Taiwan JiaHoJian
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04 Apr 2019, 14:11

Hi,
I am currently playing Dutch in RE, I wonder when the four banks of Dutch opening will pay off. A bank costs 700 resources and takes villager 30 seconds to build, this is a huge investment, but we get the 2.75 gold/second trickle. I am going to calculate the approximate time when the banks finally pay off.
Assume we are going to build 4 banks and our shipment order is 3 villagers → 700 wood → 1 bank wagon, and we choose 400 wood when aging up.
Here is the near perfect opening of Dutch, I am going to assume we finish the banks at these timings:
first bank completed at 4:05
second bank completed at 5:05
third bank completed at 5:45
fourth bank completed at 6:05
I haven't seen any record game that is this fast. Normally, it's about 10 seconds later than these timings.

1. When will the four banks be better than exchanging food and wood for gold in the market directly?
Assume the four banks are finally better than exchanging food and wood for gold in the market when the game has lasted x seconds. We need 1400 food and 1400 wood in total to build the four banks, if we exchange these amount of food and wood into gold in the market, we will get 2226 gold.
Then we have the following equation:
(4*x-245-305-345-365)*2.75=2226
Solve for x, we get x ≈ 517 = 8 minutes and 37 seconds.
That is to say, if the game doesn't last longer than 8 minutes and 37 seconds, for example, we are being rushed, it is better to exchange the food and wood for gold in the market than building the four banks.

2. When will the four banks pay off in terms of villager second?
Assume the banks will just pay off in terms of villager second when the game has lasted x seconds, and we don't take the walking time of villagers into consideration, then we have the following equation:
(4*x-245-305-345-365)*(2.75/0.69) = 1400/0.84+1400/0.5+30*3
(bank takes 30 seconds for 1 villager to build, villagers build three banks and the last one is built by bank wagon, assume we assign 1 villager to build a bank each time, this costs the least number of villager seconds)
Solve for x, we get x ≈ 600 = 10 minutes.
So we have to wait until 10 minutes into the game, the four banks will finally pay off in terms of villager seconds.

These results are based on the near perfect 4 banks opening of Dutch, we can see that banks pay off very slowly, it really is a huge investment.
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Italy Garja
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04 Apr 2019, 15:12

As any other investment in the game, banks make use of resources that would be otherwise useless. What's the trade off with making banks? Using resources for units? How much can Dutch accomplish by making additional units? The only time where a trade off is present is when you have to defend vs aggressive civs, which requires to skip one or more banks. Occasionally you want to be the aggressor as Dutch and that's another case where you might want to delay banks.
In all other cases it doesn't really matter when banks' income break even. It's simply the best way for Dutch to invest resources. Also any invested resource gives back some xp and economic buildings like banks grant .20 of their cost (compared to the .10 of military units and buildings).
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Portugal Kazamkikaz
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04 Apr 2019, 16:26

JiaHoJian wrote:1. When will the four banks be better than exchanging food and wood for gold in the market directly?
Assume the four banks are finally better than exchanging food and wood for gold in the market when the game has lasted x seconds. We need 1400 food and 1400 wood in total to build the four banks, if we exchange these amount of food and wood into gold in the market, we will get 2226 gold.
Then we have the following equation:
(4*x-245-305-345-365)*2.75=2226
Solve for x, we get x ≈ 517 = 8 minutes and 37 seconds.
That is to say, if the game doesn't last longer than 8 minutes and 37 seconds, for example, we are being rushed, it is better to exchange the food and wood for gold in the market than building the four banks.

You forgot that banks gather coin infinitely while food and wood have to be gathered by villagers and you can run out of both resources at some point in your base and like you said if u r being rushed u will gather less food and wood, this same case don't apply to bank, once is done, nothing will stop them from generate coin till is wrecked down.
JiaHoJian wrote:2. When will the four banks pay off in terms of villager second?
Assume the banks will just pay off in terms of villager second when the game has lasted x seconds, and we don't take the walking time of villagers into consideration, then we have the following equation:
(4*x-245-305-345-365)*(2.75/0.69) = 1400/0.84+1400/0.5+30*3
(bank takes 30 seconds for 1 villager to build, villagers build three banks and the last one is built by bank wagon, assume we assign 1 villager to build a bank each time, this costs the least number of villager seconds)
Solve for x, we get x ≈ 600 = 10 minutes.
So we have to wait until 10 minutes into the game, the four banks will finally pay off in terms of villager seconds.

These results are based on the near perfect 4 banks opening of Dutch, we can see that banks pay off very slowly, it really is a huge investment.

Instead of thinking that is better exchange food and wood to coin on the market before 10 min of the game instead of making 4 banks you should be thinking what strategy can beat my opponent before 10 min without making 4 banks and come here to show us.
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Canada dansil92
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04 Apr 2019, 20:11

(Grenade rushing)

But in all seriousness, ive tried playing Dutch without banks and the only time I've ever really liked it was on deccan and spammed thuggee dacoit while shipping wood just for housing. Generally Dutch is a pretty weak civ early, lacking the musketeers that are key to colonial combat. Outlaws can fill this void but then you spend all your wood on housing and lose out on any potential booming
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United States of America _H2O
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04 Apr 2019, 20:48

Use villager seconds always when calculating payoff times. It gets more complicated too. Not having army can increase the cost because you get idled or gather in odd places. Having army can do the same to your opponent.

I like to use that villager second based time of 10 minutes as a general marker but don’t take it too literally.

Garja also commented that some resources may not be used at certain times.
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France Kaiserklein
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04 Apr 2019, 21:29

The xp from 4-5 banks on EP grant you basically an extra shipment compared to other civs (can see it quite often when casting dutch games on no tp maps), so you can roughly consider that one of these banks is free (the bank wagon shipment basically). That's something to take into account
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Singapore Thrar
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05 Apr 2019, 03:16

If I understand this right, I think he kind of assumed that the bank wagon is free since its cost is not considered in the VS example - he's simply adding up the VS cost of the 3 remaining banks. How much XP does it take for the 3rd and 4th shipment, respectively?
As a more methodical approach, I would prefer either basing the calculations around 3 banks rather than 4 (excluding the bank wagon), or finding a way to convert the shipment into VS, e.g. by assuming the 4th bank costs 600w or 700c that you could have shipped instead.

I think a relevant question in game is more typically: Can I invest into another bank, or do I need to age up / make military buildings? I would prefer to frame the discussion around the incremental investment per bank, rather than taking the whole 4 bank investment at once.
A single bank costs 350/0.84 + 350/0.5 VS, which is roughly 1,100 VS in resources, plus a negligible amount in build time. Assuming no placer mines, a bank produces 4 VS per second, so a given bank pays back its cost after 275 seconds, or around 4:40 minutes depending on build time. If you're expecting lots of pressure, getting idled or taking bad trades before that, then the resources should be spent in more immediate ways.

Have there been previous analyses on VS break-even times of different eco investments?
  • Banks seem to be 4:40
  • Vils are 2:00 (but limited by train time)
  • RE fishing boats seem to be 4:10 plus upfront dock cost
  • EP fishing (or RE with East India Company) at 2:55 plus dock
  • Schooners at 1:40 plus dock

Does Dutch go for water early in some matchups, or are banks generally considered better?
No Flag umeu
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05 Apr 2019, 03:24

it's gone pay off faster because of XP. Not only do you get more XP by building banks (and thus get 1 bank for free), but half the res you spend on banks is free as well (wood from age up, and wood from crates, which you get from xp, which is basically a res which you can't express in VS in the early game). This means you have to look at, if I turned that res into army, what value will I get from it, and will it finish the game? The answer is pretty much no. And any other way you can use that res economically (TP boom, fish boom etc) is going to leave you more vulnerable, economically weaker, or it will take longer to pay off. So the OP's calculations aren't right, because you don't gather all the res, so you can't really express it in VS only.
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Canada dansil92
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05 Apr 2019, 03:29

While i agree that dutch should make banks most of the time, in certain matchups making military may very well be better. Japan especially can outboom and outscale dutch very readily. In this matchup i have usually won as dutch by being aggressive and maybe building one bank in transition and building military afterwards (for those wondering, grenadier hussar is a fun combo for dutch vs japan). Thats my experience and may very well be different on EP or at higher levels...

Also dutch on water is very strong. On RE schooners boom on whale maps is easily better than bank boom
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Singapore Thrar
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05 Apr 2019, 04:29

I agree that wood from age up isn't easy to spend early in all builds (naked FF in particular), so converting it to VS doesn't paint the whole picture. It would also be spent very early in the build, making this bank pay off the soonest.
Does Dutch ever go for a stable + 2 houses semi like e.g. France would? In that case (or in a prolonged colonial) you do in fact spend the age up wood so the VS conversion seems valid to me, but if you're going to straight FF much of the wood would be unspent for 2 minutes or so.

When it comes to shipments, I think the VS conversion is mostly fair. If you don't have use for the wood, you can send 700c instead, get to fortress faster, and send the bigger shipments there. One might argue that in this case the VS cost should be measured in coin rather than wood (since you're giving up 700c in favor of 700w), putting the bank cost at 920 VS and the break-even time at 3:50 for the two banks built with 700w.

If I interpret this right, that means when building banks #2 and #3 from 700w as opposed to aging with 700c, those two banks pay off roughly 3 minutes after the 700c player hits fortress (with fast age). In that time, the fortress player can ship 1000w (while the colonial player ships bank wagon) and build the remaining banks, the extra 600 VS from the shipment offsetting the time lost on banks #2 and #3 as well as the weaker 700c shipment.
The advantage would be that this player is already in fortress and has better ways to respond to pressure by sending military after 1000w, while the 4 bank colonial player is a minute or so behind on getting their first shipment in fortress age (due to slower age time).

Is this ever done in practice, i.e. FF with 1 bank and then add more banks on 1000w? Does it work against colonial pressure, or is Dutch forced to stay in colonial altogether?
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No Flag ovi12
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05 Apr 2019, 04:29

Kaiserklein wrote:The xp from 4-5 banks on EP grant you basically an extra shipment compared to other civs (can see it quite often when casting dutch games on no tp maps), so you can roughly consider that one of these banks is free (the bank wagon shipment basically). That's something to take into account

Hmm but if the xp per resource spent is the same for every unit and building in the game, how does that make sense? Shouldn't all civs that gather similar number of resources, and spend them all, have the same number of shipments? Is the xp per resource spent not the same for everything?
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France Kaiserklein
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05 Apr 2019, 04:35

Well I know for a fact that dutch gets way more xp than regular civs without a tp. Enough to be 1 shipment ahead usually.
Now why the difference, it's probably because you use food, which usually goes into units, to get banks. 350f becomes 70 xp in a bank, while it's only 35 xp in units, since units give half the xp reward. So I guess that's already 35*5 = 175 extra xp for 5 banks. But also a lot of civs send either villagers or unit shipments, which don't grant any xp, so that's more extra xp for dutch in comparison.

In short, dutch invests more into buildings so they get more xp. You get something similar when going brit 200 pop boom.
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Singapore Thrar
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05 Apr 2019, 04:36

It depends on what you spend the resources on: Economic buildings give you 20% back in XP, other buildings and units only 10%. Technology investments (other than stagecoach) like aging or market upgrades give no XP at all.

Based on this ancient post listing shipment XP, the 4 banks combined will grant roughly a shipment and a half, while units or military buildings would give you less than 1 shipment. Considering this a full extra shipment is perhaps slightly exaggerated, but might be close enough as a rule of thumb.
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Canada Mitoe
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05 Apr 2019, 04:48

ovi12 wrote:
Kaiserklein wrote:The xp from 4-5 banks on EP grant you basically an extra shipment compared to other civs (can see it quite often when casting dutch games on no tp maps), so you can roughly consider that one of these banks is free (the bank wagon shipment basically). That's something to take into account

Hmm but if the xp per resource spent is the same for every unit and building in the game, how does that make sense? Shouldn't all civs that gather similar number of resources, and spend them all, have the same number of shipments? Is the xp per resource spent not the same for everything?

XP return is 10 xp per 100 resources when spending it on units, but for buildings it’s 20xp per 100 resources.

However, on RE banks are different from other buildings and only give you 10/100, which makes it actually a pretty poor return on your resources compared to investing it elsewhere.

On EP, though, it’s back to 20/100 which is very good when you consider that you normally can only get that return with wood, but converting food into that much xp is much better.

Basically banks on EP are just a much better investment.

Thrar wrote:It depends on what you spend the resources on: Economic buildings give you 20% back in XP, other buildings and units only 10%. Technology investments (other than stagecoach) like aging or market upgrades give no XP at all.

Don’t all buildings give the same xp/resource except for banks on RE? I could be wrong but I’m pretty sure that’s how it works.

Edit: okay yeah looks like military buildings only give you 10xp/100res, but since every single building in the game aside from barracks/stable/art foundry is considered an eco building it doesn't really make a big difference.
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France Kaiserklein
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05 Apr 2019, 05:05

Thrar wrote:It depends on what you spend the resources on: Economic buildings give you 20% back in XP, other buildings and units only 10%. Technology investments (other than stagecoach) like aging or market upgrades give no XP at all.

Based on this ancient post listing shipment XP, the 4 banks combined will grant roughly a shipment and a half, while units or military buildings would give you less than 1 shipment. Considering this a full extra shipment is perhaps slightly exaggerated, but might be close enough as a rule of thumb.


Stagecoach technically doesn't grant you xp upon research. It's actually the xp travois instantly finishing the tp line, and granting an xp pass to all the tps built on that line, including the opponent's. So if you time stagecoach well, you basically get extra xp for free. If stagecoach comes in when the travois is at the end of the line, no one gets any xp.

Also btw the xp snowballs, it speeds up the bank boom since you get shipments faster, so you get more resources in and more xp I guess. Anyway it's close to 1 shipment, early on at least. Then over time the shipments get slower and slower so it's not really 1 whole shipment anymore, and also depends on fights etc.
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Taiwan JiaHoJian
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05 Apr 2019, 05:41

Thanks for all the replies! The calculations that I had done in this post are not right because I didn’t take the XP of the bank’s build bounty into consideration.
My ultimate goal is to develop a program that is able to print out the most optimal build order to beat a specific strategy on a specific map, all the analyses that I have done on Dutch so far are parts of my bigger project. If we are under pressure when the banks haven’t even paid off, then what is the most optimal build order to deal with this kind of situation? This is the big question that I am trying to answer.
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China fei123456
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05 Apr 2019, 07:02

Banks are quite expensive in RE, however
1. you can build banks in early game (before 7:00) so they still pay back
2. banks don't die to hussar raiding, ashi raiding etc
In most match-ups 3 banks are good. The 4th bank is considerable. You can leave it to age 3.
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Singapore Thrar
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05 Apr 2019, 07:12

Kaiserklein wrote:Stagecoach technically doesn't grant you xp upon research. It's actually the xp travois instantly finishing the tp line, and granting an xp pass to all the tps built on that line, including the opponent's. So if you time stagecoach well, you basically get extra xp for free. If stagecoach comes in when the travois is at the end of the line, no one gets any xp.

That's very interesting. So it means all other things being equal, building TPs near the end of the route (based on travois direction) makes it more likely to get XP on stagecoach research. Of course most maps don't give much of a choice, and on those that do (New England, vertical Saguenay/Hudson Bay) other considerations are probably more important.

Would you actually consider timing stagecoach research for optimal XP in a real game, or is it too difficult to get right and not worth it when delaying the stagecoach passes for resources?
No Flag umeu
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05 Apr 2019, 08:16

It makes it a little bit more likely, but not that much. it mostly depends on whether or not the person upgrading the route knows about the timing, and whether he actually cares about it. It's only worth it really on maps with a lot of high xp tp's. I used to do this "trick" on great lakes all the time, in which case sometimes you could get xp worth nearly as much as 2 shipments. 1000+ xp if you have all 5 tp's. On high plains etc it would also be worth it, but on NE for example, it wouldn't be that big of a deal.

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