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Where to settle?

Discussion in 'Civ5 - Strategy & Tips' started by Bamboocha, Oct 16, 2011.

  1. Bamboocha

    Bamboocha Warlord

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    I have quite some trouble determining where to settle cities, and this problem more or less messed up the last game I played (as England), so my question is pretty straightforward: when settling new cities (or your capital for that matter), what should I be looking for? Should I always, without exception, settle near a luxury resource or can I found a city in a spot without access to one?
     
  2. Knut_Are_M

    Knut_Are_M Prince

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    main rule is settle next to or on lux.
    exceptions are if you are running a major happiness surplus.
    if you are you should look for cities that are hammer rich and grow fast.
    If you play egypt you can ics fairly nicely with monument+roads+burial tomb.
    policies needed are organized religion and meritocracy.

    and please remember that cities with improved land are much more productive.
     
  3. Fluffball

    Fluffball Warlord

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    As with all these type of questions it depends but some general guidelines.

    Accessing a new lux resource will increase your happiness and allow you to found that city and gain happiness rather than lose happiness.

    Accessing a strategic resource can make a lot of difference to a game. Iron in particular allows you to build a lot of important units but horses are useful too.

    If there is a strong strategic postition to be gained from placing a city then it is usually worth placing a city there even if it isn't a great city spot. In my current game i have two poor cities placed in strategic positions and they have made my game. In one instance i got DoW by 3 civs and on 2 fronts i was able to hold back large attacks with only a single ranged unit and a melee unit at each front allowing me to concentrate my main force on the 3rd opponent.

    A city spot that is by a river, has a lot of food tiles as well as a lot of hammer tiles can be worth placing simlpy because it will be able to grow into a very strong city.

    If you can gain access to a lux resource you already have or strategic resources you have plenty of then gaining more of them, even via a poor city spot can provide a good income simply from selling them or trading them for lux resources you don't have to increase your happiness.
     
  4. shaglio

    shaglio The Prince of Dorkness

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    I don't know if this is a wise decision, but I almost always found my capital right where I start (without moving). I usually move my warrior first to see if I'm missing out on anything good by not moving. But rarely do I ever move, and when I do, I try to move so that I can still found the city on the same turn (i.e. moving to clear terrain rather than rough terrain or crossing a river that will and my turn).

    More often then not I will found subsequent cities where the yellow icon suggests, unless I want to strategically place a city (such as at a choke point or to create a canal through an isthmus). Once again, I'm not sure if this is the smartest choice. I wonder how many other people besides myself actually use the game-suggested city-founding sites?
     
  5. The Pilgrim

    The Pilgrim Deity

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    The answer is also straightforward: if you can support additional cities without new luxes, you may settle wherever you like.
    Of course it's better to settle next to luxes. Even duplicates. If you cannot get new ones, at least you can exchange them. But it's situational. When you know you AI doesn't want them anymore and you have a choice to settle another wine or strategics/stone/marble/ivory you go with the latter. Just be reasonable and think further how specific city site can benefit you. As I mention in your other thread, in your latest England game there is absolutely no need to limit yourself by only settling next to luxes. When you execute some sort of ICS decent portion of the cities won't be settled on luxes, yet they can be supported by happiness.
     
  6. The Pilgrim

    The Pilgrim Deity

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    AI settles where the icon appears. You can judge by that how good advisor's suggestions are. Usually they aren't optimal. I recommend to turn it off. It will help you to learn how to place your cities more effectively.
     
  7. chazzycat

    chazzycat Deity

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    Yeah the game-suggested city sites are pretty hit or miss. Sometimes, they will be right where I was planning on going anyway. But other times the suggestions are laughably bad. I'd say it's about 50-50.
     
  8. shaglio

    shaglio The Prince of Dorkness

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    I guess I should turn them off too. There are times when I look at the yellow icons and think, "wouldn't it make more sense to build a city on this hex next to their suggestions?"

    On a side note, I just recently started manually using my workers instead of automating them. I got sick of losing them to barbarians when some CS on the other side of the continent wants me to build a road to them. I find it tedious, but ultimately necissary.
     
  9. tibbles

    tibbles Warlord

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    Not really on the subject, but that AI roading to CSes is really silly when roads cost upkeep. I just had that last night. Hit that point where I improved more than enough tiles for the foreseeable future, so I just stuck the workers on automate to fill the rest of the tiles with whatever. Looked back to find a road to a CS that I had to manually remove. So much for the automated idea.
     
  10. donlep

    donlep Chieftain

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    i play with a mod that removes road maintainance, i still play with railroad maintainance though
    i find it rather stupid, that builing roads throughout your empire, should hamper your economy instead of improve it:crazyeye:
    look at the world, there are roads everywhere, and its definatly not something that ruins the economy;)
    i played exactly one game with road maintainance on, and i really hated only being able to connect each city with 1 other city, if i didnt want to wreck my economy, and god forbid if it should take 4 or more tiles of road!!!
    australia has some pretty insane roads, wich im almost sure they didnt build because they felt they had way to much money, and needed a place to waste them
     
  11. Gamewizard

    Gamewizard Emperor

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    But connected cities receive trade route income which will offset this penalty. If roads cost no maintenance then you could theoretically build roads everywhere, including neutral territory, which would give you a large advantage when it comes to movement and warfare.
     
  12. tibbles

    tibbles Warlord

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    Just like Civ4, but more important with 1 unit per tile.
     
  13. donlep

    donlep Chieftain

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    yeah but they only offset it for one short road to one other city, show me a place where each major city is only connected to one other, because it would surely wreck the economy to connect it to more
    there are roads everywhere in the world, and it improves the economy it doesnt hamper it
    if there wasnt a road to the farm, way out in the country side, the food wouldnt get to the city, how could that possibly improve the economy?
    if there was a mod that removed road maintainance, inside borders only, i might play with that, but havent found one
     
  14. ForzaFiori

    ForzaFiori Chieftain

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    I use a mod that gives +2 gold to worked road tiles. I find that it better simulates what happens with roads. Honestly, the really rural routes (what few are actually built and paid for by the state, which is actually not as many as you think) actually do cost a lot in maintenance, and the people on them probably don't bring in a huge amount of taxes. However, on more traveled routes (represented by worked tiles in-game), the economy, typically higher pop. density, and higher average social class brings in more money than the road costs.
     
  15. Veneke

    Veneke King

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    This is a difficult question to answer definitively due to the random nature of the game.

    In general you should look for a hill beside a river where there is at least 1 luxury or strategic resource that you need/want inside its 3 rings and ideally inside its innermost ring. After that, factor in things like coast, mountainside location. All of this, however, has to be balanced against immediate need, long term settlement plan and the viability of the plot.

    When I look for a city spot (and the "I" should be stressed here) there are three factors that run through my mind.

    * Coastal/River/Mountainside (This can be ignored if the Overall tile potential is significantly greater without it and I'm cool with losing the advantage of these.)
    * Overall tile potential (add up food/production/gold from tiles - you'll size them up quickly enough with some practice.)
    * Overall city placement (Factor in where the next city will go, gimping one city to have a mega-city can be a good idea... it can also be terrible. It all depends on how many cities you can support/can fit into your map.)

    The second step takes the most amount of work, but can be fairly easy to take reasonable guesses at with some practice. Figure out how many tiles have to be worked (resources and hills are really what count, but add as you see fit). Double that figure and take away the amount of food those tiles provide. Then divide that number by 3 (2 if you are going to have plains farms) and that's the number of farms you need to get that city to meet its minimum potential. Generally speaking, comparing the minimum potential of two potential city sites will be sufficient.

    Not sure if I'm getting slightly sidetracked...

    As to whether you can settle away from a Lux - the answer is yes. In fact, the only scenario in which you absolutely must settle next to a Lux is if you don't have access to that Lux already or if there's a more tempting Strat resource you need instead.
     
  16. joncnunn

    joncnunn Senior Java Wizard Moderator

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    Rules are meant to be broken. No set of rules is going to accurately describe all situations.

    I instead go for guidelines.

    #1 is: If I found this city here; how does it impact all the other future locations.
    Granted you don't know much in 4000 BC, but by the time you manually build your next one you should know enough.

    Ensure that some city will eventually work all important tiles. It is really easy if you focus only on one city to lock yourself out of ever working an important tile with the minimum city placement rule.

    Within that: When playing on high difficulty levels, a city must bring in something to justify the happiness cost. Preferably that is a resource, luxury, or natural wonder. But enough sufficient food or hammers will do it as well; although such a site my sometimes be better deferred until more happiness tools available like powerful social policies and Theaters. (And there is also the "marginal site" where if a strategic resource later appears you may want a city but won't if a resource doesn't appear; I generally prefer not to settle such a site at all unless the resource actually appears; but leave some military units present on tiles the AI could found a city in the area to prevent it.)

    Rivers are really nice to found in. Water Mill + Granary gives you +4f +1h right there; and if a long river even better.

    As to coasts: I like founding on coasts, and I like founding 3 hexes away from coasts, what I try to avoid is 2 hexes & especially 1 hex away from the coast where water is taken in but no light house can be built.

    Mountains: I recently discovered that "Old Faithful" counts as a Mountain for Observatory purposes.
    I'm generally finding something else more important than being right on a mountain though. But then again I usually go for diplomatic victory instead of science victory.
     
  17. markovnikov

    markovnikov Chieftain

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    Agreed.

    I like to keep the advicer on mainly for the military 'intelligence'. It can be useful to know the relative strength of AI armies. You can force yourself to ignore its city placement suggestions.
     
  18. chgrogers

    chgrogers Prince

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    If you watch yellow build sites turn after turn with barbarians roaming you will notice that suggested sites will change due to their presence. I would say that throws it off even more. I think I am with the suggestions of turning them off and seeing how my city sites change.
     
  19. Dai

    Dai Warlord

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    One thing that took me a long time to get my head around is that luxuries and strategic resources are dramatically more powerful than simple "bonus" resources. (Deer, bananas, etc.) A bonus resource is typically worth 1 extra resource (Gold, food or production), and one more for a special building. (Granary, typically, or stables; fish are an exception because there are several buildings that improve them.) Luxury resources are worth sometimes a little less, because many of them don't have special buildings that improve them further, (Some do, of course) - but they're providing four happiness if you need it and up to 8 GPT if you don't. That blows what a bonus resource is giving you out of the water. (Granted, it's not multiplied by marketplace and the like, but it's still much larger.) Better, it's not just giving you 8 GPT; it's leeching that from an AI player. Strategic resources are extra-valuable for the same reason.

    For this reason, I heavily prioritize settling near luxuries and strategics. (Settling near strategics is a matter of course, or course, since for most game plans you're going to want them.) Bonus resources look tempting, and can be useful for growing a city quickly, but it takes several of them to compensate for the value of a luxury or pile of strategics. They are nice, of course, for building a strong production-focused city or a city you wish to grow large. (They're generally worth +2 resources (gold or production) over un-resourced terrain - one for themselves, and one for the granary/stoneworks/stables/etc. Enabling stoneworks itself is a nice benefit of stone, and makes it stand out above other bonus resources in my mind.)
     
  20. bhavv

    bhavv Glorious World Dictator

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    If I listened to the game suggested city sites, I would have never settled this city:

    Spoiler :


    The game suggested that I settle the two hexes highlighted in red, but I already had wine in another location and the riverside plains spot was far too close to Spain. I wanted the 3 stones, 2 cows, 2 fish and 1 spice all for one mega city (and even coal later on too!).

    That was my best ever non capital city.
     

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