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Old Aug 08, 2007, 05:02 PM   #1
futurehermit
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Monasteries

Ok, so one building that I don't use enough that I want to start using more earlier in the game is the monastery.

The reason: It gives 10% bonus to science. If you put 2-4 of them in each commerce city that is a 20-40% boost to your research which is quite significant frankly. Even 2 monasteries is around the same as a library.

I get the impression that a lot of people don't use monasteries a lot because there is a trend on these forums that people tend to avoid founding religions (unless going cultural) and focus on warring instead.

I find though that even if I am not trying to found religions that I will routinely found taoism, usually found confucianism, and may found christianity if I get a GP early. Furthermore, 1-3 religions will generally find their way into my empire either passively or through conquest.

So, how 'bout it? What are your thoughts on monasteries and making a dedicated effort to get them into your commerce cities early?
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Old Aug 08, 2007, 05:10 PM   #2
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Monasteries are basically small libraries, without the ability to recruit scientists. They are great if you need a cheap building in the beginning/middle game to push your borders (before theatre I mean), and the fact that you can multiply yhem makes them even more appealing.

I always build them when I can (means: when I have enough science so that building a monasterie is a good plan)
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Old Aug 08, 2007, 05:25 PM   #3
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I always like to get as many as possible when running bureaucracy in my capital. Since I usually cottage spam the capital, an additional 2-4 monasteries makes a difference (library, academy, +50% commerce). My other cities usually have other priorties and the extra 10% would only couple with a library which doesn't amount to much.

Any time I found a religion, the free missionary goes straight to the capital so I can build the monastery pronto.
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Old Aug 08, 2007, 06:13 PM   #4
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Apart from my main science city and a second production city that I can use for missionaries later I don't usually bother. There are usually a lot more pressing buildings to put in your ordinary cities. I can't remember the hammer cost, but its fairly high for a building that is going to expire. I'd rather spend hammers on buildings that raise the happy/health cap - in most cases the return from being able to run a couple extra population will be higher than the returns from the monastery.

They are a bit more worthwhile if you have Apostolic Palace or University of Sankore giving benefits for your religious buildings. Then I'll probably build them in my production cities just to get the religious building benefit - but they probably still aren't a priority for low hammer cities.
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Old Aug 08, 2007, 06:16 PM   #5
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Apart from my main science city and a second production city that I can use for missionaries later I don't usually bother. There are usually a lot more pressing buildings to put in your ordinary cities. I can't remember the hammer cost, but its fairly high for a building that is going to expire. I'd rather spend hammers on buildings that raise the happy/health cap - in most cases the return from being able to run a couple extra population will be higher than the returns from the monastery.

They are a bit more worthwhile if you have Apostolic Palace or University of Sankore giving benefits for your religious buildings. Then I'll probably build them in my production cities just to get the religious building benefit - but they probably still aren't a priority for low hammer cities.
This is the sentiment that I am struggling with tbh. 30% science for say 3 monasteries is great. That's more science that a library or university and I always build universities! Plus monasteries come earlier than universities!

But I hear what you're saying, don't get me wrong.

Is it just a matter of monasteries and missionaries being too expensive? Do we need to petition them to be cheaper? Would that make cultural too easy?
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Old Aug 08, 2007, 06:19 PM   #6
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Ok, so one building that I don't use enough that I want to start using more earlier in the game is the monastery.
I think you may see monasteries rise in prominence now that Shwedagon Paya has been introduced - finally a reason to get meditation when you don't have a religion in hand....
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Old Aug 08, 2007, 06:28 PM   #7
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So, how 'bout it? What are your thoughts on monasteries and making a dedicated effort to get them into your commerce cities early?
I never really care to go building commerce cities. However, since I go after production power cities, this means I can build them much faster than the average CE joe. So this still makes it worth while.
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Old Aug 08, 2007, 06:48 PM   #8
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They are a bit more worthwhile if you have Apostolic Palace or University of Sankore giving benefits for your religious buildings. Then I'll probably build them in my production cities just to get the religious building benefit - but they probably still aren't a priority for low hammer cities.
Don't forget about the Spiral Minaret. +2 gold for all state religion building on top of the science and hammers. Makes real worth while when playing a builders game.
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Old Aug 08, 2007, 07:20 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by futurehermit View Post
Ok, so one building that I don't use enough that I want to start using more earlier in the game is the monastery.

The reason: It gives 10% bonus to science. If you put 2-4 of them in each commerce city that is a 20-40% boost to your research which is quite significant frankly. Even 2 monasteries is around the same as a library.

I get the impression that a lot of people don't use monasteries a lot because there is a trend on these forums that people tend to avoid founding religions (unless going cultural) and focus on warring instead.

I find though that even if I am not trying to found religions that I will routinely found taoism, usually found confucianism, and may found christianity if I get a GP early. Furthermore, 1-3 religions will generally find their way into my empire either passively or through conquest.

So, how 'bout it? What are your thoughts on monasteries and making a dedicated effort to get them into your commerce cities early?
I spam monasteries like crazy, especially

a. capital (bureaucracy; mass specialists; representation = many beakers base)

b. border towns that need culture.. or if I want to pound someone else's town with my own culture.

c. if I get any bonuses from the following: AP, Univ of Sank, Spiral Minaret. I don't care much about Sistine Chapel but see b., above. But I only care about my state religion in that case; the rest is gravy. If I have ALL of the above, then monasteries are a high priority (right after granaries and forges).. even before libraries, which are usually more expensive but don't yield that +2/+2/+2/+whatever Sistine gives you bonus.

d. any other high-beaker base cities, at my leisure.
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Old Aug 08, 2007, 07:56 PM   #10
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Before I research Scientific method I usually have all monastaries possible in my capital and one or two other cities so I can always make missionaries in several cities if I need them. I'll put them in border towns sometimes for the culture as well. When taking new cities by force I'll make a monastary in one if it contains a religion I dont have and send a missionary to my capital. Nothing like having 5 or 7 religions at your disposal to counter unhappiness (yearning for your homeland? Make a few temples and claim more land culturally as a bonus!), push borders and create shrine income. I just make sure I have observatories in my main cities before I research S.M. so my research rate doesn't suffer too much.
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Old Aug 09, 2007, 01:34 AM   #11
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This is the sentiment that I am struggling with tbh. 30% science for say 3 monasteries is great. That's more science that a library or university and I always build universities! Plus monasteries come earlier than universities!

But I hear what you're saying, don't get me wrong.

Is it just a matter of monasteries and missionaries being too expensive? Do we need to petition them to be cheaper? Would that make cultural too easy?
I think its balanced fine - its a hybrid building that provides two different benefits and expires - makes it interesting to decide whether to invest in them or not. I like it that not everything makes sense all the time - some games they might be worth it, but not in others.

How often can you realistically get three monasteries going long enough before Scientific Method to pay for the hammers they cost? And the missionaries you had to build? If you are lucky enough to found a second religion and use the free missionary on your capital which is running bureaucracy and has hammers to burn then its a no brainer. But building missionaries to convert a secondary city and then building lots of monasteries there? By the time you are in a position to do that you are probably ready to build universities, and they have a long term payoff not to mention you want a lot of them quickly for Oxford.

I still would rather invest hammers in things that last and multiply throughout the course of the game. You need a lot of science before a monastery makes much difference outside of the capital. And wouldn't you rather have a forge, market, grocer, aqueduct, granary, courthouse, library, harbour ...?

I always make sure I build at least one monastery for each religion in one of my production cities though - I've been caught before unable to spread my holy cities religion after Scientific Method (and not wanting to switch to OR).
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Old Aug 09, 2007, 01:41 AM   #12
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I always make sure I build at least one monastery for each religion in one of my production cities though - I've been caught before unable to spread my holy cities religion after Scientific Method (and not wanting to switch to OR).
LOL @ Invisible

I remember falling into that problem. I always used to think it was an over-looked logic-bug on the part of Firaxis. Actually, I still think so.
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Old Aug 09, 2007, 02:09 AM   #13
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LOL @ Invisible

I remember falling into that problem. I always used to think it was an over-looked logic-bug on the part of Firaxis. Actually, I still think so.
I think the Holy shrine itself should allow building missionaries even without monastery. It doesn't make sense to me the holy shrine has personnel to collect money but nobody to spread the religion.
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Old Aug 09, 2007, 02:40 AM   #14
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I think the Holy shrine itself should allow building missionaries even without monastery. It doesn't make sense to me the holy shrine has personnel to collect money but nobody to spread the religion.
Good point.

However, I play the game "as is", so I make sure to build monasteries for all religions that I have in my land. I don't mind if it's in a production city or not, if need be I'll $rush missionaries later on.

It's pretty rare that building a monastery for the 10% science pays off really.
From a pure mathematical point of view, a monastery costs 60 hammers. If you want a lot of them, you'll have to build missionaries for 40 more hammers (and pray that the missionary doesn't fail, those playing for cultural know what I mean).
This is 100 hammers you could have spent building research instead.
Don't talk about production bonuses, they would apply to building research too (except running OrgRel which makes the missionary building easier too).
So how long does it take to "payback"? Depends on your base beakers.
In your capital running 100% science, it's pretty fast. It's done in 1000/base_beakers turns. So if you have 1000 base beakers (with a few settled great scientists + a large number of cottages it's doable), the payback is in 1 single turn. If you have 100 (quite common in any CE commerce city), it's 10 turns.
In your production city, it never pays off (you don't have 10 base beakers, so you will never gain a single beaker from the monastery . Maybe with 2 or 3 of those, you will gain a beaker per turn, requiring 3000 turns for the payback).

So does it pay back to "missionary + monastery" spam?
only to the very best commerce cities,
and those won't be building them fast enough
In a SE, it may be easier to solve this : work the mines for building those things, then assign scientists. However, it's a slow payback = the total opposite of the SE's "now is better" fundament.
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Old Aug 09, 2007, 05:20 AM   #15
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In your production city, it never pays off (you don't have 10 base beakers, so you will never gain a single beaker from the monastery . Maybe with 2 or 3 of those, you will gain a beaker per turn, requiring 3000 turns for the payback).
While it's true it's not a good investment in a city with such a low base beaker output, it's not true that it will never give a single beaker. Except in early versions of vanilla Civ 4, science and similar is counted to 2dp, so it will give some additional beakers, if not enough to warrant its construction.

I'd also mention that monasteries are handy for the extra culture in the early stages.
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Old Aug 09, 2007, 05:40 AM   #16
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I think with the sort of nerved spiritual trait (strengthened Golden Age, no anarchy), hammer production bonus to monastery would be ok then, even 25% bonus would make spiritual popular again.

now I play spiritual leader much less in bts since I could use golden age when I need to change a lot civics. and always beeline to radio.

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Old Aug 09, 2007, 06:11 AM   #17
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I very often build monasteries also for the 2 cultural points ... In fact I very see monasteries exactly like cheap libraries ... the 10 vs 25 % science is not a big deal at the beggining but the culture points for half the price of a library are great and may help for the control of a specific ressource ...

I also build lots of them in my science cities ...
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Old Aug 09, 2007, 06:49 AM   #18
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To be honest I build monestaries for
1) Culture
2) Spread religion if running theocracy
3) Spread a shrined religion post scientific method if I have it or plan to take it.
4) Utilize wonders associated with state religion buildings
5) If the city has nothing else to build except an unneeded military unit that I have to pay for

I rarely consider the +10% reasearch boost as a reason to build them, and if I do it's usually one of the three early religions.
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Old Aug 09, 2007, 07:14 AM   #19
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I spam monasteries like crazy, especially

a. capital (bureaucracy; mass specialists; representation = many beakers base)

b. border towns that need culture.. or if I want to pound someone else's town with my own culture.

c. if I get any bonuses from the following: AP, Univ of Sank, Spiral Minaret. I don't care much about Sistine Chapel but see b., above. But I only care about my state religion in that case; the rest is gravy. If I have ALL of the above, then monasteries are a high priority (right after granaries and forges).. even before libraries, which are usually more expensive but don't yield that +2/+2/+2/+whatever Sistine gives you bonus.

d. any other high-beaker base cities, at my leisure.
This desribes my philosophy too.

I have one further reason and that is so I can spam religions later in the game without needing OR. Free Religion can be a great civic during conquests when you're fighting unhappiness due to WW, motherland and maybe emancipation (if your running Slavery or Caste System in a SE). Sending 2 or 3 missionaries to newly conquered cities can get them off to a great start. The culture expands the borders quickly and helps fight off motherland or cultural border pressure. The extra happiness means you don't need to whip the city down quite so hard allowing more tiles to be worked. Alternately the extra happiness lets you whip the city harder if you want to... and of course you can always whip in a temple or two of the new religion(s) for even more happiness and culture.

The hammer cost of a missionary in the late game (with factories and railways) is peanuts when you are paying 140 for a bomber and 220 for a battleship. You need to build your monastery before Scientific Method to use it in the late game and I find myself delaying researching that tech a turn or two just so a monastery finishes only to go obsolete immediately
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Old Aug 09, 2007, 07:34 AM   #20
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So, the final conclusion is that monasteries and missionaries should be cheaper? I've always felt this myself tbh.

How much cheaper should they be? 1/2?
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