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[BNW] Hammer/Gold/Faith/Food values

Discussion in 'Civ5 - Strategy & Tips' started by renton555, Aug 8, 2013.

  1. renton555

    renton555 Chieftain

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    I come from a poker background so I'm used to looking for the expected value of things. I wonder if there's been any work done to compare the values of the various in-game currency? I imagine there's more art to this than science, and the values of hammers, gold, faith, or food can fluctuate over time or depending what social policies you use or what your civ's UA is.

    Just a few random thoughts:

    Hammers vs Gold:

    These aren't directly convertible because they have different natures. Hammers appear to be worth more, but the nature of spending hammers to acquire buildings/units is that you have to wait; with gold you do not have to wait and there is direct, measurable value to that convenience.

    Interestingly, the value of a hammer IMO increases as a city can produce more and more, because the interval that one must wait to build the unit is shorter and shorter. I.E. if you have a major production city that can build one Knight per turn, there's not a point to rush buying knights (unless you need more than one per turn of course!). Conversely, a city that produces one hammer will take 40 turns to build a scout, those hammers are nearly worthless.

    This principle can be applied in practice to workshops. The 2gpt and initial hammer cost for a workshop in an underdeveloped city isn't worth it because it will still be a poor producer until it can grow large enough for those extra hammers to be worth something.


    Gold vs Time:

    I haven't tabulated all of the gold costs but it would seem to appear that they approach hammer cost over time, and initially cost many times the hammer cost of a unit/building. For example 310 gold for a worker, but industrial era stuff that has 5 times the hammer cost might cost only twice as much gold.

    From this we can deduce that the value of gold is far less in early game. The only way you can justify the cost of rush buying things in ancient or classical is if the snowballing benefits of that purchase will recoup that cost. I.E. if rush buying that worker gives you X more hammers and gold from improvements over time that you wouldn't have accumulated otherwise, and X is greater than 310 gold, then the purchase was sound.

    In opposition to this are unit gpt costs which increase over time. Its interesting that rush buying gets cheaper and cheaper and maintenance gets more and more expensive. It would seem logical that both would have the same trend.

    Also, a couple of minor points. Roads remain 1gpt/tile throughout the entire game, so it can be deduced that roads get effectively cheaper and cheaper as the game goes on, at least in relation to unit maintenance. And interestingly it would appear that gold (and to a lesser extent, faith) is the only currency whose worth can be directly changed by policies, with the 25% reduction from Commerce and Big Ben's 15%.


    Value of Food:

    A couple of facts should be stated. First, population points seem to be of slightly declining value as the number increases. This is because the first tiles worked are probably the most valuable. This is countered somewhat by the aforementioned principle of increasing hammer value in a city.

    Second, population points are directly convertible to Food and vice-versa. Also, the specialist buildings (and policies that enhance them) enhance the value of citizens past a certain number, as those would otherwise be working garbage tiles.

    Third, the value of food is clearly great in the beginning and diminishing over time, as it takes more and more food to grow a new citizen.

    So we these points, we can say that food has diminishing value, but incredibly high value in a fledgling city. Also, the higher the food surplus in a city, the more significant the growth bonuses are.


    Faith/Culture/Happiness:

    I haven't done much work on valuating these. They are highly dependant on situation. Thoughts are welcomed.
     
  2. DaveMcW

    DaveMcW Chieftain

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    Hammers vs Gold:
    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=393892

    Gold vs Time:
    I found the 1% turnly interest rate (45 lump sum for 2gpt*30) friendly AIs charged pre-BNW to be quite fair. The new 0% rate is a total steal, and you should borrow at every opportunity.

    Value of Food:
    Food is pretty much constant value over time. The increasing cost of citizens is offset by the increased bonuses those citizens get in a well-developed city. You may want to pull citizens off food if you get a short-term spike in the value of hammers (aqueduct or wonder race). Obviously you must de-emphasize food during unhappiness, but that just proves that unhappiness is bad and you should avoid it.
     
  3. Matthew.

    Matthew. Chieftain

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    Not sure I have anything concrete to add, but I can add a few points that may help or add to your analysis.

    - You can increase GPT much further than you can hammers, which seems to make rush-buying increasingly easier the longer the game goes on. The counter-argument to this would be that you can build multiple things at once in several cities where as you only have one GPT pool to draw from. But other than capital and a couple other core cities, you end up spending all available hammers on building copies of everything you already have (universities and Colosseum in new cities) just to get them caught up. Kind of a long way of saying that additional cities add to GPT through city connections and such, but don't really add additional hammers where as you still need to pay the full hammer cost of building new buildings and units in your core cities.

    - Faith value seems to taper off very quick, as in after you establish a religion and get a sphere of influence going. If you have cathedral/pagoda/mosque buildings available, the value stays high for a while, otherwise investing in a ton more faith will only end up being an extra great person at the end of the game and temples aren't exactly cheap to maintain. Tough to even say extra faith for missionary purchases is worth it, since their cost goes up per era and the way the religion system works if you don't have major influence by end-game, you likely aren't going to change that even by dumping all your faith into missionaries.

    - Culture in BNW seems to be much less flexible. You get a limited number of specialist slots and can only really manipulate it by increasing GPP through buildings like gardens. Although because of this I wonder if this greatly increases the value of artifacts, conquered great works, and wider empires. Not sure how this would fit into your comparisons, but if there is a limited number of something (great works and artifacts), having a larger portion over that number gives you a significant edge since your opponents are stuck on the same 6 specialist slots as you are.

    - You already added everything I was going to say about food. I will just add that food value seems to die off quickly around Industrialization. There is the increase of cost per population, but also once you get enough to work specialist slots and a decent hammer base, it doesn't really matter if that extra population is in one city or another. The exception is the capital (or more specifically, the building that has NC or other modifiers that increase a citizens overall worth).

    The point I wanted to make is that the value of food can reach a full-stop where it is better to completely cap a city's growth and let the surplus of happiness roll over into another city where the overall bonuses will be greater. I find this a lot in wider games where I end up taking a few enemy cities, roll into unhappiness, then look back at my empire and discover that if I were to cap the growth of a few of my cities where the extra citizens weren't adding much, I'd have been able to hold on to that enemy capital with filled with wonders without being in negative happiness.
     
  4. Falconiano

    Falconiano Chieftain

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    I value Hammers the most. Invaluable, fundamental. I squeeze out as many as I can.

    Gold is also quite powerful if focused (w/ Colossus especially) but all you really need is what you can get from selling luxies and some GPTs in my opinion.
    If you need more you're likely failing on other sectors.

    Food is meh.
    Need more citizens? Conquer a city. It's faster than growing, and MUCH more powerful benefits come from having one brand new lvl 10 city than having more people into an already-existing city.
    Even in BNW, even considering the 5% tech / 7% culture costs, +1 city is still more gold, more science and more hammers, sometimes even more faith, more smiles.
    I win games by the time capital is lvl 20-25 so go figure.

    Culture seems to stack on its own. BNW's GPs mostly.
    BUT stacking GP % increase AND +% culture (Sistine, Broadcast) is fundamental for a strong culture.

    Faith is something you must focus from turn 1 if you want a religion, especially with your pantheon.
    Having a lot of faith can make you plow through a game, though this is very RNG-dependant.
    If you start on grassland with no good sources of faith you don't get much faith sadly.
    This needs to be balanced so that every start gets the same faith roughly, but Firaxis doesn't seem to want balance in religion.
     
  5. Chiatroll

    Chiatroll Chieftain

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    It gets trickier when you go for different victory types.


    In domination I need can translate gold to hammers directly because I don't care how I get my units.

    If going for a peaceful culture win I need some key wonders and those can't be bought

    If I'm going for science at korea I want food above all else because I want to make up for the lack of food from academies and late game I want as many specialists as possible.

    Things get very situation due to what they offer you uniquely in civ 5. These are only some examples. I did a UA + Piety + Patronage game as greece and I put a high value on faith for the missionaries so I could keep CSes at my religion and have nearly 0 attrition.
     
  6. adwcta

    adwcta Chieftain

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    Yes. At some point, someone is going to make a Commerce-Order guide, and everyone will realize this is by far the best strategy for any type of wide empire, and tall-science.

    Anyway, for food, there's really a pre-aquaducts and post-aquaducts difference in value that needs to get layered on the pure diminishing returns calculation.

    The building costs of early buildings in terms of gold is also a higher % of the hammer costs than for later buildings, but that just reflects how valuable early buildings are. If you're expanding late game with Liberty, you'd never use gold on early buildings because by that time your policies and religion and the improved improvements will have made those early buildings super inefficient gold-wise.
     
  7. Chiatroll

    Chiatroll Chieftain

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    Lets not forget city specialization.

    A coastal city with East India will get a lot more use out of gold producing spammed tiles because of it's modifier on trade routes vs a science city next to a mountain that has your national college and an observatory that is getting and extra 100% to beakers. In one town a coin tile means more in another a beaker tile means more.

    Maybe you have a city that has all the specialists because it's not a nice river spot for a garden and has the heroic epic for an extra 50% in it's great person generation this city will need massive amounts of food.

    Sometimes I have a spot that is just plain going to be better for generating hammers then any other and I might designate that city to be the wonder city because gold can't by wonders and if my tech is going well and I'm not domination I might want to build a couple wonders.
     
  8. Matthew.

    Matthew. Chieftain

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    I'm waiting for it :)

    I do think there is some unexplored territory when it comes to gold.
     
  9. Deau

    Deau Chieftain

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    I'm a huge fan of any big ben+mercantilism + order or autocracy building/unit discount for any very specific strat but I don't think they're the best. Esp not for tall where you can already afford most science buildings.

    the combo with autocracy for GWB rush is completely absurd. You can field an easy 12 bombers upon tech each of which can be repair promoted. I actually find it to be much more fun than any similar order setup ^^

    For wide, my recent experience told me that if you can pump enough culture for it, Jesuit Education is completely broken. Sadly wide is extremely hard to minmax due to happiness. Especially once you break into ideologies.
     
  10. Deau

    Deau Chieftain

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    On water maps between internal trade routes and the piety/cancel shrine trick that made up a flaming thread in late GnK you can pump a significant amount of HPT at an almost 1:1 gold to hammers ratio.

    Give up ~5 trade routes @20gpt each, get 5 internal trade routes @~10HPT each, convert these hammers to 20hpt each from the shrine overflow trick and it can be pretty brutal.
     

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