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What size armies?

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

  1. smanxmonkey

    smanxmonkey Chieftain

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2009
    Messages:
    7
    Once you get railroads it gets pretty easy to defend. Definitely a pretty large army near your borders. Also it helps to do some heavy espionage investments against your bordering nations just to see what armies are in them. Just recently playing the 18civs scenario using Germany, I saw a 120ish stack cavalry from China coming through Russia and had enough time to move and crank out military to my Russian borders to crush the invasion. Also if you keep enough artillery units you usually don't need too big an army.

    Basically just judge by the score of your largest rival how much army they can crank out and try to keep just over half that. Keep track of who's fighting who, if a large empire is at peacetime and is cautious or worse with you then always expect an attack coming.
     
  2. Glassfan

    Glassfan Mostly harmless

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2006
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    3,955
    Location:
    Kent
    I usually build my cities close enough together so that troops can shuttle towards a threatened sector. As a warmonger I'm often pushing my neighbors back on their heels and preventing them from mounting a serious attack anyway.
     
  3. WuphonsReach

    WuphonsReach Prince

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2005
    Messages:
    426
    On the defensive side:

    - Never less then 1 unit per city, and I much prefer 2 units per city because it gives me the ability to pull the 2nd defender to respond to emergencies.

    - Early on, 1 archer 1 axe 1 spear in border cities. The axe and spear are often optional. Inner cities are typically only 1-2 units. Risky borders with aggressive neighbors will have 4-6 units including horses. These extra units can also be called up to form a SoD for attack.

    - I'll usually form up my SoD at a place where it can reach the border cities within 2 turns. Usually inside a city, but sometimes on a fortified forest/jungle hill position.

    - After 1000 AD, defensive size depends on what size stacks I see floating around inside my aggressive neighbor's borders. If I see a stack of 20 attackers, then my border cities had better have a permanent force of 6 strong defenders, with a floating defense that can boost an individual city up to 16 defenders in a jiffy. If I have next-gen units over their attacking units (infantry vs muskets), then I'll only need about 1/2 of their numbers.

    - Either way I prefer a permanent force of 2-4 decent strength defenders in most cities. Preferably one of each type defender (anti-melee, anti-archery, anti-air, anti-tank, anti-infantry, anti-seige, anti-mounted).

    - If you have BUG installed, I try to always keep my military power at 0.9-1.2 of the most powerful AI civ. Anything under 0.8 and you risk getting attacked too often, anything over 1.2 and you can probably shrug off any attack as long as your units are positioned well and modernized.

    - Always have horse units parked on hills with +1 sight along dangerous borders. They're sacrificial lambs to show you where the SoD is entering your borders from.

    - I always put Triemes out in packs of 3, which pretty much holds true for all of my naval units up through Destroyers. One unit can easily be overrun, 2 units is iffy, but with 3 units you can have 2 strong defenders and a medic. The trio of ships won't stand up to a full fleet, but can handle non-stop action for a very long time against solo attackers.

    - Only strategic sea resources (oil) get defended with a decent pile of units. Minimum of 3 destroyers, later beefed up with 2 subs and 4 battleships. Food resources might get a token destroyer or submarine, more to serve as a tiny deterrent or warning.

    - I typically also put out a screening force of subs away from the coastline at intervals designed to alert me to incoming naval threats.

    On offense:

    - I don't go to war unless my power rating is at least 20% higher then the opponent. Unless I've recently researched a tech that gives me a huge jump (such as when Infantry/Cannons enter the picture).

    - My SoD in mid-game (cannons / infantry / cavalry) is typically at least 6-10 cannons, 4-6 cavalry, 6-10 infantry. Plus 2-4 infantry per city that I'm going to take and hold (garrison forces). So a stack size of at least 20 units and preferably closer to 30 units. If I have spare units, I'll open up a 2nd front against a weak enemy and go after their less defended cities on the flank with a smaller force of 10-15 units. Figure that I'll lose 2 siege per city attacked along with 2 infantry. For an extended campaign of 10 cities to be taken, that means 20-30 cannons, 8-12 cavalry, and 30-40 infantry.

    - A modern naval SoD needs to have 3-6 destroyers, 2-4 subs or attack subs, 4-8 battleships, and 2-4 carriers. And as many transports as I think I'll want (usually enough to move a stack of 30-40 units). The goal is to be able to stand up to an enemy SoD and be able to handle a mix of threats without becoming too weak after losing a few ships.
     
  4. Baldyr

    Baldyr "Hit It"

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    Yeah, I've been wondering what other people use to defend coastal cities. Except ships, I mean. :rolleyes:

    AFAIK the game lacks any units with bonuses against amphibious attacks, specific coastal fortifications or coast defense promotions. So I pretty much assume that the my enemies will land first and attack the next turn, which makes the situation almost identical to other border cities.

    By the way, does City Wall and Castle give defensive bonuses against amphibious attacks? But that shouldn't matter anyway because most units will get the amphibious landing penalty, right?
     
  5. PPQ_Purple

    PPQ_Purple Techpriest Engineer

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    Oct 11, 2008
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    4,214
    Personaly, I like to use naval units to operate out of cities using the patrol comand.
     
  6. Baldyr

    Baldyr "Hit It"

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    Wait a friggin minute... Isn't that the order you give ocean sentries to protect your ocean Resources? What does it do when the ship is in port?!?:confused:

    I do learn something new every single day.:goodjob:
     
  7. karadoc

    karadoc AI programmer

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    Oct 3, 2005
    Messages:
    1,568
    Location:
    Australia
    Woah. 0.9-1.2 sounds huge for my playstyle. The only time my power ever reaches 1.2 is either vs some broken/backwards civ, or when I'm at war and steamrolling the enemy. I typically feel very safe with 0.8, and am willing to let it get as low as 0.5 without feeling to concerned.
     
  8. WuphonsReach

    WuphonsReach Prince

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    Nov 6, 2005
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    426
    I tend to get worried below 0.8.

    But mostly, I'm trying to simply be a tougher nut to crack then my neighbors, so that I'm not the most tempting target out there.
     
  9. The-Hawk

    The-Hawk Old Original Geezer

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2005
    Messages:
    2,265
    Location:
    West Chester, PA
    Caveat in advance: I almost exclusivley play HOF and GOTM. Pursuit of fastest finishes requires an aggressive risk-taking style. If you prefer an approach that ensures you will not lose, then you may not like this post. However, if you want to learn to finish with earlier dates and higher scores, then read on.

    Personally, I think most of the posts here are way too conservative. One MP per city. If you have a border with an AI who is relatively peaceful, maybe 2. If you have a border with an aggressive or angry AI, take the war to him. I never build defensive boats because it takes to many (AI's build too many naval units). Let the AI pillage your nets, then bebuild them after the war. Put those hammers into weapons of attack. Personally, I think defensive units are a waste of hammers.

    /Edit: Actually, there are plenty of circumstances where I leave cities with no MPs. E.g. fast conquest. Not worth building even an archer. If the city is unhappy, whip an offensive unit.
     
  10. conception

    conception Warlord

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2008
    Messages:
    193
    I essentially have armies for each important and vulnerable frontier of my civilization. Depending on how large my civ is and what time of game it is, this can vary from one army to 4-5 in some dominant games I've had. These are independent of my garrisons, I plan to have an entire force ready to move on a whim without leaving the city they are stationed in completely vulnerable.

    In my garrisons, I will only have one or two units and only modern units in my border cities. By employing a strategic reserve, I simply ensure that wherever the enemy may strike, I will be able to overwhelm him at the point of the attack in a small number of turns.

    The other advantage to this is that if the opportunity presents itself for an offensive war, meaning that I am intervening in an AI versus AI war at the request of one of the AI's, I have a force ready to go that can be on the move quickly.
     

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