I almost never build courthouses, at least not until the late game, and when I don't plan on a State Property game (in which case maintenance costs are low), or when I'm organized (for cheap courthouses), or in rare cases, such as extremely far cities (which almost never happens in my games). Why ? Simply because it's not worth the cost. There always seems to be something more important to build. However, they seem to be quite popular. According to what I hear, it would be a good building to recover a crashed economy, but I disagree. It's an expensive building, and its effect is very limited. It's usually better to increase your profits than to reduce your losses (I would never write such a sentence out of this context ). This thread is intended at Monarch / Emperor players who want to step up a level (who doesn't ? ). I'll make a comparison between buildings and show that the courthouse is less productive than other buildings of the time. For simplicity, I'll ignore the +2 , although I suppose it can be marginally useful (personnally, I don't use espionnage until the late game, with the exception of the Great Wall/ Great Spy strategy). We will only look at the effect it has on the maintenance cost (i.e -50%). Courthouse : 120 saves 2 or 3 in small cities, and up to 4 or 5 when the city is far from the capital, big (size 10 or more), and your empire is large (more than 10 cities). I'm being optimistic on these values. Usually, you won't save more than 3 until very late. Library : 90 +25% Well, libraries enable scientist specialists. That should be enough to justify the 90 spent. However, even my worst cities can produce at least 8 , even with the science slider at 0% . So, for 90 , I'll get at least 2 , and the bonus will get better with the time, while the courthouse bonus doesn't really improve... + the possibility of assigning specialists, which is huge. Now, let's compare with a building I rarely build : The harbor : 80 +50% to trade route income This +50% is tricky. In fact, it's 50% added to a bunch of other bonuses (around 200% or more), which make it look like a +20%. Add to this that a trade route base income can't be less than 1, and you'll realize that this building won't earn you any gold in most cases... However, if you build it in big cities (trade income depends on the size of the cities), then it can earn you something like +2 . Don't forget is not like . Your income is multiplied by any bonus you have with libraries, markets, etc... The conclusion is that this cheap building can yield something like 3 or 4 / + a nice bonus... The conclusion Ok, ok... I won't talk about every building in the game. I'm just trying to start a discussion. Most people have probably gotten bored at this point, and don't see my point : "well, after all, it looks like all these buildings are worth the same, no ?" My answer is : do the math during the game. When you are about to build a new building, take a quick look at the costs and weigh your alternatives carefully. By doing so, you'll understand the mechanics of the game better, and make better strategic choices, and, like me, you'll probably end up building no courthouses. Your thoughts ? As a conclusion, let's make it look like a paper on computer science : Babibo has been a strong Emperor player for many years. Thanks to his research on the relative effectiveness of buildings , he has recently passed the Immortal degree.