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Old Jul 25, 2013, 08:34 AM   #1
Sadato
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Byzantium Sacred Sites Culture Victory Guide (T170 pangaea all standard)

Introduction
I tried different approaches to achieve a fast culture victory with Sacred Sites (reformation piety policy) and I managed to get a T170 one, although I think there is much room to improve and I'm sure that better players can get nonsense win dates. No special starting spot and only fast pyramids as a risky component (not necessary but useful, if faiure just build another worker and buy one with the gold but shouldn't happen on emperor though). Oracle is also very useful to get the reformation belief faster, as we start it soon shouldn't be a problem.

I don't think this strategy works on Inmortal/Deity with Byzantium, because:
a) AI culture output is higher and I think it can surpass your tourism output.
b) You can fail to get the 3 follower belifs of faith buildings
c) You can fail to get Sacred sites as reformation belief

Maybe with Maya or Ethiopia that can found/enhance religion faster than Byzantium can do it with 2 buildings follower beliefs at higher difficulties, dunno yet. Even skipping liberty to focus piety and hard build without bonus all your settlers is also an option, but as you want to spam cities I think it wouldn't work.

Of course I didn't invent nothing, this strategy is quite obvious but in case you didn't know how to do it properly here are some tips. it is a really fun way of playing.

I tried a more secure/solid approach, made my cities grow, go up my science, production and gpt to have some army and flexibility in case the AI got mad with my ubber expansion and needed to defend.

If you keep spamming cities and only producing monument shrine temple colosseum/circus ignoring science (you don't need that many techs), production and don't stop spamming cities due to happiness I guess you can get faster results but it is a lot more risky because your science and production will fall and you can go negatives in gpt.

UPDATE:


Egypt stupid approach. No NC, no universities. Spam cities and build Burial Tombs.
Won T152 with 22 cities. Capital with marble but after Pyramids I build no wonders. Engineer points gave me one and I had him sitting there
Spoiler:



Other civs to try it:
Maybe they work better, but you will need more cities as you will only get 2 faith buildings.
Poland: will get the policies faster (although only 2 as you want to avoid renaissance).
Maya; will get more faith and science with the pyramid, rush to Theology and you'll get a writer, artist, musician and engineer for a helpful wonder.
Egypt: much more happiness with the Tomb.
Ethiopia: Faster pantheon and religion, more faith, Stele is awesome.
Brazil: If you manage to get a golden age on the right time... meh

Policies:
Liberty -> Republic -> Collective Rule -> Piety -> Organized Religion -> Mandate of Heaven -> Religious Tolerance -> Reformation -> Citizenchip (Your workers will build roads really fast) -> Meritocracy (Huge happiness if you connected your cities) -> Representation (With Liberty completion get a Musician and send him to the civ you lack more tourism). You should win then but fill Aesthetics if you need more turns.

Tech order:
Pottery > mining > masonry > animal husbandry (then depending on your needs: bronze working / calendar / sailing) > archery > writing > philosophy (build temples in all your cities) > (if you have horses/ivory trapping to build circus) > wheel > construction > drama (build writer guild) > guilds (build artist guild) > Civil Service (buy open borders) > optics if you have coastal cities > education. Skip renaissance at all costs as it will increase your faith buildings cost a lot.

You don't need more techs other Civil Service to get Open borders and pikemen and machinery to get some xbows so you can even skip education and universities. You can go aesthetics or printing press to get some wonders but I don't think entering renaissance is worth it. In my game I entered at the last part and won before getting something in excchange.

Capitol build order:
Grow to size 3 then focus production: scout -> monument -> shrine -> worker -> pyramids (chop forests)-> settler spam (mixed with archers once you have archery). Once you have philo-> temple -> oracle > settler spam. When you stop settler production due to happiness build granary > library > NC > market > colosseum/circus > University.

City placements:
Send your settlers to places with tiles from your pantheon first and get a worker there fast. Then to luxes you don't have and later fill the gaps. At the end just send settlers to every spot avaible. At the beggining try to stay at positive happiness so you can grow some of your cities so stop settler production as needed. Later as your faith and tourism production is not modified by happiness just spam more cities.

Workers:
Steal a CS worker around T25+ and with those 4 workers with Pyramids bonus you'll be ok. Later once you have 6+ cities build 2 more to finish improving tiles and start roads once your capital is size 5+ and your cities 3+. With your workers prioritize luxes>strategics>chop>mines. You won't need farms until much later once you have enough faith buildings or meritocracy with your cities connected with roads.

Cities build order:
Shrine > monument > temple > granary > library > colosseum/circus > market > university. Focus production until the temple is built even staying at size 1 working a hill.

Select two cities with good food and production (with river for the garden if able) and build there writer and artist guild asap and fill their slots.

Gpt and trade:

Once pyramids are up and you start spamming settlers and archers you can go negative gpt, don't panic, once you sell all your iron, horses and duplicated luxes plus barb camps cleared, CS meetings and some trade routes you'll be ok. If an AI has a duplicated lux exchange lux per lux as you will need the happiness.

Your trade routes should go make gpt at the begginning and later to send food your capital and the cities with writer/artist guild. Once your tourism starts rolling 20+ send them all to different Civs to increase your tourism rate. Change base locations or disband caravans and get cargo ships as needed to get all possible different civs.


Religion

Pantheon: Scout fast your surrounding with the warrior and the scout to get a good idea but always get a faith producing pantheon, in this case I got stone circles but pearls or desert folklore one would also served. Prioritize in all your cities faith tiles always.

Founder belief: Church property> Initiation Rites> Tithe. If you have lots of lux tiles and a faith pantheon related to them like Religious Idols or Goddess of Festivals you can go with Pilgrimage but monument+shrine+temple+granary+library means -6 gpt per city so it's up to you.

Enhance your religion ASAP and then get a missionary to start your religion rolling. If you got Religious texts maybe your religion expands by itself and you can skip it.

Follower belief:
3 religious buildings, I got pagodas, mosques and cathedrals, if one is missing get monasterys, in case you fail to get 3 pick asceticism and spam more cities.

Enhancer belief:
Religious texts > Itinerant Preaches > Relicary. All faith must go to buildings so skip buying missionaris.

Reformation belief:
Sacred Sites. If you fail to get it just play a normal game, you're screwed.

Faith building buy order:

Mosques / Pagodas depending on your happiness needs > Cathedrals

Diplomacy
Buy open borders ASAP to increase your tourism rate and as said send them trade routes (specially to those with more culture output).
Once someone reaches renaissance send your spy as diplomat to whe most difficult civ (more culture output, no trade routes).
Try to avoid to plant your cities next to Civs with good culture output so they don't get mad and close borders or even attack you as it ruins your tourism output.
Build as many units as your gpt allows it and upgrade them, you want your neighbours to fear you and be peaceful as you will be "founding cities too aggressively".

Now some screens to ilustrate:

General view (My army is around Nicomeda controlling the Zulu menace in case you wonder)
Spoiler:


Game details
Spoiler:


Influence (finished sending a musician to Shoshone)
Spoiler:


My religion
Spoiler:


Policies
Spoiler:


I hope you like it!

Last edited by Sadato; Jul 25, 2013 at 01:25 PM.
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Old Jul 25, 2013, 09:05 AM   #2
budweiser
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What about Shoshone?
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Old Jul 25, 2013, 09:21 AM   #3
tommynt
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Reformation belief?
Its in Peity tree?

Pls include basics in a basic guide

So tourism needs be bigger as Culture of other Civs, seems really pretty hard on higher difficulties - yet not impossible ..

I still wonder why for late tourism wins people want such HUGE Numbers of Tourism - u just generated 70 - in indu and modern era with modifiers and things u can get like 300 pretty easy?

Dont think ai make 300 c/t ...
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Old Jul 25, 2013, 09:36 AM   #4
glory7
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oh my god. I have used similar strategy for fun (I briefly mentioned about it at Moriarte's thread) and it's good to see that somebody else also plays this tactic and explain it in detail.

from my experience, for emperor or below, you can basically do this with any civ, but poland is obviously the best one due to free policies - you can get sacred cites much faster. For immortal, in addition to poland, shoshone and egpyt are good choices. I mainly play quick speed and I got t110-120 win IIRC.

Will upload some screenshots in case people wonder this actually works.
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Old Jul 25, 2013, 09:37 AM   #5
budweiser
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Its interesting that you caught up with just 70 tourism.

tommynt- You get the reformation belief from the piety tree. You want big numbers late (+1000) because you could potentially need to surpass 100,000 enemy culture.

Parthenon is good for early tourism.

I bet most AI civs make most of their culture out of their capital...
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Old Jul 25, 2013, 09:43 AM   #6
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t120 (Shoshone, immortal, quick, pangea)

Just found one screenshot - I founded like 20+ cities I think.
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Old Jul 25, 2013, 09:52 AM   #7
tommynt
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glory u play some of these mp noob nq games - arent u?

Shouldnt this work in these aswell?
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Old Jul 25, 2013, 10:09 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tommynt View Post
glory u play some of these mp noob nq games - arent u?

Shouldnt this work in these aswell?
I don't play mp nq games (maybe it's just limited to my experience, but lots of people with NQ in their screen name "denounced" me that I am cheating (for example, when I attack them with like 6-7 CBs around t40-45...) and quit on me. I am pretty sure that there are good nq players, but I just got unlucky).

However, when I tried this with my friends, this one is actually powerful. If somebody gets good faith NW and/or desert forklore, it's really hard to stop him from doing this. Since this one starts with usual mp liberty fast settler tech and eventually ICS, it's difficult to kill him with units (he got more hammer).

Oh, and somebody plays poland, it's pretty powerful too.
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Old Jul 25, 2013, 10:16 AM   #9
Hieschen
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You guys are just sick

I love this, never thought that you could make it work.

Enjoy until the next patch, it will be nerfed
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Old Jul 25, 2013, 10:45 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tommynt View Post
Reformation belief?
Its in Peity tree?

Pls include basics in a basic guide

So tourism needs be bigger as Culture of other Civs, seems really pretty hard on higher difficulties - yet not impossible ..

I still wonder why for late tourism wins people want such HUGE Numbers of Tourism - u just generated 70 - in indu and modern era with modifiers and things u can get like 300 pretty easy?

Dont think ai make 300 c/t ...
It's mostly because its the compound effect from the start of the game. If early culture WC resolutions are voted like +3 culture per wonder and +2 culture per specialist tile, the amount of late game tourism required to overcome the deficit of producing near 0 TPT in the early game is quite huge.

I've seen Ghandi @80k culture on T300 deity and he was not the only runaway. +3 CPT per wonder had been voted off first WC.

So yes, I agree that it will be very difficult to apply this strat the higher the difficulty.

The reason why people want huge late game tourism is to be able to seal the deal immediately after the internet rather than spam next turn like GnK CV for hours. It is also because it is the only way to work around AI runaways without deviating from CV. CV is the only VC that is completely dependant on the AI performances.

I'm pretty sure a settler/poland desert start going directly in piety could seal the deal well sub T100 with this strat simply because the AI culture performance is non existant at lower difficulties
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Old Jul 25, 2013, 10:55 AM   #11
Dragonmaster83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tommynt View Post
Reformation belief?
Its in Peity tree?

Pls include basics in a basic guide

So tourism needs be bigger as Culture of other Civs, seems really pretty hard on higher difficulties - yet not impossible ..

I still wonder why for late tourism wins people want such HUGE Numbers of Tourism - u just generated 70 - in indu and modern era with modifiers and things u can get like 300 pretty easy?

Dont think ai make 300 c/t ...
Well before hotels/airport/internet, 70 tourism is quite a bit. And remember you dont' need 300 tourism to surpass someone generating 300 culture per turn. Tourism gets additional modifiers where you can easily increase it. Plus the earlier your get your tourism going, the more time is has to accumulate against culture.
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Old Jul 25, 2013, 11:03 AM   #12
Sadato
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tommynt View Post
Reformation belief?
Its in Peity tree?

Pls include basics in a basic guide
Well in policy order I named reformation as a pick but I will note it at the begining.

T120 in quick (I guess like 150 in standard) and 20 cities wow. I founded just 11. As I said I'm sure someone can get a win in a nonsene turn doing things perfect.
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Old Jul 25, 2013, 11:07 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sadato View Post
Introduction
Other civs to try it:
Maybe they work better, but you will need more cities as you will only get 2 faith buildings.
Poland: will get the policies faster (although only 2 as you want to avoid renaissance).
Maya; will get more faith and science with the pyramid, rush to Theology and you'll get a writer, artist, musician and engineer for a helpful wonder.
Egypt: much more happiness with the Tomb.
Ethiopia: Faster pantheon and religion, more faith, Stele is awesome.
Brazil: If you manage to get a golden age on the right time... meh


Religion

Pantheon: Scout fast your surrounding with the warrior and the scout to get a good idea but always get a faith producing pantheon, in this case I got stone circles but pearls or desert folklore one would also served. Prioritize in all your cities faith tiles always.

Founder belief: Church property> Initiation Rites> Tithe. If you have lots of lux tiles and a faith pantheon related to them like Religious Idols or Goddess of Festivals you can go with Pilgrimage but monument+shrine+temple+granary+library means -6 gpt per city so it's up to you.

Enhance your religion ASAP and then get a missionary to start your religion rolling. If you got Religious texts maybe your religion expands by itself and you can skip it.

Follower belief:
3 religious buildings, I got pagodas, mosques and cathedrals, if one is missing get monasterys, in case you fail to get 3 pick asceticism and spam more cities.
Few things that come to mind for min/maxing outpressure as early as possible to try and end the game earlier:

Picking monasteries over any of the other 3 will allow you to complete the buildings much earlier due to faith cost so unless the 1 happiness from cathedral or mosques is essential, I would opt for monasteries over either. You won't be able to fill the cathedral slots anyway.

I would suggest the -30% missionary cost over RT unless RT guarantees that you will have cities naturally adopt your religion without any GP/missionary effort involved. Again, this will allow you to get buildings and religion out earlier and thus pressure earlier. RT or IP for that matter are strong once you already have strong rolling pressure and wish to save that through late game AI GP spam. The -30% just allows you to get everything online much earlier in the game.

Poland finishing Piety earlier is probably the only real way to compete with Byzantium. Maybe Mayans for the GPs. The issue with this strategy is that odds are you will be somewhat crippled and behind in tech so if or once an AI ends up producing more CPT than your TPT and has a cushion that the first few hard built GMs can't overcome, you are screwed. As such, all other civs producing around only 2/3rd of your test game output are likely to never produce enough TPT from this strat to catch up to AIs before these AIs' culture output skyrockets. Be it from a cheap WC resolution, a warmonger becoming crazy wide or some wonderful AI.


On a side note, congrats, T170 is impressive nonetheless. JW, by what turn were you done purchasing all the buildings? Because if you managed to hoard a significant amount of faith afterwards, then maybe you could rush to industrial immediately after and just purchase 2 extra GMs from filling out aesthethics after piety?
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Old Jul 25, 2013, 11:17 AM   #14
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This is a nice strategy. Thanks for this Pretty situationnal, but good for some laughs. Funny how this strategy got under the radar when game was tested before launch. I really doubt that it was intentionnal. I haven't touched cultural games so far and i think i will not for next weeks because...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hieschen View Post
Enjoy until the next patch, it will be nerfed
Of this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by glory7 View Post
I don't play mp nq games (maybe it's just limited to my experience, but lots of people with NQ in their screen name "denounced" me that I am cheating (for example, when I attack them with like 6-7 CBs around t40-45...) and quit on me.
Welcome in da club. You got unlucky, and sometimes they just don't understand.

Last edited by Tabarnak; Jul 25, 2013 at 11:29 AM. Reason: syntax(switched a phrase)
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Old Jul 25, 2013, 11:58 AM   #15
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Haha, next patch, sacred sites will only work after Flight (like Mughal Forts and Tourism-themed Improvements).

Can anyone confirm this working on Immortal/Deity?
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Old Jul 25, 2013, 01:08 PM   #16
Sadato
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I tried an absurd approach with Egypt. 22 cities, I won turn 152

Those Burial Tombs are awesome xD

Spoiler:


As you see 3368 was the culture score to beat:
Spoiler:

Last edited by Sadato; Jul 25, 2013 at 01:17 PM.
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Old Jul 25, 2013, 01:15 PM   #17
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Gotta love those 1, 2 and 3 pop cities.
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Old Jul 25, 2013, 01:45 PM   #18
tommynt
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Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hieschen View Post
Enjoy until the next patch, it will be nerfed
Of this.
doubt that.

At lower difficulties there are loads of ways to win fast n easy.

Allways been like that
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Old Jul 25, 2013, 02:52 PM   #19
Tabarnak
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tommynt View Post
doubt that.

At lower difficulties there are loads of ways to win fast n easy.

Allways been like that
Only domination so far. It's the first time of the serie that a victory can be achieved before the turn 200 without any difficulty at least from chieftain to immortal.
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Old Jul 25, 2013, 04:05 PM   #20
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Quote:
I love this, never thought that you could make it work.

Enjoy until the next patch, it will be nerfed
The whole piety tree can be removed from the game and really fast culture games are still possible. Try aiming for a fast science victory -- ~turn 210 -- on, say, prince. It's rather easy to stumble into a fast culture win instead. Ironically, turning on policy saving may avoid this. Culture is that easy. It's the new AP win from Civ IV.
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