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Aristocracy Economics (and some republic)

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

  1. Senethro

    Senethro Overlord

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    Foreign Trade could be good if you had 3 other players also doing Trade economies, but otherwise you have to gift Trade and Currency to the CPU players so you have someone to trade with as domestic trade routes are near worthless.
     
  2. Landmonitor

    Landmonitor Prince

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    How so? That makes gut sense to me because FT is (if it is actually appropriate to use it!) increasing the amount of commerce that one is slidering, but if one is running a SE, won't the increased trade routes still help just as much?

    I agree with the other posts generally though, I rarely adopt this civic; I usually don't have enough trade routes to make it worthwhile. Also, maintaining that many trade routes is often diplomatically tricky. I guess the best is to get on good terms with the two largest civs you can find.
     
  3. UncleJJ

    UncleJJ Deity

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    You cannot be serious :eek: ? This is not my experience at all.

    FfH2 is very different from BtS since there are so many MORE trade routes particularly for coastal cities and even more so with the Foreign Trade civic. That means there are many more domestisc trade routes! And in BtS domestic trade routes are better than (i.e. contribute more commerce) foreign ones once you build a big empire. The Trade Economy is dependent on size; size of empire (number of cities) and size of cities (provide bonusses to trade route for both the "sender" and "recipient").

    If you have 12 cities and he has 6, he gives you 6 good trade routes (with +150% modifier) and you provide him with 12 good trade routes. He literally benefits twice as much as you do from this relationship. Do you really want to do that given the AI bonusses for research and upgrading cheap units to better ones?

    Internal trade routes are purely benefical. See my post #40 on the Trade Economy in this thread The Economic Strategy Compilation . There I analyse the way to set up an economy based around coastal cities and the offshore bonus. The Great Lighthouse is easy to get now (hopefully will change with future patches). City size is very important for a Trade Economy, having a few size 20+ cities on another continent / island makes a huge difference to the viability of domestic trade. The key factor is that each foreign city only gives 1 trade route to your civ. A large city in your empire in a favourable location (at least 16 tiles away and offshore) can give nearly all your cities a good trade route. That makes it MUCH more important than all the trade routes an entire other civ. Having multiple large cities in favourable locations is what makes the Trade Economy powerful.

    The Foriegn Trade civic is a very powerful source of commerce if used as part of a properly set up Trade Economy. It is almost entirely dependent on internal or domestic trade routes. It is arguable that foriegn trade routes are bad for the Trade Economy.
     
  4. Senethro

    Senethro Overlord

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    A proponent of Mercantilism in a strategy game. Well I never.

    Its a moot point as Agristocracy will win before its late enough in the game that FT matters.
     
  5. UncleJJ

    UncleJJ Deity

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    I never mentioned Mercantilism. Why would I, when I am a proponent of Foreign Trade? Simply close borders to stop trade with the AI.

    Regarding your comment on internal trade routes: how about trying to address the points I made rather that making snide comments? Do you think you understand them well enough to voice your opinion?
     
  6. Senethro

    Senethro Overlord

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    You're advocating Mercantism. Not Civic:Mercantilism, but that you're against the nation's wealth leaving the country and enriching others. Thats mercantilist philosophy. The problem is that it assumes a zero-sum game, where someone must lose in order for someone to win. You would get beaten by 3 cooperating players who open borders with each other while playing the same strat as you because their foreign trade routes will get them more money. For a while they would have a higher income and leave you in the dust. Then because its civ they would have to turn on each other in order to secure a victory but they'd be ahead of you.

    I think your points about trade routes are wrong by and large or at least not correctly valuing them and their relative returns. The first few trade routes are usually valuable. The fifth and 6th are about one commerce per city each but are harder to get so you're probably wasting resources trying to get as many trade routes as possible. Extra income is nice and I'd never turn it down but trade routes are so far down the priority list that you should be focusing on all the other things first.
     
  7. Demus

    Demus King

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    About the worthless 5th+ trade routes: if you're having trouble maintaining plausible trade routes, just settle a few 1-tile islands (preferably with fish/crabs/clams in their BFC). All you need is some culture (have a priest found a temple) and a lighthouse and you're set for another 5+ commerce per city. This works especially well as the lanun
     
  8. Senethro

    Senethro Overlord

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    The settler is food and hammers, the defenders are hammers from other cities, the boats to transport them are hammers, ditto naval defenders, the lighthouse is Slavery because theres no way a 1-tile island is making them itself, the way it raises costs for every other city you own can be a lot of gold until the new city grows large enough to make a profit via trade routes.
     
  9. seizer

    seizer Warlord

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    Assuming it's late game, all you need for the lighthouse hammers are some food resource and a civic that allows unlimited engineers (or priests). I think the reason people discount trade routes is because they don't understand how they work, and as it's a fairly undocumented feature of civ IV that's no big surprise. Basically, what you want is big cities far away to get full benefits from trade routes. The base yield from a trade route is dependent on both size and distance; whichever is "lowest" limits the yield.
     
  10. Senethro

    Senethro Overlord

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    Big cities far away are the costliest to maintain. Even small cities far away will make a loss before they make a profit. Then how long before their profit makes up for the turns of loss?

    Turn 300 is the late game if you have someone teching hard. I'm just not seeing a window where going hard after Trade routes will give you an advantage.
     
  11. UncleJJ

    UncleJJ Deity

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    I can't see how 17th Century economic policy is off much interest in this game. :sad:

    I have not assumed it is a zero sum game at all. I have pointed out to you that trading with an AI can be much more helpful to them than it is to you, under certain conditions that are of particular interest in a Trade Economy. You don't seem to acknowledge this simple fact. Your original contention that a Trade Economy is all about foreign trade routes is wrong, it's much more about internal trade and foreign trade can provide a bonus.

    As for your example that just doesn't happen. If they're all happily exchanging trade routes with each other they will probably be hating you. You can't do anything about this situation anyway, joining in doesn't help unless you can somehow split them up and turn one against the other. Of much more concern is the likelihood of them trading technologies with each other and leaving you in the dust.

    I must insist that you back this accusation up with clear examples. What specific points of mine are wrong? What values are incorrect. Don't try to dismiss me with waffle and hand waving, be specific. If I am wrong I want to know where that is.
    This is utter nonsense and betrays your lack of knowledge about a proper Trade Economy. Let me explain with a lengthy example. In my current game I am Arendel and have 22 cities. 12 cities are on the starting continent shared with 2 AI's, Perpentach is hostile and Decius friendly with 4 small cities. My other 9 cities are on a nearby continent where I have just killed the Clan. All but 5 of the cities are coastal. Hannah the Lanun, with 18 cities, has conquered the other continent, eliminating the Amurites, and is friendly, since I'm in OO (just for now) and have the GLH.

    Example of Internal Trade routes
    Spoiler :
    Take as an example one pathetic little Clan city I just conquered on the other continent; Ah'roog is size 2 and has no infrastructure except the free forge and mage guild. According to your contention its 7 internal trade routes should all be 1 commerce.:rolleyes: Instead one is 5 and the other 6 are all 4. The city has 30 commerce, 29 of which comes from internal trade. Shows how much you know.:lol: The worst internal trade route I have is 2 and most are 3 or 4 and a few are 5, the average is above 3.

    I am not even running City States but Republic (for happiness and GPP boost) so its maintenance is 7.6. That is what a Trade Economy does, it enables me to keep cities that would otherwise cost a bomb. Whatever you are talking about it's not a Trade Economy. For your information the Foreign Trade civic gives 2 trade routes worth 8 commerce in Ah'roog.


    Evaluation of the internal trade routes versus foreign trade routes
    Spoiler :

    Fortunately Aredndel is Spiritual so it's easy to conduct a few tests by changing civics.

    a) Switching from Foreign Trade to Agrarian resulted in a 78 beaker drop in output. The change in civic costs happened to cancel the -10% gold penalty so there was no effect on income.

    b) The trade income from Hannah's 18 cities is listed as 100 commerce. I closed borders; beakers dropped 70 and gold 14. Hannah's best trade routes were at 7 commerce (her cities only size 13) were replaced by internal ones of 5 and 4 in my capital which has +185% research modifier that accounts for the large effect of such a small change. Since my beakers are still 1509, I certainly don't need the income from Hannah.

    c) Decius is a joke with 4 small cities giving me 2 x 6 and 2 x 4 trade routes and that causes a drop of 13 beakers and 3 gold.

    d) So I have an empire with 22 cities, each with between 10 and 4 internal trade routes. I guess the average is 6 routes per city and the avereage value is 3 or more. That compares favourably with several cottages that start at 1 and grow to 5.

    e) My capital gets 41 from internal trade (20 less than foreign trade) and that will grow soon when the Nexus comes in and when some of my cities on the other continent grow above size 10.
     
  12. UncleJJ

    UncleJJ Deity

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    You clearly don't run a Trade Economy properly. See the example of Ah'roog in my post above.

    If your cities are large and distant, then the easiest way to reduce costs is to use City States. It is far more effective than Aristocracy and is roughly equivalent to Aristocracy with a courthouse in all your cities. If maintenance is still a problem as it could be with a large city then with City States you can add a courthouse for another 40% reduction. If you run Aristocracy you have to switch to Order and build a basilica to get a similar effect.
    It gives you an advantage when you want to conquer far flung cities. They are immediately self financing. With a decent fleet of frigates and galleons an expeditionary force can take out a backward AI. Or you can settle on unoccupied territory and the trade routes will more than meet the maintenace costs. That lets you grab resources or mana or get a foothold on another continent. The key points of a Trade Economy are large cities at home and the 100% overseas bonus. Even at minimum values 7 routes at 2 are worth 14 and likely to exceed maintenance. Any city you have over size 14 will give a route worth 3 and cities over 18 will give 4.
     
  13. Senethro

    Senethro Overlord

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    Congratulations on missing plenty points. A non-trade economy by that stage of the game will still have 3/4 trade routes per city from techs, buildings and Councils. They'll have the same most valuable trade routes as you while only missing out on the least valuable ones.

    In your current example it sounds like you've already won the game due to city number and tech tree position. If you've been preparing properly you should be no more than 20 turns off an Altar victory. The only economies worth talking about are the ones that get you into a winning position, not those that have big numbers after a winning position has been achieved. Mid-game empires will not have overseas trade bonuses or be far enough apart to get the big money. They'll have a core of developed cities with a halo of more recently colonised and clusters of conquered cities. They won't have big cities far away from each other so what good are an absurd number of trade routes?

    Your examples are at least as unclear as you're playing a non-human civ with a viable alternative economy of its own (FoL and GoN) that you may or may not have used during the course of your game. Its unclear how big your cities are - are they size 30 elven super-cities with cottage/forest spam? Probably not given that you're currently in OO but you're not telling us.

    I'm sure you'll tell me that I'm not talking about a real Trade economy so why not educate me in how you get there from the beginning of the game.

    Finally, a quick bit of number crunching.
    Ignoring that you're elves and adjusting for a human empire, 22 cities would have about 3-4 farms each even if they never used Agristocracy. Thats about 22*3.5*1 food = 77 food. 1 food = 1 hammer (opportunity cost of moving between grasslands/hills/mine and plains/hills/mine, Conquest conversion, Engineer specialist) = 1.5 beakers + 1.5GPP (output of Sage specialist) = 3 gold (hurry cost). Whatever way you want to express it, that food you're giving up by being in Foreign Trade is possibly more valuable than 76 beakers if you have the means to turn it into other stuff.
     
  14. Bootsiuv

    Bootsiuv Prince

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    Interesting stuff.

    Regardless who's right, I'm certainly learning a lot about the trade economy. :)

    Let the debate continue...

    *waits for Uncle JJ's response*
     
  15. UncleJJ

    UncleJJ Deity

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    Intended as a rich irony on your part, no doubt :sarcasm: I am the one questioning your original statement. You should be the one making points, not me. So far you've failed to answer any of my criticisms. Let me refresh your memory as to what points we're contending. Try to stay on topic or we won't get anywhere.

    I can't see any justification for this nonsense from anything you've written so far. Instead you try to deconstruct and criticise my own example game.
    I only used my example to refute this other misconception of yours.

    I show you by using my own game that is categorically wrong in a size 2 city that I had just captured (Ah'roog) where the 5th, 6th and 7th trade routes were all worth 4 and you won't admit that you've made a whoopsie. Instead you try to muddy the waters with distraction tactics. Can't you just admit this is wrong?

    Incidentally, returning to the first quote, gifting Currency to the CPU players will not affect the number or value of your trade routes in the slighest. It will just give all their cities an extra trade route. Why would you want to do that?
    My game and style of play are completely irrelevant. I don't have to defend how I play this game. I happen to have been using Elves with a spiritual leader so why should I stay in Fol / GoN once all my forests on the original continent had been turned to AF? The newly conquered land was being covered in new forests as fast as my priests could blooming well cast their spell. As you'll know new forests need to mature before FoL is effective. Besides that why would an elf run GoN unless it was needed for happiness? My big cities had enough happiness without so FT is a better civic at the moment, it gives 78 beakers more beakers, costs 23 gold less and doesn't have a 10% unit production penalty. Your assumptions about FoL and GoN are completely misplaced.

    You seem somewhat arrogant in prescribing how other people should play their games and in deciding what type of economy is or is not worthwhile for them. I suggest you calm down and take account that there are other ways to play. Not everyone wants to be constrained to your particular favourite way of playing, whatever that is, I don't know or care particularly, what that is. But tell us if you feel misunderstood. All your opinions are intermingled with that prejudice, it seems to me. Try to be a bit more objective when offering people advice on these boards or at least be careful to explain that it is only your opinion about how the game is best played rather than some "fact". Maybe even explain the basis of that opinion. That is really all I was asking when I challenged your original statement. When is that statement true? It doesn't seem to apply to my games. You clearly have a different conception of what constitutes a "Trade Economy". That's fair enough I don't pretend to have a monopoly on such an ill defined term. So just what is your concept? Maybe I'm missing something, but from the tenor of your opening remarks I doubt that now.

    Irrelevant. I should not have chosen Agrarianism for the example. Any of the other civics would have sufficed, I only wanted to demonstrate the economic benefit of FT (which was 78 beakers in a total of 1579, about 5%).
    I would never dream of using Agrarianism with elves. It is an appalling civic for elves with forested farms, it merely turns a hammer, which I need, into food which is harder to use. That extra food needs more infrastructure / civic changes to provide specialist slots and growing takes a long time with big cities. Once the cities have grown I need GoN for happiness which conflicts with Agrarianism as then the cities starve unless I turn cottages to farms or other undesireable changes. So it just doesn't work. I should have used GoN as the alternative civic instead of Agrarianism in that example but that would need a change of religion.

    Incidentally, you mention running Agarianism with Conquest. That is of course not a possibility.


    Again you are unwise enough to generalise when you should not. There is some truth in this thinking in some types of games but not in others. It depends how many cities are involved. On a small map where 15 cities is a winning number then yes this is probably true. On a really big map where 40 cities is not enough then no that is not true. There the extra trade routes from the GLH and the FT civic will have good source cities. The efficiency of a Trade Economy based on internal trade routes depends on how many cities are involved. You need enough big cities and enough cities on other land masses. That is why my game with 22 cities on 2 land masses was a good illustration of when internal trade routes become a significant source of commerce.
     
  16. Senethro

    Senethro Overlord

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    I was generalising because you were being too specific. Your game was a civ with different economic abilities, at the end of a unique game history, in in the few turns before you win. What good is that to anyone?

    I could say I've invented a Mana Trading economy where I trick the AI into building Mind/Spirit/Law nodes then trade for spare resources until stacking mana has got me +24% research, +25%GPP and no maintenance. That doesn't mean its useful and I reccommend it to everyone (Although I'm suddenly intrigued and want to try it out).

    So what is a Trade Economy good for? When should you use it? How should you prepare for it? What improvements do you build?

    Yes you do, otherwise why claim its good? If its not good then it just goes into one of the categories of Suboptimal play or Gimmick/Challenge game for singleplayer.
     
  17. UncleJJ

    UncleJJ Deity

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    What sort of reply is that?

    I take it you can't defend your original statement, so we can all disregard your opinion.
     
  18. Senethro

    Senethro Overlord

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    Ok, if you want to ignore points then thats a rich irony on your part :sarcasm::rotfl::band:

    I'll make the statement more qualified.

    Domestic trade routes are near worthless under the huge majority of circumstances such that you shouldn't expend too many resources in getting more especially if you're a civ that finds Agrarian useful (i.e. nearly all of them).

    Edit: Qualified further.
     
  19. UncleJJ

    UncleJJ Deity

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    :rolleyes: You are making crass over generalised statements again. Conflating two separate points.

    What do internal trade routes have to do with Agrarianism?

    It is the Foreign Trade civic that can't be run with Agrarianism.

    Again you have the arrogance to assume everyone should play the way you imagine the game should be played. How do you know you're right?

    You have not demonstrated that your opinion is worth much so far.
     
  20. Senethro

    Senethro Overlord

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    You have not demonstrated how Trade economies are not a gimmick/niche option.

    Hey everyone, try the new economy I just invented. I call it the Balseraph Slave economy. What you do is you enable Slave Trade via Undercouncil, position your cities so that you're at the middle of all continents and then open borders with everyone. Give Gibbon Spirit III so you can cast Trust to make this easy! Then you use Taskmasters and Slavery civic to capture loads of slaves you can sell for gold so you can run 100% beakers. Don't forget to promote your Taskmasters with Drill promotions so you can get Blitz and capture multiple slaves per turn! Balseraphs even start with Mind mana so you could combine it with my Mana Trading economy I mentioned earlier for super profit!

    I bet I've got at least 6 more silly economies but I'm not going to seize upon a statement made by someone and demand they accept my silly economy as a valid refutation of it.
     

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