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Optimum number of workers

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Akadah, Apr 4, 2009.

  1. Akadah

    Akadah Troll

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    What do you find the optimal number of workers to be? I try to have around 2 workers for every 1 city.
     
  2. brianb1974

    brianb1974 Warlord

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    As many as 2 per city is okay early on. Once cities are developed, they don't need so many workers, so your worker/city ratio goes down towards 1.
     
  3. Joecoolyo

    Joecoolyo 99% Lightspeed

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    I always go for at least 1 worker, since I never have time to build more :D .
     
  4. Skallagrimson

    Skallagrimson Deity

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    I do 2 workers/city in the first 4 cities, then 1 worker/city for the rest in the peace-expansion phase. Working unimproved tiles is prevented by the fact that in the early game happy caps are so low, so my workers are pretty much dashing all over the place moving on to other cities as soon as workable tiles are improved.

    If heavy chops are a part of the strategy, just go crazy. If you think you have enough workers there, you're probably wrong. (Although there are diminishing returns from the extreme chop approach in that many of your chopped hammers go into workers which you otherwise wouldn't have had to build in the first place.)
     
  5. r_rolo1

    r_rolo1 King of myself

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    I hate to see the word "optimum" regarding Civ IV. Mainly because there is no way of getting a optimal response in any given sector of the game that works in every possible game.

    That said 1,5 workers is a decent ratio. 2 per city might be worth it ( if you're playing in Arboria or rainflorest ), but it might be overkill in other maps. In some maps, like archipelago, 1 worker per city might be more adequate.
     
  6. Zack

    Zack 99% hot gas

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    My rule of thumb is 1.5 workers per city.
     
  7. Loki Strikes

    Loki Strikes Prince

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    I am more and more becoming a fan of 2 worker per city regardless of empire size, I like to be able to grow cities huge on farms, when they reach their caps have magical workshops/cottages appear over the farms and have a fully developed city early, also useful for adjusting tiles post bio/SP, what I lack in micro I make up for in tile improvements

    Also lots of workers lets me clean up improvement on conquered AI's turf.
     
  8. ParadigmShifter

    ParadigmShifter Random Nonsense Generator

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    I tend to skimp on workers early game. I get 1 as first build, improve the capital, then by the time I get a settler out the worker goes to the 2nd city.

    I normally build a 2nd worker after the 2nd settler though. Then I build settlers and workers while the capital is at the happy cap.
     
  9. Crusher1

    Crusher1 King

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    Definitely more than 1 per city but less than 2. Depending on what level you play having 2 workers per city would really eat into your maintenance and tech pace.
     
  10. Bleys

    Bleys Deity

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    Big landmass maps where you have room to expand, 2 per city til you have 10, then 1 more every 2 cities.

    Island maps, 1.5 per city til you have 7 or 8. Then its actually more important to transport the ones you have around rather than having too many sitting around doing busy work sucking up maintenance cash. There arent as many tiles for a worker to improve, and half your worker hammers should be going into workboats.

    On more packed maps like Pangaea, you can usually get away with a few less, especially if you plan to rush. Get those first few out ASAP though, you wont regret it. Chop distant forests if you need stuff to do, or pre-road paths to future cities, but its better to have too many workers than too few.
     
  11. JonathanStrange

    JonathanStrange PrinceWithA1000Enemies

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    I try for at least one but rarely more than 2. Probably averages 1.5 worker per city, which may sound low but if I have 3 cities, with 4 or 5 workers, probably they'll all be at one or two cities working together. I usually keep this ration throughout much of the game; it does fall as my nation's very improved.

    I think that new players might be tempted to skimp on workers - I know I used to research a tech and then not actually use it much because I'd assign one worker to dig that mine, build that plantation - taking too long for practical purposes. Instead, if one does err, it may as well be on the side of building the extra workers and getting the improved lands sooner rather than later.
     
  12. RJM

    RJM Prince

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    I am aware that good players build many more workers than I do. I typically have 1 worker for every 2 cities - ie about one third of the number of workers advocated above. My saves in the Emperor Cookbook game are frequently criticised for their lack of workers. I plan to experiment with building more workers. My question is - at what point in the game will the impact of more workers be obvious? In particular, should my position after 100 turns be obviously better?

    RJM
     
  13. Cabledawg

    Cabledawg King

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    The answer is 32.5
     
  14. r_rolo1

    r_rolo1 King of myself

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    ^Not enough... atleast 3 per tile in the cities BFC :D
     
  15. Gwynnja

    Gwynnja Deity

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    The optimum number of workers is a lot
     
  16. michmbk

    michmbk Emperor

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    Funny - guess the right question to ask is what's the right growth & maintenance cost vs. worker tradeoff.

    It's so map-dependent that it's hard to answer that question. I like to think about having 1 to 2 workers per city early on as a guide - closer to 1 on a water-heavy map, closer to 2 with lots of land/trees/jungle. I guess that tends towards 1.5 on average, but if I'm mostly coastal early on, I'll try to get 1 per city early and then add a few extra once at the happy cap in a city. If I'm on a land heavy map, I'm more willing to build more early workers.
     
  17. CHEESE!

    CHEESE! On a long nostalgia trip

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    Wrong, I'm afraid. I am a Settler-Deity player, and I have confirmed that the appropriate amount of workers is a whole bunch.
     
  18. greggbert

    greggbert Warlord

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    It's between .5 and 2 per city depending on:

    1) Free Gold
    2) Presence of a worker factory (3+ squares with 3+ natural wheat)
    3) Number of unimproved, worked tiles and unclaimed resources. If all your worked tiles are improved, what's the point?
    4) Need for Roads and Railroads
    5) Is Jungle affecting your cities directly?
    6) How easy it is to steal them from your enemies.
     
  19. JammerUno

    JammerUno King

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    I usually use 1 per city for the first 3 (including cap), then increase it to reach 2 per city when I get to HR. Then back down to 1 again for late and mid game. It certainly depends on the terrain though. It's a function of the amount of tiles you're going to work, the added yield given by improving those tiles, and the number of turns you would be working unimproved tiles.
     
  20. CynicalMagician

    CynicalMagician Chieftain

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    It becomes apparent pretty quickly. As it stands you might have enough workers that you're not working unimproved tiles, but your empire would almost certainly benefit from having more even if individual cities don't. Laying out roads to city sites in advance will help you settle faster. Laying out roads to enemy civs will help your armies get there faster (especially important if you'll be sending reinforcements after the first stack). Pre-chopping forests will help you get your important infrastructure/units out faster. Chopping forests/jungles and laying down forts around your border cities will make your cities safer from enemy SoDs.

    The most important time to have lots of workers in my mind is when you start settling jungle in a serious way. Adding 6 turns onto any improvement (plus the 7th to move onto it in the first place) slows down improving land a lot, so having 2.5-3 workers on your jungle cities is huge. Of course, you want to have them built before you settle the jungle so those cities can take off right away, rather than building them as you settle jungle.
     

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