Can't make it past 2000 BC (City placement frustration)

oldbustedjorn

Prince
Joined
Jan 28, 2006
Messages
353
At this point you're thinking, "What a n00b!"

It's not because I'm losing, I just don't see happy with where I am about that time.

I'm only playing on Warlord because Civ5 is new and I'm still learning how it works, but I used to be able to beat Monarch once in a while in Civ4.

Best I can tell, my problem revolves around city placement. When I start a game (I've started about 6 now), I'm never happy about my location. Every start but one happened to have terrible production potential. Once I've explored, I feel as though I can't find more than 2-3 city spots worth having and they are almost always really close to the enemy. Below are some questions that I think are holding me back from enjoying this game and hopefully someone else can identify with me.

1. What do you do if your starting area is really poor and you don't find anything with your first warrior/scout move? Can you afford 3-4 turns before settling?
2. What do you look for in a capital city? Is it ok if production isn't big? Do you just get that with your second city?
3. Do you find you have a lot of cultural gaps between your cities? Are you able to get more than 3 decent cities on a small or standard map without butting up to AI/CS or settling on poor sites?
4. I think part of my problem is that the game's feel is very slow on normal speed and it makes me feel like I'm behind. When I've been playing for 30 minutes and a worker still takes 17 turns, something feels wrong. Any suggestions on how to better gauge your progress?

I'm following about 5 SG's as that's how I learned Civ4, but I think it's hindering me in that I get to a certain point and realize I'm not where *they* would be, so I start over. Maybe I just need to let the game go (sub-par play or not) and learn the hard way.

Thanks for any advice you all can offer - I love these forums!
 

delra

Warlord
Joined
Sep 27, 2010
Messages
180
Try using "high water", this will cause map generator to be more generous with resources per spot.
 

wenx

Chieftain
Joined
Sep 15, 2010
Messages
11
or simply put the resoruces count to "abundant". It is really a buff, i have like 6-10 (and even more as new resorcourdes appear) tiles per city with some king of resoruce.

im fine with the game pace but i think tech its to quick by mid to late game so ill try a mod that increases the tech cost of the second half of the tree
 

delra

Warlord
Joined
Sep 27, 2010
Messages
180
Abundant resources will ruin diplomacy while high water won't - you will get more copies of one dominant thing to trade with others - and so they will with their stuff.
 

oldbustedjorn

Prince
Joined
Jan 28, 2006
Messages
353
Thank you both for the quick replies!

That is good information to know, but I guess I'm wondering what is the minimum you look for in a city placement site? I've seen some SGs where they have TONS of resources for one city OR at least decent amounts of hills/plains for production.

Is it better, for instance, to settle on a spot that includes the most special resources or is it better to put two lesser cities next to each other? Or is it too situation dependent to know until you see it?
 

aisle5

Chieftain
Joined
Sep 22, 2010
Messages
15
Just play games out. Remember, through teching you can put two hammers on each water(worth working, fish, clams, whales)tiles. Lumbermills can add a hammer to forest tiles. You might reveal near by horses which have a couple hammers. And if you really have no production near a city, just make it a gold producer, having a bunch of river tiles with trading posts can really help your economy and make a city worth having.

Also, the strategy I've been using is to not build a worker but instead to just wait to buy one, unless I find myself with absolutely nothing else to build, which is rare, or if there is a resource on my start location that I really want to work right away, like marble.
 

Ahriman

Tyrant
Joined
Jun 8, 2008
Messages
13,266
Location
Washington, DC
I think partly the issue is that you need to adjust to Civ5. Resources flows are different. Don't expect high resource yields all the time.

Anywhere near a river is a good city site.
 

oldbustedjorn

Prince
Joined
Jan 28, 2006
Messages
353
Just play games out. Remember, through teching you can put two hammers on each water(worth working, fish, clams, whales)tiles. Lumbermills can add a hammer to forest tiles. You might reveal near by horses which have a couple hammers. And if you really have no production near a city, just make it a gold producer, having a bunch of river tiles with trading posts can really help your economy and make a city worth having.

Also, the strategy I've been using is to not build a worker but instead to just wait to buy one, unless I find myself with absolutely nothing else to build, which is rare, or if there is a resource on my start location that I really want to work right away, like marble.

Do you think it is a viable strategy to have one city early on that focuses on gold but then buys worker -> warrior -> settler to get a production city? Or would that put you too far behind?
 

aimlessgun

King
Joined
Jan 4, 2010
Messages
782
Do you think it is a viable strategy to have one city early on that focuses on gold but then buys worker -> warrior -> settler to get a production city? Or would that put you too far behind?

No. An early city won't make enough gold to rely on it for buying things.

When you say terrible production potential, how terrible? Good production is fairly hard to come by, not sure if your standards are too high...

Also, your early production is probably going to always suck. And your potential for lategame production shouldn't be a huge deal if you can get a solid 2nd or 3rd city.
 

Daniel D

Chieftain
Joined
Sep 23, 2010
Messages
50
Location
North America
Fully expanded culturally, your city will cover a total of 36 workable tiles plus the center tile. You're unlikely to get anywhere near that number of citizens in a single city, so I don't find it worthwhile to worry about every tile within my city radius being great. Instead, I look for a mix of tiles that will give me some flexibility to shift between production and wealth generation depending on my immediate goals.
 

delra

Warlord
Joined
Sep 27, 2010
Messages
180
Majority of my happiness comes from buildings. I prefer to keep cities small at first and working only best tiles (resources, luxuries, forest+hill+fresh water+tradepost tiles and such) and not necessarily connected by roads (my army is almost all cavalry these days) - but have more cities in general. Then I slowly build Colosseums everywhere, happiness skyrockets and I can go shopping for Maritime city states to use their food and that extra happiness to fill my cities with actual population.

What's a good city for me? Early I'd rather it had its own luxury - or even better horses/iron, later I don't really care because I can trade happiness from other countries for my excess money and supplies. I try to have at least a small patch of river and green ground (for those sexy 2 food 3 cash 1 science trade posts with Rationalism), I like to have some hills too, preferably forested and/or by fresh water. I look to have at least some jungle (bonus for university), some mountain (observatories and such) and avoid settling on hills unless I must (for windmills). I don't mine a few barren tiles here and there - food comes from city states anyway and those tiles are perfect for specialist buildings.

That's a good city for me and I need no extra cows and such to boost it even further. I build trade posts on majority of tiles, usually stay with one-two farm tiles, usually don't remove forests, especially if it's on the hills and don't dare to touch jungle unless there's too damn much of it.

A few exceptions I make here are cities with access to fish, whales, gold and silver. There are buildings boosting income from such tiles so I like to have one city have as many as humanly possible within 3 rings radius so one Mint is enough to work all of them (my record so far is 5 gold in one city).

I generally place cities 4 tiles from each other.
 

Quethas

Chieftain
Joined
Sep 30, 2010
Messages
8
One question I have along a similar line of thought is "how selective should I be about placing my cities?" It looks like the AI uses a similar theory to Civ4 (about 5 to 7 tiles between cities depending on the density of resources), but at the same time it doesn't only put cities in the most ideal places. The main reason I bring this up is that in Civ4 there were significant costs to having isolated cities as far as maintenance and happiness are concerned, where in Civ5 the only drawback appears to be trade connection cost, which can be considerable if connected by roads, but is unimportant if coastal cities can be used to eliminate road costs. Has anyone noticed an advantage to having culturally connected cities?

Quethas
 

Spark026

Chieftain
Joined
Sep 17, 2010
Messages
48
(Speaking from a high diff lvl player PoV)

I think your thinking of how well you're doing to much in Civ4 terms.

City placement is much more forgiving in Civ5, as almost any old spot will do. Rivers and happy resources are your only targets really for the extra gold they produce.

Don't build farms. Ever. Granary and a Maritime city-state ally or two will take care of all food needs. Farms are completely worthless, and are even more so should your happiness ever fall into the red. Build almost entirely trading post, and a few mines. This will allow you to pay for those Maritime allies and have plenty left over to pay for instant Colosseums should your happiness get low.

Generally, try attacking your neighbors early, and just burn there cities to the ground. In Civ5 the AI finds away to hate you no matter what you do, so maintaining peaceful relations has no benefit. There is no war weariness, and the AI is absolutely terrible at the new tactical 1 unit per hex style battle.

You can re-settle where you burned their cities down if you liked the land that well. Annexing and puppeting is not worth it early in the game. You're much better off burning and starting your own cities if you're the expansive type.
 

RicKhan5

Chieftain
Joined
Nov 15, 2002
Messages
19
Try legendary start from the options for resource placement.
Personally i have found no start so bad it could not be worked out. Just depends what kind of challenge you're looking for.
 

Airey

Prince
Joined
Feb 9, 2008
Messages
464
1. What do you do if your starting area is really poor and you don't find anything with your first warrior/scout move? Can you afford 3-4 turns before settling?
Yes, more in Civ V, because the warrior can move as fast as the Settler, it's actually very worthwhile to take 3, 4 turns to find a cap, because the rarity of 3 food tiles: fish or cow.

2. What do you look for in a capital city? Is it ok if production isn't big? Do you just get that with your second city?
more people = more power (production and/or science). I'll try to look for max riverside tiles within your first 2 border ring to coincide Civil Service. 4 food tiles are the best one early on. Don't plan trying to get tiles that are 3 tiles away initially, the money is powerful early on, too much to and too many things to buy early on. If you can't get your cap by riverside, get your second city there if possible. Due to the makeup of happiness, you can technically let your other cities become "production/science capital," by increasing the population there.

3. Do you find you have a lot of cultural gaps between your cities? Are you able to get more than 3 decent cities on a small or standard map without butting up to AI/CS or settling on poor sites?
Get the best site, ie. trip cow tiles, 15+ riverside bends within 2 tiles away from city. Don't let butting up to AI/CS be the reason not to acquire good land.
If close to AI, beeline Horseman and keep power rating up by postponing worker if needed. (Shoot for at little above average under power rating in the demographic screen) The higher the difficulty, the earlier you have to dedicate your production to military. After that, secure your resource tiles early (ie buying) if you are bordering the AI. I've settled my second city next to Monty without him early DOW on me on Immortal/Deity.

4. I think part of my problem is that the game's feel is very slow on normal speed and it makes me feel like I'm behind. When I've been playing for 30 minutes and a worker still takes 17 turns, something feels wrong. Any suggestions on how to better gauge your progress?
It's slow compare to Civ V because the pop increase rate is slow. Max 3 food even after worker improvement. So you can't work production tiles early on. Don't worry, it's the same for other civs. Gauge progress by checking on Demographic screen often, at least once at the start of every new tech is what I like to do myself.


Here is a recent peaceful game I played at Immort:
Starting Location:
Spoiler :




Monty Cap 8 tiles away
Spoiler :

[URL="[/URL]


Settle 2nd City 4 tiles away from his Cap
Spoiler :

[URL="



Power Rating
1 Horseman
Spoiler :

[URL="



2 HMan
Spoiler :

[URL="



2 Knights
Spoiler :

[URL="



Riverside City Post CS
Spoiler :

[URL="

 

narmox

Emperor
Joined
Nov 17, 2001
Messages
1,346
Location
Canada
Yeah city placement is much more forgiving, in civ5, like Spark wrote (although I do build farms, can't always ally with city-states).

In one game, as Arabia, I was of course near a big desert. I founded Baghdad in the middle of the desert, near some hills, a few river tiles (flood plains!) and lots of gold (and, it turns out, some iron).

Despite being in the middle of the desert, with one maritime city-state and a lot of farms and mines, Baghdad was my most productive city by the renaissance. Imagine that. Never would have happened in Civ4 that a desert city would be one of the best, but there you go.
 

City Raider

Warlord
Joined
Sep 3, 2009
Messages
133
I think it just takes some getting used to. I had some of the same feelings when I would only have like 4 or 5 cities and look up and see I was in the ADs already. It is just a slower pace in the beginning and fairly normal.

Like others have said there really aren't supper food tiles. 3-4 food is about the best you can do for one tile, so its juts getting used to that.

I settle my capital in place.
My second city is used to gather more luxury resources or horse (hopefully both). But I might not build a second city until after I built the Great Library. I forget which turn that usually is.
My third City then gathers Iron (and hopfully another luxury).

After that I kind of hold off on expansion for a bit and get some monuments, libraries going.

I do have gaps between my early cities. It just takes a while to fill in.

That's my peaceful method.

If I go warlike, I beeline horses (or archers + warrior or spear), and don't settle a second city (unless need horse) just go conquering. You should be able to nab another capital and raze some cities. Then you can back fill later.
 

Paeanblack

Prince
Joined
Dec 4, 2001
Messages
518
A few really important things for the Civ4-Civ5 transition:

In Civ5, there is no such thing as a "plains hill", "grassland hill", "tundra hill", or "desert hill". It's just a hill. If it's next to a river, you can farm it.

The same goes for forests: if you don't chop, then a forest is a forest is a forest, no matter what the underlying terrain is.

Tile yields aren't what decides city placement. Settle because you want the resource, not because you want to work the tile. Settle where it is strategically useful. If you want to settle directly on top of a resource, go for it. You won't miss much.

After size 10, cities *really* slow down growth. A city can reach 36 tiles, and most of the time it'll only ever be working 7-8 of them, and it doesn't really matter what they are. Rivers, usually. With cities working 1/3rd of their range, don't stress about overlap. In fact, if you want to micromanage your cities, overlap is really useful, since a science city can borrow some mines/lumbermills when it wants to build a library, and a neighboring money city can use those production tiles when it wants to build a market. Most of the time, the science city will be using farms and the money city will be using tradeposts.
 

lilnev

King
Joined
Aug 22, 2006
Messages
949
For the capital, look to settle on grass Wheat or grass Cow for the food boost. Otherwise you're probably fine in place. Don't expect high yields, or even much difference between your "good" tiles and your "bad" ones.

For every other city, luxury resources make about 70% of the decision. Strategic resources 20%, other factors (e.g. good food and rivers) are only 10%. A city that doesn't bring in a luxury, or at least significant strategic resources, isn't worth settling.

In IV, each city got a free happiness budget but had to supply its own food. Thus, the dotmap was planned around food resources. I would aim to use almost every good tile (grassland, and in most cases plains although they're more expendable if you were food constrained), subject to the constraints that every city needed (1) a food surplus of at least +4, usually from a resource, and (2) at least 8 or 10 tiles that it could call its own in the long run.

By contrast, in V each city gets a free food surplus (from maritime pets) but has to supply its own happiness. Thus the dotmap is planned around the luxuries. And "culture gaps between my cities" is less apt a description than "islands of civilization in a sea of luxury-less wasteland".

In the very early game, you should be selling those luxuries for cash. Typically my capital will have 2 or 3 luxuries. As soon as the first is improved, I sell it and buy another worker or settler. Settle near (or on) another luxury and sell that to buy another worker or settler. I probably need to keep one for myself once I hit my 4th city.


p.s. On farms: Sparks' advice is generally correct from the early mid-game on. At the very beginning of the game, however, farms are quite good. You start out food-constrained, not happiness-constrained. I often build 2 or 3 farms for my capital (depending on other tiles -- if I have Cows or Fish I don't need farms, if I have Silver I do), maybe 1 or 2 for my 2nd and 3rd cities. After that, Maritime pets should take over. If the RNG has dealt you a bad map without any, you may want 1 or 2 riverside farms per city. But hopefully that's rare, and you'll usually have the pets.
 

DrwHem

Prince
Joined
Oct 11, 2003
Messages
300
i like my starting city on a river with hills at least 2 to 3 tiles away. but resources dont give a big bonus anymore. an iron mine has 1 production more than a normal mine. ive since found a mod that increases production and research and its fixed the pace of the game for me.
 
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