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Help! My empire is very unhappy!

Discussion in 'Civ5 - Strategy & Tips' started by BobTheDude, Oct 4, 2010.

  1. evanbgood

    evanbgood Chieftain

    Sep 26, 2010
    I'm actually in the middle of a French landgrab game with lots of puppets and rationalism instead of piety. The big secret I've learned is the often-ignored happiness buildings.

    Basically, my tactic is this. Treat happiness like it's just another part of your economy. Each place you take over isn't a drain on happiness, it's a "cost". And as a cost, you need to make something to keep your numbers positive. Luxuries are the "free" way to do this, typically; it doesn't cost anything but time to claim a luxury inside your border. The most "expensive" way is to invest in social policies just to break even. I wouldn't use piety unless I was producing a LOT of happiness for the sake of golden ages. Buildings like the circus, colosseum, and theater are the moderately expensive, limitless solution. As you expand, build these in your base cities and your annexed cities.

    The cost for these buildings is GPT through maintenance, and yes, it's quite high. The reason for this is that population and expansion, GPT, and happiness all form a great big circle:

    Populations makes -> GPT makes -> happiness makes -> room for more expansion and population.

    Done properly, this is potentially endless, and even possible with large profits of GPT or any of the other benifits a city can provide. Of course, it takes a lot of careful decission making, razing the occasional useless city, replacing farms with trading posts to make puppets smaller and more profitable early on, and anexing the RIGHT cities at the right time.

    Also, remember to get everything possible on the trade network. Trade means higher GPT based on population, which should be a no-brainer benefit with the above cycle. For cross-ocean conquest, this can mean having to annex a coastal city to make sure it has a harbor, then connecting further cities to that one as if it were the capital.

    The only other limiting factors exist if you do too much annexing instead of puppeting. Those are added initial unhappiness (courthouses take a while, so you need to have a "buffer" before annexing), and added requirements for social policies and great people. The exact numbers for this balance haven't been worked out, but in theory, it is possible to overcome all of these limitations in annexed cities and offset the cost of the courthouse and the social policies by creating high GPT and culture in the city itself. The big trick is figuring out when to annex and when not to. Typically, it's best to only annex a city if you have a plan to make it a specialized city. Obvious examples would be not annexing a city that you claimed just for its access to coal, and annexing a river city with two nearby gold mines. The coal city would be pointless, while the river city could make MUCH more GPT if you took manual control and made sure it was producing things like a mint and a market. And of course, in a pinch, annexing can be necessary to gold-rush a unit to a sudden threat, or to raze a city that's causing more drain than benefit.

    Sorry about the long post. I tend to get carried away :p But hopefully this will help! Happiness is highly managable with a lot more than just collecting luxuries. It just means you have to pause now and then to stop pumping out units and worry about the little people back in London with no theater to go to... :pat:
  2. MickyLuv

    MickyLuv Chieftain

    Dec 14, 2005

    Fantastic post.

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