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Breaking the bank.

Discussion in 'CivRev Strategy Articles' started by NaZdReG, Aug 3, 2008.

  1. NaZdReG

    NaZdReG Warmonger

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    Using economic buying power to rule the world

    The goal of this post is to describe the techniques used to leverage gold production, what civilizations are particularly good at it, its advantages and disadvantages, how it can be combined with the ICS, and the endgame.

    Everyone knows you can produce either beakers or gold. And that there is the economic victory. but the path from A to B is risky, and hopefully I can lend some insight.

    First, why bother focusing on your econ? This kind of strat is a late game hitter. You won't be fighting early wars if you can help it, and this will influence civics choices.

    yes there is a tradeoff between science and gold production, and you will have to make allowances for that. In order to focus on gold, that city will not be producing beakers.

    So why go through all this trouble? for the ability to rush buy whatever you can afford, all game long. taking low production cities and plunking down walls, or paying for island cities to have a harbor so they can grow.

    Best of all, the more your econ develops, the faster it can grow.

    Millitarily, the ability to rush buy needs to be fixed and we'll look at this in a moment. It is entirely possible to produce 2 armies PER TURN from 6 cities set up in a tight core. it is nearly impossible to keep up with this level of production.


    Now lets talk about economic cities. These tend to be equally suited to be science cities, and must at times pull double duty. Ideally you are looking at a coastal site, with ATLEAST one preferably two bonus assets within the fat cross.
    ANY of the economic or food ones are preferred, less so production bonuses. So fish, whale, dye, etc are all fantastic

    in addition your city will need a number of buildings, plus more than usual defensive measures. in your first gold city, start with the economic buildings then go back for the science ones.

    Spacing is important. You will be looking at having 1 primary gold city, which needs to have 2-3 forests, lots of coast, and atleast a couple good food tiles (grasslands or fish or both) This city will cap out at about 1000gpt at the end game.

    you're going to also in the long run have 2-3 larger cities that will be able to produce 300 GPT or so.

    Using this strategy does require a defensive rapid expansion. You take territory and hold it. and I mean everything you can get your hands on. every single island you can get is a potential resource and/or gold producer. you may dismiss a 2 tile island that has oak on it.. but these are a godsend for the econ player.

    Before we get to the specifics about the strat, lets talk a bit about the Civilizations and Governments that work particularly well with this strategy:

    Republic is important, and fortunately not hard to get to. the ability to keep your pop up while in the expansion phase is critical

    Democrazy is the government you will spend 90% of your time in simply for the 50% trade bonus.

    Communism is your endgame government, for the 50% production.

    There are a variety of civs that can leverage this strategy, even without going for the economic win.. but once you're set its hard to justify not building the world bank. I've ranked them in rough order based on their effectiveness:


    America
    Starting:
    Begin the game with a Great Person
    regardless of which one you get, settle it. the 50% bonus over the cource of the game is amazing.

    Ancient: 2% interest on gold
    if you manage to keep your reserves up, this is between 5-10gpt. easily the total economic output of a small city in the ancient era

    Medieval: Rush units at half-price
    ahh and we come to the clincher. paying only 1/2 the gold out of your reserves to make armies in a hurry is a HUGE benefit.

    Industrial: +1 food from plains

    Modern: Factories provide 3x production
    both of these just improve the overall quality of all of your cities.

    The Aztec

    Starting:
    Aztecs begin with a wealth of gold
    -this makes it MUCH easier to get the free settler, and push towards free currency

    Ancient: Units heal after winning in combat
    -everyone assumes the aztec are offensive. with this they have to eliminate your defender or the attack was wasted.

    Medieval: Temples provide +3 science
    not a bad way to get some extra beakers since you'll be hurting for them

    Industrial: Half-price roads
    meh

    Modern: +50% gold production
    they get this a little late, but when it hits its worth atleast 500gpt if you've been gearing up for it.


    Zulu:

    Starting: Zulus can overrun their enemies more easily
    this is fantastic for skirmish defending with catapults and such. watch their entire offensive army scatter

    Ancient: +1 Warrior movement
    Find more goody huts - but thats it.

    ***EDIT: Having used the zulu in emperor games and online, its not just "but thats it" I've been able to rush towards the enemy and take all of THEIR goody huts. this can put them at a devestating economic disadvantage. and if you get a spy close to home they had better not settle a great person ;)

    Medieval: Cities grow faster
    built in aqueduct? why thank you. A boomer's friend

    Industrial: +50% gold production
    Ahh another with this wonderful bonus. it truly is amazing

    Modern: Half-price Riflemen
    once leveraging the income becomes apparent, you'll realize this is REALLY AMAZING. making just huge piles of rifles for 1/2 price.


    Greece
    Starting:
    Begin with a courthouse
    -more tiles for your capitol, makes it the primary gold producer and it has access early to the best of its tiles

    Ancient: Knowledge of Democracy
    you'll switch to republic at some point, but the 50% to science or trade is HUGE for building up your econ. having one of the best defensive units right off the bat keeps you safe. and the people I've played online tend to leave you alone if you're in a democracy.

    Medieval: More Great People

    I haven't noticed that many more great people. but every one of them helps

    Industrial: Half cost library
    meh

    Modern: +1 food from sea tiles
    useful for developing mediocre island cities as you head towards the endgame. populations everywhere go up.

    Spain:

    Starting: Begin with knowledge of Navigation
    -simply put, get more goodies and relics. find but don't take lost city until you are certain someone else has navigation.

    Ancient: Doubled exploration cash
    this may seem useless, but every bit of gold counts in this strat

    Medieval: +1 Naval combat
    meh

    Industrial: +50% gold production
    The last of 3 civs that get this ability. but they rank lower because of their other abilities. I think greece is stronger.

    Modern: +1 production from hills
    Very terrain dependant but helpful.


    Rome:

    Starting: Begin with knowledge of Code of Laws and a Republic government
    this makes the initial REX much easier, but is not ultimately a huge advantage because CoL is easy to get

    Ancient: Half price roads
    This makes it much easier to connect up your ICS

    Medieval: Half cost wonders
    There are multiple wonders that are almost nessessary to acquire, and this makes sure you get them

    Industrial: More great people
    with the increased number of wonders, this is helpful but not amazing

    Modern: New cities start with +1 population
    meh.


    phew.. I know we've got a lot of information here. Thanks for bearing with me ;)

    now onto actual gameplay. I'm not going to give a blow by blow, but here are some key points:

    the first goal is to get to 250 gold, get currency for free. focus on expansion and defence. if you go beyond 1 army of archers per city and 1 army of catapults for skirmish defence you're putting too much out there.

    techs to prioritize:
    bronze working (archers)
    masonry for the free wall in your capitol
    irrigation for the +1 pop. you NEED to have 3-4 cities up by this point.
    mathmatics if you feel like you MUST have catapults. otherwise don't bother.
    hopefully you'll get currency for free.

    as you get non military techs, begin aggressively selling them to the AI. if you sell 1 tech make sure you sell it to everybody in the same turn. even something as basic as pottery can net you 50-100 gold

    beeline for code of laws. take advantage of the reduced hit to your population.
    then you're looking for banking and democracy. settle in for the long haul here. pikeman armys in EVERY city. walls in every city. by this point you need to have 6-8 cities. ideally with several islands covered. they will be primary science and gold centers.

    the 1st city you establish beyond your capitol needs to focus on production. the 2nd city entirely on science. hopefully with 1 food to keep expanding (or fish) get these hooked up by roads and keep your skirmishing defender at the center point. this can be your initial army of warriors, a squad of legionaires, catapults etc.

    I like to go warrior, warrior, galley, settler, colossus. take the double to your income.
    your capitol should have a market online asap and at 4 pop be able to reliably produce 2 food 2 hammers and 4 gold. doubled with the colossus is 8 gpt. doubled again because of your market and you're at 16.
    add in democracy and a settled specialist and you're looking at 32
    for every additional gold tile you can work, add 8 gpt

    save up the money to buy your bank. rush buy it. don't worry about the 500 gold cap. we can get there anytime. spend your gpt like you've got a hole in your pocket. build up defenders, rush buy buildings and roads. but focus on improving science in your science cities, and walls to up your defence. you should ideally be broke at the end of every turn unless you are saving up to buy courthouses which are a little expensive. but get those asap as well.

    now we sit back and tech like crazy. we need to get to invention before everyone else. while you're teching upwards start to build your catapults or pikemen up.

    if I haven't made this quite clear.. you should be able to buy 1-2 catapults or pikes a turn by this point. if you rotate which cities you're buying from it makes it cheaper. this is why you need so many cities. by the point of invention I try to shoot for my capitol, whatever islands I can grab, and atleast 4-6 cities on the mainland. do not worry if they are ICS tight. this is fine we're not worried about what tiles they can work

    if you need to switch a city to gold that's fine. if you can actually buy 3 catapults per turn you're golden.

    as the population in your captol continues to grow, your gold production will increase.

    begin pre building any expensive wonder while you research invention.
    the moment you research invention start on the workshop and go for higher techs. choose either gunpowder or metallurgy. if you can hold off on making too many catapults by this point you can always buy cannons as needed later.

    the timing is important. you want the workshop to finish the turn gunpowder finishes. if your entire homeland is defended by rifles behind walls you've practially won the game by this point

    unfortunately you'll need to replace the colossus with Trade Fair of Troyes the East India Company is your next economic target

    I should take a picture and upload it. a 14 pop capitol can work a lot of tiles. if you can work 10 ocean tiles with both wonders you'll be producing a STAGGERING amount of gold
    3 gold per tile with EIC. x4 for bank x2 for trade fair +50% for democracy +50% for settled specialist. at this point your city should easily be approaching the 600-900gpt mark

    somewhere in there you might fight a war, if they go to war with you just rush buy as many armies as you can. I mean realistically if your capitol can produce 600 gpt that is the ability to purchase 1 unit per turn from 6-9 different cities. very quickly it becomes impossible to invade you.

    I try to save up the 2500 or so to rush buy the atomic bomb, just to stop someone from using it on me.

    all of your gold producing cities need to have these improvements:
    bank, walls, courthouse, aqueduct, harbor -at the minimum. buildings get expensive but you've got the money to burn unless you're going for world bank.

    now a couple of the civs get 1/2 priced rifles or if you're rome 1/2 priced everything. for the warmongers out there its VERY easy to mass disgustingly large stacks of offensive weapons. let someone else waste hammers on the military industrial complex.

    The Endgame:

    From here there are several paths to victory. These include:

    1. military domination through leveraged rush buying power
    -this is the american, russian, zulu way to victory

    2. play defensive and shoot for world bank

    3. play defensive and shoot for a spaceship

    The first is by far the easiest and can be the most gratifying.
    Even without an ICS, by this point you should be able to rush buy a unit every single turn. a toehold of 3 cities only 1 tile apart can generate an army per turn. Islands can rush buy fighters/bombers/ or navy for attack support
    even with military industrial complex and a factory, its nearly impossible to produce a single tank every turn.
    the crazy thing about this is.. for a cannon odds are your city can produce it in a turn anyway. so every turn that city will finish one and you'll rush one. to make this clear. if you have 3 cities that can do this.. you can produce 2 armies a turn from those 3 cities.
    if the enemy can keep up with this kind of crazy production more power to them.

    if you do decide to go for the world bank, it should take about 10-15 turns of all of your cities switched to gold to make it to the 20k. if you can produce 1500-2000 gpt then you're ready to go.
    again pre build whatever wonder you can. it doesn't matter. the moment you hit 20k you can switch and keep those hammers towards the world bank. if you cant do that, rush buy a factory in your highest production city, make sure you have a settled engineer, and switch to communism. from here you need to be spending that money as fast as you can. you'll be able to switch cities back to science. unlock mobile infantry and artillery.
    you should be rush buying a unit from almost every city in your empire every turn by this point.

    If you decide to go for the space race instead of the world bank, it does have some advantages. components can be rush bought, so you should be able to finish the entire space ship in 2 turns then launch it. components are expensive though. I'd try to save 7-9k in gold for the turn you unlock the tech.

    this one isn't as hard as it seems. if your financial cities have the science buildings, you can switch on the fly and be generating a couple hundred beakers per turn

    notice the entire game you didn't go on the offensive unless you wanted to. (or someone attacked you)

    CAN THIS STRAT BE COUNTERED?

    well of cource it can. if you are extremely aggressive with them you can force the boomer to spend his gold on units rather than buildings. this avoids the magnifying factor that those buildings provide.
    use cruisers to block off sea tiles if you have to. it'll be more effective than trying to take his city outright I assure you.

    now I did an online game today, using this strat as the french. any civ can do it.. some are just better than others. its a silent game. you want as little conflict as possible. but they're doomed if they don't stop you or realize what's going on. if you manage a signifigant tech lead and can get metallurgy and gunpowder before finishing the workshop the game is over. if you think you can do that mass catapults before hand.

    I hit an opponent today in a different game as rome doing that. I stayed passive, but was able to upgrade across the empire. 2 turns later my first target was hit with 4 armies of cannons backed up by 4 armies of rifles. they were still using pikes and knights. after he lost 4 cities in 10 turns he dropped. the game was down to just me within 10 minutes.

    so for the builders out there, I hope this is helpful and insightful. I'm sorry its not all pretty formatted and more in a discussion format. I've had a lot of success online and offline with this strategy. I encourage you to try it, provide feedback so we can all improve.

    woe to those on xbox live who aren't dedicated civ fanatics like the rest of us!
     
  2. Thunderfall

    Thunderfall Administrator Administrator Moderator

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    Lots of good advice there, NaZ! :thumbsup: Maybe also mention caravans and spies as ways to make money?

    Having lots of gold around does make life much easier in CivRev. As the economic adviser used to say in the Civ2 High Council, "it's money that rules the world, and profit that moves it." :)
     
  3. NaZdReG

    NaZdReG Warmonger

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    I didn't mention caravans because generally.. other than the ones you get from goody huts they're not worth the effort to produce (unless you get the 50% bonus)

    with a caveat.. if you do have the 50% bonus and there is an AI civ across the water, a group of them can produce upwards of 600 gold. not a bad return for 90 hammers.

    one could make the arguement that the gold can be used to rush buy units, but 600 gold will only pay for 6 or so catapults. its not that much of a hammer savings for a lot of time spent

    and you're giving your opponent almost 100 gold on that run. which may not seem like a lot but I like to deny them economics at the same time.

    (I sell off older techs as often as I can to bankrupt them ai)

    spies on the other hand. I tend to use them for defence, or for raiding the capitol of the ai to steal settled great people. trying to steal gold would be behind destroying a building IMO.
     
  4. PlasmidJunky

    PlasmidJunky Chieftain

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    I really like your strategy and I actually adapted it to work with early rushing. I played as the Arabs and I sacked 2 capitals on Emperor very early because of their fundamentalism advantage. That gave me 2 good cities right away. Then I went after barb huts and got enough money for the settlers. I settled them and then teched until I got Code of Laws and spawned a couple settler in water rich areas/islands. So, I eliminated 2 of my competition early and expanded at the same time. Pretty soon I was out teching everyone because I had expanded and changed to a republic, so I wasn't hobbled scientifically by libraries/universities not producing science. I also managed to set up 3 great gold cities. Needless to say that it was a pretty decisive victory after that.

    However, I have found a flaw with this strategy. A lot of expansion leaves you pretty weak unless you find good choke points and seal off the rest of your cities. Sometimes your starting location is no good for this and you have to over-extend your expansion to block off the AI. It's not the end of the world, but I got ganged up on by the AI really early one game and got owned.

    Thanks a lot for the tips though. I feel like I understand the game a lot better now.
     
  5. NaZdReG

    NaZdReG Warmonger

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    plasmid,

    if you find yourself in that position than you are expanding a little too rapidly. you have to balance the power of expansion with the need to defend yourself.

    every city needs at the bare minimum 1 army of fortified archers. if you have an army of warriors for skirmish defending from early expansion that helps a lot too.

    if you have to deviate to catapults thats fine, because 1 army of catapults skirmish defending from your cities is enough to devestate incoming troops. its not about going up against defending cities its about obliterating offensive stacks.

    you also might be spending your early gold on buildings and such when you really need to be mindful of how you spend your money. its important that you are able to rush buy 3 archers that can be formed into an army on the spot at whatever city is in jeopardy

    this is why road placement is soo critical, so you can form a highway that allows transport to each of your satellite cities in a single turn. sometimes your capitol isn't a hub sometimes it is. whichever city is the "hub" city is where you keep the warriors, and hopefully the extra army of archers so you can quickly fortify any of the other cities.

    with this you should be able to get away with 1 army of archers at each satellite city and your core skirmish army at your hub to ward off attackers.

    a naval defence is also a good idea. 3 galleys formed up as a fleet will completely stop naval invasions all the way up until cruisers. late game armies of cruisers will keep you safe while you tech or save towards victory

    NaZ
     
  6. patrickkrebs

    patrickkrebs Warlord

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    Thanks for the time you put into this, a couple of really good insights.
     
  7. NaZdReG

    NaZdReG Warmonger

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    I have another thought I've been playtesting

    it is worth it to control the amount of gold you have early. if you can research currency before hitting 250 the free banking is huge with this strat

    NaZ
     
  8. erislover

    erislover Chieftain

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    Forests hamper the development of this city. There are other sources of income until you get this city rolling, and once it is rolling those tiles go to waste. (Which is to say: most of the game.)

    I would prefer all water tiles with 2 resources, but I'll live with one or two food tiles. No trees or hills. The sooner you settle this city and get some pop in it, the sooner it will be the one to get the free market from discovering currency first. I think this bonus is related to population and gold production, so you might have to rush some settlers in other cities to avoid them getting the market. You'll have a great explorer and he should be settled in this city. In fact, it is usually what I've done with my first great explorer. 50 GP is worthless compared to getting him settled in a good econ city. If you get a great humanitarian they should also be settled in this city since it will be a slow-grower until you can buy a harbor for it (long way away). A great builder is awesome for Troyes, and if I get a great builder then I wait until Troyes is available with him, but I don't count on builders. The other two I always end up getting, the way I play.

    1000 GPT is far, far less than can be acheived.
     
  9. Chinese American

    Chinese American Hamtastic Knight

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    That's off the mark. Hammers are more important than gold for 80% of the game, especially during the first half the game when your cities are developing.

    1) Each hammer is worth a multiple of gold depending on era. Double this when building a wonder.
    Ancient hammer is worth 2 gold
    Medieval 2 gold for units, 3 gold for buildings, 6 for wonders (after doubling)
    Industrial 4(?) gold
    Modern 8 gold.
    To make up for this, each trade icon has to make that much gold.
    e.g. In ancient era a forest produces 2 hammers, so it is worth 4 gold. Currency usually doesn't come until medieval era (after 5 techs or so). So sea tiles are worth only 2 gold at the beginning. After you get Currency that arrives in medieval era, each forest is now worth 4, 6, or 12 gold depending on what you build. Market doubles your gold, so each sea tile is worth 4 gold. (First you have to get the market in your city. Buying it up front costs you 180 gold.) In this case, gold is as good as hammers only for rushing units, but worse than hammers when working on buildings and much worse when working on wonders. As a result, if you want to get Trade Fair as soon as possible, hammers are the way to do it. If you're relying on Great Builder, you still need to get temples in your cities, which again are completed sooner with hammers than gold.
    In modern era, to break even each trade icon must make 8 gold for each hammer you take away. So you need at least market (x2), bank (x2), Trade Fair (x2), or market, bank, GP, and civ bonus, to equal the efficiency of hammers. Certainly, by this time the gold city should be focusing all on gold and wouldn't need many other buildings by then. So we arrive at the second point.

    2) Idle workers produce more trade as population gets higher. So after the first 12 pop works the sea tiles, the rest should be idle. (That's on DS. The other consoles might be bit different.) In other words, extra sea tiles are wasted after a certain point. Why not have some production tiles instead, which will help tremendously in the early game. Instead of buying units en masse, build up an army gradually and move them to where you need them to be. Instead of buying buildings up front, use hammers to speed it up.

    Conclusion: Gold strategy works best if you have the appropriate infrastructure (i.e. hammers to get the buildings you need), and you can rush things for cheaper (American and Roman) or you get a bonus in gold production (Spain, Zulu, Aztec). This all comes mid to late game, so really you don't need special set up. Mega cities are a strong strategy, so beelining for currency and banking doesn't make much difference since you need time to build the markets, banks, and wonders, while raising population to exploit all the sea tiles. Anybody can get decent gold production even without trying. The key to super gold city are the wonders, and the key to having them completed before other civs is strong hammer output. Other minor gold cities can contribute, too, but only if you're not spending gold every turn to buy defense.
     
  10. erislover

    erislover Chieftain

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    I'm talking about a single money city. In my games, one city ends up generating around 3000 GPT while every other city focuses on science.
    Not really. First, you cannot sell buildings your econ city isn't using, so the hammer/gold rate for buildings is pointless for the econ city. Second, the hammer/gold rate for units should be what they can be sold for, not what they can be purchased for. (You cannot focus on econ and build barracks. I'm assuming your econ city isn't a mainland city that needs heavy maintenance.) If your econ city isn't building a market/bank/harbor/aqueduct/wonder, the it is wasting valuable time which could lead to more money, or it is already making you a ton of money and it doesn't matter what it builds.

    At 3 gold per hammer, and at 60 hammers for a market, it seems, as a quick calculation, that it would take 180 gold to rush a market, as you say. At 4 gold per tile in the alternative, that means 45 turns to start pulling a profit from having rushed the market. The problem is that this is not taking into account other important factors.

    First of all, this tile will grow food with a harbor, which forest cannot, so your city will also grow faster, which means more gold sooner. Secondly, unless you require a courthouse to reach goodies, getting gold instead of hammers from that tile delays other improvements you would have to make in order to utilize resources. Thirdly, island cities without land require less defenders in the first place.

    Comparing the cost to rush versus the hammer cost is unfair for island cities whose only contribution is gold. This is not true for mainland cities which require a lot more resources like temples, walls, armies, etc., but my mainland cities are all science and production based, where I think hammers are more important than vials for most of the game. A killer science city doesn't hurt, but it is not really necessary. If you need gold to rush things for an island city whose production sucks, then mainland cities can produce units to be sold. This is a lossy process, but overall is quicker than waiting for a forest tile to build a wonder!
    This, I did not know. I will have to investigate this. Interesting. If so, then all I have said is totally without merit.
     
  11. NaZdReG

    NaZdReG Warmonger

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    yeah.. having 2 production tiles helps to get the city up and running. pulling them off the tiles when the city hits high pop is better than working any non bonus resource tile (1 hammer and 4 commerce)

    but youc an't assume that the city is operating in a vacuume. there will be times when it will have to build its own defenders, and perform other tasks

    personal favorite spot? a 2 tile island that has whale, fish, and oak. 1 5 hammer production tile and a ton of food/science.

    build a market, save up to buy a harbor. rush buy a courthouse, rush buy a bank.

    if a builder spawns, get it on the boat and get it over to the island to build the trade fair.

    and yeah 1000-1500 gpt is pretty much where you can cap out with a developed city pre internet.

    post internet and future tech yes you can go higher.. but by then you've won the game so whats the point

    NaZ
     
  12. Alexandru

    Alexandru Chieftain

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    I think you should include Japan on you list of "economic civs" (and to a lesser extent Greece). Although it doesn't have any 'direct' economic bonus the +1 food on ocean square translates in a very powerful economic benfit since ocean means trade and trade+food means faster growth.
     
  13. erislover

    erislover Chieftain

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    When I found the city, it has nothing worth building, so it might as well be making gold for me.
    Honestly, I found this city so early in the game that I don't see galleys around it for a long time, nevermind enemies capable of taking an island city with the -50% penalty. When I do, then I consider building defenders, but without land for the enemy to land on, it is a tough city to attack, and by that time I usually have a spare fleet to guard it.
    Two dye and one fish/whale for me. :)
    Beeline currency, get the market for free... ;)
     
  14. NaZdReG

    NaZdReG Warmonger

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    I'm all for beelining currency, but its not reliable.

    I did put a post up in the other forum about delaying hitting 250 so you could get banking for free..which is worth it even if you don't get the free market

    everyone is going to play this strat a little different, I meant the guide for people who do not understand how to get a city to even 300-500 gpt.

    and I did not recommend japan because they are way better at science/culture generation rather than economic generation

    the ones I listed are able to consistently get to an econ victory faster than other civs in that catagory

    NaZ
     
  15. Apolex

    Apolex Chieftain

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    NaZdReG do you ever use your gold to purchase "fill-in" techs from the other civs?
     
  16. NaZdReG

    NaZdReG Warmonger

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    I used to.

    now I spend it on rush buying libraries and universities. the deeper you beeline through the tech tree the quicker it is to backfill. any tech that you can research in 1 turn you may get for free in any given turn.

    the only ones I consider buying are code of laws and democracy. because they are out of the way of my beeline but very helpful in their own right.

    NaZ
     

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