All About Cities
Cities are vital to your civilization’s success. They allow you to build units, buildings, and wonders. They allow you to research new technologies and gather wealth. You cannot win without powerful, well-situated cities.
Cities should be founded in locations with plenty of food and production and with access to resources such as wheat, fish, and cattle. It’s often a good idea to build a city on a river or coastal hex. Cities founded on hills gain a defensive bonus, making it harder for enemies to capture them.
Working the Land
Cities thrive based upon the land around them. Their citizens “work” the land, harvesting food, gold, production and science from the tiles. Citizens can work tiles that are within three tiles’ distance from the city and that are within your civilization’s borders. Only one city can work a single tile even if it’s within three tiles’ distance from more than one. Because of this, it’s important to carefully consider how closely together to build your cities!
As your city grows, it automatically assigns its citizens to work the lands around it. It seeks to provide a balanced amount of food, production, and gold. You may order a city’s citizens to work other tiles; for example: if you want a certain city to concentrate on generating gold, or production. In wartime, for example, it might be a good idea to focus on production to get military units trained quickly, or you might want to focus on gold to upgrade your obsolete units.
Fans of previous games in the Civilization series will be familiar with the concept of “improving” tiles to provide even more food, gold and so forth. Workers return in Civilization V and can be ordered to construct improvements such as farms, mines, trading posts, and so forth. A detailed overview of all of the improvement types will be coming in a later feature!
Specialists are citizens who have been assigned to work in a building constructed in their city. There are four kinds of specialists: Scientists, Merchants, Artists, and Engineers. A Library, for example, allows one or two citizens to be assigned to work in the building as Scientist specialists. Not all buildings allow specialists to be assigned to them.
When a citizen is assigned to be a specialist, that citizen is no longer available to work in the tiles around the city; therefore the city loses the food, production, or science that citizen would otherwise bring in. (However, if the city has more citizens than it has tiles to work, the specialist may have no negative effect upon production at all!)
Specialists provide the following benefits:
* Artists increase a city’s cultural output and speed the creation of Great Artists.
* Merchants increase a city’s gold output and speed the creation of Great Merchants.
* Scientists increase a city’s science output and speed the creation of Great Scientists.
* Engineers increase a city’s production output and speed the creation of Great Engineers.
A city is more than a bunch of homes. It contains schools and libraries, markets and granaries, banks and barracks. Buildings represent the improvements and upgrades that you make in a city. Buildings can increase the city’s rate of growth, can speed production, can increase the science of a city, can improve its defenses, and can do lots of other good things as well.
A city that has no buildings is pretty weak and primitive and will probably remain fairly small, while a city with a lot of buildings can indeed grow to dominate the world.
With the single exception of the monument, which has no prerequisites and is available to build at the start of the game, you need knowledge of a specific technology to construct a building. For example, you must learn bronze working before you can build a barracks.
Some buildings have resource prerequisites as well – for instance a city must have an improved source of horses or ivory nearby to construct a circus. Also, some buildings have building prerequisites. You can’t build a temple in a city unless you’ve already constructed a monument there.
There’s one downside to buildings: most of them cost gold to maintain. The price depends upon the building in question, and can range from 1 to 5 per turn. The gold is deducted from your treasury each turn. A later feature will explain more about gold, including how you earn it and what else it can be spent on.
As a city gains culture, it will acquire additional tiles in the surrounding unclaimed territory. The faster it gains culture, the faster its territory will grow. Each city acquires territory depending upon its own cultural output. When it reaches a certain level, it will “claim” a new tile (if any are available.)
You can also expend gold to “purchase” tiles; this is entirely independent of the city’s own acquisition based upon its culture.