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Caesar IV Heaven » Forums » Emperor: Game Help » Micromanaging early in the first year
Topic Subject:Micromanaging early in the first year
Djed djedi
posted 02-28-03 03:28 ET (US)         
I'm curious how many people micromanage their early (first year) buildings due to limited labor. I have so little labor and so many things I want to do early on that I find it worth doing this the first year.

Specifically, I've found that many buildings only need labor long enough to emit workers. Inspectors, water carrier, lumberjacks, shrines, music school, even smelters and farms continue to work if you turn off the building after they've left.

For example, a Logging Shed requires 14 employees. But I can staff 3 logging sheds (and more) with those 14 employees by turning of one shed as it ejects workers and turning on the next one. I can staff many inspectors towers with 5 employees by having only one turned on a time.

Some observations:

1) For many buildings, its no big deal if I don't turn it on as soon as the laborers return, so I don't panic if I'm a little late. I get pretty close to max production out of my logging camps even if they idle once in a while because the amount of time they idle is small compared to the amount of time the workers are out working.

In fact, I turn on some buildings (Well, Herbalist, Inspectors Tower) only when needed.

Of course, be careful with Inspectors; don't wait for a building to get into danger.

2) However, you should wait for the worker to reach his destination before turning off the building. If you turn off the Logging Shed before the lumberjack starts chopping his tree, he might disappear. But I haven't seen a lumberman disappear once he started chopping.

3) Some building laborers return to their building so often that its a lot of work trying to keep up. Farms specifically. Of course, you shouldn't be farming until you have excess labor and money anyway.

4) Don't do this with some buildings.

This just doesn't seem to work with Fishing Quay. Turn off the building and the boat disappears even when it is activily fishing or returning with fish.

Taxes aren't collected if the Admin City is turned off, even if the tax collector is still walking. But I think the Tax Office itself can be turned off once the collector is walking. I think.

5) Some Industrial buildings (Kiln, Clay Pit) don't eject workers, but need constant labor to work. Turn off the labor and work just stops.

However, the Smelters and Stone Works buildings are both worlds. They need constant labor to smelt or cut blocks, but if they don't have enough resources to be smelting or cutting blocks, you might as well turn them off while the gatherers are out getting the raw materials. This is especially useful in the first year of your city.

6) The only way I've found to do this with Commerce buildings (which can't be turned off) is to adjust my global labor allocation and run short of laborers. A warehouse or mill really doesn't need full staff while the city is small and growing.

I'm sure I'm not the first to make these observations, but I couldn't find a thread discussing this. So I wanted to throw my observations out for comment.


(id: EmperorJay)
posted 02-28-03 03:53 ET (US)     1 / 7       
I can't do anything but just agree with all your points. It certainly is a very efficient way.

However, I usually just I don't micromanage anything and it takes a few years longer before the city is up and running, but once it's running (quite) flawlessly it also takes not more than 1 or 2 years to meet the requirements.

How I do it:

I build enough housing to supply housing for 75% of my population target. I build an Inspector Tower and a Well then I start building a farm, both Hemp and Food (usually 2 kinds of food). Once the houses have evolved, I don't wait for the immigrants to arrive at their houses but I just concentrate on a) making some money, which should be low right now or b) developing the houses even further.

I have constant worker shortages but I always have enough workers to keep the city running and after a few years, the number of workers is growing faster then the number of new jobs. I build some extra housing to meet my population target, conquer one or two cities, make some money and I should have won. If a monument is a goal, it might take longer depending on which monument I'm building.

posted 02-28-03 03:54 ET (US)     2 / 7       
the way i play it...
mmm, i think i was trying to be a good business man rather than a good city-governor/mayor/etc.

nowadays, i tend to buy/sell everything that's possible and required for my city while trying to make money out of it! i just love to do business and thus, i always manage my commerce(trading posts) to be at its peak in the first year when i get my trading running!

is this a bad idea?
but i had so far manage to make successful business trading in support of a 5000 ppl non-elite housing city! =)

posted 03-01-03 18:18 ET (US)     3 / 7       
As regards lumber sheds & smelters, I do that too (& throughout, not just at the start) but had not thought of it in inspector towers (guessed it to be too important to be playing around with it ). I have to continue doing this as i try my level best to play & finish with 1 common & 1 elite block each, no more as i gets too complex trying to manage the city that way (I love my chips' break unlike players of RTS ).
HG Alumnus
posted 03-01-03 21:05 ET (US)     4 / 7       
I nearly always micromanage my labour at the start of a mission. Its something I suppose I started doing for city building speed contests and its now become more the norm for me.

I do it both by turning on and off individual buildings and industries and also a lot by changing the labour priorities. For instance I will put safety to highest priority for just a minute until I see the inspectors and well guys head out then put it back down to lowest priority (which means no workers at that stage) for a while. You do though have to concentrate and remember what you are doing if you start playing around like this or you can end up with your city burning down or forget to turn on farms in the right month etc.

posted 03-03-03 02:26 ET (US)     5 / 7       
Huh-uh! This would take more brain power than this old head can muster.

I haven't had too many labor problems, actually. I tend to put in a good-sized housing block and make improvements to get the workforce I need. I will occasionally build a couple of farms early on, then turn off their labor to put elsewhere, as by the time the farms are ready to grow, I'll have enough workers. Otherwise I'd get so confused my city would just be a mess.

posted 03-06-03 18:49 ET (US)     6 / 7       
I used to have problem in getting enough employment so that I could get enough food early to be able to switch food-shop in common-market to buying plain from not buying (happens around September/October of 1st year when ~50 housing vacancies are left). Now I place my regular perfect-harmony common-block (Vaia's) in required place (not a bother if away from entry-point & immigrants take time getting there) but also put down a similar 24x5 stripped down common-block without ANY consideration for FS right AT the entry with only 1 Inspector, 2 herbalists, 1 acupuncturist & 1 well only (no market, evolves upto Huts only). When my regular block evolves to Spacious & I have enough employment to start getting taxes & producing Carved jade & lacquerware/silk (from start of Feb 2nd year) along with jump-starting my elites (by early 2nd year) & getting first few forts running (by mid 2nd year), I start taking down huts in the extra block (1 per 7-8 extra employees).

It's not as costly as it seems; 56 road tiles+1 inspector+1 well+2 herbalists+1 acupuncturist+~48 huts=1045 Cash & 264 EXTRA employees. Also, Growing season for Silk & Lacquer is not missed in the 2nd year; giving you the benefit of exporting silk (@225) & Lacquerware (@210) right at Sep. 2nd year. If nothing, it will save at the very least 1 year due to wait for employment for farms (& wheat is from mar-jul) from mission time (-21 points lost for extra block treasury-loss but +24 points gained for 1 less year).

This has been tested in Sui-Tang throughout, even in non-capitol-city missions with lesser cash & worked always.

[This message has been edited by Andyblast (edited 03-06-2003 @ 06:53 PM).]

posted 05-10-20 15:36 ET (US)     7 / 7       
I am resurrecting this old thread to share how I perform my various micromanaging task in the first game-year, including why I do it. The following steps explain it:

a. PAUSE THE GAME in the first month and (after studying the map carefully) place a common housing block as close to the map's entry point as possible. This allows new immigrants to reach their housing plots quickly, for immediate allocation into your workforce. Begin placing the first housing plots as close to the map's entry point as possible,
because arriving immigrants will target the housing plots in the order you place them. This placement tactic minimizes the time required for the first immigrants to settle into the housing plots, thus boosting your available workforce faster. Also, be sure to disconnect any road network that may exist from the map's entry point to your housing
block, because immigrants will follow a road network if they enter the map on a road tile and the road is connected to housing. Following roads may slow down your immigrants! Arriving immigrants will move across open country to reach housing plots by the shortest pathing possible, so it's always better to disconnect the road for purposes of immigration.

b. PAUSE THE GAME in the first month and place at least one food farm and one hemp farm (but preferably, place 2 of each). Turn off workers to these farms until the first month
the crop begins to grow, then turn on the workers to each farm. You may also place irrigation, but do not immediately turn on workers to it. Check the harvest months of the crops and only turn on the irrigation workers 1 month prior to the crops' harvest month. (The game only checks for field irrigation in the harvest month to receive the irrigation yield bonus; the fields do not have to be irrigated during the entire growing season.)

c. Set wages to 'Very High' to generate the maximum amount of workers in your workforce.

d. Set taxes to 'None' to generate the maximum number of immigrants and provide a boost to city sentiment. Keep your taxes set to 'None' until the moment you see the first loads of wood/paper arrive at your tax offices, and tax collectors begin to spawn. This provides the boost to city sentiment as long as possible before you can physically begin to collect taxes.

e. Set industrial priorities for Safety and Agriculture to 'Very High', so these building types receive their workers first when workers are allocated from the labor pool.

f. In the first game year, watch your arriving immigrants reach their housing plots; they will then immediately begin to raise your available workforce. PAUSE THE GAME as the workforce grows, and turn on/off buildings as necessary to keep the farms fully-staffed. Until a harvest month arrives, farms only need to be staffed until you see they spawn field workers, then you can turn them off. Watch the field workers and when they walk back to the farm building you need to right-click on the farm and re-staff it with workers. This will spawn the workers again to work in the fields. By doing this you will obtain full (or nearly full) harvests of food and hemp in the first game year.

g. In the first game year, watch your support buildings (like inspectors, shrines, and water carriers), and as soon as their walker spawns turn off that building's workers, so their workers go back into the available labor pool for redistribution. Then watch until that building's walker returns to the building, and at that time turn on its workers again. Rinse and repeat this tactic as you see the walkers spawn from the various support buildings.

h. You can place herbalists and acupuncturists in your housing block, but keep them turned off until the 2nd or even 3rd game year, when your population has grown.

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