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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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    thank you both, stage and "with dig mshifter" for your prompt and thought provoking replies. I much to research and ponder over.
     
  2. Tyrael

    Tyrael ALC Lurker

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    A common thread I see here is that the OP values, say, 75 hammers/beakers over the course of 50 turns more than 50 hammers/beakers within the next 5 turns. This ignores the fact that immediate benefits snowball into bigger benefits later. 50 hammers now is worth a modern unit that can start taking cities now. 75 hammers 2 eras later is worth a fraction of a unit, and in the meantime nothing was built that could have been contributing to the empire. By then the earlier unit could have helped take several cities, which would contribute far more hammers than the extra 25 that were sacrificed to get the early advantage.

    Likewise with beakers- 3000 beakers from lightbulbing gets a tech NOW and gives you an advantage NOW, which can snowball (bulbing towards liberalism is a good example). Right now, bulbing gives you 3000 beakers = 1 tech. But if you settle and get 4500 over the course of the game, isn't that better? No. You DO get more beakers, but those beakers are worth a smaller and smaller percentage of the current tech as tech costs increase. They diminish in value- if you had a lump sum of 200 beakers you could use anytime, would you use it on your first tech or your last? The first one, because it saves you several turns of research early on, but a fraction of a turn later. What if it was 500 beakers for the last tech? You should still take the first, because saving half a turn on your last tech when the game is probably decided already is far less useful than saving multiple turns on the first when you're still trying to establish a lead (and have time to leverage any advantages you have, which can turn into more advantages later, etc).

    The question isn't which action gets you more beakers/hammers total, it's which action does more to advance you toward your goals.

    ---

    City specialization: Situation A: You have 3 generic cities. Each one has a roughly equal amount of food, commerce, and hammers, say 20 of each. Empire total: 60:food: 60:commerce: 60:hammers:. You build a library in each city to multiply :commerce:, a forge for :hammers:, and assign a scientist in each city to leverage :food: for :gp:. A Great Person takes, say, 100 GPP for the first. Science at 100%.
    Totals:
    :gp:: +3/turn. GP in 34 turns.
    :commerce:: 3 cities x (20 * 1.25 each) + 3 scientists = 84 BPT
    :hammers:: 3 cities x (20 * 1.25 each) = 75 hammers per turn
    Cost of getting these totals: 3 Libraries, 3 Forges, 6 GPP *

    Situation B: Now, the same empire total yield of 60:food: 60:commerce: 60:hammers:, but with specialized cities. Great person farm: 24:food:, 10:hammers:, 10:commerce:. Production city: 18:food:, 40:hammers:, 10:commerce:. Commerce city: 18:food:, 10:hammers:, 40:commerce:. Build a forge in the production city, a library in the commerce city, and assign 2 scientists to the GP farm.
    Totals:
    :gp:: +6/turn. GP in 17 turns.
    :commerce:: 40*1.25 + 10 + 10 + 2 sci = 76 BPT
    :hammers:: 40*1.25 + 10 + 10 = 70 hammers per turn
    Cost of getting these totals: 1 Library, 1 Forge

    * the +3 gpp in the non-GP producing cities are useless since they won't contribute to the generation of a GP.

    Yes, that's a lower total output in situation B. But you probably got to the totals in situation B faster since it takes a much lower initial investment, plus you could have built a wonder or an army where you would have been building low-return libraries and forges in situation A. I'll take the output in B plus one army over the output in A and no army any day.

    The GP farm has low production. The solution? Slavery, which converts extra :food: (which you don't need anyway if you would grow into the happy cap) into :hammers:!

    The above examples aren't meant to be accurate or even realistic, but to provoke critical thinking along the same lines. What could I be building instead of a lib/forge in every city? Should I multiply my beaker output by 1.25 in my city with 6 :commerce: with the science slider at 60%, or should I build 2 military units instead? If I desperately need research, would I be better building research for a while, or a library? How long until the library will break even vs. building research? Will another option get me an advantage by then, such as units to conquer cities? Maybe with my quick advantage I can finish the game before the slower options would even yield any results whatsoever!

    ---

    Bits and pieces:

    2 workers per city is more than I usually use. A size 5 city doesn't need to have 15 tiles improved around it- use those workers to help another city while it grows, then come back as [city size] approaches [improved tiles].

    An early great scientist is amazing, don't wait until. Found your great person farm early (never more than one because of how GPPs work) and assign it two scientists right away. Right away as in switch builds to the library as soon as it becomes available and add two scientists the turn it completes. The earlier you can settle your first academy, the better. Beakers now > beakers later. Plus the specialists each give 3 beakers regardless of how high or low your science slider is, unlike commerce. This helps you keep a decent research rate regardless of how low the slider goes.

    Great Scientist 2 or 3 can be used to lightbulb, usually along the liberalism path. Bulbing Paper gets you 1 tech, which helps you win Liberalism's free tech (2 techs), and then you can trade Paper, Lib, and the free tech for MORE techs (5+ techs), all from one great person. Or just leverage the fact that you got those techs far ahead of the AI and build that wonder before the AI can, or superior units to conquer with.

    Don't worry too much about the tech slider. 100% of 50:commerce: is less than 20% of 300:commerce:. Before 500AD or so, 50% or higher slider means there's room to expand. I typically go 30% and below to expand early to ensure I have the biggest, most productive empire in the world. After rebuilding, no AI can keep up with a human twice their size. Even a larger empire that's not at 100% can match a smaller one at full capacity. Land is power. Land is power. Land is power.

    The AI doesn't try for any victory except space or culture. Domination and conquest are out, since that typically involves backstabbing someone, as well as a constant military focus. In fact, whether or not a civ decides to build units or prepare for war is RANDOM, though the odds change based on who the leader is and their relationship status- furious, cautious, etc (verified by researching XML files). Trying for time would be absurd. Diplomatic victories are ignored, since that would require them to be nice to their worst enemy just to get votes- the AI does NOT do this and does NOT go out of their way to give gifts away or avoid warring against potential political friends (verified in the game code?), so we conclude that AI diplo victories are accidental. I think there's a way to make a game with only AIs; try doing that 20 times and see which victories they win most often.
     
  3. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    Your conclusions are based on flawed assumptions.

    1) Workers improve cities as they grow
    2) Two workers/city does not = 2 workers each on 1 city, the inner cities are improved sufficiently
    3) Building workers and settlers stagnates growth, giving worker turns time to catch up
    4) Whipping shrinks the city, giving a chance to catch up...especially good if you're food heavy and hammer poor because
    5) Early game your :) cap is going to be somewhere from 4-6 before resources/civics and whether the city is a capitol.

    Workers can keep improving before cities can once again grow. This gives them 100's of worker turns head start on city growth if you actually have 2 workers/city.

    Also, most of those tiles do not need a road right away (and some of them *never* will), so you are wasting considerable micro turns on that. I like how you left out cottages, too :p.

    No, this game mechanic has been around since BTS at least :sad:. Building wealth/research goes through :hammers: multipliers. Building a market in such a city is almost useless, as only its trade route commerce and whatever minimal tile commerce it has gets the gold %, and then only based on your slider gold %. In a lot of cases a market in a city like that is worth about 1 gold/turn, while building wealth with the same #hammers, even without any :hammers: multipliers at all, would make the market take 200+ turns to pay back. Ouch...that's most of the game. Market in a city like that is only worth it if you have almost all of the luxury resources and the city needs the :).
     
  4. Brichals

    Brichals King

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    This is a great thread challenging the conventional wisdom. It sounds a bit like the OP is playing Civ 3 style on Civ4, especially the bit about building roads everywhere (I'm an ex Civ3 junkie). I'm a noob to civ4 but I learnt my way up to Monarch fairly quickly from studying here and watching TMIT videos, thanks.

    I really can't understand how you can play without specialists until you get to size 20 O1derfull1, I'd love to see some pics of your play style. There are so many ways to work this game. However, it was learning the power of specialists that helped me rapidly improve. In some cases you might even want a size 3 city running 2 specialists, e.g. 2 merchants to make a crappy outpost resource connecting city cash neutral. e.g. a silver in tundra with a single fish or deer.
    Also, the first couple of great people are massive if you get them early enough.

    One thing I'm not sure on though is the power of the Liberalism race, I never really tried for it. I can understand how it might save your ass on Emperor and up though, but I didnt play on that level yet.
     
  5. jabberwalkee_

    jabberwalkee_ Goodie hut resident

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    I think the bulb vs settle argument is part of a greater theme in higher level play. On first glance settling a great person is always going to be better than bulbing, running a trade mission or making a great work, but it's the flow on gains from those immediate benefits that make those 'immediate' options more attractive than settling.

    Example 1 - Bulbing eduction
    Getting a university (and then oxford) into your beurocracy capitol earlier will almost always be worth the science from a settled GS. Those extra turns with the multipliers will carry that advantage well into the modern era if not past the end of the game.

    Example 2 - Bulbing Economics (or any tech with a free great person or tech)
    Obvious. You get a free tech for....well free. You trade one great person for another AND get a free tech in the process.

    Example 3 - Bulbing Liberalism (when you weren't going to win the race without it)
    2 free techs from a great person. It will take a LOOONG time for a settled scientist to beat that.

    Example 4 - Doing some trade missions as you discover rifling (or another amazing upgrade tech)
    Upgrading all your heavily promoted units to rifles while your enemies still have longbows is a game winner. It can easily allow you to eclipse multiple enemies. Even though the gold that settled merchants would've made will be more than the trade mission, the extra land you now have more than makes up for that.

    And many more. The point is that sometimes getting something now can give you a great tactical advantage. Slavery is great for the same reason. Having 10 Axemen in several turns is far more useful than 10 axemen in 30 turns.
     
  6. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    The biggest + for bulbs comes from their trade value. Every time you trade a tech for ~ beakers of another tech, you effectively placed a 100% beaker multiplier on that bulb. More if you can trade the tech among multiple AIs for things of value.

    On levels where you can reliably work trades and hold a lead w/o bulbs at all, bulbing becomes less attractive outside of specific scenarios (speed bulbing to lib communism when settling overseas, bulbing for astro in isolation to get overseas trade routes, etc).
     
  7. Earthling

    Earthling Deity

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    Yes, it is true, stop asking or denying it because it's true. Hope you enjoy how the AI handles 1upt tactics in civ5 ;)
     
  8. UWHabs

    UWHabs Deity

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    I was a noob at one point, and never used slavery. And used badly, it can hurt you (it's not usually worth it to whip too close together, since as mentioned, the happiness is killer). But then I learned, and it really is useful.

    The keys are to try as much as possible to whip for 2 population points. If you read some guides on here and try it out, you quickly realize that in some cases, you will build stuff so fast you don't have anything else to build.

    As for specialists, similarly, on the surface they don't look good. 3 science for a person is not useful. But if you think that that 3 science, after 34 turns (on normal) turns into 1000 from a bulb, that first scientist actually turns into 37 science per turn (if you bulb). Or if you settle it, it turns into 6 science/turn (and a hammer), which isn't a bad tile yield in its own right. So just think of it as a sort of cottage.

    You hardly ever want to work a cottage for the cottage yield. It's crap. But when you consider that after some time, it becomes villages and towns, then you start realizing that working cottages is useful. Take the same principle with specialists (short term pain for long term gain). It's quite amazing how good a city that's working a corn tile, a fish tile, and has 5 scientists can be for your civ, even if you never actually build anything in that city.
     
  9. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    Oh, I don't know. It can't be much worse than that intercontinental invasion with 4-5 siege units and siege units only we've seen in IV. In BTS :sad:.

    The AI "sort of" attempts space, so its like 1.5 victory conditions attempted actually.
     
  10. Mustakrakish

    Mustakrakish In 'Node' We Trust

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    Hmm.. I used to play in quite similar way.
    Only conquest enabled (sometimes diplomatic also, as I (and AI) never seemed to be able to win that in my games anyway), always preparing for modern age, often neglecting military (but seemed to get away with it quite often, fool's luck I guess) and preparing for massive modern age war often building up my stack since classical/middle age that would get finished only in modern era. :lol: And hell I didn't even know of any GP or cottage economy. I also never used slavery or caste system, I jumped to serfdom until emancipation and couldn't care less.
    And that is the way I played and i enjoyed it. I don't think it's wrong in any way.

    The downside of that is that my games became very similar to previous and after a couple of years following the same routine with pauses I got bored (I think I might have even made a thread about that).

    People here opened my eyes, encouraged me to broaden my views, try new strategies, victories, not be so focused on future and try stuff, take risks.

    It took me a while, but I did so and I must say it's like it was a new game for me! :lol: Well for a while anyway :lol:, now I'm just waiting for civ5 and play BtS only to kill my "way to much of free time".
     
  11. Zechnophobe

    Zechnophobe Strategy Lich

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    Olderfull, let me suggest something, as a bit of a.. learning experience.

    Try this: Play a game with these goals in mind: Build the pyramids as your only wonder, tech to writing quickly, and support two Scientists specialists in each city with 4 population or more, by farming a whole lot. You can expand quickly and let your commerce go to taxes by the way, since your science comes at 12 per city from each of your two specialists.

    Try this as something different and unique. I think you'll start getting an idea of other ways to play the game. How does a city with only farms (to support specialists) Build its granary? How about that first library? If you have ONLY farms and no Cottages, what civic is going to help you increase your economy the most?

    Try it out, I think it'll eye opening.
     
  12. lymond

    lymond Rise Up! (Phoenix Style!) Hall of Fame Staff

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    Good lawd!!! You use great engineers on wonders not drydocks!!

    Using GPs on early golden ages is generally not optimal as your empire is not set up to take advantage of all the benefits. Only thing you gain is no anarch which is negligible early in the game. I recommend building an academy first thing and generally settling a GS in the academy city for even more of a beaker boost - unless the GS can no bulb something worthwhile like Philosophy. Philosophy is the first worthy tech to bulb, especially if you get the religion, but it is also a great tech to trade.

    By disabling all the VC conditions you are essentially lowering the difficulty and challenge of the game, and basically castrating the AI.
     
  13. tdqtiger

    tdqtiger Chieftain

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    Wonders generate GP points for a specific type of GP. For example, Notre Dame generates Great Artist points. So let's say you want to generate a merchant to build up your treasury and run an artist in your city. If you have built Notre Dame in that city, then there is about a 50% chance the GP will end up being an artist, rather than the merchant you wanted.
     
  14. Bellringer

    Bellringer Chieftain

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    Everyone writes about specializing cities but I find limitations. If you build a cottage on a tile that is producing only 1 food, you need to produce an extra food somewhere, to have one citizen working in the cottage.
    I try to plan my farms in such a way that after I research Civil Service, I can spread a chain of farms without irrigation. That way I can always go on increasing the population in my cities.
    I usually try to get Stone or Marble early and then build only those Wonders that give me double production speed with that resource.
     
  15. *Svart*

    *Svart* Icecream Vendor

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    it is not always good to have big cities if the tiles the city work are not good
     
  16. travathian

    travathian Warlord

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    I dare the OP to play a game on Monarch, pangea, normal speed, normal map size, all victory conditions, AND the default number of civs for that map. After you get your ass handed to you repeatedly you'll quickly learn that by cherry picking the right game settings just about anyone can win on any difficulty. Start a new game, use all the concepts you mentioned, and see what a difference it makes.

    Oh, and get BtS already, Warlords is terrible in comparison. Civ4 Complete is $12 at Amazon.
     
  17. Tyrael

    Tyrael ALC Lurker

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    Don't build cottages on one-food tiles. Find cities that have good tiles for whatever you want them to be. Commerce cities work great if you cottage floodplains, as you grow fast and mature cottages at the same time. Production cities should have at least one food resource along with some farmable grassland to feed the mines and keep the city growing. After a while, plains workshops can fill in for hills if there aren't enough around. GP farms should have 2+ food resources and enough grassland or floodplains farms to feed specialists.

    Not every tile in a city has to be able to contribute to that city's goal- that city will only have so much population for the next 200 turns.

    If a city site has no food resources, find a new city site. I count floodplains as 1/2 of a food resource since they give 4F with a farm, but you generally want to work 2 in the absence of a 5+ food tile.
     
  18. Mustakrakish

    Mustakrakish In 'Node' We Trust

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    I'm very much new to specializing cities. Well actually I came up with the idea of specializing myself when I first managed to make proper use out of wallstreet before I ever saw/heard of it on cfc. :smug: But I mean come on, my specializing was/is that of a first grader compared to those of cfc veterans. :crazyeye:

    Some nice tips there, I haven't heard of before.

    Can someone be kind enough to maybe give me a link to some thread that explains/teaches that in detail if there is one? Or maybe explain a bit further?
    As I understand the general idea, I still have a lot of "what ifs" and "buts". :help:
     
  19. ParadigmShifter

    ParadigmShifter Random Nonsense Generator

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  20. Mustakrakish

    Mustakrakish In 'Node' We Trust

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