1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

Catherine Cottage Spam

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Synex, Dec 10, 2005.

  1. Synex

    Synex Chieftain

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Messages:
    89
    My e-Peen? It's massive. Girls run away from it in fear.

    If anyone wants to meet me on Gamespy for a game, my username is Synex.
     
  2. FuryJack

    FuryJack Chieftain

    Joined:
    May 5, 2004
    Messages:
    16
    Hmm, maybe its just me, but having girls run away from you is never a good thing.

    As for the spam strategy, I find using Qin is best (for me). I like the Industrious trait for chopping early wonders. I typically get 2-4 early wonders because of it.
     
  3. jar2574

    jar2574 Prince

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
    Messages:
    590
    Yeah. Cottage spamming is a must for space race folks.
     
  4. Wash Cycle

    Wash Cycle Chieftain

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2005
    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Ohio
    What would be a good way of going from cottage spamming to a massive Cossack conquest? By what route would be most efficient to get to Cossack? By What year should you have the ability to make cossacks with the cottage spam? Could someone give rather specific information on how to go about this?

    I've never tried it and I don't fancy spending a bunch of time experimenting seeing as how I've mostly already burnt myself out on the game.
     
  5. azzkicar

    azzkicar Chieftain

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Messages:
    42
    Synex, I have tried your strategy on several occasions, each with success, but I played on lower difficulty since I am just getting the hang of the game.

    I am trying to fine tune my game now and I sometimes wonder what improvements I should make in a city. For example, say city A, which has the following properties:

    2 mountains (impassable)
    1 mountain with gold resource
    1 plain with wheat resource
    2 hills (grassland)
    4 grasslands (near river)
    5 plains (near river) - 1 is forested
    2 grasslands - 1 is forested
    3 plains - 2 are forested

    I presume with such a city, I should make it a commerce city. Here's the question: What improvements should I make in each square, both in early and mid game? Which squares should I prioritize in building cottages? (you can assume it's my 2rd or 3rd city).

    If you can outline your thought processes on how you make your decisions, even better. That'll allow me to learn and strategy even better. Thanks!
     
  6. Synex

    Synex Chieftain

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Messages:
    89
    Ok... here goes.

    I matched your description on your city plot as closely as i could - my result can be seen in the attached images.

    Image 1 - probably how your city looks when you first found it. None of the squares are producing anything special... But we'll turn this fairly moderate plot into a commerce-crazy-center!!

    Image 2 - A few turns later, city has grown to size 3.

    Focus should be on growth up until you hit the hapiness limit, at which point i stagnate the city and focus on commerce. However, early on in the game, if you have a gold plot and a special food plot, then definatly work both. The 8 commerce you get from Gold can easily double your research. And your special food resource covers the 2 food you lose out by working the Gold.

    The way i think about it in my head is each square worked requires 2 food. So for each plains square (1 food) your working, you need an irrigated grass (3 food) to make up for the 1 food your 'losing' on the plains. A special food square (4F) allows you to run a gold / plains mine square (0f). See how it works?

    Image 3 - Our city has grown to size 10!

    I've cheated a bit at this point. To negate the happiness limit a bit (cos we are JUST concentrating on terrain improvements in this article) i've put all the religions + temples in the city. This won't affect anything but happiness though.

    Ok size 10! Now we're talking! By this point, i'd say you'll have a library, university and academy, so we're talking some pretty good science coming from this city. Tho, if it was ALL grassland, you'd probably be looking at twice this.

    Notice the 3 squares - the gold, the town and the grassland. I'll probably switch between these depending on whether i need production (gold), commerce (town) or growth (irrigated grassland).

    Image 4 - Size 15 - probably look something like this about the time you get democracy. Science is up to a fairly respectable 161. I'll aim to have at least 4+ of these cities by this time, thats 644 beakers/turn just from 4 cities. Not bad!

    Apart from the growth - nothing much has changed. Next picture is a bit different though!

    Image 5 - this is probably some time around the end-game. You'll have the Kremlin by this time and will have bought every building in sight. Even without ANY mines, we're getting 40 production /turn. 254 science/turn.

    I hope this kinda helps - if you have any questions about the pictures, just post and i'll reply.
     

    Attached Files:

  7. azzkicar

    azzkicar Chieftain

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Messages:
    42
    Thanks for that. I noticed that all the plains have cottages and all grasslands are farms (required to support peeps working at plains). That makes sense. I do have several questions:

    1. What do you improve on the non-gold hills? Did you build mines first, then a windmill? Or something else?

    2. It seems like only the windmill is useful for commerce cities, true?

    3. In that city as shown in your images, would you use it as a commerce city? Would it be better served as a production city?

    4. Assume in that city all plains are now grasslands. Would you consider using it as a GP farm? It seems to me a great commerce city is very close to a GP farm city in land preferences and I would like some direction on how to determine which is better in that city.

    5. How important is a GP farm city in your games? I ask this because last game I played I started in a rather dry area (very few grasslands, good amount of desert), so I basically abandoned a GP farm city and focussed on commerce city (I have like 8 commerce cities and 1 production city).

    6. Floodplains are generally a good thing. Are they better for commerce or food?

    I apologize if some of my questions seem obvious. Thanks so much for your time.

    Synex, thanks to your guide, I went from a pathetic settler / chieftain player (yes I was THAT bad of a player), to a player poised to tackle prince difficulty heh. I really appreciate your help and generosity.
     
  8. azzkicar

    azzkicar Chieftain

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Messages:
    42
    In your opinion, is coastal cities a good idea? Or you try to avoid the coast? Obviously in a continents game you need some coastal cities for ships, but do you actively build cities on the coast, or only get the minimum? I ask this because a town obviously does better than coast in the long term, but is that worth moving a settler, say, one square off the coast? If that's the scenario, shouldn't I place the settler along the coast?

    About expansion, say you manage to create 6 cities, only to realize that you are now blocked off (due to cultural borders) and can no longer grow outward. (say this is at around 500 BC or so). What do you do? Do you try to squeeze more cities in the space you now have? (even though many of them will not be able to use the full fat cross as a result)? Attempt to go into warfare? Or wait it out till the Kremlin?
     
  9. walkerjks

    walkerjks Prince

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Messages:
    466
    Moving 1 space off the coast almost never makes sense. If you end up with any water spaces in the fat cross, you won't be able to build a lighthouse in order to up the food.

    Some advantages of coastal cities:
    1) If you build the great lighthouse, you get 2 free trade routes. In the early game, this is basically 4 free commerce. In the late game, this can be as much as 20 extra commerce. That's enough to offset about 4 coastal squares. In my mind, the Great Lighthouse is the single most underrated wonder.

    2) You can build harbors. Figure this adds +3 commerce/trade route. With all the appropriate techs, this can be +15 or so commerce. That's enough to offset 3 coastal sqaures. Plus, harbors add +3 health (assuming you have fish, crab, and clam). That's an extra 1.5 specialist. Or you can work more mines or irrigate fewer plains and grasslands. 3 extra health is significant in the late game.

    In my mind, the very best cities have 3 coastal tiles and 0 ocean tiles. A setup like this is almost ideal (C = coast, O = ocean, X = city, L= land):

    L L L L L
    L L L L L
    L L X L L
    C C L L L
    O C L L L

    Note that coastal cities become less valuable in pangea games. Since all trade is intra-continental, the trade routes have a lower base. A lower base reduces the value of both harbors and the Great Lighthouse.
     
  10. Synex

    Synex Chieftain

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Messages:
    89

    1. None gold hills i tend to mine first, helps build the library faster, if there aren't enough forests around to chop-rush it. But when i get windmills, i tend to balance the two. Windmills on hills next to rivers though DEFINATLY.

    2. Sort of, remember the windmil gives +1 Food, which means you can run it along with another square, so although you might have slightly less production, chances are you'll have better 'stats' running a hill/windmill + another square rather than just a hill/mine.

    3. Possibly, there is good terrrain for a production city here. I suppose slapping down some lumbermills, watermills etc would be a good idea if you are short of a production city. Cities next to rivers i tend to make commerce cities however, as as soon as you plonk down a cottage next to the river you start getting 3 commerce.

    4/5. GP Farms need TONS of food. I tend to use flood-plain cities for GP Farms. I tend only to use GP for Great Scientists, and their academies and then later to join them as super-specialists. Great Prophets aren't very useful as often i skip religion, Great Engineers are ok, but nearly useless as i tend to buy all my wonders, and the small 1000 - 2000 gold that a Great Merchant gives is only about 2 turns worth of gold mid/end game for me.

    6. FOOD FOOD FOOD. Get your GP Farm up by those flood plains and start raking in that fooooood. Even with just a library, you can easily run 2 Scientist specialists VERY easily on flood plains, and before you know it you'll be up to your eyeballs in Great Scientists and Academies.

    ALL ABOUT COASTAL CITIES
    ------------------------------

    Hmm... an interesting question. I tend not to rely on trade routes too much, i probably should pay more attention to them, but i usually keep my borders closed which doens't help trade much.

    I tend to place my cities ignoring the coast. I'll place a couple of cities on the coast, mainly to spread a bit of trade, and to be able to build boats and stufff, but mostly they'll all be inland. Ocean, and even Coastal squares are ok and the beginning of the game, netting 3 commerce + 2 food, but are CRAP compared to a decent town (Food + Production + 9C). So if you have to, place a couple of coastal towns to boost research early on, but otherwise, concentrate on LAND LAND LAND.

    Thanks for all the questions - keep them coming.
     
  11. azzkicar

    azzkicar Chieftain

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Messages:
    42
    These feedback are awesome. A fwe more for you:

    About expansion, say you manage to create 6 cities, only to realize that you are now blocked off (due to cultural borders) and can no longer grow outward. (say this is at around 500 BC or so). What do you do? Do you try to squeeze more cities in the space you now have? (even though many of them will not be able to use the full fat cross as a result)? Attempt to go into warfare? Or wait it out till the Kremlin?
     
  12. FratBoy

    FratBoy Chieftain

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2005
    Messages:
    34
    What I don't get is why you are running the city at 44 food, which is 6 more than you need to run all the tiles (20-1=19). The 3 scientists mean you are farming 3 grasslands that could have been towns instead, so you get 9 base science instead of 24 base commerce. Not a very good trade off IMHO. Sure, you get some GPP but by late game 9 GPP/turn will take around 150-200 turns to get you a GP.

    Those 9 base science from the specialists are giving you (with academy and all 4 science buildings) 22 science, and if you had 3 towns you would get 60 instead, which is 38 more, or for the whole city 15% more. Plus 3 stinky hammers :)

    Another thing you can do to optimize things is to skip the windmills and put towns there instead, and replace 2 of the towns along the river with watermills, since this will give you 2 more hammers (takes a lot of planning to get this right though). Yeah yeah, I'm being picky :)

    Basically as soon as I get Kremlin I will remove ALL mines (except on specific resources like iron, gold etc). A mine gives you 3P with railroad, but with a windmill that's 1F 1P 3C instead. With bank/market/grocer those 3C = 6 gold, which buys you (with Kremlin) 4P, so another way of seing a windmill after Kremlin is as 1F 5P, which sure as hell beats 3P.

    So either windmill (if you need the food) or simply build a town on it (works only for grassland-hills of course). That will give you 1P 8C instead, which (if you buy the prod with the gold you get) is eqaul to 11P. Of course you will not always use the commerce to buy production but mostly for research. If you are producing research with your hammers and have forge/factory/power each mine will be 3 base hammers = 6P = 3 base science. A windmill will instead be 4 base science, or 33% more (plus the 1 more food). With an ironworks the situation will be 4.5 for both, but there is still no advantage to having the mine.

    Concerning science output on a grassland-hills with either a mine or a town it's quite obvious who wins. Even with forge/factory/power/ironworks it's 4.5 vs 9.5 (a bit over 100% more). Without the ironworks it's 3 vs 9 (200% more). Even a grassland-hills with a mined copper is better off being converted to a town.

    Kremlin should have an extra set of text "Makes mines obsolete" :)


    EDIT: looked at the picture again and saw that it's actually 4 specialists, so 4 farms can be turned into towns which is even better.
     
  13. Doctor Love

    Doctor Love Chieftain

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
    Messages:
    61
    Mines aren't obsolete if you plan to build a spaceship.
     
  14. Synex

    Synex Chieftain

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Messages:
    89

    Some good points, i to would have removed the scientist/engineer specialists, but i was in a rush with the world builder and completely forgot about them.

    As for cottages on hills, i wasn't aware you COULD build them on hills! I thought it was only windmills/mines! Yey! More commerce for meeeeEEEE
     
  15. FratBoy

    FratBoy Chieftain

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2005
    Messages:
    34
    You can build cottages on grassland-hills, but not plains-hills. You can also build cottage on tundra if it is next to a river. I have actually gotten some quite decent commerce cities in a place where I originally thought "Wow, that place will totally SUCK for cottages!".

    Of course a grassland-hills + cottage = 1 food, same for a tundra-rivers + +cottage. But if you have some form of food bonus it will help a lot. Near the tundra-covered parts of the planet you have deer (4F) and crabs (5F). If you have a tundra city with 1 crab + 1 deer that gives you +7 food (not counting the 4 food for the 2 citizens to work those tiles, plus 2 food from the city tile itself). That means you can work 7 tundra-rivers with cottages. If you have just the crabs it's still 5 tundra-rivers, and possibly you have a few grassland tiles as well.

    For example if you have 5 tundra-river, crabs and 4 grassland tiles it will give you a total of 81 commerce, which is 162 beakers. And this at only city size 10, in the freggin wastelands!

    Basically my option is as follows, after I get Kremlin:
    Plains-hills = windmill (always)
    Grassland-hills = cottage
    Grassland = cottage
    Plains = cottage

    Naturally the big limiting factor will be food, so some grassland-hills I will be forced to windmill instead to get the food. I also sometimes put in watermills on plains/grasslands, which I think is better than doing farms.

    One thing I have been thinking about is the following situation: you have used up all your excess food for other tiles, and what you have left is 2 grassland-hills and 1 grassland-river. Obviously you can't put cottage on all (even though technically you can) because that will be 2 food less than you have. So you need those 2 food from something, and I'm calulcating with max tech like electricity, biology, etc. Your options are:

    1) Farm the grasslands (+2F) and cottage both the hills
    2) Windmill both hills and cottage the grassland

    Both give you the same amount of food (6) which is exactly what is needed to work 3 tiles, but since this is the same for both options food is not included in the equation.

    Option 1 = 4P 16C
    Option 2 = 5P 14C

    With option 1 you get 2C more, but 1P less. With a bank that's 4 gold more, and 4 gold buys you 2.67 P, so you are still ahead 1.67 P. Plus you can decide to spend it on research. The drawback is that it takes you quite some time to develop the cottages, and option 2 has only 1 cottage but option 1 has 2, so during much of this time the windmills will be better. It's not obvious which is the best option.

    I would like to know exactly what your GP strategy is. Obviously with lots of commerce cities you want lots of great scientists so you can make academies. My initial calculation tells me that it's better to make an academy even in commerce-poor cities compared to using them as super-specialists. The breaking point is around 50 commerce (at 90% science), so if city has more than that it's better to put in academy there compared to sending the scientist off to be super-specialist in your Oxford University city.

    My GP strategy is pretty much centered around getting academies in a lot of cities, but one thing that is actually better is to be able to run at 100% science instead of 90%. To do this I go for both great scientists AND great merchants, and use the great merchants as super-specialists. My GP farm has the Epic + Wall Street, and as many of the +great merchant wonders as possible (Eiffel Tower, Statue of Liberty, UN, etc).

    Without having to use caste system (a bad idea for any cottage spammer IMHO) my GP farming method lets me have 4 scientists and 7 merchants, plus late in the game I also put in priests (3 per religion). With just 2 religions I can have 17 specialists (1 is free, from the Statue of Liberty).

    All the great merchants/priests join my GP farm as super specialists, and give me loads of cash. With Wall Street and all the +gold buildings each GM gives 18 gold, and each GP 15. Plus I get 81 gold from the ordinary specialists, so with 10 GM I get over 250 gold from this city, which should more than enough cover your upkeep.

    This basically means I can run research at 100%, and each city with at least 100 commerce and an academy will get 25 more beakers, and with 8 such cities that's 200 more beakers, or equal to 10 merged great scientists.

    Plus my GP farm gets a lot of food from it's merged great merchants, so I don't need to rely on having huge amounts of food from other sources (farms, floodplains, pigs/corn etc).

    I actually build my GP farm in a "low real-estate" place that would be a bad place for a commerce city, such as along the coast. To run my 11 "standard" specialists (4 scientists + 7 merchants) I need 20 surplus food (11 specialists use 22 food, but one is free because of Statue of Liberty), but I eventually have 10 food from my great merchants, so I need only 10 surplus food. If I have just 1 fish in my city I already have 6 of those 10 food (4 from fish, 2 from city tile), so I realy only need to have 2 grassland-farms (under biology), or actually only work 3 tiles! The rest I can do other stuff with, or farm them if I put in more specialists (priests).

    Bah, long post this is :)
     
  16. ccubed

    ccubed Chieftain

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Messages:
    63
    I know this is kind of bad form, but Fratboy, can you post a few screenshots of in-game cities you've developed at various time frames? I was never a math guy, so seeing everything as I'd see it in the actual game will help me get a better handle on things. I'm also curious about the different strategies based on the available techs throughout the ages. When you are building those cities in the ancient eras you don't have the luxuries that are being added into the final equations and I'm wondering how you tailor things throughout history and not just in the endgame.
     
  17. FratBoy

    FratBoy Chieftain

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2005
    Messages:
    34
    I don't have any screenies from various time periods right now, but next game I will be sure to make some. Some things of interest to consider in the early phases of the game:

    1) It's hard (without caste system) to be able to asign the specialists you want in the early game. For merchants you need currency (market) and also guilds (grocer). Science is a bit easier, since library is available rather early, and astronomy adds a 3rd. So basically I only have 2 scientist going until I reach currency/guilds/astronomy, after that I can have 7 specialists, or 10 with wallstreet once I get the tech and banks for it.

    2) Just having a library and 2 scientists will give you 6 GPP/turn, which gives you your first great scientist after only 17 turns, without the Epic. The food for these 2 specialists (4F) is easy to get, either you have 1 good food resource that yields 6F (pig, fish, freshwater corn/wheat), 2 floodplains-farm or 4 grassland-farm. If you include the 2F from your city tile all you realy need is 1 floodplains-farm or 2 grassland-farm (you get zero city growth though).

    3) With a market/grocer/library you can get 6 specialists, which eat 12 food. Without biology you can still get this food rather easily, if you have 1 good food resource (see above) thats 4 food, plus 2 from city tile, and then 6 grassland-farm. So in this case you have 7 worked tiles and 6 specialists (total 13 pop). You might not always be able to pull this off, but 5 specialists is 10 food, or in my example 4 grassland-farm, for a total worked tiles of 5, plus the 5 specialists for 10 pop total. Normally you won't have problems getting health and lux for just 10 pop. As soon as you start getting great merchants this means you can get by with 1 less grassland-farm being used. With just 2 great merchants the 6 specialists will need only total 11 pop, which is quite easy.

    4) With the Epic you still will be getting quite a lot of GPP with only 5 specialists, 32 to be exact. 6 specialists = 38. At this rate you should get some GP every 10-15 turns.

    5) Of all the great wonders the one you want the most in the early game is the Great Library. It will help you LOTS, just like Synex pointed out in his original post. With a market, grocer, library and the Great Library you only need food for 4 specialists, or to only work 3 tiles!

    6) Generally the hard part for many of my GP cities will be to get enough hammers to build the simple stuff you want. I save trees to chop for the Great Library, and I will usually pop-rush market/grocer unless I have some nice hammer tiles (copper/iron/horses/cow)

    7) All you realy need for the GP city to work nicely in the early game (before biology) is one single GOOD food resource (pig, fish, freshwater corn/wheat), and if you use fish your city will most likely A) be a coast city so you can get the +health bonus from harbor B) be using a semi-crappy spot on the map, where a cottage city would be bad anyway (cause of all the water)

    8) If you are lucky enough to actually have 2 good food resources for your city you are in luck for sure! With 2 fish and 10 merged great merchants you get a total of 24 food, which is enough for 12 pop: 2 to work the fish and 10 specialist, which together with the 1 free specialist from Statue of Liberty is enough to work all potential scientist and merchant slots (4+7) in the end game. Not bad for only 2 worked tiles!
     
  18. Jediron

    Jediron Prince

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2006
    Messages:
    396
    Oke, i am a newbie at Civ4. My experiences with 3,2 and one don't help much i understand.

    I am learning thoug and i try to adapt your strategy.
    This on a huge map (continents) on Prince-level.

    How can i add a link to my saved-game ? It's 1200BC and i think i am not doing it very well up to this point.

    for starters, you mention pump workers. But in order to expand, you'll settlers too. And how many warrior's do build the first turns ? you'll need some, i guess.

    Can you give some more indepth information, how this should look like ?
     
  19. War4War

    War4War Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2002
    Messages:
    35
    Location:
    Montreal, Qc, Canada
    Hi Synex,

    Your strat is really interesting, but a lot of it is based on fast expansion (lots of workers and settlers built early). My problem is I often find myself on an isolated island (I play continents, normal size world, normal speed, 8 civs, prince). On that island I can usually place only 5-6 good cities. Then that's it. Even though I was doing relatively well in my last game, I found myself behind other civs that were on a larger land masses and that were conquering neighbours for further expansion.

    I bee-lined to astronomy to get the galleon and settle new cities on nearby islands. However with 8 civs, all close-by islands were already taken, and the remaining were so far away that by the time I got there other civs had already beaten me to it (by like 2-3 turns only!!).

    How would you proceed if you started on a small island like I described?

    Sorry if you already replied to a similar question, I didn't go through the 8 pages of replys!

    thx!!
     
  20. azzkicar

    azzkicar Chieftain

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Messages:
    42
    I also have questions about GP city as well. I played another game, and I tried to develop my GP city early (2nd city in fact), and I find that I don't really know what to do with them early game. Some questions for both Fratboy and Synex:

    1. Besides, food, what should the city focus on? What buildings to build?
    2. Fratboy, with wonders that add +merchant appearing so late in the tech tree, how do you generate great merchants in mid game?
    3. Fratboy, I always build Oxford at my capital city and Wall Street on my best commerce city. How does a GP city benefit more from Wall Street? I understand how great merchants and prophets as super specialists will be a factor, but I rarely ever get either (I almost always get scientists or artists. I only got merchants, prophets, and engineers once in all my games).
    4. I too would love a picture, from both of you, on a developing GP city and a fully developed GP city. That would be awesome.

    I don't have any trouble beating AI in Noble now, so I think I'll try Prince soon. Thanks for all your help!
     

Share This Page