Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by oPunchDrunko, Feb 23, 2010.
It depends on the map. Ideally tho, you want to get your cities' BFC on needed resources, so that might spread them out. If you want to block the AI, you might need to spread the cities out also.
Alternatively, it is not a bad thing if cities share tiles. Usually, it is very late in the game when cities need every tile, and keeping them close together can boost production in the early stages of the game. For example, if you are on an island or somesuch, and build the GLH, you might want to squish as many cities on it as possible.
I tend to stick to the old model of cities' BFCs touching, just to take up more space from the AI. I also try to block the AI as best as possible and will settle a bit out of the way to block or get needed resources.
What jdp29 said build cities for the main resources and to block the AI. Once you block the AI go for coastal cities and work your way in.
However you like! As mentioned above its all opportunity cost. Overlap a lot of BFC and you get smaller empires, less distance to move your units (quicker reinforcements) and using more tiles early on. Later game it will prohibit the size of the cities and what they can do, esp if the map does not have a lot of food.
I usually get some overlap with cities, however with great city sites I avoid it so that late game the city will be HUGE. I avoid to much though, maybe 2-3 tiles per city is ok with me.
Play a few games and try different placement strategies to see what you like. What is most efficient/powerful may not be what is most fun. I.e. Closely packed cities are less useful in the long run, but can be a fun change.
There are times when closely packed cities are far more useful...say in a corporate end-game strategy. You get the same bonuses in every single city, and every one pays a base 4 in your wall street city (assuming you had the sense to found your corps in the WS city). A good Sushi(or CM)/mining combo can make large numbers of medium sized cities look a hell of a lot better than a medium number of very large cities.
Don't think about overlap (except in terms of only counting the overlapped tiles in your head towards one city or the other while planning out cities). Instead, think about resources.
Also, thinking about resources is useful.
Also, the foundation of your city planning should be picking up resources.
as a rule of thumb, about 3 or 4 tiles apart. sometimes 2. but yes, it's more important to think about resources first.
Yet another way of planning city placement: Base it on the terrain.
Make sure that every city has some good tiles to work. This means that if you have lots of Grasslands, Rivers and Forested Hills - along with too many special resources for a single city to work effectively - then you can fit in more cities in that terrain. But if all you have is Plains or Desert or Tundra - and endless coastlines with no seafood resources - then you may only need one city to harvest what ever special resource that is present. Building any other city in that entire region would just be a strain to your economy.
So the distance between cities could be anything from 2 to 10 tiles, depending on the circumstances. Also note that a few Food resources enables you to run several specialists in a city, resulting in the rest of the tiles around the city not being worked. If you wanna get any use of those tiles you need to have several other cities near by!
What you need to concern yourself with is working all the good tiles inside your borders. It doesn't matter what city works what tile, as long as you work them all - for as long as possible. With many cities in a rich region you get to work more of those tiles early on, while paying less in maintenance.
For the first 2-4 major cities I usually try to place them with no overlap while maximizing workable tiles and resources.
After that, I tend to place them for territorial land grabs, so they could be anywhere from 3 to 6 squares apart. In some areas, like those large expanses of jungle you sometimes see on large maps, I just place them about 4 squares center to center.
There is no hard and fast rule, but placing them too close will often stunt growth and limit what a city can do. I also try to place them where they don't include in deserts or mountains inside the BFC, but that is often not practicle.
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