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Slavery good? Wonderbuilding bad? Confused!

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by o1derfull1, Jul 21, 2010.

  1. o1derfull1

    o1derfull1 Libertarian Elitist

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    Ok, I guess I'm a noob :(

    I played Civ I-III like it was my job. I picked up CivIV + Warlords when it first came out but didnt play it much. About three months ago I reinstalled it and got back into the swing of things.

    I figured out early expansion is bad, religion can be very useful, and that windmills might actually be a good improvement to build on hills.

    But in browsing these forums I came across the "things I used to think as a noob" and came across a couple posts that I STILL agree with. Ergo, I must still be a noob.

    I'd appreciate it if anyone could explain to me the benefits of the following:

    1) Using the slavery civic once you've discovered serfdom (building improvements faster = quicker city growth, more wealth, and better production, which outweighs having a barracks built in 1 turn instead of 6)

    2) Not building every wonder possible (they either benefit you greatly like the great wall, or they stop they AI from getting benefits that would annoy you like Chichen Itza)

    3) Not building every building possible in every city (with the exception of multiple power plants and walls once gunpower is discovered. Shouldnt every city have a barracks just in case you need to rush build a unit over THERE instead of over HERE... shouldnt all cities have a theatre for happiness and a market for increased revenue? why would you NOT build buildings that do nothing but improve your cities?)

    3) Not settling GP in cities as superspecialists (Once I pass 4 GP all future ones get settled. the first four go to starting a golden age, building an Academy, building a Shrine)

    4) Cottage Spamming (I generally build at most 2 cottages per city, depending on the size of workable land tiles in its BFC, any more than that and I find my cities suffer in size or production)

    5) Maximizing food production and city size (I tend to aim for cities with a size of 26. This allows me to have every tile worked plus 7 'free spots' for 3 engineer specialists and 4 merchant specialists the only ones really worth having)

    6) Building Artillery (I tend to wait until the modern era to conduct major wars and prefer Bombers to Artillery, in fact, I have yet to produce one artillery unit in any of my games and rely exclusively on battleships and bombers to soften city defense and units)

    If it's relavent, I play Warlords, on huge maps, on marathon speed, with 8-12 opponents on Prince/Monarch with only conquest/domination victories enabled.

    Thanks for any advice/input! :)
     
  2. kaltorak

    kaltorak Emperor

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    Of course having the wonder is not bad. The question is, could you improve better doing other stuff? For example, in the time you build 2 wonders you could do an army to capture cities with even more wonders. Or in the time you build a wonder that you wont benefit from, like for example chiken itza if you are not attacked, you could do a library and put scientists to work and generate a great scientist...
    More or less the same answer. Buildings won't harm you, but you can invest the time in something better. If a city is good at commerce and a city is good a production, use the time of building a bank in the production city doing units, and the time of doing units in the cmomerce city doing a bank, or wealth
    Cottages are very good. And easy. I think a cottage economy is the easiest. But instead of building 2 in each city, specialice your cities. Use those 2 tiles in production cities for food and hammers, and use that city for units. And do a city full of cottages and build all commerce/science buildings there
     
  3. kaltorak

    kaltorak Emperor

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    About your first question, slavery is very powerful, you can build a lot of things faster, not only barraks. THe more food you have the more powerful too.
    About Serfdom, I don't use it. I guess it can be great in a specific moments where you have to upgrade a lot of land fast. But it doesn't only compete against slavery, but also Caste System , which I always get sooner than Serfdom. Caste System lets you have unlimited artists, scientists and merchants, which is good.
     
  4. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    Serfdom is awful for ancient starts. By the time you can access serfdom, you should already have enough workers to cover your land anyway. Non-spiritual eats anarchy too. If you do not need slavery for production, caste for GPP is superior by far.
    Opportunity cost.

    Opportunity cost. You can be building something else that gives more benefit. In many cases, even something like wealth soundly beats building a market when the city has tons of :hammers: but almost no :commerce:.

    Opportunity cost.

    Clump your cottages into a couple cities, which then build multipliers for commerce. You don't need to put them everywhere - that is actually a beginner mistake.

    Maximizing output sooner, as in when the game outcome is still in doubt, gives you better returns.

    It's just preference. Massed CR II arty dominates most defenders until mech infantry or so however so it's definitely viable.
     
  5. Iranon

    Iranon Deity Whipping Boy

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    1) By the time you have access to serfdom, you should have enough workers that you don't need it. Until city size 10, slavery tends to be ever so slightly more efficient than regular production; what's more important is that it allows you to have decent production at any place that's worth settling in the first place, even if no decent production tiles are around.

    2) Wonders have their uses, but in general the most basic things have the best return on your hammers (notably: workers, settlers, granaries). On high levels, it can be tricky to snag a lot of wonders while also expanding adequately.
    Wonders will usually slow down good players' progress rather than help it, but they can be worth building anyway: An AI on another continent who manages to snag all wonders can sometimes run away with the game and become very difficult to stop.

    3) I tend towards that for the non-military buildings, following a reasoning of 'everything else is better run through all the multipliers so production comes first'. Sometimes you have something more urgent to do though - for example: Create a Great Person and spend it on a monopoly tech to trade around; if you wait you risk the AIs researching and trading it around themselves and lose 1000s worth of beakers.

    3) I like super specialists myself, but sometimes you need the immediate returns - see the example above.

    4) Viable but not essential. I'll happily cover the world in cottages/windmills and rushbuy everything rather than producing things directly. In other games, I'll build cottages in my capital under Bureaucracy and hardly anywhere else.

    5) Tight placement allows you to cram more cities into your empire and abuse per-city-bonuses. With free specialists, religion, trade routes and corporations that can be quite a lot. Huge cities and 1-tile-work camps work as well as many moderate-sized cities though. Generally the dilemma is: waste hammers on duplicate multipliers (many small cities) or waste hammers on cap raisers that don't do anything else (large cities) ?.

    6) My games are usually decided before modern warfare, and if not my tech path can be all over the place. I've cleaned up with Artillery supported by Riflemen, and I've relied on tanks and bombers without building a single artillery.
     
  6. ParadigmShifter

    ParadigmShifter Random Nonsense Generator

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    Disabling space victories with the warlords expansion means you can probably get away with anything.
     
  7. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    Yeah, death by conquest or space were pretty much the only ways to lose pre-BTS.

    In warlords a big AI capping everyone is still a UN threat though.
     
  8. ParadigmShifter

    ParadigmShifter Random Nonsense Generator

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    Not if you only have conquest and domination enabled ;)
     
  9. Absolute Zero

    Absolute Zero Settler

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    Because in some cities, it can be a waste of hammers. For example, why would you build a library in a city that is only producing 2 research? Or build a forge in a city that is producing 1 :hammers:?

    One of the biggest problems with trying to build all the buildings possible in each city (I used to try to do this, too) is that it causes you to neglect military, lowering your power rating, and making it more likely that an AI will declare war on you.
     
  10. *Svart*

    *Svart* Icecream Vendor

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    serfdom is a dull civic btw. Why should i refuse some good stuff like whippin my citzens or have unlimited specialists and extra hammers for faster workers? I prefer to build MORE workers :p

    And building all the wonders? No way, first, it is impossible on higher difficult, second, why should i build everything when i can CAPTURE the wonders? Same stuff for build everything, why should i build a library in a uber hammer city with only one of commerce? for 1/2 beacker? No way. Or maybe i should build a forge in a river commerce city with an hammer of production? No.

    They key is city specialisation, if all of your cities produce average commerce, average hammer, average food... your cities are versatile, but you should build all everything,
    E.G. You have 2 cities.
    in the first case you have 2 city with 5 commerce and 5 hammers. So you should build (simplifying) a forge and a library in both of them to get a total of 12,5 hammers and 12,5 commerce.
    In the second case you have to SPECIALIZED cities, one with 10 hammers and 0 commerce, the other with 10 commerce. So you need only ONE forge in the production city and only ONE library in the commerce city to get the same amount of hammers and commerce :)
    That's the real deal, same result with less buildings.
    this was an ideal example, but if you try to specialize, all we'll be far more easy.
     
  11. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    Serfdom is really only viable in starts where it is available right away. As part of other civic swaps, it can allow you to chop + set more tile improvements ASAP. Complete trash for ancient starts, but OK later for those mid-late era tech starts.

    Even the AI knows better, and that's saying a lot.
     
  12. o1derfull1

    o1derfull1 Libertarian Elitist

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    Wow! :) So many replies to quickly! Thanks for all the input guys! Much obliged!

    In an effort to keep this short and sweet I'll just list my 2 major hangups to the responses given so far.

    First, I still dont get GP. What ELSE do you do with them other than settle once you've had your golden age and built your Shrine/Academy? I mean is it really better to have a merchant make a trade route rather than settling him? Or to have a scientist bulb a tech that you cant choose, dont need and would take only a few turns to research later on if you can't trade for it? Or have an engineer hurry the production of that drydock when you're not in a war and dont need naval units ASAP?

    Second, slavery and/or caste system. Right around when I get serfdom is when I have most of the cities I'm going to build, built already. My early workers have connected the resources available and I've built a farm or two in each city to aid growth. At this point I'm opperating with about 2-3 workers per city and to take each city from where it is to where I want it to be when its done growing I have to improve say, 12 tiles at least in almost every city, not counting roads. With two workers per city, no Hagia Sofia (or whatever tech boosts worker speed by the same amount later) it can take me something ridiculous like 10 turns to build a mine or plantation. on one square. That means to improve all 12 remaining tiles would take at LEAST 120 turns, and its usually much longer given that I need to build roads on all those tiles too andworkers lose a turn going into unroaded forests and hills. Doesnt it make sense to cut the time to 90 turns? so my cities have more farms sooner so they grow more quickly?

    People have said this about the other options:

    But how many things? And at what opportunity cost? At a certain point, and fairly quickly, that +1unhappy per rush would limit city growth especially in the <10 size cities I have when slavery is available. So I get a barracks a temple and a libarary right away, but have to wait 32 turns to have my now level 5 city grow again and lose the unhappiness all the while I'm stuck with LESS production now because I have fewer citizens overall, AND possibly fewer citizens working due to unhappiness. The only time I see a whip rush as worth it is if you know an AI is about to build a wonder you really want before you can.

    Perhaps this is beneficial to other play styles and scenarios but as I mentioned I generally cap out my cities at 26 or 27 size which lets me have 3 engineers and 4 merchants in each city, which are really the only ones worth using IMHO. I dont do culture victories so artists are a total waste. Scientists may be benefical early on, but usually by the time my city is > than 20 pop (when I start having multiple specialists in my cities) I'm in the industrial or modern era, with a comfortable tech lead on the AI and my science slider at 90 or 100% so having 3 extra beakers in any but my science city isn't all that overwhelming.

    .
    I get non spiritual causing downtime in anarchy. Unless I'm in an early war, or far behind the AI in expansion or tech, I dont bother with slavery at all. So I dont have double anarchy going to slavery then going to serfdom. usually I just wait and jump straight to serfdom. Define 'enough workers'. Maybe that's where the disconnect is. I have 2-3 workers per city usually. Is this alot or a little or exactly what you meant by enough. To me, 2 workers per city is NOT enough without serfdom because they take too long to improve things. MORE than 3 workers per city is 'too much' to me because of all the time my cities would spend not growing while they build multiple workers.

    I build mines/windmills, forges, or chop for decent early production. Later on in the game I've converted to US and buy rush jobs for my low production cities.

    Early on, when slavery comes about, to me city growth > quick builds (unless there's an emergency like a DoW). Not only do faster workers help a city grow quicker by building farms faster, they also DONT hamper a cities growth by lowering its pop and cuasing unhappiness. And early on, when you'd be using caste, how beneficial is unlimited specialists when again your city is still growing and you need all your peeps working in the BFC generating food AND 4 hammers on grassyhills or food AND 3 hammers on watermills, rather than idle engineer leaches giving you no food (which slows growth) and ONLY 2 hammers.
     
  13. *Svart*

    *Svart* Icecream Vendor

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    you always think too much in the future. Cities with 26 pops? In classical era? :D Why simply don't rise the number of workers? It's easier. You can't think only to the modern era, you must be strong and prepared in all the other eras.

    And remember, it's not true that big cities = good cities.
    Smaller cities with tons of cottages or farm/workshop could be far more productive.
     
  14. LL_LordOmega

    LL_LordOmega Chieftain

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    Worst part about building wonders, great person points pollution.

    Serfdom usually isnt useful because your cities grow slower than you build improvements, typically. There's no point in having a cottage ready way earlier than you can use it. Whipping a Market, for example, in a city with nothing but flat grassland can save you easily a dozen or more turns
     
  15. r_rolo1

    r_rolo1 King of myself

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    Size 10 cities when you get acess to slavery? :faint: You actually know that slavery is enabled by Bronze working, right? A second level tech that is normally one you want in the first 10 researched techs at lest ,even if to cut forests out ... and it is not uncommon to BW being in the first 3 techs. So if you kindly explain to me how do you get pop 10 cities in 20 turns ...
     
  16. o1derfull1

    o1derfull1 Libertarian Elitist

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    haha guilty as charged I suppose :D

    I like really really long games. Marathon isn't slow enough for me. I've actually gone into the XML to increase the cost of techs so it takes even longer to get there. That said, thats my focus, my goal, is getting to end game in such perfect condition to be ready and prepared for lots or awesome war as i go conquer the world. So I tend to micro-manage the now to be in the ideal spot later.

    I suppose playing with only conquest/domination enabled only adds fuel to this fire as I know I dont have to rush to build UN/Apollo. :p

    O.o Explain GPP pollution please. this is a new concept to me.
    And Cottages are usually one of the last improvements I build. But I find if I build granaries first, and then 5ish farms my cities grow super fast early on, especially at <size 10 city growth can take just as much time to occur as it take my 1-2 workers in that city (at that point) to build a farm to get it to the next level.

    Ha. Well as I said I favor city growth. But also, because slavery was never something I used regularly, I never made it a priority to research, unless, like you said, I needed to chop for resource access or production boost. Also I think there was a slightly miscommunication. If you're getting that I said size 10 cities with slavery from where I think you are, I meant cities of size 10 OR LESS using slavery, which, of course, would encompass those size 2-3 cities 20 turns into the game :D
     
  17. o1derfull1

    o1derfull1 Libertarian Elitist

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    I just realised I had two "3)"s in my OP.... /facepalm
     
  18. Iranon

    Iranon Deity Whipping Boy

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    Well, if you play a non-standard game you can't expect standard strategies to be optimal. :)
    Also, something slower than Marathon with even faster unit movement (relatively) should be won as soon as it's clear that no barbarians or rushing neighbours will get you... both is a non-issue on Monarch iirc.

    Also, tight play often appears unintuitive if you aren't under pressure. If you're interested in refining your play, I suggest attempting a few Immortal games on non-modded settings - that's the pace you should be able to match/surpass (Deity games will often have the player seeming to lag behind, even when everything is under control. Also, few people ever get to a point where they can win Deity games consistently without stacking the deck; I'm certainly not one of them).
     
  19. Earthling

    Earthling Deity

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    By the time you've discovered Feudalism, you should have discovered Code of Laws, so you should generally be running Caste System. Slavery only if you still have a lot of expansion/warfare to do.

    Agreed in that you can still do this with many GP up to arbitrary points in the game - it depends how much longer the game is going to last. After a third GP-triggred Golden age it's probably not worth saving them for that; bulbing with some GP is kinda useless, so sure, you can still settle - be sure to settle in places with the best multipliers though. Like a random Great Prophet that pops in the Renaissance probably can just settle in your Wall St. city. For the record I definitely tend to shy away from early golden ages - if anything, as an exaple, your second scientist could be another Academy or settled in your Academy city rather than starting an early and less useful golden age.

    The Pyramids enabling representation is kinda a broken design feature, but in all other situations outside of early/Pangea-type rushes you get far greater tech and economy in the long term by building cottages.

    There is no reason not to if you can, however you should not sacrifice other advantages to grow larger cities. In particular, if you only settle in the early game with an eye to huge cities, you can miss tons of marginal advantages - settle cities to get resources and optimal yields earlier - in other words, if you could have three good cities, do so instead of the one super city that would claim the food resources assuming other things evens. Also, once you get into the mid-20s it can get hard to support happy/health of all those citizens. But it never is bad if you can, with corporations especially.

    Artillery come far earlier and can be upgraded from older siege units. If you are guaranteed a tech lead, sure, more modern tech will help but Artillery are a vital edge over Renaissance units and quicker and easier to get.
     
  20. o1derfull1

    o1derfull1 Libertarian Elitist

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    Ah. So because I play on lower difficulty levels and change victory conditions my games are 'easier' and don't require the uber min/maxing to milk every last drop of efficiency out of my gameplay in order to be competitive?

    Gotcha :D Works for me. I can't stand culture/diplo/space victories. It feels so cheezy. Like I was just getting started and someone who didnt try to balance their civilization's growth (military/science/culture/commerce) and put all their eggs in one victory basket can win the game. Thats too easy for me to do, and when the AI does it I feel jipped out of a good game.

    I guess if I don't need to use these strategies because i'm not playing on hard difficulties with all victory conditions, than my playstyle is suited for the challenges that face me in the game?

    :) makes me feel better. I was thinking I'd been doing things horribly wrong as was only succeeding in my games because I got lucky or my XML tweaks really unbalanced things.
     

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