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Settling Great People

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

  1. Bleys

    Bleys Deity

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    I am not a fan of settling Scientists at all, except in obsoletes WE/SSE economy, so dont get me wrong, but there is a minor flaw in the "math" here. Its actually a pretty common flaw that gets applied to a lot of things, not just this kind of equation.

    The flaw is that 6 beakers in 1000 BC are worth WAY more than 6 beakers in 1000 AD. Same goes for other things, like Hammers, Gold, Commerce, etc. Personally, for me, Scientists are Academies or Techs, and later, 1/3 of a Golden Age, heh, but there is some merit to the early beakers thing. Add a Library and Monastery and those 6 beakers are nice in those middle BCs.

    This is a key point. I personally like to get close to Lib with bulbs, and tech up through Chemistry, using those extra 400+ years to give me time to get a better tech. My "basic" strategy almost every game is to bulb Philo, Paper, half of Education, and tech up through Gunpowder and Chemistry while doing so. Fairly easy to get Steel from Lib, even at Emperor, and so strong. Cannons + Horse Archers can take most cities, heh.
     
  2. CivCorpse

    CivCorpse Supreme Overlord of All

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    I usually settle Great Prophets. As i am a Great wall-oholic. My first GP is usually a Great Spy. I used to settle him as soon as I got him. I have learned the error of my ways. There are a couple of reasons.

    One: When you settle the Great Spy, you must then decide who to focus your points against. Keeping them spread can help with the more passive espionage like demographics and such, but you don't accumulate enough vs one Leader to truly tech-rape them. Also some of the eventual tech laggers are wasted EP.
    Two: On Marathon you get 9000:espionage: for an infiltration. So I am guessing you get 3000 on normal and 4500 on Epic. Assuming you are running more scientists than spies (due to wanting to bulb Education, build an academy and only one spy specialist per city being available until Constitution) it could be quite a while before you see another Great spy for an academy. It takes 250 turns to generate 3000:espionage: with a settled great spy. That is half the game. And like beakers, early is better than late.

    Three: Infiltration immediately drops the cost of espionage an insane amount. On Emp difficulty I tend to have 100% + espionage ratios before the infiltration. Afterwards it is in the low 70's and sometimes even the 60's. So you have 3000:espionage: (or 4500 or 9000 depending on game speed) available to spend @ greatly reduced costs.
    Example: last game I used a Great Spy and stole Fuedalism, Machinery, Guilds, Engineering, Drama, Music and some cheap techs I didn't really want but he was out of goodies. And i had enough points left over to steal Gunpowder 10 turns later when he finished it. I even stepped down my beaker rate on liberalism so i could snag Chemistry.

    The only time I would consider settling a great Spy is if I started with stone and had the Mids for Rep. At that point 6:beakers 12:espionage: is just too big to pass up. Especially with a library and or monastaries. And maybe even an academy.

    Scotland Yards are for post-Constitution Great Spies. Depends on my mood or if I want a tech right then and there. If i have done an earlier infiltration, then a sceond infiltration will really drop the espionage cost. I can steal some pretty hefty techs late game with a second infiltration. Between the super low cost and the sudden jump, I can nab things like Industrialism, Genetics and other goodies.
    Espionage is unique in that the amount you invest in it vs how much your opponents invest in it affects your/their return on the investment. generating more beakers does not make your opponents beakers less valuable. It actually makes them MORE valuable because of the discount to the tech from someone already knowing it. Generating more gold than your opponent does not mean his/her upgrades/cash rushes cost more.

    On the subject of other GP's. It really is a matter of my needs at the time they pop up.
    GE's are for rushing wonders or for Mining Inc.
    GM's if i get a super early one I may bulb currency. If currency is close to being tradable/stealable I may save him for Banking and Merc. I definately save him for that if I have the Mids and am running Rep. Later in the game....trade mission for upgrading.
    GS, academy first bulbing until I get less return. Then GA's.
    GA's are for Golden ages. Except if i can Bulb music before anyone else researchs it. then i bulb music and use THAT GA for a Golden Age.
    GP's settle early, GA's later. MAYBE bulb Theology for christianity or 1/2 of Divine Right. Depending on my needs.
     
  3. noto2

    noto2 Emperor

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    Settling GP is definitely situational. Like others said, it's more powerful in a smaller empire, and usually not the best option late game. Some strategies, however, benefit a lot from settled GP. Cultural victory or even using culture to peacefully expand your empire. Even a space race victory can benefit from settled GP if you have decided to peacefully tech your way to space (using rep). Settling lots of GP in the early to mid game and using rep combined with a healthy number of cottages will allow you to tech faster than any other strategy. The settled GP will also help with hammers. By the time you are building spaceship parts you can start turning some towns into workshops. Also, those settled artists or any GP with the Sistine will allow you to steal many cities via culture. To be honest, settling GP can make for a very fun game, you really ought to try it.
     
  4. noto2

    noto2 Emperor

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    oh, and settling GP can make for some super specialized cities. If you have a shrine city and settle great prophets and great merchants in it, build the wallstreet. That one city alone can pay for your empire costs. Found a corporation in it for even more money. Or maybe you're playing a war game and most of your cities are hammer focused so spamming academies isn't too efficient. Fine then, make a super science city with the oxford and tons of settled great scientists. That one city alone could be generating as many beakers as another AI's entire empire. Or you can make a super EP city.
     
  5. mirthadir

    mirthadir Emperor

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    First off you are low balling the estimated return by not assuming rep; 50% better returns particularly on tech paths that cannot be efficienctly bulbed (e.g. Mil Trad) is pretty good of its own right. Secondly, while you blithely skip over the bonuses they are quite substantial: the potential gain with civics (B, FR), academy, libs, mons, obs, and unis means that you can actually recoup the :beakers: cost prior to lib. In particular; if you've dug yourself into too large of hole while fighting or REXing bulbing is inefficient as you won't have trade partners nor will you be able to quickly leverage military, wonder, or cultural advances. Likewise, while the :hammers: seem minor, do recall that they are enough to be 10 turns off a uni (or Oxford) in a highly cottaged B cap; which can easily mean a thousand :science: of its own right.

    This is not to say that bulbing, GAs, or corps/shrines aren't better uses of GP in many (and perhaps most) circumstances. However, the numbers just don't support blithely dimissing the long term advantage (you need a very high rate of return; which catch-up bulbs rarely give).
     
  6. monolith94

    monolith94 Warlord

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    I like to settle great merchants in my wealth city, and use caste system to run absurd amounts of merchants. These spawn further great merchants, who then increase the food supply… allowing me to run ever more merchant specialists.
     
  7. Ian Kognitow

    Ian Kognitow Deserter

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    The culture output of nearly all ancient wonders doubles after 1000 years, so SoZ is actually +20 and Great Library +16 - far from useless. Being able to get multiple ancient wonders in at least 2 of 3 culture cities (the third can be delivered Hermitage, great artists, and entertainment wonders) is a very effective strategy for culture victory. Combine with one of the culture-giving corps--and the added GPP from all those wonders will help generate an appropriate great person--and religion is hardly even necessary for culture victory.
     
  8. PhroX

    PhroX Emperor

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    Yeah, that's fun. The self propagating merchant farm :p

    I had one game where I was playing as random unrestricted leaders (normal size, Terra), and got Korea with one of the Philosophical leaders (Freddie I think, but I can't remember for sure). Seoul had 5 (!!!) food resources in it's BFC (3 seafood, riverside corn and grassland cows). I won the race to Buhddism, and spread it like mad. Got a temple early, ran a priest till I got a Prophet, then built the shrine and ran more priests. Settled every prophet from then on. When I got to Currency and a market, I switched two over to merchants (two more with guilds) and, barring one I kept for Sushi, I settled all the GMs. (I could've gone for caste for all merchants, but I had plenty of priest slots, and GPs are nearly as good as GMs :gold:-wise, so I decided to stay in slavery) A quick switch over to scientists early on for an academy in my science city, and engineers in the industrial era to get Mining Inc were the only deviation from solid priests and merchants. By the end of the game, I was running something like 7 merchants and a similar number of priests, plus about 13 settled GPs and 10 GMs, a shrine with ~40 cities and two corps with a total of about 50 cities between them (and one had the event which boosts it). The city was bringing in over 1200gpt :lol:
     
  9. monolith94

    monolith94 Warlord

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    Man you should've screenshot that! I play on vanilla still, so I'm not as able to exploit the mechanic as much, but it's still fun.
     
  10. ParadigmShifter

    ParadigmShifter Random Nonsense Generator

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    Big problem with GLib is the amount of unwanted scientists it produces. 1 is good (academy), 2 is OK (bulb philo or half of education), 3 is pushing it (do the other bulb or golden age).

    Any non Great Artist is 4000 more culture needed on normal speed.
     
  11. Artichoker

    Artichoker Emperor

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    There are 3 virtues of the Philosophy bulb:

    1) tech trading power

    2) progress toward Liberalism

    3) access to Pacifism


    I consider 1) the most important on Immortal level. Looking at some of the Deity games on this forum, the value of Philosophy for tech trading seems to go up even higher on that level.

    From my experience, being able to trade for Feudalism and/or Machinery can easily give me a winning military advantage that I can use for medieval warfare, given the presence of either Copper, Iron, or Ivory (one of the 3).


    I actually agree with you on the value of settled Great Scientists during a specific window of time during the early game, but I myself wouldn't go further than settling 1 GS.

    I think you might be underestimating the power of a well-timed Philosophy bulb. On the right map, it can potentially lead to a winning advantage in military techs.
     
  12. UncleJJ

    UncleJJ Deity

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    I can't think what could possibly have given you that impression, nothing I've ever written has played down the advantages of Philosophy. But I am against trading it away before Liberalism is in the bag even for a military tech. With Philosophy, I would usually tech to Liberalism, Nationhood and Gunpowder and attack with drafted units rather than Medieval units.

    Besides that, you missed an important reason to lightbulb and get Philosophy first and that is to build Angkor Wat, which can be a valuable wonder with stone if you need a late game prophet.

    Another reason might be if you are Spiritual and don't yet have a religion, then Taoism can be useful (think Monte isolated start, or now alone after overunning Ghandi).
     
  13. 30+

    30+ Warlord

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    Don't forget the 2 most important things why it's better to bulb then to settle on the whole.

    Back fill techs and superior units at an earlier date.

    It doesn't matter how many fantastic and "shiny" wonders or modifying buildings a person has......someone who settles all their GP will not be able to compete with someone bubling. They won't have the immediate tech to trade with and they will reach Liberalism or the superior tech much later.
     
  14. noto2

    noto2 Emperor

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    Nah. Bulbing can often be very advantageous, but not always so. In the late game, running a GA can often net you more beakers than a bulb (with hammers added to it) and anarchy free civics switches, but we're talking about settling.
    Settling vs. bulbing. In the early game, techs aren't worth many beakers, so bulbing might actually be giving you less than 1000 beakers (no overflow granted). Also, civ has some powerful catch up mechanisms for the AI. When you get a tech lead it is difficult to maintain. Civs get a discount to their research when you already know the tech they're researching. Also, they get bonuses to trading with each other so they get tech trade happy.
    I agree that bulbing certain techs at strategic moments can be very advantageous but I wouldn't say it's better most of the time. Bulbing ahead in tech will give you a temporary lead and usually the AI will catch up relatively quickly. It is worthwhile doing to get a quick military edge and go conquer lots of land, or to get to a tech first if you really want an important wonder released by that tech, or perhaps to get to lib first, etc. However, due to the game's catch up mechanisms, a Civ choosing to settle its GP will catch up to a bulbing Civ and then out produce them. Also, don't forget in the early game a settled super specialist can make an enormous difference in output. Not only that, but by specializing your cities you can make settled specialists extremely profitable, with the use of national wonders, for example. So unless there is a clear strategic reason to bulb and get a tech first, I wouldn't necessarily recommend doing it.
    It also depends on your game strategy. If you're going to be a warmonger and build lots of hammer heavy cities, creating a super science city or super money city with settled specialists might be a good idea. If you're going to cottage spam and want to get to US and FS as fast as possible, sure, bulbing might be a better idea. Or building academies. See? It all depends...
     
  15. Ian Kognitow

    Ian Kognitow Deserter

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    If I already have great library and academy, I'm usually not under big threat not to get philosophy and liberalism first so I would typically settle a second Great Scientist for better long-term gain.
    Also, a second (and even third) academy can be very good to have. They can give a big beaker boost to cities that may otherwise be prioritizing other specialists. Even without the beaker bonus they provide +4 culture--again, good for culture victories.
     
  16. ParadigmShifter

    ParadigmShifter Random Nonsense Generator

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    Still, -4000 culture is a lot.
     
  17. CivCorpse

    CivCorpse Supreme Overlord of All

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    Assuming the AI doesn't already have the tech you can bulb. Or the techs you want are ones they are not willing to trade.
     
  18. mirthadir

    mirthadir Emperor

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    Actually there are 5:

    4. Religion - A quick Philo bulb can net you an extremely useful religion when the only AIs on your side of the world are all war mongers or otherwise lacking in religion. Not to mention that having access to another religion can mean gold (from shrine) and happiness (either from no religion or from FR).
    5. Ankor Wat. Good culture, stone wonder. This also allows you to spam priests (needed if you have unshrined cities from early conquests) and more importantly increases the late term strength of the SE without having to run mass spies.

    Bull. Bulbing is almost useless if you are alone with Toko or Shaka; backfilling while extremely powerful is also limited to AIs who are willing to trade. Without the ability to quickly leverage your bulbed tech; you do lose out by not settling (particularly with early Mids rep).

    At a certain point it becomes unprofitable to win the Lib race. If guys like MM, HC, and WK are half a world away and you have pressing needs for defense at home (as the lib path is notably short on military techs for a long time); lib is a lost cause. Accept that and use your GP to the best benefit. This may mean multiple academies, this may mean settling, but if you are in a position where pre-lib war requires you to forego winning lib (e.g. you need to self research machinery or engineering) then win your war.
     
  19. UncleJJ

    UncleJJ Deity

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    I made these exact same points, a few posts before you. Your points are made more clearly though ... ;)
     
  20. Jazzmail

    Jazzmail King

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    Currently I'm settling nearly all my GPs in my wonderspam capital.

    Every hammer counts and the hammers on the prophets and engineers get boosted.
    It's also the best place for oxford and an academy, so my scientists settle there aswell. Mechants for the food bonus.

    Only the artists are not very good when settled. Artists are not very good period.
     

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