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Optimum number of workers?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Andorim, Jan 11, 2006.

  1. Andorim

    Andorim Warlord

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    Has anyone figured out how many workers would be the optimum number for an empire? Something like 1 worker for every 3 cities, or someting like that?

    I usually get to the midgame and realize that the land around my cities is still (very much) undeveloped. More cottages and mines would equal more gold and hammers. However, there always seems to be something more important to build than another worker.
     
  2. Quantum7

    Quantum7 Warlord

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    I generally use three to four workers per two cities for most of the game.

    It really depends on how you play though. More chopping in example means you need to have more workers around.

    One indication is that if your cities still have unimproved tiles that they are working, you need more workers.

    And, there's almost nothing more important than building another worker (if you need it for tile improvements).
     
  3. Sapient

    Sapient Chieftain

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    One worker for every three cities seems to be very low. In the earlier stages of the game, I typically have at least two per city. Later, there is no need to constuct more, as those already around don't have that much to do.

    Workers pay for themselves very quickly in terms of population growth and more hammers.
     
  4. LordTerror

    LordTerror Chieftain

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    I build two per city. Once every single square within city reach is improved and every resource is harvested, I find someone to attack. The workers are generally not idle for very long. :D

    Heh, no. I would say one per city is a minimum
     
  5. petey

    petey Prince

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    I like one per city and one extra to build roads between cities. More than that develops the land faster than your cities' populations can fill it - which isn't a bad thing, just not optimal - and less means that you're working on undeveloped tiles, which is a bad thing and slows you down.

    Just have everyone build their own worker when they hit size 2 or 3 and throw out an extra one from the capital and that should be enough.
     
  6. jerry247

    jerry247 Warlord

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    two for the capitol andone per city for the first expansion. after that those four or five move from new city to new city.
     
  7. Andorim

    Andorim Warlord

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    I can't believe how understaffed I have been playing! I was suggesting 1 worker per 3 cities as a goal that I could aim to reach.

    My worker shortage was really brought to my attention when I played as the Romans for the first time. With the praetorians, I annexed both Egypt and India with very little effort. None of the other civs ever inspired me to go for an early game domination.

    cIV is a great game -- I still have so much to learn. This forum is fantastic -- thanks for the help.
     
  8. Theodorick

    Theodorick King

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    I think you guys are being a bit insane with your numbers. Three per city is just a waste. Cities don't expand fast enough usually.

    I find one per city does me just fine, and even with this amount my workers eventually run out of things to do.
     
  9. Willburn

    Willburn Warlord

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    Whenever there is little to do run to a forrest and chop chop chop! :)
    Also having more means getting stuff a lot faster if needed. Getting that wonder chopped before someone else. Getting that railroad up fast etc.
     
  10. DangerousMonkey

    DangerousMonkey Warlord

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    The worker ratio you want has less to do with how many cities you have than the rate at which you are building cities. You'll want to have about 2-3 workers availbe to work each newly established city up to a point where
    6-8 tiles have been improved before moving on.

    For instance, you might establish your first city, build two workers, have those workers improve a few tiles around your city, build a settler, and have those workers move on to your next city to do thier work.

    If you are in a situation where you are working a lot of unimproved tiles you should be buildng workers, not settlers.
     
  11. dar

    dar Chieftain

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    I usually make at least two workers in the capital before building a settler, and then add another worker from each additional city. I usually end up with around two workers per city, unless its a map with large amounts of jungle in which case I could have as many as 3-4.

    This usually means I have a large number of workers sitting around doing nothing once my core is improved, but after wars I can swoop in with my worker armies irrigating newly captured cities so they can reach a large size quickly, and then workshop/mine as much as possible to turn them into production powerhouses.
     
  12. Shillen

    Shillen Deity

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    It completely depends on the game. You'll know if you don't have enough workers if you have unimproved tiles that are being worked. Like another poster said if you have to chop a lot then you'll need more workers also. If you have a very low happy/health cap then you won't need many workers at all. Therefore in general the lower the difficulty the more workers you need. There are a bunch of other factors as well. There's no set formula.
     
  13. LawLessOne

    LawLessOne Chieftain

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    The real waste is having your workers run back and fourth between your cities trying to stay ahead of the population growth. Every turn spent relocating a worker wastes a turn that the worker could be making improvements.

    The optimal way is to have each city with its own workers. Just enough to stay ahead of the population growth for that city. This means that some cities might only need one worker due to a slow pop growth and others might need two or even four workers.

    I think about this as I am rushing workers from city to city.
     
  14. Shillen

    Shillen Deity

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    Oh, definitely improve so that the city has a couple tiles to grow into before moving the worker to the next city.
     
  15. dar

    dar Chieftain

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    I'd disagree. At higher difficulties it can be very benificial to build extra workers prior to drama/monarchy. Either of these techs can be used to significantly increase your hapiness cap. By having extra workers before the cap increases, you can irrigate a large number of tiles in each of your core cities. Once the cap increases you can emphasise growth in these cities letting you grow up to the new cap as fast as possible and then switch back to commerce/production tiles.
     
  16. Bobbalouie

    Bobbalouie Chieftain

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    The number of workers i build is usually situational. If I'm gonna have to chop an entire jungle down to get my cities doing well, I need more workers than if I don't have to. If i'm stuck in the icy north, with little improvements to do, don't need as many. If I'm on an island and I won't be fighting many battles until astronomy, I make more, cause I won't be capturing any.

    I think that in a more standard situation, some forests, no jungle/tundra, I would be around a little more than 1 per city, maybe 1.3. I would fill in the rest by conquering civilizations. ;)
     
  17. Zelda's Man

    Zelda's Man A Link to Something

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    Early game, you will need at least one or two per city. Later in the game I find they are much less important and I basically stop making them after the classical age whether I am expanding or not. Since railroads have been weakened so much from civ 3, I am not in as big a hurry.
     
  18. Strobe

    Strobe Warlord

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    Some good advice here.

    Couple of things cause me to need more than one worker per city in early game.

    1. Is having not just enough tiles to the pop I have, but sometimes several more in a city. This is so I can switch between production/food/commerce when micro-managing cities growth/happiness with timing builds and tech rate discovery.
    2. How much chopping I'm going to do. I am currently addicted to the pyramids and at some point a worker will get the task to complete chop it which keeps him busy. This is only when I can get a forest rich location in one of 3 starting cities.

    I end up with 1.5-2 workers per city early game and sometimes still have choices and what they should be doing.

    Late game...

    I dont normally have enough 0.75-1.0 per city, I seem to have a problem keeping track of them later. I think my game would improve if I had more and grouped them to rush certain improvements in new cities or when happiness limit changes, or new city from war etc.....
     
  19. jazwana

    jazwana Chieftain

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    I'm not a fan of having every city build their own worker. Obviously your capitol needs to be building it's own, but your 4th 5th 6th 7th cities should already have established workers to help them out. Plus, by this time your capitol and 2nd/3rd cities should be hitting it's happy/health cap. Why would you want to force your newly built level 3 city to halt it's growth for 15 crucial turns?? Building a worker instead of a lighthouse/library/granary/temple/barracks etc when your capitol could do it in 3 turns (and more efficiently leverage it's food resources into production.) Probably one of your first three cities is going to be a cottage farm, so that wouldnt be a good one to build workers in, but there's usually a production center and a food center; use your food center once it hits it's cap to pump out those worker/settlers.
     
  20. Innawerkz

    Innawerkz I'm the other white meat.

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    Yes. Grouped worker teams of 2 -3 is much more effective then sending them on independent missions. You get the improvement done faster, which provides the benefit of the tile faster to your city - allowing faster growth, production, or access to health/happiness/strategic bonuses that many turns sooner. If ever you have the opportunity to group multiple workers - do it! :hammer:

    It may not seem like much to get 1 Wheat tile worked that much faster, but multiply that by every city you build and getting that improved tiles benefit into your coffers that much faster over the course of the game? I'm confidant it loosely translates to hundreds of extra food/hammers/commerce - or dozens - depending on game speed & map size. :eek:
     

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