
    - gives you ability to fight a long war without running out of cash to support/reinforce your armed forces

    If you're on an island by yourself with no ambition to conquer other civs, just build enough naval and land units to defend yourself and channel the rest of your production into wealth. This can lead to a diplo or culture win or as you enter the modern era you can switch spending to defense and rush-build huge combined modern armed forces and go on the rampage, having switched govts first.

    Works esp. well with Commercial and Industrious civs and once you have Economics and Wall Street.

    I'm trying this strategy now (warlord) and it's going well. Zulus declared war with galleons and ironclads against my Battleships and my Indian allies but soon decided discretion was the better part of valour.

    Not sure it would work so well in a tiny/small world or one with lots of civs, you have to be prepared for an early war in this case.
     
  19. sgrig

    sgrig Comrade

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    By the way, interest is capped at 50 gold/turn, so even if you have 10,000 gold, you still get 50 gold/turn.

    Also, using cash for rush-building assumes that the government chosen allows it (ie not Communism)!

    In my game I'm in an awkward position - I'm very rich :D (almost 20,000 gold, +500/turn) but I'm in Communism, since I am constantly fighting somewhere, so that money doesn't get spent!

    I set my science rate to 100%, and I still get a big profit every turn, I buy techs, luxuries from other civs, but still the money doesn't get spent!!! It's a shame that in Communism you cannot pay for rush-building, because even though my treasury is bursting, 100,000's of people die due rush-building! :( I guess this in some sense does reflect reality of a Stalinist regime - the government/party officials have lots of money/luxuries while population is suffering :( Mind you, they still celebrate WLTK day! :confused:
     
  20. thcsquad

    thcsquad Chieftain

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    sgrig: Have you looked at your Domestic Advisor to see how exactly you're getting all that money? I'm wondering how you have science at 100% and still get that huge profit per turn.
     

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