When to stop producing units/buildings?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by vorlon_mi, Dec 17, 2015.

  1. vorlon_mi

    vorlon_mi Emperor

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    In my recent thread, some experienced players mentioned building Wealth -- turning :hammers: directly into :gold: -- as a better option than building a market.

    I've been assuming that building wealth or research -- turning :hammers: directly into :science: -- were only last resorts / dead ends for little towns that had low production. Apparently not.

    Now, given that nearly everything in Civ 4 is situational, would you help with some example situations where one might choose to build wealth or build research in a city?

    If you're building something else (say a unit), do you ctrl-click to put Wealth at the top of the queue? and then click to remove it, and resume building the unit? Or do you shift-click to put it at the end of the queue, and let it finish?

    How long would you run Wealth in those situations? Until you have built up a certain amount of gold, or a certain number of turns?

    The best cases for building research would seem to be when one is in a close race for a key tech (like Liberalism), but I may be missing something.
     
  2. lymond

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

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    Building wealth is generally always better as you more often produce way more research via the slider. Building research can be good early on to get to Currency faster so you can build wealth, or if you just have tons of gold anyway from tech trades, merchant mission, or running 0% research.

    Regardless, it's situational, as the decision/need to do so depends entirely on your goals.

    With the exception of the important buildings - Granary/Forge - buildings are just buildings. You have to ask what your goals are short and long term and why you would waste hammers on..say..a market..when you could be building an army to get more stuff or building wealth to get to that important military tech you need to clobber the AI.

    Generally, it is only Space games that I might build some more buildings to help mainly with health, happiness and production as city will grow quite large, but I rarely play Space games. Culture games require certain buildings mainly dealing with getting more culture. Otherwise, your goals are to get more land, even in Space, so you goals are general aligned to using hammers to make that happen.

    As for stopping building units, well that depends as well. Don't just build units to build units. Besides the purpose of MP to keep a city happy, units should be built to create an army for a specific military era. And armies can be created pretty quickly when you need them, so you don't have to have a large standing army at the ready, although you can make some preparations in expectation. OR you might plan to..say..build some Horse Archers or War Elephants in expectation of upgrading them to Curs when you Lib MT.

    ctl-click/shift click building wealth or research. Sounds rather irrelevant to me unless you are large and just want to reduce the micro. Do what you wish. Whether you do it before or after a unit is built depends entirely on whether you need the unit more now or the gold more now. I really can't answer that in a vacuum.
     
  3. sampsa

    sampsa Ghost

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    I did find a save where I mass built wealth in the BCs to reach key military tech (engineering) sooner. Note that most cities have nothing better to build anyway, since they have granary+forge. I built barracks in 8 cities pre-attack, since building them everywhere is a bit moot with such amount of cities imo.

    Guess how many turns later the game was won (conquest)

    Spoiler :
    41
     

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  4. vorlon_mi

    vorlon_mi Emperor

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    This is fascinating! I've read 3 or 4 strategy guides on this forum, and none of them advocated for "build just a few buildings, and the rest of the time build wealth for your treasury." Obviously, one needs barracks in cities where one plans to build units, and one needs banks and universities to build Wall Street and Oxford, respectively.

    Markets were really important in Civ 3, and somewhat important in Civ 5, so I need to break that habit for Civ 4.
     
  5. Lexicus

    Lexicus Deity

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    I'd say barracks are more a luxury than a necessity. Good to have particularly in cities that will be building mostly troops but one never really 'needs' barracks anywhere.
     
  6. sampsa

    sampsa Ghost

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    This. Not all units need that level. Many are just cheap units mopping up or left behind to prevent unhappiness / guard cities. Not to forget vassalage/theocracy which provides xp too.
     
  7. lymond

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

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    Yep, barracks are not always necessary and certainly not in many cities. I often start a Horse Archer rush without them, or maybe 1 in a good city if I have time to spare waiting for the tech. Speed is often more important than a promotion.

    Banks/Wall Street...very rarely do I build these.

    Unis/Ox..obviously in Space games, but somewhat rare in most other games.

    Point is, start to think less and less about buildings, and more about what you actually need to do to win the game.
     
  8. Lexicus

    Lexicus Deity

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    I do typically build Barracks almost everywhere, but I play on larger maps and Epic speed with heavy warring, so the payoff from building them is larger than on standard settings. I usually 1- or 2-turn them with whip overflow anyway. And even then they're not "necessary" by any means.

    I pretty much just ignore banks, I'll build markets and grocers occasionally if I really need the health/happiness.

    In my most recent game I captured enough banks from the AI to build Wall St, but Wall St isn't really worth the hammers except in specific circumstances.
     
  9. pob

    pob Deity²

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    Unless building wonders for failgold, building wealth is my default choice in every city except for the heroic epic city and bureau capital: the heroic epic city slow builds units as well as using the whip; bureau cap is only whipped sparingly and needs more buildings in general so slow building them makes sense.

    Building wealth helps you get to that next vital tech as well as delaying the choice of where to invest your :hammers:. (if you have a lot of :hammers: overflow or chops and start building something that isn't vital and then get an unexpected war declaration, then you will really wish that those :hammers:s had gone into a unit instead.)

    The only thing I tend to slow build (not whip directly or whip overflow into) in other cities is trebs just after engineering.
     
  10. vorlon_mi

    vorlon_mi Emperor

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    I get it, and will need to internalize it. If this is truly the current thinking of good players, then someone should write a new strategy guide and put it on the subforum.
    Wounded Knight, Sisiutil, Hackapell, and some of the chapters of Civ Illustrated make no mention of building wealth.
     
  11. Izuul

    Izuul Level 86

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    A lot of that stuff is really old and out dated.

    Most buildings in Civ 4 are not worth buildings in most cities. The granary is pretty much the only building in the game that should be built in (nearly) every city. Forges are worth building in most cities once you get access to them since they also increase whip hammers. Libraries, lighthouses, and barracks are some other fairly common buildings. Beyond that you really need to approach every building as something you SHOULD NOT build, and then try to justify why you would actually benefit from building it. If you can't justify the cost then build wealth instead.
     
  12. Duckweed

    Duckweed Deity

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    Building wealth/science is usually the last choice unless there's urgent need to push to a critical tech, or the city does not have better thing to produce, which is generally uncommon before Renaissance era. A city will usually needs Granary/LH, CH if not adjacent to your capital, forge if it's a strong productive city or it could whip enough pops to pay back its cost, Lib if it's going to produce >20C, Barrack if it's going to produce >5 battle units. Of course everything depends on whether those buildings could pay back its cost before the date of victory. Even building granary could be a waste in some situations and many time granary won't be the 1st build in a city.;)
     
  13. 6K Man

    6K Man Bureaucrat

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    Words to live by.

    Figuring out that building wealth was usually a good idea was a real game changer, figuratively and literally. I wind up building wealth a lot when I (over) expand. Or when recovering from a rush, or in cities too far away to contribute units before the war is over.

    Before, I’d plan out a rush, and build a ton of units in my best 1 or 2 production cities (ones with 2-3 mines and/or a Horse/Copper/Iron resource), fight and win a war, and then try to figure out what to do in those production cities that don’t need to be building units anymore. Realizing that those 2 cities could generate 30+ :gold: per turn, and I could bump my research slider up 10-20% as a result, was huge. Now, it’s not all that strange for me to have 6-10 cities – more than half of my total – building wealth in the early ADs.

    I still build too many buildings, but that’s nowhere near as bad as it used to be.
     
  14. Seraiel

    Seraiel If you want anything from I please ask in German

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    Sry Duckweed, but full /disagree .

    Wealth / Science is 1st choice in most situations, which are the ones when the city has a Ganary, maybe a Forge, maybe a Barracks. A city definitely does not need a Courthouse, maybe enough Courthouses on a huge map, to unlock the FP. Definitely Courthouses once Corporations are available (Spacerace) , but in a standard / normal / dom- / conquest game, like most people play in this forum and for which most of the advice is given, no Courthouses needed, better build units (or Wealth, to get towards the tech unlocking the unit) . Libraries, yes, maybe, but calculate, if they'll pay back before the unit with which you'll attack, don't build tham at a flat amount of :commerce: . Often, building a Library is the last thing partly-useful that's possible, like when the city has a Granary, but when one doesn't have MC or Construction yet, then ok, but once units are available, they're again the better choice. Barracks depend, on whether the unit will produce those 5 (me calculated more with 7-8 usually) before the next war, your post doesn't say 'til when. Don't calculate everything 'til the end of the game, take the next goal.
    And I thought about how you ment, that a Granary will most often not be the first build, but I couldn't explain it to me. Yes, maybe city needs a Monument, ideally, it gets a Religion from another city though, so yes, Granary first build. What else? :o
     
  15. BornInCantaloup

    BornInCantaloup Agent of Chaos

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    There certainly are opportunities for Courthouses.

    It's not intuitive but 1 gold gained with a Courthouse has a higher value than 1 gold gained by building wealth.

    In a few points :
    The bulk :
    - It wouldn't be accurate to compare the 120 hammers spent on the Courthouse to 120 gold gained by building wealth (I know you didn't). This has to do with the way Courthouses are built.
    It would be more accurate to see the cost of a Courthouse as 30 hammers that could be used on wealth + 2 population points. Even then, the possibility to use chop/overflow hammers towards the courthouse could reduce this number of "30 hammers that could be used on wealth".
    All in all, it isn't the same types of hammers that are used to build wealth and to build a Courthouse.
    More realistic alternatives to the 120 hammers of the Courthouse involve other buildings and units.

    Sideways :
    - Building wealth takes up the whole production queue of a city. This means that a city building wealth forgoes building anything else. The trade is : build wealth vs anything else. This does not apply to infrastructure, in the sense that one can get the infra and then build something else.
    So, whereas the initial cost of infrastructure can seem steeper, it can actually allow to do more with one's cities.

    - It's also worth noting that building wealth only works with actual hammers, whereas infrastructure can be completed with hurry hammers (population) and with incidental hammers (overflow, chops). So one can also store hammers little by little into a Courthouse and then complete it when it seems convenient.
    Building wealth stores those incidental hammers (which is useful in its own right but doesn't produce gold).

    - Many cities, when building wealth, cannot generate great amounts of gold. On the contrary, many cities generate tiny amounts because they're so focused on food specials, farms, whipping and cottages.
    A city that would produce 5gpt by building wealth could produce 0 item for 10 turns to generate 50 gold. This is worth it in some cases (tech race) but doesn't necessarily compare well with building infra. The fact that the city produces 0 item during this timeframe is key, here.

    Then there is the fact that when one stops building wealth, there is no more benefit.
    Again : it takes up the whole production queue. When one will start whipping units, then the deficit will grow faster than with a Courthouse.

    The initial cost of infrastructure is higher but the gold/commerce production is much more stable than what one gets by building wealth.

    This isn't all to say that building wealth/research is bad at all. It's very useful when racing towards a tech or to store overflow/chop production.
    However, it's a mechanic that comes with its own costs and there certainly are times when infrastructure compares favourably. If one has the food/population, then setting up infrastructure is easier.
    Building wealth isn't the be all, end all mechanic that solves all city management questions.


    Hopefully, it all makes sense :goodjob:
     
  16. dutchfire

    dutchfire Deity Retired Moderator

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    For me, the main disadvantage to building wealth is that I can't whip. Usually, I'll play for a cuir/rifle breakout. In the period between, say, code of laws and Military Tradition/Rifling, my empire has reached its maximal size without war. I have enough workers (yes, you never have enough workers). Building units now makes limited sense (sometimes, I don't even get horseback riding until I get military tradition...). War Elephant->Cuir is a decent upgrade, all others are quite expensive.

    Now, take a typical seaside city. 2 seafood, otherwise working coastal tiles and the occasional land tile, based on what is available. I want this city to be maximal size when I discover MilTrad, for maximal whipping potential. But the size right now is limited by health/happiness. The main power of the city is the food potential, and that is most useful when the city is small, since less food is needed to fill the box. Whipping a courthouse just removes some population that will grow back before I need it, and produces money (and minimal espionage) forever. Building wealth, with the low hammer count of the city, only gives a small amount of GPT.

    Although I suppose it would be most efficient to build wealth, put the courthouse in the queue for 1T, whip it, and go back to building wealth. That way, the courthouse gets all its hammers from slavery.
     
  17. Seraiel

    Seraiel If you want anything from I please ask in German

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    Need to disagree further.

    Courthouses are bad.

    1. 4pop is a huge investment. Arguing that they're "only" 3-pop or less is simply the wrong approach. During the time at which you can whip that Courthouse, you actively need to sacrifice research to get it, there's no way around it. You either sacrifice Wealth or you sacrifice population, both is research effectively. Research is, what gets you Cuirrassiers earlier, and even if they only cost 3-pop due to whichever mechanic, once Cuirrassiers are there, 3pop can be a Cuirrassier, and a Cuirrassier is again more valuable. Also you forget, that not all mechanics speak in favour of the Courthouse. While a Courthouse gives benefit while just being there, so while a Courthouse gets increasingly more valuable with time, the :hammers: put into Wealth are actually available instant, so already before the Courthouse exists. Also, once Cuirrassiers are reached, cities get whipped to a minimum of population, diminishing the effect of the Courthouse.

    2. Doing less is doing more when it comes to buildings. We don't want to build fancy cities that have nice infrastructure, we want a maximum strength army in minimum possible time. While you build all those buildings that pay back by your calculation, that a build is then justifyable, if it produces more of x 'til the end of the game, what happens is, that you attack the 1st target later. This gets you additional cities later, this makes you get additional troops later. In the end, you need longer to proceed towards the next target, and because your opponents will be higher developed, you'll have greater difficulties in war aswell. All of this works against the fastest possible time at which victory can be achieved.
    Remember what I wrote about that cycle (edit: was a different thread iirc, ment is the cycle of taking one city after the other and whipping reinforcements from the population of that city and because one city unlocks the ability to conquer the next one, in the end the game is won) , you need to get into that cycle, once you're in it, you've effectively won the game. If at all, a building needs to pay back before it's possible to enter that cycle by gaining enough power, and from then on, the speedlimit is the movement of troops.
    Also: Once one is in that cycle, one gets the gold from conquering cities. The additional resources from conquering cities and from having more cities are multiple times higher than anything a non-World-Wonder could offer. Even World-Wonders very seldomly can compete against additional cities.

    3. The argument with food-heavy cities not being able to generate a lot of Wealth but otoh being able to whip a lot of buildings is invalidated by the fact, that :food: can also be converted to :science: (via Specialists) , and the question is not Wealth or Whip but Research / Units or is there anything, that allows for more of either before the 1st war. Believe me, I have no personal problem with Courthouses, it's just that to me, they're like Markets are compared to Libraries. A Market is expensive and provides mostly nothing on Deity, because in most times it's possible to trade for a lot of :gold: , making :gold: only a factor in that kind, that trading for it means pushing the AIs. A Library though is cheap, and not only gives a greater bonus, but it also gives what is actually valuable = power to develop faster = reach techs earlier = attack earlier + have an easier time selling techs = getting more :gold: earlier = again teching faster + the push on the AIs by trading gets smaller, because one can sell them older and smaller techs.

    This is not ment aggressively. I just had that discussion multiple times already. If you aren't convinced, try to think about this: A Corporations-Spacerace is the ideal situation for Courthouse, because long game and no chance to get around Courthouses. And what do you think when HoFers build them? Right before the Executive reaches the city. With ORG, it's a different situation, but without, Courthouses are just too expensive for the little benefit that they effectively provide.
     

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