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How fast should I expand/is it more important to have good cities early on or several meh cities

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by jnebbe, Feb 23, 2020.

  1. jnebbe

    jnebbe Chieftain

    Dec 14, 2019
    Playing prince, I find that the ai expands much quicker than me at the start of the game. I'll be on 2 or 3 and the ai will be on 5. My cities are higher quality at the beginning since my workers are focusing on less cities, but it leads me having much fewer cities and then I fall far behind once the ai can improve all their cities.

    So, is it better to have good cities early on, or is it better to get a ton of land while you can and focus on improving them later?
  2. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

    Aug 25, 2011
    It depends. :)

    On prince, I believe it's better to have a roughly natural expansion rate, and that would mean that almost all new cities are acompanied by a worker, and that worker count would be as high as it needs to be for all cities to work improved tiles all the time.
    Then new cities as quickly as possible, constrained within those limits.

    On higher difficulties it's often so important to stake out "enough" land early on, that it's worth to go more heavily on settlers, even if it's suboptimal.
    Catching up in tech is doable, while catching up in land is really hard.
  3. Gumbolt

    Gumbolt Phoenix Rising

    Feb 12, 2006
    2 or 3 by what date? If the AI have 5 cities on prince this suggest 500bc or later? In which case I think you should have at least 5-6+ cities.

    Are you starting with worker as your first build? If your not going for a sea resource at start 2800bc is probably an okay date for your first city. On prince the science comes in a few turns quicker for each tech compared to Immortal/Deity.
  4. Anysense

    Anysense King

    Jan 30, 2015
    It is a very popular strategy to settle 2 or 3 cities and then whip and chop units to take AI's cities which they kindly settled and developed for you.
    gavenkoa likes this.

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