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Specialist Economy - are you guys really buying this?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by bassist2119, Sep 9, 2006.

  1. MrCynical

    MrCynical Deity

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    Prior to biology (and it seems agreed the SE is better in the early stages of the game, so prior to this), specialist cities need grassland just as much as a cottage economy does. Farmed plains are of no use to an SE at this stage since using them does not boost the food surplus.

    A CE needs grassland and floodplain (agreed). However an SE needs grassland, floodplain AND fresh water; hence it has more strenuous terrain requirements.
     
  2. Skallagrimson

    Skallagrimson Deity

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    Am I the only one looking at the happiness dimension to all this? Cities in the early game can only grow so big before they start to feed unhappy citizens. So even if you CE a city you're still going to assign (one or two) specialists just to keep from going over that limit. And even if you're an SE, some locations with a lot of floodplains will still give more food than you are allowed to assign to specialists (unless you give up whipping for caste system), making cottages a more optimal choice for those tiles. Thebes in the Earth scenario comes to mind for that. Try to SE there, you hit your specialist limit, and pop is still climbing, threatening to waste food on unhappies. There you end up with an "SE-CE", enough to fund an infinite number of cost-draining production cities elsewhere in Africa, and then put serious hurt to the Greeks, Romans, or Persians, whoever gets froggy first.
     
  3. Wodan

    Wodan Deity

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    Not quite. We have yet to demonstrate that a Financial CE is better than a Pyramids SE. There has been considerable discussion about it, and I don't think we'll be able to "prove" it one way or the other.

    The reason I say that Financial will run CE is that it's plain silly to totally ignore one of your two leader benefits. If that's what you want to do, then don't pick a Financial leader in the first place.

    Might as well pick Philosophical and not run any specialists and don't build any wonders. Or Protective and don't build Archers or Gunpowder units.

    Yep.

    The extreme would be one specialist per one cottage, but that's ok.

    Yep.

    You mixed commerce and research there. I think what you meant to say was, "A financial civ generates 2 more commerce than the non-financial civ under CE in these circumstances."

    Don't agree here. See above please.

    In addition, this is comparing commerce to research.

    Nice math but the very first statement was where it fell apart for me. The rest of the math was good logic, though.

    Anyway, to your conclusion, I think that both of the statements have yet to be proved, either way.

    Wodan
     
  4. Samson

    Samson Deity

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    What? Irrigated plains give you 2 food, so are no use to a SE. You need grass or FP AND irrigation. At least cottages with food and plains can use the plains (1 for each food over 2), for a SE the palins are no use until biology.
    No, as I said I paly emporer. I expect by the middle ages to have a religion (2Happy with temple), hereditory rule (say 2 wariors/archers per good city), and 3 luxes. That gives size 10, and with forge/market/theter/cathedral/more troops you can get it bigger.
    The thing is in both situations you have a super science city, perhaps not as good without the super scientists, but still OK. It is every other city I am saying is much worse.
     
  5. Wodan

    Wodan Deity

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    I'm seeing two interpretations of what you just said. Forgive me but if you could clarify... Either you meant "A SE is better than a CE in the early game", or you meant "A SE is better in the early game than a SE is in the late game"... which is right?

    They can, however, function and grow. Which they can't if you plant cottages. Yes, you could do that in a CE too and you would probably call this one of your "production cities".

    We're talking early game, let's be clear. Late game SE is totally different, both in payback and in requirements.

    Anyway, I think I'd parse a little different. "CE needs grass or floodplain" while SE needs "water in grass or floodplain".

    Regardless, from those circumstances, yes I agree. It ignores resources, though. Food resources in CE gives more hammers (because you're now able to work some mines) or allows specialists or whipping. Food in SE gives more research (or whatever specialists you assign) or whipping. Difficult to compare those two.

    The same is true of the middle game and the late game. :)

    Or you'll use slavery, or you'll reassign your peeps to work some hills.

    Or, you'll assign mixed types of specialists, or you'll work some hills.

    You get to grow until you hit the limit, and then you can assign 1 specialist.

    Yes, the CE can do the same, growing and then working 1 cottage. However, my point was that the CE does not get to use that city as a cottage city, and must perforce give up cottage maturation there until Biology. At which point it instantly becomes a rocking specialist city.

    Health? Restricting yourself to HR in every game is rough, too. Be nice to be able to choose.

    Well, if you find that to be the case in a particular game, then switch to caste system. If you have the werewithal to support more scientists (health, happy, food) in the majority of your cities, it would seem an obvious choice. Slavery is becoming quite inefficient at that point anyway, because your cities are so big.

    Wodan
     
  6. MrCynical

    MrCynical Deity

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    Alright, so a financial CE may or may not be better than the pyramids SE; we don't know which. However:

    If the Financial CE is better than the Pyramids SE the above argument holds, and the two statements above cannot be consistent.

    If the Financial CE is NOT better than the Pyramids SE then by definition a Civ is still better off running an SE, even if it has the financial trait, and despite the loss of part of its trait. Therefore if the statement:

    "A financial civ is always better running a CE than an SE"

    is true, then the statement

    "An SE without pyramids is equal to or better than a CE without financial"

    must be false. Now you've been arguing that the second statement is true, so you must therefore believe the first to be false. At least some of the time a financial civ must therefore be better off running an SE than a CE, and hence it is not silly to consider the SE for a financial civ since you'll come out better despite the loss of part of your trait.

    The further snag I hit is that if the second statement is true as you've been arguing (an SE w/out pyramids is competitive with a CE w/out financial), then the statement:

    X-3 > Y

    is presented as true. A financial civ is better with CE than SE with pyramids if and only if the statement:

    Y+2 > X

    is true.

    This is exactly the same setup as I had in my earlier post, indicating logically inconsistent situation since it goes to X-1>X.

    Therefore if your argument that an SE without pyramids is equal to or better than a non-financial CE is true, a financial civ is ALWAYS better running an SE with pyramids than a CE, since it is gaining more from the Pyramids specialist boost than it is losing from the weakening of the financial trait. Therefore it would always be silly for a financial civ to run CE after building the pyramids, which seems contradictory to what you've been saying.

    Running this through the logic gives a final statement of X-2>X, so I took the other extreme which was closest to consistency.

    A specialist generates 3 extra research with pyramids pre-modifiers. Aside from a small issue of maybe having to build extra modifier buildings depending on the science rate this is basically equal in value to 3 commerce, though less flexible. Financial can't give more than an extra 2 by comparison, and in practice it will be lower than that as you can get slightly more than one specialist per two cottages.

    Either a financial civ is better off running an SE, or the SE requires pyramids to be equal or better than the non-financial CE. As I've shown above these are mutually exclusive.

    While I believe both those interpretations to be true I was referring to the latter: an SE is better in the early game than an SE in the late game.
     
  7. Wodan

    Wodan Deity

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    Not necessarily because you mixed commerce and research. I mentioned this before, did you see that comment? You keep doing it so I must not have been clear.

    The two are related, but not directly, and putting them as equivalencies in a logical proof just doesn't fly. And their relationship breaks down when we talk about a SE. Even if we posit the CE is running 100/0/0 for the entire game without pause, they aren't necessarily comparable. It's apples and oranges. In addition, we have to compare all the other factors between CE and SE... this argument appears to be only taking bottom line research as the sole deciding factor on which is "better". What about coin income for both types, hammers, city growth rates, etc.

    I'm not saying your conclusion is wrong. I'm just saying that it's not that simple and thus your logic doesn't get us there.

    Again, something I said earlier but I guess you missed... it seems like you are defining the word "better" to be "who has the most beakers".

    There's a lot more going on. Hammers, coins, speed of pop growth, defensive needs to protect cottages, and more. We should be talking about the whole shebang. Research plus all the rest.

    I would prefer if we used the other wording that I suggested this morning. "Better" is a poor word selection because it is misleading our debate.

    Correct, I believe the first to be false, as interpreted. The spin you've put on the first statement is not what I originally meant (which is why I clarified). Please listen to clarifications rather than go back to the original. Otherwise, no progress is made and clarifications are useless. No offense!

    I think this is probably an accurate statement. Nevertheless, I stand by my earlier comment that this is just plain silly.

    Oh, there might be instances where it is a good idea, particularly if you know or expect a fast game (perhaps on a small or tiny map). Nevertheless, if you give up one of your leader traits, you are automatically giving your opponent an advantage. Consider a 1-on-1 game where you both play the exact same SE but one is Financial and the other is not. Player B has two effective traits to Player A's one. So, if Player A chooses SE over CE, it may or may not be a wise choice, but she sure should think long and hard before she takes that road.

    Again, you're comparing research and commerce in the same logical equation. I simply don't think that works.

    What's your basis for that conclusion? Both the "basically equal" and the "less flexible"?

    The meterstick being a CE in both instances, I suppose? As a general comment I probably agree, though I can easily think of situations where a late game SE would be preferable. Such as on high skill level where early your CE is outpaced by the AIs, thus your empire is limited. You catch up (that is the strength of the CE, after all) and go on the warpath, but your economy crashes because most of the cities you conquer are farmed with few cottages.

    Honestly, I don't know which has the bigger bottom line, SE or CE, and frankly I don't think it's really possible to calculate. There are too many intricate factors involved. To be honest, I don't think it matters. Direct experience from me and others has shown it is competitive. That's all that matters in the end.

    Wodan
     
  8. MrCynical

    MrCynical Deity

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    I'm well aware of the distinction, but also that the two can be compared. It really is a cop out to take the small distinction between them and say no comparison is possible.

    Actually, with that condition, and with the same modifier buildings in the city (and without bureaucracy), they are EXACTLY the same. Each commerce is always equal to one base beaker under those circumstances, and hence base beakers from specialists and commerce would be completely interchangeable.

    Now obviously your science rate isn't going to be 100% for the entire game but, barring gold modifying buildings being missing in the city, they can still be compared. The base beakers + base gold from specialists can be compared to the additional commerce that would be had in an SE from farming instead of cottaging all tiles.

    I know, but you seem set on the idea that a financial civ should always use the CE, not the SE. This seems to be a decision allowing for all the defensive needs, hammers and everything, or it doesn’t make sense as a statement. i.e. all the combined benefits of an SE with pyramids over a CE are always less than the additional commerce generated by the financial trait (otherwise it should not always use the CE). Financial has no other effects, so the presence of this view gives the maximum difference in value (hammers, defence, the whole shebang) between the SE and the CE in pure commerce, nothing else. Again, I’m assuming your assertion that a financial civ should always use CE is correct, and hence this comparison is correct by definition. I don’t personally agree that this reduction to be pure commerce can be made, since I don’t agree with the original statement.

    Next we need a value for the amount of extra commerce a financial CE has over a non-financial SE. This is a bit more of a pain to deal with as pure logic. We have already agreed that financial gives 1-2 commerce for each set of tiles supporting a specialist. That leaves the additional factor of resource tiles and coastal tiles. Now it’s hard to pin this down precisely, but it seems extremely implausible there will be more of these than farm/cottages tiles except maybe on an archipelago. I have to admit that I’m into guesswork here.

    The key question is therefore whether the commerce generated by the financial trait is less than 3 per set of tiles supporting a specialist. Personally I think this is probable, but it lacks mathematical rigour I realise. It takes less than two tiles to support a specialist, and farm/cottage tiles will probably outnumber resource and coastal tiles.

    If it is less than 3, then the difference between an SE and a CE is less than 3 commerce per specialist (that’s allowing for ALL advantages of the SE based on the above assertion). Under those circumstances it would therefore mean the pyramids were essential to the SE, since they give a bonuses of 3 commerce/base beakers (as I’ve explained the difference here is small, and can be allowed for), to say nothing of the happiness.

    All this basically boils down to a more rigourous attempt to say: it seems odd to say that the one commerce on some tiles of financial makes the CE better than the SE under all circumstances (even with pyramids), but losing the 3 research for every specialist (and superspecialist) does not make the SE worse than the CE.

    Personally I don't agree with either statement. There are maps where a financial civ would be better off running SE (I've played one or two of them). SImilarly though I think the vast majority of the time the pyramids are necessary for the SE to be better than the CE. While research is not the whole shebang as you put it, it is a very important component, and the SE begins falling behind the cottage economy so early that I cannot see any other benefits of an SE compensating. Looking at the two grassland tiles it takes just 10 turns for two cottages to grow to two hamlets and produce 4 commerce to the non-rep specialist's three research.
    Leaving aside culture for a moment, 1 commerce = 1 base beaker or 1 base gold, agreed? These may subsequently be modified by libraries/banks and so on, but they are interconvertable at this basic level. A specialist generates and extra three base beakers with the pyramids. Now an extra three commerce can obviously convert into three base beakers at 100% science, or they can convert into some combination of science and gold if the slider is lower. The total base beakers + base gold remains the same in both cases. The only snag is if there are science modifiers, but not gold modifiers present, since the gold will then not be boosted by multipliers as much as the beakers, leading to a lower total gold+beakers. With equal modifying buildings they are still level though. Gold and beakers are usually interchangeable very simply by deficit research if necessary, unless the city is still turning a profit at 100% science.

    They are thus quite comparable, as long as you watch the building modifiers. Even then the error would be quite small, and certainly not enough to consider them completely uncomparable. I class the commerce as more flexible than beakers for the obvious reason that it can be converted to gold or beakers (or culture) as desired, whereas specialist generated beakers are stuck as beakers.

    Er, can you specify the wording then, I can't immediately track down an obvious suggestion in this thread. Are you referring to;

    To clarify on your "direct experience"; You have played the same map through with both non-pyramids SE and CE, and compared your success in each? I'm well aware people have won games with SE without the pyramids, but that's of no relevance in comparison to the CE, since you don't know how a CE would have performed under the same circumstances.
     
  9. acidsatyr

    acidsatyr be water my friend...

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    One thing I see here is that people are comparing CE with SE only in terms of research power. There's much more to it, production, happiness, etc, all of which are much better in SE because of its nature (even tough I think SE is as good in research power as CE if run properly).
    Another thing is mentioning pyramids for SE. You don't need to have pyramids at all in early stages of the game (before representation) to have powerful SE. If you do however, it's a no brainier that you should concentrate on running SE , since each scientist gives +100% to research, while financial can only give 0 - 50% max boost in commerce, so pyramids based SE early in the game is unbeatable by anything.
    Somebody mentioned early axe rush favors cottages rather than scientists. And that's incorrect as well I think, running scientists early is the best way to boost your economy.
     
  10. MrCynical

    MrCynical Deity

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    Uh.., since when has an SE been better on happiness? You've got higher population, hence it is harder to keep your cities happy. You could run higher culture, but most SE advocates seem to prefer 100% science or gold. In any case there's nothing to stop the CE running culture either. On production you're presumably referring to slavery? Again arguable as you lose the hammer bonus from universal sufferage later.

    I don't know who said this, but it doesn't seem that well thought out. Unless he's referring to not bothering with the Pyramids and using those hammers on axemen.
     
  11. Eqqman

    Eqqman Walrus

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    This may be implied, but isn't really true. Players are going to get to their happiness limits as fast as they can regardless of anything else they are doing. The specialists might have a higher initial growth rate from the extra farms, but the caps are going to slow things down same as for anyone else.
     
  12. acidsatyr

    acidsatyr be water my friend...

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    I never run 100% science. While CE benefits most without loosing fractions when running 100% SE don’t' need to worry about this. Culture slider is almost never a good idea to touch in CE.

    As for U.S, it comes too late and you have to abandon other useful civics, not really practical. Large high-food output cities and slavery is a name of the game.


    pretty sure somebody mentioned it, no big deal just thought I’d comment on this….
     
  13. curtadams

    curtadams Warlord

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    Using my estimates the value of a great person, you can make estimates, and they suggest that in the early game:

    PHI - SE is the best strategy by far
    CE is comparable to SE but probably behind timewise
    FIN CE beats FIN SE
    FIN CE is comparable to FIN-SE-Pyramids but probably behind timewise
    FIN CE-Pyramids beats FIN-SE-Pyramids, though.
    SE-Pyramids beats CE​

    This analysis doesn't apply to the whole game, because cottages get an enormous boost with Liberalism/Printing Press, making cottages clearly superior except to PHI-SE+representation and probably ahead of even that (since GP points lose value as the game progresses)

    I estimate a GP point is worth about 2 commerce points. I'm assuming grassland, so the choice is 3 cottages vs. 2 farms + specialist.

    Standard SE = 3 commerce + 3 GP = 9 commerce equivalent

    SE+Pyramids = 3 more commerce = 12 commerce equivalent

    PHI SE = 3 commerce + 6 GP = 15 commerce equivalent

    PHI SE - pyramids = 3 more commerce = 18 commerce equivalent

    Standard CE = 3 commerce for 10 turns
    6 for 20
    9 for 40
    12 afterwards

    With FIN, the cottages are:
    3 commerce for 10 turns
    9 for 20
    12 for 40
    15 afterwards​

    Comparisons:
    PHI-SE is the clear winner, even without pyramids.

    SE vs CE:
    CE starts off with a 120 commerce deficit it starts to make up at turn 70, making up by 110. But, there's a large time component, making those early points worth more. So I would say there's a mild advantage to SE.

    SE vs FIN CE
    Now there's only a 60 point deficit, which gets made up by turn 40, followed by a much larger cottage advantage. Cottaging is clearly superior.

    FIN CE vs FIN SE-Pyramids
    Similar to SE vs CE except that Pyramids has a better lead in the first turns before FIN kicks in.

    FIN CE Pyramids vs FIN SE-Pyramids
    Here you use the pyramids for US, gaining +1 hammer for each town. A hammer is canonically = 2 commerce, so the CE-pyramids gets a 9 commerce per turn advantage after 70. That's killer, far outweighing the startup cost.​

    All in all, the analysis generates pretty commonsensical conclusions:

    PHI should run SE
    FIN should run CE

    With neither, it's fairly mixed and a hybrid strategy is probably best, shifting over time to make cottages dominant by liberalism.

    Pyramids are a big boost for PHI or FIN but don't change anybody's preferred strategy. Pyramids are less good if you're hybrid since you can't do Representation and Suffrage at the same time. Because of the huge cottage advantage after Liberalism, I don't see SE-Pyramids as viable except for PHI, unless you expect to have effectively won by the late middle ages.
     
  14. Samson

    Samson Deity

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    I think the ability to use the culture slider (for happiness) is the primary advantage to me of the SE. If you are only getting 20% of your money / reaserch from "base comerce" (cotages and rivers tiles etc.) then you lose much less buy using the culture slider.
    I said something about using the hammers for axes rather than the pyramids. I think there are many other advantages;

    I frequently find that rapid expansion, either by REX or rush leaves me with using close to 100% of my commerce for upkeep. I cannot do this under an SE. It can be an acceptable strategy (as in you can win from it at a high level), as a big empire will pay off in the end.
    To deal with this in a CE I just spam cottages. All I need to do this is pottery and workers. I am not sure how I would deal with this in an SE (esp. before I get currancy).
    In a SE I need libs, at a rate of 1 lib per 6 beakers per turn (w/o pyramids). Each one could be nearly 3 axemen. In a CE you do not NEED anything in the city, and if you are running a high tax rate there is nothing much that will do you good in a commerce city.
    If you are stuck with maintaince costs close to your comerce output in a CE you can just wait, soon your cottages will develop and you will have a lot of land.
     
  15. Wodan

    Wodan Deity

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    Please refrain from attacks. Especially ones based on your personal evaluation of whether a distinction is "small" or not.

    What about other sources of research?
    What about other sources of gold or culture?

    What about the thousands of hammers of financial buildings you're saying the CE has?

    Even granting those thousands of hammers, if you run at less than 100% for some period of the game, you cannot be said to be running at 100% for the whole game, and thus any comparison should be at less than that value. e.g., 80% or 90%. And, we can't even determine what that % should be. Say you run at 0/100/0 for rush cash for perhaps 15 turns out of the game. Can we divide that by # of turns in the game, to get a fraction to use? No, because the situation is not static over the game and it would have to be a weighted average, which is nigh impossible to calculate. In any event, it's less than 100% without a doubt.

    Like I said, it's complicated. We can't blithely compare two numbers which have a hundred complicating factors.

    I think you're misunderstanding what I said.

    An empire A which fails to use one of its traits is giving an advantage to an opponent, empire B, which uses both of its traits.

    This has nothing to do with the comparison of empire A running CE vs empire A running SE. It's the comparison of empire A to empire B, no matter what economy each of them is running.

    There's that word "better" again. :)

    4 commerce != 4 research, not even on a single turn of the game, let alone over multiple turns. And that's just converting CE commerce to CE research. We then have to port it over to compare to the SE, and in doing so we have to take other factors into account, in particular, other sources of research.

    From game to game? No. Inside the same game without changing any other factors? Sure.

    Said it several times several different ways. It's common sense to run CE if you picked a Financial leader.

    Yes I have done that. Maybe I should do it again, and keep logs throughout. Ton of work, but it might dispel some beliefs.

    And, I disagree with the other -- it does indeed has relevance, but as an anecdote, not as supporting facts. Anecdotal evidence, nevertheless, by all means does indeed have relevance.

    It's the same difficulty to keep your cities happy. The only difference is you get to unhappy faster.

    SE is better on happy because you have faster pop growth, meaning you have more production and can build a theatre or temple earlier. SE is better on happy because you have faster whip regrowth, meaning after you hit the happy limit, you can whip more often. SE is also better on happy because you can assign some % to the culture slider without reducing your research.

    This is no different from the CE. SE runs some % on the culture slider only when needed. CE does the same. CE prefers to run at 100% science or gold, too.

    Nothing stopping it, but it reduces your research.

    Wodan
     
  16. UncleJJ

    UncleJJ Deity

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    I often hear the opinion expressed that cottages suddenly catch up and then surge into an unassailable lead with Liberalism and Free Speech. This puzzles me somewhat given that +2 commerce is added to towns only (50% more commerce) and the rest of the cottages in the CE are unaffected. Then I am surprised that no one seems to think that Biology (admittedly a later tech) has a similar boosting effect on a SE when it doubles the productivity of grassland farms and allows the plains farm to actually produce a food surplus. It maybe a weak tile at that stage of the game but is still equal to the pre-biology grassland farm plus a hammer. My SE undergoes a significant boost when Biology is acquired yet no one thinks it is important... strange indeed.

    Thanks this is a great analysis which I much appreciate and I have a similar one based on food production.

    However, I think you are being very generous to the CE case by allowing them to have an extra grassland to work as a cottage versus the specialist. Even in the early-middle game many cities in my SE games have all the grassland farmed and worked. A CE city in the same situation (same site and same happy limit) would be limited by tiles and have to work a weaker alternative as there would be no grassland to cottage. The fact that specialists do not need a tile to work is often an advantage as well as a problem due to the happiness constraint. I therefore think that your analysis overstates the CE case in perhaps 50% of cities which could limited by suitable cottage sites or have to work plains cottages or hills.

    Here is my analysis of a similar situation. I compare a single grassland tile and look at the output it produces over 100 turns. In a CE it is a cottage and gives the following output totaling 290 commerce.

    Code:
    begin	end	turns	com/t	total
    1	10	10	1	10
    11	30	20	2	40
    31	70	40	3	120
    71	100	30	4	120
    				290
    
    
    In the SE this same grassland tile is worked as a farm for 100 turns and simply provides 100 food to the city. A city at size 5 takes 15 food to grow to size 6. If that pop is :whipped: away it gives 30 base hammers... so 1 food is equivalent to approximately 2 base hammers in the early game. Therefore one way to look at the grassland farm over the 100 turns is that it gives 200 hammers

    The alternative way of using the 100 food in a SE is to support a scientist for 50 turns (assuming the happiness limit allows). During 50 turns a basic scientist will produce 150 beakers and 150 GPPs.

    If the SE is dedicated to researching as fast as possible it will produce mainly great scientists and can then lightbulb techs in the Renaissance for at least 1500 beakers. Here is a simple calculation trying to evaluate the research capability of GS assuming there are useful techs they can lightbulb on the way to Education and Liberalism. Obviously an academy in the Science City will eventually contribute much more than 1500 beakers but that is too hard to calculate so I assume it is the same 1500 for simplicity.

    Code:
    		Gpp	Total		Equivalent	
    GP	Incr	Cost	GPP	food	Beakers	bkr/food
    1	100	100	100	67	1500	22.5
    2	100	200	300	200	3000	15.0
    3	100	300	600	400	4500	11.3
    4	100	400	1000	667	6000	9.0
    5	100	500	1500	1000	7500	7.5
    
    We can see that an investment of 1000 food in total gets 1500 GPPs and therefore 7500 beakers worth of technology by lightbulbing. The bkr/food column is calculated by taking the equivalent number beakers for the GP generated at that stage and dividing by the food invested in them. This produces amazingly high figures that explain why the SE (properly run) out researches the CE in the early game by such a large margin.

    To put an interpretation of the farm versus cottage contest we can see that the food produced by the farm can contribute to the generation of GPPs which are much more effective than simply working cottages for commerce.


    Code:
    		Gpp	Total		Equivalent	
    GP	Incr	Cost	GPP	food	Beakers	bkr/food
    6	100	600	2100	1400	9000	6.4
    7	100	700	2800	1867	10500	5.6
    8	100	800	3600	2400	12000	5.0
    9	100	900	4500	3000	13500	4.5
    10	100	1000	5500	3667	15000	4.1
    
    
    Here are the costs of the next 5 GS continuing from the last table. We can see that the cost in food of each subsequent GP increases considerably. The average beakers generated per food drops as the number of GP increases and so that component of the research effort

    An interesting observation that arises from my analysis is that the philosophical trait can be thought of as saving large amounts of food. Effectively it halves the amount of food required to produce any given number of GP. So from the table above the first 10 GP cost 3667 food (assuming all GPPs produced from food specialists) and a philosphical leader has saved over 1800 food at this stage of the game.

    Summary:
    Comparing a grassland cottage with a farm
    Cottage 100 turns we get 290 commerce
    Farm we get 100 food. The food can typically be converted
    a) to hammers at 2 hammers for 1 food by slavery
    b) to run a specialist giving 150 beakers and 150 GPPs for 100 food

    Given the analysis above it is clear to me that a farm gives a much better deal in the early game producing extra hammers or extra research as the SE player chooses.
     
  17. Skallagrimson

    Skallagrimson Deity

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    Messages:
    2,043
    Efficient whipping is a skill I haven't mastered yet. When I check on a SE farm city's production and notice it's within whipping range, it's already close enough to where it seems a better use of the pop to just finish it normally and not lose the farms being worked (for either growth or scientist specialist support). I know it can be done, but I guess I have to micromanage more closely.

    In my current game I'm Montezuma, got Pyramids and Oracle, discovered Buddhism, built the shrine, cottage-spammed the floodplains and raced to monarchy to work some wine resources, and that capitol city alone enabled me to beat down a very prolific city-spamming Napoleon nearby who overall had a much better grassland starting position than I did (mostly desert). I was taking the cities a little TOO fast even, as the maintenance finally brought me to the point of zero research on the slider and still unable to fund the army, so I had to make peace with Nappy leaving him with 2 cities while I built my economy back up and dismissed some obsolete Jaguar warriors. But that rebuild period rocketed the Aztec empire from bottom of the points list to the top, just in working all the terrain I'd conquered and filling in some empty areas with new settlers.

    All the rest of my cities were SE in the early game, or production-based (working mines), and it didn't take much whipping to blast out an overwhelming army. (Monarchy led me to one step away from Feudalism and having longbows before my neighbors was impossible to resist!)

    I'm at leisure now to either consolidate the economy and research and go for space race (on continents, have the entire continent now), or gear up a risky naval armada to invade some other civ. If the war goes poorly that could knock me off the top slot quickly, but if it goes well it could be a much more satisfying win than that stupid space ship. We'll see tonight. ;)
     
  18. MrCynical

    MrCynical Deity

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Location:
    The Dreaming Spires
    Other sources of research gold and culture merely add on the top of the beakers/gold/culture generated from commerce, or from specialists. They have no effect whatever on interconversion and are therefore of no relevance whatever when comparing commerce to beakers from specialists. Under those conditions beakers from specialists and commerce are completely interchangeable.

    Alright, assume the gold modifiers don't exist. No matter how stupendously incompetantly the CE is managed a base beaker from a specialist cannot be worth more than two commerce. That's if you run the CE at 100% gold with only science modifying buildings, which is moronic. Taking a conservative but plausible scenario of 70% science for the CE 3 commerce is therefore equal to 2.1 beakers and 0.9 gold base values. Now if all the science modifiers and none of the gold modifiers are present then that gives the SE an output of 6 beakers per specialist. The CE is giving 4.2 beakers and 0.9 gold. Even if you bias against the CE by ignoring gold completely, there is no way with remotely competant management that a base beaker from a specialist can be worth more than 1.4 commerce. If you want to include the full comparison of sum gold and science, then the comparison drops to a base beaker from a specialist being worth no more than 1.2 commerce, and that's with no gold boosting buildings whatever.

    Now with the pyramids that gives the SE a goodshot at being a better alternative, at least prior to liberalism. Without the pyramids though, you're looking at 3 base beakers from two farms, in comparison to two cottages. As soon as they are hamlets, even without gold producing buildings, the SE is struggling to keep up researchwise. (3.6 from SE vs. 4.0 from CE). This is after just 10 turns. Give it another 20 turns and they're villages (3.6 from SE vs. 6.0 from CE). This is before even printing press, let alone towns.

    Now you can argue that research is only one component, but fact is that it is a very major component of a game. It lacks credibility to claim that it is not a significant problem for an SE to be researching at least 50% slower than an equivalent CE after just 30 turns. Ever played Deity? The CE will be researching about as fast relative to you as the Deity AI is vs a human player, and it will get much worse. Is that a minor problem? This is why I find the argument that the pyramids are non-essential to an SE unconvincing.

    We are not discussing from game to game though. We are discussing which of a CE and SE researches fastest in the same game, with all the same factors.

    The term "anecdotal evidence" really grates on me. Feels oxymoronic. Someone round here has a wonderful sig with the reminder "The plural of anecdote is not data". There's also the point that even your anecdotes tell you nothing about how a CE did under those conditions. At best it tells you that a human run SE without pyramids can beat an ineptly run AI half hearted CE (sometimes).
     
  19. Thomas G.

    Thomas G. Warlord

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2005
    Messages:
    127
    I have doubts about this one GPP being equivalent to 2 commerce.
    It has been shown that it is best to generate all GPP in one city, known as the "GP farm". This city will be a feature of a CE.

    Spreading out GPPs like a SE will do will be less than optimal use. And indeed, a city using 2 scientist generating 6 GPPs will NEVER produce a Greater Person if it is running against a decent GPP farm. The accumulated GPP will never catch up with the increased cost of generating the next GP, hence these points will be wasted.

    Without doing a detailed analysis, I will theorize that extra GPs will be generated in SE compared to a CE (obviously), but these will mostly be early ones. In the late game I would disregard the the GPP from most specialists altogether.

    So this argument:
    "PHI SE = 3 commerce + 6 GP = 15 commerce equivalent"

    might look good compared to:
    "Standard CE = 3 commerce for 10 turns, 6 for 20, 9 for 40, 12 afterwards"

    but in reality those GPP have less and less value. I do not buy that.

    The national epic will shift the focus even more towards favoring GPP in one city, if one doesnt mind getting those annoying artist buggers. (But they can be good for warfare, and you could be able to lightbulb with them still)

    Like someone else said, its hard to get a lot of science specialists early in the GP farm, but then again you can get the other types and just use them anyway. Lightbulb, great specialist, trade mission, shrine, or even a GA.

    Speaking of GA, they are not used much, but are a lot more useful to a CE compared SE....
     
  20. Wodan

    Wodan Deity

    Joined:
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    If the situation under which SE is run permits additional research, gold, or commerce not available to CE, then it is of relevance. Likewise, vice-versa.

    What's "worth more" mean?

    Assuming you mean worth more commerce, then it makes no sense. We have no means for transmuting research into commerce.

    If you mean the reverse, worth more research, then you're saying that a civ running at 0/0/100 (max gold) with 2 commerce income and a Library produces more research than another civ with a 1 research income. That makes no sense either.

    Unless the specialist permits other benefits which result in additional research, gold, or indirectly happiness (if happiness forces the culture slider), or any of a number of other benefits that affect or are affected by research generation.

    People usually maximize research generation. Thus why most people prefer to run the slider at 100%. We can't ignore the negative effects of maximizing research generation, especially when they're different between CE and SE.

    Sure. So, at minimum, we can't ignore other sources of research permitted by the SE.

    And at maximum, we should also take into account other components of the game permitted under both situations: if either a CE or SE permit a benefit not available to the other, then it has to be part of any realistic comparison between the two.

    We can't ignore other sources of research and then make a conclusion about total research which is based upon only one source.

    The conditions under which an example is possible are the same conditions under which facts are obtained.

    Taking facts and coming to a hypothesis which contradicts multiple examples is a hugely strong indication that some facts were missed, and that the hypothesis is invalid.

    I told you I've run the same game both ways.

    Agreed.

    Disagree with both of these comments. Early game, spreading out GPPs is optimal (precisely because it's impossible to concentrate until you get things that allow GPP concentration). In other words, a "decent GPP farm" is not possible early game.

    By spreading out you are able to generate GPPs in parallel. 4 cities each with 2 scientists produces 6 GPP / turn each. One of them outstripping the others is not an issue... it may have a couple extra from Pyramids or something, but it's not going to "lap" them (which is how outstripping is possible). So, the 4th city is going to produce a Great Scientist by reaching 400 GPP on turn 67.

    Thus, spreading out will get you several GPs early, particularly for a Philosophical leader. This benefit is simply not available to a CE.

    By the time your GPP Farm (if you have one) is kicking in for your SE, that's when your comments become relevant, I think.

    Agreed. The benefit to the SE is getting GP earlier.

    Regardless, the 2nd purpose of the specialists (or the 1st, depending on your point of view) is to get research. This continues throughout the game, of course.

    I agree with that conclusion. Then again, I wasn't sure we could effectively compare GPP to commerce anyway. :)

    An "early" GP farm only really starts after NE, both because of NE and because of the timing... it takes that long to accumulate wonders and buildings/civics that permit specialists. By that time, the SE GPP benefit is declining fast. The SE will still get a ton of GP, but because of its farm (whether they have a farm or not, the SE will still have one city with more GPP income than other cities.).

    Hmm, I wonder if you could run a SE and carefully balance cities so that 4-5 of them stay neck-to-neck in GPP? Would be nice to spread out wonder production, and you should get more GPP that way. Though, you will lose a lot of GPP from the NE (the multiplier is only affecting a part of your GPP instead of the majority of it). Probably it would be a lot of trouble and get you to about the same place as a good GP Farm.

    Why is that?

    Wodan
     

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