Choosing the right wonder for Americans


23-02-2005 03:57:13

I have a stupid problem set to finish, but I had a quick thought that I wanted to jot down. Now that Americans have been slowed down a lot by taking away their free sci1, what wonder should they get on a general land map (not including lakes or outback) game? Here are the usual contenders
[*da707e56e7]Pyramids (200f/w) +20% food, +50 food/wealth cap, +1 city limit, -33% city cost
[*da707e56e7]Colossus (200w/g) +33% wealth, +50 wood/wealth cap, +50 pop limit
[*da707e56e7]Hanging Gardens (200f/g) +50 knowledge, -66% econ building upgrade costs
[*da707e56e7] Terra Cotta Army (300f/g) 1 free LI every (30 + 0.5n) seconds, n = # of infantry you currently have
Of course, on water other wonders may be preferred (Porcelain Tower for example), but like I said I want to focus on standard land map games.

Clearly, Colossus and TCA are the best in the long run (assuming you survive), since it's hard to get wealth and the LI become resource-gathering unique units (which are worth about 160-200 resources a pop by late gp-enlightenment) in time. But they also take the longest to pay off. TCA doesn't really help you until you hit Gunpowder Age, when your slow start could have already buried you. With Colossus, on maps like Sahara it is often hard to cap the +50 wood without spending a lot of food for a 3rd city and another woodcamp (Sahara for example), and +33% of a small amount of wealth still isn't a lot of wealth for Colossus.

Hanging Gardens has the most immediate effect (+50 knowledge) but I wonder about its utility in most land map games, because getting knowledge with Americans is usually not that hard (relatively--4 scholars and 2 unis = +50 knowledge, and is about the same cost as HG), and because you will not be able to take advantage of the discounted research for another several minutes at least in most games. More importantly, you can't build troops or villies or any other unit from knowledge. The benefit of more knowledge for faster teching only accrues over the long run. In the short run, you've just spent 400 resources on something that won't do a whole lot more than get you to III faster.

So I think Pyramids may be the best given that Americans have been slowed down in the patch. While the effect of Pyramids over the long run is less than the other three wonders I mentioned, in the short run it usually pays off the quickest. Right off the bat, if you build Pyramids instead of researching civ2, you've basically spent 40f and 200w more than civ2. Since you save ~35 f/w on your 3rd city, the marginal cost of Pyramids over a civ2 and a 3rd city is a whole 15 food and 165 wood.

Now, even that wood cost is deceptive, because you can build approximately 20% fewer farms for an equal amount of food output. So in about a minute, you've already paid off Pyramids and can start accumulating the +50 food advantage (since hitting +200 food with Pyramids and 3 cities is pretty simple). With the +50 food, you can build more infantry than your opponent, and your infantry will also make resources while they're alive. It all adds up to a pretty good deal, in my opinion.



23-02-2005 05:03:18

Hmm tca is still pretty well done... First you just need to raid agresively with as much bararcks units as possible... When you hit III Just wait for tca and then build it... The oponent should be slowed down just as much as you have been in the main while by your raid, then you boom to IV and he's probably dead...

Then again HG with +50 knowledge pwnz so bad if you get it asap after II You will outboom the oponent without any trouble... Actually after that you can build a rax and build an army constantly focusing on your military not caring about knowledge and stuff... You'll save up a lot of gold in the long run and you can spend that on bowmen.

On collosus and pyramids i agree with you )

Just my 2 cents


23-02-2005 11:13:53

On water I go colossus cos the extra gold can be converted to anything else i want and you dont hit annoying pop limits like i normally do trying to get boats vills scholars and army out.

That said anyone with an early colossus is a target to me cos i know they just spent many res on it and I should likely be able to outgun them.


09-04-2005 23:09:14

Interesting considerations, Sims. You seem quite concerned with the "immediate" benefits of each Wonder, though, and despite this, seem to have dismissed the HG a bit too fast IMHO. First, some of the early Library Tech's Knowledge costs aren't too steep and that +50 K/30s can amount to some pretty fast early teching. Second, that -66% on resource upgrade research, if persued quickly (especially at the smelter), is gonna ratchet up that eco pretty darn fast and build you a nice little war-chest.
[u1650bd1af4][color=orange1650bd1af4]KBS Clan Site[/color1650bd1af4][/u1650bd1af4]


10-04-2005 00:14:48

I tried the fast Pyramids strat and it seemed _too_ fast. Americans really have trouble building a wonder, building troops, and building a 3rd city all at the same time in early classic. I think it's better now to play safe and wait until you are sure you have the time to put down a wonder (after building a good amt of defensive infantry)...and usually this will be the TCA.

The HG is nice but you need sci3 and resource buildings before you can take advantage of the resource upgrades. You can put 200 gold twoards 2 unis and scholars and get pretty much the same knowledge output, and use the food to build infantry (because you'll need it for defense because of the American slow ancient) until you can plop down a wonder safely later on.


10-04-2005 03:32:58

Hmmm. Start of Classical assuming 100/100.

Pyramids add 20% food, 1 city and it's ?% cheaper.

You save immediately on 2 farms and citizens to man them, 1 civ tech, ?%age of 3rd city cost making 3rd city easier to obtain. As caravans are relative to commerce rather than civics you will also gain the 2nd and 3rd caravan with only the one civ teched.

And all your food worth more from that moment.
Does pyramid bonus stack on the troops?


10-04-2005 12:53:26

Yep, pyramids stacks on cities troops etc.

Only thing is 200/200 is just a lot to be paying in early classic with Americans. You really need resources to defend the inevitable despot rush or army raid. And if you end up building the wonder later, you might as well just build TCA.


13-04-2005 13:04:21


I played a guy had tca. I took the city and claimed it. He got city back. I seiged everything with ships except TCA (couldn't reach). Anyway, somehow he razed that city and kept the TCA and I could only claim it back by totally defeating him.

I've tried and tried to repeat this effect to no avail. If it can be figured out there's a possibilty to make TCA and it can't be taken off you only destroyed! Or, funny funny, we figure out this awesome trick only to find it's now fully bribable...

Recs in Vanilla Clinic - ff to about 25 mins and watch what's going on over there. If anyone can answer how the fuck he did that I'll let Beertender blow you for a month.


13-04-2005 13:06:55

But if i find out the solution i'll be blowing myself for a month... Ouch my back ;(


13-04-2005 14:22:52