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Would having Lumbermills earlier unbalance the game (Not really a modding thread)

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Tomice, Feb 24, 2010.

  1. Tomice

    Tomice Passionate Smart-Ass

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    Hi!

    I'm not asking how to change lumbermills to be available with an earlier tech (e.g. machinery), it's simple to do.
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    But I'm not sure if it would break my game. Are lumbermills so much better than mines or other stuff you could build over the forests?

    This question could also be asked in another way:
    Once you have lumbermills, do you ever chop forests?

    I hate the deforested look the game world has later on, and it doesn't seem realistic that it was wise until the the end of the middle ages to chop down any tree in the world :rolleyes:
    Don't worry, I've read some guides and I know there are a few reasons to leave forests even around your capital. But this is quite a delicate balancing question I can't answer on my own...
     
  2. Bostock

    Bostock King

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    Even after having lumbermills, I still chop forests with abandon while setting up cities (assuming I'm still setting up some cities in this phase), since a whipless granary 10 turns earlier now is a lot more useful than +1 or +2 bonus health later (assuming here that workshops are competitive with lumbermills in every respect but health - this is true in most of my games).

    In my core cities, any forests that by some miracle remain are indeed waiting for lumbermills and would definitely benefit from having them earlier - so such a change would probably give me 2-4 free base hammers empire-wide about 75 Epic-speed turns earlier than usual. (The window between AIs being ready to trade Machinery and my own drive towards Rifling is rather short.)
     
  3. AveiMil

    AveiMil Prince

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    Take a look at PIG:

    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=328283

    Lumber mills have been made available at Machinery here.

    Lumber mills are not strong enough to unbalance the game considering chopping is so extremely powerful.

    I play tested Lumber mills @ Machinery at a LAN with 6 players and it worked out great.
     
  4. Shurdus

    Shurdus Am I Napoleon?

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    Welcome to Civfanatics, Tomice! :beer:
     
  5. Tomice

    Tomice Passionate Smart-Ass

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    Thanks for the help and for welcoming me! :cheers:

    I'm not that new, a silent reader since ages, but I never had a question that wasn't answered before! ;)
     
  6. Monsterzuma

    Monsterzuma the sly one

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    A lumbermill would have similar output to a mine, it's only advanatage being the health boost that is superfluous in most cases. Not unbalancing by any description.
     
  7. JammerUno

    JammerUno King

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    +1H for plain forests? That's basically turning every plains forest into a grassland hill: I would call that unbalancing.
     
  8. AveiMil

    AveiMil Prince

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    Lets play a 1versus1, you'll save all your forests for those unbalanced +1:hammers: forests and I'll chop all of mine.
     
  9. Fleme

    Fleme Obey the Kitty!

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    ^Touché
     
  10. naterator

    naterator Bravely running away

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    Taking into consideration the near-uselessness of plains until lumbermills or biology, i doubt it would have a negative effect. A lumbermilled forested hill = a mined hill, the difference being whether you want that (up to) 45:hammers: now, or 1:hammers: at a time every turn that square is worked (and .5:health:). making it available earlier just opens up the option when there's more likely to be lumber left to mill.
    To me, that not only sounds not-unbalancing, it might be better balanced (as is most of what i hear about the PIG mod) in that it allows you more flexibility to keep your health; either to make up for a lack of resources, or for the industrial age when health is scarce, without leaving a ton of unimproved tiles all the way to replaceable parts. You'd still be forced to sacrifice early production since you could still build mines much earlier, and forgoing the chop:hammers:s is a significant sacrifice to make early on in a city's development.
     
  11. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    In a word, no.

    It might allow people to actually consider using them actually, and having multiple choices actually be viable is good for gameplay.

    As it stands now their mileage is quite low...rare are the games where they are worthwhile. Maybe in boreal or something.
     
  12. UWHabs

    UWHabs Deity

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    :agree:

    Green forests are nice chopping early. Brown ones I usually preserve late game to make them useful.

    I mean, even with a lumbermill, they're still not better than a mine, not counting the health benefit. So you're arguing for 20(30) hammers now, vs. .5 health later. Definitely a tougher decision than before, but not anything that would throw the game out of whack (other than the obvious fact of having a few more forests around in the late game).
     
  13. PieceOfMind

    PieceOfMind Drill IV Defender Retired Moderator

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    Just last night I was playing a test game with PIG v0.911 where lumbermills are available at Machinery. I got a pretty sweet start with more than 15 forests in the capital and 2 corn, 19 tiles green. I chopped down the grass hill forests pretty much asap and at size 5 the capital was building workers and settlers without whipping. I didn't quite beeline Machinery but I headed there straight after Monarchy (forest preserves available with Monarchy in PIG as well). I only got to play a little past the point where I got Machinery but my observations were these:

    • Lumbermills are expensive (12 worker turns on Epic speed). Mines take half the time (6 turns) and even chopping a forest as well only takes that to 11 turns on Epic.
    • Machinery does not come that early even if you try. I think around the time of that tech the time has passed for the LM to be unbalanced. Keeping the forests meant I was slightly slowing my expansion rate.
    • They almost certainly make workshops near-useless initially. I'd rather keep a grass forest and LM it for 2:food:2:hammers: than workshop it and limit my civic options to Caste System to get only 1:food:3:hammers:.

    IMO they are still on the weak side and definitely not on the unbalanced (meaning too powerful) side. For mid game cities founded near forests, I think the decision of whether to keep forests or not becomes more interesting now. One must consider how much health the city might need and how production poor it will be if the forests were chopped and weigh that against the advantages of getting infrastructure up sooner (granaries in particular) from chopping.
     
  14. mirthadir

    mirthadir Emperor

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    Broke? No. Possibly better than every other option? Perhaps.

    While I still would chop the most important infrastructure, workers, and settlers; lumbermills don't take particularly long to win out in the early game.

    Green flat mills would be 4 :hammers: per two tiles compared to the 3 :hammers: from green mines/farms. So we are already looking at +25% until biology. However once you get up near the health cap, you now have a net 4 :hammers: 1:food:. That beats, handily, anything you can get for a long time.

    Obviously the optimum is going to be highly dependent upon caps and resources, but health and +25% :hammers:, ceteris parabis requires an awfully high rate of return. I'd only bet on the grain beating the investment cost on average.
     
  15. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    Is that really so bad given that machinery isn't usually seen until the early to mid AD, and probably wouldn't be even with this considered?

    What if it were pushed to say guilds...? It still beats the alternatives but now we're talking about a legit mid-game option.

    I dunno, it'd be refreshing to have mills @ machinery for a while just to see them actually used, with rebalancing later if need be :p.
     
  16. Artichoker

    Artichoker Emperor

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    I frequently use a style of playing that ignores forests for a very long time. This is because I tend to use more specialists when using this style. Specialists don't require any good tiles, other than having sufficient food to feed the population.

    Often, when using this style, I will keep the forests around just for the health. Keeping up 6 forests in a high-food GP farm is not unusual with this play style. If you have excellent food resources, you can sometimes get away with 8 forests in the city, while still keeping good productivity.

    As you advance down the tech tree, Replaceable Parts opens up the option to build lumbermills in the city, but Biology is even better because it opens up National Park.

    The advantages of lumbermills aside, it still wouldn't be a bad idea to move the tech requirement to something earlier than Replaceable Parts. Machinery sounds a bit too early to me. Maybe something like Guilds sounds more realistic.
     
  17. AveiMil

    AveiMil Prince

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    Are you able to get this style working on Immortal/Deity? If so I'd love to see some save games.
     
  18. Shurdus

    Shurdus Am I Napoleon?

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    I join the camp where I prefer having lumber mills later. I think that it is not unbalancing or anything to have them at machinery bit I hardly see the point either.
     
  19. Bostock

    Bostock King

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    Erm, doesn't 4/3 = +33% rather than +25%? :confused:
     
  20. Fleme

    Fleme Obey the Kitty!

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    There are two distinct scenarios where I build lumbermills. The first is when I have a city with a ridiculous amount of flood plains and as a result unhealthiness. If I'm lucky, the city will have 2 or maybe even 4 forests in it's bfc and I wouldn't cut those for the world because it'd mean less working that sweet sickening flood plain.

    The other is tundra. Since you can't have anything useful up there anyways, lumbermills make it atleast somewhat decent, if still crappy by comparison.

    I don't see any harm in having them available at machinery. I would actually call it logical.
     

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