1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

When to build your first granaries?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by nate46, May 31, 2016.

  1. nate46

    nate46 Chieftain

    Joined:
    May 31, 2016
    Messages:
    237
    According to everyone here, granaries are awesome and you should build them in every city.... but when?

    honestly most games it seems like a waste of 150 hammers (marathon) until you at least tech to calendar... Once you get enough happy to raise your cities to pop 7 or 8, granaries are nice, but before this are they really needed?

    For something like a horse archer rush or a catapult/axeman rush, is a granary something you should even consider building? In my experience it seems to slow down your rush more than anything, and if I have nothing better to build while waiting to tech, I'd rather just build a barracks for free promotions.

    edit: i probably should have posted this in "Strategy & Tips".
     
  2. lunfa_reo

    lunfa_reo Chieftain

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2011
    Messages:
    107
    Location:
    Buenos Aires, Argentina (GMT -3)
    Granaries are essential because food is king. Granaries amplify the power of Slavery and for this reason are especially useful for the purpose of your example (specific unit rush).
     
  3. nate46

    nate46 Chieftain

    Joined:
    May 31, 2016
    Messages:
    237
    uhh... how many times are you going to whip a city before a horse archer rush such that a 150 hammer investment in a granary is going to be worth it?

    and whats your normal build order with granaries?

    ...

    Usually I do something like this:

    playing, say, Victoria on immortal/marathon...

    Capital and all other cities spam workers/settlers until about 2700bc after which all cities start spamming warriors or axemen if possible for barb protection. Then more workers/settlers.

    Build about 6 or 7 cities total and start spamming cottages to pay for maintenance... Once I get pottery, all of my workers are too busy building cottages to chop granaries and the cities are all at 1h/turn since they're working cottages to pay for expansion and to tech up to construction. So if i build granaries they're never going to get finished at this rate. I can't really whip the cities at this point since i need the commerce from the cottages.

    But once I get close to construction i need to start spamming axes/spears to go with the catapults. I need about 10 total, which is 700 hammers total... a granary in every city is 900 or 1050 hammers. So at this point, if i were building granaries, i'm paying more for the granary than I am for the axemen!

    As i get construction I put my workers on chopping forests -- for catapults... then i whip all cities once each for more catapults. then i start the attack with 10 or so axes/spears and 9 or so catapults.

    after which i start building granaries... the workers will have time to chop them now if i have any forests left... I just don't see how i can build them earlier than this and not slow down my rush?
     
  4. lunfa_reo

    lunfa_reo Chieftain

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2011
    Messages:
    107
    Location:
    Buenos Aires, Argentina (GMT -3)
    Well, in your example I can see why you ask. Maybe in that case you are already doing the optimum thing: building granaries at the moment you said you are.

    I don't know what's best in that case, I play at Prince and therefore can afford to delay rushes to build some infra, like libraries in commerce cities, and in that case I find granaries a nice complement to Slavery.
     
  5. Lexicus

    Lexicus Warlord

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2007
    Messages:
    20,781
    Location:
    Sovereign State of the Have-Nots
    First of all, where Seraiel at to set the record straight here?

    The granary enables the whip to be used with 2x efficiency as compared to whipping without a granary. Really, it's a no-brainer. After researching Pottery the granary is the building I typically build first in every city. Very occasionally I will build a monument first, or if I really need a warrior I will build that first, but granaries are always close to top priority build.

    I typically don't rush with axes and spears though, I usually wait until maces/xbows to attack or sometimes I do an HA rush. In either case you want to finish your granaries in any city where you'll be whipping lots of units.
     
  6. nate46

    nate46 Chieftain

    Joined:
    May 31, 2016
    Messages:
    237
    Even for non rushing strats though... at what point is it better to build a granary rather than just more workers or settlers, or just building tech once you get alphabet?

    Everyone talks about whipping being better with a granary, and it is, but it seems my bottleneck is almost always commerce, not hammers or food. Maybe i just build too many cities >.<
     
  7. cseanny

    cseanny Chieftain

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2008
    Messages:
    1,191
    Unless you have many Luxuries around or are playing on a lower level (Emperor below?) I'd suggest waiting to trade for Calendar. Exceptions will always apply but in general I'ts usually more optimal to skip this tech and beeline something else.

    Whipping is strongest with a granary and 6 pop and below due to the way growth occurs. 4 > 2 pops quite strong (w/ max overflow). You don't need more than a granary and a single farm (literally only 1 tile improved) to amass a serious army in a very short time.

    A granary and 1 farm will give you 6, 35:hammers: units in 11t. A granary, 1 farm, and 4 forest can produce 8, 35:hammers: units in 12t. So if you only have 5 cities you can produce 30+ units in almost 10 turns! http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?p=14214438#post14214438

    As a general rule of thumb I will prioritize granaries sooner when planning for an earlier war (extreme early wars with some UU will obviously bypass a granary). If I plan on going on some long REX then vertical growth will not be a priority so granaries can be delayed (exceptions w/ EXP leaders). In a perfect world it would be nice to get granaries and massively expand but :hammers: must be prioritized (settlers/workers) to settle as much land as quickly as possible.

    Another time, although my least favorite time to make a granary early is when you're forced to keep your empire small (happens on Deity alot when you get boxed in). You'll also need access to tech or luxuries which enable you to quickly grow bigger cities. This is my least preferred because it's the least optimal imo. It's more optimal to keeps cities smaller, tile share, and truly abuse the whip.

    You're question is a good one! Even long time players (myself included) have tough decisions to make in regards to the granary. It's all about priorities and when/where is the best time to focus your production. There really is no cut and paste path.
     
  8. Pangaea

    Pangaea Rock N Roller

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2010
    Messages:
    5,107
    Even without whipping, the granary is a no brainer, especially on the slower speeds. All your cities will grow twice as fast, meaning you can work more cottages or whatever faster.
     
  9. lymond

    lymond Rise Up! (Phoenix Style!) Hall of Fame Staff

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    Messages:
    20,486
    I"m not a marathon player, but I'd guess the granary has even more importance at that speed..not that it's not highly important on normal as well.

    Granaries are about turning food into hammers and optimizing the whip while cities are small.

    See how your 150h investment pays off when you focus on chopping or whipping one out immediately and then whipping settlers or workers with max or close to max OF. Grans pay off even more the sooner you get them installed, especially in cities with food.
     
  10. nate46

    nate46 Chieftain

    Joined:
    May 31, 2016
    Messages:
    237
    I don't think so. Lets math this out.

    Let's take a typical city with a couple of floodplains plus a minable plains hill and a river to spam grassland/river cottages on. Assume a happy cap of 5 (one luxury resource on immortal difficulty)

    option 1: Ignore the granary.
    option 2: grow to size 2 then whip the granary
    option 3: slow build the granary while working the plains hill at pop one.

    I can't chop the granary cause I'm too busy building cottages at this point in the game (when i first get pottery). Plus, I probably need to save my forests for catapults, who knows if i have any to spare. I really have better things to do with a worker than chopping a granary right now.

    Option #1
    turn 22: grow to size 2. (+3/turn for 22 turns for 66 food total)
    turn 40: grow to size 3. (+4/turn for 18 turns for 72 food total)
    turn 60: grow to size 4. (+4/turn for 20 turns for 80 food total)
    turn 81: grow to size 5. (+4/turn for 21 turns for 84 food total)

    Option #2:
    turn 22: size 2. 22/180 granary.
    turn 34: can whip granary now (after working plains hill plus a grassland forest for a few turns).
    turn 56: size 2 again.
    turn 65: size 3
    turn 75: size 4
    turn 86: size 5

    Option #3:
    Turn 34: work plains hill mine until you're at 170/180 granary
    Turn 44: granary complete while working flood plain, food bank nearly half full.
    Turn 55: size 2
    Turn 64: size 3
    Turn 74: size 4.
    Turn 85: size 5.

    So building the granary first is slightly slower to size 5. But that's not the biggest problem. The biggest issue is the lack of commerce while growing!

    Like, take example 3... here i'm not working the first cottage until turn 33! So i lose out on 33 turns of cottage working... it would turn into a hamlet in that time. So i lose effectively 2-4 commerce per turn depending on if i'm financial or if the plains hill has a river... for 33 turns! And that's just one of the cottages... for the second cottage, i'm not working it until turn 55, compared to turn 22... so another 33 turns of cottage working is lost. etc, etc, for the other cottages, depending on if they're built yet.

    So overall I'm probably losing around 200 or so commerce from this city over 80 turns, just to get this silly granary that doesn't even save any time while growing to size 5.

    edit: i suppose we ought to go ahead and have a debate now about whether its worth it to chop a granary early... how many forests do we have, really?
    edit2: some bad math fixed... not sure if i found it all... math is hard... >.<
     
  11. cseanny

    cseanny Chieftain

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2008
    Messages:
    1,191
    If you're looking for very specific optimization in regards to the granary try this: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=178491&highlight=granary+whipping

    In regards to gold, commerce, and the application of those into science I take a simplistic approach. Most games some care is taken in the settling of new cities so that tiles can be shared with my Capital (cottages). Beyond my Capital (often times no early granary) there will be minimal/no tiles being dedicated to commerce w/ the exception of strong luxuries. If war is the plan I keep it simple w/ granary and then straight into units (no barracks besides perhaps the Capital).

    Tech and research are achieved via early trades (I tend to tech Math[trade for alpha] > backfill while heading towards Currency), bulbs, and/or beelines, and building research/gold when applicable. Keeping research high (always deficit research) is facilitated via conquest gold, Wonder Fail gold, warrior whip overflow into gold, missionary fail gold (ridiculously powerful) and too many other tricks to list.

    So imo, while gold, commerce, science, etc, are always nice to have there are quite a few ways the player can minimize there emphasis which allows you to streamline your build.



    Edit: WastinTime, Seraiel, Pollina, and Kaitzilla are arguably the 4 best players in the World so if they chime in I'd take some notes. :)
     
  12. Seraiel

    Seraiel Chieftain

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2011
    Messages:
    7,954
    Gender:
    Male
  13. nate46

    nate46 Chieftain

    Joined:
    May 31, 2016
    Messages:
    237
    wait, what? I just tried this in a game and it doesn't work for me.
     
  14. cseanny

    cseanny Chieftain

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2008
    Messages:
    1,191
    You need Bat/Bug/Bull/or Buffy Mod. I prefer Bat: http://civ4bug.sourceforge.net/BATMod.html These Mods do nothing more than give you easy access to all the available game information. It's also customizeable, to include notes and bfc, etc.

    I don't know of many serious Civ IV enthusiast who don't use one of the above. Why wouldn't you?! :)
     
  15. Fippy

    Fippy Micro Junkie Queen

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2013
    Messages:
    10,433
    Gender:
    Female
    Granaries are a "what are my plans in x turns for this city" building.
    You are right that if your happy cap is small and you just want ~3 cottages in this city for now, they can be an early distraction.

    Those are cities where you also do not want to whip for now cos well there's no point in building few cottages and then whipping them away if other cities can do that better.

    But if you have a higher happy cap and want more tiles worked, it's often better to first chop one forest so you can whip a granary at size 2, and then improve your cottages and so on while growing on plenty of them fast.

    Or if you have cities with good food, you could choose whipping a settler at size 4 with overflow into granary, so that you can grow back fast and repeat (but this time overflow could go into stuff like workers).
    Granaries allow you doing that faster if you repeat the same thing over and over, so this all depends on how many settlers, workers (or units ofc) you want.

    It's also much easier to whip more costly buildings like libraries with a granary, you can now grow to size 6 quickly for 3 pop whips.. (those are normal speed numbers).
    So overall, with granaries you are making cities ready for bigger tasks.
    If there are no big plans, you can probably afford delaying them in favor of more current needs.
     
  16. Ricci

    Ricci Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2007
    Messages:
    531
    Ehhhhhhh.. ok, lets rectify a couple of things here:

    -Marathon granaries cost 180H
    -As marathon has proportional costs for everything except units (with the counter exception of settlers) there is no reason to believe granaries are more important in this game speed. With the sole exeption of unit movement related aspects; e.g in a war situation where your coast is being blocked a city will endure longer the famine relatively to your units being able to lift the blockade from the enemy. As unit movement is, in a sense, "faster" than other speeds, comparatively to any other progress in the game.

    That being said, granaries are indeed crucial in city developement, ideal for intense slavery use, of course. Nevertheless, there are many cases in which you won't want to hurry a granary in your city, all in all the 180H investment needs to be justified against any other idea/strategy you might be up to; units for early rush, libraries for early science/techs, walls for urgent defence, early wonder building, etc. And I insist on early because given enough time you should have this excellent building going on for so long already.

    As a matter of fact, I would say the granary is the sounder building of them all in the game. Just take the empire meassures from the graph early on (pop, land area, power) and you will confirm these almost always favors expansive civs. Their developement curve is steeper.
     
  17. ztrapon

    ztrapon Chieftain

    Joined:
    May 15, 2014
    Messages:
    92
    I wouldn't say it's formulaic, it all depends on what cards you are dealt. I typically build granaries fast because the way I see it since I'll want it eventually and preferrably before I start whipping if that's my intention.

    But I typically only chop military or settlers, and would certainly not rush, or even prioritize, a granary (or building) if I had need for a settler or more military. It's more a matter of priorities than definite time/place, military/expansion comes first, then growth development (fishing boats/granaries), after that wonders or economy development.
     
  18. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Messages:
    24,748
    If your goal is literally "get max number of axes by turn x", then assuming turn x is early enough granary can be a losing investment.

    For just about any strategy that isn't an all-in rush, however, granaries will destroy virtually any other investment you could make in a city...in most cities.
     
  19. FloppyFishTully

    FloppyFishTully Chieftain

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2015
    Messages:
    16
    What TMIT said.

    If you plan your cities to grow, granaries are strong. They double the rate at which a city grows, assuming food yield is constant.
     
  20. nate46

    nate46 Chieftain

    Joined:
    May 31, 2016
    Messages:
    237
    In the other thread, you agreed that it's not good to build a granary before a settler and worker in your first city. OK. So we agree on that. What makes this true for your first city, but not true for every city?

    It seems to me that its a general principle that a settler is a better long term investment than a granary, until you reach the point where you've already built every city you're planning to build.

    also, most hammers come from chopping forests rather than whipping. More settlers means more forests, which means more settlers, which means more forests...

    at some point you'll hit a maintenance wall and additional cities won't be worth the upkeep, but until you hit that point, i don't see the point of granaries.
     

Share This Page