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Lumbermill improvement vs. farm or mine

Discussion in 'Civ5 - Strategy & Tips' started by Hax, May 27, 2015.

  1. Hax

    Hax Chieftain

    May 19, 2015
    Is there any consensus as to when (or if) it is better to construct these over mines or farms? (Excluding special cases like the Iroquois) They don't seem to have much going for them, aside from faster build times.

    Obviously, one appeal is that chopping down forests provides a production boost, but this becomes fairly negligible later on. If I am attempting to pursue growth I have considered building these instead of mines to still get some food, but a 1 food 2 production tile is still fairly unattractive. One could also argue that purely building either farms and mines allows for efficient specialization, permitting a city to focus better on production or growth as needed.

    What are some of the pros of lumbermills?
  2. Bei1052

    Bei1052 Emperor

    Oct 5, 2008
    If a forest is on a tile with no freshwater access, I leave it for a lumbermill. If a forest is on a tile with access to freshwater, it gets chopped. Forests on hills always get chopped. There *may* be a time when it's better to put a lumbermill on a forested hill (like maybe you're the Iroquois), but I've never done it.
  3. joncnunn

    joncnunn Senior Java Wizard Moderator

    Mar 17, 2008
    My thoughts are:

    1. Tiles with visible resources on forest should get the improvement needed for it. For everything except Camp, this will chop the forest. For these tiles, if on flat plains, that is a free chop and should be done (unless Irq), but leave the rest.

    2. If playing the Incans, all hill tiles with forest both with and without fresh water get chopped and replaced with Terrace Farms.

    3. Fresh water forest without resources gets clear cut even if playing the Irq for farms.

    The rest is non-fresh water without visible resources:

    4. If the tile underneath the forest is flat tundra, lumber mill.

    5. If the tile underneath the forest is flat plains, perform a free chop (non Irq) when you have time. Eventually place farms. (Rather low)

    6. I am usually more interested in lumber mills on flat grassland & hills (all types) for better balance. (Lumbermills on flat grassland get some hammers for the city to build, Lumbermills on hills get some food for the city to grow)

    With a note that case 6B is more of a tall Tradition than a wide Liberty tactic.
  4. stormtrooper412

    stormtrooper412 Peacemongering Turtlesaur

    Apr 19, 2014
    Well, since I tend to prioritize balanced food tiles:

    1. Chop and farm all fresh water tiles

    2. Lumber mill the forest tundras (no-brainer)

    3. Chop and farm grasslands regardless of fresh water access

    4. Depending on my food situation, I may or may not chop dry hills. For a tall tradition freedom game, every little apple counts, so I lumber mill hills and farm plains
  5. Plumfairy

    Plumfairy Prince

    Apr 20, 2011
    There's definitely a time when a lumbermill is better on a forested hill. Two times, actually:

    1) If a city desperately needs food, for whatever reason, then a lumbermill is a better choice. This situation isn't too common; usually even if a city's location is food-poor, you can make up for that using internal trade routes.

    2) In many games, I get Scientific Method (which gives +1 production for lumbermiils) waaaaaaay before I research the tech that gives +1 production for mines. In those games, it's sometimes better to build the lumbermill so I get 4 yield on the tile during that entire interval. And even after I research the +1 production/mine tech, lumbermills & mines are merely equivalent, rather than mines being superior.

    Eventually, if I get the order tenet that gives +2 production/mine, I might go back & replace the lumbermill with a mine.
  6. consentient

    consentient Domination!

    Jul 7, 2014
    Always chop, except Deer. More hammers earlier increases the chances of snowball.
  7. nmp0098

    nmp0098 Chieftain

    Oct 7, 2014
    I actually count up the production I'll get. I want at least 6 good production tiles for most tall cities in the end game, and if mines and bonus resources are scarce I leave the forests farther away from my cities intact for the production. The food is nice, and like mentioned above ST usually comes before Chemistry unless you are warring. The other option is to be rolling in gold and compensate with buying, but any city without 30+ base production from somewhere is going to struggle building anything useful in the late game. Of course Freedom/Science doesn't have to worry about this, and for Culture I only really worry about the capital. Because of the multiplier/growth mechanics, I'd rather send an extra food ITR and save some forests for production than farm up everything and send production. On the other hand, if the terrain is all hills and I'm not The Inca, I go for the extra food from lumber mills on hills to keep growing.

    I almost never chop tundra, unless it is freshwater. A 1F tile with a TP takes a long time and several policies to be really worth working.

    @consentient - Deer on plains is a free chop with no change in yield, and deer on grassland is 4F1H(1G), so I usually chop that too unless I'm going to be hurting for hammers (think flat grassland or desert). You can even chop while or after building a camp, depending on how you want to time things up. Deer on Tundra is the exception. I'm interested though; does an extra 30 hammers from two more chops early outweigh the extra 6 base hammers late, assuming you have enough production around to make it through the mid game in good shape?
  8. beetle

    beetle Deity

    Mar 19, 2004
    Frederick, MD
    Mid game, after you have unlocked the Rationalism science bonus for trading posts (assuming workers don’t have more pressing work, and you were inclined to keep mills and convert them to mines), would it not be even better to convert any lumber mills to TP?
  9. FrostK

    FrostK Prince

    Apr 26, 2013
    1. At start food > hammers > science > gold.
    2. Middle game (food ? science ? hammers) > gold.
    3. Late game gold > science > hammers > food.
    - you need time to convert food or hammers to smth, while gold can be spent fast.
    - gold is boosted by buildings much more than food and hammers.
    - discounts make your gold more efficient.
  10. Solutionfinder

    Solutionfinder Warlord

    Apr 30, 2015
    Agreed...Would like to add.

    1. Depends on how many hills are around. If I lack hills, I leave forest for lumbermills.

    2. As for resources like deer and truffles. If it`s on thundra, leave it be, if on grassland, chop to get extra food, if plains, chop to get production boost without effects on tile.

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