Saturday, May 21, 2011

Hex War Games - Strategy Part XVI - Taking a City

Some lessons one must continually learn.  For me, it is 'how to take a city'.  For some reason, I continually apply defensive tactics when I'm on the offensive, and my poor beaten units reflect that mindset.  In an attempt to ingrain this lesson into my mind, I'm going to shed some light on taking a city.  (Screenshots and images are from

Bad Approach - Blue Unsecured City Capture
Step 1: Approach
Do not conquer if the city is on the "Front lines".  Conquering units do not occupy a city, they spend their time quelling the populace.  In this sense, units conquering a city suffer disadvantages during the conquering process.  In game terms, this manifests itself as a reduction in defense values and an inability to attack.

If the conquering units is one of the initial units on the front lines, it can be expected the conquering unit will be easily defeated.  If enemy artillery lies within range of the city, the conquering unit's destruction is almost certain.

In our example, the blue infantry has moved in without supporting units and attempted a capture.  Red will easily overwhelm and destroy the blue infantry.

Step 2: Red Occupies the City
Step 2: Occupy

Instead of conquering, front line units should occupy the city instead.  The advantage of occupying a city is the unit maintains it's full strength and defensive capabilities.  While occupied, the city remains under the original owner's control, but the city cannot produce units if it is a production game.  This should continue until Step 3 occurs.

In our example, Red has moved into the city, but not set the unit to capture the city.  If attacked by Blue, red will have full defense available to it.

Step 3 & 4: Secured City and Capturing Infantry Unit
Step 3: Secure
Secure the area beyond the city limits with other friendly units.  Use the ZOC of the units to prevent enemy units from attacking the conquering unit.

By moving the Red infantry in the hexes facing the enemy units, the city is now secured.  This red line must first be breached before the blue units may assault the city.

Step 4: Conquer

Move the conquering unit into the city.  This will increase the likelihood of successfully conquering a city and minimize the overall casualty rate.

Failed Blue counter attack.
Red's gambit pays off.  Concentrating their firepower, the blue units eliminated a Red infantry and was able to penetrate the Red line.  However, this single attack was unable to destroy the Red infantry unit in the city.  Next turn the city will revert to Red's control, another victory in Red's plan to dominate the map.

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