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C-X-X-C or C-X-X-X-X-C?

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Strategy & Tips' started by Pyrrhos, Mar 12, 2008.

  1. Pyrrhos

    Pyrrhos Vae Victis

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    Apart from the obvious military advantages of the tighter formation, such as being able to move units from one town to another within a turn - in effect, moving and attacking with a newly built unit from the core - arguments in favour include "using all tiles" and "making the best of high-yield tiles by sharing". I'd say those are non-arguments, at least on normal to huge maps.

    First, of the 20 workable tiles around any town quite a few are low-yield such as grassland, desert, mountains, jungle or swamps. With C-X-X-C, these tiles will have to be improved and worked which is a waste of worker turns until Replaceable Parts. Furthermore, quite a few cities will stop at pop 9 or 10 because of a lack of food even if every tile is improved and rail-roaded. In the core, this means wasted production. On the periphery, they won't make much of being science farms. With C-X-X-X-C, you can work the best tiles which means that in the core, you should easilly get every town to pop 12 with 20+ net shields (republic). In the periphery, your science farms will be pop 12 with no more than 7-8 tiles worked and a minumum of 4-5 scientists (again republic). This is far better use of the available land. Later on in the game, a science farm of pop 35-40 with 15-20 scientists is a regular occurence.

    Second, the sharing of a cow or wheat between two towns is only an issue during the early expansion phase. It may gain you 4-5 pop points one turn earlier in the secondary town. This translates to two settlers two turns earlier or four workers one turn earlier each than would otherwise have been possible without the sharing of the cow/wheat. Even though the two towns will perpetuate their two-turn start, building everything up to two turns earlier than would otherwise have been possible, that's not much of an advantage except in competition play. The advantage is lost anyway by the third:

    Third, C-X-X-X-X-C makes much better use of your settlers as it takes far, far fewer to grab more land in a much shorter time span and, incidentally, deny the AI the use of those tiles. Granted, roading the tiles between takes longer, but you want roads on those tiles anyway to gain the commercial bonus.

    Fourth, town and cities are like cows in a barn - they will go for the best patch and that's invariably at their neighbour's feet even if the equivalent is right next to themselves. This means that you will have to micro-manage as soon as a town gains a pop point. In an empire such as my Roman one in the last game I played (with C-X-X-C) with towns down to "New Rome 3" (not to mention captured ones), micromanaging becomes a nightmare that takes up at least 10-15 mins every turn. This is inefficient use of my gaming time!

    By all means, swear by C-X-X-C if you want to. Apart from the obvious, military advantages however, there is little to recommend it.

    Over to you! :)
     
  2. RickFGS

    RickFGS Chieftain

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    If you play against an human opponet or an AI on level emperor and above using the CxxxC or CxxxxC instead of the CxxC you´ll get beaten up...

    Having smaller cities but with less corruption because of less distance to capital and making specialized rules for each, military pump, settler pump, worker pump and scientific pump/prebuilds you wont need level 12 cities that soon, and when you do it is possible have a level 12 or more cities in the core in CxxC distribution with high levels of production.
     
  3. Bartleby

    Bartleby Remembers laughter

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    The most obvious disadvantage of C-X-X-X-X-C is that you need to build loads of Temples (and my civ is likely not a REL one).
     
  4. MAS

    MAS Chieftain

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    I'm pretty sure you already know the answers. If anything, take an other look at my Korea game in your thread about religious vs scientific debate.
     
  5. eldar

    eldar ChiefTank

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    Well, obviously I'm currently supporting CxxC - here's an SG I've just set up where city placement is strict CxxC: still looking for players!
     
  6. Chamnix

    Chamnix Chasing Time

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    This confuses me - how do you judge which is "better" if not by competition play? Which looks nicer? Which is more fun for you? I'm not going to argue either of those. If you want to reach a victory condition quickly, or if you want a high score (both legitimate criteria for judging which strategy is "better"), then generally speaking, a tighter city build is better for either.

    What are you recommending the looser placement for exactly?
     
  7. Nergal

    Nergal Chieftain

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    I think it depends on the situation ... I didnt like CXXC at first but it improved my play a lot. And now I do swear by it. I think its vital for a productive core, then move to CXXXXC or even CXXXXXC and back fill those gaps later in the game.
     
  8. RickFGS

    RickFGS Chieftain

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    Maybe a CxxxC ring when the core one ends, but beyond the CxCxC infinite sprawl for cientific cities or prebuilds is far better
     
  9. brennan

    brennan Argumentative Brit

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    Recently i've been using CXXXXC for my first city ring, then go CXXXC. I like the power boost later in the game due to the higher efficiency of the looser placement and I like the 'realism' of actually having big cities rather than ICSing.
     
  10. MAS

    MAS Chieftain

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    There is maybe the possibility to place cities SO:

    CXCXXCXCXCXXC

    Then at later stages of the game, you disband some cities:

    XXCXXXXCXXXXC

    The temporary cities can contribute to the metro growth by building workers. You'll shift from a tight placement you used during the first 2 ages to almost instant sizte 20 metro OCP. Of course this is only realy useful if you plan to accompany it with a switch to demo, or commie.

    The mertro's still won't need early temples, because they'll already have libs by that time. Though , you'll likely build some temple/caths in your metro's for happiness. But for a metro, building a cathedral is no longer a big issue.
     
  11. Pyrrhos

    Pyrrhos Vae Victis

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    As I expected, everyone who is for C-X-X-C are so because of the military advantages (with one exception). I do believe I began the topic by saying "Apart from the obvious military advantages of the tighter formation". Now, to attempt an answer to each and everyone's most salient points:

    RickFGS: "Having smaller cities but with less corruption because of less distance to capital"
    Corruption does not depend solely on distance to the capital. There is the matter of the number of cities/towns too and with C-X-X-C, you have more than twice the number of cities, hence much greater corruption as you move away from the capital.
    As for the six cities closest to the capital in the previously reffered to game, true, there was no corruption with C-X-X-C. However, they only produced between 13 and 16 shields (roaded, mined, rep). With C-X-X-X-X-C, they would have produced 17 to 24 shields with a loss of one to two from corruption (no CH or PS) making it C-X-X-C 13 to 16, C-X-X-X-X-C 15 to 22.

    Bartleby: "The most obvious disadvantage of C-X-X-X-X-C is that you need to build loads of Temples "
    If you're so set against temples, build libraries! FYI, temples are great in both early and later game but we've already been over that ground.

    MAS: "take an other look at my Korea game in your thread about religious vs scientific debate"
    Yep, I made an error there, I mined the cow instead of irrigating it and chose Litt and not Rep as my free tech. obviously, I have to do it again. But as was pointed out in that thread, you cannot compare your Korea to my India. As yet, and in spite of repeated urgings by others, you have not done a India so your claims about rel and litt based on just your Korea are without foundation and of little merit.

    Chamnix: "This confuses me - how do you judge which is "better" if not by competition play?" In competition play, every point earnt might make a difference in where you finally place. A score of 8,533 might be good enough for 5th place whereas 8,549 will place you on the podium. As the vast majority of games played are not GOM, I think most would regard 8,549 and 8,533 as equally good.
     
  12. Chamnix

    Chamnix Chasing Time

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    So your claim is not that C-x-x-x-x-C is better in any way, but you are claiming that you can score roughly equally well with either city placement?
     
  13. Pyrrhos

    Pyrrhos Vae Victis

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    Chamnix, my claim is that the arguments used in favour of C-X-X-C are non-arguments, a polite way of saying that they're rubbish. It was two aruments used in particular that I object to:

    * With C-X-X-C you make use of (or work) every tile
    (by inference saying C-X-X-X-X-C is poor because there are eight unused tiles, not counting overlap, per city)
    My counterargument to this is that with 20 tiles, you can choose the twelve best tiles, the ones that require little worker effort and yield loads of food, shields and commerce such as bonus grassland, plains or hills and can avoid having to expend a great number of worker turns clearing jungles and swamps, roading and mining mountains or working the unproductive desert squares.

    * With C-X-X-C you can make the best use of high-yield tiles (cows/wheat) by sharing between cities
    My counter-argument is that such a "sharing" gives the secondary town (meaning the town that normally does not use this tile where the primary town is your settler/worker factory) a boost of two food every four to five turns. This might shave a turn off building a worker or a couple of turns off building a settler in the secondary town. However, that advantage is lost as with C-X-X-C, you need a lot more settlers to cover the same expanse of territory!

    Therefore, if we disregard the military aspects, C-X-X-X-X-C is preferable, at least on normal to large maps, because:

    * The same number of settlers cover a much larger area/empire
    * Every town gets a choice of which tiles to work and therefore produce more food, shields and commerce and do so sooner.
    * Critics say "you have to build temples". True, but even if building temples is an abomination, you only have to build one marketplace (and bank), not two or three, to boost the extra commerce of the same number of river tiles
    * One science farm of pop 12 with 4 - 8 scientists is far more effective than two of pop 6 with 1 - 2(3) scientists
    * Later on, as a science metro, this city may have 15-25 scientists as opposed to the 2 x 1-3 scientists of the two "science farms"
    * With a large empire (100s of cities), micro-managing becomes a nightmare with C-X-X-C

    Hope this is clearer, Chamnix! Sorry!
     
  14. Pyrrhos

    Pyrrhos Vae Victis

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    Very true!

    If you have the Pyramids and one mined BG, such a town might "live" for a hundred turns, produce 20 workers for 95+90+85+80...+5+0 worker turns and supply pop for 12½ cities to go to pop 20 instanly.

    Very good tactic! :goodjob:
     
  15. Bartleby

    Bartleby Remembers laughter

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    Don't forget that each "science metro" needs a Hospital, and will probably want a Mass Trans., unless you love cleaning pollution. After Railroads, a conventional science farm only needs to work two tiles to support 3-4 scientists thus C-X-C spacing is all you need. If you want to milk for score, you can convert C-X-C areas into C-X-X-X-C areas when you've done enough research and/or you want to add workers.

    Disregarding military aspects is a lot of disregarding. Do you consider unit support to be a military aspect? (more towns = more free units which includes settlers and workers)
     
  16. Aabraxan

    Aabraxan Mid-level Micromanager

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    Umm, isn't that sort of a big advantage, though? I think it's a mistake to ignore it.
    I disagree that it's a waste of worker turns. Improving tiles increases food, shields and gold. Your empire gets richer, stronger, smarter and larger. How is that a waste?

    I don't see how that means wasted production. If they stop growing at size 9 or 10, they stop growing. So? Keeping tighter city spacing just allows you to shoehorn in more cities. That means more citizens and more tiles can be worked. In a C-X-X-C formation, the area occupied by 20 cities might only hold 10-12 under C-X-X-X-X-C. (This is only an estimate, no actual mathematical calculations have been performed. Your mileage may vary.)

    You seem to be ignoring the fact that you can squeeze more cities in the same area by using C-X-X-C, rather than C-X-X-X-X-C. Even with the former, I can work the best tiles. I might just need more cities to do it. I don't consider that a disadvantage.

    But why would you want to? Every specialist farm produces 1 shield and 1 gold to the treasury, even if it's size 1, and that's not counting specialist output. That means:

    Twenty (20) size 1 specialist farms, each housing one (1) scientist, C3C:
    20 gpt
    20 spt
    60 bpt

    One (1) size 30 specialist farm, housing twenty (20) specialists, C3C:
    1 gpt
    1 spt
    60 bpt


    I don't think that getting earlier settlers is necessarily negated by needing fewer of them. You may grab territory with fewer settlers, but those fewer settlers don't automatically translate into more worked tiles. Yes, you want the tiles roaded, anyway, but how is it an advantage to make it take longer to perform?

    Besides, why would I want to simply deny the AI use of the tiles when I can both deny the AI and use them myself?

    I can't argue with your statement regarding your gaming time. By all means play the game in whatever way you best enjoy! As you might imagine, the micromanagement doesn't bother me very much.

    Besides, what about the MP factor? If you're playing an MP government, having your cities at C-X-X-C allows you to move MPs from one town to another in the same turn. If you couldn't do that, you'd have to have to use specialists, the lux slider or (gasp) temples! ;)
     
  17. Lord Emsworth

    Lord Emsworth Chieftain

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    And what do you do if you start in the temperate zones of the map? Those juicy stretches of grassland in the north and south between the tundra and the plain/desert/jungle stretches?

    Right, you forego a lot of juicy grassland tiles in favor of jungle, tundra, desert, or plains tiles because your CXXXXC placement will force you there in no time.

    Don't get me wrong, you have a point, to some extent. But it cuts both ways.
     
  18. Pyrrhos

    Pyrrhos Vae Victis

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    Yes it is (a lot of disregarding). But then the arguments I refer to have little or nothing to do with military aspects! Like I said at the start, the ability to get troops from the core and into battle the turn they were built is the greatest asset of C-X-X-C.

    Unit support may be a problem under Rep/Demo. Change to Com or Fasc if it's an issue.
     
  19. Chamnix

    Chamnix Chasing Time

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    I think I’ve got it. We agree that tighter city placement is better (although we disagree on how significantly better, but we can get back to that). Your argument is that is better only because (or at least primarily because) of the “military advantages”. I will claim that what you call military advantages is a non-argument, or, at the very least, a misrepresentation of what is really happening.

    “military advantages of the tighter formation, such as being able to move units from one town to another within a turn - in effect, moving and attacking with a newly built unit from the core”



    Step by step with CxxC spacing:

    • You build a unit in core city A; it moves 3 tiles to end in city B founded on tile B.
    • You already had a unit in city B; it moves 3 tiles to end in city C founded on tile C.
    • You already had a unit in city C; in moves 3 tiles to end in outer ring city D founded on tile D.
    • You already had a unit in city D; it attacks the enemy.
    You started with 3 units on their way to the front, built 1 new unit in your core, and the other 3 continued forward.

    So what is different with CxxxxC? You don’t have cities on tiles B, C, and D, but there is no reason you can’t have units on tiles B, C, and D. I think you are assuming you just have 1 unit in each city, but that just means with CxxxxC, you have fewer units. Why would you have fewer units?

    Or is the argument that close spacing has the advantage of having a unit to defend cities B and C every turn? I would argue that cities B and C should not need a defender since the AI can’t get to them, so I don’t think that can be a very good reason tighter spacing is better.
     
  20. Pyrrhos

    Pyrrhos Vae Victis

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    With C-X-X-X-X-C you can almost exclusively use those lovely BGs wheareas C-X-X-C will perforce have to make do with G.

    Furthermore, I'm talking of normal to huge maps where you do not run out of grassland that quickly! ;)
     

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