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CMA

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Citizen Governor (aka Citizen Management Agent, or CMA)Edit

The CMA is a rather new tool built into the GTK+ client of Freeciv version 1.12.1. It is designed to help you manage your cities, i.e. deploy the workers on the available tiles around (or make them scientists, taxmen, or even entertainers), to get the most out of the city. You can switch the CMA on or off at any time for any city, but there are some handicaps (explained below), if you have CMA'd and non-CMA'd cities nearby. In any case you need an actual 1.12.1 or above server; the CMA won't run with server version 1.12.0.

The heart of CMA is an optimizing algorithm, that tries to deploy the workers of a city in such a way, that a user-defined goal is achieved as much as possible. You know probably, there is already a kind of optimizing, when you open a city, and click on the center tile (the city symbol) of the mini map. This optimization tries to maximize mostly the science output; but it doesn't care about disorder.

The new City Management Agent goes far beyond this old form of optimizing. First, it performs this task everytime anything changes with the city. If the city grows or shrinks, troops go in or out, tiles get irrigation or mining, or are occupied by an enemy, the CMA becomes active. Second, it supports all kinds of optimizing, like production (shields), gold, science, or luxury. Third, it gives the player a fine-grained control over this, with the possibility of setting constraints for any kind of city output. The latter includes the constraint of celebration, which makes it very easy to let your cities grow, even in harder times. The fourth, and probably most valuable thing in war times, is that is keeps your cities content, preventing them from revolt.

UsageEdit

You can set up the CMA for a city by opening the city window and clicking on the CMA tab. On the left side, you can choose a preset for a specified goal, on the right side you can specify more complex goals by moving the sliders. You can choose a preset at first, and then modify it. Once you have created a new setting, you can add a preset name for it. This is not required, but very useful, since you can watch and even change the city's setting from within the city report, if it is given a name. Don't forget to save settings (in the Game menu), when you've created new presets.

The sliders are of two kinds: the rightmost sliders are factors, which gauges how much one product is worth compared to the others (e.g how much shields are worth with respect to everything else). The leftmost sliders are constraints: you can command the city not to lose food, e.g. by setting the surplus constraint to zero; and you can allow the city to lose gold by setting the gold surplus to -3 e.g., and urge them to make at least 5 shields per round by setting the production surplus to 5. The most powerful constraint, though, is the Celebrate contraint, which makes the city celebrate at once (which usually takes effect the round after you change it).

It is obvious that the CMA can't fulfill all these constraints in every case. Whenever the constraints can't be fulfilled, the CMA quits its service for that city, giving a message: "The agent can't fulfill the requirements for Berlin. Passing back control." You then have the choice of either managing the city on your own (which has some drawbacks, see below), or open that city and change the surplus requirements so that they can be fulfilled.

When you have made a setup for a city, you need to click on "Control city" to switch on the CMA. If this button's text is greyed, either the CMA is already active, or the task is impossible. In the latter case you see dashes instead of numbers in the results block. If you ever want to switch off the CMA deliberately, click "Release city".


Advanced UsageEdit

There is not much experience using the CMA yet, but some common remarks may be helpful. Usually the goal(s) of your cities depend on the phase your game is in, whether you want to spread widely, grow quickly, research advanced techs or wage war. You may want to set up a high factor for science to research, or a high shields factor to produce units. The highest factor available is 25, that means: if the shields factor is set to 25, and other to 1, the CMA prefers a single shield over 25 gold (or trade also). This is pretty much because money can buy units too. That also means that the CMA is indifferent about producing gold, science, luxury, and food; but when you wage war, you usually prefer gold or luxury. So it's probably a good idea to set a second (or even third) preference for the city's output, e.g. gold factor 5. That still prefers 1 shield over 5 gold (and 1 gold over 5 food or anything else).

Constraints aren't useful in all cases. If you want a high income, it's probably better to set the gold factor to 25, than to set a minimal surplus of 5 or so. Because a big city can make more gold than a small one, you'd end up setting a different surplus for each city.

However, if the shields surplus of a city is below zero, it cannot support all of its units any more. You will lose some of the units the city supports. If the food surplus is negative, the city will starve and eventually (when the granary is empty) shrink. This may be intended, but if the city supports any settlers, you will lose them before the city shrinks. Constraints can also have a warning function.

Which constraints can be fulfilled depends widely on the global science, tax, and luxury rates. E.g. a gold surplus >= 0 is easier to fulfill with a higher tax rate than a lower one. You should always consider to change these rates, when you going to change the CMA settings for the most of your cities.

Hint: To avoid acidentally releasing your cities, when you change the rates, it is best to do so from within the tax dialog rather than from the rates display in the main window.


DrawbacksEdit

The CMA is a very powerful tool, which not only releases you from the micromanagement of your cities, but gives you more performance than you have ever seen (well, for most players).

There are some drawbacks, though. Once you've switched on the CMA, it grabs any good tile it can get. So you encounter very hard times trying to manage a city nearby a CMA-controlled one. This is true for the city window and the main map worker's interface as well. If you want to have CMA-controlled and "handmade" cities, they probably should be on different islands.

There are several situations where the CMA can't fulfill the requirements just temporarely, e.g. when you move a ship from one city to another, or when an enemy walks through your country. The CMA passes back control in these cases, and you have to reenable it manually. A general approach to prevent this might be, to set the minimal surpluses as low as possible (-20). Of course you must be careful with the food and shield surplusses.

While the CMA does a really good job for a single city, no tile will ever be released for the good of another city. Also, the CMA'd cities are computed in a more random order; the results may depend on it and change, when a recalculation is done (when tax changes e.g.). So, no guarantee is given that the overall results are always optimal.


Settings fileEdit

The client allows the user to load and save preset parameters for the agent. Choosing "Save Settings" from the "Game" menu will not only save your general options and message options, but it will save any changes you made to you CMA presets as well.

The format for the options file (usually ~/.civclientrc) is as follows (in case you which to change these presets manually, i.e. with a text editor).

Under the heading [cma], is a "number_of_presets". This should be set to the number of presets that are present in the options file. If you manually add or remove a preset, you need to change this number as appropriate.

After this, is an array that houses the presets. Here is the header:

preset={ "name","minsurp0","factor0","minsurp1","factor1","minsurp2","factor2","minsurp3","factor3","minsurp4","factor4","minsurp5","factor5","reqhappy","factortarget","happyfactor"

so the order of the preset should be as follows:

name of preset, minimal surplus 0, factor 0, ... , require city to be happy, what the target should be [0,1], the happiness factor

Currently there are 6 surpluses and factors. They are:

0 = food, 1 = production, 2 = trade, 3 = gold, 4 = luxury, 5 = science

Also currently, "factortarget" is not changeable within the client, see "client/agents/cma_core.h" for more information.

The array should be terminated with a '}'.

Here are 21 presets you can use if you can't come up with some on your own:

"Max food",0,10,0,1,0,1,0,1,0,1,0,1,0,0,1
"Max production",0,1,0,10,0,1,0,1,0,1,0,1,0,0,1
"Max trade",0,1,0,1,0,10,0,1,0,1,0,1,0,0,1
"Max tax",0,1,0,1,0,1,0,10,0,1,0,1,0,0,1
"Max luxury",0,1,0,1,0,1,0,1,0,10,0,1,0,0,1
"Max science",0,1,0,1,0,1,0,1,0,1,0,10,0,0,1
"+2 food",2,1,0,1,0,1,0,1,0,1,0,1,0,0,1
"+2 production",0,1,2,1,0,1,0,1,0,1,0,1,0,0,1
"+2 trade",0,1,0,1,2,1,0,1,0,1,0,1,0,0,1
"+2 gold",0,1,0,1,0,1,2,1,0,1,0,1,0,0,1
"+2 luxury",0,1,0,1,0,1,0,1,2,1,0,1,0,0,1
"+2 science",0,1,0,1,0,1,0,1,0,1,2,1,0,0,1
"Max food no gold limit",0,10,0,1,0,1,-20,1,0,1,0,1,0,0,1
"Max production no gold limit",0,1,0,10,0,1,-20,1,0,1,0,1,0,0,1
"Max trade no gold limit",0,1,0,1,0,10,-20,1,0,1,0,1,0,0,1
"Max gold no gold limit",0,1,0,1,0,1,-20,10,0,1,0,1,0,0,1
"Max luxury no gold limit",0,1,0,1,0,1,-20,1,0,10,0,1,0,0,1
"Max science no gold limit",0,1,0,1,0,1,-20,1,0,1,0,10,0,0,1
"Max food+prod. no gold limit",0,10,0,10,0,1,-20,1,0,1,0,1,0,0,1
"Max food+prod.+trade",0,10,0,10,0,10,0,1,0,1,0,1,0,0,1
"Max all",0,1,0,1,0,1,0,1,0,1,0,1,0,0,1

here are 6 more that have been added as an afterthought:

"+1 food, max prod. no gold limit",1,1,0,10,0,1,-20,1,0,1,0,1,0,0,1
"+2 food, max prod. no gold limit",2,1,0,10,0,1,-20,1,0,1,0,1,0,0,1
"+3 food, max prod. no gold limit",3,1,0,10,0,1,-20,1,0,1,0,1,0,0,1
"+4 food, max prod. no gold limit",4,1,0,10,0,1,-20,1,0,1,0,1,0,0,1
"+5 food, max prod. no gold limit",5,1,0,10,0,1,-20,1,0,1,0,1,0,0,1
"+6 food, max prod. no gold limit",6,1,0,10,0,1,-20,1,0,1,0,1,0,0,1

and even more, some with multiple goals:

"research at any cost",0,1,0,5,-20,1,-20,1,-20,1,-20,25,0,0,1
"celebration and growing",1,1,0,25,-20,1,-20,12,-20,1,-20,1,1,0,1
"grow at any cost",1,25,0,5,-20,1,-20,1,-20,1,-20,5,0,0,1
"research and some shields",0,1,0,8,0,1,-3,1,0,1,0,25,0,0,1
"shields and a bit money",0,1,0,25,0,1,-3,3,0,1,0,1,0,0,1
"many shields and some money",0,1,0,25,0,1,0,9,0,1,0,1,0,0,1
"shields and some research",0,1,0,25,0,1,-2,1,0,1,0,8,0,0,1
"celebrate and grow at once",1,1,0,25,-20,1,-20,1,-20,1,-20,8,1,0,1

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