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Drafting for Fun and Profit

Discussion in 'Civ4 Strategy Articles' started by vale, Apr 17, 2007.

  1. vale

    vale Mathematician

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    Drafting for fun and profit

    Introduction

    You will find almost every Civilization IV player has come over to the enlightened view that slavery is a wonderful civic. Yet many of these same players ignore the very powerful and efficient drafting mechanic available from the nationhood civic. In this article I will first attempt to explore some of the power inherent in this civic while examining potential trade-offs for adopting and using it. Then I will attempt to point out some synergies available with other civics, wonders, as well as with particular traits. Throughout the article I will indicate game speed differences by slashes(/) demarcating quick, normal, epic and marathon respectively.

    The Mechanic

    Warrior/Quechua: 1 population "You know how to use a club?" "I play paintclub on the weekends" "Good enough you're in"
    Axeman/Phalanx/Vulture/Dog Soldier: 1 population
    Maceman/Samurai/Berserker: 1 population
    Musketman/Musketeer/Janissary/Oromo Warrior: 1 population
    Rifleman/Redcoat: 1 population
    Infantry: 2 population
    Mechanized Infantry: 3 population

    The mechanics behind drafting are very simple. If a city has sufficient population to have at least population five after a draft, its controlling nation is using the nationhood civic, and the cultural presence of the controlling nation is at least 10% inside the city, the draft button is available. Pressing the button immediately produces one unit of the type appearing lowest on the above list which is currently buildable. The unit is produced with only half of its normal experience rounded down. Drafting decreases the population of the city by the amount shown above and adds 3:mad: for 6/10/15/30 turns. You can only draft once per city per turn and you can only draft three times per turn throughout your entire empire. This amount is modified by map size settings in the following way: duel - one time per turn, tiny - two times per turn, small and standard - 3 times per turn, large - 4 times per turn, and huge 5 times per turn.

    So why is this fun?

    Well let's start with the obvious: When you can quickly and efficiently create a large army of the most recent foot soldiers your empire has researched, that is by definition fun. The soldiers pop out instantly so responding to immediate threats becomes even easier than with slavery. The food to hammer conversion ratio knocks the socks off of anything slavery can do for you. Finally as a special bonus, your Civilization now worships the God of war, making barracks into two happiness super temples.

    In addition, in the Beyond the Sword expansion, your cities produce +25% espionage points. Also, in the addition by subtraction (from other legal civics) category, while Nationhood has remained a nice and no upkeep style civic, Bureaucracy has been bumped from medium to high upkeep, making it even less cost efficient in large empires. All hail the increased power of the nation.

    So where's the catch?

    The unhappiness penalty is very severe, especially if you stack draft weariness penalties and draft in cities without barracks, and combined with the war weariness you are encountering or are soon to be encountering (You do want to show off those shiny new troops to Monty right?) it can take generous helpings of the culture slider to overcome it when you overuse it. You can't use drafting to "whip" away unhappiness like you could with slavery. There are no fun overflow tricks or anything like that. It is a tool for making war. As long as you remember that and don't expect it to cook breakfast for you, you should be pleasantly surprised with the results.

    Also as with any other civic change we should consider the opportunity cost of both the anarchy going in (and possibly out) of Nationhood combined with the time lost in the potentially very lucrative civics Bureaucracy and Free Speech. If I'm not spiritual, I look at Nationhood as one of the final destination civics rather than a quick change in and out type. If I'm planning on running it in this manner, my economy is geared very much towards that fact.

    Hammer per Food Conversion Ratios

    For all of these, I am assuming a granary is in the city and that the draft is occurring at the minimum population required for that unit.

    Warrior/Quechua 1.2/1/0.64/0.67
    Axeman/Phalanx/Vulture/Dog Soldier 2.8/2.33/1.54/1.56
    Maceman/Berserker/Samurai 5.6/4.67/3.11/3.11
    Musketman/Musketeer/Janissary/Oromo Warrior 6.4/5.33/3.57/3.56
    Rifleman/Redcoat 8.8/7.33/4.89/4.89
    Infantry 5.33/4.51/3.72/3.01
    Mechanized Infantry 5/4.17/3.42/2.78

    Obviously drafting becomes less efficient at higher populations and if you don't have a granary in the cities that are draft eligible at this point shame on you.

    The main point here is that even on Marathon and Epic, the most likely candidates for drafting (Macemen, Musketmen and Riflemen) are providing you with very good value in terms of converting food into military hammers. Even drafting the relatively inefficient infantry or mechanized infantry is not the worst thing in the world. Mobilizing upgraded armies as fast as possible is its own reward.


    Other notes about efficiency

    This information is most relevant about drafting in your Globe Theater City, but can be useful for other planning. I am assuming a standard or small map. On smaller maps, you don't need as large an empire to fully abuse drafting (although it is less efficient overall, while on larger maps, you will need a corresponding larger empire to fully abuse drafting. To regrow from population 5 after drafting a rifleman or worse you will need 10/15/28/45 surplus food. On Quick and Normal therefore, it is not at all out of the realm of possibility and quite likely if you have planned for this that you can draft indefinitely from the Globe Theater city. So if your empire can support two drafts a turn elsewhere, then you will be able to take full advantage of the drafting. On Epic you will need two turns to regrow the Globe theater city, so to take full advantage of drafting you will need to be able to support 2.5 drafts a turn elsewhere. Similarly on Marathon, you will need to be able to support 2.67 drafts a turn elsewhere.

    These numbers imply that to be able to fully abuse drafting you would need a very large empire. But even if you have a small empire at the moment, there is a ball rolling downhill mechanic here. As you completely eliminate rivals and thus gain the necessary 10% culture in conquered cities to draft there, the Nationhood civic becomes more efficient allowing you to eliminate the next rival quicker and so on.

    When and where should I draft?

    Ideally drafting at a city that will regrow (one of) the population lost immediately is a better deal. Cities that are at or above their healthy cap but have some happiness to spare are good targets. Cities with high food surpluses are good, and conversely those with low food surpluses are bad. Drafting out of your main military city is counterproductive since you will typically have huge experience point bonuses there (which are halved by the draft) and huge military production bonuses (which are hurt significantly more by the loss of tile turns). Similarly drafting out of your core cities that have built up higher amounts of commerce multipliers is more detrimental. Drafting out of the Globe Theater city should be done with extreme prejudice. When I first switch to Nationhood, that city gets abused down to Population five as soon as possible and then is reintroduced into the drafting rotation when its population allows.

    Unless you are sure you can handle the happiness hits, stacking draft weariness is a sure path to pure devastation of your economy.

    Some random points

    Taj Mahal (or a random great person used for a golden age) can be just the trick for a quick jaunt into Nationhood for a round of drafting before returning before the golden age ends (only applicable in Beyond the Sword where golden ages eliminate anarchy.

    BTS K-k-k-killer combo = Cristo Redentor + micromanaging. Not much to say here, but if you land this beauty you can draft and still enjoy the "benefits" of running a different legal civic. Lots of other stuff going on here, but thats about it in relation to drafting. No reason not to do Theocracy simultaneously when you are actually pulling the draft trigger in this case for the xp. Also to make it ultra mega clear, assuming the city you are about to draft from has any religion, then your state religion should be matching one of its religions when you pull the trigger. Please note this is no longer quite the ridiculous combo in BTS 3.13 since you cannot change civics/religions multiple times in a turn anymore.

    Globe Theater + High Food Surplus + Nationhood = Draft Capital of the nation

    The whip can be combined with drafting to help manage the unhappiness as well as maintain balance in your armies.

    A pure SE has great synergy with nationhood. You have high food surpluses, economic independence from the slider, and usually not as juicy a capital for the bureaucracy bonus and definitely not as juicy an empire for free speech.

    Conversely, Nationhood is antagonistic to a pure CE. You would almost always prefer to be in bureaucracy or free speech. If you are running a pure CE, are not spiritual, and are not in dire need of troops without the cash to rush buy them now I would strongly suggest to step away from the anarchy.

    A hybrid economy is a bit trickier to analyze. If you have a solid Bureaucracy Capital, it might be worth it to just bypass Nationhood. Otherwise, running Nationhood until you have enough emancipated cottages fully matured to justify a switch to Free Speech seems like it could be a possible route. Skipping Nationhood altogether seems like another possible route. I tend to stick to pure SE unless my leader demands otherwise so perhaps I can't answer this question fully.

    In terms of civics that work well with nationhood, I find because of the strong synergy with an SE, the SE defaults seem pretty straightforward to me. However, I see many people recommending Theocracy with Nationhood. It feels somewhat antagonistic to me, since the Theocracy bonus is being halved on drafted troops. However, with a barracks, that allows drafted troops to come out with at least one promotion so perhaps it is all in my head. I tend to not have barracks in many of my cities so the Theocracy bonus amounts to a whopping half a promotion many times. I stick with pacifism or if the rapidly rising costs and unhappiness will get to be a problem, go free religion.

    It is worth pointing out that the Ethiopians, the Sumerians, the Greek, the Native Americans, the Ottomans, the Japanese, the French, the English, the Viking and the Incans all have draftable UUs. If it fits with your plans, it's even twice the fun to be spitting out a quick army of your UUs shortly after obtaining them. Churchill and Tokugawa magnify this with traits that vastly improve their drafted army.

    I don't think my idea of Nationhood as a final destination civic is such a heretical frame of mind. People see no problem with switching to state property final destination and watermilling and workshopping over mature cottages for the final push in the space race. Running Nationhood for that push towards domination seems to be analogous to me.

    How do traits fit into this?

    Spiritual: Quick changes to and from Nationhood in spurts to minimize cost of not running Bureaucracy or Free Speech
    Aggressive: Cheap Barracks, Free Combat I promotion on drafted troops
    Protective: Free City Garrison I and Drill I promotion on drafted gunpowder troops
    Expansive: Cheap Granaries, a trait that lends itself somewhat to running an SE
    Organized: Cheaper to support a large, well fed empire
    Philosophical: Lends itself to running an SE
    Creative: Cheap theaters for getting the Globe Theater up and running quicker. Cheaper culture buildings and free culture for assimilating less cultured captured cities to draft levels more quickly.
    Imperialistic: More troops + more fighting = more great generals
    Charismatic: Drafted Units progress in experience quicker
    Industrious: Globe Theater is cheaper. i.e. minimal
    Financial: Antagonistic relationship here in general.

    Conclusion

    Drafting is indeed a very powerful mechanic, but preparing for its use takes planning and preparation for many epics before the civic is even available. The significant tradeoffs of losing turns in Bureaucracy or Free Speech combined with anarchy can lead to this being given a miss out of hand, but the benefits are very real and very nice. Nationhood is a civic that lends itself well to a domination or conquest victory so if that is part of your plans, this might be a winner for you.
     
  2. vale

    vale Mathematician

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    I originally posted this in Strategy and Tips but see now that perhaps it should have been here. My bad.
     
  3. cabert

    cabert Big mouth

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    good article.
    I see you took the advices you got seriously :goodjob:.

    One minor thing :
    when I push for domination, I need troops of course. But I also need culture, and free speech is a lot better in this regard. So regarding nationhood as the ultimate domination civic may be pushing it a little too far.
     
  4. cv431410

    cv431410 Chieftain

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    I copied this from my other posting. After many updates, my numbers might be a bit off by now, just try to show the idea:

    Get 60 units out of a single city in 120 turns:

    (1) Build 5 cities;
    (2) Build 5 theaters;
    (3) Select 1 city, which has a lot food to grow population very fast*, build global theater;
    (4) Draft every turn**.

    *
    Size 1 to 2: 20 food /2
    Size 2 to 3: 22 food /2
    Size 3 to 4: 24 food /2
    Size 4 to 5: 26 food /2
    Size 5 to 6: 28 food /2
    Size 6 to 7: 30 food /2
    ...

    "1/2" factor comes from granary.

    ** A city with 3 - 4 seafood is certainly not common, nevertheless it does happen. When you have a city like this, try this crazy idea:

    City of Size 5:
    city = 2 food
    4 seafood = 24 food
    1 farm = 3 food
    Total = 29 food
    Population 5 requires 10 food ==> 19 left over.
    19 Food grow size 5 to size 6 in 1 turn.
    Drafting reduce city from Size 6 to Size 5.
    Global Theater ==> they are happy to join your army.
    Get one rifleman every turn!!!

    It will be slower for inf. because the cost is 2. But it will still be good.
     
  5. vale

    vale Mathematician

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    Yes this is mentioned in the other notes about efficiency section. You only need 23 food worked by the 5 population to make this work since the center tile provides 2(possibly 3) food. A city with two 6 food resources and a couple of flood plains and a grassland will work pre-biology (6+6+4+4+3)=23. That isn't at all unreasonable. Another 6 food source allows the use of grasslands instead of flood plains. That type of city will also work well in an SE until this point since it can support so many specialists easily.
     
  6. cv431410

    cv431410 Chieftain

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    Thanks for updating the numbers.
     
  7. LlamaCat

    LlamaCat Chieftain

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    frankly drafting in this game is useless in my opinion... this article says you can use it to "quickly and efficiently create a large army" but in the same breath admits that "you can only draft once per city per turn and you can only draft three times per turn throughout your entire empire" -- I think that negates the first statement about quickly creating a large army. the fact is you just can't do that with drafting, and like it says here the unhappiness and other penalties and other conditions are severe. they should update this civic and make it more worthwhile. it's really only good if you are in a desperate situation - I would never do it for fun. slavery for fun, now that's another matter...
     
  8. vale

    vale Mathematician

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    I have to respectfully disagree. How quick do you want this to be? If you could draft all your cities down to pop 5 the turn you enter nationhood that would be completely and utterly broken regardless of unhappiness penalties. Three "free" units per turn is pretty quick already (obviously it is relatively quicker on marathon). Still I am very impressed with your empires production capabilities if three bonus units a turn for a while is not a significant boost to the military production capability.

    The happiness penalty is severe but manageable with the culture slider if you exhibit restraint on stacking draft weariness.
     
  9. LlamaCat

    LlamaCat Chieftain

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    good point vale, but I am thinking more in the later game where I would typically have at least 2-3 production cities capable of turning out a unit at least as fast as any of the AIs, if not faster. so on normal speed, you might easily have 3 cities producing a military unit of the same kind that can be drafted every 2-3 turns. and there is no happiness penalty, which to me the +3 unhappiness is the last thing I need during war weariness

    and keep in mind that it sounds impressive to draft 3 bonus units per turn... but, how many turns in a row can you effective keep it up, with +3 unhappiness stacking and reducing the population? like everything, it comes with a cost that slows it down - you need to grow back up your pop and reduce the unhappiness. I would be curious to know how many units you have produced in how short of a turn-set, and what you were able to do with them that I couldn't do with several other methods.

    on the other hand in the early game I think you make some good arguments. but for some reason I've never felt the need to try it much there either because of other options, namely slavery
     
  10. LlamaCat

    LlamaCat Chieftain

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    FYI I am not in any way bashing Nationhood civic, I happen to love that civic purely for the zero upkeep cost and +2 happy from barracks...i was using it in a game recently where I was at war a lot and I didn't draft a single unit
     
  11. Diamondeye

    Diamondeye So Happy I Could Die

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    I mostly agree with LlamaCat. I don't like that civic very well, and tend to steer away from it. When I go to war (atleast in early ages), It's with HR, Vassalage and the religion booster (Theocracy?). With this plus a barracks my units have 8 xp, which is more than enough for the promotions I need (Shock, Cover, Medic I etc.). Also, I usually don't have many cities where I want to decimate the citizens. I like to keep my cities large and productive, efficiently spitting out a unit a turn out in my capitol and a unit/2turns in the larger of my main cities (on quick speed, that is) all the way up to Redcoats.
    It was a interisting suggestion for a tactic, but it's not my style... I'm not much of a warmonger, and prefer playing Elizabeth of England focusing on being #1 and having maybe 4 religions in my lands.
     
  12. nullspace

    nullspace Chieftain

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    One of the advantages of drafting is that it interferes very little with your normal production. You can have those production cities building cannons and cavalry, and draft riflemen from all your cities at the same time. It allows all cities to contribute to the war effort, even those cities that have very low production.
    Nationalism is not good for continuous unit production. It is good when you want troops right away, to fight off an unexpected attack, or to capitalize on a temporary tech advantage. You get the unit now, but you pay for it later (via lowered population and increased unhappiness in subsequent turns). It's like taking out a loan, it's profitable if the soldier accomplishes something right away. Drafting often is bad, but it can be devastating if you get the timing right. If you're the Ottomans, then just 10 turns of drafting is great, if those 10 turns are immediately after you discover gunpowder. That's 30 janissaries just 10 turns after gunpowder, in addition to any that you built normally. That's a lot of unhappiness, but so what, you've got an army that can easily destroy multiple medieval civilizations. Just jack up the culture slider for a while, now your conquering, not researching.
    There's nothing stopping you from drafting and whipping at the same time. Draft the macemen while you whip the trebuchets and anything else you need.

    Drafting is not a free win. It's good in some situations and bad in others, and vale already described both. But it can be powerful if used at the right time.
     
  13. Mutineer

    Mutineer Chieftain

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    Most arguments I see agains drafting is: We do not need it, as we can win with just using slavery.
    This is true on low levels, but higher you going up the more option you need to learn to use. You will find that drafting is absolutly nessesary on higher levels.

    There are could be some exeptions, but in generally it is true.
     
  14. oyzar

    oyzar Have quit civ/forums

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    LlamaCat the point is that you still get whatever production you have from the other cities in adition to whatever you draft. When you have a fairly large emprie nationhood is quite broken. With 18 cities on quick your bascailly getting 3 units per turn at no cost other than a pop point assuming you have barracks mostly everywhere. Espcially in multiplayer this is quite nuts as it allows you to churn out units even more effective than whipping in terms of hammer/food from your cities that normaly wouldnt produce any units at all. If used properly getting first to nationhood is quite gamebreaking.
     
  15. Phrederick

    Phrederick Chieftain

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    One of the most interesting things in this article to me is the idea of keeping the Globe city at 5-7pop perpetually. I've always thought that the Globe city should be in a site filled with tons of floodplains, and run at a size of 14-18. Is it really more effective to draft at 6/7pop than at 14-18 pop? Does the decreased time to regrow outweigh the commerce/production benefits of a much larger city? I bet it would, and it would also mean you could use that floodplain site for another purpose.

    Additionally, another benefit of drafting I hadn't really thought of before is using the smaller, newer cities for drafting. If you have plenty of luxuries around, it's possible to have 20+ happiness with forge/market. At 7pop, that means you can have 10+drafting unhappiness without unhappy citizens, which means you can draft 3-4 times in quick succession.
     
  16. vale

    vale Mathematician

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    In terms of the pure :hammers:/:food: ratio, nothing beats drafting at the lowest possible population. In terms of being able to draft as quickly as possible while keeping a higher population, the answer is dependent on game speed.

    Quick:as long as the extra population is working at least a 3 food tile you are actually increasing your regrowth rate.
    Normal:3 food tiles are neutral (don't hurt or help the regrowth rate)
    Epic:3 food tiles slow your regrowth down, 4+ food tiles help
    Marathon:5 food tiles are neutral

    So, on the quicker game speeds, excess population can easily help you regrow quicker than before. However, on quick and normal it is so easy to set up a draft every turn even without excess good tiles that if nearby cities can leech the extra good tiles, those can be supporting mines or specialists in those cities instead which has a greater positive impact for your empire as a whole. The epic case has a little bit more interest to it on the surface since in general we discovered that its going to be drafting every other turn at best. Perhaps with some manipulating at a higher population it would be draftable every turn? Unfortunately, the answer is no. To regrow in one turn at population P will need that the average tile worked by each population point will provide 13/P + 3.5 food. Even at the upper reaches of P it is still more than 4 food per tile worked (very unlikely pre-biology and of questionable value post-biology imo).

    I tend to create the Globe Theater city as a highly specialized city. It isn't uncommon at all in my games to have just a granary, lighthouse, theater, the Globe, and a barracks so the value of extra commerce or production is lower than in any nearby city.
     
  17. vale

    vale Mathematician

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    There is a bug (at least in my opinion) with the Nationhood civic. The Zulu Ikhanda does not give the +2 happiness that a Barracks should. If you agree that this is a bug, you can unzip this file to your custom assets directory.

    This bug is not present in BTS.
     
  18. PieceOfMind

    PieceOfMind Drill IV Defender Retired Moderator

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    I see the drafting strategy being most useful when riflemen are just new. I could see it possibly be worth it just for the 1 draft per turn from the Globe Theatre city, which only needs 5 tiles with 23 food, with a bit of drafting here and there in your other big cities. A city with this little claim on land shouldn't be hard to fit in between your cities - you could even have neighbouring cities using the food resources while the GT city isn't in draft mode ie. while you're not employing the nationhood civic.

    However, I can't claim to have used this strategy yet - the closest I've done is a pop-rushing GT city.


    Have you reported this bug? If the Ikhanda doesn't get the +2 happy, it's definitely a bug.
     
  19. vale

    vale Mathematician

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    I was planning on reporting it, but I searched the bug forum first and someone else had already posted something about this ages ago.
     
  20. Soneji

    Soneji Prince and Great Steward

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    It is usefull, and has defended a couple of my cities when my back was against the wall.

    However, I tend to preffer to stick with Representation, Beurocracy and Pacifism.
     

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