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I built a mine on iron and at first it let me build swordsmen, but now it won't. I have not traded it away and I do not have other buildings making swordsmen.

Any idea why?

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In Civ V, certain bonus resources are limited in quantity -- Iron, Coal, Aluminum, Uranium, and Horses. Unlike in Civ IV where you either had the resource, or you did not, so-called "strategic resources" are a finite quantity -- if you only have one iron mine (and that iron mine yields a measly 2 Iron) you can only have 2 swordsmen, which are iron-dependent units.

If you don't have any more of the resource, you can no longer build units that require it, and if you drop into a deficit of the resource (due to war, end of a trade agreement, etc.) all units which require that resource take a hefty combat penalty until you accrue more of it (or they die, reducing the total draw from your civ's resources).

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    Not the answer I was hoping for :( ps - thank you – David Thielen Dec 27 '10 at 4:09
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If your iron is in a city that is not connected to others via road or waterway, you will find you cannot build swordsman in other cities until these trade connections are made.

A good way is seeing if this is true is the trade connection icon near your city name and that you can only build swordsman in the city with the iron.

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