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Cookbook #1 (Sally, Immortal)

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Fippy, Nov 20, 2018.

  1. sampsa

    sampsa Ghost

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    Since so many saves popped up, I started making a spreadsheet of them a few days ago, mostly trying to see if looking at some numbers would help. It got completely out of hand and is mostly filled with useless information :lol: but I guess I can share it since it might help someone. At least it shows what techs people got. ;) I'm sure there are some errors even though I've double-checked it. I also optimized some saves (like completed a whip or switched out of slavery if it saved 1:gold: and nothing was to be whipped in the next 5T).
    Spoiler :


    cookbooksal.png

    Most of the stuff is self-explanatory, but a few details:

    food, hammers, commerce, costs = outputs of the current turn
    f+h+c-costs = total of those outputs

    beakers in known techs = total :science: costs of the techs the player has researched
    beakers in not-known techs = :science: put towards the tech currently researched
    beakers created = total of those two

    same thing for hammers

    food in bank = amount of food in the food bar taken city size into account (i.e. +22:food: if city is size 2, +22:food:+24:food: if size 3 and so on)

    money in bank = treasury shown in top left corner + amount of hammers put into wonders for obvious fail gold purposes

    h+f+b+m created = total of all hammers+food+beakers+gold+failgold created

    hammers lost = -15 per warrior that no longer exists


    What to make all of this? Not much. It's impossible to take empire potential into account, for example. Safety? Exploration? A lot needs to be just humanly evaluated. I will say though that I think the "h+f+b+m"-column on the bottom in sky blue is probably the most important number. It's far from perfect, as for example I think food and hammers are more valuable than commerce at this point of the game. However, the saves with the lowest number there seem to be the ones with weakest micro-management.

    Anysense's save is not included, as I misunderstood earlier that it can't be voted. Well, it's not really comparable anyway since it's 3T ahead.
     
    c^3, Imploding, Tonny and 3 others like this.
  2. Major Tom

    Major Tom Immortal

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    Stones -> Pyramids & win. Want farms for Great people. Seems need also happiness on this map

    About my measly save, 7 turns to borderpop and quarry. Have 20 (40 with stone) failgolds in an inactive build.
     
  3. sampsa

    sampsa Ghost

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    Good question. Yes, you were the only one who went for pottery as 2nd tech. Actually a few years ago I would have done the same almost without thinking, because I liked early :commerce: a lot. Now I've seen the light and like early chopping a lot more, especially when there are many good city sites available.

    The cost of farming a floodplain is grossly exaggerated I think. It's two turns more than normal farm or floodplain cottage... Though certainly for example chopping is superior, when available.

    So my answer to your question is that I prefer mining-BW first as it allows chopping.
     
  4. Fippy

    Fippy Mycro Junkie Queen

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    Using this post as example (neutral), i cannot accept those votes for 3 reasons:
    a) no explaining why they were picked
    b) not in order for points
    c) voted for himself ;)

    @krikav i was also surprised by few peoples going pottery first, i would have probably done so cos of floodplains & wheel.
    Good decision imo.
    (this would be an example of me giving :thumbsup: for krikav's decision. I can do that and inspire discussion, but i could not vote.
    What i should avoid: rating his save already, before getting more info and opinions)

    Great work on your sheet, Sampsa :)

    @Anysense save..yup i was torn there, but i dislike excluding saves cos of honest mistakes.
    I think he accepted that we cannot vote for his save, so no conflicts thou.
    But you can talk about it, and Anysense can also participate in voting (for others) if he likes.

    Yup that means they are only 15 saves up for voting,
    i will correct that in my earlier post.
     
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  5. Major Tom

    Major Tom Immortal

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    :goodjob:Fantastic helpful spreadsheet, Sampsa. You even noticed failgolds not in queue.
     
    sampsa likes this.
  6. sampsa

    sampsa Ghost

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    Yes, I'm pretty sure most players were/are looking to build the Mids. The level of hurry towards this plan seems to vary a lot though. I gather many people felt 4th city to claim the stone is good enough (well at least I did). I think the main benefit of claiming early stone is GW failgold and I it's potentially very strong.
     
  7. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

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    So many saves... Difficult to hold everything together.

    My strategic assessment of this map is basically this:

    "We have alot of uncontested land to settle."

    In such a situation, I rather want my economy abit more developed, so that I can sustain REX without tanking the economy mid/long term.
    In a more cramped situation, settling the few available spots early on _really fast_ is more important.

    I met shaka early on, and found no copper, wanted to see availablity of horses early on.
    The pig is a superb tile to work. Yielding 4 food per turn, I value this highly since it's more or less equivalent with having a free worker chopping an endless forest forever. :)
    Therefor AH early was also important.
    (I saw one save that settled 2city further out the coast, getting the pigs in the second ring. Not good imho.

    I don't like going for fishing, those spots are not contested and can be settled whenever we want. Especially the fish spot is fishy, since it requires a borderpop. Workboats are also a major pain since they compete with different builds.
    Crab city I think is more ok since it can share corn and perhaps 1pop whip a boat fast.
    But I would rather want to get either to writing and get a library (madrassa) up faster, or getting to masonry for pyramids or just some juicy failgold earlier.
    I see fishing here as a sub-par route, but seeing that so many went that way I want to hear more!

    I really like the saves that settled third city just north on the PHs, these can be settled early, they get up to speed earlier due to the extra hammer. The river also connects at least one of them early. And being able to mature cottages for the capital makes them contribute alot already from the turn they are settled.
    Also, I didn't even consider the option, since those sites didn't have any food resource I was blind to the possibility. So i hopefully learned something. :)


    I saw some saves going for the wheat/stone early. One save that missed out on the horses since AH wasn't in.
    I like this site and my plan when playing was to settle third city up there.
     
  8. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

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    @sampsa
    Oh, I have to go now, but that spreadsheet is golden! Thank you SO much! :D
    Will pay more attention to this thread tonight.

    Keep up the discussion !
     
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  9. sampsa

    sampsa Ghost

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    Some thoughts:

    Until T5
    Spoiler :
    While agriculture is a rather obvious first tech, you should still always select/de-select every turn until T5. Also with this land shape, warrior should move towards north during these turns. The reason is that you gain :science: if you meet any AI during these first turns. 2:science: for one AI and 5:science: for two AI, especially latter is nothing to sneeze at (50% of a turn's :science:-output!). On this map I suppose it was impossible to meet them that early though.


    Exploration
    Spoiler :
    I seem to value exploration less than many, well at least I'm not willing to risk my initial warrior dying while doing so (ironically I'm the one who lost his warrior already T9). I prefer the choice to fogbust with 3 warriors south of jungle. I don't really care much what's in the jungle or behind it. We can find out later, when we start caring. Of course meeting AIs earlier is better, though.

    Since this is fractal, scouting work boat is a great idea to possibly find AI that can't be reached via land. It's also a scout that doesn't die and opens up sailing trade routes.


    Techs
    Spoiler :
    While I'm happy with mining-BW I can also understand going pottery first. What is dislike though is going for something else than BW after mining. The reason you go mining is to go BW for chopping. Mining hills should be done IMO only when there isn't anything better available!

    Then there is this trap that I along with many others fell into. AH. While that 6:food:-tile is sweet, there are just so many techs to get that I don't think we can afford AH (unless we start with pottery so have plenty of :commerce:). Also with minimal :)-cap that :food: is not easily put into use. Horse is pretty useless even if we had it. Fishing, pottery, masonry are all useful here.


    City spots
    Spoiler :
    While I didn't really consider other 2nd city spots than 1N of pigs to claim many floodplains (clearly the most popular choice), it's certainly not the only way. What I do feel quite strongly about is having 3 cities at this point or at least close to settling 3rd. I think 3S for crab is fine, 3N on plains hill to work a fp is fine, but going for stone is likely best. I dislike going for fish (sorry Undefeatable :lol:) as it requires a monument and 10T wait for border pop...


    Safety
    Spoiler :
    Should be pretty easy with 3 fogbusters, although might need to be ready to double some spots. Not sure how many archers will spawn in the jungle but there might be some difficulties protecting that wheat in saves that went for stone already.

    Losing two warriors like I and Krikav managed is a huge minus as it might prove difficult to get the stone city up quickly due to barb activity in that area.
     
  10. mscellaneous

    mscellaneous Prince Supporter

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    @sampsa, your sheet is very helpful. Thank you :)

    After teching AG, Mining and BW I decided to skip for pig city for now since it requires AH. I wanted to research POT asap after early worker techs. Settled crab city as it could share the corn. I see multiple benefits in Fishing as there are 2 good city sites as well as scouting opportunity with a WB + early coastal trade routes (hopefully). Also there is no pressure to claim land in the north because of the jungle nearby. Besides, the stone / wheat seems the only good spot for an early city.

    Question is whether you should shoot for Mids. I agree that is seems very strong on this map. I think there is only one save (C3) that has researach Masonry and has the stone already hooked up. For other saves it will take 10-15 turns to have stone up and running, not sure if it is too late for Mids.
     
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  11. sampsa

    sampsa Ghost

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    These are all very good choices in my opinion. :thumbsup: I can already say that I'd assess your save as best by a wide margin even without the copper pop.

    Pretty sure it's not too late for Mids in your save for example and I think even in 3-city saves without stone-city there is a good chance of getting it. SH went rather early in many saves, but GW is not gone in any so I don't think there is an Ind AI with stone. Qin is of course a threat on that department but at least then capturing Mids becomes a possibility.
     
  12. Major Tom

    Major Tom Immortal

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    My votes:
    3 points to C^3. Pyramids can be built/chopped now. Bank the GW failgolds.
    2 points to mscell. Bronzespot is huge.
    1 point to Powerfaker for impressive scouting and ready for workersteal.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2018
  13. Wrathful

    Wrathful Warlord

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    I think it's important to get the Pyramids on this map. There are several reasons for this:
    1. We have stone nearby.
    2. We have several city spots with good food.
    3. We seem to have a happiness problem. There are gems and silk close by but those won't be available until later. I'm not sure we can count on Shaka or Qin getting a religion.
    4. We are spiritual, so no anarchy.
    I think the capital should work floodplains cottages while the other cities work rep specialists.

    Looking over the other saves, I see a fairly major error in my save. I should have settled the stone city 1E of its current position. I missed both the jungled pigs and the horses. It's going to be awkward to get the horses in my save.
     
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  14. sampsa

    sampsa Ghost

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    I'd slightly disagree with this. I very much believe in settling the initial core cities as fast as possible, assuming that they can provide decent :commerce:. Here connection by river and floodplains (even unimproved) are good enough reason to expand to 3 cities asap.

    Well, I don't think horses do you much good if Shaka declares early on you as he will always have impi then. I already called AH a trap in my earlier analysis and I stand behind it. ;) Grass pigs is a great tile, later.
    I don't think any of the city spots are contested in any manner. Since nobody ever starts in the jungle, both AI must be north of jungle. They won't be settling our stone south of jungle. Only a barb city might pop up there, but most have already fogbusted the spot. Fishing is not very expensive as it also gives a discount to pottery. At least with this amount of forest I much rather chop than cottage, so I wasn't in a huge rush to get pottery. Also, granaries are not great with minimal :)-cap.

    Same here, I didn't consider it at all. I like @Swordnboard 's save a lot since he has expanded quickly and preferred chopping, but going fishing-pottery instead of pottery-fishing was better (no cottages anyway, :hammers: in granary not very important).

    I don't think it matters really if horses are 2nd or 3rd ring, we will get them eventually. The tile itself (1:food:4:hammers:1:commerce:) is decent, but not great. I'd rather have the maximum amount of forests to chop really.
     
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  15. Samuel_996

    Samuel_996 Chieftain

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    I made almost exactly the same sheet as Sampsa except with slightly less data input/formatting, so I won't share mine here. It's a very useful tool for the first 50 turns where there aren't too many divergent decisions to be made. Not sure if it'll remain useful as we get towards t100 and some players start shooting off in different directions (wars, settling, wonders, specialists etc...) but hard to argue with the numbers-based comparison for the early game. Anyway, I have some thoughts that have already been stated to some degree or other:

    - Given our realistic Medina settlement spots, I think 1S3E is by far the best. We struggle for commerce and worker turns in this opening, and we want AG->BW->POT or maybe AG->POT->BW very quickly. I'm not convinced about the wisdom of settling 3S and researching Fishing early on, for example. Especially given we're spending unnecessary workerturns (even if we acknowledge that a road 1S of the capital is fine due to movement efficiency in improving the corn) to hook it up. City 2 1N of the pigs gets you auto trade routes which is always doubly helpful when settling the second city as it's 1 commerce from *both* cities. It's also very easy to grow to size 2 and have Medina start building something useful for the empire (e.g. in my game, it's most of the way through my 3rd worker) while a city 3S requires at the very least a) additional research and b) finding either 22 food or 30 hammers to get the workboat out. Crab is a nice tile to work in the short term once we've done all that, but I think its output will be overtaken by pig/cottages soon enough. A western spot I think is weak for basically the same reasons except worse because we need a monument. I wouldn't consider settling this until we're in backfill mode really. It does have the advantage of being less risky in terms of barbs given everybody has (I think, validly) avoided Hunting -> Archery. Basically, hammers on workers and settlers are way better in this (and most) early games, and I'm not too convinced by games that are spending hammers/food on work boats, monuments and (in one case) granaries this early.
    - In spite of advocating forcefully for 1S3E, I'm not too enamoured with researching AH early on. 1 pig tile, which takes our worker quite far away from the other useful tiles? I'm not good enough to calculate the long-term value, but I certainly don't think it's an *obvious* play. Medina doesn't struggle with getting to size 2 especially if we farmed a few flood plains on our way to Pottery, and the whole point of early Pottery is to get those FP cottages online and work them every turn we can from the beginning. The other value in AH, of course, is finding horses, which should probably inform our decisions if we pick AH saves. And let's be honest, one small issue is that if a non-AH save gets selected, we'll all know where the horses are...

    tl;dr: 1S3E good, AH/Fishing kinda bad. (*IMO*) Not trying to drag other saves, just throwing ideas out there.

    Looking further ahead, it does seem that Pyramids is the most obvious way to go here. We have decent food, so we might be able to leverage REP+Madrassas more than normal libraries early on (only if we don't mind prophet contamination, which I suppose we probably do). REP might be the best way to find some beakers especially if we're going to be considering IW and shooting into the juicy spots in the southern jungle, which will nuke our slider in the short term. The happiness is nice too. I haven't settled Damascus in my game but I agree with all the games that have located it around wheat/stone/junglepig (horse is up there too, but I haven't researched AH and thus don't know about that...). I'm going writing in my game, which I sort of regret - masonry is probably better - but it will be nice to get open border diplo early with the fellas.

    Will chip in with further thoughts as people say more stuff, and vote sometime after that. Nice playing with you all!
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2018
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  16. sampsa

    sampsa Ghost

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    @Samuel_996 I agree with you on AH and to some extent on fishing. :)

    Your save has good elements and is only barely out of my top3. I think you could've chopped more heavily to get more workers/settlers asap out and have that stone city settled, cottages can wait especially since your tech path is so economical. Agree that writing is inaccurate, masonry was to be preferred.
     
  17. Swordnboard

    Swordnboard Warlord

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    So many saves... Going to list some criteria I consider the most important, then make a few comments on each submitted game.
    Spoiler Criteria :

    Anyone who doesn't have 3 cities gets significant deductions in my book. Settlers are by far the most important early game build in my opinion. By the same token, those who went for a compact empire but have 3 workers probably have more then necessary at this point. Without aggressive AI, exporation this early on immortal seems unnecessary since worker stealing may be ill-advised, those with more secure borders earn more points from me. In terms of meeting/scouting the AI, espionage point spending provides strong evidence for what we all probably suspect (alone w/ Shaka and Qin). So no biggie as long as we meet both of them before alphabet. Tech-wise, I see many possible paths here, so as long as those who researched AH, masonry, pottery, etc. got good use out of them, that's fine by me. Those who really want the pyramids: not my style here I guess, but fine by me. But I think settling stone/wheat earlier than city #4 is probably a mistake (and settling medina there is definitely too early). Too big of a drain on worker turns to spread the empire thin so early.

    Spoiler Games :

    Spoiler Sampsa :

    3 workers and limited capital growth are a bit suspicious. Defense efforts got a bit unlucky (not holding that against you, just makes me apprehensive about playing this one on). Researching AH is fine, but early AH without improving the pig until T46 seems wasted a bit. Meanwhile Medina has been screaming out for a workboat for quite some time and leeching Mecca's best tile. Yet in terms of pure amount of useful things produced, 3 workers and 2 settlers is pretty solid.

    Spoiler Mscellaneous :

    From criteria above, this is what I might describe as a "non-compact empire". The long distance to damascus, designs on the pyramids will make getting adequate worker turns more difficult, so in this case maybe starting on a 3rd worker would have been warranted. Despite the copper pop, productive output seems quite comparable to other saves. Exploration workboats can be nice, but this one may be a bit too early. Ignoring AH makes a good bit of sense research-wise, but avoiding settling the eastern pig city is probably a mistake regardless. A city like Damascus will probably be settled by most players eventually, but could probably wait until city 4 with ideas of the pyramids, or city 5-6 without. My overall opinion is that there are various small mistakes that add up here to roughly offset the copper pop, so this save is very much in the running.

    Spoiler Olafeson :

    Only 2 cities & 2 workers. Cottage development will aid future research, but not too much benefit has been realized from this so far. Not much to say here except this save is rather conservative, generally production needs to be the focus early and commerce can come later.

    Spoiler Wrathful :

    Another example of a very spread out empire, this time with only a single worker. The worker turns for the long road could have probably been better spent on chops to crank out more workers & settlers. No pottery and high maintenance costs will make future research quite difficult, masonry probably should have waited until after pottery.

    Spoiler Swordnboard :

    Self-evaluation is tough. I'm the only one to be working on a fourth settler, which surprises me since I think settler #4 is more important than worker #3 for those who didn't settle wheat/stone. Pottery before fishing loses (130/1.2 - 130/1.4) = 15 beakers (exactly 1 turn of research at this point, less later). This loss is relatively small, and allows my third city to start a granary and whip (for 22f = 30h) rather than hard-building a worker, which is at least a partial offset of the beaker loss. To be honest, I thought I would build a cottage or two, but the hammers just seemed more important. I'm really happy about the settle location of my third city, the emphasis on chopping and settlers, and the general timing of things.

    Spoiler Tonny :

    This is a tough one in terms of worker/settler balance. I went for city 4 before worker 2, where you've got 3 workers before city 3. This feels wrong to me, but I'm open to more discussion. This save also needs pottery pretty bad, but your relatively slower expansion keeps the economy strong so it shouldn't be too far away.

    Spoiler Krikav :

    On the surface, only 2 cities and 1 worker seems not so great (also same as Sampsa with bad luck on combats). The emphasis on commerce also seems to have paid little so far, especially since there's no early rush here so reaching techs earlier isn't as big a deal as it could be. On the other hand, the finished granary in the capital is a really fascinating strategy, setting up a delayed expansion/strong 5-3 or 6-3 settler pump in Mecca. I'll have to do some more thinking on this one.

    Spoiler 6K Man :

    3 workers, only 2 cities (same commentary as Tonny above). OTOH, no pottery while going for archery is a antisynergistic combination that will put some strain on the economy in future turns. Yet in GOTM-like situations where one must be exceptionally careful with barbs, etc. archery may be the right decision, and good players certainly don't need to skip archery to win on IMM/Deity. Kudos for playing it safe, probably won't score too many votes but perhaps the right strategy regardless.

    Spoiler Major Tom :

    Really like the placement of medina (perhaps it should be city #3, but still). I wish I had put my 3rd city there. Access to stone is definitely better than +1c for connection (and you built the road so get the +c anyways). But fear of chopping has made your expansion just a bit too weak.

    Spoiler Undefeatable :

    A really interesting and different approach. I'm not a particular fan of much of it (city placements, investment in monument, only 1 worker, whipped settler w/o granary), but this really gets me thinking on the possibilities. Also, my preference would have been for pottery before AH given you don't settle the piggies. Kudos for starting on a 4th city (missed it in Mecca's build queue when I took a first look).

    Spoiler Samuel :

    I actually found this save really interesting, I quite like the mixture of farms and cottages here. Then again, plowing over a farm with cottage turns this early is a no-no, and this save could also benefit from more chopping. On that note, no 3rd city yet, but it could be whipped. One other probable mistake I see is writing (we almost certainly want fishing and AH before that).

    Spoiler Floydmcw :

    Kudos for a really safe empire (5 warriors!), and for actually having the pig done already. Mecca looks a little sad so close to size 5 but stagnating building a worker. Hate to be a broken record, but we really need another settler instead of that worker here. Delay in BW is a bit strange as well, perhaps the saved forests can jumpstart expansion/mids later but generally early chops snowball into bigger benefits.

    Spoiler Gumbolt :

    Nice settle of Damascus, I'm envious. Meanwhile, the medina settle is pretty weird, having a monument completed but no AH in sight is perhaps even weirder. Above all, too much infrastructure for this early. At the same time, you've still built 2 settlers and 2 workers somehow? Nice! Economy is also a bit rougher than others, but with pottery in should turn things around quickly.

    Spoiler Powerfaker :

    Gutsy exploration, unfortunately doesn't seem all that useful since worker-steal is so risky here and worker may get eaten by barbs anyways. Interesting tech path sans BW for so long, we can see some benefits in terms of cottaging and the pigs but the drawbacks (only 2 cities) seem a bit steep. Also some nice city growth which shouldn't be underestimated.

    Spoiler c^3 :

    Bold move to settle the stone first, and somehow even has invested in failgold this early! Nevertheless, missing fishing/pottery/AH and only on two cities means the sacrifices for the stone have definitely been too great. Economy is also suffering due to the high distance and low commerce potential of the stone city.

    Spoiler Anysense :

    Lots of growth, which is nice. No BW is a bit strange, and only 1 worker and 3 cities on T48 is probably a bit too slow on the expansion front because of it. I won't analyze this one too deeply since it has a couple-turn headstart on the field, but definitely some pros and cons to this approach.

     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2018
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  18. Fippy

    Fippy Mycro Junkie Queen

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    Adding, you have plenty time for voting (and writing stuff in general).
    I will only start setting a date once it appears that most has been said, and interest cools down.
    Will be a couple days for sure, not like you will miss voting if you are away tomorrow.
     
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  19. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

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    I'm so glad that many of my assumed truths are getting questioned here.

    Thoughts about fishing:
    Having workboats for scouting and possibly finding AIs is something in favour of fishing that I did not consider. In almost all my coastal starts I send out one (or sometimes two) wbs out in different directions. A very reliable way of scouting.
    Here however we didn't start coastal so that possibility was not on my radar. Not good!
    Getting early trade routes is nice, but at best it's 1c per city at this stage and sailing feels like aeons away.
    The fish site is for much later, and the crab site hmmm... Well in my situation I'm one turn from completing the granary and then the value of that corn is doubled in the capital, having to lend it out for the crab site is not tempting, at least not in the stage I am in in my save.
    From my save, likely continuation is to whip the worker and then finish the granary, then chop out two settlers with the two workers.


    Something that is not considered in the spreadsheet is cottage maturation, something that I find very important.


    Also interesting to hear arguments against AH.
    I can't help but thinking that the value of a 6 food tile is underestimated. Chopping non stop in an endless forest yields you 5H per turn. While a pig yields you 4F (equals aprox 8H with a granary and heavy whipping). Could be that I'm thinking abit too long term here.
    Also, with a copper no-show the information about horses is crucial imho. How else can we make a long term plan?
    We get a 20% discount for AH since we know AG, something that we don't for fishing (no pre-req) so AH is "only" 2x the cost of fishing.

    The cost for AH is considerable though, and seeing all different saves I start to think that the tech path of ag,min,bw,ah is abit to slow commerce wise.
    Getting pottery and laying some cottages down is probably more crucial than getting horse-info and bringing the pigs online.

    And if you go for pottery after bw, fishing is almost for free.

    @mscellaneous I start to like your position more and more. :)
     
    sampsa and floydmcw like this.
  20. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    Messages:
    4,522
    Location:
    Sweden
    Yes, this is the best part of this excersise, we should spend as much time as needed on this stage. Here is the big opportunity to learn. At least I see it that way. :) I'm in no rush for placing my votes yet, I want to hear alot of different opinions.
     

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