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how to deal with city number maintenance cost?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by fishjie, Feb 3, 2020.

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  1. BornInCantaloup

    BornInCantaloup Agent of Chaos

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    That's interesting. What would you say is your main economic difficulty, at this point in the game ? (List a few if you're unsure.)
    Is there something you can do to easily help fix the situation ? I mean : without even clicking end turn.

    Wrong save, by the way.

    Looking back and looking at your screenshots :
    - Props for playing a map with a food poor capital ;
    - You should chop forests, and especially riverside forests, because it allows you to lay down riverside improvements ( = better) ;
    - A couple of your cities have been founded with food in the second ring : it's pretty bad to have to wait on a border pop to work the food : try settling with food in the 1st ring and improve it immediately with a worker at hand ; when you do settle with need of a border pop, make sure you have a worker at hand to immediately chop a monument ;
    - Way too many roads : you do not need to road a tile right now because you might have a unit go accross in 50 turns ; build your improvement, hop onto the next relevant tile, improve ; roads are typically best in diagonals between cities, also used to connect resources and to move units towards a frontline (e.g. : from Ulundi, the roads going NW or SW are useful, the roads going straight W are not) ;
    - Scouting : the area 5 north of Ulundi and around should be explored at this point ;
    - Props for targetting Currency at this point and building research towards it, fine decision.
     
  2. fishjie

    fishjie omghi2u

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    Whoops fixed the save file link. At this point in the game I wanted to spam out more settlers and cut off potential cities from the Ethiopians, but at 0% I was already dangerously close to no gold, so I had to stop.

    • I think my biggest difficulty right now is I know that cities should be specialized but I'm not sure how to decide when to make a city a production city or a cottage city.
    • Also I dont know what order to research technology, or what factors influence the order
    • I'm not sure how to calculate what to do with a GP, should I settle, should I bulb, or build the special building
     
  3. BornInCantaloup

    BornInCantaloup Agent of Chaos

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    Hint :
    Happiness.
    Check your resource trades.

    If you don't have trade routes with Zara (?), you should road into him.
    Foreign trade routes are good for the same reason Currency is (minus gold exchange) : they improve your commerce without any investment in hammers from your part.

    Checked your save : fair enough, Zara doesn't have any luxury resource for trade :goodjob:
    Still, he has 6 cities, you should road into Addis Abeba : that will be an instant +6 commerce for you : the same as a couple of courthouses, except it won't cost 240 hammers.

    So, why do I say unhappiness is your main problem at the moment ?
    a) you have 5 unhappy citizens : if they were working (commerce) tiles, your eco situation would be that much better ;
    b) you have a lot of good cities (building settlers was a good decision) but you cannot take advantage of their food, because the happy cap is too low.

    Quick look at the map says : there are no easy luxury resources to grab. Only a few Calendar resources.
    Solution :
    - Monarchy for Hereditary Rule ; hopefully, Zara will research that for you, you'll soon be able to tell which tech he's researching. Monarchy doesn't unlock buildings/units, so it's one the few techs the AI will trade when you're in semi-isolation (as you are ; single neighbour) ;
    - Pyramids for Hereditary Rule or Representation switch : Amsterdam is the place where you want to build them, probably, because the city has a lot of production and 10 forests. Bring 5 workers or more, chop, chop, chop and bring it home.
    Then the civic switch should alleviate a lot of the pressure from unhappies and allow you to grow and work commerce tiles and take off.


    You should play a game of peaceful expansion at the moment. That means :
    Keep producing settlers and workers. All the Eastern coast will be extremely rich, once it's developped.
    Chop more : workers are meant to accelerate your production.
    Spam Ikhandas : they're cheap and they're like mini-Courthouses.

    ^ You don't need both of the "happy solutions". If you manage to build the Pyramids, you won't need Monarchy. You should then either research towards Litterature or Civil Service, probably.
    Amsterdam seems suited to become your capital, at some point (Bureaucracy) : since it has more food, it's much better suited for commerce than Ulundi.

    :)


    re : looking back :
    Researching Bronze (is good because workers), Horseback Riding and Iron Working (good when workers = jungle/gems)
    Gave you security, fair enough, but those two techs were incredibly expensive at this point, so they
    Delayed immensely your economic techs (Pottery, Writing, Fish, aforementioned Monarchy and Pyramids).
    You typically want to invest as little as possible into military techs :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2020
  4. BornInCantaloup

    BornInCantaloup Agent of Chaos

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    Ok !

    So, specialization : isn't that important.
    What's important is to have strong tiles. A strong tile is a corn, a fish, a cow, a pig, a gold, a tile that gives you 5 or more. If it's 5+ food, all the better.
    If your city has strong tiles (1 can be enough), it can a) help build settlers/workers in the beginning ; b) build a library in peacetime ; c) build a barracks and some units when you go to war.
    The thing is : if your focus as a leader changes (expansion, research, war), then so should the focus of your cities.
    So you can approach this by phases.

    Of course, some cities are hopeless to become great commerce spots : because they lack the food to grow.
    Cities that have the food can become whatever and you should mostly emphasize commerce, once your food surplus is secure (be reasonable : weight it against your happy cap).

    Tech path.
    One thing you could do is replay this same map and try to reach 200 beakers per turn at the same date.
    It's quite doable and would be an interesting experience.
    The basic rationale is that techs are increasingy expensive. And you don't want to spend 5, then 10, then 15, then 20 turns to research techs one after the other.
    So, the main reason to research a tech is that it will help you research faster the following techs. So you spend 5, then 5, then 5, then 5 turns to research techs. Techs that do not help you in this endeavour are a detour (HBR, Iron Working : detours). Exceptions : detours for wonders (the Oracle, Pyramids, Great Lighthouse, Great Library, all great helps to burn through the tech tree).
    So, first, you wanna give your workers things to do : farm, chop, pasture, cottage ;
    Then you want to give your cities the means to grow : granaries ;
    Then you want more cities and give your cities better returns : trade routes, libraries, wonders, or possibly units (rushing the Dutch is a good decision).
    Tech path : what seems to help most. Masonry looks strong after the Dutch are dead.
    Civil Service as a high end tech target is good. (Or Education, a little further.)
     
  5. fishjie

    fishjie omghi2u

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    Thanks for all the detailed feedback! The HBR was a failure in planning. There was a horse nearby, and I was thinking I could settle there, and spam horse archers and take over rest of continent, but then never followed up. I went iron working with thought to clear jungles and also use swordsmen to take over rest of continent, but never followed up

    Question about pyramids - i thought at higher difficulty levels, building wonders was impossible, so i shouldn't rely on them at lower difficulty levels?
    Question about chopping - I was concerned that in flat areas, if i chopped all the trees, then there wouldn't be any source of hammers. is it good to leave a forest or two, or in general its better to chop down all the trees?

    i actually beat the game shortly after making my last post after a marathon session via space race. i attacked ethiopia after a long delay. went for optics so i could see if i was falling behind. i was behind like 4-5 techs. but beelined paper and bulbed education, got liberalism, and was able to trade my way back to parity. I will work on the 200 BPT exercise you mentioned. probably ill go over some of the sample games listed here so i can see how to approach the early game, clearly theres a lot of optimizations im missing.
     
  6. AcaMetis

    AcaMetis King

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    "Impossible", no, but there's a lot of wonders that you can afford to build on Noble that you wouldn't even want to bother trying to build on Deity. Well, build to complete on Deity. Build for failgold, absolutely, but on Deity you'd never build Stonehenge to build Stonehenge. Two Workers or a Settler plus Warrior is worth more than building SH. As are the beakers you'd invest in Mysticism, if you didn't start with it.

    There's rare situation where you'd want to save forests, but general rule: Chop all the trees with the most extreme of arboreal prejudice. Hammers now is worth more than a decent-ish tile and half a :health: several thousand years down the line, and you shouldn't endeavour to work unimproved tiles if you can help it anyway. If a city lacks production than use the whip to get stuff out, and if you ever need the city to not grow on it's abundant food tiles that other nearby cities can't take from it, run specialists.
     
  7. BornInCantaloup

    BornInCantaloup Agent of Chaos

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    ^^ Yes to all.

    In addition :
    The reason why wonders are less built on higher difficulties is because the AIs build them sooner.
    Opportunity cost : in 2000 BC, a wonder competes with alternative builds like settlers/workers that give extreme returns (3rd city is a +50% increase in your city count ! crazy) ;
    In 500 BC, they'll compete with builds like Libraries/Forges that give far less interesting returns.
    So the (good) wonders are good, no matter what (map dependent still but). The difference is the sacrifice you make to build them.

    Forests :
    In your initial area (capital, first few cities), chopping the forests helps you claim the land faster.
    You could spend 20 turns working a forest to get 20 hammers or chop it and get the hammers right now. If you have many forests available and chop a worker, then you can chop at twice the pace. If you have strong food resources and chop settlers, then you can claim fish, corn, pigs (1st ring : faster) and start growing and use the city to help build more workers and settlers.
    In addition, if you chop a forest, get the 20 hammers and cottage the (riverside) tile and work it for 20 turns, you've developped a hamlet that gives you 3 commerce per turn (total = 50 commerce from that tile over the first 20 turns). You cannot build the riverside cottage unless you chop ;)

    Later in the game (say, after you've killed the Dutch), if their territory has plenty of forests, you might want to save them for some time...
    ... waiting on the Mathematics tech. Then the chops will give you 30 hammers which is compelling. If you don't think you'll research Mathematics soon enough, or think you have more pressing matters (getting happiness or commerce rather production), then, nevermind, chop'em all, possibly getting a wonder along the way (or get Maths and then wonder).

    When you don't have forests to chop, you do not work 1H tiles to get the production : whipping is much better, provided you have the food.
    If you don't have the food, you should work farms and mines (or specialists). (grow first, always, then work mines or hire specs)
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2020

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