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What is a good defense in your border cities?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by ChicagoCubs, Mar 8, 2006.

  1. ChicagoCubs

    ChicagoCubs Prince

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    I have seen in many posts that you need to keep an good defense in your border cities to deter the AI. I have not moved up in difficulty yet, so I typically have little problems with only one defender in my border cities. On the Terra map, I have more problems from the barbarians in the New World so i will defend my settlements better there.

    1. Could people post, stating their difficultly level, what they consider a good defense in border cities?

    2. On the flip side of that, do you have minimal defenses (obsolete units perhaps) in the core cities away from the border?

    I want to move up in level, but I don't want to get wiped out early since I am used to weaker defenses in my cities.
     
  2. benjai

    benjai Chieftain

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    Emperor level. 1 Archer. I prefer to have archers+spearmen in jungle/hills right on the edge of my border. A couple of mobile axeman as well. Also depend on how strong the neighboring civ is. An axeman in a jungle hill will kill any barb too.
     
  3. pholkhero

    pholkhero Deviant Mind

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    For now, i'm a prince...
    1. use at least one or two archers in border cities, along with one or two melee-busters (axe, xbow, mace, etc) and artillery

    2. right now, i just upgraded one of my original warriors in my capital to infantry, safely ensconced in almost the center of my island
     
  4. Jarrod32

    Jarrod32 Warlord

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    Along with those suggestions, you will often have an interior city within a turn or two of a few border cities. I usually keep some extra reinforcements in something of a 'centralized' area like this, within a turn or two of any potential trouble spots. Particularly some fast (mounted) units that can get to trouble spots quickly. A good road system is your friend for defending your empire.

    I also like to have a cat/cannon in those border cities, as well, to serve as a 'stack buster'. Late in the game, after flight is discovered, you want to have SAM Infantry or fighters on intercept to guard against airstrikes, as well. And fighters flying recon missions into neighboring territory can give you a big 'heads up' on any trouble that may be coming. And coastal cities should have some naval defenses, as well.
     
  5. VirtualM

    VirtualM Chieftain

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    Emperor!
    1a. two of the best defense units available OR outdated units but cash available for upgrades (you don't need cash to upgrade all border cities. Just the ones under attack. =approx 25%)
    1b. moveable melee units to assist and to counter the attacks. (need less when you have railroads).
    1c. On maps with a lot of water, I usually have a pile of ships!

    2. In my current game, I'm in the year 1600+ and my capital is defended by an archer and a warrior. My border cities have riflemen!
     
  6. Pete2006

    Pete2006 Prince

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    Sounds like you're going to lose that game. I can get rifles around 1000-1100. You should have infantry or better by 1600.

    Throughout the game I'll usually have 2-3 units in border cities and one in the rest. Only up to date units in the border cities. When I go to war against someone with a lot of troops I stick some good units in my capital in case of a surprise attack and will put 5-7 in border cities.
     
  7. 5cats

    5cats Warlord

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    I play on an easier level :blush: but Prince lvl sometimes.
    I take pride in having my "core cities" (I try to have 5 really nice cities, the rest can just be so-so) defended by Lone Warriors! Lmao!
    The key is to never let them be attacked in the first place!
    On the borders I'll pile units where attacks are probable. It's also nice to keep some moblie or "extra" units for flexable defence.
     
  8. Crighton

    Crighton Emperor

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    Prince. (About to move on up to Monarch.)

    At begining min one unit per city, then two after first expansion war, eventually leading up to four defensive ground units.

    Once archery is up I station archers at the best defensive spots i can find at the edge of my civs visibility.

    My best advice for defense is always be on the offense or at least ready to go on the offense, as soon as you meet other civs start planning for war (unless its your war party which found them, if so start skull thumping).

    A Conquered civ is your only true friend.
     
  9. swinenston

    swinenston Chieftain

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    I usually find a mix of defence is the only way. For example, a spearman, an archer and an axeman can make a good combo since they all have different advantages against particular units (spman vs mounted, axe vs melee and so on).

    This is an impossible question to give a single specific answer to though, since it depends upon what you are fighting against. If your enemy has Warriors use Archers, if they have Riflemen then use Grenadiers, and so on. If you don't know, hedge your bets with a spread, as I mention above. Build Barracks and, above all, don't neglect to upgrade every now and again. Worst situation is to be suddenly attacked and find you have a single archer against a tank!
     
  10. `DG`

    `DG` Chieftain

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    Just have a bit of a mix so you have a strong defence unit (i.e. archer with city defence promotions) and a decent attacking unit (strengh or vs. melee promotions, later vs. gunpowder promotions) to pick off units before they pillage your tile improvements. Have an archer in hills (pref wooded hills, with hill/forest defence promotions) to defend the city's fat cross on border cities - especially when barbarians are a problem as then you remove some fog of war so they cant span there. Have a few small stacks of mainly offensive units (keep 1 defensive unit) each within fairly few moves of a cluster of border cities, but closest to "annoyed" leaders.

    Have one or two moderate stacks which can reasonably quickly be turned into a significant stack to throw at any attacker. Raize a city and they'll sue for peace quickly - remember to try and get some cash or resources too, the AI can be very generous if they declare war and you repel it.

    Im not sure if the AI is deterred from attacking at all more by units actually in a city, or if they can be anywhere in your borders?
     
  11. Jarrod32

    Jarrod32 Warlord

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    One other thing, that was hinted at in other posts. Make sure your defenses are 'tailored' to your neighbors. If you are next to the Mongols, Persians, or Egyptians (for example), maybe a few extra spearmen (more than normal) to deal with their UU. If you are next to the Romans or Aztecs, prepare to defend against melee units (with more axemen and shock promotions) than normal.
     
  12. bluedevil99

    bluedevil99 Warlord

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    Some great suggestions here. The single best thing you can do for yourself defensively is know what's coming. Have units stationed on hills and don't be afraid if you have open borders to station those odd scouts inside rival civ borders. Later in the game, use spies and recon aircraft to check for troop production/movement. On water maps, naval superiority can be a much better defense than huge stacks of defenders in your cities, both because they let you see what's coming and potentially sink an invasion fleet (which is THE single fastest way to cripple an opponent's war effort).

    In short, I've had much more success with an active defense. Instead of thinking in terms of having enough units in each city to repel an enemy who shows up with a big stack, I think in terms of seeing that stack coming and being able to get the right mix of defenders and counterattackers there in time.
     
  13. Dusty Monkey

    Dusty Monkey Warlord

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    Few garison defenders in the contiguous kingdom. 2 archers is more than enough. When they become available, each city gets 2 catapults as well to break up big stacks.

    The real defense is the 6-unit horse archer stacks situated between cities :king:
     
  14. Mutineer

    Mutineer Deity

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    It depends, do I expect potential attack from this side?

    Useally knowing AI character and watching amount of trops AI has in borger area give a good indication of AI intentions. I still tend to put most update defender there but rump up there amount when I feel AI up to no good.
     
  15. Mad Professor

    Mad Professor Deity

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    Currently playing Noble. It depends a bit for me on which border it is, and who is on the other side of it. One example in my current game where I'm next to Japan (who I find difficult to deal with diplomatically) and he predictably declared war, which resulted in nothing much because I was well enough defended but didn't have enough army for a counter-attack. Peace followed. I then stationed stacks of units along that border and despite him being annoyed to furious for ages, demanding gifts and tributes which I refused, he never attacked. If he had, I would have snaffled a couple of his cities fast.

    FOr all that I'm a bit shy declaring war too aftern at Noble (I've only played a few games at that level) because I've had bad experiences being ganged up on after being the agressor a couple of times. Can someone tell me (I think this fits into this thread) if AI Civs tend to react badly to a serial war starter?
     
  16. swinenston

    swinenston Chieftain

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    Couldn't agree more with this comment. In fact, I discussed this very factor in this thread http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=162285

    Of course, if you have almost nothing built then prior warning may still not be quite enough to counteract any invasion so it is vital to have something defending your cities.
     
  17. cabert

    cabert Big mouth

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    I understand the OP asked for a good defense to deter the AI.
    a few suggestions on that and lots of questions.

    detering Hatchepetsuh isn't a big deal. She won't attack even undefended cities. On the other hand, the aggressive ones just seem to wait to jump on you, when your defense is weak. I couldn't deter alexander or tokugawa with my best units in the border city. So my questions :

    * Is the AI aware of all the units stacked in your city, or just the best defensive one?
    * Is the AI declaring on the base of the units he sees in border cities, or on global power, or both?
    * Is the AI taking the stacks on the borders outside the cities into account?
    * Is the AI regarding defensive pacts before declaring?
     
  18. ditb

    ditb Keeper of the Work Wives

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    I play on the setting lower than noble (whatever that is), and I am a reluctant warmonger, for what it is worth.

    Like most folks, I tend to use a nice mixture of defensive troops, and also try to find out what the computer has through the use of spies/subs/open borders.

    I have been much more successful since I have incorporated a few catapults into my defensive stack; perhaps the AI is afraid of them? (I know I am, after having the AI raze way too many of my cities with them! :lol: )

    Two last words of wisdom:

    1. If you think your defense is too weak, you are likely right
    2. Watch open border agreements with foes, especially if you think your defenses are suspect

    Best of luck! :D

    Dave
     
  19. Mr. Civtastic

    Mr. Civtastic Prince

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    I usually mix my border city defense with a couple spearmen/pikemen because the computer seems to love using mounted units. Around infantry they become a lot less diversified.
     
  20. Bezhukov

    Bezhukov Deity

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    Depending on how tempting a target the AI in question is, I'll often have cultivated relations to the point where the attentions of the AI that borders me is turned elsewhere; i.e. I'll pay them to attack someone else, then join when they ask, adopt the same religion, trade, to the point where relations are friendly and there'll be no attack coming from that direction.

    If this is not the case, I like three units, one of which is good city def (archer/longbow/machine gun), one good vs mobile (spear/phant/rifle/gunship), and one mobile unit of my own to take out stragglers (HA/Cav/tank). If the AI in question is especially strong/likely to be bringing units in force (i.e. undistracted by other wars), then I'll also station a collateral unit (cat/cho no ku/cannon, bomber) to thin stacks.

    If you're spiritual, you can afford less defense (especially when inviting attack), because if war comes, you can switch to nationalism and quickly draft units.
     

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