Specialist Economy – Post Emancipation Tech Success

SE -post emancipation tech success
I have read elsewhere some gloomy comments about how specialist economies crash after emancipation becomes available to your rivals. The typical solution offered to this problem is a managed switch to a CE. I have found however three simple ploys help maintain and even continue growth for a SE even after emancipation without trying to pull off a mass switch to cottages.

So to recap the situation the typical SE is in at the time emancipation becomes available – running representation for the beaker bonus and running caste system for the unlimited scientists. Emancipation becomes available and other civs start switching over. As more and more civs switch over to emancipation your caste system economy gets lumbered with increasing unhappiness.

First solution is simply to counter the unhappiness with the culture slider. Some people more used to cottage economies are loath to touch the culture slider for happiness because as all of a CE’s commerce goes through the slider each 10% of culture really hurts their science/gold/espionage output but the thing to realise with a pure SE is that very little of your sci/gold/espionage goes through the slider so the happiness gained from each 10% culture costs very little compared to a CE and shouldn’t make any significant difference to your research/gold/espionage even if you put the culture slider up to 100%. theatres and colloseums are the most important happiness buildings for a SE because they work off the slider; every big city should have both. using the culture slider amplified by theatres and colloseums and you can create enough happiness to overwhelm the emancipation penalty almost indefinately even in time of war.

There may come a time under some circumstances when even the culture slider plus your other happy faces cannot overcome the emancipation penalty. When this happens you can use espionage missions to switch non-spiritual civs to caste system lessening the penalty for you. At about the time of emancipation lots of spy specialists open up for the SE and since under representation spy specialists deliver 4 beakers as well as the espionage points (a representation scientist gives 6 beakers) you can afford to switch on a lot of spy specialists instead of other specialists without hurting your research.

The third step is to realise that caste system is actually not so all important to a SE as all that and switch over to emancipation. Note you CAN keep running representation without a happiness penalty and in the end it is representation that really delivers the beakers to a SE. Okay without caste system there are limits to the number of scientists you can run. 7 scientists for your oxford city and 4 for your other science cities. But if you have the infrastructure you can still run other specialists alongside your limited scientists, (under rep civic – spies +4 beakers, artists +4 beakers, engineers, priests and merchants + 3 beakers). The trick is to abandon the idea you must run pure science cities with only science infrastructure and make sure that you have all the infrastructure up and running to allow you to run the maximum amount of specialists your food allows without caste system.

Lets say for example you have a science city under caste system that has enough food to run 10 specialists because you want beakers they are all scientists. Finally you switch away from emancipation and can now only run 4 scientists. What to do? Well probably this city has a market and a grocer already built because you wanted the health and happiness bonuses they give which means you can run 4 merchants. okay so they only give half as many beakers each compared with the scientist but they also give 3 gold each. More gold from you specialists means you can put your research slider up so indirectly your merchants boost your research. Okay so what about the other 2 specialists your 10 spec city can feed? Well this city probably has a courthouse at least so you can run a spy giving 4 beakers and epsionage points. More espionage points from specialists means you can lower the espionage slider in favour of research. This hypothetical city probably also has a forge so you can run an engineer for the last spec. Okay so he only gives 3 beakers but also gives 2 hammers. you can turn those hammers into research by occasionally turning your cities hammers into research with the ‘build research’ option.

The big idea here is that you can max out your specialists and keep up your tech rate without caste system just by running a mix of specialists and tweaking the slider, providing you have the infrastructure up.

In summary – surviving and thriving after emancipation by using these three gambits.

1. counter with the culture slider.

2. espionage to flip your rivals civics away from emancipation.

3. build up infrastucture before switching to emancipation then run a mix of different specialists in each city.

Additional – beware the 3 Cs – cottages, caste system and the culture slider.

At some point your likely to capture some cottaged cities maybe a lot of cottaged cities. The SE player has 2 options with dealing with them.

1. leave them be.

2. pillage the cottages preferabley BEFORE the culture border pops so that gold is gained and then intensively rework the improvements in the SE fashion, farms and workshops etc.

Which is the best option depends on what you intend to do when emancipation starts hitting you with unhappiness. If you want to hang on to caste system right into the late game then option 1 is the least efficient because although you save a lot of worker time once you start using the culture slider for happiness heavily those cottaged cities will become very commerce inefficient. Option 2 will work best for you.

On the other hand if you are happy to switch to emancipation and then run a mix of specialists in your cities leaving your captured cottaged cities as they are is probably best. Especially so if you are going for a culture victory and want to run free speech. Free speech will give those cottages a nice commerce boost if and when they become towns which with emancipation will happen sooner anyway.

The moral of the story is SE are planned economies so you had better plan ahead if you want to make the most of it. Considering early on which methods you will use to deal with emancipation unhappiness is necessary for deciding what to do with captured cities with cottages so as to make the most of them for your game.

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