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peace-time mobilization for builders

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  • peace-time mobilization for builders

    I haven't really seen any good discussion of mobilization. Most people seem to think it's rarely useful, generally when you're in a massive war to raze the rest of the planet.

    Well, I like mobilization. The stages of my most successful games have been:

    1) REX
    2) fighting on my continent, mostly looking for a leader for building Lighthouse
    3) building, exploring, looking for ideal FP location
    4) fighting to conquer my continent & trying to get a leader to rush FP (or relocate capitol) to new continent
    5) building on main continent, ferrying settlers / workers / troops to new continent
    6) heavy research and rushing improvements on the new continent, establish tech lead
    7) mobilize & build

    In step 6, I will have my best city prebuilding for ToE, then another one prebuilding for Hoover. I want to get ToE in one turn as soon as I get Scientific Method, then I will get Atomic Theory & Electronics, which are expensive techs that the AI will often not get for a long time. Then, I will be trying to trade and research my way to Mass Production, trying to keep the AI happy without giving Atomic Theory & Electronics to anyone. This will generally get me Motorized Transportation before any of the AI's have Electronics.

    When I'm close to getting tanks, I'll mobilize. By this time, I generally have a core of fully developed cities.

    Let me now give a common example of a mid-Industrial problem. Say you're done building improvements in a central city, but you've got an outlying city that desperately needs a Courhouse, which costs 80 shields. What do you do? Most people already know that Wealth is pretty much worthless, but let me break it down:

    - Wealth converts shields to gold at a 4:1 ratio.

    - Disbanding converts units back to shields at a 4:1 ratio. That is, an 80-shield Cavalry will become 20 shields.

    - Rushing converts gold to shields at a 4:1 ratio (if there are already shields in the box)

    - Setting cities to Wealth then using gold to rush improvements in other cities imposes both the 4:1 Wealth penalty and the 4:1 rush penalty, meaning that you are suffering a 16:1 loss.

    - Building fast military units then disbanding them in other cities to rush improvements imposes only the 4:1 penalty for disbanding, because you are not rushing. Therefore, building units to disband is 4X more efficient than Wealth.

    - Mobilization gives you a Golden Age-like production boost. Cities producing 30 shields will go up to 50-60 shields.

    - Mobilization can be started at any time, and actually takes place on a per-city basis. That is, cities producing non-military improvements will continue until done, and then they will get the shield boost and be forced to produce military units.

    - If planned correctly, Mobilization can help you develop all your cities 2X as fast as regular disbanding and 8X as fast as Wealth/Rushing.

    In the later game, I will generally Mobilize once, building an invasion (Veteran) force at cities with a Barracks and a disbanding (Regular) force at other cities, then take out an enemy civ and quickly sue for peace if there was someone they had an MPP with. Then I can end mobilization and rush improvements with non-Elites. Rinse & repeat.

    This might not be as useful to people who prefer to just raze everything ASAP, but I like to have developed cities with massive culture (even if playing on a small map where I won't actually win by culture).
    To secure peace is to prepare for war.

  • #2
    The problem is that as each city finishes it's non-military build it won't be allowed to start a new non-military unit until you've gone to war and signed a peace treaty.
    1st C3DG Term 7 Science Advisor 1st C3DG Term 8 Domestic Minister
    Templar Science Minister
    AI: I sure wish Jon would hurry up and complete his turn, he's been at it for over 1,200,000 milliseconds now.


    • #3
      Re: peace-time mobilization for builders

      Originally posted by Dimension
      When I'm close to getting tanks, I'll mobilize. By this time, I generally have a core of fully developed cities.
      This is probably the one time period mobilizing is worthwhile. You have plenty of time to finish improvements with the help of factories and it makes the jump from cavalry to tanks easier. It also reflects the real-world use of mobilization.

      Mobilizing to disband and hurry improvements is of limited value - you can build the courthouse but then you can't switch to a police station. You could rush improvements in a few cities while setting up your tank war, but then why aren't you using the units to fight?


      • #4

        Umm, yeah. That's the way it works...

        You have to plan it right. All you need to do is finish a little war in the time it takes your worst cities to build two improvements (hopefully sooner), which is extremely easy. If you can't finish a war in that time, you weren't prepared, and you will probably have war weariness problems, too.

        For example:

        City A = Size 12, developed inner city, producing 35 shields/turn

        City B = Size 6, corrupt city on outskirts, producing 5 shields/turn

        First, City B begins producing a Courthouse and you switch to Mobilization.

        Now City A is producing 50 shields/turn, making a Tank every 2 turns. City B has not gone military yet and will complete Courthouse in 16 turns.

        16 turns later, City A has produced 8 Tanks and City B has produced Courthouse. City B now has a military production of 10 shields/turn. City B can start making a Tank, which will take 10 turns.

        5 turns later, you end the war. City B has 50 shields towards a Tank, and switches to Police Station, keeping all 50 shields. Then you disband 4 regular Tanks in City B for 100 shields, and pay 40 gold for the final 10 shields to finish the Police Station.

        21 turns actually seems excessively long for a Tank war, but even if it goes that long, you can see that you're still much better off for having Mobilized. You got a lot of half-price tanks to fight and disband for building, and you didn't miss out on building any city improvements.

        If you can plan your war to end fast enough, you're actually better off switching to military units in all cities for the shield bonus, then switching back. You don't lose any of the shields made during Mobilization if you sign a peace treaty and change the city's production.


        If you just want to mobilize and take over the world as soon as you get Tanks, that's fine, but that takes quite a while to get ready for. I think it works much better to take out one civ at a time, then you can keep your people happier. You don't have to support nearly as large an army, either. You just build enough to take out the one civ, and have all those Veteran Tanks ready at the beginning of the war. While you're fighting, you can be producing Veteran and Regular units just for disbanding. You say, "Why aren't you using those units to fight?" but as many people have said, it's better to build your army and start your war with all the units you need to reach your objective, then end the war fast. After you've already started the war, it's not very efficient to be continually trying to ship reinforcements to the other side of the world.
        To secure peace is to prepare for war.


        • #5
          The one time I've used Mobilization is right after Nationalism was discovered when I was sneak attacked a few turns before I was planning my own offensive against the AI.

          That (along with the upgrading of defenders to Riflemen and some limited drafting on the borders) was the key to a quick successful conclusion of that war.
          1st C3DG Term 7 Science Advisor 1st C3DG Term 8 Domestic Minister
          Templar Science Minister
          AI: I sure wish Jon would hurry up and complete his turn, he's been at it for over 1,200,000 milliseconds now.


          • #6
            I havn't tried it, But there is somekind of exploit in here for MP games IMO.
            Agree with your neighbour to go war, build, sign peace, change build queues, declare war, repeat ad infinitum
            Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing?
            Then why call him God? - Epicurus


            • #7
              There are all kinds of exploits if you're colluding with other players in MP. You could have a near-perpetual staged war of Cavalry vs. Warriors that would give an endless supply of leaders.
              To secure peace is to prepare for war.