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Thread: How to make $ in civ 5

  1. #1

    How to make $ in civ 5

    Is the only way to do this conquering and pillaging or would someone like to share some strategy in this dept? What's a fair amount of cities to settle on? How much can be built? It seems to me you have to conquer and pillage but I would like to be corrected.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by ezwip View Post
    Is the only way to do this conquering and pillaging or would someone like to share some strategy in this dept? What's a fair amount of cities to settle on? How much can be built? It seems to me you have to conquer and pillage but I would like to be corrected.
    You stand corrected, I have managed to get my strategy to the point where I always end up with a lot of gold even though I have very large empires.

    The strategy is pretty simple once you get the hang of it but you need to practice a lot, you don't need special wonders or social policies to gain 3-4 times more than your building expenses. Units can always stifle your gold gain of course, so here's what I do:

    1. Get your capital pop as high as you can, I suggest that you only work farm tiles in the capital at all times when your pop is happy. The reason it seems to me you get something like [the cap pop / 2 + city pop / 2] gold for every city's trade route. So if you have a big empire, have a huge capital.
    2. Keep your city pops low until industrial or late renaissance. The reason is efficiency. There's a very tight connection between happiness, territory and money. Happiness costs money (colosseum, circus, teatre maintenance) and money costs happiness (you need people to work on trade posts and such). So it is paramount to have good efficiency when expanding your empire, it's not just size that matters any more, it's also the quality of your cities. The way I achieve this early on is to use natural resources as much as I can, if there's not enough natural resources near a site don't settle there, simple as that. There are a lot of natural gold producing resources, the most important are silver, gold and rivers. But you've also got fish, wales, pearls, ivory, wine and in fact most of the resources out there are meant for gold, don't look at them as bonuses, look at them as the only tiles you should work.
    Don't grow your gold producing cities just because you need more gold, instead build more new small gold producing cities on unsettled terrain, or go conquer someone.
    3. Watch out for producing a lot of units, unit maintenance is so much more expensive and also you'll need to upgrade all of your units when your tech improves. If you do produce too many units you can actually disband them for gold so never ever keep units idling around. If your unit isn't fighting or exploring you're wasting money.
    4. In a similar fashion, keep expenses low by having efficiency in your other specialized cities (the ones that don't produce gold). That means things like: don't have a science producing city if it's not close to a mountain or plenty of jungle, don't build culture unless you have incense or wine near by, don't build land units unless you have iron near by, don't build wonders unless you have marble and so on. Also mix specializations for cities, so if you get a mountain and wine near a city, have it producing culture and science.

    So basically that's the general guideline for making $$$, make sure that every pop and unit you have is working efficiently. In real life as well money is earned on efficiency, not simply labor.

  3. #3
    Thank you. Starting a new game now to try it out.

  4. #4
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    I find the easiest way to make money and expand, is to not build any buildings besides the market, if you need something to build, build a worker then sell him, build your next city at the next closest luxury resource to maintain happiness as you expand, only build tile improvements that reap the highest benefits and maintain/lock your tile assignments manually in the city screen, build the most direct road between cities to reduce maintenance and establish trade routes, aim for a market per city and a specialist assigned to it manually, send out barbarian raiders but have them fortify at a camp to gain XP levels before destroying the camp and earning gold, maintain a healthy army of 1 melee and 1 ranged unit per city plus 2-3 raiding units for barbarian camps or opponent squabbles (these will be elite ranked units due to the barbarian raiding), use choke-points and double tile fortified units to block opponent movement and potential expansion if possible, don't puppet or annex, raze if necessary, don't capture city states, use them to fight a proxy war against aggressive neighbors by secretly providing them units.

    One sentence strategy that I enjoy using. But hey, that's just how I am learning to play. Most buildings seem pointless to me, not enough reward vs cost.
    Last edited by AndyWiltshireNZ; 10-01-2010 at 08:00 AM.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by AndyWiltshireNZ View Post
    I find the easiest way to make money and expand, is to not build any buildings besides the market, if you need something to build, build a worker then sell him, build your next city at the next closest luxury resource to maintain happiness as you expand, only build tile improvements that reap the highest benefits and maintain/lock your tile assignments manually in the city screen, build the most direct road between cities to reduce maintenance and establish trade routes, aim for a market per city and a specialist assigned to it manually, send out barbarian raiders but have them fortify at a camp to gain XP levels before destroying the camp and earning gold, maintain a healthy army of 1 melee and 1 ranged unit per city plus 2-3 raiding units for barbarian camps or opponent squabbles (these will be elite ranked units due to the barbarian raiding), use choke-points and double tile fortified units to block opponent movement and potential expansion if possible, don't puppet or annex, raze if necessary, don't capture city states, use them to fight a proxy war against aggressive neighbors by secretly providing them units.

    One sentence strategy that I enjoy using. But hey, that's just how I am learning to play. Most buildings seem pointless to me, not enough reward vs cost.
    Funny thing is, I find it better to not expand much at all. I usually never build more than 2-3 cities. The negatives for multiple cities are to high too justify having them. I tend to only build a new city when I find iron, coal and oil. I usually skip oil if there is well near one of my other cities.

    The happiness hit is too high imo. To counter the happiness, you need build more buildings which in turn lower your income. You could build a road for trade routes, but normally the road maintenance cost > trade route profit, so again you are in a hole. I find focusing on a few cities and maximizing the efficiency out of them is much, much better in the long run.
    Last edited by Ruiner66; 10-01-2010 at 08:41 AM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruiner66 View Post
    Funny thing is, I find it better to not expand much at all. I usually never build more than 2-3 cities. The negatives for multiple cities are to high too justify having them. I tend to only build a new city when I find iron, coal and oil. I usually skip oil if there is well near one of my other cities.

    The happiness hit is too high imo. To counter the happiness, you need build more buildings which in turn lower your income. You could build a road for trade routes, but normally the road maintenance cost > trade route profit, so again you are in a hole. I find focusing on a few cities and maximizing the efficiency out of them is much, much better in the long run.
    Generally I agree. To clarify, I will only build a new city on a luxury resource I don't have permanent access to already, as I can justify the happiness hit, then once you have the trade route up and running with a market, you can crank out some gold. The downside to expansion of course is the hit to gaining Policies, so it takes longer to gain those nice perks that support a larger empire. double-edged sword.

    I would like to try building a single super city at some stage, then rely on city states for luxuries and resources.
    Last edited by AndyWiltshireNZ; 10-01-2010 at 09:25 AM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruiner66 View Post
    Funny thing is, I find it better to not expand much at all. I usually never build more than 2-3 cities. The negatives for multiple cities are to high too justify having them. I tend to only build a new city when I find iron, coal and oil. I usually skip oil if there is well near one of my other cities.

    The happiness hit is too high imo. To counter the happiness, you need build more buildings which in turn lower your income. You could build a road for trade routes, but normally the road maintenance cost > trade route profit, so again you are in a hole. I find focusing on a few cities and maximizing the efficiency out of them is much, much better in the long run.
    I tend to build 5-6 cities of my own, then conquest more if I feel like it.

    In my current game (I'm on turn 181 of standard), I've realized something very important, and very different than Civ4

    -USE THE CITY-STATES-

    They offer HUGE bonuses.

    I have a 5 city empire with a total of 47 population. I'm on Prince so that's a total of 51 unhappiness from pop and cities.

    I've only built -one- happiness building (collesum) and that was just to get out of a slump (I'm currently +8 now).

    The food from a maritime gives +4 food in the capital and +2 in all other cities. That's like a free granary in every city.

    The military units from a militarized adds up over time. Get one of these allies early enough and before you know it they'll have provided you an entire army.

    And they -ALL- provide you with their luxury -AND- strategic resources at allied.

    So even though in my 5 city empire I only naturally have 2 iron, with my 5 city state allies I have a total of -40- iron.

    And with the Patronage tree, it makes these even more powerful.

    The culture from a cultured gives +12 culture per turn. Although my 7th social policy costs 1600 culture (at 5 cities), I'm churning out 111 culture per turn.

    Edit: Look at the math. 5 cities with 5 granaries = 5gpt. Over 100 turns that 500g.

    If you get an upgraded patronage tree, heres what else that 500g could buy you

    500g = 80 influence (roughly). Which is tacked on to the base patronage tree of +20 CS influence for a total of 100 influence. This influence degrades at half speed (until Order), so at -.5 a turn. Allied is at 60, so the 40pts would last you 80 turns. Or if your Greece, its -.37, so it would last you ~120 turns.

    That 500g is now providing the same +2 food in every city, an additional +2 (for a total of +4) in the capital, AND you're getting additional luxury resources, AND strategic resources.

    For the same exact 500g.
    Last edited by johnjacob; 10-01-2010 at 09:35 AM.

  8. #8
    I was playing cristics strategy when it occured to me that I no longer care about happiness. It doesn't matter if they are -1 or -100 since it's the same penalty. So I no longer need any happiness buildings. There doesn't seem to be any reason to build one they are too expensive.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Ruiner66 View Post
    Funny thing is, I find it better to not expand much at all. I usually never build more than 2-3 cities. The negatives for multiple cities are to high too justify having them. I tend to only build a new city when I find iron, coal and oil. I usually skip oil if there is well near one of my other cities.

    The happiness hit is too high imo. To counter the happiness, you need build more buildings which in turn lower your income. You could build a road for trade routes, but normally the road maintenance cost > trade route profit, so again you are in a hole. I find focusing on a few cities and maximizing the efficiency out of them is much, much better in the long run.
    I don't understand, you say about negatives of having many cities are not worth it. So far I am aware of a single negative, I found on the forums that the policy cost escalates with the number of cities (haven't tested it though). Also you get 2 unhappiness but you do get 1 tile worked for free and additional maritime bonuses and other per city bonuses. Oh and 7 tiles of new territory to top it all. I only see pluses in have many cities, don't see any negatives except the cultural victory. I usually have about 20 cities on standard size map standard difficulty when I hit renaissance, I have about 200 gold profit per turn and I am around 10-15 techs ahead of any other AI civ.
    You say that to get happiness you need to pay gold, that';s true but happiness allows you to have more people getting you more gold. For example if you pay (i'm going off memory here) 3 gold for 4 happiness (colosseum), you pay 3 gold for 4 ppl that could be working 3 silver tiles and one farm in a city that has a mint and a market, that'd get you a profit of 3 * 6 * 1.25 - 3 = 19.5 gold in the medieval age without any fancy gold improvements at all. In a less ideal case you'd have them work trade posts on grassland in a city without a market and you'd still get a 4 * 2 - 3 = 8 gold profit. Here you see the huge difference efficiency makes on your profits, but the point is you always get profits.
    You also say that "normally the road maintenance cost > trade route profit", which never ever happened to me. One thing you need to make sure is that the capital has a high population. My cities are initially far apart until I hit Industrialism and they're tiny in pop (except the capital) and I get a good 50% more trade income than road expense. I don't even build the minimal coverage, I plan the roads a bit extra long so to make fast unit movement possible.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by ezwip View Post
    I was playing cristics strategy when it occured to me that I no longer care about happiness. It doesn't matter if they are -1 or -100 since it's the same penalty. So I no longer need any happiness buildings. There doesn't seem to be any reason to build one they are too expensive.
    Hmm you get a combat bonus when you hit -10 (I'm not sure about it, that's what seems to happen to me). If you don't build happiness buildings you won't be able to have many cities and to grow your capital. Happiness buildings are usually the first thing I build and I always tech rush construction and horseback riding to get the colosseum and circus early. Not building happiness buildings is a sure way of having a small empire.

  11. #11
    Didn't bother reading the whole thread, so I'm just gonna say to build those ugly trade posts.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by cristic View Post
    Not building happiness buildings is a sure way of having a small empire.
    http://fightclubua.net/images/civ.jpg

    In the game I'm playing I have 0 happiness buildings. It doesn't seem to be a big deal that my population is low at the moment.

    I'll just equip these insane archers with guns and take what I want. Happiness is lame.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruiner66 View Post
    Funny thing is, I find it better to not expand much at all. I usually never build more than 2-3 cities. The negatives for multiple cities are to high too justify having them. I tend to only build a new city when I find iron, coal and oil. I usually skip oil if there is well near one of my other cities.

    The happiness hit is too high imo. To counter the happiness, you need build more buildings which in turn lower your income. You could build a road for trade routes, but normally the road maintenance cost > trade route profit, so again you are in a hole. I find focusing on a few cities and maximizing the efficiency out of them is much, much better in the long run.

    I just finished a 4700+ win on king with 17 cities, 10 happiness, 4k gold, and 95 gold per turn (GPT).

    The first trick I now use is to go tradition... Just for the food growth and wonder increase primarily. Rest I mainly put into honor for the war I'm about to set off. I also tend to put a point in tradition for the 33% defense within borders if being attacked a lot. I stay with one city for awhile and I'm probably about 50 to 60 turns in before I plant my 2nd and 3rd city (only make a third for luxury, production, strategic resource). All the rest of my cities are either conquered city states or civ cities. I keep the strategic cities only... I raze them once they are no longer useful. If they are well developed cities capable of producing a courthouse quickly, then I keep them for markets, banks, and culture/happiness as needed.

    I went my whole game with out switching a city to gold production and wealth focus. Most, except for my wonder building cities were on default or food production. I won as china for those interested just toward the end of the 18th century on a small map. Also, try to establish rich friends so you can get fair deals for your extra luxury items. Or friends that have luxury items you don't have.

    Speaking of luxury items, that's one of my main focuses with keeping enemy cities.. If they have a new luxury resource then I get +5 happiness.

  14. #14
    The AI puts up a pretty good fight when your people are really p'ed off. I was gang banged by Napoleon and Julius. 0 research and 0 happy buildings, but still in the running for a win.

    http://fightclubua.net/images/civ2.jpg

  15. #15
    It seems like making money is more difficult in Civ V than in IV.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by ezwip View Post
    The AI puts up a pretty good fight when your people are really p'ed off. I was gang banged by Napoleon and Julius. 0 research and 0 happy buildings, but still in the running for a win.

    http://fightclubua.net/images/civ2.jpg
    Whats up with that Legolas?

  17. #17
    I know, I used to make all my Civ IV money selling techs

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by johnjacob View Post
    -USE THE CITY-STATES-
    A lot of people underestimate the city states. +5 food in capital and +2 in other cities just in the first age. That is huge. And remember it stacks the more naval cs's you get. I'm playing a huge map and currently have 5 naval cs allys. It can be expensive to maintain your cs allies. But with the missions you can offset some of those costs. And I always get the civic tree that improves you cs relations. It is incredible.

    Later in the game when you start expanding your empire as your economy improves you can found a city and it instantly has +10 food. Without the naval cs's it can take far too long for cities founded later in the game to grow. And the food they give you increases as you reach later ages. Since you don't need to make farms you can then focus on trading posts. In most of my cities I may have a farm or two, resources with their required improvements, production improvements where applicable and everything else tradingposts. And later in the game when if you opt for +2 science per tradingpost you will see you science skyrocket. With all that extra food you can expand your empire like nothing else. With extra income you can by happy buildings to make up for the size of your empire.

  19. #19
    None of the advice in any of these replies will work. No matter how you play the game, you will still be down about $50.

  20. #20
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    hm nice to know . i am busy with my jackpot game on http://Aliendollar.com
    its better much fun and with cash too i am loving it

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Anthribar View Post
    None of the advice in any of these replies will work. No matter how you play the game, you will still be down about $50.
    very ignorant

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by ezwip View Post
    The AI puts up a pretty good fight when your people are really p'ed off. I was gang banged by Napoleon and Julius. 0 research and 0 happy buildings, but still in the running for a win.

    http://fightclubua.net/images/civ2.jpg
    You've got a very small empire in that pic, you do need happiness to get 20 cities or more.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthribar View Post
    None of the advice in any of these replies will work. No matter how you play the game, you will still be down about $50.
    Haha your a troll!

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