#1 03.07.2018 00:08:03

Corbeau
Player
Posts: 877

Why is smallpoxing bad?

When creating and discussing rulesets, this alwasy comes out as an obstacle. So, can some of you old LTers answer this: why is smallpoxing such a problem? It only exists up to a point, it makes sense, and after that point it dies off. However, at least two rules in LT are set to avoid it and it still comes out as a thing to be cautioned about.

Offline

#2 03.07.2018 18:14:15

wieder
Administrator
Posts: 1,626

Re: Why is smallpoxing bad?

I'm not sure what do you mean by that but here are some thoughts...

Smallpoxing is not really a problem. There are however some rules that make smallpoxing less tempting or difficult but those are mostly used to make it harder for the really good players to play the game. In LT37 superman was mostly smallpoxing and was very efficient in that. And I'm not saying this only because it was really fun to play in the same alliance with superman smile

If you refer to citymindist, that's kind of another thing. The traditional cityminindist on LT games has been 5 and it was changed to 4 to allow more flexible city positioning. The citymindist is also a way to emulate the zoomed in map and the 3x moves experience. If there needs to be 1 tile between the cities with the 1x moves, it kind of makes sense to change that to 3 with 3x moves. That way the time needed to travel from a city to city remains the same.

Another view to this is the early game and initial settling. It's not uncommon to build 20 cities as fast as possible, grab the land and then play most of the later game with those cites. There you smallpox on the start and it dies off in the end. In LT46 the goal is to intentionally avoid this with the new experimental and incremental governments. Monarcy I, Monarchy II and Monarchy III instead of just monarchy. Other than LT46 I'm not sure there are really other major attempts to avoid smallpoxing or making it hard or impossible.

Offline

#3 04.07.2018 10:17:18

Corbeau
Player
Posts: 877

Re: Why is smallpoxing bad?

I heard several times from different people that "smalpoxing is terrible and it is destroying the game". I don't really agree, just saying what someone else said.

Also, I thought preventing smallpoxing was the reason that Settlers use up 2 population when built. If this isn't it, then there is really no reason for this. The rationale that "a new city uses two tiles, so a Settler should cost two pop / two tiles" doesn't really apply here. That's called growth&expansion. That's the "name of the game". The "energy" consumed to get that extra tile is represented in shields used to build a Settler.

So, maybe rethink that thing with Settler costing 2 population? Unless there is another reason for it?

edit: And I think returning Settler cost to 1 population would very much help with the whole problem of the initial pace of the game being very slow.

Last edited by Corbeau (04.07.2018 10:18:07)

Offline

#4 04.07.2018 11:54:42

wieder
Administrator
Posts: 1,626

Re: Why is smallpoxing bad?

In the past smallpoxing was the winning strategy. It's no longer like that because the improvements and stuff like that make it impossible. Except in the start and in the early game.

Having one size 20 city vs having 3 size 6 cities explains it. Both have the similar number of working tiles but while the other setup needs just one marketplace, one building x or y... The other setup need 3 of those. Now one way to avoid this penalty would be lowering the build costs of buildings and increasing the upkeep costs. That however might favor trade based governments.

The reason for having the settlers to cost 2 population is the number of the working tiles. If the settlers costs just 1 pop you would automatically get one extra working tile with each new city. With the pop cost 2 the number of the working tiles remains the same and there is no "printing money" from building the settlers. The new granary costs are there to make it faster to grow smaller cities and speed up the start.

Now one idea we could use to speed up the start would be obsoleting the first settlers unit early. The first settlers would cost just 1 pop and it would be obsoleted with... maybe masonry or similar important tech. That however would be quite artificial. Instead of that it might be better to lower the granary sizes for smaller cities. Assuming something needs to be done.

Offline

#5 04.07.2018 13:54:51

Corbeau
Player
Posts: 877

Re: Why is smallpoxing bad?

You do not "automatically" get an extra tile with the new city. You get it with production you used to build the settler.

Offline

#6 04.07.2018 15:06:47

wieder
Administrator
Posts: 1,626

Re: Why is smallpoxing bad?

Paying 30 for an extra tile is maybe too cheap. You might get extra shield and extra gold/sci from that tile.

Offline

#7 04.07.2018 17:27:39

Corbeau
Player
Posts: 877

Re: Why is smallpoxing bad?

as it is now, you are paying 30 shields AND 2 population.

But we are getting sidetracked. The main issue is whether 1 pop per settler is "too" cheap. I guess it depends on personal preference and what you want the game to be. 1-pop-price will create a different game from 2-pop-price and that's basically the main point. And the main question is which of these two games you want.

I still don't understand why 1-pop-price is bad.

Offline

#8 05.07.2018 12:18:14

wieder
Administrator
Posts: 1,626

Re: Why is smallpoxing bad?

It's not necessarily bad to have the settlers to cost 1 population. That however easily results with a situation where the winning strategy in the early game is to build only more cities and nothing else. It's not really like that but no improvement would match the immediate reward you get from a new city. With pop cost 2 it may make sense to build improvements even in the early game. It depends on what kind of game you want to have.

Offline

#9 05.07.2018 12:53:47

Corbeau
Player
Posts: 877

Re: Why is smallpoxing bad?

Actually, that was my strategy most of the time. Also in Web games where Settlers cost 1 pop. I am never in the first five and those who are, I hear, do not use this mad expansion strategy.

Offline

#10 05.07.2018 13:26:39

wieder
Administrator
Posts: 1,626

Re: Why is smallpoxing bad?

The expansion strategy is super efficient if the pop cost is 1. I'm usually also expanding fast in the start but never build settlers on the capital since it makes sense to have one big city.

The pop cost 2 originally comes from the civ2civ3 ruleset.

The pop cost 1 is not the same thing but there is some resemblance to rapture. You can generate extra working tiles and get extra resources with a low cost compared to the city improvements.

Offline

#11 23.07.2018 23:43:39

Hans_Lemurson
Player
From: Silicon Valley
Posts: 160

Re: Why is smallpoxing bad?

Settlers costing 2 Population, though it does slow expansion, is actually insufficient to prevent "Pack in as many cities as possible", as was demonstrated in Civ3.  All the high-ranking games turned into "Infinite City Sprawl".  It looks ugly, ignores much of the city-development aspect of the game, is a micromanagement hassle, and presents a boring one-size-fits-all strategy, lessening the game.

Why are 2-Pop settlers insufficient to prevent this?  Remember that when you found a new city, the city-center tile is not just "Worked for Free", but it generates a FOOD SURPLUS.  Assuming all tiles are 2F/1P/1T, a Size-3 city is going to generate +2F, +4P, +4T, but two Size-1 cities will each generate +2F, +2P, +2T.  Your Production and Trade stay the same, but your pop-growth rate is doubled!

The game C-Evo (a deterministic civ game similar to Freeciv) dealt with this by eliminating city-center yields entirely.  Settlers cost 2 population, but founded size-2 cities.  And if that size-2 city couldn't pull in more than 4 food?  Well then it's not growing.  Also, new cities had to build a "Town Hall" improvement before they could even collect any Trade.  Don't get me wrong, expansion was still good, but it was at a more measured pace because having "Good Cities" was clearly better than just having "More Cities". 
link ->  http://www.c-evo.org/text.html

Last edited by Hans_Lemurson (23.07.2018 23:44:26)

Offline

#12 24.07.2018 07:48:47

Corbeau
Player
Posts: 877

Re: Why is smallpoxing bad?

In don't know about high ranking games in Civ 3, but here, people who concentrate on building larger, well placed and well developed cities usually beat those who concentrate on spawning.

Offline

#13 24.07.2018 09:06:19

Hans_Lemurson
Player
From: Silicon Valley
Posts: 160

Re: Why is smallpoxing bad?

Corbeau wrote:

In don't know about high ranking games in Civ 3, but here, people who concentrate on building larger, well placed and well developed cities usually beat those who concentrate on spawning.

Given that the longturn rulesets are designed to reduce the incentives to city-spam, this does not surprise me.  Also people tend not to like doing infinite-city-sprawl even in cases where it is advantageous, so it is less common than incentives would suggest.

Offline

#14 24.07.2018 09:32:57

Corbeau
Player
Posts: 877

Re: Why is smallpoxing bad?

I think smallpoxing makes sense if turn time is limited so you don't have time to  adjust city construction but you effectively play a RTS and can concentrate almost exclusively on units. However, a size-20 city will ALWAYS be better than 20 size-1 cities, even if they work a double amount of tiles. Simply, buildings make a difference.

Offline

Board footer

Powered by FluxBB