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Settling Great People

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

  1. Levgre

    Levgre King

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    A great scientist with representation in your science city gives 9(1 (+.25 + .25, .50 + 1) = 27 science after library, university, and oxford, along with 1 hammer, so I believe making it the most powerful settled GP. It takes much longer to get Wall Street, so beakers are the the bonus that can be maximized the most throughout the course of the game.
     
  2. 30+

    30+ Warlord

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    I prefer to Warmonger and believe bulbing is by far and away the best use of GP. Why? For me it's very simple, always be the first person to reach liberalism and use your superior tech to take over massive amounts of cities and land. Someone who bulbs will reach Liberalism and say, Cavalry, some 500-800 years earlier than someone who settles all their great people. If you happen to be playing epic or marathon the advantage is even greater.

    If you play for peaceful and longer games then settling might be better but if your games end around turn 240-260 then settling won't have enough time to make up the early differences and advantages gained by bulbing.

    But, that's my preference. There's just no way I'm settling and wasting scientist, besides my 1st academy initially, when I'm running a SE. Not to mention I need superior techs Now, over later to not only back fill, but to also sell and keep my research as high as possible.


    For every GS you settle you are losing this potential:

    Philosophy 8-16 (turns) x 25 (years): 400 year potential
    Paper 8-14 x 25: 350 year potential
    Education 8-11 (half) x 25/20 (era) 275 year potential

    At a modest average, someone settling GS would easily be 500-800 years behind Liberalism (sometimes over 1000 years). Also, in most cases, unless your philosophical, you won't have a single university completed before you have researched Liberalism. So what has bulbing givin us? Liberalism sooner. A free tech potentially worth 3000+ beakers. Superior unit advantage which can be used to take over a lot more land SOONER. Land conquested at an earlier date (love the exponential here too) gives us more hammers, science, gold etc than a settled great person strategy could offer. Additionally, we would have saved hammers while in the process of taking over new cities and land because our superior units via an early Liberalism/tech would be stronger, last longer, and not die as easily.
     
  3. Levgre

    Levgre King

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    sometimes settling is the better choice, and sometimes bulbing is the better choice. Bulbing will ALWAYS be the better choice if you plan your game around the winning through the liberalism bulb, which it seems may be the case for you. If that is always your strategy bulbing is always superior, but there are other strategies that can be carried quite successfully, and are in some situations superior.

    I often bulb just once to make sure I do get liberalism first, and then tech the rest of the way, so I still get liberalism, but my post-liberalism research rate is higher.

    Of course, if you play your game with the pre-set strategy to win via military victory shortly after liberalism, OF COURSE bulbing is going to be better because the game would end before the settled great person would reach beaker parity with the bulb. And the AI is quite exploitable to the liberalism bulb, and they do not notice or plan for you doing so, so for the majority games against AI the liberalism bulb is the path of least resistance for conquering.

    So the strategy rarely fails, but there are times and strategies where settling is superior to bulbing, most of those being when you don't plan a military victory (or large war positioning yourself for victory) shortly after liberalism.


    Although, you could also say it is sometimes much better to conquer before liberalism, because as you yourself stated, time has an exponential effect. So, if possible with difficulty + circumstances, ancient + medieval wars can be better war routes than liberalism bulb.
     
  4. 30+

    30+ Warlord

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    To be fair, settling does net you some raw beaker vs. raw beaker advantages. If both strategies settle their 1st GS as an academy around 1100 bc, then the 2nd GS comes around 600is BC, 3rd around 1 AD and 4th via COL around 400 AD, the settled strategy would have produced an additional 450-650 (including accumulative bonuses) raw beaker vs raw beaker comparison. That is equiv. to about 5 turns @ 25 years, or 125 years of saved research. That still puts the settling behind a lot if you take into account the 1000+ year potential in difference.

    If I have piss poor production in my surrounding lands I will aim for Space Race or Diplomatic Victory because settling would offer the safest route. So agreed times and places for different strategies, but in most cases it seems much better to me to use superior units to your advantage at the earliest possible date.
     
  5. CivCorpse

    CivCorpse Supreme Overlord of All

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    I used to think the same thing. Then i discovered Great Spies. A settled Great Spy gives 18 beakers per turn PLUS 12 :espionage: per turn. The espionage can be further increased to 36 per turn with buildings and Scotland Yard. With proper management you can steal techs for less commerce investment than it takes to research them.
     
  6. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    These are all excellent points and they STILL don't highlight everything ;). You also have to factor in the turns of actually getting oxford built sooner, having free speech/emancipation/US or other civics longer, etc etc. We've also left trades out of this so far. If getting a bulbed tech faster means trading it with more AIs, it further skews it in favor of bulbing. Trades are the greatest "beaker multiplier" in the game oftentimes.

    That doesn't mean bulbing is ALWAYS better of course (and bulbing is not as strong with other GP's as it is with scientists in terms of the actual bulb output), but it does reduce the amount you'd want to just settle.
     
  7. mirthadir

    mirthadir Emperor

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    1. Winning the lib race is not always possible. If you get stuck on a cotinent with Shaka and GK while WK, MM, and HC are co-religionists on another they WILL get to liberalism before you. Unless we are talking about something cheesy like Warlords quecha abuse, the :hammers: diverted into the certain early wars delay your expansion, your growth, and your outputs :)science: and GPP). Good luck winning lib on diety when you have an early war you have to fight.
    2. It is not always worth it. Take an obvious case, you are playing the Ottomans and are able to extort guilds from an AI when you dogpiled on. You now have a quick shot to gunpowder and Janissaries; it is worth sacrificing 3k :science: to get another dozen turns of Janis vs all the earlier garbage.
    3. The SSE cap with B/rep(PS)/SP/FR(OR), IW, and Oxford utterly owns the long term.

    Now most of us would agree that most of the time, bulbing beats settling (though I'm actually more from the Corps/Shrines > everything else school); but unless you are itend to exploit the same AI weakness every game; like the inability of the Warlords AI to defend itself or the BTS's AIs inability to handle raging barbs then there will be times that a player at their actual difficulty level will need to play for the long haul.
     
  8. RJM

    RJM Prince

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    The Civipedia says 3 beakers per turn. Is this another case of Civipedia error or are you allowing for civics and buildings?

    RJM
     
  9. ParadigmShifter

    ParadigmShifter Random Nonsense Generator

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    I think it's 3 (base) + 3 (representation) + 200% (library, academy, uni, oxford) = 18 even before obsservatories.
     
  10. RJM

    RJM Prince

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    That was my feeling as well. But of course if you assume this particular combination of civics and buildings, a settled great scientist is worth 27 bpt as was pointed out earlier in the thread.

    If you have built Oxford and switched to representation, you are already in the late middle game. If you have a great person in 400BC it may be nice to know that the settling option will eventually give 18 or 27 bpt, but the decision as to whether to settle, light-bulb or start a GA will not be greatly influenced by the impact many turns in the future. What to do with a Great Person in 400BC is a very different question from what to do with one in AD 1500.

    RJM
     
  11. CivCorpse

    CivCorpse Supreme Overlord of All

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    I was referring to that exact post that said a settled Great Scientist is the best settled GP. While it does produce 50% more beakers, the espionage points more that make up for it. The previous post refered to full bonuses from Representation with Oxford, Academy, Library, and University so I figured them into my equation as well.
    Early Representation is not always an option and Universities come a bit down the road when considering what to do with an early GS or GSpy.
     
  12. RJM

    RJM Prince

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    "More than make up for it" seems to be going a bit too far. Certainly it may be possible to use espionage points to steal technologies, but the additional research from a Great Scientist allows you to research the technologies that suit your strategy rather than relying on the AI's sometimes eccentric research paths.

    RJM
     
  13. 30+

    30+ Warlord

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    I forgot about that aspect ^^. Wow, that's huge right there. Just think how many more beakers per turn your entire empire would be pumping out with those bonuses....and for 500-800+ years or 25-40+ turns. You could have easily gained 5,000+ more beakers than a settled strategy just on a pure turn basis along with the other benefits that come with earlier techs (more land, earlier buildings, etc).
     
  14. noto2

    noto2 Emperor

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    So when you get realy GSs, you just let them sit there? You can't bulb them, unless you want to waste them on a tech that only costs 800-900 beakers anyway. Personally, when playing a philo leader, I like to beeline writing and run scientists right away. I get a GS by or before math and then another one soon after (I run them in multiple cities). At that point in the game my beaker output is so low that settling can boost my research by 10-20%. Plus at that point in the game an extra hammer is actually quite useful (often cities have 4-5 hammers or less). When it's super early game, I think bulbing would be a bit wasteful. I'm guessing you guys bank those GS until you can bulb them on more expensive techs, which means you need to factor that into your calculations. Each turn they're banked is a turn they aren't doing anything. Or maybe you just don't generate GS until later in the game - again, something that should be calculated. I agree that the benefit of settling diminishes very quickly, but in the very early game it often seems the best choice, at least to me.
     
  15. Levgre

    Levgre King

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    I disagree, knowing that the benefit keeps going up to scale with higher tech costs later has a great impact on deciding whether to settle.
    Also, AD 1500 is very, very late for Oxford. If you don't think you'll have it built until then, it is more likely better to skip the specialist, hence, the value of planning ahead.


    This statement works under several assumptions:

    1. At the point at which you bulb education, you will have enough strong production cities to build universities for Oxford straight away. This is not always the case. Sometimes it is better to build forges or other cheaper buildings first, or you just have to grow a bit, and it ends up being the case that bulbing education did NOT really get you Oxford any sooner. If you already have a burgeoning empire, then yes, in that case you'd want to bulb because you know you can get Oxford up straight away.

    2. Same applies with Universal Suffrage. It is not always the case that you want to switch to it so soon, because
    1. You may not have many towns
    2. You may not have enough happiness
    3. You may want to keep the higher research rate from representation.

    And the same applies to free speech. Bureaucracy can be better than Free Speech from an economical standpoint for a long time. But again, if you have a large empire rather than a small one, it is almost always the case that rushing to a benefit that applies to the WHOLE empire outweighs a static bonus of 27 beakers per turn(well, 18 probably since it seems you want to run US, which makes the settled GS even less appealing). That is the assumption that seems to be being worked upon here.
    If you are going for a cultural victory, then getting Liberalism faster is better. That's a different case.


    But, I will agree, the power of trading makes bulbing most often the superior choice because you bulb for essentially 3000+ beakers, not the normal 1500. The settled great scientist more often has viability if you know you will get enough great scientists that you will run out of good trade bulbs, or if you are in a different type of game, for example, isolated, tech trading off, etc.
     
  16. 30+

    30+ Warlord

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    To be honest, in a lot of games you have the game so handily in the bag that you don't even bother building Oxford or other buildings. You just keep making non stop troops and steam roll the competition by 1400-1700 (standard). If you had been settling all your GS then you would lose all those years to Liberalism/tech and not achieve such an early domination win.

    Sure, you had the time to build Oxford and other NW, wonders, and buildings, but you don't always need them. I play a lot of games that have nothing more than a Palace, NE, HE, and GT. Sure, I play a lot of games where I do get them, but once again, they aren't always needed if domination can be safely achieved at an earlier date without them.

    More reasons why I prefer bulbing over settling. I guess I'm biased, lol! :) I just prefer games where you win by conquest/domination. I'm not a big fan of Cultural, Space Race, or Diplomatic Victories because all a person has to do is build 6 cities, exercise good diplomacy, and click enter until you win (imo).

    I mean, seriously, lol! There is nothing more annoying than someone posting a game where they are DEAD last in score by some 3000-5000+ points behind the leader in some cases yet they win via culture/space/diplomacy. You then see they only have 6-8 cities (although you only need 6) while the 1st place guy has literally 20+cities with nearly half the map, yet.....the person in last place still wins. Blah! Sickening, lol :). I would imagine it gets rather boring hitting enter until you win after a while lol ^^.
     
  17. popejubal

    popejubal Emperor

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    ...and right here is an enormous clue into why so many people in the forums argue. Different people have different assumptions about what is "normal" and those assumptions drive our decisions on what to do with available resources.

    In a small empire, settled Great People have an extraordinary impact. In a large empire, they have a relatively small impact (exception: settled Great Engineers/Priests in a production powerhouse helping to build empire boosting wonders still have a big impact).

    Settled Great Scientists are astoundingly good when you have 3-5 in a well cottaged city with an Academy and Library. This is all possible well before you've even started your beeline to education and are still filling out your empire sustaining and expanding techs. Those Scientists on their own are the equivalent of two well developed cottage cities with pretty hefty :) caps. The great thing about it is that it will continue to be significant well into the middle and even end game because of the continuing improvements that come from extra buildings/wonders and because of the 3-5 hammers (plus % multipliers) that the scienists give.

    If you have 30 cities in your emprire, then settling Great People is foolish. If you have 1-6 cities (and expect to not have many more for the near future), then it's almost a no-brainer unless have several rivals that each have a tech or two that they will trade for whatever it is you are about to bulb.

    If you're already ahead, bulbing won't often do much. If you're very far behind, then a well placed bulb can vault you into tech mediocrity by letting you trade with lots of rivals. Most of the time, though, you'll end up bulbing a tech that you want and you'll get it 5-15 turns earlier than you would have, but you won't be in a position to take advantage of that new tech unless you had planned on the bulb for a while in advance.

    Is bulbing better? It certainly is if you're basing your strategy around well placed bulbs in a predetermined tech path that lends itself to that. Is settling better? It certainly is if you're headed in a tech direction that isn't supported by Scientist bulbs or if you're looking for sustained tech growth over a long period and you have a small-ish empire. Is an Academy best? Often, but only the first Academy gives you the enormous boost that people so desperately crave. After that, there are significantly diminished returns.

    Most of this arguing sounds to me to be a cow yelling, "The grass is green!" while a bird exclaims, "No! The sky is blue!" They're both right, but neither one invalidates the other's claim.

    Play the map.
     
  18. 30+

    30+ Warlord

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    @ pope

    A normal Philosophical leader will normally produce 4 (on average) GS by 400 AD (with COL). You would definitely already have started education by this time (or at least been on a beeline nearing it) and if you bulbed, could have easily researched Liberalism. This means you would have 1 academy and 3 settled GS.

    Cottaged cities (financial possibly higher than below) could easily have 2 cities working 12 tiles, 10 of which where cottages by this time. They would also have 1 GS settled as an academy by this point in the game as well. 10 (cottages) X 4 (commerce average) = 40c *.5 (academy)*.25 (library) = 75commerce ........going through a 70% slider = Over 50 beakers.

    The scientist alone would be 6x3=18*.5 (academy) *.25 (lib)= 33 beakers. Your settled GS by themselves wouldn't come anywhere close to being better than a single cottaged city, let alone 2. Even if you start multiplying the cottages they would have in conjunction with with the scientist you would be no where near the output of 2 cottage cities.

    Of course we are discussing SE (at least I am) where cottages aren't even necessary, just an added bonus.

    I agree with your overall idea though. It is very dependent on your goals. For my goals settling would be a waste.
     
  19. CivCorpse

    CivCorpse Supreme Overlord of All

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    Good point but you are assuming some very mature cottages. Most of which would need to be riverside to get a 4:commerce: average. An fully grown town is 4:commerce. Even if it is riverside you would need the all the others to be villages. A city would need two good food sources and be have been size 12 for quite a long time to work the food AND 10 cottages. This takes into account population lost due to whipping that must be regrown. A financial Civ may be able to get that sort of average that early but even then it is rough.

    Also the bonuses for academy and library are additive. You get 70:beakers: at 40:commerce: not 75. For a total of 49:beakers: @70% research. Your boost from the academy is 14 beakers. Rather than build a second academy if you had settled the second GS in the city with your first academy that settled GS produces 10.5:beakers WITHOUT representation. The key difference is that he ALWAYS produces atleast 10.5. Regardless of civic or slider. If you find yourself in an economic recovery from expanding through a war. Or if you need to use the culture slider to combat unhappiness. Or if you want to drop the slider a bit to amass gold for upgrades or cash buying. That settled GS is still producing 10.5:beakers: @30% while even though the second city you may have built an academy in is now producing 60 raw commerce is is only getting 9:beakers: extra from the academy.

    Persoanlly I feel Settling vs bulbing vs academy is situational. If you have the Mids for early Representation, then settling can be a no brainer.
    If you are not running a CE then Academies tend to lose their appeal for me because commerce tends to come from Empire-wide trade/specialists.
    Keep in mind that the AI may not be willing to trade the techs for one reason or another. Or even worse, may already have Philosophy (which seems to be the biggest trade bait).
    Or even worse may not have techs you want in return.
     
  20. 30+

    30+ Warlord

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    @ corpse

    Financial could easily average 4c per by 400 AD......if you remember my Incan game in a different post I had 5 cottages already bringing in 5c each by 600 BC with 11 population, almost 12 (with low food tiles too) at 275 BC. There would be 41 turns until you reach 400 AD (from 600 BC) which is more than enough time to grow your pop and grow your cottages enough to work 10 tiles with 4c average. You don't need riverside tiles. It only takes 30 turns to reach a village. If you had 12 pop at 250 BC it would only take 30 turns x 25 = 750 years to start working a cottage on a non-riverside tile to get 10 towns. That would put you at 500 AD. Of course, we already have some matured cottages earlier so wouldn't need to start 10 new cottages. The point is, it's not hard by any means to have size 12 cities with 10 workable cottages, not on river tiles, averaging 4c. As far as whipping, you don't whip cottage cities unless you have rediculous food surpluses which is not usually the case. Slow growing is normally better.

    Then it applies to both scenarios but the bottom line hasn't changed. There is still no way 4 settled GS are going to produce anywhere near the same amount 2 cottages cities, not even 1, by a long shot.


    You already know I am anti GW and Mids, and space race, diplomatic victory, or cultural (all easy routes imo). I don't run the mids even when using a SE so that scenario would never apply to me (unless I took over a Capital with them). Even if I had the Mids I would still only settle my 1st GS as an academy with the rest being bulbed to reach Liberalism sooner so I can exploit superior units for a longer time.
     

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