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The types of Economies

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by TheDS, Aug 24, 2008.

  1. TheDS

    TheDS Regular Riot

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    All over this forum you see this or that kind of economy. I recall someone trying to explain the difference between a couple of them, and failing. But we still keep using the word like it means something, so maybe it's about time it did.

    • Cottage: getting Pottery, building lots of cottages everywhere in an effort to get lots of Commerce, which can be dispersed through the sliders to science, gold, espionage, or culture. Works well with Universal Suffrage (Hammer from Town, rushing stuff with all that gold), Free Speech (extra Commerce from Town), Emancipation (Cottage growth accelerated), and Financial trait. With fully developed Towns, it should have considerable native Commerce, and small changes to the sliders have large effects.

    • Specialist: focuses on food resources and farms to get higher populations, which are then used as Specialists. Requires buildings or Caste System to put them somewhere. Works well with Representation (extra beakers for each Specialist, including settled GPs), Caste System (unlimited Scientist, Merchant, or Artists to maximize bonuses from Oxford, Wall Street, and culture multipliers), Mercantilism (free Specialist in all cities), Pacifism (+100% GPPP), and Philosophical trait. Produces lots of Great People and slider adjustments count for less.

    • Hybrid: generally presented as being a mix of Cottage and Specialist in that cities are more specialized, with some devoted to Cottages and some to Specialists.

    • Espionage: not regarded as a "true" economy, but rather a focus on a particular type of consumption. The focus is on getting a lot of EPs, and whether you use Commerce or Specialists or buildings to get them doesn't matter. The point is that it can be dramatically cheaper to convert Commerce to EPs rather than beakers, but it requires that you are always behind the AI on the tech tree to steal their techs from them. Techs that boost Espionage are bee-lined. The Commerce saved with cheaply acquired techs should be easily diverted into building or buying up your infrastructure, so while you may not be high-tech, you should be more powerful.

    • Hammer: The goal is to have a lot of Hammers, which can be used for anything, be it building multipliers (Library, Market, Jail, Theater, etc) or converting production directly into beakers, gold, or culture. Hammer economies tend to neglect Cottages and Specialists except where the obviousness of their use bludgeons the user half to death; frex, using Engineers. Of particular use are Police State (+25% unit production), Bureaucracy (+50% production in capital), Caste System (extra Hammer on Workshops), State Property (extra Food on Workshops), Organized Religion (+25% building production), and anything that boosts production (Forge, Ironworks, etc). Workshops are preferred to Cottages, but they also need extra Food sources which aren't diverted to Specialists. This devotion to increasing Hammers initially leaves the civ weak, but in the long run it saves considerable effort and leaves powerhouses capable of building in a few turns what it took someone else the whole game to build.

    • Religious: more of a sub-economy than a "true" economy, the prime goal of getting this set up is to get an influx of gold and cheapen spy missions. It involves getting a religion (the earlier the better), spamming it everywhere, building the Shrine(s), and using the income to bump the gold slider down a couple notches. There are several religious Wonders which improve upon the value of having a state religion. Religious economies work well as part of most other economies, and provide benefits commensurate with the effort you put into them; the earlier and more significant your initial investment, the more it will pay off as the game goes on, but significant investment can leave you weakened before the payoff. The Spiritual trait can be helpful if your goal is to have numerous religions and build numerous Temples/Cathedrals for a culture victory.

    • Water: another sub-economy, this one is primarily concerned with control of the seas. Cities are founded on coasts or rivers to gain extra Commerce without needing to improve the land with a Worker, and take advantage of the Commerce multipliers (Harbor, Customs House). Helpful traits include Financial (extra water Commerce), Aggressive (cheaper Drydock), Expansive (cheaper Harbor), and Organized (cheaper Lighthouse). The Colossus and Great Lighthouse Wonders are a must. Settling on multiple islands allows taking advantage of the intercontinental trade bonus. A large navy, and anything that improves upon it (Viking Trading Post) should be a priority. Trade with multiple partners and domination of naval techs should be important goals. The main downsides are that you can't take full advantage of several continental Great Wonders (Statue of Liberty, Hoover Dam, etc), and you have lower production cities, but the extra Commerce from all those coastal cities and the saved Worker-turns should give you an early lead, which you can leverage into something else you want.

    • Wonder: still another sub-economy, with this you build as many Great Wonders as you possibly can, building the bulk of them in a single city (usually the capital for the Bureaucracy bonus) where you also pair up the National Epic. This can result in a lot of early GPs. The Industrious trait is good for the Wonder and Forge bonuses, and Organized is good for the Factory bonus. Building all these Wonders means you gain a lot of superpowers, which also means you deny them to the AI. Like the Religious Economy, the more effort you put into it, the more you get out of it, but you also leave yourself weaker at the start. Works best as part of a Specialist economy.

    • DFA (Don't Fiddle Around): I don't know what this entails beyond the imagery of the name, but I think it's more of a strategy than an economy.

    • Rush: more of a strategy, making it more in common with the Espionage economy than a "true" economy, except this time you're getting units instead of EPs. This involves bee-lining whatever techs you need to quickly get a militarily superior force, then building that force and sending them out to capture enemy lands before the advantage expires. The most widely known Rushes are Quecha, Axe, Praetorian, and Rifle. Rushes are good to grab a lot of land quickly without the expense and hassle of Settlers and building some buildings, and in some cases, can net you Wonders and Holy Cities that you otherwise couldn't get. Rushes sometimes get stalled or see higher losses than expected and result in you weakening yourself. Building units means you're not researching, so a Rush that turns into a bogged down war can leave you behind in the tech race.

    • Food: it's the most important resource in the game, and without sufficient quantities in a city, you won't get much done. However, a Food economy isn't about making big cities, it's about using Food as Hammers, either by whipping (slavery) or drafting. The Food economy is more of a sub-economy and a strategy, in that it can be combined with some others and is useful only for short periods. Whipping can get you buildings more quickly, and Drafting can get you units more quickly. Both reduce population, which gets restored by having lots of Food, and both cause unhappiness, which can be buffered with happiness items (resources or buildings). Things that multiply your production are good for whipping, things that give your drafted units a free promotion or two are good for drafting. Using a Food economy is a temporary quick boost in one area at the expense of others.
    Okay, those are the things I see lately as being touted as Economies, along with a brief description that I think fits with the common perception of them. These could stand to be expanded upon. What I wanna know is, what are the primary advantages, disadvantages, and features of a given economy, what are its goals, what things synergize with them (Techs, Wonders, Traits, Civics, Buildings, Victories, Improvements, etc), and anything else of importance.[/LIST]

    IDEALLY I want a 1-2 sentence description, and then approximately 2-4 short paragraphs that give further explanation and tell a person what they should be doing to achieve the goals of the economy.

    I realize that things like Rushing aren't looked at as economies by everyone, but an early rush most definitely is a way to increase your science output, and in theory, it's no different than an Espionage economy, but with different inputs and different outputs.

    If you feel I've missed something, or incorrectly described something, please suggest corrections. When we get to a certain point, I'll try redoing the above using your inputs as a strategy guide or FAQ or something like that.
     
  2. Og The Caveman

    Og The Caveman Chieftain

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    Nice work, TheDS:goodjob:

    I Can make my contribution to this project by listing some great/bad civs/leaders for each type of economy:


    • Cottage: This is possibly the most versatile of economies when it comes to choosing civs/leaders. The only trait that stands out clearly is FINancial, so it leaves us with:

      Darius I Organized, Elizabeth Philosophical, Hannibal Charismatic, Huayna Capac Industrious, Mansa Musa Spiritual, Pacal II Expansive, Ragnar Aggressive, Victoria Imperialistic, Wang Kon Protective, Willem van Oranje Creative.

      With Cottage economy, enemy pillagers/spies are a huge risk, so I would focuse on military when playing with cottage economy. OTOH, Cottages make the best use in the endgame, at the time when I normally have finished having already conquered the world.


    • Specialist: The two traits that help here, are PHIlosophical (as the scientists will provide Great Scientists which can be used to building academies and lightbulbing), INDustrious (Pyramids for early Representation and The Great Library for your super science city are pretty much crucial; but you can't have both PHI and IND, so I would choose PHI over IND, just hook up stone and marble), and finally, to a lesser extent, CREative (double construction time for Library). Although, with Specialist economy you should prioritize Libraries, which happen to boost culture also, and I think the main reason for choosing CRE is to forgo the burden of building monuments or libraries in the early game to reach that second culture level, so maybe CRE is a bit of killing one bird with two stones :D

      Pericles PHI/CRE, Louis XIV IND/CRE.
      Augustus is IND/IMP and has a really nice UB (Forum, boosts GP).

      FINancial is really of no use, so don't use Elizabeth. And Arabia's UB Madrassa allows turning 2 citizens into priests, which we don't want in Specialist Economy.


    • Hybrid:Really, no idea :(. Maybe all the above?


    • Espionage: PHI is nice, for speeding up the production of Great Spies in the capital (having built the Great Wall), ORGanized is nice (for half speed courthouses for spy specialists).

      Frederick PHI/ORG. Have successfully tried this one.
      Sumerians have Ziggurat, cost 90 hammers instead of 120 and available with Priesthood. The Sacrifical altar of Aztecs costs also 90 hammers. But neither Gilgamesh nor Monty are PHI or ORG.

    To be continued...
     
  3. Og The Caveman

    Og The Caveman Chieftain

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    • Hammer: no personal experience, maybe IND for double speed of Forges?


    • Religious: SPIritual is nice for half speed temples, IND is nice for religious wonders. Also mysticism as a starting tech should be a priority.

      Rameses II SPI/IND, and Obelisk for turning citizens into priests! Nom nom.. But doesn't start with mysticism...
      Asoka, Brennus, Gandhi, Isabella and Monty are SPI and have Mysticism. Isabella also has Fishing, so she has the best chances to found and early religion when settled on coast. Saladin of the Arabs have the Madrassa, for turning citizens into priest specialists.
      Then, notable IND leaders: Huyana Capac FIN, starts with Mysticism.
      Charlemagne starts with Mysticism too, but is IMP/PRO. But choosing Charlie means that this nutty religion-spammer won't appear in the game to compete with you :D


    • Water: FIN, of course, and I think IND, for the production may be quite modest on small islands and you are really going to need help in completing The Great Lighthouse and Colossus, also the bonus for Forges isn't that shabby either. You shouln't waste precious hammers on other wonders, so it is questionable if IND trait is really more helpful than some other traits, like EXP (for harbours) or ORG (for lighthouses).

      FIN/IND is Huyana Capac, of course. But there are some other trait combinations that have more synergy with Water economy: Darius FIN/ORG, Pacal FIN/EXP and Mehmed EXP/ORG. However, those interesting leaders that have Fishing, are Roosevelt IND/ORG (Marines), Elizabeth FIN/PHI, Isabella EXP/SPI, Victoria FIN/IMP, and finally the four champions: Ragnar FIN/AGG (Trading post!), Joao EXP/IMP (Carrack and FEITORIA!!!!), Hannibal FIN/CHA (COTHON!!!!) and Willem van Oranje FIN/CRE (EAST INDIAMAN AND DIKE!!!!)

      (Also, Monty's UB makes a little sense, as you will be whipping exessively and Sacrifical Altar helps dealing with the unhappiness. It's also cheaper to build than normal courthouse, and on water maps they should be one of the early build priorities due to the high maintenance.)


    • Wonder: Haven't actually tried this exessively, but as the OP stated, IND and ORG are top-tier traits, along with PHI, of course (BTW, TheDS, ORG bonus applies to factories and IND bonus to forges, not the other way round;)). But again, you can't have both IND and PHI - Roosevelt is IND/ORG and Frederick is PHI/ORG.


    • Pillage: I'd like to express this "economy type". If you don't dare to conquer enemy cities, just pillage all their cottages! Stack horses and anti-horsemen to stacks, pillage with the HAs/knights and defend with medic spears/pikes/landscknechts (or however it's spelled). With one turn you can move to another square and pillage. May crash AI's economy while boosting yours.
     
  4. Jerrymander

    Jerrymander Epistemologist

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    DFA is more of a strategy than an economy, but it pretty much entails that you maintain superiority over other civilizations not through better management of your available resources, just more of them. More land is more power is more commerce.

    Expand fast, build infrastructure fast, then get more land through whatever means you have.
     
  5. Supr49er

    Supr49er 2011 Thunderfall Cup

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    Og,

    Willem of the Dutch is indeed an awesome leader on a water map.
    But his UB is the awesome Dike, not the Feitoria (which is Portugese).
     
  6. Og The Caveman

    Og The Caveman Chieftain

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    Oops, somehow Feitoria got in twice.. :D

    BTW, I noticed that Carthago rules! When you get TGLH and spam the cothons, you have 5 trade routes instead of 2! And ToA on top of it.. One can easily achieve ~25 commerce per city just from trade routes :)

    And it's handy to beeline for compass, since metal Casting is on the way and you'll definietly want it ASAP for the Colossus. I recommend this strategy, bullet-proof way to tech lead.
     
  7. TheDS

    TheDS Regular Riot

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    ToA only affects the city it's built in. It's only real value to me is the free Priest. I like Specialists, and GPPs are handy, even for Prophets.
     
  8. DaveMcW

    DaveMcW Chieftain

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    Don't be an economist!
    Stop discriminating between economies!

    Use cottages and specialists and the other stuff in every game.
     
  9. blitzkrieg1980

    blitzkrieg1980 Octobrist

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    I'm going to try a game with Elizabeth this weekend (FIN/PHI) which seems to be the perfect leader for a hybrid economy such that DaveMcW described in the post above.

    I'll set up a GP farm with heavy emphasis on scientists like I do in my SE games. My science cities will consist of pure cottages with any extra food left for scientist specialists. My :gold: cities will be set up like an SE with merchant specialists being utilized for pure :gold: output and get the extra +3 :science: per turn each. With an even number of :science: and :gold: cities and a couple pure production cities, I'd be popping Great Scientists and Great Merchants left and right (especially during the pacifism push). Settle the scientists in my GP Farm since that'll probably get the Oxford U (being a scientist heavy city) and settle the Merchants in my future Wall Street city.

    The financial trait will keep my cottages very wealthy and I'll be able to devote 90 or even 100% of my science slider to science since the :gold: cities are setup to gain pure gold from specialists (and building wealth after all buildings and infrastructure are up). In the later game, found a couple corporations in the Wall Street city and spam executives to friendly non-threatening civs. I can start moving merchant specialists off of being merchants and have my workers begin converting farms to cottages once the first corp is founded.

    Hmmmm.... sounds almost too perfect. Although I might have to consider keeping the science slider at 90% to allow for 10% EP. Gotta keep tabs on those AI (they love to steal my tech!)
     
  10. TheDS

    TheDS Regular Riot

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    On its face, I can agree with this, but even the tiniest amount of further inspection yields all kinds of cracks in this.

    If you've got a widespread religion, it makes lots of sense to make money off it, don't you think? Building UoS and SM are very good ideas then, and then you wouldn't want to forgo building Temples in every city, would you?

    You wouldn't build GLH and then found only a handful of coastal cities, would you?

    You wouldn't turn a lot of cities into Hammer monsters, and then NOT build useful buildings, would you?

    If you have an advantage in some area, doesn't it make sense to try and capitalize on it as much as possible? Of course it does, and that's where the "economies" come in. The "economy" is simply an over-arching strategy (grand strategy?) for getting what you want.

    You appear to be a proponent of the Hybrid Economy. It's a perfectly valid strategy, but if you had the AP's religion in your cities, you wouldn't fail to build Temples for that religion in as many cities as you could, and as long as you're doing that, it wouldn't hurt to BE that religion and get one of the 3 bonuses for it, right? And if you've got a religion, and that many Temples, it makes sense to get UoS and SM and AW too, right? Poof! Now you've got a Religious Economy.

    Likewise, if you have a lot of coastlines, such that it's almost impossible to found a non-coastal city, then GLH makes a ton of sense, and so do Harbors, and so do Customs Houses and Free Trade (at least until you own too much of the world), right? Dang, now you've got a Water Economy. May as well make sure you've got a strong navy to protect yourself, which can also be used offensively.

    See, that's all I'm really trying to do, is help people see how to maximize what they've got.
     
  11. beancounter

    beancounter Chieftain

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    I think what Dave is saying is not to pigeon hole your game play because you are set on running a certain economy. Take advantage of all the different economies as much as possible. Especially since a lot of the different economies can function together, they are not mutally exculsive. Go ahead and run that religious economy and while you are at it throw down some cottages in that grassland city and don't be afraid to run specialists in a city with a lot of high food specials. Develop each city according to the terrain in the BFC.
     
  12. TheWilltoAct

    TheWilltoAct I am observe

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    This.




    ...googlemurfin (post too short :p)
     
  13. MattX

    MattX Chieftain

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    I understand with Universal Suffrage I can complete stuff with gold but if I switch from Representation my science and gold drop so I stick with Rep. I don't need to pay to complete stuff since most things can be built in many locations in a single turn. Am I missing something or is there a knack to getting US working effectively?
     
  14. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam GiftOfNukes

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    Dave puts cottages on grassland hills in some cities ;).

    It takes a *lot* of game knowledge to be able to pick optimal city sites, grab them in time without tanking the economy, and setting them to specializations based on your game plan and what the map allows on high difficulties.

    One of the easiest ways to run an empire is to have 3 kinds of cities:

    1. Production
    2. Commerce
    3. Specialist

    Generally if you have good flatland you want to cottage it and work those cottages - whip commerce multipliers but otherwise keep working the cottages so they grow.

    Hills or other hammer tiles are obviously your production centers and should be made as such. Do *not* neglect these. If you have enough land and cottages you can come back from seemingly DIRE tech deficits. If you have insufficient military, you die. How far can you come back? You can lose liberalism, tech nationalism just to get to MT first (for some trade brokerage) and war with maces/knights while 1-2 civs already have rifling and rifles everywhere. Even something laughable like having cuirassers when an AI has infantry is doable if you have enough cities. However, if you die to invasion, it's too late. Make units.

    The final city type is specialist. "SE" uses these almost exclusively (other than hammer cities, which you get if you can and if you can't you whip in one that has moderate hammers constantly as soon as :mad: expires). I recommend one, called the "GP farm", that will produce most of your great people. Other strong specialist city candidates include 1 tile island coastal cities, cities settled in the tundra with fish, or otherwise horrible land cities with some food that claim resources.

    So there you have it. Run cottages with good land, hammers where available, and specialists in your top food city and maybe in marginal cities also.
     
  15. TheWilltoAct

    TheWilltoAct I am observe

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    Well I guess it depends what most of your economy is powered by. If you have a lot of specialists then you will probably lose a lot of science switching to US. But if you have a lot of towns set up then you might as well get a hammer benefit out of them too. Hammers rock :)
    I am curious to know how people use the buying part though, seems like it requires an awful lot of microing!



    Hmm I'm sure this is good advice, but could you give some tips on why it is clearly better to go cottages in these areas versus specialists??
     
  16. Owen Glyndwr

    Owen Glyndwr La Femme Moderne

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    If I recall correctly, a lot of the DFA economy derives from adapting to what the situation demands, playing the map, rather than always playing SE or CE. The dissertation I read derived from Sisiutil's Saladin ALC game, where players became so obsessed with leveraging a trait, that they didn't bother to play to the map. So in other words, getting the start, and deciding what type of economy to play rather than "fiddling around" (or "expletive deleted", which was the word originally used) trying to force the use of a character trait or building where it is not necessary. At least that's the gist I got.
     
  17. TheWilltoAct

    TheWilltoAct I am observe

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    To me the DFA acronym thingy isn't very effective, it seems not at all descriptive of the strategy it apparently suggests. Why not the AI, As Is, economy :p
     
  18. Iranon

    Iranon Deity Whipping Boy

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    @ MattX: Rush-buying with Universal Suffrage requires a lot less micro than whipping does because you don't need to keep track of happiness and the city remains the same... and quite a few people whip religiously.

    Again, this is definitely woth it. Assume you have a lot of developed towns... 1:hammers:7:commerce: with all the bonuses (bar Financial). Until factories, you can have a hammer bonus of 25% but a gold bonus of 100%, however the conversion rate from :gold: to :hammers: is 3 to 1.
    1.25 + 2(7/3) = 5,9 :hammers: after adjustments.

    As a comparison, workshops will only provide 4*1.25 = 5:hammers:, reduce the food output and be inefficient if you want wealth/research rather than production.

    ***

    Later in the game you have 100% modifiers for production as well. Communism unlocks the Kremlin and State Property, so you have effective production of

    2+2(7/2) = 9:hammers: for towns and
    2(4) = 8 :hammers: for workshops.

    And, of course, if you want to focus on something other than production the town is vastly ahead of the workshop, 2:hammers:14:gold: or 16:gold: for the towns vs. 8:gold: for the workshop.

    You might want some regular production for projects and possibly wonders, but covering the world in towns is ridiculously strong if you have the time to do so - and food corporations ensure you won't need to farm any cottage-eligible land.
     
  19. Owen Glyndwr

    Owen Glyndwr La Femme Moderne

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    I thought I made it rather clear, you don't fiddle around with leader trait and UU/UB leverages, and rather adapt to meet the map's requirements.
     
  20. TheWilltoAct

    TheWilltoAct I am observe

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    Ugh. That post with the numbers made me die.

    @ Owen: I'm not saying you explained it poorly, I just don't feel that the acronym is effective to me. The entire game of civ is pretty much fiddling around with this and that trying to make your empire the best it can be. Adapting to a given map is a profoundly daunting task, harder even than trying to shoehorn in a predefined strategy (though much more fun and arguably more effective).
     

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