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Power of the Great Library


Jan 12, 2002
I rush to the Great Library every game I play; I don't see how any other wonder can come close to its effectiveness. In a recent game I was playing, in the middle-sized continents (70?) I went straight for the Great Library, as always. There was about 4 civs on my local continent. During much of the ancient age I was either 2nd or 3rd in technology, and the power struggle between the 4 nations was relatively equal. However, when we hit the middle ages, we first discovered the other continent. There was 6-7 civs on, and the leading ones were at least 5 techs ahead of us. Having the great library, I immediatly jumped from the very-early middle ages to the middle-late middle ages. I didn't trade with any civs on my own continent, and eventually conquered it due to far superior military technology. This situation happens often in my games. I don't see how Pyramids or The Collossus can live up to the library.
The GL is a very strong wonder. But it can cause problems as you move up in levels if you learn to rely on it. It gets harder and harder to build any of the Ancient Era wonders before the AI's. At Deity it's very rare to build one.
The Pyramids (at Regent and above) are at least as strong as the GL because of the much quicker growth all those granaries can give you. Up to Monarch it's possible to stay close to the AI's in tech without the GL so it's nice, but not usually a gamebreaker.
I agree with you wilbill.

The great library is a good Wonder, yet as the dificulty increases it becomes virtually impossible to get it built before the AI.

I think that the most effective Wonders at high dificulty levels are (in no particular order)

Sun Tzu's
Throey of Evolution
Hoover Dam

I think that these wonders give you so much more than the average wonder. Becasue everytime you build a new city (on the same continent) or take one over you get 2 -> 3 buildings.
Originally posted by Tech Step
I agree with you wilbill.

The great library is a good Wonder, yet as the dificulty increases it becomes virtually impossible to get it built before the AI.

Not quite true. I just built it in a Sid level game. I think that Bamspeedy built it in his amazing beyond Sid game.
I have to admit that I dont care much for the GL! Prefer to build hanging gardens then I dont have to spend any tax money on luxuries!Then use that money in trade deals to buy what I want plus resources!! Happy people mean I can go to war for longer too and steal techs that way!!End story I prefer to let my enemies do the work and then just take it off them with spies and mindless violence!!!
The GL isn't nearly as effective in Conquests, as you can't trade communications with others, so you're less likely to be able to garner the fruits of 6-8 other civ's work. Still, being able to jump down the Military Tradition tech branch knowing you won't fall too behind on Education is a very nice thing.

But I agree with wilbill- getting over my addiction to the GL has vastly improved my game.
Yeah im just getting over it myself... Learning to conquer early and stock up gold atm. By conquering early I can threaten them for techs and alot of their gold usually when they get down to one city. Then I use gold to buy their techs and eventually come back and wipe them out cause they are in my way.
The GL is pretty nice to have, but definately not a must. I'd much rather have the Pyramids or Hanging Gardens in it's place. They last much longer, and IMO on the harder difficulties they help much more then the GL. I mean the Pyramids basically doubles growth in all your cities.
The GL is one of the better wonders out there, but like everyone else has pointed out, it gets harder and harder to get it as you move up in difficulty, and relying on it in every game can backfire.

The only wonder I specifically go after (Well, of course i try to get all i can) are

Sun Tzu's Art of War (Free barracks! Ready to kill!)

Sistine Chapel OR Bach's Cathedral (Helps keep citizens happy)

Theory of Evolution (Free techs!)

Hoover Dam (Free power plants!)

I recomend trying a few games without even trying for the Great Library and see how you do.

Maybe we should make a "GL Anonymous" The first step is admitting you're dependant on the Great Library...... Hmmm, maybe i'm on to something there.......
I usually don't build GL, even though Science is one of my top priorities in my games, because usually I'm so far ahead in tech it does nothing for me!
The problem I have with GL is that usually, if you *need* it to keep up on techs, you're going to have a hard time being the first one to get it. If you don't need it, well, you don't need it. The other problem is that the education line of techs in the middle ages are "building" techs. Unless you're just going for an early conquest win, you can actually hurt yourself long term going down the track towards military tradition first.

Learning how to wheel and deal for techs will help you a lot more then always going for GL. Learning how to play the AI's off eachother while you build up your civ and rocket past them in the middle ages (and pull farther and farther ahead in the industrial age) is the key to winning consistently IMHO. Obviously, the type of win you're going for will affect your strategies, but it's good to learn how to win without relying on any specific wonder, especially and ancient world one.
I used to heavily rely on the GL. Now I make it an effort to try to avoid it. I have improved so much more, in trading and nogiation plus my empire can grow a lot larger.
Originally posted by Wakboth
The problem I have with GL is that usually, if you *need* it to keep up on techs, you're going to have a hard time being the first one to get it.
True enough. But there is an alternative. The higher the level you're playing the greater the benefit often is from capturing the GL. About 10 minutes ago in my current Emperor game (playing Arabia) I learned just how valuable it can be.
I'd not been doing well with buying/trading techs and was almost an era behind. I was researching Engineering and the AI's were starting to show off their Cavalry. Luckily I had TofZ and a couple of Ancient Cav armies and was starting to crank out Ansar Warriors so I wan't exactly weak, but the world had been warlike almost from the beginning and things were'nt looking good.
Then I happened to notice that America had build GL in Seattle, only 3 squars from my border. Soooo...
Spent about a dozen turns building troops, shuffling defenders around, and went for Seattle. America was at war on the other side of her territory, so most of Abe's military was there. My Ansars took out 4 Musketmen defending Seattle and voila ...
Next turn I picked up the following techs: Republic, Engineering, Invention, Printing Press, Education, Gunpowder, Banking, Astronomy, Chemistry, Democracy, Navigation, Physics, Metallurgy, Free Artistry, Theory of Gravity, Magnetism, and Military Tradition. I believe that's 17 techs. ;)
I've picked up 8 or 9 before by capturing the GL, but this is definitely a personal best!
Oh, BTW, the Ansars triggered my GA, too. :rolleyes:
Just call me Saladin!
I've actually hardly ever bothered with the GL, or I always forgot! Anyway as a result I grew up as a tech trader ever since I pregressed to monarch. Now I'm trying my hand at deity and I'm struggling. I've been informed that a good was to get your first deity win is to build the GL, but how do u do it? It's impossible! I must have tried 6 deity games where I went straight for the GL with my second city but failed. I've tried not building a granary in my capital, building one in my GL city, not building one in my GL city, even tried getting thr GL in my capital. How do u do it?! I always save production by building capital but i always lose on production, not on getting literature. Maybe u have to add workers onto your second city to grow it faster, now there's a though...
I just go for anything I can build! If the GL happens to be one of them then it gets built. I find the AI researches so blindingly fast that getting any wonder is a godsend.

I'm playing what is only my second Regent level game ever using Conquests and got isolated on a very large island from everyone except the Iroquois. I got the GL but it was completely useless as the Iroquois were as isolated as I was.

By sheer blind luck, 2 turns before I was forced to finish researching Education a Greek Caravel appeared and I contacted it. Communications with all other civs followed and I gained around ten techs in that one turn alone. If that hadnt happened the GL would have been totally useless.

The only really useful ones are the ones that dont go obsolete in my view.
i nvr really use the great library. my old fav wonder was the pyramids but now ive lernt the joys of Sun Tzu :). a barracks in evry city is REALLY useful, particuly on Pangea mode
The problem I have with the GL is that you never know whether or not you need it until after it's built. If you're on an island with only one other Civ, you're screwed. If you're with several civs but they're backwards, you're screwed. If you pull into the tech lead, it's largely useless.

I've even found that it harms me because I put off discovering Education for so long, so Democracy and Free Artistry and other extremely useful techs are out of reach.

I still like it because I can often grab it at Regent level, but usually what I'll do is start it in a coastal city so I can keep an eye on progress and then, if it looks like I may not need it, switch to the other GL, Great Lighthouse.

In Conquests I would rather have Temple of Artemis.
I finally broke my GL addicition. I only build it if I can - it's not a priority anymore. The Pyramids kick butt, and I just love the Ancient Cavalry from Zeus!!!

Still hooked on Leo's Workshop. :(

I have made the change to directly for TOE to build Hover Dam. Has improved my late game tremoundously.
Instead of building the GL, learn what techs the AI:s usually are going for and not going for, and research the techs they not are going for, because you can often trade them to the AI:s.
I've never really relied on the GL. I never really understood what it did, until I came here. So, I've played most of my games without it, or I captured it. I rarely waste time with any wonders except Sun Tzu, Leos, ToE, and the U.N. I let the AI build the rest then I take them over soon afterwards.
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