Warfare: Attacking & Defeating Enemy on Another Continent

You will find that war is a delicate science. How you proceed depends upon the shaping factors in your game. In this guide, i’ve been playing on Huge Map, maximum Civs (set to random). The specifics may vary depending upon what era you will wage the war. In this discussion, I will focus on wars waged during the modern era. I ALWAYS play as an Industrious Civ (Either Egypt or France) due to the insurmountable advantage of the Worker’s production. These principles/ideas will work with any Civ.
What are your biggest challenges?

1. Established Civs. First of all, when fighting in the modern era, most of your competition is established. Most of the geography in the map should be fully occupied. Most borders have been established and your enemies have had time to develop their armies by now.

2. War Weariness. Most of your wars during this era are longer due to the Civs being established. The longer the war, the more War Weariness becomes an issue, especially if you have the Republic or Democracy as your form of government.

Penetration. You’ve got to get passed their lines of defense. It is even more difficult when you consider that you have to whether the storm of a serious counter-offensive whatever you do.

Culture/Nationalism. The worst thing is to spend money, time, and resources to capture an enemy city abroad only to have them defect due to culture from the surrounding cities, or revolting due to relatively large cities having large populations of loyal national citizens.

With all of this to contend with, why would one want to fight abroad in the first place? These wars tend to be longer than others and expensive. But, your strategy might be global domination. You might not like the enemy you’re about to wage war against (someone may have been a thorn in your @ss and deserves a good annihalition). But the 2 most important reasons are:

(1) Resources. What’s worse than discovering a new technology only to find that a key resource is NOT available anywhere within your empire??!!?? This alone may be reason enough to declare war.

(2) Booty. Did the enemy build a Wonder that you covet? Does he have bonus resources that make your mouth water? Consider what are some Booty you can come out with during your campaign.

(3) Competitive Position. Guerilla tactics always suggest that the key strategy depends on if you’re currently #1, #2, or #3. If you’re #1 in the world, you’re attacking your weaknesses. You’re always thinking “what would I do against myself to weaken me if I were #2?” In this case, you may be attacking #2 and/or #3 to make sure that they don’t threaten your position. If you’re #2, you obviously should target #1 in the world. You may decide to attack #3 if AND ONLY IF you feel that that would be less costly and that it would net in you having a better position than #1. If you’re #3, then you’re going after either #1, or #2 and you’re trying to flank their position.

In either event there should be some sort of tangible gain for your efforts, even if that is seeing your nemesis beg for mercy!!!!

”If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail….”

What position are you in going into this war? Usually, I spend the entire game positioning to dominate the world. I say this being a player that is not a warmonger. I generally make a play for my own continent during the Ancient and Middle Ages, then leverage my Industrial strength for scientific supremacy (depending on the difficulty level) and diplomatic supremacy.

Things To Have Before War Begins

Here are some things you want to have in place before you wage your war:

1. Sufficient Cash Reserves. Because you may have to pop rush some improvements, or some military reinforcements, you want to have a considerable amount of cash reserves. I would suggest no less than 10,000-20,000 Gold in your treasury. I’ve had as much as 100,000+ Gold in my treasury before a campaign.

2. Infrastructure. Make sure that you’ve setup significant road infrastructures to your points of departure (see “Things To Do”). You also want to make sure your strategic resources are properly protected. If you completely own and control your own continent, then each strategic resource needs to have fortresses built on that tile. You don’t need to have defensemen placed there, just make sure they are nearby enough to your resources if needed. If you don’t own your continent, then your resources should be heavily defended with defensemen and artillery.

3. Wonders. Try to have built as many wonders to combat war weariness in your Civ. Teh more you have, the longer you can wage war without getting creative. Also, make sure that you have Temples, Cathedrals, Colleseums built in all of your cities. Where necessary and if possible, you may want to develop Communism so you can have the ability to build Police Stations to further combat War Weariness.

4. Decent Air Force. You should have a relatively strong air force. This means you should have a few Carriers (at least 2-3), and at least Bomber plains. Personally, I usually rush to get Stealth Bombers. This is because they go undetected and offset defense by Jet Fighters. If you can’t get Stealth Bombers, then Bombers in volume are needed. At least 8 of your cities should have Airports built. Personally, I build airports in every city, due to their hidden strength as a transport (more on this later….).

5. Strong Naval Force. You should have a relatively strong naval force as well. This one is even more important than your air force. Imagine the time it takes to build and assemble a large army to ship somewhere. Now imagine that army being sunk on the way to its destination because you didn’t have sufficient defense against naval attacks. OUCH!

6. Friends. At this stage of the game, everyone has friends and enemies. Make sure that if he pulls a few allies into the fray that you have a few key friends on your side as well. Wars in the late game are not always one against the other.

7. Kick @ss Army. First of all, your troops in the modern era should usually consist of Tanks, Modern Armor, Mechanized Infantry, Infantry, artillery and radar artillery, depending on what’s available. Whatever it is, you want to have enough ground troops to make a significant penetration. Before you start the war, you should have enough troops to fill around 4-6 Transports. At 8 per Transport, that works out to around 32-48 units. Personally, i’m a planning freak, so I usually don’t even ship until I have enough ground units for 2 points of attack, each with a minimum of 4 Transports. If you do the math, that’s 64 units minimum. I usually break it down as follows:

8 artillery units (Artillery, or Radar Artillery since both have a 2-tile bombardment distance)
8 defensive units (usually Mechinized Infantry, although regular infantry will due also)
16-24 offensive units (ideally Modern Armor, or Tank as your primary offensives).

The idea here is not to be fair. When it comes to warfare, army size does matter. Depending on the strength of your opponent, you may want to have even more units. You may especially want to include another Transport for defensive and artillery units (4/4 splits).

It is important to note that, if possible you can use armies, BUT USE SPARINGLY!!! Armies not only take up boat space, but ARE HIGHLY OVERRATED! We’re talking modern era, so keep that in mind when I say this. Modern Armor can attack 3 times. If you place them in an army, however, they only attack once. So, if you have armies, use them for defensive units. Stack 3-4 Mechanized Infantries into an army. That will be almost impenetrable if you always stack with artillery.

Now, this may sound like a lot to have, but again, we’re talking about your late game. You will need these things to ensure victory (in other postings I can share ideas on how to get great position during the Ancient and Middle Ages).

”Before you strike the first blow, your enemy must be defeated in his mind….”

I war is won in stages and it is one on several fronts. It is not just about guns blazing, kill or be killed. Your enemy needs certain things to fight and defend during war.

Things To Do Before War Begins

Here are some things you want to do to your enemy before you set foot on his land:

1. Cutoff Ties to New Allies. Before you declare war, setup Trade embargoes with as many other Civs as will cooperate. Some may need to be bribed, but you don’t want him trading for key resources once war begins.

2. Assess Enemy Resources. You want to consider where his strategic resources are coming from. These resources may be resources he uses to build his key military units, but may also include happiness resources. Plan to pillage his resource squares if possible.

3. Economic Warfare. Who is he getting fat off of? When you get trade embargoes, a few of the other Civs will not cooperate no matter what you offer them. These Civs most likely are in bed with your target enemy. They may be getting science, resources, etc. from them. This is another reason why you should plan to attack resources. Not just to stop him from building key units, but also, to cut off his money. He can’t trade a resource he doesn’t have access to! :evilgrin: :p

4. Weaken him. Does the target enemy have neighbors? Especially people who share the continent with him? They make for your best allies. Try to convince one of them to join you in a military alliance against your enemy. It may take you several turns to get to your enemy, but his neighbor can be there immediately. Let the neighbors battle it out and diminish his forces while you mobilize and amass yours. :conspire:

”Let the Battle Begin….” Attack the Head and Tail of the Tiger

You should never just attack from one point. You must assess his land and find 2 points of attack. The attack points must not be adjacent. They must be far enough from each other to divide his forces, but close enough so that when your campaign ends, the cities you conquer should be adjacent to each other.

Your first point of attack will be called the “Head of the Tiger.” This attack site should be close enough to some large city. You want to pick an area of his border that is near something you want, and near something he will defend. If you can, this site can be close to his capital, or close to some large city (usually the AI builds wonders in their capital, or in large cities). You can also select your attack Head by his resource placement.

Your second point of attack will be called the “Tail of the Tiger.” This attack site should be closest to your prize. Whatever it is that you’ve identified that you want to gain from this war, mark that place as the “Tail of the Tiger.” It is your primary target, and your secondary point of attack. (More later….)

You will divide your naval forces, air forces, and ground forces for these 2 points of attack. Whatever, you do, MAKE SURE YOU HAVE ENOUGH GROUND TROOPS AT THE HEAD & TAIL!!!!

Phase One: Air & Naval Campaign

Your first order of business is to send your air force. This air force is not your entire fleet. You must always leave some Jet Fighters and Bombers at home to protect your borders. Instead, build 3 Carriers. Each will hold 2 defensive planes (Jet Fighters) and 4 offensive planes (Bombers, or Stealth Bombers). The other plane types are unnecessary. You don’t need Stealth Fighters. Everything you need is covered by either Bombers or Stealth Bombers.

You want 2 carriers to accompany your ground troops at the Head of the Tiger, 1 carrier at the Tail. Your carriers must be escorted by heavy naval escort. I would suggest exclusively building Battleships and Submarines (pick your favorite). I know other forms of ships may be cheaper, like Destroyers. However, the sheer power, both offensively and defensively of a Battleship outweighs all other options. Even if you do not have the productive power to produce several of these, make as many as you can. 5 Battleships is always better than 10 Destroyers, etc. You want to have several Nuclear Submarines as well. I prefer Nuclear Submarines, even if i’m not carrying Tactical Nukes because they have an extra unit of movement.
I send my Nuclear Subs out first , about 2 squares ahead of my Battleships and Carriers. This is to serve as a potential warning against enemy submarines laying in wait. You also want to spot enemy Battleships and Destroyers before they see you in radar without them knowing you’re coming. The element of surprise is key and must be preserved for as long as possible. (Remember, up to this point he you may not be at war yet. He may simply be mad at you for all of the economic embargoes.)

About 2 squares behind your Subs will be your 2 Carriers and 2-3 Battleships. The Battleships and Carriers will be stacked on the same tile always, to hide your numbers from the enemy. You will lose 1 unit of movement on your battleships because of the Carriers, but that is OK. The key is defending your Carriers in the open sea.

About 6 squares behind your Carriers/Battleships are your ground troop Transports, guarded by about 2-3 Battleships, ideally. Again, to hide numbers, they should all be travelling on the same tile. There is no loss of movement with Transports & Battleships. Both have either 5 or 6 depending on what Wonders you have. Usually, I wait a turn or 2 BEFORE sending my ground troops. This is because you want to give your Air Force a turn or 2 to soften your enemy.

Now, I forgot to mention the Tale of the Tiger. Depending on its location and proximity to the Head of the Tiger, you may want to mobilize the forces you have for the Tale first. These forces should be positioned close to the Tale of the Tiger site. That is, the point where you will land your ground troops. But they must NOT be too close to your enemy. Park them at least 8 tiles away from your site. You do not want your enemy to accidentally discover your surprise fleet. Don’t forget – ELEMENT OF SURPRISE!

To conclude Phase One, begin your campaign with an air assault. You first target strategic resources. Cut off his access to his ability to build key military units. That is, target Aluminum, Iron, Rubber, Saltpeter, etc. Bombard these squares until the roads are completely destroyed. If the enemy places defensive units on the resource tiles it will not matter. bombard the roads around the resources! The key is the enemy needs a road to the resource! So, if you can’t get the actual resource tile, then bombard the squares around the resources. Next, target the cities themselves. If you’re fighting with Stealth Bombers and have the necessary technology, perform Precision strikes, exclusively. This will destroy his cultural and happiness infrastructure! He will produce less when his citizens are unhappy. Set your Jet Fighters for Air Superiority to protect your Bombers and Carriers. If Bombers are destroyed, Air Lift others to your Carriers and keep on attacking.

You want to concentrate your attack at the Head of the Tiger. Don’t bomb the actual cities if you can, and don’t waste time with bombing military units at this time. YOUR FOCUS IS DESTROYING PRODUCTION POWER AND RESOURCES! If you need to, fall back a couple of squares into the ocean after your Bombers attack. This allows you to pull out of range of his artillery who may park on his border and take aim at your Battleships. At your next turn, move your battleships and Carriers back into position, wake up your Jets and Bombers and attack again. You can bombard with your Battleships as well. Just make sure you do not destroy all of his roads! Many people make the mistake of pillaging all of the enemy’s roads. You fail to realize that these roads will soon be yours. Yes, its true that you cannot take advantage of your enemy’s roads while he still owns them. However, once you capture a city, within that city’s squares, those roads are now yours! You can then continue to move your forces forward at a much faster rate as you use your newly conquered roads! So keep your bombardments focused on key resources.

YOu also should bombard and destroy all land improvements related to production. I don’t care if the enemy eats for now. I do care about how well his production is. So, bombard and destroy ALL improvements on Mountains and Hills. If he has any tiles in the area that give financial or production bonuses, bomb those as well. Don’t worry about what the city will look like when you take it over. You will be pop rushing several of the things you need anyway, so you will have little use for their production value. Besides, your cities will not be too cooperative in the beginning, which negates the value of these production squares.

Phase Two: Land the Ground Troops

Now that the Air and Naval forces has weakened his production capacity, bring in the cowboys!!! Again, you are still attacking at the Head of the Tiger. However, you should not begin to move your forces from the Tail of the Tiger into position. Still keep them out of range. Move them about 5-6 tiles away from your target point so that when ready, they can move and land in one turn.

Now, the key principle here as you attack the Head of the Tiger is to focus your forces at the point of attack. The first city you target should be near the border or 1 square away from the border.

Land ALL of your troops from ALL of your transports on one tile. Do not land on different tiles for offensive and defensive reasons. When you land your troops, you must realize that you will and must weather the first defensive stand on the ground. As soon as you land, especially if he has an established railroad network, he will send almost his entire ground force at you. That’s the real reason why you brought the artillery. As his force attacks, they will first be smacked down by the automatic fire of your artillery forces. Your armies with the Mechanized Infantry will be attacked next. You may lose 1 or 2 defensive units here, but that’s OK. Even if you lose all of the defensive units you shipped, their objective was to help you weather this storm. Your key is all the offensive units you brought with you for the Head of the Tiger. Once your turn begins again, attack first with your Air and Naval fleets. This time, focus on the cities you will be attacking! You want to try to weaken the units that will be there. Unlike before, they will not have time to heal this time. Upon completion of your air force attack. Move them down along the border to attack the area away from your point of attack. They will move up the coast line, destroying other key squares for your enemy as mentioned above.

Now that you’ve weathered his first ground assault, attack your target city, first with YOUR artillery, then with your offensive units. If you planned your attack with enough units, taking this first city will be relatively easy after the softening blows dealt by your Air forces. (NOTE: If you can, this first city can be a border city so that your Battleships can dock and heal if necessary. However, do NOT dock your Battleships until you have defeated the 2nd city at the Head of the Tiger. If the citizens defect too quickly, you may lose your Battleships!).

Phase Three: Attack the Tail of the Tiger!

SURPRISE! SURPRISE! Up until now you’ve been attacking solely on one front. Now, move in for the kill. Land your ground troops at the Tail of the Tiger and move your 3rd Carrier into position. Use your Bombers to attack scattered ground units and cities. If ther are any key resources that are worth attacking, do so. You will experience a softer resistence to this second attack site.

(NOTE: A key options you may want to use once you have landed your forces at the Tail of the Tiger is your espionage options. You want to view his Troop position! It is VERY expensive, but worth it if your spy is successful. You not only get to see all of his troops beyond your units’ radar, but you also get to see City-By-City placement of those troops. This means you can note which cities are most and least defended and attack along least lines of defense.)

You should continue to attack aggressively along adjacent lines. You want to rush buying a Temple and a Colleseum as soon as possible (buy the turn after you capture it. Make sure that at least one production square has been used before you buy so the price can drop) You are now attacking on the ground from the Head AND the Tail. Your attacks are focused, concentrating your forces as much as possible. You will leave the artillery in the cities as defense. Your lines of attack should be such that your Head and Tail attacks are moving towards each other, sandwiching the enemy cities. Leave all of your artillery at the edges of your attack so that you are not hit from behind too fast. If possible this Phase should end with the Head and Tail meeting, which means that the 2 forces will conquer all of the cities between them leaving you with a chunk of cities adjacent to each other. Each city you take over you should immediately rush a Temple ASAP.

Phase Four: Bring in the Second Wave of Forces

Remember that first border city you attacked at the Head of the Tiger? After you conques the second city, you should do something interesting. You see, the question is this: after you rush the temple, what should you build next? More Happiness, like a Colleseum maybe? NO!!! you build an Airport! You remember how I always build airports in all of my cities? Well, once the airport is built on my enemy territory, I immediately airlift more units to this city! Each Airport I own on my continent can airlift one unit per turn. So, I can send several offensive and defensive units to this one city in one turn. In some games, I was airlifting 20 units every 2-3 turns! That’s much faster than the shipping them. It takes too long. By air transporting the units, I can keep the pressure on and conquer more cities and penetrate even faster. With the units flying over, you should penetrate through his continent like a knife through butter. You can also Airlift bombers to this, or any conquered city and use them for defensive purposes. I like to airlift Jet Fighters to my conquered cities and run Air Superiority, because the enemy has a tendency of bombing you with his planes.

Conclusion: Finishing the Campaign

Continue to send over troops. Focus your citizen placement on food production and happiness. You can let the governors manage happiness and emphasize food and production over commerse. You want the city to grow eventually, so that you can have some of your own citizens in the city. That way, there is less of a chance of defection. You may lose a city here, or there and some money with it, but your enemy cannot withstand the full force of your campaign using this strategy. March through his continent until you own the whole damn thing. You may want to leave him with one city left just to enjoy his weak, furious behind for the rest of the game. Sometimes, he bails ship and sails to someone else’s continent to seak shelter. Whatever, you have just masterfully destroyed your enemy in a campaign abroad and turned this Tiger into a purring Kitten! 😉

I welcome all comments, suggestions, improvements whatever. I am just so excited about this game I can’t wait to hear what everyone thinks.

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