# Number of Starting Settlers and Techs

Discussion in 'Civ1 - General Discussions' started by Gowron, May 3, 2013.

1. ### GowronChieftain

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Civilization uses a fixed procedure to determine which civs start with 2 Settlers units and how many bonus techs each civ starts with.

There is no random generator involved. These bonuses are not cosmetic either; they are meant to compensate for unfavourable starting conditions. Hence, the game first checks the starting spot of each civ and assigns the civ a "handicap" rating in order to judge their (dis)advantage.

Distance calculations work in the same way as desribed in this topic.

Handicap Calculation

1. All Handicap values start from 0.

2. Add +4 if the civ does not share its land mass with any other civs.
If that is not the case, then add +2 if the nearest civ on the same continent is 20 or more squares away.
Add +1 instead if the nearest civ on the same continent is 10-19 squares away.

3. Check the terrain of the starting position and the 8 adjacent map squares.
Add +2 if there's at least one river square among them.
If that is not the case, then add +1 if there are 3 or more grassland squares among them.

4. Add +2 if the civ starts on a continent that covers at least 200 map squares.
If that is not the case, then add +1 if the civ starts on a continent that covers at least 100 map squares.

Obviously, the final Handicap value is a number between 0 and 8.

Bonus Calculation

The Handicap value is now translated into a Bonus value using the following formula:
Code:
```[Bonus] = [Maximum Handicap] - [Own Handicap]
```
(where [Maximum Handicap] is the highest Handicap value among all civs in the current game)

Bonus Application

1. If the Bonus value of the civ is 4 or higher, then the civ is granted an extra Settlers unit, for a total of two Settlers units. In this case, the Bonus value is reduced by 3 afterwards.

2. If the Bonus value is (still) greater than zero, then the civ gains a number of technologies equal to the Bonus value.

Examples:
Bonus value = 4: start with 2 Settlers units and 1 technology
Bonus value = 2: start with 1 Settlers unit and 2 technologies

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3. ### GowronChieftain

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Thanks for asking. That was indeed an error. I updated the article now. An additional Settlers unit is granted only if the Bonus is _higher_ than 3, not "3 or higher". That should also answer your question

Also I added a clarification about counting the starting position when counting grassland squares.

Edit: The last remark also applies to river terrain. I've reformulated the respective step to make it more clear.

4. ### jarviscChieftain

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Thank you very much for explaining how the starting bonuses work. Ever since I read this information on this thread a couple years ago, I have paid attention to my starting bonuses and used it to guide my intuition such as "hmm, no bonus, I'm probably alone on an island" or "oh crap, lots of tech, there must be enemies real close." Of course that intuition is not fail safe because it is based on the relative situation of "best handicap somebody else got", but it is still very useful to understand. I love how when one is given the rule ("the right hypothesis") one can match one's observations to it, whereas one may not have ever noticed (or had any hypothesis in mind to match) otherwise, no matter how many samples (games) one might play.

Anyhow, ever since I learned the bonus is on the range 0-7 I have wondered if I would ever roll a seven, that is an extra settler plus three techs. I thought this might be impossible since it never happened in two years of paying attention to it, but it turns out it is possible, because tonight I "rolled a seven"! Whether that's good or not, I don't know! But I have the saves to prove it (attached). I didn't want to move my settlers from their starting point, so I had them build a road the first turn to get to year 3980 in order to get the save, just if anyone is interested.

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5. ### SWYPrince

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This is very useful information for my Civilization clone, I'll try to get this implemented in the next version.

6. ### kirkham7Warlord

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It would be nice (eventually) to edit or even hardcode the handicap value to give all civs the maximum. That will jumpstart the game and maybe even make it harder with the other civs starting with 3 techs and 2 settlers...

7. ### jarviscChieftain

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Wow, I spoke too soon! Re-reading Gowron's post, I see the final bonus value is on range 0-8 inclusive. My mind must have said 0-7 because I knew, for sure, I had never started with /two/ extra settlers! I figured a "settler" was worth "four techs" thus I subconsciously ruled out a bonus value of 8, but it turns out it functions just as Gowron said. Imagine my surprise when I found myself starting with /four/ extra technologies (screenshot attached)! Additionally, I started with an extra settler.

This means someone had a handicap calculation of 0 and I had a handicap calculation of 8. Well, I guess this is pretty rare!

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8. ### C1v1l1z@t10nWarlord

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I noticed I often get two settlers to start when playing Italy/Romans and playing Earth map, which makes sense, you can have both Paris/Berlin, Athen close to you and you are for sure NEVER alone on the continent.

Thanks a lot for getting this explained, it now makes sense

9. ### C1v1l1z@t10nWarlord

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The bonus only applied to human players right? computers always start with one settler and... how much technology?

10. ### SWYPrince

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I believe the bonus applies to everyone. If you have Civilization 47*.01, try playing as Roman/Russian and use Shift+56. You'll be able to see AI moves and their technologies: Some AI civs will start with 2 settlers and they will have starting techs.

11. ### MizeWarlord

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Yes, handicap is calculated for everybody. You can also see that in the replays, many times some AI civ will f. ex. build the first phalanx, without anyone having discovered bronze working yet, which means that they started with that tech. In replays you can also see the second AI settler at work - when AI civs build their second city without you getting a 'they built the first settler' message. That's most probably them starting with two settlers, although there is a small chance they got the city from a hut.

12. ### MizeWarlord

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Critical update on this topic. I just rolled an 8! I got two settlers and four (4!) starting technologies, alphabet, bronze working, pottery and map making. Haven't even started the game yet. I wonder what kind of D awaits me...