1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

How fast to expand?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Bellringer, Jan 5, 2013.

  1. Bellringer

    Bellringer Chieftain

    Joined:
    May 1, 2009
    Messages:
    47
    Location:
    Sydney
    My problem in playing at Prince level is how fast to expand without crashing the economy. My adversaries always seem to have built more cities than me. I build 2 cottages in every city and work sea tiles as well but my gold to research rate is always dropping. Even though I have space to expand, if I try to catch up with the number of cities, my economy collapses. It takes 40 turns to grow a village into a town, just to get 1 gold more and by this time the city maintenance and inflation increases faster, I reckon. How do you cope?
     
  2. Shaandore

    Shaandore another mathematician

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2010
    Messages:
    868
    This question might seem like an easy one, but in fact it is one of the hardest things to master.

    The best answer is "it depends". On Prince difficulty though the maintenance costs are not that high, so you should be able to live with 5-6 cities early on (first 100 turns) without serious cottaging.

    But one thing is for sure: 2 cottage per city is a very BAD rule. You want to specialize your cities. Only build cottages in capital and a couple more cities, and concentrate on hammers in other cities. If you improve your land properly, and stick to working improved tiles, you shouldn't crash your economy.

    The best thing to do if you are stuck is to post a game (4000BC save + screenshot of starting position) and play slowly with the community's advice. The problem might not be with the number of cities settled, but their placement, and other economic factors (techs, trade routes, fear of lowering the slider, etc.)
     
  3. traius

    traius His own worst enemy

    Joined:
    May 27, 2012
    Messages:
    938
    Keep your cities close to reduce maintenance, build the Great Lighthouse if you have so many coastal tiles that using the coast is acceptable (coast tiles are not good tiles, even with financial. Passable at best), and open up as many trade routes as possible with the AI. Make an island city if possible. If you built the great lighthouse, build 3-4 island cities. Prioritize currency and code of laws.
     
  4. Apricottage

    Apricottage Warlord

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2012
    Messages:
    111
    On Immortal, I find the best way to do things is to get a couple of Settlers immediately after growing to size 3, then building up initial infrastructure (Granary, Library) before getting set to whip out a few more. Because you are playing on a lower difficulty, I expect you can build more Settlers. Usually I end up with 6-8 cities before 1 AD, but this depends on the game very heavily and I do not build them all at once. Building cities in waves seems to be much, much stronger, because my Workers can catch up and maintenance costs stay low while technology and infrastructure reaches an acceptable level. My best recommendation for you is to see how many cities you can build, and if it tanks your research, to build less in the next game. It's something that you need to get a feel for, and can't be explicitly taught. I hope this helps.
     
  5. Mantic0re

    Mantic0re Prince

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2008
    Messages:
    315
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Test this out for yourself. Very good players on this forum will often have different working solutions to this question. Find your answers based on how you prefer to play.

    1. Overlap is good. It lets you grow cottages with less loss in early growth.
    2. Build more workers. Often this nagging drain is worsened by a missing road or working an unimproved tile or two.
    3. Scientist specialist can help you continue to research at an uncomfortably low sliider position.
    4. Specialize cities. Pick one - two cities to be cottage towns. Rest are unit/workers/settler pumps.
     
  6. Bellringer

    Bellringer Chieftain

    Joined:
    May 1, 2009
    Messages:
    47
    Location:
    Sydney
    Thank you guys for your quick response. It would be great to be tutored by an expert, Shaandore! I have attached 3 files for your perusal. Apricottage says that by 1 AD he can build 6 to 8 cities but by 100AD I have managed only 4. Problem is that your cities stop growing when you are creating workers and settlers and I have to fight barbarians. Nevertheless, by 720AD I am not in bad shape, but by 1340AD things have started slipping badly.

    The games I can manage to win on Prince are ones where I get an island continent to myself. Then I can rely mainly on building a strong navy. Otherwise I am soon wiped out by an overwhelming force. In this game I have a pretty good piece of territory and there should be no excuse for losing! But Montezuma is nearby and he will soon attack.

    I need to build a couple of cities far away down south rather than close to the capital because in an earlier game he came with galleys and built a city further up north. On replaying the game, now I am blocking out his galleys with my cultural borders and securing copper. But I reckon he will attack once he builds caravels. In 1 to 1 combat my ship will always lose, so I need 50% more naval strength, which is a tall order.
    What can I do better if I replay after 720AD?
     

    Attached Files:

  7. Windsor

    Windsor Flawless

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2008
    Messages:
    1,385
    Location:
    Norway
    You need to build way more workers, chop them out. And you need to build granaries in every city. Granary is the most important building to get. What you don't need early is things like religion.

    Do you have the initial 4000BC autosave?
     
  8. Ghpstage

    Ghpstage Deity

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2009
    Messages:
    2,944
    Location:
    Bristol, England
    What Windsor said, and your city placement and tile priorities need improving too. Cities should have access to a food resource and tile strength (which determines which should be improved and worked first) goes in order of Resources>Floodplains>Grass>Plains with plains being very weak compared to a of the others.

    Also you could do with more exploration and engaging in diplomacy, theres plenty of valuable overseas trade routes available from the 2 AIs you have met and others that may be reachable if you just signed Open Borders and sent a ship to explore their territories. There are potential resource trades available too.
    You are in bad shape long before 1AD and at 720AD your still in bad shape! The biggest problems are to be found in the first 100 turns, solve those and it will help immensly.
     
  9. Bellringer

    Bellringer Chieftain

    Joined:
    May 1, 2009
    Messages:
    47
    Location:
    Sydney
    I have attached the files for 4000BC and 3280BC, at which stage I am ready to start producing workers and settlers, when London has grown to its limit of Pop 5. What tiles should I work first? I should produce hammers or gold without increasing population otherwise I will just get angry citizens until I have built a library and use food to produce scientists.

    Why not get religion early, to enable buildings to be constructed 25% faster with Organized Religiion? You need those techs soon anyway to get Monarchy, without which you cannot grow the population significantly. It also gives culture, without which my borders don't expand. What should I research next?

    My score is 72 in 3280BC. If you have other suggestions I can play accordingly and compare the score.

    I have explained my strategy for locating cities in the south-east quickly, otherwise Montezuma is settling in my territory. Second city, York, in the north-west gives Stone & Clam, whereas in the east it gives Rice & Cow. Where do you suggest?

    Thanks.
     

    Attached Files:

  10. Bellringer

    Bellringer Chieftain

    Joined:
    May 1, 2009
    Messages:
    47
    Location:
    Sydney
    I have replayed from 3280BC. I decided to expand before reaching the growth limit in London and by 500BC I have 4 cities. I built granaries, as you advised and am producing plenty of food. Cities that have reached the growth limit can produce workers and settlers. I decided to produce Scientists in London, military in York and gold in Nottingham. My budget is now in deficit and I may need to build more cottages in Hastings. How does that sound?
     

    Attached Files:

  11. Apricottage

    Apricottage Warlord

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2012
    Messages:
    111
    You should pretty much always go Worker first (exception being Fishing Boat first or something like that), then expand to size 3 (or sometimes 4 if you have something crazy like two wet Corn) while building Warriors and only then start building a Settler, which you chop out. Maybe build a second Worker before the Settler so you can chop faster and get a slower second city and a faster third city. Speeds up your opening a ton.
     
  12. pepe26

    pepe26 Lacrosse Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2012
    Messages:
    1,360
    Location:
    Berlin
    until you learn to adjust to the map individually, there is a good rule of thumb as to the early build order in your capitol
    worker - warrior - warrior (- warrior....) - settler - worker


    often the second city will produce a worker first as well because working unimproved tiles is VERY bad

    basically, you stop producing warriors as soon as you can afford to (no barb pressure) and as soon as growing another population will not give you a possibility to work a strong tile... strong tiles are 5 or 6 food+hammer or commerce tiles such as gold/silver/gems(/fur)

    if your capital is gonna be your commerce city you do NOT want to whip in this city! grow to happy cap quickly and work as many cottages as possible. get a great scientist to build an academy! this is very essential for your commerce city! dont skimp on the early academy!
     
  13. Luigiii2

    Luigiii2 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2012
    Messages:
    69
    Location:
    Somewhere under the Rainbow
    I can't see your situation(computer unable to download attached files, lol) but if Monty is nearby you may need a slighlty more militaristic strategy. After your third main city is built(just assuming you are using the traditional strategy of having three early cities) a fourth city to block monty early could be quite useful, assuming there is some type of strategic chokepoint nearby...
     
  14. Bellringer

    Bellringer Chieftain

    Joined:
    May 1, 2009
    Messages:
    47
    Location:
    Sydney
    Thanks everybody for your suggestions.

    I have produced 6 workers for 4 cities and with granaries and plenty of food, they are reaching the growth limit. If I click the "avoid growth" icon, what happens to the food? Does it stop producing extra food to avoid growth or does the food accumulate for future use? Do you still keep working the food tiles or switch the citizen to hammer and gold tiles even if they are less productive. Should I build workshops to reduce food and increase hammers?

    I have built 6 cities by 125AD, 2 Academies and gold is -2 per turn at 60% science.

    What long term strategy do you advise for research? I reckon, with an island continent, I should aim for Astronomy.
     
  15. Nials

    Nials Prince

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Messages:
    592
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Denmark
    Avoid growth simply prevents the city from growing another population point. The food bar will still get filled up, but the city will never actually grow beyond its current size. Once the food bar is full and the option is enabled, any surplus food is completely wasted. You usually don't want to use this option.

    Rather, if the city in question has a decent food surplus and is at the happy cap, you can grow into unhappiness and use Slavery to whip the unhappy citizens away. If you're not running Slavery (you really should be running it), then simply try to re-arrange tiles as a food surplus won't do anything for you at this point.

    I'm not a fan of workshops until quite later in the game as they simply don't give great yields early on. When you first unlock them, they give -1:food:+1:hammers:, which is pretty bad for a tile improvement. I typically want at least 2 of Guilds/Chemistry/Caste System before considering them (each of these will add +1:hammers:).

    Btw. you should look at how many beakers you are producing, not what the slider is running at. 50% :science: in an empire producing 400 :commerce: will produce more :science: than 70% :science: in an empire producing 200 :commerce: (200 :science: vs. 140 :science:).
     
  16. Apricottage

    Apricottage Warlord

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2012
    Messages:
    111
    The above post is correct in every way that I'm aware of. He's wise in the ways of Civ; listen to him.

    I'll expand on what he's saying. One thing you should do with your research slider is to run it either at 0% or 100%. This is a good idea because of Libraries. Let's say you have 125 Commerce, 25 Maintenance, and a Library in every city (no Markets because they take way more hammers than they're worth). You run the slider at 80%. This means you break even with maintenance. You get 125 beakers per turn for, say, 5 turns. That's a total of 725 beakers. If instead you run 0% for one turn and 100% for the next 4 turns, you get 0 beakers for the first turn, then 750 over the next 4. You get 25 extra beakers. The little things add up; make sure to take advantage of them. I believe the difference is more significant the higher your maintenance costs are, but I could easily be wrong. Please point out if I messed up with my math anywhere!

    Regarding long-term strategy: you really have two options here, and neither of them involve beelining Astronomy. The first is to chop away all the Jungle and replace it with Cottages, Workshops, and a couple of Farms, and then use the wonderful commerce and production bed as a way to win Space Race. The second is to chop away all the Jungle and replace it with Cottages, Workshops, and a couple of Farms, and then use the wonderful commerce and production bed as a way to kill everyone else. I would advise going to Liberalism as is usual, and using the free tech on something handy like Printing Press (because you're not looking to score an immediate advantage, but rather a long-term advantage). Start working towards Combustion. With the ships you get from that, you ought to be able to rule the oceans easily. Then build up a nice stack (10 Artillery and 8 Infantry ought to handle nearly everything) and go out to kill everything. Or go for Space Race. Either works. But if you go for Space Race, make sure you have a good-sized fleet in the southeast to destroy Monty's stack when it appears. Not if, when. Hope that helps. Have fun!
     
  17. Nials

    Nials Prince

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Messages:
    592
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Denmark
    Haha, thanks to you, sir :hatsoff:

    Your example is wrong, though.

    125 :commerce: at 80% :science: would give 100 base :science:, which when multiplied by Libraries becomes 125 effective :science:. 20% :gold: gives us 25 :gold: in our treasury each turn and since our maintenance costs are also 25 :gold:, we break even, as you noted. After 5 turns, we have produced 125*5 = 625 :science:.

    If we run 100% :gold: for one turn, we get (125-25) :gold: = 100 :gold:. Now we can run 100% :science: for 4 turns, which is 125*4*1.25 = 625 :science:. Thus, exactly the same end result.
     
  18. Apricottage

    Apricottage Warlord

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2012
    Messages:
    111
    You're right; I switched a number around in there. Was trying to do it in my head. More shame to me. Thank you for pointing out my mistake. However, this style of on/off research is very popular, and I do not think it is simply a fad. It may have been a coincidence that my research rates seemed to go up when I started using this method and I just understood some other aspect of the game better, but I believe that binary research has value outside of masking your true commercial capabilities in multiplayer. How precisely it works escapes me at present. Perhaps it's related to how things work when you Libraries in some cities but not all cities.
     
  19. Yudishtira

    Yudishtira Spiritual/Creative

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2012
    Messages:
    2,800
    Location:
    Brisbane
    I heard somewhere it was due to rounding errors - since the game rounds down everything it gives you. Try using an example with less 'round' numbers...;)
     
  20. pepe26

    pepe26 Lacrosse Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2012
    Messages:
    1,360
    Location:
    Berlin
    that has been fixed by some patch, as far as i know... the point of turning the slider down to 0% now is called "deficit research" in case you wanna read up on it :)
     

Share This Page