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Economies in ruins!

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by Ereiid, Jan 6, 2006.

  1. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam GiftOfNukes

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    You're making too many cities too soon. Just cottage spam, and get currency/code of laws and make those buildings. This can support a much larger empire if done.

    You don't have to expand out REALLY far in order to backfill...just make sure the AI doesn't take all your space. Six cities is good for early game...but make them count.
     
  2. elmerrietveld

    elmerrietveld Chieftain

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    Location:
    In a pretty good delta
    Make sure you check the city screen to see if your cities making more gold than it uses for maintenance
     
  3. Paniac

    Paniac Chieftain

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    My first post and all that...yay me :)

    Anyway, I have been playing (and lurking in these forums) since Civ 3 and I am finally breaking down and turning to you all for advice. I was going to post my own thread but this one comes close enough to my own issue that I'll simply continue it.

    Along the lines of the OP, I too find that my economy crashes into the gutter if I try and keep up with the sprawl of the AI. However, I know well enough how to manage my cities and finances to keep from going deep into the red and typically do so...keeping my research at 60-70% through most of the first half of the game. To do so, though, I put all my research and building efforts towards gaining cash and techs. I take an early religion, grab the Oracle and Colossus, build my religion's shrine, give every city a courthouse, and spread missionaries as often as I can fit them in (20+ is not uncommon by 1000 AD).

    Where my concern deviates from the OP is in trying to "keep up with the Jones'" as they sprawl all over the place. What I want to know is how do they have 8-12 cities by 1000 AD and I'm pacing myself at 6-7 cities?

    A few tidbits about my playstyle that does have a big impact here. First, I enjoy playing on Noble. I do fine on Warlord but I don't like to give myself any more advantage than I already have being human. Second, I really dislike micro-managing. That goes for my RL career as well, but I'm certainly not here to discuss those issues with you all. I want my workers to happily carry on with whatever automated duties they feel like doing and likewise with my cities. I do not want to be constantly clicking and changing workers and cities every turn. I realize that limits me on how high of a level I can play at, but I really am quite content to play on Noble forever. However, if the secret to playing at Noble level is micro-managing, I think I'd rather drop down and "cheat" on Warlord.

    So with those stipulations in mind, how is it that the AI can sprawl so well and still maintain a tech lead? Why are they not drowning in debt the same way I would be if I were to race out to settle 12 cities? Is there some "cheat" the AI uses or is it simply something that I am not catching on to?

    Thanks in advance for any advice you can give.

    - Pan
     
  4. rabidveggie

    rabidveggie Chieftain

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    Cottages, good city placement, and currency and code of laws helps. Only expand until you reach 60% science.
     
  5. Wodan

    Wodan Chieftain

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    Paniac, seems to me you're trying to do too much. Religions, Colossus (which requires the expensive Metal Casting tech path), spamming missionaries, whatnot.

    Try a game this way: skip the religion, skip Oracle, skip Colossus.
    1) Get a military tech, either BW, AH, or Archery. Your choice but if you don't have the resource (or can build a city to go get it halfway easily) then go get one of the others. BW is probably the best choice because you can get Slavery and chopping at the same time.
    2) Get whatever worker techs you need (agriculture, mining, fishing, road building, cottages)
    3) Get Currency and Code of Laws. Make lots of Courthouses and Markets.

    (I agree with the comment to build new settlers/cities only when your science slider gets above 50%.)

    I think you find if you cut out some of the "optional" things, you'll get more of a feel for the bottom line economics. Aftet that, you can add some of the optional things back in and experiment, but you'll be armed with that better feel for how to manage your expansion.

    As a second game, if you're up to a SE, you could try this:
    1) BW (or AH or Archery)
    -- Have your workers build farms, not cottages.
    2) Priesthood (Oracle)
    3) Libraries
    -- Have each and every city run 2 scientists.
    4) (Use Oracle to pop Theocracy)
    5) Build Apostoloc Palace
    6) Have every city build Temple and Monastery asap
    7) Currency and Code of Laws
    8) Sankore
    9) Spiral

    Note with this path, you can let the science slider get all the way down to 10% before you stop building cities.

    Wodan
     
  6. Paniac

    Paniac Chieftain

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    I thank you for the reply and advice, Wodan.

    My main reason for going for the early religion is for the extra cash flow in order to get more cities in place before the initial rush dies down. I'm concerned that I will have even less money to work with if I do away with the religion but I will forgo it along with non-critical techs and buildings and see how it works out.

    I also understand the idea behind cottages and/or SE but as I mentioned above, I'm loathe to use micro-managing strategies in my game. It's just not fun for me to put that much attention into my workers and cities. In the end, I do play more for fun than for winning, as crazy as that might sound. If I can do well on Noble that is good enough for me. Unfortunately, I'm not doing well right now at all.

    To my main point of the AI, is that what they are doing to rush out 12 cities and maintain a tech lead over me and have a very powerful military? I feel like I can do one of the three but the other two areas lack to the point where I fall behind very quickly. Is the AI simply micro-managing everything to the point where I will never be able to keep up on Noble without also micro-managing cities and workers?
     
  7. Wodan

    Wodan Chieftain

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    Nice in theory, but realistically what does it cost you? Off the top of my head:
    -- time, by researching techs you don't otherwise need, when otherwise you could get to markets, the free trade route, and courthouses faster
    -- hammers, because you are building missionaries when otherwise you could be building markets and courthouses
    -- GPP, because you need to get, and spend, a Great Prophet, when otherwise you could lightbulb Code of Laws or Currency or Philosophy

    Good luck!

    Up to you, really, but IMO it's no more micromanagement than a cottage economy requires. Slavery requires micromanagement, but I'm not suggesting that. Simply click on two scientists in each city as it builds a Library. That's it.

    That's not crazy at all... I'm the same way. Well, not quite... a lot of times I play to test out different strategies and styles of play. Which I suppose boils down to "fun" for me too. :)

    Probably a combination of things. Tech trading amongst themselves, for one thing. Try playing a custom game where you turn both "tech trading" and "tech brokering" off. If that dramatically changes things, then that's what it was.

    You can keep up with the AI tech trading by beelining or lightbulbing, then trading that tech to each of the AIs, thus turning one researched tech into a half dozen or more, for free, essentially. That can be tricky to do but once you master it, it's a powerful tactic.

    Wodan
     
  8. mikebert

    mikebert Chieftain

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    I'm new to Civ IV. So far I play mostly on 18 civ Earth. I find that I often have positive cash flow with 100% research. In the earlier civs one would always be losing money if you set research at 100% if you had any expenses. It would appear than some income cannot be diverted to research. Is shrine income in this category?

    In Civ II L always build courthouses everywhere except in my capital because they reduced corruption. In this game I am not sure what courthouses actually do. Supposedly they redcue city maintenance expenses, but these must be pretty small in the games I have played so far.

    My style of play may be a factor. My empires tend to be physcially small. On 18 civ Earth this penchant is a plus since most of the other civs are restricted to small size. I am an economic player, my goal is to maximize income and happiness, in Civ 4 terms this translates to culture and cash flow. One Earth the density of resources in most of the Eurasian civs is very high. The best starting place is France where one can remain competitve on Noble until the 19th century with a single city. I can get London and Berlin to join my civilization due to my enormous cultural power, I've never seen a capital do that before.

    I'm still learning the game. Earth is a good teacher because the civs mostly behave as you would expect based on their historical models, so each game plays more or less the same if you pursue the same basic strategy. For example if Russia and Rome doesn't have your religion they will go to war with you sooner than the Germans will. The Eqyptians, Persians and Chinese almost never give me a problem unless I really piss them off. Japan and the Atzecs will start wars they cannot possibly win.

    A question, do other civs know if you are using missionaries against them? If I try to convert nearby states to a common religion so we all like each other and don't fight wars, does this piss them off?

    Also, how can you tell what religion and civics the other civs are? In earlier civs the diplomatic advisor did this once you established an embassy with them. Is there something similar in Civ IV?
     
  9. Jabba

    Jabba Chieftain

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    They halve your maintenance costs in each city, simple as that. They are an essential build in every city - half your maintenance costs is a gigantic saving.
     
  10. mikebert

    mikebert Chieftain

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    I generally don't try to match sprawl. In earlier games it did the human players no good as cities outside the second ring from your capital were worthless and you could never build the Forbidden Palace in them because they only had one shield (all the rest was corruption). I got into the habit of building five or six cities before 1 AD and that was that.

    In Civ IV expansion is much easier. You don't seem to pay much of a price from distance. On the other hand all the other civs expand aggressively after about 2000 BC. My Civ III strategy which was a 2 cities around 3000 BC and 4 by 1500 BC doesn't seem to be a winner here. One big city is worth more than a slew of little ones. Expansion requires all your cities to be building settlers, workers and defensive units and practically nothing else for a long time and that means small poor cities.

    When playing France on Earth 18 civs I can start churning out swordsman every 3 turns on epic rate around 500 BC with 90% research and a large array of resources from a single city. But when I built up an army and used it to capture Spain (also a one-city civ at that time, being boxed in by Rome and me) I double my civ size but then get civs starting wars with me.

    In earlier versions of civs you could take out civs without getting other civs to go to war with you. In Civ IV the AI pays closer attention. I note that they keep score on who you trade with and who you make war on.

    I don't understand why Russia made war on me after I took out Spain. Spain was very friendly with me, since they shared my religion. Russia was a different religion from me and so from Spain also. Apparently Russia and Spain were buddies even though they had different religions (I didn't ask them about Spain before I attacked).

    Anyways I like this AI as the computer personalities behave more like real personalities than the earlier ones. What I did to Spain was ruthless and I paid a price for it. I try to avoid wars because they divert from development. Getting involved in pointless inconclusive war with Russia means I've already lost. China and India got ahead of me way before they did in the control game.

    In the control game (one city France completely non aggresssive) nobody went to war with me until much later when my massive military weakness lured an attack from a distant enemy. (All my neighbors were friendly as I shared their religion). So being a violent cur has consequences in the game just as it would in real life.
     
  11. ciffour

    ciffour Chieftain

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    If your going to build an expansive empire, you should have picked a better ruler. Leaders also have bonuses. Napoleon's bonuses are towards military might. I would suggest an Expansive yet Organized ruler such as Julius Cesar so that you cities wouldn't need to much upkeep.

    I have a question. How far did you build those cities from each other?

    You do know that cities grow and they need space.
     
  12. Yxklyx

    Yxklyx Chieftain

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    I quit a game because it seemed unwinnable. I was playing the Incans and did a Quechua rush but there was one Civ left and he had Axemen and Chariots. All my units were going on strike and it was going to take 100 turns to research Pottery. After some time I decided to revisit the game and decided to disband a ton of my units. That got my economy going again. I won the game much later with Macemen and Trebuchets.
     
  13. Guerrilla

    Guerrilla Chieftain

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    We forgive you, Zebra 9, because you are a zebra, after all. But if you were a human, that would be a different matter. ;)
     
  14. liannagreyson

    liannagreyson Chieftain

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    Very nice post with a ton of informative information. I really appreciate the fact that you approach these topics from a stand point of knowledge and information
    instead of the typical “I think” mentality that you see so much on the internet these days.
     
  15. Wacky

    Wacky Chieftain

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    Don't agree to the full with this post.

    Running 100% with 6 cities is nice, but is it better dan running 10 cities with 70%?
    And maybe if its not you've got more production and more units. Units you WILL need at higher levels.

    My starting strategies is often REX or conquer so much that only 10-30% research will be left. I will earn it back Land=power
     
  16. 10acarpenter

    10acarpenter Chieftain

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    So what makes this different or better that other mods or versions.
     
  17. sadmachines

    sadmachines Chieftain

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    I didn't make it through reading every page. Did anyone mention the obvious war + pillage to keep money in the treasury? I do this sometimes to stay afloat until currency + code of laws. Capturing holy cities and wonders at the same time is an added bonus. Either burn the cities so you don't pay for them or only build a couple yourself and take all of your neighbours. Saves the effort of building your own settlers. Also you capture workers along the way too. I like my early wars! :D
     

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