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A few simple questions about understanding the game

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by IvanReshe, Aug 3, 2009.

  1. IvanReshe

    IvanReshe Chieftain

    Jul 27, 2009
    Hi there,

    I have played this game on and off for about 6 months now, and am getting to grips with it's mechanics. However, as I try some of the things that the guides on this site write about, I believe I may be making a few simple errors which prevent me from fully enjoying the game. I am currently moving between Warlord - Noble difficulty. Here are a few questions I had to ask -

    1 - I have a few times tried to build specialized cities, but always find they eventually end up being all very similar! If I make a science city, for example, I will build first the buildings which increase science, but then end up running out of those buildings and start building a courthouse, barracks etc. Should I just pump out science beakers? Putting a city's output to beakers never really increases the science total by too much. This process happens in most cities.

    2 - My capital often ends up being the most powerful for everything. It has the highest culture, science, commerce, and military production. This again makes the specialized cities seem a bit pale. For this reason, I usually end up building all of my wonders in the capital, while the other cities struggle to keep up with it.

    3 - I have generally been using manual workers and generally spam farms then build other things over them as the game goes along. However, this type of management really slows down the game, especially when I hit about 1600AD+. Is it viable to switch to full auto, or just trade network or something? I usually find myself just chopping jungles or trees.

    4 - I also started to look at specialists. For example, when a city gets to about size 15, I may take out one work tile and make it into a science specialist or engineer. However, the science specialists doesn't seem to make that much difference to the overall beaker output, for example. I also tried to selectively move around work tiles depending on things I was doing in the city (eg. selecting production tiles when building a wonder). But I found when I had 8+ cities, it became quite difficult to keep track of every city.

    Sorry if this goes on a bit, and if there is an appropriate guide or post that might answer these, please feel free to point me in the right direction.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. mechaerik

    mechaerik Tuturuu!

    Oct 28, 2008
    Los Angeles
    Courthouses are vital anyways, and should be in most cities, as they reduce maintenance. You could produce beakers, but I usually produce Gold, then use that gold to bump my slider, which usually comes out ahead.

    Of course your capital is powerful- It always starts in a great location, has 8:commerce: from the palace, etc, etc.

    Never switch to automated workers. Bad idea. By 1600AD, you should have your cities well improved. Once you get railroads, make worker teams and RR your country.

    Specialists produce a few beakers, 3, which are raw science. Three beakers is equivalent to 3:commerce: at a 100% slider. Get, say, 4 Scientists, thats 12 raw :science:. With a library, thats 16:science:, which would require a high slider and high commerce otherwise.
  3. huh?

    huh? Warlord

    Jul 12, 2004
    1. I look at specialized cities the other way. I make my "normal" cities as cottage farms. I want enough production to build stuff like libraries and harbors, but the terrain is not usually suited to high production instead to a lot of cottages. The low production means I don't have much of an option of what to build. My "specialized" cities are my unit/military cities. Besides barracks, stables, granaries, and courthouses, these cites don't get much else. My military city doesn't need a library, instead it can make units on those turns.

    2. My capitol is usually my early game powerhouse too. By the mid-game, it usually is in the top 5, but I have settled other places and focused their development. If I foucs correctly, my capitol can become a great home for Wall Street and Oxford.

    3. Going back to my cottage comments in #1, they take many, many turns to fullt develope. I actually try to build these as early as possible. For my workers, the priority is to improve at least one food resource to prompt growth, followed by one production improvement, follow by cottages. From there it is a balancing act of more food or production or cottages. Once everything is developed, I park the workers in a core city. For me, they are parked there until I can railroad all of the tiles. Then they get parked again. With Biology and State Property, I start doing some selective remodeling with workshops and watermills.

    4. Add that scientist to a city with a library, university, research lab, and Oxford. While one scientist might not make a huge impact, multiple will. Micromanaging the cities is an art form in its own right. I don't mess with it too much as to me it is more tedious than it is fun.
  4. Gorey

    Gorey Prince

    Oct 11, 2008
    New Orleans, LA.
    my military cities dont need libraries either... but 1 or 2 of them usually wind up with one + a university, if only because they can build them really quick to met my oxford quota.

    if i need 1 more univ to build oxford... and the only other cities that can build them will take 20 turns... yeah, a quick lib and univ in my ironworks is on the menu.
  5. cleverhandle

    cleverhandle King

    Jul 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL, USA
    Well, there are a lot of buildings that are useful for any city. Courthouses are very important for reducing maintenance costs and producing Espionage Points. Barracks help improve your Power rating and may deter an attack from enemy civs. They're also handy if you need to fast-rush a defender. I'd build both of those everywhere sooner or later. But if you're building more specialized buildings (Stables in a science city, University in a production city), then you're overproducing hammers. A research city that's working a lot of hills is using food that could be feeding cottages. A military city that's making a University could be building units. Part of the problem here is that you're playing on such a low level that the AI isn't threatening enough to force you into building more units for war/defense (which cost hammers to produce and money for maintenance). As you move up levels, you'll find that the military becomes a major drain on your economy.

    That's generally the case, as it has the best land. The only cities likely to be better than my capital are enemy capitals that I conquer.

    If you want to keep moving up levels, you need to learn how to manage your workers effectively. You definitely can't just set things to auto and hope for the best. There's an incredible amount to think about here, but it gets faster the more you practice. If you want pointers, post a game and ask about particular cities in it.

    By the time your cities are size 15, one or two specialists aren't going to matter much. Their value is earlier in the game when their output is better than a cottage/hamlet, later in the game to gain a marginal advantage from a food surplus, or anywhere you're trying to generate Great People.

    Civ is a highly detail-oriented game. The more patient you are, the more you will get out of your cities. Even late in the game when cities are growing more slowly, I cycle through and inspect all of my cities every two or three turns, whether I have 8 of them or 28 of them. Every little bit adds up. If you prefer not to bother and just automate your cities and workers, that's fine, but realize it's going to hurt your overall game quite a bit.
  6. Willem

    Willem Deity

    Feb 12, 2002
    As mentioned, a Courthouse should be in every city and there's nothing wrong with having a Barracks too. Sooner or later you will run out of things to put in a Science/Commerce building so you may as sell have them produce units for awhile. The main thing with your specialization cites is the focus, not on what actually ends up being there. With a commerce city you add commerce buildings first before anything else, and run some Merchants. Same sort of thing with science.

    Trade Network's not bad but I wouldn't reccomend full automation, it's really not efficient. At least with Trade Network there's not much they can screw up, they're just hooking up resources and building roads.

    You don't necessarily want to use a Scientist for the beakers. The Great Person points they generate are far more important. You want to run specialists whenever you can so you can generate Great People.
  7. sherbz

    sherbz Emperor

    Mar 27, 2009
    This is probably a bit OTT but you might want to consider downloading the BUG or BAT mod's. When i first started playing civ, which was a few months ago now, i found keeping track of your cities, diplomacy and everything else a little bit too much. this wasnt so bad as i was only playing on noble level, and it wasnt too bad on prince either. However, when i got to monarch level, particualrly when i started playing with different leaders out of my comfort zone (which was any financial civ), i started to have problems. i also found the specialist economy (or just using specialists in general) quite the chore. The BUG or BAT mod (BAT includes new graphics and other stuff but is essentially the BUG mod) sorts all of this out for you because it gives you warnings when your cities are about to expand, when AI players are willing to trade techs, when you can whip\rush buy a building etc etc. All in all it makes managing the information of civ 4 (and there is a lot to take in as its a very complex game) a hell of a lot easier and its probably best to get ureself in to good habbits. I wouldnt even consider playing an emperor game without it now (which is the level im up to). i wouldnt worry too much about the buildings in each city either. For instance, a science city or commerce city can make use of either science or commerce buildings, because they each require a level of gold to function (unless you run a pure specialist economy, but i dont think this is feasible for the whole game). You can see how much science and commerce a city is producing in the city window. Its a waste building a marketplace in a city that produces 5 :commerce: . If this does not drastically increase you have spent all of those hammers on something which is producing a little over 1 extra :commerce: of commerce for your empire. You can influence which cities do what by thinking long and hard about where you put them. So a city next to lots of hills will be good for production; a city next to floodplains good for commerce\science and a GP farm etc. One of the biggest skills you need to learn in civ is city placement. It may seem rather trivial but its one worth considering as highly important. You have to make early decisions that will effect the rest of your game, which could be a long time.

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