Reasons to stop expansion

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by indradiva, Oct 11, 2016.

  1. indradiva

    indradiva Warlord

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    We know now that wide expansion is viable in Civ 6. That means that Civ 5's 4-city tall is dead for sure. While everybody is happy about that, I asked myself "How is it if someone doesn't want to expand? Are there some benefits from having densely populated cities?" Here are some of my thoughts on this subject.
    First of all, it's not a question if to expand, but rather when to stop expansion. In some interview the devs said the number of 6-10 cities would be optimal and I tend to agree. Now what do you have from high population and consequently from large city territory?

    1) Obviously, your citizens will be able to work many tiles, and their yields are good even if unimproved.
    2) A highly populated city can support more districts.
    3) More districts mean more bonuses from city-states and they scale with the number of districts and the number of city-states of the same type ( although Industrial and Militaristic CS affect your cities individually, so they might be more useful to wide empires).
    4) Even if there are no CS or they're turned off (can they?), you can always upgrade your districts with buildings that provide yields and Great People. Great People and Social Policies can easily be used to further increase the yields from buildings.
    5) City Projects scale with production of your city and therefore with population and tile improvements. They give you yields and Great People. And many GPs make expansion less needed, like Great Merchants that increase your Trade Route capacity.
    6) Finally, improvements also require to be worked, so civs with unique ones might consider delaying expansion to have some benefit from building them.
    Those are, imo, main reasons to stop expansion after the initial expansion phase. We'll learn soon how it is in the final build, we cannot really judge the balance now, but I guess my assumptions are right. What do you think?
     
  2. Abraxis

    Abraxis

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    • Excess Amenities provide scalling %bonus to all yeilds, creating incentive not to outpace your amenity acquisition.
    • In the early game at least, food rich tiles seem rarer, meaning you need a higher population with more people working food tiles to create the excess to support people working for secondary resources.
    • Barbarian Aggression, city weakness, and unit immobility make defending large expanses of territory a significant investment in the early game before a road network can be established.
    I think that quick expansion is viable, but comes at a cost of slower growth in the long term. Slow steady expansion relative to careful and optimal city development is the most efficient path, but leaves you vulnerable to competition for the land. Sitting tight on few cities sacrifices long term potential for immediate gains and doesn't piss anyone off.

    I think that's generally how it will look. early game.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2016
  3. mzprox

    mzprox Prince

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    I will stop expanding when i feel managing more cities would become a burden i'd not want and I would win anyway.. otherwise though, if my only concern is to get the highest score or something like that i'd never stop expanding.
     
  4. Acken

    Acken Deity

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    Civ 6 has a clear approach oftrying to go in both directions. Expanding and make your cities big.

    Getting big cities will simply allow you to produce in them. It doesnt seem very efficient to have multiple house capped small cities. Civ6 costs are pretty high the further you advance in eras.
     
  5. Sprenk

    Sprenk Prince

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    There are quite a few eurekas that require having infrastructure in 2-4 cities, but I don't remember one requiring more than that. I'm guessing 4 cities will be the low end of the "new optimal" range of cities.
     
  6. Cyberian

    Cyberian Warlord

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    Honestly just from a strict winning perspective there seems to be no reason to ever stop expanding.

    Even if you go over 12, 16, 20 you still might want to continue expanding.

    The only reason might be for convenience reason because you just don't want to anymore and it is enough to win for the difficulty your playing or you are already way above everyone in multiplayer.
     
  7. Slayan

    Slayan Warlord

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    I've always been a wide player and I think this new version will work out great with my play style
     
  8. chazzycat

    chazzycat Deity

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    Escalating district cost seems like the overall single biggest limiting factor. In Marbozir's game he starts lamenting the heavy cost of districts around 10 cities, and that's on a large map. I suspect this may lead to the strategy of settling some cities that don't build any districts of their own. Those cities could be a bit smaller, focus on production and build some troops or something while your core is focused on science/culture/gold/faith. And they could at least get the regional benefits of nearby industrial and entertainment districts. Since the settler and builder costs seem a lot more manageable, there wouldn't be much drawback to this.
     
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  9. manu-fan

    manu-fan Emperor

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    I totally agree. Looking forward to playing wide in Civ 6.
     
  10. KrikkitTwo

    KrikkitTwo Immortal

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    *all cities
    -luxury amenities are spread out over multiple cities
    -larger cities (with more space for food+housing) are better able to get Wonders
    -larger cities (with more space for food+housing) make for better trade routes (domestically)..and if you get any benefit from foreign trade routes larger cities would attract more
    -more cities may increase the cost of districts (not sure if conquered cities/districts count as well)

    *peaceful only
    -Building settlers costs production.. more production the more of them you build
    -eventually you run out of places to put a settler

    *that all is peaceful, for conquest ...
    -cost of military units
    -warmonger penalty
    -conquered cities take extra war weariness (permanently)
    -conquered cities are unproductive and don't grow until they are ceded in a peace deal
     
  11. x2Madda

    x2Madda Prince

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    Realistically speaking, in every Civ game and by expansion, every 4X game, there is never ever a logical reason to ever stop expanding. It is after all one of the four X's that make up the genre name.
    In civ6, just as with civ5 you will stop expanding because you get sick of city prompts slowing down the game! You will self settle cities until there is no longer room to do so and then you will kill people on your continent to obtain more cities.
    National wonders are seemingly out the window as well as anything to care about when it comes to staying small vs large.

    Honestly, not to kill anyones buzz because I am as excited about civ6 as anyone else, but civ:be had a similar lack of limiters on how many cities a player could have so often the best tactic was to settle many, settle quickly and box the AI in. The AI was not equipped to deal with such early aggressive expansionism and I don't doubt civ6 at release will be just as exploitable. More so since you can capture settlers!
     
  12. indradiva

    indradiva Warlord

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    Exploiting is also one of the 4 X's and it should be equally important as expansion. The players shouldn't be penalized for not expanding and should have the ability to be on par with wide players. Mindless expansion isn't what makes the game strategic; you have to shift focus sometimes, too. And civ 6 isn't civ:be or civ 5, cities need to have quality, bad cities won't bring you much.
     
  13. Haggbart

    Haggbart King

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    Yes I noticed the same thing. Districts were 500+ hammers when he founded his last city.

    This will somewhat limit snowballing in prod/gold/culture/science/faith. But I do hope the AI can compete for land and actually make you able to defend the land you manage to grab. Because the settler cost isn't really that high, and all land you can get is land the other players can't get.
     
  14. Rathelm

    Rathelm Chieftain

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    It looks like they're trying to avoid that by making extra districts prohibitively expensive. I suspect that we'll find a sweet spot for the amount of cities to be somewhere between 6 and 10 based on available amenities.
     
  15. joncnunn

    joncnunn Senior Java Wizard Retired Moderator

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    To me the main times in Civ VI to take a break from peacefully expanding would be:

    #1: I'm going to go to war sometime in the next 20 turns and need military units; moreover, I'm doubting that Walls would complete in a newly built city closer to them in time. In this case peaceful expansion would resume after the war.

    #2: I currently have over half my cities at negative one amenity* even though I've already connected all my luxuries. In this case, peaceful expansion would resume after a few entertainment complexes and zoos went up. Probably won't take many due to the regional effect of entertainment buildings.

    * I'm not sure what the actual number that triggers the possibility of revolt is. Nor do I know if the penalty for being at -2 is worse than -1; so this exact threshold subject to change, but the general idea that you'd stop before running the risk of a revolt is sound.

    #3: All remaining potential city spots are too difficult to defend vs their value because they are all too far away from the rest of my core empire.

    Note that I don't see I want X world wonder / given city to build X district / given city needing a builder as a reason to stop expanding; that just changes which city builds the next settler rather than stopping settler construction entirely.
     
  16. Ryika

    Ryika Lazy Wannabe Artista

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    Unless you're trying to win super-quickly one of the biggest reason to stop expanding is also that you've already got a lead when it comes to total land. Going wider than required does pay off over time, but maintaining a controlled lead is often much easier in strategy games than trying to "get ahead as far as possible", because it lowers the chance of an instant loss if something goes wrong to a minimum.

    Of course that's hardly a consideration on higher difficulties as you'll always be behind when it comes to that (if the game is difficult enough), but I think on higher difficulties deciding that "I'm done expanding!" should never be a "strong" strategy anyway. A proper match on high difficulties should consist of controlled expansion until there's no space left before moving into a game of defending your land against neighbors/invading them.
     
  17. Buccaneer

    Buccaneer Deity

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    Don't say "everybody", that makes the rest of your post discreditable.

    Which is called over-compensating by making this juncture in the series something we used to laugh at the AI for stupidly doing. Now they want to reward the human player for filling up the map with urbanization?
     
  18. stealth_nsk

    stealth_nsk Deity

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    The funny thing here is - the biggest limitation is the district cost, but it doesn't come immediately. Firs you settle and build things without any problems, but after your cities allow to build second or third district, you may hit the wall of rapidly increased cost. It may require some playthroughs to get accustomed to it.
     
  19. joncnunn

    joncnunn Senior Java Wizard Retired Moderator

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    Which even in worst case isn't a reason to stop building cities; some cities would just go without one being a wide empire and settle for merely farms, mines, and for some civs Unique Improvements.

    However, based on the Quill's Roman play thru; it appears that eventually a cap is reached on how much districts cost. In addition the Bath was completely immune from increases in cost (either due to being based on the Aqueduct or alternatively due to being a unique District) and in addition it appeared that Encampments cap was 25% less in cost than most other districts.
     
  20. stealth_nsk

    stealth_nsk Deity

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    Yes, there's no reason to stop expansion, there are reasons to delay expansion. At some point with increased settler cost it may be worth building something else. And this looks like a good approach.
     

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