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Social Policy: Patronage (vanilla)

Social Policy: Patronage

  1. vexing
    A closer look at the social policy branch


    Patronage, available in the medieval era, contains policies entirely devoted to city state alliances. The initially available half of the branch contains policies that ease the procurement and maintenance of alliances, and the other half provides enhancements for having these alliances.

    The PoliciesGeneral Use

    The Policies


    :c5influence: Influence with City-States degrades 25% slower than normal.

    Cuts 25% from the base amount of influence degraded each turn, which can be seen by hovering over the influence bar of a friendly city state. This stacks multiplicatively with Greece's 50% base rate, so is still a 25% reduction for them.


    :c5gold: Gold gifts to City-States produce 25% more :c5influence: Influence.

    The influence gained is rounded to a multiple of five, so generally slightly less than the full 25% will be gained.


    Minimum :c5influence: Influence level with all City-States is 20.

    Immediately sets influence with all city states to 20, and additionally sets influence to 20 after any turn in which it was lower (such as after passing troops through or after making peace). This policy does have the benefit of putting the player in ally range via any quest completion or friend range via worker return.


    All City-States which are Allies provide a :c5science: Science bonus equal to 25% of what they produce for themselves.
    Requires: Philanthropy

    A city state produces research just as any civilization does, through its population and the buildings it has constructed. They start with a palace for +3 research, and generally will have a library built before Scholasticism is reached, so at minimum will generally provide 0.75 + 0.375 * population research. At some later point they will generally build a university changing the base gain to 1 + 0.5 * population (+6 :c5science: for a 10 population CS), and later still further science boosting buildings. As difficulty increases, city states' rate of construction and rate of growth increase and thus the research gain provided by Scholasticism also increases, making scholasticism more powerful in higher difficulty settings. Note that a city state that has been captured will have lost some of its buildings and had its population cut in half, so a liberated city state tends to produce significantly less science than normal.

    Cultural Diplomacy

    Quantity of Resources gifted by City-States increased by 100%. :c5happy: Happiness from gifted Luxuries increased by 50%.
    Requires: Scholasticism

    Doubles the amount of gifted strategic resources, and provides +2 :c5happy: per unique luxury you are receiving as a gift (even if you have a local source of that luxury). This policy is very situational; there are generally better policy choices for boosting happiness, and the usefulness of CS strategic resources is very game dependent. It may provide critical late game strategic resources, or city states may have none or lack the technology to provide them to you. City state tech rate is approximately the same as the average civ, so if you have a significant tech lead you will have access to strategics such as oil and aluminum long before a CS can see and gift them to you.

    Educated Elite

    Allied City-States will occasionally gift you :c5greatperson: Great People.
    Requires: Aesthetics, Scholasticism

    Once this is taken, assuming at least one ally is maintained, a random allied city state will provide a random great person (including khans) about once every 40 turns on standard speed. The initial great person received will take about half as long, and each additional ally reduces the number of turns between gifted great people by about one to a minimum of about once per 30 turns with 10+ allies.


    Adopting all policies in the Patronage tree will make other players' :c5influence: Influence with City-States decrease 33% more per turn than usual.

    This adds a 33% of base into the influence lost per turn, more than negating the reduction the opener gives. If multiple civs finish the patronage branch, this can be added multiple times. Gaining the finisher indirectly makes it easier to maintain alliances by reducing competition. Given that the final policies are some of the best in the branch, completing the branch is worthwhile regardless of the value of the finisher.

    General Use

    Patronage can work for any victory goal. Its worth is directly proportional to how much is invested into city states. The three early policies reduce the amount of gold required to get and maintain an alliances by more than one third. Patronage makes an excellent choice as one of the five branches to complete for a cultural victory, given that as many cultural city states as possible should be kept as allies. The occasional random great person from Educated Elite could be an artist for another landmark, or a key engineer or scientist.

    A few particular civs have especially strong synergy with the Patronage branch:
    • Siam - their unique trait provides an additional 50% benefit for cultural and maritime city state alliances, which makes both this branch and city state alliances in general more attractive.

    • Greece - their unique trait causes alliances to degrade 50% slower, which effectively allows them to maintain nearly twice as many alliances as other civs.

    • Persia - their golden age length boost helps provide gold to get and maintain alliances, and any random great person from Educated Elite can be turned into another extended golden age.

    • Arabia - the bazaar allows them to peacefully siphon more gold from AIs than any other civ, allowing for more alliances with less competition.

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