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why I'm bad at war strategies

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Torvoni, Mar 13, 2007.

  1. Torvoni

    Torvoni Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2007
    Messages:
    52
    Location:
    Florida
    One of the mistakes I make when trying to capture a city is to jump a little too soon. During these times I sacrifice all my catapults for excellent collateral damage, then knock out almost every defender, only to have one last defender almost dead, but I have run out of attackers, and then reinforcements arrive. These are the times when I wish I had just one more catapult and one more strong CR maceman . . . or whatever.

    One of the mistakes I make when trying to capture a city is to wait just a little too long. During these times I get all the odds just the way I want them, then on the next turn I attack, only to discover that the archers have all morphed into longbowmen, or a spearman appeared suddenly, or a grenadier appeared suddenly, or an infantry appeared suddenly. These are the times when I wish I had just attacked full force even though it was not guaranteed to be an overwhelming victory.

    One of the mistakes I make during a war is to focus so intently on capturing enemy cities that I leave my own cities weakly defended and an enemy slips through and takes one of my cities despite my overall military superiority.

    One of the mistakes I make is to pillage the enemy into the stone age, then regret it after I capture and keep the cities.

    One of the mistakes I make is to avoid pillaging because I plan to keep the city, but the enemy remains strong because they still have key resources.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Know what I mean?

    - - - - - - - - - -

    How can I learn to plan this better?

    It is bad enough on land . . . but it gets worse when Tokugawa or Alexander suddenly declares war on me and several loaded ships appear out of nowhere and deposit giant armies near my cities.

    Most of the time I win the game anyway, because I play on the Noble difficulty setting. An army of knights is no match for cavalry. An army of riflemen is no match for infantry.

    In general the wars go my way because I'm ahead in tech.

    How can I learn the right amount of troops, and the right balance of forces, and knowing when to push forward for another city, and knowing when to stop, and knowing when it is a good idea to raze a city?

    It turns out that even lowly archers can defend cities really well, when they are fortified and promoted, and it is a high culture hilltop city.

    Any ideas?
     
  2. Harbourboy

    Harbourboy Deity

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2003
    Messages:
    2,998
    Location:
    North Harbour
    1. It is just as common for people to over-attack a city and take far too many attacking units than they need. It is crucial to get the right balance.

    2. Take a close look at what is in the city. If there is one really strong unit (e.g. an archer with loads of promotions) then your catapults might not damage it at all, even though they are doing collateral damage to everything else. If the odds look really dodgy then maybe sacrifice a city raider Swordsman first to knock that one strong unit down to size so that your catapults can made real inroad on everything else. Short story is, don't just follow the same strategy for every single battle.

    3. When in doubt, raze the city. That's my advice. Most AI cities are crap. By razing, you save on maintenance and unhappiness, plus your army is free to carry on swiftly to the next target without having to garrison to secure the new city

    4. When in doubt, pillage all resources. It hardly takes any time for your army of workers to put the resources back, plus you get cash. The only thing to hesitate about pillaging is developed cottages, because it can take so long to get them back online again.

    5. Goes without saying, but always use the right units for the right situations. Swords vs cities, catapults vs stacks, pikes vs horses etc.

    6. Leverage your unique unit. Time a big battle for when your UU is in its prime. Conversely, try to avoid the Japanese while their samurai are rampaging the field.
     
  3. KMadCandy

    KMadCandy giggling permanoob

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2005
    Messages:
    3,993
    Location:
    Peepsville
    you probably already know this, but bottomline, check if it has any wonders and if it's a holy city. if it doesn't and isn't, raze it and rebuild later if you're not sure it's a great idea to keep it now.

    you can tell if the city has any wonders in it by checking F8, statistics. you have to have seen the city with your own eyes at some point for the info on that screen to be up to date, but if you're about at attack it then i'm assuming that condition is taken care of. if the city in question isn't one of the top 5, scroll thru the list of wonders to see if it has any of them.

    if the city has no wonders, and isn't a holy city, you can always rebuild it, the only cost is time (and diplo modifiers). sometimes i raze cities with no wonders just to move them a square. even if they have high pop, sometimes they're one tile off of where i think they ought to be, grrrrrr.

    if i'm at war with civ A, and civ B lives in the neighborhood and i'm at peace with B and want to stay at peace with B for a while, then i bring a settler or 2 along as part of my reserve force ASAP. when you raze an AI city, there's a spot on the map again that all AIs of course think 'oh boy, i better go expand there!' if nobody else is around, great, i don't worry about it. but i get really annoyed when B gets opportunistic and settles near where i was going to rebuild a city i razed, so i do what i can to prevent it.

    random thoughts from a permanoob.
     
  4. juggerxnaut

    juggerxnaut Chieftain

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    Messages:
    38
    hmm.....one thing u should do is to promote your catapults properly.
    upgrade them into certain types:collateral sarcrificer;attacker;sweeper
    collateral sarcrificer is totally upgraded for collateral damage,u promote attackers city attacker 1234 and get the sweeper first strike promotion.

    when u siege a city,collateral sarcrificer move first,all killed ,only left some
    withdrawn but causing the enemy seriously injured .step 2,attack with your
    attackers.then a trail of green words flashing,most of the city defender die.
    ok,tiem to use your sweeper crack down the dying rest... without any pain:goodjob:
     
  5. DaveMcW

    DaveMcW Deity

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2002
    Messages:
    6,489
    Reinforce your army!

    You should be constantly adding units to your attack force during the war.
     
  6. Cristoval

    Cristoval Warlord

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2006
    Messages:
    257
    I raze cities then I build or settle new cities right ontop of the ruins. Or if there are any hills near by the city I settle there for better defense against any counter attacks. That way I avoid the revolt stage, and never have to deal with: "We yearn to join our motherland". I dont know if it's entirely a good idea to do this. Since you have to carry around settlers with the attacking army. There's probably a flaw with this plan I dont know about.
     
  7. Harbourboy

    Harbourboy Deity

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    The only time it is genuinely a bad idea to raze a city is if it is holy city or if it has some great wonder(s) in it which would be destroyed by the sacking, or if it will leave a big gap that a friendly AI might settle before you do.

    Otherwise, it is just a balancing act between the cost of a settler vs the cost of having an unhappy, revolting city for a while.

    Sometimes, if the AI city was pressing close to your cultural borders, you might just raze it and not resettle, because your cultural borders spring out so far once the pressure of the AI city is removed that you don't need another city in that space and you can just keep your army moving forward.
     
  8. Mehmed II

    Mehmed II Ottoman Empire

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2007
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Finland
    My strategy is very simple, but it works often.
    First I biuld huge stack of sige weapons and diferent types of units.
    Then I buil second stack of sodiers which movement is 2 or more.
    The second army attacks first, it pillages enemys improvements and roads so the enemy cannot biuld units quickly. Then is the time of the first stack of units.
    The stack destroys every city, one by one.

    I'm not very good at english, but try understand.
     
  9. bardolph

    bardolph King

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2007
    Messages:
    739
    First of all, realize that the nature of battle is chaotic and random. You are very rarely going to get the exact result you planned for. Don't give up just because a single die roll didn't go your way. Even better, don't put yourself into situations where a single die roll can ruin your day.

    No matter how much you plan, you need to PAY ATTENTION to the situation as it develops and ADJUST YOUR PLAN accordingly. Did an army of longbows suddenly appear 1 turn before your attack? Call off the attack. I know it's annoying to spend 20 turns planning for a glorious invasion and then call it off, but it's much worse to lose your entire army due to your own stubbornness, and leave yourself open to counterattack.

    Also, realize that YOUR ENEMY HAS TURNS, TOO. They're not necessarily going to just sit there and take a beating without making a counter-attack (though, granted, the AI is not the greatest...). If there's a road leading into the city you're attacking, you can count on reinforcements arriving. If your enemy is running slavery, you can bet they're going to whip defenders. When this happens, ASSESS THE SITUATION, and ADJUST ACCORDINGLY. You may have to call off the attack. Or, maybe you can simply pillage their roads and move on to another city (one of my favorite tactics).

    When preparing for war, you need to gather intelligence. How big is their army? How are they defending their cities? How easily can they reinforce your target cities before you take them? How extensive is their road network? What strategic resources do they have access to? Who are their allies? What technologies do they know? What techs are they likely researching? All of these questions are important, and you should know the answers to most of them before launching an attack.

    When planning an attack, at the very least, COUNT THE DEFENDERS in your target city. If you have an equal number of attackers, even if your attackers are stronger, you will likely lose. Remember that defenders get fortification and city defense bonuses. You will likely need at least 1.5x the number of defending units, before counting siege. Bring more if you plan on attacking more than one city.

    When executing an attack, KEEP BUILDING MILITARY UNITS. Wars often take longer than expected. You will need to replace your losses if you want to keep your war machine moving. Especially if the enemy launches a counter offensive.

    Hope this helps.
     
  10. Idlenessss

    Idlenessss Warlord

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2007
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    if you plan on capturing a city its vital to remember to have some unit with city defense in yr stack, and move em in as soon as its captured. Cities are very vulnerable right after capture.

    And if yr razing cities then in probably wasnt a profitable war in the 1st place. Pick yr battles.
     
  11. bardolph

    bardolph King

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    I often garrison with damaged units that need healing. This is usually enough to hold a city during those vulnerable turns.

    "razing wars" can be quite profitable.
     
  12. OscarWildebeest

    OscarWildebeest Prince

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    Location:
    London, UK
    Or play as Tokugawa yourself. ;)
     
  13. OscarWildebeest

    OscarWildebeest Prince

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    When I have the option, I like to cut off the roads to my target city before attacking it (especially the roads leading to the capital). The AI tends to build loads of roads, so this can take some time. They usually have a farm on top of them, as well. This is where your mounted units (horse archers, knights, cavalry, etc.) can come in handy as they can move onto a spot and immediately pillage it. Also it keeps your units spread out so the AI doesn't know where to attack you first (only works if you have LOTS of units in AI territory).
     
  14. cabert

    cabert Big mouth

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    This is the best advice.
    If you keep building units (not sending them one by one of course!) :
    - your core cities will never be left too lightly defended,
    - you will be able to destroy the resettled cities without deviation for your main stack
    - You won't run the risk to overbuild (you will declare sooner, knowing troops keep coming)
    - or underbuild (well, this can still happen if you didn't check your targets forces before attacking, but if you notice you're a bit weak you merge the initial stack and the first reinforcements).
     
  15. TeraHammer

    TeraHammer Prince

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    All comes with experience.
     

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