Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by bamf226, Feb 12, 2008.
What are the benefits/drawbacks to razing or keeping an enemy city?
Keep it and increase your maintenance.
Raze it and you aren't growing.
Both have upsides too.
There's no one right answer. It completely depends on many factors; location, resources, maintenance. Sometimes I raze cities, other times they are too valuable to burn.
Can you give examples of the factors you look at and what influences your decision?
For many people there is a simple algorithm you can use for early war that results in possible city-captures.
1. If it's a Holy City, keep it.
2. If it's an AI Capitol, keep it.
3. Else, raze.
You shouldn't apply to a mid, or late-game, war but it works pretty good as a guideline for ancient or classical era warring.
Keeping a city means 1) it's high quality, and 2) I can afford it.
If either conditions fail to apply, I will raze. If I'm fighting an overseas pillaging war without any intention of capturing territory, then I will raze just about any city, including unshrined holy cities and cities containing unimportant wonders.
Rule 1. If its a city that I can keep, then I keep it.
Rule 2. If I am at war its to gain cities. If I can't afford to gain more cities then why am I at war?
Very very rarely do I raze a city. Nearly every city can be made profitable and if it can't be made profitable then I probably should finish my war and consolidate my gains.
Cities are way too valuable to raze. They are free hammers from settlers, free trade routes and increased production and science protential. The more the better.
Another factor to consider is whether you are likely to completely destroy the civ to get rid of its culture; or whether you will have to vassalise it or use it as a trade partner. The razing of each one of its cities makes diplomacy -3 and after about 2 razings you will not be able to use diplomacy or trade techs as they will hate you. So if the civ is likely to be around for a long time I keep the city even if it does cost a bit of extra maintenance.
A lot of people don't really appreciate how easy it is to make a city pay for itself, after about 20 turns of losss. If you have CoL and Currency there are very few cities that can't be made to at least pay for themselves even if they're not that spectacular. The research slider might drop lower but often the amount of beakers stays the same or increases. You can always turn hammers to gold or beakers while growing slowly and whip in buildings you need. Then the only reason to raze a city is if it is in a really bad position (like 1 tile inland from a coast) and you want to build a better placed city or two.
^^^Only acceptable answer.
Well you can be at war because you were attacked and are defending yourself, but you are unlikely to be pursuing cities in that case.
There are also some late game reasons to raze an enemy city. If the city is on another continent and you can't keep it anyway due to the counter attack or oppressive culture that has been long established then a quick naval invasion can steal the city which is razed. Other cases of late game razing is when the other civ is going for a cultural victory or even a space race.
Never had a runaway space racer that I couldn't stop with pillaging. I'll avoid those huge modern city garrisions, thanks.
Never had a runaway culturemonger at all.
If you're fighting a modern war for real, keeping cities is always smart because they give your stack an extra 10% healing per turn.
It's obviously better to keep cities in the Modern age, if you can, since that increases your score apart from anything else. But in some games that's not always possible due to the strength of counter attacks. Just because you've never had that happen to you yet doesn't mean it can't.
Any medieval or later war tends to have a lot of city keeping for me.
Ancient and classical warfare has a lot of razing, not a lot of keeping.
Rushing, I raze everything except capitols and Holy cities. Pre-pottery, pre-COL, pre-Currency, pre-Writing, you either raze or watch your economy die. There is no recovery from 0% research without at least pottery, libraries, CS, or markets. You just can't pull off a rush if you're keeping cities.
Also, there's only about a million reasons to go to war. To gain cities or land is a fine one, but it's far from the only. I will routinely go to war to simply eliminate an inconvenient AI. Hell, sometimes I'll go to war because I've had a crappy day at work and I have this small army of axemen and I want to watch them kill things.
Why do people always keep capital cities? They are generally well placed but I've seen some that are quite undeveloped before and worth razing.
The map generator always ensures that the starting settler position of each civilization is somewhat balanced and this generally means Capital cities have more resources in the fat cross than other cities.
I've also heard that Capital cities get a bonus income from trade routes, However, I'm not positive whether the city retains this bonus when captured or come to think of it if a palace is built elsewhere and the capital moves peacefully. Also does the bonus move to the new capital or maybe it gets duplicated? Can anyone answer this?
I don't think capitals get any special bonusses for trade, they do benefit from being bigger (and captured capitals usually grow bigger) and the best foreign trade routes usually go to bigger cities. I think that is all there is to it.
I only raze them if:
1) I can't afford to keep them, because they are too expensive or far away;
2) because they are really small desert cities or places they just founded so they won't be destroyed;
3) if they will just be retaken;
or 4) if I am very, very angry!
Usually I keep them because in most cases the more cities the better.
I usually go to war to gain land so I keep most of the cities. If there is a lot of overlap between cities I sometimes raze the small ones whose tiles can be worked by other cities.
Usually I rush so early that there are only capital cities to take and they are usually worth the money (in my last game the city I took was better than my own capital in research, gold and hammers) but if I happen to stumble on other cities during such an early rush I raze them. I can always build a new one there once me economy recovers.
How can you tell if you can afford it? Maybe an explanation of city cost is necessary for me to understand fully.
Separate names with a comma.