I’ve figured out some very interesting ways to manage population with workers. I’m starting this thread because I hope some others have equally interesting things to do with our industrious helpers that I haven’t thought of yet.
Essentially what I do is build a worker any time a city is at it’s maximum population (6 before aqueduct if not on a river or lake, 12 before hospitals) and the city growth time is close to the worker build time. I end up with a lot of workers and very quickly developed territory.
Now, the reason to do this is to avoid wasting your city’s’ population growth. You ‘store’ the population growth in workers. The very nice side benefit is an incredibly well developed nation.
When you are finally able to build an aqueduct you have pop units ready to be stuck in there to instantly bring it up to a 12 pop. Instant and huge increase in production, revenue and research!
Then you do it again. Any city at pop 12 with a city growth time close to the time to build a worker will build a worker. The number of workers that come out during this period is much bigger than the first run.
Now, when you build a Hospital, you will be able to instantly bring your production centers to max pop.
You WILL win wonder races after this.
Some downsides are a massive military budget to support the workers and somewhat slower city development during the ancient ages. After your cities are size 12, building a worker only takes a turn or two so there’s no huge production loss there to build a worker instead of an improvement. The perfectly developed countryside helps to counteract the budget concerns.
I’ve been using this as part of my overall strategy for my past several games (two regent and one deity) and it has performed absolutely wonderfully in every instance.
Any thoughts? Questions?
Side note: Always, always, always buy workers from other civs if they are available. Foreign workers have no upkeep cost and the AI severely undervalues them in the trade.