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Types of economies

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by absimiliard, Jan 4, 2008.

  1. absimiliard

    absimiliard Chieftain

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    Hello folks,

    MadScientist prompted this, so blame him not me, with a post in his RPC thread. He was talking about the various types of economies he would allow or disallow for his new game with Peter. Anyhow his listing caused me to wonder if I've got all the types of economy down.

    So I'd like to list the economies I'm aware of and then ask folks to add in any other sorts they're aware of that I've missed. If people have links to threads that do a good job of describing how a given economy works I'd appreciate it if they'd post those too. That way any new players can have a good reference of the types of economies they can use and some pointers to guides for how to run them.

    That said, let me move on to the list.

    1. CE: Perhaps the most common economy to run. A Cottage Economy, or possibly Commerce Economy, relies on mass Cottage-Cheese to produce the commerce that drives your research. Late game it probably has the most research power, but it limits your use of the slider for things like culture somewhat.

    2. SE: Probably the second most common type of economy. A Specialist Economy, sometimes called a Farm Economy (FE), emphasizes the use of high-food cities to run loads of specialists. The specialists produce research, and the Great People they also produce are typically used to bulb technology for trading. The SE is complex and requires a lot more micro-management than a CE but allows pretty radical uses of the slider for both culture and gold. SE's also benefit highly from the Pyramids allowing early Representation, although they don't require it, you should try for the 'mids.

    3. EE: The Espionage Economy is fairly new, since spies didn't exist prior to BTS. In an EE the slider moves from research to espionage fairly soon after alphabet and most techs are stolen from neighbors or traded for. The EE allows for many late-game buildings that provide multipliers to espionage points, more multipliers than there are for beakers. An EE could probably run either via high-food cities running spies or cottage-cheese that is focussed via the slider on espionage.

    4. WE (or SSE): Blame the brilliant, and quite unconventional, Obsolete for this strategy. Although other people may have been doing it Obsolete is the person who pointed out that settling all of your specialists in a high-production capitol that pumps out wonders can produce monstrous research and production capacity. This is a Bureaucracy-friendly strategy since the capitol drives the economy. It does require some combination of Industrious or stone/marble, and generally is really only suited to a high-production capitol.

    5. TE: A Trade Economy typically focusses on the coastlines. It generates commerce to fuel research primarily through use of trade-routes. As such it practically requires the Great Lighthouse, and requires fairly good diplomacy skills. It has a big advantage in that you can practically REX to your heart's content, however islands tend to be low-production so it's not without some possibly downsides.

    6. RE: The last economy produces gold aplenty. A Religious Economy uses Great Prophets and Shrines to produce all the gold you could wish for. How it produces research is mostly left up to the player in my opinion. You could use cottages, specialists, spies, whatever works. The research focus is on religious techs and you should try to found several religions. RE's produce fairly big cities early on, due to the high happy limit temples and religions offer. It seems a bit weak to me late-game though, when Free Religion can shut down a lot of your advantages.

    So there, those are the six types of economies I can think of. If you can think of any others please put them up. If you know of a good link that shows how to run one of the economies please post those as well.

    -abs
     
  2. Defiant47

    Defiant47 Peace Sentinel

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    You should join the economy definition discussion. As it is, one person could run 3 of those economies simultaneously, not to mention that some of your economies are run under the basis of another economy (i.e. EE is run by a CE or SE).
     
  3. madscientist

    madscientist RPC Supergenius

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    I guess an HE would be hybrid which is the most common, a combination of all the above to some degree.
     
  4. absimiliard

    absimiliard Chieftain

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    I agree Defiant. This is obviously still being debated. MadScientist is also correct that while we can define "pure" economies all we want, most people are running hybrids these days. (I myself mostly run hyper-specialized cities in a hybrid configuration, although I do try to run everything often enough that I'm competant at using all of them if the RNG Gods hand me the right situation.)

    Consensus currently seems to be that while an EE can run either as an SE or CE it deserves it's own status as an economy in it's own right. I'm not entirely sure that's correct from a logical viewpoint, but it seems a pretty typical interpretation.

    I think some of the problem stems from the fact that we haven't yet settled on a definition of what an economy is. Is it what gets you beakers? Is it what gets you gold? Is it how you get tech, regardless of gold or beakers?

    But since that debate doesn't really seem to be settling on any consensus, IMO it's mostly people putting their position forward at this point, I though maybe some sort of summary and linking would be useful for people.

    -abs
    "But yeah, I should probably go get involved in the definition discussion. I just haven't done serious analysis since helping define economies for SMAC on Apolyton back in 2000-ish. Not sure I have the brains for it anymore, or the patience."
     
  5. MrCynical

    MrCynical Chieftain

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    I wouldn't really class the "religion economy" as an economy. At the end of the day an economy is mostly about where tech comes from. A shrine, while useful is therefore merely an optional extra to make running one of the other economies easier. The gold is also going to end up as a rather small scale component in the late game anyway.

    The other five are fine, since they each take a different route to research - cottages, specialists, espionage, superspecialists and trade routes.
     
  6. madscientist

    madscientist RPC Supergenius

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    I also think running a pure economy may be fun it's not really the most efficient way in my opinion.

    My own RPCs can show that

    The MONTY game I trashed all captured cottages and build famrs. While this worked very well for that game, I otta say that's not really the most efficint way to play (But damn, it was fun!!!).

    Another example was the Victoria game with the trade economy. She's financial and some cottages should normally be built to supplement that type of economy.

    The religious economy some may not ocnsider it an economy at all since the emphasis is really gold which allows you to run the science clider higher and run another type of economy. It's more of a style of play where you base your gold income on shrined religions sometimes supplemented by key wonders. You can easily run FR all game with several shrines and noone would consider it a Religious Economy even though the bulk of gold comes from shrines.
     
  7. madscientist

    madscientist RPC Supergenius

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    I typed and submitted my reply prior to seeing McCynical's reply. I agree with him about RE not being an economy given the definitions most use here which I have no desire to change.

    But for the record, my view of an economy is how you predominantly get you gold, therefore a late game corp economy would be another type of economy. Again, I am a one man minority on this so I am not trying to change definitions, just my view on things.
     
  8. DaveMcW

    DaveMcW Chieftain

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    So much economic discrimination.

    Don't be an economist!
     
  9. absimiliard

    absimiliard Chieftain

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    Hrmmm. Two things jump out. A Religious Economy could be considered valid, the University of Sankara can provide beakers, and settled priests could do likewise under Rep. That said I'm not sure an RE should be considered an econ type, but I do think it's debatable.

    Second, I'm not sure an economy is about where you get gold. I think MrCynical may be right that it's where you get your research from.

    Initially we all thought it was only about how you developed your land, the old FE (Farm Economy) vs. SE debate over terminology was sort of about this. These days I'm not so sure. EE's in particular can drive me to distraction trying to figure out if they're an SE or a CE or their own kind of thing on their own right.

    I also sort of think an economy needs to be something you can run for most of the game. Which would make a Corporation Economy not fit into my definition. But I'm really unsure on this, and totally open to being convinced otherwise.

    LOL@Dave: Sorry Dave, can't help it. Economies are fun to discuss. Come, join the Economist's Brigade!

    -abs
     
  10. Goldar

    Goldar Chieftain

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    I like the Pillage and Raze (PR) economy.
     
  11. Unconquered Sun

    Unconquered Sun Chieftain

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    I didn't see hammer economy.
     
  12. absimiliard

    absimiliard Chieftain

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    @Goldar, yeah, MadScientist did one of those.

    Though that's more about where you get your gold than your research. So according to MrCynical, who I think I agree with, it's like the RE in that it's not technically an economy.

    Though maybe pointy-stick-research would allow us to consider it as an econ.

    @Sol Invictus (the Unconquerable Sun), I was thinking of the hammer economy as a settled specialist econ. Is there another variant? Like using hammers to build research after alphabet? It's an intriguing idea, does it work?

    -abs
     
  13. madscientist

    madscientist RPC Supergenius

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    In my opinion this is actually a valid economy, as you get gold in a certain fashion. The Mighty Khan was such a game where I had a few core cities, took a few shrined cities and burn the rest of civilization to the ground. The limited number of cities kept costs down while the Pillage raze game kept the treasury stocked. The biggest benefit is the top notch army which was able to take out the intimidating Shaka late without concern about retribution as my core was very far away.

    Yes, PR get's a vote based on my criteria. It gets gold in a specific manner and the research can be done via a hybrid.

    Perhaps my definition is more a strategy than an economy.
     
  14. madscientist

    madscientist RPC Supergenius

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    Damn, everyone answers before I post in this thread.:lol: :lol: :lol:
     
  15. Unconquered Sun

    Unconquered Sun Chieftain

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    It is suboptimal, but it's playable. IMO it's a good antidote to wonder addiction and generally a good way to learn the alternative cost of buildings and units in the game.
     
  16. Ibian

    Ibian Chieftain

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    Beakers and gold and spying and culture all comes from commerce. So id say that an economy is defined by where your science+gold comes from, as well as spying and culture only if thats part of your strategy.
     
  17. troytheface

    troytheface Chieftain

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    thanks for the simple breakdown of economies. I tried EE with The Holy Roman Empire and did not fare well, but i like the idea.
     
  18. absimiliard

    absimiliard Chieftain

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    Ibian: Problem is beakers and gold DON'T all come from commerce. One of the early realizations that led to economies as a concept was the realization that commerce wasn't the only source for those things. Specialists provide beakers, gold, and GPP for example. (and of course GP also provide beakers and gold) You can also get beakers or gold from religious buildings, and sometimes even hammers.

    So I'm not sure you can say that an economy is only an economy if it provides commerce. (beakers + gold + culture + EP) Clearly the SE is an economy, and it provides almost no commerce.

    -abs
     
  19. Ibian

    Ibian Chieftain

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    The point is that commerce can be turned into all of those things. That they can also come from other things is the entire reason this thread exists.

    Thats not what i meant. The amount of actual commerce is entirely irrelevant.

    What i mean is that if 90% of everything comes from cottages, then its clearly a cottage economy. If it comes from purely specialists, SE. And so on. You would also need to factor in bulbing from GP as being beakers.

    Im largely ignoring hammer production since there is only one main source for them, but they do count as a source of gold/beakers/culture if turned into that.
     
  20. absimiliard

    absimiliard Chieftain

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    Ah, I see what you mean.

    Okay, sure. I thought you meant that something should only be considered an "economy" type if it provided commerce. Rather I think what you're saying is that to be an economy you must be providing what commerce gets you somehow. (said beakers and gold)

    I would agree with that in general. Though the EE doesn't really give you any gold production method, and the RE mostly produces only gold, and a Pillage Economy (PE?) also makes pretty much only gold. So maybe we really shouldn't regard EE , PE, or RE as economies in their own right. Maybe they're just strategies.

    MrCynical's feeling that an "economy" is how you provide for research might well be correct. In which case REs and PEs aren't really economies at all, though the EE would remain one despite requiring you to run either SE or CE style cities to support it.

    Lot's to chew on.

    -abs
     

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