How to use corporations effectively

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by civnoob13, Aug 8, 2010.

  1. civnoob13

    civnoob13 King

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    I really don't see the point in corporations. They just seem to make me loose a massive amount of money and for a little bonus in production or culture.

    When / how should I use them?
     
  2. shyuhe

    shyuhe Deity

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    You should found a corporation in a city with wall street and should only spread it in cities with at least a courthouse. Sid's Sushi and Mining Inc. will (for most empires) break even. If you are playing as the HRE, then corporations are great because of the extra reduction in city maintenance from the UB.

    In terms of how much it can provide, it's not unheard of for sushi to provide 20-30 food (basically 10 specialists) or for mining to provide an additional 20 base hammers (equivalent to working 5 plains hill mines for free). They can be immensely powerful if used correctly.
     
  3. civnoob13

    civnoob13 King

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    but how do you use the correctly?

    Assuming all my cities have courthouses, where should I spread a corporation, like, for example, mining inc?

    How, apart from courthouses, do i prevent from loosing massive amount of money?
     
  4. shyuhe

    shyuhe Deity

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    If you're strapped for cash, just spread it to cities that need the corporation. -- like putting mining in your best production cities. You can also spread it to your vassals to strengthen them (and take in extra corporation income) as well. Courthouses are the only way to avoid losing cash on corporations. Free market is obviously good, environmentalism is bad.
     
  5. lymond

    lymond Rise Up! (Phoenix Style!) Moderator Hall of Fame Staff

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    civnoob - As shuyhe mentioned, establish corps in your Wall Street city. This helps maximize the gold generated by each branch to help offset some of the cost. Your Wall Street city should hopefully already have a shrine that is generating a lot of gold and should be running lots of merchants (and with Sushi in there it can run even more merchants).

    You can also spread corps to the AI in which case they will incur the maintenance costs of those branches. However, obviously you want to be careful who you spread corps too. Some corps are best to keep just in your borders while some other corps provide less of a benefit that they may be best spread entire outside your empire.

    There is a pretty good article on corps in the War Academy.
     
  6. Jet

    Jet No, no, please. Please.

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    Market, Grocer, Bank, Wall St in the headquarters. Don't spread the corp too much until you have all those buildings there. Optional: Free Market civic.
     
  7. qyll

    qyll Prince

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    1. Found your HQ in the city you built Wall St. in. This is essential.
    2. Spread your corp only to cities with courthouses.
    3. Run free market. Yeah, state property is nice, but in the end, free market + corps > state property.
    4. Play as Charlemagne or Shaka for even more abuse.
     
  8. itg

    itg Warlord

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    There are two ways to use corps--keep them for yourself for the benefits they provide, or force them on your enemies to leech off their economy. In the latter case, using the UN to force environmentalism on the world is a lot of fun.

    Normally for your empire, you want Sid's Sushi and Mining Inc. Don't spread these to your rivals, as the benefit probably outweighs the cost even without HQ gold. You can substitute Creative Constructions for Mining Inc if you can't found it in time, or Cereal Mills for Sushi, especially on low-seafood maps. You may want Std Eth or AlCo if you lack the resource they provide (put them in your production cities only, in this case), but most often, you should use them for foreign spread, especially to AIs that already have the oil or aluminum. Civilized Jewelers is another excellent choice for foreign spread, since culture is really the only benefit.
     
  9. Jerrymander

    Jerrymander Epistemologist

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    You must found a corporation in a city with wall street (and a bank, market, and grocer) and must only spread it in cities with at least a courthouse. Then, you can hire merchant specialists. You are founding Sid's Sushi.... right?
     
  10. shyuhe

    shyuhe Deity

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    I definitely spread mining to cities without courthouses. It makes the courthouse build a lot faster. I have also founded corporations in cities without wall street (although it has a bank + market + grocer) because wall street was still under construction. I'd say it's recommended but not necessary.
     
  11. DMOC

    DMOC Mathematician

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    I have to agree with shyuhe regarding corporations in cities without courthoses. Don't get me wrong - it's not ideal at all - but it's not bad either. However, any city that does not have a courthouse that late in the game probably will not be that much helpful to you anyway, barring unusual circumstances (i.e. late game captured city?).
     
  12. mirthadir

    mirthadir Emperor

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    Captured cities and extreme filler cities (e.g. no workable tiles) are the two cases that come to mind for not having CHs up. In either case I still spread the corporation. In the first you are going to have a CH quick (either by US or WSing/WMing the place) and in the second I normally build such only with a long view in mind or if I'm gaming population with a massively powerful Sushi.

    Regardless I should also note that CivJ can more than break even without a CH.

    Also it is PERFECTLY fine to found corps outside of WS if you must. The most obvious example being the option to run Sushi and SE in your :hammers: and :commerce: cities respectively. Sushi (or CM) can feed a lot of :hammers: tiles, but may be worse than SE without Rep in cities already at 20 pop; additionally you may need just a few SE cities to get oil for a late game war. AlCo, likewise may only be worth running in a few cities for the resource. Also, if you capture a powerful corps, like Mining, it can often be a no brainer move to spread it through the empire even if WS was already built elsewhere; for instance if you are running PS it is an effective way to convert :gold: (and perhaps :commerce:) into :hammers: that otherwise would be mostly useless (either at the end of the tech tree or once you hit the Internet).

    Another setup is to have corps specifically for export. The best two tend to be AlCo and SE. These do not provide :hammers: (so the AI can't convert them into more/better units once you hit jets/MechInf/MA/MSAM) and also don't give the AI mass :culture: to steal tiles. You can sometimes get a phenomenal profit from either AlCo or SE being founded in a city (the GP farm is normally a decent choice, also the Globe works fairly well) and then exported to AIs not in merc or SP. If they spread the corporation heavily you can make mass :gold: and they have more tech to trade (or give you free from the Internet).

    Generally you normally want your domestic corps in all cities with the HQ in WS with all :gold: multipliers. Sushi/Mining is a popular combo, SE/CM being less powerful on average are still viable replacements for Sushi; the CreCon/CivJ/AlCo combo actually tends to beat Mining for everything but spaceship production once it gets rolling ... but that is still a high opportunity cost.

    For civics, FM is the obvious one. Enviro can be handy for screwing over AIs (particularly if you are HRE, Zulu, America, or Britain) making it relatively better in the cases where the AIs already have high health and more corps than you. Merc is really only viable of its own right when you need to please Toko or trade is a big enough deal that you want to deny the AIs.
     
  13. Jerrymander

    Jerrymander Epistemologist

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    There are exceptions to every rule, and those are the exceptions. ;)
     
  14. iggymnrr

    iggymnrr Deity

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    As to abusing sushi in playing for score (HoF) these things are important: Kremlin, Collosus on a big-and-small map with lots of islands. It doesn't take long to whip courthouses, granaries, lighthouses in. Also helpful: globe theatre and mausoleum wonder at marathon speed. I generally pay cash for settlers (not always) and whip a lot with sushi @ 30+ food and growing.
     
  15. T-hawk

    T-hawk Transcend

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    To answer the OP's question: use a corporation when you have a LOT of the resources it consumes. If you have only one fish in your entire empire, and you founded Sid's Sushi, that is your own silly fault that it's not producing much.

    Remember to keep an eye on a win condition too. Civ Jewelers does pretty much jack if you're not going for culture, for example. Space race wins want either Sushi or Cereal (whichever produces more food for the resources you own), let the cities grow extra specialists, and run Representation for science from them. Domination wins want a hammer corporation most, whichever of Mining Inc or CreateCon will produce more hammers. And a culture win wants Sushi, CreateCon, and Civ Jewelers of course.
     
  16. The Rook

    The Rook King

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    ...and Sushi

    *Whip!

    This too. In fact I don't ever remember founding a first corp with Wall Street actually ready. The huge surge in productivity nearly always seems to outweigh any temporary losses.



    The main thing that prevents me from using corps more is the long list of prerequisites that are required to utilise them when compared to SP. Also, the fact that I don't like to plan my game around creating a corp unless I'm close to 100% certain I'll be the founder, or SP is simply a very weak alternative (lots of seafood and limited land for instance).
     
  17. Hereditary Rule

    Hereditary Rule Warlord

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    In my last game I founded 2 corps, and in both cases, it took the AI (all of them) 5-10 turns before they would trade me excess corp resources. They replied "surely, you must be joking" when I moused over Iron after founding mining inc. After 5 or 10 turns, suddenly they were willing to trade it. Is this intended or was it a bug?
     
  18. itg

    itg Warlord

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    I've heard the AIs won't trade corp resources until you spread it to one of your cities outside the HQ. Probably a bug, but not a big deal.
     
  19. Hereditary Rule

    Hereditary Rule Warlord

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    Cereal Mills has been quite powerful for me in numerous games. It comes a few turns later but in many games I find my domestic resources generate equal food with either corp. This is because each resource is worth more :food: under cereal than under sushi. On huge size maps, it takes 3 cereal resources to generate 1 :food:, while sushi takes 4.

    If you don't need Sushi's :culture:, Cereal will often generate more :food: after you start trading with AI's. This is because you likely will not be able to trade for all of the AI's grains (cereal) or fish (sushi) - 15 trades for grains under cereal will generate more :food: than 15 trades for fish under sushi. Again, this assumes you aren't in need of the :culture:.

    If I have a Great Merchant and know I'll be founding one of the food corps I'll do a rough analysis of available domestic and foreign grains/fish and choose from there. It would seem many players beeline sushi without doing the math. Sometimes Cereal Mills is better.
     
  20. The Rook

    The Rook King

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    Also, even when there is a lower quantity of attainable CM food available, CM can make a worthy alternative to Sushi based on its massively lower maintenance, that is assuming you don't need the culture.

    Personally though, I think SP deters me from founding CM more than Sushi. With SP and CM generally thriving on similar land heavy maps, I normally find the speed and ease of returns from the former to be more attractive. Also, I tend to experience that there are far fewer imponderables when it comes to devising a strategy around SP, i.e. no worries about bad luck in GP pool or AI founding the corp first, trades etc. Yes corps may often beat SP on paper in the endgame, but SP is attainable MUCH earlier.

    If the empire is based heavily on cottages though, CM can be a very attractive low maintenance food corp. Who cares if there might be theoretically more Sushi food available on the map if the surplus food will completely ram your giant cottage cities into the poor health barrier? The lower maintenance of CM can help to justify running the surplus pop as specialists under Universal Suffrage too.
     

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