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Is Overlapping Overrated?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by LincolnOfRome, Dec 10, 2013.

  1. LincolnOfRome

    LincolnOfRome Glutton for Punishment

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    I often hear the criticism, "you aren't overlapping your cities." I'm wondering if it is all that important. In the early game it does mean fewer worker turns for cities sharing tiles to have improved tiles available to work. Closer cities also require less distance maintenance.

    Still, I often watch playthroughs where overlapping isn't used by some of the best players. In the latter game, small cities with weak production may result when cities are closely placed. Also, why start a city right next to the capital and grab one resource when you can go another couple spaces away and grab three?

    Thoughts on this?
     
  2. Strickl3r

    Strickl3r Prince

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    It depends on the situation and what you want to do.
    If you want a strong cottaged capitol you need to share the tiles and work the cottages, so that they grow. Remember the happy cap and how important the early game is.
    Remember that it is often not worth it to start growing cottages beyond 1 AD or maybe let's say 500 AD at least, so you absolutely have to start with that early on.

    This can and will also apply to other tiles like double or even triple food in the capitols BFC, which you just can't work all the time, so it is worth settling close by to share that strong tiles. Gold mines are also tiles to share, if you want to whip a lot or you want to work 2 great scientist and you can't work all of your good tiles. It is very important to work tiles like a gold mine almost all time time in the early game to profit the most.

    Reduced maintanance is also nice and more important than having size 20 citys in a period of the time where the game should be finished anyway.

    Never listen to someone who says in his let's plays, that he doesn't like to overlap his citys, because he wants to work all his tiles in the BFC with just that one city. Those guys often times play for years and still don't beat immortal+. They usually play Monarch and don't improve their gameplay much.(which is absolutely fine, it's just a computer game, but not good advice, if you like to
    improve your own game)

    Later in the game when you should probably start a war most of the times these close by citys get more or less productive with irrigation spread and can whip some units. You don't have to and you shouldn't build much buildings in them.
     
  3. Izuul

    Izuul Level 86

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    What kind of resources are you grabbing? Does the city have food and/or production? Can you afford the extra worker turns to hook it up? How long before you have the tech and workers to improve those resources? Did you just go settle your 2nd city in the middle of jungle for 3 dyes and a banana?
     
  4. LincolnOfRome

    LincolnOfRome Glutton for Punishment

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    I suppose this depends on whether you are aiming for a 700 AD finish or a 1990 finish.
    Do you really think I was referring to settler level players? I think we have all seen examples of deity level players choosing to grab resources early on rather than build helper cities. I haven't heard these player disparage overlapping, but I have seen them not do it when better choices are there.
    That is clearly a bad decision. If you really think hard, I'm sure you could think of a situation that would make the more distant city worthwhile.
     
  5. Izuul

    Izuul Level 86

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    Horses or copper. That's probably about it.

    The only other exception i could think of is an oddly shaped land mass where we can block off our peninsula or something with one blocking city.
     
  6. Gwynnja

    Gwynnja Deity

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    Absolute zero has a crap-load of immortal and deity play throughs and he regularly develops a strong bureaucracy capitol. Themeinteam doesn't micromanage his tiles nearly as much, but I can't remember a time when he advocated not sharing tiles. Which players are you referring to, OP?
     
  7. Strickl3r

    Strickl3r Prince

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    I'm not an expert on late game victorys(at least not the ones you go for intentionally), but i think i have also red advice from good players here in the forum who tried to aim for space as early as possible, that it is not worth building those late cottages at all, because you can be in rep and work GPs or work State Property boosted tiles later on and a cottage won't catch up in time to be worth it.
    Btw, why would anyone aim for a 1990 finish anyway? That doesn't sound reasonable to me.
     
  8. LincolnOfRome

    LincolnOfRome Glutton for Punishment

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    Gwynnja: I've been watching a lot of TMIT, AZ, Sulla, Chris, GrimithR and others. Do you think that developing the beauro capital is always the best idea, and the deity level players that don't do it in every game are just sloppy? Or do they have different priorities that work just as well? I really don't want to bash any players.

    Strckl3r: I was just saying that building cottages is situational. I wouldn't want a beginner (who is struggling to complete his first space victory) to start thinking he shouldn't build cottages past 1 AD.
     
  9. MyOtherName

    MyOtherName Emperor

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    That's fine, if you have 50% more land because you played the early game better!

    And there's no rule that says you have to have two mediocre cities. As the game progresses, you can pick out the cities that have the potential to become powerful, and let them take tiles from their neighbors. So you still get your super-cities.

    But what about the cities stolen from you ask? That's okay too, since they are still working your mediocre tiles, running specialists with their food surplus, and building wealth/research, and so they contribute more to your empire than they consume.

    You can even mix it up a bit. Don't want to build units, but need more banks for Wall Street? Let your mediocre cities borrow the hammer tiles from your military city! (and for added bonus, when it gives the hammer tiles back, the banks improve the yield of those 1 or 2 merchant specialists the mediocre city was running)

    Why not do both?

    Incidentally, I don't often place cities just to grab resources. I place cities because they will be useful! Often this includes claiming resources, since many resources make a city useful. But as Izuul hinted at, a city with bananas and 3 dyes in the jungle is not useful, unless you're far enough into the game to have Iron Working and Calendar and enough worker turns to get it improved in a reasonable time, and should only be placed if it has some other significant redeeming value. e.g. blocking territory that can't be done otherwise, or it has enough riverside grassland without jungle that it can be a decent early game commerce city. (assuming you can still get the food -- e.g. borrow a rice from a neighboring city or settle on the bananas)
     
  10. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    Overlap can be useful, especially to work many good tiles at once before grown. You don't deliberately settle to do it, you settle the best spots and do it as it helps. Some overlap is very common. I know I tile swapped in my LPs at least sometimes. I am lazy so maybe not always.
     
  11. Gwynnja

    Gwynnja Deity

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    It's not always anything. I don't think it's "sloppy." I think if you're winning on deity you've got a good enough grasp on how to work your empire that winning without a bureau cap is still quite feasible.
     
  12. Strickl3r

    Strickl3r Prince

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    Though i think the buero capitol-> bulb MT approach on deity is probably the strongest and easiest, if it is an option.(Not counting UU rushes and peacefull victory conditions)
     
  13. rfcfanatic

    rfcfanatic Mercantilist

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    A good case is when you've recently settled your 2nd city and your capital is about to grow into unhappiness because it has a lot of good food. Then it would make perfectly sense to slow down your capital's growth by donating one of its rich food resources to your 2nd city which in turn helps your 2nd city to develop faster.

    But should you ever give the tile back to the capital - I don't know. Maybe an experienced player can help us to understand why giving a food tile back to the capital is a good thing.
     
  14. Ghpstage

    Ghpstage Deity

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    Well as the capital will be the core of your output for much of the game its the one you are going to want to grow fastest when happiness is available, you may want to run more specialists/mines after growth, you may want to use it to whip settlers and/or workers and extra food would help and later in the game it may need it to grow to its maximum useful size.
    Obviously depends on a few things, such as if the parasitic city has enough food in its ownright however.
     
  15. MyOtherName

    MyOtherName Emperor

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    Try this paradigm shift on for size. Rather than think in terms of "this tile belongs to the capital" and the related concepts "that other city is just borrowing the tile" and "the capital gives up ownership of the tile to the other city", instead think in terms of "this tile gives food: which nearby city do I want to feed?"
     
  16. Gwaja

    Gwaja King

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    Who says building cottages after 1 AD is a bad thing? I do that a lot! ^_^

    Unless I am financial or if I have floodplain tiles or lots of grassland flat riverside tiles in a city with lots of surplus food, I don't cottage a lot at all. Eventually, after Emancipation though, I do, a lot of times, transition into cottages then, as beakers and gold provided by the specialists alone are not gonna be sufficient any longer, with techs and expenses getting much more expensive. This is, of course, if I am going the peaceful route, preferably space or even UN.

    As for overlapping... there is no hard rule about where to settle your cities... EVER. It is always situational, and it always depends on what you want to do with that particular city. If a goal is to purely claim a strategic resource that you lack, even settling in the middle of ice and tundra just to grab oil or iron can be justified. As for long-term goals and short-term goals, I believe that your 2nd city and even your 3rd city should have immediate or short-term benefits in mind, even more so than what those cities can be capable of doing 100+ turns away from now.

    OP makes references to the YouTube videos. I can tell you, that nowhere has there been any hard rules about where to settle in those videos... it was always situational, and the hosts always had a valid reason for settling in that particular spot. It was never one way or the other, all the time. Civ 4 is about flexibility and adjustments in many scenarios, and I am guessing that's what draws many people back into this game.

    As for the preference to grab 3 resources rather than just 1... if it is a 2nd or even 3rd city you are settling, those resources had better be something like iron, horse, copper, or maybe even ivory. Being non-Creative and settling for non-strategic resources putting them in the 2nd ring, at the expense of food or helping grow cottage tiles or settling right in front of a major warmonger most likely may not be very optimal in lot of situations. What are the chances of having all 3 of those resources in the 1st ring? Most likely, it is 1 resource in the 1st ring, and the rest in the 2nd ring... sometimes you get lucky and get 2 in the 1st ring, but not as often as the former.

    The reason why many comments have been made regarding to this issue is that many newer players seem to think that losing even 1 or 2 tiles due to overlap is a bad thing, and want to settle in a pattern so that every city doesn't lose any tiles due to overlap. That kind of thinking may have worked in the previous 3 iterations of Civ, but in Civ 4, it doesn't quite work that way. I know this, because I used to think just like that, and I have had to adjust. The criticisms that encouraged people to overlap cities weren't necessarily made to make that a textbook rule of any kind, but more so that newer players to the game can get out of the mindset that overlapping is bad. It is far from the truth, a lot of times.

    So it is my conclusion that there is no overrated or underrated about anything in regards to settling cities with overlaps or not.
     
  17. Fippy

    Fippy Mycro Junkie Queen

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    It's very important.
    Easy example.. ;) If you have 3 good food resources in your Cap, and there's also a river, with giving just 1 of those foods to another city you can grow much faster into cottages (set along that river, and some may be given to your Cap later).

    Important concepts supporting that: Happy cap limit early (3 food res. allow lots of whipping in your Cap, true, but there should come a point where you must pause). With an endless happy cap you would not give any food away, but that's not reality ;)

    Easy settle: No additional barb guards needed most likely, for a close city.
    Low cost (for higher levels).
    Workers are here quick.

    Cottages are not the only example thou, let's take something else..you build The Great Lighthouse. You could settle 2 cities with much food, or you could settle 4 if you share food.
    Settling more with GLH = extra commerce. If space is limited, settling fewer cities with that wonder could really cost you.

    Another..your Cap has not that much food, and there are 2 gold mines.
    If you work them early, you grow slowly and 3h (with no food) are not really great for settlers too. Close to your gold, there are some cows (and not much else..).
    Not a very tempting city spot early, for cows only. Wait..4f cows + 2x gold + Cap can do other stuff than working gold and stagnating..wuwu i want a cows + gold city!
     
  18. elitetroops

    elitetroops Deity

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    This. There are lots of things in CIV that many players intuitively tend to do on lower levels which do not work as well on higher levels. Settling too far apart is one of them. The high happy and health cap, low maintenance costs and lack of appreciation for the whip gives the new player the impression that cities need lots of room to grow. To improve, such a player need to change the thinking on a fundamental level from "overlap is bad" to "overlap is good". To achieve that change it's best to start with the simple rule "overlap is good". If you immediately add 12 exceptions to that, then the message not nearly as powerful. Obviously there are exceptions, but you can start looking for them later when you understand how overlap really affects your cities.
     
  19. drewisfat

    drewisfat Prince

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    Agree with Fippy. Overlapping is underrated, it's not just to create a bureau capital. If you hope to have any chance at all on say, deity pangea maps you will have to overlap, or most games you won't even have enough cities without an early war. There's also:

    - saved city maintenance
    - increased micro possibilities with tile sharing. Not just for initial food either. Which city you want to be eating food/commerce/hammers changes constantly.
    - Greater land usage
    - Lower pop/health caps mean less dumb infrastructure, like temples, aqueducts, markets and granaries.

    Even late game it's more efficient usually to have almost no cities over size 10.
     
  20. pomthom

    pomthom Drive & Reverb

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    Agree 100% with Fippy & drewisfat. Flexibility is key.

    Something that hasn't been highlighted enough in this thread IMO is that settling cities to share important tiles (such as food for ex) increases drastically the turn where this new city contributes to your empire. And that means ealier everything else.
     

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