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[EitB/Terkhen] A weird wonderspam/REX/SE strategy for the Kurios

Discussion in 'Fall from Heaven Strategy & Tips' started by akatosh, Oct 29, 2013.

  1. akatosh

    akatosh Prince

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    There are so many things I like about FFH that I could fill up the Internet if I wrote them all down. One of them is the Kurios—such a neat idea to design a civ that has a limited number of supercities and a periphery of little villages. Of course, when the devs create such a fascinating game mechanic, minmaxers like me will try to find a way to abuse the hell out of it.

    I started with the goal of figuring out if there was some way to improve settlements. Past advice on this topic has consisted of popping temples to improve settlement yields which I don’t think is particularly good. The best you can do here is to pop a temple of kilmorph using a stonewarden, which can yield up to +8 :gold: from a settlement (+2 from temple, +3 from merchant specialist, +1 from city if state religion is RoK, and a further +2 if you have the Tablets of Bambur in the Bazaar of Mammon city, times multipliers potentially.) +8 :gold: is nice but it costs you a settler and another 120 :hammers: for the priest, for a total investment of 340 :hammers:. 4 markets for 340 :hammers: ? Not that great, IMO. (Note I am not factoring in the benefit from Expansive in this calculation because the hammer contribution to settler production is uncertain. But, it is a considerable benefit when spamming out settlements)

    Before I go further, let’s review settlement mechanics.

    Settlement Mechanics

    Contrary to popular belief, settlements CAN produce food, hammers, and commerce. However, their production of :food: :hammers: :commerce: isn’t usually noticeable because they suffer from massive multiplier penalties. In a settlement, :food: production is reduced by -75%, :hammers: by -50%, and :commerce: by -75%. Theoretically, if you had a tile that produced 400 :commerce: the settlement’s 1 pop could work that tile and generate 100 :commerce: for the empire. You can check this for yourself by poking around in the city screen, or alternately, load up some of your old saves with Kurios and you’ll see that somehow, you have settlements that are producing 1 :science: with a 100% slider.

    As a practical matter, production of :food: and :hammers: is useless because settlements don’t have a production build queue and don’t have a population growth bar. Commerce, however, is contributed to the empire through the slider. Settlements also get trade routes, but the effect is usually not noticed because the trade routes are 1) small to begin with and 2) hit by the -75% multiplier.
    In the past, people have advised running specialists in settlements because :gold: :science: and :culture: don’t suffer production multipliers in settlements. This is why you use the temple, as it produces these things raw and doesn’t get hit by the -75%, and moreover it opens up a specialist slot that can also produce these things.

    Settlements also generate no maintenance cost, and do not require a garrison. They indirectly cost maintenance to your empire through the # of cities cost, but that is only felt in your core 3 cities, and can be greatly reduced by building 3 courthouses and 3 basilicas. So if you can afford the up-front cost of 340 :hammers: for a settler and a stonewarden, you can get +8 :gold: per settlement in perpetuity. (I assume for simplicity that multipliers in the Tablets city offset the # of cities maintenance cost.)

    But can we do better?

    ---

    EitB and Terkhen modmod offer some interesting options here. The first is Mercantilism, which adds +2 free specialists to each city and +1 :gold: per specialist. At a minimum, this means that a settlement that is running 3 citizens still produces 3 :gold:. The problem, though, is that you still don’t have good specialist slots without further investment in temples.

    The Liberty civic adds a further +1 specialist and unlimited bard slots. So now, a settlement can now run 4 bards at 1 :science: 1:gold: and 4 :culture: per bard. Caste system adds +1 :science: and +2 :culture: per bard. Not too bad, right?
    Then I noticed that in Terkhen modmod (and possibly EitB) a mage guild adds a sage slot… Catacomb Libralus anyone? With this wonder and the Great Library (which are both early-game wonders with low priority for the AI) each settlement can run a sage for 4 :science: pretty early in the game, and way before Liberty/Mercantilism come into play.

    Which other ways can you buff up settlements?

    Wonders
    ---
    Catacomb Libralus (Mage guild, 1 sage slot)
    Grand Menagerie (Carnival, 1 bard slot)
    Guild of Hammers (Forge, 1 engineer slot)
    Tower of Eyes (Dungeon)
    The Nexus (Obsidian gate, +1 trade route)
    Great Lighthouse (+2 trade routes in coastal cities)
    Great Library (+1 science per sage, use with Catacomb Libralus)
    Hall of Kings (+2 culture per specialist)
    Theatre of Dreams (+2 culture per bard)

    Buildings (from best to worst)
    ----
    Temple of Kilmorph (+2 gold, merchant slot, priest slot, +20% culture)
    Temple of the Veil (+2 science, sage slot, priest slot, +20% culture)
    Temple of the Overlords (+2 culture, sage slot, priest slot, +20% culture)
    Temple of Leaves (+1 health, bard slot, priest slot, +20% culture)
    Temple of the Empyrean (+10% science, 2 priest slots, +20% culture)
    Temple of the Order (+10% military production, 2 priest slots, +20% culture)
    Command Post (does nothing in a settlement)

    Of these, a few are obviously useless: Guild of Hammers (because engineers do nothing in a settlement), Tower of Eyes (dungeons do nothing), and Command Posts/Temples of the Order (unless you need the +20% culture for some reason). Temples of Leaves and Temples of the Empyrean are pretty bad too.
     
  2. akatosh

    akatosh Prince

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    Let’s say that you want to get away with the minimum possible investment in settlements. If you pick Industrious as your adaptive pick, on Emperor difficulty, my testing suggests the following setup is realistic: Catacombs, Great Library, Great Lighthouse, Hall of Kings, Theatre of Dreams, Nexus. 6 wonders, that’s a lot, but Kurio supercities with Industrious can definitely manage it. You can also get up to 8 trade routes in a settlement if you have the Great Lighthouse (+2), Foreign Trade (+2), Nexus (+1), Currency (+1), Trade (+1) and the starting 1 base. You can run Foreign Trade to help grow your Enclaves until you get to Mercantilism. With 8 trade routes, an overseas settlement can generate 3-4 commerce from trade.

    Here are some possible setups once Mercantilism is in, which require NO ADDITIONAL INVESTMENT through temples. Assumes you have Currency/Trade/GLH and the settlement is coastal. Multipliers I’m not factoring in Liberty (+100% culture) and Overcouncil (+10% science):

    Liberty/Mercantilism/Caste System/Catacomb Libralus/Great Library: 1 sage/3 bards for a total of 11 :science: 4 :gold: 20 :culture: before multipliers, +1-2 :commerce: from trade routes. If you have Theatre/Hall of Kings, each bard is producing 10 raw culture, plus 4 from the sage, for a :culture: output of 68 per turn counting Liberty! Useful when going for a Domination victory.

    Liberty/Mercantilism/Guilds: 4 merchants for 16 :gold: , +1-2 :commerce: from trade routes, requires zero investment in wonders, temples, or anything else. Just crank 220 :hammers: settlers using Expansive, each settlement raises enough gold to buy a Guild of the Nine merc every 11 turns, a slave trade Lunatic (which you load into an airship) every 5 turns, or a Nightwatch (which can upgrade to an assassin) every 13 turns. Undercouncil and Financial can boost by +35%, for 21.6 :gold: per turn--9t for a Guild merc, 10t for a Nightwatch, 4t for a Lunatic.

    Scholarship/Caste/Mercantilism/Great Lib: 3 sages for 18 :science: 3 :gold: 6 :culture: , +1-2 :commerce: from trade routes. With Terkhen's Sage trait and Overcouncil, for +30% science, you are producing 23.4 :science: per settlement.

    Not counting culture, all of these setups are producing 17-24 commerce in the form of :science: and :gold: before multipliers, PER 220 :hammers: invested in a settler! And keep in mind these settlements cost almost NO maintenance, claim resources, claim land, and are productive from the turn they are founded—remember what balances REXing in Civ4 is that cities are a net drain on your empire for several turns until they get enough tile yields and infrastructure to become a positive. With this strategy (and remember Cardith Lorda is Expansive, so there’s finally some use for this trait in a civ that can only build 3 real cities) these little settlements are effectively like founding a new city that is running 4 fully grown Taxation towns on turn 1. Every settler you build gets you a yield equivalent to 4 towns. And you space them out every 4 squares, like you would with Pirate Coves.

    Let’s look at a maxed out settlement:

    Lib/Merc/Caste + Catacomb/Glib/Hall of Kings/Theatre + Temple of Kilmorph, OO, and AV
    3 sages, 1 merchant: 18 :science: 9 :gold: 19 :culture:, +1-2 :commerce: from trade routes, plus up to 0-7 gold if you have RoK state religion, and AV/OO/RoK holy shrines in the Bazaar of Mammon city, and potentially more with God King and other gold multipliers. +160% :culture:. (I have managed to get 2 holy shrines in the capital even using a standard expansion timing, founding OO or RoK legitimately in the capital and popping a disciple of another religion from a lair.) That is nearly 30 commerce on the first turn you found the settlement!

    Now this is a lot of hammer investment (220 for the settler, plus another 360 from priests) but can be mitigated somewhat with production multipliers like God King and Heroic Epic. Even so, my point is you can get good yields out of settlements even without the investments in temples.

    ---

    So what can you do with this strategy?

    For starters, being able to generate raw gold and science independent of the slider lets you do different things with the slider in your main 3 cities (e.g., 0% slider to get a lot of happiness from Gambling houses, and research fueled by sages/bards in the settlements.)

    Second, in a map that has 1) a lot of small islands, 2) a lot of bad terrain like ice/tundra/desert (Earth-like maps have this), 3) a lot of chokepoints creating really small valleys for cities (like Erebus), Kurios can actually generate good commerce output by spamming settlements everywhere. If there’s a 16-tile glacier island in the north of the map, you could cram 6 settlements onto it and run 24 specialists. Or, there’s a huge desert with no rivers and no food resources. No other civ can use marginal terrain like that without SIGNIFICANT investment in adepts/workers. Moreover other civs eat heavy maintenance costs and have to garrison the cities. If you have chokepoints, you can protect a big back line of settlements with one stack of archers on a chokepoint (I was able to do this in a Terra test game, having Africa’s coast full of a bunch of empty settlements and garrisoning the Middle East).

    Third, working with Basium (and every Kurio should go for the Mercurian Gate) you can give moderately productive/frontline cities to Basium and keep all the crappy ones as settlements, so as not to cripple Basium’s economy.

    In my testing, I found this strategy very easy to implement alongside a normal Kurio strat of Centaur rushing for good land. Basically, all you have to do is take Industrious as your adaptive pick (and with the nerfed Financial in EitB, the opportunity cost of Industrious is a lot lower) and squeeze a couple of ofter-overlooked wonders into your build order. The rest is taken care of by civic choices, which Kurios have some flexibility with because they are not dependent on GoN/Agrarianism, Apprenticeship (3 GCs are easy to get in EitB/Terkhen), or Cultural Values (can get happiness through gambling houses or unyielding order). Industrious is a decent pick to begin with because you probably want the Tower of Complacency and the Pillar of Chains anyway. Early on, each settlement can run a sage at 4 beakers even before Mercantilism, providing some early return in the form of science. There is some nice synergy for the Expansive trait too, which finally finds a use.

    I will post some pics from my tests a bit later.
     
  3. akatosh

    akatosh Prince

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    Some screenshots.

    Spoiler :


    Note here that this settlement is producing 0.6 :science: 0.4 :gold: without any specialists. It is collecting 4 :commerce: through a riverside grassland, the city tile, and 2 trade routes. That is getting reduced by 75% and turned into 1 real :commerce:.

    Spoiler :


    Here is my empire on Turn 233, Emperor difficulty, Terkhen modmod, either a Terra or a Tectonics-->Actual Earth map (I forget which). The slider is at 100%, and I have the Great Library, Catacomb Libralus, and the Great Lighthouse. No Liberty or Mercantilism yet. Note that I only have 2 cities because I just gave one up to summon Basium.

    Each settlement is producing 6-11 :commerce: from trade routes and the city tile, and is running a GLib boosted sage from the Catacomb's free mage guild. The TR commerce is reduced by 75%, resulting in a yield of 1-2 :commerce:, plus 4 :science: from the sage. There are 14 settlements and each is producing about 6 science, for a total of ~84 :science: from settlements alone. Altheriol-ta-Mealthiel is producing more because it had some intact buildings when I captured it.

    The 2 main cities are producing 375 :science:+:gold:, for an empire wide total of 459. That means the settlements alone are contributing 18% to the empire's total commerce output. If I had a third city producing around 150, the settlement contribution would drop to 14%. Still significant.

    Now let's see what happens when we go into Worldbuilder and change civics to Liberty and Mercantilism (dropping Foreign Trade.)
    Spoiler :

    The total :science:+:gold: contribution of settlements rises from 84 to 182. The main two cities grow from 375 to 379 (the gain is small mostly because 2 good trade routes were lost, and not many specialists are being worked in the main cities.) The settlements are now contributing 32% of the empire's total commerce output. If you assume a third city worth around 150, the settlements together are still 26%, or basically as good as having a fourth city! The ~24 cpt per settlement is just gravy, and this is without the Theatre or the Hall of Kings.

    And this is without caste system--with caste, the beaker contribution increases by 4*14 = 56 :science:. Also, the Liberty+Mercantilism+Caste setup is the culture-friendly one. :science: contribution is significantly higher with Scholarship+Caste+Merc, while Liberty+Guilds+Merc is for gold.

    Also, I have not even finished colonizing the southern tip of Africa yet. 3-4 more settlements could fit in that space. All of this with NO INVESTMENTS IN TEMPLES!
     
  4. Akbarthegreat

    Akbarthegreat Angel of Junil

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    Wow :clap:
     
  5. akatosh

    akatosh Prince

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    Some addenda to this post:

    - Even if you have the Grand Menagerie, you cannot create Tiger/Wolf/Lion/Panther cages in settlements. You can't create Dancing Bears either.
    - You can't build anything with Supplies in settlements.
    - Captured/Worldbuildered Freaks can't build Freak Shows in settlements, or cities, for that matter. Can't create slave cages either even if you Worldbuilder in a Freak Show. Assume this is because the spell requires Civ: Balseraphs.
    - GGs can create Command Posts.

    - Adepts can create Inspiration (+2 :science:), Hope (+4 :culture:), and Walls of Stone in settlements. The Terkhen modmod Creation I/III spells Growth and Blessing can be used as well. Growth is useless except for the +1 :culture:. Blessing gives a bunch of specialist slots, but I doubt you want to park an archmage in a settlement. For that matter I doubt you want to park a mage in a settlement for Hope either. You *might* be willing to promote an adept with Mind 1 and Creation 1 and park him in a settlement, though. This requires an expenditure of 90 :hammers: and 1 :gold: per turn in maintenance, however, for a return of +2 :science: and +1 :culture:. Probably not worth it, but who knows, maybe you like to build and micro a perfect empire.

    I assume in Magister Modmod you can use an adept to create a Muse in a settlement, which also gives you a bunch of specialist slots. However, in MM I don't think you can get free specialists with Mercantilism, so you're stuck with the 1 bonus specialist from Liberty. An adept in MM could cast a Muse, an Inspiration, and run a merchant and a sage for a total +8 :science:+:gold: income under Liberty without additional specialist-boosting wonders or civics.

    - I tested an overseas settlement after worldbuildering Kwythellar's population to 50. The trade route produced 4.50 :commerce: base, +25% for connection to capital and +100% for overseas for a total of 10.12 :commerce:. This got quartered down to 2 :commerce:. Presumably, if you had 3 big core cities, you could get a decent chunk of additional commerce just from having 3 closed-border trade routes to your big 3 cities. This is easily attainable without the GLH or Foreign Trade, you just need 1 base TR +1 for Trade and +1 for Currency. My guess is that this could be worth about ~6-7 additional :commerce:, counting 1-3 crappy additional overseas trade routes (from Nexus and GLH), in the mid-late game.

    - It appears that settlements DO generate GPP, but I have not seen a settlement pop a great person yet. I doubt they ever would, because you'll probably be producing way more GPP in your core 3 cities. Your GP farm will produce almost all of your GPs, with a second city occasionally producing one. Still, a settlement running 4 specialists plus an Inspiration will produce 14 GPP/turn without Philo/Sage/Pacifism/Arete. Perhaps there's a way to make this useful.
     
  6. Qgqqqqq

    Qgqqqqq Emperor

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    Firstly, I love the enthusiasm you bring to FFH :)
    Secondly, some pointers which can't really compare to the fullness of the article but anyway.
    - the screenshotted city should obviously be working the 0/2/5 tile (incense?) ;)
    - I believe the amount of trade routes per city is capped at six, even though you can exceed that. This may be altered in modmods, but is true of EitB IIRC
    - Remember scholarships +10% beakers and +1 beaker per specialist which I believe push it above liberty as strictly superior (short of a culture victory/push...which I really want to do now). I feel the same applies to guilds versus Caste too, if you don't have the tech for schol.
    - Mage guilds giving slots is a EitB change.
     
  7. Calavente

    Calavente Richard's voice

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    regarding magistermodmod.
    IIRC, last time I checked, having RoK temple gave 1 free specialist per mine... (and some other worked quite the same)
    does it still work like that ?
    will it work with settlements ?
    how would you abuse that ?
     
  8. Qgqqqqq

    Qgqqqqq Emperor

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    I'm pretty certain you are thinking of the shrines.
     
  9. Calavente

    Calavente Richard's voice

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    nope, I'm sure of it.
    but that might be in an OLD version of MM.
    (I had a city with RoK temple AND RoK shrine, and... 2specialists per mine :D:D:D)
     
  10. Akbarthegreat

    Akbarthegreat Angel of Junil

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    Free specialist with a temple is ridiculous. I don't think MC would implement something like this.
     
  11. A Moon

    A Moon The "A" is silent

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    I think one of the dwarven palaces does/did the same thing. That might have been why.
     
  12. Qgqqqqq

    Qgqqqqq Emperor

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    Actually (remembering what temples I've built in Foxlane) that's definitely incorrect.
     
  13. Akbarthegreat

    Akbarthegreat Angel of Junil

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    The Luchuirp palace still gives a free specialist for every workshop (in MM), but workshops are harder to spam than mines (flat land and -1 food). The Khazad palace only gives a free specialist for the Standing Stones (and maybe Earth nodes, I don't remember).
     
  14. Qgqqqqq

    Qgqqqqq Emperor

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    Workshops are easier to spam then mines - flatland is more common elevation and the food yield is exactly the same asmined hill (1 for grass, 0 for plains).
     
  15. Calavente

    Calavente Richard's voice

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    so maybe I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure not.
    I was playing elohim (so not the palace). but that may have been in one of the first versions of it.

    EDIT: I checked my saved games.. I played this game during feb-march 2012 .. and won 05/april 2012 so 18months ago... that was many versions ago.

    and as MC did at least 6 editions of his modmod in march 2012 (I have 6 of them on my HD? there might have been more), I can't tell you which version it was save that it was at least a "Magistermodmod2012 version".

    so as you don't have that in game, it seems MC removed this aspect :D or maybe I remember very wrongly...
     
  16. akatosh

    akatosh Prince

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    For the last version of MM I played, this was how it worked:
    Tablets of Bambur - +1 free specialist per mine
    Luchuirp Palace - +1 free specialist per workshop
    Guild of Hammers - +1 free specialist per workshop, mine, quarry

    I played a Luch game where all I did (on Immortal difficulty) was rush to RoK then construction and build workshops on every tile I didn't need to support my happy cap, and I had a city with something like 30 effective pop very early in the game. Productivity was absurd (like 800 hpt) once GoH, God King, Pillar of Chains, and City of a Thousand Slums was added. I did not build a second city until all religions were founded (I believe 4 were in my capital, for piles of mana and free promotions.)

    Almost as broken is Lanun
    Lanun Palace - +1 free specialist per pirate cove
    Heron Throne - +1 free specialist per fishing boat
    Necronomicon - +1 free specialist per fishing boat

    Also notable is the Kurio palace, which gives +1 free specialist per Enclave. Takes a lot longer to get there, of course.

    Of course, none of this is the most abusable thing in Magister modmod... that would be epic lair farming :/
     
  17. Qgqqqqq

    Qgqqqqq Emperor

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    I don't think any single facet is most abusable (in recent versions the lair gets a held guardian no matter what), just everything in general :)
    Anyway, back on topic, the Kuriotates also work really well with Order, even if just for a short spell, as every spread gives a crusader and acolyte (which is a Confessor post-theocracy!) for awesome shrine income and even temple spamming. [Goes to start a Mastery-Era Kuriotate game]
     
  18. akatosh

    akatosh Prince

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    Yeah I was thinking about our Always Peace/Perp SG when I wrote this too. In our game, we were constantly struggling to get enough workers to develop our land, and we were also running a very low slider because of maintenance costs. I wonder if we could get a faster domination win by spamming settlements and getting to important techs faster (Drama/Feudalism/Mercantilism/Liberty) and just using the settlements to push the culture. They wouldn't produce as much culture as fully grown cities, but we'd have the added option of using disciple bombs and packing in more settlements to add cultural pressure from more directions. Heroic Epic and the Pillar of Chains could probably 1-turn priests. We'd also lose Loki/Freak shows, but gain adaptive-->Industrious. I don't think we built a lot of slave cages in our game.

    4 bards with all boosters can produce 40 raw culture, +2 from OO temple, +1 from a culture-producing state religion, +4 hope, +220% from 6 temples and Liberty for a maximum cultural output of ~150 cpt with the :culture: slider at 0%.

    We were on Emperor difficulty right?
     
  19. akatosh

    akatosh Prince

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    This is an excellent idea. This effectively offsets the 220 :hammers: settlement cost by the value of the crusader (80 :hammers: in EitB/Terkhen) which is actually a not-worthless military unit. If you are Spiritual when you do this you'll get a free mobility on these extra crusaders.

    The free Confessor is used to pop a temple in the next settlement, which gets you the shrine income and +20% culture in the settlement (and 2 priest slots, of dubious use). Alternately, if you wanted to manually build acolytes for the spreads, each acolyte essentially gets a spread and upgrades into a Confessor, limited only by the number of settlements.

    So, late-game Order essentially pays back 80 :hammers: per settlement, plus 1-3 :gold: per settlement depending on multipliers, plus +20% :culture: in each settlement. Not too shabby. You may want Order anyway in your big 3 for Social Order/Unyielding Order, and Basilicas to further reduce # of cities maintenance. All those free Confessors make an excellent military garrison, at the cost of Liberty/Scholarship... depending on the circumstances this might be the right call.

    Just don't waste time spreading Veil if you're going to do this :)
     
  20. Qgqqqqq

    Qgqqqqq Emperor

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    I've been playing around with the Kurios lately, and ended up doing a peaceful domination push (abandoned when it was obviously workng), and I agree they're likely superior - only the initial cities matter much anyway, and the production/teching problems are suited to the mega cities of the Kuriotates.
    I don't think that temples are worthwhile though, except Order, as its just a lot easier to just bulk-build settlers for 96cpt each city.
     

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