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Poll: Few big cities or many small ones

Sleather

Chieftain
Joined
Feb 16, 2002
Messages
7
Would you rather build many small cities or few big ones? I personally cant get over the civ2 habit and make sure not one sqaure is being overlapped by cities. In civ2, i did it for the extra science men i could make, which had a HUGE impact on my sci. However, in civ3 the sci and tax ppl arent nearly as good, to my dissapointment... I have about 20 big cities that are the core of my empire, all near the capital and forbidden palace ( i built fb just a little too close in the beginning...) Even during war in democracy, they still had wltk days, cause the extra ppl turned into entertainers (on regent). However, i can still see the advantage of many small ones, like more cities to have cultural buildings like temples... Also, they would probably make invasion of ur empire harder and losing a city wouldnt be so bad ( i once got flanked and got a size 38 city razed... I just had to reload :( ) What do u guys think?
 
I'm a city slut, I take 'em as many as I could in all sizes;) Im playing a chieftain game on Marla's huge map, and I have at least 80 cities in 4 continents, and yes, corruption is disgusting--about forty percent of my expenses is corruption. My civ pop is about 180 million, and I have about 20 cities over size 20. Yet, none of them is larger than 30. Actually only one city got that blessing for one turn then it starved itself down. Does anyone know why, no matter what continent and location, my cities wont grow past 30?

Why so city prolific? Simply because I want to box-in the other civs. Cuz, you know, in the game, the Japanese (me) discovered America first, and this time, there's gonna be more than archological evidence. I know I m going on with a faulty strategy here, but I'll build cities around anemic enemy cities praying to have a culture flip. It may take 100 turns or so, but it recently happened in quick succession. That and cities add power and points, and instead a select couple of cities cranking war materiels, I can have 10 of them whose sole purpose is to arm my nation to the teeth. The first three cities I build become my cultural powerhouses. However, I believe, that eventually, very late in the game, nearly all the cities in your civs will add massively to your culture and military as they grow.

The drawback is of course, I can't find my Forbidden Palace! Where the hell did I build it?! I don't remember!! I know I built one loong ago, now I just don't know.
 
If I'm going for conquest/domination, I'm pretty much a city slut as well, as cities take on strategic importance, even if there is no production value. They become liabilities, but I just view them as fortresses that you have to upkeep. Anything to keep other civs from expanding their borders!

If I'm going for spaceship, I definitely want to focus my efforts around good producing cities, with two main clusters around FP and Palace. Having cities for the he11 of it just costs you money, which is what you need for tech research!

For cultural, I generally try to get a lot of cities as well, because you can rush temples and other culture producers even in bad non-productive cities.

So, I guess the moral is if you aren't going for huge tech lead/spaceship, be a city slut :D

- Windwalker
 
Also i like big cities because they can have more shields and build much faster wonders... I have a city that produces 125 shields per turn (more if it wasnt so corrupted...) and i doubt a smaller city can build more then about 30. Also, scientists can at least give one turn like from 7 turns to 6 if i turn all the taxmen to sci... And it would be less micromanagement for the people with no patience with less cities. The computer seems to vary and usually have cities share like 2 squares. And wouldnt u get more maintenance fees with more cities?
 
I usually differentiate in 2 types:
- Production / trade centers. Basically the cities around the palaces. Most / all city improvements in place and optimized for shields and gold. I do not really care about city size here as long as all squares are occupied. Quite a couple of them have around 100 shields net output.
- The rest. As many as possible and with basic improvements for happines, food and culture in place. The good old Roman "Panem et circences":D Near borders also with solid defense. Some of them also have a harbour or airport just as it suits.
 
Worked great in smac/smax, works great in civ3, for me anyway. Build them cities, lots of them close together at first. Some of my cities are 2 squares from each other, most 3 to begin with. Then I start spreading them out a little more and more. Good way to get lots of early military production in so you can kill somebody right away (who ever is closest).
 
u need both. big ones give u wonders while small ones get u more territory in short time.
 
in the land-grabbin' beginning, i am used to building a city as close as possible to an AI-city and than build a temple asap. This way i end up with a copple of cities that later flip to my side :)
But i also end up having many small cities very close to one another.
also i build a copple of cities of my own near resources, build tempels and stuff. These cities just keep on growing and producing.

In the cavalry-time i go to war. I conquer some cities and raze others. So there´s more space created. In the next age, these cities are huge...

So my favor is for many, big cities instead of many small or a few big ones.
 
You need both. But it really depends on your victory path.
Big cities == production. Many cities == high score, large culture gains.
 
City whore. Can't wait until I conquer a whole contient... Look at that big purple spot... Mmmmmmmm... :p
 
oo and another MAJOR thing big cities produce a lot of pollution from population until mass production and even that doesnt completely eliminate pollution from ppl anymore i think. and im just beginning a new game and if i build cities so close, wont i be confined to one area while others expand? you dont get more cities if u build closer, just takes less time for settlers to settle down. And the persians are right next to me, im gonna have to destroy them before immortals...I tried being Chinese but i started over with japan again cause i just cant play without the cheaper temples:( oooo and another thing if u have smaller cities, no need to build those expensive hospitals
 
A few big cities are preferable to a glut of tiny cities...a few large cities can be easier to defend, the building can be constructed quicker as can wonders and the bonuses e.g libraries, universities etc are more effective and efficient!

Furthermore it is quicker and easy to control...so making games less timeconsuming and boring. You may not win, but you'll have alot more fun.

So I prefer quality over quantity...
 
In Civ2 I was a rabid expansionist.

In civ3 I am a perfectionist. For some reason in Civ3 I get much more into empire building than I did in Civ2. Maybe its that free worker at the beginning... you know, because you can't build cities with him, therefore you MUST build infrastructure! Then again I could just join him to my original city and pump out another settler faster hmmmm.... :)

PS - where is the poll?:confused:
 
If you have too many cities (more than 32 on a huge map), you will start to see corruption from the 'ideal number of cities', so I hate to have too many small useless cities. This will cause even some of your cities very close to your capital to see some corruption. If you space them too far apart, you won't have as many cities to produce military units (5 cities each making a unit every 5 turns = 1unit/turn, but 10 cities each making a unit every 7 turns = 1.4 units/turn). However, these smaller cities will become a problem in the later stages of the game producing the costly units.

I like to play on huge pangea maps, so this allows me to just build large cities, using the Optimal City Placement strategy (from the strategy articles forum), this works great for me on Regent level and below (haven't tried the harder levels yet). On the harder levels (and smaller maps) you will probably need to build some cities close to your capital at first to gain an early leverage against the AI (I suggest you read some of BillChin's strategies).

Edit: oops, it's not in the Strategy Articles, it's in this forum, here's the link for Optimal city placement strategies: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=16158
 
The plethora of answers illustrates one of the great things about this game: it supports many different playing styles.

I prefer to build about a dozen great cities, space them optimally ( I posted my CityPlacementTool on the above thread) and grow to about 25 or so, whatever they will support. A city like this can crank out a bomber or tank in one turn, every turn if needed. One built the CancerCure wonder in 8 turns.
But this is only the core. This is key development, build, and science, and prodigious commerce. You might win the UN this way, with only these cities, or the space race. I have done both.
but if you want conquest/domination: you have to conquer many cities. My last one I had like 165 cities at the end. Of these, only 15 produced enough to matter. Most of them did not even prduce enough commerce to divert any to happpines/luxury tax. IE: they were a drain on the economy.
If you want to win by culture, you have to have a huge base of cities pumping culture--else you cannot double any one oponent. Culture wins for me are gained by eliminating my chief rival for culture, and often win by cconquest by default instead of culture.
If you endure to the end, and are left with the histograph--you will only win that if you have large land holdings, cities, and population.

In recap--play it the way you like it.
 
Another thought. KittenOfChaos: You are absolutely right. You dont have to win to enjoy this game.
:goodjob:
 
I try to limit my cities to 20 in pop. The working radius of the city is 20, so any extra pop are "wasted" with science or merchants. When a city starts to climb over 20, I start mining the irrigated squares, or foresting until I make the city stabilize at 20. This results in the largest number of shields possible. If the city grows over 20, I'll rush a few workers. These can be used to mine the surrounding area, or sent to boost the pop in other towns.

For instance, I wanted to build the Forbidden Palace in Munich on the frontier, but I didn't have a Great Leader. I boosted Munich from pop 2 to 20, fully developed the surrounding lands, built all improvements, and the Forbidden Palace in just 30 turns, using this strategy.

http://www.crowncity.net/civ3/ForbiddenPalace.htm
 

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Originally posted by Zachriel
I try to limit my cities to 20 in pop. The working radius of the city is 20, so any extra pop are "wasted" with science or merchants.


I don't understand. Why is the population over 20 "wasted"? They bring you more gold and research points - and the larger the population is, the larger the bonus of libraries, banks, etc. will give. Well, unless you really want to maximize production, and Gold and Tech are not your primary goals, and you don't want the happiness factor becoming too difficult to control. I usually find the power plants good enough, giving me over 100 shields per turn for each core city.


When a city starts to climb over 20, I start mining the irrigated squares, or foresting until I make the city stabilize at 20. This results in the largest number of shields possible. If the city grows over 20, I'll rush a few workers. These can be used to mine the surrounding area, or sent to boost the pop in other towns.

I won't mine the irrigations... that'll make food production drop too much. Turning them to forest or building a worker is better - but the extra workers will cost you maintainence... (less population, less commerce, more workers, more maintainence, bad for treasury)

For instance, I wanted to build the Forbidden Palace in Munich on the frontier, but I didn't have a Great Leader. I boosted Munich from pop 2 to 20, fully developed the surrounding lands, built all improvements, and the Forbidden Palace in just 30 turns, using this strategy.

That's the beauty of our armies of workers :)
 
Originally posted by kcwong
I don't understand. Why is the population over 20 "wasted"?. . .
I won't mine the irrigations... that'll make food production drop too much.. . . That's the beauty of our armies of workers :)

The excess population only bring in one gold or one science each. A worker in the fields can bring in a couple commerce at least, plus shields and food.

I only mine to the point of making the population stable at 20. Once you have more than enough workers, the worker can be more productive in the fields around another town, assuming you have got control of corruption.
 
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