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What size armies?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by jhflif, Dec 22, 2009.

  1. jhflif

    jhflif Chieftain

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    I have won one domination victory using Rome and basically steamrolling the entire world on a pangea map (noble). After this I believed I was invincible and was proven wrong by Justinian sailing a fleet of galleons onto my shores and easily taking my poorly defended capital.

    I am not a war monger and most of my victories on Noble come from culture, diplo, or space race. However I have been very paranoid and tend to construct enormous armies of where there are at least 10 units defending even the most inconsequential cities.

    It get quite boring as you can imagine and I wonder whether the AI knows that I am basically an invincible fortress-- I tend to have scores of nukes and hundreds of cruise missiles. No one will dare declare war on me but I long to nuke something.

    So at what size do you keep your army? I want the AIs to declare war on me just for some fun, at the same time it would just be too easy to nuke any opposition into compliance. My military could easily be described as excessive.
     
  2. Gary King

    Gary King Prince

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    I play on Emperor difficulty. My armies are always the smallest size possible, because I don't have time to tend to them until I need an army large enough to attack with. So I typically have one unit at most for each city. If someone declares war against me, then I switch to Universal Suffrage and rush as many defensive units as possible.

    You say that you get bored with such a large army; try upping the difficulty level, then you'll definitely have a tough time keeping a large army. :)
     
  3. Nothingontv

    Nothingontv Warlord

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    I play at Monarch and usually keep about 3 units in border cities. In the beginning these will be 3 types so i have a counter against all other units.
    After the initial expanding fase i will start building 1 or 2 large stacks that can be used for either responding to an attack on one of my cities or attacking my neighbours.
    I place these at strategic positions in my empire so i can get to all my cities fast.
     
  4. bestsss

    bestsss Emperor

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    1 unit per city to as local militia. that's all unless it's monarchy and need happiness, then more than 1 unit.
    Scout well and know who might attack you. Passive defense is useless. I often have 1 warrior guarding the capital even if I am to launch a space ship.
    ---
    That's for any difficulty.
     
  5. Orzio

    Orzio Prince

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    If I am not waring I prefer diplomacy over huge armys.
     
  6. PPQ_Purple

    PPQ_Purple Techpriest Engineer

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    You realy newer need more than 1 unit to defend a city unless you expect an atack within the next 5 turns.

    Aside from that, you should keep your offensive stacks roaming the country side.
    This stack should aim to outnumber the army of what ever enemy you plan on atacking next.
     
  7. Bushface

    Bushface Deity

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    You must have a unit in every city, to stop the citizens bleating that they need military protection; in your core cities, a long-obsolete Warrior or Archer is quite suffficient. At your borders, a balanced defence garrison is necessary until your power has risen to the point where your neighbours are very unlikely to invade: I also like to have a few mounted units around to chase off (read: kill) the odd foreigner daring to set foot in MY territory, to assist which it is best to build roads, and rails later, to speed the chase.
    Things change when you want to be the attacker, at which time some nice big balanced stacks are very nice to have. I emphasise balanced, having read on this forum of some AI leader invading with a stack of 27 catapults and no other troops. My stategy is whenever possible to invade in two or more places at the same time, with one stack driving straight at the enemy capital. This seems to baffle the AI, which can't decide where to defend most strongly, and reduces the distance your troops have to travel across enemy land to get at the next target. Real world example: to fight your way from one end of Chile to the other would be much harder than invading simultaneously in the north, south and centre - not that I am in any way recommending such action by anybody.
     
  8. Mathalamus

    Mathalamus Emperor of Mathalia

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    i usually have at least 7 units. of a defensive type, on all of my cities ( the capital gets at least twice that OR 7 experienced units) and i always keep them up to date. i found that it deters the AI from attacking me.

    i never have any offensive stacks. if, somehow the AI takes a city, i build offensive units, take back the city, delete that and build 7 defensive units to replace the losses.
     
  9. cleverhandle

    cleverhandle King

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    In border cities on Emperor I probably have 3 units, more if I think a DOW is imminent or if there's only a 1 hex cultural buffer. Take advantage of the fact that the AI will fairly predictably target the city the fewest steps outside its borders, even if that city is well defended and/or valueless. With enough experience, you can tell when the AI will ignore a city and shift those troops elsewhere. Also, as the game progresses, it's very useful to keep "rapid response" teams at a few convenient locations. For most of the game, I use two mounted units and two siege units for those. That's enough to seriously slow down a typical AI stack until further help arrives.

    Still, when it comes down to it, I consider most AI DOW's a sign that I'm doing something wrong. Unless you're dealing with a whackjob like Alex or Toku, you should be able to prevent DOW's through overall power and diplomacy.
     
  10. cleverhandle

    cleverhandle King

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    Defensive units don't contribute to your power rating as well as offensive ones. When in doubt, build an Axe and not an Archer. You're wasting a bunch of hammers building 7 defenders anywhere, much less everywhere. Come to think of it, I'm not sure I've ever had 7+ defenders in a single city at any point in 50+ games at Emperor.
     
  11. bestsss

    bestsss Emperor

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    >>When in doubt, build an Axe and not an Archer.
    When in doubt dont ever build units at all.
     
  12. Mathalamus

    Mathalamus Emperor of Mathalia

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    I cant stand doing offensive wars, things bog down way to fast for my liking. so i play a defensive warfare (considering that i always play as Byzantium, this makes sense)
     
  13. Kietharr

    Kietharr Prince

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    I tend to keep larger garrisons in important coastal cities, especially if I have hostile enemies with boats, but inland cities generally only get one unit each, the modern defensive unit of the time. I have archers guarding my inland core cities in 2010AD.

    Just be logical about it, if you have a few core cities on the coast and baddies with boats who cannot reach you without them it's a good idea to put an upsized modern garrison in them, if you have inland cities buffered by a borderland they don't need good defenses because oversea AI will attack the coast first and continental AI will attack border areas first. That also goes for non valuable coastal cities, who cares if they take a 6 pop fishing village? In fact, that's great, send your city raider units at them while they're in the city, they get no defense bonus, are wounded, and are subject to the CR bonus.
     
  14. Baldyr

    Baldyr "Hit It"

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    After some trial and error (and it's still a work in progress), my "typical" (land) army would look something like this:

    - Border defenses: A variety of units (garrison grows over time) for both city defense and for counter-attacking from said city. Siege and mounted units are essential for defense, or so I think. 5-10 units usually will stop most attacks - and destroy the attackers.

    - Police forces: Inland cities in my heartland will have one defensive type unit each. (It really doesn't matter what units, since their presence is formality anyway.) If I'm running Hereditary Rule I might supplement larger cities with some outdated units or mounted units (since they can easily be transfered where ever they are needed).

    - Main stack(s): This starts out as practically a rally point for any new units arriving from my Barracks cities. If my empire is large enough I'll have several such stacks building up over time. These are however siege unit heavy, with a good mixture of offensive and also a few defensive units.

    - Secondary force: When on the offensive I often divide my stack into a SoD and secondary stack. This second stack will be used for outflanking the enemy, pillaging roads and resources, and such. It will be light on siege and heavy on mounted units, but also include a few defensive units. This stack will be split to pillage more efficiently when applicable, and is not for taking cities or countering enemy SoD.

    - Strategic Reserve: In wartime I will keep some units behind (rally point for new ones) so that I can react to any unforeseen developments. Reinforcements will be dispatched to the front-lines periodically, especially new siege units since they tend to die attacking cities.

    Also, I take "potential units" into account in my war planning. By this i mean that I try to save enough money to be able to upgrade critical units in great numbers when declared upon or gearing up to war. Also promotions will stay at the "potential" stage, as they will only be assigned when the units see any actual action. Otherwise those might be the wrong ones needed for the job at hand.

    At the moment I'm pondering what role my "core units" - the experienced ones - will have. Historically I've used them mostly for spearheading attacks and loaded them with City Raider promotions. I'm not that sure about that approach, however. Maybe they will form a sort of strategic reserve and exploit opportunities or reinforce front-lines that might turn out to be troublesome. I dunno before I can test out different approaches.
     
  15. bestrfcplayer

    bestrfcplayer Steppin' up!

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    I usally build about 10 units in important cities, but besides that, maybe 3-5. Want to be protective of my cities.
     
  16. duckstab

    duckstab Child of Noble Family

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    IMHO, this isn't the best use of either Justinian's traits or the Byzantine UU. You'll get more GGs with IMP if you go on the offensive. SPI is also a great supporting trait for warmongering although it does come in equally handy on defense. And Cataphracts? Not really what one would consider a defensive unit although I suppose they would do well against invading siege units.
     
  17. Baldyr

    Baldyr "Hit It"

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    Yeah, going to war can be a real chore some times. The fun part is actually planning your campaign, the execution can be a bit drawn out and repetitive, not to mention all the waiting for your turn. But planning also helps with things like logistics of your campaign, so I try to prepare well. A well conceived and executed campaign is a thing of beauty!

    Warfare also gets more interesting, albeit more complex, in the modern age. I wouldn't do something as vulgar as invade only with Modern Armor however. The fun part is planning those airdrops, the combined arms action, bombing and not no mention nuking.:nuke:
     
  18. Syiss_

    Syiss_ Warlord

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    I tend to keep the smallest army humanly possible. Start off with enough warriors for fogbusting plus one for each city, maybe a couple axes to take a barb city or rush a neighbor. Once I hit HR I'll pump some units to boost my happiness cap, then pretty much level off there until its time to go to war or I suspect I'm about to be the target of a DoW. At the higher difficulty levels, army isn't really a deterrent to AI DoW's. They build so much army that its neither economically feasible to maintain an army that size, nor very useful since its not likely they are going to care anyways. I won an Emperor game last night with a cultural victory, I had .3 power rating of the next weakest AI.
     
  19. bestbrian

    bestbrian Just this guy, ya know?

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    Border Cities: Two CIty Defender units (Archers/Longbows/MGs, etc), and Two Mounted Units.

    Coastal Cities: Same as Border, but with the addition of Two Naval Defenders.

    Inland: One obsolete unit to police.

    Stacks: Organized as Combined Arms Battle Groups. They vary from each other, but in general they consist of 9 Siege, 2-4 Stack Defender, 1 Medic, 4 Mounted, 2-4 City Raider. The idea is to maximize collateral, and to be in position to attack on multiple axes.
     
  20. karadoc

    karadoc AI programmer

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    I usually have two or three strong defenders in cities that can be attacked easily (border cities and coastal cities), but in cities that I think are likely to be attacked in the next couple of turns (border cities while at war) I put a much stronger defence - roughly 10 units depending on what me and the enemy are capable of. Aside from that, most of my cities are typically 'defended' but a single warrior or something just to keep them happy. I sometimes beef up the defenses of my inner cities when I have production to spare in my great general cities.

    Those strongly defended border cities I mentioned - frequently a large part of the "defence" force is actually my attack force just waiting to gather strength, and so when I'm ready to attack most of the force moves out of the city to attack, and then will defend whatever city I capture. I tend to attack with a smaller force than I've seen other people using. My usual strategy is to defend until I can wipe out enemy stacks with very few losses, then to attack immediately after I've killed one of their attack waves. Often this means that I'll crush a half-formed disorganised bunch of attack units from the enemy on the way. I don't make enormous stacks of doom. I just make stacks that are strong enough to not get wiped out.
     

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