The following guide is being constantly updated by ThinkingNut. ThinkingNut has been playing almost exclusively as China in Civ 6 since the release of the game in late 2016. He plays and wins on Deity difficulty in Single Player and Multiplayer. The guide has been updated for Rise and Fall , Gathering Storm and New Frontier Pass. It has been written with the objective of helping you win at Deity difficulty level.
- 1 Introduction
- 2 Victory Types
- 3 Beginner's Mini-Guide To Qin's China
- 4 Beginner's Mini-Guide To Kublai's China
- 5 Qin Shi Huang's The First Emperor
- 6 Kublai Khan's Gerege
- 7 Dynastic Cycle
- 8 Great Wall
- 9 Crouching Tiger
- 10 Recommendations For Religious Beliefs
- 11 Policy Cards
- 12 Government
- 13 Government Plaza Buildings
- 14 Governors
- 15 Dedications Qin Shi Huang:
- 16 City-States
- 17 Playing As China In Multiplayer
- 18 Apocalypse Game Mode
- 19 Secret Societies Game Mode
- 20 Tech and Civic Shuffle Game Mode
- 21 Dramatic Ages Game Mode
- 22 Heroes & Legends Game Mode
- 23 Monopolies and Corporations Game Mode
- 24 Zombie Defense Game Mode
- 25 How To Play Against China
China is a versatile, complex and solid civilization that can, with the right setup and Wonders, effectively go for any of the Victory types and gain an advantage no matter the map conditions.
Qin's First Emperor leader ability boasts the most productive Builders in the game (with their charge count potentially going up as high as 8 per Builder) and the unique ability to rush Ancient and Classical Wonders with Builder charges.
Dynastic Cycle provides an excellent snowballing ability in terms of researching Technologies and Civics for the entire game. Whenever you complete a Wonder, you also get a free Eureka and Inspiration from that Wonder's era.
Crouching Tigers provide cheap and powerful defense in the Medieval and Renaissance Era, making China a strong defensive civilisation in the mid game as long as her enemies are on par in the tech tree or behind.
The Great Wall tile improvement functions as a standard Fort in terms of Combat Strength and is unlocked three Eras earlier with Masonry. It provides Chinese units with a very effective defensive option for the entire game. Its potential Gold and, later on, Culture and Tourism yield is an excellent source of income.
Learning how to play optimally as China will take patience and experimentation as she has a relatively steep learning curve. The key is understanding which Ancient and Classical Wonders are appropriate under which geopolitical circumstances. Once you have a solid grasp on this aspect of her kit, the other bonuses are relatively straightforward and simple to use. If you take the time to learn how to play China competently, you will have a competitively viable civilization to take into Deity and Multiplayer games.
This section is intended to showcase the versatility of China's kit for all Victory types. Note that these strategies are not set in stone, and are general guidelines that are meant to be adapted to the circumstances of the game.
Qin Shi Huang:
|Religious||Rushing Great Bath, Stonehenge, Oracle, Jebel Barkal and Mahabodhi Temple can give a religious edge. In choosing beliefs, a setup that has worked very well for me is the following: Monument to the Gods(Pantheon); Divine Inspiration (Follower Belief); Pilgrimage (Founder Belief); Holy Order (Enhancer Belief); Mosque (Worship Belief).|
|Scientific||Dynastic Cycle, Great Library and, if the map permits, Mausoleum at Halicarnassus can help China gain a technological advantage as well as massive Production boosts toward Space Race projects.|
|Cultural||The early wonders, Dynastic Cycle and later Great Wall segments will give China a cultural edge. This will set her up to easily get very high Tourism yields and Theater Square adjacency bonuses in the mid-to-late game. 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||Although Qin does not bring any direct Combat Strength-related benefits towards a Domination Victory, his strong early to mid game economy and fast progression through the Technology and Civic Trees will help him snowball until he can overwhelm his opponents with more technologically advanced troops. It is therefore advisable that he avoid early game wars in favour of first rushing his Ancient and Classical Era Wonders (more details in breakdown below) and getting as many Eurekas and Inspirations as possible. If he is attacked before he is ready to counter-attack, Great Wall tiles and Crouching Tigers can help him defend.|
|Diplomatic||Most of what has been written for a Cultural Victory applies here. Beeline for the Apadana and then build as many Wonders in its parent city as possible to give China a diplomatic edge. This will maximise the two extra Envoy per Wonder bonus and allow you to more competently compete for Suzerainty of multiple city-states. Rush Mahabodhi Temple afterwards in your Capital if you can. The Gold from Great Wall tiles can also help with funding Emergency Aid Requests.|
|Score||Being a well-rounded civ, China should have no issues with overall scores.|
|Religious||Double Economic Policy Slots early mean that you can slot in God King AND Urban Planning as soon as you research Code of Laws. This helps you get a Pantheon faster while keeping up with early Production. Plentiful Gold from Trade Routes can help you buy the necessary buildings for your Holy Sites to help you spread your Religion.|
|Scientific||Dynastic Cycle and an extra early Economic Policy Slot can allow you to slot in Natural Philosophy without sacrificing other policies - this works extremely well with the Free Inquiry Dedication. The Gold, Eurekas and Inspirations that come with your Trade Routes to other civilisations help you buy and innovate your way to victory.|
|Cultural||Dynastic Cycle, Tourism from Great Wall segments, Eureka and Inspiration that come with your Trade Route will give you a cultural edge. In the mid game, the extra Economic Policy Slot can be used for Aesthetics. In the late game, slotting in Online Communities will allow your Trade Route to other civilisations to hasten your Cultural Victory.|
|Domination||Although Kublai does not bring any direct Combat Strength-related benefits towards a Domination Victory, his strong early to mid game economy and fast progression through the Technology and Civic Trees will help him snowball until he can overwhelm his opponents with more technologically advanced troops. It is therefore advisable that he avoid early game wars in favour of first building up his economy and getting as many Eurekas and Inspirations from his Trade Routes as possible. If he is attacked before he is ready to counter-attack, Great Wall tiles and Crouching Tigers can help him defend.|
|Diplomatic||Most of what has been written for a Cultural Victory applies here. The Gold from Trade Route and Great Wall tiles can also help with funding Emergency Aid Requests.|
|Score||Being a well-rounded leader, China under Kublai should have no issues with overall scores.|
Beginner's Mini-Guide To Qin's China
If you are fairly experienced at playing Civilization 6 but picking up China for the first time, here are my seven beginner's tips to make your learning curve easier. The idea is to maximize the productivity of your Builders, get as much value as possible from Eureka and Inspiration, and protect your empire using Crouching Tigers and the Great Wall tile improvement. Note that these are general tips that work fairly well in all situations. When you get more experienced, learning to adapt these suggestions to your immediate environment will be key so that you leverage the maximum advantage as a China player.
- Prioritise rushing the Pyramids with Builder charges. Don't worry about the other Ancient to Classical Wonders until you are more experienced with playing as China.
- Get Ancestral Hall () for a free four to seven charge Builder in every newly founded city.
- Get Liang's () Guildmaster starting title as your first Governor title every game for the additional Builder charge.
- If you go into a Golden Age in the early to mid game, grab Monumentality as your Dedication to lower the Gold / Faith cost of your Builders and increase their mobility.
- Try to acquire as many Eureka and Inspiration as possible to get the maximum value out of Dynastic Cycle. One sure way to do this is to build as many Wonders as you can.
- Get at least one Crouching Tiger when you unlock them to upgrade the Ranged Combat Strength of your city walls.
- Build Great Wall tile improvements if you need fast access to defensive terrain, but don't over-rely on them and neglect to build walled-up Encampments.
For more advanced, in-depth notes and strategies, please see below:
Beginner's Mini-Guide To Kublai's China
Here are my four beginner's tips to make your learning curve easier. The idea is to maximise your strong early game advantage through strategically using your extra Economic Policy Slot and powering up your Trade Route. What has already been written above about Dynastic Cyle, Crouching Tigers and the Great Wall improvement also applies.
- Any policy that enhances your Trade Route is an excellent choice for Kublai Khan. For international Trade Route to other civilisations, examples include Caravansaries, Trade Confederation, Triangular Trade, Market Economy, Ecommerce, etc. For Trade Routes to City-States, examples include Wisselbanken, Raj and Arsenal of Democracy. For internal Trade Route, Collectivisation is an excellent choice.
- When you meet a new civilisation, it is advisable to send your Trade Routes to it straight away. You want to get the Eureka and Inspiration as soon as possible to help catapult you through the Technology and Civic Trees. An early game advantage is always much more valuable than a late game advantage.
- Your Trade Routes to other civilisations and City-States help you gain friends and Alliances. This can help you guard yourself from and/or avoid early wars. Alliances can further help you power up the value of your Trade Routes.
- Wonders that provide an extra Policy Slot work well with Kublai to give him more options to power up his Trade Routes. These would include Alhambra, Forbidden City, Potala Palace and Big Ben. Try to grab these if you can.
Qin Shi Huang's The First Emperor
Overview Of Ability
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 Builders with 7 charges (or 8 in Rise and Fall with governor Liang's Guildmaster title) - the highest number of charges per Builder in the game! They can also spend charges to rush the construction of Ancient and Classical Wonders.
Breakdown Of Ancient And Classical Wonders
- How many Ancient to Classical Wonders should I attempt to rush in a standard game? This will vary from game to game. Just make sure you don't sacrifice your early empire expansion too much.
- Which Ancient to Classical Wonders should I go for? A. Always rush the Pyramids whenever possible. After that, go for the other Reliably good to Situational (more on this below) Wonders as appropriate. B. As all the Wonders in the game have specific map-based requirements, it would be in your best interests as a China player to learn the said requirements as well as you can. This then allows you to... C. Read the map quickly and accurately so that you can make strategic decisions about which Wonders to build based on what types of tiles and City-States are nearby. Aside from what has already been written in the "Victory Types" section, the general guideline is: For Amenities, get Temple of Artemis and Colosseum. For water-heavy maps, get Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, Colossus and Great Lighthouse. For desert-heavy areas, get Petra.
Core = Pyramids. Grab it every game if possible. This is your top priority, consistently game-changing wonder that complements China's kit excellently.
Reliably good = Get these Wonders if you can manage to juggle your Production between these and general empire expansion. They will heavily reward you if you do.
Situational = Situationally great. Don't bother otherwise.
Avoid = Just don't bother.
|Pyramids1||Effects: +2 Culture, grants a free Builder and all Builders receive an additional charge. It must be built on a desert tile.
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. It is by far the best Wonder in the game to complement China's kit, so prioritise this above all else.
|Great Library||Effects: +2 Science, +1 Great Scientist point per turn, +2 Great Works of Writing and receive boosts to all Ancient and Classical Era technologies. It must be built on a flat land tile adjacent to a Campus with a Library.
Analysis: Reliably good.
If you want this Wonder, getting it as early as possible is key to maximise the Eureka boosts to Ancient and Classical Era technologies. This Wonder is very cost efficient because it remains relevant for the rest of the game by supplying you with occasional Eureka boosts. It works very well with Dynastic Cycle, and is a key Wonder to get if pursuing a Science Victory.
|Petra||Effects: +2 Food, +2 Gold, and +1 Production on all desert tiles for this city. (Does not apply to Floodplains.) It must be built on a desert tile.
Analysis: Reliably good.
One of the best Wonders. This effectively turns desert hills and any other improvable desert tiles into great power tiles - this works synergistically with Great Wall tiles, and can, if you build strategically, grant many tiles that each yield +2 Food, +1 Production, +8 Gold and +4 Culture (version only). More importantly, it sets you up for the rest of the game with a powerhouse of a city.
|Temple of Artemis||Effects: +4 Food and +3 Housing, and each Camp, Pasture and Plantation Improvement within four tiles provides +1 Amenity. It must be built on a tile adjacent to a Camp.
Analysis: Reliably good.
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 in the early game. Build both this and the Colosseum for maximum synergy. Additional +4 Food and +3 Housing are extra bonuses that sweeten the deal further, and can allow you to quickly grow a city where growth would otherwise be difficult. This Wonder allows you to very quickly grow a city to 10+ population by around the Medieval Era while still supporting it adequately in terms of Amenities and Housing.
Another benefit is the extra Food and Amenities mean the parent city can churn out Settlers extremely quickly without suffering noticeable population loss. When combined with Ancestral Hall, Pyramids, the Colonization policy card and Qin's superior Builders, this Wonder makes China's empire expansion process extremely efficient and effective.
|Colosseum||Effects: 6 tile ranged, area of effect +3 Amenities and +2 Culture. It must be built on a tile adjacent to an Entertainment Complex district.
Analysis: Reliably good.
One of the best Wonders. This can be the difference between you struggling to keep your cities happy and loyal on a crowded map or not. It also means that you can potentially settle cities further away from your Capital without having to worry as much about the resulting loyalty penalties.
|Hanging Gardens||Effects: Provides +15% growth in all cities, and +2 Housing (since the Summer 2017 Update). It must be built on a tile adjacent to a river.
Analysis: Reliably good.
While not immediately impactful on game-breaking proportions, the empire-wide +15% bonus scales very well into the mid-to-late game. More densely populated cities mean faster empire expansion after the initial Wonder-rushing, faster access to more districts and more tiles worked. The extra Housing is a welcome bonus. This Wonder synergises extremely nicely with Temple of Artemis and Colosseum.
|Mausoleum at Halicarnassus2||Effects: +1 Science, Faith and Culture to all Coast tiles in this city. All Great Engineershave an additional charge. It must be built adjacent to a Harbour.
Analysis: Reliably good.
The +1 Science, Faith and Culture is a very good bonus if your city is surrounded by a lot of Coast tiles, and especially good if there are a lot of sea resources within the city's reach. Combine this with Liang's Fishery improvement to acquire extremely powerful tile yields. Later in the game, Offshore Wind Farms and Seasteads are also viable tile improvements. If the Auckland city-state is in your game, become its Suzerain for even more impressive yields.
An additional Great Engineer charge is very unique and useful in the mid-to-late game. I have always found particularly good utility from the Great Engineers that grant Production towards Wonders - Filippo Brunelleschi, for example. Having another charge on those is immensely helpful in helping me grab mid-to-late game Wonders like the Potala Palace and Big Ben. In the late game, if you are aiming for a Science Victory, having another charge on the Great Engineers who speed up Space Race projects (Sergei Korolev and Wernher Von Braun, for example) is game changing as it effectively doubles the value of their abilities.
Another good thing about this Wonder is that the AI usually do not prioritise it, meaning that it should still be up for grabs in the Medieval Era.
Regarding its placement requirements: What may be less obvious is that you can actually build a Harbour on a lake tile, and then build the Mausoleum next to it. If you have that option available, you won't necessarily have to go out of your way to settle near coastal tiles for this Wonder.
|Great Bath||Effects: +3 Housing, +1 Amenity from entertainment. Floodplains tile along the river containing this Wonder are now immune to Flood Damage. -50% Production and Food yields from Flood Damage. +1 Faith for every time a tile belonging to this city has been flooded. It must be built on a Floodplains tile.
Analysis: Reliably good.
It functions like a pseudo-Dam and has scaling Faith yields. It provides a lot of flexibility. The extra Faith works well if you are going for a religious strategy. It can also be used in conjunction with the Golden Age version of Monumentality Dedication to purchase civilian units in the mid game.
|Apadana2||Effects: +2 Great Work slots and +2 Envoys per Wonder built in this city. It must be built on a tile adjacent to the Capital city centre.
This Wonder is excellent if you plan and are able to build many more Wonders in your Capital. It is a key Wonder if you are planning to go for a Diplomatic Victory as China. More Envoys means a higher ability to get and maintain Suzerain status with City-States. This potentially translates to more accumulated Diplomatic Favor.
The downside to this is that not every starting location will be suitable for a lot of Wonders.
|Statue of Zeus(Introduced in the Byzantium & Gaul Pack)||Effects: +3 Gold. Grants 3 Spearmen, 3 Archers, and 1 Battering Ram. +50% Productiontowards anti-cavalry units across your civilization.
This is a very cost efficient Wonder. You shave 40 Production off what would have been a 440 Production cost (on standard speed) for units (-10%). And that is before factoring the +40% cost efficiency of Builder charges when you have Autocracy, Monument to the Gods and Corvee. The Wonder pays maintenance for 3 out of 7 of these units, AND you get a Production boost towards all anti-cavalry units across your civilization for the rest of the game. This is an excellent Wonder to grab if you desire a Domination Victory.
To round out the unit composition, it is advisable to at least mix in at least one Swordsman and attach the Battering Ram to it.
A very powerful combination is to make sure you have Victor's Embrasure title ready first so that all the units spawn with a free promotion, build Statue of Zeus, then build Terracotta Army afterwards. If these three conditions are met, you would ideally end up with a double promoted army straight out of the gate. Switch from Autocracy to Oligarchy to further power up your troops as you head to war.
|Terracotta Army||Effects: +2 Great General points per turn, all current land units gain a free Promotion, and all Archaeologists from the owner may enter foreign lands without open borders. It must be built on Grassland or Plains adjacent to an Encampment with a Barracks or Stable.
If you do not care about the diplomatic relations with a certain civilisation and want their artifacts, this would also be a Wonder you'd want.
|Stonehenge3||Effects: +2 Faith, grants a free Great Prophet, and Great Prophet may found a religion on Stonehenge instead of a Holy Site. It must be built adjacent to Stone and on flat land.
Analysis: Reliably good only when combined with Divine Inspiration as your Follower Belief. If you can grab this early, all Wonders grant +4 Faith. This, when combined with the Golden Age version of the Monumentality Dedication, can set you up very well to mass-buy with Faith Settlers, Builders and Traders after the initial Wonder-rushing.
|Jebel Barkal4||Effects: Awards +2 Iron, and provides +4 Faith to all your cities within a 6-tile radius. It must be built on a desert hill tile.
The double iron or +4 Iron per turn 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 if you're pursuing a Religious Victory. It has excellent synergy with the Grand Master's Chapel and the Golden Age version of the Monumentality Dedication .
|Mahabodhi Temple||Effects: +4 Faith and grants +2 Apostles. It must be built on Woods adjacent to a Holy Site with a Temple, and you must have founded a Religion.
The two Apostles can be useful if you found an early religion. Please see above analysis on Stonehenge for suggested offensive / defensive religious setup.
|Oracle||Effects: +1 Culture, +1 Faith, patronage of Great People costs 25% less Faith, and Districts in this city provide +2 Great Person points of their type. It must be built on Hills.
Not a bad Wonder to have in the mid game if you have an abundance of Faith. Try to build it with Great Bath, Stonehenge, Jebel Barkal and Mahabodhi Temple in conjunction to Divine Inspiration as your Follower Belief to maximise its effects. Don't bother otherwise.
|Colossus||Effects: +3 Gold, +1 Great Admiral point per turn, +1 Trade Route capacity, and grants a Trader unit. It must be built on the Coast and adjacent to a Harbour. It cannot be built on a Lake.
The +3 Gold, extra Trade Route and a free Trader is nice and saves valuable Production time. The +1 Great Admiral point per turn is not bad, especially if you also build the Great Lighthouse to stack the points. 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 Harbor 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 Harbor 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||Effects: +3 Gold, +1 for all naval units, and +1 Great Admiral point per turn. It must be built on the coast and adjacent a Harbour with a Lighthouse.
Extra movement means a more effective naval force. Nice for island maps where you plan on instigating naval warfare. The +3 Gold and +1 Great Admiral point is nice, and works well with the Colossus. If you are building this, build Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, Colossus and Great Lighthouse as a trio on water-heavy maps. Useless otherwise.
|Etemananki(Introduced in the Portugal Pack)||Effects: +2 Science and +1 Production to all Marsh tiles in your empire. +1 Science and +1 Production on all Floodplains tiles in this city. +2 Science. It must be built on Floodplains or Marsh tiles.
The bonuses themselves are decent, but highly dependent on your empire having a lot of Marsh and Floodplains tiles to be actually worthwhile. This would be worth it if you are playing the Wetlands map with the Rainfall settings set to "Wet." To fully make use of this Wonder, you would want to also grab the Lady of the Reeds and Marshes Pantheon instead of Monument to the Gods to further boost the tile yields. If you are on map types that do not have many Marsh or Floodplains tiles, do not bother. Other Wonders like the Pyramids or Colosseum are far more reliably powerful.
|Machu Picchu||Effects: +4 Gold. Mountain tiles provide a standard adjacency bonus to Commercial Hub, Theatre Square and Industrial Zone Districts in all cities. It must be built on a mountain tile that does not contain a Volcano.
The bonuses themselves are decent, but highly dependent on your empire having a lot of mountains in it to be actually worthwhile. Unfortunately, Builders cannot move onto mountain tiles, meaning that they are unable to spend charges to rush-build the Machu Picchu. This forces China to hard build the Wonder like everyone else, which is not optimal at all. I'd much rather spend my precious Production on other more accessible and, more importantly, valuable Wonders in the early game, or even general empire expansion.
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.
Notes On Optimally Rush-Building A Wonder
- Builders can only expend one charge a turn on rushing Ancient to Classical Wonders.
- You can "queue" a succession of 1-charge Builders to rush multiple times per turn.
- The source of your Builders is irrelevant, so you can have your entire empire indirectly contribute to the construction of a single Wonder.
- For maximum synergy, grab Autocracy as your Tier 1 government, Monument to the Gods as your Pantheon, and Corvee as your economic policy for a total of +40% Production to Ancient and Classical Wonders. This boosts the value of each Builder charge from 15% to 21%, allowing you to finish any Wonder purely through Builder charges within 5 turns. This is very powerful, especially in new cities with little Production.
- Any extra Production from completing a Wonder overflows into the next build order of a city so nothing is wasted.
This is a very situational and niche ability. You have to play on maps where land masses are narrow or snaky enough to isolate bodies of waters from each other for canals to be relevant. The only arguments for building early Canals are for more efficient Trade Routes and Canals being a source of district adjacency bonuses. Otherwise, your early game Production would be better spent elsewhere.
Kublai Khan's Gerege
Kublai's China gets a free extra Economic policy slot in all governments. He also gains a random Eureka and Inspiration upon establishing a Trading Post in another major civilization's city for the first time.
The extra Economic policy slot is most useful in the early to middle game, especially as you can run God King and Urban Planning at the same time. It is immediately powerful and provides additional flexibility to Kublai's play-style. It can also be used to slot in yield-enhancing cards like Natural Philosophy, Scripture, Naval Infrastructure, Aesthetics and/or Town Charters as appropriate to your desired Victory. Most importantly, it can be used to slot in policies that enhance Kublai's Trade Route, such as Caravansaries, Trade Confederation, Triangular Trade, Market Economy, Ecommerce, Wisselbanken, Raj, Arsenal of Democracy, Collectivisation, Online Communities, Reform the Coinage, and/or Popular Front (the last two policies being New Frontier Pass: Dramatic Ages only).
It is recommended that you send your Trade Routes to other major civilisations immediately to get your random Eurekas and Inspirations as soon as possible. Despite the randomness, the early advantage you gain is worth much more than a late game advantage. You also have a good chance of boosting something that you might otherwise find difficult to boost - eg. boosting Printing even if you have not prioritised Universities.
By sending Trade Routes to other civilisations and/or City-States, you also make your target civilisation more friendly towards you - this can be helpful for steering diplomatic relations to your advantage. You can thus be in a better position to avoid early game wars and/or have your Allies help defend you. Alliances are also helpful to further power up your Trade Routes.
It is unfortunate that you are limited by the number of major civilisations in your game. This makes this latter half of Kublai's ability more impactful on maps with more players.
Overall, Gerege is a powerful and flexible ability that pairs well with existing game mechanics. It is good without being brokenly overpowered.
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. For the most essential tech or civic, plow through without delay.
Whenever you complete a Wonder, Dynastic Cycle also grants you a free Eureka and Inspiration from that Wonder's era. This would encourage you to build as many Wonders as possible as soon as you unlock them to maximize the number of boosts you get. The ability is especially handy if some of the boosts have requirements that you would otherwise find hard to meet.
This bonus proves its own worth if you are considering a Domination Victory strategy. Every time you conquer a city, you potentially gain an Eureka or Inspiration if the enemy civilisation is ahead of you in Technology or Civics. With Dynastic Cycle, this becomes even more valuable.
Last but not least, stealing technology boosts with spies in the mid to late game is even more valuable as China because the Eureka get an extra 10% of the technology cost. This strategy gets better the higher you go in difficulty (in single player) because on Immortal and Deity, the AI will almost always be ahead of you in technology until possibly the mid-to-late game.
The Great Wall tile improvement operates as a Fort in terms of granting Combat Strength: +4 Defense Strength and an instant 2 turns of fortification - a total of +10 Combat Strength. Its superior value comes from the fact that it is unlocked three eras earlier at Masonry. It is much more accessible since it is constructed with Builder charges. This gives early game units a much bigger boost in defensive Combat Strength relative to their intrinsically lower Combat Strength. E.g. Archers get a 66% boost in defensive melee Combat Strength because their intrinsic melee Combat Strength is 15. It is an excellent source of early defence against barbarians and any aggressive neighbour.
In Gathering Storm, the Garrison promotion applies to Great Wall tile improvements, so it makes sense for primarily defending Ranged Units to grab this as their first promotion. This boosts the already formidable defensive power of the Crouching Tigers.
The only requirement it has is that the Great Wall needs to be built along the borders of your empire.
One important note is that although the Great Wall is good for providing defensive terrain, it is a complement to walled-up Encampments and not a substitute.
The Great Wall grants an intrinsic +2 Gold by itself, with another +2 Gold when adjacent to another tile of Great Wall. Once the Castles technology has been researched, an additional +2 Culture is granted per adjacent Great Wall tile. This brings the economic benefits of a Great Wall title up to an impressive +6 Gold and +4 Culture per strip when adjacent to two other Great wall tiles. When Flight has been researched, Tourism is also accumulated.
Although this is an excellent source of Gold and Culture in the early game, it is advisable only to build Great Wall segments along borders where you anticipate an invasion. Building too many of them will sacrifice too many tiles which could have been used for other tile improvements.
A combination that is especially powerful is building Great Wall segments on desert tiles that have been boosted by Petra, tiles which otherwise cannot be improved. This boosts their value to +2 Food, +1 Production, +8 Goldand +4 Culture per tile. I would caution against building Great Wall segments on desert hill tiles as the Production from mines will be a better long-term choice.
Final note: Great Wall tiles can be pillaged but never removed by disasters. This saves you Builder charges. An unorthodox way to use this mechanic is to surround Natural Wonders that give bonus yields to adjacent tiles and active volcanoes with Great Wall segments. This guarantees powerful and (in the case of volcanoes) scaling yields for the rest of the game without you having to spend any more Builder charges on the area.
The Crouching Tiger is a unique ranged unit that costs 140 Production, 40 less Production than the 180 Production Crossbowman and has +50 Ranged Combat Strength, relative to the Crossbowman's +40 Ranged Combat Strength. Like the Crossbowman, it does not cost resources to train. However, it has one less Range when compared to the Crossbowman.
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 best employed in defensive wars when placed in walled-up 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'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.
Final note: When you build your first Crouching Tiger, all your city defences and encampments (providing that you've built Ancient Walls) will gain its +50 Ranged Combat Strength. This, in conjunction with the Great Wall tile improvement and the Bastions policy card, gives China the potential to be a formidable defensive civilisation 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.
When defending, it is advisable to grab Garrison as your first promotion for even more effective defence.
Recommendations For Religious Beliefs
KEY: Founding a religion as China is very much worth it because her plentiful Wonders accumulate a lot of Faith through the Divine Inspiration Follower Belief. This can allow her to minimise the number of Holy Sites in her empire and instead rely on her Wonders to be the chief generators of Faith. The Faith can then be used to buy troops and/or Great People. It can also be used in conjunction with the Golden Age version of the Monumentality Dedication to buy civilian units (especially Builders for Qin and Trade Routes for Kublai).
With Qin, the go-to pantheon should always be Monument to the Gods. That way, you build your Ancient and Classical Wonders faster.
With Kublai, the appropriate pantheon will be situational to the map.
Founding a Religion:
As Kublai, your extra Economic Policy Slot will free up that Wildcard Policy Slot in your Tier 1 Government for slotting in Revelation or Exodus of the Evangelists (if you have the Dramatic Ages game mode enabled).
There are two versions of my recommended religious setup. The first version is tailored for an optimal path to a Religious Victory. The second version is a non-Religious Victory version tailored for a high Faith, defensive religion that you do not plan to spread outside of your territory.
1. Religious Victory version:
In the following order: Divine Inspiration (Follower), Pilgrimage (Founder), Holy Order (Enhancer), Mosque (Worship).
Divine Inspiration grants you +4 Faith from each of your Wonders, thus making this belief ideal for China since her kit encourages her to build as many Wonders as possible. The rest of the beliefs help you efficiently and effectively spread your Religion.
2. Non-Religious Victory version:
In the following order: Divine Inspiration (Follower) (please see above notes), Meeting House (Worship), Sacred Places (Founder), and Defender of the Faith (Enhancer).
Meeting House is a great Worship building since the +2 Production will give you a minor boost towards building more Wonders. Note that in Single Player, the AI has a tendency to prioritise this, so grabbing this first becomes higher priority.
Sacred Places is a great Founder belief because most of your cities will have Wonders. That way, you will more than likely be able to meet its requirement to net the +2 Science, Culture, Gold, and Faith.
This section will recommend what policy cards work best in synergy with China's kit.
|Qin: The First Emperor||Cards: For better Builders - Ilkum, Serfdom and Public Works.|
|Cards: For more faster access to and more valuable early game Wonders - Corvee, Mandala State (New Frontier Pass: Dramatic Ages only)
Analysis: Get +15% Production towards constructing Ancient and Classical Era Wonders. Combine with Autocracy as your Tier 1 government and the Monument to the Gods Pantheon for +40% Production towards Ancient and Classical Era Wonders.
|Kublai: Gerege||Cards: Caravansaries, Trade Confederation, Triangular Trade, Market Economy, Ecommerce, Wisselbanken, Raj, Arsenal of Democracy, Collectivisation, Online Communities, Reform the Coinage, and Popular Front (last two policies are New Frontier Pass: Dramatic Ages only).
Analysis: The general rule is that any policy that increases the value of Kublai's Trade Route is a good choice for his kit.
|Dynastic Cycle||Cards: Machiavellianism, Cryptography, Nuclear Espionage, Craftsmen, Five-Year Plan, Gothic Architecture and Skyscrapers.
Analysis: This boosts the potential of our Spies. The general idea is to steal as many boosts to technology as possible to make use of our Dynastic Cycle ability. Craftsmen, Five-Year Plan, Gothic Architecture and Skyscrapers also help us build Wonders in the mid to late game faster to get those juicy Eurekas and Inspirations.
|Crouching Tigers||Cards: Feudal Contract, Wars of Religion and Twilight Valor ().
Analysis: As mentioned before, Crouching Tigers are categorised as Medieval ranged units, so if you plan on building many of these, grab Feudal Contract to make their relatively low costs even lower. This is great in the scenario of you being attacked as you can crank out many Crouching Tigers very quickly to defend yourself.
Qin Shi Huang:
In the early game, I highly recommend switching to Autocracy as your Tier 1 government. The main reason is that it provides +10% Production towards Wonders. As mentioned above, this is purely to help us build more early game Wonders. All other governments are situational.
As Kublai is less reliant on early game Wonders, all governments are situational with him since he is so versatile.
Qin Shi Huang:
In the early game, I highly recommend Ancestral Hall because it helps us expand horizontally after we have focused on early game Wonders. The free Builder can be augmented by First Emperor, the Pyramids and Serfdom/Public Works to result in a 7 charge Builder in every newly founded city. This allows China's excellent ability to go wide to be on par with Rome, Russia and Phoenicia.
If you are going for a Science Victory, getting Royal Society works exceptionally well with China's Builders. As each Builder charge is worth 2% of a Space Race Project, an 8 charge Chinese Builder can speed up the process by 16% each turn.
As mentioned above, since Kublai is so versatile, all Government Plaza Buildings are situational.
|Liang||Her starting title, Guildmaster, gives China unmatched 5 charge Builders in the early game. This will be essential to more effective Wonder-rushing.|
|Magnus||His starting title, Groundbreaker, is excellent to give even more Production, Food and Gold from plot harvests and feature removals. This complements China's abundant Builder charges very well, and grants China even better chances at grabbing early Wonders.|
For Kublai Khan, Reyna is an excellent choice to complement Gerege.
|Reyna||Land Acquisition, Harbor Master and Tax Collector go well with Kublai's reliance on Commercial Hubs and Trade Route.|
To complement Dynastic Cycle, I recommend Pingala. Librarian, Connoisseur, Researcher, and Grants all help China gain momentum as she speeds through the Technology and Civic Trees. Grants is especially useful for triggering Eurekas and Inspirations that rely on Great People (such as Mercantillism and The Enlightenment). Getting more Great Scientists who provide Eurekas (such as Dmitri Mendeleev) also work well with Dynastic Cycle.
To complement the Crouching Tiger and Great Wall tile improvement, I recommend Victor. The two titles to look out for are Garrison Commander and Embrasure. Garrison Commander is great with defending Crouching Tigers and Great Wall tile improvements, and Embrasure has great synergy with the Terracotta Army Wonder to get you double promoted troops.
Dedications Qin Shi Huang:
I highly recommend the Golden Age version of Monumentality because it grants extra +2 Movement for our already exceptional Builders and makes them cheaper to purchase via Faith and Gold. All other Dedications are situational.
I highly recommend the Golden Age version of Free Inquiry because, as Kublai, you want to build Commercial Hubs everywhere to make use of Gerege. Free Inquiry will give those Commercial Hubs extra Science.
Qin Shi Huang:
Brussels: The +15% Production towards all Wonders can be the deciding factor for you grabbing an extra key Ancient to Classical Wonder or not. When combined with the above-mentioned factors, you can potentially reach +55% Production towards Ancient to Classical Wonders, thus boosting the value of each Builder charge to 23.25% Production of the target Wonder! Later into the game, more Wonders work well with Dynastic Cycle to grant you more Eureka and Inspiration.
All the Trade City-States work well with Kublai since he would want to prioritise Commercial Hubs in his cities.
Both Qin and Kublai:
Playing As China In Multiplayer
Since expanding quickly and playing aggressively is the general strategy in Multiplayer games, here are my three suggestions when playing as Qin.
- For Wonders, prioritise the Pyramids and the Terracotta Army (the latter only if you have a sizeable army amassed already or have built the Statue of Zeus).
- All other Production should be channelled towards general empire expansion and infrastructure improvement. As human players are generally more aggressive and less predictable than the AI, focusing too much on Wonders in the early game will more than likely lead you to getting rushed by enemy forces and defeated.
- Because of the above, no matter how friendly other players are to you, make sure you prepare well in advance Great Wall tile improvements and fortify with defending troops near your empire's borders.
If you are playing as Kublai:
- Try to make friends instead of enemies since part of your Gerege ability relies on setting up Trading Posts in foreign civilisations.
- If that fails, send your Trade Routes to City-States instead.
- Make use of the Golden Age version of Free Inquiry and keep yourself technologically advanced. This is so that in case others declare war on you, you can defend yourself effectively.
Apocalypse Game Mode
The Great Bath (an Ancient Wonder that Qin can rush-build with Builder Charges) is incredibly powerful when combined with Soothsayers. This combination can allow for China to get reliably and infinitely scaling Faith yields throughout the game. As Faith is such a versatile currency, China can use it to:
- Cheaply Faith-purchase Builders, Settlers and Traders with the Golden Age version of Monumentality.
- Propel her towards a Religious Victory
- Faith-purchase troops via Grandmaster's Chapel for a Domination Victory
- Faith-purchase Great People for general empire improvement.
Secret Societies Game Mode
Owls of Minerva:
For Qin Shi Huang, the extra Economic policy slot with Initiation enables you to run the Corvee policy card without sacrificing other integral cards to China's critical early game - e.g. Ilkum and Colonization.
For Kublai Khan, more policy card slots compliment his existing and additional Economic policy slot.
In the late game, improved and more numerous spies makes stealing Dynastic Cycle-powered technology boosts even more valuable as China.
For both Qin and Kublai, the major adjacency bonus from Ley Line can help set up high Production for Industrial Zones. The Golden Age version of Heartbeat of Steam works well with Alchemical Society to grant even more Production in the mid to late game. And as China can race through both the Technology and Civic trees very quickly with Dynastic Cycle, it should not be hard to gain many Great People by the Industrial Era - this would result in high yields from Ley Lines. All the above helps China with building Wonders faster.
For both Qin and Kublai - founding a Religion with Divine Inspiration as the Follower Belief works extremely well with the Old God Obelisk for accumulating Faith. In the mid game, all that extra Faith from Wonders will synergise with the Chorus title for earning extra Gold, Culture and Science. The bountiful Faith can also be used with the Golden Age version of Monumentality to buy discounted civilian units (whether it be Builders for Qin or Trade Routes for Kublai).
This Society also works decently with China. Vampires can be incredibly hard to kill if they sit on a Great Wall tile. And if you can get nearby kills with supporting Crouching Tigers, the Vampires will only grow stronger, making them that much more dangerous when they go on a counter-offensive. Boosts from Dynastic Cycle help Chinese units stay technologically up to par, if not ahead of their competitors - this guarantees that Chinese vampires are strong throughout the game. Vampire Castles are also a great source of yields to help the Capital build Wonders faster.
Tech and Civic Shuffle Game Mode
With the Tech and Civic Shuffle game mode (introduced in the August 2020 Game Update) enabled, the Great Library receives a buff because the boosted technologies allow the human player to more strategically and efficiently plan his/her technology path and gain faster access to the associated Wonders. Eg. If you know exactly where Mathematics is, you do not have to take blind detours in your pathing to get to it; you would therefore get faster access to Petra.
This applies more for Qin's China as he can rush-build the Great Library with Builder charges.
Dramatic Ages Game Mode
For Qin, if he has built a lot of Wonders around the Classical Era to Medieval Era, getting the Mandala State Golden Age policy card is very powerful to further maximise the value of his Wonders. The +4 Culture for each Wonder and extra Loyalty pressure can help China flip nearby cities to Chinese rule.
Heroes & Legends Game Mode
Hippolyta is great because her active ability, Hippolyta's Command, allows Qin's Builders to rush-build Ancient and Classical Wonders twice per turn. This is an incredibly powerful ability especially since there is no limit to how many times she can use it.
Hercules is great because he is able to instantly rush-build key districts with his active ability, Hercules' Labor. This helps China get faster access to key Ancient to Classical Wonders in the early game - eg. Campus for the Great Library, Holy Site for Mahabodhi Temple, Entertainment Complex for the Colosseum and Encampment for the Terracotta Army. The only drawback here is that he can only activate this ability three times per summon.
Mulan is situationally great because she complements China's defensive nature. Her passive ability, Mulan's Defiance, is basically a portable Great Wall. Because of her high mobility and 2 Range, she is essentially a super Crouching Tiger who also scales in Combat Strength and Ranged Combat Strength throughout the eras.
All three heroes are also excellent to help counter Barbarians in the early game.
A tip to help generate enough Faith as Qin to be able to re-summon Heroes throughout the eras: Rush Stonehenge and a Holy Site in the early game; then take Divine Inspiration and Pilgrimage as Follower and Founder beliefs respectively. This ensures that you can efficiently and effectively generate Faith as you build your Wonders without having to invest in too many Holy Sites. The generated Faith then scales with the number of cities and Wonders you have in your empire, and ensures that you have enough Faith to re-summon Heroes as needed.
Since Kublai Khan is so versatile, any Hero can do well under him given the right circumstances. That said, if you also are playing with the Secret Societies game mode enabled, Himiko would work well with Owls of Minerva's Initiation Title and Kublai Khan's Gerege ability to help him with Envoy generation.
A note that applies to both leaders: Hippolyta can help a Crouching Tiger fire twice in the same turn, or move to defensive terrain (eg. a Great Wall tile) and then fire, thus augmenting the mobility and damage of this unit. In the hands of the right player, this can turn the Crouching Tiger from a defensive unit into a deadly offensive unit.
Monopolies and Corporations Game Mode
With Qin, if you can establish an early Industry with Furs and/or Olives, you'll be able to gain the superior yields that come with that Industry as well as the unique bonus of +30% Production towards civilian units in that city. This can help you pump out even cheaper Builders to help with your early Wonder rushing.
With Kublai, if you can establish an early Industry with Diamonds, Jade, Silver and/or Truffles, you'll be able to gain the superior yields that come with that Industry as well as the unique bonus of +25% Gold in that city. This can help you boost your already good economy in the early to mid game.
Zombie Defense Game Mode
With the Zombie Defense Game Mode (introduced in the Portugal Pack) enabled, the Great Wall now functions like the Barricade. It deals 10HP damage to, and exerts zone of control on hostile units passing through or adjacent to it. This is an excellent strategic upgrade for all stages of the game.
The defensive value of Crouching Tigers also increases as it is exceptional at dispatching Zombies during the Medieval and Renaissance Era. This is especially the case if a Crouching Tiger grabs the Garrison promotion and sits on a walled Encampment or Great Wall tile.
How To Play Against China
When facing against Qin (both in single and multiplayer), simply invade him with as much military might as you can muster in the early game while he is preoccupied with building Wonders. If he cannot snowball off the early game, she will be crippled for the rest of the game.
With Kublai (both in single and multiplayer), the approach is essentially the same. Declare war on him as soon as possible and get as many other players to join in against him to deny him the Eurekas and Inspirations that come with his Trade Routes.