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Warriors vs. scouts vs. slingers discussion

Discussion in 'Civ6 - Strategy & Tips' started by Monsterzuma, May 15, 2020.

  1. Monsterzuma

    Monsterzuma the sly one

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    Split off from the "jump to immortal" thread:

    I see some people recommending scouts and slingers... Personally I never build these units. Better to beef up your military in the case of a surprise attack. Maybe someone can explain the appeal of both these units to me, compared to warriors, because it kinda escapes me.

    Any warriors you build will be swordsmen later, which become extremely powerful when boosted with Oligarchy's +4 strength bonus and (possibly) the dark age card for +5 strength (but no healing outside own territory). And these can make use to the battering ram and siege tower units, thus making them powerhouses at least on par with horsemen.

    My current favorite build order is to rush three warriors out of the gate right at the start to get some of that vital early exploration work done, while also strengthening my short term and long term defenses.

    Warriors only move slower than unpromoted scouts on flat, open terrain. Their ability to clean up barbarian camps on their own gives them an additional advantage. They're better defended against barbarian attacks.

    Yes, they are more expensive than scouts, but long run you don't want to blow resources on scouts first and then on defenses. Better to combine the two in one package.

    As for slingers, seems to be a very weak unit with almost no viable uses? Am I missing something? I guess the ability to upgrade them to archers early is worth something, but the warrior -> swordsman upgrade impresses me more.
     
  2. Pualee

    Pualee Chieftain

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    I think it is nice there are different options for the starting build... your choice of warrior is probably based more on your play style.

    I like the scout first (and see others use it on videos). I think the scout first is best because it is a little faster (and this matters) so he can find city states (free envoys), another civ, natural wonder, continent (free boost), and find suitable settling location just a little faster (at a time when it matters the most).

    Hitting those city states early could give you an envoy that makes a bigger difference than that warrior over the scout. If you have bonus science, production, culture, anything early on, it is a huge percent increase over your standard production in early game.

    While he is just barely better than the warrior at initial scouting... his upgrades make him much better at this. He can move faster on woods, hills, and see through woods (potentially).

    The slinger likewise gives potential boosts (archers and crossbows) if you use them right during the game. The early archer is an earlier power spike than the swords.

    It is all playstyle and when/how you want to do things. I suspect map type makes some of a difference too. The bigger the land mass, the more important the scout is. I feel a little blind without the scout - his role is gathering intelligence so you can play settments/wars/city states better. It is good to run him past rivals before borders are locked too. The faster, the better.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2020
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  3. yung.carl.jung

    yung.carl.jung Hey Bird! I'm Morose & Lugubrious

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    Warriors first is a fine option on Deity, Immortal, Emperor. There is no need for scouts over warriors. The smaller the map the less necessary scouts are. Personally I almost always get 2 scouts on standard or 3 scouts on large maps. I like rushbuying one from an early luxury sell, so that I only have to produce one (or two on large).

    That being said, here is why I think Scouts are incredibly strong and almost strictly the best first build: Scouts get ruins faster, which snowballs your empire. Scouts meet CS faster, which is crucial for the envoy, and can give you something ridiculous as +2 Science or Culture, which is often a 50% boost! Scouts allow you to find neighbors faster, which is important for getting deals and preparing for war/defense. You also get to know your territory faster and can plan your settlers better. A lot of Civ is just thinking ahead, and the more variables you know the better you can plan. Scouts give you early snowball opportunities, better knowledge of the map and your opponents, and they're the cheapest units to build. Also, scouts are best at getting you Golden Age points in the form of meeting Civs and finding Natural Wonders. In the early game you can often run the experience policy when there are no barbs around and get 1 or 2 level ups for your scouts, making them even more effective. I prefer running it early then slotting it out on my first or second policy switch usually.
     
  4. The Highwayman

    The Highwayman Prince

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    I always start with a scout on Deity, with another warrior as a follow up before my first settler. The scout for all the reasons mentioned above, with the second warrior assisting with barb clears and clearing the path for my first expand. Having a settler built and being unable to beeline that tasty city spot due to a barb is a complete waste. Having three units go in three different directions is crucial for map knowledge too.

    The only time I'll build an early slinger is if it's apparent I can easily get the archer boost or use the trick to pull the spearman and swoop in with the scout for the easy camp clear. Slingers are so terrible otherwise. They can't take a hit nor adequately solo a camp.
     
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  5. KKirrin

    KKirrin Chieftain

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    an oligarchy swords rush can be super effective but i do think you're making some assumptions about play style/map load out that others don't necessarily make. what if you're going classical republic? what if you don't have iron? what if you rush swords but it turns out the nearest AI is 20 tiles away with a wall of city states in between?

    obviously none of that means you're wrong to rush warriors, they're great early units but i think in general having one set build order in 100% of games is a trap...and totally avoiding slingers definitely hurts you. no archery eureka? or machinery? or metal casting? at the very least I'd say building a slinger for that first eureka is pretty handy. and putting that archer in your city center/encampment where you can nullify their lack of defense is super strong. or just stick them on a hill with a good vantage to mince any scouts that come close.

    +1 movement speed is really strong, and the first promo should be trivial in the early game with huts/wonders. they fly across the map with the second. the camps stuff is true, but I'd argue that those are more different purposes rather than advantages. scouts are better at picking up early envoys/huts/manipulating AI troops (not to be underestimated), so why not do both?

    i do disagree pretty strongly with this part. building one scout instead of 3/4 of a single warrior really isn't going to hurt your long term defenses, and it'll almost certainly pay for itself early on, if not multiple times over. A single envoy of any type will drastically improve your early rush (culture means faster oligarchy, military means more warriors, trade means easier swords upgrades, science means faster swords, faith means a better pantheon...) and you're much less likely to get those if you're taking an extra 2-3 turns to build a slower initial unit. scouts do become significantly less impressive once the first exploration burst is over, but you'll still be getting era score for meeting civs and new trading partners to exploit, finding new places to settle (maybe even spots to forward settle to help you hold cities), etc.

    a single scout is insanely good paired with a sword rush, too. they'll drag AI units out of city centers and you can use their movement speed to lure AI units in circles/through hills while you pillage/take cities. also much better at chasing down settlers/builders.

    nope you're right, slingers are crap, especially in rough terrain. but you produce them early because you want that first eureka, and making slingers and upgrading them into archers saves you a ton of production vs. training archers. but having 2-3 archers behind your swords to focus fire AI units from 100-0 without getting hit? prettttty good. also cuts down on how much iron you need to field an effective force. a single archer makes a decent camp clearer too with careful terrain choice. i do often stop at 1-2, though. it's just situational.

    I'm not sure the upgrade comparison is totally fair--you're talking about 2 upgrades in different eras, with swords requiring ~3x the amount of science and harder eurekas. Plus the latter requires a strategic resource that you might not have and comes stapled to a unit with 2x the upkeep. it's definitely the more impressive upgrade, but it should be--the cost/risk of beelining and producing swords in the early game is much higher.

    i think you mainly see people suggest archers v swords because people who struggle with deity often struggle with surviving the first 50 turns, the vast majority of which swords aren't going to help you with/oligarchy won't be online for. the early tempo advantage of archers is much more achievable and far more likely to help a struggling player survive. The flip side of that is that if you're forcing a dark age for a better oligarchy rush and using a good tempo unit like swords to quickly overwhelm a neighbor, you already know what you're doing, so deity for you is less about survival and more about optimization.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2020
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  6. Sirsquier

    Sirsquier Warlord

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    I usually either play starting in a later era or build districts/buildings first. (Along with settlers) Warriors or Achers are the only units I make in the early game besides maybe slingers and chariots when I unlock them.
     
  7. _Calyx

    _Calyx Warlord

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    I think one major problem with early warriors is that they might be great - if you can upgrade them... but in at least half of my games, I will have a complete lack of strategic resources despite having an empire with 12+ cities spanning two continents. Building slingers means your army is useful at least through field cannons.
     
  8. Fluphen Azine

    Fluphen Azine What is Fluphen Azine?

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    You are gonna need some slingers, warriors and chariots for the boosts.
    Not a bad idea building them early when you can spawn bust with them, explore or kill.
    Always good to use the proper card when building them.
    Personally, I like scouts in the early game as well but better players argue against them.
    I've heard Horsemen make better scouting units.
     
  9. yung.carl.jung

    yung.carl.jung Hey Bird! I'm Morose & Lugubrious

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    They do, yeah, they just come online way too late for that. I'll use them to scout snow or islands sometimes.
     
  10. Tabarnak

    Tabarnak Cut your lousy hairs!

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    Yeah absolutely. At online speed they are even more relevant. Like scout start. So i guess the speed can affect choices. If one player play marathon or epic the need of fast scouting is slightly reduced because you still have time to do it a bit later.
     
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  11. Archon_Wing

    Archon_Wing Vote for me or die

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    Warrior is particularly good because it helps stop barbs. Slinger start is a meme but it can be useful if you have a coastal start and thus don't need a warrior.There's a better chance you can corner a scout and get your free archery boost. You should note on higher difficulties, archery timing becomes more and more important because of enemy archers that will show up and will toast you if you just have mono warriors.

    I usually go builder ---> warrior ---> settler---> (agoge) warrior ---> slinger x2. I rarely open scout unless I am specifically aiming for a Golden Age, with civs that have early uniques. A lot of games I just buy my scout.
     
  12. yung.carl.jung

    yung.carl.jung Hey Bird! I'm Morose & Lugubrious

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    I think builder first is pretty questionable unless you specifically have mining or camp luxuries or like 3 horses in your capital. pretty much guarantees you will only be getting envoys from your warrior and likely have you miss lots of ruins.
     
  13. Archon_Wing

    Archon_Wing Vote for me or die

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    The AI has a massive advantage over you in finding things at the start because they start with more units. Also, sometimes CS placement is not very good and there aren't many near you. You can also buy a scout which would be faster than buying a builder and doing it in reverse.

    Also Agoge makes for better defense and barb clears. Meeting the AIs early is sometimes not a good thing either. But if you do meet them early, you can sell the luxury for some extra gold immediately.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2020
  14. Monsterzuma

    Monsterzuma the sly one

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    Builder first was a no-brainer in most of the Civ's I've played... Civ 6 is not one of them though. A lot of early game tiles in this game are quite viable without improvements. It's not uncommon that I get a start with several of those 2 food 2 production forested hill tiles and I find no need to build a builder until my third city is online. As for warriors/scouts, these are basically economic units in the early game. A little luck will net you a free builder from a hut, or +1 population at a time when that means doubling or 1.5x your current pop! Hard to argue against pumping out explorers when goodies are just lying around for the taking. Envoys from getting to city states first are nice, but early easy-to-get city state quests are not to be overlooked either. Sometimes these are also completely effortless.

    I've been experimenting with a scout first build order and I must say I'm warming up to the idea. The scout gets built 2 turns earlier than the warrior in most cases, which means up to 6 tiles of movement. I made a mistake in my opening post about their speed: they don't just move faster in open terrain. They're actually EVEN faster compared to warriors in semi open terrain, as in hills or forests (not both) alternating open space. In this situation the scout can move two tiles, whereas the warrior moves one at a time. And it's true that the first scout promotion is never far behind.

    Still not convinced I ever need more than one scout at any point in my game, but as an initial build, I'm halfway sold.

    I remember there were some civ games in which scouts had a higher chance of getting positive rewards from huts, is anything like that the case in Civ6? Also does meeting an AI with a scout have an effect on how positively their rate your first encounter?
     
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  15. Fluphen Azine

    Fluphen Azine What is Fluphen Azine?

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    No builder till your 3rd city?
    How do you get the boost for 3 upgraded tiles?
    Those CS meets are huge if you can get them.
    Complete difference in my game when I have 8 CS first meets to 0.
    The amount of culture is probably the best out of the bunch.
    Spiking that culture early game has got to be one of the biggest keys.
    You don't really need any of this to win but to finish fast or get faster stats those things do matter.
     
  16. yung.carl.jung

    yung.carl.jung Hey Bird! I'm Morose & Lugubrious

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    You make a very good point: AI have a huge advantage to scouting, theoretically. In reality though the AI is absolutely braindead when it comes to scouting and I can regularly get envoys even on small or standard size map (deity). Scouting is one of the most difficult things to learn in Civ, and Civ 6 made it massively harder with the movement changes. They were a nerf to scouts first and foremost, melee second.

    I do buy scouts as well, but this question was regarding building a builder first. I think building only one scout and rush-buying the second can work, or on large maps I build two and rush buy the third. I like your early agoge idea - Maybe as Rome that could be a really legit strategy. Sounds pretty brilliant: Builder first, then Scout. You finish Agoge the second you hit your 3rd improvement and switch to Warrior with production bonus.

    But remember, this only works if you A) play as rome or find a cultural CS and B) have 3 tiles to improve while only having one tech! which is super rare. So I don't think builder first is a good general build at all, but could be a niche strategy.
     
  17. Archon_Wing

    Archon_Wing Vote for me or die

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    It doesn't matter if the AI is braindead. The AI is always braindead; it's just a matter of sheer numbers. Also I can get CS's too on Deity without building a scout. It's honestly sort of a binary thing.If you get surrounded for example, you won't get stuff first. If you get attacked by horse barbs early, your scouts are also going to be hindered. The way I see it, either way, we're both gambling on the RNG, just in different ways.

    It's actually worse as Rome because you gain less from pursuing the inspiration and there is also less time to do so.

    And it's hardly a niche strat; it's been pushed by players much better than players than me for quite a while on these boards (actually picked up here) and it works on any civ, on any difficulty as long as you have 3 viable tiles. Of course if you don't, then build a scout.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2020
  18. yung.carl.jung

    yung.carl.jung Hey Bird! I'm Morose & Lugubrious

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    strong disagree there. with any civ that doesn't get a boost to culture you won't even be getting craftsmanship until much too late, and you want to build units early. I think that's where our major disagreement is, you don't value scouting (be that with a warrior, slinger or scout, doesn't matter really) as high as I do, because you see scouting as reliant on Map RNG (which is correct, but not a strong argument).

    why would I ever go builder first only to then get craftsmanship at like t25 and build warriors when really I want to have my warriors out already and start on settlers. It just makes zero sense to me. units are most effective build in the first ~15 turns because in that frame they will still get you envoys, ruins, map knowledge, settler steals etc.

    I've genuinely never seen anyone advocate for builder first and I've also not seen it from anyone streaming / on YouTube. I would say it's fairly niche seeing as how scout first or warrior first are the start in 90% of all deity games.

    One thing that could be cool about builder first is going dark age first. When you get a builder instead of a scout your era score will likely be **** for most of the early game so you could realistically get dark into heroic, which is very strong.
     
  19. Fluphen Azine

    Fluphen Azine What is Fluphen Azine?

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    Many Discussions on this since Civ VI came out about which is better.
    I think the two fastest finish times are from a builder first game and a scout first game.
    I think Lilly Lancer argued about something else like Warrior... I think.
    I'd have to go look through the threads and posts and am too tired right now.
    I know Victoria had good information on the subject.
    A case was made that Builder/Settler was the strongest build.
    Something about improving a plains hill mine is a big deal.
    Second City is good the earlier the better.
    I thought the idea was to rush Agoge and build your troops since you get the discount.
    Force yourself to delay expansion and build 8 units.
    Guess it is just one idea that you can change depending on map/game.
    I used to play this strategy where I was told buying monuments in all your cities asap was optimal.
    Later I changed to buying builders to improve resources and sell those to buy monuments.
    It's confusing because each game changes the plan.

    I play a lot of games with Builder First.
    I play a lot with Slinger First.
    I play a lot of games with Scout First.
    I used to play a lot with Warrior First.
    Sometimes I experiment with Monument First and in those games I usually get rolled lol.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2020
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  20. Monsterzuma

    Monsterzuma the sly one

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    The inspiration for Craftsmanship is worth 40 * 0.4 = 16 culture, or 8 turns from a city state's culture bonus. Not the end of the world to skip it. Keep in mind this happens in a fraction of my games and it's typically also the ones where I have culture coming in from various sources. The craftmanship boost is a consideration in whether it is a good idea to go this route at all.
     

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