How to optimize whipping?

PeterWolf

Chieftain
Joined
Jul 12, 2008
Messages
61
Okay, recently I have finally realized what people mean when they say food first in the early cities - it is simply the only yield you can get in relative decent amounts in the beginning. Production isn't nearly as close, but with Slavery I can, of course, convert population (=convert food) into production. Works well in theory.

But in practice I find myself whipping far less than I could, or should. So I've got a few questions on whipping:

  • Do you whip for Workers and Settlers? If yes, do you ever do 1-pop whips or always 2-pop whips for such units?
  • Do you whip 2pop when the city is not unhappy (but at happy limit) and for which units/buildings would you do that?
  • Whipping vs chopping -> After I tech/trade for Mathematics, I find myself chopping like mad and forget to whip. That suggests I'm losing production by not whipping - what's the best way to combine whipping and chopping? Do you pick it by city type/need or do you grow to max, whip, then while the city grows back you chop (which is what I try to do myself but always forget/can't time it correctly).
  • Considering the city growth bar, do you whip when it's at the beginning or when the city is 1 turn or 2 from growing?
  • For buildings do you whip as soon as possible to finish it? Or do you time it so that there is some kind of overflow?
  • Do you use the Avoid Growth button? I mean not like activating the governor to it - just so that you can work food tiles but the city doesn't grow.

Also further advice is welcome! :p
 
A lot of these questions have been discussed extensively in the past. No doubt people will still have things to say, but you will probably benefit from using the search function.
 
You may want to read VoiceOfUnreason's Vocum Sineratio: The Whip.

I try not to do 1 pop whips, but sometimes you must to get your empire set up.

I try to get overflow provided it is not too much since a certain amount of excess is lost (see article for details).

As for what buildings, again it is situational. Usually Monuments/Theatres, then Granaries, Forges, Courthouses. It is also fine to whip away unhappiness if the building completed will help with further unhappiness.

Sometimes I use Avoid Growth, but that's not really useful. Better to grow into unhappiness and do a big whip to get rid of it. Alternately, if you can run Specialists or go food-neutral, that is the better option.
 
I'm not a crazy whipper by any means, but sometimes it's absolutely critical to whip. I do so mostly in the early game when settling my first 5-8 cities, and at any time when I need a fast military buildup. In the latter case in particular I will sometimes whip very ruthlessly indeed because a critical war is usually the decisive point of any game and what use is having a couple more population points and a few less angry faces if you lose the war?

Apart from that it's occasional, the main instances being:
- if I have very production-weak cities they obviously need to be whipped or they will never have any infrastructure;
- I often whip a university or two to speed up Oxford;
- caravels - if I want to get out there fast and meet AIs I'll often whip one or two as soon as Optics comes in;
- coastal cities in general get whipped when they run out of useful tiles and start working coastal ones. The same applies to any excess population or citizens that work unimproved tiles.

To answer your specific questions (and again, I probably whip less than I should so take my answers with a pinch of salt):

[*]Do you whip for Workers and Settlers? If yes, do you ever do 1-pop whips or always 2-pop whips for such units?

Absolutely, settlers in particular. I usually revolt to Slavery as soon as possible and start whipping settlers because getting the best city locations is vital. 2-pop whips are obviously preferable but I will 1-pop whip too if I feel a settling location I want is threatened.

[*]Do you whip 2pop when the city is not unhappy (but at happy limit) and for which units/buildings would you do that?

I 2-pop, 3-pop and sometimes 6-pop if the situation calls for it. :D It all depends, if it's a city that doesn't work superb tiles and I really want to build something important there, then the unit or building in question is much more importnat than the population points.

[*]Whipping vs chopping -> After I tech/trade for Mathematics, I find myself chopping like mad and forget to whip. That suggests I'm losing production by not whipping - what's the best way to combine whipping and chopping? Do you pick it by city type/need or do you grow to max, whip, then while the city grows back you chop (which is what I try to do myself but always forget/can't time it correctly).

It's often hard to combine both without running into hammer overflow loss, whicn rather defeats the purpose and wastes trees and people (unless you're playing that mod that converts excess overflow hammers into gold).

The only things you might build that generally cost enough hammers to absorb chops and whips together are wonders which come with a penalty for whips. I still whip them, though, if I'm serious about building them and not just going for failure cash.

As for how I might space my whipping and chopping around the empire...well it depends on where your workers are available. It also depends on whether you want to save trees for a wonder and all the other things I mentioend before about how usefully the poulation points are being employed. Population grows back a lot faster than trees.

[*]Considering the city growth bar, do you whip when it's at the beginning or when the city is 1 turn or 2 from growing?

Assuming you have a granary, which you should, the growth bar will only be between the halfway point and full, never lower. If you don't have a granary your population is probably so low that it doesn't matter, since the food requirements are very small (say you are whipping a monument as your first build, for example). So I generally don't worry about that so much.

[*]For buildings do you whip as soon as possible to finish it? Or do you time it so that there is some kind of overflow?

It's hard to generalise here as it depends on how important the building is, how many expendable tiles you have that you don't mind not being worked for a couple of turns, how many hammers you can put into it without the whip, how strong your food for growing back those population is, and probably other variables too.

[*]Do you use the Avoid Growth button? I mean not like activating the governor to it - just so that you can work food tiles but the city doesn't grow.

Sometimes. The problem is that I forget to turn it off again, so I try to avoid using it. :rolleyes:
 
Sometimes you have to use avoid growth imo. In some situation you cant stagnate or else you'll end up growing.

I guess you can flip flop back and forth between surplus and deficit, but thats even more micromanagement...
 
Maybe I'm missing something here, but doesn't the "avoid growth" option just reassign tiles? I'm under that impression, so I never use it. I just manually reassign the tiles and/or assign specialists. More often than not, I can get the city down to +0 or +1 food. Even at +1 the city will take awhile to grow, which gives you time to up the happy cap via a building, unit, or whatever. If you forget about it and it does go unhappy, you can just starve it back down. *This all assumes that you don't have anything to whip or aren't in slavery. Otherwise, just whip it away.
 
Maybe I'm missing something here, but doesn't the "avoid growth" option just reassign tiles?
It can, but it also "freezes" pop growth regardless. Like NihilZero often I forget to turn it off and so the city doesn't grow once I've a higher Happy cap. And yes, it is better to whip away :mad: when you can instead of using "avoid growth".
 
Never whip until 10 turns have passed since the last one(or in the aztecs' case, 5)

huh :confused:
often on an early rush like horse archers, i will stack up to 5 whipping unhappy.
In other cases 2-3 unhappy, i do that all the time.
 
Never whip until 10 turns have passed since the last one(or in the aztecs' case, 5)

Good guideline, lousy rule. If you are trying to optimize whipping, you need to be aware that surplus happy is wasted happy.

For instance, suppose there's 2 turns left on the unhappy clock. I can wait two turns (-1 each) then whip, then have another 10 turns at (-1) OR I can whip now, be at -2 for two turns, then be at -1 for 10 turns. In either case, it's going to be the same number of turns before the unhappy clock clears completely, and since I've decided to whip, I've already concluded that the production benefit exceeds the tile yield I'm losing.

So I only have a problem if the extra unhappy I get on the next two turns bumps me against the cap - so I'll probably be OK if I'm whipping two or more happy citizens.


Another counter example would be the case where the building is going to be providing you with additional happy - the whip basically pays for itself on the next turn (got to be a little bit careful because building production comes after tile harvest).
 
The optimal whip gives you 29 overflow hammers, but in most cases it is not likely to happen. And you should whip and chop to give yourself even more overflow hammers. Often on higher levels and you are rushing that is where all of your production of units comes from. I whip anything and everything, it just depends on what's happening on the map.
 
Instead of growing then whipping a settler, consider not growing and building a settler, it's usually faster.
I'd only whip a worker if I'm playing somebody else's game who overgrew to unimproved tiles.

Multiple whips without granaries is very inefficient. Building a granary for a horse archer rush is inefficient. If you are able to work a grassland mine for 10 turns, you get 30 hammers at the cost of 10 food. Regrowth at say size 4 takes 28 food without a granary (half with). So if I'm going to attack over 10 turns from now, why would I sacrifice 28-10=18 food for no reason.

If you need extra units to meet a timing window, then sometimes you have to whip out that last round at the cost of slowing down your reinforcements. But the better your planning, the less wasteful you have to be.
 
Whipping somtimes gives me a headache too unless I'm in caste. Some mods can help to show info about whipping and other decisions a person has to make. (I can't think of the mods ATM.)
 
When watching Absolute Zero's games for example, you will notice that he plays rather fast without doing much of "overflow hammers" and similiar maths.
I stopped doing that long ago too, when i see i can speed things up significantly by whipping, i'll just do it. Not worrying about that grasland mine i cannot work for a while now, and if it would give more hammers in the long run

I believe this is one thing that stops many peoples from becoming Deity level, worrying too much about minor things, while at the same time not fully realizing the potential of stuffs like manipulating the AI or similiar long term tactics. Bascially getting lost too much in your little empire ;)
 
Whipping somtimes gives me a headache too unless I'm in caste. Some mods can help to show info about whipping and other decisions a person has to make. (I can't think of the mods ATM.)
BUG is the one I use, since it is familiar to me from a few total conversion mods that incorporate it and the Sevopedia plus some other UI utilities.

Mylene said:
I believe this is one thing that stops many peoples from becoming Deity level, worrying too much about minor things, while at the same time not fully realizing the potential of stuffs like manipulating the AI or similiar long term tactics. Bascially getting lost too much in your little empire

LITTLE empire?!
"Look upon my works, ye mighty, and despair!"

Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

Hmm ... maybe you're right. :D
 
Some thoughts on this

Okay, recently I have finally realized what people mean when they say food first in the early cities - it is simply the only yield you can get in relative decent amounts in the beginning. Production isn't nearly as close, but with Slavery I can, of course, convert population (=convert food) into production. Works well in theory.

But in practice I find myself whipping far less than I could, or should. So I've got a few questions on whipping:

  • Do you whip for Workers and Settlers? If yes, do you ever do 1-pop whips or always 2-pop whips for such units?
    2 pop often optimizing for max overflow (wait as long as possible)
  • Do you whip 2pop when the city is not unhappy (but at happy limit) and for which units/buildings would you do that?
    Yes, if i need them quickly
  • Whipping vs chopping -> After I tech/trade for Mathematics, I find myself chopping like mad and forget to whip. That suggests I'm losing production by not whipping - what's the best way to combine whipping and chopping? Do you pick it by city type/need or do you grow to max, whip, then while the city grows back you chop (which is what I try to do myself but always forget/can't time it correctly).
    I do both according to the situation, can be somwehat compicated as you have to reckon with the overflow cap
  • Considering the city growth bar, do you whip when it's at the beginning or when the city is 1 turn or 2 from growing?
    Depends on the happy cap but if i lose a good tile with the whip i want it back next turn so then whip when foodbox is full
  • For buildings do you whip as soon as possible to finish it? Or do you time it so that there is some kind of overflow?
    Depends on the importance of the building. Mind you if you time for overflow it only gains substantially if you whip a worker/settler (because you convert food to hammers directly). If only hammers are involved you can just as well whip immediately and go on to the next build if you don't lose too many high hammer tiles with the whip. In that case time it until the time you can whip away useless tiles, seatiles are ideal for growing and whipping
  • Do you use the Avoid Growth button? I mean not like activating the governor to it - just so that you can work food tiles but the city doesn't grow.
    Never

Also further advice is welcome! :p
 
Right now i realized that I didn't fully understand.
Everytime people talk about slavery and whipping, there is always mentioning of converting food->hammers and I always assumed that it's usually about the 1 pop = 30H (meaning you have to grow 20+2*n food which you convert into H).

But there is very important thing tied with food->hammers in early game and that is, if you build worker/settler, all your surplus food is your hammers! That's why it's important to use OF from these 2 units to generate hammers into library/granary etc instead of building infra only with hammers in chain.
In the early game in good cities you can usually have +8-10 food surplus, but for that you need at least 3 hills improved and worked.
 
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