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Must you build a Commercial District in every city? Are they really that OP?

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by Victoria, Feb 10, 2017.

  1. Quillan

    Quillan Monkey Butler

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    Great experiences, use numbers. Most of the posters seem to say CD + trader is great, it works for me. Fine, but thats not the same as proving its optimal.
    eg:
    Great, totally agree with those benefits as that investment grows over the course of the game. But to make a real point you have to prove that it is better than alternatives, not just the sadly nerfed IZ which I conceded immediately isn't better than a CD. Compare it to a campus or an encampment or a harbor.

    all of the advantages of a CD and a trader are there to be traded off with.

    eg:
    Try this: a settler instead of a CD + trader = more prod and food and gold after how many turns (accounting for the lost pop of course)?

    Ok so you argue i already settle everything so its moot or i conquor all the peoples so all i do is build infrastructure, then how about more housing ---> more pop > trader. For how long are more worked tiles equivalent/better/cheaper than a trader +CD? so what, perhaps granary > trader? I dunno, someone do math, i'm an ideas guy, too old for math.

    Again, this is a thought experiment challenging the current orthodox, I dont claim it to be true so much as wonder if it might be. We can all win the game easily with any open or district choice...

    And a note on victory conditions - in my experience almost always the open is the same regardless. You dont need theatre districts in every city from the start to win culturally, nor do you need campuses to win science, or even holy sites (obviously you need a reasonable religion founded...) to win religious. Those all come much later. The choices I make on what to build first are almost always map and to a lessor degree civ dependent.

    All this said in the end I do build CD in most cities, but I dont prioritize it like other people and I certainly dont believe its the certain always best district.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2017
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  2. PendragonWRB

    PendragonWRB Prince

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    A harbor gets you another trade route (plus food and housing) so if I can build it, why not? I do however generally only build coastal cities where I can get at least one sea resource for an extra 2 gpt (and of course an adjacent CD for even more bonus gold).
     
  3. Quillan

    Quillan Monkey Butler

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    Can you elaborate on this? Never heard of this before.
     
  4. Larsenex

    Larsenex King

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    I am going to have to try and Island plates map to see if its better.
     
  5. PYITE

    PYITE Prince

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    What is the ratio of gold to production? (or in other words) How much gold is equal to one cog when buying a building or unit? Is it always the same or does it vary based on other factors?
     
  6. fodazd

    fodazd Chieftain

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    If I have a commercial City state nearby, then a Commercial Hub is +8 gpt even before any buildings, traders or adjacency bonuses. If I can find a second commercial CS, then it is +16 gpt.

    ...I usually build a CD in every single City even without a commercial CS.
     
  7. WackenOpenAir

    WackenOpenAir Deity

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    It should depend on the length of game you are aiming for.
    If you are going for a quick conquest victory, you might not want to build a single one of them. (or any district at all for that matter)

    If you are going for a space race on a difficulty and map where you can easilly conquer 30+ cities before turn 100 and thus get a pretty fast victory out of having a campus in all, i think campuses + buildings in there have priority and many low production towns probably will already be struggling to get those and never get to build a CS as the game will be over before these get a chance to build both districts with library and university as well.

    If however you play a long game where you only got hold of 10 cities, then yes, probably getting CS in each of them is your very first priority. Before campus because there is enough game remaining for the value of the CS to come to rights and you want to get it ASAP.
     
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  8. ShakaKhan

    ShakaKhan King

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    I understand that you're playing devil's advocate here, but CD's provide general infrastructure which is not only helpful in all situations, but make your empire more powerful in a general sense which facilitates transitioning from one victory condition to another.

    For a quick recap of what others have said, you have the extra trade route and superior and much more flexible great people. But neither of those nor their indirect, "side effect" bonuses (food, production, roads, etc.) are the main reason that I consider CD as the first district in any city that's going to produce a district. It's the trade CS 3/6 envoy bonus. While hammers are more efficient than gold (in response to @PYITE, I don't think there's a consensus on exactly how much, but it seems there's general agreement that 1 hammer equals 3-4 gold), trade CSs provide double the yield- 4 gold per level as opposed to 2 hammers (or beakers or faith.) But even more importantly, trade CS envoy level bonuses (gold) are granted every single turn, whereas the bonus hammers from industrial or militaristic CS are only granted during turns where you happen to be building the specific bonus items.
    So even if you wanted to go all-out military, you'd want 2nd level (6 envoy) bonuses with multiple (let's say 2) militaristic city states. You'd then want an encampment, a barracks, and an armory in the city's that would get that bonus. But during the 12 turns that you're building the encampment plus the 4 turns building the barracks, plus the 6 turns building the armory, you'd be getting nothing from the city state status. If you instead had 6 envoys with 2 trade CS's you'd be getting 16 gpt during the 22 turns that you're building the encampment and it's buildings for total of about an extra 350 gold. You could argue that you could buy the buildings which would reduce the infrastructure production time, but in order to buy the buildings you'd need gold which you got from... commercial hubs. It's just so much more flexible.

    But in response to your query/postulation of "are there times when it isn't worth it to build CH or times when you're more likely to do without?" I can think of three situations:
    -when you miss the window of opportunity.The stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid formula for determining district cost is mostly dependent on how many techs (or civics) you have, and district cost increases when you have more technologies. As such, the cost:benefit ratio gets worse the further you get (compounded with fewer turns remaining to reap the benefits), and there's a certain point where newer cities can't build them fast enough and more developed cities simply have more important things to build
    -when you don't have access to one or more trade CS. As I mentioned earlier, the envoy level bonus gold is so helpful, especially considering that this game lacks a gold generating tile improvement - Civ4 had cottages, Civ5 had trading posts, Civ6 has nothing. Whether you're using a purchasing strategy or not, you're going to need gold for unit maintenance, building maintenance, possibly for trades, etc. and most of the ways to generate gold are derived from CH in one way or another, it's adjacency bonus, it's buildings, the trade CS envoy bonus, trade routes (which are limited by how many CH (or HB) you have.) Without those, you're limited to select resources that give base gold yield, resources with plantations, or a number of other rare situations (such as natural wonders.) There really aren't that many ways to generate an economy and the majority of those ways (and the highest yield) are related to CH either directly or indirectly.
    -if you go taller instead of wider this is something that rarely comes up because people don't do it.. because the rules of the game make wider empires generally more successful than narrower, taller ones. However, the bonus that you get from trade routes is usually some food and as much production as possible, assuming internal trade routes which most agree is the better use for them, at least until quite late in the game. Assuming you have trade routes going to cities that have ENC/CH/HB/IZ (for optimal production), you'd be generating an extra 1F/5P from the route, which is the same as a yield from a plains-hill mine (post industrialization) so it's essentially giving you one extra citizen (albeit, working a high priority tile.) This makes a more significant impact on a size 3 city than it does a size 30 city since it's a greater percentage of it's total hammers. So if you went with fewer, taller cities, the priority of CH would probably go down, especially if there's also no access to trade CS.
     
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  9. MyOtherName

    MyOtherName Emperor

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    IIRC,
    • For purchases, 1 cog = 4 gold
    • For upgrades, 1 cog = 2 gold
    ... so while gold is versatile, you pay for the versatility. Sources of gold rarely produce four times as much as similar sources of cogs.
     
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  10. gettingfat

    gettingfat Emperor

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    The power of CD is not just money, it's the flexibility. You can use it to temporarily boost the production and growth of your selected cities, or may use it to speed up Wonder production, or may use it to build roads, or may use it to increase tourism.....and of course, cash also means military, infrastructure and even great people. No other districts offer you so many options.
     
  11. ArdentFire88

    ArdentFire88 Chieftain

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    I have never really seen commercial hubs as the most important district. Often times, I only build 2-3 (depending on access to ocean). I feel that Industrial zones are the most important, and I usually want to have them in every one of my cities because they help establish a strong productive base so you can build other districts and units a lot quicker, which is very efficient and key in the game.

    But really, my opinion is not that strong since I'm not at Diety yet.
     
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  12. WackenOpenAir

    WackenOpenAir Deity

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    You last point of tall vs wide pretty much opposes the point i just made.

    Your motivation is the smaller percentual impact on your cities output. I dont think that matters, it is simply ROI that matters. If you can invest 10.000$ with a 20% safe ROI, that is just as good an investment for a milionare as it is for you. He will merely regret not being able to do it a 100 times but it will still be the very first thing he puts any money into.

    My motivation is two fold: The smaller city needs more time to build the district. The time to build the district basically adds to the repay time and thus reduce its ROI. If you invest say 120 cogs to build the district and you can do that in 6 turns after which your best city produces the trader in another 4, your investment starts repaying itself in 6-10 turns (gpt after 6, food/prod after 10). If however your city needs 25 turns to produce those cogs, it starts repaying after 25-29 turns. That is a vast difference and greatly devalues your investment.
    The second part of the motivation is that wide is so much more efficient that your victory date is expected to be early. Thus there will be much less time for your investment to pay back and therefore it will be worse, instead it might be better to build whatever fullfills your victory condition directly. Usually the last 50 or so turns of the game you want to care only about the victory condition, not about growing your income, production etc...
     
  13. Magil

    Magil Monarch

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    You say this, but consider that you can run 100% gold from commercial hub buildings as a policy (Free Market), while there is no equivalent policy to double the output of industrial zone buildings. And that's before you factor in trade routes. Additionally, in regards to getting cogs from city-states in IZs, those cogs can only be applied to infrastructure, while gold bonuses from commercial city-states are universal.

    There are a lot of factors to consider here, and most of them favor gold when it comes time to deciding what to build.
     
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  14. EpicWestern

    EpicWestern Warlord

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    Yeah of course CD is for traders, and don't get me wrong I think traders are powerful, but the small food/production bonus from an internal route (+2/+2 or so on average) means its taking a good many turns before you actually start to pay for your CD and trader production costs. Your victory district is definitely coming out way slower with CD first, and I think that does matter significantly because you want to start dumping your envoys to the appropriate city state early.

    I did have one game where I did go CD first in all my cities partly just to see what everyone was raving about, party since I had a gold based city state nearby which I was dumping envoys to early on. I didn't decide my victory type till I had cartography researched and was able to scout out what the best city states out there were. My overall time was decent, so I'll at least concede CD first is a viable option, but if you're opening up close to a good city state for you victory type I'm fairly certain that respected district first is optimal.
     
  15. UWHabs

    UWHabs Deity

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    I just tried a little experiment - how hard is it to play without any commercial districts at all (okay, obviously this is a totally stupid situation, but figured it would be worth a test). Here was my scenario: Japan, Emperor, small fractal. I have recently been playing Immortal, so figured I should drop down a level. And Japan I think is just about ideal, as they get other districts cheaper, as well as the extra adjacency I figured might be able to make up a bit for the lack of trade routes.

    After a few failed starts (hey, if I'm going to play the game, may as well find one that is at least a little fun), finally found one that seemed to work well. Starting just north of the jungle, a large if somewhat sparse empty zone to back-fill, with all the other civs south of the jungle seemed pretty perfect. Now, of course I'm sure I haven't necessarily be playing optimally, but I will say - it's really hard. I started with a couple campuses in my main cities, and then have a few really nice industrial zone spots. I'm piling my districts in close together to make the most of my bonus, and thankfully have managed to stay peaceful (well, other than a useless joint attack where neither side actually sent over any units).

    But I'm finding it just really hard to get anything going, because there's just too much to do. It's only once I got to about 150 turns in that I'm finally consistently getting some decent coin in (now up to about +25 per turn, mostly because I just got the "gold from envoys" card and the tech to give gold from quarries. Not having a cash supply to be able to rush a builder or trader just makes it really hard. If Russia declares war on me, I would be completely destroyed (well, I could faith-buy some units I guess, but I haven't built anything better than a spearman yet). Now, part of my problems is that I was originally hoping to be able to get a cashflow from luxuries, but despite the large amount of space I have to expand to, luxuries are crazy sparse in my area. So maybe the map I have is not very good for my test.

    I really do think when you look through it all, it's the fact that gold is essentially universally awesome. You can ignore military infrastructure, since you can just buy units when you need them. You don't even have to worry that much about finding production sites, since if you get enough gold, you can buy enough buildings. And even just being able to put a single trader in a new city is insane. Without the trader, you basically have to spend 20 turns to slow-build a monument, and another 20 for a granary. With a trader, it probably drops them to about 10 turns apiece, which means your cities can start growing faster. And there's other factors too:
    -if you want to upgrade your army, you just stockpile cash, switch to the 50% discount to upgrade, and upgrade it all in one turn as you finish another older policy. In my current game, I don't have the cash for that, I would have to run it for longer to upgrade, if I even could build up enough cash to afford it
    -Being able to switch to the 2 extra builder charges, then buying 3-4 builders, can be a huge bonus. Right now, I basically have to spend much more effort coordinating to get 2-3 cities aiming to finish them at the same time to make optimal use of the policy
    -I've often had to delay building a district, because I don't have the cash to buy the tile that it should go on. When you have cash, 100 bucks for a tile means nothing. Or, if I plan ahead, other games I can buy a builder to chop the forest on the tile first. This game? not worth it to delay a district by slow-building a builder first. Especially since he's probably not going to come out timed for extra charges, it's a waste.
    -If I notice I fall behind in culture, other games I can build a theatre and then buy the amphitheatre/museum to get a quick +5. This game they'll have to be slow-built.
    -If I actually did want to go to war, I'd have to slow-build my entire army. Which also has the downside in that you're now paying maintenance on those extra units as they sit around waiting for the rest of the army to finish. Other games, I would basically spend one turn to buy/upgrade everyone, and then I'm basically set to go right away.

    Now again, no commerce districts is obviously a stupid move overall, and I am surviving, although I don't think I'll be able to find a victory condition for my game (maybe an Aztec game where you just go on a big killing spree would have gone better, or if I at least had a map where I could take over a neighbour early, as that seems to be a much better way to expand than through peace). I just think that cash is way too useful overall that playing without it makes for an incredibly challenging game. I wonder if this is what the AI feels like...
     
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  16. Kyro

    Kyro Prince

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    Yes. The main reason why Commercial Hubs are important is because of additional trade routes and internal trade routes are the only way you can combat district cost inflation later in the game. It is also the most efficient way to get larger cities. +9 Food and +5 Production makes a lot of difference.

    The other reason is because of Markets, Banks and Stock Exchanges and the Policy Card that doubles their output. These not only help you earn Great Merchants which are the best Great People but they are the main source of Gold for your empire besides trade routes.

    When you've grown your cities you can just redesignate them to another city that needs them more, having 10 Trade Routes from the City building a Space Project really helps to speed things up.

    I try my best to hit 30 Trade routes by the time I end the game and by then I would be swimming in Gold in many large cities.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2017
  17. NukeAJS

    NukeAJS King

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    I didn't read the whole thread, but CDs cap out once you're swimming in gold with ~1.5 trade routes per city. I almost always press CDs and harbors whenever and as soon as possible; but when factories start getting up, the production value of internal trade routes, while still nice, isn't as necessary.

    So generally, when I get factories, I start spamming campuses if I'm going science victory. I'll start spamming units if I'm going domination. If I want a culture or religious victory, I'll generally use a much different build order. If cultural, almost always a CD then theater district; if religious, a holy site (if in good location depending on pantheon).
     
  18. greygamer

    greygamer Feudal Lord

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    Alternative sources of gold Barb camps, pillaging traders (CS make these as well) extorting other civs. As a rule I often only build 1 CD in the first 125 turns and if I make peace with the AI I can easily double my gold, note if diplomacy wasn't such a mess this strategy would be a lot less useful. The thing is the AI loves CD (and campuses) so you don't need to build them.
     
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  19. Victoria

    Victoria Regina Supporter

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    Lisbon likes harbours ships and admirals

    Thanks for playing a test @UWHabs

    This is really a joint thread with @Quillan ... I think there is no doubt that CD is the most flexible and you need them. Its more about how much weight you put on them. When I hear "swimming in gold" I suspect the game is slower.

    To those saying wider amd more is faster... No not always. @walkerjks in the culture guide thread got a very early culture victory with only 5 trade routes and a few cities by being incredibly efficient.

    @ArdentFire88 ... Your opinion counts as much as anyones. Playing on deity is not a requirement to be good.

    @Quillan as I inderstand it, if you build a district and current have less than the average in play you get a discount... Its probably in the formulas thread.

    This thread is great, it is making me look at so much.
    I think if you want to truly answer ehat I am after, play with say 5 less CD than you usually do amd see if it really makes a difference.
     
  20. WileyWilson

    WileyWilson Chieftain

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    In my current Deity Marathon game, it's 1330AD, I have 30 trade routes, 38K in the bank and earning 444GPT. Do I really need that much money?

    Rather than thoughtlessly building CDs in every city, maybe I should only build them
    • at the start of the game
    • until I get ~15 trade routes up and running
    • if >= 3 adjacency bonus
    • in ~50% of my cities
    or a combination of the above.

    Whatever I decide, I'm going to get out of the rut of spamming CDs and try something different in my next game.
     
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