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Learning Specialist Economy

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by eXeel, Sep 2, 2008.

  1. eXeel

    eXeel Chieftain

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    It all started with a bunch of questions in this topic, and I found out I had to start learning using specialists and slavery more.

    I've begun a game which focuses on both, but mostly specialists, and I'm in need of some help. I attached my current savegame.
    I follow this guide a little.

    I think I play the 5th difficulty, since Monarch (the 6th) had too many barbarians attacking me, too early. And I wanted to learn and master this, before moving on.
    Epic speed, Civ IV without expansions and no mods.


    1) My starting town had lots of food due to flood plains.
    http://imageshack.dk//viewimage.php?file=/imagesfree/Jzm75812.jpg
    So I thought about making it 100% food to pump out workers, settlers and maybe ending with being my GP farm. Is this stupid and what would you have done?
    Maybe I should make it a gold farm now, since I almost have the workers I need?

    2) My second town was a production town. Near some forests and hills.
    http://imageshack.dk//viewimage.php?file=/imagesfree/5ha75961.jpg
    It isn't pumping out that many hammers, though. Not quite sure if I did something wrong.

    3) This town is another production town.
    http://imageshack.dk//viewimage.php?file=/imagesfree/RBJ76043.jpg
    This has a fine production speed, compared to how new it is.

    4) Placed this due to the many hills. The jungle I just started removing. It also closes off more, so I have a "frontier" to defend instead of many holes.
    http://imageshack.dk//viewimage.php?file=/imagesfree/yxs76123.jpg

    5) Here are my city management screens. I am not sure I completely understand how to specialize them, so you'll probably just laugh.
    http://imageshack.dk//viewimage.php?file=/imagesfree/k6f76209.jpg
    http://imageshack.dk//viewimage.php?file=/imagesfree/ke376246.jpg
    http://imageshack.dk//viewimage.php?file=/imagesfree/L3l76272.jpg
    http://imageshack.dk//viewimage.php?file=/imagesfree/W6q76288.jpg

    This is where I'm at now. This is a test game, so I can take some beatings. Please, let me know what cities you would have chosen for which task etc. I want to learn it! :)
     
  2. eXeel

    eXeel Chieftain

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    Hm, why can't you see the screenshots? I used the Insert Image option and the links I put in there works fine :|
    I used FF3 to post the topic with, shouldn't that work?
     
  3. DaveMcW

    DaveMcW Deity

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    Floodplains = Cottages :p
     
  4. fuddha

    fuddha Chieftain

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    Where the pretty flowers grow...
    Floodplains = Specialists too :p
     
  5. DaveMcW

    DaveMcW Deity

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    Well yes, if you have spare health you can use the surplus food from all those floodplain cottages to run specialists.

    But farming will just give you more unhealthiness.
     
  6. eXeel

    eXeel Chieftain

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    Can you explain, why this is? :) Farming gives 1 more food. Doesn't give anything negative, does it?
    I just thought that the more food on each tile, the easier I can make specialists without going into minus food.

    I attached a new savegame, where I have played some more. I have a lot of angry citizens. Not sure why they are more angry now than in my other games. I usually have a religion but not now, since they were founded on another contingent.
    I am beginning to get rid of the angry people, but in my second city I had up to 4 angry citizens at its peak!

    And I feel like things are going slow. I must be doing everything wrong :|
    I made the images into links instead in my first post, you can see the 4 cities there.
     
  7. DaveMcW

    DaveMcW Deity

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    Every specialist gives 1:yuck: and 1:mad: from having too many citizens.

    Replacing FP farms with FP cottages allows you to cut your population (and health/happy problems) by one third, with no loss of production.
     
  8. eXeel

    eXeel Chieftain

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    So just by making a farm, I make a specialist? If I haven't assigned any specialist, does it then still make people unhappy when I farm the flood plains?
     
  9. fuddha

    fuddha Chieftain

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    Location:
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    You don't need that many workers! You have already improved more tiles that you currently work. Also there is no hard rule that you must irrigate a flood plain. Try this trick:
    Count all of the food in your BFC. That is without improvements unless a tile has a resource. In that case add the improved food to the total. You want to have 17x2 = 34 (number of tiles in BFC multiplied by the food consumed by citizens who work those tiles). If you have less then build farms until you have 34 food. If you have more, than you don't need any farms. That way you can work all of your tiles if you can get past the happy/health cap. If you want to have a GP farm (or a specialists city, same thing), irrigate everything you can and put excess food into specialists. This is best done in a food rich city. If you want a gold farm, irrigate until you reach 34 food and cottage the rest. If you want a production city, irrigate until 34 food and mine the rest. But don't forget about the happy/health caps so try to balance it out. Also, you'll want some hammers in your GP and gold farms for building purposes so try to have at least one or two mined hill in every city.

    Hope I helped.
     
  10. fuddha

    fuddha Chieftain

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    You assign a specialist by clicking on the + sign in lower right part of your screen when in city overview where specialists are depicted. You can check exactly what affects your caps by hovering your mouse above the healthy/unhealthy and happy/unhappy icons in upper right corner of your screen when in city overview.
     
  11. Gumbolt

    Gumbolt Phoenix Rising

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    4 cities by 140ad is a bit slow. I can have 8 by then. You should be going for bronze working as a priority tech early on. Unless a farming tech or fishing will add value early on. Your slow city build lost you the gold resource by Moscow.

    Bronze working is key for many reason. Firstly it reveals copper. Secondly it allows slavery. (sacrifice population to speed up a production build) Thirdly it provides chopping of forest. For each forest you chop it will provide up to 30 hammers towards your current city build before any production bonuses from stone, marble, religions etc.

    Thats why people build a worker. By time worker is built Bronze working arrives. By chopping forest with your worker the second worker arrives faster. (9-12 turns.) You then have 2 workers to chop forest to help build your settler. You can then move 2nd worker and settler for new city and repeat the process or chop another settler in first city. maybe a warrior or too for escort.

    I can see what your trying to do in your capital in terms of food. I would of taken off the 2 mountain resources on main screen and added two scientists to city. Within 14 turns you would have a great scientist. Its not a great place for a GP farm as you only have one food resource. Lots of flood plains though.

    You have 8 workers and your building a 9th one. Bit too much for 4 cities. Settler might help more?

    You have a stone resource. This would double production of certain early wonders such as Stone henge. You need to use the resources you have early on.

    Happiness is a problem in your biggest city. Open borders with India would spread their religion to your towns. Monarchy will help with happiness. Look at H Rule civic.

    Think you need to play around with your starts more. Set yourself a challenge of building 4 cities by 2000bc with 4 workers. Its doable.
     
  12. eXeel

    eXeel Chieftain

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    You guys are great. Just the kind of response I need! I'll comment on your posts...

    fuddha, I guys I did go a little overboard with my workers. And I know I could have spared some improvements, as they don't work on every tile within their reach.
    But I am afraid they'll suddenly go from 4 population to 8 and then I might not have improved some of the newer tiles. Is there a limit to how many population I should be having, when I do this specializing thing?

    What is BFC? Brutto Food C or something?
    I think I understand what you mean though, but would be nice to know what that BFC stands for.
    I'll try and do the counting of the food and making sure it is on the good side of 34.
    And thanks for the guidelines about GP and gold farms! Will restart the exact same level and try to see how I can improve...

    One more thing... I still don't see any change to the health/happiness when I assign specialists. It stays the same. Or does it just take some turns before I notice it?

    Gumbolt, I thought so too... I just thought I pumped them out fast, will try and do it faster!
    Will mark your words and try the quick BW. Should I never keep trees up? Unless of course when the land under it is Tundra, e.g. Mines get one more hammer with a mine than with a forest, so I guess it is better then.
    What is the town has no hills, should I keep forests to at least have some production?

    Will also try the quick 2nd worker and settler. And I need to fit in some military too, as barbarians got to me fast in 6th diff and now in 5th difficulty I barely managed to get an archer in each town (skipped warriors as barbarians already came with archers).

    Yeah, but I fear I can't build anything in the capital then without it taking AGES... I'll try, though.
    Isn't it a good place? Doesn't the flood plains make up for the missing food? I might try and make it a money city instead, then :)

    I expanded my borders to cover the stone after Stonehenge was taken by someone else, sadly.
    I actually, stupidly of me, said no to open borders with India the first 2-3 times he asked, which I never do. But I read the Sid Tip when loading the map about not letting civs explore my regions to sell their map to others and I think I took that a little too seriously, hehe. Not sure why, it makes no sense, hehe.

    Good challenge there. And will try to aim for Heratic rule too. Entering and restarting the same map now :) Loading my first save. Will update you and read your comments here constantly...
     
  13. LiberiGlacialis

    LiberiGlacialis To the stars!

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    Online, for crying out loud!
    BFC = Big Fat Cross. It's the workable titles for a city. You on;y really need to improve the tiles in it, the tiles under your control but not within a BFC don't need anything except maybe a fort if it's a resource tile (Iron, Oil, Cattle, what have you)
     
  14. eXeel

    eXeel Chieftain

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    Here is my current savegame, attached. I couldn't be much faster. I'll be getting Stonehenge and Pyramids very, very soon, I have 3 cities and the year is 1150 BC. I could have gotten another city, but then I had to sacrifice one of the wonders.
    What do you think, was it a waste of time? I cleared wood to get my 2nd worker and my first selfmade settler. And then to complete the Pyramids, too.
    Oh, and the farm south of my capital is because I had 4 turns of nothing to do for my workers, before I got Masonry for the Stone, so I just did that :)

    Ah, so that is BFC. I see... Forts? Wasn't that Civ III or so? Can't build them in Vanilla Civ IV, can I? Now it's just more defense. Ah, thought you meant something to "take advantage" of it, like in earlier games :) I understand now.

    EDIT:
    So, I got a Great Engineer. +3 Hammer, +6 Science. I decided to put that in a production city, was that stupid? That is where I'll get my + hammer buildings and / or wonders. And this town can also be the place where I get the + science percentage wonders.
    Would you have put it in the capital (money town)? Or where?

    EDIT #2:
    I attached a newer savegame too, as I played on. I am in 235 BC and I have 235 cities. I'm sure you would have 8 by now? But I really need to take some time on a few wonders (in the beginning and soon again), I needed some Axemen (even skipped Archers) and granary and library was built too.
    Am I falling a lot behind compared to where I should be at?

    My capital will be Gold town, the south west city at the Stone will be GP farm and the rest is production cities. What do you think of this?
    Will log for tonight, hope for response as I have a day off tomorrow and will be playing on there :D
     
  15. Tibur753

    Tibur753 Leigonary

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    You should use engineers to rush wonders. If you're running an SE, it's very helpful to save one up for the mids or GL or the Statue of Liberty if its close enough. If there's no wonders to build, settling them in you military city is probably the best option.
     
  16. Krick19

    Krick19 Prince

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    Erm...What do you mean?
     
  17. Gumbolt

    Gumbolt Phoenix Rising

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    you have 3 cities and 2 workers by 1150bc. On Monarch the Ai will build Stonehenge way before 1150bc. It will also have 4-5 cities by then with lots of infrastructure and cottages. Its all in the chopping and whipping.

    Dont forget that Stone henge and Pyramids get 100% production bonus if you have stone hooked up to the city. So if you chop a forest near the city producing Stone henge the hammers added to the city will receive the 100% bonus. So 3 chopped forest could produce Stone henge in 1 turn. (3*60) (why waste 18 turns when 3 workers can do it in 1 turn?) On my current game using 5 workers I chopped the oracle the turn after i teched Priesthood.

    Moscow is unhappy because there is no unit defending the city. I think you are short on workers too generally.

    My main problem with your restart is 2 out of your 3 cities are building wonders leaving one to help build your empire. The pyramids is good for either obtaining a great engineer or specialist economy for scientists.

    Not sure you have grasped how chopping can speed up the production of the second worker and the settler. Your second city could be built by 3000bc. (600 years earlier/ 24 turns)

    Have you got the initial save?
     
  18. Gumbolt

    Gumbolt Phoenix Rising

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    Okay 235bc save is looking more promising. Not sure about the wonder build in capital. I would wait for a Great Engineer from capital and use him to build Parthernan.

    Your science at 60% is easily maintainable. 30-40% science slider is fine early on. You can afford 6-7 cities easily. Remember each scientist you add as a specialist to a city adds 6 science beakers to your research with representation. You try adding two scientists to Moscow and you can see the science beaker in Moscow per turn rises 50%.

    If you get a great prophet build the holy shrine where your religion was found. The Option will only be allowed in the holy city. This game has promise. Just keep expanding and have enough workers to keep up with your expansion.
     
  19. TheDS

    TheDS Regular Riot

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    WTF does that nonsense come from? Every CITIZEN does this; whether they're working the tiles or working the city has nothing whatsoever to do with it! If you want your city to grow so slowly that everyone takes up all the land before you can get your third Settler built, that's your problem, don't take it out on the new guy.

    eXeel, some general advice (I didn't load your game):

    Early game, build lots of Farms and Mine every hill you can get away with, or build workboats for fish if you can. You want to maximize your production so you can get defensive units, Workers, and Settlers out there. (Workers and Settlers like large Food surplusses!) Going for a Wonder before you have 3 cities built is usually crazy: you want two cities that can be alternating between defenders and Settlers/Workers, with some city buildings thrown in there to improve your efficiency and regrow after whipping.

    It shouldn't take long at all to get 4-8 cities in good spots by doing this. Don't overdo it, though; if your gold slider drops below 50%, stop building Settlers until it goes back up.

    Find early Happiness, as that's your main bottleneck. Gold, Gems, Silver, and Ivory are what you want. A Forge turns some of those into extra happiness! Copper and Iron and Horses are nice too - I'd call Iron much more important, but those are for units.

    Once you can get your Happy cap up, you can build a lot faster and outgrow the need for the whip. It also means that you can start assigning Specialists without disturbing your economy much. The occasional early Specialist can be used if you have a goal, like trying to run a Scientist for Academy, or Priest for a Shrine, but otherwise, don't worry about them until you've reached your first expansion limit and you're stabilizing your economy to pay for the new cities.

    Each city should have at least 1 Worker and one good defender, and then you'll need a few scouts/fog-busters/Worker-guards and a decent reactionary force to deal with invasions, and then you can whip your economy into shape (pun intended).

    If you MUST go for an early Wonder (Stonehenge), at least get a Settler out the door first so you can still be expanding.

    The above is typically how I get started. It leaves plenty of room for variances, like early Wonders, religious monopoly, early rushes, and REX, and usually turns into a strong hybrid Water-Hammer-Specialist economy by the time I get to the 3rd Age. I do NOT prioritize Cottages, but I do throw down a few when cities start getting big enough to work them without getting hampered (as in, when I'm waiting for the current production to progress to a point I'll whip at, and then build pop back up).
     
  20. Gliese 581

    Gliese 581 Your average civ junkie

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    TheDS makes many good points but the wonder-building depends on what level you're playing on. At emperor+ I would generally not advise you to expand before you get stonehenge or the great wall as these are built too early by the AI (worst but not all that uncommon case usually 2600 bc emperor, 2800 bc immortal).

    The thing with flood plains and specialists is that early on you are limited by happiness and the only 2 scientist restriction on libraries so if you have all the food you need to run 2 scientists you might as well get extra commerce from cottaging flood plains. However it's still important that you have a decent growth rate so if there's no good food resource you should strongly considering laying down some farms as well. Of course cottages become even more valuable in all situations for financial civs.
    Later on if you decide to run caste system and your happiness cap is no longer a problem (resoruces, civics etc), you can farm all flood plains if you want too since the limiting factor for running specialists will be food output.

    Remember though: You need some commerce to pay for expenses if you want to focus on GSs (for example for bulbing), or else run both merchants and scientists. Bureacracy + cottages is a great plan for a capital that can afford to work many cottages.
    Early in the game even if you cottage up some floodplains cities, you still are going to need production cities. The solution to all of these things are; specialize your cities. Devote them to more specific tasks and you will rapidly improve your game, but don't be afraid to cottage over farms or farm over cottages as long as you plan well what you are going to do. A decent worker force is important to make sure you are using optimized land. Note I haven't looked at your saves so this is mostly generic advice I would give on the topic.
     

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