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[GS] To Chop or not or how to Chop, that is the question!

Discussion in 'Civ6 - Strategy & Tips' started by yung.carl.jung, Jun 2, 2020.

  1. yung.carl.jung

    yung.carl.jung Hey Bird! I'm Morose & Lugubrious

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    An older post from @Victoria has made me see the light. For all this time, I had been wrong about how Chops are calculated, based on a faulty experiment of mine. Now that I incorporated her advice and did a test game (Rome, Standard, Deity), I have chopped better than ever before in my life. It's been the most rewarding experience in Civ 6 for a long time. I managed to get 5 (!) Wonders out before T100 and have gotten 2 after, and that while still expanding to 20 cities and chopping out 6 settlers. None of the wonders were hardbuilt. If you're curious, I got, in order: Pyramids, Oracle, Colosseum, Angkor Wat, Mausoleum, Forbidden, Kilwa and conquered the 'Henge.

    I have already been of the opinion that chopping is the opposite of a cheap/skillless mechanic, but now I'm convined it is one of the best intricacies of this game. So much thought goes into it and there are seemingly infinite variables to consult. People too often forget that one can build a lumber mill or other improvement, too, and wait for the chops to become much more effective. In fact, I find that brainless chopping slows down your games more than it speeds them up, in the longer run!

    So I will share with you some of the considerations I have myself that hopefully lead to better chopping:

    - In the early game, you want to hold off on finishing techs and civics, get to your districts of choice as fast as possible and lock them down instantly, but not necessarily build them. Locking them down fixes their cost, while chops will scale up.
    - Your first chops should be either Settlers (+50% efficiency) or a Military (same), everything else is better to hard-buy with gold or to hard build.
    - Magnus first is a totally viable choice and you can actually wait forever with giving him provision. Magnus first is not a must, quite the opposite, because chopping scales up massively as your science/culture increases and you get access to more techs and civics. I took Magnus fourth (!) this game and did not get Provision at all, yet still got my Settlers out super early! (Victorias post really helped me understand this, I rarely considered finishing techs/civics just before chopping and it helps so much).
    - For maximum efficiency chops and district cost you need to strike a balance between not finishing techs while you are still settling/placing districts and finishing many techs over a few turns in preparation for your Magnus tours.
    - Whether or not a city is worth a Magnus tour is really hard to determine. If you have only 2 Woods or 2 Jungles in a city, Magnus effectively adds a third chop to those two chops. That already seems worth it, but you have to take into account that you could otherwise get your cities online 5 turns earlier, and you miss out on those yields. I personally think Citys with more than 3 chops, especially production chops, are worth it for Magnus.
    - You should always prioritize wonders from older eras or your current era. Wonders from recent techs take an incredibly amount of chops. Just as an experiment I chopped Kilwa at T90 and even with 5 woods and 6 jungles I did not finish it. OTOH with the same chops and ~5 turns and a few techs later I managed to get Oracle, an Entertainment Complex, an Arena and the Colosseum.
    - It is often worth keeping builders with 1 or 2 actions around, even if they could improve a tile to help a city. Having those for Magnus tours vastly speeds up the rate at which you get a city done, meaning Magnus moves faster.

    I still have more thoughts and will perhaps edit in things later, but now I'll jump into my game and try some other stuff out. Happy chopping y'all, and again thanks to @Victoria for that eye-opening moment, all my life I thought chops were based on # of turns.. ouch :D

    Here is the post/table I was referencing:

    Update: Finished the game sub200! I actually got every single relevent wonder in the game, never had that before. only one I would've liked is Jebel, but it's hardly essential. I finished T196. This game I played much better than in the other Rome game where I finished T184, but sadly I had only a single cultural, scientific and industrial CS, which hurt me so so much and made my Kilwa sheer useless. Lots and lots of military and religious CS tho.. Also, this was a standard size map, while the other game was large. With proper CS, I might have finished this game sub t180, who knows. Still very enjoyable over all, wars went super well and so did wonderbuilding and expansion thanks to properly timed chops!

    also @Victoria I played this entire game without doing the 1 strategic for 1 GPT "bug" because I was interested in how much of a difference it made. honestly, I'm not even sure the "exploit" is worth it. you get more money, yes, but you get it slower, which sucks because snowballing is the #1 priority, and you also cripple the AI, and you cripple their economy long-term, which sucks, because then they'll be bad trading partners later. one thing I can say with confidence is that if you do not abuse 1 strategic for 1 GPT you guaranteed have better trading partners for late game. honestly, my prediction is that using or not using this mechanic will likely not change how fast you finish drastically in any way. both have advantages.

     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2020
  2. Victoria

    Victoria Regina Supporter

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    I am just the messenger in a lot of this.... there is a surprisingly similar post out there from @Lily_Lancer where he goes through the question in your thread quite well. You should read the entire thread, some great views and a link back to a key @Sostratus post on it.
    Rethinking Lumber Mills
     
  3. Fluphen Azine

    Fluphen Azine What is Fluphen Azine?

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    A good thread to remind me about the power of the chop.
    I know this is how players finish faster.
    I am still trying to understand it better.
    When I read the thread from @Lily_Lancer months ago, I misunderstood undoing the lumber mill later.
    For some reason I thought you either chop or build a lumber mill.
    I forgot you could undo and chop it later... duh lol.
    LL said before that building a builder every 1 to 3 turns was imperative to most games.
    I have yet to had that kind of focus.
    I struggle with changing over tiles like say a mine into a farm later in the game.
    However, if I can remember I'm going to implement this Lumber Mill into a chop when its more powerful.

    I still struggle with Tech and Civic overflow.
    It's hard to wrap my head around balancing a chop over delaying a tech
    Good information though as this can help me shave off some turns.
     
  4. Victoria

    Victoria Regina Supporter

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    ... urrr mid - late game... not in early I would have thought. Some early are good for various reasons, depends on your game but not one every 3.
    in what way? The era penalty has gone (thank god) and that always made things more complex but the rule is pretty simple. A eureka/inspiration does not overflow. Any overflow from finishing a tech or civic is added to the next but if you get some freebie civic when overflowing a civic it destroys the overflow. Same with techs and eurekas... but they do not destroy each other’s overflow.
    delay techs/civics early As it makes the cost of your districts less(and chopping) which is another thing about chopping not being linear, early chops when delaying are not so cool as rushing to feudalism then nabbing some cheap extra techs or civics to make dem chops Kilwa worthy Is how it’s done by me anyways.
     
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  5. The Highwayman

    The Highwayman Prince

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    This is great stuff, and likely the primary mechanic to improve my game further. I've found Magnus should spend most of his time establishing vs. being in a city. A team of builders at the ready with harvesting the priority. One builder can stick around after Magnus leaves to improve any remaining tiles. But I definitely haven't done a good job with managing techs vs. locking in costs while expanding.
     
  6. DanQuayle

    DanQuayle Prince

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    It's back in 1.0.1.501
     
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  7. Victoria

    Victoria Regina Supporter

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    Goddamn... so holding back has become a thing again.
     
  8. Fluphen Azine

    Fluphen Azine What is Fluphen Azine?

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    I was confused when you made it sound simple.
    Now that I have to hold back again I am even more confused.
    I still have fun with the game though.
    Where are the @DanQuayle Let's Plays located??
    Oh yeah... in the GOTM Threads... nvm.
     
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  9. yung.carl.jung

    yung.carl.jung Hey Bird! I'm Morose & Lugubrious

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    It's still a total mistery to me how @DanQuayle finished that Georgie GotM SV so early. I clocked in about 50 turns later, and I thought I did pretty okay :D
     
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  10. cylenalag

    cylenalag Chieftain

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    Ahhhh this must be why my mid-game is so sluggish. I have a bad habit of hard researching techs and civics without eurekas and inspirations mid-game and not using specialists once a city hits 10 and balancing my chops. Early and late game seems fine but Industrialization to Rocketry just seems like a slog for me.
     
  11. Monthar

    Monthar Deity

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    With the new Apocalypse Mode it's even better to save those chops until later, because now you can use Soothsayers to burn your forests and jungles to boost the yields on those tiles with additional food and production. The best part is the bonus "fertilized" yields are attached to the tile not the forest/jungle. Thus you can chop them later in the game for the high chop values and still have the fertilized yields from the early forest fires on those tiles. Then you can put down any improvement or even plant new forests for lumber mills and have some truly awesome tiles.

    Here's a screenshot from a Kupe game where I set off forest fires almost as often as I could. Look at these awesome yields. Since these are old growth forests, I can still chop them for production then replant to keep Kupe's forest bonus going.
    Spoiler :
    20200529103455_1.jpg


    Edit: I forgot to mention this before. Forest fires only destroy improvements on the forest/jungle and kill pop working the tile. They don't spread to districts nor destroy buildings like all the other disasters can. Thanks to bonus food yields your population will regrow fairly quickly.

    Edit 2: Forest fires always kill pop in the city that own the tile, even if the citizens are not working the tile. It will kill as many pop as there are tiles burning, but will not kill the last pop.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2020
  12. Fluphen Azine

    Fluphen Azine What is Fluphen Azine?

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    LOL... Nice Screenshot!!

    This game is so broken.
    Why even take out the Harvest Pantheon if they are going to add all this to the game.
    They fix it and the Civfanatics keep on breaking it!!
     
  13. jsurpless

    jsurpless Warlord

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    Could you post a link to the older post by Victoria that you mentioned?
     
  14. Fluphen Azine

    Fluphen Azine What is Fluphen Azine?

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    If you are asking me it is post number 4 on this thread.
    I still don't exactly understand even though it is all laid out in front of me :)

    Perhaps I understand it but when I get in the game it doesn't work out for me.
    I get pressured in some way and I resort back to bad habits.
     
  15. jsurpless

    jsurpless Warlord

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    One question about @Victoria post - I realize that the post is old but if I remember correctly, Firaxis fixed that overflow production strategy last year?
     
  16. Victoria

    Victoria Regina Supporter

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    Yes the overflow is ‘fixed’ old post.
    But the general idea of the post is right. Perhaps I need to update to be clearer.
     
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  17. lotrmith

    lotrmith King

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    Seems like the investment and opportunity cost is rather high. Not only has all your faith been spent on soothsayers instead of settlers and builders, but you either delay settling while all these burnings are seeding the land for you, or you suffer population loss every time.

    Fires are great, sure, but IMO they have a somewhat limited time frame of practical utility.
     
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  18. Monthar

    Monthar Deity

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    I usually only buy about 3 or 4 of them and try to do so before the I start getting free ones from the Appease the Gods competitions. That's 600-1000 faith investment for large boost to my food and production. I save their last charge and park them next to the nearest active volcano as long as it's safe from barbs and enemy AIs. Then when the competition comes up, I build enough throw away units to win ,which adds a charge to all of the soothsayers I have plus gives a free one.

    With all that extra food and production I can crank out settlers, builders and traders fairly quickly, thus don't need to spend faith buying them.

    Then there is the level 4 promotion they get which puts enemy cities under siege just from parking the soothsayer next to the city center.
     
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  19. Bibor

    Bibor Doomsday Machine

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    Any serious conversation about chopping needs to address:
    - eastimated # of turns to victory
    - effective yields of worked tiles left after the chop
    - opportunity cost of gold for acquiring choppable tiles
    - opportunity cost of production/faith for workers, especially taking into consideration (pre)feudalism/pyramids/china
    - map mode, as in chance of forest fires

    The formula that Lily Lancer presented is well, incomplete. If I remember correctly, someone tried to point it out and she/he got really defensive about it.

    From my personal observations, not based on calculations, vast majority of chops should be done from after reaching fedualism to about "100 turns till victory", while simultaneously transitioning from a hammer to a gold economy, with the exception of 1-3 planned coal plant cities.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2020
  20. yung.carl.jung

    yung.carl.jung Hey Bird! I'm Morose & Lugubrious

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    updated the OP after I finished the game!

    yeah, those metrics are very important. I think another thing really good players do is mass tile-buy with the policy card slotted in for one turn. I only do this once or twice in my games, I should do it much more often! I also agree that chopping after feudalism seems the strongest. there could be an argument for chopping 5 turn after you get early empire, especially in games where you do not go Anecstral Hall.

    personally for SV I think it can be quite good to save chops in your capital/spaceport city (like improve deer and work it until few turns before your victory, I do that often) and then chop them only when you're at laser stations. it's almost like having 2 "chop cities" for SV. can shave off one, maybe two turns. it really depends on whether your science is dominant or your concentrated hammers. for some magical reason it always works out for me, my space projects usually need exactly the same time as researching the next step.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2020
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