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Effective Commerical Managment...

Discussion in 'Civ3 Strategy Articles' started by Strider, Jul 1, 2003.

  1. Strider

    Strider In Retrospect

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    Ever wondered how to manage your commerce succesfully dividing it out between your treasury, science funding, and happiness while crippling the AI's? If we had more extensive sliders than this will all be a breeze... "Yeah, I want to put 2% of my commerce into research.. and the other 98% into my treasury," but instead where stuck with intervals of 10. So...

    I'll tell you how to effectivly manage your commerce...

    The Basics:

    Commerce points:
    1 commerce point = 1 gold.
    1 commerce point = 1 "research tubes"
    1 commerce point = 1 happy citizen (not sure 100% about this as I hardly use the happiness slider)

    Note: Read Ronalds The very basics on micromanagment for more on how to manage your cities most effectivly.

    Note: Read Crackers How to improve your opening for even more information on managing your cities effectivly.


    Commerce in the World:
    Desert w/ saltpeter or incense: 1 commerce
    Desert w/ oil: 2 commerce

    Plains w/ horses or wines: 1 commerce
    Plains w/ ivory: 2 commerce

    Grassland w/ horses or wines: 1 commerce

    Tundra w/ furs: 1 commerce
    Tundra w/ oil: 2 commerce

    Flood Plain: Has no lux/resource bonus's

    Hills w/ horses or coal or saltpeter or wines or incense: 1 commerce
    Hills w/ gold: 4 commerce

    Mountains w/ saltpeter or coal: 1 commerce
    Mountains w/ gold or gems: 4 commerce

    Forest w/ furs or dyes: 1 commerce
    Forest w/ spices or ivory or rubber: 2 commerce
    Forest w/ silks or uranium: 3 commerce

    Jungle w/ coal or dyes: 1 commerce
    Jungle w/ rubber or spices: 2 commerce
    Jungle w/ silks: 3 commerce
    Jungle w/ gems: 4 commerce

    Note: A tile next to a river receives a +1 commerce bonus.

    Note: A roaded tile receives a +1 commerce bonus

    Note: Iron & aluminium doesn't give any commerce bonus's


    Commerce: What is it used for?

    Commerce is the most important componant in the game. Without it you would not beable to make gold or research technologies.

    The Commercial Civilization:

    Alot of people underestimate the power of a commercial civilization. I've heard many times "It just makes a 4 gpt differance... and you hardly even notice it." Actually they do not make a 4gpt differance. A well-run commercial civilization could make a good 20+gpt differance. A commercial civilization has two advantages:

    1) Cities with larger populations produce extra commerce.
    2) Corruption levels are lower.

    This allows commercial civilizations to hold larger empires, research faster, and still make more gold. This ability is often under-valued as it is hardly noticable and it builds up over time slowly.

    Commercial Civilizations
    Rome (also militaristic)
    Greece (also Scientific)
    Japan (also religious)
    Carthage (also industrious)
    France (also industrious)
    England (also Expansionist)
    Spain (also religious)
    Korea (also Scientific)

    Note: I have not added the Conquests Civs yet[/I]

    Research:

    General Details on research:

    1) Research can not take longer than 40 turns.
    2) You can not research faster than 4 turns.
    3) The cost of a empty technoloy depends on the map size. The example used below is with the 256 empty cost (huge map). (See Alexman's What will the AI research next? for more info)

    Researching:

    The research slider in the domestic advisor window sets how many commerce points you want to turn into "research tubes." If you are currently producing 256 commerce points and have your research set to 40% you will be turning 102 commerical points into "research tubes." This means that you could research an empty technology in 4 turns (note penality listed above).

    Note: This is with no corruption. Most games WILL have corruption. So 40% of 256 will not nessacrialy be 102... it would be less. (See Alexman's Do you think you understand corruption? for more on corruption.)

    Note: A Scientist produce's one "Research tube." so one scientist might have little effect on your rate, but alot of them can make a differance.


    Treasury:

    Your treasury is how much gold you are making & how much you have. 1 commerce point = 1gpt. If we take the example from last time and say we are turning 60% of 256 into gpt we will be making 154gpt.

    Marketplaces and banks can increase your treasury tremedously. As most people have there research lower than there tax rate at the time banks/marketplaces come along, they give a big boost... a bigger boost much more noticable than libries and unversities give research.

    Note: As before this is without any corruption. Also as noted before that in most games there will be corruption. (See Alexman's Do you think you understand corruption? for more on corruption.)

    Note: Marketplaces & banks DO NOT increase your research rate. They add 50% to your treasury ONLY.

    Note: A tax collector produces 1gpt.


    How to cripple AI research:

    The Better Deal:

    Trade the AI a lump sum of say 3001 gold for 150gpt. The deal will last 20 turns so technically you will be getting (150*20=3000) 3000 of that gold back... give them the extra 1 gold to make sure they accept the deal. As you may know... The AI will move it's slider to where it is making an even amount of gpt/research tubes. This will decrease the AI research allowing you to take a lead (and with the 150gpt you just got... you should be doing pretty good ;)). If you wait a turn you could even repeat the process with less money (as the AI prolly won't be making as much as last time).

    The AI MIGHT declare war on you to regain lost gpt.

    Note: 150gpt is just an example. Most AI's won't be making 150gpt and at the most will be making about 20gpt. So you make an offer for 401g for 20gpt.

    There is more to come, I'll keep constantly updating this as I have time. Expect more soon! ;)
     
  2. Bamspeedy

    Bamspeedy We'll dig up the road!

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    Few corrections and/or other observations:

    Techs can cost more than 256 beakers. 256 is just a value that is being used for how much the AI has a desire to research that tech. For finding the true value of a tech, you should use Grey Fox's tech calculator, which you can find in the utilities forum of CFC. Tech value is based on map size, difficulty level, and whether anyone else already knows the tech.

    Marketplaces, banks help research indirectly. They give you more money, to allow you to run your research at a higher rate, and/or have money to buy things. Marketplaces should be built anyways for the happiness. But yes, if you run +50% science or higher you may want libraries/universities as a higher priority, but you should still build the marketplaces. Marketplaces/banks multiply the uncorrupted gold you are devoting to the tax rate, and libraries/universities multiply the uncorrupted gold you are devoting to the science rate.

    The buildings (libraries/banks) multiply the uncorrupted gold/beakers, so you should look at how much uncorrupted gold a city is making to know whether the improvements are worth it. And commercial civs, since they have less corruption, the few extra gold that each city is getting is being multiplied by the buildings, making commercial more powerful. Courthouses help, because if you recover just 3 gold, then that 3 gold gets multiplied by the buildings (if you have them all), and it effectively becomes 6 gold.

    Specialists (taxmen, scientists) do only produce 1 gold/1 beaker, but this is immune to corruption, and they do not get the multiplication of the buildings. So it may be beneficial to use specialists in high-corrupt cities, but not in your 'core' cities, unless there are no other tiles to work of course.
     
  3. Strider

    Strider In Retrospect

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    Ok, Thanks... I'll make the adjustments when I go to add more later tonight.
     
  4. zagnut

    zagnut Monarch

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    Very nicely done. I await even more pearls of wisdom.
     
  5. Strider

    Strider In Retrospect

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    I updated it with the commerce bonus's certain luxs/resource's give terrian.

    Also... WildFire is taking some screenshots of a game for I can make a short tuturial and show some examples. I plan on making the tuturial on a free website to save room on this page (and loading time).
     
  6. Indrius

    Indrius Anarchist

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    Hm... This sounds like exploiting AI bug.
     
  7. lz14

    lz14 Chieftain

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    Dude, with your 'cripple AI research' stradegy, the AI will have 3000 cash. That might prevent them to research less.
    Also I don't agree 'most AI will make at most 20 gpt.' First, AI can make thousands per turn, second, 20 gpt won't cripple their research.
    You may also add info about Colossus and Newton's etc.
    You may also add info about how to upkeep buildings and Smiths' comapanies. I always thought the upkeep is taken from the city itself, but in fact it's taken from your treasury.
     
  8. SirPleb

    SirPleb Shaken, not stirred.

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    This article sure is an ambitious undertaking, there are so many things to be mentioned! :)

    Some more stuff to add to the things others have suggested:
    1) Forbidden Palace. Doubling your number of productive cities outweighs the commercial attribute, courthouses, and even government as a factor. I think it is the largest single factor.
    2) Government. Despotism vs. Monarchy vs. Republic/Democracy.
    3) Harbors (and later on Commercial Docks.) Harbors can turn low productivity cities into strong commercial centers.
    4) RCP.
    5) Trade. Trading things which don't cost you anything and don't help your rival much is often an easy way to improve commerce.
    6) Sell unwanted improvements. When capturing cities and they're corrupt, sell stuff you don't want. E.g. a Bank. It may seem harmless to keep but its upkeep drains your treasury.
    7) Wall Street. Gains a free 50gpt after the 20 turns it takes to pay back the nest egg.

    Re "Commerce is the most important componant in the game.":
    To me this seems an overstatement. Very important, yes. Most important? I'd rate food as more important much of the time. Shields as important some of the time. Culture occasionally as important. Of course to some degree you can convert commerce to shields and culture but the exchange rate is painful, and the reverse is true for shields anyway, and to some degree is true even of beakers (described further below.)

    Re "As most people have there research lower than there tax rate at the time banks/marketplaces come along, they give a big boost... a bigger boost much more noticable than libries and unversities give research.":
    I'm not sure the first part of this statement is true. Sometimes I have research at zero at that part of the game, other times at 100%, other times inbetween. I really don't know about most people, wouldn't assume an answer to that. Regardless of the answer, as Bamspeedy noted Marketplaces and Banks help research indirectly. Note that the other way around is also true: Libraries and Universities can help commerce! With these improvements you can research a tech in the same number of turns with a lower research setting, and that lets you accumulate more commerce as a result. Overall I don't think a hard and fast rule about the relative values of these improvements for commerce is possible. I think it depends on the game situation, your goals, and how you plan to reach them. I do think one rule of thumb which is true much (not all!) of the time is that Marketplaces come first because they don't just boost commerce - in some cases they boost everything (food, commerce/science, shields) by reducing unhappiness.
     
  9. Qitai

    Qitai .

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    A better way to write this would be
    1 commerce point = 1 happiness point
    1 happiness point turns a unhappy citizen to content or a content citizen to happy.
     
  10. kb2tvl

    kb2tvl Chieftain

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    One of the things that I have not seen posted is the effectiveness of commercial trait on second ring cities when using rcp or third ring.

    A size 6 city, that is building an aquaduct, can have a worker made into a specialists while building the aquaduct. This can allow a 40 turn research gambit at minimal cost.

    Other times you can move a worker in a size 12 city to a scientist and use that extra food to produce either a 40 turn tech or complete the last turn.

    Courthouses reduce corruption and if you are running cash luxaries then this can be as good as a market. A 50% corrupt city can get another happy face just from cleaning up corruption which can allow working another tile.
     
  11. Strider

    Strider In Retrospect

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    You can do both of those, but with consequence's... If you change a worker to a scientist in a size 6 city (that is building an aqueduct) it can do several things:

    1. A Scientist produces 1 uncorrupted science "beaker" if you have a worker work a tile that is producing 3 commerce (1 corrupted, 2 non-corrupted) you actually might actually "lose" more than you gain (though this might not be likely)

    2. Another thing is you lose the shields/food that worker cause's. That actually shield might mean your aqueduct gets done 2-3 turns earlier.
     
  12. Bamspeedy

    Bamspeedy We'll dig up the road!

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    I'm starting to like the commercial trait. I'd rate it above scientific (on higher levels where I'm not doing any research anyways). It's better than expansionists and some other traits in many (but not all) situations.

    I feel it easily makes more than 20gpt than a non-commercial civ. 20gpt extra is probably for standard or smaller maps. It is hard to notice the difference because you can't directly compare one game to the next because of different situations like the terrain and amount of rivers, that is why many think it's near worthless.

    This article was written only 4 days after RCP was revealed, so it really wasn't a widely accepted 'strategy' yet. I still think RCP is an exploit. I certainly wouldn't call it a 'dastardly' exploit like ROP rape, but it still is doing something the programmers did not intend to happen. They did not intend for people to do that to get around corruption. That is why it is fixed in Conquests.

    As for using the lone scientist/40 turn gambit, yes the tile the scientist could work makes you lose something (food/shields/commerce), but you can minimize this by finding a situation where that tile being worked wouldn't help you anyways (except for the lost food). If the 6th citizen is bringing in shields and gold that is lost to corruption/waste then he isn't doing any good anyways, so make him the scientist. Also, even if he is causing you to lose 1 shield and 2 or 3 gold, that is better than putting science at 10% and end up devoting 7+ beakers/turn when all you really want is the bare minimum devoted to research. I don't use a scientist until I have at least 10 cities (or a city with happiness problems). Using a scientist too early cuts your growth too much.
     
  13. Strider

    Strider In Retrospect

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    True, it depends entirely on the amount of corruption.

    I need to improve this some more also.. maybe list some times when it is better to keep the extra shield then create a scientist... and how to figure that out. I'll get on it.
     
  14. Stapel

    Stapel FIAT 850 coupé

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    Though sucking gpt from the AI is indeed a fine method to criple it, the technique above is quite risky! What if war breaks out?

    Strider, this is a brilliant post. Especially all the links! Thanx!
     
  15. Strider

    Strider In Retrospect

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    :hmm: Good point... I'll make a note about it above.

    Also, Thanks
     
  16. Strider

    Strider In Retrospect

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    Once I actually get conquests... I'll update this thread with some of the commercial management tatics for that... might be a month or two though. (Have to run tests and everything... and I have to get use to the game first also.)
     
  17. Pfeffersack

    Pfeffersack Chieftain

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    Two important changes I noticed in conquests:

    -max research time is increased to 50 turns
    -scientists produce 3 tubes, taxmen 2 gold
     
  18. Strider

    Strider In Retrospect

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    Ok, Thanks... I still haven't got Conquests yet, so your have to give me awhile (anyway, I think I might want to wait intill they fix the two corruption issues intill i get started on it)
     
  19. jesperwh

    jesperwh Chieftain

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    In addition to your thread.
    "Trade the AI a lump sum of say 3001 gold for 150gpt. The deal will last 20 turns so technically you will be getting (150*20=3000) 3000 of that gold back... give them the extra 1 gold to make sure they accept the deal. As you may know... The AI will move it's slider to where it is making an even amount of gpt/research tubes. This will decrease the AI research allowing you to take a lead (and with the 150gpt you just got... you should be doing pretty good ). If you wait a turn you could even repeat the process with less money (as the AI prolly won't be making as much as last time).

    Why not just loan the AI some money with interest. i have used it many times, especially large nations in war are easy targets for some good rates. And to make sure war is not declared simply make another trade, an outdated resource is good.

    When playing the harder levels taking your science in a specific direction is a good way to get economy back on track
     
  20. CIVPhilzilla

    CIVPhilzilla Reagan Republican

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    Thanks for this article I have to try some of the things that you have mentioned.
     

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