Forums: Index > Playing Freeciv > War against AI - can it be won?

I am playing the game with a friend over the internet. It's quite some fun so far, but as soon as any of us tries to attack an AI, we lose. It is even like I started attacking with 7 Dragoons and lost all of them versus one warrior and one worker. Both of them stood in the plains while being attacked. This is repeated many times. We blast off our units - the enemy wins at any time. Even with Musketeers, defense versus archers is hard to do. What is the point in this annoying thing? Is there a way to set this up server-side?


--Teetasse 13:17, 27 October 2008 (UTC) You should read this Then you can calculate quite exactly who will win. Maybe you had only 1/3 of movement points left when you attacked? Did you calculate veteran status?

I'm having similar troubles. I'm playing the AI and trying to learn this game but I'm about ready to pull my hair out because I just can't win battles before I get battleships. After that it's a no brainer to kill all the defenders with a B-ship then march in with a ground troop. but up to that point here are a few troubles I have...

A) you attack with less than a full move and lose. B) you move up to their city and stop before you attack and something from the city kills your unit or units. C) if you move a group of units in strategically like a good defense unit with some offensive units, same thing as B only all those units die.

The best thing I've come up with so far is to move a bunch of units to 2 squares away from the city then move them next to the city but on three different squares like I'm 2 north and move unit 1 S unit 2 SW and unit 3 SE. That works if there is only one defender in the city. if not, it's just a bloodbath as the enemy defensive units kill all three of the attacking units or stacks.

Even with that it seems like an Atilla the Hun type approach is just doomed to be much more headache than it's worth. Maybe this is intentional to stimulate other strategies like diplomacy and racing for tech? Who knows? I do know that the combat mechanics are bad to begin with. They are so bad that I have to question whether it's intentional. A stack of units should at the very least have the hit-points of every unit present if not that plus a defensive bonus of like +1 per unit in the stack to make it more reasonable. You attack 10 leigons with a unit of horsemen it's silly that the horsemen would be the favorite!

But there it is. Any detailed strategies or tactics people have found successful would be appreicated.


Assuming things are technologically equal between you and the AI, and assuming you're committing adequate resources to the war effort, you shouldn't be having a tremendous amount of trouble taking an outlying city or two.

Freeciv (along with almost every wargame and Real Life) boils down to rock-paper-scissors "counter" style mechanics. Catapults kill Pikemen kill Knights kill Catapults, and so on. Are you using these relationships to your advantage? Keep in mind that a fortified (+50%), veteran (+50%) pikemen defending a city from a knight (+100% vs mounted units) is actually defending at a 6! And that's on flat ground. Add City Walls, a hill, or a river, and you've got a medieval dude that will decimate Dragoons and give Artillery a run for it's money.

You should be flooding the enemy city with a mixture of artillery, defensive infantry, and cavalry. The AI is going to have no less than 2 strong defenders and 2 strong attackers in every city close to your borders- you need to bring at least enough resources to kill the city twice IN ONE TURN. Assemble your stacks in a safe region close to the outlying city, use the cavalry to clear the approach to the city, and then advance at least 3-4 stacks to the city at the same time.

An alternative plan would be to setup a defensive siege, fortifying defenders around the city, cutting off both reinforcement and economy in the target city. Pay special attention to shield-generating tiles like mined hills to delay the inevitable counterattack. Surrounding the city like this buys you extra time to bring your cats into play, using the fortified surroundings to base your assault; If you take too long to move up your cats, however, the AI will build some of it's own and wipe out your siege before it really gets going. It almost sounds like history :)

Taking well-defended cities in Freeciv is hard, and requires a significant investment of resources; but who says it shouldn't? Bring at least enough artillery to kill the city twice, escort and coordinate them properly, setup your attack, then quickly drop the hammer. All things being equal, outlying AI cities should quickly fall to this kind of coordinated assault. It's only affording it that's tricky.

--Nate 20:14, October 13, 2009 (UTC)

Having watched a single archer hold fast in a walled city on a plain with no other combat multipliers against 6 knights, 4 legions, and a catapault, I'm having difficulty buying that there's not something buggy in the combat system, partilcularly when it took 5 legions to take the previous city, also defended by one archer.

If James Randi saw those kinds of odds on a regular basis he'd have a psychic friends network.

I just had 6 bombers, 9 *elite* armor and 7 veteran marines fail against a single city protected by two musketeers and a warrior (according to my spy). This is ridiculous!! (Novice AI level).

Debian Linux, Freeciv 2.5.1. 11:14, December 12, 2015 (UTC)