[C3C] When to irrigate to increase pop and science output?

ColossalYouth

Chieftain
Joined
Dec 11, 2023
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Hi

I've lurked here a while but never made an account.

I just completed a 5CC space race as Sumeria, on Monarch difficulty, launching in 1888. I think I could have gotten there much earlier if a) I wasn't so bad at the early game and b) had irrigated more, earlier.

I think my research was slower than it could have been (6-10 turns in the modern age) because I didn't have the pop I needed and I think this is due to not having grown cities as quickly as I could.

When's a good time to start switching mines to irrigated tiles? I didn't go straight away when I got Republic because in a 5CC game my cities were already a decent size and I'd have hit the 12 pop limit pre-sanitation, so I gradually started doing a bit of irrigating after I'd built hospitals.

Is it recommended to irrigate basically everything you can at that point? My biggest city by the end was Ur with 32 pop, but my four main cities still had quite a lot of mined grassland surrounding them.

What other methods can you use to maximise science output? I built roads on every worked tile and built all the commerce improvements I could, had thousands of excess gold I didn't know what to do with and was also quite lucky with wonders.

I missed the Colossus but got:

- Great Library
- Hanging Gardens
- SoZ (to fight off the Aztecs I spawned right next to)
- Copernicus
- Leonardo
- Newton
- Smith
- Hoover
- ToE
- UN (to prevent AI getting diplo victory)
- SETI

Any advice on this would be much appreciated as it's always been my weakness, as well as balancing priorities in the early game.

Thanks!
 

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What other methods can you use to maximise science output?
Before asking this question you might want to ask yourself to which degree that is even sensible.

The main thing to do is to expand your territory. If you limit yourself to 5 cities this would not work. Well, in this specific case it actually would as some of the usuable 20 tiles around the city tile are covered by foreign culture and therefore not useable for you. Mililtary action can change that. But that is only 4 tiles, so not much.

In theory early wonders help to generate income from tourism. But that mostly boils down to having luck with early SGL, because it takes 2501 years to get full tourism of 14 base commerces. That equals up to 14+150% = 35 beakers without any +100% wonder and 14+350%=63 beakers with both +100% wonders in the same city. Since there are 18 wonders that can become tourist attractions you can in theory gain 18*14+350%=1134 beakers that way. In practice you will of course not build the UN in say 2000 BC. You are expected to fall short of the theoretical maximum by a large degree.

If you have no need for production you can of course irrigate all tiles. But this is mostly meant for the time after you have eliminated all competition for tiles by having eliminated all competitors. So you found as many cities are needed to make all useable tiles useable. The idea is to increase research output beyond reason in order to research future tech 150 around the year 2550 about 800 turns after you have already won the game. You can do that if you want, but is that really what you want?

PS: Given that research is really cheap below the Sid difficulty setting, asking these question really only makes sense at Sid. Else you are stuck at 4 turns per tech anyway. :sleep:
 
I was playing a 5CC as I find managing huge empires a bit laborious, so when I say "maximise" I mean within the constraints of that scenario.

I hadn't considered commerce from tourism but that's something I can factor into the equation.

So what I understand from your post is that population is an important factor in relation to the number of beakers but if I'm limited to five cities, it's a case of trying to find a balance between shield and food production. When I get to the point that I have cities producing wealth instead of improvements or units, that's when I can get serious about irrigating most tiles? Mindful that I may still need to build some late game improvements, units in case of war and/or spaceship parts.

Liverpool and Juli both flipped to me but I declined because I was reluctant to raze them and get a warmonger penalty (assuming I would?), but on reflection maybe I should have taken that opportunity to gain some tiles back.

It blows my mind you know those numbers/calculations as I have a much less informed approach to this game, hence I launched in 1888 instead of the 18th or 17th centuries.
 
I was playing a 5CC as I find managing huge empires a bit laborious, so when I say "maximise" I mean within the constraints of that scenario.
Within this scenario there is little you can do.
When I get to the point that I have cities producing wealth instead of improvements or units, that's when I can get serious about irrigating most tiles?
Maybe. But of course the effect is limited. A metropolis can use 20+1 tiles. At an assumed average of about 2.5 commerce per tiles that is around 131 beakers per metro once you get +150% beakers from buildings. Tourist attractions also get this bonus, but experts donnot. 20 scientists only give you 60 beakers. So that helps with reserach, but it is not that super big.

What you can do is have luck with the starting position. Rivers matter, so watch where you settle.

You can choose a commercial civ for 3 extra commerce in the city tile of a metropolis.

Also you can keep the map size tiny. That way research is cheap. Also you can reduce the difficulty setting to regent, where research is 10% cheaper than on monarch. Below regent there is no such reduction.

Something that may matter strategically is to wage wars to keep your competition weak. This will not help in getting the spaceship earlier, but it may improve you chances of getting it. But as that will require more production, it would probably not play well with mass irrigation.
 
Thanks, this was useful. I replayed from the 4000 BC autosave and prioritised wonders that provide commerce from tourism, irrigated earlier but strategically and stole many more slaves than last time to irrigate and build RR quicker. I launched 120 years earlier, had bigger cities that supported more scientists and my research really ramped up not long after sanitation. The biggest problem was that I was so far ahead of the other civs in research that I would have had to gift lots of tech to trade oil and aluminium, so instead waged an almost never-ending war against the Aztecs on my continent and built colonies. Going to start a new game on Emperor now and see how that goes.

I also realised this playthrough that if you build Hoover, you can built another powerplant in addition to the hydro. Not sure how I'd missed this all these years - I thought it would replace hydro rather than stack the bonuses.
 
The biggest problem was that I was so far ahead of the other civs in research that I would have had to gift lots of tech to trade oil and aluminium,
Poor you. :lol:
I also realised this playthrough that if you build Hoover, you can built another powerplant in addition to the hydro. Not sure how I'd missed this all these years - I thought it would replace hydro rather than stack the bonuses.
Well, as far as i know they are not stacked. You only get the bonus from one power plant. But if it is a nuclear power plant, then you get its better bonus of +100% of base production instead of +50% of base production of all other power plants.
 
Ah yeah you're right, I saw the increase in production and that both improvements remained showing in the city's list of improvements and assumed it stacked, but yeah I can see it's just the increase nuclear provides over hydro. So I've learned something, but just not what I thought I'd learned :)
 
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