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Meat grinder wars

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  • Meat grinder wars

    I'm playing as the Romans on a large archipelago map with maximum land area. I share a continent with the Germans while the Vikings and Celts have their own continents somewhat smaller than the one I am on. (I could ask why I always choose archipelago and always get continents, but that is beside the point.) The Egyptians and Japanese were destroyed fairly early by the Vikings and Celts. By the time we had all finished our expansion phase, we were all big and powerful. Naturally, the Germans started making demands of me and decaring war when I didn't give them what they wanted, which I never did.

    So I decided that since there would never be lasting peace, and since taking over the German territory would be a great advantage for me considering I had a number of wonders with continental effects, I would go to war and stay at war with the Germans until I had taken most of their territory. Unfortunately, it has proved almost impossible to wear them down. After about 75 turns of total war, the German units just keep coming. I have lost maybe a hundred units, but they have lost at least twice that many, all the while maintaining tech parity. I have managed to take two cities, but that is not much progress for so much fighting and every time I advance a stack deeper into their territory, another group of 20 or so knights or cavalry come out of the fog and I have to put them down to keep them out of my territory.

    Basically, they seem to have an almost unlimited supply of first class units. True, I have not given up everything to win the war. I have made the time to build universities, cathedrals and other necessities and I have managed to get most of the wonders, but in almost every other war I have had with an AI civ they start out strong and then collapse after a while. So what am I doing wrong? Should I ignore their attacking units and go for their cities? Should I land a few troops behind the lines with galleons, and attack lightly defended cities? What is the best strategy for cutting down an AI civ that is as powerful as you?

  • #2
    Grind it out with them till modern warfare and grind them down with combined arms, power projection and flanking maneuvers at lesser defended coastal sites, with marines...


    • #3
      Oh.. and its usually always the best tactic to go for their cities, if you've got the stacks to do so: they become empire size -1... you become empire size +1.

      They might settle somewhere else, but it will probably be in a suboptimal place...


      • #4
        If you would be interested in posting a save, that would make it easier to evaluate your position in this particular game.

        For future reference, I think it's a mistake to build a bunch of improvements during a war unless you already have enough units to give you a decisive advantage on the front lines. You don't have to outnumber the AI overall, just get and be able to keep clear local superiority where the actual fighting is taking place at a given time. Without clear local superiority, the war lasts longer and costs more than it should, so the total number of shields diverted away for military use instead of building improvements can be a lot higher.



        • #5
          You should focus on taking their front line cities with combined arms stacks. You will only wear them down by taking territory from them. Eventually you will get at their core cities and that will be the end of them.

          Don't stop until they are destroyed.
          Never give an AI an even break.


          • #6
            I find when I get into this situation the best plan is to make peace, and when the AI goes into "builder mode" keep producing attack units untill you have far too many, then strike again. I need to have a pause to get ahead enough, but I try to have enough forces that I can just overwhelm the enemy with the first assualt. I figure on two units for each city size of the AI is enough, but I like to make sure. I had one of these "meat grinders" go into the modern era once against Persia on Deity. We were the only two civs left, and we were just grinding it out across a huge flat Pangea. My spy told me that they had more than 120 MechInf and about 200 ModArmour. My forces were similar, but with a bit more bombards and crap as well. We both had a geat big stack of cities that were totally developed, and I'd let Persia get Sun Tzu's (mistake) so we were both producing MAs as fast as they were being destroyed. I gave up on this game eventually after we both started nuking each other. Meat grinder really was the word for it. I'd started something I couldn't finish, and they wouldn't make peace.
            Anyway, I can only advise you have a big enough advantage before you attack, or get some allies (?), or stop to build an advantage. Long wars are BAD

            1) The crappy metaspam is an affront to the true manner of the artform. - Dauphin
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            • #7

              Wars of attrition are simply not a good thing. I would have done, or would consider doing the following:

              - If you're at war, make it your top priority. Going half-n-half on building may easily double or triple your losses

              - Knights and Cav a problem. Go straight for their horses (and/or iron). Just as good would be to pillage their saltpeter, so they go from cav and muskets to knights and pikes.

              - You gain far less from "one" war to the end. Beat them down badly until your losses start to mount and until you have something useful to demand from them - tech or cities. The next 20 turns keep building military while they sleep, then go back to war and wipe them out.

              - If you guys have lost THIS many units I shudder to think how far ahead the peaceful AI on other civs have gotten (so lack of tech concessions taking 20 turns of peace hurts that much more)

              - Wait til modern warfare??? Oh my goodnes, no! If they don't currently have rifles and the ability to draft (Nationalism) you darn well better finish them off before they do!

              - Bombard or siege-starve cities size 7 or larger down to 6 or below to take away a significant defensive bonus

              - For future reference be sure to state what difficulty lvl. I assume from your having 'several continent wide wonders' that you're not on Emp or higher. So the AI really doesn't have infinite resources, you just need to play smarter than them and STOP fighting meat grinder style

              Good luck!


              • #8
                Re: Meat grinder wars

                So I decided that since there would never be lasting peace...I would go to war and stay at war with the Germans until I had taken most of their territory...
                True, I have not given up everything to win the war. I have made the time to build universities, cathedrals and other necessities and I have managed to get most of the wonders...
                Charis gives good advice!
                1 - Peace doesn't have to be lasting. In a lot of ways, Civ 3/PTW discourages long, drawn-out wars and encourages short wars with limited objectives. Pick off a couple of cities, rest, build your military and 20 turns later (to let your WW get back to normal) go after them again.
                2 - Assure yourself of as overwhelming a level of force as you can manage. Remember, the war is going to be short, so don't get sidelined with building much non-military stuff. Most of your cities should be building units to replace losses and/or increase your force level.
                "Illegitimi non carborundum"


                • #9
                  When fighting a powerful foe, it is usually best to chop them up a bit at a time.

                  A couple of priorities:

                  Cut their iron/horses/saltpeter
                  Capture their luxuries (if feasible).

                  Both of those things will hurt them. Badly.

                  Having done that, grind down the remaining top-flight units via strategic defense (lure them into your land and slaughter them there) and then switch to the attack. Now you will be facing longbowmen. Not as problematic.

                  I recently fought a war as Rome vs. the Vikings (early medieval). They were pretty strong, had build the Pyramids (hence big, productive cities), and had iron. I think they had horses too, but don't recall. They had just gotten feudalism. I sent in my horsemen/legionary force anyway.

                  The first thing I did was assemble 3 veteran legionaries and goto them to the Viking iron supply. I cut that iron with my single remaining 1-hp elite legionary. *phew* The Vikings hit that stack hard with Med. Infantry.

                  Sure, lost a lot of horsemen attack their pikemen, but I fought my way to the city I wanted for my Palace move, rushed it with a leader, and then settled in to await Chivalry, using catapults to soften up incoming longbowmen and elite horsemen/legionaries to finish them. That resulted in leaders for Sun Tzu, Sistine and Leos. When I got Chivalry, I went back on the offensive and wiped them out.

                  Resources are very important. If you can force the AI to use its production on longbowmen, and prevent them from building any new defenders better than spearmen (the results of cutting iron/saltpeter), you're all set. It still may take a while to finish them, but finish them you will.

                  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.


                  • #10
                    On why you seems to be getting continents on Large Archepello, actually having 3 "continents" is an Archepello style, especally when combined with max land area. Contiental usually only results in 2 continents.

                    On why the German empire is taking so long to collapse:
                    It's directly related to your notes about taking time out to build other improvments.
                    For a big war, you simply need to go all out.

                    In addition, I highly recommend going for their cities instead of the armies where practile while instead luring the oppoents armies into a wild goose chance looking for your undefended city, and fighting a series of short wars where you take or replace 2 or 3 cities, sign a peace treay for 20 turns while building more forces, then after that treaty is up go to war again and take a 3 to 4 more cities, then sign a peace treaty and build additional forces, and repeat rather than fight a continuous long war.
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                    • #11
                      Arrian's tips remind me of a move I recently pulled on Rome and is a reminder how helpful it is to have the enemy in your territory.

                      I, as the Mongols, was the owner of a vast territory. On the eastern border was Rome, to the west was Greece. Probably twenty squares separated the borders. So I picked a fight with Alexander and signed an MA with Caesar (although not an RoP--very key).

                      Caeser and his infantry slowly trod across my land towards Greece. In the meantime I quickly eliminated Greece from the map. When the last Greek city was occupied, the MA with Rome was automatically dissolved. But poor Caesar had his enitre army right smack in the middle of Mongol lands. Truly pilgrims in an unholy land. And worse yet for these loyal soldiers, their leader was fearless; and when I asked him to remove his infantry stacks, he declared war.

                      One turn later, my arty stacks melted his infantry which were finished off by elite cavs. The rest is written down somewhere in the annals of my harddrive.

                      Fighting a superior opponent does not have to last 75 turns. Just make sure your army is large enough to 1) take out his initial assault; and 2) counter-attack successfully that will forever put him ont he defensive.

                      Good luck.
                      "One riot; one ranger."
                      --A motto of the Texas Rangers


                      • #12
                        Y dont u do a resource denial tactic to make sure German cannot make any more Cavalry or Musketmans. Take out their saltpeters, horses and Iron with fast cavalries. Destroy roads leading to luxuries to create a massive unhappiness in their cities....

                        Then lead your main army to mop up their cities

                        And dont even think bout modern warfare with Germany. Their nasty Panzers will be soo painful...


                        • #13

                          I pulled that trick once (as Babylon, dealing with Persia). I don't really like it, though. It's kinda taking advantage of the AI, ya know?


                          You suggest cutting the resources with Cav. Sometimes that is the way to go (if said resource is easily reachable by Cav mountain-hopping). However, sometimes you have to send in an infantry stack to ensure survival. Actually, if the resource is deep enough in enemy territory, the best tactic is probably to send in a few of your strongest defenders with 2 explorers and get the explorers within 5 tiles of the resource (5 moves + 1 pillage = all 6 moves).

                          The AI also responds poorly to amphibious assualts (not talking real amph attacks like with Marines, but rather landing a huge stack of troops via galleons on some mountains on the other side of the AI empire).

                          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
                            can scouts/explorers pillage roads and/or tile improvements??

                            I rarely build them unless i'm expantionist.


                            • #15
                              yes they can