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How far cities should be from each other?

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Strategy & Tips' started by Wardog, May 3, 2003.

  1. Arrian

    Arrian Warlord

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2001
    Messages:
    276
    Location:
    Middletown, CT, USA
    I started off as a "OCS" guy (city-x-x-x-x-city), and stayed that way even when I switched from "builder" to "warmonger" style of play.

    Lately, however, I've been using denser builds (city-x-x-x-city) more often (especially if I'm commerical). My empire is usually a mix 'n match of the two styles. Occasionally, for water/use of really juicy tiles/defense purposes, I may even build a city or two with 2 tiles between (city-x-x-city). That pains me, though.

    I have a thing with corruption. I'm ok with the way it works in the game and all, don't get me wrong. It's just that I feel I have a duty to fight it. I want empire-wide corruption (F1 stats) under 25%, preferrably under 20% by the end of the game, but yet have a huge empire that is near the domination limit. So while I have accepted some overlap, I'm never gonna be an ICS type of guy.

    -Arrian
     
  2. Bouchehog

    Bouchehog Warlord

    Joined:
    May 3, 2003
    Messages:
    146
    I favour a mix of the two. Under despotism there is a huge advantage in have a very tight grouping of cities, under democracy it is far better to have a more open placement so that cities aren't hindered.

    A point that has not been raised is that of production modifiers. Whilst it is true that in an unmodified state, it is better to have two size five cities than a size ten city (two cities grown at twice the rate of one) this does not factor in factories, etc. Not only do the two cities need a factory each, but their lesser basal food production means that they are less able to support non-food producing production resources (mined mountains and hills).

    Thus during the early game I pack my cities tightly for the first two rings, then exand outwards-in. During the late ancient or early middle-ages I usually go on a rampage and will build my FP or palace hop my capital to the enemies capital - thus I've got a second area of productivity more suited to the later ages.

    I'm going to write an article on opening play as I disagree with some of crackers points (or rather the emphasis of his points), however I'd like to establish myself first and get more used to PTW.
     
  3. Procifica

    Procifica ACW Scenario Creator

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2003
    Messages:
    2,487
    Location:
    Washington State, USA
    There is no point in doing OCP for outer rings, because those cities are so corrupted you'll never get hospitals and other needed buildings build very fast, unless you use Communism (which is greatly inferior to Democracy in my opinion, unless you're warring alot, and even then Democracy isn't that bad for short wars).
     
  4. TheNiceOne

    TheNiceOne Emperor

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2002
    Messages:
    1,372
    Location:
    Norway
    I think I've given several arguments for why the latter isn't true, and heard very little that counter them.

    You have a point, but note one that is even close to the argumnets for MCP (Medium City Spacing - 13 tiles for each city on average) IMHO.
    First, I don't argue for two size 5 cities vs. one size 10 city. I argue for 21 size 12 cities vs: 13 size 12/21 cities (before/after hospitals) on a land area that has 21*13 tiles.

    Before hospitals, my MCP has the same amount of citizens in each city (12 when fully grown), so improvements will have the same effect, but I get to build libraries, marketplaces etc. in 8 more cities, giving me a much higher culture and research/income capacity. It costs to build those improvements, but it is essentially free, since most of the shields come from tiles that would otherwise not be worked until after hospitals.


    After hospitals, you have a marginal point, but I still think I can counter it and even turn it against you. Yes, I need to build more factories, and more plants if I don't get Hoover Dam on the continent, but I can build my factories why you're busy building hospitals.

    So not only do you have to reasearch/buy Sanitation (which I can happily ignore), but you have to build hospitals before your factories, and my factories have been in production a long time before you finish your hospitals and factories.
    If you choose to build factories first, then it evens out a bit, but then we're back to the picture where my 8 additional cities gets their shields from otherwise unused tiles, and it takes even longer for you to get hospitals and start growing.


    And btw, the added corruption by having 8 additional cities is an issue, but not an important one. Before hospitals, the added corruption is much less than the increased production by having 8 more cities, and after hospitals I have a much bigger chance of having WLTKD to fight the corruption.

    So, if anything, my MCP will give a better effective production (in addition to higher culture and research/income), even when you factor in the added improvements I have to build (but subtracts the hospitals).


    I do agree that a mix is favourable though, but I think the optimal mix is a dense build on all productive cities, and then either OCP and a temple in your total corrupt cities (for maximum terrain) or complete ICS in your total corrupt cities (for one shield/gold per turn) and either no improvements (produce wealth for one additional gpt) or barracks and military production.
     
  5. Bouchehog

    Bouchehog Warlord

    Joined:
    May 3, 2003
    Messages:
    146
    Sorry TheNiceOne, I wasn't very clear in explaining myself – I entirely agree with you vis-à-vis the city placement and was not trying to argue for an OCP. When I say 'tight' I mean really tight. I give an example - in my current (and first PTW) game I have one city adjacent to my capital, two that are one square away and have another with two spaces between itself and the capital (I think). My reasoning for this was many fold:

    • Settlers are more quickly settled – an exponential difference despite just a one or two turn difference.
    • There is less corruption
    • There is less tile waste (as you say – each city only needs 12 tiles prior to sanitation)
    • One worked tile can serve two cities if timing is right.
    • Better for defence - one spearman can service my four core cities!
    • It increases the number of cities within a small territory.
    • In summary it’s great for warmongering + rapid expansion.

    My justification for such a tight grouping was simply that the capital is a settler factory and will eventually be disbanded, thus leaving my cities with a more moderate placement. Likewise when I eventually move my palace or build a fp I will use a MCP of about 15 or so tiles because by that stage I will have more justification for the additional space. I never justify a greater placement even if there is a huge amount of space, purely because I wish to counteract corruption. Your point about 13 squares is a little tighter than my ideal. I will end up with that around my original capital, but I’d sooner have another two or three squares per city at this later stage. Whether this can be justified or not will be born out in the facts of my current game – I shall see which centre is more powerful (accounting for differences in resources) and make a study of it.

    I think that I gave the wrong impression - I’m all for MCP in the later stages and really tight placement in despotism. I was merely trying to encourage debate by pointing out that there is the effect of a multiplier, but I think you make some very good points to counter this. However I’d lean toward building factories before hospitals and my building would give a bigger effect and cost less per turn – your method could make up for this in bulk.

    IMHO it all depends on corruption and production in the core cities. Outside of this, where cities are corrupted beyond 95% (i.e. unrecoverable) then I’ll use a OCP build because the only thing these cities can offer is marginal production and vast numbers of citizens. In these cities it really doesn’t matter how many factories and market places I build because they’ll only multiply uncorrupted production.

    In the end we’re arguing over two city squares and I don’t think either party will be able to justify their case – I get bigger cities that have a better multiplier effect, you get several more cities, but maybe only one or two in the core (where I’m using MCP too) and the others are corrupted to hell.
     
  6. Bouchehog

    Bouchehog Warlord

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    I should also have added that I'll post screenies of what I'm talking about as soon as gotm entry has finished. Linked of course. ;)
     
  7. TheNiceOne

    TheNiceOne Emperor

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    Thanks for the reply Bouchehog, I guess we're have almost the same view after all.

    I think that an even closer placement than 13 squares per city may be optimal, at least in the early game, possibly combined with disbanding some cities later as you suggest - but I guess I enjoy to not have it too cramped. I can win on deity with 13 squares, so I'm happy with that.

    I agree that 13 or 15 squares doesn't matter much. I never place the cities on the perfect grid position anyway, so some cities gets more spaces. This is especially the case with my coastal cities, which normally get 8+ land squares, and 8+ sea squares, providing a high income in the later stages in the game.

    BTW, I've been thinking of creating a special challenge for everyone that will try their pure builder skills: A scenario on a tiny pangea map with no barbraians/goody huts. There is only one opponent on a one-tile island and all ships are removed from the game - which effectively means that you will never be able to wage war against anyone, and not even make contact with your one opponent. Space race is the only victory condition, which means that the goal is to settle your pangea land as fast and effectively as possible to research up to space components.

    Everyone is free to try OCP or as dense city placement as they wish, and we'll get to see which strategy that gives the fastest victory. Anyone interested?
     
  8. Ville

    Ville Deity

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2002
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    Location:
    Espoo, Finland
    For me it would be OCP because I'm a builder.
    I usually have absolute OCP but now I have started to use something like this:
     

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