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Settling Great People

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Artichoker, Feb 4, 2009.

  1. Artichoker

    Artichoker Emperor

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    The title says it all...

    Looking at the timeline of a typical game, one may easily conclude that there is not a very big window to settle Great People and see that option compare favorably against other options, for several reasons:

    1) In the late game, settling is easily overshadowed by the power of corporations and golden ages. One Great Person can potentially equal the value of one corporation, or one golden age. At the same time, the future time available to a newly settled Great Person becomes smaller and smaller towards the late game.

    2) In the mid game, once Philosophy becomes available, bulbing Great People for beakers leaps to the forefront in terms of value. It's very hard to top this.


    The only window I see for efficiently settling Great People is the early game. But even then, there are also other alternatives such as building an Academy, Scotland Yard, or religious shrine. How do these early game options compete with each other, pre-Philosophy?
     
  2. madscientist

    madscientist RPC Supergenius

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    Alo depends on the game. Settling a Prophets fo 2 hammers and 5 gold all game is a big advantage especially if you have no holy city. Then again holding the Prophet until you take the holy city from your neighbor in another option, as is a golden age. Also the question of having pyramids for representation very early for the extra beakers of settled GPs is another issue. I will rarely save a GP for a future corp though.

    SO what I do with the first GP

    Scientist = Academy in the capital
    Prophet = Shrine or settle
    Artist = Culture bomb or Golden Age
    Engineer = Settle or a prized wonder
    Spy = Settle
    Mechant = trade mission unless isolated
     
  3. Ceedub

    Ceedub Chieftain

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    I'm kinda noob, but doesn't settling early GPs increase the rate at which you'll receive more GPs?

    Other posts here have lead me to believe that bulbing techs is the most efficient use of GPs, but I find my games more fun if I ignore bulbing as an option. I'm only playing on Noble though...
     
  4. Supr49er

    Supr49er 2011 Thunderfall Cup

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    Unfortunately, no.

    And, Welcome to the Forums. :beer:
     
  5. GinandTonic

    GinandTonic Saphire w/ Schweps + Lime

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    Since GAs increase in GP cost there is an incentive to save them and find an alternate use for a GP even in at this moment the benefit of a golden age would be greater. It's rather difficult to have more than three GP golden ages in a game. This is esp true given how US multiplies the impact of a GA.

    There are moments to settle artists though, generally when fighting over a resorce when everyone is having a religious love-in. When the GP farm is set to be wall st too it can make sense to settle merchants quite late - esp since that will generally only happen when you have a powerfull shrine with capital grade uber food (why else put them both in the same city) and therefore the econ is healthy enough not to really need cash.
     
  6. Artichoker

    Artichoker Emperor

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    I seriously doubt that overall assessment.

    True, having Universal Suffrage makes a Golden Age very powerful, but this is available only with Democracy or The Pyramids. On the other hand, the 1st and 2nd Great People are usually gained far before that opportunity becomes available.

    What you're overlooking here is that avoiding an early Golden Age is a virtue in itself because it keeps the cost of future Golden Ages low. For example, if I spend my first 3 Great People on Golden Ages, I will be able to generate two Golden Ages. On the other hand, if I'm happy with just one Golden Age, it will only cost me 1 Great Person to generate it. The 2 Great People that come before it will be available for other uses such as settling/bulbing.
     
  7. popejubal

    popejubal Emperor

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    If you have just a couple of cities, then settled Great People contribute an enormous amount as a percent of your total empire. When you are producing 30 hammers in all of your cities together, a single settled Great Engineer is a lot more impressive.

    When you have a zillion and a half cities, then what you do in any one city is a lot less important. That means settled Great People are less significant on Huge maps and a lot more significant on small maps or on OCC challenges.

    A settled Great Scientist is still less good (most of the time) than an Academy built in your best science producing city (especially if the culture boost would be helpful). A settled Great Priest is still less good than founding the shrine of a major religion (major = more than 5-10 cities with the religion) in your primary cash city.

    A Great Engineer will give you significantly more hammers over the long haul than an instant-built Wonder unless you are going to get a significant strategic advantage from that Wonder and you are pretty sure you won't get the wonder otherwise. A settled Great Engineer in your Heroic Epic city along with a settled Great General as an instructor will give you a big lead over someone who popped a Wonder and built a super-medic unit on duel, tiny, small and standard maps. The right Wonder and a well used super-unit that will last for a long time will often provide more utility on the biggest maps, though.

    One last thing to keep in mind is that Golden Ages are much more powerful when they occur later in the game. The only time I would consider triggering a Golden Age before Liberalism is if I am in a tight race for military technologies and production with a close neighbor whose empire I plan on consuming in the near future.
     
  8. popejubal

    popejubal Emperor

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    Regular specialists generate 3 Great People Points per turn.

    Settled Great People act as super-specialists, but they do not generate any Great People Points per turn. The best thing about settled Great People is that they can produce all that lovely food, production, science or cash without consuming any of a city's resources. They do not generate their own :mad: or :yuck: and they don't consume the 2 food per turn that a regular citizen does. Extra population in cities also increases the amount of food needed to hit the next population point and settled Great People don't impact that number either.

    Remember that you aren't comparing a settled Great Person to a regular citizen working as a Scientist, working a mine, etc. You also get a free :health:, a free :), and a free 2 :food:

    Bulbing a tech is a great option in the right circumstance. In a game where you aren't going to be trading techs with other civs, it's not worth nearly as much as other options will offer you. In the right game though, you can bulb Philosophy and then trade that Philosophy to each one of 4-8 different Civs and get 1 or maybe even 2 smaller techs in return. You might not be getting quite as much back as you are trading away in each case, but you are getting that payment from several AI civs, so the total return is amazing... in the right game.

    I was very pleased to trade away a bulbed Education in one game where I was racing toward Liberalism. I ended up losing the Liberalism race to a Civ who got Education from me, but it was well worth the exchange because I got a ton of backfill technology from other civs and I then used that local tech advantage to crush a couple of neighbors who were a little backwards at the time. I then used my much larger empire to eventually move past the current tech leaders and win the game. I would not have been able to defeat even my backwards neighbors without that big jackpot of tech trading and even if I had done so, my economy would have turned to rubbish if I did not have all of those additional economic tools available.

    The moral of the story? Bulbing 1 tech is not worthwhile (most of the time). Bulbing 1 tech and trading it for 1 tech is even worse (most of the time). Bulbing 1 tech and using that 1 tech to get 3-8+ other techs is awesome.
     
  9. futurehermit

    futurehermit Deity

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    As in all things civ, "it depends".

    The key is to know which option will give you the best outcome in terms of probability of winning the game.

    Bulbing toward a tech advantage and then using that tech advantage to stomp on a neighbour or three and then consolidating a large empire can be a winning tactic.

    However, as Obsolete has shown, settling a huge pile of great people, especially under representation, can give you excellent beaker/hammer/gold output and a super city. This can also be a winning strategy.

    I rarely find corporations to be a factor in the outcome of a game. However, in certain situations, they may be, so they are important to consider.

    If you have a large empire then in the late game golden ages can be incredibly powerful.

    Shrines are best when captured imo, but there are situations where building your own shrine can be very beneficial as well, especially if you can target the city as your future wall street site.

    It depends largely on the particular game situation you are in and what would be best in those circumstances for producing a desirable outcome.
     
  10. UncleJJ

    UncleJJ Deity

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    I agree with 1) in general and seldom settle a GP in the late game. The time for the payback is just too small and other uses are preferred as they give an instant substantial benefit.

    It is only GS that are really useful for lightbulbing on a strict beaker basis so point 2) is not really correct. Occassionally a GProphet can be used to lightbulb Theology in order to claim Christianity and a chance at the AP and hence determining the religion. Most other lightbulbs are not very efficient as they only give 1000 + 2 x pop beakers whereas a GS gives 50% more. Also a GSpy can't lightbulb but has the Infiltrate mission instead which might give enough EPs to steal a tech.

    Settling in the early game does give a much better return in the long term. Certainly in 1000 BC settling a GS can make a significant % increase in beakers and a useful extra hammer. Sometimes if my research slider is very low, due to a rush or REX, I'll settle my first GS and make an academy with my second.

    It seems to me that on emperor level very few techs are worth lightbulbing with a GS before Philosophy, Paper or Education, so if I get a GS and one of those techs is not available in the next 10 turns I'll settle the GS and use a later one for the lightbulb. Paper is a cheap tech to research but a lightbulb can be useful if you want a crack at building UoS, a 10 turn head start can be enough to ensure getting it - and the bonus beakers from the temples and monasteries make up for those "lost" in lightbulbing a tech worth less than the GS.
     
  11. GinandTonic

    GinandTonic Saphire w/ Schweps + Lime

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    That was exactly the point I made :confused:

    At the moment the greatest benefit may be to have a golden age, however since that will increase the cost of future golden ages (of which there are de facto a finite number and whose effects become far greater after US) the cost of burning a GA becomes far greater than the difference between settling the GP and starting a GA.
     
  12. Tephros

    Tephros Caffeine Junkie

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    Some specialists are better for settling, some are better for other uses, and of course it depends on various factors.

    In terms of yields, building or capturing the pyramids and running rep is going to heavily favor settling.

    Without rep, the base yields are:

    Prophet: 2:hammers:5:gold:
    Engineer: 3:hammers:3:science:
    Scientist: 1:hammers:6:science:
    Merchant: 1:food:6:gold:
    Spy: 3:science:12:espionage:
    Artist: 3:gold:12:culture:

    I use no more than 2 for golden ages, and try to have them later in the game except when I want to do multiple civic changes for a non-spiritual leader. Generally I settle before 1000 A.D.

    I consider food worth about the same as hammers, hammers worth double that of science, gold and espionage. Culture is hard to compare to the others, but I don't value a settled artist much unless it's a city that will be needed for a cultural victory.

    Aside from the artist on most games, the scientist seems the poorest to settle. Early on he's better for building an academy. And later on he's the most effective at bulbing.

    The merchant is slightly better than the scientist for settling. After the classical period it's a bit easier to get gold modifiers than science modifiers in terms of tech and hammers. Later game I use them for trade missions, which can yield almost as much gold as scientists do science from bulbing, or for founding a corporation.

    The engineer has good yields for settling, but is often better for wonders.

    The spy has the best yields for settling, IMO. Unless you're running EE (SY in commerce cities), the first one should be settled, and the next one should make SY in the settled espionage city. Infiltration would be for late game, recovering from an isolated start, or stealing multiple critical techs early in the game.

    The prophet is pretty variable. Founding a religion if I don't have one. Building a shrine. Sometimes I settle if my gold city is production poor or if other options, including golden age, are inappropriate in the short-term
     
  13. Artichoker

    Artichoker Emperor

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    Conditions have to be right, however, for the Academy to overtake the settled GS, as I see it. The extra hammer from the GS and the independence from the science slider make it a tough call in my games. But recently, I have found it quite common to gain more from settling the 1st GS than using it to build an Academy.

    This creates a problem especially when I want to use the 2nd GS on a Philosophy bulb...if I settle the 1st GS, then the Academy will have to wait. But if I burn the 1st GS on an Academy, it often doesn't give me as much as the settled GS in the short term.


    Having a GE in the early game is rare and usually happens because of building the Pyramids. I'm not worried at all about the GE. If settling it can make it more valuable than building the wonder of my choice, then more power to the GE!

    Like when being first to Engineering or Gunpowder can provide the path to a full victory by domination.

    Why would bulbing and trading for 1 tech be worse than simply bulbing, most of the time?

    Agreed.

    Also, bulbing and then trading can provide an additional tech advantage.

    The value of doing this, however, grows smaller as the game goes on because each settled Great Person will see a smaller and smaller timespan in the future during which they can provide bonus beakers/hammers/gold.

    Why rarely? With Railroad available before Scientific Method, it's possible to pick up Mining, Inc. rather early in the game. Combustion unlocks another corporation, Creative Constructions, which can be gained without SciMeth, IIRC.

    How often do we see situations where a domination victory is possible without getting SciMeth? In those cases, the extra production from the corps can be game-breaking. While other civs are struggling over the inflated costs of techs past SciMeth, you can trump that with the science bonuses of the Great Library and Monasteries and still have your corporations.



    I wasn't aware of the disparity in the beakers gained by bulbing a GS vs. other great people. I do find that I easily gain more from a Philosophy bulb than settling the GS, but if non-GS bulbs provide less, then it becomes a harder question for the non-GS types.


    But when you do this, it means you must wait until the 3rd GS to do a bulb. Are you willing to wait that long?

    I find that in most cases, I'm not willing to wait that long to do a Philosophy bulb. As you move up in difficulty levels, the AI get faster in their research. I've seen some Deity games where they use the 1st GS to bulb Philosophy, just for the trade value.

    Agree on waiting until Philosophy before bulbing.

    Sorry, I misread your post...I thought you meant saving GPs instead of saving GAs.
     
  14. Bostock

    Bostock King

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    You wouldn't consider using it to, say, switch out of the basic civics simultaneously into Bureau and OR (delayed until then due to e.g. a focus on building military) and repair a diplomatically bad state-religion choice, thus saving three empire-turns of food, hammers, and commerce?

    Once I did just that, and I never regretted it for the rest of the game.
     
  15. Ian Kognitow

    Ian Kognitow Deserter

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    Also, early golden ages can be great--particularly if going for culture victory--to build multiple wonders at the same time (for instance, having gone aesthetics-->literature, go for Parthenon, Statue of Zeus, and Great Library). And if you're Philosophical, already have the Parthenon, or running pacifism (and any combination of them) with the big boost to GPP during the Golden Age, it's quite possible that your main GP farm will produce a new great person by the time it's over.
     
  16. UncleJJ

    UncleJJ Deity

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    How do you gain from the Philosophy bulb? Do you mean running Pacifism? Well that is good as long as you also have a state religion and can accept the anarchy from switching. If I'm Spiritual then this is a good idea otherwise it depends on having a quiet time when I can reliably switch to Caste System and Pacifism without fear of getting smacked.


    If my economy has really crashed due to REX or a rush then getting 3 GS is not as difficult as getting to CoL to enable the Philosophy lightbulb :p
     
  17. 30+

    30+ Warlord

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    The only time I would settle a GP is if you will not have an immediately useful "bulb" for him, or no good choices at all. Most of my games are compeleted from 1600+ to 1800 AD. Say you get your first GS at 1000 BC (turn 80ish) and your average game is finished at 1750 AD (250ish) then you have 150 turns x 6 = less than 1000 research with a modest hammer advantage of 150. I would much rather have that immediate "bulb" some 2500 Years+ earlier to help me use an early advantage and leverage it into a stronger early or mid game position. Sure, Great people get building bonus multiplied to their contributions every turn and that number increases the more GP are settled, but, I would much rather have an immediate bulb giving me a stronger early game which of course exponentially increases my initial advantage gained from the early bulb.

    It is a necessary tech on the way to Liberalism that you will need to research regardless. By bulbing it you save 400+ years of research meaning you will complete Liberalism much sooner which allows you to have access to superior fighting units at a much much much earlier date. That gives you a 400+ year potential to fight your enemies with superior units which means more land, more cities, etc etc.

    Edit: I disagree with the guy wanting to settle a GE. I would always save a GE for a Wonder.
     
  18. Unconquered Sun

    Unconquered Sun Emperor

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    SoZ and GL are useless for cultural victory, Parthenon is doubtful. The optimal cultural victory doesn't rely on wonders at all (except maybe for Sistine in BtS). But see this for more info on cultural victory.
     
  19. ParadigmShifter

    ParadigmShifter Random Nonsense Generator

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    SoZ is OK because of its high culture value (+10 I think, may be +8 though). agree 100% with GLib being useless, if not harmful.
     
  20. Bleys

    Bleys Deity

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    I am a Golden Age junkie, so I will save GPeople for 100's of years, piling them up and building the MoM for late game Golden Age pushes (great for building an army, then building a Space Ship).

    If I am not PHI, about the only GPs I will settle early are the Prophet and the Spy. I try to push out as many GSs as I can, so I can both build Academies and bulb to Lib. I usually build Wonders with Engineers, even later in the game, and usually bulb with Merchants. Artists are always saved for Golden Ages, no matter what, even if I am SPI (there is ALWAYS a period in the game where the extra production is killer good).
     

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