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Civ Illustrated #2: Case studies - city placement

Discussion in 'Civ4 Strategy Articles' started by Seraiel, Apr 17, 2015.

  1. Seraiel

    Seraiel Chieftain

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    Civ Illustrated #2: Case studies - city placement


    Hi :) .

    Welcome to the 2nd issue of Civ Illustrated. You probably all know issue #1, which was a multi-user-mega-project on AI characteristics, this time I'm alone and I'm writing something that was wished for by very many users, a guide that tells you where to settle your cities!
    I decided this guide should be in form of case studies, so in the following, you'll find a large amount of pictures which I've taken from the 50+ games I played for Elite Quattromaster. We'll discuss the basics of city-placement in the beginning, and then we'll jump right into the examples to practice everyone's ability on finding the right location for one or more of your cities.

    Enjoy reading and please don't forget to rate this thread. Feedback also appreciated!


    City placement basics:



    1. Where there is Food, there can be a city!

      This is the first and most important rule when it comes to city placement. Without Food, a city grows so slowly, that it won't contribute enough to one's empire. Every city costs maintenance and even more important, with every new city, the maintenance in your other cities rises too (up to a certain maximum where it's capped, then other rules apply) ! Now the programmers of CIV have already made it very simple for you, as most cities can pay for themselves once they are connected to a foreign city for Traderoutes, and once your civ has Currency.
      Still: A city needs to pay back the initial cost that comes with all self-founded cities, the cost of the Settler! A Settler costs 100 :hammers: on normal speed, now imagine a city having no Food, working a Grassland Farm. Not only has that Grassland Farm to be constructed costing you valuable Workerturns, it also only gives 3 :food: ! With the city having an initial surplus of 2 :food: from its centre tile, it would take the city 20 turns to pay back for the Settler! On top of the Grassland Farm, that city also needs to be connected to the Trade-Network so it's 100 :hammers: + several workerturns so it can pay for itself at all, and workerturns are another great bottle-neck in the beginning of a CIV game.
      If you find this is not really that much, you are not paying enough attention to the opportunity cost of 100 :hammers: + xx workerturns. Those :hammers: could be a Library in your capital, they could be Granaries in your arbitrary cities, they could be additional Workers, while the Workerturns could be additional Cottages for your capital or Math-chops for your infrastructure or military.
      In short you can just learn, that cities without Food need at least one of the three techs of Communism, Biology and Corporations to be worthwhile. Once you got those techs, actually every city will be great, but in the beginning of a round, when everything is still very limited, it's not worth to found any cities that don't have a source of food. Just invest those :hammers: elsewhere, build some units and attack your neighbour in case you really already have Granaries and everything you need in your other cities.

    2. Food should always be in the 1st ring!

      This rule is also very important, and most of you will know already. In CIV, the borders of a city usually take so long to expand, that reasons for not founding a city with food in the first ring, must be very good. Of course, there are reasons which will make you found cities that only have Food in the 2nd ring, like i. e. when you capture a strategic resource with it. All this rule tries to do, is make you think thoroughly, if there really is no chance to get the food in the first ring, because it's a huge advantage. Cities with food in the first ring are productive from the start. They can directly start on building a Granary, while cities with food in the 2nd ring first have to build a Monument, and once they have the Monument, it still takes 10 turns on normal speed until their borders pop.
      „The early advantage is often better than the later advantage“ , so if you can found a city with food in the 1st ring that is slightly worse to if it had the food in the 2nd, do so. Your earlier advantage might translate to an earlier attack on your neighbour, maybe the difference in if he gets Longbows or not, so an early game advantage can multiply through the course of the game and get greater, than the later game advantage would ever be. Even in an example that is less extreme, your city with the food in the first ring would have a Granary, while the other city wouldn't, so it's not only the food you get during the first turns, but it's even more food because the Granary adds up on it.
      The exception to this rule are the civs that either have the Creative or the Spiritual trait. If you're Creative, expanding the borders only takes 5T on normal speed, that's not enough to justify not founding the city in the better of two locations. If you're Spiritual, you can always easily switch to Caste System and hire an Artist, making your borders expand in even less time, one of the great advantages of being Spiritual.

    3. Value fresh water, but don't value it to great!

      If you found your city next to a source of fresh water, so next to a river or a freshwater lake, it gets +2 additional :health: . +2 additional :health: is actually a very nice bonus, especially if your city is founded with some Floodplains or in the Jungle, both causing additional :yuck: . +2 :health: means that your city can grow larger without needing any buildings that bring additional :health: , like i. e. an Aqueduct.
      With the last, you're already at the core of the problem. Every city has a quite decent :health: -limit only because of the base :health: that every city has, and the :health: from resources. In case you're playing for Domination or Conquest, so in games where the great amount of your cities will remain as small as possible, because the Whip is more efficient at small sizes, you probably won't need that extra :health: .
      This drastically changes however, if you i. e. play a Cultural Victory, or in a Space Race! In the last two, your cities will grow to size 15 or more. If it's a Space Race, your cities will even have a great amount of additional :yuck: from having a Forge, a Factory and a Coal Plant, so in those games, +2 :health: can mean that one can skip building an Aqueduct, which saves quite a lot of :hammers: .
      An advantage you should also not forget, is the advantage that comes with founding a city next to a river, because those cities will be auto-connected to your Trade-Network once you have Sailing, which will again save you valuable workerturns. If the river belongs to your culture, the connection between two cities even works without Sailing, something that may make you want to found your 2nd city close and at the same river of your capital, for the commerce from the Traderoutes.

      I hope this brought some clarity to the point how much one should value fresh water.

      Just a very short addition to Traderoutes: If there are not enough foreign Traderoutes, you'll have internal ones. With those, it's very effective to found two (or later three or even four) cities on islands, for the oversea's trade bonus.

    4. Minimize the :yuck: caused from Floodplains!

      This is actually a really easy rule, you just have to be made aware of. Every Floodplain adds +0.4 :yuck: which is rounded down, so ideal cities are those with 2, 4 or 7 or 9 Floodplains (rounded values: 0, 1, 2 and 3) . Know that 3 :yuck: caused from Floodplains usually already is a big obstacle, that has to be managed, so move away from thinking „the more Floodplains, the better“ !

    5. Overlap and workable tiles!

      Beginners often try to found cities completely without having overlapping tiles with a second city. The thinking behind this is, that they expect their cities to grow enormously large, and that they have no idea of the power of Specialists, because they don't micromanage either.
      It takes some time to get used to this, but cities sharing tiles between them is actually something really really valuable. There i. e. is the concept of „helper-cities“ founded around your bureaucratic capital, so cities that borrow tiles from the capital, in order to grow Cottages to mature Villages (or Towns) , to then hand them over to the capital, once that one has reached a sufficient size to work them. Also: Sharing tiles makes cities more flexible. If you i. e. have three sources of food between two cities, you can choose which city should currently work the larger amount of them. This may help greatly when i. e. trying to manage the whipping anger of a city, or it can also help if one of those cities is chosen for a great project, so needs more resources. Even without shared Food, more overlap simply means that the „best tiles“ of a city, can just be worked more constantly.

      Anyhow: Overlap does have it's downsides. It's not completely proven yet, but in earlier versions of CIV, one became more attractive for the Ais, so the chance that an AI would declare war at oneself rose greatly. Now I don't know if that is still true, but in the number of Deity-games I've played, I always tried to minimize overlap, unless it came with very decisive advantages. I also kept my cities small, and guess what, I've been declared war on less than 5 times in over 50 games!
      Also: While Specialists are really very good (especially with Representation) , working improved tiles is usually always better because they give food, unless the city can actually produce a Great Person, then Specialists have the greater value.

      This was to make you aware of the positive and negative sides that come with overlap. Be aware of, that in Domination / Conquest games, every city needs only a very limited amount of tiles it can work, usually not more than eight (→ 4-pop-whip) . Even in Cultural games or Space Races, the point at which a city has to hire Specialists because it has no workable tiles left, comes very late, so working some Specialists isn't really bad. This actually even tells you something about founding cities that have deserts or mountains in their BFC. Try to imagine how long it will take a city to grow past the workable tiles, and know, that the alternatives to working tiles become decently powerful in the later game, so a city that i. e. has two sources of food, eight grasslands, five deserts, one Gold and four mountains is actually an incredibly good city!

    6. Try to avoid border-pressure!

      Border-pressure is one of the major factors, when civs decide whether to go to war with you or with someone else. Shared borders are actually bad enough already (though eight tiles or more are needed to become a „land-target“ ) , but if you can, you shouldn't found your cities so that they steal many tiles from someone else.
      Of course, this is not possible often, even if a city is founded before any civ is even near to it, it might happen that the neighbouring civ founds a city right at the borders of your city, making you instantly steal a few tiles from the non-developed AI's city. This rule is just to make you not try to deliberately steal tiles from your neighbours, at least not for as long, as you don't have good diplomatic relations with them, denying them the chance to declare war on you.

    7. Don't found Jungle-cities, unless exceptions apply!

      You can learn this rule really fast, if you want to settle Jungle-cities that don't claim extraordinary amounts of resources and that don't claim a strategic resource (like i. e. Ivory) , don't. It may be hard, but the experience I got from more than 50 Deity-games is, that Jungle-cities take aeons to become productive. They cost endless amounts of Workerturns to be good in xxx turns.
      If you want to found Jungle-cities that you don't necessarily need (cities without the needed Ivory) , let the AI found them for you and take them over once they've at least basically developed them.

    8. The National-Park!

      This is the exception to not founding Jungle or Tundra cities: The National-Park is probably a National Wonder that'll only cross your way in Space Races, but in those, it's a very valuable city, as its power can often even exceed the National Epic. A National-Park city doesn't need anything, except some Jungles or some Forests, which you improve to Forest Preserves. Forest Preserves together with the National-Park give you free specialists, so a city having 10 Forests is actually like a size 20 city that works all Biology Farms and Specialists! It's not needed that every tile has a Forest, because once you build the Preserves, the chance for spreading is doubled, so it's very likely that that city will be completely forested in near time.

    9. When does 1-tile of the coast apply?

      Many comments of users and even some strategy articles in the War Academy tell you, to not found cities 1 tile of the coast, because then, you cannot build a Lighthouse in them, making all coastal tiles very undesirable to work. This is actually advice, that wasn't thought through very well. To know whether 1-tile of the coast is still the right decision, you again have to imagine how that city will work during the round. If you again play a Domination or Conquest type of game, then 1-tile of the coast isn't of great importance. I told you that most cities should not exceed size eight, so if your 1-tile-of-the-coast-city has 8 good tiles, you don't have to care at all. To be honest: Coastal tiles are not worth to be worked at all, unless you're Financial, got the Colossus or are in a Golden Age, so it's not like you would get something great if you founded that same city at the coast and build a Lighthouse in it. The only three good reasons to really found a city at the coast are, that a) you need ships, b) there's seafood (or lighthouse lakes) and c) you got the Great Lighthouse.
      If you however play a Space Race or a Cultural game, try not to forget, that your cities will reach large sizes, and then, even working the coast can become attractive (i. e. during a Golden Age when all tiles give +1 :commerce: or also to simply grow your population to raise the total research made by your empire) .

    10. “The good old Plains-Hill.“

      All CIV-players get told by others very early, that when founding a city on a tile that gives more than two :food: , one :hammers: and one :commerce: , that you'll keep these yields even when founding a city on top of it. If you have the choice to build your city on a Plains-Hill, use it, 1 :hammers: from the start is a noticeable difference.
      Just to make this list a little more complete: Plains-Ivory also gives two :hammers: , riverside Plains-Hill-Wine gives two Hammers and two (or three with Financial! ) :commerce: and founding a city on Sugar or dry Rice should also be preferred compared to founding the city beside it and improving that resource. Reasoning for the last again is, that the early advantage has a longer time to pay back, and therefore often exceeds the long-term-advantage.
      There are a lot more tiles that give extras, like all riverside Calendar resources, Plains-Horses and all food resources. Marble / Stone and Copper or similar even give three Hammers, if being on a Plains Hill, so those are very desirable tiles to settle on.
      There is one exception btw., which is the Floodplain. That one gets turned into desert when settling on it, so it (unfortunately) doesn't give three food.

    11. The Worker-pump / The Warrior Farm!

      „Worker-pumps“ are something that I used in my earlier games. To give you an imagination of which cities I talk of, imagine a city that is all Plains with one Cow and Horses that are not needed because you got them already.
      Now the initial reaction to such land would be to not settle it, because everybody knows, working Plains is not worth it (in 99% of the cases before Communism and Biology) . What I want to tell you however is, that a city like such can still be worth settling, because Cows and Horses are actually strong tiles! In every round, one needs to build Workers, even when stealing a lot. The 2-pop-city I talked of can be used for that purpose and be very good at it. This city will need no infrastructure at all (so not even a Granary) because it will grow to size 2 and stay there for the rest of the round. You should not connect this city to your Trade-Network because then, it'll also remain its capability of producing cheap Warriors as city garrisons even when all your other cities already got Copper / Iron. Spreading the religion to this city is also something that can be thought about, because it's often attractive to spread the AP-religion to all of one's cities. In the case of the Warrior Farm or the Missionary-Pump however, the city should get a Granary, because you will want to 3->2 whip it.
      This also applies to the cities you conquer. When you find a city that has only very few good tiles, think about not razing it and pillaging all roads that lead to it. Having a city that is diverted to only produce cheap units of a certain type is great help, you'll see!

    12. Settling on strategic resources!

      If you really truly want to rush someone, or if you need something with extreme urgency (i. e. Stone-Quarry to build the Mids before someone else does) , this is your way. Personally I always found it very hard to do so, but because of really being very experienced already, I know that settling on a strategic resource can be the right call, especially on slower game-settings. If you want to Sword-rush your opponent, you don't want to invest 10T+ (Marathon) on building a mine and a road. Least of all, you don't want to spend 20T+ on building a stupid Quarry, giving your opponents the time to steal the Pyramids from you.

    13. The Forest-city.

      I just got the idea for this when looking through the saves for the case-studies.
      There are these cities, that actually have nothing but tons of Forests. It may be still a good choice to settle or keep them, because with 20 Forests, you can basically build any World-Wonder that you want. A variant of a city like such is the „Life-support-city“ that HoFers use in their Space Races, to 1-turn the Life-Support of a Spaceship on the turn when they finish Ecology.

    14. At last: The capital!

      Capitals are always treated specially, so some things you read before are not valid for this city, many are though. I. e. your capital should ofc. grow larger than size eight, and you should pay special attention to if you can settle on a two or three Hammers tile (or also on a weak food resource as Rice or Sugar) , because this greatly speeds up your initial Worker (or Workboat) . Your capital (as already written) also benefits greatly of having overlapping helper cities, and as you want to grow it as large as possible, fresh water is especially important here.
     
  2. Seraiel

    Seraiel Chieftain

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    Case-studies



    So you've made it that far :) . If you really read the whole five pages on city-placement, congratulations to you, you should be very well prepared now :) .

    Here is example 1 with a CRE civ on a Huge Hemispheres map, question is where to place the cities:
    Spoiler :



    This screenshot is taken from a Space Race I played with Catherine in the middle of my journey to Elite Quattromaster, so I did have some experience at that point, but not too much yet. It's 2875 BC, and the first Settler is ready. In the very south-west we see Victoria, apart from that, there is very much land that can be peacefully expanded too. This is also, why this game makes a very good case to show the various options.
    Now take a close look at the map, where would you found your 2nd city?


    There is one place, that really stands out, which is this one:
    Spoiler :



    Has a strong source of food (dry Corn) , captures the Horses and even has one Gold. From a today's perspective, I'd have definitely taken that spot as a 2nd city. I would have rexed to only three cities and would have gone for a Horse Archer rush. If I would have failed, I simply would have thrown that game away and started the next one.
    At that time however, I wasn't as good in war as I am now, and Horse Archers always have the chance to fail on Deity, so I decided that I want to peacefully REX to as much land as possible. Therefore, a city blocking Victoria was needed:
    Spoiler :



    Remember that we are CRE, otherwise this would have been the right location:
    Spoiler :



    Remember, the Food should be in the first ring. However with CRE, this is not necessary, so the trait gives us a coastal city that can build some ships later in that round.
    Together with this city:
    Spoiler :



    The cities block the complete land to their east, so these two cities are, where I settled my first two cities during that round. The advantages of taking exactly those two cities also were, that Green1 would make a really good GP-Farm (city has +12 :food: with IW, Calendar and an Irrigation Chain, so can work six Specialists with Caste) and that it secures the Stone early, giving me good chances at the Mids. Green2 is on a Plains-Hill and has a river, so it makes a nice commercial city.

    Why not these two cities?
    Spoiler :



    Two very good picks that have only one problem: The food is in the Jungle, and we don't have Iron Working yet. They are a very strong option to how I settled in the real game though, because they also secure the Stone, they have two Golds, they have comparable Food and they are just a little closer to the capital, which would have lowered the maintenance. In hindsight, they would probably even have been the better choice, because a) IW is available very early on Deity and b) I wasn't able to REX to 15 cities, but AIs settled on the eastern part of my empire, using Galleys to get through my borders. The eastern part of the empire has the better locations, so you should take this as a lesson not to expand too aggressively.

    Now where did I settle in that round?
    Spoiler :



    I was able to secure three additional cities, so I expanded peacefully to nine cities, which is a lot on Deity. I wasn't aware of the possibility to take the desert-Gold with yellow, so I settled 1S of it, which at least had the possibility to share the Gold with the capital. I settled the Fish / Sheep city in the NE like that, so not 1S, because I planned to build the MOAI-statues in them, making water-tiles very attractive. I also founded one city in the north and one In the south, though the southern city should have been 1N to share more tiles with the capital. At that time I wasn't aware of the concept of helper-cities anyhow, so I thought grabbing more land would be the better choice. At least it was a Space Race, so all cities grew really large once I had Sushi, so the southern helper-city at least had a long-term-advantage. It was btw. founded very late, so the city having no food was no problem.
    Spoiler :



    Hmm, I actually only assumed that I founded the helper-city in the north. As written, I wasn't aware of the concept of helper-cities, so I thought that that city had too few workable tiles and didn't found it at all, not making use of the Corn and the Gold! Now you can see, how bad as a player I still was at that time. At least I had some luck, and the blocker-city in the very west had some Clams on top of the Sugar, making it a really good city, and the MOAI-city in the very NE had additional Crabs which makes the choice on settling it where I settled it even better. Lastly, the western green blocker-city secured a 2nd coal, one of the most important resources in a Space Race because of Railroads, Mining Inc. and Coal Plants.

    Thx for the attention :) .

    Link to game in HoF.
     
  3. Seraiel

    Seraiel Chieftain

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    Example #2 – Less land, more choices ^^ .
    Spoiler :



    Taken from a Conquest game I played with Darius on Quick speed! It's 2500 BC, and the first Settler has just gone in construction! Now you ask: Why so late? I planned to only build one or a maximum of two Settlers in that game, because I wanted to Immortal rush Brennus, whom you can see in the SE. The cities would have been very close to my capital, so risk for those slots being taken by AI were quite small, therefore I decided to grow to all resources that my awesome capital offered in order to fasten up research :) .
    Now take a look at the map again and tell me: Where would you found city 2 and city 3?

    This is where I founded my 2nd city in that round:
    Spoiler :



    This will probably cause some discussions, because with all the knowledge you acquired from the 1st part of this guide, you probably would have come up with a different solution. The reason why I founded that city exactly there, was, that I thought this city would need long-term-potential. I knew I was going for Conquest in that round, but I still wasn't fully aware of how few good tiles a city in war-games actually needs, so I founded the city, like I would have founded it in a Space Race.

    Let's look at the other options:
    Spoiler :



    The ones of you that came up with this solution made an excellent decision. Founding the city on the Plains-Hill would have given the city an extra :hammers: . The city would also have secured the 2nd Silks, it would have secured four additional Forests, and it would still have had three riverside Grasslands, one riverside green mountain and together with the Wheat and the Silks this would have been seven good tiles, so if needing to 4-pop-whip, the city would only have needed to work one sub-par tile. Having in mind that 4-pop-whips are only needed for Cavalries or later, even Replaceable Parts would have been available, making the Plains-Hill to the south a good tile, so this would have been a really strong choice.

    Anyhow:
    Spoiler :



    I maybe would have liked this location even more. Two less Forests and no Silks until the 2nd borderpop, but therefore a 2nd source of food and Horses on top. Counting the other tiles also looks quite nice, four riverside Grasslands for Cottages, one riverside green Hill and together with the Tundra-Horses, which have the same yields as a the riverside green Hill, and the Deer, those are 8 good tiles, so this city, even though it has 50%+ Tundra-tiles would have been perfect imo! It can actually be argued though, that the green site is better than the yellow site, this depends on how fast the borders of that city would have expanded and it also depends on the type of the game. If the borders would have expanded very early, like i. e. through a Missionary that's on his way already, the yellow site would be stronger. If playing a Space Race, it also would have been the better choice, because it has more longtime potential. This game anyhow was a conquest game, and I still remember, how much easier the war against Brennus would have been with one or two additional Immortals. So, with yellow probably needing very long for the 1st borderpop and with this being a Conquest game,, the extra :hammers: from the Plains Hill would have outweighted the later extra :food: from the deers site.

    If not going for an Immortal-rush but when going for Horse Archers I. e., I would have founded this additional, 3rd city:
    Spoiler :



    The city only has two good tiles (Cows + grassland-Silks) , but securing Marble (for the HE) is always nice, and we've learned, that a city at size 2 can work perfectly as a Worker-, Warrior- or Missionary-Pump. In addition: Darius is FIN, so all those coastal tiles would have been good tiles, so it could have even grown to size 6, to 6->3 pop whip it.

    The game btw. went really well, I succeeded rushing two civs with mostly Immortals, so I achieved Conquest at 1510 AD, which is enough for a #1 slot in the HoF.
    Spoiler :



    Link to game in HoF.
     
  4. Seraiel

    Seraiel Chieftain

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    Example #3: Peaceful REX on a Huge map.

    Taken from a Space Race I only recently played with Ragnar, so I had good knowledge of the game itself, and especially on where to settle.
    Spoiler :



    2nd city already settled, let's take a closer look:
    Spoiler :



    I hope that you agree with my choice for the 2nd city. It was mainly founded for blocking of territory from Roosevelt, but it's actually a really good city, that I could also have founded for different reasons. City has two sources of food, the food is in the first ring so available from the start, the city has fresh water and the additional Floodplain is also nice :) . Only thing speaking against it: City causes border-pressure.

    To see how well the blocking of others worked, we directly jump to 10 AD, where settling is finished:
    Spoiler :



    Incredible, right? I expanded to 13 cities peacefully, and that with a non-IMP leader!
    This example is good for showing complex settling, where one city influences the other.

    I'll explain all choices in the following:

    Uppsala: Already explained.

    Haithabu (red) : Founded mainly for blocking the civs to my west, and also a very strong city, having four resources and two Floodplains:
    Spoiler :



    No choice to have settled this city somewhere else. The river gives fresh water, it catches all resources in its surrounding, settling differently would have either wasted resources or Floodplains, or the Iron wouldn't have been reachable.

    Birka (green) : 2nd city to block of Roosevelt and simultaneously also Mansa, who has shown up in the north.
    Spoiler :



    Weak city with only few good tiles and no strong source of Food. Under other circumstances this city shouldn't have been settled at all, but it blocks Mansa and Roosevelt quite well, and with Sheep and Copper as good tiles it's good enough to work as a Worker- or Missionary-Pump. Settling with food in the first ring only gives 1S as an option, because I of course wanted to have the Copper as it's a strong tile. Settling it where it is gave a little more land to the later settled city in the south, so completely logical.
    I connected this city in the real game, because it had quite a few Forests (can be seen on 1st screen) , so I chopped out the Mausoleum of Mausollos in it.

    Bjorgvin (yellow) : Also founded to block Mansa from the north:
    Spoiler :



    City has Rice, Iron and shared Cows. 1S would have been an option and even a good one because of the ability to steal the Corn from the capital and also work a Cottage for the capital, but I don't like to give away the food from my capital. Capitals should grow as much as affordable because up to 50% of research comes from that city only. I therefore founded it where it is, has the advantage of claiming a few more tiles, and all other options would have meant that the city doesn't share the Cow anymore.

    Jelling (brown) : Only has shared Cows, but helps blocking and has a lot of Forests.
    Spoiler :



    All other options secure tiles that are slightly worse. You could have built it at the exact same spot, because you could have counted all useful tiles and compared them, taking the location with the most good tiles, just like I did.

    Roskilde (purple) : Shared Bananas and lots of Floodplains and nice riverside land:
    Spoiler :



    Founded in the wrong spot, 1W would have been better, as I maybe could have stole the Bananas in its west, while keeping about the same amount of Grasslands and Floodplains. I didn't consider settling on the Plains-Hill 1SW, because that would have left less land for the city to the south. Also remember how valuable fresh water is in games, where the cities are supposed to grow large.

    Tonsberg (black) : Needed to found this city to produce two Triremes that I could upgrade to Caravels once I'd have Optics. Those Caravels should circumnavigate the world.
    Spoiler :



    When wanting to get all three sources of food to run this city as a GP-Farm later, there are only two choices. The one you see, and 1S. One south however claims some completely useless Ocean tiles, while it reduces the overlap, which is both bad.
    Note that GP-Farms can also be founded late. The first Great Scientist usually should always come from the capital, as it's one of the few cities that get a Library early, and past that GS, Great Persons are nice but one doesn't need to push for them, so founding a GP-Farm after five cities that all block something and that are good for themselves, good choice.

    Sigtuna (light yellow) : When I sent the Settler on his way towards this spot, the Iron was still available. Unfortunately Frederick captured it, but a city with 1.5 sources of Food + Silks + some Forests and riverside Grasslands, is good.
    Spoiler :



    However I should have saved all those Jungles and Forests to later make a NP-city out of it.

    Lodose (orange) : I told you not to found Jungle-cities, but let the AI do that for you:
    Spoiler :



    This city an exception however. It has two strong sources of food + Sugar + shared Sugar + a river that's beyond good and bad. I founded this city very late when I had enough Workers so the Workerturns didn't matter too much anymore, and a city like this is the most optimal Ironworks-city, one could wish for. It would also have been great for the National-Park. 1S would have been a possibility, but I didn't think of it. From my today's perspective, 1S would have secured the food earlier, so would have been better overall.

    Odense (pink) : The last blocker-city, having a nice source of food, some Copper and it's coastal, so could help with constructing ships, which are definitely needed on Terra Space Races.
    Spoiler :




    Oslo (light green) : No other possibility if wanting to capture all resources while also getting fresh water.
    Spoiler :




    Ribe: Filler city. Has a source of food, so it can't be argued against, as every city enhances the GNP from the time of Corporations onwards:
    Spoiler :



    White-dot south of Ribe is also a filler city that plans on working the Cows, which originally belong to the capital. Now I'm usually against stealing food as said, but in this case, the capital would still have two wet Corns + three Floodplains and that's very strong already. At least, the filler-city could work some Cottages as a Helper-city, and it can build naval units. This city I founded last, because it got no real value of it's own. 1E would have been possible, but then, the city couldn't work as many Cottages as it can like this.



    Even with almost all cities in perfect location, the game didn't end so well. I went to war against the highly developed Asoka and had to face Rifles with Cavs after I had conquered the first three cities. Asoka also had Cannons and as I only had built as little military as possible, two ceasefires were needed and losses were high.
    Spoiler :



    1545 is still a good date though, and I hope you like the 11.5k of :science: / turn my empire conducts at that turn ;) .

    Link to the game in the HoF.

    -----------------------

    This is the temporary end of this guide. I probably will add more content in the future, so I'll add even more case-studies that will explain the details of city-placement further. I hope you had a fun read and learned something, if you got a question or want to give critique, I'll try to answer them :) . Again: Please rate this thread if you appreciate the work I put in it and if it helps you.

    Tia,

    Seraiel
     
  5. Seraiel

    Seraiel Chieftain

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  6. Seraiel

    Seraiel Chieftain

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  7. Qactus

    Qactus Romani ite domum

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    Thank you, it's very much appreciated to have all these tips in one place. I just read the general part with great interest and will go through the examples some time soon. :goodjob:

    #10 was a real eye opener, a simple yet brilliant idea that never occurred to me. In my last game I found out that I had settled the capital on copper and thus spent many excess :hammers: on non-warrior peacekeepers. Next time I'll just leave one city unconnected to pump them.

    One tough decision I face almost every time is about the order of settling city sites: Go for the sweet spot close to the capital that can borrow one improved corn immediately while the cap switches to a mine OR have the settler travel ten squares towards the AI to claim my future border and those gems.
     
  8. Seraiel

    Seraiel Chieftain

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    You're welcome :) .

    To answer the question you ask at the end of your post, reading the case-studies too is probably invaluable. If speaking of optimal play, you only have to answer the question "do I want to peacefully REX, or do I want to expand via unit-xy" that you already have claimed or can claim with a city nearby.
    In general, expanding through war is always the better choice, because units conquering cities are a lot more efficient than if you built Settlers. Conquering an opponents city often only takes 1-2 Catapults (or Trebs or Cannons) and the city you conquer will already have grown and have improved tiles.
    However, I fully understand if one wants to play a peaceful REXing game, and there are situations in which peaceful REX is as efficient as expansion via war, like when your neighbours i. e. have many hills cities, or if they ran out of land very fast, so had more time to spam units, or (even worse) , if they were engaged in an oversea's war making them spam units while not losing any because civs are not able to invade someone overseas effectively. Also, if you play an IMP leader, whipped and chopped Settlers are a lot less expensive, making them more attractive.

    So what this tells, is, that settling the nearer city and going for a rush is the stronger choice in many cases. It comes with the risk of losing the round early (i. e. due to RNG) , but if you succeed, rushing will always leave you in the better situation so with more cities.

    There are some other examples in which peaceful REX becomes attractive though, i. e. in Cultural games, where one usually doesn't play a leader that has a strong and early UU (though Ramesses is actually great because of that! ) and where conquering your neighbour can also mean, that he won't be so nice to spread his religion to and for you. Also, researching HBR or Construction is completely counter-productive in cultural games, so staying on the Liberalism-beeline to get Free Speech as early as possible is actually more attractive.
    Playing on Archipelagio types of maps also makes Conquest less attractive, as one needs more ships, and if an opponent is very far away from onesself (like i. e. in the Ragnar-example on the Huge map) , those cities would also come with higher maintenance, though the last imo still isn't enough to fully justify peaceful REX.

    On the one hand, knowing that war usually always is the better option, produces a relief for the player, as getting 3 cities in total is usually really simple, at least simpler than trying to block all AIs from all directions. It means rolling the dice though, so if you want to play safe, expand towards the city thats the furthest away from your palace which you still think you can also get the land in between that city and your Palace (shown very well in the Ragnar-example) .
     
  9. WastinTime

    WastinTime Chieftain Supporter

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    I suggest you whip after it grows to size 3, not 1 turn before.
    You're giving up the horse tile for 2 food savings.

    Whipping before you grow is a good idea if you're already working a poor tile. However, in this case, you'd want to whip 2 turns before you grow (at 20/24 food). Then you would grow in 1 turn (20/22)
     
  10. Seraiel

    Seraiel Chieftain

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    I calculated this, and you're right, whipping at size 3 is slightly better than whipping 1 or 2T before the city grows. Thx for making me aware of this and giving me an easy rule to stick by (don't whip away strong tiles but let the city grow and whip at the new size) .
     
  11. elitetroops

    elitetroops Chieftain

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    Glanced through the OP, well done! Some nice new ideas for me there.

    Just a suggestion, perhaps you could also add one section on the capital. Of course many of the basic rules apply, but the capital also comes with some special considerations, like how fast can you get the first worker out and how well will it do in bureaucracy.
     
  12. Seraiel

    Seraiel Chieftain

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    I'll write a special paragraph on the capital, just not today, because I'm tired ;) .

    Thx for making me aware of this :) .
     
  13. Pangaea

    Pangaea Rock N Roller

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    Excellent article, Seraiel, and it's good to see that the Civ Illustrated "series" didn't stop at 1 :)

    Great advice in there, and I was glad that I landed on several of the city locations you landed on too. Though far from all.

    Just have two small comments really.

    1. Early on in the case studies you mention that Victoria is in the SE, but she is in the SW. Minor point, I know, but maybe some can get a little confused, hunting for borders.
    2. When discussing one-off the coast cities, you don't mention the Great Lighthouse as a good reason to settle the cities on the coast. If you happen to own the GLH, many coastal cities is a big boost to the economy, as you know well of course. Perhaps worth to include that in the little discussion at the end of that point. Otherwise I agree, and am perhaps a bit too strict myself about settling coastal cities instead of one-off the coast -- though I did actually settle a city one off the coast in the recent HoF Deity win :) It was a helper city that was terrible, but it did its job with growing a few cottages.

    Interesting to see that you actively use blocking cities this far away from the capital even on Deity, where maintenance is pretty darn brutal.

    Also a very nice idea about busting the roads of a fitting warrior/worker-pump city before capturing it. Hadn't thought about that. Lately, when not planning to war early, I've chosen to not connect copper/iron, allowing me to build warriors for a long time. Would still want the cities connected as trade routes are too valuable in the early cities, but with a captured non-connected city, one can still build warriors into the late ADs.

    Another option of course is to trade away your metal - I see AZ do that quite frequently - but if you then get stabbed in the side, you're in a rather uncomfortable position (unless it's been over 10 turns so you can quickly cancel the trade).
     
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  14. WastinTime

    WastinTime Chieftain Supporter

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    in #3 you mention river cities get connected after Sailing.

    Here's a tip you can add to that. When you found your first city it's nice to get trade rts because you get it and your capital gets +1 too. You can do this before sailing and before roads. The rule is: if the river tiles pass thru your culture, the connection is made. So position that first or 2nd city carefully if possible.
     
  15. WastinTime

    WastinTime Chieftain Supporter

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    #4 floodplains.
    You should note that this only applies to early cities. After you have a corn, etc. it won't matter. The more fps the better then!
     
  16. Seraiel

    Seraiel Chieftain

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    Ty for that long Post pangaea [emoji2] .

    Unfortunately, my PC from SNASA is currently on its way to its homebase, so I can only write from my handy. I'll correct the mistake with Viccy when I get my PC back in about a week, and I'll also write something about the GLH. [emoji2]

    Hope the examples were fun [emoji2] . Should have written, that 1 and 3 are on Huge maps, this explains why the far away blocking cities didn't kill me. Will add some comment about that too.

    I'm btw. currently looking for people to write Civ Illustrated #3, which will be on city specialization and management. Would be nice if you, Wastintime or other's would join this project, as the topic is really very complex.
     
  17. Seraiel

    Seraiel Chieftain

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    Only just saw this post.

    I knew that rule and thought about writing over it in this guide, but then, I found 2 :commerce: too little to justify positioning the city elsewhere, so to not capture the best tiles. Without this rule having influence, there's nn to write about it.
     
  18. Seraiel

    Seraiel Chieftain

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    I'll attach a comment about this once I got my PC back. I'm still quite sure though, that what I wrote was true, because cities with more than 4 :yuck: are impossible to keep healthy, therefore every FP is basically like a grassland, only that improving it takes longer. So the more FPs the better is something that still mostly isn't true. Better to split the FPs and make 2 cities with only 2 :yuck: or less out of them.
     
  19. drizzt.titan

    drizzt.titan Chieftain

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    First of all I am going to pretend my inquiry inspired you to write this article even if that is not true.

    Secondly, tyvm

    But third I am in the middle of a tough work schedule which has caused me to put civ on hold for a couple weeks and only logged into civ fanatics to pass some time before bed; your article caused me to miss my bedtime and so I will blame you when I am very tired at work tomorrow; unfortunately I do not have time for comments / questions right now but I will get back to this when work eases up.
     
  20. WastinTime

    WastinTime Chieftain Supporter

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    7. Jungle cities
    You can have one jungle city (for National Park)
    If you have to settle a jungle city early, you can just improve a couple food tiles and whip the city. It should be a useful city without ever having to improve 80% of the jungle tiles.
     

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