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When Should You get Your First Worker?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by MarigoldRan, Apr 25, 2011.

  1. coanda

    coanda Emperor

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    Nobody is denying that workboat-first is a good option to consider on coastal starts with Fishing. In fact, searching this thread for every time someone other than you mentioned the word "workboat," here's the results:

    Or this post...

    Or this one...

    Oh, and also...

    The fact that workboat-first openings are often a good idea (and everyone acknowledges this) does not mean that warrior-first openings are also often a good idea.
     
  2. ahcos

    ahcos King

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    You have 5 cities 380 AD? You're horribly behind in terms of raw numbers of cities then. Same for workers. There's no good reason to underexpand like that on this difficulty.

    I saw that start, it's reasonable to go for workboat first there, but after that a worker is mandatory. Why you're blindly spamming warriors for no good reason at all (after two WBs it's WAY too late for any kind of choking) is beyond me tbh. The more i think about it i believe you're trying to troll.
     
  3. PeterWolf

    PeterWolf Chieftain

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    5 cities by 380AD is some kind of record city spam for you?
    I don't know if you check your Demographics often, but in that Victoria game you're getting owned in Gold, Production and Land. And I don't know what makes you think you've got a tech lead either.
    You're working 4 unimproved tiles on your capital and only one worker to fix that. I guess you have an idea on how much science and hammers per turn you're losing when you say the workers are running out of things to do.
    Since you have lots of cities, and they're mostly terribly placed, you're running at 60% science for 76bpt. I don't think you can handle a 'tech lead' much longer at that pace.
     
  4. MarigoldRan

    MarigoldRan WARLORD

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    @Ahcos Read the post. Went Wonderspamming, which is why the city count is low. Running Representation so there's less of a need to build settlers to keep city pop low. Yeah, five is low. Normally I've got a lot more by this time. But meh. Easily have the game in hand. Please notice I said that "I have the tech lead."

    Also, notice how I said "I have three workers, and they're running out of things to do." And you're recommending that I get more. What a .

    @Coanda I agree that workboat first is a good opening. But please note how I pretty much played most of the game without workers. Two of the three workers was produced solely in order to link up an important resource like gem or stone.

    Situations where you don't need many workers are more common than expected. The "must-get-worker" mentality limits creativity. There are a lot of maps (many of the recent Emperor-Series games, for example) where late-worker is fine. The Vicky one is, as I said, a good example.

    I'm not saying that you should go no-worker first all the time. Then I'd be making the same mistake as those granite-headed people who are saying "go worker-or-workboat first almost always." What I'm trying to say is be flexible. All this talk about worker-micro, and worker-first, etc. etc. is missing the point. Which is:

    1. Get lots of shiz.
    2. Get lots of shiz early.
    3. Use early shiz to get more shiz.
    4. Continue.

    And getting a late worker (in order to get an early something-else) is a good way to do it, which some people will miss because they're too busy worrying about workers.
     
  5. MarigoldRan

    MarigoldRan WARLORD

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    I can assure you that an early worker is most definitely NOT mandatory. I just played it. I got my first worker after my fourth or fifth city. Look at my commentary to the game.

    The reason for building the warriors is because:

    1. They'll be useful for city garrisoning.
    2. Fogbusting.
    3. What else was there to do?

    EDIT: I'm sorry. Perhaps it's mandatory for you. In which case, I apologize.
     
  6. MarigoldRan

    MarigoldRan WARLORD

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    What's the point of improving the tiles next to the capital? What? Get more food? How exactly do you improve forest tiles before replaceable parts? Your comment is an example of "Tiles-must-be-improved. Thus I must improve it."

    My question is: why do you need to improve those tiles?

    As I said, ON THIS MAP, FOOD IS NOT THE PROBLEM. Production is. If it's a hill I can mine, I'll improve it. Otherwise, it'll be ignored. I need the shields.

    No, five cities is not a lot of cities. I agree with you completely there. But please note WHEN I got those five cities (early). Then I stopped building more because I went Wonder-Spamming. It was a choice I made. Once I get the Wonders, I'll get more cities. But as I see it, you can always build cities later. But you can't build Wonders later.

    And I know I've got the tech lead, since I'm getting all of the Wonders.

    Finally, my worker count is low because I'm too busy doing other things. Like building forges, granaries, libraries, and Wonders. And in case you're wondering why my southern city is building a library, there's a good reason for that too.

    EDIT: The next four cities I get will be for drafting riflemen. That's a long time away. So there's time to get Wonders. I'm not planning to war anytime soon.

    EDIT 2: Note how I managed to get the GLH. And the Pyramids. And the Collossus. And most likely the Great Library. And probably Mausallos. Compare this to some other players, who had trouble getting the GLH. Granted, this comes at a cost (lack of cities, for example). But I don't need many workers because I'm Financial, and I've got a crapload of sea-tiles and the Collosus. Follow the logic?

    You have to cut corners to get what you want.
     
  7. ahcos

    ahcos King

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    Oh boy. Okay, whatever, i'm really not in the mood to go through that once again. WB / WB / *Warrior is the most hilarious opening i've seen in a while, sorry, but this complete nonsense unless you start on an island with no hills, no other resources and ~2-3 land tiles. But even then the opening would be WB/Warrior/Galley/Settler ~

    Just took a look at your save, seriously, you have to be joking. The only good thing to say here is that you somehow managed to stay a little bit ahead of the AI, but i strongly believe that's caused by the pretty special map layout. Even worse, you'll most likely get away with your bad play unless the other continent is ahead, which is unlikely because somehow neither of the aestetics wonders is built yet.

    The flaws in that save are countless. I could start to sum them up, but i somehow believe that'd be worthless.
     
  8. Fatality_Slim

    Fatality_Slim Chieftain

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    I can't believe this thread is still going on 4 pages later. Really, 4 pages?
     
  9. Mylene

    Mylene Deity

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    Saying that you don't *need* many workers (the 1.5 per city is something i didn't do in ages) on some maps is fine. Also that working a forest for a while is ok - fine.
    Many Deity players would actually agree with you here, with good worker management there are certainly often more important things to do than building another one, esp. early in the game.

    But you really should listen to some of the advice about the warrior spam ;)
    You want at least 1 worker very early. This is not argueable if you ever want to play higher challenges, for which an Emperor game on a not too hard map doesn't qualify ^^
     
  10. ahcos

    ahcos King

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    @Mylene:

    Regarding workers, you're right ofc but 1,5 workers / city is still a very good rule of thumb for everything below Deity. On some maps that might be too much, but it's better to have too many workers than not enough on lower difficulties because opportunity costs of wasted hammers are not even close to be that crucial like they are @ Deity.

    Long story short, i'd always recommend 1,5 workers / city for people who are not beating at least immortal on a regular base. There are alot more things to worry about than that you might have too many workers, this kind of thinking is pretty exclusive to Deity level as it's simply not needed before you want to play Deity.
     
  11. ABCDPuppies

    ABCDPuppies Warlord

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    Yeah... no offense to OP, but the original question has already been answered multiple times. To sum up:

    1. In terms of city growth/early expansion worker (or in relatively rare cases work boat) first is virtually always superior to warrior first (the only exception I can think of is some exotic whipping scenario like Dhoomstriker mentioned.) The turns saved from building the worker at a bigger size do not come close to compensating for what is lost by growing on unimproved tiles that whole time. This is a demonstrable mathematical fact.

    2. Warrior first for choke/worker steal can work out nicely, but on higher levels it's too big a risk given that you have precisely zero information on turn one that would help you decide. This is more a matter of opinion as it depends on what you think is "too big" a risk, but if you test it over the course of many games at IMM+ I think you'll agree.

    This last bit is really the main thing. You can argue on the forum all night on the basis of this one save or that, but play a bunch more games on higher difficulties and I think you'll see what people mean.
     
  12. MarigoldRan

    MarigoldRan WARLORD

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    On higher levels, worker steal is PRECISELY what you want to go for. On Immortal/Diety, the comp starts with an extra worker. This makes warrior first BETTER on many maps at those levels. I'd say 30-40%. If you happen to be a player that enjoys Continent and large-maps, then it's even higher.

    The "demonstrable mathematical fact" ignores some of the intangibles. And that's what makes heavy warrior a legit play. Such as having extra scouting units. Which allows you to meet more people, which makes bee-lining Alphabet that much more effective. And being able to get promotions that become useful later (such as woodsman for harassing or medic to go with your stack). Also, with huts, you definitely want more warriors. And I like huts and random events, because they're part of the game.

    The commerce that you lose not working your initial tiles as much, is more than off-set by the Alphabet bee-line.

    Finally, no one has managed to point out what I did wrong in the Victoria game. I've played it out to 1635. I had the tech lead in 330 AD. I have the tech lead in 1635. And now I also have the lead on the power graph.

    It's an easy win (I was right) if I just settle down and go for Space instead of trying to vassalize everybody. For that matter, I might be able to successfully vasssalize everyone. The huge amounts of Wonders spammed in London is paying off in terms of GPP and benefits.

    And the reason I was able to get the Wonders was because I got a crapload of warriors and settlers early. Which allowed London to focus on Wonders. The only major mistakes were ignoring Calendar and not getting the Mausallos. I also probably should have gotten Physics and Astronomy earlier.

    Play the freaking map. See if you can do any better. One of the things you'll quickly realize is that this map has some major issues. You wanna rush? Go right ahead. Have fun :lol:
     
  13. MarigoldRan

    MarigoldRan WARLORD

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    By the way, I'm planning to consistently play Diety soon. Which is why I have to think differently from you guys. The jump to Diety is BIG. And the reason why it's so BIG is because most people have these shibboleths and lack the flexibility to play on Diety. It's like in chess. If you follow general principles, you can become an Expert. But if you want to make GM, you've got to understand that exceptions ARE the rule.

    If you were paying attention, you'd notice that I gave a very specific reason why I did not build workers. I'm aware that worker-first is a pretty standard and solid opening. But I decided it would not work as well on this map and chose a different route. Which worked.
     
  14. MarigoldRan

    MarigoldRan WARLORD

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    So sum it up. That way I can explain WHY I did what I did. If you're paying attention, you'll notice I'm consistently EASILY winning the Emperor and Monarch challenges in the forums with my "bad play."

    By the way, I played the way I did precisely because of "the special map layout" that you talk about. In fact, I believe I've explained why. On a different map, I'd play differently.
     
  15. ABCDPuppies

    ABCDPuppies Warlord

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    Not meaning to be harsh, but maybe you should wait until you've played more at those levels before lecturing about what works. The fact that you're "planning" to play Deity soon is hardly relevant. I plan to learn German some day, but I'm not about to go around giving pronunciation lessons...

    I didn't look at the save, but from your comments on that thread your opening was obviously flawed. You started wb/wb, building those slowly on unimproved tiles. If you had gone worker first while teching BW you could have chopped the boats and gotten onto the clams faster and grown to your cap faster while working fewer unimproved tiles. Then you would also, you know, have a worker... to do more chopping, build roads, all that good stuff. And this is to say nothing of all the warrior spam after that, some of which should have been replaced with additional workers or settlers from the sound of it.

    As for the rest of the game, having a tech lead at 1635 in an Emperor demonstrates nothing given that it's possible to win Emperor easily, routinely, with pretty bad play. But whatever, maybe you played a great game. That's not the point. The point is that your opening, where you waited so long to build even one worker, is highly inefficient. The "intangibles" you mention don't even begin to outweigh the slow, inefficient growth given that you only need a couple units to scout/meet people anyway, and it doesn't matter one bit whether you wait to build them until after a worker. And recall, this is the game you put forward as the best case for your warrior spam opening -- in most cases it will be even worse, and that is what people have been saying throughout this already ridiculously overlong thread.

    Finally, a general reminder: this is just a game, not worth getting bent out of shape about, and people on the forum are generally here to help -- we're not your enemies. However, it's frustrating for people when you seem to be stubbornly ignoring the advice of much more experienced players, which has been backed up with arguments that you have not rebutted. If you feel like you're getting heat at this point, that may be partly why. So I'd just take people's advice for what it's worth, test it by playing a lot more games different ways, and see what conclusions you come to. That will be infinitely more productive than an abstract debate on a message board about what you imagine works on Deity.
     
  16. vranasm

    vranasm Deity

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    I guess based on the comments here that a lot people can post much better save on 380 AD then you provided, but I suppose no one will have the willpower to do so, because you seem to be lost cause.

    From what I remember about the map, WB first (on PH) with settling 1NE, grow size 2, whip worker worked ok to me.

    I don't understand here the advocate for warrior stealing, because hatty is sooo far away and you're basically semi-isolated because of Tokugawa. I can't see you doing such non-sense as attempting worker steal here, so you basically build a lot of spawnbusters too soon avoiding improving land like plague. good job.
     
  17. ABCDPuppies

    ABCDPuppies Warlord

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    You're right of course. Although I generally prefer worker first on fishing starts where you have mining, and so can go very early BW, work boat first is definitely feasible here -- as long as it's followed up by a worker. 2x work boat with no whipping and then warrior spam... not so much.
     
  18. PeterWolf

    PeterWolf Chieftain

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    You've got a crapload of seatiles, but your cities (which are all coastal) are working forest tiles still.
    Lack of cities is not the only cost. You're behind in everything compared to the AI, except wonder-building.
     
  19. xenex

    xenex Prince

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    Which is another sign of noobish play and doesn't guarantee a win.
     
  20. ahcos

    ahcos King

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    Well... i could play this Emperor map just to show you that one could do much better than you did, but then again, there's no need to prove that. You'll find out on your own very soon if you're planing to play Deity in the near future.
     

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