- "Yet in this captious and intenible sieve
I still pour in the waters of my love
And lack not to lose still: thus, Indian-like,
Religious in mine error, I adore
The sun, that looks upon his worshipper,
But knows of him no more."
– William Shakespeare
This Wonder comes very early in the game, being available at Pottery. Acting as an early Dam, the Great Bath will ensure safety from floods without the fear of Spy offensives flooding the valley. While the Food and Production yields do get reduced, theoretically, the Faith will prove useful for religious aims or for complimenting an early Golden-Age Monumentality for the ability to buy a few Settlers, Traders, and Builders.
However, in practice, since this is the first Wonder unlocked in the game, the opportunity cost of it is also the highest, as most of the times a game is decided within the first few turns of scouting and expansion. Especially when this Wonder relies a lot on luck, it is not recommended especially if you are playing on low Disaster settings, as it is not really worth the time and effort, not to mention that the potential early bonus Food and Production will be more valuable for early growth than Faith. Even on high Disaster settings, you should be careful to gamble your early gameplan on something unreliable. The 180 Production at this time in the game is huge; it can go towards Builders, Settlers or military units in case you get rushed by an aggressive neighbor. Later on, you still might want to build a Dam and an Aqueduct, since these two districts are very important to provide your Industrial Zone a high adjacency bonus. Due to the Dam and Aqueduct placement rule, they will have to go on the exact same Floodplains tiles, destroying the Faith yields created so far. Not to mention that it actually acts as a Dam in the first place by preventing flood damage. In addition to devoting early production, if you want to receive the bonus Faith, you could end up sacrificing a good amount of Production later in the game. Early flood protection, Housing and Amenity are all amazing, or even the Faith to build Builders and Settlers when you have the Monumentality Dedication, but the risk of not putting out an additional city, Builders, or units to protect yourself is overwhelming, and that does not take into account the potential Production loss when it is not completed in time, which is very likely. Overall, this Wonder rarely sees any play, even more so against high difficulty AI, since it is too expensive in terms of both Production cost and opportunity cost, and it relies too heavily on luck.
If you play against the AI on a high difficulty level (Emperor or above), their free Eureka and Science bonuses will allow them to research Pottery before you, making rushing the Great Bath incredibly difficult, if not downright impossible, unless you are playing as China or have another way to boost wonders. In a competitive multiplayer game against experienced human opponent, this Wonder can be considered to be an early game liability for getting invaded. If your neighbor spots that you are building this Wonder, it tells them you are not investing in your military as well as other important infrastructure, they will exploit this moment of vulnerability and strike. The player who attempts to build the Great Bath will most likely start on the wrong foot when they get attacked.
Ethiopia under Menelik II has great synergy with the Great Bath since he can turn all that extra Faith into Science and Culture, especially on high and hyperreal disaster settings. This is even more effective with the Apocalypse and Secret Societies game mode active, since you can get more Floods with Soothsayers and more Science, Culture, and Gold with the Voidsingers' Chorus promotion. Even then, this wonder is by no means a must-have, as there are other, easier methods of generating Faith early on.
The Great Bath at Mohenjo-daro was uncovered in 1926 in Sindh, Pakistan among the ruins of the Indus civilization. Though much of the life and culture of these people remains a mystery to scholars today, their ability to create this vast, water-tight structure was an impressive feat indeed. Measuring 12 by 7 meters with a depth of up to 2.4 meters, the tank was made of tightly packed bricks and mud, and sealed with a natural tar. But what was the purpose of a great public bath in a city where nearly every home contained its own bathing area? Though speculative, scholars seem to have agreed that it may have been used for religious purposes, as this was the closest structure to a temple uncovered in the area.
Today, the archaeological site lies far from the usual tourist routes in Pakistan, but many still visit the rural location to gaze in wonder at what remains of this ancient, mysterious city.
- The quote associated with this Wonder is from Act I, scene 3 of All's Well That Ends Well, a Shakespearean comedy first published in 1623.