Balancing Production and Growth (and city management in general)

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by lmaonade200, Sep 16, 2013.

  1. lmaonade200

    lmaonade200 Chieftain

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    Hey everyone! So I'm currently an Emperor player, mostly doing culture/diplo/sci victories as peacefully as possible, and though I can win consistently at this level I've been trying to shave down my win time so I can take the next step to Immortal.

    My main problem is city management, I've read and tried many of the guides, and though a lot of the advice has come in handy (tech orders, diplo tricks, etc), I can't manage to reproduce the results.
    My main problem seems to be balancing production for building infrastructure and growth, I can grow my cap to 20 pop by 150 ish but when that happens it turns out to have terrible production (around 20 or so with workshop), and vice versa. And even when my cities do have decent production I can't seem to catch up with how "fast" I'm teching (even when it's not very fast), I can't build the infrastructure fast enough and it leads to my delaying important congress proposals like international games.

    How do you guys grow your cities while still keeping a decent amount of production to build everything you need? I can't even match basic benchmarks like 20 population cities by turn 200 or something similar, the speed of the games at immortal and diety seem insane :crazyeye:

    edit: I understand that screenshots will help you understand my situations but I have a bad habit of deleting my saves after I finish the game so I can't exactly load those games back up and take a few :x
     
  2. Moroten

    Moroten Chieftain

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    Well this situation was much easier in GnK.

    Before BNW it was really easy to get a few high pop cities by turn 200 and the cap often was around size 22.
    The main difference now is that you have so much stuff to build, the trade routes are a must have as early as possible but you also need the military to protect them, those are hammers that I used on infrastructure before.

    Another major difference is the settler. You could always save main and buy your settler, you can't really do that anymore, so you loose even more hammer(plus growth) in your cap.

    My suggestion is simple. See if it is possible to have a growth of 1 pop per 10 turns in your cap, if you can you are doing fine and you will have a size 20 by turn 200. You also need to prioritize, you can't get everything at once, focus on one aspect at the time (i.e. economy).

    And have a lot of workers, 1 per city isn't enough. I have 2 per cities, you need to get your cities rolling fast, having citizens on unimproved terrain sucks.
     
  3. Winston

    Winston Warlord

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    1) Use your first 2 caravans internally to boost growth. Whenever you found a new city, use those caravans to make it grow quickly.
    2) Prioritorise techs like pottery, civil service, & fertilizer and the growth policies/religious beliefs.
    3) Prioritorise things that increase happiness.

    Steps 1,2,3 = big cities :)
     
  4. dragonxxx

    dragonxxx King

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    better learn to place cities in optimal locations, so you do not use food caravans :) And high pop cities are possible only with Tradition and consulates. If you go liberty population seems to always be lower compared to tradition starts.

    I am on a verge abandoning liberty as option at all actually, as it feels really inferior for peaceful games.
     
  5. kamikazees

    kamikazees Warlord

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    On immortal and diety, strongly consider using your first caravan as an external trade route for the science.
     
  6. lmaonade200

    lmaonade200 Chieftain

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    Thanks for the tips everyone! Yeah I think I'll definitely take the worker tip, I'm into the habit of 1 worker per city, and I'm seriously feeling the crippling effects, especially since I play Brazil a lot and jungle tiles take an eternity to work.

    I can usually get National College up and rush 3 settlers out and settle 4 cities by about turn 75 or 80 or so, and in my fastest culture victory I literally had to use all but 1 caravan to internally trade food all game @_@ couldn't even switch to production when wonder building because my cities weren't growing up to speed.

    I always fill tradition (and go consulates then aesthetics, since I'm basically always playing culture games now lol), and internally trade sometimes at the cost of my economy. I've basically abandoned liberty games because I don't play domination games any more haha, and on the occasion that I do I think I'll take tradition anyway, for a "tall and maul" sort of game.

    What about keeping up with infrastructure though? For example I can't seem to build those uni's, libraries, amphitheaters, etc fast enough to keep up with new techs? And it just seems to pile up on my cities, forcing me to forgo certain buildings like not building any shrines or leaving amphitheaters until later, or pushing colosseums back until I have a period of no (important) building techs. This is mainly why I have trouble building my cities up, cause if I can focus on pop growth then I'd have no problem, but when I also need to keep up with buildings for national wonders or for keeping my economy afloat then it becomes a big problem. I mean even with a crazy salt start (where I was able to get workable salt tiles in 2 cities, 1 cap and 1 on the coast for a superior cargo ship trade) I was barely keeping up with my buildings for a turn 300 cultural victory.

    Edit:
    Oh, and another big problem, how do people keep a bunch of CS allies? I cannot keep more than 3-4 allies at a time with my terribad economy, but I can't exactly focus on it since I have to constantly build infrastructure to keep up with my techs, I'm learning how to micromanage my units a bit better (like garrisoning them... I didn't realize that until my last game), and I'm learning how to better complete their quests (religion, science, culture, etc), but I can't seem to keep them up for too long until later in the game anyways, since I don't have enough money to keep gifting. Which also leads to happiness issues early on also, I'm learning how to manage happiness better by trading lux and managing city pop a bit. But more allies would be better of course.
     
  7. Keirador

    Keirador Deity

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    Growth. Growth wins. Always growth. Keep being growthy.

    I'd like you to be more specific about your "infrastructure deficit." What sorts of buildings are you lacking? The simple fact is that you don't need all of them. Faster growth is better than a lot of buildings.

    A few tips:

    The food counter stops entirely when you're building a settler. Everybody knows it doesn't grow, not everyone realizes it doesn't shrink. Meaning, you can run a free food deficit when building a settler, sending all your farmworkers to the mines, to get him built AS FAST AS POSSIBLE so you can get back to growing.

    Prioritize growth at all times except:
    1) Building a Wonder that will actually help you (most of them will not).
    2) Finishing a building that will enable your capital to begin construction on an important national wonder (ie., getting that last library up so that you can build the National College)
    3) You're under attack and need units/walls to defend
    4) The race to be first in World's Fair or International Games is close
    5) Maybe to rush a science building

    The only buildings that all of your cities need are all science buildings and all growth buildings (Granary, Aqueduct, etc.) Ideally all cities have a workshop for the Ironworks and for the possibility of housing a production Specialist in case of emergencies. Might wanna get markets everywhere for East India Company. Barracks everywhere for the Heroic Epic often isn't worth it. The remaining buildings are all situational. You should have at least one (typically EXACTLY one) high-production city with a barracks, etc. that produces your entire military. Your cities need monuments to grow their borders, but unless you're explicitly going for a CV, they don't need any other culture buildings. Even if you're going for a CV, they don't need culture buildings for a long time. Gold buildings often aren't worth the hammer investment, and faith buildings take a backseat to growth + science. Plan happiness carefully. Over-building happiness buildings is bad (especially the expensive ones), but not as bad as under-building them and stalling growth. Get the happiness from luxes, trades, and City-States where possible. If you see that pop growth is going to outpace happiness in some number of turns, you've gotta get that Circus or Coliseum online before you go unhappy, ideally IMMEDIATELY before you go unhappy.

    Most wonders are not worth sacrificing the growth. Wonder-spamming is a really common problem with mid-level players who have become attached to getting their wonders and drive themselves crazy trying to still build them all while leveling up without sacrificing their entire economy. One of the simplest ways for mid-level players to level up is to play a game where you promise yourself not to build any wonders or pursue any religious goals. Just act like wonders and faith are off-limits. Concentrate on science.

    Make sure you're teching purposefully. At the beginning of the game, usually the best tech course is:
    1) Beeline writing
    2) Get your resource improvement techs
    3) Beeline Philosophy and get the National College up as early as possible. Turn 50 is very doable, before Turn 100 (Standard) is still fine.
    4) Beeline Civil Service for the food bonus
    5) Beeline Education for Universities

    Potential reasons to divert might be a really killer UU elsewhere on the tech tree that you plan to make IMMEDIATE use of (Mongols need to get Keshiks up as fast as possible, for example, but early warmongers in general will be following a bit of a different game plan because they're stealing population, not hard-growing it), and the need to get composite bows if you're attacked and under deadly vital danger. Venice should divert for Optics, etc., but in general the above is the standard tech order.
     
  8. Keirador

    Keirador Deity

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    Whoops, looks like I cross-posted with you there.

    The simple answer is that you don't need all of those buildings. You can gain a Deity T220 victory and never build a culture building literally ever. Trad gives you monuments, and Amphitheatres suck unless you stock them with Great Works, which is not worth doing unless you explicitly want a CV. Even on a CV, Amphitheatres take a backseat to science + growth buildings until you're ready to seriously start blasting your tourism.

    Science, and therefore growth, comes first, always.


    You don't need to ally with everyone, Friends give you stuff as well. The typical somewhat-exploitative solution is to Pledge to Protect every CS for +10 Influence, then take Consulates from the Patronage tree for a resting Influence of +20, making you friends with errybody.

    If you're friends with everyone and you've got 3 - 4 carefully selected allies, you're not doing poorly at all.

    Later in the game, your Spies can garner influence with CSes as well.
     
  9. lmaonade200

    lmaonade200 Chieftain

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    Thanks for the tips! :) this game I'm in the middle of is going great! Had an insane start with coast, salt, flood plains and deer, was able grow my 4 cities all to 25+ pop by like turn 250. I took your advice about the prioritizing growth and cut a lot of the fat out of my build queue, I used to try to get Globe Theater (and have never succeeded, resulting in lost turns) and Sistine Chapel with Engi from Pisa, I just skipped those 2 and went straight for Uffizi instead. I teched abnormally slow in the beginning and lost Chichen Itza before I even tried to build it (first time losing it in an Emperor game, and lost it to Greece of all people), built Oracle as usual either after NC or before if my cities are slow with libraries.

    I delayed amphis until mid game and instead built libraries/granaries/shrines for the first beeline and markets/uni's afterwards for education beeline, built nothing else except for the occasional trade unit and happiness building like a circus or stoneworks.

    cities grew like a beast, but honestly that was a seriously lucky start, had fresh water everywhere and 2 of my coastal cities had fish. But it was enough to make me confident enough for an early ish international games (was the 3rd congress I believe, I teched printing press a bit late but was able to build everything else fast enough to get it, I usually delay it until the 5 ish congress at about turn 300 so I can get my research labs up, but this time I was able to match it with national visitor's center and was only a few turns away from the internet.

    the worst part is that it WOULD'VE been a glorious turn 280 ish win if there hadn't been a runaway culture monster Greece, he has about 30k culture atm to my 9k ish tourism (was slow on that too, couldn't build guilds early enough, my culture was also terrible throughout the game so I couldn't finish the Aesthetics tree for double theme bonus), I have 3 great musicians up worth about 17k right now that could put me in position to win, but Greece denounced me about 30 turns back and became hostile ~_~, open border is non negotiable and declaring war would set me back at 66% tourism since he took a differing ideology. I knew he was going to be a runaway but absolutely no one wanted to declare war on him even early on in the game :mad:

    /storytime

    But yeah, seriously thanks for the help everyone, I tried a bunch of different things in my games, and it's steadily improving! :)
     
  10. funkymunky

    funkymunky Warlord

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    If you're going for culture, you should probably declare war on Greece anyways and try to take some of Alexander's best cities (especially those with wonders & works). They won't change your culture immediately, but it will stall his cultural output allowing your tourism to catch up. If you can win the war fairly quickly it should more than make up for whatever tourism you loose during the war, which I suspect isn't much anyways since you have diff ideologies & no open borders. Replacing trade routes & diplomats is easy to do.
     
  11. Keirador

    Keirador Deity

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    Progress!

    As you move up you're typically not gonna get most wonders, and certain wonders are just flatly ungettable on Deity (The Great Library and Petra come to mind as AI favorites). The Oracle is very often gettable even on Deity, but it might not always be worth it. I seriously encourage you to see how fast you can grow, expand, and tech with a Wonder-free game. Use Wonder-free games as a baseline and you'll have a better idea whether the time and hammers spent building a Wonder actually leaves your civilization better off.

    Definitely put unis before markets if they're both available at the same time. I didn't mention this in the tips above but it's also typically best to have as many trade units as you possibly can. External routes can add science, internal routes can add. . . GROWTH!

    That you're building amphis at all (plus the Uffizi and everything) I assume you're aiming specifically fora CV? Before BNW, there was no real trade-off to pursuing culture while simultaneously pursuing other win conditions, but now Cultural Victory is by far the most differentiated victory. It's a lot of fun, but it's slower than Science, Diplo, or Dom (usually), and it requires you to make up your mind about how you're playing the game much earlier in the game than the other three.

    Yup, for this reason Cultural victories are now the second most violent victories after Dom. Sometimes you can manage to play peacefully, but there's very often a culture runaway or two that have tens of thousands of culture more than the others. I've seen players around here complain about 80,000 culture. If you're going for a CV and you've got a culture runaway, kill him. Not only does eliminating his civ destroy all his culture, but you also get to keep all the Wonders and Great Works he's invariably got. If he's not close enough for you to kill him, you're gonna need to pay some attack dogs. Starting in the Middle Ages, if you see someone really getting ahead of the pack in culture, look to thwart them at every turn.
     
  12. lmaonade200

    lmaonade200 Chieftain

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    Yeah I'm going for mostly CV's now, since I find them super fun and love playing as Brazil (where CV is a natural), I had a few options near the beginning, but Greece was ahead in military/everything the whole time, only Songhai, Indonesia, and China were near him, and everything would've been fine if Songhai had grown as he usually does (usually top military and a warmonger at some point in my games), but he was exceptionally weak this game, even worse than my #6 military ~_~, Indonesia was also a culture beast, though not as much as Greece, and I didn't want to risk either getting eithers cities for MORE culture :( and by the time China had overtaken Greece's military she was hostile towards me :(

    I still need to work on my diplo game for sure haha

    I might do a turn-to diplomatic victory (currently at about turn 280 in the game) since oddly enough I've been passively completing CS quests and control 20 delegates out of 33 needed to win, and still w/o globalization (which I can tech right away)
     

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