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Crosses and the Docks

Discussion in 'Civ4Col - Strategy & Tips' started by scottcstoness, Sep 27, 2008.

  1. scottcstoness

    scottcstoness Chieftain

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    Yet another mechanism that isn't obvious; at least not if you don't read the manual.

    Every citizen you buy off the dock resets the cross generation to get you a free citizen. At the beginning of the game, it is incredibly easy to get new citizens with crosses (at first, you only need 3 or 4 crosses to get new citizens) and it grows fairly slowly.

    Also, churches are pretty cheap, so it doesn't take much to rush-buy a church very early and then let the crosses generate new people rather than buying them off the docks. In particular, if you buy a colonist off the docks, you lose the opportunity to get the colonist with crosses.

    That is, if you have 15/19 crosses generated to buy a colonist, then once you've bought the colonist, you have 0/23 crosses towards the next colonist. I believe that the purchase price is directly related to the number of crosses left to generate to get the colonist for free.

    In other words, by buying colonists off the docks, you are essentially buying crosses (and ensuring that you get your pick of the three colonists there).

    If this is in fact the mechanic (and someone please correct me if I'm wrong), then other than spending money to guarantee that you get the jesuit missionaries and seasoned scouts on the docks (which aren't available for purchase, just recruitment), a good cross production strategy will get a fairly large number of settlers quickly, and you can save the money to buy the specific workers that you want.

    Of course, like the scaling is a bit odd; by midgame, one city with three preachers and a cathedral will recruit a new citizen every ten turns or so. Of course, this *does* present a useful place to stash those troops that you are trying to rebel-ify, and a nice corollary is that some of the religious founding fathers are pretty good.
     
  2. ddd123

    ddd123 Chieftain

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    well anyway even going to 15/16 and spending money isnt that bad
    you spend little money and get the type you prefer
    in this game specialists are all that matters, weak colonist arent so good
     
  3. scottcstoness

    scottcstoness Chieftain

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    Right, and I think that is a good idea early on. Later on, if you are producing 50 crosses in a large empire, the prices become prohibitive (I've had costs of 4520 for colonists on the docks), so even if you are one turn away, it doesn't make sense to buy. Early on, though, using crosses to bring the price down and money to pick which colonist you want is probably an excellent strategy. You'd just have to look at Europe every turn :)
     
  4. ddd123

    ddd123 Chieftain

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    yeah ofc i try to figure out in every situation
    if crosses are 4/5 i would probably risk
    when they are 12/13 or so i usually pick the ones i really need if there are
    like fisherman/farmers/carpenters at start are very important
    its easy to get some more wood or ore, you just need 1 more worker of every kind, even a native is ok at early stages

    even a silver miner is very good at start, silver is worth a lot and having a specialist miner from the start means a lot of money
     
  5. Gliese 581

    Gliese 581 Your average civ junkie

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    I always rushbuy with 1 turn left if I can and if I can at all benefit from getting one specialist over another (which I usually can).
    That said my first impression of crosses is that they're fairly weak compared to say a food city that does not suffer diminishing returns but can put out a mass of colonists all through the game.
    To this end I feel the english got the boot this game on the expense of for example the french (which excel at native food specialist training), so I guess the situation is reversed from col1 where the french were hardly among the best imo.
     
  6. Andvare

    Andvare Chieftain

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    As I've said before, ignore crosses, at least until late game, just hurry the immigration when they are cheaper than buying specialists.
    After my experiment with a small empire, I feel as if the Dutch are the strongest (the Dutch with Bolivar infact, he is by far the strongest leader. Nothing is hard in this game, except beating the REF, and he provides an excellent bonus against them), followed by the Spanish which is the strongest if you use Bolivar, followed by the French which can give you a huge population, but I feel that is a curse in disguise, but as you can just disband those units the French are still better than the English, which provides you with nothing.
    Purchasing crosses functions just like purchasing production in CivIV AFAIK.
     
  7. Blackmantle

    Blackmantle Chieftain

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    That mechanics is directly carried over from col 1.
    And in col 1 the english very quite powerful. The spanish rather weak if i remember rightly (and just as back then the natives can be a huge boon. Back then as prime trading-partners. Now as a decent source of training and 'colonists' often the later followed by the former. Only that in Col 1 if i remember correctly fighting the ref wasn't all that hard and some tricks were possible which are not anymore now...)
    But all were playable and played differently if i remember correctly. That doesn't seem to have fundamentally changed...

    I think in the long run all colonial powers will find their followers and strategies. And Washingtons half-price solidiers don't look soo bad. (Just Bells seem to be rather sucky so John Adams (or did i name the wrong guy. :mischief: ) seems not all so hot. Might change soon though.)
     
  8. mboza

    mboza Chieftain

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    Missing crosses cost about 15 gold each when you rush from the docks, so one way of looking at it is that a colonist/firebrand working a church is generating ~45/90 gold/turn, until it becomes cheaper to purchase specialists (depends who you are getting from the docks, but somepoint between 50-100 crosses per recruit) at which point it starts to diminish. This compares well to anything early game.
     
  9. Gliese 581

    Gliese 581 Your average civ junkie

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    Yes but if you actually purchase a firebrand preacher at 2k you wouldn't get a very good return on the investment!
     
  10. Andvare

    Andvare Chieftain

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    Plus, with Peter Minuit, the lowest specialists cost 900, which is nothing compared to the cost of an immigrant, and then you can hardly choose.
    Only reason for crosses would be to hope for the more costly specialists, and the Jesuits (coincidently, this makes crosses somewhat interesting for a cooperating civ like France).
     
  11. Knaken

    Knaken Chieftain

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    Now that i think of it, crosses are not a bad investment.

    If you look at how much it costs to hurry a colonist in Europe. For example if you need 30 more crosses for emigration, hurrying costs 350 gold. If you only need 1 more cross, it will cost you 60 gold. Therefor:

    -Each cross is worth 10 gold
    -You always pay 50 gold for recruiting on top of the crosses you still lack.

    Especially in early game your main goal is to get as many colonists to the new world as possible and there are several routes to this goal:

    -Use a single colonist to grow crops and sell them for about 4 gold a piece, then recruit colonists at the docks.

    -Use a second colonist to manufacture trade goods from your crops worth around 11 gold. The value increase for manufacturing done by this worker is 7 gold. Then use this money to recruit colonists.

    -Use a preacher to generate crosses. These can't be sold but they are equivalent to 10 gold you would otherwise spend recruiting. Now wait for colonists to appear on the dock.

    Advantages:
    The preacher does the most effecient job at drawing new colonists. (except for the silver miner on a silver mine).
    Crosses do not need to be transported and sold with tax cuts that feed the kings army.
    No 50 gold fee for recruiting at the docks.

    Disadvantages:
    Preachers do not generate any trade and value needed for purchasing goods or ships.
    A church needs to be built. But this can be done straight away and is pretty cheap unlike in the old colonization.
    Once you need more than 80 crosses for emigration, you can consider buying ore miners for 800g instead (I'm surprised they haven't fixed this loophole)
     
  12. player1 fanatic

    player1 fanatic Fanatic

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    I always cosidered crosses as tax free good worth 10gp, which can only be used to recruit immigrants.

    But its effective value is less later, when immigrant price goes over 1500gp.
     
  13. scottcstoness

    scottcstoness Chieftain

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    even later on, a church with three firebrand preachers (a couple of whom were probably recruited with crosses) can still generate about 20 crosses (18 plus liberty rate) or 200 gold per turn, or an immigrant every 10 turns on average while the cost ranges between 1500gp and 2500gp. If they were food specialists on normal plots they'd be generating 15 food, or a new colonist every 12-13 turns.

    So, maybe not worth going out of the way to buy preachers (though at effectively 30 gold per turn or 60 with a cathedral you make your money back in 50 (or 25) turns), but probably worth putting the ones that pop up for free to work.

    Another advantage: Crosses generate religious points, and there are some OK religious founding fathers.
     
  14. Gliese 581

    Gliese 581 Your average civ junkie

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    They could've least put in a church automatically in each settlement. As it is with having to produce a building it's kind of lame.
     
  15. player1 fanatic

    player1 fanatic Fanatic

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    And if you have school in same city as church, you can train others if you got one.
     
  16. mboza

    mboza Chieftain

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    Also, post revolt, you can turn crosses into bells or hammers, and of course crosses generate religious points for FFs.
     
  17. marstinson

    marstinson Chieftain

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    I almost posted a "whyizzit" bug report on this a little earlier today. The OP's got it pretty much nailed - you're paying for crosses when you purchase an immigrant (I haven't run the math, but it looks something like 10/cross at Pioneer difficulty). In the early game that's a pretty cheap way of getting a desired specialist. By the mid-game, it's actually cheaper to purchase the specialist from the "Purchase" menu (except for Seasoned Scouts and Jesuit Misisonaries). For example, at somewhere around 350 crosses to go, an immigrant from the docks (of any type) costs about 3500, in comparison to a specialist ranging from about 900 to about 2250. I've seen it more than 9000 right after an immigrant appears on the Docks as I got close to 1700. After that point, I just stopped worrying about it because it was too expensive.

    I'm thinking that the better (although slower) strategy might be to build Universities in the cities where you have your best specialists, use a Wagon to gather Food from cities with a surplus so you can pop a Free Colonist, stick him in school and then wait the necessary number of turns to generate the specialist. Even for an Elder Statesman it's only 750, plus the time to gather the Food and train (4 turns for a Free Colonist on Epic).

    One thing that honks me a bit is that in the original game you could train Veteran Soldiers with a College (can't remember whether University was in the original or not -- too many years). Not here. It looks like Veteran Soldiers can only be purchased. I stuck one inside the colony (generating Liberty Bells, I think) and my next couple of Free Colonists at the University did not have Veteran Soldier as an available profession. I haven't tried it with Jesuit Missionaries, but assume that it's not possible with them, either.
     

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