When do/should you build your 2nd/3rd city?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by DigitalBoy, Aug 29, 2006.

  1. DigitalBoy

    DigitalBoy Emperor

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    In my latest games, I always find myself taking particularly long to found my first several cities. When I first started CivIV, I told myself that 2500BC is a good time to found a second city. Any longer and you're at risk of falling behind in the early game. And I did an OK job of adhering to that.

    But now I find myself taking until 2000BC to get my second city up, and I'm just kind of struck that after all my experience I'm getting slower at this crucial aspect of the game.

    What I usually do is build a worker when my capital gets to size three and then a settler at size four (taking the time in between size three and four to build warriors, barracks, and/or archers). Is that taking to long to begin work on a settler? Should I start the settler as soon as my worker gets out, instead of waiting to grow another pop. point?
     
  2. eatomhoch

    eatomhoch Chieftain

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    ASAP.

    Consider changing your build order. I typically build a worker right away. Then a warrior or two and then the first settler.
     
  3. viz

    viz Prime Minister

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    I typically let the capital grow somewhat before expanding.

    I think you should be doing fine the way you mentioned, creating workers/settlers too early will do more harm than good, don't forget you need protection for workers/settlers as animals/barbarians will eat them for breakfast. Unless you're having some major problems with your current strategy I would continue with it, using warriors before hand to secure land around the capital and survey potential city locations.
     
  4. cairo140

    cairo140 2+2=5

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    You should (ideally) have your second city at around 3000-2800 BC and your third city no later than 2400 BC if you're playing on higher difficulties (this is on marathon, prince/monarch), or a bit earlier if barbs are turned off.

    Too many players focus too much on founding religions and building improvements in their capital before founding another city, and this is a big mistake. Consider it this way. An improvement (barracks for instance) in your single capital city can be said to improve your empire by roughly 30% (must a hand-waving estimate), but a settler, which takes just about as much time to build, can improve your empire by 100% or more if you capture good resources and settle on good land.

    You should strongly consider changing your build order. For 90% of games there are two major build orders from which most experienced players choose:

    1) If you have a good food resource nearby, and have the techs to capitalize, build a worker, and then build a warrior (or scout on larger maps if you can) while waiting for the improvement to be built. After then, the improvement should be completed at roughly the same time as the city grows the size two and the warrior/scout completes training. At that point, just build a settler while continuously exploring and improving your land.

    2) If there are fish/crabs or clams nearby, then build work boat then worker or settler depending on circumstances while researching a resource-revealing or improvement-enabling technology.

    In the rare case you have nothing, the situation gets more complicated, and you usually have to consider where you might expand and what UUs you have (if they are early-game UUs), and a common plan is to capture cities instead of settle them.

    To answer your questions, Yes, and Yes.
     
  5. Artosoft

    Artosoft Prince

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    ASAP. You don't want AI build too near to your capital city right?

    At least 6 cities before you build stronger army to protect your country (or to attack another countries in order to get more cities).

    Regards,
    Arto.
     
  6. cairo140

    cairo140 2+2=5

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    I generally dance around animals and then settle (animals won't enter borders) and build warrior right away; never had a major problem with that plan.
     
  7. viz

    viz Prime Minister

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    Barbarians do and where is the challenge in turning them off? :p

    Cities produce faster when they are more established (and are easier to defend) which means a city spends less time in settler/worker 'lockdown' and incredibly vulnerable, you could still easily have several cities in the same time frame as early expansion but you would also have a stronger capital which you wouldn't if you expanded early. You also need to consider maintainance and the effect this has on your research. With a more established capital you can accomodate more cities and more research.
     
  8. flytyer

    flytyer Master Fisherman

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    The first thing I try and research is bronze working, if I have copper in my capital's border's, I take my time building my second city. If I do not have copper, I build a settler right away and send it to where the copper is. the ability to build axemen early on is crucial to success.
     
  9. holy king

    holy king Deity

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    there are no barbarians when you build your second city...
     
  10. Buffbot

    Buffbot Chieftain

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    I ALWAYS build worker then settler. My worker gets a little slack time at the start as I research techs to give it something to develop around my capitol, but once my settler is done and the 2nd city is going, he gets overworked really fast. I tend to do worker/settler at each new city.

    PROS:
    I will lag behind in points until about when my 3rd city is done with it's worker/settler, but then I scream past everyone else once my cities are allowed to grow.

    The computer usually doesn't declare war instantly upon meeting and this gives me plenty of time to get 4 or 5 cities founded.

    CONS:
    I am rather undefended. In vicious Multiplayer I would have to change this.

    Finances. Without VERY rapid discovery of pottery and cottage spamming, you WILL hit a financial wall around city 4 or 5. Financial savvy will be helpful here.


    For the most part, I am a firm believer that "He who has more people wins." You are usually able to out tech and out produce smaller nations. It appears that the developers have put in controls to rein in players like me who build massive populations. (Finances and maintenance costs)

    Try a few games where you build worker/settler until you have 5 cities and see how the game turns out. My survival rate has increased greaatly since I started building in this manner.
     
  11. kcbrett5

    kcbrett5 Warlord

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    No but you cant dance around a panther. Unless you just reload when one of those picks off your settler.
     
  12. Armorydave

    Armorydave Prince

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    It really depends on the rules you are playing under and the type of world. Just adding raging barbarians can change your build order substantially.

    Playing on Monarch, large or standard sized world, fractal, with 1-2 extra AI opponents and raging barbarians, I always open with a couple warriors. Two primary reasons. First, workers often sit around with nothing to do early in the game and if you have no defensive forces the work they do is often destroyed. Why stunt your city growth and delay military production to create a non-combat unit that will often sit around doing nothing?

    Second, warriors can capture slave workers. While someone else is building a worker, my warriors are out trolling along the borders of my nearest rivals waiting to raid their lands for slave workers to fuel my empire. Why build them when they are out there for the taking? I usually end up with both the warriors and the worker(s) and my city was growing the entire time. The added bonus of massively stunting neighbor(s) growth is huge as well. My current game I fought with Frederick uninterrupted from about 3000 BC to 1000 AD before I finally put him away. The war wasn't costing me anything because the AI couldn't fight its way our of a wet paper bag but it crippled Frederick. It also gave me a great general earlier than I have ever had one (which allows you to make a great general, which in turn allows you to build your Herioc Epic ridiculously early)

    My usual build order is something like warrior, warrior, warrior, warrior, settler, warrior, etc. I will replace the 5th warrior with a worker if I haven't managed to impress some of my neighbors citizenery into service by that time. That rarely happens. By then I actually have enough techs to put the worker to use. This strategy changes radically when I play Archipelago or other "isolation" games. There you might want to start with a worker (although I would probably build one and a half warriors to let my city get to two population before switching to a worker). Also, if there is a sea resource next to my capital (seems very rare at Monarch but happens occasionally) I will do a workboat immediately or after my first warrior if I have a scout to start.

    So the answer to your question is; it varies radically based on game rules and world configuration but in general you want that second city ASAP.
     
  13. Ihmemies

    Ihmemies Nikon F2

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    On smaller maps it's usually pretty hard to expand early, without enough military force to back up the expansion and secure the area. Otherwise you might end up sitting behind the city's walls while enemy's warriors guard and pillage the area while waiting for backup (axemen usually) to appear and finish me off. Usually I build a warrior or two, a worker, then axes/chariots/horse archers, whatever resources I happen to get to cover the area, then a settler. Then more workers to improve cities, make roads between them etc.

    Maybe it's different when playing vs. less aggressive computers.
     
  14. Landstander

    Landstander Warlord

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    Interesting stuff...

    I struggle with this question myself.
    I usually go warrior, warrior, settler, then maybe another warrior before a worker. I try to hold out for 3 pop before I go into no growth mode - sometime throwing hammers at a barracks before switiching - but that varies based on my city terrain.

    I REALLY like the idea of picking off opponent's workers! Good way to make an enemy fast - but your closest neighbor is bound to be an enemy anyway I suppose.

    I'm gonna go try that now :)
     
  15. yavoon

    yavoon King

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    I usually do worker/grow/settler or something like that. what I build for the city to grow is pretty changing, been doing barracks lately, but could also do a wonder or a warrior or a scout.
    oh and I've stopped stealing workers, got tired of it. and its pretty variant. very effective though(obviously).
     
  16. Olleus

    Olleus Deity

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    I usualy build warriors/scouts until my city is size 2, when I switch to a worker. Then I build more warriors/scouts until my city is size 3, when I switch production and build my 1st settler.
    After that, it depends.
     
  17. kristopherb

    kristopherb Protective/Charismatic

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    if i start with msticim it goes
    warrior
    stone henge
    (swith to slavery)
    slave rush a worker
    chop untill henge is finished
    barracks
    archer

    if i don't start with mysticim
    warrior
    scout(some the other way round)
    barracks/ stone henge
    archer
     

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