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Civ choice for early warmongering

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  • Civ choice for early warmongering

    Prospects for early warmongering, by civ (clearly assuming that culture grouping is on):

    Egypt: Neighbors are Greece & Rome. Ouch. Your UU, a cheap horseman that can't enter Mts. or Jungle, is decent, especially since you can muster large numbers pretty early, but both of your neighbors can field units with a defense of 3 to counter it. If Rome doesn't have iron, which you cannot count on, it might be easier. Warmonger grade: C

    Rome: Neighbors are Greece & Egypt. Greece has hoplites, which match your legions... provided you can get iron. Egypt is not a problem. You are militaristic, too, ain't that cool?Warmonger grade: B+

    Greece: Neighbors are Rome and Egypt. Rome w/iron means legions, and they will build a lot of 'em. Egypt has cheap horsemen. Warmonger grade: B-

    Germany: Neighbors are England, France & Russia. None of them have ancient UU's, and none are militaristic. You also have a later UU, but are a militarist. Warmonger grade: A-

    England: Neighbors are the other Europeans, which includes one militarist, Germany, which is probably the most aggresive civ in the game. No early UU's. Warmonger grade: C

    France: Ditto England.

    Russia: Ditto England & France.

    Babylon: Neighbors are Persia and Zululand. Persia w/iron means Immortals, and the Zulu are aggresive militarists. The Impi is death to horsemen. Your UU is garbage. Warmonger grade: D

    Persia: Neigbors are the Babs and Zulu. Babs are a juicy target, and Impis aren't too much of a problem for a unit with an attack of 4. Your unit is slow, though. Warmonger grade: A

    Zululand: Neighbors are Babs and Persians. Persia has a strong attack unit, but it's just a swordsman on defense. The Babs, as mentioned before, present little threat. You are militaristic, and can form horseman/impi teams. Yikes! Warmonger grade: B+

    Japan: Neighbors are China and India. No early UU's. China is militaristic, India is very much NOT militaristic. You are militaristic and start with the wheel. Warmonger grade: A

    China: Neighbors are Japan and India. You are a militarist, and so is Japan. India is a lamb to the slaughterhouse. Grade: A-

    India: What do you think? Grade: F


    The "grades" I handed out apply only if you intend to attack early and crush you neighbors. If you intend to build up first, and hit with overwhelming force later, it's a whole different ballgame.

    grog want tank...Grog Want Tank... GROG WANT TANK!

    The trick isn't to break some eggs to make an omelette, it's convincing the eggs to break themselves in order to aspire to omelettehood.

  • #2
    I guess you're assuming with culturally linked starting positions is enabled. I haven't been playing that way, so I can't contribute much, but what about the Iroqois and Aztec, some of the best early war mongers? They certainly took a hit with the patch in the the redraw capability. I think they probably went from an A+ to an A-.

    The Zulu deserve better than a B+. I would give them a solid A, partly because of their UU is so durable and fast. Being Militaristic and Expansionist, they have great attributes to build strong, fast Impis or scouts and explore the terrain early to secure vital resources. Plus thier UU upgrades all the way to mech infantry.

    The other marks seem reasonable.

    I guess the Germans could get an A-, mainly if it is by being next to weaker neighbors. it seems to be more the way the AI plays them that is so intimidating.

    I guess I could see Japan getting an A. I guess if they do well in the early game, then their Samurai can expand on that. I have played against them many times, but never as them.

    Persia, even if they are culturally grouped might have a difficult time with Zulus, especially if they haven't a source for iron. I would rate them a B+ or A-.


    • #3
      Couple of points.

      Egyptian war chariots are available after just researching the wheel, whereas horses require warrior code and horseback riding. This is a huge difference for early attacking, especially on the higher levels where a few extra turns matter. You can hit Rome with a stack of war chariots before they have any/many legions, even on deity.

      The Babs are so much better IMO than indicated. I have played a few deity games with them recently and they are a dark horse. They are only one tech away from a cheap (critical for 1.17f deity) unit that requires no additional defence. You need the 40 turns to build a couple of cities with barracks anyway, then build a stack vet bowman and pick your target, for once rejoicing in the early golden age. Some civs are still better in this regard (I would say the Egyptians are one) but the Babs have a further advantage in that when the conquering is over and you have a mad scramble to catch up with the AI elsewhere you can change to a peaceful footing easily. Cheap temples, cathedrals, libraries, universities etc


      • #4
        The keys for early warmongering are the Militaristic trait, a good Ancient era UU, getting to the Wheel, Horseback Riding, and Iron Working quickly, and being able to take out the AI's Iron (Horses vs Iroquois) resources early on. The Industrious trait helps a bit in getting the war machine set up, especially for Iron Civs.

        The Militaristic trait is much more important with the 1.17f patch. Before, any civ could build a Barracks for the same price, one pop rush. Now pop rushing a Barracks isn't a good idea, so the half price of Barracks for Militarists means something. Also the more common promotions means that Militaristic unit's retreat % is better on average. The other advantages are still there, more leaders and starting with 1 tech towards Horseback Riding.

        Most Ancient UU's can be used effectively, the ones with upgrade paths and mobility are the most valuable. The Ancient Era doesn't last too long on higher difficulty levels. Deity games I've played usually reach the middle ages by about 1000BC. While Swordsmen UU's are effective early on, their lifespan is much too short. Not being able to use pop-rushing to quickly build up an army just makes this more apparent.

        Getting to the valuable war techs first is a huge advantage. Iron Working to see the Iron and build Swordsmen, the Wheel to see Horses, and Horseback Riding to build Horsemen. This gives Scientific Civs an advantage, as they start with Bronze Working. The Germans are the only ones who get 2 techs towards these goals. The Japanese get to see the Horses from the start which is a nice edge.

        Expansionist Civs get a lot of help from a tech standpoint. Even on smaller maps they get more from goody huts than anyone else would. The Russians are the Civ most likely to get Iron Working first. The Zulu have the best shot at Horseback Riding. The Expansionist Civs also get a better shot at an early Settler, one of which can just about double the players expansion and military buildup. Expansionist's maps are worth enough gold to upgrade all those Horsemen to Knights later on, or a few Middle Ages techs.

        On their own, Scouts deliver a huge advantage when used for locating and/or denying resources. In wartime, they can nulify a "slow" Civ by themselves, keeping the entire AI's offensive force walking around in circles. I think using Scouts this way is exploitive, but it is one of their abilities. At a cost of 10 sheilds, Scouts might be the most cost effective unit in the game.

        I agree with most of your grades Arrian, but like Shaka II, would have to give the Zulu at least an A. Also I would give Expansionist Civs in general another half a grade higher. The French should be down with the Indians or lower. Commercial is worthless for both. Religious is a better overall trait than Industrial, though not as important early on. The GA's come at about the same time. The main difference is that the War Elephants can be useful in some situations (you shouldn't be without Iron though), while the Musketeer (and Musketmen in general) are a complete waste. The Russians are also stronger than a C, probably a B on how fast they can get to Iron Working.


        Zulu - the only Civ which benefits in all the important areas. I've played about 50 Ancient eras with them, and haven't once had to fight against Immortals, and almost never against Swordsmen. This is even though I rarely use Scouts for holding Iron resources. I can get Impi on that Hill or Mountain very quickly, and Archers don't have much effect against Impi. Grade: A+(+)

        Iroquois - Best UU in the game still, probably even more so with the patch. Not being able to pop-rush Horsemen, or retreat with them as much, makes the +1 attack value more important. They miss out on the Militaristic advantages, but are still strong because of Expansionist. The Iroquois can take out an AI civ faster (by duration) than any other Ancient era Civ. Grade: A+(+)

        Aztec - With the new tech trading rules the Jags have a shorter offensive lifespan. They still are effective early on, and give the Aztec a few of the Expansionist advantages. Militaristic, and with a useful cheap UU. Their Golden Age comes a bit too soon, as Jag's have to strike as quickly as possible. The Aztec can still take out an AI civ faster (by date) than any other Civ. Grade: A

        Americans - They might as well not have a UU. Expansionist and Industrial does give them a good start though. They are just a hair stronger than the English, who are the weakest of the Expansionists. Grade: B-


        • #5
          Oh Aeson, there you go getting all serious and meticulous again.

          It's simple. Rome rules. A+++++


          1. Militaristic. Cheap Barracks.

          2. Commercial. Romans are Commercial, it must be good.

          3. Legions. The most under-rated UU by all the semi-professional raters.

          4. Me. I play them. Egocentrism is always a good justification. Sounds good to me.

          (")_(") This is Bunny. Copy and paste bunny into your signature to help him gain world domination.


          • #6
            I like your arguments notyoueither! Sorry to rain seriousness down upon the discussion, but I had to defend my Impi!


            • #7
              Yes. I guess he probably did give the Impi rather short shrift. I guess you learned em. He won't do that again.

              (")_(") This is Bunny. Copy and paste bunny into your signature to help him gain world domination.


              • #8
                Lol. We are all mainly commenting on civs we like that we feel were maligned in the original rating. Guess it was pretty predictable Aeson plumping for the Zulus and Notyoueither for the Romans


                • #9
                  In my games till 1.17 came, I was more a builder than a warmonger. I just had 3 or 4 weeks break (not counting a few quick strategy checks). Now I'm up to make a warmonger style game, with all but conquest turned off. Well, I could take "my" Germans and things would be fine. But I played most of my builder games with them and want to try something new. According to Arrian, the Japanese would be best. But I think I'll take Aeson's (the "expert warmonger" ) advice and will play the Zulus. Their UU is a perfect supplement to horsemen, expansionistic seems to be a good trait for warmongers (scouts for huts, exploring and resource denial) and militaristic of course too. I have played the Zulus before, but just in tests and only in the ancient age. Now I'll play an entire game with them. So thanks guys, for your excellent analysis , and I will see what warmonger grade I will give the Zulus.


                  • #10
                    Ah, good, some discussion.

                    Ok, maybe I undervalued the Zulu. I didn't think about the expansionist advantage. The Impi are a solid unit, no doubt, but I tend to rate offensive units higher. Still, I could see giving them an A-

                    The French were rated higher than the Indians only because they have a few non-militaristic neighbors, whereas India has to deal with China and Japan. The uselessness of the French UU vis-a-vis the Indian one I will grant you, but I really was ignoring any UU that isn't ancient.

                    Hmm... I left out the American civs. Oops, I had grades for 'em, I just forgot. Doh.

                    Aztecs: Neighbors America & Iroquois. Militaristic. They can hit before the feared Mounted Warrior can get into action, and America has the worst (and latest) UU in the game. The JW is 10 shields, making up for the weak attack/def values. Grade: A

                    Americans: Neighbors Aztecs and Iroquois. Eek. UU doesn't show up until the end of the Modern Age. They are, however, Exp/Ind, which can get them off to a strong start (I'm being generous to my homeland here). Grade: D+

                    Iroquois: Neighbors Aztecs & Americans. Aztecs are dangerous - but the AI doesn't realize it, giving you time to start building the best UU in the game. The Americans may expand well, but they have nothing that can deal with the Mounted Warrior. You expansionist trait can be used to locate your prey. A+
                    grog want tank...Grog Want Tank... GROG WANT TANK!

                    The trick isn't to break some eggs to make an omelette, it's convincing the eggs to break themselves in order to aspire to omelettehood.


                    • #11
                      Iroquois have the upgrade path, too

                      I'd have to pick the Iroquois as the best early civ for warmongering. The Mounted Warrior is hands down the best early UU, especially with all the weak American cities sitting next door.

                      An added benefit that can't be overlooked is that that large army of Mounted Warriors can be immediately upgraded to Knights when you get Chivalry, giving you a quick boost against the AI civs that are stuck with a bunch of ancient units - that become fairly useless once the Knights take the field - and have to produce their Knights from scratch.

                      Your army is instantly large, powerful and modern while your opponents are scrambling to catch up and you can smash at least one of them before they get the chance

                      -When in doubt attack. When not in doubt, attack anyways - it's more fun


                      • #12
                        I would give the Germans a D- for early warmongering. The main reason is that you can't get a Golden Age at an early date. That eliminates the production benefit of the Golden Age, which I have found makes all the difference for early warmongering.
                        Golfing since 67


                        • #13
                          An early golden age can help warmongering, it's true. I suppose the builder in me would prefer to not blow that golden age so early, though. The reason I love the Japanese is that they can hit hard with horsemen w/o triggering a golden age, and then those horsies become Samurai. I actually triggered my golden age by building Sistine/Sun Tzu, but Samurai come at about the same time.

                          Maybe the Germans are more of a B+ for early warmongering... A- might have been too good. I based their grade, however, largely upon who their neighbors are. The English, French and Russians are all non-militaristic civs with mid-game UU's. The Germans are also 1 tech from ironworking at the start. They are like a wolf amongst the lambs.

                          grog want tank...Grog Want Tank... GROG WANT TANK!

                          The trick isn't to break some eggs to make an omelette, it's convincing the eggs to break themselves in order to aspire to omelettehood.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Arrian

                            The Germans are also 1 tech from ironworking at the start. They are like a wolf amongst the lambs.

                            Why yes, yes they are...
                            "There's screws loose, bearings
                            loose --- aye, the whole dom thing is
                            loose, but that's no' the worst o' it."
                            -- "Mr. Glencannon" - Guy Gilpatrick


                            • #15
                              I think your grade for Germany was right on Arrian. They are the only Civ which starts with Bronze Working and Warrior Code. My best ever early conquest score came with Germany.