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

Cities With Nothing To Do

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by lance68har, Aug 2, 2013.

  1. lance68har

    lance68har Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2013
    Messages:
    17
    I just started playing Civ IV again about a month ago and I've steadily been working my way up the different difficulty levels in BTS and am currently playing on Noble. I'm having two major problems on this setting (which irks me as I used to be able to play Civ II on Diety!).

    1) There seem to be long periods of time when my cities can't really do anything. This usually happens for 20ish turns between the time I get Writing and until I get around to completing Alphabet. Usually I research Writing - Iron Working - Alphabet and have at least 5 cities at this point. After building 5 units for every town, plus some fog busters, having 6 workers active and building the buildings I can build at the time (obelisk, library, and granary) . . . there just comes a time where I basically run out of things to build. That just seems like a huge waste to me. I could keep churning out military units, but that effects my cash flow, which in turn effects my ability to research things faster. Which leads me to . . .

    2) I think my research is way slow, by the time I get to writing my research is taking around 14 turns a pop and any new improvements a technology can give me, I can build way before I get a new technology and once again, my cities become unable to produce anything of value. This seems like a huge waste of time to me, in a game where wasted turns should be a sin.

    I assume that it's some combination of me researching technologies too slowly, combined with financial mismanagement of some sort (which eats into my tech rate), and also the fact that I'm playing on an "easier" setting, which makes it easier for me to build things in an efficient matter.

    Any advice? I could upload a save if that would help.
     
  2. gps

    gps King

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2007
    Messages:
    885
    Well, for 5 cities you could and should have more than 6 workers (with a focus on cottaging) - which should solve your financial problems as well as your slow research. And as soon as you have a solid income you can afford the huge amount of troops you need to conquer the world.
     
  3. lance68har

    lance68har Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2013
    Messages:
    17
    I read somewhere that you should have 1.5 workers per city . . . which in this case I should have 7-8 instead of 6, but it still doesn't seem like too huge of a difference. I'll give it a try though in future games.

    Plus, I find that my workers run out of things to construct. I only try and improve tiles that I have the population to work. Since I end up putting a lot of my cottages around rivers, I find it hard to build enough farms to grow my cities higher then population 10ish before civil service/biology. Maybe I'm just approaching the whole thing wrong and should focus on growth early? Then convert to cottages? It seems that the more cottages I build, the less my city will grow and in effect it won't be able to maximize gold production. But by the same logic the more farms I build, the less gold I end up making as well.
     
  4. gps

    gps King

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2007
    Messages:
    885
    Exactly, and that's the lower limit!

    Then maybe whipping is the problem? Population should not grow to be high, it should grow to be whipped away into something really usefull.
    And uploading a saved game is always a good idea to let the real experts evaluate your situation...
     
  5. King Pluto

    King Pluto Emperor

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Messages:
    313
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    It sounds like you're overbuilding units. 5 units for every city plus 6 workers PLUS fogbusters? If you aren't preparing for immediate war, you really only need a garrison unit for each city (if it can reach the happy cap), plus maybe a few fogbusters, plus the Workers. Once you reach Monarchy and can run HR, then you might want more units for happiness, but by then you'll be to Alphabet or Currency and will have things to build.

    If you've built a Granary and a Library in a city, you should run scientists there. In your case, the benefit will be twofold. One, by running scientists you're probably taking away production tiles, which means if you have to build units they'll come in much slower. When I do this, I'll usually have a food resource and cottage plus two scientsts. I can queue up a Warrior that won't be built (and therefore won't cost me anything) for 15 turns, so it's not a big loss. It doesn't hurt to build a Barracks either. Two, you'll be generating more :science: so you can get to Alphabet faster. Once you're at Alphabet, build Research if you have nothing else.

    Your research is slow probably due to a combination of maintence drag from too many units and a lack of scientists. You should also build some cottages to work, especially in your capital.

    Also, without context, Alphabet is generally a better tech to get before Iron Working than vice-versa. If you get Alphabet first, you can either get to IW faster by building research, or you might even be able to trade for it.

    I almost forgot this. Make sure you have ROADS built between your cities, and also between your empire and another Civ. Having trade routes will increase your commerce and also help you get to Alpha faster.
     
  6. BlackArc

    BlackArc Chieftain

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2012
    Messages:
    60
    You should ideally have a least one food resource in each city. Perhaps this is the problem? Or if anything, make a couple extra farms on some grassland tiles once you get Civil Service and can irrigate(this allows you to make farms that are not next to rivers so long as they're chained together).

    Posting a save would help a lot though.

    You could also start building World Wonders without the intent of actually completing them. When another civ completes it, you get gold for the amount of time and hammers you put into it. That's one thing to build at least.

    And you may be making too many units. One unit per city is all that's usually required to garrison it. After that, a few fogbusters and a couple scouting units should comprise the rest of your military, unless you're planning to go to war or you think another civ is going to attack.
     
  7. lance68har

    lance68har Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2013
    Messages:
    17
    Well all my surplus units end up coming from the fact that there's nothing else my cities can build. So it's either build more units or basically just set my city to produce nothing until I can get more technologies. My rate of building city improvements is faster then my rate of discovering new technologies and that's the essence of why I'm having cities that basically sit fallow forever.

    I'll have to wait to post a save game until I get home in a few hours. I'm thinking it just might be something obvious with my allocations of cottages/farms and maybe overproducing units as a result.

    Thanks everyone for the input so far!
     
  8. Ghpstage

    Ghpstage Deity

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2009
    Messages:
    2,944
    Location:
    Bristol, England
    Will need to wait for the save to get to the roots of the problem, but mentioning Iron Working as a 'usually' researched tech, before Alphabet is a little worrying, its an expensive tech that does nothing economically unless your forced to settle into jungle....

    Your also most likely building far too many units unless your usng Hereditary Rule with huge cities and have no :) resources, or your roleplaying Montezuma multiplied by Shaka!
    And I hope Monument->Library->Granary isn't the order you build those! Monuments and Librarires aren't even needed everywhere :p
    The most common problems at levels around noble are allowing cities to work unimproved tiles, improving the wrong tiles, researching the wrong techs, bad city placement, not getting happiness and choosing what to build poorly. Of these unimproved tiles is most popular mistake.

    On the save, try to make any you post quite early, somewhere around 1000BC to 1AD preferably. While we obviously need to be able to see the impacts of choices you have made it becomes virtually impossivble to unravel everything when people post 1000AD saves!

    Oh and while its easy and you may not get what I mean yet, try to avoid overrating cottages. They can be good but they aren't suitable for every, or even most, cities.
     
  9. King Pluto

    King Pluto Emperor

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Messages:
    313
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Very possible that's true, but you only addressed the first line of my post. Trade routes, scientists and avoiding unnecessary techs (IW) are very helpful with regards to teching to Alphabet and establishing a strong tech base, and at lower levels much more likely to be an issue that unit costs.
     
  10. lymond

    lymond Rise Up! (Phoenix Style!) Hall of Fame Staff

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    Messages:
    20,579
    Strategy & Tips forum

    Post a save

    IW is a waste in most cases

    5 units per city? What?! If you are building that many units then use them. Otherwise 1 per city is fine until Monarchy, plus any spawnbusting that may be required.

    Are you running scientists? Are you building cottages in some cities like your cap, if the cap is suited for it. Use your first GS on an academy in your cap. Prioritize this.

    You can always build more settlers and workers. Then build Research after Alpha to get to Currency asap. Beeline Alpha on lower levels unless you are just going to romp on the AIs early which is easy to do on certain maps.

    AND make sure you get domestic and foreign trade routes up ASAP! very important. If possible have a road built to a new city before settling. (Unless you have Sailing and the city is coastal and not blocked by fog or a barb city)
     
  11. Seraiel

    Seraiel Deity

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2011
    Messages:
    7,954
    Gender:
    Male
    1 Worker / city is absolutely ok most times. Exceptions are, when there is tons of jungle, but it's better to let AI improve that anyways. If I conquer land instead of settling it, I often do with even less Workers, let's say 0.8, because the land is already improved.

    5 units / city anyhow are way too much, as every unit costs you 1 :gold: / turn, which will be the reason to your research being so slow.

    Cities not growing fast enough probably is to you not founding them where the food is.

    I'd advise you to tech Agri -> Pottery -> Writing, with maybe AH instead of Pottery if you have lots of animal resources and maybe a commerce-resource, maybe also all 4, but you should tech Writing a lot earlier probably. If you research the techs I advised you, you'll also have Granaries as really early buildings, and they already take a lot of time, it should be absolutely no problem for you to reach Writing before they're finished.
     
  12. lymond

    lymond Rise Up! (Phoenix Style!) Hall of Fame Staff

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    Messages:
    20,579
    ^^^I think in some ways the 1.5 worker rule has applied to less experienced players who often fall victim to very poor worker management. But even building more workers doesn't necessary overcome poor worker management. That issue should be addressed head on.

    With that aside, I think it always good to maintain at least 1.5 workers for the first 5 or 6 cities at least it can certainly help you get off the ground faster. Again, if you use those workers optimally. Later, that number can flatten out as you run more specialists or...say..whip armies or whatnot at certain times. You'll probably capture more of them anyway.

    (and yeah...lot's of jungle generally prescribes more workers)

    As for the tech order, I think that is fine in many cases but must be adjusted based on starting techs and land/sea. Also, getting BW in there earlier is often and good play. However, I agree that getting to Writing as soon as possible is always good and then Alpha on this level.
     
  13. 6K Man

    6K Man Bureaucrat

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2007
    Messages:
    2,123
    Location:
    in a Gadda Da Vida
    Civ2 and Civ4 are two entirely different animals. Back when I played it, I could win every Civ2 game on Deity… but Civ4 doesn’t have any foolproof ways to beat Deity like Civ2 did.

    Anyway. Most of your points/questions have been addressed, but I would just add:

    1. If you have built 5 units per city, go use them to conquer someone else.

    You said you usually have 5 or more cities by IW/Alphabet. If you have spare production, build Settlers/Workers and grab more land, if there is good land available. As others have noted, 6 Workers isn’t usually enough for 5 cities. Rule of thumb: If any of your cities are working unimproved tiles for any length of time, you need more Workers.

    Also, why are you researching Iron Working before Alphabet? There are sometimes reasons to (you’re Rome, you have Jungled Gems, you have no Copper or Horses), but generally you’ll want Alpha before IW. If nothing else, it allows you to build Research, giving your cities with “Nothing to do” something useful to do.

    2. Generally speaking, your research will slow down in the expansion phase. There are some ways to ameliorate this – building Great Lighthouse if you have many coastal cities, or Pyramids for early Representation if you have Stone, riverside cottages, getting borders opened for trade routes, swapping technologies – but in general, this is something we all deal with to some extent. Beelining Currency will help; building Wealth is generally more efficient than building Research, and the extra trade route helps a bit too.
     
  14. lance68har

    lance68har Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2013
    Messages:
    17
    Ok, here's a save from a sample game I started playing a few hours ago and tried taking some of the advice given.

    1) I focused on cottages

    2) I tried to increase my worker amount

    3) I cut way back on unit production

    4) I skipped Iron Working all together and went: Mining - Pottery - Bronze Working - Horseback Riding - Alphabet - Literature - Calendar - Now working on Civil Service

    Still, I feel like I'm doing pretty pathetic for what is supposed to be a "neutral" setting of noble. I only managed 4 cities so far and am getting hemmed in. The open area to my south is all jungle and little to no food resources. Kyoto is barely managing to stay out of revolting while building The Great Library at a snail's pace.

    I cut back on units but I'm now finding it difficult to deal with barbarian attacks and having enough new units to escort settlers (that might just be an old game habit that I need to break, prioritizing settler defense). I haven't run into a situation where my city's run out of things to produce, but after Osaka builds the worker it's working on, I'm going to have nothing really to build there, except more military units.

    Anyway, here's the save . . . any help would be appreciated :).
     

    Attached Files:

  15. lymond

    lymond Rise Up! (Phoenix Style!) Hall of Fame Staff

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    Messages:
    20,579
    Yeah Dude, you are just spinning your wheels right now. I'll be blunt, you need a lot of help.

    First of all, this is not the right forum for this. You should be over in Strategy & Tips.

    Here's some comments on the game:

    1) Well, I'm sorta glad to see that Mining>Pottery>HBR was NOT in fact your tech path. After all we said about IW, to go and tech HBR with your 3rd tech would be most bizarre. Now granted, you can do a lot with Horse Archers and absolutely rape the map on Noble with them. BUT....:lol:...that's not what you did at all. At 600AD you can't even build them.

    2) Playing Normal/Huge is creating a whole nother level of difficulty for you. Play Normal/Normal. Bigger is NOT always better. What you do here is create scenarios of runaway AIs. It's ok if you know what you are doing but you are far from that right now. No need for it.

    3) I can't quite tell what you did but it appears that you definitely moved your settler at the start and not for the better. It appears you moved for several turns. For now, Settle in Place until you learn to analyze your start position. Generally you don't want to move more than 1 turn anyway but SIP is usually good enough. Your cap sorely lacks in production.

    4) Tokyo is just pure junk and Satsuma should have been settled 1N to get pigs in first ring. Osaka is okay, better if borders were secure, but 1S would have been better (why?)

    5) Satsuma was settled in 400BC and has absolutely no improvements. Simply should not happend.

    6) You have 4 cities because you simply did not build anymore or go capture some. I mean, what are we supposed to say that? If you don't expand you don't expand.

    7) Your teching has no rhyme or reason. You have no goals or objectives. Currency should be teched in the BCs. Backfill some techs via tech trading. To put things into perspective for you, everything you done up to this point (600AD)...EVERYTHING...should have been accomplished well back in the BC times.

    8) Open borders with everyone asap and link foreign trade routes via roads or sea lanes. You lose out on a lot of commerce that way. This should be done asap, not in 600AD

    Really though, you need to run a shadow game over in S&T from the start, but I would read a strategy article or two first. This is a good one to start with:

    Sisiutil's

    Lastly, saying that your cities have nothing to do is just silly.
     
  16. BlackArc

    BlackArc Chieftain

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2012
    Messages:
    60
    Ok, 4 cities but only 4 workers? You should have at least 6, for newbies it's a good idea to follow the 1.5 rule, at least until you understand when to break it.

    You also aren't trading tech enough, if at all. I managed to trade for Hunting, Iron Working, Monotheism, and Metal Casting on the first turn I played. On the second turn I acquired Archery, Monarchy, and Construction. 7 tech in 2 turns via tech trading. Once you gotten to Alphabet you should have traded it to everyone you weren't planning to go to war with. Please tech trade more often.

    I see you also didn't open borders with everyone. Go ahead and do that with every civ you meet, that'll allow you to scout out their territory and once you connect to them via a route, you'll get a bit of commerce from the connection to the city. You also get a diplomatic bonus for opening borders and a civ can now spread his religion to your cities, which would allow you to convert to that religion. In this case you would pick Hinduism, as it's the one with the most civs converted to it.

    In case you don't know, religion will give you a happiness bonus, and a diplo bonus with the civs that share the same religion.

    You teched Horseback Riding but not Archery. To create Horse Archers you need both techs, so therefore you wasted time teching something that was not going to be of any benefit to you.

    You are teching Drama and afterwards Priesthood. Drama is useless here and so is Priesthood, switch instead to Currency, it's a very powerful tech and you may potentially be able to use it to trade for other techs. In addition you'll be able to ask for money from civs that are please with you, or give out your resources for commerce.

    What would also help with your happiness problems is if you built a plantation for your silk resources. You can build plantations once you tech Calender, once you tech Calender immediately improve those tiles. Improve resource tiles, especially food and military ones, ASAP.

    You have corn in your capital but there is no route connecting it to your city. Always build a road for your resources so that the rest of the empire can share in the bonuses it gives. If the resource is adjacent to a river and a city is adjacent to that river, then you won't need to build a road as the river will act as one, but otherwise a road is required.

    Your cities are too spread out. I see a cultural border gap between Satsuma and your capital. That should not be there. You could actually build another city between them, that is too farrrrr appparrrt. When you spread your cities so far apart you increase the maintenance cost of running your cities. You're spending more money for no reason. In addition, keep an eye out for what resources you can get into your cities bfc. Tokyo for instance, while it has no food resources, it does have two silk resources in that general area. You unfortunately only have one of those resources in its bfc. If you had built Tokyo closer to the capital you would have had both resources in your cross AND you would have saved money on maintenance.

    If you are afraid of overlapping city tiles, don't be. At all. It's actually very good to overlap tiles, especially in the capital, where multiple cities can work all your cottaged tiles and make your cottages grow. In case you do not know, a cottage only grows when it's being worked on, and you need the city's population to work a cottaged tile. If two or more cities have access to the same tile, that means more of your cottages can be worked on by the populations of both cities. Just make sure you check to see if someone is working on that tile. If you do not know how to do that, double click on the city, enter the city screen, and check. Any tiles with a white circle on them are being worked on. If another city is working a shared tile, that particular tile it will be blacked out. Switch the tiles being worked on if need be.

    You are building The Great Library, but you are not Industrious(Toku is the worst civ in the game fyi) and you do not have marble, which would've cut production time in half for wonders like The Great Library. HOWEVER, you have marble not too far away from your city. Only you have no city there and it's not within the capital's borders. You already know there's marble there, you should have built a city there ASAP, especially since it's already so very close to the capital.

    OMG there is so much forest everywhere. You don't have to worry about jungle, you have so much great forest everywhere, make more workers and chop it all down!

    I don't know what you mean by not having anything to build, Osaka is losing tiles due to Germany's culture, and so is Tokyo to the Chinese. When that happens you need to take your tiles back with your own culture. Build libraries in those cities, they give an additional 2 culture per turn.

    You need to start learning how to use specialists. You do not have an academy in your capital, and you have not produced any Great People, and these are acquired by running specialists. Once you build a library, start running specialists. Double click on the city with a library and in the middle right side of the screen add two scientists. They will build a Great Person for you, which are pivotal for improving your gameplay.

    And, use slavery more often.

    Your current game is pretty FUBAR, I say you try a new game and keep these tips in mind. Run a shadow game on the strategy forum, they can help you improve your game step by step.
     
  17. lance68har

    lance68har Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2013
    Messages:
    17
    If a mod could move this over to Strategy & Tips, I'd appreciate it.

    @ Lymond . . .

    1) The HBR tech, I actually realized almost immediately how stupid I was. I missed out on getting a source of copper, so I wanted to secure horses for chariots . . . however for some stupid reason I thought it required HBR. I admit that was me just being a late night idiot.

    2) I'll try working with smaller maps on my next game. I think I'm still in Civ II mode, since I played that for close to a decade and a half. It just feels weird to have 5-8 cities as your entire home empire and I figured more land, more I could expand. I realize I have some deeply flawed hold-over habits from playing Civ II, that's probably one of them.

    3) I think I moved my settler for 2-3 turns, because there wasn't a food resource visible on turn 1 and my warrior's move didn't reveal one. I thought it was imperative to get one?

    4) Tokyo was a product of me getting hemmed in early and the fact that I didn't have Iron Working at the time to deal with all the jungles to my south. So I went for a place near a river, which had luxury resources. I guess I figured on this level of difficulty I wouldn't really need to overlap cities, that's why Satsuma wasn't built right next to the pigs. I'm going to start doing this though, the points made about working cottages this way does make sense.

    6) I guess I'm finding it hard to balance production early on in my city. Maybe I should be chop building more efficiently, but trying to build 6 settlers, the 8 military units, and then some improvements to culturally keep my cities from being flipped . . . was so busy holding on to what I had that I just didn't have the time to build more settlers. I know that sounds stupid, but when you're trying to rush build The Great Library and barbarians are swarming your territories, at some point further expansion got put on hold (I continued playing this game a bit and built two more cities to the south).

    7) My teching seemed to make sense to me:

    Mining - I needed mines
    Pottery - I needed cottages
    Bronze Working - Attempting to get a copper resource
    HBR - Yes, I already admitted this was stupid
    Alphabet - Tech Trading
    Literature - So I could build the Great Library
    Calendar - So I could take advantage of all the luxury goods I had
    Civil Service - My cities started lagging in growth, so I thought this would help me to irrigate lands away from rivers, so I could keep my cottages there.

    Maybe I was approaching it wrong, but that was my thought process.

    8) I actually started opening up my borders a few turns after this. I was initially worried about them snatching the amounts of land to my NW, but they got filled up with Germans anyway.

    @ BlackArc - I actually started trading techs a couple turns after I posted that. I didn't really want to give away HBR/Literature since I was still trying to build The Great Library and I was in stupid mode and thought HBR gave you access to horses as a resource . . .

    I was going for Drama because I thought Globe Theater was an important National Wonder. I think Priesthood was just queued up because it was required for another technology I was going after (might have been Civil Service). I had only just recently gotten Calender in that game and I did set about building plantations everywhere I could. I also didn't realize corn could spread like other resources . . . pretty noob mistake.

    I think I addressed why I spread out my cities so far earlier, but it's something I'm going to seriously work on moving forward to reduce maintenance and try and take advantage of all resources and cottage sharing.

    I just picked a random Civ and it gave me Toku, I've been setting it to random but maybe until I get the hang of things I should just stick to something easy. I had been playing Mansa Musa on the lower settings and it seemed to work for me.

    I know I missed some other points, but this is already getting too long. I'm going to throw up a shadow game today in another forum and see if I can't break some old habits and adapt to this game. After all, this is probably only the 10th game of Civ IV I've played so far :p.
     
  18. The Diocletian

    The Diocletian Fire Fly

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2013
    Messages:
    1,421
    Location:
    Birthplace of Aviation
    Charlie? SB? Sal?

    Toku at least has drafting going for him, which I'd argue edges him over the others.

    Jussssst barely, though. Sorry for the OT comment.
     
  19. lymond

    lymond Rise Up! (Phoenix Style!) Hall of Fame Staff

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    Messages:
    20,579
    Toku is a bit underrated. His traits are not so hot but they do make for some nasty rifles which some call a second UU.

    What I like about him is Insta Pottery which can make him pretty decent on certain starts. His uniques are by no means terrible.

    He's a terrible AI though.

    SB is actually a pretty good leader and very nice on higher levels. Any leader with Philo is at least above average.
     
  20. s.bernbaum

    s.bernbaum Mostly lurking

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2006
    Messages:
    2,704
    Location:
    The wilds of Montana
    lance68har:
    Random Civ and leader is a good choice when you are learning. Always picking one or two favorite leaders can lead to developing bad habits that happen to work with that leader but are really not a good approach in general. So, I would say you are doing that part right! The problems that the others already cited have to do with learning the game, not which leader you are playing.
     

Share This Page