Do you use farms?
I haven't run any stress tests, but my cities usually look something like this:
1 City nothing but farms on all farmable tiles. Granary, watermill, etc. This city is for max pop and I usually set the auto-manager to sci.
I build the national library here.
For those river/grassland cities, I usually farm up a couple of the river tiles or the max food tiles, then Trade Post the rest.
I usually pick a city towards the coast that has fish and lots of forests to become my navy city. I hammer up as much as I can, and build the hammer improvements. On any tile that has no hammers, I TP or farm, depending.
Anyway, at the end of the day I usually have 3 types of cities:
Pure gold cities with nothing but trade posts.
Pure Food city(ies?) with nothing but farm.
A few hybrids that are focusing on hammers.
Sounds almost exactly like my civ4 city dynamic, except that the farm city isn't for GP.
Well at the moment all strategies that are not cultural use ICS, which means you exploit maritime city food to feed a bunch of pop 4 cities who churn out gold and production. You don't really even need granaries or food producing buildings they're worthless and take money that you could be using to bribe maritime city states.
Trade Post spam even on hills, ESPECIALLY HILLS NEXT TO RIVERS
The one thing I don't understand about this strategy is how do you keep the cities at pop 4?
Originally Posted by Martinoguy
You just take population food cost and set it equal to food gain.
This stagnates your city and they will not grow.
That's pretty hard to do though if you accidentally buy too many maritime city states ;-)
Originally Posted by Martinoguy
Does checking avoid growth work? I have not tested it.
No, it doesn't. That's why I don't like this strategy because I usually buy up more than 2 maritime states. I use that food to fuel my larger cities so that they can have more gold/hammers/sci.
Originally Posted by Ash_F
But if you do that, then you can't stop the smallers from growing too, even if they are all specialist.
So I dont understand the logic behind the ICS in civ V.
The maritime city states provide SO much food that I should think the smaller cities would be worthless by comparison to huge ones.
Here is the situation then:
Your growth as an empire is no longer based on either production hits(Civ III) or gold hits ( Civ IV), it is purely based on if your happiness as a empire as a whole can afford to front the happiness cost of new cities.
It's 2 happiness per city and 1 per population.
In 100 turns you're not going to be using ICS, but you will be going for at least 1 maritime ally to grow your core cities to 10 quickly. Once you can build a forbidden palace and/or order social policy to cut unhappiness by 50% per city, then you can start mass producing a bunch of no cost cities on hills and gold only locations. Every city you add to your empire makes you stronger in virtually every way( culture excluded), so there's no reason not to build small cities everywhere. The only thing you have to pay for is the unhappiness due to population which you can build a collosseum or theater( I forget which) to cover your "cost". At this point it's a happy neutral city and 100% of it's gold output or specialist output ( science) goes to your empire. Free of charge.
Big Cities do not grow at a fast rate past 10, which means that you only need food to get it to 10. Food that the city produces itself from tradepost spam on grasslands and river tiles helps keep it growing.