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Wildmana: Economic warfare via Animal Husbandry and Hunting

Discussion in 'Wildmana Modmod' started by rmunn, Apr 1, 2010.

  1. rmunn

    rmunn Chieftain

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    Do you want to stop your neighbors' expansion in their tracks, but you can't afford a war with them right now? The answer is simple: research Animal Husbandry as soon as possible, then start working on getting Hunting.

    Why Animal Husbandry, you ask? Two words: giant spiders. Once you've unlocked the Subdue Animal promotion, those annoying, invisible killers of units will become the best thing since sliced bread for you. Every hunter you have will be out scouring the wilderness for more spiders, capturing them, and bringing them home to turn into economic-warfare units.

    Scouts tend to die to spider attacks, but hunters, with their base strength of 4, tend to survive them. So as soon as you've researched Hunting, start building a few hunters and sending them out into the wilderness. Get then up to 5 XP by fighting barbarians as often as possible (try to wait on killing animals, as every animal you kill is one animal you can't capture later on) and then give them Combat I and Subdue Animal. Now you're ready to go spider hunting.

    The great thing about giant spiders, you see, is that they start with Hidden Nationality. This allows them to enter your neighbors' territory even when you're not at war with them, and to attack your neighbors' units without declaring war. Now, animals get a -25% to city attack, so spiders will be all but useless at attacking city defenders (unless your neighbor is still defending with warriors only, and even then it's risky). No, the proper use of giant spiders is killing workers.

    The AI never seems to escort workers inside its own territory. So as your invisible spider roams around, you'll often find workers (or as I like to call them, "spider snacks") totally unguarded. Feed them to your spider, and keep exploring. Pretty soon you'll have mapped out your neighbor's entire territory, which helps prepare for invading them later on, and they'll have no more workers. Now it's time to settle your spider down on a hill with a good view of at least one of your neighbor's cities -- or even two cities at once if you can find a good spot.

    The AI hates having no workers at all, so it will probably shift at least one of its cities to producing workers. Which means that city won't be growing during that time, and won't be producing military units or buildings either. Once the worker emerges from the city and heads off to work on improving a tile, simply march your spider over there and eat the worker, forcing the AI to start producing yet another worker. What's more, every time you eat a worker, there's a chance your giant spider will produce a baby spider. If that happens, start using the baby spider to eat workers -- every worker it eats gives it a 20% chance of growing to be an adult.

    This trick would never work against human opponents, as they would quickly start escorting their workers with recon units to spot your spiders and deal with them -- but the AI will keep on sending unescorted workers over to the same spot where its last worker was munched on by an invisible spider. For just the hammer investment of building a few hunters, you can totally paralyze the economy of one of your neighbors, or even several of your neighbors if you captured enough spiders. This allows you to get to prime city spots before they do, keep them tech-poor so you can invade later, all sorts of things. It's a very powerful strategy.
     
  2. Neomega

    Neomega Deity

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    It works pretty well if you start close to an opponent. I may be wrong, but it seems HN units cost 1 more gold per upkeep.

    scouts and goblins (and who they are stacked with) can see spiders, so trying to get them across wildlands can be pretty tricky sometimes.

    But yeah, HN is all about economic warfare. That's why esus rules.
     
  3. [to_xp]Gekko

    [to_xp]Gekko QCT junkie

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    yeah, I've also noticed that against AIs that don't go down the recon line, even a single baby spider can be devastating :lol:
     
  4. Skyre Noktis

    Skyre Noktis Warlord

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2009
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    This was mentioned in the AI thread. The Civ 4 AI doesn't have any kind of memory of past events, so all of its decisions are based entirely on what it can see at the moment it makes them. If you have an invisible unit roaming around and eating workers, the AI won't even acknowledge its existence unless it can still see it when its turn rolls around.

    It's a fundamental flaw with the AI. If you want a fix, Civ 5 is looking like your best bet at the moment. :p
     
  5. Neomega

    Neomega Deity

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    I thought the AI got to see everythign it could see if every unit could move in 8 directions at once.
     
  6. Neomega

    Neomega Deity

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    Also, I forgot, that it used to be (seems to have changed) that HN units cannot use neutral roads, and heal very slowly in the wild, so a spider can do one strike, and then you have to wait 10 turns for it to heal, more if it is poisoned.
     
  7. [to_xp]Gekko

    [to_xp]Gekko QCT junkie

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    so is this exploit still in the game? I suggest that the AI builds some scouts to guard their workers, which should fix the issue for those AIs that are not going to get Hunting anytime soon.
     
  8. Neomega

    Neomega Deity

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    Yes, the AI needs to build a scout or two, and send one out with thier settler. AI spiders are especially deadly because they strike at will, then heal, then strike again, and only if a goblin or another enemy spider comes by are they revealed.
     
  9. JaredPWagner

    JaredPWagner Chieftain

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    A quick fix (easier then working the AI) might be to have spiders and other invisible units lose their invisibility if they kill a worker or settler. Or lose invisibility inside cutural borders.
     
  10. Tschuggi

    Tschuggi SNAFU

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    I thought in base wm, AI is building hunters and scouts... so after a while your spiders will be detected. In the beta AI is building a lot of recon units...
     

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