Home > multiplayer, series, strategy > National Wonders #1: Flop 3

National Wonders #1: Flop 3

This is the first edition of a four-part series about National Wonders which is supposed to describe the scenarios in which those play a role. As usual when evaluating a building, unit etc. in civ it´s vital to not only look at effects and abilities, but as well at costs, required technologies and most importantly the overall context: In what situation in what kind of game will the building/unit/etc. help me achieve a certain goal? The more situations and different kinds of scenarios there are, the better is the examined object.

There are 14 National Wonders. The series will consists of the following four parts:

I. Flop 3
II. Top 3
III. Good. Basic. Not Game Breaking.
IV. Specific. Key for some scenarios.

We start with the worst three National Wonders. Worst means, that they are the ones that get build the least if at all in civ multiplayer (and most probably in single player as well). I myself have never built any of those three nor seen them been built in any game.

Mt. Rushmore

-25% War in all cities
+1 Great Artist point
+4 culture
Cost: 500hammer normal, 335hammer quick speed (Double Production Speed w/ Stone)

First of all most multiplayer games are played with “always war”. The unhappiness resulting from war and especially from a war as the aggressor (the one declaring war and fighting outside own borders) is heavily reduced. There are extremely few situations where war weariness plays any role. Only one I can come up with from the top of my head is a 5v5 Ironman game with hundreds of units potentially clashing and Statue of Zeus having been built – not exactly the average game. It´s a little different with diplomacy games, where war has to be declared first. There if you get into a war that lasts longer than you´d wish for, Mount Rushmore is basically a must-build. Still this is a pretty specific situation in an already specific game type.

Second Mt. Rushmore requires Fascism, one of the lowest priority techs I can think of. It´s nice of the developers to leave us with the option NOT to become a fascist ;). It neither brings any useful units nor buildings, nor is it a prerequisite for any other technologies. Police State has its uses, but not in a game where you have to research Fascism for it first (read about uses of Police State here and here). And I wouldn´t be prioritizing Fascism for a lousy Great General.. And don´t get me started on Paratroopers.. (unless nukes get allowed again (because the “nukebug” gets fixed) and even then 😉 ).

Last but not least this wonder gives artist points. Artist points bad. Baaad. On why that is the case, you can read more here in a text about the French Salon.

Due to its uses in certain situations in ffa diplomacy games Mt. Rushmore is the best of the worst of National wonders. Forget about it in “always war” games though.

West Point

New units receive +4 experience points
+1 Great Spy point
Cost: 800hammer normal, 536hammer quick speed (Double Production Speed w/ Stone)
Requires: Military Tradition and a unit of level 6 experience

You get one additional Great Spy point… that´s positive….

First of all this one is expensive, especially without stone. Then you need to have gotten a great general (or an unusually long lasting unit that got to level 6, very rare..) – both requiring combat (or researching Fascism first :D). So you cannot plan with West Point from the beginning even if you wanted to.

Another factor being that in order to make West Point worth it, you need to build it into a city that will be able to get out a significant amount of units afterwards. You most likely though don´t want to block one of the two National Wonder spots of your capital or Great People city for example since those will rather want to have economic related stuff like University of Oxford, National Epic, Wall Street, Globe Theatre etc.. Neither do you want to use your best production city for producing units instead of wonders – though this one is more likely than the other two.

Next West Point gives units built in its city four additional experience points. Cavalry come (with Rifling) short after Military Tradition which allows cuirassiers. This means if you´re planing on using Cavalry for an attack (which is common practice in longer games like ffa and Ironman), you´ll barely finish production of West Point (if you had a level 6 unit at this point in the first place) till then. This is significant because the Cavalry is the last unit that profits from stables and its experience bonus.  The consequence being that even with West Point you probably won´t reach another promotion level for a long time. Three experience from Barracks,  two from Stables, that´s five. Theocracy is a valid option here, Vassalage not so much due to having to give up Bureaucracy and later on Free Speech for it. Unless you’re Charismatic (which you do not want to be in an Ironman or ffa), it´s likely that the West Point city will only temporarily build triple promotion units – if at all. That´s especially true once you go past Cavalry to Infantry, tanks etc. It should be at least 5 additional experience points to make this worth building – and even then the other arguments against it still apply.

I guess if you are Charismatic, have stone and a city with decent production that is not your wonder or GP city nor your capital, it can be an option, especially if you plan on waging war with Infantry, tanks and other late game units.

Red Cross

Free Medic I promotion for units built in this city
+1 Great Scientist point
Cost: 600hammer normal, 402hammer quick speed
Requires: Medicine and around 6 (depending on map size) hospitals

There isn´t much to be said here:

This is a pretty expensive wonder that cannot be produced faster with any resource. It requires you to build hospitals, which you only want to get really late in the game and only in few cities, most likely in less than six even if you have 12, 15 or even more cities in an ffa or Ironman. Also its effect isn´t very desirable. Not that a Medic I promotion (probably at least Medic II on at least one unit) is a bad thing, but you´ll likely get a healer anyway and even if not, this is not anything game breaking, especially looking at the required investment. I don´t see any situation in any setup where you´d build the Red Cross instead of something else, even if that was “just” units for those 402hammer (on quick speed).

Promotion: Medic I

Heals units on Same tile extra 10% damage/turn


Those three wonders are the least desirable overall of all National Wonders – they have the least scenarios in which you´d want to build them instead of something else. Mount Rushmore and West Point might come up very rarely here or there, but only in long-lasting games like Ironman or ffa.

Mt. Rushmore is mainly a victim of multiplayer´s “always war” and its prerequisite technology, otherwise it probably gives a decent effect for the required investment. West Point would need to give at least five, probably rather seven additional experience and rather don´t have the prerequisite of a level-6 unit in order to see more play. Red Cross is hopeless the way it is right now. As a normal building for around 120hammer without any additional requirement besides its prerequisite technology it would see some play…

  1. milo
    February 2, 2010 at 11:58

    Mt. Rushmore was included in german “Who becomes a Millionaire?”, worth 16000€. If that’s not something… 😛

    • February 2, 2010 at 12:05

      What did they ask? How many hammers it costs on marathon :D?

  2. milo
    February 2, 2010 at 12:22

    something like: what is the statuary John Gutzon de la Mothe Borglum famous for? They gave four relatively known mountains, so quite easy 😛

    But Jauch also asked for the hammer cost – hehe

  3. MLL
    February 2, 2010 at 14:58

    I kind of like westpoint on chm even though it’s a bit of a flop 😀

  4. Mike
    February 19, 2010 at 22:55

    I saw an interesting use of the Red Cross in a SP game, Immortal/Big and Small space race: Building a Navy out of that city. I still don’t think it’s worth the cost, but at least Navy units get something they don’t normally have.

  5. Waki_Miko
    February 25, 2010 at 00:35

    Other possible uses of Red Cross:
    Can be built in coastal cities to get some nice Medic I ships, and if either Charismatic, Aggressive or Protective, one could build a Mech. Infantry and use a GG on it to get a Medic III/Woodsman III/Morale super-medic unit (Boudica/Churchill needs 20XP, other CHA leaders need 28XP and Aggressive or Protective need 33XP – with Theocracy + Barracks, that remaining 3 XP (or 8 XP) shouldn’t be too hard to get, especially if you get RC in a former AI capital with tons of settled GGs… or have Pentagon or that expensive West Point – not a problem since you’re probably leading by a large margin to afford to build RC in the first place…)
    Or for trying to get as many promotions as possible on a unit with an Anti-Tank -> Mech. Infantry GG with Leadership and as Churchill (naturally) – just for fun, of course.

    Medic I Transports would be good for quicker mop-up of coastal AI cities, since one could load somewhat damaged units into them and still have them at full strength by the time they reach some of the further coastal cities.

    Mech. Infantry from the RC city, with their March, can heal really quickly as well, without the need for a medic unit to follow it. Anti-Tank -> Mech. Infantry upgrade would give that extra Ambush promotion as an added bonus.

    Or to get Medic I (Mobile) Artillery, even though it’s rather silly.

    In other words, it’s more or less a very expensive novelty building that probably doesn’t pay off before the game is over… 😉

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