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Empire Food

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Dudu42, Oct 26, 2010.

  1. Dudu42

    Dudu42 Chieftain

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    I was wondering, why food is restricted to cities?

    We have the happiness atribute that goes for the entire empire, and the food wield limited to city? Shouldn't be the opposed?

    Analysing the real world, we have huge cities with no production at all. Just metropolis inside a complex of cities in a heavy urbanized area. Something that cannot occur in a Civ game.

    I think each city should have the food needed for subsistence, and the excess food could be spread through empire, or even exported to other leaders. That's how works nowadays. Entire countries export food for more developed ones. Usually, the larger cities are the ones who produces less and import everything.

    My idea?

    Have a bank of food. Let's say, the sum of your cities are producing 50 excess food. Then you have 50 food to spread through your empire, via sliders maybe. Maybe this exported food should cost a minor upkeep. Or you could trade this food with another leaders (50 food for 45 turns in exchange for cotton, for example).

    What do you think?
     
  2. el_hidalgo

    el_hidalgo Prince

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    I've thought this too. In terms of realism, yes, you should be able to trade food, not to mention production. Moreover city size should somehow be related to trade, not just food. Obviously a city needs food to sustain its population, but cities grow because of the economic opportunities there.
     
  3. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    The major issue I see with this idea is that it would largely kill the idea of city placement and city self-sufficiency. The idea currently is that each city has to be good enough of its own accord to justify its existence. Allowing for it to be reliant on a much better city would not be beneficial for this city placement philosophy.

    That said, I'm a fan of a limited food trade scheme, so long as it doesn't allow for the aforementioned creation of useless cities.
     
  4. Dudu42

    Dudu42 Chieftain

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    I think WE should control city growth. Like a importante crossway city or a scientific one. The empire food leads to more specialization in cities without taking the importance of city placement.
    Also, this by no means diminishes the importance of city placement. (maritime cities do).

    See, you still need food. What you get is a specialized city in producing food. Also, this diminishes the bad luck of starting your empire in a place with bad wield. You're still looking for plains with wheat and river, for example.

    One more thing, you should pay a upkeep for food exported for other cities. An upkeep that should reflect the transportation and reward self suficient cities. The empire food would allow a city in the middle of a jungle filled with tranding posts and a big population, like a city of scholarship.

    A limit for imported food in a city could also be implement, for balancing issues.
     
  5. zimmah

    zimmah Chieftain

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    it happens a lot tho that lux. or strat. resources are somewhere in the dessert or tundra or other area's with hardly any food and such.

    or a lot of gold/production but not really enough food to found a (big) city there.

    in those cases it would be handy to imprt food. just like in real-life.

    it's much more realistic, and much easier to grow bigger cities.

    why not allow us to make a few cities with huge food production, and a few citieis with huge production/gold output. much more realistic and much easier to manage. (even for AI) it would also allow for more automatisation, hence faster games.

    combined with a buff of worker AI and automated worker customisation it would really make games much faster since the only thing you need to worry about then is your army.


    also i think there should be more 'fertile' area's in general. maybe give some more food to tiles next to rivers etc. but that might be just my opinion.
     
  6. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    Well that's why I do support some form of food sharing system. However, if you made it so that it was possible to grow those poorly placed or strategically placed cities to be just as big as cities with actual good placement, that would not be unrealistic. With the implementation of a food bank, this would be possible.

    Specialisation is realistic and good to have in the game, but allowing for cities that hold what is simply a non-viable position does not strike me as a good way to go about this.

    I would think it terrible if you only had to focus on your army. Civ is not a war game. To win, you should have to focus on your economy and cities, each just as much as you should have to concentrate on your army. Making it so that your army is the sole focus of your attention is taking away from the idea that you are building and running a civilization.
     
  7. Dudu42

    Dudu42 Chieftain

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    Your whole point is that empire food would make cities placement aobsolete strategy.

    But really, IMO, it's a weak point. Maritime city states already do this in a more unrealistic and unbalanced way.

    My sugestion is that Maritme cities were nerfed, giving a fixed number of food that you could choose to spread through your empire. This would make smaller empires more close to bigger ones in terms of benefits from Maritme Cities.
     
  8. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    If you want maritime city states nerfed, then why are you advocating something that would have the same effect? :confused:

    Could you explain for those of us that don't really know too many specific about Civ5 exactly what maritime city states do?
     
  9. Dudu42

    Dudu42 Chieftain

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    They don't have the same effect.
    Ok, both does help the food output, the city growth, but not at a fixed rate of 2 food per maritime city for each of your empire city.

    As I said, "empire food" is more balanced and realistic.

    Balanced, because you have to choose where food goes and have to pay a upkeep for it. You may say that city states also require upkeep, but there are those games that you invest very little and they get allied with you forever.
    Also, your concern with city placement seems pointless. If you put a bunch of cities in tundras and get 5 maritme cities, those cities will grow. But with empire food you still look for fertile grounds.

    And more, much more realistic. How do you think the new yorkers get their food? From a maritme city state? Rio de Janeiro coupled with Singapore feed every mouth of America? And what about Tokyo? Both cities are not surrouded by farms, they're inside megalopolis. And most what they eat are imported. Imported from other cities, from other states and other nations.


    Well. You know very well, but if you want me to write, here goes:
    A single city state feed your ENTIRE empire, no matter if you have 3 or 30 cities. Not even matter if they're in the middle of a freaking desert (happened with Rio de Janeiro with me). That's what they do. Not too balanced and certainly not realistic.
     
  10. CivMyWay

    CivMyWay Warlord

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    Call me old-fashioned, but I like a little realism. Nation-wide happiness? No, not really; if you're in the borderlands and have little food, it doesn't matter that the nation's capital is a rocking place.

    Similarly with food. I do think however that it (and all other measures) should evolve. For example: start of game - city-based food; once you have horse and cart, and roads, then cities can share with their neighbours. Refridgeration and roads, then you share nationally. However, get cut off from the road network and don't have a harbour or airport and you're on your own.
     
  11. Dudu42

    Dudu42 Chieftain

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    Well said. Cutting road should cut the food supply.

    Also, put a limit for food imported would be nice. Some buildings like granaries should raise this limit (makes more sense as granaries store food, but dont produce it). Some technologies could also raise, like refrigeration.

    It's pretty fun that we have a nonsense empire happiness but not a empire food...
     
  12. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    (BTW, I actually really don't know a lot about the details of Civ5. I don't own the game, and you'll find that most of what I post here is rather generalised and focused on the core issues concerning ideas; balance, tactics v strategy, gameplay v realism, etc.)

    If maritime city states are that oddly powered, then I would think that they need to be greatly altered, too. But that doesn't change my view on the importance of city placement and self-sufficiency.
     
  13. killmeplease

    killmeplease Mk Z on Steam

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    i proposed some solutions here

    food redistribution should cost gold for transporting
     
  14. Dudu42

    Dudu42 Chieftain

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    That's what I meant with the upkeep.

    I like your ideas (maybe because they're very similar to mine).
    Specialization of cities, exporting and importing food with some penalty for doing so, but everything being simple to manage.
     
  15. CGG1066

    CGG1066 Minister of Finance

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    I've actually thought about this a little bit independently - and I'm glad to see some other people like the idea (I'm actually may or not post a thread with many of my ideas, including this one). I dislike micromanaging - creating a bank with some sort of upkeep seems just like more TPS reports that need to be filed before the next turn - so I would make food sharing empire-wide and costless.

    Two catches though (for all of you who are concerned about city placement effects): (a) Food doesn't get shared on a civilization-wide level until refrigeration and (b) only between cities connected into the RR/harbor network.

    This makes it only a late game effect, which is just fine, because you don't need to really concentrate your cities until you're building expensive units/buildings. (and, as a side note, it's a bit more realistic, because urbanization wasn't really possible until technological advances allowed food to be shipped without spoilage - there's a reason why urbanization didn't occur until the industrial revolution).
     
  16. killmeplease

    killmeplease Mk Z on Steam

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    cross post from Unit maintenance & supply thread

    hammers as well as food might be pooled.
    cities can direct some of their food and production to the state's reserve as well as to take from it. armies are supplied from it, and hammers/food can be transfered from this pool to a particular city. each transaction costs gold. price depends on amount and distance to the capital. buildings like granary, armory, arsenal extend a pool size.

    pool values might be brought to the top panel, like this:
    for food and production, popups should explain where a stuff goes from and to:
    Code:
    [B]cities: +10 [/B]
       thebes + 4 
       memphis + 8 
       heliopolis: -2 
    [B]supply: -5 [/B]
    
    gold income popup should to show transportation costs

    auto-pooling (intake from or contribution to the state reserve) for cities may be established from city screen and it should also be indicated in some way on a city bar (if active).
     
  17. killmeplease

    killmeplease Mk Z on Steam

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    maybe for gameplay reasons its good but not for realism.
    ancient megapolices like athens and rome were supplied with grain by sea. also roman empire was even more urbanized than most of 18th century countries (30% urbanization, compared to 10-20% for 18th century europe, only in netherlands it was about 40% afaik)

    what might be done to make transportation costs more transparent - tie them not to distances but to connection types (road, railroad, harbor). with discounts for having certain techs (combutsion (lower transportation costs for roads and harbors connection types), refriegeration (lower food transportation cost), replaceable parts (lower production transportation cost)). also there might be buildings like grain elevator, warehouse etc, reducing transportation costs for a particular city.

    also with introduction of production transportation rushbuy concept might be removed.
     
  18. Pooh

    Pooh Chieftain

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    I've previously posted on the idea of empire-wide food production.

    Spoiler :
    In this thread: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=369789and in this thread:


    To save you the need to click through, though, here are my thoughts on the matter:

    Proposed Mechanics
    Spoiler :

    Trading food between cities
    Base it on the existing trade system - i.e. all trade routes go through the capital. Certain cities would be designated agricultural centres, for example via the "Focus on Food Production" autogovernor.

    Agricultural cities connected to the capital (via roads or rivers) may export surplus food to the capital, with surplus being defined as whatever is above zero-growth production. The amount of surplus exported would be either 50% (focus on food) or 100% (focus on food + avoid growth).

    With respect to the costs of food trade, I would confine them to efficiency thresholds on the food itself. i.e. Depending on tech level a certain amount of food is "spoils" during transit. This has the virtue of imposing a real cost on specialization (which is subject to discussion under the next heading) that is transparent and relatively simple. I prefer to keep things are simple to understand as possible. Archane systems are more subject to potential abuses.

    Food surpluses collected by the capital may be distributed among non-agricultural cities connected to the capital via a trade route using the following order of priority: (1) Any cities in food deficit are brought up to subsistence; (2) the remainder of the surplus is distributed among available non-agricultural cities.

    For distribution, I see two workable approaches: (1) Each recipient recieves the same amount of food - this would have the effect of increasing the growth rate of smaller cities relative to larger ones (assuming old growth threshold mechanic), or; (2) distributions could be pro-rated by city size. My preference is the first option. In either case, unused remainders would be carried over to the next turn.

    Agriculture and economies of scale
    In order for an agricultural city to truly act as a "breadbasket" I would propose to add an economies of scale mechanic with diminishing returns similar to the one that was used in MULE http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M.U.L.E. where adjacent tiles engaged in the same activity get a production bonus and have the bonus apply at a diminishing rate. The mechanics with respect to farms would be as follows:

    - A tile is an agricultural tile once a farm has been built on it or a food resource has been improved;
    - Adjacent agricultural tiles that are being simultaneously worked by the city get a food production bonus (economy of scale);
    - An agricultural tile with one adjacent agricultural tile would get a food production bonus of X;
    - An agricultural tile with three adjacent agricultural tiles would get a food production bonus of 2X (diminishing return to scale: you need two more adjacent farms to get the extra X);
    - An agricultural tile with six adjacent agricultural tiles would get a food production bonus of 3X (diminishing returns to scale: you need three more adjacent farms to get the extra X).

    The step progression in the threshold for higher bonuses seems like a natural fit with hex shaped tiles. Farms in the outer ring of a city would be unable to get a higher bonus than 2X - arguably you could put this down to spoilage during transport or something...


    Analysis
    Spoiler :

    Incremental Food Production
    Assuming that a city were to completely specialize in agriculture, the total food production bonus would be: 6 x 3X + 12 x 3X + 24 x 2X = 102X. I'm not sure offhand what the maximum food output of a size 37 city is, but if X = 1, then that's 102 extra food anyway. Clearly X would need to be optimized for balance.

    Strategic Implications
    Trade-offs between the benefits of specialization and the costs of increased interdependence of your cities.

    Consider: under the current rule set, losing an individual city is relatively unimportant. Yes, there are empire-wide effects in terms of lost science and culture production, but there's pretty well zero impact on your other cities.

    Now, consider: under the proposed mechanic losing your agricultural city (or simply having your road pillaged) would suddenly deprive other (let's call them industrial) cities of food on which they were probably dependent. Now they're in starvation, population begins to drop, unhappiness increases, and production begins to grind to a halt.

    This raises real strategic questions with respect to how you want to build your empire. Do you make each city self-sufficient, but sacrifice the productive benefits of specialization? Or do you build a web interdependent cities that are able to specialize and therefore attain higher levels of production? When you're about to invade, do you go for your opponent's centres of production or their food supply?

    Possible extension - Military supply lines
    Remember in CivII where military units needed food support? It was a tough mechanic because each unit needed a home city to supply it. Frankly, I found it annoying. Nonetheless, if you look through the forum, you'll see numerous suggestions from people looking for a way to introduce supply lines into military operations.

    Empire-wide food production provides a way to do this. Military units would be supplied by the surpluses accumulated in the capital. The order of priority would be: (1) ensure no city is starving; (2) feed the military; (3) distribute remainder of surplus to boost pop growth. During shortfalls, the units furthest from the capital would lose food support. This would result in a combat penalty because hungry soldiers fight poorly and they would be scavenging for food.

    As with the discussion on strategy above, this mechanic would throw into sharp relief the cost/benefit of specialized agricultural centres. A serious strategic decision during war would be whether to send units in behind enemy lines in order to pillage roads/attempt to take agricultural cities. Imagine how interesting paratroopers would suddenly be!
     
  19. Brawndo

    Brawndo Warlord

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    My only issue with this is how would you place limits on the food bank? Food cannot be stored indefinitely, so there needs to be an empire cap, but then what determines the cap? Also, if an individual city is cut off from trade routes, would it still have a backup granary supply, or would they be SOL?
     
  20. Pooh

    Pooh Chieftain

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    Allowing food to be redistributed does not imply that cities would no longer have their own granaries or food stores. My proposed approach above would maintain the existing system with respect to food storage (i.e. each city has its own granary) and simply allow redistribution of surpluses from agricultural cities to other cities connected via trade routes. These other cities would still be able to: (1) produce their own food; (2) store food.
     

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