Post 1: This is a special topic, please read Post 3 below for instructions on posting. Click here to view this document in a stand-alone, HTML window.
1. Settlers and Engineers
The Settler is the first unit owned in a standard game. In addition to being needed to found new cities, the Settler has a variety of simple tasks it can perform to improve the terrain. The Engineer unit becomes available for building when you learn the advance of Explosives. If you have Leonardo’s Workshop, and no tribe has learned the advance of Automobile, all of your Settlers will be upgraded to Engineers. In addition to the differences in the table below, Engineers are the only unit that can perform the Transform command, and they perform all work at twice the speed of Settlers. See Section 3.2. The exact statistics are given below. Settlers and Engineers cannot initiate attacks, but they can capture undefended enemy cities.
1.1.1. TABLE 1-Settler and Engineer statistics
__40__ __40__ Cost to build in shields
0 (N/A) 0 (N/A) Attack
___1__ ___2__ Defense
___2__ ___2__ Hit Points
___1__ ___2__ Movement rate
Other than not being able to initiate attacks, Settlers and Engineers are counted as military units and require the same shield support as military units. In governments where the first (x) units from a city do not require shield support, Settlers and Engineers do count toward the point where support is required for additional military units. In addition, Settlers and Engineers require 1 unit of food support from their home city, which increases to 2 units of food if the government is Republic, Communism, or Democracy. (Regular military units apparently just rob whatever homesteads they pass of their food.) This easily makes Settlers and Engineers the most expensive units to support, which is why NON Settlers and Engineers are so desirable.
1.3. Getting Settlers/Engineers
In addition to starting the game with 1 or 2 Settlers, you can obtain worker units in the usual ways: you can build them in your cities, you can discover them in huts (up to around the discovery of the Invention advance), you can bribe them with Diplomats or Spies, and you can bribe cities which have Settlers in them or in a square immediately adjacent to the city. When you build Settlers or Engineers, the city that builds them shrinks in size by 1 point. If you build a Settler/Engineer in a city that is size 1, it will disband the city, unless it is the only city you own. Usually, disbanding a city will result in a worker whose home city is the one nearest to the site where the city was disbanded, but see Section 1.5.
One trick for obtaining lots of Settlers/Engineers is available only in the Republic or Democracy governments. It requires a city which is celebrating “We Love the __ Day”, preferably one which is producing 40+ extra shields per turn, preferably with a city size larger than 20. If you set such a city to building Engineers, for example, then at the start of the next turn it will build the Engineer, causing the city to shrink in size by 1. Then, if the city has extra food, it will increase in size by 1 because of the celebration, ending at the same size it was last turn. If building the Engineer causes the city to no longer have extra food or 40 extra shields to give, the new unit should be homed to a different city before the turn ends. This way, you can produce a new (Engineer) every turn from that city. If you really want a lot of workers, you can do this trick for more than one city at once.
1.4. Veteran Settlers/Engineers
Other than by attacking an opponent and winning, which is not available for Settlers/Engineers, you can obtain veteran workers in the same way you obtain veteran military units. They have a chance to become veteran if they survive an attack, they can be built in a city with a Barracks, or built when Sun Tzu’s is active. Veteran workers have no special advantage other than a 50% cumulative bonus in defending when attacked.
1.5. NON Settlers/Engineers
The Settlers you have at the start of the game are NON Settlers; they do not require support from any city. (You don’t have any cities yet!) Building new cities with NON Settlers will destroy them to form the city, but building new cities will not affect the status of other NON Settlers than you own. When you obtain Settlers from huts, they are always NON Settlers. If you bribe a Settler/Engineer, or you disband a city, and the closest city is an enemy city, you will get a NON Settler/Engineer. This effect can be used to purposely get NON units by building a new city nearer an enemy city than any of your cities, and rush-buying a Settler/Engineer, disbanding the city. The presence of water, mountains, or roads is not a factor in determining which city is closest; the distance in squares is the only factor. The distance between two squares touching at diagonals is 1.5 times the distance between two squares that touch on a side. If, after adding up the distance, the result has a .5 on the end, round up. If there is a tie for the closest city after rounding, the city that was built most recently is considered closest.
2. The Commands
2.1. Build City-keyboard command (b)
Most terrain improvements cannot be made to the city square after the city has been built. One slight exception to this is when a city is being built on a hill. If one Settler/Engineer starts to mine the hill, and then another one builds the city on that square, the first Settler can continue to mine until the mine is complete, and the city will then receive the benefits from the mine in addition to the usual benefits of building a city on a hill. However, if a hill square already has a mine, building a city on that square will not give you the benefits of the mine. This trick would apply to building cities on Desert squares as well.
City squares of all types may be transformed after the city is built. This could be done to increase the production of the city square or to increase the defensive bonus defenders of the city receive. See Section 2.5. However, any terrain types that receive production bonuses from irrigation, farmland, roads, and railroads will automatically receive such bonuses whether or not they were present on the square before the city was built. Therefore, it is not necessary to alter future city sites with these improvements. Other terrain types receive production bonuses when a city is built upon them that are not normally available for non-city squares. Table 1 illustrates these bonuses.
2.1.1. TABLE 2-Special production bonuses on city squares
Food/Shield/Trade Terrain type
_(c)_ _____ _(e)_ Desert
____ _(d)__ ____ Forest
____ _+1__ ____ Glacier
_(c)_ _1(b)_ _(e)_ Grassland
_(c)_ +1(a d) ____ Hills
____ _+1__ ____ Jungle
_+1_ _____ ____ Mountain
_(c)_ _____ _(e)_ Plains
____ _+1__ ____ Swamp
_(c)_ _+1__ ____ Tundra
Some notes on the table:
a. The Hills bonus assumes that a mine was not produced using the trick explained above.
b. Grassland city squares produce 1 shield whether a shield was already produced there or not.
c. Hills, Tundra, Desert, Plains, and Grassland city squares receive automatic food bonuses from irrigation (and from farmland, when a Supermarket is built in the city).
d. Forest (and Hills with the mining trick) city squares receive a shield production bonus when the Railroad advance is learned.
e. Desert, Plains, Grassland, and rivered city squares produce whatever trade arrows would be generated on such a square if it had a road. Before you learn Bridge Building, this is the only way to get the trade bonus that comes from a river square with a road.
2.2. Early Commands
When you begin the game, the only commands for improving terrain available are Irrigate (i), Build Road (r), Mine (m), and Clear Pollution (p). And that last command will be useless for quite a while. Road building is significant for decreasing the cost to move between two adjacent squares with roads to 1/3 of a movement point. Also, Desert, Plains, and Grassland squares with roads, within a city radius, will produce a trade arrow for the city. A river square with a road will have the potential to produce one extra trade arrow, regardless of the terrain type, but you must have the Bridge Building advance before you can put a road on a river square.
If you establish a trade route between two cities, and the computer determines that there is a road connecting the two cities by the most direct route, you will receive a 50% bonus to the initial value of establishing the route, and a 50% bonus for the turn-to-turn value of the route in each of the cities involved. If the “direct route” road is completed later, the trade route will increase by the appropriate amount. See Post 4 for a link to an explanation of “most direct”.
Irrigation will increase the food output of Tundra, Desert, Plains, Grassland, and Hills squares by 1. Irrigation can only be built if a square immediately (not diagonally) adjacent is ocean, river, or is a non-city square with irrigation. See Section 2.3 for an idea on how to get around this. If there is a mine on a Desert or Hills square, irrigating there will destroy it. Mining, on the other hand, will destroy any irrigation on a square. See Section 2.8 for information on how to get around this. Mining will increase shield production by 1 for Desert, Glacier, and Mountain squares. It increases shield production on a Hills square by 3.
The Clear Pollution command is not available except on squares where pollution has occurred. Pollution on a square reduces the square’s ability to produce by 1 of each kind of product; food, shield, and trade. It will not lower the production of any kind below 1, though. If enough pollution squares are in existence at any one time (approximately 15), global warming will occur and terrain types will change, generally for the worse, throughout the world. Using the Clear Pollution command when available is a great idea.
2.3. Automate Settler
Generally, the Automate Settler command (k) is not a great idea. Your Settler’s time is too valuable to let the computer waste it on squares you won’t be using right away. One situation where this command is useful is when there are no river or ocean squares in the area. Automating a Settler in this case can result in irrigation without a water source, although the computer may try to build a road or two first. You can wake the Settler by clicking on it after the irrigation is finished. The computer generally tries to “play fair”, so if it looks like there is any chance of irrigating from water, the computer will take it. And if you have more than one city, an automated settler will usually try to make sure they are connected by a road before it does anything else.
2.4. Build Fortress
The Build Fortress command (f) becomes available with the advance of Construction. When a square contains a fortress, the defense bonus of any unit in that square is doubled, cumulative with any other defense modifiers. Also, the defeat of any unit in that square in battle results in the destruction of only that unit, not of all units in the square. In Republic and Democracy governments, military units inside a fortress within three squares of one of your cities will not cause unhappiness. It is not possible to build an airbase on a square that already has a fortress. Building a fortress on a square that has an airbase is possible using the keyboard command, but it will destroy the airbase.
2.5. Changing Terrain
In addition to building improvements on a square, there are three commands which can change the type of terrain on a square: Clear, Reforest, and Transform.
The Clear command (i) is available immediately in the game, and is treated as an aspect of the irrigation command, having the same keyboard shortcut. Forests can be cleared to become Plains squares, and Jungle and Swamp squares can be cleared to become Grassland squares. See Chart 1.
The Reforest command (m) is also available immediately in the game, being treated as an aspect of the mining command. Plains, Grassland, Jungle, and Swamp squares can all be changed into Forest squares using the Reforest command. See Chart 1.
The Transform command (o) becomes available with the advance of Explosives, and it cannot be performed by Settlers, only by Engineers. All terrain types but Ocean can be transformed to a different terrain type, although some transformations can be achieved more quickly using the above terrain-changing commands. See Section 3.2. An illustration of how to most quickly move from one terrain type to another can be observed in the following chart.
2.5.4. CHART 1-Changing the terrain
The arrows in the chart are labeled with the keyboard shortcut for the Engineer command: “o” for Transform, “i” for Clear, and “m” for Reforest. Notice that over half of the terrain types cannot be returned to once they have been changed. Only Plains, Forest, Hills, and Grassland squares can be changed and then eventually reformed. For normal squares, this is probably not a problem, but for specialty squares it could be an issue. Sometimes special squares are hidden at the beginning of the game.
2.5.5. Hidden Specials
Special terrain type squares form a definite pattern on the map, as do untipped huts. Of course, this pattern is not perfect, because of ocean squares. Huts will not appear on ocean squares, and specialty terrain that is too far out to sea to be used by a city will not show up as Fish or Whale. But if we ignore the possibility of ocean squares, the pattern (would look) like this:
The red squares, of course, stand for special terrain types and the brown houses are huts.
There is another reason why the pattern does not always look exactly like this in the game. There is no specialty terrain type for Grassland squares. Grassland squares either produce a shield or they do not, based on their own, much simpler pattern, which is easy to observe. (The Grassland shield pattern goes northeast-southwest 2 squares on, 2 squares off, and northwest-southeast alternating squares.) When the computer initially creates a map, if it decides a specialty square will be of the Grassland type, it looks like any other Grassland square. But changing the square to a different terrain type will result in a specialty square, necessarily of the Plains, Forest, or Hills variety, since those are the only kinds you can reach from Grassland.
Notice that the pattern for specialty squares repeats every 8 squares east-west (along the diagonal). This can be of benefit when searching for hidden special squares. Also, the hut pattern, which only repeats every 16 squares east-west, can be of benefit when searching for specialty squares. Everywhere a hut appears, there is a specialty square 2 squares northeast or southwest. So, if you know where a hut is, and you don’t see a specialty square in one of the two spots where one should be, there must be a hidden special there. A few of them in the graphic above are off the edge, though, and that could happen at the north and south poles in the game too.
When you alter a specialty square, it stays within one of two groups of specialty square types. The first group is the original Civ kind of specialty squares.
2.5.6. CHART 2-Specialty square terrain alteration, Original Civ type (Fish type)
Then, of course, there are the terrain types “new” to Civ2.
2.5.7. CHART 3-Specialty square terrain alteration, new to Civ2 type (Whale type)
2.6. Build Railroad
The Build Railroad command (r) becomes available with the advance of, well, Railroad. It can only be performed on squares that already have roads. Squares that have a railroad on them produce 50% more shields, rounded down, than they would without the railroad. There is no movement penalty for any ground unit that moves between two adjacent squares that both have railroads on them. When you learn the advance of Railroad, all of your squares on which a city is built automatically become railroad squares. The lack of movement penalty makes connecting large stretches of terrain with railroads very important in military campaigns and trading situations. If two cities are connected most directly to each other completely by railroads instead of just roads, the trade bonuses increase from 50% to 100%.
2.7. Improve Farmland
The Improve Farmland command (i) becomes available with the advance of Refrigeration. It can only be performed on squares that already have irrigation. Squares that have farmland on them produce 50% more food, rounded down, than they would without the farmland, if the city using the square has a Supermarket built. Regular Desert squares that have irrigation will not benefit from farmland unless you are planning to change the terrain. When you learn the advance of Refrigeration, city squares of types Grassland, Plains, Desert, Tundra and Hills automatically become farmland squares, but they will not benefit from the farmland until they build a Supermarket.
2.8. Build Airbase
The Build Airbase command (e) becomes available with the advance of Radio. Airbases cannot be built on squares that have a fortress. The primary purpose of an airbase is to provide a resting place for air units. Air units can end their turn on an airbase square without crashing, and if they move onto an airbase square, they must end their turn, just as when they move onto a friendly city square or carrier unit. Paratrooper units can perform paradrops from airbase squares. Fighters in airbase squares do not, however, scramble.
The secondary value of airbase squares is the improvement to the terrain. Airbase squares inside a city radius function as though they have the road, railroad, irrigation, and farmland improvements, whether those improvements are already present on the square or not. Airbase squares anywhere function as though they have a railroad on them, as far as troop movement is concerned. Airbase squares do not function as roads or railroads for the purposes of trade route connections, however. Squares in the most direct route between trading cities may need roads and railroads in addition to airbases. The ability to function as irrigation and farmland without actually having irrigation and farmland present on the square means that Hills and Desert squares can benefit from both mining and farmland (or at least irrigation, in the case of normal Desert squares) by having an airbase/mining improvement combo. Since airbase squares function almost like city squares, which also automatically receive road, railroad, irrigation, and farmland improvements, building airbases on Hills squares in the city radius is considered a cheat in One City Challenge games.