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 nice. 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. 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 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 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.
For the same reason, China has a unique advantage in rushing Petra and the Pyramids since desert tiles do not provide growth or production until Petra is built. (Both happen to be some of the strongest Wonders in game.)
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. Competitive play aside, you should look up their effects and see what you personally like.
|Stonehenge*||Weak. While Stonehenge provides a fast start on religion, the head start is uncalled for even for religious victory and is purely useless for all other victory types. The religion beliefs are weak. A few Pantheon beliefs are slightly better. As a result, a slightly tardier Holy Site is just as good. Due to how easily accessible Stonehenge is, rushing it requires you to put production of your Capital towards producing the Wonder in the first 20 turns, which is a big NO. This is especially true in single-player games where the AI always rushes Stonehenge. In multiplayer, if no one has built Stonehenge when you are almost in a position to build a Holy Site, you can go for Stonehenge instead.|
|Pyramids**||Mandatory. Has fantastic synergy with the already powerful 4 charge Chinese builder and China's ability to rush Ancient and Classical wonders with builder charges. Prioritise this wonder over all else. Requires a desert tile and therefore ample scouting.|
|Mahabodhi Temple||Weak. Even when going for a religious victory, Apostles are not useful in the early game - there are no cities to convert and no foreign Missionaries to kill. Religious beliefs are weak and not worth fighting for. Even in single player games, rushing religion beliefs is unnecessary since the best beliefs often stay available long after religion-focused AI players enhance their religions.|
|Colosseum||One of the best Wonders. Area effect +3 Amenities and +2 Culture is massive early game and is still very useful late game. Whether in single- or multiplayer, China always gets the Colosseum if she chooses to. Plan its optimal placement ahead of time.|
|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.|
|Oracle||Near useless. 1 Culture and 1 Faith is tiny, even by early game standards. Loads of extra Great Person points are nice, but Great Person points are the least significant resource in Civilization VI. Not to mention the Great Person points bonuses do not kick in until much later in the game since there won't be many districts in the city until later.|
|Great Lighthouse||Extra movement means a more effective naval force. Nice for island maps. Useless otherwise.|
|Terracotta Army||Situational. Good ONLY if you have a very large military already and are seeking an early domination victory. Useless otherwise.|
|Hanging Gardens||Weak. While 15% faster city growth seems nice on paper, in reality, city growth is limited by Housing and base Food production, which is primarily related to work tiles and farming triangles. The 15% modifier plays a very small role.|
|Great Library||Weak. By the time you can build the Great Library, you likely have boosted 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.|
|Petra||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.|
* 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.
** 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.
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 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 wastes production turns even more significantly.
To construct Wonders and maintain regular productions 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.
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.
|Alhambra||Medieval||+1 Military Policy Slot|
|Forbidden City||Renaissance||+1 Wild Card Policy Slot (a must-have Wonder)|
|Potala Palace||Renaissance||+1 Diplomacy Policy Slot|
|Venetian Arsenal||Renaissance||Receives a second of the same naval unit whenever you train one|
|Big Ben||Industrial||+1 Economic Policy Slot (a must-have Wonder)|
|Ruhr Valley||Industrial||+30% Production in the city|
|Oxford University||Industrial||+20% Science in the city|
|Estádio do Maracanã||Modern||+6 Culture and +2 Amenities for all cities in your empire.|
Great Wall Edit
First of all, the Culture boost is useless. The Tourism boost is only useful very late in the game. Since Great Wall segments have to be built within your own territory (right on the current edge of it), if you build the Great Wall, you will lose production tiles. As a result, old Great Wall segments simply will not be kept through the time (which ironically resembles the historical course of many ancient city walls). The fact that the segments have to be continuous in order to provide the Culture and Tourism boosts makes these boosts even less relevant.
Nevertheless, Great Wall segments can be nice for defense. If you are facing an early push at a place where your military is thin, Great Wall segments can be built on-demand to provide defensive combat bonuses without having to train Military Engineers, which do not become available until the Medieval Era. The defensive combat bonus makes Crouching Tigers more flexible. A range 1 unit is typically only useful in Encampments and City Centers, but Great Wall segments allow them to approach the front line more safely. Similarly, if you are in a hot game contesting for Cultural Victory, it can be helpful to have the extra Tourism from Great Walls, which again can be built rapidly on-demand.
Crouching Tiger Edit
The Crouching Tiger costs a little more Production than the Crossbowman and has one less range, but +10 Ranged Combat Strength. That is equivalent to one tech level or a Corps level higher, which is massive. 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 use of Crouching Tigers. If you are using them in the front line, it is best to limit the exposure of individual Crouching Tigers to enemy melee troops through adjacent friendly (melee) units.
Overall, the Crouching Tiger has its strength but is not the best unique military unit.
Overall, China is a solid and well-rounded civ. Early wonder rushes are fun and unique. After the initial Wonder rush phase, China will use the bonuses from its early Wonders and extra tile improvements to keep its overall production and research at the top level. China does not have any good offensive military units, but it is not difficult to play defensively with China.
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 whether Science or Cultural Victory is more attainable. Spies can be of great use for 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 that give extra Policy slots, especially non-military policy slots, will allow China to permanently field espionage-enhancing cards without affecting other aspects of the game.
Last but not least, China can be a fun and easy first civ to play in single-player games.
Victory Types Edit
|Religious||Stonehenge and Mahabodhi Temple can give an early edge.|
|Science||Dynastic Cycle and extra early tile improvements from the extra Builder charge can help China maintain a lead.|
|Cultural||The early wonder and later Great Wall will give China an edge.|
|Domination||Building a huge army early and then rushing Terracotta Army with builder charges in the early-to-mid game can provide a snowballing effect to 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.|
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)