Part 6: Mechanics: Leonardo's Workshop & wonders I think are bad
Oh man, this game. I was too young to fully understand it when it was first around, but my dad played this game into the fucking ground. Are you going to be abusing the hell out of Leonardo's Workshop or whatever it's called? I have no idea how correct he was, but he always claimed that it was the gamebreaking wonder.
On Deity difficulty, Michaelangelo's Chapel is the one wonder to rule them all. No contest.
Leonardo's Workshop is great, but you can survive without it. What it does is automatically replace your old unit types with better ones when you unlock them. For example, any Phalanxes you have are turned into Pikemen when you learn Feudalism (which unlocks Pikemen to build).The most obviously valuable thing this does for you is instantly convert most ancient and medieval infantry into vastly more powerful Musketeers when you learn Gunpowder. Less significantly, it will turn all your Musketeers into Riflemen when you get Conscription. It can of course also update Elephants and Crusaders into Dragoons and Cavalry but that's less helpful and I don't often even unlock those techs until I'm going for tanks. Perhaps the best time and money savings from LW is ship updates. It can turn Ironclads into Destroyers and Cruisers or Galleons into Transports. But undoubtedly the best overall bonus is the conversion of all Settlers into Engineers. That alone is worth building the wonder.
There are a couple of issues with it though:
1) It expires and ceases to function just when you want it most. The tech that turns off LW is Automobile. Automobile unlocks Battleships, which are both vastly stronger than and vastly more expensive than Cruisers. Needing to build them yourself instead of having your Cruisers turn into them kind of sucks. Furthermore, Automobile unlocks the Mobile Warfare tech that gives you tanks. Similarly, tanks are vastly superior to cavalry but also vastly more expensive. And you'll have to build them yourself.
2) A lot of clearly superior modern units don't actually count as upgrades. For example, Alpine Troops are a great infantry unit and are strictly better than Riflemen. But as I recall, LW will not turn your riflemen into Alpine Troops.
3) Veteran units are de-veteraned when replaced. On occasion this can actually mean an overall downgrade in power.
4) If you're not at war a lot, you don't actually benefit that much. If you ARE at war, chances are you've replaced a lot of your obsolete units yourself already.
Definitely a great wonder, but not the best. I might rank Hanging Gardens, J.S. Bach's Cathedral, Magellan's Expedition, and the Great Library in the same tier.
Junior G-man posted:
I'm assuming you'll do a lot of posting on Wonders later, but I was briefly wondering what the worst wonders were according to you
Colossus. Just not much benefit.
Lighthouse. Only useful for heavy naval focus... and expires immediately if you get any naval techs.
Oracle. Only useful for suppressing unhappiness... and expires when you get one of the most critical anti-unhappiness techs.
Copernicus's Observatory. It's a darned Library! It is a basic city improvement except that it costs 4x as much to build and then 1 less per turn to maintain.
Darwin's Voyage. Gives you a couple of techs immediately... but is only unlocked after the most important parts of the tech race are long-since over. Also there are like 12 wonders which are better for getting you technology and cost less to build.
There are plenty of others which are extremely situational. For example, Apollo Program is less than worthless if you want to win by military victory. Manhattan Project is horrible if you want to win by spaceship.
Delenda est Carthago!