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Horsemen getting butchered

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  • Horsemen getting butchered

    Well, the AI was bright enough to put a single swordsman on a mountain just outside of one of my cities I had just conquered. All I had were horsemen, no spearmen in the freshly conquered city. I could let him slaughter a horseman every turn, or fight back.

    I fought back and lost 3 horsemen. Ouch. A single swordsman killed 3 horsemen just by sitting there on the mountain. I think that sending support for the horsemen is more important than it used to be because they can't retreat like they used to be able to.

    I have been doing well with the Zulu. I love them more than Persia now because horsemen upgrade to knights and cavalry. The impi is such an excellent unit in so many circumstances.

    So, do you think impi with horsemen is better than immortals? I still like mounted warriors a lot, but I still think I would lose 1 or 2 against the swordsman on the mountain.
    Wrestling is real!

  • #2
    I don't think Impi/Horsemen are quite as effective as pure MW stacks against the AI in an offensive. The Impi help protect the Horsemen from dying by counter attack, but that shouldn't happen enough to offset the higher casualties on offense.

    Impi on their own (or with a few Horsemen support) can cripple several AI before the offensives begin though. Send the Impi in while your Horsemen are being built up, and they can come along later and take the cities almost as effectively as MW's would have. Until the AI gets Invention they won't have any shot at reclaiming their Iron.

    I would usually rather have Religious for an attribute, but for early warmongers Militaristic can be better. It helps even the mortality rates between Horsemen and Mounted Warriors, as a higher promotion rate means more HP's and better retreat odds. Up until the need for a revolution, Militaristic would be better.

    In the end, I think the casualty rates are about the same. The MW's just won't have to retreat quite as often, making an offensive a bit quicker. Also a pure MW force will end up with more Knights from upgrades than a Horseman/Impi hybrid force.

    Impi really are fun to harrass the AI with though.


    • #3
      All that typing and I misread the question. Ooops.

      Zulu vs. Persians is a lot easier in my mind. I would take a pure Horseman stack over Immortals, adding in Impi for support just makes it less of a contest.


      • #4
        Just remember one of the predictable things the AI always does is stick units on mountains in the hopes someone will be dopey enough to try to attack them there.

        Just let them rot on their stupid mountain; attack them when they come off.

        Oh, if having an AI unit on a mountain near a town makes you nervous (for some reason) just stick your own spearman/pikeman on the mountain first.

        BTW, your dilemma proves that you should NOT advance with large mounted armies as you need cheaper foot units to hold ground.


        • #5
          Coracle, in King's case, the AI swordsman would not have just sat on the mountain next to the horseman-defended city. He would have picked off the horsemen, one at a time, like King said.


          • #6
            @King of Rasslin
            coundnt that case have been excluded?
            did you just take a city beneath a mountain without worrying

            i do not get yr point:
            mw and immortals are both able to be used in huge rush,fighting muskemen in the end, to achive a very early domination victory or(on a higher level) quickly enlarging the prod.-capacity by defeating one or two well positioned civs.
            horsemen dont...with or without impi,they come to early and are to weak to start a GOOD rush on emperor or deity and are (since to expensive in upgrade) useless for a complete domination rush on monarch or regent.
            so imo ther'r 3rd class...
            possibly i did not understand you (?)


            • #7
              Of course Immortals preform better in most individual engagements, but I'm talking about the overall picture.

              Horsemen become Knights, just like MW's. This comes shortly after the point where Pikemen make them much less effective. With Impi though, your enemies shouldn't have any Iron for Pikemen, so the Horsemen just keep rolling until they become Knights.

              I have had a lot of success using Horsemen on both Emperor and Deity levels. They can often get to, take a city, and move on to the next before the slower Immortals could have even gotten there. On larger maps this is more apparent of course, as is the necessity of an upgrade path.


              • #8
                Seraphin, no unit is too expensive to upgrade; some just aren't worth it. Horses or chariots to knights and then cavalry? That's why I save up my pennies. On Emperor/standard, I regularly use mounted units in early rushes, and win via domination with cavalry rushes.


                • #9
                  I wasn't worried because the guy only had 3 cities left. But then 2 other civs ally up against me and I got distracted

                  Well, I decided to pull out the horsemen and let him take the city. Then, I just took it right back

                  Of course, I wouldn't use the autosave in a serious game, no way!
                  Wrestling is real!


                  • #10

                    I used to think that not reloading was a sign that one's strategy was good and worked in all stiuations.

                    However, after playing the mini-tournament games, and having tried repeatedly to do archer rushes and swordsmen rushes, I have found that it is almost impossible to play at these levels without reloading occasionally, just to see if it was the choice of strategy or the game dealing out snake-eyes.

                    Case in point: in 2 different tournament games, I used a reload to test my hypothesis about the randomness of combat. I managed to loose 3 veteran archers attacking a regular enemy archer in open ground, all in the same turn. This was reproduced in two reloads. (I seem to remember that the randonm number seed is saved with the game)

                    In another test I used stacks of 8 veteran archers with one spearman to attack an unfortified size 5 town defended by 2 spearman (on plains) and have lost all 8 archers without killing one of the spearman. (Moscow in the 2nd mini-tournament)

                    Reloading the game, I wasn't able to reproduce the original disaster, but found that the game has a specific pattern to combat: the initial attacking archer would die, almost everytime, leaving the defending unit with 2 hp, (having gone from regular to veteran after the attack), the second archer would die in 2 out of 3 reloads, and the 3rd unit would finally kill the defender, but have only 1 hp left. I have seen this happen on to the CC too, in the exact same way, with the same units, but only when fighting another CC. They have no problems taking out my cities in their counter-attacks. In an early ancient-age war, no one can sustain heavy losses.

                    This has made me absolutely hate combat in this game. For all the strategies and tactics I have used that have worked so well for everyone else, I have yet to be able to play a clean tournament game without reloading because of these disasters. Non-tournament games have similar results, but I fight less often, so the losses aren't as important.

                    So to Coracle: leaving that swordsman on that mountain is not a good idea since he will keep attacking when the garrison is only a 1 defensinve strength unit. He would eventually take out all of the horsemen that were there.

                    I have been playing at Regent since I am on an even footing with the CC's and have won by cultural victories and by Space Race with most of the civs, but at these higher levels, were calculations about the enemy are critical, having bad luck supercede a good strategy just plain old sucks. If I wanted a game that was based purely on luck, I'd play Risk.

                    So I wonder what sorts of unit numbers you guys are using in your rushes? I recall Vel saying he needed about 20 horsemen and 5-6 spearmen and archers to do the job, but I suspect he would usually raze most of the towns he captured. I'm thinking with my luck, I am going to need 40+ units before launching an attack.

                    "Not the cry, but the flight of the wild duck,
                    leads the flock to fly and follow"

                    - Chinese Proverb


                    • #11
                      You ended up doing what I would do: retreat, allow sword to take city, retake city.

                      I had a similar situation in a recent game. I took an Indian city, and I had several beat up horsemen and 1-2 swords in it. The Indians brought up 6 or so swordsmen on a hill next to the city. Foughettaboutit. I pulled back, abandoned the city, and then picked off the Indian troops bit by bit.

                      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.


                      • #12
                        You have to remember that mountains provide a defensive bonus. So a fortified Swordsman fortified in mountaisn will be a pain to take out. Also, the Swordsman's Defence is equal to the Horseman's Offence
                        Up the Irons!
                        Rogue CivIII FAQ!
                        Odysseus and the March of Time
                        I think holding hands can be more erotic than 'slamming it in the ass' - Pekka, thinking that he's messed up


                        • #13
                          This is why I've taken to bringing along swordsmen with my horseman rushes. They often keep up with the horsies because they don't do any attacking of cities... I hold them back (love that "w" button) while the horsies take the town, and then the sword can use the road to waltz into my new town. If the AI brings up swords on favorable terrain, I have the option of fortifying my sword (if the city I took is on a hill, this is probably good enough) or softening the AI sword with a horse and then finishing with my sword. Anyway, I find it is worth my while to bring some footsloggers along for the ride.

                          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
                            If you have 3 Horsies against 1 Swordman on a mountain you could (instead of attacking): Move 1 of yer Horsies beside the Swordman, (I dont know exactly how the AI will respond, but the unit should be more desirable to attack than the ones in the city) if he attacks and kills yer Horse, he's now not on the mountain.


                            • #15
                              we are defenetly addicted to different types of strategie:
                              i simply dont like "horse+upgrade".
                              we should not start an endless discussion about it ...we will simply deal it out with ptw.

                              *throwing glove*