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what promotion best for catapult?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by teoks, Nov 25, 2005.

  1. obsolete

    obsolete Chieftain

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    I always laugh then the AI builds stupid citty raider catapults. I'll constantly see the AI move a stack next to my well defended city, then attack with those stupid upgraded cats.

    Umm, what is the point?

    So what if you can do MORE damage to my #1 defending unit in the city. The big point is... When the other units attack, my units will autorotate so the next strongest unit will defend, and so on. Thus, by not using barrage, the AI screws itself by having to attack stronger units than it should on the mop-up attack.

    But always, if Firaxis fixed this, our games would be a little harder to win.
     
  2. Naismith

    Naismith Chieftain

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    I once used Barrage promotions almost exclusively for taking cities. I learned the use of City Raider promotions when attempting to take cities on hills, with a highly promoted longbow mixed with some weak defenders. Your biggest problem in this situation is to "scratch" that one longbow. Catapults with Barrage promotions don't get the job done. Catapults with CR have a much better chance.

    When facing archers defending a city on flat land, I like Barrage better.

    When facing a relatively large number of defenders (say 10 or more) with a couple of highly promoted longbows, you sacrifice a few catapults with Barrage. Then check the odds of your best attacker (e.g. mace with CR II or II) against the (probably unscatched) longbow. You probably won't like what you see, so you sacrifice a catapult (or two) with CR promotions. Check your odds again, and you're probably in good shape.

    I use a combination of Combat, Barrage and Drill for catapults used for defense against enemy stacks.
     
  3. AThousandYoung

    AThousandYoung Chieftain

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    I prefer CR because it increases the Cat's survivability and therefore helps them get even more promotions.
     
  4. aronnax

    aronnax Let your spirit be free

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    When you are protmoting artillaery, the golden rule to remenber is to upgrade it with something to do with collateral damage
     
  5. cabert

    cabert Big mouth

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    naismith answered already, with good arguments, but I want to point out that this is totally wrong.
    A catapult without barrage still does colateral damages, so it's VERY LIKELY that the nex best defender is still the same first one (depends on the initial odds).
    There isn't an always right answer to the catapult promotions.
    It depends on :
    - what units defend, what promotions
    - how many units defend, of the most painful kind
    - what assault units you have
    - the terrain

    Example 1:

    You attack a secondary city. The city is on a hill, defended by 3 LBs.
    The best promotion for the first attacking catapult would be either drill or CR.
    Drill is good to hurt the top defender. In fact, it simply adds one chance to hurt him at least a bit.
    After this first attack, odds are very high that the best defender still is the first LB. Other got hurt by colateral damage. So it's pointless continuing with barrage catapults. It's CR all the way, until you think your assault troops have good enough odds.
    It's even possible that the catapults never actually hurt the top defender, meaning you'll have to sacrifice something bigger.

    Example 2:

    You attack a capital. 8 defenders, 4 LB, 1 spear, 1 axe, 1 elephant, 1 HA. The city is on flat land.

    The best promotion for the first 2 catapults is barrage, since you definitely want to hurt all defenders a lot.
    After those 2, it depends on the odds you get with a CR catapult.
    If you're over 50% already, why not try it? Else, one more barrage can be good.
    After that, you should have dealt a good deal of suffering to every defender. Just take the city :).
     
  6. kniteowl

    kniteowl Pirate Captain :P

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    Like what Cabert said, use CR and Drill for small defending stacks and Barrage Large defending stacks and always remember to build many many siege units I usually have a 2:3 Ratio, in a stack of 10 units I usually have 4 Siege units, Sometimes I even build more then that ratio, for me I can never have enough siege units, as long as I can defend them.
     
  7. Solo4114

    Solo4114 Chieftain

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    I view it as different jobs for differently promoted cats (or other units, for that matter).

    You may have a SOD that's 66% cats, 30% axemen/macemen, and 3% general defenders (archers/longbows/spearmen/pikemen) to cover the stack as it moves. That doesnt' mean that within those percentages you don't have a mix of specialties among each type of unit.

    I have accuracy promoted cats to bring down cultural defenses. I have barrage cats for suicide attacks to weaken the stack. You can bring in CR cats to kill harder units (IE: that one bastard CG II longbow who refuses to go quietly) or for a better chance of retreating.

    Likewise, I'll have "anti-melee" troops (macemen/axemen) that have mixes of combat promotions, shock, cover, and/or City Raider, depending on how far into enemy territory I'm striking and how much resistance I expect (although obviously slanted towards CR units for city busting). Same goes for my defense units. Some will be medics, others will be better promoted against specific types of enemy units.


    There's also another consideration. Sometimes you want that one cat to take out the single defender (while also doing a little damage to other enemies), so the CR promotion is great. Other times you want the cat to simply suicide, damage the stack (maybe get lucky retreating) and then you send in your main melee units who you actually want to promote further (IE: if you're shooting for early availability of heroic epic and/or west point).

    I'll use a similar technique with axemen if I don't have catapults (IE: take my weaker axemen and have them suicide against defenders to weaken them, then within the same turn, send in my stronger axemen to kill off the enemy and gain promotions).
     
  8. Titus001

    Titus001 Chieftain

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    For me Catapults are the best unit while online in the ancient era with combined arms. Catapults in my opinion are way to strong against melee units like axeman and other. They are also way to powerful against cavarly and every other unit including melee units like axeman, legions,maceman,crossbows and elephants. Build maybe 8 or 9 catapults with barrage 2 with maybe 7 axeman with that stack and you will own all invaders. The catapults are only a 5 strength but with the barrage 2 upgrade with a stack of 7 catapults and axeman or legions you will be able to seige all units and drop their unit stats in half which I think is very lame and funny in a way. The only unit in this game that I want nerfed is the catapult against units in open ground battles. They should siege cities very well but not a stack of axeman that causes the axemen stats to drop in half while attacked by barrage 2 catapults.
     
  9. that_student

    that_student Chieftain

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    I totally agree, the best promotion depends on the application. Barrage is best when attacking a large stack, perhaps with some CR interspersed. Drill is best for defending against large stacks.
     
  10. SnowlyWhite

    SnowlyWhite Chieftain

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    drill for sure; usually, with 2 promotions, drill(to scratch the top defender) and barrage(to hurt the others down the stack). Out of those that survive, I start giving them cr promos.

    In the field, I usually suicide 1-3 freshly build catas then use normal units and the rest of the catas at the end when they have a chance.
     
  11. Phrederick

    Phrederick Chieftain

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    Is Drill really better than City Raider for hurting the top defender? It seems to me that when your odds are super low (<1&#37;), increasing the odds will be more effective than simply an additional strike, especially since Drill I doesn't guarantee a first strike.
     
  12. SnowlyWhite

    SnowlyWhite Chieftain

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    when your odds are really low, that 1st strike is imho your chance; now... is it really better or not... hard to say.

    1st of all, the calculator is broken when taking in acct. 1st strikes;
    2nd of all... yeah, I've played alot, but enough to really make a viable sample... I didn't(since I can't say I've sat with a notepad open and really write down the results).
    From what I've noticed, seems better; now, if it's wishful thinking, or it's really better...
     
  13. obsolete

    obsolete Chieftain

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    I think you're missing the whole point entirely. By trying to SAVE your cheap catipult, you are letting the main footmen of the army (expensive macemen, etc) take the brunt of it. You may lose 3-4 extra units because you wanted to protect a stupid catipult.

    This type of arguement doesn't hold.
     
  14. Vulcans

    Vulcans Chieftain

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    there is a great article about combat mechanics, even has some nice graphs.
    http://www.civfanatics.com/civ4/strategy/combat_explained.php

    How i understand it (but could be wrong as i haven't tested) is that the barrage affects the amount of damage inflicted when collateral dammage is inflicted. each round of colalteral dammage has a chance of doing dammage, the chance of succesfully doing damage in a collateral round is based on units modified strength (+CR). and first strike possibly gives another pre-chance of doing dammage before actual combat, although this is just a chance of doing dammage in this round.

    so from my understanding, first strike provides similar advantage as in normal combat, although success/dammage of the strike attempt iis dictaded by power. if this is the case then that would indicatye that first strike advantages more when the siege weapon has more then 1.38 times the defender strendth, and CR would be better if less then 1.38*defender strength (which would be the case for suicide cats).

    therefore i wouldent ever use drill on cats. but might consider it for my artilery if i have a tec lead, and am using artilery against grenaders, cavalry, riflemen etc.

    It would be good if someone did some tests on this to confirm.
     
  15. cabert

    cabert Big mouth

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    drill is useful only for hurting the top defender, it has no effect on colateral.
    ANd drill 1 is really weak.
    Drill 2 is a lot better, because at least it removes the archer or LB's first strike. Is it better than CR 2? yes for a chance to hurt the top defender. No for the amount of damage done to this top defender.
    I often use drill catapults in the open, and thus I often have one or 2 living up to drill 2/3. I use them before the CR catapults, if the top defender isn't hurt by barraging catapults.

    some calculations :
    catapult vs fortified, CGII LB (defense down to 0, flat land)

    unpromoted catapult (or barrage promoted)
    odds to win 0.00
    odds to win one round, 0.2994 for each round. LB needs 4 rounds to win, so odds to win one round at least 65,61% (including 1 FS for the LB).
    average damage dealt : 18 hp (bringing down the LB to 4.8 current strength).


    CR 1 catapult
    odds to win 0.00
    odds to win one round, 0.3226 for each round. LB needs 4 rounds to win, so odds to win one round at least 68,91% (including 1 FS for the LB).
    average damage dealt : 20 hp (bringing down the LB to 4.8 current strength).

    CR 2 catapult
    odds to win 0.02
    odds to win one round, 0.3571 for each round. LB needs 4 rounds to win, so odds to win one round at least 73,43% (including 1 FS for the LB).
    average damage dealt : 26 hp (bringing down the LB to 4.8 current strength).

    Drill 1 catapult
    Either you have a FS or not.
    If you have none, it's like unpromoted.
    If you have one, it cancels the LB's FS.
    you have 70,76% odds to hurt the top defender.
    average damage dealt is 20 hp.

    Drill 2 catapult
    Either you have 1 FS or 2.
    If you have one, it cancels the LB's FS.
    If you have 2, you have one more chance to hurt the guy.
    you have 79,51% odds to hurt the top defender.
    average damage dealt is 24 hp.
    your winning odds are still 0.00.
     
  16. Ecofarm

    Ecofarm Chieftain

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    Remember CR is based on defender's strength. Hardly worth it vs. archers, but needed to stand any chance of killing a longbow.
     
  17. cabert

    cabert Big mouth

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    true enough, but archers have a large bonus in cities, meaning that without CR, you don't have good odds for each round.
     
  18. Ecofarm

    Ecofarm Chieftain

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    Explain? It seems that a base 3 is little CR benefit (-0.3?), but a base 6 is twice as good (-0.6). In the case of cat hitting archer, a CR = -0.3 to the archer, but C1 = +0.5 to the cat. Does CR reduce the targets base before bonuses are applies, or just a flat percent of base after modifiers are calculated? What do you mean 'each round'?

    Thanks in advance
     
  19. cabert

    cabert Big mouth

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    What I mean is other promotions won't give you anything better.
    combat may be better, but it's dubious.
    What matter is the attacker strength/defender strength ratio. So even if on an absolute basis, combat is better, CR is still better on real combat mechanics terms.

    For the rounds, read the great article vulcans refered to.

    anyway, I usually don't fight archers with catapults.
    If I do, I don't care what promotions they have, I know I win ;).
     
  20. obsolete

    obsolete Chieftain

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    Not to hijack this thread, but the term COVER comes to mind now. I stopped using this ever since I found out it doesn't even work vs longbow men. In fact, did it even work vs horse-archers? lol.

    I think cover & drill are my two most useless promotions. Now if cover was changed in Warlords then perhaps I could find SOME use for it. But since it only worked vs regular bowmen as I understand, CR is the superior choice.
     

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