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Windmills vs. Mining of Hills

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Trout, Aug 6, 2020.

  1. Pangaea

    Pangaea Rock N Roller

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2010
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    6,016
    Interesting that you mention Kremlin. It's a great wonder, absolutely no doubt about it. However, I find that in that period I rarely run slavery (unless in a sushi game, where cold whipping execs and settlers is great!), so it's kind of a waste if I capture it, and I don't often build it myself any more. It's not cheap, and if I don't run slavery any more, it's just a waste of hammers.

    Would be different with spiritual civs, though. Easy to make a bout of whipping factories for example.
     
    6K Man likes this.
  2. nate46

    nate46 Warlord

    Joined:
    May 31, 2016
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    I usually just spam mines for that sweet, sweet 1 in 10000 chance of hitting silver... If you work enough mines per turn, its actually more likely than you think... if you can work 100 mines over 100 turns, you'll find that silver, more likely than not.

    But seriously, let's think this through:

    The real question is this: let's say a city reaches happy cap or runs out of things to work and so it doesn't need as much food as it has. What's better:
    (A) Turn a farm into a workshop
    (B) Turn a windmill into a mine.

    So you have several stages in the game & strategies to consider:

    After machinery but before anything else relevant.
    At this point in the game, workshops are trash, so why build a windmill if you can just get your food from farms instead? No reason to build a windmill for this stage in the game unless you're desperate for workable squares in a food-starved city.

    After Guilds, Chemistry, and Replaceable parts, but before biology and railroad.
    This is when windmills really shine. Your workshops are now doing real work, so they're your source of hammers, which means you need to make up the food from somewhere. A windmill now has only -1 hammer compared to a mine, while giving +1 food. Better ratio than using a farm over a workshop, while giving more commerce to boot.
    Makes sense to run workshops/windmills at this stage in the game. So if your game plan is to rush cavs or riflemen and then stop teching for a while, then just windmill everything you see.

    After Biology and Railroad
    Now it's back to farms/mines having the advantage.. Turning a farm into a workshop now gives +3 hammers for -3 food, which is not a good ratio, but turning a windmill into a mine gives +2 hammers for -1 food and -1 commerce. So the farm/mine combo is back to being better.
    If you're using mining inc, mines are especially good since the bonus resources are so much more valuable now.

    With State Property & Caste System Economy.
    On one hand, you probably want to run all workshops on all non-riverside flatlands, so if you do that and still need food, its probably better to lose a mine to a windmill than a workshop to a farm.
    On the other hand, you probably don't need a lot of extra food with all the awesome workshops and watermills.
    So you're probably running mostly mines and workshops, with the occasional windmill in a food deprived city.

    After Electricity
    Windmills are probably worth considering again, for the bonus commerce, but I still think mines are better in most cases, since hammers >> commerce in any city without a lot of +sceince mods. Its also probably too late in the game for the free resource pops as big of a factor. Maybe you've had time to build more science buildings to get the mods for extra commerce... if so, go ahead and windmill over some mines.

    ...

    But I think that the chance to pop resources is a non-negligible bonus... it happens even if you turn off events... let's say that you can improve your overall commerce output of your empire by 100 points per turn with the extra happiness from a luxury resource, and there are about 100 turns left in the game, you're missing 2 of silver/gems/gold... each mine then has a 2 in 10000 chance per turn of giving you 10000 commerce over the course of the game... although its backloaded, that's worth more IMO than the 1 commerce/turn from the windmill. Odds get even better if you're running mining inc since you'd be happy to find even non-luxury resources. I feel like if I spam mines everywhere, I usually get about 1 free resource pop per game...

    ...

    anyway, slavery starts to get really bad once city sizes increase and food costs to grow increase and almost every tile is producing large yields. Why whip when you can just build normally and have it done in a couple of turns? I don't think its optimal to run slavery late game.
     
    jmas, Orion Pax, crullerdonut and 3 others like this.
  3. 6K Man

    6K Man Bureaucrat

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    Spoiler :


    Exactly 100 base hammers :)
     
  4. Lennier

    Lennier Emperor

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    Nice, but no mines or windmills.
     
  5. 6K Man

    6K Man Bureaucrat

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    :lol:

    I should have posted that as a reply to
     
  6. SnipedSoul

    SnipedSoul Warlord

    Joined:
    May 30, 2011
    Messages:
    101
    Windmills are nice to help grow cities to max size before switching to mines/workshops. Food neutral tiles really boost pop growth compared to working mines. It requires extra worker turns, but I usually have an abundance of idle workers after chopping down the jungles that plague tropical maps.
     

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