|Increases a town's Gold output by 50% of the current amount generated from Taxation and Minerals.|
The Marketplace is a type of Town Building. The Marketplace may be built by any race in any town. A town must already contain a Smithy in order to construct a Marketplace. The Marketplace's base construction cost is 100.
The primary purpose of the Marketplace is to boost a town's Gold production rate, which it does fairly well. It generates 50% as much Gold as the town collects in Taxes from its citizens and from nearby Minerals, each turn. This effect is naturally most important for towns that already produce a lot of gold, but can be a useful bonus in small towns as well.
The Marketplace requires an Upkeep Cost of 1 per turn for its maintenance - and will usually pay for itself even when placed in a rather poor town. If you're pressed for Gold, a Marketplace can be sold back for 33 - but this may significantly reduce Gold income in the long run, and is therefore not the best idea.
A Marketplace is a fairly basic idea in any civilization - a place for people to come together for the exchange of goods. It is an essential part of the development of trade, whether among the people of a settlement or among several settlements. The Marketplace saves merchants the trouble of having to go peddle their goods from door to door, and gives buyers a central place to go to whenever they are in need of those goods.
In the game, the Marketplace is simply a collection of tents, huts and stands, arranged around a central courtyard. Buyers may move between the stalls freely, perusing the goods and comparing prices.
Races and Construction Edit
All Races in the game have access to the Marketplace, a quintessential part of civilized commerce.
A town requires the Smithy before it can build a Marketplace, probably because metal goods are prized-enough items that would warrant having to set up a district in which to sell them to the general population. If the Smithy is missing, the Marketplace cannot be built. In fact, if the Smithy is lost or sold off while the Marketplace is still in construction, the project will be canceled prematurely and cannot be restarted until this required building is rebuilt.
Continuous Effects Edit
The purpose of the Marketplace is to generate Gold. The amount of Gold it yields is equal to 50% of the total amount produced through both Taxation of the town's citizens and bonuses from Minerals. This is then rounded down.
For example, if a town's population produces 9 due to Taxation, a Marketplace in this town will produce an extra 4 (9 * 50%, rounded down). If a nearby Gold Ore tile adds +3, the total produced Gold is 9 from taxation + 3 from minerals = 12 total, so the Marketplace will now yield 6 instead.
Note that only Taxation and Minerals affect the amount of Gold produced at the Marketplace. Bonuses from Roads, Rivers and Shore tiles are ignored completely, as are bonuses from other Gold-producing structures like the Bank. On the other hand, if a town has access to Gold-producing Minerals and has a Miners' Guild, the effect of the Miners' Guild is taken into account when calculating the total output of the Marketplace, since it is seen as directly affecting the value of those Minerals.
Note that while a Marketplace has an Upkeep Cost of 1 per turn, it will usually pay for its own maintenance - and will often make a profit above this unless the town is completely dirt-poor. Therefore, the Upkeep Cost should normally be ignored when deciding whether to construct a Marketplace.
Unlocked Town Buildings Edit
On its own, the Marketplace unlocks no new construction. However, two additional buildings will work together with the Marketplace to unlock further town improvements that are even more essential.
With both a Marketplace and a Granary present in the town, it is possible to build a Farmers' Market. All races have access to this building, which acts to improve Food output as well as increase the town's Population Growth. To prevent Rebels from appearing, construction of the Farmers' Market is often delayed until the town can construct religious structures to quell such rebellions.
A few races also use the Marketplace as a stepping-stone towards building the Bank. This would first require the construction of the University, a rather expensive structure on its own. The Bank is most often worth it, as its effect on Gold output is significantly higher than that of the Marketplace, and can thus generate a terrific income boost in any large town.
Unlocked Normal Units Edit
The Marketplace unlocks no new units for any race, not even in conjunction with other Town Buildings. None of the structures in the commercial development branch unlock any units either. Nonetheless, even unit-producing towns will generally want to build a Marketplace at one point or another, to capitalize on its Gold output.
The Marketplace's Gold output is a very important benefit that almost no town can do without. Only the tiniest, poorest towns produce so little Gold that a Marketplace would generate a net loss ( -1 per turn, for its maintenance). For any established town however, a Marketplace is definitely going to pay for itself - and will almost always generate a net profit. Even a few extra Gold coins are worth the trouble of building it.
Thus, any town that has a few citizens and no urgent priorities for construction should consider putting up a Marketplace. This is even more true if the town has plenty of citizens and/or is producing a proportionally large amount of Gold already; the more Gold is produced, the better the benefit from the Marketplace will be.
Thus, any empire should strive to put a Marketplace in each and every town it has. You can delay the construction of a Marketplace until the town is starting to produce a sizeable amount of Gold, but again any town that yields at least 2 will get a net benefit from a Marketplace.