Secret to a good economy?

#1Manok101Posted 3/4/2010 9:51:14 PM
I'll be honest, my economies, generally aren't that great, and it could be one of the many reasons why I am not as good at this game, I was just wondering what things I could do to improve my economy?
#2HawkbitPosted 3/5/2010 10:09:25 AM
Short answer: cottages

Slightly less short version:

Balance your expansion. More cities is potentially more worked tiles (i.e. cottages) but additional cities cost maintenance, which will hurt your short-term research, potentially delaying an important tech which you may desperately need. So expanding at a modest rate without stifling your economy is essential. City maintenance is higher at higher difficulties, so this is more pronounced as you go up in levels.

Let your cities grow larger. This is critical. After founding your first several cities, one of your first priorities is to find ways to increase the happy cap of your cities. On higher difficulties, your cities have a happy cap starting at 4 (5 for the capital). Any population higher than this will result in unhappy citizens which don't work tiles or contribute to commerce/production. To put this into perspective, increasing the happy cap from 4 to 6 is 50% more worked tiles (i.e. more worked cottages). You can increase the happy cap by securing early luxuries (gold, silver, gems, ivory, fur), getting a state religion and spreading it to your cities, and building certain buildings (the earliest, the temple, also requiring a religion). Worst case scenario where you get no early luxuries or religion, concentrate on getting Monarchy, which will let you increase the happy cap by as much as you need using military police.

Prioritize tiles that produce commerce. Cottages, obviously. Rivers give a +1 commerce bonus to all adjacent tiles, and many resources give bonus commerce. Consider using specialists, particularly scientists. Although you should prioritize commerce, you should still be working bonus resources that provide large food/production yields.
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I hear an odd sounding engine, and a FORKLIFT comes out of nowhere and plows my squad down… All I could say was "WTF FORKLIFT?" -bionuke118 on BF2:SF
#3red255Posted 3/5/2010 10:21:29 AM
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your answer shows you fail to understand the mechanics of this game.

short answer. The great lighthouse + coastal cities.

Supplement with Religion, (university of sankore, spiral mineret and sistine chapel +Apolstalic palace +great priest holy building + Temple + monestary everywhere)

THAT will pay for your expansion. and keep your research around 60%
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If the next one is called, because of his MO, the underwear bomber, you'll know I'm on to something. Calvin Trillin June 16, 2006.
#4HawkbitPosted 3/5/2010 11:13:49 AM
If you need a wonder to make your economy work, you're doing it wrong. The only real exceptions are The Great Lighthouse and the Pyramids. Everything else comes too late to really be relevant or has too small an effect. The points I mentioned are consistently viable from game to game.
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I hear an odd sounding engine, and a FORKLIFT comes out of nowhere and plows my squad down… All I could say was "WTF FORKLIFT?" -bionuke118 on BF2:SF
#5CyberKnightPosted 3/5/2010 12:17:52 PM
Your economy is wrong if you are relying on a Great Wonder or a religion. Those things are usually the last priority. If you don't manage to get either, what do you do? GLH is a pain to build if you are not Industrious.

Tech Priority for Strong Economy
1) Monarchy
2a) Currency
2b) Code of Laws

GROW YOUR CITIES!!! The biggest problem, especially at high difficulties, is the unhappiness cap. Hereditary Rule is the easiest remedy. No amount of buildings, religions, wonders can equal the power of a worked tile. And try to specialize your cities. Lots of hill? Make it a production city. Lots of flat grassland? Build cottages. Tonnes of food but few hills? Specialist city.

Currency gives you +1 Trade Routes and lets you build Wealth. Sometimes, it's better to build Wealth than to build a building. ie. it takes 150 Hammer to build a Market. It gives you +25% gold. Is the long term bonus worth the short term effort? Remember that early in the game, you need more of an advantage.

Code of Laws lets you run Caste System. You can never have enough Great Scientists cuz you can use them to discover techs. Notable ones include Phlosophy, Paper, Printing Press, Education, Liberalism, Astronomy, and Physics. You can also use a Great Merchant for Civil Service, assuming you have Metal Casting.
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#6red255Posted 3/5/2010 12:31:21 PM
If you don't manage to get either, what do you do?

uh. invade? what do YOU do? are we talking multiplayer or Vs a comp? none of my wonders are very hard to get to.
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If the next one is called, because of his MO, the underwear bomber, you'll know I'm on to something. Calvin Trillin June 16, 2006.
#7CyberKnightPosted 3/5/2010 3:17:38 PM
I've seen the Great Lighthouse built before the Stonehenge. Anything can happen. Invade who? What if they are across the ocean? How do you plan to invade when you have a huge list of Wonders to build?

Supplement with Religion, (university of sankore, spiral mineret and sistine chapel +Apolstalic palace +great priest holy building + Temple + monestary everywhere)

These are a crapload of wonders to build. And you're centering strategy around the AP? It's a lot of resources in a critical era to divert your tech tree to Music, Theocracy, and Divine Right.
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#8gmims44Posted 3/5/2010 6:47:46 PM
your answer shows you fail to understand the mechanics of this game.

Are you kidding me? That was a great explanation of how to many an early game economy.

The Great Lighthouse is indeed an amazing, even game-breaking, wonder on some maps, but it's impractical and nearly useless on others. And like others have pointed out, your religious economy strategy relies on a lot of wonders, most of them coming after the critical expansion phase in the early game when you're most likely to crash your economy. Those wonders can really help (especially with Spiritual leaders for the cheap temples), but they shouldn't be the basis of your economy.
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#9gmims44Posted 3/5/2010 6:49:42 PM
*manage

that was weird typo
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#10red255Posted 3/5/2010 7:36:25 PM
I'm pretty sure we get to those wonders AFTER the expansion phase. except the great lighthouse. which you prioritize and chop out.
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If the next one is called, because of his MO, the underwear bomber, you'll know I'm on to something. Calvin Trillin June 16, 2006.