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The Wheel is often the first advance a C-evo nation will seek, because it gives an immediate increase in the speed at which advances are discovered as soon as you have built any road on a grassland, plains, prairie, tundra, or even desert tile that is being worked.

It can usually be partly obtained in a technology exchange with the first nation you befriend if you have researched something else such as Alphabet.

The effect is doubled when you build a Superhighways system, but that will provide no benefit under your initial government, Despotism.

The Wheel also has military and movement significance in the advances that it leads to.

The Wheel, one of C-evo's "Early Advances" (not needing Science)

Prerequisite
advances:

Nil
Allows or enables: One additional trade point on every "plain terrain" tile that contains a road

Has military or other value: Nil

Obsoletes: Nil
Further advances
that require it:

Bridge Building and Invention