When to build Market/Harbor/Lighthouse

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by chadxo, Feb 11, 2011.

  1. chadxo

    chadxo Chieftain

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    What is a situation when you are not in need of happiness or health when you would build a marketplace/harbor. Are they build solely for their happiness or is there a lot of situations where one would take advantage of the 25% bonus / trade route bonus.

    Also, how ofter does everyone build lighthouses. Do you build them in every coastal city or rarely build them? I see how they're more beneficial if you're financial do to the extra commerce in coastal, but what about non financial? Thank you for all your input!
     
  2. Framesticker

    Framesticker Prince

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    Harbors are an excellent building IMO - very cheap, provide quite a bit of potential health and are pretty neat for their commerce boost - especially on water-heavy maps where you can get lots of trade route commerce, and are generally a good building to have when you're not doing anything else of consequence. Markets are a different beast - they're very expensive hammer-wise for the time you get them (200 hammers at Currency which you should ideally get in the mid-late BCs is HUGE), but vastly improve when you actually have the hammers to build them. Generally you should build them in 2 situations: 1) Improving gold production for mass-rushbuy, or 2) Hurting for happiness. If you're struggling with gold production while putting commerce into research, Banks are a better call than Markets.

    Lighthouses should generally be built in all coastal cities that work coast. Generally, that should be either 1) A food resource or 2) Colosuss (hopefully Financial) coast. You rarely actually want to be working a coastal 2F/2C tile - the actual maintenance for the citizen will cost you most of the tile yield. Slap down a cottage or work mines and build wealth instead.
     
  3. chadxo

    chadxo Chieftain

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    Great thanks for the write up. I build a lot of markets usually, but do it for the happiness. I don't use HR as well as I should for happiness, as I rarely use it.

    You said Harbors are great, what about Custom Houses, do you build those as well?
     
  4. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    Lighthouse coast is pretty efficient as a whip-sink when worker turns are tight.

    Granary before lighthouse is ALMOST always superior keep in mind.

    The others can be handled via ROI calculations against alternatives too, but I get tired of doing that too early in the game. Maybe someone who's done it a lot has a hueristic on it for us?
     
  5. OKScientist

    OKScientist Chieftain

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    I usually do build lighthouses even when not financial. Chances are that my coastal city is there to take advantage of a seafood resource, so the lighthouse lets me make the most of it. When there is no seafood, I guess it depends whether I am planning to work the sea tiles or not (=are my land tiles better?).

    The harbor increases trade route yield in the city by 50%, so it's good for the economy, especially if said city is a commerce city. I try to build it in all coastal cities.

    At the very least, I build marketplaces in my capital, my shrine city if I have one, and the city I plan to build the Wall Street in. Generally, if a city is making a lot of cash, the marketplace is probably worth it.
     
  6. gorf37

    gorf37 Warlord

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    I definitely wonder about markets.

    Lighthouses, it's pretty easy. Am I working seafood? As long as I'm not limited by my happy cap (ie. excess food already), I'll usually prioritize the lighthouse early. As TMIT noted, it has a pretty nice # of hammers for whipping.

    The one time I have trouble deciding is when I have a seafood based capital. That means the lighthouse can usually net me 3 food, but I'll often grab sailing at a time that I'm spamming settlers, and any free building turns I have between whipping and hitting the happy cap (and thus likely returning to building settlers/workers) needs to be spent on warriors/chariots. More effort is needed then to figure out if whipping a lighthouse is better than whipping a library, for instance.

    Harbours, I usually gain access to much later (even when I should beeline optics, I often neglect to, and that's another problem). At that point, if I'm having any health problems, if my trade routes are worth more than 3 commerce, or I think I'll want them and won't have spare hammers in a couple of techs, I'll build them. I mean, once OR and forges are in play, it seems easy to come up with what is it, 80 hammers?


    Markets, that's a whole other kettle of fish. I see many good players building wealth once currency comes in. Usually I don't, but I'm not a very strong player.

    Some factors:
    - happy cap
    - commerce output of city
    - am I playing a dumb builder game (ie. should those hammers actually go into military?)
    - do I have OR or forges to help the cause?
    - will the city be able to run merchant specialists?
    - do I have the pyramids? (yum yum rep merchants!)
     
  7. diegovelasco45

    diegovelasco45 Casual civ4 emperor lvl

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    Besides all that, I think you should seriously consider building harbors and lighthouses when you get the half-discount of the leader traits. They are worth it then.

    Markets, on the other hand, I only build them in my wealth city... or maybe in my GP farm if Im roman... much rather build coliseums for the happiness because I can control the culture slider in times of need.
     
  8. Riflin'Joe

    Riflin'Joe Prince

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    A related question would be whether to go for the harbourmaster quest if it comes up. You need 7
    harbours and 4 caravels (2 more than I usually build), which is quite an investment.

    Is there a market quest? I've never seen one.
     
  9. Nick Carpathia

    Nick Carpathia Unleash the HAARP

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    I actually build lighthouses before granaries if I have a seafood and I'm playing an Organised, simply because their hammer-to-food ratio is so great, and the benefits roll in sooner. Harbors I only build if I'm health capped, the +50% trade route is sorta weak even at 80P, and people chew out Custom Houses for their low return on investment.

    Markets I absolutely adore, but that's my own particular gameplay quirk and I can't fully rationalise my justification yet.
     
  10. hexem3117

    hexem3117 Warlord

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    Markets are pretty good for happy cap issues when you have all the requisite luxuries. Although they are useful for the +25% to gold, they're more useful IMO for the + happiness. When you have all four market resources, they can be very powerful; most games this can happen with trades, sometimes though you can get them within your own borders.
     
  11. dalamb

    dalamb Deity

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    None mentioned in the random events guide.
     
  12. shyuhe

    shyuhe Deity

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    Harbors were better in vanilla/warlords because of how trade routes were calculated. Now they don't add much until pretty late in the game, by which point you're building them mostly for health bonuses. They're not really good in the mid-game unless you have lucrative inter-continental trade routes. Basically treat them like custom houses but with the added health benefit where necessary.

    Markets... I generally don't built them unless I need the :) or I'm verging on bankrupt. I tend to use caste system in the mid-game to farm 2-3 GM's to keep my slider at 100% so I have very little use for markets until I'm out of cash.
     
  13. Mylene

    Mylene Deity

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    Lighthouse is easy i think, when you need the food ;)
    Harbour i like to build, it always has a use and is not too expensive.
    Market is one of the most unimportant buildings in the game, unless you happen to have 2 or more of those ressources for happy cap, but trades with the AI usually fix this problem much cheaper.
     
  14. ColossusXXIII

    ColossusXXIII Warlord

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    markets give you your first merchant spec slots, not that it's a game breaker. A market + 2 merchants = 7.5 gld + 6/turn gpp independent of the slider, again not a game breaker but worth considering if you lack the hammers for building wealth. the market you can whip if you have to.
     

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