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i'm trying to figure out what they are good for, since usually the tiles i work on are better then what they can give me, and thats only after i researched they only spend half the food policy.
If you have the right social policies they give +2 research each, only consume 1 food each, and gives you more great people. And yes often working the land seems more beneficial but I'd rather use a specialist instead of working an ocean tile. Can also squeeze out more hammers using specialists when you run out of forests and hills to build improvements on.
Getting Great People is far more beneficial for the most part. I focus heavily on Science and am rewarded with significantly advanced units and technology.
Wielder of the Legendary Halberd of Noobpwnage+4
I'm a noob with specialists. How do I make specialists? and how do I use them?
In a city view, on the right side, building like Library, Market, and several others will have "slots" next to them, where citizens can be assigned to be specialist. What the citizen produces depends on the building you assign them to.
As already mentioned, early on it's usually better to to work the land unless you're trying to rush research or something, but later if you get the right policies and wonders, each one is pumping out +2 science and +1 production, while using only 1 food and producing like half unhappiness I believe.
Didn't you know? Marvel's Hell is really DC Comics. - Entertainer13
i never use them i'd rather have other tiles worked that give gold and production instead of just +2 of 1 thing and i've never had any problem getting all 5 resources.
Make a lot of small cities with low population, bribe some maritime city states, build library, market, bank, stock exchange eventually, and monument if you want. Fill up those specialist slots and watch your science and gold shoot through the roof.
If you don't use specialists you don't play the game well.
The benefits they give are extremely vital and shouldn't be overlooked. Turning 4 citizens who worked on subpar tiles into Scientists will give you a boost of more than 50 science per turn in a big city with Science improvements and the +2 Science per specialist Policy. Remember, the percentage bonuses from University, Public School and Research Lab also boost Specialist output.
One obvious thing to do if you're not lazy is to keep an eye on the City List, and whenever there's 1 turn left until the production is complete, go into the city and change all the surplus Production-focusing citizens into Specialists, until the production is just barely enough to finish in one turn. You can earn a ton of extra science that way. Then on the next turn remember to send them all back to work.
The opposite is also true. When there's only one turn until the next tech, change all your Scientists into something else so you don't waste a lot of surplus science points.
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Oh, so if I want to use specialists, I should click the city view, and click the little buttons beside my buildings?
So, when I use a specialist, they are subtracted from working the land? my capital has 15 population, and I have like 25 buildings and 7 wonders. Will making a specialist work on one of these cause me to produce less?
If you have 15 population than 15 = # of land tiles you can work + # of specialists you can have. It's not that you produce less, you just produce different. Let's say I have a ocean city with your 15 pop. If said city was supposed to be a gold/science generating city, then I'd fill every piece of land with trading posts. Let's say I run out of land at 10 plots, you're then left with 5 workers who will have to work crummy ocean tiles (+1 food/+1 gold each *yech*). Turn the 5 workers into scientists and instead of getting 5 food and 5 gold for your workers, you get +20 science, +8 hammers, generates an extra 5 food for your bucket (half consumption), + a crap load of great scientist points etc etc. This of course requires the correct social policies. But you can see that by using specialists, you can avoid working crummy tiles.
Your example is a probably a production city? Needs lots of hammers to produce things so yes, more often than not setting a specialist for your city may take away hammers (keep in mind there is an engineer specialist). I'd start making specialists when there's not enough mines and lumber mills to work. Of course you also need to work enough tiles to maintain the food supply.