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The Virtues of being Industrious....

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  • The Virtues of being Industrious....

    It's been a while since I put virtual pen to virtual paper and sat down to write something about the game.

    Thank you, Theseus....your words are a large part of the reason for my return.

    How long a return....don't really know. It will depend on a number of things I guess....perhaps nobody will really care much for what I have to say, and this thread will quickly sink to the bottom with pathetic page views and a one star rating.

    Perhaps, some crisis will occur in Candle'Bre that will draw me away from here to there for God-Knows-How-Long....can't really say.

    But for now....I'm happy to have returned.

    Ahh...but enough of the ramble, and on to the topic in my head (which is, I suppose, simply a ramble of a different sort).

    My perception of the Civ traits (like most folks) has undergone some modification since the game was first introduced. "Industrious" has always been viewed as one of the stronger Civ traits, but the more I ponder it and its uses, the clearer it becomes to my brain that Industrious is THE dominant Civ trait, and for a number of reasons, outlined below:

    1) Time/Turn Advantage: Time is your biggest enemy in any strategy game, and Civ is no exception. Industrious workers get the job done twice as fast and efficiently as non-industrious workers. This means more food, money, and more shields of production, more quickly than your non-industrious opponents. Over the course of the game, that can add up to an *enormous* total advantage in resources produced.

    2) Captured workers: The time advantage mentioned above carries over to captured workers, which are also twice as productive as normal captured workers. Imagine getting a free "regular" worker each time you successfully capture...OUCH.

    3) Roads: Roads are vital for three reasons. First, money. Trade. Per turn cash and research. With industrious workers building roads, you get more coin, more quickly. That's generally a good thing, and needs no further explanation.

    Second, roads represent the most expedient means of moving your army from Point A to Point B in the ancient era (and in truth, for the entire game up until Railroads). This is all about projecting your power, folks. The fact is, that regardless of how big the continent is, you CAN, with a good road network in place, control it. That means that no matter how many civs you find yourself surrounded by, you CAN conquer them all and maintain order on the continent. A well constructed road network will be pivotal in your ability to do that, and Industrious workers will build it for you with a speed and efficiency that will make other Civs GREEN with envy and WHITE with fear.

    This requires the use of a number of your workers in an offensive role (at least 2, preferably four, leap-frogging each other, so that you get a tile of road put down each and every turn (over open terrain...and the four workers can combine their efforts on a single tile if you're building through rough terrain). This also implies guards....think 2 Spearmen and 2 Archers to accompany them if you start really early, and you'd better start really early! (I'd make the construction of your offensive worker crews and their guards the very FIRST priority of your civ, once you have, say, 2-3 cities up and running. Sacrifice initial city defenders and workers to improve tiles...EVERYTHING to start building that road network out to the great beyond....why? Simply because "out there" is where two very important things are....the bad guys (and let's face it, everything other than your civ is, on a certain level, "the bad guys") and more resources! You already know what's in (or what's not in) the immediate vicinity of your cities, and under despotism, there's scant gains to be had by doing early work there anyway (and, what gains ARE to be had can quickly be made by your city improvement workers AFTER the offensive crew gets'll be able to quickly catch up with your non-industrious counterparts, even if you give them a bit of a "head start"

    Long term, you're doing anything BUT giving them a head start, and the fruits of your labor will become readily apparent once you find a juicy resource patch (covered below) or once you discover the location of a rival civ that's a little too close for comfort.

    Fact is, once you have located your neighbors and built roads to them, you are in a position to rapidly move and shift your army to any front....threatening any neighbor you choose. Map size doesn't matter, terrain doesn't matter (if you've built your road network well, then you have kept river crossings to a minimum), and even with a slightly smaller force, the added mobility you have thanks to your well constructed road network, will enable you to meet any and all threats defensively, which means that relatively MORE of your troops can be placed on the offensive.

    That pretty much spells doom for your neighbors, who are probably still struggling to get themselves sorted out.

    Three, settlement. If you are moving your settlers along roads, and your opponent is moving his settlers along open ground, you are moving three times faster than your opponent in terms of settlement. That's a powerful edge. If you find resources out and about, odds are overwhelmingly in your favor that your road network (with convenient off ramps leading right to the tile you wanna build the new city in) will enable you to beat any nearby rival TO that city site, allowing you to set up shop first, and shutting your opponents out, where resources are concerned.

    You just can't beat 3x faster mobility for your settlers, compared to your opponents settlers moving over open terrain. Your "offensive work crew" (and they really are pretty offensive, when you think about it....) will do that for you....and more.

    (more later, work calls...must slay a few dragons)
    The list of published books grows. If you're curious to see what sort of stories I weave out, head to and do an author search for "Christopher Hartpence." Help support Candle'Bre, a game created by gamers FOR gamers. All proceeds from my published works go directly to the project.

  • #2
    Heeeee's Baaaaaaaack...

    Heya Vel.

    Industrious is definitely a big advantage. As with most of the traits, however, its power is dependent on map size. The bigger the map, the more powerful it is. There are just that many more tiles to improve. This is why many people have reported that the Americans can be quite powerful on large & huge maps. They are designed for rapid expansion - as in the settler flood, by Aeson (tm).

    I still think Religious is #1 for the settings I use (standard/normal). I keep meaning to try the Chinese to check out the industrious/militaristic combination.

    Otherwise, your points are valid, as usual.

    grog want tank...Grog Want Tank... GROG WANT TANK!

    The trick isn't to break some eggs to make an omelette, it's convincing the eggs to break themselves in order to aspire to omelettehood.


    • #3
      Hiya Arrian!

      And thank ya! Yep...Religious is my second favorite trait (and the reason I am a HUGE fan of the Egyptians) I see it, Religious offers you some pretty attractive benefits, but most of those benefits come down the road (by the mid game, when all your early cheap temples have been churning out culture for 3000 years or so, and the whole rest of the planet's culture is a spec on the radar when stacked next to yours....and, that wonderous one turn disruption when you're ready to switch government types....just GOTTA love that!

      But the reason I like Industrious so much is that those benefits come right now. From the first turn that first worker hits the happy trail, you start seeing the immediate benefits. The ability of an Industrious society to project its power with such ease is just....spooky (consider that for a non-industrious civ to accomplish the same thing as quickly, he'd need 8 workers in the "offensive work gang, and at least 6 guards (I'd not feel comfortable sending 8 workers out with only four guards)....representing a huge mineral investment for a fledgling civ....something that is almost beyond the ability of a little civ just getting started, really.

      That puts the Industrious guys in the driver's seat where controlling the tempo of the game is concerned. If a rival civ gets uppity and starts to attack, even before the road network is fully built out, it's almost a given that enough of it will have already been constructed to net some solid battlefield benefits to the industrious side. And of course, the longer the game grinds on, the more complete that network becomes, till its like a noose around the necks of everyone around you.

      The really interesting thing about Industrious as an ability though, is that it DOES get stronger as the map size changes. Unlike the Expansionistic trait, however (which I regard as nigh-on useless on tiny maps), Industrious is KILLER at both ends of the spectrum, allowing for continent wide projection of power on huge continents, and allowing for unbelievably fast strikes (Imagine a partially constructed road network on, say, turn 25, allowing for War Chariots to move 6 tiles a turn....tiny map, 6 tiles of mobility....OUCH!!!)

      The list of published books grows. If you're curious to see what sort of stories I weave out, head to and do an author search for "Christopher Hartpence." Help support Candle'Bre, a game created by gamers FOR gamers. All proceeds from my published works go directly to the project.


      • #4
        I agree, and think you've laid out the compelling logical arguments for the Virtue of Being Industrious (although map size does affect its value).

        And now for the emotional confirmation of the Virtue of Being Industrious:

        Play a commerical civ for a few games, and move away from the trait. (Maybe, only maybe ) note to self the midly higher corruption difficulties late in game.

        Play a militaristic civ for a few games, and move away from the trait. Mildly grumble to self about the relative lack of elite units.

        Play a scientific civ for a few games, and move away from the trait. Grumble about the higher cost of libraries and bemoan the loss of the free tech advance at each era.

        Play a religious civ for a few games, and move away from the trait. Grumble about the higher cost of temples and fume at the anarchy between government changes.

        Play an industrious civ for a few games, and move away from the trait. Vocally and abusively, in a public place, berate your incompetent workers for taking 3 turns to build a bloody simple road and #[email protected] turns to build a mine in the mountains near your city working on a wonder.



        • #5
          Hi Vel -

          I have recently graduated from SMAC to Civ3 and have been getting my butt kicked but good. Glad to see some of your always enlightening wisdom.

          So I take it that these offensive road builders would be heading for the choice locations that the scouting warriors have found?

          You say and have said you like the Egyptains, my question abou them is how to use the early ancient Golden Age that I always get?

          Thanks again,
          I have no living enemies!


          • #6

            Catt, that's kinda how I feel about playing non-religious civs. 60 shields for a friggin' temple???? Anarchy? I don't want no stinkin' anarchy! It's brutal.


            Good point about fast strikes on smaller maps. I couldn't agree more about Egypt, my current infatuation with Japan notwithstanding. Egypt is incredibly powerful as a hybrid style civ, it's just that I have become entranced by the awesome power of Great Leaders (as in several) in ancient times.

            Industrious provides advantages you can measure. Militaristic cannot be measured, because there is random chance involved. I've had ancient wars which resulted in no leaders, or maybe 1. I've also had ancient wars which have produced 4 or more. It's the second scenario that I'm after.

            grog want tank...Grog Want Tank... GROG WANT TANK!

            The trick isn't to break some eggs to make an omelette, it's convincing the eggs to break themselves in order to aspire to omelettehood.


            • #7
              I volunteer myself as the idiot who disagrees.

              Your War Chariots moving that far that quickly in the game is a big menace. I play the Egyptians a lot (Religous), but the Iroquias are my favourite. The mounted warrior IMO more than makes up for the lack of industious trait. With all that said I wouldn't want to MP them against your Chariots, because you would kill me before I got the tech.

              I would put Scientific before industrious. IMO industrious losses its value through the game, while scientific increases its value through the game.

              You have great examples for exploiting the industrious early in the game (can't argue that). However I find that I have so many workers/slaves by the middle ages that their slower speed doesn't hurt me much. This is about the time I'm getting caught up in tech. Cheaper libraries, universities, and research labs also contribute to culture.

              I have had some great starts with the Egyptians and lost games in the industrious age becuase I can't research or afford key military techs. The AI has beat me to calavry and infantry by 20 turns (when I was 2nd in tech) and completely pulled the rug out from under me.

              I know your a better student of the game and probably have several startegies to avoid my short falls with the Egyptians, but I find its easier to have a scientific civ to help with the later game.


              • #8
                Originally posted by Tim_Hobbit
                You say and have said you like the Egyptains, my question abou them is how to use the early ancient Golden Age that I always get?
                Egyptians are my favorite civ, because of the industrious / religious combo. I actually like the UU because, gasp!, I don't find it all that useful. If I'm playing Romans, Persians, Iroquois or others with ancient age and powerful UUs, I feel compelled to use them early and often, and often trigger a GA too early for my tastes. Given the relatively short research distance from Wheel to Horseback Riding (and the appearance of horseman) the only real advantage to the War Chariot is its decreased cost in shields -- but the disadvantage (no mountain / jungle travel without road) is huge.

                I use the less than stellar UU to time my GA for when I want it, typically sometime in very late ancient or early middle ages when I have an empire up and humming. Make a few War Chariots, stock them away in a safe location. Use them in a later war to kill a wounded swordsman / archer / longbowman. Trigger GA for 10 - 12 cities and secure Sistine Chapel without a great leader.


                • #9
                  Catt - thanks for the reply, but I guess I didn't make myself clear.

                  I don't even build UU and still get GA. Every single GW I build seems to trigger a GA. Pyramid = GA, Colossus = GA, GL = GA, even got a GA in last game when building ForPal!?! Not building both UUs and GWonders is not a good idea.

                  Since each Civ only gets one (1) GA in game, would like to know how best to use the GA in the Ancient period, since I can't seem to avoid getting one.
                  I have no living enemies!


                  • #10
                    Umm... Egypt needs a Rel/Ind combo to trigger a golden age. Pyramids are both, bingo, GA. Colossus... rel/exp, so only fulfills one. GL - scientific, no effect.

                    I think the Great Wall is military/industrious, so a combo with that and a religious wonder would do it too.

                    I have noticed - and I think it may be a 1.21 thing - that captured wonders count. Last night I was playing Japan (fancy that!) and I captured the Great Wall. I then built (ok, rushed with leader) the Sistine and BAM! golden age. The Sistine was the first wonder my civ actually built, and it alone does not trigger a Japanese GA. The Great Wall, captured from Russia, satisfied the militaristic requirement.

                    grog want tank...Grog Want Tank... GROG WANT TANK!

                    The trick isn't to break some eggs to make an omelette, it's convincing the eggs to break themselves in order to aspire to omelettehood.


                    • #11
                      Tim -- sorry, I assumed it was the use of the UU. What level do you play, and do you win almost every game you play? I ask only because if so, move up a difficulty level or two -- I only play at Monarch right now, but even at the relatively low difficulty level (compared to a lot of folks on these boards ) I can hardly ever build an ancient GW unless I sacrifice substantial early growth to do so (i.e., setting my second city on palace build to later switch to a GW).

                      If you don't want to move up a level (or can't 'cause you're playing Diety ), then I agree that you're stuck. I certainly wouldn't avoid a GW just avoid a GA; I just haven't been good enough to face the problem.

                      Edit: Didn't see that "you're getting your butt kicked, but good" so you probably don't want to move up a level. Also didn't address GL generation and using them to build early wonders (just that even with Vel's early warmongering strategies, it seems a rare game indeed when my Egyptian civ produces a GL in the few early skirmishes). Will wait for others to respond in a more helpful way!
                      Last edited by Catt; May 23, 2002, 16:43.


                      • #12
                        Hey guys....had to pop back in here for a bit before heading off for a long weekend in da mountains (spending Memorial Day weekend in a hot tub on the outskirts of a hidden gem of a town in NC, where I plan to locate Velocigames, when I get to that part of the plan for global domination ::insert maniacal laugh track here::

               reply in order: Cat! good emotive commentary on the various civ traits! Too right!

                        Tim: Exactly so....the scouts find the goodies, the roving band of guarded industrious workers build out to it, curving the road along the way as needed such that my settlers can "build out to" or "back fill," the space in between, whichever the situation calls for. Also, it should be noted that I generally build my cities four spaces apart (that is to say, three blank tiles between each city). This is too close for comfort for some players, I realize, but I have found it optimal for my purposes. Traveling along a road network as they generally do, if I"m "building out" to the frontier, it means that I can have my town up and running exactly two turns after the settler passes the last city on the frontier, AND it means that all my borders interlock from the first turn of founding. Since I have no border gaps, I have no AI's taking advantage of those gaps to build cities in unsightly places. Any AI's that violate my borders are warned once to leave. If they don't heed the warning, the troops are killed, and the captured workers are summarily put to good use....if the leaders of said AI civ are none too fond of my policy, I send them a love note informing them how I'll be adding their cities to my holdings soon, and duly build my road network in that direction.

                        Golden Age: Actually, I rarely use WC's...horsemen are so close, and if I'm looking to conquer a near neighbor, it'll be very early in any case, and massed warriors generally do the trick (figure an attack force of 8 warriors in the very early game, even if they already happen to be defending with spearmen, that's generally enough to grab 2 cities, which will end most wars fought that early on), but unfortunately, that does not stop the early GA...cos with all that fighting I like to get into in the Ancient era, I'm bound to get at least a couple GL's, which will net me my pick of some great Wonders (Pyramids are a natural). Unfortunately, this sets you up for a very early golden age....I prefer to hold off till the industrial ages to reap the benefits, but ::shrug:: in the case of Egypt, about the best thing you can do is use the time of increased production and decreased corruption to REALLY bulk up on any early infrastructure you might have missed out on and then get ready for your next fight (the build time for your army will be nicely compressed thanks to the GA....not the BEST use of it, IMO, but it's generally what you have to work with, playing Egypt who seems to trigger a GA with just about any early wonder they build.

                        Arrian....too right about those GL's! Dayum are they overpowered....but itls cool...and it does make Militaristic shine nicely....

                        Jawa: An excellent point re: Scientific. My response would be that scientific is like an even slower version of Religous, in that, it takes very nearly the course of the whole game to see the full benefits of the trait (last free tech as you enter into the modern age), whereas the crucial benefits of Industrious, you get "right now"....the end result is that the scientific civs I start near have been extinct long before their tech advantage helps them, and the sheer vastness that my empire has been able to grow to, thanks to that rapidly constructed ancient era road network, enabeling me to control the tempo and location of ancient wars has catapulted my own science and (admittedly full-priced) beaker enhancers through the roof.

                        (hour and a half to go!)
                        Last edited by Velociryx; May 23, 2002, 19:16.
                        The list of published books grows. If you're curious to see what sort of stories I weave out, head to and do an author search for "Christopher Hartpence." Help support Candle'Bre, a game created by gamers FOR gamers. All proceeds from my published works go directly to the project.


                        • #13

                          I assume you avoid the Greeks with that 8-warrior initial attack?

                          Auto-razing becomes a problem that early, and it will slow you expansion down a tad. Not to mention the possibility of failure (I've had really BAD luck with warrior attacks... granted I didn't bring 8).

                          You and Theseus have both made me think about my attack strategy. The way I do it now, I usually don't open up the can 'o whoopass until between 600-400bc. That's because I build a core of 6-8 cities, build a temple & barracks in each, and build roughly 20 chariots, with 4-8 vet warriors. These are then upgraded to horsemen/swordsmen and sent to sheath their swords in the beating hearts of my enemies... or so my old CivII military advisor keeps telling me. Anywho... you guys are making me consider doing 1 of the following 2 things:

                          1) discovering horsebackriding earlier, either by upping the science rate or cutting out masonry. This will result in a smaller mounted force, but I will have it sooner

                          2) cutting loose with chariots/swordsmen on somebody weak like India.

                          My main concern, as you might have noticed, is maximizing GL generation. By the way, did you hear about the 1 GL per elite thing? That is a key piece of info. Anyway, I love having a small empty bit of land behind me where I can train up a few troops pre-kicking the AI's ass. Sans that, do you think attacking 1 civ earlier increase, decrease, or have no effect on my chances of generating GLs?

                          grog want tank...Grog Want Tank... GROG WANT TANK!

                          The trick isn't to break some eggs to make an omelette, it's convincing the eggs to break themselves in order to aspire to omelettehood.


                          • #14
                            'lo again, Arrian!

                            Admittedly, the Greeks aren't my first nor favorite choice to hit really early....I'd rather go at them with swordsmen, but if needs be, I'll use a mix of warriors and archers to take them down. I've found that in general my warriors can usually average one hit on the Greek before they die, so if I swarm in, and end the attack with an Archer, I can almost always take 'em out wolfpack style. If there's another Civ off my border, I'll usually wait on the Greek and pick on the other guy, but if not....then we just build up a bigger wave and do it anyway.

                            'tis true re: the expansion if you wind up capturing a newly founded city, and if I am really pleased with the AI's placement of the cities I'm targeting, I'll often mill around just beyond the borders, wait for the first border bump, and THEN go in for the kill, but in general, when I'm attacking that early, the intent is to cripple a civ as he's coming out the gate, so I'll target the capital (which I know I'll get to keep) and any other nearby city (trying to have a settler on standby to rebuild if it autorazes the city).

                            Having successfully launched an attack that early simplifies the equation where neighboring civs go....if you play on standard map settings, more often than not you'll find yourself in the vicinity of three rival civs (standar map settings/8 civs), and in that case, a successful early knockout puts your viable threat count down to two....sure, the Civ you whack that early will rebuild some, but by the time you're ready to deal with him again, you'll be 4-6 times his size and he won't be anything more than a nuisance.

                            Where GL's go (and no, I had not heard that bit about 1 GL per elite...if that proves correct, that's a tasty tidbit to keep ahold of indeed!), I find I can average 2-3 in the ancient era....the first fight involves so few units that I've not seen that it has a huge bearing one way or the other, and in truth, my real intent with it is to simplify the threat-equation of the civs hemming me in, more than to generate GL's (though if I get one that early, that's awesome....which reminds me, when playing France on Marla's map, that's exactly what happened....whacked the Germans in 3000-something god awful BC, took their capitol right after they'd founded their second city, forced an immediate surrender, got a GL from an elite warrior and built the pyramids in....2900-something BC...THAT pretty well set me up for the whole rest of the game!

                            In my mind, the key is to continue your expansion even during wartime. If there are cities razed during the fighting (and there likely will be), it's quite nice to have settlers on hand or on the way to immediately take advantage of the suddenly available real estate, AND, if you're fighting early, you're almost certainly still under despotism, so you can pop rush a reinforcement or two right on the front lines if you're finding yourself taking greater than expected losses. I don't really LIKE fighting all that much, but the game pretty well pushes you into it, so I do it with a vengeance, BUT I don't wanna do it to the total exclusion of expansion, so once I've got a sufficient number of workers in the field (augmented by a growing number of captured workers), I'll convert the worker farm to a settler farm and keep at least that one city, and possibly one other cranking out settlers, while the rest of the empire focuses on producing more troops.

                            The other key difference, from the sounds of it, is that you like to have your army completely constructed before heading out. I construct enough to get started, go cause trouble, and keep on cranking out troops. I figure that as long as I have enough forces in the field to capture a city or two, I can harass the enemy/hide and heal till my numerous reinforcements arrive via the road network (with horse troops not waiting for the infantry, but streaking up into the fray (covered by whatever I've got fortifying newly occupied towns), as quickly as I can get them there.

                            At that point, it becomes a matter of concentration and pressure....a thing we humans are far, far better at than the AI. They get so easily distracted (spearman fortified in the mountains nearby is a GREAT draw on AI resources and manpower...they'll spare no expense to take him out if he's closer to their troops than the lightly held city I just took, and it gives me plenty of time to get solidified and continue my advance). <----Granted, that's a totally unrealistic tactic and a blatant abuse of the AI's gullability, but then again, they get heinous production advantages and I don't, so I don't feel too

                            The list of published books grows. If you're curious to see what sort of stories I weave out, head to and do an author search for "Christopher Hartpence." Help support Candle'Bre, a game created by gamers FOR gamers. All proceeds from my published works go directly to the project.


                            • #15
                              That reminds me of something else....if you're desperate to avoid auto-razing, chase the AI-civ's capitol around. (take the capitol, see where it relocates, take that city, repeat)...Since it generates culture (on the basis of the palace), you won't raze it when you take it over).

                              The list of published books grows. If you're curious to see what sort of stories I weave out, head to and do an author search for "Christopher Hartpence." Help support Candle'Bre, a game created by gamers FOR gamers. All proceeds from my published works go directly to the project.