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How to get the most work from Engineers and Settlers

Discussion in 'Civ2 - Strategy & Tips' started by AGRICOLA, Jun 4, 2004.

  1. AGRICOLA

    AGRICOLA Chieftain

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    There have been recurring discussions about the optimum number of Engineers to use for building terrain improvements and for transforming terrain. I think that this information answers any remaining questions for MGE.

    CAUTIONARY NOTE:
    Easy acquisition of the data for this summary was made possible by discovering how the CIV II MGE processes and saves information on the progress of Settler and Engineer tasks. I do not know if the results are valid for other versions of CIV II that may possibly use a different algorithm.


    I. IRRIGATING, MINING AND TRANSFORMING

    TABLE I shows the following information for each terrain type:
    Terrain / Turns to irrigate / Turns to mine / /Turns to transform / Result of transformation

    TABLE I
    ------------- I –- M --- T
    Desert-----/ 05 / 05 // 20 / Plains
    Forest-----/ 05 / XX // 40 / Grassland
    Glacier----/ XX / 15 // 40 / Tundra
    Grassland—-/ 05 / 10 // 20 / Hills
    Hills------/ 10 / 10 // 20 / Plains
    Jungle-----/ 15 / 15 // 20 / Plains
    Mountains—-/ XX / 10 // 60 / Hills
    Plains-----/ 05 / 15 // 20 / Grassland
    Swamp------/ 15 / 15 // 40 / Plains
    Tundra-----/ 10 / XX // 20 / Desert


    1. The turns shown are for a Settler. The order to perform a task is given during turn 1 and the task is completed on the turn shown in the table. The turns for Settlers rather than Engineers are shown in order to be consistent with the Civilopedia.
    2. XX = not possible (MGE Civilopedia is incorrect about irrigating Mountains)


    TABLE II summarizes the number of turns required by 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 Engineers to irrigate, mine or transform each type of terrain. For example, the number sequence 20,10,8,7,8 indicates that it will take 1 Engineer 20 turns, 2 Engineers 10 turns, 3 Engineers 8 turns, 4 Engineers 7 turns and 5 Engineers 8 turns to complete the task. The fact that 4 Engineers require less time than 5 is not a misprint.

    TABLE II

    ------------ IRRIGATE ---- MINE ----- TRANSFORM
    Desert-----/ 3,2,2,2,2 / 3,2,2,2,2 / 10,5,4,4,4
    Forest-----/ 3,2,2,2,2 / xxxxxxxxx / 20,10,8,7,8
    Glacier----/ xxxxxxxxx / 8,4,4,3,3 / 20,10,8,7,8
    Grassland—-/ 3,2,2,2,2 / 5,3,3,2,3 / 10,5,4,4,4
    Hills------/ 5,3,3,2,3 / 5,3,3,2,3 / 10,5,4,4,4
    Jungle-----/ 8,4,4,3,3 / 8,4,4,4,3 / 10,5,4,4,4
    Mountains—-/ xxxxxxxxx / 5,3,3,2,3 / 30,15,11,11,11
    Plains-----/ 3,2,2,2,2 / 8,4,4,3,3 / 10,5,4,4,4
    Swamp------/ 8,4,4,3,3 / 8,4,4,3,3 / 20,10,8,7,8
    Tundra-----/ 5,3,3,2,3 / xxxxxxxxx / 10,5,4,4,4


    I am surprised by some of the irregularities in the results and by how little the use of more than 2 Engineers actually speeds up the work in most situations. Players may want to consider carefully whether it is worthwhile assigning extra Engineers to speed up the completion of a task by a turn or two.



    II. ROADS AND RAILROADS

    Among the other tasks that Engineers perform, building fortresses and air bases or cleaning up pollution can all be accomplished by 1 unit in 2 turns or 2 units in 1 turn. Only the building of roads and railroads on different terrain types warrants detailed investigation.

    TABLE III lists data in the following order: Terrain/ Turns to build road / Turns to build road if river present / /Turns to build RR/ Turns to build RR if river present

    TABLE III

    ------------ Rd - Rd* - RR - RR*
    Desert-----/ 02 / 04 // 04 / 06
    Forest-----/ 04 / 06 // 08 / 10
    Glacier----/ 04 / 06 // 08 / 10
    Grassland—-/ 02 / 04 // 04 / 06
    Hills------/ 04 / 06 // 08 / 10
    Jungle-----/ 04 / 06 // 08 / 10
    Mountains—-/ 06 / 08 // 12 / 14
    Plains-----/ 02 / 04 // 04 / 06
    Swamp------/ 04 / 06 // 08 / 10
    Tundra-----/ 02 / 04 // 04 / 06


    * = River present
    The turns shown are for a Settler.


    TABLE IV summarizes the number of turns required by 1, 2, 3 and 4 Engineers to build a road or railroad on each type of terrain. For example, the number sequence 7,4,3,3 indicates that it will take 1 Engineer 7 turns, 2 Engineers 4 turns and 3 or 4 Engineers 3 turns to complete the work.

    TABLE IV
    ------------- Road ---- Road* ----- RR ------ RR*
    Desert-----/ 1,1,1,1 / 2,1,1,1 // 2,1,1,1 / 3,2,2,2
    Forest-----/ 2,1,1,1 / 3,2,2,2 // 4,2,2,2 / 5,3,3,2
    Glacier----/ 2,1,1,1 / 3,2,2,2 // 4,2,2,2 / 5,3,3,2
    Grassland—-/ 1,1,1,1 / 2,1,1,1 // 2,1,1,1 / 3,2,2,2
    Hills------/ 2,1,1,1 / 3,2,2,2 // 4,2,2,2 / 5,3,3,2
    Jungle-----/ 2,1,1,1 / 3,2,2,2 // 4,2,2,2 / 5,3,3,2
    Mountains—-/ 3,2,2,2 / 4,2,2,2 // 6,3,3,3 / 7,4,3,3
    Plains-----/ 1,1,1,1 / 2,1,1,1 // 2,1,1,1 / 3,2,2,2
    Swamp------/ 2,1,1,1 / 3,2,2,2 // 4,2,2,2 / 5,3,3,2
    Tundra-----/ 1,1,1,1 / 2,1,1,1 // 2,1,1,1 / 3,2,2,2


    * = River present

    The results are consistent with those in TABLE II in that there is generally no advantage to using more than 2 Engineers for most of these tasks.



    III. EXPLANATION

    The process of building/transforming is simple if a single unit is doing the work. Each turn, the unit earns points and the accumulated points are stored in the unit’s record. When the point total reaches or exceeds the number required to complete a particular task, the task is finished, the icon for the square it has been working in is changed, the point total is reset to 0 and the unit becomes available for new orders.

    As a Settler earns 1 point per turn, the number of points required to complete the task equals the number of turns a Settler needs to complete a task. An Engineer in CIV II earns 2 points per turn when it is building or transforming. These numbers do not change if the “Base time for engineers to transform terrain (x2)” is changed in the Rules file, as it is for some scenarios. Changing the “Base time for engineers…..” only changes the number of points needed to complete a task.

    Consequently, if the command to transform Mountains to Hills (60 points required for completion) is given on turn 1, a single Engineer will complete the transformation on turn 30. It earns 2 points on turn 1, adds 2 points on turns 2-29 and reaches the required 60 points on turn 30.

    However, when more than one Engineer is assigned to a task, the CIV II MGE algorithm for calculating and assigning accumulated points does some unexpected things. If 2 Engineers (E1 and E2) are assigned to transform Mountains to Hills, they accumulate points in the following fashion:

    TABLE V

    ------- E1 E2
    TURN 01 04 00
    TURN 02 08 00
    TURN 03 12 00
    TURN 04 16 00
    TURN 05 20 00
    TURN 06 24 00
    TURN 07 28 00
    TURN 08 32 00
    TURN 09 36 00
    TURN 10 40 00
    TURN 11 44 00
    TURN 12 48 00
    TURN 13 52 00
    TURN 14 56 00
    TURN 15 00 00
    Task completed

    15 turns needed for the transformation. Points earned by both units are credited to E1. When the point total for E1 reaches 60, the task is completed. No points are wasted.

    In the case of multiple workers assigned to the same task, the algorithm assigns the earned points unequally to the workers. When the point total of the worker with the most points reaches the required total, the task is finished. The points assigned to all other workers are wasted. It can be seen below that, as the number of workers increases, the waste also increases.


    If 3 engineers carry out the transformation, the points are credited as follows:

    TABLE VI

    --------E1 E2 E3
    TURN 01 04 00 02
    TURN 02 08 00 04
    TURN 03 14 00 04
    TURN 04 20 00 04
    TURN 05 26 00 04
    TURN 06 32 00 04
    TURN 07 38 00 04
    TURN 08 44 00 04
    TURN 09 50 00 04
    TURN 10 56 00 04
    TURN 11 00 00 00
    Task completed


    Because of “waste”, rather than the expected 10 turns, eleven turns are needed for the transformation. All points earned by E1 and E2 are credited to E1. Four of the points earned by E3 are wasted because they are not credited to E1.


    If we increase the number of Engineers to 4, their points accumulate as follows:

    TABLE VII

    ------- E1 E2 E3 E4
    TURN 01 04 00 00 04
    TURN 02 10 02 00 04
    TURN 03 16 04 00 04
    TURN 04 22 06 00 04
    TURN 05 28 08 00 04
    TURN 06 34 10 00 04
    TURN 07 40 12 00 04
    TURN 08 46 14 00 04
    TURN 09 52 16 00 04
    TURN 10 58 18 00 04
    TURN 11 00 00 00 00
    Task completed

    The addition of the fourth Engineer has not speeded completion. However, there is an unexpected anomaly in that 4 Engineers accumulate the 10 points needed for some of the irrigation and mining and the 40 points needed for three of the transformations more quickly than either 5 or 10 Engineers (see TABLE II).


    If we increase the number of Engineers to 5, their points accumulate as follows:

    TABLE VIII

    ------- E1 E2 E3 E4 E5
    TURN 01 04 02 02 02 00
    TURN 02 06 04 04 00 04
    TURN 03 16 06 06 00 04
    TURN 04 20 08 08 00 04
    TURN 05 26 10 10 00 04
    TURN 06 32 12 12 00 04
    TURN 07 38 14 14 00 04
    TURN 08 44 16 16 00 04
    TURN 09 50 18 18 00 04
    TURN 10 56 20 20 00 04
    TURN 11 00 00 00 00 00
    Task completed

    Nearly half of the earned points are wasted so it still requires eleven turns to complete.

    The information summarized in TABLE II was extracted from TABLES V – VIII by noting the turn on which 2, 3, 4 and 5 Engineers reached 5, 10,15, 20, 40 and 60 points. The data for Table IV was obtained in a similar fashion.


    Finally, if 10 Engineers are used for the transformation, the following happens:

    TABLE IX

    ------- E1 E2 E3 E4 E5 E6 E7 E8 E9 E10
    TURN 01 04 00 00 00 08 02 02 02 02 00
    TURN 02 06 02 02 02 10 04 04 04 00 06
    TURN 03 14 04 04 04 12 06 06 06 00 04
    TURN 04 20 06 06 06 14 08 08 08 00 04
    TURN 05 26 08 08 08 16 10 10 10 00 04
    TURN 06 32 10 10 10 18 12 12 12 00 04
    TURN 07 38 12 12 12 20 14 14 14 00 04
    TURN 08 44 14 14 14 22 16 16 16 00 04
    TURN 09 50 16 16 16 24 18 18 18 00 04
    TURN 10 56 18 18 18 26 20 20 20 00 04
    TURN 11 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
    Task completed

    The increased waste has negated the contributions of 7 Engineers so that the task still takes 11 turns to complete.



    IV. COMMENTS

    If you need to transform the Mountains into Hills (60 points) in a hurry, this is how 4 Engineers can do it in 8 turns if you change the pairings each turn.

    The Engineers need to be “awakened” at the beginning of turns 2 - 8 before the computer can “process” them, the pairings changed as shown below and the transform command re-issued to all.

    ------ E1+E2 E3+E4
    TURN 1 04 00 04 00

    ------ E1+E3 E2+E4
    TURN 2 12 00 04 00

    ------ E1+E2 E3+E4
    TURN 3 20 00 04 00

    ------ E1+E3 E2+E4
    TURN 4 28 00 04 00

    ------ E1+E2 E3+E4
    TURN 5 36 00 04 00

    ------ E1+E3 E2+E4
    TURN 6 44 00 04 00

    ------ E1+E2 E3+E4
    TURN 7 52 00 04 00

    ------ E1+E3 E2+E4
    TURN 8 00 00 04 00
    Task completed

    The task is completed in 8 turns rather than the 11 turns it would have taken if the 4 Engineers had simply been stacked and ordered to transform. For transformations requiring 20 or 40 points, use of this method would have saved 1 turn in each case.


    Unfortunately there is some inconsistency, which I cannot explain, as to which unit in a stack of 2 gets credited with the points. It may or may not be the top one in the stack. To overcome this, after the units are “awakened” at the beginning of a turn, I save the game and test to see which one of each pair is “hot” by seeing which one can immediately construct an airfield or fortress. After re-loading, the two “hot” units and the two “cold” ones are stacked and the “O” orders issued.
     
  2. TimTheEnchanter

    TimTheEnchanter I...am...an Enchanter!

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  3. Duke of Marlbrough

    Duke of Marlbrough The Quiet Moderator Retired Moderator

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  4. ElephantU

    ElephantU Chieftain

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  5. Andu Indorin

    Andu Indorin Retired Druid

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    A nice, quick summary of data; the presentation in your tables is especially functional.
     
  6. AGRICOLA

    AGRICOLA Chieftain

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    Thanks for the comments and suggestions. I was aware of some of the ways to speed things up and even tried using them. Quickly decided that life's too short for the involved sequence and bookkeeping these require. Next time, stacked the requisite number of Engineers, ended the turn, used cheat to transform, hex edited save game.

    No muss, no fuss, no bother and the result was exactly the same except that I did not have a migraine. ;)
     
  7. Ace

    Ace Chieftain

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    Settlers cannot use the "transform" command, at least, not in MGE. Where and how did you get your statistics for the transform column in table I?
     
  8. TimTheEnchanter

    TimTheEnchanter I...am...an Enchanter!

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    If you're willing to put up with the hassle of micromanaging the units, I believe settlers can partially contribute to a transformation job. You can have a settler working a square doing settler-type work (e.g., mining), then bring in an engineer to the same square doing the same task. as long as you haven't done enough work to complete the task, the accumulated settler work will be transferred to the engineer. You can then use the engineer to do the transform job and the settler-turns will be part of his accumulated work towards the transformation.
     
  9. Ace

    Ace Chieftain

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    That sounds logical, but it also sounds like a lot of work! Also, that is not exactly what Table one, above, is saying. I.e., that settlers can do the transformation thing by themselves, which they cannot.
     
  10. Duke of Marlbrough

    Duke of Marlbrough The Quiet Moderator Retired Moderator

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    It seems to me it's just to keep the data consistant.

    Since Settlers can Irrigate and Mine and such the number of turns required to do those functions are shown. Then, to keep the table on the same scale, the number of turns needed for transforming are also shown in 'Settler' turns. That way the 'Engineer adjustment' can be made acorss the entire table consistantly.

    BTW, once Engineers are available, why would Settlers be used for terrain improvement anyway? Their reduced movement makes it hard for them to keep up with an Engineer group. I figured it alwasy made more sense to use any Settlers for building cities to the point where there were only Engineers left. The extra movement/faster working Engineers is one of the reasons I push for Explosives somewhat early on. ;)
     
  11. TimTheEnchanter

    TimTheEnchanter I...am...an Enchanter!

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    What you say is true in most cases. For me, it's basically just making the best use of None settlers in OCC when I haven't built Leo's.
     
  12. ElephantU

    ElephantU Chieftain

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    I always like having one Settler around for those 5ST irrigation jobs. I start the Settler, then start an Engineer, then wake the Settler and start a second Engineer, finishing in one turn with no waste. It is also much easier to keep track of who went first when the first two units are different types.

    Tim: In OCC, fold that NONE Settler into your city after reaching size 2 and you have a size 3 city ready to celebrate. Despo celebration gets you out of the reductions on your special terrain tiles, and Monarchy celebration gets extra trade arrows. If you go straight for Republic, celebrate up to size 7/8 and then pop out a Settler for work. Try to grow your city as early as possible.
     
  13. Old n Slow

    Old n Slow Chieftain

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    Then of course a trolling boat may pick up a Nomad from far away & by the time he returns, the OCC is already at size 8. Similar thought for "purchased friends." ;)
     
  14. ElephantU

    ElephantU Chieftain

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    In OCC I give away Explosives to all right away, then send out a ship&dip combo to try to buy two Engineers. I've paid prices between 300 and 800 or so for them, but they are worth it in the end game. Frees up four food to grow the city two citizens larger, and the team can clean up pollution the same turn it appears. With a NONE Settler they make one-turn irrigation machines, both for my own city as well as my primary TR destination (which is ALWAYS my ally...).
     
  15. AGRICOLA

    AGRICOLA Chieftain

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    My apologies to everyone for not replying sooner, but I have had almost no access to the net for the last 2 months. That problem is now fixed.

    The answer to Ace's question about how I managed to get settlers to do transformations is that I didn't. The number of turns shown for transformations in Table I is twice the number it takes an engineer to do the tasks. DOM is absolutely correct that it was done for consistency. All CIVILOPEDIA info on the turns required to complete a task is for settlers.

    Sorry for any confusion.
     

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