A closer look at the social policy branch
IntroductionFreedom, available in the renaissance era, contains three policies devoted to specialists, one devoted to culture, one providing gold, and a city strength increasing policy. Though the game claims this branch is best for small empires, Freedom has beneficial policies for empires of any size; the branch opener is useful for any game where great people are being produced, and the specialist happiness cost reduction is one of the most effective happiness providers in the game. The culture and specialist policies together with the branch finisher, which doubles the effectiveness of settled great people, make Freedom one of the key branches for a cultural victory.
The PoliciesThis branch cannot be active at the same time as Autocracy or Order.
Increases base great person generation by 25% stacking additively with garden, national epic, Hagia Sophia and Ingenuity. Each of these reduce the relative worth of this policy. Getting great people more often can be beneficial in any game. This policy is very useful for diplomatic and science victories where the later part of the tree is preferably being completed mostly by great scientist bulbing. Note that although the great person counter lists only integer increments, fractional parts are saved, so one specialist with just this policy will go from +3 great person points to +3.75 each turn.
This policy is generally only worthwhile for cultural victories. Policies with the main purpose of speeding up future policies generally fail due to exponentially increasing costs, so in any other game you're better off going directly for whatever policy gets you closer to your end goal.
This makes cities take less and deal more damage in combat. While this can be useful, it is better to guard cities with units than to rely on this policy to prevent a city from being taken.
Babylon GS generation with Democracy
Reduces food consumption from two to one for specialists and unemployed citizens. Depending on how many specialists are being worked this can provide huge amounts of food per city (1 per specialist), or allows the use of specialists in situations where the city would starve without, such as putting two scientists to work in a newly founded city.
This effectively provides an amount of gold per turn that goes up as unit maintenance increases. Around turn 150 this will provide about 16 gpt, and around turn 225 about 24 gpt.
Requires: Civil Society
This provides one happiness per two specialists (including unemployed citizens) per city, rounded up. In each individual city one or two specialists provide one happiness, three or four provide two happiness, etc. This policy is capable of providing the largest happiness boost of any policy. Puppets will generally choose to put specialists in the market and bank if they can, providing one or two happiness per puppet with those buildings. Additionally manual specialist control provides manual happiness control which can be extremely useful, such as by decreasing unhappiness beyond the very unhappy threshold. Note that this effect, Tradition's Monarchy and other percent happiness reducers all multiply together, potentially making it relatively less valuable. For example, combined with Gandhi's 50% reduction and Monarchy's 50% reduction, it may take up to 8 specialists to gain one point of happiness in Delhi.
This provides +6 culture to landmarks, +6 science to academies, +4 production to manufactories, +4 gold to customs houses, and a +50% of base duration increase in golden age length. The boosts to landmarks and manufactories make this extremely valuable for culture victories. The golden age duration increase stacks additively with Chichen Itza and Darius's duration boosts.
Freedom is a key branch for cultural victories. The opener and other specialist policies provide an indirect boost by increasing artist generation, Constitution provides a direct minor boost to output, and the finisher adding +6 culture per landmark should provide a significant boost. The fastest cultural victors will focus on completing Freedom immediately after Piety is complete.
The specialist policies have synergy with the Statue of Liberty for +1 production per specialist and Rationalism's Secularism for +2 science. All together, these can make even an unemployed citizen become equivalent to working a +1 food, +2 production, +2 science, +0.5 happiness tile. Real specialists exceed most standard workable tiles.
Patch version of this article: 22.214.171.1243
Social Policy: Freedom (vanilla)
Social Policy: Freedom