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Apostolic Palace - kinda backwards?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by Bhruic, Jul 21, 2007.

  1. Bhruic

    Bhruic Emperor

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    The Apostolic Palace is a nice early UN substitute. But as I see it, it puts a rather backwards spin on religion.

    More specifically, it actively discourages the spread of its religion to other Civs. That's because the number of votes you get is based on the number of cities that have that religion. Using my game as a rough estimate, I've got Judaism as the Apostolic Palace religion. It's my state religion and all my cities have it. I've got 208 votes. But it was a really late religion, so only one other Civ has it as their state religion (the smallest Civ), with 44 votes. Beyond that, it's spread to a max of 1-2 cities in 4 other Civs, with 15, 16, 8 and 2 votes. That makes a total of 293 votes. To pass any non-diplomatic victory win vote requires 191 votes. In other words, with my 208 votes, I can easily force the passage of any vote that I want.

    Now, if I decide to spread the religion, the other Civs will start getting more votes as their cities with the religion increases. It will very quickly get to the point where I need at least one, if not more other Civs to vote for a measure to get it passed.

    The question is - why would I want to do that? The only advantages to spreading your religion are:
    1) Increased money from a holy city
    2) Changing the state religion of another Civ

    1 only applies if you've got a holy city, so we can leave that one off for the moment. And 2 doesn't seem particularily useful because if you change the religion of another Civ, they become a full member, potentially unseating you from control of the Apostolic Palace. While you would get the positive diplomatic points from sharing the religion, it's not really necessary because you can vote through resolutions that will do that for you (shared wars, forced open borders, etc).

    So in my mind, the Apostolic Palace actively discourages you from spreading your religion, when that seems pretty counter-intuitive for how it should work.

    Bh
     
  2. Yakk

    Yakk Cheftan

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    The diplomatic effects of the palace only influence the actions of nations with your religion as their state religion.

    So if you are the only important nation with the Apostolic Religion, causing a shared war really doesn't help much. . .

    Or do I misunderstand how the Apostolic Palace works?
     
  3. Leodavinci

    Leodavinci Great Merchant

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    Well in my game there was a situation of Tokugawa (not buddist) conqering buddist city of Ragnar (buddist). After that Toku could vote on resolutions. However I was stupid enough to pass "give (Ragnar) city back to its rightful owner", which forced Toku to give it back, which sadly caused him to quit the Holy Budist Alliance as he had no more Buda cities.
    Sorry but I did not check what was Toku religion at that moment.
     
  4. Bhruic

    Bhruic Emperor

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    You've misunderstood. The effects apply to anyone who is a member, full or otherwise. So if a Civ has (in my example) one Jewish city, they are obligated to follow the dictates of the Apostolic Palace, or suffer the consequences. So the four members who only have 1-2 Jewish cities all ended up declaring war on Augustus when I put that forth, despite not having Judaism as their state religion.

    Bh
     
  5. Tanktunker

    Tanktunker Missionary of Hate

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    If they have one or two Jewish cities, then they can spread their religion and change their state religion by their selves, or they can defy a resolution and pretty much quit the Apostolic palace, right?
     
  6. robcheng

    robcheng Sleep-deprived Addict

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    defying the AP only causes unhappiness in cities with the AP religion(and you lose the hammer bonus) until you accept a later resolution
     
  7. oedali

    oedali King

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    I am so glad you brough this up, it has been bothering me for a while too. Check out this thread that I posted a few weeks back. Basically, an easy way to achieve diplomatic victory is to spread your religion to all of your own cities but only a few cities in every civ present in the game so that the diplomatic victory vote comes up. None of the other civs even need to have it as their state religion. Then vote yourself to diplomatic victory because as you said the other civs will have very few votes. The only way to counter this for other civs would be to spread the religion as fast as they can within their own borders to get more votes, but will they bother?

    I'm definitely trying this strategy and going for diplomatic victory as soon as I get my copy of BTS and play my first game. :) However, if it does indeed work like we think it will, I think it's a MAJOR exploit and they should put some more conditions on diplomatic victory such as

    1. Requires that at least 2 other civs have the AP state religion
    or
    2. Need to spread the religion to 2-3 cities in every civ

    or something else.

    Of course, anyone who is playing BTS right now should feel free to play a game with this strategy and let us know if it works. :)
     
  8. futurehermit

    futurehermit Deity

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    Hmm...yes, that sounds exploitable definitely. If so, it should be fixed. I'm thinking votes shouldn't be based on # of cities with the religion. That is what makes it problematic. If it was based on population like the UN then that would be better.
     
  9. Bhruic

    Bhruic Emperor

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    Yeah, at this point I could probably very easily pull off a diplomatic victory. I'd only have to spread the religion to 2 more Civs, and if I picked their smallest cities, they wouldn't get many votes. And since I did a bit of conquering, I've got an even larger percentage of the votes.

    So it's very exploitable. I'm just not sure what the best way to fix it would be.

    Bh
     
  10. Yakk

    Yakk Cheftan

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    Yep, that's a bug.

    The Diplo. Victory should require 75% of the world population points in votes to win. This is strictly harder than a UN victory -- and it should be, because you are doing it earlier.
     
  11. offworld

    offworld Chieftain

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    You're forgetting about theocracy.
     
  12. Gaius Octavius

    Gaius Octavius Deity

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    I was worried about this, too -- I immediately brought it up once the preview for it with mrbee from IGN was posted. Spread the religion to all your cities, and one of everybody else's for an easy win.

    The problem I see is that it's darn near impossible to spread it to every single other civ, especially if you've got religion mongers like Isabella. Also, it is likely the game mechanic is set such that even if you only have 8 civs, spreading it to just one city in each will cause your sway to dip quite a bit. (It would not, however, drop quite as fast once they start spreading it to their own cities. The first one in a new civ is the major milestone.) I don't know how it works yet, but that's just an idea.

    The only thing we can take for quiet reassurance is the report (in the original preview I think) that no one has been able to win a Medieval diplomatic victory yet.
     
  13. Gaius Octavius

    Gaius Octavius Deity

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  14. DrewBledsoe

    DrewBledsoe Veteran QB

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    This is highly unlikely, because it must be every single civ in the game, not just ones you know. There is also theocracy, and the fact of other religions more more actively being spread by the ais. There are also "events" which sometimes spread your religion (I had one that "extra pious work by Christian Missionaries has helped influence the spread of religion with "x civ", which immediately spread it to 5 other cities.

    Honestly, in practice, you'd need an amazing set of circumstances. I'd say its impossible early in the game on anything but a pangea (because you'd need at very least optics first), but then on a pangea everyone knows each other, and the other religions spread too.I wouldn't call it exploitable.

    The other point though, about not spreading your religion because it dilutes the voting pool, is true.The fewer votes the others have, the more likely you can singlehanded pass whatever you want. But then the more cities you have spread it to, the more shrine income you get.

    Swings and roundabouts.
     
  15. offworld

    offworld Chieftain

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    I think this might be feasible on certain settings (i.e. pangea - standard size - 6 civs).

    On the settings I play with, I tend to meet the last civs only some time after optics. Many of them will be in theocracy by then ( and they tend to stick with this for a long time, if not forever). With more than 10 civs in the game, I think this will be very hard to pull off, and you will have to dedicate yourself to that aim completely.
     
  16. StevenJoyce

    StevenJoyce Chieftain

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    The link shows an AD 1800 religious diplomatic victory by an AI, not by the human player.

    The game had only 3 civs, on what looks like a small pangaea. Those settings are unusually favorable for a religious victory.
     
  17. azaris

    azaris King

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    The AP holders also seem keen on trade embargos against infidels. Imagine what happens if Tokugawa builds the AP of your religion? After a while you'll have no OB with anyone with a different state religion unless you defy the palace. I've also found the AIs seem to prioritize the AP.
     
  18. oedali

    oedali King

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    I agree that the circumstances have to be just right for this to work. So it may be better to call it "smart AP politics" than an "exploit". After all, in most situations it might be easier to have close relations with an AI who will vote Yes for your diplomatic victory and help you win rather than prevent them from having too many No/Abstain votes.
     
  19. Todd Hawks

    Todd Hawks Warlord

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    I still think it's a little dodgy. Losing like that out of the blue only half-way into the game (or winning... same deal) doesn't seem too great.
    Maybe there should be an option to defy the vote, which will lead to (maybe permanent?) war of all who voted for the winner vs. the one defying it.

    Actually, I think this is a general problem: I often turned off the diplomatic victory due to its arbitrary results... but now that you can actually do a lot of interesting stuff with the UN and the AP I don't want to deactivate them. Can't we have the UN and AP even when diplomatic victory is turned off? I don't see why not.
     
  20. Bhruic

    Bhruic Emperor

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    So? The Caravel will carry Missionaries, and it only needs Optics - not exactly an advanced tech.

    I'll give you Theocracy, although most civs don't run it full time. But what does it matter that the AIs spread other religions? It doesn't matter if a city has multiple religions, as long as it has yours as well. That's all you need to do, put your religion in one city. In fact, the AIs spreading their religion actually helps you, because it makes it less likely your religion will spread to lots of cities of other Civs, thereby ensuring they don't gain a large voting block.

    Sure, but the random events are just that - random. And specific events like that must not be too likely, as I haven't seen it in any of the games I've played so far.

    I think you are vastly overestimating the difficulty here. Beeline to Theology, build the Palace, go straight to Optics, and it's pretty much game over at that point. All you need to do is make sure to pick a state religion that hasn't spread well already. Usually choosing the religion you get with Theology is a good choice, because the earlier ones have probably already spread around.

    Sure, assuming that you (a) only have one religion, and (b) have got a GP to build the shrine. In my mind it's much more advantageous to be able to have 5 other Civs declare war on your enemy than it is to get a bit of extra gold every turn.

    Oh, and the whole point of my original post, wasn't just to point out that the situation is exploitable - although I maintain it is. It was to point out that it's completely contrary to the very idea of the Apostolic Palace. The whole point of it should be about converting the heathens, but the way it's set up actively discourages you from converting the heathens. At least, beyond a single small heathen city.

    Bh
     

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