Home > game mechanics, multiplayer, strategy > Good UB – Bad UB #1: Unique Buildings in civilization multiplayer

Good UB – Bad UB #1: Unique Buildings in civilization multiplayer

There are no just good or just bad buildings

Even though the title suggests different, there are basically no just good or just bad unique buildings (and units). Every UB and UU has to be evaluated in the context of the game settings and overall strategy it´s supposed to be used in. A (fictional) unique unit archer that gets +100% against melee units is useless in an game played on Islands, where you have no (military) contact with your opponents until Astronomy is researched and archers are long obsolete.  A unique building is good if it significantly supports a (playable) strategy.


Research Institute
Unique building for the Russians; Replaces Laboratory

researchinstitute +1 unhealth
+25% science
+50% spaceship production
+2 free scientists
Can turn 1 citizen into scientist

This is a laboratory that provides you with 2 free specialists in the form of scientists. This is huge. By itself – imagine chosing whatever unique building for your first city in an ancient start – this is the strongest building in the game. It still sucks and is basically unplayable with maybe an exception in certain OneCityChallenge (OCC) setups. Why is that ?

Two free scientists provide you with additional 3 base technology (6 if you are in Representation) and 3 GreatScientist base GP-points each. The first problem is that laboratories come very late in the game, even if you rush on them – and rushing them delays other stuff. This results in a comparatively short time during which you are actually going to use them, no matter whether the game ends on time, gets called on points or finished with a space ship.

The second and main problem though is not the relatively short time you are going to use it, but that all strategies which would profit from a Research Institute – mainly Space Race – profit from other buildings (much) more. For example simply having +2 from a Hammam in the late game just enables you to work those 2 specialists anyway, but also over the course of most of the game is very useful.

Summary: The Research Institute´s effect is very strong in comparison with other buildings, but it comes too late in the game to be useful in any scenario (maybe Industrial start OCC) – or in other words, the effect is too weak compared to its timing both in Ironman or Industrial start team games.


Unique building for the Incans; Replaces Granary
+2 culture
Stores 50% of food after growth
+1 health from Corn, Rice, Wheat
Available for free on Medieval and later starts

This is one of the best buildings for any game that starts in ancient or classical and still decent in medieval. The main use of Incans and their UB+UU is of course an ancient start teamer, CTON or Ironman. Granaries are by themselves one of the most important buildings in any settings. The Terrace provides half a Creative trait, making building monuments unnecessary. This are early 20hammer you save for each monument (click here to read, why saving hammer early is so good). Additionaly the Terrace enables a player to plant his first cities more flexible, not having to make sure the city´s food or strategical ressource is in the inner fatcross to be able to work it right away since usually building a monument and waiting 5 turns for borders to expand would delay that.

Summary: The terrace is a granary, which you most of the time want to build as the first building in a city anyway, now you always can (never monument first) – and it´s better then a monument, too with its +2 culture instead of +1 culture. City planting is more flexible and most important of all: It saves early hammers.

Edit: Just realized how good that +2 culture instead of +1 culture actually is. It gets you a second border expansion (40% defense!) just in time against a first big stack instead of just against a theoretical second one unlike a monument which needs 50 instead of 25 turns to achieve that!

  1. Speaker
    November 2, 2009 at 20:40

    I dare you to find any circumstance in which the Mall doesn’t suck. 🙂

    • November 2, 2009 at 22:19

      Damn, it´s deep in the bad-pile so far 😛

  2. Moineau
    December 8, 2009 at 14:50

    About the research institute, it’s clearly useless in most games we play but it’s clearly reall powered in OCC too.Russia is the dominating civ in OCC ancient start because the tech discount.It’s awesome in industrial start OCC too as you mentionned.

    I am sure that would be awesome in our indus too, but as russia is banned, we’ll never know.

    Not the best UB, not one i would put as last neither.

    • December 8, 2009 at 15:03

      Is it really the “dominating civ” in ancient OCC? What about Spain (fishing + mysticism as start techs) on Equal_Islands? What about India or even Khmer without the free Baray? Isn´t the tech path for laboraties sucky for an OCC game if you have to tech it before other stuff you´d usually want first?

      • Moineau
        December 8, 2009 at 16:01

        Ya it’s fucking crazy, it’s just a non sense.Wtf fast workers should be way more better.But in pratic, it’s not.Cause the tech discount.Because this shit, everyone is almost on the same level starting the last era, and then russia give you some good boost.Check last special event, russia won, even if your player (with the pick i would have taken btw) was better.Last occ ancients was all won by russia.It’s one of the craziest things i saw in civ, but that’s the reality.Took some time for me to accept it :p

      • December 8, 2009 at 20:26

        Tech Discount is one of the greatest crap invented by the designers…

  3. Spyro
    December 11, 2009 at 19:11

    for OCC it’s only true if the main game-breaking wonders are banned else you get an huge advantage getting those with india, e.g. great library which get you 2 free scientists till scientific methods, not to mention the gp points from the wonder itself.

    Cheers, “little dragon”

  1. November 4, 2009 at 20:03
  2. November 14, 2009 at 02:07
  3. November 23, 2009 at 03:12
  4. November 30, 2009 at 03:40
  5. December 11, 2009 at 03:20

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: