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What is the point of an Army?

Discussion in 'Civ3 - General Discussions' started by alcibaides, Feb 6, 2012.

  1. alcibaides

    alcibaides Chieftain

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    Sometimes when I have a military victory I get a leader which can be used to build an army.

    As far as I can tell from the civipedia, the only advantage of an army is that it has vision for 2 squares instead of 1. is that correct?

    The disadvantage is that if you pack 3 units into it it can no longer fit on a ship that takes 2 cargo. And that units within the army lose their special abilities (unless all of the units in teh army have that special ability).

    I would say that the disadvantages far out weigh the single advantage (the double vision) so is it best to simply never use them?
     
  2. del62

    del62 Chieftain

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    Are we talking conquests or vanilla/ptw

    I have not really used them much in vanilla/ptw, but in conquests they are extremely useful if not overpowered.

    Always fill an Army with units with the same movement.
     
  3. CommandoBob

    CommandoBob AbstractArt

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    Part of the answer depends on which version of Civ III you are playing. Armies in Conquests are considerably better/stronger than in vanilla/PTW.

    In Conquests, having units in army adds one to their movement, if they are all the same type (Horses, Cavalry, Swords). Thus, an Army of 3 Swords would have a movement of 2; Three Cavalry can move 4.

    Plus, once you attack with an army, it keeps on attacking that same unit until one is dead or retreated. If a city defender is a Pike and you have a Sword Army, all three Swords will atack that one Pike, wear it down and kill it, even if individual units in the army have to retreat. If three Swords were to attack that same city, they would attack the Pike, then the Spear and then the Archer. Attacking a city with an Army means that you can probably kill the best defenders in the first attack.

    Other things in Conquest: a free pillage option on each turn and the noted fact that the AI does not attack armies until they have Bombers.

    The Small Wonder Military Academy lets you build Armies from scratch, too. So you don't have to depend on battlefield promotions to build them.

    Armies and boats are an issue, but you can ship an empty army overseas and then fill it up when it lands on that distant shore.
     
  4. bigFRANK

    bigFRANK Chieftain

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    The army has a greater number of hit points and the combined attack defense of the units you load into it, it also gains a 1 move point bonus and the ability to blitz attack your opponent, all in all very worthwhile.

    Downside though is obsolescence of units in the army as they can’t later be upgraded.
     
  5. alcibaides

    alcibaides Chieftain

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    Thanks very much for the feedback guys. It seems that the civipedia article is somewhat lacking on this.

    It seems that this is irrelevent for me at this stage as I am playing as the Byzantines and I use my Dromon ships to bombard enemy units down until they are yellow before even attacking them so I always defeat the best unit on the first attack anyway.

    But the greater number of hit points and the bonus movement are very good bonuses so from now on I will start using the armies. If I load 2 units onto my army do can I still put them on my dromon ship? Or does an army with 2 units count as a total of 3 units (1 army + 2 units)?

    If I have an army with 3 units in it, can it attack 3 times in each turn?
     
  6. Spoonwood

    Spoonwood Grand Philosopher

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    The army counts as a unit. So, a 1 horse army has two units for the purposes of a ship loading. So, 1 (non-army) unit armies can fit on galleys, 2 unit armies on caravels, and 3 unit armies on galleons. Armies also get a free shot, and if healthy enough, and having a high enough defense rating come as extremely unlikely to get attacked by the AIs before tanks. This can prove very useful even in Vanilla in setting army walls or army boxes (at least in Conquests for army boxes). Any army can attack the same number of times as its movement. So, a 3 knight army which hasn't used its 1st movement point yet can attack 3 times in a turn, a 3 cavalry army which hasn't used its movement yet can attack 4 times in a turn, etc. The best use of an army often lies in attacking a city, though exceptions do certainly exist and are by no means infrequent.

    You can also cash-rush (and disband rush) armies in Conquests.
     
  7. alcibaides

    alcibaides Chieftain

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    OK, in my game I am currently using elephents. So does that mean that if I load 1 single elephant into my army I can attack with that single elephant 3 times? (Elephant has 2 movement + 1 additional one for being part of an army). This would be very useful because it would mean with a fleet of dromons I can bombard a coastal city with 3 defensive units and then use 1 single elephant 9attached to an army to kill all 3 defesnive units in one turn.

    I am assuming that this is only relevant when you have the military academy. Otherwise you can never build armies anyway.
     
  8. Spoonwood

    Spoonwood Grand Philosopher

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    Yes, that elephant in an army could attack three times. Not sure that's a good idea exactly, but yes. And yes you need the military academy to cash-rush armies, I didn't mention that.
     
  9. del62

    del62 Chieftain

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    Yes but why risk losing an army by such a method, better to fill it with 3 elephants

    You have Elephants and Dromons!

    After a victory with your first Army and learning Military Tradition you can then build the Miltiary Academy, which allows you to build armies
     
  10. Theov

    Theov Chieftain

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    The one upside is that 3 or 4 units in an army act as if it's one unit, but with a 16 health bar and more movement. And they still heal in one turn in a city with a barracks.
    That's quite an advantage.
     
  11. del62

    del62 Chieftain

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    Another point on armies in conquests is they become even more powerful on building the military academy

    Two other useful uses of Armies though generally not at the same time is covering your units from attack and pillaging, a cavalry army can pillage up to 4 squares in enemy territory per turn, thus allowing you to wreck their economy
     
  12. darski

    darski Regent in Training

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    an army counts as one unit on its own so you can put one unit into the army and put it on your dromon. Load another dromon with your other two army units and you are good to go.

    It is not about the number of units when it comes to turns available to an army. A sword/Crusader army gets 2 turns; the army can attack twice but not three times. A knitght army gets 3 turns and so can attack 3 times. A cav army gets four turns so can attack 4 times. the army gets one more turn than a single unit in it. Sword = 1, sword army = 2. IYKWIM :) Also this assumes you are in attack position at the start of the turn. You use movement points if you have to move into position before attacking.
     
  13. CommandoBob

    CommandoBob AbstractArt

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    Yes, but not all their cities will be coastal.

    Plus, the rock-throwers cannot always keep up with the faster units, so sometimes you attack with the faster units, knowing that you will move in foot soldiers into the city after it is captured.

    In Conquests, the number of armies you can have is limited by the number of your cities divided by 4. Generally, this is not a problem, unless you playing a five city challenge.
     
  14. alcibaides

    alcibaides Chieftain

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    Yes that is true, but playing as the Byzantines it is better to conquer the coastal cities as they are easier to defend when you have invested in a huge dromon navy. So not only are they easier to conquer but they are also easier to hold on to so it just makes sense.

    I am playing on the real world map (Rhyes of Civ) so playing as the Byzantines you can build a massive Mediterranean empire, plus if you build a Suez canal city you can expand into the Red Sea and Indian Ocean aswell.

    If I really need a landlocked city from an enemy I would hope to be able to get it in peace negotiations without actually capturing it (though I have not tried this out yet so I am not sure how easy it is).

    Obviously once the dromon becomes obsolete you lose your naval superiority so then there is no reason or advantage in going for coastal cities.
     
  15. MysteryX

    MysteryX Chieftain

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    If you have games that last into the modern era, armies become very important for taking cities. A mechanized infantry sitting in a 13+ population city on a hill with civil defense can chew up a lot of modern armor. An army with 4 modern armor inside it can take down at least one- two if you're lucky- and survive. That same mechanized infantry, attacked by individual modern armor, may chew up 4 of your modern armor before you finally clear it (it will get promoted to elite in the process of the defense). Of course there are other strategies you can use in conjunction with the individual modern armor attack (starving the city down to 6 pop or less first, bombardment to soften up defenders), but I think armies are the easiest and most efficient way to do it.

    Armies may be less of an advantage earlier in the game, when cities typically have fewer defensive bonuses, and your military-industrial machine is a little slower cranking out units. They do create overseas transport issues until you have higher capacity ships. Nevertheless, I'm never turning down the chance to create an army if I win the leader lottery.
     
  16. Tiber4321

    Tiber4321 Chieftain

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    If you are out for large scale conquests, Armies are critical. The more battles you win, the more armies you gain. On a Huge scale world, I've ended up with like 20 Modern Armor Armies. They cut like a knife through butter.

    If you are not out for conquest, you can use leaders to build Wonders rapidly.
     
  17. alcibaides

    alcibaides Chieftain

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    Interesting, so it seems like the best strategy when you get an army in the ancient and medieval age is to save them until the modern age. Once you load a unit onto an army then it cannot be unloaded right? So if I load up elephants onto my army then they are stuck there and cannot be replaced by armor later on?
     
  18. splunge the 2nd

    splunge the 2nd Chieftain

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    Even old defunct armies are useful. I'll use one for shore defense to stop the AI from landing troops. They still can be helpful pillaging.

    Worth mentioning, I seem to recall you can only have 1 leader at a time, so if you want to save an army for when a unit becomes available, I'd make the army immediately, not save the leader.
     
  19. Fiddlin Nero

    Fiddlin Nero Chieftain

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    Correct, you can't unload or upgrade units in an army. Don't mix different movement factor units either you get the worst of the deal. Waiting to load Modern Armor into your armies is a strategy decision, many finish the game before getting to the Modern Age.
     
  20. Raliuven

    Raliuven Chieftain

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    I would not call this the best strategy. I would recommend making an army immediately out of the best unit currently available - if you are so lucky to receive one while all you have are horesmen and archers, I'd probably wait for swords, but that's my preference. A sword army that is in the green in safe from anything until tanks or bombers make an appearance.

    Why? First it is a powerful unit all by itself and should speed up conquest. Otherwise it will allow you to cultivate elite units so you can fish for more leaders. Even better, once it has won its first battle you can create the Heroic Epic and that will make MGL more likely to appear.

    If you make your armies early the AI may never reach the modern era let alone need modern armor. :D

    The times I will hold an army is if I already have sufficient force on the field and the next best thing is around the corner - i.e., almost to MDI, almost to knights, almost to cavalry, almost to tanks, etc.

    The problem, as previously noted, is that an army may not be 'transport' worth on an island map until late in the game. That can be a pain and a strike against them.

    Once loaded into an army the unit cannot be unloaded or upgraded. Somehow your advanced civilization can't figure out how to replace those swordsmen with TOW Infantry. :crazyeye:
     

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