Corporation: The Power of Sushi

Discussion in 'Civ4 Strategy Articles' started by MrCynical, Aug 12, 2007.

  1. Protozoan

    Protozoan Warlord

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    I want to max my beakers per turn. I can get up to 4K-6K competently How can I use corporations to break through that?
    Should I use ethanol and Al Co

    or use Sid's Sushi and Mining Inc and run specialists?
     
  2. MrCynical

    MrCynical Deity

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    Personally I prefer Sushi (or cereal mills on some maps) to standard ethanol, but you could make an argument that for absolute maximum science Ethanol is better. A quick comparison on a standard map:

    Sushi gives 0.5 food per resource.

    Ethanol gives 2 science per resource.

    Say you have four resources. For Sushi that's 2 food, so 1 scientist and hence 6 beakers before modifiers. Ethanol will give 8 beakers, and so looks the better option. However there are a number of issues which I find flips the balance in favour of Sushi.

    1)If you have low food cities you can work additional cottages (and windmills) with Sushi.

    2)With Sushi cities end up rather larger than with Standard Ethanol, which in turn gives a higher trade route output contributing further to science.

    3)Sushi has four resource types vs. Standard Ethanol's three, and they tend to be more common on most map types.

    4)Food is much more flexible, and can also be used to boost production cities, and get decent cities on very poor terrain. Standard Ethanol can't do this. As a result I'm always going to go for Sushi/Cereals regardless. Even if there is a marginal edge in science output for Ethanol over Sushi in some cities, it may not be worth the cost of the extra great scientist to found the corporation. (I also hit the problem I can't stack these corporations in the Wall Street city, which makes them a bit more expensive to run).

    5)Ethanol doesn't show up till Plastics, which is very late in the game. Sushi shows up much earlier at Medicine, and 6 beakers then is worth more than 8 beakers later.

    6)The huge amount of culture Sushi gives can be useful as well.

    Now, as for Aluminium Co, I'd never choose that over Mining Inc unless I'm going for a cultural victory (and even then it's a low priority). Problem with this one is that it only uses one resource type, which results in quite a low maximum output. It also hits the same problems as Ethanol in that it appears late at Rocketry and clashes with a much more flexible corporation. Even if it is marginally better for maximum science, I'm not going to lose Mining Inc for it, and it's rather dubious to found both corporations.
     
  3. Wodan

    Wodan Deity

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    Aluminum I think is a "patch" to enable you to go for a space win even if you don't have aluminum. As such, I'm not sure it's intended to be a good corp in its own regard.
     
  4. AccipiterQ

    AccipiterQ Chieftain

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    does any of this apply any more, since with the latest patch the computer won't trade you resources that you already have?
     
  5. Wodan

    Wodan Deity

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    They will trade you if you have an appropriate Corp.
     
  6. MrCynical

    MrCynical Deity

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    If you have branches of a corporation that uses a resource, they'll trade you extra lots of it even if you already have a source. There was a slight glitch where the AI wouldn't recognise the HQ as being a corporation branch in this situation, so you could only trade for extra resources once you'd spread the corporation to another of your cities. I'm not sure if that one got fixed in the last patch.
     
  7. mfie

    mfie Warlord

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    Cereal Mills often gets me more food then sid suhi
     
  8. RRRaskolnikov

    RRRaskolnikov Goldfish

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    That's because you prolly don't play Terra/archipelago/Big & Small a lot :)

    Cheers

    PS: choose your food corp function of the map script you are using...
     
  9. Conquistador 63

    Conquistador 63 Deity

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    Very nice article, I've subscribed to it a long time ago. :goodjob:
    The only significant aspect of this strategy I failed to identify in the discussion so far is the trade-off regarding the alternate strategy, namely...State Property!

    I could present as an example the game I'm currently playing (Emperor, Continents, Std size, Normal speed). Now it's 1600AD, when I got like 40~50% land (conquered my starting landmass, have 20+ cities), a tech lead and have all the requirements (techs and GP's) for founding Mining Inc and Cereal Mills (16:hammers:/city and 8:food:/city before additional trades). The game is basically won, but my goal is the fastest space finish possible. That is usually obtained maximizing :science: and :hammers:.

    Would I be better off just sticking with State Property and enjoy its benefits (no distance maintenance, +1 :food: for each of my 45 workshops, 10% :hammers:/city), or would the cost of swapping to Free Markets and burning 2 GP's, besides the :hammers: & :gold: investment on executives pay off? Also should be factored in the costs of courthouses (otherwise unnecessary) and Wall Street (not the hottest investment when you're running 90~100% science slider). That is the kind of cost/benefit analysis one should consider before blindly converting to the Corp religion. ;)

    Any thoughts, or this thread necromancy is too much for your tastes? :)
     
  10. Wodan

    Wodan Deity

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    Generally after the infrastructure is in place is waaay past the time to be making this decision.

    You should have a "civics plan" in advance, so you know what civics you intend to switch to, and about when. (This plan will be different in each game.) You can modify the plan as you go along as needed, especially if you have significant game-changing things such as a world war or a big influx of territory you didn't anticipate.

    But, regardless, the point is that you should KNOW your modern era civics before you get to the modern era. After you get there, with all your workshops in place, without the GP generation in place, etc. is not good planning. Either you're going to switch later than you could have (and achieve the benefits later, and decrease the cumulative benefits because of less turns of income), or you're going to have to incur "rush" costs (loss of worker turns, etc.) or both.

    I didn't say that well, too early in the morning. :coffee:
     
  11. lilbacchant

    lilbacchant Chieftain

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    Probably not worth much since I haven't played the game yet :crazyeye: (waiting for it from Amazon), but I'm trying to at least get some of the new concepts aforehand and your write-up (plus many of the comments) has been very helpful. So, thanks.

    I'm sure I'll find it even more helpful once I've had a month or so to actually play. :D
     
  12. georgjorge

    georgjorge Deity Wannabe

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    Great article, thanks! I've used corporations to some good effect now in the past, though not often because State Property is so very good...

    I used Sushi for a diplomatic win last game after settling a ton of land but having only slightly more than a rival AI, which was ahead in tech. We had an equal amount of cities, but due to whipping and having lots of water tiles mine weren't as big as his. I beelined Sushi, and by the time I founded it I had about 0.5 of his population.

    By the time I built the UN, about hundred years later, I had 1.5 of his population. My population had tripled! I didn't even change any tile improvements to farms, it was all Sushi - I founded three or four additional cities in crap locations which wouldn't make sense without it, and they were as big as his cities a short time later.

    And it was a tiny map. I was very impressed...

    On the other hand, my economy was crashing towards the end, I was losing gold with a 10% slider while almost every city was building Wealth, 29 cities with Sushi are hard to maintain. Outside of UN victories, it should definitely be used with care.


    Something else, I think the info about AIs spreading your corporations are a bit off. Two games now, I've tried spreading Sushi to the AI. In one game, the spread started only after a lot of turns, at least fifty, and was limited to only a few cities. In the other game, the AI spread it after even more turns in exactly one city, then stopped. None of the AIs had any corporations of their own...So financing domestic spread with foreign one never really worked for me.
     
  13. morchuflex

    morchuflex Emperor

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    Huh? Are you sure this was related to the Corporation itself?

    If you are careful enough to

    1. Have a courthouse in every city,
    2. and build a MP, a grocer, a bank AND Wall street in the city where you founded the corp.,

    THEN you shouldn't lose much money. You can even make an overall profit thanks to the extra specialists Sid's sushis allow you to feed.
     
  14. georgjorge

    georgjorge Deity Wannabe

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    Maybe "crashing" is a bit too hard, I was still teching at about 1000 beakers a turn with Representation, but still a good bit behind the situation before I had spread Sushi, and I wouldn't have been able to win a space race that way.

    I did have all the courthouses and the setup in the founding city. The economic setback came from a) having a huge spread-out empire but not being able to run State Property due to Sushi b) having more food than I could turn into gold/beakers. If a city is already working all its tiles except the coastal ones and running as many merchants/scientists as possible and is still growing fast, then the upkeep increase can lead to losing money. Caste would have been a help, but I had to be in Emancipation and still use the culture slider to allow my cities to grow to their maximum size.

    Now of course growing every city to the max was a special strategy for this situation where I aimed for a diplo win, and will not happen in other games. In another situation, I would have spread Sushi to maybe six or seven cities that could use it, and not traded for as much seafood as I did. What I wanted to show is that while Sushi is very very powerful, unless State Property watermills it's not something you can put everywhere and except to get huge benefits, you'll need to determine ways in which that food can benefit specific cities in the situation you are currently in and put it there, or maybe even go for another Corps or State Property if they are better (if your best cities are already at size 20+, putting Sushi there will have you spend all of their hammers on health/happiness buildings, for instance).
     
  15. Wodan

    Wodan Deity

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    Sounds to me as though you weren't doing something. Surely it's true there are multiple ways to run your economy into the ground, and this has nothing to do with Sushi.

    A good money farm, for example, will pay for a huge number of cities which are total money losses in of themselves. Way more than the 20 or more cities from the case study.

    I also don't get why you had to run Emancipation AND crank the culture slider.

    Running Rep and growing those 20 cities like mad will generate a friggin' huge amount of science under Caste. It doesn't matter if those cities may have maint costs of 15 gpt or whatever. Yes, try to get those costs down and make Courthouses as soon as you can, but the :science: income more than makes up for the :gold: cost.

    I would contend that Sushi is useful is almost all games, not the very few that are going for UN victories. It just has to be used properly. Improperly used, yes, you can run your economy into the ground.

    Correlation =/= Causation
     
  16. georgjorge

    georgjorge Deity Wannabe

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    We definitely agree here, and if you think I proposed Sushi only for UN then maybe I phrased it badly. Sushi everywhere is useful only for UN (and for UN, like in this case it may be the correct choice to damage your economy and have to use the culture slider if it means getting enough population to win the vote). Sushi used with care is useful very often (though I still think not always because of the power and immediate benefit of State Property).
     
  17. morchuflex

    morchuflex Emperor

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    Totally agree. Each time I bother to play that far into the game, I spread Sushis everywhere and it's always a huge booster.

    The only problem that I could imagine would be having too few seafood resources (very possible on pangea types). Of course, if you want to make the max out of this corp, you'll have to buy every surplus the AI can offer.

    On Huge Archipelagoes (my favorite setting), I can easily get Sushis to give me +10 food in every city. That's... something. :)
    If I can afford a GE, I couple Sushis with Mining Inc. This makes every newly founded city develop at warp speed, even when planted in the middle of a 100 % ice island.
     
  18. Wodan

    Wodan Deity

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    :lol: Well, here we go, then. I guess I phrased it badly as well. ;) Let's try again:

    Sushi everywhere is useful in almost all games, not just the very few that are going for UN victories.

    SP is powerful but not "all that" as many people think.

    IMO it's easy to get tied to a specific strategy, SP being a good example. To find the power of that strategy, and then to play it a couple of games, and get even better at it. This snowballs and the natural result is a disinclination to play other strategies, which, since they haven't been played nearly as much, are at an "earlier" stage of proficiency.

    YMMV may vary but that's my observation. :)

    morchuflex, agree on pangaea. That's a given of course.

    But, even there, Sushi (and any corp) become monsters when you make Hollywood etc. All those bonus resources that the AI doesn't have access to are excellent trade bait. Extremely powerful combination.
     
  19. morchuflex

    morchuflex Emperor

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    You put words on something I have been experiencing since I started playing Civ 17 years ago... :) It really takes some effort to try new strategies.
     
  20. MrCynical

    MrCynical Deity

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    Yes, I agree on this. It's worth noting I wrote this a couple of patches ago, and the AI's behaviour with corporations has been tweaked a fair amount. ;) While you'll still sometimes get an AI that will spread it for you, I find it much faster to do the bulk of foreign spread myself now.

    As for the money problems, running only domestic corporations I always regard as a bit dodgy. You want some foreign spread to counterbalance the costs, even if you have to do it yourself.

    This I definitely wouldn't agree with. Unless I have a very large empire (i.e. pushing the domination limit), I find Sushi is a net benefit in almost any city and usually I end up spreading it everywhere. Foreign spread is vital for this though. The idea of domestic corporation branches is to convert gold into something more useful. The idea of foreign corporation branches is to make more gold that you could otherwise find a use for. They work best together.

    State Property, while it is simpler, I usually find inferior to corporations. The balance does shift towards state property as your empire expands (crucially as the number of your cities and hence corporation branches appproaches the number of foreign cities), but the game is generally over at that stage anyway.
     

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