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Late game SE vs CE, a direct comparison

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by feralminded, Feb 13, 2009.

  1. mirthadir

    mirthadir Chieftain

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2002
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    This was in reply to a suggestion to use your IWs to hammer out :gold:; which I do not support either. Heavy production should be used to produce heavy units, wonders, and projects. Thus I'm a huge a fan of having at least 2 dedicated :hammers: cities; IW (possibly with WP) and HE. Most often I throw in Maori/RC and often the B cap with mass watermills.

    Kesshi:
    1. A SE is not fully mature until you can get the health to max out food production. If you go for the heavily overlapped SE, then I'd definately toss in Medicine/Corporation for Sushi or Refrig for CM. All told this may be as late as ecology/genetics. Some games just don't have the health to maximize a SE before then.
    2. A CE can be fully mature without democracy. Eman is nice, but it is quite possible to work up all your cottages by the time you get there. Just as long as you have the mids, a mature CE can skip on demo until happiness becomes a problem (if ever).
    3. A SE EE can compete late game with spies. Firstly, you get a bonus 25% off the top with nationalism; CE cannot take that long term without losing out. Secondly due to the magic of espionage the rate of return on espionage can compare insanely well with direct research. Lastly, all the espionage buildings are relatively cheap and you are going to build two of them anyways.


    PoM: I didn't think WBs got the PS bonus; but then I've never actually been building WBs when I've been in PS except replacements for burnt boats and those are always 1 per turn.

    UJJ: Yeah, when I need overflow gold I'm normally jumping straight to GMs; most often though I'd rather just pump out units with high promos to go conquest more gold. GMs actually are not that great at boosting your power rating and are rather expensive to mothball.

    PoM: Yes you can use WBs as decoys. Better if you have a movement bonus (either from circumnavigation or refrig) you can lead AI naval units on a long and fruitless chase with them. You don't, strictly speaking, need the movement bonus, but it is exceedingly useful. As long as the unit doesn't have another specific target you can lead away huge amounts of naval forces with just one WB (also damaged units work well).
     
  2. UncleJJ

    UncleJJ Chieftain

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    1. Only very rarely, lots of food from farms and Slavery is more flexible and allows lots of infrastructure to be built in better cities and units built in lesser cities. Late game I find Biology farms + Kremlin + Slavery > Caste System + workshops.

    2. Not if properly managed, that is the art of using this approach, knowing when to whip hard and when to recover ready for another burst of cruelty.

    3. Not really, my spacing will tend to be closer right from the start and I emphasise courthouses for cost cutting and to get an EP advantage. What happens early on is that all cities are about the same size, limited by the health and happy caps, and then as the game progresses the best cities grow bigger and take the tiles from their neighbours until they are only working about 6 tiles. But 6 Biology farms (grassland and plains) are quite potent when you intend to whip and draft once every 10 turns.

    4. The output of these small cities is mainly EPs (from the suite of espionage buildings and a few spies using spare food) and units from drafting and whipping (including , workers, missionaries and spies). That specialisation allows my big cities to provide most of the beakers and gold. The big cities will concentrate on improving their efficiency by building infrastructure as much as they can and the best will try for a few wonders.
     
  3. Iranon

    Iranon Deity Whipping Boy

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
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    Location:
    Germany
    To the same questions Tecibbar raised:

    1. I only tend to use Caste System in a lategame SE if I'm also using State Property (and not always wen I do). Whipping + Corporation food + Kremlin is more impressive, but sometimes I want to knock heads now instead of mucking about with corporations, and build spaceship parts later.

    2. With enough overlap, you can have asymetric whipping cycles and shuffle tiles around... it might take a little micromanagement, but if you're willing to put in the effort you can work most useful tiles and still whip like mad.
    If your spacing is tight enough or you're willing to sacrifice commerce for culture, you can stack whip anger quite well for ridiculous bursts of production. This isn't without its costs but often worth it.
    Also: Monty rules.

    3. This depends... spamming cities like mad in a tight pattern can work straight from the start. Trade routes (especially with the Great Lighthouse), religion, more efficient whipping and hammers saved on monuments vs. excessive maintenance.
    Usually, I end up with a very tight core empire, some far-away blocking cities and little in between until later.

    4. As UncleJJ said, lots of espionage and hammers, little in the way of beakers and gold. I usually don't even try for the latter because I want more immediate returns and have better things to do than build things like universities and marketplaces.
    If the filler cities remain small (i.e. my caps are generous enough that my established ones take up most tiles) they'll get Industrial Parks and run lots of engineers.
     
  4. Tecibbar

    Tecibbar unliving

    Joined:
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    Ur Sorry Ass
    Without caste, how do you have enough specialist spots?

    And about the espionge bonus. Since you aren't full EE, how useful is the extra espionge bonus, and how do you use them. I don't usually do active mission, as the "spy got caught" accumulate very fast and don't go away.
     
  5. Kesshi

    Kesshi Chieftain

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    Tecibbar,

    Slavery solves that problem quite nicely.
     
  6. UncleJJ

    UncleJJ Chieftain

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    The specialist slots are not a problem. Typically by the time we have Biology and Kremlin online most of my small cities will have granary, courthouse, forge, jail and be building intelligence agency and might have a library to boost the Rep beakers. That gives plenty of options for specialists and I'll want to run spies most of the time anyway, until I've stolen all the techs I want from any AIs that are ahead in technology.

    A typical small city might be tile limited to 3 grassland and 3 plains farms and with Biology that will have a food surplus of 11 and produce 5 hammers, with forge. Each 10 turn cycle under Nationhood and Slavery it will draft a rifle and whip a cannon (for 2 or 3 pop with Kremlin bonus) and maybe build something else with overflow hammers. The food excess will be used to run several spies. At size 6 it only takes 16 food to grow and most of the time the city will vary between size 7 and 9 and be running 1, 2 or 3 spies. A jail, courthouse and IA will give 14 base EPs and a 100% bonus, with Nationhood that becomes 31.5 EPs. Each spy will add 9 EPs, so this little city with 3 spies will give 31.5 + 27 = 58.5 per turn. In hammer terms we have a rifle (110 :hammers:) and a 2 pop whip (112 :hammers:) and the 50 :hammers: from tiles which totals 272 :hammers: over 10 turns, and dividing by 6 tiles this is 45 hammers or 4.5 per tile per turn. That compares very favourably with workshops under Caste System and SP, which would need to run a farm in this city to avoid starvation.

    Using espionage in the middle and late game is a great way to use newly conquered cities. If you have 20 cities most of which have jails and IA then you'll be raking in 1000 EPs every turn just from the passive bonusses and running a few spies. At that rate it is not difficult to gain a EP advantage over most of the AIs.

    Spies will not get caught much if you wait until you reduce the target to 80% of your EP spending. That will also give you a 20% discount on active missions, including tech stealing. I often get to a 35% advantage in EP spending without raising the EP slider. But once you have the 100% EP modifier in your big cities it can be worth raising the EP slider and stealing a tech instead of researching it. Even though we have a SE there is often quite a lot of spare commerce floating around and turning that into EPs can be just as effective as gold or beakers, you have a strategic choice at this stage of the game as to where your spare commerce (after meeting costs) should go.
     
  7. Calouste

    Calouste Chieftain

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    About the need to control the UN under SE to prevent being pushed into US:

    You have a lot more population under SE, and so a lot more votes, so it is hardly ever a problem. And if it is a problem, you probably are not big enough at that point in time to win the game either under SE or CE.

    I don't think the added infrastructure cost is that much of an issue comparing SE to CE. First, an SE produces more food, so you have more population to whip into buildings early on, probably up to markets and grocers, second, you don't have to grow your improvements so you can change a few farms to workshops to provide a production boost and change them back later, something which is fairly expensive with cottages.
     
  8. Kesshi

    Kesshi Chieftain

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    Calouste,

    Two points. First the quote above.

    Even if you don't control the UN under an SE because defying a resolution is not a problem. You can use the Culture Slider to keep your uppity citizens content as you do no rely very much on commerce to tech.

    The infrastructure costs is about the same. You will need more happiness buildings, but fewer science and gold buildings. In fact, I almost never build gold buildings in my SEs except for one or two high gold cities then the minimum number of Banks necessary to make Wall Street. I then try to make the high gold city(ies) into high commerce cities, at which point I'll settle all GA, GP and GMs there that I wouldn't be otherwise using into the Wall Street city. The return on my investment is incredible, as I have ended up with cities pumping out over 1000 gold per turn on Marathon.
     

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