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Repeated Commodity Trade Strategy

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  • Repeated Commodity Trade Strategy

    You can develop a steady and very substantial stream of income and science by repeatedly trading the same commodity or commodities to the same foreign city. Here is how the strategy works.

    Once a civ develops trade, each city has three commodities it demands. Once you establish a trade route with a city, 0,1,2, or 3 of the commodities will either become unavailable or will change. For example, a city that originally demands Silk, Gold, and Coal may, after the establishment of a silk trade route, read (Silk), Wine, Coal. () indicates that you can no longer trade the commodity to that city. What you need to find are the cities where the commodities DO NOT change or become unavailable when you establish a trade route. For example, a city that demands Silk, Gold, and Coal will still read Silk, Gold, and Coal after the establishment of a trade route. Repeated simulation with the Cheat feature and in game situations indicates that one quarter to one third of the cities you can trade with will have this property.

    Once you identify a partner city whose commodities do not change, gear all your production toward building caravans or freight units to trade with this city. Build (or buy) caravans or freight units in cities that produce the commodities the partner city demands. Home the caravans or freight units to your Colossus city or other big trade city. This is very important not only because it maximizes income, and also because it allows your production cities to repeatedly produce the commodities the partner city demands. Ship the caravans or freight units off in batches of three or four per turn to the partner city. (Any additional trade-related science beyond what gets you to the next discovery gets wasted). Land the caravans or freight units and collect your bonus.

    I researched this strategy about a month ago using the Cheat feature on saved games, and I tried it in a full game situation for the first time last night. I had sent out about 12 early trade routes, and identified at least three cities whose commodities did not change or become unavailable when a trade route was established. I selected the closest city, a size 12 Babylonian city six squares west of my continent, and about 12 squares west of my Colossus city (size 18). I dedicated two transports to this trade route so I could be sure of having freight units arriving every single turn. In 1800 I developed Corporation (freight units) and went to work building building freight units carrying silk and gold. In the next 16 turns I developed 15 technologies and added about 25,000 coins to the treasury. Virtually all of this came from trade.

    This strategy may eventually wear out. Even though I homed all my freight units to the Colossus city, I now have many fewer cities that produce silk and gold than I originally did. However, you could combine this with other strategies in order to do quite well. For example, try Ming's tribute strategy early in the game, this strategy in the middle, and Xin Yu's Two Continents trading strategy late in the game.
    Old posters never die.
    They j.u.s.t..f..a..d..e...a...w...a...y....

  • #2
    I had a funny feeling this was happening in a game I finished last night, but I had 70 cities and could not remember where previous freights had been sent.

    Adam Smith: are you sure "any additional trade-related science beyond what gets you to the next discovery gets wasted?" I thought that once the beaker was full, you discovered a new advance and then the beaker started to fill again, even if the turn was not over.
    "I think the advantages by the proposal which I have made are obvious and many, as well as of the highest importance."
    Jonathan Swift

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    • #3
      I didn't know this! Maybe I'm just not paying attention (very likely) but I have never seen the situation you discribe. About 1/4 the cities you say... I will check this out. Usually I go from tribute to the multi continent trade strategy once the other AI's stop giving me money. And there usually is a gap between the two.
      Another great way to cash in big during the early and middle game is to set up a barbarian killing field. Barbs will appear in empty areas and not in heavy city areas. Leave an area that you can control empty. Leave units in fortified defensive positions (defensive and mobile) and wait for the barbs. The barbs will kill themselves on your solid positions, and your mobile units can chase down the kings. It works like a charm... instead of barbarian alerts, I just see "Visa" alerts.
      "If black people robbed you, I'd not consider it prejudice for you to be angry at black people in general" - Ben Kenobi
      Lessons in Christianity.

      Keep on Civin'
      RIP Tony Bogey & Baron O

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      • #4
        I've seen it happen... although I always thought that the city simply started demanding the commodity a turn or two after my freight arrived. I seem to recall once a city of Los Angeles that was always hungry for gold. I eventually bribed the American city of Seattle just so I could have an airport to deliver my gold bullion into L.A. (How does that work, anyway? If you're giving them gold, what are they paying you with?)
        "Harel didn't replay. He just stood there, with his friend, transfixed by the brown balls."

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        • #5
          I've noticed it, but I thought it was a bug (I'm playing version 1.06). Hides is the only commodity I've seen it happen to, but I'll check other commodities more closely in coming games.

          Carolus

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          • #6
            Bird:
            If you finish a discovery by producing science, any excess rolls over into the next discovery. If you finish a discovery by establising a trade route, any excess is lost.
            Carolus Rex:
            I have version 2.42

            Old posters never die.
            They j.u.s.t..f..a..d..e...a...w...a...y....

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            • #7
              I noticed this, but thought that It might be because I was homing the caravans to another city. This won't work as well in MP, where I hear you can't re home caravans, but It could still be quite useful.
              The camel is not a part of civ.
              THE CAMEL IS CIV !!!!
              SAVE THE CAMEL !!!!!!

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              • #8
                On a similar note, is distance in the equasion for the trade bonus modified for smaller maps? Also, if somebody could post again the equasion for trade bonuses that was on the deleted two continents trade strategy I would appreciate it. And what exactly constitutes a continent? I know that any time you have to cross water you go to a different continent, but what about two enormous land masses conected by only one or two land squares? And what about the ice caps, or land only connected by the ice caps?
                The camel is not a part of civ.
                THE CAMEL IS CIV !!!!
                SAVE THE CAMEL !!!!!!

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                • #9
                  Matthew,
                  One method to test continents is to right click on a square on a land mass. The display at the right will give you the x-y coordinates as well as another number. This is what I call the continent number, because it changes from continent to continent (the main ocean is '1' I believe, and inland seas and lakes also have different numbers). From this you will be able to tell if two continents are actually two continents.

                  For science flask overflows, I'm not sure that you do get the overflow. In the early stages of one game, I counted them each turn and especially when a discovery came about. I may have been very fortunate to always have the right amount because there was never any overflow. Next game, I'll take a look again.

                  One strategy that I employ with trade routes is to find the biggest, most trade productive city in the rest of the world (usually a Babylonian city). I send a caravan from as many of my cities as possible to this city (if I can fulfill a commodity, fine. If not, so be it) in order to establish as many rich trade routes as possible. Yet they only benefit from 3 of them and I from 20+. Sometimes I find the 2nd and 3rd biggest as well, but I usually choose to trade domestically because I get the benefit at both ends.

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                  • #10
                    Matthew:
                    Your post on the Wonders thread brought this back to mind. I have some trade formulas from one of the guide books, but we pretty much established on the Two Continents thread that those formulas were incorrect in some instances. Xin Yu supposedly worked out the correct formulas through experimentation. He was going to post them on Stewart Spink's web site, but I dont know if he ever did.
                    Old posters never die.
                    They j.u.s.t..f..a..d..e...a...w...a...y....

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                    • #11
                      Adam Smith: I have noticed that some cities don't change their commodities demands and after sending lots of the same commodity to one of these cities, one of the commodities that city supplied changed to Uranium. This was the first time I ever had a city which supplied Uranium and I attributed to this the fact that I kept on supplying with the commodity it always demanded.
                      Could this be true?
                      Do you know another way in which a city can supply Uranium?

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                      • #12
                        Uranium seems to be very rare and short-lived. I've had it disappear whilst building a freight unit. Also, placing a single worker in a sea square often alters the trading commodities. Not always, but often. I noticed this when I removed my only sea worker once. At any rate, Civ2 does some pretty weird things in the trade department.

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                        • #13
                          Thanks for the trading advice. I was playing as Gauss Chancellor of Germany and repeatedly shipped freight unit after freight unit of hides to the Persian capitol. I had a few cities that could produce hides turn after turn. While it lasted (perhaps 20 turns) I was making 1200 coins per turn from the hides. I had two cities on the same continent as the Persian capitol and another on a nearby island. All three cities had airports so transportation was not a problem.
                          If you can not think of a good reason to build something other than a caravan, build a caravan!

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                          • #14
                            Adam Smith,
                            I think we all now know that the commodities at the bottom right of the trade supply/demand chart (Uranium, Oil, Gold, etc) yield greater returns than those at the top left (Hides, etc). We also know that fulfilling a demand nets a greater benefit than not, right? But what if the demand is near the top left of the chart? Might you be better off disregarding a low-return demand and instead supplying a higher return commodity? Have you ever tried this and do you know the modifiers for each commodity and whether or not demand is fulfilled?

                            That's a lot of questions. It just seemed unlikely to me that supplying the demand of hides could possibly yield a greater return than sending in oil or gold. Of course, I am assuming the same two cities, same base trade, etc. The only difference is the commodity. Maybe I will try this out using the cheat menu. Just that if you already know than I can save myself the time.

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                            • #15
                              And here are the answers, and they are quite surprising. I had not expected this. If the commodity is not demanded, then the bonus is the same, whether it is hides or uranium. But when several commodities are demanded, it is the ones to the bottom right of the list that yield the highest returns. So if a city demands gold and dye, and your city can supply gold and dye, send in the gold because it is the more valuable of the two. Also, and I was wrong to assume otherwise, supplying a demand always yields a greater return than not doing so.

                              One difficulty I have always had was deciding which foreign city to trade with. Obviously, I want one that has a lot of inherent trade in order to get the biggest returns. Short of wasting reems of diplomats, or using the cheat menu, I can only guess by looking at the population of a city and the surrounding terrain. But the AI is notorious for favouring food over all else, so even those factors can be misleading, especially very early on. If a city has a well-developed road infrastructure, its probably got a fair bit of trade. Republican governments help as well of course. So, Adam Smith, how do you decide which foreign cities to go for?

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