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Explioting a Food Heavy Start?

Discussion in 'Civ6 - Strategy & Tips' started by CivScientist, Apr 30, 2017.

  1. CivScientist

    CivScientist Warlord

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    Suppose you're playing Deity as an arbitrary civ and you find yourself in a food heavy, production starved start. Suppose you see flat grasslands as far as they eye can see. Are there any strategies to make the most of this situation?

    I've pretty much written off production starved starts at this point as just being a difficulty level harder than expected. Still, sometimes I don't want to generate a new map. Is there anyway to make lemonade out of grasslands?

    I'm mostly looking for strategies that can be utilized by any civ, although, I'm still open to civ specific strategies. I'm also looking for strategies that use the land you've got rather than rush a neighbor and fail early. That's not to say you don't play any less aggressively as you normally would. Only that you shouldn't play more aggressively unless those grasslands somehow give you an advantage in combat.

    So, thoughts?
     
  2. Leyrann

    Leyrann Deity

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    One solution is of course "be Australia", but that doesn't work for an arbitrary civ.

    Let's see... One of the things you could maybe do is use all that food to focus on building settlers, though it doesn't help as much as it would've in IV or V, and try to get better production cities as fast as possible. In fact, I think that may be the start of a more general strategy. You focus only on the bare backbone of your empire - the warriors/slingers/archers you absolutely need and none more, and then settlers, settlers, settlers. You expand as fast as you possibly can, and you use those better production cities to build Encampments, Commercial Hubs, Harbors and Industrial Zones, as well as building trade routes. Then, you make the starting city (cities) the origin city of the trade routes and send them to the newer cities that have districts that grant production for trade routes. You then use that trade route production to build districts and other such stuff in your early cities, which you didn't do before.

    It's still going to be worse than a nice half grassland half plains half flat half hills start, of course, but I think this might be the best strategy. Don't waste any production on buildings and districts in the low production cities until you can get some bonus production from trade routes, as well as get better production cities up and running ASAP.
     
  3. Victoria

    Victoria Regina Supporter

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    Flat grassland, I have tried various strategies.

    You typically die or just fall behind. It's not all bad, you have to remember that you do get extra prod for the capital so yes you need either a settler or to take out another city fast. It's just easier to restart unless you like to play a real challenging game and do not mind loosing so much. I did win a grassland start but a lot of luck was involved.
     
  4. Magma_Dragoon

    Magma_Dragoon Reploid

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    move
     
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  5. Unconquered Sun

    Unconquered Sun Emperor

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    Unlike more complex Civs that had multiple uses for food, in VI it is used only for growing, and growing is truly beneficial only if you have good tiles to work.

    You don't need to regenerate the map, but you do need to move to a better location. In fact, it's often best to move on Deity anyway: in the short run a position on a hill/behind rivers will give you the edge against any unlucky barbarian or AI spawns, and in the long run the AI is rather slow to victory and the tech costs are fixed, so catching up isn't threatened by delaying your first city.
     
  6. Leyrann

    Leyrann Deity

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    I don't see how earlier (more complex is debatable, most certainly in the case of V, but that's a discussion for another thread, let's just call them the objective "earlier") civs had more uses for food. If you mean that from III-V food was used to build Settlers and, in III and IV, Workers, it's still there in the case of Settlers, as you lose a population point when you build a Settler, like in II.
     
  7. Sumorex

    Sumorex Warlord

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    I think losing a population point in VI to generate a settler is vastly different from how population was used in slavery for Civ IV.

    Converting food into production thru use of the whip was arguably the strongest opening play in Civ IV and I don't think there is a analogous approach in Civ VI. Maybe warmongering to generate gold to buy units/buildings is close to the same thing?

    However, a food-rich / production-poor start in VI is pretty brutal. If you're in a vast sea of grass moving is really the only answer. You can't convert food into production. This problem intensifies as you move up in difficulty too.
     
  8. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    4 had a direct :food: --> :hammers: conversion mechanic, and not just for workers/settlers...though the variability in start quality was greater in 4 too.

    Part of what makes civ 4 early game better is that this can be true, but it isn't consistently true (sometimes whipping pop is a mistake, even if :hammers: is your only objective, but you have other needs to balance). Even when to fit access to it in your opening tech choices can be pretty variable.

    That Civ 4 has more complexity in early game decisions is easy to conclude, but complexity doesn't guarantee better gameplay. What you want is interesting choices that impact the outcome of the game. Civ 6 is lacking in those on its own merits, independent of considering other games in comparison. For OP scenario yeah just move before settling.
     
  9. Victoria

    Victoria Regina Supporter

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    yes, I have lost a few starting settlers due to moving without my warrior, and moving is just such a loss anyway.
     
  10. Unconquered Sun

    Unconquered Sun Emperor

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    IV had not one, but two major mechanics for converting food into production - slavery and drafting, the latter being around since III.

    Laser-focusing on settlers and workers alone, VI's mandatory and rather high production requirements for them mean it's always best to move to a solid production spot. Incidentally, high production spots are often high terrain defense spots too, which hedges against threatening barb/AI spawns. Recognizing synergies like this delineate winning VI's Deity consistently against winning it occasionally.
     
  11. Victoria

    Victoria Regina Supporter

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    I have often come off a hill to settle now, the extra defence it provides does not seem to outweigh the +5 production I will get. Moving intongrassland give +1 production which makes it nicer, of course the rest of terrain must be good.
     
  12. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    Production now > production later, though if hammers are really sparse and you're going to grow like a weed anyway you can make a case for optimizing around hammer output when working them all, since it won't take long to do so.

    If the game starts getting challenging it might even be math worth doing :p.
     
  13. Unconquered Sun

    Unconquered Sun Emperor

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    You won't be getting +5 production. Your start is, naturally, next to a river, and you move next to a river. Both tiles are best improved by lumber mill for production, being next to a river.

    Meanwhile you lose +3 Strength on your best starting 'unit', your 200 hit point capital that comes with another Strength bonus and an almost certain per turn hit point regeneration.
     
  14. Victoria

    Victoria Regina Supporter

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    I did not say immediately, I said I will get. A very valuable tile is plains hill, too valuable for my city to cit on, maybe not yours.
    I on purpose but the grassland move in in case someone pedantic tried to say it would be an overall +4 not +5 because it does depend on type of hill of course.

    Your start is not always next to a river and it's not crippling if you are not in VI, you can still win deity currently without it.

    The OP specifically said grassland as far as they eye can see, no trees which have great value next to a river or not.

    I did state I felt the defence did not outweigh the production gain, IMO the warrior is the best starting unit because it can clear a camp before it spawns.

    While VI is a long way from being a finished product I do like the idea of not having one solid strategy that always works on any start. I am still not convinced of high production being a solid requirement, I certainly never build an IZ everywhere and know I do need a spread of campuses commercial and entertainment that makes choices more interesting.
     
  15. Unconquered Sun

    Unconquered Sun Emperor

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    There's no +5. You're talking late game values, and then the riverside flatland can have woods planted and enjoy a riverside lumbermill. In fact you are worse off as food/production total out of the two tiles.

    As for most early games, it's a startling mistake to move off a plains hill instead of settling it if the overall location is decent. A plains hill city center is 2f/2p, the second production being a freebie which doesn't require pop to work, and there will be enough good tiles for your pops to work to not worry about an extra flatland right next to the city. And I'm not even touching the defense benefits.

    If the spot is bad, you shouldn't settle at all, but move and find a decent one. Settling immediately at a mediocre spot will net you 5-6 food/production from tiles, the palace benefits, and the 0.7/0.3 pop benefits, minus 2 food for the pop; all multiplied by 5% (10% for the net food). Settling at a good spot, well I don't know the upper limit, but say in a recent game I settled a 2/2 plains hill and worked a plains hill woods with wine (2/3/1). That's 9 food/production and a gold, at the grand cost of moving two turns. That's simply a vastly better starting economy without even counting the defense benefit which can be difference between "barbs/Japan/whomever crushed me" and being an undefeated Deity player.
     
  16. Japper007

    Japper007 Prince

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    I wish I rolled a production poor start for once, it'd be a fun challenge/variant at this point. I always seem to have at least some hills/forest or stone.

    I'd suggest getting some military out and "borrowing" someone elses production. All you need is some archers and warriors on Diety. You can also leverage all the Science you get from the extra pop to tech to some advanced units and attack then (crossbows/knights are a good one, stupendously powerful if bee-lined)

    It's sad that RUSH! is the answer to everything in this game, but you should play the game as it is, not as the designer intended it.
     
  17. Victoria

    Victoria Regina Supporter

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    There is +5 production, it's a mid game value as I'll have it by T150. I have said this all along

    It may be a startling mistake for you but it's not for me. If I have more that 5 plains hills then I will appreciate the +1 production Bonus at the start but often I have been sitting on a hill mid game wishing I had come off it.

    We have already had a long thread about moving for the right position called 'to hill of not to hill'. Be careful walking into a forum and saying people opinions are stupid and this is the right way when your statements are often not specific enough

    You are stating your opinions like rigid fact and seem immovable in your view. I'm always flexible and VI is great for not making winning a one trick pony. That +1 at the start is great, I get it but if I have only 5 hills I would rather take half a move to allow better production overall than move through a currently unknown and highly dangerous landscape. To me that if just face palm,

    I am sorry I like to be flexible and have variety. Thank god the game still allows you to win on deity like this.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2017
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  18. Unconquered Sun

    Unconquered Sun Emperor

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    You are talking about the window between maxed mines (Industrialization on the tech line) and forest planting (Conservation on the civics line).

    I strive to have the game decided as early as possible. By T150 my advantage is such it's irrelevant if my capital has one more mine to work as opposed to having this pop point work something else.

    Early game is where you want to grab every possible advantage on Deity. A free production and a defense bonus are vital.
     
  19. Victoria

    Victoria Regina Supporter

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    ... well I win without them so they are not vital.
    I get a builder and mine it by T20 and it's +3, the T150 is an arbitrary figure about mid mid game for most reasonable players.
    I guess you are just 'better' than them

    In this game by T100 your advantage is often enough, he'll even by turn 50'you have a fair idea.

    You seem to be making very strict rules and if you want to play super efficient (whatever you deem that to be) then that's fine.

    It all depends on how many hills you have.... this game does not have one formula... jeez.

    I have a city with one hill in the first ring and am also sitting on a hill, I can settle on grassland instead providing me overall around T20 with two hills at +3 rather than one at +2 because my capital is sitting on it. That hill is just going to get better with apprenticeship but not if my city is on it. I did say in my original post I considered defence.

    I am the first to stick up my hand and say I am wrong, I make mistakes all the time, I am human. I also have been posting solidly on the civ forum for a long time discussing all of this stuff before. Please do not treat me as an idiot and tell me something is vital when it is not that clear cut.
     
  20. Unconquered Sun

    Unconquered Sun Emperor

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    By your own account you also lose games on Deity, and I don't. Vital advantages like that make up that 100% winrate.

    The guy who settled the plains hill got his units faster than you and still mined a hill/worked a good yield tile. You're trading a significant early game advantage for a 'feel good' picture at T150.

    It would be a 'mid mid' for a T300 win. It's the beginning of late game for a T225 win. In both cases it's probably close to the date you'll get Conservation and these riverside tiles will be wooded and milled.

    Don't take it so personal. It's just a discussion for settling your first city on Deity specifically, if your strategy has merits defend it with them.
     

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