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- Sep 6, 2011
CIV Illustrated #4: Hybrid Economy
Welcome again to an issue of CIV Illustrated, the guides that explain the game to you in a manner, that you can easily understand them and use the learned concepts to advance in your play .
Today, we're gonna chew us through a topic of major importance, the “hybrid economy“ . If you are playing CIV a little longer already, you know, that there were tons of different concepts, that all had their unique advantages and weak points, making the topic of economy incredibly difficult. I'll try to keep it simple though.
All those economies, like Specialist Economy, Cottage Economy or also Traderoute and Hammer Economy are obsolete, as all different economies have evolved to one ultimate economy that uses all of the earlier concepts together, depending on what gives the highest benefit, so instead of relying on only one or two sources for your economy, CIV players nowadays use all available resources and the question which type gets chosen depends mostly on the terrain!
Let's look at the major 5 pillars of today's economies:
Traderouts imo are the best source of , because they are quite strong and because they sometimes are established automatically, so for free (River- and Coastal connections with Sailing) , or they only need a Worker to build a Road, which can even be done in advance, so with good coordination, you can have a city connected from the time at which it gets founded.
There are internal Traderoutes which give only little benefit in most situations, and there are foreign Traderoutes, which are very desirable. As one often gets them with Sailing, it's good play to especially unfog the Rivers and the Coast with the initial unit.
The best Traderoutes are intercontinental ones, which can make it desirable to found some island-cities and also build an exploring water unit, to early discover the civs on the other continents.
With the GLH, Free Market and / or Corporation, Traderoutes get even more important. As one will often have at least some internal TRs, it's efficient to not whip 4 cities, because this greatly raises the amount of that the other cities get from the TRs. TRs are also one of the main reasons, why Currency is the most important tech after Pottery.
More about the GLH later.
Cottages are another major factor in an economy. They're not very strong in the beginning but later, when they're Villages or even Towns, these are basically the best tiles there are for . This is, because Grassland Cottages are food-neutral, so a city can work as many as it has Grasslands. Cottaging Plains is not advisable, except in rare scenarios in a Buro capital.
The only real disadvantage Cottages have, is that they need time to grow and become attractive. This can make other improvements that give their benefit instantly (Workshops, Watermills, Windmills, Mines, Farms be the better choice. Still, almost all players Cottage their capital because the Buro-bonus makes them even better.
There are also specific playstyles for very long games, like i. e. Spaceraces, where cottaging basically everything can produce amazing outputs of with running Emancipation and Free Speech. Having the Kremlin and lots of good, conquered Cottage cities can even make Univeral Suffrage attractive, though whipping, drafting and Representation often is the stronger combination, but if research doesn't play a role anymore, like in the very end of many rounds, there ofc. is nothing speaking against running US, Nationalism and Slavery to rush a maximum nuber of units every turn.
There is one additional important fact about Cottages, which is, that they outproduce Specialists, except if hiring Specialists leads to getting a Great Person. This is also the main reason, why Specialist Economies are as obsolete as pure Cottage Economies, one simply needs both. GPs get more expenisve with every GP born, so Specialists lose in attractiveness, anyhow, they're absolutely necessary in the beginning for certain bulb strategies. Also, State Property Workshops and Watermills outperform Cottages when building units, which is, why most players only Cottage their capital and maybe some tiles of the first handful of cities.
3. Workshops and Watermills
These are the ultimate improvements for production in longer games, so games that go past Communism. A Workshop run under State Property easily gives as many as a Lumbermil and that without needing a Railroad. You can directly learn, that Lumbermills are bad improvement, unless on Tundra tiles. Chopping the Forest earlier and then building a Workshop is superior, especially if running Caste on top, making 2 4 tiles out of them. The same is also true if going the corporations route, then Sushi or Cereals pay for the missing food.
What makes these tiles also strong from an economical point of view, is, that the can get production multipliers on top, making them even stronger, and these tiles help to get the necessary infrastructure, units or plain Wealth / Reaearch, which is more difficult with US, as rush-buying is very expensive and not everything can be rush-bought. Producing units at 1 / turn is also better than always needing to spend one turn of production on them, to ne able to rush-buy them without malus.
Watermills are either on par with Workshops when not running Caste, or they're even a little better, because they give food with SP and the from them should not be underestimated, especially because it's instant, basically obsoleting all Cottages. As this requires Electricity, this is very late in the game.