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Cottages, financial and OCC

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Berul, Aug 21, 2019.

  1. Berul

    Berul Chieftain

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    Hi everyone,

    I've been playing my first 2 OCC games recently (Emperor diff, Fractal map, Normal speed).

    I've lost both games. The first one didn't go really well, but in the second game Zara beat me to a space victory by only 3 turns, so it was a much closer call.

    What surprises me, is that most posts/guides I found on the Internet suggest to not use cottages, and that the financial trait is weak.

    From my personnal (limited) experience, the hardest part of an OCC space race victory is avoiding falling behind in tech during the late-game.

    A matured cottage produces 5-6 :commerce: (not even factoring in the financial trait).
    With Bureaucraty, that's 7.5-9 :commerce: (plus the :food:/:hammers: yeld of the tile). To me, that seems way better than the 1/2 specialist that a farm would provide. Don't get me wrong: I agree that settled GPs are important in an OCC, but I'd rather get them from wonders/forest preserves than from running specialists that could otherwise work on one of the BFC tiles. In my second attempt, I ended up with 21 settled GPs without ever having a specialist (other than the free ones from the Great Library, the industrial park or forest preserves). Am I missing something ?

    As for the Financial trait... Best case scenario, it will generate 20 :commerce: (and with some starting locations, it's doable to be quite close to this). With Bureaucracy, that's 30 :commerce:. With +250% from library, university, academy, Oxford, observatory and research center, that's 105 :science:/turn. That's not *huge*, but still, it roughly translates to +10% :science: during the late game. And it also helps during the whole game, obviously. Except for Philosophical, which is clearly imo the best trait for an OCC game, I can't think of any trait that would be more advantageous than that (except maybe Spiritual, but I doubt that). Here again, am I missing something ?
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2019
    gavenkoa likes this.
  2. Fippy

    Fippy Micro Junkie Queen

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    Hiya, Fin is certainly not weak (but not nearly as strong as PHI, you got that right :)).

    For peaceful occ, most traits are almost useless or have very small returns.
    Cre, Exp, Cha are among those.
    Ind would be very good, but cannot get Ind + Phi so..

    Spi is still helpful, as trading with AIs and diplo are very important.
    Maybe better than Fin, since you can just go full specialists and farms with Globe Theatre.

    Fin always has 1 "problem", it's only helpful until you can get State Property boosted workshops with Factories + power, at which point matured towns can easily be replaced. So it mostly shines early - mid game, however with Phi + Pyras you can easily cover that phase.
    Gandhi is most likely best in occ.
     
  3. Berul

    Berul Chieftain

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    Thanks for the reply, Fippy.

    There's something I don't get, though: Wouldn't "Full specialist+Farms" be terrible, science wise ? That's why I was advocating for cottages in my first post: I'd rather have 2 cottages than one scientist. What am I missing ?

    I agree about workshops, and indeed I replaced my towns with workshops/mines in the very late game when I had no more research to do. But until that point, you really need all the commerce you can get. I was teching at roughly 1200 :science: / turn, and was barely able to keep up with Zara, even though I had the Internet (we both got our last Spaceship Tech on the same turn). How can a workshoped-city be efficient, tech wise, in the late game ?

    As for Gandhi, I agree he's (very) good but I'm surprised that no one seems to consider Elizabeth as a potential number 1.
     
  4. lymond

    lymond Rise Up! (Phoenix Style!) Hall of Fame Staff

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    Are you factoring in Representation civic, Berul. Mids are an important wonder for OCC. And with philo leader and Rep you will be settling a lot of specialists, each getting beakers as well. Settled scientist will get 9bpt which is quite comparable to mature cottages, plus you don't have to wait for maturity. Also, one must factor in whether you have forest/forest growth to make National Park good option with all the free specialists. And yes, you should be running as many scientists as you can, mainly working food as much as possible, and hammers as needed. I generally save as many forests as a can and try to foster forest growth in the BFC where possible.

    First GS will be used for an Academy, the rest are settled.

    The workshop/late hammer economy aspect was more in the general sense, not OCC in particular, although indeed you might build some workshops late. Though State Property would not be what I would use in OCC, except maybe during parts buildings as a bulldoze stuff for workshops for the extra production. I think Environmentalism best if you have National Park setup.

    Also, build research as much as possible during the game in between important builds. You should never have a problem with gold, and actually earn tons of it during the game so can even buy some techs from AI as opposed to simple trades.

    in some cases, especially if I have played an OCC with a FIN leader, though I usually avoid that, I might lay some cottages down if I have a few flood plains, but only if I otherwise have good food resources.

    No question though that philo is the best OCC trait.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2019
  5. drewisfat

    drewisfat Chieftain

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    It's incredibly common to rush the pyramids in an OCC. It's one of the few wonders you can always get, the problem is the opportunity cost of not building settlers/workers in the early game when you need to expand. Except you're not expanding in OCC, so mids makes sense and isn't hard locked under some stone + IND game.
    +3 happiness and 6 beakers per scientist instead of 3 is huge. If you can get to 6 beakers immediately, why bother building towns?

    The other thing to consider is civics. Representation as I already mentioned is great, but means you're not running US (+1 hammer per town). Bureaucracy, well the civic is made for this mode as you have only one city. Unfortunately, that means you can't also run Free Speech, +2 commerce per town. A smaller consideration towards "emancipation" which lets cottages grow faster and eliminates the happiness malus. Except if you're running globe theater there's really no incentive to run this, and plenty of incentive to stay in caste for your +6 beaker specialists and workshop boost. So while FIN boosts cottages, your civic choice means these guys cap out at 2 commerce and 1 hammer less than they would in your standard cottage spam -> space race game.
     
  6. Donald Duck1

    Donald Duck1 Chieftain

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    But @Berul points out that you need 2 farms to feed the scientist.
    So you need 3 citizens to generate 6F/6beakers total. If those 3 citizens would all be working grassland cottages instead, you'd get 6F/6beakers++ very quicky.
    Or not?
     
  7. Fippy

    Fippy Micro Junkie Queen

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    Rep scientists are invaluable in occ, even if you need some otherwise useless farms.
    You are not just generating 6 beakers with them, but more important gpp (Phi boosted too).
    While there's nothing wrong with some Fin cottages, i doubt it's worth picking the trait over Spi which will make you very flexible later.
     
  8. Berul

    Berul Chieftain

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    The thing is, in my second play, I was producing GPs quite fast, even tho I was using cottages and not farms. Like one every 15-20 turns or so, since I had 21 of them settled in the end.
    All of the GP points came from wonders (and free specialists). But you're all probably right: With more focus and more specialists, I might have ended with 10 or so more settled specialists, which would have made a significant difference (but would it have been enough to compensate for the loss of the cottages ? Well, probably so).

    Also, I probably messed up the "mixing": I had 7 engineers, 7 merchants and 7 scientists. That's way too many merchants.

    One nice thing about the FIN trait, is that forest preserves benefit from it.

    I've started a 3rd game, still with Elizabeth. I've made cottages again (but only 3 of them), and since I have 2 food tiles (I only had one in the previous game), I've been running 2 scientists, aswell as 1 engineer as soon as I got the forge. On turn 172, I have 6 settled GPs. I'm going Chemistry>SM>Biology, which should take 5+7+13 turns (likely less) at which point I should have the National Park aswell as 11 (!) forest preserves. This should, hopefully, solve my GPP generation problem (aswell as remove the need for the globe theater).

    Thanks everyone for the tips, I really appreciate :)
     
  9. lymond

    lymond Rise Up! (Phoenix Style!) Hall of Fame Staff

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    Yep, FIN will boost forest preserves which is nice for late teching if you have a lot. Can't go wrong with Lizzy.

    Getting Great Merchants is pretty bizarre, especially 7. I can't think of any wonders you would want to build to give you a chance for them, and you certainly don't need to be running merchant specialists. You might get the free one from Economics, which you might settle ..the food boost doesn't hurt. But otherwise, you will most definitely be running as many scientists as you can and running caste system as soon as you can. Running an engineer does not hurt though for extra production when needed ( you can run more later with Factory and Industrial Park). Settling some GEs are strong. Settled GSs give a hammer each time as well. You will get a lot of hammers just from settled GSs, GEs, and maybe a Great Priest if you built Oracle as well. Avoid Gspies, GAs, and GMs though if possible. If you do produce them on off chance, you might save them for late golden ages.

    But really can't see you building many wonders that don't give either GS or GE points. Maybe Taj, IF you have marble. At that point the little artist points will give very low odds, but if you do pop one it can be used for golden age later, which is I think far more valuable than settling a artist. But Taj is going to be expensive so may not be worth hammers unless you have marble...building research may be better.
     
  10. Berul

    Berul Chieftain

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    I do have marble, but Darius has already built the Taj (I haven't focused on Nationalism since I'm going peaceful).

    Here's the situation on turn 199:

    Spoiler :






    I'm a bit worried that an AI might win an AP victory...

    Right now, I'm teching Medecine. Since I got 12 free specialists from the NP, aswell as 12 happy faces, I guessed it was time to grow and I removed the non-free specialists.
    With already a few forest tiles worked, I figured Environmentalism would yeld a bit more than Free Market.

    The reason for the Great Merchants is that I purposedly generated them, using 7 free specialists from 7 forest preserves. I did that because there was only one 5 :food: tile in the BFC and quite alot of 1 :food: tiles. Since I wanted to work all the tiles in the BFC, I needed some more food, and hence generated them. Now, in insight, this was probably a mistake.

    Edit: Also, thanks for the advice about GPs distribution, lymond. I did miss the Oracle (I had built it until 1 turn of completion, but I was waiting for Writing which I took too long to tech). Quite funnily (since I have marble, not stone), I have however built the stonehenge (I had nothing really worth putting my hammers in, by that time). The second and even more 3rd GPros were a bit of unlucky: I had started running scientists/engineer by the time I got them)
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2019
  11. Berul

    Berul Chieftain

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    Also, back on topic and to answer lymond and drewisfat:

    I did factor in the mids and representation: With that, a specialist scientist generates 6 :science: / turn. A financial river hamlet (which you only need 10 turns to get) with Bureaucracy nets you 6 :commerce:, which is approx the same. On top of that, the cottage yelds food/production. That's why I thought the cottage would be better. I probably misjudged and underestimated the importance of generating GPs fast.
     
  12. lymond

    lymond Rise Up! (Phoenix Style!) Hall of Fame Staff

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    And the fact that you don't have to wait for those cottages to mature. Floodplains I might cottage though as you won't get forest growth on them. But those tiles you cottaged had a decent chance at forest growth. Or at least a farm or two. Yes, in "hindsight" ;) more food would be okay.

    Having trouble reconciling your growth at this stage...seems like you could be a bit larger. But otherwise, you seem ok tech wise.

    Yeah, Natio can be a bit of a detour for OCC space.

    Settled prophets at least give some hammers, which is nice. Best settled guy next to GSs and GEs, though you want mainly GSs settled.

    What did you Lib?

    I'd say factories would be your next objective, the Labs before the push to parts techs.

    You probably know this, but you can pre-workshop/watermill before actually finishing them later when you really want the hammers...plus the chops will help with parts too.
     
  13. Berul

    Berul Chieftain

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    Hmm... In fact, I had to chop the forests on those tiles so that I could cottage them :blush:. For my defense, this has helped me teching until now. But you're right: I should have tried to keep the forests. Or destroyed the mine S of the city, which I almost never worked after t50.

    Ah, I knew there was something wrong as I was typing that. Thanks for the correction :).

    Astronomy.

    I tried to go for Scientific Method but Darius got Education on the same turn that I finished Printing Press. I only needed one turn to tech Lib at that moment, but I didn't feel like self-teching Astronomy, which would have taken 9 turns iirc and left the possibility that Darius would have teched Lib himself during that time.

    Going for Democracy would allow the Statue of Liberty but it's probably a good idea to not focus too much on those techs and trade them from the AIs. What do you mean by Labs ? The ones you get from Superconductors ? I'll probably try to build the Internet, too. In my last game, this has helped me in getting even some of the parts techs (and, hammerwise, this isn't so expensive compared to all the parts that are to come). Btw, I have two questions about the Space Elevator:

    1) Is there a way to know in advance if my lattitude allows me to build it ?
    2) I know that a GE will give 1000+2*POP hammers. But do those hammers benefit from the various multipliers of the city (like forge, OR, Bureau and the like) ? And also, do they overflow ?

    Yes, I know that. I must say, though, that I'm still very unfamiliar with workshops and even more with mills (that's a big weakness in my playstyle). The trouble I had with workshops in my last game is that State Property wasn't an option (because of a UN resolution).

    Edit: quick update. On turn 212, I'm about to tech Physics (will be the first) and I could trade some backwards techs for Constitution and Economics. I would have liked to tech Democracy and build the Eiffel Tower... but I have no copper, so going that way is probably a waste of time. So right now, my plan is to rush to Industrialism (getting some quite efficient Levee on the way) and then Radio (for the Cristo). As for Nat Wonders, I'm tempted to build Wall Street and Ironworks (already have Oxford, N. Epic and N. Park). I could build the Red Cross, but it's only one GS Point / turn VS a bit of gold for Wall Street. I'm not settled on that yet. Edit2: Emancipation helped me chosing, I went for the Globe Theater. I had no idea how high the malus can go, and I wanted to stay in Caste at all cost. Incidently, my GPPs generated 2 GAs, each with 3% chance :cry: .
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2019
  14. Berul

    Berul Chieftain

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    Hmmm, seems like I could use some help.

    I'm on turn 298 and well ahead of tech of everyone. Here's where I am in the tech tree :

    Spoiler :





    Usually, I wouldn't go for satellites but instead wait until I get them from the Internet, but since the AIs are relatively backwards I thought that it might imply a too long wait. Plus, if I follow up with composites, that guarantees that I'll always have a spaceship part to produce (I'm not planning on making 5 thrusters).

    However, I'm really worried that Pericles might achieve a cultural victory. His 3rd culture city is at 22K and, according to the advisor, it will reach legendary in 86 turns. However, from past experience, I seem to remember (not 100% sure) that things can really speed up near the end. I bribed Sully into declaring war on Pericles, but I doubt that he slows him that much.

    So, any advice ? Is rushing for a space victory an option ? If so, any guesstimate of the amount of time that I have left ?
    Or should I build a military force and try to conqueer one of those cities ?
    Right now, I have 10 infanteries. I could go for robotics, upgrade them to Mech. Inf. and launch an invasion.
    But I'd need about 3 turns to reach any city, and I fear that 10 Mech. Inf. won't be enough to take a city. Here are the 3 targets:

    Spoiler :




    (I could reach them from the west, but invading from the north isn't an option since Toku is there and he won't open his borders to me)

    So, should I rather build a proper military force (with artillery ?), even if it slows down my space-race progress ?

    Note to self: Stop being stingy/lazy when building troops during the early-mid game.

    I do have 7 lower-tier units and 3 cannons, in addition to the Infantery. And I also have the cash to upgrade all those units.
    So that would be 17 Mechs + 3 Artilleries. Does that look like a proper invasion force ? (that would leave London unprotected btw)
    Would the artilleries even be useful, considering that they are slower than the mech. Inf. ?
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2019
  15. lymond

    lymond Rise Up! (Phoenix Style!) Hall of Fame Staff

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    Quick repsinse: Space Elevator is irrelevant as is the tech it comes with.

    Intermet? Should you not be building parts at that stage. Seems a distraction.

    Statue of Liberty and Democracy are both a waste in OCC.

    Bottom line is that in OCC you don’t have time or hammers to spare for useless wonders, projects, and techs. You build key buildings only or research.
     
  16. Berul

    Berul Chieftain

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    Ok, back to the game. I guess first thing to do is send a scout to see what's defending those towns.

    Unless maybe you can build it for free with a GE ? +50% isn't much, considering all the other bonuses you get on parts production but still, if it's basically for free, it's worth it.
    Edit: Oh, I just realized that Robotics isn't required at all for spaceship parts. I'm still a noob in many ways (especially during the late game).

    You're certainly more experienced than I am, but I don't understand that statement.
    Internet has brought me Artillery aswell as Rocketery (and hopefully I might gain Fission aswell. Edit: I did end up getting it) and it seems worth it to prioritize Superconductors for the science/production boost.
    The other way to get to Superconductors would be via Refrigeration, which doesn't look that great.
    Also, I had another reason why I went Radio>Mass Media (yes, I even self-teched Mass Media !). First, it delayed my research a bit, so that I could tech trade for Steel instead of teching it myself. And second, I was worried that Sully might win an AP victory, so I wanted to have the option to gift/trade him Mass Media. In hindsight (!), the risk of an AP loss was probably not so high, since Toku would probably never have opened his borders to Sully.

    Ok, that one is easy to understand: Going for Demo is just a waste of beakers that really doesn't bring anything useful.

    Ok, so I'm now on turn 299 with 31-37 turns of needed research left (depending if I get Fission or not from the Net). +20 turns for the trip. Hopefully, I won't mess up the production of parts and Peri won't have time to reach Legendary.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2019
  17. Berul

    Berul Chieftain

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    Won!

    However, it was not easy.

    I'm not sure about what happened, but all of a sudden, Pericles was producing Culture like crazy and had a Cultural Victory estimated for t314+26 (on t307, it was estimated for t307+80).
    I guess he put his Culture slider all the way up, in the same way that a human player would do.

    Since there was no way I could pull a space victory before t340, I first panicked, then bribed Sully into declaring war on Peri.
    I waited a turn, just to see if the war would significantly change Pericles estimated turn of victory. Nada! Still t340.

    So I thought that the only way not to lose would be to destroy one of Pericles 3 cultural cities.
    I went straight to Robotics so that I could upgrade my Infanteries and during the 10 turns that it took me to tech it, I produced 9 MBTs.
    So, basically, I've been delaying spaceship production by 10 turns.
    This left me with a force of 9 MBTs+15 Mech (which, in the end, was enough to raze one of the culture cities - only because the Ais are stupid and Peri didn't defend his culture cities properly).

    The surprising thing is that, once I had produced that (small) army, Pericles estimated turn of victory had become t325+34!
    That's a 19 turns delay, compared to the previous estimation.

    So, what happened, exactly ?

    1) Did Pericles have to slowly tune his Culture slider down because he was in war mode ?
    or
    2) Did the game "cheat" in my favor, considering that t340 was too early for a cultural victory ?

    Now that I'm writting it, I suspect that it's probably 1) that is right and 2) is nonsense, but while I was playing I was really confused by what was happening.

    Seeing that Pericles estimated turn of victory was delayed, I first didn't declare war (but massed my troops at his border).
    Then, on t334, he had an estimated victory for t334+11 (was t333+26 on previous turn).

    I declared war, razed a city, fled home with what remained of my army (a good portion).
    Spoiler :



    (I attacked following the "X" path. That way, I suspect that the AI didn't see me aiming for the culture city. Otherwise, it would probably have defended it much better. Edit: Now that I think of it, that attacking path wasn't so great: My army wasn't threatening Mycenae on the turn before it attacked the culture city, because of the hill)

    Then I got lucky with the UN: Peri had built the UN, was real good friend with Frederik. Frederik was a little bigger than Sully so the duel was Peri/Freddy.
    If Sully had been just a little bigger, it would have been Peri/Sully, Freddy would have voted for Peri and Peri would have won.

    And finally, I got lucky with culture (Sully wasn't far from a cultural victory too and my army had no chance against his).

    Oh, btw, this is funny. During the last 30 or so turns, Sully has been putting an enormous culture pressure on London (I suspect that he has been spreading culture with spies, since my spy defense was atrocious). Up to the point that I couldn't resist the pressure, even when going full artists and 100% culture. This is what London looked like in the end:
    Spoiler :




    That's my first spaceship race win on Emperor, iirc (even counting non-OCC games).
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2019
  18. drewisfat

    drewisfat Chieftain

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    Congrats Berul! OCC ain't easy!

    Personally I'm a pretty big fan of the Internet. The problem is it's most impactful when you're behind techwise, but it's not easily beelined since it requires plastics. This means there's not much overlap where you can easily win the Internet race and where it's important for victory.
    That said it's usually a pretty small opportunity cost to go for. I wouldn't have considered it here since you're tech leader, but I also don't think it hurt you.
     
  19. Fippy

    Fippy Micro Junkie Queen

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    I remember TMIT anti space elevator comments, classic ~~

    Internet can win some games imo, at least i think i saw that happen.
    Much depends on research vs prod ratio here.
     
  20. Berul

    Berul Chieftain

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    Thanks :)

    I've just played a 4th game and had another win.
    This time, the diplomatic conditions were a bit more complicated, with quite some wars involved, but I nonetheless had a relatively easy win (clear tech lead and no risk ever to lose to a diplomatic victory).

    This is a bit surprising, since I'm not a very good Emperor player (I'd say that I win maybe 10% of the maps, although that % has probably been increasing lately).
    But for some reason, I feel more comfortable with OCC games :undecide: .

    This is even more surprising if you consider the fact that in this game, I've only built 4 National Wonders: Oxford, the National Park, the National Epic and the Ironworks.
    Of these 4 wonders, only 2 are really necessary: Oxford and the Park.
    The +100% from Nat. Epic is only really a +33% (which translates to roughly +16% great people) and the +50% from the Ironworks is no big deal when you have some many other bonuses.

    So basically, in a non-OCC game, it seems that I'd have better chances to win if I restricted myself to only one city (settleing maybe a city or two in the mid-late game).
    It's kind as if every city I settle drags me a bit more towards defeat...

    What's sure is that those 4 last games will certainly change the way I play non-OCC games in the future.

    I do agree. It also depends on how strong your tech lead is, and there's also the fact that you don't want an AI to get it (although it probably wouldn't make a big difference).

    Btw, has anybody any comment about what happened with Pericles in my 3rd game ?

    I'll also add two more questions:

    1) In my last 2 games, among the various production bonuses (+50% from Capital, +50% from buildings and the like), I also had "+50% for producing a spaceship part". I'm almost sure that in my 2nd game, that bonus was "+100% for producing a spaceship part". Any reason why this bonus would change ? Civics maybe ? Or is my memory simply failing me ?

    2) In my last game, I was putting some heavy Culture pressure on one of Catherine's cities (it was 75% English for a looong time) that was poorly defended. Yet, the city revolted only once during the 50-100 turns that it was under such pressure. Usually, revolts happen much more easily. Any idea what happened here ?

    Spoiler :


     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2019

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