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[Freeciv-Dev] Re: comments on ics solutions

[Freeciv-Dev] Re: comments on ics solutions

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To: freeciv-dev@xxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [Freeciv-Dev] Re: comments on ics solutions
From: Greg Wooledge <greg@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 2 Mar 2001 08:54:27 -0500

Mathias Broxvall (matbr@xxxxxxxxxx) wrote:

> Just a small comment about ICS I haven't seen yet: Expanding vertically costs
> quadrically (with respect to food produced/size of city) while giving only  a
> linear increase in production power, expanding horizontally costs a linear
> amount of food and gives a linear increase in production power. What I mean is
> that the food cost of raising a city of size 'n' is: n*X + Y*n*(n-1)/2 where X
> is the inital foodbox size and Y the increase (per population unit) of the
> foodbox.

Horizontal expansion also costs "shields" (production points) to create
the Settlers, and time (to move the Settlers around).  Also note that there
is a cost of food during the time Settlers are moving around -- 1 unit of
food per Settler per turn (or 2 units, depending on government).

A Settler takes 40 shields.  If we assume the the opportunity cost of
producing 1 shield is 1 unit of food, then the formula for horizontal
expansion changes:

 cost = 10 (food) + 40 (minerals->food) = 50

If we assume that the Settler takes 3 turns (= 3 food) to get to his
new site, then this becomes 53.  But let's use 50, because it makes the
math simpler.

> So consider X=10, Y=10 and two players which both have produced 1000 food.
> Assuming that A expands horizontally and B vertically a (slightly extreme)
> situation would be that A would have 100 size 1-cities (producing ~200
> shields) while player B would only have one size 14 city (producing ~30
> shields).

Under the formula I'm using, A would only have 20 size-1 cities, not 100.
It's *still* an advantage for A,  but it's not nearly as dramatic as your
formula would indicate.

> If I could transfer food freely between my cities I
> would always send the food to my smallest cities cause that's where I get most
> workers (= increased production) for the lowest cost.

All of this discussion has *completely* ignored Celebrations (a.k.a. "We
Love the XXX Day", or pop-booming).  The cost for increasing a city's
size *during a Republic/Democracy Celebration* is 1 turn and a bunch of
trade converted to luxury -- but you need infrastructure to do it.

Anyone who's using vertical growth as a strategy is going to be
Celebrating.  Player B in your example is going to get that size-14 city
with *way* less than 1000 food.

So what does the size-14 city cost?  It's hard to give real numbers,
because Celebration is rather complex.  Player B will probably need:

  * an Aqueduct (80 shields)
  * a Marketplace (80 shields)
  * a Bank (120 shields)
  * a Temple (40 shields)
  * city size 5 (20+30+40+50 = 140 food)
  * a Harbor (60 shields)
  * some farms (40 shields for the Settler, let's say 6 farms @ 6 turns
    apiece = 36 food upkeep)

Cost in food: 140 + 36 = 176 (minimum)
Cost in shields: 80 + 80 + 120 + 40 + 60 + 40 = 420
Cost in trade: probably recouped by the Marketplace/Bank
Cost in time: very high compared to ICS

The simple fact is that, if you let a vertical-expansion player have
enough *time* to build infrastructure and undergo Celebrations, you're
going to be overwhelmed.  The true advantage of ICS is that it's *faster*.

A balanced approach is going to use both of these strategies.  You must
begin with horizontal expansion, in order to get the production base
established and acquire basic techs.  Defense is also important, of
course.  Once the foundation has been laid, you may consider switching
to vertical expansion, using infrastructure and Celebrations to develop
faster than any ICS possibly could.  The weakness here is the time of
transition, when the infrastructure is being placed.  (The opportunity
cost of building the Temple/Harbor/etc. is that you're not building
Settlers, so your ICS neighbors will temporarily pass you.  If you're
attacked during this time, you may lose.)

> so... anyone for a game with constant sized foodbox?

Has anyone on this list actually played Call To Power 2 yet?  (There's
no Linux port of it at this time, unlike Civ:CTP....)  From what I
understand, it's got constant-sized foodboxes.  Sort of.  If you squint
hard enough.

*** Please note new address. -->  |  Greg Wooledge
                                  |  greg@xxxxxxxxxxxx
"Truth belongs to everybody."     |
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