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Tall Still Viable?

Discussion in 'Civ6 - Strategy & Tips' started by kamex, Oct 31, 2016.

  1. kamex

    kamex Emperor

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    Sorry if this is a duplicate thread but I can't find a topic elsewhere since release.

    Are tall empires (approx 4 cities) still competitive for non-domination victories. I know that districts scale with tech / civic level, but are there any other restrictions on wide play? I don't mind wide play, but sometimes managing 15+ cities every turn can become tedious, especially with no build queues.

    I have noticed that the AIs tend to have poor tech and culture output late game, so surely you could compete with a few but highly developed cities?
     
  2. toptech

    toptech Chieftain

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    There are few reasons not to go wide. Amenities only apply to four cities so you have to keep finding or trading for more and more as you expand, but then again cities don't require amenities until size 3. Plus population provides a base amount of culture and tech, and each city allows a new copy of districts, meaning more commerce and industrial districts and trade routes.
     
  3. MadDjinn

    MadDjinn Deity

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    you can still go 'tall' if you want and do well. though 'tall' in civvi may be closer to 6 cities than 4.
     
  4. Frank327

    Frank327 Warlord

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    You have to build those cities in a cluster (but not too close together) and get the Colosseum in the middle along with a bunch of Industrial districts. Once you get neighbourhoods, place those on the outside of your empire. This will make all of your cities grow really big with lots of production. That way you can still compete with the output of 8-12 city empires. If you can't grow your cities big (20+ population) then you can't compete with wide empires.

    And even then if you were playing multiplayer, even a well built tall empire can't stand up to a good wide empire.
     
  5. CivScientist

    CivScientist Warlord

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    There's little compelling you to go tall that you couldn't do more effectively going wide. A new city gets you buildings in the city center that provide a per city bonus, a free district (don't need 3 pop for the first), practically a free amenity (first 2 pop don't need an amenity), less food to gain more pop, access to more land with resources, etc.. Going tall (at least for half the game) has these potential advantages over building an additional city:
    • Get those early wonders
    • Get those early great people
    • Found a religion
    • Go for a cultural victory with said early wonders?
    • Fully utilize a production starved start? (can't build settlers very quickly so best do something with all that extra food)
    • Avoid border disputes longer and maintain a more defensive position? (does this ever really pan out?)
    Let me know if I missed any.

    The thing about those "benefits" is that they aren't all that wonderful and can probably be gotten around by a wide empire before too long. Early wonders are nice but none of them are so great that you'd be better off giving up 4 extra cities. Same with early great people with the exception of a great prophet.

    The best reason to focus on a tall empire early on seems to be if you're going for a cultural victory from the start and want to capture early wonders or you're looking to found a religion at higher levels. Then you must divert large amounts of resources that would be spent building/capturing cities. But in these cases and the case where you start off in a production starved start, it's not something you prefer doing so much as you holding your breath and doing what must be done until you're in a position to get more cities and go wide.

    tldr; Going tall doesn't seem viable because there's no real benefit tall cities get over wide cities and plenty of detriment. The only reason why you'd choose not to build more cities if you could is if you must to found a new religion or get early wonders.
     
  6. RealHuhn

    RealHuhn Emperor

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    I think the sweet spot is 6-8 early cities. Grabbing a few more with unique luxuries after renaissance exploration isn't a bad idea either.

    With only 4 cities you really limit yourself. No %modifiers, less chance to get critical strategic resources, very weakened tourism potential and especially lack of trade routes. Seriously, the more trade routes you have, the better and each coastal city adds another 2 with commercial/harbor combo.

    By the way, that's one of the biggest reasons I like CIV6 so much. Finally I don't feel bad anymore whenever I expand after turn 100. CIV5 was just silly, it really was. ;)
     
    Bletchley_Geek and Cymsdale like this.
  7. Falk

    Falk Prince

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    One way to play tall is to have 3-4 major cities and several production cities surrounding them. The production cities can be very small, they just need well placed IZs with Factories and Power Plants.
     
  8. Deaga

    Deaga Chieftain

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    To be fair, the Tall vs Wide deal doesn't seem to fit with CivVI at all. You can have many cities AND grow them big. As others have stated, anything less than 6 cities seems like too few cities in this game.
     
  9. Feyd Rautha

    Feyd Rautha Prince

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    I like to play tall. I get a feel for cities having a "character," and I never have to worry about amenities. That said, I rarely play above prince.

    One thing I'd recommend even if trying this at higher difficulties is to get four cities out very quickly. After that, plan for four more cities at some point later on as you reveal niter, oil, aluminum, and uranium (in case you don't have a domestic supply). The later cities should have coast access since you'll be hurting for trade routes having gone tall. Commercial, Harbor, and Industrial districts in all with a district for your victory condition also once they reach a high enough pop.
     
  10. Cymsdale

    Cymsdale Prince

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    I'm glad that Civ no longer punishes you in such silly ways for actually expanding. It's fine to have an opportunity cost to building a settler, but Civ5's restrictions were kind of silly. It's nice to be able to build smaller cities for strategic purposes without having them punish you simply by existing.
     
  11. stormtrooper412

    stormtrooper412 Peacemongering Turtlesaur

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    I don't think so, because you hit the housing cap much quicker that you'd hit the happiness cap in 5
     
  12. RedRover57

    RedRover57 Emperor

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    Has anyone had success with a self-imposed, peaceful one city challenge on a higher difficulty in Civ 6? Must be self-imposed of course because there is no official option for OCC. Seems like a tough challenge.
     
  13. Feyd Rautha

    Feyd Rautha Prince

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    I think instead of OCC, C6 should have TCC (Three City Challenge). 3 district buildings and AoE benefits are too integral to the game concepts.

    That said, I think they should bring back puppet states and get rid of auto-razing if you take extra cities in C6 under a challenge scenario. Also, three cities is more than enough on many difficulty settings.
     
  14. Gtdead

    Gtdead Chieftain

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    It's pointless imo. In civ 5, going tall was important because science depended almost exclusively on population and extra cities increased science costs.

    In civ 6, I aim for 5-6 cities by turn 80-90~, set in a triangular fashion so they can share district bonuses as much as possible and then beeline industrialization -> electricity in science tree, and feudalism -> zoos in civic tree.

    In my experience, the more cities you can build/capture by turn 80-90, the better. I generally stop expanding by that time and focus on infrastructure/tile improvements, and getting all my cities to 13 pop. Then switch all internal trade routes to international, for gold, and continue expanding.

    Once you get the gold flowing, it's extremely easy to expand. Just make sure to pick a spot with forest tiles/stone. Chop them all/harvest the stone, to rush commerce/industrial districts, set an internal trade route if possible, and you are pretty much set.
     
  15. Ryika

    Ryika Lazy Wannabe Artista

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    No, not expanding is not a viable strategy.
     
  16. Nefelia

    Nefelia Prince

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    Tall vs Wide in Civ VI is different from what it was in Civ V. The arbitrary four-city limit is gone. Tall just means a greater focus on growing large and powerful core cities at the expense of expansion. Even so, with one or two conquered cities devoted to building settlers, one can manage a blend of Tall and Wide.
     
  17. dunam

    dunam Chieftain

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    There are simply no rewards for going tall. You'll stop yourself from getting the full reward of city states, as they give a per-city bonus.

    You can not compensate with trade routes, as the number of trade routes is capped mostly by commercial+harbor districts, which give 1 trade route each, meaning that each new, even miserable city can at least contribute trade routes.

    You can not compensate with cheaper buildings or advanced buildings like in civ5.

    There are almost no buildings that give a % boost, which means that there is little reward for going tall. If you do plan to go tall, you probably want arabia, as their worship building gives a % boost.

    Since wonders take a space, this is another reason not to go tall, as it reduces the number of workable tiles.
     
  18. Roxlimn

    Roxlimn Deity

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    The concept is not in place in Civ 6. The concept of Tall vs. Wide has always been based on the premise that the output of the Civilization depended on the population - always depended on the population. Whatever you were doing, you needed population do it, and capping the population Civ Wide was the best way to control the output directly. Which is part of the concept of Tall vs. Wide.

    Civ 6 breaks that premise in half and then burns it into the ground. In Civ 6, your output is dependent on Districts. Some of it is still in Population, but a lot of it in is Adjacencies and Districts. A single Campus in the early game with an Adjacency of +5 will be over a third of your entire Science output if you double it with the policy. Gold is the same. Your gold is in Trade Routes. If you have lots of Routes, you will be rich. You can found a new city for it, but then that city will need to build a Commerical Hub, and that takes a while. It almost doesn't matter what the pop is. You want the Hub, not the city. If you can make a Harbor instead, that'll actually be faster, so just grab the Harbor instead of making a new city. Or do both, but the Harbor will come online faster.

    Wide size is limited by Amenities, so the logical break point is between 5 to 8 cities. More than that and you start running into problems with luxuries. Aztecs can get around that with their unique ability, so their break point is closer to 12 cities on Standard size.

    It bears mentioning that Amenities are still kind of Global Happiness. Civ 6 developers are quick to point the differences, but it's still kind of that. The main difference is that each Amenity will only count towards a city once, so you can't grow 4 pop in one city to take advantage of a luxury. You have to build 4 pop in 4 cities. But the effect is still effectively Global Happiness so long as you have at least 4 cities. If you build a lot of Entertainment Districts in your core cities with maximum effect, your peripheral cities will feel the difference.
     
  19. Dunduks

    Dunduks Chieftain

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    Tall empires (~4 cities) still are competitive for non-domination victories.

    I played tall Kongo (Standard, Emperor, Pangaea) science victory. Smallest city was 20 something, capital was around 33. No wars and no worries even with minimal army (after I ended wars with barbarians my army was 3 archers which I upgraded later). OK, bonus was that I had my corner of map. I took almost all great scientists, engineers and merchants (unfortunately, their number is limited).
     
  20. aimlessgun

    aimlessgun King

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    I also felt this way but now I think it does add character to have different sizes of city, from your core 15+ pop metropolises to your pop 8 towns to your 2 pop fishing villages you built just for the trade routes. The core cities are the ones you'll really know well and admire the look of, while the villages you'll just visit every once in a while when they finally manage to finish building something :)
     
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