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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. Victoria

    Victoria Regina Supporter

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    Point made well.
    AI is very easy to distract from taking a walled city currently... You get my drift though.... Paying money to but an encampment as well early game is just silly IMO.
     
  2. greygamer

    greygamer Feudal Lord

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    It does seem to come back to how quickly culture should expand the borders, maybe the culture cost of the first tile should be low ...and you should be able to select which tile. Sometimes I have to buy a tile because it would take forever for that tile to be selected for expansion
     
  3. teks

    teks Prince

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    I'll try my take on the value of encampments again.

    I think some people are weighing encampments as the first district, and its not winning. Here the opportunity cost is the loss of an early great person or a new trade route. In both cases the encampment loses. The encampment doesn't even provide any bonus at all on its own. I would take a trade hub, or any victory district over the encampment as the first district.

    But I think the general Deity strategy is to get to 10-12 cities, build trade centers in them, and get them connected to the trade network. After this point the encampment gains some big advantages over other districts.

    First we have veterancy which gives the district and its buildings a 30% discount, making an encampment the cheapest district to build. Its almost as if the player is building a civ-specific district with this big discount. If the modified cost of a district is 150 hammers at this stage, an encampment is only costing 105 hammers to build with veterancy. At this stage the encampment isn't providing much, but we have built it faster then any other district. Saving ourselves 45 hammers over the alternatives.

    Up next is a barracks, which is kind of like a water mill, but it gives housing instead of food, and housing is a big deal at this stage. With veterency the barracks is only 56 hammers to build vs. 80 for a water mill or granary. 56 hammers plus 105 hammers to build the district and we are at 161 hammers, that's only 11 hammers more then the base cost of a district. As districts get more expensive, this discount continues to get better too.

    So now we have +1 hammer, +1 housing, GG points, a resource bonus, free defense, and a xp bonus to units built. Next we have the Armory for 175 hammers, or 123 hammers with veterency. Its only providing +2 production, but it will pay for itself in 61 turns with that. The real winner is the military academy though, in the industrial era. +3 production, +1 housing, and a significant bonus to corps and army production. It costs 248 hammers. It pays for itself in 82 turns, not counting the housing bonus.

    You can see how powerful policies are.
    Well-timed use of veterancy, which occupies the, otherwise weak, military slot can save us hundreds of hammers. Look at the industrial district. It costs 175 hammers to build just the workshop. If districts cost 150 hammers at this stage (conservative estimate?) then industrial + workshop = 325 hammers while encampment + barracks = 161. That is under half the cost. The factory costs 355 hammers vs. the armory's paltry 175 hammers. Again, this is under half the cost. Yeah, we can get more hammers out of industrial centers, but they also cost more hammers to build, quite a lot in fact. From what I see, industrial centers are only worth it where their adjacency bonus can produce a lot of hammers, and where factories have a lot of overlap. Otherwise those costs will never be recouped.

    Encampments at worst are the poor-mans IZ, faster to build and faster to recoup their costs. But, you never know when you'll need that extra unit production or defense too. When the AI gets its head out of its posterior and attacks you, it could save your life, and I think as the AI improves encampments will become a staple just as they are in multiplayer.
     
  4. KmDubya

    KmDubya King

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    A trade route to a city with an Encampment gets an extra +1 cog so it should definitely factor in. Would I build them in all or even most cities - no, but I will build at least one in a high production city which will make any military needed so that the experience boosts come into play. I like to build new Corps and combine with a single highly experienced troop to make a super army. Sometimes the map is extremely stingy with strategics and being able to build or upgrade with a single copy is also worth building one Encampment.

    I don't think anyone is advocating spamming them like we do Commercial Districts but they are fine as is. Every city needs gold but only one troop production city per empire is probably enough.
     
  5. Victoria

    Victoria Regina Supporter

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    Great take @teks one question though... as many things are scalable including the hammer cost of building them then surely building a little earlier is of benefit?
    The housing benefit can come earlier too?

    If you want an uber production city then an encampment district would be a good addition to an IZ?
     
  6. UWHabs

    UWHabs Deity

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    I've tried a few games where I build an early monument in my capital, and I find that does wonders for expanding the culture (especially if you can also get an early envoy to a cultural city-state). The monument will roughly double your city's culture, and that can definitely save you from having to buy a tile, since obviously the basic culture expansion focuses on tiles you don't tend to want encampments on.
     
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  7. teks

    teks Prince

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    Districts early on are a big investment and I think one of the counter points is that encampments don't offer much early game. Its awfully expensive for a single housing and 1 production from the barracks, so in order to be worth it it'd have to be for its other bonuses. If you wanna knight rush but only have one iron, the encampment is gonna be a the key.

    Going into this all I knew was that veterancy reduced the cost of encampments, and that lower costs would alter the arguments a good bit. I did not know how much cheaper encampment buildings were compared to IZ buildings however. With a cheaper base cost and a policy that further reduces the cost, encampments become practical in many more mid to late game situations. If you capture a new city building an encampment with the veterancy policy is the fastest way to get it up in terms of production and housing. That 30℅ discount is really emphasized in cities that can't produce much, and the discount provided becomes greater and greater as time rolls on.

    Ask yourself, how can I get production, defense, and housing in my new city as fast as possible. Encampments are the answer. Even a trade hub is going to have a hard time winning this battle. An encampment can come out a dozen turns earlier easily and its cheap buildings can be purchased or produced easily. Getting 6 production and 3 housing in a new city. Thats a big win.
     
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  8. Victoria

    Victoria Regina Supporter

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    ... I play England, the harbor is surprisingly good at this also due to half price
     
  9. knighterrant81

    knighterrant81 Warlord

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    You get the +1 cog from the CH as well. The GG isn't needed, the resource bonus often isn't needed, nor is the defense or XP. I could be running a better policy (see: cheaper unit policies) instead of veterancy. The CH's trade route matches up with the Academy (3+ production and food, which you can't get from the Academy). More on housing later.

    Never really need much defense after the early game. I'm pretty much the aggressor 99% of the time past turn 100. You don't need to build as many factories anymore, but the factories you do build are worth a lot - as much as 9-12 production. Also, the IZ can get +2 or +3 cogs from adjacency, which can be doubled with the Craftsmen card. So an IZ is worth 4-6 production on top of the +2 you get from the workshop (6-8 total without the factory considered), compared to +4 production from the Encampment. Basically IZ adjacency bonuses beat out the defense provided by the Encampment the majority of the time.

    Ok on housing. After capping at granaries, I could invest in an encampment for housing - or I could build a settler. It achieves the same thing: allowing all my food to do maximum growing. I think of a new settler as my pre-Urbanization Neigborhood. It also expands my territory and provides me another city to spam more CHs (Joy!)

    Also, now that Science by population isn't as big of a deal, there's not much incentive to grow your city population - except to gain additional district slots (and thus, building an Encampment for housing defeats the purpose of housing). I'm generally content to maybe run a housing policy or just leave things be ( and grow wide) until Urbanization.

    +1 cog is a wash, units can be built for defense, and settlers give more benefit that more housing and provides additional district "slots".

    Also, let me explain what I mean when the +1 cog benefit is a wash: Lets say I'm at pop 7 in my Capital, and I can build either a CH or an Encampment. Both of these districts are +1 cog for Trade Routes, so it is irrelevant to the choice. I am going to get +1 Trade Route cogs whether I build a CH or if I build an Encampment.

    I wonder if as I go more into Emperor and Immortal difficulty if I will need the XP and defense more, but from what I hear on this site from Diety folks, it sounds like that is a no. Seems like the better move is to time your pushes with unit upgrades (which means a gold surplus is very useful for offense).
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2017
  10. PlotinusRedux

    PlotinusRedux Warlord

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    "Useless" and "sub-optimal" are different.

    I like the XP bonus because I like leveling up my units faster, not because that's necessarily the most efficient way to win the game, but because I enjoy leveling up my units as an end in itself.

    I set a number of goals for myself like getting a unit with every promotion possible as quickly as possible because that makes the game more fun for me.

    In general, searching for that perfectly optimal build in any game quickly reduces the game to a math problem and drains the fun out of it for me.

    However, even in the "optimal" line, I'd point out:

    (1) Eventually you've built the other districts that give +1 cog for trade so why not build an encampment at that point?
    (2) The CS that grants an extra trade route per encampment makes them much more desirable--not as a replacement for CH and H, but in addition for 3 routes per city;
    (3) Some CS quests require encampment buildings to complete, and quests are about the only way to outpace others with CS's since everyone pretty much gets the same base envoy points;
     
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  11. teks

    teks Prince

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    Commercial hubs are nice in a few cities, but I can't see how they can possibly compete with an encampment beyond that. You gotta take the full package. You can't discount it all judt because you think 1 or 2 bonuses are lackluster. I never even mentioned this trade cog for example, but I did mention 6 production and 2 housing at less then half the cost of IZs.

    I'm focusing on how cheap encampments are to build. Their buildings are very cheap and its the only district with a 30℅ discount policy. They pay for themselves very quickly compared to industrial zones. Even the adjacency bonuses cost builders and builders have scaling costs too.. Someone else can do the math on that, but I feel IZ may not be worth it outside of a few for the overlapping production.

    Note on policies. Military policies are weak, so its easy to make room. You don't run policies unless your using them. They are very easy to change. If you like cheaper unit production, by all means, we should all always use these when building units, bht when we arent, we should switch to something else.

    And onto settlers. If your building settlers later in the game, what are those cities building? Are they waiting 50 turns on a trade center? They could be building encampments for housing, and production. That encampment can come out well before any other district is done, and those hammers in a new city have a more dramatic effect.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2017
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  12. greygamer

    greygamer Feudal Lord

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    I was wondering about an early monument strategy many thanks :)

    Well it depends if you have access to horses early on. I am currently running some tests on how frequently horses/iron are nearby (early days atm), but if they are and prioritising iron working (for encampments) then horseback riding and getting a great general early will give those horsemen +5 combat and +1 movement. Otherwise great generals can wait until you have a classical/medieval army (swordsmen?). I am leaning towards later encampments especially on higher difficulties, but I do want to time it so I get a GG once I have appropriate units.
     
  13. knighterrant81

    knighterrant81 Warlord

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    Sure, I could eventually build Encampments. I usually do (I like the Space Race card for Science Victory, for instance), but they are usually pretty far down the list so they don't get built until pretty late when the game is pretty much decided. Side note: this game suffers from the same problem of earlier Civ games - namely what you do towards the middle-to-late stages of the game don't matter NEARLY as much as what you do in the early turns because you've already built up such a significant advantage. The defense/resource aspect is also pretty much null at that point as well.

    Yeah if I'm the Suzerain of Carthage, the extra Trade Route is nice. But I could just build a CD instead, and not worry about the AI either overtaking me in envoys or outright conquering Carthage depending on location. This also allows me to invest my envoys somewhere else. The extra production for units from Military CS's is tempting - but we have policy cards for that. With CS quests, its sort of a chicken/egg thing here: because I'm not investing in Encampments, Military CS's are less important for me so I'm less interested in doing their quests involving Encampments. CS's in general seem less important than they were in Civ 5.

    Let's talk about either the CD or the IZ versus Encampment, not both in the same statement.

    CD versus Encampment: basically, this is Trade Route + Adjacencies vs. Defense + Building production. Tech also comes into the picture because the CD + trade route package is Classical Era on the same tech whereas the Encampment doesn't reach full potential (Military Academy) until the Industrial era. So its really more like 2f/2p/2g from the CD + Trade Route versus Defense + 1p (Barracks/Stable). The defense is a negligible bonus, so 2f/2p/2g > 1p. Later in the game, yeah its more like 4f/4p/2g versus 6p 2 Housing. But now I've got Neighborhoods and 1p extra is worth a lot but not 4f/2g in my opinion. The other thing is that Trade Routes are mobile and stackable. I can put that 2f/2p in any city I want, either in a new city (where it represents a huge boost) or in a city building a big project or wonder (where the stacking is really helpful). Also, Great Merchants > Great Generals. That calculation doesn't change, no matter how many CDs I build. 2f/2p/2g is always going to beat 1p.

    CD versus IZ: Mid-late game, this is no contest if this is the IZ you'll build a Factory in to cover a wide part of your Empire. The Factory alone beats 6p/2 Housing when it reaches just one other city. Assume we're talking pre-Factories (which means pre-Academy) we're talking 2p (workshop) + adjacency (say +2p) vs. 3p (Barracks + Armory). So yeah, in a city which could use the defense aspects, which can't get a very large IZ adjacency, and Factories aren't going to be relevant, an Encampment might make sense (versus the IZ). Perhaps you could also make an argument for it going in the 3rd slot after CD/IZ - although it is probably up against your victory district for that 3rd slot. Great Engineers or Great Scientists or GWAMs > Great Generals.

    Builders already pay for themselves through the actual tile yield, or things like chop, amenities and strategic resources that are super-important so that's a moot point. I'm intrigued by the Veterancy policy discount idea, especially versus IZs and if I happen to be playing for Religion (because I'm going to be running Monarchy/Reformed Church for awhile before I run or instead of running Merchant Republic, which means I actually have Military slots for anything besides Conscription, my go-to Military policy for peacetime.) I'll give it a shot.

    Conscription/Leve en Masse is always good (and takes up all my Military slots in Merchant Republic).
     
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  14. Tacgnol

    Tacgnol Warlord

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    You know that's precisely my problem with the encampment production policy.

    Yeah, it's easy to switch policies but you aren't doing the same thing in all of your cities at the same time. Especially when you are building encampments in all your cities for production.

    If you are doing CR-MR-Democracy, which is really the best in a science or culture game (ok maybe Communism but that's a different discussion) you get 0-1 military policy slot unless you build Alhambra. You don't get any flexibility there, at all, unless you use your wildcard slot for a military policy which is costing you a lot.

    Yes it's easy to time using Professional Army for 1 or 2 turns with civics to upgrade all your units. And when you are gearing up for war you can pop in one of the unit production policies and benefit most of your cities. But using the Encampment cost reduction policy basically means a long term commitment of not getting to use any other military policies.

    And there are other military policies with major long-term benefits. Namely, Retainers. +1 Amenity in garrisoned cities is huge, it's far better than any other military policies. You can't just assume the 30% production boost is free, you have to weigh it against +5-6 Amenities that can be moved around to cities that need them more. Even in late game when it's no longer available, Levee/Conscription with the maintenance reduction is a sizable gold bonus, that you're passing up for encampment production. And to take advantage of it you need it to benefit new cities, that take a very long time to build things, meaning you basically need the policy active, all the time.

    So in effect you are sacrificing being able to easily adjust military policies to meet your needs, just to make the district somewhat competitive with the alternatives.

    You do raise a very valid point with how much cheaper the buildings are compared to the IZ. I think a lot of us are still used to spamming IZs so we build too many, and switching out a few with redundant Factory coverage for encampments would be a good idea. But I'm just not at all convinced that building them as #1 or 2 priority is worth it.
     
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  15. knighterrant81

    knighterrant81 Warlord

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    They're building stuff a lot quicker than 50 turns because they have a couple trade routes to my core cities (which, depending on timing, can be instantaneous). When they're just starting, a Granary is a much cheaper investment than a Military Academy for the housing I need. Sometimes, they're just built to get a resource or keep the AI from settling some misbegotten city in the middle of my Empire for no good reason and I don't really care what they do. In that case a Trade Route will be the best way to help the cities that I *do* care about. Note the Trader can be built in a core city very quickly once the CD in the outpost is done but Encampment buildings depend on running an entire policy card and on the lackluster production of a starting city (admittedly production of Encampment buildings can be boosted with Trade Routes just as easily).

    This. I'm very willing to admit I probably still build too many IZs, but I'm not conviced there's a very good reason to ever slot an Encampment in the first two slots of any city.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2017
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  16. UWHabs

    UWHabs Deity

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    There is value in building one encampment, if only to be able to rush items with only a single copy of a resource if needed. But yes, otherwise, I'd rarely build an encampment before the 3rd or 4th district in a city.
     
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  17. EgonSpengler

    EgonSpengler Deity

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    This is something I learned only recently, and it came in handy in my latest game.
     
  18. WackenOpenAir

    WackenOpenAir Deity

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    Didnt read 6 pages. But the problem in single player is this:

    You want to start conquering ASAP. Often it is more effective to at the start build 3-4 units and start conquest than even build a settler first. And surely, that army can conquer more than 1 city, espescially if you back it up with a few more units and upgrade them later to swordsmen/knights/cbows.
    In some cases it might be better to build 2 or so settlers first.

    Civ is about growth and growth ASAP. In early game you want 2 things: build cities and conquer cities. And you want to do both ASAP. Building an encampment takes way too much valuable time and delays you conquest significantly. What it does for your army production is just too little for the amount it costs to build. You spend 100 production to get 1 per turn at a time where 4 archers + your starting warrior should be conquering your first neightbour.

    I never play multiplayer, but i can very well imagine they are one of the most important districts in multiplayer. In single player, conquest is easy and it just matters to do it as early and fast as possible. In multiplayer, the defence matters, the great general points matter.
     
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  19. EgonSpengler

    EgonSpengler Deity

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    I think this last point deserves underlining. My beef with Encampments isn't really with Encampments, per se. And, even now, an Encampment would be much more valuable for anyone who just isn't good at stomping the AI on the battlefield. My answer to someone who's struggling to defeat the AI in warfare is not "build Encampments", but I can understand the impulse to want to put up a shield.

    Also worth a "+1." I discount the value of Neighborhoods for the same reason. Their Housing value easily outstrips the Encampment's, but they arrive so late they rarely matter.

    Again, a "+1." As well, the XP bonus for units built in that city has to exceed the XP that unit would have earned by getting into the fight sooner and it has to improve the outcome of the war. It won't provide any benefit to your first wave of conquest (because the unit won't have earned any XP yet, bonus or not), and it will delay your first wave of conquest. So to overcome that delay, it needs to provide a practical benefit in your 2nd or subsequent waves of conquest.

    [EDIT: I should say, a greater benefit to the 2nd wave of conquest than the same unit without the XP bonus. Since I don't have an issue conquering N enemy cities with units lacking the XP boost, those units with the boost must provide N+X. One thing X could be is "a shorter recovery period between waves 2 and 3", since a more powerful unit - a unit with another promotion - will suffer less damage while defeating the enemy.]
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2017
  20. ShinigamiKenji

    ShinigamiKenji King

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    I often slot Encampments as my 3rd district. Some core cities can reach 7 pop by mid game and just needing a bit more housing and production for late game. Also, after I build it, it helps my satellite cities with the +1 cog to trade routes.

    So, all in all, they're not my first or second pick (those are often Commercial Hub/Harbor and my victory district), but they're an easy 3rd.
     

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