A Builders' Hall is a type of Town Building. It can be constructed by any race, in any town, and has no prerequisites. Its base construction cost is 60.
The Builders' Hall itself is a stepping-stone towards development of a town - allowing advancement in five different and important fields: Defensibility (via the City Walls), reduction of Unrest (via the Shrine), improvement of Production (via the Miners' Guild), Research and magic (via the Library), or improved Food production (via the Granary). So many more buildings are unlocked further down the line that every city will need a Builders' Hall at some point, for whatever reason.
Furthermore, a few races gain an extra benefit from the Builders' Hall, as it allows them to create Engineers. These also work towards improving the city - by connecting it to the imperial Road network.
A Builders' Hall is a large structure comprised primarily of a great chamber - a hall - where the town's architects and construction foremen can congregate, make plans, exchange ideas, and coordinate their efforts. This allows the town to make the well-concerted effort required to build grand, elaborate structures.
A Builders' Hall looks almost like a large barn: a long rectangular building with reddish walls and a sloped roof. The metal support beams on the front of the structure are visibly shaped like a drawing compass - the symbol of the builders' guild. Inside, the structure is probably hollow, comprised of a single hall as described above.
Races and Construction Edit
All Races in the game have access to the Builders' Hall. The ability to create great structures is, after all, what distinguishes a civilized city from a lowly village, and thus each of the races has the incentive to construct one - in each city they have.
A town requires no other Town Buildings in order to create a Builders' Hall - it is available for construction as soon as a town becomes capable of producing anything. Occasionally, it is also the first building built in a new town.
Construction of a Builders' Hall costs 60 - making it relatively cheap compared to other starting structures like the Sawmill.
The Builders' Hall requires an Upkeep Cost of 1 per turn. Failure to pay these costs does not cause the Builders' Hall to be abandoned - Town Buildings only drain your treasury, so that you have less Gold with which to pay for other things.
Continuous Effects Edit
Unlocked Town Buildings Edit
Upon its construction, the Builders' Hall immediately unlocks the construction of no less than 5 other Town Buildings. Each of these buildings focuses on providing a different benefit to the town, and therefore the order in which they will be constructed (and which of them will be constructed at all) depends greatly on the town's designated purpose.
The City Walls are the simplest of the options. These provide the town with a strong defensive position during any sieges taking place here. Units can hide behind the walls to receive defensive bonuses, and most ground-based enemies will have a hard time getting through the wall altogether. This structure does not unlock any further development.
The Shrine allows a city to proceed towards religious development. It boosts magical energy, and also has the benefit of reducing Unrest - as do many of the structures unlocked by its presence. Proceeding with religious development is also important for towns hoping to build their unique racial units, since many require the Animists' Guild and/or Fantastic Stable - both of which are religious buildings.
The Miners' Guild is essential in any town hoping to benefit from high Production, whether for creating units faster or for producing masses of mined Gold. Towns near the Mountains will proceed down this path early on.
The Library initiates advancement in the Research field, initially giving bonus Research Points and, with further buildings, unlocking various magical units and powers. Most importantly - the University lies down this path for many races, and unlocks superior buildings that can help a town become a true metropolis - excelling in several different fields.
Finally, but perhaps most importantly, the Builders' Hall also unlocks the Granary. This building increases Food production in a town and also increases Population Growth. As a result it is one of the most important buildings for any developing town. It is also a component in unlocking the Farmers' Market which gives similar - but better - bonuses.
Unlocked Normal Units Edit
For several races, the construction of a Builders' Hall immediately unlocks production of Engineers. These are generally non-combat units, but provide a crucial service to your empire: building Road networks between Towns. These Roads will then allow units to travel faster between towns, and will provide a Gold bonus for trade income when two or more towns are connected directly to each other. Engineers may also be used (albeit with considerable risk) to topple enemy City Walls during siege battles.
Engineers are only available to the High Men, Klackons, Orcs, Beastmen, Draconians and Dwarves. The Draconian Engineers are not available in the latest versions. Other races do not get any new units from the Builders' Hall whatsoever.
As explained above, the Builders' Hall enables a town to develop along one of five separate branches - each improving it in a different way. At least one of these branches is crucial for any given town, regardless of its designated purpose. As a result, the Builders' Hall will eventually be present in every town, if you can possibly afford it, to develop at least one of the branches (if not all).
Unit production centers will likely want to put up a Miners' Guild (if available), to boost production. Farming towns will need a Granary. Intellectual centers will go for the Library, Shrine or possibly even both.
Naturally, any town that's important enough to keep safe from harm will need City Walls - especially if it is anywhere near a border or large body of water; invasions can come at any time.
Any town that develops to a sufficient size will likely want to develop down all branches eventually. However, for efficiency's sake it is important to determine which branches should be developed first, and how quickly to advance down each of them. To do this correctly you'll need good familiarity with the Town Building chart, and you'll also need to have a clear idea of a town's designated purpose. Building the wrong structures will yield little benefit, delaying a town's development greatly.
Of course, any empire that can create Engineers will need at least the Builders' Hall itself in any major region of the empire. Expansion of the Road network to new Settlements is imperative to such empires, and it's better to start as early as possible!
All in all, the Builders' Hall is an essential part of any serious city - but the exact timing for its construction, as well as the path you take after constructing it, require finesse that will only come with knowledge of the game and plenty of experience.