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What to build in my cities?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Zerro0713, Apr 16, 2012.

  1. Zerro0713

    Zerro0713 Chieftain

    Apr 6, 2012

    My biggest petpeev is that I am a completionist and that being said, I feel I need to have every building possible in each of my settles. I'm assuming this is not neccessary and I am looking for a more efficient way to build my cities from ground up.

    My style of play: I usually play as creative so culture is not my biggest concern unless if I am near an enemy's cultural border. I consider myself to be more of a techer (going for Oracle and Great Library) and I'm midgame aggressive (Getting the advantage of Rifling first)

    So my question is just how should I go about building improvements and wonders. What should be my biggest focus and least focus given that I could build buildings such as (Granary, Lighthouse, Barracks, Walls, Forge, Librarys, Markets, Grocers, Banks, Courthouses, Monestaries & Temples) and when should be the best time that I switch to building Wealth or Research?

    Thank you for the assistance in improving my Civ4 gameplay.
  2. VoiceOfUnreason

    VoiceOfUnreason Deity

    Dec 5, 2005
    The search term you want is city specialization.

    Basic idea - trying to have every city do everything well costs a lot of hammers. It's much more efficient to concentrate on cities that do one thing well, and use the hammers you save for troops.

    Example: imagine a city that has a single job to do - training soldiers. First, what should the surrounding tiles look like? Well, you want food, of course; in addition, you want lots of hammers.

    Given this, what buildings should you have?
    Barracks - for extra XP on the troops
    Forge - for the hammer production bonus
    Granary - almost always a good idea for any city that plans to grow a lot (either to get big, or to convert people to hammers)

    And that's really it. After that, unit unit unit unit.... This kind of city doesn't really need to get big, so it doesn't need to invest many hammers in happy/health buildings.

    Similarly for a city that concentrates on research. You want a Granary to grow, and a Library to hire scientists, and... everything else is optional.

    To get a feel for what sorts of specialization are possible, look at the National Wonders. You have one for troop production, one for great people, one for research, one for wealth.... You won't necessarily use each kind of specialization in every game (Hermitage/culture specialization is normally only used in pursuit of a culture victory), but the exercise of imagining the possible specializations is a good one.
  3. Seraiel

    Seraiel Deity

    Sep 6, 2011
    You need Granaries and Lighthouses. Barracks, Stables, Courthouses and Libraries are discussable, in very few times a grocer for :health: and a market for :) but everything beyond that is usually not needed and you'll be better of with producing tropps / building wealth - research - failgold.
  4. sohleks

    sohleks Prince

    May 3, 2010
    Yes build buildings that multiply your lands inherit strengths.

    So basically build barracks and military in high hammer towns (and forges to invest for more hammers latter). Build the economic buildings in for example a cottage spam town.

    This is more detailed information about cities and commerce but I wanted to mention that if you have certain buildings that add base :gold: per turn like an influential religious shrine built by a great prophet that particular city can benefit immensely from banks/markets/grocers even at high % of research.

    Best case scenario: In my last massive game with 2 continents there was Gandhi who was on the distant end of the other continent. He had founded all 3 of the earliest religions but was quickly wiped out by barbarians. Back home I was first to found confucianism and had a great prophet well on the way. I had a central location and converted everyone with a missionary each. Well except for Tokugawa, he wouldn't open borders. Later on after taking japan I converted the other continent mostly with just open borders (cities trade for more commerce and religions spread). It was as easy as it could get because of no religious competition, everyone loved me, and my total tech lead. That city was eventually paying off my entire empire at 100% research. I usually ignore religion but that game it lined up.

    Still reading? My point is when cities work tiles for commerce :commerce: it's usually split up between :science: for science or :gold: to pay for your empire depending on where your sliders are set at. When it doesn't add up to 100%, say 70% :science: you'll have 30% :gold: generating from :commerce: (I'm ignoring :culture: and :espionage: sliders but the methods the same). So if you had 20 :commerce: in a town and the :science: slider is at 70% the town generates 14 :science: and 6 :gold: before libraries/markets ect. multiply those. So technically research buildings are stronger above 50% :science: and markets/grocers ect. are better below 50%. My research slider is usually not that low; I have it cranked up most of the time. This does not mean markets grocers or banks shouldn't be built but I only set up all 3 in my most serious commerce towns.

    Btw, building gold or research doesn't get multiplied by +% :science: :gold: buildings. Just the forge and other +%:hammers: technically since it's coming from production. So high production towns don't need banks for example if they take a break from unit spam.
  5. Zerro0713

    Zerro0713 Chieftain

    Apr 6, 2012
    Thank you people for the advice. I don't usually go for early warfare but maybe with this build setup, I could practice with Medieval type wars instead of just Gunpowder.

    How come Courthouses are being recommended to build? Wouldn't the -50% maintenance cost be good to help run a higher research slider? Also in regards to Maintenance, I know in Civ5 things like roads add maintenance. In Civ4, do buildings add up to mainentenace cost or is maintenance some sort of hidden figure that is uncontrollable?

    I noticed religious buildings weren't really mentioned. I don't know too much about religion because all I know is religion leads to war (so many times)... But I also learned building religious buildings associated with the AP gets you more hammers so is this a good move?

    I'd also like to know about Wonder production. There are certain Wonders I usually like going for but I probably could do with out. I always go for Oracle, Great Wall (FU barbs), and Great Library. I also like Stonehedge, Great Lighthouse & Colossus (For coastal games), and Statue of Zeus. How do you people feel about wonders? The people I team with tend to just build wonders and don't focus on expanding.
  6. Ormur

    Ormur Prince

    Jan 3, 2007
    You can see the maintenance cost in the upper left of the city view below research and money output. If you only have a few well developed cities there's no rush in building courthouses as maintenance increases with distance and the number of cities. If you expand a lot you might want to start building them though. There's no maintenance cost for buildings in cities.

    A religion can be a useful tool, best to pick a popular one among powerful civs and get friends with them but if there are two or more blocks it can be best to stay out of religions at first. Temples and monasteries are mostly useful if your state religion is the one with the Apostolic Palace since then they give extra hammers. Also if you build/capture University of Sankore, Sistine Chapel and The Spiral Minaret.

    Wonders aren't as necessary as expansion, there are very few worth building unless you have the resource or are industrious. The Great Lighthouse can be very useful if you have a lot of coastal cities, the Pyramids because they give you access to representation and better specialists, The Great Library is very good also. I'm not sure Statue of Zeus is worth it, mostly if you need culture and have ivory or really want to block the AI from get it.
  7. sohleks

    sohleks Prince

    May 3, 2010
    Every new city adds its own maintenance cost and slightly increases maintenance of every other city you have (number of cities factor when you hover over maintenance). So courthouses get more useful the larger your empire after all a money saved is a money earned (probably better!). I will mention that practically all types maintenance goes up a little every time your difficulty level increases conspiring to try to push your research slider down to force you to balance the economy more. (Also map size affects the economy slightly. On bigger maps they make techs a little more expensive and I think they lower maintenance a bit?)

    This is kinda related to wonders. I'm playing my first monarch game after dominating on noble. I'm using a new civ on a new map type (Roman/Julius Caesar; this map has 8 continents but all accessible by galley. Made by Planet_Generator_68 mapscript on this site, a lot like the first example map on its forum page. Don't lock modify assets when using it) My capital has a lot of seafood and mines so imagine when THREE barbarian galleys come and wreck my coast up. Trading galleys to protect my coast isn't cost effective. Plus my land has few resources but is very heavily forested. So I change tech path to priesthood for the oracle. I don't have marble but I chop chop chop in a new city and cross my fingers. I had success picked up metal casting and have those galley killers now! Seafood is restored. I have 5 coastal cities and more to come. They're trading with other civs for very nice early game "overseas" commerce so the great lighthouse is extremely attractive. I'm teching currency now and I hope I can get the lighthouse.

    Wonders are great to have but they kinda divert your hammers from expansion and military. I love to chop forests for them but even that is using the hammers from building other things. They work pretty well when playing against the ai because you "protect yourself with diplomacy" but if you're playing against another player building a wonder is an opportunity cost from building military which may enable him to kill you or ruin your economy. Also keep in mind relevant wonders in cities you capture work for you!
  8. WelshGandalf

    WelshGandalf King

    Sep 6, 2010
    I get Granary, Forge and Library in almost every city (and yes, lighthouse if its coastal). Libraries are cheap-ish, and every city produces some commerce, I reckon its worth it, plus the culture helps of course.

    Courthouses usually come along at some point but not near the start, only when my empire is large enough such that they bring in decent savings. If your cities are costing around 7 or 8 gold per turn or more then it's probably time to think about courthouses. Maintinence is based on...

    - difficulty level
    - number of cities
    - distance from capital (Versailles/forbidden palace cities count as capitals for this purpose)
    - extra "colonial maintenance" if they are on a continent without a "capital" (The more cities on this continent, the higher this costs)
    - size of city (not a huge impact but the bigger the city, the more the maintenance)
    - any corporations in the city (that's a whole different topic)

    Also I might build the buildings I get for cheap with my trait quite a lot. So if I'm expansive, harbour will feature more heavilly.
  9. Mec AntiKythera

    Mec AntiKythera King

    Sep 24, 2010
    Perhaps the flow chart in my sig is appropriate here to help this make sense.

    One problem that you may come across is that it is significantly harder to get the wealth modifying buildings built in wealth cities than in production cities. I do find myself building universities and banks in cities that can complete them quickly, ie hammer cities where they have little effect, if I am trying to get Oxford or Wall Street up and running.

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