Chinese wonders need a refresh

While playing China, I’ve noticed some things regarding wonders that are either oversights or do not seem to be on pair with other civs power equivalent.

  1. Summer palace can only train unit badges from the original Asian Dynasties, while the compositions that are recruited through the castle are not available, even though even the Russian Blockhouse has them.

  2. Summer palace recruitment speed cannot be affected by any cards that should (perhaps this is technically a bug), like the Acupuncture card that supposedly affects all unit recruitment speed, or the card Banner School (maybe not this one since it’d be too OP). This is unlike Japanese Dojos that have the same function, and yet, are affected by the Shogunate and other cards; I believe canon recruitment speed cards have the same effect for HC and GB in factory.

  3. An unupgraded factory produces 5.5 of any resource, USA can get this in age III if they age with the right State as compensation for not having a 10 villager shipment in Fortress. China doesn’t have that option either, but have the alternative to go for the Porcelain tower. The problem is that it only produces 4 gold or wood a second, or 4.5 food/s. This should be adjusted to an equivalent. Perhaps this buff could also incentivize people to go for it in other ages as well, if the changes extend to other ages too (players pick it in fortress 99% of times if they pick it at all).

I’m happy to hear your thoughts on this.


Summer Palace is an Auto-War Academy, it i not supposed to have Castle armies.
It is just a War Academy that auto trains Banner Armies, and that is good enough. There is Confucian Academy for Flying Crows, as another source of free units.

Because Summer Palace armies are free, and you do not even have to queue them, it makes sense they do not bnefit from training speed upgrades or effects.
You are already getting a steady supply of free units, so you should get them extremely slowly, otherwise China would be even worse than Japan, in terms of balance.

USA is OP, but China is the natural counter to USA, and USA has a huge Loss Rate against China, so comparisons with USA are extremely bad examples.
China murders USA in 1v1, like it is literally nothing.

You have to remember China can get almost 3 Factories:
-1 From Russian Consulate
-1 Porcelain Tower
-3 Resource trickles from German Consulate

China already gets better resource trickle, in the lategame, than any Euro civ, and German Consulate has been hugely buffed, recently.


true you get my words !!!

No, Chinese wonders are pretty balanced, the only one I would change is the white Patagonia, maybe give more disciple limit than it already does. Porcelain tower is incredibly good, I’m not going to get into the whole thing over whether usa is OP or not, but china has enough other bonuses that it’s fine the porcelain tower isn’t as good as a factory summer palace doesn’t need to have what the units at the castle can give because those are pretty niche units anyways (except for the artillery, but getting free artillery from it could be too good) another thing to consider, is that Chinese wonders are already better than most of the euro age ups in terms of long term value and give slightly less immediate value as a consequence, also when aging to 3 it is sometimes worth aging with the confusion academy if you think your opponent will try to attack you while your aging, but if your playing a long term game, the porcelain tower is the best.


Hi Jon, I can see that you are very passionate about this topic. I’m happy to discuss this further.

  1. It’s your assumption that Summer Palace is supposed to be a ‘‘auto-war academy’’, I’m not suggesting they get artillery from it, just access to Black Flag Army and Mongolian Army; I seriously doubt this will mess up any balance, other than allowing for diversity.

  2. The examples I provided from artillery from Factories and badges of units from Dojos are also ‘‘free units’’, with the exception that they all can boost their training from cards; you can even have two Dojos and pay for an upgrade. If you are unfamiliar with these, here is a video Dojo or Dont'jo? AOE 3 Dojo Card Analysis - YouTube . Before you say it’s OP, consider that almost nobody uses them and for good reason. In any case I seriously doubt that this would make China ‘‘even worse than Japan’’. In any case this is not exclusive to Japan as I mentioned.

  3. Saying that USA OP is a huge assumption and your perception, the competitive supremacy community heavily disagrees with this. I would appreciate if you could provide me with the graphics that say that USA has a huge loss rate vs China. Even if that was true, it’s irrelevant, since the result is not based solely on the Factory vs Porcelain Tower comparison at hand.

  4. Russian Factory is equivalent to second Factory for Euros, I’m comparing Age III Factory to Age III Porcelain Tower, and the income is not really equivalent. There was no ‘‘huge German Consulate buff’’ either, it only allowed the player to unlock trickles earlier. Either way you need to invest in sending cards for export/GFA to even get them timely, besides sacrificing your export for it, which is much needed for China. Plus the coin trickle hasn’t even been updated to the 1.65 that Capitalism now provides.

If your concern is for treaty balance, Porcelain Tower doesn’t need to be super buffed in Age V. They already did this with the Temple of Heaven wonder, to maintain NR balance.

I am neither passionate nor dispassionate about this, I just say it like I see it, to b e honest.

  1. Yes, Summer Palace was clearly designed to be “just” a war Academy, on auto-pilot, and I can think of not better wonder, which is why it is almost always the first one every China player puts down, in every game.

  2. Heavy Artillery trains very slowly, and Factories are almost never used to train it, because it would mean not getting the big resource trickles, which is the whole point of a Factory.
    In 1v1 games, you almost never see a player setting his Factory to heavy Cannons, because it takes so unbearably long to produce even one, only to have it 2-shot by Culverins as soon as it makes it into a fight.
    The Resources are ALWAYS better, and the point of Factories is free resources. If you want Artillery, it is honestly better to just get it from the Foundry, because you can spawn batches of 5, which makes them less susceptible to insta-counter by Culvs, before they even do any damage.
    Dojos are another matter entirely, and Japan is grossly OP, but they are just weaker factories, taht produce small batches of free units, but actually still do it super slow.
    Believe me, that if players could choose between free units, and free resources, from the Dojos, they would pick the resources.
    China is already super spammy, with cheaper armies than all other civs. This is why their units are also weaker, and why Summer Palace should not produce them any faster.
    You need Age3 to get Dojos, and Age 2 to get Factories, 2 shipments each, but you get Summer Palace in Age 2, and for only 800 Food. It is a huge bargain, and like anything that comes earlier, it HAS to be weaker than something that comes later in the game.

  3. The competitive community itself, will tell you that China counter USA the best, out of all the civs.

  4. USA gets Age 3 Factory, but does not get Age 2 German Consulate all resource trickles, so China still comes out hugely ahead, in Age 3.

Porcelain Tower just does not need to be buffed. Out of all the stuff that China needs, the Wonders are not something they need touched.
The only thing China really needs, is Arsenal upgrades, specially for Cavalry units, which they have a lot of, but they are all bad, and Infantry Breastplate.

Thank you for your answer Jon, here are some considerations.

  1. The Summer Palace is most likely the way it is because formerly, the banner armies that you could train from the Castle were different ones, which included artillery. It would have made no sense for artillery to be mixed in before, but that is no longer the case, which is why I say it should be updated.

  2. I’m afraid you are mistaken again Jon, heavy artillery from factories are actually more profitable in mid mid-late game than resource trickle, here is the evidence. The Value and Best Usage of Factories in AOE 3! - YouTube . Add to that the firepower you get from HC or GB, compared to falconets and horse art.

Maybe I did not get my point across clearly; but I do not want Summer Palace to be buffed by default just for Acupuncture (an Age III card mind you), to affect it, since it supposedly applies to all units, even villagers. Also if I’m not mistaken, one Dojo is equivalent to one SM, and you can have two of them.

  1. Can you provide sources with examples of the competitive community saying this? Either way as I said, it’s irrelevant for the comparison since a civ has way more context than just one building.

  2. China only has access to food and wood trickles in Age II (which are not nearly as equivalent to a Factory or even the lesser Porcelain Tower), I don’t know why you say that they get all trickles. And as I said, to get access to this trickles early you need to invest in sending cards and sacrifice allying with other nations or using that export on army (for example musks which are essential for China).

If you want we can have a conversation about arsenal and cavalry, but please create a new discussion for it.

The only thing I may refresh about China wonders is the pagoda to allow the buffs to scale up if you age up with it early, currently it locks the buff at the age when you build it, which is a bit disappointing tbh since will never want to build it to get to age 5.

and maybe porcelain tower so that you can unlock the imp level trickle if you build it in industrial, again because currently its a lock. Could be done using an upgrade, like how shrines does it.

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