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An advanced guide to the specialist economy for emperor and above

Discussion in 'Civ4 Strategy Articles' started by zizzeus, Oct 11, 2008.

  1. zizzeus

    zizzeus Chieftain

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    Yeah, I developed this strategy on Vanilla awhile ago, and I've since seen the benefit of merchants. That extra food is like half a specialist. If you've got Angkor Wat, priests are probably a little better, but otherwise merchants are great. You could mix those pools without too much trouble, since you'll get a gold-making GP either way. And a merchant is great for the trade mission which can finance the upgrading of an entire army.

    From what I've read of your posts, you've probably played many more games to the modern age than I have. I strongly prefer the domination victory type, and I also probably don't play on a high enough level, so those victories come by rifling, or assembly line at the latest. So I haven't really taken an SE to the end of a space race. I still think it wouldn't compare to a bunch of town-spammed cities running US and FS in terms of commerce.

    The watermills and workshops (especially in BTS) can definitely beat out anything in terms of production. Running Caste and SP as civics makes them very powerful, and has nice synergy with the SE. All of these points are well taken - please keep in mind I had only played a few BTS games at that point.
     
  2. feralminded

    feralminded Obsessive Number Cruncher

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    I would like to know where people got the idea that a "pure" SE doesn't involve any cottages. Depending on your land its usually worth building cottages in your capital so you can abuse Bureaucracy which you can eventually turn into a Stock Market city if you like (although you want to run some merchants at this point the cottages won't hurt anything).
     
  3. Yamps

    Yamps Deity

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    @SE and space chit-chat...

    The issue is as always terminology. People imply so different things by that term "SE". So when somebody sticks to SE for the entire game and the other guy doesn't, do they talk about the same thing? This is what I had in mind. There are so many questions:

    Is it SE with no cottages and specialists hired in many places? Is the capital cottaged for Bureaucracy or is it a GP farm? How many GP farms are there, is it just one GP farm or is valuable GPP spread out? Are specialists used for bulbing or are they settled for SSE? What proportion of GPP does come from specialist anyway, is it actually wonder economy? (WE) And are we really talking about specialist economy or are we talking about a more general food economy (FE) ?

    There are also questions of optimality and general game strategy. Just because sth works, it doesn't necessary make it better. Grassland towns provide food while specialists spend it. Should a city that won't ever pop a great person really choose specialists instead of towns, assuming a long term peaceful role for that city?

    As you can see, I don't really like the term "SE" :mischief:, it doesn't tell much what's going on.
     
  4. UncleJJ

    UncleJJ Deity

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    Many people who advocate "pure" SE mean that they use the culture slider to get happiness; and that would make all sources of commerce including trade routes and cottages less useful. Typically they aim to put theatres and coliseums in their big cities and run the culture slider at say 40% in peacetime (gives +10 happiness) to counter motherland and emancipation without building a lot of infrastructure. That lets them run Representation and Caste System and gives them freedom to choose what infrastructure to build where, and that saves huge amounts of hammers that make up for other inefficencies. Banks and markets are only needed in cities that run merchants, and universities and observatories in cities with lots of scientists. The other cities without a high food surplus to run specialists effectively use the food to produce hammers through Slavery, drafting, hills and workshops.

    In war time they can raise the culture slider even higher to 80% (say) to whip and draft and face horrendous war weariness and still keep fighting without Police State. It is a very flexible and powerful warmongering technique but it does mean that a lot of commerce is lost, so building cottages or using a Bureaucracy capital are avoided.
     
  5. Yesod

    Yesod Warlord

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    Wow, that's something I gotta try...

    Sounds to me like a multiplayer strategy, though. If I got the slider at 80% culture to keep the same war going, something has to be going wrong. Maybe a grueling battle with no tech superiority. Otherwise before the industrial age I'd probably be drowning in maintenance and dropping behind fast.
     
  6. Agramon

    Agramon Warlord

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    As far as I understood, the rule is play to the map. So in the SE there will at least be one commerce high bureaucracy capital and most of the time one or to commerce cities to support. At least thats how used to do it from time to time, not claiming to be an expert here.
     
  7. obsolete

    obsolete Deity

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    SE has nothing to do with commerce....
     
  8. georgjorge

    georgjorge Deity Wannabe

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    I don't fully understand the reasoning behind building only wonders which give the same type of Great Person in one city. Since I'll have uses for all the different types anyway, being able to produce a certain type when I want doesn't seem very useful except for Corporations, and I found that on higher levels it's hard to do a strict specialization as you'll probably build at least the first few wonders you can get in your capitol to have a shot at them.

    Also, how often do you build Shrines for the later religions (Confucianism/Taoism)? I very rarely do as the spread will be too little - and if I don't build a Shrine and for some reason also don't get Angkor Wat, would you say that hiring Merchants works better than Priests?


    The culture slider strategy sounds very interesting, I'll have to try that some day...
     
  9. zizzeus

    zizzeus Chieftain

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    You are correct, there isn't as much use in restricting wonders as implied with the exception of engineers, since you probably want to grab one or two guaranteed. This article hasn't been maintained in light of later game experience with BTS and civ in general.

    I also don't usually bother with later shrines and would prefer merchants if A.Wat was not built or captured. There are some exceptions though. A recent Immortal game (on a small map) saw me, Gilgamesh and Sitting Bull start out on a continent with Hannibal and Asoka on the other. The other continent picked up every religion except Taoism (which I was able to get) and it obviously spread everywhere. I built that shrine. Otherwise, wouldn't do it.

    Great merchants can be a god-send mid game. Priests, meh.
     
  10. 8ball19772

    8ball19772 Chieftain

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    why is ’ typed on every sentence
     
  11. Browd

    Browd Dilettante Administrator

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    That is ASCII code for a right single quotation mark (also known as a "curly" apostrophe). Most likely resulted when the forum moved from vBulletin to Xenforo.
     

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