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I have noticed that when I capture a city in Civ6, sometimes the buildings in a district are damaged even if I didn't pillage them. Which makes me think, perhaps I should pillage everything first if it will need to be repaired regardless.

Is this true, that there's not much downside to pillaging, or am I mistaken? (It's possible they were damaged by the AI in a previous war and just weren't repaired)

More generally, how profitable is pillaging district buildings? Improvements are close to a no-brainer since they're a quick repair by a builder, but district buildings will require some significant production investment to repair.

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Damaged Buildings: Whenever you capture a city, some buildings may become damaged and in need of repair. They are not something you can pillage before hand and it is just a mechanic of capturing cities. (This is a change from Civ V where buildings would just be gone and not destroyed).

Advantages/Disadvantages to pillaging: (Assuming you conquer the city eventually)

  • Advantages: You earn resources based off what it is. Improvements heal your units and yield some gold (This is the most common pillaging tactic dating back many Civ games). Districts yield a small amount of whatever it is that they produce. Ex: Pillaging a campus yields science whereas a theater district grants culture.

  • Disadvantages: When you pillage improvements your newly conquered city may be slow to get back on it's feet until your builders can fix it up. Conquered cities with pillaged districts seem to be less worth it because they do not produce anything while destroyed. They often take much longer (dependent on your hammers) to repair, and compared to the time it takes vs the amount you gain when pillaging, it is not worth it.

Notes: It is more worth pillaging districts to cripple an opponent if you will not be conquering the city soon. If you intend to raze the city, definitely pillage any and all because they won't matter without a city there.

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