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Quantitative Analysis of Civ Traits

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  • #16
    You didn't take in account free cities and early contact profits in calculations for Expansionistic civs (especcialy on larger & emptier maps)

    In my own expirience I know that they are much more usefull then you think.

    Especially since you can keep up in expansion with AI.

    As anybody remember games in civ2 when one player starts with 2 settlers (other with one) & wins much easier.

    Expansionistic is similar to that.


    • #17

      From reading the forums, I think a LOT of people miss expansionist's BIGGEST advantage.

      Scouts = Faster exploration.
      Faster exploration = Faster Contacts.
      Faster Contacts = Faster trades (resources/techs).
      Faster trades = Faster science (either from commerce or the techs).
      Faster trades = Early attacks stalled (Other civ is happier with ya).

      In the early game, this can be very important. In some situations, the added diplomatic/trade benefits to trading has saved my butt from early death. At least long enough to get my temples/spears out there.

      How do you quantify THAT advantage in gold/shields?


      • #18
        Plus, if you are expansionistic, don't trade communications.
        Be MONOPOLIST.

        You get a tech, and then you sell it (and only you) to all others, etc...


        • #19
          This is fun. I should say I will put universities and labs in every city I can. What I am saying is that Labs do not become available until modern ages and I can only get them in a few cities before game is won, hence not much value (I do not need more culture by then as I will have more than all others combined). A tank is more useful by then as I am getting tech as fast as I need anyway. Universities are in the middle and are up in core cities, but it is getting late by that time.
          Military, I have so many elite troops with out it, why should I concern myself? Leaders? They are rare and I did not do any better with military. Since I am at war 80-90% of the game and have battles a plenty, I get lots of elites (start with vets (barracks)).
          Religious and the 1 turn anarchy gambit, who needs it? I mean so many civs favor Monarchy, it is a useful for a very long time. I switch once to Monarch and once to either Rep or Dem, depending on which one my civ does not like. I did say the religious is a good trait and if you want to play a civ that uses it, that will be fine. I just do not see any big value in Military or Expansion. A scout is not much of bonus in most maps. You will likely get to the same huts before the AI with a warrior as the scout (maybe on a huge map it pays off). Finding the other civs will occur a little later, no big deal. Exposing the map faster is not a worth while thing either as you will not get settlers there any quicker.


          • #20
            I usualy get four to eight leaders as a millitaristic civ. Usualy play as the Romans, and about the only time I'm not fighting sombody is that lull between the death of the first civ I contact and locateing other targets.


            • #21
              It really is a good analysis, Nato. As you disclaimed, however, their are so many intangible factors. Consider the French, for example. Commercial and industrious.

              Thanks to lumberjacking, you can greatly increase your science expenditures because a small army of workers can get your improvements completed or nearly completed in a single turn. They can swarm around all over the place, moving from city to city, building libraries, universities, cathedrals practically anything and everything except wonders. I sometimes have science set at 80% and don't skip a beat. Especially as the game progresses, I routinely achieve the four turn minimum for tech advances.

              In the very late game, this can be exremely valuable as you're trying to build up brand new cities taken either by conquest or culture. Plus, the workers can quickly build a dynamite infrastructure of roads and railroads that make defensive war a breeze. Zzzzappp! You move your unit from one end to the other instantly to defend key tiles. All the while, these roads are contributing to internal resources (shields, food, etc.).

              Workers also can be a great assistance in wartime, literally laying down the roads and railroads as your army advances. They can swarm a newly conquered city and build it up to full capacity in just a few turns.

              Now, combine all this with the extra commerce and lower corruption (albeit not a lot lower) and that would account for the reputation the French have as a building Civ. But remember that you can build not only buildings, but armies as well. Yes, you get leaders and promotions less frequently, but you do get them. And you can crank military units out fast and furious with a sufficient hoard of workers and enough cash. Especially with democracy.

              In a recent game, I was ambushed by the Aztecs. They just attacked out of the blue! Using my workers as a sort of collective tool and my extra income, I was able to crank out a force sufficient not only to repel the Aztecs, but to follow them back into their territory and pillage the hell out of everything they had. It was many many years (because of their aggression) before war weariness set in for me, and I had to sue for peace. But by then, Montezuma was willing to give me nearly everything for peace, since I had destroyed practically all his roads, mines, and irrigation.

              Interestingly, when I finally withdrew (my people were starting to get really pissed "All we are saying is give peace a chance." ), I surveyed the former great Aztec empire. Lordy, it was weird looking. Littered with size 6-12 cities and scarcely a road to be found. They had to start all over. Montezuma remained furious the rest of the game. But I digress...
              "Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatum." William of Ockham


              • #22
                rah - Yeah I'm pretty up front that it is in no way close to perfect. Just talking and trying to get a vague idea. I'm not going to try to perfect it ... but I will try to get what conclusions and info I can out of it! Learning from other people is why I am at this forum, like you allude to.

                6-10 changes! Wow even when I'm religious I don't do that. Either I'm in full war mode (communism), or if its a quick grab, I stay in democracy and try to end it quick ... maybe I am being too pedestrian though.

                One note about that, the faster government change is a tough advantage to try to maximize. You still lose 1 turn of production ... so in a way by trying to maximize that advantage, you are maximizing 1 lost turns for yourself.

                mharmless - I see what you are saying about the wonders, but including it in the value for militarstic would still be double counting it's value ... the shields to build it should represent that. Just like I don't credit Industrious with whatever the extra shields actually build, but only the shields themselves. Oh well.

                Cool points on the elite units being better than veterans. I'd have never thought of that. Thanks for the insight.

                I really would like to know how many extra leaders Militaristic tends to get you. 4-8 wow ... I get about 3 with France ... I had figured 2 extra, maybe its more like 3-5.

                player1 - Good point about selling techs. I did consider including it but had trouble deciding if I should. I was unsure if non Expansionistic civs couldn't still develop the tech normally and sell it.

                You're right I probably should have included it ... wonder how much money you get for an early tech on average, and how many guys you can sell it to on average.

                As to free cities ... I've played a lot of Civ3 and have seen only one Settler/city from a hut, which I got with Romans. I didn't figure it occured often enough on average to include. I could of course be wrong though.

                Dale - It seems to me non-Expansionistic civs can explore fast too ... they just have to pay for extra Warriors to do it. They have to pay a lot of shields early to match the Scouts. Otherwise it's nothing other civs can't do ... they just have to pay more to do it, at the very start of the game.

                Just how I see it, could be wrong.

                Oh and to answer THAT , like I said above I think everything has a value in gold/shields you would be willing to trade it for, and that is it's value. Again just how I see it, could be wrong.

                You guys are probably right, there must be more to Expansionistic ... it can't be THAT inferior to the other traits. OTOH it seems to be the least popular and regarded as weakest, so maybe it is not a good deal. Just trying to find out exactly what.

                vmxa1 - Ok good points. Actually those were a lot how I felt when I was France only!

                Libertarian - Thanks. About the workers though, I think they can be measured.

                A non Industrious civ can do the same thing as an Industrious civ simply by building two workers for each of the Industrious civ's one. Therefore, the value of the faster workers is one free worker per worker built. How you use the workers, and all those intagible benefits, are irrelevant ... you can use non Industrious workers the same ways as you described ... you simply need twice as many. The bonus to Industriousness is in not having to build twice as many, which is just saving the costs of the workers. No intagibles about that particular thing.

                Overall, I think most things really can be quantified ... I am just not smart enough to think of everything and figure out how to account for it all. I just find the quantification attractive because it is so revealing ... if one civ trait is in fact better, I would like to know. If, for instance, Industrious isn't as fantastic as it seems, that is good info.

                In any event, this all has helped me to see where the advantages of the traits are coming from and just how much they may actually be worth.
                Good = Love, Love = Good
                Evil = Hate, Hate = Evil


                • #23
                  Even if you tried to qualify the extra sheilds from industrious, you are looking at 13 vs 12 sheilds per turn. Not very signifigant for wonder building.

                  A great leader is INSTANT. 300+ sheilds, right now, when it matters. This time factor must be included, the time value of that wonder is not insignifigant. 300 turns earlier is not counting it twice... that 300 turns would not have benifited from the wonder/palace otherwise. It is too large a block of time to ignore.


                  • #24
                    I'm not advocating the use of expansionist. I've tried all the different civ traits and found that's how expansionist helped me. As for who I DO play, I prefer religion and industrial or commercial (depending on whether I want war or peace for a game).

                    My view is that there is no quantitative way to qualify all the traits as a cut 'n dry figure.

                    For example:
                    Take the war-monger style player. An aggressive trait would suit him better than a peaceful trait. That's according to his play style. Similarly, a peaceful player would not get the benefits from an aggressive trait. What use is militaristic if you never fight an offensive war? And what use is commercial or scientific if you'll just conquor/steal what you want?

                    EVERY player will rate the traits differently. Therefore, there is no cut 'n dry method of saying "This trait is the best". The player's STYLE will determine which trait is best for them. All we can do is talk about how to use the advantages of each trait, not determine which trait will always win. I like the late-game conquor and the early-culture attack. That's why I play the aforementioned traits.


                    • #25
                      I have to agree to this. A millitiant player will get alot more milage out of that trait. Unless you are going on the offensive alot, your only gain from that trait is cheap harbors and airports. With industrious, a player who micromanages his workers will get more benifit than sombody like me who gives only improve-here and (rail)road-to-here orders.

                      Same goes for all the traits. They all seem to cater to specific play styles, and with us having 16 civs all possible combonations of traits are covered. The fact that everybody touts a different trait as best is a damn good sign of balance.

                      The only trait that I think needs any work at all is expansionist. It seems to have a noticibly small group of adherants as compared to the other traits. Maybe we should pester Firaxis for some more detailed information about the trait. Maybe expansionists should at least get granary on the cheap...


                      • #26
                        When considering Industrious, you're right about the costs of building two workers instead of one, but you're forgetting the costs of upkeeping those extra workers for the whole game. That could be on average about 30 extra workers for 400 turns (fewer earlier, more later). And that's if you make liberal use of slave labor instead of building your own workers. Add 12000 value to Industrious...

                        In addition, one must consider the negative impact of slower growth due to population lost by building extra workers instead of settlers. I believe this effect makes Industrious much more "expansionistic" than Expansionist does. One can grow so much more quickly with Industrious than without! This is not double counting, but instead taking into account the population cost in addition to the shield cost at a very critical time. To do it properly you'd have to calculate how many gold and shields you lost by not building those new cities 10 turns earlier for each extra worker you build in the beginning of the game. I'd say that's about 50 total turns lost which accumulate throughout the game. And this is not to mention the lost production of the original city that now also has 1 less citizen working it. Of course some of these losses don't last all 400 turns, because you hit natural population limit points (sometimes even just due to happiness). But those extra 30 workers, plus the 5 cities that were delayed early on due to worker production probably lose at least 2 shields+2 commerce for about 100 turns each. Let's say 50 to be conservative. Add another 7000 value to Industrious...

                        Feel free to make whatever assumptions you feel are valid instead of using my numbers, but this extra value should be accounted for. For me, Industrious has the largest impact in terms of "easyness of the game" of any of the civ strengths. When I don't have it I really miss it.

                        As for Commercial, my experience has been the real benefit is not in large cities, but rather in small cities. Because the shields are either rounded or not, I have found that commercial gives me 100% corruption reduction in small cities on my borders. This means that instead of 1 shield out of 2, I get 2 out of 2. This equates to half price anything (normally temples, but also barracks, military units, or other early improvements). So I think that your average 5% corruption reduction is grossly undervalued. The real benefit here relates to how you devalue things over time, and is very difficult to quantify.
                        I'm not giving in to security, under pressure
                        I'm not missing out on the promise of adventure
                        I'm not giving up on implausible dreams
                        Experience to extremes" -RUSH 'The Enemy Within'


                        • #27
                          Great analysis.

                          I agree the traits have 4 tiers
                          1st Commercial
                          2nd Scientific, Industrial
                          3rd Religous, Militaristic
                          4th Expansionistic

                          I think one other approach to valuing the traits is to look at which AI civilization are the best. In every game, I've played past the Ancient Era, France has been the #1 nation. I don't think it is because of their special unit !

                          I'd argue that Religion is more valuable than military for a couple of reasons. The ability to cheaply build a temple in a conquored cities (which allows you to expand your culture/border to 2 squares) is very helpful. You can also do this with scientific (but generally you need the temple and the libary is kinda of useless).

                          Also I think building the heroic epic counters most of the militaristic leader advantages (now I admit this doesn't happen every game.)


                          • #28
                            I guess the moral of the story is long live the French.

                            Now, if only they were blue, had Cardinal Mazarin as leader, and a UU worth spit I'd be happy with this fact.

                            Pink, a half-anglicized Jeanne d'Arc and a 3-4-1 is hard to take

                            And no, I'm not about to edit my game, feels like cheating. Or something.


                            • #29

                              I think it's worth noting that the fact that the French UU sucks in comarison to other UU's is credible evidence that Commercial and Industrious are the strongest civ traits. As bad as they might have failed, Firaxis did at least try to balance the civs, and it seems to me that they felt the French had enough of an advantage.
                              I'm not giving in to security, under pressure
                              I'm not missing out on the promise of adventure
                              I'm not giving up on implausible dreams
                              Experience to extremes" -RUSH 'The Enemy Within'


                              • #30
                                I agree with Dave on the twice as many workers. You can not toss that around as if it is nothing. You pay for support and if you are spending time and resources to make them it means you are not making something else.