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A little help in planning a huge campaign?

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  • A little help in planning a huge campaign?

    I tried something new lately. After playing all my games with max. civs (16) on large maps, I decided I needed a bigger challenge. So here's the setup:

    Huge map
    Raging Barbarians
    Monarch level
    Entire map revealed from start
    Only 6 civs

    I'm currently not home, so I'll post a screenshot tonight - here's what this is about:

    I want to conquer an entire continent, occupied by the Japanese. Quick background: There are two big continents in the game, and I started on the slightly smaller of the two, along with the americans and spain. On the other, the byzanties, inca, romans and japanese.

    I managed to get 50% of my continent before bumping into the americans, then concentrated on building up my economy. In the meanwhile, the map being revealed, I managed to follow the progress on the second continent: despite my help to the byzantines in form of money, resources and luxuries, the japanese managed to wipe them out, giving them about the same landmass than myself, with a little more cities. NOT GOOD. That did not stop them - they went after the inca, nearly wiping them out too (last turn, the Inca declared war on them again, so they are done for).

    I had to make a choice: with their sheer size, I would soon be no match for them anymore. I have a tech lead, but that's quickly lost... I managed to conquer the americans on my continent, giving me a little more resources, and more importantly: the only source of rubber on the continent.

    So after all this mess, I decided to launch a campaign against the japanese. Here's the situation:

    I have just researched motorized transportation, giving me tanks (Yay!), but the unfunny part is the logistics: the japanese are currently networking all their cities with railroad, which gives them the ability to move their entire army from one spot to the other in one turn - so even if I get there with a goodly fleet, it may well be annihilated the turn I get there, and with the sheer mass of cities they have, the amount of units they can produce each turn may be quite overwhelming.

    My current plan looks like this:

    - find a good spot to land - their capital is one target, as it's a coastal city, or another which would cut them off from the dyes they have a monopoly on.

    - take one city (marines?) and defend it with a big bunch of infantry backed up with tanks and the remaining cavalry from the american campaign

    - re-base my 36 bombers from the american campaign to the conquered city, and use them to wreak havoc in the surrounding area

    - get spain and rome into the fight too - getting spain on my side should not be too much trouble, but the romans are big friends of the japanese...

    As this would be my first really big campaing, any input would be appreciated
    "Give me a soft, green mushroom and I'll rule the world!" - TheArgh
    "No battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy." - Murphy's law
    Anthéa, 5800 pixel wide extravaganza (french)

  • #2

    Edit: added the minimap from the game
    Last edited by AeonOfTime; May 10, 2005, 13:59.
    "Give me a soft, green mushroom and I'll rule the world!" - TheArgh
    "No battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy." - Murphy's law
    Anthéa, 5800 pixel wide extravaganza (french)


    • #3
      What govt are you?

      You could join with them against the Inca, maybe even get paid something to, and switch to mobilization to pump units until Japan finishes that. That will net you a good number more than traditionally building up. Might even steal an Incan city or two to give yourself a foothold.

      When landing, BRING LOTS OF ARTILLERY. Even without taking a city, a decent stack landing on a mountain with a good number of artillery should be enough. You say you have a tech lead, which means they don't have tanks yet, right? Land and laugh at their counter.

      You could consider selling them tech. Yes it sounds counterproductive, but you can actually get them giving you so much GPT you will maintain your lead. Keep in mind you want to prevent them selling it to the other AI's though, and gaining money. So, giving good deals to the others will be needed here.

      You have lots of bombers, take some carriers along and bomb the living hell out of that railroad network if you need. If you take the city first turn with marines, you could also use artillery to bomb the hell out of roads and rails to protect that city.

      Basically, arty, tanks, and bombers. With sufficient focus in your production you should be able to win against superior numbers of inferior units without too much trouble.

      Without more information (troop numbers, etc) it's hard to advise more specifically.
      One who has a surplus of the unorthodox shall attain surpassing victories. - Sun Pin
      You're wierd. - Krill

      An UnOrthOdOx Hobby


      • #4
        I had this problem a few weeks ago, also against a Japanese -dominated railroaded continent, and I didn't really manage to solve it, more through boredom than anything, I just gave up on warfare and concentrated on getting the spaceship built in the end.

        However, a few points. Do you have a spy in the Japanese capital? Make sure you get one. Then you can evaluate the progress of your campaign by seeing how many units he's got left. In my war, the Japanese started with 180 cavalry, all of which he threw at me. Your tech lead is a big advantage, because if the Japanese have got communism, they will switch to that and turn off any further research.

        If you don't have a spy, and Japan is a democracy, start a small scale war with the Japanese by sacrificing a few units in a futile, heroic gesture. Make peace as soon as you can, then on the same turn try to plant a spy. You might catch him in anarchy or in communism.

        A transport full of 8 marines, combined with as much pre-bombardment as you can muster will easily capture any city defended with anything less than 3 infantrymen, so try to find one of those. Population of less than six so you can intimidate the resistance and build city walls. It will be surrounded by open ground, you don't want anywhere surrounded by mountains where the attackers can gather.

        After your first assault, it might take the Japanese 2 or 3 turns to respond, but don't be tempted to move out of the city or try to open up a second front at this stage. Instead fill it as full as you can with strong defenders, and rush produce walls and barracks. Use your bombers to pillage improvements round about to slow down the advance. You don't want the cavalry or samurai to approach, attack and retreat all the the same turn. Ideally, you will need to get two or three squares of open ground around your city so that the AI brings up its cavalry to the gates of the city but can't attack on the same turn. Once the pillaging is done, use the bombers to wear down the attackers and your tanks and cavalry inside the city to finish them off. Don't let your offensive units be lured into open ground. Only attack stacks of attackers immediately next to the city. If you get any great leaders, form them up into armies of defenders straight away. Remember, you are facing potentially hundreds of attackers.

        Again, your spys will tell you once the Japanese have been worn down sufficiently, and you can then you can open up a second or third front elsewhere on the continent, and use the first city for a breakout.


        • #5
          With only 6 civs on a huge map you can get bogged down trying to grab all the land that is available. In the mean time if one of the civs on the other land mass gets rolling, they will take over and be huge.

          Once that happen you end up in late IA or early modern age warfare with a monster. It is no fun to fight a KAI with bombers in C3C.

          I have not done it at levels like Monarch, but I have at Sid. You will need lots of flaks/sams. It is so much better to attack prior to flight, so if they have not gotten it yet, move now.

          The best way to deal with them is to have some armies, the more the better. I like 2 or 3 defensive armies. 4xInf, if that is the best you have right now. 4xMI once they come online.

          I would have been making armies in the MA city all along to fill with tanks.

          Mass as many transports as you can to ferry over units. I would not wait for arties as it takes to long to get more xports in the queue.

          I want all the armies, then all the top defenders, after that 1 settler and fill out with the best offensive units I have. Land them on a hill. I choose one that is not accessible from all directions, if I can.

          Land on it. Next turn use calv armies to cut roads next to the tile after I found the town. Rush a barracks and fort all. Now they can only use multiple move units to attack that turn and the 1 movers will be later. This gives me time to recover. I rush a wall and use units that will not be used as defenders to kill any units next to the town and hope for another leader. Skip the wall if you see you can handle the attackers.

          If I get one, form another army. The AI tosses units at me and we see how it goes. All forted unused units will fully heal after each round.

          Again I use any free units to kill troops near me and if all armies were not pressed into battle, they can be used.

          Rush an airport, use transports to seed the short rush. From then on you can fly over more troops. Send over settlers in new transports or send a few back.

          Go ahead and use bombers to damage troops and eventually cities. After the counter attack runs out of steam, send out the armies to raze cities.

          I tend to not pillage, but you can. If they have bombers, armies are at risk otherwise they are free to do what ever you want.

          If you need to go into mob, but at Monarch that should not be needed. Found new cities as soon as you can prevent them from being taken.


          • #6
            Just a note on why I do not take arty on this trip. I can only take a finite number of units. I would rather have a tank/inf or even a calv than an arty.

            This is because I have been in many battles that I used all of my troops. If I have 6 less units and 6 arties instead, I lose that battle. Arties cannot defend, they can only bombard.

            This means instead of having that artie try to ping off a hp, I have another unit to put up on defense. If I have the artie, one of my armies is going to have to keep fighting and it will be at 1 HP already, if got down to say a calv defender. This increases its chance of dying and I will not have it fully healed for the next round.

            So unless you are sure you have the ability to bring more than enough defenders, you cannot afford to bring artillery.

            Believe me nothing is worse (in the game) than sweating out that army going up for another combat with 1 or 2 hit points left. The game will do that enough as it is and leaves all those rifles/calvs at full health sit there, while you sweat.


            • #7
              when this happens, I often build airports in tons of my cities, get one city there, build airport there, and start to air transport my armies. When i have a freaking army there, start to ally with the survivors and let them suffer most some turns. then start the counter-attack.

              That´s normally is very effective, since the japanese will not throw EVERYTHING against u, and throw something against your allies too.
              If ten thousand of your men die in front of the walls of an enemy city, order the other ten thousands men to climb their bodies and attack the city.


              • #8
                AeonOfTime I must have misunderstood, as I though you said that the Japanese had removed all civs and you had more less done the same.

                There are large chunks on your contient and even larger ones on theirs.

                I would have to be sure that my homeland was secured. Clean them out while you build up transports and get up to 4 to 6 airports, if you do not already have them.


                • #9
                  Charles_Bronson with a KAI like this you have to watchout that bringing in others on their contient will probbaly lead to them being wiped out.

                  I would rather they toss all they have at me after I found my city. They will send nearly all of their attackers and a ton of defensive units. If I am not able to handle them, I am not coming in the first place.

                  I want to kill most of those attackers while on defense with my armies forted on a hill. I may even bring 3 extra settlers to add to get the wall effect. It is a lot easier to kill them that way than to slowly take them out in their cities.

                  As soon a you found a town on their land, that is war and they will attack. You won't be able to wait for troops to be airlifted. Those are for holding cities you either take or found. So I only need 3-5 a turn, maybe even less.

                  I may send over calvs to disband to rush temples or libs, which ever is cheaper for my civ. If I have them to spare and I should.


                  • #10
                    Yes, finish off your homeland, build up, join Japan against the Inca if you can, get a few of their cities, or plug a settler into a culture void asap. You should be able to do this without them declaring war on you long enough to get an airport rushed over there. With your troops being airlifted over there it should be fairly straightforward from there.

                    If you can build armies, by all means do. vmxa assumes you can, probably because he hasn't been in a game where he couldn't for a while. I assumed you couldn't because you didn't mention it, thus I suggested arty.
                    One who has a surplus of the unorthodox shall attain surpassing victories. - Sun Pin
                    You're wierd. - Krill

                    An UnOrthOdOx Hobby


                    • #11
                      Yeah, I cannot invision not being able to build army by the time you have already gotten tanks. I guess that is probably a possiblitiy and I would move on my neighbhor now and rectify that asap.

                      Airports will do no good in that you cannot airlift arties, so you would have to transport them.

                      I deliberately planted the city in their borders as I want to provoke an all out attack on that city. What is the worst that can happen? I lose all my troops there and the city and have to do it again.

                      It will really slow them down to pull that off as they will lose a lot of units and then your new friends will stand a chance.

                      I just did a deity where I got 2 armies in the first 120 or so turns and I was not a military civ using archers. But I have had games go very far into the AD's with no leader at lower levels as the AI is afraid of you and does not want to start wars.

                      I agree completely that it is a danger to go off to war and leave a large civ on your homeland. Clearing my land is top prioriy once I start my push.

                      Really mostly all we can do is speculate in general terms as we have no idea of the shape the empire is in right now. It could be that the best city going is only doing 12 to 13 shields and he has no Army and not enough troops and transport to do much of anything.

                      I was just projecting on what I would expect to see in an empire of that size. fo all I know many wars have gone on and things are not in great condition.


                      • #12
                        I have a few general questions about this grand war: Would it be better to raze most of Japans cities, or try to keep them (starving them down to 1, of course)?

                        And if you razed most of them, would you attempt to colonize the ex-Japanese lands? Or would you let the red civ to the north (Rome?) colonize it instead?
                        Let Them Eat Cake


                        • #13
                          Mace that would be your choice. If I was in a mood to grab every tile, I would probably raze metros and grab the others. Mainly because pacifying metros takes to long and I could use the slaves.

                          I am presuming you have at least as strong a culture as them. My tactic probably would be take down all in my land first.

                          When I move on Japan I will bring a bunch of settlers to raze and replace as many as I needed. No one would be able to take much of the exposed land as only the red civ would be around.

                          My method of moving on Japand would be to take down pink first. So it would be me Vs Japan and only red left, if even them. Likely I would have to feed Red to keep them around until got on that contient.

                          In this form with such a large holding, it will be a real pain to get enough settlers to replace all cities, so in practice you end up holding a lot of cities. This could slow you down, depending on the strength of Japan.

                          If they had few markets and few lux, many cities would cease to resist in a few turn. If you connect to your empire and have lots of lux and run at 30% lux, they come around fast at many levels.

                          If Japan has a lot more culture than you, it will not be so fast. I would think they would not at Monarch.


                          • #14
                            The plan is taking shape

                            Wow, thanks for all the great input! Regarding some of your questions, a few precisions:

                            My current units are simply the leftovers from my conquest of the americans:

                            - 45 Cavalry
                            - 16 Crusaders
                            - 9 Ancient Cavalries
                            - 36 Bombers
                            - 48 Artilleries
                            - 10 spare infantries
                            - 3 empty armies

                            Some other facts:
                            - Government: democracy (war weariness is not an issue, I have Universal Suffrage, five luxuries and enough income to increase the luxury slider).
                            - Despite my rather longish war with the americans, I have only gotten three leaders, and cannot build armies yet.
                            - I already have airports in most of my bigger cities, and quite a few of them can even build bombers in two turns.
                            - I have a treasury of about 17000 gold.
                            - From my scenario, cities retain culture when conquered.

                            So from what I gleaned from your great feedback, my current plan has slowly taken form. I'm reticent to aid the japanese in conquering the Inca, and I'm allied with Spain (which are on my continent), so I don't want to get rid of them (I like having a little company, and Isabella is one of my favourites ). I'd actually like to save the Inca from destruction if possible, and cripple the Japanese enough so they don't pose a threat anymore.

                            As I mentioned, I'm a builder, so I'm generally in a "live and let die" disposition, as long as the others don't start conquering everyone... Here's what I would propose considering the feedback you've given me:


                            - Choose the target city: I have chosen the city with their monopoly on dyes, as the capital is too well defended with 15 units. There are just four defensive units in that city, and it is near to an arm of the japanse continent that I can cut off completely by taking an adjacent city.

                            - Build a strikeforce to capture the target city. Two transports filled with marines (=12 units) should do the trick to be on the safe side.

                            - Complement the 10 infantries with a bunch more that can hold the city for a while, for let's say fourtransports full (=24 units)...

                            - Add at least six transports to move over the cavalry which will be used to attack any units approaching the conquered city.

                            - When the initial strikeforce is ready, start building the main force consisting of tanks.

                            - Move the strikeforce in place

                            Turn one

                            - Declare war (It's so satisfying )

                            - Try to get a military alliance out of the romans against the japanese. Spain is no problem, I'm already allied with them.

                            - Take the city, set up defenses with the available units.

                            - Re-base all bombers there

                            Turn two

                            - Resistance in the conquered city should be over (with that load of units...)

                            - Rush an airport.

                            - Use the newly created transports to transport the stack of artilleries

                            - Use the bombers to collapse the railroad network leading to the city, to slow down the enemy's progress (unless they are needed to fend off part of the attack force)

                            - Use the cavalry to attack the stacks of units that have appeared around the conquered city (great advantage of cities retaining culture: as the japanese don't have mounted units, they advance only one square per turn in the city's limits).

                            Turn three

                            - continue building and transporting units

                            - Load the spare armies up with defensive units (infantry, in this case) to use them in defense (offense will be done later with tanks) and airlift them over to the conquered city.

                            - Airlift/transport resting artilleries as support

                            - rush a civil defense to boost the city's defenses

                            Later plans

                            - Take the city adjacent to the initially conquered city to cut off that part of their empire (lower left of their continent - an arm consisting of about 8 cities), and conquer the cut off cities.

                            - If possible, launch a secondary attack on the upper left part of their territoy, next to the inca as a diversion and to cut their forces in two.

                            - I plan to put myself between them and the romans and the inca, so I can control who's attacking whom.

                            Thanks for your input so far, any amendments to my current plan?
                            "Give me a soft, green mushroom and I'll rule the world!" - TheArgh
                            "No battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy." - Murphy's law
                            Anthéa, 5800 pixel wide extravaganza (french)


                            • #15
                              I forget the level this game is at, but I would not like to share my land. Given how small your military is, I would be worried that Spain would sneak attack me once I send off my troops.

                              What are you going to attack with, calvs? That is not going to work on metros. Where are your tanks?

                              Why can you not build armies? Did you not build the MA? That is a very powerful boost to any army. Get it and the Pentagon up.

                              I would rather not use marines and I really want to have my city on a hill. The extra defense is will save a lot of units. You can safely land all the units you want on a coastal hill, as long as it is covered by armies.

                              Bring a settler, land. Found cities and rush a barracks. Cut roads to it with armies or bombers. If you can gain enough time, rush a wall and fort all units.

                              Get a spy up and see how many units and types you face. Then decide how many armies of your top defender you need to hold the city. 4xinfantry will do very well against attackers, if they do not have tanks and cannot use bombers on you.