Civ 6: Five Months In

Widdershins

Warlord
Joined
Dec 1, 2022
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I started playing Civ 6 in August last year. I've played no previous versions of the game. Started with the vanilla flavor, then Gathering Storm, then Rise & Fall, then back to Gathering Storm. I've played a total of 16 or 17 games. Maybe 18. Over time I've progressed from prince level to king, and then emperor level on a huge map of continents (12 players). I've only lost one game: my first one, playing as Japan. Then I played as Germany time and again, later progressing to England (led by Vicky) for 4 or 5 games, and then in my last game I played Greece under Gorgo. Almost all my wins, and certainly all my recent wins, have been science wins. I won two games with a domination victory, and one with culture. In one game a diplomatic victory was fated to occur on the same turn as a science victory, curiously, but it was the science victory that triggered.

Anyway, I intend here to give voice to some of the things I still don't get about the game, as well as make certain observations about its dynamics and whatnot. I've never read the manual, if there even is one. If I don't understand something I do a search online, but some things just cannot be easily looked up because the necessary keywords lend themselves to a low signal to noise ratio.

1) Attacking cities: defense. I've got an artillery unit approaching an enemy city. Silly red-triangle bric-a-brac festoons some tiles adjacent to the city's center. Are these the tiles the city can hit with its defenses? No: repeated maulings in August and September have taught me that the city can shoot at many other tiles not festooned with silly red triangles.

2) Attacking cities: offense. Much the same issue as #1 above. Where can I plant the artillery unit to be sure I'm able to shoot at the city next turn? It's not necessarily the tiles that light up with red triangles. I know the artillery has a range of 2, and I know I can't shoot over mountains. Can I shoot over a hill tile? Indeterminate. Does an intervening river interfere? Not sure. In my last game as Gorgo I found I could shoot over a hill tile with woods and a river to hit a city's defenses. The city center itself was on a plain or grassland. I've all but given up trying to figure out just where I can trade blows with a city with 100% accuracy. I'm up to 80% accuracy, and the rest must be left to guessing. And the silly red triangles seem to be meaningless, unless...they indicate the tiles the city can shoot...over. I haven't conducted a phase three double-blind clinical trial to test that theory yet.

3) Can I build it? With irritating frequency I find it necessary to move a builder or military engineer to a tile to figure out what it's allowed to build there. The answer may surprise me! I can't seem to make a tunnel in a mountain tile that is adjacent to land owned by another civ (or a city-state), but I see the AI doing it all the time (or so it appears). Even if I'm suzerain of a city-state, I can't make a tunnel on its turf or adjacent to its turf. For some reason. Yet I can throw down train tracks anywhere. This is not how to win the verisimilitude sweepstakes. Would be nice to have a "builder view" of the map that reveals these mysteries without making wasted moves.

4) How many houses? I know about the settler view, and it's poor. Aside from difficulties trying to determine whether that shade of green is the slightly darker shade (more housing) or the slightly lighter shade (less housing), because the shading hovers translucently over a busy and colorful map, I have to puzzle over green tiles that appear inside existing cities. And aqueducts: well that's just 2 houses, and never any more. This mythical 6 houses that an aqueduct is sometimes supposed to be able to deliver I've never realized in a real game. I quit trying to figure this out back in October, when I quit making aqueducts. The dam and neighborhood districts show the number of houses ahead of time, so why not the aqueduct district as well?

5) What use mechanized infantry or helicopters? I'm unclear what the value of these units are, compared to a modern armor unit. They're only a tiny smidge cheaper than modern armor, yet much more fragile. Is mechanized infantry tougher against AT crews, maybe? Shouldn't helicopters at least have +1 movement compared to tanks? Also shouldn't helicopters be able to attack units on or adjacent to coastal tiles, like in real life? It's all very unnuanced, and these days I no longer produce mechanized infantry or helicopters. If you ever see them in my army it's because they started out as musketmen and horse cavalry.

6) The bizarro amenities bazaar. If through purchase or barter I acquire 20 coal, that 20 coal shows in my "portfolio" during future tradings. If I trade 1 turtle for 1 silk, my turtle inventory is duly docked in my list of tradable resources, but the silk is not visible. Why? Maybe it's not tradable since it will not be in my possession for at least 30 turns, but it should be there as a darkened icon, like when a civ you're hoping to trade with has the maximum amount of a strategic resource. Is there a secret place where my stash of silk from Mongolia is listed? Because I'm not about to remember how long ago I traded my extra copies of every luxury resource for something.

7) Decommissioning Power Plants. Just for the diplomatic brownie points? By late game my cities are powered fully by clean energy sources (solar, wind, etc.), so my "coal power plants" aren't burning coal anymore. Yet they are adding to the city's production capacity nonetheless, so it seems counterproductive (literally) to decommission them in the name of "going green." Something seems screwed up with the calculus here. Unless someone can tell me that I get to keep the +4 cogs or whatever -- and regional effects! -- after shutting down the plant, I'm never doing it. Also, it's very easy to give a city way more power than it could ever use by late game, yet the clean energy sources apparently have no regional effects at all. If a city has surplus power, that power cannot be routed to a neighboring city that could use it. Decommissioning a coal plant just results in further isolation, and a general loss of cogs across potentially half a dozen cities or more.

8) Who will trade with me? Welp, I've all but given up trying to make sense of the trading dynamic. I've got a city next door I can't trade with, but another one on the other side of the world is rolling out the red carpet. Someday, out of the blue, I may suddenly discover that I can trade with the city next door, but until that magic moment arrives I must let the winds of fate blow my blinkered trading units whithersoever they will. I want the making of roads and trading posts taken out of the hands of trading units and placed in the purview of builders. Traders trade, builders build. That's how it works.


This is one of those posts that turned out longer than I planned, and yet I know I'm forgetting at least half a dozen other things about the game that I can't figure out. One mystery was just a blip, but it's still a mystery: for one game last month the price of giant death robots was 2400 gold unto the bitter end. Since then the price has gone back to 6000 gold, like it's been for every game except that one. Why? I use no mods.

Anyway, I'll probably add to this thread in the days or weeks ahead.
 
Oh yes!

9) Curious curating conundrum. Blast it, the "view great works" window is absolute, unalloyed crap. If two archeological museums can't be viewed in the window simultaneously, then I cannot move artifacts from one to the other.
 
Hello,
If you play on PC there are some mods that can help with some of those issues.

"Great works viewer" will help with issue 9
Issue 3 with be mostly solved by "More Lenses", which I think is included in "Community Quick User Interface", this allows you to get the "worker lense" that highlights with various colors all the tiles where an improvement is possible (not sure how well it works for tunnels as I almost never use them, but it should be ok)
Issue 8 : I think there are several mod options for that, but I use "quick deals" to directly see who will offer you what for anything you want to sell.
 
1)You may be talking about ZOC.
2)A unit can only attack units in its field of view.
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3)It depends on the terrains,features,resources.You can look up in Civilopedia.
4)Freshwater provide 3 housing,seawater provide 1 housing.The effect of the aqueduct:Cities that do not yet have existing fresh water receive up to 6 Housing.Cities that already have existing fresh water will instead get +2 Housing.
Sorry that my English is too limited to go into detail.
 
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Welcome, good to hear that new people are joining!

1) and 2) The red warnings when moving units indicate Zone of Control, not just around cities, but barb camps or other units. Usually, melee units exercise it (not ranged - a special promotion grants that), and prevent any unit that moves in an adjacent tile, it cannot move away this turn, only attack. Cavalry generally ignores ZoC. As for attacking, there must be some in-depth article on these forums somewhere. You can generally attack 2 tiles away, but not if hills or forest are in the way. Standing on hills yourself helps with that. And cities can attack in 2 tiles range as well (so can units garrisoned). Never directly over mountain.

3) There may be some visual mods that help with where can you build something. Otherwise the improvements description (civilopedia entry) defines rules.

4) Housing when settling is actually well-shown. A city always gets 2 housing, 1 more if on coast (saltwater) or 3 if at freshwater source (river, lake, oasis). Aqueduct gives 2 housing at all times, and additional 4 (6 total) if the city doesnt have freshwater access, which is the first two cases. You are right, the housing should be shown, however it does not originate from adjacencies of that district itself, so it wouldnt probably use the same code.

5) They are much different unit types, with different promotions. Yes, mech. infantry as melee unit has inherent bonus against AT units, while AT has bonuses against tanks/armor. In GS they both use oil, I believe, but previously modern armor used uranium, where was quite a difference. As for helicopters, they are light cavalry class and have to follow their rules, unfortunately.

6) Items traded to you are not listed in trade screen. You may check them in the resources view (right-most button in the right panel). AI will not trade you duplicates from their initiative, at least that is safe.

7) Decomissioning power plants is meant for diplo points. It will destroy the building in IZ with its bonuses and power to cities in range. Green sources does not provide energy to other cities, I guess that is design choice. Getting rid of the power plant stops resource usage and climate change advancement, as you stop burning fossil fuels, so its a special use. You can also consider decomissioning PP in conquered cities, or where you dont need them, as duplicates.

8) Traders make roads, because in ancient times roads were meant for trading, not leisure :). Later on I have so many traders that roads dont matter anymore. Later you may use military engineers to build roads, but they cost one charge, which is a riddiculous price. I dont know the details of what you described, but a city can trade with another city only once (with one trader unit), so I guess you already had an active route there, check in the trading pane (right buttons). Foreign traders should not block you, though.

9) You can switch items between any museums. Click or hold, then scroll across the window and place the item in new spot. There is an option that changes the drag mode to click mode in settings. Thats for PC, no idea about tablet play.

As for the GDR pricing, democracy (?) or merchant republic give gold purchase discount and there is Ngazargamu (previously Carthage) suzerainty bonus as well. It could be exploited with Mali to get units for free. 2400 to 6000 sounds like 60% discount, which lines up with Ngazargamu.

I mean, I am not perfecty anyway, take the answers with a grain of doubt.
 
6) For luxury and resources trading get Quick Deals (UI only, not gameplay changing) mod and don't look back. The stock UI for trading is garbage and waste of time.

8) Is that nearby city not blocked by the unrevealed tiles? Traders can't cross unrevealed territory. They can travel a certain distance, which can be extended from a trading post you've established in your own or foreign city upon completion of your first trade route there.
Get Better Trade Screen mod, it will show you the correct duration of the trade routes which stock UI plainly misinforms you about.

9) You can move great works between distant slots by holding the great work clicked and scrolling the page with the mouse wheel. There might be a setting you should change in the settings menu for it to work like this, also affects the way you arrange the policy cards.
 
6) For luxury and resources trading get Quick Deals (UI only, not gameplay changing) mod and don't look back. The stock UI for trading is garbage and waste of time.

8) Is that nearby city not blocked by the unrevealed tiles? Traders can't cross unrevealed territory. They can travel a certain distance, which can be extended from a trading post you've established in your own or foreign city upon completion of your first trade route there.
Get Better Trade Screen mod, it will show you the correct duration of the trade routes which stock UI plainly misinforms you about.

9) You can move great works between distant slots by holding the great work clicked and scrolling the page with the mouse wheel. There might be a setting you should change in the settings menu for it to work like this, also affects the way you arrange the policy cards.

6) I've heard of this mod. I currently use no mods, but am open to trying some modest ones that improve the jumbled and crippling UI, which seems to be attempting to broadside seven conflicting design principles simultaneously.

8) I've had fully revealed cities a modest distance away that I cannot trade with. Something to do with trading posts, I guess. Currently I'm playing as Portugal, so I cannot research this issue quite so well. Portugal's traders follow a unique set of rules, with international routes only able to begin and end at a coastal city or harbor. (So, of course, at turn 110 I have 6 traders which can only trade domestically because I haven't discovered a foreign coastal city -- lucky me.)

9) I use a laptop track pad, not a little wheelie mouse. If there's a literal secret handshake to making this awful window work properly I haven't divined it. I don't have problems with policy cards -- it's a dual-pane window.

Thanks for the input!
 
Welcome, good to hear that new people are joining!

1) and 2) The red warnings when moving units indicate Zone of Control, not just around cities, but barb camps or other units. Usually, melee units exercise it (not ranged - a special promotion grants that), and prevent any unit that moves in an adjacent tile, it cannot move away this turn, only attack. Cavalry generally ignores ZoC. As for attacking, there must be some in-depth article on these forums somewhere. You can generally attack 2 tiles away, but not if hills or forest are in the way. Standing on hills yourself helps with that. And cities can attack in 2 tiles range as well (so can units garrisoned). Never directly over mountain.

My complaints stem from occasions when it seems the rules are being violated. In a recent game my artillery was sitting on a grassland tile. Between it and an enemy city was a woods tile and a river. Here I figured I couldn't reach the city, despite the artillery having a range of 2. But I could shoot at the city anyway. Surely either the river or the woods should have prevented this from happening? Could it be something as silly as rain forest being somehow more "opaque" than woods?

3) There may be some visual mods that help with where can you build something. Otherwise the improvements description (civilopedia entry) defines rules.

What a builder can do depends on the tech tree and all. Can a farm be built on plains? Not at first, but later on yes. There are many other examples, so it gets to be a bit much to remember it all.

4) Housing when settling is actually well-shown. A city always gets 2 housing, 1 more if on coast (saltwater) or 3 if at freshwater source (river, lake, oasis). Aqueduct gives 2 housing at all times, and additional 4 (6 total) if the city doesnt have freshwater access, which is the first two cases. You are right, the housing should be shown, however it does not originate from adjacencies of that district itself, so it wouldnt probably use the same code.

A city center is not adjacent to any water source. I make an aqueduct on a tile between the city center and a snowy mountain tile. I get only 2 houses. Why? Is it because the mountain tile is inside the city boundaries, so technically the city has a preexisting fresh water supply? That would be weird, and I doubt that's it. But I can't come up with any explanation for why I've never gotten more than 2 houses from an aqueduct. I do read civilopedia articles a lot, and study the rules.

6) Items traded to you are not listed in trade screen. You may check them in the resources view (right-most button in the right panel). AI will not trade you duplicates from their initiative, at least that is safe.

Those appear to be city reports. Maybe empire-wide resources gained through trade will appear in that extremely thin ribbon at the extreme bottom of the window? Which would be weird. But at the moment I have a game going where I've got no resources from a trade, so putting this thing to the test will have to wait a bit!

8) Traders make roads, because in ancient times roads were meant for trading, not leisure :). Later on I have so many traders that roads dont matter anymore. Later you may use military engineers to build roads, but they cost one charge, which is a riddiculous price. I dont know the details of what you described, but a city can trade with another city only once (with one trader unit), so I guess you already had an active route there, check in the trading pane (right buttons). Foreign traders should not block you, though.

The trading issue is indeed convoluted. As soon as I can, I set military engineers to work making railroads throughout my realm. Of course, if a tile already has roads created by thousands of years of traders wandering around, then the train tracks appear on top of the roads, and often it's a terrible looking spaghetti that is a true affront to the senses. Really buggy looking gunk.

9) You can switch items between any museums. Click or hold, then scroll across the window and place the item in new spot. There is an option that changes the drag mode to click mode in settings. Thats for PC, no idea about tablet play.

I can't get this to work on a track pad. The developers could have made this work like rebasing a bomber or moving a great person to another city, but nah...let's just make it garbage so there's room for improvement in later updates.

As for the GDR pricing, democracy (?) or merchant republic give gold purchase discount and there is Ngazargamu (previously Carthage) suzerainty bonus as well. It could be exploited with Mali to get units for free. 2400 to 6000 sounds like 60% discount, which lines up with Ngazargamu.

Holy crap, I think you nailed it. I refer to https://civilization.fandom.com/wiki/List_of_city-states_in_Civ6 very frequently, but somehow this one slipped by. I did indeed have suzerainty over Ng...Ngaz...Carthage, and by pure chance I guess I never looked up the gold price for robots in a city without a fully developed encampment. I gained the suzerainty by accident, really.
 
Hello,
If you play on PC there are some mods that can help with some of those issues.

"Great works viewer" will help with issue 9
Issue 3 with be mostly solved by "More Lenses", which I think is included in "Community Quick User Interface", this allows you to get the "worker lense" that highlights with various colors all the tiles where an improvement is possible (not sure how well it works for tunnels as I almost never use them, but it should be ok)
Issue 8 : I think there are several mod options for that, but I use "quick deals" to directly see who will offer you what for anything you want to sell.

Will look into that, thanks!
 
What a builder can do depends on the tech tree and all. Can a farm be built on plains? Not at first, but later on yes. There are many other examples, so it gets to be a bit much to remember it all.
You can always build a farm on plains. You might be thinking of hills?
A city center is not adjacent to any water source. I make an aqueduct on a tile between the city center and a snowy mountain tile. I get only 2 houses. Why? Is it because the mountain tile is inside the city boundaries, so technically the city has a preexisting fresh water supply? That would be weird, and I doubt that's it. But I can't come up with any explanation for why I've never gotten more than 2 houses from an aqueduct. I do read civilopedia articles a lot, and study the rules.
If you are the Suzerain of Mohenjo-Daro they give all of your cities full housing if they are on fresh water, so maybe that's it? If not I'm not sure why you are getting only +2 housing. :dunno:
 
So, of course, at turn 110 I have 6 traders which can only trade domestically because I haven't discovered a foreign coastal city -- lucky me.
What type of map are you playing on? The default continent map is generally pretty bad for civs with a naval focus, like Portugal. Continents and Islands, Small Continents, and Archipelago are all much better.
 
What type of map are you playing on? The default continent map is generally pretty bad for civs with a naval focus, like Portugal. Continents and Islands, Small Continents, and Archipelago are all much better.

Yes, I play on the default continent map. For me it's psychologically important to never vary this, and instead vary the civ that I play. In this way I feel I can compare apples to apples and assess the degree to which my skills are improving. Playing Portugal on an island map I'm sure allows for obscene amounts of gold to come quickly rolling in, but I don't see that as being so fun since I cherry-picked a map best suited to my own civ.

Reviewing my current game I see that one foreign coastal city is fully revealed. I sent a galley all the way to it and back from Lisbon. Looking closer, it's been revealed for maybe a dozen turns, but it still seems I'm not allowed to trade with it. Portugal's traders have a 50% greater range over water or something, I think, so I don't think it's too far. I'll have to count tiles to see. If I can figure out the power consumption issue in GS, then surely this can be finally figured out.
 
You can always build a farm on plains. You might be thinking of hills?

If you are the Suzerain of Mohenjo-Daro they give all of your cities full housing if they are on fresh water, so maybe that's it? If not I'm not sure why you are getting only +2 housing. :dunno:

Yeah, hills -- that's it. I was really thinking of so-called "plains hills" tiles, probably, though I find the term kind of a self-contradiction.
 
Reviewing my current game I see that one foreign coastal city is fully revealed. I sent a galley all the way to it and back from Lisbon. Looking closer, it's been revealed for maybe a dozen turns, but it still seems I'm not allowed to trade with it. Portugal's traders have a 50% greater range over water or something, I think, so I don't think it's too far. I'll have to count tiles to see. If I can figure out the power consumption issue in GS, then surely this can be finally figured out.

to send a trade route the city center itself has to the be on the coast or the city has to have a harbor district. The city having coastal tiles isn't enough. If you settle a city in the middle of an island and it has no harbor it won't be able to trade with any other city, unless the island also has another city on it.

Yes, I play on the default continent map. For me it's psychologically important to never vary this, and instead vary the civ that I play. In this way I feel I can compare apples to apples and assess the degree to which my skills are improving. Playing Portugal on an island map I'm sure allows for obscene amounts of gold to come quickly rolling in, but I don't see that as being so fun since I cherry-picked a map best suited to my own civ.
That's fair but a lot of civs are terrain dependent and part of learning the game is learning how to play the terrain so I wouldn't hesitate to play on map that benefits your civ. Plus, you are losing out half your civ's abilities.
 
to send a trade route the city center itself has to the be on the coast or the city has to have a harbor district. The city having coastal tiles isn't enough. If you settle a city in the middle of an island and it has no harbor it won't be able to trade with any other city, unless the island also has another city on it.


That's fair but a lot of civs are terrain dependent and part of learning the game is learning how to play the terrain so I wouldn't hesitate to play on map that benefits your civ. Plus, you are losing out half your civ's abilities.

Yes, the city has its center on the water's edge, with a little boat launch going into the water. I'm not talking about a city that happens to have a tile on the beach. Maybe I haven't had a chance to set a trade route since revealing a path to this city (Alexandria), though I'm pretty sure I have. I'll pay close attention to this in the turns to come!

I've played England many times, and there always seems to be one, two, or three islands or long land strips on the map to colonize. And colonize them I have, though usually there is a considerable barbarian presence to stomp out first. Just another excuse for Vicky to make merry with her redcoats.
 
10) World Congress What-the-What?? I feel like I'm missing something here. The language used for many resolutions is stilted and bizarre, including the mangled, misleading abuse of the word "emergency" even for a sports competition. I should have written down more examples, so during my current game I'll keep my eyes peeled (though maybe I'm just getting used to it). But still...it really appears that the human player does not have the same rights in the WC as all the AI players. There are frequent votes in which it appears everyone but me can participate, even when it's an issue that directly affects me. Only once, out of a dozen games, was I offered a chance to propose a resolution, though I couldn't figure out how to actually accomplish this feat. Honestly, I have not bothered to study the WC's workings in the user manual, because it's just a pain in the prat from bow to stern. Every time the WC convenes I groan as I might when sitting down to do taxes. Come on, I'm in the thick of a war and need to finish beating Tokugawa's head in!
 
Yes, the city has its center on the water's edge, with a little boat launch going into the water. I'm not talking about a city that happens to have a tile on the beach. Maybe I haven't had a chance to set a trade route since revealing a path to this city (Alexandria), though I'm pretty sure I have. I'll pay close attention to this in the turns to come!
For traders to enter water you also need to research Celestial Navigation.

Never mind I see you are playing as Portugal, so you get it from the start. It could be possible there isn't a way to reach it through just coastal water. If that's the case you have to beeline Cartography to enter deep ocean tiles.
 
Every time the WC convenes I groan as I might when sitting down to do taxes.
You are not alone. World Congress is just awful, as was Civ5's World Congress. It's a feature that just needs to die because I have no confidence it will ever get better.
 
to send a trade route the city center itself has to the be on the coast or the city has to have a harbor district. The city having coastal tiles isn't enough. If you settle a city in the middle of an island and it has no harbor it won't be able to trade with any other city, unless the island also has another city on it.

That's fair but a lot of civs are terrain dependent and part of learning the game is learning how to play the terrain so I wouldn't hesitate to play on map that benefits your civ. Plus, you are losing out half your civ's abilities.

Update: around turn 160, with cartography, things started snowballing. As soon as I revealed Thebes and Memphis across the ocean I could trade with them, and also could trade with Alexandria on the southern end of my own continent. I'm unclear where the cogs associated with feitorias are supposed to go, but presumably they go to the city that made the Nau that made the feitoria. Whether the city whose coastal tile the feitoria is hogging up gets any benefit is also unclear. At https://civilization.fandom.com/wiki/Feitoria_(Civ6) we have:

Effects:
Because of weird previous experiences, it's not clear to me whether the "third" effect is merely a clarification of the first two effects, or is in addition to the first two. Later in the article is then says it's really +6 gold and +1.5 production, because Portugal gets 50% bonuses from its trade routes relative to over civs. Thus the 3rd effect listed above is false, since it refers specifically to Portuguese trade routes.

This is all quite relevant to the current thread's theme of "things I have not figured out." The source of confusion often traces, for me, back to Civilization Wiki's often very sloppy or ambiguous explanations.
 
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Update: around turn 160, with cartography, things started snowballing. As soon as I revealed Thebes and Memphis across the ocean I could trade with them, and also could trade with Alexandria on the southern end of my own continent. I'm unclear where the cogs associated with feitorias are supposed to go, but presumably they go to the city that made the Nau that made the feitoria. Whether the city whose coastal tile the feitoria is hogging up gets any benefit is also unclear. At https://civilization.fandom.com/wiki/Feitoria_(Civ6) we have:

Effects:
Because of weird previous experiences, it's not clear to me whether the "third" effect is merely a clarification of the first two effects, or is in addition to the first two. Later in the article is then says it's really +6 gold and +1.5 production, because Portugal gets 50% bonuses from its trade routes relative to over civs. Thus the 3rd effect listed above is false, since it refers specifically to Portuguese trade routes.

This is all quite relevant to the current thread's theme of "things I have not figured out." The source of confusion often traces, for me, back to Civilization Wiki's often very sloppy or ambiguous explanations.
The feitoria gives the city gold and production that you build it in. You then gain those same benefits if you send a trade route to the city, though they are enhanced to 6 gold and 1.5 production for you.
 
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