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Workshops and Watermills

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Theruss, Dec 19, 2010.

  1. Theruss

    Theruss Warlord

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    Out of all the tile improvements. I rarely build these two.


    The extra hammers from the workshop is nice, but put it on the grassland and you only get 1 food, and zero food on a plain. I try to make a city gather as much food as possible. More citzens equals more income, more specialists and thus more great people, and an extra citzen to work the mines to get almost the same hammers as if they were working a workshop anyway.


    Now, the watermill... most if not all my grassland tiles by a river has cottages on them. Seems the only time where a watermill is sometimes useful is on a plain beside a river, that doesn't have a cottage or a farm on it.


    I would just like to hear some opinions on these two improvements, as I rarely build them, but perhaps I should build more of them in certain instances, not sure.
     
  2. lymond

    lymond Rise Up! (Phoenix Style!) Hall of Fame Staff

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    I build workshops and watermills A LOT. However, they only become effective after a certain point in the game when you have certain techs. Also, you need to consider city specialization as far as where you build the in certain cities.

    Workshops need Guilds, Chemistry to become effective. However, Caste System also adds +1 hammer if in the civic which may provide some effectiveness on plains tiles earlier than usual if you run it. State Property Civic adds +1 food to Workshops which is great late.

    Watermills need at least Rep Parts to really rock. Also, Electricity boosts the commerce output as well as the Medicine civic. I agree that they are quite nice on plains riverside tiles in production cities once you have Machinery. You can also put them on Floods Plains too in a production city. I don't build watermills on grassland riverside before Rep Parts unless in expectation of growing on them later if pop is working enough already. (FIN watermills are pretty nice after Electricity and comparable to towns with the food/hammer conversion)

    On that note, I do build these improvements in expectation of growing on to them later when the techs/civics come in. Consider that say a production city is around size 10 to 15 mid-game, but will slowly grow to 20 to 30 later by the time all the techs I mention are in place. Having those improvements laid down already makes the cities instantly productive.

    Also, consider that the huge workshop/watermill boost later in hammer cities offsets the need to use slavery. You can get some pretty whopping hammer cities once they grow onto all these hammers.

    One downside to watermills is that you can't build them on every riverside tile, i.e., they can't be adjacent to one another. Workshops can be built on any improvable flat tile.

    Lastly, a ploy late game in the space race is to workshops/watermill over cottages for parts building once you have all your techs in place.

    Well, you usually try to setup a GP farm to do most of this GPP work. Not that you won't run specialists in other cities. Workshops and watermills are about boosting your high production cities and are very effective late game. Build Windmills on Mines and grow onto your workshops. SP and plains workshops are equal to a grassland mine - if running Caste it's 5H. It's all about balance really and getting the most out of these cities.
     
  3. kossin

    kossin Deity

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    Even under Emancipation, cottages take a whooping 40 turns to mature into Towns... in the meantime, cottage cities will have small production and small food surplus.

    OTOH, a workshop gets its full potential after it's built. Same for watermill and windmill.

    Now tell me, what improvement are you likely to use in a recently captured city?
    The one that will make your city contribute to your empire within 10 turns or the one that will take 50+ turns?
     
  4. obsolete

    obsolete Deity

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    wtf?!.....
     
  5. Theruss

    Theruss Warlord

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    Interesting. I think I am still used to CIVIII where food is everything. Put the cottages down on grassland and beside rivers because I don't want to lose any food by putting down workshops. I think I focus on growth way too much.


    Keep in mind, I don't have a whole lot of experience, but don't captured cities that have towns still stay as towns after you conquer them from another Civ? As for watermills, by the time I get them, most of my rivers have cottages beside them. Except plains tiles beside rivers.


    I am starting to think I don't specialize my cities, they are all generic trying to do everything and not excelling at anything in particular. Need to make one city focus on growth and commerce, one for production, one for great people, and so on and so forth.
     
  6. obsolete

    obsolete Deity

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    Ewwwwww yuk.
     
  7. lymond

    lymond Rise Up! (Phoenix Style!) Hall of Fame Staff

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    ^^^^:lol::lol::lol:



    Doing this will change your life and make you a better person ;)


    By the way, Food is VERY important in CIV4 (are you confused yet)


    ---As for Kos' comment....yes, towns stay, but I believe he's referring to other improvements you may put down in a city captured later in the game OR you may just decide reconfigure the city's purpose based on your land or need of the empire or victory condition.
     
  8. ColossusXXIII

    ColossusXXIII Warlord

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    wow i actually agree with obsolete on something...


    @OP

    if you aren't building workshops and watermills, you are missing out big time on some of the best tile improvements in the game. Once I'm running sp, I have no qualms whatsoever, about replacing a town with a watermill. Especially on grassland river:D extra food+hammers are worth way more than gold at that juncture anyways. Plus with the right techs as mentioned, you barely take a hit at all financially. also once global warming starts wiping your farms out watermills+sp will save your empire from starbation. Although that's rarely a major factor. Also if I have sp and not biology, I start replacing even riverside farms with watermills sometimes (depending on irrigation). Anyways everyone above me gave excellent reasons and feedback, listen to them.
     
  9. Yoshi1

    Yoshi1 Warlord

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    It's simple, your commerce cities (most deity players prefer to have only around 2 if not isolated) must have their cottages early to make good use of them.
    After a certain point, cottages become less efficient, and workshops start to shine (due to caste system and the mentioned techs).

    A combination of farms/workshops and Caste/Nationhood makes it possible for average cities to produce quality units very fast.
     
  10. Iranon

    Iranon Deity Whipping Boy

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    No improvement is truly good without the appropriate civics. If you use State Property, both become quite good... in fact, with Caste System and State Property you should not work farms and mines:

    1 farm, 2 mines gives you 2:food:6:hammers:
    1 workshop, 2 windmills gives you 2:food:6:hammers:2-6:commerce:

    They may be worth using without State Property. Corporation food can easily render additional farms excessive, watermills can certainly compete with non-optimised cottages. Depending on the local food surplus and whether you run Caste System, even workshops may be worth considering.

    *

    Workshops and watermills aren't spectacular in the most *powerful* lategame economies that break corporations and/or rushbuying... but those require a lenthy set-up and/or investing in butter when guns are more tempting.
    Beelining Communism and using them extensively is a practical alternative... appropriate, the underlying thought is 'that'll do until I win'.
     
  11. peppe1

    peppe1 Warlord

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    Really depends on how you develop your empire and which civics you end up in. Also Cottage heavy empires are not likely to go down the tech path that improves workshops, so if that is your style that is probably why you don't see a use for them.

    Whipping under Slavery civic is the best source of production early game. It gets less efficient as the city size increases. Usually the final item i whip is Universities, then I switch into caste system.

    My tile improvements are then mainly farms on grassland and workshops on plains. Citizens mostly work farms and run as Specialists providing most of the beakers per turn. When it is time for war prep the specialists go onto the workshops.

    My personal window for actually working workshops is typically a few techs before going after liberalism. I like to setup Steel from liberalism, which takes me down the tech path that starts accumulating the bonuses to workshops (guilds+chemistry, 1h each). After whipping in enough universities for Oxford I switch to caste system, which is another +1h to workshops. I start building them on plains prior to working them. Usually they are 4h/0f when i start working them. Then at chemistry they go to 5h/0f (+1 plains, +1 workshop, +1 caste, +1 guilds, +1 chemistry). A war or two later and you get the state property civic to reduce your empire maintenance and add +1f to all your workshops... almost like you planned it that way not bad ;)

    The other use of workshops is late game space race. You can start converting cities to pure production to turn out space parts by work-shopping just about everything in sight.

    Watermills are just a strong balanced tile, so can help in just about any game situation.
     
  12. kossin

    kossin Deity

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    Specialize... if that means raze a town, do it.

    If your empire is hammer heavy, commerce low a 2F5C tile (riverside grass town) is far outweighed by a workshop/watermill.
    Keeping towns when you are not in US+Free Speech is not really a good idea, your non-town tiles will not benefit from those civics... bulldoze over towns and get better improvements.

    But if you are going FS+US... by all means keep towns you capture. It's the best improvement IF you have the Kremlin (although you may want to bulldoze them still to build SS parts!).
     
  13. Gabethebabe

    Gabethebabe Chieftain

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    Watermills and Workshops are awesome.

    The terrain improvement I hardly build is the Lumbermill - I usually have chopped everything in sight, unless when I´m planning a National Park City (in which case I will be building forest preserves).
     
  14. christopher1234

    christopher1234 Warlord

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    usually by the time i have all the neccesary techs i just automat my workers and let them rearrange everything how they please.i mostly always start in the beginning by cottaging everything and have a few farms inbetween for my gp,s.

    its also at this stage when i automat my workers that i prepare my war machine and take all the juicy lands wonders and best production/research cities imaginable for free for nothing completely from the weak als.
     
  15. WelshGandalf

    WelshGandalf King

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    I like to build farms one side of a river & cottages the other.

    Later in the game, replace the farms with watermills. You can't build them both sides of the river anyhow.
     
  16. drlake

    drlake Emperor

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    It is starting to seem like the fewer cottages I build, the better I do. I'm sure obsolete would think I'm foolish for thinking that, though...
     
  17. Gwynnja

    Gwynnja Deity

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    That's not really the best way to specialize your cities...
     
  18. WelshGandalf

    WelshGandalf King

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    @drlake.... hmmm maybe it's some sort of evolutionary bell-curve? I have been explaining to my warlord-playing friend about how great cottages are & their economic importance. I'm Prince-Monarch myself and I use them a lot... and to be truly great, you have to stop using them again? :p

    @Gwynnja, It means I can grow the cities nicely whilst growing the cottages too.

    Look at it in reverse - if you were planning to put lots of watermills in your city, what would you put on the other tiles? Farms? cottages? Workshops maybe? Watermills (with the relevant techs) give both hammer & commerce benefits. So you could argue that to really specialise your cities, you shouldn't have any watermills....
     
  19. michmbk

    michmbk Emperor

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    From my experience, you can do fine with heavy cottaging even at immortal level - that's often my approach if the land allows it, with at least one strong GP farm city. I can't speak for deity, because no matter what I try on that level, I'm severely outclassed.
     
  20. drlake

    drlake Emperor

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    I do build cottages early, especially to deal with recovery after a war of expansion, but I'm much more willing to farm them over and run specs. Of course, when I get my hands on the Pyramids, then it's all specs, all the time. I'm playing at Emp+ now, and I think the real issue is city specialization matters more, and that many cities are not well specialized as commerce cities.
     

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