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Old Jan 09, 2006, 02:13 AM   #1
FratBoy
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The importance of resources

I have been playing the Civ-series since Civilization 1 came out in 1991, and what struck me first about CIV was the multitude of resources available on the map. Many are the same as before, such as wheat, fish and gold but there were so many new resources that it was hard to keep track of them, what they did and how important they realy are.

Obviously it is quite important to have resources since it will have a big influence on how big your cities will be (health, happiness), which units you can build and added speed in Wonder construction.

I have designed this guide to help new players as to how important the resources are.

In my guide I will use the following abbreviations:
F = food
P = production
C = commerce (aka "coins")
H = health
S = happy face (aka "smiley")

So if something is "1F 3C" that means it gives 1 food and 3 commerce.

The strategic resources like iron, horses etc are obviously invaluable if you want to build certain units, so their value is related to if you will be building these units or not. Concerning the others one of the first questions you should ask yourself is: "Do I need mainly more health resources or happiness resources?". This depends on a lot of factors, and at the easier game levels you will normally have a lot less problems dealing with low health and happiness. On the higher levels this will definately become a problem.

For health there are a few other ways to get it besides the resources. You can get it from buildings (aqueduct, hospital), civics (environmentalism), tech (genetic engineering) or wonders (Hanging Gardens). Some things also add unhealthiness: buildings (forge, factory, lab, certain powerplants), map terrain (jungle, floodplains).

For happiness there are also other ways to get it, including buildings (religious buildings, theater, coloseum etc), civics (hereditary rule, representation etc), wonders (Notre Dame). Some things add unhappiness, such as wars, not having any city defenders and pop-rushing using slavery.

The consequences of being above your threshold for health and happiness are somewhat different. For each point above the health limit you will get a -1 food penalty, so if your health limit is 10 and your pop size is 13 you will have -3 food. For happiness it works diferently, each point above means you have a unhappy citizen who does no work at all, so potentially you will get a lot more than -1 food for every point above the happiness limit. Because of this I consider 1 point of happiness to be worth more than 1 point of health, but of course what realy decides this is your current situation. Religion will have a big inpact on this, and if you have many religions in most of your cities happiness will be less of a problem, and in such cases getting more health resources is often better than getting more happiness resources.

Last edited by FratBoy; Jan 09, 2006 at 04:18 AM.
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Old Jan 09, 2006, 02:14 AM   #2
FratBoy
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Part I: health resources

There are 11 resources in the game that give only health. I divide these into 3 main groups: animals (pig, cow, sheep, deer), grains (corn, wheat, rice, banana) and sea-food (fish, clam, crab). All of these give +1 health when you have built the relevant improvement on the tile. They also give a bonus to the tile itself, and all give 1 more health (for a total of +2 health) with certain buildings. There are also 3 happiness resources that will also give +1 health with a grocer: wine, sugar, spices. I will cover these in part II instead of here.

Animals: +1 H from supermarket
Pig: 4F
Cow: 2F 2P
Sheep: 3F 1C
Deer: 3F

Grains: +1 H from granary, except bananas which need grocer instead
Corn: 3F/4F
Wheat: 3F/4F
Rice: 2F/3F
Banana: 3F

Seafood: +1 H from harbor
Fish: 4F
Clam: 3F
Crab: 3F

For corn/wheat/rice the different food values are for with or without irrigation. Obviously some of these are identical: corn and wheat have the exact same effect and tile values, and so do clam and crab. We naturally have two things to consider when valuing each of these resources: how big is their effect on the tile iteslf (for just 1 city), and how big is the effect on your empire as a whole.

Empire-wide bonus:

The seafood resources will only give an additional health in cities where you can build a harbor, so any non-coastal city will only get +1 from them. So their value will depend a lot on how many coastal cities you have, which in turn depends on playing style and most importantly map settings. On a huge Pangea map you will probably have 1/4 or less of your cities on the coast, but on a small Archipelago map you will have most of them on the coast. On average I find that maybe 1/3 of my cities are coastal, so the seafood have rather low priority. Also the harbor is a bit up on the tech tree, so you won't get the extra health bonus for some time. An other important aspect is the fact that for many coastal cities you will not be producing a huge amount of food (since you will be working a lot of tiles with max 2 food), so that city's population will not be very high, thus not requiring a lot of health resources.

The animal resources need the supermarket for the extra +1 health, and this is very high up the tech tree and won't be available during a large part of the game. On many maps (duel-size for example) the game might be over before you have the relevant tech for supermarket. Of the 4 different animal resources 3 of them require animal husbandry to use (pasture), and deer needs hunting (camp). Animal husbandry is not a starting tech, so to get the basic +1 health from pig, cow and sheep you will have to wait a bit.

The grain resources on the other hand need the granary for the +1 health (except bananas, which need grocer). Unlike the supermarket the granary is available early (as soon as you get the pottery tech) and unlike harbor you can build it in all cities. You also only need to have the farming tech which many nations start with, so you can get the +1 bonus very early in the game. Bananas are quite bad since they first of all require a plantation to even get the basic +1 bonus, and then need a grocer for the additional +1.

Generally if the only health resources you have are corn, wheat and rice you will potentially get +6 health in all cities, and you can get this as soon as you have pottery (plus of course irrigation to build the tile improvements). If on the other hand you have clams, deer and bananas you will during the early part of the game get only +2 (from deer and clams). To get the full +6 that you potentiall can get you need to have both a coastal town and 3 different buildings, one of which (supermarket) requires advanced tech.

Early in the game I value corn, wheat and rice as twice any of the others (so all animal and seafood resources and bananas are valued lower). In the late game I will consider all animals and all grains as equal, with the seafood being less valuable.

Tile value:
The actual value of a health resource will depend on a few things: base terrain, improved/unimproved tile value, tech required to build the improvement and in some cases if it's a freshwater tile or not.

For the greater part of the game you will be working the improved tiles and because of this I won't consider the unimproved tile value in this example. You must also consider the base terrain type where the resource is found, which makes some resources a little bit less valuable. Bananas are often (always?) located in jungle tiles, so you need to clear the jungle away (requires iron working) and before this is done you get a -1F penalty. The seafood resources will be in either coast or ocean tiles, and ocean means 1 less commerce (or 2 less for financial leaders). For most other tiles it's a question of if they are on grasslands or grassland-hills/plains, in which case you trade 1F for 1P. Deer are often found in very poor places such as tundra, which makes the +3F less attractive since it is only +2F compared to a grasslands tile.

All the seafood resources need a fishing net, and to get this you need a worker boat which is consumed when you build the nets. The positive aspect is that a city will still grow while building a worker boat, which is not the case when building workers to work land tiles.

In my opinion the best are pig, fish, corn and wheat (when irrigated) since they give 4F, and cows with 2F 2P (total of 4). In the early game on the harder levels the cows are often best since you won't need a lot of food due to the low happiness limit, and the added 2P is the same as having a mine on it. With a plains-cow you can have a total of 3F 3P, or a net effect of 1F 3P (after the 2F for the pop working the tile). This is the same net effect as working a grassland-hills mine and 2 grassland farms!

Sheep can at times be every usefull for the 1C bonus, provided you have the financial trait and the sheep is next to a river it will be 3C total, which in the early game can be a big advantage when combined with the added 3F. Since fish is usually found in a coastal tile you get 2C as well, or 3C with financial, which potentially makes fish the best high-food tile in the game with a total of 6F 3C (with lighthouse).

Banana is by far the worst because of it's requirement of plantation, which means you can't use it in the early game, plus the fact that it is generally covered with jungle until you get iron working.

In the early game a corn/wheat/rice that lacks fresh water (i.e. it's not directly adjacent to a river, lake or oasis) will give 1 food less, which is a significant disadvantage. When you get the tech Civil Service you will spread irrigation with farms, and with Biology you get an additional +1F. So potentially a grasslands-corn or grasslands-wheat with full tech is a total of 7F, which is the highest food value of any tile in the game.

In my opinion if I could choose one single health resource in my starting city it would be a grassland-corn or grassland-wheat next to a river, which when irrigated is 6F 1C and provides +2 health to all cities with granaries. The worst starting one would be a grassland-jungle bananas, with a whopping 2F

To sum things up the relative value of the health resources depends on many things such as map settings and available tech, but regardless of which corn, wheat and rice will for the majority of the game be the best health resources for your empire as a whole.

Last edited by FratBoy; Jan 09, 2006 at 04:23 AM.
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Old Jan 09, 2006, 02:16 AM   #3
FratBoy
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Part II: happiness resources

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Old Jan 09, 2006, 02:19 AM   #4
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Part III: strategic resources

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Old Jan 14, 2006, 06:42 AM   #5
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very good and useful. I will remember this when i start my next game.
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Old Jan 14, 2006, 05:14 PM   #6
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Quote:
Generally if the only health resources you have are corn, wheat and rice you will potentially get +6 health in all cities, and you can get this as soon as you have pottery (plus of course irrigation to build the tile improvements).
Very minor point; Do you mean Agriculture rather than irrigation? Grain resource tiles don't need to be irrigated to be available to farm at any point of the game.

Otherwise this seems a very useful guide to resources so far.
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Old Jan 14, 2006, 06:00 PM   #7
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Nice analysis . A few nitpicks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FratBoy
The grain resources on the other hand need the granary for the +1 health (except bananas, which need grocer). Unlike the supermarket the granary is available early (as soon as you get the pottery tech) and unlike harbor you can build it in all cities. You also only need to have the farming tech which many nations start with, so you can get the +1 bonus very early in the game. Bananas are quite bad since they first of all require a plantation to even get the basic +1 bonus, and then need a grocer for the additional +1.
Agriculture.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FratBoy
Generally if the only health resources you have are corn, wheat and rice you will potentially get +6 health in all cities, and you can get this as soon as you have pottery (plus of course irrigation to build the tile improvements). If on the other hand you have clams, deer and bananas you will during the early part of the game get only +2 (from deer and clams). To get the full +6 that you potentiall can get you need to have both a coastal town and 3 different buildings, one of which (supermarket) requires advanced tech.
Agriculture, man, agriculture.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FratBoy
Deer are often found in very poor places such as tundra, which makes the +3F less attractive since it is only +2F compared to a grasslands tile.
True, however, they only require a camp which does NOT have to chop down the forest. (Of course, if it's on a river, you might want to chop it down for the commerce instead of the extra production).

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Old Jan 15, 2006, 04:05 PM   #8
Willburn
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Is there different times for workers to compleate the different resource improvements (like pasturies etc) I for one would like to know this kind of information.
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Old Feb 20, 2007, 02:47 AM   #9
Remberido
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excellent article
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Old Sep 03, 2007, 04:16 PM   #10
aluhe
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Trading resourses

I know the pig resourse gives me a +1 to food.

But I'm curious what this really means. Does the city get a +1 since it is connected to the resourse and a +1 since a worker is working it?

And does each city connected to that city get a +1 since there is a trade route connected? If so, if I have a Pig connected to three different cities, do they each get a +1 (for a total of +3)?

What if I recieve the Pig from a trade from a foriegn ally. Do each city connected to my capital recieve +1 food?

Would somebody clarify this for me? Thanks!
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Old Sep 03, 2007, 05:34 PM   #11
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You get +1 food in every unhealthy city.

Healthy cities get nothing, though they can grow bigger to take advantage of the pig later.

The city working the pig gets +5 or +6 food.
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Old Sep 03, 2007, 06:57 PM   #12
aluhe
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Are resourses cumulative? I was asked to trade a Pig +1F, for a Cow +1F. I had two Pigs but no cows. Did this actually help me or did I just break even?
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Old Sep 04, 2007, 05:29 AM   #13
MrCynical
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Except for resources used by corporations in BtS, there is no real benefit to having multiple copies. You get the same health bonus from 1 pig as from 2, so it is in your interest to trade the surplus for a resource you don't have.
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Old Sep 04, 2007, 07:39 AM   #14
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Yay! Page 1!
Good article.
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