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Aristocracy Economics (and some republic)

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Fall from Heaven' started by Fafnir13, Oct 22, 2009.

  1. Fafnir13

    Fafnir13 King

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    I keep seeing people talk about how wonderful Aristocracy is, but it never seems to work out for me.
    The way I play, I go God King/Pacifism/Apprenticeship/Agrarianism for much of the early game, switching over to religion once I've popped a few great prophets for early religions. After some early conquests, and a significant gain in cities, I switch to City States and sit there for the rest of the game. Military State and Consumption will make appearances from time to time.
    I've tried switching to Aristocracy from time to time, but I always end up making less money (due to the horrific upkeep of my numerous cities) and lose specialists as more workers are required to work the farms to keep starvation at bay. Even when I'm playing a financial leader, City States gives me the best economy.
    Perhaps this is due to my play style. I almost always play for conquest, creating truly massive empires in the process. City states, with percentile bonuses to both types of city upkeep, is hard to beat in that scenario. Am I just missing Aristocracy's niche?

    While I'm on the topic of civics, what is republic good for? Three city's with +3 happy? Great, I've got sixty cities. What does it offer those? Culture? There are plenty of better sources for culture then that. Great People? By the time republic is available, great people take so long to produce that the percent bonus isn't that bad. Still, getting a great person in 75 turns instead of 100 is not going to have empire wide ramifications that justify the extra cost.
    About all I've seen it do is designate my next target as the AI's seem to value it and thusly annoy me with the unhappiness. Unhappiness as a weapon is good, but yet again not worth the cost.
    Once again, am I just missing its niche?
     
  2. EverNoob

    EverNoob Prince

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    It's a matter of playstyle.

    City States works better than Aristocracy when you expand at a fairly fast pace and have a large empire. Aristo is very worker intensive and the :food: penalty indirectly leeches :hammers:. When you expand fast, you simply won't have enough workers to farm the new lands or time to build Courthouses in your new cities. In such a case, the instant maintenance reduction of City States wins out over Aristo.

    Republic is really useful for peacemongers relying heavily on specialists. It's best when combined with Scholarship/Liberty and Caste System. I included an example of a cultural victory with Repuplic+Liberty+Caste System.

    So yes I think it's simply your playstyle :)
     

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  3. Monkeyfinger

    Monkeyfinger Deity

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    If you're playing for conquest, you're probably prioritizing military techs early, putting off CoL until you have quite a few villages, towns, and pop-capped cities with no need for much more food. That's why aristocracy sucks for you.

    Aristocracy is something you rush for. Grab it and switch to it before your cities and cottages have much time to grow and start farm spamming empty green tiles and it kicks ass. If you like early fighting, it's really not for you.
     
  4. Skyre Noktis

    Skyre Noktis Warlord

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    General guidelines for Aristocracy are:

    - Always run Agrarianism
    - Farm *everything* you possibly can (cottages are worthless)
    - Research Sanitation ASAP

    A farmed grassland will produce 4 food with Aristocracy/Agrarianism/Sanitation. It can only ever produce 2 with a cottage, so you shouldn't ever end up with less food than a cottage-based economy. You get less commerce per worked square with Aristocracy, but you should be able to run specialists out the wazoo.
     
  5. Fafnir13

    Fafnir13 King

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    Okay, so it is just my play style. Glad to know I'm not entirely crazy.
    I'll have to try rushing for it on my next game, now that I have some idea how it's supposed to work.
     
  6. Humakty

    Humakty Happy Goblin

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    Agristocracy works best on grassland, I find it useless on plain heavy regions, mostly because it tends to weaken my production.
     
  7. EverNoob

    EverNoob Prince

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    That can often be remedied using Vitalize from Gibbon Goetia, if CoE is your thing.
     
  8. Demus

    Demus King

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    for me personally:
    Farms grassland, cottage plains.
    Lots of plains -> city states
    Lots of grassland -> aristocracy
    Godking/republic for kurio's/khazad/sometimes infernal/OCC
     
  9. Veqryn

    Veqryn Chieftain

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    while we are on the subject, i want to ask why you guys think agrarianism is so good?
    i mean, you are basically trading 1 production for 1 food,
    if you have agrarianism and aristocracy, you are basically trading 1 production for 2 commerce

    in both cases, i am not sure it is worth it. i've tried it, and build a lot less buildings and units while i was on it. my cities were bigger, but couldn't afford happiness and healthyness buildings to make it work.
    i also tried it with slavery, but found it was no better than the old way with slavery too, since you can't whip that much more often anyway

    help me out here?
     
  10. bonedog

    bonedog Chieftain

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    Well, if your city is surrounded by plains, Agrarianism ain't so hot, but if you've got a bunch of grassland or flood plains, farming those gives you that extra +1 :food: with no actual production penalty (since neither produces :hammers:).
     
  11. Fafnir13

    Fafnir13 King

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    The extra food from agrarianism, even when built on plains, let's you support a specialist. Depending on the specialist you pick, you can get your production loss back with little trouble.
     
  12. ond_magiker

    ond_magiker Chieftain

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    Location:
    Oslo, Norway
    Agrarianism makes those otherwise crap tundra cities placed close to silver or fur quite decent.
     
  13. UncleJJ

    UncleJJ Deity

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    I agree with this and it's how I play, mostly. However, if I have a lot of cities and I'm on a conquest / domination run with several under developed cities then City States is better than Aristocracy. City States allows a more flexible approach to settlement to grab resources and for conquering the neighbours' cities.

    I find that once you have about 10 cities the maintenance becomes a dominant factor and the relatively low production cities under Aristocracy are stuck working farms and building courthouses (120 hammers) and they don't help that much. The same city under City States would be able to build cheap infrastructure like markets and elder council instead of the courthouse and they help the economy as the city develops and allow any spare food to be used to run a specialist. The cities are flexible and have more options for development under City States.
     
  14. Zongo

    Zongo Warlord

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    Farming grassland and running Agrarianism gives +1 food per farmed tile, without penalties.

    Running aristocracy trades 1 food per 2 commerce on every farmed tile. If you are financial, that's 3 commerce.

    Try Flauros and the Calabim. Production is not an issue, since it comes through the governor manor. Just keep a steady supply of angry faces, for instance through slavery or feasting.

    On the top of that Flauros is organized, meaning that the expensive governor manor costs less. Ah, and you can build command posts, too.
     
  15. iamdanthemansta

    iamdanthemansta Edward of Woodstock

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    I've been wondering how well Aristocracy would work with the Illians and all their snow tiles?
     
  16. Ekolite

    Ekolite The Mighty Jungle

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    I think God King would be more lore-appropriate ;)

    But yeah, snow has the same stats as grassland I think, and iirc snow removes the riverside commerce bonus so you probably be in need of some extra.
     
  17. Landmonitor

    Landmonitor Prince

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    While I'm sure this has been discussed elsewhere on the forum, no one here is talking about what the alternatives to agrarianism are (when you are not running aristocracy since they are as married as any two civics ever will be). The only viable early game alternative is conquest, and unless you are getting ready for war, it is wasted, so you may as well run agrarianism failing anything else... unless you are in a plains heavy map.
     
  18. Boshi

    Boshi Chieftain

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    I haven't run an Aristo-agrian economy yet because it seems like there's always three other techs I need yesterday and I don't necessarily WANT all my food. Its hard as hell with most civs to keep increasing happiness and health in line with increasing population on the harder difficulty levels as it is...
     
  19. GeeJo

    GeeJo Flibbertigibbet

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    Foreign trade can be quite impressive if you go the Trade Route economy path (mostly coastal cities, lighthouse, harbour, inn, great lighthouse, tavern, etc.) But it's fairly rare that that route works out better than either of the two more popular economy choices.
     
  20. Ekolite

    Ekolite The Mighty Jungle

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    Foreign Trade is very powerful but only really comes into its own in the mid to late game I find. But yeah, the trick is to use it in combination with a cottage economy.
     

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