Sirian's Great Library - Strategies for Civilization III
Tips on Resource Management

Jan 2, 2002: The AI is fond of launching surprise attacks against cities with special resources they don't possess. They are more likely to attack such cities if lightly defended, so if you want to avoid war and hold on to these cities, build up your military garrison there.
Jan 2, 2002: If you have been beaten to a key resource, if the rival civilization is one generally weak on culture and the enemy city in question has not expanded borders yet, you may be able to wrest the resource away from them with an aggressive settlement. Settle right on their border, two squares away from their city and with the resource you want in between you, then make SURE your city gets ahead and stays ahead on culture, and the resource will swap to your control and be yours. (Of course, you can also just attack and capture the enemy city, but this is a peaceful form of aggression that won't get you into a war if you don't want or aren't prepared for one).
Jan 2, 2002: You can never tell where resources are going to turn up, but each resource can only show up in certain kinds of land. In Civ1 and Civ2, it was wise to avoid really crappy looking land, in favor of land where cities would grow faster. No longer! Settle a variety of land, and grab everything near your capital, regardless of quality. Saltpeter and oil show up in the desert, coal and iron and uranium show up in the mountains, coal and rubber show up in the jungles, oil and rubber may show up in tundra plains or tundra forests respectively. Settle any land you can, if you are playing a standard building game, as opposed to military aggression.
Jan 2, 2002: If your game turns out resource-poor, and you don't have access to key resources, you may need to get aggressive about acquiring what you need. You can get away with trading for 20 turns of iron or saltpeter or horses or rubber or oil, in some cases -- long enough to upgrade all your units and build some of the types you are looking to get -- but iron and coal you NEED to be able to build rails across your empire. Pay special attention to those two, they are the ones you can least afford not to own for yourself. If you come up without them, plan a decisive aggression to take control of some, somewhere. If you can.
Aug 1, 2002: On high difficulty, trading resources for tech can be a key to the game. Keep in mind, you CAN trade away your last resource of a given type, if you want to. The AI's never will, but you can. (You just have to do without it for 20 turns, but sometimes that's worthwhile).
Aug 1, 2002: Note that resources only "randomly disappear and move to somewhere else" if they are connected. It may be kind of silly, but it works: you can prevent the loss of a key resource (especially oil or uranium) that you aren't using or don't have an immediate need for, but will need later on, by pillaging its roads and disconnecting it. (I hate this part of the game, but I have come to live with it). I don't usually consider this move worthwhile, but I've used it as recently as last week. No joke.

- Sirian

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