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Sonehenge

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by bakshi, Mar 26, 2010.

  1. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    Sometimes I'll attempt SH after settling a 2nd city. Even on immortal it goes late ~2000 BC sometimes and this is possible, and by then you have an OK picture in terms of AIs and immediate surroundings.
     
  2. roguepro92

    roguepro92 Warlord

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    if you scouted around your area and no good place to settle a city that has good resources in its initial cross then yes stonehenge is pretty useful to build.
    i prefer to build one stonehenge compared to # of monuments if my resources are spread out and my cities wont be able to go well without the border extension.
    only actual time i make stonehenge.
     
  3. mirthadir

    mirthadir Emperor

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    I will sometimes build SH, it is good for blocking out land which will see strong cultural pressure (e.g. facing China) and is a pretty good way to get fast border pops in not only new cities, but also the cap; it can be more effective to block some chokepoints with SH than with settlers.

    As far as for the UB; without the Mids/AW the Egyptian UB in mass is not that useful 1 :hammers: 1 :commerce: for two :food: is a pretty lousy deal early game; without a burning need to shrine something, GPr are only useful for bulbs and settling. In either case, you can normally whip in obels easy if you have the pop to actually run priests.

    For Ethiopia, I actually value SH less relative to building the stele myself. The time saved getting the UBs up is often far less in terms of culture output than the culture less when they disappear at Astro. Being CRE means that I'm unlikely to suffer from culture issues early and gain FAR more by blocking with another 1-2 settlers (up to the point I can no longer afford more land).

    For SB, well assuming I plan to hit with LBs or Xbows, maybe. Normally with SB I'm looking at an Oracle shot (MC or Feudalism; machinery with either multiple gems/gold or low difficulty). This often means that I'm teching up through myst anyways, that I can't expand/block as I need low expenses to hit my targets for the Oracle bulb, and that I have few other things to build. It is never worth it to risk the Oracle for SH in this case. If I merely want better archery units, then I'm often going to just build them outright. It is less an issue of the UB adjusting the calculus on wonder vs one per city building than it is constraints of tech paths (but oh so worth it to send off mass xbows against Monty).
     
  4. Tyrant Roger

    Tyrant Roger Warlord

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    I often build Stonehenge when playing Monarch/Emperor on fractal maps for various reasons. The border pops give access to resources I otherwise couldn't get for many turns. They also help block the AI more effectively. I don't need to alter my preferred city build order to build a monument or library for the culture. The early arrival of the prophet helps when my finances are under strain due to REX or to war.

    But to build Stonehenge efficiently requires the chop and so mysticism and bronze working need to be researched early. If that can be done, the wonder costs only two or three forests which is a small price to pay for the benefits.

    Stonehenge is less valuable with creative leaders, but combined with such leaders it can put strong culture pressure on nearby AI's. Compared with other early wonders and their cost, I think Stonehenge is often a bargain.
     
  5. dirtyparrot

    dirtyparrot Upholding Brannigan's Law

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    I pretty much never build Stonehenge (possible exception being that I plan a cheap AP victory for some reason). I guess an argument could be made for CHA leaders. In a recent game I had, Saladin was lucky enough to get stone in his BFC and proceeded to build himself one expensive monument and was stuck at 2 cities rather than trying to quickly expand out of his peninsula.
     
  6. mariogreymist

    mariogreymist Deity

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    Another good place to build SH: In a second city which 1: has lots of forest to chop and 2: borders (or even infringes) on a enemy capital's bfc. 16:culture: alone means it will hold its own against anyone but probably an industrious wonder whore. It will often provoke an early DoW, but if a key resource is there, it's worth trying (at least up to monarch...haven't tried this at emperor+). I really prefer building SH in my second city, and probably 2/3 of the times I build it*, I don't do so in the capital (where that big :culture: just goes to waste in 90% of games).

    I don't frequently build SH.
     
  7. Malchar

    Malchar Prince

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    Stonehenge costs 120:hammers: and gives you a free monument (30:hammers:) in each city. If you have four cities that you want monuments in, then you break even in terms of :hammers:. Note that the costs may change with various leaderhead abilities or the availability of stone. But, realistically, I find it kind of hard to have the stone hooked up the whole time that I'm building the henge anyway.

    You also get the bonus of 2:gp: for a great prophet. In practice, I usually end up with at least one great prophet before the pool becomes tainted. This can be great if you go for an early religion and want the shrine.

    The opportunity cost is probably the foregone ability to make a settler (100:hammers:) plus a little extra (for example, a settler with warrior escort/defender would be 115:hammers:).

    So you should weigh the value of having an extra settler and defender right now vs. the value of a monument in each of your cities beyond the fourth, plus the 2:gp:.

    For example, if you build ten cities, then you net six free monuments. However, the value of the monuments may be different in each city. For example, an interior city probably has no benefit from a monument. But, this might change even further if the monument is a unique building.

    Of course, you can simplify this further by representing the monument and stonehenge itself as the amount of culture gotten per turn. Then, you can see your hammers being converted into culture. In practice, I find this to be less useful, however, because I usually just use monuments to get the first border pop, which is basically mandatory. Any extra culture after that is nearly useless, except for border cities, but that is still hard to model because it depends on your opponent's culture. Then again, you can also use a library or the culture leaderhead bonus to get the first border pop. Also, the hammer to culture conversion equation could be quite useful when pursuing a culture victory, although I generally do not do that.
     
  8. whats a navy

    whats a navy Prince

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    Never build with Zara ever. He is Creative and basically busts the main purpose of Stonehenge. (early border pops)

    Sitting Bull could if he also went Oracle -Feudalism slingshot for Longbowmen early and promoted. You may not have that much cities though if going for two very early wonders.

    Ramsses if you want a great religious economy coupled with all the other wonders. Early Great Prophet lets you build a shrine and every city can hire priests. With Hatty never for same reason as Zara.
     
  9. azzaman333

    azzaman333 meh

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    Never say never.
     
  10. Tristan_C

    Tristan_C Emperor

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    I haven't heard much yet on how the SH causes UB-monuments vanish at astro. Is that a consideration, for you NEVER and ALWAYS -type guys? (never had the chance to build the henge with a monument civ, personally)
     
  11. azzaman333

    azzaman333 meh

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    The bonuses are obsoleted at Astro anyway, I think.
     
  12. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    HAHA!

    I'm calling this out, only because the term "free" is overused on the forum, and it seems too many people think of things that are not free as "free", and if you're not in the "what does doing this really cost me" frame of mind, you can't possibly make optimal decisions.

    Do note that the rest of the quoted post goes on to analyze opportunity cost pretty well, so in this case I just quoted it because it's funny mostly...although I do see other posters use "free" and mean it...

    The hardest thing to quantify (impossible before you'd have to commit to SH) is just how much opportunity cost there is in delaying a settler. Are you missing out on a key blocking site? A strategic resource? Or would it have only been a junker city? If you knew for certain turn or even turn 15-30, SH would be viable. Situations where that becomes obvious actually lend themselves better to SH. Its opportunity cost in isolation or when your capitol itself blocks most of your viable land is quite low. If it gives shaka the only source of copper between you, it's enormous. Oh well.
     
  13. Kesshi

    Kesshi Emperor

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    azzaman333,

    I think what Tristan_C is talking about are these two situations, and their differences:

    Situation 1) You are Egyptian. You build Stonehenge. Come Astronomy, all of your Obelisks disappear, preventing you from using Great Prophets.

    Situation 2) You are Egyptian. You build a ton of Obelisks. Come Astronomy, the buildings lose their +1 culture per turn, but do not lose their ability to let you run 2 Priest specialists.
     
  14. azzaman333

    azzaman333 meh

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    I'm pretty sure that in sit 2 you won't be able to run priest specialists, but you'll still get the +1 culture.
     
  15. TheWilltoAct

    TheWilltoAct I am observe

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    Maybe you could have just let it go, since you yourself admit to his more than rigorous analysis. Calling 'the forum' out on pretty much anything makes for a rather unfair blanket statement.
     
  16. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    I missed the part where I called the whole forum out, it looks to me like I just called that individual line (which is inconsistent with itself) out. Calling a statement out to make a point is different from calling the forum out.

    And in my defense, I made a legit point ---> opportunity cost plenty applicable to civ, and yet people throw "free" around like they're not giving up any alternatives to attain a great person, technology, or upgrade. I bet if you ran the right search you could get QUITE A FEW threads that contain somebody claiming something was free that actually wasn't...some of them very good players.
     
  17. Monsterzuma

    Monsterzuma the sly one

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    I prefer to just spend my hammers on settlers and get around the zero-culture problem by settling my cities next to resources and using Libraries for culture pops when I wanted one anyway.
     
  18. mariogreymist

    mariogreymist Deity

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    I just ran a WB test to check this: irregardless of which way you get your obelisks, you lose the ability to hire priests at Astro.
     
  19. TheWilltoAct

    TheWilltoAct I am observe

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    I just think that a perception of general overuse is a poor reason to go after an individual poster, especially one with a fleshed out argument.

    EDIT

    Any doubts about his use of 'free' should be gone by sentence 2.
     
  20. drlake

    drlake Emperor

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    I think you are missing the point Mario is raising. Hammers spent up front to build Stonehenge are not the same as hammers spent later to build each monument. You might break even on paper once you build your fourth city, but that ignores the opportunity cost of making a big investment in hammers up front when you only have one or two cities.

    "Opportunity cost" is the term economists use to describe the alternate outcomes you did not realize due to the choices you made. For example, by building Stonehenge in your first or second city you delayed producing every other thing you could have otherwise produced in that city. This includes settlers, units, buildings, and other wonders. As such, your subsequent cities are founded later so their cumulative production is lower than it would have otherwise been, and you build your armies later thus delaying or preventing an early rush, or increasing your vulnerability to barbarians, and so on.

    In exchange for that, you get a monument immediately on founding the city, so you don't need to expend the hammers to build it later.

    That brings us to the other issue, which is discounting. Put simply, hammers today are worth more than hammers tomorrow. Spending 120 hammers now to get 120 later is not a good deal, you need to benefit more down the road than that. Whether building Stonehenge becomes a good decision at 5, or 6, or 7, or even more cities depends on what the real costs of building it were.

    And that's why the monuments generated by building Stonehenge are not "free".
     

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