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Settling on 2nd turn

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Tolian, Jul 16, 2009.

  1. Tolian

    Tolian Chieftain

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    Apologies if I have missed an FAQ or guide, I have read so much here and I still have questions.

    1) Can choosing not to settle on your first turn really make a difference?

    The GOTM and similar discussion threads on this site are really interesting to read, particularly the first-turn discussions which can go on forever. As I'm preparing to play on Monarch, I'm trying to get some of the more advanced concepts down.

    In the BOTM #20 pre-game discussion for example, one guy posted "I'll move 2N onto the plains hill for the 1 hammer bonus in the center". As I'm not an expert I still wonder if I know the fundamentals of the game, so this comment confused me and now I have some questions.

    2) The "+1 hammer bonus", what does that mean, or did I just misunderstand? Is this +1 hammer applied to the city square for being on a plains hill? I was under the assumption that the city tile always gives the same bonuses, regardless of the terrain it's founded on? Am I mistaken?

    3) Often you can't even see all the tiles your city would have if you settle one turn away so how are these people making these decisions? Do they have previous knowledge of the map or making educated guesses?

    4) How can I make a good judgement about what kind of city my capital should be? I know this question could go on for pages, but as a rule of thumb, can I just assume stuff like hills = production, rivers = commerce or something? I would like to be able to look at a starting area and UNDERSTAND what it means, right now it's still a bit grey.

    5) Settling on the second turn, are there any special mechanics I should be aware of, does the AI skip a turn too. Does the AI ever settle on the 2nd turn?

    6) I get a "Civ 4 has encountered an error and needs to close"... when trying to use the HOF mod to check out saves and learn something, is this a common bug? My system is normally pretty reliable. Is there a place I can find saves that don't require this mod?


    Thanks for your time.
     
  2. DaveMcW

    DaveMcW Deity

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    Settle in place and don't worry about it.

    Yes there are sometimes obscure advantages to moving, but the map generator is generally pretty smart about picking the best spot for you.
     
  3. Jet

    Jet No, no, please. Please.

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    1. the alg for the city tile yield is
    a. take the tile's yield. if the tile has a resource that you can see, include any bonus yield from that - just from the tile itself, not the version with an improvement.
    b. remove any "feature" (that is, forest, jungle, or flood plain)
    c. if you have the financial trait, add that bonus if applicable, just like for any other tile
    d. for each of food/production/commerce you get the greater of the tile's yield and 2/1/1.

    2. educated guess based mainly on the tiles that are already visible. but most map scripts use the same basic algorithm to fix up the fat cross around everyone's start position so that it has a certain amount of good stuff like food resources, fresh water, and forests. so they might also be educated by the knowledge of that algorithm.

    2 again. the assumptions you stated are good. as to deciding, you don't need to specialize the city until you have settled a few more cities. then you should look at all your cities and decide accordingly. also it depends what point in the game you're at and what you're trying to get from your empire as a whole at that point. example: when you have three cities your main goal might (for example) be to settle a bunch more cities and reach Currency before you go broke. in that example you might not need a ton of hammers, just enough for barb defense. so you might (very hypothetically) want to be working cottages instead of mines in your capital in that case.

    3. no special mechanics. the ai always settles in place, relying on how most map scripts (all the standard ones that come with the game) fix up all start locations to be decent.
     
  4. JBossch

    JBossch King

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    :lol: You have three question #2s.

    1) Yeah, it slows you down in the early game. On higher difficulties the AI starts with a huge advantage and you have no turns to waste digging yourself out of the hole. SO, if you burn a turn moving the settler, it better be worth it.

    2.1) Yes, you are mistaken. The center tile will have more than the usual 2F/1H/1C if the tile you settle on exceeds those numbers while unimproved and forest-less. The plains hill is 2H so the capital center then becomes 2F/2H/1C. Floodplains turn to desert when you settle on them, however, so no extra food. You can get extra food from settling on sugar I think.

    2.2) Educated guesses. Sometimes moving turns out to be a bad idea. I settle in place at least 90% of the time, maybe more. Always move your beginning warrior or scout before settling and in a way that reveals as much of the BFC as possible. Also, when you have a start covered in forests and there is maybe one unforested tile, you can bet it has a strategic resource on it like horses, copper, or iron.

    2.3) You are basically on track. A lot of riverside grasslands and floodplains for cottaging and/or some nice hills means it will be good with bureaucracy. A ton of food suggests a GP farm. Either way, food is the most important thing.

    3) Someone else will need to confirm but Im pretty sure the AI always settles in place.

    4) Dont know this one, sorry. I use the BUG mod.
     
  5. Tolian

    Tolian Chieftain

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    Thanks for the responses. Things are a little clearer now.
     
  6. Tolian

    Tolian Chieftain

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    As if it were meant to be, my first game armed with my new-found knowledge settles me right onto a plains hill tile.



    I have a question. It was mentioned that with lots of forests, that blank grassland tiles would indicate hidden resources. People are predicting the algorithm, so help me predict this. Is that grassland hill likely to be copper / iron, and are the other 2 grassland tiles likely to be horses?

    Also would anyone be actually tempted to move here? I'm Ragnar and I'm thinking moving down the river would actually be worth it?

    Anything else of note from this start? In my limited knowledge all I've determined is that:

    1) That's a lot of forests to chop
    2) I should explore south (I already moved my scout east though)
    3) As this is my first monarch game I don't want to 'waste' a turn so I will probably settle in place.
    4) That silver, what should my plans be for it, and what does it mean that I have some so close to me?

    Are there any important observations I should be making that I haven't?

    Almost forgot to mention that this is a standard sized Fractal map with default options.
     
  7. JBossch

    JBossch King

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    Iron, copper, or horses could appear on either the grassland or the plains tile. Keep in mind, they could be other stuff like coal or something down the road but I would bet you will get at least one of the first three. I would be most concerned about apparent lack of food.

    Pretty sure you will get the silver in your second border pop so dont stress if it is inconvenient to settle a city to grab it.
     
  8. SeptimusOctopus

    SeptimusOctopus Warlord

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    I don't know if I actually would move here, but I would be tempted. I hate when the map generator starts me off near a river, but not on it, as is the case here. The reason for that is if you settle in place you can't build a levee, but if you were next to the river you could. I'm sure my city placement could use some improvement, but I hate losing out on +1:hammers: for every river side tile.

    More to the point of your questions, the plains 1W of your scout could be horses or metal, but is likely neither, and I would assume the grasslands 1SE of your settler has a metal or horses on it. Of course these tiles could also have coal or aluminum. (oh sorry you're from the UK : aluminium)
     
  9. Bostock

    Bostock King

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    1) Pretty standard forest count for a Beyond the Sword starting location if you ask me
    2) Sure, why not :) On the other hand, it's kind of shameful to lose huts to your north -- on "your" turf -- to your neighbors. (By the way, I think Monarch is the first level where you get absolutely no level-based anti-animal bonuses, so you may be surprised at how often your scouts get eaten.)
    3) I occasionally will settle not-in-place for the sake of a plains hill, but hey, you're already on one!
    4) It means you're close to the tundra. :D Expect higher than normal distances of your cities from the capital, and thus higher than normal maintenance, due to your having to settle outwards in a <=180 degree arc this time around. On the other hand, tundra starts often get as their consolation prize tundra furs, marbleses, ironses, copperses, and... silvers!
     
  10. blitzkrieg1980

    blitzkrieg1980 Octobrist

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    Settle in place there. Extra 1:hammers: from plains hill along with 5 cottage worthy riverside tiles and a couple lakeside grasslands for farms. Looks to be a decent production-heavy bureaucracy capital. Especially if you pop a couple strat resources (which seems likely).
     
  11. Tolian

    Tolian Chieftain

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    Thanks for the great replies.
    @ JBossch: Completely forgot about food, I should have noticed that. I must have been distracted by the shiny silver.

    @ Septimus: I love the Levee's too, and I think given the situation about poor food, it's a compelling choice. It would also give me more space between all of that horrible snow to maybe get a city to the north that isn't crippled by tundra.

    @ Bostock: Nice tip about the animals thank you.

    @ Blitz: I think I'm going to go with your advice. The fact you've spelled out to me that it's a bureaucracy capital means I can go ahead and play the game now with some idea of what my starting position means.


    So really the choice is: Get +1 hammer bonus now, or move south and get a greater bonus from levees later on in the game. I will choose to settle in place, simply because by the time levees come around I might be dead anyway.
     
  12. 1889

    1889 Mayor of H-Marker Lake

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    I often turn the question around. Rather than ask myself if "should settle in place?" I ask "Is there any reason not to?" That way I can better focus on any problems that the site may actually pose to the development of my capitol city instead of chasing after what may only appear to be better locations.
     
  13. blitzkrieg1980

    blitzkrieg1980 Octobrist

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    Awesome way of putting it, 1889. That's a great way of thinking of it. Besides, if there is a better tile that close, your second city can benefit from it anyway.
     
  14. Pindrus

    Pindrus Warlord

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    I would guess that there is another food resource in one of the unknown tiles in your BFC. The map-generator tries to put at least 2 within the starting location's workable area and most often fails because of terrain restrictions or too many forests, and while you have a fair amount of forests there are plenty of open grassy tiles.

    This start it is a tough call for me whether to move or not, mostly comparing the more immediate benefit of having a 2:hammers: city-center plot versus the eventual ability to build a levee at the capitol. Since you can see all the 5 tiles you would lose by moving 1S and none of them contain food, you only have a chance of increasing the number of food resources in the BFC by moving. But you also risk losing a strategic resource and generally decent and improvable tiles (including one of the 2 hills currently visible in the initial BFC--the map generator always gives at least 3 hills in the initial BFC, so there should be one out there but you could be stuck with just 2 if you move).

    Besides the river vs. plains-hill debate, other considerations are whether you will be able to fit another productive city south of the tundra if you move the capitol south, and, because the north looks pretty inhospitable, moving south may lessen maintenance after expanding. IMO these are lesser concerns though.

    Actually, if settling in place, the silver won't be in the BFC until 3 border pops (could be a while!). But I agree that you shouldn't worry about that in thinking about placing your capitol. The tundra is just too bad to move in that direction. Much easier to just found another city if needed.

    City Center Tile Bonuses

    The standard city center tile is 2:food: 1:hammers: 1:commerce:. Each of these three can be changed by settling on certain resources/tiles, so let's take one at a time. This of course applies to all cities, not just capitols, though a bonus at the capitol often makes more of an impact.

    Food
    To get a food bonus, the city must be founded on flat grasslands, with one of the following resources:
    +1:food:: corn, wheat, rice, sugar, pigs

    My personal favorite is to found on sugar, as it otherwise stays unimproved until calendar and even then isn't much better than a biology-powered farm. Usually the other resources are much better improved outside the city center tile, though occasionally I'll have a situation where some seafood or something is only accessible by settling on another food resource, in which case it may be best to take the bonus and get the other resource in the BFC.

    Hammers
    To get a production bonus, the city must be founded on plains, with one of the following resources:
    +1 :hammers:: horses, ivory (why don't they call it "elephants?"), stone, marble, copper, iron, coal, aluminium.

    Additionally, the tile also can get +1:hammers: by being on a hill.

    So, a plains hill with one of the listed resources will actually be a 2:food: 3:hammers: 1:commerce: starting tile! Of course on a normal map script, ancient-era start, stone and marble are the only 2 visible resources that can appear on hills. This is quite rare and if you are the Incans in this situation you MUST then destroy the whole world with building nothing but a barracks and Quechuas (why use a conglomeration of ethnic groups/language as a Unique "Unit"? Seems somewhat demeaning to me... Same with Cossacks).

    These bonuses in a capitol are especially important for expansive and imperialistic leaders in getting out the initial workers/settlers respectively.

    Commerce
    I don't see this as often, but I think you can settle on either plains or grassland to get a commerce bonus with one of the following resources:
    +1:commerce:: Silks, Dyes, Wines (again, aren't they really "Grapes?"), and possibly furs, gold, silver, gems? Not as sure about this list.

    Anyhow, this is all off the top of my head, so I'm pretty sure that my lists aren't completely accurate, but hopefully it's some new (useful? perhaps hoping too much..) information.
     
  15. Pindrus

    Pindrus Warlord

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    Oh, and also to consider is "fog-gazing" to try and guess/determine tiles that are technically unknown, but due to how terrains merge and the ability to fly the camera can sometimes be deduced.

    I am not particularly gifted at this and haven't opened your save, but it looks like the river in the tile 2S1W of the settler may empty into an ocean (or lake). You wouldn't want a capitol 1-off from the coast as Ragnar would you? :cry: So yea, I would settle in place here too.
     
  16. JBossch

    JBossch King

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    I don't know about this. The only ones that aren't clearly forested are to the south, at least one of which appears to be a floodplain. Maybe a forested deer somewhere but I wouldn't hold my breath.
     
  17. Pindrus

    Pindrus Warlord

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    True, both of the open tiles (1SW, 2N1W) could have other resources. I believe the map generator's capitol-improvement algorithm counts 2 (or 3?) flood plains as a "food resource," so that could be the case here as well.

    p.s. Tolian, you are now obligated to decide where to settle and post a pic for us :p Quick! My lunch break is almost over!
     
  18. benfp

    benfp Chieftain

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    I play Marathon Speed and will sometimes not settle in place (at least one out of 10 starts, I'd say) for all the reasons named above. On Quick Speed, however, I wouldn't even think about it.

    A Quick Speed Turn is worth 5 Marathon Speed Turns IIRC. So I'd say speed should come into the thinking process.

    I've also noticed that sometimes your starting spot will be placed 3 tiles away from water, and on the third ring, you might have valuable resources - which means that if you settle a second city on that third ring bordering water, it will overlap your capital: something not really desirable imho.
    Considering how costly maintenance is, I'd rather have 5 non-overlapping cities with 3 ressources each (and preferably, two food resources) than 8 overlapping cities with 2 resources each. Then, when more cities are needed, there's always a potential target around ;-)
     
  19. blitzkrieg1980

    blitzkrieg1980 Octobrist

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    While movement is definitely affected by game speed, the map generator does a good job generally speaking. I've found that moving my capital 1 or 2 tiles may have gotten me some better tiles in the short run, but I've lost out on strategic resources many times. For example: I would have had a grassland iron tile in my capital's BFC, but I moved 1SE etc etc.

    Settle in place especially if you feel you've really gotten stiffed with resources. It usually means you will have multiple strategics within your BFC.
     
  20. bhavv

    bhavv Glorious World Dictator

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    You mean 2:food: 3:hammers: 1:commerce:.

    If moving on the first turn means building on a plains hill without losing any resources or freshwater, then you have to be silly not to do that :).

    Building on a stone or marble plains hill is highly desirable, as you will build up your first city and initial workers and settlers a lot lot faster.

    Here is an example start where you should move and settle one tile south on the Plains hill:

    Spoiler :


    The only problem is losing one plains hill for a coast, but you get more food and can workshop the bare plains instead or hope that a forest grows onto it.

    Wonderful start for Pericles who starts with Fishing + Hunting :)
     

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