Home > game mechanics, multiplayer > Good UB – Bad UB #5: Unique Buildings in civilization multiplayer

Good UB – Bad UB #5: Unique Buildings in civilization multiplayer

November 30, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

There are no just good or just bad unique 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.


Unique building for the Chinese; Replaces Theatre
+3 culture
+25% culture
+1 per 10% culture rate
Can turn 2 citizens into artists
+1 from dye
Unique building for the Ethiopian; Replaces Monument
+1 culture
+25% culture
+1 for Charismatic leaders
Obsolete with Astronomy

Both the Stele and the Pavillon provide a bonus of +25% culture. The first argument against this building in multiplayer is that cultural victory is only in very rare circumstances an option (sometimes in an Ironman or on very specific, only once in a CCC or so played settings in the Special Event there). The second and main is that there any many other civs that provide you with a bonus that is more important in order to win by getting those three legendary culture cities. One of many examples would be a building that provides an additional +2 letting you having a GreatPerson-city grow higher to pump out those additinal Great Artist you need for the culture victory.

In any case there is no use for those two unique buildings outside a game where you know from the start that you want to achieve a culture victory and even there – as said and without having done the math for all possible situations – it probably wouldn´t save you many turns (a city full with wonders that bring a lot of culture might get a little faster to legendary status) anyway since most of the culture comes from Great Artists.

Never of any use in multiplayer. Not entirely sure about something like a Solo Game or a game on Islands in single player where you just want to get three cities to legendary culture as fast as possible – but what kind of settings would that be ?!


Unique building for Holy Roman Empire; Replaces Courthouse
+2 Espionage
-75% maintenance
Can turn 1 citizen into Spy
Required to build Forbidden Palace
Available for free on modern and later starts

Unique building for the Zulus; Replaces Barracks
-20% maintenance
+2 with Nationhood
+3 EXP for new land units
Required to build Heroic Epic

Both the Ikhanda and the Rathaus reduce maintenance cost, one by 20%, the other by 25%. That´s a gain of 50% / 40% on an opponent without those buildings. This is a huge advantage which has to always be reflected on the actual, absolute maintenance costs during a game on specific settings. In a game where you build four cities till mid-game and mabye an overall of 6-8 late game, while not being able to solely focus on research (for example a teamer 3v3 Renaissance) maintenance costs in relation to overall GNP are much more negligible then for example in an Ironman, where having 20 and many more cities at some point is normal procedure. The other big factor is the difficulty the game is played on. the higher that is, the bigger the maintenance costs get, while the overall GNP stays the same. Already on Noble in an Ironman, but especially above on Monarch etc. maintenance costs play a significant role. Being able to have 50% / 40% less maintenance cost then your opponent can mean a huge difference in saved commerce.

As a last note I´d like to point out that the Ikhanda is more expensive then normal barracks. The difference is rather insignificant for normal game play though (on fast game speed 40hammer to 33hammer).

For Good UB – Bad UB part #1 click here
For Good UB – Bad UB part #2 click here
For Good UB – Bad UB part #3 click here
For Good UB – Bad UB part #4 click here

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