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Why spend money on research?


Feb 18, 2002
Trying out the new patch as Japan on Regent. At the beginning of the industrial age I am running a democracy with +700 or so gold per turn profit with science spending at zero. I can get new tech from the AI very cheaply as it trades among itself so often.

So, why spend on research? I am buying improvements in all of the new cities built on captured ground and building cavalry for the next war. Got to get my fifth great leader!

Perhaps things will be different on the harder levels but the way the AI trades tech now makes it a little simple I think.
At some point it is more advantegeous to develop yourself if you can outrun the AI and have Tanks / Modern Armour much earlier. It is much easier for conquest ya know. In the early stages the tech is better bought IMHO.
I don't really understand what you are saying. I should buy it from the AI or research?
Hi Jimmy...deciding to spend your two week vacation from Apolyton at Civfanatics...very wise choice!

As for your question...

I play at emperor difficulty and my tendency is to only put 10 percent into science and direct research towards less popular techs in the hope to have something to swap. But the majority of the time I too rely on buying technology from enemy civs.

The only time that I could see this not being a really worthwhile approach is if you can outresearch the competition without crippling your economy. Only if you can manage that can in really be deemed worthwhile.

Essentially it is as Beammeuppy said: that if you can gain a lead on the A.I nations in tech IF you research then it is worthwhile doing so. Otherwise you should look to purchase tech. Whilst I compromise by buying and swapping the majority of my tech while conducting a minor research program.

In civ2 the fact you could outdo the A.I tech meant that rarely did you exploit the A.I for tech...but I assure you swapping tech in civ, civ2 and alpha centauri has always been a major aspect of my early game.
Hmm.. Kitten, do you know Nell Smith (SMAC player/ACOL poster/English babe)?

Yes, the evil Ming gave me a little vacation.

I may try to play an entire game on Monarch without spending any money on research. Given the way AI tech trading works under the new patch it may be a viable way to play.

I am going to have to abandon my Regent game. It is a won game and playing further is a boring proposition.

I played a bit of a OCC game at Diety but that was a tad rough. I might have to work my way up to that.
Well, this is the opposite side of the coin from the "science broker" strategy. I could just as easily have started a thread entitled "Why tax your people?"

It's a matter of personal preference and necessity. If you never research tech yourself, you're never going to be in the lead technologically. But considering that, if you're already hopelessly behind, then it may be worthwhile to buy your tech instead of reseaching it yourself.

What it all comes down to is supply and demand. Make sure that you are #1 in something -- anything as long as you have an advantage in one area. If you have luxuries, you can sell them for money and tech. If you are in the technical lead, you can sell your techs for money and luxuries. If you generate lots of cash, you can buy your tech and luxuries. If you have a huge military, you can extort or seize what you need. If you have none of the above... damn, start a new game.
Well, I suppose in the early game when you don't have contact with anyone to trade with you might have some problem. Also, your economy is so weak early that trading might be very hard.

I guess we could set this up as a "no research challenge" and see how it goes.
Originally posted by jimmytrick
I don't really understand what you are saying. I should buy it from the AI or research?

In the early stages buy and then sell, if that is still possible with 1.17! The science slider is at 0 to maximize for gold.

When you start to get near Tank development, and if you can outrun the AI develop it yourself and stay ahead as far as possible. Also, if that is still possible with 1.17. I used this approach succesfully on Monarch / 1.16, now the next game is on Emperor / 1.17 so it is difficult to compare. AI goes very fast on techs.

Kitten, thanks for the explanation!
By Firaxian Soren Johnson at Poly
I should clarify that we are concerned about techs progressing too quickly, and you can expect this to be looked at in the future.

The beta testing continues. :D
I turn tech research down to 0% too, and just sell off techs that I buy from one civ. On deity there is no way you can catch up early on, so it's best you buy the techs you need, then get them off the AI when they surrender after a war.
You'll have to excuse IronicWarrior. He's constitutionally incapable of writing a post without throwing the word "deity" in.

Keep trying, IW. Someday protesting too much will inspire belief in your mad skilz.
Originally posted by Jimcat
It's a matter of personal preference and necessity.
The problem is ... You CAN NOT have the tech lead since 1.17, even on WARLORD. I used to have an AGE of advance in regent before that !@# patch.

This is as simple as this : you can not play tech gap anymore. period. :mad:

Damn, I begin to feel like I am some sort of Zouave's clone ranting every 30 minutes about the tech speed in the new patch :D

Sorry about that, it just spoils the fun too much for me :(

Originally posted by Ironikinit
You'll have to excuse IronicWarrior. He's constitutionally incapable of writing a post without throwing the word "deity" in.

Keep trying, IW. Someday protesting too much will inspire belief in your mad skilz.

Here it is again: 'deity'

By the way you still haven't told me how you did when you played that game using my tips. In that thread on Apolyton where you said I was a liar? If you think I'm lying, go try it out yourself. Of course you'll just reply (assuming you bother at all) with another post attempting to laugh off what I say. I guess that's your choice.
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