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Wow, I've been underestimating Trade Routes...

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Lenowill, Oct 4, 2009.

  1. peapd

    peapd Chieftain

    Joined:
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    This is the same thing as a guy who hits home runs off a batting cage pitching machine saying he could hit a Randy Johnson fastball for a home run just as well as Albert Puhols.

    Both you and Puhols are holding a bat, but you're not playing the same game.

    Edit: that came off kinda snarky.

    What I'm getting at is that all of the games played in the Strategy + Tips forum are rolled with basic, take it as it come, starts - and advantageous starts are mostly re-rolled to get something more difficult. Where else would someone re-roll a start on Deity because there's gold in the BFC? Masochists!

    Giving advice and/or bragging about 1AD Lib every game at best makes people discount your opinion, and at worst think that you are in essence - cheating.

    Play some of the posted games in this forum, try a few of the immorlal u games. If you're doing something radical that no one around here is (which probably includes some of the best civ players on the planet) we'd love to learn.

    Otherwise, posting tips related to real random game conditions are what's relevant (This is why there are so many "it depends" posts around here)

    Start playing maps that you'll lose. It's the only way to get better.

    I'd rather bunt a single off Johnson than have a home run off a pitchng machine.
     
  2. capnvonbaron

    capnvonbaron Democratia gladii

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    Also on-topic, what is the likely result if, say, you build ToA in your GLH city?
     
  3. CarlH

    CarlH Warlord

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    @ ryzax

    Time to join an Immortal U game and show us how its done.

    Immortal/deity with barbs off drops the difficulty down a level or two IMHO.

    @ capnvonbaron

    The GLH works on all cities, so the ToA will have the same effect, whichever coastal city you put it in. (Not true actually, some coastal cities have better trade than other [for what reason I do not know]). The point is that the GLH does not make its host city's trade routes any better than the other coastal cities in your empire.
     
  4. ryzax

    ryzax Warlord

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    about the barbs, not exactly. Sometimes, raging barbs actually brings benefits (you build the great wall, the A.I. is then ruined, makes them vulnerable for your attacks; or even if you fail the GW, your units will then have lots of promotions and the A.I. will be surprised)

    About the immortal u, do I have to like post updates on my game every now and then or posting the end result along with the details of my turns enough? about starting my own random map, random leader, random opponents game, how do you go about that?
     
  5. Silu

    Silu Deity

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    I'll just have to check I got this right. You claim raging barbs makes things easier, because your units get more XP and this "surprises" the AI?

    Raging Barbs + GW beeline is widely considered equally cheesy to something like rerolling until you get triple gems btw so that doesn't really count.
     
  6. Lenowill

    Lenowill Warlord

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    Lots of Great Merchants being born, along with the occasional Great Prophet thrown in, I would imagine. :)

    Trade route income boost for that single city is also nice.
     
  7. azzaman333

    azzaman333 meh

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    Great Lighthouse makes every coastal city pay for itself from the moment you found it.

    Absolutely brilliant wonder, and the AI don't seem to prioritise it as much as, say, Stonehenge or Oracle.
     
  8. Unconquered Sun

    Unconquered Sun Emperor

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    HoF rules setup is very exploitable and often counterproductive to learning solid CIV skills.
     
  9. JTMacc99

    JTMacc99 That's a paddlin'

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    It obsoletes with corporation, right? Don't remember if I said this already, but I'm playing a game now where I isolated myself very early, built the GLH to pay for expansion. Then, I wonder spammed a bit (am Industrious and have marble) and researched, helped a bunch by Great People generated by the wonders, down the path that would give me Astronomy from Liberalism. I had met the rest of the world when I popped Astronomy. Just the extra trade routes from the GLH added something like 40 commerce per turn. I immediately loaded up the galleons for the nearest weakling and started adding more cities. (Note: I saved the Forbidden Palace for this strategy. Trade routes are excellent, but they won't cover 18gpt maintenance in recently conquered cities with little or no infrastructure.)
     
  10. Rittmeyer

    Rittmeyer Prince

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    Exactly my point. Both no barbs or ragins barbs result in an interily different gameplay. A guy may be the best in getting million points in score and not be the best CivIV player out there. It's another game.



    yep... a nice point to note is that if you use castles and totally avoid economics and corporations for as long as you can, you end up with more TR then usually possible, AND you can use state property. May be the optimal choice is some situations, I believe.
     
  11. Nares

    Nares Emperor

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    I believe city size is the reason you're looking for.

    I'm sure there's an article on it, because I know I read one years ago.

    Other factors are whether it's a capital, as well as whether it's a "overseas" or intercontinental trade route. I fell like there are a few more factors, but I can't recall them at the moment.

    Basically, the game will always strive to maximize the output of trade routes (including modifiers, I believe). So the ToA city will probably get, by default, all of the best trade routes. However, I want to say that population size is ultimately what drives the base value of the trade route.

    It's still something to micro, but it's a bit less intensive than, say, GPP can be.
     
  12. dalamb

    dalamb Deity

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    Many, I imagine, but not all. Some of us have edited the Nobles' Club maps before posting, and I'm pretty sure r_rolo1 has edited to produce some interesting starts in the Lonely Hearts club.

    I still agree with the gist of your post, which is S&T threads usually don't involve heavily optimized starts (regenerated or world-built).
     
  13. Ian Kognitow

    Ian Kognitow Deserter

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    Not quite - it depends what level you're playing on. I got the GLH in a current Emperor game as Roosevelt. Even though he's also ORG and I had my own continent to expand on with 2 trading partners in sailing distance on other continents, I was still paying some significant maintenance costs until getting down courthouses.
    This isn't to say it's not worth it - getting GLH seemed to be the only thing that has kept me competitive in the game having been isolated on rather poor land (though Pyramids was also a life saver to run representation with its happy bonus since my entire continent doesn't have a single luxury resource). But new cities certainly weren't entirely 'paying for themselves' right from the start.
     
  14. Yesod

    Yesod Warlord

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    There's a lot of potential variance between the games we play due to settings, but I'll say this.

    The Great Lighthouse in my games normally isn't that powerful. The real issue for me is whether or not the AI has enough cities connected to mine. A lot of times the extra trade routes are the crappy ones that give 1 :commerce:; but it's always worth building if you're not giving up something critical.

    I wouldn't go saying anything crazy like "You can automatically settle 15 cities before 1 AD if you have this." Those 15 cities won't give crap for commerce until way after 1 AD,; of course some people may have set strategies for super farming cities/building wealth or something. Like I said, this is just my experience.

    For example: if you have 15 cities and 6 of them are coastal, you would need 42 cities just to avoid having redundant trade routes. The extra 12 that TGL gives you would probably be wasted since the AI on Emperor (the level I play) might not even have 30 up yet. Not wasted at any rate, but crappy. an extra 2:commerce: per city isn't something to write home about, even though it all counts when you're dealing with those kind of maintenance costs.
     
  15. Silu

    Silu Deity

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    If you have 15 cities of which 6 are coastal, you obviously don't want to have TGL to begin with. A very big portion of (TGL-enabling) maps can be played in a way that lets 80%+ of your cities be coastal.

    You didn't account overseas domestic trades either. If there are islands to settle then the already crazy TGL-profit skyrockets. With pre-Astro overseas international trades it's insane, but even with normal international trades it's very very good.

    To reiterate: TGL isn't always good, but it's good quite often, and when it is, it's GOOD.
     
  16. whats a navy

    whats a navy Prince

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    I used to wonder why currency was such a strong economic tech with only that one free trade route. when I first realized how strong trades routes were when I built the GLH for my first time. Whenever I settled a city instead of the typical -8 I was getting like -3 from the city. Really never underestimated them again but I still don't like trade route income bonuses like harbors and custom houses.
     
  17. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    It's better to look at it as a completely different game, because it is.

    Succeeding there takes tremendous patience/luck and the ability to out-micro some very, very good players. Just winning a game is not challenging however.

    Some of the gauntlets that force normal (or quick) speed and certain opponents can be hard. Certainly, a deity/quick gauntlet that forces a military victory could be a bit trying for example (HoF had such a gauntlet recently. You were allowed to start later than ancient era, but you wouldn't WIN the gauntlet that way if someone could win from ancient).
     
  18. siggboy

    siggboy Monarch/Epic

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    Probably it doesn't need reiterating, but still...

    The GLH "tactic" was one of the few significant things that I actually discovered myself, without reading about it first somewhere around here. I guess trade is easily underestimated because it's not as visible as cottages or specialists. It's definitely something that most beginning players won't value because they're focusing on other things, like deciding if specialists or cottages are better, or if the Pyramids are worth it or not.

    The GLH is rather easy to build, because the AI goes for it quite late in most games. It's also not super-expensive and its value is very easy to gauge -- if you have the coast then building it is worth it, period. In my book that includes many random starts with water, in other words, most non-pangaea maps.

    As others have mentioned, with some leader/map combinations it can be so powerful it's not even funny... the first time I've tried it I was on a water map playing Spain, so I've ended up spamming cities like crazy, and build castles as well in every one just for the fun of it (Spain gets better catapults with castles on top of the extra trade route).

    I'm not a very good player so I take every easy advantage that I can get, and that definitely includes the GLH.
     
  19. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    A lot of people don't realize how important trade can be even WITHOUT GLH. An early trade network with an AI will double up the value of your trade routes. If you have 4-6 cities, this is 4-6 commerce above what you'd get otherwise (in other words 8-12 commerce). Not sounding significant, but this can come at a time in the game where you have little other basic sources of commerce and can easily increase your global by 25% or more with early writing, BEFORE libraries. Now if you have someone with which you can get intercontinental trade w/ sailing, you can push your trade routes to 3:commerce: pretty soon.

    Even without anything special, currency + trade is worth 4 :commerce: if you have OB at all in each city. Across an 8 city empire, you are getting 32 commerce. A city stacked with cottages that have grown a bit will have barely matched that by 1 AD.

    Combined with the ability to put up an early great scientist (17 turns of investment running 2 scientists), this makes writing one of the most powerful early research techs and IMO it's gotten too late by a lot of players.
     
  20. Navarre

    Navarre Legio XIII

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    :)

    (Ten characters)
     

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