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Age of Empires Heaven » Forums » Age of Empires / Rise of Rome / Definitive Edition » My Analysis on Trading For Gold
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Topic Subject:My Analysis on Trading For Gold
FWH_Foistie
Inactive
posted 12-23-98 04:35 PM ET (US)         
Reading the other thread regarding trading for gold spurred me to start this thread. It is quite long and I didn't want to bog down the prior thread with this one.

TRADING:

I have listed my conclusions and recommendations first so that you can refer back to them at a later date for a quick summary. Information supporting these conclusions is found in the main body of the text.


CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS:

1. Never build more than two trading ships for EACH ally or opponent you trade with. If possible, trade with more than one ally or opponent using two additional trading ships.

2) Never upgrade the trading ships to merchant ships, unless you are traveling a great distance.

3) If possible, always trade food first, wood if you must, and never trade stone for gold.

4) Build your dock as FAR AWAY as you 'safely' can from the dock you expect to trade with.

5) VERY IMPORTANT: Make sure you and your trading partner DO NOT have additional docks closer to each other (in between your trading docks) or you will only get gold credit based on the distance between these closer (non-trading) docks.

6) Try to trade in a straight a line as is possible (avoid going 'around curvatures in the land'). Bottle necks (created by land or too many boats/ships in a tight space) will cause your traders to stop and sit idle in the water.

7) Make sure you have no 'idle' trading ships waiting at his dock. If you do, you are either too close to each other, you have built too many trading boats, or you have run out of food/wood to trade with. An idle trading boat has a built in penalty as described later.

8) Begin trading as early in the game as possible. In ROR, that means early tool, given the amount of food you can also obtain from fish. Not finding that first gold pile becomes less crucial. Understand that trading creates NEW gold. It does not 'steal' gold from you, your ally, or your opponent.


SUPPORTING INFORMATION:

WHAT IS THE 'GOLD TICKER'?:

The minute the game begins, any dock (yours for trading with others and others for trading with you) begins with a gold 'ticker' starting at zero. If you click on any dock, you can observe the gold ticker as it accumulates this gold. Every second which passes adds one unit of gold to the gold ticker up to a Maximum of 100 units of gold. The ticker stops at 100. If you trade for gold, the ticker is reduced by the number of gold units you 'load' onto your trading ship. This gold ticker is then replenished (one unit per second) until it once again reaches 100 units of gold. This represents how many gold units are available for trading for that entire particular ALLY OR OPPONENT RACE.

HOW MUCH FOOD/WOOD/STONE CAN A TRADING BOAT CARRY TO A DOCK AND HOW MUCH GOLD CAN A TRADING BOAT CARRY BACK TO YOUR DOCK?

Your trading boat can carry up to 20 units of a commodity (food/wood/stone) in its cargo hold. When you port at the ally/opponents dock, you will receive up to 20 units of gold, IF the units of gold are available (to be explained further).

WHAT IS A UNIT OF GOLD THAT i PICK UP AND STORE IN MY CARGO HOLD, AND HOW MUCH IS IT REALLY WORTH?

Remember that 20 units of gold you loaded into your cargo hold? This is NOT how much gold you eventually receive credit for and can actually use in the game. These 20 units of gold increase or lose value depending on how far you travel to get it. Think of it this way. At your dock, you have loaded 20 units of food onto a boat. Let's call them 20 'crates' of food. You then trade them for 20 crates (units) of gold. Each crate has a dollar value which changes based upon distance. For example: A crate of gold has a certain value in the United States. Transport that gold crate to Europe, and it now has a new value. Travel another distance to Russia and your well traveled crate of gold takes on still a new value.

In AOE/ROR, the further you travel, the more valuable your gold crates in your cargo hold become. Ultimately, you will receive 'true' gold value of anywhere between 7 and 75 gold for each round trip your trading ship makes depending upon the distances between YOUR dock which is closest to HIS closest dock. The amount received is based on the number of tiles away, etc. But let's just say, if you put your dock right beside his, you will receive just 7 spendable gold pieces and you have wasted your time. Try longer distances and you will see how it works. The simple rule of thumb is, place your dock as far away as you 'safely' can. I say safely as the trade route must be protected from enemy attack.

Here's a cruel twist: Let's say you are trading a long distance from dock 'a' to dock 'b'. Without thinking, you build a second (or third, etc.) dock much closer to the ally/opponent you are trading with (or he builds a new dock closer to you). You will now receive 'true' gold value based on the distance between YOUR CLOSEST dock and HIS CLOSEST dock, even though you are using 'other' docks to trade with which are further apart.

Here's another twist: The amount of gold credit you actually receive and can use in game play is determined by distance based upon the 'shortest distance between two points' and not by how far you really traveled. For example: If you are at 12 (Continental map) and you go 'around the cape' at 3 and trade with someone at 5, you have traveled a very long distance. But the gold calculation is based on the direct line from dock 'a' and dock 'b'. In this case, the direct line is across the land, not around the land.

WHY DO MY BOATS STAND IDLE IN THE WATER, OR STAND IDLE AT HIS DOCK?

Idle in the water: If you are on inland or narrows, your boats can clog up in tight spaces (hitting each other or other ships) and they will then sit there until you see them and get them moving again. Therefore, try to trade on straight stretches of open water.

Idle in the water: Your trading boat carries 20 units of a commodity if it is available. For example, if you are trading food, and you run out of food (lazy peons didn't build new farms), then your trading boat will stop trading and will sit there, dead in the water until you get him going again.

Idle at his dock: How long your trading boat has to wait at his dock depends on how many units HE has available to trade (0 to 100 on his gold ticker). Example: If he has 60 gold units available and your boat arrives, your boat will immediately trade 20 commodity for 20 gold units and depart immediately. But if HIS dock only has 8 units of gold to trade, you will wait 12 seconds at his dock until his ticker gets up to 20 units at the rate of 1 unit per second. You remember that gold ticker (in the dock) that ticks up to 100 units (one per second) and represents how much gold a given race can trade? If that ticker depletes down below 20 gold units (too many trading ships arriving too quickly), then your trading boats will sit and wait at his dock until new gold units are created (one per second) in a sufficient amount to load the cargo hold of your boat with 20 units of gold.

WHY DO SOME OF MY TRADE BOATS NEVER LEAVE HIS DOCK WHILE BOATS ARRIVING LATER CONTINUE TO DEPART?

The trading boat that you BUILT LAST is always FILLED FIRST at his dock. For example, let's assume that you are trading with just two ships and one of your ships is at his dock. Now, let's assume this was the VERY FIRST trading ship you built earlier in the game. This ship currently has 15 units (of 20) of gold loaded into his cargo hold. Your second trading ship (built later) arrives at his dock. Surprisingly, the Second ship (built later) now takes priority and begins to load gold into its cargo hold while the first ship (with 15 units of gold) just sits and waits until the second ship is fully loaded and departs. Quite a pecking order. Now, compound this if you have built three or more ships (a big mistake) to trade with just one ally/opponent!!! You will always have ships waiting at his dock, some will be half full, AND some will NEVER leave his dock due to the continuously arriving (younger) ships.

WHY ONLY TWO TRADING SHIPS PER ALLY/OPPONENT?

You want to create a situation where you have just enough ships whereby one is always arriving and the other is departing without having your ships wait at his port. If you want to get into the math, that's fine. But simply put, two is almost always the right number of trading boats to use per each race you trade with. Any more is not only a waste, but will decrease efficiency and productivity.

Think of it this way. If it takes you 40 seconds (quite a distance) to make a round trip from your dock to his dock and you are using three ships, then in 40 seconds you can take 60 gold units (20 gold units x 3 ships) from dock to dock. Remember his gold ticker counts up to 100 and replenishes his gold at 1 gold unit per second. His intial 100 units minus the 60 you took now leaves him with 40 units of gold available for trading. Your next wave of 3 ships will return in 40 seconds which allows his dock to increase to just 80 units of gold available (20 less than before) when you make the next trade. After this trade, he now has 20 units of gold (80 minus 60) and will replenish to a total of 60 units of gold when you arrive the third time. This third trade wipes out his total gold supply (60 minus 60 = 0) and from here on out you will have one trade boat waiting at his dock for the rest of the game.

A better example would be: If it takes you 40 seconds (still quite a distance) to make a round trip from your dock to his dock and you are using TWO ships, then in 40 seconds, you take 40 gold units (20 gold units x 2) from dock to dock. His initial 100 units minus 40 units (first trip) now leaves him with 60 units of gold available for trading. Your next wave of two ships will return in 40 seconds which allows his dock to fully replenish his gold units up to a maximum of 100 units. This means you are trading in an equal amount to the amount being replenished to his dock/race and your boats will never wait at his dock. Don't let the fact that his dock once again has 100 gold units mislead you. If he can't replenish up to 100 units before your return, then eventually you will have a trade boat waiting at his dock. REALISTICALLY, EVEN WITH TWO TRADING BOATS, ONE WILL BE WAITING AT HIS DOCK AS MOST OF THE TIME THE ROUND TRIP TRAVEL TIME WILL BE LESS THAN 40 SECONDS FROM DOCK TO DOCK.

IF I SHOULD BUILD JUST TWO TRADE BOATS, THEN WHY EVEN TRADE?

Well, so you can win the long iron game! You can generate a ton of gold if you do it right. Think about it. You start trading early, over a great distance. Assuming the 40 second round trip scenario, you would probably get the full amount of 75 'usable' gold times two ships or 150 gold every 40 seconds. Assuming you have been trading for just 30 minutes with only one ally/opponent, YOU WILL GENERATE 6,750 IN 'USABLE' GOLD (30 minutes equals 1,800 seconds divided by 40 seconds per trip equals 45 full trips times 150 gold [75 gold each from 2 boats] equals 6,750 in 'usable gold). Hey, even if you trade far less efficiently with two ships, it becomes obvious that you can still generate tons of gold.

WHY SHOULDN'T I UPGRADE TO MERCHANT SHIPS UNLESS I TRAVEL A GREAT DISTANCE?

Trade boats travel at the rate of 2 squares per second. Upgraded Merchant Ships travel at the rate of 2.5 tiles per second (per the manual). Who cares if they are faster but arrive too quickly and have to wait? The upgrade is not worth the cost, unless the trading docks are very far away.

WHY TRADE FOOD FIRST, WOOD SECOND AND NEVER STONE?

Food: When farming, 75 units of wood converts into anywhere from 250 food to 475 food (depending on how many farm upgrades you have). You can buy a lot of gold with 250-475 food as compared to wasting your wood.

Wood: It's a non-renewable resource which can be converted cheaper to food or used in your war efforts. Trade with wood only if you are very short on food and have a ton of wood collected. Use discretion.

Stone: Once stone is depleted from the land, it is gone for good. Use the stone for walls, towers, etc.


SUMMARY:

It's not really as hard as it sounds. Just follow the conclusions listed at the top of this analysis and you will find an unexpected gold bounty when you need it the most.


AuthorReplies:
Sting
Clubman
posted 12-23-98 05:27 PM ET (US)     1 / 26       
great post


Stooge_Farsan
Inactive
posted 12-23-98 07:02 PM ET (US)     2 / 26       
Great post.

Just want to mention one thing. It seems to me that a civ treat all other civs as on who trade with him - which means the 100 units reduced by 20 after each trade boat/ship left no matter whose it is.

In a 4vs4 game med map which lasted more than 2 hr, we 3 ally started trading, then I noticed my trade boat could nerve get that 20 gold and move, becasue my 2 other ally are trading dock to dock.


Stooge_Farsan

FanatiC KaBaN
Clubman
posted 12-23-98 07:51 PM ET (US)     3 / 26       
Hey Foistie, may i use your analysis on my web page for my strategies? I will give full credit to you, i am looking for strategies cause my web page is only maybe 3 days old.

Visit is HERE

That would be really cool, if i can use it.

FanatiC KaBaN


The Conkster
Inactive
posted 12-23-98 08:16 PM ET (US)     4 / 26       
Awesome Post.

P.S. almost always none of my allies seem to know bout trading.


Conk wuz here!

Perseus
Clubman
posted 12-23-98 08:42 PM ET (US)     5 / 26       
hey great post and very informative. Can i also like kaban use it for my strategies page. I too will give you full credit. my page is brand new looking for strats

Perseus


Thorfinn
Clubman
posted 12-24-98 02:14 AM ET (US)     6 / 26       
Very good post. But I think there are a few points that are incorrect. Anyone else wanna check with scenario builder?

---------------------

"You will now receive 'true' gold value based on the distance between YOUR CLOSEST dock and HIS CLOSEST dock, even though you are using 'other' docks to trade with which are further apart."

In my testing, it only checked about the dock you are trading at and YOUR closest dock.

------------------

"If it takes you 40 seconds (quite a distance) to make a round trip from your dock to his dock..."

A 40 second round trip is not very long. That is 20 seconds each way. According to my testing, a one way trip to a 9/20 dock takes 21 sec for a Merchant Ship (MS), 24 for a Trade Boat(TB). The 75/20 dock took 1:04 for a MS, and 1:17 for a TB, double that for a round trip. Basically, for 75 gold, expect the ship to cycle every couple minutes. That seemed like a long time to me. Anyone feel like checking?

---------------------------------

If the cycle time is closer to 2 minutes than to 40 seconds, that divides the gold income by 3. 2200 gold every half hour per trading partner is still nothing to sneeze at. It also changes the number of trade vessels allowable. In my testing, with a straight line trade route at the 75/20 dock, I found that if you use 5 MS or 7 TB, you never deplete the dock. However, that also assumes noone else is trading with that player. Not always a good assumption. I now check with my allies to find out whether they are trading with anyone else, so we don't deplete the gold ticker. Janman516 made a good point in the other thread. He said that the best way to kill enemies merchant fleet is to have allies deplete your ticker and make the enemies' boats sit in range of missle fire or fire galleys. Guess what I am saying is I now prefer to flood my allies' docks and starve my enemies' docks, so I don't end up in that situation.

-------------------------------------

As for upgrading the trading boats, thats kind of a tradeoff. In my testing, the faster movement avoided more wandering damage from enemy towers & ships, though damage was negligible until they got ballistics. But I do agree with the conclusion: just build another trade boat and you are even. At least until the guy gets splash weapons or ballistics. At that point, the less time you are in his firing range, the better.

---------------------------

Anyway, here is a link that discusses this issue. (Thanks andyhre) I suspect it is mathematically derived, because I can't quite duplicate it in games. It probably has to do with ships dodging each other or something....

http://www.jetlink.net/~mikeq/trade.html

PS. If anyone knows how to make that text a real link, feel free to enlighten me. Thanks


Keep your stick on the ice.

[This message has been edited by Thorfinn (edited 12-24-98).]

[This message has been edited by Thorfinn (edited 12-24-98).]

Hari_Smurf
Inactive
posted 12-24-98 09:48 AM ET (US)     7 / 26       
Many thanks on a highly enlightening post. Any idea why it treats the different resources differently. I was trying to trade last night and I tried all sorts but there was no gold on offer. I think possibly my third ally was getting all that was going.

I think one really should start trading as soon as possible there just always seems to be something more pressing to do .

Hari_Smurf


Thorfinn
Clubman
posted 12-24-98 09:50 AM ET (US)     8 / 26       
Maybe this belongs in a different thread, but it seems to me that trading needs to be changed. The 'gold ticker' is fine at 1/sec through Bronze, but how about if in Iron, a civ gets 1.5 ticks/sec? And get rid of the 75 limit, or at least bump it to 150 for palmy! As it is, palmy loses all its advantages in iron. (Since they don't get the economic upgrades and all fast camels are good at in Iron is running away... or chasing down *lone* HAs. Now if camels got a bonus vs. seige stuff, that would make them very useful, possibly too much so...) Oh, wait, they keep the, what, 12.5% farming bonus. Essentially, they get out of 8 farmers what others get out of 9. By this point in the game, I am usually trying to find things for my villies to do...

Sorry this is dragging. Didn't mean to ramble.

Happy Holidays, everyone!!!


Keep your stick on the ice.

Janman516
Clubman
posted 12-24-98 10:12 AM ET (US)     9 / 26       
FWH_Foistie and Thorfinn,

Great job! Ive seen snippits of this info all around but this is the best compendium to date that Ive laid eyes on.

Thorfinn brings up some good points that deserve attention especially the dock proximity idea. Is it the closest dock pair (what I always thought) or the trading dock to your closest dock.

I disagree about the merchant upgrade. I think it is esential. Its a one time fixed cost that allows you to get the fastest (tied with HA in ror) unit in the game. My expierence has been that enemies activly hunt trading boats and merchants and you have to constantly fix or make new ones. The speed of the merchant significantly cuts down the damage it receives. This decrease in damage pays for the upgrade cost. Trading as early as possible solves this problem too; people aren't worrying about trading boats in tool, nor do they have the firepower to stop them at that point. So based on this thread Im going to defer my upgrade to MS until iron

Merry Christmas

Janman516

PS follow the links for UBB code to see how to set hyper text to your URLs


Thorfinn
Clubman
posted 12-24-98 10:25 AM ET (US)     10 / 26       
There is an advantage to having your TBs sunk, tho. You keep putting out new "last built" boats, so yours become the first loading ones... Only the old leaky ones have to sit at enemy docks waiting to get loaded.


Keep your stick on the ice.

Thorfinn
Clubman
posted 12-24-98 10:34 AM ET (US)     11 / 26       
Oh, forgot to mention. Saw the funniest thing last game. My opponent had ballistics and HCats. He placed about 15 HCats and 15 'remes just past the dock so they would not interfere with his fishing fleet, but could hit my boats. His ballistics HCats didn't predict that my boat would turn around as soon as it hit the dock, and, you guessed it, his HCats fired into his clump of remes and his dock. Think I got hit by a couple of reme shots, but his dock and whole reme fleet ended up as wreckage. ROFL

Didn't know he knew that many swear words....


Keep your stick on the ice.

FWH_Foistie
Inactive
posted 12-24-98 11:31 AM ET (US)     12 / 26       
Great comments so far guys and thanks for the compliments and suggestions.

Stooge_Farson is correct in his comment which I should have made more clear in my post. Other people trading with the guy you are trading with, etc. will indeed deplete the gold ticker accordingly.

Thorofin (sorry did I spell that right) makes some very good points also. In re-reading my post I should have said: "If you build a new dock closer to your trading partner, your boats will now re-direct to the new dock but will continue to calculate distance based upon your new dock and the dock in which you trade with."

And the yield in 'usable' gold would be lower, more like 3,375 in 30 minutes

Also, with some additional calculations, I would now say that three boats is (in my mind) the right number to trade with if you are covering a distance over one minute.

I have purposely tried to provide a sensiable and somewhat non-mathematical approach to trading. The mathematicians will correctly point out that you can get a lot more gold trading at a two minute distance with 5-6 trading boats. However, the real world is always different. The average player just plops the dock down where he needs it the most and doesn't have time to count tiles. But the average player can remember to try to put a dock down at least 3/4 of a (gigantic) map edge away from his trading opponent.

Keep in mind that a gigantic map (continental) will yield you the full 75 in gold (approximately a 2 minute round trip) if you have your trading docks approximately 3/4 away from each other along the map edge.

And don't forget about bottlenecks. How many fishing boats and fighting boats do you or the ally/opponent have in the area? On a Continental map, the map edge is not very wide and will not accomodate a heavy load of traffic. The same can be said for inland and narrows maps. The Mediterranean map is wide open but there are no great distances, so you won't need many trading boats on this type of map.

Keep the comments coming guys!


Janman516
Clubman
posted 12-24-98 11:52 AM ET (US)     13 / 26       
Regarding upgrading to Merchant ships, the upgrade costs 200 food 75 wood. For that you receive .5 TPS increase in speed and an extra 50 HP per ship.

Trading boats and merchants both cost 100 wood. It seems that if you can save just 3 merchants from enemy fire its worth the cost of the upgrade.

It seems that the extra .5 TPS and 50 HP of merchant ships will do that when faced with enemy fire on a contested sea.

Janman516


SandyMan
Big Daddy
(id: ES_Sandyman)
posted 12-24-98 12:16 PM ET (US)     14 / 26       
This is a very good essay. I have just two posts to add:

The real function of merchant ships is to be able to outrace enemy ships, and to be sturdy enough to survive their attacks. They also carry a little more gold, but this is only worthwhlie if you're not making that many trips, as otherwise they have to wait. Basically, merchant ships are worthwhile if your trade has to take place over semi-hostile seas.

I was surprised to see no mention of the mighty Palmyrans in the essay, seeing as they get double gold in trading.


Janman516
Clubman
posted 12-24-98 12:25 PM ET (US)     15 / 26       
But Sandy, they max out at 75 just like everyone else. Thus only in a certain range are they better.

Happy Holidays

Janman


Angel Omnivac
Clubman
posted 12-24-98 12:47 PM ET (US)     16 / 26       
Excellent post Foistie, guess your name will be highlighted in the Academy forever.

Some notes though. I agree with Thorfinn about distances and number of fishing boats. I was able to use 5 Merchant Ships on a gigantic mediterranean map with no waiting. Fanatic_Kaban may remember it hehe, he was stuck in a corner and was trying to trade too, but with the enemies, hehe. He had a ton of scythe chariots in his last bastion but he eventually resigned.

I upgrade to Merchant Ships too because the upgrade is rather cheap, you have more unit slots left than using trade boats, if you trade a lot... and nothing catch them on the sea (unless when they encounter big barrages). But when you trade a lot, this means you have more or less the control of the sea.

Palmyrans still have their bonus in Iron (???). Sure it's not a "real" double value but in most maps, they are the only ones to get the most because their 75 trips is very, very short.

In team games, what I see often (when playing with usual partners) is that someone will ask someone to build a Dock in a location, so he can start trading. Most of the time, it is because there is no straight line and Merchant Ships get stuck. Also, asking to destroy docks is sometime asked to have more gold.

I trade usually very early (more so if the pop is higher)... AND absolutely trade for gold very very early if I have a woodless units Civ. The difference between trading early, and when you realize you need gold is simply too much.

Probably one aspect of AoE/RoR very neglected. The main reason is surely that most games are over before this really help, but better be prepared just in case it's one of those longer goldless games. It's even rarer with standard victory too, because wonders start to appear here and there on the map, but very helpful if you play a conquest game.

Angel Omnivac

Angel Omnivac
Clubman
posted 12-24-98 12:57 PM ET (US)     17 / 26       
Hi Janman,

But it's a big deal anyway. With the same distance, palmy and other civs get the same gold amount in the same time. The difference is that:

- Palmy need one boat, while others need 2 boats.
- Palmy spent 20 ressources, while others spent 40 ressources.

Non-Palmy can use one boat to get the same amount of gold but:

- They must travel double the distance Palmy have to travel (twice as slow).
- A Palmy will make two trips for each non-palmy trips.

Since it is a "long term" thing, this will make a big difference in the end with time required, and ressources spent to get gold. One cannot go without the other, so non-palmy effectively spend twice the amount of ressources for the same amount of gold.

If they spend the same amount of ressources, they'll have twice as less gold. Or if they want the same amount of gold, tthey will take twice as much time.

Obviously, this cannot be true all the time, but I expect each players to trade effectively.

Angel Omnivac

dashingdave
Inactive
posted 12-24-98 01:14 PM ET (US)     18 / 26       
Good post, but I still have questions. You claim that 2(or 3) boats is the maximum number to use for trading with any 1 other player. Shouldn't that be per dock? If I build 3 docks and they build 3 docks, then can I not triple the number of trade boats?

Also, you are wrong in your conclusions about trading food instead of wood. You left 1 significant part of the equation out when you compared the 75 wood for a farm with the 250 or so food which it contains: villager work time. During the time your farmer is gathering food(at.4 units/sec), he could have been cutting wood(at .55-.85 units /sec). Add the LOSS of your 75 wood and the time it takes to build a farm and you are way behind by trading food. The math would look like this:

Farming/farm:
250(food in a farm)- 75(wood to build)=175(net units available to trade)

.4(gathering rate for farming)* 250(food in a farm)/ 60(second/min)= 10min and 20 seconds + 10 seconds(the time it takes to build it)= 10.5 mins

Conclusion:In 10.5 mins, you would have 175 net units to trade with.

Woodcutting:
.55(basic woodcutting rate)* 630 seconds(10.5 mins)= 346.5 (units available for trading)
or
.65(1 upgrade woodcutting rate)* 630 seconds = 409.5 (units available for trading)

Clearly you can see that trading food (from farming) is patheticlly poor as compared to trading wood. NOW, in all honesty, I must say that your error in this (pretty obvious to me) matter makes me question the rest of your figures. But I will test what you say and try a bit more trading in the games to come.
Thanks again for your effort!


[This message has been edited by dashingdave (edited 12-24-98).]

Thorfinn
Clubman
posted 12-24-98 01:33 PM ET (US)     19 / 26       
Palmy's big advantage, IMO, is that they can get the 75 in a short space. For instance, the rivers that are in some med maps are usually long enough. This means you are fairly well protected as long as you can hold the land. No more boats sniping your merchant fleet. It isn't critical that your team controls the seas. And with so few boats, they don't interfere with each other very much.

Omni, I'm not sure what you meant by spending 20 while others spend 40, unless you are assuming there are no distant docks. Anytime docks are over 100 tiles apart cuts into the palmy profitability. On most gigantic maps, it is fairly easy to find a 75 dock. Palmy will get 75, too, but they could get it from a closer dock. Seems the savings is in having fewer merchant ships, not in traded resources. Of course, the smaller the map, the bigger the Palmy advantage....

I have played palmy quite a bit, and while they don't exactly bite, they (read, "I") need a little, no, a lot of help to survive the everpresent tool rush and early bronze attacks. After that, they hold their own quite well, and can either trib their allies to victory, or build CA, SC, Cats, HA, Bal and fairly decent priests and "...try to take over the world!"


Keep your stick on the ice.

Hyperion
Inactive
posted 12-24-98 01:42 PM ET (US)     20 / 26       
I think Dave is correct in saying that it's generally more efficient to trade wood than food if you start in tool. Foistie, I think, assumes that at some point your civilization will run out of wood to harvest, which in my experience is fairly uncommon.

In AoE - and, from the excellent post of Foistie, apparently also in RoR - it was not useful to trade at multiple docks, something which Dave is clearly wrong about. The trade goods a civilization has aren't for each dock; they're for each civilization.

When I play Minoan, I always like to trade stone for gold, just to show contempt for other Minoan uses for stone. (I can't stand to let it sit unharvested for some inexplicable reason).

Great post, though!


Thorfinn
Clubman
posted 12-24-98 01:50 PM ET (US)     21 / 26       
Well, dashing, it depends on how long the game goes. Trading doesn't chew too heavily into resources (Max 7 trading partners at a consumption of 1/sec each, or 420/minute), so with lots of villies in late Iron it doesn't really make that much of difference, but early on, trading wood makes sense to me as well. Food is way too valuable for advancement of your civ.

BTW, I know its cheating, but my Sumi ally likes to be set to neutral and build super-farms around my graineries. Then monotheism makes it my farm. Camping one sumi villie in a Persian camp is a slimy (but very effective) way to get around the farming problem...


Keep your stick on the ice.

Angel Omnivac
Clubman
posted 12-24-98 01:55 PM ET (US)     22 / 26       
Thorfinn,

What I meant is for the occasion a dock is at the same distance for a Palmy and a non-Palmy.

Let's say the docks at a distance gives 20 gold.

1 non-palmy boat go sell 20 ressources, and bring back 20 gold.

1 palmy boat go sell 20 ressources, and bring back 40 gold.

To have the same gold revenue in the same amount of time, non-Palmy need 2 boats (each ones bring back 20 gold for a total 40 gold). But they need to sell 20 ressources each (40 ressources).

I agree with longer distances... STILL, Palmy need half the distance, and no matter what, this will result in palmy trading boats to go and come back, while for the same amount of gold, other boats will only have made half their trip in the same amount of time. Palmy loses their "double" advantage IF they trade beyond their limit, which a wise Palmyran Ruler will not do, eh?

Angel Omnivac

Thorfinn
Clubman
posted 12-24-98 03:41 PM ET (US)     23 / 26       
Just checked out the converting farms thing in Scenario Builder, and found that they "fixed" that problem in RoR. Farms are a *little* bigger, but only 15 more (415 vs 400 for Persians.)


Keep your stick on the ice.

neilkaz
Clubman
posted 12-28-98 05:12 PM ET (US)     24 / 26       
The subject of trading and my improper and inadequate application of it have been a major weakness in my team play. Today, I ran a few simulations to enhance my meager understanding. First, I ran some simulation along the side edge of a large map after painting the edge with water and placing docks at each edge. The distance was only large enough to give me 70 gold per trip(occasionaly 69) I used 5 merchant ships which resulted in no waiting and was able to haul in a whopping 3496 gold (50 trips) in 19:32 with no waiting at the dock other than at the start. I then used 6 merchant ships whcih resulted in slight waiting which enabled me to haul in all the gold my trading partner could produce. Thus, I hauled in 3496 gold in 17:36. YES !! I was getting over 200 gold/minute at a distance just short of what is required for 75. I wanted to test longer trading so I painted water across the map center and docked the corners, resulting in a distance beyond optimal for 75 gold. This time I used 8 merchant ships resulting in a bit of waiting and hauled in 13,200 gold in a hour !! ie 220 per minute.... which is about as fast as 5 guys in stone age mining gold or 3 guys w/goldmining upgrade mining gold.Geez, and you can do this for the entire game !! I can't remember the minimal distane for 75 gold.. I think it is 145.. but if you had 6 merchant ships trading at a disance of 150 tiles you'd clearly haul in gold at 225/min without waiting. At a speed of 2.5 each ship takes 120 sec for a round trip bringing in 75 gold perfectly efficientally. What a dope I have been not trading enough !
Then I tested the effect of closer docks along the edge. I built my own dock at about the midpoint along the edge and my gold intake dropped from 70 to 17 !!! I replaced that dock with my trading partner's dock which had NO effect on my gold hauled in, unless I chose to stop at that dock instead. So when you are trading simply trade with his dock that is farthest away. Hope this helps. - neilkaz -


ned
Inactive
posted 01-31-99 09:05 PM ET (US)     25 / 26       
I agree with many of the critiques presented of what is in general a fine post. First of all, the building of an intervening dock will not effect the amount of gold the trade ship brings in as long as the ships continue to trade at the original dock. This is so even tho the dock you are trading with may now say 7/20 instead of 75/20.

Secondly, 2 to 3 ships is clearly the result of miscalculation. The key is in noticing that it takes 20 seconds to replenish 20 gold at the dock enabling trade to bring in a maximum of 225 gold per minute per civ. This cannot be accomplished with 3 boats, you need 6 ships or 8 trade boats at optimum distance. The easy way to determine the optimum number of ships is to keep makin them till two start waiting at the dock, then you have one too many. It doesn't matter if one waits a bit, this is just a timing issue, the delay would cease if the boats were all to stop for 30 seconds then continue. Also, give the boats time to sort out the schedule as they will naturally space themselves after a short time running.

Obviously with palmy boats the travel time is cut by half for optimal distance so less boats are used. As I aluded to above, the key difference with ships and boats is the number required to maintain 3 trips per minute.. you need 20% less ships. As well, the ships survive enemy fire better so are a worthwhile upgrade given how cheap it is.

I also agree that another civ trading (and it can be at a different dock) will take part of that 3 trips per minute decreasing the maximum you can get trading with the same civ.

This is particularly frustrating in pick up games when a bad partner builds a dock at short distance jamming up trade completely while getting only 21 gold per minute compared to the 225 you were getting before. It occurs to me that in these circumstances it might be worthwhile to destroy your fleet and rebuild so they get priority at the docks.. I am assuming here that the order of filling trade boats remains the same between civs.. something to check in future.

those are my thoughts on the matter : )


ned
Inactive
posted 02-02-99 05:34 PM ET (US)     26 / 26       
Just a couple additional thoughts on the number of trade boats to use.

As I said, the maximum sustained amount that can be obtained from trading with any civ is 225 gold per minute because the dock replenishes 1 gold per second or 20 seconds per boatload. At the minimum distance to obtain 20 gold the travel time (one way) is 1:10 for trade boats and a hair under a minute for ships. In order to space the boats 20 seconds apart you therefor need 7 boats (2:20/20) or 6 ships (2:00/20). With palmy you need only 4 boats or 3 ships as the distance should be halved for maximum capacity.

As there will often be a longer route or obstructions you will, in practice, usually need at least 1 more boat in order to obtain maximum capacity.


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