Home > game mechanics, multiplayer, strategy > Good UB – Bad UB #8: Unique Buildings in civilization multiplayer

Good UB – Bad UB #8: Unique Buildings in civilization multiplayer

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 a 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 Celts; Replaces Walls
+50% defense (except vs. gunpowder-based units)
-50% damage from bombard (except from Gunpowder units)
Required to build Castle
Free Guerilla I promotion for land units

The Dun are walls that additionally provide land units with a Guerilla I promotion. At first look this sounds pretty interesting, but there are aspects about it that limit the uses for this building a lot. The first is the fact that you are already Celtics, having a Guerilla I promotion on your Swordsman anyway – meaning the only other units in an ancient game where the promotion makes sense and is applicable is the archer. Since the Dun requires Masonry to be researched (which is in most ancient games very low priority) AND has to be build first, your double-hill archer come pretty late to do any damage with their additional ability in the early parts of the game, where this could still be possible. So for sending out early archers the cost of getting two buildings (barracks, Dun) and a low-priority technology is too high to make that effective. You´ll rather be sending out Swords anyway – and not build the Dun and not research Masonry very early.

In defense you are once again already Celtics. The rule that “stuff that helps you lose less is not as good as stuff that makes you win more” applies. In the end the Gaellics do a fantastic job when defending cities in Ancient games, nothing that would be improved by double-hill archers.

I guess the main use for the Dun could be in a late Classical / early Medieval scenario – I haven´t seen yet – where you could be building stuff like double or triple promo (barracks, potentially vassalage from feudalism, Dun) Longbows with Guerilla I, II and III. This would make sense on a map like Highlands, which is covered in hill tiles. On normal maps it can sometimes be game-breaking to get to Guerilla III and be able to hit hill cities with a +50%, but won´t be most of the time. Same could work for muscets in later eras.

Another (very specific) idea might be: In a random leader/civ CTON/ffa, if you get Celtics with a Protective leader, you might think about going for Feudalism quickly, getting Longbows. If you switch to Vassalage, cities with Barracks and the Dun will be able to produce Guerilla I, City Defense I Longbows that have two more promotions open. If you then grab some land in all directions with preferably front cities on hills, your neighbour will think twice before attacking your City Defense I-III + Guerilla I or Guerilla I-III + City Defense I Longbows. Especially the last ones can also be used as quick-moving sentries which can only be removed from hills with a bigger investment of hammers.


Unique building for Spain; Replaces Castle
+1 culture; +25% Espionage; +1 trade route
Obsolete with Economics
+50% defense (except vs. Gunpowder units); -25% damage from bombard (except vs. Gunpowder units)
+5 XP for Siege Units

The Citadel is a castle that gives Siege Units an additional five experience points. This is basically about Barrage III/City Raider III promotion or not. Castles require Engineering and become obsolete with Economics hence are available around late Medieval, Renaissance and Industrial. Barracks and Theocracy are five experience points combined, together with the Citadel that makes ten, which is the threshold for the third promotion for a non-Charismatic leader.

Having to build Walls and the Castle is not desirable (that´s four catapults already), getting Barrage III for that is quite nice. If Flanking is not disabled (with the help of the special multiplayer mod), Siege Units are useless in offense from Medieval to Industrial anyway, no matter how many promotions they have. Flanking is a curse for multiplayer play .. If it´s turned off, there is more room for use of Siege Units in offense and not only defense, but since there is no multiplayer setup (from medieval to Industrial) currently where slow stacks can be used regulalry to attack (rather the opposite) it´s not worth picking Spain. Barrage III can do a lot of additional damage, but – as said before – don´t pick to lose less, but to win (more). As long as your Barrage I-III catapults can only be used (effectively) in defense and rarely get to attack, the Citadel doesn´t help to win the game.


Totem Pole

Unique building for the Native Americans; Replaces Monument
+1 culture

New archery units receive +3 EXP
+1 for Charismatic leaders
Obsolete with Astronomy

The Totem Pole is a monument that gives archery units an additional three experience points. That results in the possibility of building double hill archer early on. The main target is Natives with an Aggressive leader (regularly picked this way in competetive Ancient 5v5 games) getting quick Barracks and a totem Pole (together about 36 hammers, easy to slave). Sending a Dog Soldier or two first and double-hill archers afterwards (which should be faster) to cover against chariots and increase the move options in enemy territory is a very effective way of slowing down the buildup of an opponent.

Later on the double hill archers can be used as sentries. Also double City Cefense archers are an option during big parts of the game. Tokugawa of Natives is a regular combination, providing the player with the option of getting archers with City Defense I-III, which have a great cost-effect ratio in many situations, when having to defend.

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
For Good UB – Bad UB part #5 click here
For Good UB – Bad UB part #6 click here
For Good UB – Bad UB part #7 click here

  1. Moineau
    January 9, 2010 at 04:21

    Some using we had in time for citadell in reny (when spain was picked cause conquis), that was to get this 10xp catas asap to do the Heroic bat (100* for military productions).

    Maybe not so bad then, on a defensive map, not on rushfest settings we use :p

    • January 9, 2010 at 19:37

      Ah, interesting! Never thought about the option of getting a level 4 unit this way and being able to build Heroic Epic, thanks.

  2. shizanu
    January 10, 2010 at 16:42

    Y, but tripple promo knights should solve that problem as well, dont they?

  3. January 30, 2010 at 14:58

    Great article. I’m amazed you were able to put such context to your story. Bravo.

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