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Colonies

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by RulerOfDaPeople, Feb 8, 2009.

  1. RulerOfDaPeople

    RulerOfDaPeople Emperor

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    What good are colonies? The idea looks good, but in practice, what good do they really do for you? I ask because I was thinking, doesn't every commerce point count in helping you to advance the tech tree, and they're commerce producers, right? Wouldn't having State Property neglify any need for spinning off colonies?

    I'd love to play colonies, but I'm having a hard time figuring out their practicality.
     
  2. generalstaff

    generalstaff Steadfast

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    Very specific instances in theory. The only one I can think off of hand is having colonies is parts of the map which are not rich in commerce, but are necessary for strategic reasons (please do not ask me to specify).

    Of course, you are right, State Property nullifies the use for colonies. Which means that the only time colonies will appear is before Communism or if you are relying on corps.
     
  3. tsentom1

    tsentom1 Bubble Dragon

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    Actually, state property only nullifies the distance from palace maintenance cost. 2 or more cities on a separate land mass from your capital pay a colonial maintenance cost, in addition to the number of cities maintenance cost. So turning them into a colony helps alleviate those two payments.

    Also, state property nullifies corporations which is probably the hugest drawback of any civic seeing the potential boost to every yield and commerce you can get from corporations.

    Colonies basically let you stop rivals from claiming islands, without you having to pay for it yet still being able to demand almost every resource from the colony. Theoretically, they also help with additional troops (that you're not paying unit / military maintenance cost for) but they usually suck at war and are behind tech wise. You can always give them troops though.

    You can argue why make a rival civ a vassal instead of just conquering all the cities. It's a very similar argument.

    Though, I agree that colonies could probably use a boost in terms of usefulness. Though turning a few island cities to colonies can help you go another 10-20% up on the research slider without loosing money every turn.
     
  4. mangxema

    mangxema I

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    That is an awesome typo. :D
     
  5. noto2

    noto2 Emperor

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    it's a little misleading to compare colonies to vassals. I used to think both were useless. Now I realize that the vassalization function makes winning the game a lot easier, but colonies are rarely helpful. Conquering an entire nation takes a phenomenal amount of resources, and might actually set you back for a while, not to mention it is a micro nightmare and makes the game tedious. It's possible that another civ might pull ahead of you in tech while you're doing it. Destroying a civ completely takes less time and energy, but still a lot. Therefore, it's often helpful to force a civ to capitulate so you can move on to the next target. Colonies, however...are rarely useful. Even with the colonial expenses it's quite easy to make cities pay for themselves. Building the forbidden palace or Versailles makes colonial cities cost barely anything more than homeland ones...and even IF you can't build either of these, and have to pay colonial maintenance, it's still easy to make the cities turn a profit. In that case, you'd probably be running free market, and the trade routes alone pretty much pay for the city. Also, if you grant the cities independence early on when they might be losing you money, the colony will be too weak to ever help. You could spend a lot on the cities and develop them before granting them independence to actually give the colony some power...but if they are profitable, powerful cities, why give them away? Yes...the ability to create colonies is almost always a waste. It's almost always better to keep the cities. Unfortunately the AI is programmed to make colonies, which is stupid. Good one, Firaxis, fire the moron who came up with the colonies idea. Wow.
     
  6. MrCynical

    MrCynical Deity

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    I must admit I've never been too convinced that colonies are of any real use. Yeah you save on colonial expenses, but I very rarely see cities that won't pay for themselves once they're up and running. They'll contribute enough commerce and production to be of use, and I retain full control over them.

    Now, if I turn them into a colony, odds are their commerce and production will go completely to waste. I have never seen a colony grow into a relevant civ - they just tend to stagnate at the tech level they were formed at while the AI builds units rather than infrastructure in a futile attempt to catch up with the original civ on the power graph. I could tell them what to research, but they're so slow it's never useful. There's also the point that if I'd hung onto those cities I'd be able to use their commerce to get the tech faster anyway.

    The only argument I've seen that seems sound is micromanagement reduction. Say you've got a few cities scattered on small islands miles from your main civ. Ferrying units about will result in them taking up a disproportionate amount of time to manage, and their overall contribution to your civ is barely noticeable. Dumping them onto a colony retains a marginal amount of control while dispensing with tedious management, though like all automation this is sub-optimal compared to controlling them yourself.
     
  7. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    No misinformation, please.

    Colonial maintenance is capped at 2x distance from palace cost...and guess what that is under SP ;).

    That said, corps are incredibly useful. One can probably do with forbidden palace abroad + corps. Unless you have like 8+ cities on the other continent FP will probably help enough to justify FM assuming corps. Quite frequently, however, the speed at which SP workshops can turn those conquest into powerful hammer cities to continue your warmongering makes it better than trying to spread a corp everywhere. It depends on the victory condition and map.
     
  8. Xellos-_^

    Xellos-_^ Prince

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    if you are going for diplo vict, then making colony and granting them indep would increase the number of votes you get.
     
  9. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    No, it's much more likely you'll get less votes since it screws your diplo due to vassal averaging with your diplo. Best case you get the same number of votes. Generally this is a bad approach for diplo unless you're just going to vassal everyone for the needed votes, but even there it's just break-even on the diplo standpoint.

    Colonies are good for cheesing 2 garrison units out of nowhere though.
     
  10. shulec

    shulec Grrrrr... I AM the force! Hall of Fame Staff

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    I believe you cannot get a diplomatic victory vote if your civilization's number of votes is greater than the number of votes needed and you have no vassals or colonies. If you have a vassal or colony, then you can get the vote. So if you are in a game where you wiped out all of your enemies without vassalizing, then you can create a colony to make a vassal-like situation and then this should trigger a victory vote.

    I'm sure TMIT will correct me if I have misspoken. And thanks for doing so.:D
     
  11. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    Nope...that's correct! You can give pop to colonies in order to put yourself back below the ~61% needed to win UN or the 75% for AP.
     
  12. Bowsling

    Bowsling Deity

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    the boosts are:
    extra vassal happiness
    more UN/AP votes (in an separate civ they will make more than those cities will for you)
    easier to defend, as you can bring support, and they'll have they're own military
    losing cities that can't pay for themselves while still preventing rivals from owning them, and still having their resources
    the downside:
    the cities having their own mind

    i giv'em a big YES
     
  13. Ian Kognitow

    Ian Kognitow Deserter

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    Unlike the AI, I'd argue that it's not really a good idea to go out and claim territory for territory's sake. Overseas settlement should primarily be about finding particular spots with plentiful or strategic resources around; and those cities should be able to get up and running soon enough because of those resources that they wouldn't be that expensive. So, settling random island chains or a foothold on a landmass that has already been largely settled by the AI has never seemed very worthwhile to me. For the time and cost, better to take by force another civ's relatively undefended colony or vassal (or, better, their homeland), which they would have been so kind as to have already done the initial development.

    Moreover, if you beeline corps (especially the famed sushi/mining combo) rather than worrying about maintaining a jigsaw international empire through State Property, when you do take over all the AIs relatively new/underdeveloped cities, you can turn them all into robust parts of your own Civ.
     
  14. Phoenician

    Phoenician Tiberium Warrior

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    I actually make colonies quite often when I am warmongering. When I have enough land for production purposes, I don't want to pay more maintenaince than I have to after that-so I create a colonies and demand luxury/food resources to benefit my mainland.
    Be sure you keep some military units to protect your vassal cities because they are inadequate in protecting themselves for the most part.

    Am I alone here? I make lots of colonies if I want a diplo/domination win. I mean holding onto 50%+ of the world is really expensive and a bit over the top. If I have 25 cities that have strong production, I don't see an argument to hold onto anymore cities.
     
  15. Ian Kognitow

    Ian Kognitow Deserter

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    If you have vassalized the civ you're originally warring against, if you are concerned about maintenance, just keep a geographically contiguous area of the most productive territory (by extension, what remains shouldn't be able to assert stifling cultural pressure on that area) and liberate the rest back to the original civ rather than create a new one. It will greatly improve your relations and that civ will be much more capable to help you militarily, and possibly technologically, than a newly created one.

    If you have not vassalized the original civ, it's better to hold the cities yourself in order to develop the territory and control production yourself while preparing the next invasion. In particular, you would have the capability (especially with the influx of gold from war booty) to rush new buildings--obviously courthouses asap, if maintenance is your main concern--and pump culture into the newly conquered territory to get it up and running.

    If you're more concerned of having to micromanage, already having 25+ fine cities, just have them queue up/rush the courthouse and production modifiers and then switch them to wealth indefinitely. Either way--through making productive cities or by building wealth in those cities to support 90-100% research, gold and especially research will take off in the late game well beyond what you would have from a bunch of ineffectual, satellite civs. Diplo victory it might not matter, but since you're likely to be getting that primarily through warring rather than actual 'diplomacy', again, better to liberate back to previously vassalized civs since that might actually give them some remaining capability to help you.
     
  16. RulerOfDaPeople

    RulerOfDaPeople Emperor

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    You guys make a good read. I'm going to try some of these things mentioned here in my next game. :goodjob:
     
  17. Flying Pig

    Flying Pig Utrinque Paratus Retired Moderator

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    I use them to take resources from the other side of the world more efficiently
     
  18. Corneh

    Corneh Warlord

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    how about running mercantalism? if you control a vassal/colony u still get those foreign trade routes!!

    tho i rarely make colonies they can be usefull once in a while, very map dependent like nearly everything in civ ;)
     
  19. Bowsling

    Bowsling Deity

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    I have never found mercantilism as a very good civic, though I could be proven wrong. I generally run a loose HE economy which relies on a lot of trade routes. I find going for strict SE makes, the game a bit boring, and 1 free specialist isn't that great of a bonus. there's another plus for colonies i never considered when i made my original post.
     
  20. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    Merc isn't bad with representation. It also becomes more attractive when you have fewer trade partners/more wars and of course when you have vassals. And when you abuse it for diplo points.

    Don't forget that merc allows you to run corps without others force-spreading their corps to you...the only civic that does so.
     

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