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Explanation of "City-states" in Civ1

Discussion in 'Civ1 - General Discussions' started by webciv, Dec 23, 2017.

  1. webciv

    webciv Chieftain

    Jun 10, 2016
    For everybody who is wondering why some civilizations in Civ1 don't develop and only consist of one city here is the reason: If the capital city doesn't have 2 or more extra food it will never build a settler to build next city, this usually happens when the first city is placed on a square that has only plains, forests, etc around, and not grassland/river or some other tile with bonus.

    Some civs manage to capture a city or be lucky with huts (some extra lucky switch government to monarchy or republic that brings more food on bonus tiles), however, some civs are not that lucky and would stay "city-state" forever.

    Of course you will probably observe other interesting cases, for example civ having one/two settlers blocked by some enemy units, etc, but that is not the case of a civ never building a settler.

    Happy Xmas, time to play few games in this wonderful time!
  2. Posidonius

    Posidonius Civherder

    Jun 28, 2015
    US of gawldarn A
    Not always true, and there is an example. Here is London, certainly founded in 3980 BC (though i wasn't there to witness). I spotted the place from sea in 2140 BC, already size-4.

    You can tell from the little World Map window that London started on a good continent, and i can tell you that there were no rivals on that continent.


    From the gameboard window, you can see that England was splattered with huts ripe for the taking. From this cityview i got using a Dip to investigate in 1780 BC, you can see that London is founded on grassland, it can eat 3 more grasslands, 1 shield-grass, 1 fish, and 1 oil-swamp. The theory about the lack of food surplus does not explain this "city state" London.

    Here's London again, investigated just before i trampled it in a bloodless coup in 320 BC, 76 turns later...


    Instead of low food, the English were doomed by too much good food. Elizabeth founded in 3980 BC, without moving her Settler. If she had moved it one square in any direction, England would have grown very mighty. But she didn't. She's on grass, there's plenty of grass and a fish, why not found the capital now?

    We know the rules the game uses for rival civs, when choosing which square to work with new citz when the town pops. The AI tries to balance all 3 commodities: wheat, trade-arrows and shields. But that is separate from the AI's logic about where to place new civs. When placing cities, the game counts the potential production of the fat-cross area around the current Settler position, not just the immediate 8 squares around the Settler. If the potential is over a certain score, the spot is deemed suitable for a spawning or a founding.

    The problem with this London is the fishery and the oil-swamp. The AI will always choose the most valuable spot for a first citz in a new city, and here it's the fish. But the oil-swamp made the English startsquare seem more attractive than it is. Yes, there are good shields within the fat-cross, but none within 1 square of the startsquare. A Settler unit can only see 1 square away.

    We can reconstruct. She founded London, eating the homesquare and the fish. London popped to 2 citz on the surplus wheat, but still couldn't find a shield. So, in the quest for balancing, London's 2nd citz went to work on the water, going from 4Wheat+3Trade to 5W+5T. Next pop, food wins the tiebreak over trade-arrows, so London starts eating the grassland 1W1S of the city. Up to 7W+5T, so next pop is onto water for 8W+7T. But still no shields, and now the place is in an uproar because it's size-4 without a Temple, without a garrison, and without a Settler to drop it back down into happiness at size-3.

    WE can see the shield-grass and oil-swamp that would have saved them, but the English never knew shields were there, because the spawned Settler never moved before founding London. If the oil-swamp wasn't there, i doubt the game would have spawned Elizabeth's tribe in that spot in the first place.

    The problem wasn't lack of food. It was the disconnect between the AI's "suitability" index of an area, and the 1-square view of a Settler unit.

    This doesn't happen often, or the game would be unplayable. But it does happen, and i believe it happens more often than a "city state" as you describe, one stilled by lack of food. Why? Because the AI only considers plains or grasslands as candidates for spawning new civs, or founding new cities.

    Have never seen an enemy's first capital sited in a spot where they could not reap enough wheat to breed. I've seen rivals place their later cities in absurd places, plenty of times.

    Here's one from this year. Was closing in on Washington, when they panicked and founded Chicago. Never saw this happen before.

  3. Mize

    Mize Chieftain

    Jun 17, 2011
    I can confirm it's not related to a lack of food. In my last game a total of 4 (yes, four) AI civs were city-states like that, which made it even funnier, because I was going OCC too. Funnier still, the only other remaining 'good' civ, the Americans, had managed to landlock themselves in by building all of their cities away from shore on their small island.
    Anyway, some of these city-states wielded considerable power and population. Rome grew to size 7, Paris - to 10. Paris was even sending out triremes and units out to sea. When the French first landed near my single city, I thought they were a legit civ, but later found out they only had Paris. The first time I see a city-state get this big and send out ships, I think.
    If anyone wants to investigate, I have the seed save of this game at 3980 BC, and also one close to winning the space race against the Americans (for quick replay viewing). Version .05.
  4. webciv

    webciv Chieftain

    Jun 10, 2016
    It's very easy to verify. If you have CIV where you can use "56" cheat and spot a city-state civ then save your game, use cived to improve tiles around that city (especially those the city uses), and continue playing. If you did everything right and the city has at least 2 extra food production it would start building a settler soon. I did this many times and it always worked well.

    If you see a large city-state (like size 10) it could be caused by AI choosing a tile that has only one food but extra production or trade (like oil).
  5. ptt196

    ptt196 Chieftain

    Nov 16, 2017
  6. sarmad11

    sarmad11 Chieftain

    Dec 20, 2008
    I noticed you're playing the Mac version. Any idea where I can download this version of the game? I don't use Mac anymore but used to love playing that version due to the graphics; any help you could provide would be appreciated.

  7. Wilhelm Wagoz

    Wilhelm Wagoz Chieftain

    Mar 20, 2018
    Some AI cities build so much units, all the shields are used for support the armies fortified all around.
    The settler production is stopped at zero.
    The AI does not disband, or so few*
    The only way to get them expand is to destroy all their 4000 years old militias.

    * one time, one opponent switched to republic, some units disappeared, but I think the disbanding is because the lack of support, not intentional
    * when an opponent unloads troops from a ship near a city of yours, there is the kings meeting, and when you make peace, if you're very strong and the opponent very weak, SOMETIMES, the unloaded troops disappear
  8. Volcanon

    Volcanon Chieftain

    Jun 12, 2006
    Sarmad actually he's using the Windows 95 version. Both the Mac version and the Win95 version had greatly improved graphics over the DOS version.

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