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How to build first 1-2 settlers: whip or slow build?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Willem V, Jun 5, 2020.

  1. Willem V

    Willem V Chieftain

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    Thanks all, always happy to get some feedback. Well maybe not always...

    But you're right @Snowbird, I will definitely concede that I could and should have phrased that better and I am genuinely thankful you took the time to answer my questions.

    I am just trying to get a feel here for other peoples play style and choices in the early game, which is easily the weakest part of my play (next to diplo). I just wanted to compare playstyles which I tried to translate to absolutes, because shades of grey are less easy to compare. No harm or stupidity intended.

    @Fippy: I still experience that research hole you mention at immortal difficulty quite frequently, at around the time I need to decide on research for Alpha or Aesthetics (or maybe Monarchy or other variants), and it is annoying me greatly. I typically get out via building research/wealth/failgold/raising happy cap, but it usually takes a while to get any of these options available. The only way I see to avoid it is to not expand past 4 to 5 cities, but the feeling I get from the veterans here is that you should typically keep expanding if there is room and as fast as possible at that (like 8 cities by turn 100 if possible, that sort of stuff).

    So do you (or any other veterans) have any advice on how to avoid this typical first research hole? Or is it binary, in the sense that you will always (well not always, but you know what I mean) experience it if you choose to expand further than a set amount of cities in your early rex game? And how do you (and others) typically get out of it?
     
  2. Windsor

    Windsor Flawless

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    No, it's not binary at all. Civ4 starting positions are not at all balanced so how much flexibility will be very different between games. But the key is to learn how fast you need to get pottery and/or writing.

    Only going for Animal Husbandry or Bronze Working rather than trying to pick up both before going pottery or writing should strongly be considered. On lower levels picking both is never a problem, but immortal/deity can start to punish that. Also, one of your first 3 cities has to pick up some decent commerce.
     
  3. Snowbird

    Snowbird Prince

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    Load Buffy mod, put multiple chops (+1 pop whip if happiness allows) in warrior. Repeat in other cities as needed.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2020
  4. Fippy

    Fippy Mycro Junkie Queen

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    Failgold can be good, even without stone i sometimes put hammers into SH which usually goes early.
    Myst counts as economy tech early.
     
  5. Willem V

    Willem V Chieftain

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    I thought Lain, and by extension the other veterans here, frowned upon using that addition to the game in the Buffy Mod. Never used it, maybe because of that. But it seems like a very powerful move, being able to produce gold very early game.

    Is there consensus on whether it is fair play and fair game to use this trick? Or are there people who consider it as sort of cheating or cheap?
     
  6. Fippy

    Fippy Mycro Junkie Queen

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    I consider it cheating (not in base game).
     
    Willem V likes this.
  7. shakabrade

    shakabrade Praise Vivec!

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    Personally, I don't like it and don't use it as it makes no sense. I also don't use trade deal tricks (ways to get much more gold from the AIs in gpt deals), don't feel okay with galleon chains and also don't use worker baits. Culture by espionage is also not an option for me. Pretty much all the things which were obviously not intended are no go for me. Plus, most of them are tedious to set up. Maybe that is the real reason why I don't like them. :D
    And yet, I would totally chop into the SS Engine for Space Colony... Also, I liberate cities to psychos in early game which is also OP move (however that bonus is intended) but there is nothing else to do to prevent a 1500BC DoWs you mostly can't do anything against on Deity. Murky waters.

    I think it is okay to use all exploits in HoF. Don't really know how to defend that logic but it is in spirit of squeezing out the maximum from the game. Speedrun mentality. I actually enjoy seeing those crazy BC spaceship games.
     
    Willem V and Fine_Distinction like this.
  8. Snowbird

    Snowbird Prince

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    Personally, I don't use chop to gold overflow either, but overflow disappearing into thin air does not make any sense at all.

    Up to 3.17 (including it I believe) too big overflow going into gold was intended feature, so BW was also money making tech. I don't know what is the deal with otherwise respectable mod as Buffy leaving it in (some philosophical angle probably).
     
  9. Fine_Distinction

    Fine_Distinction Prince

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    Generally great advice, @ArchGhost, but I do not see your point here. IMP settler bonus is for hammers only, not for building one using food, whipping convert food to hammers, => with IMP whipping settlers is even better than it normally is? and hence, slowbuilding should be less recommended. Or am I missing something?
     
  10. Willem V

    Willem V Chieftain

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    If I understand correctly, Archghost was specifically talking about the situation where you do not yet have access to whipping and the question poses itself whether to go for BW for whipping settlers or in stead prioritize something else you are in dire need of (for example something commerce related to get you out of a research hole or keep you from getting there).

    Generally speaking though you are correct that whipping amplifies IMP's benefits more than slowbuilding
     
    Fine_Distinction likes this.
  11. ArchGhost

    ArchGhost Prince

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    Spoiler questions :

    Answer to both with a build order
    -worker first
    -grow to 3 on warriors
    -slow build settler #1
    -grow to 4 on warriors, start settler. BW should come in before reaching more than 69/100 in settler (can delay by swapping to worker for a couple turns to preserve 2-pop overflow potential)
    -whip settler #2 at max overflow into a worker
    -finish worker at size 2
    -resume growing cycle. Stuff starts to branch out quickly based on what you find, need to do, etc from here
    Nets you two settlers and 2 workers roughly around ~45-50 depending on start/development, etc.

    The first worker typically finishes up his most pressing tasks around the time the first settler comes out, so he can move on to immediately developing city#2. By the time City #3 comes down to be founded, the first worker will be mostly done with city #2 and ready to move over to start developing city #3, while the 2nd worker comes out to complete new tasks (like roading, more chopping) in the first 2 cities. It's hard to show what I mean without a play by play, but I hope that explains a bit.

    It works on knowledge of the assumption that you don't need more workers than cities early on, as the first improvements you start on are still there for the earlier cities, and you have roughly ~20-25 turns to improve the capitol before the next city come down needing worker turns.

    You can also put the settler #2 overflow into something else, or hit the overflow into the worker but then stop and grow back to 3 before completing it if you are delayed by tech, etc.

    It is difficult to whip efficiently without the food to do it.

    The situations where you would want to slow build settlers are those where you
    1.) you cannot get to BW quickly enough
    2.) you don't have the food to repeatedly whip

    Is such cases, IMP is still gonna help you as long as you work enough hammers for it to trigger (gives you a free hammer for every 2 you work).

    You are technically correct in that the whip hammers are multiplied and so the whip is strong on settlers with IMP...in practice all this means though is that you can whip earlier in the build (as early as 10/100 and at max overflow at 54/100 instead of 40/100 and 69/100 for 2 pop whips), not more. If the city struggles to grow back due to low food you're gonna be losing the time growing back and end up at square one or worse.

    It's all measured across the factor of time. if the city is weak at growing with +3 food surplus with a brown cow and only food neutral +2 tiles to use for growth, growing up to 4 (17 turns with no food banked from size 2) for 2-pop whips is less feasible than just going size 3 once (16t with no food banked from size 1) and slow building settlers with the IMP bonus, which can yield 7 or 8-turn settlers with enough hammers.

    In such a situation you only need 13-14 food+hammers to do so at size 3, which can be handled by a brown cow and a couple grass mines with IMP bonus multiplying raw hammers by 1.5. It's very powerful in such a high-hammer application.

    The point is, IMP always helps you build settlers. That doesn't mean you should always whip them. Whipping feasibility is determined by the strength of the city's food and regrowth, while IMP's strength is determined by ratio of hammers to food being used.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2020
    Fine_Distinction likes this.
  12. SnipedSoul

    SnipedSoul Warlord

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    I try to get a library in every city that has good food, which should be pretty much every city in the early game, barring ones that are just to grab strategic or :) resources. Running 2 scientists in a bunch of cities can provide enough research to get alpha, then hammer cities can switch to research until currency and then they build wealth.
     

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