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[R&F] Playing tall

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by Francel, Sep 19, 2018.

  1. Francel

    Francel Chieftain

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    Hello. I am new here and thanks for having me.

    My preferred playstyle is tall, aiming for 3 really good cities. This seems like a more viable approach in civ 5, where there were some built in tall incentives.

    It seems like in civ 6, 3 cities is not enough. It seems like the more cities you have the better, even if some cities are really quite poor.

    My questions are:
    Is there a downside to mass expansion even if cities are crowded together or suboptimal?
    How can one best enjoy playing tall in civ 6 and find the most success?

    Thanks for helping me out. I really pine for the days of occ and also puppeting in civ 5, but also want to enjoy civ 6 too.
     
  2. Francel

    Francel Chieftain

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    One more point. It seems like high population has really diminishing returns, how would you compare three size 20 cities to six size 10 cities? Thanks!
     
  3. Trav'ling Canuck

    Trav'ling Canuck Warlord Supporter

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    No. More cities, as close together as you can fit them, is best.


    Correct, there's a severely diminishing return on each extra population. Above size 10, it's likely a negative return unless you have particularly high-yielding territory for that civ.

    To your question, except in unusual circumstances per the above, three size 10 cities > three size 20 cities. If you have the amenities to keep a large population city happy, you're likely still better off getting the yield bonus from an ecstatic smaller city.
     
  4. Leathaface

    Leathaface Warlord

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    Six size 10 cities is far superior to three size 20 cities. With a size 10 city you can get a campus, theater square, commercial hub and another district of your liking. If you're not going for a Religious victory, I find campuses, theater squares and commercial hubs to be the most valuable districts.

    With six size 10 cities, you could have double the amount of those 3 districts compared to three size 20 cities.
     
  5. Bitterman

    Bitterman Chieftain

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    There are some marginal bonuses with 15 or more population and you can always fit some specialists if the yields are not good enough or occupied (wonder) but in general terms you are better having more cities, even if they seem to be sub-optimal.
     
  6. Sostratus

    Sostratus Chieftain

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    I think this game was designed around playing on a small map size with each player having about 6-10 cities. Yes, if you play 'optimally' you want to cram as many cities down as you can so you can build as many copies of your target districts as possible. (Campus for a science victory, etc.)

    But there's a huge caveat here which is: it depends on your preferred playstyle. If you seek to maximize science/culture at all costs and rush a spaceship, yes, you want to take any given amount of land and pack it with cities. But there's also things like needing a handful of very strong cities to do certain things; for example, if you find yourself building a lot of military units during wars because you have to replace your army, then suddenly it starts to make some sense to have at least one or two cities which are both populous and have productive terrain. Or if you are shooting for wonder building.

    Generally speaking, the philosophy or balance between 5/6 hinges on this question: Is it better to have Empire X + City Y, or just Empire X?
    In 5 they had science and culture cost penalties (and yes, some heavy happiness costs) that ended up creating a cliff beyond which no City Y would ever be worth it. In Civ6, the bar for City Y being at least somehow useful is if you can hold onto it via amenities and loyalty. Instead of Civ5 traditions 3-5 cities, again, civ6 seems to have a critical mass of about 6-8. You can make that many cities very powerful, and while getting even more cities can make things even better, a lot of benefits don't quite extend beyond that (you can only so cover many cities within the coliseum, or a boosted tesla factory, or have governors for the purposes of bonuses like Classical Republic and Communism.)

    The number 10 is crucial for population because of the policies that boost district buildings, fyi. This is what creates that big dropoff where citizens after that don't help: if you are focusing on a specific yield, it is better to have those citizens in another city so they can build a new campus instead. Production doesn't work this way since you want to work as many mines as you can and there is no IZ building card.
     
  7. kaltorak

    kaltorak Chieftain

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    Sadly (terribly sadly) wide is not just better, going tall is terrible in civ6. Settling bad small cities in any terrible place is better than having big cities in awesome land.
    It goes far beyond wide beeing better.
     
  8. MrRadar

    MrRadar Chieftain

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    Try Indonesia on an Island map. Their unique tile improvement Kampung will help you grow your cities big, and their Jongs will help you trim everyone else's empires down to prevent a run-away.
    Khmer can grow bigger cities as well. Then you can also look into India with their stepwells and Kongo with their Mbanzas.
    As your cities will have more pops, fill specialist slots in the district buildings. Nothing fabulous, but still +2 yield.

    Anyway, trying to play tall in Civ VI is a bit like trying to go wide in Civ V - it means, you're looking for an extra challenge :)
    Although I agree that there could be better incentives to grow your cities big, I do not regret in the slightest the fall of the Civ V-like almighty tall play.
     
  9. Ma2ge

    Ma2ge Chieftain

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  10. Leathaface

    Leathaface Warlord

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    I have seen players win 1 city challenges in Civ VI. Though that is a bit extreme, it shows that it is possible. I've seen the twitch streamer TheGameMechanic wins on Deity with 4 cities while playing as Scotland.

    Scotland gets very big bonuses from having ecstatic cities, so they are viable for going tall. (as long as you keep your citizens ecstatic)
     
  11. kaltorak

    kaltorak Chieftain

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    The problem is not beeing or not possible. You can say: its possible to win without building cavalry units. Sure, its possible, but it's better to use cavalry units. But it's never better to go tall. 2x 10 cities are always better, no, MUCH better than 1 20 city. Building crappy cities in any bad terrain is always better than having the same population in one city in an awesome land zone.
     
  12. OmegaDestroyer

    OmegaDestroyer Chieftain

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    Weren't governors introduced to help facilitate tall play? If so, it wasn't well-implemented.
     
  13. Trav'ling Canuck

    Trav'ling Canuck Warlord Supporter

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    The whole wide versus tall dichotomy just isn't a thing in Civ 6. There are no mechanics in Civ 6 that favour not having as many cities as you can, or that force you to choose between having a few big cities or a larger number of small cities. It's possible that we may see some changes to make population >10 more consistently useful, but that will simply make larger cities more useful. It won't force you to choose between growing one city big or adding more cities. That was a Civ 5 thing.

    The relevant dichotomy in Civ 6 is war versus peace, i.e. do you push early resources into aggressive expansion or peaceful expansion. That's not much of a dichotomy right now either, as almost all game mechanics line up in favour of war. This, though, at least has the potential to be an interesting decision iwithin the Civ 6 mechanics with some game balance tweaks.
     
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  14. AmazonQueen

    AmazonQueen Chieftain

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    I think the Audience Chamber was designed to help tall empires with its bonuses to cities with governors and penalties to cities without governors.
     
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  15. SammyKhalifa

    SammyKhalifa Warlord

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    They could have more cities=more difficult to keep loyalty, if they wanted to go that way. Of course that couldn't be the only thing.
     
  16. UWHabs

    UWHabs Warlord

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    At some point, it's true that the cost of building a settler might not pay off, as people mentioned above, you are still better to cram a city in virtually every spot that you can. Heck, even counting pure population, if my size-15 city builds a settler, the new city will probably grow 3-4 population points pretty quickly, especially if you plant the city and then chop a jungle or harvest a food resource.

    Of course, you can still make things work, it's just harder to handle. Personally, I tend to play where I'll focus a lot of effort on my core 3-4 cities, but will still expand out a lot more to little satellite cities, either to claim a resource or just to be there. So my top few cities will grow larger and be strong enough to build wonders/units for me when I need them to. But the rest of my empire is still around to build their one main district (campus, holy site, etc...) and then maybe if they grow enough to get a second district down (commerce hub/harbor/entertainment complex). Maybe a couple of them end up being better than I think and can get to size 10, but in many cases I won't even really pay much attention. I send a builder to chop them down, but often won't even bother putting new improvements down unless if I just want my map to look "complete".
     
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  17. Aristos

    Aristos Lightseeker

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    "More is better" was always the soul of the Civilization series until Shafer's thing. What the franchise always tried to do after One is to keep that soul in check to prevent, or at least pace down, the dreaded ICS. Soren achieved the pinnacle in ICS-prevention with the mechanics of Four. Then came Shafer and destroyed (almost) everything. Now they went back to the true soul of the series, which is good, but they went a little too "soft cap" in the other direction. Still, at least the soul came back after the stupid "empire of 4 cities" experiment....
     
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  18. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    Playing "tall" in a 4x where the driving motivator of competition is land/resource scarcity is a degenerate concept outright.
     
  19. Trav'ling Canuck

    Trav'ling Canuck Warlord Supporter

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    The "empire of 4 cities" thing, though, was really just a result of the final balance tweak before development on Civ5 stopped. There was nothing in the mechanics of Civ 5 that dictated that outcome. It was the interplay between the settings for the National College and the per city corruption costs that resulted in people discovering the 4-city rush to National College as the ideal strategy. Had development not already stopped on Civ 5, that might have been fixed with another balance patch. Then again, Krakatoa always spawning >3 hexes from a coast instead of always <3 hexes from the coast could have been fixed, too. Quality control under Ed Beach's watch has been an issue for a while.

    That said, the Civ 5 mechanic of hidden corruption that you can do nothing about was a terrible system, even if it had the noble goal of recognizing that scientific innovation can come as easily from small empires as from big ones (not true in Civ 6, where you can't lead in science over the long term without also having the largest number of cities as science progress is closely correlated to the number of campuses you build, which in turn is limited by the number of cities you have).
     
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  20. Aristos

    Aristos Lightseeker

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    AhemmmGlobalHapinnessAhem... :rolleyes:
     

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