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1000 Beakers! Per Turn!

Discussion in 'Civ5 - Strategy & Tips' started by TheMeInTeam, Dec 22, 2010.

  1. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    Okay, this forum is pretty trashed with debate over things being exploits or not, shoddy gameplay, etc. I've not helped buck that trend because honestly a lot of poor design decisions and flagrant UI neglect in this game put me off.

    Still, this is the STRATEGY AND TIPS subforum. I called this forum my #1 homepage for over a year and a half and for a while had one of the highest post counts/day. Part of its draw is that its ability to better the gameplay of readers/contributors was so powerful and immersive. I want that back, but first we need some actual strategy and tips. Here I'll try to start some more positive discussion and hopefully improve people's game at the same time:

    1. What is the fastest way to get to 1000 beakers/turn?
    2. What is the fastest way to get to 1000 beakers/turn peacefully (no conquest/puppets)?
    3. On your difficulty, what is the minimum beakers/turn you'd recommend for different victory conditions?

    Maybe we can open up some older, more fun wounds (like trading post vs spec sort of like cottages vs farms). Maybe we can dig up some DIFFERENCES depending on difficulty (I'll posit that sales of luxury resources is much stronger on deity than king).

    I ask this for a few reasons. One, I rarely get more than 500-800 bpt, which even post-patch will trounce emperor and compete on immortal if you play well in other facets. Two, because I want to see how people are setting up their cities in their empire. Example: granary was THE strongest econ building in IV. I doubt that's still true now. But, what is? Is there a clear favorite (esp now that library got WALLOPED by the nerf stick)? If so, what is it?

    What build order do you prioritize in a new city?

    How does it vary by city specialization?

    Do you specialize cities for certain outputs (gold, hammers, science)?

    How many cities would you need to get 1000 bpt, and how much slower, if at all, is that from the optimal count?

    What is your general empire setup, scouting-read strategy, and thought process when going into a game? What goals are you trying to achieve, and when are you attempting to achieve them?

    Some suggestions for this thread:

    1. Please state the difficulty you usually play (this gives a big perspective on where strategies are viable, how they differ by level, etc) and your answers to the questions to the best of your ability. Do not judge people on their difficulty; only consider the limitation of tactics against AI bonuses, or when they are lacking. I hesitated to put this suggestion up, but at the same time difficulty has a DIRECT impact on viable (and possibly even the optimal) approach to this game, and not including it probably clouds the perspective people will give. Some old forum advice; when trying to move up a level, look to advice from people who made the jump recently, or advice at or maybe 1 level above the one you want to play.
    2. For the purposes of this thread, nothing is an exploit or unfair to do. If you want me to rip your exploit arguments to shreds, we can take it up on another thread. This thread is about approaches to winning, not handcuffs.
    3. Although civ specific advice is welcome, I'm looking for a general picture of playing well that doesn't rely heavily on uniques. If you do include civ-specific strategies, try to incorporate how/how much of an advantage the uniques provide and some guesses to the viability of the stock options.
    4. Give the reasoning for the things you do in-game. This should help the people giving advise reason it out, as well as people reading it.

    Other than that, have at it. I'll be weighing in with questions/discussion here as well.
     
  2. DaveMcW

    DaveMcW Deity

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    1000bpt is pretty easy if you factor in research pacts and GS generation rate. Skipping either of those to inflate your :c5science: bar is not optimal.

    Thankfully Civ5 doesn't have 70-turn horizons for improvements to mature, so it's easier to see the real benefits without debate. :D
     
  3. Airey

    Airey Prince

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    nice...ya, the recent threads had been too much off strategy topics (too much arguments about who thinks what's exploitive).

    Hopefully this will generate useful and new ways of attacking the game.

    For peaceful and max research games, can't help to think Siam will dominate...
    but I am pretty sure someone will come up with something even better

    n.b. Doesn't it matter more when key techs are unlocked, than aiming for the fastest bpt near the end? With RA, it doesn't give much advantage to max bpt at first glance.
     
  4. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    Granted, and even bulb values are easier to calculate these days.

    However, with the library nerf early scientist GPP is scarce - university, some wonders, maybe an observatory but not typically in one's capitol.

    And I get the impression that people can put up the gaudy beaker totals without skimping on RAs (which are probably harder to come by at low-mid levels than high ones) or GPP (scientists, especially after the civic making them cost half food, seem like a VERY impressive way to pick up science, as their raw output is quite high compared to alternatives and they provide the necessary GPP as well).

    It seems like most high level players beeline national college now too, but what comes first in the new cities? With the change to SP rules I bet monuments get passed over initially, which leaves things like granary, library, but also things like workers/settlers/military/wonders and happiness buildings.
     
  5. grandad1982

    grandad1982 Deity

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    I'd be interested not so much in what is required to get 1000 BPT but what number of beakers you would look to expect by 1 AD for different start strats.

    For example if I was going for a peacefull REX compared to if I was going for a warrior rush.
     
  6. alpaca

    alpaca King of Ungulates

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    I concur about skipping monuments but libraries also don't seem to be worth a first build, either. Going for an early colosseum still seems the best way to go after the initial settling phase (grab as much land as possible). You are probably better off stealing some workers from the AI than building them yourself.

    Libraries can be built before you get Education - and then a university in every city running one scientist will yield 4.5 :c5science: for the specialist and 9 for 4 people for the cost of 2 happiness. More if you can build a circus so settle those horses

    If I have excess happiness, I usually let it flow into a very few primary cities that can get an Observatory or have good gold-producing capabilities. The capital is the top contender here because it gets 4 food from MCS allies and has the National College, which boosts every citizen to 3 science after you built a university. Getting Tradition certainly helps there.

    I do admit to not having played into the late game after the patch but it seems to me that once you can get those theatres up and your cities grow to 9 pop it's still the best way to go.

    As for policy choices there are a few ways you could go: Theocracy for extra pop seems strong but requires two prerequisites I'm not very fond of taking (I don't seem to be able to amass a large amount of excess happiness). Rationalism looks better for 2 extra beakers per scientist and a short golden age for a money boost. 2 beakers are transformed to 3 by universities or 4 if you have observatories. On the other hand, if you can get Public Schools on the ground Theocracy becomes better again because of the extra population it offers.

    Freedom's base policy is a must for me. The one scientist you run in your University will save you 1 happiness, which is really good. Sometimes you can even run 3 specialists for 2 happiness. Civil Society and Democracy also became more interesting after the patch, and Order remains as strong as always. How many of them you can get primarily depends on how many CCS you can afford and how many cities you build.

    RA's are maybe the most important way of pumping your research, especially if you micro them (which I refrain from), but they don't show in beaker counts.

    I usually play on Immortal or Deity.
     
  7. Bibor

    Bibor Doomsday Machine

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    Raw 1000 :c5science: per turn would require 10 cities with 100 :c5science: or 5 cities with 200 :c5science:. The latter is possible only by building the Research Lab, obviously.

    So here's the deal. I play on king and in the last game I used RAs often in early game, but rarely later. I felt the difference. Research agreements (even without abuse) can double your research pace. 3 constant RAs mean a new tech every 10 turns, basically. I think it's quite possible to rely exclusively on RAs for your research, as long as you are really focusing on money.

    The beakers. In my latest game I had an empire of 42 cities. I also had 6 core cities, of which 4 were the oldest and 2 were added like 150 turns later (two converted puppets).

    My total research from 42 cities is 1232:c5science:
    - almost no science specialists employed (maybe 1 or 2), re-designated them manually for this test
    - Research lab in the 4 core cities
    - Population of core cities 30, 22, 21, 21 respectively.
    - No points in Rationalism (I went Piety).
    - No cities adjacent to mountain (bizarre considering I'm playing as Inca).

    Of 1232:c5science:, 520 is being generated by my three core cities. Add another 140-ish for the fourth pop 22 one.
    Compared to riverside grassland Oxford (one of my mid-game puppets), population 8, science contribution 12:c5science:.

    Thus, even with an empire of 42 cities (1 turn from conquest v.), half of my research comes from 4 core cities. Even without research labs, one quarter of my research would come from my core cities.

    Which brings me to my next point. I never played an easier King game than this one. The reason for that was, okay, got lucky with two extra happiness resources, but, the most important thing: worked plains riverside tiles.

    I cannot stress enough the importance of powerful production throughout the game, especially in the first 150 turns.

    Lets compare one plains and one grassland (but otherwise identical) city-sites. Lets grant them both population 10 and lets say all 10 pops work farms with Civil Service.

    Grassland City: total food generated 40, total production generated 0.
    Plains city: total food generated 30, total production generated 10.

    To gain 10 production in a grassland city, we would need to convert 3 citizens to miners and 1 to a lumberjack.

    New grassland City: total food generated 25 (4x6 from farms, 1 from lumbermill), total production generated 11 (3+3+3+2).

    The plains city will always faster produce the required units, buildings, even wonders, even if it grows more slowly at start. By the time you encounter maritime city-states (and are able to afford them) and by the time you get to science buildings, your infrastructure will be ready for starting on the newly available projects.

    Conclusion: although we love to dream about having those nice large population grassland cities with lots of science and science buildings, lots of specialists working etc. we forget that these cities also need
    - monuments, temples
    - colliseums, theatres and an occasional circus
    - wonders (national and othewise)
    - an occasional barracks
    - marketplaces, banks
    - workshops, factories
    - units, lots of units

    Production times of non-science builds add up pretty fast. Balancing growth and production is one of the keys for successful research times.
     
  8. Gus_Smedstad

    Gus_Smedstad Warlord

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    Your comparison between plains and grassland river tiles comes down to one of the basic aspects of Civ V's tiles: all base tiles produce 2. 2 food, 1 food and 1 hammer, 1 food and 1 gold, or 2 hammers. Improvements add 1 food, 1 hammer, or 2 gold. So looking at just food and hammers, improved tiles are 3. 3 until you get a technology that improves output, the earliest of which is Civil Service and farms, which ups the output to 4. So yeah, the more riverside farms you can work, the higher your overall output is going to be. If you have to shift to mines or lumberjacks, you're reducing your overall output.

    This lasts until Steam ups the output of lumbermills to +2, giving 1 food / 3 hammers.
     
  9. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    Some very interesting stuff coming up already! Some of my reads per Alpaca and Bibor:

    - While somewhat counter-intuitive, the presence of national wonders and a well-developed capitol and global happiness can lead a player to *deliberately* hold pop down in other cities.
    - Freedom is pretty strong as a base civic because of the literal 1 :) per city while making scientists a priority
    - RAs are potentially stronger than base research rate (virtually everyone has said this; possibly this is why 500 bpt has allowed me RUNAWAY leads on emperor, even w/o micro on them)
    - Plains are deceptively strong and possibly stronger than grassland tiles. 3 farmed plains provide the same food and hammers as 2 farmed grassland tiles and 1 mine, and do so with the same population count! If production up-front is more important than growth up-front (quite possible with happiness constraints and scarce hammers), plains make a pretty good case, changing traditional settling policies from previous games.
    - Settling luxury resources and trade micro are extremely important, if subtle, play boosters in this game, possibly even to the extent that tech trading used to be.

    A few questions now!

    - If you are using lots of RA and maritime to push growth in capitol, how are you coming up with the money? Bibor points out the importance of money...I presume a lot comes from luxury resources, while the rest is probably going to come from some combo of trade routes and gold buildings. However, gold buildings (and buildings in general) are pretty expensive.
    - If you do hold down growth deliberately in non-core, 4 seems the best bet early on? Other than coli/library/university, what are these cities building? What tiles would they be working, ideally (other than obvious specials)? Other than coli/library/uni, what does such a city build? I'd bet culture or gold buildings as needed.
    - Growing national college capitol is pretty obvious (just like the ole' academy in capitol). A pop 10 capitol with lib/uni/nc/running 1 spec has a science output of 23+(23)100% = 46 by itself, and can do this fairly early. Observatory cities are slightly weaker but still huge as a pop 10 observatory city would be 18+100%(18) =36.
    - It seems a lot of non-core cities are just gold/unit engines (gold from the resources they claim), rather than raw beaker contributors, at least at first.

    A lot of good theory/practice here already. Maybe once this thread's been around a while I can compile the info into a guide.
     
  10. Bibor

    Bibor Doomsday Machine

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    I'll try to answer too all the questions, at least from my experiences.

    Scout aggressively early on, find two-three really good growth/production cities.

    At initial growth I rely on trade route income for cash. Four connected early cities will yield 12-25:c5gold: surplus. I almost never build trade posts in core cities. Farms, lumbermills, mines (in that order).

    I expand to four cities as soon as I can, ignoring the national wonders. It takes around 6 turns to build a library in good production cities. I can live with that.

    Happy resources are optional but, of course, welcome. Three unique happiness resources is just fine, four is ideal. You'll usually get two surplus as well.

    One city is wonder-oriented, one is military (armory+barracks), one is science (usually the capital with tradition) and the last is a jack-of-all-trades.

    In the first 150 turns all cities get barracks, monuments, libraries, watermills (if applicable) and workshops, granaries if required

    Build orders are dependant on situation (early aggressor nearby etc.).

    Science (apart from Library for National College) and gold productions are lowest priority. Early wonders, units, food and production-oriented buildings are.

    ***

    After setting up the core, diplomacy is already set and the first target is acquired.

    Funds are not spent on RAs but on unit upgrades, unit purchases and buyouts of city-state with worked iron (if need).

    There's no need for a massive war. 2-4 puppet cities are the goal, possibly with strategic and/or happy resources. I keep my aggression within your happiness limits, even if it means taking only two cities. That's good enough.

    Gold gained from city capture and peace treaties is used to buy up new RAs and a maritime or two.

    The new puppets generate gold from TPs and new trade routes.

    ***

    NOW is the time to start thinking about research. Capital grows quickly with the purchased maritime and tradition, the other 3 cities focus on libraries nad marketplaces.

    Capital gets the National College and Treasury and research starts to speed up.

    ***

    My aim, even if not playing super-aggressive is to keep the core 4-5 cities exclusively focused on growth and production. Focusing on gold in core cities is a complete waste of resources and turns.

    Conclusion: National College is slightly overrated when compared to having three more cities, even in terms of pure research. Sacrificing production, extra resources and trade route income is not worth it in my opinion, especially if the other core cities are riverside (extra cash & faster growth).

    I'll post some screenshots later, gotta go
     
  11. generalwar

    generalwar Philosopher

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    Finally 1 good thread. I haven't play ciV almost nothing so far (90 hours, most pre-patch) and I have no real strategies, but I think the best thing is earlier city growing( including building NC in capitol for faster science growth). I haven't had any game further than rifles so I can't tell much :(.
     
  12. alpaca

    alpaca King of Ungulates

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    Most of the money comes from selling things to the AI. Sell every luxury as long as you can stay above 0 happiness, sell every strategic resource you don't need, sell open borders.

    I usually cap growth at 4 unless I have a good reason not to. It's induced by the colosseum: Have less, and you waste happiness. Have more, and you waste happiness (unless you will soon get another happy building in the city).

    Personally, once the scientist slot is set up, I will usually build a market and run TPs in the cities as their production is too weak to build units. If the city has long-term potential, I may choose to let it grow a bit more and focus it on production, either units or buildings. Once I hit the Renaissance, I like to build some monuments and monasteries to provide a bit of culture, but temples aren't usually cost-efficient unless there are some tiles I want to grab.

    Lately I've been playing peaceful-defensive with Siam mostly (the Elephants can hold anything at bay up to rifles, and then you need to go into broad research soon anyways), but if I want to go to war I usually try for a Longswords and/or Rifle slingshot. Seeing the huge differences between each tier of units, tech advantage is the best way to conquer. I usually conquer some good gold cities and the capital but otherwise raze most cities because puppets eat too much happiness because you can't cap them. There is a bug where the courthouse eliminates unhappiness from # of cities at the moment, though, so this is an option, too.

    One other thing: Having one or two 3:c5food: tiles in your starting 6 is a very big bonus if you go for NC.
     
  13. Aldor

    Aldor King

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    I'm mostly playing on warlord (sometimes prince), so my usual game is probably quite different from what you guys are used to! Anyway, my way to science is through CULTURE. The goal for me is to gain as many policies as possible without deliberately staying small (I usually aim for 8-10 cities on standard maps). And then go as quickly as possible towards the rationalism tree, which I find THE best method for a quick science victory.

    Btw. I find it not difficult to get high beaker numbers (last game I ended up with something like 1900 beakers/turn, but only in the early 1900s). The more interesting question for me would be: at what points in time do you expect to see which beaker numbers? EDIT: just checked some saves of that game. 1500AD: 156 b/t (universities set up but I didn't put scientists in..), 1850AD: 658 b/t (some public schools online), 1934AD: 1900 b/t (research lab in most cities). So the biggest jump comes with the research labs. Btw number of cities didn't change from 1500 on.
     
  14. diz2

    diz2 Warlord

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    I'm still tinkering with my strategeries post-patch.

    In non-core cities find myself going colliseum first, then monument, then library, then uni.

    I cap pop at 2 before the colliseum is up, then let it go to four after.

    Mostly this is the same as what I used to do pre-patch, with a little different management of pop and sprawl related to the new happiness mechanics. I find myself questioning whether libraries and unis are worth it in minor cities post patch...

    It takes a loooong time to get much science out of one of these cities and the GS is even longer. Wondering if it makes more sense to just make TPs and go for gold.

    Haven't played enough games post-patch to say.

    Also, I would add that the goal of 1000 beakers seems like overkill. Even when I was spamming science specialists in libraries I seldom let science get that big.
     
  15. generalwar

    generalwar Philosopher

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    I built NC in my first city and it really has affect on game. But, what is my question, what do you do after that? You build few cities and unhappiness starts to appear. How do you manage to grow your cities enough for your needs. How many of them do you prefer to build and with how big pop? I'm never limiting city growth, maybe the problem lies in that :(.

    And, how long do you need to get, lets say, 100 bpt. I know that it depends on situation, but I would like to hear your estimations.
     
  16. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    You can get 100 bpt with 2 good cities (capitol with NC and an observatory cities) and a couple trashy 4 pop ones, based on my calculations. When I did the 10 pop NC capitol calculation I forgot about the palace; a cap at that size is 50 bpt by itself.

    Depending on the availability of maritime and AI gold 100 bpt should be possible fairly soon (BCs or early ADs) with a much higher effective rate with RA's, based on what I'm reading. I have a lot to try out in the near future.

    It seems holding pop down in cities that are settled for lux resources really is the way to go, only growing the ones that are going to be really strong.
     
  17. MykC

    MykC Warlord

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    If we are purely worrying about 1000 beakers per turn as the goal and we aren't worried about early goals like a NC, then we can approach it quite a bit differently than we would normally. My strategy would be to expand early as you will need as much premium space as possible before the AI takes it. City growth is next thing. Once you've expanded as much as possible and gotten your growth and happiness infrastructure in place you can then start building libraries, etc.

    Capitol would look like:
    Library + Public Schools (1.5 beakers per population) on a 30 pop city would be 45 beakers
    3 specialist slots would be 15 beakers + 6 beakers (from policy) = 21 beakers
    National College + University + Research Lab (+200%)
    (30 + 45 + 21) = 96 beakers * 3 = 288.

    Other cities would look like:
    Library + Public Schools (1.5 beakers per population) on a 20 pop city would be 30 beakers
    3 specialist slots would be 15 beakers + 6 beakers (from policy) = 21 beakers
    University + Research Lab (+150%)
    20 + 30 + 21 = 71 * 3 = 213

    So, I would aim for 5-6 large cities based on the above. Getting 1000 beakers would only be possible with the Research lab (at least from my POV) it just seems too challenging to do it otherwise consistently given the space your given to work with and the lack luster research small cities can generate due to the removal of specialists slots from the library. If you happen to be a in heavy mountain area then you could probably get away with settling cities in very close proximity to each other to maximize the number of observatories.

    Beakers are generated from your city population and various buildings enhance that. Other sources can include tiles (jungle, natural wonders and academy's) and city states. But assuming that most will come from your population we can assume that each city will have a library, university, public school and research lab. We will have 3 specialist slots (4 is Siam) and a extra specialist slot if we are lucky enough to build an observatory.

    Initial tech goals would civil Service, eduction, fertilizer, scientific thought and finally plastics.

    I wouldn't specialize cities unless the city was in position to do so, IE if the city settles near 3 silver then it will build a mint/market/bank.


    Money:

    You can get all the money you want be declaring war on everyone and taking all of their money via GPT and I pointed out in the thread if for the first time or two you reinvest all that stolen money back into an army (and assuming you made everyone declare war on each other as well) they ask for peace after the min turns. Other than that hope your capital starts by a good number of gold and silver resources. For early happiness a single city or two can survive on no luxury happiness for a long time (or indef), stuff like the national wonder circus maximize seals that. So natural wonders will and policies will help out a lot.
     
  18. tyro33

    tyro33 Chieftain

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    I am pretty new to civ series, but find this an very interesting discussion, I understand a few of the abbreviations but not all of them is there some place that has a list of definitions?

    Also, yesterday after newest patch, I finally moved up to prince ( thought I was pretty brave ) 8 civs 16 cs, my starting position middle of the map, in modern era ( until then, pretty peaceful, except for a brief skirmish or two ) then one civ declared war on me and what ensued was an avalanche, the other 7 civs followed suit including all 16 cs and me in the middle, needless to say GAME OVER!! is this normal for prince level?
     
  19. alpaca

    alpaca King of Ungulates

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    I don't think this is the point. The point is to get as much research as possible by any means. The 1000 bpt was probably just to get our attention :D

    A better measure would be the accumulated beaker worth of all techs you have researched on a given turn.
     
  20. Bibor

    Bibor Doomsday Machine

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    On King (my level) the AIs are pretty poor. They cannot afford both RAs and resource trades at the same time. Not for the first 100 turns or so (depends on their later conquests).
     

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