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Single focus vs diversity

Discussion in 'CivRev - General Discussions' started by Heretiv, Nov 12, 2010.

  1. Heretiv

    Heretiv Chieftain

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2010
    Messages:
    274
    Location:
    UK
    Ok, i dont expect a simple answer.

    At the start, it is commonly suggested the best thing to do is put all to production and get 2 warriors in 5 turns. This means 5 turns of no tech.

    Then afterwards, if you have say 2 sea tiles, you can grab +4 science a turn from your capital. Hopefully you explore and get 100 cash somehow, then your settling problems are solved for a 2nd city at least.

    But....
    Surely in some cases it is smarter to go a little more balanced?
    To grab some food and science at the same time?
    Then your capital will grow to 3 and 4 and maybe then keep good science rate and have growth or production.

    Also then with subsequent cities the same thing recurs.

    I had a look and I couldnt see anything called 'basic city management guide'.

    On a wider scale, when people suggest you tech rush, I find it very dangerous to do that to the exclusion of all other growth and production. So, what is the kind of balance that works for people?
     
  2. elthrasher

    elthrasher Revcaster

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2009
    Messages:
    712
    A 2 pop city working a plain sea tile (not fish or whale) and a grasslands isn't very efficient. In the early game if you want to grow your city, I suggest you go all food until you reach whatever population you're trying to get to. If you put both workers on grass, you will reach 3 population in just 5 turns. Then you can put all three on sea tiles and earn 30 beakers over the next 5 turns. If you go one-and-one, it takes you 10 turns to grow and you'll only earn 20 beakers in that time.

    It's really best to focus small cities to a single task. When they get larger, then it's okay to generalize more. Citizens in CivRev only eat when they want to reproduce, so if you aren't trying to reach a new population level, there's really no reason to work food at all. It's generally more efficient to expand horizontally instead of vertically, meaning expand a lot as opposed to growing a few cities. Small cities recover population faster and are better for expansion. When I have a specific task in mind, I'll often settle cities with no plan to ever grow them at all, for example in the German strategy thread I recommend settling a 3 pop city on 3 trees and just working the trees for an ideal warrior pump. I may also drop several trade cities on coastal spots and just have them work sea tiles. Great if there's fish or whale available to grow the city, but if not it's not that big a deal.

    Look at it this way: let's say I want to place a trade city. I could go 2 trade and 1 food tiles. The city will require 30 food to grow, so it takes 15 turns. In that time I'll make 60 trade. Or I could just go all trade and get 90 trade. If had grown the city, I could now put all 4 workers on the sea and be doing 12 trade per turn. It'll take another 15 turns just to break even with what I would have gotten without growing. After that: profit. But I may profit more by getting that trade earlier.

    There are times that bigger cities can be useful. No reason not to take a double-whale spot when you are playing Spain. If you are playing Egypt and start with the Colossus of Rhodes wonder, you'll want Thebes to be as large as possible (fortunately Egypt can tech and grow at the same time with deserts). Often Greek players want to grow Athens a lot to make optimal use of the free courthouse. A late-game production city can be very efficient for producing wonders or especially building the World Bank. The ideal is to have a bunch of smaller cities and 1-2 big production towns. But of course it all depends on the strategy.

    My conclusion has been that growing a city is really the least efficient thing you can do most of the time. Pretty much anything else can be sped along. You can tech faster by getting more cities out faster. You can produce faster with gold. Growth helps later, but hurts now. In this game speed is very important. Later-era units will absolutely crush the obsolete units your enemies can field. First-to-research bonuses are huge in this game.

    That may be a lot to absorb, so let me boil it down to this: your citizen allocation should match your goals. A typical opening might be something like...

    1st goal: get warriors out - 2 workers on trees
    2nd goal: grow to 3 pop - 2 workers on grass
    3rd goal: research bronze working - 3 workers on sea
    4th goal: produce settler - 2 on trees, 1 on grass (the guy on food will keep your pop from dropping all the way down to 1 when your settler is finished)
    5th goal: grow back to 3 pop - 2 on grass
    6th goal: research alphabet, writing, code of laws and switch to Republic - 3 on sea
    7th goal: produce settlers - 2 on trees, 1 on grass

    At this point you're going to have something like 5-7 cities and can start tearing up the tech tree or producing lots of legions or whatever. It's still not bad to specialize your empire to an important task. Maybe Irrigation still hasn't been earned. If you can pop that and get the +1 population bonus, that will help you greatly. Growing 7 cities for free is a nice boost. Or you might want to grab the Literacy or Currency bonus for free science or extra gold. You may want to have every city produce a settler to balloon your empire up to a nice 10-14 cities, which will really put you in the driver's seat in most games. You could have most of your cities produce legions or catapults and leave a couple as settler pumps. You could have most of them do science and expand out of a couple.

    The math is always pretty simple in this game so if you really want to optimize your gameplay, use it to your advantage.
     
  3. Heretiv

    Heretiv Chieftain

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2010
    Messages:
    274
    Location:
    UK
    perfect.

    thank you.

    I will try to play out your suggestions a few times
     
  4. Terrapin

    Terrapin Chieftain

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2003
    Messages:
    505
    ET, I agree with your analysis with respect to a size 2 city. But later, splitting your efforts among food, science and production makes more sense. For one thing, you city cannot have 3 sea, 3 forest and 3 grass around it (only 8 workable spaces). For that matter, you often only have 2 of each and I have never seen a spot where a city gets 3-3-2 in any combination. Usually, you get an abundance (4+) of one terrain (usually sea) and/or 1 or more hills, plains or desert. Also, the reason that it is so important to have both initial workers on one type of terrain early is because this halves the time it takes to complete your project. With pop 3, the difference between 2 and 3 on one type of tile is 50% and it keeps decreasing in that way.
     
  5. ericball

    ericball Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2009
    Messages:
    121
    Location:
    Markham, Ontario
    The way I finally got it is to realize that it's a matter of timing. Whether my capital works 2 forests for 5 turns then 2 sea for 5 turns versus 1 forest and 1 sea for 10 turns, at the end of it I end up with 10 production and 10 trade. However, doing production first means I get those two warriors at turns 3 & 5 rather than turns 5 & 10, which means those warriors will have covered more tiles at turn 10 and had more chances to find stuff. (Or on the flip-side, focusing on gold or science might get me a bonus.)

    On growing cities: the amount of food required to grow a city is proportional to it's current size. So to grow a 4 pop city to 5 requires twice as much food as to grow a 2 pop city to 3. Thus a smaller city will recover faster from making a settler than a large city. Plus a new city will use 2 tiles in ancient, 3 tiles in medieval and so on (+1 for Chinese). So in Medieval with Republic each settler expands your empire by 2 titles.

    The only advantage big cities have is leveraging buildings and settled GPs.
     

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