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Work Boats: build them quickly or slowly?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Percy, Sep 6, 2007.

  1. Percy

    Percy Cow who laughs

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    The title says it all =)
    When i have a coastal start with seafood, i usually build boats asap (which is on turn 0, or as soon as i get Fishing, which is the first tech i research in this case).
    But there are different ways of building a boat, by managing the tile(s) you work. For example, i've ran a number of simulations for a couple of starts i've rolled, and every single time, it seemed to be much more efficient when i worked the tiles that allowed me to get the boat out asap. Typically (luckily?), this would be a forested hill plains tile. From my calculations, i came ahead in food, hammers, AND commerce when i did roughly the following:
    - hammers first to get the boat out, even if it means stopping growth
    - grow to size 2
    - again work as many hammers as possible to get the second boat out
    - grow again
    - etc if you have more than 2 seafood.

    What do you think? How do you make the choice? What is your experience? Thank you =)
     
  2. DaveMcW

    DaveMcW Deity

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    If you have Fishing, Fish, and a forest plains hill, working the hill is obviously the best choice.

    It gets trickier when you are missing one or more of those. :)
     
  3. slobberinbear

    slobberinbear Ursine Skald

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    I build the first boat just like you, with a high hammer tile. Then I work the seafood tile to grow to size 2 while building the second boat. Once I hit size 2, I keep working the seafood tile but work a high hammer tile with it. My rationale is that I want to keep growing and get the benefit of some commerce to get me to bronze working faster.

    If I have more than two seafood tiles, I will usually only build two boats until I can raise my happiness caps or if I am using the whip heavily, in which case I want maximum food.
     
  4. madscientist

    madscientist RPC Supergenius

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    I concur with both. Build the boat with a forrested hill, work the seafood tile until size 2, then build the second boat by working the fishfarmed and forrested hill tile.
     
  5. Ankh

    Ankh Warlord

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    The earlier the WB is completed the better. Work a 3:hammers: tile if you can, stunting growth. Then grow to size two, working sea food.
     
  6. Percy

    Percy Cow who laughs

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    the funny thing is, people say "Boats > Workers because they don't stop growth", that's why i asked the question in the first place. In the end i find myself stunting my growth too =)
     
  7. carl corey

    carl corey Deity

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    Yeah, but that's only for the first boat. If you do want to build something after it, like a second boat, a scout, a warrior to guard your settler to your second city, you can do all that while growing really fast. Once you get the worker done you're still stuck with (at most) a +3 food tile. With the workboat fishing you'll have a high food tile instantly growing as fast as you want between worker/settler builds.
     
  8. slobberinbear

    slobberinbear Ursine Skald

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    Ironic. But on many occasions where you're in a position to build a boat right away (you have Fishing and a seafood tile), you probably wouldn't have anything for the worker to do right away anyway.

    And besides, the growth is only slowed/stopped for the first boat, after which you can work the first seafood tile.

    My argument for Boats > Workers (with a seafood start, of course) is that a worker can't always improve a tile in the BFC to 4 or 5 food and 2 commerce (what you get with seafood) with the starting techs at your disposal. The best case scenario for a worker out of the gate is an irrigated food source (or some calendar resources) on a river, and it assumes that you start with or will finish agriculture as the worker is completed. Of course, later techs enable better yielding worker improvements, but the one-shot workboat is still a winner for getting early food and commerce going.
     
  9. Percy

    Percy Cow who laughs

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    Oh, i agree with all of you guys =)
    I was just wondering if i was indeed making the good choice and reasoning when doing that, because of the comment about "growing while building a boat" when i found it was, in fact, optimal to stop growth to build a boat faster. I was curious if any of you would have indicated that it was better to use, i dunno, a forest or whatever.
     
  10. alvan

    alvan Chieftain

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    As somewhat of a civ4 beginner I say go for growth first. If I dont play a nation with mysticism as starter tech (practicly impossible to found budd/hinduism) I like to get the commerce as fast as possible so that I can found Judaism fast. And if you say have a river+dester (the 3 :food: 1 :commerce:) tiles, I always pick that one first. After that I pick any resource at the coast ( 2 :food: 2 :commerce:) and then 3rd tile will be whatever is possible with hight food/commerce.

    I always go for maxsize in my capitol (prince, so thats usually 5 or 6 with religion) before I start a settler. Dunno if thats the wisest thing to do :)
     
  11. slobberinbear

    slobberinbear Ursine Skald

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    I've tried building the boat slowly (working a 2 or 3 food tile until size 2, then adding a hammer tile) and at medium speed (working a plains forest tile for 1 F 2H), but the fast boat is the best. Love that early game food/commerce from seafood!

    By the way, this topic is one of the reasons I love playing as America ... I start with both Agriculture and Fishing, so I almost always have an immediate way to get some food going, and I'm two steps closer to Pottery and Sailing for even more food growth.
     
  12. slobberinbear

    slobberinbear Ursine Skald

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    The problem is that the longer you delay improving your tiles, the longer it takes you to get your empire up and running and new cities settled. That's why a lot of folks build a worker or workboat right away, or at the latest when the city is size 2. The short term benefit of growing quickly (without improving your land) doesn't pay off in the long run. Although I suppose if you started with a bunch of floodplains you could grow to size 3 or 4 and hope to research Bronze Working, then whip out a worker.

    Generally speaking, though, even if you have great land to start, that land can always be made better by a worker or a workboat.
     
  13. Ankh

    Ankh Warlord

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    Alvan: Ofcourse if you want an early religion work a tile with as high :commerce: as possible. But the price you pay for that religion is slower growth of your cities and empire, you have to decide if it's worth it and what path to walk.
     
  14. futurehermit

    futurehermit Deity

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    You always want to improve food asap because that increases your rate of growth overall. With a coastal start, that means getting a workboat asap although if you don't start with fishing, but do start with ag and you also happen to have a farmable (rice/wheat/corn) then worker first while teching fishing is a good plan. In that case bw will be next cuz you can start whipping asap with that much food
     
  15. Roland Johansen

    Roland Johansen Deity

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    There is no clear best in the question workboat or worker. It very much depends on the situation.

    If there are land food resources that can be improved and sea food resources that can be improved, then the situation becomes the most difficult. The advantage for the workboat is that it only costs half as much. The advantage for the worker is that it can improve multiple tiles without disappearing. And thus it depends on the amount of work that is available for the worker when it is finished.

    In my last game as the Dutch, I started with 2 sea food resources (clam) and wheat (with fresh water) and pigs. It was a good starting position, allthough the surrounding lands turned out to be pretty poor. The Dutch start with access to farming and fishing, so you can directly build workboats and improve the wheat tile with a worker. I calculated the optimum path and if I remember correctly it was workboat -> worker (so no growing to size 2 before building the worker) while researching mining and bronze working. The improved sea food resource helped to build the worker quicker and the commerce from the tile helped research bronze working quicker. The worker could first improve the wheat and could then start chop rushing the massive forests around the capital as bronze working was just finished at that point in the game. After the worker, the second workboat was build. The city was growing very quickly at that point. Pop rushing from the slavery civic was also very valuable. Only then did I research animal husbandry to be able to improve the pigs tile.
    The huts that I discovered (all 5 of them) gave maps or barb uprisings, so no discovered technologies to quicken the research path.

    It is clear that when building a workboat, then building a workboat with maximum production is best. The earlier that the workboat is finished, the earlier that you can use that valuable tile.
     
  16. slobberinbear

    slobberinbear Ursine Skald

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    Another random workboat thought:

    The fact that the workboat is a one-shot unit (used up after it builds the seafood improvement) means that its relative is value is less the longer it takes to build it. In other words, if you take 10 turns longer to build it, you'll never get the extra 20 food and 10 commerce (+2F+1C/turn). Ever.

    Put another way, you are transforming 30 hammers now (the cost of the boat) into a future stream of 2 food and 1 commerce per turn. Why not make that stream as long as possible by building the boat faster?
     
  17. Percy

    Percy Cow who laughs

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    Ah, but precisely, one could argue that by growing your city you can best prepare for a worker, for example (i'm not saying it's the case, i'm saying one could intuitively think that).
    For example, if i were to try and counter your argument, i'd say that this is valid with a Worker, because a worker stunts growth to improve a virtually infinite number of tiles, but since a Workboat disappears after being used, the efficiency of not growing your one and only city might be questionable.

    Anyway, as i've said before, i do try and get my boats out asap =)
     
  18. slobberinbear

    slobberinbear Ursine Skald

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    I'm fascinated by the distinction between production capacity (PC) and production (P). Civ rewards us in the long-term when we invest in our PC. The catch is that we also want to produce stuff that lets us win the game.

    Early rush strategies are all about P -- chopping and whipping a force of units to defeat the other guy and take his PC. Conversely, the various beeline strategies are invariably about PC -- acquiring an advantage that lets you produce something new or more of what you already have.

    The game favors a balance between P and PC, though at different stages, one is the predominant focus.

    Sorry for the tangent. :p

    Back on the subject, I'd be interested in a comparison between a city that grows and then whips a workboat or two compared to the city that built the workboats by working a high hammer tile.
     
  19. VoiceOfUnreason

    VoiceOfUnreason Deity

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  20. smatt834

    smatt834 Chieftain

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    tech path is fishing, then straight to bronze. if you don't start with fishing making a worker first is best.

    fastest way to get the boat out is usually make warrior till 1 turn from growing to 2. Then turn on the boat. When u hit population 2 slave the boat. (On quick speed its in general 5-6 turns to grow to population 2) Carryover, if any, will go into warrior which will likely finish 1 or 2 turns after the boat. Then make worker unless you have nothing for him to do which should take 5 turns maybe 6 depending on if its clam or fish or whatever.
    So in 11 to 14 turns you made work boat, warrior and worker. Not too shabby imo.
     

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