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Micromanaging citizens- worth it?

Discussion in 'Civ5 - Strategy & Tips' started by Meyerm, Aug 22, 2015.

  1. Meyerm

    Meyerm Chieftain

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    Citizens in a city can be assigned to work whatever tiles you want to be worked, or become a specialist. This is automated by default but can be manually adjusted. My question is, is it worth it? If you're going for a balanced civ with no particular focus while on a lower setting, is it better to just automate citizen assignment or should I always be checking what citizens are doing?
     
  2. Redaxe

    Redaxe Emperor

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    More advanced players tend to micromanage their population more closely - especially early on.

    A simple example might be that you have a city that is 1 turn from growing in population and 2 turns from finishing a building. Sometimes you'll find that you can switch food to production to get both growth and the building done in 1 turn - essentially saving you 1 turn of gametime.

    This works as surplus food does not carry over to the next population so if I have more food than is necessary to grow from a population of X to a population size of X +1 than I am often better to switch that excess food into hammers for faster production.

    Other times you might want to stop growth temporarily if you are about to hit unhappiness as that penalises multiple aspects of your economy.
    Also obviously if you want to rush a building or wonder you'll want to focus on working productivity tiles until the project is completed than switch back to growth...

    I'm sure other's can give you more complex examples.
     
  3. Browd

    Browd Dilettante Administrator

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    Actually, excess food from your pre-existing citizens does carry over -- i.e., if your existing citizens would produce 12 excess food and you only need 4 food for the next citizen, the extra 8 food will carry over. For a detailed analysis, including screenies, see http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?p=12311554

    What does NOT carry over is the food that otherwise would have been produced by the newly created citizen on the turn that citizen is created. The way the game works, food yield and surplus is calculated first -- that determines whether the new citizen is created -- but when that citizen is then assigned to work a tile on that turn, any food yield on that tile for that turn is ignored/lost, since food has already been computed for that turn. Other yields from that tile (hammers, culture, gold, or whatever) are counted, however, since those yields are computed after the new citizen is created.

    That is the source of the so-called "extra hammer" trick -- on the turn before the new citizen is created, make sure all citizens are locked on tiles that you desire, that the city focus is set to production (forcing the new citizen to be assigned to a production tile), and that there is an open production tile for that citizen to work on that turn -- boom! free hammers with no requirement to feed the citizen who produced those hammers on that turn. When that turn is over, you can reassign the new citizen to whatever tile makes most sense (presumably a tile that generates some food, so growth can continue apace).
     
  4. SooHongLoo

    SooHongLoo Chieftain

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    Nicel Job Browd! I couldn't have explained it better myself. Actually this is the best definition I have read on this subject. Although the easy way to say it is to just stay on production focus and lock all of your highest food tile/hexes down :)

    I think PrimEvalCIV on youtube still has his demonstration of this and other players as well if anyone is interested. You might have to search around on his page a bit since it is an older video.
     
  5. Redaxe

    Redaxe Emperor

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    Oh oops :blush:

    My apologies for giving misleading advice ;)
     
  6. consentient

    consentient Domination!

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    If you don't micromanage the citizens and workers, you'll put a cap on how much you can improve your play.

    It's a very rough guess, but I'd say that without micro, your play will be 60% as effective.
     
  7. Rosiel

    Rosiel Chieftain

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    I am not nearly as good as player as many others in these forums, but still micromanaging citizens should become a no-brainer to you if you want to play at higher difficulties.

    The most common situations that I switch citizens around are:
    - Gold tiles are generally not as useful at the start of the game. You need food and hammers.
    - There are times when all you care is have enough production to get going but mostly focus on food. Lock some good production tiles, and the rest get them on food.
    - Some other times you will want full hammers (for example when building settlers).
    - Specialists. You need to the put them on manual. Game is really bad at managing them. Really bad. When I came back to the game after a long break, I was quite forgetful about this and I really hated it when merchants were popping out because I was forgetting to micromanage the specialists.
     
  8. Matthew.

    Matthew. Deity

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    The game auto-manager prioritizes some yields more than it should, like gold. An easy example is on turn 1 and the game tries to work a 2f2g tile over a 2f1h tile. I'll take the production every time, because that extra 1 gold just doesn't compare to getting out a scout, monument, etc. out quicker.

    The auto-manager also cannot look at the big picture. If you don't need the other yields for a while, you can work a ton of food tiles just to let cities grow for a while. At a point in the game where production becomes important, you can let up on food a bit (in your now higher pop. cities) and balance it out.
     
  9. Heathcliff

    Heathcliff Warlord

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    It is especially important when you build your first settlers.
    Because the AI won't work hammers needed for settlers. (you cannot starve when building settlers so you won't need to work as much food)

    After your settlers are built you can generally switch back to default focus and the AI will do a decent job. It will work mainly food which is exacly what you want to work.
    But then when you build workshops and universities you need to micro again and manually assign specialists to engineer and scientists slots.
    Working those slots are important, so you should work those more than the default AI do.

    EDIT:
    The big risk is that if you do like most people do and use production focus and micro is that you forget to change citizens from hammertiles to food tiles and that can cost alot of growth. So if you use production focus, you should be careful of that.
     
  10. beetle

    beetle Deity

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    I am weak deity player. I hardly ever micro -- but I am confident that bit of laziness is not what is holding me back!

    It is about time I give micro another try, but my experiences with it have been very disappointing. Each turn takes three times longer, and I found no noticeable results. But then I never did micro enough to make it a habit. I think it is a habit people get into because they hear it is the way they are suppose to play.

    I micro when producing settlers. You can easily shave a turn or two there.

    I am not sure about this. Yes, being at -1 unhappy really stunts growth. But stopping growth to avoid growth penalties -- when the main penalty is slower growth? How does that make sense? I would like to see more of the math, but I have done some lightweight experimenting with this and it clearly seems to me that that slow growth (from small negative unhappy) still outpaces avoiding growth.

    My very rough guess is that you are overstating the effective by a factor of ten. If micro made that much difference, there would be lots of compelling examples -- and for medium and large size cities.

    The most concrete effects I know of are getting one extra hammer each time a city grows in pop. So 30 hammers for 200 turns of micro?

    That said, I am pretty sure I could do much better with managing specialists and GP generation.
     
  11. claudiupb

    claudiupb King

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    I tend to do micromanaging when starting new projects in cities. If there is something that needs to be rushed, I will focus on production, if it's something I don't require right now, but I just need to put some turns in it before I unlock something else, I will go to maximum growth. The best example is the Aqueduct, I will actually want to delay growing while producing an aqueduct in order to have benefit of the aqueduct faster.

    Also because I have my cities on production focus, to take advantage of the extra hammers when a citizen is born, I will need to assign the new citizen each time. So each time I get the notification for a new citizen, I will go to the city screen and assign it accordingly (sometimes I forget this but I will notice it in a turn or two).

    Regarding the Avoid Growth option. I personally don't do it, because of laziness, but I can see the point in it. If you are low on happiness it is better to grow your capital than to grow an expo from, lets say size 6 to 7. So you put some expos on avoid growth, and let the capital grow. This works especially well with tradition, because the capital can grow twice as much with the same happiness penalties, and you get extra gold and a lot more extra science because of the NC.
     
  12. Mr. Shadows

    Mr. Shadows Nomad of the time streams

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    Thanks, this makes sense and I had no idea. I'm not sure how much it really matters, but then again I'm no where near an elite player.
     
  13. Bimblecrumbs

    Bimblecrumbs Warlord

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    In my opinion a player of any level should be locking in the good tiles to make sure a city is working them. The governor is an eejit who can't be trusted, especially for specialists like science ones which are so very important and so under-prioritised by AIs.

    A step up from that is to set the city to production focus and assign the new citizen whenever it grows/reassign all of them whenever it grows.

    What takes real patience is checking every turn if your food/hammer ratio can be improved; this is most important at the start of a game. For those of you who aren't up for so much micro, checking 1-2 times per population growth will still make a difference.

    For example if your city is working mostly food tiles and will grow in 3 turns, and changing one to a +2 production tile will still result in 3 turn growth. Ok it's a purely theoretical example because I don't have the game open in front of me, but that's 6 extra hammers. That may not sound like a lot but if repeated it could be the difference between getting a wonder or not.
     
  14. peddroelm

    peddroelm King

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    been a while since I've played CIV V.

    -great people specialist generation (scientist, writer, artist , engineer, merchant) must be manually supervised . Artists and writers have separate counters but scientists, engineers and merchants compete for the same points (getting one increases the cost for the others) so you must supervise which one you want more (scientist) and when/if ever do you want to squeeze one of the other ones (engineer/merchant). Rationalism/Korea/Freedom make it very useful to run most specialist slots but you must still micro which type will get produced

    -free hammer or gold growth production trick. Already explained in thread. Newly born citizens CANNOT produce food the turn they are born. They can however produce hammer and/or gold. (might seem like tiny amounts but it adds up - your empire might easily end up with 60+ population by the end of a game. Having at least a mine/tradepost always available in every city can maximize this benefit).. Percent wise this will be felt more strongly on new cities focused on growth with low production - but the benefits are game long . Remember to move the new guy on a food tile the next turn if growth is still required (most of the time it is) ..

    -also mentioned in thread -settler production. Hammers are better (usually) better than food, starvation won't happen and you will need proper worker management ahead of even building the settler(s) (acquire worker(s) , acquire high production tiles - IMPROVE high production tiles before building workers).

    -every turn check every city for food or production overflow/"waste". Sometime you can shift a citizen from food tile to shave a turn (or more) of production (or gaining extra gold per turn) while growing a new citizen in the same amount of turns. (food overflow). Or you could remove guys from production of a critical unit/building/wonder without losing a production turn and shaving a turn(or more) to grow a new citizen. Check every city every turn .

    -make certain you're working critical tiles like Spain wonders, academies, sacred sites, world wonders with faith partheon, archeologist/generally huge culture tiles unless ex waiting for prophet to spawn (waste of faith)

    -periods of unforeseen unhappiness due to various causes (opposing ideology adoption/pressure, CS coup, luxury pillage, DOW .. etc ) require to bring all the food excess next to 0 (nearly useless during unhappiness) and maximize specialist, production & gold output during the unhappy times - while working hard on getting happy again to resume empire growth ASAP.

    -(short periods of) CONTROLLED STARVATION TO ACCELERATE WONDERS OR HELP SYNC FOR NATIONAL WONDERS - (everybody will preach on the importance of continuous furious growth of your empire population but short periods of controlled starvation on your production center or late city can be a powerful tool) - probably not going to use this much early game since the "food bucket" is still low and early growth is paramount - but even early game it can be used to shave a few turns of a critical wonder. Later on with huge food bucket you could go say 50 turns with minor food deficit before having to switch back to positive and not lose a citizen. Again typically used for speeding up contested wonders . Or go a few turns with massive food deficit for huge production or gold increased output. New city behind on library / barracks / market/ university/ temple etc .. holding back National wonders (college) - controlled starvation might give that poor town a chance to get the critical building in sync with the rest when money is not available to rush buy..

    -the limit growth button can sometimes keep your empire above unhappiness (and its score of penalties) until you can scrounge up some extra happiness.

    -not all cities need to grow forever. Sometimes due to happiness constraints it would benefit to limit the population size of some of your cities. When the desired limit is reached - try to get near 0 food balance and work specialists + maximize production & gold output. Good city state play can alter the constraints (extra happy to grow more ) or extra food to work more specialist/production/gold tiles ..

    The citizen management GOES HAND IN HAND WITH WORKER MANAGEMENT (getting enough workers - steal/build/buy), ACQUIRING AND IMPROVING THE TILES IN THE BEST ORDER. Chopping forests at the right time (early) can help accelerate the early game (get another worker faster or granary with tons of relevant resources or even win contested wonders) . Good city placement.

    Workers are a finite resource and huge benefits can be gained by employing them effectively IN CONJUNCTION WITH tile acquisition and citizen micro-management on this newly improved tiles.

    And the food cargo-ship/caravan micro-management (deployment and protection) is crucial to the above (starting with city placement (cargo ships being so much more effective than caravans) )

    And somewhat relevant - rush buying some critical buildings in needy cities -> typically library on late/poor production city to speed up NC . Or perhaps aqueduct on late settled city to make it grow overnight in conjunction with a cargo ship. Or maybe a light house on a coastal resource rich new city.


    in other words



    citizen management is pretty key
     
  15. megistatos

    megistatos Warlord of Mars

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    Let's try to estimate just how much you might get. Let's say for example your capital is size 41 at the end of the game, gaining 1 hammer (plain tile) the first 10 times it grows, 2 hammers (hill) the next 10 times, then 3 (mine), then 4 (chemistry mine).

    That's (1+2+3+4)*10 = 100 hammers in your capital.

    Then you might have three size 17 cities, gaining an additional (1+2+3+4)*4*3=120.

    That's 220 hammers but my estimates could be modest. It's not huge, perhaps in the region of a 0.5%-2% overall production boost. But bare in mind that it can also mean completing key buildings one turn earlier giving their benefits for an extra turn.
     
  16. vanatteveldt

    vanatteveldt Emperor

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    I'm by no means a top deity player, and I'm not sure I have the patience to become one :)

    I micro pretty heavily in the early game, but from around NC I start to become more lax. I do assign specialist manually most of the time, but I find that pressing the appropriate button (focus on hammer/food/etc) and sometimes locking a single tile is enough to get the governor to behave pretty decently. If I'm competing for a wonder I start babysitting my city again, losing a wonder by one turn is extremely painful*

    I do think there's also a macro-level micromanagement, in making sure everything comes together, e.g. expanding at the right moment so the libraries are finished and/or enough gold is in hand just when the capital is ready to build NC, being able to mass buy universities or upgrade frigates just when a tech comes in so you can capitalize on the advantage etc. In my opinion, that is where the real top players "shave off" 50 turns of their finish times, since every gain snowballs into faster turns for the next milestone, e.g. quicker universities give more scientists and faster schools, etc.. For aggressive play, having battleships 20 turns earlier can give enough window to capture half the world while the AI still uses sailing ships...


    *) and I admit sometimes enough for me to ragequit or savescum - I think btw that civ5 gives too little information, if you have an embassy and especially open borders you should get full info on wonder construction. I mean your diplomat can just stroll by Giza everyday to see how they're doing, right?). At least in civ4 you could spend espionage to check out cities. Manually checking out sprites is just the silly civ5 equivalent of the good old fog-gazing from different angles that was popular in the civ4 GOTMs...
     
  17. Bliss

    Bliss Warlord

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    I started microing yesterday because of a single problem that I found myself facing: not being able to handle production in cities with mostly food tiles. It's immeasurably how good some unemployed people and some mine tiles will be over that 3f tiles.
     
  18. BlackWizard

    BlackWizard King

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    In my opinion Micromanaging workers is much more important than micromanaging cities.
     
  19. beetle

    beetle Deity

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    Not automating workers is not micromanaging. Attention to workers is quite important.
     
  20. Acken

    Acken Deity

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    Yes it's worth it. The impact of it decreases with time though.

    On the other hand it takes some practice. If a player has no idea what to do with the citizens telling him to micro may not be very useful. But maybe just trying your hand at it is part of the learning experience.
     

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