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Let's say I'm currently building a world wonder, and through my spy I find out a rival civ is also building the same wonder, and are likely to complete it before me, even if I try to rush mine in a variety of ways.

So getting the wonder is nearly hopeless. Should I just immediately cancel the construction and divert my production elsewhere, or should I keep constructing it for the gold reward? And if the answer is "depends", then under what conditions should I choose one way or the other?

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How about queueing up a different building/unit, and switching its place with the wonder? I haven't had a chance to test this, but ideally it might allow you to (a) still use your production to build (b) get the gold reward once the rival civ has completed the wonder. –  zarkon Aug 2 '12 at 8:52
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3 Answers

up vote 9 down vote accepted

If you're say 95% sure that the AI will beat you to completion, absolutely switch construction immediately. The gold to hammer conversion is better than producing gold but it's still a horrible use of hammers. You should build a different wonder or a building to use the opportunity cost of producing something that will help you in the long run. Remember you still get the gold for the production you've already invested whether or not you're currently building that wonder, so it's not wasted production.

Alternately use the production to build units and then go relieve the AI of the wonder that way.

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Huh, I did not realize that I get gold even if I stopped constructing - but it is obvious now that I think about it. –  Oak Aug 9 '12 at 5:02
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You should almost always change projects. Hammers which have been spent on a project which can no longer be built are converted into gold one-for-one. This is a bad conversion! The gold isn't multiplied by your gold buildings or policies or anything. Each hammer gives you just one gold.

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Depends ;)

I don't have the Gods & Kings expansion, yet, but if they didn't change the game mechanics, here is what happens for your options:

Cancel the production:
Pro: You can instantly use your resources for another project
Con: You lose everything you have invested so far

Wait until your opponent beats you:
Pro: You get your invested resources in the form of money
Con: You could've built something else in that time

So it really depends on how long you already have been building on that wonder and how bad you need money. I usually continue building, because extra money is always good for bribing city states or upgrading units.

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In Civ4 you don't lose the hammers you've invested (ignoring decay) when you register move an item from your queue. Has this changed in Civ5? Do you have to be actively building the wonder on the very turn you are beat to it? –  David Harkness Aug 1 '12 at 14:41
    
Yes, production is bound the the building/unit. Also, there are no caravan units that could hurry up a production, only the Great Engineer, but he is quite rare. On the other hand, if you enable the production list and enqueue another production and then put this new one in the first place, the previous production will only be paused and then resumed when it gets to the top of the list again. But that won't help much for the current question. –  Sentry Aug 7 '12 at 8:40
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