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What to delete: - gpt and - happiness?

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Prozac1964, Dec 29, 2015.

  1. Prozac1964

    Prozac1964 Warlord

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    Hi everyone, I'm currently doing pretty well in my dom vic. However the more I take capitals and cities, the more gold per turn I lose and also the more happiness.

    On happiness, I started with 15, then as I began doing battle, the happiness dropped to -18. Here's my numbers:

    27 from number of cities
    34 from population
    24 from population of puppet cities
    15 from specialist

    Can I delete anything here??

    On gold, I have 2038 gold but -48 gpt. Here's those numbers:

    97 on unit maintenance
    105 on building maintenance
    23 on tile improvements

    I had positive numbers before I started warring. But my question now is, can I delete or change any of these negative factors, and get back in the black?

    I really have no business playing this game...it's too complex. Yet I keep on trying.:confused:

    Thanks for any help. :)
     
  2. Browd

    Browd Dilettante Administrator

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    Why are you keeping the cities you conquer? You need to be ruthless to be a successful (non-bankrupt) conquerer. If the city isn't a capital and doesn't some VERY compelling strategic value, destroy it -- don't puppet, don't annex, just raze. And its not too late to start now. Pick a dozen cities to raze. Right now.

    On gold, you can certainly scrap any building you don't need, as long as it has a maintenance cost (can't scrap markets, banks, walls, caravanassaries, etc.) -- you get a bit of gold and save the maintenance cost. When a city is being razed, you should definitely scrap one building per city per turn until the city is gone. Set a dozen cities ablaze and scrap the most expensive building in each city on each turn.

    Also, pillaging tiles is your best friend. Pillage everything in sight before you take a city. And whatever tiles aren't already pillaged can be pillaged after the city is razed. (It's a bit of an exploit, but if you have some workers with you, you can repair pillaged improvements (including after the city has been razed) and pillage them again, and again, and again.)

    Do all of this, and your gold problems should go away quickly.
     
  3. docbud

    docbud Emperor

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    ^^I wasn't aware of scrapping those buildings while razing. I'll have to keep that in mind.
    I had no idea about it and never saw it in the videos I've watched. Thanks for the tip.
     
  4. LordBalkoth

    LordBalkoth Prince

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    No, you don't. What you need to do is plan your happiness and be focusing on the policies/buildings/etc to allow a large empire. Sure, you can't keep every city on the planet if you're doing an Attila domination that ends before turn 150, but you don't need to raze many (or any) cities. I'll raze truly terrible cities, sure, like the one tile wonders in the middle of the ocean...but most you can keep (and they'll benefit your gold/culture as puppets or science/unit production as annexed cities).
     
  5. Browd

    Browd Dilettante Administrator

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    Yes, you need to plan and organize your domination campaign to avoid happiness and gold problems. (As Winnie the Pooh said, organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up). But beware of multiple goals, which can make for muddled play, IMO.

    Either you are after quick domination, in which case you should be single-mindedly focused on eliminating every distraction and resource suck, with a goal of completing your domination run within 50 or so turns of when you start conquering in earnest (ignoring any early conquests you did to clear your local neighborhood), or you plan to go wide the "aggressive way" (via conquest), but then settle down eventually with your 20-30+ city empire (mostly puppet, but some annexed cities) to launch the spaceship or bomb your remaining opponents with concert tours, in which case you should probably do as you suggest, since you have time on your side -- time for your investment in newly conquered cities to pay off -- and you will need them to pay off on a timely basis.

    Time is the issue. When dominating, capitals are usually the best cities to annex (and you have to keep them to win anyway), and there are some occasions when I find another city worth keeping (and even annexing, if I need to buy units in those cities). But rebuilding conquered cities' infrastructure (repairing tile improvements, building or buying granaries, workshops, factories, science buildings, and everything else that was destroyed on city conquest, rebuilding the city's population, etc.) and constructing city connections (for connection gold and Meritocracy happiness) are usually, in retrospect, a complete waste of time and resources in a fast domination run -- the game should be over by the time those cities make useful contributions (much less repay your post-conquest investment).

    Ruthlessness (defined as "having or showing no pity or compassion for others") is precisely what is needed, always needed, in a strategy game. It is always tempting to listen to our "inner builder" (and we all have one) as we look at a newly conquered city -- hey, this location looks pretty good, with ready access to food and resources, and it has real potential -- I would certainly settle here! -- and indulge the impulse to develop it as well as your existing cities. And that would make sense if you anticipated the game would last long enough for those cities to make a meaningful contribution, or if the game continued after your final conquest (so you could enjoy the fruits of your labor, or settle down to launch the spaceship or win a culture victory). But you're 10, 20 or 30 turns away from winning a domination victory --- what can those cities do in that time frame, apart from serving as a resource drain? After you win, you can click one more turn to marvel at your empire's robust development and contented citizenry, and even play around with seeing how great your empire can become (can you get every land tile inside your culture borders?, how large can your population become?, etc.), but that's sandbox time, not game time.

    Of course, if you've delayed your conquest so much that you believe you will need stealth bombers, nukes, modern armor and x-coms to win, well then, yes, you need to nurture every resource and develop every decent city you conquer to tech your way to those milestones. But, ugh, no thanks to that. If a domination game lasts much past artillery and WWI bombers (maybe battleships for the last few capitals on a water map), I feel I've mistimed my conquest and therefore misplayed the game.

    The great thing is that each game is yours, and yours alone, to enjoy as you see fit. There's nothing wrong with using domination as a stepping stone to another victory condition (I do it all the time), and retaining and developing conquered cities is usually a key element of that strategy. But quick domination rewards rapid extermination, not empire building.
     
  6. LordBalkoth

    LordBalkoth Prince

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    First of all, I want to make it clear that I'm referring to Deity difficulty here (you might be as well, but what's feasible on Emperor, for example, is vastly different than what's feasible in Deity).

    This is wrong on multiple levels.

    A. Let's rephrase this: "Either you are after quick domination or you are after slow domination." Sure, in some cases you might try to do an Attila/Harun/Genghis/etc style sweep during a single era. If that's your goal then yes, like I mentioned, you'll need to raze more cities (at least if this is earlier in the game rather than a late game sweep). But by your own logic...if you're able to win earlier by continuing the Domination, why would you wait out a Science Victory or "Cultural" Victory?

    If your answer is something along the lines of "I wanted to win a certain way" or "I find it more fun" then that also makes a empire building Domination Victory completely legitimate too.

    B. Depending on the map and opponents, you might not be able to do a 50 turn sweep. Bad terrain, bad neighbors, etc, can conspire against you. Maybe you get several Civs with Crossbows but then need to wait for Artillery. Maybe you get several Civs with Artillery but then have to wait for AA tech (or get shredded by GWBs). This isn't even getting into other issues like a Continents type map where it's likely you'll need at least two "phases" for most games.

    C, Having those cities provides other benefits as well -- including the fact that the AI won't settle those empty lands (which would potentially break the city connections you do have and cause you to have to take those cities later on, wasting time). The AI will literally settle on a one tile island in the middle of the ocean -- if they're next on your hit list you don't want them spamming several cities in awkward locations.

    I rarely have to repair many, if any, tiles. FWIW.

    In 30 turns it'd easily produce enough gold to buy a unit or two as a puppet or, if annexed, enough time to produce several units (and I'm including 10-15 turns of resistance there after conquering).

    On the flip side, if I'm 10 turns away from Victory and the city is population 15 after capture (assuming therefore 15 turns of resistance due to not focusing on Tourism), sure, it won't really do any good. But razing it also means suffering an extra 6ish instant unhappiness that will take 4-5 turns to "break even" with a puppeted city and then slowly add happiness back. If your Happiness can weather that instant hit then in most cases it could also easily weather not razing it at all.

    Ah, so people who want to tech to Artillery and then start conquering are just playing the game wrong. And people who rush to XComs/Stealth Bombers and then snipe the capitals are also playing the game wrong. And so is someone who decided they wanted to, say, start conquering at SAMs/Rocket Artillery and finish with Stealth Bombers if needed.

    Y'know, personally, I find warfare prior to the Modern Era dreadfully dull. It's when you introduce things like planes, anti-air, 3 range siege units, submarines, etc that I think it gets more interesting. More counters and combined arms tactics.

    Funny, I've won Science/Victory/Cultural victories on Deity without ever conquering another city. Seems like a crutch to me, especially in extreme cases: "Woo-hoo, I completely crippled every other Civ and left them with 2 cities each, now I can tech slowly and win a Science Victory on turn 450 if I want!"
     
  7. Bloodstone

    Bloodstone Warlord

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    Dude put a pipe in it. Good Lord. Browd finishes with this:

    He is giving his advice and opinion which he makes very clear. Relax dude
     
  8. Prozac1964

    Prozac1964 Warlord

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    I dont know if this pro Browd or anti Browd. But I appreciate anyone who goes to that level to help someone, as Browd did. :)


    On another note: I'm thinking about scrapping my game. -20 unhappiness, and -87 gold. Looks like gold and happiness are king in this game. Thanks for the help everyone :D
     
  9. Callonia

    Callonia Deity

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    Even one tile wonders in middle of ocean in middle of nowhere is quite worthy of considering to keep or not to keep because they can be used as rest stop and resupplying your navies. Aka a nearby place for your navy to sail to recover their hp. :lol:

    You don't have to grow the city as big as possible, you might want to grow it a little bit and build the happiness building to offset the happiness malus for having population there and set stop growth.

    This is one of reasons why my navy is such a huge menace to the AIs. There's a good reason why the Sun didn't set on the british empire for such a long time.

    Anyways, moving on.

    -gpt can be because of those cities you captured. Your cities is footing the bill for maintaining the buildings inside the city that's resisting your rule until it becomes pacified. Then those citizens will work for you and contribute to your wealth.
     
  10. LordBalkoth

    LordBalkoth Prince

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    He's making a *factual* claim of "You need to be ruthless to be a successful (non-bankrupt) conquerer" which he expands on by saying " If the city isn't a capital and doesn't some VERY compelling strategic value, destroy it -- don't puppet, don't annex, just raze. And its not too late to start now. Pick a dozen cities to raze. Right now."

    And he's factually wrong -- you can be a successful, happy, non-bankrupt conqueror without razing tons of cities. That's not a matter of opinion.

    The section you quoted of his in your post essentially sums up to "If you're not doing a razing Domination Victory or a Domination enabled 'Cultural' or 'Science' Victory then you're doing it wrong." That is an opinion, and I'm offering a counterpoint of a different opinion because I think he's wrong and misleading/misguiding newer players.

    Unfortunately Browd isn't giving you the best help. For an example, here's a recent Immortal game I won via Domination Victory.

    Spoiler :


    I'm counting at least 27 cities there and I'm at 60 Happiness with hundreds of gold in income. If you're wondering why I took so long it's because that's the first Immortal game I ever played -- and at the time I lost badly. I didn't even have the National College up on turn 175ish. On a whim I went back and replayed it from that turn 175ish save and managed to pull off that victory in spite of the horrendous start.

    Or here's a Deity game Domination Victory:

    Spoiler :


    I'm counting 40+ cities there and I'm making nearly 1.4k gold per turn. The only reason I'm at -32 Unhappiness is because I *literally* captured two 20+ population capitals on that turn (on opposite sides of the continent) to win the game -- was at positive happiness at the start of the turn.

    The advice he's giving you *CAN* work...but the problem is that he's dismissing other options that ALSO work.

    Post the save file of your game and I'll make a video showing how to fix the situation/win the game.

    True enough, I meant more the one tile wonders right off the coast where you have another city anyway.
     
  11. Sclb

    Sclb Emperor

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    Browd's advice is valid for a type of optimal domination game where the game is usually won before ideology even comes in. I challenge you to keep many cities you conquer WITHOUT getting ideology. However there are other ways to win and you are welcome to keep every city and use ideology to help with happiness especially if the game lasts more than 200 turns.
     
  12. Callonia

    Callonia Deity

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    Ahh haha I see, sometimes those one hex islands if geography favors.. can be incredible for a citadel to be built there. it will render the city impenetrable to navies until battleships at least.

    I believe that can be done. Just requires good management of happiness. Although science marches on, there is no technological stasis like found in many stories. Unless a mod is used, which era you want someone to have many cities by then? Renaissance era being the limit because industrial era will start the ideologies. So you want to see a massive renaissance empire?
     
  13. LordBalkoth

    LordBalkoth Prince

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    I think the problem with using "optimal" in this sense is that it then becomes a situation where playing anyone besides the Huns is automatically sub-optimal because it yields a slower finish time, turn-wise.

    Pretty much. Pre-ideology you can still have Colosseum, Circus, Stoneworks, Pagodas/Mosques/etc, CS happiness, Tradition/Liberty happiness, Forbidden Palace global happiness, wonder happiness, etc. All ideologies really add is the ability to have a LARGER population per city..but if it's earlier in the game then the population will be smaller anyway.

    Absolute worst case scenario you could even raze some cities partway to drop them down a few unhappiness.
     
  14. Browd

    Browd Dilettante Administrator

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    I'm no doubt going to regret continuing the conversation, but that isn't what I meant. (And I apologize in advance for the length of this post -- I'm not usually this wordy.)

    One way to think about the game is like a foot race, where runners need to adopt different pacing and positioning strategies depending on whether they are competing in a Marathon or the 10,000 meters, 1,500 meters or 200 meters. To admit my bias, I find sprints as exhilarating as anyone, but I'm rarely as fast as others, and I haven't the patience for long games, so call me a "1,500 meter" player. And that bias does inform how I like to approach the game, but I know to avoid any "one size fits all" approaches.

    Different civs, different opponents, different maps all reward different approaches. I would be the last to say that this or that strategy is always "best" -- the challenges presented in a particular game (including challenges where I perhaps failed to prepare adequately for happiness or gold problems) require that I adjust to the situation and improvise. In those cases, sometimes I find that I have to do what I have to do, even if I would have chosen another route had I anticipated the situation a bit better.

    Yes, there are "fastest finish time" domination games, but I wasn't referring to those. Certainly if you are playing a civ that has ancient or classical era UUs (like the Huns), you really should start your domination campaign on turn 0 and see how quickly you can finish (assuming a pangaea-type map) before your UUs are obsolete and the other players surpass you and then slowly crush you. If you can't finish those games quickly (e.g., the map is going to stall you out, or you're on a continents-type map, where you need Astronomy and maybe a navy to continue conquering, or the terrain means you will probably need artillery or other industrial and post-industrial era units to finish off the map), you are probably better off conquering to a point (perhaps clearing your continent) and then settling down with your enhanced empire to tech to either a "regular" domination victory (later in the game, not relying on UUs), or a science, diplo or culture victory that takes advantage of your wide empire. That scenario is, I think, a very common example of what LordBalkoth recommends, and that is undoubtedly the best alternative in those cases -- keep all but the crappiest of cities that you conquer and develop the ones you do keep to make solid contributions to your empire over time. I have no disagreement there, and, as I said, I do that all the time.

    Of course, you don't need early UUs to do any of that -- any civ can do it, but those with early UUs have more of an incentive to do so. Play Rome, and not use legions and ballistas to crush your immediate neighbors? That's absolutely fine (as I say, it's your game), but I feel I would be missing out on some of the fun of playing Rome -- it's less about role-playing (I'm not much off a role player-type) but more about using the tools the game gives me to extract the most fun from that particular game. So, in those games I like to take those UUs out of a spin, do a bit of conquering and then exploit my wide empire for whatever victory I desire.

    What I was referring to by "quick domination" (perhaps a poor choice of words) was not fastest finish time, but the speed of your "final push" to finish your conquest campaign. This is contrasted with early conquests, where my goal is not to clear the map in one go, but to eliminate a neighbor or three, or at least chop them down to triviality, and then develop what I've acquired. As noted above, in those cases I keep nearly every city, annexing the best and developing them to their full potential -- think of them as later-founded cities for which the AI has given me a head-start.

    I'm of the view (yes, my opinion) that when you start your big push to clear the map of your opponents (whether it's when you get crossbows and expect artillery in another X number of turns, or when you just upgraded your galleass fleet to frigates on a water map, or later in the game when you unlock key late-game units) you should generally aim for as rapid a campaign as possible. Why? Several reasons come to mind.

    First, you want to finish before your units become obsolete, since upgrades can be somewhat less compelling for offense than defense (the upgrade of crossbows to gatling guns comes immediately to mind -- range-promoted x-bows are deadly in their time, as they can attack, attack, attack without having to weather reply fire, while range-promoted gatlings have to deal with ranged attacks in response, which simply slows you down -- you need 3-range artillery to match the benefits of range-promoted x-bows, and it takes time to tech to artillery, and build cannons to upgrade, and gold to do the upgrades, etc., etc.).

    A related reason is to finish before your remaining targets (those civs that you are not at war with when you start your final push) can adequately prepare (either by spamming defensive units, or teching up to better units, or both). When you have the initiative, don't let up -- most strategy games (from Chess to Civ) reward players who set the tempo of the game, keeping their opponents off balance.

    Third, a domination campaign is a distraction from other alternatives -- it is rare that you will have the resources to gear your empire for a domination campaign (churning out units, etc.) while simultaneously laying the foundation for an equally-fast other victory condition. To put it most simply, there are the choices in the tech path you pursue (bottom row of military techs, or top row to archaeology, plastics and internet?) and the uses of your production resources and gold (build and/or rush-buy more artillery, or bombers, or whatever, or science buildings and culture wonders?). Yes, you can do all of that -- buy units, buy science buildings, build archaeologists, or whatever -- but if you can do all of that at once, without losing pace somewhere, the game isn't challenging enough and it's time to raise your difficulty level. The game should require that you make hard choices -- and choosing domination involves risk -- risk of outright failure, risk of stalling out short of the finish (trench warfare is no fun), risk of losing to another civ's spaceship, etc.

    Since domination will divert resources from other endeavors, you need that domination campaign to finish as soon as possible after it begins. If you stall out on domination (e.g., you see that both the Aztecs and the Swedes have teched to bombers and infantry while you're still tied up with the surprisingly tenacious Incans and are probably 20 turns away from even reaching the Swedish borders, much less the Aztecs), you may consider suspending your campaign and settling down to tech up yourself -- which probably requires developing, and not razing, the cities that you have conquered. Maybe you shift victory goals, or just reconcile yourself to another domination push that will re-start in another 50-60-70 turns (or whenever you feel ready), but you will want to utilize the resources of your newly conquered cities, rather than auto-raze them.

    Circling back, I intended to make two relatively narrow points. First, if you find yourself in the sort of situation the OP was in (happiness down the drain and leaking gold -- perhaps due to poor planning, as others have said -- I won't comment on that), you should be prepared to evaluate your situation ruthlessly -- the strategy game equivalent of "do I have to amputate to save the patient's life?" -- and take action accordingly. Don't overdo the pruning, of course, but prune as necessary, without sentimentality -- and put aside the feeling that, in different circumstances, you would prefer to keep the city, since the city would certainly benefit you long term -- if a cold-eyed view of the situation requires surgery, don't hesitate to do what is needed. (And advising someone not to get themselves into the position of having to make that choice is, of course, correct, but sort of beside the point -- they are in the situation they in, so how best to deal with it?)

    Second, if you are sprinting to the finish line, don't keep anything in reserve -- there is no reward in the game for finishing with "gas in the tank". Leaving aside the min-max chest-thumping that some enjoy from fast finishes, by not finishing as quickly as you can, you increase the risk that your opponents will catch their balance and overcome you (either by successfully stalling your campaign or sneaking past you to another victory condition). That is why I believe your final push to the finish line needs to be completed in as short a number of turns as possible -- and if the number of turns is short enough, newly acquired cities are unlikely to make a meaningful contribution to your victory. When I'm plotting out a 40-50 turn push to the finish, instead of "should I raze this city," I try to ask "do I need this city"? If the answer is "no," I'm all too happy to click the "Raze" button. And if I can see the finish line in another 10-20-30 turns, my standard for "need" is pretty high.

    Full disclaimer -- if, in that position, I'm swimming in ideology happiness, with no ideological pressure to be concerned about, and just rolf-stomping my way to the finish, I'm as inclined as the next person to click "Puppet" and roll on. That's neither the "best" nor the "worst" thing to do, since the choice is irrelevant to the outcome -- I won't finish clearing the map any quicker, but I won't suffer for the decision either way.
     
  15. LordBalkoth

    LordBalkoth Prince

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    Ah. It sounded like you did -- I got the impression of "Either conquer everything <50 turns and raze constantly...or conquer for those 50ish turns and then stop conquering and go for Science/Culture/Diplomatic Victory. If you can't sweep the map in 50 turns then don't go for Domination Victory."

    This is one issue with the sweep ideal -- it takes a long time to get those xbows to the logistics/range upgrades unless you resort to "training" on a CS or declare "war" on a nearby Civ without any intention of going after their cities for dozens of turns, you're just wanting to train your units.

    On the flip side, doing some conquering with Artillery and then being able to promote those into highly promoted Rocket Artillery is insane (though I've recently gained a newfound appreciation for highly promoted Machine Guns/Bazookas with March, Cover 2, etc -- they shred units and are much more durable than (Rocket) Artillery, though weaker against cities).
     
  16. beetle

    beetle Deity

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    I have read the whole thread. I have one question for Browd. But contrary to most replies, I think OP is actually in fine shape! I do agree that OP should probably be razing more.

    As others have wrote, I think it is just your pacing. But I think you are actually doing okay! Out of curiosity, do you have an ideology unlocked? In any case, things don&#8217;t get really hairy until you hit -20 unhappiness. The first several barbarian spawns are pretty trivial to deal with.

    If you just pause your conquering for a dozen turns you will be above -10. You can still be killing units and pillaging in the mean time. Then start conquering again, aiming to raze more. Or just pace yourself so you are taking like one city every five turns or so, mostly focusing on the best path between you and the next cap.

    That is enough to last 40+ turns! What is the problem?

    And then once you resume conquering, even if you stay in the red, you will can make up most of the difference from pillage and conquest gold, plus some of your puppets will be generating income after pausing your conquering for a dozen turns.

    Finally, bankruptcy is not really a problem! It just subtracts from your science. If it gets really bad, one unit per turn will disband. But at that point you should be building a couple new units per turn, so still your are net to the positive. If you can end the turn with any gold at all (from pillage or selling off a building in a city being razed) then even being triple digit in the red will not cause units to disband. Crashing science is really the only effect, but you are probably steaming rolling at that point, so things should turn out fine!

    This specific advise I don't get. OP is at -18 happy now. Annex and raze on a dozen cities might solve his money problems but first turn of razing he will be at -30 happy. Won't he start losing cities to culture flipping in five turns?
     
  17. Browd

    Browd Dilettante Administrator

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    I was exaggerating for effect! Obviously the OP should (if he decides some strategic razing, or other dramatic initiative, is appropriate) calculate out what actions he needs to take and just do those actions. Throwing the baby out with the dirty bathwater is rarely useful.
     
  18. Sclb

    Sclb Emperor

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    Even below -20 happiness is doable when on domination spree due to cities flipping usually on the frontier and are cities that are recently captured. There is a lower cap on combat effectiveness and there is really no difference if it's below -20. The real problem is the penalty on production and therefore gpt, but if you keep capturing, razing cities, and selling buildings, you can end with positive gold each turn and prevent unit disband.
     
  19. beetle

    beetle Deity

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    That is good to know. I have been scared to try that. Of course I felt the same way when playing at -10 happy (but then finding that pretty manageable), and even the first time I hit negative happy.
     
  20. Callonia

    Callonia Deity

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    The real worry is when you're caught in a war while suffering extreme unhappiness. Its something you never ever want to be in at all costs. Defeating enemy units become very difficult and forces you to use alot of tactics to overcome the lemming rush trying to crush your now weak units.

    You might survive or it might send you into a death spiral.

    It happened to me several times but I survived due to the fact I'm fighting the AI not human players. lol
     

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