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Science City - worth it?


Jan 24, 2002
When I started with civ3, I was happy that at least the science city was still there, but it seemed not as strong than in Civ1/2.

(If someone has still missed the concept: build possibly colossus, copernicus, isaac etc. in a city with potential good commerce, usually your capital, develop this city, library university etc. and you get plenty of tech)

- In civ1/2 the science wonders worked exponential, now cumulative. In Civ2 I normally made more than half of my tech of my SC.

- The SC was excellent for caravans, you could make all your cities rich, by trading with SC. Also you got much cash from caravans from the SC itself to other civs.

- The SC was the only city you really needed to develop, other cities just building caravans, settlers and wonders - nearly zero maintenance

- science specialists in SC gave about 20 tech beakers in late game, growing beyond 20 was useful.

- highway is gone, you can't substitute colossus

That were my thoughts after first games, but I couldn't kick the habit. I tried, but next game on monarch I couldn't get a single early wonder - but colossus! (No AI cap on coast - lucky me). And SC was really useful that game, because I couldn't spread like in regent game before. Advantages in Civ 3:

- Colossus on higher levels more likely to get than other early wonders

- SC usually your capital or near - little corruption makes the wonders more powerful, the smaller the map, the more important

- chance for good starting position, there is usually a luxury nearby (hopefully near coast)

- if you head for single cultural victory, you gotta build your capital, why not make the SC

When I look at this points, it seems pretty obvious that the SC was more powerful in the predecessors, but still okay, not that overwhelming advantage anymore.

Am I the only one still using it or is it still common?
I always try to turn my capital into a science city. Every three games or so, I will get at lease two of the requisite wonders you mentioned, but I very rarely get all three (Monarch level). The other nice thing about this is, if you also manage to get a couple other great wonders, particularly the high culture ones (Shakespeare's theatre, J S Bachs Cathedral), build all of your small wonders here, and all the cultural improvements early on, you are pretty much guaranteed a OCC victory if you cannot get any others. I had Babylon in one game producing 76 culture/turn.
science is good. every food producing city not needed very much was balenced out with scientists and farming people, no growth, but huge science.

in the game i played and won not too long ago i had about 20 of them. i also had a huge ammount of science discovery as well. i had a discovery every turn up intil i ran out of techs and almost out of time. everyone else was still in the begining of the modern age, so i beat them all to nukes and ahnialated them all on the last turn. it was a hair raising expirience to say the least.
eyrei: yes, I think that's one plus vs. more cons for SC in Civ3, your SC is mostly No 1 at topranked cities.

getak: err, you're right, it' good to have a lot of normal "good" cities. But maybe I should write Super Science city instead of SC. It means, that one city has the tech output of about 4 of above mentioned cities in civ3.

I think it varys on map and empire size a lot, the fewer cities, the more the SC pays off. Last game on large map, I had only 20% beakers in average from my SC, less than 10% in modern age, because I had a lot of well-developed cities. During that game I had to decide to build either magellan or Isaac's in my SC and built Isaac's which proved a big mistake later. I was in tech lead anyway, but had to do a lot of naval warfare.

Also your playing style plays an important role, if you like tech-buying/-brokering, the SC may be useless, but I like achieve a huge lead in tech.

Next game I chose a smaller map, because late game is just too tedious. Emperor, and again, only wonder I was able to get is Colossus, so I will stick to it...

If you build all wonder that rise sciences rate of city, make that city as SC. 'Cause you got SETI, Newton's University and Copernicus' Observatory, you will get 150% rise to your sciences rate. University, library and Sciences Lab in the city and your got pretty good SC.

If the god would want human to fly, he would give us wings. --- Unknown
Because Colossus expires with flight I have put SETI often in another city, that has more commerce by tis time- not thinkable in civ2! I think what cripples SC most in Civ3 is that wonders and labs are now only cumulative, you can't get that enormous sum of "beakers".
Originally posted by SanPellegrino
Because Colossus expires with flight I have put SETI often in another city, that has more commerce by tis time- not thinkable in civ2! I think what cripples SC most in Civ3 is that wonders and labs are now only cumulative, you can't get that enormous sum of "beakers".

Wait, so what you're saying is that if two improvements give 50% bonus to science for a given city, it won't be equivalent to (1.5*normal)*1.5 = (1.5)^2*normal?

What will it be then? (1+0.5+0.5)*normal = 2*normal?

- Windwalker
yes, that's true.

e.g.: city produces 50 beakers + lib = 75, +uni = 100

the %bonus provided by science improvements or sci wonders counts only on the base beaker yield.
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