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Where to assemble for invasion?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by John82Jetta, Jul 10, 2007.

  1. John82Jetta

    John82Jetta Chieftain

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2005
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    Location:
    Somewhere on the Huge Map
    When you are planning to invade, where is it best to assemble your troops? I have done so on the very border, but I have lately begun to think that maybe those troops give the AI a reason to build up defenders in the nearby cities.

    Maybe it would be better to assemble them out of sight, in the AI darkness area, and then the move before you are declaring war, move the troops to the border (especially one movement point soldiers) so the AI doesn't get any advance warning to stock up on defenders.

    Anyone have experience with both strategies and some ideas of the results. Is there a better surprise factor in strategy #2?

    Been playing on Prince, Small World, to keep the game moving along.

    Jetta Man

    "If you die with the most accumulated toys, you are still dead."
     
  2. frob2900

    frob2900 Deity

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    Generally: on the border! The turn you invade you should be able to cross the border and march toward the AI cities as quickly as possible, unless the AI has such high power that you want it to cross your borders (in order to weaken it effectively before invading it.. important later on with e.g. artillery spamming AIs. In that case its a slightly different story.)

    For ancient/medieval/renaissance invasions I usually have 2 or more stacks ready to take out a few AI border cities as quickly as possible. I then redistribute troops/reinforcements as quickly as possible to keep the offensive moving and seize deeper cities.

    Speed is key. You don't want the AI to have time to build reinforcements (this is important on Monarch+ or when running BetterAI).

    As to whether the AI understands that your troops waiting along the border are dangerous and that it should build up a suitably large army and border garrision, I cannot really comment except to state that never has seemed to do so in the games I have played.
     
  3. Jorunkun

    Jorunkun Back with a vengeance

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    Remember this being discussed a couple of times before and the consensus was always that the AI buffs up according to your overall power-rating, not according to where your units are positioned. Meaning its safe to mass on the border, for shortest/most secure path.

    Personally, I hope this is something that will be addressed in BTS - it takes away a lot of the realism-feel for me to have the AI not react to you massing an army in plain sight.
     
  4. madscientist

    madscientist RPC Supergenius

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    I have noticed that when I have an army on the border waiting to attack, that is when someone else attacks me first. This could be coincidnece but I have a sneaky feeling my intended victum sees it coming and brides another AI to attack me first. I usually build my armies in the closest cities, then mobilize all at once to the border and initiate battle once they get there.
     
  5. Perugia

    Perugia Prince

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    Location:
    Lancing, UK
    With roads up to the border and bridges there really is no reason not to mass 2 tiles back unless you have loads of commando promoted troops which I don't think is likely. That way it's 2 tiles shorter to recall the troops in case an emergency happens elsewhere. Remember your workers can build roads in neutral and AI territory to achieve this.

    Don't forget to take advantage of culture pressure. Sometimes you can attack a city on the very first turn of war. You can use OB with another AI to achieve this.
     
  6. Arnesson

    Arnesson Warlord

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    I'm not certain that I can agree here. In at least two games, I have massed stacks on an AI's border, only to find that when I go to declare war, the AI won't speak to me. In the vanilla version, you cannot cross the border to force a war, so I ended up having to wait for another AI to invade and invite me to participate. Since then I have always staged at least two tiles back.
     
  7. jodok

    jodok Chieftain

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    You can Alt-Click on the Civ you want to declare on on the Score table in the lower right corner.
     
  8. Naismith

    Naismith Prince

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    You can always assemble troops 5 tiles from the border, and then move them into position near the border in the one or two turns before you declare. It's probably unnecessary, I don't believe the AI really reacts to it, although I'm wondering whether the Better AI mod might differ in this respect. I played a Better AI game recently where the AI matched me unit for unit as I assembled my invasion force. It was very irritating. Of course, it could have been a coincidence, or the AI could have been reacting to the power graph (I was well ahead).
     
  9. Agent Cooper

    Agent Cooper Lynch's Creation

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    This matches my approach pretty good. Gather your stacks in your cities and only move them towards the border a couple of turns before you declare.

    It's my understanding, that one of the features of the new AI in BTS, is the ability to 'scan' the territory close to it's borders and summon a lot of units to match your stack at the opposite side of the border.
     
  10. Naismith

    Naismith Prince

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    Interesting. I wonder if they also take advantage of any cities they can look into because of religion. I also wonder if they are more likely to take advantage of cities that are lightly defended along the border. If you put all of this together, you would have at least two reasons not to assemble troops until the last possible moment - you don't want to tip your hand to the AI you are going to declare against, and you don't want to keep those units in border cities as long as possible to deter other AI's from deciding to declare on you.
     
  11. Arnesson

    Arnesson Warlord

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    I believe that it is always best to assume the worst, so I agree with this approach. Whether the logic in the code recognises that you are preparing for war (or will in BtS) or not, it is best to mask your buildup. This would be excellent preparation if you plan to participate in multi-player games, where your opponents are human rather than AI.
     
  12. IAM

    IAM Emperor

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    I have built up invasion forces seen and unseen and have not noticed a difference in the AI reaction. In practice I keep forces hidden but your overall military power seems to be the more important factor.

    "When I come back no more Mr. Nice Guy." Adolf Hitler :goodjob:
     
  13. hotstuffjsn

    hotstuffjsn Elizabeth

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    I do agree on the fact that the AI is not programmed to react to a massive stack being assembled on the fringe of it's own border. I've been practicing this strategy for awhile now and it works great. It's always nice to delcare war and march directly in on the same turn. Of course, I don't mind assembling troops in my city, though either way it's definitely not more realistic which route you go. In an upcoming game, they should allow the building of a command post where you can assemble an army, I think this would greatly enhance the realism and also give an opponent something to go after too.
     
  14. shmily_dana

    shmily_dana Warlord

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    SO could you ever spoof the new AI by showing it a stack of one thing, but attacking with a different, hidden stack. For example, stack a bunch of knights on the border. The AI counters with pikes. Then I attack the pikes with my stack of trebs, swords, etc...

    Or can I have a small stack in on area. The AI moves most of his units to counter. I attack with a larger stack in another area?
     

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