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Beginners Guide to the First 100 Moves

Discussion in 'Civ4 Strategy Articles' started by jmrathbun, Feb 1, 2010.

  1. jmrathbun

    jmrathbun Chieftain

    Joined:
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    I have received the Augustus Caesar award for several games at the Prince level, so I feel able to give some advice to beginners. Some of this is distilled from other sources, and it may not all work for you, but these concepts have helped me move up and may help you. I will welcome comments that may sharpen my understanding of the issues that arise in the first 100 moves.

    Settings:
    Continents
    Temperate - Medium - Standard
    English - Elizabeth (I like her combination of traits, her special unit, and her special building)
    Difficulty: Start at Settler and move up every time you win one. After you lose one, win at least two before moving up.
    Normal speed
    After the Dawn of Man message, press Esc and Options; make sure "Automated Workers Leave Old Improvements" is checked. Then click Exit.

    Move One:
    Use your warrior to explore the area around your city. Priority squares are Tribal Villages, hills, and forests.
    Build your first city where your settler is standing. As your experience progresses, you will learn when and where to move a settler, but you don't want to waste much time getting that first city under way.
    Start building a worker.
    Immediately start to research something relevant to the squares now painted white.
    You're done!

    More Early Moves:
    At size 5, build your first settler. Continue to build worker-settler-worker-settler until you run out of room to expand or your economy bogs down.

    Experienced players suggest turning worker automation off. My feeling is that beginning players may be overwhelmed by trying to micromanage and it's probably not necessary at the lower difficulty levels. When you do manage your workers, use them to improve food resources first, then start chopping to accelerate your production. Every time your worker finishes an improvement, check to see if the square says "Requires Route". If it does, and you need the additional benefits listed in the tool tip, make sure the improvement you just completed gets connected to your transportation network. As long as there's enough food (notice the color of the city population indicator), I like to build cottages especially on the squares that have two bread slices (there's a button that shows what each square produces that you'll want to turn on if it's not on already). Building cottages on squares that have food allows your citizens to grow towns and food at the same time. Cottages eventually turn into towns, which help your economy a lot. In the case of Elizabeth, a cottage on a square with one commerce already will give you three commerce right away, one reason I like Liz!

    Early Research priorities: Agriculture, Bronze Working if you have trees to chop, Animal Husbandry if you have a meat resource, Wheel, Pottery, Mysticism. Hunting if you have resources that need that tech. Archery if you don't have copper or horses.

    Station some of your warriors near the best city locations you have found, and bring the rest closer to your city for escort duty. If you have horses, some chariots can be very helpful but keep your eye on the main thing, which is to grab as much land and resources as you can.

    Good city locations will be near fresh water with some forests and hills, one or two food resources, close to other civs, and in a position to control important strategic resources: especially horses, copper and iron, elephants if you can't get horses, and commercial resources such as precious metals, vineyards, and anything that requires "Calendar" to develop. Jungle squares are generally less productive and should be avoided until the better locations are gone. Land squares are generally more productive than water, but it's worth going after fish and other aquatic food resources, and it's nice to have harbors. Your second city should be up by 2000 BC and by 1000 BC you should have four healthy cities running. Aim for six by turn 100 if you can get there without slowing down research very much. If necessary, you can set some of your older cities to produce gold.

    Always escort settlers and plant a defender in each new city.
    Workers should follow Settlers to the new cities, building improvements and connecting cities.
    About 1.5 workers per city is a reasonable ratio. Use one near each city and set the rest to "Build Trade Network". Keep an eye on those guys because sometimes they'll build a fort where you want a mine or something.

    Your new cities should usually start with a monument and granary. Stonehenge is a useful wonder because it will give you a free monument in each city, greatly helping your early cultural spread. Every city will need a couple of defenders by the time barbarian warriors start popping up. Also consider guarding key resources such as a horse pasture or iron mine, especially if you have only one and most especially if that one is near your border.

    If you are getting raided by barbarians, build axemen if you can, otherwise chariots. Station them to intercept barbarians and to prevent the Barbs from spawning near your borders. You can also use chariots to explore dark areas and other civs who will agree to Open Borders.

    Managing Early Development:

    When you've finished your sixth worker (set him to "Build Trade Network"), your first city needs a Granary and maybe a Barracks or a Library. The latter allows you to boost your research rate by creating two scientist specialists in a city that has extra food. You would want Barracks in cities that have higher production capabilities.

    You will probably not be able to keep your research slider at 100% when you have five cities going. It's wise to leave about one gold in your treasury for each turn elapsed: 50 gold at turn 50 for example. The ability to immediately upgrade units can save your city during a surprise attack. Another tactic is to revolt to Slavery so you can whip up some extra units in an emergency.

    Hereditary Rule is especially helpful when you have unhappy citizens slowing a city's progress. Additional military units are a cheap way to manage this problem. Whipping is not an option that appeals to me but can be a last resort.

    Libraries, Monasteries, and other "culture" buildings are helpful if a rival civilization is taking squares away from your cities.

    If you have horses or elephants, research Horseback Riding. Horse Archers can give you a tremendous edge because they can get to the scene of the action much faster than infantry. Later you can upgrade them to Knights, Cavalry, and helicopter Gunships. These are all excellent things to have!

    Elephants are slow but will devastate mounted enemies. The same is true for Spearmen, so keep an eye on what your rivals are building. Axemen are good defenders of cities and resources who can sortie as needed to deal with raiding parties. Archers are particularly good city defenders and can eventually be upgraded to longbows.

    Iron Working is vital if you don't have copper, and good even if you do; jungle squares can't be cleared without iron working.

    Barbarian civilizations are a nuisance because they live by raiding their neighbors. Your horse units can take them over at your convenience. In general, expect barbarian incursions and use them to give your units experience points. The exception is if there's a "Massive Barbarian Uprising" on your borders, in which case you need to drop everything and scramble to wipe them out.

    Bureaucracy, Serfdom, and Free Market are good civics as you approach the Middle Ages.

    I like to save my game every twenty moves in the first hundred and every ten moves thereafter. You can also set your game to auto-save every move, which allows you to correct those stupid interface blunders that send your units to the wrong square. This also facilitates trying different tactics so the price of failure isn't so high that you're afraid to try something.

    Tech development is a matter of judgment and experience. One productive strategy is to "bee-line" through Writing up to Liberalism, which gives you a free tech and up to two religions. You can choose Nationalism as your freebie and then start the Taj Mahal, which gives you a Golden Age slingshot. If you have a good trading partner like Mansa Musa, you can probably trade your higher techs for the lesser ones you missed along the road. The challenge here is to judge how much you can afford to be behind in the arms race, given the disposition of your neighbors. Watch out especially for Montezuma, who will attack you just for sport!

    You can also get a free tech from building the Oracle; this is worth trying if you have Marble. Another early wonder to try for, if you have Stone, is Pyramids, which allows you to switch into Representation early for the science bonus. The Great Library is nice to have as well.

    After Move 100:

    Get into the habit of checking all the info buttons on the upper right of your screen every ten moves, so you understand in some depth how your development compares with your rivals. If your neighbor shows a dramatic increase in power, consider that one of your cities may be his intended target. You'll also see who is going for a culture victory, and later for the space race.

    You want to push research to the max because a technological edge makes it easier to wage war. A typical strategy involves taking over your neighbor during the second hundred moves. Your invasion should include at least a couple of dozen units so you can capture and garrison at least four cities before your victim can get organized. Overwhelming numbers of mounted units work better for me than siege engines, which really slow things down. If you have enough espionage points, you can flip an enemy city into revolt for one turn. This is worth doing if the enemy city has a high defense rating and lots of strong units inside.

    Eliminate his strategic metals, horse pastures and elephant camps early if you can. Multiple attack points will disorganize his defense. When you start to bog down, see what he'll give you for a peace treaty. Use the ten turns to build up your forces and then hit him again. If he goes vassal to a stronger neighbor, grab what you quickly can and then wait for a peace opening.

    If your neighbor offers to be your vassal, take it. You can appropriate all his resources. If you pass up the chance, he'll be somebody else's vassal pretty soon. The exception is if he's being invaded by people that you don't want to be at war with.

    One way to manage an enemy who is close to you in strength is to invade one of his large cities that's close enough to your border that you can reach it in one or two turns after declaring war. Then dig in and wait for the inevitable counterattack. If you brought enough units, there's a good chance you'll be able to wipe out a large share of his military when he counterattacks, leaving only token resistance as you expand your attack to the cities nearby. Any time you can catch enemy forces in the open, that's better than trying to dig them out of an enemy city. There's a "No Unit Cycling" option you can select when you have a lot of units in action so the program will quit dragging your attention away from the area you are trying to focus on. Don't forget to turn this back off before you end your move so you won't miss units that haven't moved yet. It's also helpful to select the option that shows enemy units (not just the ones in your territory... you have to pull your camera back to see that option).

    Pillage is, you should pardon the expression, a double-edged sword. You pick up some gold, but if you plan to hold onto the territory then you might rather have it unpillaged.

    Don't be afraid to bypass smaller enemy cities to get at his strongholds; you can mop up the trash at your leisure. It's preferable to eradicate an enemy when you can, so his few remaining outposts don't encourage rebellion in the cities you have already taken. Really crummy cities you might rather raze than keep, but be prepared for spawning partisans and making your enemy really mad at you.

    Attack cities near your border so your culture will spread into the new territory. Shave your enemy, consolidate, and then shave him again. A city that's too close to another civilization may soon flip away from you, so you may do better to gift it and get the relations boost, especially if you are "liberating" it back to its original owner.

    By this time you should be checking frequently for trade opportunities. You will easily add 20 gold per turn that way. Also, you can trade some of your techs for others, hastening your overall development. Just be careful about trading the latest military technology to somebody you may end up at war with in the next few centuries. Trade agreements should be renegotiated every ten turns if the other party has at least two more gold to trade. You can wind up getting 20 gold at turn 400 for something that went for 2 gold in turn 200.

    Longbows are your best city defenders in the medieval period. Spies may be needed to discourage enemies from sabotaging your cities, and they can also sortie to enemy cities as scouts, as saboteurs, and to raise the cost to your enemy of sabotage missions through counterespionage.

    You may need a few more settlers to fill in nearby vacant spots, but only if you can keep your research slider above 50%. Don't worry if a rival plants a city in the middle of your doughnut: if you build culture in surrounding cities, you will likely cause his city to flip to your civilization. By that time, you may not really want it, but you can pick up all his improvements for free when you raze his pathetic city remnant.

    One way to lose in the middle game is if a rival builds the Apostolic Palace and spreads his religion widely. Your options are: (1) quickly spread the AP religion to all your cities so you can grab the leadership and block hostile votes; (2) capture the city that has the AP; (3) if the AP religion is in none of your cities, Theocracy will immunize you against infection (and, if you have a state religion, give your new units experience points, which can make them play much stronger than their base rating).

    If time allows, it's helpful to build a couple of caravels and a couple of explorers. Send them in opposite directions in an attempt to be the first to circumnavigate the globe, make contact with other civilizations, and explore the other continent. The movement bonus for your navy is a big plus in subsequent naval actions.

    Once you get a dozen or more cities, your research and production capabilities should give you enough edge to pursue whatever style of victory appeals to you. To enhance your CIV-IV BTS experience, I recommend : the BAT mod, which gives you a better interface and more interesting cartoons. It also comes with useful strategy guides that you would otherwise have to fish for on the forums.

    Advanced concept: the specialist economy. I'm not the best one to explain this but you can find good articles elsewhere. Better players swear by it, but it adds a level of complexity that may be unwelcome for beginners.

    A typical array would be six cities:
    One with lots of food and some hills to build great people - a Library would be a typical early build here and later the National Epic
    Two with lots of hills and some farms where you can build military units - here you want your barracks, forges, factories, and Heroic Epic
    Three with some farms and room for lots of cottages - here you build banks, Wall Street, etc.

    If you get nine cities, you have a platform for a culture win. You want three religions in each city with three temples in each city, eventually allowing you to build the culture-multiplier holy building for each religion in each of your three main culture cities, along with all the Great Artists and cultural wonders you can get. Of course you'll want to guard your borders but you don't have to go beyond rifling for that (the Redcoat is a terrific asset for offense and defense).
     
  2. PieceOfMind

    PieceOfMind Drill IV Defender Retired Moderator

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    I hope you don't mind my saying it but there's still some things you can learn about the game and some of the advice you are giving most around here will say is not good advice. Other advice is excellent. I'll see if I can elaborate a bit...

    At every difficulty, under almost all circumstances it is best to build a worker before anything else. In multiplayer things might be different, however.
    The rare cases where you don't want to build a worker first is if for example your capital is surrounded by forests and your worker would not be able to do anything at all once he was built, or cases where workboat first might be the better option.
    Only improvements with resources are worth connecting to your empire. In the early parts of the game, building roads might be a waste of time because it is costing you valuable turns that you could be improving the land around your capital.
    In general, fiddling with the slider in such a way is unnecessary. Beakers that are put towards a tech that overflow are carried over to the next tech. By putting down your research a bit every time you have one turn to go you're actually slowing down your overall tech progression. This is usually a bad thing at the start of the game.
    As above, building a worker first is far better than growing to size 5. The reason for this is that each population point eats 2:food: and by growing your city on unimproved tiles you are typically only getting 1 or 2 :hammers: with each new population point. It's better to get that worker out and improve things like rice, corn, wheat or any other resource you can get going with the starting techs.
    The only building that could be called necessary in every city is the granary. (there are very rare exceptions that aren't worth mentioning).

    Don't build barracks in a city that will primarily generate commerce for you. If you are going to build archers (axes are probably a better choice near the start of the game) then build them in a city with a barracks rather than every new city.

    Almost every experienced player would recommend specializing at least one of your first 2 or 3 cities to be the military (Heroic Epic) city. This city will focus on building military for almost the entire game. At moderate difficulties and below, a single military city may be all you need for the entire game. This city would obviously build a barracks but importantly it will build the Heroic Epic when it becomes available and almost exclusively units from then on.
    Chariots are reasonable as barbarian defense but I prefer axes. Axes will take better care of barb archers and swordsmen but a couple of chariots can be a good idea if you see a lot of barb axes. Chariots are good because they have the extra mobility advantage of 2 movement points.
    In general, it's a waste of time to build a monument in your capital. The palace already generates culture and usually the only purpose of a monument is to get enough culture to pop the first border (so you can work the big fat cross -"BFC").
    Upgrading units is very expensive and so it's almost always better to avoid it when possible. IMO the only units worth upgrading are those with a lot of promotions.
    Great advice!
    Libraries are better first IMO. But monasteries can be good in some cities.
    Agreed. :)

    That's enough from me now. Sorry if I've repeated what others have said!
     
  3. SS-18 ICBM

    SS-18 ICBM Final Threshold

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    For the early research priorities, I'd like to add those that unlock improvements for resources near your immediate city sites.
     
  4. GluontheFerengi

    GluontheFerengi Chieftain

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    After following your advice, I went from always finishing second or third in noble to easily crushing all my opposition and getting the Augustus Caesar rating.
    That initial build order alone seems to have something of a butterfly effect over the whole game.
     
  5. jmrathbun

    jmrathbun Chieftain

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    "That initial build order alone seems to have something of a butterfly effect over the whole game."

    From my point of view there's a huge momentum effect in this game. You must boldly seize opportunities to get out in front as soon as you can and stay there. It's very hard to play catch-up. Knowing how to adapt your play to circumstances is key, and every game is different just as every level is different.

    Many experts argue for city specialization but in my view ten banks are better than two, same with universities and so forth. I win a lot of games by having a lot of barracks available so when I get a key tech like cavalry or tanks, I can quickly build dozens of them and get my licks in before my neighbor can match my build-up.

    I really LOVE mobile warfare. The AI brings a lot of siege engines and foot soldiers, then takes several moves to reduce my defenses. By that time I can bring my mobile units from across the continent and grind him to powder. When I attack, I'm all over his territory like white on rice and this tends to paralyze him.
     
  6. VoiceOfUnreason

    VoiceOfUnreason Chieftain

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    Which is why most of the regulars here frown on Warrior first variations in the opening. Unless you do something wonderful with your earlier warriors (like capture a worker, or waltz into an undefended city), then you aren't generating any momentum for yourself.


    Yes, but no. Ten banks are better than two -- everybody agrees to this. But that's the wrong question.

    Unless you're playing the wrong handicap, you simply don't have enough hammers to build everything and maintain a useful military and keep up in tech. Specialization, in effect, cuts in half the number of hammers you need to invest in buildings, allowing you to dedicate more resources to research, and more production to useful things... like catapults.
     
  7. LeftAdjoint

    LeftAdjoint Chieftain

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    VOU's last point could be made even more strongly.

    The prevalence of multipliers in this game makes city specialization very important, but even if you have less efficient hybrid cities, some improvements are worth building, and some are not. Any city with enough production to build whatever it wants will have to think long and hard about how those hammers should be put to use.

    Producing units to capture cities, or building wealth to get more science from your bureaucracy capital, are both such powerful options that taking a break from both to make, e.g. a bank, had better have a very, very high return. If that bank will take dozens of turns to generate the same commerce you could have gotten immediately from building wealth, then you're suffering a huge opportunity cost by getting key techs later.

    If you need six banks to make Wall Street for corporations, that's a different story, as the return can be very high. Or if you're planning on running your science slider at 0% for rush buying.

    As for worker first, understanding why it's usually superior was probably the biggest step I ever took in my Civ IV career. Compare improved pigs or irrigated corn, with 6 food+hammers, to an unimproved tile like a forest, with 3 food+hammers. The former do not have twice the return—they have four times the return! (sometimes more, due to city maintenance)
     
  8. AutomatedTeller

    AutomatedTeller Frequent poster

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    At heart, I'm a builder. I prefer the space ship on Civ IV, cause you have to build a ton of infrastructure. Well, you don't have to, but it's more fun.

    My game improved immeasurably when I stopped doing things like adding banks to my heroic epic city (and built more cuiraissers, instead)
     
  9. MarigoldRan

    MarigoldRan WARLORD

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    He's playing with huts.
     
  10. Um the Muse

    Um the Muse Chieftain

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    So, adding another layer of difficulty before moving up to Monarch? I approve. It's a big jump from Prince to Monarch. You might want to just let the AI take the huts, though. Give 'em a sporting chance, right? ;)
    Anyway, you've seen what kind of difference granaries make. Just think: your first worker is doing something similar with the very first tile it improves! You want to go for food to see this momentum effect usually, though if you start with mining, you can do it with chopping, too.
     
  11. jmrathbun

    jmrathbun Chieftain

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    To move this discussion from the theoretical realm into something that people at my level might find instructive, perhaps you would be kind enough to take my recent starting position and demonstrate your methods through the first 100 moves, showing at least your end point and whatever important way-points you select. I won this game with a diplomatic victory in 2022, so maybe you also want to show how you would have won it earlier and better, too. I got the Augustus Caesar on this one, btw. :)

    NO FAIR LOOKING AHEAD!
     

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  12. Ghpstage

    Ghpstage Chieftain

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    Heres a t100 save you can compare to.
    Some of the more important differences
    Spoiler :
    • Chopped a lot
    • Didn't jump into the jungle till I was able to improve it in a reasonable timeframe
    • Ran 2 scientists in capital and will have my second GS soon as a result
    • Started trading early


    A few points on your t100 save,
    Spoiler :
    • Automation and diving into the jungle so early has completely overwhelmed your worker force. You need a lot more workers.
    • The city of Plains is truly awful. It needed the fish.
    • I see no need for Archery when you had both Copper and Horses.
     

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  13. jmrathbun

    jmrathbun Chieftain

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    WOW! You have 37% more POP and 38% more TECH than I do at this point, about 29% better total score and three advanced techs. Since your tech advantage is coming from your Scientist specialists, it seems your overall advantage comes down to more food. Do you agree? Where do you come down on the Worker vs Warrior first divide?

    I have to admit I'm not enchanted with your city of Boston because the land around it looks so barren, but your results speak for themselves. I recall struggling with the choice about moving towards the jungle or in the other direction, neither of which seemed especially attractive. Your strategic situation now is different from mine, as you have a weaker power on one side and a stronger one on the other than I wound up with.
     
  14. Ghpstage

    Ghpstage Chieftain

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    Spoiler :
    Food is the foundation on which your empire is built.
    It feeds your mines, your specialists, gives :hammers: with Slavery and Drafting, and grows your cities. You won't go far without food.
    I also settled my cities with the intention of them becoming productive quickly, improving a jungle city requires a large investment in worker turns, and is even less attractive if you don't even have the tech to improve the food. Best to leave them till you can spare the workers unless you feel theres a pressing need for a blocker city.
    Not automating workers helped quite a bit too.
    Worker first!

    Boston is actually a pretty strong city site, it has enough food to be a decent GP farm for the time being, and will take over from the capital when it gives my second GS so it can work more cottages and mines.
    Atlanta is the only questionable city. If I had IW at that time (not sure if I did) then it should have gone in the jungle, though the site should be backfilled later for sure, a cow, clam and copper site should not be wasted!

    While I did botch my exploration of the north, and noticed Genghis has 1 fewer city as of t100 in yours, I don't see that Genghis will be any stronger in my game. The reason being that I can afford to continue settling new cities and expect to get another 3-4 easily wheras your economy is fast approaching its breaking point.
    More than likely both will end up weaker in my game :p
    Unfortunately theres a real threat of Genghis declaring war on me with the blocking cities I intend to settle soon, but it shouldn't be too hard to deal with.

    With Imp leaders on both sides and Genghis having such a huge area of uncontested land I imagine that this map would be horrific if played at Immortal :sad:.
     
  15. jmrathbun

    jmrathbun Chieftain

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    OK, I tried the worker first method and left off the archers. I'm now a believer in worker first. My overall score came out 12% better at 402 (but you were still 15% better at 461). Our population and land are roughly comparable, but your research is still 46% better than mine. That probably reflects that you have four scientists to my two. Now I see the value of your Boston! I'm concerned about my low military count (#7) making me a sitting duck, especially since I've got my southern neighbor hemmed in and have pushed further north than before to stay out of the jungle.

    I left workers automated partly so I'd be able to compare apples to apples, partly because I'm not sure I do better at managing them than they do themselves. It would help me for somebody to look at my new T-100 save and tell me where you think my workers fell down on the job. BTW, why didn't you ever build that cornfield next to Washington?
     

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  16. VoiceOfUnreason

    VoiceOfUnreason Chieftain

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    The most obvious things
    (1) there weren't enough of them
    (2) they don't seem to have chopped very many trees at your capital
    (3) they seem to be farming a bit aggressively
    (4) they have left a lot of resource tiles waiting to be improved.


    Other notes:
    if you aren't whipping regularly, the granaries are probably early.

    There's a lot of unexplored territory here. Obviously, since this is a replay, you've got some sense of what's going on there; but on a first pass I'd be pretty reluctant to drop cities before I understood the neighborhood

    Those cities to the north of the jungle seem a bit greedy - you aren't quite ready for them. Currency and enough spare workers to clear the land would be a big help.

    I like that you are going after Calendar (whether or not Calendar should be self researched is a question for those who pay attention to Tech Trading); but my experience is that Calendar is a long way to go before you get payoff. It's good, and obviously you can use it here, but I tend to be disappointed in the result when I make an early priority of it. Currency Sailing Calendar feels faster to me than Sailing Calendar Currency -- not sure if the math backs that up.
     
  17. Ghpstage

    Ghpstage Chieftain

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    While early scientists are a fantastic thing to have I have a feeling you may be getting the wrong idea about them.

    The :science: yield they give is actually pretty comparable to normal improved tiles like grass cottages or mines. Heck, if in my game, I were to put the 2 scientists in Boston to work on the coast instead I can very nearly raise the slider to match what I am getting now, theres not a lot of difference.
    The real power of specialists comes from great people.

    There are 3 main causes of the :science: output and tech position difference.
    The first is that I Oracled Alphabet (not the best tech to get by any means) and traded with AIs getting IW and Sailing.
    2nd is the amount of commerce I am getting. I've built cottages in the capital which is the most efficient place to get :science: due to the Academy, which is an excellent place in to grow cottages due to the rivers and later Bureacracy. It would be a solid :science: producer in quite a short time.
    3rd is you settled those far away north of jungle cities, the maintenance makes a difference and they are taking longer to set up, htis is part of the reason my commerce is higher too.


    If I carried on I intend to have the scientists in the capital swap to cottages after the second GS is born and have Boston to take its place as a mid term, maybe permanent GP farm.
    The first basic of worker management is to improve your strong tiles first, auto workers fail horribly at this as they always road to resource tiles they intend to improve before improving that resource for some stupid reason.
    This may not sound bad, but for improving a resource 2 tiles away from a city your workers in (City-Land-Resource) this means 2 road section will be built before the resource is even started, thats 4 turns, for contrast moving straight to it will cost just 1 turn before you can improve it.

    As workers always road first you will often have situations where the resource you want improved has no reason to be connected at all...... For example in your game look at the cow south of West Coast.
    Right now that tile is being worked unimproved, the worker sitting on it has been, and still is building a road to it before improving. The problem is that a) You have plenty of :health: for the time being b) You already have Cow connected, c) Your neighbours all have Cows of their own, and d) theres no other purpose for a road there. Roading to that cow therefore accomplishes nothing and is just a waste of turns.

    Not really sure how sum up the basics of worker management but i'll give it a go,
    1. Improve strong tiles first, with food having priority,
    2. Connect only what is needed by roads,
    3. Improve tiles in advance of growth, but don't go too mad. 5 improved tiles for a size 3 growing city is great, but 20 is wasteful!
    4. Chop early and chop often. The hammers you get should earn you more hammers in the future.
    The corn was farmed before anything else was improved, did you mean the silk instead?
    If so, I don't have Calender yet and I don't consider a riverside plains with 1 extra :commerce: to be better than the any grassland tiles around the capital.
     
  18. jmrathbun

    jmrathbun Chieftain

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2008
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    So if I have a lot of wooded tiles where I plan to build cottages, should I cut down the trees first and then start building, or just improve one tile at a time?
     
  19. Ghpstage

    Ghpstage Chieftain

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Bristol, England
    The time taken is the same so its not hugely important for these levels. Chopping first will give you the production quicker so I suppose that would be best 9 times out of 10, but its very unlikely to be a pivotal decision.
     
  20. Um the Muse

    Um the Muse Chieftain

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2009
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    Location:
    surrounded in the USA
    GhpStage is right about this not being a huge deal most of the time at your level, but I thought I'd share some of what goes through my mind as I choose.

    Use your best judgement--are you going to be using that tile for production? What are the chances barbs or some other enemy are going to drive me off that tile? If I cut now/don't chop now, will I be building something with a production modifier?

    If you're keeping good tabs on the big picture, most of this should become second nature soon enough, but it's something that an automated worker wouldn't have enough perspective on to be able to tell. Just one more reason not to automate in the BC era.
     

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