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Quick Answers / 'Newbie' Questions

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by Civrules, Oct 29, 2005.

  1. Roland Johansen

    Roland Johansen Deity

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    Note that farms are just a means to an end. The farms themselves only give you food which isn't what you're aiming for. It's the extra population and the high hammer and commerce tiles that you want to use. So once you've reached the desired size for your city, I would convert some extra food producing tiles into hammer or commerce producing tiles. You can see that I did that if you compare the second with the third screenshot of my previous post. Thanks to biology, the food output of the farms increased which meant that I needed less farms to feed all of the citizens. I turned them into commerce producing tiles.

    Now that you mention it, I noticed that you seemed to automate things a bit. That isn't necessarily very bad, but you usually can do a better job when you manage things yourself and choose which tiles to use instead of letting the governor make the choices for you. It's no use building a bunch of farms when the governor will not use them.

    The biggest negative result of automating things is that it doesn't allow you to specialise cities. The idea behind city specialisation is that it makes your empire more efficient. Some cities don't need every single building and the national wonders can be build in cities that maximise their effect. A city with a science output of 100 will make far better use of the Oxford university than a city with a science output of 20. Also the mechanics behind great person generation favour focussing the production of great person points in a few cities (one with the national epic).

    There are basically three types of specialised cities (with some variants):
    1) The commerce city which you can see in the last screenshot of my previous post. These cities have a high commerce output, but the hammer output isn't that great. You want several of these cities as they will be the engines of your economy, they will be the main science generators and pay your bills. They need some hammers to build the necessary buildings to keep them healthy and happy and they need buildings to improve their science (and gold) output (library, observatory, etc.). They shouldn't be used to build many units and they shouldn't build your world wonders or space ship parts.

    Most cities can be turned into fairly good commerce cities and you can't have enough of these.

    2) The great person farm. This city focusses on producing as much food as possible and typically has several food resources and lots of flat irrigated land. All of this food is used to hire specialists. The main idea of focussing all of these great person points in one city is that you'll generate more great persons that way. If you need 300 GP-points for the next great person, then it isn't useful to have 5 cities with 100GP points, but it is useful to have one city with 300 GP points. The city needs the buildings that allow you to assign specialists which you can get by whipping them (slavery). The caste system civic can also be used to get specialists but conflicts with the slavery civic. There are some national wonders which enhance such a city and these cities need the maximum amount of happiness and health that you can afford as they will become big.

    A city needs a high food output to be turned into a great person farm. You need multiple food resources and lots of flat land. A few great person farms (1-3 for me) is enough.

    3) The production city. This city focusses on producing as many hammers as possible. It will be used to build your military units, to build your wonders and to build your space ship parts. When 2 civilisation invent a technology that allows a world wonder, then the one with the most productive city will win the wonder race. It doesn't need science buildings as it's commerce output is going to be fairly low.

    This is probably the hardest city to find a suitable location for. You need hills for hammers and food resources to feed your citizens which are working hills with a low food output. You need a few of these to build your units and wonders and space ship parts. These are the cities which will be the backbone behind your conquests. If you get the expansion packs, then you will want to settle the great generals in these cities.

    You can say a lot more about city specialisation and the subject usually leads to some discussion. The subject is also closely related to the type of economy that you run (discussions about specialist economies and cottage economies). If you specialise your cities like I outlined above, then you're running a somewhat mixed economy which is most effective in my opinion, but that is just my opinion and there are some who will disagree with me. Just check the war academy or the strategy articles forum for more discussion and articles on this matter.

    Here are some links about city specialisation from the war academy.
    (I didn't read them, so I can't vouch for their content, but war academy articles usually have a high standard. For instance, I don't agree with an often stated opinion that these specialised cities only need a small fraction of the total collection of buildings.)

    Guide to City Specialization and Land Improvements

    Specialization of Cities

    City Specialization: WHERE I do it.
     
  2. nalsop

    nalsop Chieftain

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    I want to install my copy of Beyond the Sword to a drive other than C. Is there a switch I can use to do this?
    nalsop
     
  3. Roland Johansen

    Roland Johansen Deity

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    First of all, welcome to civfanatics! :dance::band::beer:

    When you first install the game, it ask you where you want to install it, so I don't know why you didn't choose another drive at that point. I have mine installed in D:\games\Civilization 4

    The game will also place a few files in C:\Documents and Settings\[yourname]\My Documents\My Games\ but that's only a few savegames and such.
     
  4. Comrade Alex

    Comrade Alex Warlord

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    Howdy.

    I'm not sure if this is an appropriate question for this thread but oh well.

    Right, I realise that churning out wave after wave of settlers and overexpanding in the Early game is a bad move, maintainence etc etc.

    But how, then, does the AI manage to create a massive super-empire; founding about twenty cities, whilst I'm stranded in mediocrity with about 5?

    Is there some trick to expansion?

    D:
    Halp?
     
  5. JujuLautre

    JujuLautre Deity

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    the AI gets discounts on maintenance. And also, the higher level you play, the more bonus they get on production.

    REXing is a complicated skill :)
     
  6. a4phantom

    a4phantom Perma-newbie

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    1. How do corporations work?

    2. How do colonies work?

    3. How does espionage work?

    4. Is there a writeup somewhere of the new civs, new leaders, and new units?

    Thanks! Links to prior explanations would be fine, as long as they're not obsoleted by patches.
     
  7. Comrade Alex

    Comrade Alex Warlord

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    Fiddlesticks. Even on Noble?

    Crikey.


    espionage on BTS is just a bit poor in my opinion
    you divert a percentage of your commerce to "Espionage" and accumalate Espionage Points (EP's). Once you have a certain number of EP's you can see certain aspects of a rival civilisation, such as tech research etc. Spy missions can also be performed (such as sabotage), these also cost EP's.

    But to be honest I'd just crank up the science and slaughter them with tanks :/

    As for corporations, I couldn't tell you, as I normally pick the State Property
    civic, because I like to cling to my pre-BTS ways.

    Ahh.
     
  8. a4phantom

    a4phantom Perma-newbie

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    That's certainly my plan, although I like to get started with maces.

    Does SP negate corporations? If so I've lost interest, I always use SP because I'm a conquer the world guy and I always see a huge drop in maintenance costs when I switch.

    Thanks!
     
  9. TheRealBitter

    TheRealBitter Chieftain

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    I just recently bought BtS, so I am not used to some of the new things in it compare to cIV and Warlords. Espionage is new to me in that game, and how come sometimes I can perform espionage on a tile, and sometimes I can't, even though nothing has changed on the tile?





    Bitter.
     
  10. Roland Johansen

    Roland Johansen Deity

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    There is no magical trick to expansion. It's just that an empire of 20 size 1-3 cities without infrastructure isn't viable in Civilization 4. It's an empire without an economy and it will crash under its own weight. Each city has several costs like city maintenance, civic maintenance and the empire wide unit maintenance. Thus on average, each city has to be able to pay for these costs and even provide something extra for your research otherwise such a city is dead weight.
    An empire of 20 size 20 cities with lots of infrastructure (courthouses, markets, banks, libraries, observatories and cottages or specialists) and lots of trade routes (which become available with technologies, civics and buildings) can have an extremely powerful economy. Some of the civics and buildings which improve your economy aren't available at the very start of the game which further limits early game expansion.

    So the idea of expansion is that it has to go three ways at the same time. You need horizontal expansion by creating more cities, claiming more resources to keep your cities happy and healthy and getting more land for production and commerce. Next to that you need vertical expansion by creating commerce enhancing buildings in your cities and creating commerce enhancing terrain improvements and creating bigger cities. And last but not least, you need technological progress to enable buildings and civics which can enhance your economy.

    The main idea is to learn how to spread your focus along these three avenues of expansion. Focussing on only one of the three won't be the best way to win this game. A beginners rule which is often mentioned on the strategy and tips forum is to expand while your research rate can be maintained at 60% or higher and to stop expanding when it dips below this level. Note that this is a beginners rule to get a feeling for how quickly one should expand. It means that when you're using 40% or more of your total commerce output just to maintain your empire, then your empire is starting to become overstretched and you should become cautious when expanding further. I myself play immortal and deity level games and I regularly break this rule when I think it's opportune. But even when you at some point think you can do without this rule of thumb, you will still closely watch the amount (not the percentage) of research that you're producing while you're expanding.

    The AI is fairly capable at finding a balance between these areas of expansion. At the very lowest levels, the inexperienced human player gets a handicap bonus to be able to compete with the AI which was programmed by people who knew how the economy in this game works. At the higher levels, the AI player gets a handicap bonus to be able to compete with the smart human player who has learned how the economy in this game works and is far more flexible than the preprogrammed AI opponents.

    If you're having a really tough time to find a balance between horizontal, vertical and technological progress of your empire, then I would advice you to upload a savegame to the Civ4 - Strategy & Tips forum to get some game specific advice. A savegame of around 1000 BC, 500AD and maybe 1500AD would show most experienced players where you're making less than optimal decisions. Especially an early game save seems to be important for you as it is the expansion period of the game where you're having trouble.

    Good luck with your game and welcome to civfanatics! :dance::band::dance:

    There is a new entry in the civilopedia specifically dedicated to the additions in BTS. It's very useful to take a look at it.

    1) There can be said a lot about this, but let's keep it fairly short.

    Corporations can be created when you have the corporation technology and the specific technology required to build a specific corporation (can be seen in the tech tree). To create a corporations headquarters, you need a specific type of great person (depends on which corporation you want to found).

    The corporation can be spread with executives similar to the spreading of a religion with missionaries. The executives can be build in every city that has the corporation. If two corporations use (some of) the same resources, then they can't co-exist in the same city. Spreading corporations costs gold, especially in foreign cities and when you need to buy out another competing corporation.

    A corporation headquarters produces a lot of gold dependant on the number of cities with that corporation similar to a holy city with a shrine, but a lot more. You should found corporations in your Wall Street city.
    Cities which have a corporation will get an amount of resources (food, hammers, science, gold, culture) dependent on the number of corporation specific resources which are present in the city. The corporation Mining Inc. for instance creates hammers when there is gold, silver, iron, copper or coal in the city (not the fat cross, just connected). However, the presence of a corporation in a city also increases its city maintenance which makes a courthouse in such a city very important.

    The conversion rate of gold (increased maintenance cost) into the resource produced by the corporation is very good which makes the civics which allow corporations very nice. State Property blocks corporations, Mercantalism blocks foreign corporations. Free market makes corporations cheaper to maintain, environmentalism makes them more pricey.

    State Property used to be my favourite economic civic in vanilla and Warlords and even though it has been strengthened in BTS, I have switched to free market as my favourite economic civic, which shows how much I like corporations.

    Ok, and that was short... (I'm not good at short).

    2) You can split of a part of your oversees empire. There is now a colonial maintenance for oversees cities and this can be pretty significant for large groups of oversees cities on the same island. This can make it useful to split of a part of your empire which will then become a friendly colony of yours. If you treat it very poorly, then it could become independent. It's a special version of the vassal system. If you play without vassal states, then you can't create colonies and colonial maintenance = 0

    3) There are several buildings that create espionage points and you can use part of your commerce to create espionage points (just like gold, science and culture).

    Check out the espionage screen (CTRL-e).

    If you have a certain number of espionage points towards a specific civilisation, then you'll get some passive bonuses against this civilisation. First, you'll be able to see their graphs (which start of hidden now), then you'll be able to see what they're researching, then you'll get line of sight from their cities (moved from the religion effect) and finally you'll be able to see inside their cities like they were your own. But the cost of getting these bonuses is also heavily dependent on the amount of espionage points that they invest in your civilisation.

    Active espionage missions require a spy (available very early in the game now) and cost espionage points instead of gold. Some are useful (steal technology, 1-turn city revolt), others are not (spread culture is fairly useless).

    4) Don't think so.

    Links: Check the War academy. You should know how to find it. ;) There's a good game mechanic article about corporations by OTAKUjbski (unspeakable name) in there.

    This link is useful too (spy game mechanics): Spy detection

    Note that there are more useful posts than just the OP by Bhruic. Krikkitone added some good stuff too.
     
  11. a4phantom

    a4phantom Perma-newbie

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    You are my sunshine, Roland.
    My only sunshine.

    1. How has State Property been enhanced?

    2. How much do you have to invest in Espionage if you plan to use it purely defensively?

    3. Are siege weapons now *better* for collateral damage? Here's what I mean: If my catapult will now retreat after doing a severe but not lethal amount of damage, doesn't that mean that catapult is more likely to survive? Meanwhile, it's badly hurt the defender and wounded other units in the stack. Siege engines don't win that many battles anyway, so if they're now more likely to survive that sounds like an improvement, even if they'll never finish off the defender.
     
  12. JujuLautre

    JujuLautre Deity

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    1/ State Property now gives a boost of 10% to production in all cities. Also, there's the introduction of colonial maintenance for overseas cities, which is removed by SP.

    But in SP, you can't use corporations at all.

    2/ Getting espionnage from buildings is enough imho.
     
  13. a4phantom

    a4phantom Perma-newbie

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    Holy monkey, now I'm really excited to play.
     
  14. JujuLautre

    JujuLautre Deity

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    Yes, they survive more often. But at the same time:
    - they don't get as much experience, since they get only 1XP per fight tey withdraw
    - they now have a big weakness, in the name of flank attack: if a mounted (not chariots) or chopper units survives from a fight (either by winning or by withdrawal), it will damage siege units in that tile, to the point where it can kill them. A kind of collateral damage for siege engines.
     
  15. a4phantom

    a4phantom Perma-newbie

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    Sweet! I've always thought cavalry should be able to target siege weapons in some way. The bonus ONLY IN ATTACKING a non-defensive unit is pretty silly. I never used pre-Cavalry mounties very much, I guess now I'll use some with flank promos.

    Thanks for the quick answers.
     
  16. Roland Johansen

    Roland Johansen Deity

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    I completely agree with JujuLautre.

    1) I would really try out the corporations at least once. They can also be extremely powerful. Note that the 10% production boost from State Property is not so great as it might sound as you already have many large production modifiers from buildings at that point in the game and 10% extra isn't going to do a lot.
    But State property/Caste System workshops are very great as these civics now have a nice synergy. Caste System gives +1 hammers to workshops and State Property removes the food decrease from workshops.

    2) You do want to see the graphs of your opponents because the power graph tells you a lot about their military strength and the economic graphs tells you quite a bit about their economical strength. You need 30% of your opponents investment in Espionage Points (EP's) to see these graphs. This is not that hard to achieve if you at least build some buildings that add EP's. It's not really necessary to invest a fraction of your commerce into an enemy just for this purpose.

    By the way, you can split the investment of your EP over many enemies or just focus on one. To get some use beyond seeing the graphs, it is usually more effective to focus on one enemy.

    But some players like some of the active missions. Especially the city revolt mission is popular because it causes a 1-turn revolt which removes the defence bonus of a city for that turn. During a war, visibility to all your enemy's cities can be useful and destroying your enemies oil resource improvement can also be very powerful. Knowing what your competitors are researching can be used in many ways.

    The best way to catch a spy is to place a spy unit on the map tile that is being repeatedly pillaged (your oil patch) or placing a spy or Security Agency inside your city (both has no use).

    Note also that espionage missions are not equally expensive in every city. An enemy city close to your capital, under heavy culture pressure with your state religion present while you control the holy city and with one of your spies sitting in the city for 5 turns will have a huge discount on the cost of the missions in this city (check post 21 in the spy detection thread).

    3) One other change to siege engines is that they don't remove a percentage of the defence but remove a certain number of percentage points of defence. This means that it takes far fewer turns to remove a 20% defence bonus than an 80% defence bonus. And it's hell to remove a castle defence bonus with catapults (it takes 50 turns).

    The horse based units/helicopter flanking bonus can only be used against specific siege units. Check the civilopedia. And the AI can also use it to kill the siege engines in your stack of doom...
     
  17. a4phantom

    a4phantom Perma-newbie

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    Thanks Roland. You know, I completely forgot about the civilopedia.
     
  18. Renata

    Renata homicidal jungle cat GOTM Staff

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    If you're selling your only instance of a resource and that tile gets taken over by someone else's culture, do you get a diplomatic negative for it? Does it matter if it happens within the first ten turns?
     
  19. ori

    ori Repair Guy Super Moderator

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    the deal gets canceled regardless of how many turns have passed and you get no diplo penalty. The same happens when someone (you :mischief:) pillages the resource improvement by the way...
     
  20. Renata

    Renata homicidal jungle cat GOTM Staff

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    Thanks, I appreciate it.
     

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