Choosing tiles to settle on (newbie question)

By on December 3, 2012 4:31:07 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

wildez

Join Date 11/2012
+1

How do you choose which tiles to settle on?

I have just been looking for the tile with the highest total yields (grain + materials + essence). If there are several tiles with the same total, I tend to go for the tile with the greater materials, as the turns it takes to build and train seems to be my biggest bottleneck. (So I've been picking a 3/4/1 tile over a 4/2/2 tile.)

I've noticed that when there is a large area of tiles with yields, that if I settle on a tile towards the edge of the area, I can often settle a second city at the opposite edge. Whereas if I settle on a tile in the middle of the area, all the surrounding yield tiles 'disappear'. Is there a certain radius of tiles that are consumed or disappear when you settle a city? And is this something that you would factor in when you choose where to settle? In other words, is it better to have one city on a higher yield tile, or forsake the best tile but have two cities on lower yield tiles?

I suppose other factors to consider are proximity to resources such as shards and crystal, geographical features, and monster lairs. Could any experienced players please share some tips on how they choose tiles? Thanks!

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December 3, 2012 4:43:07 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The way you have been thinking isn't wrong, I would however rank Essence as most important, then Materials and finally Grain. Essence dictates how many enchantments can be put on a city, and many of the enchantments get more powerful per base essence in the city. I try to find a high essence high material city spot to found my main fortress.Other essence spots I use for conclaves, and the rest get to be towns.

When choosing between one good city and two decent I would always pick one good, so I never settle on the edges of a fertile area unless the best spot is actually there.

In regards to resources the best ones for a specific city are the ones that give extra grain or extra material, so keep a lookout for those. Remember though that you citys zone of control will grow so you don't have to settle right next to them. Settling right next to a river and/or forest is a good idea though, since this opens up more buildning options, but to me that only matters when choosing between two tiles with the same yields.

 

Hope this helps a bit.

 

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December 3, 2012 7:37:20 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

There are some factors to take into account, depending on your play style, as said above.

I think that most important city will be your fortress, as the place where you train your better units. The fortress will be better as you get more warfare techs, so it will take a long time to fully develope it. And you will need some towns, to provide the faction food necessary for it to grow. So having more than 1 fortress is contraproductive: for each fortress, you will need at least 3 or 4 towns. And other 3 or 4 for each conclave, for the same food issues.

If you agree with those points, then you will have to wait for, at least, a X/4/2 tile to be a fortress. It is preferably it will have access to forest, as a logging camp will give you 1+ material. Clay pits are highly recommended for the same reason. The 2 essence minimun: first for hammers (to build faster) and later for 2 auras for your units.

Cities with essence, but not too much production, can become conclaves. They will benefit with research spells (inspiration, etc). But remember that it will take long to have a good output of reserch (techs + buildings like sage etc.).

All the rest will be towns. Towns must focus in groceries, bakeries and butcheries. These will provide the faction food needed for growing the rest of your cities.

So, if you already have a good fortress and an acceptable conclave or two, I prefer having 2 towns providing food than a more centered bigger city.

If you don't have them, then it is better only a big city that will become the fortress or a conclave (assuming that you will be able to settle enough towns in other places).

And remember: the best fortress will only be one: many essence and production, and the "warfare 1 per faction buildings". Explore as much as you can, because if you develope a fortress and then find a better place for a fortress, you'll find that having two fortress leads to not enough developing due to food lack (you will need to settle more towns).

Anyway, if you have many towns, you can have a second fortress for training cheap units or while building improvements in the main fortress. I had a second fortress for that reason, but in my last games, I'm trying in dealing with only one fortress, and focus in more conclaves and towns. After all, remember that once war starts, you will get some AI cities wich usually are well developed fortress.

 

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December 3, 2012 12:39:36 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I personally prioritize materials over everything else. You can turn 1 unit of materials into X units of production depending on tech, but at the base of it, it all boils down to materials. The more materials you have to work with the more stuff you can make. Things such as clay pits or enchanted hammers can improve this, but the biggest production boost is simply choosing a site with a lot of materials to begin with.

Second priority is essences. Those are of course very useful. Last priority is food. Food is easy to improve through tech.

Very high production cities lets me fully upgrade the cities in short order, and also I can produce military units in only 1-2 turns, even for a very high end unit with all of the bells and whistles. As it takes less time to fully upgrade cities, that means I have things like schools and merchants up and running quicker, so they have a greater effect for a longer period of time. Defenses can also be built quickly in the case of fortresses.

Having an industrial base to build almost anything I want within a turn or two is very nice. It means I can have essentially a just-in-time military. If I'm at peace I don't need to have any soldiers at all, aside from border towns near unruly wildlands of course. But if conflict breaks out I can produce a huge military in only a few turns without needing to rush anything, and losses are easily replaced.

 

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December 3, 2012 2:19:09 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'll settle for an X/3/2 tile for my fortress, if there's nothing better spotted.  Thing is, I may find a better site for a fortress later.

Essence does goes you an incredible leg up early on.  Propaganda and Meditation give you a pretty good stream of gildar and mana in a city with a greater essence yield.  But even just having an extra enchantment slot open for Inspiration will make a massive difference to your early-game research rate.

If you're never happy with a city that doesn't have Essence, pick or create a faction with the Enchanters trait.  Scrying Pools add one essence to a city, which means you can always have at least one enchantment slot.

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December 4, 2012 3:46:09 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Thanks Tomasp3n, SOLOSOL, Hyndis & MarvinKosh. I really appreciate the tips!

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December 4, 2012 11:40:04 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

SOLOSOL, why do you feel having a second fortress increases the need for more towns? i'm under the impression that town food boni will stay exactly the same no matter how many forts you have. Let's say you have 5 towns each providing +20 food for all cities. If you have 1 fortress, it will have it's own food plus 100 extra. If you have a hundred fortresses, each will still have it's own food plus 100 extra.

if anything, having more conclaves and fortresses seems to reduce the need for further towns as growth will be slower.

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December 4, 2012 12:34:08 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The more fortresses you have, the more towns you need to support the unit wages, since you're effectively doubling (or tripling) the rate at which you can train new units.  I have three in my current game and for a while there I was really struggling to crank enough Gildar to keep up with the wage bill.  But it was worth having them because I had two 'here have more monsters lol' events and needed the unit-producing capacity.

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December 4, 2012 5:14:12 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting Vallu751,
SOLOSOL, why do you feel having a second fortress increases the need for more towns? i'm under the impression that town food boni will stay exactly the same no matter how many forts you have. Let's say you have 5 towns each providing +20 food for all cities. If you have 1 fortress, it will have it's own food plus 100 extra. If you have a hundred fortresses, each will still have it's own food plus 100 extra.

Thanks for the info. I though that the food boni was splitted between the cities...

Anyway, if the number of cities is limited (small maps or many AI), I prefer a town for the food bonus and the +10% HP at level 3 than a second fortress.

When capturing AI cities, they are already developed, and AI do not always choose the +10HP (at least, what I've seen). And if it is a fortress, well, you can miss the impulssive trait for level 3 (AI do not choose it neither) but still is a usefull fortress, generally with lots of essence.

Finally, when having more towns as possible, apart from the +10%HP you have a good choice in next levels: +prestige and +production for all cities (let's say 50%)

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December 4, 2012 8:49:05 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think that the bonuses you look for should depend on your sovereign.

For me, it's usually a competition between materials and essences.  Personally, I usually play magic/civ so essences are hugely important for me (and quite possibly I can use essences to make up for the others, sooner or later), but if I was playing military/civ I might not care much about essences. (This mostly matches other people's advice but if someone was advocating making the priority be based on your sovereign I overlooked that post.)

Like others have been saying here, food is of course important, but food gives me a limit condition and not a rate, so it will not matter to me during my opening moves.

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December 5, 2012 3:00:08 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Yeah, good points here about towns providing the gildar for unit wages and the level up choices of towns affecting the entire faction. Using "excess" cities as towns seems to be a good idea.

By the way, the 10% hit point bonus is being cut down to 5% in 1.1 to make the other choices more viable. Sounds reasonable to me, the 10% hit points was incredibly powerful.

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December 5, 2012 6:53:09 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Yep, +10% HP means that with 10 towns, you double your unit's HP. 5% is nice anway, and if 1.1 do not modify the alternatives to make them more viable, I guess I will still choose it. That only means you will need 20 towns, instead of 10, to get double HP

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December 5, 2012 10:05:59 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

To be honest I'd rather pick the Guild Warehouse some of the time.  Less time spent hunting for the town that's not doing anything, only to realise that it doesn't need to be doing anything... curses.

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