View Full Version : How do I stop losing money!?


Couch Tomato
Sep 24, 2010, 06:54 PM
As I'm still a noob to Civ V, I think this has become a recurring problem. After a certain point, I just start losing money -- and soon happiness -- to the point where I can't recover.

Latest example: I'm Iroquois and have been dominating with my initial five cities. Lots of income, happiness, and city-state friends. I decide to plop down a city (and then another) since I figured I had the income for it. Eventually it starts going negative.

After some wars, I acquire more cities, and my income was so negative that it wouldn't go up until I lost my last military unit to the Roman invaders... then all the cities I conquered.

Eventually I got it back thanks to my superior tech and a million golden ages, and conquered nearly half the map. I also built like 20 friggin wonders. After digging into Rome (who at one point owned like 80% of the world) extremely deep, I find myself losing money again.

I can't cut my military units short any more, and it's not like I can get rid of buildings. A bunch of my cities have maxed out the money buildings up to the stock exchange, and it was still at -140/turn. Recently I just put all my specialists into wealth, and it's down to -57 -- but there's absolutely nothing I can do now other than delete units.

How do I stop this from happening!? Does this game just not want you to conquer the world? Because it seems like there's a cap to how much you can take before everything starts imploding...

Syiss_
Sep 24, 2010, 07:04 PM
Trading posts and trade routes seem to be the major sources of income in CiV, as well as certain resources on the map. Unit and building maintenance are the major sources of loss of income. Keep in mind that workers also count towards unit maintenance, with a lot of units the maintenance costs seem to get increasingly steep (some people have reported that at points in the game, deleting a worker gave as much as +7 income/turn). Don't keep your cities garrisoned unless absolutely necessary, it will simply cost too much.

Also, dont build anything you don't have to (almost all buildings have maintenance costs). Keep in mind that if you are doing a lot of warring and creating a lot of puppet states, you have no control over what they build so they will just make maintenance costing non stop for the rest of the game.

Couch Tomato
Sep 24, 2010, 07:13 PM
Trading posts and trade routes seem to be the major sources of income in CiV, as well as certain resources on the map. Unit and building maintenance are the major sources of loss of income. Keep in mind that workers also count towards unit maintenance, with a lot of units the maintenance costs seem to get increasingly steep (some people have reported that at points in the game, deleting a worker gave as much as +7 income/turn). Don't keep your cities garrisoned unless absolutely necessary, it will simply cost too much.

Also, dont build anything you don't have to (almost all buildings have maintenance costs). Keep in mind that if you are doing a lot of warring and creating a lot of puppet states, you have no control over what they build so they will just make maintenance costing non stop for the rest of the game.

Yeah, my empire is littered with trading posts, and I manually controlled all my workers this game, and made sure to connect all my cities while not building roads in forests to make use of the Iroquois UA.

I also have a very bad habit of building extra stuff (like science buildings) if I have excess money. This comes backs and kill me when I go into economic collapse mode.

Anyways, thanks for the advice! After so much conquering, a lot of workers get sucked into my empire through conquest. I just a deleted a ton of idle workers, and my income jumped up to +61. Awesome!

One thing I REALLY wish Civ V had though is evolving Trading Posts, like in Civ 4. I don't care if it's even ONE evolution, or if there's none -- but there's a social policy that gives more gold per trading post. Maintenance scaling with no appropriate economic scaling to cover that is ridiculous!

Alexfrog
Sep 24, 2010, 07:37 PM
Dont build buildings or units :p
Or puppet state anything.

Spatzimaus
Sep 24, 2010, 07:43 PM
Some suggestions:

1> Water is good.
Play on an Archipelago map. Alternately, try to find a lake near a shoreline, so that a lighthouse can make those tiles 3 food/2 gold.
You see, most tiles don't produce gold. Only Trading Posts and a handful of resources produce gold directly, and if you left the city manager on default, he'll usually pick that 4/0/0 or 3/1/0 farm tile over the 2/0/2 Trading Post tile.
This is where water tiles can be useful, but again in most cases, the AI would prefer to work a land tile instead of a 2/0/2 ocean tile you can never improve. That's why the 3/0/2 lake tiles are so great.
(In previous Civ games, tiles with roads might produce gold; with roads now COSTING gold each turn, that's obviously not possible. In Alpha Centauri there were ways to improve any water tile to boost production, but we don't have that here. In some games, tiles next to a river produced gold as well, and that's gone here. So it's a LOT harder to get income than it used to be.)
Obviously, taking manual control of tile usage can help here.

2> Don't be afraid to expand.
The amount of gold you make from a new, developed city is far more than the increased costs, and you'll make the unhappiness back fairly quickly if you manage it right. The problem is that trade route income is tied to the city populations of each city, and conquering a city cuts its population in half. With the very slow city growth rate in Civ5, it'll be longer before you can make up the losses, so if you wait until the industrial era to make your big push you'll bankrupt your empire.
Now, if you conquer a city near a luxury resource, for instance, it's still easily worth it; even if it's a duplicate resource, you can sell it to an AI for cash.

3> Golden Ages are your friend.
I had one Epic game, playing as Persia, where I spent something like eighty CONSECUTIVE turns in a Golden Age, through a combination of wonders, great people, happiness, and SPs. You'll make huge bucks in any golden age.

4> Don't keep a large army sitting around.
On Prince, you can only have 5 units (including Workers, I believe) before you start paying unit maintenance, and the Inflation rating is high enough that once you get to the Modern era, an army of 15-20 units is crippling. So only garrison cities that are directly under attack, and only build units you absolutely need for attacking. (Since practically everything upgrades to Infantry, you'll have way too many of these and MechInf in the late game, and too few armor/bombers.)
So get used to disbanding low-XP units, or gifting them to city states you like.

5> Don't build roads and railroads.
You need a road network just to enable trade and to make it easier to shuffle units around, but there's no need to connect resource tiles or make extraneous road spurs. (Harbors are a nice money saver, but they don't help with movement.) And there's REALLY no point to building railroads; the speed boost they give over roads is small (x3 instead of x2). I'll occasionally build a single rail line across the length of my empire just to shuffle units between fronts, but even that's probably not worth the +1/tile cost.
If you conquer an AI empire, don't be afraid to destroy roads on the tiles you gain if they're not absolutely necessary. Worker units have the ability to remove roads without destroying other tile improvements, so take advantage of this.

I'm sure others will have suggestions. Personally, I think the system is a bit broken in several ways, and I'm planning on modding quite a few parts if possible.

Venereus
Sep 24, 2010, 07:48 PM
Stop buying unfinished games.
[/kinda witty]

Spatzimaus
Sep 24, 2010, 07:59 PM
I should add something to my previous post:

One thing to watch out for is that the AI that controls which tiles get annexed by a city are horribly skewed against water tiles. Basically, it makes claiming land area a MUCH higher priority than it should, and this results in cities that don't claim the nearby water until much later in the game than we're used to.

For instance I had an arctic fishing village in my most recent game. This town had a couple land resources I needed (one coal and one luxury), a couple food resources (deer), and a couple fish. So far so good, right? The rest of the area around it was useless snow tiles, but there were quite a few good water tiles nearby, and I'd rushed a Lighthouse, so I should have been fine.

Well, one fish, one deer, and the luxury were all on/next to a small island just off the coast. And the AI WOULD NOT buy the water in between. Instead, it bought the utterly useless snow tiles on the mainland, even though an unimproved ocean tile would be more useful. Even after I manually purchased the waterway, the AI continued to try annexing the remaining utterly useless snow tiles on the mainland in preference to the resource-laden island tiles, let alone the 2/0/2 ocean tiles.

Just something to keep an eye out for.

lordrune
Sep 24, 2010, 08:00 PM
I'm going to play my next game with two broad philosophies in mind.

1) Build a strong military, but don't conquer. Instead, attack aggressors, and liberate.

2) Micromanage tiles for all cities. I used the governor to allocate citizens in Civ 4, but that just doesn't give me good results in Civ 5 - I can build mines and they just sit there with no citizens on them, even though I've got food to spare and I want to build stuff!

If I prioritise production, it penalises my gold. If I prioritise gold, it penalises production. If I leave it on default but 'avoid growth', it seems to penalise both production and gold.

It'll take adjustment before micromanaging citizens feels natural to me, but it'll happen.

Trickster7135
Sep 24, 2010, 08:12 PM
Some suggestions:

1> Water is good.
Play on an Archipelago map. Alternately, try to find a lake near a shoreline, so that a lighthouse can make those tiles 3 food/2 gold.
You see, most tiles don't produce gold. Only Trading Posts and a handful of resources produce gold directly, and if you left the city manager on default, he'll usually pick that 4/0/0 or 3/1/0 farm tile over the 2/0/2 Trading Post tile.
This is where water tiles can be useful, but again in most cases, the AI would prefer to work a land tile instead of a 2/0/2 ocean tile you can never improve. That's why the 3/0/2 lake tiles are so great.
(In previous Civ games, tiles with roads might produce gold; with roads now COSTING gold each turn, that's obviously not possible. In Alpha Centauri there were ways to improve any water tile to boost production, but we don't have that here. In some games, tiles next to a river produced gold as well, and that's gone here. So it's a LOT harder to get income than it used to be.)
Obviously, taking manual control of tile usage can help here.

4> Don't keep a large army sitting around.
On Prince, you can only have 5 units (including Workers, I believe) before you start paying unit maintenance, and the Inflation rating is high enough that once you get to the Modern era, an army of 15-20 units is crippling. So only garrison cities that are directly under attack, and only build units you absolutely need for attacking. (Since practically everything upgrades to Infantry, you'll have way too many of these and MechInf in the late game, and too few armor/bombers.)
So get used to disbanding low-XP units, or gifting them to city states you like.

I'm sure others will have suggestions. Personally, I think the system is a bit broken in several ways, and I'm planning on modding quite a few parts if possible.

1. Just set in the city panel to auto work gold tiles. No need to select manually, there's a button there for production, food, great people, ect. Also: rivers still increase gold by 1.

4. There are no free units anymore, just a buggy interface that doesn't display things correctly.

If you're having problems generating enough gold, you aren't specializing your cities. Don't build barracks in every city, pick one or two to be your high production military unit cities, and have everything else work trade posts. Science buildings, however, should always be built in every city.

Rathelon
Sep 24, 2010, 08:21 PM
Instead of building extra buildings or units that you dont need, switch the city Wealth. In Civ IV, that's what I would do with all my cities that didnt have anything they needed to build - because generating extra money would also let me pump my research or culture sliders up (in Civ IV).

Spatzimaus
Sep 24, 2010, 08:22 PM
1) Build a strong military, but don't conquer. Instead, attack aggressors, and liberate.

Unfortunately, speaking from experience, this doesn't work. Liberation is only an option when you conquer a city that was once a capital (or city-state), AND only if the original owner has been eliminated entirely. If they've still got a tiny fishing village off somewhere, you can't do it.
Otherwise, you only have the usual annex/puppet/raze options. While you can gift the city to its original owner, it won't be worth much (even post-patch) since so much will have been destroyed. So you gain nothing from playing this way, and in fact it hurts you in the long run; the AIs see you as a warmonger, even if you don't keep the cities you take. (I speak from experience.)

Besides, the whole point of this thread has been to discuss economics. Building a strong military and NOT using it is the absolute worst way to make a profit; the unit maintenance costs are brutal.

kiphemyst
Sep 24, 2010, 08:22 PM
And there's REALLY no point to building railroads; the speed boost they give over roads is small (x3 instead of x2).

what about railroad production bonus ? (+50% for cities connected to capital via rail)

Spatzimaus
Sep 24, 2010, 08:25 PM
Instead of building extra buildings or units that you dont need, switch the city Wealth.

BAD idea; Wealth is absolutely horrible in Civ 5. It's now Production/10, while Research is Prod/4. Since even your largest Modern-era cities will only have 50-70 production (and remember, all those bonuses from things like Workshops don't apply to Wealth), you're only going to make a tiny amount.

You're actually better off building units and then immediately disbanding them for cash. It's ridiculous.

coe
Sep 24, 2010, 08:38 PM
You're actually better off building units and then immediately disbanding them for cash. It's ridiculous.

This is true, infact you can make a fortune just by building and disbanding units you don't need. Build wealth is big no-no.

Seanner
Sep 24, 2010, 09:11 PM
what about railroad production bonus ? (+50% for cities connected to capital via rail)

You're both right..rails are rather expensive in my experience as my income tends to be marginal from massed combat unless I'm in a golden age..but the 50% boost to a specialized production city is huge. I just wouldn't build them between every city. A city making mainly gold doesn't care if the bank finishes in 20 turns instead of 30 if it has to pay an extra 5 gold a turn until the end of time...

Spatzimaus
Sep 24, 2010, 09:13 PM
4. There are no free units anymore, just a buggy interface that doesn't display things correctly.

They're not "free", per se, but the costs scale non-linearly. As a test, I took a modern-era save, one where I'd never disbanded a unit and where I'd captured every worker I could find.

I had one scout watching an area for Barbarians, 3 armor, 8 MechInf, 5 Bombers, 1 Destroyer, and 3 Cavalry. (It was a Pangaea map, so no need for a big navy.)
Oh, and 23 Workers, most of which I'd captured.

Total unit upkeep: 244 gold per turn.

Disbanding two units reduced this by 12. ANY two units. Two workers, two MechInf, it was the same reduction either way. Considering how quickly I could replace the workers if needed, it became a no-brainer to disband half of those at least. For the first dozen or so units, it was a very consistent 12 per pair. (Again, note PAIR. Disbanding one unit does nothing half the time, it's an odd/even thing.)

But the pattern broke down once I got down to the last 10 or so units. At that point, it became 11 per two, then 10 per, then 9 per, and 8 per for the last two units. That's the "free unit" part of the equation; the first few units cost much less to maintain, and presumably the amount depends on the usual factors.

what about railroad production bonus ? (+50% for cities connected to capital via rail)

I hadn't even heard about this, and there's nothing in the Civilopedia that mentions it. But once I knew to look for it, yes, it's there. (Although, +50% added linearly isn't that much when each city already has over +100%. Personally I'd rather have the flat +1 hammer per tile from the Civ4 days.)

Unfortunately, due to the previous discussion about the horrible Wealth ratio, boosting production doesn't help your economic problems, unless you do the unit-disband trick.

Tennyson
Sep 24, 2010, 09:17 PM
Set most of your cities to gold focus and build markets and etc. The cities will grow more slowly, they will take longer to build gold-sucking buildings and units, and a few superstar cities can keep your empire cranking new units and wonders.

You can also sell your excess luxuries to other civs, or trade them for extra happiness.

Couch Tomato
Sep 24, 2010, 09:28 PM
Actually, another question I have is how do you find out if you have excess or not? It was really easy in Civ 4, but I can't find where I can just get a flat out picture of luxury resources...

Seven05
Sep 24, 2010, 10:27 PM
How do I stop this from happening!? Does this game just not want you to conquer the world? Because it seems like there's a cap to how much you can take before everything starts imploding...
I know there's been a lot of other discussion, but here is what I did. I should note that I was playing Greece so I'm sure I did things differently than you would have.

From the very start of the game (epic, huge continents, prince) I had a large military with about two or three units per city not counting workers. I just shut it down for a break in the 1700's, I own one continent entirely (18 cities) which includes three annexed capitals, two annexed cities (they had wonders, all others were burned to the ground) and there are six city states, three of which I liberated for permanent (and free) ally status. I'm currently pulling in just over 140 gpt, almost 300 beakers and right around 100 culture with my hapiness at 22.

There are some basic ideas that will help with income-

Focus your cities. Don't believe the comments form people who haven't played yet that say otherwise. You will waste a TON of gold with a bunch of generic cities loaded up with a bunch buildings. If you specialize them you don't need to build half the buildings there. It's not possible all the time and sometimes you'll find cities that are good at more than one thing so be flexible. For one example if you end up with a city that has several jungle/river tiles around it will be good at both gold and science output if you put trade posts in the jungles rather than chopping them for farms.

Make allies of City states, never conquer them if it can be avoided. Even if you're not playing as Greece you have the bonus from patronage which will help keep them allied without going broke. Best case scenario: you have a warmonger for a neighbor. Let them conquer the city states and stay out while you build up your army, when the time comes get in there and liberate every last one of them as that will make them your ally and you won't have to put any effort into keeping them that way. In my current game I have an army of about 10 land units and several frigates that does nothig but travel the globe looking for city states to liberate. This army alone is so incredibly promoted that they could probably conquer half the world by themselves, hell the frigates alone all have +1 range, two attacks per turn and indirect fire- but I don't want to win just yet. Oh and a little trick if city states annoy you with their missions, if one your allied with one that wants you to conquer another that you're also allied with you'll obviously never do it and they'll never (not in almost 400 turns anyway) ask you to do anything else. Remember, city states providing you with food means you don't need farms. If they give you culture you'll get policies quicker and free units can be disbanded or used to 'bribe' other city states.

Say no to puppet states! You should be razing every city you conquer unless it's a capital or it has a wonder you want. Pupet states are like union workers, they'll cost you a fortune and won't do half the work of a regualr city. They will build a TON of building you dont' want and your maintenance will really rack up. Annexed cities will require an extra building (courthouse) and still have extra unhapiness to deal with after that.

Trade everything you can, take almost whatever they offer. If you have multiple luxury resources and you haven't traded them away you're wasting money. So what if they'll only give you 100 gold in exchange for 45 turns worth of gems, do it. You can even trade away strategic resources if you want. Anything for cash.

Take a break from warmonger every once in a while. If the AI offers you cash for peace, take it. You can use that ten turns to bring up more units.

Pillage. You're going to raze their cities anyway (right?) and you should have an army of workers ready to move in, may as well get a couple hundred gold undoing the AI's poor choice of improvements.

Grotius
Sep 24, 2010, 11:46 PM
I like the idea of focusing my cities, but if I do manage to specialize, it's almost always by accident! I look up and realize that one city is doing well with gold, another with production, etc. What sort of terrain is best for each type of specialization? Hills for production, rivers for gold, I guess? What's the best use of grassland, plains, jungle, etc? I'm sure this has been discussed to death, but I'm still struggling with how to build specialty cities.

Seven05
Sep 25, 2010, 01:37 AM
Grasslands and plains can be used for a few things so they're flexible, you can also get food from city states which can make an otherwise poor city grow well. Remember that science is determined mostly by city size and specialists so a science city needs a good amount of food. Gold works best on coastal cities, especially with 2+ fish/pearls, or cities with several luxury resources nearby. Rivers can work for either gold or science and you can get cities that are good for both. Production cities just need hills (or forests) and enough food to support the mine workers, they also benefit from having resources nearby but that's not critical.

Some building & improvement combinations are really good too. A riverside jungle with a trading post near a city with a university can reach +4 science with the right social policy (technically +6 with the 50% bonus form the university). That same tile will give you +3 gold but if you add in a market and bank it will need to be a pretty large city to be able to support an extra three specialists while still working those tiles. The market and bank have no maintenance though so building them in a bunch of cities won't hurt as much as it does with other buildings.

One thing to keep in mind is that to really get the most out of the city you need to be using specialists. But, if you're not hurting for cash like the OP you can get away with a few extra buildings. A library will give you a few extra beakers in any decent sized city so paying 1 gold for 3-5 beakers may be worth it. The problem there is that the AI governor likes to work science specialists so you may end up losing tile workers if you're not micro managing the city.

So, considering all that I would say 'focus' each city on something but don't worry about making them exclusively science, gold or production cities to the extreme that you would in Civ 4. Just be mindful of the building maintenance and even if you don't micro-manage your cities consider at least checking the box for manual specialist assignment.

Grotius
Sep 25, 2010, 10:34 AM
Thanks for those suggestions. OK, back at it!

SirTurtle
Sep 25, 2010, 12:15 PM
Disbanding two units reduced this by 12. ANY two units. Two workers, two MechInf, it was the same reduction either way. Considering how quickly I could replace the workers if needed, it became a no-brainer to disband half of those at least. For the first dozen or so units, it was a very consistent 12 per pair. (Again, note PAIR. Disbanding one unit does nothing half the time, it's an odd/even thing.)

This is a great observation. A corollary is that you should always have an ODD number of units, to get the best unit/maintenance ratios.

pewbeng
Sep 25, 2010, 08:41 PM
-nvm-

Tennyson
Sep 26, 2010, 03:02 AM
I like the idea of focusing my cities, but if I do manage to specialize, it's almost always by accident! I look up and realize that one city is doing well with gold, another with production, etc. What sort of terrain is best for each type of specialization? Hills for production, rivers for gold, I guess? What's the best use of grassland, plains, jungle, etc? I'm sure this has been discussed to death, but I'm still struggling with how to build specialty cities.The difference between tiles is much lower than it was in Civ IV, so specializing a city is possible in most terrains.

You need hills for mines, but otherwise specializing for science, gold, or culture is pretty simple.

cembandit
Sep 26, 2010, 03:22 AM
trading post the heck out of everything and get maritime food. markets, banks...you dont need gold focus all the time...I often prefer default or production, but yea, if your in trouble gold focus can be nice.

dont be afraid to pop a great person for a golden age, to allow you to get markets/banks whatever in place and trading posts up. the golden age will take you out of debt most likely

WHEN DOING FOCUS PLAY WITH AND GET USED TO MANUAL SPECIALIST ON/OFF

this can be huge...The governor can do odd things on each setting. I run em off in most cities unless SoL wonder or something.

bruntfca
Sep 26, 2010, 06:32 AM
BAD idea; Wealth is absolutely horrible in Civ 5. It's now Production/10, while Research is Prod/4. Since even your largest Modern-era cities will only have 50-70 production (and remember, all those bonuses from things like Workshops don't apply to Wealth), you're only going to make a tiny amount.

You're actually better off building units and then immediately disbanding them for cash. It's ridiculous.

Haha, thanks for pointing this out. It's a bit worrying really, since it shows that the game designers clearly dropped the ball here.

Lacerda
Sep 26, 2010, 10:19 AM
Focus your cities. Don't believe the comments form people who haven't played yet that say otherwise. You will waste a TON of gold with a bunch of generic cities loaded up with a bunch buildings. If you specialize them you don't need to build half the buildings there. It's not possible all the time and sometimes you'll find cities that are good at more than one thing so be flexible. For one example if you end up with a city that has several jungle/river tiles around it will be good at both gold and science output if you put trade posts in the jungles rather than chopping them for farms.


This is interesting, but, and please, correct me if I'm wrong, isn't every city independent on its resources?

For example, if in one city I would specialize on Production and Gold, wouldn't that city be immensely flawed with the lack of food, therefore citizens?

Same for vice-versa, specilizing in food would lack production and resources.

The concept is interesting, and curious, but I don't really understand how that would work.
(I'm new to Civilization games btw).

Gozert
Sep 26, 2010, 10:55 AM
Yeah, you can't have it all... you have to make choices. Of course you need some food to allow a city to grow but having trade posts on grasslands still makes 2 food for example. You will still need a well placed farm or two and having an allied maritime city states certainly helps, but for the rest one can focus on gold. The same goes for production, science and culture, of course.

WuphonsReach
Sep 26, 2010, 04:57 PM
Yeah, trading posts are a bit overpowered given how dependent everything is on gold production.

Two more gold on a hill is often better then one additional hammer from a mine. And lumber mills are in a similar state of "not good enough".

Gold (and happiness) are the big limiting factors in Large maps.

LastMoccasin
Sep 26, 2010, 06:13 PM
How does the AI do it? Im playing a game where im losing a lot of money at the same time as Im being taunted by the AI's incredible good fortune. My main example would be the Iroquois who keeps on topping every list (happiness, number of sp's, research etc) at the same time as they are in possession of a huge empire of at least 20+ cities (being on another continent which i haven't explored completely i have to estimate) and a big enough army to fight a winning war against that continents other superpower, all this while, according to the diplomatic interface, they're cashing in 209gp/turn!

Is the AI cheating or is it just maximizing on everything posted so far? Or is there perhaps some other golden path to excel at everything while still being extremely proffitable?

DrwHem
Sep 26, 2010, 06:24 PM
i think the AI gets benefits or something cause i noticed that they do better with money as well.

DarkSchneider
Sep 27, 2010, 07:52 PM
I wonder if they even playtested the game far enough to see how things scaled.

DrwHem
Sep 28, 2010, 01:07 PM
they probobly had people play different eras or something.

Seven05
Sep 28, 2010, 01:35 PM
How does the AI do it? Im playing a game where im losing a lot of money at the same time as Im being taunted by the AI's incredible good fortune. My main example would be the Iroquois who keeps on topping every list (happiness, number of sp's, research etc) at the same time as they are in possession of a huge empire of at least 20+ cities (being on another continent which i haven't explored completely i have to estimate) and a big enough army to fight a winning war against that continents other superpower, all this while, according to the diplomatic interface, they're cashing in 209gp/turn!

Is the AI cheating or is it just maximizing on everything posted so far? Or is there perhaps some other golden path to excel at everything while still being extremely proffitable?
I always play on large or huge maps so your mileage may vary :)

Large empires will make a TON of gold from trade routes alone. Markets, banks and stock exchanges cost no building maintenance and are worthwhile even in cities with only a single gold from tiles and they will seriously amplify your income during a golden age. Outside of one or two specialized production centers NONE of the production buildings are worth building. The grannary and similar food buildings are not worth their maintenance and libraries should only be built in cities that are size 4+ (I prefer 6+ for libraries and 8+ for universities). Beyond the monument none of the culture buildings are worth their cost in maintenance. Hapiness buildings are worthwhile everywhere you can build them, that circus in the distant tundra locked size 2 city will let your gold farm grow so you can work more trade posts.

Obviously you'll change some of the building rules depending on your civ. With Russia I end up with a Krepost in almost every city early in the game because the benefit to border growth is huge, particularly cities on the edge of useless land like tundra/snow/desert which potentially hold valuable late game resources.

My current game as Russia I have the largest army (double the average according to the demographics), 22 cities, 6 allied city states, active research agreements with 6 of the 7 remaining AI civs, close to 10,000 gold in the bank and about 150GPT. I'm pulling in about 80 GPT from trade deals. If I disbanded a chunk of my army my GPT would certainly skyrocket but I'm currently using them to pillage ever last tile in Rome's massive territory and when doing that they are making me a TON of gold that isn't figured into my GPT.

What has helped immensly is that a lot of my cities are packing in pretty tight but they're still mostly 8-10 pop due to maritime city states. This means I have many of them running merchant specialists so not only are they provind 8-10 GPT each in trade routes most have gold income of their own around 20 GPT each. If you look at those high income AI civs you'll probably find they have their cities packed in a lot tighter than you do so they're paying substantially less in road maintenance for those valuable trade routes.

Feyd Rautha
Sep 28, 2010, 01:50 PM
They need to up the military cap. I'm fine with maintenance other than that.

LastMoccasin
Sep 28, 2010, 02:01 PM
If you look at those high income AI civs you'll probably find they have their cities packed in a lot tighter than you do so they're paying substantially less in road maintenance for those valuable trade routes.

yes, they are in fact built quite a lot closer together, I spread my cities pretty far apart trying to get my hands on as many resources as possible, not counting on that the road-maintenance cost would become such a burden.

Also when I wrote my previous post i didn't take into account that the AI also has golden ages -after a couple of turns their gpt fell to half of what it was before so I guess that explains the 200+ income.

Rittmeyer
Sep 28, 2010, 02:09 PM
And there's REALLY no point to building railroads; the speed boost they give over roads is small (x3 instead of x2). I'll occasionally build a single rail line across the length of my empire just to shuffle units between fronts, but even that's probably not worth the +1/tile cost.

Learning example of why people should not post in a too affirmative manner, and especially never use expressions like "really" or "never", when everyone is still new in the game.

You just make yourself look completely stupid.

Yes, I'm obviously talking about the production bonus, that is in fact insane in a game in which production is so scarce compared to the previous one ( and which late wonders just seen very very nice).

Spatzimaus
Sep 28, 2010, 03:30 PM
Yes, I'm obviously talking about the production bonus, that is in fact insane in a game in which production is so scarce compared to the previous one ( and which late wonders just seen very very nice).

No, I still stand by that. Railroads were no-brainers in previous Civ games, they're now not only not a no-brainer, they're now not even a GOOD idea in many (most?) cases. It's not even close to an "insane" bonus, and depending on map type it's often not worth the cost. (As evidenced by my original comment: on a water-heavy map, I'd never even NOTICED the +50% for the few cities connected to my capital, because it made so little difference.)

If you've got a core of four or five production cities for wonders and such, all clustered on a single landmass, then sure, railroad them together. The production bonus helps, although not by THAT much; +50% sounds like a lot, but by that point you should already be at +100% or so from other structures, SPs, etc., and these percentages are additive, not multiplicative. And since your capital (usually your best city) doesn't get the +50% but has to be on the network, the cost is a bit inflated for the effect.
(Simple rule of thumb: if it's one of the cities you'd use your first 7-batch of Coal to make a Factory for, railroad it.)

But the rest? You're going to have a bunch of cities on the fringes of your empire. They won't have the whole array of +research and +money buildings, they won't have time to grow large enough to construct all of those, and they won't make enough money to offset the increased maintenance cost it'd take to connect them to your railroad network (unless you found them right next to an existing line). You'd have to ask yourself: what, exactly, would those cities be doing with that extra production? Building a Market that adds +25% to a whopping 1gpt income? Building Wealth that gives a horrendous 1 gpt per 10 production? Until a city gets to a decent size and is surrounded by improved hexes, it's just not worth the money (and time) it'd take to connect the city to the network... unless, as I mentioned before, there's a military reason to need to move units into/out of the city quickly.

Think about it in comparison to a Factory. One adds +50% production for a maintenance cost of a few gpt and a Coal. The other adds +50% production for a maintenance cost of 2 gpt per hex (really, 1 gpt since you'd want a road regardless), and can be blocked/destroyed by an invader. If the city is more than a couple hexes away from your existing rail lines, then it's clearly not as good of an investment.

To make it worse, ask yourself: in the late eras, what are the major limiting factors? It's not food; Maritime CSs cover that nicely. It's not research. And other than cities trying to build wonders, it's not production. No, the main limiting factor is MONEY. Spending an extra 50gpt to replace your entire road network with rails will bankrupt you if you're trying to maintain a decent army. (Happiness is the second limiting factor, but since happiness is primarily managed through money by way of the +happy buildings, it all comes back to the $$$.)

This is where "conventional wisdom" has been hurting people. They connect every city to their rail networks, even the ice fishing village that'll never produce much of anything, and then wonder why they have no money to spare. I just did it in my last game; My capital and first city were separated from the rest of my empire by a long Panama-style isthmus lacking in resources (and so never settled). So I had to make a 10-hex railroad line just to connect most of my empire to the capital, and that cost a fortune. Looking back, I'd have been better to not use the railroad and forego the +50% bonus, given that my most productive cities were my capital and first colony.

effexop
Sep 28, 2010, 05:50 PM
This is interesting, but, and please, correct me if I'm wrong, isn't every city independent on its resources?

For example, if in one city I would specialize on Production and Gold, wouldn't that city be immensely flawed with the lack of food, therefore citizens?

Same for vice-versa, specilizing in food would lack production and resources.

The concept is interesting, and curious, but I don't really understand how that would work.
(I'm new to Civilization games btw).


This might be true at the beginning of the game. Later you don't need food because:

a) maritime city states give you food, so just make them happy, and focus on gold /hammer.

b) Your conquering spree made your empire unhappy, so there is 75% less growth, so food is almost useless. In fact you don't want growth at all, or else it you dry your happiness to less than -10, which hurts your war machine.

al-rashid
Sep 28, 2010, 06:20 PM
also having similar problems but its manageable in my current save. that being said im playing as arabia which you get the bazaar which is very useful, as you can just sell the excess luxery resources which has been my main source of income. i no longer use money to purchase though, im generally always in red i just keep enough there to deduct from. production to wealth seems useless at most gives 2 a turn for me.

about the unit maintenance im currently at 1900 quite well teched up 8 citys my unit costs are 112 i deleted a trireme that id had for ages and it gave me 12 gold per turn, basically i dont understand how the cost of units work at all as i tried deleting a crossbowman that i was gifted and no change in gold per turn :confused:

Deadmeat238
Oct 01, 2010, 03:40 AM
Unit upkeep is only updated when you delete 2 units. Weird but that's the reason your crossbowman by himself wasn't enough to show a difference.

DrwHem
Oct 05, 2010, 01:28 PM
they should patch the buildings to make them worth building. that or make the trade routes, taxes, and bonuses from markets ect more. im playing on warlord difficulty and im still only making 15 or so gpt and im on turn 800...thats just too little to even upgrade my 6 units everytime they become obsolete.

Spatzimaus
Oct 05, 2010, 02:50 PM
im playing on warlord difficulty and im still only making 15 or so gpt and im on turn 800...

If you're having those sorts of problems on Warlord (where you're getting massive bonuses), then the problem isn't the game. It's you.

No, I'm not trying to be cruel here, but you've apparently fallen into the same trap that many people have in their first game or two. If you're that short on money, one or more of the following has happened:
1> You haven't connected all of your cities to your capital with roads/harbors, and so are missing out on huge amounts of trade income.
2> You have too many units. Note that Workers cost just as much support as a top-end military unit, so while you might only have a standing army of six units, if you have twenty workers then it'll bankrupt you just as easily as if you'd had twenty combat units and six workers.
I did this in my first game. I never even realized how much they were costing me until I started disbanding the ones I didn't need. Once your empire is built, you really only need a handful of workers around since, unlike earlier Civ games, cities only grow one hex at a time. I've got a 12-city empire in my current game with only 4 workers.
3> You build every building in every city. Things like the Barracks, Armory, Stables, Forge, Harbor, Workshop, etc. will bankrupt you if you create too many of them. The same goes for +Happy and +Culture buildings; while the Colosseum might be a no-brainer, the more expensive ones (like the Theater) should only be built if you start to go unhappy.
Buildings ARE worth making. Just not every building in every city. This was a deliberate design decision by the developers, so it's not going to change.
4> You don't have enough cities for your Happiness. If you ever have +10 or higher happiness, you should start looking at creating a new city somewhere useful, unless you're going for a cultural win. Once a city reaches a decent size it'll pay for itself, especially if it's near something that generates money (a natural wonder, lakes, coastline, gold, etc.).
5> You've got all of your cities set to "Emphasize Production" or something similar. The AI takes that sort of order VERY seriously. Shift even one city to "Emphasize Gold" and you'll see a huge jump.

Again, if you're seeing that sort of financial crunch on lower difficulties, then you're going to have a horrible time on higher difficulties. So learn these skills now...

Levitar
Oct 05, 2010, 03:35 PM
Yes, I'm obviously talking about the production bonus, that is in fact insane in a game in which production is so scarce compared to the previous one ( and which late wonders just seen very very nice).


On the Railroad issue, the 50% production bonus exists automatically in cities directly connected to your Capital by a Harbor, without ever building a railroad. If you have a coastal empire, it may only take a short railroad to give most of your cities the bonus. The bonus is great, but be careful not to over do it.