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

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

  1. jihe

    jihe Prince

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    But you can pretty much rely on the AI's having writing way before you, so you get the benefit of trade routes without writing. Actually the economic tech gotten too late by lot of players is sailing, since most of the times you don't have worker turns to waste on roads to the AI.
     
  2. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    This is difficulty level dependent, but let me point out that I can and often do beat the AI to writing on immortal and occasionally even on deity when I play that.

    I agree on sailing, which is also difficulty dependent. When the AI has a ton of cities and is on top of your blocking site by or before 2000 BC, it's not hard to build a connecting road. When you're on noble you can go long stretches w/o being close to the AI cities, but then it's easier to work sailing into your early tech order due to the cheaper maintenance.
     
  3. QuixotesGhost

    QuixotesGhost Warlord

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    @OP

    Oh yeah, under the right circumstances Astronomy (decent number of coastal cities and overseas trading partners) can be an explosive tech. That's how I find a lot of my isolated starts go, I lag behind most of the game then once I hit Astronomy those trade routes slingshot me right into the lead.

    Additionally, if you find a strong builder civ who managed to draw an isolated start (Mali, Inca, ect.) and they seem to be doing well, it can important to get other civs to close borders with them (and do so yourself). Not only does this sours their relations and hampers tech trade, it denies them very lucrative overseas trade and signifigantly retards their progress, preventing them from running away with the game towards a Space Victory.

    Also, a question about trade routes, pretend I have a trading partner that I can push around diplomatically, maybe he's a colony or a vassal or whatever. If I get him to close trading routes with everyone but me, will that increase the commerce I receive by trading with him?

    Additionally, I'm getting back into Civ after a long hiatus - I vaguely remember that you recieve a bonus to trade routes with "Friendly" civs, is this true or am I misremembering?
     
  4. TheWilltoAct

    TheWilltoAct I am observe

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    ^^^
    I know there is a bonus % added for having peace for a certain period of time but I'm not sure how long that period is.

    I have a question: what exactly does your boat have to locate in order to make foreign trade routes appear? Do you have to find a civ's capital or something?
     
  5. Molybdeus

    Molybdeus Prince

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    Nothing is more satisfying than Cothons + Great Lighthouse + Temple of Artemis. It's not the most effective tactic of course. But it's tremendously fun.

    I don't think anyone has mentioned building a great merchant city yet. That is another key selling point for the GLH for me.
     
  6. TheWilltoAct

    TheWilltoAct I am observe

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    @ Molybdeus
    because of the 2 Great Merchant points?
     
  7. Molybdeus

    Molybdeus Prince

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    Yes. Great merchants are a tad underrated, and there's some synergy between the trade route enabling techs and the buildings you want for your "wall street city." If you manage to grab both the Temple of Artemis and Great Lighthouse beelining Guilds for both knights and the economy to pay for expansion can be fun.

    The point is that in any game where you build the Great Lighthouse, you are going to want trade route techs (IE Currency,) and those techs incidentally are also attractive to running merchants. And you conveniently happen to get great merchant points with the GLH, and the extra food from the great merchants will help you run more merchants (and provide substantial gold for your wealth generating city by themselves.)
     
  8. siggboy

    siggboy Monarch/Epic

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    I would like to know as well. The tooltip merely mentions "prolonged peace."

    I might be mistaken, but I think you need to have a visible boat path to one of their coastal cities and that's it. In other words, if one of your boats could reach them then you're eligible for trading. If there's a blocking city of another AI in between, the trade route disappears; so you have to have open borders with any civs along the coast to your trading partner.

    Please correct me if I'm wrong about that.

    Which is why it's a good idea to explore along the coast (hugging the coastline) with your early warrior or scout: it does open those potential trade routes that come online with sailing. (BTW that never occured to me until I read about it in some guide; it also extends the life expectancy of your exploring units, because animals usually don't attack from the water...).

    With Astronomy the mechanics become easier to understand, because ocean trade does not have to go along the coast line (blocking AIs become a non-issue then).

    Regarding what's been said about Writing and Sailing: I agree that those are underestimated early techs where trade commerce is concerned, but many people go for early Writing anyway for other reasons (prereq for Alphabet, enables libraries etc.).

    I often go for Sailing to connect resources (remote horse or copper), but this tech is a good early tech in its own right just to get the trade routes. It's really painful having to dispatch a worker for oh so many turns just to build a road into a foreign empire -- plus you have to protect it from barbs/animals etc. Sailing is much better, if it works.
     
  9. Lansky

    Lansky King

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    No trade route commerce bonus for disposition level, just for "lasting peace". Not sure how many turns this takes myself.

    Yeah, in order to open a trade route you just need to have sight of a city and have a viable route to it. The biggest annoyance to me is that a coastal barb city will close down this trade as well, which can be quite common at higher levels combined with an unfriendly map barb control wise.
     
  10. madscientist

    madscientist RPC Supergenius

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    A few comments on trade routes

    1) GLH is a game breaker if you can get alot of coastal cities and better yet off the capital landmass!.

    2) Trade routes are much better during a peaceful game with neighbors you cna open borders with. If I see the Toku's, Montys, Khans, Zealots I pretty much ignore trade route values.

    3) Key times when trade routes are added (non-wonder)
    A) First city connected to another. Thus the wheel and sailing are early economic techs.
    B) Currency: A free trade route, nothing else required. Thus every city get's at least 1 extra commerce, perhaps more if there are foreign trades.
    C) Economics: Requires civic change to Free Market. Use of this trade route rgeatly depends on whether state property or mercantilism is preferred.
    D) Corporation: Another freebie trade route with the only drawback is that you lose the two trade routes from the Great Lighthouse for coastal cities.
    E) Flight. Requires an airport in each city. With potentially close space race, intercontinental invasions, or major modern wars this is preferred earlier than later. SInce you likely have assembly line by this point they go up pretty fast.
    F) UN resloution (commen currency???). Another free one IF you can get the vote proposed and passed. The AI does not always propose it.
    G) CArthage Cothon: A UB harbor getting you a free trade route. Obne of the best UB's given the right map.

    4) Trade routes are steady sources of increased commerce during the game and the more cities you get the stronger you become.

    5) Coastal cities have buildings that help trade route yield, harbors and customehouses, plus they more easily get foreign trade routes.

    I look at every trade route like a cottage/town. As the game goes on they become more valuable.

    Just my 2 cents!
     
  11. champ82

    champ82 Immortal Ruler

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    Immortal, Lincoln – Didn’t win this game but it was close. I had internet and was in good space position when Boudica, who had two vassals on the largest continent, won UN.

    Anyway…GLH was the only wonder I built. With multiple foreign trade routes it is pretty amazing. Make a coastal city and pretty soon it will pay for itself. I won lib and took astronomy, which made it rock supreme. Unfortunately, soon after there was a bad rash of mercantilism, so I sold a tech around and weathered the storm with the slider.

    GLH can be as much of a game changer as GL or Mids IMO.

    I keep on imagining how amazing it could be with a PRO leader with stone and castles all around…you could alternately maybe do some silly espionage things with that and nationalism…but that's just an untested theory - maybe it wouldn't be so great.
     

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