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Worst Unique Unit

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Molybdeus, Dec 18, 2007.

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Which is the worst UU?

  1. Ballista Elephant

    129 vote(s)
    24.2%
  2. Bowman

    17 vote(s)
    3.2%
  3. Camel Archer

    41 vote(s)
    7.7%
  4. Carrack

    10 vote(s)
    1.9%
  5. Cossack

    5 vote(s)
    0.9%
  6. Dog Soldier

    11 vote(s)
    2.1%
  7. East Indiaman

    30 vote(s)
    5.6%
  8. Fast Worker

    17 vote(s)
    3.2%
  9. Gallic Warriors

    37 vote(s)
    6.9%
  10. Holkan

    10 vote(s)
    1.9%
  11. Hwacha

    26 vote(s)
    4.9%
  12. Impi

    5 vote(s)
    0.9%
  13. Jaguar

    53 vote(s)
    9.9%
  14. Janissary

    2 vote(s)
    0.4%
  15. Keshik

    7 vote(s)
    1.3%
  16. Musketeer

    35 vote(s)
    6.6%
  17. Navy Seal

    41 vote(s)
    7.7%
  18. Numidian Cavalry

    5 vote(s)
    0.9%
  19. Panzer

    20 vote(s)
    3.8%
  20. Phalanx

    6 vote(s)
    1.1%
  21. Quechua

    7 vote(s)
    1.3%
  22. Samurai

    2 vote(s)
    0.4%
  23. Skirmisher

    5 vote(s)
    0.9%
  24. War Chariot

    5 vote(s)
    0.9%
  25. Vulture

    7 vote(s)
    1.3%
  1. PotatoOverdose

    PotatoOverdose Prince

    Joined:
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    I wouldn't say the dog soldier is worse than the axemen. First let's consider that it doesn't require resources, which means you can produce it in every one of your cities as soon as you finished researching bronze (a very cheap tech that most people b-line too immediately. No resource hookup required (assuming you even get copper in any reasonable distance from your capital, which in my experience tends not to be the case, especially on normal sized maps and above). This alone gives them a huge advantage in terms of rushing advantage. This also takes out certain opportunity costs associated with the priority copper hookup. Mainly, you can go for that sweet three hills with gold city location or the 4 food resources gp farm, etc. instead of going for the copper location thats 15 tiles away. However, this would mean nothing if the Dog Soldier was a significant down grade from the axeman.

    --------------------Dog Soldier----------Axeman
    Base Strength-----------4 -----------------5

    Modifiers-------+100% vs. melee -----+50% vs. melee

    Strength vs
    appropriate melee-------8------------------7.5
    units (i.e. spears,
    axes, swords and
    UU's thereof)

    Strength vs-------------4-------------------5
    appropriate non-melee
    (archers and UU's there of)

    So the Dog soldier trades 1 base strength for 1 unit (archers) for .5 strength bonus against 3 units (axes, swords, spears) seeing as axes, swords, spears, and archers are the main force for the majority of the age in question. Also the afore mentioned indirect bonusses of improved rushing, being able to build them anywhere, etc. apply as well.

    Conclusion: It is very very easy to argue that dog soldiers are an improvement over axemen, to say nothing about them being equivalent in value. Jaguars, on the other hand, are another story...
     
  2. absimiliard

    absimiliard Warlord

    Joined:
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    It's that strength 4 vs. Archers that makes the humble Dog Soldier so maligned. Sure you're a bit better against melee troops. I shrug at how often that happens.

    I'm usually attacking cities. I'm usually attacking archers. Normally Dog Soldiers are like Axemen, lose one and win one. However a strength 4 Dog Soldier is slightly more likely to attack and die with no damage to the defending unit. I can't take too many of those.

    I don't know if the resourcelessness makes up for that. Maybe I'll give it a try.

    I'm bored with my current game anyway. REX, recover, REX, recover, play tech-catchup then hit Enter a lot. *sigh*

    It was fun, now it's over, I'm feeling bloodthirsty.

    -abs
     
  3. Innawerkz

    Innawerkz I'm the other white meat.

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    If that is how you are using Phalanxes, IMO you are using them incorrectly. Take your stack of 2 spearmen & 3 axemen and I'll take 5 phalanxes. Ignoring defensive terrain: Who wins? Take your stack of 5 axemen vs. my stack of 5 chariots: Who wins? Take my stack of 5 phalanxes vs your stack of 5 chariots: Who wins?

    Make a stack of anything you want in the early going (except Horse Archers) 2 Axe, 1 Spear, 1 Sword & 1 Chariot or whatever vs. 5 Phalanx. That is the simple strength of the Phalanx. You can cite :hammers: costs of these stacks as a factor to consider but in the long run I will be replacing a lot less production on dead units.

    Fair comparison: 2 upgrades for the axemen and only one for the Bowman. I see what you are saying though: 20% Culture adds 1 :strength: for an axe and 0.6 :strength: to the Bowman. 40% adds 2 :strength: to axe and 1.2 :strength: to Bow. Good point.

    The Bowmans biggest 'defending' strengths are: :hammers: cost - 3 Axemen = 4 Bowman; Bowman can be whipped faster; have first strikes; are almost comparable in strength defending to an axemen with 40% culture defence; they are resourceless. In a pinch this can really help.

    They are also better open field defenders of your OWN resources against axemen, spears and other barbarian nonsense than the unit they replace. I prefer cheap units for defence so I like what the Bowman gives me. Like you pointed out, a fortified Combat 1 Bowman is favoured to defeat an attacking Combat 1 Axeman in the open field.

    True. No city was mentioned. My bad.

    I play more multi than single now, so I love the Bowmans ability to cripple an opponent early pinning them in their city while simultaneously being able to counter EVERY resourceless early rush unit (Quechua, Dog Soldier, Holkan, etc.) and the fearsome Impi.

    About being at war without a resource: I have almost no respect for the AI's ability to war effectively in the early going (re: limited units). If I am 'playing-to-win' than I typically will locate my first opponent with ideal land that I wish to expand towards, tech to Bronze, whip out my worker and start chopping out Barracks & Bowman (or even basic Archers, if not Babylon).

    I find in most cases if you can get 3-5 Guerrilla Bowmen/Archers into their land onto (preferably) a Forest/Hill, the AI will lock itself inside of it's city for a LONG time building nothing but Archers and the occasional Settler that never moves. Now expand quickly with Bowmen & Settlers maximizing the Organized trait as much as possible in the early going and beelining to essential techs with less urgency needed to research all of the strategic resources.
     
  4. PotatoOverdose

    PotatoOverdose Prince

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2007
    Messages:
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    But if you're gonna use dog soldiers to conquer you can attack earlier, when the enemy has a smaller defensive force and weaker cultural defense with a standard size dog soldier force, or if you attack at a time when a first chance for a successful standard axe rush can take place, you'll have more dog soldiers. This makes it a break even situation against archers (at the very least, although it can be advantageous to attack very early in which case the Dog Soldier surpasses the standard axe), imo, and the dog soldier does surpass axes against melee. The main strength of the Dog Soldier is that it is available in larger quantities, available much earlier, and not situational. Think of it as a slightly delayed quecha rush that wont be stopped by a single axeman. The Quecha is not an amazing UU in and of itself, but it provides unique opportunities early on that can change the dynamics of the most difficult of games in your favor. The dog soldier acts in much the same way.
    How does a Bowman stop a quecha rush, exactly? You have to research archery and then start producing bowman at almost twice the cost of a single Quecha. Meanwhile, If HC is your neighbor and he intends to rush, he's been producing quechas since day 1. HC arrives at your doorstep with 3-4x as many quechas as you have bowman and...gg. Thats assuming you built bowman as soon as you could.
     
  5. Innawerkz

    Innawerkz I'm the other white meat.

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2004
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    Ottawa, Canada
    gg LOL.

    You forget that I can also build Warriors at the same time. He has to scout me, I have to scout him. I see Incans, you start preparing. The Bowman can take the Quechua in his land or in yours. A stack of 3 - 4 Quechua does not magically appear in unison at your city. They straggle in or gather en masse and attack. One is easy to counter, the other offers more time to prepare.

    Incan rushes in MP fail, AI Incan rushes don't exist.
     
  6. Gliese 581

    Gliese 581 Your average civ junkie

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
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    Quechuas are not only earlier than Dog Soliders, they cost much less and get a free combat1 promotion, it's really unfair to quechuas to be put in the same sentence as dog soliders. :p

    Anyhow resourcelessness of dog soliders is another thing I missed.. I guess I mostly saw base strength 4, protective civ, uninteresting UB, NEXT. My bad, but I still don't like them.

    I think we should separate things that has to do solely with the UU from things that has to do with leader traits. Jaguars get combat1 bc Montezuma is aggressive, true, but this has nothing to do with the UU in itself. Having aggressive is a strength of Montezumas that means he's missing out on advantages that other traits would give so if we consider combat1 we really have to involve all of the traits in the discussion, and wouldn't THAT be fun? ;)
     
  7. DigitalBoy

    DigitalBoy Emperor

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2006
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    I'm not so sure. If you beeline Bronze Working, couldn't you have a few dog soldiers before the rush gets there?
     
  8. Gliese 581

    Gliese 581 Your average civ junkie

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    I'm discussing single player only, I've never played MP. I guess I should spell that out..

    Edit: The thing is, Dog Soldiers = 35 unless they get a discount I missed. Quechua = 15 hammers. So for a stack of 9 quechuas 135 hammers. 4 dog soldiers are 140 hammers, and they don't get the combat1 promotion that unlocks the cover promotion with a barracks, and then of course there's the time to research bronze working while quechuas are at most delayed for a worker and a barracks (only necessary if you face a protective civ usually). So really for rushing an AI, the dog soldiers really can't compare.
    It would of course depend on the distance to the AI as well.
    Let's see for defense..Sitting Bull starts with fishing and agriculture, so you'd have to research mining first. I play on epic so I'd say 10-12 turns for mining and 24-29 turns for bronze working IIRC. A quechua is built in 3-5 turns(slower for the first ones). You also need a worker first, that's 23 turns with HC on epic. Say 7 quechuas in 18 turns (with some chopping and whipping, only guessing here) then you need to move to the enemy, say 10 turns, that's 51 turns. You'd probably be able to do it in less than 50 even if you have some distance. It could of course be faster wo worker first but that would slow you down in the long run.
    36-43 turns for SBs research, then build a dog soldier, 8 turns? Yeah you might get a dog soldier in time, certainly with whip or chop. But like I said, I've never played multiplayer so I'm discussing SP only.
     
  9. Innawerkz

    Innawerkz I'm the other white meat.

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    Location:
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    It seems to me that some of the complaints or noted flaws of certain UU are simply that they don't conform to a specific style of play. The Aztec does not take cities, so it sucks, Dog Soldiers can't take cities, so it is weak, etc.

    Some units strengths are what I would classify as 'Disruptive'. The Keshik, Impi, Jaguar, Gaellic Warrior, Dog Soldier, Skirmisher, Bowman and more are better suited at disrupting the plans of their opponent. They are more difficult to contend with than any other unit in that situation. Every unit I mentioned that most people contend are 'weak' are heavily favoured in war focused multiplayer games.

    These units have simply forced a different approach. It is not always necessary to conquer a civilization immediately. Simply denying resources, altering gameplans and restricting growth will eventually allow a much easier conquest.
     
  10. Innawerkz

    Innawerkz I'm the other white meat.

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    I think what he is saying is that you can get to Bronze and it doesnt matter if you are surrounded by Quechuas and your Bronze is taken, you can still build Dog Soldiers and reverse the rush very quickly.

    I'm not understanding this concept that people are not allowed to build ANY units until their UU becomes available.... this is the second time this has been presented.

    In MP, it tends to be Quick Turn Speed only. I can't recall a game played any differently. Maybe games between friends, but certainly not on Gamespy.
     
  11. seizer

    seizer Warlord

    Joined:
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    Keep in mind that's it's a fair bit more than (the equivalent of) +0.5 strength for the dog soldier if it's attacking if the defender has some sort of defensive bonus.
     
  12. Quildavyr

    Quildavyr Man of sick jokes!

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    Musketeers are the worst in my opinion.Musketman is not a good attacking unit.With 2 movement,totally useless.
     
  13. Porphyrius

    Porphyrius Warlord

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    As i mentioned allready, what makes you think you will get a chance to customize your stack to mine?
    I.e. how will you know excactly what I make without me knowing what YOU make?

    If you make phalanxes exclusively so will i axes. Conclusion: its like you dont have a UU. Why would i make chariots?:eek:
    If YOU make any number of chariots to give you the edge over my axes(since i dont have phalanxes) i can always add spears as a counter. And spears dont just get odds vs chariots they are twice as strong, and you need to secure horses on top of metals. Any decent player facing a decent human opponent would avoid chariots except in small numbers to make use of their speed in exploration and pillage gambits, simply because phalanx vs axes is equal while palanx+chariots are worse than axe+spears.

    What i claim is while single unit vs unit phalanxes APPEAR to be whithout their natural counter on paper, in practice presuming use in stacks they have no advantage. In fact any decent player fielding a size 5-6+ stack of phalanxes would include at least 1 spear if he knows/suspects opposing chariots(say vs an AI), their odds are so much better. So where's the advantage practically, in actual formations single or multi player? How would you get a :hammers: advantage?

    An attack unit gets level 3 after ONE succesful attack he can initiate, a defence unit must draw fire upon it TWICE for the same. Surely, you realize the difficulty, as again i am talking about practical situation not theoritical analysis.

    Besides i admited bowmen have slightly better odds when defending, my complains are that defending alone (cause attacking is so poor) even in MP takes away initiative therefore is a very limited advantage.

    I suspected you were considering more MP games.
    In MP bowmen are MUCH better. The reason is not their bonus, simply that they are a very early UU that is resourceless. In a MP you could easily be dead or crippled as a Roman before you first Praet shows up to help.;)

    Perhaps not as good as Q or skirmishers but a good UU nonetheless.
    So i can understand your bias if you are just paying MP.:D

    Still the hill fortification tactits you mention is questionable.
    An AI attacked will focus on military production and refuse trades. Why is that worse than playing nice or rushing him?
    Even if he just heaps around mere archers you 'll need at least swords/HA or more likely cats to get his land and finish him which is tha real goal.Plus, you will eventually gona need metals/horses unless you plan on siege+lbows alone for later.

    After all one can alwayskeep an AI at bay in this fashion with plain archers by just pillaging his resources, the AI always reacts poorly. The problem is the rest of them expand at full speed while you waste valuable effort to keep one down while not geting any land.
    I think MP experiences are affecting your SP style.:D



    @Gliese 581: Quetchas are really on a class of their own, but dog soldiers and any very early resourceless at 4+ pretty much make sure rush is an option.
    Two of them will take out an archer and dont forget they are melle units thus qualify for CR promotions and the BTS likes to make axes much earlier now.
    This thread is about the worse UU not the best.;)
     
  14. vicawoo

    vicawoo Chieftain

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    Has anyone tried using woodsman 2 jaguars as light city (<20%) raiders? Basically, use them like impis or horse archers, cut off metals, raze small cities, pillage large ones, keep the enemy in the stone age.
     
  15. UncleJJ

    UncleJJ Deity

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    Sorry I really can't agree that approach gives a proper comparison. To judge a UU you need to take all the factors into account, including the leader's traits (if relevant) and any UBs that civ has.

    So for the Keshik it is fair to take account of the Ger which makes it a better UU than it would otherwise be. For the Redcoat it is important to acknowledge that Churchill's Redcoats are much stronger than those of Lizzy or Vicky. Comparing the two versions of the Redcoat to Toku's rifleman we can see that when drafting new troops Toku's riflemen (taking Pinch as the promotion) are better than Lizzy's and Vicky's Redcoats while Churchill's Redcoat (drafted with 2 exp) can also take Pinch and stay ahead.

    Most leaders traits can safely be ignored when comparing UUs but I think a strong case can be made for taking the Aggressive, Protective and Charismatic traits into account. So I think taking Monte's Aggressiveness into account is a point in favour of the Jaguar.
     
  16. Mariusau

    Mariusau Chieftain

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    Not really...

    The strength is their ability to defend and loot.

    As soon as you get gunpowder, build musketeers, and go on a pillaging spree to keep the enemy down and build up money. Because they are reasonably strong defenders against most medieval units, they will be hard to deal with.

    Then when you get riflemen, bump research back to 0% for a few turns, mass upgrade, and instant rifle army.

    They are more of a stepping stone unit than one that will conquer the world for you, but the value of pillaging and keeping the enemy down whilst you get to rifles can't be denied. You don't want to go pillaging with knights, because then you end up with a bunch of useless knights that can't be upgraded to rifles.
     
  17. DigitalBoy

    DigitalBoy Emperor

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    If only the French had an aggressive leader, they could have formation promoted musketmeers out of any given city with a barracks and vassalage/theocracy. I find the AI loves to use knights, and a formation musketman has favorable odds against pretty much anything the AI can throw you at (until they get Gunpowder). I guess Napoleon and de Gauelle come close; if they get a couple of military instructors, they can have a dedicated production city turn out level 4 units.
     
  18. Innawerkz

    Innawerkz I'm the other white meat.

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    As Greeks, I don't have to 'customize' to what you are building. In this case, I would be dictating what you are building. I already know what my army will consist of. You have to respond. I have initiative (in our 'fictitious text battle' here. :lol: ) I can switch to Chariots and seriously hurt your army before you can react to them - theoretically.

    Against the AI - which seems to be the focus of this thread - they don't think like you would and build only Axes. They will mix their units and suffer the consequences.

    Indeed it has!. I know MP has affected my single player. :lol: I loaded up my first SP game in long while on Monarch and cruised to an easy victory, but I found the deeper part of the tech tree a real issue. After spending so much time focusing on the first half of the tech tree, I've lost my focus on the second half and spent a lot longer thinking on what to tech next! :rolleyes:

    The main advantage I gain in keeping an AI at bay is - for minimal effort - I get to take his land anyway. A handful of Archers near the capital, keeping him locked down allows me to expand onto his land with next to no competition. I can do it that way, or fight for every square with axes & swords. Trying to do it to EVERYONE is futile, but tying up one or two AI's with a spattering of Bowman allows for a comparatively easier expansion onto the ideal land.
     
  19. Gliese 581

    Gliese 581 Your average civ junkie

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    The thing is, you technically have to consider every leader for every civ in that case since you can play without leader restrictions, I just think it's to wide of a discussion but I guess those who are interested could go there. About the boost from aggressive, Jaguars get +0,5 out of the gate..now if it had been a swordsman, he'd have gotten +0,6. So, taking Montezumas traits into consideration is lowering the value of Jaguars further imo.
     
  20. Iranon

    Iranon Deity Whipping Boy

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    You make an excellent point there, but let's have another look at Native America:
    An archer-boosting UB that's available in the stone age and becomes obsolete eventually, a Bronze Age UU, one military trait. With 3 features to boost my early military might I think it's only reasonable to expect being on the offense, considering the economic benefits I'm missing.

    The Dog Soldier actively hampers offense in many circumstances (against mixed forces, Axeman vs. Archer is the least unfavourable match-up for the attacker. Boo. We're also likely to encounter more unsupported Archers than unsupported Axemen. Double boo.)
    At least in single player, I'm not content with purely defensive benefits if I have little to gain in the long run. For example, with Huayna Capac I'm not disappointed if all Quechuas do is ease my mind a little since the rest of the package has considerable benefits beyond early war.
    Monkeying about with someone so they stay in defensive rather than builder mode is also quite easy without help.

    I found the potential drawback of other UUs that aren't strict improvements far less relevant, and also easier to swallow if they get a free promotion (at least that ensures I'll get some use out of having a UU at all eventually).
     

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