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[BTS] How to compete with the AI's absolutely enormous armies?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by GenericName1998, Aug 31, 2020.

  1. GenericName1998

    GenericName1998 Chieftain

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    Yeah, I had some 6/5/4 yield tiles around, with added commerce.

    Well, it amazes me that people can reliably get 100% research, because I sure can't (maintenance, amry upkeep, civic upkeep), but yeah, I suppose it pays off way too late.
     
  2. Windsor

    Windsor Flawless

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    I think Markets are decent in NTT. The value of the build obviously depends on number of happy resources you got, rare is the game you'll get all four, but two is fairly reasonable and that easily defends 60 of the 150 :hammers:.

    So that leaves 90 :hammers: for the Merchant slots and the +25% :gold: That's a completely reasonable build. Reaching 100% :science: is not trivial.
     
  3. nate46

    nate46 Warlord

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    If you build markets then you're not buliding wealth which makes it harder to reach 100% science. Just building wealth in almost all of your cities is the easiest way to hit 100% science. Once you do that, markets do nothing. It takes a long time for a market to make a return on investment, so if you never build it, you'll tech faster in the short term and be quicker to important techs that will improve your economy far more than a market will.
     
  4. civac

    civac Warlord

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    This would only be true if you built the market with hammers.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2020
  5. Fippy

    Fippy Mycro Junkie Queen

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    Depends on food (now here's something new :)).
    City with 2 wet corn has no trouble whipping a market, and if i struggle with gold or can get extra happy i can whip it and regrow in no time.
    General advice is useful for shadow games etc (where they often pick too many buildings), for advanced players it should always be "depends".
    Markets can be fine for NTT indeed, but they can also be a really bad pick in some cities. We are not getting very far here without actual examples.
     
  6. civac

    civac Warlord

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    I think the point that markets are low value buildings is well taken.

    Some general guidelines would be interesting though. Is whipping a Market better than growing into plains cottages or other marginal tiles? What if you have a lot of food?

    Right. As Fippy points out happy cap is another issue. Is whipping a market worth it if you run into your happy cap?
     
  7. nate46

    nate46 Warlord

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    >This would only be true if you build the market with hammers.

    Well, you can chop a market, but you only have so many forests, and there's a lot of things I'd rather chop (military units, granaries, forges, can also chop into marble/stone wonders for fail gold, even courthouses if i have extra forests).

    You could whip a market, but you'd have to whip it from about 8 pop down to 4... and that's many many turns that you won't be able to work your cottages or workshops or mines or windmills or whatever you built on marginal tiles in that city. Quite a lot of income lost. Let's say you built cottages in the city, so you lose 4 cottages for 3 turns, 3 cottages for 3 more turns, 2 cottages for 3 more turns, and 1 last cottage for 6 turns... that's a total of 33 cottage turns lost... you lose both the commerce and the growth. In the long run, failing to work a cottage is the same as failing to work a town.

    as for when to build a market... I feel like a market is only worth it if you're desperate for happiness in the city, or if it's a GP factory city or a shrine or something. building a market for the 25% in a non-shrine city is a really bad investment.
     
  8. nate46

    nate46 Warlord

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    You really just need to math it out though and plan it out according to your goals. Every city is different.

    Think to yourself: What are my key tech goals and what dates do I want to reach them by? Think forward to the next key tech that really ups your power, like civil service or liberalism.

    Then think, "If i build this market, will it increase my time to this next key tech, or will it cause me to reach it slower?" And you can calculate that mathematically by working out the different scenarios, or at least get a ballpark estimate.

    For example, if you plan to have liberalism MT by 600 AD, you can think, "That's 40 turns away. Will this market pay off its opportunity cost in 40 turns, or at least soon after?" And you have to consider both the increased size of the city due to happiness, plus an estimate for how much your % commerce slider will be. If you are planning to run merchant specialists, think, "Will this produce me an extra great person by my goal date?"

    if the market won't pay returns by your goal date, don't build it.
     
  9. GenericName1998

    GenericName1998 Chieftain

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    When you think about it, there's a major advantage to whipping that normal production doesn't give though (and not just that the production/food ratio is greater than 1). The thing is, if you allow your city to grow those 4 pops first, and then whip them into a market, you get a bunch of cottage-worked turns for free, whereas if you assigned those pops to mines/workshops to get the market after the same amount of turns (in your example 15 turns), with static growth, you would forego the benefits of that growth. So whipping actually gains you income, in a way, when compared to just production.

    Hmm, I thought that was the most important thing about markets, that's why I wanted to get banking as well, to get banks.

    So, correct me if I'm wrong, but if you put your production into creating wealth, doesn't the produced wealth get multiplied by the markets and banks? Or is it just the net production? Either way, I only build wealth late in the game, when I have factories and nothing else to produce. I mean, a 1/1 wealth/production exchange rate is horrible if you ask me! If you compare building a market vs building wealth, the market would have paid itself off in some 37 turns I think. (City that produces 50 commerce with 70/30 research/wealth: 50*30%*25% = 3.75 wealth a turn. 140/3.75 = 37 turns. And then there's the happiness bonuses+merchant slots.

    Also, OR increases market production by +25%, whereas producing wealth would not, making the market even cheaper.
     
  10. civac

    civac Warlord

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    When building wealth base hammers are multiplied by your production multipliers (mostly forge), commerce multipliers do nothing.
     
  11. nate46

    nate46 Warlord

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    >the market would have paid itself off in some 37 turns I think. (City that produces 50 commerce with 70/30 research/wealth: 50*30%*25% = 3.75 wealth a turn.

    70/30 research wealth is too much wealth... that's also a very rich city, and 40 turns (redo your math -- you have to divide 150 by 3.75) for return on investment is very mediocre, anyway.

    In some of my space games, I'm actually find myself building science not wealth late game because I have too much cash even at 100% research slider... once you get state property, factories & hydro plants, & workshops, your cities are going to be building so much cash that the 25% bonus from market does literally nothing.
     
  12. GenericName1998

    GenericName1998 Chieftain

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    Ah, I had 140 hammers for a market in my mind. But indeed it mostly applies to big commercial cities.
     
  13. GenericName1998

    GenericName1998 Chieftain

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    But then nothing would ever pay off, because the buildings all take longer than the research. Also, you'd have to take into account unpredictable factors (though the only really big one I can think of would be war). I think it's more important to have a good estimate of when you'd want to go to war, and when you think you'll be at peace for a long time.
     
  14. nate46

    nate46 Warlord

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    That's kindof the point of why most expert players don't build a lot of buildings. Takes too long for for most of them to make ROI. Wealth gives you the money immediately.
     
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  15. Pangaea

    Pangaea Rock N Roller

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    Put it this way: I'm playing a space game currently on epic speed. Working on Electricity in 1100AD-ish and after that probably up to Industrialism. The capital does not have a market yet. I've built two markets in the game I think (and captured some more). One in the shrine+corporations HQ city, and another in the National Epic city (and the latter is mostly a waste due to caste system existing).

    That isn't to say they are always terrible builds. Like Fippy says: it depends. But usually a city will have more important things to do than build/whip a market, and as pointed out by others, if you're running the slider at 100% a market does essentially nothing. Sure, the happiness can be nice, but once AIs get Calendar it's easy to trade for happiness. And in the late game, when AIs start going into emancipation and you would actually need some extra happies, the market greatly loses value because resources get obsoleted. So instead of a possible +4 :), you get +1 :) A cheap Theatre does the same then.

    Going back to the original question: How do you deal with giant AI armies is to :whipped: until your arms ache :satan:
     
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  16. sampsa

    sampsa Ghost

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    Spoiler :
    The tiles you should improve asap and work full time are wet corn (6:food:) and gold (3:hammers:8:commerce:) and that's about it. With wet corn you are growing quite fast to size 3 so it's probably the correct size to start the settler, immediately when hitting size 3. Again, note that the gold is generating only 1:hammers: towards your settler, but that amount of :commerce: is a bit too tempting to pass on.

    Civ4ScreenShot0259.JPG

    If you correct the following habits your game will dramatically improve:
    • Expand as fast as possible early on to at least 4 cities
    • Don't save forests, chop them early for faster expansion
    • If you build units, use them. No use paying +20:gold: per turn for a standing army
    • Build a lot less buildings
     
  17. FlyinJohnnyL

    FlyinJohnnyL You need more workers....

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    Binary research, learn it, love it. Your slider should only ever really be at 0% or 100%, with very few exceptions.
     
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  18. Windsor

    Windsor Flawless

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    But are you playing AggAI +NTT? And why did you build the two markets you did build?

    Binary research is irrelevant for evaluating the Market. Only average slider position matters.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2020
  19. sampsa

    sampsa Ghost

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    My hunch is the other market was for shrine+corpHQ -city, the other one was a poor build in NE-city.
     
  20. Pangaea

    Pangaea Rock N Roller

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    Exactly. Wasn't that obvious from what I wrote? :confused:

    I don't often play with AggAI or NTT. But that isn't all that crucial for the debate about users typically building too many buildings. I've seen my fair share of these threads now over the years, and it's a typical problem. That's why I and others point it out time and again, and try to reduce the issue so that people can improve their games.
     

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