Ancient Egyptian Priests

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by pi-r8, Jan 4, 2011.

1. pi-r8Luddite

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This strategy is designed to be used with unrestricted leaders, so that you can combine the Egyptian obelisk with a philosophical leader. You could still do it with a non-philosophical leader, but it won't be as good.

The basic idea, as you've probably guessed by now, is to produce an extremely early great prophet. The obelisk is by far the easiest way to do that, since it doesn't require a religion. The monument/obelisk is also extremely cheap (just 30 hammers on standard speed) and you'll probably want to build it early on anyway, in the cities you first settle. Often it's the first building you construct.

So, let's look at the math to see whether it's worth taking advantage of the special feature of the obelisk (to run 2 priests). Here's a picture of what it might look like:

It's a size 2 city, with two improvements- the desert hill riverside gold mine, and the farmed flood plains. Working both of those would give 4 2 9 . Working two priests produces only 2 2 , which starves the city a bit. Since it's too early to have any multipliers, gold and science and commerce are all equivalent.

So, clearly the regular tiles are better than the priests. On the other hand, with philosophical, we only need to run the 2 priests for 9 turns to produce a great prophet. Actually we can take one off on the last turn, too. After 9 turns, we'll have a prophet who can be settled to produce 2 and 5 . Let's see whether this is worth it.

Right now we have slavery, but the city doesn't have a granary yet. There's not really any other tiles we want to work there yet (the best are an oasis and an unmined desert hill gold) so we'll probabaly use that food for slavery. At size 2, 24 is worth 30 , so the 4 which the flood plain produces is worth 5 . With 8 turns without working the flood plain, and 9 turns without working the gold mine, we lose 8*5 , 8*1 , 9*2 and 9*8 , while producing (9 + 8 = 17) and . The total loss is 41 and 80 . A great prophet will pay back the after just 16 turns, and will pay back the after 21 turns. So let's say that after 20 turns, the prophet pays for itself, and becomes prophetable (huck!).

I consider anything that pays for itself in less than 50 turns a good investment, especially in the early game. 20 turns is definitely a good deal. And, in this particular case we have a gold mine that we're missing out on- a lot of city sites won't miss as much by running a priest. However, without philosophical, you have to run the priests for twice as long, so it's probably not worth it.

The real question of course, is what other alternatives are available? You could get an early great scientist instead, but you won't be able to get it as soon as the prophet, and in the very early game I think the prophet is actually better. You could use the extra production to build a worker or settler instead, but usually the capital can handle expansion by itself. You could work cottages, but without financial it will take a long time for those to be better than the prophet. In my opinion, the early prophet is the best option for a philosophical Egyptian leader.

2. Yoshi1Warlord

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Yea it's a good one, i'd say combine Egypt with a cha leader to be able to use 2 prophs and 2 scientists...could be cool.

3. pi-r8Luddite

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eh, my feeling is that you should decide whether you want scientists or prophets, and just run one or the other. No point introducing extra randomness, and by the time you have enough population to run 4 specialists, you'll have caste system for unlimited scientists.

4. Yoshi1Warlord

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uh...with a cha leader you can run 4 easy on a food rich city before caste system, or do you plan your games into the slightest detail like i only want a prophet now and no way i don't do caste early?
Not my thing in that case, but gl

5. pi-r8Luddite

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By the time you've built both a monument and a library, and grown it to size 6, you'll probably have caste system. Growing to size 2 and building just a monument is a lot quicker. And what does CHA have to do with any of this?

6. vanatteveldtEmperor

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I think this thing can be useful, but the hidden cost is increasing the cost of subsequent great people.

You can also consider bulbing something with the (second) prophet

from davemcw:
Great Prophet:
Meditation
Polytheism
Priesthood
Monotheism
Theology
Divine Right
Mysticism
Masonry (Warlords patch & BTS)
Code of Laws
Civil Service
Monarchy

Theology, CoL, CS, and Monarchy are all pretty useful bulbs. I think theology is the cornerstone of going religious as the AP hammers really make temples and monasteries wonderful buildings. Add in UoS and spiral minaret and they are sort of mini-corporations...

If you beeline the cheap religious techs and oracle CoL, you might be able to bulb both civil service and theology?

7. michmbkEmperor

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Lincoln of Arabia anyone?

Obviously a nice capital, but still, 50-50 it's a prophet in 5 turns. I also built warrior/monument/granary to increase happy cap. Could build henge instead for even faster great person.

Could pair this with religious teching and maybe bulb both theo and divine right super early?

8. Yoshi1Warlord

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2 hapiness that make it possible to actually use all the GP early?
You also mentioned "growing to size 5, building a monument etc you will have caste by then".
You play a different game than me in this case, because i switch to caste when it makes more sense than slavery, for workshops mainly. And you are telling me getting to Caste takes as long as whipping/chopping a monument and a library + growing a bit in a city with 3 food ressources or whatever. Erm, yea...of course...

9. michmbkEmperor

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I agree with Yoshi on timing of caste - unless I'm using oracle, it can be 50-100 turns between libraries and caste...

10. pi-r8Luddite

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I think it's OK though. Your second great person is just the same as the 1st great person for a non-philosophical leader, which is fine. If you get a super early great scientist, there's not much for him to do (bulb math? build an academy in a city with 10 beakers?) and I'd rather settle a prophet than a scientist at the beginning. You'll still have time to get great scientists for an academy and the philosophy-education bulbs, which are the really good ones.

I wouldn't really want to bulb any of those techs. Well, CoL and CS would be nice, but it's not worth getting all the religious techs first. The only reason I see to do that is if you want to get the AP really fast for the pure cheese win.

11. pi-r8Luddite

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Well, if you're doing the strategy that I was talking about, you also have to pause long enough for the city to run two priests and generate a prophet. And it would be size 6, not size 5, if you want enough food to actually feed 4 specialists. I guess you might still take a while to get caste, depending on your tech choices, but I don't really see why it's worth it to run the priests at that point. You have to take all the numbers I gave in the first post, but double them, because it will take twice as long to get a great person (or 4 specialists rather than 2) so it will take 40 turns for the great prophet to be a net positive, and you run the risk of really delaying the the first great scientist. Same problem with using the Madrassa to run priests.

12. TheMeInTeamTop Logic

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Often the alternative tiles are too good, and you are still setting up cities onto good tiles and building workers/settlers (much higher ROI than priests or even their GPP) all the way to writing and beyond.

It's nice for some slots if you grab a holy city (or found one on a religion-less continent) but it's not going to work out very often - that first GP could have been an academy or a strong bulb.

13. pi-r8Luddite

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do you really need an academy when your capital is producing like 10 beakers? Or a bulb when the best thing available is math? And actually, you can get a prophet fast enough to still get a scientist early enough to bulb math, if that's what you want to do.

14. TheMeInTeamTop Logic

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If you are getting a Gprophet early enough that you are "getting 5 beakers" or "bulbing maths", then you are sacrificing expansion to get it, which is painful.

15. pi-r8Luddite

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Well that all goes back to the math of the first post. It does delay your expansion a bit if you were planning on having that initial city build a settler or a worker, but not a lot. If I used those 2 citizens to work the farm and oasis instead of priests, I'd only get 1 * 9 + 2 * 8 = 27 towards a settler. The great prophet will catch up to that after just 14 turns. so that seems like a good investment.

16. TheMeInTeamTop Logic

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You can build a settler before the city even grows, and get another 5-6 tile yield improved sooner. Prophet doesn't look very good against that.

Don't forget, too, that every gprophet is a delayed GS. If you use your 2nd GP on an academy, you are probably losing out on a philo bulb having tremendous trade value on high difficulties. If you take the bulb, you miss out on the academy for 50+ turns when cottages or specs will make it start mattering.

All that and you also delay initial expansion onto power tiles. I don't like it, but do it if it floats your boat.

17. babarKing

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I gave this a couple of goes, and I'm not really getting it. It seems to me that an early GP is best to pay for faster expansion, and yet getting one in this way slows down expansion considerably. I don't think something that pays its investment back in 20 turns is necessarily good in the very early game, because those 20 turns might be all the difference. I would rather use this idea to get a quick GP when my expansion is starting to hurt, but by then I might want a scientist. Still, something to consider though. I always pretty much disregarded the obelisk.

18. pi-r8Luddite

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Yeah it's probably not worth doing if you have a 6 food tile right next to the city. It's much better in a city that has only 4-food tiles like this one did, or in a city that needs to expand to claim it's food.

I'm not worried at all about delaying the scientists. Part of the reason I thought of this is that, when I use philosophical, I always have this dilemna of too many scientists too soon. Even if you just run 2 scientists and nothing else, you'll still get the third GS in only 32 turns, so you should be able to easily get the academy and bulb philosophy, and get the 4th in time to bulb education. I'm looking for better ways to leverage PHI.

19. Yoshi1Warlord

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you guys are simply doing too much maths...havin 2 priests/scientists early in a city is "funny" and not too bad either prolly, that's why i mentioned it.
Making a book of rocket science about it is....boring.

20. TheMeInTeamTop Logic

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If you want to be good at this game, you understand the numbers. Calling us out for being boring is like advertising you're not interested in playing well .