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Paratroopers useless?

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  • Paratroopers useless?

    Paratroopers have 6/8/1 and a 6 distance of paradrop.

    They dont attack much so they are worthless for attacking.

    They dont defend much compared to the much older and cheaper infantry unit so they are not very good for defending.

    They dont even paradrop much because you need to build an airport in a city to make a paradrop from it, I dont mind building airports, but there is very little combat near my airport cities, or even my border cities, and when there is a lot of combat there, it's 3 turns away from totally moving the border so far that paratroopers cant reach it and not every city I capture has an airport.

    Additionally, the helicopter can "drop" any infantry unit at the same range, from cities that do not have airport. By the time you research advanced flight (IF you do it) you have plenty of normal, cheaper infantry (those called "Infantry") with 6/10/1 to drop with the helicopters. More than that, you can "airlift" infantry from any city to any other city using helicopters, something that paratroopers dont do. There does not seem to be a single advantage in using paratroopers instead of droping normal infantry with helicopters.

    It also doesnt jump very far either, 6 tiles away is barely enough to jump from one city to the next most of the time. Civ2 paratroopers could drop really far, I think it was 10 tiles, which was much better.

    Seriously, the Civ2 paratrooper was much superior. I remember it could paradrop from any city, it could still move the same turn after having droped and it defended better than riflemen.

    So, tell me, Paratroopers in Civ3 totally suck or is it just me?
    Vini, Vidi, Poluti.

  • #2
    Well, I'm not sure if I'm entirely qualified to comment because I've never bothered to build them. Then again, that says something in itself, considering that paradrop units were a fundamental element of my Civ2 & SMAC invasion strategies.
    "In general, someone is a thing of value if and only if he or she is willing to submit to whatever degradation and abuse is required to preserve that position. Anything less betrays a lack of commitment." - Steve Albini


    • #3
      Actually that was my first impression too.

      But i have sort of "devised" a strategy for them:I use them to paradrop deep behind enemy lines on top of resourses that they promptly pillage the next turn.I also have them paradrop on mountains and hills and they occupy those strongpoints frustrating the flow of enemy reinforcements at the front.The enemy will prefer those paras as a target instead of my tank forces.They must always be used in large numbers(8+).

      However by the time i get to use them i have tank or modern armour available and as you have correctly pointed out the front moves on very quickly at that tech level threatening to catch up with the paras before they fullfill their mission.

      But yes, they are nowhere as good as in civ2.
      "Military training has three purposes: 1)To save ourselves from becoming subjects to others, 2)to win for our own city a possition of leadership, exercised for the benefit of others and 3)to exercise the rule of a master over those who deserve to be treated as slaves."-Aristotle, The Politics, Book VII

      All those who want to die, follow me!
      Last words of Emperor Constantine XII Palaiologos, before charging the Turkish hordes, on the 29th of May 1453AD.


      • #4
        From experience in my last game, where I actually built several paratroops:
        They are basically light infantry. They only cost 100 shields, so you may be able to produce them a turn earlier than a more powerful alternate (e.g., MI). Use them to garrison your interior cities. When PTW arrives, if you can use them from an airbase they just might become quite useful.

        Your infantry, at 90 shields, are all going to be upgraded to MI and they are no longer available for production (assuming aluminium). Marines or paratroops are your only non-mechanized alternatives. Unless you want to garrison your cities with swordsmen.


        • #5
          You dont necessarily upgrade all infantry to Mech Infantry.

          Additionally, you can sell your oil to someone and be able to produce the cheaper infantry for 20 turns.
          Vini, Vidi, Poluti.


          • #6
            Originally posted by XOR
            Additionally, you can sell your oil to someone and be able to produce the cheaper infantry for 20 turns.
            Not really, as you can only sell your excess oil, not all of it.


            • #7
              @jdw22 ~ You can sell every last drop of your oil if you so wish. You just can't convince the AI to sell you any resource/luxury that it has but one of.
              "In general, someone is a thing of value if and only if he or she is willing to submit to whatever degradation and abuse is required to preserve that position. Anything less betrays a lack of commitment." - Steve Albini


              • #8
                Originally posted by jdw22

                Not really, as you can only sell your excess oil, not all of it.
                Yes, you can sell all your last oil until you have run out of oil for yourself and cannot build planes, helicopters, paratroopers or mechanized units for 20 turns. I have done it. If you cant find an AI that has no oil you can still pillage the thing for a while.

                That enables you to build standard Infantry (which, shouldn't become obsolete nor be upgradeable to a mechanized mobile unit that isn't helitransportable, but such is life) and I know it because I have done that. It also comes that you can research adv flight before that computers so you can for some time use Infantry and finally, I dont upgrade all of my infantry for that reason and that reason alone, so it is still possible to have infantry and helicopters.

                After that, normal infantry can be put in helicopters and paradroped the same range as paratroopers. They are cheaper, they are stronger and (most important) they dont need airports. The only downside of using helicopters (and I know because I have seen it happen) is that helicopters can be intercepted by fighters while I havent seen a paratrooper airdrop be intercepted by fighters (realismwise, fighters should be able to intercept them).

                And I still have these 61 paratroopers (according to military advisor screen) that wont attack, or defend, or jump, they just sit fortreses on top of strategic resources "looking good" and do a really neat paradrop animation when I send them to a city and paradrop them back into the same tile of the same city (excercises?).
                Vini, Vidi, Poluti.


                • #9
                  You hit myy one big gripe with paratroppers (as one of your gripes). I just don't always have airports on the fringes of my empire. That being said, I have occasionally used them: (1) to airdrop from a core city across a narrow channel (airdropping 15 or 20 paratroppers gets some attention); and (2) to harrass and pillage behind enemy lines (generally after taking and enemy city with an airport intact).

                  I seem to recall trying to mod the game to allow for airdrop missions from cities without an airport but not having a nice clean way to do it - and then my interest in mods began to flag and so I never did complete the task. I didn't think that the mod would necessarily be unbalancing, but never play-tested it - assuming its not, it might add some value to the paratrooper.

                  BTW, I definitely reccommend buildiong a couple at least once, if only to see the cute little graphic of chutes opening even in your own territory.



                  • #10
                    You obviously haven't read my thread. I think it will change your mind.
                    "The first man who, having fenced off a plot of land, thought of saying, 'This is mine' and found people simple enough to believe him was the real founder of civil society. How many crimes, wars, murders, how many miseries and horrors might the human race had been spared by the one who, upon pulling up the stakes or filling in the ditch, had shouted to his fellow men: 'Beware of listening to this imposter; you are lost if you forget the fruits of the earth belong to all and that the earth belongs to no one." - Jean-Jacques Rousseau


                    • #11
                      I've moded the paratroopers to 18a.12d.1m and 160 sheilds. My marines are 14a.12.d.1m and 150 shields. they're expensive, but much more useful


                      • #12
                        The reason that stock paratroops and marines are so lightweight is that they don't include all the firepower support and "depth" (aka logistics "tail") that the MI/MA (or Infantry) have. If they did, then they still wouldn't have the ammunition stores to keep them firing once they had dropped/landed. Therefore, you have to provide external bombardment support.

                        What you have done with your "upgrades" is make it that they could be inserted and "abandoned" without penalty. In principle, when paratroops drop, they are dependent on air support or linkup by ground forces. Marines' are similar. With your mods you could insert them, lose command of the air and/or sea and keep on truckin'.

                        OTOH, I have my OWN mods.


                        • #13
                          I think in terms of realism the Civ3 Paratrooper isn't all that far off - in real life mass paratrooping has been considered obsolete since WWII, or so my sources on military history tell. Infantry needs a lot of support in modern warfare and it's apparently too hard to supply that support to whole divisions that have para-dropped behind enemy lines.

                          Of course, that doesn't have to mean they should suck in the game. I might mod them up a little bit myself, but probably not much. I like to have them as curious little units that demand creativity from the player, instead of the bruteness of the MA.


                          • #14
                            I used to use Paratroopers in Civ2 so that I could take an enemy city, bypassing the ZOC of units in the way. If only Civ2-style ZOC was returned, even if just for fortresses, it would add so much more strategy, particularely defensive logistics and unit positioning (which has very little emphasis IMO).

                            Another thing: some may remember paratroopers from CTP2, which you could paradrop into an occupied tile and it would be considered as an attack. The difference was that if the attack was successful in CTP2 then the paratrooper would kill all the defending units (ie. it would actually have to win against the all).


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by johncmcleod
                              You obviously haven't read my thread. I think it will change your mind.
                              I read it and it doesnt sound very successful. The airdrop target has to be 6 tiles away from your airport, that's not much for a stampede of tanks (with the cost of 4 helicopters + 8 paratroopers + some few tanks you surely already had = that can make 30 tanks pretty easy). Additionally, you used helicopters, which means you could have just used infantry instead.

                              For pillage purposes, mind you, bombers outperform paratroopers even if there are fighters in the region. Same goes for Infantry loaded helicopters.

                              Dont get me wrong, I really like paratroopers (specially Civ2's), it's just that I'd like to be able to use their unique abilities for something else than just watching the airdrop animation.

                              Does anyone know how to change it so that they jump from any city (not just airports) and jump a distance of 9 (instead of just 6)?
                              Vini, Vidi, Poluti.