Razing or Keeping Cities?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Big Pig, Feb 28, 2006.

  1. Big Pig

    Big Pig bringing home the bacon

    Dec 17, 2005
    Newbie question I'm afraid......!

    Ok, so you're at war with another civ and its going well. How do you decide which cities to keep and which to raze? Is there a way of looking at the city screen to assess the benefits of keeping it (e.g. are there any wonders, academies, forges etc), before deciding to keep or raze? (I know you can zoom in on the map but I'm not too hot on what different buildings look like in this view).

    Many thanks for your answers!!
  2. Sahkuhnder

    Sahkuhnder Delusions of grandeur

    Nov 27, 2005
    Vegas Baby! Yeah!
    Most important - can you hold the city?

    Do you have both the military to hold it and the culture position and strength to prevent a flip? If you don't then raze it.

    Other considerations are is the city in a valuable strategic location? Does it have any resources you need? Is it in a good location with productive tiles and a potential for growing to be a strong producer? Does it contain a world wonder you really need (wonders show up pretty good on zoom)?

    It's a case by case question. :)
  3. JoeBlade

    JoeBlade Warlord

    Feb 1, 2006
    Generally I’ll keep a city, a couple of exceptions notwithstanding:
    1. It has massive overlap with one or more nearby cities and those other cities (whether they’re mine or not) are more attractive.
    2. It would require me to station silly amounts of troops to keep it, due to cultural pressure (i.e. likely to flip to another owner). Still, there are situations when this is justified, e.g. when the city has access to important resources or is located in a very strategic spot.
    3. There’s a spot nearby that can be settled and is more attractive. I’ve seen (admittedly, rare) cases where the AI chose a less useful location over one a single tile away. If I can settle the better location easily I’ll raze. Be careful with cultural borders and especially nearby cities though, you don’t want to raze it only to realise the other spot can simply not be settled or would flip 10 rounds after foundation.
    4. I have (too) many cities already and keeping that one would cost me more than it’s worth. This depends greatly on the timeframe: early-game it’s probably better to keep a city as it’s likely to pay off in the long run.
    5. The city’s outright awful and would have, say, only one or two workeable tiles and no resources. Almost never happens but I’ve seen it once or twice; apparently the AI is very settler-happy at times.
  4. CurtSibling

    CurtSibling ENEMY ACE™ SLeague Staff Supporter

    Aug 31, 2001
    If the enemy AI has displeased me by using his inferior middle ages troops to damge
    my tanks, I tend to raze a (non-wonder) city to show him I mean business!

  5. diablodelmar

    diablodelmar no comment

    Jan 11, 2006
    Early game I don't recommend razing anything, middle to late game its your choice, depending on the circumstances.
  6. loraque

    loraque Chieftain

    Feb 7, 2006
    To raze or not to raze-

    Can you afford another city? If not, I raze it.
    Does the city suck? If it does, does it at least have good cultural location (will absorb lots of area to prevent future building). If it sucks, and doesn't absorb territory, I raze it.
    Does it have some other, non-specific benefit of keeping it? (shrine, wonder, special resource, good launching point for invasion, etc). If not, I raze it.

    I tend to raze a lot more of late. For example, If I want an enemy capital and one other good location, I raze the cities on the far side as well, to assist with border expansion. It is harder to press borders back if you don't destroy those cities. And I must admit, I have been a bloodthirsty dictator of late. I have more fun chopping, whipping, razing, and destroying than I do making music. I do what I need to in order to win, don't get me wrong, but might makes right.
  7. GeorgeOP

    GeorgeOP RF Bleachers

    Jan 19, 2005
    RF Bleachers
    I try to keep all cities I take. If they take it back from me via military, I'll re-attack the city. If I have to re-attack a city, it never survives.

    One time I was taking a bunch of cities from a civ from the south. All of a sudden he popped up with a large army to my north. He ended up taking my fifth best city after a lot of fighting, and he decided to raze it. This spelled the death of all of his other cities.
  8. VirtualM

    VirtualM Chieftain

    Dec 14, 2005
    I keep cities when:
    1) I know they won't flip.
    2) I have enough military to hold them AND this loss of military doesn't stop the intended attack on the CIV.
    3) The cities will be self-supporting within a reasonable amount of time (cities on ice to get 2 fur are a no-no!)
    4) The cities will not 'spark tensions because of our close borders' with a friendly CIV.
  9. DagorFunk

    DagorFunk Chieftain

    Jan 18, 2002
    From a diplomatic perspective I don't think its worth razing a city. You get a huge diplomatic hit for doing so. I guess its not a bid deal if you plan on wiping out the enemy completely but if your goal is simply a peace settlement on your own terms you should just keep the city and at worst gift it to a weak civ so they can deal with it.
  10. AngryPants

    AngryPants Warlord

    Dec 30, 2005
    I find that the AI's city placement is almost uniformly horrendous. Often it seems that the AI could do better just throwing darts at the minimap.

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