Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by CivIVMonger, May 31, 2009.
Which is better, building your cities up, then building out, or vice versa
I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think it makes any difference whatsoever which way you expand.
That's a pretty big question, and the answer will vary from game to game, but I think a typical pattern goes something like this:
1) Grow the capital to size three or four so it can work its very strong resource tiles.
2) Build or capture as many new cities as you economy allows to grab land before your opponents.
3) Recover your economy, partly by raising the happy cap and growing your new cities into it.
4) Fill in any unsettled land that you blocked off or settle new islands.
5) Grow and build.
6) When you have an advantage, expand horizontally through war.
I expand horizontally, then vertically. Although my economy is in the toilet for a while, it rebounds and becomes better than ever.
Growing a city so that it can work a quality developed square is generally my first priority, provided it has a good source of food (and they usually should). It's far less of a production/food/maintenance drain to grow onto a nice square than to build a settler to expand horizontally, and the settler will come faster anyway if the city is working 3-5 developed resource squares.
Of course, sometimes you need to race to settle a spot, in which case you may not have the luxury of growing first.
The crux of this question really is weighing the race to claim land against economically sustainable empire growth. There's no hard, fast rule to settle that question.
In the absence of an urgent need to claim land or a resource, though, I would say the rule of thumb is "up, then out."
I usually do the same thing. Be sure to grab currency and CoL quickly because they are key to recovering you economy afterwords. The ability to build wealth is invaluable to this strategy.
I also tend to go horizontally first, but if I see tundra, it tends to go vertical. Alot of times in those case I also tend to move my capital or get my forbidden palace up fast. The downside to expanding vertically is usually (for me) it means I am expanding in 1 direction away from my capital. And usually because to the north/south of my captial is crappy polar land. I like to expand more horizontally because then I can possible gain access to 2 oceans.
In a lot of cases, if you don't expand horizontally first, the horizontals will be gone when you get around to expanding.
Personally I won't go for vertical growth till I crash my economy, or run out of space. Even then, running out of space often means horizontal expansion by means of sharp objects
Special tiles are a priority, which means first working the ones in the capitol, then expanding once you have your tiles improved. The priority is to settle or captures as many as possible, and later use them to rapidly develop the rest of your land. The earlygame should have more horizontal than vertical expansion due to early cap limitations and the fact that time to expand horizontally is usually finite.
You know, I usually settle in this order:
- 5 tiles north of the capital
- 3 tiles south and 2 tiles west of city number 1
- 7 tiles west of capital
- 2 tiles east of city number 2 and 5 tiles south of city number 3
- 10 tiles south of nearest AI's capital
- 10 tiles west of barbarian city
- 10 tiles east of city number 6 and 10 tiles north of city number 5
You see the pattern?
Well, good. That's the way it should be.
If I'm not mistaken, by vertical/horizontal he means:
Vertical means growing your cities
Horizontal means founding more cities.
Not simple East/West, North/South expansion.
Yep, thats what I mean.
Aha. I definatley misread, although it still applies. I usually do horizontally for 6-10 cities, then vertical it up.
OMG. I am SOOOOO embarrassed. Not only does that make me look really bad, it also shows that I thought you as a dumb person.
I usually go vertical first, and then horizontal, then vertical, horizontal, vertical, etc.
I prefer having a square empire, rather than a rectangular one, figuratively.
Sustainable development is they key.
Also, why do vertical and horizontal not actually mean vertical and horizontal?
I think the OP question is about "horizontal by settling", because if by rush, then ASAP.
So, horizontal as fast as possible; but the "possible" usually depends on some vertical,
like high food to workers and settlers, hammers to military protection.
How much to go vertical for a good horizontal?
Perhaps some masters want to speak about.
Find a balance.
Try and build up each city to about 5+ pop., then hit with a settler. IF the economy looks strained, find a cottage spot immediately.
You grow whichever way is the most expedient and the most immediately urgent. For the higher level games, that's usually horizontally, because your vertical cap is less early on, and because it's a lot more urgent to defend your city expansion sites.
The usual limits of horizontal expansion are site availability, maintenance problems, and inefficiency. If you're not working your quality tiles, you need to grow more. If you have no other places to settle and can't conquer to benefit, you need to grow. If your maintenance is driving your economy to the ground, you need to grow.
In some cases, it's advisable to grow fast, early, usually to take advantage of some mechanic - your capital should nearly always grow first, for instance. It's even possible to use a modified OCC technique to grow one or several cities really, really fast, then use your efficiency advantages to gain military ones and then take cities from the AI.
I tend to grow up before i grow out. I'll found a couple of cities early on, so i've got 3 or at a push 4 and work on getting them nicely developed. Get a few workers out to improve tiles, build a couple of wonders and and get the culture and finances really flowing.
Only then will i spam a couple of settlers out to found extra cities. I tend to make sure they are always on the fringe of my cultural borders so they dont become isolated or too distant to effectively merge into my empire. I find that trying to be greedy with horizontal expansion early on will cripple you and you'll soon feel the pinch of any well developed rival civs cities nearby, as they begin to eat away at your culture or pull away score-wise.
You know what they say.... Rome wasnt built in a day
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