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An alternative Deity Tier List (a.k.a. 'Don't Forget About Conquest')

Discussion in 'Civ5 - Strategy & Tips' started by consentient, Mar 13, 2015.

  1. beetle

    beetle Deity

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    I would argue that Galleasses and Frigates are useful for most maps, including Fractal and Pangea.

    But one of the nice things about this score system is that even if Byzantium goes up two points, it won’t hardly effect the ranking.
     
  2. bigwillystyle

    bigwillystyle Chieftain

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    DCL #6 is a fun map for trying the Dromon --> Galleas --> Frigate strategy. You'll still need land units given the number of inland capitals, but holy crap running around with Logistics/Range Frigates at T140-ish is amazingly fun. In that game, I burned London from 100% to 0% in two turns after demolishing a modest navy of Ships-of-the-Line.

    I can post some screenies later in the week, but T-10000 already took a run at this and crushed out a T210-ish Domination victory if I recall correctly. Dromons upgraded across multiple units to Battleships is one way to skin the cat.

    Anyway, all that is my way of saying that a negative rating from Dromons doesn't make much sense to me, but YMMV.

    The Cataphract however is godawful, and probably a -2 or worse. No one needs a slow Horseman with nothing that promotes upward. Just terribly bad.
     
  3. beetle

    beetle Deity

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    I would argue that a systematic numerical rating will reveal actual tiers from players subjective rankings, just look for blank lines in a tabular summary!

    Column 1 Column 2
    Score Civ(s)
    17 Poland
    16
    15 Korea, Babylon, The Maya, Arabia, Persia
    14 The Zulu
    13 The Inca, The Huns
    12 Greece, England
    11 America
    10 Mongolia, Germany, Sweden, China, Spain, Songhai
    9 The Aztecs, Brazil, Russia
    8 The Shoshone, Denmark, Egypt, Siam
    7 The Netherlands, The Celts, Ethiopia
    6 Morocco, Polynesia, Ottoman
    5 Japan, Austria, Assyria
    4
    3 Rome, Carthage, India
    2 France, Portugal, Indonesia
    1
    0 Iroquois, The Neutrals
    -1
    -2 Byzantium
    -3
    -4
    -5
    -6
    -7 Venice


    Is a gap of one point enough? If so, there are six tiers. But inspection reveals that the lower end gaps are not really significant, so there are four tiers: Poland, average, below average, and Venice. If not, there are just two tiers: Average and Venice.

    I think it would be really arbitrary to argue (for example) that 15 is God Tier but 14 is merely very good. One could round America from 10.5 down to 10, so that half-point break gets one a nice cluster between above average and average. So then the tiers are: Poland, above average, average, below average, and Venice.

    There is just no compelling argument to distinguish tiers between the bulk of civs rating from 5 to 10 points. This helps explain why some people can passionately but rationally argue that, for example, Austria is very strong.
     
  4. consentient

    consentient Domination!

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    Interesting work there Beetle ;)

    With regards to my own Tier list, the reason I opted for 5 tiers was so that the definitions of the tiers could be seen as the first thing to look at. The descriptions that follow the tier numbers create rough categories according to how much easier it makes the game than if you played with the Iroquois Neutrals.

    Although Poland are considerably ahead of the other god tier civs, I can't think of any way of distinguishing between 'You may as well be playing on a lower difficulty level' and whatever rhetorical device one might employ to describe a level above that. A recent H-C-A with Persia gave me a T129 win - by far my fastest DomV, and yet in the 10 or so games I've played with them, they have not performed quite at the level of Poland, whose UA can turn a mediocre position into a commanding one. 8 techs behind when you enter Renaissance? 20 turns later you can be 8 techs ahead. That kind of thing.

    Still, I see your point about the middle. My feeling is that, much to the disgust of some players, the reason why Tier 2 is full of military civs is because in all honesty, if they figured out how much stronger their games would be if they weren't so shy about conquering others civs, they wouldn't object anymore. Everyone has seen, in peaceful games, that runaway AI (usually Alex, Pocatello or Dido) end up with half the map and three times their score. Now imagine BEING that civ. You ain't gonna lose except to those freak T220-250 Sejong launches.

    So, in short, I have an upper, middle and lower tier system because it does just about separate the men from the boys, even if the numbers are kinda close. I guess what I'm saying is that ratings help, but they're not everything.

    But you make a very good point about Tier lists in general.
     
  5. Zyrica

    Zyrica Chieftain

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    Hello fellow Warmonger! I enjoy your good work and effort into this thread (and forum) Keep it up!

    My initial reaction to your list:

    I would rate Assyria MUCH higher then you did.

    The Seige Towers are flat out OP. Instead of bringing melee units you bring 1-3 of these to a city. Let them take a hit and then stand next to city to pillage and tank, while giving your ranged units the sapper bonus. 50% extra damage to cities, compare that Zeus and keep in mind it does stack with Zeus. I usually put a general under them as well for extra punch :D

    The UA is also way underrated. As you assume the plan is to do at least some conquest. Lets just calculate on some modest conquest of 5 cities. Assume we are always behind in tech at least in some parts, its deity after all. In this case we get 5 free techs, even if its crappy techs that would result in 10-20 turns of free research. If using it to its full potential the ability could compute to 50-100 turns of free research.
     
  6. Paszczak

    Paszczak Warlord

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    Nice work there, guys! :goodjob:

    Good to see someone finally acknowledge that early war followed by annexing one or two capitals is a super-strong opening, I dare say stronger than a peaceful tradition sim-city!

    Honestly though is sad how 90% of let's plays on youtube (not only Deity ones) are about a guy settling 2 cities and sitting on them for 300 turns. Don't they realize that the game will assign the best tiles to each civ's starting location?! They are, like guaranteed to get 2+ luxuries and later goodies like Aluminum and Oil. Taking a capital early from your neighbour is just so good I started to do it in every game even if my intention is to win peacefully :mischief:

    It is heart-warming to see so many fellow warmongers so high on the list. It's actually a good thing that the :c5science: penalty per city has downed on us, or I would say conquering your way to scientific lead would be the next best thing to do!
     
  7. beetle

    beetle Deity

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    That makes perfect and is what people want.

    You started with expert and experience intuition, then used that same expertise and insight to assign relative numerical ratings to the different aspects of the civ. It is a very sound approach!

    I love that you used smallish integers for values. With larger numbers (say a scale from 1-100) assigning specific values would have been much more arbitrary. The ratings you have assigned are extremely defensible. Even if someone (like me) quibbles about a point here and there, the overall impact is small.

    Since you went out on a limb, and were working it out as you went along, it was more than reasonable to assume distinct tiers. The numbers might have shaken out differently. Or you could have been dishonest and skewed the numbers to support your preconceived tiers. I think the whole process has been very illuminating!

    I think this exercise also proves the point that skill >> dirt >> civ choice. People can't control their skill, but if dirt and other RNG is worth up to ~25 points on this relative scale, that really accounts for all the variability.
     
  8. consentient

    consentient Domination!

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    Thank you for your kind words. Glad you find it useful. :)

    I can see the potential for both ST and the UA to be really effective. But putting that to good use at Mathematics, when the AI usually has units that nullify the STs and cities that can severely damage them, seems a tall order.

    The best UUs are either before the AI gets 'set up' (HAs) or come at the time when you are in the ascendancy and catching up (CAs, Keshiks). The period in between is when UUs are pretty sucky. Cover 1 is nice on those towers, but they can't take more than 1 hit each when I play, and beeline Maths and Construction.

    Can you point me to a VidLP that showcases Assyria on Deity to the effect you mention?

    Yeah, that's the whole thing. If people look at the Russia screenshot I posted, it's pretty hard to argue they'd have an easier time of thing if they'd turtled on a crappy peninsula and tried for a ca. T300 SV.

    I'm not sure if you're being sarcastic or what. I think the approach is pretty sound, obviously. I think that by using the Neutrals, I've showed that you can get at exactly what makes each civ good or bad is clearer than if you just say "Siam are better than Greece yadda yadda".

    I don't think I've skewed anything. Again I'm not sure whether you're being sarcastic :D

    I'd say that Skill > Dirt > Civ is a given, as it takes the same principles for any game, sport or action.

    However, for any given player, isn't it useful to know something more about the precise advantages of each civ? Especially when some that are constantly raved about (e.g. Venice) are inarguably worse, I would say. And some that are constantly made out to be mediocre (ahem, Alex) are unbelievable.

    I think part of this comes down to people playing the same strategy again and again. I've purposefully tried all the known strategies to see what they are like, and without a shadow of a doubt, conquest and CS alliances will make the game so much easier than trying to get T150 Scientific Theory.
     
  9. beetle

    beetle Deity

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    I am not being sarcastic! You did not skew anything! I really doubt that I (or mostly anyone, really) could have been as objective, and I know I don't have enough experience!
     
  10. bigwillystyle

    bigwillystyle Chieftain

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    Consentient,

    You mention video LPs a number of times - why is that? Are you asking "Prove it!" or are you asking "I don't understand how this can be done, can you show me?"

    There are relatively few VidLPs out there, so it seems like an odd request.

    For Assyria, I would recommend taking a look at GOTM 95 ... Deity / Pangea / Assyria. Glory7 had a nice writeup.

    I used Siege Towers to stomp Venice and 4 Aztec cities in the Mayan DCL (one of the City States grants them as a bonus unit). They seemed pretty OP to me, and I wasn't getting the free tech benefit. +50% to Comp Bow attacks is amazing.
     
  11. consentient

    consentient Domination!

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    Thanks, I was just checking :)

    Closer to the 2nd definition than the first, though I am the kind of person that does tend to only really believe OR understand stuff when I see it. A year ago I was an Emperor player that disbelieved certain Deity strategies were consistent. The difference between now and then is watching other people's games.

    So yeah, I'd love to see someone using Assyria to make their game much easier to win, because all my tries fail. On one Donut game I took Rome (closest neighbour) with a HUGE effort cuz the STs were NOT as OP as I wanted them to be, and then I was too far behind in tech to go after the others.

    Maybe if Acken picks them for the DCL we will get to settle this. I'd love to be proven totally wrong. :)

    I guess it's odd, but I want there to be more. I've finally found a way to make them on my own machine, so will be making a load from now on.

    I tried this one even more recently than the Donut game. It went all kinds of wrong and I quit before T100.

    I'm really starting to think I have some kind of weird bug. That's 2 DCL games in which the military CS have not given me the same UU that other players have gotten on the same save!! :O Or maybe I selected 'Stop spawning' and forgot about it.

    I'll definitely give Ash another look in, but I can only go on my existing experience. Let's hope I can find a way to get those towers working for me! :)
     
  12. Cromagnus

    Cromagnus Deity

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    Not to drag-on the dromon topic, but since I digressed into the Pangaea case.

    The single most badass thing about the dromon is the fact that you can upgrade it to a galleas. This alone makes it insanely awesome on any water map.

    Now, everyone's got a different opinion about this but here's my take on map types:

    Fractal is garbage. Just like Shuffle, Tilted Axis or any other map type that *might or might not require Astronomy to meet all civs*, I have no interest in playing them.

    I also think the Tiny Islands, Large Islands variations are stupid too, where there's a random chance that there are *no shallow water connections to any civs or CS*, and you might have to re-roll multiple times just to get a decent capital, and most likely can't build an expo. Nope, not interested.

    So, as far as I'm concerned the only map types that matter are Continents, Archipelago and Pangaea, and the variations thereof.

    So, for me, dromons are relevant on 2 of the 3 primary map types. They're absolutely top-tier on Archipelago, and on Continents they have 5 promotions by the time they promote into Frigates, which makes them badass.

    Again, let me emphasize: They upgrade into Galleas. Try having 6-8 Galleas on t90 with *any other civ*... you can't do it. Let alone *already have 4 promotions*... This is the difference between success and failure on Deity, where you have a narrow window to overwhelm opposition before they tech up. You have multiple armies instead of one, with the ability to move in, fire and move out... and on continents, after you wipe out your continent with them, they're better *than* SoL because of the extra promotions you've earned along the way.

    And, the range thing is a non-issue if you play it right. Of course you open Exploration, and go for GLH, and get double-tap, and voila, you move into range, fire twice, move out of range, and the next Dromon moves in.

    Yes, on pangaea they're inferior, but the same could be said about Ship of the Line, which is absolutely a bad-ass unit, and clearly inferior to a Frigate with 6 promotions...
     
  13. beetle

    beetle Deity

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    Is the problem that Fractal is so random? Why do you like continents when, by definition, that will require astronomy to meet all civs? Is some consistency game-to-game that you are looking for?
     
  14. Cromagnus

    Cromagnus Deity

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    Yes, if there was an option in Fractal maps to specify "Continents" and get fractal continents, or "Pangaea" and get a fractal Pangaea, that'd be great. Or if the "Pangaea" option actually worked in Tilted Axis. But sadly, this is not the case.

    I suppose some might prefer the challenge of not knowing until 50 turns in whether or not they have a totally gimped and unbalanced start. I prefer some level of consistency to my randomness. ;)
     
  15. DocRock

    DocRock Prince

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    Can you explain why you rated the Korean UUs so low? I think they are really great.

    The Trebuchet one kills units like there is no tomorrow. You are basically untouchable in defense and pretty strong in offense. Furthermore, they upgrade to Artillery and starting with 4-5 Artilleries with Logistics will instantly win you the game. Just train them on some poor guy, having 3 in a line is enough that no one can touch them while they are building up XP. They are worse against cities, so use Xbows instead. They are a bit off the usual teaching, that's true. But so are Trebuchets.

    The Turtle Ship is also pretty strong. 4-5 can take a coastal city on their own. And they upgrade to Missile Cruisers, which are badass too. Why do you think the caravel is better? Since when do you plan on meeting someone early when you are on a domination crusade? The later, the better.
     
  16. robaker

    robaker Chieftain

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    Warning: Looong post

    I definitely agree that grading civs based on versatility, and not specialization, is a flawed system. For instance, some players grade Brazil and Venice highly due to their ease of getting, respectively, cultural and diplomatic victories, but they don't downgrade them for their relative weakness at domination victories. However, I noticed that some people are quick to downgrade domination-oriented civs for not being good at the other victory types. I don't like this inherent bias against domination civs :mad:

    Personally, I would move the Huns and Mongolia up to the highest tier. The biggest reason why they were relegated to the middle-range tiers on other tier lists was because they 'lacked versatility', and were considered to be good only at warfare. But if versatility (in the different victory types) is not considered, and the only thing that matters is how easy it is to win, then the Huns and especially Mongolia are much better at what they do than their fellow civs in the upper tier category. Especially on Pangaea maps. I play on Deity, standard size, standard speed, single-player.

    The combination of Keshiks and Khans is just too good and completely negates the lack of usefulness of the attack bonus to city-states. I've noticed that people tend to devalue Keshiks by comparing their 16 ranged strength versus the camel archer's 21, but a Keshik should Always have 18.4 ranged strength (higher than a crossbow) due to the Khan's 5 movement. I have an easier time getting Mongolia deity domination wins than with Arabia (which, admittedly, is also easy but takes a longer time and is more likely to be circumstantially slowed down due to rough terrain or the Great Wall, or allowing units to heal after fighting in such difficult circumstances).

    I open Honor, get the free Khan to scout, heal and help my early units kill barbs. Get a trade route to sponge off deity AI science, snab a CS worker, etc. Settle 1-2 more cities for horses. Get Military Tradition so that Keshiks can get Logistics with about 17 total shots against cities (25 total against units). And fill out the right side of Liberty, then finish Honor or whatever. Usually I fortify a cheap unit and road-connect the city for 2 extra happiness, and raze the unimportant ones. I don't really see the value in Tradition when I'm going to end the game before the growth bonus truly kicks in, and I'm trying to maintain unhappiness so that I can move onto the next enemy city without stopping.

    1) The Keshik's 1 extra movement is HUGE. It's the difference between moving 3 rough terrain versus 2. It allows Keshiks to move onto rough terrain, shoot twice, and move back. It allows Keshiks to move onto Great Walled open terrain, shoot twice, and move back; or move onto Great Walled rough terrain, shoot once and move back. Camels can't do any of that. It allows Keshiks to travel 4(?) more tiles when using roads. I get plenty of damage with the 18.4 ranged strength and ability to shoot twice regardless of terrain. It takes 17 shots against cities to get Logistics with Honor, and unlike the Camel Archer, the Keshik has many more opportunities to double-shoot each turn regardless of terrain; not to mention that the Keshik will get Logistics much, much faster, which means range and march in no time (+25 HP healing every single turn with Khans; it's not necessary 95% of the time, but the fact that it's available is still impressive)

    2) Mongolian horsemen's 1 extra movement is also VERY good at the point in the game when Keshiks are rampaging the earth. A regular 4-movement horseman cannot move 3 tiles of any kind in a Great Walled city so it (or another unit) NEEDS to take a hit in order to capture a city. But a Mongolian horseman can, allowing them to capture 0 HP cities from 3 non-rough tiles away in Great Walled territory. And it also comes into play when capturing a city that is surrounded by rough terrain, allowing the Mongolian horsemen to move 3 rough terrain to capture a city. Why is this good? Because it's convenient as heck, and allows for faster capturing of cities without the risk of your precious city-capturing unit (admit it, you only have around 2 horsemen in your entire Mongolia/Arabia army ;)) getting 2-shotted by a city and killed in 1 turn.

    3) The attack-bonus to city-states is not COMPLETELY useless. It's extremely situational (i.e. when declaring war against deity Greece, he's bound to have an allied CS or two near your borders) then you'll have a quicker time getting rid of the invading CS fodder. Unfortunately, the expansion packs got rid of the CS-conquering quests, which was what the UA was good for originally. 0/5 is harsh. 0.5/5 would be okay ;)

    4) Khans are severely underrated. They allow for constant warfare and no need to slow down. They are excellent throughout the ENTIRE game for their combat boost, healing, and ability to get where they're needed much, much faster than regular great generals. Oh, and you'll get many more of Khans, due to all the exp and GG bonuses, compared to other civs. You can basically consider every single one of Mongolia's units, and not just Keshiks, to have +15% combat at all times due to the Khan's 5 movement. I get so annoyed when playing another civ and having to put up with 2-movement great generals that can't keep up with my units, after being spoiled by 5-movement Khans.

    Comparisons: a regular GG can move 1 rough terrain per turn; Khans can move 3 tiles of rough terrain (not counting hilled-forests/jungles obviously); a regular GG can move 8 tiles on roads, Khans can move 20 per turn. Khans are the best citadel-makers in the game for obvious reasons.

    Also, the healing is legitimately overpowered. Yes, I know that Keshiks rarely get hit and that Khans won't have to use their healing ability on them most of the time. But in situations where they DO need to heal, it is absolutely priceless and allows you to continue your conquering almost immediately. Healing 25 HP outside friendly territory is super-useful no matter, and the Khan's 5 movement to get into position to heal is what makes it Very Practical and efficient (not having to move/organize your wounded units around to get healed by a medic). After providing the bonus damage to the Keshiks at the beginning of a turn, the Khan(s) can easily move to where healing is needed thanks to their 5-movement; then move back to provide the combat boost in the beginning of the next turn and return to heal again. Khans are useful in every single era and in combination with any land military unit, not just Keshiks. Seriously underrated.

    Anyway, Mongolia feels so much more fluid and nonstop when going for a domination victory than any other civ including Arabia:
    -All (relevant) units have 5 movement points (18.4 strength keshiks to kill units and damage cities, khans to support and heal, horsemen to capture cities)
    -Not hampered by terrain and Great Walled cities (compared to other civs).
    -Constant motion, never stopping but for a moment thanks to the Khan's healing



    Sorry for the ranting nature of my post and the repetition of several points. On the other tier lists threads I never bothered to say much because I acknowledge that Mongolia is limited in playing style and is one of the least 'versatile' civs in the game, but when it comes to just plain winning the game, I firmly believe that Mongolia is right up there with the god-tier civs.
     
  17. consentient

    consentient Domination!

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    If I want to do conquest, I am not going to wait until Physics. Nor am I likely to complete my sweep before Dynamite. So I am almost never going to try to use 2-move siege units when I can spend my money on XBs which are objectively superior. If your strategy is to turtle and kill invaders until Dynamite and then clear the map with Artillery, having gotten there PDQ because of the UA, then that's all very nice and good, but I think it's a fairly inflexible strategy. It doesn't really make it easier to win, either. Just quicker. There is no point on which Hwachas are better than Trebuchets except to kill troops, which I don't need them to do.

    Turtle Ships cannot enter deep ocean. And I have no idea what you mean by this statement:

    I want to know where all the capitals are ASAP and start planning my assault a long time in advance. On a Continents map, I want Caravels ASAP.

    The Huns and Mongolia are not in the god tier because this tier list only acknowledges that conquest has been traditionally underrated. It is not JUST a Domination list. So I have to factor in different contingencies. The advantages those two civs have make it substantially easier to win because you can just pause the conquest whenever you like. I may even boost them up more once I've investigated the 'Demand' strategy that Cromagnus has been talking about, but for now I think they're in the right place.
     
  18. DocRock

    DocRock Prince

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    I was just wondering because you wrote "Both Hwacha and Turtle Ships are not as good as what the Neutrals have". I assumed you mean Trebuchets are better than Hwatcha by that statement. I do not wait until I have Artillery, but in 99% of the my games (esp. on Continent) I am not done with the invention of Dynamite. So I pack my Artillery, sail to the other continent and then it's game over.

    Well maybe it's just the question of different game speeds here (meaning I am slower).

    Same speed issue I guess. I am not done with the first continent when inventing Turtle Ships. So no need to find other civs.
     
  19. consentient

    consentient Domination!

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    Yes, I think Trebs are better than Hwacha because, should I get the chance, I can use them on cities. I do not need a siege unit that hits troops. The XBs do that.

    To be clear: I do actually think that Hwachas and Turtle Ships are not as good. There isn't much in it, since the units they replace are seldom built in a good BO, but Caravels can at least cross the oceans.

    I am not done with the invention of Dynamite, but that's WHY Hwacha are no improvement. Since I have to get to Artillery anyway, I'd rather do it with units I can use for purpose.

    Even if I am not 'done' with my Continent, I still want to scout ahead. Multi-tasking reigns supreme in Civ. ;)
     
  20. nmp0098

    nmp0098 Chieftain

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    I just posted a finish in the Polynesia DCL thread, and while I had to reload to avoid a game ending DOW that's more a reflection of my skill level than the general strategy. I was pumping out over 1k tourism, and I didn't get any early theming wonders despite trying. I didn't get the guilds up until late either, and I didn't get a super early internet but it was still enough to chase down two 50k+ culture AIs. You can see from my Tonga screen shot that I had some pretty ridiculous Moais, and once you start working them the border pops go crazy and I was able to build all the adjacent but unworkable Moais. I definitely didn't start building the majority of them until I started bulbing for the Internet.

    I'm not arguing necessarily for a higher score, because IMO terrace farms stand alone on their hills looking down at all other UIs. I do think the description should point out that in the context of Deity culture victory they can produce game changing tourism when you can't settle the dirt that you'd need to be able to out hammer the AI for wonders.
     

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