1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

The China Conundrum

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by steveg700, Jul 11, 2019 at 6:38 PM.

  1. steveg700

    steveg700 Warlord

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2012
    Messages:
    2,839
    I don't usually put a lot of stock in "this civ sux" threads. They tend to use a baseline that measures a civ against overpowered civ's that help a player walk the bases at deity. Moreover, civ is not particularly punishing a player and even with no portfolio of abilities players could acquit themselves well just by exploiting degenerate tactics that the AI avoids.

    Having said all that, I want a civ's portfolio to make sense. The pieces should snap together. Been playing China recently, and there seem to be pieces that get in each other's way.

    China's inherent UA is to get an extra 10% boost from eurekas and inspirations. This is perfectly fine and indeed I think it pretty well exemplifies what a UA should be: simple, brief, thematic, and distinctive.

    Qin's leader ability has him expending builder charges to expedite construction of ancient and classical wonders. Oh, and builders get an extra charge. The design is clever in theory.

    Then there's China's unique improvement. Expend a builder charge be expended to throw down walls that (for some reason) generate gold and act as a fort.

    Seems like availing oneself of these early game benefits require a lot of inputs at a time when resources are slim. You have a leader ability that requires you to get a builder, then expend that builder's charges to expedite wonder construction (all four charges still leaves you doing 40% of the production the hard way). And at the same time, there's a unique improvement that sucks up builder charges to supposedly provide a line of defense, but only if you build units to man it. Plus, wonder-building requires settling certain types of terrain, maybe having to build out districts (Qin's only actual wonder, Terracotta Army, requires an ecampment).

    So, I guess it's safe to say the great wall UI is not worth bothering with in these early eras (other than dropping when you want four GA points). They get better later, but thematically it's a disconnect that Iwould wait to build them until unlocking Flight.

    And the leader ability really puts the player on a clock. I guess the question is, how many wonders can a player realistically expect to squeeze out of China? I've missed out on the earliest wonders (Great Bath, Stonehenge) more than once because the act of getting a builder itself is too much of a delay.

    I'm always going to want to scout heavily with China to tumble onto goody huts, in a sense of desperate need to tumble onto a free builder. There's also a free builder to be gotten from Fertility Rites, but even for China that might not be the best choice for a pantheon. Maybe if i'm late to the party. Really want to chase that classical golden age for everyone's favorite dedication, Monumentality, which may provide sufficient motivation to drop a solitary great wall, I suppose.

    Some thoughts on ways the portfolio could be bolstered, mostly around the UI:

    1) Capital starts with a free builder, or unlocks one at some early point (e.g. Code of Laws, or after researching the first tech that has an associated wonder, or at a certain population level).

    2) Tiles with great walls can't be entered by barbarians. This would allow the walls to actually provide an early-game defense that reduces the need for building units, rather than requiring. And before anyone gets the urge to point the walls didn't really stop barbarians, don't be that guy. They didn't just spring over them like their horses had go-go-gadget legs. They went around them through tiles without the walls.

    3) Great walls don't have to built within a city's borders, but rather can be built within three tiles of a city extend borders in a manner similar to Cree's trade routes. This lets a well-positioned third-ring wall grab a second-ring tile needed to build wonders, letting them save precious cash for builders.

    4) Great wall provides a bonus that increases with the passage of eras, so it'll get built early. And maybe can't be built after medieval era.

    5) A great wall can be dropped in a jungle, marsh, or forest tile, and harvests the tile when doing so. Save some precious charges.

    6) I get the point of Qin's ability aging out (producing builders goes from being an inconvenience to a trifle), but maybe it could at least extend to the medieval era?

    I have no idea where China sits in power rankings, as I don't follow such things. Probably ain't too good though, since focusing on wonders as a strat isn't very powerful to begin with. Do you guys experience China in a satisfying way?
     
  2. Archon_Wing

    Archon_Wing Vote for me or die

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2005
    Messages:
    4,376
    Gender:
    Male
    I think you are seriously underestimating the power of wonder spam. Pretty much any decent culture victory wants Oracle, Collosseum, Great library, Apanada. Pyramids and Artemis can also be game deciding.

    Normal civs would have to chop these but China can save the chops for whatever. Plus China can also improve more tiles.

    Great walls are weak and forts in general should really be retooled.
     
    MooFreaky, Kjimmet, Meluhhan and 2 others like this.
  3. UWHabs

    UWHabs Warlord

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2008
    Messages:
    3,931
    Location:
    Toronto
    Really to me, the only "flaw" with them is that the great wall pieces really are just bad overall. I've only maybe once legit built a fort to secure a location, so there's no reason to build a string of them. And definitely not in the ancient era.

    I mean, even if the great wall pieces didn't even cost a builder charge (like with railroads), I doubt I would still build them unless if I had builders sitting idle. If they were free, but also did not remove features (ie. could be built through jungle), I'd start to consider them, but even still, likely not in the ancient era. They probably need a culture bomb ability, or to claim tiles adjacent to them somehow, to let me consider building them instead of putting those builders to use wonder-spamming.

    And overall, the ability for China to wonder-spam early combined with all the new ancient wonders that have come out since launch still make them a solid civ. The fact that they're the only civ I would even consider trying for the baths or stonehenge with at higher levels, plus the ability of their to built Petra in any location, make them a pretty fun civ even if my first great wall segment doesn't come until the modern era.
     
  4. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Warlord

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2012
    Messages:
    1,878
    Location:
    north of Steilacoom, WA
    Also don't forget that China's "extra" 10% boost to Tech and Civic acquisition (Eurekas/Inspirations) means that, all else being equal, China will get to the Techs and Civics that make starting a Wonder possible before other Civs do. Starting a wonder first and having a potential 10 - 40% boost to construction from Charges is not to be sneezed at, and the boost to acquiring the Techs and Civics gets bigger and better as the game goes on: it's 10% of the cost of the Tech/Civic, which is constantly increasing.

    On the other hand, I agree that the Great Wall isn't so great: I've played China a few times, and the Great Wall has never been much of a consideration except for GA points.
     
    acluewithout likes this.
  5. bengalryan9

    bengalryan9 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2018
    Messages:
    56
    Gender:
    Male
    I just finished a game with China on Immortal and it was way easier to get those early wonders than you might think - I think I had Hanging Gardens, Temple of Artemis, the Oracle, the Pyramids, Petra, Apadana, Great Library, and Terracota Army with no real issue. I had a lot of fun with that ability.

    If you can get the Pyramids and Liang you can churn out 6 charge builders really early - that's 90% of a wonder right there! The pyramids will also give you a free builder (basically another free wonder). Picking the right Pantheon can give you a free builder as well.

    Great Wall is kind of weak IMO. I agree that your best bet is to build it late. My understanding is that if nothing else it gives you tourism even if you don't actually work the tiles - I built a really long wall through the tundra on my northernmost border.
     
  6. kb27787

    kb27787 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2013
    Messages:
    1,778
    Great Wall really looks ugly though... Don't bother with them.

    You can get an incredible amount of wonders though, with early faith, take the free settler pantheon. Once on two cities you can have a ton of builders... Throw in pyras and I can see at least close to 6-8 wonders made that way on deity (admittedly some, such as great lighthouse or hanging gardens, are rather weak).
     
  7. BenitoChavez

    BenitoChavez Whispering Walrus

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2013
    Messages:
    1,599
    Location:
    Alpha Quadrant
    Dunno why people don't like the great wall. +4 culture +6 gold (with double adjacency) that generates tourism is pretty crazy. Put them in a high pop city or on some otherwise useless tiles like flat tundra or desert seems pretty good.
     
    Victoria likes this.
  8. toni10001

    toni10001 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Thursday
    Messages:
    12
    Imo and experience, china has that feel of doing things you need to do faster type of civ. You usually go with a victory condition in mind from turn 1 and china uniques will make it easier for you than most civs.

    Examples:

    Planning to make a raid timing push will be much faster since you save turns on eureka and inspirations. Keep in mind that extra 10% usually translates to 1-2 turns. And beelining a tech/civic (like stirrups) for assault would mean this is around 4 turns for the tech you are interested in, saving you like 10-12 turns total for your rush.

    Racing a wonder could be easier. For example you make plan to make oracle and forbidden palace on the same city, and ai is competting for those as well.

    You may have woods/stone but you can reserve some for the forbidden palace instead of using all of that for the wonder. You could also use the extra chop/harvest for settler instead of that wonder.

    You could also translate gold or faith to production of your early wonders if you decide to buy a builder with excess faith/gold without the need to chop.

    Choping down later wonders is also more efficient since they have +1 charges.

    Royal society gives more production since china has a very high worker charge. Max 8 total.

    If you see santa cruz early and no one has built the masoleum, that pretty much is game over for any nearby coastal civs.

    China just have too much opportunity.

    I do agree that their abilities overall is counter intuitive if you just look at the civ, but you have to look how they play to the overall game mechanics available as well.
     
  9. Troy Bruckner

    Troy Bruckner Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2019
    Messages:
    236
    Gender:
    Male
    China seems like it would be top tier, but whenever I play them the Ai usually completes Stonehenge and the Great Bath and or Hanging Gardens before I can build a second settler. The Great Wall tiles are fantastic in desert city where you rush built the pyramids and Petra.
     
  10. kaspergm

    kaspergm Warlord

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2012
    Messages:
    4,371
    The Great Wall improvement is imo. one of the big, big missed opportunities in the game. This is one of my favorite rants, but now that the topic is up again, I just have to agree: Between the fact that it's got awful placing restrictions (the fact that it has to be on borders makes it really hard to put it down at your own leisure, and will inevitable interfere with your district placement), needs to be build en masse to give proper yields (which is directly inhibited by the placing restrictions) and that each segment takes up a whole hex for what is, at the end of the day, fairly average yields, just makes it bad.

    And there were so many interesting things they could have done with it: They could have made it block barbarians, like in Civ5. Or they could have made it act like a mini-encampment, i.e. each segment having health and blocking movement (how cool wouldn't that be?). Or they could have made it sit on borders between hexes, similar to rivers, so that it didn't in fact block the entire hex. Each of these changes would go a long way to make it more viable and interesting than the current version.
     
  11. Tech Osen

    Tech Osen Warlord

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2016
    Messages:
    1,229
    There is a mod that allows you to place it on tiles with features (jungle, forest, marsh).
    I like building the wall for the hell of it, shame it has no real defensive value.
     
  12. KayAU

    KayAU Chieftain

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2014
    Messages:
    525
    I like China overall, but I agree that the Great Wall is pretty pointless. To repeat my suggestion from the "Civ of the Week: China" thread:

     
    kaspergm likes this.
  13. ezysquire

    ezysquire Chieftain

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2010
    Messages:
    178
    Location:
    New Zealand
    The Great Wall is pretty average yeah. Make it a classical wonder with some cool ability and give China something else tourism-related in its place for a UI. It's lame not being able to build the Great Wall with other civs.
     
  14. Scaramanga

    Scaramanga Brickhead

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    Messages:
    1,965
    Location:
    Canada
    I like having the great Wall as uniquely Chinese. With one wonder per tile I don't know how else it could be. I try to build it in 3 segments right away so the middle has max yield. They provide border expansion so it snowballs into more further great Wall tiles through the culture and then Flight brings tourism.
     
  15. steveg700

    steveg700 Warlord

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2012
    Messages:
    2,839
    I don't think it ever blocked barbs in Civ V.

    And barbs can't pass through it.
     
  16. steveg700

    steveg700 Warlord

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2012
    Messages:
    2,839
    You may have just a really lucky game. At Immortal, the AI should be arriving at some if not most of those techs/civics before you. Even with a boost to eurekas and inspirations, you aren't outpacing them unless you start spamming mountainy campuses ASAP, and if you're building campuses, you're not building wonders. And then you're having to acquire extra builders with which to builder those wonders.

    I mean, if you guys have a strat for addressing the issues I mentioned, I'm all ears. Share with the class.
     
  17. Archon_Wing

    Archon_Wing Vote for me or die

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2005
    Messages:
    4,376
    Gender:
    Male
    3 early cities with monuments. Capital (usually) is the Oracle city. Set aside 1 city as government plaza city, and another as Collosseum. Try to boost Early Empire. 3rd city being late is not the end of the world but it may mean the spot gets taken.

    Amani first if applicable, Liang if not. You don't really need Liang that badly; it's sorta overkill as China.

    Build a campus to boost State Workforce; if you don't, it's not a big deal.

    Pick Autocracy ASAP and +15% wonder card

    Speedbuild Apadana (if available), build oracle otherwise. You should be looking at turn 60'ish Political Philosophy. Seems like pros say you should be doing it @t50 but I can't do that. T70 and beyond is when it starts to get sketchy and probably shouldn't have a go at Apadana, focusing on Oracle instead.

    Settle cities 4 and 5 (actually plenty of games where I fail this step). Try to settle one on the coast to build scouts/boats/explore/boost shipbuilding. The other should have choppables.


    Magnus --->Chop Theater

    Magnus ---> Chop remaining gov plaza; switch to Classical Republic before finishing.

    @ Capital Work on Commercial Hub

    Pingala in capital (or oracle city) ---> Get the cultural promotion

    Go to Feudalism and try to get the Great Library. I never get GL 90% of the time on immortal but many better players can.

    Magnus --> Chop Entertainment complex, build Collosseum

    Open borders with literally anyone, and send a foreign trade route to their lands.

    @ Feudalism, you should be getting a medieval golden age. Faith buy 2 6 charge builders, and finish any other classical wonders you can grab.

    If you're doing well, try to get an IZ in the capital, and get out Mausoleum (not always possible). Getting Bi Sheng is very powerful

    Boost machinery (3 archers) ---> chop Kilwa or just hard build it; as long as it is before t150 it really doesn't matter.

    Find any spot on the map with choppables (deer, forests, w/e) or any city you didn't Magnus yet; chop Forbidden Palace.

    Slowly build Theater Squares in rest, faith buy additional builders to build great walls. All other cities run cultural/commercial projects.

    Form alliances; if they're too far away sign a military one. Run that alliance card that gives food/production.

    Sell favor.

    Game is effectively won. You might be behind in science if Korea or something is in the game but just make friends, send delegations. Also once your cities are developed, begin inserting Holy Sites to generate faith for Rock Bands. Religious Alliances also help for the extra faith (the actual religion is irrelevant). If you don't have monsters like Greece/Kongo/Persia in the game you shouldn't need many Rock Bands, but you will for them.

    If this is a start that can hold pyramids or Artemis, the game is especially faceroll. This strat does not require a good start. Most civs would be deterred by the lack of chops but as China it's merely an annoyance and makes your districts hard to build.

    Other Notes:

    Until Oracle/Apadana gets built or lost, Districts are NOT important. You do want 2 campuses to boost Recorded History but given how hard it is to get the Great Library, it's not a high priority. Theater Squares and Commercial Hubs take precedence over campuses in the early game. Yes, you're not going to explode if you have low science for a bit. Nobody cares about that +1 library scientist and most AIs are going to swipe it from you anyways. Don't even compete for it. You can't. Once you get that settled, get your campuses. Getting Pingala up is more science anyways. Get your eurekas; that is a big part of playing China.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019 at 2:17 PM
  18. Tech Osen

    Tech Osen Warlord

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2016
    Messages:
    1,229
    kaspergm likes this.
  19. bengalryan9

    bengalryan9 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2018
    Messages:
    56
    Gender:
    Male
    Maybe the AI does, but that doesn't mean they necessarily go gung-ho to build those wonders - I find that Petra and Pyramids almost always stick around for longer than you'd think (the AI always seems to prioritize Jebel Berkal when it has desert tiles). Terracota Army tends to have a pretty big window to build as well. I knew that I wanted Apadana and Oracle so I prioritized getting to both on the civics tree - you don't need a campus for either one, and if you're throwing down all of those wonders you're going to have a killer theater square for culture anyways. I don't even think I built my first campus until my third or fourth city.

    You say that if you're building districts you're not building wonders, but that's not entirely true. Once you've got 5 or 6 charge builders running around you're getting 75-90% of the wonder for free in the 5-6 turns it takes to use those charges, and there's nothing stopping you from starting the wonder, spending a charge, changing production over to a district before ending your turn to knock off some progress on each turn, and then repeating. Once you've used all those charges it might take you 5 turns to finish building the wonder, then another handful to finish the district.

    Heck, build a few of those wonders and you might just find yourself with Golden Age Monumentality, and then you can just faith buy your builders (or purchase with gold at a discount).

    Concede the earliest wonders (Great Bath and Stonehenge) to the AI, pop out a settler or two so your capital can focus on building the wonders you really want, have one of your new cities focused on churning out builders while the other builds some units for defense. Start with building wonders in the capital, but rotate your wonder building to your other cities when you want to build something else (ie, a theater square or some other district). I think of the wonders I mentioned, 4 of them were in my capital, 3 were in my second city (which had desert), and 1 was in my third or fourth city (which had my first campus).

    I didn't even chop or use Magnus because I've never really cared for that particular mechanic.
     
  20. Bibor

    Bibor Doomsday Machine

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2004
    Messages:
    2,708
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Zagreb, Croatia
    The question is whether it's worth creating new game mechanics just to accomodate TGW. I'd say - no.

    In my opinion, it should be exactly the same as an encampment tile without walls: unpassable tile for hostile units until hitpoints are brought to zero, at which point that segment is destroyed. Like ablative unit armor, if you will.
     

Share This Page