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Thread: Pillage and Plunder Strategies

  1. #1
    Stickyman
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    Pillage and Plunder Strategies

    Hello Friends!

    Can you all share your pillage and plunder strategies with me?

    In my most recent game, I sent five calvary into Washington's territory to pillage. He was engaged in a war with someone else and I wanted to provide assistance to my ally. I was only able to pillage five improvements or so before he hit me with cats from one nearby city, then with rifleman from another on the next turn.

    I thought that the calvary would provide some mobility, but apparently the ability of the defender to use roads pretty much counter that.

    I've sent a new stack with six calvary and three rifleman with the gunpoweder promotion (I don't remember the name exactly). Hopefully this will work better at countering his rifles, but I wonder if the mobility cost is worth it?

    Any ideas?

  2. #2
    MasterDave
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    As a cavalry, you have to remain still in a hex for one of your two movement points to pillage. This means that if you want to be safer and escort your CaV's with an infantry, you really do not lose any speed pillaging. If you stack one cavalry with one infantry you can move your stack onto a flatland tile, then use the cavalry's second move to pillage. If you are moving around on hills or forests, then your cavalry are no more mobile than your infantry anyhow.

    The best opportunity to pillage usually comes in the area around a razed city that is no longer inside an enemy cultural border. Now your cavalry can use roads and can pillage two tiles a turn. You will probably not need to escort them, either since an enemy civ is often unwilling to leave its borders often once it is on the defensive. This can be a great source of income after you have razed some enemy cities in games your trying to win by conquest.

    The ultimate pillager is the gunship. Four movement points in all terrain, and fairly tough vs. all kinds of infantry excpet SAM's.
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    johnmcd
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    Multiple simultaneous incursions can work well I think. The AIs response is fragemented and often all incursions will come off. Give it one lot to focus on and it will.

    As noted though, gunships do the job nicely!

    I think, though I'm not sure, that just dropping some units onto his land and fortifying them sowhere safe can draw his spare units against you, once they are exhausted you can then pillage much more safely. Only done that once and it seemed to work but I have no idea if it works often.
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  4. #4
    Civrocx
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    Why pillage?

    I know the reasons,but not worth it imo.

    Only thing worth any value would be towns,but why destroy what would be of more value ,once you own the property?

    As far as sabatoge ,spys work well.

  5. #5
    Kriegsspieler
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    I would think that several turns of pillaging would have a pretty substantial effect on an opponent's economy, while enriching you. To make it have much impact, though, you would surely have to do it with more than just a couple of pillaging units.

  6. #6
    Solomwi
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    Civrocx, pillaging is great mainly in two situations:

    1) You need to in order to gain the advantage. More common early in the game and on higher difficulty, naturally, and best suited for cities you don't quite have the force to take or don't want to raze. Pillaging will slow down his tech pace and the rate at which he can bring more defenders into the mix, mitigating or neutralizing the advantages the AI enjoys on higher difficulties.

    2) As part of a scorched earth policy. When you're razing an enemy civ, it's a given that the other AI will soon be flooding the area with settlers. Pillaging here denies them all those nice improvements your foe has spent millenia building up and nets you a nice little chunk of cash to boot. I usually find myself doing this later in the game, when I'm conquering lands I can't hold economically.
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  7. #7
    Yosho
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    Any time you're not sure if you're going to be able to take a city in the next few turns, you should always pillage hammer and food improvements, and of course anything that gives him a resource. It only gives you a few gold, but that dosn't matter; what matters is that it's slowing down his production of millitary in his border cities. Even if I do take the city eventually, I don't mind re-building the mines and farms and workshops; I can probably put the land to better use then the AI did anyway, and I'd usually rather have 20 gold now and use a few workers to fix the damage later. The only think I ever hestiate about pillaging is towns, but I'll hit those to in some situations.

    Also, if you can't really attack the cities a civ you're at war with (usually because you don't have the numbers or the tech), a limited pillaging force can both damage his economy, and bleed him. You might lose a few longbows, but if you use the land well you can cost him many more of his units. If you're doing this, the key is to cut the roads, which will slow down his counterattack and force him to leave more unitis sitting in the open.

    And just in general, if you're fighting a defensive war against a stronger opponent, it's very useful to destroy any roads you can in his terratory, especally the ones that lead to your border. This slows down his attacking forces coming at your cities, and gives you more time to react. Again, be aware that you might lose a few units doing the pillaging, but it can be worthwhile nonetheless.

    Pillaging isn't really what you want to do when you're going to easily and quickly win a war. But if you want to hurt him enough so he'll make peace without demanding everything you've got, or have to fight a long war of attrition, then pillaging, and the resulting wide-spread small-scale border skirmishes that cost both sides, is a big help.

  8. #8
    Rancidlunchmeat
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    The only time I ever pillage is to cut them off from their strategic resources.

    If I can identify all their copper and iron mines, or perhaps their horses, sending in cavalry to quickly rush to those improvements and take them out can be the difference between winning and losing. It takes a long time to build those mines back up again and connect them with roads. They also have to send out workers to do it, and they don't like doing that if you are close by in their terrority.

    So they will end up being turtles in a shell, and only being able to send out archers and the like against you.

    In order for plundering to really be profitable, you'd have to be hitting multiple towns and if you've got an AI with well established towns to make the plundering worth the loss of your units, you're probably better off just capturing the city that is running those towns and working them yourself.

  9. #9
    Calvin Vu
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    Back to the original poster. It's pretty obvious that he has no intention to capture any cities, only assists an ally by pillaging.

    I once assisted Roosevelt this way against Tokigawa. My invasion force (walking across US territory to reach Tok) consisted of one maceman and one spearman. The pair ripped up a few convenient squares and then fortifying on top of a forest hill. Some dozens turns later, after Tok got tired of them, I asked for a ceasefire and got all his gold for it. Big profit and my invasion force was unharmed even.

    To create general havoc by pillaging, you need to balance between losing your expensive units to cheap units (if the units are not stacked) or losing the whole stack to cats (if the stack is too big).

    The AIs usually have about 5-10 cats around for the kamikaze purpose. After they run out of these cats they tend to turtle up. For the 6 cavalries, it's probably best to split them up into 2 or 3 groups to pillage more squares (since that's your main purpose anyway), and to reduce the damage caused by the cats.

    Supporting the cavalries with riflemen won't help much, BTW. I once lost a stack of tanks and infantries to a bunch of cats and elephants (not even a single knight, how embarassing !!). You should aim to wear out the AI's stocpile of cats logistically rather than to create an invincible stack. The best way to wear them out is to make their deaths least damaging to your troops while dispensing the most economic damage as possible. Just split up your pillaging forces into smaller stacks.

  10. #10
    Hauptman
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    Declare war without moving INTO his lands people... Let him send his units to YOU. Then you get the benefits of roads and he does not, so there are NO suprise catapult and elephant assaults.

    Then after you killed his units, send in stacks of 2 or 3 units, usually 1 defensive and 2 horses. Then move 1 square at a time and the 2 horsies can kill a farm/mine AND the road in 1 turn. If you see a city with alot of units in it. Donot stand next to it. It will make the ai attack you. Usually he will stay turtled up if you are 2 squares away... Or send only minor pestering forces out.

    If you are after his comerce making ability, wanting to kill his towns, make the stacks bigger and you can delete a town in 1 turn to bare land still. it is imperative that you WAIT til his "assault" force has been destroyed. Or else anything you send into his lands will bring down a fiery death upon themselves.


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  11. #11
    Quillan
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    I tend to adjust depending on circumstances. If I'm in a serious war with an AI, I try to remove his access to strategic and luxury resources as soon as possible. If I don't think I'm going to eliminate the opponent in this war, I'll try to absolutely ravage the area I'm not going to take this time, as this severely hampers his rebuilding efforts later. I usually only pillage towns when I'm not interested in capturing.
    Age and treachery will defeat youth and skill every time.

  12. #12
    Calvin Vu
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    Originally posted by Hauptman
    Declare war without moving INTO his lands people... Let him send his units to YOU. Then you get the benefits of roads and he does not, so there are NO suprise catapult and elephant assaults.
    That's a good strategy and I normally use that but some AIs do hole up with a bunch of catapults and elephants. What happened to me was after I have already taken a city or two from him and became a little careless when pushing further. It's pretty rare though. It could be that he had to rush those troops back from another front and it took several turns for them to get to my side. But to take that into account, you will have to wait for "several" turns until you're sure he won't have any troops to bring over to your side and every turn you wait will increase the economic damage caused by the war warriness on your economy so it's not entirely cost-free.

    Anyway, for the original poster, I guess that he does not even share a border with the targetted AI and that's why he didn't like to use riflemen since it would take too long to get there, not because he doesn't know to combine cavalry and riflemen while doing the pillaging, one square at a time. If he doesn't share the border with the AI then this strategy won't work.

    But I'm just trying mind-reading here .

  13. #13
    Stickyman
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    Thanks for the ideas.

    I did not share a border with the AI I was pillaging. I actually landed from the sea away from the war he was waging with my ally.

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