[BTS] Whip a warrior - how do you think about this "crazy" move?


Jun 8, 2018
We had a little discussion at my Stalin game here:



It was about a move some advanced players called "crazy". But I still think about it. The base idea is that overflow can convert into :gold: so that we can research faster and achive some goals 1-2 turns earlier.

I want to discuss the maths here to know, in which situation this move is a good idea and in which not.


Precondition: Minimum 2 cities, BW, can still build warriors and they still have an use, city with ecent amounts of :food::hammers: tiles, best is a city with granary

1. Let a city growing full in happiness
2. Build a warrior as far as possible, e.g. 14/15
3. Whip this warrior +30:hammers: , we now have 44/15
4. Next produce warrior again => 15:hammers: overflow, 14:gold: overflow

- 14:gold: (relates to 6-7 turns of 100% slider)
- Production: 2 warriors
- Regrowth cost at 5 pop: ~12:food: with granary
- City will thenafter focus on production tiles instead of food tiles (6-7 turns production, 3-4 turn regrowth)

Opportunity costs: 10 turns

Variant A: We lose a 2:hammers:1:food:1:commerce: tile
20:hammers:, 10:food:, 10:commerce:
Effect: +10:hammers:, -10:commerce:, +14:gold: , less food
=> quickens the research

Variant B: We lose a 2:food:2:commerce: tile
20:food:, 20:commerce:
Effect: +30:hammers:, -20:commerce:, +14:gold: , less food
=> lowers research, quickens production

Variant C: We lose a 1:food:1:hammers:1:commerce: tile
10:food:, 10:commerce:, 10:hammers:
Effect: +20:hammers:, -10:commerce:, +14:gold: , less food
=> quickens research, quickens production

In practice we don't really lose the tile, when another city can work it. So typically is Variant C.

Here's my personal conclusion about that:

Generally I would give the rule of thumb for myself:
Whipping a warrior can be thought about, when

(1) We need him or we could use the overflow gold
(2) We have no better possibilities (e.g. not enough tiles to work)
(3) We can easily regrow in 10 turns
(4) We lose no strong :hammers: or :commerce: tiles
(5) We don't need to whip again in <10 turns


This move could be used in very special situations to maximize the growth at start. One safe result is in research some tech 1-2 turns earlier, which can make a difference, e.g.

Writing +1:commerce:/+2:commerce: one turn
Religion +5:culture:, later +1:culture: eventually every turn in a race
Tile improvement, when worker would idle instead: different, mostly hut (1:commerce: shortterm till 4:commerce: longterm), pasture (different yields)
Start wonder 1 turn earlier


Let us discuss the maths here.
Maybe you have a calculation or maybe you can tell us more about the overflow mechanics?
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It's definitely not a "crazy" move. It is somewhat dependent on the play style (saccing pop vs working tiles).
It has been used by HoF players to fund expansion, typically on Marathon speed but I've seen it on Normal, too.

For the full experience, you can supplement the whipping with chops, so each burnt forest also give you 20 gold.
I'm not a math wizard, so someone else may give you some real numbers, but whipping warriors like that is terribly inefficient. If I'm not mistaken it doesn't really matter how many hammers you put into a warrior - your still gonna get around 14-15g OF. What you are not accounting for is the loss of hammers in the process.

With that said, gold is gold.
Yes, you do not always want the extra warrior, you have to pay for its upkeep and it might not be useful. It is also undesirable to repeat the process too often and stack whip anger too high.
(Hence coupling forest chops with your whip, so you can get 50 gold or so out of the deal - obv could be better after you have Maths.)

If I'm not mistaken it doesn't really matter how many hammers you put into a warrior - your still gonna get around 14-15g OF
You're always going to get 15 hammer overflow. You don't necessarily get gold, since that only starts to happen once you go past the hammer overflow cap (15).
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Sometimes for urgency (on Mara cold whip gives same hammer overflow as 1 turn in so no need to wait) but never for "failgold" as I don't have gold overflow at all possible :cowboy:
There were several reasons why it was a bad plan, most of which were mentioned in the thread.
  • you had no :)-res
  • you had no granary
  • you had a river, so even a river plains cottage was possible
  • you didn't need the warriors
  • you needed a settler
In general, 1-pop whipping is bad, because the :)-penalty is the same no matter how big the whip is. In general, whipping without a granary is not great, because the :food:->:hammers: transform ratio is not good. As was suggested, it was better to grow into unhappiness in order to 3-pop whip later.
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