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I started playing a game with the "automated workers remove features" set so that my forests/jungles won't be removed. Aside from missing out on the production bonus of chopping them down, is there any disadvantage to leaving forest or jungle tiles?

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  • Why would you leave them rather than improving them? You can build lumber mills on forests and trading posts on jungle tiles. – Tim Fountain Jul 29 '13 at 20:18
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    Some civilizations (Celts) and some religions receive bonuses from forests, and jungles can provide bonus science with the right buildings. – Ryre Jul 30 '13 at 1:24
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    @TimFountain - Neither lumber mills nor trading posts remove the underlying feature (jungle/forest/marsh). – David Harkness Aug 2 '13 at 1:51
  • Ahh, I see. There's also the advantage of generating production by clearing them (useful very early game) or clearing them to build a different improvement (ex: farms). Since lumber mills/trading posts aren't starting technologies, these aren't always options. – Ryre Aug 2 '13 at 16:45
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Forests

It's mostly about what you want your city to get. Is your city already surrounded by hills, giving it ample production? A farm is a good candidate to replace the forest, especially if it's over grasslands. If you need production or want gold, however, leaving the forest in place is a better idea, for either a lumber mill or a trading post.

Regarding forests on hills - it's probably better to replace them with mines. You get a little less food but it's better when you try to focus your city on production. Also the production boost from cutting down a forest is useful in the early game.

Jungles

Jungles are generally a "bad" tile - like tundra - but in my personal opinion, up until the late game it's worth leaving them for the science boost they give once you get a university. Just make sure you leave enough production and food tiles available to the city.

Once your science per turn is in the hundreds, though, you might consider removing them.

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    Great answer +1, I would also like to add that often times jungle/forest terrain can be used for very significant tactical advantage (or disadvantage) in battles. Leaving a line of forest/jungle for an enemy to have to bring his army through gives you time. Also, some civilizations like the celts get large bonus from leaving forest/jungle. – Quinma Jul 29 '13 at 20:19
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    And leaving these features adjacent to cities gives cover to attacking enemies. If you expect to be under siege, you may want to remove those. – David Harkness Aug 2 '13 at 1:53

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