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Are coastal settlements too weak in the early game?

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by Orkonkel, Feb 22, 2019.

  1. Orkonkel

    Orkonkel Chieftain

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    When starting up new games, I rejoice whenever I start inlands. Coast tiles are terrible, and I'd rather keep my settlements away from them, and I feel there is a strange imbalance in this — historically, coastal settlements offered a lot in terms of resources, even going as far back as the neolithic era. I feel like seaside settlements should have access to more food than inland settlements (generic coast tile bump up to two food?), and I would also like to see more salt by the coast. It may even make sense to add some salt luxury in actual coast tiles instead of only on land (same as amber).

    Speaking of inland settlements, could we maybe get a 'Wells' technology that predates aqueducts? Something that could be placed in no water areas for some extra housing would open up the map a bit more. Depending on settings, there is sometimes very little room to found new cities by lakes or rivers. It would make sense considering that wells were used to get access to ground water waaaaay before the start date.
     
    Victoria and Kmart_Elvis like this.
  2. ShunNakamura

    ShunNakamura Warlord

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    Wells could be an interesting tile improvement. Kinda of like the Cahokia Mounds. Except only giving housing(probably should keep the next to limitations to prevent spam) and maybe giving some other kind of bonus later on through the tech tree(adjacency bonus food to farms maybe?). Could perhaps even be available straight from the start. One question would be terrain limitations. Should desert be as good a well spot as grasslands? etc

    As for seaside food, maybe it is due to my production/trade route focus, but my seaside cities almost always have higher food than my inland cities. At least once harbors/lighthouses get up, but I go for them pretty fast if I have a lot of coast at the start. Though to be fair that is resource dependent. But fish are everywhere in my games. Not uncommon for a coastal start to have 4+ sea resources. But maybe I have just been lucky. And Salt on the water would be nice. Particularly if it could also end up in ocean tiles. Which brings me to. . .

    It is ocean tiles that bug me. You just can't do anything with them so settling right on the coast almost always ends up with tiles that are less use then desert(at least a couple desert tiles can make a decent place to clump some districts together particularly encampments or entertainment districts or stuff like solar panels in the late game).
     
  3. Starwars

    Starwars Prince

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    The main problem for me is still the lack of production. I can start a coastal start and see like 3 fish/crabs/lux tiles in the water around. And my reaction *should* be "oh man, this is awesome". But in reality it will just be very slow unless you happen to have very productive tiles on land. Harbor buildings are nice but... you gotta build the harbor and the buildings which will likely be very slow.

    The changes to trading routes make sense in GS but I still feel they're fixing the "wrong" thing if they want to make coast really attractive. Food is almost never a problem in Civ VI, especially since you have a housing cap. But lack of production can really slow you down.
     
  4. Halcyan2

    Halcyan2 Emperor

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    I remember how in Civ V, they tried to balance the inherent weakness of coastal cities but doubling their trade route yields.

    The problem is made all the worse in Civ VI due to the district system, where each hex is valuable real estate. Not only are the water tiles for a coastal city bad for yields but you can't use them for most districts. They have admittedly, tried to improve this by giving slight boosts to coastal tiles (Auckland, Water Park) but it's still not enough.

    But hey, the one good thing about "coastal cities are crappy" is that it makes it easier to get along with Dido....
     
  5. Deggial

    Deggial Emperor

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    There are "wells" that allow inland cities without rivers: they are called oases and lakes. ;)

    No really, I don't like the idea of making settling too easy and arbitrary. Adopting to the map's conditions is one of the most interesting parts of the game. Introducing a 'well' improvement that could easily bypass the map's limitations would destroy this challenge.

    I agree with the requested importance of costal cities, though. Food and trade, this is what they excelled in historicaly.
    I haven't played enough games in GS to have an opinion, whether or not the changes to trade routes are enough to display this. Maybe food from sea resources could be boosted even further?
     
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  6. Orkonkel

    Orkonkel Chieftain

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    I strongly disagree; choice is more important than arbitrary restrictions on being able to create new settlements (I don't even understand what's arbitrary about digging wells, since this has been done since the inception of permanent settlements).

    There is always a cost, and in the case of wells, it would be opportunity cost. Do you want to invest research/production into settlements with no natural water source, or do you want to beeline campus/unique units/another settler? These choices is what makes the early game so interesting, because you have such limited resources every purchase and construction and tech becomes all that much more important.

    Seeing yourself walled off from rivers by city states or AI's with no room to expand isn't fun or interesting because you have no possible recourse. Having that extra option of settling away from existing water sources in pursuit of safer and perhaps more wealthy lands would make the extra investment pay off in the long run. You may even have that extra choice of a spot for a second settlement where currently you have none. This is good in my opinion.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2019
  7. Deggial

    Deggial Emperor

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    If everything is equally valid, there is no choice, no decision-making any more. Just do everything.

    The opportunity cost would be marginal, unless the 'well' technology would be a dead-end branch.

    And finally, it's still possible to settle without water source, if you really need this city (for the nearby ressources, for example). The city simply can't grow so big early in the game. You can choose to do so and accept the consequences - nothing is preventing you! ;)
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2019
    Rup likes this.
  8. Archon_Wing

    Archon_Wing Vote for me or die

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    They're absolutely trash and the presence of disasters doesn't help either. A lot of times I would actually move my settler in land if there aren't any coastal food tiles. They're not as awful as lake starts though, since at least settling on coast boosts sailing. If you start in a lake and your only luxury is in the lake, well, sucks to be you.

    But they do have one singular advantage, and that is the city cannot be put under siege early. Plus you can stick a galley in a city to make it have 25 defense. That..... is something. If you have Goddess of the Harvest, I guess you could still spam ships.
     
  9. Victoria

    Victoria Regina Supporter

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    They are an issue if you do not have 3 hills. If you have 3 hills they can be strong.
    The 3 hills give enough production to finish the harbour district and you can then buy the lighthouse and shipyard.
    They are a pain because of granary requirements, wall requirements and sea defences.
    I can play England deity only with coastal cities and win so they are not that bad and Naval Infrastructure is a handy card.
    TBH I win before being flooded but am disgusted by the price.
     
  10. ShunNakamura

    ShunNakamura Warlord

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    If we are worried about wells being too powerful maybe have it be like powerplants where they need to be recommissioned every so many turns with the housing bonus decreasing as the well ages or maybe better yet include 'well accidents' that can cost you population/happiness/food/etc or even a 'drying up accident' where the well vanishes and needs to be rebuilt from scratch. I am sure it can be done in such a way as to be balanced. And like aqueducts it can still give some kind of bonus to fresh water cities.
     
  11. Ziad

    Ziad Emperor

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    Coastal cities make a lot more gold than inland cities, so your strategy needs to adapt. You need to invest in gold. The doubled gold yields from international overseas trade routes are no joke.

    Also settling coastal cities isn't going to work well for all civilizations much like any other non-Plains/Grassland terrain type. It's intentional that some civilizations are just plain better at it.

    With culture/tech costs currently outpacing production, gold/faith purchasing has increased in value relative to raw production. With a healthy income you can basically buy everything you need while leaving production for card slotted boosted building.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2019
  12. acluewithout

    acluewithout Deity

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    If your coastal city is built on a river mouth, ie fresh water, it can be fairly competive for production depending on what tiles you have. You get good growth and housing from fishing boats, the extra citizens can work mines, and your shipyard can give you some good hammers later.

    If you’re going to talk about coastal cities, you have to remember they actually come in a few different flavours.
     
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