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Caravans

Discussion in 'Communitas Expansion Pack' started by Thalassicus, Dec 29, 2013.

?

How many land trade routes?

  1. 7 or more

    4 vote(s)
    5.0%
  2. 5-6

    11 vote(s)
    13.8%
  3. 3-4

    19 vote(s)
    23.8%
  4. 1-2

    37 vote(s)
    46.3%
  5. 0

    9 vote(s)
    11.3%
  1. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    What's the most land trade routes you usually have simultaneously, for leaders with no specific land or sea trade bonus? (Ignoring Petra.)


    For example, vote for "3-4" if you usually have at most 3 caravans active together at any point in the game. You might replace them with new caravans after they die, shift their destinations, or replace them with cargo ships later. Still vote for 3 if the most you ever have going concurrently is 3.
     
  2. skodkim

    skodkim Deity

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    I always try to have maximum number of trade routes but since I only play early age games it's probably only three or so. Didn't vote as that could be misunderstood as e.g. three out of maximum seven.

    \Skodkim
     
  3. jwerano

    jwerano Wonderstacker

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    Upgrading to sea trade routes early game for the internal production bonus of +7-8 is essential in my games so I only get 1 land trade route if I absolutely have to.
     
  4. Myrrdin_Emrys

    Myrrdin_Emrys Warlord

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    Zero ... i try always to catch sea trade route.
    Sometimes i have one or 2 but most of the time zero
     
  5. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    It depends on the map type and on the current situation. If I control the seas and it is peacetime I'll generally use ocean trade routes. But if a war starts with an enemy with a powerful navy, those sea trade routes often get destroyed, and I'll revert to land, which are safer.

    So the poll is hard to answer: it depends on what you mean by "usually". Do you mean what is the most I will usually use in any given game at any point in that game? Or what I will have during most game turns (and most game turns are at peace rather than at war).
    And its not clear to me that "usually" is a useful question: even if usually I have mostly sea trade routes rather than land trade routes, or usually I only have 3-4 trade routes because the other trade routes don't kick in until the late game, that doesn't mean there is a balance problem.
     
  6. ExpiredReign

    ExpiredReign Deity

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    While I do agree "usually" is a bit open-ended, I take it as "on average".
    So, for the sake of the discussion, I usually favour sea trade and only have enough caravans to reach non-coastal cities. Probably 2 or 3 at the most.

    Curiously I have observed the AI going the other way for great lengths of time. It is not uncommon to see Babylon sending caravans long distances through my territory long after any conflicts may have curtailed sea trade. Modern era caravans are common place for me to see. By this time ALL my trade will be sea.
     
  7. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    I suspect that the AI's problem is that it doesn't know how to disband caravans to free up space for cargo ships.
     
  8. Hawawaa

    Hawawaa Prime

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    If there was a 2-3 option I would of picked that (I picked 1-2). I start with snipping certain CSs in the beginning for easy relation bonuses that want trade and then once I basically found everyone, then start milking the gold cargo ship train.
     
  9. void_genesis

    void_genesis Prince

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    I usually have 1-2 land trade routes. They are really useful for feeding up a new city or focusing production for a wonder. Only being able to change their destination every 30 turns is a bit annoying sometimes. Could we make a unique ability include being able to reassign trade routes at any time? Would this make the Ottomans even more interesting?
     
  10. jwerano

    jwerano Wonderstacker

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    I also wish we could reassign trade routes at will. Last time I checked the Ottoman gold per internal trade route was not working.
     
  11. Tomice

    Tomice Passionate Smart-Ass

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    I voted 3-4. They are very important for me during the early game, since cargo ships are expensive and vulnerable.

    Later I replace them more and more with ships, usually when I have more than the 3-5 most basic cities. It's something I use my secondary production city for.

    Overall, the cost relation is ok, maybe the cargo ships could be slightly cheaper IMO.
     
  12. Zaldron

    Zaldron King

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    I voted 1-2 because after the initial couple to get early income, I always favor the far more lucrative boat-based trade routes.
     
  13. AnthonyG

    AnthonyG Warlord

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    If I have access to the sea, then zero. I always have/get access to the sea, so it's zero. I've never needed to reach a CS that is landlocked (not sure they exist in Communitas map) and sea routes are better. I also never trade with my own cities. So, yeah, apart from Petra I don't build land caravans, ever.
     
  14. Lord Oden

    Lord Oden WarLord

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    0, unless I want to spread religion or influence to a land locked city, then 1, rarely 2.
     
  15. EricB

    EricB Prince

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    I like to play with cargo ships delayed until a later tech for a few reasons. First, it makes caravans more relevant. I dislike it when an element of the game is almost completely ignored and caravans are ignored. Second, cargo ships are very expensive. It's better to build them later when a city has higher production. This is mainly because I want a more competitive AI. AIs waste production on expensive cargo ships when they could be building something more productive. Third, sea trade routes are hard to defend from barbarians early in the game. AI players are incompetent at defending them. This creates a cycle where the AI builds a cargo ship, then the route is pillaged. Then, they rebuild the cargo ship only to have it pillaged again.

    If you force them to wait until a later tech then the seas will be more free of barbarians and they'll have higher production cities. I've tried it at Compass, Carvel Hulls, and Astronomy. Seems to work well at Carvel Hulls when you also get better ships at that tech.
     
  16. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    I've considered that too. I'm concerned that delaying cargo ships makes ancient navies and coastal cities less important, and imbalance situations where we must use cargo ships, like starting alone on a landmass.

    I'm considering delaying the income from cargo ships without moving the ships themselves. Take some of that massive gold and shift it onto the Harbor and Seaport. This will let us build cargo ships early, balanced with land trade, and they won't reach their current amazing potential until later in the game. I think it's a more flexible way of delaying their power.

    Now, this approach will balance early ships and caravans, but the problem will still remain that cargo ships are simply much better than caravans in the late game. If their late income remains the same we'll still build 80-90% ships anyway. I'll therefore reduce their maximum income potential, and shift some of that income to other sources like rivers, caravans, and caravansaries.
     
  17. EricB

    EricB Prince

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    Thal,

    I see what you're saying. Never played games with islands only, so you need to have cargo ships for that reason. How about a compromise? What if a new unit was introduced to the game? Keep caravans, but have 2 different types of cargo ships. Have a cheap one that gives marginal benefits similar to a caravan (with also a similar cost of a caravan). Basically a sea caravan with about the range, cost, gold income, etc of a caravan. Then, have another unit become available at a later tech (like astronomy). This is a sea trade unit that replaces the older sea trade unit, which becomes obsolete at astronomy. This unit costs more and has better benefits. Basically, it could represent the idea of sea trade becoming more powerful. This could solve the problem you're describing of coastal cities having a lot of value early in the game. It could also fix the issue of barbarians pillaging cargo ships because the early ones would be cheap and easy to replace. Not sure how easy it would be to create a new unit, but it's an idea.
     
  18. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    Earlier Civ games did that (engineers, explorers, SMAC chassis upgrades), so there's precedent for it. I'll think about it.
     
  19. mystikx21

    mystikx21 Deity

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    This would depend somewhat on how its implemented to how it would balance well. Are we talking something like having seaports and/or airports increase trade route multipliers? A middle- later game tech be where coastal routes get their multiplier? EricB's option seems sensible as alternative as well.

    I'm not sure I find that moving income onto rivers/caravansaries does much about the land-ocean bias for trade routes either. Rivers especially (caravansarei are already fairly useless without the buff for luxury gold so some buff to them makes sense for other reasons).

    I don't know that simply because most players don't use caravans we need to do much about them being not that useful either. The solution could be simply to make sure the AI has enough of a navy to go after your sea trade routes.
     
  20. mitsho

    mitsho Deity

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    Can we buff naval trade with a tech? So that at the start it will be equal to land trade (or rather inferior due to the caravanserai), and overtake it later on (purely gameplay logic of course). Or would that be not useful at all for the AI('s preferences)?

    Making this dependent on the buildings themselves may overvalue them (but if it's a lot easier and more straightforward, hey, that seems best...)

    I'm not sure it's a problem if all late game trade is sea-based. It is essentially at this point a risk question. Chances are that any empire that's going to attack you will have a ship somewhere being able to pillage the majority of your routes (they don't always due though...). (But making pillaging hurt more may not be the soundest idea for AI balance either...)
     

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