Let’s just get straight to it. While i concede building a dark age IO IS CRUCIAL!!! I want to reveal that early supervision of drop-offs and tax collection is negligible by comparison to the alternative. Heck in fact the early tax collection is more significant than the small number of villagers being supervised.
You make an Imperial official (IO) first and send all starter vils to food. Your IO pops out in time to supervise the first villager food drop-off. You essentially get a free 1.2villager drop! Something no other civ can do having a worker IMMEDIATELY produce resources! However it only happens if you can time IO’s production with villager drop-offs (unlikely outside the first few sec of the game). From that point on your IO supervising the mill for example with 6 villagers makes the IO effectively worth 1.2 villagers. So while the other player has 7 villagers on food, you have 7.2 villagers on food. Notice 7.2 compared to 7 isn’t significant in itself ( + 2.86% in favor of IO & 6vils). Lets project that 7.2 vil vs 7 vil out for 2 mins.
7.2 vils on sheep would net 576 food (@ 40 fpm on sheep) vs 7 vils would produce 560 food. That’s only 16 food? To be consistent if i add the “free” 12 food from timing the IO that brings the 2min delta to 28? Food???
You cant do ■■■■ with 28 food more than your opponent…BUT in that same time you would have genrated 56+ tax at the mill!! Now collecting 56 gold tax AND 28 food in 2mins? That worth 42 resources per min which is essentially another villager. If we assume the next 3 vils created after the IO are all still on the same resource you initially had them gathering (wood for example) you have 16+ gold there to collect too. This brings the total food plus tax generated inside 2mins to (588f + 72 tax gold) 660 resources per 2 mins which equals 8.05 villagers (@40 res per min per vil). Cool huh?
Sad to tell you this but…2mins superivising only 6 villagers and collecting only 72 tax ISN’T better than the alternative if we took a snapshot at the 2 min mark… why? Bc of the cost of the villager compared to the cost of the IO. the IO plus villagers generated and collected 660 resources but you have to subtract the 150 resources the IO COSTs which nets you only 510 resources…Meanwhile the 7 standard villagers would have generated 560 food minus the cost of 1 50f vil for a net of 510 resources? IT’S NOT UNTIL about 2mins 20s does the IO supervising 6 and collecting tax OUT performs the alternative 7 villagers and collecting NO tax.
Okay? So why does any of this matters if most china build orders takes plus 3 minutes to have sufficient resources to age? IMO it matters if you’re wanting to hit an earlier timing on your BBQ rushes! You can build an IO after you place the landmark and the tax collection alone will almost pay for the IO inside 40 seconds! Technically you’ll be behind in total resources banked if you make your first IO AFTER you start feudal landmark HOWEVER being say 30 resources behind but having a BBQ up 20-30s SOONER??? It’s situational when to BBQ rush but timing is everything!