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Bulbing vs. Settling

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by georgel123, Dec 30, 2011.

  1. Akbarthegreat

    Akbarthegreat Angel of Junil

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    Prophets- Always settle. Religious techs are useless. Except when leading to better techs.
     
  2. noto2

    noto2 Emperor

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    I look at it like this - there is a general mathematic trend that guides the relative strength of bulbing vs. settling. Generally speaking your first GP usually comes from your library or an early wonder. At that part of the game settling is often the best use, you still have 100's of turns to go, so that settled GS, after multipliers, could easily equal 3000+ beakers and 300-400+ hammers throughout the game. Another good use early game, such as with your second GS would be to build an academy. After that bulbing is probably the best use until the industrial age, when a bulb only researches about 1/3 of a tech, and at that point a golden age is probably the best use.
    This is the general guideline that I follow, of course it can change based on what strategy I'm using. For example, if I'm planning on running representation I might settle most of my great people, this particularly makes sense if going for a cultural or space victory
     
  3. capnvonbaron

    capnvonbaron Democratia gladii

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    Well, if I'm going for an early conquest or domination victory (say, a rifle+cannon nat'lism fueled rofl-stomp), most go to bulbs and GAges. But...

    A Gwall-provided GSpy can be super-useful to explore your entire continent, since they can't be seen by barbs or enemies, can go through closed borders, and have the 2x movement value. After, I usually burn them for a GA or spy-mission in a tech-savvy neighbor, like Ghandi or Mansa (because most of the time it isn't wise to be friends with them for diplo, and you can steal their techs instead of suffering diplo hits with other potential friends).

    GEs I almost always rush wonders with, tho they do make for some useful bulbs here and there. Late game, settle in Ironworks city or partial-bulb techs. Also save one for Mining Inc.

    GMs... I love GMs. Early I settle in my future Wall street city. The +1:food: is really attractive since it allows you to run more GM specialists (with market, grocer, or caste sys) and thus pop more GMs and settle. Properly done, with a honed WS city, you can research at 100% even in a large empire and keep a positive income. Make sure to save one as medicine comes in to get Sid's Sushi. Cereal Mills is a bit annoying since refrigeration isn't high on my list of things to research.

    GAs are for GAges, unless we're talking culture victory. Then its settle. Great Works are typically only good for getting a diplo hit for close borders, IMO.

    GPs... well there's a lot of things. If I have a holy city, shrine away. If its possible to use one to bulb a religion and make said religion dominant (say, in a continents game, some unknown continent hoards the early religions, and you can make permanent friends with your heathen neighbors), I do that. Late game though, settle in WS city or golden age.

    GS -- Academy in Oxford city, bulb before Lib. Post Lib, settle in Oxford city or bulb as needed. Sometimes best for GAges in late game, around the space race.
     
  4. danjuno

    danjuno Emperor

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    Spy: EPs Galore.
    Engineer: Wonder rush if possible, If not, Bulb, If there's nothing useful to bulb, settle.
    Merchant: Trade Missions are for suckers. Bulb key economy techs, or settle in your Wall Street city for massive gold.
    Artist: Lodging complaints about close borders from a culture bomb is quite hard if your troops are wounded and/or flipped half way across the continent. If not, Border city settle > Golden Age > Bulb
    Prophet: Shrine > Settle for gold and hammers > Golden Age > Theology bulb for cheap AP win.
    Scientist: Best GP for bulbing, hands down. Though, post-Liberalism, settling or Academy won't be tragic
     
  5. Scoottr

    Scoottr Prince

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    GP - I usually have founded a religion so use him to get the holy city building.

    GE - I'll save for a corp, but settle any after the first one. I get tons of GE's in my games

    GM - save for a corp. I rarely get more than one of these and lucky to get the one.
     
  6. noto2

    noto2 Emperor

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    capn - it sounds like you settle your great people late game, and bulb them early game. Try doing the opposite and I bet you'll see your research rates improve ;)
     
  7. TheWilltoAct

    TheWilltoAct I am observe

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    Trading Great People for :science: becomes less attractive once technologies take two or more Great Scientists to complete. So surplus Great People are usually burned for Golden Ages where they can almost certainly have significant benefit. Settling post-Liberalism specialists isn't bad if you are gunning for a space or late conquest finish.
     
  8. bhavv

    bhavv Glorious World Dictator

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    Build an academy and oxford in your settling city, each settled scientist ends up giving 20+ :science: with other science buildings in place.
     
  9. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

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    I do the exact thing as you are.
    Except I often settle GEnginers, I don't usually rush wonders.
    GArtists I use for culture bombs when capturing a enemy city.
     
  10. rugbyLEAGUEfan

    rugbyLEAGUEfan Deity

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    Its pretty clear that there is no set answer to "is bulbing better than settling?" .....surely the only question is what is correct at the particular point in the game . I mean advocating that the first should always go to an academy makes no sense ??? Your economy could be in the toilet so an academy would be useless . You may a heap of low population cities or want to blitz a neighbor , in which case bulbing maths and building the Hanging Gardens or supercharging your chops for your attack or speeding to construction may be the play . Maybe you settle it cause you want to steam to horseback riding ?

    Likewise , totally ruling out founding a religion ( say with a priest from Stonehenge or the Oracle) is shortsighted . Sure spreading it is a pain but if none have been founded it can be well worth it .

    A well timed golden age or a trade mission can be game breaking too , whether in peace or war .

    A scientist fueled rush to Libralism can often easily trump settling . But maybe you have the Mids then suddenly it's not so clear whether that's the best way ?

    Any set formula of how to use Great People is really selling them short
     
  11. AutomatedTeller

    AutomatedTeller Frequent poster

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    if the choice is between settling and bulbing something like math or philo, then settling is more attractive (from a pure return on investment), because the return is pretty fast. Math is 250 beakers, so settling instead of bulbing returns pretty fast (20-30 turns). Philo is 800, so it's closer to 50-70 turns.

    with education, though, the return is a lot longer. You get at least 1500 beakers for bulbing with a GS, so your return is more like 80-120 turns (depends on if you have representation and other multipliers.
     
  12. rugbyLEAGUEfan

    rugbyLEAGUEfan Deity

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    What if the return on investment is an enemy capital with the 'Mids because you were able to chop 4 or 5 extra horse archers ? Or an instant 6 or 7 extra scientists which you are desperate for because your slider is at 0% (pre chopped Hanging Gardens) .

    What if philosophy gets you back from being hopelessly behind in techs and you trade it for 5 or 6 others ? Similar applies when bulbing Alpha .
     
  13. AutomatedTeller

    AutomatedTeller Frequent poster

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    well, i of course should have been more clear. Shows what you get for posting too fast.

    On a pure beaker basis, settling vs. bulbing will net you a better return early. As techs get more expensive, the return takes longer (since you can get better value from the bulb)

    That said, the immediate effects of the bulb (super chops or tech parity) are harder to quantify.

    If you can get 10 techs for your bulb, then the payback for settling it is much, much longer.
     
  14. A_Hamster

    A_Hamster Small Furry Animal

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    I used to think like that as well, but now that I vary between Bulbing and Settling based on needs, my game has improved. Sometimes you need the tech NOW, whereupon bulbing is best. Other times spending two GS for Academy + 1 settle is better.

    As mentioned previously, it also bothers me to bulb Compass, so I'll usually save that GS for Education or a similar tech.

    I've yet to bulb with a GE since they are too valuable for the instabuild or a Corp. Pretty much anyone else is fair game, although G-Artists are usually GA fuel.

    On that note. If your first settled city at game start came with a free settled GP, what would it be?

    For me it would be the GP, since +2 :hammers: & +5 :commerce: is huge early game.
     
  15. rugbyLEAGUEfan

    rugbyLEAGUEfan Deity

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    I think I would take the merchant for the food , just ahead of the priest .

    Actually , maybe a spy ?
     
  16. capnvonbaron

    capnvonbaron Democratia gladii

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    Now now, you're twisting my words :) I never said anywhere that I use early Gppl all for bulbs and late ones for settling. Truth be told, I tend to bulb more in the middle ages as techs become expensive at the same time I may have a recovering, post-REX economy. At higher difficulties, a settled Gperson may or may not help you research any faster than the AI, and you may need to bulb simply to stay in the game technologically through the middle ages. As pointed out, sometimes if you bulb a tech strategically, you can trade it around with AI and net half a dozen techs from one bulb. That could be thousands of "free" beakers at a critical time!

    I also point out that my specialist usage is weighted on what kind of victory I'd like to shoot for. If its an early diplo, conquest, or domination victory I have in mind (say, rifle/cannon/cav romp across the world, or the AP cheese win), bulbing is more attractive because I will have no late-game advantage from settling. If I bulb appropriately I can potentially net important military techs and out-class the AI defenses quicker (infantry vs LBs lmao rofl-stomp). If I'm planning on a later victory such as culture, UN, or space, I'll certainly settle more of my early Gppl.
     
  17. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

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    In the long run, the game is allready over.
     
  18. bhavv

    bhavv Glorious World Dictator

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    I agree with this, bulbing a tech that the AI doesnt yet have have so you can trade it is a crucial strategy used by most higher level players. You can end up netting so many more beakers worth of research through trading if you bulb maths, alphabet, or philosophy first.

    On the other hand settling Great Scientists in advance for your future Oxford city can end up speeding you through the end game techs with the insane amount of extra BPT you can pull off, especially with Philosophic leaders.

    Great Spies are very valuable and highly underrated early game GPs to obtain. In order to pull them off you need the Great Wall wonder, and you need to delay working specialists until you have a courthouse build for a spy specialist slot. As I've been mentioning in another thread, Gilgamesh is the most suited leader to pull of an EP economy with as he gets his couthouse UB very early along with a spy slot, plus an extra bonus towards castle production for more EP points.

    If you manage to obtain them, you should always settle the first and build a Scotland Yard with the second, weigh all your EPs towards the leading techer and then tech steal his / her research.
     
  19. JesusOnEez

    JesusOnEez Emperor

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    It kind of depends on the type of game I want to play.

    If I'm playing a lowish level game that I want to take into modern times, I will often settle the vast majority. Whipping an early Library, getting that early GS and building an Academy, then pretty much all others are settled making for a specialist economy. I tend to settle all GP in a commerce city, ideally coastal with GL and Colossus, perhaps Wall Street later. Any GM that come from that will usually be sent on trade missions. GE's on rush building and GA's generally go into cities at risk of turning or bombing a brand new city on new land to claim as much as possible. These tend to be my long games where I want to out-economy rather than blow everyone up, and done right with the right wonders in the right places you can get Great People very rapidly right into the Renaissance period and perhaps later. I tend to stay in Caste, Merc, Representation & Pacifism for a long time in these games.

    If I want a shorter game I will generally go for a cottage economy, specialise a few cities, and bulb pretty much every one of the Great people with the aim of getting a tech lead and going on a rampage.

    All very general of course!
     
  20. krazybastid

    krazybastid Chieftain

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    It's best later in the game to save up the remaining Great people you get on Corp founding.
     

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