When do you start maxing science specialists?

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Give the crazy figures I'm seeing here for science victories, my suspicion is "IMMEDIATELY!" but I thought I'd ask, given growth is important too, and sometimes you'll have some relatively small (<10, or even <8) cities with universities in them.
 

chazzycat

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personally I tend to wait until the cities have enough food to keep growing fast, like +10 food or more AFTER assigning specialists. Typically the cities need to be at least ~12 pop or so to make that happen.

can't say if that's ideal or not but for me I prefer to always keep growing, it just has too many positive effects across the spectrum.
 

Matthew.

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As soon as possible, but I think it also depends on what you intend for the future. If playing a wider game and you don't need the extra growth, working specialists is fine.

Although if running a taller game in BNW, you could just sacrifice a couple trade routes and it becomes a non-issue. Even just the +4 food from early land routes will cover the initial Uni slots.
 

Tich

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The general consensus seems to be to place them once your cities have 10 pop. That being said if they're 9 then it's still worth checking and seeing how it'll affect your growth if you assign them. The main thing is that you want to be working a lot of food tiles, preferable fresh water tiles, so that you have a big excess of food to keep growing. You can easily achieve that at 9 pop and sometimes you'll struggle to have it at 10 pop. Civ isn't a linear game where you can just blindly follow a pre-set strategy.
 
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Civ isn't a linear game where you can just blindly follow a pre-set strategy.

Unless you're playing Venice :).

Not looking for a blind strategy, just curious what most folks do most of the time. In the past I've generally waited until public schools or so before I work my scientists, maybe hit size 15+, but I'm not confident that it's best. Seems like it'd be hard to get very tall in the cap working two scientists, two GW, with only 10-12 folks in there. Not all starts are river starts, after all!
 

Tich

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Unless you're playing Venice :).

Not looking for a blind strategy, just curious what most folks do most of the time. In the past I've generally waited until public schools or so before I work my scientists, maybe hit size 15+, but I'm not confident that it's best. Seems like it'd be hard to get very tall in the cap working two scientists, two GW, with only 10-12 folks in there. Not all starts are river starts, after all!

Sounds like you're waiting too late. It's almost never going to be right to put it off that long. Sounds like you might be skimping on the farms or something too. Any Oasis, Lake, stretch of Grassland, etc. is good enough to get a big excess of food. If you don't have anything then you picked a questionable expo location (possibly out of necessity) and you'll have to feed it some food caravans + a lot of "We Love the King Days" to keep it going strong.

It's not hard to grow to tall if you slap them in on 10. My cities still routinely hit high numbers at a reasonable pace. Farm spam + "We Love the King Days" is more than enough to get really big really fast and it doesn't matter what you're putting them on really.
 

pkf

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IMMEDIATELY :)

seriously absolutely no doubt about it. if the city is relatively small and still needs to grow, send food trade routes and get maritime allies.
 
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Sounds like you're waiting too late. It's almost never going to be right to put it off that long. Sounds like you might be skimping on the farms or something too. Any Oasis, Lake, stretch of Grassland, etc. is good enough to get a big excess of food. If you don't have anything then you picked a questionable expo location (possibly out of necessity) and you'll have to feed it some food caravans + a lot of "We Love the King Days" to keep it going strong.

It's not hard to grow to tall if you slap them in on 10. My cities still routinely hit high numbers at a reasonable pace. Farm spam + "We Love the King Days" is more than enough to get really big really fast and it doesn't matter what you're putting them on really.

Well, WLTKD only works if you have a decent food surplus to begin with -- and I usually farm spam pretty well, or so I thought. I think my problem is that I am working some hills early on as well to build build build in my capitol. Maybe I need to lay off those a bit and see what happens if I go ~max food + specialists.
 

Matthew.

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Could try going on food focus for a while. There are not too many early-game buildings that are high priority, so sacrificing hammers for growth is usually worth it. It was significantly easier to do in G&K, but even buildings like Uni's could be rush-purchased.
 

Maxym

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The minute they are available, especially cap. Some smaller cities as soon as I can keep growing as well. I only work high food tiles from t1 in all cities so having enough food surplus to staff unis is not a problem.
 

_megafone_

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Minute they are available on cap, 10-12 pop on other cities depending on food (at least 4-6 surplus or so).
 

Deau

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Excedent food after working the slots is my main concern. If a city is not significantly behind on infrastructure for my VC (like getting amphis and opera houses earlier than later for CV), my rule of the thumb is size 8 giving up the top 2 worked hammer tiles, for so long as it doesn't overly cripple my turn-to-grow.

So say on full plains start or in a horsehockytier city that has no lake/river, I will often delay significantly later or just accept a crippled city until fertility and work the specialists regardless whilst hoarding gold for this specific city's infrastructure.

It also has to do with other timeliness. For instance, if I rush-buy unis in pop 4-6 cities and that working the tiles would allow me to reach renaissance on the same turn as my next SP, I'll definitely cripple my growth for 10-15 turns to get rationalism and secularism each an extra 15 turns earlier.
 

Catan_Settler

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Yes, immediately is the correct answer. As soon as you research education and have built a university. If the city has 5 pop, in most cases it can worth both slots and still have extra food to keep growing. In those fringe cases where it's all plains with no rivers or all hills or something, you should be able to at least work one slot...likewise if it's only got 4 pop, you can almost always put one scientist to work, and put the other guys on food tiles to keep growing. For those cities though, as soon as the university is built I'd get right on building a watermill, a granary, a lighthouse or whatever it takes to fill em both and keep the city growing.
 

Teaf

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I started at Uni's. I'll manually add specialists, but make sure Food stays at 10 or above. If specialists cause the food to drop below that I'll not add any and will sort out a caravan to help out.
 

Kaigen

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I'll second the people recommending internal trade routes to the capital. One of the things that I've discovered is that once you get an enormous food surplus, it becomes less important to work all the food producing tiles you can. I've been using more specialists in BNW than I would have dreamed previously, and in my last game I deliberately worked a (non-Jungle) Trading Post in a core city for the first time in years.
 

Deau

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Yes, immediately is the correct answer. As soon as you research education and have built a university. If the city has 5 pop, in most cases it can worth both slots and still have extra food to keep growing. In those fringe cases where it's all plains with no rivers or all hills or something, you should be able to at least work one slot...likewise if it's only got 4 pop, you can almost always put one scientist to work, and put the other guys on food tiles to keep growing. For those cities though, as soon as the university is built I'd get right on building a watermill, a granary, a lighthouse or whatever it takes to fill em both and keep the city growing.

Naw, that I don't agree though. You'd need like rush-bought granary and 3 flood plain wheat to really make it worthwhile in a city size 5.

I used to do this a lot in GnK and I'd end up in the late game with 100-250 less BPT for the spam GS bulbs because my satellite cities were still way too weak. They would also cost me significantly more gold because they had less hammers to build their own infrastructure.
 

joncnunn

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Give the crazy figures I'm seeing here for science victories, my suspicion is "IMMEDIATELY!" but I thought I'd ask, given growth is important too, and sometimes you'll have some relatively small (<10, or even <8) cities with universities in them.

Mine is immediately.
Now in BNW, if I see one of my cities that's both smaller than I'd like and has poor food production, I'm going to send a massive food shipment its way via cargo ship to get its population up.
(Similarly, a city with a very low hammer production compared to the rest of my empire will see a massive hammer shipment via cargo ship.)
 

livsbrand

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Depends on the purpose of each city. Core cities are not allowed to fall behind in growth, while I might stagnate others by filling out specialists around 10-12 poop.
 
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