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Throw me a freaking bone here......Vol. 2 (science, building addition etc.)

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Le Singe, Aug 31, 2009.

  1. Le Singe

    Le Singe Chieftain

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2009
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    So here is my next question. One of the things that I’m learning is important in CIV4 is city specialization. One of the many reasons this is the case is that can reduce the number of buildings you have to build b/c each city ideally will only have to have one type of buildings in it. Where I run into problems with this the concept in this game is that your cities create commerce which is then broken down into money and beakers (also culture and espionage) depending on where you have the slider set.

    If you is simple if it is a city with tons of commerce then you would built markets, grocers, and banks only and if it was a city lots of food and specialist then you would build libraries, unis, and maybe monasteries. If you look at the opposite case a game where you kept the slider at 90% the whole game (probably not realistic but you get my point) then you would build only science buildings in most cities.

    The problem I’m having arises from the fact that I seldom have a game where I can keep the slider at 0% the entire time and I never have one where I can keep it at 90% for a significant portion of the game. I usually have it somewhere between 20% and 80% depending on how close I am to the two extremes of the SE or CE. In a GPP city the rules above stay the same but in a commerce city I’m at a loss it seems that in a high commerce city you would have to build both. In a game where the slider was at say 40-50% on average then when is it over building and when is it necessary, are there any rules of thumb? I suppose you could do some kind of analysis but it seems to me putting an ‘opportunity cost of capital’ if you will, on the hammers spent to build these buildings is non-trivial.

    Along the same lines in a typical game there are usually only a few places where I can found cities that are clearly one of the three types. Most cities may lean one way or the other but still have to be some degree of hybrids. If I was better, or more patient, with micro-managing, I guess at different times they would be more one or the other depending on tiles work etc, but buildings (and the hammers spent building them) are not temporary. So what do you do in this case? When does it make sense to build only +beaker or +money buildings, and when is it best to bite the bullet and build both?

    This is all a symptom of the fact that in some games I tech good but struggle to keep or build up a military to impose my will on the infidels, and in other games I can build huge militaries, but they only fight when they get paid and no matter how big your army is you’re only getting so far if you leg very far behind in tech. So maybe the more general Question is how much is enough? Are there target or bench mark beakers per turn I should look to be cranking out at certain points in the game? I have a good handle on figuring out when my military is strong enough for various goals, but when I’m not pumping out enough beakers this only becomes evident when it’s too late.

    As always thanks for any advice/discussion you can give me on this topic.
     
  2. DaveMcW

    DaveMcW Deity

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    Oct 8, 2002
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    6,489
    A general rule is to have 50% hammer cities and 50% commerce cities.

    A 6-city empire might look like this:
    • 1 military city (hammers)
    • 2 general production cities (hammers)
    • 1 GP farm (commerce)
    • 2 cottage cities (commerce)
    This can vary a lot depending on your goals. When pursuing domination victory, you might have 70% hammer cities and 30% commerce cities. In a space race with friendly neighbors, you might have 70% commerce cities and 30% hammer cities.
     
  3. Divaythsarmour

    Divaythsarmour Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 1, 2007
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    Location:
    Massachusetts USA
    I like to use the feature that shows the number of :hammers:, :commerce: and :food: in each square as I play. That way I always know what's being produced. If you're always aware of what's being produced than common sense will be your guide on what to build.

    For example, let's say that you have a city that has nothing but farms and it's producing a ton of food. And you are using that food to run a bunch of scientist specialists. Obviously you're building a library and later university, observatory etc. (just science buildings). Because those buildings will multiply the :science: that's being converted from the surplus :food:. You wouldn't want to build a bank here because the low production of :commerce: doesn't justify a bank.

    In a city where you're building mostly cottages in the fat cross you'll start with a library, for two reasons. One - it will enable you to get a better conversion rate from :commerce: to :science: via your research slider. In this case you won't be running scientist specialists in the city because you're going to be wanting to work the cottage tiles for more :commerce:. And obviously banking comes a lot later in the game. The cottages will have long been full grown towns by then. But when banking has been researched then build the bank ASAP to get the higher return on the :commerce:.

    And you didn't ask this question but I'll answer it anyway. Don't bother with science or commerce multipliers in your production cities. Just build :hammers: multipliers, i.e. forge, factory etc.

    Buildings you can build everywhere are granaries, walls, courthouses, castles etc..
     
  4. Polobo

    Polobo Emperor

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    Dec 27, 2007
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    Science/Gold - There are more non-commerce sources of gold compared to science + science buildings are generally less expensive; thus I want to maximize the science slider and try and use the alternative gold sources for income.

    The downside of this approach is that gold buildings are useful for happy/healthy (and +1 food for supermarket) whereas science buildings are basically good for science (and culture but that has limited needs).

    Hammer vs. Commerce is a fairly straight forward trade-off though I would still build a grocer+supermarket in these cities since food and health will offset late-game unhealthy from power/oil/coal/factories/forge/etc...and the commerce from trade-routes, rivers and the like will still see some multipliers.

    Production cities can also build the universities and banks fairly quickly to open-up Wall Street and Oxford and while they won't maximally benefit from those improvements they will get some use since over a period of time some amount of gold and science is generated from commerce and all cities has commerce from trade-routes and (often) water.
     
  5. Le Singe

    Le Singe Chieftain

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2009
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    Maybe I did not explain well, I understand the above my question is for the cases where its not so clear.

    I.E. here...You answer one of my question's that you would build a library in basically all non-production cities. But in reference to the city above you build library like you said and then you build a bank (although if you had a case where you would be keeping the slider north of 70% most of the time then the bank might not be as obvious a choice as it seems). The question is lets say you're running the slider around 50% would you also build a university here (what about 40%..30%). Would you build a grocer or market (happiness and health issues aside)? I guess when if ever is it effecient to build both? and what about a city that does not really have the food to give you lots of options but it will have some cottages and some production but not the ability to really work both at the same time is it worth building any kind of modifier at all here.
     
  6. Polobo

    Polobo Emperor

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    In a mediocre city without much food I would turn it into an auxillary production city. Build ONLY production multipliers, cost reducers, military stuff and a granary. Then, you either produce units or wealth/research in that city. Built wealth/research/culture goes through production multipliers but not science/gold/culture multipliers.

    Until corporations or state property such a city is going to be useful but not a city where you would want to plant a national wonder.

    If you have non-commerce sources of gold then I would focus any commerce city on the science side otherwise build gold multiplier buildings in your stronger production/commerce cities and see whether it is enough to get you by or whether you need some weaker production cities to build them as well.

    Indirectly, if a city has lots of green but 1 or no food resources science multipliers are best since the fringe benefits of the gold multipliers will be off less use AND science is cheaper since you will not have as much production.

    It isn't as much about your slider percentages as the city itself and what it can build and use in a reasonable amount of time. Aside from having a super multi-shrine/corporation city that can feed ALL you gold need you will flucuate on the sliders and thus all the buildings will be useful. Even having a few gold multipliers in your stronger hybrid cities can mean an additional 10% toward beakers which will benefit the rest of the empire.
     
  7. Lansky

    Lansky King

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    What level do you normally play at? I ask this not to be elitist, but rather because it is material information. At the higher levels the AI has more gold and begging for it and selling off older useless techs for it tend to let you keep your slider at a higher research percentage for longer. This becomes harder to do Noble and lower though as the AI does not have as much gold to throw at the human player. This changes things a bit, however a couple items stay relevant.

    -Libraries are cheap and provide early game culture which may or may not matter. These go in all commerce cities. Required for Universities.

    -Universities are pricey but required to unlock Oxford, which no matter what your slider percentage you will want to build somewhere. Need at least 6 of these (standard map). For a faster Oxford my production cities often end up with Libraries and Universities. Not hammer efficient, but time efficient occasionally.

    -Markets, Grocers, and Banks are hammer expensive when they first show up assuming you do not massively delay the techs. Quite frankly I tend to hold off on them until I start to either Rush Buy with US or plant down a bunch of factories (grocers in this case). If you come across a city that directly creates gold (shrine, corp, lots of merchants) of course I'd change the priorities.

    Finally evaluate why you are running such a low slider at break even. Sure 20% of 10,000,000 is more than 100% of 10, but even with a large empire there is normally something you can do in order to research more efficiently - courthouses, FP, gpt trades, etc. That is unless you are in the process of taking over the world early in the game and are stretching thin - then just raze more cities and keep the plunder gold coming while you scramble to keep off of strike!
     
  8. VoiceOfUnreason

    VoiceOfUnreason Deity

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    Try a different question: when is it best to construct neither?
     
  9. Le Singe

    Le Singe Chieftain

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    When is it best to construct neither? (come on big money no whammies)...

    So I Interpret this as saying that it is better error on the side of underbuilding, and most ppl error by building too much as opposed to to little? is this getting warmer? really more of what thought process or general paramiters do you base your decision to build neithr on?
     
  10. Polobo

    Polobo Emperor

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    Consider the following more of a guideline rather than rules:

    A city that warrants science buildings will often warrant the money buildings as well; basically commerce heavy - unless focusing on scientist specialists. The big concern is the high hammer cost of the gold buildings - which is due in part to the happy/health bonuses of these buildings. If you don't expect to make good use of those particular bonuses then building something else needs to be seriously considered.

    A city that warrants gold buildings needs them for three reasons (not mutually exclusive)
    1) Happy/Healthy
    2) Commerce/Gold Multiplier
    3) Specialists (and non-commerce gold like shrines and corporations)

    If building because of #2 it is likely a science building will help that city as well.

    #1 - the gold bonus does give you options but it really isn't the driving force here; no reason to assume a science building would work well.

    #3 - Aside from GP farming if the goal is to run merchants with multipliers then science buildings are not likely to be helpful to a large degree.

    Even with #2, however, there may be other builds that are more important to that city and your empire at that point in time.

    If a city does not have much commerce then a science building (in general) and gold reason #2 no longer apply. Ignoring specialists you also lose gold reason #3. Thus, if a city will not benefit from the happy/health benefits of the gold buildings (#1) you are better off saving the hammers and building something else. The additional flexibility of specialist slots and the occasional useful modifier on the limited commerce such a city generates doesn't generally warrant the cost.
     
  11. VoiceOfUnreason

    VoiceOfUnreason Deity

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    Not warmer. First point is really that omitting the option of building neither indicates that you really haven't explored what the consequences of that might be, and that you should give it some thought...

    Part of my answer is this: that infrastructure deferred in a city is hammers that can either (a) forgone in favor of some other flavor of yield or (b) be invested elsewhere.

    In commerce cities, (a) usually translates to "fewer turns working mines, more turns working cottages", because augmenting your new cities with multipliers often has a lower payoff than pushing the slider. (b) usually means using smaller/newer/less well developed commerce cities to support your core - Phoenix can't construct a Market/Bank/University for Washington, but it can deal with a lot of other chores (workers/settlers/military/missionaries/wealth...)
     
  12. Le Singe

    Le Singe Chieftain

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    this is a good point...Ok I think I'm starting to understand better what you are saying.


    As far as the part quoted I trust what you are saying is true but I can't think of the reason why. If you could drop a hint as to why this is. Is it because the effect of working more cottages out wieghts the effect of multipliers when the cottages the can't be worked as the multipliers are built, and if it is early in the game it would be combine with the second order effect of the cottages growing the more they are worked? or is there some mechanic I don't know about or am not understanding.

    It seems that if you look at it in the final total (not a good way to look at it i know) its going to net out. But I guess the idea of being "the first, with the most" is huge in this game and what is relevent is when a how often are you able to create (and then exploit) a competitive advantage over your rivals at certain points in the game.
     

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