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Are Castles worth the hammers?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Revent, Jul 15, 2012.

  1. Revent

    Revent Will SIP

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    Well question is in title. I was wondering if hammers are honestly worth the hammers that we can invest in them. At the cost of 150 hammers, (100 if you have stone) they add an extra trade route and the defence which is negligible. But is this extra trade route worth it?

    Thanks
     
  2. z0wb13

    z0wb13 undead

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    when you consider the number of :hammers: need to build a castles, you have to include the cost of the walls, too, as they are a typically useless building. i guess you say that 150 hammers is the total needed.

    i'm not sure about 100 if you have stone.

    you also leave out protective as a booster, and then you might also be running OrgRel, and with stone AND a forge, the cost of castles becomes negligible for SOME lucky civs.

    if you can build a castle in less than 4 turns on a normal speed game, it is probably worth it IF you aren't going to obsolete them anytime soon. duh. but, say i have all those bonuses from the last paragraph, and it's in a bureau capital, then by adding a castle i might get an extra 4-5 gpt then i'd say do it. if it's a secondary city, but coastal with high production, i'd do it. most of the time i won't do it because i'm heading towards tech paths that are going to have relatively late engineering and early rifles, if i can.

    the general consensus around the forums is probably that castles suxx0r, and so does the customs house.
     
  3. shakabrade

    shakabrade Praise Vivec!

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    I tend to build casteles in my border cities when going into some medieval warfare. Why? Not because of defense bonus, nor espinage, nor trade troute but because of AI stupidity. You see, they bombard city if they have any siege in the stack, and only when defenses are down they attack. I had an example recently where HC had stack of some 40 units with 3-4 trebs in it, and it took him forever to reduce the defenses down. And city was defended with 3 pikes and 2 xbows. Meanwhile, I took his core cities with my SoD, which was actually weaker than his and signed peace. He never even scratched any of my cities.
     
  4. Revent

    Revent Will SIP

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    I've already taken the cost of walls into this :) But yeah, not in every city I guess, but in a powerful large capital, it may be worthwhile.
     
  5. Revent

    Revent Will SIP

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    Interesting :p Will have to try this out :lol:
     
  6. Pangaea

    Pangaea Rock N Roller

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    Noticed that in a previous game too. An AI I was waging a war together with, had a fairly big stack but only 1 or 2 trebs in it. So he took an eternity and a half to capture the city he was camped outside. Meanwhile, I could walk around taking the other cities with releative ease, without him competing for them.
     
  7. Zx Zero Zx

    Zx Zero Zx Deity

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    What is a castle?????? You mean those things that the AI builds? I don't usually build them, as by that time I am going on the offensive, and don't plan on the AI even being able to attack my cities at all. But there are times where they come in handy, but just not when you can build them. :p When you have Eng early enough for castles to matter you won't need them as you are probably going to be doing a Treb rush. But when the AI is going to attack you, and you are going to need them you will either not be able to build them, or be very close to obsoleting them. So conclusion they are a pretty bad building.
     
  8. noto2

    noto2 Emperor

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    Yeah it is often much smarter to build a stack of units and keep them near the border to fight an invading stack. Sitting in a city trying to protect yourself often will not work. Still, I imagine there are some situations when castles might be of use. If I were playing a protective civ and for some reason got engineering fairly early (perhaps a trade), I might put some castles in my cities, especially if I had stone. Castles will really buy you a lot of time if you get invaded. They're good for a large empire where it might take you a while to move your army to respond to an invasion. I probably wouldn't build them strictly for the economic benefit, though.
     
  9. coanda

    coanda Emperor

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    Almost always too expensive for the defensive bonus to be of interest; they're primarily economic buildings. Their effective cost will vary widely by game - 150:hammers: normally, 100:hammers: with PRO, 75:hammers: with Stone, and just 60:hammers: with Stone and PRO.
    Not surprisingly, they generally aren't worth it for 150:hammers: (perhaps in a settled-GSpy spy-spec. running bureaucracy capital). At 100:hammers: they're not really of interest unless you'll be making use of the espionage bonus. By 60 or 75:hammers:, they can be good in commerce cities that already have good multiplier buildings if you have good trade-route potential and aren't getting Economics any time soon even if you aren't using the espionage bonus, just for the 1 extra trade route.
     
  10. bitplayer

    bitplayer Warlord

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    I build them in a choke city and if I am playing a pro leader. Goading a khan into a war when he only has one or two cities to get at me is pretty fun. Watching pikes destroy waves of attackers and then counterattacking when his stack of doom- or two- has gone bye bye is fun.

    But such situations rarely come up and walls with a pro leader usually do the same trick.
     
  11. Killroyan

    Killroyan Deity

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    If castles would be available at feudalism or so I might consider them but they come in so late that economics is so close that you never get a good chance to build them. Engineering -> guilds -> merc -> eco is about 15-20 turns or so in a good game, so just a very small window of opportunity.

    I can understand why they do not let you build them with feudalism because longbows and castles might be a little to much, but is maybe the only drawback.
     
  12. vranasm

    vranasm Deity

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    building castle(s) means you expect to be in defensive... you don't want to be defending...

    the +1 TR is very small bonus (like 2-3C typically) and the +EP's don't have effect usually (unless you do EE, which from the start is defensive strategy, so maybe can work with pro leader)

    so the answer to me is... almost never...

    other problem being that unlike AI's (and Zx) you usually don't want to beeline Engineering.
     
  13. noto2

    noto2 Emperor

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    primarily economic buildings?? They go obsolete <50 turns after they're built. You'd be better off just building wealth. The hammers would be better invested into any other building. Seriously, they are a terrible economic build. They are useful for defence though. A castle puts the city's defences at 100-150% and catapults/trebs can only bombard that down by 1-2 per turn. Thus it buys you a LOT of time to get your army in position or even whip up more troops.
     
  14. reljanovic

    reljanovic Chieftain

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    Maybe they should've put of economics or made castles EP% stay even if obsoleted.

    IMO. Isabella -> citadel -> cheap cats/trebs CRIII -> upgrade to artillery CRIII -> win

    But that's if u plan on a future invasion, although trebs/cats/cannons with CRIII or CD(CollateralDamage)III isn't very bad either, especially not on slower game speeds.
     
  15. maurcus

    maurcus Warlord

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    I agree with noto2 they are more useful then y'all are giving them credit. i usually play epic or marathon games so I might have any where from 75 to 100 turns between engineering and economics, in a good game.
     
  16. shakabrade

    shakabrade Praise Vivec!

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    But castles are also more expensive on epic an marathon.
     
  17. Um the Muse

    Um the Muse King

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    I personally tend to put off economics for awhile anyway, so I usually find a few of them worth building. If I have island cities with decent production, these will get castles rather quickly. If I have cities that I'm pretty sure an AI will attack first, these will get castles, too. But I don't know if it is a good idea on faster speeds.

    I don't think that I've ever taken advantage of their espionage bonus. It's pretty small compared to normal espionage bonuses (which affect a larger pool of EP's than a single city could hope to produce).
     
  18. Xcalibrator

    Xcalibrator Ultraviolet Catastrophe

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    The Celts have duns, which are walls that give land units a free Guerilla I promo, so their walls can be a good investment depending on the map and your style of play. A couple strong defenders (e.g., GuerII longbows or gunpowder units on hills) makes city attacks a lot safer, and GuerII gives you double hills movement, too. And once you've got a dun, if there are lots of AI cities to trade with, going for castles can definitely pay off (at least, if you have stone).
     
  19. rah

    rah Deity Supporter

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    When an AI makes it to one of my cities (except early with no collateral units) it usually means I really screwed something up so I very very rarely ever build them for defensive purposes.

    They don't last long enough for the other reasons so except for an occasional one in high trade cities or for UB considerations, I don't think they're worth the hammers.
     
  20. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    If a castle is around for ~50 turns, it might be worth it. Take a bureaucracy capitol that can pull a 5 :commerce: trade route (quite plausible). A castle would add a straight 7.5 :commerce: to a city that has excellent :gold: and :science: multipliers. That's 375 :commerce: in 50 turns, applied however you allocate it in the slider.

    If you're paying in 75 or 60 :hammers: it's not a bad return...better still if you ignore economics in favor of things like rifling, communism, steel, cannons, or in the case of Spain artillery (cr III siege is worth avoiding econ).

    However, the PRIMARY use of castle is indeed AI abuse. It will sit there with its not-enough siege bombarding the castle FOREVER and that can make a big difference.

    Castles only really shine in no tech trades though, where they go from a situational building to a very good one. Espionage is much stronger in that format and it's one of the earlier multipliers. You also have far less incentive to ignore the engineering path without tech trades since you can't just use the lib path as trade fodder and probably want some actual defenses in medieval times so you don't just lullerdie to the first treb force that happens by.
     

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