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Newbie; When Should I expand my civ's borders???

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by kool.kat23, Dec 15, 2012.

  1. kool.kat23

    kool.kat23 Chieftain

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    Hey, guys. I'm still relatively new/inexperienced in civ. Currently playing Beyond the Sword. Nonetheless, whereas I've slowly found my bearings on researching techs and waging war (mainly thanks to forums on this site) I still find myself completely dumbfounded when it comes with timing especially in terms of expanding my civ's borders. I'd start well with a city or two but then all of a sudden find myself boxed in and losing alot of the advantage(s) gained by getting a lot of my early research/development(s) done early on. Thus I then have to fight my way out to expand. Then again, when I expand too early too fast I then have such a high early empire management cost that I then lose on the tech development. See what I mean??

    Basically, is there any "secret" to balancing this out or does it just come with experience???
     
  2. lymond

    lymond Rise Up! (Phoenix Style!) Hall of Fame Staff

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  3. Manco Capac

    Manco Capac Friday,13 June,I Collapse

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    So basically General Disc is .... :mischief:
     
  4. kalandra

    kalandra Chieftain

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    For me, it depends how far or near is the next civilization is. If they are far away, I tend to focus on building workers and researching Bronze & Iron working so I can get the best city placement, and maybe get a wonder or two.

    If I see a few civilization near me, I'm normally gonna produce 1 worker and then rush for settlers all the way.

    However, even if I am expanding fast, I normally stop at the 4th or 5th city because I want to improving my cities and connecting resources before losing too much money on maintainence.

    Edit : I have no idea whether mine is the right approach or not. I play on Noble, Marathon and Large maps.
     
  5. jarhead_leif

    jarhead_leif Civ2ToT Modder

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    `ELCUM 2 CFC!!!

    Simply run CottageEconomy--Spam cottages early. Also go for Currency tech to get +1 trade route to all cities and to be able to build markets and wealth.

    And read S&T articles often.;)
     
  6. AdamCrock

    AdamCrock Master of Darkness

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    I don't know why but when reading the thread name I thought about culture border expansion ;) Anyway early expansion is a good thing so You should expand asap. There are few remedies to help You along the way. You may try playing a Civ with mysticism as a starting tech (to get early religion) You can shrine (build unique holy city building with a Great Prophet) Your capital and that shrine will help You expand by covering some of the costs so You can divert more commerce to science. (Just don't forget to spread Your religion as hell ! :D). If the science is Your main concern with expansion however is better in my opinion to beelinie Literature tech and build Great Library in Your capital thus specializing Your city for science. Specialized cities are more "slider immune" than general ones on tax/sci/cul/esp slider so You can maintain high research while diverting more commerce to tax (covering that maintenance costs). (Your initial - starting position is important - if You want to specialize a city for science it is preferable that the city is situated near many river tiles, preferably grasslands for cottages and/or commerce resources. Early academy is a very good idea too and You would probably better of with Great Scientis as Your first Great Person than Great Prophet. So in a nutshell try this : 1: go for writing early and 2: build a library where You want Your "tech central" 3: make sure the only specialist working in the city is a scientist. 4:Get Great scientist to build academy in Your "tech central" city. 5:Get to literature and build Great Library in Your "tech central". Now You can slide more commerce to taxes thus covering Your expansion costs without fear of loosing too many beakers in the process ;)

    EDIT: Oh forgot about this : Also try playing leader with organized trait ;) (and spam courthouses ofc)
     
  7. noto2

    noto2 Chieftain

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    Every game is different but I will try to offer some help: Basically your default mode should be to expand at a fairly quick pace, by fairly quick I mean you should be aiming to have 7 cities by 0 AD. 7 is a good number to start with, you can get national wonders and complete the building quests. This should be your basis number. 7 by 0. Now, things change depending on the game. Do you have lots of land around you and no close neighbours? Maybe you can try to found more cities, but if you do, you need more commerce and gold. If you're playing a financial leader you might try to have more than 7 by 0, you might try to expand faster and earlier because you can afford it, same goes for the organized trait. The imperialistic and expansive traits also help with early game growth.
    Then again, it's not always desirable to expand more. Perhaps you have stone or marble in the BFC and want to build some of the early wonders. It might be worth expanding more slowly if you get the ToA and oracle and parth and GL, for example. You have to do the cost/benefit analysis yourself. Another time when you might want to expand more slowly at first is if you're planning on an early war. If you're playing a leader with some military advantage in the early game (say...Alexander, or Gilgamesh or Cyrus) and you're planning on war, it's okay to spend your hammers on units and stop with 3 or 4 cities, for example, because you'll be getting many cities very soon. In fact, with a civ like Persia and an immortal rush, you probably want to rush with no more than 2 cities because you need to rush FAST.
    Hopefully this helps
     
  8. jarhead_leif

    jarhead_leif Civ2ToT Modder

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    Odd. I thought of the same thing, too. :D
     
  9. babar

    babar Chieftain

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    Expand as fast as you can, here's a few tips to stop your economy crashing:
    Build enough workers so that you don't work unimproved tiles.
    Work commerce tiles if you are researching too slow.
    Make sure your cities are connected by trade routes (pre build roads ideally).
    Research pottery (to cottage your capital if suitable, and maybe elsewhere if you really want to), research writing (build libraries, run scientists), research currency (build wealth, turn up slider).
    Expanding will always hurt your research, but as long as you don't get into too deep a hole, having more land will pay off later. Judging what you can get away with does come from experience.
     
  10. strijder20

    strijder20 Wallowing in irony

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    I thought of it too ;)
    Maybe because the message which pops up when your borders expand is 'Your borders have expanded'? :mischief:
     
  11. Quasar1011

    Quasar1011 King of Sylvania

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    When? When a rival civ has built a city near a resource you want/need. Culture bomb that city to capture it without going to war. :D
     
  12. Alchemind

    Alchemind Chieftain

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    Set a "bottom-line" on your research slider that depends on the point you wish to lead in tech's or gain some other advantage. You're going to know you're strategy alot better if you strike-even at 10% w/Gold slightly in the plus or if you're at 80% even,+Gold. I generally recommend doing nothing but expanding at start of game until 10-20% research rate, than simply stop expanding and blossom internally. Afterwards as your Gold climbs back up into the 50% research rate than you can use your discretion unto expanding once more.
     
  13. MoarTriangle

    MoarTriangle Chieftain

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    You need to get cities out quickly in the early game and try to grab some good land before other the other civs come nockin'

    Dont be afraid to let your science slider go down to 40-50% to break even, with a few commerce cities your economy will soon recover
     
  14. reddishrecue

    reddishrecue Chieftain

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    Take it easy on expansion. Courthouses help finance a good expansion so going for them early will help out by cutting down on maintenance costs from the expansion. Expanding as soon as possible while building courthouses to reduce maintenance will have you with about 5-7 cities with other AIs on the map.
     
  15. AncientPlayer

    AncientPlayer Chieftain

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    As you can see, there's no single right answer and there can't be because it depends:

    1. what leader are you (characteristics) ?
    2. how much open land is around you ?
    3. who are your neighbors ?
    4. what style of game are you planning (war vs peace) ?

    In general, I want to get 4-5 cities reasonably quick. That's the basic goal and I don't want the research slider under 60% if I can help it, certainly not below 50%--I play for tech lead in nearly all my games. But that means I'd better find at least one gold or gems square quickly and get it included. I also have to get a basic, defensive army built to guard against the barbs or if stone is handy maybe Great Wall. I'm an opportunist though and if a neighbor leaves an undefended city or I can capture a couple workers then that's an opportunity I might want to jump on.

    Anyway, I typically find it's better to have 5 strong, prosperous cities than 10 that are small, weak and sucking up gold in maintenance. If I'm strong, I can take cities away from my neighbors when the time comes.

    It can feel frustrating but really the beauty of Civ is the fact that you cannot do everything all at once and if you try it will usually good very badly. The key is to figure out your strengths (leader, civ, geography), leverage them, and do that early on. Getting even a small, early advantage is the leverage you need--it will compound itself over the centuries to come.
     
  16. noto2

    noto2 Chieftain

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    @ancient: Why would you stop at 5? It takes 6 cities to get the Oxford, wall street, globe theatre. Also, 6 cities would allow 2 cathedrals instead of 1. I would never stop at 5 cities, if you're going for 5, make it 1 more and go for 6. National wonders are not important in every game but you should at least have the option of building them.
     
  17. strijder20

    strijder20 Wallowing in irony

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    He mentions conquering though.
    Personally I prefer founding cities myself over taking them, although everyone has his/her style. It also depends on the difficulty level: on Noble I just go ICS over the entire map, on anything higher I at least keep myself in check and do usually not exceed 8/10 cities although it mainly depends on the available space. If I run out of space before my empire is competitive enough to win space race (I usually go space/domination), I try beelining/bulbing/libbing some important military tech and kill my neighbour for more space.
     
  18. kool.kat23

    kool.kat23 Chieftain

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    wow!!! Thanks for all the info, guys. I'll make sure to apply as much of it as I can.
     

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