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Tech Trading - Beaker Exchange Rate

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by riapopia, Jan 1, 2008.

  1. riapopia

    riapopia Chieftain

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    So I am a veteran Civ 3 player and proper tech trading seemed to be the single most important skill to focus on. In Civ 4, it seems much harder though that may just be my ignorance.

    By basic question is do you all look for "fair" trades based on number of beakers being exchanged? I seem to never be able to close fair deals and I end up giving ~1.2 beakers for every 1 beaker I get back. Of course this is still acceptable in many cases. But is this right? Is there some way to get better deals? I have not noticed a major difference in trade equity based on diplomatic status.

    The only time I really don't trade is if I'd be giving up a critical military or wonder tech. Overall, I have to believe making a series of rip-off trades is still better than brute force researching everything solo. No?
     
  2. Iranon

    Iranon Deity Whipping Boy

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    That shouldn't be much of a problem since you're not actually losing anything... if you can get them throw throw in something else by all means go for it but don't obsess over it. If you trade an 800-beaker tech to 2 leaders receiving different 500-beaker techs, you came out 200 beakers ahead.

    If my opponents are rich enough, I prefer to get gold from them rather than techs. a 500 beaker tech for 500 gold means i'm ahead 500 beakers while they break even - something for nothing.
    And often enough, they'll accept that kind of deal if they have the cash! That sort of thing fuels further deficit research, which can lead to another lopsided trade.


    It often pays to do multiple deals in a round, since otherwise you'll give your opponents an opportunity to make deals that *gasp* don't benefit you. If you trade away a previously exclusive tech, it makes sense to offer it to anyone willing to give you anything decent for it.
    You might even take a pittance of gold for it (gaining some diplomacy bonus) or bribe them into something else... attacking someone who's threatening your tech superiority, adopting your state religion etc.
     
  3. oyzar

    oyzar Have quit civ/forums

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    Ofc the fact that AI values beakers from techs more than gold and gold is often worth twice as much as beakers or more makes it even sillier... You can't get the AI to trade away more beakers than they want to. However they value techs somewhat differently from what they cost to research i believe.
     
  4. Bureaucracy

    Bureaucracy Chieftain

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    A few things you guys are missing.

    AI values techs a little bit smarter than they did in Civ III. If there is a wonder still around for that tech, they really guard it like mad. But trying to think in terms of beaker for beaker must be adjusted for each level you play at. This is because your penalty/bonus for research changes on each level.

    Also, some civ's focus more on beakers than others, so this makes a big difference in tech trading.
     
  5. Winston Hughes

    Winston Hughes Wrathful Warlock Retired Moderator

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    In many cases, fairness has nothing to do with it. Strategic advantage is the important part.

    The three tech positions from which you'll trade with an AI civ:

    (i) Racing Ahead.

    (ii) Maintaining Parity.

    (iii) Playing catch up.

    (These are relative to the civ you're thinking of trading with, rather than a description of your overall tech position relative to all the other civs).

    In situation (i), the trades you'll make are generally backfills, swapping an expensive tech for a load of cheap ones you bypassed earlier. Since the civ in question is already lagging behind, handing them a single tech ain't going to make a whole lot of difference. If you've already been trading heavily, however, then the danger of WFYABTA* might make these trades a bad move.

    If they don't have any techs you wan't, or WFYABTA is an issue, then sell for cash. Dealing with an AI in this position, I'll often sell 1000+ beakers worth of tech for less than 100 gold. As I said, fairness has nothing to do with it - I'm looking for an advantage over my rivals, not over some backwards nobody. The exception, of course, is if there's any chance of war with the AI in question.

    In situation (ii), the effects of a trade have to be considered more carefully. But this is more about the relative advantages of the trade to each party, than the research costs of the tech in question (though these are worth considering).

    I won't go into the detail of these decisions (way too complex), but suffice to say that victory conditions, military concerns, one-off benefits (religions, free GPs), wonder races, and the relative tech positions of the other AI civs are important considerations.

    Selling for cash is less attractive in this situation than in (i), and depends almost entirely on whether any other AIs already have the tech, and are likely to sell/trade it to the civ in question. If they are, and you can get a half-decent price, then the sale should at least be considered.

    Situation (iii) can work out in one of two ways:

    If the AI in question is a lone frontrunner, then you probably don't want to give them anything at all, unless they're prepared to offer you a really crucial tech. Never sell for cash in this situation.

    If there are several other civs racing ahead, then you may have a chance to trade your way back to parity, by researching a tech none of them have, and whoring it around to all of them. If you've traded the tech to the others already, then selling for cash (even fairly small amounts) is sensible here - if you don't do it, then the other AIs probably will.

    That's my take on things, anyway. (I've left diplomacy out altogether, btw - not because it's unimportant, but because it's too darn complex and I've already written a freakin' essay.)

    Comments, criticisms or acts of worship :)rolleyes:) are welcome.

    *http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=206578
     
  6. Iranon

    Iranon Deity Whipping Boy

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    Even when behind, I'd prefer selling for cash unless I have nothing useful to do with gold. Research is usually directly constrained by gold, and the AI simply agrees to ridiculously lopsided trades when rich enough.
     
  7. riapopia

    riapopia Chieftain

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    Thanks for all the responses!

    I had a follow up question - if you trade an "exclusive" tech to a Civ, should you expect that Civ to trade that tech to all Civs the next turn? Just the Civs that they are friendly with?

    If indeed techs are traded liquidly between the AIs it definitely makes sense to make sure you can squeeze value out of a single tech on a single turn obviously...
     
  8. Antilogic

    Antilogic --

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    The AI rarely agree to a "fair" beaker to beaker exchange. You often have to sacrifice a little or sweeten the pot with some cash to make them accept. As mentioned before, the key is multiple trades so that you can come out on top. Money tends to count less, I've noticed: a difference of only 50 beakers may result in an AI demanding your treasury of 150 gold to take the deal.

    The AI trades like mad: you should assume anything you give to the AI will be traded away to other AIs, unless they decide to build a wonder with it or something like that. Turning on the "No Tech Brokering" option nullifies this, however--I've played around a lot with that option.
     
  9. lilnev

    lilnev King

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    Trades between the AIs follow the same rules as trades between humans, so they won't trade to another AI that they're annoyed with, for example. The other thing is "near-monopoly" techs. Before BtS, this was straightforward, each leader had a threshold percentage that it had to be known by before they would be willing to trade it. Mansa was the only leader who would trade away a monopoly tech, Toku wouldn't trade anything unless you were the last person who didn't have it yet, and everyone else had a threshold somewhere in between. So if there were six of you on a continent, you could probably trade a tech to one AI without it getting further spread. Post-BtS I think it's a little more complicated, but the principle is still there.

    The other thing to understand is "We fear you are becoming too advanced", explained here Basically, don't accept cheap techs in trades, or you'll be cut off later on.

    peace,
    lilnev
     
  10. lilnev

    lilnev King

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    One more thing -- if you've partially researched a tech, the AI "knows" how many beakers you have left to go and values it accordingly. So if you've got Aesthetics and you want to trade it for Alphabet (equal beaker values, the AI won't do it), put a turn or two into Alphabet so that it's one sixth done or so, and the trade will probably be possible.
     

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