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Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Library of Alexandria and Alchemy rss

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Japhet
United States
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Does anyone ever grab Alchemy(I) when they have a Library of Alexandria(A) under construction?

I ask because I often find myself tempted away from building the library because a +1 science boost from alchemy only costs 3r whereas +1 from the Library costs 6r. So once I have Alchemy researched, I can net +2 science total by finishing 2 Alchemies first and then finish up the Library afterwards.

Yes there's the 4 science cost of Alchemy itself, and I'd rather spend science on upgrading farms/mines/gov but sometimes that's just not in the cards, and there's nothing else to do with that science. Might as well spend it on upgrading something right?

Is it always best to wait for Sci Meth(II) or are there circumstances where this combo is acceptable?
 
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Steve Bachman
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Colonie
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I like the Library primarily for the increased hand limits. The culture and science are nice bonuses, and they allow me to focus on other development other than labs. I don't recall getting Alchemy with the Library too often.
 
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Jack Liu
United States
Irvine
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If you have library, generally it's best to skip to sci method next.

But if you do managed to get an early alch lab, then you could also ride out the +5 sci til A3 computers/multimedia.

If you can get Leo, would make the setup work really well. +6 sci is enough to last to A3 and Leo gives you back extra rocks to pay off your investment. You can easily research a lot of early blue techs to keep you competitive in other areas as well as early A2 gov
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Kester J
United Kingdom
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You do need a lot of rocks to build both, but that's the case with any Age A wonder + Alchemy, and the rocks will usually be supplied by Age A events. I might skip Alchemy if I had the Library and those rock events hadn't turned up, which is a nice option to have that isn't available for other wonders - but I don't think there are too many games where it's relevant.

Overall I don't think having the Library is a reason to ignore Alchemy though. As Jack says, not having to worry about upgrading your science again until age III takes a lot of pressure off, especially if you pick up da Vinci or Newton as well.
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Ronald Tin
Hong Kong
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The way I play is that I set set a soft threshold for science, food, resource. I don't actively deny another player's chance unless it is very helpful in that situation and it does not cost me a fortune.

Since alchemy is a sought after card in my group, I usually cannot afford to take DaVinci or Alchemy because it will be very expensive (often I need to pay 2 actions to get it which I prefer to spend somewhere else)
 
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El-ad David Amir
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As others have stated, unless I can nab a cheap da Vinci (and how often does that happen?) I would not bother with Alchemy if I got Library of Alexandria. Two Philosophy and Alexandria should be enough to get you into Age II. I do rate Universitas Carolinas higher with Alexandria, though -- I really like the Alexandria/Carolinas/one Philosophy configuration. Four science for one worker is sweet. It also sets me up for a nice Journalism game.
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M Van Der Werf
Netherlands
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Generally with library you avoid science upgrades alltogether. I like library especially with some cheap early techs like code of laws and monarchy. Unlike alchemy you actually have quite a bit of science early with library, alchemy pays off later but bigger because it costs science itself. Monarchy especially is ideal because you won't ever need a different government then and the science income from library and 2 philosophy is enough to end the game on. Heck i even like using Bach to convert those philosophies into operas later.

 
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Riku Koskinen
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Markwerf wrote:
Generally with library you avoid science upgrades alltogether. I like library especially with some cheap early techs like code of laws and monarchy. Unlike alchemy you actually have quite a bit of science early with library, alchemy pays off later but bigger because it costs science itself. Monarchy especially is ideal because you won't ever need a different government then and the science income from library and 2 philosophy is enough to end the game on. Heck i even like using Bach to convert those philosophies into operas later.


While this is feasible combined with prioritizing science yellows, I'd say 3 sci/turn in age II/III limits options a bit too much. It would be rather tough to discover multiple age II/III techs, which is bad when you need an Air Force and another advanced military tech to keep up with the arms race, not to mention anything else that happens to be useful to generate culture. Low science game also puts you in a bad position for impacts of technology, progress, and science.

Regarding OP's question, I don't avoid alchemy when I have LoA, but it goes down in my priority list a lot. 3 science per turn for age I is quite enough, and you can get a scientific method easily for upgrades later. This is because the other people don't upgrade their alchemies to methods and thus have no need to pick the age II lab.

On the other hand, LoA with alchemies means 5 science per turn. This is certainly enough for ages I and II, and doesn't need to be upgraded age III either if you got science yellows, succesful spies etc. In the end, I pick alchemy with LoA if I don't have much better use for my CAs. But usually there are a lot of uses for CAs in age I, so I more often than not end up with 3 science production with the wonder.
 
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M Van Der Werf
Netherlands
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Padish wrote:
Markwerf wrote:
Generally with library you avoid science upgrades alltogether. I like library especially with some cheap early techs like code of laws and monarchy. Unlike alchemy you actually have quite a bit of science early with library, alchemy pays off later but bigger because it costs science itself. Monarchy especially is ideal because you won't ever need a different government then and the science income from library and 2 philosophy is enough to end the game on. Heck i even like using Bach to convert those philosophies into operas later.


While this is feasible combined with prioritizing science yellows, I'd say 3 sci/turn in age II/III limits options a bit too much. It would be rather tough to discover multiple age II/III techs, which is bad when you need an Air Force and another advanced military tech to keep up with the arms race, not to mention anything else that happens to be useful to generate culture. Low science game also puts you in a bad position for impacts of technology, progress, and science.

Regarding OP's question, I don't avoid alchemy when I have LoA, but it goes down in my priority list a lot. 3 science per turn for age I is quite enough, and you can get a scientific method easily for upgrades later. This is because the other people don't upgrade their alchemies to methods and thus have no need to pick the age II lab.

On the other hand, LoA with alchemies means 5 science per turn. This is certainly enough for ages I and II, and doesn't need to be upgraded age III either if you got science yellows, succesful spies etc. In the end, I pick alchemy with LoA if I don't have much better use for my CAs. But usually there are a lot of uses for CAs in age I, so I more often than not end up with 3 science production with the wonder.


You don't need to discover multiple age II/III techs though. The only age III techs really good typically is airforce. An age III government (democracy hopefully) is good if you missed (const) monarchy. Age III military techs are a bit of a hail mary if you missed it before, you should generally aim for an age II tactic on age I/II military techs.

The essential techs usually are:

irrigation / selective breeding, 3-5 science
swordsman / riflemen, 4-6 science.
knights / cavalrymen, 5-6 science.
monarchy / const. monarchy, 8-12 science.
happiness fixer, 0-5 science

This is 20 to 34 science. Turn 0-1 you get 1 science, turn 2-3 you get 2 science and from turn 4 onwards 3 with library opening usually. You'll be looking at 27 science by the end of turn 10 which covers most of this already so you can also afford some stuff like cannon, code of laws etc. typically.

Sure if alchemy falls in your lap with some good upgrades cards you still take it, never say never in this game. But generally you try to avoid it. With library I tend to prioritize a second wonder as that fits it ideally. An early code of laws or monarchy combines perfect with that. Early irrigation or even theater is also okay. Iron can work but is not a great mix, you lack civil actions to do wonders usually and you are a bit short on science to do much other stuff.
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