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Thoughts on this comment

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by blunderwonder, Nov 29, 2012.

  1. Zx Zero Zx

    Zx Zero Zx Deity

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    What you are doing is exactly the type of thing I am saying is bad. You are hampering the growth of your cites, and gaining less commerce by cottaging ever tile. You are also losing out on tons of production from converting food to hammers via Slavery. A 2 food 2 commerce tile is pretty freaking awful if I must say. It takes for ever for it to grow your city to another population, and it provides almost no commerce. Now when I say that the CE is bad, I mean it is BAD. You will not have many GP to push yourself to key techs faster, nor will you have much production. This does not mean that cottages themselves are bad. They are very good, but you need to understand when, and where to build them. A purely grassland city with maybe 1 grassland hill, and no food does not want cottages. This city will be working 1 cottages for a very long time, and 2 for the vast majority of the game. While farming it will allow you to whip many units out of it, because a 4 pop city working 4 farms grows back relatively quickly, as it will have 6 more food than needed to sustain it's population.

    The problem I see with you is that you do not understand which city would be better for what, and because cottages are the only thing you know you put them every where. This is not good, and is hampering the growth, and research rate of your empire. You really only want cottages in a city that can grow onto them in a reasonable time frame, or in one of the 4 cities around your capital that are working cottages for the capital to grow them.

    If you really don't understand please try to post a specific here, and I will try to get back to you fairly quickly.
     
  2. Izuul

    Izuul Level 86

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    Production is a horrible problem with both the classic CE and SE.

    Cottages provide no food surplus and no hammers (1 measly hammer when maxed out late in the game running one specific civic) so they are terrible for whipping and for pure hammer production. CEs usually had 1 or 2 production cities that weren't cottaged, but that still isn't nearly enough production.

    The SE requires either multiple specialists in every city which massively gimps hammers and whip regrowth everywhere, or one big "super science city" with tons of specialists that probably requires Caste System (and tons of food and a huge happy cap). And if you are running Caste System, you aren't running Slavery. You can kind of get around that with a Spiritual leader like Gandhi by switching back and forth to whip, but it's still a very flawed approach in it's pure form.
     
  3. cseanny

    cseanny Emperor

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    Disagreed! ;) Sure, they're more powerful with the above but in no way mandatory, especially during 12T GAs where you getting +1H one some plots makes them even more attractive and can normally cut down unit production 1-2 turns per city. Throw in cases with Mids and SP and things start looking even better (when whipping isn't preferred or the best option).

    And throw into the bag its easy to grab 2+ GM under any reasonable scenario then working stronger hammers earlier means you can acquire quite a bit more advanced units via upgrade instantly, plus they have great promotions (when compared to drafting).

    Personally, I usually start using Ws before I even reach guilds, normally in a 12T GA with nothing more than a ws, caste, and +1H for GA to quickly produce 20+ units from 3-4 cities that will be upgraded.(when not going the whip route)
     
  4. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    Shops without chemistry or SP are mines (and mines catch chemistry shops with railroad, and are superior outside of caste). That's not useless, but it isn't amazing. Often a reasonable # of cities can food-cap on mines already, making shops more useful for more flat areas but still not amazing.

    The main question is why you'd go them at that point; you can store pop and chain-whip military you reach shortly after, reducing #worker turns needed and keeping flexibility produce more units even in captured cities. If you're drafting, shops are nothing special either.

    Therefore they only make sense if you're going deeper in the tree to get their full benefit, and are only truly impressive and competitive late-game tiles if you're in SP. The only problem is that timing window is awful for cuirs, rifles, cavalry, or anything before those things. Shops are an infantry or later setup IMO. Even if they're technically more efficient than whipping, a lot can be said for getting the key military advantage units sooner since it's also more efficient to kill longbows than rifles.

    And with just guilds, shops exclude whips! They're basically like working forests w/o caste at that point. Less healthy forests.
     
  5. MrKlew

    MrKlew Warlord

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    Following this thread leads me to a question. What do you do with cities with vast expanses of grasslands, but no rivers? Is this a case where you'd cottage up, or do you just run as many mines/workshops off whatever food tile you happen to have?
     
  6. Zx Zero Zx

    Zx Zero Zx Deity

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    You irrigate them from a river some where else. Those are the cities that you have to farm otherwise they are crap.

    On WS, and the hammer economy; when I say hammer economy I mainly mean hill cities with farms, and farming grassland. As Phil has stated the WS over takes the whip in strength very late into the game. You really need to have SP for them to be good, and then the game should be over unless you are going for Space. Even then Corps are almost always better. But I will WS brown tiles for a 3 hammer tile in Caste, or after guilds.
     
  7. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    1. Irrigate them, if you can.
    2. If you can't realistically do that (it happens), workshops, or run specs there early and whip. If the city also doesn't have a good food resource, it's not worth your time.
    3. If you are FIN, then those tiles might be worth cottaging, depending on how much green you have elsewhere.

    For most leaders, those cities turn into whip fodder and will run specs to farm GPP otherwise (has all the buildings you'd whip and not making units right now).
     
  8. cseanny

    cseanny Emperor

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    We have very different play styles then because I disagree big time ^^. The timing is WONDERFUL for all the above, to include cannon > grenadiers. GA powered caste ws do an "ok" job and cities set up for production can normally pull of 3 and sometimes 2turn HAs, while the Capital can get 2 turns and often 1turn HAs. This lets 2-3 other cities focus on GPP while you build up 20-30 HAs to instant upgrade to Cuirs at say around 500-700 AD(latest). When I have the MIDS however I prefer to whip (or if the map seems better fitted for it).

    By this time you already have Guilds (probably in the 300-500 AD range) and since you didn't whip have more permanent and standing research to help fuel you to Communism. Plus, since we've stayed in Caste (and Pacifism many times too) we're getting more GP to bulb our way even quicker to Communism.

    With Cav and Rifling in the 1000-1100 AD range I'm upgrading my Cuirs and already have at least Chemistry (usually 700-800 ADish) powered caste WS'. And with Rifles/Cannon/Grenadiers I do it the same way as in the PIGS Ghengis Khan game. Time civic changes (Pac/OR) in conjunction with building CR2 Mace to upgrade to Rifles (or treb > cannon and mace > grenadier).

    Drafting is OK but never my first choice because it is much much slower and the units lack good upgrades.
     
  9. Zx Zero Zx

    Zx Zero Zx Deity

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    Lol what? You haven't ever drafted an army for 50 rifles in 13 turns before have you.
     
  10. cseanny

    cseanny Emperor

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    Nope. I've drafted more units than that in a shorter time on :D. Albeit on ridiculous maps and larger settings, nothing like the normal 6-10 cities.

    But in regular circumstances I'd much rather upgrade CR2 Rifles/Trebs/or Grenadiers because you get great promotions and you also get those "initially" upgraded units much much quicker because you already made the units before you have your actual tech. Would I rather attack with 30 Rifles the second I get Rifling? Or would I rather just begin to draft 3 per city in conjunction with whipping.
     
  11. Zx Zero Zx

    Zx Zero Zx Deity

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    The draft is better for coming from behind than staying ahead.
     
  12. vranasm

    vranasm Deity

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    out of first 3 cities at least one should be ideally commerce city otherwise it is very tough to expand further while still teching.

    you have to analyze the situation at t20-t30 and know what kind of map you have and then wage couple of options.

    Commerce city doesn't necessarily be cottage city since there are gems, gold, fur tiles which yield high amount of commerce.

    timing of currency is very critical for every game you will play since currency basically allows the switch into hammer economy.

    I like starts where capital is clear cottage/commerce city just from the looks on the map then you can just farm/mine the rest of map usually unless you run into some other absolutely fantastic spot (full of flood plains with gold etc) which is cottaged then too.

    t20-30 situation should still allow you to switch into some wonders which supplement commerce... Mids, GLH come to mind immediately.

    3 city break out if you kinda have bad starting location is another very good way of doing things and capture enemy land if it is better then yours.
     
  13. noto2

    noto2 Emperor

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    To the OP - I agree that in most games you will be using a variety of inputs to power your economy. I also agree that for the course of the game, most of the time, the output of a cottage is difficult to beat, when we're talking about large empires with many tiles. There are plenty of times, however, when I do run a pure SE and forgo building cottages, especially outside of the capital.
    I play the map, and to a lesser extent my leader's traits. If I'm expanding quickly in the early game and I have tiles that can sustain cottages, I will almost certainly build them, because unless you luck out with tons of gold/gem/silver mines, early game expansion is difficult to fund without cottages. But there are other types of starts - sometimes I find myself boxed in with only a few cities and I'm playing an IND or PHI leader, in that case, with only a few cities, there's no point in making any cottages. I'll run specialists and if you skip cottages in the early game there's little point in building them late game. Another example is if I decide to build the pyramids early game and run REP, in that case, I wouldn't build a single cottage all game, there's no point. Yet another example would be those watery starts. Many times I find myself on islands or snaky continents and there just isn't much land, many of my tiles are water. In that case I need production from land and I couldn't sustain many cottages anyway, so I find no point in building them. In that case I would be getting my commerce from the water and trade routes, so I'd choose civics to maximize trade yields.
    As for the hammer economy - in games where I've chosen to build a lot of farms/mines early on and run a lot of specialists, I might later on decide to replace farms with watermills and SP, and then I might build a lot of workshops.
    You say you always cottage. Do you always play the same leaders? Do you regen your map starts until it suits you? Have you ever played as a PHI leader starting with stone in the BFC and tons of food? Why would you cottage in that case?
     
  14. Apricottage

    Apricottage Warlord

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    So correct me if I'm wrong. The optimal way of playing is to have a few highly specialized cities (bureau cap, GP farm) and then fill the rest with an emphasis on food and production, mostly ignoring commerce. I'm surprised; I thought that the loss in tech due to decrease in cottages and increase in population upkeep would be so severe that it would end up hurting you more than helping you. I suppose that the ability to stay at 100% tech thanks to Wealth makes up for it.

    Also, excuse my ignorance, but does "hybrid economy" just refer to an economy that both uses cottages and GP farms, or something more specific? There's a strategy article on the site that called itself a guide to the "hybrid economy", and it emphasized the use of Merchants to run at 100% science. I'm not sure if this is the only plan that qualifies as a hybrid economy, the optimal hybrid economy, or just one way of doing it.
     
  15. cseanny

    cseanny Emperor

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    @ Apricottage

    A strong Bureau Capital can easily bring in more than 50%+ of your empire wide research which allows you time to whip/build other items across your land. And a Hybrid is just that.....using a little bit of everything, all depending on what the map provides. In regards to a GPF here is some old but useful info:

    As you can see 1-2 GPF, especially under caste/pacifism can translate into huge research. 4 GS can easily translate into 6500-7000:science: so learn the bulb paths because that's a lot of research turns saved. Alternatively GM for trade missions are another tool to keep research high and to upgrade units.
     
  16. Apricottage

    Apricottage Warlord

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    I'm pretty familiar with the Bureaucracy capital, as the cottage economy has managed to get me through Emperor and into Immortal (currently shooing in a game as HC, but that's hardly evident of anything beyond knowing how the game's interface works). Those numbers on Great People are fascinating, and I'll be sure to examine them more detail in the future. The only thing I'm wondering is when it's appropriate to use a GS to build an Academy in your capital. Should that be emphasized as the first target so it starts generating beakers early on, or should it be constructed later, after several key techs have been bulbed?

    It's sort of comforting in a way to know that most of this is just adapting to the map. I'm starting to feel a little comfortable with the game, and so I'll try to focus more on this kind of adaptive play. Thanks for your feedback and advice.
     
  17. vranasm

    vranasm Deity

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    don't forget that every city gets some natural commerce - trade routes, even worked tiles can have some commerce and is basically instant.

    every cottage needs time to grow, 10, 15, 35 turns... that is a lot of turns if you sum it up and it can happen that city that gets settled after T70 won't have enough time to grow into cottages and work them.
    You need infra in the city first - granary, forge, barracks (for military victory) and that usually means that the city will stuck on size 2-4 even longer making it almost impossible to even grow the cottages.

    whipping units from such city with surplus food (more farms and some bonus food resources) allows you then capture matured cottages from AI which is superior to what you would do with not whipping the units and tried to grow them yourself.
     
  18. DanielTorrence

    DanielTorrence Warlord

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    @cseanny

    in the IU Elisabeth, you started conquering the continent with only four cities. What do you do with the ones you gain during the war, transforming them to ws-cities? Sounds like the best choise after reading through this thread...the AI mostly does not follow a clear specialisation path for its cities, I find the tile improvments often very random and useless, like cottages on brown flat lands.

    In generell, if the city is set to focus hammers and the workers are automated without "leaving old improvements", will they transform the city in a ws-city? I find it rather painfull to change every single tile improvement myself, directing the workers...
     
  19. noto2

    noto2 Emperor

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    Also keep in mind that there were many players back in the day who regularly posted (madscientist, Dave, Sisiutil) who used different methods to win immortal and diety games. Mad would often wonderspam and settle specialists and run bureau and rep, and Dave would often spam cottages on most tiles, Sisiutil, from what I remember, often warred a lot throughout his games. All three players regularly posted impressive immortal games on the forums using their different strategies. This is part of what makes Civ so addictive - you can win via different methods
     
  20. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    I don't know, 30 rifles every 10 turns + whatever else you build tends to close out winning positions pretty soundly, if you haven't already.

    Madscientist was a great player to read, but he wasn't an imm/deity guy. I believe you're thinking about obsolete, who regularly posted (and still occasionally posts) deity wins with WE/SSE.

    Cottages are fine if you're playing at the later game when they're matured and you can :gold: rush. Not everywhere, but in multiple cities specialized for them. I think, like workshops, going matured cottage approach pushes any wars into infantry+ territory, and makes a lot more sense if you're already at least middle-of-the-pack in land % relative to the AIs. That's not a typical scenario on deity but will happen with lullerlandblocks on occasion.

    They're also obviously great for diplo-hiding culture wins.

    You can turn them into whip centers too. This is one of the few ways they can be IMMEDIATELY useful, since it's hard to protect workers improving these cities shortly after capture and any infrastructure investment has to be weighed against how much longer you expect the game to realistically last (or just the immediate benefit of having more units to war). Granary/rax/theater (sometimes you capture granary) + chain whip means a recently captured city with good food can start spitting units about 5 turns after it comes out of revolt.
     

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