C-evo HOWTO: City Management

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This is the part of the C-evo HOWTO that describes basic city management in C-evo.

City managementEdit

In Civilization-type games, a city generates three kinds of resources:

  • Food, which allows the population of a city to live and increase. This looks like yellow-green mark (almost like a cob of corn) when managing the city.
  • Material, which allows either the production of units or buildings in a city, or give money to the treasury. This resource is also called a "shield", since the resources looks like a small black shield.
  • Trade, which can be used either for research or for money. You select which percentage of total trade is used for research and which for money by setting the tax rate. This resource looks like a blue or purple round beaker.

More information about these resources is available in the excellent manual C-evo comes with.

A city gets these three resources from the land around the city. A given city can harvest resources from any tile no more than 2.5 steps from the city (where a diagonal step counts as 1.5). Here is a figure of the squares a city gets resources from:

. # # # .
# # # # #
# # X # #
# # # # #
. # # # .

Here, "X" is the location of the city, the squares marked # are squares a city can get resources from, and the four "." squares in the corners are too far away from the city to get resources.

One thing to note is that, regardless of technology or population level, it is not possible for a city to get resources beyond these 20 squares. While it would make sense for a modern culture to be able to use freight to move resources from distant farmlands to cities to feed the population or generate trade, C-evo (like Civ1 and Civ2) doesn't have this (to keep the rules relatively simple).

The amount of resources one can get from a given square depends on several factors:

  • The type of terrain a given square has
  • The special resources the square has
  • How well developed a given square is — we will describe this later on in the document.

An undeveloped square offers the following amount of resources (sorted by the amount of food the square offers) at the beginning of the game as soon as your nation has progressed to a Monarchy or Fundamentalist government:

Desert:                     0 food 1 shield  1 trade
Arctic:                     0 food 1 shield  0 trade
Mountains:                  0 food 1 shield  0 trade
Prairie:                    1 food 1 shield  1 trade
Hills:                      1 food 0 shields 0 trade
Hills with grapes (wine):   1 food 0 shields 4* trade
Swamp:                      1 food 0 shields 1 trade
Tundra:                     1 food 0 shields 1 trade
Tundra with gold:           1 food 0 shields 6* trade
Coast (shallow ocean):      1 food 0 shields 3* trade
Forest:                     1 food 2 shields 1 trade
Jungle:                     1 food 2 shields 1 trade
Plains:                     2 food 1 shield  1 trade
Grassland:                  3 food 0 shields 1 trade
Prairie with wheat:         3 food 1 shield  1 trade
Forest with deer (game):    3 food 2 shields 1 trade
Jungle with banana (fruit): 3 food 2 shields 1 trade
Arctic with ivory (walrus): 3 food 1 shield  4* trade 
Desert with oasis (palm):   3 food 1 shield  1 trade
Coast with fish:            5* food 0 shield  3* trade

However, at the start of a game each nation is a despotism, which caps production from any tile (noted above with asterisks) at 3 food, 2 material, and 2 trade. To get full value from wine, gold, ivory, or coast, change your government once you have researched the necessary advance. Beware, however, that there may be reductions in net material because of the need to support more units.

For a city to survive, it must have at least 4 food resources, including the food resources available in the square where the city is located. A city must have a population of at least 2, and every unit of population needs two food resources; a city with a population of 10, for example, needs 20 food resources. Cities without enough food have famines and decrease in population; cities with excess food have surpluses, which usually result in the city growing.

This means that, for a city to survive, it is ideally on a square that offers 2 food or more, and close to another square that offers 2 or more food. To grow, it needs a total of 5 in the city tile and one other.

City manipulationEdit

To manage a city, left-click on the city or on its listing in the cities menu (F3). A window will pop open with the following information:

  • In the upper left hand corner is a number indicating the population of the city, followed by the name of the city.
  • Below this are icons of little men. The icons directly below the city name indicate workers gathering resources for the city; icons in the box to the right of this indicate workers who act as policemen to keep the other citizens law-abiding and productive.
  • Below this, you can see your city as it looks on the map (except that it omits your units). This is where you can see which tiles the city is using to gather resources; you will see a row of icons representing food, shields, and trade in the squares where the city is gathering resources. The city is highlighted in a circle, like a spotlight; this shows which squares workers in the city can reach to gather resources.
  • In the bottom right corner of the panel showing the city on the map is a small button that looks like a money bag; this is used to spend money so as to speed up the creation of a building or unit or Wonder. Click it to be told how much it would cost and to decide whether to do it.
  • In the left part below the city resource panel showing is a large colored circle. At the beginning of a game, this circle is a green circle with a picture of a baby carriage. This circle represents how the computer manages resources; there are a number of settings, such as "maximize growth" (increase population as quickly as possible), "maximize production" (build things as quickly as possible), and "maximize research" (develop new technologies and/or gather taxes as much as possible). These settings are changed by clicking on the middle of the circle to cycle through the options or on the appropriately-colored band at the rim to go direct to a chosen option. It is also possible to override automatic resource management and manually manage where a city gets resources; click on any tile on the city map to initiate that.
  • To the right of this circle is an image of whatever item the city is currently creating (if the city isn't presently creating anything, but is instead contributing to taxes, this will look like a treasure chest with a red background). You can click on this square to change what the city is producing; this will open up a list of various items the city can produce. To get more information on what a given item can produce, hold down the “shift” key then left-click on the item you want more information about; the relevant page from the manual will pop up describing the item in more detail.
  • Below this is a mini-map of the city which lets you see which buildings the city already has, with a red mark to show if it is building one.
  • On the right hand side of the city maintenance panel is some information about the city's current state.
    • The top part panel on the right with small hearts shows morale: How well-behaved city inhabitants are.
    • The second panel from the top on the right shows food: How much food we have; if the storage here reaches the highest level (30 if playing stock C-evo at the easiest level but more at higher levels), population increases (unless there is a lack of technology to take it beyond 8 or 12). If the storage here goes below 0, it is a famine and the city either loses population (one point per turn irrespective of the deficit size) or dies out if the population would drop below 2.
    • The third panel from the top on the right shows how much material we are gathering and how much of it (if any) is being used to maintain units.
    • The fourth panel from the top on the right shows the progress building the item we are requesting the city to build.
    • The bottom panel on the right hand side shows how much science (research, tech) and/or tax this city is contributing to our nation and any losses to corruption.

Improving terrainEdit

The only information we will concern ourselves with now is which squares the city uses to get resources. We will work on improving these squares.

The unit used for improving terrain is the settler (later on in the game there are better units that can improve terrain, but the settler is the only available one at the start of the game). A settler actually has two jobs: Building new cities and improving terrain around a city.

A settler can improve terrain a few ways:

  • Increasing the amount of food by one unit on grassland, plains, prairie, hills, and tundra with irrigation.
  • Using irrigation to convert forests and jungles in to prairie, and swamps in to grassland.
  • Increasing the amount of shields (material) available by putting mines in hills and mountains. Note that a given square can either be irrigated or have a mine, but not both (this only affects hill squares).
  • Converting plains, grassland, prairies, and swamps in to forests.
  • Adding roads which increase movement; roads also increase trade once we have "The Wheel" technology (this is one of the first technologies available to us)

These improvements are done by moving the settler to the square we wish to improve, then pushing the button near the bottom of the screen that looks like a "T" to open up the terrain improvement menu. To move the settler (or any other unit):

  • Left-click on the settler you wish to move.
  • Now, right-click on the square you wish to move the unit to.
  • When the game starts up, some of the squares around the city are already irrigated.

Irrigation is more useful than making mines near the beginning of the game, especially on plains and grassland squares.

Building new townsEdit

In addition to irrigating terrain and building roads and mines, settlers can also build new towns. It is important to build a town that is a little distant from other towns and cities so the town has its own resources. Only a single town or city can use a given resource square in any given turn; if two cities are too close to each other, each city has fewer resource squares available.

To build a new town, a settler needs to find a place which has enough food to support the town's population. While a settler can build a town in a place without enough food, the town will quickly die of famine and disappear.

Ideally, a city should be built on a plains or grassland or wheat tile, and be within two squares of another plains or grassland tile or one of the six bonus tiles at the bottom of the above list. If this is not possible, it will be necessary to irrigate land around the site before establishing the new town.

To build a new town:

  • Use the settler or other units to explore the unexplored (black) part of the world to find a suitable site for the new town.
  • Once the settler is on the square which is a good place to build a town, start building a town either by clicking on the button in the lower left area of the screen marked “!”, or by hitting the "B" key.

It takes a few turns (9 movement points) to construct the town (this is done to minimize the advantages of building a lot of small towns instead of a few cities). When a town is built, the square the town is on is fully irrigated (but with a maximum of 3 under despotism) to increase the food available to the town's population.

Improving a townEdit

Once a town is built, the first thing you will want to build is a town hall. If you have the "code of laws" advance, it may be desirable to build a courthouse instead. Another improvement worth building is a granary to increase the town's population growth (pottery needed). If you are playing against other players, either computer or human, and are in hostile territory, it might make more sense to build a military unit to defend your town, but this tutorial only covers playing a map without any other players.

The reason it is so important to build a town hall is because a new town will not contribute to your nation's research or tax until it has this building (or a courthouse if one has the "code of laws" advance). The "city manipulation" section above describes in detail where the button to change what a town builds is; for a newly built city, this button looks like a treasure chest with a red background. Click on this button and you will see a list of units you can build or improvements you can make. As the game progresses and more units and improvements become available to you, to stop things from being unwieldy, the possible things you can build in a city are divided into:

  • Buildings and structures that improve the city.
  • Units, such as settlers and military units.
  • Wonders of the world, very expensive structures that give the play some advantage, depending on the wonder. Only one of a given wonder can be built in the entire world.

The buildings are accessed by pressing on the button that looks like a little house; the units are accessed by pressing on the button next to the little house that looks like a man holding a spear; the wonders are accessed by pressing on the button that looks like a triangle pointing upwards.

To get more information on what a given building or unit does, move the mouse pointer over the unit/improvement in question, and hold down the "shift" key while left clicking on your mouse; the relevant page from the C-evo manual will come up.

Some city improvements are "state improvements" — improvements that a given player can only have one of, but each nation can have their own state improvement. The first state improvement in the list of city improvements listed is always the palace; since it's your nation's capital, you start the game with your first city having this improvement. All units above the palace are not state improvements; all units below the palace are state improvements.

City populationEdit

If a city has enough food, its population will steadily increase. A city can have a population up to 30; a city without an aqueduct can only have a population of 8. A city with an aqueduct can only have a population of 12 until the city has a sewer system. You need the construction technology to build the aqueduct and the sanitation technology to build a sewer system.

As the population of a city increases, there will be more workers working on more squares; the more population a given city has, the more food the city gathers and uses (unless the new workers are on desert or mountain or Arctic), the more quickly the city can create units or city improvements, and the more tax money and/or research the city contributes to your nation.

As a town becomes a city, there is more crime and unrest in the city. It is important to keep this unrest under control; a city that experiences civil disorder does not build any units nor contribute trade to your nation. C-evo for the most part automatically handles this; when there is danger of there being civil unrest, some of the population, instead of working around the city and gathering resources, polices the city so it doesn't fall into civil disorder.

There are other ways of managing unrest. Unrest can be decreased by increasing the wealth of a society. Some city improvements also lower civil unrest: The temple, the cathedral, the theater, the colosseum state improvement, and all wonders.

Morale Edit

Morale makes your citizens content. The center tile on your city produces four morale points, and is present when a city is founded. Some buildings can also produce morale: the temple, the theater, and the cathedral increase morale, and every wonder in a city produces two morale points. The overall morale of a city is displayed in the table to the right-hand size of the city management window under the label "Morale" and is represented by little red hearts.

Citizens not working to produce food, material or trade are working as policemen. In the city management window, there is on the left a large section showing where the city is gathering resources from; this part looks like the city on the map. In the top of this section, there are small icons that look like people. On the top left are icons showing citizens gathering resources for the city; in the box on the upper right are icons showing citizens working as police. Each policeman produces two control points represented by silver shields.

While your government is "Despotism", any town guard units present in the city will also produce two control points.

Wealth is controlled from the window that appears when you hit the "F10" key. The amount of total trade a given city creates is divided in to wealth (citizen happiness), taxes (money for the empire), and research (more advances). If your city, for example, generates five trade, devoting 20% of your empire-wide trade to wealth will have that particular city give the city one point of wealth-induced happiness. Another city in your empire that generates 10 trade will be able to devote two trade points to make that city happier. Unlike other Civilization games, it is normally not possible to adjust the amount of wealth/tax/research individually for each city; this can only be done if one has the Statue of Liberty wonder.

If there is any surplus, the last line will be labeled "Surplus" and display the leftover hearts, showing your city's ability to grow before needing to take measures to stop civil disorder. If the amount of morale your city produces is too low, the last line will be labeled "Lack" and display the missing happiness points as blue hearts. This can drive your city to civil disorder if not handled. When "automated population management" is enabled (the default), your city manager will take care of this and make some citizens policemen to prevent your city from falling into civil disorder.

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