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Encampments not very useful

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by Tacgnol, Feb 8, 2017.

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Do you think encampments are useful?

Poll closed May 8, 2017.
  1. Yes

    63 vote(s)
    50.8%
  2. No

    23 vote(s)
    18.5%
  3. Situationally but they're balanced

    38 vote(s)
    30.6%
  1. Tacgnol

    Tacgnol Warlord

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    Am I the only one who finds that encampments aren't terribly useful, even in Domination games?

    I just got done winning a Domination victory on King as the Aztecs and I never once built an encampment. Rome had one with a barracks that I took over early on but I never actually built any units there, I trained a couple in a city with an encampment later on but the game was already won at that point, and I never built any of the district buildings.

    I just don't really find encampments to be particularly useful, in most games there is maybe 1 location where the defensive map feature helps and its nice to have a city with one to use as a troop training zone but even that isn't necessary. Otherwise, for how expensive in production it is it's just not worth the little benefit it brings, it's almost always better to just build units directly or industrial districts.

    During my conquest I only built a handful of units after the middle ages and mostly just used the same army and kept upgrading it, I find most of my cities building economic stuff most of the time just to keep up and keep my empire running anyway.

    Wondering if this is just my experience or applies on higher difficulties or if others agree.
     
  2. Jarms48

    Jarms48 Prince

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    In multiplayer I find them useful. In singleplayer I might build one in my capital for the +1 production on my trade routes.
     
  3. greygamer

    greygamer Feudal Lord

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    So I voted yes (I build them in most of my cities in fact) and here's why

    They are available very early on, with Iron Working (not a tech worth skipping). They give +1 great general points. Great generals have a number of retirement bonuses that are well worth the investment.
    The first building isn't great but if worked gives extra production and culture, more culture means corps and armies sooner. This way I can keep science & culture balanced, I also build monuments everywhere.
    I don't bother with stables, barracks are cheaper and the +25% exp boost seems of little use but ymmv

    By the time IZ come along I can build the second encampment buiding (+2 production and another great general point). Prior to this my high production cities are producing archers every 1-2 turns. If I want even more production then I can add IZ but I usually build them later if there is nothing else. So by this point you should easily have over 10 cities, that's 20 great general points each turn!

    Here's what the great generals get me (a knight corps ....before I have stirrups), a free bombard (before metal casting), an army, a cavalry unit with a promotion oh and a +25% combat bonus for mounted units. The game is pretty much over by this point and I fear no one.

    tldr You don't build them for the +25% exp bonus
     
    Very Mad Max, Siptah, Tdot1 and 2 others like this.
  4. Ryika

    Ryika Lazy Wannabe Artista

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    They're pretty terrible in SP in my opinion. The opportunity cost of not building an actual district that has proper buildings that actually help you develop your empire directly is immense.

    But of course they have to be terrible, because of their defensive function. If they were both, defensive fortresses and great economic districts, then why would you ever build something else? It's just that the fact that the AI poses absolutely no threat whatsoever makes their defensive function mostly obsolete for the player. I would vote for situationally balanced, because I think they're fine in a game where you benefit a fair bit from constructing them in defensive positions, but because the AI is so terrible I voted for useless.
     
  5. EgonSpengler

    EgonSpengler Deity

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    They're not only useless, they slow your growth because of the opportunity costs. But it's nothing to do with the Encampments, per se. It's because the AI is so bad at fighting wars. Encampments become an even worse investment me at the higher difficulty settings.

    EDIT: Darn, Ryika beat me to it while I was typing. *shakes fist* :lol:
     
    sugerdady87 and Ryika like this.
  6. Gorbles

    Gorbles Load Balanced

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    Pretty sure they also let you build Strategic-dependent units more efficiently, too. They're a good way of routing units to the edge of your empire too (as their placement necessitates edge placement).
     
  7. teks

    teks Prince

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    There is an edict to reduce its cost and the buildings provide both housing and production. They would be even more vital but the AI is a joke.

    Compare to theatre districts and holy sites. Unless I'm going for the win on those conditions, which is again only possible because the AI is bad, I dont build these at all. They are poorly balanced compared ti encampments.
     
  8. greygamer

    greygamer Feudal Lord

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    How do they slow growth? Seriously I don't understand, they even give bonus housing. My growth comes via conquest though so maybe it's a play-style thing.
     
  9. teks

    teks Prince

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    Opportunity costs, so they are saying the cost of not building something better. However the reduced cost edict combined with the bonus production and housing easily counters any opportunity cost. Both of these resources are hard to aquire elsewhere.
     
  10. greygamer

    greygamer Feudal Lord

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    I think when talking of opportunity cost then "they" need to explain what that something is? It is very subjective without a supporting argument, and for purposes of discussion should assume a DV is the objective and that at the point you are building them you are not beyond the classical era. Compared with the units you could build for the same cost you aren't sacrificing much.

    The edict in my games comes too late for the first 10 cities, most have encampments by then. As a rule I prioritise encampments over CD unless gpt is particularly low (< 10gpt?). I use conscription so unit maintenance is generally low.
     
  11. Tabarnak

    Tabarnak Cut your lousy hairs!

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    i actually use it in multiplayer for early +1 prod(trade routes to my capital) and rush a barrack right after(or almost) for +1 housing so i can skip granary for a while too. You will probably get a great general before someone else(if no Gorgo you might want to make sure to get it with the gg card from a better government with philosophy). If you don't attack it's okay too at least you will defend with it. In a indirect way you also slow down other potential warmongers that want to expand through other civs.

    And i even didn't mention the possibility to have only 1 horse tile around(or iron)...


    The ''encampment is useless even at deity'' comment resumes well how bad the AI is.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2017
  12. lqwertyp

    lqwertyp Chieftain

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    I do think encampments are very nice actually, though they aren't nice for what I think they were meant for (defence).
    - I really like the early extra cog from trade routes, especially when terrain is bad.
    - I really like the fact that barracks give housing early on.
    - I really like extra cogs from barracks
    - They can be nice to kill off barbs early on (combined with one archer) when you're located close to tundra/snow (or any place you don't have vision on) and your army is fighting elsewhere.

    So, I build them a lot! Not because of defence against AI (because AI is @#&^%) or xp, but cog and housing benefits.
     
  13. agonistes

    agonistes wants his subs under ice!

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    I think the +X production, when combined with envoys, can be pretty nice. Particularly now that industrial zones don't overlap. Better than a lumber mill.

    Question: do the encampment cogs count towards naval units too?
     
  14. EgonSpengler

    EgonSpengler Deity

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    As teks pointed out, the cost is an opportunity cost.

    I do like to get Bronze Working sooner than later, to see where the map's iron is located, so the research to "unlock" Encampments doesn't take me out of my way. Bronze Working is also a prerequisite for Machinery, which is a candidate for my favorite tech in the entire game, but of course that's later.

    For most of the game, though, I usually prioritize other Districts. I've played most of my games at Emperor, but I'm moving up to Immortal lately, and Campuses are more important early, regardless of which victory condition I eventually pursue. I also build Commercial Hubs almost everywhere. I've yet to see any downside to those.

    For pure defense, I find City Walls more important, and of course they don't take up a hex or a District slot. For general military purposes, I'd always rather build more military units. Upkeep costs aren't a factor early in the game, and even if I'm aiming for a defensive or peaceful game, mobile units are always better than fixed fortifications. It's more difficult to obliterate an enemy army purely with fixed defenses. To get a good peace offer (e.g. all of their gold and luxuries) you often need to pursue them, destroy their army and threaten one of their cities.

    With the elimination of overlapping zones from Factories and Zoos, it's more important to build Industrial Zones and some Entertainment Complexes. Theater Squares aren't quite as important as Campuses, but I still want a few.

    Once a city gets to 10 or 13 population, it's got enough District Slots to where an Encampment wouldn't be impeding anything, but at that point I'm starting to think about map hexes.

    If the AI wasn't such a boob in fighting wars, Encampments would have more utility. And if Districts could be torn down or rebuilt into something else later, then the opportunity cost of building an Encampment would be reduced.

    Okay, but why sacrifice anything?

    10gpt? Wow. I start to feel impoverished around the middle of the game if I'm not netting, like, 50. Later on, I want to net maybe 100 per turn? I can't really describe that curve any more precisely than that. From about the Medieval era, I don't build many new units, and I always upgrade the ones I have.

    Buying hexes with gold is just about mandatory in nearly every game, and when I found a new city from the mid-game, I slam as many buildings down as I can afford on its very first turn. From the middle of the game, if I'm founding a colony somewhere, I want like 2-3,000 gold to crash-build those early buildings, buy some hexes, and get to work on Districts immediately. So again, Commercial Districts everywhere, and Harbors almost everywhere I can.

    Thinking about it on the way to work this morning, I realized that the Housing from an Encampment could be useful if it was vital to found a quality city in a spot with no fresh water, before Neighborhoods are available. Neighborhoods are just way better for housing, but they're Industrial Era. If I simply need to grab a Resource or prevent an AI from taking territory in an inconvenient spot, I can just plop a Settler down and let it grow to 3 until Sewers and Neighborhoods become available. I don't need the Housing from an Encampment because I don't usually care if that city is good, it just needs to sit there until some better techs come along.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2017
  15. greygamer

    greygamer Feudal Lord

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    Opportunity cost, they just aren't necessary until your per turn costs increase ...there are better things to build, in my case encampments. I build CD to support the maintenance on those.

    I'll usually build an entertainment district in around a third of my cities (after encampments and CD), captured cities often have a campus. The capital usually gets a theatre, Sun Tzu gives writing so I keep space for other works.

    I'm not sacrificing anything, it's better value than anything else to me at that time. If I needed to build another army then maybe but I've already got one plus some units in reserve.


    It's difficult mixing the terms early and the era's. I don't rush through ancient/classical and try to time getting mercenaries so that I can complete machinery/stirrups around the same turn, then I can switch that policy back to conscription. As a result the first part of the game "early can last to turn 120-150. At this point CD & traders are being produced and yes I can hit 100 gpt in medieval-renaissance by then but I don't panic as I'll likely have over 1k gold banked (I forget to spend it :blush:)

    I strategically buy tiles so it's not too much of a drain. I've fallen out of love with harbours (unless on continents when I'll build one on each coast) so they get a much lower priority.
     
  16. gettingfat

    gettingfat Emperor

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    One issue about encampment is that it cannot be built adjacent to the city center, which means that you lost 6 tiles you can choose and unless you play Russia, will have to wait until your city border expands. Because the initial border growth tends to grab those valuable tiles first, most of the time you don't want them for encampment, This leaves the player very few tile options and have to wait till the border really expands enough (or spend gold to purchase a suitable tile, which adds to the cost).

    So I just find it a good concept but poorly implemented, and usually only build in one or at most two cities for the Terracotta and just in case (not enough iron or horse or whatever), or more if Carthage is available which will be a great investment to gain additional trade routes. The encampment either needs a substantial boost in benefits (e.g. provides +5 experience points to start, not wait until building barrack/stable, or -15% unit production cost, etc) or reduction in its building cost (yes, there is a policy card available, but unless the player uses Monarchy or plays Germany, this policy is generally not as good as others such as -1 gold in unit maintenance). Some forms of incentives are needed.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2017
  17. kaspergm

    kaspergm Deity

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    I think they're pretty balanced. They're not great, but they have their uses. The reduced strategic resource cost is nice, the flat production bonus and bonus from city states when building units is also good, and the bonus experience is very good. The defensive properties can be handy but is generally non-essential when playing against the AI.
     
  18. UWHabs

    UWHabs Deity

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    I'm not going to build them first, but usually want at least one in one of my first few cities somewhat early on for the production boost and housing bonus. And then once my cities are getting their 4th or 5th districts, I tend to build a lot, since at that point, never hurts to have a little more production.
     
  19. agonistes

    agonistes wants his subs under ice!

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    Well, I am playing as Russia, but that is neither here nor there, for me.

    I'm thinking 'encampment' when I'm running out of tiles to use for a city. If I have 3 envoys in a least two military CSs, an encampment is much more valuable than say, a 6 cog lumber mill, isn't it? Yes, its an investment... but if you plan on building 50 units in a city, it will pay for itself.
     
  20. Victoria

    Victoria Regina Supporter

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    I was a doubter until I played a game with them. Try them out... Its like people say harbors are rubbish but the great admirals are like the great generals at sea. Both make you rather OP in that area. If I am not playing domination I may build 1 but I must point out that +3 or 4 production for an internal trade route when you city is producing +30 or +40 is only 10% extra... Sure for a new city. The early production, housing , culture is a bonus at a good time from an encampment.

    They are underrated, I wonder how many have tried playing with 1 in each city rather than theorising? I do hope it is most. In which case, fair play, you have tried and do not like uber army and faster movement of a fantastic key unit.
    To me, if I am going culture I will build theatres, science, campus, domination encampment
    Naturally with all 3 I will get CZ and the odd other with adjacency good.
    If I have enough mines I do not tend to bother with IZ unless going science.

    I was nicely suprised that most people think they are useful in the survey
     

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