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can building harbors and custom houses HURT your research?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by AutomatedTeller, Aug 30, 2010.

  1. AutomatedTeller

    AutomatedTeller Frequent poster

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    I've been wondering about this some - I've found that when I have a land-locked capital running bureaucracy and with Oxford, and several coastal cities, building a bunch of harbors and custom houses...

    the cap gets stuck with domestic routes. Now, some of the bases on those are pretty good, cause I can get size 20+ cities with good corps, but they don't have bonuses for long-term peace or foreign trade or overseas trade, so the yield on them isn't as high.

    A recent game, I had 4 3 commerce trade routes at the end, while one of my coastal cities had 6-8 commerce per route. Some of that was harbor and customs house, of course, but even without those, they were getting twice as much commerce as the cap.

    I was losing 20-30 bpt from this, overall. Granted, when we are making 2000 bpt, 20 isn't all that big a deal.
     
  2. mirthadir

    mirthadir Emperor

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    Yes you can lose yield by building TR modifiers and siphoning :commerce: from high multiplier cities to low multiplier cities. In addition to Oxford there may be land locked academies, Scotland Yards, Wall Street, and B cap which are permanent; in the short run you may also find that interior cities have a full set of :gold: or :science: multipliers while the coastal cities have none or only a few.

    Most of the time this only shows for an empire of sufficient size to steal all the foreign trade from one super city (normally an Oxford, Academy, B cap - maybe with a few bonus mons the other cities lack), but not numerous enough to make up for it with better mods on domestic trade in a lot of crappy coastal cities.

    A coastal Oxford tends to avoid this issue. Likewise merc makes it a complete nonissue while SP and enviro make it less likely.
     
  3. DMOC

    DMOC Mathematician

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    Customs houses are one of the worst buildings in the game. :mad: And as mirthadir said, I think it is possible to hurt your research.
     
  4. Fezzik

    Fezzik PvZ Fanatic

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    Couldn't you just WB a few of them out in one of these saves to see if that's the case?
     
  5. AutomatedTeller

    AutomatedTeller Frequent poster

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    well, these were played with the HOF mod which removes access to WB and I didn't really feel like running a full game to find it out :)

    You run into similar things with harbors, though - and harbors are useful besides.
     
  6. Gwynnja

    Gwynnja Deity

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    I regularly build harbors not so much for the TR bonus but for the health.
     
  7. plasmacannon

    plasmacannon Emperor

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    I do too.
    Especially, with Carthaginian Cothons.

    Your palace location can make a difference on city distance related maintanence costs.
    If internally centralized, all of your perimeter coastal cities will have lower maintanence costs.
    You might have experienced some of this in your research totals.
     
  8. AutomatedTeller

    AutomatedTeller Frequent poster

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    yes - you want harbors. I wonder - do they take the trade routes or is it just because the custom houses only help foreign trade routes?
     
  9. jaycuhbbb

    jaycuhbbb Chieftain

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    Why?...
     
  10. Iranon

    Iranon Deity Whipping Boy

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    Because of the way multipliers stack. Most trade routes already include sizable usually-invisible multipliers, so customs houses do far less than what you may think if you just look at the description.
     
  11. AutomatedTeller

    AutomatedTeller Frequent poster

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    Basically, the way custom houses and harbors work is that they multiply the BASE value of the trade route, which is determined by distance and relative size of the cities.

    Much of the value of trade routes comes from other multipliers, such as overseas trade,foreign trade, and long term peace, as well as the 50% and 100% bonus.

    if you don't know this, you look at your city which is has 3 routes making 6, 6, and 5 and you think "custom's house gets me another 17 commerce!"... when it really gets you 2, 1 and 1 and you are just really disappointed.

    I used to think they were ok, though not great. I do agree that they are basically terrible - there is real value to them in a coastal cap running bureaucracy and with oxford - but in generally, do not build them in a city who doesn't have serious multipliers, because all they will do is hurt other, more important cities :(
     
  12. Derakon

    Derakon Prince

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    Someone was doing the math awhile ago and having trouble coming up with any situation in which it was better to build a customs house rather than wealth.
     
  13. Jerrymander

    Jerrymander Epistemologist

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    Even the infamous Feitoria, which provides more commerce, is weak.
     
  14. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    Rolo was doing this over on general discussion, and I was fearing the usual lynch mob might turn towards him rather than me for a few minutes there :lol:.
     
  15. Tatran

    Tatran Deity

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    And the 5%/population point multiplier is a joke.
    You only add 5% to your multipliers while you're increasing the base profit of the AI trade routes.
    Sometimes I look into the AI cities to see what they get from foreign trade routes
    and most of the time I'm very disgusted to see my cities providing 60-70% of the total city commerce.
     
  16. RJM

    RJM Prince

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    I find this rather difficult to believe. Can anyone provide a link to look at this analysis?
     
  17. Nick Carpathia

    Nick Carpathia Unleash the HAARP

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    Woah, I've never noticed this (mainly because in the games where I'm dominating in EP, I'm also dominating in research and privateering). Still, is the high ratio mainly because the AI completely sucks at city specialisation and farms over their cottages, or is that restricted to crappy coastal cities working nothing but lighthoused seafood, or what?
     
  18. Inso

    Inso Warlord

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    I've tend to build them if I have a lot of overseas trade routes, and they don't seem to give more than a few commerce per turn extra, even on a city with loads of high value routes. Maybe a waste of hammers then it looks like. :(

    Harbors are still worth it though?
     
  19. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    Harbors have a health component that can potentially be worthwhile by itself given that harbors aren't very expensive, so their returns are WAY better than CH.
     
  20. none

    none si vis pacem para bellum

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    That is interesting to say the least. Makes me wonder what other things are subpar and don't match the in game description.
     

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