Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Fetch, Mar 21, 2006.
I much prefer Rep until later on in the game, but I still build cottages anyway...
No, there're alright.
Not at all. I seem to have more of an effect on my economy using Shrines and spreading religion than a bunch of cottages. Although, the economy isn't my strong point until mid-way through/late into the game.
In a lumbermill game,no forest chopping and almost no farming,trading
could be a third approach,but your relations have to be friendly.Even
if your neighbors are Montezuma,Napoleon and Huayna Capac.
My humble opinion as an emperor-immortal level player is that many people on this forum seem excessively opposed to wonder-based strategies for emperor+
I've tested lots of different openings and currently there are three which I like and are fairly reliable on emperor, two of them wonder-based:
1) Oracle slingshot to Code of Laws and Civil Service, founding Confucianism. I usually also build Stonehenge in this opening, especially if I have a Philosophical leader (which is good for this opening).
This opening is good for mid-game expansion, since with your early religion, shrine, courthouses, and Bureaucracy civic, the economy will be strong enough to support many new cities.
2) Pyramids for Representation, optimally followed by Hanging Gardens (combines very well with Rep) in the same city to get the Great Engineer faster, which I use to rush the Great Library (in my GP farm most likely). Good for Philosophical or Industrious leaders.
This opening is great when you have exceptionally good land for your first five cities, especially abundant food. To abuse Rep you want to build up a few large cities, which is why food and health is important (hence the Hanging Gardens).
3) Early military rush, no wonders. I usually want to do this with civs that have a good early UU and Creative is the most preferable trait (followed by Aggressive of course); I love Persia and Egypt for this strategy, although they need Horses for their UUs.
Understand that sometimes it's worth it to rush even when you cannot take any cities - your army can still pillage the enemy's lands and halt their expansion. This is why I always favor fast units for early rushes, such as Immortals or War Chariots, or maybe Keshiks.
The above three strategies have all proven reliable on Emperor and on that level I'm basically confident to build any specific wonder I set my mind on. The one wonder I do not recommend is the Parthenon - it's too expensive for the effect.
As an added comment, I think some players may be wary of wonder-strategies because of a Civ3 bias. In Civ3 wonders definitely were less reliable, generally more expensive, and losing a wonder-race could be a big loss. The Civ4 AI isn't as crazy about building wonders so even on higher levels you can get yours through. Even when you don't, you get your hammers converted to gold at a 1:1 rate, which is nothing to cry over anyway (in fact some people "lose" wonder races on purpose just to get gold for hammers).
Overall, I don't understand why people keep bashing wonder-strategies as bad for higher levels...
A couple of points:
1) Spreading out the GP points is less "optimal" perhaps, but does result in more GP earlier in the game, which goes nicely with the Rep. strategy of adding them as super-specialists early.
2) Both ways begin the same, but instead of switching farms to cottages later, more specialists are added (or taken away and made to work tiles in the later game, when cottages have more advantage). With 2 or more food resources in the fat cross (not uncommon), you should still be able to work some production tiles.
I must applaud the OP to bring up this discussion. It was to be expected that not many people would support his opinion that cottages might be a bit overpowered as cottage spamming is a wildly popular strategy. The only one who even dared to utter something like that was DaviddesJ and he got attacked immediately.
Still none of the people who are in favour of the present power of cottages even attempted to reason why a town under Universal Suffrage and Free Speech should increase the output of a tile by 1 hammer and 7 commerce (not financial civ). Why shouldn't it be just 6 commerce or something like 1 hammer and 10 commerce? Why is this exact value the right one? Because if you're saying that they're not overpowered then a value significantly lower than 1 hammer and 7 commerce would surely make them underpowered.
Still, I think that people would still build massive amounts of cottages even if the late game towns gave an output of just 4 commerce. They are the only way to seriously increase the commerce output of tiles, so they will be build. So what makes the 1 hammer, 7 commerce the ideal value?
The game allows a very low conversion rate of commerce into hammers of 3 gold = 1 hammer. A town under Universal Suffrage and Free Speech adds 1 hammer and 7 commerce. The 7 commerce can be converted into 14 gold (bank, grocer, marktetplace). The 14 gold equal 14/3=4 2/3 hammer. So a town under Universal Suffrage and Free Speech equals an output of 5 2/3 hammer. Clearly more than a workshop, lumbermill or mine. Note that both hammers from gold rushing and hammers from tile improvements are effected equally by production bonusses (like forges and factories and Organized Religion give).
(Some people tend to think that this cash rushing depends on your tax rate and that your research will suffer if you use the extra towns to cash rush. This is not true. If you build a town on a tile instead of a mine, then the commerce output of your empire is 7 higher. By adjusting your tax rate, you can put all of this extra commerce into gold while keeping your research output exactly the same as when your empire had a mine instead of a town.)
Now this doesn't mean that towns are overpowered in this situation. It could also mean that the conversion rate of gold into hammers is too low (my personal opinion). But something is a little off in the balance.
On the subject of representation specialist: I think that they are only a viable alternative in the early game if you can get the Pyramids. But that is a discussion for a different thread. I might join such a discussion (in another thread) if I feel that I can add something that hasn't been said already.
I think the game favors building mass cottages since it and religion are the two real money makers in the game, IMO.
I think they're overpowered. To balance them, i would do all of the following :
- reduce the bonuses to villages and towns provided by some civics and techs;
- reduce the financial trait bonus so that it only applies to tiles with 3 commerce rather than 2 (so that cottages near rivers, and hamlets away from rivers, don't give a bonus to financial civs);
- reduce the effectiveness of cash rushing by a lot.
Wow, I perfectly agree with you. I would do exactly the same.
Bad comparison. With roads, the only choice is roads or no roads. Of course roads are always better than no roads. This is true even in Civ 4.
With cottages however, you have to choose between them and farms, windmills, mines, watermills, lumbermills and workshops. The problem is that cottages are so powerful that all the other options above are made completely obsolete. Then you might as well not include any other option in the game for tile improvement. Obviously this is not good for the game, as it reduces the strategy involved.
Dropping the financial bonus from +1 on 2 commerce to +1 on 3 would make it pretty underpowered IMO. The problem isn't the cottages, it's sea spaces - you'd only get a bonus to sea commerce with The Collosus. I don't think it would be good to make the financial trait ineffective on sea cities.
Thanks for making the point about roads for me. Do you agree that some strategies should be easy to follow (cottaging, chopping), and some more difficult (diplomacy)? Couldn't this help balance the game in the big picture?
I think the cottages are good they way they are because they grow etc and help offset inflation muy malo
IMO cottages are well balanced for a MP player game because humans are more likely to take advantage of pillaging them effectively and countering a cottage-spam with an early (and effective) war. In single player games cottages are very powerful, but I wouldn't call them overpowered.
I do think that cash-rushing should cost A LOT more than it does, but this is just a related item to cottage building.
I know that it brings down sea spaces a lot, and that's the main reason why i wanted to change Financial this way when i first proposed it many months ago. Financial is so overpowered that i truly believe this would only bring it down to the same level as the other traits.
I wouldn't agree that they should, but i would agree that they could.
Maybe that is why I seem to be having trouble getting over the hump with this game. I can't seem to get into the mindset of city specialization. I continue to develop all cities along the same path. It always ends up where I have the most land and population and even GNP, but my economy struggles and I invariably fall behind in tech.
Well, perhaps this is why I can't "break" Monarch. Thank you, I'll take your advice.
Regarding a Civ III bias, you hit the nail right on the head. I was stuck in Regent with an early-game wonder addiction, and once I dumped them I quickly got to Emperor. So yeah, I hold a <snip> grudge. I'll take your word for it that wonders are attainable (and quite powerful) in the higher difficulties.
Are cottages overpowered? No way. If you want to weaken cottages, you must weaken the AI's bonus proportionally. And the trade routes for coastal cities, which get insane late in the game.
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