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Farm or Trading Post?

Discussion in 'Civ5 - Strategy & Tips' started by Meneer Popken, Sep 23, 2010.

  1. Meneer Popken

    Meneer Popken Chieftain

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2001
    Messages:
    80
    A Farm gives +1 food on a tile, or +2 with Civil Service and Fertilizer tech.
    Trading Post gives +2 gold on a tile.

    You can buy food from maritime city states, by paying them to be friends or allies. Friends get 1 food per city, 2 for the capital, allies get double.

    After your initial investment to make a city state your ally it costs (at Prince difficulty) 250 gold for 35 turns of continued friendship/alliance (or 23 turns when dealing with hostile city states).

    So for Trading Posts to be cost effective they have to earn more than those 250 gold in those 35 turns.

    The following tables assume that there are enough population and tiles to work what would otherwise be farms but are now trading posts.

    C = number of cities, assuming 1 of those is the capital,
    F = food received in 35 turns,
    Fh = food received in 23 turns,
    G = gold earned in 35 turns,
    Gh = gold earned in 23 turns.

    Code:
    Friends, +1 food per farm
     C - F   - Fh  - G   - Gh
     1 -  70 -  46 - 140 -  92
     2 - 105 -  69 - 210 - 138
     3 - 140 -  92 - [B][COLOR="#006400"]280[/COLOR][/B] - 184
     4 - 175 - 115 - 350 - 230
     5 - 210 - 138 - 420 - [B][COLOR="#006400"]276[/COLOR][/B]
    
    Friends, +2 food per farm
     C - F   - Fh  - G   - Gh
     1 -  70 -  46 -  70 -  46
     2 - 105 -  69 - 105 -  69
     3 - 140 -  92 - 140 -  92
     4 - 175 - 115 - 175 - 115
     5 - 210 - 138 - 210 - 138
     6 - 245 - 161 - 245 - 161
     7 - 280 - 184 - [B][COLOR="#006400"]280[/COLOR][/B] - 184
     8 - 315 - 207 - 315 - 207
     9 - 350 - 230 - 350 - 230
    10 - 385 - 253 - 385 - [B][COLOR="#006400"]253[/COLOR][/B]
    
    Allies, +1 food per farm
     C - F   - Fh  - G   - Gh
     1 - 140 -  92 - [B][COLOR="#006400"]280[/COLOR][/B] - 184
     2 - 210 - 138 - 420 - [B][COLOR="#006400"]276[/COLOR][/B]
    
    Allies, +2 food per farm
     C - F   - Fh  - G   - Gh
     1 - 140 -  92 - 140 -  92
     2 - 210 - 138 - 210 - 138
     3 - 280 - 184 - [B][COLOR="DarkGreen"]280[/COLOR][/B] - 184
     4 - 350 - 230 - 350 - 230
     5 - 420 - 276 - 420 - [B][COLOR="#006400"]276[/COLOR][/B]
    
    
    The above tables show in green the minimum number of cities required where income from trading posts is greater than the cost of bribing a normal and hostile city state.

    Conclusion:
    If there are non-hostile maritime city states and you have enough money to make them allies than trading posts are more effective than farms. If you can only afford to make them friends you need at least 3 cities. The larger the percentage of hostile city states, the closer to respectively 2 and 5 cities you should have before considering trading posts.

    Once you have researched civil service and you have less than 3 to 5 cities as allies or 7 to 10 cities as friends the trading posts you made along rivers should be converted back to farms (unless you plan to expand real soon). If you still have less than 3 to 5 (allies) or 7 to 10 (friends) cities when you discover Fertilizer, then also the trading posts on non-fresh-water-tiles should be converted to farms.

    The more cities you have the more money this will gain.

    One drawback is that you have to save a significant amount of money before you can start this all. During the time you are saving money from trading posts your cities are obviously not growing as fast. Another is that your allied city state can be destroyed by a rival civ.

    Also there is a limited number of maritime city states, you shouldn't replace more farms with trading posts than you can offset with food gained from those city states.
     
  2. Mutineer

    Mutineer Chieftain

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2006
    Messages:
    3,715
    but does not trade post income could be multiplied by buildings? That will screw up your calculations.
     
  3. goodolarchie

    goodolarchie Chieftain

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2009
    Messages:
    282
    Most certainly. Social policies can alter the tiles too!
     
  4. yanner39

    yanner39 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2008
    Messages:
    1,382
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    Couldn't you just farm at first, get the cities growing quickly, then replace the farms witg trading posts?
     
  5. goodolarchie

    goodolarchie Chieftain

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2009
    Messages:
    282
    Of course, but consider that Maritime allies/friends will give you more food exponentially as your city count increases. You also have more flexibility for those emergency-buyout situations.
     
  6. Panzeh

    Panzeh Chieftain

    Joined:
    May 15, 2004
    Messages:
    238
    Most of the good multipliers for gold come late in the game, as does rationalism. That being said, if you can survive with a lot of trading posts, going down the rationalism tree will be a big time boost for your research.
     
  7. feelotraveller

    feelotraveller Chieftain

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2010
    Messages:
    67
    Farm and then run a merchant.
     
  8. rah

    rah Chieftain

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2005
    Messages:
    2,520
    Location:
    Chicago
    And there are many ways to get influence with maritime CSs without spending any gold.
    Liberating them will make them your ally for hundreds of turns at no cost. I run very few farms later in the game.
     
  9. yanner39

    yanner39 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2008
    Messages:
    1,382
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    But they need to be occupied first. This happened in my last game where Alexander conquered Venice and I liberated them.

    The biggest challenge with CS is early in the game, where gold is low and the Patronage branch hasn't been unlocked yet.
     
  10. DalekDavros

    DalekDavros Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2010
    Messages:
    303
    There are a number of 4-6 tech beelines that will get the Patronage branch unlocked. Civil Service is probably the best, as it involves picking up Trapping on the way, so that you'll have plenty of gold when you get there. Alternatively, Currency has The Wheel on the way allowing you to pick up trade route income, sets you up for a Merchant specialist (trade mission = gold + influence), and leaves Trapping only one tech away. Save up your SP points on the way and you should probably be able to open Patronage and purchase both Aesthetics and Philanthropy immediately when you get there.
     

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