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Automate workers?

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Strategy & Tips' started by thief15, Jan 24, 2005.

  1. Jarek Noschese

    Jarek Noschese Chieftain

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    If yo
    LOL

    If you automate a worker, it triggers a glitch that makes the game IMPOSSIBLE to advance. Please say that there's a patch to fix this.
     
  2. mwmoriarty

    mwmoriarty Chieftain

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    I only automate workers for the sake of clearing pollution.
    In light of what I have read here on this thread, I now realize I need to be more vigilant. I have noticed that workers they often just stand around after they are done with the automated cleaning pollution task.
    Lately, I have moved slaves to one of my cities and had them join the city to increase population instead of putting them to work. I find those workers to be almost useless and hard to control.
     
  3. WeirdoJoker

    WeirdoJoker Warlord

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    I used to automate all my workers, but have learned that this is bad ... they will do what the AI thinks I should do, not necessarily what needs doing. Even worse, they can start doing things when nothing needs to be done and their actions can only mess things up. I am not sure automating is ever the way to go, now, though some of the more experienced players might have a different take on that.
     
  4. Jivilov

    Jivilov Warlord

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    Provided you have plenty of slaves better to keep them working instead (at half speed to be sure, but you have lots of 'em right?) while having regular workers join cities, since the latter would (probably) otherwise cost unit maintenance. That way you get "free" (!) slaves while formerly costly workers earn their keep by working city tiles. Likewise with fewer workers running around they're easier to control. So less unit maintenance, more city tiles worked, and fewer ambulant workers to worry about. A win-win-win situation, no?
     
  5. Jivilov

    Jivilov Warlord

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    If you're playing Conquests there are advanced worker buttons which include stuff like "Automate this city only," "Road [or Railroad] to," and "Automate no Altering" (or something like that). These buttons are accessed through Preferences. They definitely come in handy later in the game.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2020
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  6. vorlon_mi

    vorlon_mi Just One More Turn

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    Yes, I direct my workers manually for all tasks (mine green, irrigate brown, build roads) until the Industrial Age.

    Two use cases:
    1. Building a key railroad trunk for moving troops from my core to the front line(s): As I get close to the required tech, I gather workers near the capital and a city at the far end of the railroad line, in stacks. I use the "Railroad to .." command ctrl-shift-R to ask each worker or slave to build a section about 3 or 5 tiles away. Once the stack has reached the first destination, pick a new waypoint 3-5 tiles away and repeat the "Railroad to .." Both groups of workers build from the ends towards the middle.
    2. Cleaning up pollution from factories or large cities: Since I usually go for the spaceship victory, I continue researching into the Modern Age and build factories that generate orange goo along with shields. I gather a stack of workers/slaves near a core city, fortify all but the top-most worker. Each turn when that worker comes up, I hit "automate clear damage" shift-D. If there is work to do, the worker zooms off to get started. I wake up the rest of the worker stack, give them all shift-D, and carry on. When they're done with one polluted tile, they will either zoom to the next polluted site or wait for further order. If I'm motivated, I will bring them back and stack them near the core. If I'm lazy, I will create a new stack right there.
      1. First annoyance: the shift-D workers will also go clean up volcano damage, even if I don't really need them to
      2. Second annoyance: if some artillery damage or pollution exists near an active battle, the shift-D workers will zoom right into harm's way
    Otherwise, they spend a lot of time fortified, unless I am sending them (under my direction) to connect newly conquered cities by road and rail.
     
  7. tjs282

    tjs282 Disillusionist

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    The problem with this tactic is that your automated Workers (or more usually Slaves, in my case) will be distributed evenly rather than efficiently.
    Spoiler Example :
    Assuming 5 tiles newly polluted and 55 Slaves available (and non-Industrious, RepParts researched, Rep/Comm gov), you'd see 11 automated Slaves assigned per tile, so even the flat tiles would still take 2T to clear. Conversely, manual control (of 48 Slaves) would instead have cleared 4 flat tiles in 1T — or 2 Hills/Forests, or 1 flat + 1 Mountain/Jungle — with the remaining 7 Slaves available to be assigned to a lower-priority tile(s), to be cleared later.
    Also, automated Workers/Slaves will not prioritise the more 'important' tiles, e.g. if I don't have sufficient Slaves free to do all the work needed, then fixing SPT-loss in a (Ship-building) core-town takes far higher priority than fixing FPT-loss on a beaker-farm.
    Spoiler In our most recent SG (Space-Race)... :
    In between building coastal-core Hospitals for extra CPT (and also to get BatMed as a potential prebuild), and learning Ecology/ MassTransits to deal with population-pollution, we had to do late-game pollution-mopping relatively frequently. I therefore fortified Slaves in the core, in stacks of 12, and whenever a blotch appeared, I pressed "H" (= zooms to capital), unfortified and moved sufficient stack(s) (Ctrl-J) to the affected tile(s) to clean it in 1T (i.e. Flatland: 1 stack; Hills/Forest: 2 stacks; Mountains: 3 stacks), and then held down Ctrl-C until the blotch was gone. Then I opened the affected city, to put any loafing labourer(s) back to work. That way I could always be sure of dealing with the highest-priority blotch(es) first.
    The real pain here, is that you can't road Volcanoes in the epic-game. So not only will a polluted Volcano attract every free automated Worker on the map — even when there are sufficient Workers already in place to finish the job in 1T — but any free Mopheads who get their turn to move earlier than the Mopheads-in-place, will arrive this turn, find themselves with nothing to do next next turn, but still need another IBT to get back onto your road-network. Again, this doesn't matter so much if you've got sufficiently huge numbers of Workers, but does matter when you've got higher-priority tiles still blotchy, and not enough Workers to clean them.

    TLDR:
    "Go forth and mop it, guys" automation only works reliably, if the worker-turns needed to clear all the pollution you've been struck with that turn is less than the total worker-turns you have available. If not, manually assigning mop-wielders will waste (much) less SPT/FPT.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2020
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  8. CKS

    CKS Deity

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    And, since they won't stay on pollution clean-up if there aren't any polluted tiles, clear pollution ends up being really frustrating all the time.

    I do shift-A automation for some of my workers in the late game if I acquire new territory, because I'm lazy, but not until I have my core railroaded and a rail net connecting all my towns.
     
  9. WeirdoJoker

    WeirdoJoker Warlord

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    Is there any advantage to worker automation other than a slight reduction in micromanagement? My tendency would be to forget they are even there, as long as they are doing something; but if I'm managing them manually, I'm usually up-to-date on what I want everyone doing.
     
  10. CKS

    CKS Deity

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    No. I've seen some speculation that automated workers might preferentially road tiles with hidden resources (like coal or rubber) since the AI knows where all the resources are, but I don't know of any testing that has been done on this. However, since I often acquire a bunch of unimproved tiles after learning steam power, I have sometimes more than a hundred workers sent out into this new, corrupt land that I don't really care much about (plus the workers for the land I care about). The reduction in micromanagement is more than slight.
     

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