1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

Do you use custom houses?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by chadxo, Feb 12, 2011.

  1. chadxo

    chadxo Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2004
    Messages:
    72
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    I usually build custom houses in all coastal cities. I was told by someone that they're not worth building due to their high costs. Do most people build or forgo them?
    :goodjob: Thank you!
     
  2. Gumbolt

    Gumbolt Phoenix Rising

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Messages:
    23,311
    Location:
    UK
    Not really tried them. You would need a big base on your trade routes. Also lots of them.
     
  3. hexem3117

    hexem3117 Warlord

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Messages:
    229
    Location:
    Virginia
    I almost never build them, but in my current game I have because I'm alone on a smallish continent. Once all the multipliers add up and you have large cities, they can be fairly useful. Typically they're not in my opinion.
     
  4. Zx Zero Zx

    Zx Zero Zx Deity

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2009
    Messages:
    2,145
    Location:
    Minnesota
    The vast majority of the time they have a higher maintenance than there yield.
     
  5. Ataxerxes

    Ataxerxes Deity

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2009
    Messages:
    3,073
    Maintenance? Do you mean hammer cost? Building maintenance was in CivIII. They're a sometimes build, depending on trade routes and map type.
     
  6. ColossusXXIII

    ColossusXXIII Warlord

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2010
    Messages:
    267
    utterly useless on a pangea
     
  7. Nick Carpathia

    Nick Carpathia Unleash the HAARP

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2010
    Messages:
    1,064
    Location:
    Romania
    Only useful if you have large coastal commerce cities with high commerce multipliers and good intercontinental trade partners. Examples are a coastal cottaged bureaucracy/oxford supercapital.
     
  8. ABCDPuppies

    ABCDPuppies Warlord

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2011
    Messages:
    298
    Typically I think they're not worth building unless you have a lot of multipliers in that city. +100% foreign TR yield sound great and all when you're at the point of having 4+ routes per coastal city worth 6+ commerce; but bear in mind that, as usual, the multiplier only applies to the *base* TR value, and thus will probably only net you 1, maybe 2 additional commerce per foreign trade route.

    That is still kind of nifty, to be sure, if you've got nothing else to build. But given that the hammer cost is kind of high, there are probably better investments you could make, unless the city in question is primarily focused on producing beakers or gold.
     
  9. Clam Spammer

    Clam Spammer Prince

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Messages:
    560
    Location:
    Quake City, NZ
    I've heard that if you build customs houses away from your Bureau/Oxford capital, it can actually decrease your research, by reassigning the best trade routes to cities with CH's.


    The overseas trade bonus is a multiplier, not part of the base rate, so they're actually just as effective on Pangaea as on island maps.
     
  10. Higher Game

    Higher Game National Socialist

    Joined:
    May 31, 2002
    Messages:
    1,076
    Location:
    GA, Amerikwa
    They're very good for cities that just touch enough water for the connection, but not too much to be weighed down by marginal tiles. Cities with 10+ water tiles just aren't going to have enough commerce to be worthwhile. Bordering just 5 or so tiles almost always call for a customs house if they have enough food to cottage spam.
     
  11. coanda

    coanda Emperor

    Joined:
    May 12, 2009
    Messages:
    1,692
    Under normal conditions, they're one of the worst return-on-investment buildings in the game (there was a thread a while ago when people actually studied this quantitatively in somewhat appalling depth). I generally ignore custom houses.

    However... with lots of trade routes, they can be worth building. When trading with large, distant foreign cities they can be worth building. They're usually worth building in a Bureaucracy capital and often worth building in an Oxford + academy city even without Bureaucracy.
     
  12. Riflin'Joe

    Riflin'Joe Prince

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2011
    Messages:
    329
    Location:
    New Zealand
    For me, the biggest problem with customhouses is their timing. I just always have more important things to build at that stage of the game.

    I haven't really tried Joao out yet. Maybe the feitoria might be worthwhile?
     
  13. Nick Carpathia

    Nick Carpathia Unleash the HAARP

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2010
    Messages:
    1,064
    Location:
    Romania
    The initial timing of Custom Houses is pretty bad, I often have zero foreign trade routes when I research Free Market. Plus, the base trade route value is often far too low, your populations are too low. They're better later in the late game, when you can bang them out quickly with factories, but even then their return on investment is low enough that you're better off building 1.5 cavalries or simply building wealth.
     
  14. Nirvana90

    Nirvana90 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    United States
    ya, the Feitoria's are really the best option when it comes to custom houses in my opinion. I know a few people who play a lot of archipelago maps, and they actually make respectable bank after you beef up most of the coastal cities. personally though, i'm sort of a spam builder; i usually end up having almost every building you can have in all of my cities by 1920-50.
    :old:
     
  15. diegovelasco45

    diegovelasco45 Casual civ4 emperor lvl

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2010
    Messages:
    174
    Location:
    Ecuador
    Building wealth is a lot better than building custom houses. The exception being the portuguese and a specialized in wealth (wall street) city that has access to the coast.
     
  16. JammerUno

    JammerUno King

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2006
    Messages:
    850
    Location:
    Utrecht, Netherlands
    Building wealth doesn't pass through modifiers, neither does building research. At an average TR yield of 1.5 cpt, and 4 TR with FM and corporation, you're looking at 6 bpt modified to 9 bpt or gpt. That's a ROI of 20 turns, not the best, but not the worst either, and that's assuming only 50% modifiers. But yeah, it's not impressive. Then you get the added TR from the UN and flight later on. At 6 TR and a modified 12.5 cpt, they become worthwile fast.

    Then there's bureau, oxford (if that city is coastal), and academies. Your capital will get better TRs, around 2 cpt. With 4 TR that's 8 cpt added pre-mods. 12 after bureau, 36 after the sci mods, for a 5 turn ROI. If you get another 2 TR, that goes up to 54 bpt, or a 3 turn ROI.

    So yeah, I build them, just not in every city. Less if I'm not in FM, more if I am. The math on these is so easy there's no reason not to look into it, so do it, then decide.
     
  17. Nick Carpathia

    Nick Carpathia Unleash the HAARP

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2010
    Messages:
    1,064
    Location:
    Romania
    Your games are lasting to the 1900s, and your game still isn't decided? Your rivals don't inhabit irradiated wastelands? Your tanks aren't sweeping through all in your path? You're not finishing your SS Engines? You're not bored yet?

    I know how easy it is to queue up a bazillion buildings in your high hammer cities, but trust me, you'll do things better if you discriminate on what buildings you can afford to build without slowing down your victory condition.
     
  18. Mec AntiKythera

    Mec AntiKythera King

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2010
    Messages:
    980
    Not to answer for somebody else, but as far as I'm concerned, no, no, no, no, and no!! Why would I be bored if I love the game?

    On topic, help me out here. As a Warlords player who has never seen a Customs House, why is it more effective in a commerce city? Do commerce cities automatically get the most valuable trade routes assigned to them?
     
  19. Higher Game

    Higher Game National Socialist

    Joined:
    May 31, 2002
    Messages:
    1,076
    Location:
    GA, Amerikwa
    I might be one of the few people who thinks the custom house comes at a great time to build, the renaissance era when the AI has cuirassiers, but rifles are still a fair bit away. Peacefully building universities and observatories is great, and there is often room for a customs house on top, if the mercantilism rush doesn't get too bad.

    If you manage to win economics first, perhaps picking it from liberalism, the trade mission can help you run 100% science for quite a while, and you won't care much for grocers and banks, but you don't have rifles yet to stop the AI mount fetish. Voila: the time to build the customs house to fuel the new science buildings.

    If getting economics first isn't viable, it loses most of its appeal. Maybe all of it.

    The feitoria is by far one of the most under-appreciated unique buildings in the game. It can take a coastal city from maybe 40ish commerce to a much more respectable 50+, making coastal commerce cities much more viable when they would otherwise be best suited as mini-mill hammer houses. It can affect playing style in a way most buildings can't.
     
  20. awilder

    awilder Warlord

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    240
    Location:
    Cali
    By the time you are thinking about building a customs house, you cannot expect much more out of it later than when it actually gets built. This makes it (relatively) easy to decide:


    Example:
    Say you will get 6:commerce:/turn from it when it's built and it takes 5 turns to build it. Let's also say you have library+observatory+university+laboratory=100% beaker bonus. Assuming you run 100% beaker slider it will benefit you 12 bpt starting in 5 turns. So in 20 turns it will break even with just running research the whole time, since building it took 180 hammers away from running research (ignore overflow).

    Ask yourself: will the game go much longer than 20 more turns? Do I need the beakers from running research NOW? (say for a key military tech) If the answers are Yes and No, then you build it.

    I hope this illustrates why custom houses (like everything in civ IV) are not always worth it.
     

Share This Page