Malefact
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Heya! Long time lurker here, first time OP. Please excuse me if I'm misposting or using bad forum etiquette.

One of the things I often find difficult to gauge in a game of Civ is how strong I should be before attacking a native village so that I lose, at most, one of my weaker units. (This is assuming that I'm not playing either Germany or China, where the impact of losing 2 decent units is less pronounced).

I've had a look at some of the discussions of Darkmot and Peristarkawan, and I understand that attacking a native village with 3-2-2 (and no bonuses / battle improvements) is still a risky proposition. So, if we exclude factors that make it more likely for a civ to win battles (e.g. barracks, generals), how effective do folk think the following are at reducing your chance of losing good units when fighting villages with a 3-2-2 or less?

Animal Husbandry
Metalworking (+ iron)
Two flags and four units
Two flags and five units
Level 2 tech with unit upgrade (Mathematics, Chivalry, Democracy).

I'm inclined to think that it's best to wait until you have two flags and a full compliment of five units as standard, but I'm curious to hear what the collective wisdom is on this one.




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Marc Mistiaen
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I go the "two flags" route myself. Five units would be better but I may go with four.
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Robert R
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I go with early upgrade: u will draw all three cards, so you will see that upgraded unit. In the 3 games or so that i've played, it has always helped. U also free up a flag by doing that.
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Daniel Hammond
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League City
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It doesn't really matter how you get your edge. Easiest is be China. Probably second best is have a level 4 unit. Third best is have a level 1 unit.

You really shouldn't lose more than 1 unit fighting barbarians. He plays first and commits to a type of unit. Usually I will lead a 4 of either the color he played OR the color the card he plays trumps. There is no way for him to beat that unit, because best case scenario either he has a card that trumps and a card that is trumped by your card (can't kill you) or he has a card that matches and a card that is trumped by your card (can't kill you). Animal Husbandry will make what 4+ card you have not matter "suit" wise because if he damages you with a trump or match you can heal. No Iron ability matters enough to use it (save it for the battles that matter). If your units really suck and you don't have the bonus to win, I guess you could boost a level 1 trump card with Iron to kill a 3 to "win", but if your units are that bad you probably want some killed off anyway and if your units are bad, build up your bonuses (barracks) before attacking.

In summary I usually go 5 units (2 flags) or 3 decent units with a bonus and either China or at least 1 upgrade. If you have a low strength unit, lead it unless you know you can lead a 4+ without risking it. Hope that helps.
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Timothy Pride
Indonesia
Jakarta
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For me, the best minimum effort would be Metalworking. It has 3 advantages:

- Access to barrack
- Possibility to big shot (with Iron)
- Discount for Colossus

Well, obviously barrack should be built. It's like upgrading 2 of your units by one level. Also, like Daniel said, with careful planning, most of the time you should lose only one unit fighting the barbarian. Take this example:

When barbarian play Archer:
- Most of the time I'll play Spearmen (Archer's trump) at new front. That way, the barbarian 2nd unit would either getting suicide or cannot kill me (as I said, most of the time)
And of course, if barbarian's next play is Spearmen, play Horsemen at new front. If it's Horsemen, than play Archer at new front.


But, if I have 3 str as starting unit (maybe 3-2-1) I might opt to get Animal Husbandry. With scenario above, I could kill the Archer (2/1 str) with 3 str Horsemen, and heal.

The safest way is of course getting 2 flags and 5 units. The possibilities you lose is below 5% (This is arbitrary number. Don't try to calculate it!). But that's also the longest to achieve. So, are you going risky, or play safe?


The important key is DO NOT TRY TO KILL THE BARBARIAN They're only defending their families, poor them soblue. Okay, all kidding aside, Only kill the barbarian when you need to kill them. If by playing all new front battles and you still win, then do that. If you need to kill his unit to win, just by then you have to kill it. That's why if you can kill their 1st unit, don't kill it yet, and save the killer for your last play.


Edit: forgot about upgrading unit. For me that's the worst solution, since you can only increase one of your units, and by 1 str only. Beside, most of the time the 1st 2nd lv tech would be Irrigation. Even if you get Democracy, it's still just raise your infantry by 1 str. Of course we're not talking about lv 3 and 4 upgrade.
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Ted Swalwell
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London
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Or, alternatively, pull what I managed last night.

Start as the Egyptians with the Colosus.

Research Animal Husbandry and Monarchy. Settle a second city with 10 natural production. Build the Samurai Castle soon after with the extra production from construction...

Bingo - with 3-2-2 as my opening units (and then I bought a second 3), I was able to snaffle up pretty much all the villages on half the map.

Getting the Samurai castle and Animal Husbandry is pretty much all you need if you've got a vaugely decent opening hand.

Edited for accuracy.
 
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