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Which is king: Cash or Food?

Discussion in 'Civ4Col - Strategy & Tips' started by GoodGame, Apr 17, 2010.

  1. GoodGame

    GoodGame Red, White, & Blue, baby!

    Dec 17, 2004
    In the business, they say cash flow is king.

    Just wondering if that's true for colonization.

    Take too extreme case:

    1. Focus on cash crops from the start, and buying everything you need from Europe. That can include buying firebrand preachers to make people cheaper to hire.

    2. Focus on food production from the start, and buying only dirt cheap employees from Europe to get the food production up enough for "free" free colonists.

    Which early strategy will put you in better position to win the game, assuming you switch to a more balanced strategy after ~ 100 game years.
  2. dalgo

    dalgo Emperor

    Feb 23, 2002
    Auckland, New Zealand
    While food becomes more important later in the game I focus on cash first - mainly because there is just so much available. Handouts from the tribal chiefs plus plenty of burial grounds/ancient ruins to explore lead to a continual chain of treasure wagons heading back to my capital. With all that free cash I can buy cannons for defence, lumberjacks/carpenters and pioneers to make my colonies productive and then farmers and fishermen to provide the food I will need later.
  3. iggymnrr

    iggymnrr Deity

    May 20, 2003
    Cash in Colonization, food in Civilization. Just try selling food in Europe, its worthless.
  4. GoodGame

    GoodGame Red, White, & Blue, baby!

    Dec 17, 2004
    True points :lol:. What i meant by food is that it's free manpower if you produce it yourself, and it turns over to a new colonist that you can educate.
  5. Malkaviel

    Malkaviel Prince

    May 17, 2009
    Never sell food. 200 food= 1 new free colonist. Put excess food in wagon trains to one city where you're saving your 200.
  6. HamTard

    HamTard Warlord

    May 12, 2006
    Cash until all the goodie huts are gone, then missionaries to convert the natives while you sell products to hire specialists. That seems to work best for me, but I'm still relatively new at this game.
  7. NetGear

    NetGear King

    Dec 11, 2002
    I never sell food. I also try not to go over 200 if I can. Not that its a bad thing if it happens (free colonist is nice) but I prefer to use the surplus food to make up for deficit. Theres always city sites that can output good resource with no food resource. You should be supplying them with surplus food.

    IIRC someone did the math, and trying to farm colonists isn't all that optimal. It might even be better off for fisherman/farmers to be working something else than extra food from time to time.
  8. clearbeard

    clearbeard King

    Dec 17, 2004
    Delaware, USA
    I found farming colonists to train in my universities late game was very handy. Earlier in the game, making up deficits was my tactic as well. Struck me as kind of weird, that in the early game, religion was the best way to get new people. Mid game, almost everyone was bought with cash from Europe, and late game, I went all agrarian and generated 1-2 new colonists per turn from food, saving my cash to turn them into soldiers (<=500 gold each seemed quite the bargain).
  9. felixdrake

    felixdrake Chieftain

    Jul 20, 2012
    The following is assuming play at a high level of difficulty. On the lower difficulties,

    If you have a scout at the docks, it is a non-issue. Sell your tools and/or your guns and/or explore enough to hurry the seasoned scout, then rake in the money.
    IF you can get to the ruins and villages first, you can make an ungodly killing from one (preferrably seasoned) scout, immensely more than exploring with another unit.
    If you can possibly make it happen, do WHATEVER you have to in order to do so.

    Once that is happening, you should have enough funds to work from there. You'll want a galleon for big maps, privateer is an option also, if you can get it early. Buying carpenters and lumberjacks helps a LOT.

    Suggested money expenditures (per city)
    Docks rush, ~200 gold tops
    Carpenters/Lumberjacks, 2250-6750 depending how many you need.
    TEACHING 3 elder statesemen 2250
    TEACHING 3 firebrand preachers 2250
    Resource processing specialists 1350-2700 per city on average
    Tools - ~2000-4000 depending on buildings and tools prices.
    Total cost on average per settlement:
    10,000 gold, or 7-8 loads of refined goods., 20-25ish loads of raw materials.
    Guns can generally be made far cheaper/easier than they can be bought.

    One shot costs:
    Galleon x1 (only if there is also enough treasure to pay for itself twice over)
    Privateer x1 (If you enjoy piracy)
    Seasoned Scout x1 (to get all that loot to begin with)
    Extra tools if your late game ore production does not support producing enough of both at once.

    One shot income:
    sell guns from soldier and any vet soldiers on the docks to the natives for~1050-1250 per 75 guns
    ruins/village exploration for an average of at least 250 per ruins/village, close to double that if you have a galleon, double it again if ruins with the appropriate FF. HIGHLY variable.

    This pricing assumes you are playing single player, you push for the -25% Europe buy costs FF, and you get him, and nets you a fully developed city which will produce about 80-120 hammers towards an endless stream of cannons or towards ships of the line per turn post revolution, and 13-37 hammers per turn before that (or 112 political points per turn).

    Assuming at least one of your colonies has decent ore mining capacity, the same cost will make it an ironworks/arsenal colony that puts out enough tools to put out cannons and SoLs without relying on europe.

    Once the revolution happens, the food route will give you a steady stream of new citizens (fodder) and converted natives from all those missions (bait), whilst boosting production and basic crop production, via slavery. You should also have full terraforming and a redundant road network, courtesy of converted native pioneers (which you can have hand in the tools then delete right before rebellion to hit 50% faster). +50 or more food per turn per colony is a thing of beauty when you need warm bodies to pick up muskets.

    Both, but mostly food (and production)

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