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Why build farms?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by jadedparakeet, Apr 5, 2008.

  1. jadedparakeet

    jadedparakeet Chieftain

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    Is it bad that I don't build any non-resource farms until the modern age? I will only build farms if a city absolutely needs it and has sufficient health and happiness to grow more. 90% of the time, the city can grow to its maximum happiness (at that point in the game) without building any farms at all. I know building farms is supposed to help with whipping, but I find that even without farms my cities still grow faster than it takes for the unhappiness from whipping to go away. And since happiness is so low in the beginning stages of the game, I feel like if I built farms I would just have to divert my citizens from working them pretty soon afterwards to keep the city from surpassing my happiness limit. And that's time I could've spent working a cottage.

    Still, it feels wrong that I'm bypassing most of the tile improvements in the game in favor of cottage spamming everything. And it's boring. So has anybody done any number crunching to confirm the necessity of farms? (Unless I'm just an idiot who can't see the obvious until you guys point it out to me.) I'm able to beat the game consistently with any leader on monarch though, so ignoring farms may not be ideal, but it works well enough.
     
  2. Commodore Nate

    Commodore Nate Chieftain

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    In my opinion, if you don't need farms to reach your happiness cap, you need more happiness :lol:
    But farms are useful if you have a lot of hills or plains-one farm on grassland can support half of a plains cottage or a grassland mine. Two grassland farms can support a specialist, but that's somewhat of a waste, considering that two floodplains can do the same thing and you can improve floodplains.

    There's an article somewhere in the war academy that explains this very well, and includes something about counting how many farms you'll need to reach 22 pop.
    Good stuff.
     
  3. DonChipotle

    DonChipotle Chieftain

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    I find Farms can be useful if you want to build Pyramids and run a SE. Then you revolt to Representation for the extra happy, and once you get caste then you can get a very strong economy going with farms instead of cottages. Of course there will be problems late game, don't know if you have ever tried the Specialist or Hybrid economy.
     
  4. Nestorius

    Nestorius Chieftain

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    Farms are good if you want to have specialists.
     
  5. KrikkitTwo

    KrikkitTwo Immortal

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    Farms are also good as a Temporary Tile improvement, when you need to grow, work the farms to grow Faster, when you don't, work other tiles or "pave over" the farms.

    It gives you the population to work cottages sooner
     
  6. Leodavinci

    Leodavinci Great Merchant

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    Thank you for the thread, I had this feeling that farms are kind of "no good" for no-resource fields, but had no idea that I am not the only one to think so :)
     
  7. Bob-san

    Bob-san Noble

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    They make sense to grow a city. I play a Marathon game, so growing from 1 to 2 population usually takes 30+ turns without an improvement. Now, with a farm, that number may come to 12 or so. In the time it takes to build 2 farms, I can get up to 3 population. That same time spent is what it'd take to get to 2 population regularly. That, and the more population, the more land worked, the faster you grow. I usually beeline monarchy for Hereditary Rule--building cheap units ups the happiness cap as long as your economy can support them.
     
  8. DigitalBoy

    DigitalBoy Chieftain

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    Do you cottage your production cities and great people farms? Do you have production cities and great people farms?

    Cottages are great, but I don't put them in cities specialized towards something other than research or gold. If you have extra food in your production cities, you should be building workshops, not cottages.
     
  9. Kranden

    Kranden War is the real diplomacy

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    I like a few farms because it helps the City regrow again when you Whip it.
     
  10. Jerrymander

    Jerrymander Epistemologist

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    Farms are absolutely amazing for whip-based economies. I always farm floodplains if I start on them, because I can whip more and have my cities recover faster.
     
  11. Kesshi

    Kesshi Chieftain

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    jadedparakeet,

    If I'm playing a lower difficulty game (monarch or below) I usually won't build a single cottage. However if I'm on a higher difficulty game, sometimes I need the extra commerce to keep my empire afloat until I can get some of the economical tech.

    Here's an example of what I did without cottages on Noble difficulty a few months ago:
    Spoiler :


    Farms aren't bad. Neither are cottages. However I find it easier to use Farms for my purposes because I'm not as good at using cottages. If you aren't as good at using farms as you are at cottages, you should use cottages.

    Farms aren't better than cottages, and cottages aren't better than farms. They're just different and should be used differently.
     
  12. Dubai Vol

    Dubai Vol Chieftain

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    Building all cottages is a perfectly good strategy; I've had success with it. I have also done well with all farms and lots of specialists.. I have even started out with all farms, and then added cottages late when I was up against the happy cap and my next Great Person was going to cost 6000++

    The improvements I have yet to master are the windmills and watermills. Anyone have any tips n how to best use them? I inherit a lot as the AI uses them, but almost never build them myself....
     
  13. Jerrymander

    Jerrymander Epistemologist

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    Watermills are godly with State Property. They provide +1 food, and at least +1 hammer. +1 with some other techs (Chemistry?) and +2C with electricity. I think Watermills are the single best tile improvement, but they can only be built on squares that have access to a river on one full side of the square. :(
     
  14. fed1943

    fed1943 Chieftain

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    Farms are good to support mines, or specialists, to whip, to grow fast until the happy or
    health cap.

    Best regards,
     
  15. Khift

    Khift Chieftain

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    If you run SP then hell yes, watermills are the single best improvement and should be made on every tile you can. But, unless I'm play a total warmonger game I hate SP, because it turns off Sid's Sushi and Mining Inc., both of which are collectively a far! greater boost to your empire than access to uber watermills and workshops are.


    Back on topic, I see very little to no reason why a cottage city would ever farm anything. Typically the only time a cottage city needs extra food is if it is lacking in food resources and is near alot of hills, in which case windmill spam is much better for the overall effectiveness of the city than farming is. However, as stated, farms are vital to GP cities and production cities.
     
  16. Ceritoglu

    Ceritoglu Janissary

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    Completely offtopic, but I can't help but admire what looks like such an epic game there (judging by the map, the date, the gold, the research, your absolute domination of everyone else, etc.)
     
  17. Kesshi

    Kesshi Chieftain

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    Thank you, Ceritoglu.

    But it isn't all that impressive because it's just noble. Whenever I fool around with a new strategy I play on noble to get the feel of it. If I make some crazy errors I can usually recover. That game was the first time I was trying to use a specialist economy on a large scale map. I'd had experience with smaller empires and SEs, but up until that game I hadn't really pushed for a large scale ( >8 cities ) SE. Quite honestly, if I were to replay the game with the same settings, I bet I could improve upon it. I wasn't even using Caste System in that game and have since learned how to use Caste System better.

    I just recently beat my first Deity game, in which I nabbed a holy city to block off one of my opponents. This city was far away and started with a city maintenance of 14! Along with the absurd amount of troops I had to keep around the city, my empire nearly went bankrupt before I even learned currency. Also, that city was only about 5 spaces from the enemy's capital, where he was wonderspamming. Meaning I had to focus on Culture buildings to not lose that city to culture, while holding off huge armies every few hundred years, and rebuild. Anyways, during this game I utilized cottages and specialists together. I didn't have time to grow my cities to the full level that farms would support, but that doesn't mean I didn't use farms, either. If I needed a quick burst of food, I'd swap to a few farms I placed just for that purpose. Most every city was placed near mountains and seafood. If I needed to change the city over to a production city, I'd work farms and mines. Once I got the building I wanted built, I'd swap back to cottages, seafood, and specialists. So while I primarily used Cottages that game, I ended up making great use of farms, even if they weren't being worked most of the time.

    I don't think I would have figured out that strategy in noble game because I wouldn't have ever needed to do-so. Wasn't it Plato who said "Necessity is the mother of invention"? ;)

    To swing this back on topic, I'm going to play some more deity games and I'll fool around with different farm + cottage mixes. It seems that early game commerce can be maximized by utilizing BOTH cottages and farms, but not exclusively either one.
     
  18. Bob-san

    Bob-san Noble

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    That game looks awesome. I'm not very good in Civ, and I usually lose outright in Noble. I tried Earth 18 Civ for the first and second times today. I'll try with Asoka, after seeing what you did. Wow... Future Tech 4 by the 1600s. Marathon speed, correct?
     
  19. johnny5000

    johnny5000 Chieftain

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    This is how I play:

    To get every tile worked in a city, each tile needs to average 2 food.
    So if you have a plain (1 food), you should farm it to bring it up to 2 food. If you can't farm it, then farm a grassland (2 food) to bring it up to 3 food, and they balance out.
     
  20. Minor Annoyance

    Minor Annoyance Chieftain

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    I find it very hard to believe than anyone could play this game for any length of time an always have cities surrounded entirely by grasslands! Has no one played on the Great Plains map script? Or highlands? Or my map which originally had so many plains it was almost unplayable? (http://forums.civfanatics.com/downloads.php?do=file&id=6813)
    Really it's hard to believe anyone could go so long without running into plains or a hill.
     

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