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When do you build roads

Discussion in 'Civ5 - Strategy & Tips' started by jerbacca78, Aug 22, 2011.

  1. jerbacca78

    jerbacca78 Chieftain

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    I am not sure if this is an old post. (I couldn't find anything).

    I have seen some videos where it seems that they dont build roads for what seems like a long time to me. With 3 or 4 cities most at or above size 5 and still not a single road even for troop movement.

    Should I only be build roads after cities get to a certain size or once the workers have little else to do? How does this change when using Roman Legions?
     
  2. wannabewarlord

    wannabewarlord Prince

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    I guess you can calculate somewhat easily which is the break even point between road maintenance cost and income from the trade route you are creating. So I would assume once you reach the break even point, you would start building if you have the workers to spare.

    That said, I personally build roads as soon as I have the wheel technology. In fact, sometimes I even prebuild to the site I know my settler is gonna hit the next turn or so. This might not be the most efficient way, but I doubt micromanaging roadmaintenance vs. traderoute income is going to make or break your game. If it is, you have other problems in your empire that need addressing.
     
  3. jerbacca78

    jerbacca78 Chieftain

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    the calculation is fairly simple. I dont remember exactly. But it seems that some people don't build roads until well beyond the break even point.

    I too generally start building roads once my external cities start reaching pop 2 or 3 (general below the break even point) planning to have them complete by pop 3 or 4.

    Just curious what is the trigger to start building roads?
     
  4. Mirando

    Mirando Chieftain

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    I haven't done any calculating but I usually start building roads when I have 3-4 cities and the one I'm building it to first is over 5 pop. It seems to work for.
     
  5. BranjoHello

    BranjoHello Chieftain

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    In Civ4 I've built roads/railroads everywhere and I even done that in my first Civ5 game, then I learned about road maintance and started using roads only to connect my cities. It also depends on the shape of your empire, sometimes you need just one chain a sometimes you need a web.
    As for time when to start with the roads, I build them as soon as I figure where will I place my next city. Since my cities are usely far from each other city is at about 2-3 population when it get connected to capital.
     
  6. chazzycat

    chazzycat Deity

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    Well while you are building the road, you are paying some maintenance while the trade route is not yet complete. So it actually does make sense to wait until the city is slightly larger than the break even point. You probably pay at least 6-9 gold in maintenance before the road is even completed, so if you do it at the break even point, you are down 6-9 gold. If you wait to do it until the city is 2 pop above breaking even, you pay back that 6 gold in 3 turns and your investment is recouped almost immediately.
     
  7. AbbieRevo

    AbbieRevo Non-Voting Delegate

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    My general rule is whenever the pop is larger than the number of road tiles being built. I like space, so usually this means pop 5 or 6.
     
  8. garjust

    garjust Chieftain

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    I also build as soon as Wheel and a worker are around, in fact I usually setup nearly all my workers to quickly build the road if no tile is in desperate need of an improvement.

    I feel any small gold loses will be heavily outweighed by other things the roads offer. Even in peacetime if tiles are still being improved roads will help workers hit tiles just that much faster:)
     
  9. jerbacca78

    jerbacca78 Chieftain

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    Thanks for the posts. some food for thought.
     
  10. joncnunn

    joncnunn Senior Java Wizard Moderator

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    Myself, I usually start it with the second city is size 3. By then, the luxaries and strategic resources are improved and the route will almost pay for itself.
     
  11. jerbacca78

    jerbacca78 Chieftain

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    I think the biggest argument for waiting to buid roads is that the workers should be spending time doing other things like making other improvements. If your cities are small (<5) then you should probably be building improvements for those cities (and helping them grow + increase prod). Roads, while they help with cash and troop transport, can be overcme by selling resources and planning troop positioning. And the transient drain on the economy (while the road is being built) is tough to justify if you build the roads too soon.

    Growing you cities is so vital, that sacrificing growth to make a few extra bucks is a mistake.
     
  12. Polycrates

    Polycrates Emperor

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    A combination of a few things:

    1) When I can afford to peel off two workers to build the road simultaneously - a half-built road giving no income really hurts, and often there are tile improvements which absolutely take precedence over roads

    2) When the cost doesn't massively outweigh the current return. So when the population of the target city is no more than one or two less than the number of road tiles. I rarely wait until the road would make an immediate profit - the logistical benefit of a road is generally well worth a bit of temporary cost.

    3) The extent to which the military/general efficiency situation demands roads. An expansion towards a dangerous enemy needs a road urgently, and this might outweigh all other considerations. If I have three cities in a more-or-less linear arrangement, this demands roads more so than if they're in more of a triangular formation. And if the terrain between cities is very hilly or forested, roads are more urgent. Roads are less urgent if going the horseback riding route because they're fast enough already, but more urgent if going for early iron units.

    4) Whether I've gone for Liberty and can get the +1 happy for making the connection
     
  13. Unbeatable

    Unbeatable Chieftain

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    until im ecomonically well off and have enough gpt and gold in treasury
     
  14. Tabarnak

    Tabarnak R.I.P.

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    I build early road if a lot of mountains/forests are between 2 cities. I usually wait Capital to be at pop 6 close to 7 and others at pop 4(with an average of 5 tiles between).
     
  15. damac100

    damac100 Chieftain

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    I trend toward building my roads only for trade networks and only building a road to a city once its pop is equal to the number of hexes the road building must cross to complete the connection.
     
  16. Meanness

    Meanness Chieftain

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    I build roads early. As soon as my cities are working improved tiles, I'll generally hook them up. There are very few games that I am not at war early, and I need to move troops around quickly.

    If I'm isolated, or the geography sets me up with only a single city that requires defense, I'll wait until the break even point (IIRC, it's size 7 and 3 for a 3-tile road.)
     
  17. pontias

    pontias Warlord

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    the amount you get is based on the size of the city joined to your capital, right?

    the cap size itself is irrelevant?
     
  18. Nightshades

    Nightshades Chieftain

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    Pretty much ASAP
     
  19. TommyVern

    TommyVern Chieftain

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    I usually go liberty, and will starting building roads when I take the social policy that gives you :) for connected trade routes.
     
  20. anandus

    anandus Errorist

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    That's quite a nice rule of thumb. Need to remember that :)
     

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