Lots of small questions regarding an SE

omglazers

Warlord
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Jan 7, 2008
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126
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Orlando, FL
Hey everyone, i've been a long time civilization player but I never really thought there was much of a way to play the game aside from cottaging the entire map.

So when I found out about the Hybrid and the Specialist Economies I was :crazyeye:

However, after repeated attempts to try and get it to succeed, i'm still floundering.

I've read every post and article I can find and i'm encountering a few problems maybe someone can help clear up for me?

*How many cities do I need to be producing, and how quickly? I've seen articles saying I should have six or so cities by the time I even begin to build the Great Library. This seems stunning to me. Playing on Prince/Monarch, I usually have about three to four at this time.
*How many people in a city should I have before I begin to produce specialists via the caste system? Where's the balance to be stuck between growth/production/specialists?
*Does anyone have any tips or guides on improving city squares in the fat cross? Obviously, the priorities go to the resources, but after that, what's the best to do in what order? Or also, how do I pick my cities locations for their specalizations

If anyone can help with any of my problems, please let me know. Right now i'm just :confused: on how im going to pull off a proper SE or HE

P.S.: I have read just about every article in the War Academy so, unless im :crazyeye: I'm missing out on a lot.
 

Sjaramei

Prince
Joined
Nov 16, 2005
Messages
510
Hybrid is easy, pyramids for representation (good but not necessary), a couple of specialists here and there to buff research and cottages all over the place. (granted enough food of course)

SE is the same, but you don't do as much cottages. And you'll lightbulb lots of Great people. Just farm around to maximize food several places.

The game is about specializing cities and optimizing their output, thats a better approach than "deciding" upon one vague strategy involving an "economy".
Don't worry too much about SE or CE or HE or WE or EE or (OMG these things are getting out of hand) just play the game and try to make good cities depending on the map ;)

About amount of cities, don't get to hung up on this, 4 good cities are better than 3 ok cities and a couple of fishing villages.
 

Defiant47

Peace Sentinel
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Jan 2, 2007
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Canada
Hey everyone, i've been a long time civilization player but I never really thought there was much of a way to play the game aside from cottaging the entire map.

So when I found out about the Hybrid and the Specialist Economies I was :crazyeye:

However, after repeated attempts to try and get it to succeed, i'm still floundering.

I've read every post and article I can find and i'm encountering a few problems maybe someone can help clear up for me?

That's to be expected... you've never done it before :)

*How many cities do I need to be producing, and how quickly? I've seen articles saying I should have six or so cities by the time I even begin to build the Great Library. This seems stunning to me. Playing on Prince/Monarch, I usually have about three to four at this time.

The answer is the about the same as for every economy. This is a general strategy dilemma: how fast to expand?

*How many people in a city should I have before I begin to produce specialists via the caste system? Where's the balance to be stuck between growth/production/specialists?

This is a balance that you should strike depending on city specialization and your short-term goals. The way I like to do it is to get up near the happy cap and start working specialists or mines depending on what my needs are at the time.

*Does anyone have any tips or guides on improving city squares in the fat cross? Obviously, the priorities go to the resources, but after that, what's the best to do in what order? Or also, how do I pick my cities locations for their specalizations

Well, if you're running SE, then you should probably be building farms to support your specialists. In additional, you would probably like to build some mines to facilitate your production. Obviously, city locations will need to have enough food to be able to support specialists.

Any other questions?
 

MrBrown

Chieftain
Joined
Dec 10, 2007
Messages
39
*How many cities do I need to be producing, and how quickly? I've seen articles saying I should have six or so cities by the time I even begin to build the Great Library. This seems stunning to me. Playing on Prince/Monarch, I usually have about three to four at this time.

In addition to what Defiant47 said, this also depends on your civilization's traits. Philosophical, Industrious and Creative all boost SE.

I mostly play on Noble, and I've found that if I build the Pyramids and Great Library, have a Civ one of the above traits, and run Representation, Bureaucracy, Caste System and Pacifism, I can out-tech the AIs with a single city. I usually build the National Epic and Oxford University in this city, and settle all great scientists (+ one for the academy, of course). Yes, I know light-bulbing gets you more beakers in the end, but I prefer the freedom settling gives me.

If I don't build the Pyramids and run a Civ without one of the above traits, one city isn't enough to out-tech the AIs, but it is enough to remain competitive.
 

paydro

Warlord
Joined
Jan 10, 2008
Messages
246
Yes, Defiant... how do you decide which city to specialize in which way? I have a hard time knowing how many squares of flood plain or grassland (or how many food resources) says "build cottages" and how many say "irrigate it all and have a 20+ city." Is there an article on this?
 

MrBrown

Chieftain
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Dec 10, 2007
Messages
39
Yes, Defiant... how do you decide which city to specialize in which way? I have a hard time knowing how many squares of flood plain or grassland (or how many food resources) says "build cottages" and how many say "irrigate it all and have a 20+ city." Is there an article on this?

There's no need to use cottages in SE. Simply separate between specialist/science cities and production cities. After you get the hang of that, trying various mixes shouldn't be that difficult.
 

paydro

Warlord
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Jan 10, 2008
Messages
246
Well, the question there was really about city specialization, maybe for a hybrid economy. If you really are dedicated to the SE, is food/production it? Do you really NEVER build cottages, and are there no city sites poorly suited to the food/production choice?
 

MrBrown

Chieftain
Joined
Dec 10, 2007
Messages
39
Well, the question there was really about city specialization, maybe for a hybrid economy. If you really are dedicated to the SE, is food/production it? Do you really NEVER build cottages, and are there no city sites poorly suited to the food/production choice?

The way I play it, no, not a single cottage.

For the specialist/science cities, you need food, so close to a river is a must, preferably with a several food resources. Flood plains or grassland is good. One city for the National Park isn't a bad idea either. Hills are bad, water tiles without resources are bad too.

For the production cities, you need just enough food to have it work every tile eventually. A few farms, or, the way I do it, is that I run State Property and use Watermills and Workshops. That way the cities only have a minimal amount of farms, and every tile still gives a good amount of food and hammers. A city in a good location can have 0 farms and still work every tile. Water tiles are bad for these too, but you can have one coastal city with the Moai Statues easily. But I usually stick mostly inland.

The little gold that I need for upkeep and such comes from trade routes and the few commerce you end up with anyway, from resources and riverside tiles. Since the science comes from specialists, most of the commerce goes into producing gold, once I get the specialists going.
 

MarkM

Cow Herder
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I mostly play on Noble, and I've found that if I build the Pyramids and Great Library, have a Civ one of the above traits, and run Representation, Bureaucracy, Caste System and Pacifism, I can out-tech the AIs with a single city. I usually build the National Epic and Oxford University in this city, and settle all great scientists (+ one for the academy, of course). Yes, I know light-bulbing gets you more beakers in the end, but I prefer the freedom settling gives me.

If I don't build the Pyramids and run a Civ without one of the above traits, one city isn't enough to out-tech the AIs, but it is enough to remain competitive.
Two observations:
  1. Building Oxford and National Epic in same city doesn't seem like an optimal strategy. National Epic screams for a high food surplus city (farms), while Oxford screams for cottages (assuming you crank the research slider like most)
  2. If you can build all those wonders and also out-tech the AI using one city, that suggests you might benefit from the challenge of moving up past Noble. IMO a true "civfanatic" should be pushing him/herself to handle Monarch comfortably at least, and maybe Emperor.
 

DigitalBoy

Emperor
Joined
Jun 29, 2006
Messages
1,346
*How many cities do I need to be producing, and how quickly? I've seen articles saying I should have six or so cities by the time I even begin to build the Great Library. This seems stunning to me. Playing on Prince/Monarch, I usually have about three to four at this time.

To be frank, I'm surprised that you could win at Monarch having that few cities that late in the game. I usually have four by 800BC. If it works for you, I won't second-guess you, but I would put more consideration into expanding at a faster pace. Remember, the sooner you found cities, the faster they'll mature into productive metros.

*How many people in a city should I have before I begin to produce specialists via the caste system? Where's the balance to be stuck between growth/production/specialists?

I've struggled with this same problem and don't pretend to be any kind of expert on the matter, but I wouldn't assign any specialists at all if the city is small and still has high food tiles to work. It makes sense to emphasize growth first, but you'll want to keep track of and limit the growth since you can't just whip it away like you can under slavery. Once the city has reached a healthy size (a relative value to be sure, but if I had to attach a number to it, around 7 or 8), I would start assigning specialists. As for production, I find it helps significantly to have dedicated military cities; that way your specialist cities only need to produce hammers for buildings. As a general rule, I like to work one or two hammer rich tiles (usually mines or plains workshops) just to construct buildings at a reasonable pace. The exact number depends on such considerations as city size (obviously, a larger city is more able to work multiple hammer tiles than smaller ones), the urgency with which the building needs to be completed (i.e. a +:) building when the city is approaching its happy cap), and whether or not the city will also be needed to build military units. On a final note, I'd emphasize production in new cities, regardless of specialization, for the sake of crucial buildings like granaries and courthouses.

As for growth, I'd have the city producing between 2 and 5 net food per turn, depending on how close it was to the population cap and the availability of good, workable tiles. If the city has good workable tiles (i.e. 3+ food tiles or 1-2 food tiles with good production/commerce bonuses) and is still far away from its happy cap, I'd be wanting around 4 or 5 net food per turn. If the city is getting close to the population cap and/or doesn't have any good workable tiles left (I'm more willing to assign specialists at the expense of growth if the next worked tile is going to be a coast, but not if it's a grassland farm), I'll slow growth to 2 or 3 net food per turn. If the city is at its happy cap, I'd halt growth entirely, naturally.
 

DigitalBoy

Emperor
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Jun 29, 2006
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The way I play it, no, not a single cottage.
...
The little gold that I need for upkeep and such comes from trade routes and the few commerce you end up with anyway, from resources and riverside tiles. Since the science comes from specialists, most of the commerce goes into producing gold, once I get the specialists going.

Which is why cottages are still useful in SE for gold cities with markets and banks, especially considering chain irrigation isn't available until Civil Service and therefore some (or realistically, many) tiles can only be improved with cottages for a very long time.

Building Oxford and National Epic in same city doesn't seem like an optimal strategy. National Epic screams for a high food surplus city (farms), while Oxford screams for cottages (assuming you crank the research slider like most)

Sometimes it can be. In one game, I was running Representation (better specialists), Nationhood (towns were less powerful since I wasn't running Free Speech), and had a low science slider due to having less total commerce (more of commerce was diverted to gold, which means less benefit from the science multiplier).
 

MrBrown

Chieftain
Joined
Dec 10, 2007
Messages
39
Two observations:
  1. Building Oxford and National Epic in same city doesn't seem like an optimal strategy. National Epic screams for a high food surplus city (farms), while Oxford screams for cottages (assuming you crank the research slider like most)
  2. If you can build all those wonders and also out-tech the AI using one city, that suggests you might benefit from the challenge of moving up past Noble. IMO a true "civfanatic" should be pushing him/herself to handle Monarch comfortably at least, and maybe Emperor.

In SE, you're going to be doing two things: getting beakers from scientist specialists, and producing great scientists. Since you can't do one without the other, you can easily build Oxford and National Epic in the same city. Remember, in SE, the city with Oxford should be the city where all those scientist specialists are settled (the ones that aren't lightbulbed anyway).

As for your other comment, yes, I'm aware of that.
 

MrBrown

Chieftain
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Dec 10, 2007
Messages
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Which is why cottages are still useful in SE for gold cities with markets and banks, especially considering chain irrigation isn't available until Civil Service and therefore some (or realistically, many) tiles can only be improved with cottages for a very long time.

I don't really see much reason to do this. Since your science cities should be near rivers for good food, you should be able to farm a good amount of the tiles before Civil Service. I simply don't work the other tiles before I can farm them; there's not enough food in a city to run both specialists and work on the cottages. Until Biology anyway, and by then I can have around 10 specialists in a city anyway, and it's too late to start working cottages. Not to mention the cottage-enhancing civics aren't good with SE.

Even without cottages, SE doesn't run out of money.
 

omglazers

Warlord
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Jan 7, 2008
Messages
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Orlando, FL
To be frank, I'm surprised that you could win at Monarch having that few cities that late in the game. I usually have four by 800BC. If it works for you, I won't second-guess you,

I don't win.

I've only won games on Noble/Prince using CE's. Never completed a game on SE w/o getting frustrated
 

DigitalBoy

Emperor
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I don't really see much reason to do this. Since your science cities should be near rivers for good food, you should be able to farm a good amount of the tiles before Civil Service. I simply don't work the other tiles before I can farm them; there's not enough food in a city to run both specialists and work on the cottages. Until Biology anyway, and by then I can have around 10 specialists in a city anyway, and it's too late to start working cottages. Not to mention the cottage-enhancing civics aren't good with SE.

I wouldn't suggest having cottages and specialists in the same city, but to have a bunch of cottages cramed into a single city, preferably one that can work cottages but wouldn't be able to run many specialists. My last game, I was running a specialist economy with one cottage city. The cottage city had no fresh water access (ergo, no farms) but had a lot of coast tiles, grassland tiles (cottages), and grassland hill tiles (windmills). The city was also founded well before I got Civil Service, so waiting for chain irrigation was out of the question. It would have made a lousy specialist city even with chain irrigation, but it made a perfectly fine commerce city.
 

Defiant47

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Jan 2, 2007
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Yes, Defiant... how do you decide which city to specialize in which way? I have a hard time knowing how many squares of flood plain or grassland (or how many food resources) says "build cottages" and how many say "irrigate it all and have a 20+ city." Is there an article on this?

My specialization criteria:

Capital - a good idea to cottage for bureaucracy (I don't bother to do this too often though - mea culpa)
High-food city - good place for a GP farm
Decent food resources and lots of hills - good place for my primary production city (usually where I'll stick my generals and HE+WP)
NOT RECOMMENDED: Heavily forested city - do not chop the forests (which is why it's a bad idea) and save this for future National Park + National Epic (I don't do this very often, it's better to maximize potential early on than to wait so long)

Cottage city in an SE - if it's in the middle of plenty of grassland with no irrigation possible for farms, your best bet may be to just start cottaging despite using an SE
Regular science city - good high-food tiles possible (not necessarily food resources, but stuff like farmable grasslands and flood plains), so you can run scientists
Regular production city - hills, forests, enough food to get it to some kind of decent size (though plenty of food is always good in this situation)
 

Stalker0

Baller Magnus
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Dec 31, 2005
Messages
8,706
Also, I find its very important to shoot for currency pretty early on. Unlike CE, you won't be generating a lot of money straight away, you need your merchant specialists to balance the books.
 

DrJambo

Crash-test dummy
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Currency becomes even more important as you go up the difficulty levels. On Emperor I find I need Currency more than Code of Laws.

Someone said above that bulbing was better in terms of beaker output than settling was. I disagree. Bulbing can be rather inefficient as the tech you bulb will often be cheaper than the total number of beakers that would have been provided through bulbing. Not only that, but once you modify the settled great scientist's beaker output over the turns by a Library, University, Observatory and potentially Oxford, plus the bonus from Representation, you'll probably find that settling provides a greater number of beakers in the long term. That is, as long as you're not settling the GS too late in the game.

Bulbing is good if the tech you bulb isn't already common knowledge among the AI civs. The bulbed tech can then be traded for lots of other tech.
 

paydro

Warlord
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Jan 10, 2008
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246
Well, obviously the earlier in the game, the more valuable the super-specialist. It is true, using a specialist to bulb monotheism when it takes 2 turns to research is dumb, but to me that means hold on to the guy for the 2 turns and then bulb theology or whatever.
 
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