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What's up with Longbows?

Get your stack defense right, know when to rely on mostly Trebuchets and cleanup with defenders and when to use general purpose units after a few suicided Cats, when to bombard a city down and when to go for a quick strike before they reinforce it, when to leave a city alone that's not worth the bother...

medieval war is full of the little decisions the AI is utterly pants at. It's more of a tactical war than a matter of throwing enough general-purpose units at the enemy until you have won.
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.

Really? I always promote collateral damage. Math anyone?
Really? I always promote collateral damage. Math anyone?

No math, but I typically promote a couple for collateral damage that I fully expect to die to soften up the stack. I use those first. The next few siege after that I promote with city raider in the hopes (sometimes vain) that they'll survive.
Collateral damage is based on base strength - I use City Raider Trebuchets (to get decent odds) and Barrage Catapults (when I need to soften things up first).
Really? I always promote collateral damage. Math anyone?

There are a lot of details. Collateral damage compares your unit's base strength (no matter how injured) vs the opponent's base strength, then multiplies by the collateral damage multiplier. Catapults have greater base strength then trebuchets, so they do more collateral damage.

Integer math, not going to get into that point. But collateral doesn't always do as much damage as one might think.

City raider increases your expected damage to the primary defender, barrage to the other units. So the math question is which does more, your additional collateral damage or your increased expected damage? Unfortunately it's hard to calculate directly.
In addition, collateral picks targets funny. There's a max number of units it can target. However, it will randomly pick those targets, and it will include invalid targets - that is, units immune to collateral, or units already damaged below the collateral damage threshhold. And if it hits a unit already near the collateral damage threshhold, it will only damage it to the threshhold.

The only simple rule of thumb I could find is collateral bonuses can be better if your collateral will do close to full damage, as outlined in the paragraph above. So lots of valid targets far from the treshhold.
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