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  • AU 202 Discussion Questions / Review

    Now that people have had plenty of time to finish up the course, let's go over some review/discussion questions to see what we've learned.

    How does knowing you are on a small island effect your starting priorities?

    How does naval combat feel in relation to ground combat? Balanced, simplistic, more complex?

    How does the AI handle launching naval invasions?

    How does the AI handle defending from naval invasions?

    Does a naval-based map feel like it gives an advantage to the human player? A disadvantage?
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  • #2
    When you know you are on a small island, you can take very simple measures to eliminate early military needs from your building plans; just place a few scouts/warriors on hills to clear FoW, and you don;t have to build any more military except for happiness. This then allows you to focus on extreme builds, such as slingshots that can propel you ahead of the AI and ride that to victory without much thought.

    Naval combat is not particulary difficult to understand; keep boats on coast for defensive boni, except for the resources on theocean that you have to protect. Keep boats on "choke points" so you can see the AI coming to attack you then sink them out in the ocean (or not if you can't be bothered, because the AI is so inept at attacking via boats.)

    The Ai launched invasions in my game fairly well, it's only problem was a centralized defensive network, and that I had better units due to me going balls out and teching into the future faster than the AI could do it.

    Knowledge of the map type gives the human a bigger advantage than the AI, because the human knows what the map will roughly look like, whereas teh AI has no clue and still has to play it safe hence slowing itself down in the early game.
    You just wasted six ... no, seven ... seconds of your life reading this sentence.

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    • #3
      Re: AU 202 Discussion Questions / Review

      1.
      The main thing it did early on was make Scouts worthless until Caravels.

      In addition, it negated the need to build any military units until cities started growing large enough for the unhappiness penalty for new protection to come into play. This allowed a bit faster city improvement building.

      2.
      With Galleys & Triembes Naval combat seemed quite a bit more random than land combat of the same era.

      3. I sank all the Greek Galleys (and their escorts) before they could drop troops off during the 1st Greek War. None of the AIs attacked any other AIs. Their navy wasn't a factor in the second war becuase of the below.

      4. At least against Berserkers which have starting Amp ability, the AIs land defense from naval units absolutely sucks. To add insult to injury, the AI had half it's fleet in an underdefended port the turn I declared the second Greek war. This resulted in the Greek navy being insignificant for the rest of the war.

      5. On the human advantage side, the AI has no understanding that all coastal cities are border cities.

      Originally posted by ZargonX

      How does knowing you are on a small island effect your starting priorities?

      How does naval combat feel in relation to ground combat? Balanced, simplistic, more complex?

      How does the AI handle launching naval invasions?

      How does the AI handle defending from naval invasions?

      Does a naval-based map feel like it gives an advantage to the human player? A disadvantage?
      1st C3DG Term 7 Science Advisor 1st C3DG Term 8 Domestic Minister
      Templar Science Minister
      AI: I sure wish Jon would hurry up and complete his turn, he's been at it for over 1,200,000 milliseconds now. :mad:

      Comment


      • #4
        As everyone has said so far, your priorities are different when starting on an island in that you can skimp on military (just needing fog busting) and concentrate on building.

        Naval combat is pretty random until the modern era. In the ancient era it is Trireme on Trireme which basically means you need numerical superiority to make any headway. Obviously Triremes are more reliable against galleys but I wouldn't want to bet my house on the outcome of the battle. The only things you can do to help yourself is stay on the coast and getting combat 1 promotions. This problem continues into the age of discovery with Frigates being able to sucessfully beat Galleons (most of the time) but being a toss up against another Frigate. Without counters to the mainline combat ship (Trireme and Frigate) and no collateral damage it makes it very hard to do anything other than bury your opponents under a big pile of units. Once you are into the modern era things are a bit more interesting as Battleships can trash everything except other Battleships and inflict collateral damage to boot. To beat Battleships I used Submarines with Flanking I & II. This gives an 80% withdrawl chance (because you aren't going to win against an undamaged battleship) and allows you to soften up battleships to be killed by something else (usually another battleship). I had one major naval engagement in the modern era in my game, I should have put it in the report but didn't. When I attacked the English they sailed their fleet to counter invade another one of my islands so I converged my fleet to intercept. Their fleet was a massive stack of modern units and I managed to sink the combat vessels and forced the remainder to retire using tactics I outlined, I only lost 1 sub. The main thing was that it was kind of exciting working out which unit to commit to a particular battle.

        The AI only managed one successful naval invasion during the game and that was the greeks. It was more of an oversight by me than anything. I think the AIs standard attrition strategy really doesn't work very well on these water maps because they can't just send in piles and piles of units like they would if you shared a land border.

        They don't defend very well against naval invasion either. They seem to keep their fleets anchored in port a lot rather than sortie them to disrupt your naval operations. Even worse, I caught a couple of fleets in port when capturing cities allowing me to easily destroy the bulk of their fleet. Its standard response to a naval invasion seems to be to counter invade when it would probably be better to fight my invasion head on. I started taking liberties with the AI as the game wore on because I realised how inept it was at dealing with these invasions.

        The naval map gives a massive adavantage to the human because the human understands the nature of the map whereas the AI doesn't really change its strategy. The human knows to prioritise the Great Lighthouse and the Collosus in the early game (not that I got the lighthouse in mine). The AI seems tuned more for a Pangea map than a water map with its war strategy of sending in piles and piles of units and doesn't know how to cope with the water heavy map.

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        • #5
          Something else I would like to add is that I found that concentrating on doing naval invasions made invasions faster than they would otherwise be because your melee and siege troops move faster by water than they do through enemy culture. This is great if your opponent is on the ropes and doesn't have a reserve to counter attack with as they can be rolled up faster. If your opponent does have a reserve I think it is better to march your stack (or wait for them to commit theirs) because otherwise they will just take back the city you just took from them.

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          • #6
            One more thing to add for my game is that I didn't bother trying to keep the Greek cities I captured from the sea, but instead raized the city to the ground, sending the unit that was busy sacking the city back on board my ships if it survived a counter attack.

            This greatly reduced the number of Berskers I needed to implement sea invasions than if I were trying to actually keep the cities.
            1st C3DG Term 7 Science Advisor 1st C3DG Term 8 Domestic Minister
            Templar Science Minister
            AI: I sure wish Jon would hurry up and complete his turn, he's been at it for over 1,200,000 milliseconds now. :mad:

            Comment


            • #7
              The AI can be out built or destroyed. It isn't particulary brilliant at the moment, though I expect Blake to come back someday and improve it...

              PS, can we start AU 203...maybe and AW/Pangaea game now? With choice of civs...
              You just wasted six ... no, seven ... seconds of your life reading this sentence.

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              • #8
                Not playing in this particular game but the comments relate to general archipelago maps.

                1) A small island here is significant because it allows minimal early military builds needed for garrison/fog-busting. This allows more production to be diverted to get the basic infrastructure up, an early scout boat and phase 1 expansion.

                One of the key factors for archipelago maps is the Great Lighthouse. This is a license to expand almost indefinitely, particularly where you have multiple trading partners. You donít really need to worry about city placement lots of resources, simply cram in loads of cities on the coast to make sure you use every resource tile at your disposal.

                Colossus is probably optional but a nice bonus (and cheap if you have copper). In my game, I did not get copper and the AI who built the Oracle snagged this wonder in 550 BC.

                Once you have the infrastructure, then it is time to use your UU and/or UB to reek havoc on your neighbours. With more cities, the duration of the build up phase for each war becomes much lower.

                2-5) Naval combat adds a small extra element to the whole combat model with cIV. The AI is pretty ropey at dealing with land-based combat. With naval combat it is hopeless because it is still unable to deal with overwhelming force but now that force strikes with lightning speed.

                And you donít really need the Berserkers. Cats and Archers will do the job for you well enough and your cats are now protected by Triremes rather than Archers, Spears and Axes. A few triremes will usually be enough to protect the fleet of galleys and there is no really counter to this.

                Maybe the game needs a CATA-reme?

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