Jump to emperor, maintenance/upkeep stifling economy

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by DigitalBoy, Jul 30, 2009.

  1. DigitalBoy

    DigitalBoy Emperor

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    For a while now, I've been playing monarch difficulty and able to win consistently, so I thought I would try and make the jump to emperor. I've also been experimenting with early rushes, which I hadn't used at all on lower difficulties.

    But I'm having a really big problem; after I expand to four cities, my economy starts taking a nose dive from city maintenance. If I'm doing an early rush, I have unit upkeep costs (and lack of cottage development) compounding that problem. It's really crippling; by the time I can recover my economy, my rivals are already teching like mad.

    On monarch difficulty, I would have no problem at all teching through Iron Working and Writing before an economic plateau, even when I was expanding quickly and neglecting cottages. But on emperor, unless I get a strong commerce start (i.e. gold in capital), my research peters out to <10 beakers/turn before I can even reach Writing.

    Here's my current game, with two different saves (v3.19), one right before I went to war with the Zulus, and one several turns after the war ended. The rush came later than I had hoped for, because my capital's food/hammer output was mediocre and copper took a while to hook up. It's an arid start with few rivers, so easy commerce is to hard to come by, but if I can pull a stable economy out of this start, then I should be able to do so with any reasonable start.

    EDIT: You can also see from the second save that all my rivals, even Shaka, have a strong tech lead over me. For that matter, most of them are roughly equal to me in terms of number of cities. I have room for horizontal expansion and vertical city growth, but I don't know if I'll recover in time to be competitive.
     

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  2. DaveMcW

    DaveMcW Deity

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    The 4th city on Emperor has really steep upkeep.

    Try rushing on only 3 cities.
     
  3. Ignorant Teacher

    Ignorant Teacher Emperor

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    Hi!

    I'm new to Emperor too and I face similar problems. I only opened the first save. Your economy can support the war effort. I simply moved the citizen working the cows in Athens to the wine and a citizen working a plain to the coast in the copper town and you stopped losinig money. Next turn the gold city is going to grow, so you can work the gold, then you'll be in a better situation.

    Three more little things:
    1- The maintenance is going to get better once your phalanxes start to die.
    2- Cottage the floodplains in Athens.
    3- Try to research Writing before. Sometimes it's not possible, though.

    I think you're doing well, you still have a gold city to settle and you have your precious rivers.
     
  4. JBossch

    JBossch King

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    You pay for the rush with the gold you get from plundering AI cities. You just have to keep from striking until then.
     
  5. madscientist

    madscientist RPC Supergenius

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    I cannot see your saves, but I play routinely on emperor.

    1) MAke sure you have Pottery and writing before your treasury runs dry. Usually before City #3.

    2) Cottage.

    3) Libraries. Every city that has a library can always get you 7.5 beakers while running 2 scientist specialists reagrdless of your slider. A capital Academy from a GS get's an extra 3 beakers.

    4) Research alphabet/Math/Currency/Code of Laws ealier than later. They are key to economic recovery at emperor.

    5) The early rush usually poses the problem of paying for the troops rather than the cities. Use teh treasury to research towards the big 4 faster.

    6) Understand on Emperor the AI typically will tech faster. You need to tech smarter and backfill (Diplomacy helps ALOT).

    I can usually have 5-10 cities before I get the big 4 depending on land and resources.
     
  6. Hrundi

    Hrundi Chieftain

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    I've found that relying on libraries and science specialists while managing my commerce to break even at 0% is enough sometimes to get through a rather severe economic crash.
    Pottery definitely helps.
    With scientists you can get to CoL/Currency, and then by the time you've got courthouses everywhere, you should be over the economic hump. By that time, some cottages should also have started maturing.
     
  7. Grashopa

    Grashopa Emperor

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    Replay the game and go straight for pottery and cottage those flood plains to see the difference.

    You need 5 food to run all the hills you have and you have plains cow + 5 flood plains. Farm 2 of the flood plains. That means at 6 pop you can run all the hammer tiles. Cottage the other 3 first. And beeline pottery on that start to do so.

    Also know what you are going to get from the war - for example I would have wanted to have calendar as soon as possible here, kept the western city and built research in my cities to get those hooked up fast. Plus cottage on the rivers meant that city was big.
     
  8. slobberinbear

    slobberinbear Ursine Skald

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    The key for Emperor, for me anyway, has been deciding on a strategy and sticking to it, rather than trying to do everything. Generally, this means either:

    1. Rushing
    2. REXing
    3. Wonderspamming

    I usually pick one of those options and go from there.

    If you want to practice, I suggest getting a large land map and REXing with Cathy to secure good food locations, then whipping or chopping out libraries everywhere and running scientists. Try to found a few cottage cities too.

    You will end up with a very large empire by 1 AD that isn't making much money but still researching thanks to beakers from scientists and lightbulbing techs.
     
  9. civverguy

    civverguy Emperor

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    My main problem is after I REX or rush I don't know what to do. I can't seem to keep up with the AI both militarily and scientifically. If I try to focus on getting my economy back I'll have a weak military and I can't attack if I build a large military because that would make my economy worse.
     
  10. madscientist

    madscientist RPC Supergenius

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    Here is an example for my current game as Churchill, Emperor difficulty, epic Speed.



    6 cities by 365 AD. I have Pottery/writing. I warrior spammed and settled agressively in the south to block off Saladin. Shared faith with sal and more cities means warriors are enough for now.

    I am going after HBR plus sowrds to take out sala now, and will only then start teching towards Currency/CoL.

    The key here is that I used the land and cottaged the 2 southern cities while London pumped out settlers/warriors/workers. Early Sailing get's me a decent amount of commerce from trade routes (especially Mansa and saladin). One Library in London running 2 sceitnists and I plan a second somewhere eventually.

    All a patch job on the economy until I can get Currency/CoL.

    Hope this helps.
     
  11. civverguy

    civverguy Emperor

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    In this situation, how technologically advanced are you? Did you research bronze working yet?

    Thanks for the help.
     
  12. madscientist

    madscientist RPC Supergenius

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    I had all the basic worker techs and the early economic techs in sailing/pottery/wheel/writing as well as Bronze Working and Iron Working.

    I finished this game, kicked saladin off my land, got a GE and GM so I founded the cutlure corps and tried for a culture win. Came damned close (15 turns away) but Pacal Launched the SpaceShip before 1900 AD!

    Either way, the overexpansion early did not adversely affect my game!

    EDIT: I was behind a little intech but researched monopoly techs like Compass and Paper and backfilled with trades. First to Education, First to Liberalism, Last to Space!
     

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