The Chinese civilization ability is "Dynastic Cycle," which allows Eurekas and Inspirations to provide 60% of the cost of technologies and civics. Their unique unit is the Crouching Tiger, and their unique tile improvement is the Great Wall.
Dynastic Cycle Edit
10% extra Eurekas and Inspirations are great all game, especially in the late game when both technologies and civics are far more expensive. The enhanced boosts allow for China to have great snowballing potential all game. But it would be counterproductive to wait too long 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, so 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.
This bonus proves its own worth if you are considering a Domination victory strategy. Every time you conquer a city, you (if the civilization is ahead of you) gain an Eureka or Inspiration. With Dynastic Cycle, this becomes even more valuable, allowing you to more easily keep up in technology and civics.
Last but not least, stealing technology boosts with spies in the mid to late game is even more valuable as China because the Eurekas are 60% instead of the usual 50%. This strategy has excellent synergy with wonders that give extra policy slots, therefore allowing China to fuel powerful spy-oriented policies like Machiavellianism, Cryptography and Nuclear Espionage without having to sacrifice other aspects of her gameplay. This setup allows for what I'd like to call the Sling-Shot-Teching strategy - if going for a science victory, constantly utilise spies to steal technology boosts from your rivals. This effectively allows your rivals to do most of the hard teching for you. This strategy is strong all game, but especially so as you approach the Information Era as most of the technologies in that era cannot be boosted unless by a spy or Great Scientist. This strategy gets better the higher you go in difficulty (in single player) because on Emperor and higher, the AI will almost always be ahead of you in technology.
For multiplayer games, it helps if you are well versed in the available technologies. (Civics research tends to be more monotonic.)
The First Emperor Edit
China's Builders get an extra charge, giving them a total of 4 instead of 3 charges. Combine this later on with the Pyramids, Serfdom and Public Works, and you can potentially have 7 charge builders running around the map - the highest possible number of charges for builders in the current game! 4 base charge Builders are multi-purpose, and will be a great asset in every game no matter the starting and surrounding locations. At a basic level, 4 charges means that China can expand both horizontally and vertically quicker than other civilizations. Getting faster and more plentiful tile improvements early on means a boost to Food, Production and Gold in the early game, which will set you up for the rest of the game. This cannot be understated, as 4 charge builders may mean the difference to you getting an extra city to grab that much-needed luxury resource just before it is taken by a neighbouring rival, or it may be the deciding factor to you having more overall cities to work with by the time everyone's territory has covered the map. An extra charge can be used not just for tile improvements, but clearing out more forests and rainforests, which is, in the early game, massive Production boosts to further put you in the lead.
All this works well with the Dynastic Cycle ability of China, because early on, technologies like Irrigation, Masonry and Horseback Riding are all dependent on you constructing specific tile improvements - farms, quarries and pastures, respectively. Similarly, the Inspirations of early civics like Craftsmanship and Early Empire are dependent on tile improvements and relatively high early-game population (which is, again, dependent on a high number of Food-providing tile improvements). As China's improved Builders can net you more of these, this means that there is a knock-on effect of China grabbing more quickly and easily the Eurekas and Inspirations in the early game that are dependent on the construction of tile improvements. This will help you establish an early lead with both the technology and civic trees and set you up for a comfortable mid to late game.
On the subject of tile improvements, if you are facing a threatening swarm of barbarians early game, or if a neighbouring civilization declares a surprise war against you, you can also use the extra charge of your Builders to lay down Great Wall segments (more details on this in the section devoted to the Great Wall). This will give you a massive defensive boost if the situation demands it in the early game.
China can also 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 Production. Each charge completes 15% x 180 = 27 . Therefore, it is always better to use a Builder charge whenever possible. The bonus is particularly massive when you want to build wonders around new cities which do not yet have many tile improvements.
For the same reason, China has a unique advantage in rushing Petra, Colosseum and the Pyramids since desert tiles do not provide growth or Production until Petra is built. All three wonders happen to be some of the strongest Wonders in game. The only drawback to this is that not every map will fulfil the requirements of Petra and the Pyramids, making this part of Qin's ability reliant on getting a favourable map.
To rush wonders around newer cities, make sure you move Builders and Settlers together (along with your escort military units), bearing in mind that movement in the 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, compiled in order of usefulness (in the opinion of a player who primarily uses China when playing the game). Competitive play aside, you should look up their effects and see what you personally like.
The last questions you might be asking yourself is: How many and which Ancient to Classical wonders should I attempt to rush in a standard game? The answer is it will depend on what victory type you are going for. The number will therefore vary from game to game. That said, there are three general tips: 1. Always rush Petra, Colosseum and the Pyramids whenever possible. 2. Once your Core three wonders are completed, if you can meet the map requirements and am confident that you still have enough room and time to expand your empire afterwards, go after the Great to Situational wonders as appropriate (more details below). 3. Careful to strike a balance between early empire expansion and building Wonders. Don't get so focused on the Wonders that you end up with half the number of cities that everyone else has by the mid-game!
Core = Grab these every game if possible. These are your top priority, consistently game-changing wonders.
Great = Useful to have, but not essential. These are your consistently good wonders.
Situational = Situationally great. Don't bother otherwise.
Useless = Don't bother. You have more important tasks for your Builders in the early to mid game.
|Pyramids1||Core. One of the best Wonders. Has fantastic synergy with the already powerful 4 charge Chinese builder and China's unique ability to rush Ancient and Classical wonders with builder charges. Prioritise this wonder over all else. Requires a desert tile and therefore ample scouting.|
|Colosseum||Core. One of the best Wonders. 6 tile ranged, area of effect +2 Amenities, +2 Loyalty and +2 Culture is great all game. The requirement for this wonder (i.e. must be adjacent to an Entertainment Complex district with an Arena) is relatively easy to meet, so, by all means, plan its optimal placement ahead of time and try to get this wonder every game.|
|Petra||Core. One of the best Wonders. Turns desert hills into great power tiles. Petra allows a player (but usually only China) to settle in desert areas which would otherwise be uninhabitable. In addition, if you can find a place for desert city, you will also have a place for the Pyramids. Requires suitable terrains and therefore ample scouting.|
|Temple of Artemis||Great. POTENTIALLY one of the best Wonders. The +1 Amenity from every camp, plantation and pasture within a 4-tile radius, assuming you strategically place this wonder to maximise its effectiveness, can be game-changingly massive. If considering only the potential number of Amenities, it is far and away better than the Colosseum because it potentially provides far more Amenities AND is empire-wide instead of being restricted by a 6-tile radius (the radius limit of the Colosseum). On top of that, it comes earlier at Archery instead of Games and Recreation, and does not require you to build an Entertainment Complex district and Arena first (the requirements of the Colosseum). Additional Food and Housing are extra bonuses that sweeten the deal further, and can allow you to quickly grow a city where growth would otherwise be difficult.
The reason that it is not a Core Wonder is because its effectiveness is highly dependent on and varies wildly with the number of resources that are available. Ample scouting is thus required. There is also the fact that if you are not planning to rule a huge empire, extra Amenities may be unnecessary.
|Hanging Gardens||Great. The +15% empire-wide growth is helpful for eventually getting more citizens to work more tiles and, in the late game, become specialists inside districts. This is especially good for cities that lack plentiful sources of Food and are struggling to grow in population size. And while the Hanging Gardens do provide +2 Housing, that only applies to the city it is built in. That said, the only potential drawback to faster population growth is the hard cap of insufficient Housing and the soft cap of insufficient Amenities. If you can work around these caps, the Hanging Gardens is a legitimately useful wonder to build. Statistics aside, if you want to role-play as real-life China (with its highly populated cities), this is a great wonder to grab to help you experience the glorious power of a massive population in the late game.|
|Apadana2||Situational. +2 Great Work slots and +2 Envoys per Wonder built in this city can be game-changingly useful ONLY if you're confident that the parent city will reliably be building multiple Wonders throughout the rest of the game. The +2 Envoys per Wonder is extremely powerful for winning over City-States, thus swinging political influence in your favour. This can be a game-changer especially if you're neck-to-neck in terms of military strength on a crowded map. Being the Suzerain of multiple City-States not only gives you all the usual bonuses of being a Suzerain, but effectively cements them as military allies or buffer zones if you go to war with a neighbouring rival. This Wonder is especially powerful in the hands of China as China can rush build multiple Wonders early on, thus having synergy with this Wonder's properties. Additionally, the +2 Great Work slots are a nice bonus if you're going for a Cultural Victory.
The reason why this isn't a core Wonder is because not every game will you have a city that is capable of massive amounts of Production AND fit all the map requirements of the Wonders you'll be going for. There is also the variable of desirable Wonders getting taken before you can build them, which makes this a Situational Wonder to grab. Not only that, but other Wonders might have higher priority, so that by the time you're ready to build the Apadana, you would have built most of your target Wonders, thus reducing its effectiveness. The last reason is that there will be games in which you might not be interested in wooing City-States, in which case this Apadana will not be needed.
|Terracotta Army|| Situational.
|Jebel Barkal4||Situational. The double iron can be essential if you do not have iron and plan to build Knights and Swordsmen. The +4 Faith in a 6 tile radius can be extremely powerful you're pursuing a religious victory.|
|Stonehenge3||Situational. Useful only if you're absolutely sure you will be going for a Religious Victory. It'll help you get a fast early religion. Pair this with the Follower Belief of Divine Inspiration (more on this below), and you'll have +4 Faith from all of your Wonders. This will set you up for a comfortable mid-to-late religious game.|
|Mahabodhi Temple||Situational. The two Apostles can be useful if you found an early religion either by accumulating Great Prophet points or by grabbing Stonehenge. By making them perform the Evangelize Belief action, they can net your fledgling religion two Enhancer Beliefs faster than most other civilizations. In choosing beliefs, a setup that has worked very well for me is the following: (Follower) Divine Inspiration, (Worship) Mosque, (Founder) Pilgrimage, (Enhancer) Holy Order. Grab these whenever possible, and feel free to improvise as appropriate.|
|Oracle||Situational. 1 Culture and 1 Faith is tiny, even by early game standards. -25% Faith costs for Great Persons and +2 Great Person points from districts in the parent city are nice if you have an abundance of Faith, but Great Person points do not kick in until much later in the game since there won't be many districts in the city until later. Also, you'll have to balance the purchasing of Apostles and Missionaries and the purchasing of Great Persons if you are going for a Religious Victory. If you must get this, try to build it with Stonehenge, Jebel Barkal and Mahabodhi Temple to maximise its effects.|
|Mausoleum at Halicarnassus2||Situational. A free Great Admiral and an additional Great Admiral and Great Engineer charge works awkwardly with China's kit. Unless you're on a water-heavy map and have constructed a Harbor already, this wonder's usefulness is limited if you are not planning on grabbing many Great Admirals and/or Great Engineers. This wonder effectively locks you into a very niche strategy of building many Harbors and Industrial Zone districts to maximise its potential. That said, if you are playing on a water-heavy map and need empowered Great Engineers and navies, this Wonder would be exactly what you would want.|
|Colossus||Situational. One extra Trade Route is nice and a free Trader saves valuable Production time. However, it's not a priority, especially since neither human nor AI players will rush the Colossus early. Its usefulness is further limited by the fact that the player has to build a harbour district first, which requires a city to be settled near or on the coast, as well as a lot of valuable Production to be spent on the harbour district, especially in the crucial early to mid game where Production should be directed to settlers, builders and other more valuable wonders. The Colossus can be useful on a water-heavy map, but otherwise very much skippable.|
|Great Lighthouse||Situational. Extra movement means a more effective naval force. Nice for island maps where you plan on instigating naval warfare. Useless otherwise.|
|Great Library||Useless. By the time you can build the Great Library, you will likely have boosted or acquired most Ancient and Classical techs. The extra Science and Great Scientist points are not useless, but you should only pursue them if you have excess Builders. The Great Works of Writing slots work awkwardly in the early-mid game because they are only useful if you're also building Theatre Square districts and going for a cultural victory. Early on in the game, the number of districts you can build per city will be restricted by your relatively low population, and you will be forced to switch out either the Commercial Hub or Industrial Zone districts for the Theatre Square district. This is assuming you've already built Campus districts in multiple cities to get to the Great Library. Switching out other key districts is therefore not recommended because it'll severely limit the potential of your mid to late game.|
1 Note that the Pyramids add one extra charge for all existing Builders as well. Therefore, if you have a choice when your Pyramids are near completion, shuffle your Builders so that you have as many of them left as possible.
2 Available only if you bought the Persia and Macedon Civilization & Scenario Pack.
3 If you want to collect Stonehenge, if you are playing at the Emperor difficulty level or above in single-player, try to shuffle your maps to get a good suitable position - near some Stone, close to a Natural Wonder and some city-states. The boost to Astrology from a Natural Wonder allows you to research the other techs you need to work tiles and produce military, and city-states alleviate the need for regular Production. If you do sacrifice early Production and expansion, you will lose the later Wonders.
4 Available only if you bought the Nubia Civilization & Scenario Pack.
Turns Needed to Complete a Wonder Edit
Unless a Builder uses up its charges, it can only charge a Wonder once a turn. Once its charges are used up, you can move an additional Builder to charge the same Wonder again in the same turn. This way, you can rapidly rush a wonder by moving in a succession of 1-charge Builders and using their final charge. Because the source of your Builders for rushing wonders with doesn't matter, you can have your entire empire contribute towards the construction of a single wonder.
If a Builder charge contributes more Production than is needed to complete a district, it overflows to the next thing you build, avoiding any being wasted.
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 wastes Production turns even more significantly.
To construct Wonders and maintain regular Production in parallel, 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. I have been able to successfully build two Wonders and Ancient Walls at the same time this way, making this a powerful early-game mechanic if used appropriately.
Charging Classical Era Wonders 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. That is because as you progress through the tech tree, you will receive the Serfdom policy card from the Feudalism civic, which adds 2 Builder charges. Assuming you have obtained the Pyramids at this point, that is 7 charges per builder. It takes 1-3 turns at a Production center (likely your Capital, with further unit Production boost from city-states) to build a Builder with Serfdom. Therefore, a few Builder charges are really cheap compared to the valuable Production turns that you can spend building other essential buildings. Another way to look at this is that Builder charges are applied in parallel to regular Production. Parallel Production is more efficient.
Later Wonders To Watch For Edit
The First Emperor bonus no longer applies for Wonders after the Classical Era. Nevertheless, since you are likely in a Wonder collection mode when you play China and also since you are likely to have extra Production capacity due to extra Builder charges, here is a list of later Wonders to watch for. Where appropriate, remember to use Gothic Architecture and Skyscrapers to speed up construction of wonders by 15%.
The key here is to see how you can create combinations with the wonders. The best possible example of a combination is to build Petra on a city with many desert hill tiles, then use this city as your primary Production city to build all of your desired future wonders (shown below). Of particular note is that you can further improve the Production capacity of this city later on if you can build Ruhr Valley. These are just two examples of wonder combinations, and depending on your map, the possibilities are many.
|Hagia Sophia||Medieval||(Religious Victory only) +4 Faith and Missionaries and Apostles can use Spread Religion 1 extra time.|
|Alhambra||Medieval||+1 Military Policy Slot|
|Mont St. Michel||Medieval||(Religious Victory only) Apostles gain the Martyr ability in addition to a second ability you choose normally. +2 Faith and 2 Relic slots are a bonus.|
|Forbidden City||Renaissance||+1 Wildcard Policy Slot (a must-have Wonder)|
|Potala Palace||Renaissance||+1 Diplomatic Policy Slot|
|Venetian Arsenal||Renaissance||Receives a second of the same naval unit whenever you train one|
|Big Ben||Industrial||+1 Economic Policy Slot and doubles current treasury (a must-have Wonder)|
|Ruhr Valley||Industrial||+30% Production in the city; +1 Production for each Mine and Quarry in this city.|
|Oxford University||Industrial||+20% Science in the city|
|Hermitage||Industrial||(Cultural Victory only) +3 Great Artist points per turn and +4 Great Works of Art slots.|
|Bolshoi Theatre||Industrial||(Cultural Victory only) +2 Great Writer and +2 Great Musician points per turn. +1 Great Work of Writing slot and +1 Great Work of Music slot. Awards 2 randomly-chosen free civics when completed.|
|Cristo Redentor||Modern||(Cultural Victory only) +4 Culture. Tourism output from Relics and Holy Cities is not diminished by other civilizations who have researched The Enlightenmentcivic. Doubles Tourism output of Seaside Resorts across your civilization.|
|Eiffel Tower||Modern||(Cultural Victory only) All tiles in your civilisation gain +2 Appeal - Great for increasing the number of suitable coastal tiles for Seaside Resorts, and for increasing the effectiveness of your Neighbourhood districts.|
|Broadway||Modern||(Cultural Victory only) +3 Great Writer and +3 Great Musician points per turn. +1 Great Works of Writing slot and +2 Great Works of Music slots. 1 Free random Atomic era civic boost - has synergy with Dynastic Cycle.|
|Estádio do Maracanã||Modern||+6 Culture and +2 Amenities for all cities in your empire.|
|Sydney Opera House||Atomic||(Cultural Victory only) +8 Culture, +5 Great Musician points per turn and +3 Great Works of Music slots.|
Great Wall Edit
First of all, Great Wall segments are great for accessible defence. Occupying units receive +4 Defense Strength and automatically gain 2 turns of fortification, giving a total of +10 Defense Strength (which can be further augmented to +13 Defense Strength if it is built on a hill tile). This is the same as a normal Fort, but without having to train Military Engineers, which do not become available until the Medieval Era; instead, Chinese Builders can build them as a tile improvement (once you've researched Masonry) with their plentiful charges. This makes the Great Wall much more accessible than a Fort because it comes earlier AND you can lay down 4-7 of them per Builder (if the occasion demands) without having to build an Encampment, Barracks or Stable, Armory and Military Engineer (and even then, they can lay down a maximum of only two Forts per Engineer).
Great Wall segments are especially potent when built on hill tiles. If you are facing an early push (whether it be from a neighbouring rival or barbarians) at a place where your military is thin, Great Wall segments can be built on-demand to provide defensive combat bonuses. Personally, I have found good use of the Great Wall tile improvement at all stages of the game. Putting one or two down and then fortifying it with units may be the difference between stopping a barbarian horde or not. It also helps when facing against a threatening neighbour at any stage of the game. The defensive combat bonus makes Crouching Tigers more flexible. A 1 Range unit is typically only useful in Encampments and City Centers, but Great Wall segments allow them to approach the front line more safely. Overall, the Great Wall tile improvement allows you to run a smaller defending army. It makes the value of each military unit more efficient because of its defence-giving properties. This is useful all game, but especially so in the early game when you are focusing your Production on Wonders instead of military units.
As for its second characteristic, the adjacency bonuses to Culture and Gold and Tourism, the Great Wall gets added utility in the late game on top of its still relevant defensive properties. The Tourism boost is useful late in the game if you're aiming for a Cultural Victory because you'll need every bit of Tourism you can get to surpass your rivals. Just remember that researching Castles will grant you the Culture, and Flight the Tourism. Also, the Tourism will only be in effect if your city is working that tile. That said, be prudent in building Great Wall segments - only build them along areas where you might be attacked. Building too many of them will sacrifice too many tiles which could have been used for Food, Production and/or Gold.
The only other tiles where you would want to build a lot of Great Wall segments are on ice or tundra tiles as you cannot build anything else on them. In that sense, otherwise low-yield tiles would at least have some value to them when worked by your cities. This also works on empty desert tiles that have been augmented by Petra, turning the already good tiles into great tiles.
Crouching Tiger Edit
The Crouching Tiger is a unique ranged unit that costs 160 Production, 20 less Production than the 180 Production Crossbowman and gains +10 Ranged Combat Strength for total of +50 Ranged Combat Strength, relative to the Crossbowman's +40 Ranged Combat Strength. However, it has one less Range when compared to the Crossbowman. Its superiority in firepower is equivalent to one tech level or a Corps level higher, which is massive. This also means that in terms of raw damage output (if one were to take into account both Ranged Combat Strength and Melee Combat Strength), it is the most powerful unit in the Medieval Era, surpassing even the Knight by 2 damage. However, the reduction in Range means Crouching Tigers will be exposed to enemy melee units unless placed in defensive structures, which significantly inhibits their use. Crouching Tigers are therefore most useful in defensive wars, when placed in Encampments or City Centers. If neither is available or convenient, ad hoc Great Wall placement can also help the survivability of Crouching Tigers.
If you are using them on the front line, it is best to limit the exposure of individual Crouching Tigers to enemy melee or cavalry troops through adjacent friendly (melee) units. That, or another way is by placing them on tiles that give defensive bonuses (hills, forests, jungles, adjacent to rivers etc.). This will greatly enhance their survivability whilst allowing them to blast away with their superior firepower. Another tip if you plan on using Crouching Tigers on the front lines is to escort them with some Crossbowmen. This way, you can allow your Crouching Tigers to travel more safely to your destination while your Crossbowmen pick off any enemy units who threaten your Crouching Tigers.
If you're planning to mass-produce Crouching Tigers, it is more efficient to adopt the Feudal Contract military policy card as the Crouching Tigers are classified as Medieval ranged units. The +50% Production that is granted with this policy card has synergy with the Crouching Tiger's already lowered base costs. A tip here would be to get your Builders to construct 6 farms early on in the game to get the +60% Inspiration boost (from Dynastic Cycle), thus allowing you to get to Feudalism faster and therefore gain quicker access to the Feudal Contract military policy card.
One final note on Crouching Tigers: When you build your first one, all your city defences and encampments (providing that you've built Ancient Walls) will gain its +50 Ranged Combat Strength. This is because the Ranged Combat Strength of your cities and encampments is scaled to the Ranged Combat Strength of your strongest ranged unit. This, in conjunction with the Great Wall tile improvement and the Bastions policy card, gives China the potential to be the strongest defensive civilization in the game during the Medieval Era. It is a good idea, therefore, to build at least one Crouching Tiger as soon as you unlock it, even if you are at peace, so that you upgrade your cities' and encampments' ranged attacks.
Overall, the Crouching Tiger is situationally powerful on offence and reliably powerful on defence.
Overall, China is a solid, versatile and well-rounded civ. Early Wonder rushes and 4 charge Builders are fun and unique. After the initial Wonder rush phase, China will use the bonuses from its early Wonders, extra tile improvements and enhanced Eurekas and Inspirations to keep its overall Production and Science at the top level. China has a situationally powerful offensive military unit in the Crouching Tiger, but its true strength lies in its ability to play defensively with the protection of Great Wall segments, Forts, Encampments, City Centres and tiles that give defensive bonuses. The only drawback to playing as China would be that she is very reliant on getting a map with desert tiles. This is so that she can rush the Pyramids and potentially Petra as well. Without these two wonders under her belt, her potential throughout the game would be limited. That said, she can still easily get the Colosseum and use her improved builders to rapidly expand if there are no suitable tiles to build Petra or the Pyramids. All this means that China is somewhat map reliant to do extraordinarily well, but poised to do very well the majority of the time.
In terms of victory types, China is well poised to pursue any type of victory except for early Domination. One can focus on general development and wait to see if a Science, Religious, mid-to-late game Domination or Cultural Victory is more attainable. Spies can be of great use for stealing enhanced technology boosts and pillaging Spaceports without starting offensive wars deep into enemy territory, which is difficult in Multiplayer games. That is again where Wonder building comes in. The Wonders (listed above in the "Later Wonders To Watch For" section) that give extra Policy slots, especially non-military policy slots, will allow China to permanently field multiple espionage-enhancing cards without affecting other aspects of the game. These same Wonders and extra policy slots allow for China to be extremely flexible and adaptive in its play-style, as well as to become a mighty late-game powerhouse to be reckoned with. Lastly, if China can grab Petra with a city with many desert hill tiles, that city is primed to grab the later wonders (as mentioned above) with relative ease as it will have superior Production capabilities.
Finally, it must be noted that as far as the mechanics of the civilization's kit go, China is not the easiest of civilizations to pick up and immediately be played at its full potential. Relatively newer players will find that a base threshold of knowledge of the game is required to play China well, especially with regards to wonder prioritisation, wonder placement, wonder combinations and which wonders (especially the ones from the Ancient to Classical Era) are best under which circumstances. However, the 4-charge builders and Dynastic Cycle are relatively easy to use as they are passive bonuses that work well and reliably in any game - this does make the learning curve easier. The Great Wall segments and the Crouching Tiger will be useful as defence in case China is attacked, making the overall experience of playing China to be the following - Easy to pick up, but hard to master.
Victory Types Edit
|Religious||Rushing Stonehenge, Oracle, Jebel Barkal and Mahabodhi Temple can give an early edge. In choosing beliefs, a setup that has worked very well for me is the following: (Follower) Divine Inspiration, (Worship) Mosque, (Founder) Pilgrimage, (Enhancer) Holy Order. Grab these whenever possible, and feel free to improvise as appropriate.|
|Science||Dynastic Cycle and extra early tile improvements from the extra Builder charge can help China maintain a lead.|
|Cultural||The early wonders (especially Terracotta Army) and later Great Wall segments will give China an edge. Plentiful builder charges will allow China to easily get many Seaside Resorts up and running after she researches Radio, thus giving her a further edge in the late game.|
|Domination||Building a huge army early and then rushing Terracotta Army can provide a military edge. This will set China up for a mid to late game domination victory. If key strategic points throughout the empire need defending, the player can fortify Crouching Tigers on tiles with the Great Wall improvement, forts and/or encampments.|
|Score||Being a well-rounded civ, China should have no issue with overall scores.|
Countering China Edit
When facing against China (both in single and multiplayer), here are a few tips that can shut her down, or at least, slow her progress:
1. In the early game, try to invade China with as much military power as you can muster. The reasons for this are three-fold:
- She will most likely be dedicating a large amount of her Production and Builder charges towards the construction of Wonders, and if she hasn't gotten around to constructing Great Wall segments, she'll be relatively vulnerable to a large-scale invasion.
- The defensively powerful Crouching Tigers do not become available until China reaches the Medieval Era, so attacking before they can be built maximises your chances of success against China.
- Capturing Builders from China is a great way to impede her momentum. When you capture a Chinese Builder, they will become yours and, assuming they haven't been used yet, they will retain their original 4-charges, making them extremely valuable assets for you instead. Additionally, by capturing Chinese Builders, you will effectively axe her main strength - rush-building Wonders in the Ancient and Classical Era with said Builders. This will further set her back for the remainder of the game.
2. In the mid game, you have two options: Attack China before she can snowball further OR rapidly expand your empire to grab land before she can.
- In the scenario of attacking China, try to position your ranged units so that they can outrange the 1 Range Crouching Tigers. This way, by weakening to taking them out, you'll have a much easier time of broaching the Great Wall segments that'll usually be erected on the borders of China's empire. It will also be prudent to use the Great Wall segments for YOUR benefit. As soon as you eliminate the original defender of that tile, station a durable unit there and it'll gain +10 Defense Strength (an additional +3 if also on a hill tile). This will make it easier for you to repeal any counter-attack from China's troops.
- In the scenario of you expanding your empire, it will be most effective if you can forward settle your cities as much as possible to block off China from expanding. This is her other weak point in the mid game, because since she rush-built most of her desired Wonders, she will have had less time and resources to expand her empire. The time gap between her finishing her Wonders and her expanding is YOUR window of opportunity to block her off.
3. Assuming all other factors being equal, if China has been left alone to freely build her Wonders and make use of her Dynastic Cycle ability, she will be extremely powerful economically, advanced technologically and influential culturally in the late game. It will be hard to shut her down at this point, since combined Armies stationed on Great Wall segments are extremely difficult to dislodge. Again, you have two options: Nuke her OR steal boosts and/or Great Works with spies.
- Nuking is a viable strategy here because it effectively negates Great Wall defensive bonuses as well as wiping out any defending troops in an instant. There are no ways to stop a nuke at this point of the game's development.
- Because China has such a powerful snowballing ability with her Dynastic Cycle, she will most likely be ahead scientifically and culturally. In this scenario, using spies to steal boosts and/or Great Works will be very viable since you will be able to free-ride on her progress without doing as much of the hard work yourself. This will allow you to more easily catch up to her or even surpass her at this late stage of the game.
Lastly, be wary of the Qin's agenda: Wall of 10,000 Li. The AI likes to hoard as many Wonders as possible for himself, so if you're in a position where you do not want to upset him, avoid building Wonders and focus on other aspects of general development.
Civilopedia entry 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.
City Names Edit
- Main article: Chinese cities (Civ6)
Citizen Names Edit
- The Chinese civilization's symbol is a head of a Chinese dragon that faces to the right.
Elixir of Immortability
Win a regular game as Qin Shi Huang