Keeping your fat empire happy

Discussion in 'Civ5 - Strategy & Tips' started by kjades, Aug 30, 2013.

  1. kjades

    kjades Chieftain

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    Hi, as the title says, what's the best tactic to keep a wide empire happy?
    I am chasing a scientific victory with the Maya, and since science is mainly based on population I suppose the best way is to have a wide empire...
    But, how wide? And, since happines at a certain point will become a problem with wide empires, do you think having lots of low-populated cities the best tactic?
    Like, instead of focusing on food just pushing the production in each city?
    Sry if the subject has already been discussed somewhere else, just wanted a straight answer asap :)

    general hints and tips are clearly accepted...
     
  2. Tich

    Tich Prince

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    Wide is horrible if you want a fast SV. Play 4 city Tradition and grow tall instead. Maya is a great civ for it. Going wide with them because of their UB is a trap. Don't do it. Just use it to secure a religion and to get some extra science early on to hit key techs sooner. You can use their UB to great effect as well. Plant an early GS for science and use a GE to rush Pisa and then get a GS to plant. Alternatively you could get a GE to rush Porcelain Tower but I mean you can just hard build that one usually.

    With respect to happiness, just get Colosseums/Circuses fairly early on (try and get Collos just before you build Universities) and make a Mercantile CS ally as soon as possible. Do everything in your power to keep it as your ally for the entire game. Eventually you can get Zoos and the NW Colosseum (forget the name lol) and that should be just about good enough.
     
  3. evilcat

    evilcat Warlord

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    As for science, there are two factors: one is populacion and buildings + rationalism, the second is per city penalty (5% more science to tech). So when expanding need to make sure you gain more (or at least close). Having many crappy cities is not a option, you need many good cities. Without population (just alot of production) not only you will have not enought science, but at some point you will have problem with gold, since maintenece of all this buildings will be too much.

    If you are aiming for for a science you may just stop at 4 cities with tradicion, and go tall till Idology, preferable Freedom.
     
  4. kjades

    kjades Chieftain

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    Ok, got it, thanks for the briefing guyz :) Still has much to learn, and still crave to learn more about this game...
    Gonna go for Immortal soon...

    What I'm wondering right now is...is a wide empire EVER useful? In which strategy? Thanks a bunch!
     
  5. Lunco

    Lunco Chieftain

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    Right now wide empires got a little nerfed with BNW. Wide is only a consequence of domination.
     
  6. Blitz Spearman

    Blitz Spearman Warlord

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    The key thing to develop your own strategy and decide how wide you want to go is to understand the happiness system. The tradition 4 cities is a solid and famous strategy, but you should also learn to decide by yourself based on map conditions. CiV has a huge quantity of variables to consider when making decisions such as when/where/how many cities to build, that is what makes it a great game and makes humans so overpower compared to AIs :)

    The happiness system is divided in local happiness and global happiness. Local happiness is the happiness generated by buildings such as Colosseum and Circus and the religious buildings (like Pagodas), and it is only used to counter your "unhappiness by number of citizens". This means that if your city has 1 citizen and you buy a Colosseum, this Colosseum will generate only 1 happiness, not 2. It will only generate as much happiness as the number of citizens, because local happiness, as the name says, is divided by each city.

    Now, there is also global happiness, which is generated by luxury resources, Mercantile City-States and Natural/National/World Wonders. Global happiness you get is yours right away, with no other requirements. This is the happiness you want to counter your "unhappiness by number of cities".

    Considering that happiness is your real limit of population (and population = science), minimizing your unhappiness by number of cities and maximizing food growth in your cities naturally makes you have a larger population before you reach the happiness limit; that is why the first answer to your question is that a tall empire has better science.

    But keep in mind other factors: the first one, that you should consider as soon as you scout the map in the first turns, is luxury resources. Each different luxury is 4 global happiness, and each new city is 3 unhappiness for number of cities. This means that if making a new city will give you a luxury resource that you would not be able to get in any other way, settling this city is almost always profitable (just make sure that it will have production to make stuff, food to grow and is in a location that you can defend from attacks). Another factor is that there is a limit to how much local happiness you can have per city. A one-city empire with a huge population and a Colosseum may have a lower happiness limit (and, consequently, a smaller total population) than a wide empire with Colosseum, Pagoda and Mosque in every city, plus Circus in about half of them, given they have enough population to actually generate this local happiness. This means that a wide empire should never keep cities small, because you want more population to use the local happiness, and obviously to have more science/gold/production. Also note that religion is a strong source of happiness (mainly local happiness, now that Cerimonal Burials was nerfed), and wide empires are notoriously better at generating faith.

    Finally, consider the local happiness generated by social policies. Both Liberty and Tradition have happiness-generating policies: from Tradition, you get a huge amount of local happiness but only in your capital, while from Liberty you get 1 happiness from every city, but it depends on you getting roads connecting all of them, and roads cost gold.

    All of this comes down to: different empire sizes are better suited to different map conditions, and knowing the system will allow you to choose the better one.
     
  7. kjades

    kjades Chieftain

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    So, basically what u're sying is, expand to get more science but just as long as u can keep a steady, nice amount of happiness...only if u can afford it, in fatct...am I right? :)
    Anyway, thanks, little by little grasping it better :)
     
  8. Blitz Spearman

    Blitz Spearman Warlord

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    Its more like think of expansion as expansion of your total population, rather than the expansion of your lands (grabbing land is important too, but population is more), and understand happiness. If you have a good understanding of the happiness system, you will see that the number of cities that gives you the larger population depends a lot on the conditions given to you by each map.
     
  9. toastmaster7727

    toastmaster7727 Chieftain

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    I find Pagodas to be ridiculously overpowered when it comes to maintaining happiness. Even if another religion claims the Pagodas first, I almost always open my borders to that Civ if they are nearby just to get Pagodas.
     
  10. DudewiththeFood

    DudewiththeFood King

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    You can expand well for a SV as long as you can raise a population to at least 5 quickly and get a library fast too. Otherwise it's better to keep 6 or less. People say 4 because that is as far as Tradition benefits but you can do just as well with up to 8 in a great location.
     
  11. FrostK

    FrostK Prince

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    To go wide and science and piece one faces a lot of problems:
    1. Space.
    2. Happiness.
    3. 5% science penalty.
    4. 10% culture penalty.
    5. Building maintance.

    With religion you can deal with 2 and 4. 3 is a problem, you need to develope new cities fast. However, city of size two with UB is 3 science - it is 5% of 60, so you r ok with such cities before turn 100.

    So the most problems is 1 and 5, which depends on the surrounding area. And this is why I still dont have any good SV for wide, it is very rare that you have a lot of good land.
     
  12. Blitz Spearman

    Blitz Spearman Warlord

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    Problem #5 is not as much as a problem for China, Carthage and Inca; these civs turn wideness into profit, instead of debit. Problem #1 is the hardest. The only surefire way to get more space in a standard map is to kill off a neighbour before T70. Huns and Assyria are obvious choices for this approach (double razing from Huns UA is handy here, getting rid quickly of that size 1 city in a stupid location, and then sending your own settler there later).
     
  13. glory7

    glory7 King

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    for BNW, going wide is only good if you do 1. sacred sites, 2. fast CB/XBow domination win
     
  14. TheCrawdad

    TheCrawdad Chieftain

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    Wide empires receive a bunch of hate for the % based penalties having many cities imposes, but in my own personal opinion, I think wide is a more flexible option for SV, just because your empire has more hammers to do whatever you want, whereas with only a few cities, sometimes production of vital units to defend your empire from an unhappy neighbor can be difficult, but again, its only my opinion.

    Now as far as answering your question, how do we keep wide empires happy? It is important to understand that with shrines (or better yet, pyramids as the maya), and temples in each of your cities combined with a trait or two from the Piety tree, you will be gaining faith at an astonishing rate, as faith is not affected by city number. This means a sub T60 religion is a strong possibility, and a quick religion means PAGODAS! Cannot stress how good they are, and even better if you can get mosques too!

    So now with pagodas, we are at +2 happiness per city, meaning that any new city we found is at a loss of 2 happiness. Heres where your settling makes a big difference. Horses are fantastic because they provide an upkeep-free +2 happiness from circus, Luxuries obviously give you that wonderful +4, and remember that duplicates can be traded away. Coliseums also give +2 as well, but that early game gpt hit can be tough to manage sometimes.

    What is most important about keeping a wide empire happy, IMO, is keeping your cities as small as functionally possible. Early game you will obviously not be able to keep up with a tall NC focused civ, but eventually your enormous empire will start to make up the difference, in part because with all the ridiculous faith you're making, you can simply buy GS to beaker when the right religous/social policies are taken. For instance, if you settle on a hill in a desert with only a hill nearby, it doesnt need to grow any more... just improve the tile, and be happy with your 1 pop +6 hammer city.

    Now whether or not wide is feasible for science victories is a different story, but hopefully religion and smart city placement should make happiness not too big a deal early game.
     
  15. Blitz Spearman

    Blitz Spearman Warlord

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    I disagree completely. You should never avoid growth, growth = science, science = winning. Hammers are just another way of getting more science. If you think a little about the happiness system (specially local happiness) and assume that a larger total population is always better, the advantage of having multiple happiness sources (multiple pagodas, multiple collosseums) can only be achieved by growing your cities.

    A size 1 city is 4 unhappiness (3 from the city itself, 1 from the citizen). If you get a pagoda there, you are down to 3 unhappiness, not 2, because you can't have more local happiness than number of citizens. If you have, say, 6 cities like that, you are getting 18 unhappiness for just 6 citizens, just to get a couple extra hammers that will be completely useless, because using them all in buildings is ineffective and very expensive in maintenance, and using them in units is only useful for a fast CB rush. Why not just grow all your cities as much as you can and start using that local happiness from pagodas, circus and colloseums? More citizens working luxury tiles can help to pay for the maintenance. This is the only way that a wide empire can possibly have more science than a tall empire, growing as much as you can and spamming happiness sources like there is no tomorrow. Buying 2 or 3 extra GS with faith will not help you if the other guy had more than twice as much citizens for the whole game.
     
  16. Gehennas

    Gehennas Warlord

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    Actually, I found managing wide empires easier than tall ones (works on King and lower):

    1. Found a religion ASAP. It is very important for going wide. Founder beliefs that give happiness are not so useful (so get Tithe) but follower beliefs are crucial. You should take Pagodas (can buy pagodas with :c5faith: - +2 :c5faith:, :c5culture: and :c5happy:; they will give you extra happiness and accumulate more faith for future GP purchase) and Religious Center (Temples provide +2 :c5happy:). So you will have a cheaper analogue of colloseum in addition to colloseum itself.

    2. If you don't need Stonehenge to get a religion, research writing after pottery, start building Great Library, research Calendar, finish Great Library, take Philosophy, build NC.

    3. Try to get physics asap. Rush Notre Dame with GE (liberty finisher should give one to you)

    4. It is even better if you have a coastal empire - get Naval Tradition policy.

    5. Only 4-5 of your cities should accumulate :c5food: and :c5production:. Others should be TP-spammed.

    As soon as you get an Ideology with all these building-based happiness tenets you can try to ally with some maritime CSs to get a growth boost for your empire.
     
  17. kjades

    kjades Chieftain

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    Maybe wide empires can keep happy just through alliances with crucial city states which provide luxury goods not available anywhere else? Was wondering that for quite some time...

    Anyway, I am sometimes getting lost in ur acronyms guyz :) I've been looking for a good civictionary in this forum but found none yet :) any useful link? or u will just keep on speaking ukranian to me...(and I do not understand ukranian, unfortunately...)
     
  18. Strategist83

    Strategist83 King

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    You should never build wider than that you can still comfortably maintain positive happiness. Always maintain positive happiness even while trying to grow your cities at maximum speed - if you start dipping into negative happiness, you're doing it wrong. 'Wide' doesn't mean you want to hamper growth, you always want as much growth as possible in every city. Growth/population is what wins the game - the faster you can reach the industrial era, the earlier you population explodes, and the beakers you get from having high-pop cities through growth is how you get there the fastest. If you find yourself having to limit growth to avoid unhappiness, you over-extended. 'Wide' also doesn't mean you want to settle every spot regardless of how poor an output it provides; only settle where the city will grow big and powerful. If there simply isn't decent land available, forget about the wide strategy and stop expanding (and go killing your opponents instead!).

    The posted suggestion of size 1 cities is truly horrible, you'd do well to forget that. The Trade post spam suggestion is awful, as well - trade posts are really poor tiles until you can boost them with Economics and policies.

    Mercantile city-states are indeed useful for maintaining happiness and will likely play a key role in a wide strategy. Religion with the right beliefs will greatly help, as well. It's also worth noting that wide actually doesn't work as well on lower difficulties because the silly AI will fail to connect luxury resources so you won't have any trading partners until much later than normal (the AI doesn't play a 'normal' game on Prince). You should try playing a game on at least Emperor setting to see how happiness becomes easier to maintain and wide expansion more viable when luxury trades are actually possible fairly early.
     
  19. Blitz Spearman

    Blitz Spearman Warlord

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    While the above suggestion is useful to learn the basics of the strategy, you really should not rely on trading partners past medieval era. One day they WILL backstab you, and being attacked is already bad enough, you don't to also see your happiness going from 2 to -6 because of cancelled luxury trades right at the start of war. You know you are doing it right when you can keep positive happiness without getting any luxury from the AI.
     

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