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Lumber Mills - when to build them?

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by shaglio, May 21, 2014.

  1. shaglio

    shaglio The Prince of Dorkness

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    In my games, I find that I always struggle with the question of when to build Lumber Mills. It always seems more beneficial to just chop down the forest for the immediate production boost and then build a farm or mine on the land underneath it. Could anyone give me some pointers on when it would be more appropriate to actually build the Lumber Mill instead?
     
  2. notyourtypical

    notyourtypical Warlord

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    I build them if my workers have nothing better to do, or if I'm really hurting for production. I generally chop and farm all river forests. Personally, I don't work lumber mills before Scientific Theory unless there's a good reason, as I usually have better tiles to work.
     
  3. subtledoctor

    subtledoctor Chieftain

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    1) If I have some riverside grassland/plains/flood plains tiles for food in the early game, I might make lumber mills on dry tiles; I can switch to them for more production when building something important, and eventually decide whether to irrigate it for more food when the city has grown and can use it, and when non-freshwater tiles get the extra farm food from Fertilizer.

    2) If I have a city without a ton of food resources, forested hills can be better than mined hills, to help the city keep growing. Especially at the outset, it's the safer move - you can always remove the lumber mill and add a mine, but you can't do the opposite.

    In short, the benefit of lumber mills is in their flexibility.
     
  4. danaphanous

    danaphanous religious fanatic

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    Depends:

    -the production boost from chopping is pitiful and only really significant for a wonder and only early-game.
    -A lumber-mill/forest is the same as a farmed hill early game. Gives you some nice production and 1 point of food so the growth hit isn't that bad. Unlike farmed hill the combination later becomes a 1 food 3 production which is a rare type of tile yield without a resource. This might be desirable if you are tile-locking and searching for a high production but okay growth combination sometimes just using farms/hills can put you from growing to starving and there is no middle ground, but forests fix this. (more of a problem early game)

    Reasons why you might keep them:
    1. Your city is in flat plains/grassland with few hills. Do not chop those forests! They are your only good production most of the game! (best reason)
    2. Your city is in heavy hills area, tiles aren't near water, and you aren't the Inca. Don't chop them! You will lose the food point, and subsequently suffer for growth
    3. Area is tundra. Obviously the 3 production 1 food is better than 1 food.
    4. You are Celts/Iroquois. Leave a few for UA/UB.
    5. Forests are a nice defensive screen during war that only your enemy is penalized for if you have roads.

    Those are the only good reason. If there is a nice mix of hills/land underneath you'll get the same food/production points by chopping AND the little production bonus. If you plan this do it earlier as the early boost is worth more then. I also will chop in cities that are too heavily forested and on the flip side are hurting in growth. Doing this put a city stuck at 23 up to 30 in quick order on my last game. As a fun perk, forests kinda ignore the underlying tile yield, meaning if you have a half tundra half grassland city just leave all the forests on the tundra and chop all the grassland for farms and it's like the tundra isn't there. Forest can salvage an extreme area sometimes, so they are nice for tailoring and flexibility.
     
  5. tetley

    tetley Head tea leaf

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    I build them almost always. Unless I have a very specific build order i am trying to hit, and need to chop to wonder rush.
     
  6. Halcyan2

    Halcyan2 Emperor

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    I tend to keep my forest tiles throughout most of the game, so I commonly use lumbermills.

    On hills, keeping the forest provides more food (I generally find food more valuable than production).

    On flatlands, forests can hinder enemy movement.

    Also note that I usually end up discovering Scientific Method before Chemistry, so lumbermills can sometimes have better yields during this time.
     
  7. Snipes

    Snipes Chieftain

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    If the city doesn't have many hills and the only thing I could put in the forest's place is a farm/trading post I will sometimes not chop it and build a lumber mill as that's the highest production thing I can put in the long term. If the forest is on a hill or river then there's no reason not to chop it early.
     
  8. joncnunn

    joncnunn Senior Java Wizard Moderator

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    The main situation for a forested hill that's non-fresh water to build a lumber mill is if the city has a food shortage. Placing a lumbermill will keep the forest so it will still have one food, while a mine would remove the food. (Farm wasn't allowed in this situation; and only the Incas can build Terrace Farms)

    For forested flat plains; that's an always chop as the tile yield stays the same post chop. (Possible exception of if your the Iroquois due to its UB & UA.

    For flat grassland; it's largely opposite of the first case; you only build the lumbermill when you want to maintain (actually slightly increase) hammer yield. Mine isn't an option for this unless a resource is present.

    As to flat tundra: If there is neither fresh water nor a resource, here is what Lumbermills were really made for.

    Also, it turns out that lumbermills have a disadvantage if you go Freedom; picking Civil Service causes all Enginner slots to consume one less food which causes lumbermills to be never use prior to filling all Engineer slots.
     
  9. peterw1987

    peterw1987 Prince

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    Only on flat tundra tile or playing as Iroquis, otherwise almost never.

    They dont have any pantheon related. Dance of aurora even need the forest to be chopped down.
     
  10. joncnunn

    joncnunn Senior Java Wizard Moderator

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    Could you imagine what it would be like playing the Celts if there were a sacred path for forest?
     
  11. peterw1987

    peterw1987 Prince

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    Still not as broken as desert folklore ;)
     
  12. beetle

    beetle Deity

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    If you have that tenant that give science from TP, aren’t TP better than Lumber Mills? Did BNW nerd the gold from TP, or limit the places you can build them?
     
  13. phillipwyllie

    phillipwyllie Wannabe Deity

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    I always build lumber mills. Although getting your National college up asap does have it's benefits. In my last game I beat my personal best of t80(after settling all cities and not chopping forest) and was able to snag Alhambra and Notre Dame, does help to have the GBR as Spain though.....
     
  14. Marshall Thomas

    Marshall Thomas King

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    So there are no exceptions (other than possibly the Iroquois)? I should never build lumber mills on forested flat plains? If not, that's very useful information because I've been building lumber mills on forested plains as long as they're not adjacent to a river.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  15. Talamare

    Talamare Chieftain

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    Lumber Mills are not inherently bad

    Grassland Farm = 4 F
    Plains Farm = 3 F, 1 P
    Hill Farm = 2 F, 2 P
    Forest Mill = 1 F, 3 P
    Hill Mine = 4 P

    They are equal just slightly different, their only negative is that no hidden resource can be gotten by them. Meaning you will need to replace if you happen to uncover one.
     
  16. Acken

    Acken Deity

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    There's things to consider.

    First a lumber mill in itself isn't bad. By default it will be a 1F 2H tile on plain or hills. A mine is 3H, a plain farm is 2F 1H and a grass farm is 3F. So if someone prefers to boost production instead of food (lack of hills) or prefers to boost food instead of hammers (when building a mill on a hill) the lumbermill can be used to tip the balance in one direction or the other.

    Then, upgrading techs. Farms get upraded through civil service if next to a fresh water. This is a very early tech so you will want to avoid building lumbermills instead of farms on freshwater tiles. The lumbermill is upgraded through scientific theory while other farms and mines are upgraded through fertilizer and chemistry. Unless you plan for artillery, you will probably get scientific theory a lot before the other two. So your lumbermill will be a 1F 3H long before you get chemistry for a 4H mine or a 3F 1H plain tile.

    Finally, everytime you build a lumbermill you have an opportunity cost of not being able to chop down the forst. That's up to 20Hammer lost each time. That third point is the reason why most of the time it's considered bad to make lumbermills, you could have gotten a free 20h out of it.
     
  17. joncnunn

    joncnunn Senior Java Wizard Moderator

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    That is Rationalism that has a policy that gives science from TP.

    But generally farms work better to improve science (for much of the game) : Each new citizen produces science.

    BNW has no changes to TP compared to G&K; but G&K introduced the delay to Guilds before you can build TP at all.
    Before then there were multiples patches during Vanilla that nerfed TP. At initial release, they produced 2 gold per tile from the moment you can build them which was Trapping. One of the patches to Vanilla cut that to 1 gold per tile pre-Economics.
     
  18. joncnunn

    joncnunn Senior Java Wizard Moderator

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    Flat plains tiles without fresh water are pretty low priority to work at all; and normally when you do get around to working it you're most interested in food, which means chop and farm so it can support working the underlying hammer with expectation of a major food increase in late game.
    The other use for this tile is if you run out of Sheep / non fresh water Wheat for academies in your capital.
     
  19. lokithepunishr

    lokithepunishr Warlord

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    Only ever build them if my city has low production, otherwise cutting forests and building something better takes preference, river or hill forests are gone instantly for farms and mines
     
  20. reddishrecue

    reddishrecue Deity

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    If you get Hiawatha in a random civilization then build them. Once you get longhouses you can really get that extra hammer per lumber mill. If you have more lumber mills, they can really add up for production... make sure you have a good flood source somewhere though.
     

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