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What's up with Longbows?

TLF

Prince
Joined
May 16, 2007
Messages
324
It seems that once your neighbor has Longbows you may as well forget about attacking until your established in gunpowder.

Those bows killed swordsmen, macemen, horse archers and catapults like they were nothing.
 
Once a city has these, it's too late to do a rush.
Research Trebs, promote them with all of the City Attack you can, and take down the city's walls, do collateral damage, and capture the city.
 
Longbows on a hill are indeed a tough nut to crack. I think it adds abit of realism to the game though, because generally speaking, during medieval times, sieges were nasty business. They were long, drawn out affairs that often ended in stalemates...kinda like medieval warfare in civ4! :lol:

That said, the key to medieval war in civ, just like any war in civ (aside from early rushes) is siege and lots of it. Suicide enough siege and the longbows will eventually be easy prey to your macemen/knights/etc.

Personally, I just find it easier to try and out-tech the AI and be the first to rifles and/or preferably cannons.
 
Siege is definitely the answer. You can also use spies to lower defenses for one turn and then hit with siege. Medieval war is certainly doable but I often avoid it on higher levels.
 
I didn't have Trebs. but I used a pair of Catapults and started the attack by pressing the 'target' button which I think is the way to break down the walls.

I have only played 4 or 5 games of Civ 4 and usually don't attack untill late in the game, if at all.
I have usually won culture victory or a fairly late Domination victory.

I thought I would go more war oriented this time and obviously don't know what I'm doing.
 
The answer is to use either siege or spies to first bring down the city defenses (I think it's called 'bombard'. For spies it is "incite revolt").
Second you attack with your siege units (e.g. catapults and trebuchets) at least a few times, especially if there are a lot of defenders. You will find that most of the defender units become damaged due to collateral damage, even if most or all of your siege attack units died.
After that, any other units have an easier time killing the injured defenders. A unit's combat effectiveness drops more and more rapidly as its health goes down. A lot of players refer to this as "mopping up".
 
it takes time to work out how to war effectively, but there are lots of tips here and just playing games will help you work it out.
war is really good to get used to, because you can take land, wonders and it can be more fun. so do it earlier!
spies are great, because you can sabotage the walls, and then you can bombard more damage (walls give -50% bombard damage). All makes for a quick attack :)

I like the way you kind of get spikes in the power of defensive units. Like you get archers, which defend immensely unit catapults and swords, then longbowman come etc.
meh
 
Most of it has already been said, but a few things in your posting still can be emphasized:

swordsmen and horse archers are completely irrelevant against longbows. Note that they have the same base strength as longbows... and almost always the longbows will have a LOT better bonuses.

against longbows 2 catapults is not enough. bringing down the walls should be followed by "suicide siege", siege weapons that bring collateral damage and put a dent in the top defender.

trebuchets make it easier. But that doesn't mean you need to wait for trebs. It's perfectly possible to defeat longbows with macemen, catapults, possibly knights, and more catapults.

lastly: this is all possible, but still tough. So anything that makes it even tougher means you need a seriously large army for it. If the city is on a hill or the leader is protective, expect to need multiple suicide catapults.
 
In some very weird beeline games, you can acquire Airships (Physics) early on where you can use them to strike units in cities without risk to you.
Reducing a Longbow from 6.0 Str to 4.8 Str makes a big impact on the odds.

But take this comment with a grain of salt, you'll rarely see this happen :)
 
It's pretty well known that the age of Longbows is the toughest to war effectively. It can be done with a lot of siege but it's the most difficult time. I'm another who's lazy and will generally try to consolidate any early rush and expansion and get to Cannons with Rifle support when available.
 
In some very weird beeline games, you can acquire Airships (Physics) early on where you can use them to strike units in cities without risk to you.
Reducing a Longbow from 6.0 Str to 4.8 Str makes a big impact on the odds.

But take this comment with a grain of salt, you'll rarely see this happen :)

It's not too hard. If you're relying on drafted redcoats/Heroic Epic Cannons, there's no rush towards Steam Power and Assembly line. You may as well go for the Scientific Method trio of Biology, Communism and Physics. Airships are underrated, the intelligence gained from easy scouting and tactical advantage from free attacks many many beakers before Flight really helps your renaissance-era warfare. Of course, this was merely on Monarch, and against a low-unit prob Pacal, but he was the land leader.
 
You can take out longbows with classical units as long as you have catapults in force. Ideally, bring enough to remove all cultural defense in one turn, and try to build them with enough experience to reach City Raider 2 using settled generals or civics. In my last game I conquered Tokugawa with his Protective longbows using about 20 catapults and about 15 leftover horse archers from an earlier war.
 
It's pretty well known that the age of Longbows is the toughest to war effectively. It can be done with a lot of siege but it's the most difficult time. I'm another who's lazy and will generally try to consolidate any early rush and expansion and get to Cannons with Rifle support when available.

This is worth repeating. The economic returns on medieval aggression against cities are worse than other eras. Think, this is a stage of the map where these:
  • Knight - 90:hammers:
  • Trebuchet - 80:hammers:
  • Maceman - 70:hammers:
...simply can't go 1-on-1 against a city garrison unit, this:
  • Longbowman - 50:hammers:

As for rewards: medieval cities aren't brand spanking new, at least, but nor are they the phenomenally juicy treats of later eras.

In the best conditions, you sieze momentum in the Ancient or classical era, turtle in medieval, and attack again once you get cannons or rifles. This not a blanket strategy, though: play the map. The map is the biggest concern, and if the map says, "conquer me with macemen+siege," you do it.
 
I don't mind medieval wars. Units are more specialised, making a good defense hard to crack. It is going to be either slow or expensive, but it's predictable and fairly safe when done right.
 
I don't mind medieval wars. Units are more specialised, making a good defense hard to crack. It is going to be either slow or expensive, but it's predictable and fairly safe when done right.

I've had medieval wars, but lately come to the conclusion that an early rush OR late war is more effective. An early chariot rush is very powerful since the cities havn't got that big of a defence bonus yet (20%, or 40% max). At the time longbows are in the game the cities have usually already 60% bonuses, and that requires siege to bring down.
 
It's not just LB's that cause problems - it's that cultural defenses are generally pretty high and cities often have walls and or castles, and hammer multipliers aren't common. Nothing moves fast.

Knights can take LB's in low culture cities... if you don't mind making a ton of them and make them all flanking so they retreat more.
 
Weird, I win most of my games planning for a war when I hit trebs. City raider trebs can let you take down a city not on a hill with sometimes 0 losses regardless of the enemy stack size. On a hill you have to sac a few, but otherwise the stack size on the city won't matter as long as you have 5+ trebs.

Maybe I need to learn how to wage war pre-siege, but I can beat emperor with medieval wars.
 
Pre-siege wars are rushes. You really don't want to be throwing a stack of units against a city's walls unless it's very early in the game and the garrison consists of 3-4 units with 20% cultural defenses tops.
 
Used to do a lot of macemen/catapult wars in warlords, although bombardment worked differently.

Swords/catapult can work, but if they're on a hill, even a half strength fortified longbow will fight with at least 9 strength (though half hp).
 
It seems that once your neighbor has Longbows you may as well forget about attacking until your established in gunpowder.

Those bows killed swordsmen, macemen, horse archers and catapults like they were nothing.

Knights, trebuchets, catapults, macemen with 3 city attack promotions.

By the way, don't listen to the guy that mentioned physics + airships. That almost never happens at higher difficulties. Even if it does, you are better off massing cavalries.
 
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