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Academy or Insta-Tech

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Redcoat Captain, Oct 27, 2011.

  1. Redcoat Captain

    Redcoat Captain Leader of the Redcoats!

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    Hi Folks,

    I have a quick (and moderately noobish) question about the Great Scientist. How useful are Academies in relation to being able to instantly bulb a new tech? Whenever i spawn/receive a Great Scientist I, without fail, use him to instantly learn a new tech.

    Since it takes a reasonable amount to fully research a tech; (assuming that my Civ isnt a scientific powerhouse or that i am using a Civ which is considered to be at a particular scientific disadvantage); i'd figured that being able to instantly gain a tech far outweighs the benefits of an Academy (+5 :c5science:.).

    With the great merchant and great artist, i will always use them to put down a customs house for gold and and landmark for culture, very happy to take the benefits over a golden age or culture bomb. I think nothing of it. However it strikes me that being able to instantly chalk off a research item seems to carry a disproportionate advantage over the Academy?

    Would an Academy in the long term (provided i can get academies as early as possible) mean that i would gain more than one tech (if not solely from it but by proxy, its effect), over the single use insta-tech option?

    Or, would i need to gear my Civ up to spawn great scientists, save them (until building academies is possible), and use them all to have multiple academies in order to harvest their benefit on a plausible scale?

    How many academies could i expect to need to shave of a reasonable enough portion of bulbs from tech during the course of the game to outweigh sole use of the insta-tech? (I realize this question is a bit like the 'how long is a piece of string' metaphor, as the question relies of specific information as to how the players Civ is set up, social policies, UA/UB's etc.)

    Sorry if my quick question just became a complex one, i didnt mean for it to become so convoluted and fevered, but i'd like some expert opinion from some of you number cruncher's out there.

    Help greatly appreciated :)
     
  2. _Calyx

    _Calyx Warlord

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    I tend to put down academies in the early game - techs are cheaper, and the effect of the Academy will be greater the longer it is in play.

    Keep in mind that the academy science output is affected by any science multipliers you may have in the city. With only the national college, each academy would produce 7.5 Science per turn. After 100 turns, this would be 750 science, which is far more than the cost of an early tech.

    You need to weigh the benefits of the specific tech you choose against an overall more advantageous long term boost. If you have nothing especially pressing to beeline to in the tech tree, then I would build the academy.
     
  3. CYZ

    CYZ Toileteer

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    I agree with this. Remember however that a city working a academy is not working another tile, so it's not like you're just getting science per turn. You're also losing the output another tile would have given you.

    So I'd say that bulbing is the better choice most of the time. Still an early academy is extremely powerfull (babylon).
     
  4. vexing

    vexing knows

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    generally the only time you should be planting an academy is with babylon at writing.

    at other times you should generally just be sitting on the scientist until late game, or until you can bulb a set of critical military techs, like it's possible to triple bulb gunpowder, metallurgy, rifling.

    for a science or diplomatic victory you'll want to be bulbing the last 8ish techs. the ridiculous amount of beakers they cost is a lot greater than the amount an academy will grant over the course of a game.
     
  5. binhthuy71

    binhthuy71 Emperor

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    Late game techs cost thousands of beakers. It's difficult for me to see how an Academy in a normal speed game could generate enough research to balance out bulbing a late game tech. Unless I have an emergency need for a tech, I park my GS's until late game.

    What constitutes an "emergency need"? Getting DoW'd works for me. More times than not the ability to bulb a military tech can make a big difference in the outcome of a war.

    I play Random Leaders and even when I get Nebuchadnezzar I don't build Academies.
     
  6. Ellye

    Ellye Warlord

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    Free Techs are the most broken and imbalanced aspect of Civilization games. There's no common situation where an Academy would be a better choice.

    I'm tempted to use a mod that just removes the free techs from the game and changes nothing else, personally, substituting all of them to a reasonable instant beakers bonus.
     
  7. binhthuy71

    binhthuy71 Emperor

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    Thallasicus' excellent Vanilla Enhanced Mod grants a fixed number of beakers when you bulb. In the early game they are often sufficient to bulb a tech. As the game goes on and techs become more expensive bulbing will give you a head start on a tech but you'll still need some turns of Research to discover it.
     
  8. Tabarnak

    Tabarnak Cut your lousy hairs!

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    Don't forget RAs! They are even more powerful...
     
  9. binhthuy71

    binhthuy71 Emperor

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    As you well know, they're OP if you know how to manage your Tech Tree so as to get the maximum benefit from them. Absent the management, RA's won't do much for the player.
     
  10. Chong Warrior

    Chong Warrior Chieftain

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    I've seen this arguement a few times.

    Yes the academy costs the bonus of an improvement usually but not always that much. Example settling academy on Deer on River is very good.

    Plus when you keep storing loads of GS's they can cost a fortune in maintenance over a long period of time.

    When playing Babylon I always settle the first GS, really helps whittle away all the early cheap techs and overall it's quicker than just bulbing one. Also the gold saved from maintenance is useful early game to buy units.
     
  11. chazzycat

    chazzycat Deity

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    @vexing - I'm curious, has anyone done the math for Korea accounting for 2 extra science per? Is there any chance with the freedom finisher making the academy 16 science, that they have a later cutoff where it makes sense to academy the first GS or 2?
     
  12. Redcoat Captain

    Redcoat Captain Leader of the Redcoats!

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    Interesting that a couple of you guys mentioned Babylon above. Since the post i've been in a Prince diff game versus Denmark on a Pangea map, with Raging Barbs.

    Survival early on was a little taxing as i was on a duel sized map, with the Danes capital no more than 12 tiles away and 3 barb camps within 6-8 tiles. The walls of babylon, honour policies and garrisoned bowmen were the only reason i survived to test my threory!

    Anyway, Harald got off to a flying start and was soon ahead in the tech tree and a little army soon appeared on the border of my second city. By this time i'd managed to finish the great library, national college and the porcelin tower first (a miracle i tell you!), plus i have lib's and uni's in all 3 cities. Thus far i have managed to secure 4 great scientists (thanks to the great person spawn bonuses of a couple of wonders in my capital)...3 were placed as academies - both giving me +6 science each for a total of +18 (base value, minus the additional bulbs from bonuses).

    Early on it didnt help me a great deal but now in coming towards the end of the renaissance era, i'm really starting to catch him up, i think i might even over-take him. Unfortunately he's been hostile so i havent been able to see any of the enchanced RA's. I've had to use my last GS to instantly get cannon's, which now sit in two forts on the edge of my border, facing off against an obvious soon-to-be invading army.

    I think my one saving grace is that for some reason, despite having a large amount of land around him prime of settling, he's only got the two cities, one of them horribly placed too.

    Hopefully i can get a couple more academies out there and i'll get a screenshot up of my science demographics :goodjob:
     
  13. vexing

    vexing knows

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    i was thinking about this after i made the post.
    btw, i'm pretty sure finisher doesn't apply to korea's +2, it's just a doubling of the base (so it'd be 14).

    i've been doing a walkthrough of an epic speed culture game. in that game i finished PT on turn 162 and finished freedom on 252, and scientific theory on 268...
    the academy would have been 11 beakers (6 * 1.83 from nc + uni) for 90 turns, then 22 beakers for 16 turns, then 25.6 beakers for the turns up until i bulb mass media - i'm not sure exactly when but it was around turn 300: about 2200 beakers over those turns. on epic speed mass media costs 7650 beakers.

    it looks like even korea and a culture victory wouldn't be enough to shift the balance toward settling from a pure beakers standpoint, but there are benefits to getting all the prior techs slightly faster and not paying the unit maintenance... so for a korean culture game i'd say sure, settle away.
     
  14. chazzycat

    chazzycat Deity

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    Interesting...thank you.
     
  15. Soryn Arkayn

    Soryn Arkayn Prince

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    The consensus is correct. It's only worthwhile to expend a Great Scientist on an Academy early in the game because +5 Research is a significant boost when Techs cost 100 beakers or less. But once you reach the Renaissance era, Techs cost over 600 beakers, which means that it would take over 120 turns for an Academy to pay itself off instead of providing a free Tech. It makes more sense to expend the GS immediately, or save it for the late game to receive free Modern and Future era techs.
     
  16. binhthuy71

    binhthuy71 Emperor

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    I'd go a bit further and say that it's only worthwhile for Babylon to settle a GS in the early game. Babylon's +50% generation of GSs plus the fact that it gets one in the very early game when it discovers Writing makes settling that first GS as an Academy a worthwhile gambit - but only for Babylon. My take is that absent some hands-on management of Science specialists any other civ will be better served by using their GS to bulb techs.
     
  17. Ruler

    Ruler Prince

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    Immortal player here. I almost always prefer Golden Age. I think they're little bit OP in fact.
     
  18. Soryn Arkayn

    Soryn Arkayn Prince

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    If you do the math, an Academy alone will produce +5 Science every turn for the remainder of the game (if it's always worked -- I lock mine). For example, if you construct an Academy around Turn 100, and play until Turn 400, the Academy will produce a minimum of +1500 Research during that time -- and that's not counting the boosts provided by the Library, University, Public School, National and World Wonders, and Science Specialists. If you add up all of those it's probably over 4000, which is more than any Tech in the game (Future Tech is 3800).

    Unless I'm mistaken, Great People cost maintenance just like any other unit, so if you decide to save a Great Scientist until later to provide a free Modern and Future era Tech, you should consider how much Gold it cost to save the GS for however many turns. And if you expend a GS for an immediate free Tech in the early-to-mid-game, it makes the Academy far more worthwhile in the long run.

    I'm not saying that I never use Great Scientists for free Techs, nor do I always use them for Academies. I'm saying that depending on the circumstances, using a Great Scientist to construct an Academy is a perfectly valid long-term strategy.
     
  19. The Pilgrim

    The Pilgrim Deity

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    What setting are you talking about? Standard speed Nano/Future techs cost 10k+. Flight is about 4.5k. Besides, games usually don't last 400 turns but more like 300- turns. Even if you pay 4gpt for GS it still costs you less than one rushed late game unit.
     
  20. wcbarney

    wcbarney Know-it-all

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    Another immortal player here: You're nuts if you burn your GS on a Golden Age! The best use of your GS is to save them 'til you have 6-7 saved up and only 9-10 techs to go to Nanotech, then bulb them all at once + time Scientific Revolution (2 free techs) + Oxford Univ. (1 free tech) and then quick build Apollo & get your spaceship launched about 15 turns later. Experts have posted that they can get this all done by turn 250 on a standard map; I've never been that good, but have finished as early as turn 272, and almost always finish before turn 300. I just finished a large continents map on immortal (America) with a science win at turn 294. Yeah, I love Golden Ages too -- but I much prefer to burn great generals.
     

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