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"Rule of thumb" for courthouses

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Strategy & Tips' started by Schalke 04, Feb 9, 2009.

  1. Schalke 04

    Schalke 04 Knappe

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    Hi fanatics,

    my question is the following:

    In which situation is it useful to build a courthose (for a city)?

    First things first: I am aware of the corruption situation in C3C as explained in the most useful thread of alexman.

    My question is more into a strategical issue regarding these facts.

    Normaly I'm checking Civassist2 whether a Couthouse gives me a benefit (shields/commerce and/or net maintenance) or not.

    However, this does not always consider the long term effect of building this improvement. For the cost of 80 shields I may build one or more units, depending on the current situation.

    The benefit of a courthouse may increase or decrase with the growing/size of a towm. The thing I am looking for is a "general rule of thumb" if a city is worth to get a courthouse, or not. The answer may consist of a combination of number of useful tiles (shields and food) in relation to its corruption and its possibilty to grow, which can change the corruption influence.

    To make the answer a little bit easier:

    My comfort level is emperor, and I am a little bit struggling to the jump to demi-god. I just want to know if (and when, in what situation) a courthouse attributes much in the long term for the development of my (semi?) core.

    I know that it highly depends on the production capability and its potentialitiy to produce units with the least waste as possible. Therefore it is always a consideration of the given situations. I am just wondering if anyone of you could find an easy way to figure out (beneath Civassist II and its short term predictions) the need for a courthouse in a longer term.

    I'm hoping I could state my point of view clearly, because English is not my first language.
     
  2. Spoonwood

    Spoonwood Grand Philosopher

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    What's your desired victory condition? What do you want your cities to do? How many turns do you have left in the game? If you want a "rule of thumb" I'd suggest that if you have more than 25% corruption, then build one. But, beware rules of thumbs.
     
  3. Northen Wolf

    Northen Wolf Young Hunter

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    I usually look at towns production, I'm no "warmonger" but I am not a "Peace-And-love" type player either.

    If I can get atleast 50% shields more from that town then I do that.

    [If I can get town from 10 spt to 15 spt, why not? that's 2 turns saved in one knight(from 7 turn to 5 turn) production and the time cost is earned back after 4 knights have been produced. (courthouse takes 8 turns, so I save 8 turns after producing 4 knights). Usually these towns can produce enough commerce to pay for courthouse costs.]

    Also if I can get town to a good number of shields with help of the courthouse, (from 12 to 15 for an example, I usually build, I like round numbers in civilization games, more round, more easier calculations for me :p
     
  4. Chamnix

    Chamnix Chasing Time

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    My rule of thumb - don't build them. There are certainly exceptions especially in longer games, but I would start from there. Don't build it unless the city screams you absolutely must have a courthouse here.
     
  5. Aabraxan

    Aabraxan Mid-level Micromanager

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    Don't worry about your English, Shalke 04. It's just fine.

    The first questions I'd ask are the same as Spoonwood's questions: What's your desired VC? and How much time to I have left in the game? I consider them in almost any town between 30% and 70% corrupt, but every town in that range needs to be evaluated separately. For a space race, I'm probably going to need more courthouses than I will in a conquest game. courthouses make more sense built early than late.

    Northen Wolf also makes a good point about round numbers. If I can hit a "sweet spot" in terms of shield production without a courthouse, I'll usually skip it, at least until I get near the next unit. For example, knights are 70 shields, cavalry are 80. If I can hit 12 spt, that's a 6-turn knight and a 7-turn cav. If a courthouse will raise my shields from 12 to 14, that town then makes 6-turn cavs. If it will only raise it to 13, I'm still making 7-turn cavs. If the courthouse will salvage 2 or more commerce (enough to pay for its upkeep and still put something in my coffers), the courthouse might still be worthwhile, but only if there's enough time left in the game to pay for the 80 shields invested.
     
  6. Calis

    Calis on time

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    Your name suggests that, at least for a German, or a soccer fan who knows the Bundesliga ;)
     
  7. FraterPerdurabo

    FraterPerdurabo Chieftain

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    Once available, is it a better idea to build a Police Station as opposed to the Courthouse?
    Or does this descend into the same shields won/lost per turn discussion?
     
  8. Spoonwood

    Spoonwood Grand Philosopher

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    Police stations cost more shields, and at least as far as I know, they have the exact same effects. So, courthouses. Even if police stations have better effects, courthouses probably make more sense first, since you'll get the benefits of the improvement faster. See Chamnix's note which says "don't build them". That's way oversimplified, but, in general, speed in this game matters more than optimal production/commerce.
     
  9. Marsden

    Marsden Keeper of the HoF Annex Hall of Fame Staff

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    I only build them when I'm trying to wring every last beaker out for a fast research game. Chamnix would know better but it seems to help out in the semi core but if it's more than 50 to 60% corruption then I just build nothing and make as many scientists as possible.
     
  10. Ringo Kid

    Ringo Kid Chieftain

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    I think my rule of thumb is this, if you are going to build them - do it early.

    The sooner you build it, the more turns it can return a benefit to you. And those returns are multiplied by every other thing you are able to do sooner. And those things in turn multiply those units or improvements that come after them.

    For example if your courhouse allows you to finish the university and research lab a few turns earlier, you also get more return on those much later investments.

    Its difficult or impossible to calculate the exact value of your courthouse in shields or gold so it is also impossible to say which cities "need" them and which do not.

    But clearly sooner is better than later or not at all.
     
  11. Aegis

    Aegis Chieftain

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    I only build Courthouses when I see a return in either shields or commerce, which pays for itself.
     
  12. TheOverseer714

    TheOverseer714 Overseer

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    I tend to go by feel on courthouses, if I think a town needs it, I'll build it. I guess if I could boil it down to a rule of thumb, it would be: If it pays for itself and gains a little extra income, it is worth it.
     
  13. NickyH

    NickyH Bismarck with lipstick…

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    There can be good reasons to build courts late in the game, even in cities with very low corruption: Now I'm playing a game that reaches into the modern era, and I've built nuclear plants in my core cities. There were two cities that produced more than 100 shields after waste, but not 110 to build a Mech Infantry in one turn. So the Court House only took me one turn to finish, I could produce a Mech per turn, and I didn't waste about 100 shields every second turn.
     
  14. ecuwins

    ecuwins Chieftain

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    I tend to look at shield breakpoints first. Then money. It is also worth mentioning that when the lux slider is in play, as it should be(in most games), a courthouse can help with happiness too.
     
  15. Higher Game

    Higher Game National Socialist

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    As infrastructure, they increase your pound for pound strength. Build them when expanding in size is no longer worth it (probably due to corruption) and you need to aim for quality. They're really just like any other improvement, except usually not quite as good. ;)

    Occasionally a courthouse, police station, commercial trait, and WLTK can turn what would otherwise be a scientist city into a distant viable city, but it takes a lot of effort to do this.
     
  16. grognard

    grognard Chieftain

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    If you have not done so, please get a copy of CA2 (CivAssist2) from the downloads section to help you. This is a great utility which will answer your question as to the need for courthouses.

    CA2 has a section called ECONOMY. Within that section, every city that you own is listed along with the improvents that are or can be built in it. I simply highlight the city in question, and in the CITY DETAILS list, I check the courthouse. You can immediately see the effect of a courthouse in the city as the Shields, Corruption%, Waste%, Science, Luxury, Taxes, and maintenance change (or not).

    It's a "Must Have" program to help with playing C3C and for seeing if it's worthwhile to build a Library or Marketplace, or Courthouse, etc in the city and what effect it would have.
     
  17. undertoad

    undertoad Chieftain

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    I'd second grognard's point about CivAssist - an excellent program.

    For me, courthouses are a very tricky question. I take into account vmxa's position (or, if it's not exactly vmxa's position, let's call it the "don't waste time improving marginal cities" position), but I still feel frustrated, once well over the OCN limit, by having large numbers of cities on the margins of the empire that really don't do much. I turn these into science-farms, which is generally all you can do; but in some cases a "marginal" city does really have potential.

    I do built courthouses, but almost always as a solution to waste (lost shields) rather than corruption (lost commerce). Lost commerce can be alleviated by specialist-farming (tax or science, whichever you need most); lost shields can't.

    [Took me a while to learn how to do this farming: the key is to have your workers ignore production tiles (which will go to waste), and focus on making food production insanely high. Then you can take 2-3 citizens off the land and turn them into scientists/taxmen].

    Courthouses go here:
    a) A "just outside the core" city that has excellent production potential; e.g. many hills, especially with Coal or Iron. Or one that has a great Trade tile in its radius (Gold on Hills, which if mined gives production and commerce). Here, just from memory, I see a maybe 20% additive improvement in production, e.g. from 20 shields/8 wasted to 20 shields/4-5 wasted.
    b) A really productive remote city. E.g. 18+ shields before waste, corruption and waste running at 80-90% (so that you only end up with 2-3 shields). Here the effect is not fantastic - maybe a bump from 2-3 shields to 4-5. (Incidentally, this is because, at the extreme, true corruption can run above 100% before being capped). But the intention is not to get all those 18 shields back (you can't! :(), but to make the city a reasonable production centre for things like

    - Workers (useful things, and reduce pop to stop rioting)
    - Basic defence units (e.g. Musketmen)
    - A Library for culture-expansion, or a Marketplace as the sole happy-building, if I
    have enough luxuries to make this work.

    Finally, don't neglect the Civil Engineer. You can get him working in just the same way as tax/science-farming - make a few tiles unbelievably productive of food, and you can take citz off the land and turn them into CEs. The effect on production of a Courthouse (and, of course, on any other improvement) is phenomenal - e.g. from 60-80 turns down to 15 turns. If you have Rail, even a 5-6 size city can often support 2-3 Civil Engineers.
     
  18. RickDuzEnuff

    RickDuzEnuff Chieftain

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    IIRC, CH is a pre-requisite for PS. Whether or not CH shield cost is added to PS cost without having one, I'm too much of a noob to know. Myself, the only cities I usually dont build them in are the capitol and the first "ring" around the capitol, because corruption is often managable there. Beyond that ring, every city gets one ASAP. And PS later in a long game.
     
  19. timerover51

    timerover51 Chieftain

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    Your advice is sound if you are on a Windows box, as CivAssist2 is a Windows program. If you are on an older Mac, or a newer Mac and do not have a copy of Windows handy, you cannot use the program.

    As for courthouses, since I play on archipelago and continent maps pretty much exclusively, I build them on a regular basis. If I do not, it can take what seems to be forever to get something built in a new city on another island/continent.
     
  20. Spoonwood

    Spoonwood Grand Philosopher

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    As I recall you can build a PS without a CH.
     

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