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Do you still use specialized cities?

Discussion in 'Civ5 - Strategy & Tips' started by Varelse, Sep 23, 2010.

  1. Varelse

    Varelse Rabble Rouser

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    In Civ 4 you would try to specialize a city.....food city....production city.....cottage city....is this still a viable strategy in Civ 5(should you only build one type of building and have tile improvements match the theme), or should you just build whatever is best for any particular individual tile?
     
  2. RicKhan5

    RicKhan5 Chieftain

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    All cities need food and Culture.
    Maybe specialization with regards to a Science & Happy city. Wonders could be built with this in mind.
    For military units, 1 city for Cavalry production.
    Coastal cities you might want 2 major ship building complexes based on the size of your empire. These are just some thoughts based on 1 completed game and 1 current.
     
  3. VoiceOfUnreason

    VoiceOfUnreason Deity

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    I think so - I did it out of habit, and it seemed to work, anyway.

    There are a few game mechanics in place that change up what we're used to. Health is gone, happiness is managed civ wide, granaries no longer manipulate the food bar, and Universal suffrage is available all game long. Net result is that you no longer invest (as many) hammers in infrastructure to achieve growth.

    On the other hand, there's not going to be, I don't think, as much National Wonder focus as we are used to - the national wonders appear to require prerequisite buildings in every city, so unless you are investing a lot in infrastructure, you probably aren't going to build all the barracks everywhere so you can build Heroic Epic AND build universities everywhere so that you can build Oxford and ...


    So consider a military pump: You've got Barracks, Armory, Military Academy for XP. You've also got buildings that give production bonuses depending on the build - Forge for land units, Stables for Mounted units, Harbors for naval units.

    You probably wouldn't build a workshop, though, because that gives a bonus for buildings, not for units.

    What tiles? Well, surely a balance of food and hammers in the early going, but you'll try to get more hammers when the City States start delivering pizzas

    Like wise, your science center probably includes Library/University/Observatory/Public School/Research Lab. Workers can't build a science improvement, so you're probably looking at farms for specialists. but if you were to score a bunch of great scientists, you could put Academies on many tiles around the city, scoring multipliers instead of free techs. Somebody will need to do the math on this.


    Gold is something real and concrete in this game, so it's easy to picture a city surrounded by trading posts, with the Market/Bank/Stock Exchange combo.

    There are a bunch of buildings that only make sense if you have the right bonuses in the neighborhood, or that get some vigorish in that case - Monastery/Mint/...? so you may find that the local resources bias a city toward a particular specialization.

    There are also more terrain specific buildings, so for games where you are planning a late era run, you may pay more attention to the possibilities of Longhouse/Solar Plant/Seaport/Hydroplant/Watermill/Windmill.

    Happiness is global, so it wouldn't surprise me if some cities specialize on happiness buildings - drop a workshop in for the build bonus, then concentrate on Circus/Colosseum/Theater/Stadium. Hard to say - it may be that happy is better managed another way, or that cities eventually become responsible providing their own happy.

    Because GP points are pooled separately, specialists slots aren't as key for GP farms, unless you are really planning to harvest different flavors of great person on purpose.
     
  4. vranasm

    vranasm Deity

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    in my current game it's around 1kAD and...

    I built monument in every city. 1 library, 1 courthouse in former city state, 2 colosseums.
    And that's it... the build times are too long to be worth build more (as it seems to me). I just need more units.

    Ah instead of granaries ally some maritime city state...same effect in every city and in capital it's granary+watermill effect.
    You don't need to dump money on c-s only... I did some quest and money and with patronage it seems it will be OK. And when you liberate maritime city state you're golden (happened to me yesterday)
     
  5. Shillen

    Shillen Deity

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    Yeah there are still national wonders so specialization works. With the building maintenance specialization is even more important. One science city, one gold city, one military unit city.
     
  6. Syiss_

    Syiss_ Warlord

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    Its hard to say this early but I'm going to go with yes its still important to specialize cities. The reason being that buildings are very expensive so (even more so than in Civ IV) you really cant afford to make all of the science/gold/production multiplier buildings in all your cities (in fact it seems to be a difficult task to even build them in their respective specialized cities). Also, rex'ing and city spam are not nearly as viable a strategy as in Civ IV because of global happiness, so having fewer highly specialized cities seems like its the way to go.
     
  7. Wulf38

    Wulf38 Warlord

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    The fact that gold can do almost everything in this game kinda leans me towards throwing gold cities everywhere. You don't pay maintenance on markets/banks/stock exchanges, and trading posts can be constructed on almost any type of tile. You get beakers just from your population, so essentially a science city is any city with enough population to justify the upkeep of a library/university/etc. The only real city specialization I've done is to have one high-hammer city to build useful wonders. I've yet to actually build a national wonder since I'm always lacking the prerequisite in at least one of my cities.

    Of course my opinions may change as I play more and move to higher difficulties, and this is all from a warmongering perspective, so your needs will vary with your victory condition.
     
  8. RD-BH

    RD-BH Human

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    Yes, I use specialized cities ...
    ... only they're called 'Citystates'.
     
  9. Shillen

    Shillen Deity

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    Eh, if you're prioritizing gold you're not growing your cities as big and your science is hurting. You can't build a trade post and a farm on the same tile. Yeah gold and silver and gems are nice but not that common. I'm not saying gold cities are bad but they aren't the be-all, end-all that you're making them out to be.
     
  10. DalekDavros

    DalekDavros Prince

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    Don't forget the city-state factor. Influence changes over the game and based on SP, but let's say you're getting 35 influence for 250 gold, or about 7 gpt with a 1 influence per turn decay. That's approx. 3.5 trading posts. Now, a maritime city-state gives +2(+4 cap) food per turn per city (+3/+5 once you hit the Renny, and even more with the right SP/UT). If you only have two cities, that's already 6 food per turn. More than two cities, with the right SPs or civ, or late in the game, and using trading posts to buy your food from a city-state is by far the better option.

    Also, trading posts can be build in forests, which means you get some much needed production too. Also, having a hammer and a coin on the same tile is great for golden ages.
     
  11. Shillen

    Shillen Deity

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    True, I'm pretty sure the maritime city-states are going to get majorly nerfed.
     
  12. vranasm

    vranasm Deity

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    i hope not, since then we would have really big problems with building costs ;-)
     
  13. alpaca

    alpaca King of Ungulates

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    Quite interestingly, the maritime city states in the demo only yield +1 in all cities/+2 in the capital (of course, they don't work at all in the demo but that's a bug) which leads me to thinking they might have recently been upgraded because the devs and testers perceived them as too weak. Maybe an overcompensation but with small numbers it's hard to get the balance right. Fractional food bonuses would probably work but not be aesthetically pleasing.
     
  14. tbones999

    tbones999 Chieftain

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    (I have lurked for a while, but just started posting. So I am going to pose this as a question rather than a statement.)

    How does the fact that "the national wonders require all other cities to have a specific building" affect the city specialization strategy?

    (i.e. If you want the National College (+50% Science) in a science focused city, you need a library or paper maker in all cities.)

    I would guess it would greatly depend on the size of your civilization, but does any have an argument for this being either a major hurdle or a non-issue?
     
  15. alpaca

    alpaca King of Ungulates

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    Welcome to the forums :goodjob:

    I would assume that national wonders requiring you to build everything everywhere has a slightly detrimental influence on specialisation strategies because you can't ignore building barracks in your science city if you want the Heroic Epic, for example. Since buildings are pretty expensive, building the requirements for the national wonders might not actually be such a good idea because in some cases the benefit from the wonder may not be worth building the prerequisite in every city you have. Producing those prerequisites costs either a lot of gold or hammers that could be spent on things actually helping the city in question.

    Now, I don't see this being a huge deal for libraries because you probably want them in most cities so the cost isn't large but it could well be important for barracks.
     
  16. WuphonsReach

    WuphonsReach Prince

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    Personally, I see that requirement as a bug or a balance issue. If you have 10-20 cities on a large map, you should only be required to outfit 1/2 or 2/3 of those cities with the buildings in order to meet the National Wonder criteria.

    Another tip - the early University gives +2 research for every jungle tile worked. This meshes up very well with putting trading posts on jungle tiles. You'll get both gold and research by working those tiles.

    I don't have any hard and fast rules yet for city specialization, but:

    - A city with 8+ hills in the "fat hex" is probably going to be a production city for pumping out units.

    - A city with 8+ hexagons with 2+ food each in the "fat hex" is probably going to be pumping out settlers/workers.

    - City next to a silver / gold mine (or other +5 gp/turn resource) is likely destined to become a gold pump with lots of trading posts, bank, etc.

    But since borders only pop in dribs and drabs now, the inner hex tiles are a lot more important then the outer hex tiles. At best, you can count on grabbing 3-4 of the outer hex tiles within 200 turns (on Marathon), and that's only if you put up a Monument, Temple and whatever comes after that. You could also spend a few hundred gold to acquire tiles (good idea when it comes to strategic resources).

    For the math folks:
    6 hexes in the inner ring
    12 hexes in the outer ring

    This compares to the 8 squares in the old system with 12 in the outer part of the fat cross. So we have 2 fewer tiles to work in Civ5 then in Civ4. And it also takes a lot longer to fill out your fat hex.

    Fake edit: Apparently you can work 3 rings of tiles? Which gives us 36 max tiles instead of 20 under the old system. So fewer, larger, cities seems to be the goal.
     
  17. Tomice

    Tomice Passionate Smart-Ass

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    You can build TPosts over jungles without chopping? weird!

    Also, I like the term "fat hex" ;)



    On topic:

    National wonders seem like a bonus for stable empires/ a penalty for warmongering. And an 1gpt barracks per city is not that bad, actually. Yo might need it in case of a major war.
     
  18. duxup

    duxup Prince

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    I don't have a system worked out like Civ IV based on location but I still have my "go to" city(s) for when I need a military unit, some on the ocean for sea based military units or such things. Usually they're just highly productive (i set them to focus on production when needed) cities that do such things faster than others.
     
  19. helemaalnicks

    helemaalnicks Warlord

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    If you pay maintainance for multipliers, then city specialization is a no-brainer. You can't autobuild libraries anymore, because in production cities, you'd pay for them, while they don't do anything. You should probably specialize cities even more in civ5, since especially the infrastructure needed to build strong military units, is incredibly expensive to maintain. I think specializing a city into goldoutput (wallstreetcity) doesn't make much sense anymore, since most cities seem to produce some gold, and the goldmultipliers don't require maintainance. But science and mil. production are probably best kept seperated.
     
  20. Ayestes

    Ayestes Chieftain

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    I tend to run production, gold, or science (food) cities and tailor the buildings to them. Saving time and money in the process of getting them running. Specializing really seems to cut down on extraneous building time and maintenance.

    I just finished an Emperor game with only 4 cities and one puppet while winning a Cultural Win as Siam. Two Gold cities, one Production, and one Science. Each one producing over 100 of their specialized income. Kept me ahead in Science, plenty of gold to do with what I pleased, and a Military that allowed me to stay alive during the home stretch when every single AI decided I needed to die. This also being four size 18-24 cities in 2000 A.D., with only one Maritime City-State left alive.

    That said, there are some auto builds. Late game the 1 gpt Maintenance buildings become obvious choices while the Monument is usually the very first thing I build in any city - usually followed by a Library.
     

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