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I'm going to play an archipelago map. The problem is that water tiles seem so useless in civ5. They only give one food and one gold. The only two things I recall that can help to improve them is lighthouse for additional food and a colossus for gold, but the latter sadly just works for that one city.

Are there any other ways improving water tiles, or shall I go more for the specialist economy?

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2 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted
  • Tile Improvements: Work boats can be used to develop special resource tiles on water (like fish, whale, and oil).
  • Wonders: As mentioned, the Colossus of Rhodes increases commerce.
  • Social Policies: Merchant Navy (Commerce) helps somewhat indirectly, by giving +3 production in coastal cities.
  • Buildings: As mentioned in the question, the Seaport and Lighthouse improve output of water tiles.
  • Technologies: I believe as you get higher technologies, the output of water tiles will be improved as well. EDIT: I think I was mistaken about this (unfortunately can't load the game up at work).
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There is no Moai Statues national wonder in Civ V. –  peacedog Oct 21 '10 at 16:14
    
Whoops, got my civs confused. Will fix. –  sjohnston Oct 21 '10 at 16:18
    
That will happen. –  peacedog Oct 21 '10 at 16:24
    
I can't recall any technologies that improve the output of water tiles, beyond making the aforementioned improvements available. –  bwarner Oct 21 '10 at 16:35
    
@sjohnston, +1 for merchant navy. The commerce branch generally looks quite appealing if not those trade unions (-20% on roads). But I don't recall any techs improving water tiles either..? –  Adj Oct 21 '10 at 16:55
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The Seaport adds +2 hammers to ocean tiles that have resources. It's an excellent option for cities with several ocean resources tiles it can work. It's a mid-game structure (at earliest), though.

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it really is, I'll try to settle my cities with access to at least two water resources –  Adj Oct 21 '10 at 16:49
    
@adj, It's not always possible, of course. One thing to remember is that the new city growth model allows you to grow outward on land from the coast more easily (it's costly, because you'll be spending more gold to buy distance hexes). Coastal cities can still be really powerful. –  peacedog Oct 21 '10 at 19:42
    
that's right, I don't like to spend cash on tiles either, a monument + temple and a bit of patience can do wonders :) generally imho its worth stopping city growth (or going for specialists) when they start working less than 4 res tiles and settling another resource plenty city instead –  Adj Oct 22 '10 at 9:55
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