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how bad is it to automate workers?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by bigk89m, Feb 22, 2006.

  1. bigk89m

    bigk89m Chieftain

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    Hey, i know that most people say it is really bad to automate workers because you are not getting the full benefits of the land. The problem is, i dont know what do for many of the terrain areas so i just automate them. Am i really hurting my civilization (economy/science/commerce wise) by automating?
     
  2. jpowers

    jpowers Emperor

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    Ideally, you should be constantly working the land and managing your city's utilization of the land depending on your goal for that city. This changes during the game, of course, so a city that started out producing $$ may need to be switched over to population/specialists, hence cottages may need to become farms, mines become windmills, etc.

    In practice, unless you enjoy each turn taking 4 hours, this is not fun. I usually improve every workable tile of every city once, and then automate my workers to 'build trade' because I don't want them undoing everything I just did. The automatic city manager usually does a decent job of optimizing use of the resources depending on what you're building, and can be 'nudged' toward one particular mode without manually interfering with each worked tile.
     
  3. MrCynical

    MrCynical Deity

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    The automation system basically means it will take longer for all your tiles to be improved, as the AI doesn't move workers efficiently. You'll also end up with some suboptimal improvements (particularly around specialised cities), and the AI may not improve thins in the right place at the right time. For instance it may put all your workers to improving all 20 tiles round a city that's currently size 5, while a size 15 city is using unimproved tiles.

    It's hard to put a numerical value on the damage you're doing your economy by doing this, but it is substantial. If you don't know what the best way to improve your land is, have a look round the forums, take some ideas from what your automated workers do bearing in mind they're not always right, and have a go at it yourself. You'll never learn how to get the most from your land if you just leave your workers automated, and it will cost you dearly at Noble and higher levels.
     
  4. Pete2006

    Pete2006 Prince

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    Try playing a huge map or even a small map after you have 50%+ land and automating workers is the way to go. Ideally, you would do all the work yourself but it really makes the game tedious.

    I manually control my workers for my first 3-6 cities and then automate the rest of the way. I play emporer level. Currently playing the Earth map (HUGE!!) with Japan on Emporer and kicking ass with automated workers.
     
  5. bigk89m

    bigk89m Chieftain

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    hey pete, sounds cool. Would u mind telling me what map that is and where i could find it. I love playing as Japan but i feel alot of the world maps dont give them justice. (or was it the map that came with the game?)
     
  6. Pete2006

    Pete2006 Prince

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    I think it is under the "play a scenario" option.
     
  7. Memphus

    Memphus Deity

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    I have only automated my workers as a test to see how efficient they really were.

    But that being said on the Noble Level, I can still win by:

    Automating workers from the turn they are built
    Randomly choosing techs (i.e. each time you discover a new one roll a dice or cut cards to determine your next research)
    Not adjusting the slider
    Never talking to the AI

    But all that leaves you to do is choose what to build and which units to move where (other than workers)

    I can still win on Prince by:
    Automating workers from the turn they are built
    Not adjusting the slider
    Never talking to the AI

    I can still win on Monarch by:
    Automating workers from the turn they are built
    Not adjusting the slider

    I can still win on Emporer by:
    Automating workers from the turn they are built (thsi gets hard)

    I can't win higher than that I need to tell them what to do, but that being said on all those other game I could have doen MUCH better by actually ordering my workers.

    These games get played (epic) in 2~3 hours

    When I played a GOTM2 and focused, the game took 11+ hours

    So the trade off is up to you ;)
     
  8. KrikkitTwo

    KrikkitTwo Immortal

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    Well the strategy I use is
    1. do some 'preplanned improvements'
    2. let them go auto (no replace existing improvements) when I don't have anything in particular I need them to do
    3. grab them as needed to change a city to what I want (cottages instead of workshops, chaining farms properly, etc.) or to get something prioritized

    This is probably somewhat wasteful of the worker actions, but the workers are doing something.

    I would definitely recommend against setting your workers on pure auto, but just grabbing them when you have something to do and then 'letting them go' to do other useful things seems like the best plan.
     
  9. ownedbyakorat

    ownedbyakorat Warlord

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    I automate generally around the beginning of the final phase of the game, which occurs for me in the 1300-1700 AD period in general. By that point I've already manually done all of the important improvements, and any undeveloped spaces are things I don't much care about. It's important in options to select the options that disallow building over an existing improvement and removing forests or you may end up with some of your cities developing in ways that are counter to your intent. Count on automated workers building lots of farms!
     
  10. ChangHao

    ChangHao Long standing Civ-er

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    Singapore
    haha.
    i do FULL AUTO on huge deity with victory in one sitting.
    to be honest, it's only after i've chopped enough trees...
    it's full auto after that.
     
  11. Zombie69

    Zombie69 Emperor

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    If you automate workers, you can't :

    - properly specilize your cities;
    - get the right tiles improved when you need them;
    - maximize their movement allowance;
    - assign them to common tasks for faster completion;
    - chop the right things at the right time;
    - chain irrigate where needed (the AI is clueless there);
    - assign workers to the cities that need them most;
    - build roads towards your enemies for faster conquest;
    - protect them only when needed (the AI will send workers running home at the first sign of danger);
    - etc.

    You're missing out on a big part of the game, and yes, hurting your civ badly in the process because the AI sucks at worker management.
     
  12. atzerus

    atzerus Chieftain

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    In the early game its very bad but later on it doesn't matter so much. I have'nt played civIV much but I was ablt to win on civ3 on diety automating workers around mid game. So I'm sure its a similar tradeoff. After all the major imporvments are built I see litte loss in automating workers.
     
  13. MetHimPikeHoses

    MetHimPikeHoses Unarmed Insurgent

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    It's been said before, but when will the workers be automated for specific tasks? (i.e. autobuild railroad, mine all hills, windmill all hills, etc.)
     
  14. mystiqblackcat

    mystiqblackcat Chieftain

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    If you go into Advanced options you can check to not allow your workers to change improvements that you have already made once they are automated. I find that this makes automation pretty useful in the mid to later part of a game, once you have already made your specialist cites (unit, GP, money, etc) and you don't want to fool with finding stuff for your workers to do every turn.
     
  15. jray

    jray King

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    True, except that one truly annoying aspect is that these workers will not replace your existing roads with railroads. I REALLY wish there was an option to "make exceptions for railroads." Or is there, and I just missed it? Otherwise, does anyone know of a mod (or how to make one) that takes care of this?
     
  16. Pete2006

    Pete2006 Prince

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    I don't think anyone disagrees with this but running workers manually for the entire game will require 3x the amount of time vs. automaiting in the later stages only.
     
  17. Ebomb808

    Ebomb808 Chieftain

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    False. Workers who are automated when the box for do not change improvements is checked, do build railroads over roads.
     
  18. Zombie69

    Zombie69 Emperor

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    Agreed. But if you're like me and like to take your time anyway, that's not even a consideration.
     
  19. jar2574

    jar2574 Prince

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    I never automate workers. But the GOTM is usually the only game I play each month, and I take it fairly seriously.
     
  20. Ryanstein

    Ryanstein Chieftain

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    auto workers tend to build farms everywhere, they even destroy my cottages/towns to do it. This is one of the main reasons I like to control my workers.

    I didn't realise there was a option to turn this off :p

    ~Ryanstein
     

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