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Why are Caravans 50% weaker than Cargo Ships?

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Enrico Swagolo, Aug 28, 2013.

  1. Enrico Swagolo

    Enrico Swagolo Deity

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    I just don't get it guys. It doesn't make much sense and makes Caravans just an inferior choice overall, with CS being able to connect to another continent/island/landmass AND having a much longer range.

    I mean really, why would you even consider using a Caravan with Cargo Ship available? They are not even effective production/gold wise, because Caravan costs much more than 50% of Ship's production/gold cost.


    I think Cargo Ships are completely unbalanced with Caravans, because they are superior in every way. Able to connect through water, give twice as much AND have longer range. It would be much better if Caravans and Cargo Ships gave the same ammount of benefits, because longer range/connecting through water is enough in my opinion. They'd still be superior, but there would be no nonsense that naval trade is better than land route with two close cities connected by a road.


    To balance it out, Caravans should also give 200 gold to the pillager.


    What do you guys think?
     
  2. Peng Qi

    Peng Qi Emperor

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    Irrelevant.
    Caravans are dramatically easier to protect.
     
  3. Enrico Swagolo

    Enrico Swagolo Deity

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    Not in my experience to be honest. A barbarian Horseman is just as likely (if not more) to destroy a Caravan as a Caravel is, and for some reason my trade routes are almost never killed by barbarians, and even when they are, it's because it went to another continent (Caravan is obviously not going to be endangered in such a situation, because it can't even go there, so you can't say it's really a flaw) or because I failed to kill a coastal barbarian encampment.

    AI civs will sometimes target them, yeah, but if you're in a war against someone with a navy, you should also have your own fleet and punish him hard. Caravans would be just as endangered if they went to further CS/civs you trade with, but - of course - they won't. That's because their range is pathetic and they won't be able to trade with anyone far away.

    So yeah, they're easier to protect but only because they're simply unable to trade with anything that's not right on your doorstep until very late game, at which point it doesn't even matter if someone pillages your stuff or not. You can do the same with naval trade route, just send it to a nearby city, just like you would be forced to with a Caravan, and it'll be just as safe as a LTR, if not more.
     
  4. Deggial

    Deggial Emperor

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    Cargo ships...

    - represent over-sea trade, which historically was an enormous wealth generating factor. Far away cultures possess trading-goods that are not available in the nearby regions and which are very valuable in consequence. The doubled route yield represents this.

    - encourage players to build coastal cities, which might not be too atractive otherwise due to low maritime tile yields.

    - encourage players to build up their marine to protect them - something they might not want to do otherwise, due to the limited usefulness of ships in Civ5 (if not playing water maps, of course).

    So, game wise and in relation to the real world model, the current game mechanism is totally reasonable.
     
  5. Enrico Swagolo

    Enrico Swagolo Deity

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    1.Has a good point, but as you noticed it was because of them owning different Luxury Resources (cofee, tea, etc.). NTR are more valuable even if you trade to city with resources you already have while your LTR goes to a city which owns completely unique stuff which makes no sense.

    I think the fact game already considers Luxury/Strategic Resources as a factor which determines the benefits is already enough. TR to a city with Luxuries/Strategic Resources you don't have is more benefical already, which - as you pointed out - exactly the reason for why naval trade was so profitable. And it makes no sense that sending a LTR to the same city is less effective than sending it by a NTR, because you get the exact same resources, so the benefit should also be equal, because then it's not a "far away culture".

    2. Good point, but the very fact you can trade with someone you can't otherwise is enough. It improves your Tourism to them by 25% too, and another continent should have different resources than you do (if it doesn't, then trading with them shouldn't be that profitable). Also even the typical fish tile becomes superb after lighthouse, even more so with a workboat.

    3. You don't really need a big fleet. If it's medieval era, then you're probably trading with nearby cities, which means the AI should protect it for you. If it's reneissance, fleet of other AI should protect it too, and barbarians are much more uncommon then (unless they settled on a single snow tile nobody can access otherwise). I often have max NTR even as Venice without any real naval protection (unless you consider 1/2 exploring Caravels to be a protector of anything), and I almost never need to replace them.
     
  6. TheGrandWazoo

    TheGrandWazoo Warlord

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    In addition to the above, it's also worth noting that the Cargo Ship benefits both parties more than the caravan would.

    So yes, you are earning more and depending on the route the risk may not be that much different, but you're also giving more gold/science to your competitors.

    I think if you add all these factors in, the gap between caravan and cargo ship gets a lot smaller.
     
  7. Enrico Swagolo

    Enrico Swagolo Deity

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    Trade with a CS if you don't want to give out any benefits. Even better if a CS asked you to do this anyway/you went Freedom. You get more than from a LTR anyway, and nobody else benefits.

    Also Internal Trade Routes. You give others nothing, you get almost twice the food/production.
     
  8. Civmike

    Civmike Chieftain

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    Because ships conduct the vast majority of trade in the world, and have done so for a long time. Simple logistics: it is far far cheaper per ton to travel by water.
     
  9. Eagle Pursuit

    Eagle Pursuit Scir-Gerefa

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    A river barge can carry 3000 tons. The average barge convoys that I see on the Illinois River have 6 barges. One barge convoy moves 9000 tons.

    A container ship can carry 50000 tons.

    A train can carry about 7000 tons.

    A cargo plane can carry about 100 tons if fully loaded.

    A semi truck can carry 22 tons. Not so impressive is it?

    When you consider operating costs, water is the most cost-effective and can carry the most volume, but it's limited by reach. Rail is the most cost-effective way to move things on land, but is also limited by reach. They only go where rails are laid. Trucks really only dominate transportation due to flexibility. They can go anywhere on land. Air transport is more of a niche market for high speed.
     
  10. Nivrax

    Nivrax Chieftain

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    It also gives THEM a 25% tourism bonus vs you. That is huge penalty to trading overall unless it's you who are going for CV. Fish tiles are good (once you build one-time work boat, lighthouse and seaport), but they are special resource, thus very limited. On non-resource inland tiles you can plant: farm, mine, trading post, gp improvement, have chance of ruins, all of those give at least 4 yield unless it's desert/open tundra. On non-resource water tiles you can: swim, get eaten by sharks.

    Unless you are going domination on continents/isles, there is very little reason to plant coastal cities, you are limiting your workable tiles by good 30-40%+ and are forced to research and produce navy in case someone is going to attack you. In G&K, I never settled on coast, it was just pointless when only gain was to get 'free' railroad connection.

    Protecting Caravans is also way easier seeing as all land gets settled anyway, so it have to ride through established borders already. Cargo ships? On archipelago, you must plant sentries on every one-tile island or you risk barb camp spawning and their ships will just breed through your trade routes. On any map, if you are going to war with someone allied with coastal cs, you will be loosing trade routes randomly around the world, because for some reason they like to spam 'exploration' Caravels. I had my container ship plundered in Atomic era by a Renaissance era ships owned by cs on other half of globe.

    To put it simple, Cargo ships are indeed extremely valuable, and if you have option to use them, you are probably better to use as many of those instead of caravans. And their power is main reason (other than dominating with navy) is why would you ever consider making coastal cities.
     
  11. kb27787

    kb27787 Deity

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    I recommend at least one good coastal city... (two so you can shuttle food between them); late game it's really important to have a good seaport where AI can bring in their cargo ships; depending on how big and how many resources there are, it can be really attractive to multiple AI resulting in hundreds of gpt just from that one city; and is the only way to reach a civ opposite the map if you want CV.
     
  12. compwiz1202

    compwiz1202 King

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    The one thing that bothered me the one game is I had a caravan, a barb was on the route, and I sent a unit to defeat them, but the caravan kept moving past my unit and freaking got plundered :mad: And when are they going to add an escort function for civilians already? :confused:
     
  13. apotheoser

    apotheoser Prince

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    Pfft. If neither of you are going for cultural victory, it's unlikely to matter at all. And if your opponent is going for cultural victory, they're going to connect to you anyway, in which case, you might as well connect to them too.

    Your objection would only matter in the very limited circumstance that

    1. your opponent is going for CV;
    2. you're not; and
    3. your opponent for some reason hasn't already made a trade route with you.
     
  14. FeiLing

    FeiLing Deity

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    Maybe keep international sea trade routes the way they are but make them not produce double food/production for trading between your own cities? That would seem to make sense to me as well as solving the balance issue.
     
  15. Polisurgist

    Polisurgist King

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    Let's turn it around: what compelling reason is there for making caravans and cargo ships equal?
     
  16. KrikkitTwo

    KrikkitTwo Immortal

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    Caravans don't require a coastal city.

    And they are easier to protect... mostly because they have much less range.

    They are Generally Designed to be an inferior option.

    (It would probably be a good idea if they made Caravans cheaper to build and Cargo Ships a little bit more expensive... so that Caravans provided an easy early boost, but got phased out over time)
     
  17. evilcat

    evilcat Warlord

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    Oh please, can we stop arguments like "this is moar realistic"?
    Someone want to tell me something about realism in the GAME about Ceasar nuking Washington before he send Giant Death Robot against him? Or xbowmane upgrading into maschine gun and losing range?

    I would rather see some gamedesing explanation behind it. Sure a singular ship carries more than singular truck, but the volume of trade is often biggest with nearest partner. Since there are thousend of this truck.

    The explanation which speaks to me is that it forces players to start some good seaport. And if we are trap inland it is motivacion to break free, and get to the see. Which sometimes is interesting.
     
  18. compwiz1202

    compwiz1202 King

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    Would be cool if you could make land routes more powerful by building roads between the cities and later Railroads. Just like I think everytime you research a ship tech with a faster ship, it should improve your sea routes.
     
  19. Xyuta

    Xyuta Chieftain

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    Probably because it's an investment that is harder to protect.
    I think the city connections represent the many trucks between cities.
     
  20. tommynt

    tommynt Emperor

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    its good game design - if u dont see that u r blind ..

    if it wasnt for crago ships why d ANYONE WITH BRAIN build coastal cities instead inland cities at mountains for observatories?

    Also with this caravan center they get kinda equal anyway
     

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