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All truth about slavery/whip/overflow

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by gavenkoa, Nov 10, 2019.

  1. gavenkoa

    gavenkoa Warlord

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    I've read nearby thread where some calls slavery superior and overpowered, most op in game roles.

    I started to count to find out it's actual usefulness.

    Basically whip converts one citizen to 30H regardless map size/difficulty/speed.

    There is requirement of double city size to whip and Slavery civic.

    City regrowth thresholds: 22 + 2*CitizCount, so it is 24, 26, 28, 30, 32, etc.

    Without Granary whip:

    2=>1 converts 24F => 30H (+6H)
    3=>2 converts 26F => 30H (+4H)
    4=>3 converts 30F => 30H
    4=>2 converts 58F => 60H (+2H)

    Things become interesting when there is Granary. Granary reduces threshold twice: 11+CitizCount, so it is 12, 13, 14, 16F, etc.

    With granary clean whip:

    2=>1 converts 12F => 30H (+18H)
    3=>2 converts 13F => 30H (+17H)
    4=>3 converts 15F => 30H (+15H)
    4=>2 converts 29F => 60H (+31H)

    When city is around 4-8 Citiz whip approximately doubles F to H.

    Should we whip? Not so fast ))

    I say no when your extra food supports mines on grass hills. Basically hill improved by mine is -1F+3H.

    If we invest 1F extra food to grass mine we get conversion 1F => 3H. It is better than whip, which basically converts 1F => 2H.

    Mine on plain works worse. It is -2F+4H, so by investing 2F => 4H. Roughly same as whip.

    If we add windmill to mine on plain: -2F+3H +1F+1C = -1F+3H+1C - same as mine on grass +1C and better than whip (1F=>2H)!

    Tiles that requires 2F for support should provide at least 4 extra resources to be effective as whip.

    Early farm on a river side plain: 0F+1H+1C, saving of 1F converts to 2H with slavery, total: +3H+1C
    Early cottage on a river side plain: -1F+1H+2C, 1F investment gives +1H+2C.

    Early farm on a river side grass: 1F+1C, 1F can be invested into slavery with total: 2H+1C
    Early cottage on a river side grass: 0F+2C. Worse than farm by 1 extra, equal with improvement to Hamlet.

    Cottages are worse that Food until improved to +2C or +3C.

    Slavery isn't superior if you have enough mines ))

    I've never played to Workshops, so leave calculation for readers...
     
  2. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

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    I don't think your numbers are correct, and I can't agree on your analysis either.

    Numbers first:

    It requires 22 food to go from pop1 to pop2.
    So w/o granary, that pop which costed you 22 food to grow will yield you 30 hammers.
    22F for 30H.

    Pop3->Pop2 24F for 30H
    Pop4->Pop3 26F for 30H
    When doing Pop4->Pop2 whip, it cost you 26+28=54F for 60H.


    Analyzis:

    Slavery is not only about raw hammers per food. It's also about releasing latent stored production in a burst.
    Right before an attack you would probably want to whip alot, even if the conversion ratio was even worse than it is.
    You are served better by a stronger army, than you are by cities at higher population.

    ANd in the very early game, when it's landgrabbing that is on the table, getting that settler out just a turn earlier could make a whole world of difference.
     
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  3. pi-r8

    pi-r8 Luddite

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    Like Krikav said, slavery is not only about converting hammers to food, it has a lot of advantages that are hard to do an exact comparison of.

    It's more like a loan. You sacrifice production for a while (losing citizens immediately, and +1 :unhappiness: for 10 turns) to get an immediate payoff. That's very helpful in a lot of situations like:
    • emergency defense
    • building up before an attack
    • getting a worker or settler out sooner
    • getting a monument/granary/lighthouse done in a new city
    Also, working mines requires you to uh.. have mines. Not every city will have grass hills available, and you don't have infinite workers to improve all of them. Slavery means you get production in every city automatically, and can get by with fewer workers.

    But in the extreme case where you just want long term production, and you have available grass hill mines, and the city is reasonably large, then yes, whipping can come out behind. Having, say, a 4 food surplus to continuously whip and regrow is going to lose out to just working 4 mines. (60 hammers every 10 turns, plus 3-6 hammers per turn while regrowing, vs a straight 12 hammers every turn for 10 turns). So I guess I agree with your conclusion "Slavery isn't superior if you have enough mines" but only for grass mines, and with the caveat that "enough" is quite a lot.
     
  4. AcaMetis

    AcaMetis Prince

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    Eh, it's very much speed dependant. On Marathon you get 90:hammers: per pop, for instance ;).
     
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  5. Gumbolt

    Gumbolt Phoenix Rising

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    I don't think your numbers are right. It gets more complicated when you factor in food overflow. So sometimes a whip will fill your food stores causing growth the next turn.

    Your assuming that your whipping away a happy citizen. If your at your happiness cap whipping can often be ideal. Whipping away unhappy people is often ideal.

    Also whipping can be ideal at 4 pop if a city is likely to shrink after capture.

    So many variables here. You might of been better looking at regrowth time. Which greater minds have already done.
    If you Google this you will find the correct numbers.

    You have not included unhappiness at all in your figures.
     
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  6. gavenkoa

    gavenkoa Warlord

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    Hi all. I made many minor mistakes (like first whip cost 22, not 24?, I wrote from memory with minimal reference to wiki/forum/Sevopedia) and will try to correct them within 2 days.

    Main idea that bothered me that slavery roughly converts investment of 1F =>2H, while mine on grass converts investment of 1F => 3H. Is it right?

    Also I assume that overflows is just a way to convert F => H and it is useful in Hammer poor environment. Maximizing overflow to 29H just increases conversion rate. I agree that it is important on water / plains or when you hit population limits (meaning you have extra Food that can't be converted to Coins/Hammers efficiently except via slavery).

    Please comment above two statement.
     
  7. gavenkoa

    gavenkoa Warlord

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    Yeah, regrowth from 2->1 whip with Granary costs 11F, so actually it is 11F =>30H, almost 1:3. Like with mine +1F+3H. Larger city size decreases ratio, I'll check numbers later.
     
  8. Gumbolt

    Gumbolt Phoenix Rising

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    Lexicus likes this.
  9. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

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    You are spot on, in that overflow is just about conversion.
    There is no magic what so ever going on when it comes to overflow.

    The answers of when to whip, what to whip and how you manage overflow and what you put that overflow into, all depend on the map specific situations.
    Biggest key difference is if there is a surplus or a lack of food.
     
  10. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

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    And yes, at some point in the middle of the game there is (usually) a transition away from slavery and to other things.
    Not always, sometimes slavery presists and sometimes it makes a comeback.

    It's when your cities start to become large enough (enough happines+health), you have an army or have finished some conquest. And your workers are starting to catch up and develop mines and/or workshop.
    Usually caste system and pacifism come into play too.
     
  11. pigswill

    pigswill fly (one day)

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    Slavery is often used when cities are small (granary, library, worker etc), when cities are small figures are somewhat confused because of working resource tiles with a higher yield than base tiles.
     
  12. Tobiyogi

    Tobiyogi Prince

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    If you consider mines to equal or replace the slavery tool, then I would say, wrong conclusion.
    The more I play, the more I see that mines are only temporarily useful, in order to bring a building closer to completion (for completing cheap early game units, you probably don't need them at all). As soon as I am ready to whip a building (or expensive unit) and that whip will sacrifice only hammer-working citizens, I should definitely whip! Because their only purpose is to finish my production (while they are consuming more food than they produce) and not only that they charge my food bar, they even work slower than the whip. The only precious "mines" are imo riverside marble or ivory tiles with 2 or more :commerce:. A 1/3/1 mine is only good, when I am really starving for commerce. Of course, also a 4H mine can be temporarily useful, especially when producing settlers/workers in an unhappy city (because the unhappy population won't get food when you work too much hammers).
    Slavery is also the best tool to bring some action into a city that is stuck in its happy cap. Especially with good food, regrowth happens much faster than you would wish for. Especially in the early game (low happy cap, only 2 specialists can be hired), it is the most efficient way to squeeze out some benefit from little cities.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2019
  13. pi-r8

    pi-r8 Luddite

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    A linked thread from there is also good: https://forums.civfanatics.com/threads/whipping-vs-working-hammer-tiles.243558/
    Particularly this post:
    Gavenkoa is right that a grass hill mine is more efficient than slavery at converting food. Grass hill mines are good tiles! It's just that there's a lot of situations where getting the production ASAP is more important than efficiency.
     
  14. Tobiyogi

    Tobiyogi Prince

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    No, that's not logical. The calculation states only what the grassland hill (1/3) does in the current situation. It provides 3 hammers, and "costs" only 1 food, sounds good. But it does not reflect at all the fact how fast the city will regrow and how fast you can work the same mine again. When you work the mine, you will delay your growth because the tile is -1F-negative. When you whip, you get rid of any food-negative tiles and will regrow very fast with your strong food tiles. 2, 3 turns later, you have not only finished your production but you can already work other mines/ivory/marble etc.... Mines are decent helpers with hammer-multipliers and when you are not ready to whip yet, but that's it. So basically, you need them for bigger projects.
     
  15. Tobiyogi

    Tobiyogi Prince

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    Let's say you have 6-pop and are currently building a courthouse. The slavery tool shows you that you could whip for 3-pop. You take a look at what your citizens are actually doing and you see two of them on a grassland mine and one of them hired as a scientist. The others are producing food. Why not whip right now? You lose 2 mines (what actually have they been doing except building your courthouse that you can finish immediatly?) and 1 scientist. But when your city goes down from 6 --> 3 pop, it will regrow in a blink and your scientist will be on board soon. Plus, you have your courthouse and you have more potential to regrow.
    There are other reasons to save population (going for domination or supporting more free units), but in terms of efficient production, slavery is better. At least in the early game.... later you have forges/ factories/ bureaucracy etc...
     
  16. Gumbolt

    Gumbolt Phoenix Rising

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    The ironic thing is many players will prioritise chopping, cottages/farms or other builds ahead of mines/roads. If you skim the link I think one person advocates using 3f farms over mines as it leads to faster growth. Of course whipping away unimproved tiles is also good play.

    That is great thing about this game. So many variables that make every game different.

    Assuming a CH was a good build. If you have no good builds wealth or research may be ideal. I think main reason not to whip is where regrowth would take too long.If you have 1-2 solid 5f/6f resources whipping is ideal.
     
  17. Tobiyogi

    Tobiyogi Prince

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    CH can be good. Also, more citizens cost even more upkeep. So whipping also reliefs a bit the financial burden. A 6-pop distant city w/o courthouse is much more of a burden than a 4pop with CH.
    When regrowth takes too long, that implicits that there is no strong food anyway, what makes a grassland hill even less attractive. In some cities you don't even bother with mines because you will never work them (except being IMP and pump out settlers).
    Only cities with strong food can have the "luxury" to work mines and here is the question, if that is really good play. I also believe that 3F farm is better in most of the cases. Not considering building wonders/ wealth or having a trait that gives hammer multipliers permanently and not only on one specific building ("hammer-friendly" traits are IMP, EXP, IND).
    So on the other hand, in a Augustus game (ind, imp) with a big happy cap, I was working mines like crazy and was not even considering to whip, because I had so many multipliers like forge/OR/industrious/stone. It depends on the leader and land. Also with Bismarck you can go high production (industrious + having more health in your cities).
    As a conclusion, besides unimproved tiles, I would also whip away weak tiles (like a grassland hill w/o commerce) and unhealthiness. Also plain tile farm (2-1-1) is very weak if you consider it takes 5t to farm it and it not even helps with growth.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2019
  18. sampsa

    sampsa Ghost

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    Maximizing overflow does not increase conversion rate, like krikav says. Not sure what krikav thinks gavenkoa was spot on though. ;)

    It doesn't matter how many mines you have, grass mines are ok tiles. The issue is that worker turns are much better spent on improving food and chopping.
     
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  19. pi-r8

    pi-r8 Luddite

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    Sounds like a strange city situation with three (!) food-only tiles, 2 mines, and 1 scientist. If you have enough food surplus to regrow 3 pop "in a blink" (I guess that means 3-5 turns?) then you should really be growing the city larger, not stagnating at size 6. It's hardly ever worth running just 1 specialist, might as well work 2 so there's a chance of producing a great person. If you don't have enough happiness to grow larger than 6, it might be worth doing that sort of heavy whipping, but it's not really about efficiency, it's just that you've got these great food bonus resources and no other way to convert them into hammers. Like in an island city with a lot of seafood and no land, how else are you going to produce hammers? But given the option, 5 food + 5 grass hill mines will outproduce 5 food plus whipping, over the long haul.

    I agree with this. Slavery dramatically decreases the number of workers you need to run your cities efficiently.
     
  20. Tobiyogi

    Tobiyogi Prince

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    hmmm... just an example and not a real city situation. I usually run at least two specialists, that's clear. Not sure if growing to the happy cap is the best solution in a situation where I want to finish something asap (especially in the pre-currency era). I don't see any benefit in having high population except building wealth or running zillion of cottages. Maybe at this point it breaks down to the conviction if the 3./4./5. city should also have a bunch of buildings or mostly focusing on wealth/research. I am not decided yet :)

    In terms of production, you cannot only compare the effectiveness of mines vs. farms in a given situation without considering the regrowth after whipping. When I have 2 strong food tiles plus granary, regrowth happens not in 3-5 turns, but immediately. Second regrowth maybe 3 T later ...at least very soon (given the fact that I have a 5F and 6F tile).
    Playing with mines means for me stagnation and always waiting whilst playing with slavery is like a vaccination, in the first place, it hurts, but soon after you get everything back and you get it double, because eventually you have the same pop and already focusing on another production. And the "lost" tiles were not really lost when their only purpose was to finish the former production. Maybe the difference is not great, maybe my calculations are wrong at all, for me, that strategy works well and the basic build-up in the cities has big priority.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2019

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