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City Management Frustration

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Norseman056, Nov 4, 2013.

  1. Norseman056

    Norseman056 Chieftain

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    This is my first post, and I hope it's not out of place, but I've been going crazy trying to piece together the info I'm looking for and can't find a good source.

    I'm completely new to the Civilization franchise and recently bought Civ5 + G&K + BNW. I try to watch YouTube videos of people playing, tried reading posts and articles on city building, and I'm still just completely lost.

    I started out just trying to build every building in every city and found out that was pretty bad. Then I tried to just concentrate on specific things, but am struggling with how to know what cities to make specialize in what, and I also have no clue as to how manually working tiles can be used to my advantage. Also, come the late game, I always seem to have cities between 10-20 people that are always struggling with unhappiness and gold.

    Is there a good definitive guide for cities and city building? Is there a loose rule for what each city should have and what role it should fill?

    I'm so lost...

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. GeneralAmerica

    GeneralAmerica Artillery Officer

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    Well, first of all. Remember to allways have balance when you play. It's better to have everything on medium insted of.. for example.. Science high, gold low, culture low and happiness high. Balance everything .. Like if you have 1- happiness and 2+ gold per turn. Then buy a colloseum and make it 1+ happiness and 1+. If you have 0+ gold and 1 happAiness, then don't buy the colluseum. This is was just a example, i hope you understand.

    And remember every new citizen automatically creates 1- :c5angry: .. So lets say if you have 0 happiness and your city will create a new citizen in 5 turns, then prepare your self and start constructing a building that gains you happiness. And also many policies makes adds happiness in buildings. So policies is very important. Start with adopting Tradition and then liberty.

    Everything is about balance.

    You rather have the status:
    Gold - Ok
    Science - Ok
    Culture - Ok
    Hapiness - Ok

    Insted of:
    Gold - Good
    Science - Bad
    Culture - Bad
    Hapiness - Good

    And if you have problem with unhappiness, then select "Avoid Growth"
     
  3. Scarpa

    Scarpa Prince

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    Here's my personal guidelines, I'm not great but can always pull out a victory on emperor.

    - Food, food, food in the beginning. Grow as big as happiness allows. This means farms/pastures for your first improvements, granaries early, etc.
    - Culture buildings should be second priority, especially in BNW. If you go tradition you can skip monuments in your first 4 cities.
    - Science buildings in your core cities as soon as possible. For new settlements you can wait for granaries as paying maintenance on a library with just a few citizens is not worth it.
    - Money buildings as soon as possible since they have no maintenance and in BNW money is tight.
    - Happiness buildings are often key unless you have a ton of unique luxuries or mercantile cs allies or trade 1 for 1 luxuries with other players. Happiness buildings are expensive, so think before building.

    Those are the categories of buildings I end up with in every city. After that the rest of the buildings are situational.
     
  4. Norseman056

    Norseman056 Chieftain

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    I understand what you're saying, and it's kind of along the lines of what I've read, but right now I play the game almost like an RTS strategy game. I just keep clicking 'build this' when construction time comes along and I blunder through while pumping out military units and then just go and attack.

    I know Civ5 is a much deeper game, but I'm having trouble breaking out of that. I don't necessarily like playing a more complex version of Starcraft 2, but essentially that's exactly what I'm doing. I'm not sure if I'm making sense, but I feel like I just known enough about city management and building to scrape by so that I can field big armies.
     
  5. Scarpa

    Scarpa Prince

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    Maybe try consciously going for a difference victory then?

    You can still wage effective war and not play for a domination win. The way warmonger mechanics work it's always a good idea to declare war on your neighbors, go in and kill all their units, steal workers, pillage everything and maybe get a city in the peace deal. As long as you don't take any cities most AI will tolerate it. Then you can have a relatively unimpeded path to a 'peaceful' victory condition.
     
  6. Norseman056

    Norseman056 Chieftain

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    But I feel I'm having 'success' with the military version because it masks the fact I can't build cities and grow successfully. It doesn't matter how poorly I build my cities: when the people around me city's are burning I win by default.

    That's my point. I lean on domination simply because I don't know how to effectively build or win any other way.

    Is there no like 'Basic blueprint' of a city or some best suggestions on how to set them up? How do I make them grow faster? What benefits do I get, and when should I, stick a citizen in one of the market slots? Things like that.
     
  7. mike1117112

    mike1117112 Chieftain

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    Most is going to come through learning as you play. Knowing all the options that will open up as the game progresses is critical. The best way I figure out what my cities are going to do is terrain dependent. For example; River, flood plains, high growth potential? I concentrate on engineers and their buildings. For two reasons, it offsets the production loss such starts usually have, and it can feed specialists in my factories and workshops. I used to take those engineers and pop wonders, now I usually settle them for the hammer bonus. By the end of the game, with the right wonders, policies and UN votes, settling great people is unbelievably good.
    If its a mix of food and hammers, then merchants usually. Hills, and settle next to a mountain? Science ( observatories are awesome.) It really depends on what kind of start I get how I designate and specialize my cities. That comes with playing the game and learning how to customize your empire to your surroundings.
     
  8. Bad Wolf

    Bad Wolf King

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    Civ's one of the deepest strategy games you'll find, so it's hard to condense "city-management" (which is basically half the game) into a single digest. There are lots of very good threads in the strategy and tips section you should read to get a feel for what people think works, and just how the game mechanics work in general.

    Also, listen to your advisor council! I often forget to do this, but they often do have some good tips for what you should do at any given moment. (I particularly find the military advisor's assessment of the strength of foreign armies useful.)
     
  9. rodrigoq

    rodrigoq Warlord

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    I usually just buy my buildings outright. AI gives nice GPT and cash settlements when you beat the crap out of their army, and sit on their border with yours. Last night I managed to take Assyria from 4 cities to 1, without touching a single city with my units. They settled for peace and gave me:
    37 gpt
    458 gold
    3 cities
    declared war on someone I wanted softened up

    I razed 2 of the 3 cities, and sold the buldings for bonus cash. Then went to stomp the Mongols after assyria blew their army up pn them. Mongols lost 1/5 cities to me, settled for 1200gp 58 gpt, 3 luxs, and 2 cities.

    Diety, marathon, pangea plus.

    This was pre 0AD... The AI are having a hard time with me now. 10/11 AI civs declared war on me.. because I'm an ass.. and leveled my units up to near godlike status. Now, all I have to do is sit on their borders and wait for settlements so i don't crush them. Unless they have a holy city I need to quell before they can become competetive religiously. My god is far superior to theirs, and they will feel my gods wrath so I can maximize my pilgrimmage benefits.

    When you have all the money in the world, buildings are irrelevant.
     
  10. cinattra

    cinattra Warlord

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    Well if you like building everything go with Rome. That is kind of their strength, but you will need to balance the build every building with a strong economy and a tradition start.
     
  11. rodrigoq

    rodrigoq Warlord

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    As for my warmongering empire builds in my cities:
    Granary/lib/shrine in capital
    granary/lib/shrine in other cities if applicable
    Full tradition tree for monuments and aqueducts.

    Those are hard built, I buy my units with cash, while I still have friends who will give me money.
     
  12. njmfff

    njmfff Prince

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    Yeah, it's something people forget. Sure, hurry will get you instant Wonder, but two well placed manufactures will also give you "almost" instant Wonder. I would use GE only on Wonders that I really really want, like Petra in middle of desert. Forbidden Palace and similar... well I can always go and conquer AI that build it. :lol: (It's a good Wonder, but not really that important like Petra on desert start)
     
  13. FromBirth

    FromBirth Chieftain

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    Norseman
    If you are trying to shake a domination or warmonger habit try disabling the option to win by domination. (advanced settings when you are picking your set up) perhaps even leave only say, science victory open. This means you'll keep your focus and once you've got the hang of it, you'll find it helps with your other victory goals.

    Things to consider if you are going for a science victory then: (I'm keeping things at a basic level, as bad wolf points out, there's the strategy forum for when you want to delve a little deeper)
    Choose to plant only 3-4 cities as wide empires increase cost of technologies.
    The higher your population in those 3-4 cities the better. Lots of the buildings that increase science increase their effectivness as your city size increases. On this note then, granary, watermill are useful buildings.
    It's a good idea that your first build is at least one scout. This brings many benefits that I won't go into but if you are not doing this, you need to start straight away. Go scouting.
    You may want to get a religion or at least a pantheon, go ahead and build a shrine in each city but you don't need to build any more faith buildings beyond this.
    If you use tradition social policy, you'll usually get a free monument and aqueduct so you don't have to build those either.
    If you are going to play relatively peacefully, you don't need to build a barracks/walls or anything else millitary at all.
    Your science buldings are what's important next. Library, University, Public School, Research lab, observatory.
    Even though you are playing peacefully you will still need some military to fend off barbs and possibly a war. A few ranged units generally does the trick but as you are focusing on what buildings to focus on, I'll not go there either.
    The NC (national college) is important, it requires a library in each city so bear that in mind but try to build it as soon as possible.
    As you grow you may need a few happiness buildings but often it's possible to get by with lux resourses, religion benefits, mercantile CS allies etc.
    Markets and banks are required to keep your economy afloat but consider that if you keep your units down to a minimum and stop building unecessary buildings, you'll have less to pay for.
    Going back to the point about growth, it's important to have a surplus so that as soon as universities etc come online, you can click their great person slot and get some people working there (very important).
    Culture buildings are not important straight away past the monument but you will want to build some later just to keep your social policy aquisition going forward.
    Many wonders are tempting, try to avoid building them for the sake of doing so. As others have pointed out elsewhere, wonders are the result of having a good empire, a good empire is not the result of having lots of wonders.
    So, keep your cities growing and consider these buildings as required: Shrine, monument (free), granary, watermill, market, bank, all science buildings, aqueduct (free). circus, stone works (if available), culture buildings as required.

    I've missed a bunch of stuff here (some intentional, some accidental) but it's worth trying this approach and see how you get on?
     
  14. Walter R

    Walter R Great Engineer

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    I think I'd build walls. And I don't think they cost upkeep do they?
     
  15. FromBirth

    FromBirth Chieftain

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    Walls cost no maintenance but we're trying to wean him off bulding buildings here. I play emperor and rarely build walls.
     
  16. Mudrac

    Mudrac Orc Warchief

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    That's why Civ V is a turn-based strategy and not an RTS. In Starcraft II (although I only play the first one since I find it superior, but they are basically the same in terms of gameplay) you need to make fast decisions, focus on fighting, research some tech and build a base, but mostly focus on fighting. Civ V is about a lot of other things, not just waging wars. It is also developing your civ in many other areas like culture, gold, science etc. Overall you will learn as you play, but begin with Settler difficulty don't jump to Prince instantly, learn the game, learn about units, buildings, wonders and civs and develop your own style of play and then start moving to higher difficulties.
     
  17. Norseman056

    Norseman056 Chieftain

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    Thanks you everyone, I appreciate the feedback!

    I'll work in some of the stuff you mentioned and try to feel out the game. I think my frustration is, on a base level, Starcraft 2 is simple and straight-forward. Mastering the idea behind mastering the game is easy.

    In Civ you can't just say 'build x, y, and z in this order and you'll be ahead.' It's a new level of depth I'm not currently comfortable with.
     
  18. Memoryjar

    Memoryjar Emperor

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    Civ is not Sim city.
    Cities are made for a victory. Choose your victory way and orient your cities for. Play the game to the end. Learn to loose. Learn of your defeats.
     
  19. GhostSalsa

    GhostSalsa Emperor

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    Screenshots of one of your games before and after it "turns bad" would help to really provide suggestions.

    But generally, CiV is gamed to make early conquest really hard to pull off. This was true before the BNW expansion and now it's several times more true.

    If you're conquering blindly in the early and mid game then there is no build order to prevent a crash. The global happiness system (where your angry puppets kill growth in your capital and weaken your troops) will get you. The game essentially wants you to wait until post-Industrial to go on a conquest spree. Then you've got the more powerful happiness-policies of the Ideology tree to keep you from crashing*.

    Turning off Domination victory was a good suggestion. But assuming you want to keep the fight element in: Briefly, the ideal for early warfare is to snag about two really choice cities from an opponent the other AIs all disliked. Opponent selection and city selection are indispensable in pre-industrial conquest. I want to go to war with a strong and disliked neighbor who has a capital with a happiness wonder (Chichen Itza, Notre Dame, Forbidden Palace) and a city bridging our capitals with good tiles (luxes I don't already have). Barring that ideal, at least some unique luxes and a sustaining wonder (provides a lasting bonus; Petra and Colossus are great to steal for their extra trade route; Great Lighthouse or Statue of Zeus provide military bonus, bla bla bla).

    Try not to conquer worthless cities in the early game ever. Even to raze them - now you're saved the drain on your economy but you take a diplomatic hit for no bonus.

    The AI only tolerates a small amount of conquest before it stops trading with you and before it goes to war with you, which lead to happiness and gold crash. Consider your conquests like currency and you only start out with two or three to spend. Then you only want to spend them on the best cities. (On difficulty levels above King this is easier because it's more likely that you have a strong disliked neighbor with all the wonders in one city.)

    *With BNW, late-game happiness policies are worthless if your civ prefers a different ideology. You're ok if you luck out and choose the same ideology as the civ with the highest tourism. Otherwise, you need to be the tourism leader yourself.

    Sorry to say, but culture and tourism are essential for domination victory now. They are more important then colosseums and bla bla bla. You need to aggressively invest in great works all game long: 1. Writers (build the writing guild and keep it staffed with two citizens for the rest of the game; build amphitheaters as writers are about to pop), 2. Garden and National Monument in your guild city (usually capital) so great people generate faster) 3. Get Acoustics asap, staff two musicians for the rest of the game, build opera houses asap so you can build hermitage asap 4. Archeology asap. Generally you can't staff the artists guild (which unlocked in the Guilds technology) full-time until you have museums. Once you do, keep artists guild staffed full time. Six citizens generating culture and great works full time from this point. Hermitage should be in this city so the multiplier hits their culture. 5. Archeologists, sigh. Such a hassle but obviously go dig that stuff up you need it.

    Sadly, all this stuff works better in a really tall capital so you can spare those six citizens. Which is one less reason you can afford to focus on conquest mid-game: you need all your happiness for capital growth. But you can pull it off with a wider empire too, even with no Tradition or Liberty policies (Honor opening).

    Even with that you might not (probably won't) be the leader in tourism. Which means your ideological choice won't be secure - other civs can inflict 40 unhappiness on you as you try to go to war, not going to work. Radio (towers, wonders) and Refrigeration are key late game techs. You need to snag them while also getting the key military techs (flight, artillery, electronics) in time to roll over the AI. Well, good luck.
     

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