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Any reason not to found cities?

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by b7fanatix, Mar 25, 2014.

  1. b7fanatix

    b7fanatix Warlord

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    Assuming you're not going for culture victory, you've taken all the prime spots with luxes etc. but in the middle of the patch of territory you control, between your cities are gaps of tiles that are not being worked. They're just ordinary grassland/plains, maybe a river that's a couple of tiles long or maybe there's a cow or two.

    You've reached the Renaissance and empire happiness is no longer a factor.

    Is there any reason not to found cities in this unused space?

    Downsides -

    the cost of building the settler
    any buildings you rush buy for the new city
    increased cost of social policies
    reduced happiness
    some wonders that require a building in every city will be delayed - but this is mostly classical/medieval wonders when you were happiness limited anyway

    Upsides -
    new cities will produce gold
    the extra population will generate science
    eventually , when your cities have all the buildings they need to be effective, they can crank out units

    Someone mentioned the cost of scientific discoveries goes up too with every city founded. I hope not - that blows my understanding of the game wide open if that's the case
     
  2. Mr. Grieves

    Mr. Grieves Wondermonger

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    Only in Brave New World, science costs go up 5% for every city you own on a normal sized map. That includes puppets.
     
  3. DWilson

    DWilson Where am I? What turn is it?

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    If I'm not mistaken, that is true, and it's only when cities surpass 6 pop (not a particularly high threshold, mind you) that they generally provide enough science to make up for (or more than make up for) the loss
     
  4. Mr. Grieves

    Mr. Grieves Wondermonger

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    I usually don't bother filling in the gaps after the classical era, unless it's a really good spot like a jungle. If there's enough food to grow rapidly, I'm sure it will eventually pay off once you've got a university up.
     
  5. GoStu

    GoStu King

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    The science cost of new technologies increases by a percentage for every city you have. The percentage is generally 5% per city, except for large maps (3%), and huge maps (2%).

    It actually takes a while for this to seriously set you back: it mostly discourages from spamming cities left right and centre without developing them. A 20-city empire has a doubled cost per tech... But the additional cities output likely make up most of the difference.
     
  6. _hero_

    _hero_ King

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    Can't really make a blanket statement like "6 pop." When your new city is greater than or equal to 5% of your total science output, it's a positive on research. That can be more than 6 pop or less than depending on circumstances.

    If that new city is next to a mountain and has a bunch of jungle, chances are it won't take long for it to be more than 5% of your science. On the flip side, if you're already producing 1000 beakers per turn and the new city has nothing in particular that buffs science, chances are it's not going to break even any time soon or maybe ever.

    ---

    And OP, in Brave New World new cities potentially help with culture victory. More Museums=more artifact slots=more tourism. More cities probably help with diplomatic victory too if you can turn them into gold hubs to help keep city state allies. They help with domination. What they don't always help with anymore is science victory. If happiness is an issue (and food isn't), I'd say it's always better to not add the new city, as 4 pop and 4 unhappiness in an old city is better for tech than 1 pop and 4 unhappiness from a new city and a 5% tech cost penalty.
     
  7. joncnunn

    joncnunn Senior Java Wizard Moderator

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    All national wonders require it.
    Two of them are late game:

    National Vistor Center, requires hotels: You only need this one if going for Cultural victory.

    National Intelligence Agency, requires police stations and therefore Constables: Going for science, you can skip this one as well. However if going for Diplomatic you'll want to build it for the extra diplomat + Globalizism.
    If going Cultural, you may also want an extra diplomat to place in strong culture AIs with a false ideology.

    Also, early in Rean you might not have some of the last of the early to mid game national wonders built.

    Also, I think units was mentioned as a reason to build cities: Not really, ideally you want all units from the same city so they get max starting XP + the HE promotion.
     
  8. CraigMak

    CraigMak The Borg

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    Yes, really.. More cities = more hammers = more units = win.

    Your promotions don't matter if they have twice as many units. You're just dead.

    Wide empires favor war, that's why most team games involve everyone going liberty.
     
  9. joncnunn

    joncnunn Senior Java Wizard Moderator

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    I was referring to Single Player games; which is normally considered default.

    (You don't really need that many units to beat the AI; a small compact force of modern units highly promoted will defeat in detail an AI with 3X as many units that are widely spread out.)
     
  10. budweiser

    budweiser King of the Beers

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    I do like to use multiple cities to make the troops since the cap needs to make other stuff too. Usually my artillery or UU gets made in the XP heavy cities while my infantry or other support troops get made in the other cities. A musket or pike that is just going to sit on the flank doesn't need top promos.
     
  11. myclan

    myclan Prince

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    My reason is very simple: don't have enough happiness. Other reason may delay my plan, but I will settle that city anyway.
     
  12. danaphanous

    danaphanous religious fanatic

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    Cities are useful. If you can handle the happiness and increased costs of science/tenets in the short-run go ahead and do it. Remember, the earlier the better as it takes a longer time for cities to catch up and become net-positive in the later ages. I am not settling much after the end of the industrial era and try to settle all useful spots by this time. This allows all cities to be useful before the end of the game.

    I have never heard of this 5% increased base cost rule, is this true for science and tenets?

    If so, just doing some basic math it appears you are punished "more" for each successive city as you have to overcome 5% of "every other city's output".
     
  13. haniblecter

    haniblecter Chieftain

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    To the OP, you'll find the bias against wide and in favor of tall is almost absolute on these forums. Most go for culture or science victories and kinda put their hands over their ears about wide for anything.
     
  14. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo Deity

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    While true, on higher difficulty level games, having a massive army will help you cut through the inevitable carpets of doom that much faster.

    Also, on any difficulty level, if you only maintain a small army, you are much more likely to be invaded. Even if the AI has no chance of winning because of your promotions and superior tactical abilities, they will still invade you when their carpets of doom achieve critical mass relative to your small defensive force. If you want war, then this isn't bad, but if you don't want a war, it can be a hassle.

    Also also, with a small army, it can be hard to play whack-a-mole when their carpets of doom invade and they send out tendrils* of units to plunder your strategic resources and luxes. Having a larger army means you can spare a few units to deal with the tendrils while leaving the bulk of your units to deal with the main carpet.

    *I have seen the AI send out streams of units that break off of the main carpet to go after your resources and luxes. They kind of look like tendrils that extend out from the side of the main carpet.
     
  15. BuzWeaverCiv

    BuzWeaverCiv Warlord

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    I'm still trying to get my first Science victory with King difficulty. I've wondered how many cities is optimal. In most games up to King I've always had at least 3, perhaps 4 if I see an aluminum resource. I've tried with two cities, but I don't seem to be any more successful than trying with 3. I've come close, but it seems that with the AI biased head start the closes I've come to wining is perhaps 53 turns.

    I'm having a lot of fun, but sometimes I can't help but laugh when I see a Civ make the First Rocket booster while I'm still building factories. The game I'm currently playing I'm fairly close, but Gandhi is on his last part. This particular game I have 3 cities and I'm dependent on City States for Aluminum (also, no jungle tiles). I'm currently fighting Brazil and Shaka at the same time. I've played Arabia, Babylon, Maya and the most times with Korea and I'm still not able to pull a win off.
     
  16. Martin_K

    Martin_K Chieftain

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    that's not how it works. it's 5% of the base cost of techs, so it doesn't really matter if it's your second city or your 25th - the absolute cost increases by the same number for each city.

    if you work on a tech that costs 500 research points, each city adds 25 points to that base cost.

    so an evaluation of net gain/loss should be based on the average beakers per city. if each of your cities creates 100 beakers per turn on average, a new city must contribute at least 5 bpt to break even. if the average is at 300, the new city must contribute 15 etc.

    the real break even point is a bit later obviously since the new city initially produces less, so it will have to create some excess afterwards to make up for the initial "debt".

    i guess one of the reasons why many players here avoid mid/late game expansion is that it takes longer to catch up the better your established cities are, so you can easily get to a point where a new city will not break even before the end of the game (or contribute so little excess after breaking even that it's not really worth the effort)

    generally speaking, this is only a valid point if you try to finish the game as quickly as possible (which seems to be the preferred mode of many of the better gamers here). if you don't care much how quick you'll end the game and rather play for fun or try to maximize the score or whatever, there's nothing wrong with founding lots of cities even late in the game ;)
     
  17. beetle

    beetle Deity

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    Okay, so the science is kind of a wash. And late founded cities are not going to be contributing experience units for fighting. The OP is not talking about a CV, but what about the increased cost for social policies? I figure each late city means one less SP by the end of the game. Except for CV, this is not going to mean the difference between a win or a loss, but am I probably being too conservative about this? How much culture does a city need to be generating to offset the increased SP cost?
     
  18. manu-fan

    manu-fan Emperor

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    I think a lot of people will say that 4 is the optimal number. 2 or 3 just isn't enough to generate all the science etc. that you are going to need unless they are really really high pop.
     
  19. Thunda

    Thunda Chieftain

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    Just finished a Morrocco desert start with 7 desert hills and floodplains on immortal. Capital was ideal, next to a mountain an river. Had 4 incense. Got desert folklore, and then beelined to petra (never had petra before on higher levels) finishing it around turn 90. However, even with this great dirt, it took a long time to get science win, not finishing until 340. I delayed a lot to get petra first, waiting until after to build NC and send out settlers. I was only able to found 3 cities with the shoshone to the north, montian ridge to my west, and ocean on other borders boxing me in. By end of game all 3 cities were in low 30 population and producing about 650 science amoungst them, plus another 200 science from my city state allies from the patronage policy, which i didn't pick up until late in the game. The trouble was, after 7 turns of running science following reasearch labs, my great scientist would only bulb about 6,200 science, requiring 2 to clear a late game policy. If I had 1 or 2 more cities, the extra 2000-2500 science would have helped a lot to clear the tree a lot sooner. My timing was poor with a number of things in retrospect, but at end of game i kept thinking i wish i would have taken a few of the shoshone cities to my north. Next game 4 cities is the minimum ill go with if shooting for a science win.
     
  20. Calouste

    Calouste Deity

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    There are another 3 resources that a city can contribute to your empire that don't get any penalties based on the number of cities: gold, faith, and tourism. How much that is going to contribute depends on your religion, policies and UA or UI. Settling a city to capture a landmark probably makes up for the extra culture cost. You can grow cities in the late game pretty quickly though. Tile yields are higher, you can run an internal trade route with a good yield, and there are a number of policies/tenets that give good per city bonuses.
     

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