Great artists and great merchants... Is it just me or do they suck?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by unhealthyman, Mar 24, 2006.

  1. unhealthyman

    unhealthyman Chieftain

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    Last game I ended up getting quite a few great artists and had real problem finding any use for them... Apart from joining your city for + 3 commerce and +14 culture (wow, not that exciting) the culture bomb aspect of them is rarely useful as far as I can see, and was doing well enough not to really need them to research techs for me. Obviously, they are good for a culture win, but I never really go for culture wins... When I was building wonders I noticed that a lot of the ones I wanted to build added to the chance of getting great artists.

    I didn't get many great merchants, but the ones I did have didn't seem to achieve much, I just sent them on trade missions for gold cos I was feeling lazy.

    Great scientists are far better with their academies, and great prophets are essential seeing as I founded 4 religions, but I only ended up getting 1 in my last game, so I got no real benefits from founding the religions.

    Usually I chop stonehenge which lets me get more great prophets early on, but I missed it this turn and had trouble fixing it so I got any.

    Am i misusing my great artists/great merchants? I know early in the game joining them to a good city is the best idea, but when I got a great merchant etc close to the end, there aren't enough turns left for this to be worthwhile.
     
  2. Bluerog

    Bluerog Chieftain

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    Aye...they suck late in the game (compared to Engineers, scientist, and even prophets).

    Early game is nice for merchants though. +6 gold every turn forever is nice. Put 1-3 in your science city and you get lots of science.

    Bluerog
     
  3. Gumbolt

    Gumbolt Phoenix Rising

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    Great artists are used for cultural wins. Also some people use them on cities close to enemy border or on captured cities. 4000 culture in a city could help another flip. Not used merchants much but dont knock the artist.
     
  4. RickT

    RickT Chieftain

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    A lot of it depends on the map. On the archipelago map, most of the extra squares you claim end up being water. On a more land-heavy map, though, being able to push enemy territory way, way back can be huge.

    Does anyone know if you can use an artist in a city that's freshly conquered and still in revolt, or do you have to wait until the revolt finishes (since cities in revolt don't generate culture?)
     
  5. MrCynical

    MrCynical Deity

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    You can use a great artist in a captured city that it in revolt. It will expand the culture and terminate the revolt immediately.
     
  6. RickT

    RickT Chieftain

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    That's...even better than I'd hoped for!
     
  7. Entrinzikyl

    Entrinzikyl Chieftain

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    The gold from merchants doesn't go to science, if I recall.

    A great artist in a newly captured capital pretty much instantly makes another productive city.
     
  8. Juardis

    Juardis Chieftain

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    Collect a set and start a golden age.

    edit: Or can golden ages only be started by different gp types? I'm assuming 2 great artists can start the first golden age, that true?
     
  9. MrCynical

    MrCynical Deity

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    No, you have to use different types of great people to start a golden age, so you'll need one of a different type to go with the great artist.
     
  10. RickT

    RickT Chieftain

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    I haven't played with the Golden Age use yet--it seems like an awfully high price to pay. Is a Golden Age worth the cost?
     
  11. Beamup

    Beamup Higgs boson

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    Sometimes. If you're building the spaceship and need a boost to beat a closely-matched AI, for example.

    But typically, no. Most of the time the other applications are more powerful overall.
     
  12. MrCynical

    MrCynical Deity

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    In depends on quite a lot of things. In the late game great people are much less valuable (particularly artists, merchants and prophets) so a golden age or two can be a good choice. In the early stages I don't think it's a good idea, but once you're in the industrial or modern ages agolden age or two can be very powerful indeed.
     
  13. Solo4114

    Solo4114 Prince

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    You can always have your artists join as super-specialists. The culture boost from a Great Artist is actually pretty significant.

    Consider that if they give +14 culture, that equals several buildings, such as theaters, libraries, castles, etc. When you add in culture multipliers (IE: if you build them in a city with a national or world wonder that boosts culture by 50%, say -- can't remember which these are or if they exist, but I'm pretty sure they do -- then your specialist is technically producing 21 culture per turn. While that may not seem like much, it's actually a pretty fair amount on a per-turn basis.

    But, if you're not gonna bother with a culture win, or try to use culture in a domination game to grab more land (IE: the bloodless victory), then they're kinda worthless. Still, they're also giving you +3 commerce (again factor in multipliers like banks and markets and such), which ain't half bad.

    For merchants, I actually forget what exactly they give you. I'm sure they have their benefits too, though.


    Most of the positive factors in this game are pretty powerful under the right circumstances, although some are more broadly useful. Like, with promotions, City Raider is always a nice bonus to have. But by the same token, hill defense or forest defense can be quite useful too, under the right circumstances. Same with great artists and merchants.

    But I definitely don't hold with the view that anything in the game is actually USELESS on any absolute basis. It may not fit with your current game's strategy, but that doesn't make it categorically useless for any and all games.
     
  14. MrCynical

    MrCynical Deity

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    Nitpick; merged great artists give gold, not commerce, and gold is less valuable, though still worth having. No specialists or superspecialists give commerce.

    When merged great merchants give 1 food per turn (useful) and 6gpt.
     
  15. emills

    emills Warlord

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    You forget that merchants give +1 food, allowing another specialist, cottage worked or mine worked. so not only do you get the gold forever until the end of the game, you also get more commerce or hammers or beakers (Specialist) forever. On a archipelago map, where your production cities also need the other science and gold improvements (to not waste the water commerce), merchants are not wasted and really shine. having the great light house and the colossus (as powerful or more than the pyramids) makes getting the merchant easy and often.

    I am not a big fan of the great artist, however having one around during a war is nice. After I cleared out some arab land, the inca plopped a city right in the middle and did a culture bomb. I had a great artist pop the next turn and was able to recover the territory and end an arab riot the same turn.
     
  16. jerVL/kg

    jerVL/kg Sheep Nuker

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    This makes GM's excellent for high commerce cities with low food resources. Especially by late game, when I'm always replacing mines with windmills just to "even out" the food rate. (Then state property comes along, and I've gotta do it ALL OVER AGAIN...)

    As said before, GA's are best used as part of a military strategy...i.e., ending revolt in a city you've just conquered. Or, culture bombing a new city to block the AI from settling on a certain part of the map (or flipping one of their cities, but it's rare for that situation to come up.)

    Golden Age? Certainly useful, if I just learned several new techs and have LOTS of new infra & military to build. Also good if you're playing "catch up" with the AI civilizations. GPs & GMs are best used for a Golden Age, even GAs if I have no use for them at the moment. GEs, too, become less and less useful as time goes on...(by the time I get Universal Suffrage, I'm more apt to drop science to 0% for a few turns and then just BUY the 3 Gorges Dam or whichever Wonder I want!)
     
  17. civterror

    civterror Chieftain

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    I LOVE Great Artists and Merchants!

    The culture bomb is my favorite move, and I never make a serious war without one. In the later stages of the game, having a culture bomb is vital to ensure you geat a nice, big, beachhead when going after distant continents. I send in my guys, take a coastal city and wipe out the nearest inland cities (raze\keep depends with those other cities) and BOOM, I got a big chunk of map all to myself. The culture bomb is awsome for terra maps, colonization is a hoot when turning that conquered native city into some serious real-estate.

    Mind you, I am not a classic warmonger, I just enjoy having wars when I see I have the edge.

    The merchants give me a big hunk of change, and spending it all on upgrading all my promoted troops, well, it is satisfying.

    The great people should never go to waste as super-specialists. I hardly ever make specialists of them. I want instant payoff for them.
     
  18. UnspokenRequest

    UnspokenRequest Prince

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    I just posted a thread about how cultural borders can become hard to change during mid or late game. I used to rely on GA to arrange this.
    Is it me or has GA's power to change cultural border been decreased?
    I've been often disapointed lately by the lack of change I get when I use them in a recently conquered city. The tiles next to the conquered city's core often remain in my ennemy's hand.
     
  19. Conquestador

    Conquestador Chieftain

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    I don't like very much great artist but great merchant in the late game are very good, in most cases better than great scientis.
    I use them for trade missions, usually i can get 1300 -1500 gold from them but one time i've get 1900 gold on a normal speed game. When i have this gold i run 100% science for a few turn. In this way yoo can get around 2000-2500 Beckers from each GM because usually there are more science boosting buildings than money boosting buildings.
    It's not good 2500 beckers for you ?
     
  20. kamigawan

    kamigawan Warlord

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    Great artists are definitely helpful both early on for land grab, and later during wartime to quell revolts.

    Great merchants are not too bad because the ~1500 gold is flexible - with one trade mission you can upgrade 7-10 catapults to cannons, for example. Or you can cash rush a wonder (about 1000 hammers worth or so). But I usually can't be bothered to set up the trade mission, particular if it involves galleons (I play continents).
     

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