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The End Game

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  • #16
    Good point about the pillaging. I'm well aware of that feature, but I never remember to use it during the game. I get caught up in the direct fighting and forget about the side issues. (I think it's like those American Civil War soldiers who used to load their muskets repeatedly without ever firing them.) Anyway, good suggestion and I'll try real hard to remember next time.


    • #17
      Another question -- I've read about the strategy people use to keep out enemy spies by putting caravans or freight around their cities. Don't enemy troops just kill the caravan/freight? Presumably the spies are going after your coastal and border cities, so why doesn't an AI unit just wipe out a caravan?


      • #18
        Pillaging slows down the counterattack but it also slows down your attack on the next turn. And the AI usually builds so much railraod that it's hard to pillage it all.
        I must admit that the computer rarely has howitzers when I attack. But the one or two games I remember when he did he they wern't so bad. The key is defending around the city rather than in the city (unless there are city walls). The armors (or mechanized infantry or alpine troops--I like armors because of their dual defensive/offensive role) have to block the railroad access to the city. Put them in a fort, in a forest, on a mountain--any square that puts up your defensive bonus. If you leave those armors in the city they'll just get clobbered (I leave only one defensive unit and all the howitzers in the city).
        The AI only counterattacks viciously the first couple of times. In fact the first turn is the most brutal. That's why its a good idea to land a spy on his railroad a couple turns before the attack and scout out the location of all his cities and forts (if you havn't done that already). Then pick the coastal city that is the most easily defendable from land attacks. The ideal situation for example, is a city on a peninsula that has a single railroad leading to it and some hills in front with a fort. You can defend that easily. His counterattack will be crushed and then you can move on. Always use the terrain to your advantage. If there is a group of 4 cities with mountains behind them, take all four in one turn and then fortify the mountains, not the cities.
        I've already said this but the biggest mistake is spreading yourself too thin. You have to attack with LOTS of units. The more you have, the less you lose. 10 armors and 10 howitzers is not too much to take and defend the first city. Clear out his forts with your howies and move in a with 3 or 4 armors. There's nothing much he can do against that.


        • #19
          Yeah, I agree. I don't like to pillage. I prefer to keep the railroads intact. I'm more concerned with making my attacks easier rather than making AI's counterattacks more difficult for him. Placing defensive units in fortresses along the railroad is the way to go. The most difficult city to conquer is that first one on the coastline of another continent. After you have that one city, the rest is a piece of cake. When transporting units from your continent to another where you have already conquered a coastal city, always move your transport into your coastal city. The units on the transport will now get to move out of the city with full movement points available. Nothing is sweeter than moving a transport full of howies into a city and then bringing them out onto a railroad with the ability to attack twice. Ya gotta love it!


          • #20
            In the ToT fantasy game, you often get to make an army of dragons to wipe out the AI civs. It takes a lot of research, but these 12/15/5 3/3 babies can fly, do not have to end their turn in a city, and can do awesome amounts of damage.

            It's VERY exciting when the AI tribes get dragons before you do, and very interesting when you do not get them at all (if you have a limited number of cities, you may never get a chance to hunt down and kill a dragon, and then you can't build them unless you steal the needed technology).

            In a fantasy archipelago game, Krakens (12/12/4 2/4, similar to battleships) and dragons together are terrific.

            - toby
            toby robison


            • #21
              Well I played a game this weekend using a lot of the advice in this thread, and it worked out great. I set out to diminish the AI civs as soon as I got gunpowder and added a few military units (rather than waiting for modern weapons). The only problem I ran into was the Indian capital, which by the time I reached it was defended by 5 vet musketeers behind city walls, located on a river. I send 10 cannons, 2 dragoons, and 4 riflemen against it -- and lost. I was really surprised. I had surrounded it so they couldn't reinforce, but the units already in place were adequate.

              I subsequently bypassed that city and took a few other Indian and Chinese cities until I developed Espionage. Then my spy knocked out the city walls and my cannons did their job.

              After that I bribed the couple remaining Indian and Chinese cities (having taken Bejing easily), and finally mopped up the Vikings with artillery just about the time I got Flight.

              BTW, I sent my spies after city walls five times, and succeeded the first try on four of them. Got the last one on the second try.

              The biggest drawback was moving my army without railroads. Three-movement roads weren't too bad, but I had roadless regions to cover that took a long time to get 20 cannon through.


              • #22
                One thing I have noticed, and you may all be aware of it... I had two alpine troops on mountains near a city I was preparing to attack. AI brought out a marine to a mountain next to my Alpines. I know enough not to attack the 5 defense Marine (tripled on mountain) with my 5 attack Alpine...and figured the AI also would avoid attacking. So, standoff. What happened the next turn, however, was the MARINE bribed both (yes, in the same turn) of my Alpine troops, and those new ZULU troops in turn attacked and killed another Alpine I had in backup, and a Cavalry which happened to be stopped on a back square as it was passing through the area. So, without an AI Diplomat or Spy anywhere near, I lost 2 troops to bribery and 2 more due to the bribed troops. I know now to keep 2 units together for defense agains bribing. The next time, one of the Alpines was attacked and went into the yellow, but the backup was full strength, green, so it bought time to bring up another full strength Alpine and move the weakened one back to a recovery area.

                Watch out for the AI bribing you without having to have a diplomat or spy. It is just one of the AI cheats used to try and make the game more even. This was on Diety by the way.
                Before you criticize your enemy, walk a mile in his shoes. Then if he gets really angry at your criticism, you are a mile away, and he is barefoot.


                • #23
                  Against AI the following tactic works like a wonder:

                  Suppose you want to attack the AI civ from the EAST, you first use a task force to get one of his cities at the WEST end of his empire. Then block the road using pillage or bomber/mobile infantry combo. The next turn all his units will be moving towards West so your attack from the East will meet less resistance. The units he moves out of the cities will be disbanded once you occupy the cities.

                  If the AI has cities on more than one continent you may not be able to draw its units from other continents.


                  • #24
                    Tobyr: the formula for TOT fantasy game is:

                    a) bribe a barb Kraken
                    b) put sorcerors on the Kraken to navigate the map while coastal-bambard enemy cities and occupy them easily
                    c) you can see more barb Krakens from revealed maps so you bribe more Krakens and you have a better chance to kill the Dragon


                    • #25
                      Campo: Very, very good work. Excellent strategy on mobilizing a force of Musks. I love to have Leo upgrade a whole army on route to the enemy.

                      Xin: Kraken??? Dragon???


                      • #26
                        Steve Clark: Kraken is a carrier unit in Test of Time: fantasy world. Dragon is a strong unit with natural flying ability (like helicoptor but HT does not diminish). There are other units, like the Dwarf (can dig channels to connect surface with the underworld, engineer unit). Bribing/defeating such units early in the game is very beneficial.


                        • #27
                          Campo, I really like using freight and spies to keep ai spies out and to lessen sneak attack effects. You're right though, when the war starts, they die.

                          When I use it though, we're at peace. And I want his dips to have to go around them onto hills or forest or something to use up movement points. Then when they're stopeed in my territory, I expel them. Without them having stolen or sabotaged.

                          Freight is particularly nice in a fortress on shared territory; it keeps the resources for you without the constant "get your butt out of territory" every turn - spy might be expelled. And when he finally attacks and uses up movement, you counterattack, roll through a bunch of his cities and there it is.

                          Of course, if you're a fundy or commie, or just itching to kick some ai butt, you can just let his dip steal and have at it.


                          • #28
                            Xin Yu, thank you, I had failed to appreciate the full value of a sorceror on the kraken's back, because it is a long time since I had a chance to bribe one.

                            I've played whole games without ever seeing a barbarian kraken. I wonder if they are more likely to occur if the map is NOT small (I have been playing: small map, large continent).

                            - toby

                            toby robison
                            toby robison


                            • #29
                              Tobyr: I don't know if it is the small map. I suspect it has something to do with the tech. Check out the scenario league web page for hints on barbarian units. I wonder if some techs makes the barbs only pump out shield ships rather than krakens, or vise versa.