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How many cities do you need to keep up in the late game?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by pi-r8, Nov 18, 2019.

  1. pi-r8

    pi-r8 Luddite

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    I was thinking of paying gold in order to get extra resources, as many as possible.
    I don't see how the workshops of state property are going to out-tech towns. For well-developed cities it's a +100% modifier either way (or 150% for towns with an academy), but the workshops only produce 4 hammers while the towns make 7 commerce with free speech and printing press.
     
  2. drewisfat

    drewisfat Prince

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    Paying gold for resources is expensive, usually you do the opposite. Probably wiser to get one of the wonders that gives 5 resources and trade for resources from there. But still there's not much payoff if we're limited to 6 cities. Factor in things like corporate maintenance, expansion fees, burning a great scientist, and not being able to found it until plastics. It doesn't sound beneficial to me.
    If we're not limited to 6 cities, just to being peaceful, then there might be room for rexing to a reasonable number if it's a water map, and then sushi might be in play.

    I assume the best leaders to win with just a few cities are HC/Liz. If there's a lot of room to rex then Vicky/Joao/Suleiman might enter consideration.
     
  3. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

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    I don't consider corporations viable if you have a tiny empire.
    If one is looking for an more unorthodox alternative to state property, then I would turn my attention to enviromentalism instead, might be best to support a empire of only a few gigantic metropolitan cities.
    Would help with a mapscript with loads of hills.
     
  4. pi-r8

    pi-r8 Luddite

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    In a game i just looked at, other civs were willing to trade me duplicate resources for about 10-20 gpt. I don't know what affects that price but i had about 15 cities so that's about 1 gpt per city. For sushi , 4 resources supports a scientist that makes 6 bpt with rep, or 12 after bonuses (15 with an academy). It also boosts trade routes. That seemd pretty viable to me!

    Environmentalism is a good idea though. I often find myself stuck building a lot ofhealth buildings in the late game, so environmentalism could skip most of those and just build wealth or research instead.

    I'm not sure which approach is better, but Im pretty sure state property is not the way to go with a small, tall empire.
     
  5. pi-r8

    pi-r8 Luddite

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    Still messing around with this. One unexpected problem I'm having with this is espionage. It's so easy for the AIs with their building discounts to build all the espionage buildings in all their cities, and some even run the espionage slider too. Then they steal a lot of spaceship techs from me. I can build those buildings too of course, but at the cost of tech speed or building all the other stuff that needs to be built. Is there a cheap, cost effective way to defending against espionage in the late game?
     
  6. AcaMetis

    AcaMetis Prince

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    I believe the most cost effective method would be to put a spy on every city you own. IIRC it'll provide the same protection as a Security Bureau would, but only on the actual city tile. If you're only worried about spies stealing techs, though, consider that once you've got Railroads connecting your cities enemy spies won't be spending too many turns outside your cities anyway.
     
  7. Fish Man

    Fish Man Emperor

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    There are two problems with townspam.

    The first is that you have to spend time growing them. And even with emancipation, that takes an eternity. In the last space race game I played, I won a mere 75 turns after teching communism. That means that, if every single cottage in my newly conquered territory was worked nonstop, I still would've only been able to turn them into towns just like 3 techs before I completely stopped teching - and that's assuming I went out of my way to tech the dead-end democracy and then switch out of caste system, which in and of itself has far too many advantages to pass up, like superworkshops, making your GP farms brutally efficient (you can, say, run 15 scientists for 2 turns to pop a quick GS during a golden age in your NE city), and letting you be flexible with specialists in general.

    The second is that, for all it's worth, a load of commerce doesn't do squat in helping you build much of anything. SS parts can't be rush-bought so good luck putting together your engine in like 30 turns when all your grassland is cottaged over instead of workshopped. Even if you're aiming to cobble together an army, the US gold-hammer conversion rate is terrible. It's 3:1 IIRC, which is about 3 to 6 times worse than slavery, depending on the size of your city. And that's before considering any production-enhancing modifiers you have, which whipping can use but US for some godforsaken reason cannot. So, that 7-commerce town, let's say you have all the gold buildings and it's 14-gpt...only actually translates to 5 hammers per turn when building anything of substance, and in some cases can't be translated into hammers outright. That's a pretty bad deal, if you ask me.

    You're also underselling SP-caste superworkshops. 4 hammers turns into 8 with forge + factory + power, but...these are buildings you want to build anyways in any city lategame! If you transition to hammer economy you can mostly ignore most gold/science buildings lategame (except for health or if, again, science victory). So yeah, maybe 8 < 14 in an ideal situation, but to get that 14 you have to throw away hundreds of hammers in every single city. And where are you gonna get those hammers, when you've gimped your main source of production? ;)

    Finally, the opportunity cost of free speech is buro, and the opportunity cost of US is rep. Those two civics are indispensable late-game, at least in most cases - buro in particular is so powerful because the commerce bonus is multiplicative with the additional gold/science ones afterwards, so +50% commerce and then +250% science modifier is actually +325% science in your capital! I've often ended games where research in the cap was in the 500-800bpt range simply because of this.
     
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  8. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

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    @Fish Man
    Lots of wonderful insights delivered!
    However... 75 turns to space from communism sounds more like a HOF situation or perhaps a really lucky ordinary game.
    Although most of what you say is direcly translatable to the situation investigated here (tiny empire, no land advantage), I do believe that there might be nuances that change things.

    But for example... burocracy is all but guaranteed to be even more mandatory in a small empire than it is in a large, for obvious reasons.
     
  9. pi-r8

    pi-r8 Luddite

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    Thanks, that's a good idea. Spies in every city + closed borders + constant counterespionage missions seems to do a good job of catching enemy spies, even when they've got a big advantage in EP points.
     
  10. pi-r8

    pi-r8 Luddite

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    @Fish Man
    Yeah, that's a good analysis of the advantages of state property/caste system workshops. But it seems like you're talking about the scenario where you've conquered a ton of cities. That's probably the best strategy, but I'm going for a variant here, where I conquer few, if any, cities.

    Still, a space win 75 turns after communism is very fast. Did you delay communism or something? How many cities did you have?

    When I have just 6-10 cities that I settled early, developing towns is no problem. I don't even need emancipation for it really, so I can still use caste until the emancipation unhappiness gets too bad.

    Getting hammers is definitely a problem with cottage cities. What I've been doing is running universal suffrage until I have sid's sushi/mining inc everywhere, then switching over to representation. And then gradually replacing them with workshops to make the spaceship parts. It's not ideal, but it's something. It's enough to get libraries/universities/observatories/laboratories everywhere, and I'm usually running a very high research rate. So it's pretty close to your "ideal" scenario, with 14 research from the towns vs 8 from workshops. Except it's 16 since I like financial leaders, and the towns have the flexibility to also build other stuff, while the workshops have to build research. The bigger problem is keeping up with health, especially if you build coal plants and industrial parks for extra production.

    So yeah, hammers are a problem.. but I feel like the biggest pain point is just raw beakers, to research all those expensive late game techs that the AI won't trade me. There might be benefit to switching civics during golden ages, running caste/rep to max specialists, and otherwise using emancipation/US to grow and build. I think you're overrating bureaucracy a bit though. In the best case, If you have a fin/riverside town, it'll produce 7*1.5 = 10.5 under bureau, vs 9 under free speech. Not much better... except free speech also boosts all your other cities, with lower maintenance, and the cultural bonus is often useful too.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2019
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  11. pi-r8

    pi-r8 Luddite

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    I decided to try analyzing this from another angle. Given only 6 cities, and "typical" terrain, what's the maximum beakers per turn you can get from them?
    (I know there's no such thing as a typical city, every city it's different. But we can take something as roughly average to see if we're at least in the ballpark)

    My approach: Financial leader + Representation, Free Speech, Emancipation, Free Market, Pacifism.

    "typical" city has a full 20 tiles to work on. 5 coast, 10 grass, 5 plains, plus the city center itself. Of the land tiles, 5 are hills. Of course some cities have more water, some have more hills, etc, this is just an average.
    1 seafood, 1 land food, 1 luxury resource. Let's say fish, rice, and dye.
    food bonuses:
    +2 from city, +6 from fish, +5 from rice.
    -5 from plains, -5 from hills.
    Net +1. I will add +9 from Sid's sushi, for +10 overall, enough to run 5 extra specialists.

    commerce:
    8 from each town. 6 from dye. 3 from each coast. Let's say there's 4 river tiles too. And 1 from the city center
    We are working 1 farm, 1 plantation, 5 mines, 8 towns, 5 coast
    1 (city center), 4 (river), 6 (dye), 15 (coast), 64 (towns)
    subtotal: 90 :commerce:

    we also have 5 trade routes (with an airport and free market), worth about 8 each, maybe even more
    total 130 :commerce:

    Let's say 100% research slider (doable with trades, wealth builds, great merchants etc).
    subtotal: 130 :science: per turn

    5 specialists in representation. If they were all scientists that would be +6 each, but some are other types. I'll say +4 each, so +20.
    total: 150 :science: per turn

    multipliers: library, university, observatory, laboratory, academy. +150%
    150 * 2.5 = 375 :science:

    375 beakers per city, 6 cities, so 2250 :science:.
    The oxford city will get an extra 150, golden ages will also add about 100 on average.
    Total: about 2500 :science: per turn.

    I know that's not a great research rate by the standards of huge empires, but with only 6 cities it's pretty good. Is there any way to do better?
    All I can think of is to get more food, so there's more specialists and settled great people. But that's only an incremental benefit.
     
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  12. georgjorge

    georgjorge Deity Wannabe

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    I'm still working on my Deity game for peaceful Space Race. One mapscript which is nice there is Hub, because

    1. You will have a good amount of land to settle without too much pressure
    2. You can fend off AI attacks easily (with the drawback that war bribes are also less effective)
    3. No single AI will run away with too much land

    Be more careful than usual about barbs, though...
     
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  13. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

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    @pi-r8 Have you really crunched the numbers and compared burocracy vs free speach in the scenario you sketch up?
    I find it much more easy to get one super capital geared up with fully fledged towns much earlier, and also to equip said city with all the relevant science multipliers...

    The fact that the +50% commerce bonus is multiplicative with all the other bonuses is really quite crazy.
    And when oxford comes into play, well that really kicks things into overdrive.


    3 screenshots from my current game, which I started to fool around with oromos, but it turned out it was in Iso, so might develop into such a try for space as you sketch out, althought diplomacy is a nightmare so that might be tough. :)

    Spoiler :

    A tiny island, with more or less only 6 (5?) decent cities to settle before CS, and only 8 after that.
    Managed to get 3 more cities overseas, two small islands which are always nice for BPT purposes but doesn't contribute much more, and one very far overseas island which might become usefull.
    Civ4ScreenShot0002.JPG

    I was playing late and was tired, not sure I did micro right, but have stared a GA and I'm starving abit, so the capital isn't even working all of it's towns. (2 Floodplain towns and a grassland town is given away. But still, 530 BPT feels very nice at this stage of the game.
    Civ4ScreenShot0001.JPG

    No other city is even close.
    Civ4ScreenShot0003.JPG



    And also, I don't recall that I have ever built a airport for the trade routes... -1 health and 250 hammers for one traderoute.
    Starting to feel like the scenario you are trying to lay out is very very theoretical. :)
     
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  14. pi-r8

    pi-r8 Luddite

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    @krikav
    Yeah that's a nice bureau capital. I agree that for your particular situation bureaucracy is better, since you've got hardly any cottages anywhere else. But don't forget that Free Speech also increases the base yield of towns, so it effectively "multiplies the multipliers" just like bureaucracy does.Right now your (golden age, printing press, river) towns produce 7 * 1.5 (bureau) * 3.25 (science) = 34.125. With Free Speech it would be 9 * 3.25 = 29.25, so it's not all that much worse, and of course boosting all your other cities too. Bureau does boost the trade routes and other commerce stuff too, but for towns it's surprisingly close.

    I'll be interested to see what happens if you do keep playing peacefully. My guess is that you'll fall short on beakers in the late game, unless you can really work the diplomacy game and either mess up the AIs with endless wars against each other, or get them to trade you all their resources for mega corporations. Seems like all your other cities are going to max out around 100 beakers, and that's not enough. Are you using rep? it's interesting that you made so many farms for your non-capital cities.

    And yeah, I freely admit that my scenario was very theoretical, I was just playing around with possibilities. I do like airports in the very late game though, when that trade route can be worth 8 :commerce: or more, and with full multipliers, it pays for itself pretty quickly.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2019
  15. Fippy

    Fippy Micro Junkie Queen

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    One in occ + good diplo skills :D
     
  16. pi-r8

    pi-r8 Luddite

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    any good examples of this? Seems like most occ games I've seen still fall back to "burn down any civ that threatens to out tech you".
     
  17. Fippy

    Fippy Micro Junkie Queen

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    Examples hmm..HoF has those games (occ Space),
    i remember playing one with Ragnar.

    HoF games always have great starts, so they are not like regular games but it was done on deity there.
    On Imm & lower occ with average starts can certainly be done, it's all about being strong early and then using good diplo & trading along with your ~700+ beakers from Bur.,Ox, lots of settled GP, wonders..everything combined in 1 super-city.
     
  18. pi-r8

    pi-r8 Luddite

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    Hmm, I took a quick look at the HoF forum but I'm not sure what to search for. All I could find were occ games on tiny maps and lower difficulties, with no writeups.

    The thing is, 700 beakers sounds like a lot from one city, but it's not nearly enough for late game research against good AIs. My goal is to generate 3000 by the end. Admittedly you can get a one-city-challenge capital up to huge research very quickly, but then it levels off pretty hard when it runs out of room to grow.
     
  19. Anysense

    Anysense King

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    You need about 15 good cties for that in industrial era. Some 80-100 raw :hammers: multiplied by forge, factory, power and SP plus some :commerce:. That is roughly 200:science: per turn from 1 city. Bureau cap and IW city can produce 400-500:science:, so even 10-12 cities can do it, but they all have to be really good.
     
  20. pi-r8

    pi-r8 Luddite

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    80-100 is a lot of raw :hammers:! 100 would be uh... 25 caste system grass workshops. Better hope for a lot of production bonus resources! Not to mention that the research falls away whenever you build a building or spaceship part.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2019

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