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Pharaoh: Game Help
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Caesar IV Heaven » Forums » Pharaoh: Game Help » Pyramid construction - laborer supply rate (workcamps)
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Topic Subject:Pyramid construction - laborer supply rate (workcamps)
Trium3
Pleb
posted 12-29-08 12:25 ET (US)         
First, I'll post the question I was about to ask (before I went off to check something).

I've often observed that, subject to there being enough stone available and enough stonemasons to keep a flow of orders going, a workcamp will generate a maximum of 4 stone-pullers at 1-week intervals. No further laborers will be generated from that camp until one of those four returns home 'invisibly'. Progress can be monitored over open ground by observing red squares passing across the green footprint of, say, a granary (selected for construction but not placed). The red square heads directly (under buildings, water, mountains, anything) to the spawning tile and the new laborer appears immediately it arrives there (if the workcamp is waiting to issue a laborer).

What is unknown to me is what determines the (sometimes very lengthy) delay between the stone-puller disappearing (having delivered his stone) and the start of his covert journey home. I thought I had quantified this at around 5 weeks (after watching a single workcamp on a large pyramid complex) but I've just been looking at a medium pyramid on the same map (CCK 'Sandbox' Pyramids) and this delay is closer to 10 weeks.

Does anyone have any further information on this?

(BTW - site preparation workers exhibit similar behaviour but seem to head home much more quickly).

While checking something in-game I found something new (to me). I was trying to establish where these 'invisible' walks start from and I found that (ex-)stone-pullers weren't starting from the construction site at all. They appear (if an invisible walker can be said to 'appear' at all) along the northern edge of the map and 'walk' from there to the relevant camp. If this is normal behaviour, it suggests that workcamps further north might re-generate stone-pullers more quickly than their more southerly neighbors, requiring less workcamps to do the same job.

In any case, I've been unable to reliably quantify how long it takes for a 'spent' laborer to start his invisible walk. I've seen everything from around three weeks to a couple of months, so my question stands.

[This message has been edited by Trium3 (edited 12-29-2008 @ 01:01 PM).]

AuthorReplies:
Cantique
Pleb
posted 12-29-08 13:31 ET (US)     1 / 13       
Wow! invisible walkers? I have always wondered why sometimes (I noticed it most recently in my S Dashur) sometimes saw red squares while I was trying to place a buildings. Of course now it makes sense.
along the northern edge
ie. the northern western corner? If not then do you know how the game decides where they start along the north edge? Perhaps it is directly north from where they disappeared?
it suggests that workcamps further north might re-generate stone-pullers more quickly than their more southerly neighbors
Yes, could you verify this quickly with one of your test maps?
I've been unable to reliably quantify how long it takes for a 'spent' laborer to start his invisible walk.
How have you done so so far? what about taking into account the time it takes for the spent laborer to 'invisibly' walk to the northern corner (or edge) and then from there back to his camp? (The walk to the northern corner may even include walking back down the pyramid in the case of stone haulers.) I would consider the northern corner (in this situation) as similar to the platform that all walkers have to enter through - to begin their invisible walk home they must first head for the northern corner tile.
Does anyone have any further information on this?
No, but I hope that what i just wrote has given you some ideas.

[This message has been edited by cantique (edited 12-29-2008 @ 01:32 PM).]

Trium3
Pleb
posted 12-29-08 14:08 ET (US)     2 / 13       
If not then do you know how the game decides where they start along the north edge?
No, I don't. On one map it was directly north of the northern tile of the pyramid, but in another it wasn't. On one map it was around the half-way point but on another it wasn't. On all maps the precise entry point moves by a couple of tiles either way as you watch successive walkers.
How have you done so so far?
One difficulty is knowing which (invisible) walker is the replacement for which laborer. Usually, I'll delete all workcamps and start again with just one. I'll then assume that the first red square on the map edge is the first guy I saw disappear and use something like a clay pit to count game production cycles. Once the first one appears the others follow at fairly predictable intervals, mirroring the intervals between stone deliveries.

Note that this appearance on the map edge applies only to stone pullers (so far as I have seen). Site preparation laborers seem to move (invisibly) from where they disappeared (on the site, of course)
could you verify this quickly with one of your test maps?
Not very quickly, but I'll try it out when I have time. Site preparation is such a pain!

I'm thinking the Walker Table might tell a secret or two, but apart from a few obvious fields I haven't deciphered it yet. One would assume that entries exist for these walkers (and that they would count towards the 'sprite' limit)
Trium3
Pleb
posted 12-30-08 19:04 ET (US)     3 / 13       
While I don't yet know just how soon a laborer can reappear after retiring, I've certainly satisfied myself that stone-pullers from northerly camps do indeed refresh more quickly than those from camps further south. This assumes that all retired stone-pullers enter the map on the northern edge (which has always been the case so far) and that there is not some so far unencountered situation where they might enter on a different edge.

This was a rough and ready test - all timings and distances are approximate.

I deleted all workcamps on a map where the fifth tier of a large pyramid complex had just been completed, then placed two new ones - the first around 25 tiles north-west of the stone storage yard (actual walk 30 tiles) and the second around the same distance to the south-east. Releative to the map edge, the first camp was about 45 tiles from the northern edge, the other about 95. To make sure both camps got all four laborers out at once the hauling distance from the SY to the monument platform was around 55 tiles (plus 10 tiles of ramp plus 24 tiles across the site). All told, it takes about 9 weeks from a laborer leaving either camp to a stone being delivered to waiting masons.

Both camps emitted four laborers at exact 1-week intervals (204 'ticks) then dried up. The more northerly camp began emitting laborers again about 6 weeks after the first stone was delivered, but the more southerly one took about 4 weeks longer. This is entirely attributable to the time it takes a 'red square' to travel the extra 50 or so tiles from the map edge.

Those red squares appeared about three weeks (or perhaps a little less) after each stone was delivered. Those bound for the more northerly (and more westerly) camp appeared about 4 tiles further west than those bound for the other camp - the 'origin' of these invisible walks may be a point a few tiles above the map edge (perhaps on the edge of the fixed-size grid on which the variable-size map sits) but that's just a hunch - I haven't seen enough to be sure.

These observations enable me to make more informed decisions. If I am to maintain the maximum possible inflow of stone (so as to finish the course as quickly as possible) I need about 9 pullers a month (as well as enough stone and masons). Two workcamps can produce 8, but not continually. My northern camp actually takes about 15 weeks to refresh (in these conditions) so my true average is a shade over 1 puller a month, so I need 9 camps. The southerly one cycles every 19 weeks, and I would need 11 of them to produce an average 9 pullers a month.
Cantique
Pleb
posted 12-30-08 19:41 ET (US)     4 / 13       
Good work Trium3!

I'm glad somebody has found time to test this.

So, if I understand correctly, A laborer will travel directly to the platform of a pyramid work four tiles of the pyramid base, then invisibly return directly back to the camp he was spawned from. As soon as he arrives back, another laborer will be spawned from that work camp. When a stone puller is spawned he will go to collect stone from a storage yard, then drag the stone to the pyramid, 'give' it to the stone mason he has been assigned to. The stone puller will then appear at the northern edge and walk back invisibly directly to his work camp.

How does the game decide how long the stone puller should take from disappearing on the pyramid to invisibly reappearing at the northern edge? is it the time it would take for him to walk directly to it?

From the information you have gathered one can say that work camps should be placed as close to the pyramid as possible and as close to the north edge as possible, meaning the pyramid should also be placed as close to the north edge as possible.

Is this all correct? I'm waiting avidly to read what else you can uncover, if you can be bothered to put the effort in!
Brugle
HG Alumnus
posted 12-30-08 21:40 ET (US)     5 / 13       
cantique,
Putting work camps nearer the north edge of the map will help speed up pyramid construction only if work camps are a limiting factor. (I don't think that work camps were a limiting factor in many of my pyramids.)
Trium3
Pleb
posted 12-31-08 09:59 ET (US)     6 / 13       
As soon as he arrives back, another laborer will be spawned from that work camp
Only if that workcamp is currently out of laborers and is waiting to issue another
is it the time it would take for him to walk directly to it?
I don't think so, but it may be related to distance. In the test I described, red squares appeared around 11-12 production cycles after delivering stone. In another test, on a medium pyramid somewhat to the south, they appeared around 17 production cycles after delivering stone. The difference in 'latitude' between the two monuments is about the same whether measured northern tile to northern tile or platform to platform - just under 70 tiles, which would take about 20 cycles to 'walk' - far longer than the 5 or 6 cycle difference observed. In fact, it is possible that the clock starts ticking when the stone reaches the site - haulers on the large pyramid (in my test) travel around 32 tiles from the platform to where the masons are waiting, while those on the medium pyramid travel about 15. That difference amounts to about 5 production cycles.
work camps should be placed as close to the pyramid as possible and as close to the north edge as possible, meaning the pyramid should also be placed as close to the north edge as possible.
It is much more important that workcamps are close to the stone. I wouldn't give much priority to positioning workcamps further north, but I now know that if I am obliged to place them a long way south I will need more of them to do the same job.
Putting work camps nearer the north edge of the map will help speed up pyramid construction only if work camps are a limiting factor.
That is true. I am looking to determine how many workcamps is enough and how many is too many.

Stone is ordered when a pair of stonemasons gets into position. On a large pyramid you could have 50 pairs of masons and 50 workcamps to execute their orders, but the stone itself is then 'called in' at a maximum rate of about 9 loads per month. Pullers will wait by the storage yard until they are called in. Having more workcamps than you need to supply 9 pullers per month is wasteful.

Of course, to keep 9 pullers per month going you need an adequate supply of stone (which can be replenished quickly as it is pulled off the yard) as well as an adequate supply of orders from masons.
AurumAvis
Pleb
posted 01-01-09 11:53 ET (US)     7 / 13       
Hello!
I've got this problem. I'm trading wood from another city but the Carpenter's Guild doesn't seem to know it, because the wood isn't being delivered to the Carpenter's Guild and I'm in the middle of building the Pyramid.
speysider
Banned
posted 01-01-09 12:00 ET (US)     8 / 13       
Hi AurumAvis, welcome to Pharaoh Heaven.

How much wood are you exporting? How far away is your CG from the SY? If they're too far away, move one closer to the other.
street
Pleb
posted 01-01-09 12:11 ET (US)     9 / 13       
I had once when there was wood in a SY, right next to the carpenters guild, and they wouldn't deliver. The only other thing in the SY was plain stone, I had to build a new SY, wet to accept wood only, empty the wood from the existing SY, and rebuild the carpenters guild before it worked, I had trouble with the work camps in that mission, too, and there were no floodplain farms.

Are you a victim? Of anything? Become a survivor by working for change. If anyone else suffers less than I did, then my pain has served a purpose and I hurt less.

Try it http://c3modsquad.freeforums.org/!
joshofet
Pleb
posted 01-01-09 12:15 ET (US)     10 / 13       
Instead of adding a somewhat off-topic question to an existing thread, you can also start a new one GoldBird.

The wood must be delivered to a storage yard (SY) set to accept it, next a cartpusher from the storage yard will deliver it to the carpenter if there is a road connection. I am not sure the distance between the storage yard and the carpenter guild (CG) is of importance, in a very large map it may be.

If this does not help, please start a new thread, explain the problem again, and tell use what mission you are playing.

Hope this helps.
Trium3
Pleb
posted 01-05-09 18:31 ET (US)     11 / 13       
In replies 3 and 6 I asserted that stone is 'called in' to a pyramid construction site at a maximum rate of around 9 loads per month. This was based on the observation, in every pyramid I've built (which is admittedly not many), that pullers wait by the storage yard until it is their turn to join a convoy of pullers in which the stones are never less than 6 tiles apart.

I have since downloaded examples from Cartouche Bee (Meidum 150) and Max (also Meidum) in which pullers will happily trundle stone to the site in much closer formation and rates much higher than 9 loads per month are achieved. I thought perhaps stepped pyramids work differently, but I've just experimented on the Meidum map and found that my pullers still space themselves out at 6-tile intervals.

I can find nothing in the accompanying text files nor in the forum threads to explain this. Can anyone aid my understanding?

Also, I note that CB's masons will often take up positions very close to the top of the ramp, so starting an early flow of stone. Mine invariably walk right across the face of the pyramid taking up the farthest positions first. Is there some trick to this?
Trium3
Pleb
posted 01-06-09 13:52 ET (US)     12 / 13       
I seem to have answered my own question.

Joshofet observed some years ago that once a load of stone is under way, the next puller will wait by the storage yard until the first one reaches the site platform. I always thought he was wrong, because my pullers will set off once the previous stone is six tiles away.

It seems that a waiting puller sets off either when the previous stone is six tiles away or when it reaches the platform, whichever comes first. Guess I never had my storage yards closer than six tiles from the platform. So Max's pullers will ascend the pyramid at 2-tile intervals because that's how far away the stone pick-up point is from the platform. Cartouche Bee's pullers pick up on the platform itself and so can go up in clumps, but when the main SY runs out the one next door is used, and they go up 3 tiles apart.
Trium3
Pleb
posted 01-10-09 22:06 ET (US)     13 / 13       
As soon as he arrives back, another laborer will be spawned from that work camp
Sorry, cantique, my answer in reply #6 was wrong. He does not even 'clock in' to his building, and he will immediately set off to do any job that has not already been 'assigned' (including working on the floodplain, if his camp is connected by road) regardless of the 'spawning' status of his camp. Thus it is quite possible that his camp appears to spawn two (or more)walkers in quick succession - the 'bounced' returning laborer(s) and the one it would have spawned anyway.

If there is no job he can do, he retires to his building and awaits re-spawning according to the usual cycle.
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