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Effective chopping

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by yanner39, Mar 28, 2011.

  1. yanner39

    yanner39 Emperor

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    Ottawa, Canada
    Up to Monarch, my chopping hasn't been that great. I would just chop and chop and chop without really considering where my chops went. Sure I would chop out settlers and workers, but alot of my chops were pre-math, which isn't optimal.

    Recently I've learned how to pre-chop effectively so I'm wondering how some of you manage your chops. What are important considerations? I know I found myself chopping because I didn't have anything else to do. I should have been roading or something

    If you think you will need to war, do you save forests for this post-math or is it better to go all out chopping workers and setters and not take advantage of the bonus?

    I've been chopping hills or riverside tiles because I now I will be building improvements soon.

    I'm trying to manage my worker turns better and I think chopping is an important aspect.
     
  2. fathertuck

    fathertuck Warlord

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    I don't chop before mathematics if I don't really have to. Getting an early settler out faster can sometimes be worth the hammers, or when you're chopping out pre-math wonders with the appropriate resource available (stone - pyramids, marble - oracle etc.).

    Pre-chopping requires IMHO too much micromanagement and slows down the game considerably. But if you're playing optimally then that's the way to go.
     
  3. Kid R

    Kid R Emperor

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    Pre-chopping.
    I'm yet to be convinced that this is a good thing. Not only does it mean more worker turns in total to improve the tile in most cases but it's effort early on that would be better used on something else. The only time I consider it is wonder races, or when for some reason I have really overbuilt badly on workers, or later in the game in the usual "workers' vacation" era and I don't want them to get fat and out of shape :lol:

    Mathematics.
    If math is coming up soon delaying is something to think about but otherwise the benefit of getting the settlers/axemen early is too good to turn up IMO. The opportunity to settle/attack will be gone if you wait. Another thing I suppose is as you say you wouldn't want to save a forest on a riverside tile which would otherwise be the best tile to be working. Working a 2:hammers:1:food: hill when it could be improved to 3:hammers:1:food:1:commerce: would lose out on much more than 10:hammers:.

    Roads.
    It sometimes amazes me where people put roads in walkthroughs and demo games, roads on forests being one thing. E.g. if you're roading somewhere and have the choice of going through a forest that will be improved/chopped soon, or another movement-inhibiting tile that will not be improved soon, the forest is the one to go for. Sometimes I road a forest then even in preference to flat plains or grass tiles and take a turn hit, because that gives me the option of going back and forth and chopping the forest a little at a time in worker half-turns that would otherwise be wasted. Also if it's a forested hill it's even more worthwhile to road it becuase (a) the unroaded hill will otherwise still inhibit movement when the forest is gone, and (b) the mine will need a railroad later, although that's probably thinking a bit far ahead :)

    What I'm saying is I think efficient roading is linked to efficient chopping (and all worker micro questions really I guess).
     
  4. ahcos

    ahcos King

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    Mar 19, 2010
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    Hmm.. I usually try to save forrests for Math, but other than that:

    a) chop to speed up movement to precious spots
    b) chop alot more, along with whips, if i'm Imperialistic or Expansive
    c) chop for wonders, especially when isolated because that's when you really need them to pull something off.

    Other than that it's pretty situational... hard to give general advices here.

    Edit:

    Difficulty? Prechopping is very, very useful. Essentially it's production on demand, and when you tech for catas, cataphants or HAs you'll be able to get out alot of production in a short timeframe, and especially on higher levels you'll want to attack asap after you've gained that technological advantage. Especially for the early rushes you'll most likely won't have anything better to do with your workerturns anyway, set up a road network so your troops move as fast as possible, and then use the rest of your workerturns for chopping.
     
  5. Kid R

    Kid R Emperor

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    I usually play on immortal, but not very well, partly because I dislike early rushes even when they're called for. My general thinking if I plan to put some chops into catapults or something though has been to send the workers to the forests a couple of turns before the tech finishes. I suppose that counts as a form of pre-chopping but it doesn't involve moving away from the forest and back on again.

    It also limits me to the number of workers I have. It seems I need more workers early on and dedicate one or two of them to pre-chopping.
     
  6. vicawoo

    vicawoo Chieftain

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    In Warlords I was big on chopping. Now I prefer to have my workers do more useful improvements.

    I will chop if
    -rushing
    -racing for some site
    -chopping warriors in high food sites
    -monuments in resourceless cities
    -already have tiles I can't work
     
  7. coanda

    coanda Emperor

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    The one thing I would say about chopping is that it's hard to mess up too terribly chopping too much. On the other hand, it's easy to really wreck your game by not chopping enough. So when I'm not being obsessive about micro, I generally just start chopping and don't stop until I've recreated Easter Island.

    I agree that things like pre-chopping, delaying chops for mathematics, wonder-grabbing, and fast medieval war prep can be useful in some cases... it's just rarely a game-breaker for me. Of course, I play on Emperor; maybe for Imm/Deity those little optimizations are necessary.
     
  8. ahcos

    ahcos King

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    Well, with prechopping every worker becomes a super-super-super Hammertile without working the tile actually ;)

    It might be that you've to delay other improvements because you have to chop out an army, but then again that's a general drawback of wars - your economy will most likely suffer. Otoh, if you're able to start the war fast and end it fast, mostly because you've set the war up properly, and this includes prechopping, your econ will suffer less. When i prepare for war this includes whipping usually, so i'll have less valuable tiles to work for a certain amount of time anyway - therefore improvements are less important, as long as you have the most important tiles to be workable.

    Keep in mind that prechopping also means prechopping before you reach math, not only for rushes or anything... i'd always ask myself: is it really needed to chop this forrest already? Even for Cavalery rushes some forrest come in handy... those extra hammers from math are really worth waiting, unless you won't be able the reach math in a reasonable timeframe.

    Prechopping is huge and i use if almost in every of my games, and i've beaten all of my last Immortal games in the last few months, doing quite good on deity lately. i do believe it makes a huge difference.
     
  9. DMOC

    DMOC Mathematician

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    I am a huge chopper, and I hate leaving forests to be lumbermilled when they could be chopped and a workshop could be inserted in their place. I don't pre-chop that much, but I do when I try to build wonders. Military - not so much, since I prefer the whip.

    Also, be sure you chop forests that are inside cities' BFC, and forests that are next to a city tile in case an enemy moves his forces there.

    Finally, utulize movement points. If you have 2 workers on different tiles, and both can get to the forest, but one worker will have extra movement points left and the other worker will have no more movement points, use the latter worker and have the first worker work a different tile that he can move to and improve at the same turn.
     
  10. Mylene

    Mylene Deity

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    Pre-chopping is always good on Deity, and probably IMM too.

    Example...early rush, Horse Archers or similiar.
    Usually you do not have time for more than 3 cities, sometimes only 2 is better as well.

    With no intention to expand further, you will run out of stuff to build at some point before HBR comes in.
    But you can build a few workers, and these guys won't have many tiles to improve with just 2 cities.
    So they go pre-chopping, and once you can build stables & HAs you will do it much much faster if you get chop hammers almost every turn.
     
  11. whats a navy

    whats a navy Prince

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    A good trick with worker micro is if a worker is three tiles away from a forest you want to chop, instead of moving two tiles one turn and then move one tile onto the forest the next turn it can move one tile on first turn. On the tile it can put 1 turn of work into a road/cottage/farm and on the second turn move two tiles onto the forest. Both moved onto the forest in two turns but the second way has one turn of the tile improvement of your choice on the first tile.
     
  12. DMOC

    DMOC Mathematician

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    It's usually good on all difficulty levels.
     
  13. b.orchid

    b.orchid Chieftain

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    I like to chop and whip, and early rush!! :lol: But I usually leave a couple of forests around for lumbermills... but it sounds like maybe lumbermills aren't as good as workshops? I haven't really used workshops much but don't sometimes people use them to replace other existing improvements later in the game? I sometimes struggle with knowing exactly what improvement to put where and I've never even considered changing an improvement, but then again I have only just started playing on Prince so still a lot to master....
     
  14. Kaosprophet

    Kaosprophet Warlord

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    It depends a bit on the situation. With Caste+State Property civics workshops are almost strictly superior, but if you're not running those civics then lumbermills compete reasonably well with workshops; one less hammer, but food-neutral and keeps the forest around for health bonuses.

    But it's often a moot point at higher levels simply because most people playing at those levels chopped out most or all of their forests for early boosts long before the lumbermills come along.
     
  15. Saru

    Saru Warlord

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    I usually chop all but 2-3 forests around my cities. I like to keep couple of forests unchopped for emergency situations if I, E.G get a sudden declaration and need to get some defenders for my cities fast.
    I usually chop only 1-3 forests pre-math and after math start chopping out Workers/settlers/wonders. It's also very funny to chop for builds you get double production speed on. I have once been able to complete the Oracle, with marble, in two turns by having overflow from a whip and two chops producing 184 hammers in one turn :cooool:
     

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