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A Deity Strategy for Spain Utilizing Religion for Domination

Discussion in 'Civ6 - Strategy & Tips' started by BarbarianHunter, Oct 7, 2018.

  1. BarbarianHunter

    BarbarianHunter Chieftain

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    After having had a few bad starts over the years since Civ6’s release, I finally got around to finishing a game. Spain is presently my favorite civ. Everything I like to do in Civ6, Spain either incentivizes me to actually do (religion), or makes it easier (conquests).

    I often find extensive early game conquests rather boring and more often than not prefer to wait. So does Spain. I never pre-convert and prefer to use inquisitors after taking a city with units. Well, I can do that with Spain, but Spain doesn’t need any inquisitors and gets +3 era score (or +4 with the Taj Mahal) for their trouble as long as there is a conquistador adjacent to the city when it falls. I tend to build as few commercial hubs as I can get away with, choosing to concentrate instead on culture and science. The extra gold from trade routes allows me to do this to an even greater extent. I really like religion, but generally don’t think of it as a good risk/reward on deity. Spain skews the equation in favor of religion, allowing me to rationally make early game investments for a mid game payout and late game bonanza!!!

    Many say that Tamar’s Georgia is the golden age queen, I say no, Philip is king! Firaxis knows it as well, and that’s the reason Lautaro gets +10 vs. civs in a golden age. Once Philip gets rolling, the golden ages will surely run concurrently, making conquests easier as golden age loyalty mechanics add to the conquistador insta-conversion (adds loyalty), and the errant +2 loyalty from missions established adjacent to a city center. In fact, in the game I just finished I scored 449 of the 239 era score required for a modern era golden age.
    Spoiler 449 of 239 :
    449-239.jpg

    That's almost double the threshold, and 210 points more than I needed for a golden age. Enter Lautaro & the Mapuche +10 vs. civs (Spain) in a golden age. Clearly Firaxis acknowledges Philip as the golden age king by baking in the +10 combat strength to his historical nemesis, the Mapuche. Search your feelings, CivFanatics. You will know it to be true.

    Again, after seeing Spain over on Reddit as the Civ of the Week I decided to give Spain another try now that my skills are more honed. This time I succeeded and found that Spain was a near perfect match for my playstyle (if the conquistador was a cav unit, it would be a perfect fit). I’ll show you why as I breakdown this Reddit Civ of the Week writeup…

    Spain

    Unique Ability: Treasure Fleet

    ·Trade Routes provide extra yields to cities on a different continent from the origin city
    +1 Food and Production for Domestic Trade Routes
    +6 Gold for International Trade Routes

    This cannot be overstated. That +6 gold multiplied by 3 or 4 early game trade routes sent to a nearby land-based continent is a huge advantage. In a perfect world, I would like to plan my early settlements to create a “barb free zone” between the trade route origin city and a 2nd continent destination point. This is not always possible due to map constraints or conquest opportunities drawing me elsewhere but it should be analyzed to see if it is feasible. The +6 gold can make a huge difference, and not having to rebuild routes due to barb plundering is equally important for early game economics relative to limited production.

    ·Naval Units can form fleets and armadas upon researching Mercantilism Civic
    Shrug. I generally avoid cities on the coast and rarely improve sea resources. Therefore, I rarely have issues with AI navies or more than the occasional bother with barb raiders. Decent enough ability though. Most map types have a fairly sizeable land mass with at least 2 (if not more) continents.

    ·(R&F) +2 Loyalty per turn for cities with the following requirements:
    City Center is adjacent to a Mission improvement
    City Center is on a continent different from the original Capital's continent

    These are two abilities that may be somewhat understated for Philip. They are relatively slight advantages that, when added together with the other possible advantages, turn into something more than the sum of the parts. I will explain, but I need to clarify some of Spain’s other abilities first.

    Unique Unit: Conquistador
    ·Unit type: Melee
    ·Requires: Gunpowder tech
    ·Replaces: Musketman
    ·Does not require resources
    ·250 Production cost (Standard Speed)
    ·4 Gold Maintenance
    ·55 Combat Strength
    +10 Combat Strength when a Missionary, Apostle or Inquisitor is occupying the same tile
    ·2 Movement
    ·Converts cities to Spain's majority religion if the unit is adjacent to or captures the city.

    Sounds like a good unit, but not a great unit. But surely it is a great unit on par with (albeit a later era then) the Eagle Warrior, Hetairoi, or Pitati Archer. The conquistador enters the fray long after the power of Eagles and Pitati’s fade to a distant memory, and recently upgraded Hetairoi seek to menace your empire with their meager 48 melee strength. Enter the 65 melee strength conquistador!

    I find these remarkable, upgradable, units both useful and practicably deployable throughout the entire game as you upgrade them to corps and armies. Firstly, unlike many other unique units, they are immediately upgradable & available upon researching gunpowder. This gets your 65 melee strength (55 base +10 for a religious unit escort) to the city walls in a more timely manner. You will want knights and horses to bring a battering ram to the one (or more) fronts you will be opening in anticipation of the arrival of the conquistadors. You will also want to DoW and eliminate as many enemy units as possible as the conquistadors lumber (2 movement) their way toward the front. In a perfect world, this means as soon as the conquistadors arrive, they can get right to the business at hand: Conquering the city and spreading your religion to the heathens therein. Here’s where the synergy happens!

    You will receive:
    1) +3 era score for converting a city to your religion “even while at war with the opposing civ.” Let me repeat, you will receive +3 era score for converting a city to your religion “even while at war with the opposing civ." If you are not already in a golden age, you soon will be. BTW, you should try AS HARD AS YOU CAN for a golden age around the time when conquistadors become available due to the favorable loyalty mechanics. An idea should be emerging about now, the idea that Spain can conquer without much regard for loyalty mechanics, and once they begin to conquer they can conquer even more effectively due to the +3 era score golden age snowball. A perpetual string of golden ages even @ online speed! Rinse, repeat…
    2) Your new city will receive +3 loyalty as the conquistadors insta-convert it to your religion.
    3) If on another continent, you will receive +2 loyalty.
    4) Since you will probably be in a golden age, you can faith summon a builder to both
    a) Chop up some population
    b) Place a mission next to the city center for another +2 loyalty.

    So, due to Spain’s unique colonial synergies you now have +5 base loyalty bonus for your new city but can easily add more by sending a governor (+8 loyalty, Magnus), summoning or buying a builder and chopping up more population as well as placing a mission next to the city center (+2 loyalty). If you are still loyalty challenged there are always the traditional policy card choices of a garrison unit (+2) and governor (+2). If all combined together, it can add a WHOPPING +18 loyalty (not counting any population you might chop up).

    Unique Infrastructure: Mission
    ·Infrastructure type: Improvement
    ·Requires: Exploration civic
    ·+2 Faith
    ·+2 Faith if placed on a different continent from the original Capital's continent
    ·+2 Science if adjacent to a Campus district
    ·+2 Science upon researching Cultural Heritage civic

    Leader: Philip II, Leader Ability, El Escorial
    ·Inquisitors have 1 extra Remove Heresy charge
    ·+4 Combat Strength against other civilizations following other religions (which could conceivably push the conquistador to 69 melee strength).

    Allot of people play Spain for a religious victory or utilize the early fleets and armadas. Sounds like it could be some fun, but I don’t think it’s optimal play for what is clearly a world class mid/late game domination civ.

    Here is a link to a non-narrated gameplay only Let's Play I recorded that demonstrates the viability of the strategy.
    https://forums.civfanatics.com/thre...eed-huge-map-domination-victory-deity.637189/
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2018
  2. Nigel_Tufnel2

    Nigel_Tufnel2 Chieftain

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    Nice write-up, I too recently played Spain (abandoned a game early when VI first launched, zzzzzzz). It was remarkably fun to go conquering across the water mid-game. Easy to chain Golden Ages as you said!
     
    BarbarianHunter likes this.
  3. AmazonQueen

    AmazonQueen Chieftain

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    I think Spain is much underated.
    What beliefs would you go for? Defender of the Faith and Choral Music seem a nice fit.
     
  4. BarbarianHunter

    BarbarianHunter Chieftain

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    Choral music was a nice fit. As I was playing Spain as an offensive conquest-ador oriented civ, it allowed me to quickly move through the civics tree and reach corps considerably faster. That kicked the conquistadors up to 75 melee strength (65 for corps and 10 for religious unit escort). Actually, if they fight against units of an opposing religion they get another +4 to 79 melee strength (1 point short of a tank). On T113/75BC I was banking 124 culture and 107 faith per turn (which adds up over the turns). On T126 the Grandmaster’s Chapel was completed, which was to theoretically allow me to faith summon units I couldn't pre build to round out the corps.


    Although defender certainly would have helped with the defense vs. the Mongol horde that took one of my cities after I DoW’ed them. Choral music, however, proved the right choice, as it just keeps giving and giving and giving me culture no matter what military situation I find myself in (which was never really defensive again).


    The screenshot was about the apex of the early game choral music/holy site strategy. After which I began to concentrate more on science.
    Spoiler :
    ChoralMusic.jpg
     
  5. liv

    liv Warlord

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    I have tried to argue on this board that Spain is a pretty good civ for a bit now and it is sure nice to see this. I think they are definitely one of my favourites to play.
    Yes great write up.
     
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  6. Gaonac'h

    Gaonac'h Chieftain

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    You don't actually need to create a religion to benefit from Spain abilities, just kill a civ with a religion.
     
  7. BarbarianHunter

    BarbarianHunter Chieftain

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    Are you saying that I would get the +3 era score (+4 with Taj Mahal) for converting a city while @ war with the respective civ even if I don't have a religion of my own? Because the additional era score is a pretty big part of my positive Spain thesis. I'm guessing that if you don't have a religion you might convert the city to your majority religion and all, but not get the additional era score. The verbiage seems to imply that I get the score because I converted a city to my religion, not a religion that happens to be the beliefs in the majority of my cities. Are you saying I get the era score anyway?

    Sure, the +10 combat bonus for the conquistador can be had with any religious unit, if that's what you mean.
    Spoiler :
    +4EraScore.jpg
     
  8. Gaonac'h

    Gaonac'h Chieftain

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    I am talking about the +4, and conquistadors.
    But you are right, you probably won't be getting era points converting other civs using someone else religion, but killing them should already gift you more than enought golden age points.
    When playing Spain for domination I always feel like going for religion is a waste of time and just "steal" someone else religion.
     

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