[GS] Lumber mills vs removing forests and food surplus

Hans Tork

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Jan 14, 2015
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Oh i never build the pyramids. I have seen you write a lot about it, but in my view its a pretty darn overrated wonder.


I recently played a couple of deity games(got late SV) and what I observed is that the pyramid is the easier one to get compared to colloseum.

I managed to get it in one game while in the other I lost it out. I feel if I had some chops I could have got that too.

As for colloseum it had gone by the time I had unlocked it in both games. In fact on a standard 8 player deity game you are unlikely to get colloseum and the pyramid is a safe bet.

As for wonders in general I usually avoid building them in most of my games. While both are great wonders pyramids are better and probably one of the best if not the best wonder in the game. An extra builder charge means faster growth and less production and gold spent on workers. It just changes the game in a fundamental way. Also do not forget Royal Society and the ability to use it to speed up space projects. The percentage depends on builder charges.

Again while pyramids are not the be all and end all of a game but if you have an opportunity to get it go for it.
 
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jdg23

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Realizing that a lot of ground has been covered in this thread (and the various links), would it possible to sum up some general rules of thumb? E.g. what to chop and when to chop?

Thanks!
 

Ownsya

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Realizing that a lot of ground has been covered in this thread (and the various links), would it possible to sum up some general rules of thumb? E.g. what to chop and when to chop?

Thanks!
There was a recent, in-depth discussion/analysis on this topic in a different thread. Not sure if everyone will entirely agree, but this is how I summarized it in the other thread:
Lily estimated 5% inflation rate based on the increase of his empire's production per turn. This value is not necessarily correct value, it is an estimate. The true value doesn't matter as much as understanding what this all means (on standard speed):
  1. Chopping is more powerful than building a mill (unless you have +3 mills like Canada's UA)
  2. The value you get from mills / mines decreases over time since the game is nearing it's end and the number of turns available to get yields per turn is less. Therefore chopping makes even more sense later in the game. @Sostratus' comment above links to a previous analysis that demonstrates this clearly.
So how should this inform/revise one's gameplay?
  1. You don't have to change anything with how you play if you're already doing fine and not interested in being more efficient/faster. Fun and enjoyment trump efficiency, it's a game.
  2. If one does want to be faster, plan carefully ahead what woods you wish to keep for say, district adjacency bonuses or for later wonders in the game, (or indeed the climate, trees help prevent drought and deforestation amplifies co2 effects). Everything else is chopping wood. Chop as soon as you can to boost your production and advance more quickly. Having something now is better than having it later.
  3. For trees that won't be chopped, the sooner you build mills on them the more value you will get out of them. In the late game if no chopping wood is left and you really wish to rush something then it could make sense to chop these tiles too even if it does need 2 builder charges to remove the mill and chop. But try to avoid this situation by planning ahead.
 

jdg23

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There was a recent, in-depth discussion/analysis on this topic in a different thread. Not sure if everyone will entirely agree, but this is how I summarized it in the other thread:

And does this apply to all resources that can be harvested or only to forests?
 
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And does this apply to all resources that can be harvested or only to forests?

Basically the same principle counts. It is however important to consider the real value of the resource. If you have for example a minable resource on a hill, you can harvest it and the hill will still be a minable tile. It will just provide 1 less production per turn for the rest of the game. If however you are going to remove a minable resource from a flat tile, you turn a productive tile into a non productive one. You give up the opportunity to have a mine there that would not just provide 1 production per turn, but would produce more as the game progresses. Having a productive tile for each of your citizens is also very important.

"hop as soon as you can to boost your production and advance more quickly. Having something now is better than having it later."
This statement is one that is imo a bit too strongly worded. As it is too easy to make you believe you need to cut everything asap. So that is the "not sure if everyone will entirely agree" part

If you are taking that cut sooner rather than later too serious, you would end up cutting and harvesting everything as soon as it comes into your lands. Much of the production being used to build the workers that do the next cut, turning it into a cascade of workers and cleaning out all of your lands. I think we can all sense that something is not entirely right here. Now you can just look at the inflation argument and say "but the math sais it's right, so im just being emotional instead of rational" but i don't think that is entirely correct.

I think you need to realize that we are here, looking at one side of the equation and simplifying things. We are here looking at everything from the inflation perspective. One that i fully support, one that only few players really seem to grasp by themselves. Therefore, it is good to hammer home on this as it may well be a key insight for many people to make leaps forward in their game. It doesn't only apply to chopping/harvesting. It for example also explains why most (read all but rare exceptions) wonders are a bad investment.

The other side of the story is however one that many players understand, especially those that have been playing strategy games for a long time: The concept that your primary goal is to actually create this compounding growth. That you want to invest as much as possible in growth. Harvesting/cutting resources seems to be the opposite. And it IS the opposite if you are not using that production on something else that really adds to your long term growth.

It's probably obvious to anyone that you don't want to harvest resources if you don't have anything good to build. But consider the following situation: You are building an industrial zone. You have the opportunity to cut a forest or harvest a resource. So you cut it, and finish the IZ 3 turns sooner. Great. Next you build a workshop, it is also 3 turns earlier. Awesome, this is why we do it right ? However, now you don't have the technology to produce anything meaningful, so you continue building that granary you don't need. Or maybe you build a few extra units you don't really need. This means you pretty much wasted the harvest. You gained 3 turns worth of IZ and workshop production, but now you are producing useless crap, so you lose it again.

Also look at the actual value of the cut. It's much more complicated than it seems on first sight. The game starts. You build a worker for 50 production. You can now cut 3 forests for how much is it ? 24 production each ? Seems you have gained 3x24-50 = 22 production. But don't forget that:
-This doesn't happen in a single turn. It took a bunch of turns producing the worker, and then a bunch more to move it around. According to the inflation theory itself, that already reduces the value of these cuts significantly and quite likely enough to lose out all of that 22 production you think you gained.
-You increased the price of every future worker you will build.

So the reality is that you basically start out at a negative gain for cutting, and it gradually grows troughout early game. In late game, the value declines because whatever you are using that production for is no longer significant to help you win the game. Somewhere during the game, the value peaks. I can't tell you exactly where, but i am sure it's not in the first 20 and not in the last 20 turns. My intuition sais @feudalism. But everything that goes into analysing and reasoning it is too much to back that up with math and this also surely is too simplified. More likely it is optimal to use some harvest/cuts at the key moments for your early expansion, then use some to assist you in your early district discount planning, then use some @ feudalism, finally use the last ones for your spaceport if you are going that way.

Just a few things to make clear that it is not as plain and simple as it can be stated in a few simple rules or guidelines. The fact that we are still discussing this shows that it is not as plain and simple as can be explained in multiple forum threads with some of the best players and theory crafters this site has to offer. You will have to think for yourself, and combine all the knowledge you read. You will never be a great player by following simple rules and guidelines. And this is what makes civ great. In starcraft1, we had very simple rules (always be building SCVs from each of your CC's unless you have more than 80, never build any static defence ever) Civ6 is too complicated for simple rules.
 
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Ownsya

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And does this apply to all resources that can be harvested or only to forests?
While that discussion was about pure production and based on forests, as @WackenOpenAir explained it is somewhat general. There is a bit more to be said however when it comes to food yields (namely jungles). If you follow the previous quote to that other thread, the next few comments respond to the question regarding jungles. In particular that the food you get from chopping jungles is great in the early game but may not be desirable later on if you don't wont more than 10 pop in your city, which will be the case for most cities.
 

Jarms48

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I basically chop every forest that’s not on a river. There’s a couple of exceptions to this:
- I have cities that primarily have Tundra tiles to work. For example Canada or Russia.
- I’m playing a civilisation which has bonuses to improved/unimproved forests.

The main question should also be when to cut. You obviously want to make your cuts as efficiently as possible. Either through increasing builder charges and/or the use of Magnus/Goddess of the Harvest.
 
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Victoria

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Jarms48

Prince
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Lumber mills are +1 everywhere, not just along rivers
God of the harvest has been removed (unless you play vanilla)

So Lumber Mills no longer benefit from rivers and instead get a flat +1 production? When did that happen?
 

Victoria

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Do you try to get to Construction for the Civic Boost or do you let that one slide??
It all depends on what you are wanting early. If you are rushing horses then sure but you know that taking the writing/currency route slows this and if you are wanting early xbows construction will slow you down. I think to base your strategy on getting the construction inspiration is the wrong way around, if you strategy allows getting construction then perhaps. I mean it is great extra production early as well but comes at a cost.
 

Bliss

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There was a recent, in-depth discussion/analysis on this topic in a different thread. Not sure if everyone will entirely agree, but this is how I summarized it in the other thread:
Just a heads-up: You don't spend builders charge when removing improvements
 
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