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A Guide To Great Wonders And How To Use Them

Discussion in 'Civ3 Strategy Articles' started by TheDarkPhantom, Aug 15, 2004.

  1. Offa

    Offa Bretwalda

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    Thanks for the great guide.

    Pyramids, Sun Tze and Leos are certainly my most favoured wonders. The Pyramids are however usually impractical to build. It is of course pretty standard to give masonry to nearby AI in the hope that they will build them for you. Regarding the Great Library, it seems most useful at Sid level, and is, perhaps surprisingly, often possible to build it as the AI don't tend to research literature much.
     
  2. Paradigne

    Paradigne Chieftain

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    GREAT READ!!! Just one thing to add... if you build Hoover's Dam, don't forget to sell your Coal/solar plants. They are not cumulative, and coal will increase pollution...
     
  3. bouncelot

    bouncelot Chieftain

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    One thing you could have mentioned in the article is the possibility of using the free unit wonders as shield producers. Instead of using the free units to fight, you could use them to rush production of more useful things by disbanding them inside your weaker cities. This is probably only a reason to build them in a few rare circumstances, but it might prove a fruitful strategy if you've captured the wonder and it's in an area of high corruption.
     
  4. TheDarkPhantom

    TheDarkPhantom Deconstructing Minds

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    All points being considered for revisions to the article.

    About bouncelot's point, which I think was raised earlier too...though I do accept this as a use of the unit-producing wonders, I can envisage no situation in which such a strategy actually warrants building the wonder, its just a nice extra, as you say, if you capture it off the enemy, or are so far ahead you can afford to build everything (though this still ins't a greta idea). As such, though I appreciate the point, I'm not going to add such a strategy to the article itself.

    Keep them coming :).
     
  5. Aggie

    Aggie Chieftain

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    I have a couple of remarks:

    -This game is all about expanding and growing, so I really can't see a faster growth and risk of civil disorder as a drawback. If you let your cities riot you should improve your skills to avoid riots, not avoid building the Pyramids. The Pyramids are THE wonders of the ancient age.
    - You say that you might avoid The Great Library and the non-required tech Literature. But this is one of the most avoided techs in the anicent age (by the AI), so on higher levels this is your ticket to get back in the tech race. And on lower levels you need the tech to build libraries and boost your tech pace. And while you're at it you can build the Great Library to grab up to 10 free techs, while you have your science slider at 0% and make lots of money (more suited for higher levels though, on lower levls you may outpace the AI anyway).
    -ToE is a no-brainer on higher levels, to stay in the tech race with the leading AI. It also enables you to snatch Hoover when you get to Electronics first with free tech Atomic Theory and Electronics. Scientific Metohd is leargely ignored by the AI, so that makes it even better.
    -SETI doesn't come available with ToG...
     
  6. TheDarkPhantom

    TheDarkPhantom Deconstructing Minds

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    God that is a bad mistake...ToG?! (I have now corrected it, many thanks).

    I maintain my analysis about the pyramids. I understand your point, but i do not really mean to suggest that this makes the pyramids damaging, just that it can be a drawback. They are, I agree, very powerful early age wonders, probably the best, but no wonder is perfect and I try to consider what drawbacks they all have, the fact that the Pyramid's is not very damaging is a testament to how useful the wonder is.

    TOE: Yes, that's essentially exactly what I've said I believe.

    GL: Though i accept what you say about the Great Library, the consensus opinion that I have found amongst high level Civ players (and I agree with it) is that its usually not worth building, for the reasons I outline in the article. Literature can be good for trading purposes I admit, and I do not suggest that the Great Library is never worth building but I agree with the majority view that on lower levels its unecessary, and on higher levels you have much greater priorities than building a 400 shield wonder that goes obsolete in after one era, and whose free techs you ought to be able to get through trading anyway.
     
  7. Aggie

    Aggie Chieftain

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    I think that the consensus of higher level players (Deity, Sid) is that you probably won't get ANY wonder in the Ancient Age, EXCEPT the Great Library. I agree that you shouldn't walk a wonder path blindy. In fact, you can do without building an ancient age wonder (you can always capture the Pyramids later...). But on higher levels TGL is often built or captured. I've seen it as a standard playing style in Hall of Fame games, including the trick (some say exploit) that you give the TGL city away just before you have Education and then retaking it when you can get yourself in the Industrial Age with the free techs. You get ALL the techs you don't know (and are known by two others), including things like Steam and Nationalism. In one of my Succession Games (AG12 Sid - Which we lost) we managed to get into the Modern Age with this Great Library.

    I just want to point out that I think that this wonder is very very powerful... I understand that you are inspired by Ision (and the wonder addiction article) and that this may be a reason for you to undervalue the power of the wonder (edit: to avoid that everyone goes for it blindly). But Ision also recognizes the power of it and that's why it is off limits if you want to be cured from a wonder addiction!

    Regarding the Pyramids: I understand that you are looking for drawbacks. I agree with the cost drawback, but still can't agree with the faster growth and possible unhapiness issues.

    Great article by the way!
     
  8. TheDarkPhantom

    TheDarkPhantom Deconstructing Minds

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    Acknowledged, I shall consider editing the article, especially if I receive more views along the same lines. Thanks for the feedback.
     
  9. zerksees

    zerksees in remission

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    Nice article Dark Phantom.

    Here is my .02

    Great Library - Say what you want, I make this a priority at higher difficulty levels, either SP or MP games. Against humans, I want to own it to keep someone from getting a bunch of free techs - especially if I am gunning to be the tech leader.

    Leo's - I do not disagree with your analysis, though it effectively becomes obsolete once you are building MA and MI and your units are upgraded.

    Magellan - In my current PBEM I am playing continents and there is only one player left - a human player. Each of us controls one continent. In this case the extra movement is priceless.

    UN - Want to risk losing the game to a UN vote? Then let the AI build this. I make this a priority and often save a great leader to build it.

    I also think this thread could benefit from some discussion about use of great leaders to build these wonders. For instance, if I have an ancient age great leader, I might build the Colossus if it is the only wonder available - as it does help the commerce (and therefore science if I am researching something) of the city. Obviously a great leader erases the shield costs and changes the relative value of the wonder. Any other thoughts on this?
     
  10. TheDarkPhantom

    TheDarkPhantom Deconstructing Minds

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    I accept your points, and will continue to redraft the article to incorporate them to some extent. Thanks very much.

    Also I would welcome a GL discussion, I will start working on an additional paragraph to add to the end of the article. But my suggestion would be that people contribute their thoughts to this thread on the value of Great Leaders and how to use them for wonder construction etc., i.e. general advice on Great Leaders and wonders. And if we can get a discussion going on the thread itself, I can then no just put my views from the start, but try to compile the opinions of other people as well.

    So, if people are interested, please post strategies for Great Leaders and wonder-building in this thread.
     
  11. NDCSPURS

    NDCSPURS Chieftain

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    When building ToE you should set your research so that it is complete the same turn as ToE. Then on the turn that it is completed the research will be completed first so you can then choose atomic theory. That way you can carry on researching while building ToE and not waste any research when it is built.
     
  12. TheDarkPhantom

    TheDarkPhantom Deconstructing Minds

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    Agreed, i was going to put a tip like that (or setting research to 0% if you don't otherwise while building ToE) in the article but perhaps I forgot. I will ammend it shortly.
     
  13. Pfeffersack

    Pfeffersack Chieftain

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    Two minor points on the wonders which give free improvements in every city on the same continent(Pyramids, ToA, Sun Tzu's AoW, Internet):

    - their usefulness depends mainly on the settings.More useful on larger maps in general and especially on continents/pangea than on archipelgo.
    - an additional benefit is the saved maintenance, which can add up over time.

    Colossus: The extra commerce is nice, but as long as you are in despotism it is from limited use-the bonus is lost in coastal tiles or roaded tiles near rivers.
     
  14. fret

    fret Chieftain

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    Longevity is a key part of late game stratagy for Milkers, other than that I agree, its pretty useless.
     
  15. morchuflex

    morchuflex Chieftain

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    Great article.
    However, I think you underestimate the Mausoleum. It has several advantages:
    - First, it can actually be built! On advanced levels, the AI almost always beats me at the Oracle, the Artemision and the Hanging Gardens. But since they don't go for Philosophy very fast, this is at least one Wonder I can build!
    - Second, as you mentioned yourself, its usefulness is to allow one city to grow and to focus on further Wonders without being bothered by unhappiness. It's a wonder that helps build wonders!
    - And finally, if you're playing the Byzantines, it triggers the Golden Age by itself (Seafaring + scientific) at the very time I usually switch from Despotism to Rep or Monarchy.
    So, I definitely like it!
     
  16. TheDarkPhantom

    TheDarkPhantom Deconstructing Minds

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    Your points about the Mausoleum are true, but, despite the fact that the Mausoleum is relatively buildable, I still don't rate it as a great choice for a wonder. Though, as I say, I do not criticise those who like it, generally I feel you have better priorities at this stage in the game, and a wonder which is primarily built because you can and because it helps you build more doesn't strike me as particularly helpful, except in the ways I've mentioned. Obviously though there will always be specific situations in which it is a sensible choice, and clearly playing the Byzantines is one of them, so I don't disagree with what you say.

    Also, to everyone, I am continuing to absorb everyone's ideas and welcome more of them, but I've got a lot of work on me at the moment as I go back to my last year at school before uni in 2 days, so the updated article will continue to be worked on, but not posted for a bit. Thanks again for all the feedback.
     
  17. Tone

    Tone Chieftain Hall of Fame Staff

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    Nice article. :goodjob:

    I would just urge people to think about the victory they are going for and adapt your guidance as appropriate. Something that you appear to endorse based upon some earlier replies. ;)

    Eg 20K one city culture victory-Colossus is very useful for the shield price.

    Domination : Get ToA and you should not suffer flips and your borders will expand. If you are on lower levels you can just research the lower tier in the MA and it will never expire. It is expensive which is why I agree with Offa's comment on the Pyramids. Encourage your neighbours to build it for you :D
     
  18. Caesar of Rome

    Caesar of Rome Chieftain

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    I like the Great Library. I set science to 10% or one scientist and wait to be told about education. I spend the cash on improvements and unit upgrades. Cash allows horsemen to Knight upgrade and we can go on the offensive. I also prepare a prebuild for Leonardo's, and maybe Sun Tzu. If I get it right, I am coasting cash rich in Republic. I know I can trade tech, and do in the first age, but never trade Literature (or give in to threats) until I have Great Library.
     
  19. davidcrazy

    davidcrazy Chieftain

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    an excellent summary!
    though i read through the whole article, i didn't really read all the replies and so please pardon me if i am repeating someone's reply.
    you gave two good research plan after getting theory of evolution. both of them are very nice. i just want to add one to them which i learn from SirPleb's game. since those modern tech's are really expensive, we could calculate and finish ToE the turn we enter the modern age and make full use of ToE. of course you have to have a huge tech lead in order to do that... maybe 8 techs ahead of other? well... :)
     
  20. Tesuji

    Tesuji Chieftain

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    Maybe a small detail that seems to be left out in consideration of the 'less useful' wonders. When you're gambling on beating the other (AI) players to an important GW but you don't get it, the lesser wonders are often the best way to spend shields otherwise gone to waste. This is an important consideration when starting to build a GW. Always have a backup scheme in case you don't get it, and a lesser wonder can be a good emergency exit.

    Another thing is that many wonders have effect on the continent they're built on only. So they're not nearly as useful when you're on an island as when the game is Pangea. For example: the cost of the Pyramids is more than six to that of granaries. Before getting there you probably needed to build one or more granaries anyway, so together with the calculated risk of not getting there first, you need a pretty good size continent to make it worth it.

    Lastly something I'm not sure of. The description of the Hanging Gardens says it makes a happy face in *every* city, but at some point I noticed it only makes a happy face in cities on the same continent. Is this still the case? In which case it's an important detail.
     

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