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Why coastal cities are better than inland cities

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by kryat, Jun 4, 2019.

  1. kryat

    kryat Prince

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    I think one of the greatest misconceptions players have about the meta is that coastal cities are terrible in the vast majority of cases. This is demonstrably false. While there’s no questioning that inland cities can be powerful, there’s several reasons to take to the seas, including changes over the last several updates and expansions. For this, I consider that the best cities are those in the city center/harbor/commercial hub triangles on a river.

    -Fisheries and lighthouses are available much sooner than feudalism, and can lead to an incredible amount of food, especially on islands

    -Harbor districts can easily get +4 adjacency (sometimes higher even), which with CH triangles, and the right policy cards, can lead to truly massive amounts of gold in the early game, and plenty of production in the mid game once the T2 building is available. The changes to CS bonuses mean that the gold is earned by all buildings in the harbor (as well as ones in the CH), and often, the gold from seaports is more than what a stock exchange would yield. But the production from the shipyards (+6-12) can make having buildings in both possible. And nothing stops you from having both later.

    -Rivers are often on flood plains near the coast. You build a dam, you get the housing everyone says you need.

    -Oceans are unimprovable, but they have better yields than mountains.

    -Fast access to boats means better opportunities to rush with galleys, which are much stronger than warriors, and can quickly take early cities. Boats are always a great option to conquer with as well because they are unencumbered by terrain.

    -Trade routes between coastal cities are much more profitable than between land-based ones. A coastal, colonial city running robber barons can be swimming in gold.

    -Though they’re only in the late game, the new seasteads and wind turbines are better than the geothermal plant or the solar plant, and help wrap up the game faster.

    All this though, and the real thing is that it’s a false dichotomy. Both inland and coastal cities are powerful, but in different ways. Coastal cities are often richer while inland cities have better early production. You just have to read the map for what’s going to be better for what you’ve been given.
     
  2. Archon_Wing

    Archon_Wing Vote for me or die

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    Fisheries are bad. They require an entire goverment promotion, do not give housing, and waste builder charges. This is of course restricted by amenities.

    And so you can grow big later, but why? Work more ocean tiles? You can work land tiles but why go through all that effort to work that in the first place?

    +4 harbors are good but hardly gamechanging. Having to build both hubs and harbors is redundant since most gold comes from routes and they don't stack.

    Dams are expensive and inland cities can also build dams. And rivers and coastal sites aren't alwayd happening. Besides, this means the river is good, not the coast.

    Rushing galleys is good but assumes the enemy even has cities on the coast even worth taking. If they get chariots, and the city can't be attacked by more than 2 galleys at once, it is going to be a bad time.

    It is true you can develop coastal cities to be good but note everything here requires signifigant investment and most too late to actually have a meaningful impact. I mean I have developed great coastal cities with fisheries and all that but by the time I can do that I am already winning and can do w/e.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2019
  3. SammyKhalifa

    SammyKhalifa Deity

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    Maybe coastal cities should not have harbors count against the district limit by pop
     
  4. Tabarnak

    Tabarnak R.I.P.

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    In mp games it's not about having good coastal cities or not. It's simply having some to only ''survive''. Because when somebody masters the seas it's mostly game over for the others.

    But some games offer really strong coastal approaches, especially with the naval tradition(sooner than the 100% comm hub card) card mixed with the medieval golden age dedication giving science from harbors.

    Agaisnt the AI it's useless to force yourself to get some.

    Maybe Pietato and S1AL can discuss a bit about this subject...
     
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  5. S1AL

    S1AL Warlord

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    :lol:

    MP games have a whole other set of issues, yes. But even for SP, Harbors are about on par with Commercials and the tiles are worse even when improved. Additionally, it's much harder to work in adjacency for other districts with Harbors (barring Lake harbor memes). Food is not that good in Civ6 due to Housing, which is really a problem for non-fresh cities.

    Not to mention it means you have to commit to an additional section of the tech tree.

    There's a reason that there no naval civ regarded as top-tier by virtually the entirety of SP... and that's keeping in mind that I rate England vastly higher than most of the people here.
     
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  6. The googles do nothing

    The googles do nothing Prince

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    FYI, dichotomy means they are different, I had to look it up...:crazyeye:

    Inland empires are better then Coastal empires because you have more access to production and Science adjacency. The one costal civ that is "S tier" is Australia specially because they have the Land Down Under bonus which gives them high adjacency bonus on high appeal tiles - which coast tiles are, and bonus to production to make up for a lack of hills.

    Having said that I think there are a few more benefits to costal cities:
    Several of the 'science' Natural Wonders are costal
    Sea Exploration to pick up era score and CS meets that you may not be able to get by land.
    In MP sometimes the only way to get to a run-away civ is by Sea.
     
  7. Kwami

    Kwami Emperor

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    Builderphile, Duuk and acluewithout like this.
  8. sonicmyst

    sonicmyst Emperor

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    If you factor in disasters, coastal cities are not really powerful.

    I think it will be more interesting if reefs give more science (island cities dont have any sources of science, and it is waste of building Campuses without mountains), Commercial Hubs that gives stacking gold bonus with Harbors, and a policy card that helps better rebuilding of razed coastal tiles after disaster / war.
     
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  9. kryat

    kryat Prince

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    In some ways, coastal cities do not need to have high production, science, or culture (though having each or all of these is certainly possible in a coastal city, depending on the map) because they produce gold: transferable production. Having some cities raking in buckets of gold is useful for other cities in your empire because the inland ones won’t need to produce libraries or universities; instead they can be bought outright immediately, followed by having the inland cities running city projects instead.

    But, it’s flatly untrue that mountains never appear near the coast. Especially with GS’s new continent generation, this is actually a pretty common occurrence.
     
  10. acluewithout

    acluewithout Deity

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    Yeah, no. You don't need Harbours or Coastal Cities to get City State meets. Just a Scout, Missionary or Great Person and embark tech. Ocean Wonders are particularly weak because you usually can't improve buffed tiles.

    Every thread needs more @Victoria .

    Coastal and Harbours would have more value if it was harder to generate gold and trade routes in island Cities. As it stands, Coastal Cities are all about gold, trade and food, and inland cities are about Hammers, Scienxe and Culture... and also gold, trade, food and hammers. That coastal cities can get slightly more gold with a lot of faffing around - and, for all that faffing, no extra trade routes or significant trade buffs - does not make the competitive with an inland city on a river with hills, chops and maybe one mountain tile.

    One easy change would be to require some Civic to be unlocked before markets give you trade routes and maybe just reduce the gold from commercial Hubs and markets generally (markets could maybe change their bonus from flat gold to boosting trade routes to or from this City). I'm sure there are other solutions too.

    Tldr; yeah, Coastal Cities need a buff, but inland cities need to find gold and trade routes harder to get.
     
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  11. Pietato

    Pietato Emperor

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    - Fisheries suck, require a governor promotion, and a governor in the city for their maximum benefits. Extremely not worth it unless you have one viable coastal city.

    - A Commercial Hub uses a district spot and a valuable land square for wonders, and gives very little back.

    - If you only limit yourself to coastal cities on rivers with floodplains, you are going to have 1-2 cities.

    - Mountains are used for their adjacency bonuses, and are not typically in the first few rings.

    - Ships cannot attack inland cities...

    - You only need ONE coastal city to send your trade routes through.

    - Seasteads and coastal turbines come way too late to make a difference.

    - That is not what dichotomy means.


    Of course there is also:

    - DISASTERS - inland cities get MASSIVE benefits from disasters, while coastal cities just get wrecked.

    - PRODUCTION - there is a reason Auckland is so good.

    - GREAT PEOPLE - Admirals suck, Merchants are good.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2019
  12. acluewithout

    acluewithout Deity

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    The underlying problem with Coastal Cities isnt that they're weak (or at least, it's not just that they're weak). The problem is they don't have any unique role or job.

    Inland cities can basically do everything a Coastal City can do (except embark units without a Harbour) and then can also do a whole lot more.

    I mean, for example, Habours + Lighthouses produce roughly the same gold as a CH + Market - but CH isn't on a leaf tech, it's got easier placement, and you'll have better production to build it in an inland city. What is the point of a Coastal City if it's main district (Harbour) is flat out worse than a CH? The comparison gets a bit better once you have Shipyards, but it's not great.

    I don't think this an impossible thing to fix or requires massive changes. I just think coastal cities maybe need a bit of a buff, and I think maybe commercial Hubs and some improvements need to produce a little less gold, so Harbours and Coastal Cities can shine a bit more. And there needs to be better ways to recover from disasters - ideally, fixing districts with Military Engineers and or Gold, so you high production Cities or overall Gold economy can actually support smaller coastal cities.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2019
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  13. Jerovich

    Jerovich Chieftain

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    I'll add my grain of sand.

    Commercial Hubs don't provide food, but land tiles do.

    Harbours may produce more gold early game, but merchants are way better than admirals - when it comes to gold generation.

    Those late game improvements are good-looking, but have nearly to zero impact in the game.

    H + CH triangles may produce a lot of gold - 10 in a good case? - but having to invest in 2 districts that don't stack in trade routes capacity seems unworthy for me.

    I won't mention those fisheries.
     
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  14. S1AL

    S1AL Warlord

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    Re: Hurricanes - This is especially egregious from a realism standpoint, as Hurricanes have significant benefits for coastal areas. If all the other disasters have benefits...
     
  15. The googles do nothing

    The googles do nothing Prince

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    Why would tech Shipbuilding and Cartography without building Galleys or Harbors?

    You can benefit from an Aid Request and have other civs who were smart enough not to build where Hurricanes hit send you money. Then rebuild in the same place that Hurricanes are likely to hit again. :crazyeye:
     
  16. Ziad

    Ziad Emperor

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    I wouldn't say coastal cities are necessarily better than inland cities, but I wouldn't say the opposite either. It depends on the map and civilization.

    I will say that empires that makes use of a coast are stronger than landlocked ones.

    I also don't get the misconception that coastal cities lack production. I mean if you build one in the middle of nowhere then yeah it might not be great, no different than building a city on a massive plain with no hills.

    They do generally have less production but they make up for it with consistently more gold. If you allow a relatively landlocked competitor to engage in naval trade (which is far more lucrative) without stopping them with your presumably stronger navy then you are not playing to your empire's strengths.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2019
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  17. Pietato

    Pietato Emperor

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    Oh, thanks for reminding me:

    GREAT ADMIRALS ARE A MILLION TIMES WORSE THAN GREAT MERCHANTS.

    The difference is a plains city can plant trees and create lumbermills, which are getting buffed. Conservation is not hard to get.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 5, 2019
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  18. Ziad

    Ziad Emperor

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    So can coastal cities so?
     
  19. acluewithout

    acluewithout Deity

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    To be clear, most of my comments are directed at Continent maps. And some Coastal Citiea with a river and the right tiles will be better than an insland City.

    Coastal Cities aren't "bad". You can get good growth and yields out of them. But they do tend to be weaker and less useful than inland cities. I think it's really debatable they produce more gold than an insland City. And even if they do, you then hit this wider problem that there is just so much gold in the game. I can honestly just get so much gold from trading with the AI and a few policy cards.

    The game is just not very tightly balanced around gold. The result is that Coastal Cities just don't have any real clear and unique use case.

    Then you add in that they're particularly vulnerable to loyalty issues and hurricanes, and it all kinda sucks.

    I still build them. I still get value out of them. But they're almost always a sub-optimal strategy beyond one or two, and or except maybe when they're just being settled to maximise available space.
     
  20. ezzlar

    ezzlar Emperor

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    Since you always want more cities, not less, you do not really have to choose between land and coastal cities. You build them all. The only thing that makes me produce more or less is the map layout. Pangaea gets a lot of inland cities since so few can be located by the coast. An archipelago does of course get a lot of coastal cities.
     
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