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Questions on Worker improvement and City Placement

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by ragindrunk, Aug 19, 2013.

  1. ragindrunk

    ragindrunk Chieftain

    Aug 10, 2013
    I've noticed in a game that I could improve tiles well beyond what I could actually work on a given city. I have some questions on workers and tile improvements.

    Is there a set number of tiles that a city can work? Can this be increased?
    What is the optimum distance to place cities apart to maximize tile resource usage?
    It is OK to have idle workers? I have 4 tall cities that I'm trying to to grow, but my workers have nothing to do until I research railroads.

    One of my cities has reached a point that I can no longer squeeze any growth from it despite building and focusing food growth. I thought I would build a town near a bunch of hills and make a production town, but what ended up happening was my growth in other cities caught up and surpassed my production city because of the lack of food tiles.

    Is there a good guide for determining what kind of production focus a city would get more benefit from?
  2. manu-fan

    manu-fan Emperor

    Sep 20, 2006
    Max number of tiles a city can work is 3 out in each direction. This cannot be increased.

    The optimum distant is thus 7 tiles apart. However, people sometimes like a little overlap, so 5 or 6 are fine.

    Idle workers are fine if they really have nothing left to improve. But you want to make sure every workable tile is improved and there are roads between cites, and possibly to City States etc. And they will have more to do once Coal, Oil, and Aluminum are revealed.

    On you production town. Can you make a trade route from your Capital to give it extra food? Can you ally with Maritime City States for food? But yes, a production town with mines on hills needs some food tiles also.

    A good production city has a mixture of hills and food tiles.

    I hope I have all this right. I'm sure someone else will come along and say if I've got any of it wrong.

  3. MerchantCo

    MerchantCo Merchant

    Feb 14, 2013
    A city isn't going to have strong production if it isn't large.

    Just keep that in mind. Focus more on growth, and then production shall come with it.
  4. Alzadar

    Alzadar Warlord

    Dec 9, 2012
    You can only work tiles within a 3 tile radius of a city (this cannot be increased in any way I'm aware of), and of course you need a citizen for each tile being worked. The tile has to be within your cultural borders as well.

    If you're trying to avoid having any tile working overlap, place cities 6 tiles apart. But this isn't an important concern really, you'd need 50+ citizens to work every tile surrounding a city plus specialists, not a very common problem.

    Workers are going to be idle a lot of the time after you've completed roads. As long as you've improved all the tiles you're working, there's not much to do except chop forests for a bit of extra production. They'll have a bit to do later when you hit Guilds/Industrialization/Biology/Electricty/Atomic Theory.
  5. ragindrunk

    ragindrunk Chieftain

    Aug 10, 2013
    Very helpful posts guys. Thank you!

    Is it common for tiles to be reworked? It always seems like it takes twice as long to grow back my city population once I've designated specialists. Is it more beneficial to have all specialists working if possible or to space them out between cities?
  6. Bostock

    Bostock King

    Apr 28, 2008
    > Is it more beneficial to have all specialists working if possible or to space them out between cities?

    It depends. :)

    The largest benefit of specialists is that they produce great people points. Unless you are near zero happiness, even the best specialist outputs are only a little better than the worst improved-tile outputs. (If you are near zero happiness, the worth of food drops to nearly zero, which changes things.)

    A couple of exceptions to this: in high-food low-production cities, the worth of hammers is high enough to justify hammer specialists, and, in BNW, gold specialists are worthwhile in your specialized trade route city, if any, since increasing the city's base gold will increase its trade route income too.

    In BNW, a few players also like to spread out their guilds in their most culture-poor edge cities, and run culture specialists to get their borders out in addition to their other benefits. I don't have an opinion here as I haven't tried it; just mentioning.

    (Note that by "worth" above I don't mean anything directly in-game, but how you should be thinking as a player.)

    So, if your city is growing into unimproved tiles, you have mad specialist perks from SPs, and/or your empire is growing into unhappiness, use specialists for their outputs; otherwise it's probably unwise.

    But the real strength of specialists is GPP. Academies (early) and bulbing (late) from great scientists above all are very powerful. The best players writing on here always advise to build universities ASAP and fill them ASAP at all costs, not for the direct science output, but for the GPP. (It's also why they hate Great Merchants - GS/GM/GE all share one pool, so every GM means a cost increase for future GS's; meanwhiole, GM are generally considered the weakest GP in the GS/GM/GE pool. By "pool" I mean that each GS/GM/GE increases the cost of future ones, while not having an effect on other great person types, and vice versa. The same applies in BNW for the cultural great person types.)

    Prioritize Gardens in cities with strong GPP outputs, and prioritize strong GPP output in cities that can get Gardens. (= those built next to lakes, rivers, and perhaps oases.) The same goes for your strongest GPP output and National Epic. If you're playing BNW and you've put all three guilds in one city, you have a choice to make regarding whether to put the NE there, or in a city with more science-oriented GPP output.

    So, to actually answer your question: make the decision on whether or not to fill your slots based on:

    - Whether or not you care about the given GPP type - if you do care, then always fill them unless it would cripple the city's growth, and in that case, fix that problem and get them filled;
    - If you don't want the GPP type a lot, then consider if the raw output for a given slot is better in your current situation than the worst tile that the city is working.

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