Does anyone automate workers?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by Ambidexter, Sep 14, 2012.

  1. Ambidexter

    Ambidexter Edjumacated Idjit

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    I've always understood it to be a principle of the game never to automate workers because the software rarely makes good choices. In the game I'm doing now, I had a couple of workers railroading from one tile to another two tiles away. Instead of railroading the mine on the hill (+1 hammer) they railroaded the farm (+0 anything).

    But I was wondering if anyone does automate their workers.
     
  2. eluciv

    eluciv Hostile Villager

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    Only at the very end.

    Once I get railroads, I first make sure all cities get connected. Then I put them on all mines and lumbermills. Then I automate them to "connect trade network" and finish the tedious part of laying them.

    Another thing I picked up from watching Sulla's YouTube series is canceling them after selecting their action - most of the time. I find I pay more attention to turn-by-turn city developments that way. They still perform the action, but you have to give them a new action next turn. Most of the time it's a continuation of the previous action, but definitely not always. One of those little things that I think helps me play better (and slower).
     
  3. shakabrade

    shakabrade Praise Vivec!

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    Never!!!

    I am not an AI!!!

    It also slows the game.

    "Road to" command is good if you want to save some time.
     
  4. sammoraj

    sammoraj Warlord

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    No way. the computer doesnt know the best place to build stuff. Doesnt build an effective network and can never develop the tiles to maximize your cities. It is probably the single greatest strategic advantage a human player has over the AI
     
  5. Lord_Herobrine

    Lord_Herobrine Back in the Saddle

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    I used to until I realized how much production and time I was losing to the stupid automated decisions. Now I industrialize faster and the game feels more indepth and personal.
     
  6. SyntaxError

    SyntaxError ...

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    I usually don't. They usually do the opposite of what I want.
     
  7. Drakarska

    Drakarska Epic Dadness

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    I usually don't. Auto-workers have a nasty habit of taking coffee breaks, then forgetting what they were doing and build something else enirely.
     
  8. mrt309

    mrt309 Warlord

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    I automate them as soon as i feel comfortable (around the time i hit the liberalism tech). I turn on leave old improvements option. If i need them i just cancel their recent work and do whatever i want. Then re-automate. Managing all workers becomes very time-consuming after a point.
     
  9. Janig

    Janig Prince

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    When I was hardcore, no. However when I was hardcore I found games to be very slow. Ive recently started playing again and now I automate quite early: I automate once I have all the best resources hooked up, important roads built, and some select tiles improved/trees chopped.

    ps, about how automation affects ability, Im on my 2nd game after about a 4 year break, on Emperor difficulty, Im maybe 3-5 techs behind the leader, but Im about to stomp them with cannons and infantry. I already capitulated my neighbour.
    about how it affects speed: automation definitely speeds the game up if you do it right
     
  10. wazzzuup

    wazzzuup track $tar

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    hmmm i usually don't but at the end of the game i sometimes do.
     
  11. s.bernbaum

    s.bernbaum Mostly lurking

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    Never. In a recent game, I watched an AI worker (the equivalent of an automated worker) build a farm on a tile. As soon as the farm was done, it built a cottage on the same tile, destroying the farm. As soon as the cottage was done, it started building a workshop on the same file. I declared war on that AI and absorbed both the worker and the tile before he finished the workshop or he would most likely have started building a farm on the tile, since I have watched this cycle repeat over and over in games where I was playing for a peaceful victory.
     
  12. reddishrecue

    reddishrecue Deity

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    Nope. Worker automation sometimes leads to fortresses in calendar resources such as dyes sometimes or other unwanted improvements. There are options for automated workers however such as automated workers leave forests but I dont usually use them because of the fortresses on useful resources.
     
  13. Ambidexter

    Ambidexter Edjumacated Idjit

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    It appears that generally people don't automate workers because automatic workers do stupid things.
     
  14. wazzzuup

    wazzzuup track $tar

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    Exactly! ;)
     
  15. bitplayer

    bitplayer Warlord

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    I actually do automate my workers quite often. Once I have my core improvements in place and I'm a rolling into new areas- wtf mate- why not?

    If you have do not destroy improvements on they just sail along- with you- and fiddle with minor stuff.

    Of course this is only after I know I am in cruise control.
     
  16. Linux0s

    Linux0s Chieftain

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    Automated workers indeed do stupid things but they can be useful as well. You just have to determine when you can leave them alone and when you can't. It's only mid-later in the game when it's advantageous to do so.

    I never automate workers in the early game. Resources, roads, cottages and chops are all done by turn. Automated workers chop quite indiscriminantly and have no problem quickly chopping your fledgling cities out of turn hammers. And with no regard to what the chops went towards either. Early game I tend to only chop for certain things any more, settler, worker, granary, lighthouse, library, monument, wonder. And I will build roads to critical resources that aren't within cultrual boarders yet (but will be) and try to connect cities quickly so the road is sometimes started before the settler heads off. Automated workers would never consider such things. Micromanaging workers at this point is still fun because you have specific worker tasks in mind with a clear priority.

    Eventually the workers will have done just about everything I had in mind but until I get some +hammer buildings in place I still won't automate them. This is usually after all good city spots at the starting location have been swept up. Selective chopping only. For a while workers might not have much to do and I try to ship workers off by sea with settlers to develop other lands at this point.

    Hopefully growth in your starting location gets to the point somewhere along the line that you feel it would cause no damage to automate workers and that's exactly how I look at it. Meaning you have enough hammers that they can chop without deficit, there's no ultra necessary unit or building needed for those chops, that the resources you feel are most important have already been developed. So if you directed all the important stuff why even bother to automate at all? In my opinion, roads. And eventually railroads. Automated workers will eventually road everything and the big advantage of that isn't apparent until you are at war. Often I limit workers to automated trade network.

    One important thing already mentioned is to not allow workers to destroy previous improvements in the game prefs. I usually set my games this way but a couple times I must have neglected and this is where automated workers do the stupidist things. I remember once discovering I couldn't build iron units in the middle of a pitched war and thinking my opponent must have got a spy over to my iron resource. Nope, an automated worker tore the iron mine down and put up a fort to protect what this barren polar region. Same thing happened with oil in a different game. This shows the limitations of automated workers. Automated workers also prioritize their next action with little regard to how far away it is. They also like to end their turn next to enemy units for some reason.

    tl;dr Use automated workers mostly to build roads at a point in the game where they can do little to no other detriment.
     
  17. Dr.Null

    Dr.Null forIhavetastedthesushi

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    Allegedly workers can do smart things if you turn on city governors, and set the governor's options correctly. That's enough of a statement of intent that the workers will know to maximize :hammers: or :commerce: or growth.

    I don't make use of governors, so I don't automate workers either.
     
  18. UnforcedError

    UnforcedError Settler

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    I only use automated workers to set up a road network (after all my current cities have their tiles improved and are connected by at least one road) but even then they would do stupid things. Instead of building multiple connections between my cities and the AIs they'd start roading remote tiles except at war times when they'd all run up to the enemy borders ready to be captured. I might just drop this habit entirely but micromanaging 30 workers in a big empire is just soo boring...
     
  19. MilesBeyond

    MilesBeyond Prince

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    Like others, I'll only automate workers once I've done all the things I need to do with them. Sure, AI, go build roads all throughout the deserted tundra region. Why not.

    The only thing that frustrates me about automated trade routes is that the AI will, bafflingly, insist on building a fort on every resource that crops up. The fort does count as farming/mining the resource, but an actual farm/mine would take significantly fewer turns, and would be more useful in case I ever want to settle there.

    Now, if there were an option to have workers auto-build forts along narrow choke points (i.e. the land bridge of a peninsula), that would be awesome. Not so much because forts are handy on defence, but because IIRC they function as canals and you can send ships through them.
     
  20. Drakarska

    Drakarska Epic Dadness

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    Crap. I forgot that forts could do that. Was wondering how Henry was sneaking troops down into east africa. My thx.
     

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