Panama Canal orientation choice?

Time Tested

Jul 10, 2020
I'm curious if there is a way to control the orientation of the Panama Canal when there are multiple valid choices for its placement.


Using the dummy map above, valid locations for the Panama Canal would be tiles 1, 2, 3, 6, 7.

Three of these result in unambiguous placements (my assumption is that the wonder tile cannot "bend").

Tile 1: [City, 1-Wonder, 7-Canal]
Tile 3: [City, 6-Canal, 3-Wonder]
Tile 7: [City, 1-Canal, 7-Wonder]

However, two of the placements are ambiguous.

Tile 2: [City, 6-Canal, 2-Wonder] or [7-Canal, 2-Wonder, 3-Canal]
Tile 6: [City, 6-Wonder, 3-Canal] or [2-Canal, 6-Wonder, 5-Canal]

Is there a way to choose which orientation I want, or will the game force me into one choice over the other?

e.g. What happens if I want to connect body of water A to body of water B? Placing the Panama Canal in tile 6 can either make a very useful canal or a very un-useful one.
One thing you could do is to place districts or wonders (you do not have to complete it) to block certain directions. So for connecting sea A with B place a district in tile 3 (of course not a canal) if you want to place the Panama canal in tile 6. If you do not plan to have a district in that spot use a wonder which you probably will not finish anyway.

Edit: I remembered threeway canals are not allowed, so using tile 6 for panama canal wouldn't work for connecting sea A with B.
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IMO best way to connect sea A to sea B would be to place a normal canal on tile 5, and then Panama on 1 or 7. That may even be the only possible option, since virtually anything else would result in a 3-way canal on tile 5. Obviously if you can take a longer route, you could possibly connect B to either lake C or D with another city+canal outside of this, and again use Panama to connect A to the city.

On the OP, though, I don't believe tile 3 leads to an unambiguous canal spot. A-2-3-D is a valid Panama Canal I believe.

The other way to "force" canal directions I think would be to swap tiles with a neighbour city. If you have another city which takes tile 3 from the city, for example, then that should let you build a city-6-2 canal potentially.
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