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View Full Version : Cannons vs. Pummels


SirKai
02-11-2002, 11:14 AM
Pummels are good at what they do and, from what I've heard, are an excellent tool when used for pummel drops. On the other hand, I've been toying with cannons (made by the fortress) and maybe it's my imagination but it seems like 4 cannons can level a building in half the time that 4 pummels could, plus the cannons are protected behind my front line. The damage that buildings take from cannons is significant. Cannons have awesome range, especially when upgraded so, unlike pummels, it takes them no time to switch from attacking one building to attacking the next.

I figure that a line of 10 cannons can make fairly quick work of the enemies buildings (especially the laser and AA towers). Only a limited number of pummels can eat away at a tower or a building at one time whereas I can have 10 cannons blowing away 1 building every 1 or 2 shots.

Is there a reason that I see lots of talk about pummels and no talk about cannons?

Chessack
02-11-2002, 12:12 PM
Canons work well for some things, pummels work well for others. It's hard to "surprise" someone with canons. They have to lumber into range, unpack, and start firing. If the guy is watching his base with air patrols (as he should be), then you won't sneak up on him that way. Also, perhaps it's just a wrong impression, but canons seem a lot easier to destroy than pummels. A couple of fighters or a mounted troop or two can pound a canon, while pummels can take quite a beating before being destroyed.

Much of this has to do with tactics, though. My strategy, since learning the drop-n-spank with pummels from this very forum, is often to build a nice "ground attack" force of mechs, assault mechs, and troopers, and send them in a frontal attack against my enemy's base. Then, when he has poured all his defenses into stopping them, I swing around with 15 pummels in 3 air transports (escorted by fighters to confuse the AA), and drop the pummels right into the middle of his town. Usually half his buildings are gone before he can defend himself.

Now then.. you might be able to pull off a similar sneak attack with canons. But canons always seemed a lot more vulnerable to me. I used the analog to them, the trebuchet, as my main building-destroying work-horse in AoK... perhaps that's why I don't use canons in GB. I'm sort of bored with the "sit back at long range and pound" strategy.

Of course, my main assault weapon when using the 3 good "air power" civs (Naboo, Rebs, and Wookiees) is a horde of bombers escorted by fighters. A nice squadron of fully upgraded bombers can take out even an AA-defended Fortress in short order (and only lose one or two of their number in the process). And as the "big assault" weapons (artillery, pummels, canons) go, bombers are far and away the most maneuverable. There's nothing like sending in a nasty force over the trees, past the guys outer defenses, to destroy the heart of his city.

Lipid
02-12-2002, 09:49 AM
Although my pummel usage has increased a lot, i'm constantly learning new applications for the cannon. For example, 3-4 of them far enough behind my wall can eat up an empire mech assault pretty easily (although it's expensive defense, it's fun to watch). Also i've been back-stabbed by a tree-killing cannon followed by a mountie horde that tried to rush my base (they found out that my defenses weren't that bad afterall). Basically, my enemy found an open spot about 15-20 tree widths behind my base (surrounded by trees), dropped workers, etc. and viciously defended it against my air assaults. When his workers ate up enough carbon, the cannon just destroyed a line of trees up to my base, and proceeded to (try to) pick off pre-fabs (viva powered-shields). Fortunately most of his units were anti air, so he had trouble securing his back-stabbing base against my ground, but there the cannons were handy. Even if pummels did the same my repeaters and mechs would have had them for breakfast.
Regards

SirKai
02-12-2002, 11:19 AM
The thing about cannons that I like so much is if you have 4-5 of them firing at the same building, it only takes 1 - 2 shots and it's gone. Man, I love mass destruction *evil grin*. Last game I played, I greatly enjoyed using cannons to destroy every building he owned.

I was playing trade federation on medium level against two opponents. At Tech 2, I placed 2 laser turrets near a red bad guy ore deposit and 2 laser turrets near a green bad guy ore deposit. This kept the bad guys busy. At Tech 3, I built a Fortress to spit out destroyer droids/bounty hunters and a troop center to spit out AA troops. At Tech 4, I built 5 cannons. I marched against green bad guy with 5 cannons, 5 AA troops, 5 bounty hunters, and 10 destroyer droids. I essentially used the cannons to blow away the buildings while the rest of the force took out any bad guys that came nearby. Needless to say, that game didn't take long to finish.

Since I discovered that tower rushes make beating the computer easy at medium level, I decided it was time to move up to hard level. I started a game at hard level. Not only did the computer beat me to Tech 2 but he had granadiers blasting away at my buildings before I even reached Tech 2. Since I got in the habit of not building a troop center until Tech 2 at the earliest (medium level makes one lazy), I decided the game was a complete loss and scrapped it. New strategy: early troop center development and troop deployment.

SirKai

Chessack
02-12-2002, 01:06 PM
I'm a much more defensive player than you, and I seek only to defend myself until I hit TL 4 and can start cranking out the really good, upgraded military units of choice (air power for Naboo and the Rebels, usually Mechs and Pummels for the other civs, along with unique units like Droidekas).

Even on Medium, I build a troop center during TL 1, and then while developing to TL 2 at the CC (and therefore not able to pump out any more workers for a few minutes) I quickly build 10-12 toopers (depending on how much food/carbon there is to spare) so that by early TL 2, I have a decent defensive force.

I've never tried a Tower Rush myself... I usually spend my ore building walls and towers around my city to defend it.

Artorius
02-13-2002, 06:33 PM
I have little use for pummels, they're too slow and cannons, along with Heavy Artillery and guarded by some strike mechs make for a better attack force.

Cannons do have less armor and fewer hit points. If you're concerned about your cannons getting hit, form them into a numbered group along with their escorts and select the hollow square formation. That puts the cannons in the center. Then while the cannons are undeployed select the whole group and right-click on the target you want to kill. The forces will move forward at a fair clip and at a certain point the cannons will stop and open up and start shelling from their extreme range while the escorts continue moving forward. If you've maintained a good line and can trust you won't be attacked from the rear, then you should be OK. Oh... the escorts might get toasted by the cannons... cost of doing business I guess.

Caveat: I've never played a human, this just works against the AI.

That said, it's easy to let the computer's pummels spank your forward turrets while you're not paying attention. They do seem to be good for that.

One more tip... while you're building up your forces select the rally point for the Fortress and click in the center of the fortress itself. All new units it creates will be garrisoned inside. Normally you can't garrison cannons, but this is an exception. If you let them out, however, you're stuck so wait until you're about to go in to do that. (You can oddly garrison snowspeeders the same way when you're the Rebels.)

SirKai
02-14-2002, 09:32 AM
I played a game against two computer oppenents on medium. Well, those two clowns didn't touch each other. They both built up and came straight after me even though they weren't teamed together. Half way through the attack of one, I was being hit from the other side by the other team.

The more effective of the two used pummels and heavy artillery guarded by mech destroyers and assault mechs. I hadn't built enough army to protect all three sides they were attacking from. Due to the terrain, I had three huge open areas with not much forest to help. Sure I built walls and turrets but since both computer oppenents decided to throw all their resources at me, I was essentially out-manned 2 to 1.

And for the first time since I started playing, the computer decided to throw a butt-load of upgraded Sith at me, which included the nasty strategy of turning my destroyer droids against me from the opposite side of the wall.

Needless to say, I was actually impressed with the computer's strategy to challenge me for the first time since I started playing the game. The Gungan army was not much of a problem but the Empire army kicked my ass sideways.

Mistakes I made: Not building processing centers next to every deposit I was mining and upgrading them at every chance. Not building destroyer droids soon enough. Essentially, I was building everything one step later than I should have.

Chessack
02-14-2002, 12:04 PM
It's funny... I have only played the TF maybe 5 or so times ever. I rarely win with them, for just this reason. I'm not sure why, but when I'm the TF, it's like I don't move fast enough... It really doesn't seem like it could possibly have anything to do with the lack of building houses. If anything, that should make me faster in the early stages.

But perhaps that's not true psychologically, even if it's true technically. That is, perhaps because I don't have to keep my eye on the builder and make sure he regularly stops what he's doing and builds housing, it throws me off my normal "game", and I don't watch him as paranoidly as I should -- meaning he sits idle sometimes when he could be building something important.

I suppose I should play the TF more and learn a new "system" with them... but unfortunately I am much too in love with air power and Jedi, which the TF is weak at. :D

Artorius
02-14-2002, 12:49 PM
I feel your pain, SirKai. This happened to me recently as well in a 4 way 4 team game. I played the Wookies vs. the TF, Empire and Gungans. Well the Gungans didn't seem to ever do anything, while the TF and Empire just continually beat on me. The last straw was when a column of TF heavy droidekas hit me from one side while a column of at least 8 Imperial pummels, mechs and Jedi Masters came up from the other. I trashed the TF but I was as good as dead.

I almost wonder if the computer cheats a little on the teams. In this scenario the Empire was way on the other side of the map. Rather than hitting the Gungans or TF, who were both in the way, they came straight for me. I'm sure they weren't teamed together, I've made that mistake before and paid for it. (You know, where you put no team for the computer players and they all team up against you)

Chessack
02-14-2002, 01:05 PM
My experience is that it appears to be mostly random, perhaps affected by what the computer "sees" when it first patrols your civ. That is, if it sees you have no troops and the other comp civs all have troops, it's logical for it to pick you as a whipping boy.

But in terms of sheer propbability, 4 players, free-for all, where you are the Wookiees, against the Gungans, the Empire, and the Trade Fed... The empire has a 1/3 chance of going after you. The Trade Fed has a 1/3 chance of going after you. Together, that's a 1/9 chance of going after you, or about 11%. That means, for every 9 games you play like this, you should expect to be a two-team whipping boy at least once.

However, I'd bet it's not 1/3. The game is probably slightly skewed to increase the chance that any one of them, would attack the human player, if there is only one. There's good reason for this. It's quite boring if you have 3 computer civs all beating on each other, and not one of them ever comes near you. It makes it too easy. So they have probably got a slightly weighted random chance, like 1/2 to attack the human for each civ... which would give you more like a 25% chance of being a two-team whipping boy and (ack!) about a 12.5% chance of being a three team whipping boy!

I have no idea what the actual probabilities are, but my experience does show you are right: the computer does seem to use a biased random algorithm, not a pure random. But again, that's as it should be (as I stated above) -- else the game would be totally uninteresting some of the time, and they don't want that. (Nor should we.)

Artorius
02-14-2002, 06:33 PM
Of course if they fight each other too well, it's not much fun.

I played one game as Royal Naboo allied with Wookies against TF and Empire. Standard 2 on 2.

Wookies beat me to tech-3 then while I was setting up my defensive strategy they went and romped on both TF and Empire and knocked them both out of the game a little less than an hour into it. I never fired a shot in offense. That was a little dull.

SirKai
02-15-2002, 11:18 AM
We seem to have gotten off topic but I'll get back to pummels and cannons at the end of this post.

I think we have reached the computer vs. human impasse. We can not be satisified because of the basic design of the system. Problem: I defeat a single computer opponent on medium level every time. Now what?

Going to hard and impossible levels is not acceptable: the computer is not smarter, it just gets more resources than I do. Cheating sucks.

Playing more than one computer opponent is not acceptable: the computer usually teams up against me and I am essentially fighting one opponent with twice the resources, a worse option than the first. Cheating sucks.

Playing the scenarios: Those start to suck really quickly.

Playing teams against the computer 2 vs. 2: Either your teammate is lame and you get slammed by both opponents or your teammate rocks and you have nothing better to do than twiddle your toes and say, "This sucks."

Solution? Play against human players or switch to Emperor: Battle for Dune. :D

Pummels vs. Cannons: I started off using pummels all the time but now I have switched to cannons. Pummels are great if you A) are doing a pummel drop or B) are sending them out alone to take out buildings (due to their durability). Since I like to play Chessak's defend-build-destroy type of game, cannons are more powerful and satisfying for those of us who are into mass destruction and it only takes a small to medium force of advanced droideka, advanced mech destroyers, and advanced AA troops to protect them while you blow the bad guy's base into oblivion.

Chessack
02-15-2002, 12:02 PM
Originally posted by SirKai


Pummels vs. Cannons: I started off using pummels all the time but now I have switched to cannons. Pummels are great if you A) are doing a pummel drop or B) are sending them out alone to take out buildings (due to their durability). Since I like to play Chessak's defend-build-destroy type of game, cannons are more powerful and satisfying for those of us who are into mass destruction and it only takes a small to medium force of advanced droideka, advanced mech destroyers, and advanced AA troops to protect them while you blow the bad guy's base into oblivion.

I like how you call it "my" stratege :D

I'm also into mass destruction, but I don't really like canons all that much. I really get a kick out of the drop-n-spank myself. Pummels can really turn a guy's town center area into mincemeat if you can pull his troops out of there with a mech army or something as a feint.