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Can someone please explain a few finer points of this game....

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Icewise, Sep 7, 2008.

  1. Icewise

    Icewise Chieftain

    Oct 30, 2005
    Hello everyone... I've been a lurker here for a while, and would just like someone to explain a few things to me....

    I'm not a bad civ player, I usually play on Monarch/Emperor, so I have a good grip on games basics... Here are the questions

    1st - How does moving out your army out of the city and letting enemy SOD take it, then attack it the same round help you???? Wouldn't it be easier to just attack them from your city, and destroying them just outside the city???? Or are there some defensive bonuses that the enemy army loses when it is in your city??????

    2nd - How to properly use whipping..... so that it is actually useful..... When is the right time to whip and at what city size etc.......

    3rd - The tech micromanaging.... how does running it at 100% and then at 0% to save some money make it better.... is it because of the 25%/50% money bonuses etc or something....? And is this type of micromanaging actually worth it?

    4th - With BTS I haven't really used Spies sooo much... what are they really useful for and do you actually make lots of them and focus on them????
  2. Krick19

    Krick19 Prince

    Dec 3, 2005
    1st- Well the idea is your army usually has city raider promotions, so attacking a city is easier.

    2nd-I can't help you there, just whip in moderation and when you can grow quickly.

    3rd-Er...I don't know anybody who does that.

    4th-When you're playing and behind in tech, it's helpful to put some cash into espionage to steal other players' techs.
  3. Deriem

    Deriem Chieftain

    Oct 27, 2007
    Vancouver, Canada
    1st - If you have a city full of city raider units, they gain a massive bonus when attacking cities. So if a recently conquered city only has attackers, then it is sometimes useful to allow the city to be retaken.

    2nd - While I can't give you the exact math (you might want to try the Articles forum), whipping is best done for maximum overflow. So if one pop is 30 hammers, you would want your building/unit to require 31 more hammers. This would cause a two pop whip for 60 hammers, giving you a total of 29 overflow. This overflow can give you a headstart on a wonder, for example.

    3rd - Rounding errors. With 75 commerce, 100% science gives 75 beakears (assuming no modifiers) and 0 gold. At 90%, that becomes 67.5 (rounded down to 67) beakers, and 7.5 (rounded down to 7) gold. So with 100%, you're using all the commerce. At 90% you're losing 1 commerce.

    4th - Tech stealing and city revolting are the most popular uses. City revolting especially, as it rapidly speeds up the bombardment of walls/castle cities. It also saves you hammers, in the sense that all the Accuracy catapults can become City Raiders.
  4. silverbullet

    silverbullet King

    Jan 14, 2008
    Toronto, Canada
    1st- it's only a good tactic if it's a crappy city. Never do it for one of you core cities. In general I don't like doing it because it feels too much like an exploit to me. If you build enough siege you will destroy their SOD.

    2nd - To effectively whip, granary needs to be in the city. Work food resources first, and then work the best tiles you can. At some point the city grows to work tiles which are not yet improved or not so great - so whip them. You don't want to have ineffective citizens.

    example: a city has pigs and irrigated corn (both improved= 6 food each), and is quickly growing from size 2 to 4. The new citizens that will be added will not work great tiles - maybe just a cottage or farm, or maybe a mine, or maybe you haven't had the time to improve the tile yet. When the city reaches size 4, whip a granary, then whip a library, or whip barracks and some units if going to war.
    With plenty of food you can whip a lot and the city will regrow quickly. Happiness is the real limiting factor.

    @Deriem - in BTS there are no longer rounding errors as far as I know.
    Playing with the slider is usually good after you have discovered writing.
    Switch to 100% gold, and accumulate some gold. After a library in the capital is ready, switch to 100% beakers. You will lose money, but you get 1.25 beakers for every gold you lose.

    4th- espionage is for special circumstances only and in many games you don't need to use them. I almost never use them in the early game, although you can find some examples of espionage based games on this forum. But for the average common game, focus on research. If you get a great spy you might change your mind.
    A great spy gives you 3000 spy points which you could use to steal 4~6 techs in mid game.
    Some circumstances favour espionage game (trade routes, controlling a holy city, close opponent with a tech lead).
    I like to use espionage after communism is available so I can get +100% EP in every city. It's really good to recover after a long war.
  5. Gliese 581

    Gliese 581 Your average civ junkie

    Oct 11, 2007
    1. Never done that.

    2. The key is to whip away multiple citizens usually since you want some time to grow back before the unhappiness goes away. If you have a high happy cap this becomes less important, also less important for some buildings of immediate benefit, such as monuments granaries.

    3. Rounding errors are no longer present. It was more than that actually since originally you couldn't get 3.75 beakers, you could only have whole numbers, 3, 4 etc, and it was usually rounded down.
    There are other benefits that still applies though. You can in some cases observe what the AI is researching and target another tech so as to tech trade with them. By collecting gold at 0% you can later deficit-research for a long time so you lose no time in research unless you could research at a very high rate without losing money.
    There's also a discount on researching a tech based on how many civs you know that already know the tech, so generally going 0/100 means you get your techs cheaper on average.
    The one drawback that I'm aware of is that AIs will sometimes threaten you to give them gold. I don't know if having more gold increases the odds of this but in any case they'll ask for more if you have alot and you either lose lots of gold or take a diplo hit.
    I haven't seen this as much in BTS as before though. In general I think the benefits outweighs the costs but you might be vary if you have very aggressive neighbours that like to threaten.

    4. You can build a part-EE based spy economy by getting the great wall. This can be great in particular if you are stuck with a single civ on a continent and the two of you are isolated from the rest. The civ won't want to trade many techs to you in this scenario unless you get him/her to friendly, but you can steal alot of techs instead.
    Spies can also be really useful for putting cities into revolt when warring, allowing rapid conquest of enemy territory. This tactic can be devastating when coupled with a technologically superior fast moving unit (knight, cuirassier, cavalry, musketeer etc). Note however that the cost for inciting revolts have been raised in the latest 3.17 patch.
    Other than that it is of course very useful to know the power rating of civs and what they are researching.
  6. oyzar

    oyzar Have quit civ/forums

    Oct 7, 2006
    1. CR promos rock... Also might be hard to get the AI to keep it's stack just in range of yours without attacking otherwise...

    2. There are tons of articles written on the topic... Read those, especially the inner working of granary article really helped me understand hwo to whip / chop granaries more effecient. 2 pop whipping units in the early game is also a crucial skill.

    Due to rounding error you'll lose 1 beaker/gold each turn you are not managing to divide the total commerce empirewide into whole number. Obviously this doesn't matter a whole lot when you are making thousands of beakers, but when you are making double or single digit beakers this is quite significant... It doesn't take long and i mostly play pitboss anyways so it is easy to keep track off, but the gains isn't very huge(10% more research at most in a normal game).

    4. Spies are quite good assuming you use espionage points properly... Neglecting them can certanly cost you the game in MP..
  7. Genv [FP]

    Genv [FP] Website Moron

    Apr 12, 2008
    NO.1 is the AI's most critical war flaw. I can't remember how many times i've utilized it to defeat a more advanced force. Siege is great.
  8. Lord Chambers

    Lord Chambers Emperor

    Nov 23, 2001
    I just typed something fairly detailed and lost it when I control + left arrowed into some other . .. .. .. .ing threads then tried to forward/backwards browse my way back.

    Suffice to say, whipping for maximum overflow is pointless except when you have a production bonus to the item in your queue or to put whip hammers into a wonder. In fact, it's counter productive if you don't have a bonus, because you're delaying the construction of a building which gives bonuses every turn you slow-build up to maximum overflow. It only approaches productive when during those additional turns of slow build you're working tiles which yield more than the building would net you, which is often despite me underlining the negative terms. But as you whip away from your captial and get into . .. .. .. . cities, this is worth understanding.

    There is a penalty for whipping items with 0 hammers completed. There is also a penalty to whipping wonders, which is why we maximize overflow to build them with slavery.

    Also, whipping smaller cities is more efficient than whipping large ones, though the fewer the mines available to a city the larger the city can be while whipping is still optimal.
  9. Dirk1302

    Dirk1302 Deity

    Oct 5, 2006
    ^ Correct but there's a third occasion where timing overflow is important, while whipping workers/settlers. In this case you're aim is to convert as much food as possible to hammers.
  10. DaveMcW

    DaveMcW Deity

    Oct 8, 2002
    There are a lot of important exceptions.

    Granary - No penalty for delaying if the food bin is less than half full.
    Barracks - No short-term benefit until you build another unit.
    Library - (Almost) no short-term benefit until you can hire scientists.
    Monastery - (Almost) no short-term benefit until you build a missionary.

    The production bonus comment is also misleading. The overflow exploits were fixed long ago so the only thing it affects is the timing of 1-pop vs 2-pop whips.
  11. MrCynical

    MrCynical Deity

    Oct 30, 2005
    The Dreaming Spires
    1)City raider is a very common promotion for human players to use. They'll get a major bonu when attacking units in a city, compared to both attacking outside and defending the city. You'll have several turns before the normal city defense bonus starts to return. There's also a tendency for the AI to split a stack when it takes a city - some units stay there, and some move on to the next target, which can give you an easier time with counter units.

    2)As others have said, you really want a granary for whipping to be effective. It's generally better in small to moderate size cities, and hence the early game, since you get the same amount of hammers for a given number of population, but it takes more food to regrow in a larger city. I'd therefore avoid whipping in large cities. The exception is in newly captured cities, where the population will probably starve down considerably anyway - you might as well get some hammers for them.

    3)In some circumstances it can save you a maximum of 1 gold/beaker (total for your entire civ) per turn due to rounding errors. On average it will be even lower than that. BtS largely eliminated the argument for binary science, and this is largely a waste of time. Even considered across a whole game, the maximum amount you can save will be lost as background noise in tech trading and similar.

    4)I don't use that many spies. They can be of use for city revolts as an alternative to bombarding cities. Tech steal and building sabotage can also be very handy.
  12. oyzar

    oyzar Have quit civ/forums

    Oct 7, 2006
    It is pretty much exactly 1 beaker per turn due to rounding down, just combine the gold + beakers at different beaker levels(this typically only matter before you get much in the way of multipliers anyways) and you'll see that you get 1 more from running 100% than at most other %'s. One point worth noting is that if you are getting an academy in a big commerce city or any sort of multiplier really(oxford in burrecracy capital is huge) it might be worth to save up gold a few turns to get extra milleage out of it.
  13. vicawoo

    vicawoo Chieftain

    Feb 12, 2007
    One of my last games, I was boudica taking out Rome. Wang Kon declares on me with a some axes and attacks Rome. I lost some units but won. A few turns later he shows up with 4 axes while I'm getting rid of Augustus' major cities. I have one gallic warrior in rome and a few cr2 to 3 units two tiles away by road. I thought about keeping the gallic in the city, but it had no cultural bonus. So I moved it out and declined to move the rest of the axes into Rome, and killed his stack without losses next turn.

    If I could have defended with a gallic warrior on a hill, I would have, but there was no point for me in throwing away highly promoted units in bad terrain.
  14. mirthadir

    mirthadir Emperor

    Dec 10, 2002
    1. The CR and CG promotions are the highest multipliers you can get with 2 promos. If you don't have lots of archers, LBs, Xbows, or later units with CG then your best trade off is to use CR. Of particular importance, seige units can only take drill or CR; so if you let the AI waltz in your trebs or cannon become far more effective at killing them (and seige is the best way to kill a SoD).
    2. Situation dependant. How much is the city bringing in? What is my happy cap? What is the oppurtunity cost to raise it? What could I do if I go to zero growth instead. For a rule of thumb if a city has a food resource you can work giving you a 4 food surplus - whip all basic infra as soon as you can. Granaries, libs, courthouses, and maybe markets are all very useful to whip the turn you can build them. You should avoid getting so much unhappiness that your city becomes unworkable, but quickly whip building up is a fair shot.
    3. The biggest case is that your multipliers are not static. If you are going to be getting banks in a few turns, crank up science now and then crank up gold later.
    4. If I'm running an EE. The espionage multipliers are higher than those for science or gold and with a controlled religion you can get insane returns on your commerce. In this case I have several cities at any given time churning out spies and I'm stealing techs right and left. I can then do all manner of evil to my opponents. My most common espionage missions are revolts (remove cultural defenses for a turn), steal tech, influence civics (so I can spread my religion for cheaper spying, get trade routes, eliminate emancipation unhappiness, get diplo bonuses, or carefully spread a select AP religion), kill production (anti-spaceship, lesser extent let me build the Kremlin), and resource denial (no oil for you).

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