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Quick Engineering Tip

Discussion in 'Civ2 - Strategy & Tips' started by Andu Indorin, Nov 29, 2004.

  1. Andu Indorin

    Andu Indorin Retired Druid

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    I've had the opportunity to notice that a number of players, in order to improve a city's production, will build raillines in forests. Consider an alternative: build a railroad on non-shield grassland, and then plant a forest.

    It usually requires a single engineer seven turns to build a railline in a forest: one turn to move into the square, two for the road, four for the railroad. Net result, an one-shield increase in production.

    Since grassland will usually already have road built in the square, it requires seven turns to convert the square to a forest w/ railroad: two to build railroad, five to plant forest. Net result, a three-shield increase in production.

    More efficient use of one's Engineers if increasing production is the goal, as long as hunger is not an issue. If it is an issue, build an Engineer first and rebase it to a city with a food surplus; one usually can never have too many engineers. (And as a retired druid, I believe one can never have too many trees.;) )
     
  2. Ace

    Ace Emperor

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    Ahh, where is Starlifter when you really need him? He would create a thesis on the merits of both positions and when to use each.

    The grassland to forest idea (from a cost analysis, is great, three for the price of one), but it all depends on your "master plan" for that city. If you only need one more shield to get to your target number of shields, it wastes two food and a couple of trade arrows. On the other hand, if you need 3 or more shields, it is very effective. It all depends on your game plan.
     
  3. ElephantU

    ElephantU Deity

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    It is always quicker to build RD/RR on clear terrain (grass, plains, desert, tundra) than rough (forest, hills, jungle, swamp). In general, if you are starting from clear do the RD/RR first; if you are starting from rough do the transform first, then the RD/RR.

    There are also some transformations that are not "worth it" in Engineer time, like Forest to Grass, because you can irrigate to Plains then transform to Grass faster.

    The other issue you run into with turning anything to Forest or Hills is that you lose all the trade arrows from the tile. For an OCC game, this is a killer.
     
  4. sethos

    sethos no allies

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    I transform grassland to hills
    1) if there's a "hidden" special
    2) if it's a non-shielded rivered tile (I don't lose trade arrows)
    3) to gain some production (50+x shields with factory/power plant or Hoover Dam)
    in order to produce a freight in one turn

    When Engineers are available, every city (SCC excluded) has 2 engineers working.
    Some - with a good food surplus - will produce more in order to found more cities.
     
  5. ElephantU

    ElephantU Deity

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    In case #1 I usually Road, then Mine to Forest, then Irrigate to Plains if the special is not Whale-based. This can be done way before Engineers come along, and Silk or Buffalo is usually enough.

    I had not thought about case #2, assuming I've got spare Engineer time. Very clever. Put a bridge in, then transfOrm to Hills - doubled Engineers should be able to do it in 5 turns or less. Usually, though, my rivered grass tiles are already irrigated, so I'm losing two food. The question to ask then is whether rivered Hills is a worthy substitute for an extra Engineer.
     
  6. sethos

    sethos no allies

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    @ElephantU
    If the city has a lack of food, I found a new city with one of its engineers.
     
  7. Peaster

    Peaster Emperor

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    I guess I am missing the point of changing grass to hills in case 2). Are you planning to mine the hills ? This seems like a lot of effort for some extra shields... but then I probably play in a different style.
     
  8. sethos

    sethos no allies

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    @Peaster
    Yes, the hills will be mined - and after that, they'll get an airbase field (with advanced flight), so the lack of food is minimized.
     
  9. starlifter

    starlifter Deity

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    If I go from a 7-resource square to 4 (grassland 4 food+3 trade, vs 1 food+3 shield) it must be for a specifc reason. Normally, I don't make forests, but will make a hill in some cases. Hills give 1 more shield, and I plan a city's shield multiples several thousand years in advance, if I'm playing a full game. If it is helpful to have the extra shields (and helpful is a very big topic, dependent on map and strategy mostly), then I prefer hills, especially in a river (to get the 3 trade) and with an airbase (to get the 2 food)... if its not against the given game's rules.

    Before some whine about airbase food blah blah, I will just say the real issue is about engineer build time abstracted in Civ 2 as a computer game, since in real life, wherever we build REAL airbases, there is always vast new quantites of food available with the land we clear and maintain at the airbase, and must keep it clear. Sometimes, its not used for human food, or grass is just planted and mown. So airbases do (or can, with additional improvements... hehe, sounds an awful lot like the Civ 2-required Supermarket abstract for the 3rd food to me!) produce more food.... but only if the terrain is otherwise inhospitable/undeveloped... though not in artic conditions, and sometimes not in desert/swamp conditions. You also always get a road/transprtation network with an airfield, even in Kuwait/Iraq, etc.

    So that said, Civ 2 is a game and such things are abstracts for large simulations. All that is in Civ 2 breaks down at some point, if related to "real life". Airbases, on hills or anywhere else, are just that. And if you ever fly all over the world, you will find that over land, you can rarely look across the horizon and not see just one, but dozens of airbases (airfields). In America, in the modern age, they blanket the land coast to coast. Gee, sort of like what can be done in Civ 2, LOL.

    But about the transformation, no I don't even do the Grassland-->Forest-->Plains, since in late game, natural food is my usual goal of transformations, usually not shields. I prefer to grow naturally, as big as I can.

    So it really boils down to personal preference. Civilization tends to level ground, increase productivity, and (sadly) eradicate forests and green areas which (like Civ 2) are not directly helpful to "growth" in an abstract way.

    That said, I don't really recall engineers making hills in real life. OK, they did make a small one at Waterloo to commerate those killed fighting Napolean. But no production is gained, even if they "mined" that mound. But they can and do fill in ocean to make land, though. And do make forests. Maybe hills should not be allowed in transformations, LOL. But is a game, and one could cuss and discuss it endlessly I suppose. :)
     
  10. ElephantU

    ElephantU Deity

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    Large areas of land are cleared, and grass or other low veg is encouraged, but I've never seen a combine on an airbase and I'd be tickled pink to see airmen used for harvesting like the Soviets and Chinese do. Outside the wire I suppose we could encourage farming...

    Sounds like the PX...

    CivII abstracts the terrain forms. Hills really represent "rolling" land, and the size of a "tile" is usually something on the order of 20-100 miles, so there will be somewhere within that area that is flat enough for runways. A small airport only needs one square mile, while a 10,000 foot runway can be built in two.

    I look for opportunities to plant cities early on that can use two or more Whales or Silk, primarily for the extra trade arrows. If it is going to be the STC I will prioritize getting the hidden Silks revealed.

    Another succession game we played a while back was the "enviro-friendly" game that prevented most terrain modification. There were a pile of other rules that clogged the game up, but it was a challenge to think differently about growth and production.

    What about all those "tells" scattered around Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Israel? Build a fortified town, someone comes along and reduced it to rubble, the next generation levels the rubble and builds again? As far as "production" is concerned, we're very interested in the archaelogical discoveries there - perhaps that could be a custom "resource"?
     

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