Lame commerce, why?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Bonesy, Dec 10, 2011.

  1. Bonesy

    Bonesy Chieftain

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    This is a very typical small, Pangea, vanilla, emperor game I play. I'll get a nice edge early on it seems. I'll have a tech lead (great library, first to Lib etc) which seems to dissipate no matter what i do and then I hit around 1800 AD and it's all catchup and most of the times I lose the space race. I have more population, more land, etc, buy my GNP is way way behind the leader. I feel like I'm building a ton of cottages and my GNP still stinks. Clearly I'm missing some dynamic here. I have taken 5 screenshots at 1790 AD. In this game Alexander is ahead and I can't tell how far but probably at least three techs.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Also, given my predicament what would you do to try and win from here?

    Thanks for reading.
     

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  2. Archon_Wing

    Archon_Wing Vote for me or die

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    Save would help a lot.

    Hmm, you are currently running Merc, foreign trade routes are worth a lot more than domestic ones and can greatly reduce your income if you shut them off.

    The other thing is that you are running HR. If you switch to rep, chances are your research would greatly increase; It guarantees that you are gaining a minimum of 3 extra beakers per city due to the merc synergy even if your cities were completely empty.
     
  3. AutomatedTeller

    AutomatedTeller Frequent poster

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    Just some thoughts:

    Bureaucracy is probably stronger than free speech - I don't know that, but I'm guessing. How many towns do you have now?

    You are in HR, but you have some unhappiness and you have smaller cities than the greeks - those things really shouldn't be true.

    But really - I'd probably go to war. If you are outproducing everyone, use that. Take cities from the greeks (who i assume are the tech leaders)

    I completely agree that if you are in mercantilism, you should be in rep. Even if you aren't in mercantilism, you probably should be in rep.
     
  4. backthief

    backthief Chieftain

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    I believe you should be running Organized Religion, since you are on a building spree. You will be taking way too much to build those Banks/Observatories.

    Also, you have founded (or taken) the two main religions. You should have Great Prophets in it and queue Missionaries after missionaries, spreading those religions all over. Those two shrines will give you all the money you will need.
    Then Wall Street on Madrid
     
  5. backthief

    backthief Chieftain

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    You should go to war first, as AutomatedTeller said. Domination/Conquest wins are the way to go on smaller maps, IMHO!
     
  6. OneLeggedRhino

    OneLeggedRhino King

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    If you are running 80% research, skip the banks / grocers except in your holy cities. 25% of 20% is a 5% commerce bump. You'd do better just building wealth. Same with the theater in Santiago - iceballs don't need happiness buildings.

    Edit: Just re-read the original question, saw this is a typical problem for you. My general guess is that you're making too much infrastructure, which is ultimately slowing you down (since it requires working hills instead of cottages or specialists).

    Not sure what's up with the demo screen. It looks to me like you have 600 useful commerce, and almost 1k total commerce, but it shows 128? Probably a program error, not a research problem. I think they changed the demo screen in BTS. How do your research times compare with the AI?

    Based on your civics, it looks like your trying to get cottages going? There's a lag between when you build them and when they become good, so you may just be experiencing that lag. But in general, you want to skip cottages except for your capital or maybe one of your first ancient cities, and focus the rest of your empire on production or specialists.

    Hope it helps.
     
  7. z0wb13

    z0wb13 undead

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    i will tend to neglect diplomacy past the mid-game, and my guess is that you are probably doing the same. because once you get into a dominant position, it's easy to get into a pattern were you just try to build up, turtle for a space race.

    the problem is that the ai is going to keep tech trading, and eventually develop all their land. especially as you move to higher levels (ai bonuses increase dramatically), then it isn't your big empire against several backward ai. instead, it is one psycho ai that has a few vassals against your 1 empire that has neglected diplo for maybe a thousand years.
     
  8. Bonesy

    Bonesy Chieftain

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    Great stuff. Thanks for the input. A couple further things.

    For whatever reason, I hadn't switched to rep. Over time this would clearly hurt my tech. Switching on the latest turn got me from 469 to 543 in research. Over many years this would slow me down considerably. I believe my tech rate was comparable to the Greeks but I was just behind a few, not sure how many.

    I switched to mercantilism a while back because I had read in this forum somewhere that you should switch over when you start having more cities than the AI and that you are doing them a favor by not switching. Maybe I misunderstood this. Obviously if all the AI's are on merc than I'm trading with myself anyways but that isn't the case here.

    My cities are smaller than Greece because I seemed to have slow production cities and was whipping a ton to get buildings online. As a poster before mentioned, I may be building way too much infrastructure. I always seem to run out of things to do with my cities and just build too much. I'm going to post a save if anyone can tell me what I really don't need. The bottom two Spanish cities were recently taken so they were understandably behind. I was building a theater in Santiago because I wanted to combat the Greek culture. What a laugh, maybe in four thosuand years I can expand my border there.

    Now as far as the founded religions cities. I was dying to get shrines there but I couldn't figure out how to get a great prophet out. The only way I have ever done that in the past is through early Oracles and Stonehenge. In this game I had early Pyramids so was thrilled to be generating engineers and pumping out wonders in one turn but then I noticed how hard it was going to be to make a great prophet. I must be missing something simple but how do you generate great prophet points without having the aforementioned wonders or maybe a prophet wonder later? Caste system doesn't help. What am I missing there? By the time it was clear I needed a great prophet, my pool was already at 400.

    Lastly, I would love to see a save from someone's game around 1800 AD to get an idea of how they build their cities and specialize them.


    Thanks again
     

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  9. AutomatedTeller

    AutomatedTeller Frequent poster

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    Temples allow 1 priest - cathedrals 2. So, that's potentially 3 per religion...
     
  10. lymond

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

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    First of all, I highly recommend using or getting BTS. Light years better than Vanilla civ and BUG makes the interface so much better.

    If you build the Mids yourself, more than likely you will just want to run Rep for most of the game. Focus more on food and specialists, with maybe a cottaged Bureau cap. Thebes is a poor bureau cap and cap in general. Probably better as a production city. Memphis might be better as a food focused specialist Oxford city or anywhere that you can build a lot of cottages.

    Free Speech is sketchy here, but not too bad considering how poor Thebes is. Free Speech is better with much larger and highly cottage empires. Your empire is not that. A good bureau Oxford cap can go a looooong way in most games.

    However, your dates are not that great in this game. Edu and Lib coming much too late on Emperor for what seems like mainly a peaceful game. Shoot for dates closer to like 500AD.

    Merc is very poor if you are not running Rep and not focusing on food. You have not build the NE in Memphis like you should with Memphis taking all the food and pasturing those pigs. Heck, it's running two citizens for some strange reason. Great People are important in any game and you should have popped many more at this point in the game.

    Great Prophet is pretty easy to get, especially if you are Spiritual with fast temples. 2 or 3 temples will get you one eventually.

    Try building fewer useless buildings and build wealth and research occasionally to power through techs. If you specialize your cities then you can focus buildings better.

    Land is power in most victories, so more land would help in many cases.

    You can still win this game though. Space might be the easiest approach. Just make some adjustments.

    Cities like Santiago might be better off razed. I'd rather resettle it to pickup the fish and avoid so much culture pressure. My gawd, Madrid is a horrible city. You see this a lot more in vanilla than BTS. Not sure what it is, but you and the AI generally get better capitals and land, and the AI is just better.
     
  11. MarigoldRan

    MarigoldRan WARLORD

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    Technology is a means to an end, not an end in itself.

    Once you have the tech lead, leverage it into a military lead, like Rifles and Drafting for example, and extend it into a "real" lead in land and power.
     
  12. AFS

    AFS Warlord

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    Your best research city is only making 150 beakers per turn. Did you build Oxford? Academies?

    A good commerce capital with the standard research buildings + Bureocracy + Academy + Oxford could easily make 250-300 bpt. Add the Great Library + Representation and settle some Great Scientists there and you could make around 500 bpt just in that city (as much as how many beakers your 11 current cities are making combined).
     
  13. OneLeggedRhino

    OneLeggedRhino King

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    This is where things are going wrong: You whip infrastructure out, then feel like you have nothing to do, so you build more infra, then it takes too long so you whip it, and now your cities are tiny. If you have nothing that needs building, put all the population on farms / cottages / specialists, build wealth for a few GPT, and crank out the beakers.

    On Mercantilism: If the AIs don't have enough trading partners, then going to merc will slow them down. Before Astro, this can be worthwhile. After Astro, everyone has plenty of trading partners and you won't impact them much. But in either case, pick the civic that's best for you and go with it. Merc is good if you are also running Rep and Pacifism, or if you have island cities (which give you good internal trade routes).
     
  14. z0wb13

    z0wb13 undead

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    hereditary rule. free speech, emancipation, mercantilism, free religion.

    also, your civic choices are all over the place;p

    HR is probably overkill for :) representation will probably increase your :science: dramatically ~5% (base +33, or +42ish if you have libraries and a few universities). or you could switch to universal suffrage to rush buy all of those buildings you are working on.

    free speech isn't so great; you seem to not have enough towns for it to be optimal. bureau might be better for building a wonder or two, and you could think about repositioning the palace for espionage bonuses. or, you could draft like crazy for the next 11 turns, and probably knock off a rival.

    emancipation isn't that bad, because :mad: can become an issue without it. but if you switch into Rep (and you should!), caste will help channel all of your food (lots of green and farms) into more research. and once you can switch to state property (research this ASAP!) it will make workshops awesome.

    mercantilism is meh. research SP, but it's alright for now.

    religious civics? probably OR, because it looks like you are building. but i can't tell what the religious situation is, exactly, so FR could very well make sense.
     
  15. lymond

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

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    zowb - OP is playing vanilla. Good point on Emancipation though - I meant to mention something about it as well. OP - Don't just run Emanc just for the sake of it. Ask yourself if you need it. 2 question you can ask: 1) Is the unhappiness to much to bear or can't be controlled 2) Do I have a large empire with good cottage land so that they can mature fast. Otherwise, consider running Caste or stay in Slavery for the occasional whip.

    Granted, Caste and State Property are nerfed a bit in the vanilla game, although as Zowb mentioned, Caste can be very powerful in turning food into beakers, gold and great people ( not to mention the culture aspect of the game).

    Think about the synergy of civics as well. For instance, Rep>Bureau>Caste>Pac in a smaller (Taller) empire with lots of food to spare. US>Bureua/Free Speech>Emanc/Caste>State PRop>Free Religion in a large (wider) empire with lots of cottages. Those are just examples and you can still mix things up given the situation or what is best for your goals.

    Rep is usually always the best choice late game regardless. I consider US to be a temp civic IMO to buy up infra or units. Although one might switch to US at the tail end of a Space game just for the extra hammers on towns, but I often bulldoze towns at that point for workshops/watermills. Civics is one of the main strengths of the Spiritual trait.
     
  16. z0wb13

    z0wb13 undead

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    it's been so long. let me guess, though, caste doesn't give +1 :hammers: to workshops. and state property doesn't give +10% :hammers: ????
     

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