Efficient use of workers

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Steven P, Apr 22, 2009.

  1. Steven P

    Steven P Chieftain

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    What do people think about how best to micromanage workers?

    The conflict is always between moving the worker to do some new task far from his original position or just having him do something close by to save movement turns.

    I always get tripped up thinking about whether or not to build a road on the tile that I just improved. I'd hate to have to come back to this tile to build the road later, but on the other hand, I'd hate to waste turns building a road I don't need.

    As it is, I tend to be all over the place, sending my workers every which way and wasting tons of turns traveling in the meantime. I wish I had a more comprehensive plan for how to use workers, particularly in the early game when they are relatively expensive to build.

    Maybe a good place to start would be to ask people's thoughts about roads. You need them to connect resources and you need them to connect cities and otherwise they are optional. So when/how do people opt to build them? Do you specialize, perhaps, and have one worker assigned to building roads while the others work on improvements?
     
  2. FlyinJohnnyL

    FlyinJohnnyL You need more workers....

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    Early on, I just have my worker(s) do the most pressing task at hand. I don't bother so much with hooking up resources until I actually need them (mostly talking health resources here). I try to settle on coasts and rivers if possible, so I don't need as much road, if any, to hook up my cities.

    I know there are players that really get off on counting worker turns; I'm not one of them.
     
  3. SlipperyJim

    SlipperyJim Prince

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    I put roads in nearly every tile. The movement advantage is just too helpful, especially if I'm fighting Raging Barbs.

    However, if the tile is in the BFC for one of my cities, I'll build the tile improvement first. Then I build the road. My thinking is: Why spend any more time working an unimproved tile than is absolutely necessary? Improvement first, then road.

    I also use multiple workers per tile whenever possible. Again, I don't want to work an unimproved tile longer than I have to do so.

    For example, mines take twelve worker-turns on Marathon speed. Therefore, two workers can either build:
    • one mine in six turns, then another mine in six turns OR
    • two mines in twelve turns each
    In both cases, I have two mines at the end of twelve turns. However, the first option gives me six turns of productivity out of the first mine while I'm waiting for the second mine to be built. Six extra turns of mine productivity is (as Attacko would say) the superior.

    That said, I used to also group my workers into a stack for less micro-management. I don't do that anymore. Stacked workers lose worker-turns, and I don't want to give up that labor.
     
  4. Crusher1

    Crusher1 King

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    Improve the tile offering the best benefit. I.E. - a worker can move and begin improving a non irrigated wheat in 1 turn or take 2 turns to start on the pigs. Improve the pigs. The same holds true for hills on rivers and hills w/out rivers. Take the extra worker turn to improve the hill that gives commerce. W/out archery or a resourceless UU hooking up roads to military improvements take precedent followed by establishing a trade route. Health sources only need to be improved, not hooked up for a very long time. When I do have archery or a resourceless UU I skimp on roads focusing on more settlers/workers. When all my cities have enough workers to improve tiles and chop the excess workers then begin roads everywhere.
     
  5. Neoclast

    Neoclast Warlord

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    I like to keep my workers in pairs, but even then I do not group them together for the times when it only took one to finish the job. This way the second can move to the next tile awhile. Also I find roads very important to be able to move your military to where needed. Nothing worse then being two tiles away from a barb about to pillage a resource, but no road or a long road to get to them...

    Edit: Also once my improvements for cities are done or close to it I will put some workers on automated trade network. here they will build roads on every tile you own and hook up any new resources that come within your borders. I do have the option to leave old improvments though, as I don't always want to change out say a Town for having a third uranium or something.
     
  6. Crusher1

    Crusher1 King

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    better fog busting and more cities ^^
     
  7. Steven P

    Steven P Chieftain

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    Would we agree on these:

    1. There should be a complete road route from the center tile to every improved tile. This is for defense against pillaging.

    2. If your city has more improved tiles than citizens to work them, stop improving tiles and move your worker to another city that has the opposite situation.
     
  8. Draco Spirit

    Draco Spirit Chieftain

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    Sooner or latter I just put a few workers on auto trade network. They happerly conect up resources and build a increasingly more elborale road and rail network for me. It seems one of the few things the AI can do right.

    Unlike say more full automation where worker start hacking down lumbermills and replacing towns with workshops.. then hamlets :crazyeye:
     
  9. FlyinJohnnyL

    FlyinJohnnyL You need more workers....

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    I usually use the auto trade network feature when I'm sick of worker mm as well, although you may want to consider: tiles with nothing on them have a better chance at growing a forest. I believe a road hurts this opportunity. This isn't really a big deal, except on marathon, where you will actually get quite a bit of growth if you plan it right. Just something to think about in the scheme of things.
     
  10. Windsor

    Windsor Flawless

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    Most time I would move my worker to get the important tile improved asap. I don't connect my cows delaying a mine on a gold resource for several turns if my empire isn't screaming for health. I rather come back and build the road when the health is needed or when workers have nothing better to do.

    It's not the totalt amounts of worker turns that counts, but when you need the improvement.

    Later in the game I do set some workers to auto-build trade network, but I also make sure the workers are pretty evenly spread out just in case.
     
  11. Gliese 581

    Gliese 581 Your average civ junkie

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    One way of not wasting worker turns are to give a work order on the move and then cancel it. This way you can gradually transport a worker from one city to the next without losing worker turns on the way. Sometimes it's better to sacrifice a worker turn though in order to get a priority work done. Resources are a good example, you always want them up asap as long as you have people to work them (and you should ensure that). Roads are typically a secondary concern except in the case of roads that hook up strategic resources, these can be very crucial even in the infancy of a game.

    The most efficient way to construct a road network is usually building roads on the diagonals of cities first like an X and then fill out later (resources are of course also important to hook up once you're building roads).
     
  12. Cashew

    Cashew Prince

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    Although this is a good idea, if you find yourself doing this too often it probably means your macro management of your workers is sloppy. Every city/region should have approximately the right number of workers.
     
  13. Learningciv

    Learningciv Warlord

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    As you mentioned at the end you lose worker turns. With the mine example its 1 turn to move onto hill and 12 to build = 13 turns. If you stack your workers you get 2 mines in 14 turns compared to 13 but you get an extra 6 turns of production from first mine.
     
  14. Kornaki

    Kornaki Warlord

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    Worker turns have no intrinsic value in and of themselves; as long as you're building improvements as fast as your city is growing you're fine
     
  15. Learningciv

    Learningciv Warlord

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    Yes they do. If your workers are more effecient it means you can use less of them. That in turn frees up hammers/food for growth and production.
     
  16. Gliese 581

    Gliese 581 Your average civ junkie

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    It applies to moving workers within a single city radius as well of course.
     
  17. MkLh

    MkLh King

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    Saved worker turns only pay off in the long run. In the short term, it's better to pre-chop forests (if your workers haven't anything better to do) than to build roads everywhere in order to "save worker turns".
     
  18. troytheface

    troytheface Deity

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    teching toward hinduism and losing out and not even having the Wheel and left with a worker with nothing to build one can use him as a citizen suicide explorer.

    If doing an archer rush they can act as lures- but i notice in a big siege the AI will often not take the bait

    for everything else -automation (monarch+)
     
  19. UncleJJ

    UncleJJ Deity

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    Using workers on normal speed is very different from marathon. The cost of moving a worker into a wood or onto a hill is 1 turn at both speeds but the cost of building the road is 2 and 6 respectively, so on marathon I'll often just build a mine on a hill and move on to the next improvement without delay, while on normal I'll usually build a road "while he's there" to save the movement cost in future. Also on marathon I'll often pair workers up or even put three together to get what I want faster (15 turns for a farm seems like an age) while on normal that is much less likely.
     
  20. budweiser

    budweiser King of the Beers

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    This could be a fallacy, not that I dont do it myself. You wouldn't send a single swordsman to attack a city, why not group multiple workrs together? Getting that first tile improved in a new city in 1 turn is much better than waiting 5 turns while a single worker does it.
     

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