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Adding First Worker to City

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  • Adding First Worker to City

    has anyone ever perfected this strategy? i keep trying but it always seems as though KEEPING the first worker is better.

    what i've been trying is making the worker do things until the city becomes a 2, then adding the worker to make it a 3.

    if you mine the right stuff or have a decent production, you can get a settler out BEFORE the AIs (unless youre playing diety).
    "I've lived too long with pain. I won't know who I am without it. We have to leave this place, I am almost happy here."
    - Ender, from Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

  • #2
    This should work good with industrious civs, as their public works go with doubled speed and the worker can complete 2 mines (6 turns) and 1 road (2 turns, plus 2 for moving) till the city goes pop-2. Let's now calculate some shields, and let's take as base a shielded grassland tile:

    - 1st turn, the worker moves. The city produces 2 shields.
    - 2nd..4th then, the worker mines. The city produces 3x2 shields, makes 8.
    - 5th turn, the worker moves. The city produces 3 shields, makes 11.
    - 6th..8th turn, the worker mines again. The city produces 3x3 shields, makes 20.
    - 9th..10th turn, the worker builds a road. The city produces 2x3 shields, makes 26.
    - 11th turn, the city gets size 2. The worker moves and since he came from a road, he can be instantly added, makes a size-3 city. The city produces at least 4 shields (the 2nd mine might be on unshielded grassland), the 3rd citizen we can make an entertainer, as we need that on Emperor or above, because the 2nd citizen will be unhappy. Voila, there we have a settler, at 3450BC.

    Seems to work with industrious, but a drawback is certainly, that the city is undefended all the time.

    EDIT: It works even with normal civs, if we have at least 2 shielded grassland tiles. 6 turns for mining, 3 for road and 2 for moves (and the finall add) makes also 11, but the production will take about 2 turns more, since the city won't produce 3 shields so quick.


    • #3
      What about adding the worker right away? You instantly increase production by 50%, and get the city ready to produce a settler earlier. After the first settler, produce a worker and pretend as if nothing happened.

      The benefit is in the fact that an average city (for the purposes of this we're figuring 2-food 1-shield tiles) needs ten turns to grow, but a size 2 city can produce a worker in 4 turns. So you've saved six turns somewhere. Theoretically.

      The cost would be all the roads you've missed out on. Oh hell, let's do the math now:

      Build city, add worker. City is size 2, making 3 shields.
      Turn 1: starts building warrior.
      Turn 4: builds warrior. Starts building settler.
      Turn 10: city grows to size 3. makes 4 shields, with 12 left for settler.
      Turn 13: city builds settler. Now is size 1, making 2 shields, and six food in granary. Starts building another warrior.
      Turn 18: city builds warrior. starts building worker.
      Turn 20: city grows to size 2. Six shields left for worker.
      Turn 23: city builds worker.

      So we've lost 24 turns of road-building, which is six roads (3 turns to build, 1 to move). The city is never more than size 3, so that works out to a cost of less than 72 gold - more like 45, probably. Is this worth getting a settler on the 13th turn? I'm not sure. If you have rivers you can do without the trade, though the lack of a road network for your settler is harder to quantify.

      Seems it might be worth it, though it's against my style.


      • #4
        For dealing with unhappiness while I just have one city, I'd MUCH rather crank up the luxury rate than create an entertainer. If I'm on a river (or have enough roads), the extra laborer can even pay for the extra entertainment! Actually, in general, I'm willing to invest some in entertainment early in exchange for extra growth and production. (The one annoying thing is that if I try to keep the luxury rate optimal for that strategy as I build settlers and then grow back my population, I occasionally forget and lose a turn to rioting.)

        Under most circumstances, I'm skeptical that adding the first worker to a city adds enough to be worth the cost to make him a worker again later and the cost in delayed improvements. I view tile improvements as being just as important as cities in my early expansion. Of course if I saw three herds of cattle grazing near each other not far from a mediocre first city, that might be another matter.