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Old Jul 13, 2013, 08:14 PM   #1
Free Gold
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[BNW] ICS Piety Empire (multiplayer edition) guide

After looking through the Civ Finatic Forums, I was disappointed to not find a single multiplayer guide. So Iíll present to you one strategy for multiplayer (Small, FFA, Quick setting) games that I have developed extensively and only recently updated for the BNW expansion. Note: This current guide is a wall of text. Iíll update it to make it more eye friendly depending on comments.

The Strategy: ICS piety empire.

Backdrop:


ICS, or Infinite City Sprawl, in Civ 5 is generally associated with wide empires. This strategy differs from your 4 cities tradition opener or your OCC since you focus on having a wide variety of equally effective cities, instead of only a couple mega cities. Ideally you settle (or rather, spam) cities 3 tiles apart, and jam as many cities as you possibly can in as little space as possible. Your cities start off small in population as happiness is a limiting factor early game, but as you progress forward towards the later stages of the game, your population skyrockets.

With the Brave New World expansion, building an ICS empire has become remarkably more efficient and a lot less risky. A couple of things to note with this expansion is that 1) even with 10+ cities, you will still be gaining culture policies at a remarkable rate and 2) your tech rate will be a bit slower as opposed to a tall empire early game due to a 5 percent tech cost modifier per city and lack of a national college.
The expansion also gives us the basis for this build; an updated Piety policy tree. Faith, unlike other resources such as culture or science, grows linearly with each number of cities. Therefore wide empires generate the most possible faith per turn (FPT) in the game, allowing us to abuse religious building, unit, great person, and science building purchases.

In this Expansion, ICS empires are most suited for the following victories:
Domination, Science, Culture, Diplomacy. (pretty much everything but Time)
The following Civs are most suited for ICS piety empire (unique faith building, quick religion spreading, quick religion founding, or overall religion benefits):
Maya, Byzantium, Egypt, Songhai, Ethiopia, Arabia, Celts, Siam, Rome, Shoshone (faith ruins)

The following Civs are suited to a lesser extent (great ICS, just not as benefiting from piety)
Persia, Assyria, Huns, Poland, Russia, Carthage, Iroquois, Inca, Korea, China.


The Build Order:

Capital: Monument, shrine, scout, worker, settler, settler, settlerÖ (for number of settlers to build, x2 amount of luxuries available to be attained by settling*) temple, food buildings> happiness buildings> gold buildings > production buildings > science buildings > culture buildings (writers guild, etc) Build national wonders as they become available.

Every other city: Monument/shrine*, archer/comp archer/chariot (build as needed), temple** happiness buildings > food buildings > Caravans/Cargo Ships***> gold buildings >production buildings > science buildings.
*For most benefit, only start building shrines in your other cities after you have the piety opener, until then monuments are most beneficial.
** do not build a temple until your religion has spread with +2 gold per city faith. Otherwise you will not be able to afford them and will take a massive science hit. If you have positive gold per turn, or can afford to take 10-20 turns worth of negative gpt, spam away those temples. Getting an early religion is very, very, important.
*** use trade routes to keep your empire afloat at 0 gpt. Any excess caravans should ferry food to your capital.


In general, due to trade connection gold (see http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=438745) you want to have your capital growing more than your other cities. Therefore you should focus on food buildings, followed by happiness in capital. As those are your two limiting factors. From then, you build gold buildings such as the market and bank in order to have gold per turn to be able to afford to build workshops, libraries, as well as universities. As for your other cities, as you do not need food buildings early on as your happiness will be the factor limiting your growth. Because of this, you should focus on building Collesuems and Circuses before grainaries/water mills/aqueducts. Do not build a workshop before you build a market. If you do, youíll lose science a turn because you wonít be able to afford the gold per turn cost.


Wonders to build: none. But the following might be helpful: Pyramids, Great Wall,Machu Pichu, Notre Dame, Leaning Tower of Pisa, Prora. You generally do not want to build wonders, since there are usually better, safer things that you should build. But if you get a city with high production, or a city with marble, then consider building one of the above.


Social policy order:

Liberty Opener > Republic > Collective Rule (start building settlers here) >
Piety Opener (start building shrines in your other cities here) > Organized religion > Mandate of Heaven (start mass buying happiness buildings)

Citizenship (start building road connections) Meritocracy > Representation (LIBERTY FINISHED: Spawn great engineer for a quick wonder, great scientist to plant, great writer for a free social policy, great merchant for quick city state ally (Mercantile and Marinetime the best options) or great merchant for 350 gold for a quick comp archer upgrades for an xbow rush.
Religion tolerance > Reformation

For the reformation beliefs, Jesuit Education is the best choice, as you can amass a lot of science very quickly by mass buying all the science buildings as they become available. Scared Sites along with faith buildings allow you to generate a lot of tourism early on, and sometimes makes a pre turn 140 culture victory possible. To the Glory of God is also a viable option, mass buying great people can quickly buff up your empire to unimaginable lengths, and is pretty good considering faith purchased great people do not add towards the great person generation counter.

For Domination and Science Victories: If you get Jesuit Education, ignore Theocracy and go Rationalism opener > Secularism (start working all scientist specialists you have) > Humanism > Free Though > Order (Social Realism) > Order ( Hero of the People > Order (Workers Faculties) With all this, you should be able to achieve over 1000 science per turn fairly quickly and fairly easily. Use your new era units to rush people, or aim for a spaceship victory.

For Culture Victories: If you get Sacred Sites, Theocracy (PEITY FINISHED: plant all Great Prophets ) Aethetics opener > Cultural Centers > Fine Arts > Artistic Genius > Flourishing of the Arts > Ethics (AETHETICS FINISHED: mass buy writers, artists, and composers with faith). Use Composers to tourism nuke. Use writers and artists for great works. With mass culture buildings in all your cities, you should have enough slots and then some. Order or Autocracy for tourism modifier.

For Diplomacy Victories: If you get To the Glory of God, theocracy > Patronage Opener (pledge to protect all city states you find) > Consulates > Pilanthropy > Scholarism > Cultural Diplomacy > Merchant confederacy (PATRONAGE finished) This strategy revolves around your ability to mass buy any great person at will. City states will often ask you for great person births, some of which would take 30 or more turns to produce. If you can buy a great person with faith, however, you can fulfill these requests from the get go. You can also use bought great engineers to build any wonders city states may ask. You can also use great merchants for diplomacy boost and use the gold for even more diplomacy. In effect, you can ally most of the city states on the map with relatively little effort. If you still have social policies remaining, get Freedom for +4 from great person yield.


The Tech order: Pottery> Animal Husbandry> Sailing (if sea resources) = archery = mining = Calandar = Masonry> the wheel> construction> writing > philo> (In short, get techs for all luxuries you need and connect them ASAP, then get philo for temples) math > currency > engineering> Bronze, Iron, Metal casting> Physics (for notre dame, optional if you want to build with great engineer) = (guilds > machinery, optional if you want to xbow by upgrading your composite bowmen army) >beeline to education > compass > astronomy = acoustics = printing press > beeline to industrialism (build 3 factories now), beeline to Scientific theory
From here, beeline to Plastics if you got Jesuit Education, Refrigeration if you got Sacred Sites, or tech whatever if you got to the Glory of God.


Happiness:

For a complete guide to happiness, see http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=436022.
For a quick summary, each city you found starts with -3 happiness (global) and -1 happiness (local) from initial population. You counter global happiness with social policies and luxury resources, and counter local happiness by building happiness buildings. From this we have a simple formula for the number of cities you should have. You gain 1 global happiness per trade route from the liberty track, therefore each city you found generates -2 global happiness. Therefore you need 1 luxury resource for every 2 cities.


Max NUMBER OF CITIES, C = (Number of unique luxuries in own borders)x2 - (number of puppets/annexed cities without courthouse or happiness buildings)


Do not count any resources that you get from trading with others or from city states, those resources can be easily lost and WILL send you to -10 or lower happiness.
Ideally however, you want to have 1 or 2 less cities than your max, since usually having the max number of cities means you have to overextend towards other players cities; in general you want to isolate yourself with a lot of cities, and not have any Ďhangingí cities too far away from the rest of your empire)

Buildings such as Mosques, Pagodras, Cathedrals, Collesuems, and zoos act as a cap on your citiesí size. If you only have a Cathedral (+1 happiness) and Pagodras (+2 happiness) in the city, then you should cap that citieís population at 3 by using Avoid Growth. Any excess happiness you have left over should be left to your capital to grow, as that would result in the most benefit to your GPT from the Trade Connection formula as well as resulting in at least one tall city within your empire. Late game after your ideologies and social policies generates way more happiness than you could ever use (20+), only then should you start allowing your cities to grow past their local happiness limit.


Religious Beliefs:

Pantheon: Desert Folklore; God of Craftsmen; God of Sea; Goddess of Love;
Messenger of the Gods; Sacred Waters; Sacred Path. Choose one.

Founder: Church Property; Initiation Rights. Choose one, these two help with your early game gold deficit, before your trade routes are up and your city connection gold comes into play. If they are all taken, or if the enemyís religion has spread to one of your cities by the time you found a religion, get Interfaith Dialog and spam missionaries for mass science. If that is taken, get pilgrimage and hope for the best.

Follower Beliefs: Pagodas, Mosques, Cathedrals Ė in that order. If two out of the three are taken, get the one remaining and one of the following: Religious Center, Guruship, or Feed the World.

Enhancer belief; Defender of Faith, Holy order (if you got interfaith Dialog), Iterant Preachers (if youíre the first religion to be founded), Messiah (if youíre getting Theocracy finisher later on), Reliquary (nice synergy with Sacred Sites), Just War (for all your warmongering needs), Religious Texts (if youíre the 2nd or 3rd religion to be founded).

Thatís about it for religious beliefs, these ones gift the most benefit for having a large empire. Ideally you want to have both Pagodas and Shrines, as they not only cost faith but produce faith as well. A must, really. For this reason it is important to shrine and temple spam early on, to make sure you get the first religion, or second if somebody else is playing a religious civ/allies a faith city states/ Stonehenge/etc.


Multiplayer elements:
In multiplayer games, you do not want to expand onto other players. You DO want to isolate yourself off and develop your empire. So that means if you spawn on your own continent, or in a mountain range, that should be the limit to your expanding. Donít expand to other continents, and donít expand outside the mountain range. If you donít have enough land to ICS, donít ICS. Go OCC or 4 cities tradition opener.

In multiplayer it is also important to pay attention to the demographics and diplomacy tab, as it gives you a general idea of what all the other players are doing. Youíre not playing with Ai, youíre playing with other humans. They will try to take your land, and they wonít sign research agreements with you if youíre first in tech, they also wont trade you all their gold for your luxuries; so donít bother. Deity tactics do not work in multiplayer and therefore you should adjust your play style accordingly.

A final note about multiplayer games; often a times you will find yourself being rushed by Xbows, Unique units, Gattlings, Frigades, and so on. So at the very least; check demographics and make sure you are caught up in military units in case all hell breaks loose.


Conclusion:
Well, thatís about it. To all of you who read it this far, I hope you enjoyed the new insight of how to play wide in Brave New World. Iíve tried OCC, 4 cities tradition, and ICS, and out of the three I find ICS to be the most fun and difficult one to master. There is a lot of micromanagement involved in order to get the most benefits out of ICS. Also; this is my first Civ guide, so I hope it isnít so drab for your tastes.

Last edited by Free Gold; Jul 15, 2013 at 09:27 PM.
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Old Jul 14, 2013, 04:18 AM   #2
tommynt
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Quote:
For a quick summary, each city you found starts with -3 happiness (global) and -1 happiness (local) from initial population. You counter global happiness with social policies and luxury resources, and counter local happiness by building happiness buildings. From this we have a simple formula for the number of cities you should have. You gain 1 global happiness per trade route from the liberty track, therefore each city you found generates -2 global happiness. Therefore you need 1 luxury resource for every 2 cities.
I think you lost track here.

A new city is just -4 happy not -3 global happy.
In your sp order the road conection sp happy comes VERY late, proly like turn 90, while u start expanding in like turn 30 - so 60 turn of it being useless ...Same with pagodas - u need LOADS of time to get them up - 150 faith for GP, 130 faith for missionary, 130 faith to buy 1. one. adds up to 410 faith, without a faith natural wonder a loooooooong way to go.

If you really want expand more cities as lux around u ll need either sacred water (got nerfed?) or shrine happy and even then .. or live with size 1 cities for very long which seems even harder in bnw as in G+K

ICS mp empire arent really different in bnw as in G+K - they are still same way possible - just have a look onto 1 of my duel or 1 vs 2 videos.
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Old Jul 14, 2013, 06:58 AM   #3
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I think you lost track here.

A new city is just -4 happy not -3 global happy.
he said -3 global and -1 local happiness which makes up to -4 happiness

But all in all its a strategy if you have plenty of resources and ofcourse you settle the cities which give you luxuries first and then fill the holes in your grid when happiness from liberty kicks in.
The best thing what can happen is a deserty start, where DF gives you huge amount of faith and you can found and enhance before turn 70 and 100. But thats not the normality so its a bit slower, but generally the game is hugely slowed down in the beginning with the BNW expansion, so ICS strategies get more potent now.
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Old Jul 14, 2013, 07:55 AM   #4
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Looks very fleshed out,thanks for the guide i'll def. try it .

My guess would be that the maya absolutely blow the other mentioned civs out of the water with this strategy? (much more faith AND a ton of science at a time where science is the ICS biggest weakpoint... and let's not forgot those ''free'' GP).

I like your approach to city growing, very easy to apply and it makes total sense.
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Old Jul 14, 2013, 09:21 AM   #5
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he said -3 global and -1 local happiness which makes up to -4 happiness

But then the OP does onto say liberty gives +1 so you need one lux per two cities.
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Old Jul 14, 2013, 11:23 AM   #6
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Great writeup.

Last edited by bradeh; Jul 14, 2013 at 11:41 AM.
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Old Jul 14, 2013, 12:19 PM   #7
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Very good strategy for Maya indeed. I'd also definitely pick messenger of the gods for the pantheon, as then each city would be producing +4 science with a connection and the UB.
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Old Jul 14, 2013, 12:37 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by tommynt View Post
I think you lost track here.

A new city is just -4 happy not -3 global happy.
In your sp order the road conection sp happy comes VERY late, proly like turn 90, while u start expanding in like turn 30 - so 60 turn of it being useless ...Same with pagodas - u need LOADS of time to get them up - 150 faith for GP, 130 faith for missionary, 130 faith to buy 1. one. adds up to 410 faith, without a faith natural wonder a loooooooong way to go.

If you really want expand more cities as lux around u ll need either sacred water (got nerfed?) or shrine happy and even then .. or live with size 1 cities for very long which seems even harder in bnw as in G+K

ICS mp empire arent really different in bnw as in G+K - they are still same way possible - just have a look onto 1 of my duel or 1 vs 2 videos.
1) each city adds -3 global happines and -1 local happiness. Pagodas will counter the local happiness, so you just need to worry about the global part.
2) Ideally because you are not getting road networks set up, you'll be settling 1-2 cities below C until road networks are up, which you should be doing anyways.
3) As for your concern about not founding a religion, I always manage to found one preturn 60. 2-4 turn shrines in all your cities with piety opener, followed by +1 faith per shrine allows you to get ALOT of faith really fast. By turn 26 you should have your first settler, and be producing one very 3 turns. So by turn 40, you should have around 5-6 cities. You'll have 30 faith from capital, and shrines in those 6 cities by turn 45. That's 6 faith a turn. With piety policy for +1 faith per shrine and temple, that becomes 12 faith a turn. Although if you have the gold early on to be able to get a gpt hit, don't be afraid to build temples.
4) After your religion spreads for +2 gold, you should be able to afford to build a fast temple in every city. That adds 3 faith a turn from temple, for a total of 5 faith a turn from all your cities. With around 10 cities ( average number) by turn 60, you'll be generating 50 faith a turn. Then you mass buy pagodas that cost 100 faith, which give 2 faith. Soon you'll be at 70 faith a turn. Then you buy mosques, 100 faith a turn.
5) The reason you delay roads is that you don't have the city population to be able to afford the road network cost early on. You'll be swimming in debt if you connect roads to 1 pop cities. Not to mention that you delay the road network policy for cheap padogas and mosques. The +4 culture per city you'll get from that will speed up the rest of your policy getting.
6) You DO want to live with 1 size cities until your religion spreads. Or atleast a decent number of them.

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Old Jul 14, 2013, 12:43 PM   #9
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Looks very fleshed out,thanks for the guide i'll def. try it .

My guess would be that the maya absolutely blow the other mentioned civs out of the water with this strategy? (much more faith AND a ton of science at a time where science is the ICS biggest weakpoint... and let's not forgot those ''free'' GP).

I like your approach to city growing, very easy to apply and it makes total sense.
Yes, Maya is a really good Civ (Read; broken) for this strategy. Only problem with maya is their great people burn up the great person counter, so it becomes incredibly hard to spawn great scientists. So while they get science buildings and a great start, they don't benefit as much from it later on in the game. Where other ICS civs can spam Jesuit education, with Maya you'd be better off going for Great People spawning.
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Old Jul 14, 2013, 01:23 PM   #10
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Most games against tough opponents involve into getting an early army and bully some cs around to finance other things.

Your start seems promising but i will keep the good words for later if i can effectively counter the cs bullying approach and early and smart aggressions from other human players. I say that because your strategy is involved into neglecting early military.

Will test it someday.
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Old Jul 14, 2013, 04:08 PM   #11
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Most games against tough opponents involve into getting an early army and bully some cs around to finance other things.

Your start seems promising but i will keep the good words for later if i can effectively counter the cs bullying approach and early and smart aggressions from other human players. I say that because your strategy is involved into neglecting early military.

Will test it someday.
You can still get an early army by spamming archers in your first cities, or include a few archers instead of a worker in your capital build order. Thing is, financing an army isn't as effective as it once was early game - sure you get your 100 gold from tribute, but is it really worth the 10 gold per turn you lose to keep your army up strong in demographics? Still, in alot of games you run into the problem of unique units such as Atillas Battering rams forcing you to build WAY more units than you would like to in order to be able to tribute city states. Early game you only need enough units to starve off any rushes. If you plan on rushing yourself, I suggest getting the +100 gold (67 on quick) faith as opposed to the +2 gold per city.
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Old Jul 14, 2013, 04:18 PM   #12
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2) Ideally because you are not getting road networks set up, you'll be settling 1-2 cities below C until road networks are up, which you should be doing anyways.
U miss my point. I and other pros are playing a "strategy" like this since vanila.
neither G+K not BNW have changed the possible approach.

So I know the problems of it very well:
Going into piety gives u the key 2 liberty finishers VERY late, just too late. With so many cities and even with Monuments up fast in them u look out for a new sp every 15-20 turns (maybe even more definatly not less). Simple math tells me that the 2 lib finishers come 35-40 turns later if u go 2 into piety. 40 turns of huge strugles for happynes and gold. And what u get? Shrines 2 turns faster and 1 more faith.
Just not worth it at all if you arent for example egypt and get temples up or MAYBE maya

Its just better to finish liberty straight have the discount for future sp and more happynes - then u can still go piety if u really want to.
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Old Jul 14, 2013, 05:49 PM   #13
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U miss my point. I and other pros are playing a "strategy" like this since vanila.
neither G+K not BNW have changed the possible approach.

So I know the problems of it very well:
Going into piety gives u the key 2 liberty finishers VERY late, just too late. With so many cities and even with Monuments up fast in them u look out for a new sp every 15-20 turns (maybe even more definatly not less). Simple math tells me that the 2 lib finishers come 35-40 turns later if u go 2 into piety. 40 turns of huge strugles for happynes and gold. And what u get? Shrines 2 turns faster and 1 more faith.
Just not worth it at all if you arent for example egypt and get temples up or MAYBE maya

Its just better to finish liberty straight have the discount for future sp and more happynes - then u can still go piety if u really want to.
For one, i'll say this right now. I've been doing ICS since vanilla as well. I know how ICS works, and I know its weaknesses. That aside, your concern is policy that you're not getting your liberty track finished fast enough. I'm here to tell you otherwise. For one, the reason you get +1 faith and building discount is so you can purchase a Pagodras in ALL your cities. Now lets compare +2 culture +2 faith and +2 happiness per city with...+1 happiness per cities connected to road...or social policies costing less. Thing is, you should be getting a Pagodras every other turn. That's way faster than you could be connecting cities to road.

You seem to also be hesitant about building temples. They are KEY for this strategy. You get discount NOT for shrines, but for temples. Building an 8 temple as opposed to a 16 turn temple is essential. The faster you manage to get mosques and pagodras in all your cities, the faster you get rolling.

Granted, I have tried going straight Liberty as I have done in Vanilla and GnK. Problem is, you pop your great prophet turn 60 in. That is way too late - god forbid your neighbor pops his first and all your cities convert. Likewise Pagodas are just TOO strong to miss out on. Its a monument, a temple, and colleeum all in one, for no gold cost per turn. To get it however you have to invest in a 2 gold per turn temple.
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Old Jul 15, 2013, 03:14 AM   #14
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Its in some way a pointless discussion, maybe we have a different understanding of ICS ..

ICS for me is 10+ cities, and if u really want this many cities u will have problem with happynes anyway. Now with bnw come huge gold problem aswell. Ading temples and shrines early into bo where there should be monuments granies and libraries aswell u look at 5 gold spending per city, while at same time cities have huge strugles growing.
(not even speaking of that some1 can just rush you with building composities while u build temples)

If u really want go into piety u need find a way to still keep cities growing BEFORE things like pagodas and conection bonus arrive.
These tools just are missing in your guide. If u provide them I ll say its a great guide.
Even when others have written same guide 3 years before ..

I say going into piety might work well if u stay at same cities of lux around or maybe 1 more.
But even then u have to figure the the slim gains of faith are easily countered by natural wonders or desert folklore. So a player with 1 or 2 nw and maybe even the faith per wonder bonus is outreligion you anyway no matter how deep and early u go into piety. So getting religion early and pagodas is espacially in FFA just luck and not strategy dependent.
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Old Jul 15, 2013, 01:37 PM   #15
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Its in some way a pointless discussion, maybe we have a different understanding of ICS ..

ICS for me is 10+ cities, and if u really want this many cities u will have problem with happynes anyway. Now with bnw come huge gold problem aswell. Ading temples and shrines early into bo where there should be monuments granies and libraries aswell u look at 5 gold spending per city, while at same time cities have huge strugles growing.
(not even speaking of that some1 can just rush you with building composities while u build temples)

If u really want go into piety u need find a way to still keep cities growing BEFORE things like pagodas and conection bonus arrive.
These tools just are missing in your guide. If u provide them I ll say its a great guide.
Even when others have written same guide 3 years before ..

I say going into piety might work well if u stay at same cities of lux around or maybe 1 more.
But even then u have to figure the the slim gains of faith are easily countered by natural wonders or desert folklore. So a player with 1 or 2 nw and maybe even the faith per wonder bonus is outreligion you anyway no matter how deep and early u go into piety. So getting religion early and pagodas is espacially in FFA just luck and not strategy dependent.
As I said before, you sprawl so long as luxuries allow. Likewise I do not find building libraries in low population cities worth the hammer, so I delay them until I have a decent pop city (4+ at the minimum). I DO NOT keep my cities growing. I keep them at one population. The production bonus you get from growing a city from 1-2 population is marginal at best, since a pop 1 city cannot starve. Therefore you keep your cities at 1 pop until Pagodas arrive, and from and only then do you allow them to grow.

Why I do this is twofold.
1) a 1 pop city will spread your religion the fastest. With 10 1 pop cities, you achieve exponential religions spreading. Done right, you'll have x2 as many cities converted to your religion as your own cities (about 20 or so). With 2 gold a turn, this ends up being ALOT of early game gold.
2) a pop 1 city cannot starve, so if you plant it on a hill, and work a hill tile, each city generates 5 hammers. If you grow it, it will still generate 5 hammers, or 6 if you set one citizen to a plains tile. Therefore growing your city early on won't help you get key buildings early on, likewise will the local happiness from pop growth which you can't counter result in your sprawl coming to a standstill at -10 happiness.
3) Because you're not connecting trade routes as early as you might have if you had gone straight liberty, you have no need for cities to be growing before then. Keeping cities at 1 population is just as good as having them be at 3 population.
4) Still, growing population early does result in more science per turn, I will admit that. But is it really worth it? The answer is no; by doing the piety build, you sacrifice some of the early advantages of ICS in favor of mid-late game advantages. By going liberty and not working on 100+ faith per turn early on, you give up Jesuit Education. You give up Sacred Relics. Now tell me; how many turns does it take to get 10 public schools up in all your cities? How many turns would it take you get 10 research labs in all your cities? With Jesuit Education, it takes one. With regular ICS, you take onward of 10 turns AFTER you research the tech to build them. And you DO have to build them. With this build, you can instead build a late game army or other buildings such as stock markets or factories that you would otherwise skip in favor of public schools.

You must remember what ICS is; it is a LATE game build that disregards EARLY GAME growing in favor of high production and instead invests TOWARDS the late game. Your liberty build seems to be jack-of-all trades, master of none. You aim for early science with ICS which you shouldn't be. If you wanted early game science, you should stick to OCC or 4 city tradition and capitalize on the national college.

Still; after all this I have decided to upgrade the tech order. By getting construction early on, you can, if you want, build either colleseums or composite bowmen. That way if for some reason you DO want to get happiness before pagodas are up - you have the option of doing so. Still, with this build I find it extremely counterproductive to have cities growing before your religion spreads.

One last thing, about people getting the first religion before you. This can happen in multiple ways.
Natural wonder with +4 faith (2 wonders, or spain)
Desert Folklore and tall empire
Maya and shrine spamming
Ethiopia and monument spamming.
It doesn't matter if they get the first religion; so long as their holy city isn't 10 tiles within your cities borders you are OKAY.
If, however, by some off change they ARE within 10 tiles of your city, then you proceed to what I mentioned in the guide; get Interfaith dialog.
You can then mass buy cheap missionaries and FARM SCIENCE. With 10 of your cities + their cities following the same religion, you can easily spam away your missionaries on your tallest city, or on their capital, or on a city state for 100 science (10 pop city) every turn. Then once you have Jesuit education, you simply spawn a great prophet with the piety finisher, as well as buying a few inquisitors, and proceed to convert all your cities back to your religion. The result? You get your universities up faster than you initially would have, you farmed science and therefore are in a tech lead. Either way, going for a piety empire is a win-win situation, since either your religions spreads and you reap the benefits, or their religion spreads and you farm science.
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Old Jul 15, 2013, 01:56 PM   #16
chazzycat
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I agree with Tommy on this.

I was a big fan of ICS/faith spam in G&K but I really have some doubts as to its feasibility now in BNW. The nerf to ceremonial burial, no early gold, plus the 5% science penalty all seem pretty big obstacles. Piety coming early doesn't really help at all, since you don't have enough cities for it to make a difference at that point. The only saving grace I can think of is Jesuit education, which requires a lot of investment into piety. Has anyone actually had much success pulling this off at a high level?
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Old Jul 15, 2013, 02:10 PM   #17
Free Gold
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Originally Posted by chazzycat View Post
I agree with Tommy on this.

I was a big fan of ICS/faith spam in G&K but I really have some doubts as to its feasibility now in BNW. The nerf to ceremonial burial, no early gold, plus the 5% science penalty all seem pretty big obstacles. Piety coming early doesn't really help at all, since you don't have enough cities for it to make a difference at that point. The only saving grace I can think of is Jesuit education, which requires a lot of investment into piety. Has anyone actually had much success pulling this off at a high level?
I don't exactly play "high level", just regular public games you find in the lobby. Still, I agree that BNW nerfed ICS quite a bit, but the nerf is easily overcome by the new reformation beliefs. As for peity coming early not really helping, I completely disagree. You get piety around 13 turns after you get your first settler. At 4 turns a settler, that's 3 settlers + your capital + 1 free settler. You should have 5 cities by then. You get a 2-3 turn shrine, and a 6-9 turn temple. You should have your religion by turn 50. All your cities have your religion by turn 62, by which point you have enough gold to finish temple spamming. By now your going to have about 10 cities, and +1 faith from each city. That's 5 faith per city. You're now getting close to 2 turn pagodas.
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Old Jul 15, 2013, 02:20 PM   #18
chazzycat
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So you are going to collective rule first, then piety? If you're taking 3 liberty policies doesn't that mean you would be in the classical age when you open piety anyway?
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Old Jul 15, 2013, 05:32 PM   #19
Free Gold
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Originally Posted by chazzycat View Post
So you are going to collective rule first, then piety? If you're taking 3 liberty policies doesn't that mean you would be in the classical age when you open piety anyway?
Yes, you're getting collective rule to spam settlers. And it doesn't matter what era you open piety - you open it 13 turns after collective rule so its about turn 38ish.
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Old Jul 15, 2013, 06:01 PM   #20
chazzycat
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yeah ok. That's a good strategy, but it's not exactly new. I thought you were trying to take advantage of the fact that piety is available at the beginning.
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