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Workshops and Watermills

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

  1. Gwynnja

    Gwynnja Deity

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    Bingo.
    However, until you have the relevant techs they're no better than a riverside plains farm. If your city is going to specialize in generating commerce, build cottages, not watermills. If your city is going to specialize in production, build farms early game to feed mines and watermills mid game once you have the relevant techs.
     
  2. WelshGandalf

    WelshGandalf King

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    Sorry I still don't understand.

    My point is, if you want to specialise your cities to the max, then you shouldn't have any watermills, as farms are better for food, workshops are better for hammers and cottages are better for commerce.

    Well exactly, that's why I was saying I aim to farm one side of the river and cottage the other.
     
  3. yanner39

    yanner39 Emperor

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    I too have recently learned the real power of workshops and watermills, mostly watermills. I have been using workshops for a while since I have been making the switch to Caste fairly early.

    Quick question concerning watermills: They become available with Machinery so what is the best strategy to get they up and running? Say I have a river city, should I be farming the riverside tides for fast growth and only replace the farms at say, State property? Should I hold off for replaceable parts or electricity? Does it depend on whether I can afford the worker turns a that point?
     
  4. lymond

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

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    I think that is the first question you ask yourself before Rep Parts. I find watermills to be quite nice after Rep Parts on riverside plains tiles in certain production cities, if you have the food.

    If I have the worker turns I might set up watermills with the expectation that the city will grow on to them later when Rep Parts is in.

    For riverside grassland tiles in production cities - with food to spare - I might workshop them first. These will rock in SP. It really depends on what these cities can handle and the balance between food and caps.

    Also, note that watermills and workshops can really rock in flood plains cities late game.
     
  5. Killroyan

    Killroyan Deity

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    Watermills have been nerfed a lot indirectly in BtS for several reasons.

    First of all there is the levee giving riverside tiles a hammer. Formerly a cottaged riverside grassland would get 1 hammer from running universal suffrage at most. A watermill would give 3 hammers after all techs making it a lot more interesting. That is 200% more hammers. With the introduction of the levee it is 2 hammers versus 4 hammers now which is only a 100% increase.

    Second of all the levee gives all cities enough of a production boost so that watermills are not necessary anymore or can simply be replaced by workshops.

    Third the introduction of coorps made state property less attractive and you need SP to make watermills really interesting.

    Fourth they only boosted workshops in BtS with caste. Watermills should be included in this boost to be honest to make them more attractive. Watermills should also be included in environmentalism with the commerce boost. That would also make them more interesting.

    Fifth, the introduction of the coorps gives you enough food and hammers so that again watermills are less attractive. Watermills were the jack of all trades with food positive with SP, a lot of hammers and a bit of commerce. But the other improvements of the game covered all those points.
     
  6. ColossusXXIII

    ColossusXXIII Warlord

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    if I have state property, I pretty much watermill just about all my riverside farms in almost every city. Especially if I skip biology in favor of military techs. Even with the +1 food from biology, watermill>farm. That late in the game whether your city grows to pop 22 or 25 doesn't really matter. It doesn't really matter if you have 3 specialists or 5. IMO mid-late game is the time where production trumps just about everything else. How long will you sit on those unproductive tiles, before you realize that a modern army takes massive doses of hammers. And unless you play with the peace fairy victory conditions, you need a massive overwhelming force to conquer what's left of the world.

    I'm playing earth 18 (Deity) right now... @ 1400AD or so I had sp+all the necessary techs including electricity, but not biology... I let one of my vassals tech it for me which took a while. In the meantime, I proceeded to watermill just about every riverside tile I could (within reason) and pretty much leveled any towns I had captured in favor of workshops (I never build cottages, maybe 1 every 5-6 cities if I absolutely have to). anyhow the xtra hammers and gold vaulted me into first place by around 1500AD. So I decided to leverage the production/commerce, running an all out war vs. Hatty (with slider still at 100% science) who had just snuck back into 1st place in score. The xtra hammers let me out produce her and the extra gold allowed me to DOW with an awesome military tech lead on her,and everyone else on the map. She just finished rifling as I dow'd. I was already teching rocketry... Not even a close fight for her cap and 2 core cities, and I'm still rollin'... In her cap alone she had 7 wonders, 3 settled gp's + academy, I also got cristo redentor, and 2 other obsolete wonders in the other 2 cities.

    Sorry to drag on, but there is a point to all this. IMO late game you need the xtra hammers+food+commerce from watermills, workshops, and windmills. Early in the game, my cities are always specialized (to me a commerce city is running 4 merchant specs and/or producing wealth). but late game I stop caring about alot of things and just try to max all my cities out in terms of hammers and gold, while maintaining a reasonable or even stagnant growth rate. When i need tanks, tac nukes and gun ships... I certainly get rid of that whole specializing mentality and just spam units in every city just about, until I win. Even my gp farm after a point I just treat like every other city and start building units.

    anyhow my main point is that post sp and b4 bio, you would be foolish not to watermill your farms (Presuming that u have some free worker turns). By doing so, you are boosting your economy tremendously and don't lose any food whatsoever. Also if your absolute goal is to have a true commerce city, cover all those lame cottages with workshops/watermills and build wealth in that city. This allows for a great deal of versatility, because you can switch from building wealth and making tons of gold to building tanks or whatever you need and then switch back when you're done. Whereas with a more traditional commerce city full of cottages (the worst tile improvement in the game IMO), what do you do in war time? Nothing but watch your cities fall one after the other.

    Anyways, it's all situational I suppose as someone pointed out. With corps, sp and these improvements are slightly less vital. But it's like religions early game... you can tech meditation first, but it's such a monarch noob move and you'll likely get smacked pretty early. Corps are the same. Way too much emphasis has to be placed on certain techs and Gp's and then of course spreading them. They're super expensive to set up and get going and overall not worth it at all IMO. If you build 10 corp execs and I build ten tanks, who would win? Oh plus if you have corps and the ai doesn't, they run sp... So good luck spreading them. It's possible to get around Ai sp corp blocks, but not super easy.

    Cottages are too often used as a crutch by less economically proficient players... Riverside cottages, are possibly the worst economic Idea ever. If you can't build WM's/wrkshps/windmills yet, farm and run merchants. Instead of cottage spamming... Even if you made the error of choosing a FIN leader, avoid the river cottage...
     
  7. TheWilltoAct

    TheWilltoAct I am observe

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    Of course workshops won't let you take advantage of the many wealth and science multipliers.

    And what about the rush buy economy?
     
  8. lymond

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

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    what about that hammer economy?
     
  9. thbrown81

    thbrown81 Warlord

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    I have to say that Colossus's post captures what I love about Civ IV. There are many players who would argue just as vigorously that cottages are the best possible tile improvement (Besides a riverside town, what other tile can give you 2F2H8G?) and that FIN leaders are the best in the game. Personally, I think either method can be very viable depending on the map and the way the game develops. Bottom line, there's no specific strategy that's optimal 100% of the time.
     
  10. ColossusXXIII

    ColossusXXIII Warlord

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    That's what I love about civ as well, there are a plethora of ways to go about the game, Also you are obviously correct, in that no strat is optimal 100% of the time. However some strats are more consistent and viable than others, even if it's not a 100% of the time. As for the people who would argue for the case of FIN or cottage spam, I believe I referred to them as "monarch noobs".

    The bottom line for me is versatility-

    with a cottage spam city, it is difficult to build infrastructure and armies. Population growth is also stifled, and using slavery makes less sense as you're removing citizens from those precious towns and growing back much slower. Also the million or so turns, that it takes for a town to mature makes it much less interesting.

    With a hammer city, you have many, many options... you can quickly put up multiplier buildings, build armies, infrastructure etc. Your tiles are viable from turn 1. Also somebody above mentioned multiplier buildings having more impact in a cottage spam city. While on the surface, that sounds correct... it's dead wrong... first as I mentioned those universities and banks need tons of hammers to go up. Second, if you set up your city to produce wealth for example, isn't your forge and factory multiplying your hammers, and thus producing more wealth? Isn't that the exact same thing, only more versatile?

    Rush buy economy- this can be effective when combined with the kremlin, but otherwise makes less sense to me. The cost/benefit is way too high IMO, plus it forces you to run Universal suffrage :)cry:). the late game is usually about war in my case, so I can think of a few civics I'd rather run over US/FS/EMANCIP.

    Finally, I view cottage spam much as I view wonders and religions. As you move up in difficulty, you must simply learn to let go of your old crutches and learn to win without them. The pyramids are great early, but I'd rather build an army to take them. especially if building the 'myds makes me the vulnerable target instead.

    Good luck to all and happy holidays.

    Ps If you play on monarch or lower please don't be offended by my monarch noob comments. I was one also, granted that was a long time ago :D
     
  11. TheWilltoAct

    TheWilltoAct I am observe

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    The hammer economy has been enumerated upon, I am just asking for the other side of the argument.

    ColossusXXIII, you glossed over some important details and I think labelling us less experienced players as 'noobs' is rude. I play Civ as a hobby, I am continually a student on these forums and I've been a member of CivFanatics for 3 years.

    With that out of the way, I want to respond to a couple of your comments:

    Spoiler :

    Factories don't come into play until mid to late game, so a forge boosted hammer city is benefitting from a paltry +25% :hammers:. Libraries, (Markets, Banks, Grocer) Universities, Observatories, and Monasteries all become available before the factory.
    Spoiler :

    Just to be clear I don't advocate any particular extreme method (cottage spam), I am in favor of a balanced economic approach suited to one's particular situation.
     
  12. ParadigmShifter

    ParadigmShifter Random Nonsense Generator

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    Where is DaveMcW when we need him?
     
  13. TheWilltoAct

    TheWilltoAct I am observe

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    I know right? :lol:
     
  14. ColossusXXIII

    ColossusXXIII Warlord

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    You are right, factories and power come online later on (wait how long does it take for a cottage to become a town?). however in the meantime I build/whip/chop all of those regular multiplier buildings as well. early on I run farms+specialists to take advantage of them, and then as techs become available I transition into my late game hammer economy. So once in the hammer economy, not only am I benefiting from the uni/lib/market/grocer/bank etc. (which I had enough hammers to actually build :D), but also from the extra hammers being converted to wealth/research/culture. And of course with hammers a military is actually viable, sustainable, and quick to build.

    Also even with only a forge (25% boost) in the early game, building wealth/research in cities can easily keep your slider at 100% allowing you to max the benefits of your multiplier buildings. Building wealth/research is often the difference between winning the lib race or not.

    I suppose a jungle city with no fresh water might be an early good cottage city (b4 civil service or Sp and work shops). But if it's mostly grassland river for example, there is no reason not to farm/run specialist/watermill with SP etc

    I personally would recommend an extreme economic method. When it comes to civ @ high difficulty, you need to choose what you want and pursue it aggressively. Rather than trying to do everything everywhere, efforts need to be focused and calculated. That being said, you always should play your own style and play according to the map+circumstance.


    @ TheWilltoAct

    None of my comments were directed at any particular individual, least of all you. "Monarch noob" may seem harsh or even rude, but it also illustrates the point well I think. As I mentioned it was not intended to insult anyone, I too once upon a time played below deity. Please don't be offended, it wasn't my intention. You can choose to either incorporate my knowledge or ignore it, or even better... prove it wrong. That way I can learn too.

    Thesis+Antithesis=Synthesis
     
  15. TheWilltoAct

    TheWilltoAct I am observe

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    About as long as it takes for relevant civics to be available I guess?

    This to me says that there must be some commerce and/or specialists at work, in addition to the :hammers:. I guess I'm not too familiar with this particular economic model.

    This approach combined with cottage cities would also be efficient. Build wealth to max out the science slider, and put science multipliers in your cottage cities.
     
  16. ColossusXXIII

    ColossusXXIII Warlord

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    yeah, the merchant specialists fuel the economy and use the bank/grocer/market (which if nothing else provide the GM slots and raise health and happiness). I run REP over US to take advantage of the extra beakers. Also the gold from watermills is multiplied by all the relevant buildings as well.

    Also yes, building wealth in a cottaged city does work though not to the same effect. My iron works city alone when set to produce wealth can easily raise my slider by 20%-30%. The problem with a cottage economy is when you are at war, you are forced to rely on 2-3 cities to pump out your units. With a hammer economy you can use the same cities to fuel your economy and then switch to units or buildings at will. with a cottage economy not only is it harder to run specialists because you have less food, but putting up infrastructure can be very tricky as well. And of course military units would presumably take much longer as well. I'm not saying the hammer economy is the best economic model, just the most versatile and certainly the best when going to war or for the space race. That being said I view everything in this game from a warmongering deity perspective, so I am biased somewhat in my views. I will try to post a few screen shots to illustrate how a true hammer city would look. Unfortunately though I don't have any cottaged cities to compare it with. These shots are from Earth18 as Rome(diety+standard setting+normal speed). It is my first ever attempt at Earth 18, so far my favorite scenario or map...

    civics:
    Spoiler :


    Note the production levels in the city screen, also in each shot I'm scrolling through the buildings in the city. See how much infrastructure there is...
    Spoiler :


    Science levels+more buildings to view
    Spoiler :


    Gold production- note my slider is 100% science and I'm losing 69 gld/turn...
    Spoiler :


    see the difference when producing wealth, now my slider is at 100% but I'm profiting 12 gold/turn... and that's only 1 city... also you can't see it now but in 1 turn(with hammer overflow) I was gonna add a hydro plant... to amplify the effect even more.
    Spoiler :


    more buildings and true hammer values without overflow
    Spoiler :


    As can be seen, due to WarWeariness and no emancipation the unhappiness is going crazy... that's the only problem with this city that I could see.
    Spoiler :


    The result of being able to run the slider at 100% all the time-
    Spoiler :

    Elizabeth, Catherine,Alexander and freddy are my vassals and are all in the top 8 tech wise. The next closest civ to me in terms of techs is china in 4th place...

    Oh and if I need units, no problem 2 turns for any unit I want. Pretty versatile isn't it?
    Spoiler :
     
  17. vranasm

    vranasm Deity

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    the only problem I see is how to get to currency/alpha and I have to say that for that task the cottages don't help much since they are slowly growing.

    After all the games i played it seems to me to cottage only the first 2-3 cities if you have favorable terrain.

    The only problem is to get MC and machinery + the worthwile techs (guilds+chemistry) in "reasonable" time. Workshops start to be interresting after caste+ one of guilds/chemistry where you get on par with hills, to this point you can get usually around your lib race, where you can backfill with philo+paper+edu for MC+Guilds since those techs are the ones the AIs usually take instead.

    another problem is what to build with your workers around cities... I improve specials, hills and then? I just let the land lie unimproved...but it seems "lame". I call it "too many workers" :-D. It's just a feeling, I would love to build improvements but i don't have access to good ones. I just tried today to use those worker turns to chopping forests instead of building cottages on flatland.
     
  18. ColossusXXIII

    ColossusXXIII Warlord

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    for me, to get to currency/alpha/col etc. i use scientists in libraries and/or capture gold from wars + trades. usually I have no trouble being at war and running enough scientists to get to those early economic techs. Also as you mentioned backfilling through trading lib techs is vital to getting a tech lead and achieving the next tier of economic techs.
     
  19. yanner39

    yanner39 Emperor

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    @ColossusXXIII

    Great info. Your posts along with Rusten's walkthrough in another thread have soundly convinced me.

    I'm one of these noobs that have always used cottages as a crutch. I am building less and less cottages but I still rely of them sometimes. The problem I always had with my abundance of cottages was where I would be getting the hammers later in the game to win the space race earlier or quickly build my army, again for a quicker win.

    A few quick questions:

    Would you cottage the capital to take advantage of the bureau civic?

    What would be your early tech path? Alphabet and currency before Metal Casting? I assume getting forges/workshops quickly are important.

    Do you find that your tech rate suffers in the early game compared to the other AIs but that once the hammer econo is up and running, you will surpass the AIs no problem?

    I just want to get a sense of the best way to "setup" the hammer economy.
     
  20. nebux

    nebux Chieftain

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    thanks for the post colossus
     

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