# Farm Math

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Mano3, May 6, 2008.

1. ### Mano3King

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What is the best way to calculate how many farms a city will need to grow and be sustained with? Additionally, when you figure out how many farms you need, where's the best place to build them?

Oftentimes, my placement seems good at first, but later on, I have to convert many tiles into farms to keep up the city's health and growth.

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Well, just by counting. The arithmetic is elementary: each point of population consumes 2 food. Maybe you could post screenshots of a city or two, to help explain more specifically what you're asking?

3. ### DaveMcWDeity

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Maintain enough farms to get +5 food when you want to grow.

Switch to hills for +0 food if you hit your health/happy cap.

4. ### digitCruncherEmperor

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OK...

Go through each tile in the BFC. If you don't know each tiles food value of by heart, then activate the button that allows you to see all the outputs of a tile. Assume all resources have the appropiate improvements (IE. Corn has a farm, and Iron has a mine)

Now, subtract 2 from EACH TILE that can be mined/harvested (IE. Everything but non-riverside deserts, and mountains). Then add all the numbers up. Then multiply by -1 (if its negative, make it positive, and vice versa)

So, lets assume you have the following tiles:

Plains / Plains / Plains+Hills
Grassland / Floodplains / Desert / Desert / Mountain
Grassland / Floodplains / City / Plains / Grassland + Corn
Grassland / Grassland + Hills + Iron / Plains / Plains / Plains + Hills
Grassland / Grassland / Grassland

OK... so, remembering that Corn has a farm (producing 6 (?) , while not riverside), we count:

-1 / -1 / -2
0 / 1 / - / - / -
0 / 1 / 0 / -1 / 4
0 / -1 / -1 / -1 / -2
0 / 0 / 0

Adding those all together, you get the value of: -4. This means that you need 4 farms (NOT including the one on the corn, unless it's riverside, or can be connected with other farms after Civil Service).

A couple of things to remember. If you are coastal (your city is besides a coast tile. Make sure its coast, and not fresh water), all water tiles produce 2 , not 1, as given in the display. Also, remember to add improvements. A couple of difficult ones are sugar (+1 with plantation, not extra , like most plantations), and wine (+1 with winery). Finally, if you have a resource that requires a farm, and its NOT riverside, and you aren't planning to irrigate it with civil service later on, it doesn't count as a farm to the final total.

Right, with that over and done with, where do you place farms?

I normally (if I am building any cottages), build 1 on a low-food tile (like plains / riverside Tundra), and farm 1 high-food tile (like floodplains). This means you can micro-manage your city EASILY to avoid growth wherever possible, without wasting food with the 'avoid growth' option. Otherwise, all high-food tiles are cottaged (in order to develop the cottages quickly. The low food cottage is almost never used, unless I hit the cap), and all low food tiles are farmed.

I'm a Noble player. I am confident enough to say that I am an AVERAGE noble player, or maybe just below average, but not a terrible noble player. Not anymore, anyway.

5. ### Mano3King

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Thanks!

6. ### molsonChieftain

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bad advice, +2 food is what you are looking for unles you have food ressource allowing you to be above this. You have to balance things out between growth, production and cottages. +5 food means you arent balanced.

7. ### AnitaGaribaldiWarlord

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When I'm building farms and cottages, I always check chain irrigation routes, even before Civil Service. It's really a trouble, if you put a cottage on the wrong spot and the only way to irrigate that rice is farm over your village/town....

8. ### wingsoverithacaChieftain

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the +food ratio needed for growth is heavily situational. the situation you are in will determine optimal growth rate. for example, if you are heavily whipping, +5 food will be much better to grow back with and then switch to your mines/whatever.

9. ### Solon70Warlord

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Everyone has their own preference, but I personally feel +2 is too slow if it can be avoided. When you're in a situation where you can choose whatever growth rate you choose, I generally prefer +3 or +4.

10. ### MyOtherNameEmperor

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For long term output, it's usually best to grow very rapidly until you're near your maximum size. (i.e. as much food surplus as you can muster -- except possibly for working good bonus tiles like a grassland iron)

11. ### TheMeInTeamTop Logic

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If you're running a commerce city instead of a production city or specialist, there's STILL nothing wrong or imbalanced about growing to the cap then switching to commerce tiles such as cottages...

Anyway what good are 4-5 cottages when your city is only big enough to work 2 or 3? Cottages on grasslands are food neutral, so you can easily put pop there once you're at the cap (or just to stay @ +whatever, though I hate having cities at +2...this usually implies the lack of a food resource and requires farming = extra worker turns. Such cities are lower priority for me unless they wall the AI off/have an important resource or something).

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Agreed.

For example, say my happy cap is 6 and I have a cottage city with a Corn, a river, and plains. Personally I might lay down the Corn farm and 5 plains cottages (I'm not trying to get the arithmetic exactly right, but you get the idea), without bothering with any extra farms. I might be especially likely to do this if I'm Financial and want to lean on river cottages.

Of course I might put down farms to the extent that I want the city not for cottaging but for whipping and/or specialists.

But with a low happy cap like that, I wouldn't bother with a huge food surplus just for the purpose of lightning growth. I probably wouldn't have the worker turns for the farms anyway.

13. ### OctopoeChieftain

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I agree - I definitely try to maximize food production in the tiles around my cities, to ensure the highest level of population growth I can achieve. More units of population in a city, the more "people" you have working the land, generating food, production, and money. I feel a weakness of the Civ Economy is that it's ultimately numbers based, and the more territory you control naturally means you have more resources at your disposal.

I nearly save all recourses to be used as such, and from there try to maximize food and production, in the form of farms and mines...with as many cottages as is appropriate. I try to work with the map, mine bare yellow (grassland right?) hills, and preserve forests to use later on down the road.

Farms on:

:: grassland river tiles, or maybe a cottage?
:: flood plains for sure
:: rice, wheat, corn of course

Just a few ideas! (I am an average level Noble player, I would say.)

14. ### MyOtherNameEmperor

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It turns out in this specific case, if you only care about cottages, it doesn't matter whether you farm your plains tiles or not. (Except that you might be able to eek out a couple extra cottage-turns by aiming to fill the granary exactly) You can get a few extra hammers and base tile commerce by farming as much as possible, though.

15. ### DiamondeyeSo Happy I Could Die

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A city without a single food ressource or floodplains/riverside grass is probably not going to do you much good; try to avoid cities than cannot easily hit a +5 yield.