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Best City Placement Strategy?

Avs

Warlord
Joined
Aug 26, 2007
Messages
110
Generally I look for the following (and along the lines for the capital city):

  • On Flat Land (Windmills)
  • Next to a River
  • On or next to a Desert
  • Next to a Mountain (Optional)

Then I make sure I grab +Coal and +Uranium for end game. +Wine or +Incense is a plus for getting a monastery if culture is part of the plan. +Gold or +Silver is a plus for mint, for that extra :gold: production.

I want to get mostly grassland tiles (back to Civ2 style cities), and I value forests over hills because they are more solid for production later on. Flat lands help me specialize cities towards :gold: and production for the empire.

In the end, I'm looking to maximize all the conditional buildings available for my capital/cities (+90% production capacity to +140%). Also, I've come to realize that normal resources (cows, wheat, etc) are not as beneficial as they were from civ4. So much, that I've been able to create strong cities that have been built in the middle of a large desert area (that has access to oil).

Does anyone have things to look for when placing cities?
 
Personally, I plop the capitol in the first spot that isn't horrid.

For future cities, I try to get at least one luxury, some river tiles, one hill at least in the start border, and some forests for chopping. I'm amazed that chopping is still pretty useful at the mere 20 production.
 
Well since you will basically never get all of those criteria, I value the ones that help early the most. I'm certainly not going to give up anything to stick my city next to a desert. Windmill is not something I care about unless the city looks to have good base production. Next to a river same kind of deal as the desert thing, hydros are very late.
 
First thing I do is consider the total land available (warrior and scout should have revealed pretty much everything within settling distance by the time your settler comes out). Then consider which resources are scarce and may be settled by the AI soon. For instance, if theres 1 gold resource visible and it looks like its close enough that an AI will settle it soon, I'll try to grab it - but only if its also a good city location. I won't waste my first cities on bad locations just for the sake of a resource. General number of resources altogether may be important to consider at this stage as well. If you have explored most of your continent and only 3 happiness resource types are present, then you may want to put some extra thought into the decision.

If its not imperative that I settle any particular resource immediately, I generally start looking for locations that either can grab multiple resources (with preference to resources I don't already have, of course), or will make excellent production or gold sites. If multiple locations look good, when deciding where to settle, consider the likelihood of an AI nabbing that spot (or at least some of the tiles for it) before you get your next settler out. It may be worth it to delay a really good site that is in no danger of being settled by the AI to get a slightly worse site that is going to be gone in 10 turns if you don't grab it.

Above all, don't forget that you can just conquer these locations later. You should be thinking about your victory path from turn 1, and if a military campaign is part of your near future, it may be best to put preference on to good production locations or just the overall best spots (I find AI cities are rarely in the same location I would put them).

There's more I could add but everything about early game settling is so situational its hard to really describe it in a meaningful way.
 
Go for luxury resources and rivers, in my experience that's about all you need. Windmills are fairly useless (+15% isn't much if you buy a lot of buildings) as are solar plants. You may want one city next to a mountain if you want to go for Macchu Picchu but otherwise I wouldn't bother for the observatory alone.
 
Hmmm... why do you look for desert? Just the oil? I'm confused.
 
Personally, I plop the capitol in the first spot that isn't horrid.

For future cities, I try to get at least one luxury, some river tiles, one hill at least in the start border, and some forests for chopping. I'm amazed that chopping is still pretty useful at the mere 20 production.

Same here! Works :)
 
Do the luxury resource happiness bonuses stack with each other? I have a city that has 4 plots of wine being worked and it doesn't look I am benefiting...
 
My criteria are simple:
- must have either a luxury/strategic resource I need, or multiple luxuries/strategics
- must have one or two decent hexes in the starting 6
 
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