Own continent conquered on a huge map early industrial age - how to proceed with other continent

LordofDread

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I'm currently playing as the Babylonians and I'm running into the same questions again and again what to do after I just conquered my own continent in the early industrial age. The current map looks like this:


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Technologically I already got Replacable Parts and Industrialization, but no Medicine or Nationalism. The three main competitors are the Incan's, Azetcs and Iroquois. The three major AI's are still missing Military Tradition and Physics, which is nice.
My Science rate is average, I research now at a path of ~5 turns per tech, and I got some 100g per turn income from my rivals. My starting area was very crowded, so science is about to speed up somewhat over the next 20 turns. My army consists mainly of 90 Cavalry, of which 18 are packed into 6 armies. I also have two empty armies for later use.

EDIT: We head for a conquest victory. Finish date does not matter.

Main question: What good options are there to proceed with invading the other continent?

Option one: I would now part rush ~ 15 galleons (= 6 Cav armies + 7 infantry + 3 workers + 26 Cav) and send my army to the closest entry point on the other continent - in this case in the northwestern area where the Iroquois have settled.
Option two: Wait until I got tanks, then send the invasion fleet once and transfer supplies afterwards by airfields. With the exception of a bunch of workers that have to be transported by ship. Mech Infantry could follow soon after.
Option three: Wait until modern armors ...
Other options: ?

Secondary questions: What to build and not to build? What to research and not to research? Research anything at all?

As you can see on the image, all my core cities are currently building factories. One already has a rushed coal plant and works 9 turns on Smiths Trading company. I think it might be worth it with my 98 cities.

Heading for option one:
Do I spend time on stock exchanges? Or only 5 for The Wall Street?
Do I research Nationalism -> Communism, revolt in 2 turns to Commie and then mobilize? Or stopping research after Corporation and don't research at all anymore. Use cash to rush galleons on the northeastern part of my continent.

Heading for option two or three:
Again the question of whether or not research and revolt to communism. Or do I research commie and build Courthouses and Policestations in all of my non-core cities?
And what of Medicine, Sanitation and building Hospitals in my core? -> I got Sistines, 3 lux on my continent. Importing will be too costly in the future, so the imports I have now will soon end. But I'm pretty sure I can get hold of Bach's once the AI researched it.


Those questions pretty much arise in every game where I get to this point. I wonder how others make their decisions.
 

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Main question: What good options are there to proceed with invading the other continent?
Why invade at all? You seem to have enough area to win the space race. What you should do does depend on how you intend to win the game. If you go for the space race you must build the UN to block any election. It is no fun to loose the election you when you are about to win the space race.
Option one: I would now part rush ~ 15 galleons (= 6 Cav armies + 7 infantry + 3 workers + 26 Cav) and send my army to the closest entry point on the other continent - in this case in the northwestern area where the Iroquois have settled.
Option two: Wait until I got tanks, then send the invasion fleet once and transfer supplies afterwards by airfields. With the exception of a bunch of workers that have to be transported by ship. Mech Infantry could follow soon after.
Option three: Wait until modern armors ...
Waiting for tanks might be the worst option as it devalues your existing armies, but does not give a decisive advantage in return.

I might wait till modern armour. It makes warfare so much more convenient. Plus you donnot waste gaining experience on units soon to be outdated.

Also Marines can be helpful. If used for amphibious assault they get a 25% bonus, effectively increasing their attack value to 15. Still, skipping Marines can be perfectly reasonable.
 
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As you can see on the image, all my core cities are currently building factories. One already has a rushed coal plant and works 9 turns on Smiths Trading company. I think it might be worth it with my 98 cities.
Yes, but it can also be used for theory of evolution. You should research medicine and scientic method, then use the 2 free techs on atomic theory and electronics so you can build the Hoover Dam. That is a standard procedure. Normally that should be the priority and the 1+4+4 turns till you have the tech is an exact match for 9 turns till 600 shields. But as noone can beat you to ToE, you might as well build Smith Trading company first due to competition there. Just make sure to match finishing ToE to finishing a tech in order not to waste a free tech.
Do I spend time on stock exchanges? Or only 5 for The Wall Street?
The later seems more reasonable in the short run.
Do I research Nationalism -> Communism, revolt in 2 turns to Commie and then mobilize?
No. There is no need for communism or mobilization.
Or stopping research after Corporation and don't research at all anymore. Use cash to rush galleons on the northeastern part of my continent.
In my opinion you should give research the priority. You can upgrade your 4 caravels so they can carry an army. Fill one empty army with 3 infantry and then use that army and your cavalry armies to invade the german continent. The germans are stuck in the ancient age. Similar is true for the russians on their continent. So there is no need to build additional military except for those 3 infantry, which you can also get by upgrading muskets. You do have Leonardo.

The large continent however would be a bit tougher, you may want to skip that one till you have modern armour which will not take long. 4 turns per tech plus 2 bonus techs enable you to enter the modern age in 33 turns. After that 4 turns per tech may no longer work, but about 20 turns after that you can have the 3 techs needed for modern armour. You can race trough the tech tree, so do that.

Donnot be afraid to build wealth if there is no good alternative to it. You have many slaves, but only 31 national workers. That may be a bit shy of the need.
Or do I research commie and build Courthouses and Policestations in all of my non-core cities?
You should not research techs not needed for entering the modern age. You can wait for AI to research it. Also you can gift germany, russia and byzantine into the industrial age so you can trade for their bonus techs, but it would make fighting them harder. So gift byzantine into the industrial age first, russia second and germany only if it is necessary.
And what of Medicine, Sanitation and building Hospitals in my core? -> I got Sistines, 3 lux on my continent. Importing will be too costly in the future, so the imports I have now will soon end.
Given your tech lead importing luxuries for techs will still be an option. Donnot be afraid tro use it.
Those questions pretty much arise in every game where I get to this point. I wonder how others make their decisions.
Well, your main problem is that you have already won the game. You just need to decide which victory condition you wish to trigger. You can do everything you want. It seems finding out what you want is your only real struggle. Huge maps means that the early game is easier, but the long game is tedious.
 

First, thank you very much for your detailed answers! I forgot to mention that I head for a conquest victory. Not that I need to, but I want to. I'll add it to my first post.

Waiting for tanks might be the worst option as it devalues your existing armies, but does not give a decisive advantage in return.
That is also my intention, hence tanks is option two. It might be different if the AI was about to get Infantry soon. But thats not gonna happen in this case for at least another ~40 turns, if not more.

I might wait till modern armour. It makes warfare so much more convenient. Plus you donnot waste gaining experience on units soon to be outdated.
A long way to go, although modern armour wars against riflemen / infantry are nice. Plus the enemy territory might then be railroaded to some extend, so I don't have to do build a complete RR network myself.
As you point out in your 2nd answer, the germans and russians are a worthy target now for my cav's if I head for option 3. I did not want to overload my post since those are minor decisions.

Just make sure to match finishing ToE to finishing a tech in order not to waste a free tech.

If I'd waste ToE with 3000 hours of gameplay I'd uninstall the game. No worries. And yes, since I can't be beaten to ToE I'm working on Smiths now.

You have many slaves, but only 31 national workers. That may be a bit shy of the need.

Thats coming from the very small early area I had. So I rushed some slaves from conquered cities for ~20g each. With 132 slaves = 66 native workers I end up with the work capability of 97 native workers. Thats 32 railroads each turn on grassland. I'm somewhat behind with railroading my core since I conquered all the last three AI's over only 8 turns all in all. Only the wonder building cities got their upgrade earlier.

No. There is no need for communism or mobilization.
Unfortunately the research rate in communism is usually slower until you have every city set up with universities, markets and courthouses. Otherwise the upgrade of a few hundred tanks to modern armour would be tempting :yup:

Well, your main problem is that you have already won the game. You just need to decide which victory condition you wish to trigger. You can do everything you want. It seems finding out what you want is your only real struggle. Huge maps means that the early game is easier, but the long game is tedious.
Yep, thats the thing. Although I know I wanna pursue a conquest victory, and no doubt to achieve it, there are still so many different options.

- Hospitals yes/no. If yes, then research for it immediately after Corporation.
- Build now immediately workers in non-productive cities to join for hospitals in the core soon yes/no.
- After productive cities are fully improved, irrigate every high corruption city and set as many scientists as possible yes/no. (Probably not needed in this case. Thats a lot of micromanaging.)
- Import lux for tech to have the full 20 productive workers in the core yes/no. (Maybe once more until I got myself settled in russian and german land).
- Communism yes/no. (ok you have answered that one, there is no need for that if I'm so far ahead)
- Temples in every non productive city yes/no. We obviously would not rush those.

There is my real problem.
 
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If you want to win Conquest with all the other VCs enabled, you'll likely need to raze or abandon most of the captured towns on the other continents -- and not build Temples anywhere.

Otherwise, Culture-popping your borders and further territorial gains will most likely lead to you winning by Domination (ownership of 66% of global dom-tiles + pop-points) before you win Conquest (all other Civs destroyed).
 
If you want to win Conquest with all the other VCs enabled,
Domination is disabled. This is more or less required for Conquest.
- Hospitals yes/no. If yes, then research for it immediately after Corporation.
Well, being strictly rational about it you will have a hard time regaining the 4 turns lost on that tech. On monarch techs are just too cheap for that.

I would probably still go for hospitals, but more out of principle and for flavour. The goal is to build a civilization and not just two thirds of it.
- After productive cities are fully improved, irrigate every high corruption city and set as many scientists as possible yes/no. (Probably not needed in this case. Thats a lot of micromanaging.)
Scientists are the cheap choice. The expensive alternative is to go for police stations and (more ore less) fully improve the outer cities as well. That does require hospitals and it does not pay off before winning the game.
- Import lux for tech to have the full 20 productive workers in the core yes/no. (Maybe once more until I got myself settled in russian and german land).
Generally speaking not importing them needs to be justified. I have not examed the savegame in the required detail to make decision on it, but it doubt there is sufficient reason not to import luxuries.
- Temples in every non productive city yes/no. We obviously would not rush those.
You can still go for culture 160 k. But if that is not your goal, why bother with temples at all? You might as well sell them away. Once you have 8 luxuries and market places everywhere, what is the use of temples?
 
If you want to win Conquest with all the other VCs enabled, you'll likely need to raze or abandon most of the captured towns on the other continents -- and not build Temples anywhere.

Otherwise, Culture-popping your borders and further territorial gains will most likely lead to you winning by Domination (ownership of 66% of global dom-tiles + pop-points) before you win Conquest (all other Civs destroyed).
I disabled Domination when creating the game for that purpose.

Once you have 8 luxuries and market places everywhere, what is the use of temples?
Well I thought for extending the cultural borders for the max corruption cities. But as those should get ~ 4-6 scientists anyway at size 12 there should be enough spots within the inner ring to feed the population. Unless its much hill or desert territory in the inner ring. But that clarifies much and I generally do not have to worry about that :)



I think what I was lacking after conquering my continent is a good structured decision process on how to proceed with the rest of the world and the respective implications on research, buildings, supply lines and government. That may not be crucial for this particular game, but I did have some Demigod games where I either waited too long with invading the other continent or I went in too early with an army that was fine for conquering one civ, but then barely enough for defending against the DOW of the major power over there.
 
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Well I thought for extending the cultural borders for the max corruption cities.
It is likely that they will have 2 (or more) commerce after corruption, therefore a library will increase research output, making it the better alternative.
I think what I was lacking after conquering my continent is a good structured decision process on how to proceed with the rest of the world and the respective implications on research, buildings, supply lines and government.
You can define default decisions to streamline the decision making process. You donnot need to make decisions that you have made already.

Government: Only republic and as early as reasonably possible.
Explore all tiles: Yes. Early on there can be excuses for not giving it a high priority, but before the industrial age all tiles should either be discovered or soon to be discovered.
Hospitals: Yes, and aim for it from the start.
Go for police stations in the outer cities: Yes, and aim for it from the start.
Disband units in outer cities to expedite development: Yes, especially once replacing units becomes cheap in the industrial age.
Fight more than one enemy at a time: Not while it can be avioded.
Open embassies everywhere: Yes, as soon as reasonably possible.
Forge alliances to make warfare much more convenient: Absolutely yes. If there are 8 nations make sure to forge an alliance with 6 more nations against your enemy.
Import luxuries: While it can lower you luxrate yes. There can reasons to differ, but they are quite unlikely.
Sell technologies: Usually yes.
Even gift technologies to backwards civilizations: Up to the early industrial age yes. AI should be able to build railroads and hospitals.
Wait till military tradition for the first major war: Usually yes.
Wait for better tech after home continent is conquered: Usually yes.
Automate workers: Never.
Use the governor: Never.
That may not be crucial for this particular game, but I did have some Demigod games where I either waited too long with invading the other continent or I went in too early with an army that was fine for conquering one civ, but then barely enough for defending against the DOW of the major power over there.
You can aim for your army being the size of 10 to 20 times the production in F11 before starting a war. And while the war is expected to last for more than four more turns keep producing units to keep up with the demands of war.
If I'd waste ToE with 3000 hours of gameplay I'd uninstall the game. No worries. And yes, since I can't be beaten to ToE I'm working on Smiths now.
Still it would be good to give the Hoover Dam and therefore ToE a high priority. Factories are only mildly useful, but together with free power plants they are really worth it. Also if going for hopitals it makes sense to go for them first. Generally speaking researching cheaper techs first is a good idea. Also growing beyond size 12 increases research output and the shield output that factories can multiply. My order of research could be hospitals, railroads, replaceble parts, ToE, factories. So industrializiation would only be the seventh tech of the industrial age. Other players might set different priorities, though.
 
Don't tell me you got that list in a file somewhere on your desktop ;)
Well I can identify with much of it, and it seems to hold for 95% of the cases judging from my gut.

Sell technologies: Usually yes.
My exception there: Never sell Electricity until the first AI's are about to research it themselves. That is if you wanna conquer those AI's while they still got Riflemen. Reason: After they got Electricity its a very high chance they go for Replacable Parts and therefore Infantry immediately.

AI should be able to build railroads and hospitals.
Railroads ok. But hospitals? Assuming I don't want their money but their land. If I want their money or build them up as a future military partner, or help that AI not to get conquered by a stronger one - okish.

My order of research could be hospitals, railroads, replaceble parts, ToE, factories. So industrializiation would only be the seventh tech of the industrial age. Other players might set different priorities, though.
I always go for railroads first. Only research medicine first if the AI already has Nationalism & Steam Power, but not Med. Afterwards it depends. ToE with prebuild if there is a risk I could lose it. Replacable parts if I plan to go on a war immediately afterwards, or if I'm already in one. Hospitals if I intend to play peacefully for some time.

Before my post, I actually had Option 1 in mind and not research hospitals at all. Thats why I then went with Industrialization -> Corporation. Where I then really came to think of other options and made my post here.

As for ToE and Hoover, I think I will disband my remaining Longbows, Crusaders and maybe even a few of my Cavs to ensure the capital and another high productive city get their hospitals (and factories) complete the turn I research Sanitation. Then I start prebuilds on both wonders.
 
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But hospitals? Assuming I don't want their money but their land. If I want their money or build them up as a future military partner, or help that AI not to get conquered by a stronger one - okish.
If the AI is meant to be a partner in research or military the logik is clearer. If you just want the land it is less clear. Metro size means that taking the land will be harder due to higher defence bonus. Cities give +50%, metros +100%. But if you take them anyway those hospitals will stay intact. So that can also be consired a win.
I always go for railroads first. Only research medicine first if the AI already has Nationalism & Steam Power, but not Med. Afterwards it depends. ToE with prebuild if there is a risk I could lose it. Replacable parts if I plan to go on a war immediately afterwards, or if I'm already in one. Hospitals if I intend to play peacefully for some time.
The trouble is that laying railroads prior to replaceable parts takes quite long. And having many workers without metro size drains the financial resources.
 
The trouble is that laying railroads prior to replaceable parts takes quite long.
I always start on RRs as soon as I get Steam Power (if I have the resources, at least). Is there any reason to wait until Replaceable Parts, aside from worker speed?
 
I always start on RRs as soon as I get Steam Power (if I have the resources, at least). Is there any reason to wait until Replaceable Parts, aside from worker speed?
No, of course it makes sense to start as soon as possible. But the doubled worker efficiency make RP very worthwhile even when the better military is not needed in the short term.
 
Option one. You can probably shut off research now, and use gold to purchase armies. The AIs almost surely won't attack any 7/12 3 cavalry army or stronger. You can forego stock exchanges (they cost a few units worth of shields). Also factories. 90 cavalry vs. Monarch AIs. Well, you could A LOT use more artillery type units. Combat settlers could help pick up the pace But really, you have a very dominant position already. A few more cavalry armies and no AI could stop your attack.
 
Option one. You can probably shut off research now, and use gold to purchase armies. The AIs almost surely won't attack any 7/12 3 cavalry army or stronger. You can forego stock exchanges (they cost a few units worth of shields). Also factories. 90 cavalry vs. Monarch AIs. Well, you could A LOT use more artillery type units. Combat settlers could help pick up the pace But really, you have a very dominant position already. A few more cavalry armies and no AI could stop your attack.
True. Some 40 artillery, 20 for each stack, some Infantry and the rest cavs, the occasional combat settler would have been enough. Cash rush some additional galleons in order to bring the army over there and bring in supplies. Deal with Germany and Russia later. Use the advantage while I have it. Forget about hospitals.
But as I was looking for other options too, I went with option three. I then re-learned that managing that many workers on a huge map leads to endless work for myself. Should have skipped irrigating, roading and railroading all that non-productive spots and just take some 2 turns longer on my path.

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1305 AD:
We research Sanitation for 4 turns and still get 250 gpt. Thats good.
We got 5 galleons each for Russian and German territory. Supply lines will be 2 turns for Germany and 4 turns for Russia (including unloading).
Our small core has its upgrades and we start on developing the outer, still productive ring. We stay away from clearing jungle in former Dutch territory for now.
We buy two Lux for tech from the English, who are somewhat backwards in the middle age. We stop buying from Iroquois but still sell ours.

1355 AD:
We have fully conquered Russian and German territory. German Horsemen managed to kill one of our city defending Infantry.
We get 3 new armies. We also got our 8 Lux now, two importing from England. Spices from Aztecs.

1375 AD:
ToE will be completed in 2 turns, as will Refining. Hoover's is complete in 4 turns.
Our workers improving the higher corruption cities now and we start clearing some jungle in the outer ring. That former Russia east of the other continent will be a perfect oppurtunity for a 2nd Modern Armor invasion on the eastern part on the continent. We already plan to bring tanks there by ship then. The turn we get Modern Armor, we upgrade there and will land on Incan territory 3 turns later. 1st front will be vs Iroquois.

We got two core cities already ready for building units, while others are still on Stock Exchanges / Wall Street.

1385 AD:
We completed ToE. Iroquois start working on Shakespear's.

1390 AD:
Our Deal with England ended, and we mistakedly pressed Escape during the negotioation. So we get lots of "We love the **** day has ended" popups. We renegoatiate the deal with England, 2 Lux for 3 Lux + Economics, Navigation and Physics. Crazy.

1420 AD:
Iroquois, Inca and Aztec have now Music Theory and also entered the Industrial Age. We buy Music Theory from Inca for Magnetism + a Lux. We immediately switch our almost complete Stock exchange in our most productive city (FP City) and are looking forward to a 5 turn left Bach's. Also we built our first Cruiser. It's a regular :thumbsup:

1445 AD:
We finally got ourselves tanks. We started pulling some workers from distant cities together, because each turn felt like 15 minutes of work. We go clear the rest of jungle in former dutch territory and then stop working at all, apart from pollution cleaning.
We got 5000 units of gold in our national bank, so we'll be able to research on negative gpt in modern times for a while if needed.
We switch our infantry prebuilds to tanks and calculate that over 6 turns we will produce now (5*3 + 10*2 = 35 tanks). Rounding up thats 6 tanks per turn. Since we will have 4 techs more to research for, calculate ~ 5 turns per tech, we will end up with 20 turns = 120 tanks when we get our mondern armors.

We would want 160 tanks in order to have 2x 80 invasion fleets from east and west. But we'll see how it goes.

Edit: On second thought I will now stop ordering workers around alltogether, retire some in slow growth hospitals, but keep enough around for pollution clearing and later connecting conquered cities with RR.
 
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1465 AD:
Our regular cruiser promotes on a privateer in front of Iroquois coast. Nice work. Another privateer attacks one of our on vacation exploring caravels but loses.
After 3 rounds of just skipping the round we pull back 80% of your workers. The rest will follow in another 3 rounds.
We now set every high corruption city to wealth and scientists. We finish flight and we now research Rocketry with 90% at -167 gpt. Central bank has 6500 units on stock.

1505 AD:
We managed to get a tech ever four turns. Synthetic fibers did cost us -400gpt at 100%, but thats what our bank was for. We upgrade our tanks for 30 gold each, which we delivered before on the Russian island.
We also airlift the 5 Modern Armours built this turn from our newly built airbase in the north Saharan Desert (where the French lived).
We trade Medicine for Nationalism that the AI's just got last turn. We mobilize our country.

We set Science to 0. We are both surprised from 2330 gpt+ and that our Scientists without support would research Computers in 47 turns. Interesting.


1520 AD:
We sign a ROP with England. If we're faster than 20 turns with all the others, it will be the only civ left and no need to keep ROP agreement.
We activate our fleet outside Incan territory. We declare war, then move in and land our troops.

I forgot about a few Cruisers to cover my transports and rush two for 600g each. "Infrastructure Program".

1525 AD:
Iroquois had an MMP with Inca. Well I was going there anyway. We bring in the English into war with the Iroquois such they may fight
themselves in Aztec territory while I land my troops in their back in two turns.

1540 AD:
The war vs the Incan's is going well, although I lost some Modern's vs Riflemen. As expected, the Iroquois left almost no defense in their territory, so they are easy prey now.
We rush another 2 cruisers and two battleships. Iroquois got some frigates. We do heavy airlifting. Every round 10 to 14 Modern Armour get in by air.
 
Hi,

I always hate to see cath, unless it is a culture vc or one is really needed. They are very expensive and come quite early, where they take too many turns to build. As in any build, the shields need to be spent carefully.
They also cost gold per turn for maint.

Consider chopping trees as you are nearing Steam. I like to try to get as many works as I can group in the core for RR.
Chopping trees in advance of that and getting a mine down on plains tiles. A tree with or without RR is 2 shields.
Chopped, mined and a RR give 3 shields. If shields are not needed in that town, water that tile.

First thing that hit was was gov runs the cities, ugly. It will not change directions, when needed.

Zariqum as an example of cost of buildings that can put a drag on a close game in the early stages.
Has cath, several forest not chopped. It is building a factory. This structure is so expensive and comes at
busy time in most games.

The town has 9s, 7s net. It has a CH, which I see too many towns with them that do not really get
enough to justify them. It is very close to the capitol. Scrapping the CH left it with the same 7s net.
So about 33 turns of getting zero benefit. At least the cath did give a small benefit for its even larger cost.

Not sure of the date it was built, but it has cost 100 + turns of maint and of course the lost time of construction.
I like to do a quick cost vs benefit on anything I build. Multiple that over dozens of towns or maybe scores in a massive
game and it matters.

Two structures I see build too often are libs and harbors. Both are great, in the right town and the right time.
Libs can be build in the right town, but bult too early. IOW I see (not talking about this game, not looked around
enough to know) a new town starting a lib, it is making no beakers and maybe 1 net shield. It may never make many beakers
or it may at size 6 or any point later. The town may be useful doing else or just growing for now. Yes, I know culture.

Harbors are great, not in all towns at all times and at the soonest time. In this town (Zariqum) it had more food
than it needed. It did not need the harbor as it could have feed its pop by railing 2 of the desert tiles that were already
watered. If it was needed early (at a high price), it no longer needed.

This is not meant to point out anything about the game play here as getting this large continent controlled is a Herculean
feat. It is just to pose something for consideration, then again I could could be full of crap.
 
Well I can only tell why I felt cathedrals were absolutely justified in my game.

First being religious a Cathedral costs 80 shields. Thats less than a marketplace.
Then I knew as I entered the middle ages, there are only 3 Lux available until I get myself Navigation or at least Astronomy. 1 Lux myself, two imports. So I had my Lux slider at 10% - 20% before caths. That does also cost money, and likely more than the upkeep of the cathedrals would.
Then the Romans declared war on my nearby dutch. As the dutch lost their forces, I saw an opportunity to declare war, initiate my GA with a Bowmen. I took 3 cities from the dutch, and after the GA was over, every core city had its Marketplace, Cathedral, Library and University. After Education, and still in the GA I started on Invention and my way to Military Tradition. I lowered the lux slider to 0% , and importing two Lux if I remember correctly.

So that has saved me a lot of capital. Which I knew I will need much of, because 95% of the Cavalry were upgrades from Horsemen. Upgrade horses, pillage Salpeter. Nextturn. 3 workers reroad, upgrade new ones, pillage again. I had a small core, therefore if I had built Cavs from scratch I would have gotten nowhere.

As I later made contact with the other continent, there surely was a time frame where the cathedral did not bring much benefit. But having Hospitals now, with Zaqirum at 20 pop, and conducting two wars simultaneously, I'm very happy with the Cathedral there that makes 6 unhappy citizens content. Could have sold the caths though if I did head for option one without hospitals. I don't know, but probably worth considering another time.

As for chopping trees: Am I correct you refer to the forests all around my Capital? I planted those myself after Engineering. There is nothing but grassland underneath, so its a +1 shield for each of the forests. Having more than enough food from my cows, its the most sensible thing to do. Also when I got myself steampower, a RR and mine on grassland gives myself the same two shields that a forest gives, but one more food. But at size 12 you don't need any more food. Hence my workers did something more useful. It was only when I started to research for Hospitals when I replaced those. There were some other forests on plains, and there it would have made sense to clear, mine and RR, as you get 3 shields then. Did not have the time for that, considering how fast the wars were going.

It did not need the harbor as it could have feed its pop by railing 2 of the desert tiles that were already
watered.
I don't remember when I did build that harbor. It was probably in the early Middle Ages, when I did join workers into my cities when I realized that there is not enough food around. Was probably one of my least productive cities, and my guess is I built the harbor first, and then horsemen. But that surely was only a quick check, and I might have missed something. I usually dont build harbors unless I need the food, trade or veteran (battle)ships.

The capital for instance still has no harbor at size 20. Therefore the one regular cruiser which did remind me of that ;)
 
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Another thing to remember is WLTKD. You'd want that in your outer ring, it saves you a lot of turns for unit construction especially in the middle corruped areas. For size 12 you then need also cathedrals. For size 20 you need 8 lux, market, 2 or 3 entertainers, sistines and bachs (or collosseums).
 
Another thing to remember is WLTKD. You'd want that in your outer ring, it saves you a lot of turns for unit construction especially in the middle corruped areas.
What does WLTKD actually do, and is there a way to initiate it?
 
What does WLTKD actually do, and is there a way to initiate it?
You need to have at least size 6 in your city. It must be inherently growing, i.e. there must be a food surplus of at least one food. You need also more happy than content citizens, and you must not have any unhappy citizens. Then the waste (only regarding shields) is remarkably reduced. It does not work on wasted gold, however. Only shields. That can lead to completing a tank in two instead of three turns.
 
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