Value of "useless" cities

UWHabs

Deity
Joined
Oct 10, 2008
Messages
4,910
Location
Toronto
I got in some good playing over the weekend, but still a lot to learn from the game. I'm just trying to figure out what are people's thoughts about "useless" cities, meaning cities which don't inherrently give you anything for your empire.

So I know in civ 4, if the city had at least one high food tile (pigs, corn, fish), it wouldn't take too long to get it generally productive. It would cost you maintenance early, but even just working fish+2 scientists, the city tended to be a net positive over time.

Then in 5, they really stopped you from playing wide. In that one, unless if the city brought in luxuries, I could never really justify the cost if it was outside of my first 4 cities. All it would do is slow down national wonder production, make techs and policies more expensive, and they hardly ever seemed to be worth it.

Now I'm wondering - how much good or bad are these extra cities? So if I go settle a city that has, say, a couple wheat, a deer, and maybe a sea resource or two, but doesn't actually give you any extra luxuries or resources, will that city be good or bad? Is there value in settling every corner of the globe, or will settling in those locations a bit further from my core actually hurt my empire at all?
 

kampori

Warlord
Joined
Aug 25, 2016
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287
Location
UAE
Each luxury gives you 4 amenities (so each luxury covers 4 cities)
As long as you keep this in mind, then you can easily have several cities that have nothing but strategic and bonus resources. They are good for districts, as said (try to make the entertainment and industrial districts within 6 tiles of as many cities as you can- factory/power station and zoos/stadium spread their goodies 6 tiles away)
Also good for wonders you can't afford to build in your other cities (too costly to remove a tile or no suitable location etc)

Even if you run out of luxuries, amenities are quite easy to come by and not so drastic negatively if you start going under. A lot of policies give amenities. And some governments. Housing affects your growth much more than amenities.

Also good for getting resources you need- niter probably being one of the most important for upgrading to gunpowder units
 

genyl

Chieftain
Joined
Oct 31, 2014
Messages
38
As the other answers I think it is ok to have a city without anything special.

The cities I find useless though are cities with a lot of sea around. The reason is that , with the exception of harbour, you really want some space to build districts and improvements (for housing). If you catch a good luxury resource or national wonder they are still ok though
 

isau

Deity
Joined
Jan 15, 2007
Messages
3,071
There needs to be an ocean/lake equivalent to the Watermill. Something that doesn't require a Harbor to build, just like the Watermill doesn't require a district.

Like the water mill boosts Rice/Wheet whatever that building is should boost Crab/Whale/Fish/Pearls.
 

dwarfling

Chieftain
Joined
Oct 27, 2014
Messages
46
I find that no city is useless this time around. In fact, the more cities the better as long as you can keep up with the amenity count. Cities with low production stuck in the middle of crap terrain (I'm looking at you, tundra city grabbing some strategic resource) can eventually hard build a Commercial Hub, which will give you an extra trade route everywhere else.
 

rpgalon

Warlord
Joined
Aug 31, 2016
Messages
149
If you consider production from other factories/power plants, food from trade routes, you can plant woods and place lumber mills in them and that every useless spot becomes a district/wonder...

there is no useless city in mid/late game. (unless all tiles are snow/desert/ocean/lake).
 
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