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Workshops and Watermills

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

  1. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    I'm certain as a deity player you are aware of the speed differences. However, the assertion that less-cost-than-settlers early city conquest on deity/normal is CONSISTENTLY possible, or even possible a majority of the time is ridiculous based on everything I've seen. I've not seen that out of any other high-level player on this forum on a consistent basis above marathon, especially given the still-to-be considered RNG dice throws in such a situation.

    Depends on whether you're facing creative opposition or not (a diety 2nd city will take only a little more than 50 turns to hit 40% if the AI is creative), and which city you're taking. Regardless, more spammy AI personalities can easily throw a bunch of archers post-haste. Yes, if you use perfect micro you might take your 2 cities and 10 axemen against their 3rd city or so at 20% culture defenses. But then you realize that they still have more cities than you, possibly have metal (AI on deity can easily have metal units in the turn 20-30 range if you're not lucky), and can now make almost a unit/turn in remaining cities. If you're just picking off a city, they're not going to let you buy out cheaply. If you're trying to kill somebody off who has 4 cities by 2000 BC (you can NOT rush someone with decent #'s by 2000 BC on normal consistently. Nobody can do that.) and probably double that by 1000 BC, you better EXPECT to see a minimum of that kind of defense in the majority of the AI cities after you declare and take that first one. Just like you, I can cite tons of experience here, but can pile on the fact that very few deity/normal players early rush unless the situation favors it severely or they're desperate.

    Okay, so now the rush is predicated on the opposition not having one of 2-3 traits, not being a 35+ unitprob AI, not having a resource-less UU that screws you, not having lots of hill cities, and being situated in such a way that rushing doesn't feed another AI more cities. All of that and if the RNG treats you wrongly, you are STILL going to lose if you fail there. Yes, you get wonders/workers/etc if you successfully capture them (though if it's truly an early rush you cut into your odds of capturing a lot of goodies, which hurts your cost-benefit argument side), but you're talking 2-3 axes per diety AI archer or you risk losing. You're trying to tell me that's consistently possible? The numbers aren't adding up here.

    Though for straight $$$ rush, towns beat everything (although windmills with env aren't bad).

    Don't even get me started on random events, cottages or whatever. They would be the most broken, ill-conceived trash ever to make it into civ IV, except they're in line behind global warming, the apostolic palace, and the user interface/controls.

    Ever had the bermuda triangle even wipe out tens of thousands of hammers via sinking a naval stack? Just realizing such a thing is possible is enough to deem them broken and turn them off (nevermind the auto-loss vedic aryans that can still glitch-hit humans if unlucky enough), so let's not use trash features to sully this otherwise good discussion.

    Spies attacking towns is admittedly annoying.

    It's so bad that the pillage argument isn't worth considering from the AI, except for fish boats where it sells its soul to pillage (but that's not relevant to land tile improvements). The AI will only pillage with extremely small sub-5 unit (usually just 1) stacks, or with its 2-move units traveling with its primary SoD. Neither of these things take any effort to prevent, assuming you have enough military to survive (if not, pillaged tiles are irrelevant).

    In MP the consideration is greater; pillaging is a legit threat. Again, however, I emphasize that players who can't prevent pillaging of flatland tiles are almost 100% to lose regardless of what tile improvements were actually getting pillaged. There's no reason to expect anything is getting put back there.

    It's fair to argue that you simply prefer not to use cottages and have workable methods around them; that still doesn't justify the general advice against using them at all. The best advice is to only use them when appropriate, and to give players an idea that they are not NEARLY as good as "spam and forget" tiles as they believe...well unless you're playing FIN.
     
  2. nishant1911

    nishant1911 *hugs*

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    why?

    i say cottage cities can make hammers better than a
    'farm only-specialist' city.
    because farms only give +1f (2f would be used by a specialist. if you don't , u won't produce any research at all! )
    while working a cottage gives +2f. which can support two grassland hillmines.
    what's so hard to understand about it?

    @tmit
    u_sun is a good player ,no doubt about it.
    but that post (that i've seen many people worship as economic bible ) is merely his opinion i.e. his experience with games .
    try playing a really bad ,isolated start on deity. nothing aside from cottages will get you through .not even mines or rep scientists .
    mind demonstrating it? (don't forget factoring in worker turns )
    while you're at it, let me post one of my own-

    "a cottage is arguably stronger than a specialist until a library(a significant hammer investment ) is built or caste system(out of slavery ) is adopted"
    get it? these things are situational.

    @general
    civ4 is a game of tradeoffs ,no single strategy is godlike (if there is, that is bad game design )what i am postulating is that in more than half of the starts ,rigorous use of cottages will OUTPERFORM 'avoiding cottages ' approach .

    why is this so important in a thread aimed at workshop and watermills?
    because these improvements become attractive a little too late .
    game is decided in first 120-50 turns.- a period where commerce is more important than production (higher levels), and when both of workshop and watermills suck.

    from what've seen , farms let you get to the X beaker mark at 1ad a little faster than cottages. but cottages overtake from 300 ad.
     
  3. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    Astro is pretty fast with bulbing if you block the right techs, but that's not a situation I'd avoid cottages. At all. I doubt he would either.

    I was careful with my wording for a reason. "Arguably" was a concession to the point that farms can be stronger than cottages early in the game. Using 10/6/4 is a rule-of-thumb approximation; I can't strengthen the argument with it, so instead we'll look at the outcomes of running farms:

    1. Growth. Depending on cap limitations, rapid city growth is preferable to alternatives, even to set up cottages but also to grow to a stable-size quickly, assuming you have the worker turns for it.
    2. Production: short of mines, farms are your most productive tile with the whip that you can put on a non-special flatland for a substantial portion of the game. On maps where mines are limited, you have no functional alternative.
    3. GPP: kind of like a bureaucracy capitol + cottages, farms are just that good when they have other multipliers stacked into them.

    4. Scientists

    This is where it gets dicey. For scientists that will produce a GPP, I don't think anyone can realistically argue against U_Sun or other deity players; GPP that leads to a scientist has ridiculous net beaker value and wins. However, that's limited to only a few cities ultimately, so let's set those aside (along with the bur capitol where commerce 50% pre-multiplier rapidly favors cottages). What about scientists that don't produce a GP? This is closer.

    A cottage is essentially 2:food:1:commerce: for 10 turns, 2:food:2:commerce: for 20 turns, 2:food:3:commerce: for 40 turns. A regular, non-rep scientist is 0f 3:commerce: forever (let's get the slider out of this and pretend we can run 100% off tech sale or some other source). If you are talking pure, raw science output of a 100% slider cottage vs a non-rep spec, the spec generates more research until 110 turns have passed (allowing the town's extra commerce to catch up to the initial scientist yield). 110 turns is a long time! You can get away with worker turns to set up farms and growth time, and still prefer the faster returns of farms to get scientists, depending on what your goals for the game/empire are.

    Yes, I realize that printing press/other civics distort this; but so does representation. One can probably use the earlier scientist beakers to get to constitution faster, just as emancipation/free speech can speed up the growth/power of cottages.

    However, that 2f isn't always insignificant. U_Sun pointed out the math of growing onto a non-financial, non-riverside cottage. Okay. But he also assumed the "HR" aspect of the "trap". That's a valid constraint...IF you are using HR for the happiness. What about creative's theaters, which you might want for a double purpose? What about (and especially about) resource trades that boost the "free" happiness cap to the point where mines are impossible? Cottages get stronger. This was the point I was trying to make.

    But yes, farms can arguably be stronger, and in terms of "raw yield to max out early returns" are arguably so. That does NOT mean "avoid cottages", which I am actually arguing against as advice. And you make an excellent point about cottages 1) being available even earlier than scientists/libraries and 2) bankrolling extra cities w/o crashing, which are then able to work better tiles than any of the ones we're talking about (IE improved specials like corn/pig/etc) and ultimately raising total empire yield.

    Yes and no. The really top players can have all of the techs needed for 2:food:4:hammers: workshops by or before t150 for example, setting up a devastating game finish. The game might be "decided" earlier, but the means of execution to actually win is still an issue, and the shops/mills can be relevant there. They can be relevant to tiles onto which cities can't grow right away, too (take a plains heavy filler city post-bio for example, or that junker flatland city w/o food that can suddenly be solid with bio + shops). They are also relevant to later-era starts FWIW.

    This depends a LOT on which city you're considering to build one or the other, and just how early you can start the cottages w/o concessions.
     
  4. kossin

    kossin Deity

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    While I appreciate your hindsight and opinions... your post is just that as you say.

    A Town improvement is, with The Kremlin, for everything barred Wonders and SS parts, the single best improvement in the game.

    Grass riverside town vs riverside workshop (assuming all the best conditions, non-Financial, non-GA)
    2F1H8C vs 2F4H1C
    Difference is -3H+7C

    With The Kremlin, 2 gold = 1 hammer
    If we imagine that 1 commerce = 1 gold (we are also using 100% production on hammers so this pretty much evens out), then
    Town is 0.5H better than workshop

    Watermill is 3F2H3C
    Difference is -1F-1H+5C
    -1H+5C means 1.5H advantage for the Town
    The problem becomes to quantify the value of 1F
    If you whip, then a windmill is better from pops 1 to 9 (and equal at 10).
    Otherwise it becomes complicated. What is the alternative?

    Running a specialist: 2 watermills feed 1 specialist... 2H is less than (2*1.5=) 3H from 2 Towns

    If the city has a food deficit and needs a farm to feed its brown tiles:
    Watermill > farm by a lot
    let's consider 2 tiles: 2 plains town vs watermill and 1 plains farm vs watermill
    plains towns vs watermill: advantage of 3H for towns but -2F
    farm vs watermill
    +1F-2H-2C = +1F-1H
    Net difference, towns+farm vs watermills
    -1F+2H

    The Town is still ahead unless you whip under size 5 (why would you want to whip these great tiles...)

    Now, this is only considering the final product.
    As you can see, the final output is only slightly ahead... how about the opportunity cost (below, link by TMIT)... while it's hard to quantify it bogs down to 1H now is better than 1H the next turn.

    Under normal gameplay situation, a cottage doesn't have the time to pay back for its opportunity cost from the turns it took to grow... if you had infinite workers then cottages might be better.

    If you have a small empire (6 cities f.e.) and conquer a AI cities with a lot of mature cottages... not bulldozing them might be much better.

    Some more things to break the comparison: if you're already producing anything you can at 1/turn per unit... rushbuy becomes useless: production wins easily.

    In competitive games, we mostly see few or no cottages as speed is of the essence. Nonetheless, cottages are very easy to play with but they don't really improve your game as you pretty much automate your workers mindlessly by only building them.

    Use your cottages wisely but don't overbuild them!

    Very nice post, TMIT.
     
  5. ParadigmShifter

    ParadigmShifter Random Nonsense Generator

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    I thought 2G = 1H with the Kremlin (3G = 1H without)?
     
  6. Yoshi1

    Yoshi1 Warlord

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    Doesn't make much sense to say 1 is better than the other anyway :rolleyes:
    If i have a city along a river, just 1 food ressource is enough to get cottages going.
    These cities usually are the easiest to handle, you just want to have 1 more cottage ready for the next growth, maybe a mine for some production and so on...

    This is relaxed stuff to play with, i don't feel the need to overanalyze now if i should turn it all into farms/workshops later, because this turns a game into more work than it is worth.
     
  7. kossin

    kossin Deity

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    Yea, typo from my part... fixing.
     
  8. nishant1911

    nishant1911 *hugs*

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    i beg to differ
    HR trap is a good point and i agree with it to some extent .
    but optimal play in a map often gets you to 9-10 happiness range in early game easily with happy resources ,trading ,temples without leaping your free unit limit.
    thus a good player will never fall in the trap in the first place .
    so usually using those pop on cottages is a good idea.

    while ,at the same time assigning scientists(on riverside farms ) is bad (!)
    only in the city that never gets you a GS.

    1. because optimal play requires you to generate all your GS from a single gp farm and thus concentrate all your gp in a single city .
    (there was someone in strategy articles forum who took the time in spreadsheets to prove it). thus ,most of the cities will never produce a GS. also TGL (a common wonder) basically prevents any other city from ever filling their gp bar.

    2. scientists halt your growth and thus your research occurs in 'bursts' i.e. you roughly halt your research half the time to grow.

    3. it requires you to work 2 riverside farms to assign a single scientist !
    so basically it requires 2 pop for a single scientist and thus you have to compare 2 cottages with a single scientist
    why?.... because those two farms could have been cottages.
    (i could be wrong on above ,but in theory it seems correct to me)

    note- having food bonuses like corn ,pigs etc. change the situation drastically.
    i am willing to bet that more than 60% of the scientists ever assigned in your gameplay were running on 'bonus food'.
    and i admit specialists on such food are feasible and quite good.

    all i'm attacking is the possibility of using the riverside grassland farms as a source of research.
    like i said before , they are more like a tool of adding population points in cities quickly.

    so in a nutshell ,in early game every tile improvement aside from specials suck, but scientists on grassland farms suck more than cottages(provided you build enough farms to grow the city at a reasonable rate).
     
  9. Yoshi1

    Yoshi1 Warlord

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    Great post Nish, but iam not sure i understand "all tile improvements besides specials suck" in the early game. A cottage, specially on a river and let's be honest usually we only build it there anyway, is 3c after 10 turns. Why would that suck if your land is rather poor in commerce otherwise, it is a bit unfair to compare cottages to tiles that would not help you at all if your research is stuck in the early game.
     
  10. kossin

    kossin Deity

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    I was not comparing a cottage to a library scientist, but against other improvements, interesting post though. Yes there are times where the only improvement you can place on a tile is a cottage. Some will stick with growing those cottages and some will just whip those populations instead.

    The power of farms is not to feed specialists, it's to have more yield per city... be it for expansion, war assisted whip or faster growth into what you need the city to do.

    1. is false! Optimal gpp planning will use several cities to churn out specialists. It's just a lot more complicated before Biology and a long term project.

    2. With enough farms, you'll still be growing pretty well even when running some specialists. Besides, you usually grow to happy cap THEN start running the specialists/work mines. USun had some very good examples of this. Also a common thing done by Dirk.

    3. Yup but refer to above. The opportunity cost of a cottage is not to run a mine or a specialist, it's having a city at size 6 vs having a city at size 10 at the same time (numbers pulled out of thin air but not unrealistic). Having 4 more populations available to work mines, more farms or specialists (or whatever) is the difference.

    We can't compare apples and oranges... i.e. single turn outputs : look at the bigger picture... where will the city be in X turns... what does the city need to do...

    Choose what you need the most. :D
     
  11. TheWilltoAct

    TheWilltoAct I am observe

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    Now I think we're both misunderstanding one another. As I said earlier commerce and specialists are comparable in that both economic units are capable of producing :science: and/or :gold:.

    In regards to 'Maximizing' your commerce...
    In a cottage economy commerce is relatively common and I don't need to be bent out of shape about making sure every 1 :commerce: is turned into 1 :science:. With a less than 100% slider I can produce science and gold, I am now free to use my surplus :commerce: to pay the bills where cities in a Hammer Economy, as you've described, would be forced to build :gold:.
     
  12. ColossusXXIII

    ColossusXXIII Warlord

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    @TMIT

    I'm not going to reply point by point, but in general...

    I think your last post was very well thought out, and that many of your statements were correct.

    With regards to rushing, I tend to rush early (though not always) with as few as 5 units sometimes. It's a huge gamble, but it usually pays off well for me. Though nothing is guaranteed when rushing even with 10 units, even less so with 5. I do analyze my targets first, I scout there land well plus follow their research through espionage to determine my rush timing. Also yes, i do avoid certain targets sitting bull being a perfect example. That's where adaptability comes into play... War is an important part of the game for me just like trading. Perhaps I should try some more iso starts...

    Anyways great post, and thanks again for bringing some added balance to the topic. I think there is much common ground to be shared. also You are right, cottages are great in certain situations and a CE is certainly viable. For me however, neither seem to yield the best results most of the time... therefore i avoid using them (perhaps too much), and certainly I try not to base my economy around them.
     
  13. ColossusXXIII

    ColossusXXIII Warlord

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    @Kossin

    thanks for taking the time to break down the numbers for us... great post and good points... i still think many things can't be easily quantified, and that in game experience is valuable, but seeing a clear break down of the numbers is by far more helpful. Thanks again

    do you think it's better in the late game to pillage towns in captured cities or not? The insta gold seems pretty sweet, I often get around 80 gold from pillaging a town all the way. And then of course whatever it gets replaced with (ideally a watermill), the tile begins to yield immediately. plus gold now vs. gold later. I've always been torn on this issue, but have found myself pillaging cottages and towns almost absolutely every chance I get. Particularly if an Ai caps a city near me, I go over and pillage everything possible before the revolt ends. I know that's win,win because i get gold now, plus deny them a cottage or town etc.
     
  14. nishant1911

    nishant1911 *hugs*

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    i was comparing early game grassland tiles to late game tiles . a riverside cottage after 10 turns 2F 3C
    vs (2F 4H workshops or 3F 2H 3C watermills) and in no way is that comparable, so in a way... early game average tile yield
    kind of............. suck :lol:

    here
    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=142704&highlight=great+person+distribute
    you would need national epic for it but that too comes under optimal play

    we disagree about the magnitude of difference in the speed of growth .i would much rather say 8-10 because i too build farms .

    everything else seems close to vague because of my lack of sleep :p
     
  15. Iranon

    Iranon Deity Whipping Boy

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    One thing that plays a huge role in my economy plans and that's been mostly ignored so far is empire size.

    With the right civics, Total Cottage Spam promises the biggest rewards for generic cities... this is great if we have a large empire to start with and are willing to make further investments in forceful expansion - we can rushbuy units where we need them and infrastructure where we're missing essentials.

    This is, however, utterly irrelevant in a compact empire where specialised cities do all the heavy lifting (1 Bureaucratic capital, 2 dedicated production cities with Heroic Epic and Ironworks, 1 old GP farm with the National Epic and a second one milking the National Park for all it's worth...). Even if this style of empire can conquer some more territory in the late game, it's often not worth switching from a civ/improvement setup that's working perfectly for our core. We're likely to invest little into new acquisitions and do whatever gives immediate returns.
     
  16. ColossusXXIII

    ColossusXXIII Warlord

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    All true, an HE is much more micro intensive... the importance of running a high slider in a an HE is far more pronounced in the earliest phases of the game. In the early game, in an HE you are literally scratching your living off the rocks... Which forces you to build wealth in roughly 20% of your cities in order to maintain a viable BPT. As you add specialists, the need to run 100% slider diminishes. Even more so as rep comes into play. At this point, I can often run a 0% slider and maintain a very decent or even dominant tech rate. After that, the 100% slider is more of a luxury (which is easily achievable) that just adds to your overall research rate. also by the time watermills start generating lots of commerce and extra food, you simply become a tech beast. Combining a high slider+lots of rep specs+building wealth/research+lots of water/windmills etc. can really make you a tech juggernaut later in the game... Or a tech Colossus for that matter :rolleyes:
     
  17. kossin

    kossin Deity

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    Optimal maybe, realistic no...

    It disregards use of Pacifism and Golden Age where those secondary and third cities do get their GPs out because the influence on the non-NE cities is bigger.

    And also disregards the ability of those other cities to start contributing more (all cities have linear gpp, this is obviously for analysis purpose but we all know this isn't the case).

    Check this post from the same thread for example:
    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showpost.php?p=3364963&postcount=19

    The problem here is that it assumes that every city starts at 0 GPP, which is only the case in the very early game. There are several small mistakes that break this whole analysis... it's just too hard to get a general rule about anything in this game because it's so darn complex.

    Finally, the key about GPs is not how many you can get, but how early you can get them... hence the power of Philosophical trait and several GP farms.

    Conclusion about non-primary GP farms:
    Sure, they won't contribute many GPs comparatively but they will, right?

    ~~~

    I couldn't find this thread for the longest time since I read it a few years ago. Thanks! :goodjob:
     
  18. ColossusXXIII

    ColossusXXIII Warlord

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    @Kossin

    Great point about multiple gp farms, my last game on earth 18. I had at least 6 different cities produce gp's even running an SE/HE... I used them for 4 GA's with the mausoleum +1 with the taj. It was pretty sweet to run 3 of those Ga's back to back just before and after lib, especially with the mausoleum. I think it may have been possible to squeeze in an extra Golden Age, but I didn't plan it quite right and ended up settling some key Gp's.

    Spoiler :
     
  19. ColossusXXIII

    ColossusXXIII Warlord

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    @tmit have you looked at the pics i posted on pg.2 of this thread? any comments or tips based on them? This is actually open to anyone...
     
  20. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    Not much to say, looks like a solid setup for massed-hammers. Europe always has excellent land too so it might be hard to find places to put cottages instead of just working all the nice special tiles/hills/etc and trying to get enough food to feed the hammers.

    I'm not sure you'd want to avoid coal plants in normal games. Even with a relatively fast tech rate, a :hammers: econ benefits immensely from power and the path from early assembly line (say a beeline or prioritized path there) to plastics is a long one. The :yuck: from coal plants sucks, but generally resource trades and maybe a few buildings in larger cities will be enough to make it worthwhile. That said, if you don't have coal there's not much choice; you HAVE to wait on plastics or fission :sad:.

    @kossiin (and in general)

    Multiple GP farms are more an earlygame phenom. In the first 200 turns it's hard to grow a city to MAX GPP size AND farm the GPP from it AND build national epic there etc etc. In practical cases, a single large food city with trash food everywhere else might still result in a 1gpp farm most of the game, but usually it's just as you say; early on you can get quite a few by splitting (and micro) GPP across several cities. I can seldom be bothered to do that, especially if I've expanded into double digit cities below deity, but that + tech trades are probably the strongest aspect of early deity level tech play. GPs just trump everything for a while.
     

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