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What do you do with your Great Scientists, Engineers, and Merchants?

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Scirocco16V, Nov 21, 2013.

  1. Scirocco16V

    Scirocco16V Warlord

    Oct 9, 2012
    New Jersey, US
    I always save my engineers to rush wonders, immediately spend scientists for science boost, send merchants on trade missions to a CS where the rep boost would be useful, and use prophets to convert opponent or CS cities.

    I see other people talking about Manufactories and Customs Houses, which makes me wonder if they know something I don't?

    What is the optimal use of great people?

    A manufactory doesn't seem equal to giving up a wonder, but over a long time I suppose a customs house or academy might produce more than the alternative?
  2. chazzycat

    chazzycat Deity

    Oct 13, 2010
    scientist - academies early, stockpile after scientific theory for post-labs bulbs (standard)
    engineers - wonders every time
    merchant - if I spawned a merchant something went wrong. You should never spawn merchants unless you're Venice.
    prophet - found/enhance religion or settle them. Unless I'm going for a heavy religion strategy (which is rare) then I don't like using them against other civs because the AI is just too aggressive with religion to make it worth it on immortal. When it comes down to it, the most useful aspect of faith is purchasing great people at the end game, and so I'd rather have more faith stockpiled than a bit more gold from tithe or whatever. Of course if you see a good opportunity to spread religion it can still be a good idea, like if you are right next to a city spammer with no other religions nearby. But I really don't like getting into a religion war with the AI, it's not generally very productive.
  3. cairnsy44

    cairnsy44 Gooner - first class

    Jan 23, 2006
    I always settle the merchants for custom houses. trade missions seem to be too little/too temporary a benefit to use in that regard. This way I can vote in the culture for every great person tile improvement later on as well.
  4. PrimoXanthous

    PrimoXanthous ~ knightmare13 ~

    Feb 19, 2012
    Sa Puso mo
    Scientist: academies, using it on one Technology boost is a waste of a one good Great Scientist.
    Engineer: After Vanilla i never used GE on wonder boost. Manufactury is more usefull early especially on cities with low population and production.
    Merchants: If i ever spawn a merchant on BNW and i have a friendly Cultural CS, Militaristic with good UU, Religious with atleast one Luxary or Mercantile with atleast one Luxary, I'll go with Trade Mission.
  5. sendos

    sendos Immortal

    Aug 12, 2008
    Melbourne, Australia
    Early game:

    -Great Scientists - build academies
    - Great Engineers - rush wonders
    - Great Merchants - I barely get them mid-game but I would build a customs house on a plain tile.

    late game:

    - Great scientists: depends on my civ, tech lead and SP setup. If I'm in a tech lead, I always bulb them as I start a tech. If I'm behind, I might hoard them for later. If I have strong fpt and rationalism, I will purchase as many of them as possible and then bulb them all. I have won a science victory as Maya this way and the runaway AI in that game was also about to win a science victory.
    - Great Engineers: Heavily dependent on ideology and wonders available. Assuming that there are no wonders to rush -- Freedom: Manufactories mainly. This is because of the New Deal tenet which makes GP tiles more effective. Order: hoard for science victory. Great engineers can hurry production of space ship parts, which is rather useful after the patch. Also, the 5 Year Plan tenet makes manufactories rather pointless because they will only provide +2 more production than a mine producing 5 production with Order. Autocracy: Manufactories mainly but I would most likely save them for wonders that I need.
    - Great Merchants: Depends on ideology, SP's and victory type I'm aiming for. Freedom: custom houses. They'll generate a fair bit of gold well into the game. Order: most likely will use it for trade missions. Autocracy: Very much likely I will use it for trade missions because I will use gold to upgrade and purchase units, especially planes. Add commerce: even more likely to use trade missions.

    Not sure whether this includes MoV's but, my rule of thumb for them is don't purchase too many CS' (3-5 is enough for me), don't purchase the militaristic and mercantile ones and use them mostly for trade missions late in game. Combine with commerce and you get 4000 gold from trade missions. If you have good fpt, it's a good reason to purchase MoV's for gold.
  6. Vitruvius

    Vitruvius King

    Oct 27, 2013
    What if you get great merchant points from a wonder? You cannot stop that.

    Another question, what kind of tile would you settle your great people? I personally prefer Grassland because if I work it I can still get 2 food. Are there better options?
  7. chazzycat

    chazzycat Deity

    Oct 13, 2010
    You should be able to with planning. Wonders don't provide very many points...you generally should get universities up and running in time to get your first scientist before any merchant pops. I guess if you are naval and dead set on colossus + great lighthouse it could happen...but really the vast majority of the time it should not be happening. I think those two and Mausoleum are the only early ones that provide merchant points.

    I generally agree, I tend to go for non-freshwater grassland most of the time. Sheep are pretty good too, 1f 2h plus GP yield is a pretty solid tile. Guess it depends how badly you need food...putting it on a sheep you lose 2 food per turn in the late game (pasture and fertilizer bonus) but for most of the game it's just a difference of 1 food for 2 hammers which is a good tradeoff.
  8. jlim201

    jlim201 King

    Sep 14, 2013
    Somewhere North of the South Pole
    Scientists- Settle them until Public Schools are built in all main cities. Once that happens, pop them whenever you get them. (Hoarding them is bad, because they each give the same amount of science when they were born or two eras later, where that amount of science is worth less)

    Engineers- Pop them for wonders.

    Merchants- I rarely recieve these because I pump out tons of scientists naturally, and once I get a good amount of faith late game, I buy scientists. However, when I do get them, I send them to Cultural CS, the best CS in my opinion. (Policies are the second most key thing for victory, behind science.)
  9. RonMar

    RonMar Warlord

    Apr 21, 2010
    Rhode Island
    Great Scientists give beakers relating to the turns previously to when they are bulbed. Save them if you want a greater effect from them.

    To verify this, keep a GS and every 10 turns or so select it, hover the mouse over the bulb and it will show how many beakers worth of science you will get if you bulb it on the current turn. If your science is increasing the amount from the bulb is increasing.
  10. chazzycat

    chazzycat Deity

    Oct 13, 2010
    totally incorrect, scientist bulb yields are based on your last 8 turns of research before the turn you bulb them, NOT the turn they were spawned. Hoarding till after research labs are completed (8 turns after) is ideal.
  11. Mr Jack

    Mr Jack Chieftain

    Dec 22, 2010
    Scientists - Academy until around Public school then bulb
    Engineer - save to pop wonders
    Merchant - never get these? Why would you?
  12. Dogmouth

    Dogmouth King

    Mar 19, 2012
    Great merchants continue to be the game's most baffling balance oversight. Customs houses are god awful trash. A silver or gold mine with a mint provides as much gold and more hammers. I have no idea what the developers were thinking.
  13. arand86

    arand86 Warlord

    Jul 22, 2013
    And you know, gives a lux that you can sell for 7 more...

    I really wouldn't scream OP even if a GM spawned like a cerro de potosi (10GPT) as its improvement. The Merchant just doesnt compare to a GS or GE, and most of the time GWAMs
  14. GoStu

    GoStu King

    Sep 16, 2013
    I agree, the Customs House is bad compared to what other GP improvements do. 8 beakers for an academy, 4 hammers from a manufactory, or 4 gold? Terrible. Even the potential to have that doubled by Freedom's New Deal and have two culture added makes it a good tile, but still not as good as an academy or manufactory.
  15. Quineloe

    Quineloe Prince

    Jul 24, 2013
    I haven't built a Manufactory since I got past King. They're not even that good, they're kinda like stone +1.

    Fully agree on great merchant, it remains a terrible GP all around
  16. joshua43214

    joshua43214 King

    Mar 21, 2012
    Merchants might be better if you replaced its ability to improve a strategic resource with the ability to improve a luxury, and added a hammer or two to it.
  17. Ninakoru

    Ninakoru A deity on Emperor

    Nov 14, 2002
    Madrid, Spain, Europe
    Yeah, due to the low yields, my options usually are:

    - Scientists, plant academies until modern, blast them later.
    - Ingeneers: most of the time wonder rush. If it is early and no interesting wonders are available, maybe I plant them If is it not early, I save them for wonders.
    - Merchants: Always used in missions, Customs House is useless.

    On high difficulties I always go for scientists and try to avoid merchants.

    I actually made a patch in wich Manufactory and Customs House have more room in the player options. Basically:

    - Academy :c5science: Yield: 8+2+2 -> 6+2+2
    - Manufactory :c5production: Yield: 4+1 -> 5+2
    - Customs House :c5gold: Yield: 4+1 -> 5+2

    Also scientists add 2 science in city instead of 3 (compensed with passive science on libraries and unis), that way if you don't go scientists you are not punished too hard in the BPT department.

    The mod:



  18. bbbt

    bbbt Deity

    Oct 21, 2013
    I think they should make the GM improvement something you build on a CS's territory (ala Portugals UI), that then gives you increased gold and influence (maybe +4 gp +2 influence per turn) on your trade route with that CS - almost guaranteeing that that CS stays as your ally as long as you keep a trade route with it (and no one pillages it).

    Or something along those lines, that has more of a long term impact on your influence on the CS besides a very temporary influence boost.
  19. Koiranputki

    Koiranputki Prince

    May 9, 2012
    Interesting thread...

    Scientists...plant them until around Public Schools, then bulb them
    Engineers ...almost always use them to rush wonders....
    Merchants...usually...except when playing Venice...I don't get too many of these....though I always send them to an appropriate nearby CS....might give this strategy a re-think after reading some of the comments in this thread....

    In some games...not often... I may produce an unusually large number of GEs...then I may start planting them.....

    If I have an unusually productive city I'll try to hard-build wonders instead of using a GE, but this sometimes back-fires.... In my current game I lost Chichen Itza because of this approach...I had an available GE, but I was so far ahead in techs I thought I could hard-build.... Wrong move!! ;)
  20. chazzycat

    chazzycat Deity

    Oct 13, 2010
    i really like this idea

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