Civilization V - Choosing The Best Wonders

Exerting dominance over the map as a Protoss is easy--all it takes is one Zealot.  One Zealot demands a response, can end a game, and can stop a rush almost singlehandedly.  This proves t

Exerting dominance over the map as a Protoss is easy--all it
takes is one Zealot.  One Zealot demands a response, can end a
game, and can stop a rush almost singlehandedly.  This proves
might of the Protoss ground forces, and a Zealot is the most basic unit
of all!  Whether you're looking to dominate as the
warriors of Aiur, or figure out a counter to their might, here's what
to do (and what not to do!) with Protoss Gateway units!

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style="font-style: italic;">You might recognize some of
these!  I certainly hope most of you recognize this one!

Taking on any wonder  in Civilization V is a
monumental task.  If someone beats you to it, you get a
pittance of gold for your efforts, even if you were one turn from
completion.   But even the wonders you don’t have any
interest in yourself have a use in being built—you deny their benefits
to someone who really needs them.  That said, there are
wonders that are highly sought after and wonders that don’t measure up
particularly well for their cost in their era.

Each wonder can only be built once in the world.  Anyone
building that wonder when it is completed elsewhere will be compensated
in gold for their efforts, but it’s a pittance compared to the time
lost in production.  Building a Wonder is a dangerous tactic
in multiplayer, since with the announcement to all players, you may
find players probing your defenses to see if you are vulnerable from
your time spent hammering away at the SIstine Chapel instead of a Forge.

 It’s time to separate the men from the boys… er, the Pyramids
from the Hanging Gardens!

In no particular order-

Angkor Wat

Primary Effect : Culture tile acquisition cost reduced 75% in all
cities you control

    Worth it? : An absolute godsend to
sprawling empires.  This will claim resources and territory at
an alarming rate, speeding all production types of a city for some
time.  The earlier you get this, the better, because the bonus
does begin to wear down as a city’s culture grows and grows and there
is no gain to acquiring that desert tile nearby.

Big Ben

Primary Effect:  Gold purchasing costs reduced 25%.

    Worth it? : Purchasing is very, very
expensive in Civ V.  Since excess gold is often thrown at
city-states, the benefits of lowering purchasing costs are somewhere
between lackluster and maybe worthwhile depending on how you use your
gold.  If you need units in a pinch, you can still only buy
one unit per turn from each city, limiting your ability to field an
army on the spot with gold.  There are probably better options
for your production.

Bradenburg Gate

Primary Effect: A great general appears near the city it is constructed

    Worth it? : Great Generals are either
very hard, or very easy to come by depending on how you play. 
They can single handedly turn wars around, so if you do not have one on
your front lines of combat, this should be a high priority when
Military Science is researched.  This wonder is also fairly
cheap for the era, so that’s why the effect is also rather subdued for
a world wonder.  Don’t care about the general? 
Consider this a free golden age ticket!

Chichen Itza

Primary Effect: Golden Ages last 50% longer.

    Worth it? : An amazing wonder with the
new system of golden ages based upon happiness and great
people.  A wonder-churning civilization with the upgrades to
great people production can basically keep a golden age going for the
majority of the late game.  That leads to a game breakingly
strong military, both from a production and scientific
aspect.  Golden Ages are often times the only thing keeping
your empire afloat gold-wise once your puppets and main cities begin
constructing expensive maintenance buildings on a regular basis.

Cristo Redentor

Primary Effect : Culture Policies are 33% cheaper.

    Worth it? : If you’re going for a
culture victory, this is basically required.  If you are not,
skip this.  It’s a massive investment of production, and by
the time the wonder is done you won’t get enough out of it to be
useful.  If you can stockpile a few policies worth of culture
before this is completed, you can get a free policy or two out of it,
but that can be a risky venture with how strong policies like Autocracy
can be when they become available.

Eiffel Tower

Primary Effect : +8 Happiness to the empire!

    Worth it? : A resounding no, unless you
only have one city capable of producing happiness structures in a
reasonable time frame.  It will crank out golden ages faster,
but +8 to your contributions per turn don’t mean a lot when you need
1-2 thousand extra happiness to reach it to begin with at this point in
the game.   If you are annexing cities as you go,
this may actually become necessary to remain happy, so don’t disregard
it entirely.

Himeji Castle

Primary Effect: +25% combat strength to units in your territory.

    Worth it? :  The only wonder
that is direct combat related, but actually defensive in
nature.  If you are going for any one of the peaceful
victories and you feel that a bloodthirsty villain will conquer the
world and then look to you before you can complete your objective, this
will make your front lines that much harder to breach.

Machu Picchu

Primary Effect: +20% income from trade routes.

    Worth it? : An amazing wonder with a
difficult restriction (city must be within 2 tiles of a
mountain).  If you’re going for conquest, unit maintenance
costs will get absurd at some point, and if you’re a domestic
mastermind, building maintenance costs will get up there just the
same.  Assuming you can keep your road network reasonable and
connected, this wonder is worth every penny due to it helping generate
much needed pennies.

Notre Dame

Primary Effect :  +5 Happiness to the empire.

    Worth it? : Another tough
sell.  Realize that +5 happiness comes from one simple luxury
resource.  If you get unlucky or cornered, this might become
worthwhile.  If both of those happen, you’re also probably
lacking in production and that can make finishing a wonder difficult to
begin with!

The Pentagon

Primary Effect : Unit upgrade costs reduced by 50%.

    Worth it? : One of the latest wonders,
if you are the first one to the Modern Era and get this, as well as
have some gold on hand, you can turn all of your lesser infantry into
mechanized monsters and overwhelm your opponents in a matter of
turns.  Make sure you weigh the gold cost into account, since
this basically doesn’t benefit any new units built at all—it’s a wonder
designed to modernize your army.

The Sistine Chapel

Primary Effect : Culture produced is increased by 33% empire
wide.  Also +2 to Great Artists.

    Worth it? : Two amazing bonuses for
passive empires.  The worst part about this wonder is that
everyone wants it the moment it becomes available.  Try and
trigger a Golden Age right around the same time you can create this to
have the best shot at it.

The Statue of Liberty

Primary Effect : +1 production from all specialists in your empire.

    Worth it? : If your empire is a
developed economic powerhouse and you complete this, congratulations,
you win.  Each city will get a large boost in production from
this, and creating more specialty structures will only increase your
specialist count and production as a result.  Puppets love to
make economic buildings, so this is one of the wonders that truly
benefits them as well.


Primary Effect : +8 culture in the city that builds it.

    Worth it? :  This adds up
quickly and can get you early social policies before anyone
else.  Picking this up, going straight down the Valor tree and
then going to war early is a powerful strategy that shows that a purely
cultural wonder can now be used offensively as well.

Sydney Opera House

Primary Effect : One free social policy

    Worth it?  At this point in the
game, one social policy could unlock Total War or one of the other game
changing options available to you.  It’s the equivalent of
+3-5 thousand culture instantly!  Go for it!

The Taj Mahal

Primary Effect : Instantly stats a golden age.

    Worth it? : Golden ages are serious
business in Civilization V.  Completing this will give you a
stepping stone to prosperity for a long time.  Take it if
nothing else is available for your high production city to do, as the
results do wear off unlike most wonders.

The Colossus

Primary Effect :  +1 gold per water tile in the city it is
built in.

    Worth it? : It really depends. 
Water cities do not thrive if they don’t have a good production source
nearby, which you need in order to produce this wonder at a city it’s
good at.  If you can meet that requirement, you’ll be pleased
as your coffers skyrocket when this is completed!  Take it if
you can make it in an applicable city.

The Forbidden Palace

Primary Effect: Amount of Unhappiness from the number of cities in your
empire is reduced 50%.

Worth it?: Much of your problems late game will be from a massive horde
of people, rather than cities.  Your puppet states will handle
themselves with culture and happiness buildings,you’re your empire will
swell with food and rise in the 15-25 population range.  As
such, population is your enemy for happiness, and not city
count.  Skip it unless you’re conquering a huge world.

The Great Library

Primary Effect :  One free technology.

    Worth it? :  If you plan it
right, you can pick up a huge technology with this wonder. 
Going straight down iron working can get you to Longswordsmen while the
rest of the world is running around with Spearmen.  It’s still
good if you can get it without that, but it’s much more effective while
planning a tech ‘slingshot’ to pick up a big tech early on.

The Great Lighthouse

Primary Effect: +1 Sight and Movement to naval units.

    Worth it? : If you foresee yourself
doing all engagements over the seas for the next 100-200 turns, getting
this will save you time and ships.  Never underestimate the
power of naval bombardment in Civilization, regardless of the era!

The Great Wall style="font-weight: bold;">

Primary Effect: +1 movement cost to enemy units moving in your territory

    Worth it? : Garbage unless you keep a
pathetic standing army, at which point it might help you rally forces
in time to stop your city from being razed.  It really doesn’t
do nearly enough.  Armies already have trouble marching
through your territory as is, and the best this wonder can do is stop a
chariot from moving two spaces to capture your worker out of
position.  Meh.

The Hagia Sophia

Primary Effect:  +33% Great People generation for your empire.

    Worth it? : Powerful on paper, the worth
of this depends on the development of your cities.  If you are
waging all out war and only building military, you aren’t exactly
generating a lot of great people that aren’t generals.  If you
are peacefully building up your cities however, you’ll find a lot of
use as Great People spring up much more often.

The Hanging Gardens

Primary Effect:  +1 population in all existing cities upon

    Worth it? : Great for a population
slingshot of sorts if you have a rapidly expanding empire. 
Having a production city build this, while every other city builds and
settles a new town right before completion can vastly propel your
nation in income and sciences, which will snowball bigger and bigger as
the game goes on.

The Kremlin

Primary Effect: +50% boost to the effectiveness of all defensive

    Worth it? : Remember that defensive
structures only increase your city’s strength by about 25. 
Adding this will increase it by another 12 roughly, and that’s only in
cities that have outfitted themselves with every defensive structure in
the game.  It’s a terrible investment for the cost unless you
are expecting the game to go into the future era, and on defense at
that.  Your cities will need that defense then!

The Lourve

Primary Effect : +2 great artists.

    Worth it? : Great Artists are one of the
biggest annoyances in the game to be up against.  
You mind your own business, and BAM, suddenly half your territory is
gone to another country.  It’s way more fun to do this
yourself than being a victim of it. Be sure to get this to avoid having
that happen!

The Oracle

Primary Effect:  One free social policy

    Worth it? : It’s just an early opera
house, so make it count by choosing a key policy with lasting benefits
early.  Freedom and Honor policies love this wonder.

The Porcelain Tower

Primary Effect: +1 Great Scientist

    Worth it?: It can be worthwhile to store
your first two Great Scientists, then use them all in rapid succession
to advance along one branch of the tech tree to a powerful military
technology.  This will give you one of them that much faster,
but at 400 hammers to build the value is still questionable.

United Nations

Primary Effect : Enables votes every 10 turns for a diplomatic victory.

    Worth it?  : Does every
city-state embrace you as an ally? Buy them off and win it
easily.  Obviously this is required for the diplomatic
victory, so it’s hotly contested for those who desire conquest, not
diplomacy.  And by contested for, I mean producing this will
make them beat you down before you can win the world over.

Remember that all hope is not lost if another empire builds a wonder
before you!  You can always march in and take the town that
completed it for yourself, after all.  Empires always did
excel at making the land they come across their own, whether it
contains open fields or legendary pyramids.


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