# The Market Line (Balance Discussion)

#### Stalker0

##### Baller Magnus
The goal of this thread is to showcase the actual profit of markets, grocers, and fairs. Unlike most resources (civics, training, etc), money is directly equivalent to resources through market prices. This means that we can get an exact comparison between a worker building the market line for money, versus building stone quarries.

By the end of this thread, I hope to convince you that the market line is actually very poor at generating profit, and should be avoided in a great majority of circumstances.

Scenario: Market then Grocer then Fair

We will assume a single worker. Now the worker can either build stone quarries (basic flat land quarries which have a base of 5 stone per turn) or the market series of buildings. We will run the scenario for a market, a market + a grocer, and a market + a grocer + a fair. In comparison, we will make the equivalent number of stone quarries (including adjacencies as we are making them in a circle). Our goal is to calculate X, the amount of gold per turn our city would need to generate for the market series of buildings' gold boost to be MORE PROFITABLE than our basic 5 stone per turn quarries. We will run the scenario for 50 turns after the last building finishes to give our buildings some time to accumulate.

Getting our Formulas (Heavy Math)
Spoiler :

Breakeven Formula:

Market Series Profit = Market Building Base Cost + Market Building Ongoing Cost + Quarry Stone Production - Quarry Base Cost

Market Only
Time Markers:
Turn 1 - Start Quarry / Start Market
Turn 4 - Quarry 1 upkeep begins
Turn 5 - Market Upkeep begins
Turn 55 - Scenario Ends

Quarry Base Cost: 1 quarries * 20 iron = 20 iron
Market Base Cost: 80 wood
Ongoing Costs: (55-5) * 2 wood = 100 wood
Ongoing Quarry Profit: (55-4) * 5 stone = 255 stone

Breakeven Formula: .20 * X * 50 turns = 255 stone + 180 wood - 20 iron
10X = 255 stone + 180 wood - 20 iron
X = 25.5 stone + 18 wood - 2 iron

Market + Grocer
Time Markers:
Turn 1 - Start Quarry / Start Market
Turn 4 - Start Quarry 2, Quarry 1 upkeep begins
Turn 5 - Start Grocer, Market Upkeep begins
Turn 7 Start Quarry 3, Quarry 2 upkeep begins
Turn 10 Grocer upkeep begins / Quarry 3 upkeep begins
Turn 60 Scenario Ends

Quarry Base Cost: 3 quarries * 20 iron = 60 iron
Market + Grocer Base Cost: 80 wood + 100 wood = 180 wood
Ongoing Costs: (60-5) * 2 wood + (60 - 10) * 5 wood = 360 wood
Ongoing Quarry Profit: 3 turns * 5 stone + 3 turns * 5.5 stone * 2 quarries + 50 turns * 6 stone * 3 quarries = 978 stone

Breakeven Formula: .20 * X * 5 turns + .50 * X * 50 turns = 978 stone + 540 wood - 60 iron
26X = 978 stone + 540 wood - 60 iron
X = 37.62 stone + 20.77 wood - 2.31 iron

Market + Grocer + Fair
Time Markers:
Turn 1 - Start Quarry / Start Market
Turn 4 - Start Quarry 2, Quarry 1 upkeep begins
Turn 5 - Start Grocer, Market Upkeep begins
Turn 7 Start Quarry 3, Quarry 2 upkeep begins
Turn 10 Start Fair, Grocer upkeep begins / Start Quarry 4, Quarry 3 upkeep begins
Turn 13 Start Quarry 5, Quarry 4 upkeep begins
Turn 16 Fair and Quarry 5 upkeep begins
Turn 66 Scenario Ends

Costs
Quarry Base Cost: 5 quarries * 20 iron = 100 iron
Market / Grocer / Fair Base Cost: 80 + 100 + 120 = 300 wood
Ongoing Costs: 5 turns * 2 wood + 6 turns * 5 wood + 50 turns * 9 wood = 490 wood

Profits
Quarry: 5 stone * 3 turns + 5.5 stone * 2 quarries * 3 turns + 6 stone * 3 quarries * 3 turns + (6 stone * 2 quarries * 3 turns + 6.5 stone * 2 quarries * 3 turns) + (6 stone * 1 quarry + 6.5 stone * 2 quarries + 7 stone * 2 quarries) * 50 turns = 15 + 33 + 54 + 75 + 1,650 = 1,827 stone produced

Breakeven formula
.2X * 5 turns + .5X * 6 turns + X * 50 turns = 790 wood - 100 iron + 1,827 stone
54X = 1,827 stone + 790 wood - 100 iron
X = 33.83 stone + 14.63 wood - 1.85 iron

Summary of Results
So now we have our easy to use formulas:

Market Only: X = 25.5*stone price + 18*wood price - 2*iron price
Market + Grocer: X = 37.62*stone price + 20.77*wood price - 2.31*iron price
Market + Grocer + Fair: X = 33.83*stone price + 14.63*wood price - 1.85* iron price

From these, all we need to do is pick the market price of the various resources, and we can then calculate X for that scenario. Lets look at three scenarios (but you have the formulas, feel free to use any market numbers you feel are appropriate):

Market Favorable (we are generally selling our stone and wood at half prices, and iron we are buying)
Stone: 3 gold
Wood: 3 gold
Iron: 8 gold

Common Middle Game Scenario (stone and wood we are generally buying, and the price is starting to go up. Iron is relatively cheap)
Stone: 8 gold
Wood: 8 gold
Iron: 4 gold

Scarce Resources (stone and wood are heavily bought, and up quite a bit in price. Even iron is scarce, and we are buying it as well)
Stone: 13 gold
Wood: 13 gold
Iron: 8 gold

Market Favorable
Market Only: 114.5 GPT
M + G: 157 GPT
M + G + F: 131 GPT

Common Middle Game
Market Only: 340 GPT
M + G: 458 GPT
M + G + F: 380 GPT

Scarce Resources
Market Only: 550 GPT
M + G: 741 GPT
M + G + F: 615 GPT

Conclusion
Frankly, even under market favorable conditions, I have many cities that fall under that threshold. I am literally looking at a game I just finished on the Great Difficulty, so I'm literally seeing the X of each of my cities on the last turn, and 3 out of 8 of them don't even qualify for a Market Only. Now as prices get higher....X gets crazy high, and often only the money capital might have the numbers needed to justify these buildings. You can also see that the Grocer is particularly bad, it costs a lot both in terms of time to build it, and the resources needed to construct it. Compared to just building quarries, it takes a lot of base to make the grocer worth it.

And of course, we are assuming basic quarries. If your workers could choose some mountain quarries, the opportunity cost of just building basic buildings almost doubles.

In general, I believe these numbers show that in general, the market line of buildings are just not worth constructing. If you want to build buildings to generate more money for your civ, building stone quarries is superior in the majority of cases. Lastly, feel free to comment if you think my market prices are "bonkers". If you have a set of prices you see in your game that you think are more realistic, feel free to put them on the thread. We will put them in the formulas and see what your X value is.

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#### Pfeffersack

##### Deity
Interesting analysis.

I haven't yet built a lot of market-line buildings as they come a bit into the tech tree and I didn't enjoy an proper end game yet. But my gut feeling goes a bit in the same direction - of all ressources, the scarcest are those that you can't buy (city capital, training, orders, research), then followed by the "hard materials" (iron, stone, timber). That leaves money and food - and both are never a real problem for me. I found ways to use all the money, which I stockpiled in my first games, unexperienced as I was...event choices, specialist rushing with the right guys/gals in place or buying you quickly the stone for another world wonder. But it doesn't feel that I need to focus on getting more money...because if I'm short on cash, I just tend to sell my excess food. And there always seems to be excess food. It's not that I plonk down farms left and right...I mainly build them on ressources or near cattle ranges and pair them with Granaries (Civ6 has conditioned me to play the optimal adjacency placement minigame ), but those couple of farm yield me a food surplus in the hundreds. And as food can be stored like any other ressource (unlike for example in Imperiums: Greek Wars, where 2/3 of the storage rots each turn), it works as a 2nd currency for me. I don't even need to sell in advance (you can still fill your coffers as needed, if an event shows up...). Even with a ruined price (food quickly sells only around ~1 in my games), it still feels like a good strategy - though I concede that this might be also related to my builder playstyle (I don't tend to have a huge number of military units, at least not from the start on)

Finally here are the market prices in my current game (super huge map, 8 players, even difficulty between player/AI, T68):

Food: 2.2
Iron: 7.8
Stone: 9.1
Wood: 5.5

A last thought - maybe the possible specialists in Market/Quarry should be factored in the comparison as well? The ones in the market buildings yield some research along with the gold they bring and IIRC, quarries without specialist can incur increased maintenance.

PiR

#### PiR

##### Emperor
Supporter
Totally agree with you, except...
because if I'm short on cash, I just tend to sell my excess food. And there always seems to be excess food
Until all of a sudden, there isn't. Mid/Late-game suddenly asks for a lot of food for maintenance of troops & cities.

#### Pfeffersack

##### Deity
Totally agree with you, except...

Until all of a sudden, there isn't. Mid/Late-game suddenly asks for a lot of food for maintenance of troops & cities.

Interesting - then I probably just need to play a lot more Looking forward for that different experience...and how many tears I will shed because of the all the food I sold so cheap away

#### PiR

##### Emperor
Supporter
It depends on your empire I guess, but you have elephants that cost -3 food / turn and you have urban super specialists that cost 100 (40/80?) food to create, when you considered food as "granted and never to be worried about again", then you have a surprise

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#### HiRezAudio

##### Prince
The goal of this thread is to showcase the actual profit of markets, grocers, and fairs. Unlike most resources (civics, training, etc), money is directly equivalent to resources through market prices. This means that we can get an exact comparison between a worker building the market line for money, versus building stone quarries.

By the end of this thread, I hope to convince you that the market line is actually very poor at generating profit, and should be avoided in a great majority of circumstances.

Scenario: Market then Grocer then Fair

We will assume a single worker. Now the worker can either build stone quarries (basic flat land quarries which have a base of 5 stone per turn) or the market series of buildings. We will run the scenario for a market, a market + a grocer, and a market + a grocer + a fair. In comparison, we will make the equivalent number of stone quarries (including adjacencies as we are making them in a circle). Our goal is to calculate X, the amount of gold per turn our city would need to generate for the market series of buildings' gold boost to be MORE PROFITABLE than our basic 5 stone per turn quarries. We will run the scenario for 50 turns after the last building finishes to give our buildings some time to accumulate.

Getting our Formulas (Heavy Math)
Spoiler :

Breakeven Formula:

Market Series Profit = Market Building Base Cost + Market Building Ongoing Cost + Quarry Stone Production - Quarry Base Cost

Market Only
Time Markers:
Turn 1 - Start Quarry / Start Market
Turn 4 - Quarry 1 upkeep begins
Turn 5 - Market Upkeep begins
Turn 55 - Scenario Ends

Quarry Base Cost: 1 quarries * 20 iron = 20 iron
Market Base Cost: 80 wood
Ongoing Costs: (55-5) * 2 wood = 100 wood
Ongoing Quarry Profit: (55-4) * 5 stone = 255 stone

Breakeven Formula: .20 * X * 50 turns = 255 stone + 180 wood - 20 iron
10X = 255 stone + 180 wood - 20 iron
X = 25.5 stone + 18 wood - 2 iron

Market + Grocer
Time Markers:
Turn 1 - Start Quarry / Start Market
Turn 4 - Start Quarry 2, Quarry 1 upkeep begins
Turn 5 - Start Grocer, Market Upkeep begins
Turn 7 Start Quarry 3, Quarry 2 upkeep begins
Turn 10 Grocer upkeep begins / Quarry 3 upkeep begins
Turn 60 Scenario Ends

Quarry Base Cost: 3 quarries * 20 iron = 60 iron
Market + Grocer Base Cost: 80 wood + 100 wood = 180 wood
Ongoing Costs: (60-5) * 2 wood + (60 - 10) * 5 wood = 360 wood
Ongoing Quarry Profit: 3 turns * 5 stone + 3 turns * 5.5 stone * 2 quarries + 50 turns * 6 stone * 3 quarries = 978 stone

Breakeven Formula: .20 * X * 5 turns + .50 * X * 50 turns = 978 stone + 540 wood - 60 iron
26X = 978 stone + 540 wood - 60 iron
X = 37.62 stone + 20.77 wood - 2.31 iron

Market + Grocer + Fair
Time Markers:
Turn 1 - Start Quarry / Start Market
Turn 4 - Start Quarry 2, Quarry 1 upkeep begins
Turn 5 - Start Grocer, Market Upkeep begins
Turn 7 Start Quarry 3, Quarry 2 upkeep begins
Turn 10 Start Fair, Grocer upkeep begins / Start Quarry 4, Quarry 3 upkeep begins
Turn 13 Start Quarry 5, Quarry 4 upkeep begins
Turn 16 Fair and Quarry 5 upkeep begins
Turn 66 Scenario Ends

Costs
Quarry Base Cost: 5 quarries * 20 iron = 100 iron
Market / Grocer / Fair Base Cost: 80 + 100 + 120 = 300 wood
Ongoing Costs: 5 turns * 2 wood + 6 turns * 5 wood + 50 turns * 9 wood = 490 wood

Profits
Quarry: 5 stone * 3 turns + 5.5 stone * 2 quarries * 3 turns + 6 stone * 3 quarries * 3 turns + (6 stone * 2 quarries * 3 turns + 6.5 stone * 2 quarries * 3 turns) + (6 stone * 1 quarry + 6.5 stone * 2 quarries + 7 stone * 2 quarries) * 50 turns = 15 + 33 + 54 + 75 + 1,650 = 1,827 stone produced

Breakeven formula
.2X * 5 turns + .5X * 6 turns + X * 50 turns = 790 wood - 100 iron + 1,827 stone
54X = 1,827 stone + 790 wood - 100 iron
X = 33.83 stone + 14.63 wood - 1.85 iron

Summary of Results
So now we have our easy to use formulas:

Market Only: X = 25.5 stone + 18 wood - 2 iron
Market + Grocer: X = 37.62 stone + 20.77 wood - 2.31 iron
Market + Grocer + Fair: X = 33.83 stone + 14.63 wood - 1.85 iron

From these, all we need to do is pick the market price of the various resources, and we can then calculate X for that scenario. Lets look at three scenarios (but you have the formulas, feel free to use any market numbers you feel are appropriate):

Market Favorable (we are generally selling our stone and wood at half prices, and iron we are buying)
Stone: 3 gold
Wood: 3 gold
Iron: 8 gold

Common Middle Game Scenario (stone and wood we are generally buying, and the price is starting to go up. Iron is relatively cheap)
Stone: 8 gold
Wood: 8 gold
Iron: 4 gold

Scarce Resources (stone and wood are heavily bought, and up quite a bit in price. Even iron is scarce, and we are buying it as well)
Stone: 13 gold
Wood: 13 gold
Iron: 8 gold

Market Favorable
Market Only: 114.5 GPT
M + G: 157 GPT
M + G + F: 131 GPT

Common Middle Game
Market Only: 340 GPT
M + G: 458 GPT
M + G + F: 380 GPT

Scarce Resources
Market Only: 550 GPT
M + G: 741 GPT
M + G + F: 615 GPT

Conclusion
Frankly, even under market favorable conditions, I have many cities that fall under that threshold. I am literally looking at a game I just finished on the Great Difficulty, so I'm literally seeing the X of each of my cities on the last turn, and 3 out of 8 of them don't even qualify for a Market Only. Now as prices get higher....X gets crazy high, and often only the money capital might have the numbers needed to justify these buildings. You can also see that the Grocer is particularly bad, it costs a lot both in terms of time to build it, and the resources needed to construct it. Compared to just building quarries, it takes a lot of base to make the grocer worth it.

And of course, we are assuming basic quarries. If your workers could choose some mountain quarries, the opportunity cost of just building basic buildings almost doubles.

In general, I believe these numbers show that in general, the market line of buildings are just not worth constructing. If you want to build buildings to generate more money for your civ, building stone quarries is superior in the majority of cases. Lastly, feel free to comment if you think my market prices are "bonkers". If you have a set of prices you see in your game that you think are more realistic, feel free to put them on the thread. We will put them in the formulas and see what your X value is.

Well worked out there - very much appreciated.
I had also forgotten that I can of course sell surplus stone/Iron for cash when times are forcing me to do so.

#### Heathcliff

##### Tactician
You are missing that you can assign specialists to them. The science from urban specialists is worth alot, especially with freedom.

#### steveg700

##### Deity
It depends on your empire I guess, but you have elephants that cost -3 food / turn and you have urban super specialists that cost 100 (40/80?) food to create, when you considered food as "granted and never to be worried about again", then you have a surprise
Well, perhaps. Then again at that point, stop selling food is all.

Which simply validates the correctness of selling food early while there's a surplus. Sell hay while the sun is shining LOL.

#### PiR

##### Emperor
Supporter
Then again at that point, stop selling food is all.
No, if you didn't plan correctly, you don't generate much surplus per turn and you cannot build the specialists.

the correctness of selling food early while there's a surplus.
Well that's obvious. As any surplus when you need money.

#### steveg700

##### Deity
No, if you didn't plan correctly, you don't generate much surplus per turn and you cannot build the specialists.

Well that's obvious. As any surplus when you need money.
Well, equally obvious is that if one starts to need food, they can prioritize food over money. So, there's no real problem in most conditions as building out food improvements is no great planning challenge on most maps. Additionally, food is relatively cheap at the later stages of the game while gold all-too-plentiful if all those hamlets have started converting to convert to those food- sucking towns.

#### Stalker0

##### Baller Magnus
You are missing that you can assign specialists to them. The science from urban specialists is worth alot, especially with freedom.

Except I can also assign specialists to rural improvements OR to other urban ones. I never had a game where I had such a plethora of specialists in a city that I ran out of improvement slots....and if I had, by that point in the game frankly there bonuses probably aren't going to matter.

The shopkeeper specialist is also pretty bad, but that's a whole different topic.

#### Pfeffersack

##### Deity
Current testbuild removes upkeep costs for Markets, which might shake up the formula a bit.

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