In this guide I’ll discuss which of the infrastructure that helps with industry yields is worth building. We’ll start with a general overview of how industry infrastructure is helpful and then we’ll go through each of the eras and discuss each infrastructure individually.
First starting with an overview of industry infrastructure. Industry infrastructure boosts the industry yields in a number of ways, such as increasing industry tile yields, adding more industry to makers quarters base yields as well as the adjacency bonus, giving more workers slot and increasing the industry per worker, providing industry per strategic resource and providing percentage based industry bonuses to cities. Watch out, some infrastructure also increases pollution which can impact the stability of your cities. Next, we’ll discuss each piece of infrastructure for each Era. We’ll consider whether the industry investment for the infrastructure is worth the yields it provides.
Starting in the Ancient Era, the Forge is worth building if you plan on building a lot of makers quarters in a city. Although it is worth delaying it for a while until you have at least 5 or more makers quarters with adjacencies in a city. The industry per copper is nice, although it is usually not worth building just for that unless you have 10 or more copper due to the cost of the Forge. A similar story applies to the Lumber Yard and Stoneworks. They is usually not worth building until the late game unless you have a lot of forrest or woodland tiles you are working in the case of the lumber yard or a lot of mountain or stony or rocky field tiles in the case of the stoneworks. I would recommend 20 or more of those tiles to have around a 10 turn payback. Each turn is precious in the early game.
Moving onto the Classical Era, the Charcoal Kilm is worth building if you have at least 5 makers quarters with adjacencies in a city. The Watermill is situational, if you have at least 20 river tiles you are actively working with makers quarters it is not worth the investment until later in the game. Similarly, the Artisan Workshop is also not worth building unless you need the workers slots or have at least 24 workers in a city, which is unlikely in the early game.
The Medical Era High Furnace is worth building if you have at least 5 makers quarters with adjacencies in a city. The Manufactory in the Early Modern Era is not worth building unless you need the workers slots or have hundreds of workers in a city.
In the industrial Era things become complicated. The Coal Plant is nice, but it adds pollution to each makers quarter. It is only worth building if you have a significant stability buffer in a city. Otherwise you will very quickly go to 0% stability and be forced to replace your makers quarters with commons quarters taking the overall industry in your city likely below where it was before building the Coal Plant. The Factory is really not worth building due to the low benefits and pollution per makers quarter being added. The Sawmill is nice if you have a lot of tiles with industry in a city, but again you will need a significant stability surplus in a city to be able to build it without impacting your stability.
In the contemporary era, the Automated Factory is not worth building due to the pollution and low benefits offered. The Hydroelectric Dam, Nuclear Plant, Solar Farm and Wind Farm are worth building because it reduces pollution on makers quarters as well as providing industry bonuses, enabling you to build things like the Coal Plant from earlier Eras. The Quarrying Machine is somewhat worth it after you have reduced the pollution on makers quarters. However, it is usually better to spend the stability in your cities on more quarters rather than on pollution.
In summary, usually the industry infrastructure that adds industry on makers quarters as well as industry based on maker quarter adjacencies is worth building. Any infrastructure that adds pollution per makers quarter is not worth building until you have pollution mitigations unlocked. The infrastructure that reduces pollution on makers quarters is worth building. The infrastructure that enhances the industry tile yields is situational depending on the payback turns and the infrastructure adding worker slots and providing industry per work bonuses have such a long payback turn count that they are not worth building.