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Money Troubles for me... even on "Normal."

Discussion in 'Civ5 - Strategy & Tips' started by Warmaker, Oct 3, 2010.

  1. Warmaker

    Warmaker Chieftain

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    I just completed a victorious campaign as Germany (disappointingly done via space race). But the major gripe with my performance was that my treasury was hundreds in debt and regardless of heavy emphasis on building economic buildings, going full into Commerce policies on a island dominated map, having many cities (x2 more than closest rival), all my cities having trade route to my capital, limiting military buildings to lower building upkeep, and throughout most of the game (Marathon setting) I had the smallest army, even until the end. I've split tile improvements for balanced mining / trade posts / farming, or even maxing out trade posts. Despite all this, I was almost always in debt.

    I even try to specialize cities for specific purposes (economic, research, production types). But all that does is heavily limit me from a bunch of higher end buildings, especially the ones that require you to build so many of a specific building as a prerequisite.

    A bit different from past Civ games where if you have a sprawling, well developed civ with great populations abound, I found myself being very rich.

    But that's not working out in Civ 5.

    What am I doing wrong and what can I do to get even decent money flow?
     
  2. Infiltrator

    Infiltrator Warlord

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    Did you make too many units? Mouse over your income to see what you're throwing so much money on. Typically it's either unit or building maintenance (unless you made spaghetti roads).
     
  3. Warmaker

    Warmaker Chieftain

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    Building maintenance by far is the heaviest burden on the economy for me. My armies ever since doing Civ5 are usually among the smallest, which also gets me into alot of wars because it is deemed weak (though they fight like tigers).

    Roads... forgot to mention that. With my German campaign I actually minimized road building. Most especially so since that I was playing on a island oriented map. The amount or roads I did construct was limited by design. Hell, I couldn't even afford to build and upkeep any railroads.
     
  4. Sable

    Sable Chieftain

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    Where were your cities placed? Island maps can be a little gold-strapped, especially if you didn't build the Colossus early-game and don't have good water resources.

    A quick and easy way to make money is to sell your open borders to the AI, either for a lump sum or for gold per turn.
     
  5. Infiltrator

    Infiltrator Warlord

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    Do you leave a lot of puppets? They usually make the most terribad building choices that can cost you a lot.
     
  6. dfn

    dfn Chieftain

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    I had very similar problems. I came to the forums, did a bit of reading and I went from having 6-10 military units and a starving economy, to 3-6 military units and a thriving economy. Basically, the way I play now is to have a small, teched-out military, and quickly buy units if I need more.

    The ways I turned my economy around:

    1) trade post spam (almost exclusively)
    2) city-states (I make the maritime ones happy - initially I scoffed at the Patronage policies, but now I find them the easiest way to ensure victory, provided you can get 2 city-states on your side)
    3) stopped building +culture and +XP buildings except in cities I know will be making land/naval units
    4) trade any resources you have but don't need to the AI for any amount of GPT
    5) don't keep garrisoned units in cities unless you really need them (I keep no units at all and if I need something, I buy it)
    6) no puppet states
    7) forget railroads
    8) keep track of workers and delete them as necessary
    9) pillage (if during a war you are losing 19GP a turn, for example, pillaging should more than make up for it)

    Even though, like you, the majority of my costs come from buildings, managing my units better really helped. City-states are amazing, and really focusing one or two cities for land/naval units made a big difference.

    I'm by no means a great civ player, but I did manage to go from "omg bankrupt, have to sell stuff to win the war" to "I'm buying this civ now..."

    Having said all that, I still don't understand how some AIs can have money for 40+ units and 15 cities by the time I'm on my 5th city. Bismarck and Darius are the main offenders in my games, and Alexander only did it once (so far). Though the current 2 prince games I'm playing (one on Standard length, the other Marathon), I seem to have more cities than most AIs, and only Bismarck (in both games, heh) has an army that breeds faster than rabbits.
     
  7. Warmaker

    Warmaker Chieftain

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    Having a bunch of puppets was a mistake I didn't make in my German campaign (first was Japanese, and those puppets really hurt you). I preferred to have none, but at times just 1-2 with one of those getting a Courthouse soon.

    City locations: Having learned from my Japanese campaign, as far as coastal locations go, and proximity of other resources, I looked to have immediate access to sea resources like Fish and Whales. The intent is going for the trade bonus of fishing and luxury access with whales as early as possible for that settlement.
     
  8. Dizzy75

    Dizzy75 Warlord

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    I puppet first and annex slowly, when I have lots of excess happiness and can figure out how long the courthouse will take.

    If you can set up a puppet's tiles so that they have no more than 4-5 prod total (meaning 2-3 prod from outside the city), you can probably build TPs all over it and not have to worry about it. Otherwise, I find it important to annex them before they've built too much. Or just raze them.

    Also, 2-3 cities should be prod, the rest nothing but gold. That worked pretty well in Civ IV, and it seems to work pretty well here. There may be other good strategies that use major specialist cities, but I haven't seen one yet.

    Also, regarding:

    If you have 2-3 "controlled" cities, just build the prereqs there before annexing any more cities. It's not like National Epic and Heroic Epic's benefits go away when you suddenly get a new city with no barracks/library. Puppeting early makes them a lot cheaper, but hanging on to puppets for a long time gets really, really expensive in the long run, I've found...
     
  9. thwump

    thwump Chieftain

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    If you go real trading post spam you can puppet indefinitely without too much loss. Trading posts lower the production capability of the puppets so they usually only end up building a few useless buildings. This worked for me on immortal (by modern age I was making hundreds per turn with ~5 regular cities and ~10 puppets). It was mostly a way to keep people happy while reaping the benefits of big science and culture increases.
     
  10. Dizzy75

    Dizzy75 Warlord

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    Yeah, my problem in earlier games was that a) puppets with "mined" luxuries or hills still get decent prod, even when you TP everything, and b) I think there's probably some ideal controlled-to-puppet ratio that I wasn't meeting. Two controlled and 12 puppets gets out of control pretty fast. Last game I was more like 1:3, and things were fine.
     
  11. duxup

    duxup Prince

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    All great advice.

    One I didn't know: Units in garrisoned in cities cost more?
     
  12. Lyoncet

    Lyoncet Emperor

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    No, he just meant destroy the units rather than having them sit around. The cost per turn is the same regardless of whether they're garrisoned or not.
     
  13. dexters

    dexters Gods & Emperors Supporter

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    The issue is game needs a 'marginal cost' calculator to show you what your next unit will cost you in upkeep.

    In Civ3 and 4, this was easy, as it was hard coded into the government/civic you used. The problem with Civ5 is it appears to work on a curve.

    I would disband a unit and see no impact on income. Disband another and see +9 gold. Then disband another and nothing.

    Makes no sense.
     
  14. duxup

    duxup Prince

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    Ok, maybe he meant just don't keep units around to garrison for garrisoning sake as in Civ IV?

    It would seem odd to destroy military units that may have picked up experience and then build them again later in case of war.
     
  15. Tylerryan79

    Tylerryan79 Emperor

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    I've seen the same thing happen, I disbanded a worker and saw -9 gold, and disbanded another soon after and nothing changed. At the time 9 gold seemed a hell of a lot, but when nothing happened the second time I just got straight up confused.
     
  16. dfn

    dfn Chieftain

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    That is exactly what I meant :)

    I should have been more clear. Basically, if there is a unit, any unit, and it isn't doing anything, I delete it. I consider units in cities to be doing "nothing" unless the city is in imminent danger.

    If you have a few leveled up units, you can keep them around for the next war. If your entire military is leveled up, well then use it on the next civ asap! If it is too big for you to maintain, figure out which types of units will be useful in your next conquest and keep those, ditch the rest.

    EDIT: Unit maintenance is done in pairs. So, depending on if you have an even or odd number of units, you may need to delete 2 to see a GPT increase. Similarly, you can exploit this and build one extra unit sometimes. Also, the price of unit maintenance goes up as the game progresses. I was very confused about this also, but I gathered all these little tidbits reading the forums. There was a helpful post somewhere that summarized everything currently known about unit maintenance, but I can't remember the thread or the poster's name, sorry.
     
  17. Bibor

    Bibor Doomsday Machine

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    Can you post a save?
     
  18. Warmaker

    Warmaker Chieftain

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    Sure, here's my late portion of my German campaign. Excuse the mess :king:
     

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  19. Zhahz

    Zhahz PC Gamer

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    I had problems early on but lately gold is never a problem. You do kinda need to watch your troops based on your empire size and some buildings aren't necessary everywhere or at all depending on your economoy.

    If you like extra cheese with your civ, sell extra (or even any if you're ok for happy) lux to AIs for lump sums of gold. It's a great way to deny them spending power and line your pockets with gold. You are probably helping them get quicker golden ages, expand quicker, or maintain their REXpire - but you get the gold!
     

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