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Windmills or Mines

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by t1footsoc, Aug 18, 2008.

  1. t1footsoc

    t1footsoc Chieftain

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    I find myself building only mines on hills no matter if it is grassland, plain, desert or tundra. Should I try to strike a balance between the two? I guess I'm holding out on discovering gold or silver or something like that later on.
     
  2. Joshua368

    Joshua368 Warmongering builder

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    No, mines are far superior. Hills are great for production, there's no need to waste that. You only time you need windmills is if your city's strapped for food, otherwise let grassland and ocean get food and commerce.
     
  3. Rusten

    Rusten Deity

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    Windmills are great in the later stages of the game when you've unlocked the techs/civic boosting them. I usually change my mined hills into windmills once electricity/rep. parts is in--enviromentalism and/or the financial trait make them even more desireable. They also benefit more from GAs.

     
  4. SnowlyWhite

    SnowlyWhite Emperor

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    mines all the way; transition to windmills post electricity(if it's the case - if you already have the game in the bag, why bother...).
     
  5. BalbanesBeoulve

    BalbanesBeoulve Emperor

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    Windmills when they first become available are pretty horrible.

    I do like riverside windmills after replaceable parts with financial civs though, as they give you 3 commerce even before electricity.

    This is the best use of windmills i've ever had.


    Spoiler :


     
  6. foobarred

    foobarred Monarch

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    For unspecialized cities I find that windmills and waterwheels to be superior in the later stages of the game. I generally view 1 :food: = :commerce: = 1:hammers:, so when I see that by converting to a mine to a windmill nets me more "stuff" then I do it.

    The exception is if I need to emphasize production or deemphasize food in a city.
     
  7. mboettcher

    mboettcher General

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    depends on the city's access to food. If the city has a plethora of food and how valuable specialists are under one's economy. why not go for windmills because grassland windmills are self sustaining. Under state property one probably wants mines for a couple of reason. It keeps the pop down and you don't have as much healthiness as Enviromentalism. PLus hammers are really valuable under enviro.

    If you're running merc then maybe mines are a good idea too for similar reasons to
     
  8. mboettcher

    mboettcher General

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    :food: :commerce: and :hammers: are most definately not equal to each other. :food: is by far the most valuable because it is worth either half a specialist which can be either (base) one :hammers:, 1.5 :wealth: or 1.5 :beakers: with an additional 1.5 :beakers: and 1.5 GPP (not to mention 1/2 vote). If you're working squares the food can be worth even more when towns come into play.

    Then again this is only if the city has the opportunity to exploit this food andhas not saturated its available pool.
     
  9. MyOtherName

    MyOtherName Emperor

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    Except when they're not. :p

    Only in some combinations of eras/technologies/civics. For example, with caste system, state property, and chemistry, the best possible production city without any special bonuses is 18 flat grassland and 2 flat plains. (use 20 workshops)



    Windmills/watermills are really good improvements for maximizing production when they get their bonuses at replaceable parts, because farms are terrible at that point in the game: farms give 1 :food: while windmills/watermills/mines/forest+lumbermill all give either 1 :food: 1 :hammers: or 2 :hammers:.

    The relevant thing to look at is the opportunity cost of food versus production -- you need to select your improvements to maximize the number of hammers you get per food you give up. At replaceable parts, we have:

    Giving up a farm for a watermill = -1 :food: +2 :hammers:
    Giving up a windmill for a mine = -1 :food: +1 :hammers: (+ commerce)

    From which we see that watermills are preferable to mines if you want to maximize production. Accordingly, we replace our farms with watermills as much as we can, and replace our mines with windmills to compensate.

    If we happen to have caste system and chemistry, we also have:
    Giving up a farm for a workshop = -2 :food: +4 :hammers:


    After getting biology, things equalize out in terms of production, but windmills/watermills remain slightly superior because of their commerce bonus. Mines only become desirable again if you are not running state property and you have railroads. (Or just can't find any other efficient way to spend your food)
     
  10. CivCorpse

    CivCorpse Supreme Overlord of All

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    I find windmills most useful in food poor cities with lots of hills pre-biology, or even post biology in some cases. i prefer to settle in places with 2 food specials or enough grassland to support the mines. But this is not always possible on some maps. There are times when crappy early windmills mean the difference between a little city or a medium city. Or medium grows slowly to large. :D which means better trade routes and more citizens to whip if needed.
     
  11. oddTodd

    oddTodd Chieftain

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    It takes 4 :food: to run 1 specialist. 2 :food: to work the tile, and 2 :food: to support the specialist. But you are right: One additional food, assuming you have enough to work the tile, is worth a half a specialist. Regardless, :hammers: are the hardest to come by, and have the fewest bonus buildings for most of the game :)science: has monastery, library, university, observatory; :commerce: has grocer, market, bank; :hammers: has forge). You can never have enough :hammers:. So mines > windmills, assuming you have enough food elsewhere to work the tiles.
     
  12. DaveMcW

    DaveMcW Deity

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    Windmills win if you are in a golden age, otherwise mines.
     
  13. Bostock

    Bostock King

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    Depends on the map and the phase of the game. Start the game among too much water, calendared brown land, or tundra, and food is by far the hardest to come by. Or to look at it another way, in those situations there tend to be some hills to convert your paltry food to a relatively high hammer count (for your size), but low commerce, or vice-versa.

    But the real phase of the game in the question is the windmill period, of course. :) Workshops have gotten into full swing by that point or soon will (and CS is starting to compare better to slavery due to your cities maturing), the first hammer multiplier building has arrived (along with engineers), and you might be getting AP hammers or bonus priest hammers. So no, in that phase hammers aren't the hardest to get... especially since food is starting to run thin by that point (maturing cities) and biology is ages away.

    That said, I usually mine almost everything anyway. I'm a sucker for resource pops :lol: and my workers tend to be forced to improve every square before Guilds for lack of anything else to do, and then I am too lazy for windmilling over my mines once windmills improve.

    Nah, you can never have enough food. If you have food, you almost always have hammers. If you don't have hammers from your food, it at least brings you quick-maturing cottages, GPP, or what have you.
     
  14. krushgroove

    krushgroove Chieftain

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    This thread has been great for my note-taking...I'm always confused about what to switch to at particular time, and I'm always changing leaders/civs so this has been a great help.
     
  15. mirthadir

    mirthadir Emperor

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    I could be wrong here, but I think when running US and Environmentalism (thanks to the UN mostly) windmills have a better net return. With the Kremlin, slavery, and nationalism as well; windmills food and commerce can be leveraged into more drafted infantry, more rush buys, and more whips.

    Taking the obvious best case scenario, let's say you are running US, Nat, Slav, Envir, and FR. You own the Kremlin. You are going for a transoceonic war with arty and infantry or infantry and air power. Which is better mines or mills?
     
  16. Artichoker

    Artichoker Emperor

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    Windmills and Mines are both great in the late game. I will tend to prefer one over the other in certain situations:

    1) If there's a shortage of workable tiles, usually because of shared tiles with a neighboring city, then using Windmills can provide the extra food to feed half of a specialist. This happens more often when I have exceeded the health cap. The extra commerce is a nice bonus, as well.

    2) If it's a production city, then I'll want to use Mines to maximize production, with the help of railroads. Or, in special cases, there is a resource such as Coal, Aluminum, or Uranium that requires a Mine to uncover it.
     
  17. DaveMcW

    DaveMcW Deity

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    Yes, Kremlin messes up the balance of commerce/hammers. :p
     
  18. Diamondeye

    Diamondeye So Happy I Could Die

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    You're doing it wrong.

    No, seriously, you should specialize all of your cities.

    Ontopic, I tend to use windmills rather often even if it isnt smart. :king:
     
  19. mirthadir

    mirthadir Emperor

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    But even without the Kremlin mills still can beat mines under environmentalism, unless I'm missing something.

    Fully ganked mines are +3 :hammers: while fully ganked windmalls are +1:hammers: +1 :food: and +4 :commerce: (5 :commerce: if financial)

    At late game I'm going to say 1 :food: ~= 1 :hammers: given the ease with which engineers can be run (I'm ignoring the marginal cost on unhealthiness, but also the marginal benefit of 1.5 GPP) , the ability to swap three mines -> windmalls and then convert a farm into a WS, or the ability to get two mills and swap a farm to a soon to be town. This then leaves me with 4 :commerce: vs 1 :hammers: . Given the base ratio of rush buying, it looks to me that US and Environmentalism beg you to mill over your mines.

    At least my plan whenever I lose control of the UN and end up "forced" into the bottom row civics is mill both rivers and hills while cottage spamming everything else (once food concerns are corrected). Unless, I'm missing something this appears to be the most effective strat; but I might be totally misvalueing the various outputs. Is there something I've screwed up or missed?
     
  20. DaveMcW

    DaveMcW Deity

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    Yeah, that makes sense. I don't think I have ever actually used Environmentalism.
     

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