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A theory of interest for Civ2

Discussion in 'Civ2 - Strategy & Tips' started by Peaster, May 5, 2006.

  1. Ace

    Ace Emperor

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    Quite right. If you find a spot with a musk ox or fur or ivory on the pole and it has a whale or fish in the city radius, you can build that city into a nice little powerhouse of a city. With a harbor, and an offshore platform, that pole city becomes a valuable addition to your empire.
     
  2. Ali Ardavan

    Ali Ardavan Mathematician Moderator Civ2 GOTM Staff

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    I have at times built on the pole, a 3 special site there (you can never get 4 on the pole) is often tempting. But transforming glacier takes a very long time and it gives you tundra. So I tend to ignore those and only consider the tundra, if at all.
     
  3. Ace

    Ace Emperor

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    I just built a polar city in GOTM67. I popped a hut with an explorer walking along the North Pole and got a nomad. Since it was a long, long, long way from home, I walked back to a nice little spot with 2 specials and built. Ideally, a none settler would have gone into the settler pool and stayed there, but it was more profitable to get a city up and running than to have that settler spent the next 90+ turns getting off the pole.

    Terraforming on glacier is not that bad if you use the engineer stack. 10 engineers can do the trick real quick if you really need to do it. (and can keep the engineer order straight. I seem to screw it up every third or fourth turn :sad: ).
     
  4. Peaster

    Peaster Emperor

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    The point of this thread is to choose smallish investments with big returns. IMO terraforming does just the opposite [though to be honest, I have probably only tried it 1-2 times].
     
  5. TimTheEnchanter

    TimTheEnchanter I...am...an Enchanter!

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    I think it depends on what you ultimate goal is. How do you measure your success? What do you consider "returns"?

    If you are only concerned with winning, or winning quickly, then I agree, terraforming ice into lush green grass will be a highly ineffective use of your resources because it will take a huge investment before you can achieve any benefits toward your goal. A more efficient use of those resources is to build units, crush the AI and claim your victory.

    However if your goal is maximum score, then there will come a point where the rate of return for other investments drops precipitously and those other investments simply pay less toward your goal of maximum score. Once the 'fertile' land is occupied, and the AI cities have been contained or subsumed, and the cities have grown to a certain size, you can't do much besides adding a few citizens per turn by FCTing. You reach a point where you can't grow the score very rapidly without terraforming. You can terraform your existing cities and add a few citizens here and there with each square of terraforming. Terraforming is part of increasing score (i.e., getting "returns"). An alternative to terraforming existing cities is going to the Poles. Here, a few squares of terraforming allows you to take advantage of wide swaths of neighboring ocean that were otherwise unaccessible. That is, there comes a point where the rate of return (remember, our measure of success is 'score') for terraforming the poles is better than the rate of return for terraforming elsewhere.

    Other players may have other goals - maximum coverage of the planet or whatever. Terraforming the poles may at some point give them a good enough rate of return toward that goal to justify it over something else.
     
  6. Ace

    Ace Emperor

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    It depends on circumstances, too. In my earlier post, the nomad settler was at least 20-25 turns away from a non-pole position so it made sense to start a city on a nearby special by the pole and "earn interest", ie get trade arrows instead of having the settler plod along to reach my continent.

    The law of diminishing returns also applies alongside your theory of interest. As Tim pointed out, in a high score game, when you have established 254 cities and have only a pet AI city, and your cities are all connected to your rail net, farmland in all possible locations, the only "use" left to your engineers is to terraform land into a more useful form. Other than that function, at this point in the game, your engineers actually become a dead loss of resources because they have no work left to perform. And they still use food and shields for support. Normally, you never have enough settlers/engineers, but in a high score game, you reach a point where you have to actively work to reduce your engineers before they become a drag on your civilization!

    Keep in mind that in a high score game, as opposed to an EC game, time is on your side to use to increase your score. The goal is to have all your cities as big as possible and have your SS land in 2020 for a full 400 points.
     
  7. Peaster

    Peaster Emperor

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    Tim and Ace - Thanks for the explanation. I have never played for high score, so I don't know the issues/values in those games. I suspect some revised "interest theory" should apply, since those games are still about optimizing growth AFAIK.

    Of course, there is also a time in every EC or EL game (near the end) to change values and forget about growth. If I am trying for a 300AD conquest, I'll probably start making fewer settlers around 500BC, to focus on the military.
     
  8. Ace

    Ace Emperor

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    The difference is time! Your theory limits time to payoff in one turn. In a high score game, you might have as much as 300+ turns to reap the benefits of an early settler action or building an improvement that will pay off over all those turns. For example, in a diety game, you have 420 total turns. Build a stock exchange in AD380 and you have 300 turns for it to generate coins and lux toward the greater good of your empire. Or mine that city on a hill and get 600 additional shields (excluding the extra ones for RR) over the course of the game.

    A further point to remember is you reach a point (254 cities) where you cannot build more cities. In that situation, the most "valuable" thing your engineers can do is improve land and build railroads.
     
  9. Millman

    Millman Mark the Magnificent

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    How do you get 200 cities on Civ 2? You must have a patch or a code or another version. I have the 127 cities one. I choose a large map, that way there is space left over.

    It doesn't help to build stuff like factories and port facilities earlier on. The whole game you want 'quantity' of cities over quality. Besides, your first cities like your capital will be good enough to begin with. Just make sure you have roads that connect cities to city. I find those a little more important than irrigation that they provide extra money and science where the city can eat grass as far as I'm concerned.

    You'll have enough time later if you expanded the best you can to build every improvement in every city way late in the game when it really counts.
     
  10. Ace

    Ace Emperor

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    Are you using the playstation? Most of us are using PCs, with either civ2 "classic" or "Gold". The PC version has always allowed 255 total cities. It maybe that the playstation only allows 127...?
     
  11. Millman

    Millman Mark the Magnificent

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    Yes, I'm doing it on an old fashion play station. Only 127 cities. Is there really a difference between the PC and the PS? Is it really and different from classic or gold? Well, there are more cities to manage. Is anyone here good at the PS one?
     
  12. Ace

    Ace Emperor

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    Most definately! You have more options in the PC version. The main difference between Classic and Gold is that the AI is much more hostile to the human player in Gold. And, of course, Classic is single player only, while Gold is Multiplayer via the internet. There are some other minor improvements in Gold that make play a touch easier, but they are not significant.
     
  13. Millman

    Millman Mark the Magnificent

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    Good to know.

    Now that I think of it, you can use the basic quality/quantity issue. In the beginning of this game you want more cities since they can't go past 8 without aqueduct anyway. Plus is you build settlers from your capital they will have to travel further.

    There are difficulty levels in this game. That's why the warlord level suggests that if you don't want a difficult game, choose this level. If you really like any Civ it will be up to you 'the human' to choose how far you want to go with it. It is generally socially acceptable that the person who has the highest legit score is the best person. The score tallies population and you need cities in the beginnin, lots of 'em. If you want to win another way there's always GOTM.

    It is really up to you and not hard to figure out.
     
  14. Peaster

    Peaster Emperor

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    I think a 5% return is approximately optimal in the early stages of most games - that's about what you can get from building settlers in monarchy. GOTM 68 is rather artificial (one settler + all the techs) but it has shed some light on growth rates under Democracy.

    Magic Gorter managed to double every 10-11 turns [for about 36 turns] which is a growth rate of about 7%. He used normal ICS methods, and 100% taxes to pay for rushbuys. I suppose he could have sustained this growth rate quite a while, especially if given a few happiness wonders he'd normally have with a democracy.

    He did not indulge in trade, but in a normal game, that'd probably give even more than a 7% return. Not sure... I haven't tried to estimate the typical costs, benefits, speed of trade. In one PBEM we figured it was as much as 15% (but movement was faster in that scenario, which inflates the return).

    In GOTM 68, I grew slower at first [also in Demo], but after celebration-growth kicked in, I got almost 7% [while also conquering the AIs]. It's not clear whether to measure growth in terms of number of cities, Civ2 score, or Mfg, etc.... but I think it's clear that you can get even better returns from building engineers in Democracy than settlers in Monarchy.

    This makes investments in factories, King Richard's, etc even less attractive than before. Investments in irrigation and mining are probably better than before (because of engineers' 2x speed) but without careful analysis, I'd guess they usually don't pay off very well (for most purposes, such as EC, EL or GOTM scores).
     
  15. Nick Garai

    Nick Garai Prince

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    How true this is. The BEST thing to find in huts is not a free city settler. Settlers rock. The only time when they become a headache is when you have to deal with pollution but once you start developing those eco-friendly buildings hey become useless except to buid new cities really fast.

    If your civilization is near defeat, you can always put down a city somewhere and build up again. You maylose but at least the enemy has to find you.
     

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