The Builder is the basic building block of an empire. They are used to create tile improvements (both on land and sea), collect resources, and build many different things within your cities' borders. They can also be used to repair pillaged improvements (but not districts or their buildings, which must be repaired through the city production queue).
Note that the Harvest Resource and the Repair Improvement commands appear with the main commands on the top of the unit card, whenever the Builder is on a tile which allows these actions! Don't look for them to the left, where all the Build Improvements and Remove features actions are found.
The Builder is very different from the Worker of Civilization V. First of all, it has limited uses (charges), and disappears from the game after it expends these. Second, its actions are instantaneous, instead of extending through various turns. These differences require a very different approach to using Builders - they are best used quickly, so that you can start enjoying the improvements they built ASAP, and stop paying their Gold maintenance. You can, of course, maintain one reserve unit for emergency repairs, although most of the time this isn't worth it.
By default, the Builder only has three charges, but this can be increased in various ways:
- Qin Shi Huang's leader ability grants his Builders one extra charge.
- The Pyramids wonder grants all Builders one extra charge (retroactively for active Builders).
- The Serfdom and Public Works policy card grants newly created Builders two extra charges.
Builders captured by military units will retain their current charge amount.
Historical Context Edit
Every era has had the men and women who lay the foundations … the farms, fences, mines, roads, bridges, ditches, and all the rest that add up to “civilization.” Whether slaves, wage-slaves, contractors, or actually working for themselves, these “builders” spread out into the wilderness and tame it, making it productive and profitable. Then they keep it all running and in repair. No civilization can survive without these men and women (and children, at least until the early 20th century). While technology and machinery has certainly helped, the work of all this building and maintaining the infrastructure of a nation is still demanding, dirty, and dangerous; in 2013 AD, there were 828 fatalities in the construction industry in the United States, and 46 in the United Kingdom.