(I know Civ V is out, but I enjoy IV so much more :) )

I'm figuring out my strategies for Monarch difficulty, trying to get my economy streamlined, and trade routes have popped up their head as a somewhat significant number.

My old strategy was to build roads generally on critical resources only, that provided gold, happiness, copper, whatever, and leave the non-critical developments like cottages, mines, and farms without roads on them.

Is there something to gain from building roads on every worked tile in the city cross?

  • I seem to recall that you don't need to build a road to a resource, so long as it's within the "workable radius" of the city. If your cultural borders extend past the workable region and there's a resource in one of the further tiles, I think you need to build a road then... I have trouble keeping the two games' rules apart, though.
    – agent86
    Commented May 30, 2012 at 1:13
  • 2
    @Raven Dreamer - thanks for the edit! I was wondering why I was getting all sorts of "goo" related prompts in the "similar questions" dialog...mystery solved.
    – Ben
    Commented May 30, 2012 at 2:54
  • @agent86 That sounds like Civ3 (and maybe Civ5, I wouldn't know). In Civ 4 you need to build a road (or have river or coastline connection and knowledge of Sailing) to resources even within the city radius. Commented Sep 22, 2012 at 18:19

1 Answer 1


There's no real major benefit to having roads on all tiles, although there's no real downside either, besides the opportunity cost of the worker's time.

One benefit is that if you are fighting a war, being able to move into and out of your cities to defend key tiles can be useful. Having your Cavalry stuck in a bad position after preemptively striking an enemy unit can be detrimental.

However, railroads can further improve the production of certain tile improvements - mines and lumber mills come to mind.

(Do note that this changed in Civ5, where every tile with a road on it cost you gold per turn.)

  • OK thanks agent86, that's the conclusion I had drawn a while back but glad to have a second opinion. And I didn't know about the railroads improving production - by that stage in the game I usually am fairly distracted by other priorities. Good to know.
    – Ben
    Commented May 30, 2012 at 2:53

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