railguns are awful (almost all the time)

  • I know here's a temptation to build them, there's something intimidating in this game about being the player with more range and no one likes to take fire without returning fire so having railguns creates a situation where that almost never happens to you. But really they are awful. Fools gold at best. The people who build them are not playing to win they are trying not to lose. You can't use them on offense because it takes too long to build a railroad (3 days wait after every province) they move too slow, they can be immobilized trivially easily and faster units can always flank them. They don;t have so much firepower that running them over is out of the question either. People seem to love them but really they are mostly building a unit that won't help them win, it just helps them be annoying to kill. The resources and factory time are huge opportunity costs for a unit that basically will be left behind if you're winning and won;t change much about the outcome if you're already losing.

    the almost all the time part is two fold. sometimes the geography of a certain part of the map lends itself favorably to rail guns, if you start on an island it can help to keep battleships away but the real answer there is to have your own battleships which can also go on the offensive. They can also sometimes change the dynamics at the suez canal on the 100 player map.

    there's one more time where railguns are pretty strong. If you're spending 3M+ GM to try and win a game then building 50 railguns and instantly building a railroad in every province you take gets rid of much of the speed penalty for having railguns. I'm in a game now where one guy dropped $1400 on GM and even after we killed 20 of his fighters, 15 of his rail guns and 30 of his bombers he just built 150 more planes and 30 more rail guns. With enough GM rail guns are basically unstoppable. I don't know why he bothered to buy 40 heavy tanks no one can get near his stack.

  • If you look I pointed out that they sometimes have their uses on islands in the second paragraph but in reality anyone building railguns or planning on being on defense bu the time railguns are available is not really playing to win.

    There are definitely units with MUCH lower utility than other units. Railguns are some of the worst units in terms of opportunity cost. They don't help you win and almost invariably you would be better served to build something else instead for all those resources and factory time.

    You might think that rail guns turned the tide of a battle you had but in reality they likely just helped you beat a bad player in a different way. Anyone losing to railguns is likely going to lose anyway.

  • Very old discussion even before Air units became default. Railguns if you move fast are jus tto slow to help you on the offensive, being outranged by bombers randered them totalyl useless.

    ex - EN Senior Moderator

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  • Very old discussion even before Air units became default. Railguns if you move fast are jus tto slow to help you on the offensive, being outranged by bombers randered them totalyl useless.

    Kind of makes my point, but I have to say if you're spending 3M GM on a game they're impressively powerful not much anyone can do to a stack of them with instant railroads and 70-90 fighters

  • In the first or second game I played, on the 30-player map, I took the whole of North America while a coalition of five nations took the whole of Europe. They then started trying to invade my continent. They sent battleship after battleship, I couldn't build battleships so I built railguns to hold them off.

    I sunk so many battleships with my handful of railguns I lost count. Three of my opponents eventually gave up and went inactive. In the end, after six months, the remaining three of us agreed to end the war as they couldn't invade my continent and I had no hope whatever of taking theirs. So I got a third place for that - pretty good considering I was battling five opponents (and taking a big morale hit as a consequence - they really should reform those morale rules IMO).

    The moral of this tale: railguns are pretty useful for defending against battleships. They are probably not hugely useful otherwise, unless perhaps you want to harass somebody on your borders, particularly over a waterway.

  • You may be right, but there was no air pack in the game I was playing so bombers were not an option.

    However, bombers also take flak damage and in my experience take a long time to recover unless you spend GM, whereas you can shoot a railgun without fear of retaliation.

  • Railguns are slow and aircraft can destroy them easily

    I would rather build them in late game when I have more resources

    Get going with strategy at first of the game, always be prepared, and win the game with an amount of skills and take the trophy up with your allies or yourself!:D:) It is just a game:!:

  • I love railguns because I love all the artillery, specially if is big, the bigger, the better jeje

    But, I think the railway artillery in this game is REALLY useless unless you are floating in gold.

    The games simply don't last long enough the use them very much.

  • The single advantage to railguns over bombers, defensively anyway, is that a railgun is "set and forget" as long as it's outside of bomber range itself. A defensive bomber has to be set to attack each target. Railguns on the coast allow you to go to sleep, or work, or whatever else you need to do that isn't actively prosecuting a defense against invasion. Even if the railgun is within enemy bomber range, you can set a bevvy of fighters to patrol, and stand a fair chance of your railgun surviving the encounter.

    I don't put railguns where I expect the enemy to be most active. I put them where I expect me to be least attentive. :-)