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Optimal time to grant independence to colony?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by warpus, Mar 7, 2008.

  1. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    I'm playing a huge Noble game on islands, and I thought I would give this a try (never had done the colony thing before).

    Most of my expansion had been to the north and west.. After I consolidated power there, I started scouting around to see where to expand to next. There was a medium sized island to the south; it had 1 Persian city (their empire was rather far away, though) and 2 Barbarian cities.. There were also a bunch of tiny islands to the south of this island..

    So I sent out 3 settlers and settled 3 of those tiny island.. then sent in a military force and took over the medium-sized island.. Then, when I went to grant independence, I realized that I colonized the tiny islands in vain - I couldn't pick and choose which cities to grant independence to.. that's obvious to you guys, but it wasn't to me, at the time ;)

    Anyway, the cities on the medium sized island were of size 4, 3, and 3. So, whatever, I thought, I'll grant them independence anyway, and I'll keep the tiny island cities. So I did that.. I left 2 granadiers per city for defense, as well as some cannons, just in case the Persians came back. Nobody else had granadiers at the time, so I figured my colony would be pretty safe from attack.

    Well.. The one surprising thing is that I was able to give (liberate) one of the tiny island cities to the Celts (my colony).. The other 2 I had to keep.

    But I've had these guys as a colony for a while now.. I already have tanks and infantry.. and they're not doing ANYTHING. THey have been researching the same technology .. the ENTIRE time.

    Did I jump the shark here? Should I have waited for the cities to build up a bit before I gave them independence?

    How big should they have been?
     
  2. Symbol

    Symbol Chieftain

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    On islands as you describe once you've built the cities in the optimal place and filled the available land area you may as well create the colony, if nothing else to reduce the maintenance cost.

    You can keep them up to date by gifting them techs, money and resources as you desire. I play with tech brokering on so they can't give away what I provide for free and making them technological equals allows you to ask them to research some of the older techs you may have skipped on the way to bee lining something better.

    For under developed cities I often gift a worker or two as well.
     
  3. Kark

    Kark Mad berserker

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    I'v been playing seafaring civs for a while, just now the Dutch. One part of my strategy is to get as many colonies as possible as early as possible. This gives me points, it gives one happy face for each vassal - and it denies the AI these advantages.

    I usually grant independence to colonies as soon as there's two cities on a land mass. Mainly to avoid the expenses. If there's an important resource on an island, I sometimes don't place a city near this spot before granting independence. This way I can place my own city there afterwords to get control over the resource, instead of trading with the vassal. Recently I got iron this way. (I started doing this after loosing a resource because the vassal was invaded by an AI civ.)
     
  4. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    So why wasn't my colony doing anything? They had workers, 4 cities, units.. Yet there was no activity at all..

    They're not sending out any ships, not colonizing any islands.. their workers aren't doing much.. they built a couple riflemen, but that's pretty much it.
     
  5. jkp1187

    jkp1187 Unindicted Co-Conspirator

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    It depends what your strategy is. If it's a large continent with potential for lots of good cities, it will probably be best to forget colonizing and just build Forbidden Palace or Versailles to alleviate the expenses.

    If you're in a race for land, and you want to deny control of a new continent to a foreign civ, but find the colonial expense prohibitive, just plant two or three cities real quick, then grant them independence ASAP. They'll automatically get free defensive units, and you'll lose the expense.

    The key is, though, that I would not grant independence unless there was a reason to. I think there's only three real reasons to grant independence:

    1.) The colonial expense is dragging down your economy.
    2.) The colonies are threatened by enemy attack, and you want defensive units in those cities immediately to deny that land to the enemy (and are willing to sacrifice direct control).
    3.) You are trying to win a Diplomatic victory, but can't propose the resolution because you directly control too many votes.
     
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  6. Diamondeye

    Diamondeye So Happy I Could Die

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    :agree:

    Unless none of these conditions apply, I'd say any time is wrong. Why split your GNP into smaller bits that cannot coorporate researching? Dooh.
     
  7. SJN

    SJN Prince

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    I only play on noble, but I honestly find I do better without colonization, unless I have a really, *really* worthless island. Actually, because I play for conquest, I vassalize my enemy and give them some of their crappy cities back. But I keep every city that I think will turn out a good unit or provides a good resource.

    And I find the Forbidden Palace and courthouses do enough.

    Maybe when I move up I'll have to change my strategy.

    Oh, and the other crappy thing about colonies? Every so often when I try to create it, it crashes my game

    --SJN
     
  8. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    I wanted to alleviate my maintenance costs a bit, AND deny the persians access to that island.

    But why wasn't my colony expanding at all? Is that normal? I would have rather kept the island to myself and taken the maintenance hit, if I had known that they'd just get high and sit around playing vidoe games.
     
  9. bardolph

    bardolph King

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    Your colony was probably not strong enough to do anything of value. You can gift them techs and units, and send them workers to get their land improved. Because they are your vassal, you can choose their research path for them (look for it in the dialog window - I believe it's under "I want to talk about something else...).

    Did the colonial cities have good food and luxury resources? That also matters, and you may even need to lend them resources to help them grow.

    Remember that a colony is a civilization with a horribly late start, so without a lot of help, they're not going to get very far.
     
  10. Kark

    Kark Mad berserker

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    On higher levels (if emperor is a high level?): Colonies in early game will cripple your economy. That's the main reason to grant independence - besides getting those nice happy faces. Somewhere in the middle of the game your economy can cope with it.

    As said elsewhere: You have to treat your colonies nice. And even colonies left by themselves, will act as a standard AI civ if they're on a land mass with possibilities.

    You can even earn a decent sum of money by placing a couple of privateers outside your colony's cities. If possible: Found four cities in the line of sight from the spot where you will place the privateers. This should give you at least 8 :gold: each turn.

    As with anything else in BTS: You need a strategy.
     
  11. Echo of Celts

    Echo of Celts Just Plain Crazy

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    I find on maps where there are only small islands available for colonization, I find them to be usuless vassals once I grant independance.

    However on something like a terra map, they can grow quite strong. I Had two colonies on a Terra Map, and one, the Byzantines grew to encompass half the new world. They had a small army however, but I assume if the game went another 400 years they would have eventually surpassed me in power do to sheer production capabilities.
     
  12. MrCynical

    MrCynical Deity

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    Colonies rarely expand significantly unless you give them a colossal number of cities to start with. In addition to the fact that they're essentially a civ starting really late compared to everyone else, the AI tends to go for building all the military it can very early, rather than infrastructure. I suspect it's trying to catch up in power graph to civs far older and larger than it, which is completely futile, and not getting basics like granaries in place.

    If you're expecting a colony to do research for you, forget it - if they ever research anything of note, you could have done it faster yourself. I find them more a way to retain partial control of minimally productive land (like groups of tiny islands) with less maintenance. The only really sound argument for colonies that I've seen is as a way to minimise micromanagement, rather than as a way to get an in game benefit.
     
  13. BalbanesBeoulve

    BalbanesBeoulve Emperor

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    Yeah, i'm finding them pretty useless. Even an island that's big enough for 4 cities (about the max on the average archipelago map that's not snaky continents) the colonial maintenance won't be enough so they're not worth keeping. Maybe in the short run, but once you get their infrastructure built up, they're a net plus to your empire.

    But on a Terra map where you can fit a ton of cities I can see their use, or on a continents map where you form the colony from the corpse of your vanquished foes.
     
  14. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Has anyone tried conquering an island empire, and then granting it independence right away?

    I was going to try that, but then got sidetracked.

    Would that be a good idea? bad?
     
  15. theKurgen

    theKurgen Warlord

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    It'd be better than it being a capitulated vassal because all your old negative modifiers would be forgotten and you'd have +10 you granted us independance.
     
  16. Stylesrj

    Stylesrj Tabitha SEAL

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    When is it time for me to make a colony?

    Never! (Defy resolution)
     
  17. Armor (Veteran)

    Armor (Veteran) Warlord

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    The only downside to capturing an island and granting independence vs capitulation is that colonies are granted all your techs at the time independence is granted. This means they are free to trade them away to your rivals.

    Does anyone know whether "No Tech Brokering" prevents a colony from trading techs it inherited from the motherland?
     
  18. Ormur

    Ormur Prince

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    If your cities on another continent are strong enough to become a decent colony I don't want to loose them.

    I colonized the entire new world in Terra and a poured workers there but when I tried colonizing them they were still massively backwards in every way except land and power (20+ cities with two riflemen made them the second most powerful civ). I could sustain all of those extra cities with state property at 90% science and I just reloaded the save and won by domination.
     
  19. BalbanesBeoulve

    BalbanesBeoulve Emperor

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    On Terra maps doesn't it make more sense to just move your capital to the new world?
     
  20. AfterShafter

    AfterShafter Deity

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    One thing I haven't seen mentioned (just skimmed - correct me if I'm wrong)... You get trade routes from colonies while on mercantilism, so a colony or two can allow for reasonably strong trade route economies on mercantilism. It's a bit of a niche way to play, but it can be effective to establish corporate dominance around the globe - using mercantilism while mitigating its biggest negative.
     
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