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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. steve7811

    steve7811 Chieftain

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    What I wanted to mention is that sometimes a unit is better off with higher base strength than percentage modifying bonus against certain units. It doesn't happen all the time though.

    When you are literally putting a dog soldier vs an axeman on the open field without any terrain modifiers, then the correct calculation should be:

    Dog Soldier: STR 4, 100% Melee Units
    Axeman: STR 5, 50% Melee Units

    The game first adds up the relevant modifers first for each unit and then compares the difference. The unit with higher modifying value keeps the difference and the other unit gets zero. So in this case,

    100% - 50% = 50% bonus to the Dog Soldier

    So the calculation becomes:

    Dog Soldier: STR 4 x 50% bonus = 6
    Axeman: STR 5 x NO bonus = 5

    So the ratio is 6 to 5, instead of 8 to 7.5.

    What about a Vulture and an Axeman?

    Vulture: STR 6, 25% bonus against melee units
    Axeman: STR 5, 50% bonus against melee units

    In the open field without terrain modifiers,

    50% - 25% = 25% bonus to Axeman

    Vulture: 6 x NO BONUS = 6
    Axeman: 5 x 25% bonus = 6.25

    So in this case, an Axeman actually comes out ahead. Had we done the simple comparison of (6 x 25% bonus) against (5 x 50% bonus), it would have seemed that both had come out with the value of 7.5, but it seems that's not the way it works.

    Finally, a Bowman against a Quechua:

    Bowman: STR 3, 50% bonus against melee units
    Quechua: STR 2, 100% bonus against archery units

    100% - 50% = 50% bonus to the Quechua

    Bowman: 3 x NO BONUS = 3
    Quechua: 2 x 50% Bonus = 3

    So it is not Bowman's 4.5 STR (3 x 50% bonus) against Quechua's 4 STR (2 x 100% bonus) which would have made bowman stronger than it seems.

    You may draw up whatever final analysis from my observation, but I personally am very impressed with the Quechua.
     
  2. dankok8

    dankok8 Elected World Leader

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Dog soldiers also have another use people are forgetting .. they are the ultimate anti-praetorian unit .. if I'm Roman and I see the Native Americans, I don't attack plain and simple :lol:

    A dog soldier fortified in a city has >50% odds of beating a praetorian even with 0 cultural defense .. no other other early unit (ie before war elephants and macemen can do that). Don't forget dog soldiers are ~ twice cheaper than praetorians and can also be used to stop conventional axe/melee UU rushes. That combined with protective and totem pole for strong archers makes Sitting Bull the strongest defensive leader in the game.
     
  3. Tecibbar

    Tecibbar unliving

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Ur Sorry Ass
    A lot of seemly useless units have its use, if you know how to use them or if your play style suits it.

    My war stategy is to attack before I even have a decent army. I pillage enemy land, steal worker, and terrorize the neibourhood so that enemy worker wouldn't be able to build improvement. 1000 year later, I reasearch construction and take the easier city. My pillagers would stop reinforcement from coming.

    Jaguar and Gallic warrior can get 2 movement early, make them wonderful pillagers. Chocking my enemy until I am ready to attack.

    B-elephant make sure that ur enemy would think twice before they include horse units in their attack stack. And AI's best attack unit is usually horse unit. They usually get cuisser before Rifleman. To make use of B-elephant, you just need to keep good relationship with the one with Ivory.

    Carracks is wonderful for settling in an isolated island, or even more overpowered if you are playing Terra-- you Basically get a third of the world for free.

    Bowman ensures your early expandsion can do without need to spend more hammer on axeman.

    Muskteer is another good pillager, there is no good counter to it at it's era. You only need one at a spot. Funny, French hardly pillage other's land, only English pillaged French land during the 100 year war.

    Camel archer's 15% retreat chance can't be over look, a unit that has 45% (with flanking) survive chance in any battle is not underpowered. Also, since for most games, AI use cats for a long time, it's abilty to do collartorl damage to cats ensure that its useability.
    -----------------------------------------------
    What I don't like is fast worker, if I don't remember wrong, it only move faster, not build faster. 10 normal worker is better than 9 fast ones. really not much hammer saved.
     
  4. vicawoo

    vicawoo Chieftain

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2007
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    3,226
    Yeah, definitely seems like they nerfed camel archers withdrawal for BTS.
    I've been trying out jaguar warriors, and they're mediocre pillagers. They can cut roads through forests very nicely, but they take two turns to move to and pillage an unforested tile.

    Jaguars (and upgraded jaguars) specialize at running to raze weak cities.
     
  5. AmazonQueen

    AmazonQueen Virago

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    But that was pre-gunpowder and it was their own country. In the musket era Napoleon's armies were famous for living off the land. It was not having the massive supply trains that other armies used that enabled French armies to move so quickly.
     
  6. ungy

    ungy Deity

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2006
    Messages:
    2,908
    I still vote for the jaguar.
    I only play SP.
    I do like it better after reading the arguments here but I find that combat at that era is mostly about cities and 6 is a whole lot better than 5. By the time you get to IW, you almost always have SOME resource.
    The other UU that are weaker than their regulars--the dog soldier and the numidian cav have bigger advantages IMHO. The dog soldier is resourceless, which is huge for an early unit, and the num cav is for me a niche unit--really pretty irrelevant.
     
  7. TM Moot

    TM Moot King

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    Nov 11, 2005
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    Its just a shame that your Joao's traits don't sustain an overseas expansion.:(
     
  8. The Fishman

    The Fishman Resident Megalomaniac

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2008
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    Location:
    The Empire
    I actually think that Ballista 'phants aren't that bad. I was playing Khmer on noble this morning, and, they completely ripped enemy horse archers to pieces. I don't think they would be much use of the offense, but if you have a big stack coming your way, and you want to get past the spearmen guarding it, they are very handy...
     
  9. Iranon

    Iranon Deity Whipping Boy

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
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    Location:
    Germany
    To get an idea of raw power, we can compare most units that don't dominate the one they replace by using number of promotions needed to make them identical for the time being.

    To turn a Dog Soldier into an Axeman, we need 2.5 combat promotions and gain 2 shock promotions, so we end up with a net loss of 0.5.
    For a Jaguar Warrior, we'd need 2 combat promotions to make up for the difference in power to a regular Swordsman while getting a free Woodsman I, for a net loss of a full promotion.
    In the same sense, Numidian Cavalry breaks even (2 combat needed to bring it up to par, bonus is equivalent to 2 Shock), Vultures gain one (Axemen require 2 combat but have an additional inbuilt Shock).
    Praetorians, by the way, come out ahead by more than 2,83 promotions (City Raider has increasing returns of scale, so the 10% bonus is worth half a promotion at the most).

    This a slightly clumsy way of measuring it even though thankfully we don't need to consider virtual Drill and its ridiculous way of scaling... it remains a bean counter's exercise.
    We can't give more than 1 shock promotion anyway, and none of the theoretical promotion series to reach equality is likely to see much use in a real game. Even if these problems didn't exist, there would still be an imbalance: The one with the higher base strength has a potential advantage thanks to the increased effectiveness of additional combat upgrades.

    Incidentally, I tolerate Jaguar's lack of efficiency better than Dog Soldiers... because a free promotion is a free promotion and will remain with the unit for the rest of the game.


    Bottom line: Dog Soldiers are (by bean counting) the worst unit that doesn't gain a persistent bonus in the form of a free promotion; Jaguars lose out in total for their time.
    Did I cause anyone's heads to explode? Sometimes, I love being a dork.
     
  10. AmazonQueen

    AmazonQueen Virago

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    Did you only include the Numidian's melee bonus in your calculation?
    I agree units with a free promotion are a nice plus factor. A keshik is arguably better than a Numidian (I don't think so but I know lots of people do) but the Numidian's free Flanking I will benefit you all the way through the game.
     
  11. Iranon

    Iranon Deity Whipping Boy

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    Oops, good catch on that inconsistency... yes, I was only comparing the bonuses and Numidian Cav gets the advantage of one full promotion.

    Keshiks are pretty much impossible to assess in this way. I'm not a great fan of them, but from my limited experienceI consider them usually superior to regular Horse Archers (pretty much the only glaring weakness I can see is having to defend against Cho-Ko-Nu)
     
  12. PimpyMicPimp

    PimpyMicPimp Regrets His Username.

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    I can't believe Ballista Elephants are at #1! That they can be hard to aquire is a fair point, but even regular War Elephants are extremely powerful and can take on units up until Knights!
     
  13. AmazonQueen

    AmazonQueen Virago

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    I don't like Keshiks because unlike Horse Archers and Numidian Cav they aren't immune to 1st strikes. Ok, they get a 1st strike of their own but against units with more than 1 1st strike they seem to die like flies.
     
  14. vicawoo

    vicawoo Chieftain

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    Jaguar warriors come with combat 1 because of montezuma. Maybe they should come with woodsman 2, since going straight city raider jaguars makes woodsman 1 pretty useless.

    Maybe ballista elephants should be used for beating up cuirassiers.
     
  15. AmazonQueen

    AmazonQueen Virago

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    Jaguar Warriors really came into their own when I played the Rainforest map. Most of the map is jungle, all iron and copper were in little clumps around the rare deserts and mountain ranges, and I didn't start off near any of them.
     
  16. Refar

    Refar Deity

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    So basicaly that means Jaguar are ok, if you had the misfortune to have no metal for building real troops :D

    They are also only 35:hammers: so with the altar they are good for 2 pop Overflow Whipping towards something expensive. And the CI+WI promotion combo makes them good for super medics - can get the XP for MI+WIII from Barbs only.

    But as a unit for a real war, where you might want to take a city... :cry:
     
  17. AmazonQueen

    AmazonQueen Virago

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    I took 2 capitals early on with jaguars. If I hadn't had them I'd have been unable to attack until getting construction.
     
  18. Refar

    Refar Deity

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    Did better than me then... I only tried a serious war with them once and it did not looked that good... Ended up whipping lots of Axes (later Cats as well) to replace all the lost Jaguars... After that decided that having Copper avaiable making those Jaguars was a mistake...
     
  19. troytheface

    troytheface Deity

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    Cats? beeline to iron and hit archer defenders. jags also do well against chariots.

    I suspect that many players wait til the odds are completely in their favor , build a stack, and then attack- way to slow for good jag use.:borg:
     
  20. futurehermit

    futurehermit Deity

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    I think the b. eleph. is quite poor, bottom tier for sure, but I voted the carrack. I guess it could be really good for archipelago maps, but I just feel like astronomy isn't that far away from optics.
     

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