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ALC Game 18 Pre-Game Thread: Playing as Isabella

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Sisiutil, Aug 28, 2007.

  1. Sisiutil

    Sisiutil All Leader Challenger

    Feb 19, 2006
    Pacific Northwest
    All Leaders Challenge Pre-Game Show:
    Game #18 - Spain/Isabella

    In the next ALC game, I'll be playing as Queen Isabella, leader of Spain. The purpose of this thread is to discuss, before the game, how to best exploit that particular leader's characteristics, which is the main feature and purpose of the ALC series. Just so we're clear, I'm playing with the Beyond the Sword expansion pack with its most recent official patch as well as Solver's unofficial but highly-recommended patch. The difficulty level will be Monarch, probably for the last time. The speed is Epic, the map will be Fractal this time around. Here's the fact sheet:

    Traits: Expansive (+2 health per city, +25% production speed of Worker; double production speed of Granary and Harbour) and Spiritual (No anarchy from civics or state religion changes. Double production speed of Temples).
    Starting Techs: Fishing and Mysticism
    Unique Unit: Conquistador (Replaces Cuirassier; Strength: 12, Movement: 2, Cost: 100; Unique Characteristics: +50% versus Melee units)
    Unique Building: Citadel (Replaces Castle; Cost: 100; Requires: Engineering and Walls; Unique Characteristics: New siege weapons get +5 experience points; -50% damage to city defenses from non-gunpowder bombardment)

    Ah, Isabella. When she's an AI opponent, you either love her or hate her, more often the latter, since she's such a religious fanatic. In this game, I think it makes sense to "let Isabella be Isabella"--in other words, leverage the religious elements of the game all the way to victory.

    First off, Isabella starts with Mysticism, and that puts her in a very good position to found at least one religion. If we're going to leverage the religious game and play Isabella as the AI plays her (only better), we want to found a religion. Since Isabella also starts with Fishing, I'm hoping we'll get a coastal or lakeside start so we can immediately take advantage of the commerce and put it towards research. So which early religious tech is better to pursue--Meditation or Polytheism?

    By the way, I'm thinking of playing a Custom Game and enabling the "select religion when founded" option. I mean, Isabella should be Christian, not Buddhist, don't you think? Plus that setting, besides offering a little more fun and flavour, provides a slight additional challenge: we can't tell from the announcements of religions being founded exactly which techs have been researched.

    Once we have a religion... actually, will one be enough, or should we play like the AI Isabella and try to found as many as possible? It may not seem optimal, but it does keep them out of the other Civs' hands. What I'm thinking, you see, is to leverage another new Beyond the Sword feature, the Apostolic Palace, and possibly pursue what I call the new "Religious Victory"--i.e. a diplomatic victory won via the AP.

    How does this sound: I found a religion and spread it to myself and the neighbours (which makes Sailing an important follow-up to Fishing, as it will enable early trade routes on coasts and rivers). I found as many of the other religions as possible but keep them to myself. Bee-line to Theology (lightbulbed by a Great Prophet, perhaps?), build the AP, keep spreading the faith and see if we can't get voted an early diplomatic victory. Sound like a plan?

    Let's explore Isabella's other characteristics and see how they might assist us in this strategy.

    As I discovered long ago (thanks to several of you on this forum) and have emphasized since, the Expansive trait has great synergy with the Slavery civic--with whipping, essentially. It's the cheap granaries. You can have them in place quickly (probably whipping them in the first place), and then you can grow the population you've whipped away back that much faster (only to whip them again, of course). This can help us build an army to crush any infidels who beat us to a religion, and also help build up the infrastructure we need to pursue our holy mission. In anticipate spamming missionaries the way I do Praetorians in a Rome game. That means that both Bronze Working and Pottery would be early tech priorities. But aren't they always?

    Another thing: I think it makes sense to run a Cottage Economy with Isabella, what with the absence of the Philosophical trait. The early run at Pottery will allow me to start laying down cottages with the Workers that Expansive makes cheaper to build.

    Spiritual helps us in various ways. We can switch civics immediately. The Shwedagon Paya would be a very attractive wonder for this, as it enables all of the religious civics early on. If I have stone readily available, I'll consider a run at the Pyramids too, but that might be too much. I'd prefer to get two of the earliest Great Prophet-producing wonders, Stonehenge and the Oracle instead. I'll want a GP to build the Christian shrine, after all, and another one to lightbulb Theology for the Apostolic Palace.

    To my mind, Spiritual is a very strong trait. It offers significant economic benefits in that you don't have to go through all those turns with no money accruing because of anarchy. It also is a benefit militarily, allowing you to switch to and from the "war civics" to produce high-XP units at a moment's notice. You can also leverage labour civics like Caste System and Serfdom and then switch to Slavery for a few turns when you need to whip something.

    The unique unit, the Conquistador is problematic. The bonus versus melee units is nice, raising their survival rate against their sole contemporary counter, the Pikeman (and just about everything else the AI can throw at them). But the enabling tech, Military Tradition, comes very late, and Rifling isn't too far off, giving the Conquistador a short window of opportunity. I think this was a better unit in Vanilla and Warlords, where it replaced the Knight. However, I'm finding I do quite like the new Cuirassier unit, so maybe a bee-line would be worthwhile. Nationalism or even MT from Liberalism, perhaps?

    Speaking of which... it seems to me that playing Isabella in this way means following a very different tech path than what I'm used to. I'll appreciate advice or insight into tech priorities for this strat and how to accelerate through them. I'm not sure how to snag Liberalism what with going after all the religious techs, for example.

    The unique building, the Citadel, doesn't really light my fire. After all, I rarely build Castles, and I suspect few others do. However, Castles have acquired benefits to make them more attractive. In Warlords (or one of its patches, I can't exactly remember), they gained +1 trade route, which has synergy with another of Isabella's cheap buildings, the Harbour. And in Beyond the Sword, Castles now increase a city's espionage points by 25%. The Citadel also gives siege units built in the city a 2 XP bonus; to my mind, this is the Citadel's biggest benefit. Since siege weapons cannot kill other units anymore, they only get 1 XP if they survive a battle. The 2 additional XPs means that even without the war civics, Catapults and Trebuchets can start at level 3. That should increase their chances of survival significantly, as well as making them more effective. So Engineering looks like a higher-priority tech than it usually is for me.

    Stone is valuable to Isabella in many ways, because it also accelerates many of the religious (Great Prophet producing) wonders. Stonehenge, Angkor Wat, the University of Sankore, the Spiral Minaret--all are built faster with stone. The latter two wonders would combine well with the Apostolic Palace, giving the +2 hammer, +2 commerce, and +2 research benefits for all state religion buildings. The Spiritual trait makes one of those buildings, temples, very cheap. Also, Citadels have to be proceeded by Walls and stone accelerates the building of both, so securing an early source of stone will be a priority.

    So what do you think? Is this a viable strategy for Isabella? Or am I off my rocker? What has been the experience of others playing as our favourite Iberian religious wing-nut?
  2. Bast

    Bast Protector of Cats

    Jun 9, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    Choosing religion would be great. I always play with this now. But be careful Charlemagne loves his Christianity too. :)
  3. futurehermit

    futurehermit Chieftain

    Apr 3, 2006
    Sounds good to me. Don't forget that AP victories involve optics beeline for caravels. You need to get missionaries to the overseas AIs asap. Watch your diplo and you should be fine. Try to minimize the amount of cities your opponents get with your state religion. It gives them votes, which you don't want. Ideally every opponent has 1 city with your state religion and you vote yourself the winner in the medeival era after you ship out some caravels with missionaries.
  4. Leventis

    Leventis Chieftain

    Nov 5, 2006
    Should he therefore, wait until he has caravels before sending out his missionaries to everyone all at once? I mean, the longer he delays spreading his religion, the less it will spread to the AI cities --> fewer votes. I guess it all depends on how all the other religions get founded/spread, and whether some other AP aspects can be leveraged. I haven't really gone down the AP route before, so will be interested to see how it all pans out.
  5. rtfischbeck

    rtfischbeck Chieftain

    Dec 20, 2006
    Bowling Green, OH
    If you really want to go the religious route use a prophet based GP strategy, and get to paper--->Liberalism through theology.

    I usually ignore stonehenge when I go this route, but you do want to get the oracle. If you manage to get a religion from med/poly and CoL you can rotate early GP generation similar to the GS method. The only bad thing is that it's dependent on getting a wonder and an early religion to compete with GS strategies.

    Edit : That's assuming you don't want to go the AP route. I haven't tried it out yet.
  6. VoiceOfUnreason

    VoiceOfUnreason Chieftain

    Dec 5, 2005
    A quick bit of religion math....

    You're research is going to be at Monarch handicap, while the AI is at Noble. Thats a difference of 15%, according to the handicap file. At this point in the game, the palace is 8 beakers, the city is 1, and there's the one hidden research beaker: so everybody starts researching at 10 :research: per turn. Those that are researching a religious tech on the go already have the pre-requisite Or-tech, and therefore get a 20% bonus. Figure 12 per turn, plus what they get from working tiles (Civ rounding is in force, so until they get to 5 extra commerce you don't have to worry about further rounding).

    Meditation at 12 beakers per turn is 13 turns. That hits the target on the dot, so I don't think we need to worry about the population growth. At 13 beakers per turn, this is 12 turns on the dot.

    Izzy's best time to Meditation is 13 turns, assuming she can find a 2C tile to work.

    Note that, since you are playing in slot #1, you win all ties.

    How about Polytheism? For Izzy, it's 16 turns working a 2C tile ( technically, you can cut it to 15 turns if you get to work an oasis right away). The AI, with no commerce coming in requires 16 turns, with a single commerce available it will finish in 15.

    In other words, unless you have a good commerce tile available immediately, you are really rolling the dice to land one of the first two religions. The odds aren't bad, exactly, but it's completely outside of your control....

    Remember that the expansive bonus for workers is 4 :hammers: gets you 5. Assuming you aren't going to whip the worker, you are most efficient building the worker at size 1 (working a plains hill forrest).
  7. Morgrad

    Morgrad Attack Rodent

    Feb 12, 2007
    Note: I don't have BtS yet, so I may be completely full of rubbish.....

    I love the idea of the AP victory, though I think it's silly that the more you spread your religion, the more votes you give your opponent. One question regarding the Diplomatic Victory, God-style - if everyone loves you because you slobbered your religion all over them, won't they vote for you anyway?

    Spreading your religion-of-choice is certainly a great way to keep your neighbors in love with you, so they don't grind you into the dirt. Of course, your warring strategy is going to be highly dependent on what AIs you're facing. Mehmed and Catherine on your home turf, sheltered by a protective AI could be bad, bad news for diplomacy.

    Harbor + Castle + Free Market = +3 trade routes per city. If you can manage a happy love-fest with the AI, that's a heapin' helpin' of extra commerce.

    I would shoot for two religions, so the normal Hinduism-->Judaism path for religion grabbing. If you miss one, you get the other.

    A GP or three will come in quite handy - shrine one, bulb Theology, bulb Philosophy (is that a GP or GS?). Can you still sling CoL with the Oracle in BtS? If so, you'll be lucky to grab Hinduism, should definately get Judaism, can sling CoL, bulb Theology, bulb Philosophy, and probably research Divine Right.

    Assuming you miss Buddhism and Hinduism early, one will probably be on the other continent - the other is a target. :trouble: The trouble with *not* spreading your state religion is that the other religions are much more likely to go to godless cities. Slap your religion in your opponents cities and it limits the spread of the others. I think you'll have to spread yours around at least to your own continent just to avoid constant war issues.

    Oh, and I agree 100% on hooking up stone as a priority!
  8. Leventis

    Leventis Chieftain

    Nov 5, 2006
    Not necessarily. Any civ that has the AP's religion in at least one city is eligible to vote. So, they don't even have to share the same State Religion as the OP to vote. This means they could still hate your guts and vote someone else/defy etc--hence the need to keep a lid on how the religion is spread. The more it spreads within a civ, the more votes they have, and if they dislike you it will be tougher to win.
  9. mudphud

    mudphud Chieftain

    Apr 12, 2007
    This will be an interesting game as I haven't done much with religion lately - I generally trade for or steal the religious techs. I would think that it would be best to spread your religion lots to one or two neighbors while giving the other civs just one city with your faith. Just like the usual rules of diplomacy make a couple of good friends and screw everyone else (while making sure they have a small city that follows the true faith). I'm not entirely sure how the apostolic palace works with war against the infidels but if you can work that it could give you some nice mutual conflict bonus to get those votes.

    I'm not sure you need to worry about founding other religions (although you may anyway with the techs you need) - it could make it more work to have all your cities have the state religion and you should still be able to sneak your religion in your opponent's city unless they are running theocracy - speaking of that potential problem can you use a spy to change your opponent's religious to civic?
  10. thorban

    thorban Chieftain

    May 21, 2007
    I only want to say how much fun I've been having with the Cuirassier, what I've been doing is building up trebs in preparation for taking nationalism off liberalism, then researching mil tradition/gunpowder and conquering 1 civ. While busy doing that I research up to steel and reinforce the heavily promoted cuirissier with cannon for the next civ. By improving the siege part, the cuirassier can really see a lot of use.

    All in all, that would make a really good spanish inquisition force to destroy the infidels and lock up the AP victory.
  11. kniteowl

    kniteowl Pirate Captain :P

    Dec 27, 2005
    It's impossible to get both Castles and Free Market because, Castles obsolete with Economics and Free Market isn't available until you research economics.

    It sounds like Spain has 2 different set of goals, Go down the religious route and produce a whole lot of Great Prophets while aiming for a Religious Victory with AP wonder, or get Early Engineering, Liberalism Beeline and take advantage of your UU & UB.

    They go down entirely different tech routes and require, require different Great people to bulb techs and I'm not sure if you'll have enough resources to
    pursue both goals successfully, it'll really depend on the map.

    Note the AP wonder has no resource that allows it to be completed faster, like Pyramids need stone, the AP can't be sped up unless you somehow get a forge, Organized Religion and Bureaucracy, 500H towards the AP is gonna be a long long wait...

    Depending on what your early short term goals are I'd do the following.

    Quick AP?

    Oracle to MC for Forges and Early GE then get assign Priest in your Stonehenge and Oracle City to Quickly produce a GP to buulb Theology then GE Rush the AP.

    Or you can Oracle to Theology for an Early start on the AP, obviously Switch to a State Religion and Run Organized Religion to get that thing built quicker.

    Want to attempt a RISKY MOVE? (this is something I 'd personally do for fun)

    Oracle to Divine Right... You reed it correctly... If you can pull this off all Great Prophets will bulb other more useful techs like COLS, CS, Philosophy and Paper (which are on the route to Liberalism) You still need the GS to bulb Education though.

    How to Oracle to Divine Right?

    Basically Tech Monarchy normally and Produce a Great Prophet before you finish Oracle and use your Great Prophet to Bulb Theology. Once you have Monarchy and Theology, use the Oracle to Take Divine Right. If Oracle ends up finishing too quickly switch to another build 1 turn before the Oracle is complete and build something while you get Monarchy and Theology.

    This Risky move probably require you have a high commerce tile, either Furs, Gold, Gems or Sliver in your Capital Fat Cross in Order to be safely successful, but it's fun none the less and you'll be need those key techs regardless even if you fail.

    Note the Conquistador's Require before being available, Iron, Horses and Gunpowder.
  12. illram

    illram Moderator Moderator

    Dec 25, 2005
    San Francisco
    As usual Sisiutil you've covered pretty much everything. I would just add 2 things:

    Early GP's, although useful in building shrines and LB'ing religious techs such as Theology, can really boost your economy and production when settled as Great Priests in the early game. If you are going religious, you will most likely have more than one religion which means you can really pump out priests early on. Oracle + Stonehenge + even one temple and a Priest can get you 2 quick priests in the early game. (That's about 7GP/turn correct? So your second GP would pop in 28 turns with the above. I am guessing you will probably found more than one religion, meaning another temple and another priest. Throw in a shrine or 3 and we are talking lots of priests, and therefore lots of gold!) The considerable gold and production bonuses combined with their early availability make settled GP's and priest specialists great considerations for a religious strategy.

    This ties into my second consideration- the Shwedagon (sp?) Paya and Pacifism. As a spiritual leader, the caste system/slavery switch and the ability to leverage the XP producing civics is great, but if you can have early pacifism your early Great Priest production can go into over-drive, assuming you make aesthetics a priority. During the liberalism race you can concentrate on other techs, confident that you can make a quick switch to pacifism (and maybe CS, since by that time your GP counter will be high) to pump out a GS or two or three to bulb education and possibly Philo quickly. The only problem is that if the SP comes late, the effectiveness of settled Great priests in proportion with your empire may not be as significant, since the power of settled Great Priests rests largely in their proportional advantage during the early game. Either way, hope that's some food for thought.
  13. KMadCandy

    KMadCandy giggling permanoob

    Oct 16, 2005
    "By the way, I'm thinking of playing a Custom Game and enabling the "select religion when founded" option. I mean, Isabella should be Christian, not Buddhist, don't you think? Plus that setting, besides offering a little more fun and flavour, provides a slight additional challenge: we can't tell from the announcements of religions being founded exactly which techs have been researched."

    it's very weird how they implemented the "tell" of which techs had the bonus taken. from what i've seen, the clue for whether the religion has been nabbed or not is only visible while you're researching it yourself. it doesn't show up looking at the tech tree, just if it's on the top of your screen. so if you're missing a pre-req, you can't know until you get that out of the way whether you get a freebie or not. gee thanks guys :rolleyes:.

    "The Citadel also gives siege units built in the city a 2 XP bonus; to my mind, this is the Citadel's biggest benefit. Since siege weapons cannot kill other units anymore, they only get 1 XP if they survive a battle. The 2 additional XPs means that even without the war civics, Catapults and Trebuchets can start at level 3. That should increase their chances of survival significantly, as well as making them more effective. So Engineering looks like a higher-priority tech than it usually is for me."

    i've never played her in warlords or BtS. but the civilopedia says citadel gives +5 exp to siege, not +2 :confused:

    "So what do you think? Is this a viable strategy for Isabella?" probably. "Or am I off my rocker?" of course you are *giggle*. we love you anyway.

    that's the really weird thing about the AP vote. you don't even have to beat up the world to vote yourself in. the vote count is based on the number of cities (i think the population in the cities, actually) with the religion of the AP. the AP religion never ever changes, even if you change your state religion. so spreading it to the other guys too much can hurt you. i need to wrap my brain around that it's "religious victory" and not "early diplomatic victory" since it makes my head spin to think about it that way. one thing is spiffy, F8 shows you who has how many votes.

    the vote options are actually kind of more fun if there are civs who have the AP religion in their cities but not as their state religion, so that they're voting members but not full members. if the world is just full and non-members, you can't do funky stuff like "assign uMgungundluvu to its rightful owner". so, don't spam every single civ too much, give us some giggles ;).

    yes, there are a couple of ways to try to sneak a religion in to a theocratic empire. the easiest way is to simply gift them a missionary, since they can spread any religion under theocracy, it's just that you can't. they usually use it but sometimes they don't, and that's not even an option if you don't have open borders. spies can try to change civics or religions to ones that you're using yourself. spiritual is awesome for that if you have to change civics yourself. like, i changed religions to use a spy to demote a full member to a voting member to hold votes to assign his cities to me when i had the CR wonder :lol:. i can't remember how many esp points that cost me, i was goofing off, i think it was affordable tho. as a last resort, building a city, spreading your faith to it, and gifting the city itself will work, if they accept the city. i'd try them in that order, since i've had them not take city presents (on higher difficulties) and that really stinks when i'm stuck with the maintenance!

    as far as which religion(s) to target and your chances, VoU is the math expert of course. my reasoning when i'm gandhi and really want one of the first three is to start with poly. that way if i miss it, i'm pretty much guaranteed monotheism given his starting techs. isabella doesn't start with the same stuff, but you will want mono if you're going to bulb theo, assuming that GP bulb priority hasn't changed in BtS. and you definitely absolutely want Theo since that's the AP tech! so i'd go poly since i'd need it for that reason anyway. med gives monasteries which are great, but you're spiritual so if you do go mono before med for whatever reason you can just pop into OR if your budget allows it. wouldn't give you the science or culture, but you could spread the faith and not have to build the buildings so there ya go. i dunno where you'd fit in beating up neighbors into all this or anything.

    keep in mind whenever you read reasoning or advice from me that i am a permanoob of course.

    what type of map are you thinking about?
  14. jason77024

    jason77024 Chieftain

    Apr 20, 2007
    There's something to that, but then also you have to consider which other leaders have Theocracy as their favorite civic. Otherwise you have to also deal with big spy points (to influence civics) or building extra settlers for giveaway cities (if you can get next to the theocracies). So giving your religion to one of Justinian's, Saladin's, or Zara's tundra cities (no seafood, please!) before they get Theology isn't necessarily a bad idea.

    Kinda depends on what kind of fractal Sisiutil gets.
  15. Baldas

    Baldas Chieftain

    May 8, 2007
    The obvious tech paths to Theology are:

    Mysticism (start with)
    *Options* (see below)

    The "options" in the middle of this tech path are:

    1. Priesthood
    2. Agriculture + The Wheel + Pottery
    3. Fishing (start with) + The Wheel + Pottery
    4. Agriculture + Animal Husbandry
    5. Hunting + Animal Husbandry

    So your best path will be map dependant, e.g. you may or may not need Animal Husbandry early.

    The above ignores important techs like Bronze Working, which obviously you'll want as well.

    The problem with the path to Theology is that you need worker techs early and you only start with fishing. If you go for Polytheism first then it's that much longer before you have something for your worker to do. The options would therefore be to not build a worker first (okay if you have a seafood resource) or don't go for Polytheism first. I think it's okay to let other civs get the first two religions because you'll be first to Monotheism and Theology (won't you?) and how many religions do you need for an AP victory? Just one. Make sure you are first to Theology and the others don't matter as much.

    So it's map dependant. If you start with a seafood resource then you could build a workboat first and go for Polytheism, or you could let the AI get the first two religions and go for worker techs. If you don't start with a seafood resource then go for worker techs first. You'll want mining and bronze working early anyway.

    In some ways it's better to let the AI get the first two religions anyway, because you don't want your chosen religion to be spread to every AI city as they'll get lots of AP votes, so if you have a later religion it will be less popular which is bizarrely quite a good thing. Strange isn't it.

    If you want Isabella to be Christian then you don't have to enable the "choose religions" option because you'll be trying to be first to Theology anyway for the AP. And if you miss out on the first two religions then enabling "choose religions" would make it less likely that you'll get Christianity because the AIs have their own favourites and there are quite a few who prefer Christianity. I quite like the "choose religions" option in the games I play, but I probably wouldn't use it for this game.

    I would consider using the Oracle to grab Theology as the free tech, but I don't play on Monarch so this may be too difficult to get as you are not Industrious (I'm sure others will advise if it is feasible). Using a GP to lighbulb is fine but you'll want one to get the holy shrine so I'd probably only do this if I had two of them. Theology takes a long time to research normally (not advised).

    You mentioned Stonehenge, but I wouldn't bother with it since you'll get so much culture from religion spread for borders pops.

    When it comes to building the AP you'll need a lot of chopping because as somebody mentioned it isn't speeded up by having stone or marble (or anything else) but since you're expansive you won't be as worried about the health negatives from deforestation.

    Looking forward to this game!
  16. jerVL/kg

    jerVL/kg Sheep Nuker

    Dec 30, 2005
    Theology...Liberalism...Military Tradition...that's a whole lotta tech to research for a non-Financial leader. You also need Civil Service to reach Nationalism.

    One thing you can do is hog all the Prophet-generating wonders. Stonehenge...Oracle...Shwegadon Paya...Angkor Wat...heck, even Chicken Itza if you can afford it! Build temples & run hella priests until Great Prophets start coming out of your ears. :crazyeye: Then you can build a couple shrines (only need one or two early) and bulb all the way through the religious tree, and beyond.

    The tricky part is Divine Right. Once you've got Theology, priests will only bulb Monarchy/DR until you get it somehow. Same goes for Artists. But after DR, you can bulb Nationalism with a GA and (eventually) Liberalism with a GP.

    So how about this...why not take Divine Right with the Oracle??

    It's tricky, but not as hard as you think. You need to pick up ALL the religious techs up to Monotheism, then Writing & Monarchy. Get an early GP to bulb Theology (easiest if you build Stonehenge early) and make sure you have Monarchy/Theo by the time the Oracle's done.

    I can do this fairly reliably on Prince with a financial leader or a high-commerce start. Monarch, might be tougher...and with non-Financial Isabella, it's one HELL of a gambit. You'd probably have to put off BW/AH for a long while, which is damned risky.

    However, the payoff is:
    (1) you clear out the DR path, making better techs lightbulbable.
    (2) you open up two very nice wonders, which you can build at your own pace because nobody will have DR for centuries.
    (3) DR will open up Nationalism, so you don't need Philosophy. (Which means no Liberalism, though...)
    (4) DR is 1½ times more expensive than Civil Service, which is pretty cool (even though CS is far more useful.)

    Just something to think about. ;)
  17. patagonia

    patagonia Chieftain

    Aug 19, 2006
    DR from the Oracle might be a gamble, but Theology is definitely a good option with the proposed strategy.

    With that in mind, I'd be inclined to research Polytheism first. By VoU's calculations it's more of a crap shoot, but it's a prerequisite for Monotheism meaning at the very worst you should end up with two religions early doors and a lock on the AP. Theology's then one tech from paper and DR which pick up the other two important religious wonders. Izzy's cheap temples will then be getting you 1 culture, 1 happy, 2 hammers, 2 beakers and 2 gold, which isn't a bad investment when you think about it.

    This gets you OR and theocracy very early, and you're spiritual so you can exploit the two civics nicely by synchronising infrastructure and unit builds in your cities. Because you're spiritual, you should also avoid switching to slavery until the turn you want to whip to reduce upkeep costs and reduce the risk of unpleasant slave revolts (which have a tendency to strike my capital the turn before it completes a wonder - very annoying).

    Since you'll already have the best early religious civics, heading for aesthetics for the Shwedagon Paya is less important since the only thing you'll get for your trouble is pacifism.

    If you're keen to pick up both stonehenge and the oracle, you may want to consider chopping the henge out before founding your second city as it tends to be touch and go whether you win the race otherwise. With religion being the focus of the game, you don't need the culture it'll give so it's only worth bothering with if the extra 2 GPP are needed. With the oracle and 1-2 temples for priests, you can produce prophets pretty quickly anyway so it may not be necessary to hamper initial expansion with wonderspam.


    If you go for a speedy AP win, it should happen long before liberalism or conquistadores feature so there's no need to worry about neglecting that part of the tech tree. You just need to make sure you get to optics unless fractal gives you a pangaea. At the worst, you'd need to get to astronomy - if there's a particularly troublesome AI out there who you can't spread religion to, you can always DoW, capture one of their cities, spread the AP religion there and then let them capture it back. Bingo.
  18. carl corey

    carl corey Chieftain

    Jul 17, 2006
    Cluj-Napoca, Romania
    Yeah, it's +5 to siege, not +2. I played Izzy once in Warlords and you can get some insanely promoted siege units. I wouldn't despair that they can't kill, they'll still be very good at what they're doing. With Theocracy you're looking at 10XP from the start. Ok, it's not necessary for the accuracy cats, but the rest of the siege can really benefit from that: either CR3 or Barrage3 should work wonders. I guess later wars with Conquistadors/Trebs/accuracy cats are in order. The only problem they could have is against War Elephants and even those will be soft enough after a few Trebuchets hit the city.
  19. Scarredroman

    Scarredroman Chieftain

    Aug 3, 2007
    Izzy usually starts on the coast with more sea resources than you know what to do with. If she's got the river and flood plain as well- that just means the RNG was preparing a start for the Egyptians, which was pre-empted by design.

    Going for Theology and christianity from the get go, means these are the techs that could be researched:

    Mysticism, Polytheism, Mining, Masonry, Monotheism, Priesthood, Writing, Theology

    Trying to take Divine Right from the Oracle requires Monarchy.

    All the while there's nothing more than warriors protecting Sisiutil and no Bronze working to chop and whip, no wheels to join all the resources and no animal husbandry to reveal the horses for chariots. As for the granaries, not a sign

    On a sea start, the hut popping techs are most likely to be sailing and hunting and meditation. Less likely are masonry and bronzeworking and it would be a very brave strategy that relied on huts popping the desired techs
  20. futurehermit

    futurehermit Chieftain

    Apr 3, 2006
    If you get theology from the oracle you can take dr with a prophet + some turns of research.

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