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How is wide vs tall balanced in Vox Populi?

Discussion in 'Strategy Section' started by KampfKorra, Aug 19, 2016.

  1. KampfKorra

    KampfKorra Chieftain

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    Hey guys! I come from BNW vanilla and there tall is just a way better option than wide. A tall 4 city empire will outscience a wide 10 city empire by a large margin.

    Is this better balanced in Vox Populi? Can a wide empire with 10 cities+ keep up with a tall 4 city empire regarding science?
     
  2. grmagne

    grmagne Warlord

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    In Vox Populi you're usually trying to expand as much as possible. There are only a few civs/strategies where you're satisfied with just a few huge cities. Once you get used to this mod, you won't think about "tall" versus "wide" very often. You'll just be trying to expand to all the good city locations while making sure that you have the proper infrastructure to support your people's needs.

    The key differences:
    1. In BNW there was a huge happiness penalty in a wide empire but in VP the happiness system has been completely re-written. Large empires are sustainable as long as you have enough buildings in your infrastructure to maintain the population. If crime is a problem, build more walls/castles/police stations, etc. If poverty is a problem, build more markets, caravansaries, etc.

    2. In BNW National Wonders are very powerful but difficult to build in a wide empire. In VP National Wonders aren't quite as overpowered and they're easy to build in a wide empire.

    3. It was easy to win a science victory in BNW with a tall empire, especially with Rationalism. In VP the science victory is much harder to achieve and the Rationalism tree is now just average. Wide empire are still a bit slower in researching technologies but there are some catch-up mechanisms to balance it out.

    4. In BNW the small civilizations were able to build the vast majority of the wonders because of their high science. In VP the wonders are also tied to culture and they seem to get a bit more spread out than in the vanilla game.

    There are lots of other reasons, but I think those are the key ones.
     
  3. Zymos

    Zymos Chieftain

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    You do have to really take into consideration what the city will give you. There IS a noticeable cost increase to science, culture, tourism and happiness. I believe it's currently set to 10% increase per city.

    Thus, the city you are founding has to be able to stand on its own, to eventually recoup the losses in those yields. Either that or it has to provide nice benefits such as multiple (3+) luxuries or luxuries + strategic resources.

    If you have enough good city spots that fill these criteria then go ahead, expand away.
     
  4. tu_79

    tu_79 Deity

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    If you want to know what distance between cities is appropriate, then look at your food tiles. If you think you can plow lots of farms together and/or there is massive food tiles, then you can place them at 3-4 tiles away. Only if you think your game is going to take many turns, there is few food, and your cities will have a strong culture or border expansion, then settle every 7 tiles. Or something in between.

    There is no happiness penalty for number of cities. There is still the science penalty for every owned/puppeted city and a cultural penalty for every owned city. But then, some religious beliefs give bonus per number of converted cities, and you are likely going to convert all your owned and puppeted cities.
     
  5. 59saintdane

    59saintdane Warlord

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    One of the biggest changes is that citizens no longer generate science except in the capital, while there are more flat yields for science (e.g. libraries now provide flat science instead of science per citizen). Early on, most of the science in a city comes from the council, library and working the scientist slot (which you should always be doing), none of which scales with population. It's almost always better to go wide as it will give you more of everything, and happiness isn't too big of a problem.
     
  6. merill

    merill Prince

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    Science sources which doesn't scale with more cities (or almost):
    - wonders (world & national & natural)
    - great improvements
    - trade
    - allied City states
    - spy "steal science points" mission
    - killing units (with a policy)
    - great works (with a policy)

    Science sources which scale with more cities:
    - buildings
    - tiles, resources & improvements (including the city one)
    - border grow
    - new pop (if you have enough happiness)
    - specialists (if you have enough pop to use them)

    Science sources which is independent:
    - great scientist bulb (it scales with your science per turn, if i remember well)
    - number of discovered major civilisations (reduce the cost)
    - happy empire
    - golden age (but it's easier to have an happy empire with a tall empire, so maybe as neutral as it seems)
    - spy tech steal
    - research agreement / tech trading

    i don't know where to put the "convert city" from the belief...

    With more cities, your main science input switch from the first category to the second to counter the malus.
    The first category of science is way more effective for a tall civ.
    That's why with tradition you have a science wonder which help with academy generation.

    edit: forgot the spies
    edit2: forgot the unit kill & research agreement
     
  7. Big J Money

    Big J Money Emperor

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    Maybe this is naive, but doesn't this mean that once you have the 10 "best" cities you can settle for science production, you can no longer expand without reducing your effective science production?

    Example: I have 10 cities that each produce at least 15 science. It's now impossible for me to settle any new cities that will beat the 10% increase cost of the city itself if any city sites are only capable of producing 14 science or less.

    Unless after exploring I happen to find a spot that's better than the ones I have now (and now it means one of my current cities is no longer pulling its weight in Science).

    The same goes for culture.
     
  8. merill

    merill Prince

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    note: science & culture malus is additive
    1 city: 110% cost
    5 cities: 150% cost
    10 cities: 200% cost
    40 cities: 500% cost

    Settling a new city always reduce your effective scientific advance. But in the long term, you may improve this new city and make it pay for your loss.

    Why going wide? => more unit production, more gold to rush units, more max unit limit. => war! (and also more paper for diplo units and more prod/gold to build them).
    why going tall? => better (mean) spots for cities, better culture (as culture prod can't increase as well as science with city number), bonus to tourism. => pacifist.

    edit:
    your ten cities: 150s for 200% cost => like 75s
    your eleven cities: 164s for 210% cost => like 78s
    It's better with your 11th city, by 3s.

    Check your mean s/city: here it's 15, so you need for your x° city at least 15*(1-(1/(1+(x-1)/10))) science per turn
    This number increase but it can't be higher than your mean science per turn (asymptote)
    (It's a "bad" idea in your example if it was your 141° city)

    note: You didn't consider not-city science sources in your example.
     
  9. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    People have shown the math earlier, and technically you can always generate enough science to make a new city work.

    However, realistically you are fighting two key forces:

    1) The capital generally produces much more than your satellite cities. So the malus can hit pretty hard on your main science output.

    2) It takes a lot of infrastructure to make a new city competitive with existing ones. All of the time spent building granaries, aqueducts, wells, walls, etc are turns your city is underperforming in culture and/or science. Until you get your city fully structured up, it is a big negative.

    One way to help offset that is to do your expansion waves after banking (for pioneers) or biology (for colonists). The immediate infrastructure reduces the negative waiting period.
     
  10. Strigvir

    Strigvir Emperor

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    You are over-exaggerating the malus from new cities. The new city only needs to produce 16% (on the smallest map) of the average science output to overcome the malus, past that it's a pure increase.
     
  11. tu_79

    tu_79 Deity

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    The theory is all good and well, but in practice how many games are won scientifically when going tall compared to wide (separated cities vs nearby cities)? I use to settle tall, so I cannot easily compare.
     
  12. Strigvir

    Strigvir Emperor

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    In almost every game I had the top science non-Korea AI is the one with the most cities.
     
  13. merill

    merill Prince

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    For science, wide is easier: you just have to construct your buildings and using scientists.

    If you want to compete in science with a tall empire it's more complex (and the trades-routes are a catch-up mechanism, so it's even harder to be the first).
     
  14. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    Does anyone know (in plain English, please don't send me code) on how the science for a GS bulb is calculated? I know its based on your science output, but how much would be very useful.
     
  15. merill

    merill Prince

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    sure
    Code:
    // Beakers boost based on previous turns
    int iPreviousTurnsToCount = m_pUnitInfo->GetBaseBeakersTurnsToCount();
    iValue = pPlayer->GetScienceYieldFromPreviousTurns(GC.getGame().getGameTurn(), iPreviousTurnsToCount);
    if (pPlayer->GetGreatScientistBeakerMod() != 0)
    {
    	iValue += (iValue * pPlayer->GetGreatScientistBeakerMod()) / 100;
    	iValue = MAX(iValue, 0); // Cannot be negative
    }
    
    // Modify based on game speed
    iValue *= GC.getGame().getGameSpeedInfo().getResearchPercent();
    iValue /= 100;
    Spoiler :D huhu :
    We get the "BaseBeakersTurnsToCount" (5 now, 6 since mars, 10 before, see it in UnitChanges.sql) previous turn of science. Then, we mult this by the % from "GreatScientistBeakerModifier" (?100?) and by game speed. voila!
    TL;DR : Your 5 previous turns of science (at normal speed)
     
  16. Big J Money

    Big J Money Emperor

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    That's all I needed to hear, thanks :) In my description I was treating it as compounding.
     
  17. Galbias

    Galbias Prince

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    Wide play is definitely better, for reasons already mentioned but mostly due to Happiness. It really requires a different thought process compared to BNW, where going 4 or even 3 tall cities and then hunkering down is a fairly effective strategy and I only go past that if an amazing city location is knocking on my door.
     
  18. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch Supporter

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    If you can't manage happiness, defend your cities properly, or pay for the infrastructure, wide is not always better. I've seen many AI win a game with just 3-4 cities. There is no clearly 'better' or 'worse' wide/tall strat.

    G
     
  19. Galbias

    Galbias Prince

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    It's definitely possible to do well and win with a couple tall cities and I've done that before, mainly in cases where I don't have extra room and I don't want to be aggressive for whatever reason. I would say that in most cases if you have a decent city location available, you're making the wrong choice by not settling it, a good city is going to pay for the new city penalties and then some. There are a number of things that can make settling less of a good idea like you said, but I guess what I want to say is that if none of them are in play (I feel like I'll be able to handle defense reasonably and can handle things like workers/happiness) and I come across a good city location I'm pretty much always going to take it regardless of the Civ I'm playing or policies that I've gotten. Up to a reasonable limit, anyways.
     
  20. Rolepgeek

    Rolepgeek Chieftain

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    Also, if you grab Sainthood and spread your religion, then Tall instantly becomes better, simply because no new city can support it's own fair share of Science/Culture.
     

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