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Specializing cities- what to give up?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by lange17, Jun 25, 2013.

  1. lange17

    lange17 Chieftain

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    I've been getting back into Civ4 the last couple months, and I'm trying to make the leap from Monarch to Emperor. I've read a good bit on the forums about the importance of specializing cities, and I think I get that as far as placing National Wonders and choosing between food/specialists and towns.

    What I don't understand so much is what to do with my cities once they've gotten obvious key buildings in place. I've read people saying I shouldn't build every building everywhere- but what should I do instead? For instance, in the mid-game,let's say one of my second-tier cities has a granary, library, forge, and courthouse. I'm not particularly close to the happy- or health-caps. I'm not planning a war in the immediate future. What should I build? Just keep choosing the next best city improvement until I've "built everything"? Build military units even though I suspect they'll be outmoded by the time I would want to use them? Or flip over to research/wealth?

    Any advice would be welcome!
     
  2. sinimusta

    sinimusta el capitano

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    Wealth or wonders for failgold if you have modifiers like industrious or marble/stone. Usually you have better science modifiers than commorce modifiers so it's more efficient to build wealth.
     
  3. Nexlev

    Nexlev King

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    Spies and workers never get outmoded. You can also build research or commerce.

    Not that you'd want to build a billion spies and workers, but they are useful and the time period that you have nothing else to build is usually pretty short lived.
     
  4. lymond

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

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    No, you can't. I assume you mean wealth/gold, which is not the same thing as commerce.

    Lange, if you have no essential buildings like the ones mention left to build, then building wealth is the best thing to do unless you want to start building an army to go take someone out.

    Build Wealth first, and then Research.

    Putting hammers into Wonders for fail gold is another good idea.
     
  5. urborror

    urborror Chieftain

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    I'd say with the economic penalties at "Emperor," definitely wealth. A six city early empire might crash your economy. Domination-style conquering can lower your slider to the point that the AI might out-tech you with far less cities.

    Most of the AI cities you capture have horrible commerce, so ordering them to build wealth and support the cities with good commerce isn't a bad function for them.
     
  6. reddishrecue

    reddishrecue Deity

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    Flip to research/wealth. Idk what else you could do at that level other than watch the AI spam new technologies.
     
  7. georgjorge

    georgjorge Deity Wannabe

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    The obvious answer is Wealth/Research, or units for Hereditary Rule in your Bureaucracy capital if needed. However, the question itself might be an indication of other problems, namely a focus on too much production.

    Very broadly speaking, a city in the early to mid game can have a focus on producing stuff (through mines or Slavery), run specialists, or work cottages. If it does one of the latter two things, it generally won't have very high production - some buildings like Courthouses or Forges can actually take a long time to be built in them if you really keep them focused on doing these things. If all or most of your cities can build these things relatively fast, maybe you settled/built improvements too much for production (especially if you're NOT planning a war) and too little for commerce and specialists. I don't know, as it is hard to tell without a save, just throwing that thought out there.
     
  8. Izuul

    Izuul Level 86

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    Most often i shoot for 1 cottaged-out bureau capitol, 1 GP farm, and the rest become production cities. It's important to stay flexible and adapt though because the further you get up the difficulty ladder the tougher it is to claim land and you really just have to work with what's available.

    Anyway, production cities only need basic infrastructure like a granary, barracks, and forge. You may also build a few things like a temple and/or monastery if you have the AP religion since they each give 2 hammers, and a theater to combat war weariness and unhappiness if that becomes an issue. When they aren't building those key buildings, they can build wealth or units (if at war or preparing for war).
     
  9. lange17

    lange17 Chieftain

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    Thank you so much for the answers. I've generally avoided wealth/research in all but the most extreme circumstances, just figuring it couldn't be efficient since it only gives immediate help instead of a city improvement that helps for the rest of the game. Its the same reason I never bulbed with my Great People and almost never went for Golden Ages with them. Looks like I need to get over my "builder" mentality and take the immediate benefit sometimes.

    I do notice an apparent conflict between georgjorge's advice:
    and Izuul's advice:
    If anyone wants to explain or discuss the differences between these approaches, I'm all ears.

    Again, thank you all.
     
  10. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    Depends if you're playing a peaceful tech game or a :hammers: military breakout game.

    Regardless, if building an improvement isn't going to give you returns very quickly (20-30 turns range) compared to just building wealth, you probably shouldn't build it. Build wealth or a unit. You can kill production with specialists or just building wealth until you get to technologies that let you conquer. Only bother with the non-basic buildings if going for space (with :culture: sometimes you'll want :health: buildings in your top 3 cities, but that's situational and the fastest way to win culture is apparently through espionage).
     
  11. VoiceOfUnreason

    VoiceOfUnreason Deity

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    Part of the answer to the riddle is looking at where the play gives you immediate help. Investing hammers in improvements pays off locally -- in the city itself. Wealth pays off globally; in particular, it pays off in your strongest cities: because you are building wealth in your weak cities, you can run the science slider higher, and therefore get more return from the research multipliers you have in the big cities.
     
  12. toob

    toob Chieftain

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    I hate building wealth. I do it all the time, it's the right call in a surprisingly large number of circumstances, VoU points out why.

    The reason I hate it is ... the city governor. I can't ever get the city manager to build wealth and work hammer tiles (mines, even!). Emphasize production doesn't work, only manual reallocation.

    So I have many cities building wealth, 1-2 hammers at a time, even when there's a forge in the city. I swear I've seen the gawl-blanking thing move off a river grass mine onto a lighthouse-less coast! Really, not as helpful as it should/could be. It means I have to go through each city undoing what the governor did, making the governor useless, making me go through all the cities more often than should be necessary. Gah!
     
  13. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    Yes, city governor turns into **** when buidling wealth. It loves unimproved grassland, non-LH coast...whatever it can find to be as inefficient and worthless as possible.

    One thing you can do is emphasize production, then turn the governor off, then build wealth. At least that way you stay on whatever tile arrangement it ordinarily uses, which still might be suboptimal but much less so.

    Automation in this game is terrible. You can't auto workers or they suicide on purpose at war (how come AI workers don't do this then?). You can't use waypoints or units will refuse to interrupt their pathing even with enemies in plain sight. Automated workboats will pick an identical tile further away rather than closer, losing :food: with absolutely no upside whatsoever. It's a disgrace. Why put these features in the game at all if they're so bad that utter newbies could outperform them within a week or so?
     

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