Do you build your cities at the "blue circles"?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by civili, Mar 7, 2006.

  1. civili

    civili Chieftain

    Nov 1, 2005
    I often build cities next to the blue circles that pop up when u select a setteles, is that a good idea, or are the blue spots best fitted for cities?

    Ai is reccomanding them, i just dont know how trustworthy the ai is :)
  2. StrideCollosus

    StrideCollosus Chieftain

    Jan 18, 2006
    Bath, UK
    The blue circles are where the AI players would place their cities. The general consensus is that AI often chooses crappy city locations, in particular cities that are not on fresh water and frequently one tile from the coast. I find that I often end up settling just next to the blue circles.
  3. civili

    civili Chieftain

    Nov 1, 2005
    Thats all i wanted to know. thnx mayne.
  4. Astat

    Astat Warlord

    May 25, 2002
    haha yes, city locations have never been a civ AI's strength. 8)
    i wonder why they didnt tweak their stupid "build one tile away from coast" behavior despite fixing so many other problems of the previous releases.
  5. JoeBlade

    JoeBlade Warlord

    Feb 1, 2006
    I used to trust the circles quite a bit but I find I'm relying less and less on them. Aforementioned habit of suggesting spots one tile away from the coast and fondness of overlapping tiles are quite the nuisance.

    The main reason I hardly go by them anymore is that those circles are only good for a single city, whereas I tend to think about the positioning of at least 2-3 cities at a time. Circles don't take into account the fact that you'll want to found additional cities nearby at all.
    Nothing more frustrating than founding a single city with great resources only to realise it leaves nothing but lousy spots for the next two cities. And three good cities alway beats a single great one + two absolutely horrible ones, IMO.
  6. Breunor

    Breunor Deity

    Jul 2, 2004
    Right, I agree with everyone here. The blue circlues are real good the first few times you play. I think the AAI isn't terrible, but once you get good experience you can often do better. As said above, they are often one space away from fresh water, I think they underrate it.

    However, I rarely find their sugeesti0ons are 'bad'.

    I also often expand farhter than the AI. That is, build a city farther away and build in. I thinkthe AI builds 'out'.

  7. Draetor24

    Draetor24 Chieftain

    Nov 24, 2005
    I find the blue circles are cited where the city will be able to "work" special resources in its radius. It doesn't take into account fresh water, or coastal deployment. Sometimes my city locations end up being in blue circles, not because I see it, but because I planned ahead to place a city there, and once my settler arrived, it was a blue circle.
  8. loraque

    loraque Chieftain

    Feb 7, 2006
    I had heard (true or not I do not know) that the AI places those circles with foreknowledge of resources you may not see yet. I do not let the circles dictate to me any longer, but if my placement was next to one, I often will switch to the circle, thinking that the AI may know something I don't.

    I haven't tried to verify if that works out or not.
  9. jray

    jray King

    Jan 31, 2006
    North Carolina (USA)
    I've heard this rumour regarding the original settler location, but not for blue circles in general. Even if it's true for all blue circles, you can still safely ignore them (after your capital city) as long as you plan to use any tiles you give up from moving away from blue circles later with future cities.

    So in short, I'd suggest paying close attention to the blue circle for the capital city and ignoring the others.
  10. afireinside

    afireinside Chieftain

    Dec 5, 2005
    blue circles arent the best long term decision

    in fact, they change depending on your resourvce knowledge

    go with what you think.

    Do u want a mostly grassland plain commerce city or a hilly next to a river production city.
  11. Sisiutil

    Sisiutil All Leader Challenger

    Feb 19, 2006
    Pacific Northwest
    Maxing out the number of resources available within a city's "fat X" seems to be the main logic behind the blue circles, from what I've seen. Terrain, as several posters have indicated, seems to be undervalued by the AI.

    Also, in the early game, I've rushed a settler to a crucial resource (copper, horses, or iron), and the blue circle often appears two tiles away from that resource, usually so the fat X will include another nearby resource. The problem is that it may take several turns for the crucial resource to appear within your cultural boundary and be workable; worse still, a rival civ might plunk their city down next to it and claim it before you can. :mad:

    So I regard the circles as useful suggestions. I always pause to to figure out WHY the AI is suggesting that location, just to see if I should adjust the one I'm considering.
  12. jpowers

    jpowers Emperor

    May 7, 2002
    The Castle Aaaaaaaargh
    The first settler blue circle is usually something I trust, since the AI does know the resource situation, and even if I use a scout for the first move, I can't always get the full 'fat-square' picture before settling.
  13. Kalleyao

    Kalleyao Prince

    Jan 19, 2006
    Blue circles are not trustworthy.

    It's better to choose by yourself.
  14. Periander

    Periander Chieftain

    Jan 29, 2006
    Brisbane, Australia
    I'm positive that the 'blue circles' know about resources that will appear in the future. I've tested it numerous times.

    The first starting position is nearly always good.

    Still, sometimes they can be dumb, and are just there for the sake of putting a city down to fill a gap.
  15. lutzj

    lutzj The Last Thing You See

    Mar 6, 2006
    New England
    The blue circles are the ones with many resources within 1 tile, tactical value is harder for the comp to calculate so remains irrelevant
  16. CaptainEO

    CaptainEO Chieftain

    Nov 7, 2005
    My guess is that blue circles consider:
    - resources within fat X

    Whereas a human player will also want to consider:
    - access to coast
    - access to river
    - fresh water
    - abundance of hills for production
    - abundance of grasslands for commerce
    - abundance of floodplains for food
    - defensive combat bonus for city on a hill
    - use of cultural borders to cut off rival expansion
  17. migthegreek

    migthegreek Back In Black

    Mar 6, 2006
    I ignore the blue circles. I will have already made up my mind where I'll build the city before I've even finished the Settler. The place i chose is normally a space or two away from a blue circle anyway.
  18. TheNiceOne

    TheNiceOne Emperor

    Feb 6, 2002
    I turned the blue circless off in the preferences during my first game. Even if they were useful, I wouldn't want to know about them. I want to play my own game without advice from the AI.
  19. vinstafresh

    vinstafresh Prince

    Oct 31, 2005
    The AI never suggests a desert tile as a possible spot to settle on, although those are the best spots to build a city on. Desert tiles can't be improved, but with a city on it, they produce a hammer and 2 food (not entirely sure, but it's more than when working a desert tile).

    The AI always recommends to build cottages on forests, which is pretty annoying.
  20. swinenston

    swinenston Chieftain

    Mar 8, 2006
    I would add I always build my first city that first turn, unless it really is in a horrendous position. You can spend a dozen turns looking for a sweet spot and suddenly you are massively behind and will certainly not get one of the early religions.

    As for later cities, there are some obvious rules to follow; try and grab good resources, fresh water etc. However, there is always a bit of guesswork involved. You can never know whether your city will appear next to some late game resource, like oil for example. I don't agree with the tactic of having super cities some employ, i.e. a city that has all hills for production city' or a city with water and grassland for commerce. I prefer to balance so each city has a bit of both, as far as is possible. You never know when a city churning out lots of food may be needed to start producing military units and having only a few production cities makes this a difficult task when you need it the most.

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