View Full Version : I need help!


lethstang
Apr 11, 2006, 06:12 PM
Im a new player, and I recently read an article about having some cities be production, some commerce, and some great person farms. What am I doing wrong in this game? Im looking mostly for a critique of city development, or anything else.

Thanks

Severus
Apr 11, 2006, 07:37 PM
Hi, i had a quick look at your game and although i'm definitely no expert (i can win every time on Prince but haven't gone above up to Monarch yet, probably will next game) i've got a few suggestions which i hope can help.

The first thing which hit me is you only have three cities. You can get away with this up to about 200/100BC but after that you really have to start expanding if your to match the AI, at least you do on Prince anyway.

Your capital, Earth is perfect for a science city and you should have built cottages on pretty much all the non-resource tiles asap. It would easily carry all your civ's science needs if you had done this allowing you to concentrate your other cities in other areas after building a library, monasteries then university and so on along with an acadamy from a great scientist.

The reason you're hemmed in with such a small area of land is you have no production at all. If you'd settled one square southwest of Gohan you would have had a pretty strong production city. The key to getting a decent production city is settling near a mixture of grassland/river and hills, or floodplains and hills (you want to farm the grassland/floodplains so you can put workers onto the mines). One square southwest of Gohan would have let you farm 4 floodplains giving 8 excess food allowing you to work 2 grassland hills and 2 plains hills giving 14 base production which would have allowed an early war of expansion to secure key resources. To do this successfully you really need copper to produce early axemen. If you'd settled on the south coast this would have secured a source.
The very early game is all about securing key resources (copper, horse, and later, iron).

Once you've got a decent science site like your capital (ie. plenty of food [grasslands, floodplains, food resources] so you can build cottages without starving your city) your priority should be scouting as much land as possible to see what your resources your opponents will have and where next to settle. Always be on the lookout for a good production site and those key resources. Also look for chokepoints where you can settle cities and thus save land for yourself to settle later when your economy allows. If you'd settled where Awlil is now and put another city 1 square north of the corn resource to the east of Earth you would have secured the whole southern part of the continent for yourself (just remember not to sign open borders with anyone until you've completely settled the area). This would've given you copper, horse and another good production city to produce military for an early expansive war. I've found this is pretty much essential for success on prince level so it's a good idea to practice it on lower levels i think.

For a gp farm you want lots and lots of food, ie. floodplains or grassland river. You have the ultimate site for this in the no man's land 2 squares south of that mountain between you and india. If you settled there you could farm 13!! floodplains. Doing this and running caste system would allow you to produce a lot of gp's of whatever type you liked (except engineers and prophets which need certain buildings).

That's about all that comes to mind without looking really indepth at your game. In short for science cities you want enough food to get cottages down so grassland/ floodplains are what you need. For production grassland/river and hills or floodplains and hills so you can farm the flats and work the mines.

Hope this helps, let me know if you have more questions.

Gumbolt
Apr 11, 2006, 08:00 PM
Hmmm its tough to do that on 3 cities.

If you look at city named Earth. It has a corn resource not farmed (6 food in waiting). Lots of fresh water to be farmed. This city could make a good great person farm although the dye are more commerce focused. Great people farms generally want a huge excess of food to allow you to remove workers off the land and use them as specialist. I generally like a mountain or 2 to provide production for wonders related to great people points. If you look at the civic screen the caste civic and pacifism civic will help with great people farms. Generally i farm most of the land on great People cities. You only need one city producing 100+ points a turn to make loads of great leaders.

Only problem with city Earth is its 1590AD and it has a production of 1 hammer a turn. Good if you want to make workers/ settlers not much use to build wonders or anything else. perhaps placing city one square closer to the mountain at start would of helped. It also has 4 people not working who could of been scientists or artists.

Goko seems ideal for a commerce city as lots of grassland thats suitable for cottages. Also some hills/mining opportunities. This city will grow quickly with the food resources nearby. You seem to of done that well although land should be fully worked by now. Lots of military in city is good too.

Your third city is limited by the plains but has an unused iron resource. If you use the iron early on you could have the city produce a swordsman each 5-6 turns or less. Lots of mountains with copper/ iron resources generally make better military production cities.

You seem to use cottages well. Although im concerned by 1590AD you only have 3 cities. Perhaps you could use more workers at start and build your cities 4 squares apart. You might want to look for articles on chopping forest and how people start their games.

The idea is to work on minimal cities building what you need in a city rather than building barracks, granary, library and university in every city. not practicle. Not needed. Build a 4 city metowrk then think about wonders and other buildings. Then when science picks up above 50-60% consider expanding to ensure resources and land. Tip is to expand quickly at start and grow your city network as you can afford to do so. On a good game i might have 13 or so cities by 1590ad on a standard map.


my 2 cents :mischief:

Gumbolt
Apr 11, 2006, 08:03 PM
i was too slow replying :lol:

VoiceOfUnreason
Apr 11, 2006, 08:07 PM
Im a new player, and I recently read an article about having some cities be production, some commerce, and some great person farms. What am I doing wrong in this game? Im looking mostly for a critique of city development, or anything else.

First thing that I did was look at the graphs. You are bottom of the pack in GNP, but are being completely outclassed by everybody in production. That's very bad - given that you are currently at war, you may be doomed. Then again, you do have a tech lead, so it might be salvageable. Unclear to me on first look.

Next I looked at the domestic advisor. Oh, you only have three cities. That would explain why your production is awful. OK. Given where you are in the game, I would expect to have 6-9 cities. Judging from the dates, you founded three cities fairly quickly (looks like you got a settler from a hut?) and haven't expanded since.

Reviewing those cities, they are all horribly underdeveloped. Whether that's a chronic condition, or a result of the war, is unclear. At the same time, you've got workers running around improving tiles that you can't work (cities can only work the tiles within the "fat cross" - the twenty tiles within the cities cultural borders when it grows from culture the first time; these are the same twenty tiles that appear in the city screen).

Earth is not an easy starting city. As you probably noticed, the lack of hammers makes building things the traditional way very slow. The answer here is the agressive use of the whip - which converts population to hammers, with some tradeoffs. Your research path was perfect here - Bronzeworking to get you the slavery civic, followed by Potter that you might build a granary. However, you should have switched to slavery as soon as you could (it's cheaper, and it allows you to convert citizens to hammers).

There's a thread on slavery (http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=165946) that may help you understand it better.

For specialization, it looks to me as though that site is destined for commerce, although it has enough extra food available that you might run some specialists there as well. I would expect most of the tiles to have cottages on them. Placing this city one tile further south, where you could use that green hill, might have been a better choice (because you are so starved for hammers).

Note that if you survive long enough to reach universal sufferage, your production problem here would be solved. You could also get a temporary break by building workshops (thanks to metal casting) or watermills.

Goku is sort of what a GP farm looks like - you prefer to have fewer good tiles, but sometimes you have to make do. You've a couple errors here (you need a workboat to get the extra food from the clams, and a lighthouse to get the extra food from all the water tiles). Water tiles aren't particularly great (compared with grasslands - where you can park a town on them). But you've got enough food on hand that you could be running your specialists here.

The basic drill of a GP farm is that you want to have citizens working every tile that produces surplus food (here, the corn, bananas, and clams once you get them hooked up Edit - I lied, you're receiving clams in trade, so you are already getting the health bonus - you should hook up the clams, cancel the current trade, and negotiate a new one for something useful), run as many specialists as you can, and if you have spare health and happiness at that point, you grow the city to work other useful tiles. Towns on the grasslands are great while the population limit is low, but you may end up turning those grasslands into farms in time.

It is common to use slavery to finish buildings in GP farms. Not critical here, since you have production available.

OK, you've got the granary and the harbor (another reason to improve the clams: they are worth two health in this city). Lighthouse would be useful. A forge lets you run a Engineer specialist (more hammers, and great engineers can rush build World Wonders), and ups your production, and gives you more happiness (because you have silver). Some temples would be a VERY big deal - you have two holy cities, so great prophets would be most welcome [until you have built both shrines, then you turn your priest specialists into something else, probably]. And the National Epic is huge, because it doubles the number of points each of your GP sources creates - the interval between GP are cut in half.

For the other specialists, I usually think of running primarily a single type, and tailor the city to it. For instance, if I want science, I'll build a library, and as many monasteries as I can. If I want merchants, I'll try to build markets, grocers and banks. (Eventually, you have to leave cast system, and you will want to have enough buildings to provide the specialists you need). In this specific case, because the GP farm is a holy city, I'd be thinking about merchants. Shrines mean a lot of gold revenue, so you will often want to build Wall Street (an Industrial Age national wonder) in the city with the best shrine. If that's going to be here, then specializing with merchants (who generate gold, and help breen Great Merchants that generate more gold) has high synergy.

The towns are OK - not great, but OK - but with a GP farm you really want surplus food. Also note that if you have a continuous string of farms from a fresh water source (like the river) to the corn tile, the corn will give you more food. And when you have researched Biology, your farms all explode with food. Lots of many specialists.

There's some debate of whether mines are better than windmills for GP farms. Mines might be best, but windmills are essentially idiot proof, so I would go with that. The workshop on the plains tile is not a bad idea at all - you work it when you have something you want to build in a hurry, and use that food for a specialist when you are just marking time.

OK, the bad news. You don't have a good production city on this map. If you had placed Gohan one tile west (on the plains hill by the river) you would have had a rockin good time. There are two differences (1) by being on the plains hill, your city would produce an extra hammer per turn. Also, you would have access to the corn (+4 food).

But if you are going to play this game out, you have to make the best of it. Production cities are food and mines (and the occassional quarry, or pasture for horses). Towns are not useful, unless you have already harvested all the available hammers. Right now the city has 3 surplus food, which means you can work the iron (which needs to be mined), a mine on the grassland hill, and a windmill on the plains hill. If you farm the floodplains tile,
that produces another spare food, so you get another windmill. All the plains tiles get farms (that give you a hammer each), a farm on the grassland tile gives you another food (third windmill) and if you can afford to farm the silk (ie, you have silk somewhere else, so that you can give this one up without losing happy) you could convert one of the windmills to a mine.

Production cities don't usually generate a lot of commerce (though they do produce some) so libraries, monsteries, and so on aren't usually a priority. Barracks, Forge, those buildings you need to stay happy and healthy, then units units units.

(note, I'm somewhat supposing you intended this to be your production city, based on the barracks - my apologies if I erred in this judgement).

Anyway, that's my quick (?) review. Recommended reading: A Guide to City Specialization.... (http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=158482)

VoiceOfUnreason
Apr 11, 2006, 08:09 PM
Heh, third in the queue, and it looks like none of us are quite in agreement :)

Severus
Apr 11, 2006, 08:25 PM
Heh, third in the queue, and it looks like none of us are quite in agreement :)

LOL that's what makes this game so great.
I didnt really look at what you could do from here on, more at what could've been done earlier. Don't know if it's too late to settle on that square in no man's land and start a gp farm, with 13 farmed floodplains it would be massive and could help towards a space race victory i suppose with using science specialists to research techs. Seems like the op has a big tech lead anyway and with universal suffrage he might get some production out of the capital. I wouldn't be too happy trying to build the spaceship with that level of production though...:eek:
If it's possible catherine could be bought off with a tech maybe?
Although it does look bad...

lethstang
Apr 11, 2006, 11:05 PM
heh, i didnt even realize youd see my city names.

Thanks for the analysis guys, you can tell I still dont understand some of the basics. Im going to try another.

Gumbolt
Apr 12, 2006, 05:58 AM
I was torn on which of the 2 should be the GP farm. All that dye makes great commerce. Trouble is there seems to be an overload of resources to use esp food. Its easier if there are less around.

I hadnt thought that he/she may have got a free settler/worker from a hut. Problem is theres so many variables come 1590AD its hard to know what was done at the start. I know on one of my old games come 1300ad i had around 20 workers on my city network. Okay the war helped me get maybe 5+ or so but it puts the 3 on this save into context.

I was playing a game last night and come 1400bc i had at least 6 workers over 5 cities. I find the overload at starts allows you to chop for wonders connect cities and keep growth and land developed at the same rate. The quicker you hook up resources and cities by road the quicker you can reap the extra health and happiness. Also the extra commerce/ production. Once the workers are done they can move on to work new cities or update mines with windmills etc. Also patch up pillaging from AI and barbarians.

To sum up civ 4 seems to love workers.

BTW great posts you 2. I will admit to posting that at around 2am here. Very tired. Just noticed the typos. too lazy to change em now.

VoiceOfUnreason
Apr 12, 2006, 11:31 AM
I hadnt thought that he/she may have got a free settler/worker from a hut. Problem is theres so many variables come 1590AD its hard to know what was done at the start

I found this game, in some respects, difficult to analyze; it was only when I realized the player hadn't used Slavery at all that it began to make any sense.

The Settler/Worker issue I figured out from the statistics - 3 cities founded/one settler built was a big tipoff.

The other tricks I used were (1) to run the event log tool, so that I could see what had happened, and when that wasn't enough (2) to retire! and look at the movie... in particular, I wanted to know if Gohan was settled before or after the nearby Indian city.

Lehstang, one thing that might help in the future: there's an autosave feature in the game, that takes snapshots every so many turns. If you go into the CivilizationIV.ini file, you can find a setting there which controls how often the games are saved. I have a lot of disk space available, so I get games saved every turn. This makes it easier for me to review my past positions in a game.

(so for instance, if you wanted your play analyzed, you might post what your game looked like at various points - say 40 turns apart. Not necessary here, but something to be aware of for the future. The relevant settings are MaxAutoSaves and AutoSaveInterval )

Gumbolt
Apr 12, 2006, 12:22 PM
Be good to see new game that he/she started. See what improvements come.

Severus
Apr 12, 2006, 04:36 PM
Be good to see new game that he/she started. See what improvements come.

Yeah. If you want to post an early save of your next game for some city placement, specialization tips i'm sure we'd all be glad to help.
Always interesting to see what others would do differently...

lethstang
Apr 12, 2006, 05:30 PM
ok heres my next game, and I feel really good about it.

Homeprod is the starting city, ive named the cities to reflect what they are.

Commerce 2 is screwed because I couldnt get culture built in time, so now purple owns my prod squares. Im going to have to go to war with them i think.

Anyways, what do you think about city placement, worker improvements etc?

VoiceOfUnreason
Apr 12, 2006, 11:56 PM
Homeprod is the starting city, ive named the cities to reflect what they are.

That's a great idea - it really stands out that something is wrong when East Hammerville is building a library.

Commerce 2 is screwed because I couldnt get culture built in time, so now purple owns my prod squares. Im going to have to go to war with them i think.

Give it some time. If you hover over the tiles, you'll see a percentage (93% indian, for example) That will help give you a sense of how well you are fighting for space. Note that in addition to buildings, you have the option of supporting artist specialists (If you start caste system), building culture, and converting commerce to culture. I wouldn't assume that you will need to war over this.

Anyways, what do you think about city placement, worker improvements etc?

Placements here look OK. Identification and improvements need work.

For example: I like the placement of Great People. But it's not a great people city - it's a production city. You've got two grassland hills to mine (3 hammers each) and a grassland hill with iron (5 hammers). The corn (currently farmed, but not irrigated) can feed those three hills. The cows, with a pasture, will produce two hammers and two extra food. That two food will work a mine on one plains hill. the two food from the city itself will let you work the other hill. Which means that at size 7, the city will have 21 hammers of production. That kicks butt in the early years, and you haven't even built a forge yet.

[A good GP farm will have surplus food concentrated into fewer tiles - this usually means food resources]

As for the worker - well, he's about to get eaten by the barbarian - but his job should have been improving the cows and the iron first, then worrying about farms.

Home prod is reasonably well placed. But its primary function is commerce, not production (it's actually pretty typical for your first city to have a number of different jobs. This is a commerce city that happens to have good production too). One of the things to be aware of is that the capital has the palace, which generates 8 commerce all by itself - so the capital is almost certainly has to be treated as a commerce city. (of course, if you don't want to use your first city that way, you can build the palace somewhere else).

Notice that the mine you are currently building (on the desert hill) is one that none of your cities can work. Also the plains mine west of the silk - if it isn't in the 20 tiles of the fat cross, improving tile without a resource is just a waste of time.

Furthermore, the citizens of home prod are working tiles that haven't been improved. This is never a good thing. Given that you were playing this city for production... you need 6 surplus food to work all the mines (the trees and the cows take care of themselves. A pasture on the cows, a farm on one of the floodplains, and the food from the city would take care of it. 17 hammers, with more room for growth.

Commerce. I think you can be relatively happy with. The only change I might consider is... notice how the gold mine in the west is dark? That's because it's currently controlled by HomeProd (even though Homeprod is not currently using it)

Commerce 2 is fine, though obviously underdeveloped.

Overall, the fact that you aren't using slavery is really hurting you, especially in Commerce 2 (which has only one hammer per turn coming in). When you are developing sites with lots of food and few hammers, slavery is a really good bet.

The Tyrant
Apr 13, 2006, 03:27 AM
if it isn't in the 20 tiles of the fat cross, improving tile without a resource is just a waste of time.

Very true for probably 90% of every game, but I usually find a lull period in my games where I've fully developed all of my fat crosses and am building up for the next pointy-stick expansion phase. During this time frame it can be helpful to have the workers put cottages/mines on the edges of your cultural borders that are outside of any fat cross. When it comes time for war, invading units will stop to pillage those improvements. I don't mind that they get a little bit of money -- it slows them down while outside of my fat cross, giving me more response time.

Edit: It should be stressed, however, that I only do that when the workers have nothing else to do. Earlier in the game, as you say, they should be working the fat crosses and resources only.

VoiceOfUnreason
Apr 13, 2006, 09:10 AM
Commerce. I think you can be relatively happy with. The only change I might consider is... notice how the gold mine in the west is dark? That's because it's currently controlled by HomeProd (even though Homeprod is not currently using it)

Sorry, got distracted and left this thought incomplete....

If you go to the Commerce city screen, and click on the gold tile, you can transfer control of the tile from Homeprod to Commerce. Now the tile can be worked in the city which has the library in it gets to work the heavy commerce tile (so a +9C tile becomes in effect a +11C tile). The upside there is less important if Homeprod is built up for commerce, as it should be, but its something to be aware of.

lethstang
Apr 13, 2006, 08:50 PM
thankyou for the help everyone.