Dynastic Cycle Edit
10% extra Eurekas and Inspirations are nice. But it would be counter productive if you over wait for Eurekas and Inspirations because of the 10% extra. The boost interface only shows what 50% boost amounts to. It is therefore more difficult to fully utilize the extra 10%. Think of what 10% is on a clock. 10% of an hour is 6 minutes. Leave about 10 minutes of space after the 50% boost indicator if you can afford to wait extra turns for that tech or civic. For the most essential tech or civic, plow through without delay. For multiplayer games, it helps if you are well versed in the available technologies (civics research tend to be more monotonic).
Wonder Rush Through The First Emperor Edit
China can use Builder charges to complete Ancient and Classical era Wonders. You can choose to complete as much portion of a given Wonder as you want. It takes 7 builder charges to fully complete a wonder. It takes 6 builder charges to get 90%. 6 charges may be sensible when the remaining 10% only require 1 or 2 turns to complete and when you need your builders elsewhere.
Builder and Wonder, which one is more valuable? At early game, each builder costs 50 Production while an Ancient Era wonder costs at least 180 Production. Chinese builders start with 4 charges before any further boosts, which means each charge costs 12.5 . Each charge completes 15% x 180 = 27 . Therefore, it is always better to use builder charge whenever possible. The bonus is particularly massive when you want to build wonders at new cities.
For the same reason, China has a unique advantage in rushing Petra and Pyramids since desert tiles do not provide growth or production until a Petra is built. (Both happen to be some of the strongest Wonders in game.)
To rush wonders at newer cities, make sure you move builders and settlers together (along with your escort military units). Movement in early and mid game is slow in general.
China is a nice Wonder collector. Below is a list of Ancient and Classical Wonders and notes for competitive play. Competitive play aside, you should look up their effects and see what you personally like. Personally, I try to get every Wonder regardless of its use. I especially like Great Lighthouse because I like navy. And most if not all will agree Great Lighthouse is useless.
|Stonehenge||Not advised. (Stonehenge provides a fast start on religion. Religion is weak. A slightly tardier Holy Site is just as good. Rushing Stonehenge requires you to put production of your Capital city towards the Stonehenge effort, which is a big NO. AI always rushes Stonehenge. In Multiplayer, if no one has built Stonehenge when you are almost in a position to build Holy Site, you can go for Stonehenge instead.)|
|Great Pyramids||Great. Require desert tile and therefore ample scouting.|
|Mahabodhi Temple||Not advised. (Whether going for religious victory, apostles are not useful early game. There is no city to convert. Religion beliefs are weak and not worth fighting for. Even in single player games, rushing religion beliefs are unnecessary since the best beliefs often stay available long after AI religion players enhance their religions.)|
|Colosseum||The best Wonder. China always gets Colosseum if it chooses to. Plan ahead its optimal placement.|
|Colossus||A cheap trader and trading route (and 3 gold per turn). Good. But not a priority. Neither human or AI players will rush Colossus early.|
|Oracle||Only if you have excess builders.|
|Great Lighthouse||Nice for island maps where extra movement means more effective naval force. Useless otherwise.|
|Hanging Gardens||Only if you have excess builders.|
|Great Library||Situational. By the time you can build Great Library, you likely have boosted most Ancient and Classical techs. Extra Science and Great Scientist point is not useless. But only pursue if you have excess builders.|
|Petra||One of the strongest. Turns desert hill and flood plain into insane power tiles. If you can find a place for desert city, you will also have a place for Pyramids.|
- For single-player collection of Stonehenge, if you are playing Emperor or Above, try shuffle your maps to get a good suitable position -- close to a Natural Wonder and some city-states. The boost on Astrology from Natural Wonder allows you to research the techs you need to work tiles and produce military. City-states alleviate the need for regular production. If you do sacrifice early production and expansion, you will lose the later Wonders.
Turns Needed to Complete a Wonder Edit
Unless a worker uses up its charges, he can only charge a Wonder once a turn. Once his charges are used up, you can move an additional worker to charge the same Wonder again in the same turn. This means, with 4-charge builders early game, you need 6 turns to fully complete a Wonder with works.
As discussed earlier, it is not worthwhile to use city production on Ancient and Classical Wonder. If your city has a lot of Production, it should be used to perform regular production, such as producing more builders. If your city is new and Production is low, then using city production on Wonder significantly waste production turns.
You need to switch to Wonder construction to allow builder charging, after charging the Wonder, switch back to regular production to keep up with game progress.
Charging Wonder Mid to Late Game Edit
The Production cost of builders increases as you advance through the tech and civic tree. Nevertheless, it is still more efficient to use builders to charge Wonders instead of building them directly.
Great Wall Edit
The Great Wall is very situational. You can use it to get a cultural boost, but you'll be relying on the lay of the land to really make it worthwhile. If you can set aside a triangle of hexes you'll get all of 6 culture from them, which is pretty good late game when the ability to get the boosts can dry up, but bear in mind that because of the increased value of your boosts you probably won't need them to stay ahead of your opposition. This is not to say that a triangle (probably the minimum formation of walls worth considering) isn't worthwhile, but to do that you're burning 45% of a wonder, so care should be taken to balance this and the potential loss of civic boosts against the benefits of increased culture. Certainly if you can triple your culture output with a few walls it's probably worth doing it, as that will outreach every 150% civic boost, but bear in mind that your culture from other sources will increase, so triple now may be double later and very little by the mid-game unless you're in a position to make a lot more wall.
If you're going to build Great Wall segments bear in mind that as they have to be at the edge of your territory (when you build them) you can't afford to leave a spot where you want to build a segment indefinitely or your border may move beyond it.
From the end of the Ancient/Classical Wonders Edit
Having got a fast start and the lion's share, if not all, of the early wonders the trick is to keep the interest up, because your builders' one extra build each doesn't seem so impressive on top of six builds when you no longer have wonders to hurry. However, it's still one sixth more than your opposition get. At this point it would make sense to go wide (make as many cities as possible), so you have tiles to use that extra build on. Crouching Tiger means that you can go wide by acquiring cities without stopping to build settlers. You could consider holding off on finishing Terracotta Army until you have a few tigers. It's a gamble, but given how Terracotta Army works there's little point in popping it until you have a worthy fighting force.
At about this point it become more difficult to achieve the boosts. To keep/get your science/culture ahead you may need to invest in Campuses/Theatre Squares, if you haven't already.
Victory Types Edit
|Religious||Should be fairly easy if you got Stonehenge and particularly if you got Mahabodhi as well. There's a City State, Yerevan, that allows you to pick any promotion for your new Apostles. If you become its suzerain it may be best to save up your apostles' promotions until they're on the doorstep of each target city without an opposing religion just in case it acquires one at the last moment. (Don't forget that promoting a unit ends its turn and requires at least one movement point remaining.)|
|Science||You should have a fair lead through Dynastic Cycle.|
|Cultural||Though you may have a lead in Civics it won't translate easily into a victory, as you won't have achieved much tourism, or progress toward it, in the process.|
|Domination||You don't have much to give you an edge here but you should be able to make some progress with your tigers until they're out of date. You may get a slight edge from faster Great Admiral generation if your target cities are coastal.|
|Score||This could be a bit dicey. It's plausible that if you let the clock run out then one of the aggressive nations will have overtaken you not by beating you, but by beating multiple other civs. However, if you target a nation that starts to become too acquisitive you should be able to leverage your technological advantage and fast start to deal with it. Take particular care if you leaned on religion, because that (probably) won't help militarily at all.|
Historical Context Edit
China has contributed much to civilization: paper, the bell, the fishing reel, gunpowder, the compass, the bulkhead, playing cards, the oil well, woodblock printing, silk, the list of Chinese inventions goes on endlessly. China has also given civilization great religions (Confucianism, Taoism, Faism, Yi Bimoism, and others) and great philosophies (mohism, legalism, naturalism, neo-taoism and so forth). Chinese authors such as Shi Nai’an and Wu Cheng’an, artists such as Han Gan and Ma Yuan, composers such as Wei Liangfu and Cai Yan enriched civilization beyond measure. Moreover, China introduced the concepts of slavery, monogamy, espionage, subversion, propaganda, urbanization, lingchi (“death by a thousand cuts”), and more.
The so-called Warring States period (c. 475 BC to 221 BC) saw ancient China composed of seven kingdoms – Qi, Qin, Zhao, Yan, Han, Chu and Wei – at odds with each other … seriously at odds as they fought incessantly. Eventually, the king of the Qin, Ying Zheng, managed the task of unifying China, conquering the last enemy (Qi) and thus proclaiming himself Qin Shi Huang (loosely, “first emperor of Qin”). During his glorious reign, besides burning books and burying alive scholars who disagreed with him – for the Warring States period had given rise to the Hundred Schools of Thought, a distressing collection of liberal philosophies and free thinking – the Qin undertook an extensive road- and canal-building program and even began construction of the Great Wall of China to keep the barbarians out (as it turned out, a futile effort). Although he sought mightily for the fabled elixir of immortality, Ying Zheng didn’t find it – obviously – and he died in 210 BC. He was interred in a massive mausoleum near Chang’an, built by 700 thousand “unpaid laborers” and guarded by the famed Terracotta Army. The Qin Empire lasted only a few years longer.
In 207 BC Liu Bang, a peasant rebel and born troublemaker, aided by the ambitious Chu warlord Xiang Yu, toppled Qin Shi Huang’s inept successor from the throne and established – after doing away with his ally – the Han dynasty. Interrupted only briefly by the Xin dynasty, the Han ruled over an age of linguistic consolidation, cultural experimentation, political expression, economic prosperity, exploration and expansion, and technological innovation. It was a good time, made even better when Emperor Wu shattered the Xiangnu Federation in the steppes and redefined China’s traditional borders. Han traders ventured as far afield as the Parthian Empire and India; Roman manufactured glassware has been found in Han ruins. The Han emperors also scattered agricultural communes of ex-soldiers across the western expanses, so anchoring their end of the Silk Road.
The rise of the commander Cao Cao meant the decline of the Han emperor. In 208 AD Cao Cao abolished the Three Excellencies, the emperor’s top advisors, and took for himself the post of Chancellor. In 215, Cao Cao forced the emperor Xian to divorce his empress and take Cao’s daughter as wife. With prognostications and heavenly signs indicating that the Han had lost the tianming (“Mandate of Heaven”), Xian abdicated his throne in December 220 in favor of Cao Cao’s son, Cao Pi. Pi proclaimed the Wei dynasty … and unified China promptly fell apart.
For 60 years following the Yellow Turban Rebellion – imaginatively labelled the “Three Kingdoms Period” by sinologists – three kingdoms were contenders to rebuild the centralized empire of the Qin and the Han. The three – the states of Wei, Shu and Wu – never quite managed the task; it was left to the Jin to accomplish. Sima Yan forced Cao Huan to cede him the throne of Wei. Following brilliant campaigns, the Wei overran Shu (263 AD) and Wu (279 AD). But the Jin dynasty was seriously weakened by the family squabbles of the imperial princes, and soon enough lost control of the northern and western provinces (henceforth the empire was known simply known as the Eastern Jin), leading to the period labelled the Sixteen Kingdoms (again named by those clever sinologists), which lasted until 439.
Despite some consolidation – brought about by rivers of blood – it was not until 589 that the whole of China was together again under one ruler, the short-lived Sui dynasty. It was followed by the Tang dynasty, which managed to stay on the throne of a unified (more-or-less) China until 907 AD. The Tang was much like the Han administration, emphasizing trade and diplomacy, bringing stability and prosperity. Thus it was that religion and culture flourished. The Grand Canal project begun by the Sui was completed, the Silk Road reopened, and the legal code revised; among other steps, the latter effort expanded the property rights of women and instituted competitive imperial examinations for bureaucrats, along several other innovations. Taxes were standardized based on rank, and the first Chinese census undertaken so everyone paid. Brilliant poets such as Li Bai and Du Fu celebrated the age, setting high standards for Chinese literature for centuries.
But the Tang Empire was struck by a century of natural disasters; floods on the Yellow River and along the Grand Canal followed by widespread droughts brought devastating famine and economic collapse. Agricultural production fell by half, and as usual desperate people turned elsewhere for leadership. Beset by endless rebellions, in 907 the former salt smuggler risen to military governor, Zhu Wen, deposed the last huangdi (emperor) of the Tang. Thus was ushered in the period of the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms (the label pretty much says it all) which ended around 960 AD. In the next four centuries, five dynasties would rule reunified (again) China: the Song, Liao, Jin (again), Western Xia and Yuan (established by Kublai Khan after the Mongols slipped past that Great Wall). Each contributed its own technological discoveries, philosophical insights and social advances to the tapestry of civilization. But it is the Ming dynasty that captures the imagination.
Throughout the core of China, there was significant resentment to Mongol rule, exacerbated during the 1340s by famine and plague and marked by numerous peasant rebellions. Obviously, the tianming had been withdrawn from Kublai’s descendants. The poor-peasant-turned-rebel-leader Zhu Yuanzhang (known today as the Emperor Hongwu) proclaimed himself emperor of the Ming in 1368 after capturing Beijing. He’d come a long way; according to legend Zhu was the youngest of seven or eight brothers, several of whom were sold to raise money for the starving family. After the Yellow River flooded out his village and plague killed all his remaining family, he took shelter in a Buddhist monastery, which was destroyed by a Mongol army retaliating against Zoroastrian rebels. Thus, Zhu came to join the rebel movement himself, rising to its leadership by the age of 30. Vengeance begat vengeance.
The Ming dynasty ushered in a glittering age for China. Once secure on the throne Tatzu (an alliterative name for a complex person) instituted a number of policy initiatives. Among the first, a move to limit the advancement and influence of eunuchs in the imperial court, where several had enjoyed great power under previous dynasties (perhaps some of the empire’s later woes could be blamed on their return to influence – establishing a virtual parallel administration). In the social order, four classes were recognized, each with its own rights and obligations: gentry, farmers, artisans and merchants. Later Ming emperors granted ever more benefits to the merchant class, viewing their efforts as generating wealth and taxes for the empire. Besides fighting off the Mongol threat again, wars with Korea and Japan used up a lot of that wealth. And then a cycle of natural disasters struck yet again. By 1640, masses of peasants – starving, unable to pay their taxes, and unafraid of the oft-defeated imperial army – were in rebellion. When it was all sorted out, the Qing (or Manchu) dynasty ruled.
And it did so fairly effectively until the Europeans started making waves. Although the Polos and other occasional visiting traders and adventurers had made their way through China’s back door, the Portuguese arrived by sea in the guise of Jorge Alvares in 1513. Soon enough they had conned the Ming emperor into granting them a trading “enclave” in Macau, with the first governor there taking up his duties in 1557. Meanwhile, under the Qing the economy and government – which wisely tended to avoid foreign adventures – were stable. A high level of literacy, a publishing industry supported by the government, growing cities, and a pervasive Confucian emphasis on peaceful exploration of the inner self, all contributed to an explosion of creativity in the arts and philosophies. Traditional arts and crafts such as calligraphy, painting, poetry, drama and culinary styles underwent a resurgence.
But those annoying outsiders continued to meddle. By the early 19th Century, Imperial China found itself vulnerable to European, Meiji Japanese and Russian imperialism. With vastly superior naval forces, better armaments, superior communications and tactics honed in fighting each other, the colonial powers sought to dictate to the Qing government, dominate China’s trade, and generally do whatever they liked. In 1842 China was defeated in the First Opium War by Great Britain and forced to sign the infamous Nanking Treaty, the first of many “unequal treaties.” A series of such trade treaties ruined the Chinese economy by 1900. Japan, which had quickly modernized and joined the colonial fray, forced China to recognize its rule in Korea and Taiwan. While the Qing remained nominal rulers, the European powers, including Russia, divvied the entire country up into exclusive “spheres of influence.” The United States, meanwhile, unilaterally declared an “Open Door” policy in China.
It was all too much. In 1899 the populist Yihetuan (“Militia United in Righteousness”) launched the Boxer Rebellion in an effort to return China to its own devices. Unfortunately, they lost. In the crushing peace treaty of 1901, the “Eight Nations” (those who had been attacked by the Boxers) forced the execution of all in the Qing government who had supported the Boxers, provided for the stationing of foreign troops in the capital, and imposed an indemnity greater than the annual national tax revenue. The nation plunged into growing civil disorder; in response the Dowager Empress Cixi called for reform proposals from the provincial governors. Although wide-sweeping and innovative, even if successfully adopted, it was too late. In November 1908 the emperor died suddenly (likely from arsenic poisoning), followed the next day by Cixi. In the wake of insurrections and rebellions, in 1912 the new Dowager Empress Longyu convinced the child-emperor Puyi to abdicate, bringing over two millennia of imperial rule in China to an end. And China descended into another period of contending, bloody-minded warlords.
In the 1920s, Sun Yat-sen established a revolutionary base in south China, and set out to unite the fragmented nation. With assistance from the Soviet Union (themselves fresh from a socialist uprising), he entered into an alliance with the fledgling Communist Party of China. After Sun's death from cancer in 1925, one of his protégés, Chiang Kai-shek, seized control of the Kuomintang (Nationalist Party or KMT) and succeeded in bringing most of south and central China under its rule in a military campaign known as the Northern Expedition (1926–1927). Having defeated the warlords in south and central China by military force, Chiang was able to secure the nominal allegiance of the warlords in the North. In 1927, Chiang turned on the CPC and relentlessly chased the CPC armies and its leaders from their bases in southern and eastern China. In 1934, driven from their mountain bases such as the Chinese Soviet Republic, the CPC forces embarked on the Long March across China's most desolate terrain to the northwest, where they established a guerrilla base at Yan'an in Shaanxi Province. During the Long March, the communists reorganised under a new leader, Mao Zedong (Mao Tse-tung).
The bitter struggle between the KMT and the CPC continued, openly or clandestinely, through the 14-year-long Japanese occupation of various parts of the country (1931–1945). The two Chinese parties nominally formed a united front to oppose the Japanese in 1937, during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945), which became a part of World War II. Following the defeat of Japan in 1945, the war between the Nationalist government forces and the CPC resumed, after failed attempts at reconciliation and a negotiated settlement. By 1949, the CPC had gained control over most of China and on the 1st of October that year, Mao Zedong established the People's Republic of China.
Emerging triumphant over the Nationalists shortly after World War II, the Communist government spent the subsequent sixty years consolidating power, modernising infrastructure, and improving the lives and education of its vast population, a process which included a number of massive missteps, including the disastrous "Great Leap Forward" and the bloody "Cultural Revolution" which did great harm to its ancient culture. In the past 38 years since Deng Xiaoping's successful economic reforms, China has emerged as a major world power, an economic behemoth which will soon dwarf all other economies including the once unstoppable United States.
China is not without its difficulties, however. Much of its energy is expended simply supporting its huge and growing population base. Pollution is becoming a major problem as more and more factories are built, and more and more automobiles are clogging the bigger cities. Tibet - which depending upon your point of view is either a captive nation or an integral part of China - remains an open wound and major political distraction for China. None of these are insurmountable, though, and China stands poised to dominate the 21st century.