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Which tech disadvantage is the hardest to overcome?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by rah, Jan 10, 2020.

  1. rah

    rah Deity Supporter

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    I used to give up on games where I fell hopelessly behind in techs. But after reading about some of the fantastic efforts in this forum I've gotten more daring. Yes, you can beat infantry with rifles and cannons. As a result I finish more games. The AI is really stupid and there are many tricks to beat a superior technological opponent.
    But there is one that I haven't figured out yet and was wondering if there is a trick for this one.
    COMBUSTION
    Once an AI has this, they own the sea until you get it. Volume doesn't beat it. Airships don't beat it. I usually just assume all my sea resources are doomed and I should protect my coastal cities for the inevitable landing. How do you deal with an AI that has it when you don't and not going to war is not an option?
     
  2. Major Tom

    Major Tom Immortal

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    Defensive pacts may help. The diplomatic game from early BC and forward should not be underestimated.

    Besides, lack of seafood and those tiles for some turns is bearable in the late game. Replacing fishing nets rather cheap. Worse is those early barb galleys when pop and good tiles are sparse.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2020
  3. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

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    Just holding up inlands might be the best option.
    Can you provide more game-specific details?

    Lack of oil can be circumvented by going for nukes and submarines.

    If it's a narrow strait you need to cross, to get an overwhelming army over to their territory, you can sent a decoy fleet away in one direction a turn before sending your galleons.
     
  4. earthy

    earthy Warlord

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    it's probably not the best approach. but I'll go in for one big attack and then forsake my ships(assuming they're on a different landmass). Basically get my galleons close enough that I can drop all my units on the same turn I declare, and then since I won't be able to reinforce I keep my stack together and raze their cities one by one until they capitulate. If they want to pillage my fish that's fine, and if they try to land on my shore I should be able to whip a few defenders or drop my slider and upgrade some warriors. They usually spend a turn or two bombarding anyways, and with engineering+ it's fast enough reinforcing cities.
     
  5. rah

    rah Deity Supporter

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    I've taken the assume they're lost attitude. I play on standard size worlds so it doesn't take long for a destroyer to find every nook and cranny of your empire. I will move my attack force prior if possible. Or look for areas with short enough distance to leapfrog from city to city for safety.
    Diplomacy is not an option since I'm usually going conq/dom so you eventually have to do it. And if you wait too long, there will usually be worse surprises. ;) I will usually try to prep by trading for some sea resources so I don't lose the health but only the food. (which usually translates to a few lost specialists.)
     
  6. Fippy

    Fippy Mycro Junkie Queen

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    While (still) at peace, you can ship all your land troops over.
    Maybe another AI's land can be used, or some free tiles?

    If seaways are short, maybe you can hide in cities and still deliver land units.
    Losing seafood is annoying, but AIs are usually bad at naval city attacks.
    Worst part about destroyers in their hands imo: their 30str boosts soldiers value, and they are more difficult to vassal.
     
  7. rah

    rah Deity Supporter

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    Actually for the me the worst part is that it allows transports too. While you're correct that the AI generally sucks at naval city attacks. Sometimes they get it right. You usually see the galleons coming but the farther range of destroyers and transports make them more of a surprise.

    The difference between frigate 8 and destroyer 30 is the biggest strength different between tech levels in the game.
     
  8. Windsor

    Windsor Flawless

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    Fighting at a tech deficit is a fun challenge, but you're right that Frigates (or Ironclads for that matter) are useless against Destroyers. On land you always have the option of throwing a lot of siege at people, but in this case your only option is the Airship and that's nowhere near enough. So just like you I consider the ocean lost vs Destroyers.

    But airships are still useful for scouting and smuggling galleons across if you can't get troops across during peacetime(if you really want to go on the offense and not just defend yourself). And remember, on the ocean the AIs visibility is as long as their ships range unlike us humans who only see a few tiles.
     
  9. rah

    rah Deity Supporter

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    Well it would really help if there was a real patrol function for air units. I get to lazy to do it my hand in all the places I probably should.
     
  10. SnipedSoul

    SnipedSoul Warlord

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    What is the tech situation where you don't have combustion? Espionage becomes really strong once you have nationhood and jails.
     
  11. rah

    rah Deity Supporter

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    They were on a different land mass so I couldn't get a spy there without using galleons that will get picked off.
     
  12. Fippy

    Fippy Mycro Junkie Queen

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    Not sure if this counts on topic, but one tuff tech disadvantage is if i want peace and can offer nothing ;)
     
  13. SnipedSoul

    SnipedSoul Warlord

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    Is there any way you could get peace? The prospect of successfully carrying out a naval invasion against destroyers seems like way more trouble than its worth.

    Getting peace, stealing combustion, and teching flight could be good for you. Airports are super nice for transporting reinforcements during intercontinental invasions. Getting radio for bombers can be really good to combine with cavalry and eventually tanks.

    Edit: Could you post a save? I wouldn't mind seeing if I can win the game from your position.
     
  14. Pengu

    Pengu Prince

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    For me the most relevant one is rifling. You can in many cases avoid fighting on the sea, there is no avoiding land battles. And until you catch up nothing helps.
     
  15. Hesha

    Hesha Prince

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    Using cuirs against rifles is not hopeless, though. You just need more of them. It's much worse with destroyers. 12 vs 30 is a different story than 12 vs 14 (+25%)
     
  16. 6K Man

    6K Man Bureaucrat

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    Seconded.

    A big reason (maybe the biggest reason) I play LoR almost exclusively is the expanded unit tree with other naval units between Frigate (8) and Destroyer (25, down from 30) - Ironclad Cruiser 14, Ironclad Battleship 18, Destroyer Escort 20. And you can build all of those with Coal.
     
  17. rah

    rah Deity Supporter

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    I did end up winning the game. I just took the beating at sea for the 25 turns till I got combustion. I had enough troops on his continent to give him enough land targets that he only did two small naval invasions. Fortunately I didn't have to take too much of his land before I got a dom victory.
     
  18. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    Usually before war you make a big stack of galleons and doom-drop the AI. If you can take a city and shuttle troops between two continents in one turn, you can keep that going during war. If not, that first drop is your only shipment so make it count (you can keep ships in port you capture until the war ends).

    If you somehow have access to airlifting but not destroyers/transports, you can airlift into captured city too.

    There was one game on immortal, lost to the datastreams of time now, where I botched a rush, barely finished it...and got writing in 1000 AD as Mali. AD, not BC. I wound up winning that game, intercepting a culture victory then narrowly stopping a spaceship in a nukefest.

    But how to get to infantry/arty/nukes/metal navies in time?

    https://forums.civfanatics.com/threads/complete-espionage-mission-cost-guide.252496/

    Tech theft. I gave the AI a massively culturally suppressed city near my capital and gave it a religion where I had the holy city (you get a bonus if owning/running holy city of religion and target city has religion while their state religion is different). Between culture discount, stationary spy, and religious discount the costs to steal were a joke. Rapidly hit espionage producing stuff, cranked those out ASAP, then stole to parity in very few turns (I could trade some things I stole, so it was pretty disgusting). AI couldn't build an intelligence agency there either, because it was completely engulfed in culture and couldn't work tiles. Also since I was immediate previous owner, this city couldn't flip back to me but it often revolted.

    So I wasn't just pushing commerce through espionage multipliers, I was applying this value to a comically reduced base mission cost. Definitely your best bet for climbing out of a hole.
     
    krikav and Anysense like this.

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